Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Ruth 4: Finale: The God of Love's Redemption Goes Beyond What We Ask for or Imagine + Saturday, August 20, 2016

"Whither Thou Goest (Ruth and Naomi)" by Sandy Freckleton Gagon

Liturgy for Saturday, August 20, 2016 Service | Book of Ruth Sermon Series Part 6

From Famine to Feast | Ruth 4 | The God of Love's Redemption Goes Beyond What We Ask for or Imagine Key Quotes

(1) RUTH: Audacious Trust because of a Great God: She didn’t have to be in control.

+ There is no hint of passivity in Ruth. God’s greatness doesn’t freeze her; it gives her the courage to be daring.

Rosa Parks: On a cold evening of December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks who had been taught to lover her enemies but not take any guff from them, audaciously trusted God on her way home in Montgomery, Alabama. “The only tired I was, was tired of giving in.” After released from prison, black leaders called a meeting at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church to begin a boycott of the bus system. After her day in court, there was a meeting held at Holt Street Baptist Church. Reverend Ralph Abernathy and other ministers decided to form the Montgomery Improvement Association and elected its first president, the 25-year-old Martin Luther King Jr. They presented their demands to the city commissioners and bus representatives for more courteous treatment, hiring black drivers for black neighborhoods, and a first-come, first-served seating rule, but with blacks still riding at the back of the bus and everything was still refused. Despite harassment from white officers, the community was able to boycott for 381 days. This effort demanded tremendous sacrifices, but they changed the law on November 13, 1956. She later walked in the historic March on Washington in 1963 and celebrated the 1964 Civil Rights Act that gave African Americans the right to vote and outlawed segregation in all public accommodations. The walk from Selma to Montgomery occurred in 1965, 10 years after Rosa stayed seated and President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act later that year. + from Eric Metaxas, 7 Women and the Secret to Their Greatness

God loves gutsy women who do not sway to Victorian shy fragility or post-modern outspoken touchiness that gets offended at every turn. This third way of femininity is humility joined with power, sensitivity with guts that gives life away to woman and man. She chose to be FAMILY to NAOMI.

Psalm 145:1 I will extol You, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever. 2 Every day I will bless You and praise Your name forever and ever. 3 Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and His greatness is unsearchable.

(2) BOAZ: Redeeming Love because of a Glorious God: He didn’t have to fear.

Ruth 4:1 “ … ‘Behold, the redeemer … came by … ‘ The word ‘behold’ suggests that the hidden hand of God is guiding these events. For the nameless kinsman-redeemer, without Ruth, he will fulfill the law, increase the size of his estate, and receive it all when Naomi dies. But with Ruth, he will be throwing money away and endangering his estate because her children will receive the land, not him. Boaz is willing to follow the rules, obey God’s law, and spend himself for love of God and neighbor. He chose to be a SERVANT to RUTH and NAOMI.

“The nearer kinsman exemplified the motivation behind legalism. He did no more than the law required, but his law-keeping was devoid of love. We surely cannot claim to love God and not keep His commandments; otherwise love becomes vague and ultimately self-defined. Even so, love may be no less than meticulously keeping the law, but it is far more. Love goes beyond the moral baseline of the law to self-sacrifice for the benefit of others. In addition to keeping the law so as not to harm others, love also includes seizing opportunities to promote the welfare of others, even at cost to oneself. + From Famine to Fullness by Dean Ulrich

“Boaz, God’s chosen kinsman-redeemer went beyond the law and voluntarily gave of himself for the benefit of others and ultimately for the advancement of God’s covenantal purposes. It is the promotion of God’s redemptive interests in a fallen world that a kinsman-redeemer embodied above all other legitimate concerns and ambitions. To anticipate the teaching of Jesus, the kinsman-redeemer was willing to sell everything for the Kingdom of God. By Boaz making everything available for God’s service, he demonstrated how much he wanted what God wants. “The story of Ruth is the story of hesed motivating beyond the letter of the law.” + From Famine to Fullness by Dean Ulrich

+ There is no hint of passivity in Boaz. God’s glory doesn’t freeze him; it gives him the courage to be daring.

Psalm 145:5 On the glorious splendor of Your majesty, and on Your wondrous works, I will meditate. 6 They shall speak of the might of Your awesome deeds, and I will declare Your greatness.

(3) NAOMI: A Risky Plan because of a Good God: She didn’t have to live unsatisfied.

This could be Naomi’s story entitled: The Story of Naomi: How the Extraordinary, Unstoppable Love of a Moabite Woman Not Only Redeemed a Family, but Taught a Nation to Love and Be a Light to Nations. A Loving Life by Paul Miller

The faithfulness of Ruth and Boaz favorably impacted Naomi and appeared to have restored her confidence in God and her place in the community. What Ruth exemplified and what Naomi learned is that trusting God’s providence means believing that God will use a string of seemingly unrelated events to accomplish his good purpose. It is trust in God’s promises that enables God’s people to remain constant in their faithfulness. Ronald M. Hals observes that God’s name most often appears in the prayers of the characters. God’s providence and His people’s prayers are combined in the book of Ruth. The days of judges are bleak, but God’s people may always call on a God who transcends the worst of times and delights in bringing good out of bad. From Famine to Fullness by Dean Ulrich

+ Because of Ruth and Boaz’s example, Naomi is discipled into no hint of passivity. God’s potential goodness despite previous pain and suffering doesn’t freeze her; it gives her the courage to be daring.

Psalm 145:4 One generation shall commend Your works to another, and shall declare Your mighty acts. 7 They shall pour forth the fame of Your abundant goodness and shall sing aloud of Your righteousness.

(4) OBED: A "Servant" born because of a Gracious God: He provided way to Messiah.

Psalm 145:8 The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. 10 All Your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord, and all Your saints shall bless you! 11 They shall speak of the glory of Your Kingdom and tell of Your power, 12 to make known to the children of man Your mighty deeds, and the glorious splendor of Your Kingdom. 13 Your Kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom, and Your dominion endures throughout all generations.

(5) Us: A dynamic Kingdom because of a Gracious God: Jesus is our Boaz and our Ruth. We need to be Boazes and Ruths like Him. But often we are the Naomis. And His plan of redemption gets even bigger for us.

We must ask the Jesus questions, “Who’s lonely? Who doesn’t fit in? Whom can I love?” We can create community. We can multiply self. We can live a thousand lives. You can’t beat love or out-humble it. You can’t suppress it because love is freely given no matter how someone treats you. If others are putting nails in your hands, you can forgive them. You can receive the curses and bless those who curse you. That’s the God of Love’s Redemption.

Psalm 145:14 The Lord upholds all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down. 15 The eyes of all look to You, and You give them their food in due season. 16 You open Your hand; You satisfy the desire of every living thing. 17 The Lord is righteous in all His ways and kind in all His works. 18  The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth. 19 He fulfills the desire of those who fear Him; He also hears their cry and saves them.

Life may go from bad to worse, but that does not stop God from bringing a dramatic turn of redemption. He is great. He is glorious. He is good. And He is gracious. And His people can be the same when they sacrifice their lives to be family, push into obeying His commands to be servants, and sing His praises as His ambassadors of His Kingdom.

Scripture is a vast tapestry of God’s creating, saving, and blessing ways in the world. The great names and stories can be intimidating. We may begin to think “Surely there is no way that I can have any significant part on such a stage.” But the story of the widowed, impoverished, alien Ruth is proof to the contrary. She is the inconsequential outsider whose life turns out to be essential for telling the complete story of God’s ways among us. The outsider Ruth was not born into the faith and felt no natural part of it – like many of us. But she came to find herself gathered into the story and given a quiet and obscure part that proved critical to the way everything turned out. + Eugene Peterson, The Message Study Bible

Eucharist | Thanking God for Communion with Christ and His Church

By Indelible Grace
Original by Charles Wesley
1742 A.D.

Arise, my soul, arise,
Shake off your guilty fears;
The bleeding sacrifice
On my behalf appears;
Before the throne my Surety stands,
Before the throne my Surety stands,
My name is written on His hands!

Arise (arise), arise (arise), arise
Arise, my soul, arise!
Arise (arise), arise (arise), arise
Arise, my soul, arise!
Shake off your guilty fears and rise!

He ever lives above 
For me to intercede;
His all redeeming love,
His precious blood, to plead; 
His blood atoned for every race,
His blood atoned for every race,
And sprinkles now the throne of grace!

Five bleeding wounds He bears;
Received on Calvary;
They pour effectual prayers;
They strongly plead for me:
"Forgive him, O forgive," they cry,
"Forgive him, O forgive," they cry,
"Nor let that ransomed sinner die!"

The Father hears Him pray,
His dear anointed One;
He cannot turn away        
The presence of His Son;
The Spirit answers to the blood,
The Spirit answers to the blood,
And tells me I am born of God.

My God is reconciled;
His pardoning voice I hear;
He owns me for His child;
I can no longer fear.
With confidence I now draw nigh,
With confidence I now draw nigh,
And "Father, Abba, Father," cry! 

Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. I sought the Lord, and He answered me and delivered me from all my fears. + Isaiah 60:1; Psalm 34:4

By Donnie McClurkin
2000 A.D.

Hail Jesus! You're my King!
Your life frees me to sing!
I will praise You all of my days!
You're perfect in all Your ways!

Hail Jesus! You're my Lord!I will obey Your Word!
Because I want to see
Your kingdom come!
Not my will, but Yours be done!

Glory, glory to the Lamb!
You will take us into the land!
We will conquer in Your name!
And proclaim that "Jesus reigns!"

Hail, hail! Lion of Judah!
How wonderful You are!
Hail, hail! Lion of Judah!
How powerful You are!

Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through out Lord Jesus Christ. + 1 Corinthians 15:57

By Sandra McCracken and Latifah Phillips
Original by Samuel Rodigast
1676 A.D.

Whatever my God ordains is right,
His holy will abides.
I will be still whatever He does 
And follow where He guides.

Sweet comfort, sweet comfort, 
Yet shall fill my heart. 
Sweet comfort, sweet comfort, 
Sorrow shall depart.

Whatever my God ordains is right,
He makes my feet to stand.
Though sorrow, need, or death be mine 
He holds me in His hand. (Chorus)

This bitter cup, I take it,
My fainting heart restored. 
So here I stand, unshaken, 
I trust upon the Lord. (Chorus)

He is my God though dark my road; 
He holds me, I shall not fall.
Whatever my God ordains as right 
To him I leave it all. (Chorus)

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. + Psalm 23:4-6

There is a Redeemer
By Keith Green
1982 A.D.

There is a Redeemer,
Jesus, God's own Son,
Precious Lamb of God,
Messiah, Holy One.

Jesus, my Redeemer,
Name above all names,
Precious Lamb of God,
Messiah, oh, for sinners slain.

Thank you oh my Father,
For giving us Your Son,
And leaving Your Spirit,
'Til the work on Earth is done.

When I stand in Glory,
I will see His face,
And there I'll serve my King forever,
In that Holy Place. (Chorus)

(Repeat Verse 1 and Chorus)

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. + Psalm 19:14

Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and His Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: “I am the first and I am the last; besides Me there is no god. + Isaiah 44:6

In Jesus we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace. + Ephesians 1:7

By Planetshakers
2013 A.D.

Hallelujah, You have won the victory!
Hallelujah, You have won it all for me!
Death could not hold You down!
You are the risen King
Seated in majesty,
You are the risen King!

By His stripes we are healed,
By His nail-pierced hands we're free.
By His blood, we're washed clean,
Now we have the victory.

The power of sin is broken,
Jesus overcame it all.
He has won our freedom,
Jesus has won it all. (Chorus)

Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. + 1 Corinthians 15:57

Our World Belongs to God 
Q&A 18, 2008 A.D.

Q. How does God respond to us
in our brokenness, sin, and need?

A. While justly angry,
God does not turn away
from our world bent on destruction
but turns to face us in His love.
With patience and tender care,
God set out as Jesus
on the long road of redemption
to reclaim the lost as His people
and the world as His Kingdom.

For God’s response to our sin, 
see Genesis 3:9-15, John 3:16,
and Luke 1:68-75; for the aim to restore
His Kingdom, see Revelation 11:15.

Jesus’ Prayer for His Disciples

Matthew 6:9-13

Our Father in heaven, May Your name be kept holy.
May Your Kingdom come.
May Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread
And forgive us our sins
As we have forgiven those
Who sin against us.
And don’t let us
Yield to temptation,
But rescue us
From the evil one.
(For Yours is the Kingdom,
The power and the glory forever. Amen.)


Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”—so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to us, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith. + Galatians 3:13-14

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