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Seeking to Become - September 2013

I want to take a different approach on Seeking to Become this month. Over the past several weeks, I have been reflecting on what I might convey to you as I seek out learning for myself. The passages in Ruth of the Holy Bible have been pulling at me for a long time now, but I hesitated to step outside the box I created for this spiritual endeavor. But then I realized something--I had created a box. It was intentional at first because I needed a way to organize a series from scratch. However, I now can see some fresh approaches to the series which will still achieve my goal.

As I said before, I have been making a close study of the book of Ruth. It is not very long, so it doesn't take much time to read the entire section, leaving time to reflect on its entirety. I came away with a few perspectives on how to become more like Christ through Naomi and Ruth's experience. 

First, Naomi openly communicates with her daughters-in-law because she loves them enough to set them free and choose their life for themselves (Ruth 1:8-9). This example clearly can be seen in Christ's life. He offered us God's plan of salvation because he loves us. We are here now because we chose and we are free to choose the path back to our Father in Heaven. 

Next, we see the picture of family loyalty in Ruth. This is not say that Orpah was disloyal; no, she wept and did not concede to return to her family until persuaded a second time, and Orpah's departure was with a sad heart (Ruth 1:10-14). But, Ruth's connection with Naomi went deeper.

And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God... (Ruth 1:16)
How many of us are this loyal to our family members? Let alone in-laws or other extended family? Yet, as I read Ruth's words, I feel her testify to me that this depth of love is what God would have me strive for. To be so trusting of the "other" in our life, the new ways which are foreign to us, is how we can become more like Christ. We must seek out righteous living, cultivating new and lasting bonds of love and kinship amongst ourselves that we might strengthen one another in our moments of weakness.

Naomi was weak and full of sorrow. She could not see how someone would want to be near her and love her when so much had been taken away. But because of Ruth's loyal perseverance, Naomi and Ruth are both blessed with what they need to be happy and well.

I learn from the book of Ruth that sometimes we are like Naomi, feeling like all is lost and no one could possibly care for us, that we are only bringing everyone down. I also learn that we can be like Ruth, looking past the problems, realizing that we are needed, and having trust in those who love us will lead us to blessings. One of the most beautiful promises of reward for seeking to trust is found in Ruth 2:12--

The Lord recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.

As this month continues on, I want to seek ways to trust and love with deep loyalty. I want to be under the Lord's wings of protection. 

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