1. Like most of you, I am stuck at home today. I wish we were together worshipping the Lord. I don’t have a video today, but I hope you will read the following synopsis of the message I intended to preach this morning as part of our Reboot Sermon Series. Please take time as a family to read through the book of Ruth today. It is only four short chapters and it will bless you. The book of Ruth focuses on three people: Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz. Naomi’s husband moved her and their two sons to the nation of Moab during a time when Israel suffered from a severe famine. This was a dangerous move for the family since Moab was a pagan nation of idol worshippers that God detested. While living there, the two sons each married a Moabitess woman. One woman was named Orpah and the other Ruth. In the course of time Naomi’s husband died and both of her sons died leaving her and her daughters-in-law alone. (Ruth 1:1-5) Naomi decided to return to Israel. She told both of her daughters-in-law to go back to their families, find husbands, and start their lives over. At first, both Ruth and Orpah said they would go with Naomi, but after further insistence for them to go back to their families, Orpah decided to return home. In 1:15 we see that Orpah went back to her people and to her gods. This is important. She had been exposed to the one true God through the example of Naomi. At first she decided to go with Naomi. She had tasted the truth of God and was close to leaving Moab and idolatry behind, but she just couldn’t take that step. She was so close to God’s blessing, but she returned to her old life. This is true of many today. They want the benefits of the Christian life, but they really don’t want to surrender their lives to Christ. They come close to becoming true believers and followers of Christ, but they don’t come to Him in faith. They come to church services and enjoy the music and the program, but they go back to the world. They get a taste of what it is to know and serve Christ, but they refuse to trust Him, submit to His Word, or to live for Him. They are Orpah. They are close, but they turn back. Let us all examine ourselves to make sure we don’t follow Orpah’s example. Ruth, on the other hand, refused to leave Naomi. Ruth “clung” to Naomi. She loved Naomi, but it also seems that Naomi’s testimony of the one true God moved Ruth to desire to serve God. When Naomi urged Ruth to go back to her family and to her gods, Ruth replied with one of the most beautifully rendered confessions of loyalty and faith in the Bible. Here I quote it from the King James Bible since the old English gives it to us as a literary gem: And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me. Ruth 1:16–17 (KJV 1900)]: Please read this a few times in a modern translation as well and let the faith and beauty of these words permeate your soul today.  Notice where Ruth asserted that Naomi’s God will be her God. This certainly seems to be a profession of faith—Ruth converted from following false gods to following the one true God. This is incredibly important for us today! Have you cut your ties with the world? Have you separated yourself from the worship of false gods? Have you put the flesh (the old man, the carnal nature) to death? Have you put your trust in Christ and submitted yourself to Him? Do you live according to His Word? If not, Ruth calls you to come out of the world and trust Christ for salvation! If so, Ruth calls you to rejoice and worship God sincerely for His grace has saved you and set you free! Give Him the glory and praise we owe Him! In a summary of the remainder of the book, Ruth meets Boaz, an older, wealthy man. As you read Ruth you will see that Boaz was obligated, due to the custom of the day, to “redeem” Ruth.  He was a close relative to her dead husband and he held that responsibility. This is why the Bible calls him Ruth’s “guardian- redeemer” (in other versions of the Bible you may see “kinsman-redeemer,” or “family-redeemer,” etc.) Boaz and Ruth marry and produce a son named Obed. Obed and his wife give birth to Jesse.  God gives Jesse a son named David who became King of Israel (Ruth 4:18-22). Later God would promise David that his kingdom would never end and that one of David’s descendants would rule and reign in Jerusalem forever. That descendant’s name is Jesus and Jesus is our Kinsman-Redeemer. Isn’t it remarkable that a Moabitess girl from a family of idol worshippers is one of only four women listed in the genealogy of Jesus? (Matthew 1:5). Ruth said to Naomi, “Your God will be my God.” Let us show the same dedication to the God of Naomi and Ruth and to Ruth’s descendant, our great God, the Lord Jesus Christ! Dear friends I love you and miss seeing you today. I hope you find strength and encouragement in these words. —-Pastor Jerry
      1. Due to expected extreme cold and possible dangerous driving conditions, I consulted with the deacons and pastors and we decided to cancel all activities for February 14, 2021. May God richly bless you as you stay safe and warm. Please share this information. Thank you!
        1. Thank you for the information!
        1. Men, please join me tonight as we begin our study in the book of Hebrews. It will be a great time of fellowship, prayer, and learning the Word.