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The Covenantal Faithfulness of God: A Daily Devotional

God has provided me the incredible opportunity to serve for the next 2 weeks in Manila, Philippines. I hope to share some stories of how God is at work through our team and, maybe as importantly, how God is at work in me during this time. But additionally, the trip leader, my good friend Dennis, asked me to lead the team in devotions. Each day I will post a daily reading, reflection and invitation to respond from the book of Ruth

These are designed for the team, but you are invited to study Ruth alongside of us. I apologize in advance for any grammar and spelling mistakes. Much of this was written during my long haul flight when sleep was evading me…

And, finally, before proceeding to Day 1, here is a quick setting the stage of the book of Ruth. 

Grace is like water – It flows downhill and pools up in the lowest places.” This simple, but profound, insight from Geography of Grace invites us to approach our time in the Philippines with great humility and earnest longing to see God at work. We will be invited into the depths of the need, pain, brokenness and sorrow amongst those who have often labeled as the least, the last and the lost. We are going to see those who have experienced all of the vulnerability and exploitation of life in a broken world.

And when we do, we are going to find something unexpected: the grace of God, pooling up in the lowest places.

There is a Hebrew word that describes that radical grace God shows to his people: hesed. Our English Bibles typically translate hesed as steadfast love, kindness or loyalty. It is a beautiful word to depict God’s covenantal faithfulness. As the Jesus Storybook Bible describes it, it is a never stopping, never giving up, unbreaking, always and forever love. That is hesed.  

Matthew’s gospel opens with the genealogy of Jesus in which he names 5 of the most important women of all time. One of those women was a poor, destitute, widowed foreigner who grew up worshipping other gods but who grew to experience and cherish the kindness, the hesed of God: Ruth.

You may be familiar with the book of Ruth: It is a moving story of love and redemption. But let me suggest that Ruth is much more than a good love story (it is not less than that, but it mis certainly more than that). Ruth is a beautiful narrated tale of how the hesed of God takes the outcasts and the outsiders, the lost and the lonely, pours his radical grace upon them and then calls them his own. 

Over the course of our time in the Philippines, we are all invited to a study of Ruth. Maybe even today read through the whole story (it’s only 4 short chapters… you can do it!) and then each day there will be a short passage from Ruth with a couple of questions designed to help you process both the story of Ruth and how the grace of God is pooling up unexpectedly in low places among the people we encounter throughout the Philippines.


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