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 96

Friday, April 6, 2012

Welcome to Day 96 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: Ruth 3, 4; Psalm 64, 65; 2 Corinthians 6 (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

NOTE: The Life Journal Reading Plan on the Bible ap on my iPhone did not include Psalm 65… But the official LifeJournal.cc web site includes it. That’s what I go by.

I’d also like to say thanks to all of you who check in on this blog! I had someone approach me over the weekend who had no idea that I was the one facilitating this online Life Journal blog and forum. I guess I just assumed that people would know. So, anyway, if you have just recently joined us on this blog, welcome!

I’m Scott Sliver (Sly-ver), assistant pastor and worship leader at the Vineyard. Friend me on facebook and make sure you introduce yourself to me sometime in person! (Hopefully you can make our coffee meetup next Saturday in the Lodge at the Vineyard!)

Moving right along…

S cripture

Ruth 3, 4 and we also read Psalms 64, 65, 2 Corinthians 6… So much great scripture today… I’m focusing on Ruth.

Ruth 3 and 4 concludes the beautiful story of Ruth… I would encourage you to go back and reread all four chapters of Ruth concurrently to maintain the flow of the story… I listened to it again just to try to get all the details straight. Click HERE to read/listen to all four chapters of Ruth.

(Keep in mind as you read about Ruth that she was a Moabite. Moab, the father of the Moabites, was the son of an incestuous birth by Laban and his oldest daughter… Imagine having THAT in your family’s story! You’ll find that in Genesis 19.)

The most incredible part of this story is that a Moabite woman is written into the genealogy of Jesus. To you and me, we may miss the significance of this one particular fact. If you read in Nehemiah 13:1-3, (quoting Deuteronomy 23:3) here is what is written; “On that day the Book of Moses was read aloud in the hearing of the people and there it was found written that no Ammonite or Moabite should ever be admitted into the assembly of God, because they had not met the Israelites with food and water but had hired Balaam to call a curse down on them. (Our God, however, turned the curse into a blessing.) 3 When the people heard this law, they excluded from Israel all who were of foreign descent.”

Ruth 1:15-17 is SO, SO significant… and it’s easy to gloss over it. “Look,” said Naomi, [to Ruth] “your sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods. Go back with her.” 16 But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.”

This is an amazing story of redemption and God’s care for all… who turn to him. Regardless of the curse on the Moabites, Ruth turned to the LORD and he accepted her. So powerful.

We see in the genealogy of David (and ultimately, the genealogy of Jesus!), Ruth 4:21-22, “Boaz the father of Obed, [Ruth married Boaz and bore to him Obed] 22 Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David.”

Isaiah 56 speaks to this amazing concept of redemption (in spite of the curse of foreigners…)

Isaiah 56:4 “To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths, who choose what pleases me and hold fast to my covenant— 5 to them I will give within my temple and its walls a memorial and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that will endure forever. 6 And foreigners who bind themselves to the LORD to minister to him, to love the name of the LORD, and to be his servants, all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it and who hold fast to my covenant— 7 these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.” 8 The Sovereign LORD declares—he who gathers the exiles of Israel: “I will gather still others to them besides those already gathered.”

O bservation

That includes US! Gentiles! And Moabites like Ruth who “bind themselves to the LORD.” Ruth 1:17, “Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.”

Sounds like she bound herself to the LORD, doesn’t it?

A pplication

What an amazing story of God’s redemptive nature… His heart to accept all who may be far off and yet long to draw near to Him… He will “give joy in his house of prayer.”

That redemption is found in Jesus… Colossians 1:12-14, “giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have…

redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

When I reflect back on my life, and I did that some yesterday as I was meeting with someone, I shared some of my early struggles in life and how God stepped into my life and changed its course.

I’m so thankful.

P rayer

Psalm 65:2-4, “You who answer prayer, to you all people will come. 3 When we were overwhelmed by sins, you forgave our transgressions. 4 Blessed are those you choose and bring near to live in your courts! We are filled with the good things of your house, of your holy temple.”

Thank you Lord…

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4 thoughts on “Day 96

  1. I love the story of Ruth and how God restores hope and joy to a grieving family.

  2. Nicole Marvin on said:

    What a blessing God’s faithfulness is. That he seeks us. Whoever we are. Wherever we are. He always loves us and wants a relationship with us.

    Praise the Lord!

  3. Don’t become partners with those who reject God. How can you make a partnership out of right and wrong? That’s not partnership; that’s war. Is light best friends with dark? Does Christ go strolling with the Devil? Do trust and mistrust hold hands? Who would think of setting up pagan idols in God’s holy Temple? But that is exactly what we are, each of us a temple in whom God lives. God himself put it this way:

    “I’ll live in them, move into them;
    I’ll be their God and they’ll be my people.
    So leave the corruption and compromise;
    leave it for good,” says God.
    “Don’t link up with those who will pollute you.
    I want you all for myself.
    I’ll be a Father to you;
    you’ll be sons and daughters to me.”
    The Word of the Master, God. 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 (MSG)

    I think of these verses every time I see a Coexist bumper sticker. Although we need to reach out to everyone and invite them to the truth, we can never dilute the truth of the gospel to better get along with other religions. This doesn’t mean that we have to hate them. We have to remember Ephesians 6:10-12 (NIV)

    Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

    We have to remember that our battle is against ideologies in this world and is spiritual in nature. By putting on the full armor of God (understanding His word, not just memorizing it), we can make a stand against the devil’s schemes. We need to learn how to shake the dust from our sandals when we speak the truth and it is not received.

    Lord, thank you for Your salvation. You are the way, the truth and the life. May we help others understand this. We need your guidance in doing this. Give us spiritual strength and understanding. In Your name we ask this.

  4. I love the story of Ruth…what a great story of putting everything…all of her trust in the Lord. And I think the whole geneology of Ruth really speaks to how most of us are….we have dysfunctional families, family or friends who choose a path that isn’t Biblical….yet God tells us to be courageous. I think one of the most valuable lessons I’ve gotten lately from church and this blog from Scott is “be salt and light.” It’s so easy to take something as beautiful as God’s word and make it something that puts off those we are trying to bring to God’s truth. So, if I really try to live out what his word is teaching me, be the “salt and light” in the life of those around me, I will make a difference. I see it. I don’t believe Jesus and God are a “hard sell.” Jesus, our Lord, is our Truth, our Way, and our Light. No one can take that from me as a believer. No one did from Ruth. Thank you Lord!

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