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December 28, 2018

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December 28, 2018

 

Read: Ruth 1

 

To read this text, go to: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ruth+1&version=NLT

 

Scripture- Ruth 1:14-1814 And again they wept together, and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-bye. But Ruth clung tightly to Naomi. 15 “Look,” Naomi said to her, “your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods. You should do the same.” 16 But Ruth replied, “Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. 17 Wherever you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord punish me severely if I allow anything but death to separate us!” 18 When Naomi saw that Ruth was determined to go with her, she said nothing more.”

 

Observations- The time of Judges was a tough one in the history of Israel. The emergence of the Philistines and the lack of national unity made the land of Israel an easy target for their greedy neighbors. Migrations were common, entire families escaped from either the military conflicts or the resulting famine. This is the case of Nahomi and her family. In the days when the judges ruled in Israel, a severe famine came upon the land. So a man from Bethlehem in Judah left his home and went to live in the country of Moab, taking his wife and two sons with him.” Ruth 1:14

 

Application- Immigration is considered one of the main axels around which the Biblical story gravitates. More than that, welcoming the immigrants is an explicit command and practice established by God in the Old Testament and embraced by the Christian community, as reflected in the New Testament. The fact that God ensured that His people would be compassionate to immigrants along human history, is clearly one of the most palliative measures He could take to counteract the destructive effect of sin.

Ruth, a widow, poor and gentile immigrant, worked in the fields of Bethlehem, collecting stalks of grain left behind (Ruth 2:2), which by the way, was part of the provision made by God for immigrants (Leviticus 23:22), she ended up listed in the genealogy of the Son of God. So, it is pretty obvious that we should never underestimate what can do through us. But more than that, we should never underestimate what God can do through those who even nowadays, still live on the margins of our society. They are not hard to find, they work in the fields, mow our lawn, wash the dishes in our favorite restaurants or pour concrete in our driveways. They are the Ruth of our time. As you come across them today, remember… a gentle smile is a great way to start obeying God and needs no translation.

 

Prayer- Lord, let your Word open our eyes to see, our minds to think, and our hearts to embrace those You also have a plan for. In your powerful Name, Jesus, we pray, AMEN!

 

Pastor Roberto

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December 7, 2018

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December 07, 2018

 

Read: Judges 1

 

To read this text, go to: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Judges+1&version=NLT

 

Scripture- Judges 1:1-2After the death of Joshua, the Israelites asked the Lord, “Which tribe should go first to attack the Canaanites?” The Lord answered, “Judah, for I have given them victory over the land.”

 

Observations- Transitions are not pain-free. Joshua’s leadership came to a natural ending, thus came the time for succession, but with a new setting that brought its own set of challenges. The conquer of the land was not a point in time but a process in time that clearly exceeded Joshua’s days on earth. So, today’s text is a good example of a new decision-making process that would introduce us to the fascinating world of Israelite’s Judges. From this point (1175 b.C), until the establishment of the monarchy (1030 b.C), leadership would be regional, instead of national.

 

Application- What do we do now? It’s the question asked whenever there is a leadership void. But apparently Israelites figured it out. They turned to God not to ask for the Land, because it had already been promised to them, they asked God for the procedure to conquer it instead. And this is a key truth we should understand; God’s promises should inform our faith and impact the way we pray. Then, trusting the promise, we pray for the process.

When Jesus ascended to Heavens to sit at the right hand of the Father, He sent His Holy Spirit to remind us and empower us to do… What?Make more and better followers for the transformation of the World. How?We reach, connect, grow and send them into their communities and the world, to share with others the good news of the Kingdom.

 

Prayer- Dear Lord, give us faith to face the challenges of every day’s life. Give us wisdom to go through the process and peace as we stand on your solid promise. In your Holy Name, Jesus, I pray, AMEN!

 

Pastor Roberto

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