Sermon in a nutshell: “I am next in line after you.” (Ruth 4:1-6)

Sermon in a nutshell: “I am next in line after you.” (Ruth 4:1-6)
Who is the one that God uses to bless others? It is the one who is willing to sacrifice his or her right and serve others. In the Bible passage for today, we can see the difference between Boaz and the anonymous relative of Elimelek/Naomi.
In his relations to Elimelek/Naomi, he was the closer guardian-redeemer. We do not know the name of the person. However, we know what kind of a person he was. When Boaz asked him to claim his right as a guardian-redeemer and to buy the property of Elimelek/Naomi, he said he would buy it. “I will redeem it,” he said.
However, when Boaz reminded him of his other duty to marry Ruth, the pagan widow, he said, “Then I cannot redeem it because I might endanger my own estate. You redeem it yourself. I cannot do it.” What was going on?
First, he thought that he could gain property from the Elimelek family. Then he later found out that he also had to marry Ruth. If he married Ruth, he would help Ruth to have a son. The son would then inherit the property and revive the Elimelek family. In other words, he would do everything to make the Elimelek family to come back to life. What would he get in return? NOTHING! So, he replied, I cannot redeem it. I cannot do it. Actually, he did not want to do it.
Boaz already knew what kind of person he was. He was not willing to sacrifice his right to serve others. He was just a normal person. He was not a bad guy. We often act like this anonymous person. We think of our benefit first. What is there for me?
When God is doing God’s work, however, God is looking for a person who is willing to go beyond the common, normal life style. God is looking for those who are willing to sacrifice their rights and to serve others. Boaz was willing to take the risk of being ridiculed. Ruth was willing to give herself as a living sacrifice. Naomi was willing to give up her love and memory of her son. History is made by those who are willing to go the extra mile. Are you willing to make such sacrifices for our church, our community, and God’s Kingdom?
1. What is the ministry that has been offered to you to participate in?
2. What are the reasons that make you hesitate to say “yes”?

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