Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Remembering and Celebrating Women's Ministry
Ruth 1:1-22

Mrs. Priya Kolath

W/O Rev Alex Kolath
Immanuel MTC, Virgina

16 But Ruth said, “Do not press me to leave you or to turn back from following you! Where you go, I will go; where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God.
17 Where you die, I will die—there will I be buried. May the Lord do thus and so to me, and more as well, if even death parts me from you!”

 

Due to a famine in Bethlehem, Naomi moves to Moab with her husband and two sons. Her sons marry Moabite women, Orpah and Ruth. However, while in Moab, Naomi’s husband passes away. In addition, her sons pass away. After experiencing such great loss in her family, Naomi is returning to her homeland in Bethlehem when she tells both her daughters-in-law that they should return to their families so they can have the possibility of remarriage and the hope of having a family again to care for them.

It is in this background, that we hear Ruth’s response to her mother-in-law. Though she was Moabite, Ruth had put her trust in the God of her mother-in-law, the God of Israel, the only true God. Returning to her own mother would have meant returning to the god of the Moabites as well, since marriage included with it any territory and god of the land. In this decisive moment, Ruth chose to serve her mother-in-law and follow the God of Israel. During a time of great grief and loss that her mother-in-law was enduring, Ruth decided to stay by her side, even if that meant that Ruth may lose the opportunity to marry again and have her own needs taken care of. Sacrificing her own needs, Ruth chose to be with her mother-in-law.

As we meditate on Women’s Ministry, its good to remind ourselves that to minister simply means to tend to the needs of someone, or rather, to serve. In Ruth’s action to choose the God of Israel and stay with her mother-in-law, she is serving someone in need even when it means sacrificing personal gains. Throughout the Bible, women are provided as examples of service. This service includes family members, which could mean helping aging parents, being the help mate to a spouse, or caring for children. There may be seasons where God provides the freedom and opportunity to serve neighbors or a church community or co-workers or the poor in a distant land, by providing for those in need. Serving another often requires personal sacrifices. While choosing to live selflessly and sacrificially is not natural in the flesh, this is possible as the Spirit leads and empowers. As Ruth chose to follow the true God and serve a family member in need, may God grant all of us the spiritual discernment to understand how He wants us to serve others in the various seasons of life, and grant us the power of His Spirit to serve others as He served us.

PRAYER

Dear God, please grant us the wisdom and discernment to understand whom we should serve and how, in this season of our life. Please grant us the power of Your Spirit to serve joyfully as unto the Lord, and not to man. Amen.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
Serving God is also serving our neighbor.