Happy New Year!

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speaker: Nate Dunlevy sunday morning december 30 2007

Text of Happy New Year!

  • 1. Happy New Year!

2. Lets start from the end

  • Ruth 4
  • Whaaa?
  • And then hes taking off his shoe
  • And they lived happily ever after

3. The holidays are for hating yourself

  • Family stuff
  • Food stuff
  • Money stuff
  • So you get to New Years Eve and you say

4. I WANT TO START OVER 5. But the question is

  • How do I get to the end?
  • How do I become who I want to be?
  • How do I get my happily ever after?
  • The problem is that we start at the end, and it leaves us confused as to how to get there.

6. Lets get some context

  • Ruth 2-3
  • Ruth works hard (2:1)
  • Ruth is humble (2:10)
  • Ruth was generous (2:18)
  • Ruth was obedient (2:23)
  • Ruth was pure (3:10)

7. Ok, so all I have to do is

  • Work really hard to be humble, generous, obedient, and pure.
  • Um, theres just one little problem

8. IM A MESS! 9. Working hard isnt the answer.

  • Sometimes it helps to go back to the beginning.
  • Ruth 1
  • Lets figure out who Ruth was

10. Moab

  • Its father was its grandfather
  • It worshiped a god who demanded child sacrifice
  • Brought curses against Gods people (Numbers 22)
  • Oppressed Israel
  • And you think you have problems

11. Ruth 1:15-16

  • "Look," said Naomi, "your sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods. Go back with her."
  • But Ruth replied, "Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.

12. So what happened to Ruth?

  • How do we get from point A (Im a mess) to point B (happily ever after)?
  • We have to change.
  • Not improve.
  • Not work harder.

13. Change. 14. We have to abandon our culture and live in a new Kingdom

  • Ruth wasnt just trying to be a better version of herself.
  • She was speaking a new language, following a new culture, worshipping a new God.
  • She was being born again.

15. John 3 and the New Birth

  • Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council.2 He came to Jesus at night and said, "Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him."


  • 3 In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again."4 "How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!"


  • 5 Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.7 You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.'8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."

18. Its a whole new way of seeing the world

  • Being born again is more than just asking Jesus into heart.
  • Its adopting a new set of values, beliefs, and behaviors.
  • We cant change our behaviors without changing our values and beliefs.

19. Im not OK.Youre not OK.

  • We need to deal with our sin as sin, and not just bad habits.
  • We need to immerse ourselves in Gods culture.
  • We need to seek and accept help from others.

20. Real change, lasting change, has to happen at the core of what we value and believe, and not just on the surface of what we do 21. Passages to read

  • Matthew 5, 6, 7
  • Malachi 1-2
  • Micah 6
  • Romans 12-13
  • Oh, and try reading Ruth the way God intendedstarting with chapter one.