A Bible-believing evangelical church in the village of Wellington, near Hereford and Leominster.

Thought for the Day – 116

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Preached during the morning service on 15 July 2020 by .

Sermon Notes


DAY 116

Ruth 1:16 —
‘Wherever you go, I will go; and wherever you lodge, I will lodge.’

Recommended reading: James 2:1-9

Breaking the Barrier
From the dawn of history, men and women have been urged to break the barrier.
Records are there to be broken. Frontiers are there to be crossed. Mountains are
there to be climbed. The impossible is to be made possible.
The motto for the Olympic Games is: faster, higher, stronger. Athletes will devote
years of training to break records.
Challenges of life have to be faced, and we all have the desire within us to beat
our personal best.
During my lifetime, many barriers have been broken:

1. Concorde, the first plane to cross the Atlantic breaking the sound barrier.

2. Roger Bannister, the first human to break the four minute mile barrier, at
the White City stadium in London.

3. Buzz Aldrin performed the first successful spacewalk in 1966.

4. New Zealand explorer, Sir Edmund Hilary and Tenzing Norgay confronted
the world’s highest mountain, Everest. Between 1920 and 1952, seven
major expeditions had failed to reach the summit. But on 29th May 1953
at 11.30am the barrier was crossed.
I could continue with many more examples of people breaking the barrier.
Yesterday morning, we turned our thoughts to a young woman called Ruth,
from Moab who broke a number of barriers. The first we considered was the
Generation Barrier.
This morning we consider a second barrier:

2. The Social Barrier.

There was great animosity between Israel and Moab. Moabite people were idol
worshippers; to Israel they were outside the covenant as they were not direct
descendants of Abraham, God’s special people. Ruth, however, left the comfort
and security of her people and crossed the barrier. She crossed the religious,
national, and social barriers (Ruth 1:15,16).
We need to look carefully into our own lives and dismantle any barriers we
have, even sub-consciously, erected. We need to reconsider again the words in
James 2:1-9.
They may not look like you, they may not have wealth like you, they may not be
educated like you, they may not be socially elite like you, but they need Christ,
just like you. We need to be careful not to make swift judgements that could be
regretted later.
A number of years ago I had a wake-up call. I was invited to preach at a church
in Peckham, south London. Near the front of the congregation were a young
couple who stood out by their attire and inappropriate tattoos. When I started
preaching I thought this couple needed a spiritual transformation. I soon
realised it was I who needed the transformation. Their eyes were fixed with open
Bible and notebook.
Speaking to them afterwards, they were very young believers, but spiritually
hungry. They told me they would love to get rid of their immoral tattoos, but
they were there as a permanent reminder of what they once were and barriers
they had now crossed.
How would we react if a former prisoner came into our fellowship? Or a former
drug addict? Or a single parent with big problems? Would we shun them and
wish they weren’t here, or would we welcome them with open arms?
I think we may need at times to be taken out of our comfort zone. We must
never change our message for anyone, but we may need to change our thinking
and cross the social barrier.
There were two more barriers for Ruth to cross, and we will conclude with those
tomorrow morning.

O God, whose all-sustaining hand
is over this and every land,
whose laws from age to age have stood,
sure guardians of our common good,
may love of justice rule our days
and ordered freedom guide our ways.

Be near to those who strive to see
our homes from harm and terror free,
who live their lives at duty’s call
and spend themselves in serving all:
receive for them your people’s prayer,
uphold them by your constant care.

Teach us to serve our neighbour’s need,
the homeless help, the hungry feed,
the poor protect, the weak defend,
and to the friendless prove a friend;
the wayward and the lost reclaim
for love of Christ and in his name.

So may our hearts remember yet
that cross where love and justice met,
and find in Christ our fetters freed,
whose mercy answers all our need:
who lives and reigns, our risen Lord,
where justice sheaths her righteous sword.

Timothy Dudley-Smith
© Author
CCLI – 1050955

Pastor: Kristian Dimond 01432 830002 07810 442523 pastor@wellingtonec.org.uk
Elders: John Roberts 01432 830100 jokaroberts@gmail.com
Keith Weber 01568 611251 07436 005561 keith.smallprint@gmail.com
Wellington Evangelical Chapel, Wellington, Hereford HR4 8AX www.wellingtonec.org.uk Reg Charity No 233810