Monday, May 13, 2024

May 12 Sermon and Announcements

 CERRO GORDO CHURCH OF THE BRETHREN

May 12, 2024


RUTH: A Faithful and Loyal Woman

Ruth: 1:3-5, 8-9, 16-17; 4:13-17


Many of us are at least somewhat familiar with Ruth’s story. Her life has

many lessons for all of us. She was a tremendous example of what a

faithful and godly woman should be like. The Book of Ruth is only four

chapters long, so I encourage you to read it and see all the ways Ruth

speaks to us through her life and example. I shared several small

portions of scripture with you this morning, but they only scratch the

surface of this incredible life and story.


To set the stage for how everything happened, there had been a famine

in Judah where Elimelech and Naomi lived. For their survival, they

decided to move to Moab because things were much better there.

While there Elimelech and Naomi’s two sons married Moabite women.

One son married a woman by the name of Orpah and the other Ruth.

Before their marriages occurred, Elimelech had died. About 10 years

after Naomi’s two sons married these two women, the boys also passed

away. Namoi had no real family ties in Moab, so she decided to go back

to Judah. Naomi told her two widowed daughters-in-law to stay with

their families in Moab. She prayed the Lord would bless them with

husbands and children since they had been so good to her. Orpah

agreed to stay in Moab, but Ruth refused. In fact, Ruth said in chapter

1, verse 16, “Where you go, I will go, and where you stay, I will stay.

Your people will be my people and your God my God.” Remember the

Moabite people did not worship the same God as the Israelites. So,


Ruth was willing to leave everything she had ever known to go to a

strange land with her mother-in-law.


To fast forward through the story, there was a man in Bethlehem

where they went that was a relative of Naomi’s husband. He was a well

respected and successful man. His name was Boaz. Without Ruth’s

knowledge, she started picking up the leftovers in Boaz’s field for

herself and Naomi to eat and live on. Boaz took notice of Ruth and

when he found out who she was had tremendous respect for her

because of her love and devotion to Naomi.


There are several things that happen in this story in the second and

third chapters, but we are not going into those details. Before we finish

looking at this story and reflect on what it means to all women and

mothers, I would like to read for you part of chapter 4, verses 11 and

12.


If you remember last Sunday we read Tamar’s story. It says, “May the

Lord make the woman who is coming into your home like Rachael and

Leah, who together built up the house 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 who Tamar bore to Judah.”


The last verses we read to begin with point out Ruth’s son was named

Obed who was the father of Jesse who was the father of King David.

The Bible is full of compelling stories of God using people who are

willing to think of others more than themselves.


Let us look at Ruth’s examples. First of all, to you women and also to all

of God’s people. Not to take anything away from Ruth, but the fact is

she was just an ordinary woman. She did not come from a rich and

famous family. She did not seek the limelight. Ruth was a woman who

had grown to love and respect her mother-in-law, Naomi. She had been

married faithfully to her husband for 10 years and when he passed

away, she was left with her family in Moab and her mother-in-law who

was not a Moabite. Naomi urged her to stay with her family where she

had lived her whole life, but she had grown to love and respect Naomi

so much and also was probably worried about her so much she said no.

I will go where you go. So off Ruth and Naomi went to a land Ruth had

only heard about and people who would be total strangers to her.

Throughout this story God blessed Ruth and brought together miracle

after miracle. The field she went to pick up in just happened to be

owned by the man who was her former father-in-law’s relative. If you

read the story, you will see piece after piece of this puzzle just

happened to fall into place.


What can you women in particular get from this story? As I look out this

morning at the women here today, I see in you many of the wonderful

traits Ruth exampled.


1.) Loyal. Whether to your families, to your church, to God, you

example the kind of commitment Ruth showed during her life.


2.) A willingness to keep moving forward while things may not always

work out the way you have wanted you have never lost faith. You

have been willing to trust in God for guidance and direction.


3.) Most of you have been willing to try new things even when you

were not sure how it would work out.


4.) A willingness to trust that God will see you through no matter

what. Ruth did not at first believe in the God of Naomi, but she

came to know and worship Him by her faithfulness and her

actions.


These are traits that make for great women and mothers. I trust

everyone of us here have had women and mothers who have been

examples that have helped to get us where we are today, godly women

who taught us important lessons in life. I thank each of you women

today for the example God has empowered you to be. We celebrate

the privilege of having you in our lives.


Ruth is a testimony of how God uses those who will be faithful in things

that at times may be small, only to have them turn into good things. I

am sure Ruth never knew what the impact of the choices she made

would be. That may also be true for you women today. On behalf of all

the men here today, I say thank you. You may never know how much of

a difference you have made in the lives you touch but God does.

Pastor Larry


Announcements:


Sunday School 9:00

Tuesday 9:30 Bible Study

May 19 Mary Jessup is preaching.

Council Meeting after worship

4:00 CGHS Baccalaureate

June 2 Strawberry Festival!—signup sheets in the back for pie

crusts and other supplies

June 6 6:30 pm Executive Committee

June 9 2:00 Peoria church—concert by Jocelyn Watkins


The Lord’s Storehouse rummage sale will be at the Brethren

Church June 7 and 8. No clothing donations will be accepted.

To drop off donations, make an appointment with Marcia

Cedarburg 217-412-0999 or Leslie Clark 217-358-0205.


Pastor Larry Traxler- (217) 454-2362

Donation Box for May: VBS

First Sundays: Food Bank donations


Keep in Your Prayers


Graduates; Shirley Clarkson; Ava; Nora Hanaver; Larry Traxler;

Randy and Michelle West; Mike Gentry; Eli Brunner; Nancy Fansler;

Doug Larrick; Ron & Kathleen Petersen; Debbie Leibrock; Dorthea

Wood; Mike and Carol Seidenstricker; Adiline Young; Mayo & Darlene

Hanaver; Stacie Warren; Nancy Gorrell; many unspoken requests;

victims of disasters; victims of shootings; shut-ins; the Nigerian

church; Haitian Brethren; Ukraine; Israel, Iran, the Palestinians;

Military and Other Services and their families

Brethren Volunteer Service workers; Disaster project workers

District Prayer Calendar: Pray for the Champaign congregation and all

the churches’ ongoing efforts to be “Jesus in the Neighborhood.”


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