Responding to God

Study 5: God's plan for the world

Life is full of new beginnings.

beginningsWhether it’s what we do, who we are or simply the start of a new day, we are reminded from the old hymn that God's blessings are "new every morning." The most wonderful new beginning of all we may have experienced is new life in Christ  (2 Corinthians 5:17).

New beginnings are one thing but what will we do with them and where will they lead?

For Boaz and Ruth, new beginnings meant married life and children together. But, the consequences of their new beginning was the beginning of a family relationship which would extend down the generations and would ultimately lead to Jesus.

What we do today will have an impact on tomorrow; the witness of our lives today in God's service, may well lead to someone, somewhere in the future giving their life to God as we have done. It's all a question of our obedience to what God has called us to, just as Boaz and Ruth were obedient to his call.

To think about
  1. What "new beginnings have you experienced?
  2. How have these affected your life?
  3. How might they have impacted the lives of others?
 Reading together - Ruth 4:13 - 22; Matthew 1: 1 - 17

To learn strong faith is to endure great trials. I have learned my faith by standing firm amid severe testings. (George Mueller)
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. (Romans 8:28; NLT)

Studying together
  1. What does it really mean to be obedient to God?
  2. How does Ruth's example help you to answer someone who claims that they are too insignificant/too old/too poor/from the “wrong” background to do anything for God?
  3. List ways which show what we do for God today impacts the future. Ask our faithful God to help keep you faithful in His service.
  4. In what ways did God provide for Ruth, Boaz and Naomi? In what ways has God provided for us?
Listening and sharing together

Reflect on our studies over the past five weeks.

  1. What have you learned? What are the burning questions that remain from reading this short chapter in Israel’s history?
  2. What would you like to share that might encourage other people in their faith?
  3. What lessons from Ruth can you use to help those who are not Christians?
 Praying together

Let's use what we have been studying and learning together to prompt our prayers. God has everything under control and works for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28). Tragedy may strike but God is more than the equal of any problem we might have; he can work through any situation to encourage, guide, strengthen and use.

We are reminded from Ruth's and Boaz story - an account of how ordinary people are used in a special way by an extraordinary God - that all of us are useful to God and that we’d all have a part to play in His plans. Boaz and Ruth left a memorial to God's glory in their dynasty; what memorial will we leave to God's work in our life?

Pray for God's continued presence and direction; thank and praise him for his goodness and ask God that he may give you His wisdom in the days ahead.

For Personal Study ...

Reread Ruth 1 - 4:22 and Matthew 1: 1 17 on your own and consider what lessons you have learned and how your relationship with God has developed as a result.