Scripture reading for April 17th: Ruth 3-4, Psalm 37, Acts 4
Key Scriptures: Acts 4:32-35 “Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles’s feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.”
The early church brought many diverse people together in unity around Jesus Christ and His vision to reach the world and make disciples. Material things took a lower priority and believers shared their goods. Great power and grace rested on the apostles and their preaching brought new souls into the kingdom. Believers’ hearts were filled with generosity and love for each other.
Faith Confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for this amazing revelation of the early church and its love and generosity. Help me to be powerful in Your grace through the Gospel message and generous to those in need.
Ruth 4:13-14 “So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife. And he went in to her, and the Lord gave her conception, and she bore a son. Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, Who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may his name be renowned in Israel! He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age, . . .”
Psalm 37:4 “Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.”
Scripture reading for April 16th: Ruth 1-2, Acts 3
Key Scriptures: Acts 3:17-21 “”And now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ would suffer, He thus fulfilled. Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets long ago.””
Peter and John were going to the temple to pray when they encountered a lame beggar by the roadside. The man asked them for money, but they had something better: The Name of Jesus! Peter explained to the crowd that had gathered how this notable miracle had taken place and what their response should be. Many of these people were the same ones who had demanded the crucifixion of Jesus and asked for the release of a criminal. Peter called them to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. They could enjoy a time of refreshing just like the healed beggar!
Faith confession and prayer: Jesus, thank You for the power of Your Name to bring healing, salvation and deliverance. Use me today to share the love of God and the good news of Jesus Christ, Lord and healer.
Ruth 2:12-13 “The Lord repay you for what you have done, and a full reward be given you by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge! Then she said, “I have found favor in your eyes, my lord, for you have comforted me and spoken kindly to your servant, though I am not one of your servants.””
Scripture reading for April 3rd: Ruth 3-4, 1st Sam. 1-2, Luke 23
Key Scriptures: Luke 23:39-43 “One of the criminals who were hanged railed at Him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he said, “Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” And He said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.””
Luke records a conversation between those crucified on Calvary that day. One thief mocked Jesus and His claim to be the Christ. The other pleaded with Jesus for mercy. One got no reply, but Jesus promised the second a trip to Paradise. Ruth, appealed to Boaz, and received her eternal reward!
Ruth 3:8-9 “At midnight the man was startled and turned over, and behold, a woman lay at his feet! He said, “Who are you?” And she answered, “I am Ruth, your servant. Spread your wings over your servant, for you are a redeemer.”
Scripture reading for April 2nd: Judges 21, Ruth 1-2, Luke 22
Key Scriptures: Luke 22:26-30 “”But not so with you. Rather let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. For who is the greater, one who reclines at table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at table? But I am among you as the one who serves. “You are those who have stayed with Me in my trials, and I assign to you, as My Father assigned to Me, a kingdom, that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.””
Jesus encouraged His followers to lead by serving others, as He had done for them. Their reward for servitude would be a kingdom! They would recline at His table and sit on thrones! Ruth, a Gentile, clung to Naomi, a Jew, and served her. Her reward was the eternal kingdom!
Ruth 1:16-17 “But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.”
Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your encouragement and promise of the kingdom! I cling to You today and always! Amen.
Scripture reading for March 14th: Ruth 1-4, 1st Samuel 1
Key Scriptures: Ruth 4:13-15 “So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. Then he went to her, and the Lord enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son. The women said to Naomi: “Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a kinsman-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age.”
The hand of our Lord directed Naomi, an Israelite, and her Moabite daughter-in-law to return to Israel after tragically losing their mates. God raised up a close relative (Boaz) to provide redemption and continue the family line. God also by grace made this Moabite widow the great grandmother of King David in the line of Jesus Christ!
Rejoicing in Redemption: God used Naomi’s and Ruth’s faith to further His purposes for bringing about the redemption of mankind through our Kinsman-Redeemer Jesus Christ! (Mary) “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has been mindful of the humble state of His servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me–holy is His Name.” (Luke 1:46-49)
Scripture reading for March 15th: Ruth 1-4
The story of Ruth is set in the time of Judges between 40-100 years before the time of David (1000 BC). This simple story unfolds as a famine forces an Israelite family to leave Israel for Moab. Elimelech, his wife Naomi, and their two sons, Mahlon and Kilion, stay in Moab. The husband dies. Both sons marry Moabite girls and they die as well. Naomi is left bitter, without her sons, and ready to return to her land and people.
Naomi told her daughters-in-law to go back to their own people. She was too old to have more sons for them to marry. Orpah went back but Ruth clung to her mother-in-law and made a beautiful confession of devotion and faith. (Ruth 1:16-17) Ruth was ready to follow Naomi and Naomi’s God until death!
Choices have consequences. In choosing to go to the land of Israel, Ruth, a decendant of Lot, was an alien and would not have had an inheritance. There was no welfare or jobless benefits so Ruth began to glean fields. (Deuteronomy 24:19) She would work as she could to get food for her family. But God’s divine providence placed Ruth in the field of Boaz, a close relative of Naomi’s. Boaz was also a descendant of Rahab, the harlot that hid the spies! Because of her hard work and humble spirit, Ruth’s good reputation became known. (Ruth 2:11-12) Ruth appealed to him as a “close relative” and he took her as his wife, spreading his covering over her!
Both Ruth and Boaz are mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus Christ! (Matthew 1:5-6) Jesus Christ is our “kinsman-redeemer”. Ruth is a type of “Gentile” bride for Jesus. He is a “close relative” who has bought us back from slavery to sin. When we humbly appeal to Him in faith, He will surely make cover us and buy us back! When we closely read this beautiful story, we get a glimpse into the heart of God and Jesus Christ! Thank the Lord for being our “Kinsman-Redeemer”!
“Who are you?” he asked. “I am your servant Ruth,” she said. “Spread the corner of your garment over me, since you are a kinsman-redeemer.” (Ruth 3:9)