April Biblical Role Model Ruth: Loyalty in Service

This month’s Characteristic of a Christian Steward is Loyalty. April’s Biblical Role Model is Ruth.

 

by Deacon Tim Sullivan

In the genealogy of Jesus described in the Gospel of Matthew, only three mothers besides Mary are listed. One of them is Ruth. Without Ruth, there would have been no Obed, no Jesse, no David and no Jesus. Her loyalty, her story, play a key role in the coming of the Messiah.

Ruth’s story begins with hardship but ends happily. Her father-in-law and her husband both die in Moab. Her mother-in-law, Naomi, decides to return to Judah, her original home. Ruth joins her in the journey, but Naomi encourages her to stay in Moab, find a husband and raise a family. Ruth’s response has become famous: “Wherever you go I will go, wherever you live I will live, your people shall be my people, and your God my God.”

Having then reached Judah, Ruth begins to glean in the fields owned by Boaz as a way of supporting herself and Naomi. Boaz, knowing of Ruth’s sacrifice for Naomi, rewards her with food and additional work.

Naomi then instructs Ruth to lie at the feet of Boaz while he is sleeping, not for an immoral purpose, but to let Boaz know that he can claim her as his wife if he chooses. When Boaz awakes and sees Ruth, he exclaims: “You have been even more loyal now than before in not going after the young men.”

Boaz does eventually marry Ruth and they are blessed with a son, Obed. The local women say to Naomi about Obed: “He will be your comfort and the support of your old age, for his mother is the daughter-in-law who loves you.”

Ruth’s example confirms that our loyalty to those entrusted to us enables us to fulfill God’s plan for our lives and the lives of others.

 

Stewardship Service Challenges

Week 1:  Ruth demonstrates how God uses those who are loyal to bring about his plans. The lyric chosen to represent loyalty from The Summons says, “In your company I’ll go where your love and footsteps show.”

This week, think about the ways you are loyal to what God is calling you to do. If you have gotten off track, begin again this week by responding with love and loyalty to those around you.

 

Week 2:  Ruth demonstrates how God uses those who are loyal to bring about his plans. The lyric chosen to represent loyalty from The Summons says, “In your company I‘ll go where your love and footsteps show.”

This week, think about what draws your loyalty. Is it a sports team, a brand name, a school, a friend, your family, your job, your church?  Do you need to make changes in where you place your loyalty? Can you serve God through the various things that claim your loyalty?

 

Week 3:  Ruth demonstrates how God uses those who are loyal to bring about his plans. The lyric chosen to represent loyalty from The Summons says, “In your company I’ll go where your love and footsteps show.”

This week, pick a person within your circle of friends, officemates, family, or church groups and choose to accompany them throughout a difficult time or situation. Prove your loyalty through your actions.

 

Week 4:  Ruth demonstrates how God uses those who are loyal to bring about his plans. The lyric chosen to represent loyalty from The Summons says, “In your company I’ll go where your love and footsteps show.”

This week, consider how your loyalty to friends can bring about God’s plan. Are you open to trusting that God can work through your endurance to bring about changes that you may not even imagine?

 

Week 5:  Ruth demonstrates how God uses those who are loyal to bring about his plans. The lyric chosen to represent loyalty from The Summons says, “In your company I’ll go where your love and footsteps show.”

This week as we come closer to Easter, challenge yourself to reflect on all the many ways that Christ has been loyal to you. Let the outpouring of His loyalty and love for you motivate you to help those around you in need.

 

Stewardship Service Reflections

April 2: For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. -Mark 10:45

April 9: Jesus models the attitude of service we are to have toward one another when he washes the feet of his disciples.

April 16: Alleluia! The Lord is risen.

April 23: “Be merciful even as your Father is merciful. -Luke 6:36

April 30: Then he sat down, called the Twelve, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.” -Mark 9:35

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