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Pursued By Grace Series Sermon #9
GETTING READY TO MEET THE MASTER
Intro: To this point, Ruth's relationship with Boaz has been that of servant and master. She has been gleaning in his fields, and he has been very kind to her, but the relationship is not what either of them wants it to be. All through the long harvest season, Ruth has contented herself with going to the field of Boaz and gleaning. Boaz has done everything in his power to let Ruth know that he wants a deeper relationship with her. He has gone above and beyond everything the Law required of him. He has gone out of His way to reach out to Ruth and be a blessing in her life. If the relationship is going to progress beyond where it is at the present, the next move is hers. These verses are all about the details of seeking to take their relationship to the next level. These verses tell us about how Ruth came to find herself at the feet of Boaz.
There are many people in our world who claim a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. They say they are saved and they enter His field on occasion to glean a little of His barley here and there, now and then. There are many in this situation who feel that their relationship with the Lord Jesus has grown stagnant and isn't progressing as it should. All the while, Jesus has done everything in His power to let you know that He wants a deep, close, abiding relationship with you. After all, He died for you. If you are saved, He personally called you to Himself. If you are saved, He lives in your heart right now in the Person of the Holy Spirit. He wants you to be close to Him and done everything He can to make that a reality in your life. However, before that can ever become a reality for you, you are going to have to make the next move. I will remind to again that you are only as close to the Lord as you want to be! I would also remind you that there is a place for you at His feet.
Before Ruth could get the help she needed from Boaz, she had to make the proper preparations for that meeting. This verse details the preparations she was to make so that she could find herself at the feet of Boaz. As we consider what Ruth did to meet Boaz, we see some parallels with what we need to do if we would find ourselves at the feet of Jesus! Notice what Naomi told Ruth to do.
These verses tell us all how to find ourselves there, at His feet, in that place of blessing, closeness and power. If you want to get to His feet; if you want to know Him, His presence and His power; then the truths contained in these verses will help you to begin to make that a reality in your life. These truths, if believed and implemented, will cause you to find yourself in your place at His feet. Let's think together for a moment about this thought: Getting Ready To Meet The Master.
I. INVOLVED RUTH'S CLEANSING
The first step was for Ruth to get as clean as she could. (Ill. A little personal hygiene goes a long way!) Before the believer can get to the feet of Jesus, there must be a period of personal cleansing. The life needs to be searched and anything that is displeasing to the Lord must be confessed, repented of and put aside, 1 John 1:9. (Ill. God's method for dealing with sin - Pro. 28:13.)(Ill. Psa. 32:5 - David dealt with his sins - where he fell short; his transgression - times when he willingly stepped over God's boundaries; and his iniquities - the particular bent in his nature toward evil. He took all the necessary steps to come clean with the Lord.) (Ill. Could be physical, spiritual, or mental in nature, Ill. Gal. 5:19-21.)
II. INVOLVED RUTH'S CONSECRATION
Ruth is to anoint herself. This was command for Ruth to put on some good smelling. After all, she was going out to catch a husband and she needed to smell good! (Ill. The believer is to be a sweet smell in the nostrils of the Lord as well. If we expect to find ourselves at His feet, enjoying the best He has for us, then we are to live a life that comes up before God like a sweet smelling incense, 2 Cor. 2:15.) (Ill. Anointing oil also was used to set things apart for particular service. I.e. The implements used in the Temple; priests, kings, 1 Sam. 16, etc.) (Ill. God's people are to separate themselves from every evil attachment, 2 Cor. 6:17.)
III. INVOLVED RUTH'S CLOTHING
Ruth was not to wear her common ordinary clothing. Not her working duds, but her best is in view here. You see, Ruth had entered Israel wearing the garments of a widow. She had gleaned for months in the garments of a worker. Now, she is counseled to put on the garments of a woman. She is after a husband and she needs to dress appropriately! (Ill. Christians have a dress code as well! Folk get nervous when you go to talking about their apparel, but it is important nonetheless! Christians are counseled to dress modestly, 1 Tim. 2:9. While the emphasis here for Ruth was on the external garments, I think the emphasis for you and me is on the internal garments of the soul. God truly does have a dress code for His children - Col. 3:1-11; Rom. 13:11-14. In light of this, how appropriately are you dressed?)IV. INVOLVED RUTH'S COMMITMENT
Next Ruth is commanded to leave the place where she is residing and "get thee down to the floor." If she was ever going to rest at the feet of Boaz, she would have to be committed enough to the idea to leave where she was to go where he was. (Ill. The same is true in our own walk with Jesus. Many time He is over there and we are over here. He calls to us, but like Solomon's bride, we refuse to go to where He is, SOS 5:2-8. Listen how He calls us to come to Him, Rev. 3:20! Until we make that commitment to go to Him regardless of the cost or the effort, we will never find ourselves at His feet enjoying His best!)
V. INVOLVED RUTH'S CONDUCT
In verse 4 Naomi counsels Ruth to wait until Boaz is alone and finished with his public business before she approaches him with her request. This is not to be a public spectacle, it is to be a private communion. In other words, she is not to make a scene in public and put him on the spot. She is to wait until she can meet with him in private. (Ill. Although our corporate worship experience takes place in the public arena, every saint of God in this room must develop a time of private, intimate fellowship and worship with the Lord Jesus. Until you learn to spend time with Jesus, alone, you have never learned to worship! You will never find yourself at His feet until you learn to get there in private! Notice what David said about the matter, Psa. 63:6; Psa. 138:2. Jesus said the Father was looking for those people who will worship Him, John 4:23-24. If you had to rate your worship, devotional and personal walk with Jesus Christ on a scale of 1 to 10, where would it fall?)
Conc: Are you ready for a more intimate, closer walk with Jesus Christ? If so, then I challenge you to make the right preparations. As you prepare to meet Him, He stands ready to meet you, James 4:8!
I would just remind you again, you are as close to Jesus as you want to be! If you are saved and struggling in your walk with Him, evaluate your life and make all the necessary adjustments so that you might come to Him. If you do not know Him as your personal Savior, I invite you to come to Him and trust Him with the care of your eternal soul.
Regardless of who you are or where you are in your walk with the Lord, today is your opportunity to begin the process of making it all it should be for the glory of the Lord!