Sermons on Sermon Cloud All Time
Sermons on Ruth
In this message from the "God Behind the Seen" series on the book of Ruth, Pastor Scott tells how God works through ordinary people to accomplish His purposes.
The Role of Community in Disappointing Times
***NOTE*** Because of a digital recording glitch, the last ten minutes or so of the sermon were lost in the audio recording. I've spent the last month and half studying prayer, and it has been the most productive and effective study in my entire Christian walk. I can that without any sense of hyperbole. You might ask, "How does one study prayer?" and the answer comes in different forms depending upon whom you ask. - Some would do a concordance study of every instance of the word "pray" or "prayer" in the Bible. - Some would do a study of the Psalms. - Some would read books like "Prayer by E.M. Bounds or "Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home" by Richard Foster All of these are good plans, and I think you could learn a lot by doing them. I however followed the example of a good friend who just….prayed. Now, I've written my prayers out in journals for years because closing my eyes means going to sleep, so with a few helps, I have journaled through the various petitions of the Lord's Prayer now for about a month and a half, and I think I've learned as much about myself as I have about God. I've learned that one of two things happen when you prayer continually about a desire: you either grow comfortable with God's plan and His timing or you grow discontent and bitter with it. This contentment or bitterness of course rises out of whether or not you think God is giving you what you really think is best. I guess a good question to ask would be, "What happens to the heart when you ask God for something for 40 straight days and nothing seems to happen?" Let's be honest. Praying for 40 days in a row may seem like a pretty long time in terms of discipline and passion, but 40 days in a row ain't nothing in light of eternity and how God works His plan. Don't get me wrong. I would love to hear from any of you folks online or the folks at Sovereign King that you are experiencing the joy of a disciplined, prolonged time over prayer over the last 40 days. It is just that none of us have any right to get too proud of ourselves because we got 40 days closer to obeying I Thessalonians 5:17 that says, "Pray without ceasing." We have to remember. God is not impressed with our obedience. It is what He expects from us. Yet still, what happens to the heart if we continue to pray for something and we feel that those prayers are going either unheard or ignored? You know there is a story about how Augustine came to faith. If you read his book "Confessions" you find that Augustine's mother Monica was a godly woman who prayed for her very rebellious son. In fact, at one point, she kicked him out of the house he was so rebellious. Day and night, Monica prayed and cried that Augustine would repent of his sins and profess faith in Jesus Christ. After praying and praying and crying and crying, Monica sought the wisdom of a local bishop. His response was that she should be consoled because the son of so many tears could not be lost to Christ. Of course, years later, Augustine finally professed faith in Christ and became an incredible early church father articulating great doctrines for the church. That story ends well, but it doesn't always. I wish we could say with that Bishop that enough perseverance and enough tears could change God's mind, but the God of the universe doesn't have a beaker full of your tears where He measures your sincerity. He is not waiting for you to hit some unknown amount of sorrow before He relents. No, the promise of answered prayer comes in 1 John 5:14-15 "And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him." Pray the will of God and God answers our requests. But the problem is, outside of the commands of scripture, we don't know the will of God which leaves us petitioning and waiting. As we approach Ruth Chapter 3 this week, we are going to see Ruth and Naomi have high and big hopes for what God might do. They do their part by obeying and keeping to God's word, but along the way, they too have to wait and see what God will do. So as we approach the scriptures this week at Sovereign King, we hope to answer one Big Picture Question. Big Picture Question: Knowing that all of God's decrees and desires come to pass, what is the proper posture of the believer while they wait?
When we think about what it means to be righteous â€“ we tend to think it means we donâ€™t do bad things. We donâ€™t cuss, donâ€™t chew, donâ€™t go with girls that do â€“ righteousness = good behavior. Now the problem with this is that we only have half of the equation when it comes to â€œbehaviorâ€. Righteous behavior involves more than not doing the wrong thing, it also involves doing the right thing. As we will see in Ruth 3 Naomi, Ruth and Boaz DO things and DO NOT do things for righteousnessâ€™ sake. And we are going to be challenged to look at righteousness a bit differently - to see that it is not merely avoiding sin, but actively seeking the well-being of others.
You can touch God's heart. Ruth Pushes the envelope of intimacy. Ruth's journey foreshadows ours. Steps to intimacy with God.
Ruth and Boaz live in the perverted and confused time of the Judges, a period of history where Israel was in rebellion against God on a regular basis. How can two people love each other and pursue marriage in a way that is pure and honorable? How do they protect themselves and each other in a day when the path of least resistance is hooking up, sleeping together, shacking up and seeing if it works out? Listen to how Ruth and Boaz navigate these treacherous waters!