Sermon in a nutshell: Ruth 2:1-17 “She ate, was satisfied, and had left over.”
God wants us to enjoy a blessed life. God has provided everything that we need to have an abundant life. We need to restore God’s blessings for us in our lives. That is why we have studied the Book of Ruth and discussed the steps needed to restore our blessings.
The first step to restore our blessings is to come home to God, our Father, with humble confession. As long as we remain the masters of ourselves, God cannot come into our lives. We have to invite God into our lives and worship Him as our King and Master. Even though Naomi came back to her home- town, she did not worship God and complained about her life and blamed God. Naomi could not restore her blessings since she did not accept God as her King and Master.
The second step is to see what God places in our hands. Trusting God, we should examine carefully what is at our disposal and who is still with us. God has provided for us everything we need. Naomi had Ruth but she did not treat her as a valuable asset. She thought that because she lost her husband and two sons that she had lost everything. She should have noticed Ruth who was still by her.
The third step is to train our hearts to see the value of the people who are still around us and of the things that we still have. We have to train our hearts to respect elderly parents and to value immature children. We have to train our hearts to embrace the value of people of different culture and races. Naomi could not see the value of the Moabite daughter-in-law whom God had chosen for God’s story!
Now, this week, we will discuss the fourth step towards the restoration of our blessings. To restore our blessings, we can create small acts of kindness from the resources that we have. Whether that is the two coins (Mark 12:42; Luke 21:2) or a small portion of flour and oil (1 King 17:15), we can share it with others and participate in God’s blessings and story.
Ruth also did a small act of kindness for her mother-in-law. She went out to the fields to pick up the leftover grains. That was the only thing that Ruth, a pagan widow, could do for her mother-in-law. She hoped for enough grains for her mother-in-law and herself. However, God had planned more than Ruth expected. Naomi had a relative on her husband’s side, a man of standing from the clan of Elimelech, whose name was Boaz. Ruth happened to be in Boaz’s field! And then Boaz arrived from Bethlehem! What a timing and coincidence to the eyes of the non-believers! (It was God’s providence!)
Even though Ruth did not expect much, she worked hard. The workers in the field witnessed that. She came into the field and remained there all day, except for a short rest in the shelter. People recognized her faithfulness and confirmed her integrity. People wanted to help her! That is the beginning of the restoration of blessings!
In the Bible Boaz said to Ruth, “My daughter, listen to me. Don’t go and glean in another field and don’t go away from here. Stay here with the women who work for me. Watch the field where the men are harvesting, and follow along after the women. I have told the men not to lay a hand on you. And whenever you are thirsty, go and get a drink from the water jars the men have filled.”
Why did Boaz show favor to Ruth? Ruth had the same question. She asked him, “Why have I found such favor in your eyes that you notice me —a foreigner? ” Do you know what Boaz said to Ruth? Boaz replied, “I’ve been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband —how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before. May the Lord repay you for what you have done! May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge! ”
In other words, God rewards those who relate to other people with integrity and faithfulness. God shows favors when we initiate small acts of kindness to those around us. We can start with our family and friends. Then we can expand the circle to include others.
Now Ruth had more than she expected. At mealtime Boaz said to her, “Come over here. Have some bread and dip it in the wine vinegar.” When she sat down with the harvesters, he offered her some roasted grain. She ate all she wanted and had some left over. As she got up to glean, Boaz gave orders to his men, “Let her gather among the sheaves and don’t reprimand her. Even pull out some stalks for her from the bundles and leave them for her to pick up, and don’t rebuke her.” So Ruth gleaned in the field until evening. Then she threshed the barley she had gathered, and it amounted to about an ephah.
An ephah of grain is enough for two adult women to eat for a week. Ruth tried to pick up left over grains daily but God provided her with one week’s food. However, that was not the end of her story. Many more blessings were in store for her. We will continue to talk about it later.
Today, however, we will share some stories of our mothers. Three of our church members will come forward and read letters to their mothers. We rejoice as we hear these speakers gleaning from the fields of love and experience given by their mothers. I pray that God bless all children who glean from their mother’s fields and make their lives abundant. When the church members read their letters to their moms, you can pray for your own mother and write your own letter in your heart. Or you can actually write a letter to your mother when you go home. “Mom, today at church, I heard someone reading a letter to his/her mother. I also want to write a letter to you. How wonderful you are… That would be a small act of kindness that you can do right now.
- What is a small act of kindness that you can do now with the resources that you have?
- Who would be the beneficiary of that kindness?