“You will never know how important your role has been in that place.”
A dear friend encouraged me with these words as I bemoaned my frustrations. Her words were kind. I appreciated them, though secretly I had my doubts, and I prayed that they be true one day.
Deep down we do want to make a difference, don’t we? We want to leave a legacy of life and hope.
I think this desire is a piece of the image of a Holy God in us. This piece knows we were made for more than this life. We long for a life of significance and value.
But the world twists and turns these good longings. Many people want to be rock stars. Our kids want to be the next big YouTuber. If we’re honest many of us don’t feel like we’ve achieved anything of great worth if our names aren’t on best-sellers or marques.
Living In an Upside Down World
Yet those of us who’ve met Jesus, though sometimes pulled toward this crazy world’s values, know all of it is temporary and empty. It can’t give us life.
Remember that God’s economy is not ours. We live in an upside down world compared to His Kingdom. The Bible is full of story after story of normal, everyday people used greatly for God. We read their stories and think them holy, powerful, amazing. But look closer. Read deeper.
This week’s verses are proof of the gravity of the lives of ordinary, even sinful people used by God in ways beyond their vision. Ruth’s story is just one out of hundreds. Come study with me this week to realize how very important you are.
Monday: Ruth 4:11
Then the elders and all the people at the gate said, “We are witnesses. May the Lord make the woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the family of Israel. May you have standing in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem.
Prompt: Boaz is a hero, and we love Ruth. We’ll soon see the place they hold in the genealogy of Jesus. Rachel and Leah’s story is one of heartache. Yet these two sisters bore the twelve sons who would become the tribes of Israel. I don’t think any of these biblical characters knew the gravity of their lives. Take some time today to simply sit with God. Listen in the still silence for His leading. We never know the gravity of our daily actions, but I believe they are of eternal proportions.
Tuesday: Ruth 4: 12
Through the offspring the Lord gives you by this young woman, may your family be like that of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah.”
Prompt: It’s interesting that the blessing from the witnesses involved Rachel, Leah, and Tamar. Deception and bitterness weave throughout their stories, but despite their sin and the sin of Judah and Rachel and Leah’s father, children were born who continued the growth of God’s people. We love Ruth, but we can’t forget where she came from. Moabite blood flowed through her veins. I think this could be the point of the witnesses: Though a Moabitess, a woman with a tainted history, redemption and new life is possible for Ruth. What has been redeemed, and what new life has been given to you?
Wednesday: Ruth 4:13
So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When he made love to her, the Lord enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son.
Prompt: We don’t know how long Ruth and Mahlon tried to have children, but we do know that for a very long time Ruth could not conceive. My favorite part of this scripture is that God “enabled” her at just the right time. What have you been desperately waiting on? Does this give you hope? Write it down.
Thursday: 1 Peter 22-25
Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.[a] 23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 24 For,
“All people are like grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall,
25 but the word of the Lord endures forever.”[b]
And this is the word that was preached to you.
Prompt: God places imperishable seed in us when we obey His truth. He enables us to conceive new life. Where is that life found? How do we get it?
Friday: Matthew 13: 23
But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”
Prompt: What’s the key to a great crop? The way this has been translated could appear unfair because it has to do with our ability to understand. But God is a good God. Our translation doesn’t say it all. The word “hear,” when used in the Hebrew means to act. It means to do what you’re told to do. And “understand” in the Greek does mean to comprehend, but the root word means “to send.” I love this. Someone who acts on the Truth and shares it or sends it out to others is the one whose faith will produce a bumper harvest. Are you acting on your faith? Do you send it out and share with others? Honestly, the more I share the stronger my faith becomes. Who will you share your faith with today?
You are of Great Value to God
It doesn’t matter where we’ve come from, what our occupation is, or how many homeless people we’ve fed (though that is a good thing.) You and I are not saved by our actions. We are saved by His.
Our significance and God ordained purpose doesn’t have to do with our talent. It’s all about our trust. We can’t give what we don’t have. We can’t give grace and hope if we’ve not accepted it. So, I pray that this week we may stop trying so hard and just sit with Him with a candle lit, journal open, and Bible ready. Fill up with Him before you go out.
You may never know the impact of your life, but others will. And so will the One who matters.
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