February 12, 2017
Have you ever been at a crossroads where whatever decision you made was going to have a significant impact on your life? Naomi and Ruth reached their Back to Ones moment due to circumstances beyond their control. It wasn’t something they decided, did, or said, yet they found themselves starting completely over. Some of us know what that’s like: Someone we love is gone, our family life was blown up, and/or our career disappeared out of thin air due to forces far beyond our control. Naomi’s first response is to go home, despairing at having been forgotten. Yet Ruth, who also has a big decision to make, chooses to encourage and support her mother-in-law. That positive affirmation and support helps to awaken Naomi’s prospect of what is to come. Together, they rely on God’s provision for a new future.
Questions for discussion:
· What do you think was the main point of Matt’s message?
· Read Ruth, Chapters 1-4: What lesson(s) does this story teach us with regard to how important support and encouragement is to our everyday life?
· What are some “crossroads” in your past? Looking back, can you see how God was working with you at that time? Was there anyone there to support and encourage you?
· How do these Biblical stories help you to strengthen your faith and create a confidence that God truly cares about your future?
Do something about it:
Find someone who you can share your grief and struggle with. Allow them to encourage you and remind you that you are not alone. Remember that God travels with us through our grief and into each new day.
Ruth 1-4; Hebrews 10:23-25; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; Matthew 18:20; 1 Corinthians 12:14-27; James 5:16