Archive for August 2015

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Ruth 1 – 4

Questions to Consider

  1. As a review, how does Boaz’s redemption of Ruth typify Christ’s redemption of us (His church)? Why is the redemption of God really all we need for joy and satisfaction? What does Romans 8 teach that affirms that? If we feel we need other things outside of His salvation, Scriptural promises, and guidance/provision in life, what does that say about our completeness in Him? What type of witness is that to others about Christ’s sufficiency?
  2. Knowing that God works all events of our lives for His glory and our good (Romans 8:28), how does that change our perspective on what happens in our lives? If we truly desire His glory and purpose and know He works all things to that end, how does that bring comfort and motivation for faithfulness in trying times? If we aren’t comforted that He is working for His glory/our good in our trials, how might we negatively respond to them?
  3. Why are we all unlikely candidates for God to bring to salvation to and use in His plan (Ephesians 2:1-10)? Knowing God can bring anyone to Himself (even those we think He can’t or shouldn’t), how can you avoid discriminating against those for whom you pray and with whom you share the gospel?

Action Steps for This Week

  1. Using Ruth’s story, share the gospel of Jesus with someone that you may at one time deemed “unworthy/unlikely” to be saved.
  2. Pray daily that God would cause you to desire His glorious plan more than your comfort, and that His sovereignty over all things (Romans 8:28) would comfort you and keep you faithful in the trials of your life.
  3. Memorize Ephesians 2:8-9, and reflect on it often to remind yourself that it is God’s grace, not your worth or work, that saved “unlikely” you.

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1 Peter 2.9-10

Questions to Consider

  1. How do the privileges mentioned in these verses make us a special and unique people?
  2. How does our identity and privileges as believers trump any other worldly identity? How are our identity and privileges as believers better than any other worldly identity?
  3. Why is it easy to make an idol out of our American values?
  4. When we idolize our American values and then lose our joy when they are removed, what does that tell our world about the God we serve?
  5. How can we look at our nation as not our home and idolize it, and instead look at it as our mission field and evangelize it?
  6. When you mourn and grieve for the direction of our country, are you mourning and grieving for yourself that your way of life is being removed, or for a nation that is headed to destruction? How can you tell?

Action Steps For The Week

  1. Pray for our nation, for God to redeem those we would deem as enemies of the gospel.
  2. Worship God this week for the privileges you have as a believer. Spend some time thinking about why your spiritual identity is better than your earthly identity.

 

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Read Ruth 4

Questions to Consider
1. How is Boaz’s integrity in handling this situation with the nearer kinsmen a good example of being driven by obedience and not fear or desire? When are you tempted to compromise your integrity and disobey God because of fear or desire? What can help you obey during those times? What does obedience during these times say about our trust of God’s goodness?
2. How does Ruth 4:18-21 and Matthew 1:1-16 reveal how God used Ruth and Boaz in His plan for His glory? What are specific examples from the book of Ruth that show how God worked to make sure this genealogy/His plan was carried out? How do you see Him working in seemingly painful times and small ways to accomplish His plan in the book of Ruth? How should that encourage us in our lives?
3. How is the idea of the Kinsman-Redeemer an example of the gospel of Jesus? In light of Scripture’s description of the church as the bride of Christ (Ephesians 5, Revelation 19), how is Jesus the perfect Husband to us? Why should that lead us to be completely satisfied and joyful in Him? How does our complete satisfaction and joy in Jesus glorify Him?
4. If joy is not complete until it is shared, and if our joy is in Jesus, then what should we be naturally doing?

Action Steps for This Week
1. Share Ruth’s story with someone, using it to share the gospel of Jesus.
2. Identify one area of your life where you are tempted to disobey out of fear or desire. Memorize a Scripture that will help you obey during that time.
3. Identify how you’ve seen God work for His glory in various times (painful and celebratory) in your life. Thank Him for that.
4. Make a Scriptural list of how Jesus is all you need. Meditate on that.

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Read Ruth 3

Questions to Consider
1. How do these three laws in play in the book of Ruth (gleaning, redemption of land, and levirate marriage) picture the kindness of God to His people?
2. How does the first Passover (described in Exodus 12) picture the redemption that Christ would offer us? How does what Boaz did for Ruth picture Jesus as our Kinsmen-Redeemer? What type of daily response should we have to Jesus in light of Him redeeming us from the captivity and consequence of our sin?
3. Interact with this quote from John MacArthur: “Our responsibility is not to moralize the unconverted, it’s to convert the immoral…We do not have a moral agenda. We have a redemptive agenda.”
4. How does Boaz become the answer to his own prayer for Ruth in 2:12? Why are we tempted to pray only, and not be willing to be God’s answer to our own prayers for others? How can you constantly be a vessel of God “spreading His wings” of kindness, refuge, and gospel to others?

Action Steps for This Week
1. Read the book of Ruth. Share the story with someone, using it as a bridge to share the gospel of Jesus.
2. Read through as many Scriptures about the redemption that Christ gives us. Let Ephesians 1:3-10, 1 Peter 1:18-21, Colossians 1:13-14, Mark 10:45, Romans 3:23-24, Galatians 3:10-14 get you started. Memorize one of the Scriptures you read.
3. Through prayer, identify who God may be leading you to be the vessel for Him to “spread His wings” of refuge and kindness to, and how He is leading you to do so. Go do it.

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Read Ruth 2

Questions to Consider
1. How did God’s guidance in a simple matter of which field to glean in change Ruth’s life to accomplish His plan? Where have you seen God direct His will at certain moments in your life in ways that didn’t seem like “big” moments at the time? How does that lead us to trust Him in everyday life now and in the future?
2. What does Ruth’s commitment to God and Naomi during hard times in chapter 2 say about her commitment and faith? How can we tell if we are following God faithfully in hard times instead of going back to our “Moab?” Why is God worth following even when times are incredibly difficult?
3. Ruth is described as coming to take refuge under the wings of God? How have believers come to take refuge under the wings of God in Christ?
4. How is Boaz and his kindness and generosity an incredible example of Christ? How have we as believers been shown incredible kindness in Christ? How do we have all we need in Christ? How does remembering who we were before His kindness in Christ found us affect our response of worship and obedience to Him? How can you focus on what you have in Christ more instead of what you don’t have in the world? How would that affect your joy, worship, satisfaction, and obedience?

Action Steps for This Week
1. Read the book of Ruth. Share the story with someone, using it as a bridge to share the gospel of Jesus.
2. List as many ways as you can think of that Scripture reveals the kindness we’ve been shown in Christ as believers. Use Ephesians 1-2, Romans 8, Philippians 4, Galatians 5 to get you started. Worship Him for these.

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Read Ruth 1

Questions to Consider
1. Why should God be our only source of joy and satisfaction? What idols compete for His place in our lives? What does Psalm 135 say about God? What does it say about idols?
2. How does God use times of struggle to express His grace and mercy to us? How did these times show mercy and grace to Ruth and Naomi?
3. How do we use struggles in life as an excuse to do what we want instead of follow God?
4. What is Spurgeon saying in the following quote? “I have learned to kiss the wave that throws me against the Rock of Ages.”
5. What do Ruth and Orpah teach us about true repentance?
6. What do Ruth and Orpah teach us about following God when it may not be comfortable? What does following God only when it’s comfortable tell us about what we truly value? When it’s uncomfortable?
7. How does trusting God’s sovereignty, even through trials (as we see in Ruth’s story) lead to radical obedience, no matter the cost? How does it encourage us when following God doesn’t seem worth it?

Action Steps for This Week
1. Read the book of Ruth. Read the story of Joseph in Genesis 37-50. Note the similarities in the stories and the similar lessons of God’s sovereignty.
2. Identify idols in your life that you seek satisfaction in more than God. Pray for God to remove them.
3. Ask God what steps of radical obedience He is asking you to take, trusting He will take care of you no matter the cost to you. Make steps to obey.

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Read Ruth 1

Questions to Consider
1. What does the book of Ruth show us about God? What specifically does it show us about God’s sovereignty?
2. When have you felt like Naomi in Chapter 1?
3. When we go through struggles, why are we tempted to focus more on the pain or struggle we feel than we are the sovereignty of God? What does that tell us about our desire? How can we change our focus during those times? How does focusing on His sovereignty during those times help us and glorify Him?
4. Have you ever felt like God couldn’t use you? How does the truth from Ruth encourage us when we feel like that?
5. Where else in Scripture have you seen God work His purpose through times where it seemed He was silent?
6. How does Romans 8:28 apply to the truth from Ruth?
7. How is the book of Ruth a picture of the gospel?

Action Steps for the week
1. Read the book of Ruth.
2. Each day, reflect on one way you’ve seen God work His plan for His glory through struggles in Scripture and one way that He has done so in your life. Worship Him for that.
3. Identify those who may feel like Ruth because of their situations in life. Encourage them with the truth from Ruth.