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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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Salvation from Zion (Study on Psalm 14)-Part 2

Key Scripture:

Psalms 14:7 (KJV)  Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion!
when the Lord bringeth back the captivity of his people,
Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad.

SUMMARY

Salvation from Zion should be our prayer in the perilous times we live in. It is easy to follow the norms of the world and live a life void of any accountability. However, the Bible tells us that kind of lifestyle is a foolish one. None of us ought to be fools and this sermon helps us learn from Psalms 14, the principles we should live by to witness the salvation of God in and through our lives in this dark world.

SERMON POINTS

How can Salvation come our way?

The Psalmist begins the psalm by saying that,

Psalms 14:1 (KJV) The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.

That is what he sees around him and that is definitely what we can observe when we look at our world and the abominations that fills it. This makes us really wonder if we have any hope of being saved.

There were days when anyone could share the gospel; but these have become difficult days with many churches being closed, Bibles burnt and pastors targeted.

If we want the Lord our God to move and bring about our salvation, there are 7 principles that we can learn from King David’s Psalm which makes him plead with the Lord for the salvation and restoration of His people.

When we live by these, we can be rest assured that our prayer for salvation can move the hand of God to come and do things for us.

Principles that help us see the Salvation of God

  1. Being people of faith.

Hebrews 11:6 (KJV)   But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

The opposite of a foolish person, according to the Word of God is a man of faith. This is because the Bible says that those who come to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him. Our lives must reflect the fear of God

King Solomon says that it is our duty to fear God.

The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.(Ecclesiastes 12:13,14)

St. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:10 that we are accountable to Him for everything done in our body.

Therefore, it is essential for us to make choices in life that will reveal the faith we have in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Out of reverence for the Lord and His Word , we live and work for Him.

In the book of James, we read that God has called us to be rich in faith.

James 2:5 (KJV)   Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?

God has chosen us to be rich in faith and thereby become heirs of the kingdom. Salvation came in search of us who were poor and who had no righteousness to boast about.

Our faith in God is very powerful, that is also why the enemy tries to give us a faith attack every day by throwing fiery darts of doubt and sin into our lives.( Ephesians 6:16)

The Lord Jesus tells Simon Peter in Luke 22:31,32, that the devil wanted to sift him but the Lord assures Peter that He has prayed that his faith will not falter. The Lord intercedes for us even today so that our faith in Him will not falter when we go through trials. (John 17; Hebrews 7:25)

There are many in the Bible who lived such faith lifestyles and the Lord honoured their faith. Noah was building an ark when the world was busy in its evil ways. ( Hebrews 11:7)

Abraham at age 100, went up the mountain to sacrifice his only son, having the faith that God would be able to raise him up again. (Hebrews 11:17-19)

The Bible records how the Lord God came into the furnace as the 4th Man to rescue Daniel’s 3 friends who were cast into a furnace for refusing to bow down to the golden image. (Daniel 3:25)

That is what happens when the people of God stand for God, He will most definitely come through for us and save. When the fool says there is no God, let our lifestyle of faith prove His existence and my we see the reward coming by.

 

  1. Doing good.

 Psalms 14:1 (KJV) The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.

 Ephesians 2:10 (KJV)  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them

King David says the whole world has become corrupt because there is no one that does good. When the Lord Jesus comes to our life, we become people who are saved to do good works. In the NT we see many references where the Lord wants us to be people rich in good works. Let us learn to do good things and have sincere love and genuine care for those around us.

Titus 2:8,14 (KJV)   Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.

Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.

 We who are created in the Lord Jesus Christ should be examples of good works. As we strive to serve in this manner, our cities ,communities and churches would experience a new revival.

  1. Having a heart of understanding to seek God.

 Psalms 14:2 (KJV)  The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.

 Isaiah 1:3 (KJV)  The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.

We cannot seek God without having a heart of understanding. When the eyes of our heart is opened, we seek God.  In the busy lifestyle we forget to seek God and that shows a heart that does not understand. The Ox knoweth its owner but we forget our creator.

Ephesians 4:18 (KJV)  Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:

The gospel opens our heart to seek Him. Our hearts are illuminated by the word to understand and seek Him.

Ephesians 1:18,19 (KJV)   The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power.

St Paul prays that the eyes of our understanding be enlightened so that we may understand the hope of his calling and the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints and the exceeding greatness of his power to us who believe. When we have an understanding heart we are not devoid of any heavenly resources.

  1. Intercession

 Psalms 14:4 (KJV)  Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread, and call not upon the Lord.

People of the world try to eat up God’s people as they eat bread.  They do not call upon the Lord . God seeks for people who would call upon Him and stand in the gap. He looks for intercessors, who long for a revival and fresh touch from heaven.

Ezekiel 22:30 (KJV)   So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one.

The Lord reveals to Ezekiel, the cry of His heart, where He searches only for one man, just one to stand between Him and the land and plead for His mercy. This principle indicates our prayer life. We have a responsibility as children of God to pray and call on the name of the Lord, if we want to see His blessings over our church and nation.

  1. Understanding the presence of God.

 Psalms 14:5 (KJV)  There were they in great fear: for God is in the generation of the righteous.

When salvation comes from God , the enemy would be in fear. They would see for themselves the powerful presence of God being released in their lives. They see with their eyes the presence of God in the generation of the righteous.

 ‘God is in the generation of the righteous.’ That’s a beautiful statement and a very real truth as well. The Lord promised us His presence. Is Psalm 46 we see a great tumultuous atmosphere. The earth and hills are shaken. The oceans are roaring. Yet there is a river that makes glad the city of God. The river is in our hearts now as the Holy Spirit is an ever flowing river in our life. God is in midst of our lives and we will not be shaken though things around  us are falling.

Psalms 46:5 (KJV)   God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.

It is only His constant presence with us that makes all the difference. His anointing, like a river when it flows within us and through us, we can overcome all the attacks that the devil may bring against us.

  1. Finding protection and safety in the Lord.

 Psalms 14:6 (KJV)  Ye have shamed the counsel of the poor, because the Lord is his refuge.

 The Bible says blessed are the poor in spirit (Matthew 5:3) . No matter who we are ,the Lord looks for those poor in spirit because He is their refuge. King David, who had everything one could ever have says,

Psalms 34:6 (KJV)   This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.

When we are having a heart that doesn’t long for anything from His presence, we become devoid of every spiritual blessing. We should keep recognising our spiritual need for Him and when we do that He protects and safe guards us.

  1. Restoration from captivity.

 Psalms 14:7 (KJV)  Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! when the Lord bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad.

 The final and the most important principle we learn from Psalm 14- Restoration from captivity. The Lord promises to change our captivity, to restore all that the enemy has stolen from us and destroyed. He is ready to turn all our mourning into rejoicing.

Zechariah 9:12 (KJV)   Turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope: even today do I declare that I will render double unto thee;

Joel 2:25 (KJV)  “So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, The crawling locust, The consuming locust, And the chewing locust, My great army which I sent among you.

The Lord through these promises is able to give us the victory over everything that hindered our progress and render double for all that was lost in Jesus’ name.

 

CONCLUSION.

It is so easy to follow a foolish lifestyle; to live a life without the fear of God. However the consequences of such living are horrendous. The desperate prayer for salvation in Psalms 14 started with the very same mistake. It is up to us to live a life of faith; a life that will move the Hand of God to bring about salvation to our wayward world. Let us be the ones who would stand for God in a generation that tries to deny His existence. May we have these seven principles working constantly in our lives and may we witness His salvation.