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It’s Not Good Luck — It’s a Good God

“May the Lord reward you for your work. May full pay be given to you from the Lord, the God of Israel. It is under His wings that you have come to be safe.” Ruth 2:12 (NLV)

When life gets messed up, it is only natural to feel like God is overlooking our sufferings and not at work in our lives. But believing God doesn’t care can blind us to where He is working, or we can attribute His goodness to nothing more than good luck.

I don’t believe in good luck. I believe in a good God.

In the book of Ruth, we read how Naomi struggled to see God at work in her life due to the onslaught of losses and disappointments she had endured. She had to leave her home due to a famine and move to another city. And, she had already lost her husband, two sons, friends, wealth and financial security. Her heart became bitter and her faith, shaken. She believed her life was permanently void of good things and felt all she had was bad luck. Yet, despite her negativity and lack of faith, God had awesome plans for her life.

When good things finally did start happening after a long season of suffering, I can’t help but wonder if Naomi chalked them up to happenstance rather than giving credit where credit was due. It would have been easy because her heart was heavy, her faith weak and her spirit crushed. Yet, as you read her story, it’s obvious there was a good God orchestrating a divine plan.

We read in chapter one that Naomi and her daughter-in-law Ruth arrived back in Bethlehem just in time for the beginning of the barley harvest. Good luck? No, a good God with perfect timing. The harvest was God’s plan for meeting their physical needs for food and nourishment.

In Ruth 2:1, we find Naomi had a wealthy and influential relative named Boaz. Good luck? No, generations of planning by a good God to open doors of opportunity, provision and protection from harm. In Ruth 2:2-3, Ruth goes to pick up leftover grain in the fields, and “As it turned out, she was working in a field belonging to Boaz” (NIV). Was it just good luck she ended up in Boaz’s field, of all fields? Noit was a good God going before her and guiding her steps.

Then in Ruth 2:4, the story continues, “Just then Boaz arrived …” (NIV). Good luck? No, a good God with perfectly orchestrated timing. And who does Boaz just happen to notice? Ruth. Good luck? No, a good God working on a man’s heart to prepare His plans to be carried out.

Ruth 2:12 reminds us of God’s goodness: “May the Lord reward you for your work. May full pay be given to you from the Lord, the God of Israel. It is under His wings that you have come to be safe” (NLV). And the rest is history.

Boaz later married Ruth, and they have a son together, giving Naomi a new son-in-law and a precious grand-bundle of joy. He purchased Naomi’s land and secured her financial well-being. These were all divinely planned gifts from God, not just good luck. Gifts of restoration and blessing, in His perfect timing, according to His perfect plans.

As for me, I have seen God at work, and His restoration plans for my life play out day by day. I can look back at so many good things that have happened over the past few years and can’t help but smile … because I see God’s miracles, not just streaks of good luck.

Although many areas of my circumstances are not yet restored, and life is often still hard, I now realize God did something even better than I could have imagined. He’s healed my heart and restored my strength, peace, hope, faith and joy — just as He did for Naomi and Ruth, and just as He wants to do for each of His children.

There’s no such thing as chance-happenings, my friend, only God-happenings, because Scripture reminds us God has His hand in all matters under the sun. Remember: God is always in control, working behind the scenes to orchestrate good plans for our lives. This not only gives us great hope, but also equips us to live with joy — despite whatever life throws at us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


From Our Pastor…
 
The story is told of a horse-pull in Canada.  One horse pulled 9,000 pounds and another pulled 8,000 pounds.  Together you would expect them to pull 17,000 pounds, right?  WRONG!  When they were teamed together, they pulled 30,000 pounds. WOW!  The principle is called “synergism.”  Synergism means that “the simultaneous action of separate agents working together has a greater total effect than the sum of their individual efforts.”  Simply put:  we can do much more together than we can by ourselves. 
 
I believe that is also true about being a church.  Teamwork enables us to do much more than we could do alone.  In fact, it is the only way that we can ever carry out our mission.  YOU are a part of the team – a very important part.  You may feel that what you are able to give in time, talent and money is small, but when combined together with the contributions of the rest of the church, they make a tremendous difference.  Through team work, our combined effort as a church can be HUGE!
 
We need you on our attendance team in Sunday School and worship, inviting people to come and be a part.  We need you on our witnessing team, sharing your faith in Jesus daily.  We need you on our mission team, doing and supporting missions at home and abroad.  We need you on our prayer team, praying daily for our church and our ministries.  We need you on our giving team, faithfully bringing your tithes and offerings to support our church’s ministries.
 
We can’t do it as effectively without you.  But TOGETHER, we can make a BIG difference in the life of our community.  Let’s realize the power of working together, and the joy of Christian fellowship in the commitment of our lives to Christ.  
 
This month is the last of the Lay Renewal Weekends.  Each one has built upon the one before.  The themes are:  Awakening, Equipping, Commissioning, Empowering, and Sending.   Lay people from all over the state, and even from other states, come and help churches walk through this process.  They have helped us look at ourselves…who we are in Christ and how He has equipped us to fulfill His plan for our lives where we live, work and play; we have prayed and opened ourselves to His will, and now we will be encouraged to find the ministry for us and get plugged in.  Many of our church family are already involved in a place of ministry…are you?  Come out and be a part of the weekend and see what God is saying to your heart.  It will be March 20-22.  A letter has been sent out to all the church and more information will be in bulletins.  Hope to see you there. 
 
 
From My Heart…
 
Pastor Gordon

 

 

 

 

 

 


Greetings from Astoria!

We have enjoyed a very mild winter for NYC this year! In fact you all have had more snow than we have! But everyone is ready for spring!
There are several new guys at Reality House at this time. We are looking forward to them joining us on Sundays. Since many of our guys will move on—either finding jobs or housing in different areas of the city- we’re working on ways to maximize our time with them. We want to prepare them as much as possible spiritually before they move on. Pray for us to have wisdom.  Walter is studying welding and he’s very excited about the future job prospects. Jeff is opening up more and more and Jason is becoming more connected with us and our group. We appreciate your prayers for them!
There are many things pending with our ministry so we’re not prepared to share details right now but hopefully we will have some updates soon!
Many of you may have heard the news that our daughter, Anna Kilby and family have felt God’s call to NYC! We’re amazed that they will be moving here sometime late summer-Lord willing! After visiting south Florida, Dallas, Texas and NYC , they were lead by the Spirit to NYC! The Kilbys will partner with Noy Castillo and his team in Queens and continue doing their No Place Left ministry. They will look for an apartment between us and the Castillos. Pray for Scott, Anna, Milly and Rivers as they transition to NYC.
As always we are so thankful for your prayers and financial support

Randy and Debbie Smith
 
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Granite Falls, NC 28630

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