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

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

Honor Your Parents

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“…Honor your father and mother.” This is the first commandment with a promise: If you honor your father and mother, “things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.” Ephesians 6:1-3

Parents… They give us the gift of life, love us, and care for us. Loving us when we are unlovable; faithfully, unconditionally, never asking for anything in return. Today, we see less and less respect and honor shown towards our elders in families everywhere.

God included the responsibility for honoring one’s parents in the Ten Commandments. There were no exceptions listed, even if your parents were terrible, this is still God’s Word to you. As long as one’s parents are alive, the responsibility to honor them remains. Think about this: God himself promises that if you will honor your parents you will have a long and blessed life. What a promise! Regardless of your age, consider your responsibility to honor your parents. We need to learn from Scripture what God means by “honoring” our parents, so we can honor our parents and be blessed with a long and fruitful life.

“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” Exodus 20:12

The temptation in life, especially in young and middle adulthood, is to get so busy with life that we take our parents for granted. But instead of taking them for granted the scriptures teach us its time to begin investing our time in them just as they invested their time in us. There are a lot of acts of kindness you can perform but just spending time with them is first on the list. Honoring your parents is not just speaking politely to them, or telling others that they are great parents. If your parents have needs, you should help them. In this way, according to Jesus, you are showing them honor.

“Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching, for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck.” Proverbs 1:8-9

Take a moment to look at the way you are treating your parents. This means in thoughts and deeds. Not just how you act towards them when you are around them, but also examine your thoughts, how it is you think and feel about your parents in your heart. Examine yourself closely and see if there are any changes that need to be made to line your life up with God’s word. If changes in attitude are needed, then ask God to help and begin to make those changes today. Reality for many of you is that you have parents that do not treat you very well; nonetheless, you are still called by God to respect your parents. By respecting your parents even when you do not feel they deserve your respect, allows God to work on your behalf because you have been obedient to his word.

Remember that if you sacrifice one thing for them, they will sacrifice another million for you. Keep that in mind and you’ll love them even more. Call/text/email things to them often, make them a part of your world. Show them that you value them and care. Parents love nothing more than talking to you. One way to start following the command is to pray for them daily. Finally, just love them a little bit more every day! You too will stand in their shoes one day.

Father, thank you for the gift of children. I pray that as my children grow older they will also grow in their desire to seek after You and obey your commandments. Keep a humble heart in all parents toward their children, and children towards their parents. In your name Lord, Amen.

Sweet Blessings

Joy Comes In The Morning

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.” Psalms 5:3

One of the most valuable spiritual habits that I am cultivating in my life is morning prayers. I have to admit that in the beginning it wasn’t so easy. While my spirit was wiling, my flesh was not! Once I made the commitment to talk to God each morning I quickly realized that He was already waiting for me for our special time together. I would wonder ‘How do I pray? What should I ask for? I realized that everything that God wanted me to pray for was suddenly present in my mind. There’s something about morning prayers that are different then other times of the day. Prayers don’t have to be eloquent or perfect in any way. It’s simply a conversation about what’s in your heart. Begin with praising God. You will be amazed how easy and rewarding this can be.

“Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!” Psalms 95:2 NIV

There is only one problem with this commitment to Morning Prayer. You know that you’re going to get Satan’s attention when you wake up talking to the Lord everyday and he is going to do everything in his power to interrupt your prayers. Prayers are a conversation between your Heavenly Father and You and believe me when Satan is involved ‘three’s a crowd,’ you know when you are talking to your children and you tell them “Now, look at me” you know, with the two fingers pointing at your eyes? This is a time for talking to God without distractions.

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16 KJV

Make a commitment to pray every day; start by establishing a specific time. Mornings are great; that’s what David chose, but choose any time that will work for you. Keep at it even if you miss a few times in the beginning. We are told that doing any activity for three straight weeks makes it a habit. The prayer habit is a very good one to have. Just think; God is already in the habit of listening for you. Shouldn’t you be in the habit of giving him something to listen to? Who doesn’t have a multitude of things to pray for? There is a beautiful promise in scripture that “whatever you ask of the Father in My name (Jesus speaking), He may give to you.” John 15:16. Wake up having a conversation with God each morning; it will fill your heart with joy and make a monumental difference in your life.

Father, thank you that your mercies are new every morning. Implant Your word in my heart. Let it take root and grow. Let it flourish and thrive. Let it change my desires and my thoughts from the inside out. Let it be alive and active, guiding my steps and directing my path. In Your name Lord, Amen.

Sweet Blessings

Serve The Lord With Gladness

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“Clap your hands, all peoples! Shout to God with loud songs of joy. Psalms 47:1

Have you ever wondered why the birds sing so joyfully in the morning? How they flit and flutter from tree to tree, landing just long enough to release their sweet melodies calling their mates or reassuring their little ones. These beautiful melodic sounds greet my ears and settle down deep in my heart, simple, yet comforting. It’s at times like these that I am reminded of how precious my Fathers love for me is and how his presence fills my soul with such joy and gladness. And my heart is filled with a deep abiding love and gratitude.

“Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.” Psalm 100:2

Don’t you just enjoy being with happy people? People that always smile and greet you with a kind word? Someone who speaks positive words that lift you up and makes you feel like you can make it through another day, no matter what challenges that comes your way. As apposed to someone who has a permanent frown that constantly complains and never has anything positive to say. They talk about themselves [or others] and how difficult their life is or how someone else did something that offended them. How do others see you? Do you present yourself as a happy child of God? Do you always greet others with a smile and kind word? Or do others seem to shy away from you?

“For thou, LORD, hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the works of thy hands.” Psalm 92:4

True joy is that overwhelming sense of comfort and contentment that floods one’s soul. It comes with dwelling in the presence of the Heavenly Father. Learn to serve the Lord with gladness, not with a frown, not out of habit, not even out of the feeling of duty, but serve Him with a joyous heart. To serve Him is a privilege; one that we should never take lightly for it is only by His mercy and grace that we even have the opportunity to serve such a Holy, Mighty, Awesome God!

Father, I love you and desire to serve You with gladness and a song in my heart all day long. Please remind me when I am overwhelmed by life’s situations that You are ever present to fill my heart with joy. Help me to always share your love with others. In you precious name, Amen!

Sweet Blessings

Attitude Of Gratitude

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” Hebrews 13:15-16

Nothing promotes health of body and soul more than a spirit of gratitude and praise. It is a positive duty to resist melancholy, discontented thoughts and feelings; as much a duty as it is to pray. If we are heaven-bound, how can we go as a band of mourners, groaning and complaining all along the way to our Father’s house?

Do you have an attitude of gratitude? Do you remember to say thank you to God whenever He does something for you; answering a prayer, sending a friend to comfort you, helping you solve a problem creatively, or granting you wisdom? Naturally it isn’t difficult to give thanks when blessings are being showered on us. But the Bible says to give thanks in everything. How do we give thanks when trouble is overwhelming us? Hebrews 13 discusses giving a “sacrifice of praise.” Praise becomes a sacrifice when we thank God in times of trouble.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:5-7

Gratitude goes deeper than thanksgiving. It says that I have my priorities in order. That I love the One who blesses me even more than His blessings. When you are depressed, make a list of your blessings; it will change your focus. Choose to fill your mind and thoughts with your blessings. Feeling an appreciation for those blessings can change the way you feel and brighten your spirit during difficult times. Having a grateful heart during tough times is a tremendous testimony to others of God’s grace. As believers we always have something to be thankful for. Through the gift of His Son, Jesus, we have a loving relationship with God that will last forever. His mercies are new every morning, and we have the assurance of knowing we are never alone.

“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love is eternal.” Psalm 136:1

Ask God how He can use you to make a difference in the lives of others. Although our needs may have multiplied, there are many who lack even the basic necessities. Our God will guide and provide if we are willing to serve. There are life-lifting benefits of an “Attitude of Gratitude. So with hearts filled with gratitude and contentment, let’s not forget the gracious gifts of the Most High God.

“Gratitude is an offering precious in the sight of God, and it is one that the poorest of us can make and be not poorer but richer for having made it.”

Dear Father, thank you for all the many blessings you give to me every day here on earth. Please give me a thankful heart and may I remember your Word that reminds me to give thanks in all circumstances. Gratefully in Jesus’ name. Amen.”

Sweet Blessings

God’s Amazing Grace

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” Ephesians 2:4-5

Grace…unmerited, boundless, free. Our Fathers amazing gift of grace. What joy to enter the covenant of grace! More than we deserve and greater than we imagine. Our faith teaches us that grace can only come from God and is only made available to us through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. It is completely unmerited and totally undeserved.

“For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.” Romans 6:14

It’s both a mystery and a miracle to me that each day, God causes the sun to rise on the good and the evil. He does not separate them. He allows His grace to shine on both. Each year, He brings rain to the righteous and the unrighteous. He does not distinguish between them, but rather God refreshes it all. It’s a wonderful way of applying grace to an undeserving world full of undeserving people.

We will never do everything perfectly while we’re here on this earth, there will always be room for growth. Learning to live a grace filled life requires us to look at others and extend the same spirit of grace that God extends to us. If we don’t live grace filled lives we are treating God’s grace, love, kindness, mercy and patience with contempt. It’s like saying to God, “I only value You when it applies to me.”

“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” Ephesians 2:4-5

The best way to know which areas of your life you need to focus on is not to compare yourself with others, but to slow down a bit and allow the Lord to speak into your life regarding areas that need attention. Some of the best ways to do that is to spend time daily in the Word. Read, pray, and listen to the still small voice of God. Let His word transform you today so that you may share God’s amazing grace with others.

Heavenly Father, May we live grace filled lives that extend grace and love to others. May we be patient, kind and merciful to those who see differently then we do. Help us to be shining examples of your amazing grace. In Your precious name, Amen

Sweet Blessings

Table Talk

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:6-9

Busy, busy, busy! Many families today are on the go, so much so that it’s hard to get everyone around the dinner table long enough to share a meal, let alone hold a meaningful conversation…

Can you picture a family sitting around the dinner table with every family member present? No one is working late, playing soccer, on their cell phone, computer, or watching TV. The entire family has made this dinner time a priority. After enjoying the meal and pleasant conversation, everyone lingers at the table for family devotions. They are encouraged by reading from God’s Word, sharing their thoughts about it, and praying together. They are bonded to one another and each person relishes the security of belongingand knowing they are loved and valued.

“Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” 1 Corinthians 10:31

The dinner table is a great time for family devotions and good conversation. Dinnertime provides an opportunity to connect over food while having joyful, meaningful and faith-building conversations. Jesus often shared transforming truth with his disciples during meals together. As Christians, we should make the most of meals and share not only food, but also the life of Jesus. Slow down and take time for meals with family and friends, praying for each family member everyday. God might be saying something life-transforming during your family dinners. The rewards could truly be eternal.

Lord, thank you so much for the meals that you always provide for us but more importantly, thank you for your living word that feeds our soul. Help us to create time and a seat at our table for Your loving presence. We give you constant praise, Amen

Sweet Blessings