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Returning to Yesteryear

The Verdict / John Munro
The Truth Network Radio
May 10, 2021 4:20 pm

Returning to Yesteryear

The Verdict / John Munro

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May 10, 2021 4:20 pm

Pastor Jim Cashwell May 9, 2021 Proverbs 31:10-31

Love Worth Finding
Adrian Rogers
Our Daily Bread Ministries
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Our Daily Bread Ministries
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Rob West and Steve Moore
Rob West and Steve Moore
Truth for Life
Alistair Begg

Doesn't it seem a little odd to have somebody else doing a parent-child dedication up here than Dr. Monroe?

It kind of seems that way to me. You know, I'm so thankful that he's given me the opportunity to share from the pulpit that God has given him this morning, but I'll be so glad when he's back and we get the opportunity to hear him preach again. I love this video that we just saw, wishing all the moms out there a Happy Mother's Day and those that are live streaming with us today a Happy Mother's Day. And the video gave us an outline. There were four different, I guess, characteristics that the video pointed out that became an outline for me that describes the mothers in my life that have influenced me.

And the first characteristic that was listed on that video that you just saw was kind of floating in the background. It said, you are an image of grace. And here's a picture of my mother and this photo and that saying, an image of grace, describes my mother very well. She was a southern belle. She was a country girl. She respected all things that had to do with just a slower pace of life. She loved her family.

She treasured her husband and her two boys, myself and my brother John. And she was a hard worker. She graduated from high school. That was the amount of her learning, formal education. And then she worked as a secretary to the town manager for a little while and then spent 47 years with a bank.

Beginning as a teller in the bank and working her way all the way up until she was one of the officers in the bank. And it was just from hard work and my mother's been gone a few years. I learned so much from her and I miss her greatly on this Mother's Day and every day.

The next phrase or characteristic was, you are, excuse me, the symbol of strength. And these two photos that you see are pictures of my grandmother. Now you'll see my grandfather with her. And in the group photo you'll see a much younger version of my mother.

She looks like a teenager to me at that time. And you'll see my brother John and I standing there with my grandfather, grandmother and my mother. And a symbol of strength defines my grandmother very well. She raised 11 children of her own and then many others that she considered her own, took in as her own. She was a godly woman that showed me that you put Jesus first, you put your family next and then all the other things in life. Every Sunday the family gathered together, everybody, children, cousins, in-laws, out-laws, it didn't matter. They all gathered for Sunday lunch at her house.

I guess it's a southern thing. And we could not start cooking until she got home from church because it was her kitchen. And nobody cooked in her kitchen except her or the people she ordered around and told them what to do. She didn't have much but she always had something for other people. For me she was a symbol of strength.

This next picture shows a characteristic that was on the screen that said, you are the epitome of patience. And this is a picture of my late wife Rhonda and one of our five kids, Rachel. Rachel is celebrating her first Mother's Day as a mother of a two-month-old today. Rhonda pretty much raised our five kids since I was gone too much, as many men are early in their career. I was going on mission trips around the world trying to help shape young people and adults into authentic followers of Christ and I was gone a lot. She knew that I was doing the Lord's work and she was grateful that God had called her and I was grateful into my life so that she could support me so that I could do God's work. I could not have done the work God called me to do without her commitment to that work and her patience.

My kids call her blessed, not just on Mother's Day but every day. And finally the last characteristic that was there was you are the embodiment of love. And this is a photo of my wife Anna who she is not happy probably that that photo was up there. And she is my beautiful wife that I call sweet Anna. There was a time in my life where I questioned God.

I didn't know if I was going to be lonely for the rest of my life and that was something that God and I just struggled with. And God brought me this wonderful lady into my life to be my bride and she is the embodiment of love. She took me with all my warts and flaws and all my brokenness from six years of battling dementia and she loves me unconditionally. She loves her 18-year-old son with love that meets and understands his needs as well as strong love when necessary. And she loves my adult kids as though they are her own and my adult kids love her for the way that she loves me and the way that she loves them and for the way that she loves my, our grandchildren. I am so grateful that God did not want me to be lonely for the rest of my life but brought this beautiful woman into my life. These women have many things in common, these four women.

They are not only my role model but the most important thing that they have in common is their love for the Lord and for His word. This next picture is the picture of the family Bible that was in my grandparents' house. It sat on a table in the middle of the room. It did not sit on a shelf to collect dust like so many Bibles do today, I'm afraid. It was on display for everyone to see and it was nothing for my father to, my grandfather to open up the word and to begin to share from the family Bible. You know it was called the family Bible because it was where the family gathered to learn, to love and to grow. Now that Bible is broken on the spine and there's nothing that holds the pages together.

We keep it tied together with just a piece of twine now and the reason that it's broken is because that Bible was used often every day. These model women are models for my life and they all love God's word and they understand that it is the foundation for raising a successful family. And I'm so thankful that these role models in my life helped me learn what it's like to be like Jesus.

All the days that God left them here with me. Now turn if you would to Proverbs 31. This is going to be our text for the day. Proverbs 31 verses 10 through 31 and I want you to know that this text is not just about Mother's Day. This is what the Bible says an excellent wife or an excellent woman should look like. Now let me repeat, this is not just about Mother's Day but this text is what an excellent woman should look like.

Should be according to God's word. Now guys in the audience if you are young or not married this message is for you too because this is the type of woman that God wants you to be looking for. I know there are other things that this culture tells you that you should be looking for in a woman and that's hogwash.

Right? You want to be looking for the type of woman that God wants you to have. Now men who are married like myself as we read these scriptures this is for us to be thankful for the wives that we have. The godly women who God has shaped to have these different characteristics and we should offer them praise.

Not just on Mother's Day but every day. Now at Calvary Church our purpose is to be and to make authentic followers of Christ. And that means not looking to the ways of the world but as Roman 12 tells us that we are supposed to do not be conformed to this world. But we are to be transformed by the renewing of your mind and that comes through the study of God's word.

That by testing you may discern what is the will of God. What is good and acceptable and perfect. So today we look to God's word to tell us what an excellent woman looks like. One who is good, one who is acceptable and one who is perfect. This is a message that is needed today because the role models that our young people have to look at as to what a woman looks like is not good.

I did some, I hear one applause and it's swelling a little bit. That's okay. Let me tell you who the role models are for our young women today.

I did a search on the internet. And the role models for women are number one, Oprah. Number two, I hear groans out there. The Kardashian women, Ellen, the TV hostess, Vice President Kamala Harris, Taylor Swift, Beyonce and Katy Perry. I know most of these but from what I understand the world views that these ladies embrace as a role model is not biblical. And it's important that we seek not worldly role models but that we're not conformed to this world but we seek biblical role models. We need to study God's word and look to God's word for role models this morning. Not only do we as believers need to clarify our role models but we need to share with the world what a biblical woman should look like. What an excellent woman should look like. We're supposed to be the salt and the light of the world and we should not accept those things, those role models that are not biblical. So today we come to define what an excellent woman, a woman of God, a biblical woman should look like.

So join me in reading Proverbs 31 verses 10 through 31. An excellent wife or woman, I put in there parenthetically, who can find. She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts her and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not harm all the days of her life. She seeks wool and flax and works with willing hands. She is like the ships of the merchant. She brings her food from afar. She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and a portion for her maidens. She considers a field and buys it.

With the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong. She perceives that her merchandise is profitable and her lamp does not go out at night.

She puts her hand to the distaff and her hand holds the spindle. She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hand to the needy. She is not afraid of snow for her household, for her household are clothed in scarlet. She makes bed coverings for herself. Her clothing is fine linen and purple. Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land. She makes fine garments and sells them.

She delivers sashes to the merchant. Strength and dignity are her clothing and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom and the teaching of kindness are on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed. Her husband also and he praises her. Many women have done exceedingly, but you surpass them all. Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her the fruit of her hands and let her works be praised in the gates.

Now let me take just briefly give you a little bit of background. If you look back at verses one through nine in Proverbs 31, you'll see that these are the words of King Lemuel and we don't really know who King Lemuel was. He was not one of the kings of Judah or Israel, but he was probably a pagan king who was a God-fearer, who was one who understood the covenant of God with Israel and through his fear of the Lord learned wisdom. And verse one continues to tell us that this was an oracle from his mother. So these are the words that his mother shared with him and so since they're in God's word, we recognize that these are God's words for us coming through King Lemuel's mother and they're for us to understand.

Now in verses one through nine, I want you to know that, and please go back and read these verses sometime because they set up verses 10 through 31. But one through nine, these verses, his mother tells him what kind of woman not to look for. And she tells him how looking for a sinful or a worldly woman can ruin his life and ruin his kingdom. And she challenges him to look for a different type of role model, a different type of woman than the world provides during his time.

Same way today, we need to look for biblical role models to shape our lives. Now these 22 verses, beginning at verse 10 and going through verse 31, these are, were written as an acrostic. The writer took the Hebrew alphabet and he wrote an acrostic so that the young people could memorize what an excellent woman looks like. And I can almost see a mother or a father as she's teaching her Hebrew children. If it's a male, they're saying this is what your wife should look like.

If it's a female, they're saying this is what you should look like. And these young children are reciting what a biblical role model should look like. What a great idea. What a great idea to take these 22 verses. And moms and dads, use these to share with your kids and help them to memorize so that they will not be led astray by the false role models of today. Now look at verse 10. We're going to go with each of these verses and look through these. Verse 10 says, an excellent woman who can find.

She is far more precious than jewels. Now these verses, they speak of a woman's character and her activities as she walks through life. And they talk about being an excellent woman and an excellent woman is more valuable even than jewels. Now what does excellent mean in the Scripture here? When a man in David's time, I remember King David, they said that King David's men of valor were those that were called to him.

And these described men that were excellent in battle and also had excellent character. So, a woman that is an excellent wife or an excellent woman, she is a real winner. She's not just excellent in doing the things that a woman does, but she's excellent in doing those things, doing all the things that a woman does, but she's also excellent in her character. Her character is above reproach.

She is a role model. Now, please note that this does not, this excellent woman, it says nothing about beauty. It says nothing about her appearance. These 22 verses in talking about an excellent woman are all about character. The only verse that talks about beauty is verse 30. Look at verse 30. It says, charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, who worships the Lord is to be praised. So nothing about beauty, on the contrary, is to fear the Lord that should be praised. Beauty is fleeting.

Have you ever been to a high school reunion? And the first thing you do is you go, gosh, what happened to him? Or what happened to her? And they're saying the same thing about us. You know, beauty is fleeting. It doesn't last forever. It's only temporary, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised and is to be valued. And the Scripture here in verse 10 says that she is to be, that she's more precious than jewels. That she is extra special. There's no flaws that is found, that are found in her.

The most precious of all jewels. Now, I realize, women, that as we read through some of these characteristics, you're gonna go, that's not me, OK? That's not me yet, is what I'd like for you to say. Because these characteristics are things that we work toward to achieve.

It's not something that we already have achieved. So, an excellent woman that is to be seen as more precious than jewels, she is someone that is taking the Word of God, like from Proverbs 31, verses 10 through 33, and she's embracing that. And she's allowing the Spirit of God to transform her life into the vessel that God wants her to be.

Just like a man does. And man, we need to look at passages like 1 Timothy 2 and Titus 1. Because they tell clearly what a man of God should look like. A male role model. So, this is something, these characteristics that we need to work toward.

Now, look at verses 11 through 12. It talks about an excellent woman's relationship with her husband. The heart of her husband trusts her and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not harm all the days of her life.

There is no more beautiful trait than a woman whose husband trusts her completely. The excellent woman is completely trustworthy. Her friends, her coworkers, her children, her husband, they trust her completely. She lives a life that is above reproach. She does not gossip.

She does not flirt. She lives her life biblically. She lives above reproach. And others can see that she is a woman of integrity and wisdom. There is no doubt that she is a person who can be trusted.

Now, the scripture says that he will have no lack of gain, speaking to the partner. When a husband trusts his wife completely, that is one worry that he can eliminate. I trust my wife in her fidelity to me. I trust my wife as she cares with the kids. I trust my wife as she works diligently at the place where God has called her.

And those are worries that her partner, her husband does not have to worry about. She does him, verse 12 says, good and no harm all the days of her life. So trustworthiness is the foundation for a woman who is excellent. The next section of scripture tells about a woman and her work and her creativity.

Look at verses 13 through 16. She seeks wool and flax and works with willing hands. She is like the ships of the merchant and she brings her food from afar and she rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maiden. She considers a field and buys it and with the fruit of her hands, she plants a vineyard.

Now this is a flurry of activity for a woman, isn't it? Because this virtuous woman, she provides everything necessary for her family. She does all the grocery shopping that needs to take place. She does all the things that her family needs. It also talks about her going to work, that she goes to work and she works with excellence. And she does this to be able to provide for her home. Not only does she provide for her home, but she provides for maidens, her maidens, those people that attend to her.

An excellent woman, it says, is strategic in the way that she saves her money and she provides for her family. I have an amazing wife. My wife Anna works from early morning till late afternoon and then she comes home and she starts working for us. You know, I don't think, I could not do what my wife does.

And I think most of the men out here need to admit that. Our wives work all day, it could be at a secular job, it could be a home taking care of kids and then they come home and as a part of their calling, they continue to serve and continue to work. And not only is she working to serve us, she might be fixing a meal and she's also cleaning and she's doing the other things that she has to do. What do we guys do? We get home from work and most of the guys turn on the TV and grab the remote control and flip to ESPN and we're done for the day.

I know that's not the guys here, all right. But I tell ya, my wife works and it's her calling. And I take comfort and I have confidence that God is recognizing her for her efforts.

So moms out there, ladies out there, I know that you work from morning to night. This Scripture lets you know that God recognizes your value and your accomplishments and the way that you give yourself to your work that He's called you to and to the family that He's called you to. And we husbands need to do a little better job showing appreciation to these women for the work that they do. Verses 17 through 20 speak of a woman's strength, an excellent woman's strength and her compassion. Verse 17 says she dresses herself with strength and she makes her arms strong. She perceives that her merchandise is profitable, her lamp does not go out at night and she puts her hand to the staff and puts hands, and her hands hold the spindle. She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hand to the needy. Now I love this because it says that she, in verse 17, she dresses herself in strength and she makes her arms strong.

This, this verse reminded me so much of my, my grandmother. Because she worked 24-7 it seemed like. She had 11 children and then she had others that she kind of took in as her own and she was a seamstress.

That's kind of, that was her job besides raising those, those kids. And she, just like this woman has talked about, she did the, her job with excellence. She always had work, always had work to do because she did everything well. She charged a fair price and people were glad to be able to have her work and to serve her. She worked into the Lord with everything that she did.

And I love verse 20, it says she opens her hand to the poor and reaches out to the needy. Again my grandmother. My grandmother, she didn't have a whole lot. My grandparents didn't have much but everything they had was available for somebody else. She had, one of the barns was a pack barn and she stored old clothes in that pack barn.

And I remember many days people coming to knock on the door and they didn't have clothes for their kids. And she would carry them back to the pack barn and help them go through clothes to supply their family. Now this passage says that she reaches out her hands to the needy. So this wasn't like Harris Teeter where you're rounded up to help the needy, you know, and you've done your duty. This is you're getting your hands engaged in helping the needy. And that was my grandmother.

Not only that, my grandfather planted extra crops so that if anybody had a need for food, they knew that they could come over to their house and they were always welcome. An excellent woman works diligently and always cares for the needy. Now look at verses 21 through 23. We're told that an excellent woman and her family are blessed by the woman's work habits. Verse 21 says she is not afraid of snow for her household.

Now I thought that was kind of odd because there's very little snow in that part of the world. But it says, what this means is that no matter what storms of life may come, she has provided and prepared her family. It says that her household, all of her household are clothed in scarlet.

That means that whatever comes, they're going to be clothed and ready for whatever comes, whatever circumstance comes. My mother, God rest her soul, lived in Eastern North Carolina where flooding is just common over there. One time they were having terrible floods. The waters had gone up to the neighbor's house.

We thought her house was going to be next. So I made my way as close as I could and then, then traveled through the water trying to get my mother to come with us. She had no power. She had no water and she would not come with us. She said, I'm good. I said, well what are you going to — what are you going to do for drinking water? She said, I've got rain barrels that she had set up around the house that were full of water.

And that's where I'll get my drinking water from and I can — I've got a gallon container that I can pour in the toilet and I'll be able to flush my toilets. And I said, well what about no power? She said, I can cook — she was a widow at this time.

I can cook on the gas grill. And that's exactly what she did. And when the freezer started to go bad, she invited all the neighbors around and there she was, 83 years old, cooking on the gas grill, providing for others. A woman of excellence prepares her family for whatever circumstances come in life. Look at verse 22, it says she makes bed coverings for herself, her clothing is fine linen. Then 23 says, her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders. And the gates were the main place of business in the city. And this woman, she was so revered, this excellent woman, that all the other guys in the community would say, boy, he married up.

You know, like most of us did. You married someone better than you should have, the way that she takes care of you, the way that she cares for you, and everybody knew his reputation was good because of her. She added so much value to his life that even in business circles, she — he benefited from her excellence as a woman. Verse 24, verses 24 through 27, I need to wrap up here, but let me read through these verses. She makes linen garments and sells them. She delivers sashes to the merchant, strength and dignity are her clothing. She laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom and the teachings of kindness is on her tongue.

She looks well into the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Now I love these verses, verse 25, where it says strength and dignity are her clothing. This strength that she has is an inner strength that comes, I believe, through prayer. Because when you pray, you get supernatural strength. Because it means that you're recognizing your dependency upon God and you recognize that he is the one who supplies your strength and everything else that you need. There's an intimacy with God that a excellent woman has and that's where her strength comes from.

And then this dignity. This dignity means that she is not concerned about the trivial things in life, but she's concerned about those things that are important. She loves her Lord. She loves her family. She works with excellence in the job that God has provided for her. She has a godly character. She's spiritually strong. She's elevated herself to nobler issues instead of the trivial things of this world. And that's what it means that she is a person of dignity. Why does she laugh at the future? Because she knows the time will come when God will say, well done, my good and faithful servant.

That's what she's working for. Not for the praise of those in the community, but for God one day to say, well done, my good and faithful servant. Now, a woman of excellence does have her reward here in this life.

Look at verses 28 through 31. It says her children rise up and call her blessed, her husband also. And he praises her.

Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all. Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her the fruit of her hands. So children are to rise up and call their mother blessed. And a husband is also supposed to praise her.

Let me make a suggestion. Did we not honor our mothers and the mother of our children just on Mother's Day? Let us act as though every day is Mother's Day and honor mothers the way that they deserve to be honored by calling them blessed.

The Bible in Exodus 20, verse 12 says, honor your mother and your father that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. I wish that I had told the mothers in my life that I love them more, those that are gone. I wish that I told the mothers in my life that I appreciate you, that I understand the sacrifices that you make each and every day for me.

I wish that I had told the mothers in my life that I was the most blessed of all because God had provided for me the most wonderful mother of excellence that there is. For those women in my life that have been my role models, it started with a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. And that's the starting point for becoming a woman or a man of excellence.

You confess your sins before the Lord, you ask Him to forgive you and you accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and His Holy Spirit comes into your life at that point and takes passages like, like Proverbs 31 and begins to shape us into the people that God desires for us to be. The title of this message is returning to yesteryear. It's time for us to forget about the role models of today. And it's time for us to look back and embrace godly biblical role models, godly biblical women. Come as we pray together. Father we thank you so much for your word, for the way that it shapes us and guides us and provides Father our food for living.

And this morning as we've looked at what an excellent woman looks like, we realize that these characteristics that you give can be applied to both men and women. So we pray that your Holy Spirit might take your word today and transform us and shape us into the type of people that you would have us to be. And Father we pray for our young people. We realize that the role models that they see on the internet and other places today are not those biblical role models that you would have them to model. And we pray Father that they may take their eyes off the world and that they might set their eyes on Jesus and the biblical role models that you've given them. Father I pray for these families that are here today, I pray that they might remember the past, that they might show thanksgiving, that they might give praise and thanks to those women in their lives today. For it's in Jesus' name we pray, amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-19 17:29:11 / 2023-11-19 17:41:49 / 13

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