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Sunday, 1 July 2012


(CFRA broadcast date: Sunday, July 1st, 2012)

Rev. Brent Russett
Meet Rev. Brent Russett’ 
Rev. Russett is the Pastor of Sunnyside Wesleyan Church in Ottawa:                

Today’s broadcast starts with a conversation between Good News Christian Ministries Founder, Rev. Dr. Allen Churchill, and Rev. Brent Russett, the fourth of four new pastors who will be presenting on CFRA’s “Good News in the Morning”, on a regular basis.

The interview is followed by Rev. Russett's message for today (below).

Broadcast Notes:

Between Two Worlds

            Happy Canada day! We live in one of the great countries of the world. It is full of incredible beauty and a diversity of people. One of my favourite things to do is motorcycle through the country side, and when I do that I am often struck with how privileged we are. I have had the opportunity to travel to many different part of the world – and when I come back I am amazed at how much I take for granted.

            This morning I have entitled my message, “Between two Worlds”.  We will be looking at two passages of Scripture. The first one is found in John 14. It is the evening before Jesus was crucified. He knew he was going to die, and then be raised to life again. He knew that he was going to ascend into heaven. This is what he says,

19  Before long, the world will not see me any more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.
 20  On that day you will realise that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.

            Jesus is saying when I ascend into heaven and the Holy Spirit comes, you will realize that "I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you."

            I want to lay another verse on your mind. It is found in 1st Peter 3. Peter was a fisherman by trade. He was one of those common sense guys, who knew how to be practical. He was instructing churches in Asia, how to live in this world. He says

(verse 13)
13  Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good?
 14  But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. "Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened."
 15  But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,
 16 ¶ keeping a clear conscience, 

            He says, listen if you are doing good, then most people are going to respect that. But even if they don’t respect it, it is better to good . Then he says, Have Christ as Lord,---- but then be prepared to give an answer to everyone. – but do this with gentleness and respect. When you are talking to those who disagree with you, who are aggressively against you, address them with gentleness and respect.

            As I look at these two passages, I see what is obvious to anyone who has lived the Christian life for a while. We as Christians seem to live between two worlds.

            We live in the world of the Spirit. The Spirit of God lives in us. Jesus lives in us. When we pray, we are transported right into the throne room of God, where our prayers are heard. In fact if you read the John 14 passage you see this amazing dance that we are invited into.

            You are invited right into the middle of the Trinity. You are in Jesus and Jesus is in the Trinity. And you become part of this great cosmic conversation. Where God the Father is telling God the son I love you. Look what I have made. Do you see my daughter there in Ottawa, do you see my son, let me share the wonderful plans I have for him for her. The Son is talking to the Spirit, saying, I love how you are leading people to me. The spirit is speaking to the Father, saying look at how people are worshiping you.

            And in the middle of this conversation, you are in Christ and Christ is in God and you are in the middle of this conversation of love. You are part of the eternal conversation of the Trinity. You are in relationship with the God of the universe. Jesus said On that day you will realise that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.”

            There are some of you who have experienced glimpses of this. You have had those moments where the Spirit of God has overwhelmed you and the love of God has surrounded you. Others of you have to take what the word of God is saying by faith, because while you believe in the world of the Spirit because you believe what the word of God says, you have never experienced this kind of things.
            What I would say to you is continue to walk by faith. Never chase an experience, but pursue God himself. And should he choose to reveal himself in a great experience, don’t let experience become a  substitute for faith in his Word.

            There are some of you who don’t know what he is talking about. It is kind of foreign to you. That is ok. In a few minutes I want to tell you how you can enter that divine conversation.

            But whether you have felt it or not if you are a Christian you function from a place in the Trinity. Jesus is in You and you are in Jesus and Jesus is in the trinity, and you are part of that divine conversation.

            Yet at the same time you live in the middle of this world. You live with people, some who like you, and some of who don’t. You live in a world where some people respect who you are and what you believe. Relationships can be complicated -

            Sometimes living in this world is hard. We have bills to pay, and relationship that are challenging. We have people who care about us, and others who just want to take advantage of us. We live in a great country, but even here living can sometimes be challenging.

            I am the parent of two teenagers. Each day can be an adventure.

            So you have this one world where we are dancing with the trinity, we are walking with the God of the universe and yet we live in this other world where we sometimes struggle with ourselves, and sometimes we struggle with others. There are times when we feel the pull from each of these worlds.  There is a temptation to move into one of those worlds and ignore the other. The question is, how then do we live?

            Peter answers that question. He says in 1 Peter 3:15, “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord.”

            Sometimes Christians divide up their lives into what is sacred and what is secular. Some think  that going to church, and prayer, and things like that are part of the Christian faith. Things like the job you go to, or the television you watch or the hobbies you love to do – well that is part of the secular world.

            But the Bible doesn’t divide the world into sacred and secular. It calls you to bring those two worlds into one. When you set apart Christ as Lord in your life everything you do is sacred. Grocery shopping is sacred. Cooking is sacred. Negotiating a deal is sacred. You live a sacred life.

            But it doesn’t feel that way sometimes. Sometimes being in church, or walking in a forest feels more sacred than cheering for your favourite team, or driving your car. But your feelings don’t dictate what is sacred. God dictates what is sacred. And when you set apart Christ as Lord – he says your whole life is sacred.

            We live in a great country. But there are many Canadians who instead of living sacred lives, live lives that feel meaningless. They live for the weekend.  They are stuck in a job, that they don’t really care about, but it pays the bills. They look for meaning in relationships, but that only seems to last for a short while.

            Some are trying to deal with major pain. You may have brought that pain on yourself, or you may be experiencing it through no fault of your own.

            In a middle of a life that can be challenging God comes to us  and says I want to teach you to live between two worlds---- I want you to find meaning and purpose in your life. I want you  to learn to live a life that is sacred.

            If you are wondering how to take the first steps of making your life sacred – let me give you the crash course. The question is how do you get into Christ and how do you get Christ into you.

            It is actually very easy and very hard all at the same time. What you need to know is that God really loves you and he wants you to have a life full of meaning, a life that is sacred.

            But there is one huge barrier to that happening. The Bible calls that barrier sin. Now I know that sin isn’t a popular word. Sin is simply things that we have done that have broken our relationship with God. God said it was wrong, you knew it was wrong, but you went ahead and did it anyways. The Bible says that all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. The reality is that we do these things because at the core of who we are we really want our own way rather than God’s way.

            But if you are going to be in Christ and Christ is going to be in you, your sin has to be dealt with. It is just not going to work if you try to get into a holy God, without having your sin dealt with.

            Some of you are thinking, well that leaves me out – there is no way I could be good enough. But the reality is that none of us can be good enough to get into God. So unless God does some for us – it just isn’t going to work.

            But God did do something. He sent his son Jesus to bear your sins. When Jesus died, he took your sins with him. Jesus wants to give you his goodness.  This is a gift. It is not something that you can earn. But it is something you need to receive.

            To receive this gift, all you need to do is say so. Even now God holds out forgiveness to you. Just pray a prayer something like, Jesus I believe you took my sin and you want to give me your goodness. I receive your gift of forgiveness, and I give my life to you. I want you to come into my life and I want to be in you.

            If you pray a prayer something like that believing that God will give you this gift of forgiveness like he said he would then it is done. You  enter into Christ and Christ comes into you, and you are on your way to living a sacred life. A life full of meaning.

            For those of you who have done that. Peter says “Set apart Christ as Lord”  Let Christ have every area of your life, so every area becomes sacred.

            We live in a great  country, Wouldn’t it be good to live a great life in a great country. Ask Jesus into your life, and then make Christ Lord of what you do and you will live a life that is sacred, a life full of meaning.  You will live well between two worlds.

To listen to the above broadcast, click on the following link:

Rev. Brent Russett felt that God was calling him to vocational Christian ministry at a very early age. When he was 17 he moved to Edmonton to attend North American Baptist Divinity School. After graduating he became pastor of Bruce Mines Wesleyan Church where he served for 5 years. In 1990, he accepted the call to become senior pastor of Sunnyside Wesleyan Church in Ottawa, ( where he continues to serve. Brent is currently working on a Doctorate of ministry from Northeastern Seminary in Rochester, N.Y. He is married to Lynda and they have two teenagers, Ethan and Amy.



  1. Originally Posted on Twitter:
    BetweenTwoWorlds (‏@between2worlds on Twitter)
    "The true believer is united more closely with Christ than with his own self" (Nicolas Kavasilas, 14th century)

  2. Originally Posted on Twitter:
    Matt Smethurst ‏(@MattSmethurst on Twitter)
    This life is the closest a Christian will ever get to hell, and the closest a non-Christian will ever get to heaven.

  3. ‏@GNCMdotCA

    @GNCMdotCA Re: 'BETWEEN TWO WORLDS'- "Aim at Heaven and you will get earth 'thrown in': aim at earth and you will get neither." - C.S. Lewis

  4. Originally Posted on Twitter:
    Rick Warren Quotes - (‏@RickWarrenQT on Twitter)
    "Measured against eternity, our time on earth is just a blink of an eye. But the consequences of our actions will last forever."