So apparently I am not Australian!

During my holidays I had a conversation with someone about the refugee crisis in Syria.

At one point in the conversation I was asked if Australia should allow these refugees in? You may not agree, but my answer was ultimately yes. Sure we need to be wise, yes we need to think about the logistics (how many, where will they go, etc), but in the end I strongly believe we should let as many people in as we can.

The person then asked if I was serious enough to have a Syrian family live in my house? Am I that committed? Well, Lesley and I have talked about this a lot and yes, we would have a Syrian family live with us. We have worked out how we would arrange things and where they would go and how that will change our current set up. For we know that many of these refugees are Christians. But what if it was a Muslim family, the person asked? Would you let them live with you then? Again yes, we would. Well, said the person, that is just un-Australian. Welcoming Muslims and letting them live with you.

Friends, that is just the thing. As much as I love this country, and I do (Australia is the best place to live in the world in my opinion), I am first and foremost a citizen of God’s       kingdom. His values comes first in my life, his mission, his ideals, his plans. And when we look at the Bible we see that God wants us to be un-Australian in this area. He wants us to welcome in Syrian refugees whether they are Christians or not, and that is because God has a heart for the lost.

Remember that in the Old Testament, the Israelites were God’s chosen people to take God’s blessings and salvation to the rest of the world, no matter what religion they were. But Israel said, forget the rest of the world, God’s blessings are ours. And they refused to go on God’s mission, refused to live out his plans. They failed at living for God in order to live for Israel, in order to hold on to what they had. When this happens, the rest of the world suffers, as they live in a world without God.

Friends, God’s plan is still the same. He wants all people to be blessed by him through Jesus. He wants all people to be saved (2 Peter 3:9). Let’s not make the same mistake the Israelites did and say to the refugees, forget you and only think about our Australia. Let us first think about God and his mission to see people cared for and Muslims saved and let that shape what you think, say and do in this matter. Yes you may be called un-Australian, but won’t be called unloving, ungodly or un-Christlike.

God came to save sinners like us and like the Syrian refugees.

Chris Forder

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