Expect the Unexpected

by | Jan 29, 2023 | Ruth, Sermon

Because of Israel’s repeated unfaithfulness to God throughout the Old Testament, we might expect to find a revenge story revealing God’s anger and punishment. Instead, in the book of Ruth, we find a story of God’s unfailing love. As we’ll discover, understanding why God continues to remain loyal and noticing how He displays His love in unexpected ways has implications for how we relate to God, to ourselves, and to others.

Read Ruth 1:16-17 again. Imagine God expressing a similar dedication to you (Jeremiah 32:38; Hebrews 13:5-6; John 3:16). What are the first thoughts or emotions you have when you think about God’s desire for you? What, if anything, makes it difficult to receive this kind of love?

Read Matthew 20:1-15. In this story, the owner of the vineyard pays all his employees the same regardless of how much work they’ve done. What does this story tell you about God’s love toward you?

In Psalm 77, the author begins by describing his despair but then there is a dramatic redirection toward hope. What is the action that causes the change in the author’s outlook? How would you rewrite Psalm 77 using your own experiences?

God loves us because of who He is, not because of what we’ve done or are capable of (Romans 5:6-8). How might that shift your approach to others? As you think about the people you see daily, how would your interactions with them change if you imagine loving them because of who you are instead of who they are?  

Take a moment to prayerfully think about your day, week, or year so far. Ask God to help you see times when you experienced His faithful love but have missed it in the moment. Who were the people, or what were the situations, you now sense He was using to speak to you, comfort you, or encourage you?

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