The midweek update from the Pioneer Memorial Church
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Chose To Believe

Humans have become experts at saying no.  We pray for God to move, but our actions prepare for Him not to. Christians seem to be more inclined to organize our lives around the possibility of no.  We may pray for a yes but we tend to live our lives in no. But what about when God says yes?  He says yes more often than we realize yet we’re more acquainted with living with no than with yes. So…how are we to respond when God answers our prayers with a yes?    

John 4:46-54 tells us of a Nobleman who received a yes from Jesus. He had traveled to Cana just to ask Jesus to heal his son who was sick to the point of death, and Jesus says yes, however it is an unconventional yes.  Jesus does not go back to Capernaum with the nobleman to heal his son.  Instead, Jesus heals the nobleman’s son immediately and remotely, completely out of the sight and simply gives the nobleman instructions and a declaration. In an effort to teach the Galileans a lesson about true belief, Jesus performs a miracle they cannot see – not even the nobleman. It’s a mystery miracle. There is no spitting in clay, no laying of hands, no parable.  There is just a simple instruction followed by a vague declaration. Yet, Jesus’ unconventional response doesn’t deter the nobleman.  In fact, John 4:50 says the nobleman believed Jesus and started to go back home.  Already this story offers so many answers about how to respond to a yes.  

Responding to a yes begins with being willing to accept an unconventional yes. Once we hear from God, we have to take Him at His word.  We have to believe.  If there is a declaration, believing means accepting it as reality whether or not we see it.  If there is instruction, believing means obeying.

As the nobleman is obeying, journeying back home to Capernaum, his servants meet him on his way and he finds that Jesus had kept his word. With his son now healed, the nobleman shifts his thoughts to the one who healed him.  After talking with his servants, he realizes his son got better in same hour that Jesus told him his son lives.  And for the second time, the nobleman believed. This time, his whole household believed. Genuine belief was the fruit of the lesson Jesus taught with the mystery miracle.  The point is belief.

Every yes starts and ends with belief.  We won’t seek God for help if we don’t believe He can help. We won’t follow God’s instructions if we don’t believe God’s declarations. We won’t grow in belief if we don’t learn to obey without proof of the promise. We rob others of the chance to believe when choose not to believe.  With every yes, God desires to increase our belief in who He is, have faith in what He can do, and trust the depth of His love toward us. Is there a yes God has given to you? Responding to yes can be confusing and frustrating and heart-wrenchingly difficult. But if we start with belief, we will end with victory. God is who He says He is. He will do what He says He will do. Choose to believe.


By Tanya Loveday, Student at Andrews University


Adding Insult To Injury

Talking about adding insult to injury—figures released this week indicate that the top 100 CEO retirement packages here in the United States now equal the retirement account savings of 41% of all American households with the lowest retirement wealth. Go figure! So let’s do. The accumulated wealth in the retirement packages of these top 100 American executives is $4.9 billion. “The CEO nest eggs on average are worth more than $493 million, enough to produce a $277,686 monthly retirement check for life, the [Center for Effective Government and the Institute for Policy Studies group] report said” (USA Today 10-28-15). An average monthly retirement check of $277,686? Compare that to the 2013 median average in a 401(K) retirement account of $18,433, yielding $104 a month! Then compare that to the 31% of the “bottom economic group of American families [who] have nothing saved for retirement”(ibid). Go figure indeed. . .read more

by Dwight Nelson, Lead Pastor

Downlaod Bulletin
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