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Called to Love a Stranger

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Called to Love a Stranger

What does it feel like to be a stranger? The Apostle Peter said Christians ought to totally understand what it feels like to be a stranger because we will never fit in here on earth.

Peter said, “At one time you were not God’s people, but now you are His people; at one time you did not know God’s mercy, but now you have received His mercy. I appeal to you as strangers and refugees in this world!”[1] Peter was saying, as Christ-followers we will always know the feeling of being a foreigner, a temporary resident, like people who don’t fit in.

Today I appeal to you as a stranger.

I encourage you to tap into that feeling of what it’s like to be a stranger, to not fit and be accepted, to be seen as different.

Why? It will be one of your most powerful tools in relating to people who themselves feel marginalized, minimized and pushed aside for any reason.  We take our own pain of feeling like an outsider to make others feel like they are insiders, so we can reach them for the Kingdom of God. Capitalize on the feeling!

Jesus seemed to specialize in this approach. Jesus was the ultimate foreigner! Jesus left His people, His homeland, and came into a hostile place where He was an outsider. He loved the strangers. He ate with known cheaters, the hated tax collectors. He made room at the dinner table for prostitutes. He touched the untouchables and listened to the people who had no voice.

Christians are called to love strangers! In fact, the stranger people are, the more we ought to be drawn to them! Peter called Christians, peculiar people—“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.”[2]

We can honestly say to strangers, “I know how you feel. I too have felt like an outsider, but Jesus accepted me. He welcomed into His family before I was acceptable, and His love and acceptance changed my life. He can change your life too!”

 

For more on this topic, listen to the podcast, “Love the Stranger.”

[1] 1 Peter 2:10-11 GNB

[2] 1 Peter 2:9 KJV

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About Ron Bontrager

Lead Pastor of Lakeview Church in Indianapolis.

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