In a couple weeks, we will wrap up our discussion with the “Power of Hesed” as presented in chapter five but I needed to take a pit stop to talk about this thing called love.
Love is a powerful force. When we accept God’s love and reciprocate it freely, it is beautiful and transforms us all for the better. When someone’s love is distorted, however, it has the ability to completely destroy another person. As Carolyn reminds us that:
“Some of our deepest scars come from injuries inflicted by those we loved or thought loved us (pg 109).”
When we are scarred in such a way, we sometimes find ourselves asking, “Why bother to love at all? Why make myself vulnerable to potential headache and heartbreak? After all, what’s love got to do with it?” In short, absolutely everything…
For God is love and:
“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us (1 John 4:7-12 NIV).”
What we see in The Gospel of Ruth is a picture of three people in particular who have not physically seen God, yet they love and trust in him. They allow that love to manifest in their relationships with each other. The gospel revealed in this book, before Jesus is physically birthed into this earth by a virgin, is that love does come with risks, but saying yes to those risks completes us.
Jesus taught us the command to: “Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends (John 15:112-13).”
Naomi surrendered. Ruth left her family to lay down her life. Boaz was willing to take a loss, all risks accepted in the spirit of the gospel, to redeem a name, and to restore a family to proper order that was made complete through the loving birth of Jesus.
I was reading the book of Acts chapter 4 this morning for devotion. In it, John and Peter prayed to God and asked him to “stretch out [his] hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of [his] holy servant Jesus (v 30).” God heard their prayer and delivered on their request. Sometimes we miss opportunities to see God do miraculous signs and wonders because we don’t trust him in the little things, some as simple as the command, honor, and responsibility to love.
In what ways can we miss God’s blessings by not taking risks?
© Natasha S. Robinson 2011
We’ll continue this discussion on June 14th. Until then, happy reading!
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