Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Proverbs 31 - Week 5 - Family and Household

Proverbs 31:21-31
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,
And let her own works praise her in the gates.

This amazing woman has no fear of the snow because she has clothed her household in scarlet. During the hard times of winter she doesn't fear for her household but she has made sure that through winter they are clothed well with fine and expensive scarlet wool. Not only does she clothe her family well but her own clothing is of fine linen and is purple and colour of royalty.
She knows that her family is covered in scarlet which is symbolic of the Blood of Jesus. Se has covered her household in the blood of Jesus so that they will be able to weather the cold and hard winters in their lives. She also knows who she belongs to. She is the King of King's daughter and she clothes herself in royalty, strength and honour.
She rejoices about the future and when she opens her mouth it is with wisdom. She watches over her household. Not only is her husband known at the gates when he sits among the elders but so is she. She and her husband work together to keep their household running. She looks after the internal workings of her home life and he works on the external. They compliment each other. Her husband praises all she does and she encourages him.

So to wrap up the series, we see that Proverbs 31 women are women of strength and are clever in business and run their family well and are caring and nurturing. She is a blessing to those around her. What we learn from the advice this mother gives her son is that she tries to shape an idea of what her son must look for in a wife but also what qualities he needs to have in order to be worthy of her. She tells him that this woman does all these things and is all things but she is strong in the Lord and fears the Lord and that when he finds this woman he will bless her and praise her and their children will rise up and call her blessed.

Single women and men. Guard your hearts and your spirits. Do not open yourself to just anyone. God will show you the right person to share your life with but in that time give your heart to Him and Him alone. Seek Him first and His righteousness. Don't lean on your own understanding but trust Him completely.

Women you are put here for a purpose. God didn't create you to be like man and do everything a man does because otherwise he would have just cloned Adam. But instead he put Adam to sleep and fashioned woman from his rib. This is how close we become to our husbands. We are right beside him. We protect their hearts and with their strong arms and they shield and protect the most precious person in their lives. They needed a helper and we are that helper. God saw all of creation was good and man was good but what was not good was that he was alone and needed a helper. And God made us perfect for this purpose.

Be who God created you to be and don't settle for anything less than the best that God has always had planned for you.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

You Are Being Set Up

Esther 4:13-14
And Mordecai told them to answer Esther: “Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king’s palace any more than all the other Jews. For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

Today I have been getting the words in my head, 'You are being set up'. Thinking about my life and all the things that have happened and changed over the years and all the things I have done have set me up for such a time as this. I have been set up. I feel set up.

This is a good thing by the way. In a way that is just so amazing it can only be God. We are all set up. Nothing that happens is an accident or just happens by chance. You reading this is not an accident. Where you live and work. Where your children go to school. Who your friends are. Not a mistake and not a coincidence. No random chance.

Esther was a woman brought before the king with many other woman but she was not just a random woman who was nabbed off the street. God had a purpose and a plan for her life. She was to be beneficial in the saving of her family and the Jews.

There are things in us, gifts and ideas and experiences that are going to be used to help those around you. It may take awhile or seem really small and insignificant but there will come a time where someone will need what you have learned and gone through to help them.

Jeremiah 29:11  For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Think about ways that God is setting you up for His purposes. Can you think of one person that you have helped this week? If you look and see what has happened in the last few years can you see how God has used you to make a difference in your world?

Deuteronomy 31:8nd the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”

God goes before you and He goes with you. He doesn't leave you or abandon you. He makes sure you are cared for and that you are in the perfect place. He is not surprised by your situations. Things can be really hard and so unbearable but when we trust and push through our mountains and our valleys we find blessings and things we never thought we would ever be able to do or even have dreamed of doing.
He is the one who puts great dreams in our hearts. We as parents want our children to succeed and do great thinks in our world but God wants it even more. He rejoices when we are most blessed being who He has always intended us to be.

I am so very excited for the next few years. I have been through a lot of stuff and I don't think I will ever be done with going through stuff but we must never despise what we go through. It may be unbearable and we may wish it away but it is through these times that we grow and learn something that will help someone else who is struggling. It builds your testimony. We become overcomers and more than just conquerors through the testimonies of what God has done in our lives.

Revelations 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.

Romans 8:31-39 31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”[a]
37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

So you are being set up for something awesome. Think outside the box of your circumstances. Look up and spy out what God has for you. Look and see what He is about to do in your life and in the life of those around you. There is nothing that you are going through that won't be used for His glory and to bless you.

(it might be a good idea to read the whole of Romans 8)

Romans 8:28  And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Proverbs 31 - Week 4 - Open Arms, Outstretched Hands.

Proverbs 31:16-20
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.

What a business woman she is. She considers a field, buys it and then makes a profit. But she doesn't just stop there. She takes her profit and then plants a vineyard. She makes sure that what she produces is of the highest quality.

Her arms aren't weak because she uses them. She digs and plants and sells. She is by no means lazy. She stretches out her hands to the distaff and her hand holds the spindle. A distaff also means woman's work but I find this fascinating that this women doesn't think that this job is derogatory but she stretches her hand out to it and her other hand holds the spindle.

It is her job and she knows it's value. I understand that women may feel pushed into this mold of being the ones to do the cooking and cleaning and sewing. We want to do the business stuff and  do everything a man can. But is that really wise. I love being a woman. Without this woman everyone would be naked. She was still a business woman but she was female. She bought her field and from the profits of that field she plants a vineyard so that she can make wine and sell grapes so that from those profits she can buy flax and spin it and dye it for her family so they may be clothed. But not only that she stretches out her hand to the poor and needy. She looks after her family and then looks after others in her life that are need. She is so productive that her family is fed and clothed. They have enough left over that she can extend her hand out to those who are in need.
Her lamp doesn't go out at night. She leaves it on as she plans and thinks about ways to manage her businesses and her household. And she spends it seeking the Lord in the quiet when everyone is asleep.

We like to limit ourselves to just one thing in our lives. We feel overwhelmed with all the hats we have to wear and we crave me time but what really mean is that we are lost and we do not understand our worth. We have traded our red carpet for a dirt road. When once woman were praised and were seen as the center of society. The very part of society that kept everyone together and working. We have traded it in for being just like a man. We were never called to be men and do what men do. Our arms are strong but they are strong for different tasks. We do business but we do it differently. We love our children but that we do differently too. I am not saying don't go to work but what I am saying is when you do go to work be feminine. Be an awesome woman with that awesome brain you have. Let a man open a door for you and let you go first into a building. It won't kill you. We need to honour the role God has given men and we need to honour God in the wonderful roles He has given us.

We have gotten so independent that we only trust ourselves and in only trusting ourselves we become selfish with what we will extend and stretch our hands out to. When we become independent of  God then we trust Him less. Marriage is about trust but if we are all busy being Mrs and Miss Independent who are we trusting? We need to be trust worthy and learn to depend on God for everything, trusting that He will come through for us, strengthen us and that we will listen and be obedient to what He wants us to do so that we can help and serve those in our lives better. When we bless our families and when we bless those in need then God is blessed and when God is blessed we will be blessed. We will be satisfied. We will do all things, not matter how menial, to the Glory of God.

What does the husband of this woman look like? He trusts her and backs her up. He is proud of all she does with her hands. He trusts that when she sets out to buy a field she is doing it with commonsense. He rejoices when she sets out on these ventures and is greatly pleased with this wonderful and beautiful woman he has married. 

Single woman, in your singleness do not become so independent that you forget to trust and look out for the needs of others. If you choose to get married one day it will make it so much easier in your marriage when you are already focused outward. 

So today see what you can consider in your life. What gifts has God given you? How can you best use them to make a profit in your life? What are the things you need to open your arms to and extend your hands to? What is it that God wants you to take up and grasp today?