Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Week In Review

A woman that seeks – marks of a virtuous woman

Many have preached about the virtuous woman (Proverb 31) and I have heard the consensus from women and that is, “I cannot keep up with that woman, she does too much!” It can be overwhelming to think, I have to be “THIS” woman? Yet, what is important for us to see about this woman is more than simply what she does, but how is she able to do it?

We have read the scripture, but let’s take a quick inventory of a righteous woman:

1. She is priceless (vs. 10)

2. Her husband trust her completely (vs. 11)

3. She is her husband’s support (vs. 11)

4. She looks for great deals on clothing (vs. 13)

5. She willingly goes distances for great deals on food for her family (vs. 14).

6. She rises early to start the day (vs. 15)

7. She invests in ventures that allow for her families finances to grow (vs. 16).

8. She has energy to do her work (she must exercise regularly) (vs. 17)

9. She does whatever needs to be done to keep her family supplied with what they need (vs. 18-19).

10. She cheerfully gives her service to the building of God’s kingdom (vs. 20).

11. She provides for her family in all season (vs. 21-22).

12. Because of her life, her husband gets to brag to his friends, coworkers and those he fellowship with among the people of God (vs. 23)

13. She is an independent businesswoman (she makes and/or sells things to earn extra money or in our day, she has a job or career) (Vs. 24)

14. She has a good reputation and is respected by others (vs. 25).

15. She has a hopeful spirit; she looks to the future with joy (vs. 25).

16. She has control over her tongue and her actions. And because of it her family praises her. (Vs. 26-28).

17. Her husband not only brags to his friends, but he tells her often how much she means to him, and that there is no other wife for him, but her (vs. 29). – Note to men, if you have a wife doing all these things, then you need to make sure you are doing this verse often.

18. A virtuous woman, a righteous woman praises God and because of it, is rewarded for her sacrifice to her family (vs. 30-31)

So the question is, what does virtuous mean? It is showing moral excellence and righteousness, goodness. So what makes this woman righteous and good? Verse 30 of this section of scripture gives us the source of her righteousness, and that is God.

Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. – Proverbs 31:30

So you are this woman if you are a woman that fears the Lord. And if you looked at your own life, and counted up all the individual things you do, and how important they are to building your household, you would really be surprised at what you do. Many of us look at this woman and think I can’t do that, because we underestimate our value of what we do in our daily lives for our husbands and children.

Is this true? Can we really be this “Virtuous Woman?” Come back next week for the next installment.

Week In Review

“Why are you feeding the dead?” (Part 4)
March 25, 2007
Preached in Wisconsin by Jewel D. Williams

So why are we breaking God’s heart? Because he has given us all the tools we need to be successful in every place he has planet us, but we are not using these tools and we are trying to do things in our own steam and power. We are trying to make our marriages work based on our own understanding and not Gods. Husbands are refusing to look at the biblical example of what is God’s plan for the husband, and are saying instead, no thank you, I’ve got this one, and in doing so, are living by the flesh. To live by the spirit, it calls for you to love you wife as Christ loved the church. Many say this is impossible to do, and that the Bible is too idealistic in this request. Yet, I have to disagree, if God says it, then it can be achieved. It calls for you to follow. Are you sacrificing yourself? Are you sacrificing your time, your actions, and your energy to ensure that your family, your wife and children are loved, and cared for? Yelling at them, abusing them, with your words or actions is not in line with what the Bible teaches. So it does not matter how many times you get up to pray and worship before the Lord, until you get that right, you are hindering your own prayers, and you are eating from the garbage can and offending God.

Wives, I’m not leaving us out, are we honoring and respecting our husbands? Do we love them, as the Lord has required? That means even when they are being what we would consider unreasonable or put another way, a knot head. Guess what, that knot head is the one you married, so you better not talk about them too bad, cause what does that say about you, you married him? That means we cannot belittle them, disrespect them and think we can continue to seek God’s intervention if we are not doing as he is telling us to. God is not pleased with these actions, either. We need to check ourselves to make sure we are in line with God’s requirements. Do not be fooled that because things seem to be going well for you that you can continue to disobey God. We cannot take his mercy and grace for granted. That’s what Paul says, “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? (6:1-2). And again anything, anything that is a willful moving away from God’s ways, is sin. If you know you are to be one way, but are choosing to do something different, you are in sin.

God may simply be holding back our punishment because he is giving us time to repent and come back to him. I’m still talking about the battle between the flesh and the spirit. As long as we are trying to do things from our flesh, we are not going to do this marriage thing right. God says stop offending him by eating the garbage we are eating. He says stop eating the advice from you friends, talk shows or people that mean you no godly good that tell you to abandon your commitments, he says stop eating that garbage that tells you, you have a right to find happiness outside of your marriage relationships. Garbage!! God says come and take what we need from the word to help us. So if we are not living as we ought to in our marriages, we need to look up every scripture that talks about love, marriage, sacrifice, and read them over and over again until they come out of our very pores. If we need to be the first ones seated at every marriage conference, then so be it. Because then we are coming to the Lord’s Table and partaking of the sustenance we need to keep our relationship and union with God in tack. That’s what the feast from Matthew reminds me of. Our union with Christ is hinged upon us being at the feast at the table and supping with him and we cannot be offensive at the feast. We must be attired in righteousness. But we will not be if we are eating from the garbage can. We will have the stink of that garbage on our clothes. And when we see the flesh trying to rise up, we need to simple beat it back down, we need to beat it like it stole something, because it is trying to steal your place with God and we need to speak the word of God to it and tell it, it has no place here. If your spouse isn’t what they ought to be, then pray for God to first have his perfect will in their lives. I know the temptation to pray your laundry list of God fix him or her, but instead I realize as much as I want a good marriage, what is more important than that is that my husband does not lose his way with the Lord. That is part of what it means to live by the spirit. When we live by the spirit we are willing to go through some hard times, so that God’s will can be done and not our own. Paul calls that in the 12th chapter, being a living sacrifice. So I want to encourage those that are right now going through that hard place of feeling rejected, alone, and do not see any release in sight. I know that pain, and I know it is hard to hold on. But I say to you, get a hold of the word of God and let it get a hold of you and that is what will hold you through. Turn your focus away from the problem and begin to ask God to help you pray in his perfect will. Ask him to help you pray for that spouse that is not doing, as they should. And then in God’s time, he will bring about his perfect will.

For the spouse that is not doing as the Lord requires, I bring you a warning from God. God says it’s time. It’s time to release yourself into his hands. He is calling you to come to him for the answers regarding your behavior, your attitude, and your flesh problem (because no matter how you want to place the blame else where, the problem is a fleshly one. It is if you are deciding not to obey what God tells you to do, then your problem is not with your spouse but in obedience to God and that is sin). Seek him to help you in your marriage, your job and anything else that is keeping you from committing completely to him. If you say you are his, then you must walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit. What you or I cannot see in others, God does not miss at all. He sees every deed, every action, ever thought. What is he saying about yours? Is he saying you are eating from his table of plenty or are your actions offensive to him because you are eating the garbage and trying to pass it off like you are eating from his table?