Sermon in a nutshell: “I Myself Will Redeem You!” (Ruth 3:7-18)

Sermon in a nutshell: “I Myself Will Redeem You!” (Ruth 3:7-18)
We are still reflecting on the ways to restore our blessings (or maintaining blessings) through the book of Ruth. Last Sunday, we talked about the sacrifices that many people made to bring blessings to others. We thought about the sacrifices that the patriots made for our country (celebrating Memorial Day), the sacrifices that the missionaries made for the people who needed Gospel through the guidance of the Holy Spirit (celebrating the Pentecost), the sacrifices that our parents made for the children who graduated from the schools (celebrating the Graduation Sunday), and the sacrifice that our Lord made for all of us. Through their sacrifices, our country was blessed, the people in Ecuador were blessed, the graduates were blessed, and we were all blessed.
However, here is the secret of the sacrifice! Ask to the patriots, they would say that their sacrifices were their privileges. Ask the missionaries, they would say that they would live the same life again and again because that was their joy! Ask the parents, they would say that their children brought more joy than suffering. Ask the Lord, it was the best thing that the Lord could die on the Cross for us! Sacrifices are the blessings also for those who make sacrifices!
When we make sacrifices, if we feel that they are burdens, do not do anything. Whether that is the volunteer work at church or giving offering, when we do not have joy of doing it will not be a blessing for us. It is a duty or obligation. It is a burden. It causes pain in us. However, when we do volunteer work with joy, it is a blessing. When we give offering with excitement, it is a blessing. I know one professor. He saves money during a week to give it to God on Sunday. Sometimes he skips Starbucks and put 2 dollars in the offering plate. Sometimes he eats cracker and gives his lunch money for the offering. So, every Sunday he waits for the offering time. One day, the church decided to omit the offering time because they have special music program for the worship. He was so disappointed that he could not give the money that he saved for the offering. Offering time was the best time in the worship service for him!
Read the book of Ruth for today. Here Ruth did everything that Naomi told her to do. She sacrificed her love and opportunity to meet her young lover but she did it with joy of serving her mother-in-law! Boaz confirmed her intention when he said, “All the people of my town know that you are a woman of noble character.” When Ruth thought about the benefit that Naomi would get through this marriage, it was her joy also.
As an orthodox Jewish man, Boaz also had to sacrifice his position in the Jewish community when he decided to marry a pagan Moabite woman. Still he was willing to do that to save those two helpless women, Ruth and Naomi. We also know that Boaz was a man of integrity when he said to Ruth, “Although it is true that I am a guardian-redeemer of our family, there is another who is more closely related than I. Stay here for the night, and in the morning if he wants to do his duty as your guardian-redeemer, good; let him redeem you. But if he is not willing, as surely as the Lord lives I will do it. Lie here until morning.” In that way, he honored the purity and pride of Ruth.
We can see also that Naomi concerned the well-being of Ruth first. She could not sleep at night. She may even pray for Ruth. When Ruth returned from the field, Naomi asked, “How did it go, my daughter?” When Naomi heard all that happened, she was happy and delighted.
Here is the Triangle of Caring and Blessing.
Boaz sacrifices his reputation and status as an orthodox Jewish leader.
He provides security and well-being for both Ruth and Naomi.
Blessing
Caring
Ruth sacrifices her opportunity to meet a young lover. Naomi sacrifices her pride and love for her son.
Ruth provides descendent for the Elimelech family Naomi provides a secure home for Ruth.
God wants us to have a blessed life. So, as God’s messenger, I want to give you some practical guidelines.
1. Find a small group and become a member of it. (Christ Care Group or UMW circle or Community Orchestra or Thursday Yard Crew or Bell Choir or Bible Study Groups that our church provides.) What are the small groups that you want to belong to?
2. Care for others and bless them. If necessary, sacrifice your time and money with joy and gladness. Who are the ones that need your care and blessing now?
3. The rest of it, leave it to God, trusting Him. What are the doubts and worries that block your faith and trust in God?

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About biblepreacher

United Methodist Church Pastor. My wife, Hysung Hong Lee, is also a UMC pastor and my children are all grown and have their independent life. We have now empty nest. I and my wife are collecting some mission eggs now in that nest!
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