A Bitter Life (Ruth)

Making Ends Meet, Episode 1

Bitterness leads us to minimize the help God has already sent. 

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Notes

  • Intro

    • We just want things in life to work--printers

    • God gets it, the Bible reflects on God’s work in real lives

  • Setting (Ruth 1:1-5)

    • “In the days when the judges ruled”, political and economic upheaval in the country stemming from Israel’s spiritual rebellion towards God (Judges 2:6-17)

    • Elimelech “My God is King”; Naomi “Pleasant”; Mahlon “Wasting”; Chilion “puny”

    • Just trying to make ends meet and you keep ripping them out of my hand, God!

  • Reaction (Ruth 1:6-18)

    • Return (1:6-7)

      • Not only had God blessed Israel again, but Moab heard about it

      • Naomi is just trying to put food on the table

    • Refusal (1:8-10)

      • Naomi has remained loyal to the LORD

      • What kind of lady inspires such loyalty from her daughter-in-laws?

    • Rejection (1:8-14b)

      • Please be aware there is a utilitarian pragmatism that masquerades as wisdom in the world and in the church.

      • If your calculation of how the world works leaves God out of the equation then you’ll always end up in the red.

    • Resignation (1:14c-18)

      • Naomi fought tooth and nail to drive those who would help her away

      • Bitterness leads us to minimize the help God has already sent.

      • Ruth’s commitment is a big deal--Naomi doesn’t respond

  • Interpretation (Ruth 1:19-22)

    • “God has emptied my hands, God hates me”

    • Don’t confuse hardship with God’s abandonment--her description is accurate but not her assessment

    • God certainly may empty out your life in order to fill it with His purpose.

  • Conclusion

    • Bitterness leads us to minimize the help God has already sent.

    • Are you bitter? If so, why?
      Are there people trying to walk with you through your hardship that you are chasing away?

    • God may use normal people’s hands to send supernatural help to you. Will you decide today to let in those people who care about what God is doing in your life?

    • Grace Church, imagine who we can be as Christ expresses His love through us to a city full of bitter lives.

Powerpoint

Crisis Love (John 17)

Can You Hear Me?, Episode 4

Jesus' example in prayer shows us a glorious vision of God's love in the midst of crisis. 

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Powerpoint

Whose phone is ringing? (Genesis, 28)

Can You Hear Me?, Episode 1

Every talk with God begins on His end.

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Powerpoint

The Prostitute's Spotlight (Joshua 2 & 6)

The Co-Mission, Episode 6

Our cooperation in God's mission is bigger than just our life.

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Powerpoint