What would you die for, move mountains to take care of, or sacrifice to ensure a better future? What you are passionate about moves you. What about this angle, how would you start over after losing everything? Would you be passionate about anything, or would you be waisted and ready to curl up in the corner and hope tomorrow never comes? Your circumstances reveal what you’re made of. What you’re made of determines whether you give up or get going! Ruth was a women that understood her passions and knew what she was made of. Despite her life circumstances she championed the greatest commandment of all. She loved God and others.
“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. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” Ruth 1:16-17 NIV
Think it Through
Take the section of scripture above. Read it again as if the words are your own, spoken to God. Recognize this “IS” the type of love relationship God desires to have with us, and longs we share with others. Below are four ways love manifests itself in the life of Ruth. What can you learn from her love expression.
Distractions derail progress, confuse reality, and create collateral damage. Distractions are not from God. Distractions can come from anywhere, in Ruth’s case the distractions came from someone close. God desires you to fix your eyes on Him. He is the author and finisher of your faith. Ruth was able to ignore her destructions because of her deep love for Naomi and her God. This is still true today, God’s love can help you ignore distractions.
How could you ignore distractions? How would this change your relationship with God, with others?
Journey with Others
The journey brings relationships to life. Wanting to walk with others through the good and bad creates trust. Ruth trusted Naomi. She was willing to walk with Naomi into the unknown. Why? Naomi trusted God which made Naomi trustworthy. When you decide to journey with God you know your path is true.
How can you improve your journey with God? How would that better prepare you to journey with others?
Identify with Others
You are what you identify with. Ruth identified with Naomi and her God more than her family, heritage, and past experiences. When you find your identity in Christ alone He alone shapes who you are. Ruth’s desire to identify with Naomi mirrors the type of desire you should have for God.
How can you better identify with who God says you are? How would identifying with God help you be a better friend to others?
Sacrifice for Others
Everyone sacrifices something, but the type of sacrifice Ruth expressed put her life on the line. In this cultural setting and time, if anything went wrong it would not have been a stretch for Ruth to find her mixed up in prostitution. She sacrificed everything to be with Naomi and her God. You need to be willing to sacrifice it all for God. The payoff is eternal.
How can you better sacrifice your ways for God’s ways? How would this better prepare you for other relationships?