Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Simply Trusting"1 (Lyrics)
During the last several years, there have been reports of hundreds of thousands of people being displaced by wars and uprisings, or leaving their homeland for economic reasons. We hear and read about them on a daily basis. Many are living in holding camps under conditions that we can't even begin to imagine.
Laws are being created in different countries to try to stop them from entering, and physical walls have been, and are being built on the borders between various countries.
In some European countries, the influx of desperate refugees is a real crisis. Friends who live there tell me that immigrants are not welcome because the culture, religion, and way of life that they bring with them is so different from that in their adopted country. Their reluctance, or, in many cases, unwillingness to adapt to local culture is also a hindrance. However, the mission field has now come to our doorstep, and it is our biblical mandate to bring the gospel of Jesus to all people.
At the beginning of this year, my wife and I each started to read the Bible in one year. She does it at a convenient time during the day, and I do it when I walk on the treadmill for 45 minutes, five days a week. To be honest, I found the laws, requirements, descriptions, and details of the objects to be used for ceremonial purposes as described in Leviticus, very monotonous, hard to read, and impossible to relate to. But one passage caught my eye:
Leviticus 19:33-34 – And if a stranger dwells with you in your land, you shall not mistreat him. The stranger who dwells among you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God. (NKJV)
The love of neighbours, whether long-time residents or newly arrived, has always been a matter of great controversy and discussion, even in New Testament times:
Matthew 22:37-39 – Jesus said to him, "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all you mind.' This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbour as yourself.'" (NKJV)
When there is an influx of people from other countries, it is good to be reminded that we are to welcome all people, be kind to them, and introduce Jesus to them.
Prayer: Our Father in heaven, we pray that when we as individuals or as a country see the people who are looking for refuge, we will make them feel welcome. We pray that as believers in Christ as Saviour and Lord, we will have opportunities to express our love to them and to tell them about Jesus. We ask it in His name. Amen.
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Well said, Joel.
Wonderful – the heart of the gospel!
A very timely post, thank you and God bless, Joel!
Thank you, Joel, for reminding us to welcome the newcomers. Blessings.
Good morning Pastor Joel.
Thank you for another timely inspiring devotional.
Amen Joel. Indeed, the topic of refugees can be a difficult one. I was reading a line in a hymn book the other week and it read: true worship is found every time we love another. It really made me think!
Much-needed words, Joel. Acts 2:44-47 shows us the model church. God added to their number each day; there was always room for more. Hospitality is a spiritual gift. Today, danger and travel restrictions prevent us from going to some countries to witness. God is sending the people to us instead!
Grateful for ALL the paths down which I can travel in this important devotional. I can begin to read the Bible in a year. I can ask God to help me love my neighbour as myself. I can take all the opportunities to carry the Word of God to them. I can let them see Jesus through me. Again, I thank you for the clarity of your writing and the depth of your compassion.
Thanks for another very good devotional. Yes, we need to give a warm welcome to those who seek refuge here and share with them about the love, care and strength we receive from knowing our loving Saviour.
Blessings to you,
I was particularly interested in your devotional today because I had also recently read the same passage you referred to about being kind to aliens and had had the same response you did. Movement of people all around the globe today is a worldwide problem, but God does have a specific command here for His children in regard to these people in need.
Good morning, Joel.
I read your devotional with interest today. I struggle with all the immigrants lately, but about a year ago a sibling reminded me how we too, are immigrants. Back in those days we were referred to as DP’s (displaced persons). Today they are called “refugees”. Same difference, yet it is so much different today. We had to adapt to the rules, cultures and the language. Not so today. And yet… the bottom line is that we are to love everyone, as Christ loves us. Not always easy to do, but I keep working on these weaknesses.
We are to be kind and gentle with the strangers in our midst. What is happening in Europe is that due to abortion and the modern Western European way of living, the indigenous people are eliminating themselves and the incoming Muslims are taking over Europe by having big families. I think the Dalai Lama had the best solutions. Rather than let the young Muslims live and fester in the ghettos of Europe where radical jihad will become their daily meal, the Dalai Lama said that the best thing we could do for them is to give them the skills and the financial backing they need to go back and rebuild their own countries.
Keep writing; I enjoy reading them.