What a team!

Pr. 31:10-31 describes a virtuous wife.  I think its safe to say it describes a virtuous woman.  (whether married or not)

Now check out Ps. 112, which describes a righteous man.

Both of these passages describe the righteous person, the virtuous person, the blessed person.  What is the common foundation of those people?  They fear the Lord.

“A woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.”  Ps. 31:30

“Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who delights greatly in His commandments.”  Ps. 112:1

When we live a God-honoring life, fearing Him, it will show in our decisions and our actions.  We will be blessed and honored by the Lord now or in time to come.  Do not doubt the power that comes through surrendering your life fully to Him.  Let your heart be steadfast, trusting in Him, and let your own works praise you.

What God has promised, He is able to perform.  Ro. 4:21.  Imagine if the things said in these verses could be used to describe you at the end of your life.  They can.  You and God make a winning team!

The blog address of my righteous man.   http://manintheword.blogspot.com/

Rejoicing!

jamie

I have included those verses below for those who don’t have their Bible handy.  🙂

Ps. 112

Praise the Lord!

Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who delights greatly in His commandments. His descendants will be mighty on earth; the generation of the upright will be blessed. Wealth and riches will be in his house, and his righteousness endures forever. Unto the upright there arises light in the darkness; he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous. A good man deals graciously and lends; he will guide his affairs with discretion. Surely he will never be shaken; the righteous will be in everlasting remembrance. He will not be afraid of evil tidings; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. His heart is established; he will not be afraid, until he sees his desire upon his enemies. He has dispersed abroad, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever; his horn will be exalted with honor. 10 The wicked will see it and be grieved; he will gnash his teeth and melt away; the desire of the wicked shall perish.

Proverbs 31:10-31

10 Who[a] can find a virtuous[b] wife? For her worth is far above rubies. 11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain. 12 She does him good and not evil all the days of her life. 13 She seeks wool and flax, and willingly works with her hands. 14 She is like the merchant ships, she brings her food from afar. 15 She also rises while it is yet night, and provides food for her household, and a portion for her maidservants. 16 She considers a field and buys it; from her profits she plants a vineyard. 17 She girds herself with strength, and strengthens her arms. 18 She perceives that her merchandise is good, and her lamp does not go out by night. 19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff, and her hand holds the spindle. 20 She extends her hand to the poor, yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy. 21 She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household is clothed with scarlet. 22 She makes tapestry for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple. 23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land. 24 She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies sashes for the merchants. 25 Strength and honor are her clothing; she shall rejoice in time to come. 26 She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness. 27 She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. 28 Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: 29 “Many daughters have done well, but you excel them all.” 30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. 31 Give her of the fruit of her hands, aAnd let her own works praise her in the gates.

What could be more important?

Pr. 30:3:  “I neither learned wisdom nor have knowledge of the Holy One.”

Every day our priority should be learning more about Him.  Ps. 14:2 says, “The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any who understand, who seek God.”

How do we learn wisdom, have knowledge of the Holy One, and understand?  Spend time in the Word.  We have to create the time to be with our Savior.  He is looking to see if there are any who understand, who seek Him, whose heart is loyal to Him.  The Word tells us about God.  He gave us the Word so that we might know in whom we have believed.  Jesus spoke words of life on this earth and we have them available to us right now.  The Lord spoke through prophets and ministers of the gospel and we have those words of knowledge at our disposal at all times.  It’s so easy to take that for granted.

Maybe we couldn’t be under Paul’s ministry, but we can read his God-revealed words each day.  Maybe we can’t be one of the 12 disciples, but we can be students of Jesus Christ and be a disciple right now.  Don’t waste another day allowing time to get away from you.  Don’t put off spending time in the Word.  Do it now!  Put this critical time on your calendar for today.  Put in on your calendar for tomorrow, and don’t break the appointment.  We are charged a fee for breaking a doctor’s appointment.  There are no monetary fees charged for breaking the appointment to read the Word.  I guarantee you; however, that when you put something else before getting wisdom from the Word, you are paying a price.

Why have a mediocre walk with the Lord?  Why know only the minimum about Him and His Word?  This is our God and Savior we’re talking about!  Why not soak it all in and overwhelm your soul with His goodness, His mercy, His precepts, and His overwhelming faithfulness?  Oh, truly He is more precious than silver and more beautiful than diamonds.  Nothing you could ever desire compares with the Lord.  Get in the Word today and allow His Holy Spirit to pour over you and teach you all wisdom and knowledge.  When you feel the presence of God, you will never regret how you spent your time.

Craving more,

jamie

 

Remember your purpose

Pr. 29:23:  “A man’s pride will bring him low, but the humble in spirit will retain honor.” 

It’s amazing how God works.  Jesus, our King, didn’t come to be served.  Jesus came to serve.  If anyone had a reason to be proud, certainly it was the King of Kings.  However, he was humble, compassionate, and He served those around Him.

Pride is a tricky thing.  While it makes us feel good for a moment, it can be the very thing that destroys our relationship with God, our relationships with others, causes us to burn bridges and set traps for ourselves.  Pride can also be the very thing that gets our eyes off God.  Pride causes us to focus on ourselves and this world, forgetting the reason for which we were created.

Were we created to prosper, to be the best, to be recognized for our accomplishments, to have it all, to be the sexiest, to look the youngest, to get all the attention?  My belief:  No.  We were created for a much higher purpose.  Jesus said He did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.  Jesus could be seen with the outcasts, the most unpopular, the disabled, the hurting, the sick.  He came to bring salvation.

What did He tell us to do after He was gone?  “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you.”  Mt. 28:19-20

You and I were created for a purpose that is much higher than any earthly goal.  Its fine to support ourselves, have friends, enjoy our families, rest, and re-create ourselves in God’s creation.  Its when we get our eyes focused on those things alone, forget we came to serve, and forget that God is the Sustainer of our lives; that we fall into the traps that pride can set for us.

If we want honor, the Word tells us we must be humble.  God gives grace to the humble.  Humility will cause us to be the most like Jesus.  In Jn. 4:34, Jesus said, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.”  He didn’t worry about the things in this world.  He came with one focus: Salvation.  He came do to the will of One:  God.  He laid down His pride…and His life…and He is honored to this day.  He is at the right hand of the Father and will come back for the repentant one day soon.

Let’s remember our purpose today and plant seeds in others that will help them be one of those who has eternal life.  No matter what this world says, life is NOT about us!

Looking to Jesus,

jamie

Can money bring salvation?

Pr. 28:25:  “He who is of a proud heart stirs up strife, but he who trusts in the Lord will be prospered.”

The NLV translates it this way:  “Greed causes fighting; trusting the LORD leads to prosperity.”  This verse is pretty self explanatory.   What else do we really need?  We are so consumed with consuming that we have trouble distinguishing wants from needs.

Do we really need shoes to match that outfit or will another pair of shoes we already own actually be fine?  Do we really need a new boat or does the boat we currently own get the job done just fine?  Do we really need that food we saw in the food magazine or will the food in our cabinets suffice?  The truth is that in our society the lines get easily blurred.  We can justify all the reasons we “need” something that we want, but at the end of the day most of us have all we need and more.  Certainly the Lord provides.

If you’ve ever had a time when you actually had no food or a bill you truly couldn’t pay, then you’ve probably seen the Lord provide.  When we get caught up in greed we can truly trouble our own houses and spend our money unwisely.  We have to find the courage and faith to be good stewards of the money and possessions God provides us.  When we do that, we will not only have all we need, but we will be grateful children and have enough to help others.  God gives to us not for our own greed and gain, but to reach out, as His hands, and give to those around us with true needs.

The believers in Acts 2:45-47, “sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.  So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people.  And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.”

When we create our budget, spend our money, or decide on purchases, let’s keep in mind the fact that there are some around us that truly have needs.  “The Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved”…He is the same God today.  Let’s make our decisions about money based on the knowledge that the way we use our money can be the tool God uses for someone else’s salvation.  Now that’s a good reason to pinch a penny!

Frugally,

jamie

Do spiritual disciplines taste bitter to you?

Pr. 27:7:  “A satisfied soul loathes the honeycomb, but to a hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.”

Honey has never been on of my favorite things to eat.  I have tolerated it at times but have never consumed much.  The last 2 years have been very strange with my eating and tolerating of food.  Some days I am not able to eat anything.  Some days I can eat only crackers or maybe bread.  Other days I can eat as I desire.  It’s a day by day, and sometimes moment by moment journey.  There is no diagnosis for me, so I simply research and experiment.  Some of my research told me that raw honey may be a beneficial thing for me to ingest.

Last month, I was feeling rather awful and was having a spell of not being able to eat very much, so I finally bought a jar of raw honey.  This was my first experience with raw honey.  To this hungry girl, it honestly tasted like candy.  I was so delighted.  Not only might it help me, but it was so sweet and uplifting.  Something sweet that won’t cause me pain, and could possibly even help prevent it…what an amazing thing!  🙂

I remember those days before this strange sickness hit my body.  Remember how I said I didn’t consume much honey?  I could eat anything I wanted.  Why would I choose something I only barely enjoyed?  I was full of tastier food and didn’t need it.  Now that I am hungry, I will eat almost anything that won’t cause pain.  I drink papaya juice, green algae, hibiscus flowers, ginger root, and apple cider vinegar, and now eat honey.  It’s not that I enjoy all these things immensely.  I do this because it is what’s best for me.

I do believe our souls are the same way.  When we are full of our delights, we have no need for spiritual disciplines.  Making time for prayer seems silly.  (unless we need something, of course)  Making time for the Word seems like a drag.  We have so many more enjoyable things to do.  Making time for church seems like nonsense when we could sleep in, clean the house, mow the lawn, go to the lake, go to a ball game, head off to the beach, or make a trip to the park.  Making time for missions isn’t even on the radar.

But get hungry for God, and every “bitter” thing seems sweet.  When we finally come to our senses, and realize that life is no life at all without The Lord, we realize how sweet it is to have time for prayer.  There is nothing like spending time talking to our Father and allowing Him to speak into our hearts.  When we realize that spending time in the Word will arm us for battle and show us God’s will, we won’t go a day without it.  Why wait until we need God to be in His word?  We could prevent so many issues by preparing in advance for the trials we will face.  When the trials come, if we’ve been in the Word, we will already be prepared, sword in hand, and we will be victorious.

When we’re hungry for more of God, church isn’t even an option, it is a given.  Church becomes the time we long for, when we can worship with others, experience the presence of the sweet Holy Spirit, be stretched, taught and encouraged by Pastors, teachers, and friends, and it becomes the time when we’re refreshed while our armor is sharpened and polished.  Missions becomes what we long to do, to help God’s children because that’s His will and it will please Him, and because we desire that others can experience what we have.

Yes, to a hungry soul, every thing that seems bitter to those not seeking more of The Bread of Life, seems sweet.  If we’re too full of our selves, our desires, and the lusts and lies of this world, it will show as we turn our nose up at the precious things that could draw us closer to Christ.  Spiritual disciplines are the sweet thing, like honey, that won’t cause pain, and could possibly even prevent it.  What an amazing gift!  We do them, maybe at first, just because that’s what’s best for us.  Then we’re surprised and delighted at how sweet they really are.

Enjoy your honey.  🙂

jamie

 

Let the fire go out

Pr.  26:20:  “Where there is no wood, the fire goes out; and where there is no talebearer,  strife ceases.” 

I just threw my brother-in-law under the bus.  I randomly told on him and caused strife within the room.   I felt bad immediately, apologized,  and then read this verse.   Boy, what a lesson.

Outside we have a campfire the is smoldering  from our fire last night.   We had a huge fire due to the large amount of wood Donnie’s brother and dad picked up yesterday, so even though we abandoned he fire last night,  there is still heat inside the core.  We would only have to add some wood to that fire and we could get it roaring again.

I apologized to my brother-in-law, but the subject matter was something that is already sensitive within our family.  The words I cannot take back simply added heat to the fire already smoldering.

I typed before about James 3:6 where it says, “The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell.”

My comment wasn’t mean-spirited, but it certainly wasn’t helpful, and if only under the surface,  it added wood to a smoldering fire.  We have to speak slower and make sure we’re not adding wood.   People are counting on us.

Biting my tongue,

jamie

How do you become someone worth imitating?

Pr.  24:3-4:  “Through wisdom a house is built,  and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.” 

Where do we get true wisdom and understanding?  From the Word.  We build ourselves as a strong temple (house) of the Lord by filling ourselves with the wisdom, knowledge, and understanding we gain from the Word.

Dig in, don’t let up.  Let the Lord speak into the depths of your soul, and allow Him to fill you.  His knowledge will fill you with pleasant and precious riches that will be worth sharing.  Only then will you be someone worth imitating.

Following His lead,

jamie