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February 5

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“Also you shall not oppress a stranger, for you know the heart of a stranger, because you were strangers in the land of Egypt” (Exodus 23:9 NKJV).

From: February 5, 2020

WHO IS A STRANGER?

God inspired Moses to write this instruction, including an appeal to the memories of the Israelites. Namely, that they should remember how it felt to be oppressed as strangers in Egypt. This injunction has at least two motivating factors: First, obey because God said so, and second, obey because you know how it feels to be mistreated as a stranger in a foreign land. This second motivation is similar to the Golden Rule, which says, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Matt. 7:12).
 
At some time in our lives, surely most of us have felt like strangers. A new school, a new job, a new neighborhood, maybe even a new family, these are all situations where we began as strangers before hopefully becoming neighbors or family. The greater the change of setting or status, the greater the feeling of strangeness. This is either compounded or relieved by the way those who are already part of the tribe treat us.
 
Certainly, we must apply this to how we treat those in our country that have immigrated here. We must not oppress them. Even more, as believers, we should welcome them. For we are called to make disciples of all nations. And the nations have come to us.
 
So, we might also apply it to how we treat anyone who is outside of our family of faith. As the apostle Paul wrote, “Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside” (Col. 4:5). In other words, we are called to live wisely with unbelievers that we might share the gospel of Christ with them. In this way, they might move from former strangers to fellow saints.
 
PRAYER: Dear Father, we were once as strangers to You, but You have redeemed us from sin and death and made us Your children through faith in Jesus. We rejoice in this great adoption! Help us to always live wisely before those who are still living as strangers, so that we might invite them into Your family. In Jesus’ name, amen.

“You must not follow the crowd in doing wrong” (Exodus 23:2 NLT).

From: February 6, 2018

How many of us as teens explained to our parents, “But everyone was doing it”? If your parents were like mine, then that excuse didn’t go over too welll. And it doesn’t go over well with God either. The Bible is clear. We are not to just follow the crowd. Wrong is still wrong even if the majority view it as acceptable. Live for the approval of the Lord, not the crowd. Following Jesus almost always means going against the flow of the crowd.

“You shall not circulate a false report. Do not put your hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness. You shall not follow a crowd to do evil” (Exodus 23:1-2 NKJV).

From: February 5, 2017

After giving the Ten Commandments to Moses, the Lord gave instructions on the implications of following them. This verse illustrates the following of the 9th commandment, namely, “You shall not bear false witness” (Ex. 20:16). One cannot resist noting how following these words would eliminate most of the nonsense shared as news on social media today. “You shall not circulate,” might be restated for modern ears, “You shall not hit the share button to spread false reports.” This would help both teens and adults alike to resist lying to themselves and others, blaming their own behavior on following the “crowd.” These illustrations of the ten commandments show the far-reaching and perfect nature of God’s law. They also show how impossible they are for fallen humanity to keep. What if they were given to show the depth of our sinfulness and the desperate need we have of a Divine rescue? Indeed. As the apostle Paul wrote, “Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith” (Gal. 3:24). The law is perfect, but it cannot save. Only Christ saves and sets us free from slavery to sin, so that we no longer walk in the darkness of falsehood, but in the light of truth.

“But if there is harm, then you shall pay life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe” (Exodus 21:23-25 ESV)

From: February 5, 2016

God gave Moses very specific laws to set His chosen people apart from the other nations of the world. At first glance, this “eye for eye” law may look barbaric to the modern reader. Yet, it actually limited the level of retaliation that the offended party could take, and it laid the foundation for modern law. “An eye for an eye” is sometimes referred to as the principle of appropriate retaliation or as in the Latin, “lex talionis” (“law of retaliation”). This meant that the victim could not demand more than the value of the injury in compensation; therefore, preventing the escalation of revenge, as was the pattern of the tribes before the law. The law does not eliminate the sin of humanity, but it does act as a guard rail, limiting its excess, and pointing to our need for rescue from a Savior.

“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14 NKJV)

From: February 5, 2015

This was a part of Jesus’ answer to the disciples questions concerning end times. The Greek word translated “nations” is ethnos (ἔθνος). It might also be translated every race/culture/tongue. According to Wycliffe Bible Translators, there are still 350 million people in the world who do not have a Scripture translation in their heart language. And according to the www.joshuaproject.net 43% of the world’s people groups are still unreached. Most of these are in the 10/40 window. There are still “ethnos” who have not heard the gospel. God is still asking, “Whom shall I send and who will go for us?” (Isa.6:8).

“The Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14 NLT)

From: February 5, 2014

Has the gospel yet been preached in the “whole world?” Not yet. But surely, the time is coming soon. According to Wycliffe, there are 6,900 languages spoken in the world today, as the world’s population approaches seven billion. Of those, 180 million people (who speak about 1900 different languages) do not have a Bible in their heart language, nor anyone that is currently working on one. All the major languages have been translated. The ones remaining are small population groups. Of course, Bible translation is only part of the equation. Someone still needs to preach the gospel so that they can hear and understand.

“And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14 ESV)

From: February 5, 2013

This was a part of Jesus’ answer to the disciples questions concerning end times. The Greek word translated “nations” is ethnos (ἔθνος). It might also be translated every race/culture/tongue. According to Wycliffe Bible Translators, there are still 350 million people in the world who do not have a Scripture translation in their heart language. There are still “ethnos” who have not heard the gospel. God is still asking, “Whom shall I send and who will go for us?” (Isa.6:8).

“The Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14)

From: February 5, 2012

According to www.joshuaproject.net there are 6,954 people groups (out of 16,789 worldwide) still not reached. Most of these are in the 10/40 window. Who will go and tell them?

“This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14)

From: February 5, 2011

The spreading of the gospel to every nation is our commission. Fulfilling this call we hasten Christ’s return. Jesus calls us not to safety, but to significance!