How do we present our message to others? Is our message a positive or negative one?
In this country we are still able to claim the right to free speech, however it is quite likely that this will be eroded by people who wish to promote their own thoughts and principles to the exclusion of everyone else. It must be better to always resist criticism of other faiths, and to promote the Christian faith in a positive way, so as to reach out to people with the good news we have. In this way people are invited to discover the benefits of a personal relationship with the God who created us all and wants us to become not just his followers, but his adopted children. The Holy Spirit will show them that they need to change their current way of thinking and follow God. There is no need to be seen as negative and trying to undermine other peoples ideas, it will only raise a barrier between us and them, and the opportunity for the gospel is lost. If we are asked to defend our speech then Jesus says that the Holy Spirit will help us. Luke 12: 11-12 (CEV) don’t worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say. At that time the Holy Spirit will tell you what to say.
If we are to be welcoming to everyone as they enter our new building then we will have to demonstrate our faith, to them. For example, by demonstrating the Christian life to them and asking them how they would like us to pray for them. Then when they see the way we live or the prayer is answered, they will have every reason to place their trust in the God who is real, and answers our prayers. By giving them the opportunity to experience God at work in their lives they will recognise that here is “the way, the truth, and the life” and that what they placed their trust in before, does not compare.
For people we meet, visitors to the café, or the users of other parts of the centre, to see the way we live we must at the very least share our lives with them to some extent. Jesus did just that, as people came to listen to him he did not turn anyone away. Do we see everyone who we meet, who does not share our faith yet, as a potential Christian?
How do we know that God answers prayer? Do our prayers ask our Heavenly Father to do specific things? Unless our prayers are specific and measurable, how will we know God has answered them? The way in which we construct our prayers will have a real impact if we can say that they have been answered. The word ‘Bless’ used in prayer, on its own, is like calling someone ‘nice’, it is non specific and so generalised, how would you know your prayer is answered? But if we pray ‘bless this person with the insight and knowledge to enable them to do a specific task’ then this has a measurable outcome, namely whether or not the specific task is completed.
Many things have been said about how God answers prayer (yes/no/not yet) I don’t wish to cover that here, except to say that the more detailed our prayer requests are, the more obvious it is, that they have received a positive answer or not. The bible says that Jesus only did what he saw his Father was doing. John 5 19-20 (CEV) Jesus told the people: I tell you for certain that the Son cannot do anything on his own. He can do only what he sees the Father doing, and he does exactly what he sees the Father do. The Father loves the Son and has shown him everything he does. We should boldly do the same. If we see God working in a particular area then we can be free to pray that the Holy Spirit will continue his work and God’s purposes will be fulfilled through us, and we will see more people added to his kingdom.
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