I'm going to shock you and actually post some notes from the ladies' conference I attended over two weeks ago! This session was one of my favorites, I think because Ruth is one of my favorite Bible characters, and God's grace is one of my favorite themes of the Bible; hence the name of my blog.
This session was taught by Mrs. Darlene Minge, pastor's wife of Bethel Baptist Church in Spanaway, WA. It was the first of two sessions she taught. She used the entire book of Ruth to show how God's grace worked in Ruth's life, and how we can experience it in our own lives. I loved this lesson, and I hope to have a chance to teach it myself someday.
1. God's grace overcame Ruth's past. She was born in the country of Moab, a pagan nation. Ruth found that God's grace could overcome her early life, and we can trust that God can use anyone or anything to accomplish His will in our lives.
2. God's grace overcame who she married. Ruth was married to one of Elimelech and Naomi's sons, who were in Moab running from God. Ruth's husband was most likely not right with God, yet we find no record that she tried to change him. We must do what is right ourselves, and allow God to do the changing needed in those around us, our husbands especially.
3. God's grace overcame tragedy in Ruth's life. In the midst of tragedy, God's grace kept her from being bitter.
4. God's grace overcame the negative influence in Ruth's life - her mother-in-law. Naomi being in Ruth's life was part of God's plan for Ruth. We can overcome the influence of negative people by growing ourselves and realizing that God has allowed them in our lives to help us grow.
5. God's grace overcame the idolatry from which Ruth came. Ruth had been raised worshipping idols, and knew they did not hear or see. She had developed a hunger for the God of Israel through her relationship with God's people, even when those people were not in God's will. We should be witnesses to help develop a hunger for God in others' lives.
6. God's grace overcame Ruth's ignorance. She didn't know the Hebrew laws concerning widowhood and the kinsman-redeemer. God directed her to Boaz through Naomi. God uses the authorities in our lives - our spouses, our parents, our pastors, etc. - to teach us.
7. God's grace overcame her poverty. God had provided for the poor through the law that gleaners must leave the corners of their fields untouched, so that the poor could also glean. God provided for Ruth and Naomi through this law; He provides for us through His care, through both other people and by our own hard work.
8. God's grace overcame the prejudice experienced by Ruth. Ruth was a Moabitess, a citizen of a nation that was forbidden to mix with the Jews. Her strong testimony of being a virtuous woman overcame this prejudice. We must allow character to speak for itself.
9. God's grace overcame the Law. Ruth's natural, worldly abilities could do nothing to make her a part of God's family. She had no merit of her own; she was a poverty-stricken foreigner who had no claim to be named among God's chosen people. Yet God's grace brought her from her pagan past, into the land of Israel, and placed her within the genealogy of Christ. She was King David's great-grandmother. Likewise, we have no merit of our own to make any claims on God, but His wonderful grace allows us to become a part of His family! I think this is the best part of this session!
I'll have more notes ready to share soon! I hope you'll find something in all this that will be a blessing to you.