Before Christmas my pastor did a series called Chick Flick–the story of Ruth. This Old Testament story is, no doubt, one of the best “chick flicks” found in the Bible. Only four chapters long, Ruth doesn’t take long to read, and I encourage you to check it out. Faithfulness is a major theme of the book and the main characters are Ruth, Naomi (Ruth’s mother-in-law), and Boaz (the kinsman redeemer). God’s love and grace shine clearly in the relationships between these three characters.
As I read the book, the verse that kept popping out the most was 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.
We who are married all possess mother-in-law stories. I have come to love and respect my mother-in-law, and clearly Ruth and Naomi shared a special bond. I wonder how many of us–God forbid if our spouse should die–would stay as committed to our mother-in-law as Ruth did. That’s exactly what happened in the story. Ruth’s husband died and Ruth had an opportunity to return to her people. She chose to stay with Naomi and endure some bleak circumstances. Ruth and Naomi’s relationship speaks volumes to us today, and I believe there’s a cool lesson here on evangelism and discipleship.
What if we could build a few close bonds with those around us to where they would start calling our God their God? I’m not saying that we can do this with everyone who comes across our path, but surely there are a few God will bring into our lives. Evangelistic plans and scripts have their place, but I’ve never felt very genuine just parroting a script. That is a shotgun approach, I think, but couldn’t we also be just as effective by intentionally focusing on a few people.
So think about your family members, small group friends, coworkers. Do you love and care for them to the point where they want to know the source of your love and hope? Do they see God as the engine that makes your life run? Will they eventually want to say: your God my God?
God bless and please share a comment. I would love to hear how you are finding ways to build relationships with other believers and nonbelievers.