Bitter or Better


Ruth 1:19-22; Week 4
Day 1:
Invite the Lord to illuminate your heart…..

Ruth 1:19-22
Now the two of them went until they came to Bethlehem. And it happened, when they had come to Bethlehem, that all the city was excited because of them; and the women said, “ Is this Naomi?”
But she said to them, “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. I went out full, and the Lord has brought me home again empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since the Lord has testified against me, and the Almighty has afflicted me?”
So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess her daughter- in- law with her, who returned from the country of Moab. Now they came to Bethlehem at the beginning of barley harvest.
Chapter 1 ends as it began with names mentioned repeatedly. Why do you think that is?

Naomi’s name is cited most, four times. By whom?

Did you notice that even though she insists on the name Mara, which means “bitter”, the Author does not call her by that name? With other name changes in the Bible (Abram to Abraham, Jacob to Israel, etc.), the new names are used after being introduced. Why is this different?

In pain, have you chosen names for yourself, officially or “just” in your thoughts?

In Week 1 Day 2, you pondered what you would like your new name in eternity to say about you. Do you remember?

Jeremiah 1:5
“ Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”
Jeremiah was ordained a prophet to the nations. Ask Him what qualities/ calling He wove into your design:

John 15:16
You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. Your response:

Day 2:
Bitterness imprisons life; love releases it.” ~ Harry Emerson Fosdick Invite His love to release your life wherever needed:

Ruth 1:20-21
But she said to them, “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. I went out full, and the Lord has brought me home again empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since the Lord has testified against me, and the Almighty has afflicted me?” What comes to mind when you hear the word “bitter”?

Where did Naomi place responsibility for her bitterness?

Can you relate? How do you respond to pain?

Before we focus on the healing, let’s diagnose the danger of bitterness, so we are more motivated to uproot it. What characterizes bitter people you have encountered:

Acts 8:23
For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity. What does bitterness do:

Isaiah 38:17
Indeed it was for my own peace that I had great bitterness;
But You have lovingly delivered my soul from the pit of corruption, For You have cast all my sins behind Your back.
From this verse, what is God responsible for? Write whatever comes to mind:

No matter the state of your heart, He is on your side. Isaiah 1:18 “ Come now, and let us reason together,” says the Lord,
“Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Hebrews 12:14-15
Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; Is He showing you someone to forgive or pursue peace with?

In light of all this, how can you pursue holiness today?

Isaiah 43:1-3
…“ Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are Mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you.
For I am the Lord your God,
The Holy One of Israel, your Savior…
Your response:

Day 3:
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you.
For I am the Lord your God,
The Holy One of Israel, your Savior…
Isaiah 43:2-3

Tell Him where your heart is today:

Then focus on what He calls Himself.
For I am the Lord your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior…(Isaiah 43:3) “The Lord”: “יהוה yhwh: (the) self- Existent or Eternal”
Think of what is not eternal, not self-existent in your life:

How does it matter that the Eternal One, outside time, deadlines, and stress, is you Helper?

What does it mean to you that He is your God?

Holy One of Israel: קדושׁ” qados; or קדשׁ qadosh; from:sacred (ceremonially or morally); (as noun) God (by eminence), an angel, a saint, a sanctuary…”
As God is Holy, so Israel, so we, are called to be holy. This command shows up 163 times in the Bible. But what does it mean?

Some antonyms (opposite words) of holy are: abominable, common, cursed, impure, polluted, secular, wicked, worldly. Whatever the words represent is in direct opposition to God’s character. Based on this, how would you counsel Naomi? Ruth 1:20-21
But she said to them, “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. I went out full, and the Lord has brought me home again empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since the Lord has testified against me, and the Almighty has afflicted me?” Your counsel:

Twice, she called Him “the Almighty”, which means All-Powerful. Where do you need to know that He is All Powerful today?

Perhaps Naomi lost sight of His goodness. Whether or not we can grasp it, He never sets aside one quality to flex another. If any part of you wrestles with this, meditate on this Scripture, until you have peace: Isaiah 49:14-15
But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me, and my Lord has forgotten me.”
“Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, yet I will not forget you. Treasure these Words. They are life.

Day 4:
You have hedged me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain it. Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? Psalms 139:5-7
Tell Him what His presence means to you today:

Ruth 1:22
So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess her daughter- in- law with her, who returned from the country of Moab. Now they came to Bethlehem at the beginning of barley harvest. Name three facts from this passage:
1.
2.
3.
Do you hear God cheering on Naomi here? Yes, she was bitter, yes, she had sought refuge away from His land, His people, and His ways in Moab, but she returned! Do you in any way need to return to Him, His people, or His ways?

If not, pray for someone still in Moab to return. Actually, do it anyway:

The name Naomi chose for herself in her bitterness, Mara, is the same word repeated three times in this passage: Exodus 15:23-27
Now when they came to Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter. Therefore the name of it was called Marah. And the people complained against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” So he cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a tree. When he cast it into the waters, the waters were made sweet.
There He made a statute and an ordinance for them, and there He tested them, and said, “If you diligently heed the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you.”
Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve wells of water and seventy palm trees; so they camped there by the waters.
The people complained against Moses, and Moses cried out to the Lord. What is the difference in their response?

To whom did the Lord show the tree that sweetened the water?

What did the Lord want them to know about Him?

What is He impressing on you now:

As He led them to Elim, where there were twelve wells of water and seventy palm trees; so they camped there by the waters~ so He is continually inviting you to camp in the oasis of His presence. Your response:

Day 5:
You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Psalms 16:11
Ask Him to show you the path of life today:

Back to the story of Ruth. Jewish tradition teaches that Elimelech and Naomi left during the famine, because they did not want to share their wealth while others became needy. In that case it makes sense for Naomi to declare, “I went out full..” (Ruth 1:21). From that perspective, how would you expect the city to respond to their return?

Ruth 1:19
Now the two of them went until they came to Bethlehem. And it happened, when they had come to Bethlehem, that all the city was excited because of them; and the women said, “ Is this Naomi?” How did the city respond when they came to Bethlehem, “the House of Bread”?

John 6:35
And Jesus said to them, “ I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. What are you hungry or thirsty for today?

The joy over people returning to Him is perhaps the most important theme in the Bible. Luke 15 features three parables, all with that simple, life-giving point emphasized. The prodigal son story (verses 11-32) always grabs my heart, both because of the father’s unreserved embrace when his lost son returns, but also because the older son cannot rejoice. As Naomi could not rejoice. Do you identify with that in any way?

Whether you never left His way, like the older (bitter?) son or, like Naomi have wandered far from His path, meditate on this: Luke 15:7
I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety- nine just persons who need no repentance.
If any part of you resists that joy in heaven over you, take a deep breath and let is go:

A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell.” – C. S. Lewis Ezekiel 16:6-8
“And when I passed by you and saw you struggling in your own blood, I said to you in your blood, ‘ Live! ’ Yes, I said to you in your blood, ‘ Live! ’ I made you thrive like a plant in the field; and you grew, matured, and became very beautiful. Your breasts were formed, your hair grew, but you were naked and bare.
“When I passed by you again and looked upon you, indeed your time was the time of love; so I spread My wing over you and covered your nakedness. Yes, I swore an oath to you and entered into a covenant with you, and you became Mine,” says the Lord God. Your response:

Friendships; Ruth1:14-19


Ruth 1:14-19; Week 3
-Decisions -
Day 1:
Ask the Lord to make you aware of His presence as you pour out your heart to Him now:

Ruth 1:14
Then they lifted up their voices and wept again; and Orpah kissed her mother- in- law, but Ruth clung to her. Glance back over Ruth 1:1-13.
Why were they crying?

The implication is that Orpah kissed Naomi goodbye, but Ruth, in contrast clung to her. What would you have done:

Why?

Matthew 21:28-31a
“ But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘ Son, go, work today in my vineyard. ’ He answered and said, ‘I will not, ’ but afterward he regretted it and went. Then he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, ‘ I go, sir, ’ but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” Your answer:
Do you see a parallel between this parable and the choices of Orpah and Ruth? Why/ why not?

Do you have a decision to make or a relationship to evaluate?

Exodus 33:13-15
Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight….” And He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
Then he said to Him, “ If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here. Continue/ personalize Abraham’s prayer in your own words:

Day 2:

For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light. (Psalms 36:9) Where do you need His light to shine today:

Ruth 1:15
And she said, “ Look, your sister- in- law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister- in- law.”
Between verses 14 and 15, Orpah must have left the two. She returned to her ______________ and to her ___________, What do you remember about her people, the Moabites:

Who do you think her gods are:

Why would Naomi of Bethlehem (“house of bread”), Judah (“praise”) suggest that Ruth follow Orpah?

A Hebrew, Naomi’s oft-quoted heritage was Deuteronomy 6:4-5
“ Hear, O Israel:The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.”
Yet, her reality was also that “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”(Judges 21:25) Israel had dethroned their God. Which do you think influenced Naomi more?

Do you in struggle with the tension between a godless culture and the call of God, as described in Deuteronomy 6:4-5?

Which voice is stronger,?

Even if the whole world attempted to dethrone Him, it would not change His divine majesty. Meditate on this and choose one phrase to memorize today. Deuteronomy 33:26-29
“ There is no one like the God of Jeshurun, Who rides the heavens to help you, And in His excellency on the clouds.
The eternal God is your refuge, And underneath are the everlasting arms; He will thrust out the enemy from before you, And will say, ‘ Destroy! ’ Then Israel shall dwell in safety, The fountain of Jacob alone, In a land of grain and new wine; His heavens shall also drop dew. Happy are you, O Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the Lord, The shield of your help And the sword of your majesty!
Your enemies shall submit to you, And you shall tread down their high places.”

Day 3
Read the last Scriptures from yesterday again, aloud if circumstances allow. Then respond to Him:

Ruth 1:16-17
But Ruth said:
“ Entreat me not to leave you, or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; and wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.
Where you die, I will die, and there will I be buried.
The Lord do so to me, and more also, if anything but death parts you and me.” This is the most famous passage of Ruth. Why is it so compelling?

What emotions does it stir in you? Tell Him about it:

Ruth’s name means “friendship” and many women long for such a friend. Do you think this passage says more about Ruth or Naomi, to whom this loyalty was pledged?

What qualities do you think Ruth the Moabite saw in Naomi of Bethlehem?

Proverbs 18:24
A man who has friends must himself be friendly,
But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
This Proverb teaches two principles on friendship.
1:
2:
The friend who sticks closer than a brother, even than a husband or child, is He who never breaks His promises: Isaiah 54:10
For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but My kindness shall not depart from you, nor shall My covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has mercy on you. Where do you need His kindness, peace, or mercy today?

To whom is He asking you to extend His kindness, peace, or mercy today?

John 15:14-15
You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.
“This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” (John 15:12) and “These things I command you, that you love one another.” How will you respond:

Day 4
To whom did you show kindness yesterday?

Whether you had failure or victory, today is new.
Lamentations 3:22-23
Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.
Hebrews 4:16
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Tell Him all about it:

After Ruth’s declaration of unwavering loyalty (Ruth 1:16-17), Naomi responded: “When she saw that she was determined to go with her, she stopped speaking to her.” (Ruth 1:18)
In this quiet, perhaps understated verse, which emotions do you think pulsed through Naomi?

Through Ruth?

The word for determined also means “to be alert, physically (on foot) or mentally (in courage):— confirm, be courageous (of good courage, stedfastly minded, strong, stronger), establish, fortify, harden, increase, prevail, strengthen (self), make strong (obstinate, speed).” Which of these meanings would you most like to describe you?

In what situation do you need this quality? Ask Him, and He will build it into your character, as you obey step by step:

This is the Hebrew Word continually given to Joshua, as he was preparing to step into Moses’s sandals and lead the Israelites into the Promised Land. Deuteronomy 31:6
“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” This is a command, not an emotion. Speak this into your own soul:

Joshua 10:25
Then Joshua said to them, “ Do not be afraid, nor be dismayed; be strong and of good courage, for thus the Lord will do to all your enemies against whom you fight.”
As Joshua passed on this Word to his people, so speak this in prayer over anyone He brings to your attention.

Day 5
Deuteronomy 31:6
“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” Your response:

Ruth 1:19
Now the two of them went until they came to Bethlehem. And it happened, when they had come to Bethlehem, that all the city was excited because of them; and the women said, “ Is this Naomi?” Why do you think Bethlehem is mentioned twice?

Naomi had been gone at least ten years. Ruth was of enemy-descent. How do you think they each anticipated entering the “House of Bread”? Naomi:

Ruth:

How did the city receive them:

Have you ever returned home after a long absence?

Have you ever been afraid you weren’t welcome somewhere?

Have you ever received someone back, whom you thought were lost to you?

In Luke 15, Jesus tells three parables, all about finding something or someone lost. A man lost a sheep, a woman lost a valuable coin, and a father lost a son. Each story ends with celebration. No matter the circumstances, no matter the apparent value of what was lost, always only welcome. Luke 15:7
I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety- nine just persons who need no repentance. Luke 15:10
Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Luke 15:31-32
“ And he said to him, ‘ Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found. ’” How is this relevant to you today?

How will you respond to Him:

Arise


Ruth 1: 6-13
Arise
Day 1:
Begin by inviting your Father into your study today:

Before you read, briefly summarize what has happened so far in Naomi’s life (Ruth 1:1-5):

Then read Ruth 1:6-7
Then she arose with her daughters- in- law that she might return from the country of Moab, for she had heard in the country of Moab that the Lord had visited His people by giving them bread. Therefore she went out from the place where she was, and her two daughters- in- law with her; and they went on the way to return to the land of Judah.
Circle the action verbs in the passage. This is the first time we have seen Naomi take action. What did she do:

Why?

Where did she hear that “the Lord had visited His people by giving them bread.”?

Why do you think we haven’t seen her take action until now?

Proverbs 13:12
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life. Have you ever felt sick from hopelessness?

What was a “tree of life” to you?

What do you hope for today? Tell Him all about it and ask for His help:

Then read these three passages, till your soul rests in them: Psalms 31:24
Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the Lord. Psalms 130:7
O Israel, hope in the Lord; for with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him is abundant redemption. Jeremiah 17:7-8
“ Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
And whose hope is the Lord.
For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,
Which spreads out its roots by the river,
And will not fear when heat comes;
But its leaf will be green,
And will not be anxious in the year of drought,
Nor will cease from yielding fruit.

Day 2:
Read the above three passages. Then tell your Lord what’s on your heart today:

Then listen to His heart for you:
Jeremiah 29:11-12
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. Okay, let’s turn to Ruth 1:7
Therefore she went out from the place where she was, and her two daughters- in- law with her; and they went on the way to return to the land of Judah.
Have you ever found yourself in Moab, a de-tour, a sin, and then, like Naomi, been stirred by enough hope to return to the Lord?

How was that journey “to the land of Judah”?

As Judah means praise, would you praise Him now calling you back to Himself:

Where are you in your relationship with Him?

If you sense any barrier at all, first tell Him or ask Him why:

Then listen to this:
Revelation 3:20
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. How do you respond to Him today? Where are you opening the door for Him?

Psalms 45:10-11
Listen, O daughter,
Consider and incline your ear;
Forget your own people also, and your father’s house;
So the King will greatly desire your beauty;
Because He is your Lord, worship Him.
Day 3
Read Psalm 45:10-11 from yesterday again. Respond to your King:

Ruth 1:8-9a
And Naomi said to her two daughters- in- law, “ Go, return each to her mother’s house. The Lord deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me. The Lord grant that you may find rest, each in the house of her husband.” What does Naomi wish for her daughters-in-law:

Actually, more than a wish, this is a parental blessing, almost foreign to our culture. It was instituted by God Himself, as He blessed His son and friend Abraham: Genesis 12:2-3
I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; And you shall be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
What do you associate with the word “blessing”?

Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance:
“From barak; benediction; by implication prosperity — blessing, liberal, pool, present.”
Last week, we pondered the meaning of names. And here in Abraham’s blessing, we see that in God our names are great, because they are blessed and intended for blessing others. How do you enjoy blessing others:

That is a gift from God to those around you.
James 1:17
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. Lest any part of you doubt that Abraham’s blessing is for you, take this in: Romans 4:23-24
Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, Do you believe that God raised Jesus from the dead?
Is Jesus your Lord and Savior?
Then this blessing to Abraham is to you.
Conclude by thanking Him and dedicating your life to be a blessing:

Psalms 16:7-9
I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel; my heart also instructs me in the night seasons. I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; my flesh also will rest in hope. Amen.
Day 4
Read Psalm 16:7-9 from yesterday aloud to Him. This is a powerful passage to memorize if you struggle with fear, insecurity, and fretting in any way. Try speaking it aloud to your soul next time you need to feel His Presence. For now, bless Him in your own words: I will bless You, Lord, who

Ruth 1:10
And they said to her, “Surely we will return with you to your people.” Have you ever made rash promises?

In what way do you struggle most with your tongue?

Ruth and Orpah had both just lost their husbands. In the end, only Ruth actually returned with Naomi to her people. Why do you think they both responded to her this way?

What are you prone to do when stressed or distressed?

Sometimes, it is very difficult to discern God’s voice from the voices of people we love or the expectations we may sense from them. How do you know the difference?

Romans 12:2
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God
You are renewing your mind every time you open the Word of God. What is He showing you now:

Romans 8:27
And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. The Spirit is interceding for you now. What do you think He is praying for:

Romans 8:28-29
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. Describe Jesus:

You are being transformed into His image.
Philippians 1:3-6
I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;

Day 5
As you are being transformed, transform this Scripture into a prayer in your own words: Romans 12:2
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God

Ruth 1:11-13
But Naomi said, “Turn back, my daughters; why will you go with me? Are there still sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands? Turn back, my daughters, go —for I am too old to have a husband. If I should say I have hope, if I should have a husband tonight and should also bear sons, would you wait for them till they were grown? Would you restrain yourselves from having husbands? No, my daughters; for it grieves me very much for your sakes that the hand of the Lord has gone out against me!” How would you describe Naomi at this point:

How would you comfort her?

To what does she tie hope?

Have you ever placed hope in a relationship or a circumstance, only to have it crumble?

How did you deal with that?
Job was a man who lost everything without ever going to Moab. Painfully, it’s a fact on this fallen earth that bad things happen to good people. “Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!” ( Job 2:9)
But his hope was not in the treasures he lost, which was everything and everyone, including his children. His response was Job 23:10
But He knows the way that I take;
When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.
What do you think he meant?

In what way are you being tested right now?

James 1:2-4
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
“Complete” means:” whole, entire; complete in all its parts, in no part wanting or unsound, complete, entire, whole of a body without blemish”
It is similar to Shalom, the ultimate well-being. That is what you are designed for and are being transformed into. You current testing is a tool He uses for that purpose. How will you respond to Him today:

Ruth 1:1-5; Names


Week 1: Ruth 1:1-5
Day 1:
We will read these five verses every day, and then meditate on them, one a day. Ruth 1:1-5
Now it came to pass, in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem, Judah, went to dwell in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons. The name of the man was Elimelech, the name of his wife was Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion — Ephrathites of Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to the country of Moab and remained there. Then Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, died; and she was left, and her two sons. Now they took wives of the women of Moab:the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth. And they dwelt there about ten years. Then both Mahlon and Chilion also died; so the woman survived her two sons and her husband.
Before zooming in on verse 1, write your prayer for God to meet you in His Word right where you are:

Verse 1:
Now it came to pass, in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem, Judah, went to dwell in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons What are the circumstances:

Which circumstances in your life comes to mind:

How did “a certain man of Bethlehem, Judah ” respond to the circumstances:

How are you responding to yours?

What is God showing you:

Day 2
Read again
Ruth 1:1-5
Now it came to pass, in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem, Judah, went to dwell in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons. The name of the man was Elimelech, the name of his wife was Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion — Ephrathites of Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to the country of Moab and remained there. Then Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, died; and she was left, and her two sons. Now they took wives of the women of Moab:the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth. And they dwelt there about ten years. Then both Mahlon and Chilion also died; so the woman survived her two sons and her husband. Today, meditate on Ruth 1:2
The name of the man was Elimelech, the name of his wife was Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion — Ephrathites of Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to the country of Moab and remained there. What is the most repeated word in this verse?

Why do you think it is mentioned so much?

Each of these names have a meaning. Do you know what your own name means?

Revelation 2:17
17 “ He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.” ’ What would you like your new name to say about you?

2 Chronicles 2:4
4 Behold, I am building a temple for the name of the Lord my God, to dedicate it to Him, to burn before Him sweet incense, for the continual showbread, for the burnt offerings morning and evening, on the Sabbaths, on the New Moons, and on the set feasts of the Lord our God. This is an ordinance forever to Israel.1 Corinthians 6:19
19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?
As you meditate on 2. Chronicles 2:4 and 1. Corinthians 6:19, what is God showing you:

Day 3
Read again
Ruth 1:1-5
Now it came to pass, in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem, Judah, went to dwell in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons. The name of the man was Elimelech, the name of his wife was Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion — Ephrathites of Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to the country of Moab and remained there. Then Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, died; and she was left, and her two sons. Now they took wives of the women of Moab:the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth. And they dwelt there about ten years. Then both Mahlon and Chilion also died; so the woman survived her two sons and her husband.

Write a prayer, inviting God to speak to you:

As painful as it is, read over verse 3 several times:
Ruth 1:3
Then Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, died; and she was left, and her two sons.
Naomi and her sons were in a foreign country. What do you think Naomi lost when her husband died:

What in your life have you lost?

How did you deal with that?

Elimelech means “my God is King.” what do you think he would tell Naomi:

What do you think God is saying about the losses in your life?

Write a prayer inviting Him to be King over your loss, and Healer of any wounds still aching:

He died after unbearable torture, to rise again, to conquer all death ~ To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”
- Isaiah 61:3

Day 4
Invite the Holy Spirit to minister to you through His living Word:

Read again
Ruth 1:1-5
Now it came to pass, in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem, Judah, went to dwell in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons. The name of the man was Elimelech, the name of his wife was Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion — Ephrathites of Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to the country of Moab and remained there. Then Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, died; and she was left, and her two sons. Now they took wives of the women of Moab:the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth. And they dwelt there about ten years. Then both Mahlon and Chilion also died; so the woman survived her two sons and her husband. Read several times Ruth 1:4
Now they took wives of the women of Moab:the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth. And they dwelt there about ten years. Orpah means “gazelle” and Ruth means “friendship.”
What impression does this give you of these women?

In Deuteronomy 7:3 and 23:3, Ezra 9:2, and Nehemiah 13:23 God explicitly forbids marriage between Israelites and Moabites. Why do you think He does that?

Ruth is in the Old Testament, before Jesus made it possible for everyone to be part of His family. In the New Testament, this is our reality: Galatians 3:28-29
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
However, there is still a warning concerning marriage and other close partnership, not longer based on race or nationality, but on faith. 2 Corinthians 6:14
Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?
To be yoked together is an expression from farming where to oxen yoked together must pull in the same direction at the same speed. What happens when an believer is yoked with an unbeliever?

Are you in any way yoked to someone whose direction in life hinders or compromises yours?

Pray and ask God what to do about it:

Day 5
Before you read the Word, pour out your heart to your Father. What fills your heart and mind right now:

B

Ask him to take it and handle it for you:

1 Peter 5:6-7
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He gvdds fstvyv hyb c65)5ymsvfcgfbbbdecares for you. Let’s return to Ruth:
Ruth 1:1-5
Now it came to pass, in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem, Judah, went to dwell in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons. The name of the man was Elimelech, the name of his wife was Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion — Ephrathites of Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to the country of Moab and remained there. Then Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, died; and she was left, and her two sons. Now they took wives of the women of Moab:the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth. And they dwelt there about ten years. Then both Mahlon and Chilion also died; so the woman survived her two sons and her husband.
Before zooming in on today’s Word, let’s remember that “the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two- edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)

Ruth 1:5
Then both Mahlon and Chilion also died; so the woman survived her two sons and her husband.
This is probably the most painful verse in the Book of Ruth. After today, we will see how God redeems impossible situations. But we must wrestle with this first. In your opinion, is there ever any rhyme or reason for suffering?

When sin first emerged the world in the garden of Eden, death came with it. It is a reality no one escapes, but some death is a consequence of personal sin. What would be an example of this:

Remember that marriages between Hebrew and Moabites were strictly forbidden under the law. About this verse, Jewish writers say that the early deaths of both the young men were divine judgments inflicted on them for those unlawful connections. Is there anything in your life that could lead to negative consequences:

What is God showing you to do about it:

Romans 8:37-39
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. See you in the candle light on Tuesday.

Embracing His Voice; Intro to Ruth


Ruth, Introduction Week
Embracing His Voice
Before we actually turn to the pages of the Book of Ruth, let’s set the stage and prepare our understanding. The words have different meaning when we know who is speaking. I listen differently to someone I might suspect to be a con artist than to my dearest friend. I can’t separate the words from the person speaking them.

Day 1
So who wrote this book? Actually, scholars consider the author unknown, but suggest that it might have been Samuel, the prophet. It is dated ca. 1046-1035 B.C. Pray for His insight, before you answer this question: why should we read an ancient document like this?

2 Timothy 3:16-17
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. In your own words, how does this answer the question:

What is your relationship with the Bible?
__ It is foreign to me, and I don’t know where to start
__ I am somewhat familiar with it, but I don’t know how to apply it to my life. __ I read it regularly and long to grow deeper in understanding. __ It is my lifeline, and to the best of my ability, I seek to follow it.
No matter your answer, the fact that you are even considering this Bible study is an act of drawing closer to Him, and He will reward you. It is an act of faith. Hebrews 11:6
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Tell Him what you long for from Him:

Now read these verses several times, each time allowing them to touch your soul like healing water. James 4:8a
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
James 4:6
But He gives more grace. Therefore He says:
“ God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble.”
Matthew 11:28-30
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Thank Him for :

Day 2
Pray to hear His voice speaking directly to your soul and your life today.

Hear His invitation again:
Matthew 11:28-30
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Every time you spend time in His Word, you spend time with Him. Difficult as it may be for us to understand, He is the Word. John 1:1
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Does that change how you view Bible reading? If so, how:

Are you in any way afraid of change? In you life, in your relationships, in yourself? Tell Him about it:

He never changes, even when circumstances come and go.
Matthew 24:35
Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.
Measure whatever you fret about against His unchanging nature that loves you beyond anything you can imagine. Nothing you have done or has been done to you changes that.

Romans 5:8
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Tell Him what these words mean to you:

Does it settle some things in your heart?

Hebrews 13:5
Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
If you struggle to receive this, tell Him why. Otherwise, thank Him and tell Him what it means to you;

Romans 8:37-39
But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Day 3
Are you aware of the romance you are part of? In this dialogue between God’s Word and your heartfelt response, love is blooming. It is inevitable – it is the nature of His Word. Just in case you wonder if He really cares about your thoughts, listen to this plea: Song of Songs 2:14
“O my dove, in the clefts of the rock,
In the secret places of the cliff,
Let me see your face,
Let me hear your voice;
For your voice is sweet,
And your face is lovely.”
YES! The Author of the Bible where every Word is God-breathed, is whispering this to you today. Respond to Him:

Most days, we will read bite-sized portion of the Bible to help us digest all that it has to offer. Today will be different. Read the whole chapter Isaiah 55, underlining what He says about His Word and His promises as you go. Invitation to the Thirsty
55 “Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.
2 Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and you will delight in the richest of fare.
3 Give ear and come to me;
listen, that you may live.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
my faithful love promised to David.
4 See, I have made him a witness to the peoples,
a ruler and commander of the peoples.
5 Surely you will summon nations you know not,
and nations you do not know will come running to you,
because of the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel,
for he has endowed you with splendor.”
6 Seek the Lord while he may be found;
call on him while he is near.
7 Let the wicked forsake their ways
and the unrighteous their thoughts.
Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them,
and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, 11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
12 You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper,
and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.
This will be for the Lord’s renown,
for an everlasting sign,
that will endure forever.”
Glance back over it again. What most grabbed you? Why?

Tell Him what His Word means to you:

Conclude with a prayer for His Word to bear the fruit of His choice in your life:

Day 4
Write the portion that most touched you yesterday:

Review what you know and believe about God’s Word:

Under each Scripture, let your response become a prayer to Him. Let Him hear your voice “for your voice is sweet and your face is lovely.” (Song of Solomon 2:14)
In the beginning [before all time] was the Word (Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself. John 1: 1 Lord, I pray

Your word have I laid up in my heart, that I might not sin against You. Psalm 119: 11 Lord, help me stand again the sin of

Every word of God is tried and purified; He is a shield to those who trust and take refuge in Him. Proverbs 30: 5 Lord, today I seek refuge from

Please, shield me from

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119: 105 Lord, I need Your light to see

So shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth: it shall not return to Me void [without producing any effect, useless], but it shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. Isaiah 55: 11
Lord, I dedicate today to You. Let Your Word accomplish what Your please and purpose. May me fruitful

Day 5
Our last day, before we turn to the holy pages of Ruth. I pray you are more aware than ever of His presence in His Word and of His intense longing for you to meet Him there. It is His love letter to us. May these lyrics from Phil Wickham’s Heaven Song play in your souls today: You wrote a letter and You signed Your name
I read ever word of it page by page
You said that You’d be coming
Coming for me soon
Oh my God I’ll be ready for You

I want to run on greener pastures
I want to dance on higher hills
I want to drink from sweeter waters
In the misty morning chill
And my soul is getting restless
For the place where I belong
I can’t wait to join the angels and sing my heaven song

I hear Your voice and I catch my breath
Well done my child enter in, in rest
As tears of joy roll down my cheek
It’s beautiful beyond my wildest dreams

The point of it all is that one day soon, we will enter into a beauty beyond our wildest dreams with the greatest Lover our soul has ever known. All of this – Bible reading, fellowship, worship – it is like wedding preparations, transforming our lives from plain and painful living to the majestic adventure we were made for. It is transforming us from creatures of corruption to bearers of Life. Don’t take me works for it: 2 Corinthians 3:17-18
Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. In what ways has He brought you liberty:

When you seek Him in His Word, in worship, in edifying conversations, you are “beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” In what ways have you been transformed into His image:

If you are His, this then is a glimpse of your assignment in life: Isaiah 61:1-4
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,
Because the Lord has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,
To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”
And they shall rebuild the old ruins,
They shall raise up the former desolations,
And they shall repair the ruined cities,
The desolations of many generations.
What is your response to this:

Please, don’t let it stress you or scare you !! It is not something you can do; it is something He will be doing in you, because it is Who He is. Just let Him be all this to you. Read it again, this time highlighting what means the most to you. Jesus is speaking this over you. Just receive.

Ruth, Introduction Week
Embracing His Voice
Before we actually turn to the pages of the Book of Ruth, let’s set the stage and prepare our understanding. The words have different meaning when we know who is speaking. I listen differently to someone I might suspect to be a con artist than to my dearest friend. I can’t separate the words from the person speaking them.

Day 1
So who wrote this book? Actually, scholars consider the author unknown, but suggest that it might have been Samuel, the prophet. It is dated ca. 1046-1035 B.C. Pray for His insight, before you answer this question: why should we read an ancient document like this?

2 Timothy 3:16-17
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. In your own words, how does this answer the question:

What is your relationship with the Bible?
__ It is foreign to me, and I don’t know where to start
__ I am somewhat familiar with it, but I don’t know how to apply it to my life. __ I read it regularly and long to grow deeper in understanding. __ It is my lifeline, and to the best of my ability, I seek to follow it.
No matter your answer, the fact that you are even considering this Bible study is an act of drawing closer to Him, and He will reward you. It is an act of faith. Hebrews 11:6
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Tell Him what you long for from Him:

Now read these verses several times, each time allowing them to touch your soul like healing water. James 4:8a
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
James 4:6
But He gives more grace. Therefore He says:
“ God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble.”
Matthew 11:28-30
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Thank Him for :

Day 2
Pray to hear His voice speaking directly to your soul and your life today.

Hear His invitation again:
Matthew 11:28-30
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Every time you spend time in His Word, you spend time with Him. Difficult as it may be for us to understand, He is the Word. John 1:1
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Does that change how you view Bible reading? If so, how:

Are you in any way afraid of change? In you life, in your relationships, in yourself? Tell Him about it:

He never changes, even when circumstances come and go.
Matthew 24:35
Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.
Measure whatever you fret about against His unchanging nature that loves you beyond anything you can imagine. Nothing you have done or has been done to you changes that.

Romans 5:8
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Tell Him what these words mean to you:

Does it settle some things in your heart?

Hebrews 13:5
Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
If you struggle to receive this, tell Him why. Otherwise, thank Him and tell Him what it means to you;

Romans 8:37-39
But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Day 3
Are you aware of the romance you are part of? In this dialogue between God’s Word and your heartfelt response, love is blooming. It is inevitable – it is the nature of His Word. Just in case you wonder if He really cares about your thoughts, listen to this plea: Song of Songs 2:14
“O my dove, in the clefts of the rock,
In the secret places of the cliff,
Let me see your face,
Let me hear your voice;
For your voice is sweet,
And your face is lovely.”
YES! The Author of the Bible where every Word is God-breathed, is whispering this to you today. Respond to Him:

Most days, we will read bite-sized portion of the Bible to help us digest all that it has to offer. Today will be different. Read the whole chapter Isaiah 55, underlining what He says about His Word and His promises as you go. Invitation to the Thirsty
55 “Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.
2 Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and you will delight in the richest of fare.
3 Give ear and come to me;
listen, that you may live.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
my faithful love promised to David.
4 See, I have made him a witness to the peoples,
a ruler and commander of the peoples.
5 Surely you will summon nations you know not,
and nations you do not know will come running to you,
because of the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel,
for he has endowed you with splendor.”
6 Seek the Lord while he may be found;
call on him while he is near.
7 Let the wicked forsake their ways
and the unrighteous their thoughts.
Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them,
and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, 11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
12 You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper,
and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.
This will be for the Lord’s renown,
for an everlasting sign,
that will endure forever.”
Glance back over it again. What most grabbed you? Why?

Tell Him what His Word means to you:

Conclude with a prayer for His Word to bear the fruit of His choice in your life:

Day 4
Write the portion that most touched you yesterday:

Review what you know and believe about God’s Word:

Under each Scripture, let your response become a prayer to Him. Let Him hear your voice “for your voice is sweet and your face is lovely.” (Song of Solomon 2:14)
In the beginning [before all time] was the Word (Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself. John 1: 1 Lord, I pray

Your word have I laid up in my heart, that I might not sin against You. Psalm 119: 11 Lord, help me stand again the sin of

Every word of God is tried and purified; He is a shield to those who trust and take refuge in Him. Proverbs 30: 5 Lord, today I seek refuge from

Please, shield me from

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119: 105 Lord, I need Your light to see

So shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth: it shall not return to Me void [without producing any effect, useless], but it shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. Isaiah 55: 11
Lord, I dedicate today to You. Let Your Word accomplish what Your please and purpose. May me fruitful

Day 5
Our last day, before we turn to the holy pages of Ruth. I pray you are more aware than ever of His presence in His Word and of His intense longing for you to meet Him there. It is His love letter to us. May these lyrics from Phil Wickham’s Heaven Song play in your souls today: You wrote a letter and You signed Your name
I read ever word of it page by page
You said that You’d be coming
Coming for me soon
Oh my God I’ll be ready for You

I want to run on greener pastures
I want to dance on higher hills
I want to drink from sweeter waters
In the misty morning chill
And my soul is getting restless
For the place where I belong
I can’t wait to join the angels and sing my heaven song

I hear Your voice and I catch my breath
Well done my child enter in, in rest
As tears of joy roll down my cheek
It’s beautiful beyond my wildest dreams

The point of it all is that one day soon, we will enter into a beauty beyond our wildest dreams with the greatest Lover our soul has ever known. All of this – Bible reading, fellowship, worship – it is like wedding preparations, transforming our lives from plain and painful living to the majestic adventure we were made for. It is transforming us from creatures of corruption to bearers of Life. Don’t take me works for it: 2 Corinthians 3:17-18
Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. In what ways has He brought you liberty:

When you seek Him in His Word, in worship, in edifying conversations, you are “beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” In what ways have you been transformed into His image:

If you are His, this then is a glimpse of your assignment in life: Isaiah 61:1-4
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,
Because the Lord has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,
To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”
And they shall rebuild the old ruins,
They shall raise up the former desolations,
And they shall repair the ruined cities,
The desolations of many generations.
What is your response to this:

Please, don’t let it stress you or scare you !! It is not something you can do; it is something He will be doing in you, because it is Who He is. Just let Him be all this to you. Read it again, this time highlighting what means the most to you. Jesus is speaking this over you. Just receive.