Sunday, September 1, 2019

The Providence of God in Redemption - Love's Resolve Part 2

Temple Baptist Church - 9-1-2019
Ruth 1:14-22


A.  Last week, we saw Ruth’s resolve in verses 14-17. 

1.  Ruth chose the right way.  “Whither thou goest, I will go.”  Salvation is a change of direction.  Ruth had been given the easy choice of returning to her people but chose the harder path of following Naomi to a land where she had never been.  “I have decided to follow Jesus; I have decided to follow Jesus; I have decided to follow Jesus; no turning back, no turning back.”

2.  Ruth chose the right lodging.  “Where thou lodgest, I will lodge.”  Salvation is a changed life.  Living a life for Christ, not “lodging” with the world. 

3.  Ruth chose the right people.  “Thy people shall be my people.”  Salvation is an identification with the people of God.   not the people of the world.

4.  Ruth chose the right God.  “Thy God my God.”  Salvation is all about the true and living God.  The “god of this world” blinds the minds of those who chose not to seek Christ but the true and living God illuminates the minds of those who come to Him by faith.

5.  Ruth chose the right future.  “Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried.”  Salvation is such a live choice.  People are given the choice to either follow the things of the world and remain in a lost condition or to follow the Lord in the things of God and be saved.  “I’d rather have Jesus than silver and gold; I’d rather have Jesus than riches untold; I’d rather have Jesus than anything this world affords today.”

B.  Look at verses 18-19.  “When she (Naomi) saw that she (Ruth) was stedfastly minded to go with her, then she left speaking unto her.  So they two went until they came to Bethlehem.”

1.  Here in Ruth, chapter 1, we find the First Mention of “stedfast” in any form.  Ruth was “steadfastly minded.”

2.  The Last Mention of “stedfast” in any form is found in 2 Peter 3:17:  “Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.”

3.  Here, we find the possibility of falling from steadfastness. 

C.  Many people begin the journey, but only a few complete it. 

1.  “Change and decay in all around I see” can be applied to so-called “Christianity” in our day.  So many people claim to be saved but never live for Christ. 

2.  They walk the aisle and pray the prayer but never experience the true conversion that both demands and commands our lives.

D.  Ruth was “stedfastly minded” and never looked back.  Steadfastness takes three things:

1.  It takes A Real Conversion.  Born again!   Saved!  Converted!

2.  It takes A Real Conviction.  The only life worth living in the light of eternity is a life lived for Christ.

3.  It takes A Real Commitment.  Despite the circumstances that may one day shroud our way:  NO TURNING BACK; NO TURNING BACK!

E.  A verse of Scripture comes to mind when I read this account of Ruth’s steadfastness.

1 Corinthians 15:58  Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

F.  Steadfastness takes BOTH Commitment and Resolve!  It is moment by moment as the child of God faces hardship and uncertain days.

1.  Ruth was steadfast in her Commitment to a New Direction.  She is willing to follow Naomi wherever she goes. She is willing to leave Moab behind forever, cutting all ties to her old way of life. 

2.  Ruth was steadfast in her Commitment to a New Leadership.  She is willing to submit to Naomi and to allow Naomi to guide her life. This is seen in the various times that Naomi gives Ruth advice concerning the manners and customs of Israel.

3.  Ruth was steadfast in her Commitment to a New Life.  She is willing to give up all the old ways of Moab and to conform her life to the way people live in Israel. She is ready to make a dramatic change in her life, conforming her life to a new life in Christ.

4.  Ruth was steadfast in her Commitment to a New Family.  Ruth’s family will now be a new one as she becomes one with the Nation of Israel.  She is ready to claim a new lineage.

5.  Ruth was steadfast in her Commitment to the True God.  This is perhaps the greatest statement Ruth makes. She is willing to give up the gods of Moab and follow the true and living God of Israel. This statement is her declaration of faith in Jehovah God.

6.  Ruth was steadfast in her Commitment to a New Future.  She tells Naomi that she is willing to commit to this new plan for life for as long as she lives. She even invokes the curse of God upon her life if she lets anything, but death come between her and the commitment she has made (Verse 17).
Conclusion:  Ruth’s commitment to a new life, both physical and spiritual, should be a pattern that God’s children also follow.  

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