January 7, 2024
Commit to Love | Belong Week 1
Check out this week's sermon on Spotify at:
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Five-Day Bible Reading Plan and Devotional:
Day 1: Introduction to Ruth and the Belong Sermon Series
Read: Ruth 1:1-5
Today, we embark on a journey through the story of Ruth, starting with the context of her life's trials. Amid famine and loss, we witness the setup for a remarkable tale of loyalty and perseverance. Reflect on your own life's struggles and consider how they might be preparing you for a greater story of faithfulness and purpose.
Reflection Question: How have difficult circumstances in your own life led to unexpected opportunities or spiritual growth?
Day 2: Ruth's Commitment to Naomi
Read: Ruth 1:6-18
Ruth's devotion to Naomi is a profound example of faithfulness and love. Her decision to stay with Naomi, despite her own loss, illustrates the depth of commitment that can exist in relationships. Ponder the choices you've made to stay loyal to your loved ones and to God, even when it's been difficult.
Reflection Question: In what ways can you emulate Ruth's loyalty in your current relationships, and how does that reflect your commitment to God?
Day 3: The Contrast of Judges and Ruth
Read: Judges 21:25, Ruth 1:22
The darkness of the time of Judges starkly contrasts with the redemptive story of Ruth. The final verse of Judges reminds us of the chaos when "everyone did as they saw fit," while Ruth's arrival in Bethlehem represents a return to hope and God's provision. Consider the role of obedience in your life as you contrast it with the autonomy of the world.
Reflection Question: How can embracing God's authority in your life bring order to the chaos that the world often promotes?
Day 4: The Nature of True Belonging
Read: Ruth 1:19-22
As Naomi and Ruth return to Bethlehem, they face uncertainty. Despite this, Ruth’s choice signifies a deep sense of belonging with Naomi. Contemplate the places and communities where you feel you truly belong. How does this sense of belonging influence your identity? Reflection Question: In what ways do you actively choose to belong to your community of faith?
Day 5: God Chose You First
Read: Ephesians 1:4-5, 1 John 4:19, 2 Peter 2:4-9
Reflect on the statement from the sermon: "Before you chose God, He chose you." Our chosenness by God influences the way we live in His grand design. Contemplate what it means to belong and commit to love God's church. Is the Holy Spirit telling you that you should do more, the same, or maybe even less?
Reflection Question: What is one way you can be more committed to love those groups to which you "belong"?