This week we celebrated October 10th! What is so special about that date? Well, many years ago (47 to be exact) that was the day when I proposed, and my wife agreed to marry me and be my faithful, life-long companion! How special is that?! I am forever grateful!! Do we love each other? We do… ” ’til death do us part” and forever!!
OCTOBER 10, 1976
What was that day like, so many years ago? I will spare you all the details, but it was a momentous, unforgettable experience together that we will never forget, and we still celebrate the memory of it.
On Oct 10th, as we were driving home from a special time of celebration with some of our family, my wife was sharing some appreciative words about me being her husband. I also shared my gratefulness for her, and that I was possibly even more thankful than her that she is my wife! She is my precious, virtuous, beautiful, faithful, wonderful, and good-hearted wife! As mentioned, I am so-o thankful for the beautiful wife the Lord blessed me with, and I love her dearly!
Why I am sharing this with you? Is that getting too personal? As we consider what the Bible has to say, that is the wonderful privilege of a husband, when being married to a virtuous, godly, and faithful woman. In Proverbs 31 it says of a virtuous woman that… “her husband praises her!”
Let’s look at some of the virtues mentioned in Proverbs 31, together. These are helpful to reflect on, wonderful to recognize, and it is pleasing to the Lord as we give thanks and praise for them!
10 Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. 11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her; So he will have no lack of gain. 12 She does him good and not evil all the days of her life. 13 She seeks wool and flax, and willingly works with her hands. 14 She is like the merchant ships, she brings her food from afar. 15 She also rises while it is yet night, and provides food for her household, and a portion for her maidservants. 16 She considers a field and buys it; from her profits she plants a vineyard. 17 She girds herself with strength, and strengthens her arms. 18 She perceives that her merchandise is good, and her lamp does not go out by night. 19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff, and her hand holds the spindle. 20 She extends her hand to the poor, yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy. 21 She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household is clothed with scarlet. 22 She makes tapestry for herself; Her clothing is fine linen and purple. 23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land. 24 She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies sashes for the merchants. 25 Strength and honor are her clothing; She shall rejoice in time to come. 26 She opens her mouth with wisdom, And on her tongue is the law of kindness. 27 She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. 28 Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her: 29 “Many daughters have done well, but you excel them all.” 30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. 31 Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates.
Special note: What does a Proverbs 31 woman look like? Here’s a list of some of her virtues: She’s priceless; seeks wisdom; is honest; keeps serving; is faithful; is disciplined; is strong and honorable; is humble; is diligent; is a good steward; is self-controlled; seeks the Lord; is trust-worthy; is a hard and willing worker; does many good works; is a faithful provider; good in business; creative and in; compassionate and giving to the poor and needy; is fearless; a great teammate; prepares for the future; is joyful; speaks wise, kind words; is watchful and alert; isn’t lazy or idle; is blessed and praise-worthy; is excellent; fears the Lord; is fruitful; etc…
Those are some of the descriptions of what the church, the bride of Christ is to be!
GREATNESS OF THE LOVE OF GOD
As wonderful as they are, the happiness, joy, and satisfaction that we may experience in our marriage relationship is relatively insignificant and minimal compared to the greatness and depth of Jesus love for His church, and our love for Him! It surpasses understanding, and words are not sufficient to express it!
I Corinthians 2:9 (Isaiah 64:4) – But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
Philippians 4:7 – …the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
I Peter 1:8 – Whom having not seen, you love; in whom, though now you see him not, yet believing, you rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory… (AMP) … you greatly rejoice and delight with inexpressible and glorious joy… (CEB) …rejoice with a glorious joy that is too much for words. (GNT) …a great and glorious joy which words cannot express…
Romans 8:35-39 – 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? … 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Ephesians 3:17-21 – 17that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge (CJB -…is beyond all knowing; NCV – …Christ’s love is greater than anyone can ever know…) that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
JESUS AND THE CHURCH
Jesus, our heavenly bridegroom is coming for His glorious, virtuous chURCH! What kind of a church is that? It is a church that is bringing Him glory and honor; living to please Him; living a blameless, holy, lifestyle that is above reproach!
THE CHURCH IS THE BRIDE OF CHRIST
Isaiah 54:6 – For your Maker is your husband; the Lord of hosts is his name; and your Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.
Ephesians 5:23-27 – 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church:...25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
Revelation 19:6-9 – …Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigns.7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife has made herself ready. 8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. 9 And he said unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he said unto me, These are the true sayings of God.
“HIS WIFE (THE CHURCH) HAS MADE HERSELF READY”
LET’S wIsely Be ready and prepared
Matthew 24:42,44 – Watch therefore: for you know not what hour your Lord does come. 44Therefore be you also ready: for in such an hour as you think not the Son of man comes.
Matthew 25:1-13 – Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. 2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: 4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. 6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him. 7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. 9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go you rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. 11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. 12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. 13 Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man comes.
Living worthy of the Lord
THE LORD IS WORTHY
Psalm 18:3 – I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: …
Revelation 5:12 – Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing.
LET’S BE WORTHY
Matthew 10:37,38 – He that loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that takes not his cross, and follows after me, is not worthy of me.
Matthew 22:8 – Then said he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.
Luke 3:8 – Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance…
Luke 21:36 – Watch you therefore, and pray always, that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
Acts 5:41 – they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.
Ephesians 4:1 – I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that you walk worthy of the vocation wherewith you are called…
Colossians 1:10 – That you might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God…
I Thessalonians 2:12 – That you would walk worthy of God, who has called you unto his kingdom and glory.
2 Thessalonians 1:4-5 – …we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure:5 Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer: …
2 Thessalonians 1:11 – …we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power…
I Timothy 5:17,18 – Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labor in the word and doctrine… The laborer is worthy of his reward.
Revelation 3:4 – You have a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.
Living exemplary lives
JESUS LIVED AN EXEMPLARY LIFE
John 13:15 – (Jesus did) For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.
I Peter 1:21 – even hereunto were you called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow his steps…
LET’S ALSO BE GOOD EXAMPLES FOR OTHERS
I Timothy 4:12 – …be you an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
James 5:10 – Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.
I Peter 5:3 – Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being examples to the flock.
Bringing glory to the Lord
Psalm 29:1,2 – …give unto the Lord glory and strength. Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.
Luke 17:15-18 – And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, 16 And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: …17 And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?18 There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.
Romans 2:6-7 – Who will render to every man according to his deeds:7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life…
Romans 4:20 – He (Abraham) staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God…
Romans 5:3-4 – …we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation works patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope…
Romans 11:36 – For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.
I Corinthians 1:31; (2 Corinthians 10:17) – …according as it is written, He that glories, let him glory in the Lord...
I Corinthians 10:31 – Whether therefore you eat, or drink, or whatsoever you do, do all to the glory of God.
2 Corinthians 1:20 – …all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.
2 Corinthians 4:15,16 – …that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God… our light affliction, which is but for a moment, works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory…
2 Corinthians 12:9 – …he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Galatians 1:4-5 – Who (Jesus) gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: 5 To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Galatians 6:14 – God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.
Ephesians 1:5-6 – Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he has made us accepted in the beloved.
Ephesians 3:21 – Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
PRAISING AND THANKING GOD FOR ALL OF HIS BENEFITS AND BLESSINGs
THE SACRIFICE OF PRAISE
Hebrews 13:15 – By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.
I Thessalonians 5:18 – In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
Ephesians 5:20 – Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
HE DAILY AND ABUNDANTLY LOADS US WITH BLESSINGS
Psalm 68:19 – Blessed be the Lord, who daily loads us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.
John 10:10 – … I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
Psalm 103:1-12 – Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. 2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: 3 Who forgives all your iniquities; who heals all your diseases; 4 Who redeems your life from destruction; who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies; 5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things; so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. 6 The Lord executes righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed.7 He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel. 8 The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. 9 He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. 10 He has not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. 11 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. 12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
Proverbs 10:22 – The blessing of the Lord, makes rich, and he adds no sorrow with it..
I Corinthians 10:16 – The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ?
Psalm 23:5-6 – …my cup runs over.6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
Ephesians 1:3 – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
Psalm 3:8 – ...your blessing is upon your people. Selah.
Special note: We always have so many things to be thankful for! Let’s always remember to be grateful for the multitude of blessings of the Lord upon us, and remember the multitude of reasons why we should always be thankful for all of those things…