This proverb describes a family's appreciation for their virtuous (morally good) mother and wife:
Proverbs 31:28: "Her children arise up [stand up, showing honor and respect], and call her blessed [by God]; her husband also [calls her blessed], and he praiseth [praises] her."
According to Jim Delany, pastor of Salem Bible Church, verses 10-31 of this chapter of Proverbs [which describe the ideal wife and mother--see https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs%2031%3A10-31&version=KJV] tell us that "[t]he children of this noble woman learned about self-discipline, orderliness, diligence, endurance, sacrifice, giving to others, generosity, priorities, wisdom, kindness, honor, keeping the household in order, and many other valuable lessons of life by observing their mother over the years" and that "[s]he is blessed with wisdom, kindness, diligence, grace, generosity, selflessness, etc."
If you want to read the pastor's commentary, here's the link: https://www.salembible.org/proverbs-index/proverbs-31-index/proverbs-31_28/.
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Thank you, moms, for all that you do.
You are loved and appreciated.
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!
The Proper Way to Treat Others (Both Rich and Poor)
This is from a letter that the apostle James wrote to Jewish Christians, but it also applies to us:
James 2:1: "My brethren [brothers--perhaps, in this case, meaning fellow Jews and/or fellow Christians], have [you] not [or 'you do not have'] the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ [see Note 1 below], the Lord of glory [our glorious (wonderful, magnificent) Lord], with respect of persons."
James 2:2, 3, 4: "For if there come unto your assembly [to your church, as a visitor] a man [a rich person] with a gold ring, in goodly apparel [wearing expensive clothing], and there come in also a poor man [a poor person] in vile raiment [filthy and ragged clothing]; And ye [you] have respect to him [or her] that weareth [who is wearing] the gay [fine, brightly colored] clothing [see Note 2 below], and [you] say unto him [or her], Sit thou [you sit] here in a good place; and [you] say to the poor [person], Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool [sit on the floor]: Are ye not then partial in [among] yourselves [or 'are you not showing partiality, or favoritism'], and are [or 'have you not'] become judges of evil thoughts [by thinking that the rich person is good and the poor person is bad, as when we 'judge a book by its cover']?"
James 2:5: "Hearken [listen, pay attention], my beloved brethren, Hath [has] not God chosen the poor [people] of this world [to be] rich in faith [or 'to believe the gospel'], and [through salvation, to be] heirs of the kingdom [of heaven] which he [God] hath promised to them that love him?"
James 2:6-7: "But ye have despised [dishonored, insulted, shown contempt for] the poor. Do not rich men [people] oppress [overpower, overburden] you, and draw you before the judgment seats [or 'make you stand before judges' (as in court)]? Do not they [the rich people] blaspheme [speak irreverently or disrespectfully of] that worthy name [i.e., Jesus Christ, the Son of God] by the which ye are called [Christians]?"
James 2:8-9: "If ye fulfil [obey] the royal law [commandment of God] according to the scripture [referring to Leviticus 19:18 in the Bible, part of which says], Thou shalt [you shall] love thy [your] neighbour as thyself [yourself], ye do well [meaning that which is right] [see Note 3 below]: But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of [convicted by] the law as transgressors [i.e., you are judged to be guilty of breaking God's law]."
In God's sight, rich people are no better than poor people. Consequently, we should treat everyone the same.
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Regarding several phrases in the above verses, Albert Barnes said:
"Have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ - Faith is the distinguishing thing in the Christian religion, for it is this by which man is justified [made acceptable to God], and hence, it comes to be put for religion itself … The meaning here is, 'do not hold such views of the religion of Christ, as to lead you to manifest partiality to others on account of their difference of rank or outward circumstances.'"
(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bnb/james-2.html, "Verse 1")
"And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing - If you show him superior attention on account of his rich and gay apparel, giving him a seat by himself, and treating others with neglect or contempt. Religion does not forbid proper respect to rank, to office, to age, or to distinguished talents and services, though even in such cases it does not require that we should feel that such persons have any peculiar claims to salvation, or that they are not on a level with all others, as sinners before God; it does not forbid that a man who has the means of procuring for himself an eligible pew in a church should be permitted to do so; but it requires that men [all people] shall be regarded and treated according to their moral worth, and not according to their external adorning; that all shall be considered as in fact on a level before God, and entitled to the privileges which grow out of the worship of the Creator. A stranger coming into any place of worship, no matter what his rank, dress, or complexion, should be treated with respect, and everything should be done that can be to win his heart to the service of God."
(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bnb/james-2.html, "Verse 3")
"Ye do well - That is, 'if you fairly comply with the spirit of this law, you do all that is required of you in regulating your intercourse [interactions] with others. You are to regard all persons as your 'neighbors,' and are to treat them according to their real worth; you are not to be influenced in judging of them, or in your treatment of them, by their apparel, or their complexion, or the circumstances of their birth, but by the fact that they are fellow-beings.' This is another reason why they should not show partiality in their treatment of others, for if, in the true sense, they regarded all others as 'neighbors,' they would treat no one with neglect or contempt."
(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bnb/james-2.html, "Verse 8")
Being a "secret Christian" is not okay, because Jesus said:
Matthew 10:32-33: "Whosoever [whoever] therefore shall confess [acknowledge] me [Jesus] before men [human beings, people--or publicly] [in other words, whoever is not ashamed to tell others that he (or she) is saved, or born again], him [or her] will I confess [acknowledge] also before my Father [God] which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny [refuse to acknowledge] me [Jesus] before men [publicly], him [or her] will I also deny [refuse to acknowledge] before my Father [God] which is in heaven."
"Secret Christians" are discussed in the GotQuestions.org article entitled "Is it wrong to be a Christian secretly in order to preserve your own life?" Here's the link: https://www.gotquestions.org/secret-Christian.html.
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Note: If you want to become a born-again Christian but don't know what to do, please read one or more of the gospel tracts on the "Printable Gospel Tracts" page of my website: https://www.mansioninheaven.com/PrintableGospelTracts.html.
Referring to the plan of salvation, the apostle Paul wrote:
1 Corinthians 1:25: "Because the foolishness of God [i.e., what God does that is considered foolish by some people, such as allowing us to be saved (from hell) by faith, not works--Ephesians 2:8-9] is wiser than men [or 'exceeds the highest degree of human wisdom']; and the weakness of God [i.e., weakness as it may appear to us, such as when God's Son, Jesus, died on the cross to pay for our sins] is stronger [does more powerful things] than [the strongest] men."
God is not foolish or weak, but sometimes it may appear that way to us. We should never forget that God's wisdom and strength are far greater than ours.
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In his commentary on this verse, Albert Barnes said:
"Because the foolishness of God - That which God appoints, requires, commands, does, etc., which appears to people to be foolish. The passage is not to be understood as affirming that it is really foolish or unwise; but that it appears so to people - Perhaps the apostle here refers to those parts of the divine administration where the wisdom of the plan is not seen; or where the reason of what God does is concealed [hidden].
"Is wiser than men - Is better adapted to accomplish important ends, and more certainly effectual [effective] than the schemes of human wisdom. This is especially true of the plan of salvation - a plan apparently foolish to the mass [large number, majority] of people - yet indubitably [undoubtedly] accomplishing more for the renewing of people, and for their purity and happiness, than all the schemes of human contrivance. They have accomplished nothing toward people's salvation; this accomplishes everything. They have always failed; this never fails.
"The weakness of God - There is really no weakness in God, any more than there is folly [foolishness]. This must mean, therefore, the things of his appointment which appear weak and insufficient to accomplish the end. Such are these facts - that God should seek to save the world by Jesus of Nazareth, Who was supposed unable to save himself … ; and that he should expect to save people by the gospel, by its being preached by people who were without learning, eloquence [the ability to speak with persuasiveness], wealth, fame, or power. The instruments were feeble [weak]; and people judged that this was owing to the weakness or lack of power in the God who appointed them.
"Is stronger than men - Is able to accomplish more than the utmost might of man. The feeblest agency that God puts forth - so feeble as to be esteemed weakness - is able to effect more than the utmost might of man. The apostle here refers particularly to the work of redemption; but it is true everywhere. We may remark:
"(1) That God often effects his mightiest plans by that which seems to men to be weak and even foolish. The most mighty revolutions arise often from the slightest causes; his most vast operations are often connected with very feeble means. The revolution of empires; the mighty effects of the pestilence [a contagious and deadly disease]; the advancement in the sciences, and arts, and the operations of nature, are often brought about by means apparently as little suited to accomplish the work as those which are employed in the plan of redemption.
"(2) God is great. If his feeblest powers put forth, surpass the mightiest powers of man, how great must be his might. If the powers of man who rears [constructs] works of art; who levels [flattens] mountains and elevates [raises up] vales [valleys]; if the power which reared the pyramids, be as nothing when compared with the feeblest putting forth of divine power [i.e., relating to God], how mighty must be his arm! How vast [great, immense] that strength which made, and which upholds the rolling worlds! How safe are his people in his hand! And how easy for him to crush all his foes [enemies] in death!"
(Source: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bnb/1-corinthians-1.html, "Verse 25")
King David wrote:
Psalm 145:18-19: "The LORD is nigh [near] unto all them that call upon him [in prayer, for salvation and help], to all [people] that call upon him in truth [sincerely]. He [God] will fulfil the desire [answer the prayers] of them that fear him [referring to born-again Christians who love, serve, and obey him]: he also will hear their cry [for help], and will save them [from danger here on earth, and from hell when they die]."
This was a prayer to God, most likely from King David:
Psalm 119:105: "Thy [your] word [dear Lord, referring to the Bible, which is the written word of God] is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path [to guide my way, prevent me from being led astray (away from what is proper and desirable), and keep me safe]."
What the Bible did for the writer of this psalm, it can also do for us.