Thoughts on Ruth

In Sin

She was a Moabite. She lived her own way apart from God and oblivious to Him.  She thought lifewas fine.

A Different Life

She meets this guy from Judah, a man of God. Something is different about him and his family. She marries him.
Conflict and Decision

Her father-in-law dies. Then her husband dies too. Now her mother-in-law is trying to making her goback to her own family and her old way of life.She decides to go where ever Naomi goes.

Servanthood Begins

She accepts Naomi’s God as her own.  She serves Naomi. She is a companion, friend, daughter and servant to Naomi.

God’s Providence

The two travel back to Jerusalem, where Naomi is well known. It’s harvest time, so Ruth goes to glean grain for food.  She happens across Boaz’field. He is a close relative of Naomi.

Redemption

Naomi is excited to hear about Boaz.  He can be their redeemer to buy back their land and providefor them.  But there is another relative even closer than Boaz.

Inheritance

The closer relative declines the offer to be the redeemer for fear of losing his own inheritance.

Saved

Boaz steps up, redeems the land and marries Ruth. Ruth and Naomi are cared for again.

Father, thank you for calling us out of sin, showing us a different life, giving us opportunity to turn, andallowing us to serve others.  Thank you for your provision, redemption in Jesus, our inheritance in you. Thank you for saving us from a life apart from you. In Jesus’ precious name we pray. Amen.

© Elizabeth Marks, founder ThinkOnIt Bible Ministries Inc, a 501(c) (3) Public Charity, has a heart to encourage and equip you with God’s Word.


All That You Say To Me I Will Do

Read Ruth 3

And she said to her “All that you say to me I will do.”

If ever there was a statement of faith and obedience this is it.  Ruth, a Moabite, had left her land, and her relatives to go with Naomi, her mother-in-law, to the land of Judah.  She puts complete trust in her mother-in-law and her mother-in-law’s God.

What does it take for you to follow through with anything? Some need to know everything will work out as planned. Others may do a certain thing, if they know they will receive something in the end.  Precious few follow through because it is what God wants.

Can you say to God, “All that you say to me I will do?” For God has told us His desire, that we love Him, walk humbly before Him and follow His ways.  As the story of Ruth shows, blessings follow obedience.  Without faith it is impossible to please God.  With faith, obedience will follow.  With obedience blessings follow.

Whether you are seeking love, forgiveness, protection, or provision it is found through faith in God.  When we are obedient to His ways, He blesses us with what we need.

Father the One of infinite abundance, you love us. Thank you for wanting to bless us.  Help us trust you more with each passing day.  May obedience to your ways become nature to us.  Give us desire for you. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

© Elizabeth Marks, founder ThinkOnIt Bible Ministries Inc, a 501(c) (3) Public Charity, has a heart to encourage and equip you with God’s Word.

A Picture of Love, Mercy, and Grace

Read Ruth 2
It’s barley harvest time when Naomi and Ruth arrived in Judah.  Ruth asks to go glean in the fields.  Naomi allows her to go.

While gleaning, Boaz takes notices of Ruthand asks who she is.  He finds out how she cares for Naomi.  Boaz tells Ruth not to gointo any other field, but to stay in his field.   Boaz and Ruth share a meal together. Boaz instructs his men to let Ruth glean and to purposefully drop grain for her.

Ruth returns to Naomi, who asks where did you glean today?  Ruth answers in Boaz’ field. Naomi praises God for His kindness.

Did you notice how obedient Ruth was to Naomi and Boaz?  Can you see God’s care, protection, and provision to Ruth through Boaz? Do you see Naomi’s guidance, instructions towards Ruth? Notice how blessings seem to follow obedience?

Ruth had love, mercy, grace, compassion for Naomi. Ruth leaves her own relatives to stay with Naomi,her mother-in-law. Ruth moves to a new country with Naomi. Ruth provides for Naomi. Ruth’s life is not her own by choice. She purposefully sacrificed her life for Naomi’s sake.

Is that not a beautiful picture of what Jesus hasdone for us? Jesus had mercy on us. He left heaven to live on earth. He chose to live with humans rather than with God.  He sacrificed His life for our sake.

Father you are so wonderful.  There are no accurate words to describe your worth.  You are amazing in your love, mercy, and grace.  Thank you for filling us with your spirit that we may extend your love, mercy, and grace to others as you have given to us. In Jesus’ mighty name we pray. Amen.

© Elizabeth Marks, founder ThinkOnIt Bible Ministries Inc, a 501(c) (3) Public Charity, has a heart to encourage and equip you with God’s Word.

Even When Its Dreary God Is With Us

Read Ruth 1
There was a famine in the land, so Elimelech and Naomi moved to Moab to provide and protect his family. We don’t know whether this was hisown will or God’s will.

While in the foreign land, Elimelech dies leaving Naomi in a worse state than before the move.  Now she’s on her own with her two sons who both married women from Moab. But then both her sons die also.
Naomi heard the Lord visited His people by giving them bread, so she decides to return to land of Judah.  She tells her daughter-and-lawsto return to their own family.  Oprah leaves. But Ruth stays with Naomi.

Ruth declares “your God will be my God, your landwill be my land” and the two head back to Judah. Ruth committed her life to Naomi’s God and to Naomi herself.  Ruth sacrifices her own comfort, support,and family so she would be able to comfort, supportand encourage Naomi along the way.

When they arrive, the whole city was excited to see Naomi. Naomi says call me Mara for the Almighty dealt bitterly with me.  I went out full and came back empty.  But it happened to be the beginning of barleyharvest when they got there, which shows you how God provides.

Father God above, how great you are.  Even if we take a wrong turn you graciously receive us back. Thank you for bringing others into lives to encourage us when we go off course.  Thank you for providing for us every step of the way. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

© Elizabeth Marks, founder ThinkOnIt Bible Ministries Inc, a 501(c) (3) Public Charity, has a heart to encourage and equip you with God’s Word.

Love Bears All Things

Love is patient.  Patience is the ability or willingness to bear things. What kind of things do we have bear? We bear lots of things, like hardships,  temptations, wrongs done against, suffering, trials, physical or financial problems, and many other things.

Bearing hardships is difficult.  But it helps to remember God uses all things for good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes (Romans8:28).  If you are steadfast is following God, even when there are hard times God will use it for good some way.  We might not know how, but God is faithful and will carry it out for His good purposes in your
life.

Bearing temptations is challenging too.  It helps to know the source of our temptations.  The Bible tells us we have three sources of our temptations:  (1) Satan, (2) the world, and (3) our selves.  As God is not the author of temptation, we can rest in His guidance.  God always makes a way out so we are able to bear it.  No one is ever tempted beyond what they can handle (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Bearing the wrongs done against us is hard.  It’s difficult to be patient when things are not going our way.  It’s helpful to remember our
way is not important, but God’s way is.  Ask yourself whether this current slight against you is would still be remembered 100 years from now. It probably wouldn’t be, so don’t waste anytime harboring bitter feelings over it. Jesus taught the disciples to forgive others 70 times 7, as if to say we should always forgive.  Bearing the wrongs through forgiveness is what love does.

Lord Jesus, thank you for bearing with our weaknesses.  Thank you for your Spirit to enable us to bear all things as you do.  In your name we pray, Amen.

© ThinkOnIt Bible Ministries Inc. Written by Elizabeth Marks.

Having Increased Faith

Read GENESIS 22:1-14

Let’s look at what real faith looks like.  First characteristic is we are moving on and no longer content with little faith. We move our gaze from ourselves and put it onto the Lord. We reach for greater faith. We start by becoming students of God’s Word, with a compelling desire to experience the Lord’s presence, develop greater intimacy with Him, and be conformed to Christlikeness.

A second characteristic of deeper trust is a heavy reliance on the Holy Spirit, evidenced by the habit of looking to Him before making decisions. A third trait is the willingness to wait on God and take Him at His word. The Lord commended the centurion for his strong convictions—trusting in the person and character of Jesus, the soldier believed Christ’s words were all that was required. (Matthew 8:5-10)

But there is an even higher level of faith—a perfect one—where unbelief is cast out and only trust in God remains. Abraham displayed flawless confidence when God commanded him to sacrifice Isaac. Little faith would never have cut any wood or saddled donkeys to make the trip for the sacrifice. Great faith would have traveled as instructed, believing in God to work things out, but may have balked about putting Isaac on the altar. Complete faith will act as Abraham did— believing what the Lord had assured him, yet nonetheless carrying out the divine instructions that appeared to contradict the promise.

The Holy Spirit stands ready to help you reach the next level of faith. Let that be the prayer of your heart.

Father God Almighty, you are author and finisher of our faith.  Help us grow in your likeness and be complete in You. In Jesus’ name we pray Amen.

(c) ThinkOnIt Bible Ministries, Inc.

Jesus Shows Kindness

Read John 4:1-26

In Jesus’ day there was a well-known fact Jews and Samaritans did not socialize together. Another part of that time and tradition was the fact
Jewish men did not openly speak to a woman in public. With those two things present, it would have been quite easy for Jesus to bypass Samaria on His journey.  No one would have thought twice about it.

But Jesus is different. John 4:4 says “But He needed to go through Samaria.” In going to Samaria,Jesus is showing the world there is no reason for the barrier between these two races.  He demonstrates kindness to the people of Samaria by purposely going there.

While He was there resting at the well, He strikes up a conversation with a woman.  Not just any woman but an outcast, despised, lonely, and sinful woman.  Jesus shows kindness to her and elevated her value in society, when He spoke to her.  He considered her important by virtue of spending time speaking to her when no one else would.

Jesus demonstrated that both Samaritans and women should not be treated as though they were some contagious disease, something to avoid or steer clear of, but as real people with real needs.

Are there people you are avoiding?  Show some kindness today.  Strike up a conversation with someone you wouldn’t normally talk to.

Lord Jesus, thank you for the many ways you demonstrate kindness to us. Today Lord, we thank you for the example you have given us in the book of John.  Help us to see people as you do with real needs and feelings just like us.  Help us break down the barrier keeping us from connecting with them.  In your name we pray Amen.

©ThinkOnIt Bible Ministries Inc. Written by Elizabeth Marks.

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