Good morning friends ….
In continuing our ongoing study of Women of Valor, we are going to look more at some characteristics of virtue today ….
A “virtuous woman” …..
When anyone mentions that phrase the Scripture in Proverbs 31 almost always immediately comes to mind. But what may not be as obvious is the meaning of virtuous, and the reason why virtue should be considered a most valuable characteristic to have …
True virtue represents a moral excellence that is judged against the standard of the Word of God. Someone may be thought of as a “good person” by the world’s standards because they do good things. But that person may not measure up to the standards of the Word ….
This is true for many individuals. Merely doing “good things” does not grant entrance into the kingdom of God. It also is not the same as choosing good over evil. To do a good deed is only taking action on a benevolent impulse when no real heart decision is required …..
Unfortunately, many that live a life merely “doing good things” have standards that are based solely on whatever happens to feel like the right thing to do to them, but the Word cautions about that in (Proverbs 14:10); “there is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”
Sadly, there are many in the world who consider themselves to be a “good person” and think because of this they are indeed going to heaven; yet, they are blind and more lost than they even know. They think they have all they need to make heaven, perhaps even a church-goer, or an occasional bible reader, and have no need of anything, yet Jesus has said of this sort that they are “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” (Revelation 3:15-18).
Believers are called to live by a different standard, a higher way of life. They are called to filter every difficult decision through the Word of God, and choose to do the right thing based on those standards; and these standards are what allow believers to stand in the face of opposition and to be set apart from the world ….
The Apostle Peter spoke of virtue in (2 Peter 1:5-11). He referred to it as being one of the stones in the foundation of the believer’s faith. He said also that those lacking these virtues were “blind” yet if we give diligence to to doing these things; (adding these virtues to our faith), we shall not fall, nor be unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ ….
To believe in God or in His Son; Jesus, alone does not constitute a victorious Christian life. Even the demons believe, and can quote scripture: but were not saved. According to Peter’s instructions, believers were to add virtue to their faith. In other words, they should seek to manifest the characteristics of Jesus Christ because of their faith in Him ….
By practicing these virtues, believers increase their knowledge of the things of God. An increase in knowledge brings the strength and ability to maintain personal and moral boundaries …..
This kind of self-control produces the ability to withstand adverse circumstances, out of which emerges a Godly lifestyle. And godliness brings about kindness toward other brothers and sisters of the faith, which develops into real, genuine love. And all of this is based on virtue. Virtues brings strength to be obedient ….
Virtue is more than just doing the right thing when it is convenient. It means having the fortitude to make right decisions in every area of life, regardless of opposition from outside influences. For the Christian woman, those decisions are based on her knowledge of the Word and her desire to live a life pleasing to God more than to anyone else, including herself. And of course, this requires committed living in obedience and it requires strength to walk in the perfect will of God ….
Where is a virtuous woman’s strength found, you ask?
The first general, but great principle to assure you walk in the perfect will of God for your life is a woman’s strength should be spent on her God.
It is written, “as thy days, so shall thy strength be.” declares (Deuteronomy 33:25).
The Lord will give us enough strength for today. That is why we take just one day at a time, as He has promised, “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is evil thereof.” (Matthew 6:34).
You are going to make it dear ladies, if you’ll utilize the daily supply of strength that God gives you. Use your strength on God, not on self. Wait and continually seek Him and your strength will be renewed each day you seek Him and walk under His Grace. “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31).
Then you will be rich with His joy; as “the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:1). You will avoid burnout and be refreshed in your spirit daily …..
Ladies, what is the greatest thing you can ever do?
The Bible answers that for us in (Mark 12:30-31), “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with ALL THY STRENGTH: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.”
It is not a waste of a ladies life to spend her strength on God, as it is the greatest thing she can do. How then can a woman use her strength on God then? The Bible is filled with some wonderful examples of ladies who blazed the trail before you. Let’s look at just a few:
There was Anna, who was a widow; she used her strength and “served God with fastings and prayers night and day” (Luke 2:37). “Night and day,” definitely denotes a committed life of diligence and obedience, and that must have surely been a sacrifice for her and follows the scripture “her candle goeth not out by night.” (Proverbs 31:18).
Hannah prayed fervently with tears. This required strength- (1 Samuel 1:10).
Rahab, the harlot gathered her family to safety (Joshua 6:23-25). This speaks to the scripture “she looketh well to the ways of her household.” (Proverbs 31:27).
Philip’s daughters preached the gospel (Acts 21:8,9).
Tabitha, also known as Dorcas was a disciple and a woman “full of good works and alms.” (Acts 9:36-39). Compares to “she stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hand to the needy.” (Proverbs 31:20).
Phoebe was a helper in the Lord and a servant unto the church (Romans 16:1,2).
Many women ministered unto Christ of their substance (Luke 8:3).
Mary anoited Jesus with costly ointment (John 12:3).
The widow gave of that she had (Luke 21:2). This not only was a sacrifice for her, but showed obedience and a heart that loved God with all her heart, mind and strength.
Mary, the sister of Martha, sat at the feet of Jesus and heard His word. Jesus said she had “chosen that good part.” (Luke 10:39).
Priscilla ministered for the Lord; with her husband Aquila, and the Word says they “laid down their own necks” for His life (Romans 16:3-4).
This is just a partial listing of women who used their strength for the Lord. The Lord took note of them in whatever they did, whether small or great. I once heard a saying, “One life twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.”
Dear sweet women, from now and throughout eternity, you’ll be glad if you used your strength for your God through obedience and diligence to His Word, with fear and reverence to His commandments …
As the Proverb finishes: “favor (charm) is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.” (Proverbs 31:30-31).
In conclusion; in this sex-mad twentieth century, when most women, generally, are sacrificing their characteristic femininity and nobility and are as nicotine-doped as men, it is encouraging to know that there are those Christian women; some widows, some wives, and some mothers, who strive to keep themselves unspotted from the world. Books are not written about their true love, loyalty, sacrifice, and uncomplaining, uncompromising days ….
These precious women are writing their history in the lives of those around them whom they love and serve. Although often weary “in” their task; for theirs is no forty-hour week job, they are never weary “of” their task ….
They spend their lives unknown by the world in the narrow circle of their home within which they labor unceasingly for God and others, but they will not lose their reward. God’s eye is upon them as they live out their lives in the orbit of His will amid all the cares, trials and sorrows of the home. One day, when the books are opened, their devotion will be commended by Him who sees and knows ALL and a crown will be placed on our heads ..
God sees YOU …. He knows YOU specifically; your heart and your virtues. Continue to diligently seek Him, learn of Him, grow in Him; and don’t lose your faith and He will reward you (Hebrews 11:6).
You’re storing up beautiful jewels for your crown in glory. Therefore, “let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” (Galations 6:9).
We will wrap up this study tomorrow, and I pray that my messages this week have been an encouragment to someone. May you be abundantly blessed and your life enriched …..
God bless you today!!