Saturday, April 21, 2018

Dear Missionheart family and friends

What a joy it is to journey with you as we engage in living faith that models the love, compassion and generosity of Jesus. We have been busy creating stories of God’s goodness in our day and look forward to sharing these with you. From the start of October, we have been exploring Practical Faith as we engage with the book of James in our sacred scriptures. It is a refreshing, yet challenging book. James calls us to prove our faith in living a life that displays it, he confronts mere talk with an expectation that alive faith is only seen in its expression (actions). James invites us to humble ourselves before God, resist the devil and draw near to Him with such wonderful promises, not the least of which is that He (God) will draw near to us and our enemy the devil will flee! He reminds us of the power of prayer and invites us to practise it. The word of God fond in James gives us perspective as it explains what is true faith or Christian living. The message paraphrase puts it this way,

“Anyone who sets himself up as “religious” by talking a good game is self-deceived. This kind of religion is hot air and only hot air. Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the father, is this: reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world.” (James 1: 26-27)

At Missionheart we are living a lifestyle of reaching out to the homeless and many you may categorise as ‘loveless’ yet this call is as much for us as for others. It is easy to justify a shying away from the call of faith to act with strength and courage by the things we do that are seen to be faith-full… Faith is always calling us out upon the water, to places where an absence of God would mean failure - this is the edge of the kingdom, this is where faith is alive, this is where I want to live.

What is God calling you to? Are you diminishing faith through religious justification? You say you believe - prove it! says James. Go on have a go, take that step of faith, drag someone along with you, pray for somebody in a way that only God acting could see the prayer answered. Follow Jesus into deeper places of power and influence, “the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (James 5: 16bNIV) so death to sin, take a serious stance towards sin that limits todays church so dramatically, repent and call others to the same, for as Jesus says, “the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17)

We serve the same God that those of the new testament served and he has not diminished in potency or ability, or desire, next time you sense the prompting of God – respond, leave the results and outcome to Him, simply respond in faith. This dark world needs the light of Jesus to shine hope and life through the faith of His devoted children and experience the love and transforming power of God that delivers people from darkness to light, death to life, sin to righteousness. May we be those children for, “Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgement; because as He is, so are we in this world.” 1John 4:17 NKJV

As we approach Christmas may we remember this great hope for which Jesus came into the world, to reconcile it to himself. So glad to have you on this journey with us. Be encouraged, you are here as a person of faith for such a time as this, God be near,

Jase

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