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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!!

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Ruth-In the Field Of Grace

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

Ruth a beautiful character in the Bible tells us a glorious story of commitment and love. This book illustrates  how her life was changed, as she was committed to the God of Israel. God started writing the chapters of His blessing upon her life. God’s blessing rests on our commitment. She had a tragic start to her marriage ,yet God who noticed her commitment to His word brought a significant change in her life. In chapter two of Ruth we see her entering into the field of grace.

SERMON POINTS

Principles to Dwell in the Field of Grace:

1) Right Passion:

Ruth 2:2(KJV) And Ruth the Moabitess said unto Naomi, Let me now go to the field, and glean ears of corn after him in whose sight I shall find grace. And she said unto her, Go, my daughter.

Ruth was passionate about her family and she wasn’t ready to give up. Though she was a stranger in the land of Judah, she didn’t let it hinder her passion to go out. She was determined to do something new for her and her family.

Ruth teaches us a principle of passion in staying committed to the Lord. As Christians we should never be comfortable with the mundane things of the world but always initiate a passion to do something new for the Lord. Initiate to rise today and go to the field to glean and surely the Lord will spark favor and kindness into our lives.

2) Right Place:

Ruth 2:3(KJV) And she went, and came, and gleaned in the field after the reapers: and her hap was to light on a part of the field belonging unto Boaz, who was of the kindred of Elimelech. 

As Ruth had the right passion the Lord directed her steps to the right field of Naomi’s kinsman, Boaz. In our Christian faith there are no coincidences or probabilities as we are under the sovereign plan of God. Therefore, understand that when we have the right passion for the Lord, the right place of grace will come to us and when He puts it all together in the field of Boaz, we know that we are right place.

1 Corinthians 3:9 (KJV) For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.

We are all laborers in God’s farmland; the right place of the Mighty One of Israel. As we toil and sow seed it shall also bear much fruit because we are at the right place to find His provision and grace.

3) Right Person:

Ruth 2:4- 7 (KJV) And, behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said unto the reapers, The Lord be with you. And they answered him, The Lord bless thee. Then said Boaz unto his servant that was set over the reapers, Whose damsel is this? And the servant that was set over the reapers answered and said, It is the Moabitish damsel that came back with Naomi out of the country of Moab: And she said, I pray you, let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves: so she came, and hath continued even from the morning until now, that she tarried a little in the house.

Ruth was a stranger in the field of Boaz and it was not a coincidence that Boaz came to the field that day, but was a beautiful plan laid out by God. Through the story of Ruth, we know that when we are committed with the right passion for the Lord, He will initiate right Boaz’s in our life who would have favor upon us.

4) Right protection:

Ruth 2:9 (KJV)Let thine eyes be on the field that they do reap, and go thou after them: have I not charged the young men that they shall not touch thee? and when thou art athirst, go unto the vessels, and drink of that which the young men have drawn.

In the field of Boaz, Ruth found protection. Similarly, when we are in the field of God’s grace, the Lord sets His protection over His people. The word of God says in Luke10:18,19(KJV)And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

God has angelic protection over us and He has charged His angels to take charge over us in all our ways. Boaz is an image of our Lord Jesus who protects us from all dangers and harm.

5) Right Position:

Ruth 2:14 (KJV)And Boaz said unto her, At mealtime come thou hither, and eat of the bread, and dip thy morsel in the vinegar. And she sat beside the reapers: and he reached her parched corn, and she did eat, and was sufficed, and left. 

As Boaz invites Ruth ‘a stranger’ to dine with him ,she is positioned rightly to eat with him. Similarly, we were all foreigners in the things of God but Jesus in all His mercy and kindness called us to give us rest and feed us bread. As we accepted the invitation we are now rightly positioned with Him being given His spirit to call ‘Abba Father.’

Ephesians 2:13 (KJV)But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

Jesus, in His unfailing love called us when we were far were off and washed us in His precious blood and made us sit in heavenly places with Him. Today Jesus wants to minister to us and give us the right position so that our hunger is satisfied and He can give us rest. So are we willing to hear the invitation and rightly position ourselves today?

6) Right Provision:

Ruth 2:15-17 (KJV) And when she was risen up to glean, Boaz commanded his young men, saying, Let her glean even among the sheaves, and reproach her not: And let fall also some of the handfuls of purpose for her, and leave them, that she may glean them, and rebuke her not. So she gleaned in the field until even, and beat out that she had gleaned: and it was about an ephah of barley.

Ruth didn’t go home empty-handed that day.  She could gather an ephah of barley, a good provision from God. We might be going through some famine in our lives but remember God is changing the time and season in our lives and there will be a provision in the field of God.

Remember Jesus is our good Boaz who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us. Therefore, trust in Jesus and He will provide for us!

7) Right Praise:

Ruth 2:20 (KJV) And Naomi said unto her daughter in law, Blessed be he of the Lord, who hath not left off his kindness to the living and to the dead. And Naomi said unto her, The man is near of kin unto us, one of our next kinsmen.

When we receive a good tiding, we need to give Him the right praise. When Naomi saw Ruth, she praised the Lord God of Heaven. Naomi not only praised and worshiped God but also acknowledged His kindness upon her family. As Christians we need to live out a lifestyle of thanksgiving and praise, being vibrant Christians to thank God for the things He has done and for the things yet to come. Let our lives be filled with a rightful praise unto God.

CONCLUSION.

Ruth was committed and God led her to the field of Grace. She was passionate and devoted to her commitments and God wrote a beautiful story of blessing into her life. God laid out a plan and purpose for her life to find the right place, the right person who would protect, position, provide for her and she reflected a great testimony of God’s goodness in her life for people to praise and worship her God. Therefore, let us all take commitments to learn and embrace what Ruth embraced and let God be our good Boaz to lead, protect and help us through it all. May our lives reflect the goodness and faithfulness of God. We will become a testimony and people will praise God seeing the transformation He brings.

 

Ruth- A Story of Commitment.

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

Commitment is rarity these days. It is difficult to find someone truly committed and because of the lack of commitment marriages are broken; families are split, employees are disloyal and authorities have all gone irresponsible. In this world of perfidy, sham and faithlessness we thank God for the story of Ruth; a story of love and commitment! Even though Ruth was a Moabites,  yet her character in the bible  is profound. She chose to love, follow and stay committed in what she believed! The question today is how many of us can learn the important principles of commitment, loyalty and love and  practice it in our daily lives. God calls us to be committed to Him in various ways and where there is commitment there is a blessing!

SERMON POINTS

Ruth- a story of commitment

Four Things That we need to be committed to:

1) Stay Committed to the House of God.

Ruth 1:1 (KJV)Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons. 

We need to stay committed to the house of God. Commitment brings blessings. However, in the story of Ruth we see that Elimelech,  decides to move his family out of Bethlehem- ‘The house of bread’ because of the famine that came upon the land. Many of us are like Elimelech today, who can be defined as ‘situational believers’, shifting our focus, culture and lifestyle into a sensual culture away from the house of God.  Elimelech forgot the what God desired of his Abraham and Isaac when they faced the same. He forgot that the Lord is faithful and he took the knee jerk decision to go to Moab. Remember God will visit Bethlehem and would not abandon it. He defends the church and would stand by it. We should never have less commitment to the place where God has planted us.

2) Stay Committed to our Calling.

Ruth 1:2 (KJV)   And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehemjudah. And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there

Elimelech-means “God is my King”. Elimelech had to live up to his name. Instead of allowing God’s rule in every realm of his life, he led his family away from the house of bread to Moab-the land of sin. God has called us by His name. We are in Christ and the challenge is to hold on to Christ in time of crisis. We are called to be the servants of the King of kings and not the victims of circumstances. How do you live in your calling today? How are we reflecting the kingship of God in our personal and corporate lives.

The One who calls you is faithful, He will do it.

3) Stay Committed in Character.

Ruth1:8-9 (KJV) And Naomi said unto her two daughters in law, Go, return each to her mother’s house: the Lord deal kindly with you, as ye have dealt with the dead, and with me. The Lord grant you that ye may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband. Then she kissed them; and they lifted up their voice, and wept.

The meaning of Naomi is “pleasant one”. When unpleasant situations came her way, she was mindful of her daughters in law. She heard that God had visited Bethlehem and irrespective of the tragedies that came in her life, she decided to get back. There was a difference in the God of Naomi and the Gods of Moab. Naomi stayed true to her character. She chose not to be bitter with her daughters in law. She reflected a sound character irrespective of tragic situations.

Orpah means stiff necked and she chose to leave Naomi. Ruth however clung to Naomi. Ruth in hebrew means “beauty” and she was committed to her character. Its our character that determines our beauty.

4) Stay Committed to the Covenant.

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:

Ruth was determined to stay with Naomi and thereby made a covenant . This covenant is the cause for the existence of this book. This book and the subsequent sequence of events revolve around this covenant. Ruth made Naomi’s God as her God and heavens heard her. She said nothing would separate her from the God  in Naomi’s household except her death and therefore pleads with Naomi not to send her back. Ruth’s statement gives us a strong sense of commitment to reflect upon. Naomi had reflected a strong covenant with God which Ruth knew and hence. Naomi saw and heard the determination of Ruth and stopped convincing her to go back to Moab. This chapter starts with a tragedy but ends with a harvest as Naomi gets back to Bethlehem. Naomi becomes the talk of the town and Naomi attributed it all to Shaddai God-(ALMIGHTY). In every situation of our life we should never forget His sovereignty. He is behind every season of our life and we should be close to Him through it all.

CONCLUSION.

In these perilous times when everything is masked by falsehood, let us be beacons of the Lord committed to His house, to our calling staying rooted to our character in faith to the everlasting covenant. Ruth is an image of the gentile church being strong in faith and entering into the covenant with God. As New Testament believers let’s stay strongly committed to the Lord. He will usher in a harvest.