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.

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.

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.

Humility – How Not To Obtain It

For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 14:11 NKJV

Jesus taught us many things as He went from place to place.  One time He was invited to a wedding feast and as He watched the guests arriving and finding their seats He told this parable in Luke 14:7-12: So He told a parable to those who were invited, when He noted how they chose the best places, saying to them: “When you are invited by anyone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in the best place, lest one more honorable than you be invited by him; and he who invited you and him come and say to you,‘Give place to this man,’ and then you begin with shame to take the lowest place.  But when you are invited, go and sit down in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes he may say to you,‘Friend, go up higher.’ Then you will have glory in the presence of those who sit at the table with you. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Jesus’ teaching is practical and simple.  His instructions are straight to point out exactly what’s wrong – pride, self-promoting, exalting self.  He is clear on how to change – humble yourself.

When we choose to fight, strive or desire recognition,appreciation, honor and respect, we are exalting our self.  Jesus said “For whoever exalts
himself will be humbled.”  This I know from personal experience.  My life before I knew Christ was all about me, therefore, I had to be humbled.  Let me tell you it is not good, but painful to be humbled.

However, we have a choice. We can choose to humble our self. Look at the last part of what Jesus said “and he who humbles himself will be
exalted.”  Again, I tell you from my own experience, when I stopped trying “to make it happen” for myself, others beginning praising and honoring me, to which I reply by giving God the glory.

So that’s the challenge today.  Get our eyes off our self.  Focus on Jesus and His power working in us.  Watch how others react when we are no longer self-proclaiming but others oriented.

Lord Jesus, thank you for coming into our lives and straightening us out. Thank you we no longer need to strive for honor, because in you we have honor. Teach us humility by allowing others before us.  In your name we pray. Amen.

© ThinkOnIt Bible Ministries Inc. Written by Elizabeth Marks.

Do You Think Contentment is a Learned Mindset?

What we allow our mind to think about eventually plays out in our life.

Let me give you two examples: When I focus on all that is not right or doesn’t fit with my plans, I turn into a disgruntled person.  Blaming others, pointing out flaws, and complaining about everything become normal actions.  But when I focus on all God has done for me, how He saved me from hell, restored my marriage, and renewed my heart, I turn into a humble, grateful, and pleasant person.  Joy fills the heart and mind.

Thoughts lead to action.  Therefore contentment begins in the mind.  Renewing our mind is a daily challenge.  One must be diligent in providing a constant stream of good, right, and pure thoughts. Jeremiah tells us “the heart is desperately wicked.  Who can know what?”  Jesus tells us “out of the heart springs forth the issues of life”.

Where do the good, right, and pure thoughts come from?  Not from us.  God’s word is the only source of good, right, and pure war thoughts.  God’s thoughts are higher than ours.  His ways are better than ours.  Romans 12:2 says to be transformed by the renewing at our mind so we will know the good, acceptable and perfect will of God.

Paul urges us in Philippians 4:8 to meditate on what is true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praise worthy.  If our thoughts are fixed on God’s word then complaining, comparing, envy, strife, and self-centered thinking will disappear.

In other places and Scripture we are told to do all things without complaining and disputing.  And again were told in everything work as though we are working for the Lord rather than mere men.  With our minds firmly rooted in God’s word these things become easier to do.

If we take God’s word seriously and do what we hear it telling us, we will be able to say as Paul did: “I have learned in whatever state I am to be content.”  Paul understood where his strength came from when he penned Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Here are a few tips for getting more of God’s word into our mind:

1. Read the Bible daily, even if it’s just a verse or two.
2. I think about the verse you just read.  Try to remember it throughout the day.
3. Write the verse down, carry it with you, and stick it where you will see it several times a day.
4. Share the first with someone else.

The more we interact with God’s word for more insight He reveals to us. What are you doing today to get God’s word rooted deeply in your mind?

Dear God, thank you for giving us your truth your word and a life with you.  Give us that desire to draw close to you because your work tells us when we do you will draw near to us.  In Jesus name we pray these things Amen.

© ThinkOnIt Bible Ministries Inc. Written by Elizabeth Marks.

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