MY PROGRESS IS EVIDENT TO ALL (7)/ LOVE ONE ANOTHER!
During the Sunday service Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh preached a sermon titled My Progress is evident to all (7)/ Her main scriptures were taken from the Books of 1 Timothy 4:12-16; 1 John 4:1-11; Ru 2:1-23; 3:1-11.
MAY YOUR PROGRESS BE EVIDENT TO ALL
“Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you” (1 Tim 4:12-16)
Prophetic word: We declare that in Christ, we have entered our Promised Land and our progress is evident to all!
Spiritual maturity manifests as ‘progress’ that can be seen by others. Progress is defined as a slow forward movement towards a goal, to an improved condition in life, on the path to perfection. It means to advance in life, closer to the place where your dreams are fulfilled. The opposite of progress means to go back, to become worse, to sink, to lose benefits, or to waste away. May we pay the price for godly success!
THE PROGRESS OF GOD’S WORD IS EVIDENT TO ALL
“For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, 11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it” (Is 55:10, 11).
Like the rain and the snow, God’s Word goes forth from His mouth in heaven, and goes down to the earth. Like the rain and the snow, the Word touches the people of the earth and brings eternal life to them. God’s Word is a heavenly gift to men. The Word has power and purpose. It is always effectual. The Word prospers in the plan of God. The Word pleases God in its work among men. God has created all things including the rain and the snow. These are His servants. They have a purpose as they fall to the earth. They will not fail in their purpose. Their work on earth brings praise to God. “Praise the Lord from the earth, you great sea creatures and all the depths; 8 Fire and hail, snow and clouds; Stormy wind, fulfilling His word” (Ps 148:7, 8). The rain has no seed. The rain alone cannot produce a harvest. But the rain waters the seed planted, and the harvest will surely come. In the winter, the snow covers the earth like a warm blanket and protects it from freezing. “He gives [to the earth] snow like [a blanket of] wool” (Ps 147:16; AMP). The seed planted in the autumn survives under the snow, and it will grow in the springtime. Therefore, the Word of God protects itself from danger and has the power of resurrection inside. The Word of God is stronger than all obstacles. It is always fruitful. It produces seeds and bread. Seed is for the farmer. The Word of God blesses the worker with more seed. God’s Word blesses the work of our hands and the words of our mouths. The Word is bread for the hungry, for him who is too weak to work.
God’s Word will not go back to Him in heaven ‘void’. In Hebrew, the word ‘void’ means to be empty handed, barren, to have no effect. It means a project that ended in failure. This is God’s revelation. God’s Word does not go back to Him until it has performed the pleasure of God on earth. God’s Word is creative. It is always successful in accomplishing God’s purpose. The Word is never spoken in vain. When the Gospel is preached, God always has a purpose. The elect will repent and surrender to Jesus. They become saved. The unbelievers harden their hearts and reject God’s Word. It is like rain falling on a hard rock. It is useless. But even then, God has accomplished His purpose in the sending of His Word. The hard rock cannot say that it does not know what water is. The unbeliever has no excuse on the day of judgment. He cannot say that God did not extend grace to him on earth. He has to confess that he rejected the Gospel. That is why he must go to hell.
Never forget that! God’s Word always prospers to the glory of God! In Hebrew, the word ‘prosper’ means to push forward. It always makes progress, and it will be evident to all. God’s Word gives life, or it will kill. God never regrets sending His Word. God never apologizes sending the Word. We must faithfully preach God’s with confidence. To the glory of God and to the good of men, for the saving of their souls! Glory to God!
Love is a strong deep tender feeling of affection and concern arising from close friendship; it is good will towards another. When you love, you like another very much and you desire his good. These are some examples of love: Friends love one another. Parents love their children. The love in the godly Marriage is different and unique. The husband and his wife love one another spiritually, faithfully, romantically, and sexually.
This is the classical description of Biblical agape love: “Love endures with patience and serenity, love is kind and thoughtful, and is not jealous or envious; love does not brag and is not proud or arrogant. 5 It is not rude; it is not self-seeking; it is not provoked [nor overly sensitive and easily angered]; it does not take into account a wrong endured. 6 It does not rejoice at injustice but rejoices with the truth [when right and truth prevail]. 7 Love bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], endures all things [without weakening]. 8 Love never fails [it never fades nor ends]” (1 Cor 13:4-8; AMP).
If you change the word ‘love’ with Christ, you will find that it is a perfect match. The agape love of God is a product of His Grace. God loves us not because we are good. God’s love is unmerited and cannot be earned. It is by Grace alone. God’s love manifests as kindness, forgiveness, as helping the weak, and as humility that desires the good of others. The best expression of God’s Love is displayed in Christ Crucified. Selah!
In the Bible, love is not just a feeling. It is God’s command; it is a mind and a will actively engaged. Love is expressed through both words and actions. Many Christians know the doctrines, but they do not apply the word they know. Love is always an application of God’s Word. Few are successful in loving people. Why do you think that God commands us to love others? It’s because love is a champion, a leader. “Love never fails” (1 Cor 13:8). In Greek, the word ‘fails’ has two meanings. The first one describes a bad actor who is not received by the audience. The people shout at him, and he leaves the stage in shame. The second meaning describes a rose, whose petals whiter and fall to the ground. In both these pictures you see the sadness of failure. But God’s Word says that Love will not be rejected and will not fall down dead. It will be received by men. It will eternally remain fresh, strong, and fragrant. The more you love like Jesus, the more you shall receive favor from both God and man. If you truly love, you become more than a conqueror. You depart from the realm of failure. You enter the triumphal procession of eternal victory. All lovers are leaders! They alone are able to endure and hope for all things. They alone are able to change the world!
TEST BEFORE YOU TRUST
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are of the world. Therefore, they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (1 Jn 4:1-11)
To make progress, you must drive away the spirit of fear and become filled with power, love, and a sound mind (2 Tim 1:7). We shall study God’s love. In the Book of 1 John there are three major commandments. The first one is to love God with all our hearts. This is how we know that we are God’s children. The second command is to love the brethren. This is a sure test that we are born again. The third command is to test and avoid false doctrines. In the history of the church, immediately the apostles wrote the New Testament, false teachers appeared and brought in false doctrines. These doctrines are brought by religious evil spirits of ‘Antichrist’. We are warned to ‘test the spirits, whether they are from God’ or not. God’s warning remains standing forever. The spirit of Antichrist is a religious spirit. People who are under the influence of this spirit do not deny Christ openly. They say that they believe in Jesus. They belong to the visible church. They are insiders and difficult to discover. That is why they are dangerous. What do they preach? They preach by the power of ‘another spirit, another Jesus, and another Gospel’ (Gal 1:6,7). They do not preach The true Gospel of Christ Crucified and Resurrected. Something is lacking in their sermons. The most important missing element is that they remove from the glory of the Person of Jesus. To cheat God of His glory is a most serious danger. God does not forgive such a sin. King Herod tried to share in God’s glory, and he died instantly (Ac 12:21-23).
Listen to what God says: “I am the Lord, that is My name; And My glory I will not give to another, Nor My praise to carved images” (Isa 42:8). Behold a glimpse from the worship in heaven: “You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created” (Rev 4:11). As you can see, all glory, honor and power belong to the Lord, the Creator, and the Sustainer of all things on earth and in heaven. Practically, what does it mean to share in God’s glory? It means to be proud, to boast about yourself, about your achievements. Jesus is seated on the Throne. By your words and attitude, you claim a portion from His throne. You want men to worship you too. This is what Lucifer tried to do and he was sent away from heaven. The spirit of Antichrist does not totally deny Jesus, but it lowers Jesus to lift himself. You need the discernment of the Holy Spirit to identify this demon. Many churches are under the influence of this evil religious spirit. The pastors and the congregation are proud. They are a hindrance to the movement of the Holy Spirit in the church. These religious spirits are strongholds positioned to block revival. This is God’s warning: Test before you trust men! Flee from proud pastors! But once a pastor has passed your test, then submit and honor him! He is not perfect but he is a genuine believer and acceptable to God!
This is the Gospel: Jesus is God. He is the Second Person of the Holy Trinity. He took flesh upon Himself and became Man. Jesus was 100% God and 100% Man. Not 50-50. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the virgin Mary. This is called the Incarnation. He became a real Man. During His life on earth, His glory was covered by His flesh. That is why men did not know that He is God. But He revealed Himself to those He called to Him. The spirit of Antichrist preaches an incomplete Jesus. He denies either the fact that Jesus is God, or the fact that He was a true Man. This is an error. For if Jesus is not God, then He did not resurrect. He is still in the grave like all men. If Jesus is not Man, then He cannot save men from sins, because He cannot die in their place. This ‘another Jesus’ lacks the power to truly save men from sins. It is a religious spirit of deception. If you want to know the truth about the spirit of Antichrist, study the Jesus those pastors are preaching. They do not give Jesus the glory due to Him. They do not put Jesus in the center of their preaching. They worship men, religion, miracles, ministry, or money. The ‘other gospel’ is a false powerless gospel that does not save. Be honest with yourself! Ask yourself some questions about the teachers or the preachers you listen to: Do they try to obey God’s Word in their daily lives? Are they humble? Do they repent when they do wrong? Do they put Jesus in the center of their lives? Do they seek the Kingdom of God first, or they seek fame and money. Do they love the brethren? Do they have good marriages, and godly relationships with others? Is their spiritual and natural progress in life evident to all? These are serious questions that need an answer. The testing is done to avoid deception and much pain in the future. Prevention is better than cure! Selah!
KNOWING GOD THRU LOVE
It has been said that Paul was the Apostle of Faith; Peter was the Apostle of Hope and John was the Apostle of Love. Just to have an idea, Apostle John uses the word ‘love’ 51 times in the First epistle John. In Greek, the word ‘Love’ is Agape. This is not a sexual or a friendly type of love. It is the sacrificial love of God, manifested in the death of Jesus on the Cross on behalf of sinners. Agape love starts with God the Father who sent God the Son to be ‘a propitiation’, an atoning, for our sins. We are told that ‘God is Love’. This is a revelation of the Person of God. It means more than God is loving. God’s very nature is fullness of Love. All God’s deeds are the deeds of Grace manifested as Love. As God is Light so God is Love! This is the reality of our Father in Heaven. When we become born again, we are not only forgiven of sins, the very nature of God is given to us. Our spiritual DNA is changed and becomes holy. Our life becomes different because of the internal change in our spirits. By God’s Power we have been given “exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Peter 1:4). As believers, we are ‘partakers of the divine nature of God’. We share in God’s nature. We are now children of God indeed. That is why salvation is a miracle and only God can do it. That is why we love like God loves!
Love knows God! Mark this: no unbeliever can love like this. This brotherly agape love is manifested only by God’s children. Experiencing this God’s type of Love is a sign that you are truly born again. This love is returned to God in praise and worship. It manifests practically through loving the brethren. Now you see why loving all people with the love of God is a sign and a proof that you are saved. Jesus said: “You will know them by their fruits” (Matt 7:16). The first fruit of the Holy Spirit in your human spirit is Love. There is no law to condemn a man who has God’s love in his heart. The agape love in your heart is the totally safe shield against any form of accusation, condemnation or guilt. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law” (Gal 5:22, 23).
Experiencing God’s Love is also the best practical way to display the heavenly family traits. The child of God loves like His Father in heaven. He cannot hate people anymore. He suffers when rejected but he cannot hate his enemies anymore. This is a miracle experienced only by the born again believers. The power of Agape Love drives away all fears, ignorance, shame, and guilt. Many Christians know the Bible, but they do not love like this. It is not enough to know the letter without experiencing and applying the Spirit of the Word. That religious knowledge will make you proud. “Knowledge [alone] makes [people self-righteously] arrogant, but love [that unselfishly seeks the best for others] builds up and encourages others to grow [in wisdom]” (1 Cor 8:1; AMP).
Love is more powerful than faith. Love is bold. Love never loses any battle. Faith comes by hearing God’s Word. Love comes by God’s Spirit and matures as we love the unlovely for Christ’s sake. Faith needs open ears. Love needs open hearts, strong hands to embrace and strength to carry the needy. In the natural, you cannot command someone to love! For example, you cannot command a man to love his wife or children. But in the Kingdom of God, love is a command from God and the right answer is ‘Yes, Sir!’ The children of God love others! Lesson: If you are saved and you refuse to love others, even the difficult people, you are breaking God’s law. When you love God and man, you will know God and man! Experiencing and manifesting God’s Love is a major way to believe in the Trinity, to truly know God. The doctrine of Trinity is mysterious to man. Nothing else but love helps faith in this matter. The Holy Trinity remains a theory for all who do not love with God’s love. Selah!
God’s Love alone is able to replace the evil rebellious spirit of Cain in our hearts. Cain was jealous on his brother Abel, and he killed him. “Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him. 9 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Gen 4:8,9). God commands us to love, care, protect and help our ‘brothers and sisters’. Yes, I am my brother’s keeper!
WHAT MANNER OF LOVE IS THIS?
God is love. His love manifests in many ways. Like a wonderful architect, God created the earth and all living things on it. He created them not only to function as robots, but He added beauty to creation. Look at the flowers, at the sunrise, or at the blue skies. Even on earth, when a man is in love with his wife, he becomes very creative. God is an Artist, moved by love to make all things beautiful. God made man and placed him in a beautiful garden. Even after Adam sinned, God continued to love him. His general grace manifests in giving good gifts to all men, to the good and to the bad. God’s love is revealed through His Grace and in His kindness to all. “He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matt 5:45). But the greatest love of God is revealed in the Gospel. This is the love story of God towards man. The love story starts with God the Father. He is the One who planned saving sinners like us. But before you appreciate God’s love you need to know man first. Man is born a sinner. This is our story: We are born haters of God and men; selfish and wicked. We are sinners by birth and by choice. Before we got saved, we wanted nothing to do with God. We did not seek God. We were using God’s world without shame and even spoiling it. And we are not grateful. What did God do? In this world of sin, God sent His only Begotten Son. His name is Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God. God the Father sent God the Son to this sinful world to save men. This is Love! Men hated Jesus and His words. They persecuted Him, rejected Him, and finally, killed Him on a Cross. Why did Jesus come to this world to suffer so much? Because of God’s Love for us. To be saved, we needed ‘propitiation’ for our sins. This word means ‘atonement’. Jesus came as the needed Sacrifice for us. This is the doctrine of propitiation or the substitutionary sacrifice of God’s Son, who died as the Lamb of God on behalf of sinners. This is the Gospel: Jesus became sin for us so that we can be saved. Nothing else but the Blood of Jesus could atone for our sins. “For He (God the Father) made Him (Jesus Christ) who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor 5:21). The mystery of salvation!
Try to imagine the price paid by both God the Father and God the Son for such a great salvation. Only Love can do that! You are parents. Can you imagine the possibility that you will send your only child to die for your wicked neighbor? Will you not think that the price for that love is too much for you? But this is what God did. Read these holy words: “For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:6-8). Jesus died while we still hated Him. He did not wait for us to repent before He went to the Cross. He paid the price long before we could understand His love and be willing to bow at His feet in worship. From these words you see that to understand God’s love you must study God’s Word. The subject of God’s Love does not come from some romantic poems, and not even from beautiful worship songs. It comes from knowing the doctrines of the Bible. You need to use your mind before your heart beats the song of love. That is why Jesus said that love means knowing and obeying God’s commands. “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15). Obeying God’s Word in practice, will manifest God’s love to you!
Out of the overflow of this agape Love from God, we are commanded to love one another. Jesus said that Love will be now the new standard and command from God. Love is the final word in obedience. Just before the Cross, Jesus said to His disciples: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples if you have love for one another” (Jn 13:34. 35). Love is the primary subject in the school of the Spirit where Jesus is the Teacher. Love is the badge of honor and the identity card of all His students. This love must be learned and practiced. It is not easy. Love has scars. But refusing to learn the subject of love will close the door to the privilege to be thought by the greatest Teacher in the whole universe. Loving God with all your heart, mind and strength is the first commandment. The overflow of this love will manifest in loving people; even the unlovely. That is why the true test of a disciple and a worshipper, is not just loving God that he cannot see, but loving the people he sees.
LOVE FULFILLS THE LAW OF GOD
“Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor; Therefore, love is the fulfillment of the law” (Rom 13:8-10). Love never hurts anyone! Only a child of God can love the unlovely!
Now, a practical question: How can you love the people you dislike? Look at three Persons: yourself, God and that one you dislike! First, humble yourself! Remember who you were before God met you. God loved and saved you not because you were good but because He chose to do that. God chose to love you because of His Grace. Once you forget yourself and you become proud, you will not be able to love others. Always remind yourself of that first happy day when Jesus saved your soul. Secondly, worship God! Remember who God is, how great He is! Don’t forget how much He has done for you. Remember the price God the Father and God the Son have paid for your salvation. Love is never cheap. Love pays with its blood. Jesus bled to death to pay for your ‘bride price’. You owe Him your body, your soul, and your spirit. He has done what no man could do. All the organs of your body must be used for His glory. For example, we are commanded to run away from sexual sins. “Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s“ (1 Cor 6:18-20). Sexual lust is a fake manipulating ‘love’. It is selfish, greedy, wicked, and always destructive. Adulterers are totally ignorant of true love. They cannot even imagine the love of Jesus. Paul commands us to ‘flee’ sexual sins. He gives the reasons why. Paul says that your body was bought by Jesus. He paid for it with His Blood. Therefore, your body is not yours anymore. It has now become the temple of the Spirit of Jesus who died for you. It is reasonable to expect that your body should be used to glorify Jesus always. It is not just sexual sins that defile the body. Speaking in anger, insulting people, quarreling, and all other social sins reflect a lack of love. By doing this, you break the command to love one another. Selah!
Finally, after you have remembered who you were as a sinner and what God has done for you, then you look at that person you dislike. Look again with prayer in your heart and with the eyes of God. See that stubborn person as a victim of Satan. See him as an ignorant man who destroys himself. See him and have compassion for him. With that holy attitude, slowly but surely, love will bloom in your hardened heart and God will be glorified! Love is hard work but oh, the harvest of souls that comes to the wise! Praise the Lord!
LOVE IN MARRIAGE
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So, husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church“ (Eph 5:25-32)
The husband is commanded to love his wife in a particular way. For husbands, love is a command. They cannot choose whether to love their wives or not. Read again: they ‘ought to love’. In Greek, the word ‘ought’ it means to owe, morally to be under obligation. Failing to love your wife is considered failing in your duty as a soldier of Christ! Husband, please meditate about your God given duty! You must love your wife! Your answer should be ‘Yes, Sir!’ The husband’s love is a picture of Christ’s love. It is a sacrificial love. It is a king, generous, wise, ready to help love! It is a love that has hope, knowing that his wife, like wine, will be better as she gets older. In the future, she will be presented to him as a mature fulfilled woman of God!
THE LOVE STORY OF BOAZ AND RUTH
The love story between Boaz and Ruth reveals the love of God in the marriage. The name Boaz means ‘Strength’. The name Ruth means ‘Friend’. Ruth was a poor widow who came to Bethlehem with her mother-in-law, Naomi. Ruth was a Moabite who married Naomi’s son, who died in Moab. When Naomi heard that ‘the Lord has visited His people by giving them bread’ she decided to go back to Bethlehem, her place of birth. Her two daughters-in-law followed her. She told them that there is no hope for them in Israel. Orpah decided to go back to her people and her gods. This was ‘common sense’. She leaves the pages of the Bible. But Ruth decided ‘to cling’ to Naomi. The word ‘cling’ is the same word ‘joined’ that God used to describe marriage between a man and a woman (Gen 2:24). This is a covenant word. Ruth pledges her life to serve Naomi until death. She even invoked a curse upon herself in the presence of Jehovah God. She said that God should punish her if she is unfaithful to Naomi unto death. By going to a place where Naomi had no hope for her, Ruth enters the lineage of saints. Ruth/Friend is a picture of the Bride of Christ!
Boaz knew of her pledge to serve Naomi, who was his family member. He was impressed by Ruth’s faithfulness to his ‘cousin’. But in that field, gleaning with the poor people, there is nothing to recommend Ruth to Boaz. He was the richest man in Bethlehem. Ruth was gleaning grains in his field. See their discussions. They both appreciate their kindness to one another. Love is always kind! Listen to Ruth talking to Boaz: “Let me find favor in your sight, my lord; for you have comforted me, and have spoken kindly to your maidservant, though I am not like one of your maidservants” (Ru 2:13). Listen to Boaz talking to Ruth: “Blessed are you of the Lord, my daughter! For you have shown more kindness at the end than at the beginning, in that you did not go after young men, whether poor or rich” (Ru 3:10). Lesson: marry not based on physical appearance! Marry a child of God! Marry a kind, loving, humble, generous person!
Ruth could glean in Boaz’ field because the law permitted her to do so (Lev 19:9). But only Grace could speak kindly to her, protect her, and give her food to eat. Grace and Love came to Ruth through Boaz. A sinner repents not because of God’s wrath, but because God’s Love and Goodness has manifested to him. “Do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?” (Rom 2:4). Glory to God!
This is the story of the power of love and progress grace makes. Just imagine the impact Ruth made in Bethlehem! The Grace that she found and she released! Love protects! Boaz tells Ruth that she will be totally protected in his field. Love is generous. Boaz tells Ruth to eat with his workers. He tells his men to drop ‘handfuls of grain on purpose’ for her to glean. Boaz gives her grain to take to Naomi. Boaz tells Ruth not to tell anybody that she came to talk to him in the night. This is to protect her reputation. Love is creative. Boaz found wisdom to win Ruth as his wife. But the story of Boaz and Ruth is not what you see in Hollywood. It is a different type of story. Thiers was not so much a love match. It was a character match. Nevertheless, it was love. Love is fruitful. Boaz and Ruth marry. Their son Obed is in the line of King David and the Lord Jesus Christ. The true hero of Love here is another One who also came to Bethlehem. He is the true Kinsman Redeemer. He came from heaven to seek and to find the lost sheep shivering in the cold alleys of sin. He came and died for His own. “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (Jn 15:13). If you want to see the face of love, look at Calvary. Jesus is Lord! To God be all the glory! Worship the Lord!