Lesson One • Rooted

Devotion #5: Be a Light

Cameron Aldrich

Families are a wonderful blessing from God in so many different ways. Unfortunately, there can also be so much drama, differences, and pain found within them.

I am highly confident that all families are broken, at least in some manner. After all, we are all imperfect people. More often than not, I have learned of members within families who are not walking on the path of Christ, while their loved ones hope for them to one day be saved and be grounded in Christ as they are. Simply, these are the people who really need Jesus. They are not walking with Him and neither are they seeking Him. I will admit, these stray members that I have mentioned are found even within my own extended family. I would imagine that many of us can be reminded of our family members who are living this lifestyle as well.

Here is an important question I want to pose, “Should we sit idle without acting as they continue down their own worldly path with all their faults and imperfections?” I can guarantee that Jesus would want us to answer “no” to that question. However, that does not mean that we should try and force them into changing their ways.

Just as God remains faithful to us within all circumstances, we also ought to be faithful to our families and to our loved ones, no matter how “too far gone” we might perceive them as being. We have the incredible privilege and responsibility to shine the light of Christ to all, but especially to those who either do not yet know Christ or who have turned away from Him.

In the book of Ruth, we are provided with a great example of a woman who remained faithful to her family. It is Ruth herself. Despite how broken her family was and how much pain her family had endured, Ruth was bold and chose not to give up on her family. In fact, she did quite the opposite.

After the passing of her husband and two sons, Ruth’s mother-in-law, Naomi, told Ruth to return to her own family as she saw no point for Ruth to stay with her. In Naomi’s mind, the future was dim and she believed she was too far gone from receiving favor from God based on her losses and pain. Thankfully, Ruth would not give in.

Ruth 1:16 says, “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.’”

Despite the hopelessness of her family’s situation after their losses, God was at work providing for them as we hear throughout the rest of the story. Ruth later marries Boaz and in giving birth to her son, Obed, she provides Naomi with the family that she longed to have.

Families must remain strong in faith and rooted in Christ, and we must remain faithful to each other. Considering our loved ones who have gone astray, we cannot give up on them no matter how hopeless it may seem to continuously shine the light of Christ toward them. The God in whom we put all of our faith and hope has not ever and will not ever give up on us.

Our Father desires our hearts, and our hearts ought to be His home. No matter how far we have strayed, He relentlessly pursues us despite our likelihood to reject Him. In the same way, we can pursue our loved ones who need Jesus and remain faithful to our family, just as He has remained faithful to us time and time again.

Listen to the faithfulness of God that Jesus shares in Luke 15:1-7, “Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, ‘This man receives sinners and eats with them.’ So he told them this parable: ‘What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.’”

This is the important task that is set before us. Remain faithful to family and do not stop being a light.