Find Revolutionary Hope in the Book of Ruth

Photo by Joel Henry

Photo by Joel Henry

I wanted to look at just chapter one of Ruth for this post.

You can’t help but see Naomi’s side of things in this chapter. After all, Naomi and her family leave Israel due to a famine. They stay in Moab and Naomi’s husband dies. She and her sons stay there and the sons take Moabite wives. After ten years both sons die. The three women are left as childless widows. Finally, Naomi, feeling totally broken and abandoned by God, decides to go home. Both daughters-in-law tell Naomi that they will go back with her. Naomi tells them to go home as she cannot marry and have sons for them to marry. Orpah goes home. Ruth clings to Naomi and goes back with her.

Well, that’s a summary of chapter one and it certainly seems to be about Naomi and her family, but as I am often reminded, our salvation journey is not about us. We certainly benefit from our salvation, but it’s about Jesus getting the glory.

So let’s take a look at this same chapter from Ruth’s viewpoint:

  • Ruth sees a new family move to town

  • Ruth watches this family suffer a loss of the father

  • Ruth marries into this Jewish family

  • Ruth gains a new sister (in-law)

  • Both Ruth’s husband and her brother-in-law die after ten years

  • Ruth is just a devastated as her mother-in-law and sister-in-law (left as childless widows)

  • Ruth watches her sister-in-law, who professed her loyalty to Naomi, leave and go home

  • Ruth professes her loyalty to Naomi and Naomi’s God

  • Ruth leaves her family and country behind as she follows Naomi back to Israel

While Elimelech and Noami sinned by seeking refuge from the famine in the midst of God’s enemies, God used their time there to bring Ruth, a Gentile, into the Kingdom of God and into to lineage of Jesus! There Naomi was thinking that these hardships were all about her and yet, God was using them to bring Ruth to Himself for His glory.

I know that hope must have been difficult to see in the middle of the terrible hardship these people were enduring, BUT GOD is HOPE and is always ready to give us His HOPE which comes with His Salvation.

How have you seen God move in your life after you realized a situation wasn’t about you, but about God? Leave a comment below.

Daring to Soar in Confidence

Photo by Dane Deaner

Photo by Dane Deaner

I dare say many of us are plagued by a lack of confidence, at least from time to time.

Why is that? As children, and adults, we are told by someone or another something that hurts. And it’s so much easier to believe negative things than positive, especially about ourselves.

But true confidence should not come from what people say about us. True confidence comes from what Jesus says about us.

Keep in mind that I’m talking about confidence, not arrogance. We both know there’s a significant difference between the two.

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:14

You were fearfully and wonderfully made, handcrafted by the Master Creator. That means you were created special for a specific purpose in mind.

No matter what the circumstances of your birth or life up to this point, you need to know that you were created by the Creator of the world and you have a reason -a purpose- for your life! That my friend should give you confidence.

As a believer in Jesus Christ, you are:

  • a child of the King of kings

  • a friend of God

  • loved

  • saved for a purpose

  • called by name by your Saviour

The confidence that comes from knowing and believing who you are in Christ truly comes from knowing Whose you are. You see, the reality is that in and of ourselves, we are unworthy sinners, BUT GOD loved us (you and me) and in salvation He chose to make us HIS.

So confidence should not be based on what you can do or positive self-talk, but confidence is who you are in Jesus Christ.

Just to give you a full picture of what the confidence of Christ looks like…

  • love,

  • joy,

  • peace,

  • patience, 

  • kindness,

  • goodness,

  • faithfulness, 

  • gentleness,

  •  self-control

Of course, we know this is the fruit of the Spirit as found in Galatians 5:22-23.

This year, as you make your plans be ever ready to flex as the Holy Spirit directs, dare to soar in confidence - the Confidence of Christ.

Leave a comment below about how you have found confidence in Christ!

True Love Part 3

True Love (3).jpg
The Birth of Jesus Christ
2 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration when[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed,[b] who was with child. 6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.[c]

The Shepherds and the Angels
8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”[d]

15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

21 And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
— -Luke 2:1-21 ESV

I just LOVE the Christmas story! Every year we see Christmas plays and nativity scenes; albeit less than in days gone by. The focus is always on Baby Jesus, as it should be.

This week as we prepare for the Christmas celebration, let’s think about the first Christmas account found in Luke chapter 2.

A young virgin girl, Mary, found favor from God. She was chosen to raise and care for His Son on this earth. I think of this through “rose-colored glasses”. It must have been so awesome to know that you’re son is THE Son of God, THE long awaited Messiah. How special and blessed Mary must have felt, right?

But with that blessing came great hardship. Mary wasn’t married, yet. In that day and time, you could be stoned to death for that. Her reputation was severely tarnished to say the least. And so was the reputation of her husband-to-be since he kept her. (We know God’s angel came to him, like Mary, and explained what was going on.) But their families didn’t know what we know, nor did their friends or onlookers.

People are the same-just the times are different. If folks will talk about you and look down on you now, they would then, too. So we can surmise the pain Mary and Joseph must have went through as vessels that God chose to do such a miracle through.

Don’t you know that Mary must have dreamed of being a mother and what her home would be like and the nursery she would have when the first little one came? But that’s not how it happened. During her first pregnancy she was scorned by society and then gave birth in a barn. Jesus cradle was not hand crafted by Joseph, but was a strangers feed trough.

But God, (my favorite phrase in the Bible) delivered another miracle in the barn. Angels went to shepherds (strangers) who then came to celebrate Jesus! Mary and Joseph must have been shocked at the men coming to their baby’s birth. But what a confirmation of obedience! Scripture says “But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.”

I’ll just bet she did! What LOVE the Father has for us to send His Son to be our Saviour! And what love the Father had for Mary and Joseph to demonstrate such a confirmation of His word at one of the hardest times of their lives (up to that point).

Where can you see the love of God in your life? If you think you can’t, look deeper! God loves you and gave His only begotten Son so YOU could have eternal life. He is pursuing you right now. Why don’t you say “Yes” to that free gift of salvation, today.