On this Mother’s Day, Tiffany Harris brought and inspiring message from God’s word. She pointed out that legacy is a culmination of family history. From a spiritual standpoint, legacy can include the stories of what Jesus has done in our lives from generation to generation. This week Tiffany kicks off our series on the women in the lineage of Jesus, and what we can learn from their legacy.  No matter how you feel right now about the legacy you are leaving, you can begin fresh TODAY. We have a redeemer who is all about fresh starts and new mercies.  Be inspired as we learn from the life of RUTH this week

God uses people from unexpected places in unexpected ways today just as he did in Ruth’s situation. This book focuses on the management of land and family obligations, but it teaches us a more profound meaning of redemption. God gives new life in abundance where only death and emptiness are expected. And while God is easing Naomi’s and Ruth’s need, he is also bringing about his purpose for the entire nation.

MONDAY:  Ruth 1:1-5:  In these first five verses there is famine and Naomi loses not only her husband, but also both sons. That is A LOT of suffering. Suffering is part of life. It can make you angry and bitter or you can choose to enter into suffering and see what God has for you in it. Three ways satan tempts us during suffering is to make us question if:  1) God is good; 2) God loves me; 3) God sees me and understands me.  Are you struggling with any of those issues at this time in your life?  Can you confess it to God this week and ask Him to change your heart and mind about the situation?

TUESDAY:  Ruth 1:8-21:  Naomi urges her daughter-in-laws to go back to their own people, but Ruth is committed and stays with Naomi.  Even so, Naomi begins to feel empty and bitter and blames God. Ruth shows kindness and shares Naomi’s isolation rather than return to “her own” people. Do the situations of either of these women remind you of an important time in your own life - when loss and grief, and even bitterness, threatened to overwhelm you? Or when love called you to do something others considered foolish or risky? Recall such a time and remember how despair and hope mingled together during that time. What happened to change your sense of emptiness? How did you experience God’s faithfulness during this time? 

WEDNESDAY:  Ruth 2:1-10:  Ruth is willing to work.  She begins gleaning the fields that belong to Boaz. God provides and protects. Tiffany pointed out that sometimes we are called to work physically, such as Ruth was doing. Other times we might be called to work on relationships. That might include forgiveness and letting go of judgment or control. What relationships are in your life right now that are “work” for you?  How can you begin praying for that on a regular basis?  Are you open to hearing how God might call you to “work” on  the relationship?

THURSDAY:  Ruth 2:12-18:  God's care is like the wings of a mother bird, gently covering her baby chick, keeping them warm and safe from harm. The image of shelter under wings is repeated later in the story when Ruth asked Boaz to spread the corner of his garment over her (3:9).  What image comes to your mind when you think of safety, security and generous care? Perhaps you can think of a hearth fire or cozy chair, or a childhood treehouse. Imagine yourself now sheltered in this way within God’s loving embrace. Explore this with God today in prayer. 

FRIDAY: Ruth 3:1-18:  Simple acts of kindness can have kingdom ramifications. Boaz responds to Ruth revealing herself and recognizes her as a woman of integrity and character. Part of Naomi’s instruction to Ruth is to WAIT. (v. 18).  When you think of acts of kindness, do you find it easier to be kind to a stranger or to a family member? What is the difference between your response when you expect kindness from another and your response when kindness comes as a surprise?  What is your feeling about things you are called to “wait” for? Is there something in your life now that you are waiting on? How might you trust God in the waiting process?  

SATURDAY:  Ruth 4:  The son of Ruth and Boaz turned out to be Jesse’s father and David’s grandfather who are all in the lineage of Christ. What an unexpected surprise that this family’s troubles should culminate in the kingship of David and later the brith of the Lord Jesus Christ!  Boaz as the kinsman redeemer for Ruth is a foreshadowing of how Jesus Christ is our redeemer.  How can you pray for God to be a redeemer within your lineage?