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Naomi's Hope... Chapter Three

As you open your Bibles to Ruth 3 today, you will discover Naomi’s hope for her daughter-in-law Ruth's future blossoming into a beautifully unique love story. But, before we get up close and personal with each character individually, let’s step back for a spell and take some time to sit quietly with the overall chapter itself.

 

Find a quiet corner where you can sit silently for a few minutes. I know this may seem redundant or insignificant after a time or two, but, we so often carry a heavy sack around with us of daily concerns that we don’t even realize how much it can interfere with hearing the Spirit’s still small voice. So, imagine yourself laying it down now at the feet of Jesus…

 

As you prepare to read chapter three of Ruth, whisper a prayer, asking the Savior to silence any stray thoughts and to give you an open heart to hear His voice alone.

 

Read chapter three through… just to get the gist of it.

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A Love Story Unfolds

If you're anything like me, you may be getting a bit antsy at this point to flip to the last chapter of Ruth and wrap up your time in this book... we have, after all, spent a good many days with Naomi, Ruth and Boaz. Yet, in my heart, I know that good things come to those who wait. So, if you are willing to spend a few more days puttering along with me, I believe God will reward the time we spend with Him and whisper truths into us that we simply would not want to miss. And who would want to walk away now, when a good love story is developing?! :o)

 

As is our pattern then, be sure that you are comfortably situated in a quiet little nook where you can be distraction-free. Close your eyes and take a few minutes to sit silently before God.

 

Ask the Savior to guard your thoughts; that you may be able to shut out all those voices that can so easily side-track, in order to hear only His still, small voice of love whispering what is on His heart for you today.

 

Open your Bible to Ruth chapter three and read through it slowly.  Imagine yourself there in the scene.  What do you see, hear, sense?  Pull out your journal and try to describe the scene.

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A Marriage Proposal

Hide me in the shadow of your wings...
Psalm 17:8
 

After an exhausting evening of winnowing barley, Boaz sat down to enjoy a hard-earned meal after all of his labor. Little could he have imagined that hiding in the shadows, the young Moabite woman, Ruth, was praying for the courage to lay herself at his feet to seek his forever protection.

 

Before we step onto the threshing floor to take in this scene in Ruth chapter three, however, it is important that you situate yourself in a spot that is quiet and most conducive for the Spirit to speak into your heart through our reading.

 

Take a few minutes to sit in silence. Allow yourself to rest in the presence of God. Ask Him to put a hedge of protection around your time together.

 

Open your Bible and read chapter three. Imagine the scene as it unfolds. Pull out your journal and describe what you envision it to have looked like, smelled like, etc.

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A Legacy in the Making... Chapter Four

Today we are finally moving into Ruth Chapter Four. It's been quite a journey for those of us making our way through this beautiful book. But, these days we've spent will be sweetly rewarded as we watch this final chapter unfold.

 

Before we pull the curtain back and begin reading this final act in Ruth, settle into a quiet spot where your heart can be most receptive to God's whisper.

 

Spend a few minutes sitting still in God's presence.

 

Ask the Holy Spirit to take captive any stray thoughts that might interfere with this precious time with God, and ask that the eyes of your heart be open to see what it is that He may want to show you.

 

Open your Bible to Ruth Chapter Four and read it through once to get the gist of it.

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God's Faithfulness

 

I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. Yet, this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassion's never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:19, 21-23

 

It has been quite a journey we've been on since we first opened the book of Ruth. We have walked through deepest grief and experienced the sweetest joys as we've followed the lives of Naomi, Ruth and Boaz. But, before we close this final chapter today, I believe we would we be greatly remiss if we did not take the time here to go back and re-read the book of Ruth in its entirety...as if reading a beloved novel. Now that we are well-acquainted with its characters...and the ending...we can step back and read the account from the sweeping view of Mount Perspective.

 

So, let's settle in this one last time into that quiet spot we have reserved as our meeting place with God.  Take a few minutes to still yourself before Him.

 

Ask the Holy Spirit to guard this precious time you spend together, by filtering out any other voices that might keep you from hearing the Savior's voice today.

 

When you are ready, open your Bible to Ruth chapter one and read through the entire book from beginning to end; culminating with Matthew 1:1-6.

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Count Your Blessings

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Throughout the years, it has been my habit to keep a Faith Journal.  I call it a Faith Journal because what I have written on those pages... when my faith is firm and the eyes my heart are open to see the various blessings that God has touched my life with... have been the greatest source of encouragement to me when my faith is especially thin and my eyes so clouded with tears that I have a hard time seeing God's presence anywhere.

As I flip through that journal, I am reminded that yes! God has walked with me through every twist and turn along life's way.  He has whispered my name on the wind and touched my innermost being with beauty. He has embraced me through the hugs of friends and spoken deep into my heart through His love letter, the Bible.  And even when He has led me through shadows and sorrows, I can look back and see that He never left me alone...

One of the best gifts you can give yourself to encourage your soul..is to carve out time to get alone with your Savior and begin your own Faith Journal.  There is nothing like counting your blessings to lift our eyes off of our momentary circumstances and onto the beautiful face of Jesus!

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Barbara
Hi Jul, I just spent about an hour with you.... or I should say your "Heart Matters" writings. WOW! Your thoughts and words reach ... Read More
Thursday, 06 September 2012 13:37
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Settling in...

For those of you puttering along with me through the book of Ruth... we are now moving on to Chapter Two. :)  As in times past, before you get started, be sure you are nestled into a quiet little niche, free from distractions.  Take a moment or two to close your eyes and allow the silence to settle your spirit.

When your heart is ready, open your Bible to Ruth, grab your journal and pen, and ask the Savior to give you "ears to hear" His voice today.

Take some time to read through chapter two in it's entirety. Our story opens with Ruth and Naomi settling into their new lives in Jerusalem.  As you eavesdrop on their conversations and their comings and goings, take note of a verse or verses that stand out to you.  Jot them in journal...

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Glimpses of God

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15 This people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes.  16 But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear... 

Matthew 13:15-16

When was the last time you noticed God's fingerprints in your life?  When was the last time you sensed the Savior's voice whispering to you on the wind?

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In Naomi's shoes

I pray that the Savior spoke sweetly into your life last week as you sat quietly with Him in the first chapter of the book of Ruth.

Before we push on into the rest of this amazing story, however, I would like for us to spend another couple of weeks sitting with this chapter.  And I'll tell you why.  I believe that to really experience the heartbeat of what is happening in the lives of Naomi and Ruth, we need to get behind their eyes.

All of us at one time or another in life have passed through trying, pain-filled trials that leave us reeling.  Perhaps some of you can relate quite personally to the human tragedy these two women are passing through in this book.  As you re-read this passage this week, I would like for you to focus your attention on Naomi.

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The Heart Matters Gals

  • Julie

    Julie

    I’m turning 60 next month. I can hardly believe it myself. But, I’ve decided that I no longer want to live comfortably. I want to live with a spirit of adventure like I had in the past. To be unafraid of what’s new or different. I want to remain so open to the Spirit of the living God that his love compels me to go wherever he leads me.
  • LuAnn

    LuAnn

    I am passionate about people leaning into all that Jesus is. You. Me. Us. Journeying together with God. This is my greatest blessing. And now that my kiddos are out on their own, I’m learning to navigate my new normal. And I am finding there is life after little ones and teens after all!
  • Emilie

    Emilie

    I am currently a full-time nanny and will be returning to school in the fall of 2019 to finish mydegree in relational communications and graduate in the spring of 2020. I am using this break from school to grow, heal, appreciate a slower pace of living, and to invest more time into relationships with family, friends, and God. Through this process I am learning what I want to prioritize in my life and figuring out ways to make that happen. Most of all, I am figuring out that life is all about process, taking steps closer to where I want to be and celebrating the little victories but also accepting that there will be setbacks and disappointments along the way.
  • Sally

    Sally

    Sally Cranham is a singer and writer from the UK. She uses biblical narrative and her own experience to write deeply into the heart of the human condition. She currently works as a volunteer for SourceMN as their Arts Outreach Coordinator and has lived as a Residential Volunteer at Source’s anti-trafficking transitional annex alongside women who have come out of the life of prostitution.
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