An inspiration to be all you can be

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Saturday, June 22, 2019

For more Helpful Inspirational Material:

May you find comfort, encouragement, guidance, hope, inspiration, love, and peace – https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/. May you also find answers to your question(s) through the Scriptures that address every situation you face, and help with your problems. Deb

Dear Lord, open our hearts and our minds to the power of Your Word, which as we read, we may know, understand, and obey Your Word for us today. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. (Author unknown)

Today’s scripture reading:

Proverbs has a lot to say about women. How fitting that the book ends with a picture of a woman of strong character, great wisdom, many skills, and great compassion.

Some people have the mistaken idea that the ideal woman in the Bible is retiring, servile, and entirely domestic. Not so! This woman is an excellent wife and mother. She is also a manufacturer, importer, manager, realtor, farmer, seamstress, upholsterer, and merchant. Her strength and dignity do not come from her amazing achievements, however. They are a result of her reverence for God. In our society, where physical appearance counts for so much, it may surprise us to realize that her appearance is never mentioned. Her attractiveness comes entirely from her character.

The woman described in this chapter has outstanding abilities. Her family’s social position is high. In fact, she may not be one woman at all—she may be a composite portrait of ideal womanhood. Do not see her as a model to imitate in every detail; your days are not long enough to do everything she does! See her instead as an inspiration to be all you can be. We can’t be just like her, but we can learn from her industry, integrity, and resourcefulness.

The book of Proverbs begins with the command to fear the Lord ([see * Proverbs 1:7 below]) and ends with the picture of a woman who fulfills this command. Her qualities are mentioned throughout the book: hard work, fear of God, respect for spouse, foresight, encouragement care for others, concern for the poor, wisdom in handling money. These qualities, when coupled with fear of God, lead to enjoyment, success, honor, and worth. Proverbs is practical for us because it shows how to become wise, make good decisions, and live according to God’s ideal. (NLT)

Proverbs 31:10-31 – Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is worth more than precious rubies.   Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. She will not hinder him but help him all her life.

She finds wool and flax and busily spins it. She is like a merchant’s ship; she brings her food from afar. She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household and plan the day’s work for her servant girls. She goes out to inspect a field and buys it; with her earnings she plants a vineyard.

She is energetic and strong, a hard worker. She watches for bargains; her lights burn late into the night. Her hands are busy spinning thread, her fingers twisting fiber.

She extends a helping hand to the poor and opens her arms to the needy.

She has no fear of winter for her household because all of them have warm clothes. She quilts her own bedspreads. She dresses like royalty in gowns of finest cloth.

Her husband is well known, for he sits in the council meeting with the other civic leaders.

She makes belted linen garments and sashes to sell to the merchants.

She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs with no fear of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise, and kindness is the rule when she gives instructions. She carefully watches all that goes on in her household and does not have to bear the consequences of laziness.

Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her: “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!”

Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised. Reward her for all she has done. Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.

Quoted verse: Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. – Proverbs 31:30 (NIV)

“Story” – Jenny McBride (Alabama, USA) titled her story “MORE THAN SKIN DEEP;” here is a portion of Jenny’s story:

“Lately when I look in the mirror, I notice the inevitable signs of aging. It is hard to accept in a culture where we are bombarded by commercials for pricey skin care products that promise we will be ‘ageless’ if we use them. . . . It’s no wonder many of us feel bad about how we look on the outside.

“But we serve a God who loves us for what’s on the inside and who wants us to love ourselves as well. And when we focus on what God loves in us, we will find true joy. God tells us just the opposite of what the world says, that our spiritual selves are more important than what’s on the outside.

“No one is truly ageless. In fact, all of us will perish one day. But what’s on the inside will shine before others as we share Christ with them; and that same spirit will carry us into eternal life.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – God is more interested in what’s in my heart than how I look.

Prayer: Dear Lord, help us to remember that the way we reflect the image of Christ can influence everyone around us. Help us to reflect your love to others as we pray, “Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation” (Luke 11:2-4, NIV). Amen.

Prayer Focus: SOMEONE STRUGGLING WITH BODY IMAGE.

To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/

* In this age of information, knowledge is plentiful, but wisdom is scarce. Wisdom means far more than simply knowing a lot. It is a basic attitude that affects every aspect of life. The foundation of knowledge is to fear the Lord—to honor and respect God, to live in awe of his power, and to obey his Word. Faith in God should be the controlling principle for your understanding of the world, your attitudes, and your actions. Trust in God—he will make you truly wise. (NLT)

Proverbs 1:7 – Fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. Only fools despise wisdom and discipline.

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