12/31/Th – Worthy of Praise

2 Kings 20:1-21; Acts 21:18-26; Psalms 150:6; Proverbs 31:25-31

Proverbs: “Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord will be praised.” (‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭31:30‬ ‭CSB)

The last chapter in Proverbs is described as advice given to King Lemuel from his mother. Tradition suggests that Lemuel was Solomon, but no one knows for sure who King Lemuel was. The name Lemuel means “for God,” so this was a king for God. This proverb of advice from a mother to her son describes the importance of finding a virtuous and godly wife. If Lemuel was indeed Solomon, how sad – for Solomon ignored this advice and destroyed his legacy through multiple marriages to ungodly wives. The world always measures a person’s worth through their outward appearance. With women, that measurement of worth is oftentimes focused on charm and beauty. Lemuel’s mother advised to look past the external charm and beauty, and instead, look at the heart. Growing up in the Southern United States, I’m familiar with charm that is deceitful. Southern culture is all about appearances. Southern people are known to be charming to your face, but then tear you apart when your back is turned. External beauty doesn’t last forever, unless it is sustained by a beauty from within. It’s the law of first-things-first. If you pursue secondary things (charm and beauty) while forsaking primary things (a heart that fears the Lord), you will eventually lose everything – but if you pursue primary things, you will have both primary and secondary things in abundance. That describes my wife. She is someone who has pursued primary things as long as I have known her – and because she she has a heart that desires to please the Lord first and foremost, she has charm and beauty in spades. Therefore, my wife is worthy of praise: beautiful and full of grace, through and through.

Psalms: “Let everything that breathes praise the Lord. Hallelujah!” (‭‭Psalms‬ ‭150:6‬ ‭CSB)

As we close out this year – a year like no other, one things I can say for sure is that the Lord is good and faithful. Our family has weathered challenges this year, but by the faithful grace and goodness of God, we came to the end of the year better off than when we entered it. We had many disappointments, weeks of isolation, a temporary furlough, 4 months of reduced salary, friends and family getting sick, etc. But through it all, as we trusted in the Lord, He sustained us and allowed us to abound like never before. The Lord is truly worthy of my praise… and I praise Him. I have also heard wonderful testimonies through the year of how the Lord sustained and provided – sometimes miraculously – for others as well. So as we close out this year and begin another, I echo the words of the psalmist: “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!”

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