Summary: From the life of Ruth we discover helpful principles to apply faith to the challenges of everyday life.
Faith to be a Risk Taker
My message this morning is about a young woman that had faith to be a risk taker.
Have you moved to a new area where you didn’t really know anybody except those moving with you. Moving and making new friends and adjusting to a new area are challenging opportunities.
My first move was from Gypsum, KS to Sterling Kansas. I had lived in Gypsum for 14 years and now was moving to Sterling, KS. I was moving to a larger town. Gypsum, population 500 to Sterling, population 2,000.
My parents were separated and I was starting my first year in High School. I felt alone. I was bewildered. My mother had a second grade teaching position in Sterling. She felt she had to move out of small Gypsum and separate from my Dad because he was not being faithful to their marriage. Moving under those circumstances was not easy. My heart was heavy. We moved in August and In October of that year I yielded my life to Jesus and became a Christian. With the Lord’s help I made it through High School as a new Christian.
The story of Ruth and Naomi’s move from Moab back to Bethlehem was also a move that was filled with challenge. Ruth’s mother-in-law (Naomi) and father-in-law (Elimelech) and two sons (Mahlon and Kilion) had moved to Moab during a famine in Canaan. While living in Moab the two sons married Moabite women – Orpah and Ruth.
We aren’t told the circumstances but Naomi’s husband died, and her two sons also died leaving Naomi, Orpah and Ruth as widows.
Naomi learned that were no longer a famine in Judah so she decided to move back to her homeland. Naomi packed up her belongings and started out with her two daughter’s-in-law to travel back to Judah. Then she turned to them and said: “Go back, each of you, to your mother’s home. May the Lord show kindness to you, as you have shown to your dead (husbands) and to me. May the Lord grant that each of you will find rest in the home of another husband.”
You can’t fault Naomi for wanting to move back to her homeland to be near her relatives. Many of you have experienced the loss of a loved one. It’s not easy living alone. Naomi decided to take charge and make a move. She encouraged her daughters-in-law to stay with their own people and find a husband to provide for their needs.
Naomi kissed Orpah and Ruth and said “goodbye,” and started on her journey. After some persuasion Orpah turned around but Ruth Faith to Be a Risk Taker
clung to her and did not turn around. Naomi said, “Your sister in law is going back to her people and to her gods. Go back with her.” Ruth answers in the classic verse chapter 1:16,
“Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.”
From this story of Ruth we can draw several observations concerning faith.
1. Faith is a choice
2. Faith is a commitment
3. Faith is an adventure
I. Faith is a Choice
Ruth made a choice to go with Naomi to a strange land where she had never been before. She had faith to be a risk taker.
Ruth must have seen something in Naomi’s life that she did not see in other Moabite women. Naomi’s faith in her God was different from Moabite gods. Ruth liked what she saw in the life of her mother-in-law. Ruth was determined to leave the pagan gods of her people and follow the true Creator God worshipped by Naomi. Ruth saw true faith in action. She saw how Naomi responded to the death of her husband and two sons. Naomi did not harbor bitterness, but by faith trusted God for her future.
Faith is a choice. You chose to take God at His Word and act accordingly. You chose to believe on the evidence you see.
Faith is not a feeling it is a choice. You might say, “I don’t feel like getting up today. I don’t feel like going to work. I don’t feel like going to church. I don’t feel like (you fill in the blank). You often choose to act regardless of how you feel.
Jesus always gave people a choice. Jesus said, “If you will come after me…” Jesus always gives you an “If.” To follow Jesus is a choice.
Do you remember a time in your life when you experienced faith –when you made a choice to take a risk?
#My Junior year in college I made a final decision and said “Yes” to God’s call on my life and changed my major to Christian Ministry. I met Carollyn in the Fall of my Senior year and we were married the following August 22nd. A couple weeks later the first of September we moved to Wilmore, Ky pulling in a 4 X 6 traile with all our things, rented a 8’ by 24” trailer home with a 7 foot ceiling and started our married life in Wilmore, KY. Totally in love and open to following God’s Plan. We moved over 1,000 miles form family and friends. My first year in Seminary Carollyn finished her final year of college. Life wasn’t easy but we made it. We exercised faith – we made the move and trusted God to provide.