This week, Pastor Miles began a message on the book of Ruth. This week we look at the first chapter.
Before the message, Pastor Miles informed us California's of not one but two very disturbing situations in our state congress that would likely affect the rest of the country.
First is the fact that there is legal opposition against Prop 22 which was voted in by the people of California. Prop 22 is the proposition that states that California is to recognize a marriage between one man and one woman. Legal teams are trying to have the California supreme court overturn this voted proposition. This is a huge concern not only on the basis of gay marriage but on the fact that we as voting citizens are being told by these legal teams that our votes do not matter. For more information on this you can go to www.protectmarriage.com.
Secondly is a bill that was just signed by our governor; SB777, which is not allowing our schools to refer to a mother and father as male and female. Also this bill is submitting schools can not discriminate against gender. Though that sounds okay they also redefine gender as the following: "Gender" means sex, and includes a person's gender identity and gender related appearance and behavior whether or not stereotypically associated with the person's assigned sex at birth. This will allow a male child to go into a female bathroom because he acts like a girl. For more information on this you can go to www.saveourkids.net.
Pastor Miles talked about a chick flick as a romantic story where great obstacles are overcome for a couple to be together.
God wants us to be together with him and Jesus died for us to be able to do that... keyword being able. We still have the choice to make and usually it is many choices and usually they aren't easy.
The Story of Ruth
Now when we meet Ruth we find out that Ruth's husband has died. Ruth's mother in law, Naomi, is already a widow and Ruth's sister in law is now a widow too.
Now this occurred in the land of Moab, but Naomi and her departed husband were from Bethlehem and Naomi had decided to return there.
Naomi instructed her daughters to go back to their original families and though all were sad Ruth refused to go.
Ruth Demonstrates Faith
In Ruth 1:14, Ruth actually clings to Naomi. She doesn't want to return to her homeland. Instead, she wants to go to Bethlehem with Naomi.
In Ruth 1:16, Ruth says for wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God.
Ruth was leaving everything she knew to walk on the holy ground that God had provided for her. Ruth even abandoned her pagan gods for God. And as a result (you can read ahead if you wish) Ruth has forever a place in history as an ancestor of Jesus Christ himself... all because she followed God's plan for her.
God Wants Us To Walk By Faith
This simply shows us that God will want us to go some place, do something that we just don't want to do and/or it will not make sense. But it is God's plan for us and His rewards will exceed our expectations.
In fact, "walking by faith" is a very common theme throughout the Bible. Jesus's disciples left their homes to follow him. Joseph was forced out of his home but continued to believe in God and was rewarded. Moses left home, twice! First Egypt then the desert to return to Egypt.
You and I probably don't have to leave our city (Pastor Miles had a great story about his own testimony over 10 years ago). But we do have to leave something behind. For some it may be obvious; drugs, drinking, California senate, etc For others it may not be so obvious; certain friends, TV shows, or the books and magazines we read.
But if we want to follow God and receive the gifts he has prepared for us He may instruct us to leave some things behind. We don't have to, but we don't get the gifts either. It is our choice. But it is His plan.