Elect Refugees (Eklektois Parepidemois)

Jesus loves refugees. We don’t need to contextualize the Scriptures to see this. It is written in black and white, from beginning to end. And while He loves all refugees, He has something special for His elect refugees.

K, a refugee, met Jesus when a short-term team came through. Hailing from a predominantly Muslim country, his decision for Jesus was surprisingly easy. Now he reads his Bible every day and is hungry for Bible-rooted fellowship.

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.

As we sat down for our first one-to-one Bible reading, he asked me to select a scripture. I often go to 1Peter 1-2 when I don’t know where else to go. At a time when I was leading a small group in my church back home, my pastor delivered a very meaningful sermon on these verses.

As we opened the Word, I led him through three lenses… Blue Lens: What does this passage say about God? Red Lens: What does it say about me internally? Green Lens: What does it say about the world around me?

I had never really thought about these verses in the context of being a refugee in this day and age. I suppose it could have been almost any Scripture since the Bible is the very Word of God. But I quickly saw the opportunity for both of us to be lifted in faith by the Lord by this particular passage.

Here are some of the observations K and I had together as we read the Word.

Blue Lens:

God has a plan and a purpose for our lives. He sees us, He does not forget.

Red Lens:

He uses my dislocation for his purposes in me, sanctifying me

Green Lens:

Isaiah 56:5 He offers grace and purpose in everyone’s dislocation, but a special anointing, place, and purpose for those of us who have come to faith in Jesus. As His elect, we can reach out to the refugees around us, confident that He loves them and blesses them where they are, and that He can do infinitely more for them through Christ. This is emboldening truth.

Friends, God is faithful to all of us, even those that do not know Him, those who don’t call Him Lord. But He has even more for His elect, for the ones He knew to be His. We have meaning that goes deeper. In Him, we have satisfaction unattainable by any other means.

A refugee, like K, that has turned to Jesus might still live in refugee housing. He might still live on government assistance and lack status here in Berlin. But the deep call of God will give him peace, satisfaction, and purpose that mere circumstance can never touch. As we discovered or rediscovered these truths together, a deep sense of belonging and of being loved entered our hearts and our discourse.

Share the Gospel my friends and see how God makes exiles into elect exiles, see how God makes refugees into elect refugees. See how He changes lives, as He has changed yours.

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