It is easy to get so caught up with our own problems that we neglect to notice the needs of other people. Giving changes this. It makes us hopeful. It changes our perspective. It makes our problems seem manageable.
Paul the apostle recognized the power of giving to change our perspective on life:
"The one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work" (2 Corinthians 9:6–8 NRSV).
The key to changing our world starts with you and it starts with me. It requires generosity. And when we give generously, we may just find that the gift returns to us in the form of joy, a renewed perspective, and a deeper relationship with Jesus.
When I think of the power of giving, I come back to how the founding of Jesus' Economy has changed my life. I'm a completely different kind of Christian because of this cause of creating jobs and churches in the developing world. Jesus, by his grace, has shown me how generosity is a gift to my life. It has renewed and strengthened my faith. It has also brought me immense joy, as I have seen God work through the efforts of Jesus' Economy to renew communities.
People around the globe are in desperate need of our help. They’re suffering from issues outside of their control, but many that are changeable. When we walk alongside them, we can create opportunity out of these seemingly hopeless situations. We can find, and offer, solutions. I believe that now more than ever.
We live in an interconnected world with incredible possibility: We have an opportunity to bring goodness and peace to the lives of others. There is a better future ahead for all of humanity, if we make it possible. What if the future could look different than the trajectory humanity is currently on? What would you want it to look like?
I want to see love, peace, and hope. I desire to see poverty alleviated, so that people can live freely and with purpose—so that they can accomplish good for other people in the world. I long for Jesus to become a major part of people’s lives, because I know the difference he has made in my life and the lives of others. I want to watch transformation in ethics and lifestyles occur. I want to see entire communities renewed. How about you?*
*This article is adapted in part from my earlier article, "What Does a Better World Look Like to You?"
Most of us don't realize it, but it's within our power to transform lives. We can create jobs and we can renew homes. In Bihar, India, one of the most impoverished places in the world, we're working to empower women. In this video, I tell you what we plan to do to renew homes in Bihar, India.
This month at Jesus' Economy is dedicated to women who have empowered others and lifted their families out of poverty, as well as raising awareness about the issues women are facing. Throughout this month, tag @JesusEconomy (or on Facebook: @Jesus' Economy) and use the #EmpowerWomen hashtag to tell us about the women who have empowered you.
Let's celebrate empowering women together!
"For God so loved the world that he gave his only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
John 3:16 is one of the most quoted verses in the Bible, but are we overlooking something critical about it? In our new VLOG, I tell you about an often overlooked part of this beloved verse and its implications about each and every one of us.
For the rest of June, our "Around the World" series will bring you posts about simple and profound things happening around our planet. We will discuss how God is at work everywhere, as well as the work that we believe he wants to do. We will tell you about everything from summer fashion around the world, to God's global perspective according to the Bible, to how people are having fun with water (but also need it).
Join us as we journey around the world, to gain perspective on what God is doing.
If you aren't subscribed to our blog yet, you will want to do so now. You don't want to miss this awesome series.
Today is National Day of Prayer. Here at Jesus' Economy, we believe prayer is critical to everything we do. Through prayer, anything is possible.
Please spend some time today to read and pray Anne Graham Lotz's prayer for this year. Please also pray for the seven centers of power in the United States.
Kalene Barry, Chief Projects Officer for Jesus' Economy, and I were recently in Colorado Springs, Colorado. While there, we recorded a podcast with National Day of Prayer Task Force about taking up our cross and following Jesus. We discussed what that has meant for us and for Jesus' Economy. In the process of following Jesus, we've done several things that many would consider crazy, like selling many of our possessions to get Jesus' Economy started. We discuss all this in the podcast and the spiritual process that got us ready for the moment of launching a non-profit. You can listen to that podcast here. John Bornschein, author of The Front Line: A Prayer Warrior's Guide to Spiritual Battle, and Dion Elmore were our hosts.
I cannot emphasize enough how critical it is that we all join in prayer for our own nations and for our world. Please join us in doing so and let's watch God move as we do so.
Prayer, prayer, prayer. I say it three times so it is memorable. There is nothing more important than engaging God, via relationship with Jesus Christ our Lord, in prayer, through His Word, and in community. Let's take up our cross and follow Jesus, empowered by the Holy Spirit.
It is difficult to love a whole person, not just their need. But if we do so, we can transform lives and communities.
In this talk, filmed at the Justice Conference Abbotsford at New Life Abbotsford, I share how I learned to love an entire person and how it transformed my life. I also share about being a voice for the voiceless and the major problems that aid alone can create.
Jesus regularly stopped to have conversations, demonstrating that for him, loving a whole person meant having a relationship with them (e.g., Luke 18:35-43; John 4; Luke 8:40-56). People weren't projects to Jesus; they were friends. This is God, with three years of ministry as a human on earth, stopping to have conversations. We should do the same. We should work to transform entire lives, walking alongside people, not just address needs.
Many thanks to New Life Abbotsford for the blessing of speaking at the conference and for your hospitality, kindness, and graciousness. (To everyone else: My apologies for the inside jokes; you had to be there for them to be funny. And don't worry, my Canadian brothers and sisters thought they were funny.)
Join us in transforming entire lives by donating to Renew Bihar, India. For just $2.94 you can empower someone. This $345,000 project empowers 117,520 people, making the cost just $2.94 per person to provide medical access for thousands, drill 18 water wells, train and send out 18 church planters, and provide 40 microloans accompanied by business training. 100% of donations go directly to Bihar. Our project in Bihar, India is dedicated to really knowing people and building real relationships, while addressing basic needs, spiritual needs, and transforming the economy through business.
Helping the impoverished is difficult, and for many, it's frightening. But I have some solutions for you.
In this talk, I tell you what I have learned about helping the impoverished and how Jesus approached poverty, sharing several real life stories. I also share about the miracles that Jesus has performed in my life.
I delivered this talk at Latin American Bible Institute in San Antonio, Texas (on Thursday, February 27, 2014) to an incredible group of young disciples of Jesus. Through the students and faculty at Latin American Bible Institute, I believe that God will make an incredible impact on the world, and I hope we all learn to have faith like them.
I regularly speak at events, and may even be in your area soon. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or learn more here.
Admit it: You already know if you’ve been naughty or nice. And if you’re going to end up with that official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle! You also know that—get this—the Santa at the mall isn’t really him. (Don’t worry: All the Santa impersonators are his secret messengers.) And with these shifts in your life of late, you need something else to believe in—we all do.
We all want something, someone, to believe in. That person is Jesus. But we also need tangible hope, from Him, in this world. You could be part of that hope for others. Jesus wants to do that work through you.
When you do something incredible—make some unbelievable sacrifice or act with integrity when others around you fail to do so—you’re setting an example. You’re giving others a tangible way to see Jesus in you, and thus to believe in His workings even more.
Here at Jesus’ Economy, we believe God has called us to a grand vision. We want to proclaim it loudly, because we believe it is His: It’s called Jesus’ Economy (with a possessive) because He is in charge of this organization and owns it. We merely steward it.
Did the video not play? View it here.
We don’t want you to believe in us, or even the organization, we want you to believe in Jesus. We hope that our actions inspire you to believe that Jesus is here, now, in our world—changing it for the better. We hope that you will live as a Christ follower who empowers people locally and globally. And we hope that your actions inspire others to believe in Christ.
The message of Jesus’ Economy is not about us: It’s about what we believe God wants to do in our world—to restore hope to people everywhere. He wants to create a new physical economy (one that lifts people of out poverty) and a new spiritual economy (built on Jesus Himself). He wants to holistically transform lives. And use all of us—each of us around the globe—for that purpose. That is a great honor indeed.
May your life’s message be about living for Jesus—as part of His economy, built on self-sacrifice. This is what each Christian, everywhere, is called to. May every economic thought, and transaction—both those in the physical and spiritual economy—be about Jesus and His glory. Let’s give the world something to believe in.
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Is your nose too bright? Are you feeling left out of the reindeer games? Here’s a way to bring Christmas cheer back: This eleventh day of Christmas, try setting a vision for your life and family.
During our 12 Ways to Live the Christmas Spirit series, among other posts, we have covered living by principles, deciding what you will and won’t do, and knowing what you’re all about—which included writing down a mission for yourself and your family. Now, it’s time to write a vision statement.
Here at Jesus’ Economy, we combine our mission and vision statement into one sentence: Jesus' Economy creates jobs and churches in the developing world, as well as meets basic needs [mission]—resulting in a new global, spiritual and physical economy for those that need it most [vision].
You have to know what you’re all about (your mission), but you also have to know where you ultimately want to go (what success looks like—your vision).
Writing down a vision statement is an opportunity to imagine the world as a better place. A vision statement should never be about you—it should be about the results of your efforts. To begin drafting a vision statement, ask the questions: “What does success look like?” and “What grand reality do I want to make come to be?”
Mission is something you do in this lifetime. Whereas, vision is something you set out to do in this lifetime, but you’re aware may out live you.
Mission is an everyday reality. Vision is a hope and a dream; it’s about faith.
When Jesus came to earth, He set out on a mission—to live the life every person should (fully in God), and to then suffer, die, and rise again. His mission was resurrection and salvation for all—among other incredible things, of course.
But Jesus’ vision extended far beyond His time on earth. Jesus planned for His disciples to bring the good news of God entering our world—to save us—to the entire earth. And that’s the vision that we each of us, as Christians, are called to live. The exact way we live that vision is up to discernment—it’s something each of us should pray about and ask others to join us in praying about.
So, maybe your nose is a little too bright—but maybe that’s also something God is going to use, to accomplish His unique vision for your life.
Jesus' Economy is dedicated to creating jobs and churches in the developing world. In 60 seconds, we explain how we plan to do so.
You can help make the world a better place. Donate today:
Thank you for your prayer and support.
(P.S. We've been quieter than usual lately because we've been busy assembling an incredible product line that will fund life transformation. We will let you know as soon as it's ready.)
“When there is no prophecy, the people cast off restraint, but as for he who guards instruction, happiness is his” (Proverbs 29:18 LEB).
The message of this proverb is that without vision, evil ensues. But when vision for a better life is present, happiness can be had.
Prophecy, at its core, is about speaking the truth. Likewise, ethics at their core, are all about truth—they’re guiding principles of truthful and righteous living. One of the regular problems developing world communities face is the need to overcome the general erosion of ethics. In a place where people live in complete desperation—fighting for survival—cheating and corruption often becomes part of general living. In return, good work in communities is regularly compromised: no matter what an organization does, if there is a general ethical problem amongst a people group, their work will eventually be diminished or fail.
Here at Jesus’ Economy we have a vision for overcoming the ethical hurdles we will face in many communities. First, we plan to provide an alternative: ethical (and fair) businesses, which people can work for. In the process of providing this, as well as meeting basic needs, we ask people to be participants in the change taking place in their communities—they’re the ones doing the work, not us; we’re facilitators and funders. Next, we are introducing ethical and leadership training.
Church planters will receive leadership training from Jesus’ Economy’s partners or directly from Jesus’ Economy. They, in return, will help train entrepreneurs in biblical ethics, and by extension, how they can best take care of their employees. In addition, Jesus’ Economy has a fair/direct trade survey and regular reporting that ensures that fair trade standards are being met.
While all this is occurring, Jesus’ Economy is bringing church planters into communities, who are instilling vision in believers in Jesus; these believers will then live a life for Christ. The Christians in the community will provide a better alternative than anything else on offer.
We believe that the vision of these things coming together will provide an overall alternative in communities. It will give people a better way of living—one that honors others and helps them to also take care of themselves.
Just addressing the physical issues in a community is not enough—the spiritual issues must also be addressed.
You can donate to holistic regional transformation here.