Sermons

Summary: Relationships, particularly marriage, can survive only with large amounts of grace.

Love this song. When I told Sue we were doing this series she

said, “Oh, you’ve got to use this song” and played it for me.

WE WENT DANCING IN THE MINEFIELDS

WE WENT SAILING IN THE STORMS

AND IT WAS HARDER THAN WE DREAMED

BUT I BELIEVE THAT’S WHAT THE PROMISE IS FOR

Isn’t it the truth? If standing at the altar we had known how hard a great

marriage would be, we might have run away! At times it is very hard

work. And at times it is very easy. But regardless, it is worth every bit of

effort you put into it. Because in the end, WHAT WE WORK HARDEST

AT IN LIFE IS WHAT WE CHERISH MOST

But despite the hard work, truth is, none of us measure up to our

own expectations of what it takes to be a great husband or a great wife.

And certainly we fall short of the expectations of our spouse. And so, the

principle I want us to get this morning is this: RELATIONSHIPS,

PARTICULARLY MARRIAGE, CAN ONLY SURVIVE WITH LARGE

AMOUNTS OF GRACE

Ruth 2 2nd in a series of 4 messages based on the love story

found in the book of Ruth. The 2 main characters are Ruth and Boaz.

Last week we saw the faithfulness of Ruth to stick with her mother in law

Naomi, even when she had every reason not to. The take-away last

week was: IN EVERY RELATIONSHIP, PARTICULARLY MARRIAGE,

THERE ARE TIMES WHEN THOSE IN THE RELATIONSHIP MUST BE

FAITHFUL, REGARDLESS OF THE CHALLENGE.

And this morning we’re going to see Ruth’s faithfulness continue

as she works to provide for herself and her mother in law. But something

beside hard work must be present in a marriage: there has to be

generous portions of grace.

Grace, what a concept. In the OT, the Hebrew word most

associated with it is CHEN: THE IDEA FAVOR. In the NT, the Greek

word is CHARIS: IN CONTRAST TO DEBT; UNMERITED FAVOR The

concept begins on the early pages of Scripture when God graciously

dealt with Adam and Eve after the Fall, and finds it’s deepest, richest

expression on the cross. Because we could not climb the heights of

moral perfection demanded by God, He reached down to humanity

through His Son, Jesus the Messiah. ROMANS 3:24 promises, that we

“ARE JUSTIFIED FREELY BY HIS GRACE THROUGH THE

REDEMPTION THAT CAME BY CHRIST JESUS.”

It is this unmerited favor that must be found in generous

quantities in marriages if they are to last and flourish. Our story today

reminds us that:

GOD IS THE GOD OF GRACE. 2:1-3 (ON SCREEN)

When the Israelites moved into the promised land, God

established a system of grace. “WHEN YOU REAP THE HARVEST OF

YOUR LAND, DO NOT REAP TO THE VERY EDGES OF YOUR FIELD

OR GATHER THE GLEANINGS OF YOUR HARVEST. DO NOT GO

OVER YOUR VINEYARD A SECOND TIME OR PICK UP THE

GRAPES THAT HAVE FALLEN. LEAVE THEM FOR THE POOR AND

THE ALIEN. I AM THE LORD YOUR GOD.” LEVITICUS 19:9-10

This notion of grace is all the way through the OT. In Leviticus

25 God decreed that there was to be a year of Jubilee every 50th year. In

that year, if your debts had been so great that you had sold yourself to

be a slave to your debtor, the debtor would have to set you free and

absolve your debts. In that 50th year, if your family had sometime in the

past had to sell your land to pay some debts, the land would be given

back to you.

This was all done so that if you had messed up, or your

ancestors had messed up, you could get back on your feet and & no

longer have to live under the weight of your debt. So that you would no

longer have to live under the weight of your debt.

The Israelites had forgotten this by the time the prophet Isaiah

came on the scene centuries later and he reminded them of the Year of

Jubilee; reminded them that God was a God of grace and His people

were to be people of grace.

Seven centuries after Isaiah, when Jesus begins his public

ministry, He goes to His home town, Nazareth, walks in the synagogue

there, and that is the passage that He chose to read was out of Isaiah, a

passage that would characterize His life and very purpose for being

there: “THE SPIRIT OF THE SOVEREIGN LORD IS ON ME,

BECAUSE THE LORD HAS ANOINTED ME TO PREACH GOOD

NEWS TO THE POOR. HE HAS SENT ME TO BIND UP THE

BROKENHEARTED,

TO PROCLAIM FREEDOM FOR THE

CAPTIVES

AND RELEASE FROM DARKNESS FOR THE

PRISONERS, TO PROCLAIM THE YEAR OF THE LORD’S FAVOR.”

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