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"Live In The Field of Grace"

Staying Committed  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  40:03
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Intro:
Last week we learned that if we are going to stay committed to our Heavenly Father, then we need to “Walk by Faith”… And as we walk by faith, we need to “Live in the Field of Grace”. Not just any Grace… but God’s Amazing Grace...
A.W Tozer said “Grace is the good pleasure of God that inclines Him to bestow benefits upon the undeserving. Its use to us sinful men, is to save us and to make us sit together in heavenly places to demonstrate to the ages the exceeding riches of God’s kindness to us in Christ Jesus.”
The story of Ruth is one of the most beautiful illustrations of grace that you will ever hear. In the verses that we looked at last week (1-3) Ruth sets out to glean in the fields in order to provide food for herself and her mother in law Naomi. When she left that morning she walked by faith, but she was also hoping to find grace (Read v. 2-3)
The word “Favor” in verse 2 can also be translated as “Grace”. An appropriate translation of Ruth’s request to Naomi could be “Please let me go to the field, and glean heads of grain after him who would be gracious to me” or “after one that would show me grace
In our passage for today, we are going to see that Ruth found grace in a man named Boaz. Boaz extended grace to this stranger from Moab, and when he did, Ruth received more than she could have ever imagined. And in the same way, God has extended His grace unto us, and because of His amazing grace we receive countless blessings in our lives as well. (Read vv. 4-16)
Meat:
As we dig into this passage today we are going to see “Boaz’s Gracious Attitude”. But first, I want to answer the question...

What is Grace?

When a person works an eight-hour day and receives a fair day's pay for his time, that is a wage. When a person competes with an opponent and receives a trophy for his performance, that is a prize. When a person receives appropriate recognition for his long service or high achievements, that is an award. But when a person is not capable of earning a wage, can win no prize, and deserves no award--yet receives such a gift anyway--that is a good picture of God's unmerited favor. This is what we mean when we talk about the grace of God.

Gifts freely bestowed by God

The definition that we will use this morning…

Grace is: God Freely Giving us Something that we do not Deserve

And it is this same Gracious Attitude (SLIDE) that Boaz has when he meets a lowly, widowed, stranger, gleaning in his field.

Boaz’s Gracious Attitude

I believe that it is safe to say that Boaz was in the minority when it came to amount of Grace that he showed. If you were to look at the book of Judges, you would think that all of the good guys were gone… and even throughout the course of the Old Testament we have verses like…
1 Kings 19:10 NKJV
10 So he said, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.”
This was Elijah when Jezebel was out to get him...
Or how about this one...
Psalm 12:1–2 NKJV
1 Help, Lord, for the godly man ceases! For the faithful disappear from among the sons of men. 2 They speak idly everyone with his neighbor; With flattering lips and a double heart they speak.
This was King David...
Micah 7:2 NKJV
2 The faithful man has perished from the earth, And there is no one upright among men. They all lie in wait for blood; Every man hunts his brother with a net.
This obviously, is coming from the prophet Micah...(SLIDE)

Boaz’s Gracious Attitude

It would seem that not very many people were willing to bestow the same grace to others, that had been bestowed upon them… Boaz, however, does not fall into that category… Boaz realizes the grace he has been shown and decides to show the same grace to others… Starting with his workers… Look at v.4
Notice the use of the word“behold”... This indicates that something important and unexpected has happened. The owner of the field comes to visit his workers. Boaz had several servants that worked for him and watched over his business affairs. I feel it is safe to say that he would not spend every day in the fields.
But, just like Ruth just so “happened” to be gleaning in his field… Boaz, just so “happened” to show up that day, at the exact field she was in, at the exact time that she was there.... coincidence??? I think not!… Just like I mentioned last week… When we commit our lives to the Lord, what happens to us happens by way of appointment and not by accident or coincidence.
We are immediately shown something of the character of Boaz by the way he greets his workers and how they greet him in return.
(he) said to the reapers, “The LORD be with you!” And they answered him, “The LORD bless you!”
Boaz was concerned about his workers and wanted them to enjoy the blessings of the Lord.
Boaz was also an eligible bachelor … and directly after greeting his workers, something… or I should say, someone, caught his eye! v.5… Ruth catches Boaz’s eye and Boaz asks the man in charge of this particular field… “WHO is that???!!!! (Enthusiasm)” (is she married) (do you think i could get her number) …
His servant replied… vv.6-7… I would dare say, it was love at first sight for Boaz, because from that point on, his focus is on Ruth and not on the harvest… You guys remember the day that you looked at your girl and said to yourself “I am going to make that girl my wife” and you did everything you could to make sure that happened??… That is Boaz right now… in his mind, He’s found the one… and now the game begins to make sure that she feels the same way...
Here is an important piece of advice guys… right this down… or have your wife right it down for you… either way, never stop playing that game. Just because you got the one that you were after, make sure that she still feels like, you are the one, that she was after… alright… enough marriage counseling for today… lets get into this outline...
The first thing that I want you to see, about Boaz’s gracious attitude is…

1. He took the Initiative

He made the first move… look at v.8… Boaz wasted no time. He went and introduced himself to Ruth. As a widow and a foreigner, Ruth would not have even attempted to talk with Boaz. After all, what right did a widow and an alien have to address a great man like Boaz? This man of great wealth and status wouldn’t even notice a poor, foreign, peasant such as Ruth… … But, not only did Boaz notice her, he took the initiative to talk to her.
This would be like if my family and I were to travel to England and all of the sudden the queens motorcade drove by. While standing on the side of the road, waiting for the motorcade to pass by, Queen Elizabeth orders everyone to stop, puts her window down and says “Well, hello Tom, Melissa and children! How nice to see you” “Why don’t y’all join us for dinner (because the Queen would use the word Y’all)” “also, while you are here, my armed guard will make sure that you get wherever you are going, safely!”
That is the equivalent of Boaz taking the initiative and talking with Ruth and the equivalent to what he said that he would do for her… This just shows more of Boaz’s Gracious Attitude… He addresses Ruth as “my daughter”. This is a term of endearment and he is basically saying that he would treat her like a member of his own family.

2. He Promises to Protect and Provide

(Read vv. 9, 14-16)… Speaking of verse 9, one commentator said “Contemporary readers will be struck by how modern this comment sounds. Boaz is hereby instituting the first anti-sexual harassment policy in the work-place recorded in the Bible.”
Boaz instructed his young men to protect her and the young women to work with her. She was to walk with the female servants who followed immediately after the reapers. In other words, Ruth had first chance at the best of the gleanings! Boaz even instructed his workers to allow her to glean among the sheaves and told them to deliberately drop some of the harvest so she could pick it up.
When she became hungry or thirsty, she was allowed to refresh herself with the same authority as Boaz’s workers. My favorite part of the work day is (lunch break)… and Boaz shows grace to Ruth at the noon mealtime by inviting her to eat with the rest of the workers. It is highly probable that Ruth had little if anything with her to eat that day! During the meal Boaz made sure that she was not over-looked by passing roasted grain over for her to eat and inviting her to dip her bread into his cup of vinegar.
Boaz takes the initiative, he promises to protect Ruth and provide for her, and…

3. He Speaks Words of Encouragement

I skipped a few verses with the previous point… lets look at them now… (vv. 10-13)… Ruth responds to Boaz’s gracious attitude with an attitude of humility and gratitude. She acknowledges the fact that she is unworthy of the grace that he is showing...
Ruth 2:10 So she fell on her face, bowed down to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?”
and then Boaz answers her question...
Ruth 2:11 “It has been fully reported to me, all that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband, and how you have left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and have come to a people whom you did not know before.”
Boaz says “it has been reported to me.”… remember, Bethlehem is small town and there are no secrets in a small town. Boaz had heard about Ruth’s character and now he has personally met her and realizes that the reports were true… … For her acts of kindness Boaz invokes a blessing that he ultimately would help to fulfill:
12 The LORD repay your work, and a full reward be given you by the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge.”
Because Boaz treated Ruth kindly and with great generosity, Ruth learns about the gracious provision of God. Ruth knew that she could trust the promises of Boaz. She fell at his feet and submitted herself to him. She forgot her fears and rested on his promises.
Ruth 2:13 13 Then she said, “Let me find favor in your sight, my lord; for you have comforted me, and have spoken kindly to your maidservant, though I am not like one of your maidservants.
Ruth is deeply grateful for all that Boaz is doing for her. She reveals that his actions “have comforted” her – the words literally picture the lifting of a burden so that one “can breathe again.”
Boaz took the initiative, he promises to protect and provide, he speaks words of encouragement… and finally...

4. He Ensured Satisfaction

At the end of v. 14 we are told that… “she ate and was satisfied, and kept some back.”… Boaz, didn’t just give her a little bite to eat... he made sure that she had her fill and that she knew there was more if and when she needed it.
Application:
When Ruth went to glean in Boaz’s field she entered a field of grace. She found grace in the field of Boaz and her experience becomes an illustration of how believers can live in the field of grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Boaz’s Gracious Attitude is a Picture of...God’s Amazing Grace

Using the same outline we can see how God has shown us His Amazing Grace… (SLIDE) (He Took the Initiative)
Grace means that God makes the first move to come to our aid, not because we deserve anything, but because He loves us and wants us for Himself. “We love Him because He first loved us” … Warren Wiersbe said “Salvation was not an afterthought of God but that which He planned from eternity.” … And just like Boaz loved Ruth and took the first steps to make sure that her every need was met… God did the same thing for us…
Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”… He took the initiative...
(SLIDE) (He Promises to Protect and Provide)
Ruth had no idea that Boaz had commanded his workers to be generous to her, but she believed his word and found that her needs were met. Matthew 20:28 tells us that Christ came to this earth, not to be served, but to serve, that He might save us and make us a part of His family… He did that for Us???!!! Yes! We, undeserving “foreigners,” are members of the family of God. And as members of God’s Family, we have the promises of His protection and His provision.
Jesus made it clear that we will experience trouble in this world. But He promised that we could trust in Him to protect us!
John 16:33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
(SLIDE) (He Speaks Words of Encouragement)
Boaz basically told Ruth that “from now on, you will be taken care of. You do not have to wonder where your next meal is coming from, you do not have to worry about anyone taking advantage of you… you have shown great faith in coming to a foreign land, to worship the One True God, and He will bless you greatly for it.”
Ruth neither looked back at her tragic past nor did she look at herself and consider her sorry condition. She fell at the feet of the master and submitted herself to him. She looked away from her poverty and focused on his words of Encouragement...
God graciously speaks to us through His Word… And I am here to tell you, there is a lot of encouragement to be found within its pages… As the writer of Hebrews encourages us, we need to “fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith”
He not only speaks the word of salvation, but He also gives us the guidance we need for everyday life.
(SLIDE) (He ensures our Satisfaction)
The Word of God and the Son of God can fully satisfy the heart of the believer… When we seek for satisfaction anywhere else, we will find ourselves disobedient and dissatisfied…
Isaiah 55:2 Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And let your soul delight itself in abundance.
God Ensures satisfaction for those who would seek Him
Psalms 107:9 For He satisfies the longing soul, And fills the hungry soul with goodness.
Closing:
If He had only delivered us from the penalty of our sins it would have been more than we ever deserved. But the truth is, God loved us from the very beginning. Because of this He did what was necessary for us to be able to abide with Him... Jesus left Heaven and came to earth to be the sacrifice for our sins. He went to Calvary and gave His life in order to redeem us. And because of His redeeming work, we have the opportunity to dine with Him… And This, my beloved, is why we call it… Amazing Grace!
Ruth was amazed by Boaz's grace, v.10 said that she fell on her face, and realizing everything Boaz is going to do for her, she asks him “Why have I found grace in your eyes?” She basically says “Why Me” Why are you doing this for me? you don’t even know me...
Every person who has experienced the grace of God has likely asked that question at one time or another. There was nothing that Ruth had done that would make her worthy of all that he was going to do for her. Ruth experienced Boaz's grace simply because of who he was.
In the same manner… there is nothing that you could ever do that would make you worthy to receive God's love and forgiveness. But grace is available to you today because of who He is.
No matter who you are, no matter what you have done... you can receive grace today! Because of God's grace you can be saved, you can receive eternal life and the promise of a home in Heaven.
Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you are saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
I encourage you to surrender to Him and let Him be in control of your life... As soon as you do, you will start living in the field of Grace.
Prayer:
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