Teach Good Things

LORD Jesus, we praise You for giving us Your Word as a Counsel for our lives. Help us, O God we pray, to seek You early in life — each and every day. Enable us older women to be teachers of good things. Give us wisdom to teach the younger women what Your Word says — and not what we want them to do. Guide the younger women to look beyond the age and faults of the older women and to keep their focus on Your Word. In Jesus’ precious name we pray. Amen.

We are currently preparing for and then having an early Christmas celebration at the weekend. That’s why this blog will be on hold for a short time. Here is something for you (and me) to take along into this week.

If you are following along in our Bible Reading Plan (see sidebar and below) you will read Titus 1-3 today. There are three verses that are found in chapter three which I like to go back to over and over again (Titus 3:3-5).

Let’s begin reading in verse one up to verse five of that chapter:

1 But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine:
2 that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience;
3 the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things—
4 that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,
5 to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.

The phrase “older women” might not only refer to the age here but also to the maturity in the faith. We can only teach what we have learned ourselves. We may teach others some of those things that we have mastered. We might, however, also share with them our experiences of things gone wrong — perhaps because we went our own way and acted contrary to what God’s Word tells us to do? Yes, sometimes our teaching will involve that we are making ourselves vulnerable and that our own faults are being exposed.

With this is mind, let us ask a few questions in regard to the text. How should we behave and what should we not do? What are older women to be? How should we teach the young women? What should we teach the young women? For what important reason should all of this happen?

Be diligent to teach and learn good things.

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Proverbs 31 Woman — Part 21

Give her of the fruit of her hands,
And let her own works praise her in the gates.

Proverbs 31:31

LORD Jesus, we praise You for leading us through Your Word. Forgive us whenever we are not so diligent in studying our Bible. Give us wisdom, O God we pray, and help us to understand what You are telling us to do. Guide us in Your Way. Let us seek not our own but Your Strength every day. In Jesus’ precious name we pray. Amen.

Today’s post concludes our study of Proverbs 31:10-31. It has been a fascinating journey to prepare and write it. I hope you too have gained something out of it. Thanks be to all of you who have so graciously shared their thoughts on this series with me. Words alone could not express how grateful I’m for your encouragements and prayers — which kept me going especially while things were not going according to (my) plan. Thank you so much!

READ — Let’s read the verse again

Give her of the fruit of her hands,
And let her own works praise her in the gates.

ENGAGE — What does the verse say?

What shall be given to the virtuous woman?
(the) _____ _____ _____ _____

What shall praise her?
(her own) _____

Where shall she be praised?
_____ _____ _____

At first reading this verse challenges us to do more, to work harder, and to focus on what we can — or could — achieve in life. Some of us might feel guilty comparing ourselves to others. And how often do we follow the advice of this world and ungodly people instead of doing what the Word of God is telling us to do?

APPLY — How does this apply to your own life?

What comes to your mind while you are thinking of the fruit of your hands? Do you think you are worthy of praise? Why or why not?

DO — Think: What are some of the ways you could apply this verse?

You want to achieve that your fruit, the outcome of your work, is good, right? On how many days, though, do you fight back your tears because you feel like a complete failure? “Is it really worth it to press on?” you might ask. It sure is!

You can prepare the soil and sow the seeds, and you can water your tiny and grownup plants to make way for growth and development of strong roots. Remember, though, that there are struggles you will have to face: the ground might dry out, the weeds will grow along and threaten to prevent growth to happen. Don’t despair! God always remains in control. Hallelujah!

Looking back to our verse in yesterday’s post I want to give some advice to the young women and also remind and encourage the older women among us.

Do you want a strong marriage and a content family? Then build it on the right Foundation: The Word of God. If Christ Jesus is left outside the boat of family life you will eventually be left without the Anchor which you will need as soon as storms hit. Your charm will only solve problems for so long, and your beauty will eventually leave. Then what?

Did you build on the wrong foundation? Have you trusted in your own ability to convince yourself and others that “everything will be okay somehow?” What do you see looking into the mirror? Bitterness? Wrinkles? Someone you do not like to see each day? Today is the day to change!

1 Build on Christ the LORD who is the solid Rock!
2 Work as unto the LORD and not as unto men.
3 Trust in God’s Promises that He has given to you in His Word.

Hope in God and never give up to fight for your family.

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Proverbs 31 Woman — Part 20

Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.

Proverbs 31:30

LORD Jesus, we praise You for You have made us and the plans You have for us are perfect. Forgive us, O God we pray, whenever we put Your Word second to all other things. Enable us to keep our focus on You and the Truth. Give us wisdom and understanding to run the race and to do everything as unto You and not as unto men. In Jesus’ precious name we pray. Amen.

What is the virtuous woman’s secret for her success? Today we are finally getting to the bottom of this.

READ — Let’s read the verse again.

Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.

ENGAGE — What does the verse say?

What is deceitful?
_____

What will (eventually) pass?
_____

Which woman shall be praised?
(the woman who) _____ _____ _____

The virtuous woman is wise and so she uses her charm for good and not for evil. She also knows that her beauty will eventually pass. She understands what it means to fear the LORD.

APPLY — How does this apply to you?

Are you a person of great charm?
How important is your beauty?
Do you fear the LORD your God? In what way?

DO — Think: What are some of the ways you could apply this verse?

There is nothing wrong with charm. Use it for the good to draw other people close to you, and then point away from yourself and to Christ.

There is nothing wrong with beauty. Use it for the good, however, or it will cause you — and others — a lot of heartache. Give priority to the beauty that is found inside, and stay in control of your beauty that is on your outside (especially in the way you dress).

Listen to what Matthew Henry comments:

But the fear of God reigning in the heart is the beauty of the soul; it recommends those that have it to the favour of God, and is, in his sight, of great price; it will last for ever, and bid defiance to death itself, which consumes the beauty of the body, but consummates the beauty of the soul.

The central theme of the Book of Proverbs is the fear of the LORD. This book begins with and ends on this topic. Proverbs 1:7 says that

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.

It’s not a fear of being left alone or pushed into a corner, or of being afraid of the consequences of our behavior or of someone who wants to hurt us. No, this fear talks about having/showing deep reference for someone.

The fear of the LORD is the key to powerful living.

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