Pastor Updates

November 10, 2017

 

Good morning Journey family,

#1) There is one thing that both non-Christians and Christians are uncomfortable with: evangelism. Non-Christians dread the idea of being assaulted or proselytized by zealous “born agains”. And many Christians fear being rejected, embarrassed or humiliated for trying to push their beliefs on someone else. Both parties find it easier to keep to themselves on matter of faith and avoid conflicts. But the Bible is clear that followers are to become fishers. How does that happen in a way that isn’t pushy or embarrassing? We will discover this Sunday as I look at the compelling reason why we need to fish as we continue our series Lets Go Fishing. Hope you can join us!

#2) 7 thoughts about the Texas church shooting

1. We grieve and pray for the families who lost loved ones.

 

What could be more devastating than to suddenly lose your child, parent, cousin, friend, in a senseless shooting? Our hearts and prayers go out to these people we have never met, yet are connected through our humanity and our faith.

 

2. We do not grieve as those without hope.

 

Most of the statements about the people who were killed include their Christian faith. The guest preacher that day, Bryan Holcombe not only lost his life, but his wife, his children, and grandchildren; a total of 8 people. Joe Holcombe, Bryan's eighty-six-year-old father, who was left to mourn the generations he had raised said, "We know where they are now. All of our family members, they're all Christian. And it won't be long until we're with them." That is true hope in the midst of grief.

 

3. How could a good God let this happen?

 

God has given each of us free will. If he took that away, we would be robots, unable to truly love God or each other. The shooter chose to use his free will to do evil. God didn’t cause this to happen; this was a result of sin and Satan.

 

4. God is big enough to use even this for good.

 

All the ways he will do this we don’t know, but we do have some glimpses. For example, all the media outlets have broadcast the testimonies of the victims and their families who proclaimed the hope of the gospel. Inadvertently the good news was sent all around the world through this tragedy.

 

5. The ultimate answer to violence and evil is spiritual, not legislative.

 

Laws are limited in that they can only try and control bad behavior. Laws can’t change the heart, only Jesus can do that. The greatest thing we can do to effect true change in the world is be the church and share the gospel.

 

6. What about security at Journey South Bay?

 

Over a year ago one of our members who is trained in security put together an emergency action team equipped to deal with different situations that might occur during a Sunday morning. Every Sunday members of this team are being vigilant to watch for and prevent any potential dangerous occurrence.

 

7. Don’t be afraid to go to church.

 

Satan would love to use this event in Texas to intimidate people from attending church. It’s a win for darkness if he can stop us from corporately worshiping the one true God. The Bible tells us we need to gather together not only to strengthen ourselves, but for God’s glory. The Psalmist reminds us “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble. Therefore we will not fear.” Psalm 46:1

 

See you Sunday,
Pastor Jim

 

Yours for the kingdom,

Pastor Jim

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