Jesus is Anointed in Bethany

We spent most of the day sitting and listening to Jesus teaching.  We were in Bethany for the day.  A man named Simon, who had previously had leprosy, invited Jesus to his house for dinner.  The dinner was held in Jesus’ honor.  Martha served, Lazarus, the disciples and we were among those who were present.

We were eating our dinner and conversing about day to day events.  As we were talking, Mary, Martha and Lazarus’ sister, came in and knelt at Jesus’ feet.  She had a twelve-ounce alabaster jar of perfume.  She opened the perfume and poured it over Jesus’ feet wiping it with her hair.  The house was filled with the beautiful fragrance.

I know we have seen this before.  I completely understood why Mary did this.  She and Jesus were very close.  Mary spent many hours just listening to Jesus, taking in everything he said.  I too, am like Mary, I want to spend every waking hour with him.  Martha was always busy in the kitchen, baking, serving and cleaning.  She talked to Jesus in between her busyness, and she thought Mary was lazy for not helping her.  Martha was not wrong with being busy, it was where her heart was at the time. I have learnt busyness is okay as long as it doesn’t trump my time with Jesus.

Mary was very upset when Lazarus had died.  She poured out her heart to Jesus.  Of course, we know Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead.  He is here eating with us. She was beyond grateful for Lazarus’ new life. She had her brother with her again.

The disciples, again, became angry.  They didn’t understand what Mary was doing or why.  I guess it’s because they are men and they don’t understand our emotions, but nevertheless, they started scolding her.  Judas Iscariot shouted at Mary and said, “What a waste!  The perfume could have been sold for a high price and the money given to the poor!”

Judas Iscariot didn’t care much about the poor.  He was known for being a thief and even though he was in charge of our finances, he was often known for stealing some of our money for himself.

True, the bottle of perfume was very expensive, a luxury which came from far away Asia.  Usually these types of perfumes were given as a family heirloom which was not to be sold but prized and saved.  It was kept in an alabaster jar to preserve it.

Mary gave everything valuable to Jesus today.  She poured out her all in an act of worship and honor.  Why couldn’t the disciples just leave her alone?

Jesus looked at the disciples with a look a father gives his children when they misbehave.  He said to them, “Why are you fussing about what this woman is doing for me?  You will always have the poor with you, but you won’t always have me.  She has poured the perfume on me to prepare my body for burial.  This woman’s deed will be remembered wherever the Good News is preached.”

I thought, “Well, that told them. They should be rejoicing in what Mary has done.”

Then I thought about what he said again.  He said, “She was preparing my body for burial.”  Does this mean his time for his death is coming soon?  I surely hope not.  I have learnt so much from him.

As I was in mid thought, people came flocking in to see Jesus and Lazarus.  They had heard the news Jesus was there and they wanted to see both him and Lazarus who was raised from the dead.  The leading priests in the area came in as well and I overheard them talking about killing Lazarus as well as Jesus!  They said it was because of Lazarus’ resurrection many people deserted their traditions to follow Jesus.  They could not have this happening.

I began to worry about Jesus and his safety.  I prayed that God would protect Jesus and keep him safe.


*The perfume Mary used is worth approximately $15,000!

*This type of perfume was usually offered on the specialized incense altar in the tabernacle.

For further study:

Matthew 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9; John 12:1-11

Temple Cleansed

Today and the remainder of this week are devotions from my book 42 Days with Jesus, from Mary Magdalene’s eyes. They are about the final week of Jesus’ life on earth.
The entire city of Jerusalem was in an uproar as Jesus entered. They asked each other, “Who is this?”
The crowds who followed Jesus replied, “It’s Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth.”
Jesus entered the Temple and saw people selling and trading animals for sacrifices. He walked in and sent the people out. He was very angry because of what they were doing. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those who sold doves.
Jesus looked at all of them and said, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves!”
The money changers were not happy but they left with their things. The ones who were selling the animals just took them outside the Temple in the streets.
Jesus got upset with the disciples when they didn’t catch what he was saying or when they complained about the woman who anointed him. However, this was a different anger I had ever seen with Jesus. He was not messing about in his Father’s house. This place is supposed to be holy and treated as such. I could not believe these people made it into a local market.
After the merchants left, Jesus began teaching again. Blind and lame men came to him and Jesus healed them. Jesus always had compassion for those who were less fortunate or struggled with illnesses and diseases.
Children were singing in the background as Jesus was talking to people and healing them. The priests and rabbis were getting upset about this. The children were singing “Praise God for the Son of David.”
I love listening to children singing. They are such a joy. They know Jesus is the Son of God. They know he is Lord. They were singing with such fervor whilst we were quiet around the crowds.
I wish I wasn’t afraid to sing out praises to my Lord when others were around. These children were teaching me to be unashamed in my praise.
The leaders asked Jesus “Do you hear what these children are singing?”
“Yes,” Jesus answered. “Haven’t you ever read the Scriptures for they say, ‘You have taught children and infants to give you praise.’”
The leaders again were fussing and planning a way to kill Jesus. I was really concerned about Jesus’ safety. But Jesus didn’t seem to care what the leaders thought or said. He always spoke firmly to them.
I would have thought these leaders would have been happy that Jesus sent the money changers out of the Temple, but no, instead, they were complaining about the children. What is wrong with these people? Maybe they allowed the merchants to be in the temple. The Pharisees were just as crooked as the money changers.
I wish they could see Jesus for who he really is. I wish they could understand he truly is the Son of God who loves them, this is why he kept challenging them on their behavior. He truly wanted them to change, to love our Father and to love our neighbor as themselves.
For now, I am going to join the children in singing about wonderful Jesus is. His praise will ever be on my lips. He truly is the Son of God. He is worthy of my praise! Hallelujah!
For further study:
Matthew 21:10-17; Mark 11:12-18; Luke 19:45-48; Isaiah 56:7; Jeremiah 7:11; Psalm 8:2


Brokenness and Healing ©

Colorful panes of glass


Across the floor.

Many pieces

Telling a story

Of a soul.


Sharp edges


To the marrow.

Words spoken

Tearing apart











Hating self

Takes its toll.


Let go.

Put it in the past.

Move on.

Much easier said than done.


Healing is a



Given daily

Until the hurt is gone.


Sunbeams shine through

Broken pieces restored.

Some days are good.


Other days…

Tears stream down

The cheeks

Longing for wholeness,




Scars scratched


Lines from the edges


A constant reminder

Of pain and strength.


Not knowing

What each day will bring

I lay down

These pieces

At Jesus’ feet

“Your will be done.”



One day I will see

These pieces

Put together,

My life,

God’s masterpiece.


Written March 10, 2020


Servanthood- following our Master Jesus Christ ©

Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave-just as the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. -Matthew 20:26-28

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus; who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.  And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-even death on a cross. – Philippians 2:5-8

The world’s definition of a servant is to find out what their Master says do and then do it.  The biblical truth of servanthood is different.  We are the clay and our Heavenly Father is the potter (Jeremiah 18:1-6).   First, the clay has to be molded.  The clay must be responsive to the potter, so the potter can make any instrument of his choosing.  Then the clay must do something else, remain in the potter’s hand.  When the potter has finished making the instrument of his choosing, that instrument has no ability to do anything whatsoever. Suppose the potter molds the clay into a cup.  The cup needs to remain in the potter’s hands, so the potter can use that cup in any way he chooses.

This is an idea of what true servanthood is about.  When we come to God has his servant, he first wants us to allow him to mold and shape us into the instruments of His choosing.  Then he can take our life and put it where he wills and work through it to accomplish his purposes.  Just like a cup cannot do anything on its own, we do not have any ability to do the commands of the Lord except being where he wants us to be.

We must be two things: 1 be moldable and 2 remain in the Master’s hands.  Then the master can use us as He chooses.  Even Jesus could not do things himself. “Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does” (John 5:19).

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

If God is working within us, we can do anything that he can do through us.  Servanthood requires obedience.  Jesus had to do what his Father told him to do, he could nothing without God.  We must do what we are asked to do by God and remember it is not us doing it, but the power of the Holy Spirit (see Zechariah 4:6).

God does not shout out orders and expect us to jump and do them.  He wants us to be in relationship with him.  Then he wants us to respond to him, allow him to hold us, break us from our selfish ways, mold us into what he wants and then he can do whatever he wants through us.

We are a “doing” people.  We always want to be doing something.  Occasionally someone will say, “Don’t just stand there, do something.”

However, I think God is crying out and shouting to us, “Don’t just do something.  Stand there!  Enter into a love relationship with me.  Get to know me.  Adjust your life to me. Let me love you and reveal myself to you as I work through you.”

A time will come when the doing will be called for, but we cannot skip the relationship.  The relationship with God must come first.   Without God we can do nothing.  God wants us to come to a greater knowledge of him by experience.  He wants to establish a love relationship with us.  He wants to involve each of us in his kingdom purposes.  He wants to accomplish it through us. Are we willing to be servants?“Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be.  My Father will honor the one who serves me” (John 12:26).

I was actually quite surprised at the meaning of servant in this passage of scripture.  I like most would think that this would be like a bondservant and following whatever God our master wants us to do.  Actually, the word “servant” here means ministers and deacons; God wants us all to be ministers and deacons.  If we are to serve him, we must be willing to follow him.  We must be willing to be wherever God is.  If God places us somewhere may it be in a supermarket or the town center or even in our homes, we must be serving him.  We as Christians are supposed to reflect him in everything we do and say.

When God is about to do something through us, he has to get us from where we are to where he is. So, he comes and tells us what he is doing.  When we know what God is doing, we know what we need to do.  We need to join him.  We cannot stay the way we are if we are to go with God.  We will be changed.

Think about the clay, it cannot be changed on its own.  It has to be held, shaped and molded.  We are the same way.  We must be willing to give our all to Jesus and allow him to hold us, break away the impurities, shape and then mold us to what he will us to be.  When we get to the point of him deciding what he wants to make us and what he wants us to do, then we will be able to serve him wherever he is.

What is God saying to us?  We are a serving people. We love to “do.”  But for a bit God wants to stop, reflect, rededicate ourselves, and seriously give ourselves to Him.

Are we trying to change ourselves into what we want?  Are we trying to work our way into Heaven?

God wants us to stop and reflect on our relationship with him.  He wants us to rest and allow him to hold us close to him.  God wants us to trust him, place our lives into his hands, allow him to mold and shape us into his image and then go back out and work. Just like the Sabbath and how God took time off to rest, we must take a Sabbath from time to time to rejuvenate ourselves in his care!!!!  Even Jesus took time off to pray and to rest.  Remember, he could do nothing without God.  He even had the Holy Spirit descend upon him after his baptism and spent 40 days fasting just with God, before he began his ministry.  What does that tell us?

We cannot serve without God!  We cannot serve without his presence in our lives.


  1. To be a servant of God, we must be moldable and remain in the Master’s hand.
  2. Apart from God, we can do nothing.
  3. God can do anything through us, we just have to allow him to take control!
  4. When we find out where the Master is, then we will know where we need to be.
  5. We come to know God by experience as we obey him and allow him to accomplish his works through us.

Today, spend time with God. He is saying to us, “Don’t just do something.  Stand there!  Enter into a love relationship with me.  Get to know me.  Adjust your life to me. Let me love you and reveal myself to you as I work through you.”  Untitled design (15)

Trusting God ©

Trust is something I have struggled a lot with in life, especially with people.

However, I know I need to trust God in all things despite what is going on around me. The devil plays with my mind with worrisome thoughts. Especially with the “what ifs?” or “what about?” questions and scenarios. Have you ever been there?

I know there are many verses in the Bible about trust. I am good at finding and quoting them. I am learning to have the knowledge of the verses go from my head to the realization of truth in my heart.

I think we all struggle with this problem. We know the truth. Jesus says we will know the truth and the truth will set us free (John 8:32). Knowing the truth and standing firm with no fear because it is ingrained in our hearts is another thing. Oh, how I long for His truth to penetrate my heart when it comes to trust.

God has never failed me yet. He has always come through for me. He answers prayers. God does not let me down. So why is it that trust is such a difficult thing for me and for you?

I think it’s because we are trusting in someone we cannot physically see. Hebrews 11:1 says this is what faith is: “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”

Also, when someone hurts us, trust can be a difficult thing, and we tend to place that distrust for others onto God. Sometimes, God doesn’t do what we want him to do and we blame him for the circumstances we are in. He doesn’t heal us or a loved one we have been praying for. He doesn’t provide the money we want. He doesn’t give us the friend or spouse we wanted. He doesn’t open our wombs so we can conceive. He doesn’t give us everything we want or desire.

What I have learned through the years is God gives us what is best. He knows our hearts. He knows our desires. God wants us to trust him knowing that he will fulfill his will for our lives. It’s not our will, but his will.

Trusting is not manipulating God. We cannot tell God what to do and get upset when he doesn’t. God is not Santa Claus or a genie which we can ask him to do anything and everything for us.

Allowing trust to not just be a matter of the head but allowing our hearts to believe, to have confidence and assurance about what we do not see, is to allow God to be God and realize we are not. God wants to have full control of our lives. He wants us to surrender our “what ifs?” and “what abouts?”. He wants us to stand firm on his word to “demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV).

The enemy attacks our minds and gets us so wrapped up in what could be. However, if we allow our hearts to trust God, not just our minds, then we will be able to stand firm on God’s Word. We can trust and know God will do what he says he will do. God is who he says he is.

I am choosing to trust God with my heart, not just my mind. Nahum 1:7 says, “The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him.”

God says to us what he said to the Israelites in captivity, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9).

David says, “Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:3-4).

I declare with the psalmist, “Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul” (Psalm 143:8).

Trusting God may not be easy, but I know it is worth it.  I close with a poem I have shared before, but it says what my heart (not my mind) says to God. God bless you all…


Still, I Trust You ©

I may not always feel Your presence

I don’t usually understand

I struggle with doubt

But no matter what, I still choose to trust You.


Some days I feel alone

The darkness seems to be closing in.

Frustrations rise, questions go unanswered,

But no matter what, I still choose to trust You.


No one said it would be easy…

Being a Christian.

But why the padded answers,

So many try to give?

No matter what, Lord, I still trust You.


I remember the words that I have hidden in my heart

I sing familiar songs

But nothing compares to Your presence.

Please stay here with me,

Carry me through,

I cannot keep on going,

If I don’t have You.

Lord, I choose to trust You.


I will praise You despite how I feel,

I will trust Your way is best.

I will not forget

All You have done for me.

You promised You will never

Leave nor forsake me.

However, when those doubts arise,

Please help my unbelief,

Help me to always trust You.


God’s Love Song to You ©

My beloved, I love you

More than words can say.

Before I created you,

I knew you by name.

I have a plan, a plan to prosper, not harm you.


Take my hand and walk with me.

Give me your heart, soul and mind.

Let go of everything.

Let me be the Lord of your life.

I will fill you with my Spirit.


Give me your time.

Sit with me awhile.

Tell me your dreams, your worries and your cares.

I will listen.

I will not condemn.

I am here as your friend.


I will shelter you in the storm,

I will keep you safe and warm.

I will laugh and cry with you.

You are my love,

I cherish you.


You are my beautiful, radiant bride.

I have a place waiting for you.

I love you, more than words can say.

My beloved,

I love you always!

The Church-Christ’s Virtuous Wife/Conclusion ©

As the bride of Christ, we need to have him as the first and foremost in our lives. He is our husband and we are his bride. He is the head of the household and we are to submit to him. This comes through faith. We need to let go of anything that can come between him and us.
“It is easy to die for Christ. It is hard to live for him. Dying takes only an hour or two, but to live for Christ means to die daily. Only during the few years of this life are we given the privilege of serving each other and Christ . . . We shall have heaven forever, but only a short time for service here, and therefore; we must not waste the opportunity” (Sadhu Sundar Singh).
We need to take care of our family, the body of believers within our congregations. When we are faithful to them, we are able to reach outwards to our community bringing them into the fold. The body of Christ needs to grow. If we want the church to grow, we need to reflect Christ in everything that we do.
“The true man of God is heartsick, grieved at the worldliness of the Church . . . grieved at the toleration of sin in the Church, grieved at the prayerlessness in the Church. He is disturbed that the corporate prayer of the Church no longer pulls down the strongholds of the devil” (Leonard Ravenhill).
Prayer is the key in the Church to go where Jesus wills us to go. Prayer is communication between us and God. It is vital to the health of the Church. There cannot be a relationship without communication. Studying God’s word, gathering together in worship and testifying to his grace are also important to the growth of the Church.
The Church begins with each of us individually having Christ as our cornerstone. If we are not growing in our personal daily relationship, we can harbor a divisive spirit that can hinder the work of the Spirit within the corporate body. If we want God to bring restoration and revival to the Church, we need to be in daily communion with Jesus and in tune with the Holy Spirit.
The devil would love to destroy us. We need to have our spiritual armor on ready to take our stand against the enemy’s schemes. In knowing who we are in Christ we have the authority to bind up the enemy. Jesus is Lord and will have the last say, sending the devil to spend eternity in hell. Jesus has won the victory. Let’s walk in it and live it! There is a reward for us in heaven if we are but faithful to him. Keep marching forward in the fight and let us be found as Christ’s virtuous wife.

The Church- Christ’s Virtuous Wife/Rewards for the faithful ©

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.”

Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,

But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.

Give her of the fruit of her hands,

And let her own works praise her in the gates.

(Proverbs 31:28-31)


The winner for the Miss Universe pageant is…  Women from around the world have spent hours, months, even years preparing for this moment.  The dresses, speeches, and talents had to be picked, practiced, and perfected.  How many really do remember the name of the one who won the pageant?  They are often forgotten as time passes by.

Mother Teresa, Catherine Booth, these are names that have become a part of our psyche.  Why do we remember them but not the ones who have put forth all the effort being the most beautiful and talented woman in the world?  They possess a beauty that goes farther than outward appearances.  “For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.  For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.  For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.  For beautiful hair, let a child run her fingers through it once a day.  For poise, walk with the knowledge you’ll never walk alone” (Author Unknown).

These women did just that.  Their legacy will live for generation after generation.

In the Bible several women made a difference in how they lived and they each received a reward for their faithfulness. We can learn from them.  Rahab, Ruth, and of course Mary are just a few others.  Rahab was a prostitute who kept the spies safe in her house when they were sent into Jericho.  She hid them when the authorities tried to find them.  Because of her obedience, she and her family were spared when the walls of Jericho came down.  Everyone else in the city was killed.  She also became part of the lineage of Jesus.

“Now Joshua the son of Nun sent out two men from Acacia Grove to spy secretly, saying, ‘Go, view the land, especially Jericho.’ So they went, and came to the house of a harlot named Rahab, and lodged there. And it was told the king of Jericho, saying, ‘Behold, men have come here tonight from the children of Israel to search out the country.’  So the king of Jericho sent to Rahab, saying, ‘Bring out the men who have come to you, who have entered your house, for they have come to search out all the country.’ Then the woman took the two men and hid them. So she said, ‘Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they were from.  And it happened as the gate was being shut, when it was dark, that the men went out. Where the men went I do not know; pursue them quickly, for you may overtake them.’  (But she had brought them up to the roof and hidden them with the stalks of flax, which she had laid in order on the roof)” (Joshua 2:1-6).

“By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace’ (Hebrews 11:31).

Ruth had lost her husband in a famine and moved with her mother-in-law Naomi, despite her pleas to go back to her home town (Ruth 1:1-15).  “But Ruth said: “Entreat me not to leave you, or to turn back from following after you; for wherever you go, I will go; and wherever you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God, my God” (Ruth 1:16).  Because of her loyalty, she was remarried to Boaz and became a part of the lineage of David and Jesus.  “So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife; and when he went in to her, the Lord gave her conception, and she bore a son. Then the women said to Naomi, ‘Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a close relative; and may his name be famous in Israel! And may he be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you, who is better to you than seven sons, has borne him.’ Then Naomi took the child and laid him on her bosom, and became a nurse to him.  Also the neighbor women gave him a name, saying, ‘There is a son born to Naomi.’ And they called his name Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David” (Ruth 4:13-17).

Mary, the mother of Jesus, was a teenager but she was faithful to God and found favor with him.  She was visited by an angel who told her that she would conceive a child.  Imagine what she must have thought.  She questioned the angel to how this could be possible when she had not had any sexual relations especially since she was only betrothed and not yet married. (Luke 1:26-38).

These women did not have fortune or fame.  They may not have even been the most beautiful, talented women in history.  Yet they possessed the one thing that God wants from his children, a heart that is devoted to him.  He doesn’t care what we look like or what talents we have, though they could be useful for the building up of the Church.  He is interested in our hearts.  He will pour out his blessings upon us and we will be known as his children if we follow after his heart.

“A Christian is a mind through which Christ thinks, a heart through which Christ loves, a voice through which Christ speaks, a hand through which Christ helps” (Anon).  If we honor Christ in our hearts, he will be honored by our lives.

If we are willing to surrender our everything, the blessings will be found in our everyday life. The greatest reward will be the time spent in eternity worshipping at his feet, when the enemy has been made his footstool and we will dine with him at the wedding feast.  “And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, ‘Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!  Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.’  And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he said to me, ‘Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’ And he said to me, ‘These are the true sayings of God.’ And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, ‘See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Revelation 19:6-10).

We need to remember who we are in Christ.  We are a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people called out of darkness into His marvelous light. We have royal blood in us.  We are princes and princesses.  When we were saved, we became heirs to the Kingdom of God.

What an honor!  Rahab was honored by having her family spared in the fall of Jericho.  Ruth was honored by being able to remarry.  Mary was honored by being the mother of Jesus Christ. We are honored by being called God’s children!  We have been adopted into His family.  We will also have the honor of being at the wedding feast when he returns.

If we remember who we are, then wearing the clothes of righteousness will be our desire.  We will be humbled and Christ will be exalted.  We will become nothing and Christ our everything.


The Church- Christ’s Virtuous Wife/Clothed in Righteousness ©

She is not afraid of snow for her household,
For all her household is clothed with scarlet.
She makes tapestry for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
Her husband is known in the gates,
When he sits among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them,
And supplies sashes for the merchants.
Strength and honor are her clothing;
She shall rejoice in time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom,
And on her tongue is the law of kindness.
She watches over the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
-Proverbs 31:21-27
When asked who the greatest influence in their life was, most would say their mother. A mother takes care of the household, raising the children, and working, whether it is in the home or outside the home. “I remember my mother’s prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life” (Abraham Lincoln).
The woman portrayed in this portion of scripture is a mother and a wife who takes care of her household, and herself. She works to raise money. Strength and honor clothe her. When she speaks, others listen because she is a woman of wisdom. She pleases her husband and is his glory. He is known throughout the city gates. The elders of the land respect him.
The wife reflects her husband’s leadership in the family. They are one in body and in spirit. She carries herself in a way that makes him proud. She is his right hand. The wife’s duty is to take care of her husband and to nurture the family. She is to be kind and teach her children the ways of the Lord. She is to speak good things from her lips, not gossip or slander. When others see the way she lives, they see a reflection of her husband as the head of the household.
Christ is the head of the household known as the Church. The way we live is a reflection of our relationship with him. “We are called to passionately embrace our God at every turn, through every minute, and in every way possible” (Author Unknown).
The more we are in relationship with God, the more we will reflect him in everything we do. We will be busy working for the Lord. It will come naturally. We will not worry what comes against us; we know that our hope is in Christ. He is our shield, our protection. “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust.’ Surely he shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday” (Psalm 91:1-6).
Strength and honor are attributes of the Holy Trinity. “Honor and majesty are before him; strength and gladness are in his place” (1 Chronicles 16:27). If we are in right relationship with him, strength and honor will clothe us. We will want to do everything and anything to please him. “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. and those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another” (Galatians 5:16-26).
We are to die to self and be alive in Christ – to mirror Christ. Our words should uplift, not tear down. The letter of James teaches us a lot about the tongue. We need to be careful about everything we say because we can never take our words back; “Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so” (James 3:5-10).
What we say reflects what is in our hearts. We have a choice of how we speak – positively or negatively. Others can tell a lot about us by our words. We can ask God for wisdom to take control of our tongues. God wants us to bless others not curse them. He wants us to speak truth not gossip. Would we share the same gossip or negative words with Jesus?
“Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do” (Colossians 3:12-13). God wants us to be positive and encourage each other. We cannot show others tender mercies or kindness if we are slandering them.
Who are we reflecting, ourselves or Christ? “I think that most Christians would be better pleased if the Lord did not inquire into their personal affairs too closely. They want him to save them, to keep them happy, and to take them off to heaven at last, but not to be too inquisitive about their conduct or services” (A.W. Tozer).
Oh, Church, why are we so afraid? If we want others to see Christ, we must reflect Christ in everything we do and make him known. Let us let go of ourselves and be totally changed and radical for him!

The Church- Christ’s Virtuous Wife/Love for others ©

She extends her hand to the poor,
Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.
(Proverbs 31:20)
They are our next door neighbors, friends, and those we pass by daily. They live payday to payday. Food is scarce and clothing is tattered. Some say they need to work harder and stop being lazy. But they do work, they struggle trying to make ends meet.
There is a great need. People are hungry. People are lonely. There are children without parents. They are homeless. What are we doing about them? Are we eager to point the finger? Or are we willing to stretch a hand?
Everyone knows The Salvation Army, Food Banks, Goodwill, and other agencies are a helping hand to the poor. However, what about us as individuals? Are we willing to help those who are less fortunate? Are we personally willing to give up our own food so someone else can eat? Are we willing to give our clothes and shoes to someone who has none? Are we willing to give of our tithes in order for the work to go on?
As the Bride of Christ, we are to be willing to help the poor and the destitute. The Founder of The Salvation Army, William Booth, wanted to make sure that they were taken care of. He stated, “While women weep as they do now, I’ll fight; while little children go hungry, as they do now, I’ll fight; while men go to prison, in and out, in and out, as they do now, I’ll fight; while there is a drunkard left, while there is a poor lost girl upon the streets, while there remains one dark soul without the light of God, I’ll fight- I’ll fight to the very end!”
God calls us to reach out. When we are spiritually alive, we can reach out to the lost and downtrodden. They will see Christ in us and they will want to be a part of our church. We may never know who we are reaching out to. A familiar contemporary Christian song asks the question, “Who will be Jesus to them?”
Jesus talks about this: “Then the King will say to those on his right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you took me in; I was naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you visited me; I was in prison and you came to me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and take you in, or naked and clothe you? Or when did we see you sick, or in prison, and come to you?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me’” (Matthew 25:34-40).
The more we love someone, the more we become like them. Christ wants us to be more like him. We will give to those in need as he gave. This corresponds with the commandments Jesus gave; “Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22:37-40).
God must be first and foremost in our lives, then our family, then the church.