Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Virtuous? what's that all about. Psalm 31:10-12, 30

Proverbs 31:10-12

New Living Translation (NLT)
10 [a]Who can find a virtuous and capable wife?
    She is more precious than rubies.
11 Her husband can trust her,
    and she will greatly enrich his life.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
    all the days of her life.
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last;
    but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.

Virtuous...  I wonder how often have you used that word today or perhaps this week or even the last month?   That's a word we don't use too often.   So I thought it might be good to look at that word for a moment.  First some synonyms for that word.   all right, decent, ethical, honest, honorable, just, moral, nice, right, righteous, right-minded, straight, true, upright, good

 Now a definition from  Wikipedia - Virtue is moral excellence. A virtue is a positive trait or quality deemed to be morally good and thus is valued as a foundation of principle and good moral being. Personal virtues are characteristics valued as promoting collective and individual greatness.

I like the idea of a foundation of principle and moral being.    A foundation is what you build upon.  For example if the foundation of a building is poor no matter how you try and how beautiful the building eventually the building will have problems.  conversely if your building upon a good foundation you can always rebuild and make corrections along the way.  Now I know that it's not a good thing to compare a woman or a wife to a building. ha ha  So if I've offended anyone I'm sorry.  Its just an analogy even if it isn't very romantic.   But if you think about it there are some beautiful and exciting homes that anyone would love to live in that have sound foundations.  My guess is that the home listing doesn't mention anything about the foundation. 

Yes, most women would love to be called beautiful, exciting, warm, sensitive, intelligent, funny, talented, and creative.   I'm not sure you will get a big smile and a hug by calling your wife virtuous tonight at the kitchen table.  But how blessed you are to have a virtuous wife.  All those other qualities and characteristic I just listed build upon that foundation and we love our wives because of those things as well.  But I hope that each man has a virtuous wife and that each woman is a virtuous person.  These are the women that God blesses and these are the women that bless their children.

I believe the Bible speak of three great virtues.  Faith, Hope and Love.   These should be the foundation of all of our relationships and of course the foundation of our relationship with God.  We should have faith in God in all things  Secondly we have hope which is the certainty of God's goodness and love which the Apostle Paul says is the greatest of all.

For a Christian, virtuous starts with our relationship with God;  Our trust in God and our complete surrender to walk in the ways of God.   We will not be perfect but if this is not the desire of our heart then ours is a flawed foundation and we must repent and ask God to change and transform our heart to the image of Christ.

Tonight. If you are a husband of a virtuous wife find a way to let her know how thankful you are!  and if you are a woman of virtue give thanks to God for he will greatly use you to be a blessing to others. 

And by the way.... blessed is the woman who has a virtuous man as well.

Monday, January 13, 2014

How do we trust... In God Proverbs 3:5-8

Proverbs 3: 5-8   "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.   In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.
 Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your body And refreshment to your bones."

Trust....  real trust assumes that there is a challenge or a risk doesn't it?  For instance you don't have to trust when you sit down on the chair at the kitchen table.  You can see with your own eyes and you have the experience of many sittings to prove that it is trustworthy.  I'm blessed with a very dependable car.  I can trust that it will get me where I need to go as long as I put in gas, change the oil and pay attention to the dash board lights.  Yes in a real sense I do trust my car.  Meaning that I believe in its dependability.  

 There are a lot of things that we trust in in a similar way.  We trust in our dependable washer and dryer.  We trust in our roof to keep us dry and our furnace to keep us warm.

Perhaps as I've been writing you realize that trust has two parts to it.  One is the object of our trust;  the chair, the car, the washer and dryer. etc.  And then there is the one whom trusts in, believes in, and actually uses or depends upon them.  I mean what good is a trustworthy car that we never drive?

However, trust gets a little more difficult when it comes to relationships doesn't it?  We want to be surrounded by people that we trust but from time to time we have all been burned haven't we.  Trust is hard for some people and understandably so in case of abuse or perhaps if our spouse has been unfaithful or if they have a history of squandering money.

But can we trust God?  You see our verses for this week only have substance to them if we can trust God. 

Another question to consider is this.  How much are you willing to trust?  I would have no problems trusting my car to drive across town but I'm not sure about going across the country.

The same question confronts us with God.  Will we trust and do things God's way in some situations but in others refer to our own wisdom or personal desires?

I think many people live life that way.  I suppose we have all fallen into that trap.  I bring this up at this point because the scripture teaches us to "trust in the Lord with all our heart and lean not on our own understanding".   It seems to me that this is one of the great dilemma's of life.

Will we let God be in the drivers seat of our life at all times?   This kind of trust is hard.  Its the kind of total trust that Jesus showed in the father when he was on earth.

I believe that the promise of our Scripture for today requires such total devotion and "trust" but how do we do this when we don't always know what God wants?  Thankfully because of God's grace,  often we are blessed even as we stumble along in life.  But how many more blessings await those who fully trust in the Lord.   

 So where do we begin?

I think where most people need to start, when it comes to trust, is to develop a personal relationship with Jesus because its hard to trust the one you don't know.  

Prayer:  Lord I want to know you.  I want to trust you.  I want your wisdom for my life in all things.  Help me to trust your wisdom and obey your wisdom especially in those very hard times when we want to do things our way.  In Jesus name.  Amen