Tuesday, November 17, 2015


Devotion VIDEO here

Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.  No one has ever seen God.  But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.  And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us.  Furthermore, we have seen with our own eyes and now testify that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.  All who declare that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God.  We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love.  God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.  And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect.  So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.  Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear.  If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.   1 John 4:11-18 (NLT)
I’ve been watching a good bit of CNN’s coverage of the terror attack on Paris.  Monday night Erin Burnett interviewed a relative of one of the attackers.  The man genuinely seemed to be in as much shock as someone normally would be after finding out his family member took part in such a terrible act of unspeakable violence. 

In further questions, Ms. Burnett asked him to share his feelings about several of the issues involved in this kind of brutality, and the man openly attempted to convey his thoughts.   She also asked, It hurts to think about this, doesn’t it?  Then she asked him if he was afraid for his family considering his family relationship to one who committed such heinous crimes.  The man quickly said, Afraid?  No!  Perfect love dispels all fear.

In a post[2] yesterday, my friend Rev. Drew McIntyre shared an amazingly poignant statistic from our history.   
About 1,000 Jewish refugees fleeing from Hitler’s Germany were seeking asylum in the United States.  They were on a ship anchored off the U.S.  coast.  A poll was taken amongst college students as to whether or not these Jews should be granted asylum.  Two of every three students said “NO”.  They were turned away – sent back to Germany.  A documented follow-up of these refugees showed that nearly half of them perished in the holocaust.      
The Governor of Alabama was interviewed on CNN also yesterday (the first of a total of 27 governors) to flatly declare that his state would accept no Syrian refugees.

Although I have not seen any polls concerning Syrian refugees, the question begs:  Shall we do anything different in 2015 than we did in 1938?  Syrian president Bashar al-Assad seems every bit the madman as Hitler.

My conviction is that we must do what (true) Christians have always done – follow Christ.  This is not a time for fear; this is a time for loving as Christ loved, and, according to Scripture, following the Savior means feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and visiting the prisoner.   True refugees come under that category. 

However, loving also means we must be wise as serpents while being harmless as doves; we cannot in all good conscience just throw open the border gates.  Loving means doing the best possible thing for another – even your enemy; it does not mean allowing your enemy to perpetrate evil on more innocents.

Perhaps our leaders will figure out a way to give limited asylum to the refugees – a supervised safe-haven, until their past and intentions are properly vetted.  If refugees will come to this country, they come at our hospitality, and must understand the nature of this supervision in these extraordinary times.

All this sounds like a lot of trouble – but, if you remember, the Good Samaritan got in the ditch with the beaten, bloodied man, and in all probability got his hands and everything else pretty dirty while he helped fix the broken stranger.

For You Today

You might do some hard thinking on how you can be the Good Samaritan; you never know what your road will be like today.

Think about that out on the Rocky Road today…and have a great day!

[1] Title image:  "COS 09". Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons
[2] Read Drew’s post here:  blogpost

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