Fresh Hope – 12th September 2016

The story of Ruth is a great example of how being resolute in your decision to follow Jesus can simplify your life and bring you into greater purpose.

In the first chapter, we read…’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.” When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.’

Ruth actually proclaims that she should be punished if even death should separate her from what she so resolutely has decided to do.

This challenges our comfortable western lives, where we have so many options, so many eggs in so many baskets, distractions coming out of our ears! Imagine being so set in a decision that even death is no excuse. ‘Sorry Death, you’ll have to come back another day. I am doing something else!’

If you read the story of Ruth, you hear a lot of sorrow from Naomi,  her mother-in-law about her loss. “Don’t call me Naomi,” she told them. “Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter.”

Yet, we never hear Ruth complain. She must have struggled – after all she lost her husband and made a decision to stick with her bitter mother-in-law and went to live as a complete stranger in a foreign land.

Ruth doesn’t have time for pity, if death isn’t an excuse to slow her in her pursuit, then she certainly isn’t going to entertain the pointless emotional distraction called ‘disappointment’.

At the end of the story, we read how incredibly blessed she is by marrying a wealthy businessman;  her great grandson is King David and she becomes an ancestor of JESUS!

I truly believe that when we ‘make our mind up’ and fix resolutely to our faith without flinching, despite what we face, God is faithful. This is easier said than done as we can’t see Jesus but we can see our problems. So it’s not easy but that’s no excuse; there are no excuses – not even death!

The minute we start to compromise, we lose peace of mind which leads to being bitter and complaining. It’s not about being right. Naomi was right to be upset, but Ruth was awesome to be resolute!

Either Jesus is the answer, the way and the life or He isn’t. Make a resolute determined choice today and simplify many of the battles you face. Even death is a battle already won.

Luke Cartwright

A daily devotion for a better way of living.