Sunday, August 25, 2013

ruth: are you owed or awed? (part 9)

Today, I want to continue meditating on the life of Ruth by considering a key component of her character. Ruth was humble. She was a woman who never demanded her rights. In fact, when we study the book of Ruth in it's entirety, we see a woman who lived her life giving to others rather than taking for herself. We witness a woman who did not presume anything while always being respectful and encouraging to those around her. We can really learn a lot from Ruth's humble character. For Ruth never felt she was owed grace. Rather, she was completely awed by it. This is humility, ladies.

The Bible describes humility as meekness, lowliness and absence of self. The Greek word translated “humility” in Colossians 3:12 means “lowliness of mind.” You see, humility is really a heart attitude. It is not something you wear on your outward demeanor like a pretty dress to be noticed. A lot of women fall into this trap to "look" holy before other Christians. Every Sunday, they walk through the doors of their church while putting on a real "show" of humility. But their day-to-day lives reveal a character much different. When their plastic smile fades and their true colors shine through, all evidence points to their pride and arrogance rather than a meek and quiet spirit.

Jesus said that those who are “poor in spirit” will inherit the kingdom of heaven. This means that only those who admit to an absolute bankruptcy of spiritual worth will inherit eternal life. So, clearly humility is a prerequisite to receive God's grace. We are to live in gratitude of our King's provision and commit our lives to Him and to others. This is how Ruth lived. She “died to herself” and became a new creation in Christ.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Ladies, let's learn from Ruth's example and renew our commitment to God by truly serving Him and others in all lowliness of mind. This is how Jesus wants us to live - sacrificial, grateful, and in awe of Him. Such an attitude precludes selfish ambition, conceit, and the strife that comes with self-justification and self-defense. So, rather than be puffed up and defensive of our own pre-conceived rights... let's live defending God's truth. Our ego must be laid aside completely in order to serve the King of kings.

Jesus knew this. Jesus was not ashamed to humble Himself as a servant and taught us to do the same. In His humility, Christs was always obedient to His Almighty Father. As such, we should live in accordance to His example.

When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. "Do you understand what I have done for you?" he asked them. "You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. (John 13:12-16)

And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death - even death on a cross! (Philippians 2:8).

Today, let's live as Jesus did and put aside all selfishness. Let's submit our whole life in obedience to God and His Word. True humility produces godliness, contentment, and security. So as Christians, that is what our own lives should exhibit. God has promised to give grace to the humble. He opposes the proud. He is against the puffed up and entitled. We must understand that any entitlement we have is only because of our blessed Savior. (See Proverbs 3:34 and 1 Peter 5:5) Because of this, we must confess and put away all pride. We must stop living in opposition to God on this very important point and ask Him to give us His humility in all areas. We must stop being spiritually "fake" in attempts to gain the attention and praise of other individuals we wish to impress. Jesus is the only One we need impress. In His Name, let's submit ourselves fully to Him and live amazed and in awe of His never ending love and grace. Ruth lived like this, and she was blessed beyond measure. Let's learn from her example and humble ourselves to the Lord.

"For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." (Luke 14:11)

Blog Posting Written By Victoria Anderson

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