Image by matman73072 via FlickrGood Evening to All!
Have you ever felt out of place? Did you ever get the feeling that a certain party was just not your scene, or got in a group of people with whom you just didn't fit in ? I know I have many times. More so in the last 10 years than ever. Although, I've always felt it to some extent since I got serious about my relationship with God the feeling has definitely become stronger and more often. In the past, I was married to a GI and he and his friends couldn't use a sentence without cursing and using vulgar language, as well as telling dirty jokes. I didn't really like it, but I tolerated it because I was young, and naive. I wanted to be the perfect little wife who never disagreed with her husband. Ha! As I got older, I liked it even less, but still didn't say anything. As of 10 years ago, I got serious about my relationship with God, started going to church on a regular basis and received the Holy Ghost. Now, I won't even tolerate listening to dirty jokes, vulgar language in person or on tv, and I'm not bashful about letting people know. I'm not tacky about it, but I definitely let people know that I don't appreciate foul language and dirty jokes, and I don't stay in uncomfortable situations. If I don't feel comfortable I either leave, or ask the other parties to clean up their speech or leave. I think it has to do with maturing and with the Holy Ghost within me. That being said, On with the devotional.
Strangers in a Foreign Land
Today's Seed: "Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God's elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, (2) Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied." 1Peter 1:1-2
While the Seed only actually called for the first verse of 1Peter 1, it ended in a comma, and an incomplete thought, so for that reason and that reason only I went into verse 2. The topic verse is limited to verse 1.
Do you ever feel as if you are a nomad wandering in the desert? You find little creatures in the sand, birds in the air, and other nomads who speak a foreign language but no one who is just like you. You try to enjoy their company and they try to enjoy time with you, but sooner or later they all go off with their own kind.
As Christians living in this world we can feel like we don't belong. Our goals and actions don't match others. We feel like aliens. To make it worse, others may even snub us.
Peter wrote today's seed at the opening of his letter to believers scattered throughout the area that is now Asia Minor. Less than fifty years after he wrote these words, being a Christian in the roman Empire became a punishable crime. Peter acknowledged the feelings of his readers and went on to remind them that they were residents of God's kingdom.
We can take comfort from knowing that we are not alone in or occasional discomfort. Jesus was a sojourner or stranger in this world too. Imagine how uncomfortable it was for him, a man of perfection in a world of sin.
The Good news is that this is a temporary home. Think of it as an interim move--like renting a temporary home while your new custom-designed home is being built! And soon, we'll be moving into a place where we will not be foreigners, but fellow citizens with God.
Dig Deeper: the Greek word for "stranger" means a sojourner, an alien alongside, a resident foreigner, or a pilgrim. Our true country of origin is not earth but heaven.
Weed & Water: The next time you're feeling out of place, examine the circumstances. Perhaps you are doing or saying things that hurt others, making them keep their distance from you. If not, then you may just be feeling like the readers of Peter's letter. True Christians will have times when they feel out of place. Remember that you are just passing through earth on your way to your true home--heaven. You belong to God.
Sprout & Scatter: We live in the melting pot of the world, which provides us a wonderful opportunity to reach out to foreigners. Scatter seeds of God's love. Start with the basics--guide them to the best schools, the best mechanic, dentist, dry cleaner, or grocer, introduce them to neighbors, your church family,l or others who will welcome them into your community.
Think about it: Why do Christians sometimes feel like strangers in the world?
Who can you help to belong?
Prayer Pot: Father , when I feel like a stranger help me........(insert your own request).
Take-Away Idea: You belong to God and His Country.
Good Night to All and May God Bless!