Songs and Praise
   

 
 
 

Less 228 A GODLY MOTHER - A TYPE OF THE BRIDE OF CHRIST

 
Proverbs 31:10-31;

Lesson 228 Senior Lessons

MEMORY VERSE:  "Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised" (Proverbs 31:30).

 

I The Qualities and Attributes of the Bride of Christ

1 Of rare, precious excellence, Proverbs 31:10; Isaiah 62:3; Deuteron­omy 32:10; Luke 12:32; 18:8

2 Trustworthy, Proverbs 31:11; II Kings 12:15; II Chronicles 34:11, 12; Nehemiah 7:2; Daniel 6:4; I Corinthians 4:2; Revelation 17:14

3 Faithful in that which is good, Proverbs 31:12; Luke 19:17; Hebrews 3:5; Revelation 2:10

4 Industrious, having willing, conscientious application to duty, Proverbs 31:13, 24; Romans 12:11; I Corinthians 4:10-12

5 Draws strength from God, Proverbs 31:14; Exodus 15:2; Psalm 46:1; 73:26; 84:5; 89:21

6 Diligent in service toward God and man, Proverbs 31:15; 22:29; Romans 12:6-8; Hebrews 6:10-12

7 Farsighted, Proverbs 31:16; Hebrews 11:8-16

8 Clad in spiritual armor, Proverbs 31:17; II Corinthians 6:7; 10:4; Revelation 19:7; Ephesians 6:13-17; I Thessalonians 5:8

9 Has good perception of the Word of God, Proverbs 31:18; I Corin­thians 2:9-16; James 1:22-25

10 Alert and watchful for her Lord's coming, Proverbs 31:18; I Thessa­Ionians 5:8; Matthew 25:1, 4-7, 9, 10

11 Full of charity and thoughtfulness of others, Proverbs 31:19, 20; I John 3:16, 17; II Peter 1:7; James 1:27; Isaiah 58:6, 7; Acts 20:35; Romans 15:1; Galatians 6:2; I Peter 3:8

12 Has confidence in God, Proverbs 31:21; Psalm 3:6; 20:7; 23:4

13 Clad in garments of righteousness, Proverbs 31:22; Job 29:14; Revelation 3:5; 7:14; 19:8; 21:2; Luke 15:22; Isaiah 61:10; Zech­ariah 3:4

14 Lives for her Bridegroom; her desire is in Him, Proverbs 31:23; Romans 7:4; II Corinthians 11:2; Revelation 19:7; Luke 14:33

15 The godly virtues are hers, Proverbs 31:25; Ephesians 5:23-27

16 Possesses an eternal hope, Proverbs 31:25; I Corinthians 15:19, 49-54; I Thessalonians 4:13-18

17 Abundant in the Spirit's fruit, Proverbs 31:26; II Peter 1:5-8; Gala­tians 5:22, 23

18 Evangelistic to those who are outside the fold, but still responsible for those who are within, Proverbs 31:27; Revelation 22:17; II Tim­othy 4:1-5; I Peter 5:2-4

19 Has the approval of God and man, Proverbs 31:28; Romans 8:16; Galatians 4:6, 7; Isaiah 62:5

20 Has a life that is above reproach, Proverbs 31:29; II Peter 3:14; II Corinthians 6:3; I Timothy 4:12; Titus 2:7-8

21 Does not depend upon her own works for her salvation, Proverbs 31: 30; Romans 3:20; 11:6; Galatians 2:16; Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 3:4, 5

22 Has all the Christian evidences, Proverbs 31:31; John 15:1-16; Colos­sians 1:10; Philippians 1:11

 

NOTES

For our Mother's Day lesson this year, this portion of the thirty-first chapter of Proverbs has been chosen. The question has been asked, 'Who can find a virtuous woman?' The qualifications of a virtuous woman are set forth in these verses. They picture the character of a woman of genuine worth. What a wonderful world this would be to live in if every mother brought her life to the standard of these verses!

An eminent writer of the past said that the mother of John and Charles Wesley literally fulfilled this Scripture. He had traced her life from her birth to her death and had never found her equal among the daughters of men.

In our own generation we have known one woman whose life stood high above the mothers of our day. She was Florence L. Crawford, the founder of the Apostolic Faith Work. Her life as a mother and leader has set a high standard and example for the mothers of this day. This thirty- first chapter of Proverbs was a favorite passage of Scripture with her. She used it much in preaching and teaching on the Bride of Christ.

The standards of this chapter have been applied to a woman; and we believe the spiritual meaning refers to the Bride of Christ, which means both men and women.

The New Birth

The first qualification for a virtuous woman and for memberships in the Bride of Christ, is the new birth, at which the heart is cleansed from sin by the Blood of Jesus. The Spirit of God quickens the soul and makes it alive. This is more than Just a decision to serve Christ. It is more than 'turning over a new leaf.' It is an experience wrought in the heart by the Blood of Jesus. Sin goes out and a new life begins. Without that experience of the new birth, sin will dominate the life and it will be impossible to live the high standard set forth in this chapter. With sin destroyed and the heart made pure, the soul starts on its upward climb toward the much­ sought-for prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Spiritual Virtues

Peter gives us some instruction on how to acquire many of these vir­tues. 'According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity' (II Peter 1:3-7).

Trustworthiness

'The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her.' Trustworthiness is a rare virtue today. How many of our men went overseas in the past war to fight for our country, and came home to find that the affection of their wife had been turned toward another man. The Bride of Christ is trust­worthy. Though Jesus tarries a long time, His Bride will remain true. He will have no need of spoil.

Willing Service

'She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.' There is nothing lazy about the Bride of Christ. Paul made tents and supported himself and those who labored with him. As he worked he preached Christ to those idolatrous people.

Many of our saints work all day and rush to get to street meeting in the evening that they might have the opportunity of telling the story of Jesus to the wayfaring men on the street. In every phase of our work the same could be said. Our musicians toil all day and in the evening use their talents to present the Gospel in music and song, a willing offering unto the Lord. When our missionary vessel, the Lower Light, goes on its missionary trips with its crew of workers, every one of them works. There are no 'idlers' on board. There are many other avenues of service that are also filled by willing servants of Christ. The sick are visited, kind words are spoken, literature and tracts are printed and distributed personally or through the mails, the church taken care of that it might be clean and in­viting, to name but a few of the long list.

'She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar.' She feeds on the Heavenly Manna. Jesus told His disciples one day that He had meat to eat that they knew not of. While the disciples were away buying meat for dinner, He sat on Jacob's well and told a thirsty soul about the Water of Life.

The person who is constantly drawing his spiritual food from Heav­en is ready, day or night, to arise and minister to the sick, the poor, or whatever the need may be. 'Thy words were found, and I did eat them' (Jeremiah 15:16).

Fruitful Field

The Bride of Christ is ever on the lookout for a fruitful field for the Gospel. When she finds fertile soil, she considers that field and buys it. She maketh fine linen and selleth it that she may have money to buy that fruitful field. Then she goes to work to plant a vineyard. She labors un­tiringly to build a church and establish the Gospel in that fruitful field. She girds her loins with strength; and though the enemy may come in like a flood, she has strength to combat the powers of hell.

Winds of Adversity

'She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her house­hold are clothed with scarlet.' Ill winds may blow, adversities may come; but she is prepared for them. She has been constantly building her faith to meet the hard problems of life. There is no fear in her heart. She can sing songs in the night; for she knows that all things work together for good to them that love the Lord.

Wisdom and Kindness

'She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.' Possibly this is the most distinguishing excellence of all her virtues. How few have attained unto it. You are a blessed man or woman if this can be said of you. It can be, through the grace of God.

'Helpmeet'

'Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.' She has honored and respected her husband and has done him good and not evil all the days of her life. She has fulfilled that for which she was created — a helpmate to man. 'A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband' (Proverbs 12:4).

In this same way does the Bride of Christ have all her desire in Christ. The holiness of God, exemplified in her character, draws people to respect and honor the Christ.

Loving Tribute

'Her children arise up, and call her blessed.' All over our land on this day, children are paying loving tribute to their mothers. If they have godly mothers, they have received a heritage worth more than silver or gold or houses and lands; and they feel that no gift would be too lavish to bestow upon her. Unfortunately, many children have no such heritage. The past half century has witnessed a great departing of many mothers from the clean, modest, virtuous' life, to that of drinking, smoking, and reveling. The effect of that kind of life is seen in their children and in too many young people of today. The old adage, 'The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world,' shows the influence that is wield­ed when sin abounds or when righteousness reigns.

Vain Beauty

'Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain.' Many women deck them­selves with the ornaments of this world, trying to appear beautiful to people; but inside, the heart is deceitful and desperately wicked. Man looks on the outward appearance but God looks on the heart. A woman who possesses true religion has a grace that brings harmony to the soul, puri­fies and refines all tempers and passions, and gives her that ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

 

Praises

The Bride of Christ is looking forward with joy and yet with humble gratitude to the commendation she will receive when she meets her Lord in the air. The fruit of her hands, the talents gained, the life she has lived, will 'praise her in the gates.'

          'Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.'

 

QUESTIONS_

1 Who does this virtuous woman represent?

2 What is her price?

3 Where does she get her food?

4 How does she plant a vineyard?

5 Why is she not afraid of the snow?

6 With what ornaments does she deck herself?

7 What is said in our lesson about beauty?

8 Who praises this virtuous woman?

 
   
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