I’m doing something I’ve never done before.
I’m finalizing edits for my first published book.
The copy-edits are done and now I’m proofreading my manuscript again before it goes to the type-setter and then to the printing machines!
And if all goes as planned, the Bible Study will be released sometime in October.
It seems fitting that on a week when the Bite of Bread is about God’s faithfulness I would share this joy with you. This has been a seven year journey.
Seven. (It’s a good number.)
If God has whispered a dream into your heart, if he’s given you a passion and ache, He’s called you into a very special place. He’s called you to serve Him for His Kingdom.
Don’t measure the size.
Don’t give up.
You are a treasure to Him.
Here’s the preview of my Bible Study, a very small snippet. . . Each lesson has four sections: Digging for treasure, Connecting to other Scripture, Bringing the treasure home to our hearts, and Let’s pray together.
(We’re starting with question 12 from Day 6.) You can click on the scriptures to read them in order to answer the questions.
Digging for treasure
12. Read Ruth 1:18. When did Naomi stop urging Ruth to go back home?
The English Standard Version simply says that Naomi surrendered the fight when she realized how “determined” Ruth was. But read the definition of the Hebrew word from The Complete Word Study:
Āmaṣ: “a verb meaning to be strong, determined, bold, courageous; conquer.”
Ruth was all of these things:
. . . and I can’t fight the feeling that she was desperate.
She didn’t want to go back home to her family and her gods. She had found something good, precious, true, powerful. Naomi and her Ělohîym were like no relationship Ruth knew growing up in Moab. Despite Naomi’s current bitter, grief-stricken attitude, Ruth had experienced the strong, joyous, faith-filled Naomi before the death of her sons.
Once you’ve tasted the love of Ělohîym, you can’t go back.
I believe Ruth was a good woman; her character provided resilience and fortitude to take care of her mother-in-law once they arrived in Bethlehem. However, her determination to stay with Naomi proves more than goodness to me—it proves desperate love. She had stumbled on a treasure, and she was not letting go.
Connecting with other Scripture
Jesus once told a parable about a man who also found a very special treasure—it was a pearl.
- Read Matthew 13:45–46. What did the merchant do when he discovered the pearl?
- How do you interpret this parable?
Commentaries explain that the kingdom of heaven is so wonderful and glorious that a person would sacrifice everything to gain it. Was that your answer? If so, you stand with some of the great commentators of all time.
But what if we have the meaning of the parable flipped?
Listen to a testimony I once heard from a lady named Mary:
“I lived a crazy life. A very broken life. I searched for love in all the wrong places and ended up in a cult. But by the grace of God I escaped that place of darkness and found a church that preached the love of Jesus. Before I knew Jesus’ love I always thought that the parable of the beautiful pearl was about Jesus being the pearl and me the merchant, but now I know that I had the meaning of the parable turned around. Jesus is the merchant who sold everything for me, and I am the beautiful pearl.”
Does her story resonate within you? It does in me. I think Mary was right. How I pray for all of us to understand how much the Lord loves us! Let’s see what Jesus sold to redeem us. . . .
Bringing the treasure home to our hearts
Do you have trouble believing/knowing/trusting that Jesus loves you?
Some of us struggle trying to comprehend Jesus’ love for us. We find it hard to get that knowledge past our heads into our hearts. Maybe if there were a Ruth in our lives who was ready to leave everything she knew to take care of us, then we could begin to understand Jesus. Maybe if we had a daddy who never left, or a mom who wasn’t always finding fault.
We don’t have to live in the maybes.
What has been done is done. Adonay, Ělohîym, Yehōwāh, Logos, lives beyond time. He sacrificed everything for you and me. And he’s even more determined, strong, and courageous than Ruth. He won’t let go.
Like Naomi, we need to give in. Stop the fight. Let him walk with us, take care of us, and love us.
Let’s pray together
“Ělohîym (el-o-heem), you alone are worthy of our praise. You alone are worthy of our worship. We acknowledge you as our God today. We acknowledge Jesus as our Savior, who gave it all for us. We pray you take this knowledge from our heads to our hearts. Let us overflow with your love. Make us desperate for you. Strong. Courageous. Determined. We’ll follow you anywhere you lead. We love you. Amen.”
(excerpt from, A Key Word Bible Study, The Book of Ruth: A 31-Day Journey to Hope and Promise)
For more detail about this study, what makes it different, and how to pre-order for your small group click here.
Leave a comment: I know many are waiting on God’s faithfulness, but have you experienced it lately? How has He been faithful? I want to celebrate with you.
Reading this “Bit” over and over. So fitting to incorporate one of the Mary’s into The Study of Ruth. One question… Do I ask? How is the next book progressing? It is my prayer to benefit along the journey. Thank you, Andy! P.S. Missing Wednesday Bible Study & Wednesday Warriors!
Thanks Janice! It is funny how Mary and Ruth overlap. Going to get back to work on Esther this week! I hope you do benefit! Looking forward to our Wednesday Warriors getting back together. Love you!
Beautiful post Andy and I LOVE the cover of your new book. Yay! So freaking happy for you:)
I experienced God’s faithfulness once again last week. My husband was determined to put my son in a private school although I KNOW God called me to homeschool him. He was so certain it was the right thing to do that he had me believing this might be what God wanted. My son was sad but resigned to his fate. So I was obedient and yielded and jumped through SO many hoops even though every ounce of my being was grief-stricken. It was a 5-week+ process and long story short, God won! He was faithful to me as I faithfully went through the trial and now I’m scrambling (happily) to get back on track with homeschooling. Praising Him!
Thank you Erika! Thank you for sharing how God has been faithful to you and your family! I pray this year of schooling your son is productive and proving of God’s hand and the best for him. Many blessings!
Dear Cathy, I will be praying for you as you take care of your husband. I’m so sorry for this very difficult journey you are on. I know how heartbreaking and faith-breaking care giving chronically ill love ones can be. I’ve entered you into the giveaway.
I am so excited about your Bible study and I can not wait until it is released! Peace and many blessings to you, sweet Andy! :-)
Thank you, sweet Tai!
I’m so excited about your study on Ruth! I loved this excerpt. I can’t wait to see more and hold the study in my hands. This is going to be an incredible tool for so many. Yay! You’re always a great inspiration and encouragement.
Thanks Jean! I’m so excited you loved the excerpt. :) Thank you for the encouragement. I do pray the study will be a life-giving tool for many. Blessings!
Congratulations, my dear friend! It is beautiful inside and out, like its author! I am thrilled that your study will be available to many others now. Many will not only be taught but inspired as well.
Thank you, Jan! What sweet words.I’m so thankful for you and your encouragement through all these years. You’ve always been my cheerleader even when I was a school teacher without a clue!
Praises! When receiving your email this am, I actually became emotional. The Book of Ruth Study touched my heart as none other. But, I think you know this already. During our study, Ruth became very real to me. I don’t all the previous “I’s” and “me’s” . But, that is “how it is” ….. Thank you, Andy! If you preorder hard copies, I would like several for my granddaughters. Just let me know what I need to do. Again, thank you!
Janice, thank you for always encouraging and being apart of the first group to experience it! I gleaned from you all too. You made it better. Much love!
You inspire me, Andy. I look forward to getting your book about Ruth. I hope to start working on a Bible study soon.
Thank you, Ann! I’m so glad our paths crossed through Word Weavers. You inspire me too. You’ll have to let me know what you think of the study if you get it.
How wonderful that God has allowed your dream to be fulfilled. I also find that when this happens, it overwhelms me to be used by God. No finer gem can be had than to give God our all. I am truly glad for you and I know you are blessed beyond belief.
Hi Anna! Thank you! Yes, dreams are intimidating face to face. It just makes me rely more on Him. Thankful for His grace. I am blessed. Thank you so much for stopping by and encouraging me. Blessings!