OC Director's Blog: April 2022

Dr. Craig Kraft /Sunday, April 10, 2022

 

Have we been “given over?”

I have been reading in Romans for the past few weeks, and I find it hard to get past chapter one. Of course, you need to read the whole chapter, but I will offer a quick summary here.

Paul explains God’s wrath and the consequences of sin. In verses 21-23, it says, “for although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man in birds and animals and creeping things.”  These verses describe our society today.

So many North Americans say they believe in God, and many claim to be Christian, yet our culture and morality do not reflect Christ.

We are going in the wrong direction.

Paul continues, “Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchange the truth about God for a lie…”  “For this reason, God gave them up to dishonorable passions… God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done… Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

Paul says that when we fail to honor God and lean on our human wisdom, it leads to rampant sin and moral decay. The consequence of this sin is that God gives man over to even more corruption. When we surrender to unrighteousness, we become a slave to it, and we end up sinning even more.

One does not need to look far in our culture today to see what happens to a society that has been given over to lust, impurity, dishonorable passions, and a debased mind. The final conviction is that God says such people deserve death, not only those who sin but those who approve of those who sin.

Compromise comes at a great cost!

This is a tough one just to read through and move on, but I am so grateful for Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Belief in God and acceptance of his son Jesus should make a difference in my life. My life shouldn’t look like everyone else around me; it should be different.

I attended an online memorial for a special friend this past month. One of her grandsons said, “Jesus was Grandma’s north star. When you strip everything away - her possessions, her health, and even her cognition - you saw Jesus.”  Friends and family will miss my dear friend Melba, but she left a powerful legacy of love for others and faithfulness to God without compromise. I hope that I can do the same.

Outreach Canada News

OC Global Alliance

Outreach Canada is part of the OC Global Alliance. We have ministry in over 100 countries with over 1200 missionary staff serving worldwide.

I currently serve as the Moderator for our Alliance’s Guidance Team. I have tried to keep up with what is going on in Europe in this capacity. We have a lot of people impacted there. We had a team serving in Kyiv through the beginning days of the war. When their lives were at risk they fled to safer locations. Our team is now coordinating humanitarian aid shipments from Poland. They continue to work with churches and pastors in Ukraine to provide support and relief. They are also assisting with the movement of refugees to safe locations. Our other teams in Europe have also been impacted. They are helping to resettle refugees and provide humanitarian aid.

Today, we see the absolute extremes of human behavior, from amazing acts of love, compassion, and heroism to the other extremes of brutality and disregard for human life. There isn’t a lot that we can do from here, but we can pray.

  • We can pray for Ukrainians who have lost everything, soldiers sacrificing for the sake of their home and their people, leaders who seek peace and protection for their nation, and families who are grieving dead or missing family members. 
  • We can pray for refugees who are struggling to find places to live. Many are separated from family members and don’t know if there will be anything to return to.
  • We can pray for the churches that are accommodating people in their buildings, feeding multitudes, and providing basic provisions for people who had to leave everything behind.
  • We can pray for the Russian people who are enduring the consequences of Putin’s leadership. Citizens are paying the price for his aggression. We recognize that some Russian soldiers have been barbaric, but many do not want to be there and are forced to participate in unspeakable attacks.
  • Most of all, we need to pray that God’s peace will be experienced in this place of war. Please join me in praying that God will raise up and protect people who will serve in these dark places as the hands and feet of Jesus.

Our Outreach Canada Team

Please pray for our Outreach Canada team as we are growing (we added three new staff this month), and we have some significant events in the upcoming weeks:  Staff Retreat (Apr 27-29), Board Meeting (Apr 30), and OC Global Alliance Conference (May 23-25).

 


Dr. Craig Kraft is the Executive Director of Outreach Canada. After 15 years of pastoral ministry in western Canada, Craig, with his wife Heather, served with OC in southern Africa before returning to lead the ministry in Canada. Craig is a graduate of Northwest Baptist Seminary at ACTS and a graduate of Asia Graduate School of Theology with a Doctor of Intercultural Studies. His study has focused on diaspora missiology in Canada.  His dissertation explores the potential for revitalizing Canadian churches through the practice of biblical hospitality with refugees and immigrants. Craig loves to watch sports, work in the yard & spend time in the woods. 



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