Proverbs 31 12-31-20

We could consider 2020 a bust, but God uses everything in our lives to teach us and to grow us. Recognizing His hand is key.

11 Her [The Wife of Noble Character] husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value [not only material goods, but integrity and stature, as well].

There are other examples in the Bible of people with noble character:

  • Joseph was a person of integrity. He was loyal to whatever master he served, first Potiphar (Genesis 39:2-6)–twice, actually, if we count his refusal of Potiphar’s wife’s advances (Genesis 39:11-12), then the prison warden (Genesis 39:21-23), then Pharaoh himself (Genesis 41:41-44), then to his wife, Asenath (Genesis 41:45, 50), and then to his family (the rest of Genesis).
  • Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were men of integrity. They were loyal to the LORD in defiance of King Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 3).
  • Daniel was a person of integrity. He, too, was loyal to the LORD in defiance of King Neb’s decree, but loyal to King Neb at the same time (Daniel 6).

God is the same way. Philippians 1:6 tell us that “we have confidence in this, that He who began a good work in us will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus [either He returns, or we go to be with Him individually].”

Concerning this past year, how are we to view it? For the right viewpoint, let’s turn to Philippians 3:13-14.

13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

  1. We’re not there, yet, so don’t get impatient (my problem!). Sanctification (becoming like Jesus) is a process that will take every day on this earth, and then some! Enjoy the process with Him.
  2. Forgetting means “to set aside.” We don’t allow memories (especially of past offenses) to color our decisions today. God “remembers our sins no more” (Hebrews 8:12), so we should do the same–even our own!
  3. Instead, let’s strain toward what is ahead, which is Christ-likeness. And, the best way to become like Him is to know Him intimately (we’ll get to that in a minute).
  4. The goal to which we press is this: “…a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day–and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing” 2 Timothy 4:8.

How do we know Christ intimately? First, we consider loss the “gains” of this world (Philippians 3:7). Second, we make knowing Christ Jesus our Lord the ultimate–and ONLY–goal of this life (Philippians 3:8). Third, we recognize that our righteousness comes only through our faith in Christ (Philippians 3:9). And fourth, we desire to know Him in His resurrection, which are the powerful and glorious times, and His sufferings, which are the difficult and painful times (Philippians 3:10).

Christ lives in us.
We live in Christ.
Knowing Christ is all.

We have our marching orders. Let’s count on the Spirit to give us first the desire and then the power to do it!

Abba, as I look back on this year, I see in myself victories and defeats. But, I also see You walking alongside me giving me encouragement, instruction, and Your wise counsel. Thank You for Your faithfulness! I look forward to this next year being more of the same, but hopefully in bigger strides. Amen.

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