Thursday, March 02, 2006

Why are you noticed?

Ruth 2:11+12-"Boaz replied, "I've been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband—how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before. May the LORD repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge."

If you have not done so already, take this time to read through Ruth 2, taking special notice (ironic terminology) of the character of both Ruth and Boaz.

My first question to you: Why does Boaz notice Ruth and treat her as he does? Again, if it would help, go back to the Proverbs 31 passage we spoke of earlier and run down your list of character traits. Boaz notices her as she is serving. He then blesses her because he heard of the things she had done.

Secondly, what was Ruth's response to his treatment of her? Take notice here that not only is she surprised, but she was unexpecting. But look closer, she receives his kindness without refusing. She asks him for his intention prior to verse 11, but after that gratefully receives his blessing to her. Keep these things in mind.

Let's also pay attention to the type of man we are looking at in Boaz. Check out Titus 1:6-9.

"An elder must be blameless, the husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. Since an overseer is entrusted with God's work, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it. "

Sound familiar? Again, keep this picture in the back of your head as we continue to look at Boaz.

Let's recap for a moment. Ruth is noticed for her servitutde and faithfulness...the stand she took earlier. How are you noticed? What about you makes people look? Now, when I posed this question in my Bible study, the majority of the answers were, "I'm funny, nice, and I laugh a lot." Ok, but what character trait that you possess do you want people to notice? For me, I know it is my caring heart and my wisdom.

Why is it so hard to immediately default to the rich quailities when asked this question? Because if we do so in this society, we are considered prideful. Women are not supposed to consider themselves worthy of notice for the rich things, but rather for the perfect body, cute sense of humor and flirtatious air. Those temporal things are what turn the heads, right? Wrong.

You have been uniquely crafted by the Creator with a list of gifts. What are your gifts? What do you see in yourself that others may not possess as strongly? Are you faithful in friendship? Do you enjoy providing for people? Are you able to bless people with your paitence, wisdom, kindness? What is it about you?

There is a verse in the Bible that says "Do not think of yourselves any more highly than you ought." While a part of that means do not be haughty, the other part of that means...rejoice in the way you've been created! God has crafted you. Delight in that and pursue that. Now, with that said, what do you like about yourself? What would other people notice in you if they were to compare you to the girl next door?

Something else in this passage...what kind of man do you want to have notice you? Do you want a man like Boaz's servant who immediately defined Ruth as the "Moabitess", placing a label based on her past? Perhaps your label is "insecure" or "cocky" or "slut". Sometimes we resort to that because of the "going back home" I mentioned in the last lesson. But no, we want a man who notices us while we're serving God. And then in turn, treats us a daughter of the cross.

Boaz noticed Ruth as she was serving God in her faithfulness. What does this tell you? I know for me, it reminds me that you will be noticed by the type of man who is worthy of your heart when you are laboring for Christ.

Take a stand for the truth, pursue Christ in that stand, know who you are in your character, and receive the praise given for that character. After all, as a princess to the greatest King of all, being deemed worthy by His blood, you are worthy of adoration, because it really isn't you their adoring...its His beauty manifested in you. Delight in that and be noticed!

Lord, I praise you for making me the way you did. It is hard for me to understand at times that I am made in your image, thus should be considered beautiful. Help me to pursue your call for me and realize that the past has no hold or sting on me any longer. You have redeemed me and made me worthy of notice. Encourage me in who I am today. I am yours, Jesus. Walk with me in that and never let me lose sight of what you think of me. I pray for the man that you have designed to be in my life. Encourage him today and guide him in his finding you. I worship you and honor you, my King. Amen.

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