Together in Christ: 'Faithful to Love As Our Father Loves' — Deuteronomy 10:17-19

Monday, August 12, 2024

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For the Lord your God is the God of gods and Lord of lords. He is the great God, the mighty and awesome God, who shows no partiality and cannot be bribed. He ensures that orphans and widows receive justice. He shows love to the foreigners living among you and gives them food and clothing. So you, too, must show love to foreigners, for you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt.
— Deuteronomy 10:17-19 NLT

Key Thought

Few topics are more hair-trigger arguments today than talking about offering justice for all people, especially for widows, orphans, and foreigners in the land. Despite the repeated emphasis in the Old Testament, [1] many who claim to be followers of Jesus forget the importance of loving these groups. Jesus' example, ministry, and teaching reinforced God's demand for His people to love widows, orphans, foreigners among us, and the poor. Concern for these people wasn't just an Old Testament issue. James, the half-brother of Jesus, emphasized the importance of caring for these vulnerable people. [2] We see that concern in the early church as it cared for these groups. [3]

When we go back and read the accounts of Jesus' early life, [3] we see that Jesus experienced these kinds of issues firsthand as part of his childhood. He was born to an unmarried mother. His family was driven from their home by a tyrannical and genocidal King. They were foreigners in the land of Egypt as His adoptive dad and vulnerable mom sought to protect Jesus' life. When Mary spoke about the miracle child God placed in her womb, she praised God's faithfulness to the poor, powerless, and vulnerable.

The truth is very straightforward for all who believe in Christ and seek to demonstrate the heart of God. We were once lost in sin, separated from God, and without hope. [4] Yet God saved us by His mercy, included us in His family because of His grace, and made us His children through His love. [5] Our role is to share that grace with others and include them in our spiritual family. [6] The vulnerable, widows, orphans, foreigners, and needy people among us who are our neighbors. They desperately need the love God wants us to share with them. [7] To do less is to forget the mercy, grace, and love that God has lavished on us!

[1] For just a few of many references to this issue, please see Deuteronomy 10:18, 14:29, 24:17, 27:19; Isaiah 10:2; Zechariah 7:10; Malachi 3:5.
[2] James 1:26-27.
[3] Acts 6:1-10, 24:17; Romans 15:26; 2 Corinthians 8:19, 9:9; Galatians 2:19.
[4] Romans 5:6-11; Ephesians 2:11-14.
[5] Ephesians 2:1-10.
[6] Matthew 28:18-20; Luke 24:44-49; Acts 1:6-8; 1 Peter 2:9-10.
[7] Matthew 22:36-40; Luke 10:25-37.

Today's Prayer

Loving and gracious Father, we need our Savior, Jesus, to keep pouring His love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit * and convict us to love, as you do, widows, orphans, foreigners, and people experiencing poverty. Help us, O God, to love people as You do. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

* Romans 5:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:8.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Psalm 10:12-18
  • Psalm 146:1-10

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Illustration

Illustration of Deuteronomy 10:17-19 NLT — For the Lord your God is the God of gods and Lord of lords. He is the great God, the mighty and awesome God, who shows no partiality and cannot be bribed. He ensures that orphans and widows receive justice. He shows love to the foreigners living among you and gives them food and clothing. So you, too, must show love to foreigners, for you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt.

About This Devotional

Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.

'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.