Sunday Morning 9/11/11

Posted by Sherry

STARTING OVER WHEN YOU DON’T FEEL LIKE IT

Ruth 1:1-22

CBC 9/11/2011 SM

I love a great come back...when the underdog is behind, then late in the game they come from nowhere and WIN!

You know what it takes to reach way down inside and muster up the fortitude to get up after being knocked down over and over.

That’s the story of the book of Ruth

1 In the days when the judges ruled in Israel, a severe famine came upon the land. So a man from Bethlehem in Judah left his home and went to live in the country of Moab, taking his wife and two sons with him. 2 The man’s name was Elimelech, and his wife was Naomi. Their two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem in the land of Judah. And when they reached Moab, they settled there.

3 Then Elimelech died, and Naomi was left with her two sons. 4 The two sons married Moabite women. One married a woman named Orpah, and the other a woman named Ruth. But about ten years later, 5 both Mahlon and Kilion died. This left Naomi alone, without her two sons or her husband.

Naomi and Ruth Return

6 Then Naomi heard in Moab that the Lord had blessed his people in Judah by giving them good crops again. So Naomi and her daughters-in-law got ready to leave Moab to return to her homeland. 7 With her two daughters-in-law she set out from the place where she had been living, and they took the road that would lead them back to Judah.

8 But on the way, Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go back to your mothers’ homes. And may the Lord reward you for your kindness to your husbands and to me. 9 May the Lord bless you with the security of another marriage.” Then she kissed them good-bye, and they all broke down and wept.

10 “No,” they said. “We want to go with you to your people.”

11 But Naomi replied, “Why should you go on with me? Can I still give birth to other sons who could grow up to be your husbands? 12 No, my daughters, return to your parents’ homes, for I am too old to marry again. And even if it were possible, and I were to get married tonight and bear sons, then what? 13 Would you wait for them to grow up and refuse to marry someone else? No, of course not, my daughters! Things are far more bitter for me than for you, because the Lord himself has raised his fist against me.”

14 And again they wept together, and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-bye. But Ruth clung tightly to Naomi. 15 “Look,” Naomi said to her, “your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods. You should do the same.”

16 But Ruth replied, “Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. 17 Wherever you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord punish me severely if I allow anything but death to separate us!” 18 When Naomi saw that Ruth was determined to go with her, she said nothing more.

19 So the two of them continued on their journey. When they came to Bethlehem, the entire town was excited by their arrival. “Is it really Naomi?” the women asked.

20 “Don’t call me Naomi,” she responded. “Instead, call me Mara,[a] for the Almighty has made life very bitter for me. 21 I went away full, but the Lord has brought me home empty. Why call me Naomi when the Lord has caused me to suffer[b] and the Almighty has sent such tragedy upon me?”

22 So Naomi returned from Moab, accompanied by her daughter-in-law Ruth, the young Moabite woman. They arrived in Bethlehem in late spring, at the beginning of the barley harvest.

5 STAGES GRIEVING PEOPLE GO THROUGH

  • Denial and Isolation
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Depression
  • Acceptance

Notice Naomi is returning to her home town “Bethlehem” - where our Savior was born

This is the story of REDEMPTION for us all!

Notice: 3 powerful principles for Starting Over When You Don’t Feel Like It:

FIND SOMEONE ELSE WHO IS HURTING AND BE A FRIEND TO THEM

  • If we just look out for ourself we will never experience spiritual fulfillment
    • Jesus said we need to love our neighbor as ourself (Mt 22:39)
    • Why did Ruth want to stay with her mother-in-law?
    • Naomi must have treated her like a daughter instead of a daughter-in-law
    • a very strong bond is displayed by this young woman leaving her own family & country for the “unknown”
    • Commitments are made when people love each other
    • Commitments are made and kept when we think of the welfare of the other person.
    • old Manilow song, “Where Do I Go From Here” ...”...you said that you’d stay with me through the years, now where do I go from here....”
    • Ruth knew the Naomi needed a friend.
    • God USES and BLESSES people who aren’t wrapped up in themselves all the time
    • We end up helping ourselves out of trouble when we help others out of trouble.
    • Jesus was always giving, unselfish & ministering to the needs of others
    • When you don’t feel like starting over, can’t get motivated, find a need in someone’s life and meet it.

SINCE YOU’RE GOING TO HAVE TO TAKE RISKS IN LIFE, TAKE SOME FOR GOD!

  • Orange personalities do this ever day, but the other 3 colors aren’t always big risk takers.
    • Most of you took a calculated risk by driving to worship service today (some walked)
    • Why not take some risks for the Savior who has done so much for us?
    • Most likely Naomi had filled Ruth in on information about the true and living God
    • The false gods of Ruth’s homeland hadn’t done her any favors over the years, so why not risk believing in Naomi’s God?
    • Sister-in-law didn’t want to take that chance
    • went back to the way “she had always done it”
    • resistance to change holds a lot of people back in life, especially in the area of true spirituality
    • Some folks don’t want to be bothered with the facts because they don’t want to risk change
    • It’s ok to risk change for God, Hebrews 11:6 ...He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.”
    • Ruth took the risk & if you read the rest of the story you’ll see that it paid off BIG!

EXPECT GREAT THINGS FROM GOD!

  • Ruth became the great-grandmother to King David
    • might not seem much at first glance but remember that God had decreed the blood line remain “pure” for the birth of the Messiah & Ruth was not a Jew, she was from Moab...go figure (read the details in the book of Ruth)
    • God knew you before you were ever born
    • He knows what’s going on in your life
    • You can expect great things from Him if you will take risks for Him like Ruth did & look out for the needs of others
    • We can’t make it to heaven on our own, we are sinners (OUTSIDERS) like Ruth was
    • But God is rich in grace & He loves to bless people
    • If we will invite Jesus into our heart & give Him a chance, there is not end to the great things God can do through us!

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