We live in a society where a woman has to win a beauty contest or marry well to get recognition in this world. Thanks be to GOD who doesn’t say the same. My looks, my accomplishments in business, education or ministry are not what gets His attention!
I have put some thought into getting my credentials from God directly. I starting thinking “What would that look like?” and I ended up in the Book of Ruth. How could I get my own book like Ruth?
God was impressed with Ruth. She earned His credentials of approval.
I think God wants us to understand what impresses Him about women like her.
What do you think impressed God? Was it the fact that Ruth was a girl that…
- -Worked hard
- -Was very humble
- -Was not self-centered
- -And had a servant’s heart
We’re told in Matthew 20: Jesus said to His James and John “You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father.”
When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers.
Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave – just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Ruth 2:11-12 tells us:
Boaz replied, “I’ve been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband— how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before. May the LORD repay you for what you have done? May you be richly rewarded by the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge?”
Ruth 3:11 adds: “And now, my daughter, don’t be afraid. I will do for you all you ask. All my fellow townsmen know that you are a woman of noble character.”
God is saying to us as women: this is what I want you to aspire to. This is my ideal type of woman. Whether you are a poor girl in the fields or an empress in a palace.
God chose Ruth because she modeled these traits with graciousness, patience and self-sacrifice. AND because Ruth loved Naomi and had learned to trust Naomi’s God.
The story begins with Ruth as a young woman. Her life seems to hold a bright future. She marries a husband with strong family ties. They begin building a life together. But in a few short years her family is demolished by death. Ruth’s husband, father-in-law, and brother-in-law die. Ruth and two women she has no blood relation with have to start over.
That is what God is calling us all to. When it is all said and done…What will you do when you don’t know what to do? Will you trust me? Will you go where I send you? Will you put your own self aside to become Kingdom Focused?
That’s the type of person who impresses God – whether male or female. But before you can truly impress God, you must make the decision that Ruth made when she first considered leaving with Naomi. You must decide to take God as your own…
This story then is not just about the redemption of one Moabite woman named Ruth.
IT IS THE STORY OF THE REDEMPTION OF US ALL! Look deeper into this story and you see yourself!
The story of Ruth contains powerful principles I want to focus on three that I want to call Kingdom Focused surrounding STARTING OVER WHEN YOU DON’T FEEL LIKE IT!
FIND SOMEONE ELSE WHO IS HURTING AND BE A FRIEND TO HIM OR HER.
Ruth lost her husband but Naomi had lost her husband and both her sons. It is not to say that Ruth was not in a painful place but all things considered her mother-in-law had 3 times the loss.
Here are three scriptures that I want to share:
- Matthew 5:4 ESV – “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
- 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 ESV – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
- Romans 8:18 ESV – For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
God USES and BLESSES people who don’t get all wrapped up in themselves all the time! And the interesting thing is, WE HELP OURSELVES OUT OF TROUBLE WHEN WE DECIDE TO HELP OTHERS OUT OF TROUBLE.
You see, we usually get a bad case of the blues when we’re focused on our self. Focus on meeting the needs of someone else and see if it’s not the best possible medicine for you! God made it that way on purpose. He wants us to be like Him. Always giving. Unselfish. Ministering to the needs of others. That’s where the joy in life comes from.
When you DON’T FEEL LIKE STARTING OVER, when you can’t get motivated, find a hurt and heal it. Find a need and meet it. Find a fellow pilgrim who is discouraged and try to give them comfort with a Kingdom Focused Life!
SINCE YOU’RE GOING TO HAVE TO TAKE RISKS IN LIFE, TAKE SOME FOR GOD!
Ruth probably saw that her mother-in-law Naomi had some reality in her religion. Most likely she told Ruth about her God and the Hebrew teaching that this life was not all there is. In some way Ruth surely must have been able to sense something was different about the God the Hebrews worshipped. The heathen deities of Moab weren’t doing Ruth any good so she took a chance on finding out more about Jehovah. But it was a risk based on what she had learned and experienced so far. Being involved with her husband’s family and hearing them talk about their God must have moved her heart. She had to know more.
There has to be an intentional push for progress. Nothing happens if nothing happens. God needs us to do and be here on Earth as it is in Heaven.
- Matthew 25:29 ESV – For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.
- Proverbs 3:5 ESV – Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
- Ephesians 4:22-24 ESV – To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
How many times have your taken risk on things you know you know were no earthly good? So why then will you not take a risk in following GOD – to a life that promises to full of riches and glory? If you are at rock bottom anywhere where is it there to go but UP!! I guess if you are comfortable with staying where you are…you could try that, right?
When you DON’T FEEL LIKE STARTING OVER, when where you are and what you are doing is not working for your, look for risks that will being you closer to CHRIST and see the fresh rewards of a Kingdom Focused Life!
EXPECT GREAT THINGS FROM GOD!
Pray this prayer with me:
Precious Lord Jesus, I love you.
I looked in a mirror the other day.
It was the mirror I used when I was a young.
Somehow I expected to see the young me but I saw the real me instead.
I saw my age. I saw my gray hair. It was a shock.
But then I got to thinking…
I got to thinking about where I look to see who I am.
I realized the first place I should look to see who I am is in your eyes, in the eyes of my Lord and Savior.
In your eyes I can see your love for me.
In your eyes I can see your acceptance.
In your eyes I can see your forgiveness.
In your eyes I can see your infinite hope for my life and for my soul.
I give you praise, for as long as I look to you, I shall care not how the world sees me.
I give you praise, for as long as I look to you, I shall find you loving me in ways the world does not understand nor accept.
Thank you, Lord Jesus, for loving me in infinite ways.
All these things I humbly pray in the name of my most Blessed Lord Jesus Christ, my Mighty God, and my Ever-present Holy Spirit upon whom I can rely. Amen
Being Michelle On Purpose…