By: Waylon Bailey ~
Do you feel like a stranger in America?
Not long ago, I heard someone say those exact words. They said it doesn’t seem like I know the country anymore. I feel like a stranger.
If that’s the way you feel, the First Epistle of Peter is for you. It’s for you because Simon Peter wrote it to people who were “aliens and strangers” in the world. He wrote it for people who were dispersed and persecuted.
In America, we feel we are the only people who have ever been treated as strangers, but that’s not the case. Christians have always been aliens and strangers. This world is not our home.
We feel like strangers because we are.
This is not home. We are longing for a better place.
The question, of course, is how we are to live until we are truly home.
First, we must understand our situation. We must recognize we live in a fallen and sinful world which does not know God. The sooner we come to that understanding the easier our relating to the world will be.
Second, we must let the world see who God really is. Since spiritual things are spiritually discerned (1 Corinthians 2:14) people apart from Christ are going to have a difficulty understanding who He is. We must find other ways to make him plain.
That is happening literally today in the parishes around Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The devastating flood in our area has opened a door to show the love and kindness of God to struggling and hurting people. Since we can’t reach people in other ways, we can reach them with God’s love and compassion as we seek to help them clean out houses and start over again.
I’m thankful to be part of a denomination that is one of the largest relief agencies in the country. The people who are coming to help us both near and far are what I call the “Southern Baptist Cavalry.” I named them that after I saw the response of Southern Baptists all over the country to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.
Gevan Spinney, the president of the Louisiana Baptist Convention, said this week to the people in the flooded area “We want you to know we love you, and we want you to know we are coming.” Many people will hear the gospel by this effort of compassion and kindness.
Simon Peter told us to use our good works as a way to silence the ignorant talk of foolish people.
Jesus told us we are to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world and that others will see our good deeds and glorify the Father in heaven (Matthew 5:8–10).
You and I have an unprecedented opportunity to be kind to hurting people and to share the incomparable grace of our loving God.
I write a devotional like this six days a week. If you would like to receive all of my daily posts you can sign up at WaylonBailey.com.
Have a great week!