6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: A sermon about how the hero people need can be found in Jesus Christ, and we can endure in the face of evil and trials.

INTRO: Video

* The Dark Knight is now the 2nd highest money maker grossing over 500 million

* Just beating the previous record holder Spider Man 3

* Perhaps there is such a draw (in an uncertain time.

* Because everyone really does want a hero

* And perhaps all of them deal with their own struggles and we relate to them

Maybe it's the question they are wrestling with because we wrestle with the same questions.

- The Church should be the world's hero.

Some questions...

1. What will we do with our hidden power?

ƒ{ Will you use your great gifts to help others or help yourself to money and power? In the Dark Knight, Batman and Gotham's Mob Bosses each chose the opposite answer to this all-important question.

ƒ{ But this question is not just for these fictional characters; this question confronts you every day. Will you lie, cheat and manipulate your way to becoming rich or will you work hard and trust the Lord for your prosperity?

2. Will you serve others or rule others?

ƒ{ Given their superior powers, every Superhero could instantly become a powerful ruler; but instead, each decides to fight the injustices in our wicked world.

ƒ{ Will you rescue people or ignore them as they cry out for help in your city? The reason Commissioner Gordon built the Bat Signal is because Batman was willing to respond when the city was in trouble.

3. Will you fight against evil or stand on the sidelines?

ƒ{ The superhero genre reminds us that the world will always have its nemesis..

ƒ{ Do we fight, or do we cower and hide in the safety and comfort of our homes or church bubble?

4. When trials become intense, will you give in or endure?

ƒ{ When the Joker devises a plan to murder one significant person in Gotham every day that Batman doesn't reveal his identity, Batman feels responsible for the deaths of good people. So Bruce Wayne decides to give in to evil in the clip "Endure".

ƒ{ Pastors quit all the time when they don't see growth or feel under-appreciated. Mission's leaders fold up their tents when the first few years of their enterprise doesn't yield fruit. (Tithing, Feed The Multitude, Living for God)

ƒ{ The rest of us stop ministering in the marketplace when we encounter pushback or rejection. But God challenges us to persevere and pray for the Lord of the harvest to send forth workers.

ƒ{ Endurance in the face of defeat is a great part of our legacy. "He never gave up" would be a worthy engraving on your headstone.

ƒ{ In a day when 1-10 Pastors, marriages, suicides, business

VIDEO: Wing Clips Endure

Real heroes are those who endure like a woman by the name of Ruth

Ruth 1:1 -- 16

* The events of Ruth happen during the days of the judges, what a contrast

* Judges --

„X Violence

„X Rebellion

„X Lawlessness

„X Famine

* In the midst of that Ruth (our hero)

* Obedience

* Faithfulness

* Loyalty

* Sacrifice

* Harvest

ƒ{ Let's consider Ruth's

* Tears

* Trust

* Testimony

I. Ruth's Tears

A. A Wrong Choice (vs. 1-5)

* It is tragic that there is a famine in Bethlehem

* Bethlehem = house of bread

* But Bethlehem is in a famine

* America is in a spiritual famine

* Instead of trusting God

* Elimelech took his family to Moab

* Elimelech = God is my King

* This is a wrong choice

* I've watched people leave church


o Not being fed

o But the chef can only cook

* You've got to feed yourself

* The greatest tragedy is to starve in a grocery store

* This happens to thrill seekers

o They don't want a balanced diet

o The want the latest religious craze

o They don't want the banks...

o ...they just want the river

* They were only going to stay a while

* The never got out / only Naomi

* Most never get back from a backslidden state

* The names of their sons reflect

* The condition of their hearts

1. Mahlon = sickly

2. Chilion = pining

= to bind or make one powerless

* Understand that the Jews were not to mix with the Moabites (Deuteronomy 23:3)

B. A Wrong Call (Vs. 6-18)

* Backslidden Naomi

o Trying to get back

o Makes a call -- (decision)

o Telling her daughter-in-laws to stay back

* There will always be voices that are out of the will of God saying "Go back".

* We must be aware of these voices:

o Don't give - - - go back

o Don't build - - - go back

o Don't work - - - go back

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