Remember the Ending, Ruth 4

Lesson Summary

  • Main Passage: Ruth 4:1-22
  • Main Point of the Passage: God blessed Ruth and Naomi by giving them Boaz, a kinsmen redeemer.
  • Main Point of the Lesson: God’s plan for his people always ends well.
  • Main Application of the Lesson: Group members will find hope in the happy ending of Ruth when they face tragedy.

Discussion Guide

Smile Question: “What was your favorite subject in school?”

Tip: Encourage everyone to answer this first question.

My answer: ____________________________________________________________

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Share Question: “What helps you maintain hope when bad things happen?”

Tip: Prepare your answer beforehand and share it first. This will give people time to think, and it will set the tone for how long and how personal each person’s answer should be.

My answer: ____________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

Introduce the Text: “God’s plan for his people always ends well.”

“Ruth and Naomi’s story started with tragedy when their husbands died. But in Ruth 4, God blessed Ruth and Naomi by giving them Boaz, a kinsmen redeemer. Old Testament Law and Israelite tradition gave Boaz the responsibility of marrying Ruth and buying Naomi’s land. To be fair, Boaz first gave a closer relative the opportunity to turn down his right to redeem. Once the closer relative decided not to redeem, Boaz married Ruth and redeemed Naomi’s land.

Study Question: “Let’s read Ruth 4:13-22 and look for answers to this question: What blessings did Ruth and Boaz’s marriage bring to this family?”

Tip: You can split into smaller groups and assign one set of verses to each group, or you can read through the passage together looking for answers. If you plan on asking people to read aloud, be sure you ask whether a person is comfortable reading aloud before your group time begins.

Possible answers:

  • Ruth now had a husband (v. 13)
  • Ruth also had a son (v. 13)
  • Naomi had a kinsman redeemer to keep her property in the family (v. 14)
  • Naomi had someone to care for her in her old age (v. 15)
  • Naomi had the joy of caring for her grandchild (v. 16)
  • God brought Naomi and Ruth into the family line of King David and eventually Jesus (v. 17-22)

 

Connect-the-Dots Question: “If Ruth and Naomi had known all these blessings were coming to them, how do you think it would have affected them when they were going through tragedy?”

Tip: Don’t give your answer right away. This question will probably require quite a bit of thought. Don’t be afraid of the silence while people think about their answers.

My answer: ____________________________________________________________

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Count-the-Cost Question: “When you face tragedy, what types of thoughts are most likely to steal your hope?”

My answer: ____________________________________________________________

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Let’s-Do-It Question: “What can you do to keep your hope alive next time you face tragedy”

My answer: ____________________________________________________________

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Prayer: “Let’s pray that God will help us maintain our hope no matter what we face.”

“Father, you are the source of our hope. Help us to remember the story of Ruth when we face tragedy. I pray that each one of us will choose to place our hope in you rather than give in to despair. Thank you that you have a good plan for each of your children. Amen.”

Tim Peabody

I’m a guy who loves that moment when you realize everyone in your small group is loving the conversation they’re in. I’m married and have three kids. I’m an associate pastor in Montana.


Fall at God’s Feet, Ruth 3

This lesson is part of a series.
Previous Lesson: God Provides, Ruth 2

Lesson Summary

  • Main Passage: Ruth 3:1-18
  • Main Point of the Passage: When Boaz found Ruth at his feet in the night, he agreed to marry her.
  • Main Point of the Lesson: When we cast ourselves at God’s feet, he welcomes us into his family.
  • Main Application of the Lesson: Group members will approach God with a bold, humble and submitted heart.

Discussion Guide

Smile Question: “Tell about a time fear of rejection or failure kept you from trying something.”

Tip: Encourage everyone to answer this first question.

My answer: ____________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

Share Question: “Some people fear that God will reject them. What reasons might a person give that God would reject them?”

Tip: Prepare your answer beforehand and share it first. This will give people time to think, and it will set the tone for how long and how personal each person’s answer should be.

My answer: ____________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

Introduce the Text: “When we cast ourselves at God’s feet, he welcomes us into his family.”

“In a way that’s what happened to Ruth. In Ruth chapter 3, when Boaz found Ruth at his feet in the night, he agreed to marry her. In the book of Ruth, Boaz represents God’s character. He cared for Ruth when he discovered she was collecting the leftover grain in his field. He blessed Ruth for taking shelter under God’s wings (Ruth 2:12). When Naomi, Ruth’s mother-in-law, saw the special interest Boaz had taken in Ruth, she came up with a plan. Let’s read that plan in Ruth 3:1-4.”

[Read Ruth 3:1-4.]

“The plan sounds risky and a little scandalous. But Ruth goes through with it.”

Study Question: “As we read Ruth 3:5-9, let’s look for clues about the heart attitude Ruth had as she approached Boaz.”

[Read Ruth 3:5-9.]

Tip: If you plan on asking people to read aloud, be sure you ask whether a person is comfortable reading aloud before your group time begins.

Possible answers:

  • Boldness to make a big request (v. 5-7, 9)
  • Humility (v. 9)
  • Submission (v. 8-9)
Connect-the-Dots Question: “Can you think of any times when somebody approached Jesus with a similar combination of boldness and humility? How did he respond?”

Tip: Don’t give your answer right away. This question will probably require quite a bit of thought. Don’t be afraid of the silence while people think about their answers.

My answer: ____________________________________________________________

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Count-the-Cost Question: “Next Question: What similarities can you find between Ruth’s heart attitude and your own heart attitude when you became a Christian?”

My answer: ____________________________________________________________

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Let’s-Do-It Question: “Last Question: How could this story change the way you personally approach God?”

My answer: ____________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

Prayer: “I’m going to lead us in prayer that God will give us Ruth’s combination of boldness and humility when we approach him.”

“Father, thank you that you are a God of love and mercy. I pray that our hope in you will result in boldness and humility so we can approach you in a way that honors and pleases you. Amen.”

 

Tim Peabody

I’m a guy who loves that moment when you realize everyone in your small group is loving the conversation they’re in. I’m married and have three kids. I’m an associate pastor in Montana.


Choose Faith, Ruth 1

This lesson is part of a series.
Next Lesson: God Provides, Ruth 2

Lesson Summary

  • Main Passage: Ruth 1:1-22
  • Main Point of the Passage: When tragedy came, Naomi and Ruth had the choice between bitterness and faith.
  • Main Point of the Lesson: When tragedy comes, we have the choice between bitterness and faith.
  • Main Application of the Lesson: Group members will choose faith instead of bitterness when they experience tragedy.

 Discussion Guide

Smile Question: “If you could create a robot to help with one chore, what would your robot do?”

Tip: Encourage everyone to answer this first question.

My answer: _________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________

Share Question: “When something happens you don’t like, what’s the quickest way for you to improve your attitude?”

Tip: Prepare your answer beforehand and share it first. This will give people time to think, and it will set the tone for how long and how personal each person’s answer should be.

My answer: _________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________

Introduce the Text: “When tragedy comes, we have the choice between bitterness and faith.”

“In Ruth 1, Naomi chose bitterness, but her daughter-in-law, Ruth, chose faith. Tragedy had come to this family. Naomi’s family had left the Promised Land to find food in the land of Moab. But in Moab her husband and two sons died, leaving Naomi and her daughters-in-law as widows. Now the famine is over and Naomi is going back to her original home in Bethlehem.

Study Question: “As we read Ruth 1:6-22, let’s look for differences between Naomi’s response and Ruth’s response.”

Tip: You can split into smaller groups and assign one set of verses to each group, or you can read through the passage together looking for answers. If you plan on asking people to read aloud, be sure you ask whether a person is comfortable reading aloud before your group time begins.

Possible answers:

  • Naomi chose to isolate herself. (1:6-15)
    Ruth chose to give herself to someone she loved. (1:16-17)
  • Naomi held onto grievances of the past. (1:13, 19-20)
    Ruth focused on the future. (1:16-17)
  • Naomi chose to carry resentment toward God. (1:15, 20-21)
    Ruth chose to maintain her loyalty to God. (1:16-17)
Connect-the-Dots Question: “Do you think Ruth’s decision to stay with Naomi was motivated more by love for Naomi or faith in Naomi’s God?”

Tip: Don’t give your answer right away. This question will probably require quite a bit of thought. Don’t be afraid of the silence while people think about their answers.

My answer: _________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________

Count-the-Cost Question: “What are some of the ways bitterness can show up in our lives?”

My answer: _________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________

Let’s-Do-It Question: “What will it take for you to choose faith and not bitterness next time you face tragedy?”

My answer: _________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________

Prayer: “Let’s pray that God will help us choose faith instead of bitterness next time tragedy comes.”

“Father, thank you that you are powerful enough to work all things together for our good, even our tragedies. Help us to choose faith not bitterness next time we face tragedy. I pray for any of us who are struggling with bitterness now. May this story seep into our minds and change the way we see our lives. Thank you for giving us hope in any situation.  Amen.”

Tim Peabody

I’m a guy who loves that moment when you realize everyone in your small group is loving the conversation they’re in. I’m married and have three kids. I’m an associate pastor in Montana.


God Provides, Ruth 2

This lesson is part of a series.
Previous Lesson: Choose Faith, Ruth 1:6-22

Lesson Summary

  • Main Passage: Ruth 2:1-23
  • Main Point of the Passage: God provided for Ruth even when it looked like her life was hopeless.
  • Main Point of the Lesson: God provides for his people.
  • Main Application of the Lesson: Group members will trust God to provide even in situations that seem hopeless.

 Discussion Guide

Smile Question: “What do you think is the coolest invention from the last hundred years or so?”

Tip: Encourage everyone to answer this first question.

My answer: _________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________

Share Question: “Tell us about a time you saw God provide for you.

Tip: Prepare your answer beforehand and share it first. This will give people time to think, and it will set the tone for how long and how personal each person’s answer should be.

My answer: _________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________

Introduce the Text: “God provides for his people.”

“In Ruth 2, God provided for Ruth. She went out to work collecting the leftover grain from Boaz’s fields. When Boaz saw Ruth he was drawn to her. He began to take responsibility for her protection and provision.

Study Question: “Next question: In what ways did God provide for Ruth? Let’s read Ruth 2 and look for answers.”

Tip: You can split into smaller groups and assign one set of verses to each group, or you can read through the passage together looking for answers. If you plan on asking people to read aloud, be sure you ask whether a person is comfortable reading aloud before your group time begins.

Possible answers:

  • He had given the Israelites a law that required landowners to leave some of the harvest for the poor to come behind and collect. (v. 1-3a)
  • Ruth had a “chance encounter” with Boaz, a man who was righteous, generous, and compassionate. (v. 3b-17)
  • Boaz turned out to be “kinsman redeemer,” a close relative of Ruth’s deceased husband with the responsibility of caring for his dead relative’s widow. (v. 18-23)
Connect-the-Dots Question: “How did Ruth and Boaz each show faith in God?”

Tip: Don’t give your answer right away. This question will probably require quite a bit of thought. Don’t be afraid of the silence while people think about their answers.

My answer: _________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________

Count-the-Cost Question: “Next Question: What is an area of your life in which you need God’s provision?”

My answer: _________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________

Let’s-Do-It Question: “Last Question: What would faith look like as you wait for God’s provision?”

My answer: _________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________

Prayer: “Let’s pray that God will help us live by faith in his provision no matter what we face.”

“Father, thank you that you always provide for your people. It’s hard sometimes to see how things will work out. Help us to remember Ruth and act in faith when we’re waiting for your provision. Amen.”

Tim Peabody

I’m a guy who loves that moment when you realize everyone in your small group is loving the conversation they’re in. I’m married and have three kids. I’m an associate pastor in Montana.


Peace in the Face of Tragedy, John 16:5-33

Lesson Summary

  • Main Passage: John 16:5-33
  • Main Point of the Passage: Jesus told his disciples that his going away was to their advantage, so they could be at peace.
  • Main Point of the Lesson: Jesus’ execution looked like the worst thing that could happen to the disciples, but it was actually the best thing.
  • Main Application of the Lesson: Group members will choose peace even when they face tragedy.

 Discussion Guide

Smile Question: “First question: What is your favorite candy?”

Tip: Encourage everyone to answer this first question.

My answer: _________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________

Share Question: “Next question: Tell about a time something seemed bad, but it actually turned out to be good.”

Tip: Prepare your answer beforehand and share it first. This will give people time to think, and it will set the tone for how long and how personal each person’s answer should be.

My answer: _________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________

Introduce the Text: “Sometimes God allows us to go through tragedies that look disastrous, but they actually result in better things for us.”

“In John 16, Jesus told his disciples that his going away was to their advantage, so they can be at peace. It was the night before Jesus was executed. He knew that his disciples didn’t understand why he was going to die. So he took a moment to explain to them. In John 16:5-7, Jesus said, ‘but now I am going to him who sent me. None of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ Rather, you are filled with grief because I have said these things. But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away.'”

Study Question: “As we read John 16:5-33, let’s look for reasons that Jesus’ execution was actually to the disciples’ advantage.”

Tip: You can split into smaller groups and assign one set of verses to each group, or you can read through the passage together looking for answers. If you plan on asking people to read aloud, be sure you ask whether a person is comfortable reading aloud before your group time begins.

Answers:

  • The Holy Spirit will come to convict the world. (7-11)
  • The Holy Spirit will guide you in all truth. (12-15)
  • Jesus will rise from the dead, never to die again (16-22)
  • The Father will give them whatever they ask in Jesus’ name (23-28)
  • Jesus’ resurrection will show that he has overcome the world (29-33)
Connect-the-Dots Question: “Next Question: What do you think would have been different that night and the next day if the disciples had understood and believed what Jesus was telling them?”

Tip: Don’t give your answer right away. This question will probably require quite a bit of thought. Don’t be afraid of the silence while people think about their answers.

My answer: _________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________

Count-the-Cost Question: “Next Question: What is something you are facing now that couldn’t possibly seem like a good thing?”

My answer: _________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________

Let’s-Do-It Question: “Last Question: What would you do differently if you believed without a doubt that that situation was actually to your advantage?”

My answer: _________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________

Prayer: “I’m going to lead us in prayer now asking God to help us trust his good plan even when we face situations that seem bad.”

“Father, help each one of us to trust your good plan even when the situations we face seem like they couldn’t possibly be good. Help us to remember the hopelessness Jesus’ disciples felt and the hope that Jesus’ words brought to them and to us. Amen.”

 

Tim Peabody

I’m a guy who loves that moment when you realize everyone in your small group is loving the conversation they’re in. I’m married and have three kids. I’m an associate pastor in Montana.