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The Refugee Crisis — How Do We Respond?

By Don Loftis | 12.09.15

The conflicts in Syria, the Sudan and other places have created a drastic refugee crisis in our modern world.  Literally millions of people are homeless and searching for some place to live and raise families.  The recent plan for America to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees has been met with great opposition–most of that arising from fear and distrust associated with their Islamic backgrounds.  I understand that and I feel that.  Yet, as a Christian, let me offer three cautions.

We must not lose our compassion.  In a time long ago, the Lord told Isaiah, “Let the outcasts of Moab stay with you; be a hiding place to them from the destroyer.” (Is. 16:4).  Jesus identified caring for the needy as personally offering service to Him (Mt. 25:35ff).  We may not be able to help everyone, but we must never allow prejudice or selfishness to shut off our sense of caring or quench our hearts from loving others — even enemies.

We must see evangelistic opportunities.  We cannot send missionaries to many of these countries, but now they are coming to us.  How can we teach them?  How can we demonstrate the love of Christ?  How can we equip them one day to return to the Middle East with the Gospel?  God always wants us to pray that His kingdom will increase.

We must not allow fear to paralyze our efforts.  The apostle John exhorts us, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.”  We can exercise caution in our daily lives, but love demands a few risks.  The “Good Samaritan” took a risk.  The early apostles took some risks.  In fact, Jesus took a significant risk for us all.  Let’s not forget the place of faith and the power of love.

 


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