“Then they lifted up their voices and wept again; and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her.”
Ruth 1:14 NKJV
Time of decision
We are nearing the moment of decision, when those who profess to be followers of Jesus will have to decide if they are willing to die for the cause of Christ, or are simply along for the ride.
I started reading the Book of Ruth this morning. It is a wonderful story that has so many layers of meaning far beyond the core of the story. It is a wonderful type of God’s faithfulness, to the uttermost, both to the Jew and the gentile. It is a story of a dividing line, where there was a decision to be made.
“And she said, “Look, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.” But Ruth said: “Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, And there will I be buried. The Lord do so to me, and more also, If anything but death parts you and me.””
Ruth 1:15-17 NKJV
Ruth had watched her mother in law, perhaps she had seen the faithfulness of God in her life. Whatever drove her, she loved Naomi, and was willing to leave everything behind. She went into the unknown, by faith, and stands to today as an example for those us who call upon the name of the Lord.
The story of the followers of God is populated by people who have stood at the dividing line, and chosen to follow the Lord. I think of the disciples of Jesus, called one by one, to follow Him. Each had established lives, but were willing to lay aside and go after Jesus.
I also think of Elisha, scolded and put aside by Elijah. He desired to serve this God that his master served. He wanted a double portion.
“Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here, please, for the Lord has sent me on to the Jordan.” But he said, “As the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you!” So the two of them went on.”
II Kings 2:6 NKJV
“And so it was, when they had crossed over, that Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask! What may I do for you, before I am taken away from you?” Elisha said, “Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.” So he said, “You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if not, it shall not be so.” Then it happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.”
II Kings 2:9-11 NKJV
He received the mantle and his double portion and served the Lord.
Brothers and sisters, we stand at the dividing line, where we are facing choices. As we see, if we are not blind, the world in which we live is devolving, becoming unrecognizable and increasingly unsafe. The natural order that we have so relied upon is no more, and being one dedicated to the word of God is no longer favored.
As with Ruth, we will find ourselves heading into the unknown, having the choice to continue on with Jesus, or go back to the world from which we came. There will be no room for the in between, for the Lord desires that we be either fully committed or not.
““And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.”
Revelation 3:14-16 NKJV
Let us decide to follow Jesus, to go where He goes, to live for Him, to go and tell of the Gospel, the Good News that Jesus died for the sins of the world, was buried and rose again, and by faith one is forgiven and saved from hell.
May we be like Ruth, persisting even in the midst of trouble, having faith that all will work out for good, because we are with Jesus. The coming days may be filled both trouble, and there will be many who fall away. But may we decide today to press on.
“But Ruth said: “Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, And there will I be buried. The Lord do so to me, and more also, If anything but death parts you and me.””
Ruth 1:16-17 NKJV
We who choose to press on will never die, we will not inhabit the grave, but we will spend eternity with our savior, forever in worship and service to the Lord.
“Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 3:12-14 NKJV
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2 thoughts on “Time of decision”
Sad, but true. I pray I am fully submitted in obedience to God, and if that day of persecution comes to me…God gives me the courage to stand boldly on the blood of the cross♥️
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I pray that the Lord will give us the strength and zeal to cling to him and choose righteousness, even unto death. Thanks so much for the great challenge Bernie!
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