Ruth 1:16 (HSCB) – But Ruth replied: Do not persuade me to leave you or go back and not follow you. For wherever you go, I will go, and wherever you live, I will live; your people will be my people, and your God will be my God.
Imagine this…I am standing outside the beautiful gates of heaven, the pearls that adorn it are bigger than the trunks of hundred year old oak tress and they shimmer in the Light that seems to come from nowhere, yet everywhere. As the gates swing open in a wide arc, I take my first step onto a street made of gold that is so brilliant in all it’s luster that I am paralyzed by the sight. The colors that surround me are not of earth, beautiful hues never before seen by human eyes. In my ear, I can clearly hear the prayers of the saints in every single earthly language…and the SINGING!!! It’s as if I am standing center stage at the largest opera house in the universe and there stand millions of singers, their voices lifted in harmonious perfection and praise to their Savior who sits high on the throne ahead of me. The angels are soaring overhead and around the throne of Light and their wings beat in unison to the music and create a breeze that blows against my face…the Mighty Wind of God…and touches me like a sweet kiss. I then hear my name that sounds like thundrous waves crashing into my heart.
Matthew 7:21-23 (NIV) – “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”
What a miserable legacy to leave. What a terrible way to end my life. I may be a sinner, but I am forgiven because of the sacrifice Jesus made for me at Calvary. I am a blood bought precious daughter of a King, but I don’t need to walk around acting like my life is perfect and judging others for their imperfections, donning my crown and acting better than the rest. What would have happened if Naomi had placed judgement on Ruth for her messed up past, her pagan family, her ways of doing things? Ruth would not have met Boaz, and they would have not become the ancestors to Christ Himself. Food for thought…you may not understand a person, but to sit in judgment over them is now your demise, regardless of your deeds for the kingdom. That hurts me to know that I have some things I need to work on in my own life in this very area. I am so unworthy of the beautiful, constant, unchanging love that I receive, so why I am so hesitant to give it?
Ruth left everything; her home, her family, her gods; to follow Naomi and to follow the Lord. We all leave a lot in order to do the same. God offers grace in the middle of bad circumstances and we ALL find ourselves broken in this fallen world. So who am I to put unrealistic expectations on my brothers and sisters who are just trying to walk this thing out the best way they know how? I found compassion last night in the most unlikely of ways, in the middle of my own pain, knee deep in circumstances that I can’t control. I have been praying for more compassion, and last night I FELT the pain of another human soul that was longing to be different and I loved her through it. God was not impartial to Ruth, He even made her an ancestor to the King. He is not impartial to any of us if we are willing to approach the throne of Light and Grace with humility.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (MSG) – Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, Doesn’t have a swelled head, Doesn’t force itself on others, Isn’t always “me first,” Doesn’t fly off the handle, Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, Doesn’t revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
Who are you going to love on today? Don’t you want your crown in heaven that you can throw at the feet of our precious King?