Jan 31 2018
God named Ishmael ‘God hears’ before he was born. Years later, God heard Ishmael’s cry when he was perishing in the wilderness and opened his mother’s eyes to see a spring of water from which she gave him drink – and he lived!
Islam claims Ishmael as a spiritual forefather. Today’s Muslims are in the wilderness perishing and crying out for living water. Let the Church pray to the Father to reveal the well of living water, Jesus, so they might live!
We are writing future HIStory
Do you recognize this national anthem?
O Canada! Land of our ancestors
Glorious deeds circle your brow
Just as your arm knows how to wield the sword
It knows how to carry the cross;
Your history is an epic of brilliant deeds
And your [values, worth, merit] steeped in faith
Will protect our homes and our rights,
Will protect our homes and our rights.
It’s the English translation of our original national anthem, sung in French in 1880, 28 years before the English version was written to the same music. I love singing it en français, declaring God’s good plans and purposes for Canada. Listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8Sw6ScUmnk
What are our values? What makes us worthy, or gives us merit? And how will that protect our homes and our rights?
“Canadian values” are a hot topic. In the 2015 election, the Conservatives raised the issue pertaining to screening and integrating immigrants into Canadian culture, with a specific concern about Muslim terrorists and some Islamic practices. Prime Minister Trudeau has been criticized for conflating Canadian values with Liberal values. A 2013 Statistics Canada survey found that more than 90% of Canadians shared the values of human rights, respect for the law and gender equality, but there was considerably less agreement on other values https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_values.
Are Christian values the same as Canadian values? The human rights and freedoms of western civilization arose from Judeo-Christian principles and western societies have flourished – and attracted many immigrants – because of them. But our culture is catapulting from freedom into license. Shoaib Ebadi of Square One World Media says, “The eastern world suffers from the radical interpretation and restriction of rules and laws, and the western world suffers from excessive freedoms given by rules and laws” (Missions Fest Alberta 2018 booklet p. 9). Let’s not confuse our culture with the Kingdom of God. Even “Christian values” are mingled with culture and politics. So let’s talk KINGDOM values.
“Our ancestors” – We have the DNA of Abraham, father of faith for all who believe (Ro 4:11, 16).
“Glorious deeds” – A nation was created from sea to sea and dedicated to His dominion (Ps 72:8) and the Gospel spread.
“The sword” – God’s word handled correctly is alive, active, sharp and penetrating, judging thoughts and attitudes (Heb 4:12, 2 Ti 2:15).
“Carry the cross” –Victory comes through self-sacrifice and suffering (Col 2:13-15, Lk 14:27).
“Our history” – Countless glorious deeds done by Christ followers throughout our history have been overshadowed by grievous sins, notably against First Peoples, but God continues to work with us and redeem our failures (Ro 3:23-25a, 1 Co 3:10-15). We are now writing future history. What values demonstrate God’s Kingdom? What deeds will we be held accountable for?
Let’s pray for ourselves and for all believers:
Lord, may we demonstrate…
- the faith of Abraham by going where You send us and trusting You for the outcomes
- the power of the Gospel by preaching the Gospel, guided by the Holy Spirit, among Muslims you’ve brought here
- Your approval in our understanding and skillful handling and application of Your written word
- willingness to sacrifice and even suffer to achieve Your Kingdom purposes by loving refugees and immigrants among us while standing for righteousness and truth in our nation
Read Hebrews 12, especially 1-3 and 25-29. Pray that as Canada’s foundations shake, His people will persevere in living out Kingdom values. Note: the most important reason Muslims convert is the lifestyle of Christians.
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