PRAY: Soften my heart, Lord, so I can act out of your love rather than my fears when I am with those who are not like me.
Tuesday – Day 21
Approaching God – As Jesus asked us to have ears to hear, let us hear from the Book that we love.
“When an alien lives with you in your land, do not mistreat him. The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself for you were aliens in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.” (Leviticus 19:33-34)
Listening to God – Read Exodus 23:9. While it is easy to offer hospitality, kindness, and graciousness to people who are most like us, the Book calls us to offer the exact same treatment and respect to those who are most unlike us. Ask God to bring to your attention those he has put in your life who are most unlike you. Our relationship to them is a test of true spirituality.
“The Lord watches over the alien and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.” (Psalm 146:9)
Talking to God – After meditating on this verse, come back to the people God has brought to your attention who are most unlike you. In prayer, ask God to guide your thinking as you ask these questions: Have you treated them with outrageous kindness and tenderness? Do you have wide enough circles of influence to actually rub shoulders with those who are very different from you? How would someone not of your skin color, ethnic background, or economic prosperity say about how you respond to them?
Ministering in God’s Name – In our sin and selfishness, God—who is so different from us, so holy—responded to us in grace and love. So are we to do the same with others. Find someone in your circle, maybe whom you do not know very well, but who is very different from you, and reach out to them in God’s love. Befriend them. Spend time with them. Treat them with the same kindness that God has treated us with, because we remember what it is like to be outside from God because of our sin.
Surrender to God – The light is stronger than the darkness. Darkness flees. This week is another reminder to bring the light of Christ to places that are dark. For many of us that means we need to broaden our horizons. You walk in this light by doing something different with people who are not like you. Go to a different coffee shop than you normally go to and talk with someone—maybe the server. Be proactive in seeking out a new friend who has social, economic, or racial differences from you. Let us move beyond the circle of our comfortability to bring the light of Jesus to the small corner of the kingdom he has put us in. Though we can’t do it all, we must do what we can. Live the light.
By Paul Sausser