Last Call: Jon Courson "Often, when you and I backslide, the tragedy is that we take others with us"
The Last Call Devotions Network
So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter in law, with her, which returned out of the country of Moab and they came to Bethlehem . . .
Often, when you and I backslide, the tragedy is that we take others with us.
“I’m going fishing,” Peter said. “I’m not good enough. I’m not worthy enough to follow Jesus Christ any longer” (see John 21:3).
What did the other disciples say?
“We’ll go with you,” they said, as they boarded the boat of backsliding together.
But here is Naomi coming back, returning to the place of blessing, and look, she is bringing Ruth with her - Ruth who will be so instrumental in the very genealogy of Jesus Christ; Ruth, who is herself an illustration of the Body of Christ. Ruth is brought into the Land of Promise by a broken Naomi.
When was Ruth brought into the place of blessing? It wasn’t when she was impressed with Naomi’s pleasantness and perfectness. It was when she saw Naomi’s brokenness and bitterness.
Precious people, I am convinced that very often our friends, family, colleagues, and neighbors are not getting saved and not responding to the Gospel because they look at us and see the life we are presenting to them as being totally together, and they say, “God is the God of the together person, the perfect person - which is fine for you because you’re together and you’re perfect. But I’m not. Therefore He could not be my God.”
Why is it we try so hard to present ourselves as perfect? We know we’re not. Who are we kidding? We all know we have problems and weaknesses, temptations and difficulties. And yet we carefully cultivate an impeccable image to present to the world. I suggest to you that people are touched and moved not when you and I preach from the pulpit of perfection, but rather when we share from the place of brokenness and humility - not pointing to our togetherness, but to God’s graciousness.
Marrying into Naomi’s happy Hebrew family did not convert Ruth. You see, it was not until Naomi - Miss Pleasant - became humble and confessed freely that the Lord had dealt bitterly with her that Ruth said, “Your God shall be my God because I can relate to a God like that.”