Wholehearted Devotion

“(16) But Ruth said, ‘Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. (17) Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the LORD do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.'” Ruth 1:16-17

This passage in Ruth has struck me as one of the best biblical examples of wholehearted devotion. Ruth, a Moabite by birth and now a widow, expresses her total gift of self to Naomi, her mother-in-law. She will go with her, live with her and even die with her. Ruth will forsake the gods of her ancestors and embrace Naomi’s God. Ruth will will leave all to follow Naomi and love her.

It reminds me of what our devotion to the Lord should be like. We are not supposed to just go half-way and then stop. We are to lay our whole lives down in complete surrender. We give up the gods of this world (money, sex, power, etc.) and embrace every sacrifice, every cross for the sake of Jesus. When you make a total sacrifice of self for the sake of another, it’s remarkably freeing. Everything else can be judged in accordance with that one abiding commitment.

So we should be like Ruth–letting go of our gods, our previous commitments, our former ways of doing things. We should commit ourselves to walking with Jesus, following him wherever he goes, even to the point of death.

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