Our faith is not just belief; it is about living in response to that which we believe. It is about our response to the profound reality that whereas we were once “dead” in our “trespasses and sins,” we are now “made alive in Christ” (Ephesians 2:1-7). We are new creations with a new purpose, growing in our passion for the lost and love for others that led Jesus to the cross. If we have faith in the saving action of Jesus on the cross, we then live toward that conviction! This is how our faith becomes complete. This is what God desires for us.
How often do you take the time to get to know someone different from yourself? It can be uncomfortable to do, but it just may be what we are being called to. If we disregard a person because of our assumptions, or the choices they have made, or even the ways they annoy us, could it be that we are missing out on bringing God’s love to the world? There is something incredible about seeing others through God’s eyes. People can be messy, and that makes it very difficult to open our hearts to them, but God has a big, big heart for people, and with every passing day we walk with Him, He enlarges our hearts too.
As we work our way through James, the title of our new series indicates what we are looking for: “wisdom for wholeness.” In fact, I would go as far as to say there is expectation that, for those of us who are Christians, we are to ultimately live as whole beings, able to withstand challenges regarding our faith because of who we serve.
In every facet of Church, we want Harvest to thrive in its role as the local church for the community of Troutdale and beyond, and you are a part of it. No Church is perfect, but at Harvest we desire to be faithful and true to God’s design. And our hope is that we can do this through the city outreach that serves as one of our five core values.
No matter which soil your heart resembles at this point in time, God will meet you there and till the soil of your heart to be ready to nurture your faith. But you must invite Him to do it. You must give Him permission to serve as your landscaper.
We want to stand in the gap for our brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ overseas and take the Gospel to the Nations through the people working there on the frontlines for His Kingdom. The thing is, as Christians, we have only two options: We are either goers or senders.
Christ-centered community is about a movement toward Jesus, wherever we might find ourselves. We might feel lost, or on the outside of any seemingly set boundary lines having to do with Church and Christianity, but we are not, and we never will be, again, because when we choose to make Jesus Christ the Lord and Savior of our lives, this messy community we become a part of is rock-solid.
For us at Harvest, this means we choose to stand with God’s Word and plant our feet firmly on the foundation of Jesus Christ. Because our first core value is this: We are focused exclusively on Bible-centered teaching. To hear from God, we go to His Word first, and to everything else second.
This is who we are at Harvest, and this is what we want our mission, vision, and values to point to now and for eternity— in God’s Kingdom that is both here now, and not quite yet.
This is who we want to become together, and if you are a follower of Jesus Christ, you too are an essential part of it.
Mediocrity need not apply. For while those who have decided to commit their lives to following Jesus were once lost, they are now inexplicably found! And it could not be a more magnificent existence to know this truth in the deepest parts of our soul.