Your Role in Impacting this World Is Far Greater Than You Can Imagine

| November 12, 2012

This was a sermon preached at my church last Sunday that really spoke to me. It is based on the book of Ruth. A really short book but holds such great promise and assurance that I did not appreciate until yesterday.

The book starts out with a very somber and depressing state of affairs for this woman called Naomi. She along with her husband and two sons had moved from Bethelem to Moab in hopes of a brighter future as there was a famine in the land. However, her husband and two sons passed away after living there for 10 years. So she basically lost everyone that she can depend on to care and provide for her. Naomi sank into despair and blamed God for taking everything away.

“… It is more bitter for me than for you, because the Lord’s hand has turned against me!” – Ruth 1:13

“Don’t call me Naomi, she told them. Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The Lord has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.”
Ruth 1:20, 21

The name Naomi meant ‘pleasant’ and Naomi herself wanted to renounce her own name due to the despair that she was in.

Her two sons left behind their wives and Naomi told them to return to their own homes in Moab. Naomi knew that her daughters-in-law had no future staying with her. But one of her daughters-in-law refused and stayed with her. Her name was Ruth. And more amazingly, was Ruth’s show of faith and trust in the God that Naomi had given up on. Note that Ruth was not an Israelite and this God that Naomi believed in was not her God. But somehow, as the Scriptures remained silent, Ruth demonstrated an extraordinary amount of faith and obedience to a God she doesn’t know.

Ruth replied, ‘ Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from yo. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.’
Ruth 1:16-17

So Ruth stayed with Naomi and they moved back to Bethlehem. By some wise planning, Naomi helped Ruth to find favor with a relative called Boaz as she harvested barley in his fields. Boaz had heard of Ruth’s faithfulness and so took care of her as she worked in his fields. To summarize, Naomi advised Ruth to make a marriage proposal to Boaz (Ruth 3), which was a risky move as she stands to be rejected and even ridiculed. Nevertheless Ruth agreed and Boaz, while surprised, was willing to marry her provided if a closer relative, as culture demands, refused to marry Ruth. So Boaz told Ruth that he will check with the closer relative first.

While the closer relative was interested in buying Naomi’s land, he did not want to marry Ruth for he was afraid of ruining his own inheritance. And so Boaz married Ruth.

“Then the elders and all the people at the gate said, ‘We are witnesses. May the Lord make the woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the family of Israel. May you have standing in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem. Through the offspring the Lord gives you by this young woman, may your family be like that of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah.”
Ruth 4:11, 12

Ruth had a son and Naomi helped to care for the child and was even regarded as Naomi’s son. This son was called Obed, the father of Jesse, the father of David, yes King David! And from whom, came Jesus Christ!

Naomi regarded herself as a broken and hopeless woman. She said that she was full but returned empty. But somehow, through God’s divine plans, Naomi would be entwined in the story that would bring the birth of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. While Naomi could only see God’s hands moving against her, we all know better now. God’s masterplans were being slowly but surely worked out, amazingly though the lives of a woman who has lost all faith, and another woman who did not even know God!

I believe that we will all at some point in our lives be able to relate to Naomi. We had a heart full of dreams and hopes but things did not work out the way we planned. We got crushed, failed and disappointed. We do not see God’s hands prospering and blessing us. And we cry out, just like Naomi did, ‘I went out full, but returned empty.’ But you know, God’s plans are always so much more awesome than we can ever imagine. Yes, it may not involve giving us that luxury car or that beautiful woman you wanted so badly, but I know that God has in store for each of us a potential to impact the world in far greater measure, if only we will allow Him to work through our lives. While Naomi cried out against God, you can see that she never truly forsakes God. She continues to do her best and trust God to work things out in Ruth 3 and 4. And in the same way, we all need to do the same.

I believe that we are called to the life of Naomi. God has plans for each of us to bring forth the Savior of the world, in a figurative sense. Naomi could never imagine herself playing a part in bringing about the birth of Christ, but she did. In the same way, we cannot even imagine how much impact we can make on this world, but we need to let God work them out. Trust in Him, cry out to Him, but never ever lose sight of how God is working behind the scenes to bring forth His grand plans through you.

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Category: Bible Study, Evangelism

About the Author ()

I have been a follower of Christ for more than 20 years now. Started from a Methodist church, then went on to a few charasmatic churches and again back to a Methodist church now. Thus I have experienced and seen a wide flavor of different denominations. Personally, I consider myself non-denominational as I can worship in many different styles. The important thing is that I follow the gospel and love Jesus. I am currently serving as a musician and a worship leader in my church. I believe that my calling is to help others enter into the presence of God through worship. I also enjoy teaching and discipling other believers, which is the main reason why this site was started. I hope to find other believers to join me in this cause to reach out and encourage other believers.

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