Posts Tagged “Ruth”

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Make God’s Word the cornerstone of your summer reading schedule. Join us as we read through a few chapters of the Bible each day. Use our Resting at the River’s Edge schedules to stay on track with us. If you fall behind – don’t worry about it! Just keep reading. I am praying that God will reveal Himself to you as you read each chapter. Ask Him to and He will.

Click on one of the following buttons to open a PDF file of the July/August bookmark or all bookmarks. After the file has opened, you can print it or save it to your hard drive from your browser’s file menu.

Click here for the July/August 2013 recommended reading bookmark. Click here to download all bookmarks for 2013.

The July Reading Schedule also appears at the end of this blog.

Here’s how the Resting at the River’s Edge reading schedules are organized:

  • The first two columns of the schedule allow you to read through the Old Testament once and the New Testament twice over a two-year period. You will typically read about three chapters a day if you follow this reading plan.
  • The “Additional Readings” column put you on a plan to read through the entire Bible in one year. You will read between four and five chapters a day if you follow this plan.

I hope you’ll join us! I love the way God’s Word seems to speak to my specific situations as I read through His Word. I know He’ll do that for you, too. I’d love to hear about it. Email me, leave a message on our Apprehending Grace Facebook page, or post a comment at the end of any blog.

Blessings, Friends!
Sandy

The recommended reading schedule for July is below.

July 2013 RARE Reading Schedule JPG

 

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Resting at the River’s Edge provides an opportunity to participate in reading through the Bible in a systematic way. We’re following a two year plan (2012 and 2013) that has us reading the New Testament each year and the Old Testament stretched over the two years. Each month our reading plans also provide a column titled “Additional.” This column provides readings that will allow you to read through the entire Bible (that is, the complete Old and New Testaments) during the year 2012.

Join the conversation as we read together each month. E-mail me, leave a message on the Apprehending Grace Facebook page, or post a comment at the end of any blog. God has treasures for each of us as we read. Let’s share them!

Also, NEW in 2012 are our RARE bookmarks. Click on the link below to download them. Each bookmark provides two months of Resting at the River’s Edge reading schedules and is great for tracking your readings. (We found an “oops” in the bookmarks we uploaded last month – we forgot to include Feb 29 in the schedule. The bookmarks have been updated to reflect the additional day we get this year.)

Use the tracking method that works best for you – the schedule provided in this blog, the downloadable half-page PDF or bookmark. All provide the same schedule.

I pray that you enjoy your time with God as you read each day.
Sandy

Download All 2012 Bookmarks Here Download only the March/April 2012 Bookmark Here Download a Half-Page PDF of the March Reading Plan Here

Here’s March’s reading plan:

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The History of a Nation and
Guidance for the Newly Formed Churches

Kings, Kings and More Kings
We will spend the bulk of our Old Testament reading First and Second Kings. Don’t lose sight of the message in the succession of kings and their exploits. The two overriding messages in the books of Kings are:

  • God is faithful and His people (i.e., us and our forefathers) continually turn away from Him. In the book of Kings, we see his judgement ultimately play out in the exile of the Israelites to Babylon.
  • Nations follow their leaders. We will see again and again that the spiritual climate of the Israelites very much followed that of their leader.

We’ll follow up our reading in First and Second Kings with the book of Ruth – a book that is all about courage, faithfulness and redemption. Many see it as a love story, but it is so much more than romance. It is the courage of a young woman, the faithfulness of God and the redemption of God’s people. That makes it a great book to cleanse our palates after reading Kings.

Forming a New Nation of Believers
As we read the books of Kings, we’ll also read what is commonly referred to as the “Pastoral Epistles” – the last writings of Paul, which are letters to Timothy and Titus. These letters provide instruction and guidance about caring for and protecting the newly born churches. The letters focus on church life, as well as leadership qualifications and responsibilities. The recurring themes in these books is keeping true to sound doctrine and living a life of godliness.

While it may seem that we are reading these books out of order (we’ll read 1 Timothy, then Titus, then 2 Timothy), this is the order in which they were written. 2 Timothy is widely believed to have been written shortly before Paul’s execution in AD 66-67. As you read this last letter of Paul’s keep in mind what he penned in chapter 4:

6As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. 7I have fought a good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. 8And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness that the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that great day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his glorious return.

There was a time when I didn’t much like the Apostle Paul. Now, I want to be like him when I grow up. How about you?

Blessings as you read this month. May God speak to your heart and spirit.

The recommended reading schedule is below.

To download a PDF of September’s recommended reading plan, click here.

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The book of Ruth has many subtexts in it – some describe it as a love story; some see it as an illustration of what happens when we leave Bethlehem (which means “House of Bread) – like Naomi (which means “pleasant”), God deals with us severely and we return as Mara (which means “bitter”); some see it as a pre-Christ example of being redeemed by our kinsman-redeemer.

I read the entire book in one sitting. The underlying theme I read today was one of the blessings that follow those who are faithful to do the right thing.

Ruth could have gone back home to her family in Moab, but she chose to honor her dead husband and follow her beloved mother-in-law to a strange land. Once there, she willingly served her mother-in-law. Scripture says she went into the field from early morning until dusk, then threshed all she had picked into wheat. She did this for many months. When Boaz found her in his fields the first day, he treated her kindly and instructed his servants to treat her well. When Naomi told Ruth to go to Boaz as their family (kinsman) redeemer, she did so. When Boaz found Ruth at the foot of his bed, he treated her honorably that night and made a point of sending grain home with her to Naomi. Then Boaz did the right thing by first going to a family member closer than he to ask if this man wanted to become the kinsman-redeemer. When he would not, Boaz married Ruth, she gave birth to a son and Mara (Naomi) was no longer bitter, but was blessed.

The journey from Moab to Bethlehem could not have been easy for either Ruth or Naomi. Finding herself in a strange city and venturing out to gather grain could not have been easy for Ruth. I imagine that following her mother-in-law’s instructions to go to Boaz at night held its share of fearful consequences for Ruth. Perhaps even marrying Boaz was an act of obedience in the midst of fear. He had treated her honorably, but one could hardly say she knew him.

Life had not treated Ruth kindly. But she continued to do the right things and God showed Himself to be faithful to her.

Sometimes we’re in a time in our life where things are not easy. God does not always seem to be near and bad things happen to good people. But Ruth showed herself to be a woman of character by continuing to do the right thing in the midst of it all. And God honored her faithfulness. He provided a kinsman-redeemer, someone to care for her. He provided a family for her. He gave her a son, Obed, and he gave her a lasting legacy. Obed was the father of Jesse, who was the father of David. That would be King David, a man after God’s own heart.

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We’ve read through Genesis and Exodus and are now turning our attention to Leviticus. Leviticus is an instruction manual for priests. There are times when it may seem repetitive, but it reveals the holiness of God and his gracious recognition of the imperfection of man. The provisions in teh book made it possible for our perfect, holy God to live among the sinful Israelites. It points to our need for a Savior. For those who want to dig deeply, all the sacrifices and feasts point to Christ in some way.

We’ll also finish the book of Esther and read Ruth, Joel and Jonah before delving back into some of the Psalms. Jonah is one of my very favorite books – I’ve subtitled him “The Petulant Prophet.”

In the New Testament, we’re going to read the Acts of the Apostles.

I  hope you’re continuing in the journey through the Bible. Again, don’t get discouraged if you fall behind…just keep reading.

Recommended Reading Plan for March

To download a PDF of March’s reading schedule, click here.

Day

Date

Recommended Reading

March 2009
M Mar 2 Leviticus 1-2 Esther 6-7 Acts 1
Tu Mar 3 Leviticus 3 Esther 8-10 Acts 2
W Mar 4 Leviticus 4 Ruth 1 Acts 3-4
Th Mar 5 Leviticus 5-6 Ruth 2-3 Acts 5
F Mar 6 Leviticus 7 Ruth 4 Acts 6-7
M Mar 9 Leviticus 8-9 Joel 1-3 Acts 8
Tu Mar 10 Leviticus 10-11 Acts 9-10
W Mar 11 Leviticus 12-13 Jonah 1 Acts 11-12
Th Mar 12 Leviticus 14-15 Jonah 2-3 Acts 13
F Mar 13 Leviticus 16 Jonah 4 Acts 14-15
M Mar 16 Leviticus 17-18 Psalms 42-43 Acts 16
Tu Mar 17 Leviticus 19 Psalms 44-45 Acts 17-18
W Mar 18 Leviticus 20 Psalms 46-47 Acts 19
Th Mar 19 Leviticus 21-22 Psalms 48-49 Acts 20
F Mar 20 Leviticus 23 Psalms 50-51 Acts 21-22
M Mar 23 Leviticus 24 Psalms 52-53 Acts 23
Tu Mar 24 Leviticus 25 Psalms 54-55 Acts 24-25
W Mar 25 Leviticus 26 Psalms 56-57 Acts 26
Th Mar 26 Leviticus 27 Psalms 58-60 Acts 27
F Mar 27 Psalms 61-63 Acts 28
M Mar 30 Numbers 1-2 Psalms 64-65
Tu Mar 31 Numbers 3 Psalms 66-67 Hebrews 1
W Apr 1 Numbers 4 Psalms 68-69 Hebrews 2-3
Th Apr 2 Numbers 5-6 Psalm 70 Hebrews 4-6
F Apr 3 Numbers 7 Psalms 71-72 Hebrews 7-8

Enjoy!

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Hear the heart of God in the following Old Testament passage:

1But now, O Israel, the LORD who created you says: “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. 2When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. 3For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I gave [your enemies] as a ransom for your freedom. 4Others died that you might live. I traded their lives for yours because you are precious to me. You are honored, and I love you.
                                               Isaiah 43:1-4 (NLT)

This passage speaks of how precious Israel (that is, the people and the country) is to God. They are His chosen people and he tells how He sacrificed their enemies to save them, how He gave up some lives to save Israel because she is so precious to Him. God even says simply “I love you.”

Don’t just read the words. Feel the emotion. Imagine that it is your husband or wife saying the words to you. How would you feel? Your spouse is saying that he/she paid a ransom for you – the life of someone else for your life. You must be incredibly precious!

But perhaps you’re a skeptic and think, “Well, they were Israel’s enemies that God gave as a ransom. It’s not like they were important to Him.” Au contraire, my friend. All life is precious to God, and those He calls enemies are those who have chosen to be His enemies. A message that sometimes seems to get lost in the Old Testament is that God called “His people” not only the Israelites, but all who chose to trust Him. Rahab and Ruth, for example, were not born Israelites, but they chose to align themselves with Israelites. As Ruth said, “Your people will be my people and your God will be my God” (Ruth 1:16).

God shows the same attitude in the New Testament toward His people as He showed in the Old Testament. But in the New Testament, the Israelites have clearly rejected God.

10But although the world was made through him, the world didn’t recognize him when he came. 11Even in his own land and among his own people, he was not accepted. 12But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. 13They are reborn! This is not a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan – this rebirth comes from God.
                                               John 1:10-13 (NLT)

God offers His love to everyone, and those who accept the gift of forgiveness and salvation that He’s offered began to be called “Christians.” It’s the term we still use today.

Let’s look at that first Old Testament passage again:

1But now, O Israel, the LORD who created you says: “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. 2When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. 3For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I gave [your enemies] as a ransom for your freedom. 4Others died that you might live. I traded their lives for yours because you are precious to me. You are honored, and I love you.
                                               Isaiah 43:1-4 (NLT)

The concepts and words that stand out in my mind are:

  • God ransomed us
  • He will protect us
  • He is our Savior
  • Others died that we might live
  • We are precious, honored and loved

Remember those concepts and words as you read the following New Testament passages. In this first one, Jesus describes why He came to earth:

[Jesus is speaking] “For even I, the Son of Man, came here not to be served but to serve others, and to give my life as a ransom for many.”
                                               Matthew 20:28 (NLT)

Peter amplifies Jesus’ words in his first letter:

18For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. 19He paid for you with the precious lifeblood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. 20God chose him for this purpose long before the world began, but now in these final days, he was sent to the earth for all to see. And he did this for you.
                                               1 Peter 1:18:20 (NLT)

How precious we must be to God, for Him to pay a ransom, not of His enemies, but of His son! God’s own son is the price required to ransom us from the empty life we would otherwise have. What an honor! What love!

8But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. 9And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s judgment. 10For since we were restored to friendship with God by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be delivered from eternal punishment by his life. 11So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God – all because of what our Lord Jesus Christ has done for us in making us friends of God.
                                               Romans 5:8-11 (NLT)

God has ransomed us through Jesus Christ. Praise God! He has delivered us from eternal punishment to eternal life!

11And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.
                                               1 John 5:11-12 (NIV)

I hope you have the Son! Because being in the center of God’s love is life!

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