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A TIME YOU CANNOT SEE

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INTRODUCTION

OPENING STORY: 12 YEARS IN MEMPHIS DOING AMAZING THINGS. REALLY SAW GOD MOVE. HAD A GREAT HOUSE WE PAID ABOUT 5 DOLLARS FOR! RIGHT WHEN WE WERE MOVING, ON OUR LAST DAY IN THE HOUSE I HAD MY KIDS DO SOMETHING EXCITING THAT MAY HAVE BEEN A LITTLE ILLEGAL. NOT SURE. THEY GOT SHARPIES AND WROTE IN A PRETTY OBSCURE PLACE: QUENTIN WAS HERE. MYLES WAS HERE. JADEN WAS HERE. WE ALL WANT THAT DON’T WE. WE WILL MOVE OUT OF THE HOUSE THAT IS THIS WORLD. AND WHEN WE LEAVE WE WANT TO LEAVE SOME SORT OF EVIDENCE THAT WE WERE HERE. WE WANT TO LEAVE A LEGACY.
WHY SHOULD I LISTEN:
WE ALL WANT TO LEAVE A LEGACY? THAT’S WHY YOU’RE WORKING HARD, GETTING AFTER IT, SAVING MONEY, INVESTING IN YOUR KIDS DREAMS…YOU WANT TO LEAVE A MARK THAT YOU WERE HERE. YOU WANT SOMETHING THAT WILL OUTLAST YOU. THE LENGTH OF YOUR LEGACY DEPENDS ON YOUR VISION OF TIME. IF TIME FOR YOU IS ALL ABOUT THE RIGHT NOW, THEN YOU WILL LEAVE NO LASTING LEGACY. THIS IS WHAT ONE WRITER GETS TO WHEN HE SAYS, “”Without God and the future life…everything is permitted, one can do anything”- Fyodor Dostoyevsky. SADLY, THOSE WHO HAVE DONE THE MOST DESTRUCTION TO HUMANITY THROUGHOUT WORLD HISTORY HAVE BEEN PEOPLE WHO DID NOT BELIEVE IN LIFE BEYOND THIS LIFE. THEY LEFT NO REDEMPTIVE LEGACY.
BUT ON THE FLIP SIDE, THOSE WHO HAVE LEFT A LEGACY THAT HAS REVERBERATED THROUGHOUT TIME…THOSE WHO HAVE DONE THE MOST GOOD FOR HUMANITY, HAVE BEEN THOSE WHOSE VISION OF TIME WAS ETERNAL. THIS IS THE POINT C.S. LEWIS GETS TO WHEN HE SAYS, “If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this”- C. S. Lewis. William Wilberforce, Mother Teresa, MLK.
APPLICATION: THE PROBLEM WITH LIFE IS IT IS OH SO DAILY. GOD HAS SO MUCH MORE FOR YOU THAN PAYING BILLS, GOING TO CLASS, GOING TO WORK. YOUR LIFE MATTERS, AND HE WANTS IT TO MATTER BEYOND THE GRAVE. HE WANTS YOU TO LEAVE A LEGACY!
CONNECT TO THE TEXT: OUR PASSAGE IS ALL ABOUT LEGACY. SUM UP THE STORY BRIEFLY. PAIN IN CHAPTER ONE. PROVIDENCE OF GOD IN CHAPTER TWO AND THROUGHOUT. GREAT FAITH IN CHAPTER 3. NOW SHE’S READY TO CASH IN ON THE LEGACY. BUT HOW DO WE LEAVE A LEGACY FOR GOOD BEYOND THE GRAVE? OUR TEXT TELLS US THREE WAYS.

LEGACY REQUIRES OBEDIENCE-

EXPLANATION: ONE OF THE THINGS THAT SHOULD STRIKE YOU IS THERE ARE A LOT OF NAMES IN THIS TEXT. BUT THERE’S ONE NAME MISSING. WE DON’T KNOW THE NAME OF THE PERSON WHO IS THE CLOSEST REDEEMER. WHY? VERSES 5-6 TELLS US. HE IS NOT OBEDIENT TO WHAT GOD WANTED HIM TO DO, AND WHERE THERE IS NO OBEDIENCE TO GOD’S WORD THERE IS NO LEGACY.
QUICK APPLICATION: WILL YOU JUST THINK ABOUT IT- GOD TAKES THE LEAST LIKELY CANDIDATES AND USES THEM TO LEAVE SIGNIFICANT LEGACIES. OH THAT SHOULD GIVE SOMEONE HOPE TODAY…YOU MAY HAVE NOT BEEN ASKED TO THE PROM, BUT GOD...
EXPLANATION: ONE OF THE THINGS THAT SHOULD STRIKE YOU IS THERE ARE A LOT OF NAMES IN THIS TEXT. BUT THERE’S ONE NAME MISSING. WE DON’T KNOW THE NAME OF THE PERSON WHO IS THE CLOSEST REDEEMER. WHY? VERSES 5-6 TELLS US. HE IS NOT OBEDIENT TO WHAT GOD WANTED HIM TO DO, AND WHERE THERE IS NO OBEDIENCE TO GOD’S WORD THERE IS NO LEGACY.
ILLUSTRATION: THE 2004 USC FOOTBALL TEAM WAS ONE OF THE BEST TO EVER DO IT (AND ONE OF MY FAVES, SORRY). THEY WERE SO GOOD THEY WON THE ORANGE BOWL IN JANUARY OF 2005 TO WIN THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP. BUT A FEW YEARS LATER THEY HAD TO VACATE ALL OF THEIR WINS AND NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP THAT SEASON FOR IT WAS DISCOVERED ONE OF THEIR PLAYERS HAD BROKEN THE RULES. OUTSIDE OF ENTERTAINMENT, THEY’VE LEFT NO LEGACY OF CONSEQUENCE, BECAUSE THEY WEREN’T FAITHFUL TO THE STANDARD.
APPLICATION: A LIFE LIVED ON ITS OWN TERMS, OUT OF ALIGNMENT WITH GOD, WILL CAUSE YOU TO VACATE YOUR LEGACY!

LEGACY DEMANDS SELFLESSNESS-

EXPLANATION: THIS STORY IS A TENSE ONE, AND LET ME TELL YOU WHY. THE WORST THING THAT COULD EVER HAPPEN IN A FAMILY DRIVEN SOCIETY LIKE THIS ONE IS FOR A FAMILY TO BE ANNIHILATED, TOTALLY WIPED OUT. THIS IS WHAT NAOMI IS LOOKING AT UNLESS SOMEONE STEPS IN AND REDEEMS. BUT TO REDEEM IS NO EASY THING. THE REDEEMER WOULD HAVE TO, IN ADDITION TO RAISING HIS OWN FAMILY, IMPREGNATE RUTH AND EXTEND HER LINE…THIS WOULD HAVE SEVERE FINANCIAL EFFECTS ON HIM. NOT ONLY THAT HE WOULD HAVE TO TAKE ON RUTH AND NAOMI. HE DOESN’T. BOAZ DOES, WHICH SPEAKS TO HIS CHARACTER. SEE FOR HIM TO DO THIS, REQUIRED HIM TO BE SELFLESS. HOW DOES RUTH END UP LEAVING A LEGACY OF OBED AND DAVID AND JESUS? ANSWER- THE SELFLESSNESS OF BOAZ. THERE IS NO LEGACY WITHOUT SELFLESSNESS.
QUICK APPLICATION: WE GET THIS TO SOME DEGREE. PARENTS ARE SELFLESS WHEN WE SAVE MONEY FOR OUR KIDS RETIREMENT. MOST OF US HAVE LIFE INSURANCE AND PAY THE MONTHLY PREMIUM BECAUSE WE WANT TO LEAVE A FINANCIAL LEGACY OF SECURITY. ON AND ON WE CAN GO. BUT PRACTICALLY SPEAKING, I THINK ONE OF THE MOST SELFLESS THINGS YOU CAN DO TO LEAVE A LEGACY IS TO PRAY FOR YOUR CHILDREN.
JONATHAN AND SARAH EDWARDS ILLUSTRATION AND HOW IT PAID OFF. PRAYED EVERY DAY FOR HIS KIDS THROUGH FIVE GENERATIONS. WELL, HOW DID THEY TURN OUT:
Jonathan Edwards’ legacy includes: 1 U.S. Vice-President, 1 Dean of a law school, 1 dean of a medical school, 3 U.S. Senators, 3 governors, 3 mayors, 13 college presidents, 30 judges, 60 doctors, 65 professors, 75 Military officers, 80 public office holders, 100 lawyers, 100 clergymen, and 285 college graduates. MOST WERE CHRISTIANS WHO DEEPLY LOVED THE LORD.

LEGACY ENDS IN GREATNESS-

EXPLANATION: NOW I WANT YOU TO PAY CAREFUL TO THE GENEALOGY OF RUTH’S HUSBAND BOAZ AND THEIR SON OBED. TEN NAMES. IT WAS THOUGHT IN ANTIQUITY THAT THE FIRST AND LAST NAMES OF A GENEALOGY TOLD YOU EVERYTHING. PEREZ. HIS NAME MEANS TO BREAK FORTH. MOTHER GAVE BIRTH TO TWINS. FIRST ONE PUT HIS HAND OUT, AND THE NURSE TIED A SCARLET THREAD. THEN PEREZ UNEXPECTEDLY CAME OUT FIRST. REASON FOR HIS NAME. TO THE JEW, IF YOU COULD TRACE YOUR LINEAGE TO PEREZ THIS WAS A STATEMENT OF HIGH VALUE. IT WAS LIKE SAYING YOU’RE FIRST CLASS. FOR RUTH TO BE A PART OF THIS, AGAIN IS JUST BREATHTAKING AND ASTOUNDING! BUT THERE’S MORE. DAVID IS THE LAST NAME. HE IS SEEN AS THE GREATEST KING IN ISRAEL’S HISTORY. USHERED THEM INTO THEIR GOLDEN AGE. JESUS IS CALLED THE SON OF DAVID. THIS IS RUTH’S GREAT GRANDSON. WHAT’S MORE, IS SHE WILL BECOME THE ANCESTOR OF JESUS (). ONE COMMENTATOR NOTES THAT WITHOUT THIS MOABITE GIRL CHRISTIANITY WOULD NOT HAVE ITS FOUNDER! AMAZING! GOD SPECIALIZES IN TAKING THE LEAST LIKELY AND MAKING THEM GREAT.
ILLUSTRATION: A COMMONER BECOMES ROYALTY.
QUICK APPLICATION: WILL YOU JUST THINK ABOUT IT- GOD TAKES THE LEAST LIKELY CANDIDATES AND USES THEM TO LEAVE SIGNIFICANT LEGACIES. LOOK AT THE GENEALOGY AGAIN- RAHAB IS BOAZ’ MOTHER. SHE’S A PROSTITUTE BUT FINDS HER WAY IN. BATHSHEBA IS IN THE GENEALOGY OF JESUS. A WOMAN OF QUESTIONABLE CHARACTER. OH THAT SHOULD GIVE SOMEONE HOPE TODAY…YOU MAY HAVE NOT BEEN ASKED TO THE PROM, BUT GOD...
GOSPEL CONCLUSION:
VERSE 15- OBED, THE CHILD, SHALL BE A RESTORER OF LIFE AND A NOURISHER. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN. HE WILL END UP PROVIDING ALL OF YOUR NEEDS NAOMI. THIS IS FORESHADOWING. JESUS WILL SUPPLY ALL OF OUR NEEDS!
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