Dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,
What a wonderful example the Apostles’ give us as they take the gospel message to a lost, broken, and sinful world. God has commissioned his church with the task of ‘making disciples of all nations.’ And that commission includes you and me!! We have the privilege of participating in the glorious enterprise of taking the gospel outside the walls of our church to our friends, neighbors, co-workers – those who need to hear the message of truth and life!! May we all pray for opportunities to do that this very week!
Here is a brief Q and A from www.opc.org on why we have creeds in our service.
Please commit to praying for one another as a church this week. Indeed we are brothers and sisters in the Lord – when one rejoices, we all rejoice; and when one weeps, we all weep. Let us lift each other up in prayer!
This week’s devotion is a reflection from Ruth 2 on the kindness of a Christian.
From the Pastor’s Desk
Ruth 2:14, “So [Ruth] sat beside the reapers, and [Boaz] passed to her roasted grain. And she ate until she was satisfied, and she had some left over.”
Ruth and Naomi have returned to Bethlehem. They are widows. They have no one to care for them. Thus Ruth, knowing God’s provision for the poor in his law, does the only thing she knows to do. She goes to the fields to glean the leftovers. And then we learn whose field she happens upon: “So she set out and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers, and she happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the clan of Elimelech” (2:3). From Ruth’s perspective, she happened to come to Boaz’s field; but in God’s wise and sovereign providence, He leads her right where he wants her. For not only is Boaz a godly and kind man, he is in fact a distant relative of Ruth (through her marriage into Elimelech’s family). We will consider the significance of this fact in the coming weeks. But for our purposes this morning, I want to reflect for a moment on the kindness of Boaz.
The Apostle Paul tells us about Christian love, “Love is patient and kind (1 Cor 13:4).” And in Ephesians, Paul commands believers to “be kind to one another” (Eph 4:32). In Ruth chapter 2, we are given a living illustration of Christian kindness in the figure of Boaz. Consider these verses: “Then Boaz said to Ruth, ‘Now listen, my daughter, do not go to glean in another field or leave this one, but keep close to my young women …have I not charged the young men not to touch you’” (2:8-9). Boaz understands the danger a young woman gleaning alone would face, thus he invites Ruth to glean ‘close’ to the other women, and he charges the young men not to touch her. In other words, Boaz is concerned to care for and to protect Ruth. Also, vv. 14-16: “And at mealtime Boaz said to [Ruth], ‘Come here and eat some bread and dip your morsel in the wine.’ So she sat beside the reapers, and [Boaz] passed to her roasted grain. And she ate until she was satisfied, and she had some left over. When she rose to glean, Boaz instructed his young men, saying, ‘Let her glean even among the sheaves, and do not reproach her. And also pull out some from the bundles for her and leave it for her to glean, and do not rebuke her.’” The point to see is Boaz’s overflowing kindness and provision for Ruth. Boaz goes above and beyond what the law requires of him (Lev 19:9-10). He provides for her needs; and Ruth eats until she ‘was satisfied,’ and takes home some food from what was left (v. 18). In short, Ruth is abundantly satisfied from the overflowing kindness of Boaz.
In v. 20 Naomi says to Ruth, “May he be blessed by the LORD, whose kindness has not forsaken the living or the dead.” The author is intentionally vague as to whose kindness he has in view – Boaz’s or the Lord’s. In all likelihood, both are in view. The kindness of Boaz is merely a reflection of the overflowing kindness of God to his people (Deut 7:7-9). Brothers and sisters, what a wonderful model for us. Oh the kindness that God showers upon us each and every day! May we reflect this kindness to those around us – our spouse, children, neighbors, and even our enemies (Matt 5:44).
Have a good week and I look forward to worshipping with you this Lord’s Day,