Pursued By Grace Series Sermon #7
ABIDING IN THE FIELD OF GRACE
Ruth 2:21-23 (NKJV)
21 Ruth the Moabitess said, “He also said to me, ‘You shall stay close by my young men until they have finished all my harvest.’”
22 And Naomi said to Ruth her daughter-in-law, “It is good, my daughter, that you go out with his young women, and that people do not meet you in any other field.”
23 So she stayed close by the young women of Boaz, to glean until the end of barley harvest and wheat harvest; and she dwelt with her mother-in-law.
Ruth has been gleaning in the field of Boaz, while there she got more grain than she bargained for. She also caught the eye of the wealthy field owner, a man by the name of Boaz. He works things out for her so that she leaves his field with more than enough grain to feed her and her mother in law for a week or more! She also leaves that field with instructions from Boaz. You see, this man is falling in love with Ruth and he is determined to get to know her better. Before she leaves, she is invited by Boaz to abide in his field until the harvest has ended. He wants to take care of Ruth and see that she has all she needs and more! He wants to be blessing to her life.
I would remind you that Boaz is a picture of the Lord Jesus Christ. In these verses, we see a portrait of how the Lord works with His people and how His people should respond to Him.
You see, like Boaz, the Lord Jesus Christ possesses a big field of grace and He wants us to abide in it. If we will abide in the field of grace, He will see to it that we get everything we need and much more.
Allow me to point out the great blessings that are contained in these verses. I want to preach for a few minutes on the subject Abiding In The Field Of Grace.
I. V. 21 RUTH IS INVITED TO ABIDE
A. It Was A Personal Invitation – “He said unto me” – Boaz is interested in Ruth as an individual. He wants to know her better. He is concerned about her.
(Note: Jesus Christ is a personal Savior! He is interested in a personal relationship with each of us, Rom. 10:13. He is interested in us personally. He wants our walk with Him to be an intimate one, John 15:5-6. Ill. Rev. 3:20.)
B. It Was A Precise Invitation – Boaz told her exactly what she was to do, “Abide in my field.” He left no question as to what he expected from Ruth.
(Note: So it is with the Lord Jesus Christ. He wants us to be in an intimate, abiding relationship with Him, John 15:4; 15:15-16.)
(Note: Jesus doesn’t want His people gleaning in His field one day and another field another day. He wants us to live a life that is consistent. One that feeds off of our relationship with Him. One that requires Him to exist. He wants there to be a hunger in the heart for Him, Psa. 42:1-2.)
C. It Was A Promising Invitation – “until they have ended all my harvest.” Boaz wanted Ruth to know that she was invited to glean in his fields until everything had been gathered. This promised her that she would enjoy plenty until the harvest was over.
(Note: The relationship Jesus wants to have with His children is not a short term situation! He wants us to abide in His field until all His harvest has ended. That is why He has promised us that He will never leave us, Heb. 13:5. That is why He has promised us that He will never cast us away, John 6:37.)
(Note: Those who enter into this kind of relationship with the Lord Jesus find themselves in a fertile field of grace, where His presence and His blessings are rich and real! His blessings do not have to be hit or miss, but they can be as constant as the North Star!)
II. V. 22 RUTH IS INSTRUCTED TO ABIDE
A. The Character Of The Field – Ruth is told that “it is good”. This is a good field! It was a proven field, v. 17. It was a productive field, Chp. 2; It was a promising field, v. 21. This speaks to the quality of the field!
(Note: The field of grace that Jesus expects us to abide in is a field of the best character. Staying with Him will produce the fruit of His image in your life, Rom. 8:29. Gleaning in any other field leads to destruction and death, Pro. 16:25. The character of the Lord’s field is that it is a good field. It is the best field. For those who have gleaned there and tasted the fruit thereof would never think of gleaning anywhere else. When you can have all that Jesus offers, why would you settle for anything else?)
B. The Completeness Of The Field – Ruth found more than just food when she was in the field of Boaz. She found peace, safety, security, hope, refreshment, relationships, hope, promise, goodness, kindness, and blessing, 2:9-17.) This speaks to the quantity of the field.
(Note: When you glean in the field of the Lord Jesus and determine that you will abide there through the times of bounty as well as the lean times, you will find that His field contains all you need to sustain you through all times.)
(Note: Is Jesus all you need? That’s not nearly enough! Is Jesus all you want? That’s not far enough either! He wants us to come to the place where Jesus is all we have, Heb. 13:5b! Paul said it best, Phil.1:21. Where are you in that process?)
When we come to the place where Jesus is all we have, we will find that we have all we want and all we need. He offers completeness for all those who glean in His field, Phil. 4:11-13.
C. The Company Of The Field – When Ruth was gleaning in the field of Boaz, she had precious relationships with the men in the field, Ruth 2:4-7; 9; with the maidens in the field, 2:8, 22; and with the master of the field himself, Boaz, Ruth 2:7-18.
(Note: When we learn to abide in the Lord’s field, we are also privileged to enter into some glorious relationships. First, there is the relationship with the people of God! Our fellowship together is precious! We are a body, 1 Cor. 12:12-27. We are part of a fellowship, 1 John 1:3. Thank God for His people! They are precious! Secondly, we have a relationship with the Master of the field, the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a close relationship, 1 John 1:3, John 15:5. It is a permanent relationship, John 6:37; John 14:16. The relationships of His field are precious beyond words! Amen!)
III. V. 23 RUTH IS INCLINED TO ABIDE
A. Her’s Was A Continual Work – Ruth entered that field every day and gleaned faithfully until the harvest ended.
(Note: That is what Jesus expects all of His people to do! He wants us to glean in His field faithfully every single day! He would have His people dedicated, consecrated, and consistently gleaning in His field, carrying out His will until He comes again. Ill. Eph. 2:8-10)
B. Her’s Was A Completed Work – She was steadfast and dedicated until the work was finished.
(Note: The Lord would have His people continue in His harvest work until He ends all the harvest. He is looking for those who will begin well, glean well and finish well. I want to be able to say what Paul said when he reached the end of the way, 2 Tim. 4:6-8.)
C. Her’s Was A Consecrated Work – This verse tells us that she “dwelt with her mother in law.” She was a young, beautiful, widow. She caught the eye of Boaz, and she probably caught the eye of other men in Bethlehem. Still she walked in integrity and maintained her purity through those difficult, lonely days.
This speaks volumes about Ruth’s character! She willingly submitted herself to the field, the future, her family and her new faith. In doing so, she sets the example for you and me.
(Note: As we glean, we are to be faithful to do His will as we pass through this world. Are you doing that? We are also to walk in integrity. We are to keep our lives clean and pleasing in the sight of the Lord for the glory of God. He would have His people to be holy, 1 Pet. 1:16. There are many who need to come before Him and make a fresh commitment to glean in His will, in the field of grace until the harvest is ended!)
Ruth committed herself to staying in the field of Boaz. She did not wander from field to field, but she settled down and worked in the field of grace.
I wish God’s people could catch a vision of that precious truth today! Far too many of God’s people are wandering here and there, gleaning in this field and then another. God’s heart is that we would just determine in our hearts that we are done playing with this thing and settle down to serve Him and glean in His field of grace until He comes for us.
If you are not saved, I invite you to enter the field of grace by faith. He will save you today if you will come. If you are saved and have strayed from His field, I invite you to return, there is plenty for you to glean here. If you are doing your best to be consistent and faithful, I would encourage you to carry on. I’ve read the book (The BIBLE) and it won’t be long until the harvest has ended and we are called to the big house or rather mansions reserved for God’s holy people.
Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!