20190217 Sunday Worship Sermon
“Precious Moments of the Life” (Ruth 2: 1-13)
When we look back upon our life, there have been lots of events and important moments in our lives.
It seems like most people have more regret rather than satisfaction for their past.
What about you?
Are you satisfied with your past without regrets?
Perhaps, we are living the life of regret.
Let’s think about it.
What is the reason we regret our past?
I think that we couldn’t spend time wisely when we faced the important moments during our life.
We usually say, “Why did I do that at that time?” “It would have been good if I made a better choice at that moment” “I was very foolish at that time. I didn’t know how I could do it…”
Yes, we tend to always regret.
However, today is more important than yesterday and tomorrow is more important than today.
Therefore, we should expect and practice to live without regret from now on.
That is, we have to consider every moment that we experience as a precious time, and we have to do our best.
If so, how do we live a life without regrets?
What do the precious things that we keep mean to us?
I would like to focus on how precious our life is, through today’s passage.
First, an important aspect of our life is the person whom we are with at this very moment.
Usually, people will be judged and evaluated according to whom they are close with or meet with.
For example, if someone is close with politicians, people consider them as the politicians.
If someone is close with soldiers, people think them as the soldiers.
Like this, it is important for people whom they are close with now.
Meeting with others has a peculiar influence.
Because of the wrong meeting, some may live a miserable life.
But, some people find the happiness of whole life through the meeting with someone.
Among the people I meet now, either the enemy comes out or benefactor comes out.
Therefore, it is said that the people whom I am together with and meet with now are very important and precious.
Now, whom do you meet with?
Who are you together with?
We can see the one woman named Ruth in today’s text.
As you know well, in conclusion, Ruth became the great grandmother of King David and she became the ancestor of the Messiah.
This great history began when Ruth met with the person, named “Boaz.”
If the meeting with Boaz had ended with no meaning, Ruth couldn’t become an ancestor to the Messiah.
To meet with good people is very important for the life.
Depending on whom you meet with, you may be happy or unhappy.
However, the more important thing is to consider the people you are with now, preciously.
Please consider the people with you as precious.
Ruth came to Bethlehem from Moab with her mother in law, Naomi.
They had nothing.
Ruth’s father in law died and her husband also died.
They had only sorrow, pain, wounded heart, and lived in poverty.
One day Ruth went to the field belonging to Boaz and met with the supervisor.
She asked the supervisor if she can pick up the leftover grain.
At that time, there was a custom to leave some grain intentionally on the field when it was harvesting
This was left for the poor people.
One day, Boaz came to his field and saw a strange woman picking up the leftover grain.
The supervisor told Boaz about the woman Ruth.
He said to Boaz “She came into the field and has remained here from morning till now, except for a short rest in the shelter.”
From the supervisor’s description, Boaz could realize the fact that Ruth was diligent and sincere.
Perhaps the supervisor had a good first impression of Ruth.
Then, this meeting brought an encounter with Boaz.
In conclusion, it became the precious meeting.
The scene that Ruth met with Boaz is written in the Scripture like this.
“She happened to come to the field belonging to Boaz…” (verse 3)
Yes, Ruth happened to meet with Boaz.
But, that was not “hap”
That was God’s providence, God’s plan, and God’s inevitable incident for the birth of King David and the Messiah.
Why is the person you are meeting with now so precious?
That is not because of “happening”, but because of God’s plan.
Meeting with family, meeting with friends, meeting with church members, and meeting with pastor are the same.
Every meeting is precious.
Yes, we should consider people with us very precious.
I would like to tell you a funny story.
There was a salesman.
He was on his way to meet with a buyer.
He was driving and planning to take the freeway.
However, there was a terrible traffic jam on the entering lane.
He worried that he would be late for the meeting with the buyer.
At that time, suddenly a car cut in front his car.
He was very upset and yelled with anger.
They got out of their cars and argued for a while.
Finally, the salesman arrived late to the meeting place.
When he greeted the buyer, the salesman was surprised.
The buyer was the one who was arguing with him just a few minutes ago.
This story reminds us that every meeting, however insignificant, the meeting is very important.
Please remember the fact that the person meeting with me can be enemy or can be benefactor later.
God’s work is done through the people.
And God considers everyone precious.
We should consider everyone with us precious.
Like Ruth and Boaz, if we consider someone with us as precious, if we respect, serve, and make beautiful relationship with them, we can experience the abundant grace of God, and we can live without regrets.
Let’s tell the person next to you, “You are a precious person.”
Secondly, the important thing of our life is the words that we are saying now.
There are lots of proverbs regarding the words.
“If the word you say is good, then the word coming back at you is good…”
“Bad news travel fast”
“In a word a thousand pieces of silver pays off debt…”
These proverbs remind us the importance of our words.
I heard a comment, “than the number of dead in the war, there are more number of dead is abusive.”
This shows us how our tongue has the power and influence.
Yes, one word may change the life of a person.
The representative people are Ruth and Boaz.
When Boaz heard from the supervisor about Ruth, he gave Ruth big favor.
In verses 8 and 9 Boaz saying this,
“My daughter, listen to me. Don’t go and glean in another field and don’t go away from here. Stay here with the women who work for me… / I have told the men not to lay a hand on you. And whenever you are thirsty, go and get a drink from the water jars...”
Ruth, who was living in difficulty, received encouragement from Boaz’s words.
Now, Ruth didn’t have to move around to get the grain.
She didn’t have to fear of threats of personal.
In verse 10, Ruth told Boaz,
“Why have I found such favor in your eyes that you notice me, a foreigner?”
Through this expression we can feel that she is very humble and polite.
“May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.”
What an encouraging word it is!
I would like to tell you a testimony by a CEO of a small company.
There was an unexpected accident in the company.
As the CEO, he took the responsibility and went to jail.
However, when he was out of prison, many people looked at him with strange eyes.
They gave him the cold shoulder.
He was very intimidated.
At that time, one of the employees came close to him and said,
“Sir, you have had a hard time. I am really happy to see you again. I respect you. I am very proud of you. You are so precious.”
He confessed that those words from the employee touched his heart and he could get courage.
After that, the CEO entrusted that employee the important business and supported him continually.
And then, finally, he appointed him as the next CEO.
Yes, one word may change the life of a person.
I would like to share with you my experience.
I am bad at art.
When I was in elementary school, I was good at art.
I really love to draw and I got some prizes at a drawing contest.
My favorite subject was art.
However, since my middle school age I was not fond of art and one of the most hated subjects was art.
The reason was due to the mere words.
When I was in 7th grade, a new art teacher came to our school.
She was very pretty and smart.
During the art class, I worked really hard drawing a picture.
I wanted to show my picture to the new teacher.
Yes, I expected that teacher would praise me.
However, looking at the picture I drew, the art teacher said,
“Hey Bae Sun, what did you draw? Who painted this picture? Did you draw this picture with your foot?”
Since that time I hated the art class.
A single word made me dislike art.
Brothers and sisters, the influence of words is very important.
A single word may change the life of a person.
A single word makes people alive or die.
There are people who spoil their life due to a single word.
On the other hand, there are people who enjoy the benefits due to a single word.
Boaz got the impression due to the word of Ruth, and Ruth got encouragement due to the word of Boaz.
The words contained humility, sincerity and encouragement, which give consolation and strength to the people, and can change the life.
The important thing for us is the words we are saying now.
Please remember the fact that our words remain in the heart of the people.
Although a person’s face is forgotten, words remain in the mind deeply and give the good or bad effect.
Brothers and sisters, your words remain in someone’s heart.
Therefore, we should say thankful words, modest words, loving words and encouraging words.
Above all, we should say God’s words.
Lastly, the important thing of our life is the work that we are doing now.
It means that we should consider what we do precious and do our best for it, even though it may be a small and little thing.
Ruth was a weak woman.
Her husband died.
With a single mother in law Ruth lived a poor and difficult life.
However, she did her best under these difficult circumstances.
To pick up the leftover grain in other’s field was work for poor and hungry people.
Nobody cared about this work.
Ruth probably felt shame with this work.
However, she did her best for this work.
In today’s text we can realize the fact that everyone got impression through her sincerity.
Even though it was small and insignificant work, Ruth did her best for her work.
No one laughed or ridiculed Ruth.
No one ignored her.
Rather, people praised her.
I would like to share my experience with you.
When I was studying at Seminary in New Jersey, I experienced some part time jobs.
Among them, I even worked cleaning houses.
I found that job through the school board.
Elderly couple lived in the house and they posted an advertisement on the school board.
According to the advertisement, they needed someone who could help with just little things.
However, when I began to work I realized that there were so many things to do.
It was a two story house.
And there were 2 large living rooms, 6 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms.
I had to clean all those rooms.
Also, I had to do yard work, and I had to wash dishes and do laundry.
Above all, the pay was very low.
Whenever I worked there I thought that I would quit this work.
However, I worked continually until I finished my study.
The elderly couple were non-Christian and they knew that I was a pastor.
So, I couldn’t stop the work and I wanted show them the example of a sincere Christian.
I tried to do my best.
As time went on, they had become trusted and recognized me.
And they discussed the important things with me.
Also, they invited my family to their family meeting.
More important thing was that the pay became doubled.
I had a precious experience at that time.
At the beginning of the work I felt shame.
But I thought, “How could I do God’s work as I couldn’t do my best for small things?”
Also I thought that every work is precious.
What are you doing now?
Do you work hard physically?
Do you consider your job as insignificance that no one cares?
Or, are you forced to doing dirty work?
Most people consider the outlook appearance important.
So whether, they are usually reluctant of the hard work, dirty work, and trifling work.
Many people try to find easy work and looking nice at work.
What do you think about it?
I hope you consider your work precious and do your best when you are working even though the work is trifling like picking up the grain, making you shameful and difficult.
God rejoices and works with the people who consider their works precious.
Today we saw how the life of Ruth was beautiful and precious.
And through Ruth’s life we could learn what important and precious things are in our lives.
Brothers and sisters, the person whom you are with now is precious.
The words that you are saying now is precious.
And the work that you are doing now is precious.
Therefore, live these moments with your best.
If so, you can live without regrets.
Those who live this life can experience true joy.
Through those who live this way, God starts his amazing works.
I bless you all in the name of the Lord to live this life considering every moment precious. God will use your life. Amen.