Thursday, October 27, 2011

Prayer of my heart

Psalm 51

To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David; when Nathan the prophet came to him after he had sinned with Bathsheba.
   1HAVE MERCY upon me, O God, according to Your steadfast love; according to the multitude of Your tender mercy and loving-kindness blot out my transgressions.
    2Wash me thoroughly [and repeatedly] from my iniquity and guilt and cleanse me and make me wholly pure from my sin!
    3For I am conscious of my transgressions and I acknowledge them; my sin is ever before me.
    4Against You, You only, have I sinned and done that which is evil in Your sight, so that You are justified in Your sentence and faultless in Your judgment.
    5Behold, I was brought forth in [a state of] iniquity; my mother was sinful who conceived me [and I too am sinful].
    6Behold, You desire truth in the inner being; make me therefore to know wisdom in my inmost heart.
    7Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean [ceremonially]; wash me, and I shall [in reality] be whiter than snow.
    8Make me to hear joy and gladness and be satisfied; let the bones which You have broken rejoice.
    9Hide Your face from my sins and blot out all my guilt and iniquities.
    10Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right, persevering, and steadfast spirit within me.
    11Cast me not away from Your presence and take not Your Holy Spirit from me.
    12Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and uphold me with a willing spirit.
    13Then will I teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners shall be converted and return to You.
    14Deliver me from bloodguiltiness and death, O God, the God of my salvation, and my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness (Your rightness and Your justice).
    15O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall show forth Your praise.
    16For You delight not in sacrifice, or else would I give it; You find no pleasure in burnt offering.
    17My sacrifice [the sacrifice acceptable] to God is a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart [broken down with sorrow for sin and humbly and thoroughly penitent], such, O God, You will not despise.
    18Do good in Your good pleasure to Zion; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
    19Then will You delight in the sacrifices of righteousness, justice, and right, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering; then bullocks will be offered upon Your altar.

from the Amplified Bible, cuz I'm a word-girl!  :D

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Notes from Refuge Ladies' Retreat

We're attending Refuge church.  The church is less than 2 years old, and this was their first ladies retreat with 43 women attending!  Wow!!  Sue LeBoutillier of Calvary Baptist Church in Ontario, Oregon taught through the book of Ruth.  This isn't everything, but hopefully enough to light a spark in you to go and study the book of Ruth for yourself!!

At the retreat, we went through the book of Ruth and WOW, WOW!  The famine in Bethlehem was a way for God to get the attention of His people, so they’d turn back to Him.  If you look at Judges 21:25, that is like the set up verse for Ruth: In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes.  So this is what Elimelech and Naomi do.  They see that there is food in Moab, and although God is against Moab, they go there anyway, thinking they’ll only be there “a short time” rather than turning back and trusting God to provide.  10 years later Naomi is still there and has lost everything!  She’s come low enough to realize that the ONLY thing she has left is to return (to Bethlehem, to God) application: in a place of need do I try to fill that need on my own or do I continue to trust in God’s provision? 
Then, in Ruth you see that Judah is referred to as “land”, implying a vast expanse, whereas Moab is referred to as a “country” implying a limited space.  God gave them vastness but they chose the small, limited space.  Proverbs 16:25 says, There is a way that seems right to a man and appears straight before him, but at the end of it is the way of death.  The result of their choice was death in a foreign land.
As Naomi and her daughter-in-laws set out, there are a lot of tears. Naomi’s are tears of repentance (compare this point with the prodigal son in Luke 15).  Orpah’s tears are emotional only, she is like the seeds sown on rocky soil, nothing really went deep into her and changed her.  She returned to her old life.  Ruth’s are tears of true desire.  She has been changed and is compelled by Naomi’s intense desire to return.  She is truly a seeker, willing to suffer any trial (being a foreigner in Bethlehem) in order to meet Naomi’s God.  Application: How serious am I in my seeking?  What kind of tears do I weep?
Arriving in Bethlehem, Ruth knows she needs to be the one to provide for them.  She is able to glean in the field because in Deuteronomy 24:19, God has already provided for this to happen!!  When you reap your harvest in your field and have forgotten a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be for the stranger and the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow, that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.  Ruth is both an alien (sojourner) and widow!  And not only does she happen to be in Boaz’ field, he offers to provide and protect her and goes beyond what is expected!  Application: Ruth is a symbol of the Bride of Christ (us) and Boaz is a simple of Christ.  He notices and focuses in on Ruth and cares for her above and beyond her need.  She came seeking and he was there.  As we press in, God is there! Isaiah 43:1 says, BUT NOW [in spite of past judgments for Israel's sins], thus says the Lord, He Who created you, O Jacob, and He Who formed you, O Israel: Fear not, for I have redeemed you [ransomed you by paying a price instead of leaving you captives]; I have called you by your name; you are Mine.  Just as Boaz tells Ruth to stay in his field, Christ tells us to stay in His field, under His ownership.
Ruth 2:17-23 is about Ruth’s returning, and it is obvious to Naomi that Ruth has gleaned in abundance.  Application: it shows when we’ve been gleaning in Christ’s fields.  Where are you filling yourself?
Ruth had to make 5 choices.  She prepared herself by removing her widow’s garments and making herself ready to belong to someone else.  She went to a specific place, a place of threshing or separating the good from the bad, separating self-righteousness and God’s righteousness.  She chose a specific person, a “kinsman redeemer”.  To redeem is “to restore it it’s original purpose”.  In order to be a kinsman redeemer, the person had to be the nearest male blood relative.  Hebrews 2:10 says, For both He Who sanctifies [making men holy] and those who are sanctified all have one [Father]. For this reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren; Christ is our kinsman redeemer, and like Boaz, He’s WILLING to redeem!  Ruth also chose the right posture, she came to Boaz in a position of humility and submission application:  am I willing to submit myself at Christ’s feet?  Am I willing to do this for my daily life??  And finally, Ruth chose the right petition.  She recognized that she needed a covering.  We can only be reconciled to God through the covering of Christ!

Well, that’s the meat of it.  The story goes on and there was more, but just seeing it in light of Christ and His bride brings so much more depth to it all!  My thought on all this was that “Blessings will abound when we abide!”

So there you go!!  :0) I pray that you may have the time to read through this and ponder it and that it blesses you as it did me!!  I’m not even gonna look in Moab’s direction (heh heh, and from here that’s only a few hours away!!!!!!!!!!!)