Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – March 29, 2017
So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When he made love to her, the Lord enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son… Naomi has a son!” And they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David. Ruth 4:13,17
An immigrant is a foreigner who seeks to resettle in another country with legal residency and permanent citizenship. It’s common for those from other countries to maintain the dignity of their culture of origin while embracing the values of their new community. Hard work, love of family and respect for others are the ingredients that endear immigrants to neighborhoods where they make their new home. Grateful foreigners who love their new country and who embrace the long-held values of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness invite acceptance by its current citizens.
Ruth was a widowed immigrant who was fiercely loyal to her mother-in-law Naomi. Instead of remaining comfortable in her native country, she embarked on an adventure to the home of her first husband’s family and discovered God’s will in a new culture and a new husband who loved her for herself. She patiently and submissively worked hard and listened to the advice of her mentor and mother-in-law, Naomi. The Lord blessed Ruth with a son whose lineage led to Jesus!
“Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul” (1Peter 2:11).
As followers of Christ, we are foreigners from our eternal home with our heavenly Father, and we are instructed to live out our lives in reverent fear of the Lord and to abstain from our sinful desires. A defeated or counterfeit faith has lost hope—but, faithful Jesus followers are an anomaly to an evil and a corrupt culture—we are light for those seeking hope in the darkness. We are called to engage and embrace each one who enters our borders, who are not only in search of a better life, but an eternal dwelling place with Jesus. Seekers are ultimately seeking for a Savior!
How can you love well immigrants seeking to assimilate into our society? Be a friend. Be a friend who humbly appreciates and aspires to understand an individual of a different ethnicity. Become culturally bilingual—differences tend to evaporate with shared pleasures. You may not comprehend a language diverse from your native tongue, but you can grow to know their heart and help them become fluent in their faith walk with God. Just as the Holy Spirit at Pentecost set on fire the faith of a diversity of tribes and nations, so the Spirit still seeks to draw all races to Himself. All hearts crave love, so seek to love all well with Christ’s all encompassing love.
“The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 19:34).
PrayerHeavenly Father, lead me to love someone different than myself as I grow to appreciate the beauty of Your diverse creation, in Jesus' name, amen.
ApplicationIs there someone of a different ethnicity from me with whom I can forge a friendship?
Related ReadingDeuteronomy 14:29; Isaiah 56:6-7; Malachi 3:5; Hebrews 11:13; 1 Peter 1:17
Post/Tweet todayJust as the Holy Spirit at Pentecost set on fire the faith of a diverse set of tribes and nations, so the Spirit still seeks to draw all races to Himself. #WisdomHunters #loveimmigrants
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