Friday, February 28th, 2014
Lessons From Ruth (Part 6)
Boaz answered and said to her, 'It has been fully reported to me, all that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband, and how you have left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and have come to a people whom you did not know before.'
Ruth 2:11 (NKJV)
All the people of my town know that you are a virtuous woman.
Ruth 3:11 (NKJV)
What is proven character? It's acting like Christ when times are hard. Because acting right when times are easy is a breeze. You're floating downstream with a smile on your face.
You're a comfortable Christian in a comfortable life. But what happens if the water gets rough, and your boat starts to sink? How do you act then? In America, saying you're a Christian is one thing. Proving it is everything.
Ruth acted like Jesus before He was born. The Moabitess who would become His ancestor previewed some of His virtues. Because Ruth was a virtuous woman* when others were not.
She was brave and walked to a new life. She was determined and did not look back. She was loyal and stayed with Naomi. She was consoling and shared in her grief. She was thoughtful and never forgot her. She was chaste and refused all temptations. She was industrious and found ways to work. She was respectful and followed the rules.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: 'Do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you' (1 Peter 4:12). God allows the enemy to test your character by tough times and temptations to stray--or turn away.
Resist, endure and prove your character.
Rejoice! Count it all joy. Because God counts you worthy to be polished: 'So that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ' (1 Peter 1:7).
'And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character' (Romans 5:3-4).
By adversity, God is preparing you to shine.
To Be Continued...
* Consider the character of The Virtuous Wife in Proverbs 31: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs+31%3A10-31&version=NKJV
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Lessons From Ruth series.