|"Bonjour" welcome sign picture courtesy of Jeanne Henriques ~ Collage of Life|
Today we're looking forward to the arrival of our French guest. My daughter and her family are in China; my son is in Japan. Many of you are planning your own summer travels. With that on my mind, I decided to share a chapter from devotional, God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea: Experiencing God in the Midst of Everyday Moments. I'm also giving away a signed paperback copy. I hope you'll enjoy this.
Strangers in a Strange Land
“If you call ‘Father’ the one who judges everyone impartially according to what they have done, you must live in reverent fear as long as you are strangers in a strange land” 1 Peter 1:17 (ISV).
I love being a citizen of the United States of America—a nation of immigrants from all over the world. So it was with much enthusiasm that I taught English to speakers of other languages. In addition to language, I also taught our culture and history, and endeavored to impart to my students an appreciation for the American way of life. Assimilation and acculturation are objectives for newcomers in order to help them overcome the feelings of alienation in a foreign land. When immigrants begin to melt into the life and culture of American, they begin to feel they belong here.
While reading the above scripture in 1 Peter, I began to realize that we as Christians must do just the opposite of those students. Rather than assimilate the ways of our world, it is our calling, and our challenge, to live in this world, yet keep ourselves “unspotted from the world” (James 1:27). We are strangers in a strange land.
On this journey of faith, we are called to holy living. As we live a sanctified life, we come to realize that all this world has to offer is vanity, and that only God can give us the true desires of our hearts. Peter beseeches us as “strangers and pilgrims” to live in reverential fear of God the Father. We must live according to His Holy Word, not being conformed to the customs and ways of this world.
The Psalmist said “I am a stranger in the earth: hide not thy commandments from me” (Psalm 119:19). As we walk with Him in faith, on our way to heaven, we desire more and more to understand God’s commandments and serve Him. With our sights on Him, this world is indeed passing away, and our heavenly destination is becoming more the reality.
Suggested readings: Psalm 39:12; Psalm 119:19; Psalm 119:54; Hebrews 11:13; James 1:27; 1 Peter 1:17; 1 Peter 2:11.
Journal Considerations: Are there some “ways of the world” that you are trying not to assimilate?
Why do you think Peter calls us strangers and pilgrims?
Prayer: Dear Father God, have mercy on me. Thank you for your grace that sustains me on this journey. I pray that You might count me in your household of faith. Thank you for Your Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ Holy Name, I pray. Amen.
Today’s Sweet Tea Moment: May I pass the time of this pilgrimage honoring God.
Prayer Focus: Missionaries serving God in foreign lands.
|Photo courtesy of Eileen DeCamp|
Now, if you'd like to be included in the drawing for a signed copy of my award
winning devotional, God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea, please leave a
comment below (with your email address if I don't have it already) AND share
this post on your social media sites. I'd appreciate that very much. The
winner will be announced on Monday, July 7th. Blessings!