- How have you reacted during times of blessing and times of difficulty? Have you drawn closer to God or wandered from him? In difficult times, we can be tempted to blame God, become bitter, and back away. In times of blessing, we can be enticed to elevate our blessing to the point where our blessing becomes our source of gladness, and we can fail to be thankful for the One from whom all blessings flow. How can we keep close to God and display faithfulness during seasons of blessing and times of difficulty? How do we prepare during one season for the next?
- What virtues/characteristics do you esteem in your personal relationships (e.g. husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend)? Are these characteristics more informed/shaped by popular culture like television, movies, etc. or by the Bible? In what ways should you reconsider what you look for in your personal relationships?
- No one likes going through a breakup, especially the breakup of a marriage. Why is it important for your expectations of yourself and your mate to be shaped by the Bible, before you say, “I do”?
- But what happens if your mate does not live up to your expectations? Consider the truth that you will not always live up to the standard you have set for your mate or for yourself, just as you have not lived up to the standard set by God. But God showed you mercy and grace through Jesus. If you are both believers, you possess the Gospel. And because you possess the Gospel, you can likewise show mercy and grace to your mate. You can go beyond the law and extend grace. How can you make it your practice to go beyond the law and extend grace in your relationships?
- Have you ever considered yourself as a destitute outcast before you surrendered your life to Christ? How can you tell the story of Ruth to the people you know in such a way that you introduce Jesus Christ as the Redeemer of the destitute outcast?
Main Idea: In the lives of God’s people, there are no coincidences, only divine appointments. God has set today as a divine appointment for you to meet your kinsman redeemer, Jesus Christ.
- Do you most often find yourself trusting in the things that you can see, or trusting in God by faith? Why is it so tempting to give the weight of our faith to trusting in only what we can see? How can you prepare yourself to trust God no matter your circumstances?
- What are the gods of your past that you left behind when you surrendered your life to Jesus? How did they fail you in the past? How has God provided for you? How may you need to repent and turn away from the gods of your past and turn back to God?
- Have you ever suffered from bitter blindness, or are you suffering now? The only cure for bitterness is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is acceptable to discuss your bitterness with God; he already knows anyway. But when you discuss your bitterness with God, be willing to be healed and to see through God’s eyes according to his sovereignty and his plan and not your own. Ask for his mercy and grace to relieve you of your bitterness. Ask God to help you be satisfied with Christ, and not demand an answer that God may not yet be willing to reveal to you. Remember that, “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.” (1 Corinthians 13:12)
- How can you graciously and patiently help someone who is suffering from bitterness receive the Gospel of redemption?
- What do you need to give up to follow Jesus fully in faith so that he can take you where he wants?
Main Idea: Choose this day, by faith, to trust in the love and sovereignty of God and receive redemption through Jesus Christ.
- What are some of the choices you make each day and each week that have significant consequences for you personally and your family?
- Are there choices you have made in your past where you wish you would have chosen differently? If there are, consider the grace of Jesus, and this truth, “It’s time to depart from your Moab.” Confess those decisions of your past to him personally and as a family and ask him to help you make decisions that honor him from this day forward.
- Read Paul’s promise to the church in Colossians 1:9-12. For what does Paul say we should pray in verse 9? How does this prayer relate to the choices we make each day? What are the other fruits of praying verse 9 for yourself personally and your family as seen in verses 10-12?
- Prayer is essential to making good, God-glorifying, joy-generating choices. What are some other ways both personally and with others that will help you choose wisely? Consider reading Proverbs 11:14, 12:15, 19:20-21; 1 Corinthians 15:33; Psalm 19:7-14; 2 Timothy 3:16.
MIM: Your choices have consequences. Chose to follow Christ, trusting in the loving, wise sovereignty of God.