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Take a Risk. They're Worth It!

Daily Reading: Deuteronomy 23-24

Scripture Focus: You shall not give up to his master a slave who has escaped from his master to you. He shall dwell with you, in your midst, in the place that he shall choose within one of your towns, wherever it suits him. You shall not wrong him. (Deuteronomy 23.15-16)

Devotional Thought: I love the story of the Apostle Paul's conversion in Acts 9. Having been a persecutor of the church - and an accomplice to murder! - Paul naturally brought terror to the hearts of early Christians who did not trust him. When he tried to join them in Jerusalem, they turned him away in fear. All but one man, that is. Barnabas became a sponsor for Paul and took him to the brothers, introducing him and reassuring them. Barnabas gave him a place in the church.

When I was saved as a teenager, the Nazarene Church in Pioneer, Ohio did the same for me. They took me in. I was a risk - not like Paul of course - but a risk in the sense that I might not stick with it, that all their efforts would be in vain, that my background would overcome my newly found spiritual life. Still, the folks at that little church opened their hearts and received me.

In today's scripture, God speaks of doing that for "a slave who has escaped from his master." Give him a place. Treat him right. Accept him as one of you. That is not only a social principle; it is a spiritual principle. When people get saved, when they escape their old master of sin and are freed from the grip of the devil, we are to take them in and give them a place with us! Just like Barnabas did for Paul. Just like Pioneer Nazarenes did for me.

Is it a risk? You bet. But, God says, "Take a risk on them. They're worth it!"

Prayer: Jesus, thank you that you took a risk on me. Help me to take a risk on others who are escaping their old master of sin and the devil. As you gave me a place, help me to give them a place in my heart, my life, and my church. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: Psalm 24.1-6

1 The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein, 2 for he has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers.

3 Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? 4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully. 5 He will receive blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation. 6 Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah

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