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May 10, 2021 4:20 pm
Doesn't it seem a little odd to have somebody else to an apparent child dedication appear than Dr. Monroe, seems that way to me in. 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 in.
We get the opportunity to hear him preach again. I love this video that we just saw. Wishing all the moms out there 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 there 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's 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 that the amount of her learning edge formal education, and then she worked as 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. This gives 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 mother, and a symbol of strength defines my grandmother very well. She raised 11 children of her own and in many others that she considered her own to Guinness 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 fact the family gathered together, everybody children, cousins, in-laws, outlaws. 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 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 patients and this is a picture of my late wife Rhonda at 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 going a lot.
She knew that I was doing the Lords 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 in her patients. My kids call her blessed.
Not just all 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 photo is of their and she is my beautiful wife that I call sweet Anna was a time in my life where I question 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 in 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 in the way that she loves them and for the way that she loves my our grandchildren. I'm so grateful that God did not want me to be lonely for the rest of my life for brought this beautiful woman into my life. These women have many things in common. These four women.
They are not only my role model for the most important thing that they have in common is their love for the Lord and for his word. This next picture is a picture of the family Bible that was in my grandparents house. He sat on the 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 unit 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 with just a piece of twine now and the reason that is broken is because that Bible was used often every day.
These model women are models for my life and they all of God's word and they understand that is the foundation for raising a successful family and I'm so thankful that these role models in my life.
Help me learn what it's like to be like Jesus, all the days that God left them here with me. Return if you would a Proverbs 31. This is going to be our text for the day.
Proverbs 31 verses 10 through 31, and I want you 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 they'll let me repeat this is not just about Mother's Day. But this text is what an excellent woman should look like the case should be according to God's word no guys in the audience. If you are young or not married, this message is for you to do because this is the type of woman that God wants you to be looking for okay I know there are other things that this culture tells you that you should be looking for in a women in a woman and that's hogwash right you want to be looking for the type of woman that God won't you to have help men who are married, like myself, as we read the 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 all Mother's Day every day now I Calvary church. Our purpose is to be intimate, authentic followers of Christ, and that means not looking to the ways of the world but is 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 to the study of God's word, that by testing you may discern what the 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 is the what a woman looks like is not good. I did something I hear one of Paul's and his swelling a little good. That's okay, limited to the role models are for young women today. I did a search on the Internet and the role models for women are number one Oprah number two I here groans out there. The Kardashian women LN the TV host hostess VP, Harris, Taylor Swift, Beyoncé and Katy Perry. I don't know most of these, but from what I understand the worldviews that these ladies embrace as a role model is not biblical. And it's important that we seek not worldly role models, but they were not conformed to this world but we seek biblical role models. We need to study God's word and look to God's word are 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 were 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 trust 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 put source 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 closed 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 or on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her hug her children rise up and call her blessed.
Her husband also, and he praises her many women have done exceedingly but you surpassed 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 to 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 Lem you well and we don't really know who King Lem UL was.
He was not one of the kings of Judah or Israel, but he was probably a pagan king who was a God fear who was one who understood the covenant of God with Israel and through his fear of the Lord learned wisdom in 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 their end, God's word. We recognize that these are God's words for us coming through King Lem UL's mother and therefore us to understand that 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, 139. These verses.
His mother tells him what kind of woman not to look for and she tells him how looking for a sinful oral 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 versus 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 father as she's teaching her Hebrew children if it's a male there saying this is what your why should look like it was a female. There saying this is what you should look like in 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 in 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 defaults role models of today. Don't look at verse 10 really good with each of these verses and looked through the 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 in 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 in in David's time. I remember King David. They said the King David's man of valor for those that were called to him and these describe men that were 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 and doing the things that a woman does but she said she's excellent in doing those things, doing all the things that a woman does but she's also excellent in her character or character is above reproach. She is a role model now. Please note that this does not this excellent woman. It says nothing about beauty and 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 go with you due to good gosh what happened to him or what happened to her and there saying the same thing about us in a beauty is fleeting and does not last forever.
It's only temporary, but Obama who fears the Lord is to be praised and is to be valued in the Scripture here in verse verse 10 says that she is to be. 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. Bell, I realize women that as we read through some of these characteristics you're going to go that's not me. Okay that's not me yeah is what I'd like you to say because these characteristics are things that we work toward to achieve is 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 by from Proverbs 31 verses 10 through 33. She's embracing that she's allowing the spirit of God to transform her life into the vessel that God wants her to be just like Amanda was in man, we need to look at passages like a first Timothy two and Todd and Titus one 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 melt.
Look at verses 11 through 12 it talks about an excellent woman's relationship with her husband. The heart of her husband trust 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 trade than a woman whose husband trust 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 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.
Melt the Scripture says that he will have no lack of gain.
Speaking to the partner when a husband trust his wife completely.
That is one worry that he can eliminate. I trust my wife and 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, Scripture tells about a woman in her work and her creativity.
Look at verses 613 through 16. She seeks wool and flax, and works with all 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. Maybe she considers a field and buys it in with the fruit of her hands. She plants a vineyard. Now this is a flurry of activity for a woman is in it because this virtuous woman.
She provides everything necessary for her family. She does all the grocery shopping the needs to take place.
She needs does all the things that her family need. 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. She provides for maidens or maidens. Those people that attend to her and 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. I think most of the men out here need to admit that RRR Wilde's work all day could be a secular job 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. Not only is she working to serve us, but she's not be fixing a meal and she's she's also cleaning and she's doing the other things that she has to do what we gods do we get home from work. Most of the guys turn on the TV and grabbed the remote control and flip to ESPN and were done for the day.
I know that's not the guys here but I tell you mom why works and it's recalling and I take comfort and I have confidence that God is recognizing her for her efforts are moms out there ladies out there.
I know that you work from morning to night this Scripture let you know that God recognizes your value and your accomplishments in the way that you give yourself to your work that he's called you to enter 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 speaker woman strength and excellent woman strengthen her compassion for 17 says she dresses herself with strength, she makes her Armstrong. 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 it hands in her hands hold the spindle. She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hand to the needy melt. I love this because it says that she in verse 17 she dressed herself and strength that she makes her arms strong this this first remind me so much of my grandmother because she worked 24 seven. It seemed like she had 11 children and then she had others that you cannot to again as her own and she was a seamstress.
That's kind of that was her job says raising those those kids and she just like this woman is talked about.
She did look to 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 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 Barnes was a pack barn and she starts stored old close and that pack barn and I remember many days people coming to knock on the door and they didn't have close for their kids and she would carry him back to the pack barn and help them go through close 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 in and you've done your duty. This is your getting your hands engaged in helping the needy and that was my grandmother that only that my grandfather planted extra crops so that if anybody had a need for food thing you that they could come over to their house and they were always welcome an excellent woman works diligently and always cares for the needy to look at verses 21 through 23 were 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 got photos, kind of odd because there's very little snow in that part of the world, but it says this is what this means is that no matter what storms of life may come.
She has provided and prepared her family says that her household all of her household are closed and scarlet, that means that whatever comes there going to be closed and ready for whatever comes. Whatever circumstance, mom, my mother, God rest her soul lived in eastern North Carolina where flooding is just common over there one town they're having terrible floods. The waters had grown up to the neighbors 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 symbol what are you going to hell you we can do for drinking water. She said I've got rain barrels that she had set up around the house. There were full of water.
That's for all Gitmo drinking water from and I can got a gallon container that I can pour the toilet and I'll be able to flush mental so 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 says she makes bad coverings for herself for 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 and 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 first 24 verses 24 through 27. I need to wrap up here let me read through these verses, she makes linen garments and sells them. She delivers sashes to the merchant strength and dignity are clothing she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom in 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 wears this drink and dignity are her clothing.
This drink 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 your 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 have 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. She's concerned about those things that are important. She loves her Lord. She loves her family she works with excellence and the job that God has provided for her. She has a godly character. She spiritually strong.
She's elevated herself to nobler issues instead of the triple 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 surpassed 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 that 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 annexes 20 verse 12 says honor your mother and your father that your days may be long on in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
I wish that I had told the mothers in my life. The 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 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 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 role 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 is time for us to forget about the role models of today and is time for us to look back and embrace godly biblical role models, godly biblical women join me as we pray together, follow me.
Thank you so much for your word for the way that shapes us and guides us and provides father our food for living in this morning as we looked at what an excellent woman looks like I 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 shape us into the type of people that you have us to be in 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 as if 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 they might show Thanksgiving that might give praise and thanks to those women in their lives today for us in Jesus name we pray. Amen