Inadequacy as a Barrier

  • March 21, 2017
Tuesday 21

Ephesians 3:14-21

Do you ever feel unequal to the task God has set in front of you? At times, all of us struggle with such feelings because certain responsibilities appear to be bigger than one human being is able to accomplish. Problems can develop when we wear inadequacy like a cloak in order to protect ourselves from doing the Lord’s work. We sometimes try to convince ourselves that a task is too great or that God expects too much.

When this is the case, we might be tempted to turn away from some tremendous God-given opportunities. For example, sometimes the Lord provides a situation that is just right for sharing the good news of Christ with a coworker, family member, or acquaintance. But how often do we back off and end up squandering such opportune moments because we’re afraid we won’t know what to say?

Inadequacy grows out of fear—specifically, fear of failure and of not meeting people’s expectations. No matter how unqualified we feel, apprehension is not an acceptable excuse for avoiding responsibility. The truth is, even if a Christian feels incapable of accomplishing some of the awesome tasks God calls him to do, the Holy Spirit is more than adequate! As believers, we do not have to possess perfect qualifications or skills; we need only to be willing.

What have you refused to do for the Lord because you feel inadequate? 2 Timothy 1:7 tells us that God has given us a spirit of power, not one of timidity. All the believer has to do is step out in faith; the Holy Spirit’s strength and courage will be there to meet us.

Bible in One Year: Ruth 1-2

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14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,

15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name,

16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man,

17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love,

18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,

19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us,

21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.

7 For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.

1 Now it came about in the days when the judges governed, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem in Judah went to sojourn in the land of Moab with his wife and his two sons.

2 The name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife, Naomi; and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehem in Judah. Now they entered the land of Moab and remained there.

3 Then Elimelech, Naomi's husband, died; and she was left with her two sons.

4 They took for themselves Moabite women as wives; the name of the one was Orpah and the name of the other Ruth. And they lived there about ten years.

5 Then both Mahlon and Chilion also died, and the woman was bereft of her two children and her husband.

6 Then she arose with her daughters-in-law that she might return from the land of Moab, for she had heard in the land of Moab that the LORD had visited His people in giving them food.

7 So she departed from the place where she was, and her two daughters-in-law with her; and they went on the way to return to the land of Judah.

8 And Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, Go, return each of you to her mother's house. May the LORD deal kindly with you as you have dealt with the dead and with me.

9 May the LORD grant that you may find rest, each in the house of her husband." Then she kissed them, and they lifted up their voices and wept.

10 And they said to her, No, but we will surely return with you to your people."

11 But Naomi said, Return, my daughters. Why should you go with me? Have I yet sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands?

12 Return, my daughters! Go, for I am too old to have a husband. If I said I have hope, if I should even have a husband tonight and also bear sons,

13 would you therefore wait until they were grown? Would you therefore refrain from marrying? No, my daughters; for it is harder for me than for you, for the hand of the LORD has gone forth against me."

14 And they lifted up their voices and wept again; and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her.

15 Then she said, Behold, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and her gods; return after your sister-in-law."

16 But Ruth said, Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.

17 Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. Thus may the LORD do to me, and worse, if anything but death parts you and me."

18 When she saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more to her.

19 So they both went until they came to Bethlehem. And when they had come to Bethlehem, all the city was stirred because of them, and the women said, Is this Naomi?"

20 She said to them, Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.

21 I went out full, but the LORD has brought me back empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since the LORD has witnessed against me and the Almighty has afflicted me?"

22 So Naomi returned, and with her Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter-in-law, who returned from the land of Moab. And they came to Bethlehem at the beginning of barley harvest.

1 Now Naomi had a kinsman of her husband, a man of great wealth, of the family of Elimelech, whose name was Boaz.

2 And Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, Please let me go to the field and glean among the ears of grain after one in whose sight I may find favor." And she said to her, Go, my daughter."

3 So she departed and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers; and she happened to come to the portion of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of Elimelech.

4 Now behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem and said to the reapers, May the LORD be with you." And they said to him, May the LORD bless you."

5 Then Boaz said to his servant who was in charge of the reapers, Whose young woman is this?"

6 The servant in charge of the reapers replied, She is the young Moabite woman who returned with Naomi from the land of Moab.

7 And she said, `Please let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves.' Thus she came and has remained from the morning until now; she has been sitting in the house for a little while."

8 Then Boaz said to Ruth, Listen carefully, my daughter. Do not go to glean in another field; furthermore, do not go on from this one, but stay here with my maids.

9 Let your eyes be on the field which they reap, and go after them. Indeed, I have commanded the servants not to touch you. When you are thirsty, go to the water jars and drink from what the servants draw."

10 Then she fell on her face, bowing to the ground and said to him, Why have I found favor in your sight that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?"

11 Boaz replied to her, All that you have done for your mother-in-law after the death of your husband has been fully reported to me, and how you left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and came to a people that you did not previously know.

12 May the LORD reward your work, and your wages be full from the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to seek refuge."

13 Then she said, I have found favor in your sight, my lord, for you have comforted me and indeed have spoken kindly to your maidservant, though I am not like one of your maidservants."

14 At mealtime Boaz said to her, Come here, that you may eat of the bread and dip your piece of bread in the vinegar." So she sat beside the reapers; and he served her roasted grain, and she ate and was satisfied and had some left.

15 When she rose to glean, Boaz commanded his servants, saying, Let her glean even among the sheaves, and do not insult her.

16 Also you shall purposely pull out for her some grain from the bundles and leave it that she may glean, and do not rebuke her."

17 So she gleaned in the field until evening. Then she beat out what she had gleaned, and it was about an ephah of barley.

18 She took it up and went into the city, and her mother-in-law saw what she had gleaned. She also took it out and gave Naomi what she had left after she was satisfied.

19 Her mother-in-law then said to her, Where did you glean today and where did you work? May he who took notice of you be blessed." So she told her mother-in-law with whom she had worked and said, The name of the man with whom I worked today is Boaz."

20 Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, May he be blessed of the LORD who has not withdrawn his kindness to the living and to the dead." Again Naomi said to her, The man is our relative, he is one of our closest relatives."

21 Then Ruth the Moabitess said, Furthermore, he said to me, `You should stay close to my servants until they have finished all my harvest.'"

22 Naomi said to Ruth her daughter-in-law, It is good, my daughter, that you go out with his maids, so that others do not fall upon you in another field."

23 So she stayed close by the maids of Boaz in order to glean until the end of the barley harvest and the wheat harvest. And she lived with her mother-in-law.

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Publish Date March 26, 2017
Becoming Whole

Modern culture offers a lot of “solutions” for emptiness, but only a relationship with Christ can make us whole.

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