REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Ryun Chang (AMI Teaching Pastor), was first posted on August 22, 2014.
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“The Families in Mexico of Illegal Immigrants in America”
“Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner, for you were foreigners in Egypt.”
The Bible says, “Be willing to associate with people of low position” (Rom. 12:16), but this is a tall order to follow, especially when we lack empathy: Empathy is defined as an “identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings or thoughts of another person.” And I learned the meaning of that word afresh while living and serving in Mexico.
One social issue that continues to rile up many Americans is illegal immigration, the main reason being that illegal aliens take away jobs. While I don’t hold any strong position on this issue, I do believe that keeping our borders secure is important. Now, my visit to Nealtican, a small city in southern Mexico, gave me a chance to see and begin to empathize with the predicament of illegal immigrants.
While I was there to train missionary candidates, I stayed at the house of Juanita, a mother of three children, whose husband was working in the States as an illegal alien. And I quickly learned that he left because there were no jobs. I also got to see what life was like for the families of illegal immigrants: In short, the children desperately missed the father. Once a week, the family would walk to the nearest public phone and would wait for a call from the States that may not come. During dinner, they would talk about their conversations with their dad, or if he hadn’t called, how they missed him. Listening to this and eating the meals especially prepared for their Korean guest for a week, I thought to myself, “I may not agree with illegal immigration, but I must not mistreat illegal immigrants.” People without proper documents may be illegal before the law, but they are people whom God loves.
By the time I returned to Nealtican in 2007 to teach, Juanita and the children had long gone to the States, presumably without proper documents, to join her husband in New Jersey. Now that I live in Philadelphia, if I ever run into her, I want to let her know how much I appreciated her hospitality and love that she showed me. Maybe there is someone in your life for whom you need to do the same.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for choosing the way of the incarnation to save us, where Jesus became like us in every aspect. You did that not only to save us, but so that we can be assured that Jesus is able to empathize with us, and therefore, go to him. Thank you!
Bible Reading for Today: Micha 4
Lunch Break Study
Read Hebrews 2:17-8: Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.
Hebrews 4:15-6: For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Questions to Consider
1. In what sense did Christ empathize with us?
2. How does that help our confidence in Christ’s capacity to really help us?
3. Think about a person in your life to whom you need to show empathy.
1. By becoming a real human, Christ went through all the experiences encountered by every human being. Though never ceasing to be God at any moment, Jesus underwent hunger, fatigue (Jn. 4:6), disappointment (Matt. 26:40; Jn. 14:9), and even anguish (Matt. 26:38). Consequently, Christ, in his humanity, has personal knowledge of what we go through.
2. Of course, Christ didn’t have be a human being to know what we go through since He is an all-knowing God. Ultimately, then, Christ underwent human experiences so that we can have more confidence in his capacity to really help us.
3. What was the last painful experience you went through? Look around to see who is going through the same thing. You can empathize with that person better than others.
Did you run into anyone who was going through a difficult moment today? Perhaps, you are that person. Before we seek empathy from man, let’s first go to Christ, for He truly understands us. Pray, casting all you cares upon Him.