Daily Devotional – Monday, April 19, 2021
“But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.” (John 1:12-13, NLT)
During my week off from regular church duties, I took time to do some reading. One of the books I read was an autobiography of a Christian mom and a Muslim daughter and their struggle to navigate their relationship onto a more peaceful path. As they dialogued back and forth, the adult daughter made it clear that she wanted her mother to respect her ability to make her own choices; the mother struggled too, in part, because she believes her daughter’s choice leaves her outside of God’s promise of eternity with him due to her rejection of Jesus as the Saviour. I empathized with both of these women. The daughter should have the right to choose. The mother recognizes the danger of her daughter’s choice.
We want our children, even our adult ones, to avoid making decisions that we see as inherently problematic. If we could, we might choose to assert our own wisdom and make their choices for them. But that is not how faith works. Each individual must make the decision to believe in and accept Jesus as God. We don’t ‘inherit’ the benefits of the cross through someone else’s faith—our parents and grandparents cannot ‘will’ us into God’s kingdom. We must be willing to honour another’s free will as much as God himself does. We cannot make the choice to believe in Jesus for another and we cannot force others to make decisions we deem best. We must hand them over to God in our prayers, releasing them into his care. We need to continue to love while at the same time respecting free will.
As difficult as it is to let go, we must acknowledge that God does not force anyone to have a relationship with him and neither can we. Sometimes we need to step aside and allow him to do the work only he can. We need to stop getting in the way with our good intentions.
~ Pastor Jane
First licensed for pastoral ministry in 1994, Pastor Jane Peck has served in camp and church ministries in three denominations, five provinces and in a variety of roles. Her most recent position is that of Pastor at Hope Chapel which she began in 2020. She is excited to see what God can and will do in the days to come!