#32 Pilgrims and Strangers
... the name of the one was Gershom: for he said, I have been an alien in a strange land. - Exodus 18:3
Text: Hebrews 11:13; 1 Peter 2:11
Prop: a picture of the Pilgrims and Native American Indians
Summary: Christians are strangers in a sinful world. We should thank God for all his provisions.
Does anyone know which holiday is coming this week? [Thanksgiving] Yes, that is a day we thank God for providing for us. Do you know who these people are in the picture? [Pilgrims and Indians] The pilgrims were strangers among the Native American Indians that had lived in America long before they came over on ships from Europe. They believed in one God. The Indians worshipped many spirits. The Pilgrims were very different from the Indians in many ways. They looked different. They had different customs and habits. They lived in the colony surrounded by Indians all the time.
The children of Israel were strangers in a strange land when they were coming into the land God had promised to give them. They never knew where they were going to sleep and were always surrounded by their enemies. They had to live by faith that God was going to protect them and guide them where he wanted them to be. They were different from the people they met. They believed in the one true God. The people around them believed in many gods. Some of them never made it to the Promised Land. Some died because they didn't believe God. Some died in faith. The Bible says in Hebrews 11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
Today we live in a world where many people do not believe in Jesus. They think that going to church is a waste of time. They are lost from God. They believe in TV and sports idols and glorifying the almighty dollar. They chase after money and the things money can buy. Someone who is a Christian and is living a set apart life for God is viewed as a stranger. Christians are strangers and pilgrims in today's world. We should not be afraid because God is right there with us just as he was for the children of Israel. God wants us to be different from the world of unbelievers. He says in 1 Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness and into his marvelous light.
This Thanksgiving lets give God thanks for providing for us and remember that we are just strangers and pilgrims ourselves, a people set apart for his glory.
©1997 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.
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