Articles for the Month of July 2018

Good For Use

God holds His children in high regard.

We see this through Abraham and Sarah in Genesis 20. In the midst of their travels, a situation arose. In a nutshell, Abraham lied to King Abimelech of Gerar. What seemed like a foolproof plan backfired. Still, God was there.

In a dream, God revealed the truth to the king, including that Abraham is a prophet and will pray for him.

The choices made in this story may be deal breakers to us. However, God uses a different standard when it comes to dealing with His children.

Lies are destructive. They demolish trust in a heartbeat. When people lie to us, we second-guess whatever they say afterward. We might also go a step further and question all that was said in the past. Lies cause us to feel unsettled.

Yet God doesn’t flinch.

Abraham was not demoted to rookie prophet status. God used Abraham to pray for healing in Gerar, which He answered.

God still used Abraham for good, even after he messed up.

God still uses you and me for good, even after we mess up.

There is nothing about us that makes God flinch. He loves us dearly and is determined to keep working with us and through us.

For His glory!

Can we try to do something similar with one another? Can we extend grace in the face of mistakes and sin? Can we learn to forgive and continue to work together for the glory of God?

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Written by Sabrina Jacques-Rowe
Communications Director,
Henderson Highway Church

Pray For, Not About

One of the greatest challenges is to pray for those we aren’t fond of and for our enemies.

If a friend requests prayer, we can seemingly bring down heaven with our words. We may even find it easier to pray for ourselves and even strangers. But when it comes to certain people? We tend to pray about them.

These “special” people may be enemies, but they can also include those who grate our spirits like fingernails on a chalkboard. Their very presence may cause us to roll our eyes and groan. Or worse still—they purposefully annoy us and attack our souls. They threaten our Christianity by provoking us to unChristlike behavior.

And yet we must pray for them?

Praying for someone is different than praying about them. When we pray about people, we tend to ask God for some superficial things with veiled kindness. We may ask God to let them be absent from our presence that day. We may ask God to stop them from annoying us or to curb their irritating behaviors. We may even pray for them to be transferred — preferably to a different continent — where they may find a new group of people who might appreciate them more.

The motive behind these prayers tends to be more selfish. In essence, we’re asking that they stop bugging us!

One way to revolutionize our prayer lives is to adjust our mindset about people. Rather than seeing them as a pestilence to us, we need to ask God to help us see them as His dearly beloved children.

Yes, God loves everyone, whether or not we love them. We can ask God to love them through us.

This does not mean that we’ll automatically start loving from the depths of our hearts. We will not become BFFs miraculously overnight or at any future time. But our prayers for them will have a fresh motivation and intention.

When we pray for people as God’s children, we will ask God to save them. We’ll ask God to flood them with His Holy Spirit so that they will experience that deep-rooted joy that comes only from God. We’ll ask God to bless their lives. We’ll ask God that they would accept His forgiveness and live with confident assurance as His forgiven children. We’ll ask that God would transform their passions into something beautiful that will attract others to Christ.

As a result of praying differently, we will see a different response to our prayers. Not only is God working in them, but He’s also working in us. We’ll become more tolerant towards others. We’ll develop a new depth of patience for certain traits. We’ll stop seeing people as an irritation and start seeing them as our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Our family.

Have you stopped praying for someone and starting praying for them? How has your prayer life changed? We’d love to hear your experience.

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Written by Sabrina Jacques-Rowe
Communications Director,
Henderson Highway Church

How Do You Believe

The notification of a photo message was intriguing. Surprised by something they’d seen, my friend thought to share it with me.

The image showed a screenshot of information shared in a social media space. Initially, it looked like advertising for the Mobile ABC Christian Store and its Winnipeg stop. I kept reading.

In addition to the advertisement, the image of the store had a warning attached.

Because of what Adventists believe, some potential customers may be concerned about supporting the organization with their money. The post wasn’t negative; Adventism was not bashed. The particular belief that was referenced is Biblically-rooted.

Two thoughts immediately came to mind after staring at the photo for some time.

1) We must be firmly rooted in what we believe.

Christians have earned colorful reputations because of their beliefs. Some are rooted in the Bible. God has clearly shown us how to live and how to love in specific areas. But there are also Christians that have adopted beliefs because they sound good. Some ideas are convenient to their lifestyle and for their churchgoers. Better still—that’s the way they were raised, the way that is familiar to them. And because leadership has never contested it or attempted to change things, those beliefs have eventually grown makeshift roots themselves.

2) Everyone will not agree with your beliefs.

One of the most beautiful and riskiest parts of God’s character is that He gives us freedom of choice. His Word is clear on many things. When we ask Him to guide us, God will show us why these standards are valuable to Him. Though we may believe something, our neighbor might not. And there are those who will flat out refuse to share certain beliefs because it makes absolutely no sense to them. There are those who do not know God, who have no understanding of His love and His desire for our good. Many beliefs, even when rooted in truth, will sound foreign to those who do not know God.

Where Christians continuously struggle is with love. We have not learned to love each other well. It’s possible to love someone, even though they don’t know God. It’s possible to show kindness to those who choose to live differently than us. A question to our beliefs is a question about how God works, not a personal attack on us. We do not have to view every question or challenge to our beliefs as the opportunity to convert people to become followers of God.

If you’re planning to visit or shop at the ABC Christian Store when they come, can we try something? First, let’s pray earnestly for the store and its staff. We often hear of the mechanical issues they face, but there can also be peaceful opposition in some of their locations. God is bigger than all of that!

Can we also commit to being the kindest, most pleasant people that other shoppers encounter? The only thing we know about them is that God loves them fiercely. Let’s be their introduction to God.

 

 

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Written by Sabrina Jacques-Rowe
Communications Director,
Henderson Highway Church