August 16, 2017
Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning.”
“Out in the stormy night,
With not a star in sight,
And morning winds that wander wearily,
Rocked in his leafy nest,
And vexed and sore distressed,
A little lonely bird pipes drearily.
And I, within my room,
Who know that morn has come,
In pitying love would say, ‘Oh, little bird,
The night would have no chill,
The rain thou would’st not feel,
Nor moaning wind, if thou could’st
Heed my word:
For close against thy tree
That seems so dark to thee,
Even now the rising sun has
flashed its gold,
And, in a moment more,
Exultant thou wilt soar,
And cleave the upper skies
with pinions bold.’
An thou, oh, fainting heart,
That shrinkest when winds upstart,
And canst not rest in sorrow’s bitter night,
If thou could’st only hear
Faith’s message in thine ear,
And calmly wait until the morning light!
For morn will surely come
Even now, the shades of gloom
In her soft light are fading fast away,
‘Tis but a moment more,
And free thyself shall sour,
And speed on tireless wing to endless day.”
“May we be able to sing the song of trust, that sweetest refrain of the divine rhythm of duty!...May we be able to say ‘All I have seen bids me trust the good Creator for all I have not seen.”
John H. Clifford
Today’s Study Text:
“Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.”
The Message Bible
“Strength For Each Day” 3
“Invincible” – incapable of being conquered, over-run, or subjugated.
Is there something in my life that God’s courage will help me do?
Is there something in my life that God’s courage will help me change?
Is there someone in my life whom God’s courage will help me forgive?
“What is more mortifying than to feel that you have missed the plum for want of courage to shake the tree?”
“I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me (I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me: I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency.”
Yesterday, our devotional study focused on the life and leadership of Deborah – a woman who, with God’s help, courageously led the children of Israel out from under the tyrannical rule of Canaanite King Jabin. In Deborah’s story, you and I found where our courage comes from. And it comes from God.
Today, we will take a glimpse into the life of another Old Testament woman we have studied in the past, Ruth. She was also a woman of courage. But rather than the “invincible” courage of God leading her into battle like Deborah, Ruth faced a different challenge. And this challenge required courage to change everything she had known all her life, including her family, country, location and “god.”
Because of famine in Judea, a man named Elimelech, along with his wife Naomi and two sons, Mahlon and Chilion, moved to the country of Moab to find food. Moab was a nation that, in biblical times, did not honor the God of Israel. With two sons of marrying age, it is not surprising that the young men married Moabite women named Ruth and Orpah.
Not long after arriving in Moab, Elimelech died. Later both sons died leaving three widows.
Naomi, as she grew older, longed to go back to the country of her ancestors…the country of her God. So she packed and decided to begin the long journey back to Bethlehem. At first both daughters-in-law said they would go with her – a courageous decision leaving family and friends behind. But as the trip progressed, Naomi urged the girls to go back home to their families. Orpah kissed her mother-in-law and said goodbye and back she went to Moab. Ruth, on the other hand, stayed with Naomi and in one of the most beautiful Scriptural passages said:
“Urge me not to leave you or to turn back 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 will I be buried. The Lord do so to me, and more, also, if anything but death parts me from you.”
What courage is reflected in Ruth’s response. This girl from Moab gave up her comfort-zone for a new land. She gave up her roots in a foreign country to plant a tree in Bethlehem. And if we follow Ruth’s “new” family tree, we find she married Boaz and had a son named Obed who was the father of Jesse, “the father of David (the ancestor of Jesus Christ.”)
Deborah was “quite” a woman. A courageous warrior for God. Ruth was a “quiet” woman. A courageous witness for God. Deborah’s invincible spirit led her to arise and fight for God. Ruth’s invincible spirit led her to arise and change for God! She changed who she was related to. She changed who she was tied to. She changed who she was connected to. Her past life in a heathen country was exchanged for a future life in a new country as a mother in the family lineage of Jesus all because she had the courage to change when God asked her to.
An invincible person is courageous because of “Who” they trust. An invincible person is courageous because of “How” they answer God’s call in their life.
May you and I never forget Who gives us our courage. And may we have the courage to obey His call.
“Courage is not the towering oak that sees storms come and go; it is the fragile blossom that opens in the snow.”
Alice M. Swaim
“Take courage! Don’t be intimidated…we have our God to help us and fight for us.”
2 Chronicles 32: 7
“Flowers grow out of dark moments.”
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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