Summary: Does God direct our paths through life? Are there reasons for why things happen to us? This sermon answers those questions.

Divine Appointments

Ruth 4:1-22

I’m not going to begin by reading all the verses in Ruth chapter 4.

Today I stand before you as your pastor.

I am confident that it is all part of God’s plan for my life.

My calling as a preacher began in June of 1991.

However, God was at work in my life a long time before that.

My mother was born and raised in London, England.

My father was born and raised in the Browns and Bone Gap area.

When World War II broke out, Dad enlisted in the Army.

He was sent to London and that’s where he met my mother.

God had a plan for my life so He arranged for Dad to meet Mom

in that unusual circumstance.

They eventually got married.

When the War ended, the Army sent Dad home

and Mom came to America 5 months later.

I was their first-born son in 1948.

As a baby of just a month old,

I was christened at the altar in this church building.

On that day, Dad and Mom vowed to raise me in a Christian home.

They kept that vow and brought me to church every Sunday.

Here I learned all the Bible stories and verses.

I had a head knowledge about God and what the Bible says.

On Youth Sunday, the Methodist Church

asked me to preach the sermon.

When I became a teenager, I decided to quit going to church.

That bad decision led me to live a life not pleasing to God.

Over a period of 27 years,

I made more bad decision and went through bad marriages.

Then in 1975, I met Pat Brake.

She was a young widow grieving the death of her husband.

I was grieving over a divorce I didn’t want

and the loss of a 5 month old daughter.

Pat and I began spending time together.

Eventually we fell in love and got married.

Pat, too, had been raised in a Christian home.

In 1974, she started going to the House of Prayer

which led her to rededicate her life to the Lord.

She began praying for me

because I refused to go to church with her.

On March 16, 1988, I finally agreed to go with her.

That day, I asked Jesus to come into my heart.

Now, I had a heart knowledge of the Lord.

The Holy Spirit inspired me

to begin an aggressive study of the Bible.

They asked me to preach a sermon at the House of Prayer.

When my Uncle Melvin died,

the family asked me to preach his funeral.

That led to me being asked in June of 1991

to preach at a Baptist Church in Mt. Erie.

Eventually I became their pastor where I served for 10 years.

They closed the Bone Gap Methodist Church in May 0f 2001.

In August of that same year, I resigned at the Mt. Erie Church.

A group of people who left that church with me

decided we should start a new church.

Gospel Chapel was formed in September of 2001.

So here I am today 19 years later.

I know that is a strange, almost unbelievable story,

but I sure am glad that it all happened.

You see, God had a plan for my life from the very beginning.

Over the years, He arranged several Divine Appointments.

What many would be called chance encounters in my life

were actually divine appointments.

Throughout our lives we encounter many "divine appointments".

For the past few weeks we have been examining a love story

that began with a divine appointment.

For those who may have missed the previous sermons

here’s a quickly review a few of the circumstances

that led to the climax of Ruth and Boaz's story.

Due to a famine in Israel, Elimelech left Bethlehem-Judah

and moved his family to Moab.

Elimelech and his wife Naomi had two sons, Mahlon and Chilion.

Mahlon and Chilion both married Moabite women.

Eventually Elimilech and his 2sons died

leaving Naomi, Ruth and Orpah as widows.

Naomi and Ruth returned to Bethlehem poor and alone.

In order to find food, Ruth finds a landowner

who would allow her to glean barley in his field.

Boaz immediately took an interest in her

and did all he could to provide food for both Ruth and Naomi.

Naomi told Ruth that Boaz was related to her late husband

That meant Boaz was qualified

to act as Ruth's "kinsman redeemer".

Ruth approached Boaz one night and asked him to do just that.

Boaz was more than willing to do that,

but there was a problem.

There was another man who was a closer relative than he was.

As we arrive at chapter 4, Verses 1 through 6 tell us

Boaz meets this other kinsman to discuss the matter.

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