Jesus' economy is based on self-sacrifice. And Jesus' currency is love. This idea launched Jesus' Economy.

Now we're making it easier than ever to explain the concept of Jesus' Economy to friends and family with our recently redesigned, interactive "About Jesus' Economy" Page. But first a few words of gratitude.

Jesus' Economy: A Few Words of Gratitude

Kalene and I are continually amazed by what God has done through the nonprofit Jesus' Economy, the JesusEconomy.org Platform for Giving and Fair Trade Shopping, and the book Jesus' Economy. Together with you, we are making the world a better place. We're grateful to God for the opportunity to serve Jesus with you and for your faithful support.

What's Jesus' Economy? New One-Page, Interactive Answer

To communicate the model of Jesus' Economy, our story, and the principles behind the nonprofit, our team recently redesigned our "About Us" Page. The new JesusEconomy.org About Us Page is your one-stop shop for when people ask you, "What's Jesus' Economy?"

Did we miss anything on the page? Drop us a comment below to let us know.

Our number one most-popular Jesus' Economy Podcast episode of 2019 was "How Do I Obtain Wisdom?," a sermon on Proverbs 1–2. This episode is now the launching point for a 16-part series, covering every chapter of the ultimate wisdom book, Proverbs. What better way to start 2020 than by marking our lives by God's wisdom?

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction" (Proverbs 1:7 NIV).

Join us for the "Wisdom is a Choice" series by listening to "How Do I Obtain Wisdom?" and subscribing to the Jesus' Economy Podcast on iTunesSpotify, or SoundCloud.

Being Wise Is a Choice: A Sermon on Proverbs 1–2

How do I obtain wisdom? This is the question behind most of the questions that pastors receive? We're all searching for wisdom, for answers to the difficult situations we encounter week in and week out. But let's be honest: We want answers quickly, as quick as a fast food restaurant stop. Yet wisdom doesn't work that way. It takes time. It is also a choice.

In this sermon, I examine Proverbs 1–2 to shows that being wise is a choice. It's a difficult one, and a daily one, but the choice of wisdom is of immeasurable worth. Think of how much better our world will be if each of us make this the year that we choose wisdom.

Also Check Out ...

"5 Most-Popular Jesus' Economy Podcasts of 2019"

 And Start Your New Year with Wise Giving: 100% to the Cause

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Each Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I reflect on Rev. Dr. King's legacy and his words. I then ask myself, "Am I willing to live as self-sacrificially as he did? Is my life measuring up to the standard that MLK believed in?"

When reflecting on Dr. King, we often think of the "I Have a Dream" speech and the movement MLK led. But what's often neglected is King's equal focus on the inward life of each individual. King believed that without inward transformation of individual lives, without spiritual transformation, that sustainable change would not be possible. This is because King believed that we are all "interdependent."

The Interdependence of All People According to Martin Luther King, Jr.

This "interdependence" of all people is articulated in one of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s lesser read works, The Measure of a Man, where he says this:

"Therefore whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. As long as there is poverty in the world I can never be rich, even if I have a billion dollars. As long as diseases are rampant and millions of people in this world cannot expect to live more than twenty-eight or thirty years, I can never be totally healthy even if I just got a good check-up at Mayo Clinic. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the way our world is made. No individual or nation can stand out boasting of being independent. We are interdependent."

"This is the way our world is made. ... We are interdependent." If only we remembered these words as we remember Dr. King and his legacy. Think of how different our world would be if we recognized that no nation, no segment of society, and no individual is more important than the whole human race.

Martin Luther King Jr.'s Dimensions of a Whole Life

In The Measure of a Man, King does what a good reverend would do (did you forget that he was foremost a pastor?) and preaches the Bible. From the Bible and philosophy, King speaks of three dimensions of a complete life:

  1. Your inner being (or inner life).
  2. Other people, whom we serve by using our calling, skills, and gifts.
  3. God himself, who is above all.

King describes this as a triangle:

"These are the three dimensions of Me, and without the three being correlated, working harmoniously together, life is incomplete. Life is something of a great triangle. At one angle stands the individual person, at the other angle stand other persons, and at the top stands the Supreme, Infinite Person, God. These three must meet in every individual life if that life is to be complete."

In other words, what happens in my inward life (my relationship with myself and my relationship with God) has direct implications upon your life.

Rev. Dr. King Suggests Measuring Life by Three Questions

Today as we reflect on Rev. Dr. King's legacy, we can ask ourselves the three questions behind his model for measuring our lives:

  1. How am I loving myself (by tending to my inner spiritual life and honing my gifts and skills)?
  2. How am I loving other people (by making my life an act of service to other people)?
  3. How am I loving God (by spending time with God and in godly community)?

These three questions are deeply rooted in a well-known interaction of Jesus:

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments" (Matthew 22:36–40).

It does not seem like a stretch to say that these words served as the basis for MLK's entire life philosophy. To read Dr. King without Jesus in mind is to miss the core worldview that guided his life.

Dr. King's View of the Complete Life [INFOGRAPHIC]

According to Dr. King's The Measure of a Man, the complete life looks like this infographic.

Dimension One of Life: Me

While there are some people whose lives seem envy worthy, because they have acquired wealth and power, they lose what King calls "the breadth of life." Even a life with cultivated skills and a honed inner life will lack meaning. The cultivation of skills and the honing of gifts is essential, but a true and deep inner examination should lead a person to look beyond themselves.

Dimension Two of Life: Us

Some people learn to care deeply for other people and that gives their lives "breadth," a meaning beyond themselves. And King has in mind here much more than just care for one's family and inner circle: "we are [all of humanity] interdependent ... we are all involved in a single process, ... we are all somehow caught in an inescapable network of mutuality."

The inner life then becomes something cultivated for larger purposes: it is not for my gain but the betterment of humanity.

Humanity is made by God to be interconnected. This is why the second greatest commandment is to love my neighbor as myself (Matthew 22:36–40). What is good for you is also good for me. What is good for them is also good for us. What is good for humanity betters my life even (and perhaps especially) when it requires personal sacrifice.

Dimension Three of Life: God

"Seek God and discover him and make him a power in your life. Without him all of our efforts turn to ashes and our sunrises into darkest nights. Without him, life is a meaningless drama with the decisive scenes missing."

In the end, life without God and his community, the Church, is lacking. It is God who moves to create lasting change and God to whom we look for the grace required to do the work of making our world a better place. It is God who can break down national, racial, ethnic, and economic barriers.

The Full Life According to MLK: Love God + Love People + Love Self

King remarks that if one is to measure a life's success at accomplishing God's purposes, we need simply to remember three things:

"Love yourself, if that means rational, healthy, and moral self-interest. You are commanded to do that. That is the length of life. Love your neighbor as you love yourself. You are commanded to do that. That is the breadth of life. But never forget that there is a first and even greater commandment, 'Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and all thy soul and all thy mind.' This is the height of life. And when you do this you live the complete life."*



The work of Dr. King has been a deep inspiration to me. In many regards, his work inspired me to change my entire life and dedicate it to serving the impoverished and people yet to hear Jesus' name. King's views on the interconnected world and the centrality of the church influenced me as I wrote my recently released book, Jesus' Economy: A Biblical View of Poverty, the Currency of Love, and a Pattern for Lasting Change.

*This article is adapted from my earlier article, "The Complete Life According to Martin Luther King Jr."

Here at Jesus' Economy, we believe that together we can make the world a better place. For that reason, our team regularly provides Fair Trade stories that showcase the hope that the Jesus' Economy Fair Trade Shop brings. And 2019 was no exception ...

In 2019, you all continued to show how much you love to read about artisans, their craft, and the hope they have for a brighter future. Stories that provided inspiration and transformation were among the most popular, especially our last series of the year — #GiftingStories. Together, we were motivated to make the world a better place.

Top 5 Fair Trade Stories

Here's the countdown of the top 5 most popular "Fair Trade" articles published on the Jesus' Economy in Action blog in 2019.

#5.Meet Blanca, a Weaver Transforming Her Community

The fifth most popular fair trade story in 2019? A story about Blanca, a Guatemalan weaver who is changing her community from the inside out. She works in the Mayamam Weavers cooperative with other women who are building a stronger community together. These women are choosing to stay in their village rather than leave, working to lift each other out of poverty. Read more in "Meet Blanca, a Weaver Transforming her Community."

#4. Nepal Seamstress' Life Transformed by Micro-Credit + Cultural Craft

The world is full of remarkable young women and Laxmi from Nepal is one of them. Still in her 20s, she took advantage of micro-credit and started her own tailoring shop. Not only has she repaid her microloan, but she's been able to grow her business making stunning scarves and shrugs. Read: "Nepal Seamstress' Life Transformed by Micro-Credit + Cultural Craft."

#3. Meet the Artists Who Are Weaving Hope in Rwanda

In Rwanda, three lifelong friends were taught as children how to basket weave in a program taught by a local church. When they became adults, they used those skills and created a basket weaving business. Because of that business they've been able to do things like start families, buy land, and build homes. Together, they've been unstoppable. Read: "Meet the Artists Who are Weaving Hope in Rwanda."

#2. These are a Few of our Favorite Things from Haiti ... #GiftingStories

Another story from our #GiftingStories series features beautiful, handmade products from Haiti. The skills that are used to make these items have been passed down for years. And we thought of a few ways you could turn these items into traditions or legacies for your family. Read: "These are a Few of Our Favorite Things from Haiti ... #GiftingStories."

#1. Haiti Artisan's Craft is Transforming a Village ... #GiftingStories

Our most popular Fair Trade story published in 2019 on the Jesus' Economy in Action blog is also from our #GiftingStories series. For the 2019 Holiday season, we chose to celebrate stories of artisans. This one about Benson, a Haitian artisan who works with leather, tells the story of how Benson has transformed his village with his craft. His workshop now provides jobs for other people overcoming poverty. Read: "Haiti Artisan's Craft is Transforming a Village ... #GiftingStories."

And Don't Miss These Articles ...

Bonus Popular Post: Rwandan Artisan's Love and Tenacity Helps Her Community Thrive

Another popular post of 2019 was this beautiful story of a woman from Rwanda whose love and hard work is evident in the products she makes. She taught other people her skill of basket weaving; and out of that effort came a cooperative that is now comprised of 26 women and two men. She brings hope and self-sufficiency to her village. Read: "Rwandan Artisan's Love and Tenacity Helps Her Community Thrive."

And Because We Love This Story: Brazil Families Defeat Poverty by Sharing Cultural Craft

For many families living in impoverished areas of Brazil, there is little hope of ever overcoming poverty. But a long preserved cultural craft is providing a way out of poverty. When Cross Trade, a partner organization of Jesus' Economy, first met Silvania (pictured above with her children), she was creating beautiful woven items but selling them in exchange for only a bag of rice to feed her family. Cross Trade invested in Silvania's work and that changed everything. Read: "Brazil Families Defeat Poverty by Sharing Cultural Craft."

Never Miss a Fair Trade Story

This is the fourth and final article in our "Best of the Year" series. Join us in 2020 for inspiring stories, articles, and updates. It's completely free.

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In 2019, thanks to the generous donations and prayer of people like you, Jesus' Economy continued to Renew Bihar, India. Bihar is one of the most impoverished states in the world, where few have heard the name of Jesus. Together, we're doing something about that. Over the course of 2019, we celebrated the miraculous stories of life renewal occurring in Bihar. Here are the highlights ...

Since the start of our efforts to Renew, Bihar, we've sponsored four indigenous church planters—who are renewing communities spiritually by sharing about Jesus—and over half a dozen water wells, which are providing renewal for whole communities. The most impoverished in the world are experiencing Jesus' love in word and in deed. Each water well has been drilled in an area where a sponsored church planter is working, providing a profound way to share the story of Jesus. The stories of villages being renewed through clean water are beautiful.

During 2019, we continued to make good on our promise of 100% to the developing world. Every dollar you gave to renewing Bihar, India went straight to India. Every donation was used exactly as you designated: to plant churches and meet basic needs. In partnership with a well-established organization in India, Jesus' Economy is planting churches, plans to provide microloans and business training for impoverished women, and is drilling water wells. Together, we can spiritually and physically Renew Bihar.

Top 5 Renew Bihar, India Highlights

A lot happened with our Renew Bihar project in 2019. Here's the top 5 "Renew Bihar" highlights published on the Jesus' Economy in Action blog in 2019.

#5. Proving it: 100% Goes to Renewing Communities in India

What better way to kick off the start of these highlights than with our latest article on where your money goes when you donate it to Renew Bihar, India? We're all about making sure you get to actually see where the money goes and what your money is doing. Not to mention, how much of it is helping others (which if you haven't picked up on this yet, is 100%). So this article is chock full of receipts and reports. Read: "Proving It: 100% Goes to Renewing Communities in India"

#4. Once Spiritually Oppressed, But Now Set Free By Jesus

Next up is a testimony from our church planter, Rahul. A young woman's parents were so desperate to heal their daughter that they tried every form of healing they could think of. Nothing was working, but then they met Rahul. And everything changed. Read: "Once Spiritually Oppressed, But Now Set Free By Jesus."

#3. Once a Hopeless Widow, Now Her Son is Healed

Chintak recently took over for another church planter and has worked tirelessly ever since. A widow came to him for help when all seemed lost for her son who had a liver infection that was only getting worse despite doctors' best efforts. She was convinced her son would die and she would be alone with no hope for an income. Prayer turned things around. Read: "Once a Hopeless Widow, Now Her Son is Healed | Renew Bihar Update."

#2. Faith Like a Child Brings a Whole Family to Jesus

What so many of us wouldn't give to have the strong faith that we had as children. This 7-year-old girl's father was very sick and in a lot of pain. She remembered what Veer, the church planter who ministers in her village, taught her—that Jesus heals sick people. So she prayed and the next day, her father was healed. Read: "Faith Like a Child Brings a Whole Family to Jesus."

#1. Jesus' Love Frees a Young Man from Alcoholism & Violence

 One of our favorite Renew Bihar highlights from the Jesus' Economy in Action blog in 2019 is a testimony of a young man who was saved from a life of alcoholism and violence. His issues had led to him being put in jail, which made his parents extremely worried. Church planter Santhosh ministered to the family. What happened next can only be explained as a "God thing." Read more in "Jesus' Love Frees a Young Man from Alcoholism & Violence."

 

 

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This is the third of our "Best of the Year" series. Join us in 2020 for inspiring stories, articles, and updates. It's completely free.

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Here at Jesus' Economy, we believe that together we can make the world a better place. For that reason, our team regularly provides free sermons and talks on living for Jesus. And 2019 was no exception ...

2019 was a big year of written and audio content at JesusEconomy.org. In January 2019, we released a project that had been years in the making: the book, Jesus' Economy: A Biblical View of Poverty, the Currency of Love, and a Pattern for Lasting Change. With the book's release came a series of talks on the biblical view of missions, God's justice, and love. This turned out to be some of our most popular content of 2019. You were also big fans of some of our practical sermons on "Living for Jesus," and our talks on key biblical theology topics. Together, we were inspired to make the world a better place.

Top 5 Jesus' Economy Podcast Episodes

Here's the countdown of the top 5 most popular episodes from the Jesus' Economy Podcast in 2019. You can subscribe to the Jesus' Economy Podcast on iTunesSpotify, or SoundCloud.

#5. Why Did Jesus Speak in Parables? Studying Jesus' Parables

Our fifth most podcast published in 2019 is from the series, "Studying Jesus' Parables." This popular series of talks is based on the research for my book, Parables: Portraits of the Kingdom in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Jesus was fond of speaking in parables. But why did he speak in these short, often confusing, stories? In this talk, I argue that to understand Jesus' parables, we have to look at his first-century context and think of him as the rabbi that he is. We also have to make the commitment that Jesus asks us to make: We have to enter the journey with him; we have to follow Jesus the rabbi like his earliest disciples did.

#4. We Can Trust God to Enact Justice: The Book of Obadiah

Our fourth most popular podcast episode comes in the form of a sermon that focuses on the little Old Testament book of Obadiah. This sermon aims to answer one critical question: Why are there are so many injustices in our world? And will God do anything about these injustices? The book of Obadiah addresses a very real and present injustice that the people of Israel experienced in 586 BC. How would God respond? And what does that tell us about the character of God?

#3. The Future of Missions in an Interconnected World

Behind the ideas of Jesus' Economy is the understanding that our world is more interconnected than ever before. And that changes everything about how we share about Jesus and how we alleviate poverty. With the power of modern technology, we could reasonably bring the good news of Jesus to the last unreached people groups in our lifetimes. Here's how.

#2. The Resurrected Servant in Isaiah: Examining Isaiah 53

This popular podcast lecture is based on the research for my book, The Resurrected Servant in Isaiah. Many have stood in awe of the Suffering Servant prophecy in Isaiah 53, either because of its lack of theological precedence or because of its similarities to the life of Jesus. In biblical scholarship, there is much debate about who the servant is, if the servant is resurrected, and the nature of the servant's suffering. I argue that Isaiah 53 undoubtedly shows resurrection and is a prophecy about Jesus' vicarious suffering on our behalf. Interpreting Isaiah 53 can also teach us three steps for personal Bible study.

#1. How Do I Obtain Wisdom? Proverbs 1–2

This sermon on wisdom clocked in at our number one most popular podcast episode of 2019. This talk examined the question that's behind most of the questions pastors receive. How do I obtain wisdom? We're all searching for wisdom, for answers to the difficult situations we encounter week in and week out. But let's be honest: We want answers quickly, as quick as a fast food restaurant stop. Yet wisdom doesn't work that way, according to Proverbs 1–2. It takes time. It is also a choice.

Sneak peak: There are more sermons like this one coming early this year. They will be featured here on the Jesus' Economy in Action blog and on the Jesus' Economy PodcastJoin us in 2020 by subscribing to the Jesus' Economy Podcast on iTunesSpotify, or SoundCloud. And don't forget to also subscribe to the Jesus' Economy in Action blog.

And Don't Miss This ...

#6: God Pursues Us with Loyal Love: Psalm 23

Our number six most popular podcast episode is on Psalm 23. And rightfully so, because Psalm 23 captures our imagination as children and does so today. We read it at weddings and funerals alike. Why? Because we all want to be pursued with a love that is beyond comprehension. This is what Psalm 23 keys in on. Listen: "God Pursues Us with Loyal Love: Psalm 23."

Bonus Popular Post: Free Sample Chapters of Jesus' Economy

Another popular post of 2019 was the release of free chapters of the book, Jesus' Economy. You can still get those free sample chapters here.

 

Never Miss a Jesus' Economy Podcast

This post is part of our "Best of the Year" series. Join us in 2020 by subscribing to the Jesus' Economy Podcast on iTunesSpotify, or SoundCloud.

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Here at Jesus' Economy, we believe that together we can make the world a better place. For that reason, our team regularly provides free, long-form articles on how you can live for Jesus each and everyday. And 2019 was no exception ...

2019 was a big year of content at JesusEconomy.org. In January of 2019 we released a project that had been years in the making: the book, Jesus' Economy: A Biblical View of Poverty, the Currency of Love, and a Pattern for Lasting Change. We were absolutely honored that it was endorsed by Christian leaders from around the world. With the book's release came a series of content on the biblical view of poverty. This turned out to be some of our most popular content of 2019. You were also big fans of some of our other practical, "Living for Jesus" content. Together, we were inspired to make the world a better place.

Top 5 Living for Jesus Articles

Here's the countdown of the top 5 most popular "Living for Jesus" articles published on the Jesus' Economy in Action blog in 2019.

#5. 3 Ways to Be a Model for Jesus, in All Spheres of Life

Our fifth most popular essay published in 2019 comes to us from the series, "How to Authentically Live as a Christian: Paul's Letter to Titus." This essay highlights that among Christians in America, there is often a separation between what happens in church and the rest of life. The church building walls function like a boundary between our Christianity and the outside world. But that’s not the way things should be. Here are three ways to be a model for Jesus, in all spheres of life. Read: "3 Ways to Be a Model for Jesus in All Spheres of Life."

#4. Homeless Jesus Teaches Us a Profound Lesson about Poverty

The Gospel of Luke says that Jesus had "nowhere to lay his head." For his primary years in ministry, Jesus was essentially homeless. He depended completely on the hospitality of other people. In Jesus' experience of poverty, we can find the empathy needed to tackle poverty. Read: "Homeless Jesus Teaches Us a Profound Lesson about Poverty."

#3. We Can Do Better than "Teach a Man to Fish"

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” This proverb is a good start, but ultimately inadequate. We must do more than just feed the poor and teach them how to put food on the table. We must empower the impoverished to transform their communities. Read: "We Can Do Better Than 'Teach a Man to Fish.'"

#2. 10 Ways to Live for Jesus in 2019

How are your New Year's resolutions going? If not well, we've got some better options for you. In this article, we've listed 10 ways to live for Jesus and they're not as cliche as you think. The popularity of this article by our always practical editor-in-chief, Kayli Thompson, shows how many of you were looking for practical tips on following Jesus. And the encouraging feedback we received from this article was incredible. Here in 2020, this article's advice is just as applicable. Read: "10 Ways to Live for Jesus in 2019."

#1. How Was Jesus Poor? Why Was Jesus Poor?

This article, which clocks in at the number one most popular piece of long-form content published on the Jesus' Economy in Action blog in 2019, represents an important but often forgotten bit of theology. Why would God come into the world as a man in poverty? How was Jesus poor and why did he become poor? Paul the apostle tells us that Jesus became poor for the sake of the world. The implications of this for our lives cannot be overstated. Read more in "How Was Jesus Poor? Why Was Jesus Poor?"

And Don't Miss These Articles ...

Bonus Popular Post: Free Sample Chapters of Jesus' Economy

Another popular post of 2019 was the release of free chapters of the book, Jesus' Economy. You can still get those free sample chapters here.

Extra Bonus, New Article: How to Redeem 2019 & Find Hope in 2020

In this brand-new article, we reflect on how to think about the past decade and coming one from a Christian perspective. As we say goodbye to a decade, it's easy to look back with grief and regret. We think of all that could have been and all the pain of recent. It may seem audacious to say now, but if I've learned anything about God, it's that he is a master of redemption. And in God's redemption, we can find hope in 2020. Here's how. Read: "How to Redeem 2019 & Find Hope in 2020."

 

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As we say goodbye to 2019 and the last decade, it's easy to look back with grief and perhaps regret. We think of all that could have been and all the pains we've experienced. It may seem audacious to say now, but if I've learned anything about God, it's that he is a master of redemption. And in God's redemption, we can find hope in 2020. Here's how.

Look Back to Christmas, to Look Forward

A reflection on 2019 cannot be complete without looking at it from the perspective of Christmas. The celebration of Christmas is a reminder that the arrival of the Son of God equals unfathomable hope. The hope of Christ changes everything. For the hope of Christ means you are not alone, but instead that God is "with us." The Gospel of Matthew says it this way:

"'The virgin [Mary] will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel' (which means 'God with us')" (Matthew 1:20 NIV; compare Isaiah 7:14).

Jesus is "God with us." But perhaps at this point, you're thinking, but my regrets and grief produce serious fears. I'm afraid of what may come in 2020. Even fear itself is confronted in Jesus. Joseph, Jesus' adopted father, is told, "do not be afraid." And the angel continues, "give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins" (Matthew 1:20 NIV).

The salvation that comes in Jesus is a saving power, from both sin and fear. That means you can feel rest assured that God can address whatever happened in 2019.

Let Jesus Lift Your Regrets and Bear Your Sins

Jesus is born into uncertainty, fear, and poverty; and his life is marked by suffering. But it is also marked by redemption. By the end of the story, we know that his life is marked by resurrection. We know he is savior.

It is the resurrected life of Jesus, which he describes as "life and life abundant," that God wants to offer us (John 10:10). The prophetic book of Isaiah, over 500 years before Jesus' birth, puts it this way:

“From the trouble of his life he will see light. He will be satisfied. In his knowledge, my righteous servant shall make the many righteous and he will bear their iniquities" (Isaiah 53:11, my translation).

Jesus can bear your sins. Jesus can bear your grief. Whatever you're facing, Jesus can. Reflecting on the beauty of this Christian hope, the apostle Paul says:

“Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. [Christ!] Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword” (Romans 8:34–35 ESV).

God doesn't want us to stay in regret for 2019, but to find repentance. Nothing can separate you from the love of God, from God's hope.

Ask God to Use 2019’s Pain and Grief for Good

As you reflect back on the pain of 2019 and the past decade, ask: “What has God been doing in my life? Where is God at work and how can I follow him in that work?" I bet in the process of reflection you will find that God has been doing much more than you realized.

But perhaps you're reflecting back on a deep grief. Perhaps you have lost someone dear to you in 2019. That's happened in my family. And while 2019 meant saying goodbye, I find comfort that those we've lost no longer feel pain. And that they live on through the stories we tell of their life. And that those who know Jesus have been healed in heaven and are in deeper relationship with the Lord Jesus now than I can even fathom (2 Corinthians 5:1–10).

I also find hope in 2020 knowing that one day, we will see our loved ones again—we didn’t truly say goodbye, but rather acknowledged a stepping off point. For one day, we will all have resurrected bodies (Revelation 20:11–15; 1 Corinthians 15:12–58).

When I look back at the losses of 2019, and the past decade, I remind myself that this is not the end. But simply a stepping off point to a new period of life. That God will have the final say; and that word will be good.

Embrace the Hope of a Resurrected Perspective

As a Christian, my theology demands that I examine 2019 from the perspective of resurrection. I ask Christ to lift, and even bear, all of the last decades pains. I'm not strong enough on my own, but I know that "I can do all this through him who gives me strength" (Philippians 4:13 NIV).

I lift a glass up to God here at the beginning of 2020, requesting that he redeem the last decade. I ask God to give me new life, by the power of the resurrection of the Son of God. As I do so, I realize that my times of pain and grief are not in vain, but that God is there in all of it, working tirelessly to draw me closer to him. And that relationship has eternal value. What price wouldn't I pay for that? God will have the final say in the end:

“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38–39 ESV).

I believe in hope for 2020, because I know a God of hope. I believe in redemption for the last decade because I trust a God of resurrection. I want God to have the final word on 2019 and the first word on 2020. I pray the same for you.

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John here, founder of Jesus' Economy. In northeast India, in a state called Bihar, I experienced unimaginable poverty and was shocked to learn how many people had never heard of Jesus. A woman desperately requested prayer because she needed a sustainable job to provide for her family. But I also saw life enter people's eyes when they learned of Jesus for the first time. I witnessed the hope that a water well can bring to a community.

Renewing Hope, Hearts, and Homes in Bihar


Here, at year end, we need your help to meet our annual goals for Renewing Bihar. Will you join us in creating jobs, planting churches, and meeting basic needs?

Make Your Year-End Gift

 

A Story of Good News Reaching the Poor ...

In an impoverished rural village, I met a woman who had once suffered from severe depression. She had never heard of Jesus until a church planter came to town. She decided to take a risk and explain to him her difficulty. As the church planter prayed for her, she was filled with joy.

Her father later asked what had changed in her life; she quietly said, "Jesus" and told him the story. The father insisted the church planter come over for dinner. Half way through dinner, the father asked if the planter would be willing to pray for his cow who had been ill. He noted that other "priests" had prayed for the cow to no avail. The planter agreed to pray, laying hands on the animal that provided nourishment for the family. The cow was immediately made well. A few days later, the father invited the planter back and said, "I want to know this Jesus." Now, the church meets in the man's household.

You can be a part of creating stories like this one. Join us in renewing Bihar. Here at year-end, gift a better story for the impoverished and unreached.

Gifting a Better Story for Bihar: Our Progress

Thanks to the support of all those who have joined us in Renewing Bihar, we've sponsored four indigenous church planters, who are renewing communities spiritually by sharing about Jesus. In a society where people are often told that their lives have little value because of the social status they were both into, they are learning how much Jesus values them. This changes their entire outlook on life. The stories of renewal are incredible.

Together, we've also sponsored over half a dozen water wells, which are providing renewal for whole communities. The most impoverished in the world are experiencing Jesus' love in word and in deed. Each water well has been drilled in an area where a sponsored church planter is working, providing a profound way to share the story of Jesus. The stories of villages being renewed through clean water are beautiful.

100% of Your Donation Goes to Bihar

Every dollar you give to renewing Bihar, India will go straight to India. Your donation will be used to create jobs, plant churches, and meet basic needs. In partnership with a well-established organization in India, Jesus' Economy is planting churches, providing microloans and business training for impoverished women, and drilling water wells. Together, we can spiritually and physically transform Bihar.

Bihar, India is one of the most impoverished place in the world, where few have heard the name of Jesus and the majority of people live in extreme poverty. You can change that.

Make Your Year-End Gift

 

Let Your Holiday Season Tell a Story

Every donation on JesusEconomy.org offers a better story for impoverished and unreached communities. And every gift from JesusEconomy.org comes with a story to share ... of lives being transformed through craftculture, and a new type of commerce

Be part of the story of families overcoming poverty. Let your holiday season tell a story. #GiftingStories

Give a Better Story

If Jesus walked the earth today, he would note the disparity in wealth and the need to create jobs. He would note that spiritual depravity is at the heart of every impoverished society. It is a lack of spiritual health that causes people to put selfish gain over those in need. But Jesus, and his love shown through acts of empowerment and charity, changes all this.

Make Your Year-End Gift

 

For the Sake of the Impoverished & Unreached

At Jesus’ Economy, we believe that God wants to take impoverished communities who lack access to the gospel and renew them. We believe that God wants to create jobs, plant churches, and meet the basic needs of the impoverished — all at the same time, one community at a time.

And surprisingly, few people are doing this — holistic ministry is rare. Jesus’ Economy is the only non-profit dedicated to holistic work on a global scale. Furthermore, we are the only organization that also combines it with fair trade shopping. And 100% of your giving to developing world projects is spent in the developing world — every time, guaranteed.

100% to Your Cause

A Better Story for Your Year-End Giving

Especially here at year-end, we need your support. Several of our funds still need substantial giving for us to meet our annual goals. And while Jesus' Economy has inspired global change, we're still a very small organization. Every dollar matters and we put every dollar to work.

Be part of a better story for impoverished communities. Choose Jesus' Economy for a year-end gift. Align your giving with your passion.

Choose Your Passion

 

Let Your Holiday Season Tell a Story

Every donation on JesusEconomy.org offers a better story for impoverished and unreached communities. And every gift from JesusEconomy.org comes with a story to share ... of lives being transformed through craftculture, and a new type of commerce

Be part of the story of families overcoming poverty. Let your holiday season tell a story. #GiftingStories

Give a Better Story

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