Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Who Can I Be …


'Real Answers' by Pastor Bruce Sofia'


Dear 'Friends," this question was submitted by your captain, Dotti. It came out of a sermon series from the book of Ruth entitled "The Rewards of Character."

Ruth became a widow very early in her life - she was probably in her mid to late twenties.  She was the wife of a man whose religion was different that hers, yet when her mother-in-law, Naomi, also a widow, decided to return to her homeland (Israel), Ruth said these immortal words in which our marriage vows today find their root:

“Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay.  Your people will be my people and your God my God. [17] Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried.  May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me."

When Naomi returned to her home land she felt that life had "done her in," and that the Almighty had not treated her kindly.  She had lost both her sons and her husband.  Yet, in the midst of a life of loss and sorrow, somehow Naomi's faith spoke loud and clear.  Ruth wanted what Naomi had, and she caught it.  As the story unfolds Ruth's faith and character stands tall, and she becomes a shining light in a world of darkness (remember, this was the time of the judges "when every man/woman did what was right in her/her own eyes").

The question submitted by your inspiring leader was: "Who can I be according to the book of Ruth?" You can, with the LORD'S help be the following person.

1. A friend. When Naomi needed someone by her side - Ruth was there.

2. A provider. When Naomi needed someone to go to work and put food on the table - Ruth was there.

3. An attorney.  When Naomi needed someone to fight for her rights as a land owner - Ruth was there.

4. An assistant.  When Naomi needed someone to be a surrogate mother - Ruth was there.

6. A defender.  When Naomi needed someone to stand up for the integrity of her husband's name - Ruth was there.

7. A godly model.  When Naomi looked for someone who valued what God valued - Ruth was there, stepping up to the plate.

The true and real of who and what you can be as found in the personalities and character of Ruth, Boaz and Naomi are:

      1. You may not be able to provide for everyone who has a need, but you can provide for someone who has a need.

FOR INSTANCE: Besides our tithes and offerings, Sheryl and I help support one widow, two missionaries, and one orphan through Compassion International.

      2. You may not be able to be a friend to everybody, but you can be a friend to someone. (Did you know you can be a friend to someone and they may not be a friend to you?)

SOMEONE IN THE CHURCH - gives me money  twice a year to buy clothes.  I don't know who they are, the gift comes anonymously.  I cannot repay them for their kindness. But for years they have been a friend to me.

      3. You many not be able to be everyone's defender, but you can be someone's defender.

FOR EXAMPLE: The former mayor of this Township goes for sentencing the first week in April.  The Lord willing I will be there. I wrote a letter to the judge in his behalf asking the Court for a "downward departure."  Why? First of all, I believe in Jerry Luongo.  Secondly, when we needed a friend he was there.  When we needed a defender, he was there.  When we needed something done, he was by our side helping.  Am I going to trade that in because someone might think less of me? Never! Never! Before God, you and I have been called to "Do Right, and Give the Consequences to God." Standing by Jerry's side in this hour of trial is for me the right thing to do.

      4. Lastly, you may not be able to obey everyone who issues you a command or requests something of your, but there is someone you can obey and when you do the lessons you will learn about life will be immeasurable.  No one will ever obey you if you have not first learned to obey.  No one will follow you if you haven't first learned to follow; and, no one will follow where you will not lead.

In conclusion, in answer to the question posed by Dotti, you can be what Ruth became to Naomi, maybe not to everyone but to someone, and that will make your life different for the better.



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