This Is Not The End

Ruth 1:5
“Then both Mahlon and Chilion also died; so the woman survived her two sons and her husband.

To say that Naomi had been through some difficult times is a colossal understatement. Because of a severe famine throughout Israel, she and Elimelech made the difficult decision to leave their homeland, family and friends, in search of a better life. The road that promised a better life actually led to heartache. Naomi watched as her husband died, and shortly thereafter, each of her two sons died. Widowed, heartbroken and left with nothing, she decided to make her way back to Israel. After such grievous trials, it would be easy to concede, this was the end for her.

As the story unfolds, we begin to realize God had not deserted Naomi. In fact, He had a wonderful future in mind for her. A future that involved the restoration of a family and the redemption of mankind.

As Naomi made her way back to Israel, Ruth, her daughter-in-law, insisted on returning with her. Naomi’s influence led Ruth to make a decision to follow the Lord. This decision would change the course of human history. As the story continues, Ruth will meet Boaz, fall in love, marry, have children, then grandchildren, and David will be introduced to the world.

When all seemed lost, God had a future for Naomi that included the salvation of souls. Whatever you may be facing, remember, this is not the end. The Psalmist declared,

“Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him
For the help of His countenance.” 
Psalm 42:5

Pastor Jim

 

Lost And Found

Luke 15:2
“This Man receives sinners . . .”

20140227-074349.jpgMan lives as though God and eternity are a mystery. Even before I became a Christian, I had heard the pseudo–verse, “God works in mysterious ways.” Here, in Luke 15, the mysterious ways of God are revealed. We see clearly how he feels about the lost, as well as what He does about it.

Jesus tells three stories, and in each one, He is played by a different character. In the first, He is the man who has a lost sheep and leaves all He has to find it. In the second, He is played by the woman who searches diligently to find the one lost coin. Finally, in the third, He is played by the father who patiently waits, while his son wastes his life. We see clearly the heart of God toward the lost and wayward. He willingly gave up all, clothed Himself in humanity, to seek and save the lost.

The message is clear. If you are wayward, come back to Him. He loves you and wants to forgive you. If someone you love is wayward, express to them the same loving grace that the father showed his son, as you pray and await their return.

Pastor Jim