01 January 2018

GRACE IS A STORY OF LOST AND FOUND


RUTH 2:4-18

What does it mean to fall under the blanket of God’s grace? There is only one place to find that answer! How does the Bible explain God’s grace?

God is the source of grace ...........1 Peter 5:10 “But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus....”
Grace is God’s throne............. Heb 4:16 “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace..”

Grace is God’s work in the believer........2 Thess 1:11-12 “Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power, that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Grace is God’s Gospel........ Acts 20:24 “But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
  
GRACE IS THE SOURCE OF:

Election (Rom 11:5)
The call of God (Gal 1:15)
Justification (Rom 3:24)
Faith (Acts 18:27)
Forgiveness of sin (Eph 1:7)
Salvation (Acts 15:11)
Hope (2 Thess 2:16)

To sum it all up! God’s grace is always sufficient for you and me in every situation and circumstance….without exception of anything. See grace is favour bestowed on someone who doesn’t deserve it and can’t earn it..... Let me explain and let’s turn to the scriptures! Ruth chapter 2. Ruth fits that bill perfectly and so do you before and after Jesus Christ drew you to Himself as your Lord and Saviour.....

She is a poor woman who cannot offer or pay for anything
She is a foreigner in a strange land.
She is the lowest or the bottom of the barrel according to worldly standards.
She as no one and nowhere to go except her mother in-law Naomi.
Ruth is a poster child of all lost humanity.
Ruth is a poster child of a sinner who is outside the covenant family of God.
Ruth is a poster child of a world that is bankrupt with no acknowledgment or claim on God’s mercy.
That’s the grace of God to lost sinners like Ruth.........like you!
We know that this is a time of dark days according to what we find in the book of Judges and the beginning verse of this letter. (Ruth 1-v1).

But God’s providence we see a small remnant of those who desire to follow God and His truth. The same goes today! We are living in dark times but there still is a small remnant of people who love the Lord and desire to follow Him to the very end. Meaning……..You and me. The Gospel is still going forth despite the oppression from religious groups; to people who obviously hate the Gospel and those who follow Him. We come to the part of God’s plan where a man who is considered a Christ type comes on the scene for the first time. Boaz was a man whose name means great strength.........a great warrior....a Christ type! What we are about to witness is grace at work in a person like Ruth who clearly doesn’t deserve it according to worldly standards.

WHAT DO I MEAN?

1ST BOAZ TOOK THE INITIATIVE (V5-V7)

He took the initiative to seek out Ruth “Whose young woman is this? Grace means that God makes the first move to come to our aid, not because we deserve it but because He loves us and wants us for Himself. “We love because He first loved us...” (1 John 4:19)

God took/takes the initiative when we were spiritually dead!
When we were without strength
When we were sinners
When we were His enemies
“And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses,” Col 2:13. I like what Warren Werisbe said “salvation was not an afterthought of God but which He planned for eternity.” Boaz sought out Ruth because He showed a great concern for her. “But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man's trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many.” Rom 5:15

2ND BOAZ SPOKE TO RUTH (V8)

It was Boaz who first spoke to her.......for she would not dared to speak to a man especially one who was a stranger. What right did a widow and an alien have to address a great man like Boaz? Nothing! But Boaz instructed Ruth in what to do by his grace and kindness. What right do we have to be a part of the grace that God bestows on us? Nothing! That’s why its grace........God instructs and speaks to us through His Word.

3RD BOAZ PROMISED TO PROTECT RUTH AND PROVIDE FOR HER NEEDS (V9, V15-16)

Boaz called Ruth “my daughter” this is a term of endearment.......he was treating her as a member of the family. A great example of this is David love for Jonathan’s son Mephibosheth in chapter 9 of 2 Samuel. David showed such love and kindness towards Jonathan’s son.... David showed such grace to the last remaining family member of Saul’s clan. A crippled son like Mephibosheth, by today’s standards if you were living in the province of Quebec or certain countries in Europe is a prime candidate for euthanasia.

They would see him as a…… 
A waste of time
A waste of air
An outcast to society
A person who doesn’t contribute to society

But David never thought for a second He said "Do not fear, for I will surely show you kindness for Jonathan your father's sake, and will restore to you all the land of Saul your grandfather; and you shall eat bread at my table continually." (2 Sam 9:7). That’s a great picture of God’s grace towards sinners like us.......and Mephibosheth is the proper response to grace. He said (v8) Then he bowed himself, and said, "What is your servant, that you should look upon such a dead dog as I?" Lord why would you want to save this wretched man or this wretched woman.......Grace! It could only be by His sovereign grace to show such favour and kindness. It could only be by grace that Boaz welcomed a foreigner into the fold of his family and provide for her needs.

4TH BOAZ ENCOURAGED RUTH (V10-V13)

Boaz gave her a promise which ultimately encourages Ruth’s heart to give this humbling response. (v10) Ruth acknowledges her own unworthiness and accepted his grace. Ruth believed his promises and the future he promised and left everything to follow her mother in law. Look how Boaz responds to such a dedicated woman who left everything to follow her mother in Law. (v11-12) Sounds familiar to what Jesus asks of us! “Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life[a] will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?” Matt 16:24-26. Ruth had no need to worry because she found rest and security in Boaz. Ruth kept her eyes focused upon the God of the Israelites (v12) She found refuge in the Lord God of the bible........that same refugee we find or under today!
“Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace,” 2 Thess 2:16. It’s like that hymn song Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face” She forgot her sorrowful past and problems and looked towards God’s protection and His grace.... fixing her eyes upon Jesus as the Hebrew writer wrote. “Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Heb 12:2
This is grace and it’s the same grace God bestows upon us every day.

Boaz looked past this poor Moabite widow and displayed to us the grace that God gives to each and anyone us so freely today otherwise you would be here! “Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!” 2 Cor 9:15 “Inexpressible” is the idea that no words can properly express the greatness of the gift therefore given on man. It is higher than the mind can conceive; higher than language can express.
Ruth and you...myself! Are undeserving of this kind of love...but that’s why He is God.

5TH BOAZ SAW TO IT THAT SHE WAS SATISFIED (V14, V18)

He knew Ruth’s whole story.........word doesn’t take long to get around a small town...does itHe saw her heart and commitment to her mother in-law. He knew she abandoned everything to follow the God of the Hebrews. Ruth knew Boaz  was speaking from the heart “spoken freely” in (v13) means “spoken from the heart” Ruth was satisfied because he spoke with genuine concern and care for a lost and hopeless state. That’s what the word of God does to our hearts today! It satisfies because it is spoken directly from the heart of God. The word of God and the Son of God can fully satisfy the heart of the believer. Psalm 36:7-9 says “How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings. They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house, And You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures. For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light.” The believer will always find complete satisfaction in the Son and the abundance of His grace that He bestows on each and every one of us all the daylong..... We just need to be like Ruth and humbly come into that refugee that He has prepared before the foundations of the earth. That He has prepared and completed through Jesus Christ our Lord! As the late great reformer Richard Baxter said “As we paid nothing for God’s eternal love and nothing for the Son of His love, and nothing for His Spirit and our grace and faith, and nothing for our eternal rest...What an astonishing thought it will be to think of the unmeasurable difference between our deservings and our receivings. O, how free was all this love, and how free is this enjoyed glory...So then let “Deserved” be written on the floor of hell but on the door of heaven and life, “The Free Gift”.

So what does it mean to fall under the blanket of His grace?

His mercy is grace overflowing despite your offence and rebellion.
His provisions are filled with grace despite your offence and rebellion.
His refuge and rest is seated in grace despite your offence and rebellion.
His sovereign providence in our lives is grace abounding continually every day despite your offence and rebellion.

What does that mean for you and me as we start a New Year? That grace will continue for another year, and another year after that and forever. So praise Him for His grace in your life this past year and the year to come for we live by faith through grace that only God supplies for His glory. 

“Grace is but glory begun, and glory is but grace perfected.” Jonathan Edwards

1 comment:

Kenneth J Moore II said...

This is a great article and I enjoyed how you used Ruth and King David as a reference to explain Father’s grace. These references helped me to better understand Father’s grace for you and I. Where or how does; faith, love and hope connect with Father’s grace? He has recently showed me how faith, love and hope connect. I’m interested to see how it connects with His grace. Again, thank you my dearest brother for a wonderful artical. May Father bless you and your family in the wonderful name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.