God is bringing the nations

July 3, 2019

In recent years, God has been using the growing globalization of the world to generate a higher rate of immigration to North America. People of all ethnic backgrounds are migrating away from their home countries seeking asylum, refuge, education or a better life in the Western Hemisphere. North Carolina cities like Charlotte, Raleigh, Durham, Greensboro, Greenville, Asheville, Winston-Salem and others are now saturated with internationals. God, in His sovereign will, has seen fit to bring the nations to North America.

[God] made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God and in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. (Acts 17:26-27)

God has brought those who were once far from any access to the gospel and has placed them here, just beyond our doorstep. How should we as followers of Jesus Christ respond to the sovereign work of God bringing the nations to us?

Love God, love your neighbor
In Mark a scribe came up to Jesus and asked Him a genuine question of the heart: “Which commandment is the most important of all?” (Mark 12:28). Jesus responded to him by quoting from two places in the Old Testament, “The most important is, ‘Hear O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’” (Mark 12:28-31).

There’s a similar conversation in Luke where a teacher of the law, desiring to justify himself, asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10:29). Jesus responded with the parable of the Good Samaritan. The story is familiar to many — a Samaritan man passed by a beaten man and saw that he had been left for dead, so he showed great compassion for him. He bandaged his wounds, placed him on his own animal, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The Samaritan used all of his resources to take care of this man — a complete stranger of a different ethnic, cultural and religious background (Luke 10:25-37).

After Jesus told the teacher this parable, He turned the tables on him and asked, “Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” (Luke 10:36). Of course, “the one who showed him mercy” was a neighbor to this man. Jesus said, “You go, and do likewise” (Luke 10:37).

God, in His sovereign will, has seen fit to bring the nations to North America.

The neighbors around you
When Jesus says to love your neighbor as yourself in the gospels of Mark and Luke, He sets it up as the second most important teaching of the scriptures. In fact, He quotes directly from God as He commands His people, “You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself” (Leviticus 19:35).

God has brought the nations as strangers to sojourn among us as representatives of God’s people in North Carolina, and He has commanded us to love them as we love ourselves — that we might be neighbors to them as the Samaritan was a neighbor to the beaten man left for dead.

How should you treat the Nepalese family whose children will be in class with your kids this fall? Or the Afghan entrepreneur opening an eyebrow threading shop next door to where you buy your favorite latte every Sunday afternoon? There might be a Thai man founding a Buddhist temple in your neighborhood, or a growing Arab community that meets at the local Chick-fil-a once a month. Don’t forget about the South Asian mosque being constructed down the street from your church building or the Hindu Indian family that lives across the cul-de-sac. Whoever your neighbors are with whatever ethnic background and belief system they bring, remember that in God’s sovereignty He has brought them to your backyard. What are you going to do about it?


by Zac Lyons  /  
Great Commission Partnerships  /  Baptist State Convention of North Carolina

6 ways to be a generous leader during the holidays

The holiday season is upon us. It is a time rooted in generosity, from God providing a bountiful harvest for the Pilgrims and Native Americans to God gifting us with His one and only Son. We celebrate because of the great gifts God has bestowed on us. Of course, the holiday season...

Will you pray and go?

I don’t remember much about that day, but one thing I do remember: it was hot — really hot. The temperature in Newton was near 100 degrees Fahrenheit that day. But we had committed to walk our neighborhood and pray for divine appointments. This was the third time in three weeks we...

A Christmas resource with families in mind

Why did Jesus need to come to Earth? This is just one of the thought-provoking questions included in the Advent family devotional surrounding the coming of Christ to the world. “Advent” means coming or arrival, and Family Advent Devotions, developed by the Faith at Home ministry...

California man comes cross country to plant multiethnic church in NC

Is God behind the North Carolina Baptist effort to plant new churches across the state? Gary Lee says yes. He says God called him from California to plant a new church in Raleigh. In fact, Lee is one of many church planters who have been called from other states and nations to...

The Lottie Moon Christmas Offering exemplifies our work

The Lottie Moon Christmas Offering (LMCO) has supported missionaries to the unreached since 1888. Currently, Southern Baptists can celebrate having 3,640 missionaries serve and share the hope of Christ in the least-reached places across the world with the International Mission...

Hollifield exhorts NC Baptists to prioritize God, gospel & disciple-making

In his final address to messengers as executive director-treasurer of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC), Milton A. Hollifield Jr. challenged N.C. Baptists to devote themselves to the Lord and continue working together to fulfill the Great Commission....

4 keys to creating a spiritually vibrant home

The most-asked question I hear from parents is, “How do we raise kids who will love Jesus in adulthood?” One mom in our church phrased it like this, “What is the secret sauce for raising kids who love Jesus?” In our culture today, these are valid questions, and God left the...

Baptist Children’s Homes offer eternal hope to hurting families

One of the ministries in our state that tugs at my heartstrings is the Baptist Children’s Homes (BCH) of North Carolina. I’m thankful for the long and rich partnership between Baptist Children’s Homes and the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. North Carolina Baptists have...

Peoples Next Door NC: A Manual for Discovery and Engagement

Email [email protected] or call (800) 395-5102, ext. 5645 for more information.

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Select Language ^

Share This

Share this with your friends!