RSS

Tag Archives: honor

Ruth and Boaz at the Threshing Floor

He said, “May you be blessed by the Lord, my daughter; this last instance of your loyalty is better than the first; you have not gone after young men, whether poor or rich. And now, my daughter, do not be afraid, I will do for you all that you ask, for all the assembly of my people know that you are a worthy woman. But now, though it is true that I am a near kinsman, there is another kinsman more closely related than I.Remain this night, and in the morning, if he will act as next-of-kin for you, good; let him do it. If he is not willing to act as next-of-kin for you, then, as the Lord lives, I will act as next-of-kin for you. Lie down until the morning.” (Ruth 3:10-13, NRSV)

This act of loyalty is better than the first, for you have not gone after young men, either rich or poor but have come to a kinsman.

Ruth has been loyal to Naomi, going with her where she goes and worshipping her God and following after her kinsmen.

And Boaz sees this and honors that. He holds ruth up as a worthy woman and promises to make sure she is cared for. Meaning if the nearest kinsman will not fulfill his duty, Boaz will.

Boaz is an honorable man.

Do we live with honor?

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Ruth meets Boaz

So she gleaned in the field until evening. Then she beat out what she had gleaned, and it was about an ephah of barley. She picked it up and came into the town, and her mother-in-law saw how much she had gleaned. Then she took out and gave her what was left over after she herself had been satisfied. Her mother-in-law said to her, “Where did you glean today? And where have you worked? Blessed be the man who took notice of you.” So she told her mother-in-law with whom she had worked, and said, “The name of the man with whom I worked today is Boaz.” Then Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, “Blessed be he by the Lord, whose kindness has not forsaken the living or the dead!” Naomi also said to her, “The man is a relative of ours, one of our nearest kin.” (Ruth 2:17-20, NRSV)

Naomi saw that Ruth was successful on her first day out and knew that someone had looked over her.

Both of them got their fill from what God had blessed Boaz with, and he, in turn, blessed Ruth with, which also blessed Naomi.

How do we bless others with what God has given us?

How do we use our resources to help those in need?

How do you allow what was poured into our lives be transferred to others?

If we do not empty ourselves, how can God give us more?

Why should we be the only one who receives from the blessing with which we have been blessed?

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

do good

160829Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it. Remember those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them; those who are being tortured, as though you yourselves were being tortured. Let marriage be held in honor by all, and let the marriage bed be kept undefiled; for God will judge fornicators and adulterers. Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be content with what you have; for he has said, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” So we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can anyone do to me?” Remember your leaders, those who spoke the word of God to you; consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Through him, then, let us continually offer a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name.  Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. (Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16, NRSV)

Let mutual love continue.

Let marriage be held in honor.

Remember your leaders and keep them in prayer.

Do not neglect to do good and share what you have.

You never know who you are looking at, or standing before, maybe an angel, maybe the Lord.

So always treat others with the utmost respect.

You could be entertaining angels! So go and do the good God created you to do.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

as yourself

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. My brothers and sisters, do you with your acts of favoritism really believe in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ? For if a person with gold rings and in fine clothes comes into your assembly, and if a poor person in dirty clothes also comes in, and if you take notice of the one wearing the fine clothes and say, “Have a seat here, please,” while to the one who is poor you say, “Stand there,” or, “Sit at my feet,” have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brothers and sisters. Has not God chosen the poor in the world to be rich in faith and to be heirs of the kingdom that he has promised to those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who oppress you? Is it not they who drag you into court? Is it not they who blaspheme the excellent name that was invoked over you? You do well if you really fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (James 1:27-2:8, NRSV)

When we look upon people we are not to judge them and place them in honorable places and dishonorable places by how we judge them.

We are to try the as we would treat ourselves. That is why this picture is a great reminder of how we should look upon people. When we look at someone we should see us. Because when God looks at us does He see us or does He see Jesus?

So love everyone as Jesus loves you.

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Blessed…

For us in the United States, we are approaching the time we set aside to be thankful for all that we have been given, and all we have been blessed with in our lives. November is the time we seem to focus on what it means to be blessed and what God has given us in our lives.

Yet we are told by Jesus we are blessed when we are poor in spirit, when we mourn, when we are meek, hunger and thirst for righteousness, are merciful, pure in heart, make peace, and are persecuted.

Matthew starts the Sermon on the Mount with the Beatitudes. Blessed are…

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:3-12, NRSV)

Not really what we think of when we think blessed! Blessed is happy, favored, fortunate, privileged. Being hungry and thirsty, meek, poor in spirit and persecuted does not sound like being privileged or fortunate to me.

But you see that is where our language falls short, or our understanding of the context is important. Our language falls short because we do not understand the honor-shame society in which Jesus speaks these words in the Gospel of Matthew. And we think of being blessed as an emotional state in which bliss and happiness rain down in our lives, and that is just not what Jesus means. It is not about us being happy, or having a good feeling about what we are doing or what is happening around us.

Another way to look at this would be to translate the word μακαροις (makarios), which we have as blessed, as “How honorable…”

Because when we get right down to it who among us would want to be poor in spirit, to mourn, to hunger and thirst, or be persecuted? None of us would seek to be these things, yet that is what we do as people of God. As His children, we seek not our own comforts or status, but look to the other. We seek to comfort the last, the lost, the least and the little, and by doing this we bring honor to God, and are blessed!

So take some time this month to count your blessings. Some of which are the fact we can worship God freely and openly, we are free to live because of the men and women who fought and fight for that freedom. Count the blessings of your friends, and family, and remember that God has blessed you with everything so that you may be a blessing to others. You are blessed to be a blessing!

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

temple…

According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building on it. Each builder must choose with care how to build on it. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid; that foundation is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— the work of each builder will become visible, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each has done. If what has been built on the foundation survives, the builder will receive a reward. If the work is burned, the builder will suffer loss; the builder will be saved, but only as through fire. Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple. Do not deceive yourselves. If you think that you are wise in this age, you should become fools so that you may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, ‘He catches the wise in their craftiness’, and again, ‘The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.’ So let no one boast about human leaders. For all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all belong to you, and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God. (1 Corinthians 3:10-23, NRSV)

So we are freed by grace to live in the love of God; does that give us free reign to do whatever we want?

Paul said to the Romans that we can not sin more to get more grace. Yes we are free to live in the love of God, but everything we do and every where we go has God going with us…

Think over your actions of the past 24 hours…

Now over the last 60 minutes…

Now the last 5 minutes…

Do you want Jesus to be doing that with you?

We are to honor God with all of our actions. Every word we say and every thing we do.

We are God’s and He dwells within us, so honor Him!

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

All you got…

In the hearing of all the people he said to the disciples, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets. They devour widows’ houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.” He looked up and saw rich people putting their gifts into the treasury; he also saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. He said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them; for all of them have contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in all she had to live on.” (Luke 20:45-21:4,NRSV)

Do you pray long prayers with big words?

Do you wear long flowing white robes?

I have to say as the pastor of a liturgical congregation, I take a step back after I read this…

I wear a long white robe and pray long prayers in public. Now I do not do this to get noticed, but because that is what the congregation I serve asks me to do. The robe takes away me and in a sense covers me in Christ. And I really don’t pray with long big words, unless I really know what they mean and I think most of those present will know them. God wants us to just talk to Him like we talk to everyone else.

So do not try to be a know it all, or to always sit in the seats of honor. God calls us to be humble and to place all of our hope in Him, not us, or our status. Because when the next life comes your status here will not matter.

So give it all you got, as the woman did, not because the system is abusing the poor and keeping the rich in places of power. But because Christ gave you His all and He asks the same in return.

 

Tags: , , , ,