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Welcome the Stranger

Today's Devotional

You are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household. Ephesians 2:19

In Everything Sad Is Untrue, Daniel Nayeri describes his harrowing flight with his mother and sister from persecution through a refugee camp to safety in the United States. An elderly couple agreed to sponsor them, though they didn’t know them. Years later, Daniel still can’t get over it. He writes, “Can you believe that? Totally blind, they did that. They’d never even met us. And if we turned out to be villains, they’d have to pay for it. That’s almost as brave, kind, and reckless as I can think of anybody being.”

Yet God desires us to have that level of concern for others. He told Israel to be kind to foreigners. “Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt” (Leviticus 19:34). He reminds gentile believers in Jesus—that’s many of us—that once we “were separate from Christ . . . and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12). So He commands all of us former foreigners, both Jew and gentile, “to show hospitality to strangers” (Hebrews 13:2).

Now grown up with a family of his own, Daniel praises Jim and Jean Dawson, “who were so Christian that they let a family of refugees come live with them until they could find a home.”

God welcomes the stranger and urges us to welcome them too.

Who is an outsider in your world? How might you reach out and welcome them into your space?

Dear Jesus, show me the stranger You want me to love.


The separation between Jewish and non-Jewish people was critically important when Paul wrote Ephesians. And, indeed, as God’s chosen people, the Jews held a special place in His plan. Messiah Himself was thoroughly Jewish. But the distinction created much animosity between the two groups, particularly concerning the practice of circumcision. Paul dismissed such attitudes as contrary to God’s plan—the “mystery . . . that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel” (Ephesians 3:6). God “has made the two groups one” (2:14). Gentiles are “no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens” (v. 19) through Christ’s blood (v. 13).

By |2024-02-23T01:33:06-05:00February 23rd, 2024|
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