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Far More Than Rubies

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Far More Than Rubies


Ru·by
[roo-bee]
n. pl. ru·bies
A deep red, translucent variety of the mineral corundum, highly valued as a precious stone.

A Diamond in the Rough
"Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies."
Proverbs 31:10

A Rare Gem
Rubies are exceptionally rare. It is considered one of the four precious gems together with the sapphire, the emerald and the diamond.

Valued Treasure
An 8.62 carot Burmese ruby sold for $425,000 per carat... a total of $3,800,000 on February 15th, 2006 at Christie's in Switzerland.

Significance
The ruby symbolizes passionate love.

The Proverbs 31 Woman
A Godly Woman
A Reliable Woman
An Honest Woman
A Loyal Woman
An Attentive Woman
A Loving Woman
A Submissive Woman
A Humble Woman
A Pure Woman
A Patient Woman
A Devoted Woman
A Gentle Woman
A Diligent Woman
A Skillful Woman
A Thrifty Woman
An Organized Woman
A Goal-Oriented Woman
A Studious Woman
A Prayerful Woman
A Self-Disciplined Woman
A Wise Woman
A Determined Woman
A Hospitable Woman
A Merciful Woman
An Evangelistic Woman
A Just Woman
A Prudent Woman
A Gracious Woman
A Modest Woman
A Respectful Woman
A Supportive Woman
A Thankful Woman
A Trusting Woman
A Courageous Woman
A Teaching Woman
A Good Steward
A Reverent Woman
A Joyful Mother
A Family-Centered Woman
A Strong Woman
A Faithful Woman
An Honorable Woman
A Truly Beautiful Woman

Prayers and Praises
This community is about praising the Lord because He loves us and we are more precious than rubies to Him!


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After God's Own Heart [
01 08 08 - 2:53pm]

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What does it mean to be a woman after God's own heart? David was called "a man after God's own heart" (1 Samuel 13:14) so I thought I'd make a list from the Psalms of what it means to chase after God's heart:

1.) Trust in the Lord. The Lord is good and faithful. He is mighty and in control. When David's life was in danger, running from Absalom and Saul, He trusted God completely as his strength and shield of defense (Psalm 27:1).

2.) Walk in Truth (Psalm 26:3).

3.) Proclaim the praises of God to everyone (Psalm 26:7).

4.) Live pure and blamelessly (Psalm 26:11).

5.) Seek the face of the Lord. Those who look to Him will glow with radiance (Psalm 27:8, Psalm 34:5).

6.) Be confident in God's salvation (Psalm 27:13).

7.) Be patient for His timing (Psalm 27:14).

8.) Don't make friends with evildoers, and don't take part in the activities of the wicked (Psalm 26:5).

9.) Make prayers and petitions to the Lord, asking Him to bless, shepherd and care for His people (Psalm 28:9).

10.) Thank the Lord for all He has done. Bring glory due unto His name (Psalm 29:1-2).

11.) In despair, turn to the Lord. He is the healer of body and spirit. He delivers from physical and spiritual death (Psalm 30:2-3).

12.) Be joyful in the Lord (Psalm 30:11).

13.) Know that God is love. Surrender to His guidence. Find comfort in His protection and just righteousnesss (Psalm 31:1,5,7).

14.) Never fear. God is kind. Take your eyes off the misery and place your gaze on God. Rest in Him. Be brave and hope in the Lord (Psalm 31:15-16).

15.) Encourage others to take heart, because our times are in God's hands (Psalm 31:23-24).

16.) Don't hold in sin, feeling weak and guilty, groaning all day. Confess sins. David was grieved by his sin with Bathsheba, but he rejoiced because his transgressions were forgiven (Psalm 32:5).

17.) Come near to God. Willingly follow Him. Don't be led like a stubbron donkey by bit and rein (Psalm 32:9).

18.) Know that God's Word is true, and everything He does is right and fair (Psalm 33:4).

19.) Sing to Him a new song; sing joyfully. The upright praise Him with music, play skillfully, and shout for joy (Psalm 33:1-3).

20.) Spend time with God, getting to know His character. The curse is all about separation, so it is harder to build a relationship. One can not trust and hope in a god he does not know (Psalm 33:21-22).

21.) Make plans that line up with God's will. God thwarts the purposes of the peoples. The LORD's plans since before creation stand firm forever. God will upset the plans of people that are not in His will (Psalm 33:10-11).

22.) Always give God the credit for every good thing in life. Speak well of God in every situation, don't blame trials on Him (Psalm 34:1-3).

23.) Be careful to flee from evil and obey the Lord. Pursue peace (Psalm 34:13-14).

24.) Let the Lord fight. The battle is His (Psalm 35:1,10).
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Proverbs 31: Day Twenty-One [
10 12 07 - 2:31pm]

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"Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates."
-Proverbs 31:31 (New King James Version)

"When you fear the Lord (revere Him) then you shall be praised."

The Proverbs 31 woman is so amazing, yet she never toots her own horn. She is not prideful or boastful in the least bit of all her incredible qualities. She lets her own works praise her. She does not need men's empty praise to glorify her good deeds, she knows that God is the rewarded of those who diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6)

"In the gates ..." I associated these gates with the same in which her husband is known when he sits among the elders of the land. Is this where her works speak as a testimony of her virtue? Perhaps I am thinking to small.

It's too small an act to be honored by her husband or her children.
It's too small an act to be honored by the maidservants for whom she loving provided clothing and a meal.
It's too small for her to be honored by the merchants who go to far away lands and still can attest that they've never met a woman as fantastic as she.
It's even too small for her to be honored by the elders of the land.

I think you know where I'm going with this now... the gates are the pearly gates in her heavenly abode! The gates where her Savior stands to greet her with open arms.

There are four reasons that we are here on earth:
-God's Glory
-God's will
-Good works
-Gospel witness

To make the vow of living a virtuous life has an eternal investment in our future. As we wait to be called home, we ought to be living lives as service and sacrifice that ultimately point toward heaven. Each day we grow closer to Him, we reflect Him more and more, and our faces shine like Moses when he came down from the mountain. As we conform to the image of Christ, our faces radiate God's glory as a light to the world. This is our true beauty - the glory of God that resides in each us, manifesting itself in faith, hope, purity, and love.

We have come to the end of the Proverbs 31 Woman study. It has been very fun and I'm honored that you have learned alongside me. I hope you have gained wisdom and insight and I hope that you desire to be the Proverbs 31 Woman for His glory.

Let the Lord be your guide to all Truth. Love you!
In Christ our Lord,
Dannielle
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Proverbs 31 Woman: Day Twenty [
10 12 07 - 2:30pm]

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"Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised."
-Proverbs 31:30 (New King James Version)

"I can't walk out of the house without makeup."

How many times have you heard someone say that or said it yourself?

The devil likes to feed us lies like, "you're not beautiful unless you cover up your zits, darken/lengthen your lashes, plump up/gloss your lips etc. etc. Why do women with straight hair always want curly hair and women with curly hair always want straight hair? I'll tell you why... because they've believed the Deceiver who whispered in their ear, "you need to change yourself to be beautiful."

Are you unable to look past the reflection in the mirror? There is more to your beauty than the exterior. There is a plethora of rich treasures inside, but all too often we are preoccupied with decorating the outside of the vessel. Beauty is fleeting. The flowers of the field wilt and vanish like smoke, just as young women grow wrinkles then die. The one thing that lasts forever is your soul. So make your soul beautiful!

"Guys love a girl who's confident in herself."

While this is true, charm is deceitful. Many guys are attracted to confident, flirtatious women; the ones who are easy to win... the ones who throw themselves at men. But the women men marry are the good girls... the ones who aren't easy to get. They know they are worth fighting for, worth working for, worth being romanced. The flirtatious girls make themselves out to be someone they aren't. There isn't any pleasure in knowing the man who is attracted to your charm is in love with nothing but a mirage. Be yourself. Then when a man notices how amazing you are, you'll know he loves you for you.

Queen Esther was the most beautiful young woman in the land, yet she still had to go through a whole year of beauty treatments before she was able to be seen by the King (Esther 2). Seven maids selected from the king's palace washed her for six months with oil of myrrh and the remaining six months involved perfumes and cosmetics. After the king saw her, he was pleased and she won his favor. He chose her over all the other eligible ladies in the land.

Remember the verse in 1 Peter 3:3-4:
"Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight."

Like Esther, we should be giving attention to our inner beauty... perfecting our hearts, living purely, making wise choices, and focusing our love on the Lord. After a time, when the Lord feels that we are ready, the King will send for us to meet our match.

But don't forget that you're always beautiful on the outside, too!!! No matter what the devil tells you, don't listen. God thinks you're absolutely gorgeous. Remember Psalm 45:11:
"The King is enthralled by your beauty; honor Him, for He is your Lord."

God gave us our beauty and our worth. It is deeply sad that a lot of young women are in a search to find validation of their beauty and value. They don't understand that God is the only One who gives us worth. We are made in His image, we reflect His character, we have a purpose, and we are beautiful inside and out because of HIM! We are precious to Him.

"A woman who fears the LORD is to be praised." Fear in Hebrew is the word yira which means "overwhelming awe that evokes dread, reverence, or respect." Ecclesiastes 12:13 reminds us that fearing God is the whole duty of man.

Micah 6:8 says, "He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." What does it mean to walk with God? Walking with God is walking the path of wisdom, not folly. Walking on HIS path. Trusting that He knows the way, letting Him lead. Walking at HIS pace, not dashing ahead or lagging behind. Being in step with Him. Desire what God desires, avoid what He disapproves, hate what is evil, love what is good. Walk the path of righteousness. Be holy as He is holy. (Leviticus 19:2, Matthew 5:48)

The Proverbs 31 woman is, above everything else, WISE! Psalm 111:10 says, "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom."

You are beautiful. You are worthy. Fear the Lord, submit to His Word, and faithfully follow Him... then everything will be made clear.
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Proverbs 31 Woman: Day Nineteen [
10 12 07 - 2:28pm]

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"Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her: “Many daughters have done well, But you excel them all.”
-Proverbs 31:28-29 (New King James Version)

The Proverbs 31 woman is such a good wife, that her husband honors her by applauding and celebrating her character. He honestly compliments her with the words, "You're the best. Hands down, the best." Her children also greatly esteem their mother, and are very thankful for her. Their appreciation for her is expressed as well: "Mom, you're blessed! And you've blessed us, too."

The most important thing to a woman is to be loved. A man needs respect, but a woman needs love; and those qualities are always symbiotic. A woman cannot feel loved if she is not respected, and a man cannot feel respected if he is not loved.

Here's the beautiful thing: look at who is praising her... it's her family, those that know her best. The hardest thing in the world is to get people who know you to praise you. They see your flaws on a DAILY basis, and love you still, though sometimes through obligation. But for them to praise you, you need to be a spectacular type of woman.

Her husband, who sits among the elders of the land, who has seen the best of the best, tells her that she excels them all.

Live a life that makes you praiseworthy.
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Proverbs 31 Woman: Day Eighteen [
10 07 07 - 3:06pm]

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"She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness."
-Proverbs 31:27 (New King James Version)

This verse is two-fold. First, it says she is watchful, second it says she is not idle.

Watchfulness

Vigilance is a virtue. It is defined in the American Heritage Dictionary as, "alert watchfulness." Remeber the verse in 1 Peter 5:8? "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour."

Why would anyone in their right mind add to their already overwhelming workload? We need to look at the benefits of making a sacrifices now to make the future brighter for the people we love. Foresee future failures and prevent them. Be watchful of pitfalls so that you may overcome them. Be on the alert for the devil's tricks, because he's always thinking of snares and traps for you to get caught in.

Idleness

The Proverbs 31 woman is not idle. Laziness causes the house to go to shambles! Ecclesiastes 10:18 says, "By much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through."

Recall on Day 12 when we discussed preparedness. Our virtuous woman took the effort to prepare her house against the snowstorms of life, covering ALL her household in scarlet. We also discussed how life is an active process... that you have to go out and get what you need.

The Proverbs 31 woman is an organized, energetic person who carries out her responsibilities. She diligently and wisely observes the management of her business and home at the same time. She is not one to sit on her couch eating popcorn and watching TV. She is active in the affairs of her household. She seems to cram as much as much as she can into her life to keep her home running smoothly. Whatever her family members have set out to do, she assits them and supports them. She is a mediator, a counselor, a peacemaker, a boo-boo kisser... she makes sure everyone is okay.

Keeping busy is a good thing, but don't forget the importance of setting aside time for the Lord to pray and receive insight from the Word of God.
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Proverbs 31 Woman: Day Seventeen [
09 30 07 - 8:14pm]

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"She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness."
-Proverbs 31:26 (New King James Version)

My roommate Kirsten from sophomore year taught me something very valuable: the importance of thinking before I speak. She had a home-made poster on her wall that read: "WAIT! STOP! Before I speak, make sure what I say is not:
-Gossip
-Coarse jesting
-Degrading
-An exaggeration
-Out of anger
-Malicious
-Boasting or flattery
-Causing my personal testimony to become tainted
-Causing someone I know to stumble
-Anything that doesn't honor God

"He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin."
-Proverbs 13:3

You know the old saying, "If you don't have anything wise to say, don't say anything at all." I talk entirely too much. Proverbs warns against people who do not guard their speech. They are fools who speak without thinking first. But Proverbs says, "Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; When he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive." (Proverbs 17:28) So think twice before even considering making a comment. Mentally ask yourself, "does what I am about to say reflect the wisdom of God and His love?"

Make sure what you are saying is not false testimony, an exaggeration, twisting, or half-truth. "Like a madman shooting firebrands or deadly arrows is a man who deceives his neighbor and says, 'I was only joking!'" (Proverbs 26:18-19)

Make sure what you are saying is not out of anger or bitterness in order to backbite.

Make sure it is not gossip which includes any and all false or malicious statements about a person that could ruin his or her reputation. (Ephesians 4:31, Colossians 3:8, Proverbs 16:28, Proverbs 11:13)

Make sure it is not boastful or flattering for it is a disgrace. "May the LORD cut off all flattering lips and every boastful tongue." (Psalm 12:3, Psalm 52:1)

Make sure it will not cause your brother or sister-in-Christ to stumble. "He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him." (Romans 14:21, 1 Corinthians 8:13, 1 John 2:10)

God has instructed us to be understanding and kind, to devote ourselves to one another in sincere love and honor one another above ourselves (Romands 12:10). Kindness is a fruit of the spirit. I can never quote Colossians 3:12 enough: "Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience."

Ephesians 4:32 says, "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."

"Make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love." (1 Peter 1:5-7)

Brothers and sisters in Christ look out for one another and build one another up. We encourage each other (1 Thessalonians 5:11) and pray for each other (Ephesians 6:18). We are intimately involved in supporting each other (Hebrews 10:24) keeping one another accountable, confessing sins to one another (James 5:16) rebuking and instructing one another (2 Timothy 4:2) lifting one another up with spiritual guidance (Ephesians 4:29) bearing one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2) and challenging each other in the faith (Ephesians 4:15-16). A loving church body rejoices and grieves with each other (1 Corinthians 12:26) and loves each other deeply from the heart (1 Peter 1:22, 1 Peter 3:8).

The Proverbs 31 woman speaks with shrewd wisdom. She knows what she is talking about. She is able to express herself intelligently, tactfully and diplomatically. People come to her for good advice. She is kind and thoughtful with her words, and she is silent when she has nothing wise to say.
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Proverbs 31 Woman: Day Sixteen [
09 28 07 - 2:54pm]

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"Strength and honor are her clothing; she shall rejoice in time to come."
-Proverbs 31:25 (New King James Version)

Does this verse conflict with the one that speaks of her clothing being "fine linen and purple"? I think not. A woman can be dressed in beautiful garments and still consider herself adorned in "strength and honor."

The qualities of strength and honor are not from ourselves; they come from God. According to Proverbs 1, God gives prudence to the simple. Prudence is good judgment in practical matters, and this good judgment comes from wisdom and discipline from God.

What else does the Bible say to clothe ourselves with?

Romans 13:14 says, "Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature."

Colossians 3:12 says, "As God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience."

1 Peter 5:5 says, "Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, 'God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.'"

1 Timothy 2:9-10 says, "I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God."

I want to reiterate once more: this verse and others like it are NOT rants against makeup, jewelry, or fashionable clothing. They are merely meant to encourage you to look at the beauty inside and show it outwardly. Inner beauty (a kind and compassionate heart, a patient, gentle and humble spirit) is something not to be hidden. Be proud of who you are in Christ and show it!

Showing who you really are can be frightening, but God has called us to swim upstream, against the current, which will make us strong in the process.
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Proverbs 31 Woman: Day Fifteen [
09 27 07 - 6:55pm]

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"She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies sashes for the merchants."
-Proverbs 31:24 (New King James Version)

On day ten, we discussed how the Proverbs 31 woman was resourceful, working hard at the spindle to prepare garments for her household, and most likely her maidservants as well. She is economic and doesn't waste. She uses the left over linen to make sashes. Just as the servant who made due with his two talents and earned two more, so the this woman was able to expand her resources to make the most of what she had. This is the formula for business expansion.

In other words, she was successful. God blessed her, and in turn she was able to bless others, in this case the merchants, from whom she was probably able to "bring her food from afar." (Day five, verse 14)

Everything ties together for this woman. She was "faithful over a few things," and now was made "ruler over many things." God is a rewarder of good deeds, if not in this life, then in the glorious one to come. Be persistent in whatever you do for Him. You may not be able to see the purpose of it now, but each task is just a puzzle piece, and one day you will see the bigger picture.
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Proverbs 31 Woman: Day Fourteen [
09 25 07 - 4:57pm]

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"Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land."
-Proverbs 31:23 (New King James Version)

This woman has become the talk of the town; her reputation has become a source of honor for her husband. He is chummy with the wise elders in the area because either she married a very wise man or her wisdom has infected him greatly. Either way, he is known for being married to a wise woman!

The Proverbs 31 woman chose a good husband. He is well respected. If he is held in such high regard, he must have good, honest character.

His success in the social world comes partly from his wife's support, just as her success comes partly from his support. They are a team. They work together and build each other up.
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Proverbs 31 Woman: Day Thirteen [
09 20 07 - 12:06pm]

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"She makes tapestry for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple."
-Proverbs 31:22 (New King James Version)

In the Bible, the color purple is frequently mentioned in the same sentence as gold, precious gems, pearls, silk, ivory, frankincense, and things such as these. In Exodus, we have repeated references to the colors purple and scarlet. These were the colors of the curtain in the tabernacle, the colors of the priestly garments, and the colors that decorated the palaces of kings.

The tapestry (or covering) in this verse could refer to a coat, a cloak, a shawl, or a wrap. Or, it could refer to a pillowcase, a blanket, or a bed covering. Earlier in Proverbs we read that the prostitute perfumed her bed with myrrh, aloes and cinnamon to seduce a man. In Revelation, an adulterous woman is dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls. However, in Proverbs 31, the godly woman is doing the same thing but for different reasons... aesthetic reasons. The implication is that she adorns herself, her family, and her home in beautiful, rich colors for their pleasure and satisfaction.

When we read Proverbs 31, we get an image of a hard-working woman who works her backside off. She must be emaciated from laboring herself to the bone! She doesn't go to bed till after dark; she gets up before light so she must have haggard eyes with deep exhausted circles under them. She's tramping all over town buying stuff at a bargain and when she finally gets home she goes straight to the spindle. Her clothing must be worn out and her hands chapped and dirty with her hair a wreck.

But no! Her husband rejoices in her beauty. She wears not just linen, but FINE linen. PURPLE linen, which was always associated with elegance. This woman knows how to take care of herself in a way that expresses her loveliness to her husband. Look at all the things she does and she still has time to make herself gorgeous. It's important ladies!

Elegance doesn't seem like a virtue, but it is. The American Heritage Dictionary defines elegance as "refinement, grace, and beauty in movement, appearance, or manners." Appearance is just a portion of it, but it has a part.

The way we dress ourselves can significantly impact our future and how people perceive us. So it is crucial to dress appropriately. In addition, it is important to not let fashion and beauty become an idol. Vanity is dangerous!

Think of elegance as a modest princess. Her demeanor is regal, proper, and refined. Her clothing is exquisite... yet she exudes humility. She knows she's in a position of prominence, and she must positively and respectably reflect who she represents. The Proverbs 31 woman represents her household and her Savior.

We are ALL princesses! (I know, I sound like Sara Crew from "A Little Princess") but it's true! Our Father is a the King of kings and the Lord of lords. We reflect His kingdom. As long as we are happy (not prideful) with our beauty and with the blessings He has given us, we are virtuous, not sinful.

Be a princess. :)
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