Summary: When people emigrate to a new country, they leave everything familiar and start a new, different life. This is what Ruth experienced when she came with Naomi to Israel. But in doing so, there is much more she gained! As do believers when we trust in Christ, the topic of this sermon.
Sermon 3: Blessings of a New Life
June 23, 2019
NOTE: A PowerPoint presentation is available for this sermon by request at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please mention the title of the sermon and the Bible text to help me find the sermon in my archives.
TEXT: Please turn in your Bibles to Ruth 1.
Illus. – I have a pastor friend in the U.S. who, several years after his wife had died, met, fell in love with and proposed to a woman he met on a missions trip to El Salvador. He had not really thought out what that would mean for her if she said yes.
She was madly in love with him, but, she explained that she had never dreamed that one day she would be living in the United States. Her family, her friends, her life, her town, her belongings, were all in El Salvador. If she accepted his proposal, she knew her life would be dramatically different—they would move to the U.S.; she would have to leave behind everything and everyone she was familiar with; and she would start a new life all over again, one that would be different and sometimes strange.
That was what Ruth, the Moabite woman, faced in today’s story in Ruth 1. She too made a commitment to someone, and because of this commitment, her life too was dramatically changed, and she ended up going on a great adventure of a lifetime.
It all began one day when she met a foreigner from the land of Judah, and they ended up getting married. Unfortunately for her, her husband died before they had had any children. Her mother-in-law, Naomi, decided to return to her native land—to Bethlehem in Judah. Naomi urged her two Moabite daughters-in-law, Ruth and Orpah to stay in Moab with their families. Orpah started to go with Naomi, but decided to return to her people and her gods.
But Ruth was different. Let’s read what Ruth told Naomi in Ruth 1:16-17 – “And Ruth said, ‘Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for where thou goest, I will go; and where thou dwellest, I will dwell: thy people shalt be my people, and thy God my God: 17 Where thou diest, I will die, and there will I be buried. May the LORD do so to me, and more also, if anything but death parts thee and me.”
Ruth speaks to us of many important truths, but none is more evident in our passage than her loyalty and her decisive commitment. Her decision is a beautiful picture to us of the kind of decisiveness and commitment we should have in our faith in Jesus Christ and our Christian walk.
Illus. – Once there was a hen and a pig who became very good friends. One day as they strolled about the barnyard lot, the hen suggested that since they had never eaten breakfast together, they should do so the very next morning.
“Great idea,” replied the pig. “What will we eat?”
Thinking on it a minute, the hen said, “If each of us contributes something to the meal it will be more meaningful to each of us.”
“Fine,” said the pig, “and what do you suggest?”
Again, the hen stood as if in deep thought for a while and then said, “I have an idea, let’s have ham and eggs. I’ll provide the eggs and you the ham.”
“Hold on,” said the pig, “What you offer to contribute is the fruit of your labor, but what you’re asking of me requires TOTAL COMMITMENT!”
That’s what the Lord wants from us—total commitment. That’s what Ruth’s decision required to leave everything she had ever known to go and live in Bethlehem-judah with Naomi.
Brethren, living the Christian life involves great commitment and sacrifice. Oh, but it also involves great REWARD! Let’s not forget that. In this passage are represented five wonderful “new things” that a Christian receives when he or she accepts Christ as Savior. Let’s consider them this morning:
I. FIRST, RUTH RECEIVED A NEW PATH FOR HER FEET – Verse 16a – “…for where you go, I will go…”
When a person decides to follow Jesus, he or she trades lifestyles. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says “…if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation: old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
God does not want His children to live the same way as they did before they knew Christ! When Ruth moved to Bethlehem-Judah, she adopted a new lifestyle, new modes of dress, new attitudes about things and new cultural patterns. Like Ruth, we to enter a NEW PATH when we come to Jesus….
We don’t follow the paths of the world—we follow the path of Jesus.