It is an absolute delight to bring God’s word again to you my reader. Last time we talked about:
- The Present Circumstance of a Believer doesn’t describe him/her, he possesses something eternal.
- The Need for Mentors
This week we continue to pick out lessons from the book of Ruth.
3. Boaz was a good Man
The testimony recorded in the scriptures of Boaz was excellent. He was a successful man, in fact, scriptures described him as a man of great wealth (Ruth 2:1). Interestingly, despite his success, he was not a man who was proud or boastful. In Ruth 2:4, scriptures give us an impression that he had a good relationship with his workers.
“Now behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said to the reapers, “The Lord be with you! And they answered him, “The Lord bless you”. (Ruth 2:4 KJV)
It was this good relationship with his workers that made him notice the “stranger” (Ruth) who had just joined them and she eventually became his wife. Boaz was a good leader, he was interested in the performance of his staff. Paul also had a similar instruction to Timothy:
“Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy”
(1 Tim. 6:17 KJV)
Boaz was also a truthful person. Despite Ruth giving Boaz the signal of her availability of marriage, he didn’t swing in to take advantage cunningly of the situation. He stayed truthful, informing her that there was another man who was a closer relative than him, and who had a higher chance of being the kinsman-redeemer and eventually be Ruth’s new husband.
Read more about the kinsman-redeemer here.
“Now it is true that I am a close relative; however, there is a relative closer than I”
(Ruth 3:12 KJV)
Paul, speaking through the Holy Ghost said:
“But speaking the truth in love may grow up in all things into Him who is the head–Christ—”
(Eph. 4:15 KJV)
4. The End is always Sweeter
The story in the book of Ruth opened on a sorrowful note with Naomi losing her husband and children in chapter 1, chapter 4 ends with joy and happiness. I believe just like the book of Ruth, life is in chapters. The chapter you might be on now in your life might be sorrowful and sad, but scripture says the next chapter would be better.
Abraham and Sarah later had a child, Hannah later had a Son, Jabez’s story changed, the Israelites didn’t remain slaves forever, Jacob later became wealthy and had a huge family, It always got better.
“But the path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day” (Prov. 4:18)
Because of Jesus’ death on the cross, you qualify to be called the just the who scriptures talks of in Prov. 4:18. Yes, it always gets better. The challenges you face today will be gone tomorrow your tears will turn to laughter and sorrow to joy. Stay believing and see God working things out on your behalf.
For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease. Though the root thereof wax old in the earth, and the stock thereof die in the ground; Yet through the scent of water it will bud, and bring forth boughs like a plant.
(Job 14: 7-9)
Say this with me:
I am a child of the Almighty,
I am led/inspired by the Holy Ghost in me,
I yield/obey as I am led,
I am redeemed, I am well,
I am strong,
I do not live in fear,
I am blessed and I am a blessing
In Jesus name, Amen
I call you blessed
“One Generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts”
Ps. 145:4 (NIV)
In Exodus 3:6, God introduced Himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, I believe this is noteworthy to remind us that even though we humans had but a little time to exist in this sphere, He abides forever. We don’t last forever, He does.
Secondly, I believe it was an example for us to see the transference of the Faith from Father to son and to son’s son. Abraham’s covenant and Faith walk was transferred down to Isaac and Isaac down to Jacob. Same example is found in Lois, Eunice and then Timothy.
“When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that is in thee also. (2 Tim. 1:5 KJV)
Every generation owes the next, to tell it of the mighty works of God. We owe our kids to tell them of our faith and walk with God.
Scriptures clearly inform us that God is highly interested in the next generation and not only interested in that, but He wants to document his dealings with us to show them.
“In the future, when your son asks you “What is the meaning of the stipulations, decrees and laws the Lord our God has commanded you?” tell him: “We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, but the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand” (Deut. 6: 20-21 NIV)
In Joshua 4: 1 – 6, Scriptures also give the account of God instructing the children to pick up twelve stones out of the Jordan, and to set the stones as a sign among them, so that in the future when their children ask what does the stones mean, they will be able to account on to the next generation what mighty acts God worked in their midst.
“That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, what mean ye by these stones?” Then ye shall answer them,…” (Joshua 4:6-7a KJV)
Imagine how spurred and encouraged we are when we read of the acts of the early church in the recorded in the Acts of the Apostles, same also should our generation be ready to encourage the next generation with testimonies of Faith.
One Generation will tell of His mighty works to another.
I call you Blessed,
And he said to them all, if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. (Luke 9:23)
Jesus, speaking in the verse above used the word ‘cross’ to denote the ‘death’. Of course, through the death of the cross he paid for the sins of humanity. So, did he mean we are also to expect to be crucified like he was? No. Rather “taking up our cross daily” signifies “dying to the flesh daily”.
As believers we must be aware of the potency in our flesh to hinder or possibly stop the move of the spirit, the work of God in and through us. The flesh sometimes manifests as a veil denying men to see the glory of God upon us. As we allow the working of the spirit, putting the flesh to death, we create room and space for the holy spirit to work in and through us.
Oftentimes, the manifestation of the flesh is in our holding on to material things. We want to boast about our certificates, cars, houses, achievements and even sometimes our spiritual knowledge of scriptures. If there was any man in scriptures who had enough things to boast about, Paul was one.
In Philippians 3: 4 – 7, he itemized a lot of these things that he could boast about. Asides those, looking at his life, there were a lot of things to boast about. He was a Hebrew of the Hebrews (this was a strong spiritual boast in those days), a scholar who learned from the best (more like attending Harvard in our time), in prayers, fervent, in spiritual understanding he wrote a large part of the new testament we all read today and the list goes on and on. But instead of holding on to all of these, he said:
Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake, I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ. (Philippians 3: 8)
Paul, instead of holding on to all he had achieved, he counted them as “dung”, “garbage” instead, why? To gain Christ. To give more room for Christ to be revealed to him. As such, our holding on to these things actually rob us of the possible revelations of Christ that have been given to us to walk in.
It is interesting how we allow the flesh to have its way in our affairs every day without even noticing it. Recently, the Lord began to show me this in my own life. I noticed many of them were things that even though good to have, they were taking too much space in my heart.
Sometime ago I said to myself, I want to achieve this and buy that before the end of the year. I want to get better at work so I need to take that course, or learn that new software, etc. Even though all of these things are good, the moment they begin to become my top premonition, that’s likely the flesh.
The Lord wants to be first in all our affairs. The moment this happens in our lives, we are likely to have died completely to the flesh. This is also explained in Luke 9: 57 – 62.
Lastly, when temptations come, they are meant to check the amount to which our flesh is in control of our lives. To think that Judas and Peter were both followers of Jesus, but the devil knew that if Judas was tempted by money, that his flesh was still alive in that area, and he could be led by the flesh into betraying his master, is a strong indication showing us the potency of the flesh.
“But every person is tempted when he is drawn away, enticed and baited by his own evil desire (lust, passions)” James 1:14 AMP
Jesus overcame temptations by dying to the flesh. He didn’t just overcome by knowing scriptures, which is good but, he overcame because he didn’t allow lust for the material things of this world to be found in him.
“…And he has no claim on Me. [He has nothing in common with Me; there is nothing in Me that belongs to him, and he has no power over Me]” John 14:30
I will close with the words of Jesus, deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Christ.
I call you blessed
Speak unto Aaron and unto his sons, saying, On this wise ye shall bless the Children of Israel, saying unto them, The Lord bless thee and keep thee. (Num. 6: 23 – 24 KJV)
It is the Father’s will to bless us. Beyond that conviction, it is important to know what the blessing is, how it is received , what qualifies one for it and why God blesses.
And God blessed them and said to them, Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it [using all its vast resources in the service of God and man]; and gave dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of air, and over every living creature that moves upon the earth.
The account above is of the beginning; God was proclaiming a blessing to man even before he was created. Even when he was without works, without any good or bad deeds, he was blessed. He came into life with that blessing upon his life. He was created to be in charge, to subdue, to have dominion. He was blessed. Even though this blessing was lost, when he fell but it was restored in Christ. Even before we had any works, the Father blessed us!
May blessing (praise, laudation, and eulogy) be to God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) Who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual (given by the Holy Spirit) blessing in the heavenly realm! (Eph 1:3 AMP)
He blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realm. I find this amazing, that the account in Ephesians 1 is similar to Genesis 1. While Genesis 1 explains what happened at the beginning, Paul, in Ephesians 1 through the Holy Spirit explains to us what happened at the point we were born into God’s household. And in both instances, God blessed us when we were without any good works. Before we even thought about service to Him or doing good or paying our tithe or offerings, we were blessed with all spiritual BLESSINGS in CHRIST JESUS.
Everything we want is in God’s blessing for us. Everything God has blessed us with is in Christ. All our requests for life are in Christ and Christ is in us.
Notice Ephesians 1:3 tells us He blessed us in Christ Jesus, telling us the channel with which God blessed us is Christ Jesus. As the verse describes this blessing as spiritual, I do believe they can be manifested in the physical. Various scriptures tell us of God’s blessings upon the believer.
But of him are you in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption: (1 Cor. 1: 30)
Christ has been made unto me wisdom
Christ has been made unto me righteousness
Christ has been made unto me sanctification
Christ has been made unto me redemption
It is in Christ that we are blessed not on account of any good works we have done. In Christ, we have a sound mind. Notice scripture does not say we will have it, it says we already have it.
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love and of a sound mind (2 Tim. 1:7)
Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes you were healed. (1 Pet. 2:24)
It is part of God’s blessing upon the believer’s life that we should be in good health. Scripture also tells us that the blessing of Abraham is upon the believer.
“That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith” (Gal. 3:14)
And here is one of the blessings God proclaimed upon Abraham:
“And I will make of thee a great nation, that I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” (Gen. 12: 2 – 3)
I believe one of the reasons God blesses us is so we can be a blessing to all the families of the earth. We are God’s channel of blessing the earth. One might be tempted to say, “of the 10 richest people on earth, none of them is a believer”. Well, we need to start seeing that the blessing is not first, financial! Of course it may manifest as financial but God’s blessing upon our life is far more than money. We need to have this perspective. That’s why every now and then, I tell myself “Samson, you are blessed”.
Brothers and Sisters, whether we feel like it or not, we are blessed, and not because of what we do or don’t do but because of what Christ did. And we are blessed to be a blessing.
He Calls us blessed.
If a believer becomes Righteousness-conscious, Son-conscious, Satan will be afraid of him – E.W. Kenyon
At Redemption, we were transferred from death to life. Our spirit man was regenerated, made a new creation and gained the righteousness of Christ so that we can boldly declare that we have the same standing before the Father as Christ has. We are now His beloved children (as Christ is beloved) accepted in Christ Jesus, free from the hold of sin and death and now translated into the kingdom of God. We who were slaves and servants to sin, and by extension were under the domain and rule of the devil, can now boldly declare that ‘Now are we sons of God’. Yes, we can call him Father.
“Beloved, now are we the sons of God,…” (1 John 3:2)
“Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:” (Col. 1:13)
“Having predestined us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace” (Eph. 1: 5 – 7)
Redemption brought so many benefits to the believer, that it will take until Christ returns for us to fully unravel it. Scriptures teach that the salvation of our soul occurs as our soul learns of what happened to our spirit at redemption, and this will continue until Christ returns or we are translated in death. This indicates the magnitude of what happened to us when our spirit was regenerated and of the awe of the wisdom of God demonstrated at redemption.
As believers, we are to seek to know about these mysteries. We are to learn about who we are. In all of Paul’s letters, two things he taught the most were (1.) Christ – who He is, and (2.) the Church – who we are and who Christ has called us to be. It is in learning about this that we can really take full advantage of the benefits of redemption.
“But these oppressors know nothing; they are so ignorant! They wander about in darkness, while the whole world is shaken to the core. I say ‘You are gods’, you are children of the Most High. But you will die like mere mortals and fall like every other ruler” (Ps. 82: 5 – 7)
Ignorance is expensive. Trust me, you don’t want to be ignorant. We need to know who we are. We know who we are as we learn of our rights at redemption. We learn that at redemption we received sonship; the right to call him Father, having a right standing as regards righteousness before the creator of the universe. We learn of our right to rule over sin, sickness and diseases and over principalities and powers and every ruler in the dark places of this world. We learn of our right to God’s presence every minute of the day, and our right to use the name of Christ in healing those who are sick and raising the dead and much more.
With our knowledge must come consciousness. When we learn of this truth, we are to live daily with the consciousness of it, that is the secret to living victoriously in this wicked world.
We are conscious that God is with us, assuring His protection.
We are conscious that we are seated in heavenly places far beyond the reach of principalities and powers, as such we don’t live in fear.
We are conscious that we are loved by our heavenly father, as such we cannot be depressed because all things (both good and not so good experiences) work together for our good.
We are conscious that we are not slaves to sin, but servants unto righteousness.
We are conscious that by his stripes we are healed, and can speak to our bodies ‘No sickness here’.
Brethren, the key is not just to have a mental acceptance of the truths of redemption but to be conscious of them daily. That is exactly what scares the devil, the knowledge of who we are in Him. No wonder Paul prayed for the Ephesian Church (and us in extension):
“Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;”
“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:”
“The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints”
“And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power”
“Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places”
“Far above all principality and power and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only this world, but also in that which is to come” (Eph 1: 16 – 21)
It is my prayer that we may come into full understanding of what Christ did on the cross for us.
I call you blessed
** All scripture is in the AMP version except otherwise stated.
I’m happy for the opportunity to bring God’s word to you once again. I’m even more excited to be sharing on this topic because it is one particular lesson I have seen work testimonies in my life. The lesson is this: the connecting line between requests and answered prayers is often receiving instructions.
“The Lord said to Moses, Why do you cry to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward!”
“Lift up your rod and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, and the Israelites shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea” (Ex. 14: 15 – 16)
“Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night and made the sea dry land; and the waters were divided” (Ex. 14:21)
The instruction, “stretch out your hand over the sea”, was what transformed Moses to a victorious man singing sons of deliverance from his enemies, in Exodus 15. Prior to the instruction Moses had been a man crying for help for fear of being overtaken by the Egyptians and as a result returning to captivity.
At various junctions in our lives, we seek God’s intervention about a particular matter needing a miracle. We pray hard, talking and crying to God without being patient to listen to Him for instructions that will take us out of the situation. Sometimes we listen, but when these instructions that are supposed to bring our needed solutions come our way we disobey because, to us, these instructions seem so inconsequential and illogical to the solutions we seek. We do not realize that our victory lies in our obedience. See this:
“So Naaman came with his horses and chariots and stopped at Elisha’s door”
“Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored and you shall be clean”
“But Naaman was angry and went away and said, Behold, I thought he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place and heal the leper.” (2 kings 5:9 – 11)
“Then he went down and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, as the man of God had said, and his flesh was restored like that of a little child, and he was clean”. (2 kings 5:14)
Many of us are like Naaman, we want to dictate how God performs miracles in our lives. No! He is sovereign over all. The best posture is to be careful to listen to what He has to say, and be diligent to obey. Yes! Whatever He says to you, do it! That was the same advice Jesus’ mother gave the servants at the wedding at Cana of Galilee (and in extension to us, today).
“His mother said to the servants, Whatever He says to you, do it” (John 2:5)
“Jesus said to them, Fill the waterpots with water. So they filled them up to the brim”
“Then He said to them, Draw some out now and take it to the manager of the feast [to the one presiding, the superintendent of the banquet]. So they took him some.”
“And when the manager tasted the water just now turned into wine, not knowing where it came from–though the servants who had drawn the water knew–he called the bridegroom…”
The servants at this wedding went from having no wine at all to serving the best wine at the wedding, by doing what He said.
Two Important things that need to be emphasized is the need for every Christian to learn to listen to God for directions and obey them. Prayer ought to be two-way communication. We talk to God, and God talks to us. Each part is very important, one part should not be emphasized over the other. We need to be able to receive the instructions that will bring the solutions we seek. As believers, we must learn to train our senses to hear Him for ourselves. Do not worry, He is committed to lead us:
“I [the Lord] will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you” (Ps. 32:8)
So when you receive an instruction, receive it and obey it.
“Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not” (Prov. 8:33 KJV)
“Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured” (Prov. 13:18 KJV)
If you are a believer say this:
I am a child of God,
I have light and directions from above,
I receive the instructions providing solutions to my challenges,
When I receive them, I obey them,
I have a sound mind and I am blessed from above. Amen
I call you blessed