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#MWC E3.5

Jeff sings “No Matter the Cost” and talks from the book of Ruth in this week’s #MidweekWorshipConnection.

Welcome back to the #MidweekWorshipConnection! Today we have a song called, “No Matter the Cost“. This is a song that I had the privilege of being a part of writing. There was a church in our area that was having a missions conference and someone started writing this song for that missions conference, and brought on another songwriter, and I was actually the third songwriter that got to come alongside for this process. I’m really excited about the way that we were able to craft this song together. It started with somebody’s poem, just an honest plea to God, and it ended up being a song that is maybe one of my personal favorites to lead in congregational worship because I love what it is saying. I love what it is declaring. I love to sing it together with God’s people

No Matter the Cost (written by Jeff Kaufman | Jeff Polen | Jill Troyer)

What can we do
to make a difference in this world?
Can we really touch a life?
Can we show them Jesus Christ?

What can we give?
We have nothing on our own
Let us be Your hands and feet
May we follow where You lead

Give us Your light
so we can shine like the stars
Pour out Your love on us
Lord give us Your heart

Let us unite
to serve the broken and lost
We give our lives to you
no matter the cost
No matter the cost

What can we say
to a world in need of You?
They watch our every move
May we simply live the truth

What can we pray
to see Your Kingdom come?
The harvest fields are ripe
Oh God we need Your light

Give us Your light
so we can shine like the stars
Pour out Your love on us
Lord give us Your heart

Let us unite
to serve the broken and lost
We give our lives to you
no matter the cost
No matter the cost

We are willing God, we will go
We are willing God, we will go
Where You lead us, God, we will go
Where You lead us God, we will go

To the lost, to the broken,
we will go
with hearts wide open
We will go

To Your daughters
To Your sons
We will go
We will love

* * *

Every time that I read the book of Ruth I am amazed. What an amazing story packed in to four short chapters!
In the first chapter, we hear about the tragedy that comes to Naomi. Due to famine in the land, Naomi and her husband leave Israel to the land of Moab with their two sons. Their sons marry Moabite women, but by the fifth verse of chapter one Naomi’s husband and two sons are dead. Naomi, who went along with her husband to find a better life, was left widowed and childless. Devastated, she decides to go back to Israel.

On the way, Naomi turns to her daughters-in-law and tells them to remain in Moab. There is no reason for them to follow the widowed mother of their deceased husbands. Besides, they were originally from Moab, so they have a better chance of getting remarried and being taken care of in the country of Moab. One of the daughters-in-law agreed with Naomi, kissed her, and went back home. Ruth refused to leave Naomi’s side. Scripture says that Ruth “clung” to Naomi (see Ruth 1:14).

Naomi, likely drenched in her own depression and bitterness, once again implores Ruth to go back to the country of Moab. Ruth’s response is simply breathtaking:

But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following 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. (Ruth 1:16, ESV)

I am astonished and challenged by the loyalty and tenacity that Ruth shows to Naomi. What would I do if I were in her shoes?

Naomi really does make a good point. Logically speaking, Ruth would be better off to return to the country of Moab and take her chances there. But she refuses. Instead, she takes the compassionate course, the more challenging course, and she clings to the mother of her dead husband.

Not only does she cling to Naomi, but in her bold statement, she renounces her Moabite citizenship and denies the Moabite gods. She says “Naomi, your people shall be my people, and your God my God.” She cannot return “home” to the country of Moab, because she is declaring Israel to be her new home. She cannot trust in the gods of Moab to deliver her, because they are not her gods. The LORD God, the God of Naomi, the God of the Israelites -that is the God that Ruth will trust in to provide for her.

Are you challenged by any of this? I sure am.

Of course, we have the luxury of knowing how the story ends. Ruth meets Boaz, who ultimately shows her kindness and redeems her, taking her hand in marriage and giving her a son. That son became the grandfather of the great King David, and kept the lineage of Jesus alive.

God blessed Ruth beyond her wildest imagination! There is no way that she could have known what would come of her selfless act of compassion. But God is in the business of blessing his people! The best decision that Ruth ever made was to trust in the LORD God, the God of Israel, the God of Naomi.

Though the circumstances looked terrible, God was doing something beautiful.

This story takes my mind directly to the cross, where once again the circumstances looked terrible! Jesus, the perfect Son of God, was beaten, mocked, and nailed to a cross to die a criminal’s death. He was abandoned by his disciples and betrayed by his friend. It doesn’t get any worse than that! But God was doing something beautiful!

Three days later, the LORD Jesus arose from the grave -alive forevermore! He took our sin upon himself on the cross, but he was victorious over death! Now he offers us victory over sin and death, as well.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16, ESV)

May we remember that God is in the business of blessing his people! Though our circumstances may look terrible, let us remember and believe by faith that God is doing something beautiful! And as Ruth refused to leave Naomi’s side, but “clung” to her, may we refuse to leave the side of Jesus -and cling to him! Where he goes, may we go. For to those who put their faith in Christ, his Father is our Father!

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