Exodus 23:9 (KJV) Also thou shalt not oppress a stranger: for ye know the heart of a stranger, seeing ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.
How many times, in scripture, are we reminded that we are strangers…..we were strangers…..Seems to be this pretty important that God brings this up so often.
We teach our children that strangers are people that we do not know; their names and their faces are foreign to us. Once we get to know them we say that they are no longer strangers. But sadly I know many who enter my home, may fellowship with us now and again, and yet in the end, are strangers to us. Some strangers to God. Thus strangers to us.
The world is full of them, so many strangers. To and and sometimes to our Lord.
Do they know God? Really know God. Not just ideas, not glimpses of Him when they visit their church once a week or once a year; do they see and feel His love for them if and when they open and read His Word? Strangers.
As we were once strangers. Before He called us. Before we answered. Before we were chosen and washed clean, made whiter than snow.
I think about who I was before. Not that long ago really. So very different. In a million years, I never would have believed that I could be who I am today. Glory to God!
I admit, I forget sometimes. I treat strangers as the strangers they are. I do not let them in; I am not as welcoming to them as I am to those who are familiar friends. I forget to show that hope and that joy that is the only reason we have for our life. How many times have I forgotten that I was once, as they are? I was without truth; lacking life and light.
Leonard Ravenhill is quoted as saying, “We Christians are debtors to all men at all times in all places, but we are so smug to the lostness of men. We’ve been “living in Laodicea”, lax, loose, lustful, and lazy. Why is there this criminal indifference to the lostness of men? Our condemnation is that we know how to live better than we are living. The Bible parable says that while men slept, the enemy sowed tares among the wheat. A boy who rises at 4:30 to deliver papers is considered a go-getter, but to urge our young people to rise at 5:30 to pray is considered fanaticism. We must once again wear the harness of discipline. There is no other way.”
And how true it is. How quickly after a service ends we can go home and get comfortable. Move on; we check it off our list as though what we did (church, prayer, scripture reading, devotions) is enough for the day. But He tells us that we are His when we live, all the time, in all seasons, in the sun and the rain, for Him. According to His word.We must do better; we must move out of His way and let Him work in us. That’s how we can do better. How we can live better and show that light on the hill others look to in their time of need. We cannot ever “be done” for the day. We are called to so much more.
Where are those tears that we should have for the lost? Today they may be strangers but by His spirit, in His love, tomorrow they can be so much more. If we only condemn less and love more. If we hear the words and obey them. Love them like Jesus. And remember that even Jesus wept (John 11:35).