DEVOTION – DAY 60
Ruth – “The cost of Following Jesus”
Ruth 1:16 “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.”
The book of Ruth begins with an account of a family in grief. All the men had died leaving behind 3 widows, Naomi and her 2 daughters-in-law, Orpah and Ruth. Naomi urged Orpah and Ruth to return home to their families to remarry and start a new life. Orpah did as Naomi instructed. But Ruth refused and vs.16 records her response to Naomi’s request. This familiar verse is seen as a classic expression of loyalty and love.
For Ruth to tell Naomi she would follow her back to Israel would be very costly. There was no future for her if she were to follow Naomi to Israel. As widows, they had no source of income or provision. Ruth was from Moab and she would be treated as an outsider. She could only expect to share a life of desolation with Naomi. But Ruth was determined that she remained with Naomi and she showed her commitment to Naomi by declaring that the God of Naomi would also be her God from now onwards. Ruth was going to cut all ties with her past in Moab. But because of her decision, Ruth is forever remembered as one of the 5 women counted in the genealogy of Jesus Christ. God rewarded her faith, loyalty and love by providing another husband to care for her and Naomi. God gave her a good future when she thought she had no future.
The same is true for all of us when we make the decision to follow Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior. We must cut off all ties to our sinful past. We may even face persecutions and uncertainties. But like Ruth, we will find that it is worth it because God rewards our faith and trust in Him. He gives us a new family in Christ, fellow Christians. He gives us hope and meaning in life. He fills us with His love. This was also the testimonies of some people we met last year. They were Iranians living in the UK and we attended a church service where they were undergoing water baptism. They testified that they wanted to follow Jesus and spoke about their desire to cut all ties with their past in Iran. It was costly for them to do so but they all agreed it was worth it because they knew in their hearts that following Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior was the right thing to do.
Let us pray: Heavenly Father, thank you for your gift of salvation through your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you for loving us freely and unconditionally. May we follow and submit to you joyfully all the days of our lives and give you the glory. In Jesus Christ name we pray. Amen.
- Think of the time you made the decision to follow Jesus Christ, what happened? Share.
- Think of a time when obeying God was costly to you. What happened? Share.
- If you have not decided yet to follow Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, what is holding you back? Will you make the decision to follow Him?
- What are some typical reasons that people give for not following Jesus and what kind of response do you have to help address these reasons?