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Archive for July, 2018

Ruth- A Story of Redemption.

Key Scripture: Ruth 1:16 (KJV)  And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:

SUMMARY

A Christian ought to permeate the world with our story of commitment to the Lord and His house and  being redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus. This sermon will help us understand the very same theme. Our good Boaz is the Lord Jesus who has redeemed us and is still at work in each one of our lives. Let us stay in Bethlehem ‘a house of bread’, and stay focused to experience His visitation for God will redeem and bless us!

SERMON POINTS

Ruth 4:1(KJV) Then went Boaz up to the gate, and sat him down there: and, behold, the kinsman of whom Boaz spake came by; unto whom he said, Ho, such a one! turn aside, sit down here. And he turned aside, and sat down.

As we read that Boaz was up to something, making an important decision for Ruth likewise let us believe that Jesus is up to doing something important in our lives and He will not rest until it is accomplished!

In the story of Ruth, we read that Boaz went to the city gates where things were decided and he calls the nearest redeemer in the line of Elimelech. He was called ‘Ho such a one!’ because he was an irresponsible guy. It teaches us an important truth that being people of God we ought to be responsible and take responsibilities or else God might also address us as, ‘Ho such a one!’ which is not a good tag.

A Protocol:

Deuteronomy 25:5(KJV) If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband’s brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband’s brother unto her.

According to the word of God if brothers dwelled together and one of them died, the husband’s brother had to take her as wife and perform all the duties and responsibilities of a husband. Boaz knew the protocol and he didn’t over rule it!

Likewise, we should learn to manage our things in protocol. There is a protocol in the house of God and it should be our priority. However, we often put church, godly leaders and ministry as secondary which is demeaning. Protocol is protocol and God doesn’t work beyond protocol. We ought to respect our pastors, elders and take the best out of their experience to use it for the kingdom of God. Husbands are the head of the family to be respected and honoured and anything that goes beyond the protocol will not be blessed by Him.

Ruth 4:5,6(KJV)Then said Boaz, What day thou buyest the field of the hand of Naomi, thou must buy it also of Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance. And the kinsman said, I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar mine own inheritance: redeem thou my right to thyself; for I cannot redeem it.

Boaz knew the protocol and he knew if the kinsman buys the land he will also have to purchase Ruth and take care of her.

However, God was behind everything, and He knows how to redeem us. He knows how to purchase us from worthless fellows because we are precious to Him and He would not let anything happen to us, like Ruth who was now taken by Boaz after the kinsman denied redeeming her.

Boaz takes Ruth’s responsibility. Today the question is what are we responsible for? whom are we responsible for? Do we watch over one another and are we responsible for the church? The fact is ministry of God involves loving people, being responsible for one another and owning responsibility without which it is impossible to please God and run His ministry. We ought to be ministers of God and always remember that responsibility starts a ministry. In the bible we read about Abraham, Moses, David, Joshua and many more whom God used were responsible. The truth is if we know how to trust God the way He wants us to trust Him, He will surely lead us and redeem us!

1) Redeemed from our past.

Ruth 4:8 (KJV) Therefore the kinsman said unto Boaz, Buy it for thee. So he drew off his shoe. And Boaz said unto the elders, and unto all the people, Ye are witnesses this day, that I have bought all that was Elimelech’s, and all that was Chilion’s and Mahlon’s, of the hand of Naomi.

As Boaz raises his shoe to say unto the elders and people who were witnesses that he has bought all that was Elimelech’s, and all that was Chilion’s and Mahlon’s, of the hand of Naomi similarly, Jesus is raising His precious blood to proclaim that He has bought and redeemed us. We might have had the Moabite culture or a horrific past but now we are purchased by Jesus. The transaction is done, it’s a done deal. The responsibility of taking care of each one of us is a done deal when He shed His blood to redeem us and now we belong to Him.

1 Peter 1:18, 19 (KJV) Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

2) Redeemed for a relationship in the present.

Ruth 4:10(KJV) Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his brethren, and from the gate of his place: ye are witnesses this day. And all the people that were in the gate, and the elders, said, We are witnesses. The Lord make the woman that is come into thine house like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of Israel: and do thou worthily in Ephratah, and be famous in Bethlehem: And let thy house be like the house of Pharez, whom Tamar bare unto Judah, of the seed which the Lord shall give thee of this young woman. And the women said unto Naomi, Blessed be the Lord, which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in Israel.

Though Ruth lost her husband Mahlon, God didn’t leave her. God chose Boaz to be her husband and changed her messed up life into a beautiful message of redemption. God will never leave us stranded. He will turn our mess into a beautiful message. Remember the Lord is behind it all and a redeemer’s son will also be a redeemer. Let us proclaim that by His blood; the joy, the peace, the health that was lost will soon be redeemed.

As Boaz stood in the gate the witnesses testified and blessed them. This is the church, a blessing where we come together in the house of the Lord, to praise and worship Him. We participate in lifting the name of the Lord with joy, humility and thanksgiving. Let us come to the house of Lord together so that we would be usable unto the Lord for His kingdom and bound to be redeemed for a relationship.

3) Redeemed for a future that will end in Jesus.

Ruth 4:15,16(KJV)And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy life, and a nourisher of thine old age: for thy daughter in law, which loveth thee, which is better to thee than seven sons, hath born him. And Naomi took the child, and laid it in her bosom, and became nurse unto it. And Naomi took the child, and laid it in her bosom, and became nurse unto it.

The Lord is our Boaz. When He is for us, He will redeem us at any cost. God was with Naomi and Ruth throughout their journey and He redeemed them. We learn from the book of Ruth that the Lord has His predestined purposes behind every high and low. All our life’s events are part of the grand history of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 1:7 10 (KJV)That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

Sometimes we might wonder of the various tragedies that hit us, the questions that remain unanswered but the truth is that we will all be merged to into the beautiful story of Jesus, into the great history of the Lord in heaven, on earth and in Him.

Four truths from the story of Ruth’s redemption:

  • There is a Sovereign God behind everything. He is the El-Shaddai God. We don’t have any control over our lives and everything happens beautifully in His time. Today there might be a dead Mahalon in our lives but God is preparing a good Boaz into our life to redeem us for the future.
  • When people leave you; let them go. Always remember the blood that has been shed on Calvary. The Lord is near you, with you and they are not part of our destiny.

       Isaiah 43:1,2(KJV) But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and          he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called         thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will           be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou            walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle     upon thee. He will help us in every situation.

  Isaiah 54:5(KJV)For thy Maker is thine husband; the Lord of hosts is his name;  and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.

  • Stay close to God’s word. Naomi knew the word of God that helped her to guide Ruth. Therefore, when we stay close to God’s word He shall direct and open doors of deliverance.
  • Age is no bar for nursing the blessings of God. If Naomi could nurse her grandson at that old age, we can also nurse our blessing to the ministry of God. He shall nourish and restore our lives to pass on our blessing to the next generation.
CONCLUSION

The Lord has redeemed us. There is provision, protection and peace in Jesus. We ought to follow the protocol that God has laid upon us. when we take responsibilities, God will start a new ministry through us. Today, let us get into the next level of taking responsibility and being responsible for our church and ministry and make it our priority. Let us understand that God is behind everything and know that when expected sources leave us, God will open unexpected sources to meet our need!

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Ruth-The Story of Relationship.

Key Scripture: Ruth 1:16 (KJV)And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:

SUMMARY

The story of Ruth continues to enlighten us with greater truths of  Christian life. Sadly, many of our lives today are stuck in Ruth chapter two where we want to remain under His grace forever or maybe as believers we are contended only with provision, protection and position which is great but is that all? The question today is how is our relationship with God? Are we satisfied with God only for the money, the protection or position that He has provided or do we strive to go deeper and closer in relationship with Him? Today let us learn from Ruth and pledge not to be contractual Christians but to be owners of His field as we deepen our relationship with Christ.

SERMON POINTS

Our relationship with God is the key factor to our spiritual progress. God called Abraham His friend and David a man after God’s own heart, which shows that they had a deeper relationship with Him. Today, God’s desire for us is to progress in relationship with Him and go to a level wherein we own things and stay rooted in Bethlehem ‘The house of bread.’

Ruth progresses in her relationship with Boaz as she hears the advise of Naomi. This relationship had the following qualities

1) Relationship based on Rest.

Ruth 3:1(KJV)Then Naomi her mother in law said unto her, my daughter, shall I not seek rest for thee, that it may be well with thee?

Many believers today are contractual labourers in the kingdom of God and not the owners of any ministry responsibility. Ruth was one, until Naomi wanted Ruth to enter rest by entering into relationship with Boaz. Do we also own the church as our house or are we contractual laborers? Do we own the ministry as a leader or do we take it as a burden? The truth is God has placed us in different areas so that we bring a shift in the environment and that can only happen when we have a relationship with God.

Today God wants us to be owners and stewards for His kingdom so that as we own the relationship with Him and enter rest.  Even Jesus said in Matthew 11:28(KJV) Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Only when we work for the Lord, we will find rest and satisfaction. Jesus is our good Boaz. As Ruth makes Boaz hers and finds rest similarly rest can only come from Jesus. Therefore, seek Him and know Him more and He will give us rest.

Remember we might have the biggest possession in the world but if we are not in relationship with Jesus we are at unrest. So, strive to be in a deeper and closer relationship with God and He will give us rest!

2) Relationship based on God’s Word.

Ruth 3:2-5(KJV) And now is not Boaz of our kindred, with whose maidens thou wast? Behold, he winnoweth barley to night in the threshing floor. Wash thyself therefore, and anoint thee, and put thy raiment upon thee, and get thee down to the floor: but make not thyself known unto the man, until he shall have done eating and drinking. And it shall be, when he lieth down, that thou shalt mark the place where he shall lie, and thou shalt go in, and uncover his feet, and lay thee down; and he will tell thee what thou shalt do. And she said unto her, All that thou sayest unto me I will do.

We read the pattern in the Old Testament that if people followed God’s word, God would bless them and this continues to remain an entreaty in our lives today too. When we follow and long for more of God’s word, it will enable the quality of goodness to come out of our lives and Naomi was one such character. She knew the word and the law. According to Deuteronomy 25:5-10, if brothers dwelt together and one of them died, the husband’s brother had to take her as wife and perform all the duties of a husband. Naomi knew the word of God, so now it was Boaz’s responsibility to take care of Ruth. Naomi orchestrated a master plan for Ruth and Ruth obeyed.

Remember people who tell God’s word in our life are the most important people. The pastors and teachers are ordained by God to speak His word and shape our lives. We shouldn’t adore anything more than God or else it might prove fatal but instead let us be obedient like Ruth to know that blessing lies in obedience to God’s word. Our relationship with God should be based on reading His word and obeying it completely without any compromise and He will bless us!

3) Relationship based on Responsibility.

Ruth 3:8-10 (KJV) And it came to pass at midnight, that the man was afraid, and turned himself: and, behold, a woman lay at his feet. And he said, Who art thou? And she answered, I am Ruth thine handmaid: spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid; for thou art a near kinsman. And he said, Blessed be thou of the Lord, my daughter: for thou hast shewed more kindness in the latter end than at the beginning, inasmuch as thou followedst not young men, whether poor or rich.

God wants to take responsibility over our life. If we are concerned about our health, life, job and families and ask the Lord to protect us by His covering, He is ready to take responsibility over us. When His shawl comes over our life remember it signifies a mantle of responsibility over our life.

In 1kings 19:19  “So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him.” When Elijah threw the cloak around Elisha , it meant that Elijah would take over the responsibility of Elisha.

As Ruth laid at Boaz’s feet in the midnight and had a conversation with Him, let us build a deeper relationship with Jesus and have a midnight conversation with Him. Let us put forth our prayer and supplication unto Him and when we do that we can change the heart and mind of God through our prayers.

Genesis 18:25,26(KJV) That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?And the Lord said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.

Abraham could change the heart of God through his prayer. Hence, there is nothing greater than prayer. When we are wired and persist in prayer God will surely hear it! Therefore, let us take it all to the Lord in prayer and He will take responsibility over us.

4) Relationship based on Testimony.

Ruth 3:11 (KJV)And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman.

If we are pure ,God will take in charge of us. Remember without sanctification no one will see God. Though Ruth was a Moabites yet she was called virtuous. In Hebrew the word ‘Hesed’ means full of love, humility, compassion and kindness such was the character of Ruth. Our relationship with God should be based on our testimony of carrying a spotless character, filled with His eternal love and humility.

Proverb 31:10(KJV) Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. We must all be a pure bride for Jesus. Ruth went to the field of Boaz that night, not to take advantage of him but to ask him to take responsibility over her and became a testimony unto Boaz. She obeyed all that her mother-in-law had asked her to do, so that she could be owned by someone. Therefore, let us be virtuous and submit to God and build our relationship based on our testimonies and God will surely testify and will take responsibility of our lives.

5) Relationship based on Reward:

Ruth 3:15-17(KJV) Also he said, Bring the vail that thou hast upon thee, and hold it. And when she held it, he measured six measures of barley, and laid it on her: and she went into the city. And when she came to her mother in law, she said, Who art thou, my daughter? And she told her all that the man had done to her. And she said, These six measures of barley gave he me; for he said to me, Go not empty unto thy mother in law.

As Ruth laid at Boaz’s feet until morning, he rewarded her with six measures of barley and didn’t return empty handed. Similarly, as we come seeking for God, He will reward us. God is telling us not to go empty handed and lift our shawl unto Jesus and He will fill us with His holy spirit to lead, protect and guide us.

As Boaz left to the city only after settling the matter and rewarding Ruth with six measures of barley likewise Jesus is not going to leave us stranded, He will settle and take care of all the issues we have. God will be responsible for us, give us rest and do something glorious in our life! Therefore, let us bring the vail and hold it unto Him.

6) Relationship based on Trust:

Ruth 3:18 (KJV) Then said she, Sit still, my daughter, until thou know how the matter will fall: for the man will not be in rest, until he have finished the thing this day.

Our true relationship with God is based on our simple trust. It simply means that when we move into the next level in our walk with God, we are sure that He has taken our responsibility and we trust in Him to finish what He has started in our life.

As Naomi knew that Boaz will not rest until he finished what he had started likewise our relationship with Jesus should be a simple trust in Him to believe that whatever He gives is what we need in our life.

CONCLUSION

Let us stay rooted in Bethlehem because it is the house of bread where God provides, protects and gives us peace. Don’t be contended with the things that He provides but get into the next level of building a relationship with Jesus. A relationship of rest, following His word, becoming great witnesses and He will take responsibility over us and reward us. Don’t be contractual Christians, be owners owning and trusting in the relationship with God and He shall provide the best for us!!