Proverbs 31:5 A Noble Character

Noble lion

A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Proverbs 31:5 

It is very common for girls, who once have graduated high school and maybe college, they desire to get married. They search for some man who will love them and want them.

In order to be ready for that, many will take care of their physical appearances. They will put on the best makeup, wear the best jewelry and stay in good shape. However, their character does not improve.

Often their character stays all about self and making self look good, rather than building others up. Finding one that is about helping and building others up is a rare find.

Solomon describes a wife of noble character as being of worth more than rubies.

Noble character is something that is difficult to find in many people, both men and women. This is a character that is serving, loving, and hard working. It is one about building others up, rather than focusing on self.

While Solomon is specifically talking about a wife being of a noble character, men can take this advice also. This describes the person who is a follower of Jesus. Jesus used wisdom, worked hard, provided food, helped the poor and needy, opened His arms to everyone, showed no fear, and clothes His followers.

Every believer needs to be a person of noble character as Jesus is. The noble character is a description of love for others. God is love and believers are to be like God–love. This goes against the grain of the world, which is all about self, not love.

In marriage and in life, if everyone is showing God’s love, being a person of noble character, there will be less fights and arguments. Hurting others will drop and more lives will be changed for God.

Take a moment to determine what type of character you are. Do you portray a character that is like that of the world—selfish? Or do you represent the noble  character of Jesus—loving others?

Allow God to work on your character to make you more like Jesus. Learn to love others and put them first over yourself and second only to God. Work hard and be generous to others. Be willing to share the gospel message to all you meet. Be quick to forgive and extend mercy. Be gracious and thankful.

What type of character are you being today?

I pray today that you will allow God to change your character to that of Jesus; that you will love others as God loves you and them; that you will build others up in Christ Jesus; and that God will fill you with His grace and mercy towards others. 

Proverbs 18:13 Listen First

LIstening rabbit

To answer before listening–that is folly and shame. Proverbs 18:13 

Talking is something that a lot of people like to do. Most people have something to say and want to say it. They want to get their opinion on the matter out in the open for everyone to hear.

Since people like to talk so much, they will speak first before listening and thinking. Things are often said that are not in the right context or are wrong.

As one person is talking, the other person often is already forming their answer and is not hearing the first person in what he is saying. When this occurs, what is heard is often misheard and is used incorrectly. Actions like this is dishonoring to the one who spoke and selfish of the one who should have been listening.

In this verse it says that the one who does not listen and just gives an answer is living in folly and shame. He is being a fool.

It is easy and common for a person to answer before fully listening to the one speaking. This is because he is in a hurry. He may be in a hurry to move on to something else, to say what he thinks is correct, or just to get the discussion over. It takes time and effort to really listen to what another person is saying.

The foolishness comes in because the full story was not heard. When that occurs, things are often misunderstood.

Not hearing everything first can also be found in the church. The preacher speaks a full sermon and all the person heard was one thing and makes a rebuttal off of that one statement. Some read one or two verses and take them out of context responding incorrectly to it.

Both actions are foolish and selfish. They are about self and moving self forward, rather than honoring and building the other person up.

Every day people will talk to and with you. Take time to slow down and listen to what they are saying. Sometimes you have to hear what they are saying beyond just the words.

Some people will be crying out for help without asking for help. If you fully listen to a person, you will hear that cry.

Instead of speaking first, be willing to listen first. Once you have listened, you have the right to speak. Be quick to listen and slow to speak.

I pray today that God will help you to hear what people are saying; that God will give you patience to listen to others; that God will guide you in what you say; and that you will build others up in Jesus in all that you say. 

Psalm 149:4 God Is Excited To Give Victory

Kneeling on a beach

For the Lord takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with victory. Psalm 149:4 

People love to have victory. They want to win and be the winner. No one goes into something hoping to lose or even take second place, they strive for first place.

The desire to be number one is a selfish desire. It is all about self and how one looks. Being number one and having victory makes a person look great, the best. It becomes pride that drives the person for victory.

In the process of striving to be number one, many will do whatever it takes to get that position. Often it is stepping on others or cutting others down to make one’s self look better or to gain the victory.

God is excited about His people and looks forward to being with them. He wants to give victory, but He gives it to the humble, not just to everyone.

Being humble is realizing one’s position in this life and before God. It is realizing that one is not God and cannot do everything on his own. It is letting go of self and allowing God to lead, guide and help out. It is putting everything into God’s hands.

When a believer is ready to put self to the side and allow God to be the head, God is ready to give victory. The reason God is pleased to give victory is because it is no longer about self, but about Him. It is allowing God to be God.

Victory is not always being lifted up and looking great, but it is doing the right thing at the right time. It is overcoming a sinful temptation. It is being a witness of Jesus. It is showing love to those who are hard to love.

When a person lets go and allows God to work in and through him, God will give victory.

Each day there will be new struggles in your life and battles to fight and overcome. In your own strength you will fail and fall short of winning those battles.

Remember that it is not about you, but about God. Remove self out of the way, being humble and allow God to guide you. Let God give the victory.

Seek God’s help and guidance in every situation in your life. Do not think that you know what is best, you will fail. God loves you and wants to give you victory, let Him.

I pray today that you will know God’s love for you; that you will allow God to rule in your life; that you will be humble before God; and that you will see the victory God is giving you over every situation in your life.

Philippians 2:3-4 Looking Out For Others

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” Philippians 2:3-4

When a person hears the phrase, “look (watch) out for other”, it is usually presumed to mean watch out or they will get you. People often expect others to step on them, cut them down, or take advantage of them. The sad part about that, is that is a fairly true statement. The world lives to take advantage of others.

The philosophy of the world is to do what it takes to get to the top. You the individual are number one and everyone else needs to bow down to you. The problem then becomes, when everyone is number one, everyone is fighting each other for that position. The things most people do are for their own interests.

This occurs in the church a lot also. People give a good amount in the offering, or assist in some ministry, or give someone a helping hand. On the surface it looks good, but the purpose behind all of these “helps” was to look good to others or to God. Not everyone is guilty of this.

Paul says that you are to look out for others first. You are to do absolutely nothing out of selfish ambition. This can be something hard to do.

What about myself and my needs? God will meet all of your needs, if you will just trust Him. As you are pouring yourself out to help others, God will then use others to help you and provide for you.

Too often people are closed fisted and hold on to what they have and their own desires. They are not free to give of themselves to others. Many out of fear of being taken advantage of. God will provide for you in ways you cannot see.

Trust God for your strength and provision as you meet the needs of others. Who can you help today?

Who can you value above yourself today?

I pray today that God will help you see the value of those around you; that the Holy Spirit will guide you in how to meet other’s needs; that you will not fear for your own needs; and that many will be drawn to Jesus through you.