Wisdom for Daily Living #31: A Portrait of the Virtuous Wife

PROVERBS DAY #31: A PORTRAIT OF THE VIRTUOUS WIFE 

  • If you have enjoyed our study in the Book of Proverbs, and would like a free copy of the e-book “The Beausejour Pulpit” that they are taken from, please contact the author of this blog and I will send it to you. Blessings!

“Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is worth more than precious rubies. Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. She will not hinder him but help him all her life.” (Prov. 31:10-12).

At last, we come to one of the most well-known chapters in the Book of Proverbs – King Lemuel’s description of a virtuous wife. One of the things I like about the Bible is the value and dignity that it gives to women. Unlike many other world religions, women are not seen as being inferior to men. “In Christ’s family there can be no division into Jew and non-Jew, slave and free, male and female. Among us you are all equal. That is, we are all in a common relationship with Jesus Christ.” (Gal. 3:28, msg).

Of the virtuous woman King Lemuel writes: “Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her: “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!” (Prov. 31:28-29).

What a beautiful picture of honour given to this wife and mother. The Bible teaches children to honour and obey their parents. “Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do. “Honor your father and mother.” This is the first of the Ten Commandments that ends with a promise. And this is the promise: If you honor your father and mother, “you will live a long life, full of blessing.” (Eph. 6:1-3).

“Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the LORD will be greatly praised. Reward her for all she has done. Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.” (Prov. 31:30-31).

Finally, King Lemuel points out the fact that God sees things differently than the world sees. The world says that a woman must be charming and beautiful if she wants to be successful. But the Bible says charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last. More important than those two things is the inner beauty of a woman who fears the Lord. This kind of a woman will be rewarded and praised, both by the Lord and by her family.

At last, we come to the end of the Book of Proverbs. I hope that you have enjoyed this study in the book of wisdom. “And remember, it is a message to obey, not just to listen to. If you don’t obey, you are only fooling yourself. For if you just listen and don’t obey, it is like looking at your face in a mirror but doing nothing to improve your appearance. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you keep looking steadily into God’s perfect law — the law that sets you free — and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.” (James 1:22-25, nlt).

TODAY’S READING: PROVERBS CHAPTER THIRTY-ONE.

Pastor Chris Jordan

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Wisdom for Daily Living #30: Drink the Pure Milk of the Word – #Proverbs

PROVERBS DAY #30: DRINK THE PURE MILK OF THE WORD 

“The words of Agur the son of Jakeh, his utterance. This man declared to Ithiel–to Ithiel and Ucal: Surely I am more stupid than any man, And do not have the understanding of a man. I neither learned wisdom Nor have knowledge of the Holy One. Who has ascended into heaven, or descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has bound the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name, and what is His Son’s name, If you know? Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him.” (Prov. 30:1-5).

The last two chapters of the Book of Proverbs were written by two different men: Chapter thirty was written by a man named Agur, and chapter thirty-one was written by a man named King Lemuel. I encourage you to read through these two chapters, as they are great appendix to the Proverbs of Solomon!

In the above Scripture, Agur tells us that every word of God is pure, and that God is a shield to those who put their trust in Him. You can trust the Lord, and you can trust His Word! It is pure, it is true, and He is faithful. The Apostle Peter encourages us to “as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.” (1 Peter 2:2-3). Have you tasted of the pure milk of the Word? Have you tasted and seen that the Lord is good?

Dear reader, I want to stir up your heart today to seek after God. As we are coming to the end of our devotional journey through the Book of Proverbs, don’t stop reading and feasting on His Word when this month is over. If you seek Him, you will find Him! And you will find Him first and foremost in the pages of the Bible. God’s Word is “More to be desired than gold, Yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.” (Psalm 19:10).

Allow me to close with this challenging quote from the Prince of Preachers:

“The best food for you is the Word of God itself. Sermons and books are well enough, but streams that run for a long distance above ground gradually gather for themselves somewhat of the soil through which they flow, and they lose the cool freshness with which they started from the spring head. It is always best to drink at the well and not from the tank. You shall find that reading the Word of God for yourselves, reading it rather than notes upon it, is the surest way of growing in grace. Drink the unadulterated milk of the Word of God, and not of the skim milk and the water of man’s word.” (Charles Spurgeon, How to Read the Bible).

TODAY’S READING: PROVERBS CHAPTER THIRTY.

Pastor Chris Jordan

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Wisdom for Daily Living #29: The Secret of Happiness Revealed

PROVERBS DAY #29: THE SECRET OF HAPPINESS REVEALED 

“Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; But happy is he who keeps the law.” (Prov. 29:18, NKJV).

“When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild. But whoever obeys the law is happy.” (Prov. 29:18, nlt).

Everybody wants to be happy. It is a universal pursuit, yet few people have found what they seek. In the above Scripture, Solomon gives us a nugget of wisdom that will transform the lives of all who will put it into practice: Happiness comes from keeping God’s law!

Now hold on a minute here. I know some of you are thinking – that last statement doesn’t make sense! If I keep God’s law, I’ll be sad, depressed and miserable, because God is a cosmic kill-joy, and His rules are designed to keep me from having fun! Nothing could be further from the truth. God’s rules aren’t designed to keep us from having fun – they’re designed to keep us from death and destruction. The Bible says that the wages of sin is death. In other words, when we disobey God’s law, we bring death and destruction into our lives.

God is our loving Heavenly Father. And like any good parent, He wants the best for our lives. He wants to bless us, to protect us and provide for us. When He gives us a rule, we can trust that He has our best interests at heart. As a father, I give my children rules because I love them. When my children were younger and I told them to look both ways before they cross the street, it’s because I knew that if they didn’t, they would have gotten seriously hurt, or even died.

An important distinction must be made here. We don’t have to keep God’s laws in order to get God to love us, or to earn our salvation. God loves us first, and we are saved by grace alone through faith in Jesus. However, now that we have been adopted into God’s family, and experienced His love and grace, we choose to keep His commandments because we love Him. Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15).

But what are His commandments that we are to keep? In the Old Testament, there are 613 laws that were given to the nation of Israel. These 613 laws were summed up in the 10 laws we call the Ten Commandments. But Jesus simplified it even more when He reduced those commandments to two: “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matt. 22:37-39). Loving God and loving people. If we start there, we will be well on our way to keeping the law, and experiencing a blessed, happy life.

TODAY’S READING: PROVERBS CHAPTER TWENTY-NINE.

Pastor Chris Jordan

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Wisdom for Daily Living #28: Confession or Cover-Up?

PROVERBS DAY #28: COVER-UP OR CONFESSION?

“People who cover over their sins will not prosper. But if they confess and forsake them, they will receive mercy. Blessed are those who have a tender conscience, but the stubborn are headed for serious trouble.” (Prov. 28:13-14).

Proverbs 28

It’s been said that there are two sure things in life: death and taxes. But there is a third thing that is equally true: sin! To sin is to miss the mark, to disobey God and His commandments. Everyone sins. The question is not whether we will sin or not, but rather what we will do when we sin. Here we have two options: To either cover our sins, or confess and forsake them.

As usual, Solomon doesn’t simply say to us: “Don’t cover your sins!” Rather, he tells us the consequences of covering our sins, and then leaves the decision up to us. If you cover over your sins and hide them, you will not prosper. If you stubbornly refuse to confess your sins to God, you are headed for serious trouble! Solomon’s father, King David, knew well the consequences of covering his sins. “When I refused to confess my sin, I was weak and miserable, and I groaned all day long. Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat.” (Psalm 32:3-4).

In contrast to the person who covers up their sins is the person who confesses and forsakes their sins. When we confess our sins, we receive God’s mercy. “Oh, what joy for those whose rebellion is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight! Yes, what joy for those whose record the LORD has cleared of sin, whose lives are lived in complete honesty!” (Psalm 32:1-2).

Everyone sins. “If we say we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and refusing to accept the truth.” (1 John 1:8). When you sin, you have the choice to either cover your sin (but why bother – you can’t hide it from God anyway!) or confess your sin. “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong.” (1 John 1:9).

Do you have a sin that you want to confess to Jesus today? If so, I encourage you to take the words to this wonderful prayer of confession, written by King David, and confess your sins to the Lord, who is gracious to forgive.

“Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin… Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight… Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow… Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a right spirit within me… Restore to me again the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you.” (Psalm 51:1-12).

TODAY’S READING: PROVERBS CHAPTER TWENTY-EIGHT.

Pastor Chris Jordan

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Wisdom for Daily Living #27: You Must Not Go Alone!

PROVERBS DAY #27: YOU MUST NOT GO ALONE! 

“An open rebuke is better than hidden love! Wounds from a friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.” (Prov. 27:5-6).

“As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” (Prov. 27:17).

The Book of Proverbs has a lot of wisdom for friendships. On Day #12 we learned that we should choose our friends wisely, because we will become like those we hang around with. On Day #17 we learned three more keys for having strong and healthy relationships: love at all times, help your friends when they’re in trouble, and be friendly! All throughout this book of wisdom, we have gleaned many other helpful principles for our relationships, from guarding against strife and anger, to controlling our tongue. Today, we are going to look at another important principle for our friendships: accountability.

What is accountability? The dictionary defines it as to be “responsible to someone or for some action; answerable.” In other words, God wants us to be responsible for one another, to help each other to grow in the Lord! When Solomon says that an open rebuke is better than hidden love, it means that sometimes in our friendships, we need to challenge our friends, when we see them getting off track or into something that we know is dangerous. These wounds from a friend may hurt, but the ultimate result is to help them to grow. It’s like iron sharpening iron – we challenge each other to be the best that we can be.

When I was a student at Pacific Life Bible College (I graduated in 1999, so this was a while back!), I learned an important statistic that I have never forgotten. Seven out of ten leaders – men and women called by God to the ministry – will fail. They will either leave the ministry because of moral failure and are disqualified, or they will give up because they are burned out or discouraged. Do you know what the three out of ten leaders that finished well had in common? Only one thing: accountable relationships with another Christian.

I’ve said many times before that there are no Lone Rangers in the Body of Christ. However, if you are a young person, you might not know who the Lone Ranger is. I remember watching re-runs of that old western TV show when I was a kid, the story of a masked Texas Ranger who fought injustice in the wild west. But ironically, even though his name was the Lone Ranger, he still had a trusty side-kick, a Native American named Tonto. Batman had Robin. Frodo had Samwise – and the “Fellowship of the Nine.” Robin Hood had his merry men. And Jesus sent His disciples out two by two for a very good reason. You must not go through life alone! “Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, For he has no one to help him up..” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10).

TODAY’S READING: PROVERBS CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVEN.

Pastor Chris Jordan

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Wisdom for Daily Living #26: A Dog Returns to His Vomit

PROVERBS DAY #26: A DOG RETURNS TO HIS VOMIT 

“As a dog returns to his own vomit, So a fool repeats his folly.” (Prov. 26:11).

Can I be honest with you? That Proverb presents us with a disturbingly graphic picture. Whenever I hear it, it reminds me of when I was a junior high boy, watching my little black dog Sammy do that very thing. My dog had just thrown up, and now it was sitting there eating its own vomit. It was disgusting! I wonder why Solomon used this imagery in his Proverb? Matthew Henry, that great commentator of the Bible, had this to say about that Scripture:

“What an abominable thing sin is, and how hateful sometimes it is made to appear, even to the sinner himself. When his conscience is convinced, or he feels smart from his sin, he is sick of it, and vomits it up; he seems then to detest it and to be willing to part with it. It is in itself, and, first or last, will be to the sinner, more loathsome than the vomit of a dog, Ps. 36:2. How apt sinners are to relapse into it notwithstanding. As the dog, after he has gained ease by vomiting that which burdened his stomach, yet goes and licks it up again, so sinners, who have been convinced only and not converted, return to sin again, forgetting how sick it made them.” (Matthew Henry’s Commentary).

In the New Testament, the Apostle Peter quoted this Proverb in his first letter. He wrote: “And when people escape from the wicked ways of the world by learning about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and then get tangled up with sin and become its slave again, they are worse off than before. It would be better if they had never known the right way to live than to know it and then reject the holy commandments that were given to them. They make these proverbs come true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and “A washed pig returns to the mud.” (1 Peter 2:20-22).

Even the Apostle Paul could relate to this struggle with sin. He said, “I don’t understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do the very thing I hate.” (Romans 7:15). So what can we do so that we don’t return to that sin that so easily ensnares us? How can we keep from returning, like a washed pig, back to the mud? Paul writes: “Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 7:25).

If you want to keep from falling back into sin, “do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2). We need to renew our minds by God’s Word if we want to be transformed into a new person! So get into God’s Word. Read your Bible. Study your Bible. And most importantly, hide God’s Word in your heart, and it will help to keep you from sin. Someone said once that either sin will keep you from the Bible, or the Bible will keep you from sin. Get into the Word today, and be transformed!

TODAY’S READING: PROVERBS CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX.

Pastor Chris Jordan

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Wisdom for Daily Living #25: Extra, Extra, Read All About It!

PROVERBS DAY #25: EXTRA, EXTRA, READ ALL ABOUT IT: GOOD NEWS! 

“Like the cold of snow in time of harvest Is a faithful messenger to those who send him, For he refreshes the soul of his masters.” (Prov. 25:13).

“As cold water to a weary soul, So is good news from a far country.” (Prov. 25:25).

Who doesn’t like Good News? In a world where bad news stories fill the headlines of our major newspapers and television newscasts, it’s refreshing to hear good news for a change. Today, I want to be a faithful messenger who brings good news from a far country – from Heaven! But first, the bad news:

The Bible tells us “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). In other words, every human being in the world has broken God’s commandments, including you and me. The Bible also tells us that “the wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23). That means that the penalty for our breaking God’s law is death, or eternal separation from God in a place called hell. That’s the bad news.

However, the Good News is that you don’t have to be punished for your sins, because Jesus has taken your place. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” That tells us that God loves us and wants to save us from our sins! How can we meet Jesus as our Lord and Savior? “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9). If you would like to make your peace with God, and give your life to Jesus, pray this prayer out loud right now:

Heavenly Father, I admit that I am a sinner. I have broken your commandments, and I deserve to be punished for my sins. However, I believe that you loved me so much that you sent Jesus to die for my sins. I believe that He is the Son of God, that He died on the Cross, and three days later He came back to life. I confess my sins to you, and ask you to forgive me of all of the wrong things that I have done, and to cleanse me from all unrighteousness. Please come into my life and make me a new person. I make the decision today to follow You all the days of my life. Thank you for adopting me into Your family. In Jesus’ name, amen.

If you prayed that prayer from a believing heart, the Bible says that you have been born again, adopted into God’s family! I want to encourage you now to find a good local church that preaches the Bible, and tell someone about the decision that you have just made. Start reading the Bible. Talk to God in prayer every day. And get baptized in water as soon as possible.

TODAY’S READING: PROVERBS CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE.

Pastor Chris Jordan

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