Loyalty that God wants
“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. 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.” (Ruth 1:16-17)
Last Sunday we had the privilege of having Mr. Ardi come and share the Word of God. He reminded us of a faithful woman of God, Ruth, who displayed her deep and unfaltering loyalty to her elderly mother-in-law Naomi. The title of the sermon was, “Loyalty that God Wants” (Ruth 1:14-19) and we learned of two displays of loyalty, that are prized in God’s eyes:
1. Loyalty in Friendships
As exampled by Ruth, such loyalty must be founded upon agape love - a form of love that is selfless, sacrificial and unconditional; ultimately found in Christ alone. When agape love binds a group of friends, such loyalty isn’t easily abandoned, which is like “a cord of three strands [that] is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12 b) where Christ is identified as the central strand.
2. Loyalty in Commitments
To uphold her commitment to stand by Naomi, Ruth was required to demonstrate her commitment through actions (Ruth 1:16). Out of loyalty, she proved her commitment through four actions. First, her own plans for the future, not knowing if she would wed again, especially not to a man in the land of Judah (they have a long history of being banned from marrying Moabite women). Second, she forfeited her sense of home, going to a foreign land. Third, she forfeited her former beliefs and declared Naomi’s God, the one true, living God, as her God. Finally, she proclaimed God as her witness for all she had given up to remain loyal to Naomi.
From this story of intergenerational sisterhood, we can learn how to remain loyal and learn of the courage needed to remain steadfast in loyalty. But perhaps what is most important, is that we reflect on our loyalty to God. Let’s ask ourselves:
Is my loyalty to God based on agape love - the same love He shows me?
Do my actions reflect my loyalty to God?
Do I have to still put off some of my old ways to genuinely prove my loyalty?
Thank you for your agape love and undying loyalty. I pray I genuinely reflect my loyalty to you through my thoughts, words or actions.
In Jesus’ name I pray,