When Getting Involved Pays Off
There are no coincidences in life. Our lives are to reflect God’s character to those around us. In fact, Christian growth can be measured in at least two ways: humility and praise.
RUTH 2:1-23 (NASB)
Ruth Gleans in Boaz’ Field
2 Now Naomi had a kinsman of her husband, a man of great wealth, of the family of Elimelech, whose name was Boaz. 2 And Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, “Please let me go to the field and glean among the ears of grain after one in whose sight I may find favor.” And she said to her, “Go, my daughter.” 3 So she departed and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers; and she happened to come to the portion of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of Elimelech. 4 Now behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem and said to the reapers, “May the Lord be with you.” And they said to him, “May the Lord bless you.”5 Then Boaz said to his servant who was in charge of the reapers, “Whose young woman is this?” 6 The servant in charge of the reapers replied, “She is the young Moabite woman who returned with Naomi from the land of Moab. 7 And she said, ‘Please let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves.’ Thus she came and has remained from the morning until now; she has been sitting in the house for a little while.”
8 Then Boaz said to Ruth, “Listen carefully, my daughter. Do not go to glean in another field; furthermore, do not go on from this one, but stay here with my maids. 9 Let your eyes be on the field which they reap, and go after them. Indeed, I have commanded the servants not to touch you. When you are thirsty, go to the water jars and drink from what the servants draw.” 10 Then she fell on her face, bowing to the ground and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your sight that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?” 11 Boaz replied to her, “All that you have done for your mother-in-law after the death of your husband has been fully reported to me, and how you left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and came to a people that you did not previously know. 12 May the Lord reward your work, and your wages be full from the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to seek refuge.” 13 Then she said, “I have found favor in your sight, my lord, for you have comforted me and indeed have spoken kindly to your maidservant, though I am not like one of your maidservants.”
14 At mealtime Boaz said to her, “Come here, that you may eat of the bread and dip your piece of bread in the vinegar.” So she sat beside the reapers; and he served her roasted grain, and she ate and was satisfied and had some left.15 When she rose to glean, Boaz commanded his servants, saying, “Let her glean even among the sheaves, and do not insult her. 16 Also you shall purposely pull out for her some grain from the bundles and leave it that she may glean, and do not rebuke her.”
17 So she gleaned in the field until evening. Then she beat out what she had gleaned, and it was about an ephah of barley. 18 She took it up and went into the city, and her mother-in-law saw what she had gleaned. She also took it out and gave Naomi what she had left after she was satisfied. 19 Her mother-in-law then said to her, “Where did you glean today and where did you work? May he who took notice of you be blessed.” So she told her mother-in-law with whom she had worked and said, “The name of the man with whom I worked today is Boaz.”20 Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, “May he be blessed of the Lord who has not withdrawn his kindness to the living and to the dead.” Again Naomi said to her, “The man is our relative, he is one of our closest relatives.” 21 Then Ruth the Moabitess said, “Furthermore, he said to me, ‘You should stay close to my servants until they have finished all my harvest.’” 22 Naomi said to Ruth her daughter-in-law, “It is good, my daughter, that you go out with his maids, so that others do not fall upon you in another field.” 23 So she stayed close by the maids of Boaz in order to glean until the end of the barley harvest and the wheat harvest. And she lived with her mother-in-law.
LEVITICUS 19:9-10 (NASB)
9 Now when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very corners of your field, nor shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest. 10 Nor shall you glean your vineyard, nor shall you gather the fallen fruit of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the needy and for the stranger. I am the Lord your God.
1 CORINTHIANS 15:9 (NASB)
9 For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
EPHESIANS 3:8 (NASB)
8 To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ,
1 TIMOTHY 1:15 (NASB)
15 It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.
LUKE 10:31 (NASB)
31 And by chance a priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
As we continue to study the Book of Ruth, let’s look at the definition of humility. Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines humility as freedom from pride or arrogance.
1. With this in mind, how do you see Ruth and Naomi show humility?
Have you ever had to purposefully place yourself in humbling situations because the Holy Spirit nudged you?
2. Naomi made a choice to go back to Bethlehem. It was a decision that changed Ruth’s destiny! What decisions or choices have you made that not only changed your destiny, but also someone else’s? Explain.
Little decisions in the course of your day can make a difference. You can be kind, instead of grumble, at that person who cut you off while driving. You can give food to those in need. Or even better, why not look into becoming a volunteer at Bluffton Self Help? They not only provide food for the hungry, but also clothing. They even help people get their GEDs and find employment.
You CAN make a difference right here in Bluffton. You don’t need to go across the world, you can just go across the street.
3. Was there ever a time you surrendered to a so-called menial task only to find a great reward in the end? Share with the group.
Last week we discussed that the Book of Ruth can be summed up in three things: surrender, service and intimacy. When we humble ourselves to serve others, in whatever capacity, God promises to bless us, sometimes in surprising ways.
Intimacy—How willing are we to be transparent with one another, instead of pretending that we “have it all together”?
The world is hungry for real “rubber-meets-the-road” believers of Christ who are willing to dirty their hands in service. Who knows what rewards lie ahead?
4. As a group, pray and plan a course of action where you can serve the community. Maybe you can help at the Boys & Girls Club or adopt a section of a highway to clean up.
Lord, regardless of what goes on in my life, I believe you have the best plan for my life. Help me to stay focused on your truth, and not the reality that may surround me in this world. Help me to better understand the difference between reality and truth, that TRUTH may be my guide.
Then LISTEN for HIS response!
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