Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Virtuous Woman

 Prov. 31:10-31

This is a "remarkable lady"!!!  But note:
#1.  The praise is not for her achievements but for her character.
In the King James, "virtuous woman" = moral character, moral goodness.  Therefore, she does all these things.
Character traits:  willing, hardworking, industrious, creative, motivated (a self-starter), sensible, practical, reliable, trustworthy, kind, caring, generous, supportive.  She is a wise woman.
Question:  What about her appearance???  NOT MENTIONED!!!  Not because it's not important, but because it's not of primary importance.
Her character leads to her behavior that leads to her achievements.
Her character leads to her behavior that leads to her beauty!!

#2.  Her character is attributed to her faith(vs. 30)
"fear" = reverence:  to revere - to honor/respect!  Stand in awe of.... to defer to......  to submit to...
She is who she is because she fears the Lord.

NOTE:  Proverbs is the Book of Wisdom.   It begins with praise of Wisdom. (seek it, apply it)
Ends here!!!  With a Wise woman, a wise wife, a rare prize!!

APPLICATION:  The Virtuous Woman Serves as a:

#1.  Mirror.   Ladies - to examine yourself  ( James 1:23-25 )
The point is NOT do as she does but develop this character. - who she is.  Be a Godly woman.
A.  Based on - fear of God, Word of God
B.  Resulting in .... a "remarkable Lady!"
 This passage is not meant to crush you but to show you the plans God has for you - to build this kind of character.

#2.  Model
A.  For........ young ladies - something to look to, measure by, model by.....
The point is not:  be a wife, mom, stay-at-home mom, business woman, etc.
The point is:  develop Godly Character which leads to becoming a Remarkable Lady!

B.  For young men... this equals the character/quality(s) to look for!!!
Good looks will change/fade.  Godly character will improve!!  (Sanctification is inherent in the Christian walk)

#3.  Reminder......
A.  Recognize what you have - ie: a wife who possess and displays some of these traits.
BPraise her for who she is - Vs. 28, what she does - Vs. 30-31  And for improving you!!!  (as per vs. 23)
C.  Assist her - not just in what she does, but in the process of becoming what God's called her to be.

Question??  Is it possible to be a Virtuous Woman if hubby is a jerk???

Monday, May 7, 2012

Understanding Worship

John 4:23-24

Last message - focus was worship.  My definition of worship = Declaring God's Worth.

Scripture teaches:  A.  God deserves worship - (He is worthy because of Who He is, what He does, etc.)
                             B.  God expects worship - Mal. 1:6 (a)  "Almighty" - particularly of His people, but of all his people.  It's the proper thing to do.
                             C.  God seeks worship  - He doesn't need it, but gets satisfaction from it when His people worship Him.

Question:  Why???? 
Answer:  - for our benefit.  If it's for our benefit, it would benefit us to understand it.

So..... brief observations.

I.  Worship is far more than verbal declaration.
Additional ways to declare His Worth - attendance, attention, study, obedience, lifestyle- "yes" to righteousness, "no" to sin....

So... According to the Puritans "common daily tasks done well = worship" - Col. 3:23-24
or "to this I'm called"/God has put this in my path....

II.  True Worship is both internal and external
On one hand, there is nothing wrong with silent worship (contemplation, adoration)
However, there is something wrong with worship if it is never declared, expressed.

Compare:  love that never acts, faith without works

Objectionforced worship =  fake worship!!!
Answer:  forced worship may be the highest form or worship.  - in midst of sorrow, perplexity, problems, etc.
Acts 16:22-25    2 Sam. 12:19-20

We often say, "touch my heart" and I'll worship.  He says, "worship Me....and I'll touch your heart".

III.  Worship generally includes sacrifice
ie.  an offering, a gift to God.  1 Chron. 21:22-24

On one hand worship is for our benefit, therefore we can expect to receive from it.  However, if the focus of worship is what we'll receive, then our focus is all wrong.  That's not worship.
The focus is to be what we'll give/offer

IV.  Worship is always a personal sacrifice.
We may offer corporate, group, public praise.   BUT our worship does not satisfy YOUR obligation (debt)

John 4:23-24 - note:  A.)  "will"  B.)  "must" - or it's not worship