MAY 24 HE JUST LOVES YOU

Why have I found such favor in your eyes? Ruth 2:10  

READ RUTH 2:1-11

Ruth was a foreigner. She was a widow. She was poor. In many parts of the world today she would be considered a nobody—someone whose future doesn’t hold any hope.

However, Ruth found favor in the eyes of a relative of her deceased husband, a rich man and the owner of the fields where she chose to ask for permission to glean grain. In response to his kindness, Ruth asked, “What have I done to deserve such kindness? . . . I am only a foreigner” (Ruth 2:10). Boaz, the good man who showed Ruth such compassion, answered her truthfully. He had heard about her good deeds toward her mother-in-law, Naomi, and how she chose to leave her country and follow Naomi’s God.

Boaz prayed that God, “under whose wings” she had come for refuge, would bless her (1:16; 2:11-12; see Psalm 91:4). As her kinsman redeemer (Ruth 3:9), when Boaz married Ruth he became her protector and part of the answer to his prayer.

Like Ruth, we were foreigners and far from God. We may wonder why God would choose to love us when we are so undeserving. The answer is not in us, but in Him. “God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners” (Romans 5:8). Christ has become our Redeemer. When we come to Him in salvation, we are under His protective wings. 

REFLECT & PRAY 

Dear Lord, I don’t know why You love me, but I don’t doubt Your love. I thank You and worship You!

MAY 23 GOD'S GALLERY

The Lord is good and his love endures forever. Psalm 100:5

READ PSALM 100

Psalm 100 is like a work of art that helps us celebrate our unseen God. While the focus of our worship is beyond view, His people make Him known.

Imagine the artist with brush and palette working the colorful words of this psalm onto a canvas. What emerges before our eyes is a world—“all the earth”—shouting for joy to the Lord (verse 1). Joy. Because it is the delight of our God to redeem us from death. “For the joy that was set before Him,” Jesus endured the cross (Hebrews 12:2).

As our eyes move across the canvas we see an all-world choir of countless members singing “with gladness” and “joyful songs” (Psalm 100:2). Our heavenly Father’s heart is pleased when His people worship Him for who He is and what He has done.

Then we see images of ourselves, fashioned from dust in the hands of our Creator, and led like sheep into green pastures (verse 3). We, His people, have a loving Shepherd.

Finally, we see God’s great and glorious dwelling place—and the gates through which His rescued people enter His unseen presence, while giving Him thanks and praise (verse 4).

What a picture, inspired by our God. Our good, loving, and faithful God. No wonder it will take forever to enjoy His greatness!

REFLECT & PRAY 

Great God of heaven, thank You for life, for joy, for protection, and for promising us a future with You forever. Help us to live with thoughts of Your greatness always on our hearts and minds.

MAY 22 GOD'S DWELLING PLACE

There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain. Revelation 21:4

READ REVELATION 21:1-7

James Oglethorpe (1696–1785) was a British general and member of Parliament who had a vision for a great city. Charged with settling the state of Georgia in North America, he planned the city of Savannah according to that vision. He designed a series of squares, each having a green space and designated areas for churches and shops, with the rest reserved for housing. The visionary thinking of Oglethorpe is seen today in a beautiful, well-organized city that is considered a jewel of the American South.

In Revelation 21, John received a vision of a different city—the New Jerusalem. What he said of this city was less about its design and more about the character of who was there. When John described our eternal home, he wrote, “I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them’” (verse 3). And because of who was there—God Himself—this dwelling place would be notable for what was not there. Quoting from Isaiah 25:8, John wrote, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death” (verse 4).

No more death! Nor will there be any more “mourning or crying or pain.” All our sorrow will be replaced by the wonderful, healing presence of the God of the universe. This is the home Jesus is preparing for all who turn to Him for forgiveness. By: Bill Crowder Sign in to track your progress!

 REFLECT & PRAY 

Thank You, Father, that Your Son is preparing a place for us to live with You. Thank You that it will be more than just a wonderful place. It is where we will live with You and know You forever.

MAY 21 WHAT GOD WANTS

If you ever forget the Lord your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed. Deuteronomy 8:19

READ DEUTERONOMY 8:10-19

God wants your attention. Giving yourself to God in your entirety is part of your true praise and worship. True worship includes surrender. Satan wants us to be confused, directionless, and ineffective. God has a preordained plan for us. He gives us specific steps and wants us to see that our lives matter to Him. God is in control of your life.

God also speaks to you through mentors whom He has supplied throughout your life. When you as a believer are part of a local church, you should find a spiritual mentor within that church to walk through life with you. God’s will is always revealed in His Word—the Bible. Study His Word and pray daily, and come into agreement with His Word.

It’s not that God expects you to be perfect, but He wants you to be honestly living for Him, seeking Him, and doing your best to have a loving relationship with Him. What God wants from you is a relationship. Love is absolutely the foundation of everything God does (see 1 John 4:8). God’s Word guides us, not to control us, but because He knows that following it and choosing it will give us the best life possible.

REFLECT & PRAY 

God loves you and wants you to grow in your relationship with Him by knowing and studying His Word. Trust in God with all your heart. Jesus is your example about how to live out your life while here. See Ephesians 5:1-2.

MAY 20 ACT OF KINDNESS

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress. James 1:27

READ JAMES 1:22–27

“My mother gave us chili peppers before we went to bed,” said Samuel, recalling his difficult childhood in sub-Saharan Africa. “We drank water to cool our mouths, and then we would feel full.” He added, “It did not work well.”

Government upheaval had forced Samuel’s father to flee for his life, leaving their mother as the family’s sole provider. Sam’s brother had sickle cell anemia, and they couldn’t afford medical care. Their mother took them to church, but it didn’t mean much to Sam. How could God allow our family to suffer like this? he wondered.

Then one day a man learned about their plight and brought them some medicine to help with treatment. “On Sunday we will go to this man’s church,” his mother announced. Right away Sam sensed something different about this church. They celebrated their relationship with Jesus by living His love.

That was three decades ago. Today in this part of the world, Sam has started more than 20 churches, a large school, and a home for orphans. He’s continuing the legacy of true religion taught by James, the brother of Jesus, who urged us not to “merely listen to the word” but to “do what it says” (James 1:22). “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress” (verse 27).

There’s no telling what a simple act of kindness done in Jesus’ name can do. 

REFLECT & PRAY 

Sometimes the best witness is kindness.

MAY 19 JUST AS VIGOROUS

I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. –Joshua 14:11

READ JOSHUA 17:7-11

I once heard someone say, “Getting old ain’t for sissies.” I agree. However, not for the reasons you might think.

Caleb was one of the spies sent to check out Canaan, the Promised Land. He gave a good report and was allowed to enter years later. He was a smart man and followed God. At the age of 85, Caleb stated that he was as strong as he was at the age of 40 and well able to take on any task. A “sissy” gives up and acts old just because of a number, but a believer with a warrior spirit like Caleb’s never quits.

I believe the promises that say my youth is renewed like the eagles. I believe that even in my old age, I will be filled with sap, energy, vitality, and strength. I believe we are promised a long and satisfying life. Troubles will come, but we can send them on their way as quickly as we can put God’s Word into practice. Troubles can never steal our joy unless we let them. Refuse to be a sissy, become like Caleb and refuse to kneel to doubt or unbelief. Enter your Promised Land. We aren’t old; we are just seasoned and filled with experience.

REFLECT & PRAY 

Don’t let others tell you that you can’t because of your age. YOU CAN! Ask God for strength daily! Reflect on what you can do, not what you can’t do. When we are weak, He is strong.