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Unique Opportunities

Christians who run community gardens offer numerous benefits to society. These gardens are often established in areas where access to fresh produce is limited due to economic or geographic barriers. Operating under the belief that it is their responsibility to care for those in need and the environment, Christians aim to follow biblical teachings.

One of the significant advantages of community gardens is that they provide fresh and healthy produce to individuals who may not have access to it otherwise. This is especially important in areas designated as “food deserts” where people cannot easily find affordable and fresh produce. In addition to improving access to nutritious food, community gardens also create a sense of community and connection among individuals who may have otherwise been isolated.

Furthermore, community gardens serve as a platform for individuals to learn about sustainable agriculture and play an active role in caring for the environment. Christians who operate these gardens often view it as a means of responsible stewardship of God’s creation. By employing organic and sustainable gardening methods, these gardens can contribute to reducing the negative impact of traditional agriculture on the environment.

Community gardens run by Christians can serve as a platform for learning and skill development. Workshops and classes on gardening, nutrition, and cooking offered by garden organizers can provide an opportunity for participants to enhance their knowledge and skillset. Besides, these gardens can also act as a haven for individuals who are dealing with mental health or addiction issues.

Apart from the evident physical and environmental advantages, community gardens can foster social and spiritual well-being. Collaborating to nurture and sustain the garden can help establish connections and purpose among participants. Christians operating these gardens see it as a chance to embody their faith by extending love and service to their community.

In summary, community gardens run by Christians can bring about several benefits to society, ranging from promoting access to healthy food, to encouraging environmental sustainability, offering educational prospects, and fostering social and spiritual well-being. These gardens are an outstanding model of how faith-based organizations can have a positive influence on their communities by advocating values of community, stewardship, and compassion.

It’s Our Joy

In our present society, there is a prevalent storyline that emphasizes the pursuit of pleasure as the ultimate goal in life. This narrative is ingrained in us through various channels, including subtle messages and explicit instructions, urging us to prioritize our immediate happiness.

However, for followers of the Christian faith, this belief couldn’t be more misguided. The Bible instructs believers to consider everything worthless in comparison to the immeasurable value of knowing Jesus Christ as their Lord. But what does this truly entail? Is God unconcerned with our happiness?

God defines true happiness as the state of being closest to Him. As the Creator and the one who deeply cares for our souls, God understands that we can never attain long-lasting contentment or bliss without His presence. Hence, although He has bestowed upon us a beautiful world to relish, He may frequently challenge us to relinquish our trivial attachments to pursue Him.

As humans, we tend to indulge in idolatry more than any other sin. We frequently devote ourselves to anything that provides us with fleeting joy, even if it is temporary satisfaction or relief. God often examines the faith of those who profess love for Him by testing their willingness to abandon these momentary pleasures in favor of His love. Abraham’s obedience on Mount Moriah, the disciples leaving their lucrative fishing nets, and the rich young ruler’s struggle demonstrate the truth of this concept.

For individuals who have a genuine relationship with God, the decision to follow His commands is simple. God demands only what we could never truly possess, as everything we have comes from Him. In exchange, He offers us unparalleled worth.

Are we willing to surrender all of our possessions, even our lives, for God’s sake? If we comprehend His essence, His values, and His compassionate nature, we will willingly do so. The underground church is aware of this reality and withholds nothing, not even their lives, to attain the incomprehensible delight of being in Christ’s presence.

One of our key vision statements at Global Catalytic Ministries reflects our belief: We are willing to relinquish things we hold dear in exchange for things we cherish even more. It is a privilege to offer sacrifices for Christ’s sake.

The worldwide church needs to thoroughly assess our hearts. Is there anything, anything at all, that we are not prepared to surrender for Jesus Christ? If we discover such a deficiency, we must wholeheartedly seek Him until we find the missing piece. Similar to the man who discovers the valuable pearl, we must realize the worth of the One we have discovered, to the extent that we are willing to sacrifice everything to keep Him.

Once we make this commitment, we will be able to echo the sentiments of the church throughout history, affirming that it is a delight to abandon what we cherish for the One we cherish even more.

A Different View

At Global Catalytic Ministries, one of our mission statements is that we don’t just survive persecution, we thrive in it. It doesn’t matter if we are well-fed or hungry, rich or poor, facing persecution or living in freedom, in the East or West – we can be content in Jesus and make disciples. We firmly believe that this is not only possible for every Christian to live this way, but it is also critical.

The Western church tends to view their persecuted brothers and sisters worldwide with a mix of pity and gratitude. They feel sorry for those who are suffering and are grateful that they themselves are not experiencing the same hardship. However, it is interesting to note that the persecuted church feels the same way about the church in the West.

It is natural for people to shy away from pain, but the Bible shows us that we are not just meant to survive persecution, but to thrive in it. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus calls those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake blessed, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven. He encourages persecuted believers to rejoice in their suffering because their reward in Heaven will be great.

It’s puzzling that so many Christians spend an inordinate amount of effort setting up a safe, comfortable life where they will face as few trials as possible. This is not possible for a true Christian, and it is certainly not Biblical. Instead, we are told to count it as joy when we face various trials. The book of James suggests that we will receive both earthly and eternal rewards for our suffering, including perseverance leading to maturity.

If we look at the persecuted church, we can see the Biblical truth of thriving in persecution lived out before our eyes. The areas where the church faces the most severe backlash also tend to see the most growth. This is not accidental but rather a Kingdom exchange, where we trade our weakness for His strength.

The persecuted church knows that in their suffering, they are being made more like Jesus on Earth and earning a share of His eternal reward in Heaven. For the Christian, there could be no greater joy than this.

Of course, this does not mean that we should pursue persecution for its own sake. Instead, we are meant to pursue Jesus with wild, brave, wholehearted abandon. When we embrace the Biblical understanding of persecution, we can do this without hindrance or fear.

By making peace with the fact that Christians will suffer, and embracing the truth that this suffering makes us blessed on Earth and in Heaven, we can obey the call of God on our lives. In turn, we can impact the world like the early church did, with a faith that changes work places, cities, nations, and even generations.

It is time for the global church to redefine its understanding of persecution and free ourselves up to thrive in all circumstances, serving Jesus whatever the cost.