Ruth Study- Week 6

We’ve finished our reading and it’s time to see what God has done.

No video this week, just some questions to engage your heart and mind with this text. Before you go any further, offer a prayer of thanks, and then make a list of what was most important about our study together.

  • Did you learn something new?
  • Did you encounter a new truth of God?
  • Did you catch the threads of redemption woven through this book of the Bible?
  • Did you find yourself in the midst of God’s story?
  • How does this extravagant love and strategic maneuvering affect your work in the world today?

 

Here are questions from the Reading Guide for week 6. If you want a copy of the full Reading Guide, pick one up in our Ministry Center at CVUMC or click through to find print versions.

 

Reread the book of Ruth once more as you contemplate our “gleanings”.

  • Where is the name of God written in this book? Does that change anything for you?
  • Who caused these situations, God or the people?
    • Was it manipulative?
    • Does is matter?
  • What lingering questions do you have about Ruth?
    • About Jewish culture?
    • About our Judeo-Christian heritage?

 

Prayer
Lord teach us to walk in the ways of your redeeming love, no matter the sacrifice. Guide our hearts and minds to recognize your love for those around us, and teach us to participate in that work of redemption. God of all, transform our broken lives into your image of grace and truth by the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

If you want to go through the study in order or revisit your favorite week, here are the links:

 

Here’s a list of resources I used for writing this study, and a few books to spur you onwards in your journey of faith:

 

 

 

 

 

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Ruth Study- Week 5

Redemption. Having your brokenness restored. For God-followers, redemption isn’t just about the restoration, but about the holiness that comes through being made whole. God is seeking the redemption of the world. We experience glimpses and pieces of it now, knowing the ultimate redemption comes through salvation in Jesus Christ and a world that truly is the kingdom of God. So this week we see the glimpse of redemption in Ruth’s story, for her, for Boaz, for Naomi, and for the generation to come. How is your life being redeemed by the one who loves you beyond all measure?

 

Here are questions from the Reading Guide with a few extra additions from my own experiences. If you want a copy of the full Reading Guide, pick one up in our Ministry Center at CVUMC or click through to find print versions.

Reading Guide- Ruth 4

IV. The Roots of Israel’s Redemption (4:1-22)

A. Boaz settles the matter (4:1-11a)

1. The trap is bated and set (4:1-4)

2. The trap is sprung (4:5-6)

3. Legal formalities (4:7-11)

B. Naming the Mothers of the Messiah (4:11b-17)

1. Blessing the union (4:11b-12)

2. Redemption incarnate (4:13-17)

C. David’s Family Tree (4:18-22)

 

  • Is Boaz being respectful or manipulative in approaching the kinsman-redeemer in 4:1-6?
  • When has God offered you an unexpected solution to a problem, or relief?
  • Read 4:11-12. Is a comparison to Judah and Tamar appropriate for a blessing? (Reread Genesis 38 if you are not familiar with the story)
    • Why do you think their lineage is included as blessing?
  • When have you, like Ruth & Boaz, sacrificed your name or benefits for the sake of another?
  • God persisted in loving Naomi in the face of her bitterness, denial, and manipulation. When have you experienced or pursued someone with that kind of persistent love?

Ruth Study- Week 4

Ruth chapter 3 reminds us of our active participation in the work of God. God is redeeming, but God also desires for us to discern the plan and respond. Read the chapter, watch the teaching, and consider how Naomi, Ruth, and Boaz put into action steps towards God’s redemptive work in the world.

 

Here are questions from the Reading Guide with a few extra additions from my own experiences. If you want a copy of the full Reading Guide, pick one up in our Ministry Center at CVUMC or click through to find print versions.

 

Ruth 3
III. Uncovering and Recovering (3:1-18)

A. The Plan: Uncovering (3:1-7)

B. Recovering: Midnight on the Threshing Floor (3:8-13)

C. The Beginning of an End to Emptiness (3:14-18)

 

  • Is this marriage Boaz’s inclination, traditional piety, or entrapment?
    • economic need, loving relationship, or shamed into duty?

In our family, every search or prayer for a job change is a huge step of faith. (We’re millennials, so we’ve both worked multiple part-time and full-time positions.) And yet every time we step out, or say yes, God provides in abundance over time. Whether it’s a raise or a cost-of-living decrease or networking that eventually results in employment, every scenario that feels desperate soon becomes fruitful as we pray for open doors and we run through them at full sprints!

  • When have you tried something new to guarantee security or economic stability?
    • How has God provided as you step out in faith?
  • Read again Boaz’s actions to redeem Naomi’s family. When have you experienced this type of unmerited favor?

 

This week’s points of interest

  1. Hebrew is ambiguous
  2. It’s not enough to simply pray for an open door, we also have to walk through it.
  3. God is in the practice of redeeming desperate situations.

 

Join me in prayer:
O Lord, how absolutely necessary Your grace is for me, both to begin a good work and to persevere until I accomplish it. Without grace I can do nothing (Jn 15:5), but I can do all things in You, when Your grace strengthens me (Ph 4:13). Thank you for your grace that goes before me and follows me through my daily life through Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

 

Share your thoughts in the comments below, or click back through other weeks to catch up and study along with us!

Reading Guide- Ruth Bible Study

It’s finally here! This summer, I hope you’re ready to study with me as we read through the book of Ruth and explore what it means to have all our worst experiences used for God’s best. Ruth presents an amazing study of resilience, dependence on God even before fully understanding faith, and the messy history of Jesus’ family tree.

Below, you will find 2 pdf copies of our reading guide for the summer.

This is a copy if you intend to print the study as a booklet. (print 2 sided-flip on short edge)  Ruth Reading Guide

This is a copy if you intend to read it online or save it to a device. The pages are in order for reading straight through.  Ruth Online Reading Guide

Either way, I hope you’ll join in this week as we get started. Whether you’re from my congregation or friends from afar, you’re welcome to study with us through these 6 weeks, or catch up later when you stumble across these posts. First lesson will be up TONIGHT! (6/19/17)

Summer Bible Study- Ruth

I’m trying something new!

Since summer becomes a time that people disengage from their regular habits and struggle to coordinate schedules, I’ve decided this summer to run an online Bible Study from my blog. My congregation is all invited to join, and any of my *numerous* followers can do so as well. (Sarcasm becomes me, don’t you think?)

So beginning June 4, I’ll have a study guide available for the book of Ruth, to peruse and work ahead on. Beginning June 19th, I’ll post a weekly teaching and discussion starter. Posts go live every Monday for 6 weeks.

We’ll run discussions in the comments, and I’ll offer recaps in a follow-up post if the comments go long. My hope is that however many participate, we find joy in our study and connection through the haphazard summer months.

 

Here’s the study description:

Wheat-1

Ruth: A study in commitment and provision

Have you ever felt like a stranger—abandoned, alone, forgotten? Our 6-week online Bible study on the Book of Ruth takes us through God’s promises to walk with those who commit to follow. Come in your need and find God’s words for restoring life abundant.

Weekly reading guides and discussion boards will be posted every Monday on Pastor Casey’s blog, as well as linked through our website and Facebook page for the church. Print copies of the reading guide are available in the Ministry Center beginning June 4.

 

 

UPDATE: Click here to get the Reading Guide PDF

Stay Connected- a challenge for summer

“And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” -Hebrews 10:24-25

 

Worship and community are essential in following God. Seeking God out, offering your praises, being formed and renewed by the Holy Spirit, and gathering in accountable community… all of these practices sustain and grow our faith in God. Yet, here we are at that season. Summer has finally arrived, and with it the travels and adventures of warm weather. The demands of our activities, the need for respite, the invitations from family, suddenly we discover we’ve missed weeks of worship and don’t remember the last time we shared in small group community. I get it, though. My family lives out-of-state, my children are starting activities, and meetings take me away from our area. Some weeks I feel like I’m spinning in circles trying to balance it all.

So when the crazy schedules hit, how can we stay connected to God and one another? Here’s some ways you can keep growing in your faith, even from a distance, as you seek to be faithful this summer:

  • Worship where you are– visit a nearby church, take a hymnal or prayer with you to say as a family, share your God-sightings that week
  • Revisit worship with us– Each week we record our worship service, and share it on our website (www.cridersvilleumc.org), our church Facebook page, and show the video at Otterbein and the Cridersville Nursing Home. Watch and worship with us, staying connected from a distance.
  • Simple studies on your own– Read a Psalm & a chapter from Proverbs each day. Proverbs are practical advice in catchy phrasings, and Psalms are dramatic expressions of joys and needs written as poems or songs. Most of the readings are short and simple- study at any level, readers and non-readers alike can dive in to a simple study that changes each day.
  • Pray unceasingly– Wherever you are, whenever you can, pray. Thank God for peace, for nature, for opportunities. Share your burdens and worries. Pray for other people you see walk by, for groups you’re a part of. Ask God to keep you connected and sustain your faith through a different schedule.
  • Check our events schedule for the summer– even if you can’t be here for consistent community, you can connect with your church family at our special opportunities through the summer