Also, the Sons of the Foreigner

“Also the sons of the foreigner Who join themselves to the LORD, to serve Him, And to love the name of the LORD, to be His servants– Everyone who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, And holds fast My covenant.”

Isaiah 56:6 (NKJV)

When I was in the Navy, my wife made sure I got off the ship in every port and had some fun. Her rule was, I had to buy her a coffee cup in every port my ship pulled into. Needless to say, my wife had lots of cups from Naples Italy.

One day I was with about ten other guys and we were just looking through the shops in Barcelona, Spain. One of the men turned to me and stated, “I wish these foreigners would speak English.” The merchant looked at us and stated, “You do.”

As Americans, we sometimes forget that we are foreigners when we are in a place where no one knows us. Even if I went back to the town where I was raised in Arkansas, I would be a foreigner because no one there has seen me in fifty years.

As Americans, we have the mindset that “foreigners” are people who are not Americans. To the Jews, a foreigner is someone who is not a Jew.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary
  1. A person belonging to or owing to a foreign country.
  2. Chiefly dialectal: one not native to a place or community

One time when my ship stopped in Barcelona, three of my friends and I decided to find a small bar (I wasn’t a Christian then) and have some fun. We found such a place deep into the community.

When we entered, there was only the girl behind the bar and an elderly man sitting at one of the tables. It was my turn to buy, so I went to the bar and the others sat down at a table. I managed to tell the girl what I wanted by pointing and holding up four fingers.

The girl motioned for me to go to the table and she brought us our drinks. When the girl arrived at the table, one of the guys had taken his camera out and was taking pictures of the inside of the bar.

The girl promptly sat in my lap and indicated through hand gestures that he should take her picture in my lap. She then sat in each of the others’ laps and got her picture taken.

That afternoon we all had some good clean fun, we and the people in the bar laughed along with us and when we started to leave, there was no tab to be paid. Tell me, who were the foreigners that day?

African American Family studying bible together

But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference.

Romans 3:21-22 (NKJV)

Notice that Paul didn’t say the name of any denomination, creed, color, or gender of people. Paul stated those who believe. That does not include those who attended some class to become a member of the church, was anointed by a priest as a baby, or pretend to be a believer so they can gain status in the community.

God (through Paul) stated that anyone who believes and continues to believe until they look like Christ. Those are the ones who will become the “righteousness of God.”

Let God be Magnified

Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; And let those who love Your salvation say continually, “Let God be magnified!”

Psalm 70:4 (NKJV)

One Friday night you were at a bar downtown and you saw one of the church’s deacons and another man sitting with two women that you knew were not their wives, As the night went on the two men got loud and vulgar in their speech.

As the night progressed, you saw the deacon laughing and talking to the young lady he was sitting with. At the end of the night, the deacon escorted the young lady out of the bar. As you followed them, you saw the young lady get into the deacon’s car and they drove away.

It’s 2 a.m. and it’s time to go home. Why was the deacon there and who was that other man? I guess all these answers can be found tomorrow because at this point it’s time to get some sleep.

The next day you just keep thinking over and over why was the deacon there? Were the deacon and his wife having problems and no one knew? What about the other man, he wasn’t a member of the church or you would’ve seen it? Why did the deacon choose to not say hello?

You have a lot of things to think about over the next few days. I guess the main thing was whether to trust your instinct or to trust your feelings of anger and betrayal? Should you tell the pastor what you saw, or should you confront the deacon himself? This Friday night out had proven to be something of a dilemma.

How could you let everyone know what you had seen without putting your own participation in the eyes of the public? Perhaps if you went to the pastor and gave him a hypothetical situation. Perhaps he could use the guise of saying he was asking for a friend. No that wouldn’t work. The pastor would want to know what you was doing at the bar.

That Sunday the pastor preached about deception. The pastor talked about how deception can eat a person from the inside and work on their nerves. What were you to do? If you didn’t do something soon, you felt like you were going to go crazy.

Finally, you decided. You were going to talk to the pastor about the whole incident. When you arrived, there he was, it was the deacon. Now, what were you to do? There had to be a resolution to this dilemma that would glorify God. It was just a matter of finding it.

It wasn’t long until the deacon and that other man left. The deacon didn’t see you and after they left, it was your turn.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

1 John 1:9-10 (NKJV)

When you saw the pastor, you suddenly decided it would be better if you confessed of your sin and received forgiveness than to rub someone else’s name in the mud. Perhaps the deacon was there to confess his sins also. You decide to get yourself back in good stead with God and receive God’s forgiveness and love.

 After all the stress and anxiety, you had gone through, you decided to tell no one what you had seen and just move on with your life. By doing so, one of God’s children would receive forgiveness and love and God would be magnified for His grace.

A couple of days later, you picked up his newspaper and there it was. There was a front page spread about the bust of a drug gang and the woman’s face was on the front page. You had not known the deacon was a police officer. God was magnified again.

The Goodness of God Endures Continually

Why do you boast in evil, O mighty man? The goodness of God endures continually. Your tongue devises destruction, like a sharp razor, working deceitfully. You love evil more than good, lying rather than speaking righteousness. Selah

Psalm 52:1-3 (NKJV)

When I was about 7 years old, I began to haul hay for one of our neighbors. I had to learn all the ins and outs of the hay hauling business. I had to build my muscles so I could toss a large bale of hay onto the flat bed of that truck.

I was the serious one of the crew. I was the one that kept trying to encourage everyone to step up and get the work done. At the age of 7, I was the one who worked the hardest to make sure everything was finished on time.

My reward for all my hard work was huge. At the age of 7, I was given full control of the truck and its crew. We were allowed to haul for anyone as long as it did not interfere with getting his hay in the barn. The good part was that we still got paid for hauling his hay.

I had a similar experience about thirty years ago. That was when I was saved. I was given a mentor to disciple me for two weeks. During that time, this godly man managed to get me hooked on studying the bible. He proved to me the importance of doing more than just reading the scripture. He taught me the importance of using the center reference as a guide to using other scripture as commentary for the scripture I was studying.

After the discipleship period ended, I was so hungry, I began to study on my own. It wasn’t long till I was finding more time to study. It wasn’t long before I was called by God to teach.

About that time, my wife and I moved to a new community. The church there needed an adult Sunday School Class. I was asked to teach it. The class started with about 6 people and rapidly grew to about 35. All my study and diligence paid off even more than all my hard work as a child.

The moral of all of this is that I could have done less and still have survived. I could have still made money with the hay truck, but I chose to do more. I could have declined the teaching job, but God had trained me and prepared me to teach and later to preach His gospel.

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ “

Matthew 4:1-4 (NKJV

I knew a man who started to work in the bank after college. He joined the Masons, the Lions club, and any others that would show him off as a loyal and respected citizen. He didn’t take the time to prove himself to the people, he just wanted fame.

The banker and his family attended church every Sunday at first but as he grew in the club activity, they started to come to church less and less.

What went wrong? The banker started to depend on man and the world, he was so busy he lost sight of the important things.

I chose to stay with the bible and try to live what I had learned. I’m not as rich as the banker friend, but the life I live is much better and more rewarding. My family and I are more important to God than the banker and his family are to the world.

The world will deceive you and try to lead you in the wrong direction. God always leads His children on the straight path to Heaven. The decision is easy, and the path is straight to those who are loyal to God.

Your God Has Anointed You

Remember, we are holy because God is Holy

You love righteousness and hate wickedness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness more than Your companions.

Psalm 45:7 (NKJV)

If Jesus were to have said the verse above; He would have substituted “Christianity” for righteousness and the word “sin” for wickedness. Unlike some of the preachers and teachers today, Jesus believed that you cannot sin after salvation.

God anointed David with happiness, pleasantness, and happiness. Why? Because David hated sin (wickedness). God wanted to reward David for his righteousness.

When we are saved today (not attended a class). When we are born again and give our lives to Christ, when we tell Christ that he is the light of our life, maybe we need to follow David’s lead. How does God reward us if we become righteous?

How does God anoint us the same way he anointed David?

When we are anointed, we receive the same thing Jesus did that made him closer to God. We receive the Holy Spirit. We now have the Holy Spirit living within us. We have God in our hearts!! Why would we listen to someone tell us it is ok to sin? (John 14:17)

I’m sure you have noticed that God told us often that we must obey Him and follow his commandments. This means we must work at being a Christian.

My wife and I have been together almost 44 years and we are still very much in love. Both of us believe in God and we trust Him to lead our marriage.

It wasn’t always that way. There was a time that I was not close to being a Christian. My wife believed and didn’t give up on me. Today we can’t think of not having each other. Our love is more special than most of the couples we know. We owe that to God. Our marriage is a reward for my wife’s faith and her belief in me. She changed my life for the better.

Today, I have been rewarded by God and God lives in me. God is a part of me, and I am a part of God. My heart is so filled with God’s love that there is no room for sin in my heart.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

1 Peter 1:3 (NKJV)

Without God’s Love there can be no righteousness. It was God’s love for us that caused Him to give His only begotten Son to die on the cross for the sins that we committed. Jesus never sinned. Jesus had no reason to go to the cross because of anything He did.

Because God demonstrated his love in this way, we can receive the second birth God has afforded us. It is this rebirth that God will reward. God does require that we die to sin so the rebirth can occur. God does not give His rebirth to sinners (wicked) because they can’t appreciate the experience.

The rebirth is required before God’s Blessings can be given to those who are chosen. God don’t choose sinners. God’s love is unconditional and cannot be bought with riches. God’s Love cannot be bought with our service to others, by teaching or preaching, by singing or any other public spectacle. God’s love is a forever love. We can turn away from God, but He will never turn away from us.

Remember, we are holy because God is Holy (1Peter 1:16)

Then I will Give Him to the Lord

Then she made a vow and said, “O LORD of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a male child, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and no razor shall come upon his head.”

1 Samuel 1:11 (NKJV)

How many times have you heard stories of people who promised God that if they made it through a situation, they would faithfully go to church? As time passed the person made it through the situation and all was well.

For a couple of weeks, the person and their family went to church. Maybe they didn’t like the pastor, the Sunday School class, or something else. However, the person found something else to occupy their time and their life moved on. Did God let this person down or did they just not care anymore?

People think that they can trick God into helping them beat the odds. If the truth is known, there is just that lack of caring in some people.

Samuel lived a full life as a priest and helped so many people, including David. It was Samuel who did the ceremony for the first King of Israel. None of this would have happened if his mother had not followed through with her promise to God.

Because Hannah did what she promised, Samuel was more than just a priest in the sight of God. God lifted Samuel to show His love for Hannah. God wanted Hannah to know how much He loved her for what she had done.

Today God wants to show His love to all, but He wants to lift those who make promises and keep them. God wants to give them more than they asked for.

Where I come from in Arkansas, a person is only as good as their word. When you make a promise, that should be your bond no matter where you live. Hannah knew that.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

Matthew 5:4-8 (NKJV)

Would you believe that 7 of the Beatitudes describe Hannah and Samuel? This is what God wants us to be. If you look at all of the Beatitudes, then look at how the New Testament describes the attributes of a Christian, you will be able to see the true life of a Christian.

Our goal as Christians is to “look like Christ.” Christ has all the attributes of the Beatitudes. Then so should we.