JESUS SAYS, “BE MY VALENTINE.”

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JESUS SAYS, “BE MY VALENTINE.”

As the world celebrates Valentine’s, it remembers love in all its forms. Beloved child of God, on this special weekend, Jesus wants to remind you of His love for you and wants you to encounter His love again in your life, afresh.

The best love stories have a damsel in distress, and no better woman of virtue for us to study than Ruth.

At that time, there was a famine in the land. Ruth’s husband had died, leaving her with her mother-in-law, Naomi. Ruth’s sister-in-law had decided to take up Naomi’s offer for her to return home to her ancestral home. But Ruth decided to follow Naomi.

“And she said, “Look, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.” But Ruth said:
“Entreat me not to leave you, or to turn back from following after you; for wherever you go, I will go; and wherever you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, and there will I be buried. The Lord do so to me, and more also, if anything but death parts you and me.” Ruth 1:15-17

Such faith from Ruth. Despite the odds, Ruth trusted in the God of Naomi, the same God we believe and trust in today. The very same God who loved them and in the same measure, loves us today. She did not put her trust in what was visible, the famine and lack in the land that Naomi was in, but instead put her trust in what was invisible, the almighty delivering hand of our God.

And God because of this, was faithful to Ruth and Naomi, and brought them back into the land of Bethlehem, during the time of the barley harvest.

“So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess her daughter-in-law with her, who returned from the country of Moab. Now they came to Bethlehem at the beginning of barley harvest.” Ruth 1:22

But God did not stop there. Not only did He bring them into the land of plenty, He gave them favor with Boaz, a man of great wealth, so that they may gain access to the plenty.

“Then Boaz said to Ruth, “You will listen, my daughter, will you not? Do not go to glean in another field, nor go from here, but stay close by my young women. Let your eyes be on the field which they reap, and go after them. Have I not commanded the young men not to touch you? And when you are thirsty, go to the vessels and drink from what the young men have drawn.”
So she fell on her face, bowed down to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?”
And Boaz answered and said to her, “It has been fully reported to me, all that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband, and how you have left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and have come to a people whom you did not know before. The Lord repay your work, and a full reward be given you by the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge.” Ruth 2:8-12

Now before you go away thinking Boaz had ulterior motives for showing Ruth favor, read again the reason he gave for treating her kindly. It has been fully reported to him of Ruth’s faithfulness to her mother-in-law. That is all. And because of that, The Lord will repay her work, give a full reward, because she had come under His wings for refuge.

Yes, beloved child of God. Jesus loves faith. When we have faith in Him, it puts us in a place of dependence, and it pleases our Father to bless us.

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” John 14:12-14

It is not because the Father is pleased with us, that we get the blessings, we get the blessings because it pleases the Father TO GIVE! His being pleased is not the pre-requisite for our blessings. His being pleased is the RESULT of blessing us!

Not only that, when we have faith in Him, He takes us under His wings and protects us, provides for us and loves us. All we need to do is believe, just as Ruth did.

Now, we also need to realize that Jesus likes to oversupply. Just as He did when He fed the five thousand and four thousand, where there were twelve baskets and seven baskets left over from the original amount of a few small loaves and a few fish; in Ruth’s case, not only did Ruth get a means of survival, Boaz was about to give her even more.

“Now Boaz said to her at mealtime, “Come here, and eat of the bread, and dip your piece of bread in the vinegar.” So she sat beside the reapers, and he passed parched grain to her; and she ate and was satisfied, and kept some back. And when she rose up to glean, Boaz commanded his young men, saying, “Let her glean even among the sheaves, and do not reproach her. Also let grain from the bundles fall purposely for her; leave it that she may glean, and do not rebuke her.” Ruth 2:14-16

Boaz fed her, and commanded his workers to leave grain for her to glean, on purpose. So now, not only did God bring Ruth into the land of plenty, she got a job, had her meals supplied, and was given more than enough to bring home to her mother-in-law. Faith just makes life get better and better.

Now with her income secure, the only piece of Ruth’s puzzle to complete would be the security of land, which she lost through the death of her father-in-law, Elimelech and her husband. Then this happened,

“And Boaz said to the elders and all the people, “You are witnesses this day that I have bought all that was Elimelech’s, and all that was Chilion’s and Mahlon’s, from the hand of Naomi. Moreover, Ruth the Moabitess, the widow of Mahlon, I have acquired as my wife, to perpetuate the name of the dead through his inheritance, that the name of the dead may not be cut off from among his brethren and from his position at the gate. You are witnesses this day.”
And all the people who were at the gate, and the elders, said, “We are witnesses. The Lord make the woman who is coming to your house like Rachel and Leah, the two who built the house of Israel; and may you prosper in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem. May your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah, because of the offspring which the Lord will give you from this young woman.” Ruth 4:9-12

Incidentally, in case you are wondering if any notable offspring came from this union,

“Now this is the genealogy of Perez: Perez begot Hezron; Hezron begot Ram, and Ram begot Amminadab; Amminadab begot Nahshon, and Nahshon begot Salmon; Salmon begot Boaz, and Boaz begot Obed; Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David.” Ruth 4:18-22

And we know that David became king, and from his line, Jesus was born.

So the love story of Boaz and Ruth, is like the love story of our Savior Jesus and us. We were caught up in a sea of sin, in the wilderness of spiritual famine because of our lawless deeds against God. But Jesus came to us, fed us, supplied us, redeemed us and gave us an eternal inheritance in heaven. Of all the love stories that will come out this Valentine’s, wouldn’t you say that ours with Jesus is the best of all?

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:1-3

He goes and prepares a place for us. And while He is doing that, remember that we are also under the shadow of His wings in the here and now.

“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.” Psalm 91:1-2

And because we are under His protection,

“Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him,
And show him My salvation.” Psalm 91:14-16

Beloved child of God, Jesus loves you with an unrelenting love. He has already paid the ultimate price, death on the cross, for our salvation, peace, wholeness and righteousness with God. What more will He not give you? Look back on your life this Valentine’s and look at each and every time He has delivered you. Fall back into love with Jesus again because He is in love with you. Open your heart to Him and let Him love you out of your troubles.

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