04-27-08 - 5 Ways to show love - Ruth 1.16-18 - NSB
Dr. David Jeremiah
McGee’s Commentary up through chapter TWO
McGee’s Tapes – The Romance of Redemption
The Heart of Hebrew History – Hester
A Book by Book Study of the OT – Shelly
Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines on the OT
Dwight Pentecost’s Tapes UP through tape 2, side 1
MacArthur Study Bible
DELITZCH & KEIL
Credit to Tom Shepard
Five Practical Ways To Show Your Love To Others
A couple that had been married for 50 years sat reflecting one day. The wife said, “Things have really changed over the years. You used to sit real close to me. But you haven’t done that for a while.” “Well I can fix that.” said the man as he got up and moved closer to his wife.
“You used to hold me real tight.” said the wife. So the man wrapped his arms around his wife and asked, “How’s that?”
She continued to say, “You used to nuzzle my neck and nibble on my ear lobes.” At that the man jumped up from the couch and dashed out of the room. When he returned she asked him where he had been. “I had to go get my teeth.” Was the reply.
There are all sorts of ways to show our love for one another aren’t there?
The other day, Darlene was watching the story of Ruth on TV and it stirred up my memories of when we studied the book together here a few years ago in VBS. Since then I have had the opportunity to teach it on more than one occasion. It is a love story on many levels (even though the word, “love” is not in the book) and it is one of my favorite books in the Bible. One type of love that we see in the book is a love of friendship and that is what we want to talk about this morning.
I give credit to a fellow named Tom Shepard for a large part of this sermon. Many of the thoughts are his.
Turn if you will to Ruth 1:16-18 and let’s stand and read together.
Ruth 1:16-18 (KJV)
16And 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: 17Where 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. 18When she saw that she was stedfastly minded to go with her, then she left speaking unto her.
This evening we look at one of the most famous pledges in the Bible (or any other literature).
If ever there was a time when we needed some good practical ways to show love to one another, it is now.
So, here in the book of Ruth we see 5 Practical Ways to show the love of friendship to one another.
Tell the story of Ruth and Naomi.
Famine in the land of Bethlehem Judah (House of bread and praise) as a result of the disobedience of the people
And you know how important the city of Bethlehem is in Christianity.
Move – But, you cannot escape the discipline of God by running - And they became a prodigal family – Four go out but four will not return – They went to where the people were traditionally enemies of Israel.
Naomi (meaning, “pleasant” or “happiness”) is left alone – bitter and heart broken.
She sees no hope for the future of her daughters in law so she tells them that they might as well go on back to their own people.
There is no hope for the future for them.
No hope fro marriage unless something miraculous happens.
So…One daughter-in-law leaves but Ruth makes that statement that we see there in 1:16-17.
So, the first thing that we see from Ruth’s example is that -
1. You show love by sticking with someone through tough times.
Three times her mother-in-law had tried to get her stay behind.
Ruth had the opportunity to go back as the other daughter-in-law had done.
But, Ruth wanted to go with Naomi.
Christians, let me ask you – What make people stick together in hard times?
For Ruth and Naomi there was a bond that was even stronger than love.
We have no reason to think that Ruth loved Naomi more than more than Orpah did.
But, there was a bond between Ruth and Naomi that was not there between Orpah and Naomi.
What was this bond?
As we will see in verse 16, Ruth and Naomi shared a faith in the God of Abraham.
You and I have a common bond in the Lord Jesus Christ.
We are exhorted over and over to show our love for one another.
Ruth said she would stick with Naomi through thick or thin. No matter what happened, Ruth would stay by Naomi’s side.
We have folks here who I believe would do almost anything for one their brothers and sisters in Christ.
You show love by sticking with someone through tough times and in Proverbs we read that there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Wither thou goest, I will go.
I am sticking with you,
Wither thou lodgest, I will lodge
I am going to place myself in the poverty that you have warned me about.
Thy people shall be my people
I choose your people over my own.
And then of course….
Thy God shall be my God
I choose your God.
Whatever Naomi’s future was to be, so it was going to be for Ruth.
2. You show love by adjusting to others.
“Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.” v.16
She was going to have to be like Abram in a way. She was going to have to leave her homeland and all of her idols behind as she went to this new land.
Ruth was going to have to make some huge adjustments if she was going to stay with her mother in law.
Do you know the reasons that most marriages fail?
I believe it is because there is not enough adjusting to others. Now, do not get me wrong, there are some folks who do everything they can to adjust to their partner but it is not enough.
I am convinced that people who have been married know more about adjusting to others than people who have never been married.
When you get married there are many adjustments that have to be made.
What you eat
Where you spend your time.
Whose house you spend the holidays at.
Whose traditions you follow
But, one of the ways that you show love to your new spouse is by making those adjustments.
Ruth said that in order to show how much she loved Naomi, she was willing to make these adjustments.
3. You show love by reaching beyond your comfort zones.
On a Saturday afternoon, I married an 18 year old kid who had never been away from home and in less than a week she was in Montana.
Montana was not in her comfort zone but she loved me, so she went.
That was a temporary trip that we were making.
This is a permanent commitment that Ruth is making.
This is a huge step for Ruth.
“Where you die, I will die.” v.17
Till death do us part –is not some sort of trial arrangement.
Love leads to commitment.
“Oh we are in love but we just want to live together for a while to see if it works out.”
Well, you may not be in love so much as you are in lust.
Husbands and wives, when you got married…
What you were saying there was that you were promising to reach beyond your own comfort zone to look out for the comfort of the person that you were marrying.
“I’ll reach beyond my comfort zone to stay with you.”
Jesus said it this way,
"If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9:23 (NKJV)
Reaching beyond our comfort zones means self sacrifice.
So, one way that we show love to others is by reaching beyond our comfort zone.
4. You show love by offering encouraging words.
"Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go." v.16
Ruth was telling her – you’re not in this alone. Where ever you go – what ever happens to you – I’ll be there. You’ll always have someone by your side.
We should encourage one another.
Proverbs 25:11 (KJV)
11A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.
But, in The Message Bible it says…
"The right word at the right time is like a custom made piece of jewelry."
FACT: Words of encouragement and love need to spoken - because they can have a great impact.
I want you to remember what I am saying because you will have an opportunity to use this, this week.
When I was preparing this message a few weeks ago, I had an opportunity at one of our church meetings to offer words of encouragement to one of our members here.
And then, #5 -
5. You show love by putting their needs above your needs.
Ruth was determined
It didn’t matter how uncomfortable the journey was going to be. It didn’t matter whether there was going to be food to eat. Ruth was determined to stick with Naomi – because she loved her friend.
Do you remember what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians?
"(Love) bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." 1 Corinthians 13:7 (NKJV)
Do you wonder what this story has to do with you?
This story is a picture of God’s love for you.
"There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." Proverbs 18:24 (NKJV)
Who is this friend - Jesus.
1. He’ll stick with you through tough times.
2. He’ll accept you just as you are.
3. He’ll reach beyond His comfort zone for you.
4. He’ll offer you words of comfort and hope.
5. He put your needs first when He went to the cross for you.
It is not hard to see that there are many ways that Jesus has shown His love for us.
I have given you five ways to show love one to another.
And Jesus has led us in each of those ways.
Wouldn’t right now be a good time to thank Him for that and to begin to use these five ways to start to show our love for others?
You think about that as we pray.