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.
a. Galatians 6:9
b. Deuteronomy 20:1-8
c. Proverbs 24:10
3. John 6:66-68; Jesus faced those who were fainthearted.
a. Paul also said of Demas.
b. 2 Timothy 4:10
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?
a. Matthew 4:18-19
b. John 15:12-14
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
7. when Ruth followed Naomi, she made it her life's direction.
8. You can have direction in this life. You do not have to be drifting without any direction. Jesus says come to me and follow.
9. A new determination leads to a new direction which leads to:
III. A New Dependence
1. Ruth was saying, I'm going to trust you Naomi to supply my basic needs.
2. Ruth had no place to lay your head. She was simply trusting in Naomi.
3. Who or what are you trusting in today? Psalm 37:25
4. I wonder are we really depending upon God?
a. Abraham was. Genesis 22
b. Elijah was. 1 Kings 18
c. Daniel was. Daniel 1
d. the three Hebrew children were. Daniel 3:16-18
5. who are we depending upon to keep our:
a. family safe.
6. God says in 1 Peter 5:7, to cast all your Care him.
7. Hebrews 11:7
8. I want you to know you can depend upon God.
a. His power.
b. His promises.
c. His provision.
d. His protection.
IV. A New Desire
1. Ruth was saying there will be nothing between us. We will live in sweet fellowship.
2. Do we really desire to fellowship with the people of God?
3. Who are your closest friends? Who do you enjoy being around?
4. Do you enjoy the preaching services? Wednesday night Bible study? Youth camps, revival services.
a. Have you ever come early just a fellowship?
b. Do you ever stay late to fellowship?
V. A New Devotion
1. What is decision for Ruth to make.
a. Her past was against her.
b. Her present was against her.
c. Her future would be against her.
2. Ruth was giving up all she knew to follow Naomi’s God.
3. Are we willing this year to forsake all and follow the Lord? Mark 10:28-31
4. if we have the right devotion to God, we must put the Lord first.
a. Matthew 6:33
b. Luke 14:25-33
VI. A New Dedication
1. Ruth was saying, this is for life. Wherever you die, I'll die.
2. Ruth was saying, I'll not turn back.
VII. A New Destiny
1. Do you see what Ruth was saying? Not even death can separate us.
2. Romans 8:35-39
3. Ruth went home with Naomi and became the bride of Boaz, Because of ruth's new things. God blessed her and met every need that she ever had.
4. Through Ruth came our Lord Jesus. My what a privilege.
5. This coming new year, will you be a kisser or a clinger?
a. Will you be an Orpah: go back?
b. Or will you be a Ruth with a:
a. new determination.
b. New direction.
c. New dependents.
d. New desire.
e. New devotion.
f. New dedication.
g. New destiny.