Racism, love & vengeance? | Part 2

Hey there BCU Family!

Typically, you have the option of listening to our podcast, reading the notes or both. For this post, because of the informal format, please tune into the podcast recording and refer to the written post for the highlights. We pray the post blesses and encourages you. If so, please thumbs up AND leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy the post!

 

BlenCouragesU · BCU Podcast | Racism, love & revenge | Part 2 | (Ep 217)

Podcast highlights

  • Last time we were together,we talked about living in a time of unprecedented and open racism.
  • Hatred and injustice of any kind coming from anyone is NOT of God.
  • As wrong as the perpetrators are, the people of God are STILL and ALWAYS called to reflect Christ in our reactions to people.
  • Of course we are to speak up and defend people as God leads.
  • Vengeance is self-serving, vindictive, never meted out correctly, and is NOT God’s answer to anything.
  • The Lord is the Perfect Avenger.

 

Scripture references:

Matthew 5:43-48

43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

1 John 2:10-11

10 He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.

11 But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.

1 John 3:14-15

14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.

15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.

1 John 4:19-21

19 We love him, because he first loved us.

20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?

21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

Romans 12:17-19; 21

17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.

18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

Luke 18:6-8

6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.

7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?

8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

Colossians 3:23-25

23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;

24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.

25 But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.

Bonus Scriptures:

James 3:9-12

9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.

10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.

11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?

12 Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.

BCUFam, as challenging as it is, we are called to love people and resist vengeful thoughts and actions. Along with the love, with God’s help, if we change our thought patterns to line up with  Philippians 4:8, (thinking on things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of a good report, virtue and praiseworthy), we will find ourselves in a place where we are less agitated and more satiated, knowing God keeps exact records and will reward all of us according to our own works. This is a reminder that we should make sure OUR works are in good standing with Him, right?

The bottom line? It is in our best spiritual interest to trust God to take care of whatever was done incorrectly in His way and in His timing.  In the meantime, let’s just love, bless, do good and pray. (Matthew 5:44). Amen? Amen!

So BCU Fam, what stood out to you? What are your thoughts on revenge? Let’s talk about it in the comments section below!

If you have not already subscribed to BlenCouragesU.com, please do so! It’s free and a good place to get the encouragement, inspiration and information based the Word of God! Additionally, you can also see what we are up to on Facebook, Twitter , and Instagram! You can also listen in and subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher Radio , Google Play, and Apple podcasts!

Thank you SO much for stopping by! God bless, keep and make His face to shine upon you as you #StayOnTheWall!

Love,

BCU

How do I love Thee? Let me count the ways…

Hey there BCU Family!

You have the option of listening to our podcast (click the BCU avatar below to listen), reading the notes or BOTH. In any case, we pray the podcast blesses you. If so, please thumbs up or leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy your study! 

So, “Love Day” or Valentine’s Day is around the corner–and yes, there is some debate for some Christians around celebrating the day–and others who choose to celebrate the person they love period. Either way, for some singles it can be a tough with the hearts, flowers, candy and plans. And that sometimes brings a loneliness that, in turn, if not given to God, can effect your spirit.

Last year, I wrote a post on some things to do that you can find here. I was thinking to do the same this year, but the Lord led me to write something about Him that would bless the singles, and the BCU Family at large on February 14th and all year round.

You loved me first.

You wonderfully made me.

You were born for me.

You lived for me.

You were punished for me.

You died for me.

You rose for me.

You chose me.

You redeemed me.

You saved me.

You live in me.

You forgive me.

You heal me.

You correct me.

You are the reason I exist.

You provide for me.

You protect me.

You feed me.

You clothe me.

You instruct me.

You defend me.

Merciful,  gracious, slow to anger, patient, restorer of my soul, full of compassion, long-suffering, The Way, The Truth, The Life.

Abundant life giver, tear-drier, Wonderful Counsellor, Prince of Peace, Mighty God, Everlasting Father.

Faithful, lover of my soul, heart fixer, mind-regulator, promise-keeper, victory-giver, lifter of my head.

My rock, my sword, my shield, my fortress, prayer-answerer, sustainer, shelter, strong-tower, refuge, avenger.

Strength renewer, present help in trouble, my salvation, great and greatly to be praised. Preserver, healer, my hope, wisdom-dispenser, understanding-giver, knowledge base, instructor in my night seasons.

My light, my salvation, the strength of my life of whom shall I be afraid? Leader, guider into all truth. Comforter, King of Glory, strong and mighty in battle, good and upright, my Shepherd, so I shall NOT want  for anything.

Table preparer, Bread of life, holy and righteous, my strength like no other, my God, my bucker the form of my salvation and high tower–so worthy to be praised.

Saving strength of His anointed, center of my joy, my house of defense, nigh to the broken-hearted, saver of the contrite spirit, deliverer from all my troubles.

Cleaner of hearts, renews a right spirit within me, iniquity blotter– oh taste and see that the Lord is good. Blessed are they that that put their trust in Him!

No greater love will ever exist in this life than the love You, Jesus, have for me. When NOTHING else would help, Your love lifted me.

Jesus, You loved me first. You love me best. You love me always.

And just for Who are are, Jesus I love You.

BCU Fam, when I think of all of who Jesus is to me, it just deepens my love and commitment to Him. I know that even the most settled in Christ singles can occasionally get that pang of loneliness—that’s normal! Use that as a sign to go into prayer for more grace, and if need be, talk to a trusted friend, your pastor or you can always leave a comment or email me at Blen@BlenCouragesU.com and with God’s help, we’ll get through the tough time together!

What are some ways YOU or your single friends work through the Love Day or any day loneliness? Are you married? coupled? What advice do you have to share? Please drop a line in the comments section below so we can continue our conversation!

In the meantime, if you have not subscribed to BlenCouragesU.com, please do so! It’s free and a good place to get the encouragement, inspiration and information based the Word of God! Additionally, you can also see what we are up to on Facebook, Twitter , and Instagram! You can also listen in and subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher Radio , Google Play, and Apple podcasts!

Thank you SO much for stopping by. God bless, keep and make His face to shine upon you as you #StayOnTheWall!

Love,

BCU

Series: Lessons from Ruth chapter 4

Hey BCU family!

Please enjoy the condensed podcast (click on the icon below and hear a special friend of mine kick off the podcast), read through the notes, or do both! Be encouraged in the Lord!

Ruth Chapter 3 takeaways:

God wants us to REST on His word, His promises and in Him. We DO not want to miss any blessings, promises or more importantly Heaven because of practiced disobedience, fear and unbelief. 

Without faith it is impossible to please Him. We must believe that He is and a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. 

Wheat (what’s on the inside) is more valuable than chaff (what’s on the outside). Cherish your Holy Ghost and nourish your insides with the Word of God, so we won’t be blown away or burned with the chaff. 

God is NOT interested in us staying broken. He is a healer and desires to make us whole–In John  5:6,  Jesus asked the impotent man lying by the healing pool of Bethesda “would thou be made whole?” Rather than directly answer, the man told why he couldn’t get to the pool, unaware that Jesus was right there, willing and able to heal. Will we accept His offer?

Follow God’s specific directions. He knows what He’s doing. 

God is our kinsman-redeemer. Stay under his covering. 

Ladies, keep your reputation intact and menfolk, do what you can to protect a lady’s and your own integrity.  I Thessalonians 5:22 states to avoid or abstain from the very appearance of evil. 

 

So we’re coming to the exciting conclusion of Ruth’s story!  It’s best to start at the beginning of the series, so you’ll have a full understanding of everything we covered. Let’s look at the highlights:

Elimelech, his wife Naomi and their sons Mahlon and Chilion move from Bethlehem to former arch-enemy, Moab due to a famine. Elimelech passes away and the young men marry Moab natives Ruth and Orpah.

Naomi’s sons then pass away leaving these three women in dire straits, as they had no way to provide for themselves. Naomi decides to move back home to Bethlehem, urging her daughters-in-law to move back to their parents and “find rest, each of them with thier husbands (remarry–Ruth 1:9).  Orpah leaves, Ruth stays, takes Naomi as family and starts serving God.

Because it’s harvest time, Ruth decides to glean for grain and “happens” to lands in Boaz’s field. Boaz notices Ruth’s integrity, dedication to Naomi and hard work and he rewards her with special protection, favor during a mealtime and extra grain.

Naomi realizes Boaz was a kinsman-redeemer–someone who could give Ruth the rest Naomi mentioned in chapter 1, and starts on a plan to arrange a marriage. After following Naomi’s instructions, Ruth and Boaz are almost set to marry–but there is another kinsman-redeemer in line ahead of Boaz. And this is where we being chapter 4.


4:1-2–So Boaz got busy right away and went to the gate to look for his relative. The city gate was a bustling hub where all people entered, exited and also served as the city hall, where business was conducted–hence this was the place to take care of his transaction and secure witnesses. After getting his relative, Boaz pulled ten elders of the city to witness this conversation with the relative.   What’s interesting about that is along with the numbers that represent completion and perfection,  (three– divine perfection, seven–spiritual perfection) and twelve–governmental perfection there are 12 people on a jury),  the number ten denotes perfection or completion of “God’s divine order”, or His authority/governmental rule over the affairs of mankind. Here are a few examples:

  • There were ten commandments (five dealing with our relationship with God and five relationship with people and man’s responsibility of obedience to God’s law.
  • Ten starts a new set of numbers and rounds out the numbers that come before it.
  • We tithe ten percent of our income–what is due to God.
  • There were ten generations that lived up to the flood
  • And to top it off,  unlike three, seven or twelve, God’s divine order (ten) is “built-in” to as humans –we have ten fingers and ten toes to do the work of God.

4:3-5–Boaz presents his case regarding that Naomi has come back to sell land that belonged to Elimelech and since the unnamed kinsman was next in line, Boaz was offering it up before he (Boaz) redeemed it. Unnamed kinsman said he’d buy it. Then Boaz brings in the facet that mystery redeemer must also “buy” or marry Ruth to raise up the family name and get the inheritance “back in the family”.  Let’s stop here and sketch out how this whole things works.

When land was sold in Israel, it was more like a lease since all land reverted to the original owner in the year of Jubilee, every 50th year, so the original owner and his family still possessed title to the land. Elimelech sold his land due to the probably due to famine and it was redeemable by Elimelech’s family through paying the balance owed to the current occupant. According to the law, the title would have passed to Elimelech’s sons and on down to the nearest of kin. Recall our previous lesson that widows were not listed in the line of inheritance (Numbers 27:8-11), so although it would seem the nearest relative aka kinsman-redeemer would be “willed” the property automatically, he still needed to purchase it from the widow.

It seems that there was not a clear law established for property distribution for Israelites who died childless–in this case, Mahlon and Chilion. So local custom prevailed and the widow, in this case, Naomi owned the property  as long as she lived and could sell as needful. And…Ruth has a share in this transaction as the widow of Mahlon. So, with Naomi selling the land because she has no other means to support herself, a relative could come in and redeem that land. In the redemption process, the kinsman was  also contracted to take care of the widow and depending on her age, marry her and have children (namely a son) so the first born son could properly inherit the property, and carry on the family of the deceased name.

All of the sudden now, mystery kinsman now does not want to redeem the property, because it would “mar his own inheritance” and tells Boaz to redeem the property for himself. (v6) Scripture is unclear as to why the mystery kinsman reneged, but it reveals a couple of points. While the business part in these verses is what had to be done, the fact was Boaz truly loved Ruth. Boaz was very aware once they married and had a son, the property belonged to his son and his son’s children after that–there was no long-term monetary gain for him. Yet he was willing to pay for the land and redeem his future bride. ALL FOR LOVE and in return for HER LOVE.

Are ya’ll connecting the dots?!

Since the law could not redeem us, Jesus, OUR kinsman-redeemer was willing to pay the price–for all of us–you, me, us, like him or not, the President, the thief, the murderer, the liar,  clerk who was mean to you, the guy that dumped you, the “good” sinner (you know, the ones who didn’t drink, party, swear, et cetera) all in the name of LOVE and wants is to LOVE Him and keep His commandments (John 14:15). Glory!!!!

4:7-9–The mystery kinsman told Boaz to “buy it for yourself” (v 8) and the deal was sealed by the shoe LITERALLY given to the neighbor as a testimony in Israel. In other words, this man would prefer to go home without a shoe, rather than go back on his word.  This is ancient Israel and my thought is, folks did not have a closet full of shoes like we do today to be giving away–and ONE shoe? What could he do with one shoe?  This signified serious business! Boaz declared that the elders and people gathered were witnesses to the land purchase and he would now take Ruth to be his wife in order to raise up the name of Elimelech and keep the inheritance in the family, and the witnesses agreed. Similar to a wedding ceremony–there are always witnesses.

4:11–The witnesses “spoke life” that Ruth would be like Rachel and Leah who built the house of Israel. This goes back to Genesis 35 where Jacob’s wives children were among the twelve tribes of Israel started, so they wanted Ruth to be fruitful child wise. Additionally, they spoke that he do worthily in Ephratah (meaning a place of fruitfulness) and be famous on Bethlehem. Boaz was already known for his wealth and character, so they blessed him even more so with his new family coming aboard. Regarding the house of Pharez, (Genesis 38),  he was a twin whose mom was Tamar and dad was Judah–and as you’ll see coming up is a part of Boaz’s and eventually Jesus’ family line.

In ancient times, people referenced historical people as they spoke life or a blessing over someone. What a honor for the witnesses and to Boaz to hear wonderful words of blessing and encouragement. Are we aware of what we can speak over someone’s life–especially those of us who have Christ down on the inside? I recall a story from a deacon who said a woman called one son “Doctor so and so”, and her other son “attorney so and so “and that’s exactly what they became. Death and life are in the power of the tongue and they that love its fruit shall eat of it (Proverbs 18:21).

4:12-15 So the two marry and the Lord gave her conception–He is the giver of life and Obed was born. The women circled back to Naomi saying blessed be the Lord who has not left the without a kinsman-redeemer, that his name would be famous in Israel. Notice this is the second reference to famousness in the area–this is a reference to Jesus! The other significant remark is that the redeemer was a restorer of life and nourisher in Naomi’s old age, since Ruth love for her was better than seven sons.  That’s significant because, seven comes from a Hebrew word meaning to be full, satisfied, to have enough–it represents a complete cycle. While it is other places in the Bible, read Joshua 6:1-20 and take note on the use of the number seven. Finally, regarding us, Jesus us a restorer of life–for those of us who are saved, we were the walking dead with a one-way ticket to Hell! Oh, but heeding His call, Jesus cancelled that reservation! GLORY!! Get on board for this train bound for glory! Start with Acts 2:38-39 and go from there–contact me on BlenCouragesU.com for more info!

And finally, we see that Obed was the father of Jesse which begat King David.  Further, Ruth’s author recalls the genealogy back from Pharez to David–which happens to be 10 generations–God’s divine order.

Takeaways: Boaz took care of business–and did not delay. The kinsman even went shoeless to illustrate the seriousness of keeping a promise.  All through this series, God has constantly brought up integrity and keeping your word. This extends to our obligations to God, our responsibilities, family, paying bills–even as small as not leaving that meat you decided not to buy in the cereal section to go bad.  Throwing paper out of the car window or cleaning up behind yourself. A co-worker and were in the cafe one day and he left his garbage claiming “that’s why we pay people here to clean that up”. No, that’s not how that works! I am not saying that dropping a paper on the ground is a heaven/hell issue, it’s more about the fact that as saints we are set apart and called to be examples of light in this dark world. If I’m not keeping my word with the Lord’s help then how am I a good witness to others. People pay attention, even you don’t think they are looking. God, of course is looking all the time. Would you leave that meat in the bread if God was shopping with you? Provide all things honest in the sight of all men (Romans 12:17b). Providing honorable things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but in the sight of all men (2 Corinthians 8:21).

Also notice that Ruth was home waiting and resting!!! She had no idea what was happening with the Boaz and the kinsman. There is no record of her running to the gate to see what was going on or sending folks to the gate for an update. Rather she apparently she trusted that Boaz would do what he said. Isn’t that a good reminder for us with Jesus? If He said He is going to do something, we don’t have keep checking up, laboring and “wrasslin” with it, just REST (lesson 3) on His word. Numbers 23:19 says, “God is not a man, that He should lie, neither the son of man, that He should repent. Has He said and shall not do it? Or has He spoken and shall he not make it [His word] good?”

Boaz loved this woman–it was not an issue that he would not inherit anything once his son was born..he was buying the field to get the treasure that was in it–RUTH!! Similarly, Jesus told the parable of the man who found a pearl in Matthew 13:45-46.  Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.

Positive speaking–Let’s be aware of how we speak to people and ourselves. We can be such a blessing to someone else, if we allow the Lord to speak through us. Proverbs 25:11 says, “a word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” Imagine what a beautiful picture that is–would it not be amazing to speak that way? It’s possible when we let God have His way.

What’s interesting about the lineage through which Christ came through, there some faithful ones, like Ruth, shady ones, like Tamar, outstanding ones, like Boaz and just ordinary ones like Salmon, yet no perfect ones. God can use you regardless of your background, past, struggle or situation. We just have to yield to Him.

Well family, that concludes our class and study of Ruth. God has blessed us and we have been challenged, healed and delivered! Stay tuned for our next study and topic..and please…do not keep this all to yourselves–tell a friend!

God bless and make His face to shine upon you, and give you peace in Jesus name!

 

Until next time….#StayOnTheWall

 

Love,

BCU