To my dear daughter in the faith:
It is such a joy to write to you and know that you are so open to instruction and so eager to make sure you fulfill the Lord’s calling. Continue in your understanding that apart from Christ you can do nothing, and follow through on your commitment to live dependent on him. Keep your eyes on Him at all times, no matter what is happening around you. Listen well to God’s Spirit within you and to His Word which continues to take root in your heart.
You can do nothing without investing time and energy into listening prayer for direction, and immersion in God’s Word so that His living Spirit can speak to your soul. Let His Spirit refresh you and give you strength. Just as in an airplane we are admonished to put on our own mask before helping others, so you need to breathe God’s oxygen, or else you will lose your effectiveness. Whatever you may have to sacrifice, don’t let it be your time with your Lord.
Do not let anyone look down on you because you are a woman. Remember that you, too, bear the image of God. Do not believe yourself inferior because of your call to submit. Keep in mind that all believers are called to a submissive attitude that reflects the way that Jesus submitted to His Father. Also remember that a gentle and quiet spirit is of great worth to God.
Build deep foundations in those you are ministering to. Be an example of belief that digs deep into God’s Word and obediently does what it says. Do not worry about having a great number of people to influence—just make sure you influence well the ones God gives you. You have seen how women are called in Titus 2 to train those who come behind them. Consider that calling and how it should be lived out.
Live for Christ in a way that inspires those around you. In this way you will have greater influence than you can even imagine. Do not seek the spotlight, but if it comes to you, treat it as something entrusted by God, not something you earned by your own merit. Never lose that humble spirit that characterizes you now; again I remind you, you can do nothing apart from Christ.
Rise up to your calling to steward God’s grace. Be diligent in listening to His promptings to offer it to the many in this world who have never experienced true grace. Remember that Colossians tells us that fruit will come as we truly understand God’s grace—so invest in receiving it yourself and modeling it for others. Your gracious spirit should be an important part of fulfilling the ministry of reconciliation to which Christ has called you. Always keep in mind that you are an ambassador, seeking the good of the One who entrusted this ministry of reconciliation to you. Help people be reconciled to God, and teach them to be reconciled to each other. Be a peacemaker, not just a peacekeeper. Keep in mind the desire our Lord Himself expressed in his final hours in the garden—that His children might live in the unity of the Spirit. Support your brothers and sisters who are also laboring for Him—seek to always strengthen them rather than tearing them down.
Remember that you are called to feed the Lord’s sheep–make sure you feed them truth. Shepherd them with a courageous, gentle hand. You are not a hireling who runs away from any threat. The Master of the sheep has called you His friend, and you are to seek His interests. Take whatever risks are required to shepherd as He Himself would. Remember that each one is precious to the One who created them.
May God’s grace and truth be your compass, as well as the love and peace He provides. Remain in His love, and though the Enemy may hurt your body, he will not be able to harm your soul. It gives me great joy to know that God will complete the work I watched Him begin in you, and I anticipate eagerly the celebration that awaits us when we are reunited in His presence. I entrust you to the One who loves you even more than I ever can.
Your co-worker for the gospel,