03 Nov Walk With Us
“And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave you, or to return from following after 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: Where you die, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part you and me.” Ruth 1:16 & 17
I will never forget the day, in Sept. of 1999, when I first met Jon. A single parent, putting myself through school, and working part-time, my life was full and I was loving every minute of it. It seemed like, for the first time in my life, my focus was on taking care of me and having fun with my youngest daughter. I want the reader to understand, I was content and despite my lack of “money and things” it was one of the best times in my life. But God had a different plan. I was a server at a quaint little cafe known as The Row House. I love waitressing and have always wanted to own a restaurant. As a child, I played “Restaurant” in my grandparents finished basement. We couldn’t turn the stove on, and of course all you got was soda pop, a PBJ, and crackers, but it was fun and time went fast.
Anyway, when I met Jon, it was at this little cafe mentioned above. I extended my hand to introduce myself. With a firm grasp, he took hold of my hand to complete the exordium. Immediately, the Spirit of God spoke, directly and succinctly, to my heart and said, “This is it.” At the age of around five, the Lord had told me he had a special plan for my life. Little did I know this “it” which the Lord spoke of was bigger than I ever dreamed or imagined. Jon’s mom best described him in saying, “Jon goes where angels fear to tread.” In Sept. of 2000 I said, “Yes” to his proposal and we married in Oct. of that same year. My life would never be the same.
Ruth said, “where you go, I will go” to Naomi whose faith was as low as it can get. Naomi wasn’t living “high on the hog” so to speak. She lost her husband, lost her two son’s, was enveloped in poverty and now had to go back home empty and face the music. Ruth went on further to say, “where you die, will I die and there will I be buried.”
Think of that. A gentile girl choosing to leave all that she had known to follow the mother of her dead husband.
The Expositor’s notes say: “This has to be one of the greatest statements, one of the greatest affirmations of Salvation, found in the entirety of the Word of God. In essence, it is that which must characterize all who come to Christ. In this consecration, there is no looking back. The die is cast. She will forever turn her back on the world of idolatry and rebellion against God. She will forever throw in her lot with those who worship the Lord of Glory. Even when she dies, she does not want to be sent back to Moab, but rather buried in the land of Israel, which she was. She cuts all ties with the past, even her family, and everything else. This is exactly the consecration that is demanded by God of all who come to Him. Anything less constitutes no Salvation at all.”
Allow me to speak to the Peoria, and surrounding area, people for a moment. You’ve come and you’ve gone from Heritage Christian Center in Peoria. You’ve attended a service or two, have watched us on TV, and have been touched by the presence of God. The Spirit of God ministered to your soul like a drink of crystal clear, fresh, water in a dry, parched land and you know you are suppose to be part of what the Lord wants to do in central Illinois. The Saint’s of God from Ottawa to Henry, from Mendota to Depue, from Morris to Streator have made an investment into YOUR lives and some of you have turned away from it for whatever reason. CHURCH, COME BACK TO THE CROSS. Be obedient to what the Holy Spirit wants to do in your life. Come join us body of believers, in the Illinois Valley, who have banded together for one purpose, one goal and that is to take His Message, of Christ and Him Crucified to a lost, hurting, and dying world. We have been called to preach Christ Crucified to Peoria and on Saturday’s at 6pm at the Lakeview YWCA this is what we will be doing! Why? Because God told us too. If God calls you to be a part of something, even if it is something small in your eyes or the eyes of those around you, even if your ridiculed, talked about, even if it’s something you don’t want, will you follow His voice, His leading? Does pride or stubbornness hold you back?
“Let us therefore, as many as be perfect (mature) be thus minded: (have our minds on what Christ has done at the Cross, and was done for us) and if in anything you be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. (This means some were actually otherwise minded. But through the words of Paul, the Holy Spirit was going to show them the right way, which is to pull them back to the Cross.) Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained (progress), let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing. (Let us walk the same path, that of the Cross) Brethren, be followers together of me (be “fellow-imitators”) and mark them which walk so as you have us for an ensample (observe intently). For many walk (speaks of those attempting to live for God outside of the victory and rudiments of the Cross of Christ) of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping (this is a most serious matter) that they are the enemies of the Cross of Christ: (Those who do not look exclusively to the Cross of Christ must be labeled “enemies”): Whose end is destruction (if the Cross is ignored, the loss of the soul is the only ultimate conclusion) whose God is their belly, (refers to those who attempt to pervert the Gospel for their own personal gain) and whose glory is in their shame (the material things they seek, God labels as “shame”) who mind earthly things.” (This means they have no interest in Heavenly things, which signifies they are using the Lord for their own personal gain.) Phil. 3:15-19 Expositor’s Study Bible KJV
Ruth was (how many greats we don’t know exactly) a grandmother to King David, from whom Jesus came. Ruth, a gentile, is a Type of the Church. Ruth walked in obedience and humbled herself before the God of Israel.
“Let him deny himself (not asceticism as many think, but rather that one denies one’s own will power, self-will, strength, and ability, depending totally on Christ) and take up his cross (the benefits of the Cross, looking exclusively to what Jesus did there to meet our every need) and follow me.” (if Christ is not followed by the means of the Cross, He cannot be followed at all).
This scripture is repeated 3 times in the Bible in Matt 16:24, Mark 8:34, and Luke 9:23. This is our prayer towards you. Pray and ask God to lead and direct you. Jacob was touched by God and he never walked the same. Come over and walk with us, down a road less traveled to a city whose Builder and Maker is God.