- Written by Super User
Bethel Church | Fargo, North Dakota USA
Dr. Matthew St. John and his wife Christa and their two daughters Emily and Katy live in Moorhead, Minnesota, just across the river from Fargo, North Dakota, where Matthew serves as the senior pastor of Bethel Church, and Christa serves as the church’s director of spiritual formation and women’s ministry.
Having served churches in Oklahoma and Texas, as well as having represented Christ in countries around the world, Matthew and Christa share a deep commitment to help spiritually hungry people move toward Jesus and take others with them.
Pastor Matthew’s messages will include: A Prophecy about the Messiah (Before stepping toward his death and resurrection, Jesus empowers his disciples with the details of what is to come.), The Ransom (In contrast with the way in which the world thinks about power and authority, Jesus offers Himself as the suffering servant who has come to ransom sinners.) The Jesus the Father Presents (Whatever may be the views of mankind regarding Jesus, the only one that matters is the Father’s perspective and purpose for His only Son.),The New Thing (The work of Christ is so revolutionary that even authoritative religion, fruitless as it is, in the face of genuine faith, will give way to the life-giving power of Christ.), Damnation and Life (The reality of eternal conscious punishment is every bit as real as the reality of eternal life), and Gospel, Suffering and Service (One clear sign of mature and powerful leadership is to offer unconditional love and service toward those who oppose you. This is what the Gospel can do.)
The title of Christa’s talk at the Saturday women’s meeting is “Perfectly Loved” based on I John 4:19 “We love because He first loved us.”
- Written by Darwin Anderson
It is hard to tune into any type of conservative media broadcasts these days without hearing about a looming financial crisis in this nation. As a mission we are being impacted by the loss of individual supporters from areas of high unemployment. This downturn has also caused churches to be uninterested or to think they’re unable to send adult short-term teams to serve our missionary staff. This may eventually impact the level of care we can offer our staff and it may even threaten our survival as a mission. How do we as followers of Jesus live in these fearful times?
First, I think we accept this downturn from God’s hand. To “not be offended” (Matthew 11:6) by what He allows and to trust His heart during this time is how we live with an active faith that pleases Him. Maybe these next few years will bring the real revival we’ve been praying for. Possibly we’ll see new ways to serve and share the Gospel with people that have been unavailable to us in prosperous times. Maybe watching us live by faith will drastically reduce the loss of our kids to the world. Maybe this will really be OUR time to impact our culture!
Second, I think we must purpose to be God’s light where we are and to engage in God’s work with new intensity. Engaging in Kingdom affairs does wonders for our satisfaction with life and for our perspective. Giving and living by faith changes us and exposes us to God’s great passion for the lost. Let’s recommit to the good works that God has created us to do. If a downturn will cause us to break loose from the culture and our fleshly love for comfort, maybe investing in the eternal needs of those around us will help us become thankful—even for these tougher days. We are encouraged in Luke 12:33-34 to build treasure where moth and rust will not destroy it; maybe this downturn will help us refocus on that goal.
Finally, we must cooperate with the Lord Jesus by more rigorously getting after the dark corners of our hearts. The frantic pace of material prosperity has not brought us spiritual prosperity. We are actually pretty impoverished in walking with and living out our love for Jesus. Maybe these fearful days will drive us to put extra time on examining our hearts in light of Scripture and giving God the time to speak to us. There is much to gain from godliness and contentment. Could this be our time to restore the community of our local churches, to strengthen our ties in our homes, to build real relationships with the folks who live around us, and to give ourselves to honest repentance?
It is our privilege as believers to prosper in dark times in ways the world can’t imagine. Let’s focus on Kingdom priorities and let God work out His wonderful design for our lives to the glory of His name.
“And He will give you all you need from day to day if you live for Him and make the Kingdom your primary concern.” Matthew 6:33 (NLT)