Far Above Rubies

"A worthy woman who can find? For her price is far above rubies." (Proverbs 31:10)

Thursday, February 08, 2007

The Bride of Christ

This is a repeat of an old post which I had placed on Pen of Iron. Yesterday, my pastor preached from Proverbs 8 about wisdom and he tied it in with the woman, the church, as he explained how God's wisdom is reflected in the church. Here is what I wrote.

Psalms 45:14 - She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework: the virgins her companions that follow her shall be brought unto thee.

Exodus 39:29 - And a girdle of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet, of needlework; as the LORD commanded Moses.

I love it when the Lord hits me with a gem from the word of God every now and then, and it gives me pleasure to share the nuggets.

The reference to needlework hit me this time. It was in the context of the church and how she shall be brought to the bridegroom arrayed in raiment of needlework. Ladies may find this thought particularly interesting, especially those who do crochet. My late grandmother used to crochet a lot, and she was always making table cloths and bed spreads (covers) for all her grandchildren and their wives.

Watching her doing a bed cover for me, I once noticed how she would take the time to do one unit a time, a flower or whatever design she had in mind, and then sew it on to the rest, one unit after another till she finished the whole thing. When it was over, the cover was a masterpiece. I treasure those pieces she gave me. As I reflect back on the years, I remember that when I first immigrated to Canada, and I was not sure I’d stay then, of the items that I had in my suitcase were a couple of needlework pieces that she had made for me.

This is what I gleaned from the reference in Psalm 45 as the reference to “needlework” hit home.

We are in the church age, and the Holy Spirit calls the Christians out on an individual basis. Unlike his dealing in the Old Testament or even in the Tribulation times where God dealt with the nation of Israel nationally, in the church age believers are called individually. Today jews and gentiles are baptized into one body, the body of Jesus Christ. We are his bride and we will be ushered in at the wedding arrayed in needlework. Think for a minute. Each one of us is fearfully and wonderfully made, and yet each of us a member of the body. Just like the needlework my grandma did. God takes the time to work in each of our lives individually and he connects us with muscles and sinews all together into this one body.

I leave this verse with you.

Ephesians 4:16 - From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Delayed or Immediate Glory?

If there is one female Biblical character I'd like to model my life after, it would have to be Ruth. I used to admire women more like Deborah or Priscilla because they were strong and outspoken leaders -- something I strove to be. Now I begin to realize that my former ambitions and plans for myself were very egotistical.

  • Ruth came from very lowly circumstances -- not only was she a foreigner, but she was also a widow. In every possible way she was an outsider and "didn't belong."
  • She was intimate with pain and sorrow.
  • Ruth was willing to forsake everything for the God of Israel. She spared nothing in her pursuit of God.
  • She was a selfless servant -- Ruth took the lowliest of labor to care for her mother-in-law.
  • Ruth was a hard worker -- she gave 110%.
  • Her reputation spoke for her -- she was known among the Jewish community as a virtuous woman.
  • She "married smart" -- even though Ruth probably could have had any handsome young man she wanted, she chose to marry a godly older man and was blessed through that union.
  • God blessed Ruth because of her obedience and willingness to serve Him.

I personally hadn't paid much attention to Ruth in the past. She immigrated to Israel with her mother-in-law, worked in a field, married a much older man, had a baby... big deal. Ruth didn't do any "glorious" things like assassinate a king (Jael), judge a nation and lead an army into battle (Deborah), nor did she have intellectual conversations with apostles and great teachers (Priscilla). She pretty much lived out her life in humble service. Emphasis is placed on her servant's heart more than anything. No gloriously exciting actions. No "big things."

Or so I thought. But the older I get, the more I realize that my life doesn't have to be filled with big, glorious deeds for God (or myself). He doesn't need my puny trophies. What He wants is for my heart to be fully surrendered to Him and His service. Better that my life be filled with delayed glory (like Ruth's) where my actions reap glory for God for generations to come, rather than immediate glory for myself. Do we ever hear of Deborah's descendants? No, but Ruth became the great-grandmother of King David and was thereby placed directly in Christ's lineage.

I think I'd rather have a life of humble service that has long-term effects.

~ from the pages of Carey's journal

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The hidden Man of the heart

Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. Psalm 119:11
Every Bible Believer is familiar with the above-mentioned verse, so much so that even the little ones of my church can quote it as easy as they can count 1, 2 and 3!

Now we know that the Word is our God-inspired Scripture (2 Tim 3:16), the Holy Bible. A Christian that wants to survive this world will surely faint in the day of battle if he does not read and study His Bible. When Christ was tempted by the devil he fought him back with SCRIPTURE.

We also know, by studying our Scripture, that Jesus Christ is called THE WORD (John 1:14).

Observe how beautifully Psalm 119:11 ties in with the following verse:

Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. 1 Peter 3:3-4
I have heard many say that the "hidden man” is the real you, but that statement is ludicrous. Firstly, and logically speaking, the verse is addressed to women so why would Peter address it as the MAN. Secondly, the real you is a sinful being and we KNOW that everything that proceeds out of our own heart is wicked (Jer 17:9).

So who is this hidden man of the heart? It’s none other that Jesus Christ Himself. David said THY WORD have I HID in my HEART!!! Ladies, if we let Christ do the work on this wicked heart of ours, I do believe we can all make for virtuous women. Read again verse 4 of 1 Peter 3 “which is in the sight of God of great price.”

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

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

God give us women

I found this poem on the internet and thought I would post it here. It's quite beautiful.

God Give us women who know what it means
To pray and work behind the scenes,
Who know their God in such a way,
Who will cling to Him, let come what may.

God give us women with hearts aflame,
Who will raise their children to be the same.
Who look to the ways of their household well,
Yet yearn for those who are headed to hell.

God give us women who will fast and pray,
For her husband and children night and day.
Whose heart is submissive in everything,
Who honors her husband, for he is her king!

God give us women who will stand the test,
Who in big or small things, will do their best.
Who know that all they say or do,
They do as they would do to You.

God give us women full of grace,
With hearts serene as they run the race.
Whose desire is not for a life of ease,
Who long the most their Master to please.

God give us women who find great delight,
In the lot that God gave them in life.
Who embrace with joy the little things,
Who fulfill their duty with a heart that sings.

God give us women with a vision clear,
Who live in reverence and Godly fear.
Who abide in Christ all through the day,
And seek to please Him in every way.

~Mary Troyer~

Monday, November 27, 2006

Carey's 19th Birthday

Just thought I'd post this here to wish Carey a very wonderful Birthday!!!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Humility: The Secret of Redemption

Joshua Harris recommended a book by the title of Humility, and I was so excited to find it at a bargain price on the internet. It is a rare gem! Such a tiny little book and yet so powerful. Here is a sampling from the chapter by the above title:

"Is it any wonder that the Christian life is so often feeble and fruitless, when the very root of the Christ-life is neglected, is unknown? Is it any wonder that the joy of salvation is so little felt, when that in which Christ found it and brings it is so little sought? We must seek a humility which will rest in nothing less than the end and death of self; which gives up all the honor of men as Jesus did, to seek the honor that comes from God alone; which absolutely makes and counts itself nothing so that God may be all, that the Lord alone may be exalted. Until we seek humility in Christ above our chief joy, and welcome it at any price, there is very little hope of a religion that will conquer the world.

How much of the spirit of the meek and lowly Lamb of God do we see around us, in those who are called by His name? Think about how all the lack of love, the indifference to the needs, feelings, and weaknesses of others, the sharp and hasty judgments and utterances so often excused by our cries of being upright and honest, the manifestations of temper and irritation, the bitterness and estrangement, have their root in pride. Pride seeks only itself.

Devilish pride creeps in almost everywhere. What would happen if believers were to become permanently guided by the humility of Jesus? Oh, for the humility of Jesus in myself and everyone around me! We must honestly fix our hearts on our own lack of the humility revealed in Christ's life. Only then will we begin to feel what Christ and His salvation truly are.

Believer! Study the humility of Jesus. This is the secret, the hidden root of your redemption. Sink down into it more deeply day by day. Believe with your whole heart that Christ--whom God has given us--will work in us, making us what the Father wants us to be."

~ by Andrew Murray

My daughter and I attended a funeral today for a tiny baby. The little girl had been born without a brain. She lived for only a few hours. But her parents were a shining testimony of this very trait of humility. They humbly accepted the will of God without complaint. They praised
Him. They testified of His goodness to all of us there. They thanked God for her little life, as brief as it was. They will never be the same for having had her. Of course they grieved and were in great pain. But they knew the hand of a sovereign God had dealt this to them, and they
did not question Him. That is humility.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

How bright is our light?

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matthew 5:16

As Christian women, we know we are to shine as beacons of light in this sinful world, but just how bright do we shine? Jesus Christ commanded that our “light so shine before men”, but do we really look any different than the “worldly” women? Is our speech different? Is our attitude different? Do lost sinners see that we have something they do not have?

I believe most of us are familiar with the children’s song about not hiding our light under a bushel, but unfortunately, as adults, that is exactly what we do sometimes. Instead of being conformed by the renewing of our mind (Rom 12:2), we are conformed to the world and we become no different than the average women. We get so caught up in living in this world that we forget that we are not of this world. We are a new creature in Christ (2 Corinth 5:7) but out sinful nature often rears it ugly head, and we forget that we are daughters of the King.

This world is ruled by sin and people need to see that Christian women really do shine. Many lost women are without help. We as Christians can offer them true hope in Jesus Christ. We cannot keep the Lord to ourselves. We have to flood the world with His light!!