Dissect it! Ruth’s Character

Dissect it!

And now, my daughter, don’t be afraid. I will do for you all you ask. All the people of my town know that you are a woman of noble character.

Ruth 3:11 (NIV)

I was looking through the references to the word ‘character’ in the Bible and as I read this particular one I paused. How did the people know that Ruth was a women a character? How did all the people of the town know this? What was it about her that made it indisputable? What proved to them her character? Was it what she said? I don’t think so, the Bible doesn’t record any conversation between her and the townspeople at all. Was it her family, where she came from? Where they known for being respectable? No, she was a Moabite! The Moabites certainly weren’t respected by God’s people, the Moabites worshiped idols. I think that it must have been Ruth’s actions. In Ruth chapter 2 we see that she goes into the fields to gather food for herself and Naomi. Boaz notices her and asks the overseer about her and the overseer praises her diligence and work. HEr actions. Boaz invites her to stay working in his  fields. Ruth doesn’t understand! Here she is a unrespectable Moabite, and so she asks why, “Why have I found such favor in your eyes that you notice me—a foreigner?” 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 2:10-12 NIV, emphasis mine). Had Ruth run around proclaiming that she was a respectable character, no one would have respected her! She proved by her actions that she has good character. That she was hardworking, responsible, and persevering. I also suspect that her actions might have shaped her character a bit. I mean, she probably didn’t have to go work in the fields behind the actual workers all day before moving to Israel to take care of Naomi.  She has a husband and father for that if they ever were desperate enough, which they might never have been! But she made the choice, gained character, and proven her character; so that Boaz had full confidence in praising her character! Even the fact that she’s chosen to go to him instead of some other (3:10) was another action that proved/shaped her character! So now I challenge you: think about the last decision you made to do something or say something… what kind of character does it show in you? How is it shaping you? And what will your next action be? What kind of character will it prove or build?

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Dissect it! – Witnessing

Dissect it!
“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.”John 6:44 (NIV)
So. Dissect this verse. Okay, so the first part is this: ‘No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws them’. This calls for two steps of action on our part! We can preach at people as cleverly, convincingly, and passionately as we want, but without God it will all come to nothing. We cannot save them (who was is on the cross?), we cannot change their hearts, and neither is it our job. This is freeing! We are still called to do our part, but God is responsible. Woe be to us, however, if we try to do it without God. Okay, I’m getting distracted. The two steps of action. Right. Well, the first one is to pray. To pray for the people you want to witness to. To pray for the people’s hearts. That they may be ready to receive God’s truth. Without prayer and without God, trying to share the Good News with someone might cause more harm than good. So pray. Pray that God may draw them. May prepare and call their hearts.This also means that we need to have our own close relationship with God. If you need to, maybe reevaluate your relationship with Him. Many times I will pray and ask God, “Give him/her a hunger, and desire for You unlike anything they have experienced before. That they may not be satisfied until they find You.” (Matthew 7:8) Now for the second step: Share! And trust God to ‘raise them up on the last day’. For He will be faithful. He loves them more that you can ever imagine or comprehend and He wants to spend eternity with them in Heaven. (Philippians 1:6)
‘For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.’

2 Peter 1:16 (NIV)
‘So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.’

1 Corinthians 3:7 (NIV)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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