Our Sunday school topic for today focuses on the special blessings that God pours out upon his children. (I want to dedicate this to my dad who raised me in God's word and love. Thank God for Christian fathers.)
Handout: Special Blessings
1. Ask the students - Have you ever gotten a blessing when you wasn't expecting it? Have you ever been having a hard time and you didn't tell anyone but someone came that seemed to know exactly what to say or do that made you feel better? Today let us focus on the special blessings that God sends to us when we are not expecting it. We will take our text today from the book of Ruth. Many of you know the story, but let us review. There was once a man of Bethlehemjudah named Elimelech. His wife's name was Naomi. They had two sons, Mahlon and Chilion. In those days, there was a famine in the land. Elimelech decides to move himelf and his family to the country of Moab. While they are there, Mahlon and Chilion met women and married. One was named Orpah, and the other was Ruth. Reading we find out that Elimelech dies and about ten years after Mahlon and Chilion die as well, leaving behind Naomi alone with her two daughters in law, Orpah, and Ruth. Naomi is now alone and decides to go back to own people. We find that Orpah goes back to her family, however, Ruth refuses. Instead she vows to remain with Naomi forever. Ruth 1:16 & 17 "And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: 17. Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me."
2. It was the beginning of barley harvest and Naomi has a kinsman of her husband named Boaz. He is very wealthy. Ruth says to Naomi let me go to the field and glean ears of corn after the reapers. In other words pick up what they drop so that they can have enough to eat. Boaz sees her one day and begins to ask who she is. He finds out she is Naomi's daughter in law and tells her to stay by his maidens and that she can glean in his fields that he has commanded that no one reproach her for this. He gives her food to eat before she goes out to work. She is so happy. Boaz secretly tells the workers to drop handful of purpose, (special blessings) for her so that she will have more. Ruth 2:15 &16 "And when she was risen up to glean, Boaz commanded his young men, saying, Let her glean even among the sheaves, and reproach her not: 16. and let fall also some of the handfuls of purpose for her, and leave them, that she may glean them, and rebuke her not." Now we know that Boaz did not have to do that, but he had love for her and knew that the extra would be a blessing to her. Later on we find out that since he is family of Naomi's husband, he is able to redeem any land that belonged to him as well as marry his widow. However, is another man that is closer kin that has the chance to redeem the land first, but later says he isn't able to. So Boaz redeems the parcel of land that belonged before to Elimelech and marries Ruth and we know by reading that together they had a child which was Obed, the grandfather of King David then from that lineage came JESUS.
3. We can easily take that story in the Bible and apply it to what Christ did for us. Boaz a type of Christ, the redeemer of what was lost to death. The man that was closer kin, type of Adam, that could not redeem. In Ruth we can see as a reflection of ourselves, the church before salvation, in need of being redeemed. We were out there on our own trying to make it as best we could, GOD looked down in love and mercy and sees we need a Savior. Knowing that he must reedem back what the first man Adam could not. He sends Jesus. In love Jesus steps up and redeems mankind. That in itself is the most wonderful blessing. However, there are so many times, like Boaz with Ruth, when He sends blessings or handfuls of purpose our way, or special blessings, because He loves us and wants to encourage us to go on. Never take small things for granted. A smile, a kind word, a hug. Anything, wonderful and lovely that comes our way is from the Lord, we should always be thankful and praise Him for it. Sadly, there are so many blessings that sometimes we take for granted until they are gone. Let us always be thankful and mindful of the special blessings in our lives from the Lord, our Father.
4. Can you just imagine how encouraged Ruth must have felt being out in the hot sun working hard just to pick up the barley that was dropped by accident, then to suddenly come upon a big bundle! I am sure that it made her want to keep on working when she was weary knowing that up there along the way she might find another big bundle that she could take home to help her mother in law whom she loved so much. Then, can you imagine how she must have felt to find favor with Boaz and to find out that he could redeem and be her husband. Her and her mother in law was then cared for and were living in this man's house where they were loved. Just like Ruth we were destined of a life of lonliness, when along came our Boaz, which is Jesus!!! He saw us as we were and yet loved us anyway, He stepped up and He paid the price and redeemed us and gave us live abunduntly and everlasting, and we have the promise that we will get to go live with Him forever when our work here is done. Praise the Lord.
5. What does the Bible say? Romans 5:8 "But God commendeth his love toward us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
6. Describe the joy and personal reward of humble dedication - and trusting the Lord always.
7. Challenge students to serve others in humility this week
Discuss some of the special blessings that you reciece on a daily or weekly basis, or some special blessing that you didn't expect but came to you and you knew it was from GOD.
The past few lessons, we have heard about how GOD has a plan and a purpose for everything. A plan or destiny for each person. Think about Ruth's destiny...she was the great grandmother of King David, and later we know from that lineage came Jesus. GOD has a plan and purpose for each of our lives. Trust Him and Praise HIM!
Thank you for you grace and mercy, and for being with us another week. Help us to love you as you deserve to be loved, help us to honor your name as we go out into the world and point the lost to you're light. We thank you for you many blessings, for the special blessings you pour out upon your children even when we are not aware of it. Thank you for this ministry, use it for your glory and honor, and help us always follow you and your ways...We love, praise, and worship your worthy name foevever ever.
(In the name of JESUS...Amen.)
September 28, 2014