The following message notes are for Sunday, February 15, 2015, at the Zone 1 Church in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. May the Lord remind us of all that we have in Him. He is more than enough.
I am not empty!
Have you ever lost good perspective? A point of view is a view from a point.
Things look differently when looked at from various angles.
Today’s text, Ruth 1:21
I went away full, and the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi, when the Lord has testified against me and the Almighty has brought calamity upon me?
From Naomi’s perspective, she left Bethlehem with a husband and two sons. She was returning without any of the three.
- She is returning without the love, intimacy, provision, friendship, and leadership of her husband.
- She is returning without the future care and provision of her two sons.
I am in charge of what perspective I chose to use.
Do I want to look closely and for a long time at my “emptiness?” Do I want to look very briefly at the Lord? OR Do I want to look closely and for a long time at God and His mercy and grace and look only briefly at the feelings of emptiness?
Naomi was at least partly right! She was still in the care of the LORD who is bringing her back.
The last time I spoke to you my message was titled, “What is right with the Church.”
Today I want to take a look at what is right with the people of Zone 1 and Muldoon Community Assembly.
We are a people who know God.
- He shall seduce with flattery those who violate the covenant, but the people who know their God shall stand firm and take action. Daniel 11:32
- But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me. 2 Timothy 1:12[a]
We are a people who live according to God’s Word.
Luke 4:32 and they were astonished at his teaching, for his word possessed authority.
We are a people who know what remains.
1 Corinthians 13:13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
We are a people of faith.
Faith is hearing a promise from God and living accordingly because God’s promise is as good as done. “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” Romans 10:17
Faith starts the process of everything that remains. When you are returning empty, like Naomi thought she was doing, you can not have hope and love without faith.
We are a people of hope.
- Psalm 42:5 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation.
- Psalm 62:5 For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.
- Psalm 71:4 But I will hope continually and will praise you yet more and more.
- Romans 12:2 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
We are a people of love.
- 1 John 3:16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.
- 1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.
- 1 John 4:11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
Naomi! Zone 1 Church! Muldoon Community Assembly!
We are not returning empty.