Dover Assembly of God
4.18.2021 | Ruth - Week 2
Locations & Times
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  • Dover Assembly of God
    4790 Carlisle Rd, Dover, PA 17315, USA
    Sunday 10:30 AM
  • Dover Assembly Online
    Sunday 10:30 AM

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Weekly Bulletin
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April 18, 2021

Welcome to Dover Assembly!
We are so glad you have chosen to attend Dover Assembly this morning. It is not by accident that you are here. We believe that God has allowed you to be here so that you might receive all that He has for you. We pray you are blessed as you allow the Lord to work in your life.

THIS WEEK

Sunday
9:00 am ~ Coffee & Donut Hour
9:30 am ~ Sunday School
10:30 am ~ Worship Service
10:30 am ~ R.O.C.K. Children’s Ministry
1:00 pm ~ Spanish Service

Wednesday
21 in 21 PRAYER & FAST DAY
ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANTS DAY
6:30 pm ~ FAMILY NIGHT

Saturday
6:30 pm ~ Spanish Service

UPCOMING EVENTS

Vacation Bible School (VBS)
We are in the planning stages of our annual VBS. The theme is LEGOS and is scheduled for July 11-14. Before we order curriculum and begin advertising, we need excited volunteers. If you are able to commit to this tremendous outreach opportunity, please sign up in the upper foyer.

Administrative Assistants Day
Every year we like to acknowledge those who consistently do the behind the scenes ministry that nobody sees. This year, Admin Day is this Wednesday, April 21! Show your appreciation to these:
~ Angel Landis— Printing the Bulletin
~ Diane Crumrine— Card Ministry
~ Mark Crumrine & Paul Jones— Weekly Finances
~ Anna Bender— Keeping PJ in line and everything else!

BODY NEWS

Community Outreach
We are looking for some volunteers to help pass out fliers and pizza certificates in our community. We have made arrangements with Jim ‘N Nena's here in Dover to provide us with approximately 100 gift certificates that will each be good for a large 1-topping pizza. We will be distributing these fliers and gift certificates to our neighbors here in our community along Carlisle Road from our church to the Square once the gift cards are supplied. There are approximately 100 homes in this area. The fliers contain information about our church and have a QR code that can be scanned by a cell phone and directs them to our church website. Jim and Nena's agreed to partner with us and are letting us purchase these gift certificates at a savings of almost $4.00 per pizza. If you are able to assist us in this outreach there are three ways you can do so.

1)Prayer!

2) Join Pastor and Anna in distributing these to our neighbors.

3)With your donations we have received $790.00 toward our pizza outreach to the Dover community! We are almost there! By faith, the pizza cards have been ordered! Gift cards are expected to arrive by the end of April. We only need to purchase 21 more pizzas and our outreach expenses will be covered! Whatever amount you can help with is appreciated. Thank you for your faithfulness.

We Will Miss You Gladys!
It was so great to see Gladys back with us on Easter Sunday! As many of you know, Gladys has had a health journey that she has been on for almost 2 years now. While God has been faithful, changes are being made and Gladys will be moving to the Pittsburgh area to be with Corey, Heather and Patience. We are going to have a farewell luncheon in Gladys' honor on Sunday, May 16 immediately following the morning service. Please sign up in the lower foyer if you can share in this luncheon with us and please mark how many will be attending. We will also be hosting New Life for Girls in this service and will invite them to join us for lunch.

Prayer Warriors!
Our once a month prayer night have been a success and we are seeing God work on our behalf (James 5:16). Because we believe that God works through the prayers of his saints, we are expanding our prayer nights to 2 times per month. Beginning in May, we will meet on the 2nd and 4th Thursday evenings at 6:30.

21 in 21
We are two-thirds of the way through our '21 in '21 Wednesdays of prayer and fasting! Are you sensing a greater presence of the Lord in your life? Are you finding that you have more opportunities to share the Gospel and the love of God with others? Are prayers being answered for finances, health, relationships? God is on the move! Keep pressing in.

Isaiah 40:31 tells us this: Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like Eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.'

Keep pressing in!

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April 18, 2021 - Week 2 - Rev. Jeff Bender

Last week we began our series on the book of Ruth.

A brief recap. Elimelech and Naomi left Judah to go to Moab because of a famine. Even though they were somewhat good Jews, they left where God told them to stay and went to where God basically said, don’t go.

We have to be careful about making snap decisions based on current circumstances. The world will offer you a quick remedy, but a long term hardship.

So they go down and eventually their sons marry Moabite women, but soon after, the sons and dad die. It never tells us how or why. We may never know on this side why bad things happen.

But as Romans 8:28 says, God turns even the worst case scenarios around for our good. This hardship causes Naomi and her 2 daughters in law to go back to Bethlehem.

They heard that God was blessing that area. They were not in a position to receive God’s blessings.

It’s not necessarily a location that God blesses, but a condition of our heart. Are we living a life that is bless-able? Not perfect or sin free, but your heart’s desire to please God.

Naomi tries to talk her 2 daughters in law to stay in Moab. Orpah stays and Ruth signs on for the trip.

That sounds like a simple act, but what did it take for her to make that statement and more so, believe that God would be her God?

Remember God forbad the Moabites from ever being a part of Israel?

She did what we have to do every day. She trusted in God’s grace and mercy.

The law excludes us from God’s blessings.
She couldn’t earn her way into Bethlehem. What could she give them? She’s a poor widow with nothing.

Just as we can’t earn our way into heaven, without faith.

God’s grace included her and will include us through faith.
She was simply trusting that God was a gracious God. That was a daring move. She had no idea of what the people would do or say.

But she trusted God. She didn’t worry about what people thought.

We can’t worry about what people may think or do if we are trusting God.

So she takes this leap of faith and continues on the trip.
Now the word “stirred” actually means “echoed with excitement."

It appears from this reaction, that Naomi was probably well known to the community or at least the women, because that is who greeted her. They were happy and excited to see her which means they also recognized her, even though she had been gone for 10 years.

To be gone for 10 years and people are still excited to see you, let alone remember who you are, means it's safe to assume she was well loved also.

Her name means “pleasant” so she probably was very nice and easy going and that brought her many friends.

But notice how she returns.
A few things about this verse.

First, she leaves pleasant, but returns a bitter person. The person she was when she left is gone, she now is a bitter older woman.

Whenever we leave God to pursue things in the world that we think will make us better, will ultimately make us bitter.

Granted many things happened to her while she was away.

We don’t know if what happened was a direct result of them leaving Bethlehem, or just in the course of life.

Most of the time, we can’t control most of the things that happen to us in life, but we can control how we react to them. We do know that her absence from God allowed her to become bitter and angry at her circumstances.

If we find ourselves becoming bitter and angry, especially with God, chances are good that we have moved away from God.

Second, she blamed God for it.
Have you ever vented to God?

Job did. David did. The sons of Korah did.
I would venture to say that maybe we have all done that too. And that’s ok.

Don’t you think that God knows how you feel even if you don’t verbalize it?

One commentary says it this way:
God doesn’t want your “right answers” he wants your heart even if you are mad at God.

He’s big enough to take it. Even in her venting, God is still working out a plan to bless her and she doesn’t even know it yet.

God is working something out in your life that you don’t even know about.

And we’ll see that he brings His blessings through the least likely source-Ruth.
Notice how fast we got through some very big events without much detail?

This family leaves the famine, arrives in Moab, spends 10 years, the guys die and they come back to Bethlehem, all in a matter of 22 verses?

Maybe the author was more interested in what God was going to miraculously do than what brought them to this point.

We know the backstory of Ruth, we don’t need to go into details, yada yada yada, now we’re at the point where God picks it up.

You may be in a lot of situations that have been happening for a great number of years.

God doesn’t want you to focus on those, but on what he can do to reverse it.

And verse 22 is the beginning of God’s providential plan.
Naomi and Ruth were being given a second chance. Do you think it was a coincidence that they got there at just the right time.

A coincidence is where God chooses to remain anonymous.

If you read the Old Testament laws about the harvest, we can get a better view of how it is perceived in that time.

We go to Giant and pick the veggies and fruits we want off the shelves, but harvest time meant life or death to this generation. Hence the severity of the famine.

Harvest time was a time for celebration and joy and praise to God.

It was also the beginning of spring which is a time of new life and a new beginning.

Naomi and Ruth were given a new start.

When we come to Christ, we are given a new start. The past is gone.

And Ruth’s working through the harvest is what God uses to bring the blessings.
It just so happens that they arrive just at the beginning of spring and the harvest and it just so happens that she has a relative on her dead husband’s side and it just so happens that he is a man of standing.

Nope, no providential working here.

What we have here is just a whole lot of coincidences.

How many of us if we have lived long enough can look back at the coincidences in our lives and see that actually God was working his plan?
If you know Old Testament laws and customs, farmers were told by God to leave some food in the fields, not to scrape every little piece up -- leave that food for the widows and orphans so they would have food.

Don’t be greedy.
And it just so happens that this was the law -- that through this coincidence, Ruth was able to be blessed.

At this point, Naomi was still a bit bitter. She wasn’t yet open to what God was doing. But Ruth was. She was willing to let God work in her.

She must have known a little of the Jewish law about gleaning, but either not enough to know God commanded it, and she’d be ok, or she simply didn’t trust the landowners to let a Moabite glean.

Whatever the case, she trusted God would help her.
Notice the author now refers to her as Ruth the Moabitess.

Chapter 1 she is Ruth
Chapter 2 she is Ruth the Moabitess

Reminding everyone the difficulty she would have in Bethlehem because of her background. In other words, there’s something in her past that might make it difficult for her, but something she cannot change.

How many of us have things in our past that make life a bit more difficult, we would like to change but can’t? Her past would have no significance in what God planned for her, if she trusted Him.

Your past should have no significance in what God plans for you, if you trust him with it.

Another reason that she might not have trusted them is her phrase:
Being a Moabite (her past) could be a stumbling block for others. She asked God to let her find someone who would not hold her past against her.

All of us probably have things that we don’t want anyone to know about us because if they knew, we would be treated differently.

God knows all of your past and future and yet he chooses to forget all our confessed sin and gives you His favor.
Wow another coincidence. Out of all the fields in Bethlehem, she winds up on her father in laws relative.

A Latin proverb says:
Providence assists NOT the idle.

In other words, God can direct someone who is moving easier than one who is sitting still.

Just going out to glean was an act of faith on Ruth’s part. She trusted God to send her to a place where she could glean, and a place where she would be safe.

She’s a lone woman and could be subject to unwanted attraction.

So now the stage is set.
Ruth left what was comfortable, to follow God, she arrives in Bethlehem, as an outsider with baggage from her past, she steps out in faith trusting that God would provide and protect her.

Through a series of coincidences, God is setting her up to not only be blessed, but to be a blessing to others.

Each of us is on a similar path, but in different places on that path. Maybe you are considering leaving what is comfortable because you know that God is drawing you. You need to make the leap.

Maybe you just arrive as a new believer, but you have a lot of baggage from your past that still keeps you down. You can’t let your past stop you from what God is doing today. God can and will use you in spite of your past.

Maybe you aren’t letting your baggage hold you back, but you need some help in stepping out in faith to trust God for his provision. Listen to other Christians who have experienced that and allow them to help you.

Maybe you stepped out in faith and are at the beginning of the gleaning phase, but haven’t yet seen the blessing or you haven’t been able to bless others. If God brought you to that point, he will not leave you hanging.
But in every case, God is right with you and he is working everything out for your good!

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