Portrait Of A Beautiful Women

“A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.” Proverbs 31:10

The model woman described in Proverbs is a portrait of ideal womanhood. The focus of this portrait is a woman’s relationship with God, not her specific abilities or marital status. She realizes that regardless of her natural talents or acquired skills, or all her accomplishments, her strength comes from God. This women shines as a bright beacon in this wonderful Old Testament book. Today as we see women of all ages following the wrong role models, we are refreshed to find a timeless example of virtue, responsibility and good sense. Here, in this lovely picture of womanhood, is a woman who embodies the qualities which every believing woman should strive for in her personal life and appearance, in her family life, and in her daily duties.

“She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.” Proverbs 31:20

Who is a virtuous woman today? Proverbs 31 tells us that it is the woman who puts God first. Cultures change, but this woman’s God-inspired character still shines brightly across the centuries. However, the Proverb 31 woman is sometimes misrepresented. At times, she has been described as nothing more than a glorified maid. That is not the standard that He has given you to aspire to. That is not who God says is more valuable than precious jewels. The focus of this portrait is a woman’s relationship with God, not her specific abilities or marital status. The Proverbs 31 woman realizes that regardless of her natural talents or acquired skills, or all her accomplishments, her strength comes from God.

“Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.” Proverbs 31:31

Many women find Proverbs 31 discouraging. Don’t let that happen to you. Remember, this very capable woman is ultimately praised not so much for all she accomplishes as for one thing: She fears the Lord. The woman who is worthy of praise is not necessarily the one who does all her own sewing or is a great cook or is a natural beauty. The woman who gets the praise is the woman who fears the Lord. That’s the target to aim for. Not outward beauty. Not a perfectly decorated home. Not even more intellectual knowledge or a biblical scholar. Instead, aim for a bold, all-consuming love for God. Then you too will be worthy of praise…”worth far more than rubies.”

Father, help us to boldly love You and to live our lives worthy of You. Help us to act in a manner pleasing to you and show grace to others as you have shown grace to us. In Your Precious Name, Amen.

Sweet Blessings

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A Noble Heart

By Georgia (Jo) Kent
 
“But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” Matthew 13:23 NIV
 
Matthew tells us that the one who produces a good crop from his life is the one who hears the word and understands it. Jesus identified the soil of the heart as important in spiritual growth. If the soil is rocky or filled with weeds the seed of the Word of God cannot spring up and bear fruit. But if the soil is good then we bring forth an abundant crop of spiritual fruit. It is our job as Christians to make sure the soil of our heart is good soil and prepared to receive our Father’s teachings. 
 
“Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.” Hosea 10:12
 
Without perseverance a farmer would only produce a very limited crop from any sowing of seed. Farming requires diligent attention to the conditions in which the seed is sowing so that it will grow successfully. Then it needs protecting and caring for throughout the growing period until the time of harvest. Perseverance is an essential requirement for fruitfulness. And so it is in with us. God sows many seeds in our lives. Seeds that He wants us to nurture and bring to harvest so that others will know the love of our Father through us. 
 
“But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.” Luke 8:15 NIV
 
How do you cultivate a heart on good soil? Repent of any bitterness, unforgivness, anger, or any other sin that is hardening your heart! Seek the power of God to search your heart thoroughly and completely to root out all the weeds that hinder cultivating good soil. Cultivating good soil is a daily task; weeds spring up out of nowhere to hinder our growth. Satan throws everything he can in our way to ruin and contaminate our soil. Work tirelessly to keep the weeds away from your soil. God calls us to cultivate the soul of our spiritual garden and to follow it through to completion to harvest time. Cultivate your life in Him and He will produce His fruit through you!
 
Father, Thank you for the seeds you have sown in our lives. Help us to press through to completion so the crops from our life will bear good fruit for Your glory. In Jesus Name, Amen.
 
Sweet Blessings

From Busy To Fruitful

By Georgia (Jo) Kent
 
“Remain in me and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:4-5
 
As busy people, we often find it difficult to be still. Whether we work, volunteer, stay home with kids, or are retired, we are busy running from one thing to the next without much time in between. We hardly have time to accomplish what is required of us in a given day, let alone find time for ourselves or for God! However, the reality is that, without His help we cannot be all that He created us to be; and all that others need us to be. The travesty is that we allow the busyness of life to crowd out the Source of life. As the Psalmist wrote; “We are merely moving shadows and all our busy rushing ends in nothing…” Psalm 39:6  Just like any other relationship in our lives, to sustain a healthy relationship with God; we have to make time to connect with Him one-on-one. This can be done through prayer, bible study and worship, and can be done any time or anywhere. 

 “and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.” 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12
 
Often God has to shut a door in our lives so that He can subsequently open the door that He wants us to go through. There are times in life when you want to be surrounded by other people, in the thick of it, when you are ready and willing to jump into whatever life throws at you. And then there are other times when you want to hide yourself away and take refuge. You want to go to a remote place where the only one who can find you is God. There’s never a point when you reach full spiritual maturity and you don’t have to grow anymore. There is nothing in or of this world that can compete with knowing God and who He is through Jesus Christ. You can’t have one foot in the world and one foot in the faith and be growing as a Christian. God doesn’t want us to be busy; He wants us to be fruitful! Take time to go from busy to fruitful…a place God intends for you to be. Be still and remain in His presence.
 
“You’re my place of quiet retreat; I wait for your word to renew me.” Psalms 119:114
 
Father, please help us to remember to make room for You in our dailey lives so that we can and be all that you created us to be for those who rely on us. Thank you for all that you do in and through us. In the mighty name of Jesus we pray, Amen
 
Sweet Blessings

Worthy Of Your Calling

By Georgia (Jo) Kent
 
“I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” Ephesians 4:1-2
 
How monumental is the command that we walk in a manner worthy of God. Stop and consider His divine perfection, there is nothing to equal Him! The good we do is God at work within us. It doesn’t matter if our calling is a stay at home mom, a wife or a career mom, the point is that we live worthy of whatever it is God has called us to be. It means being honorable and admirable at all times and telling the truth when a lie looks so much easier. It means saying no when everything within you wants to say yes and loving when you’d rather hate. It means giving God what you have and trusting Him for the rest and giving your time when it would be easier not to. It means being like Christ.
 
“With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12
 
Sometimes we dwell too much on our own weaknesses. It is easy to dwell on the feelings that we are unworthy. Unless we learn to look at ourselves like God looks at us, we will never reach the potential that He has for us. The devil bombards our mind, and he comes against us in every way and tries to condemn us and make us say bad things about ourselves. But we need to realize that we are a child of God and dearly beloved by Him. Therefore, walk worthy of His call. When discouragement comes, stand firm in your faith, and God will mold you into an instrument of His love to others.
 
“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15
 
God has called you to be a light of His love and forgiveness to a world locked away in utter darkness. Are you doing your best to walk in a manner worthy of the sacrifice that has been made for you, Holy, acceptable to God? If not, begin today by the renewing of your mind in Christ Jesus our Lord and begin to cultivate the life of faith in you. Abraham Lincoln wisely said, “It is difficult to make a man miserable while he feels worthy of himself and claims kindred to the great God who made him.”
 
Father, Please help us to be worth of our calling. Help our actions and words glorify You and point others to Your amazing love. Help us to lift up those around us and challenge those who know You to pursue Your heart more passionately. In Your Precious Name. Amen. 
 
Sweet Blessings

His Presence In The Darkness

By Georgia (Jo) Kent
 
“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
 
Do you need to know that the Lord has not forgotten about you? Are you desperate for a glimmer of hope in a world that seems to be falling apart? Are you in need of a light at the end of the tunnel? There is a world full of people who long for the safety and presence of Jesus but they need a beacon to guide them. God’s love shines constantly upon us, an ever-faithful Presence. When your faith walk seems dark and God feels far away, when darkness and pain arrive, the ability to recognize God’s presence makes an immense difference. The peace and presence of Jesus in your heart banishes fear, restores faith and lifts spirits.
 
“For it is you who light my lamp; the Lord my God lightens my darkness.” Psalms 118:28 NIV
 
Think about the difference between light and darkness and its relationship to God’s presence in our lives. While in darkness, we walk carefully. In the light, we walk in confidence. While the darkness gives us fear, light gives us security. Knowing that Christ is with us in struggle and darkness is one of the only reasons we don’t completely surrender to our fears and stop moving forward. There will come a time that you may find yourself sitting in the dark, remember that living in the light requires time in God’s Word and time in His Presence. Though the future looks bleak and the outcomes uncertain, there is peace in resting in the light of the Lord. It is in His light that we can find courage and strength to face tomorrow.
 
“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.” 1 John 1:5-6 NIV
 
Though the world may look bleak and the situations in your own life may be dark, remember that Jesus came to this world to bring hope where there was despair. Our Savior will come and bring light and cheer to our heavy heart. One of the greatest blessings we have to look forward to in Christ is the ability to dwell in a new heaven and earth with Him as our light. A place where we will no longer feel darkness surrounding us filled with pain, sadness and sin. We will see clearly because of the bright Presence of our Lord. When you find yourself in darknesss and at your lowest and you need hope, think of some other beautiful things accomplished in the dark: a seed in the ground, a baby in the womb…the Cross. 
 
Father, give us the faith to help us in our weakness. Help us trust in Your Presence when we face situations that overwhelm us. Help us to remember that You are here with us as our shield. In Your Precious Name.  Amen
 
Sweet Blessings

Misery Loves Company

By Georgia (Jo) Kent
 
“Let them be confounded and put to shame that seek after my soul: let them be turned back and brought to confusion that devise my hurt.” Psalms 35:4
 
In this life, we will face a number of injustices. Some that we bring down on ourselves. Some from the sin and wickedness in the world and even some from within the family of God. God places people in our lives for a variety of reasons. Some we may know only in passing and some we will become very good friends with.  Some people have insecurities and bring conflict  into our relationships. Some may be guilty of reading negativity in everything that others say to them. They may invent drama to fill their emotional release. This war with our mind is insecurities often caused by unsettled issues from our past. We have to learn how to avoid playing mind games with you own circumstances.
 
“The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.” Proverbs 12:26
 
God commands us to love one another. However, sometimes that requires loving from a distance. Not everyone that we meet is compatible with our personalities. One thing I’ve learned is that not everybody is going to like us. No matter how saved and loving we are, there is always going to be someone who will dislike us for any number of reasons. And yes, sometimes these people are the people we care the most about, people that we call our friends. This doesn’t necessarily mean that anyone is wrong or bad…just bad for each other. If you can not bring out the best in a friendship then you are probably going to bring out the worst.
 
“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.” Psalms 1:41 NIV
 
Pray for the people in your life that hurt you. Learn to love these people from a distance. Through God’s grace, one day you will realize that the hurt will start to fade away and begin to be replaced with love. Surrender all your concerns to God. Show grace and accept grace. If you find yourself in an un-healthy relationship, remember this…God often removes people from our lives to protect us. Think about that before you run after them!
 
Father, Help us to recognize which people are healthy in our lives and which ones to let go of. Reveal those who pretend to love us. Remove those who love to hate us, and protect us from those who wish to harm us. Help us to learn to love each other in our shared space. In Jesus Name.’ Amen.
 
Sweet Blessings

Take Heart

 By Georgia (Jo) Kent
 
“But now thus saith the Lord that created thee…He that formed thee…Fear not; for I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee.” Isaiah 43:1-3
 
Everyone goes through tough times during certain periods of their lives. As Christians, we know in our heads that God is working in and through those times. But often our emotions take over. Fear and worry may set in. Are you in a difficult trial today? Are you wondering how to go forward? It’s possible to be going through tough times and have peace in the midst of trials. When the winds of change begin to blow violently all around us we can choose to focus on our unchanging God. He has A perfect plan for our lives. We must believe deep in our hearts that God`s love for us is unconditional. He loves us no matter who we are or what we have done, and nothing we do will make Him love us any less than He does already. 
 
“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed…” 2 Corinthians 4:8-10
 
Have you ever been so upset you couldn’t pray? Maybe your mind was filled with panic and you couldn’t think straight. Sometimes we go through times in life when it feels like God Himself has pulled the rug right out from under us. Dazed and now on the floor, we look around and say, “What just hit me?” Our trials should lead us more and more to a trusting dependance upon God and His gracious favor towards us in Christ. God’s Word gives us a lot of encouragement to trust Him. God is omniscient, which means he knows your need even if you can’t express it. He always sees things clearly. When you go to him in fear or confusion, He wants you to depend on him and He wants to be your protector.
 
“In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” John 16:33
 
The next time something does not unfold as you expected or you are suddenly faced with an unforeseen and unpleasant change in circumstances, remember the constancy of God. By doing this, you will keep the disappointments, surprises, and interruptions of life in proper perspective. God is unchanging, and He is committed to keeping every promise He has made. So if there is a tough situation awaiting you today, go right into it with a heart full of faith knowing that God is going to act to deliver you from every trial and suffering in His perfect timing. 
 
Father, thank you for all that You have blessed us with this week. Thank you for providing peace in the face of anxieties. Fill each of us with Your sweet presence. Help us to always have greatful hearts. Help us to show Your grace to others in need. Protect and guide our every step with Your loving care. In your precious and Holy name. Amen 
Sweet Blessings

Remember the Good Past

by Kim McDougal

Bless (affectionately, gratefully praise) the Lord, O my soul, and forget not [one of] all His benefits. – Psalms 103:2 (AMP)

There’s definitely things in our past that we want to forget and some circumstances we do need to put behind us. But there are things done in the past by our God we should remember, especially when we’re in the midst of a battle or if we’re waiting on God for an answer to a long-awaited prayer. It helps build our faith to remember how the Lord delivered us in the past. And, it helps keep our focus on God and not on the situation. Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forevermore and it’s a wonderful thing for me to remember that when He helped me yesterday, there’s no reason to believe He won’t help me today.

Everyday has new challenges and our God is ready to handle them all. His mercies are new every day. You and I need a fresh, new anointing each day to deal with unforeseen circumstances. The Lord knows exactly what we need every second. If we go into our past to bring anything up, let’s bring up all the blessings, miracles, and answered prayers and nothing else!

A Gift Of Age

By Georgia (Jo) Kent
 
“I will be your God throughout your lifetime–until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you.” Isaiah 46:4
 
In our culture, aging is often viewed as some kind of disease that, if we ignore it and don’t talk about it might go away. Like we can somehow push back the edges of mortality. Growing old graciously should be one of your life’s goals. You don’t need to fear aging, or try to gloss over your uneasiness about approaching it. There is a reason we want to grow old gracefully: so that younger generations can observe the gracefulness in our lives which speaks of God’s power at work in us.
 
“Now also when I am old and grey headed, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come.” Psalm 71:18
 
What does age really represent? Days and nights spent living your life, coming through a myriad of experiences that sometimes seems so monotonous, only to be interrupted by life-altering surprises and unforeseen tragedies. Your age reflects years of collected wisdom. Your age also represents wonderful experiences. You’ve exchanged some of the energy of youth for them, but the older you become the more wealth you have in your treasure trove of memories.
 
“Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” Matthew 6:27 NIV
 
Mother Nature and Father Time may have brought you backaches, baldness and bifocals and probably a wrinkle or two. Your hair is changing color and your body is not quite so nimble. None of these things give you any less value! Time is the one resource that cannot be renewed. Life zooms by, so why carelessly waste your time worrying about the perils of aging? If you are still alive, God kept you around for a reason. Find out what it is, and then pour every day and every ounce of energy you have left into it. You can be ‘old’ at twenty-five and ‘young’ at eighty-five. Any measure of health and happiness enjoyed at any age is a gift from God. The memories you’ve made along the way are precious and priceless. Thank God for every year he’s given you. Live and love every moment of your life until He calls you home. It is called “A gift of age.” 
 
Father, thank you for all the years that you have gifted me with on your beautiful earth. I pray that my life has shown your goodness and love to others. I pray that my children will be blessed by my journey. Give me the grace to finish the race. In your precious Name. Amen
 
Sweet Blessings

Out Of The Darkness

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:18

There are so many Christians today that live in their painful pasts, shadowing the present that stands before them. Never moving forward for fear of falling backwards. Finding true freedom in Christ requires letting go completely of the past that binds us to the pain. Sadly, many of us aren’t able to do that. Though we know intellectually Christ has freed us, our memories haunt us, and we repeatedly revisit our past and all the things we did wrong. Some things we’ve kept to ourselves and pray that no one ever finds out. Some things have left us so damaged we cant see a way out. We tuck all the shame, pain and fears deep down inside our heart and pray that we can forget. When present events trigger a reaction in you that takes you back to that unhappy time and the pain returns, we forget we have been set free.

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV

Letting go of the past not only helps you to live your best life now, but also paves the way for future success. The past is gone, but every time you give thought to it you bring it back into the present moment and you loose sight of the way out. Unhappy or hurtful past events can bring heartache, depression, and destructive behavior into your life if you don’t learn how to release them and let them go. Whatever holds you hostage keeps you from enjoying a deeper, fuller relationship with Christ. Surrendering your past is not about dwelling on the things you did. It’s about putting it under the blood of Jesus and focusing on the One who looks beyond those things into your heart.

“But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14

Holding onto the mistakes and failures of our past stays with us and contaminates our future. To let go is to release the images and emotions, the grudges and the fears and the disappointments of the past that all bind our spirit. Peace of mind comes from living in the moment and not the past. We can’t focus our minds on Jesus and what He can do for us while we’re focusing our minds on our past and what we’ve done. Give your blessings the same amount of weight that you are tempted to give your troubles. Everyone has a past. The past can not equal the future unless you live there. By the grace of God lay your past mistakes at the feet of Jesus, walk into the light and begin a new life free of bondage to your past.

“Dear Father, help us to resolve any and all unresolved issues from the past and let go of any hurt, anger, grief, fears, and resentment. Help us to be free to fully live and fully love. Thank you for setting us free. in Jesus Name. Amen.

Sweet Blessings