“Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed is the Lord who has not left you without a redeemer today, and may his name become famous in Israel.” – Ruth 4:14 (NASB)
A short book of four chapters which recounts a beautiful story of God’s promise to watch and care for His people. Naomi, returns from Moab with her daughter-in-law to Bethlehem, her home town. With nothing left and having lost all in the death her husband and both sons. Ruth, now a believer in the God of Naomi is a Moabite and widow of Naomi’s son Mahlon. The story is one of redemption by a close relative named Boaz. Boaz takes the legal steps to claim the land belonging to Naomi’s late husband Elimelech. God provided this means of preserving a family who had lost all claim to the land through the death all their men. In the same way our Lord God has not left us by providing a redeemer for us in Jesus Christ. All who believe are now promised to be co-heirs with Jesus of all of that is His (Romans 8:17-18). Boaz marries Ruth and they have a son, Obed. It is Obed who cares for Naomi and Ruth in their old age and is the father of Jesse, the father of King David of Israel from whose line Jesus of Nazareth is born.
With this post we begin the seventh year of writing and sharing these brief devotionals. We hope they continue to be an encouragement for all who choose to follow them.
“He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Tend My sheep.” – John 21:17 (NASB)
Jesus has a wonderful way of restoring us when we fail Him. He does not humiliate us. He does not criticize us; He does not ask us to make a resolution to try harder. Jesus takes us aside and asks us to reaffirm our love for Him. It was the third time Jesus asked Peter if He, Simon by name, loved Him. First in verse 15, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?” Second in verse 16, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” Third in verse 17 – our verse for today. When Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him, He used a word for love that signified total commitment. Peter replied using a word for love that signified his love for Jesus, but not necessarily his total commitment. This was because he had been disobedient and denied the Lord in the past after a bold declaration of being committed. The resolution we might do well to consider this year would be to submit to Jesus’ demand of total commitment as His follower. Place our love for Jesus above our love for all else in our lives.
“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14 (NASB
“And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High;” – Luke 1:31-32a (NASB)
“She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” – Matthew 1:21 (NASB)
The birth of Jesus was known before God created the earth and humans. During this season, we sing about the message which the angels told to the shepherds near Bethlehem the night Jesus was born. But today’s verses tell us that before that, God predicted through His prophet Isaiah the birth of the “Son of God.” God had sent the angel Gabriel with the message about the birth and name of Jesus to Mary who was chosen to be His mother. Gabriel made a visit later to Joseph who was to be Mary’s husband. Gabriel revealed why God had chosen the name Jesus for the child who was to be born. It was because He would save His people from their sins. The prophecy of Isaiah is repeated in Matthew 1:23. These messages, given to the world before the child was born, are important to us. Jesus was coming in order to be our Savior. We should rejoice today that God sent His Son to save us. It was an important message given before He came. It is just as important today. God promised to provide a way for us to be saved and Jesus is that Way.