November 22, 2017
Our Best Days are Still to Come! Those words, spoken by Pastor Charles Simpson in our 30-year anniversary service, are SO TRUE! When I look around, I see God moving us in an amazing direction as a church. Many of you were moved by John Maxwell’s passionate plea for believers in Christ to purposefully go after people who will never come to church. If you missed his video message you can watch it here. He talked about learning how to add value to people before you try to share your faith because, “If I can get people to like me, they might like my God.”
That’s what we see in the story of Ruth! As a mother-in-law, Naomi added value to Ruth, and that relationship led Ruth to say, “Where you go, I will go. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God.” Ruth was a cultural and racial outsider, but Naomi embraced her and loved her with an unselfish love.
Hesed (חסד) is a Hebrew word used to describe the love of God for mankind. It’s loving-kindness, kindness, or just LOVE. When you explore its meaning and use, you get the picture of love-in-action. In other words, you express love to people by acting upon the need you see. It’s not enough to just “say” I value you, I need to show you I love you through my actions. The disciple James says it well.
What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. James 2:14-17
This Sunday we’ll continue to look at the story of Ruth and how this kind of “hesed” (love) was strong enough to break through the barriers of culture and race, and forever change peoples’ destinies!
I’ll see you Sunday!
P.S. I heard David did a great job last week laying the spiritual and mental groundwork for Thanksgiving. So be thankful and HAVE A WONDERFUL THANKSGIVING!