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8 Words From Jesus in a World With Refugees

6. “Deny yourselves, and lose your lives.”

“Jesus told his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?’” (Matt 16.24–26″>Matthew 16:24–26).

Jesus calls us to die daily to ourselves for the sake of others. There is no gain in having a secure nation if we lose our souls due to self-love (by making safety our highest good).

7. “Love your enemies.”

It is important to keep before us who our enemies are. It is not Syrian refugees who seek to kill and destroy; it is ISIS. However, even though ISIS is our enemy, Jesus is still quite clear about how we should respond.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matt 5.43–48″>Matthew 5:43–48).

This is exactly what Jesus did. “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. … For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life” (Romans 5:8–10).

8. “Walk in my steps.”

“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:4–8).