Ruth: Sudden Redemption

Ruth: Sudden Redemption Sermon Audio Here

Ruth 3:7-13

Have you ever found yourself In over your head, with no idea how you’re going to get help? Ruth did, and shows us a great example of what we can do…

How Can God’s People Navigate Their Need?

Ruth Takes a Risk ~ Ruth 3:1-8

  • v1-6 summary: Naomi knows Boaz is extended family; he might be persuaded to care for Ruth
  • v7 teaching: uncovered his feet (legs);
  • Ruth puts herself in a situation to demonstrate her need
  • v8 he wakes up; legs are cold? Boaz responds to situation

Ruth Dares to Request ~ Ruth 3:9-11

  • v9 “your servant” (‘AMAH’, Jewish, instead of ‘foreigner’ 2:10);
  • ~ “spread your garment” (in 2:12 for God’s refuge);
  • ~ “kinsman-redeemer” (re: transfer of LAND, to keep in family)
  • Ruth boldly asks to be protected and cared for
  • v10/11 Boaz sees her request to be “covered” as a kindness;
  • she’s asking on behalf of Naomi as well as herself;
    Ruth’s request reflects her unselfish motives

Boaz Bargains for Ruth’s Benefit ~ Ruth 3:12-13

  • v12 Boaz knows there’s someone with a closer claim on Naomi’s husband’s land; Boaz doesn’t take advantage
  • v13 I’ll make sure you’re covered, one way or another; Boaz promises Ruth she’ll be cared for

SO WHAT? When we find ourselves in difficulty, what can we do? Like Ruth, we can take a risk by showing we’re in need. Like Ruth, we can dare to ask for help instead of trying to go it alone. And when faced with a needy situation, like Boaz, we can step up and work to find solutions… and sometimes, we ARE the solution ourselves.

Ruth: Rewarded in Refuge

Ruth: Rewarded in Refuge ~ no Sermon Audio available

Ruth 2:8-16

How is Ruth rewarded in the midst of dire circumstances? Through the actions of a kinsman-redeemer, she is supported and sustained. Learning how Ruth receives these rewards can help us be better receivers ourselves.

To Receive from a Redeemer,

Recognize His Right To Support – Ruth 2:8-11

  • summary of 1-7: introduction of Boaz, relative of Naomi’s husband – “a man of standing”
  • v8 Boaz offers protection
  • v9 Boaz offers provision
  • v10/11 When Ruth asks why, Boaz offers understanding

Believe in His Ability To Bless – Ruth 2:12-16

  • v12 Boaz offers blessing (“May the Lord…” )
  • v13 Boaz offers comfort
  • v14 Boaz offers sustenance
  • v15/16 Boaz offers a covering (for her inexperience)

The challenge when reading narrative is to assume that God is bound to do the same things for us that He has done for others in the text. Our goal: not to focus on our circumstances, which always change; rather,to focus on God’s faithfulness, which does not change.

Think of what Jesus, our Redeemer has done for us: He protects us from a lost eternity; He provides everything we need for spiritual growth; He understands our weakness and doesn’t hold it against us; He blesses us with His Word; He comforts us with the Holy Spirit; He sustains us by His loving will; and He covers us with His own blood to mark us as His own.

Ruth: Unexpected Loyalty

Ruth: Unexpected Loyalty Sermon Audio Here

Ruth 1:6-14

For the next four weeks, we’ll be looking at the small book of Ruth. What is it about this woman that still speaks to us today, especially in times of transient love and temporary relationships?

What Does It Mean To Join A Family?

Concern Is Demonstrated – Ruth 1:1-15

  • v1-5 setup of the book: Jewish family moves to Moab because of famine; all the men die, women are stuck
  • v6-9 Naomi (Mom) decides to move back to Judah, but tells her daughters-in-law to remarry locally and survive
  • v10-12 Mom insists they leave her and go back home in Moab to live
  • v11-13 Naomi points out that Jewish law will not provide for them; they need to remarry to survive
  • v14-15 Orpah agrees and leaves; Ruth will not leave Naomi.

Loyalty Is Declared – Ruth 1:16-18

  • v16 Ruth’s declaration of loyalty, part 1:
    • going: willingness to join in the unknown
    • staying: choosing to build life together
    • community: recognition of belonging together
    • faith: reverence for religious relationship
  • v17 Ruth’s declaration of loyalty, part 2:
    • death: lifelong commitment to be shown
    • covenant: inclusion of God’s standards

The close of the chapter shows Naomi changing her name to Mara, because she’s bitter about what has happened to her and her family. And yet, by her side is Ruth, willing to live out her days with the family she’s joined, in good times and in hard times. This is our call as well: to show a watching world what faithfulness and loyalty looks like.

The JV Team: An Unlikely Savior – Rahab

The JV Team: An Unlikely Savior – Rahab Sermon Audio Here

Joshua 2:1-6/James 2:24-26

We’ve all heard about instances where Christian leaders do something awful, and it brings shame to the whole community of faith. But have you ever considered the other side of the coin?

When Sinners Act Like Saints:

What Do Their Actions Demonstrate?
Joshua 2:1-6 When we read this story, all we specifically see in Scripture are the actions taken by Rahab.

  • But our challenge is to understand that although history judges Rahab’s actions based on faith, we might sometimes have a hard time extending that same privilege to others today. We tend to judge ourselves by our intent: by our own motivations. Since we can’t see the motivations of others, we’re stuck with viewing only their actions. And let’s be honest: don’t we tend to give ourselves a “pass” based on our internal motivations, and others a “fail” based on their mere actions when something happens that we don’t understand?

What Do Their Motivations Teach?
James 2:24-26

  • v24 this justification is not towards God, but towards others; God knows the contents of our hearts, but He’s the ONLY ONE WHO DOES; our faith must result in action for it to have meaning in God’s Kingdom
  • v25 Rahab’s example: an “unrighteous” person (based on her reputation) is CONSIDERED righteous because of her actions in God’s economy
  • v26 we cannot live in compartmentalized faith: it must be joined with real world activity to be functional and whole

If we could hear Rahab herself explaining what she might have been thinking, would it make a difference in how we understand how an “unrighteous” person can be used by a righteous God?

The JV Team: Little Brother, Big Impact – Jude

The JV Team: Little Brother, Big Impact – Jude Sermon Audio Here

Jude 1:1-7

Matthew 13:55: “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? ~ Jude was Jesus’ brother, but didn’t glory in that relation. Why not?

Jude’s Humility Reminds Us We’re To Be

Compelled by the Call, not Position (Jude 1:1-4)

  • v1 servant to Jesus, brother to James
  • v2 a particularly helpful reminder when Christians face difficult times: may you have Mercy, Peace, Love multiplied
  • v3 “urge you to contend” MORE IMPORTANT for those who have been called
  • v4 Jude reminds us: we CANNOT allow cheap grace to undermine our faithful
  • cheap grace: the idea that since we know God is all-forgiving, then we can just go ahead, disregard God’s call for holiness, and live however we want because we know God is predisposed to forgive.
  • Bonhoeffer: “cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline. Communion without confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ.”
  • Keep in mind: I, {Ed} am not chewing you {Warden Community Church and blog readers} out for this: we are together reading Jude’s warning to early Christians. If we find echoes in our own lives, we’d be wise to pay attention to the solutions brought up in Scripture.

Called to Caution, not Permission (Jude 1:5-7)

  • v5 We MUST NOT assume that family connection can substitute for faith: Jude, Jesus’ brother, knows this better than anyone!
  • v6 Angels have NO FAITH: they stood in God’s presence directly with knowledge and invested authority and they STILL decided to go their own way; if THEY who knew directly will be judged, won’t we?
  • v7 NOTICE “gave themselves up” to be tempted is NOT a foregone conclusion to sin!

We do not NEED to fail in holiness, that’s NOT a foregone conclusion. Jude’s warning is to CHOOSE to stand against cheap grace, lazy living, and groundless faith. Ephesians 3:17-19: And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge– that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

The JV Team: Secretary and Scribe – Baruch

The JV Team: Secretary and Scribe – Baruch Sermon Audio Here

Jer. 36:1-8/Col. 3:13-17

Background on Baruch – a learned well-connected man, brother to the chamberlain/chief of staff for King Zedekiah, he was willing to help Jeremiah speak to a nation in turmoil.

How Can We Speak To People In Trouble?

By Knowing Baruch’s Bias
Jer. 36:1-8

  • v1/4 Baruch willing to be a helper: wrote down Jeremiah’s prophecy
  • v5/8 Baruch willing to take a risk: delivered Jeremiah’s message to a hostile crowd

By Showing a Risky Response
Col. 3:13-17

  • v13 take the risk of forgiveness- let go of the right to be offended
  • v14 take the risk of loving above all- love is an ongoing choice, not a feeling
  • v15 take the risk of peace- preempt rising agitation
  • v16 How to do that? By allowing Jesus’ words to take the lead in our lives
  • v17 The result of this risk-taking? We do what we do in Jesus’ name with thankfulness

Baruch served Jeremiah through the fall of Jerusalem, and was carried away into exile with the prophet. He was helpful; he was a risk-taker; and most importantly, he was faithful to serve the Lord in times of trouble. May we be found to do the same.

The JV Team: Dr. Details – Luke

The JV Team: Dr. Details – Luke Sermon Audio Here

Luke 1:1-4

We spent 30 weeks going through the Gospel of Luke, looking at details that were noticed. But did we notice Luke himself? What example does Luke the person set for us today?

By Looking at Luke, We Learn

A Different Perspective about God
A Gentile view of a Gentle Savior

  • 1) Gentile who came to faith by Paul’s preaching (not raised in faith)
  • 2) Doesn’t mention himself by name; does use WE to indicate his own experiences
  • 3) writes from a Gentile standpoint; the only writer in the New Testament to do so – and specifically wrote them to persuade people of Jesus’ identity as the Son of Man, the chosen one of God.
  • Luke describes Jesus as the ultimate human: warm, compassionate, able to meet people’s needs through both miraculous works and mundane presence.

Indicators About God’s Work
Luke 1:1-4 why focus on details?

  • v1 they point to God’s promises as FULFILLED
  • v2 God’s promises are HANDED DOWN (intentionally passed on)
  • v3a God’s work should be RELIABLY INVESTIGATED
  • v3b God’s work should be CLEARLY SHARED
  • v4 God’s work can be CAREFULLY VERIFIED

Luke’s perspective noticed details to God’s glory; how does your view of God shape your role in God’s Kingdom?

Pastor Ed Backell

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  • ...dare to ask for help instead of trying to go it alone. And when faced with a need like Boaz, we can step up & work to find/BE a solution. 4 days ago
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