2.13.2019

A woman of VALUE who earns VENERATION.

Last night we completed our seven-month study of The Proverbs 31 Woman!
Our pastor preached this sermon on Mother's Day last year, and our COMMITTED group was so encouraged and challenged by the message we decided to dissect it and spend an entire month focusing on one of the seven points. And it was, indeed, time well spent!
Each month we shared our joy about the areas in which we have seen growth and success, and then confessed our places of weakness so we could encourage and pray for one another as we continue to pursue godliness day by day, week by week, year by year.
And because Scripture implores us to build one another up with our words, we closed out our study by writing personal notes of appreciation to our pastor, highlighting the ways his message blessed and challenged each of us. Because the truth is, it was his hard work, his time, and his investment in Scripture that provided the platform for our study. And we are - truly grateful!

Our first study: A woman of VIRTUE
Our second study: A woman of VIGOR
Our third study: A VERSATILE woman
Our fourth study: A VIVACIOUS woman with a delightful VOCABULARY

Our final study in this series ... A Woman of VALUE who has earned the VENERATION of others

A Proverbs 31 woman is a woman of value
An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. v. 10
✽ She is PRICELESS
✽ She is a rare find, but she does exist!
✽ A woman who is virtuous, versatile, vivacious, and opens her mouth in wisdom is worthy of finding and cherishing
✽ This kind of woman does not just "appear," but has been purposely pursuing godly character qualities and because she has been faithful - not perfect, but faithful - she is considered valuable

A Proverbs 31 woman deserves veneration
veneration = gratitude from others
❊ She has invested in and enriched others, so now, it is time for her husband and her children to express their gratitude for her sacrifice, her hard work, her love, and her care
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.” v. 28, 29

She appreciates the praise but does not expect it, and therefore, she accepts the praise with humility and grace
What is being praised? Her INNER beauty.
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. v. 30
The best and most beautiful thing about her is her love for the Lord
❊ Lemuel's mother is encouraging him not to look for outer beauty - but true beauty - the beauty that comes from the inside because of her love for God
- is she godly?
- is she a woman of prayer?
- does she have a heart for the work of God?
❊ The outside will change, her beauty and looks will fade, but her insides can continually improve and become even more beautiful
She clothes herself in strength and dignity. v. 25
She adorns the doctrine of God, making it beautiful and attractive to others

Her image is taken from God's image
His glory fuels her passion
His grace animates her works
His holiness fosters her humility
His joy underwrites her cheerfulness

An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts in 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 portions 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. Her lamp does not go out at night.
She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle.
She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy.
She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all 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 linen 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 is 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 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 of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.
Proverbs 31: 10-31