Okay, so as backward as this may seem, here is the audio from week 3, Mark 1.21-45: The Powerful Mercy of God on Display. Due to some technical difficulties, the posting of the audio was delayed until now. This is the sermon from January 30.
As with the others, use the player below to stream, or right-click and ‘save as…’ on the link to download the mp3.
Today I had the privilege of preaching the beginning of the Gospel according to Mark in our second week as a church.
Rarely, if ever, in my study for preaching have I been so floored by the wisdom and the plan of God as he puts the gospel of Jesus into action. Rarely, if ever, have I seen the deity of Jesus so supremely and transparently evident as in this section of Scripture.
What an amazing blessing to be able to study the Word and the teach it week-by-week! I’m so thankful for the blessing I received this week in the study–I only pray that some of that over-flowed in blessing the people.
Anyway, while we’re currently figuring out website and hosting issues, I’ll continue to post the sermons online here. You can stream or download below.
About 2,000 years ago the very first church was started. It was relatively small and insignificant. But when the Holy Spirit came with power, the hearts of people were turned to their God, souls were saved, and many were added to their number. The story of the church ever since that day has been one of remarkable growth and remarkable struggle (just like Jesus said it would — Matt 13.24-30).
Yesterday, we were glad to begin a new chapter in that story as we began just one more small church, designed to preach the Jesus who divides by calling all to himself. As far as the world is concerned, our work is insignificant. But from the perspective of a gospel-believer, the building up of the church through local assemblies all around the world is profound evidence that Jesus is living and working and using his authority to do what he said — he is building his church (Matt 16.18; Matt 28.18-20). What a great reason to praise God!
Our first morning service was a joyous occasion, clearly the result and fruit of much prayer offered by many friends and family. I had word from people from Australia to Victoria, BC, to right here in Toronto that we were being prayed for. God heard and God worked. Thank you for praying!
We were blessed to have Nick and Alicia leading us as we worshipped in song. Bill and Nabil gave thanks to God for establishing this church and prayed prayers of dedication for us. By God’s grace I was able to preach an overview of the message of the gospel of Mark asking, ‘Who Is This Man Jesus?’ and then speaking of where God will take us as we study his word together.
All in all there were about 40 souls (including children) gathered in the living room / dining room of this Toronto home. Most of those were core, committed people. Some of those were visitors. All of us were eager to be together to delight in God for the glory of God, and for the good of all people. As the Lord gives growth, we’ll give him thanks! And as the Lord gives grace, we’ll continue to grow in our delight in him so that he’ll be honoured through our little part in this amazing story of Jesus building his church and conquering in the world.
May he continue to do great things in us and through us, all to his glory!
Update: You can stream or download the audio from the sermon below.
With the coming of a new year (2011) comes the birthing of a new church! We are excited, encouraged, and humbled as we look forward to beginning this new work in earnest this month.
During the week of January 2-8, we are committing ourselves to prayer, meeting with the people of GFC West every day during the Week of Prayer. On Sunday, January 9, GFC West will hold a commissioning service, in which I will be sent, along with 17 other members from GFC, to officially plant a church. (18 is the total number of members from GFC, but others are joining with us who are not yet members or who are currently members of other churches as well). Our last day at GFC West will be celebrated in style — with a Fellowship Lunch!
January 16 at 10am will mark our first Sunday morning out on our own. For the time being we will meet at the home of Nabil & Tania Tadros, as we continue our search for a more permanent meeting location. We are aiming to begin small groups (Truth Application Groups) on Sunday nights in February or March.
Please pray for us!
Pray for me as I transition to the role of lead pastor. There are many adjustments to be made, and the learning curve is steep. Pray that God would give grace!
Pray for the core group coming, that they would have unity with each other, and love for the lost. Pray that they would continue to find joy in the midst of the sacrifices they are making for the church plant. Pray especially for those who are beginning new ministries.
Pray for provision of people, funds, and a more permanent location for us to meet.
By God’s grace, we have created a constitution and are awaiting approval of our request for charitable status. Please pray for the remainder of the government paperwork to go smoothly and quickly.
Pray for Spirit-wrought effectiveness in our evangelism. God has been gracious to give us opportunities to share the gospel lately, but only he can bring true and lasting fruit.
Want more information on the plant or on upcoming events? Please contact me for more information.
We are very excited to announce that our church plant core group will begin meeting on the evening of Sunday, October 3, at 5pm!
Here are the details in a summary:
Where is it? The first two weeks (October 3 and October 10) we will meet at Julian & Stacey’s house. Subsequent weeks will be held at Nabil & Tania’s house. Contact us for addresses & directions.
When is it? We will meet at 5pm and hope to be done our official meeting at about 6:10. There will, of course, be time for fellowship after for as long as you can stay.
What’s the purpose? Three things. (1) We want to dive in to the Word of God together and ask, ‘What does God call his church to? What kind of church does he bless?’ We’ll be studying the book of Acts together. (2) We want to pray together. We want to make prayer instrumental, not supplemental to all we do as a church. (3) To get to know each other even better.
Can visitors come? Absolutely! This meeting is for everyone who is committed, but also for those who are just hoping to find out about us and to figure out if they want to join us.
What else is in the works? Lots of things! They will be announced as plans develop… but the best way to find out is just to come join with us!