As Ruth partakes of the generous provision of Boaz, she discovers that she has more than enough for her needs. She eats until she is satisfied herself, shares with her mother-in-law Naomi, and still has a bag of barley left over! Boaz, as we have often observed in this series, is a pointer to Jesus Christ who is our Redeemer. In Christ, we are likewise more than cared for. “Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.”
The rip-roaring romance between Ruth and Boaz is but a shadow of the mutual love between Christ and his church. Yet, it does contain many instructive lessons for anyone seeking a similarly beautiful and successful romance. Or healthy relationships of any kind. The chief lesson we learn from both Ruth and Boaz is this: we do not seek God in order to obtain his blessings, but rather we seek God as the greatest treasure of all. Every other blessing is the overflow of knowing God and centering our life in his will.
The first half of Ruth 2 is beautiful, expressing two simultaneous truths: 1) God is completely sovereign over our lives, and yet 2) we are completely accountable before him. Nothing we do, or decide, or pursue will in any way shape or unravel the perfect purposes of God. Yet, God has given us means of grace by which we come to greater understanding of his ways, greater dependence on his strength, and greater joy in his service.
The name Naomi means “pleasant.” Yet the life of Naomi in the first chapter of Ruth seems anything but pleasant. Naomi herself is brought to wonder, “Is this who I even am any more?” Yet Naomi’s story is that of the sweet bitterness of God’s affliction, of the pleasant paths of pain that God sends.
Ruth is not so much the story of Naomi’s provision but of God’s sufficiency. It is not so much a love story between Ruth and Boaz as it is between Ruth and God. And it is not so much a story of friendship between Ruth and Naomi as it is a story of the faithful friendship of God to them both. As we continue through the book of Ruth, make no mistake: like every other Bible book, the book of Ruth is ultimately about the exclusive glory of the one true God, and the foolishness and futility of seeking help
Reading the book of Ruth is like reading a tragedy (the book of Judges) into which someone has inserted a happily-ever-after fairy tale! In fact it is so sweet, so beautiful that we might be tempted to think it is just a too-good-to-be-true legend or myth. Thankfully, however, Ruth’s real story is just a microcosm of what God is actually doing in every believer’s life, all the time.
Having begun the Christian race, how can I finish well? Can I be assured of God’s continued work in and through me, as I seek to follow and honor him? Or will I peter out, fall spectacularly, or fail in the end? Thankfully, the Bible does promise us that God will continue and complete his saving work in us. Yet, God does use certain means to establish and strengthen us to that end.
While, as believers in Jesus Christ, we all have known marvelous periods of grace, deliverance, and unspeakable joy – most of us probably have also known moments (perhaps very long periods) of utter discouragement, grief, and unspeakable pain. In times such as these, we can sometimes feel as though God is not answering our prayers. In fact, He may not be granting the precise thing for which we are asking. Join us, then, as we consider this experience in the light of God’s perfect and reliable Word.
Every Christian knows we are supposed to pray. In fact, most of us would probably rate prayer as one of the top five things we are supposed to be doing as a believer. Yet many of us have doubt that haunts the back of our minds: “Does this really make any difference?” Why should we pray? What difference, if any, does prayer make? No question, or answer, could be more important.
Each of the majestic cathedrals found across Europe required multiple generations to build. Raising children — or making disciples — is like raising a cathedral. It is a multi-generational goal, and while you are laying each stone, facing each obstacle, it can be difficult to envision the magnificent finished product.
Considering that the first command is that we love and worship God, it is important for us to ask, “How do we worship God?” God of course does not leave us to guess about the answer. And as we might expect, in worshiping such a good and gracious God we not only glorify him but find satisfaction and eternal joy ourselves!
Genesis 38 is nothing less than scandalous. Although a passage of Scripture that talks openly about embarrassing sin might at first affront our cultured sensibilities, the reality is this is exactly the kind of Bible we would wish for! A Bible that is about real sinners, who make really big mistakes, and mess up in horribly embarrassing ways, just like us – who God nonetheless saves, and even uses, in his great plan of Redemption.
The body does not consist of one member but of many (1 Corinthians 12:14). As Paul wrote to the church at Corinth, it seems that some of their members, far from consciously affirming the diversity in their midst, were working against it. One group in the church was suggesting everyone should be just like them—have the same ministry, the same social status, the same convictions about idol-food, the same favorite preacher. Others, who felt inferior, were allowing themselves to drift into inactivity by embracing the lie that they were not useful to the church. Into this unhealthy atmosphere, Paul speaks,
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you (1 Peter 5:6-7). The fact that God has displayed his grace in calling us “to his eternal glory in Christ” (1 Peter 5:10) is rock solid confirmation that he is the God of all grace. It is proof of his love, wisdom, and power to overcome every obstacle to bring you to himself. And the goal of bringing you to himself is so that you will, for all of eternity
In this message we consider motherhood in a way that every person will be able to relate to and learn from. Join us as we consider motherhood through the lens of two mothers in the Bible, one from the beginning of the Old Testament, and one from the beginning of the New Testament. We intend to learn from these two mothers: Eve and Mary. While thinking about good mothers makes any person feel sentimental and even emotional, that is not our main goal here. Because the reality is, as any mother knows very well, life cannot be successfully navigated merely