Vineyard Life Journal

An online forum for our church family to connect around our 2012 daily Bible reading plan using the S.O.A.P. method.

Day 95

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Welcome to Day 95 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: Ruth 1, 2; Psalm 53, 61; 2 Corinthians 5 (2012 Daily Bible Reading Plan)

Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?

S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer

S cripture

Ruth chapters 1 and 2 outlines Elimelech and Naomi’s Ruin in Moab (1:1–5), Naomi and Ruth’s Return to Bethlehem (1:6–22) and the account of when Boaz Receives Ruth in His Field (2:1–23).

In this chapter we have Naomi’s afflictions. 1. As a distressed housekeeper, forced by famine to remove into the land of Moab, Ruth 1:1, 2. 2. As a mournful widow and mother, bewailing the death of her husband and her two sons, Ruth 1:3-5. 3. As a careful mother-in-law, desirous to be kind to her two daughters, but at a loss how to be so when she returns to her own country, Ruth 1:6-13. Orpah she parts with in sorrow, Ruth 1:14. Ruth she takes with her in fear, Ruth 1:15-18. 4. As a poor woman sent back to the place of her first settlement, to be supported by the kindness of her friends, Ruth 1:19-22. All these things were melancholy and seemed against her, and yet all were working for good. (Matthew Henry Commentary.)

Ruth is mentioned in the genealogy of Christ! Matthew 1:5 (Keep in mind, she is a Moabite, a gentile!)

While studying up on Ruth, I found this theological overview of themes in Ruth that I thought you might appreciate. Gives me a different vantage point as I am reading… a different lens to look through.

At least seven major theological themes emerge in Ruth. First, Ruth the Moabitess illustrates that God’s redemptive plan extended beyond the Jews to Gentiles (2:12). Second, Ruth demonstrates that women are co-heirs with men of God’s salvation grace (cf. 1 Peter 3:7). Third, Ruth portrays the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31:10 (cf. 3:11). Fourth, Ruth describes God’s sovereign (1:6; 4:13) and providential care (2:3) of seemingly unimportant people at apparently insignificant times which later prove to be monumentally crucial to accomplishing God’s will. Fifth, Ruth along with Tamar (Gen. 38), Rahab (Josh. 2) and Bathsheba (2 Sam. 11–12) stand in the genealogy of the Messianic line (4:17, 22; cf. Matthew 1:5). Sixth, Boaz, as a type of Christ, becomes Ruth’s kinsman-redeemer (4:1–12). Finally, David’s right (and thus Christ’s right) to the throne of Israel is traced back to Judah (4:18–22; cf. Genesis 49:8–12). (John Macarthur)

Here’s a link to the overview of Ruth: Click HERE.

(I wonder why they didn’t just have us read the entire book of Ruth today since it’s only four chapters…)

Psalm 53 laments the condition of humanity, while hoping in the salvation of the Lord! v 3 “Everyone has turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.” v 6 “Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion! When God restores his people…”

Psalm 61 follows the pattern of many of the psalms… Sadness of heart, prayers and tears, but ends in praise to our God! v 7b-8a “Appoint your love and faithfulness to protect [me]. 8 Then I will ever sing in praise of your name!”

2 Corinthians 5:14 “For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. 16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view.”

O bservation

I think I’ll focus on Ruth tomorrow… but for today, what hit me was out of 2 Corinthians, “Christ’s love compels us…”

A pplication

Been thinking about what “compels” me…

Why do I do what I do?

Is it for money? Well, no… although I am a pastor and it’s my full-time job. But I did it for several years, doing most of my major responsibilities as a volunteer.

Do I do it for recognition? No… although I do get more than my share of recognition and strokes, for sure.

Do I do it for “position?” No… I try to practice servant leadership, so my job is to serve, not for others to serve me.

What compels me?

Changed lives. Knowing that a person’s life has changed because of something I said or prayed, because God touched them in a significant way during a song or an outreach is what puts wind in my sails. Seeing someone using their God-given gifts… them being used by God, finding their passion or their purpose in life is what turns the crank of my heart.

Is it because, as Paul said, “Christ’s love compels me?” I think Christ’s love is like the engine, his Spirit is the fuel and seeing the fruit is the bi-product… the exhaust, if you will.

For me, there is a fine line between work and play. They say, “Do what you love and you never work a day in your life.”

I have found that to be true.

P rayer

Thank you Lord for your love… Thank you that it’s your kindness that leads a person to repentance!


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4 thoughts on “Day 95

  1. Love the story of Ruth. 1:16 Where you go I’ll go where you stay I’ll stay. And 2:13 may I continue to find favor in your eyes.
    Most times we go about our day not knowing why we have such favor but we do. Father remind me daily I am an ambassador for you. Let my behavior show your love. Thank you for your provisions for me.

  2. Nicole Marvin on said:

    2 Cor 5:5 (Msg)
    “The Spirit of God whets our appetite by giving us a taste of what’s ahead. He puts a little of heaven in our hearts so that we’ll never settle for less.”

    1 Cor. 5:7-8 (Msg)
    “Cramped conditions here don’t get us down. They only reminds us of the spacious living conditions ahead. It’s what we trust in but don’t yet see that keeps us going. Do you suppose a few ruts in the road or rocks in the path are going to stop us?”

    Once we have a taste of heaven, nothing compares. We don’t have to settle for less-than-fabulous once we know what is to come, where our real home is. Who our God is. There is no worries when we know who is in charge and where we are headed. We draw strength from God. From his Spirit, who lives in us.

    Reminds me of Building 429’s song “Where I belong”…

    Thank you, Lord, for your strength today. Thank you that I have tasted heaven. That I have no worries because I know this life is temporary. You are in charge. You hold my life. I have power through you. You give me a spirit of power, love and a sound mind. I love you, father.

  3. At this, she bowed down with her face to the ground. She asked him, “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.”

    I love the book of Ruth. It’s one of the few places in scripture where we get to see day to day life, how a widow and daughter-in-law of a widow had to rely on the act of gleaning from the crops to survive. It is also clear that there is a danger present here as Boaz had to tell the men not to touch her. Boaz is a man of high standing, yet notices Ruth because he has a caring heart. It would have been easy for him to ignore her or consider that she is fortunate enough to be able to glean in his fields, however, he is touched that she stuck with Naomi despite the danger it put her in.

    We often have opportunities to bless others. It is difficult to make financial sacrifices or go out of our way to make a difference for others. We can say that there are plenty of government programs to take care of the poor so it shouldn’t be our problem. I truly believe that we honor the name of Jesus and God honors our selfless acts of service to others, that is, when we routinely help others without expectation of attention or glory. Boaz goes beyond the requirement of the law.

    Boaz gave orders to his men, “Let her gather among the sheaves and don’t reprimand her. Even pull out some stalks for her from the bundles and leave them for her to pick up, and don’t rebuke her.”

    This was a choice he made. The words role model certainly come to mind.

    Lord, may we live and serve above and beyond the call of duty as Boaz did. Show us those who need help, whether it is encouraging words, a helping hand, or financial assistance. We don’t do this for notoriety or attention as you instructed us in Matthew 6:2. Lord, may this be the way we help others. Father, I bless what you are doing in the humble hearts of those who serve others and I pray for multiplication. In Jesus name.

  4. Ruth is a story of love. She gave love and God gave her love and care in return. God helps those who help themselves.

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