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Pursue Virtue

bible reading

I love the definition of words. Words have more power when you know their meaning.

For example, pursue means to continue along a path or route.

Virtue means showing high moral standards, a quality considered morally good or desirable in a person, and strength.

One of my mom’s favorite passages of scripture is Proverbs 31.

If you read Proverbs 31, it not only has instructions for women but also for men.

King Lemuel’s mother gave her son instructions as most mothers do.

The Message version of Proverbs 31 says it clearly for us to understand and apply to our everyday life.

The first instructions are for the men.

Proverbs 31:1-9 Message Version

The words of King Lemuel,

    the strong advice his mother gave him:

2-3 “Oh, son of mine, what can you be thinking of!

    The child whom I bore! The son I dedicated to God!

Do not dissipate your virility on fortune-hunting women,

    promiscuous women who shipwreck leaders.

4-7 “Leaders can’t afford to make fools of themselves,

    gulping wine and swilling beer,

Lest hung over, they don’t know right from wrong,

    and the people who depend on them are hurt.

Use wine and beer only as sedatives,

    to kill the pain and dull the ache

Of the terminally ill,

    for whom life is a living death.

8-9 “Speak up for the people who have no voice,

    for the rights of all the down-and-outers.

Speak out for justice!

    Stand up for the poor and needy!”

We have seen throughout time that women ruined leaders because they yielded to lust and did not consider virtue, which means for men, strength, and morals.

It takes a lot of strength to discipline yourself. We cannot do it in our strength. We must do it in God’s strength. So Romans 7:18 NIV version says. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.

Men and women desire to do good, but we all can yield to our sinful nature. It is only through Jesus we have the strength to do what is of virtue.

Psalm 119:165 says excellent peace have those who love your law (the word of God), and nothing can make them stumble.

Psalm 119:11 says Your word have I hidden in my heart that I might not sin against you.

When we have a love for God’s word, it will be hidden in our hearts, and it causes us to choose virtue. Conversely, when our sinful nature wants to do wrong, the Word of God will rise in us.

Even if we fall because the word is in us, it causes us to get back up and rise again.

Proverbs 24:16 says though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again.

We are made righteous by believing and trusting the word of God.

Women are very influential and persuasive. Women let us use our influence to build, not to tear down.

Proverbs 31:10-31 Message Version

Hymn to a Good Wife

10-31 A good woman is hard to find

    and worth far more than diamonds.

Her husband trusts her without reserve

    and never has reason to regret it.

Never spiteful, she treats him generously

    all her life long.

She shops around for the best yarns and kinds of cotton,

    and enjoys knitting and sewing.

She’s like a trading ship that sails to faraway places

    and brings back exotic surprises.

She’s up before dawn, preparing breakfast

    for her family and organizing her day.

She looks over a field and buys it,

    then plants a garden with the money she’s put aside.

Then, first thing in the morning, she dresses for work

    and rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started.

She senses the worth of her work

    and is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.

She’s skilled in the crafts of home and hearth

    and diligent in homemaking.

She’s quick to assist anyone in need,

    reaches out to help the poor.

She doesn’t worry about her family when it snows;

    their winter clothes are all mended and ready to wear.

She makes her clothing

    and dresses in colorful linens and silks.

Her husband is greatly respected

    when he deliberates with the city fathers.

She designs gowns and sells them.

    And brings the sweaters she knits to the dress shops.

Her clothes are well-made and elegant,

    and she always faces tomorrow with a smile.

She has something worthwhile to say when she speaks,

    and she always says it kindly.

She keeps an eye on everyone in her household,

    and keeps them all busy and productive.

Her children respect and bless her;

    her husband joins in with words of praise:

“Many women have done wonderful things,

    but you’ve outclassed them all!”

Charm can mislead, and beauty soon fades.

    The woman to be admired and praised

    is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.

Give her everything she deserves!

    Festoon her life with praises!

Developing a love for God’s word leads us to virtue. We will be admired for our wisdom and love/reverence for God, not for our looks/charm, and it will lead us higher as men and women.

Pursue Virtue!

Prayer: Lord, I thank you for your spirit living inside of me. God, I repent for pursuing outward things that are only temporary. Instead, I follow the character of Jesus, that has the virtue that is lasting. God, I let my light shine so people can see your good works and glorify my Father in heaven. I thank you for your power operating through me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

 

 

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