Today’s reading: Ruth 3:1–4:22, 1 Tim 1:12–20, Ps 73:11–28
Today’s theme: God’s providence
Today we learn about the providence of God. The way God works through our work to accomplish His Holy plans and will.
God works through our work
Then Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, “My daughter, should I not seek rest for you, that it may be well with you? Ruth 3:1 (ESV)
Naomi makes a plan, a great and ingenious plan, to provide a future for her faithful daughter Ruth. In this we see one way in which God’s actions and our’s work together. God acts in or through Naomi’s acts. In other words what she does executes God’s plan.
We should not sit passively saying “I’m just waiting for God’s will to be done”, no, we should sieze every God given opportunity. God opens doors and we need to walk through them.
So we need to open our eyes, see the open doors, make a plan and walk through the door. God works through us and in us. See Philippians 2:12.
And she replied, “All that you say I will do.” Ruth 3:5 (ESV)
Ruth’s obedience to Naomi is inspiring. She does not question Naomi but has faith in her wisdom and command. Ruth is not sceptical but moves in faith to fulfil the plan set out by Naomi and God rewards her with success.
In contradiction to our culture which seems to be perpetually poised in opposition to God and His law, our lives should be marked by unquestioning obedience to God and His word.
Jesus calls us to obedience in John 14:15 and 15:10. Paul mentions obedience in the saints throughout the world as one of the reasons for his ministry in Romans 1:5 and 6:17. The writer of Hebrews also reminds us that our eternal security is connected to our obedience in Hebrews 5:9.
He said, “Who are you?” And she answered, “I am Ruth, your servant. Spread your wings over your servant, for you are a redeemer.” Ruth 3:9 (ESV)
Ruth takes a bold step of faith in asking Boaz to become her covering as a husband and redeemer. The lesson for us is simple, without faith it is impossible for us to please God. We must put our faith in our redeemer Jesus. See Hebrews 11:6.
So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife. And he went in to her, and the LORD gave her conception, and she bore a son. Ruth 4:13 (ESV)
God’s providence was at work in all of this. God’s great plan of redemption for all peoples was unfolding, through this son would come David and through him Christ would come.
When we speak of God’s providence we are referring to God’s support, care, and supervision of all creation, from it’s beginning to all eternity. Jesus Christ said, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working” (John 5:17).
We are also speaking of God’s activity through His unlimited power and knowledge to fulfil His purpose for the whole creation, including human beings.
The Westminster Confession of Faith states “God, the great Creator of all things, doth uphold, direct, dispose, and govern all creatures, actions and things, from the greatest even to the least, by his most wise and holy providence, according to his infallible foreknowledge, and the free and immutable counsel of his own will, to the praise of the glory of his wisdom, power, justice, goodness and mercy”
1 Timothy 1:12–20
The mission of Jesus
The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. 1 Timothy 1:15 (ESV)
Jesus’ great mission in coming to this world was to save sinners. Not one particular type of sinner but all types of sinner no matter how bad we have been or what sin we have committed, we can be saved by Jesus our kinsman redeemer.
God our King
To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. 1 Timothy 1:17 (ESV)
God is our great king, He is sovereign and worthy of all our praise. Meditate on the fact that He is king today, if He is king, what does that mean for your life?
Keep a clear conscience
holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting this, some have made shipwreck of their faith, 1 Timothy 1:19 (ESV)
Holding to the faith, the truth of the gospel but having a bad conscience because of sin and compromise will lead to our faith being shipwrecked and us undergoing discipline from the Lord like Hymenaeus and Alexander. We need to keep our conscience clear by living in honesty and repentance by the power of the Holy Spirit.
But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task, until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end. Psalm 73:16–17 (ESV)
It is only through God that we can understand the world around us. Our worldview should be informed by Him.
God, our greatest treasure
Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. Psalm 73:25 (ESV)
God should be our greatest treasure. Ask yourself this question, if heaven with all its splendour, pleasure and beauty did not have God, if God was not there… would you still want to go?
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.
Desiring God on 1 Timothy 1