Good morning... or evening! Today marks half way through the book of Ruth. It’s a short but powerful little book! Don’t you just wish you could invite Ruth over for a cup of coffee on the porch and build a friendship with her? I sure do! Oh, the stories she could tell about God’s hand of provision in the midst of trial!
Let’s read Ruth 2:13-23. We’re going to look more at Boaz than Ruth today and how he used his blessings to minister to her. I have such a strong desire to help people in need, but I often just don’t know what to do. This passage has taught me 6 specific things about ministering to those in need, and I think they may help you, too.
Each question today will start with Boaz’s example and follow with a connection question for each of our own ministry opportunities. If you have felt lead to use a specific gift of yours for ministry, apply each question to that specific calling:
1. How did Boaz offer COMFORT to Ruth? How can we be a comfort to someone who is struggling physically, emotionally or even spiritually?
2. How did Boaz specifically ENCOURAGE Ruth’s spirit and character? What can you do to genuine edify those who have been beat down by the world?
3. What PHYSICAL PROVISIONS did Boaz offer Ruth? What are you blessed with in order to give some away to those in need? How can you do so generously and creatively?
4. What sort of PROTECTION did Boaz provide for Ruth? How are you called to protect those who cannot protect themselves?
5. How did Boaz ensure that Ruth was treated with DIGNITY? What steps can you take to create a respectful (rather than humiliating) environment for those you serve?
6. Did Boaz provide a handout or an OPPORTUNITY for Ruth to provide for her future? How can your ministering give opportunity for growth and restoration for the persons in need that you are called to care for... rather than just a hand-out?
Being a minister is not about the “if” you are called but rather about the “how” you are called when you are a follower of Christ. I know I’m often guilty of thinking I don’t have much to share or that people wouldn’t even want a part of what I have, but the Lord is so creative in how He blesses each of us. Think beyond your neighbor’s routine. Be the one to extend the hand to someone who is being overlooked. Ask Him to show you the way!
Boaz had a simple field of barley. You and I have been given a field of goodness to use as well! The harvest is calling, and the gifts are abundant - let’s open our bounty to those the Lord sends to our gate!
I’ll see you in Lesson 6 for the boldest move that Ruth has made thus far!!! This is definitely one of those stories I’d love to hear first hand!