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What a Character!

Read it! Ruth 1

At this they wept again.

Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-by, but Ruth clung to her.

Vs 14

Think it through

When I’ve read Ruth in the past, I’ve tended to focus on, well, Ruth. But today it’s Naomi who’s calling for my attention, speaking to my heart.

Naomi has never been my favorite person. Her protestations that her daughters-in-law should turn back after they’d already left (could she not have mentioned this earlier?), combined with her self-imposed name change in verse 20, seem like attention-seeking and nearly manipulative behavior to me. But maybe I’ve been reading Naomi all wrong.

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Lord, I Surrender!

Read it!: II Samuel 15

But if he [the Lord] says, “I am not pleased with you,” then I am ready;

let him do to me whatever seems good to him.

(vs 26)

Think it through:

Through II Samuel 15, God seems to be talking to me about surrender.

David hears that his son, Absalom, is trying to take the throne. Rather than fighting in the city, David flees to the country. During the flight, he offers to let a group of six hundred men turn back. Then he tells his priest to take the Ark of the Covenant back to the city. Surrender, surrender, surrender. With bare feet and a covered head, David leaves his future in the Lord’s hands.

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Are You a Fool for Jesus?

Read it!: 2 Samuel 6

I will become even more undignified than this,

and I will be humiliated in my own eyes.

But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor.

(vs 22)

Think it through:

When I was a child, my Dad and a family friend named Ray performed at various church services as the “special music.”   In fact, they still do on occasion!  The two of them would sing and play guitar, and one their regular songs was “I’ll Be a Fool for You, Jesus.”  (You can check out the lyrics here if you’d like.)  The older I get, the more I understand what they were singing about.

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The Very Fine Line Between Two C’s

Read it! Amos 6

You drink wine by the bowlful and use the finest lotions,

But you do not grieve over the ruins of Joseph.

(vs 6)

Think it through

God calls out in the first verse of this reading, “Woe to you who are complacent in Zion!” Amos goes on to describe people enjoying their rich blessings, taking personal credit for their successes, and ignoring the things of God. They are complacent.

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It’s No Obstacle to God

Read it! Acts 28

But Paul shook the snake off into the fire and suffered no ill effects.

(vs 5)

 

Think it through

OK, so I’m really afraid of snakes. Really afraid. I had a hard time featuring this verse because it has the word “snake” in it, and of course the visual image of Paul shaking it off into the fire (my stomach is turning over right now). Every time I read this passage I laugh out loud at verse 6, probably out of sheer relief that the snake part is over. But God spoke to my heart through this verse today, through this snake-shaking image, so there it is.

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