Ruth 2:11 Your Character Will Be Known

Person with hat

Boaz replied, “I’ve been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of  your husband–how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before.” Ruth 2:11 

Things that are done in the home in secret are often thought of as private and that no one knows about it. Yet, it is these actions that show the true character of a person. It shows what they are really like, instead of just putting on a show for the public.

People also talk and learn about what a person is really like. Everywhere a person goes, others are watching and listening. They are subconsciously finding out what a person is really like.

When Ruth and Naomi had moved to Bethlehem, Ruth had begun to gather leftover grain in the field of Boaz. After hearing about her, Boaz made sure she was given extra grain, providing abundantly for her. Ruth noticed the extra provision and asked him why he was treating her so well. He told her that it was because he had learned of everything she had done, leaving her family and homeland to stay with Ruth in a foreign land.

Ruth’s character of selflessness, loyalty and caring was seen by everyone. Her character had preceded her to others, giving her extra favor.

A person’s character will be seen by other people, whether it is good or bad. If it is a bad character, people will stay away and not trust. If it is a good character, they will come near and be faster to support.

Believers also show some character. Their character is to be one that portrays that of Jesus Christ. One of love, mercy, grace, kindness, patience and more. Although these are the characteristics believers should show, many are showing the characteristics of the world, hatred, jealousy, anger, rudeness and impatience.

People are watching you and wanting to know who you really are. They are trying to find out if your actions are matching your words.

If your character is matching that of Jesus, people will be faster to listen to you talk about Him. They will know that you are real in what you say and they will believe that the reason for this is because of Jesus.

If your character is like that of the world’s, then no one will listen to you talk about Jesus.

What is your character saying about you?

I pray today that you will live like Jesus did; that your character will match that of Jesus; that you will live true to God before all people; and that you will see God’s favor on your life. 

 

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1 Timothy 3:7 A Good Reputation

 

Cabin on a hill

He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap. 1 Timothy 3:7

Reputation is how other people see a person. What type of person do they see when they look at someone? What is his character like?

Reputations can be good or bad. Some can be positive reputations that every loves, or they can be negative ones that people hate.

Every person has a reputation of some sort. It can be seen in how they act and react to different situations. There are people who are known to get angry every time when they begin to talk about politics. Others may always be generous with time, or money. Some may have the reputation of being a talker.

Although Paul is talking specifically about someone who is going to be an overseer, the rule can be applied to every believer. Believers are to have a good reputation with outsiders, with people who are outside the belief in Jesus.

As Jesus walked on this earth, He had a good reputation with all people. He was known for being loving, kind, and generous. He was known to heal and forgive. Whether a person believed in Him or not, people knew who He was and what He was like.

Believers in the church do not always have a good reputation with people outside the church. Some are extremely judgmental. Others are stingy with their money and not giving. Many employers will state that believers are thought of to be lazy and not giving their best effort at work. Churches are often closed off to outsiders. People inside the church have their own little cliques that they stay in, and refuse to let others in.

These types of actions push people away from God and Jesus. They are falling into disgrace and into the devil’s trap to destroy the church and individual.

Find out what people think about you. What is your reputation with those outside the church?

Do people know you to be a believer, who is full of love, grace, mercy and truth?

Or do people see someone who says one thing and says or does something different?

Although reputation is not everything, it does mean something. It reveals how you are really living your life. Although the world may try to destroy you, they cannot deny who you are. What is your reputation to the world?

I pray today that your life will be like that of Jesus to this world; that people will know you are a follower of Jesus; that you will not do anything that will bring disgrace to God; and that many will know Jesus because of your actions and words.

Autumn: A Time Of Change

Autumn house

Autumn or Fall, depending on where you live, is a time of a lot of change. The further north you are, the more you will see the change in the season. The temperature will start to drop and the leaves will begin to turn many colors, other than green. The grass will start to turn brown and slow down on growing. Many plants will begin to die off until spring comes around. Change is occurring.

As the temperature starts to drop, people start bringing out their sweaters or coats. Occasionally one will have to start to turn on the furnace in the house or the heater in the car. Some people will start packing up all their summer clothes and pull out the winter clothing, changing their whole wardrobe out. Change is occurring.

Fall coats

Along with all the weather changes, school has started up again. From elementary school, all the way up through college, students are going back to school. In college towns the traffic is picking up, new drivers everywhere. Teachers are working again hard after having a summer off. Change is occurring.

Some people love the change that is happening. Those who live up on the New England states love the beautiful colors of the changing leaves. College students are often excited to be starting a new year, closer to graduation. Students in school are usually excited to see many of their friends who they have not seen all summer.

back to school

While many love the changes that are occurring, there are also many who do not like the change. Many love the flowers that grow during the summer and will miss them as fall happens and winter is coming. Many do not like the cooler weather (though I don’t know why). Some students don’t like the idea of school coming again because of all the tests and projects to be done. And many just do not like change, they like things to stay the same.

Change is something that is supposed to happen. God talks about change. People are supposed to change and become more like Jesus each day.

2 Corinthians 5:17 New International Version (NIV)

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

If you are a believer in Jesus, you are to change and become a new creation. Your old life is to pass away. The way you used to do things must come to an end. All the sin that you had done, must be thrown away. This is done by the death of Christ upon the cross.

John 12:24 New International Version (NIV)

24 Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.

Kernel of wheat

You must die to your old ways of living. The good thing is that if you allow your old self to die, many new things can come out of it. Just like a kernel of wheat that has a seed fall to the ground and die. After a time, the seed will produce a new plant of wheat, which then will produce more seeds and more wheat

One of the hard parts about change is not always knowing how things are going to change. What will they change to? How will it affect you?

Hebrews 13:8 New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Jesus has never changed and never will. God is the same today as He was during the time of Abraham and will be forever more the same.

Change in your life is often see in dying to self. Going through that type of change is not always fun or easy. However, when you die to self and begin to show Jesus to others, life will begin to happen. Other people will see the change and want to be a part of it. Others will see the love of Jesus in you and want to have that same love.

As you are going through some change, regardless of what the change is in your life, allow God to use it to build His kingdom. Trust that God knows what He is doing. God is there for you, not against you. He will walk you through the changes in this life.

time for change

Do not fear any change that God may be bringing into your life. God is using all change for your benefit. Ask God to reveal to you how to change and how to use that change for His glory. Make a change in this world by being His witness and bringing another person to Jesus. Be the change that God wants you to be.

Year round God is in the season of change–changing lives from an old one of sin and death, to one of righteousness and life. As you go through this season of autumn, think about the change God is making in your own life.

Romans 5:3-4 A New Reason to Rejoice

“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” Romans 5:3-4

It is easy to rejoice in the salvation that Jesus provides by faith. It is an amazing grace that God loves people and wants to save them. Any person who realizes this will be rejoicing in the grace of God for their salvation.

Paul takes it a step further, however, with rejoicing in suffering. This is a difficult one for most people. Why would anyone want to rejoice in suffering? Why would anyone be glad for pain?

The reason is what suffering brings about in the end. First suffering produces perseverance. This is the ability to hang in there and keep going forward. It is not throwing in the towel and quitting when things get rough.

Once perseverance is accomplished, character starts to form. Everyone likes the person who keeps going forward, who has vision and hope despite the circumstances. This character will show a person who is honest, trustworthy, and loyal to God and others.

After the character is built there is hope. When there is a person who has a godly character one can see the vision of hope in his heart. He realizes that all the suffering happening is only for a short time. The suffering is only to keep one close to God and to be a witness to others. God has a purpose for all of the suffering allowed to happen.

It is easy to grumble and get upset when things go wrong and you start suffering. Seek God and ask Him to help you to change your view. Allow God to use the suffering to build you up and give you hope.

God uses everything to your benefit. Things are used to build you up and help you be a witness of God’s power and love.

Are you willing to allow God to do what is needed to be done to make you more like Jesus? Are you willing to allow God to use you to build His kingdom? Rejoice in everything. Rejoice in the suffering, because in the end it produces a better result, if you allow it to.

I pray today that God will give you a new vision of His work in your life; that you will see the end results of suffering; that you will allow God to make you more like Jesus; and that you will have the hope Jesus provides.

Acts 19:15 Who Are You

“One day the evil spirit answered them, Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?” Acts 19:15

Paul had been going around doing many miracles in the name of Jesus. Seven sons of a priest decided that they would try to do the same thing. They went to a person who was demon possessed and would attempt to cast out the demons using the name of Jesus. One of the spirits rebelled against them. The spirit knew Jesus, and knew about Paul, but did not know anything about these men. The demonic spirit then beat those men.

Very often as people see miracles being done by a believer they hear the words said, or see the actions done and believe that is the way to get a miracle. Although the miracle may have been done through the person using those words, those words had nothing to do with it.

God is the one who does all the healing and any other miracles. It is not the person or their words that did it.

Then a lot of believers will state “in the name of Jesus” in all of their prayers, expecting a miracle or an answer. These are just words, unless the heart is in alignment with Jesus and His desires.

The demonic world knows who Jesus is. They may also hear about believers who are truly sold out to Jesus and following Him.

If a believer is not following Jesus with all of his heart, the demonic world is going to ignore you. You will have no power or authority.

The world will look at you and see you for who you really are. You may claim to be a Christian, but is your life following your words? Are you living as Jesus would, or are you just going through the motions?

If the demons were to ask who you are, what could you say? Will they see Jesus in you?

You may never be asked this question by demons, but you have a good chance the world will ask it someday. What will your answer be? Who are you? Are you a follower of Jesus? Or someone just claiming to follow Jesus?

I pray today that you follow Jesus with all of your heart and life; that you will know Jesus more; that you will act in the desires of Jesus; that the world will know you are a follower of Jesus; and that Jesus will work through you to reach the lost.