God's Big Picture
by Larry George
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The book of Ruth talks about what God can and will do with someone that believes his word, seeks his guidance, and follows the path set out for all believers to follow. Ruth though not from a tribe that worshiped God but, praised idols, and a lineage from Lot, when she turned away from her idols and turned to God, believed his promises and followed his guidance, she was blessed beyond any mortal’s understanding. She indeed was blessed to be in the lineage for the King that would be the lineage to the Jesus that was to be born many generations later. I doubt seriously if Boaz, Naomi or even Ruth totally understood what blessings they would receive. I think that most of us will never know while on earth, what role we may be playing in the lives of generations that may follow us. I know that I for one cannot feel a lot of pride in what legacy that I may leave on this earth.
I know we, many times question why study the old testament, when Jesus came that we all could be saved, without works but through faith. There is but one thing we have to do, to look forward to an eternity in heaven and that is to be saved. However, we must be “surrendered” to build up treasures in heaven. Only the things we do while we are “surrendered”, will we be able to take with us to our eternal life in heaven. I am reminded of the verse where James said, “he that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” There are 3 kinds of church members, 1-Church members, 2-Church members that are Saved, and 3-Church members that are saved and surrendered. I suspect most churches have a huge percentage of their church members that fall into category 1 & 2 and a very small percentage that fall into the number 3 category. Can you imagine what spiritual work could be accomplished if all Church members were not just save but also surrendered?
I am afraid that many of us fall into Satan’s trap, that we only worry about what we should not do. Do not Kill, Do Not Steal, Do not bear false witnesses, Do not covet, particularly if we think anyone is watching, etc., Jesus also mentions many times, the things we must do if we are to be called Children of God. God does promise to bless us in this life. “If my people, which are called by my name shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then, will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land”. But the only promises he makes of blessings that we can take to heaven are the deeds we do in his name, at his direction, for his glory. Anything while in this life that we do, if we do it to seek any glory for ourselves, we will not be rewarded for these deeds in heaven. Does this mean that we should not do good unless we give glory to God? No, doing good is our commandment. If we claim Glory for it here, then according to Jesus, we have received our reward. If we give the Glory to God, we not only receive our reward here but also will find favor with God in our eternal life as well. Being a Christian is a daily progress whereby we should grow to be more and more like Christ.
Being raised in a Christian family and attending church most of my life, I have personally been guilty of, and heard many Christians say, “Why would the chosen children of God, the Isrealites ever stray when God promised them so much and delivered on those promises. I know I have also heard many times fellow Christians wonder in amazement how Peter could ever doubt him when he walked with him and witnessed his many miracles, how Judas could betray him when he also had witnessed many of his miracles, how any of the Deciples could ever doubt him when they witnessed his many miracles. Yet, we are no different from any of them. Once we accept Jesus as our savior, we become his chosen people, any of us that have been a Christian for very long, have witnessed many miracles that he has performed in our life and in the lives of those close to us. If we have not witnessed any of God’s miracles, we need to fall on our knees and pray that he will give us the miracle of believing in his miracles. The only way that we have any hope of eternal life is through the love, grace and mercy of God through his Son, Jesus. It is sad that throughout the Old Testament, the chosen people would sin and God would banish them or allow them to stray without any blessings. Then maybe a generation or 2 or 3 later, there would be a descendant of his chosen people that would seek God’s favor and God would always guide them, bless them and give them a vision to help return a generation back to God. This has been the history of man and in every instance, the straying has been the result of man’s sin against God. I guess one could say, man remains a very slow learner. I am not sure who may have said it but, it was one that was a much greater Christian than I, “What could a man become if he gave his life from early years totally to God and not stray during his time on earth”? Not sure that we know of any human that has done this, other than Jesus. It still is a cause to wonder.
The book of Ruth
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