Summary: There is a certain excitement that comes with New Things. To some degree in our mind and hearts, we wipe from our mind and heart all the failures of the past year, all the heartaches and disappointments of the past year.
Philippians 3:13-14; it takes a big person to know what to forget and what to remember.
This being the first Sunday of the new year, I want to use the subject of the New Year for our message today.
There is a certain excitement that comes with New Things. True of material things, car, clothes, home, toys. It is also true of mental things, or mental attitudes. To some degree in our mind and hearts, we wipe from our mind and heart all the failures of the past year, all the heartaches and disappointments of the past year.
All the adversities and setbacks, all the things that just did not work. We begin new with a sense of excitement and anticipation of things being different and better with the new start. This is right!
Do you ever feel like you need a “fresh start” in life? Do you ever feel you need a new start spiritually? In the book of Ruth, we read of such a family that needed a new start with the Lord. Let me tell you the story then zero in on one young lady who started her life with some new things and see if we can learn from her today.
The book of Ruth begins in the town of Bethlehem. A man named Elimelech and his wife Naomi and their two sons. There came a famine to the land. There was no bread in Bethlehem. Instead of staying and trusting the Lord as others did, they packed up and moved to Moab. Elimelech had no intention of staying there. The Bible says he went to soldier. The word sojourn means, to turn aside from the road, as a guest.
1. Like many of us who wander off into the fields of sin, what we sometimes intend to be as sojourn ends up being a lengthy stay.
2. Another note, Elimelech did not transport his family to the land of Moab because the grass was greener there, he left because it was dry in Bethlehem.
3. Many people today leave God out of their life because of a dryness. There is a spiritual famine in their hearts, so they journey into the far country.
4. After they have been in Moab for a while, the two sons married Moabite women. These women were lost or unsaved.
5. as time passed, Elimelech died. Then the two boys died, leaving Naomi with her two daughters in law.
6. Finally good news came, the Lord had visited his people in Bethlehem and bread was there. The famine was over.
7. Naomi repented and headed home. She suggested Orpah and Ruth go back to their people. Verse 12.
8. Orpah kiss Naomi and left, while Ruth clung to Naomi. Ruth had a new beginning and it consisted of several new things.
I. New Determination. Verse 16
1. Ruth said, “Even though Orpah has gone back, I will not leave you.
2. Think with me, how many have turned back from following the Lord because someone else gave up. You can always give up.
3. John 6:66-68; Jesus faced those who were fainthearted.
a. Paul also said of Demas.
4. Naomi wanted Ruth to know the way was hard. 1:8: 11, 15.
a. when Naomi saw, that Ruth was determined to go with her she said no more to her.
b. Ruth 1: 18
5. Jesus wanted a man to know the cost of following him.
a. He challenges us.
b. Luke 9: 23
6. Ruth had many things against her:
a. all the influences.
b. Her sister in law's example.
c. Her childhood religion.
7. She had a great determination. She told Naomi that she would not leave her.
8. Will you start this year with a new determination?
II. A New Direction
1. Ruth was saying this is going to be my life's direction.
2. Ruth had never been that way before. It's a new direction in life.
3. It's a commitment that says Lord where you lead me, I'll follow.
a. Is that true of your life?
b. Is the Lord's interests your interests?
c. Is the Lord's direction your direction?
4. What was and is the Lord's interest and direction?
c. Luke 19:10
5. I would ask what direction is your life taking you?
a. Matthew 7:13-14, 24-26
b. are you doing anything at all to help people get saved?
c. Are you loving as the Lord loved?
d. Are you seeking at all?
6. Can you say to the Lord as Ruth said to Naomi wherever you go, I'll go?
a. That's a natural statement for one to say who really loves the Lord.
b. Mark 5:18