Tag Archives: Unselfish

Are You A Background Person?

3 Jun

I can’t get Ruth out of my mind. There is so much hope and encouragement in her story. Ruth’s story makes it clear that God has a plan for all of us. Ruth was a “background” person. She wasn’t particularly special to anyone but God. She didn’t hold any notable positions or move up the ladder of success. She didn’t do anything to get the attention of those around her – except – just be herself!

We don’t need to promote ourselves to any kind of special position in order to be used of God. I’m just taken with the fact that Ruth had an entire book of the Bible dedicated to her and she didn’t part the Red Sea, or build an ark — see what I mean? Ruth just humbled herself and took steps to do the honorable thing. God had a plan – He had a future planned for her even after it appeared she lost everything!

Notice that God sent someone into Ruth’s life that could disciple her. She would have done the same for Orpah (the other daughter-in-law). They each had the opportunity to be blessed by God. However; Orpah chose to remain in the pagan world she knew. She couldn’t let go of the things she was comfortable with. This is a clear example of how God gives us all the opportunity to be blessed by him. It is our choice – He gave us the choice – a free will.

I don’t think this means that God gives us only one chance. I believe that He sends many of His disciples our way over our lifetime. God is a good God. He wants the best for us. We can’t blame Him for things that go wrong when we make bad choices.

His Word, the Bible, has already been written. The principles are set. The Scriptures are given to us for example. The people written about are like us. Through our reading of them we learn about God and His ways. His Word is new every day. It is alive and progressive! It is not old and out of date.

As you read the Bible, God helps you to understand it. You will read something that “jumps” off the page and speaks to your heart – it will be just what you need. I believe it is vital to our lives, especially in today’s world.

Some of His promises are conditional. His offer of salvation is to everyone, but in order to receive His perfect will for our lives we have to develop a personal relationship with Him and seek to make the right choices. To be able to make the right choices we need to know what He says in His Scripture. We need to spend time talking to Him and then listening with our hearts to His leading.

We won’t become perfect. We will still make mistakes. The difference is that if we are seeking to know God and seeking His will for our lives, He will see to it that all things work together for our good.

Notice how Ruth, after she chose to go with God – through Naomi – God began to open doors for her to see that she came into the blessings He had in store for her. She just lived out her life. She listened to godly counsel from Naomi and God led her to a renewed life.

Ruth struggled along the way. She had to make many choices to be obedient to the one God had put in her path to help her. It took courage, and faith. Ruth may not have even known she was using her faith. We all use our faith – either in God or in something else. The point is, she continued to make wise choices. She continued to humble herself.

I don’t know how long it took for all this to take place. The important thing is that she didn’t give up. She lived her life day by day and God led her out of the wilderness and into a life of His love and blessings.

I hope you, the reader, can see in Ruth’s story that God is truly no respecter of persons and that His goodness and favor depend so much on our choice to follow Him.

He is merciful to us. He is long-suffering – He waits for us to turn to Him. Just knowing about Him is not enough. We must really know Him. It won’t happen over night. It takes a lifetime. He is an amazing God, so amazing. The more you get to know Him, the more you want to know Him. It doesn’t get old or boring. In my opinion, God is the only thing in my life that is fresh and new every morning – I can’t wait to see what He is going to do next.

Of this I am certain, God has never failed me. Oh, there are many things that don’t go like I want them to. I’ve had many failures in life – made some very bad choices. But, as long as I continue to serve Him and seek Him, He turns everything into good for me. Even when things go opposite to what I think I want, in time I see that God knew best all along. My Momma used to say “God is so smart”! He truly is. He knows our hearts and our longings more than even we do. Trust Him. Give your heart to Him wholeheartedly. You won’t be disappointed.

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God Knows Where You Are Going . . . Even If You Don’t!

29 May

We continue with the story of Ruth and Naomi.

What a testimony of Ruth’s dedication and selflessness. How difficult it must have been for her. She was already grieving the loss of her husband. She knew she would never see her country or her family again. It’s hard to even imagine. God is working behind the scene – He has a plan. The outcome was not known to Ruth or to us in our lives, but it is known by God–planned by Him! Wow!

At this point we really begin to see who Ruth is – who God made her to be. She probably didn’t even know herself until she was tested and tried. That’s God for you!

A major part of what Ruth was dedicating herself to was the care of her mother-in-law. That in itself was a really big challenge. These women had nothing. At one time in her life, Naomi was well known, her husband owned land but He mortgaged it all to move his family to Moab. Naomi and Ruth were returning to Bethlehem with no idea of where they would live or how they would provide for themselves. It must have also been difficult for Naomi, knowing she would have to face all her friends and family. She was now ashamed of her life so much so that she wanted to change her name.

Ruth was up to the challenge. Her heart and soul were now rich with integrity and morality. She was full of compassion. She had a sense of duty and responsibility beyond measure. Ruth did not let the pain in her heart cheat her. She refused to give a prominent place to it. Ruth did not bask in her grievous situation. She did not give in to the things in her life that could have claimed her and doomed her to a life of condemnation. Neither did Ruth feel that she had been treated unfairly or concern herself just with her own needs. She placed the needs of Naomi above her own. Ruth tamed her own emotions and stepped up to the challenge that providence had awarded her.

There is nothing written to even suggest that Ruth felt sorry for herself or asked anything for herself. Her focus was on the protection and care of Naomi, her husband’s mother. How proud he would have been of his wife, knowing his mother was completely alone, in a foreign country and had no one else to care for her.

Ruth’s future at this stage of her life was completely unknown an unpredictable. She did not allow her losses to ruin her life or set her back. Little did she know what a great future God had planned for her!

When Ruth and Naomi arrived in Bethlehem it was just in time for barley harvest. Naomi was well known there. Her return stirred everyone. They could not believe the change that had occurred in her life. They also saw how dedicated Ruth was to Naomi and how yielded Ruth was in her submissiveness to Naomi, putting her well being above all else. Ruth humbled herself. She was willing to work as a servant to provide for Naomi. She did not think herself too good to work hard.

The entire city knew Ruth was a virtuous woman. Constant! That is the word used to describe Ruth. A powerful word! A powerful personality trait! Not wavering – not confused – unwavering, unwilling to give in to her grief, the pain the hardship and the responsibilities that had beset her. In a word, Ruth refused to give in to the many hardships that were trying to rob her of all the good that she had become accustomed to.

To Be Continued . . . .

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