Friday, January 30, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
"You know, there may be someone reading this today, there may be someone reading this ten years from now - and you are someone who has experienced an abortion. There may be someone who has experienced not only one, but multiple abortions. There may be someone here who is haunted by empty footsteps. The sight of every stroller and crib brings a pang of conscience.
I have good news for you. I know who you are. You are a murderer. I have good news for you. I know who you are. You are a sinner. I have good news for you. There is a savior. I have other news for you. You are in the company of fellow murderers.
You see, the story of the Bible, the story of the Gospel is that when Jesus Christ was sent by the Father, those Jesus was sent to save, killed him. Jesus himself told the parable of the wicked tenants within the vineyard. Because of their wickedness - a picture of our human wickedness - when the vineyard owner sends his own son, the tenants killed him!
I want to tell you, if you have yourself chosen abortion, if you have experienced abortion - you are a murderer. But you are in the company of fellow murderers with blood on our hands because sinful humanity killed the sinless Son of God.
If that is where the story ended, then death would have its victory, sin would have its victory, and that would be the end of it. We would have nothing to say and we would just go home and live out whatever remains of our lives in the despair of a people who know no hope.
But that is not where the story ends, because that is where the Gospel turns and tells us that even in light of the fact that we are sinners beyond even our own imagination to understand our sin, even though we rob God of His glory, even though we do everything we can and everything within our power to do new ways of doing evil, even though the Apostle Paul makes clear - "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" - God loved us so much! It was His purpose in the very beginning before we ever existed. He knew us and He loved us, before we were formed in the world He had a plan for us and He sent His Son, to die on the Cross, to shed His blood, to pay the penalty for our sin, to pay a price that we could not pay, to die in our place, and yes, by that one death, to accomplish salvation for sinners."
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Last Sunday night New City Baptist Church launched in downtown Toronto. It was a humbling experience to watch this new church be born. John Bell is leading the work and preached an excellent message from Matthew 16 challenging all of us to live like the Gospel is true. One of my favorite lines from his preaching: “Do you know what our biggest handicap is in evangelism? Who human beings are under sin.”
The Lord has been with this work so far and I cannot wait to see what He will do in the months and years to come.
Three weeks ago, we were able to launch a second church. Grace Chapel is pastored by Habib Sakr in Markham, a suburban area just north of Toronto. This work had a decidedly different birth than New City, but the Lord is clearly in it. Habib immigrated to Canada from Lebanon and was saved by God along the way. After many years of faithful associate pastor work, the time came for him to launch a new reformed and Baptistic church and amazingly, the Lord has gotten them up and going quickly. We were there for there first service where my brother preached an excellent sermon from Hebrews 11 on the faith of Noah. My favorite line from that sermon? “There was Noah before Noah. It was not like he had some model to follow!” That brought faith as humble reliance on God into a new light.
Please pray for us as we help both these churches move ahead. The lack of blogging around here has been in large part to the added work of helping these works begin. That has been absolutely joyful labour!