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Naomi took the baby and cuddled him to her breast. And she cared for him as if he were her own. The neighbor women said, “Now at last Naomi has a son again!” And they named him Obed. He became the father of Jesse and the grandfather of David. Ruth 4:16-17 (NLT)

She was Ruth. She was just your normal widow and peasant woman. There was nothing special about her other than the fact that she was a foreigner and a hard worker. Nothing about her would attract someone’s attention to her at all.

He was Boaz.  A young, hardworking farmer who was well-respected by men and committed to the God of Israel. But there was one other quality about Boaz. He had a heart for people. His success hadn’t made him forget his God or people.

One day Boaz noticed Ruth gleaning in his field. Gleaners were women who followed after the harvesters to gather what little grains of wheat were left. Often this was the only food they had. On a good day they may even find enough to sell for a few extra coins to cover other expenses.

Moved to compassion for the young woman Boaz instructed the harvesters to leave a little extra for the young woman. He warned them not to harass here, a common occurrence in other fields.

Boaz had plenty of opportunities to push Ruth away. He could have viewed her as any other foreigner and widow and ignored her completely. She wasn’t like him after all. He could have had her stoned the night she slipped into his tent to sleep at his feet. He had a reputation to protect. He could have refused to spend the funds needed to ‘purchase the right’ to marry her.

No one would have blamed Boaz for any of the above actions. He had life made. He was young. He was rich. He was very well respected. But none of that mattered. He saw a person in need and did whatever he could to meet those needs.

Want to read a good love story? Read the book of Ruth. Eventually Ruth and Boaz become husband and wife. To this union was given a son and that’s the best part of this story. The son born to this couple was the grandfather of David, the greatest, most powerful King in Israel’s history, and the man after God’s own heart.

Even more important than David was another child born into this family line. His name was Jesus and he was born to take away the sins of the world. One small act of kindness led to my salvation.  

We never know where our small acts of kindness may lead. God may call us to do something relatively simple or something that will yank us out of our comfort zone. Whatever he calls you to do, no matter how simple can be used greatly by him. Reach out to those in need. Be willing to take risks. Go the extra mile in showing God’s love. You never know where it may lead!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father. I thank you for the story of Boaz and Ruth and how it shows me that my small acts of kindness can have eternal rewards. I ask that you would help me today to see someone who needs your touch. Then give me the courage and wisdom to reach out to them for your glory. In Jesus name, Amen.


Many of those whose bodies lie dead and buried will rise up, some to everlasting life and some to shame and everlasting disgrace. Daniel 12:2 (NLT)

On a lonely hill just outside of town stand three crosses. As the sky grew dark a crowd gathered. Some gathered in disgust. The Roman form of execution was too painful, too degrading, to harsh.

Others gathered in mockery. They threw profanity at the trio. It was about time they got what they deserved. The world would be a better place if more criminals were treated this way. Great deterrent, that death penalty.

Some gathered in curiosity-A sort of Bible time gawkers. They had no opinion either way on crucifixion or the trio hanging naked as the darkness descended.

A few gathered in somber silence. Right or wrong, good or bad, these were their friends, their siblings, their children. The crowd gathered at the middle cross seemed somewhat larger, more emotional. In fact, it seems the form hanging in the middle was drawing most of the attention that day. Rumor has it that he was completely innocent of the trumped up charges the Jews leveled against him.

One of the trio began to mock this counterpart in the middle. Even in his dying moments he remained arrogant, loud and angry. Ignoring his own guilt he yelled obscenities at this stranger in the middle.

The other person hung silent for a moment. Watching. Listening. Replaying the episodes of his life that brought him to this point. Finally, he spoke. “Jesus, have mercy on me.” The figure in the middle raised his head and looked with compassion at him. Painstakingly he spoke, “Today you will be with me…” and grace was born.

How could a God of love allow Jesus, the man in the middle to die such a horrific death for crimes he didn’t commit? Rewind the story a few thousand years. A man and woman listen to the deceptive words of Satan. Their decision to disobey God destroyed the balance of divine nature as well as a relationship with the Creator God.

Hell was never created for men and women. Hell was never created for innocent children of abuse, catastrophe or illness. Hell was created as the home for Satan and all his demonic followers. But the sin of Adam and Eve made it impossible for mankind to enter heaven. A sacrifice had to be made and that sacrifice was made complete when Jesus died and rose again.

Our Heavenly Father has no choice when it comes to dealing with sin. He can’t, by his own nature overlook anything that isn’t perfect. God is fair and just. Grace is neither.

What can be fair about a prisoner going to heaven because his last words were begging forgiveness? What can be fair about someone struggling with addictions and constantly receiving forgiveness for the same sin, over and over again? Nothing. It’s not fair. But it wasn’t fair that Jesus died for me either. There was nothing I could do to deserve forgiveness, yet he forgave me anyway. That’s grace.

God would give everything he has to keep you from living eternity in the shame and disgrace of hell. In fact, he already did that day on the cross.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father I thank and praise you for the reminder that I am completely and freely forgiven of my sin because of Jesus. I deserve nothing that you’ve given me and yet you did it all so lovingly. Empower me to live for you and to show others the way to life in eternity with you. In Jesus name, Amen.


We are here for only a moment, visitors and strangers in the land as our ancestors were before us. Our days on earth are like a passing shadow, gone so soon without a trace. 1 Chronicles 29:15 (NLT)

Some things in life seem like an eternity. Waiting room while  loved on is in surgery; waiting for the doctor’s results; waiting for a phone call from your child (at any age); waiting for the decision by a bank, a judge or the woman you want to marry; waiting for the storm to pass, the waters to recede, the screaming to end; the abuse to stop.

There maybe nothing that is harder than waiting. It won’t make the wait any easier but think on this. God measures time in years, we measure it in minutes, hours and days. The Bible describes our time here as a journey, a pilgrimage in a foreign land where people don’t understand our language or our culture. We are all minorities as Christ-followers.

Our lives are described as but a shadow. The shadow of a mighty oak on a sundrenched day goes slowly, almost without notice. The shadow of a passing plane, bird or wind-whipped cloud goes swiftly and sometimes without notice. All are temporary. All are empty representations of what is real. Some offer comfort and protection, for a time. Others are ominous and warn of lurking danger. But they are all empty representations of what is real.

Take heart weary pilgrim. Though your journey seems long and pointless, your Father sees you and knows the struggle and pain of your journey. The frustration of youth, the concern of middle age, and the struggle of old age will soon pass. They are, as God sees them, a drop in a bucket, a moment in time.

Someday the shadows of our lives will disappear and we will see reality. Someday the wondering and hoping and worrying and questioning will be replaced by the reality of eternity with him. We may never know why our journey takes us the places we go, but we can know that this life is temporary and as Christ-followers, what awaits us is so much better than anything we’ve ever experiences before.

Follow Christ. Live in his grace and forgiveness. This journey you are on, complete with shadows and struggles will soon open itself to eternity with Jesus!

PRAYER: Father God. Sometimes life seems so hard. There are so many questions I have for you. So many times when everything I do seems to run into dead ends. I’m tired of waiting. Tired of worrying. Tired of failing because of my own insecurity. Encourage me with your presence. Empower me with your Spirit. Help me to live my life in the reality that as much as the pain hurts, it’s only temporary. In Jesus name, Amen.


The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Matthew 28:5-6

I wonder how many times the scene of Jesus’ last breath played itself over and over in the minds of the Mary’s and the other disciples of Jesus that Sabbath day after the crucifixion. What was it like in the synagogue services the next day.

Remember. It was Passover. The city was full of people who had come toJerusalemfor the celebration. Many of them had no doubt heard Jesus speak. They had seen him heal the blind and the lame. They’d seen him cast out demons and raise people from the dead. Some of them may even have been the recipient of Jesus’ touch…and now he was dead.

There must have been a tremendous amount of fear. The Synagogue rulers had always been powerful. They had made rules that were impossible to keep. And now, if the Jews could kill Jesus, what could stop them? Who was next? Would this bring down the Roman guard against others? Even the Roman that watched Jesus die said “Surely, this was the son of God!”

In the homes and gathering places of thousands of Jews there had to have been confusion. So many had thought this was truly the Messiah, and now he was gone. Some may have celebrated. With ever one of these ‘religious zealots’ that came along they carried a threat that the Romans would come in and smash the uprising. Others were no doubt angry. Angry at the Jews for killing a good man. Angry at God for not protecting Jesus. Angry at Jesus for getting their hopes up. Anger doesn’t have to make sense. It only needs an object to attack.

Were the Mary’s at the Synagogue that day? I’ll bet they were. So were many other followers of Jesus. Maybe even a few of the disciples. They came to pray, to worship, to ask ‘why?’ Sabbath was so much more than a ‘Sunday’ in our culture. There was nothing else going on. It was a time of reflection. A time for families. And on this endless Sabbath, a day of remembering.

It’s no wonder then that early the next morning a handful of women made their way through the quiet streets ofJerusalemwith a few vials of oil. They went to remember. They went to worship. They went so that one more time they could say good-bye to their Lord and Savior.

But what joy would await them. Two shining angels. A rolled away stone. An empty tomb. An announcement that would become the battle cry of Christ-followers through the ages.

“We know why you came here this morning. You came looking for Jesus. He’s not here. He’s risen…just like he said he would.

Isn’t that just like Jesus? He did EXACTLY as he said he would. He still does today. Every promise will come true. HE IS RISEN. HE IS RISEN INDEED!

PRAYER: Dear Jesus. Thank you so much for dying for my sins. Thank you for the forgiveness, grace and mercy you make available to me. I give you all the honor, all the praise for you are God! Amen.


Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 1 John 3:2

A few years ago we were fortunate enough to be able to visit Disney World inOrlando,Florida. We’d never been there before but it was always a dream of ours. Once we got there our dreams came true in ways that seemed bigger than life. It was just like in the pictures we’d seen.

Sometimes, I wonder what heaven will be like. We get pictures, word pictures that is, from the Bible but they are nothing like the pictures of Disney World because no one has ever been there, taken pictures and posted them.

Heaven is an intriguing yet scary place because we’ve never seen it. But there is one thing I know about Heaven that makes it all seem worthwhile to go to, a place where I can look forward to my arrival. I’ll see family members that have died before me. I’ll meet Bible heroes in real life. I know I won’t be sick anymore. I’ll never get tired, never get hungry.

But the thing I look forward to the most when I get to heaven is that I’m going to get to meet Jesus. Even more incredible than that is the fact that when I see him I’ll be looking in a mirror! I’ll look just like Jesus!

So what will I look like? Not sure of course, but here’s some ideas.

  • I know I’ll have compassion on everyone. I’ll know that because here on earth Jesus never looked the other way when someone was in need.
  • I know I won’t have to worry about sin because I’ll be able to implement, in heaven, what I could never do here on earth, resist sin. Oh, I have the power to resist today. But I also have this nasty human nature at war within me telling me to do things I know I shouldn’t and keeping me from doing things I know I should do. Once in heaven I’ll be free. The battle will be over, the war will be won!
  • I know that I’ll be able to take a walk with God himself! Just like Adam did. I’ll be able to have questions answered that I’ve always wanted to ask.
  • I know I won’t have to struggle with failure or rejection anymore. Those of us in heaven will see, once and for all, that sin is sin is sin is sin and God has forgiven all my sin (and yours) and there will be no favoritism or judgmental attitudes anymore. I know that because Jesus treated everyone that followed him the same way.

I don’t know what heaven will be like. I only know two things for sure. Because I have asked Jesus to forgive my sins and have claimed him as Lord of my life, I will see him and live with him for eternity.

The second thing I know is that when I see Jesus I will be transformed into his exact likeness and so we will be in perfect, passionate relationship for the rest of time.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus. There are so many things I don’t understand about life here on earth, death and the life beyond. I read your word and get a glimpse of what lay ahead for me in Heaven with you and I’m scared and excited at the same time! Thank you for loving me enough to give me eternal life with you. I can’t wait to see you so that once and for all I will be like you. In your name I pray, Amen.

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