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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Fri, 2/8/2013

Friday, February 08, 2013

RUTH, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Fri, 2/8/2013

Ruth 1:1-7
Ruth: Pursued By Grace

THREE TOMBSTONES IN A WASHPOT, Lesson 2a

The little book of Ruth has been called "the greatest piece of literature ever written." Another writer called the story of Ruth "the Cinderella of the Bible." It is the story of how a pagan girl named Ruth came to be part of the covenant people of Israel. In the 100 verses that make up the book of Ruth, we see this young woman as she is pursued by grace, and brought out of her wretched condition. This is a story of redemption, of love, of grace and of hope. It is a story we need to become familiar with on a very intimate level.

Over the next few lessons, as the Lord leads, I will be teaching verse by verse through this book. I am titling this series of sermons: “Pursued By Grace”.


In these first seven verses of Ruth we are introduced to the family of a man named Elimelech who lived during the days of the judges, (v. 1). It is the sad tale of a man who chooses to walk out on the Lord and on God's plan for his life. As a result of his decision, he and his family pay a terribly high price.

We are told that Elimelech takes his family to a place called Moab. Moab was located just across the Jordan River, east of the Promised Land. It was inhabited by people who worshiped pagan gods. The Moabites were the descendants of a man named Moab who was the son of an incestuous relationship between Lot and one of his daughters, (Gen. 19:30-38). They were a proud people noted for their lawlessness, immorality and brutal violence, (Lev. 18:24-25; Deut. 9:4-5; Isa. 16:6; Psa. 60:8). They attacked and opposed Israel, seeking to destroy the people of God, during Israel's wilderness wanderings, (Num. 23-25; Deut. 23:3-6). This was a people opposed to God and His ways. In Psalm 60:8, God says this, "Moab is my washpot..." This phrase means that they were a despised thing, compared to a vessel containing water to be used by slaved to wash the feet of a conquering hero. God says that they are nothing and that they will be reduced to the lowest form of slavery! Yet, they were a people who could have been saved had they repented of their sins as Ruth did.

It is to this despised and wicked nation that Elimelech moves his family. Here we see a picture of that person who willingly turns his back on the things of God and pays an awful price. If this section of scripture teaches us anything, it teaches us that living in a backslidden condition carries with it devastating consequences, but repentance and restoration are always a possibility. With this information in mind today, let's look into this passage of scripture today as we look on the thought “Three Tombstones In A Washpot”.

V. 1a A TIME OF DESPERATE CIRCUMSTANCES

There was a three-fold famine in the land.

A Material Famine In The Land - Verse 1 describes the situation that Elimelech and his family faced by telling us that there was "a famine in the land." A famine is an extended dearth. A time when food is in serious shortage. While there was a shortage of foods in the land at that time, it wasn't the only famine the people of Israel faced.

A Moral Famine In The Land - Verse 1 tells us that this story takes place during the time of the Judges. The attitude of the people during those days is summed up in the last verse of the book of Judges, (Judges 21:25). It can best be described as a time of turbulence and social upheaval. They were days marked by lawlessness, idolatry, false religion, theft, drunkenness, homosexuality, sexual perversion, violence, national division, civil war and extreme unbelief. Days, it would seem, that are not too different from the days in which we find ourselves. Of course, when man "does that which is right in his own eyes", what else should we expect?

A Missionary Famine In The Land - Often, in the Old Testament period, God used famine as a tool of discipline. When His people strayed away from Him, He would reach out to them to call them back to Himself by orchestrating a famine, (Deut. 11:16-17; ; 2 Chron. 7:13-14).

Often, as we pass through this life, God will orchestrate these famine experiences for us as well. It may take the form of a financial famine, when there is more month than money. It may take the place of a physical famine where health and wellbeing become elusive. There may be a spiritual famine when the heavens become brass and the Lord seems very far away. Whatever form it takes, it is a famine in your life. God's intention during those times of life is not to drive you away from Him, but it is to draw you nearer to Him. He may be trying to correct you, (Rev. 3:19); or He may be trying to perfect you, (2 Cor. 12:9). How you react to your famine experience determines whether it becomes a time of blessing in your life or a time of devastation.

TODAY’S VERSE!

Proverbs 4:11-12 (New King James Version (NKJV)
11 I have taught you in the way of wisdom;
I have led you in right paths.
12 When you walk, your steps will not be hindered,
And when you run, you will not stumble.

TODAY’S HYMN!
“You Are My All In All” By: Dennis L. Jernigan (1990)

You are my strength when I am weak
You are the treasure that I seek
You are my all in all
Seeking You as a precious jewel
Lord, to give up I'd be a fool
You are my all in all
Refrain:
Jesus, Lamb of God
Worthy is Your name
Jesus, Lamb of God
Worthy is Your name

Taking my sin, my cross, my shame
Rising again I bless Your name
You are my all in all
When I fall down You pick me up
When I am dry You fill my cup
You are my all in all
Refrain:
Jesus, Lamb of God
Worthy is Your name
Jesus, Lamb of God
Worthy is Your name

Oh my
Jesus, Lamb of God
Worthy is Your name
Jesus, Lamb of God
Worthy is Your name

TODAY’S PRAYER!
Father Most High, God Most Loved! We pray You will help us to be a person who has a heart for You and for Your ways; a heart that is in the right place at the right time. Enable us to have a powerful effect on the world around us to Your glory, by standing up for what is right and by following Your example. Grant us the power of ONE with Jesus, to reveal Him to the world, to lift Him up for the world to see, that souls may be saved, the sick healed, the bereaved comforted, the suffering delivered. We praise You our God in good times and in bad times for You are worthy of all praise, glory and honor. These things we pray in the name of Jesus our Beloved Savior, Amen!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JOANIE69 2/8/2013 4:38PM

    I enjoyed this lesson and surely could relate to the times of famine in more than one way. But the Lord works His works in me, and changes me, Praise the Lord.
emoticon
I loved this line of the lesson:
"This is a story of redemption, of love, of grace
and of hope." YES!
("Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine....
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior, all the day long.")

emoticon God bless you, Joanie

Comment edited on: 2/8/2013 4:39:03 PM

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MNABOY 2/8/2013 3:19PM

    Thanks

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EDITOR 2/8/2013 3:01PM

    Thank you, Vic, for being led to expound this book. God provides during all types of famines! And thank you for the goodie.

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RSSSLHB 2/8/2013 10:18AM

    emoticon Viv the book of Ruth is emoticon

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ANHELIC 2/8/2013 10:13AM

    Thank you vic for a great lesson, beautiful hymn and prayer. Ruth is an inspiration to us how we need to be faithful during all times. We must remain humble through our bad times and remember that God is with us constantly. He will bring us through these times and teach us to remain steady in Him. God bless you for your teachings, Vic. Thank you for the goodie and note. I love the hymn, the words tell us that Jesus is our all in all.

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TONYVAND1 2/8/2013 8:57AM

  Staying true to Him in the famine times keep us humbled and shows us what He wants to teach us through those times. Pray that you will be faithful as He is faithful

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SWEETMAGNOLIA2 2/8/2013 8:01AM

    Inspiring thought that bad times can be God's correcting or perfecting us. Count it all joy though we suffer. We can hide ourselves in His arms and know all is for our good. Thank you for that song. The melody is beautiful as are the lyrics. Thank you for the prayer, too.

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LINDAMARIEZ1 2/8/2013 7:56AM

    I appreciagted todays lesson Vic! thank you emoticon

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SANDRALEET 2/8/2013 7:41AM

    Will God punish us the same way .He in the old testament destroyed and then brought them back to him.Many in the lost days from other faith will be saved.Like Ruth who accepted God

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JSTETSER 2/8/2013 6:40AM

    Ruth is such a motivating story. She found God's favor through her obedience.

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AZMOMXTWO 2/8/2013 6:39AM

  thank you

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Thu, 2/7/2013

Thursday, February 07, 2013

RUTH, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Thu, 2/7/2013

Ruth 1:1-22
AN EXAMPLE OF A STEADFAST LIFE, Lesson 1c

V. 16-22 RUTH'S COMMITMENT

V. 16 She Commits To A New Land - She is willing to follow Naomi where ever she goes. She is willing to leave Moab behind forever and to follow Naomi to Israel.
V. 16 She Commits To A New Leadership - She is willing to submit to Naomi and to allow Naomi to guide her life. This is seen in the various times that Naomi gives Ruth advise concerning the manners and customs of Israel.

V. 16 She Commits To A New Lifestyle - She is willing to give up all the old ways of Moab and to conform her life to the way people live in Israel. She is ready to make a dramatic change in her life.

V. 16 She Commits To A New Lineage - Ruth is willing to cut all ties with Moab. She wants to be a part of the nation which she has married into. She is ready to claim a new lineage.

V. 16 She Commits To A New Lord - This is perhaps the greatest statement Ruth makes. She is willing to give up the gods of Moab and follow the true and living God of Israel. This statement is her declaration of faith in Jehovah God.

V. 17 She Commits With No Limits - She tells Naomi that she is willing to commit to this new plan for life for as long as she lives. She even invokes the curse of God upon her life if she lets anything but death come between her and the commitment she has made.

As we consider the commitment Ruth made to Naomi, it paints a picture for us of the commitment we should be willing to make to the Lord Jesus Christ.
We should be willing to cut all ties with the old life and enter into a new land of blessing before the Lord.

We must be willing to commit to His leadership for our lives.

There should be a commitment to a new lifestyle based on the Word and will of God.
We should also consider ourselves dead to the old life and alive in a new relationship to the Lord Jesus. Our lineage has changed!

Obviously, this all means that there must be a new Lord, a new master Who dominates every area of our lives.

Then, we should be willing to commit to the Lord and His will without any restrictions. Our commitment to Jesus Christ must be complete. It must be absolute and it must be final!

Does this describe the life you live? Or have there been areas where you can see you commitment slacking off? Can you honestly say that no matter what happens in life you are 100%, absolutely and completely dedicated to serving Jesus, both now and forever?

Conc: Ruth lived a consistent and steadfast life. She was brought into Israel, married an Israelite man named Boaz and became a part of the covenant people of the Lord. She became the great-grandmother to King David and an ancestor of the Lord Jesus Christ. All of this came to pass in her life because she was willing to change her mind, change her devotion and to change her direction. She kept on going in the face of adversity and she did not give up. Can the same be said about you today? Are you living a life that is steadfast and unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, (1 Cor. 15:58)? Or has your devotion to the Lord tended to fluctuate with the changing tides of life? You know, you need God today, but you don't serve Him tomorrow. Where is your heart tonight? Are you more like Orpah who chose the easy path? Or, are you like Ruth who persevered through her difficulties to win the ultimate victory of faith? Are there issues that you need to get settled with the Lord today? If so, this altar is open for your use. Please use it as the Lord leads you.

TODAY’S VERSE!

Revelation 3:20 (New King James Version (NKJV)
20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Who At The Door Is Standing” By: Asa B. Everett

Who at my door is standing,
Patiently drawing near,
Entrance within demanding?
Whose is the voice I hear?
Refrain
Sweetly the tones are falling;
“Open the door for Me!
If thou wilt heed My calling,
I will abide with thee.”

Lonely without He’s staying;
Lonely within am I;
While I am still delaying,
Will He not pass me by?
Refrain

All through the dark hours dreary,
Knocking again is He;
Jesus, art Thou not weary,
Waiting so long for me?
Refrain

Door of my heart, I hasten!
Thee will I open wide.
Though He rebuke and chasten,
He shall with me abide.
Refrain

TODAY’S PRAYER!
Loving Father, God of Understanding, Unity and Uprightness! Help us to trust that You are a good God no matter what is going on in our life. Help us to believe without doubting that even if bad things are happening to us or around us, Your goodness will reign in the midst of them all. Thank You that Your plans for us is always good. Thank You that You bring good things into our lives. Reveal Your goodness to us each day, more and more so we can praise You for it. Great is Your goodness to all those who trust and fear You. How excellent is Your name in all the earth. Thank You listening and answering our prayers. It is in Your Son’s name that we approach Your throne of grace. Amen!

BE SURE TO READ MY DAILY “DID YOU KNOW” POST!
SHARE THIS LESSON WITH FRIENDS AND INVITE THEM TO JOIN THE TEAM!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MNABOY 2/7/2013 11:14PM

    Thanks for sharing

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ANHELIC 2/7/2013 6:02PM

    Thank you Vic for a great lesson about Ruth's committment and steadfast decision to remain with Naomi. It teaches us how we must remain with God and not waiver. Thank you for the goodie and note. God bless you vic for your continued teachings.

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JOANIE69 2/7/2013 2:40PM

    Beautiful. And that hymn is one I hadn't heard for ages.
emoticon for the lessons and the goodies too. emoticon
Blessings, Joanie

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SWEETMAGNOLIA2 2/7/2013 10:29AM

    Some of the most beautiful verses in the Bible. And what a beautiful picture in the song of Jesus standing at our heart's door. Unlike Satan he doesn't force His way. The handle is on the INSIDE of the door. Thank you, for the devotional reading, Vic.

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TONYVAND1 2/7/2013 10:09AM

  Committed to Christ all the way. Use me Lord like you used your servant Ruth


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NADINEL 2/7/2013 10:03AM

    Thank you for this study, Vic. I thoroughly enjoy it. Have a great day!

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RSSSLHB 2/7/2013 8:57AM

    emoticon Vic emoticon emoticon

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LINDAMARIEZ1 2/7/2013 7:54AM

    If he does't lead me; I am lost! :)

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SUNSET09 2/7/2013 7:15AM

  I am committed and submit as well. God is so good to me and im him do I put my trust and my life. Everything I have belongs to Him. I love the Lord, He heard my cry! Amen and amen! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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EDITOR 2/7/2013 6:57AM

    Commit and submit! Thank you for the goodie yesterday and may all open the door of opportunity today to be a blessing and be blessed!

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AZMOMXTWO 2/7/2013 6:50AM

  thank you

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Wed, 2/6/2013

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

RUTH, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Wed, 2/6/2013

Ruth 1:1-22
AN EXAMPLE OF A STEADFAST LIFE, Lesson 1b

V. 8-15 RUTH'S CHALLENGE

V. 8-9 An Expectation - As they begin their journey, Naomi encourages both of these girls to return to the home of their mothers. She prays that the Lord will bless them, but she intends to send them away. Such is the condition of Naomi's heart that she would try to keep these women from going with her into the promised land of blessing.

Basically, this boils down to a challenge to the commitment made by these women. They are challenged to give up their resolve to follow Naomi and they are tempted to turn back to a life of heathenism and wickedness. Hey folks, in case you haven't noticed, life is filled with challenges. Satan would love nothing better than to get you side-tracked and mess up your Christian life. He will confront you with challenge after challenge to get you to turn your back on the Lord. How you respond to these challenges reveals a great deal about the level of your commitment. In these verses, we get an opportunity to see Ruth's heart put on display.

V. 10-13 An Explanation - Naomi tries to persuade these women to go home because she has no more sons to marry the women and give them children under the law of the Levirate Marriage. And, even if she remarried and had children, these girls couldn't be expected to wait until these new sons were grown.

This is just another attempt to get these girls to go back to their families. You see, if you do not respond to one of Satan's challenges, he will try another. His ambition is to get you to fail and to discredit the Lord Jesus through your life.

How do you react to the challenges you face? Many people react to challenges by turning away from the Lord. You can see it happening in their lives. However, like Job, the challenges of life should drive us closer to the Lord , ( Job 1:20-21).
Let's examine the responses of these two women.

V. 14a An Evacuation - When Orpah heard this speech, she kissed her mother-in-law and turned around and went home.

I am afraid that there are a lot of people around who are just like Orpah. They face the challenges of life by defecting and going back to do their own thing. Please don't let this be the way you react to life's challenges. The problem with Orpah was that her heart was still filled with love for the old gods and the old people. She was still a Moabite. Her heart had never been changed!

V. 14b-15 An Examination - After Orpah leaves, Ruth clings to Naomi. She is determined to stay with her mother-in-law. This allows us a glimpse into her heart. She shows us, by her actions that which is the best response in a time of challenge. The heart Ruth reveals to us is one of absolute devotion and commitment. You see, instead of driving us away from our commitments, the challenges of life should cause us to cleave to Him more strongly. In her commitment, Ruth demonstrates the fact that her heart had been changed and she was willing to follow a new Lord into a new land to live a new life.

TODAY’S VERSE!
Lamentations 3:21-22 (New King James Version (NKJV)

21 This I recall to my mind,
Therefore I have hope.
22 Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.


TODAY’S HYMN!
“Give Me Thy Heart” By: Eliza E. Hewitt (1898)

“Give Me thy heart,” says the Father above—
No gift so precious to Him as our love;
Softly He whispers wherever thou art,
“Gratefully trust Me and give Me thy heart.”
Refrain
“Give Me thy heart, give me thy heart”—
Hear the soft whisper, wherever thou art;
From this dark world He would draw thee apart,
Speaking so tenderly, “Give Me thy heart.”

“Give Me thy heart,” says the Savior of men,
Calling in mercy again and again;
“Trust in Me only, I’ll never depart—
Have I not died for thee? Give Me thy heart.”
Refrain

“Give Me thy heart,” says the Spirit divine;
“All that thou hast to My keeping resign;
Grace more abounding is Mine to impart—
Make full surrender and give Me thy heart.”
Refrain

TODAY’S PRAYER!
Merciful and Loving Father, God of Tenderness, Treasures, and Trust! We praise You and thank You for Your Word. We love the way it guides us in our lives. We delight in its laws for it is lamp unto our feet and a light unto our pathway. Help us to meditate on it night and day. It is a testimony and a counselor to show us the way of righteousness. It reveals everything we need to know about our God and Your will for us. Open our hearts that we may see the wondrous things You have for us. We thank You for Jesus who is the Word. We thank You that every time we read the Word, we know You better. Your Word is a love letter to us, showing us how much You love us. Teach us to love, just like You. This we ask and pray in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen!

BE SURE TO READ MY DAILY “DID YOU KNOW” POST!
SHARE THIS LESSON WITH FRIENDS AND INVITE THEM TO JOIN THE TEAM

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUDITH316 2/6/2013 11:32PM

    Amen Vic, thanks for sharing this Bible Blog and the hymn, this hymn was new to me, I hope you don't mind but I have copied it as I plan to share it with my gals at next week's Bible Study, today's message is one that is always dear to my heart. I taught the Book of Ruth last year to the ladies I lead at our weekly Bible Study at my Church. It has been one of many favorite Books of the Bible I enjoy reading and studying. Thanks again for sharing Vic... God Bless you always... emoticon

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ANHELIC 2/6/2013 11:07PM

    Thank you Vic for your lesson, hymn and prayer. I love the strength Ruth had to stay with Naomi. I pray that I have the same strength to stay in God's wonderful pathway and not waiver, but continue by His faith.

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BABY_GIRL69 2/6/2013 3:25PM

    Thank you for this message today Brother Vic! I love reading the book of Ruth & pray that all pre-teens, young ladies & even women read this yearly. This will remind them to wait for their Boaz & not look Bozo...lol

God bless & thank you!

Dee

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EDITOR 2/6/2013 2:17PM

    Really a strong and committed word for the day. Thank you, Vic, for following in His footsteps. God bless and stay pliable for the Lord to use.

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TONYVAND1 2/6/2013 9:07AM

  A changed heart can be used of God.

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RSSSLHB 2/6/2013 8:56AM

    emoticon God bless

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SWEETMAGNOLIA2 2/6/2013 8:40AM

    Ruth's decision to stay with Naomi had monumental consequences since The Saviour of the World came through her line of descendants. Each choice we make has consequences for good or bad. Thank you, Vic.

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JOANIE69 2/6/2013 8:17AM

    emoticon God is faithful Who will us from falling.
Hope in God; only believe; trust and obey.
emoticon Vic. God bless.


Comment edited on: 2/6/2013 8:17:58 AM

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CASTIRONLADY 2/6/2013 6:43AM

    God has bless me through your sharing of His word. May you be eternally blessed!
emoticon

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Tue, 2/5/2013

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

RUTH, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Tue, 2/5/2013

HOW ABOUT A LOVE STORY?

Ruth 1:1-22
AN EXAMPLE OF A STEADFAST LIFE, Lesson 1a

There are many stories in the Bible that serve as an encouragement to our hearts. The story of Ruth is no exception. Many look at this little book, which was written during the time of the judges, and see nothing more than a love story. However, while there is a love story of sorts in this book, that is the most shallow interpretation. The bigger picture is that of a lost sinner who, through divine guidance and providence, is brought into a relationship with Jehovah and is made to be an ancestor of the Lord Jesus Christ. We are taught in this book that God is not just the Savior of Israel, but that He is the Savior of the entire human race!

I wish there was time to teach this entire book, but there isn't. What I would like to do is to look into the verses we will read and pull out a little snapshot of the heart of this woman named Ruth. In these verses, and throughout this book as well, we see in Ruth a tremendous example of a steadfast life. She teaches us about remaining faithful even when others around us do not. As we have time, let's look into these verses and examine this “Example Of A Steadfast Life”.

V. 1-7 RUTH'S CONDITION

V. 4 Her Ancestry - Ruth was a member of a condemned nation. She and her people were sinful and had been judged and condemned by the Lord. Hers was a desperate and lost condition.

In this, Ruth is a picture of each of person who is outside of a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. We were helpless and condemned before God. That condemnation fell upon us because of the sin of Adam, (Rom. 5:12), and we were all abiding under the wrath of God, (John 3:36). The fact is, we were nothing but lost and undone sinners, (Rom. 3:23).

V. 5 Her Adversity - This verse tells us that Ruth's husband and his brother both have died. These young women are left widows with no means of support and with no hope for the future. They faced a terrible trial. It seemed that there only hope was to return to the home of their father and hope another man would eventually marry them.

Again, in her condition, we can see a picture of humanity. The Bible tells us that life will be filled with troubles and afflictions, (Job 14:1). This is especially true in the lives of the lost, (Pro. 13:15).

V. 6-7 Her Ambition – Naomi, the mother-in-law, has heard that the famine that caused her family to leave Bethlehem to begin with has ended, and that there is bread in the land. So, she rises up to go home, and her two daughter-in-laws rise up to go with her.

This is purely conjecture, but it seems that Ruth and Orpah had seen or heard something from the lives of the backslidden Israelites that spoke to their hearts. It may be that even while they were in a condemned land that they continued to speak of Jehovah. Maybe it is the fact that these girls have married into an Israelite family. Whatever the case, it is worthy to note that both of these young women, in the beginning, made the decision to follow Naomi back to Israel.

That is precisely how the new life begins! A conscious decision is made to leave the old life behind and to go with Jesus into a new life in Him. I wonder, have you made that decision in your life? That is the starting point. That is where new life begins. We must be sure that we have indeed decided to follow Jesus.

TODAY’S VERSE!

Luke 1:42 (New King James Version (NKJV)
42 Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!”

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Boundless Love” By: Dennis Loewen ((1980) and arranged by Pam Stephenson (1993)

Boundless love, unending joy.
This is my life, it’s what I know.
And I can’t believe that He selected me,
Jesus, my Lord, it’s You I owe.
He keeps me when I’m weary.
He can hear me when I pray.
He’s even there beside me when I fall.
His love surrounds me even when I go astray.
I guess I’d have to say that He’s my all.

Boundless love, unending joy.
This is my life, it’s what I know.
And I can’t believe that He selected me,
Jesus, my Lord, it’s You I owe.
When my world falls all around me
I call upon His name.
Just in time He takes me by the hand.
Whose ways are perfect just like His Son who bore my shame.
I don’t even have to understand.

Boundless love, unending joy.
This is my life, it’s what I know.
And I can’t believe that He selected me,
Jesus, my Lord, it’s You I owe.
Boundless grace, because of Calvary
His life He gave, His love outpoured.
I now can live, with Him eternally,
Jesus, my Lord, it’s You I owe.

TODAY’S PRAYER!
Loving Father, God of Salvation, Sanctuary, Seasons, Service, Speech, and Spirituality! Show us how to have a heart of love for You and Your ways. Help us to be pleasing always in Your sight. Teach us how to love not just with words, but with all our hearts, souls, and might. Enable our actions to be evidence of our obedience and faithfulness, and manifestation of Your Word, Your Spirit and Your glory living in us. We thank You for loving us at all times even when we are not so lovable. We thank for loving us so much that You gave us Jesus, Your Beloved Son, to be a propitiation for our sins. Help us to live, think and do all things just like our Savior to Your Holy praise, glory and honor. These things we pray in His glorious name. Amen!

BE SURE TO READ MY DAILY “DID YOU KNOW” POST!
SHARE THIS LESSON WITH FRIENDS AND INVITE THEM TO JOIN THE TEAM!

Ps: Today, I am 76 years old; my blood pressure is 128/73; I’m doing 10 to 12 miles four days a week; and am enjoying sharing this ministry and fellowship with each and every one of YOU! Thank YOU and PRAISE GOD! Vic.


  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANHELIC 2/5/2013 11:47PM

    Happy Birthday Vic. May God grant you many more years of sharing wonderful lessons. God bless you. Ruth has been one of my favorite chapters. Thank you for the goodie.

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NADINEL 2/5/2013 10:02PM

    Happy Birthday, Vic! God has blessed you with years to exalt Him!

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MNABOY 2/5/2013 8:23PM

    Look forward to your words from the Bible daily

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JOANIE69 2/5/2013 9:02AM

    emoticon While we know that all Scripture is profitable, I am encouraged when in this line you say: we will 'examine this “Example Of A Steadfast Life”.' This is exciting for us because that it is exactly what we need...to create (in God's will) and steadfastly maintain always, a healthy lifestyle in body, mind and spirit.

emoticon to a great Bible teacher, and many blessings for you and yours in the year ahead.

Comment edited on: 2/5/2013 9:04:18 AM

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RSSSLHB 2/5/2013 8:44AM

    Happy Birthday Vic

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TONYVAND1 2/5/2013 8:44AM

  Happy Birthday and I look forward to your insights on the book of Ruth. Have a great day.

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SWEETMAGNOLIA2 2/5/2013 8:08AM

    Happy Birthday, Vic! Great B/P and cardio stats for ANY age. That's a testimony in itself. Ah, Ruth... So enjoy this story with a happy ending! Thank you for the added spiritual insight in this lesson.

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EDITOR 2/5/2013 7:06AM

    Thank you for the goodie yesterday, Vic.

Someday we women will learn what it is like to be a widow, to depend on the kindness of others, and to trust God as our husbandman. We may not marry again because youth is against us, but we will know with a surety that God never fails the widow.

The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.

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AZMOMXTWO 2/5/2013 6:52AM

  thank you

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Mon, 2/4/2013

Monday, February 04, 2013

SAMSON, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Mon, 2/4/2013

A BLESSED MORNING TO EVERYONE!

Judges 16:21-31
THE RESTORATION OF A FALLEN HERO, Lesson 24c

v. 26-31 IT WAS A TIME OF RETALIATION

v. 26-28 Samson’s Desire – Samson stands before the people a shell of the man he had been. Yet in his darkness, his humiliation and he imprisonment, Samson turns his heart toward the Lord. He prays for strength so that he can get vengeance against those who put out his eyes. His priorities are still somewhat out of order, but he is heading in the right direction. Samson has it in his heart to see the Philistines destroyed. That after all, is why the Lord raised him up to begin with!

There are times when we all fall into sin. When we do, it is easy to allow that sin to keep us from seeking God in prayer. Seeking the Lord is the only avenue we have for restoration. We must not allow guilt over our actions, depression or discouragement to keep us away from Him. He is the only hope of restoration we have. We must get to Him, we must be honest about our sins and we must seek His forgiveness. When we do, He will hear us and He will forgive our sins, (I John 1:9)!

Is it possible that some are harboring unconfused and unforgiven sin in your lives? Everyone around you thinks you are doing well spiritually, but you know the truth. You know you are cold, distant and empty. You know that you are not where you used to be with Him. You know that you have allowed sin, life and others things to come between you and the Lord. You restoration will not come to pass until you come to Him and get honest about your condition.

The horrors Samson suffered at the hands of the Philistines caused him to examine his life. He had time to think about what he had done. He took the necessary steps and God accepted him. His bondage resulted in his freedom. His blindness caused him to see the light. God forgave Samson and used him one more time. He also forgave David for his sins and used him again, (Psa. 32:1-5). He forgave Peter when he denied the Lord, (John 21), and the Lord used him in a powerful fashion.

Your sin does not have to define you! Your fall does not have to be all that people remember about your life. Your sin does not have to have the last word. Come to God! Be honest before Him! Reach up to Him and He in His grace will accept you, forgive you, restore you and use you for His glory!

v. 26-27, 29-30 Samson’s Deed – Samson asks a young man to help him find the pillars of the building. The young man does this. Samson calls on the Lord, then He pushes against the pillars with all his might. The pillars come down, and so does the temple. The place was filled with Philistines; they are watching Samson push against the pillars. They are laughing at him as he calls on his God. They think this is a great joke. They are not worried about him. He is a has-been. He is washed up. He is a nobody. He is a fool in their eyes, and deserves nothing but their laughter and their ridicule. Samson prays, and then he pushes. The Lord answers his prayer and the temple of Dagon comes crashing down, killing 3,000 Philistines. Samson dies also, and in his death, he kills more of the enemy than he had killed in his life. 1,030 Philistines died at Samson’s hand during his life.

The whole point here is that God used Samson again. He used him to strike a terrible blow against the enemies of the Lord. Friend, He will use you too! When there is repentance, forgiveness and restoration, the Lord will use you again for His glory!
v. 31 Samson’s Death – Samson, the mighty Judge is dead. His brothers and the other men of his family come to Gaza. They dig through the rubble and find the broken and battered body of the man of God. They take him home and honor him by giving him a proper burial. That was very important in those days.

Chances are that your sins will not lead to the same set of events that marked Samson’s life. Chances are that you will fall, seek the Lord in repentance, and He will forgive you and restore you to usefulness. Chances are you will not die in while carrying out His will for your life. In other words, the changes are good that God will use you, bless you and carry you home to glory in the usual manner. Like Samson, however, you can receive glory at the end of the way of you serve the Lord faithfully while you are here.

We all want to hear Him say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord,”( Matt. 25:21). Many will not hear Jesus say that because they never deal with their sins. They never repent and they never seek His forgiveness and His restoration. There are some in the family of the Lord who fail Him, and they do it in a spectacular fashion. Many of those people come back to the Lord, humbling themselves and confessing their sins. These people are forgiven and they are restored. When they stand before Him, they will hear no mention of their sins, for they are gone. They will hear Him say, “Well done!” There will be honor at the end of the way for the saints of who keep short accounts with Him. When we fail, we should be quick to seek His face in forgiveness. When we do He will forgive and restore. When we do not, He will touch our lives through chastisement. He does this not because he wants to destroy us; he does it because He loves us, (Rev. 3:19; Heb. 12:6-11).

Conc: If there is a lesson from the life of Samson, it is this: Sin carries a devastatingly high price. When we engage in sin, we must be prepared to pay the consequences. There will be consequences in our lives, in our families, in our churches, in our communities and in the eyes of the world.

Another lesson presents itself, and it is this: sin does not have to rule in your life. There is a place of repentance. There is a place of forgiveness. There is a place of restoration. There is a God in Heaven Who loves you in spite of your sins. He will cleanse you, forgive you and restore you, if you will come to Him.

Where are you in your walk with Him? Are you saved? Are you as close as you should be? Are you as close as you used to be? Are you facing a time of testing through temptation? Has God spoken to your heart today? If there are needs, please come to Him now for the help, forgiveness, and restoration you need!

TODAY’S VERSE!
Daniel 12:3 (New King James Version (NKJV)

3 Those who are wise shall shine
Like the brightness of the firmament,
And those who turn many to righteousness
Like the stars forever and ever.

TODAY’S HYMN!
“None of Self and All of Thee” By: Theodore Monod (1874)

1. Oh, the bitter pain and sorrow
That a time could ever be,
When I proudly said to Jesus,
“All of self, and none of Thee.”
All of self, and none of Thee,
All of self, and none of Thee,
When I proudly said to Jesus,
“All of self, and none of Thee.”

2. Yet He found me; I beheld Him
Bleeding on th’ accursed tree,
And my wistful heart said faintly,
“Some of self, and some of Thee.”
Some of self, and some of Thee,
Some of self, and some of Thee,
And my wistful heart said faintly,
“Some of self, and some of Thee.”

3. Day by day His tender mercy,
Healing, helping, full and free,
Brought me lower while I whispered,
“Less of self, and more of Thee.”
Less of self, and more of Thee,
Less of self, and more or Thee,
Brought me lower while I whispered,
“Less of self, and more of Thee.”

4. Higher than the highest heaven,
Deeper than the deepest sea,
Lord, Thy love at last has conquered:
“None of self, and all of Thee.”
None of self, and all of Thee,
None of self, and all of Thee,
Lord, Thy love at last has conquered:
“None of self, and all of Thee.”


TODAY’S PRAYER!
Father Almighty, God of Reason, Reaping and Redemption! Help us to separate ourselves from the past and live in the here and now. You have set us free from our past with you tender mercy and loving forgiveness. We will never be able to move into all You have for us if we continue to carry the past on us. Deliver us from every negative aspect of the past, for our future lies ahead of us and not behind us. Enable us so that the past doesn’t impact or influence the present, nor keep us from moving forward to Your glory. Help us to release all bad memories and seek forgiveness so the torture of the past does not destroy the good You have already established in us. These things we pray in the name of Jesus who died for us. Amen!

This ends our study in the Book of Judges. Next, we will look at a love story from the Book of Ruth!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MNABOY 2/4/2013 11:13AM

    Amen

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RSSSLHB 2/4/2013 9:00AM

    emoticon Vic, I love the book of Ruth emoticon

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TONYVAND1 2/4/2013 8:48AM

  We can be forgiven if we come to Christ and ask for it. Having been forgiven we need to gird ourselves with the breastplate of truth so as not to fall into the same sin over and over again.

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JOANIE69 2/4/2013 8:47AM

    I am almost sad to see the lessons on Samson come to an end. It is for sure the most I have ever learned from his story. I know Ruth too shall teach us many things. Thank you Vic.

Today's hymn reminded me of a little saying I once heard about being a "Perfect Ten". The way to achieve that is to make God the number one and make yourself the number zero.

Blessings, have a great day, Joanie.

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ANHELIC 2/4/2013 8:06AM

    Thank you Vic for a great lesson, hymn and prayer. with this lesson we can see that God will forgive our sins if we come to Him and humble ourselves and not dwell on our past that keeps us from our God. Lord, please help us to focus on You and not on our past and be with us during our days. With our eyes focused on You, we will not dwell on our past. Thank you Lord, in Jesus Name, amen. Thank you Vic for the goodie and note. God bless you.

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IAM_HIS2 2/4/2013 7:35AM

    Thank you for this blog filled with HOPE and GOD's LOVE & MERCY for us.

When I think about how much God loves us and is so willing to forgive us for our sins, it is truly something that is an act of agape love.

I am so more than thankful for God's love and mercy! Thank you for this blog!!!!

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LINDAMARIEZ1 2/4/2013 7:16AM

    I thank God daily for the good things going on in my life! emoticon

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SWEETMAGNOLIA2 2/4/2013 7:01AM

    There's a lot of hope in today's reading. Especially for parents with "Samson" children. I look forward to meeting Samson one day :)

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DIANER2014 2/4/2013 6:55AM

    Thank you Vic! emoticon

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AZMOMXTWO 2/4/2013 6:52AM

  thank you

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EDITOR 2/4/2013 6:46AM

    Love Ruth and will love a sacrificing women's perspective. Thank you, Vic for mixing it up. God bless!

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