My phone buzzed with a txt from a friend.
‘Please pray for our church family. Our building was burned down overnight, suspected arson.’
My heart sank. It would be bad news at any time, but this was early Sunday morning. Who did this? Why? How would this tight church community feel as they arrived for church later that morning only to find fire crews tearing the burning and twisted building apart? What would they do?
They did the best thing anyone could possibly do in a time of crisis. They stood together and worshipped God (See images above).
‘The whole church community got together and we praised God, and wow! It was amazing… and I think it’s just a reminder for all of us to not gather material things, be ready, because these things are just earthly’ he reflected with DJ and Felicia on Vision’s Rise & Shine.
He went on to offer some great perspective.
‘As we go out in the world, we see a lot of people going through quite a lot of things. But we know that Jesus is the Head of the Church. He builds the Church and He’s the one that we can rely on and trust. The building is not where we find our salvation. We are saved by the love of Jesus on the cross and we must continue to speak to a dying world about the love of Jesus.’
There’s nothing like a crisis to sharpen our focus. However, the wise live every day with such a heightened perspective, fully aware that we are ‘like vapor that appears for a little while, then vanishes’ (James 4:14 CSV). And while the world is constantly trying to focus our attention on things that will fade away, I am so thankful that we can stand together to help our fellow Australians look to God, 24/7 each day.
The Bible is full of “perspective changers”, if only we will listen. This one-chapter book of Jude has really captured my attention in recent months. It is packed with wisdom, including a description of life in 2023!
‘…But you, my dear friends, must remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ predicted. They told you that in the last times there would be scoffers whose purpose in life is to satisfy their ungodly desires…’ (Jude 17-18 NLT)
…and clear instructions for what we are to do in response:
‘…But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, and await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will bring you eternal life. In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God’s love. And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives.’ (Jude 20-22 NLT)
The great news is that God is at work as we stand together for the Gospel, building each other up and rescuing people from the flames of judgement. We have included just a few of the many encouraging stories we’re aware of in the latest Vision for Every Australian newsletter.
And to all our dear friends who make Vision possible, we pray that God will grant us the resolve to continue to stand together in this mission, no matter what trials we may face.
Blessings in Jesus name,
Chief Executive Officer
P.S. Please pray for this Rockhampton Church and their difficult task ahead. Please also pray for us—I’m excited to report that we have now secured Vision’s place on DAB+ Digital Radio in Brisbane (even though a final funding gap remains, we have decided to press ahead by faith), PLUS we are currently in negotiations to bring Vision to DAB+ in other major cities as well, so please pray with us for God’s wisdom and provision!