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May 98

The Virtuous Woman

Proverb 31:10-31 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.

In our study of God’s word, we notice that there is a matriarchal system as well as the patriarchal order.Just as there are father to son blessings, the mother can also pass along a blessing. Paul spoke of young Timothy’s faith; a faith that seemed to be inherited by the children of believers. It is unfeigned faith, unwavering faith, faith that is sure of what it has in Christ Jesus. Paul notes that Timothy’s faith was the same faith that was in his grandmother and his mother; faith taught and passed down as a family heritage. Paul realized and shared with us that though the father is the head, the mother is the heart.

How can one be the mother that God wants you to be? Well, when God estab-lished marriage he had a purpose. God did not make woman just because Adam was lonely. Throughout history we see that God has had a very specific purpose for women. This plan showed a specific service that would be fulfilled in God’s blueprint for a mother.

Paul noticed the gifts that were in Timothy, were handed down through his mother. He saw the work that was done in him was good, and that it was ordained of God. Timothy’s mother and grandmother had passed their same faith on to their heir.

His grandmother and mother served the Lord with an unfeigned faith and love. Eunice and Lois brought Timothy up in the Word of God so that he developed a genuine faith. Paul ordained him through the laying on of hands, because he saw the faith that was in him. By faith, Timothy moved in the things of God. It was this faith the apostles recognized. An apostle didn’t have the authority to choose and appoint an individual for a fivefold ministry position (apostle, prophet, evangelist, teacher, and pastor.) Only God selected these anointed vessels. The leaders looked for the gift of God operating in a man. Using this standard, they selected men who were filled with the spirit of God and operating in earnest faith. They knew these men would finish the course God started them on.

What is a virtuous woman? What are her qualities? As mothers are a very important part of God’s work, the scriptures clearly describe her. The charge that God has given to the mother is so necessary that it demands our careful attention. Christian mothers do everything unto the Lord, because, we know whatever we do is fulfilled in Christ. However, this doesn’t let men off the hook, as there is just one bride to Christ, which is the Church. The bride is made up of males and females who corporately become the "mother", the church. Our text (Proverbs 31: 10-31) is not talking specifically to women, but is talking about the Church. There is only one woman who "excellest them all" and it is the Church. It does so because it has the perfect husband, Jesus. He makes perfect provision, and gives perfect love to His wife, the church.

"for her price is far above rubies."

Only God could create one who is perfect; one who is perfectly made to fulfill His will in the earth. The value of His helpmate is beyond measure. The price that was paid for us was paid by God’s dear Son’s blood. We are more precious than gold or any priceless stone. The word of God speaks of heaven having streets of gold, gates of pearls, and walls of precious stones. Out of all these won-derful things in heaven, one is more precious than all the others— His virtuous woman.

The heart of her husband does safely trust in her. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. Jesus couldn’t have left this earth if he didn’t believe His bride was equipped and able to work the fields. God knew Jesus would have a bride; a bride that was called out by His name, adorned by our Father; a perfect bride. You have a husband who trusts you. If you are the bride of Christ, you have the trust of Jesus Christ above all else.

"She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands." Our job is to work after those things pertaining to God’s Word and to place ourselves under His covering. We’re to cover ourselves with the armor of God, which is righteousness, salvation, truth, and the gospel of peace. Above all we’re to arm our-selves with the shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit, being diligent to find those things which pertain to the Word of God and seeking to perform them in our lives.

" She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar." The virtuous woman searches for the most that she can obtain from the Word of God. She searches the word when-ever there is a need to get a revelation from God, and to bring spiritual food for herself and her family. New birth comes to pass in the church continually because Jesus has put the seed of life in us. We thus propagate His life con-stantly. In the natural a seed reproduces after its own kind. An apple seed pro-duces an apple tree. We who are born of God’s word reproduce that same word in our offspring.

"She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. Take a portion and give it to your family. Begin to teach them the word of God and disciple them to act on the things God has called each of them to do.

"She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. She acquires a vision. When you start a new work it doesn’t always increase significantly in the beginning. First you plant the seeds and eventually they produce a harvest of good, because you were obedient to God with devoted faith. You selected the territory, marking it off and saying, "God you have given me this field and I will work it and it will become a vineyard. I will plant my seed in it, and it will produce the promise you made to me." The virtuous woman perceives that what she has is precious. She knows that the blood of Jesus is so priceless that she’s willing to do what-ever it takes to get the Lord’s work ac-complished. For this reason, "She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms." She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff" "She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. She doesn’t keep this word to herself but she gives it to the poor and to the needy.

She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet. She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple. She is not afraid of the evil world and its coldness because she knows that she and every member of her house-hold are clothed in the blood of Jesus Christ. The mother has a duty to clothe her household with the blood. She does this so that all people will understand the atonement of Jesus Christ, knowing everything they need is in the blood. Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. The blood of Jesus is all the covering you need. One thing that stops man from coming into the presence of God is unrighteousness. We can unravel the word and weave a white linen covering of righteousness, through words of faith. If you tell people about the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, you are producing white linen covering. You are giving this wonderful garment to them to wear. There is strength in this beautiful cloak we wear. "Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come."

She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. There is a time when we will stand before the throne of God. Our job now as the bride is to produce the word, and yet there shall be a time when we will rejoice. There are rewards for the work that we put forth for His glory. At that time, it won’t matter what sacrifices we had to make. Only to work and fulfill His purpose satisfies our desire.

She looketh well to the ways of her house-hold, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates

What is the wisdom of God? It is Jesus Christ and Him crucified. When you have received the things of God, it’s then time to apply them to your need, especially in your home. Do the work of the ministry. Works never proceed faith but works always follow faith. Don’t let your hands become idle for you have the "perfect" vocation. We are His bride. If you teach of Christ and they receive by faith His provision , they will rise and call you blessed.

Ask Jesus into your heart today and become a part of this wonderful blessing from our Father in heaven.

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
by Marilyn Hoyme

Some time ago I assumed the job of overseeing the nursery at our church. It was a
position I stepped into with eagerness, as I truly enjoy working with children. They have always been a delight to me and this seemed like the natural place to serve the children and families of our church.

Years ago I received a degree in nursing. In that course of study we learned the usual sciences that relate to the functioning of the human body. Throughout all of it I was awestruck by the intricacy of God’s design— the complexity of systems that all interrelate and function with a check and balance system for one another. Every system is needed and it all functions perfectly as a whole. Surely we are all "fearfully and wonderfully made" (Psalm 139:14). Our existence is with purpose and plan, and by the knowledge and will of God. None of us are here by surprise or by accident in God’s eyes. Psalm 103:13 tells us that God knew us even in our mother’s womb. Verse 16 tells us that His eyes saw our substance, yet being unperfect (in the making); and "in thy book all my members were written." He saw us as whole from the beginning and took account of every part of us with purpose and plan. Verse 17 and 18 tells us His thoughts are precious unto us and they are more in number than the sand. God’s love for each of us is immense and constant!

All my study of science left me with an awe for God as our creator, and as our classes continued I was totally drawn to work with these little ones that "he knew from the womb." Every time I am in the nursery I am reminded through the children of the wonder and glory of God’s creation. I delight in little fingers and toes and marvel at how they work so perfectly. I see innocence in trusting eyes that say love me, just as I am, in purity and in truth; I see vulnerability in their dependence on us that calls us to protect and nourish their growth; I see a curiosity for life, a natural desire to master their surroundings that says teach me how to do this, teach me in the way I should go; I see myself as a child of God and they teach me by their natural ways how we as adults need to relate to God. They teach me about faith in our Savior. In Matt 18:17 Jesus tells us to "receive the kingdom of God as little children" as we shall "in no wise enter therein." Trusting is more natural for little ones, being dependent is more natural for little ones, and believing that something will happen because "My Daddy said so," seems so easy for them. They know their provider and they run to that person for their needs! In all their innocence, they are very profound to me!

As a nursery worker I am grateful that I can share a portion of time with the children, I feel we serve the body by allowing the parents time to be in service to be refreshed by the Word of God. It is a privilege to have that nursery time to care for and love your children. We are part of the overall love and provision that God has for them through the body of Christ that works together. They are learning of that love and care from early on in their lives. I enjoy seeing the children grow and from our doors move on down the hallway to "Gospel Kids Club," "Can-do Kids Club," and up to "Grace Tasters." Here they are learning about "how fearfully and wonderfully" they are made. They learn about Jesus as their Savior and of how important they are to God’s plan of creation. Each child that comes into the nursery is a whole person in God’s eyes, fully mature and functioning in God’s plan for them. I am grateful to be a part of their beginning and I believe in God’s fullness in their lives.

With Mother’s Day coming up I want to wish all the Moms, Grandmothers and extended care givers a very blessed day of sharing with family and friends. You hold a position of honor before God. Your children and I encourage you to take heart and believe that your efforts are fruitful. You are ministering to this generation, but your works will live on into the lives of your children’s children. Mark them with truth and grace and see the blessing flow!

Thank you Father
You Sent Your Word

by Barb Karcz

I ’ve heard the parable of the Prodigal Son many times, but I always felt there was something more that I was missing. The Lord has been teaching me about receiving what He has for me, and about being totally open in my heart to receive His gifts. He used the story of the Prodigal son to make his point. (Luke 15:11-32) I was very surprised as well as very happy because God filled in the missing piece of the parable for me.

There were two brothers, both entitled to an inheritance, and both sons of the promise. These promises were things belonging to the father, which were not earned. The younger brother received what was freely given to him and immediately took it out into the world. When he walked away from the protective covering of his father’s house, the favor and grace he was used to quickly disappeared and death overtook him. Through the loss of everything he’d obtained, he finally was able to see the empty promises of this world for the lies they were. What he’d done had seemed like a good idea at the time but now he was feasting on seedpods. He went home with his heart and his attitude completely changed. His father welcomed him with forgiveness, restoring permission to use the authority of his name.

Here comes the part where I appreciated. Luke 15:28" But he (the older son) became angry and was not willing to go in; and his father came out and began imploring him. 29 But he answered and said to his father. "Look! For so many years, I have been serving you and I have never neglected a command of yours; and yet you have never given me a young goat, so that I might celebrate with my friends. 31 His father said to him, "Son you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours."

The older son was entitled to all the things of the father but he had never received them. In the same manner, we are entitled to everything of God’s because of the shed blood of Jesus. Receive it! Don’t say, "I wish I had peace, joy or patience." Say "Thank you father! You sent your word, I have peace, joy, and patience." Believe it, and receive it!

Another story that exemplifies this point is in 2 Kings 4:1-7. It is the account of a widow whose husband had died, and was about to lose her sons to slavery in payment of debts. The prophet Elisha told her to bring to him as many vessels as she could find. Then she was instructed to pour from a small jar of oil she had, and to fill all the vessels. Just as she ran out of vessels the oil stopped flowing. This clearly revealed to me that the oil of the Holy Spirit will not stop, providing I have means to hold it. I have to put the vessels out there and keep them coming. Let’s believe in God’s supply and in his promise to give us all we need. Then let’s receive it all!

All For Good
Kim Wozniak

Jesus Christ, He reigns and rules,
Over all the earth, He reigns and rules.
Carving out in us His image,
Using trials as shaping tools.
Daily He grows in us; Bigger and stronger,
As the outer man perishes, living no longer.
As the winds of adversity blow to and fro,
Christ stands unshaken within us, using the tempest,
As a means to help us grow.
Standing firm in this truth!
It is not I that live,
But Christ that lives in me,
The Holy spirit works in our lives,
Making it an evident reality.
So whatever trials we may face today,
Or the cares, that try to weigh down our mood,
God’s promise in Romans 8:28 states that
He will use All of them,
To work for our good.

Published by Amazing Grace Ministries Evangelistic Association Publishing, Westchester. Illinois Distributed by Amazing Grace Ministries Evangelistic Association Publishing, Westchester. Illinois Unless otherwise indicated all Scripture quotations are from the Authorized / King James Version (KJV)  No part of this book may be reproduced without written permission except for brief quotation in books and critical reviews. For information write Amazing Grace Ministries Evangelistic Association Inc.--198 Burnett St.--Yorkville, IL 60560--708/223-0070

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