All posts by Rockie Naser

About Rockie Naser

Rockie Naser is a speaker, evangelist, author, and prayer warrior. She has earned a Bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies and a Masters of Theology (Th.M.) in Evangelism and Discipleship. She has spoken on radio stations, in conferences, and seminars across the nation and internationally. She enjoys nature and the outdoors.

Trump & Refugees

People are angry! They are wondering how the President of the United States would ban helpless people who need our help. This is not the time for us to turn our backs on refugees.  After all, we are a nation of immigrants and we must welcome all.

Before we take to the streets and the hashtags, let’s study the situation and make an educated judgement.

My perceptive comes from being a daughter of refugees as well as working with refugees in the US for more than ten years. Coming to America as a refugee is not easy. I’ve seen men who were doctors in their homeland compelled to work at minimum wage in the US because their degrees are not recognized here. I’ve seen nurses and engineers having to work two jobs in order to pay for the airline ticket because refugee agencies do not cover that expense for them. I’ve seen refugees dumped in the slums of our cities in roach infested apartments and furniture that can easily be found in American alleys. I’ve seen refugees getting help from public aid because they can’t pay for their groceries. I’ve seen how their kids grow up in bad neighborhoods and having to be detained in correctional centers. Coming to the US is not always pretty, easy or fun for refugees.

The ideal situation is for them to live in their homeland. However, war and destruction make it unlivable for them to live there. So they flee to find hope, help and safety.

But we have a second problem…it’s not the President of the United States…It’s us, the citizens of America. You see, we are quick to object to an executive order, but we do not obligate ourselves to help the refugees that already live here. We are quick to hashtag our opinions but ever so slow to host a refugee in our home. We are quick to picket airports rather than provide for those that just arrived our country. Our talk is big but our action is small. The Bible says: “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth (1 John 3:18).”

How can we love in action and not just with words and speech?

  1. We can send support to refugees through UNHCR (United Nation High Commissioner for refugees), Baptist Global Response, or World Relief.
  2. We can help the refugees we currently have in our country by befriending them and helping with their financial and emotional needs.
  3. We can support our government officials to provide a safe place for us and for them.

We can either be part of the problem or part of the solution.

Picketing our airports gives you a loud voice but not a hearing. Pointing your finger at President Trump makes you a fault finder not a problem solver. President Trump has banned some people for coming in the US for six months, he didn’t ban them forever and he’s not saying we won’t help them. Former President Obama banned Syrians from coming to the US for six months as well. No one protested him. During four years of Syria’s civil war, The US welcomed close to 50,000 refugees per year but only allowed less that 250 Syrians to enter for the entire four years. Yet nobody protested or picketed.

Refugees are often displaced for several years. Waiting another six months is not a big deal to them as it is to us. Most refugees can live in a refugee camp from 2 to 10 years until they are resettled to another country. How about we channel our energy and resources to helping them instead.

America, let’s be part of the solution rather than part of the problem. Let’s love with action rather than words and hashtags. Let’s lock arms and be a powerful united force to provide a safe place on our soil and the soil of other nations.

Let’s be part of the solution, not the problem!!

Expect the Unexpected

Have you ever wondered why the Magi stopped in Jerusalem and speak to Herod when they were looking for Jesus? It struck me as odd that they would stop and ask for Jesus in Jerusalem (Matt. 2:1-2). After all, wasn’t the star leading them? Couldn’t the star lead them to where Jesus was residing with his parents?

The Magi had their gaze on the star until they reached Jerusalem. But once they reached Jerusalem, they took their eyes off the star and began to ask for they child. They thought they reached their destination.

Whey did they stop there? Where would they expect to find a king who was born? In a palace, of course!  At least that what they thought. Jerusalem had a palace and king…King Herod. So naturally a king who was born would be born in a palace, in a kingdom, to a royal family….

But that was the furthest from the truth! Jesus was not born in a palace but a stable. He was not born into royalty but to peasant parents. He wasn’t born in a kingdom but an Inn. It wasn’t anything they expected or imagined. When they left Jerusalem, the star brought them to the place where Jesus and his parents lived (Matt.2:9-11).

They really didn’t need to stop in Jerusalem, they could’ve continued to follow the star and it would’ve taken them straight to Jesus. But they expected a king to be born in a palace to a king.

Their expectation led them away from God’s path.

What about you and me? Do we let our expectations and circumstances take us off the path God has for us? Do our expectations take our gaze off God and place them on our surroundings that make sense to us?

I wonder what would’ve happened if the Magi just continued to follow the star. The bible tells us when Herod heard that another king born, he was disturbed and so was Jerusalem (Matt. 2:3). He told the Magi to find the boy so he can kill him. When the Magi did not return to Herod, he decided to kill every child that was two years old or younger (Matt. 2:16-18).

In God’s sovereign will, He allowed the atrocity to happen against these kids. and in His power, He protected Jesus from a premature death.

Our expectations may not produce a drastic outcome such as the story found in Matthew. But what have we forfeited in blessing, ministry or opportunities because we followed the “expected”, rather than giving room in our lives for the “unexpected.”

In my life, I never expected to go to seminary…I never expected to be called in ministry….I never expected so many things in my life. There were times when I followed the “expected” rather than the “unexpected.” I’ve learned that when opportunities come my way, rather than seeking to make sense of them, go to the Lord and ask…

  1. Lord, is this of you?
  2. Lord, how would You have me respond?
  3. Lord, what is the next step I’m to take?

I found that when I do that, I leave room for God to work the “unexpected” in my life. Even when the unexpected is hard or confusing. Let God do the unexpected in your life to bring about His Glory and your ultimate good!

 

A Guy Worth Marrying

The account of Christ’s birth in the book of Luke seems to focus on the story from Mary’s perspective. However, the account of Christ’s birth in the book of Matthew seems to tell the story from Joseph’s perspective. My desire is to blend the two so we can have a full picture of what happened.

Based on the accounts, here’s what I believed occurred. Mary was visited by an angel let her know she was going to conceive a son by the power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:26-38). The angel told Mary that her cousin Elizabeth is miraculously pregnant so Mary knew if anyone would believe her, it would be Elizabeth and she went to visit her cousin (Luke 1:39-45). The bible is silent about anyone else knowing other than Joseph, Mary’s fiance’ (Matt 1:18-19). Here parents and his parents may have known but we have no record of it.

What we do have record of is that Joseph found out his fiancé was pregnant and it wasn’t from him. As a Middle Eastern man, I’m sure he felt betrayed, enraged, disrespected, and disregarded. He had every right to expose her shame and make her pay for her sin, especially since she humiliated him in front of others by getting pregnant from another man. He knew that if he exposed her, it would mean she would be killed (Duet 20).

That is exactly what she deserved for getting pregnant for shaming him….

Most men would’ve exposed her. They probably would’ve spat in her face and taken her out in public to expose her sin. Most men would’ve done that….

BUT NOT JOSEPH.

Joseph, being an honorable man, was willing to take the blow. In the midst of his pain, he wanted to protect her. Matthew tells us he had planned on marrying her and then divorcing her secretly (Matt. 1:19). You see, you can’t divorce someone that you do not marry. You dissolve the engagement agreement but you divorce the person you marry. If he dissolved the engagement, she would still be exposed to public shame in the Middle East. She would still look like she was a loose woman even if she slept with Joseph, her fiance’.

So Joseph decided to marry her so people in the community would think she was pregnant by him.  And then he would later divorce her, but do it secretly so people won’t question her integrity. That was his decision.

However, Joseph changed his mind when the Angel of the Lord spoke to him and told him she was pure (Matt. 1:20-22). Joseph was a man who heard from God and followed Him.

What a guy!

And if that wasn’t enough, he had so much self control and self-restraint that he would not have sex with her, even though she was his wife. He waited until she gave birth to her Son, Jesus. We don’t know if he waited 3 months or 6 months while he was married to her. But here is a red blooded Jewish man who has so much self control that waited for his wife to have the baby. Wow!

Joseph, a man that was willing to protect his fiancé even when he thought she did the unthinkable to him. A man who was willing to take the blow for his fiancé even though he thought she betrayed him. A young red blooded man who waited months before sleeping with his own wife. A man that heard God and obeyed Him.

Ladies, does the guy you are dating possess these qualities? Does he possess ANY of these qualities? Is he willing to protect you even when he’s angry at you, or does he expose your shortcomings? Does he demonstrate self-control and self-restraint or does he try to pressure you to compromise your purity? Does he hear and obey God or does he follow his desires and will? If he doesn’t possess these qualities, my advice is RUN…run as fast as you can!! And WAIT for God to bring a guy that loves God first, that respects your purity and a man who demonstrates self-control.

THAT is a guy worth marrying!!

When Did Mary & Joseph Get Married?

Middle Eastern weddings are big and elaborate. The groom’s family often begins to celebrate about three days before the wedding day. The bride also celebrates with her friends, family and neighbors as they prepare her for the wedding day. In the Middle East a bride and groom can have all their paperwork done and go before the Imam to officiate the marriage, but the bride and groom cannot be alone for long periods of time until the actual wedding day. The wedding day is important because it signifies to the family of the bride and groom, their friends and neighbors that the groom has taken his bride to be his wife.

So when I look at Joseph and Mary, I read in Matthew and Luke that they were betrothed. And then I read he took her with him to Bethlehem. In my culture, and I’m sure even in their culture and time, it was a big FAT NO NO for him to do that unless the wedding day and celebration occurred. Guys then and now (in my culture) NEVER takes their finance’ for days and months unless they celebrated their wedding day publicly.

So when did Mary and Joseph get married?

The bible is not clear on that but here’s what I believe happened based on biblical accounts. The angel spoke to Mary and told her she will conceive Jesus (Luke 1:26-38). She didn’t know who to confide in but the angel told her that her cousin Elizabeth was also pregnant miraculously (Luke 1:36). She went to Elizabeth because she know if anyone would believe her, it would be Elizabeth (Luke 1:39-45).

And she did!

When Mary went back home, Joseph may have noticed a baby bump and decided he would marry her and eventually divorce her so she would not be exposed to public shame (Matt. 1:19). According to the Law of Moses, she would be stoned to death for this act and Joseph was trying to protect her from that.

The rest of the story tells us that Joseph was visited by an angel of the Lord in a dream who told him the truth about his wife, Mary (Matt. 1:20-21). So Jospeh married her but did not sleep with her the entire time she was pregnant with Jesus (Matt 1:24-25).

When Joseph went down to Bethlehem, they were already married but did not consummate the marriage because she was still pregnant with Jesus. According to NKJV, Luke tells us that Joseph and his betrothed WIFE went down to Bethlehem to for the census (Luke 2:5). The word “wife” in the Greek is translated 129 times as “woman” and 92  times as “wife.”

Other translations like the NIV, NASB, and ESV do not translate the word in Luke 2:5. I believe they are doing that to point to us that Joseph never consummated his marriage until Mary gave birth to Jesus. The virgin conception is important to Christian doctrine and so is the virgin birth. Most Christians talk about the virgin birth more than mentioning the virgin conception. But they do not need to omit that because God tells us in His Word that Joseph took Mary to be his “wife” without sleeping with her until she gave birth to Jesus (Matt 1:24-25).

Even in our Middle Eastern culture, a man and woman can have all their paperwork done, they can go before the Imam to officiate their wedding and they can have the wedding day, but if they do not consummate the marriage, they are still not considered husband and wife.

So why is all of this so important to know? I will share that with you in my next blog 🙂

When Nebuchadnezzar Becomes President of the United States

I’ve grown weary, worn out, and frustrated with all the Facebook posts, tweets, articles and blogs about this upcoming presidential election.  I’m disgusted hearing about HIllary’s full term abortion policy.  I’m grossed out by Trump’s vulgar language.  And I’m tired of folks trying to convince me that if I vote for Trump, I would be a bad Christian.

Anyone else feeling the same way?

We know that either Hillary or Trump will win.  One of them will become president….like it or not.  The question we need to ask ourselves as Christians is this…

What is my responsibility when Trump or Hillary becomes president?  What would be our responsibility even if Nebuchadnezzar became president of the United States?

Do you know about Nebuchadnezzar?

He was the king of Babylon who seiged Jerusalem, took the Israelites into captivity and took the vessels from the temple of the Lord for himself.  He is the guy that put three Israelite men into a fiery furnace for refusing to worship a gold idol he created.  You can read more about him in Daniel chapters 1-4.

So what should Christians do if Nebuchadnezzar becomes president of the United Stated?  Here are a few thoughts

  • Pray for the welfare of our nation and our president – God told the people of Isreal to pray for the welfare of Babylon because in it is their welfare as well.  “But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.”  (Jer. 29:7)
  • Stand strong in our convictions – The three Hebrew men were willing to be burned alive rather than bow to an image.  (Dan. 3:16-18)
  • Respect the authority that God has placed over us and let God work in the heart of our president – When Daniel walked into the courts of the king, he did so with great respect to him and those he appointed (Daniel 2).  He was not arrogant or prideful when he walked into the king’s palace to interpret the kings dreams.  And God eventually humbled Nebuchadnezzar in His own time and in His own way.  (Dan. 4:34-37)

God will humble his leaders.  He will deal with the hearts of kings, He will move in their hearts to bring about His ultimate purpose for His Glory.  But we as Christians have a responsibility.  The way we respond will be a witness to our Savior and King.  This is what He tells us in Romans 13:1-7…

“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities.  For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.  Therefore, whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.  For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad.  Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority?  Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good.  But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain.  For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.  Therefore, one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience.  For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing.”  Romans 13:1-6 ESV

In most countries, they do not have the same privileges we have in the US. We get to vote a president in office.  After that, we respect the vote of the majority, we pray for our president and our nation, and we hold strong to our convictions at all cost.  That’s what a good Christian citizen will do when Nebuchadnezzar becomes president of the United States….

Majority Does NOT Rule

Have you ever been in a situation where you feel like you are going against the grain?  People are all heading one direction in their opinions, actions and attitudes while you are heading the opposite direction?  You begin to wonder…

Am I wrong in thinking this way?

Do they know something I don’t know?

 Am I missing something here?

I’ve recently spoke on a television program where I was the odd man (or woman) out!  Everyone had a completely different thought, opinion and idea about the topic even though we are all Christians.  So, I did the only thing I know to do when I’m faced with a situation like this…..I prayed, sought the Lord and asked Him to give me clarity on this issue.  And He spoke in my heart

He reminded me of a story nestled in Numbers 13-14…God commanded Moses to send out some men to explore the land of Canaan that they were about to possess.  Moses sent out 12 of his men and they came back with good news and bad news.  The good news was the land was lustrous, fruit was luscious and area oozed with milk and honey.  The bad news……the cities were fortified, people were like giants and the men felt like grasshoppers in front of them.

 What should they do?

10 men said, “We can’t do it!  They are stronger than us.  We’ll get killed!” (Num. 13:31-33)

2 of the 12 men were Caleb and Joshua.  Caleb said, “We should and we can do it.” (Num. 13:30).  Caleb and Joshua both asserted, “If God is pleased with us, He will give us victory!” (Num. 14:8-9)

Was that enough to convince the Israelites to follow God?  Not in the least!  They grumbled, argued, plotted to find another leader to take them back to Egypt, and even stone Moses, Arron, Caleb and Joshua (Num. 14:1-4, 10).

They didn’t trust God and wanted to rebel against Him. God was not happy! In fact, He wanted to destroy them for their lack of belief and lack of obedience (Num. 14:11-12). But Moses and Aaron begged God to spare them and He did!

What about us today? What can we do when we are faced with situations where we feel we’re the odd man out?  When we feel we are going against the grain?  When the majority believes in one thing and we believe in something completely different.  How are we to respond?  The story in Numbers 13-14 reminds us of several faith lessons…

  • When we are faced with a dilemma, we need to look to God rather than look to our circumstances.
  • We need to seek God’s Word and Wisdom to make sure that what’s in front of us aligns with His Word and His Heart.
  • We need to remember, if the majority of people are going one direction, it is not necessarily God’s plan or purpose.
  • As Christians, we sometimes need to stand against the majority because the majority does NOT Rule, God’s Truth does!

The rest of the story in Numbers tells us that the people who grumbled and didn’t follow God’s direction never entered the Promised Land….especially the 10 who spied the land. But Caleb and Joshua did enter the land after the first generation died.

I want to enter all the land the Lord wants to give me. Don’t you?

Mary Magdalene a Prostitute?

The movie “Risen” came out this weekend and I was anxious to see it. Some friends and I saw it today and the solider did a fabulous job playing the role. The movie probably depicted an accurate picture of what transpired from the perspective of the Roman leaders. However, there is one glaring story that is not true to the Biblical text and it seems that every Christian movie gets it wrong. It is that of Mary Magdalene. According to the Bible, Mary:

– was a woman healed of 7 demons (Mark 16:1)

– supported Christ’s ministry and traveled with Him (Mark 16:2)

– was at the crucifixion of Christ (Matt. 27:56, John 19:25)

– followed Joseph of Arimethia when he took Christ’s dead body to the tomb (Mark 15:47)

– was one of the first people at the tomb after the Sabbath (Mark 16:1)

– was the first person to see Christ after His resurrection (John 20:1)

– was the first person to tell the disciples that Christ rose from the dead because Jesus instructed her to do so (John 20:18)

The Bible does not tell us whether she was single or widowed. In Middle Eastern culture, it was absolutely unheard of that a young single woman would be in the inner circle of 12 men and traveling with them unless this young girl had no family around. My sanctified guess is she was an older woman who was widowed that was wealthy enough to support Jesus financially, purchase spices to anoint Christ’s dead body and to travel with twelve men.

What amazes me about this woman as I studied her life closer is her love and devotion to Christ.  It seemed that she surrendered her time, talents, and treasures to Him for freeing her from seven demons that tormented her. She had a pure love, unwavering devotion,  and a deep gratitude to Christ.

And for that, Jesus honored her! She had the privilege to see Him first after His resurrection. He spoke to her first as the resurrected Lord. He gave her a message to give His disciples. Christ seems to single this woman out to honor her and I believe it was because of her utter surrender to Him. What an honor!  What a privilege!

So I ask myself…how grateful am I that Christ freed me from the power and penalty of sin? Has my heart over flooded with gratitude that it overflowed into my life, attitude and actions? Do I love Him like Mary loved Him?

Mary was not a prostitute. She was a woman Christ freed from bondage. She was at the end of herself and Christ rescued her. All her resources could not free her from the seven demons and Christ freed her with one touch or maybe one phrase…”Be free!”

Jesus freed me when I was at the end of myself but do I love Him like that? Have a surrendered everything to Him? As I embark on Easter, I’ll be asking myself this very question: How much does my life and my actions show my love, surrender and devotion to Christ?

Lord, that I would love you, surrender to You and devote my life to you like this remarkable woman: Mary of Magdala!

Should We Fear ISIS Infiltrating the West through the Refugee Crisis?

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“There’s lots of people among these refugees who are ISIS sympathizing young men going thru with rampages in Italy and the Austrian border,” one friend said to me. My friend’s solution to this concern? “Let’s shut the borders in Europe or allow women and children only to enter as refugees”. My friend concluded her argument by saying, “What if ISIS infiltrates the ranks of refugees to enter the west so they can come and kill us?”

Should Europe shut down Her borders so that ISIS will not enter? Should America ban Syrian refugees from coming to the US for fear that some of them might be ISIS sympathizers?

A parallel story is found in the pages of our Bible that speaks to this modern day concern…

Saul was a Christian hater. He despised and disdained anyone who claimed to follow Christ. Each breath he took was filled with murderous threats against God’s people (Acts 9:1). When the Lord stunted Saul’s mission and stifled his vision on the road to Damascus in Syria, He offered a ray a hope that a man named Ananias would be the instrument whereby the Lord will use to restore Saul’s vision (Acts 9:11-12)

The Lord, however, encountered a snag in the story. Upon visiting Ananias in a vision and telling him to seek Saul and restore his sight back to him, Ananias responded in fear and trepidation. Ananias retorted, “Lord are you sure you want me to do this? Are you not aware that if this man had a bomb, he would strap it on his body walk in our midst to detonate it to kill us? Do you not know that if he had an airplane, he would’ve blasted it into the upper room and killed all those who believe in You? Are you sure this a good idea?” (my own translation of Acts 9:15-16)

The Lord could have responded with, “Oh, Ananias! You’re right! This a bad idea. Why don’t you, your family and all My followers hide in the nearest storm shelter until this tornado named Saul passes through!” But that is not how Jesus responded. The Lord said, “GO!” Acts (9:15).

You see, the Lord does not want us to cower to fear but to respond in faith. He said He did not give us a spirit of timidity but of power, sound mind and love (2 Tim. 1:7). He tells us that we will triumph by His blood, our testimony and not loving our lives as to shrink from death (Rev. 12:11). He calls us to an extreme and insane love that extends to loving our enemies and praying for them (Matt 5:44).

The fact of the matter is ISIS will infiltrate the west with or without the refugees. As a matter of fact, they have done so already. Have you watched the news lately? What they do is not our concern, it our government’s concern to stop them, stifle them and wage war against them. And I pray our government and our allies will be swift and victorious in that endeavor! But we can’t fear them so much that we shut all refugees out!

My pastor, JR Vassar, said in his sermon, “Fear is surrendering to people what belongs to God.” He added, “Don’t give fear more authority than God.” JR said instead of asking “what if” we should be declaring “If God.”

So in the refugee crisis, rather than ask, “WHAT IF ISIS comes to the US through the refugee crisis?” we should say, “IF GOD’s Hand is in this and wants to bring these refugees to the US so that they may know Him, He will be our Protector and Defender.” IF GOD wants people from every tribe and nation to know Him, then He will use this crisis to accomplish it. IF GOD loves people, then love should be my driving force to reach these refugees! We should not live in the WHAT IF but give our lives to IF GOD!

How Does God View the Refugee Crisis?

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Heartbreaking! Painful! Insurmountable! Dangerous! Terrorism!

These are words that come to my mind when I think of the refugee Crisis. What about you? What are the first words that come to your mind when I think of the refugee crisis?

In the thickets of trying to wrap my mind around it, I find myself teetering between looking to countries and super powers to intervene or look at them with disdain. It’s sad to acknowledge this, but oftentimes, God is my last resort to turn to in the midst of an overwhelming difficulty.

When I am able to freeze the racing images in my mind and peel back the curtains long enough, I find myself asking God these questions… “Lord, how do you want me to process all that I’m seeing, hearing and reading? Lord, how do YOU see this crisis? Lord, what are You doing in all of this??

The Lord often takes me back to the roots found in His Word. How does God view the refugee crisis? Here’s what His Word tells me…

God Loves People! All people! And His love is demonstrative towards us (John 3:16)

God desires that no one die separated from Him. He has no ill will towards anyone, not even those among the ranks of ISIS. His wish and will is for people to turn from their sin and run to His loving arms (2 Peter 3:9). He does not delight in the death of those who act wickedly. He especially doesn’t desire for people to perish in their ignorant zeal that lacks the true knowledge of Him. Those who think they are doing it all in His Name (Ezek 18:23)

God loves justice and He will execute it for the oppressed in His timing and His way (Job 8:3). Even when we may not see the chariots of fire with a host of angelic armies encamped around us, we trust God do what only He can do in His timing and His way.

God appoints the times and locations where people should live so that they may seek Him (Acts 17:27-28). He has a purpose in all of this!  In His Sovereignty, He moved Joseph out of the land of Canaan to Egypt so that Joseph can be the second in command in Egypt. He scattered the Christians across Asia Minor and Europe so that His message may go forth. When God allows a scattering of people to occur, no doubt, He’s accomplishing  His purpose for people to seek Him and find Him. He did it then and He does it now!

God works things out for His Glory (Ps 46:10). My finite mind cannot comprehend how His Majesty will be exalted among the nations, but I know He will. I don’t know how He’s working in this refugee crisis to exalt His Name and make His Name Great but I know He will do it. May He find us faithful to trust Him, to look to Him and ask the questions…

Lord, how do you view this crisis?

Lord, what is Your perspective on this refugee situation?

Lord, what is Your purpose for this situation?

As the Lord opens and expands our minds to gain biblical thinking, He may or may not answer the “why” question. You know that question…”Lord, WHY did you allow this? Lord, WHY don’t you do something?” As if God isn’t doing something since He’s not moving in ways that make sense to us!

God always opens Himself for us to ask the frustrating, puzzling, and confusing questions. He, nevertheless, moves us from wanting to know the “why” to the “what” question.

This question is…Lord, what is my part in this? We all have a part to play. God desires to use us in the purpose and plan He has in this crisis. I encourage you to ask ask God this question: “Lord, what is my part in the refugee crisis?”

Refugee Crisis In Perspective

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In the last several days, our senses and emotions have been tugged at the horrific pictures, videos and interviews of refugees. Who has not cried over Aylan’s tiny little dead body at the shore of the Aegean Sea?? And who has not been gripped by the painful pictures of refugees trying to cross to Europe?? As a result, organizations are guilting you in giving, fingers are being pointed at politicians in the ugly and brutal blame game, and the churches are accused of not being “the church” if they do not act swiftly.

This blog is not intended to accuse, blame, or guilt you in anything!!

Instead, my desire is to help you understand the crisis and how we can lock arms as a community of Believers to be most effective in reaching our world for Jesus Christ. In order for us to that, we must ask ourselves some questions…

How did this refugee crisis occur?

People have had to flee their homes because of war, danger or persecution since the first communities were formulated on this earth. This is not a crisis that occurred in the last year, people have fled their homes for thousands of years. The refugee crisis has reached an all-time high because of ISIS destroying Syria and entering into Iraq. Close to 1/3 of refugees today come from Syria and Iraq alone. However, we also have people from Afghanistan, Colombia, Somalia, Congo, Sudan, Myanmar, Central Africa, and Eritrea that are refugees.  Most of them these refugees that are internally displaced people (IDP) and some flee to neighboring countries to seek asylum.

What are the best steps to take for the benefit of the refugees?

The first step is for each refugee to be able to live in their homeland in peace. War, persecution, or danger are factors that do not allow them to do that. The United Nations has been charged with trying to promote world peace. This sometimes means fighting against rebels, factions or political parties are bent on destruction. Ideologies, religion, prejudice, politics are can all play a role in causing war. The Unites Nations can’t possibly fight against the deep rooted sin in the depraved heart.

The second step is to welcome refugees who are unable to go back to their homeland. The first countries that these refugees flee to are the neighboring countries and considered “countries of first asylum.” Countries like Turkey, Jordan, and Pakistan are populated with refugees that have fled from a neighbor country. The neighboring counties that take in the refugees are usually supported by organizations like the Red Cross, or UNHCR (The Untied Nation High Commissioner for Refugees) or smaller faith based organizations like World Relief, and Baptist Global Response.

The Third step is for refugees to register with UNHCR to receive refugee status. There are 26 countries that have agreed to resettle refugees into their own country, and the Unites States being one of them. A new trend hit twitter known as #wewelcomerefugees. This movement is intended to encourage our political leaders to welcome refugees in our country. Most people don’t know this but out of the 26 countries that resettle refugees, America welcomes the largest number of refugees. I’ve always said that America is a generous country and I’m grateful for the Her leading the way in resettling refugees. So instead of pointing fingers at our leaders, how about we thank them for their generous spirit!

The refugee crisis is ongoing so we need to, first of all, educate ourselves about refugees and we need to know how we can better serve them in the name of Christ! My next blog will be about how we can make difference.