Jesus welcomed the people, taught them about the Kingdom of God and healed those in need. Luke 9:11

Seeds of the Kingdom

Proven Character

by Gemma Gardner

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
Romans 5:3-5, NLT

I am currently using a reading plan that takes me through the whole Bible in a year. It’s been quite a challenge some days when I’ve read through lots of names and numbers, but this last week I’ve read through the book of Ruth, and I’ve been thinking about different aspects of her beautiful character, and I know I have a long way to go, and the Lord has a lot of work to do in changing me.

Firstly, I was thinking of Ruth’s loyalty - how she had stood by Naomi, even after her own husband died, and then, when Naomi lost her husband, Ruth was right there by her side. She determined to stick with Naomi, even though it meant leaving her own family and moving to a foreign land. She refused to part from Naomi. I wonder, had she seen something in Naomi that made her hunger after the Lord?

Secondly, Ruth was hard-working. It was harvest time, and she went off to the fields to glean, to help support them both. Naomi was broken and sad, saying that the Lord’s hand was against her. But suddenly, things began to change. Ruth met Boaz, who turned out to be a near relative of Naomi.

Thirdly, Ruth was obedient. When Naomi told her to go down to the threshing floor to meet Boaz and ask him to redeem her and Naomi, she answered her, “I will do everything you say”. She did. The story ends happily with Boaz taking Ruth to be his wife, and she bearing a son, who would later take over the inheritance that Naomi’s husband had left.
Boaz said to Ruth, “Now don’t worry about a thing, my daughter. I will do what is necessary, for everyone in town knows you are a virtuous woman” (Ruth 3:11). What a commendation!

Ruth certainly endured some tough times, but in the end, she received her reward – a husband and a son, and a granny to look after baby Obed.

I long to grow in character and display loyalty, diligence, faithfulness and obedience. May you be encouraged, too, as you walk day by day with Jesus, through good or bad times.

Prayer: Lord, I thank You that the book of Ruth is in the Bible. Thank You for her beautiful character. How I pray that You will continue Your transforming work in me until I am faultless to stand before Your throne. I ask this for Your glory, Lord Jesus. Amen.

Gemma Gardner lives in Norfolk with her husband, Dean, who until recently worked at Ellel Grange. They are both part of the Associate Ministry team which Gemma joined after completing the Modular school. Gemma has experienced the Lord`s healing and restoration over many years and longs to see Him healing other broken people. Gemma loves listening to music, cooking, knitting and crochet as well as outdoor exercise. She enjoys playing guitar and singing worship songs.

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