Come & study God's Word with the ladies of Journey Christian Church of New Orleans, Louisiana.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Session 3: An Encounter

This week is all about kindness & humility! Typically in this online study, I jump right to the daily assignments. However, this week I was truly moved by the intro. If you haven't taken time to read it - please stop and do so now.

Here is the video from our local New Orleans session.  Remember - the first 2-3 minutes are just an opener - please feel free to watch this - and then do you own study - or continue on to "join us" for our entire time of study!

Ruth Study - Session 3, Week 4 from Penny Franklin on Vimeo.

I love this story about how the probation officer took the time to be nice - to relate with Kelly's friend Lisa. Isn't it amazing how just one small statement - or even a look can make your day? We often look for someone to show us this kind of kindness in our every day lives - but how often do we look for others to show kindness to?

Today, really look that person in the grocery store in the eye and find a way to relate - to be kind! You just never know how it will impact their day!

Day 1 - Unexpected Kindness

Our text for this day is Ruth 2:10-12. Ruth wants to know why Boaz is being so nice to her. Ever wondered that about God? Boaz noticed Ruth for what she did, rather than how she looked! As Kelly puts it on page 68 - Boaz noticed her for her character rather than all the things she thought she would be known for - Moabite, widow, financial status.

Isn't it comforting to know that our Lord doesn't notice us by our sinful status - rather He wants to save us from it!!

Ruth was a very hard worker... and probably thought that no one noticed all that she was doing! Do you ever feel this way? Do you ever get weary & discouraged in thinking that no one sees all that you do? Read Isaiah 58:6-12 and find hope today!

Before we move on to Day 2 - I want to show you 2 more things...

On page 69 we read about how Boaz understood that God was Ruth's ultimate authority! He would do what he could to take care of Ruth - but in verse 12 we see him recognize that it would be the Lord who would reward & protect her. Read this verse and let the Lord speak to you as well.

I hope that no matter who you run to for strength and protection - that you too get that the Lord should be your ultimate provider!!

Read Psalm 91 - (yes the entire chapter!)
I love how it talks about the shadow of God. Imagine for just a moment what His shadow must be like! There is no shadow bigger than the Lord's - and we can find comfort in His shadow!!

Day 2 - Humility

Ok, I TOTALLY loved the story that Kelly told about her Dad shining shoes before he became a Pastor!!  If you haven't read it - go and do so now - it's on page 72.

This was my favorite quote, "the posture of his heart could be fully surrendered."  Where is the posture of your heart today?  It is in a place of complete and total humility and surrender?

Kelly talked about seasons of hardship and humbling and how they don't always make us feel good - but they do put us in a place to most be used and blessed by God!

I love the verses that she had us look up in this section of homework - Matthew 23:11-12, James 4:6, 10, 1 Peter 5:5-6.  It is from these verses that we learn that exaltation comes not from promoting ourselves, but from humbling ourselves!  God exalts us in His proper time!

In studying Ruth, we get to see Ruth's "proper or due time" - and we can have hope that God has a proper time to bring us up from that humble assignment and exalt us as well!  So hang on - it's coming in due time!

Day 3 - Invited to the Table

Read Ruth 2:14  Ruth had a seat at one of the best tables in the land!  Here is the beautiful part of this invitation - she was invited just as she was and got restored in the process!

Boaz had the authority to invite her to his table and to dine with him.  We too, ladies, have been invited to an amazing feast!  We have been invited to eat at the King's table!  Read Revelation 19:6-10.

We have been invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb!  And ladies we will be wearing fine linen - bright and clean!

I don't know about you - but that sounds magical!  Almost like a fairy tale that I ready to my daughter at night!  He (Jesus) clothes us in His righteousness!  Yes, we can come to the table as we are- but as we arrive, we find ourselves totally restored and clothed by the Lord!

Day 4 - A Generous Gift

Read Ruth 2:15-19

On this day, I was completely inspired by how hard Ruth worked at such a menial task.  And when given more to pick up - she actually does!  She goes home with so much food for her and Naomi.  I love how Kelly puts this on page 79, "God provides us with the gift of work yet still invites us to do the work."

Wow!  I want you to think about how you "work".  Is it a fun job?  Do you get a ton of accolades?  We never see Ruth complain!  Today, thank God for the work that you do have and that you have able hands in which to work!

Read 2 Corinthians 9:6-11

What was your favorite part of this passage?  Here's mine: verse 8, "And God is able to make all grace abound to you, that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed."

Whew!  Did you catch the "all's" and the "everythings" here?  Now that is some energy to keep doing the work!  No matter how tedious or mundane!

Ruth provided for Naomi and never complained.  She never once told Naomi she would just go her on way once they got to Bethlehem.  She never once asked Naomi to get up and help her!  She didn't even question if Naomi was going to do anything to help bring in money or food.

Basically Ruth gave from the very place she had need herself!  Ruth never wallowed!

Ouch!  I know this was a moment of conviction for me!  I wallow when I should be giving.  I want to give you a challenge today:

Don't wallow - instead give from that exact area!  On page 81, Kelly says, "We all have something to give even if we're broke or broken."

Today, find someway that you can give instead of wallow!

Day 5 - A Kinsman-Redeemer

Read Ruth 2:19-23

I love this section of study!  Mainly because I see my Lord in so much of what we learn about Boaz.  Let's see...

Naomi asked Ruth where she had been and Ruth answers with a "who" instead of a "where".  On one level I think this is kind of cute.  Perhaps she has Boaz on the brain.  Perhaps he was all she was thinking about so when Naomi asked where she gleaned - "Boaz" is all that could come out of her mouth!

{insert laughter and smiles here - remembering our first crush and such}

But on to a more serious correlation...

Kelly says on the bottom of page 83, "she knew the significance wasn't in the where, but in the who".  Oh that we might see the same thing in our Lord!  It's not about how I'm going to find the money to pay my bills, it's not about where to go to work, it's not about why is all this happening... instead it's all about the Who that can deliver and provide for it all!

This week we learned about what a kinsman-redeemer can do for their family!  We get to see how Boaz has the opportunity to fully restore and redeem Ruth.

We also get to see some restoration happen in the heart of Naomi as well.  Strange how going home - going back to the place where you know the Lord to be - can restore your soul.

When Naomi first left Moab she was very bitter because she felt that God had brought about all the hurt she was experiencing.  Then look and see what she says in Ruth 2:20, "May he be blessed of the Lord..."

What?!  We see Naomi talking about Boaz being blessed of the Lord!  I some healing is going on in Naomi's heart!  What can we learn from Naomi here?  If you are bitter, sad, overwhelmed by all that's happened to you.  Go back to where you know the Lord is working - church, your Bible, etc... and wait for the Lord to restore you.  If it can happen to Naomi - a mother who lost both of her children, her husband, her home - it can happen to you!

Let the Lord be your Kinsman-Redeemer today!

To end our session - we listened to Kelly's song "Redeeming Love"