John Gunn - Changes

The Book of Ruth is about changes. There are four chapters, like the four seasons. Winter is a bleak time; spring is budding time; summer is growing time; and autumn is harvest time. Elimelech fled from a famine…we don't need the wings of a dove to flee, but we need the spirit of a dove. Boaz prospered in the land where Elimelech thought he would die…Elimelech died in the land where he thought he would prosper.

Authority is not the result of position, but it is the result of submission…a centurion had authority because he was submitted to his rulers…Jesus had authority because he was submitted to his Father. Naomi understood there was nothing for Orpah to gain in Bethlehem if her heart was still in Moab.

There are more people in the book of Ruth than reapers…there are gleaners, water carriers, those who brought vinegar…many roles for people in God's kingdom. Ruth gleaned in the field, and then took time to beat out the grain…she was a real feeder. Feeders are not out to impress…they are out to feed.

Three difficult things…to be misunderstood, to be misjudged, to accept blame. Three things that reveal what is in us…how we accept praise, how we accept criticism, how we accept counsel.

If we owe all to Jesus, shouldn't we be willing to give all to Jesus? We are like the woman in the temple…we have only two mites to give…our present and our future…our past was a third mite, but it is already spent. Give all our present to God, and leave the planning of our future to God.