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.

(Mark – 01 – Who Is This Man Jesus – January 16, 2011)