“Big Doors Swing on Small Hinges”, an expository sermon series on Ruth by Stuart Olyott.
My favorite part of his sermons, like I said before, is how Pastor Olyott brings every book, every piece of history in the Bible back to the gospel. Of course, I should expect this more, since the entire word of God is a prophesy, a foreshadowing, and an account of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The entire Bible is rich with hope of the gospel…
Fun fact: Someone I know is named Hope Evangeline. Hope of the gospel. What an awesome, daily reminder.
Anyway. The sermon. And now, some convicting, core-rattling quotes followed by my reactions. All from random parts of the sermon, but all well worth quoting. Still, listen to the entire sermon… there is so much more.
“You can tell who is a Christian and who is not a Christian based on what they choose.”
I know what the Bible says about gluttony, but this dinner tastes so good… I’ll have another helping. And what can it hurt if I wash it down with two packs of fruit snacks, a few chips, maybe a scoop of chocolate ice cream, and an apple, to end it on a healthy note. I’m running tomorrow, after all, so, I can eat what I want.
Yes! This thought process happens too often in my weekly life. Ugh! So convicting!
An example that maybe more people can relate with… you know your church offers Bible studies and small groups on Sunday nights. But you’re so tired, it’s almost Monday, you just want to stay home — plus, you already went to church that morning. Why pile on?
Be mindful of your choices!
“The Bible says that sport is good, but don’t love it. The Bible says that leisure is good, but don’t love it. The Bible says that hard work is good, but love it.”
Too often, I read more running articles than Bible passages. Too often, I choose to lounge grossly on the couch with the T.V. on in the background. Too often, I take “it’s a slow week at work” to excuse boredom.
Sport is not bad. Leisure is not bad. But they are only good in moderation. Ruth worked all day in the hot, baking sun, gleaning wheat and barley, and only rested a short while, according to the overseer. I have a lot to learn here.
“What are Christians like when other Christians aren’t around to see them?
- They are prayerful (v12)
- They are kind (paragraph)
- They are grateful (v10, 13)
That’s what Christians look like.”
Sometimes, lists in sermons are not good signs. Most churches nowadays stick to “how-to” tutorials for 20 minutes on a Sunday, instead of rich, deep, true, convicting, maybe offensive verses in the actual Bible. I mean. I’m a tech writer. I love lists and tutorials. But they have their place, and it’s not in place of a sermon.
However, sometimes, lists are good. This one is. The verses referenced are from Ruth 2. Notice how kind Boaz is to a stranger. To a poor stranger who randomly wandered into his field. “Randomly”, because God put her there.
Am I prayerful? Hm. This is hard. I pray… but not enough. And unfortunately, usually, when I pray, it begins with, “Lord, please let this happen” and ends with a half-hearted, “if it be Your will.” I have a feeling… this type of prayer… does not make one “prayerful”.
Am I kind? Definitely not enough. The Lord has worked on me, but I can be quite a sailor when it comes to expressions. I can also suddenly snap and become upset. I can also hesitate when tithing. What is wrong with me, really.
Am I grateful? Wow. So, when I become upset, say, when the hot water is gone again when I get home to take a shower, and there is really no reason why it should be gone, since the house has been empty all day until I got home, and I just went for a 6 mile run and I deserve hot water, please. Meanwhile, some people live without hot water. Some people live without running water. Some people run 6 miles to a well and don’t use that water to bathe… instead they run it back home for their family. So am I as grateful as I should be? No.
Again, listen! God teaches me something new every time.