Category: Christian Living

The Role of Children in the Family

The Role of Children in the Family

Both the Old and the New Testaments agree that children have only one role or responsibility in the family – to obey their parents. The admonition of Solomon in Proverbs 1:8 is more fully explained by Paul in Ephesians 6:1-3.

Bible Verses: Proverbs 1:8 & Ephesians 6:1-3

“My son, hear the instruction of your father, And do not forsake the law of your mother.” – Proverbs 1:8

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” – Ephesians 6:1-3

Reflection and Challenge

We read in Proverbs 1:8 a warm and appropriate scene; a father speaking to his son and encouraging him to receive the wisdom of his parents. Solomon’s mention of “instruction” shows he understood that children are to be regarded capable of thought and obedience.

In essence, Solomon is saying that children are not to be taught and disciplined primarily through physical punishment such as spanking; they are to be instructed.

The Responsibility of Children in the Family
Photo Credits: TodaysParent.Com

In Ephesians 6:1-3, the command is simple and that is for children to obey their parents. The role of children in the family is to obey their parents and parents have the responsibility to teach their children obedience – one of the most important jobs for parents.

*Note: “Children” is an inclusive term. It is not a matter of either sex or age that is involved.

Children Ought to Obey their Parents

Twice in Scripture has God intervened and directly stated what He would have children to do. The last time was nearly two thousand years ago when He gave a revelation to Paul for the church. The first time was nearly thirty-four hundred years ago when He gave a revelation to Moses and Israel in which He commanded, “Honor your father and mother” (Deuteronomy 5:16).

God’s will for children is that they are to obey their parents. The expression “in the Lord” does not limit the responsibility only to the circumstances where the parents are believers. Colossians 3:20 clearly points out that children are to obey their parents “in all things,” not just in those things pertaining to Christian living.

“In the Lord” more properly is understood to mean by the Lord or because it is the Lord’s directive (this is what God says children are to do). “For this is right” indicates that when a child respects his parents’ authority, he is respecting God’s order of authority in other areas of life.

Such obedience is perfectly illustrated by God the Son who was completely obedient to God the Father, even though that obedience resulted in his death (Philippians 2:6-8).

The Responsibility of Children

The Importance of Teaching Children to Obey

Think about this for just a moment, parents are admonished to teach their children how to obey, now why is that? Parents need not teach their children to disobey because they have each inherited an inclination to sin from Adam, but obedience must be taught.

Teaching obedience to their children is essential for all parents so that their children will grow up knowing how to obey God even when they do not understand everything or do not want to.

We call this discipline on the part of the parents. This will not be easy for parents but disobedience must be punished for obedience to be learned.

Hebrews 12:6 says, “The Lord disciplines (or chastens) those whom He loves.” (See also Proverbs 3:12.)

Promise of Reward for Obedience

Two things are promised to children who obey their parents:

  • It will be well with them – they will have a happy life
  • They will enjoy long life

These are the two things that children want most, and obedience to parents is the only way to assure them. That is why this is the first commandment with promise; from it springs all other important issue of life.

The Role of Children in the Family

The child who has not learned to obey his parents, who are God’s representatives in the family, will not learn to obey God.

Conclusion

To honor our parents means much more than simply obeying them. It means to show them respect and love, to care for them as long as they need us, and to seek to bring honor to them by the way we live.

Children must learn to obey their parents, not only because they are their parents, but also because God has commanded it to be so. Disobedience to parents is rebellion against God.

Sin Can Infest Everything

Sin Can Infest Everything

The church at Corinth was a defiled body of believers. Some of its members were guilty of sexual immorality; others got drunk; still, others were using the grace of God to excuse worldly living. To sum it all up, it was a disgraced church.

How did this happen? Corinth was a polluted city, filled with every kind of vice and worldly pleasure and the members of the church permitted the sins of the city to get into the local assembly. So when Paul wrote his first letter to them, he addressed all these issues.

Bible Verse: 1 Corinthians 5:6, 11

“Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?”

“But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner–not even to eat with such a person.”

Confronting the Sin of Immorality

In chapter 5 of 1 Corinthians, Paul confronted the believers at Corinth of their immorality. Apparently, someone was having an ongoing sexual relationship with his stepmother (1 Corinthians 5:1), an incestuous relationship.

During that time, this kind of relationship was prohibited even among the pagans, yet the Corinthian believers seem accepting of this behavior.

Confronting Sin in the Church
Photo Credits: Pinterest

The Bible declared it sin in Leviticus 18:8, Deuteronomy 22:30 and 27:20, the worldly culture considered it sin but the church at Corinth didn’t seem bothered by it at all.

Paul pleaded with them to mourn over sin (1 Corinthians 5:2). The word used here is the same one used for mourning over the dead, which is perhaps the deepest and most painful kind of personal sorrow possible.

But instead of mourning, the people at Corinth were puffed up. They were boasting of the fact that their church was so “open-minded” that even fornicators could be members in good standing. Sounds familiar? Sadly, many churches today have become so accommodating that they seem to not care that members of their congregation are engaging in the sin of immorality.

As bad as the sin itself was, the apostle Paul was more concerned that the believers at Corinth seemed to take sin lightly. He knew that sin can infest everything and so his solution to the problem was to take the fornicator away from among them in order to protect the fellowship of God’s people.

Purging Sin

The church was to purge sin (1 Corinthians 5:6-13). The image here is that of the Passover supper (Exodus 12). One of the requirements was that no yeast (leaven) be found anywhere in their dwellings. Even the bread at the feast was to be unleavened.

Paul says that just as the Jews were concerned to remove all leaven from their house, so the church should be concerned in removing unrepentant sinners from among them. Yeast is a picture of sin. It is small but powerful; it works secretly; it “puffs up” the dough and it spreads.

Sin infests everything. Like leaven, sin seeps into everything. The church is supposed to be without sin, but even one sin in one person has the tendency to grow throughout. The same is true in a church. As one person excuses sin, more and more people will excuse it.

The Principle of Separation

Paul tells the believers not to expect godly behavior from ungodly people. It’s not surprising that those who do not have a redemptive covenant with God through the Lord Jesus are sexually immoral and covetous.

Christians should not be offended when they see ungodly people committing extortion, are drunkards and idolaters. But they are to expect godly behavior from their fellow Christians and the believers at Corinth were not doing this.

Sin Can Infest Everything
Photo Credits: CrossCards.Com

So Paul commands that they were to be separated from them; they were not even allowed to eat with them. In those days the individuals whom you ate with was significant. Quite often church members ate together. Thus, if you were removed from fellowship and eating together, it resulted in a major barrier in the relationship.

It sounds to me like God hates sin in the church and wants us to get rid of that sin. 1 Corinthians 5:11 states several of the sins that God required a break in fellowship. Some people will not like this list at all but it does not matter what people say. It only matters what God’s word says.

*Related Article: Church Discipline: Correcting Another Believer

The Sin of Compromise

I have heard that 65% of people today believe cohabitation is acceptable. That is scary because that 65% must include many Christians. That is in spite of verses like this that say sex before marriage and cohabiting is sin, which should not happen to anyone that claims to be a Christian. God commands they should be removed from fellowship.

It is a shame that Christians accept any sin. Do you practice or accept this sin? You shouldn’t according to God. This list also included being covetous. Actually, every person commits this sin sometime in their life. The root word implies lust for or a very strong desire for something anything other than God.

If we seriously examine ourselves, we all have those things that we set as a priority over pursuing God. These things take our attention off of God. That is sin in God’s eyes. Have you repented for that sin?

Loving God Above All Else

Idolatry does not only mean bowing to or praying to a graven image. Anything that takes the place of God in our lives is our idol. It can be our family, our job, money, position or possessions.

And yes, it is true that Christians can worship God at church but worship other things the rest of the time. Is God your highest priority all of the time, or do you focus on other things as well? Remember, God said Christians that commit these sins should be removed from the fellowship.

Do you have pet gods? This includes railers, drunks, and extortioners. God does not want sin at your church. It is true you can hide your sin from other believers, but that does not mean you can hide it from God. What haven’t you confessed?

Closing Thoughts

Church discipline is not easy or popular, but it is important. If it is done properly, God can use it to convict and restore an erring believer. 2 Corinthians 2:1-11 indicates that this brother who was having an incestuous relationship with his father’s wife did repent and was restored to fellowship.


*Recommended Resource: 

NKJV, Wiersbe Study Bible, Red Letter Edition, Ebook:
Be Transformed by the Power of God’s Word

Publisher’s Description

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Now, in this single volume, you have access to Dr. Wiersbe’s trustworthy, accessible explanations of the Bible’s truths and promises, through his comprehensive system of study and application notes. Make the most of your time reading, studying, and reflecting on Scripture with The Wiersbe Study Bible.

Psalm 100: A Thanksgiving Song

Psalm 100: A Thanksgiving Song

Psalm 100:1-5 is a thanksgiving song that describes the process of preparation, anticipation, and participation of God’s people in worship. In the procession, as the worshipers reach the gates of the sanctuary (Psalm 100:4-5), they burst out in songs of praise and thanksgiving to God because of His goodness, unfailing love, and faithfulness.

Bible Verse: Psalm 100 

1 Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! 2 Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before His presence with singing. 3 Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. 5 For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations.

Give Thanks with Joy

We can easily understand the people of Israel shouting joyfully to the Lord in praise and thanksgiving. God has done lots of great and amazing things for them that they are exhorted to make a joyful shout to the Lord.

Thanksgiving is unrestrained happiness leading to worship. Worship leads to service, and true service is worship. But the psalmist calls for all the nations of the earth to praise God and serve Him with gladness (Psalm 100:1-2), for it was Israel’s responsibility to introduce the Gentiles to the true and living God.

A Psalm of Thanksgiving to God

Think of the Sunday school teacher who often grumbles at her class because the students’ work is sloppy and they won’t sit still and be quiet. With one eye on the clock and the other on the door, she fusses about the preacher’s sermon going too long.

As the children leave the room, she does not stop to say goodbye because she is too busy cleaning up. Finally, with all the children gone she dashes to her car to wait for her husband who is talking with a visiting family.

Her husband comes to the car and says, “Honey, we are going to lunch with that new family.” The look she gives him would freeze water. What kind of joy can she be getting from her service to the Lord? None. What kind of love can she be showing from the Lord? None.

The place to be happy is here, and the time to be happy is now. Let us serve the Lord with gladness and come before His presence with singing.

Give Thanks for God’s Authority

Before we can have any real joy, we have to recognize the authority of God. He is our Maker; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture (Psalm 100:3). The phrase “made us” means much more than “created us,” for He also created the nations that do not know Him.

It means Jehovah constituted us as a nation, His chosen people. This verse is a simple statement of faith: Yahweh (Jehovah) is God, Creator, Redeemer, and Shepherd, and we must be submitted to Him. If the sheep do not submit to their shepherd, they will stray into danger.

Without an awareness of who God is and who we are, we are not likely to sing a thanksgiving song to Him wholeheartedly.

Give Thanks in Adversity

Being thankful is easy when life is running smoothly. It is another matter when things are not going well.

We are not to blame God for what we do not have because doing so is to fault God’s provision. We are not to blame God for where we are in life – this is to fault God’s leadership. We are not to blame God for who we are or what has happened – this is to fault God’s sovereignty. The Bible tells us to give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18 NIV).

Psalm 100 Psalm of Thanksgiving to God

The spirit of thanksgiving can cause believers to rejoice on the banks of the Red sea, to look at the fiery furnace and say, “Our God is able,” and to endure life’s impossibilities with the knowledge that “He who is in you is greater than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4).

The spirit of thanksgiving also helps us overcome some of the “sins in good standing” that too often invade our lives, such as complaining, idolatry, pride, and ingratitude.

Give Thanks with a Shout of Triumph

After the Israelites, under the leadership of Joshua, marched around the walls of Jericho seven times, they shouted to the Lord with a voice of triumph, and the walls came tumbling down.

There may be some Jerichos or some walled cities of the enemy that will not come tumbling down in our life until we lift our voices to God in the shout of victory and release His power. We do not only shout for what God has done; we also shout in faith for what He will do.

Christians should follow the admonition of Isaiah to “cry out and shout, for great is the Holy One of Israel” (Isaiah 12:6).

Giving Thanks Makes Prayer Effective

Thanksgiving is necessary to make other forms of prayer effective. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

Without thanksgiving, God does not listen to our prayers. We are to start our prayer time with thanksgiving. The apostle Paul wrote, “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world” (Romans 1:8).

Sing a Thanksgiving Song

Psalm 100 is a fitting climax to the collection of “royal psalms” (Psalm 93; 95-100) as it sums up their emphasis on God’s sovereign rule, His goodness to His people, the responsibility of all nations to acknowledge Him, and the importance of God’s people exalting and worshiping Him (see Psalm 95:1-2; 6-7).

Psalm 100:5 shows the importance of worship and praise in a believer’s life. When was the last time you shouted for joy because God answered the request of your heart? When was the last time you served the Lord with gladness? When was the last time you entered His gates with thanksgiving?

If you had to think about the answer, then it was too long ago. Commit yourself to a spirit-filled relationship with Christ, and begin it with a song of thanksgiving.

The Power of the Word of God

The Power of the Word of God

The Word of God is living and powerful as Hebrews 4:12 says. But what is meant by the phrase “the word of God?” In the Bible, there are actually several different meanings taken by this phrase. So before going any further, it is important first of all to distinguish these different senses.

The Different Forms of the Word of God

A. The Word of God as a Person: Jesus Christ

Sometimes the Bible refers to the Son of God as the Word of God in John 1:1. Clearly, John is speaking of the Son of God here, because if we continue to John 1:14 he says, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us …”

Also in Revelation 19:13 where John sees the risen Lord Jesus in heaven and says, “He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.”

B. The Word of God as God’s Decrees

At other times God’s words take the form of powerful decrees by God. A decree of God is a word of God that causes events to happen or even cause things to come into being (Genesis 1:3, 24 & Psalm 33:6).

Genesis 1:3 NKJV

These decrees of God do not only include the events of the original creation but also the continuing existence of all things, for Hebrews 1:3 tells us that Christ is continually “upholding all things by the word of His power…”

C. The Word of God as God’s Words of Personal Address

Sometimes God communicates with people on earth by speaking directly to them. There are examples throughout Scriptures, such as when God commanded Adam not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:16-17) and after they sinned, God still spoke personally and directly to Adam and Eve in Genesis 3:16-19.

Another prominent example of God’s direct personal address to people on earth is found in giving of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-3) and at Jesus’ baptism wherein God the Father spoke from heaven (Matthew 3:17).

D. God’s Words as Speech through Human Lips

Frequently in Scripture God raises up prophets through whom He speaks. In Deuteronomy 18:18-20, God speaks to Moses about raising up for the Israelites a prophet from among them just like him, puts His words in his mouth and will speak to them all that He will command.

God made a similar statement to Jeremiah: Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me: ‘Behold, I have put My words in your mouth’” (Jeremiah 1:9).

Although it is evident that these are human words spoken in human ordinary language by ordinary human beings, the authority and truthfulness of these words are in no way diminished; they are still completely God’s words as well.

E. God’s Words in Written Form (the Bible)

The Power of the Word of God
Photo Credits: Bible Gateway

But we also find in Scriptures several instances where God’s words were put in written form. The first of these is found in the narrative of the giving of the two tablets of stone to Moses on which were written the Ten Commandments (Exodus 31:18; 32:16 & 34: 1, 28).

There were further additions to this book of God’s word by Joshua (Joshua 24:26), Isaiah (Isaiah 30:8), Jeremiah (Jeremiah 30:2; 36:2-4, 27-31 & 51:60) and in the New Testament by Jesus (John 14:26) and the apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 14:37; 2 Peter 3:2).

Once again, it must be noted that even though they are written down mostly by human beings and in human language, these words are still considered to be God’s own words.

Of all the forms of God’s Word, the Bible, which is the written Word of God and how powerful it is, is the focus of this article.

How Powerful is the Word of God?

The Word of God is so powerful it can actually bring about a tremendous change in the life of a believer if they would just let it.

The Word of God Corrects

There are many symbols used to illustrate God’s Word that can be found in the Bible itself.

It can be thought of as a mirror in which the sinner or saint looks and sees a true reflection of himself as portrayed by the Lord Himself (James 1:23-25), a seed regenerating the hearer (1 Peter 1:23), a lamp that illuminates and guides the believer day by day (Psalm 119:105), a sword that convicts the hearer (Hebrews 4:12), and even as food that feeds and nourishes the soul of the hearer (Hebrews 5:12-14).

But the Bible also serves as a measuring rod or ruler. Many teachers have used wooden rulers in their classes not only to give the right measurement but, on occasion, to correct a misbehaving pupil. God’s word likewise can do both on these things. It should be used as a standard against which to measure our beliefs.

As Mike Mazzalongo said, “God’s Word is a standard against which all philosophies, ideas, and proposed solutions for the human condition can be measured for accuracy. If God’s Word approves it, we can run with it; if the Word rejects it, nothing we can do will make it work, make it acceptable, or make it right.” 

What about certain religious groups which claim Christ was not God, or that the Bible is filled with silly tales? Immediately we can reject such claims by using our divine written ruler to discover that such arguments simply do not measure up.

The Power of God's Word

Sometimes our heavenly Father uses His written ruler to correct us when we are in the wrong. Israel’s great King David once experienced this. “You have dealt well with Your servant, O Lord, according to Your word . . . Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Your word” (Psalm 119:65, 67).

There are times when God’s Word can correct believers when they are in honest and unintentional error. Aquila and Priscilla, a godly Christian couple, use the Scriptures to help a powerful young preacher Apollos (Acts 18:24-26). Paul does the same thing for some former disciples of John the Baptist he meets in the city of Ephesus (Acts 19:1-7).

The Word of God Cleanses

One of the pieces of furniture in the Old Testament tabernacle was called the bronze laver (Exodus 38:8). It consisted of a huge upright bronze bowl filled with water resting upon a pedestal. The priests would often stop at this laver and wash.

The Word of God may be thought of in terms of that laver, for it also has the power to cleanse. But while the Old Testament laver could only remove the physical dirt from human hands, the Scripture possesses the ability to take away our moral filth (1 Peter 1:22).

You can learn  more about the Old Testament laver in this article: The Origin of Christian Praise & Worship

So what areas of our lives can the Word of God cleanse?

a) It can cleanse us from wrong thoughts.

Sometimes we are tempted to think critically of others; God’s Word can prevent this (Psalm 1:2). On other occasions fearful thoughts may race through our minds; the Scriptures will prevent this also (Joshua 1:8).

In fact, the Bible will establish our total thought-life if we but allow it to do so (Philippians 4:8-9; 2 Peter 1:5-10).

b) It can cleanse us from wrong words.

Of all the Bible authors, James seems to be God’s expert on the sins of the human tongue. In the first chapter of his book, he deals with this very thing and shows the absolute necessity of dependence upon the Scriptures to keep our words true (James 1:22-26). See also Psalm 119:172.

c. It can cleanse us from wrong actions.

Jesus promised us this would be the case when He says in John 15:3, “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.”

The Power of God's Word

The Word of God Equips

In a general sense, it can be said that the Bible was written to convict sinners of sin and to equip believers for service.

a. It equips us for evangelism.

Philip the evangelist uses the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah to point the Ethiopian eunuch to Christ in Acts 8:26-35. Peter in his most powerful sermon at Pentecost when he quoted from the prophet Joel and preached to the crowd, who were mostly devout Jews, repentance and the last days in which God would bring to completion His plan of salvation for humankind (Acts 2:14-41).

Believers must also have the knowledge and proper understanding of the Word of God as they go about sharing the Gospel message of salvation to the lost. Without the Word of God as our weapon, we won’t have anything to use to usher in souls into the Kingdom of God.

b. It equips us for using our spiritual gifts from God.

A spiritual gift is an ability given by the Holy Spirit to the believer for the purpose of edifying the church and glorifying God. Paul says in Ephesians 1:17-19, 11-14 that a knowledge of God’s Word will provide us with the maturity we need to use our gifts in the most effective way.

c. It equips us to battle with Satan.

In Ephesians 6:10-17 Paul likens the believers’ armor to that used by Roman foot soldiers. In this comparison, the Word of God is likened to the soldier’s sword.

The Word of God Confirms

To confirm means to fully establish truth or fact. The Bible should be used to confirm the truth in our own hearts.

a. It confirms our salvation.

Often times many Christians are troubled with doubts about their conversion experience. Did God really save them when they asked Him to do so? Are they still saved today? A number of verses may be used to confirm our salvation and one of the strongest is Jesus’ own words in John 5:24. We have assurance of salvation as God promised in His Word.

You may want to compare John 3:16; 6:27, 35, 37, 40; 10:27-29 and Romans 8:1.

b. It confirms the hand of God in all of life’s bitter disappointments.

Undoubtedly the most important verse of reassurance and comfort in the hour of great need is Romans 8:28 which says, “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.”

c. It confirms our forgiveness when we sin.

Admittedly, there are times when we carry an unnecessary burden of guilt over our past sins and failures. And although we have already confessed them, we have difficulty believing that God has truly forgiven and cleansed us.

But time and time again the Bible assures us that all confessed sin is instantly and eternally forgiven (Psalm 32:5; Isaiah 38:17).

Conclusion

2 Timothy 3:16-17The Bible which is the Word of God itself is truly inspired and infallible. Although it was penned by ordinary human writers, it has only one author – the Holy Spirit.

We can be confident that every word in the Bible has come directly from God and it has the supernatural power to correct, cleanse, equip and transform every believer into the kind of person that God wants them to be. The Word of God also confirms all the promises of God.

Have you made a personal decision to “be in Christ” by first acknowledging that you’re a sinner in need of a Savior? Have you repented of all your sins and received God’s gift of salvation and eternal life?

If you have been born again, are you immersed in the Word of God and are allowing it to change and empower you so you can be an effective witness for Christ and live the victorious Christian life?


*References:

  1. Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem
  2. NKJV Prophecy Study Bible
How to Receive God’s Blessings

How to Receive God’s Blessings

Do you want to be blessed by God? I’m sure you do. I mean, who does not want to receive God’s blessings? The question you may want to ask now is, “How do I receive the blessings of God?” Psalm 1:1-3 gives us three things we must do to in order to receive blessings from God.

Psalm 1:1-3

“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; 2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law, he meditates day and night. 3 He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.”

Meaning of the word Blessed

The word translated “blessed” (or joy in other Bible translations) is from the Hebrew word “asher,” the name of one of Jacob’s sons (Genesis 30:12-13). It has the idea of happiness or contentment. When the Bible says “Blessed is the man…” it means supremely happy or fulfilled.

It is important to note that this blessedness is not for the king, or for the rich. “This blessedness is attainable by the poor, the obscure and the forgotten, as by those whose names figure in history, and are trumpeted by fame” (Charles Spurgeon).

How to be Blessed by God

1. Do not listen to ungodly counsel (Psalm 1:1a).

To be blessed or happy, we should not walk in the counsel of the ungodly. With all the advice that comes to us from different sources, we must know how to stay away from the counsel of the ungodly. But first, we need to be able to recognize and discern them.

Who are the ungodly? Murderers, robbers, and the like generally come to mind first. However, the Bible tells us that the ungodly are moral people who live their lives without God. These may be very nice people in our communities who have “fine” reputations, but they do not have God.

Whenever we need counseling or advice, we need to remember not to seek it from the unsaved world. The ungodly man thinks and behaves differently from the righteous man so when we go to him for advice, we will surely be led astray.

Instead, we must approach our church pastors and leaders because godly counselors will always bring the truth of God’s Word to help someone who needs counseling. We can also go immediately to the Word of God, the only place to find godly counsel (Psalm 119:24). This is why we need to know God’s word because God’s Word is always the best counselor.

2) Do not stand in the path of sinners (Psalm 1:1b).

To “stand” means to take their position and openly accept their sinful lifestyle.

We live in such a permissive society where nothing seems to be considered wrong anymore. Adultery is free love, a liar is an extrovert with a big imagination, a thief is a creative financier, and sin is not what I say it is. But sin is not what the media says it is. Sin is what God says it is, and His labels do not change.

God’s covenant with Israel made it clear that He would bless their obedience and judge their disobedience. Israel was a unique and separate people; they were among the other nations but not to be contaminated by them (Exodus 19:5-6, Numbers 23:9; Deuteronomy 32:8-10; 33:28).

Romans 12:2 NKJV

So it is with the people of God today. We are in the world but not of the world (John 17:11-17). We must beware of friendship with the world (James 4:4) that leads to being corrupted by the world (James 1:27) and even loving the world (1 John 2:15-17).

Christians need to have different habits than unbelievers. Do your habits show Christ in you or do they appear worldly? Don’t fellowship with those that mock or scorn the Bible or God. They will bring you down just by discouragement.

It is always difficult to talk about God when someone is mocking Him. Are you making good friends that encourage and support your Christian walk?

3) Delight in God’s law and meditate on it (Psalm 1:2).

Delighting in the Word and meditating on the Word must go together (Psalm 119:15-16, 23-24, 47-48, 77-78), for whatever we enjoy, we think about and pursue. They say that if a person delights in something, no one has to beg them to do it or to like it. They will do it by themselves.

“Meditate” in Hebrew means “to mutter, to ponder or to read in an undertone,” for orthodox Jews speak aloud as they read the Scriptures, meditate and pray. God’s word is on their lips (Deuteronomy 30:14).

While meditation in the eastern culture means emptying the mind, the goal of Christian meditation is to fill your mind with the Word of God. This is done by carefully thinking about each word and phrase and applying it in our daily lives.

Psalm 119:15-16

A blessed man enjoys reading, studying, and pondering on God’s word all the time. He does not hear it and forget it, he thinks about it. He is blessed because he cannot get enough of God’s word. Doesn’t that sound excellent?

If you knew there was a hidden treasure buried at a certain location, wouldn’t you want to dig and uncover it as quickly as possible? Well, that is what is located throughout the Bible; you just need to find it. Why aren’t you digging more?

Like a Tree Planted by the Rivers of Water (Psalm 1:3)

Like a tree, the godly person is alive, beautiful, fruitful, useful, and enduring. The most important part of a tree is the hidden root system that draws up water and nourishment, and the most important part of the believer’s life is the “spiritual root system” that draws on the hidden resources we have in Christ (Ephesians 3:17; Colossians 2:7).

This is known as abiding, or remaining in Christ (John 15:1-9). It’s a tragedy when a believer ignores the “root system” and begins to wither. We must remember that the tree doesn’t eat the fruit; others eat it. We must also remember that fruit isn’t the same as “results” because fruit has in it the seed for more fruit.

God plants every godly tree in fertile soil. You have a choice to be like a tree planted by a stream of living water lush with green leaves and full of fruit or you can be a handful of worthless chaff driven by the wind (Psalm 1:4). What choice will you make?

Blessings of Prosperity (Psalm 1:3)

The person described in Psalm 1:1-3 is blessed because he is walking uprightly with God. As a result, this blessed individual will always have a constant supply of life-giving water. Not to mention, he or she will produce spiritual fruit.

There are many different types of fruit. Galatians 5:22-23 lists some of the fruit of the Spirit. Other fruits include leading people to Christ. This blessed individual will also be full of life. They will be excited to serve God with joy in their soul. They won’t feel like it is routine or mandatory.

Receiving the Blessings of God

Lastly, this blessed individual will prosper no matter what they do. There will be evidence of God’s hand of blessing upon them. Doesn’t that sound like a wonderful description?

“This is not to say that the righteous man has a ‘Midas Touch,’ and everything he does makes him rich and comfortable. But in the life of the righteous man, God brings forth something good and wonderful out of everything. Even tough circumstances bring froth something that shall prosper” (David Guzik).

If you don’t have it, why don’t you try this prescription out? It’s worth the effort.

Conclusion

Do you walk with the ungodly? Do you stand with sinners? Do you sit with the scornful? Are you blessed and happy? Choose to say no to sin and say yes to God.

True believers are blessed in Christ (Ephesians 1:3-8). They have received God’s blessings, and they ought to be a blessing to others, especially to the chaff that will one day be thrown into the fire.

Let us all seek to win as many of them as we can while there is time.


*Are you looking for Bibles, reference materials, Bible study guides, devotionals, Christian music and movies for personal use or as gifts to friends and family? Look no further because Christianbook.Com has everything you need at the most reasonable prices.

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The Elements of Praise

The Elements of Praise

Whether you celebrate the Lord’s Day on a Saturday, Sunday or other days of the week, praise and worship have become a regular part of the service. But what is praise and what is worship? What are the differences between the two? The focus of this article is praise and all its elements.

The Meaning of Praise

The word praise is from the Hebrew word yadah, which means “To stretch out the hand.” That is, to hold out the hands in reverence, to open the hands and let go of everything, to just stand and praise God open-handedly.

Praise is closely intertwined with thanksgiving, which is the joyful recounting of all God has done for us. When we praise God, we are actually offering Him back appreciation for His mighty works on our behalf. In other words, praise is an expression of our thankfulness.

But is that what praise is all about? An expression of thankfulness to God for all the great things He has done for us? Of course not! To praise God is to acknowledge the glories of His excellent person.

As Charles Spurgeon said, “When we praise God, we simply say what He is because the praises of God are simply the facts about Himself.”

The Elements of Praise

In Scripture, praise is usually presented as energetic, lively or active and uninhibited.

Praise the Lord

Considering that Psalms is a book of praise, it is fitting that the last five chapters (Psalm 146-150) begin with Hallelu Yahhallelujah“Praise the Lord!” The exclamation point denotes an excitement, an exuberance, a shouting.

Jehovah (or Yah, for Yahweh) is the covenant name of the Lord. It reminds us that He loves us and has covenanted to save us, keep us, care for us, and eventually glorify us, because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, His Son, on the cross.

The greatness of God is something to shout about. He created all that is. He cared for all He created. He provided salvation when mankind fell into sin. The power of the blood of Jesus has forever broken Satan’s reign over us; the time is coming when He will be forever banished to the eternal fire.

God promises a kingdom to come and we serve a risen Savior who has gone to prepare a place for us so we can spend eternity with Him. No wonder that “praise from the upright is beautiful” (Psalm 33:1).

Praise is Obligatory

Praise is a command. Angels and heavenly hosts are commanded to praise the Lord (Psalm 89:5; Psalm 103:20; Psalm 148:2) and all inhabitants of the earth are instructed to praise the Lord (Psalm 117:1; Psalm 138:4; Matthew 21:16; Psalm 148:1-14).

From the heavens, in the heights, the sun, moon, stars, water, the sea creatures, the depths, stormy wind, the mountains and hills, fruitful trees and all cedars, beasts and all cattle, all peoples: young men, maidens, old men, children – praise the name of the Lord!

Thanksgiving Expressed Through PraisePsalm 148:1-14 reads like a roll call asking for every created thing to celebrate God’s greatness. God created all that is. He also sustains all that is. Were it not for Jesus Christ “upholding all things by the word of His power” (Hebrews 1:3) the entire universe would fly apart, totally disintegrate into nothingness.

Ever since creation, God has continued to hold His creation together. Further, He supplies the needs of His creation. Psalm 104 lists just a few of the ways God provides for the creatures He made, including mankind.

God invites all kinds of praise from His creation. In fact, Jesus said that if people don’t praise God, even the stones will cry out (Luke 19:40).

How to Praise the Lord

1. We praise the Lord with joyful singing.

Psalm 9:11

“Sing praises to the Lord, who dwells in Zion! Declare His deeds among the people.”

In Psalm 9, David offers wholehearted praise to the Lord for delivering him and his army from the enemy nations that attacked Israel. He also calls upon the suffering remnant to sing praises to God because He is on their side and fights their battles.

The emphasis is on joyful praise and David’s aim was to honor the Lord, not to glorify himself.

Psalm 149:2, 5

“Let Israel rejoice in their Maker; let the children of Zion be joyful in their King. Let the saints be joyful in glory; let them sing aloud on their beds.”

In the Old Testament, songs were written to commemorate important events. A song of praise reminds us that God takes pleasure in our joyful praise.

Joy is a matter of choice, a positive attitude that we choose to express. Joy is not a gift delivered to our door each morning. When the events of our life seem out of control, we must find our joy in the Lord, which produces the strength we need to get through the tough times.

*Related Article: The Biblical Roots of Christian Praise & Worship

Children will praise the Lord with great joy as they sing songs like “Jesus Loves Me.” Their trusting and meek spirit makes a beautiful melody. When the children were in the temple shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” the priests and scribes were upset by these words.

Jesus asked them, “Have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have perfected praise’?” (Matthew 21:16).

We need to take a lesson on praising the Lord from our children and let our praise be a song of testimony about the greatness and glory of God.

2. We praise the Lord with shouting.

Psalm 66:1

“Make a joyful shout to God, all the earth!!”

As in the previous and the next psalm, Psalm 66 has the whole earth in view and not only Israel. The psalmist understood that God was not only God over Israel but the entire universe. The psalmist then invites all the Gentile nations to praise God with joyful shouting for what He had done for Israel (Psalm 66:5-7).

We offer to the Lord shouts of praise in response to his marvelous works.

3. We praise the Lord with dancing and musical instruments.

Psalm 149:3 (Also Psalm 150:4-5)

“Let them praise His name with the dance; let them sing praises to Him with the timbrel and harp.”

The Jews were very expressive people; they used musical instruments, songs, and dances in their worship of the Lord. These dances, of course, were not modern ballroom or club dances but rather interpretive dances that pointed to the Lord and not to a person’s talent (see Exodus 15:20; Judges 11:34).

Here’s a beautiful messianic praise dance on the song Baruch Adonai by the Restored to Glory Dance Ministry. Watch and be blessed.

To dance before the Lord the way King David did calls for an unreserved celebration of our faith. Since the Christian life is a life of joy and celebration, we are able to freely dance in celebration of our joy in the Lord.

Why We Praise the Lord

The Bible gives us numerous reasons to praise the Lord:

  • Because of His majesty, greatness, and power (Psalm 145:3-5; Psalm 21:13).
  • Because of His glory and excellency (Psalm 138:5; Psalm 148:13).
  • Because of His goodness and mercy (Psalm 107:8, 15, 21; 2 Chronicles 20:21).
  • Because of His loving kindness, faithfulness and truth (Psalm 138:2; Isaiah 25:1).
  • Because He has provided salvation (Luke 1:68-69) and has done wonderful works (Psalm 150:2; Psalm 107:8, 15, 21, 31).

In today’s world of uncertainty, God is worthy to be praised for the reason that He alone can be trusted.

Psalm 146:5

“Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God.”

When times are unsure, there is only one sure hope – God. Not rank or position. Not military might. Not reputation. Not wealth. Not political friends. Not social status. All these power plays are empty when it comes to building a sure foundation for life, especially eternal life.

People and circumstances come and go like the fog every morning. To trust in them for ultimate help is foolish. But “the Lord shall reign forever” (Psalm 146:10). He is able and sure to help.

Praise the Lord in Times of Trouble

Psalm 147:3, 5

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite.”

When we are in the dessert of our days, we need to praise the Lord. When we are in the valley of the shadow of death, we need to praise the Lord. When we are surrounded by our enemies, we need to praise the Lord. When are discouraged and weary, and overwhelmed with problems, we need to praise Him.

As Jeff and Sheri Easter’s song says, “When everything fall apart, praise His name…”

Praise His Name Lyrics and Chords

We are never closer to God than we humble ourselves completely in His presence (Psalm 147:6). There in the shelter of His arms, we will find that His love never changes, and His mercy endures forever (Psalm 136:1-26).

Even though praise, as mentioned earlier, is intertwined with thanksgiving, we should not praise God only when things are going our way. We should praise the Lord for anything and everything (Philippians 4:6).

Closing Thoughts

In the sacrifice of praise, we bow in humble adoration before the Savior. While some people may see that as a sign of weakness and think we’re foolish, we praise God because we believe in a risen Savior. We praise God for all that we have and all that we are. In doing so, we witness to the unbelieving world that Jesus lives.

Praise An Expression of Thankfulness

Jesus Christ died at Calvary as God’s sacrifice for our sins. When He said, “It is finished,” the ritual of sacrifices was over – forever. He does not want a goat, a dove or a lamb.

The only sacrifice God wants now is the sacrifice of our praise. He wants living, praising men and women. 

Overcoming the Pain of Betrayal

Overcoming the Pain of Betrayal

Have you ever experienced having a trusted friend, co-worker or a brother/sister in the Lord take advantage of your kindness? In every relationship that we have, trust is an important ingredient. When trust is broken, chances are, the relationship will never be the same again.

In this decade of deception, betrayal surrounds us. Divorce, child abuse, gossip, corruption, and the like bring betrayal on every home. How do we as Christians deal with it? How do we overcome the pain of betrayal?

When Friends Betray Us

Julius Caesar

Caesar, the man who brought Rome to the pinnacle of its majestic power was adored by much of Rome but despised by the powerful Roman Senate. A conspiracy to murder Caesar was developed by men who were deeply indebted to Caesar.

Decimus Brutus, a member of the senate, pretended to be Caesar’s dearest friend. When the time came to murder Caesar, the conspirators agreed that each man would stab Caesar, and the blame would be shared equally. They converged on Caesar, like vultures and began to stab him.

History records that Caesar fought fiercely against his attackers until he saw the face of Brutus. Once Caesar saw the dagger in the hand of his friend, he lost the will to fight. When Brutus plunged the dagger into his bleeding body, Julius Caesar died from betrayal.

Losing a Friend (My Story)

“I just lost a friend,” I confided to Brother Joseph, a good friend and one of our church elders. In reply, he said, “You know Alice, we don’t really lose friends; we just get to know who the real ones are.“Funny,” I said. “That’s exactly what she just posted on her Facebook wall about me.”

Almost three months ago, I had a “fall out” with my “supposed” friend and we haven’t talked since then. I mean, really talk. We do talk at work because we have to. But that’s just the extent of our conversation, no more, no less.

I’ve been going over and over in my head what really went down and wondered why things got sour between us. To be completely honest, I am not putting all the blame on her. I realized I also had my fair share of the pie. I just did not expect her to betray me the way she did.

When we were still friends (or so I thought), we’ve talked about certain things which we agreed will remain just between the two of us. Guess what? She let them all out in the open. What’s worse, she did not stick to the story. She revised them in a way that suited her own agenda (whatever that maybe). In short, there were additions and subtractions here and there.

To say I was shocked was an understatement to describe how I felt when I found out about it. Oh, did I mention that she blocked me on Facebook and Messenger?

Photo Credits : PsychologyToday.Com

I tried to keep my calm and did my very best to understand why she did what she did. She betrayed me, period! And the only reason I could think of was that we were never really friends. I told my roommate and colleague, “You wouldn’t do that to a friend, right?” And she said, “Of course not.”

As they say, “friends hurt friends.” But when you’re truly friends with someone, you will never say damaging things about her and you won’t try to ruin her reputation. Well, no matter how close you are with someone, you will always have disagreements and you will not always see eye-to-eye on certain issues.

But because you are friends and you care about each other, you will never say and do things that will have the potential of ending the relationship. As they say, a misunderstanding or disagreement could either strengthen or end the relationship.

In our case, sadly it’s the latter. Do I hate her? No. Have I forgiven her? Yes. I am open to communicating again, but I also know that things will never be the same again between us.

The Lord Jesus

Judas Iscariot’s betrayal of Jesus for thirty pieces of silver was one of the darkest moments in all of history and made Judas the worst traitor of all time.

On the night when Jesus and His disciples celebrated the Last Supper, Judas plotted with the religious leaders to take them to Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane and there he betrayed Jesus and had Him arrested.

When Friends Betray You

Although some argue that Judas is not to be blamed because it was foreordained and there was nothing he could possibly do about it, the fact remains that he betrayed Jesus and he acted on his own accord. Judas was not just a pawn or puppet in God’s hands. He betrayed Jesus because he was a thief who never really believed in Jesus as his Lord (John 12:6; 6:64).

At some point, we will all face the bitterness of betrayal so we should not think we could escape it. Even the Lord Jesus was betrayed by one of His closest disciples – Judas.

How to Overcome the Pain of Betrayal

Betrayal breaks our heart and leaves an eternal scar that only God can heal. Yes, we can overcome the disappointment of betrayal; David shows us the road to recovery in Psalm 54.

1) Call on the Name of the Lord.

David’s life was in danger as “strangers” were attacking him (Psalm 54:3; 1 Samuel 23:15) and he called on God to save him and vindicate his cause (1 Samuel 24:15). By the way “strangers” doesn’t suggest that his enemies were Gentiles, for the Ziphites belonged to the tribe of Judah, David’s own tribe.

The word is also used in Job 19:13 to describe Job’s family and friends, and David used it in a similar way in Psalm 69:8. It can describe anybody who has turned his or her back on someone, which the Ziphites certainly did to David their king. David was betrayed by his own people. And he reacted to betrayal by appealing to the power of the name of God.

When friends or loved ones betray us, we do not have be depressed or seek revenge. Instead, let us call on God for He commands us to call on Him in times of trouble, seek His will and guidance and He will answer us, show us what we need to do, be with us and deliver us (Jeremiah 33:3; Psalm 50:15).

How to Overcome the Pain of Betrayal

2) Get your emotions in check.

David’s first reaction to betrayal was to be proactive and to assume responsibility for his life (Psalm 54:1). Although he knew that the God who created the galaxies can handle his enemies, yet he recognized that he needed to do something for himself.

When he asked God to vindicate him, he acknowledged that some of his actions or decisions must have rubbed people the wrong way and that is why they were after him. But instead of seeking to destroy his enemies, he got his emotions in check and asked God to prove him right and his enemies wrong.

Twice David had an opportunity to slay Saul but refrained from doing so, for he knew that God would one day deal with the rebellious king (see 1 Samuel 26:8-11). We too need to take control of our emotions, decisions, and behavior. We must stop being controlled by circumstances and conditions and take control of our choices.

3) Trust God completely.

David relied on God to handle his enemies. He said, “Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is with those who uphold my life “(Psalm 54:4). This central verse of the psalm records the turning point in David’s experience.

The Word translated “help” or “helper” is related to “Ebenezer in 1 Samuel 7:12 and it means “Up to this point the LORD has helped us!” It is a word David often used in his prayers (Psalm 10:14; 30:10; 33:20).

*Read here: Trusting God with All Your Heart

David also recognized that God would settle the score and he chose to be happy and praise the name of the Lord (Psalm 54:5-6). He was confident that God will deliver him out of all troubles (Psalm 54:7). Praise is the appropriate response of a grateful heart to the goodness and faithfulness of God.

David’s words revealed his faith, for he spoke of his deliverance as already completed as he looked calmly at his enemies (Psalm 22:17; 59:10; 118:7). David had more suffering and peril to experience before he would ascend the throne, but he was confident that the Lord would see him through – and He did.

Closing Thoughts

When we have been betrayed, when lying lips assassinate the truth, when justice is delayed, we need to remember that God is faithful. Betrayal can either make us bitter or better.

We cannot overcome the pain of betrayal until we discover the power in the name of the Lord, for He will deliver us out of all trouble.

Laura Story says in her song Blessings, “When friends betray us, when darkness seems to win, we know that pain reminds this heart that this is not our home.”

True indeed, this is not our home. We’re just pilgrims on this earth (1 Peter 2:11-12); we are just passing through this life journeying toward heaven – our final destination (Philippians 3:20).

Have you experienced betrayal? How did you deal with it? Please do share your story in the comment section below.


*Are you looking for Bibles, reference materials, Bible study guides, devotionals, Christian music and movies for personal use or as gifts to friends and family? Look no further because Christianbook.Com has everything you need at the most reasonable prices.

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A Wife With Noble Character

A Wife With Noble Character

The poem about a wife of noble character found in Proverbs 31:10-31 is part of the sayings of King Lemuel which his mother taught him. This poem is an acrostic with the initial words of the twenty-two verses all beginning with successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet.

This acrostic form was a device to help people commit the passage to memory. Perhaps Jewish parents instructed their sons and daughters to memorize this poem and use it as a guide for their lives and in their homes.

Who is King Lemuel?

We don’t know much about King Lemuel, other than what is revealed in Proverbs 31. He is not included in the recorded list of the kings of Israel or Judah but his name means “belonging to God” or “devoted to God.”

Although some commentators proposed that King Lemuel is actually King Solomon and his mother was Bathsheba, there is no evidence whatever that the name Lemuel means Solomon. Furthermore, the time of the writing of Proverbs 31 seems to be much later than the time of King Solomon.

Like Timothy (2 Timothy 1:5), perhaps Lemuel’s mother was Jewish and she taught him the fear of the Lord and God’s wisdom.

The Profile of a Wife Worthy of Honor

What kind of wife is described in Proverbs 31:10-31? The following notes develop the profile of a virtuous wife.

A virtuous wife is a woman of character.

Proverbs 31:10-12 “Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life.”

Just as wisdom is more important than wealth (Proverbs 3:15), so character is more important than jewels.

How to be a Virtuous Woman

In his first epistle, the apostle Peter gave this same counsel to Christian wives in his day (1 Peter 3:1-6). Marriage doesn’t change a person’s character. If the husband or the wife has character weaknesses, marriage will only reveal and accentuate them. A husband or wife who hopes to change his or her spouse after the honeymoon is destined for disappointment.

A virtuous wife is trustworthy.

Proverbs 31:11 “The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain.”

If the husband and wife trust each other, they will live in harmony. The husband will have no fears or suspicions as she is busy with her work because he knows she has character and will do nothing but good for him and their children.

If brides and grooms take seriously the vows of love and loyalty they repeat to each other and to God at the altar, they will have a wall of confidence around their marriage that will keep out every enemy.

A virtuous wife is a woman who isn’t afraid to work.

Proverbs 31:13b “And willingly works with her hands.”

Whether it’s going to the market for food (Proverbs 31:14-15), buying real estate or planting a vineyard (Proverbs 31:16), she’s up early and busy with her chores. We get the impression that the night before she makes a “to do” list and doesn’t waste a minute in idleness.

She sets about her work energetically (Proverbs 31:17), whether spinning thread, helping the poor, or providing a wardrobe for her children. She prepares the very best for her family, and they have no reason to be ashamed.

A virtuous wife is generous.

Proverbs 31:20 “She extends her hand to the poor. Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.”

As she ministers to her family, she keeps her eyes open for people who have needs, and she does what she can to help them. Happiness comes to those who have mercy on the poor (Proverbs 14:21), and nothing given to the Lord for them will ever be lost (Proverbs 19:17).

A virtuous wife makes it easy for her husband to do his work.

Proverbs 31:23 Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land.”

The city gate was the place where civic business was transacted, so her husband was one of the elders in the community (see Ruth 4). While no such restrictions exist today, in that day a woman never would have sat on the “city council.” But his loyal wife didn’t want to take her husband’s place; she just did her work and made it easier for him to do his.

A husband and wife should complement each other as they seek to fulfill their roles in the will of God. Wise is the husband who recognizes his wife’s strengths and lets her compensate for his weaknesses. Doing this isn’t a sign of personal failure, nor is it rebellion against the divine order (1 Corinthians 11:3).

Both leadership and submission in a home are evidences of love and obedience, and the one doesn’t nullify the other.

A virtuous wife is confident as she faces the future.

Proverbs 31:25 “Strength and honor are her clothing; She shall rejoice in time to come.”

In the Bible, to be “clothed” with something means that it is a part of a person’s life and reveals itself in that person’s character and conduct (see Colossians 3:8-14, 1 Timothy 2:9-10).

A Wife Worthy of Honor

This wife can laugh at future problems and troubles because she has strength of character and because she is prepared for emergencies. She is a woman of faith who knows that God is with her and her family.

A virtuous wife is a capable teacher of wisdom.

Proverbs 31:26 “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness.”

She certainly teaches her children the wisdom of God, especially the daughters, preparing them for the time when they will have families of their own. But she probably also shares her insights with her husband, and he’s wise enough to listen.

Remember that earlier in the book, King Solomon used a beautiful woman to personify wisdom (Proverbs 1:20-33; 9:1-6); this godly wife does the same.

A virtuous wife attentively oversees her household.

Proverbs 31:27 “She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.”

She isn’t idle, and nothing in the household escapes her notice, whether it’s food, finances, clothing or school lessons. Managing the household is an exacting job, and she does her work faithfully day and night.

Any husband and father who thinks that his wife has it easy should take her responsibilities for a week or two and discover how wrong he is.

A Wife of Noble Character

I’m reminded of the story of a husband who felt that his stay-at-home wife wasn’t working as hard as he was. So he prayed to God and asked to trade places with his “lazy wife.” He wanted to teach her a lesson so she’d know what it’s like to work as hard as he does every day. God granted him his wish, only for the husband to soon realize that he’s the one about to learn a lesson.

You can read the full story here: Husband Asks to Trade Places with His Lazy Wife

A virtuous wife is a woman worthy of praise.

Proverbs 31:28-29 “Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many daughters have done well, but you excel them all.’”

It’s a wonderful thing when the husband and his children can praise the wife and mother for her faithful ministry in their home. The suggestion here is that this praise was expressed regularly and spontaneously and not just on special occasions.

They did not have Mother’s Day in Israel so every day should be Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Tragically, often members of the family take each other for granted and fail to show sincere appreciation.

The father ought to set an example for their children and always thank his wife for what she does for the family. He should see in her the woman who surpasses them all.

Finally, the life of a virtuous wife is a testimony to others.

Proverbs 31:31 “Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates.”

Her husband and children acknowledge her value and praise her, but so do the other people in the community. Even the leaders at the city gate recognize her good works and honor her.

God sees to it that the woman who faithfully serves Him and her family is properly honored, and certainly she will have even greater honor when she stands before her Lord.

Conclusion

This poem in Proverbs 31:10-31 which is a beautiful tribute to the godly wife and mother gives us the finest description of the ideal wife. But these qualities may seem too high for anyone to attain. What is the secret?

The answer is in Proverbs 31:30. The secret of a virtuous and capable wife’s life is that she fears the Lord. Having charm and beauty is wonderful; the possession of these qualities is not a sin. But the woman who walks with the Lord and seeks to please Him has a beauty that never fades (1 Peter 3:1-6).

A Wife with Noble Character

This passage also describes for every Christian man the kind of wife for whom he ought to be looking and praying. But it also reminds the prospective husband that he’d better be walking with the Lord and growing in his spiritual life so that he will be worthy of such a wife if and when God brings her to him.

The man who has a wife who daily reads the Scriptures, meditates, prays, and seeks to obey God’s will has a treasure that is indeed beyond the price of rubies.


*Reference: The Transformation Study Bible (General Editor: Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe)

*Recommended Resource:

A Woman of Noble Character: Becoming a Proverbs 31 Woman in Todays Busy World
By Susan Sikes

Women today have such busy lives and great responsibilities, yet so many still strive to be the Proverbs 31 women spoken of in the Bible. A Woman of Noble Character gives women practical ways to fulfill their role as wife, mother, or keeper of the house in a busy world.

Practically all areas of home life are covered with quick and easy tips to help. A few of the topics are Priorities/Godly Character, Decorating, Cleaning, Finances, Organizing, Cooking/Recipes, and many other helps and tips. Whether you work within or outside the home, this book makes a great resource to managing a home. 

The Context is Love

The Context is Love

Whenever asked if we love our family, we immediately say, “Of course I do.” Our relationships in the family need to be marked by love. Husbands are to love their wives and wives must love their husbands. Parents, children, and siblings must love one another.

But do we love one another the biblical way?

Bible Verse: 1 Corinthians 13:6-8a (NKJV)

“Does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.”

Reflection

Divorced from its context, 1 Corinthians 13:1-7 becomes “a hymn to love” or a sentimental sermon on Christian brotherhood. What many people fail to see is that Paul was still dealing with the Corinthians’ problems when he penned these words.

There was division in the church, abuse of the gift of tongues, envy of others’ gifts, selfishness, impatience with one another in the public meetings, and behavior that was disgracing the Lord. Paul tells the believers in Corinth that the only way spiritual gifts can be used creatively is when they are motivated by love.

Characteristics of Biblical Love

1) Love is enriching.

In 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 Paul mentions five spiritual gifts: tongues, prophecy, knowledge, faith, and giving (sacrifice). The Corinthian believers were captivated with spiritual gifts; particularly the gift of tongues and Paul reminds them that without love, the exercise of these gifts is nothing. 

The Context is Love

A person may speak with the gift of tongues, but without love, it is as meaningless as sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. It is just a lot of noise (1 Corinthians 13:1). It is love that enriches the gift and that gives it value.

Ministry without love cheapens both the minister and those who are touched by it, but ministry with love enriches the whole church.

2) Love is edifying.

While knowledge puffs up, it is love that edifies (1 Corinthians 8:1b). The purpose of spiritual gifts is the edification (strengthening) of the church (1 Corinthians 12:7; 14:3, 5, 12, 17, 26). This means we must not think of ourselves, but of others; and this demands love.

3) Love encourages.

Christians do not understand love. God hopes that all would get saved, in spite of the fact He knew not all would. God was willing to bear the sin of the whole world even though some would not accept.

Love does not nag. God does not nag people to get saved, even though it is good for them. God knows the best for everyone, but God does not force or nag anyone to do something they don’t want to do.

Challenge & Application

The issue I have with many Christian women today is that they nag a lot. They may know what the Bible says on what godly men should do and they try to play the part of the Holy Spirit in their spouse or significant other. Your spouse wants your love and respect and he deserves it.

Love bears all things. In other words, love does not harp on sin issues in your life. Making certain issues a broken record is the perfect way to become a nag. Don’t do it.

Love believes all things. That is, love trusts your spouse’s word. Your spouse is busy just like you. Whether you like it or not you both have two different sets of priorities. Your spouse is responsible to God first. You are second. Stop nagging about the insignificant details. You want to be a godly wife, trust his word.

Love hopes. God is working on your spouse. Both you and your spouse are sinners with issues. Why don’t you love them enough to watch God work in your spouse’s life? When you try to change your spouse, they get hurt because you are trying to act the part of the Holy Spirit, thus making it harder for them to listen to the Holy Spirit.

Love also forgives, and forgives, and forgives many times over without holding grudges. We do not understand how God changes us or in what order. The path of sanctification is different for every person. You do not get to determine what should change in your spouse. Stop playing the Holy Spirit in your spouse’s life.

The Context is Love

Lastly, love does not end. God never stops loving us. Our love for our spouse should not either. If you have true love for someone, you will not stop showing it in these ways. It is true that since we are sinners, we can’t do this perfectly like Jesus, but we need to strive to love our spouses this way. Love does not have a list of expectations.

It is true that God tells us what is good for us, but He still allows us to make choices, whether they result in good or bad. That does not mean God loves us less. God loves us in spite of us. Can you love your spouse by encouraging without nagging?

God does not nag. God loved the world so much that He gave His only begotten Son to suffer and die on the cross so that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).

*Read here: The Cross Makes Love Believable

God knows and wants what’s best for everyone, yet He does not force or nag anyone to do something they don’t want to do. God does not nag people to be saved. He wants us to willingly accept His gift of eternal life.

Biblical love suffers long and is kind, does not envy, does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil, rejoices not in iniquity but in the truth, believes all things, bears all things, hopes all things and endures all things (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).

Closing Thoughts

Spiritual gifts, no matter how exciting and wonderful, are useless and even destructive if they are not ministered in love. In his letter, the apostle Paul gave great emphasis on love.

The main evidence of maturity in the Christian life is a growing love for God and for God’s people, as well as a love for lost souls. It has well been said that love is the “circulatory system” of the body of Christ.

Are you practicing biblical love?

Teach Well Your Children

Teach Well Your Children

In today’s society where abortion, child abuse, divorce and other sins against these little ones seem to be acceptable, it has become apparent that our culture places little value on the lives of these gifts from the Lord.

Bible Verse: Psalm 127:3-4

“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth.”

Reflection

Charles Spurgeon QuotesChildren are precious; they are a heritage and they make the home a treasury. But they are also useful – like fruits and arrows – and make the home a garden and an armory. If parents do not raise their children to know and love the truth, who will plant the seeds of truth and fight the battles against lies and evil in the years to come?

Parents are to preserve the best of the past and invest it in the future. Every baby born is God’s vote for the future of mankind and an opportunity for parents to help make some new beginnings.

Teach Your Children Well

Line upon line, precept upon precept, it is your job as parents to teach your children to walk in the ways of the Lord (Isaiah 28:9-10). What could be the most effective tool for doing exactly that? It’s your own walk with the Lord.

Our children are smart; they copy what we do, repeat what we say, follow where we go, and learn of God as we study His Word and praise Him. Parents who boast of their of past sins with a smirk on their face and their children at their feet have no idea the damage they are causing.

Children soak up every word they hear. Parents set a benchmark for either righteousness or wickedness on how they live before their children. That is why parents are not only to bring their children to church, they are to teach them the Word of God in their homes (Deuteronomy 11:19).

Raising Godly Children

This is not to say that every child who grew up in a Christian home will automatically become a worship leader or a pastor. We have heard of pastors’ kids who have gone out of their way to become gang leaders and drug addicts. There are also kids who grew up in the streets but ended up being elders and deacons in their church.

The point is, while it is the responsibility of parents to raise their children in accordance with the will of God, it is no guarantee that they won’t get lost along the way. However, the Bible also assures us that a child who was trained according to God’s standards may go astray at some point in his life but will eventually find his way back into the truth (Proverbs 22:6).

A Godly Heritage

A godly man, husband, and father, knows that having the right relationship with the Savior means a healthy relationship with his family. He would care for and nurture his children not just by teaching them to love God. More importantly, he would show them every day by the way he lives his life and conducts himself.

Philippine pride, Manny “The Pacman” Pacquiao, is a well-known champion in the field of boxing. And while I am very proud of his accomplishments as a boxer and for the honor he has given our nation, what I admire the most about him is his faith in the Lord, which is reflecting in the way he is now raising his kids to love God and His Word, the way he does.

Raising Godly Children

Make Room for Family

Parents must always make room in their lives for family. Sometimes a business or social calendars need readjusting. I have heard stories about parents who walk around with their mobile phones in constant operation, thereby rendering “conversation across the dinner table” a lost art.

A man who had just lost his wife of many years to cancer was sitting in a hotel room with a friend twenty-five years his junior a few weeks after the funeral. The younger friend had his own family, a wife and two sons.

The older gentleman wept tears of regret and said, “Friend, take time to enjoy your family now, for they will be gone all too soon. Don’t let the busy-ness of your life steal you from them now, lest you regret it later.”

Learn to appreciate what God has blessed you with. The dirty hand prints on the wall and the muddy socks under the bed are signs of healthy, active children who are yours but for a short while.

Create for these precious gifts a Christian home where the love of Jesus is taught. Love them deeply. Give yourself to them completely.

Closing Thoughts

Reproducing a child does not make a parent – that is reproduction, not parenting. In other words, you can have a child or children but that does not mean you’re a parent.

On the other hand, you may not have a child of your own but when you raise a child in a way that pleases and honors God, you are a parent, a godly one for that matter.


*Recommended Resource:

Fearless Parenting: How to Raise Faithful Kids in a Secular Culture – eBook
By George Barna & Jimmy Myers

Product Description:

Today’s Christian parents face an uphill battle in raising godly kids. How can we teach children to live out their faith in a morally bankrupt culture? Offering expert insights, Barna and Myers help you foster your youngsters’ spiritual growth and encourage them to develop their gifts; prioritize family relationships; reject materialism; and rethink social media.