Ruth - Week 1 - May 12, Mother’s Day
Training and Occupation: Ruth was probably a housewife as most were at the time and the death of her husband forced her to go out in the fields and glean for a living.
Place In History: Ruth is known as one of the most godly women in the Bible. God honored her decision to leave her own country and she is one of the most prominent women in David’s and Jesus’ genealogy.
Special Traits: She was one of a very few Gentiles in the entire Old Testament that gave up their own lifestyle, people, country, and idols in order to follow God.
Weakness: No recored weaknesses, but she had to have some.
Strengths: Numerous strengths can be seen in Ruth’s life. In 3:11 Boaz said, “for all my people in the city know that you are a woman of excellence” Ruth 1:16-17, 3:1-5, 2:10-11, 4:15, 2:3
Important Acts and/or Events: leaving Moab, marrying Boaz, and giving birth to Obed (the grandfather of David).
Lessons from her life: God always cares for believers and always honors their decisions to follow Him and put Him first. Ruth made a huge sacrifice to do what was right. God blessed her for that.
At some point you have been asked to define your character. Maybe on a job application you were asked to list 3 strengths and 3 weaknesses. On a staff development retreat you probably have done an exercise where your co-workers would spend time presenting to you the qualities they see in you. You might have even taken a personality test that would provide for you your defined trait on any given scale. We participate in all of these things because we desire to be the best version of ourselves in every situation.
When a person possesses good character it can be observed through their actions. It's not limited to a single value but the traits are demonstrated in the “good” choices they make and the “bad” choices they avoid. Because of this possession of “good character” that same person is then view as “authentic.” Being “authentic” means you are able to be your real and true self, without pretension, posturing, or insincerity. You are capable of showing appropriate vulnerability and self-awareness.
During this sermon series the focus will be on 4 “Authentic Characters” of the Old Testament; Ruth, Elijah, Joseph, and Rebekah. As we observed these individuals from the perspective of a personality profile our application will be to learn how an individual with a character quality like my own can be used by God. We will realize that building character is a life-long endeavor. It is something that is practiced both in the minutiae and the defining moments of your life. There will be times you step up to the character traits you embrace and other times you falter. By remaining committed to spiritual growth and learning about yourself, your character will naturally improve, even through the failures.