Sing Along in Hope

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When you see news reports about devastating events happening around the world, how can you not cry out for help?  Why does it happen?  Why does evil continue?  There are many answers offered to these questions.  We seek answers because we all ask the same question.  Why?

When asked what he thought was the greatest commandment of God, Jesus answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31, NIV)

The question, “What is the greatest commandment?” is really a question of “How can the world be perfect?”  When God gives a command, it is never to oppress humanity.  The Bible presents God as a loving, caring Father only wanting what is best for the people he created.  God gaves us rules because sin entered the world (through people’s own choice!) turning every person’s heart inward and downward instead of outward and upward.  The rules He gave were meant to remind us that evil exists and must be avoided, but also to give us boundaries to keep us safe from the clear and hidden dangers present in the world.  The fact that each one of us breaks these rules is meant to teach us that we are in need of a Savior.

Why do bad things happen?  Because the person who committed the evil stopped pursuing a love for God and a love for neighbor.  Lest you think only certain people stop loving others, personal experience is clear that we all do it to some extent or another.  Not everyone will sink to the depths of hatred, but we all will experience a spark of hatred against our God and our neighbor from time to time.  If we aren’t watchful, that spark will turn into a blaze destroying our soul and blinding us to the love of God made free to us through the work of Jesus Christ.

The Way of Jesus is the way out of sin and hatred.  The way to combat evil in the world is to intentionally pursue the Way of Life as lived and exemplified by Jesus.

Where else would you turn?  What is lacking in Jesus’ teaching?  Jesus taught to love your neighbor as yourself.  He acted in love toward his enemy even as his enemy nailed him to the cross.  He showed his audience that seeking God is a good thing with good results; not a blind religion of self-hatred and exclusion.  Do followers of Jesus get this wrong?  Yes!  But does a Christian’s mistake prove Jesus wrong? No!  Jesus expected that each one of us is a work in progress.  He accepted everyone without reservation, he loved unconditionally, and forgiveness is free for the asking.  Each of us is a work in progress.  Jesus is calling anyone who will listen to start the progress by joining him in walking the Way; His way.

As you encounter evil in your community, remember Jesus.  As you cry out in sadness, also rejoice in praise for the great God we have.  He has not abandoned nor will he forsake those who trust in him.  Do you want war to end?  Follow Jesus.  Do you want love to reign?  Follow Jesus.  Do you want crime to cease?  Follow Jesus.  If everyone were intentionally following Jesus and trusting in God, the world would immediately be a better, more loving, and safer place.  Whenever anyone fails to love God and their neighbor (and we all do it) is when evil spills out.

It’s your choice.  You want to stop evil from ruining your life?  Then start walking in the Way of Jesus.  You want your neighbor to change direction?  Then start loving them as Jesus loves them.  Be involved, be intentional, be resolved to learn how to love God and love others as Jesus did.  Don’t cry out in despair, rather look to Jesus and sing along in hope!

Child Bridge MT – Giving the Gift of Family

“Montana has a foster care problem”, says Child Bridge Montana.  “The need for foster families is huge. The number of children coming into foster care in the state is at an all-time high. And, the number of available, trained and licensed families is less than half the number of children in need”.

Did you know the Christian life is tied directly to foster care?  Throughout the Bible, God gives reminders to care for orphans.  From the Old Testament when God warned the Israelites, “You shall not mistreat any widow or fatherless child. If you do mistreat them, and they cry out to me, I will surely hear their cry, and my wrath will burn…” (Exodus 22:22-23).  To the New Testament where Christians are taught, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction…” (James 1:27).  God is clear; loving Him involves loving the fatherless.

Have you ever considered helping the fatherless in your community?  Maybe you’ve considered becoming a foster family.  Maybe you’re ready for adoption.  Maybe you want to find other ways to support this great need in the community.  Where ever you’re at in life, there is a way you can help.

Join us on Friday, November 9, starting at 7PM at Life’s Journey Christian Fellowship as we host Child Bridge Montana and learn the different ways you can love the kids in your community who have no place to call home.  More sadly, who have no one to call Mom and Dad.

What: Child Bridge Montana presentation
When: Friday, November 9, 2018
Where: Life’s Journey Christian Fellowship, 1 Victory Ln, Colstrip, MT

Learn more at: www.childbridgemontana.org

Mission Matching Challenge

You may have heard that Life’s Journey members Evan and Autumn Stewart are moving to Africa to join the Assemblies of God World Missions (AGWM) Tanzania team as Missionary Associates.  The Stewarts have been approved to join the team and are now in the process of raising the financial support needed to move to Africa for a two-year term.  They must raise a financial goal in two ways.  One, a cash fund of approximately $37,000.  Two, a monthly commitment fund of approximately $5,400.  Both goals must be met before they receive the final approval to move.

Life’s Journey will join their team by offering financial support through a matching challenge.  For every dollar raised in support, Life’s Journey will match up to $10,000.  This matching challenge applies to the cash fund goal.  It has the real possibility of raising $20,000 to get the Stewarts to their ministry field in Tanzania.  That’s nearly 70% of the required cash goal!

You can make sure this challenge is met by sending your financial support to Life’s Journey Christian Fellowship.  Drop it in the tithes and offering box on Sunday morning or mail it to the church.  All of the money will be collected and then sent to the Stewart’s account at AGWM.  You can mail checks (with a note showing it is for the Stewarts) to:

Life’s Journey Christian Fellowship
PO Box 1915
Colstrip, MT 59323

Missions are at the heart of Life’s Journey Christian Fellowship.  From the beginning, our Vision has been to “reach the world for Jesus one person at a time.”  This happens in the local community and in the wider world.  As followers of Jesus, we seek to live a co-missional lifestyle.  Our individual missions are aligned with Jesus’ mission fulfilling his call of the Great Co-mission (Matt 28:18-20).

Ten percent (10%) of every dollar Life’s Journey receive through normal tithes and offerings goes into the church missions fund.  From this we support missionaries local and abroad.  Whether we are sending our own members as the missionary or partnering with the extended family of God to complete the Great Commission our goal is the same – reach the world for Jesus. This is the way the gospel continues to move through communities.  God calls people to go, and when needed we help provide the money to help people go.  The work of the church of Jesus is a team sport.  We all have a part to play whether in going or sending; and eventually, you’ll find yourself playing both positions.

Join us in sending the Stewarts to Africa.

You can find out more about the Stewarts call to Africa at faithjoygo.wordpress.com.