Proverbs 31 Epilogue: The Church of Noble Character
10[b] A church of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Christ, the maker of heaven and earth, has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings Christ good, not harm,
proclaiming Truth all the days of her life.
13 The church seeks Jesus
and eagerly spreads the Good News across the land.
14 The church drinks in the knowledge that the Lord has done marvelous things,
she eats of the abundance of the Bread of Life.
15 The church is expectant while it is still night;
she provides food for her families and portions for those who come in need.
16 The church considers a field and buys it;
out of her sacrifices, she plants a ministry.
17 She sets about her calling vigorously;
the body of believers is strong for her tasks.
18 The church sees that her resources are profitably invested,
and her lamp stays lit as a sign of life to all who will come.
19 In her hand, the church upholds the teachings of Jesus,
invoking the Word, hiding it in her heart.
20 The church opens her doors to the poor
and extends her resources to the needy.
21 When calamity strikes, she has no fear for the body;
for the body is clothed in the righteousness of the blood of the Lamb.
22 The church puts to good use the wealth the Lord has provided;
she is a warrior armed with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and the left.
23 Wisdom is respected at heaven’s gate,
where Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father, interceding on our behalf.
24 She equips disciples with the truth,
empowered by the Holy Spirit.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she is renewed with the joy of salvation and redemption.
26 The church studies and imparts faithful instruction,
growing in wisdom, drawing others to Christ.
27 She repeals distractions, watching over her flock
and carries out the work the Lord has prepared in advance for her to do.
28 Her children grow in fear and wisdom of knowing the Lord;
the community also, and the church is praised:
29 “Many churches do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Slick campaigns deceive; hyped-up initiatives are fleeting.
Their shallow, worldly appeal is short-lived;
but a church whose outward fruit is a
manifestation of her faith and fear of the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her by joining in all that her hands have done,
and let her works glorify the Lord!