Summary: John made the statement that he wasn’t worthy even to unloose the latchet of Jesus’ sandals
" Take off thy shoes"
Many times in the last few years I’ve questioned in my heart the mercy Christ has given me by my salvation and the great honor bestowed on such an undeserving man as me to preach the gospel. My heart sometimes almost breaks when I realize that the Creator of the Universe loves me with an unconditional love and gave his life on Calvary’s cross for me. Today I want to expound about the free gift of grace to salvation shown to a little boy who grew up in a depraved and sin ravaged family on the streets of Biloxi Mississippi. Yet I would share with you from the beginning of this message that there is no need for pity because GOD RESCUED THE BOY TO STAND ON THIS HOLY GROUND MY FEET REST UPON! I would choose instead to inspire you to greater works and if you can hear the sound of my voice today to encourage you. Be encouraged my brothers and sisters because no matter how worthless you may think you are, no matter how many times you’ve been kicked and ridiculed, no matter how outcast and ostracized you may feel…
YOU HAVE A LIVING HOPE BENEATH THE SHADOW OF THE ALMIGHTY! CHRIST JESUS THOUGHT YOU WERE SO PRECIOUS THAT HE GAVE HIS LIFE FOR YOU ON A ROUGH HEWN CROSS TO PURCHASE YOUR SALVATION.
YOUR KINSMAN REDEEMER LIVES!
At a time in history there was a woman who lost every hope and every dream she ever had to comfort her at night in a little cemetery in the hillsides of Moab. Naomi had the distinct displeasure of losing not only her husband but also her only two sons to unknown causes. The day the funeral director shoveled the last spadeful of dirt on her family, he buried all her hopes and dreams.
Yet as hopeless as her life seemed, as empty as her situation seemed to the eyes of the world, God had provided her with a shoulder to help bear the burden in the person of her daughter in law, RUTH.
1. Ruth’s physical appearance is not adequately described in the scripture for we aren’t told of any great beauty or any fine sophisticated manners or social graces
2. We are however spoken to about her heritage for she is called in the word of God a MOABITESS of the land of Moab
a. Numbers 22 begins to tell a story of enemies and curses
b. Balak was a king who chose to curse Israel through Balaam the prophet
c. Numbers 25 shares the outcome of the Moabites on Israel through whoredoms and witchcraft at the alter of Baal-peor and how God’s people were polluted by the Moabite women
1. Ruth walked into racism and detestability when she chose to go back to her husband’s homeland because of who her people were
· I am reminded still of just how strong racial prejudice is in this nation and even within our own churches. Even today we detest those who have a different color skin than we possess or speak a different language but we don’t stop there my friends. NO WE’RE EQUAL OPPORTUNITY BIGOTS BECAUSE WE’LL ALSO JUDGE THOSE AMONG US WHO COME FROM THE WRONG SIDE OF THE TRACKS! We’ll judge a man by his families background even when his skin is the same color as ours and he speaks the same language we do. We’ll judge the poor white trash and those who have lived undesirable lives just as faithfully as we will those who are different from us.
· You can go win them to the Lord Brother Mike, just don’t bring them back to church with you
* Yet for all our judgemental prejudice, WE WORSHIP A SAVIOR WITH A DIFFERENT SKIN COLOR THAN OURS, WHO SPOKE A LANGUAGE WE WOULDN’T UNDERSTAND AND WHO ALSO CAME FROM THE WRONG SIDE OF THE TRACKS IN THE EYES OF THE WORLD?
I am so thankful that God doesn’t judge us by the same measure we have judged others. Thank you Lord for Mercy… thank you Lord for Grace and undeserved Favor!
1 Samuel 16:7 " For the Lord doesn’t see as we see, He doesn’t look on the outward appearance but the Lord God looks on the heart." So with the eyes of God let’s look on another human soul going through the same journey we are and examine her character, the contents of her heart…
1. She was loyal to those she loved… verse 14
2. She was courageous for those she loved… verse 8
3. She was faithful to those she loved… verse 16
4. She was committed to those she loved… verse 18
Naomi was an old woman but Ruth wasn’t a spring chicken either because she’d been married for at least ten years. Her time of eligibility for marriage was just about expired and when combined with her heritage it was two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning with two strikes already called across the plate. Barring a miracle from God, they had absolutely no hope! Barring the intervention of the Almighty no one would intervene for them! Unless God took matters into his own hands they would die starving and destitute with no one to fan their dreams into reality… yet they chose to return to the land of Judah.