Ever wish you had paid more attention in seminary? Struggling with preparing a sermon? GuideStone President O.S. Hawkins wants to help pastors with useful resources to help them as they serve the Lord.
With more than a quarter century of pastoral leadership, Hawkins makes available some of his most popular sermon outlines for pastors, Sunday school teachers and other Bible study leaders. These free resources can help you as you prepare your sermon or lesson each week.
God is always the God of newness. The Bible continually refers to the fact that it is never too late for a new beginning. (Isaiah 43:19, Ezekiel 11:19, Hebrews 10:20, Revelation 21:5) The words of our text are immortal: “Entreat me not to leave you, or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God.” These now familiar words constitute the formula for us as new things come when we cling to Christ in such a manner.
Personal Renewal Brings New Determination (“Entreat me not to leave you…”)
Ruth was declaring with her words that even though her sister-in-law, Oprah, had turned back, she, with a new determination, would cling to Naomi. Her mother-in-law had made sure she knew the way would be hard. Ruth’s past and future would be against her. We say to our Lord what Ruth said to Naomi.
Personal Renewal Brings a New Direction (“For wherever you go, I will go.”)
In other words Ruth was saying, “This will be my life’s direction.” She had never been that way before. A new direction is always a telltale sign of genuine renewal. We begin to become interested in the things for which Jesus was interested.
Personal Renewal Brings a New Dependence (“And wherever you lodge, I will lodge.”)
Ruth was declaring that she would trust Naomi to meet her basic needs. Her determination instilled a new dependence upon Naomi. When personal renewal comes, it is accompanied by a new dependence of trusting the Lord to meet our basic needs.
Personal Renewal Brings a New Desire (“Your people shall be my people.”)
Ruth was saying, “There will be nothing between us.” It is impossible to fellowship with God and not fellowship with His people. To love the Lord is to love his people.
Personal Renewal Brings a New Devotion (“Your God shall be my God.”)
She was saying, “I am not only taking your people as my people, but your God as my God.” If you wish to see an Old Testament conversion, here it is. She was giving up all to follow Naomi’s God.
Personal Renewal Brings a New Dedication
The next verse continues, “Where you die, I will die and there will I be buried” (Ruth 1:17). Ruth is saying not even death will separate us. She was not coming back, even if things did not turn out like she thought they would. We find the same dedication in following Christ.