Christmas Devotions: A Promise Beyond Borders

Naomi said, “Look, your sister-in-law is returning to her people and to her god. Follow your sister-in-law back home!” But Ruth replied, “Stop urging me to abandon you! For wherever you go, I will go. Wherever you live, I will live. Your people will become my people, and your God will become my God.

Naomi and Ruth, Ruth 1:15-16

God’s Christmas promise came through Abram’s family but the promise was not only for his family. God’s intent was to bless all people with Jesus. The story of Ruth shows the love that God has for people who are willing to make Him their God.

Ruth was born outside of God’s chosen family, in fact she grow up among a people who were enemies of God’s people. But she did not stay an enemy. She showed a willingness to change her life, forsake her history and to join God’s family.

What was the result of Ruth’s actions? Both Rahab’s (from yesterday’s devotion) and Ruth’s name are written in the opening words of the Gospel of Matthew. They are both part of the family tree of Jesus.

God’s promise is without borders. His family is open to anyone who will show a willingness to change their lives and not allow their history to determine their future. The great truth of Christmas is that God sent His son to provide the way for us to become part of His family.

Our hope for you today is that the God of the Bible will become your God in every way, that you will make your entire life your gift to God this Christmas.

Bonus Content:

The Charles Wesley hymn “Away With Our Fears” was playing in the background of today’s podcast. Wesley originally wrote this hymn for a birthday celebration. The theology of the Wesley brothers was propagated through the hymns of Charles and the preaching of John.

As Ruth left her people and joined Naomi’s no doubt there was a twing of fear. As you read the twelve verses of Wesley’s hymn know that as we follow the one who overcame the grave we do not need to be afraid. No matter to where or to what Christ is leading you proceed without fear!

Away with our fears,
The glad morning appears,
When an heir of salvation was born!
From Jehovah I came,
For his glory I am,
And to him I with singing return.

Thee, Jesus, alone,
The fountain I own
Of my life and felicity here:
And cheerfully sing
My Redeemer and King,
Till his signs in the heavens appear.

With thanks I rejoice
In thy fatherly choice
Of my state and condition below;
If of parents I came
Who honour’d thy name,
‘Twas thy wisdom appointed it so.

I sing of thy grace,
From my earliest days,
Ever near to allure and defend;
Hitherto thou hast been
My preserver from sin,
And I trust thou wilt save to the end.

O the infinite cares
And temptations and snares
Thy hand hath conducted me through!
O the blessings bestow’d
By a bountiful God,
And the mercies eternally new!

What a mercy is this,
What a heaven of bliss,
How unspeakably happy am I!
Gather’d into the fold,
With thy people enroll’d,
With thy people to live and to die!

O the goodness of God
In employing a clod
His tribute of glory to raise!
His standard to bear,
And with triumph declare
His unspeakable riches of grace!

O the fathomless love,
That has deign’t to approve,
And prosper the work of my hands!
With my pastoral crook
I went over the brook,
And, behold! I am spread into bands!

Who, I ask in amaze,
Hath begotten me these!
And inquire from what quarter they came?
My full heart it replies,
They are born from the skies,
And give glory to God and the Lamb.

All honour and praise
To the Father of grace,
To the Spirit, and Son I return!
The business pursue
He hath made me to do,
And rejoice that I ever was born.

In a rapture of joy
My life I employ,
The God of my life to proclaim:
‘Tis worth living for this,
To administer bliss
And salvation in Jesus’s name.

My remnant of days
I spend in his praise,
Who died the whole world to redeem:
Be they many or few,
My days are his due,
They all are devoted to him!

With much love,A18FCA90-B60D-4FED-87D5-A0697AB1ADB7 The Downings

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