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Sunday, 22 February 2015


Rev. Brent Russett
By Rev. Brent Russett
Pastor of Sunnyside Wesleyan Church in Ottawa:   

LINK to CFRA broadcast - Sunday, February 22nd, 2015:

‘Waiting Well

            Good morning. And welcome to good news in the morning.  My name is Brent Russett. I am the Senior Pastor at Sunnyside Wesleyan Church. It is my pleasure to look at some of life’s challenges, and then bring you some good news in the morning.

            I am glad that you tuned your dial to CFRA. I want you to know that you can also find Good News in the morning on the internet at . There you can hear past episodes and find interesting articles.

            This morning’s program is brought to you by Will’s Transfer Limited.  Thank you. Will’s Transfer has been serving the warehousing, and logistical needs of Ontario and western Quebec since 1945. You can find out more about them at or call them at 613-744-0970

            This morning I want to talk to you about waiting well.

            I don’t believe in Murphy’s law, but sometimes I find myself living it. Murphy’s law states that if something can go wrong, it will. If your car is going to break down, it will do so in an awkward spot. If unexpected visitors show up to your house it will happen at a time you least expect it, and when you are least prepared for it.

            It is like  the story told of a pastor who went out one Saturday to visit someone from his church.. He got to the house and it was obvious that someone was home, but nobody came to the door even though the preacher knocked several times.

            Finally, the preacher took out his card, wrote out "Revelation 3:20" on the back of it, and stuck it in the door.
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me. - Revelation 3:20

            The next day, the card turned up in the collection plate. Below the preacher's message was written the following notation: Genesis 3:10  The pastor went took the note back to his study and looked it up. It read-  I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself. -

            Sometimes people show up at unexpected times. I have found that true of Jesus too.

            At Christmas time we celebrate his Jesus coming to earth. Weekly in churches around the world, we celebrates that he comes to us by His Spirit now. We with Christians around the world affirm that Jesus will come back again.  

            Jesus came, he comes to us now, and he will come again. But one of the constant themes of scripture is that when Jesus comes when people least expect it and in ways the people don’t expect.

            It was true 2000 years ago. He came at a time and a place where he was not expected. It is true now. Jesus comes to us now, often quite unexpectedly. When he comes again, the Bible says it will be like a thief in the night.

            I could tell you to expect the unexpected. But that only works for tours of a haunted house. You know something is going to pop out at you. But it doesn’t work so well for something that we are waiting for, for weeks and months and years.

            I know some churches and some people who put a real emphasis on prophecy. When you talk to them they will tell you that Jesus is coming back soon. They take a look at the world around them and the signs of the time and they say, Jesus’ coming must be right around the corner.

            Some of you live with that reality first and foremost in your mind. I can’t disagree with you and say, no Jesus’s coming is going to be a long way off. Because the reality is, I don’t know. No one knows. But some of you do well to live with anticipation of his coming.

            There are others of you for whom this is just not on your radar screen. Some of you function as if the promise of Jesus coming back is irrelevant, or at least irrelevant for you in this life.--- But the reality is, you don’t know – no one knows.

            Are you anticipating Christ’s return, or ignoring the possibility of it.

            There are pitfalls for either of these ways of living. I have known people who have believed so much in the imminent return of Christ, that they failed to live well in the present. They made bad choices in the present because they did not think they had a future.   And when Jesus showed up in their present, with opportunities to serve this present world, they failed to recognize him because they were so focused on the future.

            I have known people who failed to have anticipate the Lord’s return, and they were presumptuous about the way they lived. They lived as if they were guaranteed 80 years. They lived as if they could turn to God whenever they wanted, not realizing that whenever we turn to God, it is always a response to God call us.

            They put off responding to God, because they believed they had all the time in the world – but their hearts grew cold – and life passed them by and when it came time to meet God in death, they had so hardened their heart to him that they couldn’t hear him, although I was convinced that he was calling them. There is something about living with the possibility that Christ will return soon that helps us to live well.

            So the question is, how do we wait well for Jesus to come.
Well Jesus told this story to help us.

Matthew 25:1–13 (NLT)
 “Then the Kingdom of Heaven will be like ten bridesmaids* who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. The five who were foolish didn’t take enough olive oil for their lamps, but the other five were wise enough to take along extra oil. When the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
“At midnight they were roused by the shout, ‘Look, the bridegroom is coming! Come out and meet him!’
“All the bridesmaids got up and prepared their lamps. Then the five foolish ones asked the others, ‘Please give us some of your oil because our lamps are going out.’
“But the others replied, ‘We don’t have enough for all of us. Go to a shop and buy some for yourselves.’
10 “But while they were gone to buy oil, the bridegroom came. Then those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was locked. 11 Later, when the other five bridesmaids returned, they stood outside, calling, ‘Lord! Lord! Open the door for us!’
12 “But he called back, ‘Believe me, I don’t know you!’
13 “So you, too, must keep watch! For you do not know the day or hour of my return.

            The story that he told would be an image that his hearers would readily identify with. In first century Palestine, the wedding would be performed, and then a processional would escort the newly married couple from the brides house to the bridegroom`s house. This processional would often happen after dark, and the bridesmaids we would be a part of the procession carrying torches.

            But in this story, the procession was delayed. They waited and the bridegroom didn`t come. They became drowsy and the bridegroom didn`t come. They fell asleep and the bridegroom didn`t come. But at midnight they were aroused by a shout the bride groom is coming.

Let me remind you of what the Bible says about the second coming of Christ.
1 Thessalonians 4:15–16 (NLT)
15,,We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died.* 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God.

            The Lord will return with a shout. The Bridesmaids were aroused from their sleep with a shout.

            When they awoke they all found that there lamps were starting to flicker. They were running out of oil. But five of them were wise, and had brought extra oil. Five of them were, the greek word is actually the basis of our word moron. Five of them were morons, and they didn`t pack extra oil.

            So their lamps are going out and they couldn`t do anything about it. They asked to borrow some from the five who had brought extra. But they didn`t have enough to lend. Spiritual preparedness is not transferable. Each person is responsible for themselves.

            So the foolish bridesmaids had to run off to find oil. But by the time they got back, they had missed the processional, they were locked out of the banquet.

            The only difference between the wise and the foolish were the fact that the wise were prepared for the wait, and the foolish were not. The question the parable pushes on us is, are we prepared for the wait?

            The answer of course is some will be and some won’t be and spiritual preparedness is not transferable – each person is responsible for themselves. The question then becomes, are you prepared for the wait?

            When Jesus comes back, it will not be good enough to say if I would have been prepared if I had a better church or a better small group or an easy life. If I had more spiritual friends or more spare time to do spiritual things I would have been ready. The question is, are you prepared for the wait.

            I got to tell you  that question makes me uneasy. As I look around the church in North America today, that question makes me really uneasy.

            In Luke 18, Jesus tells the story of the unjust judge who gives a widow justice, just because she kept on showing up at his doorstep. She wore him down. The lesson is to persist in prayer. But at the end of that parable Jesus tacks on this question
Luke 18:8 (NRSV)
8 … And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

            When I was growing up I wondered what he was talking about. I knew people of great faith who prayed until they prayed through. Of course he was going to find faith. But we live in a culture where faith is eroding – and fast.

            There is prevailing belief in our culture that given enough time science will explain everything. This is of course absurd. Science does a great job of explaining how things work. But science does not explain the why’s of life. It is unable to give meaning to life. That is the prevue of faith. It is God who puts meaning into life.

            We live in a culture where,  if one dare suggest that Jesus is Lord, which includes being Lord over what our lives means – we are committing a social faux pas – that takes us out of polite society.

            This thinking has filtered into the church where many Christians believe that what they think about an issue is more authoritative than what God says about an issue. (They are Lord over their own meaning)

             Now I am not a fundamentalist where everything in life is black and white – I get that there are a lot of greys in life. But not everything is grey. If God says something is black or white then we can’t change that because we don’t like it.

            But often we do. And when we do our oil goes down and we are less prepared.

            In the chapter before this Matthew 24 Jesus says,

Matthew 24:10–12 (NLT)
10 And many will turn away from me… 11 And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. 12 Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold.

            Sin will be rampant, the love of many will grow cold. When the Son of Man returns will he find faith on earth.

            The question our parable today forces on us is – are we prepared for the wait? The answer is – in our world it is hard to wait, and the oil is burning fast. How do we get extra oil – so that when we need it, it is there. How do we prepare for the wait?

            The first thing that we have already noticed is that no one can do it for you. Spiritual preparedness is not transferable. It doesn’t matter how spiritually prepared your husband or wife or mother or father is. You cannot ride on their coat tails. You cannot borrow their oil. You must get your own oil.

             It helps if you are around good people because we can spur each other onto love and good deeds. But as our parable points out, we will be surrounded by people who are prepared and people who are not prepared.

            I would have you note that the wise bridesmaids carried a heavier load to the processional. They carried the weight of the extra oil. It also cost them something upfront. They had to purchase the oil ahead of time.

            I heard Dallas Willard say, grace precludes earning, but it does not preclude effort. In other words, we are saved by grace, we are saved by God’s unearned favour – there is nothing that we can do to earn grace. Jesus did all that needs to be done for our salvation.

            But the fact that we can’t earn our salvation does not mean that there is nothing to be done.

2 Peter 1:5–11 (NLT)  (READ WELL)
In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.
The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins.
10 So, dear brothers and sisters,* work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away. 11 Then God will give you a grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

            Peter calls us to make every effort to respond to God’s promises.

            It cost the wise bridesmaids up front and they had to carry a heavier load. There is an effort in preparing for the wait.

            2 Peter puts it this way – make every effort to respond to God’s promises. I like that. The Christian life is not about trying to make yourself better. It is not about self- improvement. The Christian life is about responding to God, to living out of faith in the promises of God, and it is God who changes you. It is God who prepares you. It is God who gives you the ability to wait well.

            It seems that this passage would indicate that part of waiting well, is to be ever growing in your faith. Are you growing in your faith? I know many of you are – I know a number of you are not.

            In fact the promise of God is that if you grow like this, while you are waiting you will be productive and useful in your knowledge of the Lord.

            No one can do those things for you – spiritual preparedness is not transferable. So the question is, are you prepared for the wait. There will be a time when Jesus will come for each of us. It may be with a shout and the trumpet call of God, or it may be in death. No one knows when these things will be. We don’t know when Jesus will come back and we don’t know the hour of our own death. In the middle of these unknowns, we are called to wait well.

            The good news is that the trumpet has not yet sounded, and you are still living and breathing, so you have time to prepare for his coming.

            Jesus could come back this afternoon – I hope you are ready.

            There are some of you listening to me who may never have given your life to Jesus. This morning even as I have been talking, there is something in you that says – yes that is something that I need to do. I need to be prepared. That is God prompting you. God has been searching for you. He is calling you and wants you to give your life to him.

            I would encourage you to pray along with me, if that is something that you would like to do. Pray, Lord Jesus I believe that you died for me. I am asking you to forgive me of my sin and come into my life. I give my life to you. I understand that you have been searching for me. I am thankful that you found me and I found you

            There are some of you who have done that. The question I would ask you is, are you waiting well. If you knew that Jesus was going to return in 6 months from now – or if you knew he was going to return in July 1st  long weekend – what would you do differently now to prepare for his return. If there is something you would do differently, then start doing it now.


Lord Jesus, for each person who has been waiting, I ask that you would help them to wait well. Lord, for those who have been riding on the coattails of people around them, but haven’t taken up their own spiritual preparedness, I ask, Lord, that you would help them to own that, and to wait well. For those, Lord, who have just received Jesus into their life, I ask that you would help them to grow up and mature in the faith. Lord, thank you so much for who You are, and thank you for the fact that You love each of us so much. I pray these things in Jesus’ name. AMEN.

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            Thank you for listening this morning. This program is on the air by the grace of God and donations of many faithful people. If you can help financially we would really appreciate it. You can make a cheque payable to Good News Christian Ministries,  and send it to Box 184 , Rideau Ferry , On. K0G  1W0. Or you can give online by going to  Thanks for considering this. 

May you know   Jesus Christ personally and profoundly.  May the Holy Spirit reside deep within your heart .  And may the heavenly Father surround you with His constant and abiding and accompanying love

MUSIC:   I will Rise – Chris Tomlin

By Rev. Brent Russett
Pastor of Sunnyside Wesleyan Church in Ottawa:
PODCAST LINK to CFRA broadcast - Sunday, February 22nd, 2015:

Sunday, 15 February 2015


Rev. Juliet Schimpf
By Rev. Juliet Schimpf   

Broadcast Notes

LINK to CFRA broadcast of Sunday, February 15th, 2015) 
'Have a HOLY New Year'
God is more interested in our holiness than our happiness:

C.S. Lewis:  "I'm not sure that God wants us to be happy. I think He wants us to be able to love and be loved. He wants us to grow-up. We think our childish toys bring us all the happiness there is and our nursery is the whole wide world. But something must drive us out of the nursery to the world of others and that something is suffering.  "You see, we are like blocks of stone out of which the sculptor carves forms of men. The blows of His chisel, which hurt so much, are what makes us perfect."

On Proverbs
*  Proverbs are like guardrails—they protect and they direct us.
*  Andy Stanley’s definition of a proverb:  "A personal standard of behaviour that becomes a matter of conscience."
*  Personal "guardrails" guide your conscience.  Standards of behaviour that, if you violate, you will feel guilty (i.e. your conscience is bothered).  If you "bump up against it", your conscience is pricked, and you receive a warning regarding finances, dating, marriage, etc.
*  We need to set up some "personal guardrails" so that we have some "conscience crashes" before heading head-on into the terminal areas.

On Wisdom

Wisdom was an important commodity in the ancient Near East.  Every ruler had his council of "wise men" whom he consulted when making important decisions:
                        *  Joseph was considered a wise man in Egypt
                        *  Daniel and his friends were honored for their wisdom while serving in Babylon. 

*  God wants His children today to acquire wisdom:   Ephesians 5:15  "walk circumspectly [carefully], not as fools but as wise"

*  The Book of Proverbs is all about wisdom:  the words "wise" and "wisdom" are used at least 125 times, because the aim of the book is to help us acquire and apply god's wisdom to the decisions and activities of daily life.

* Several synonyms for wisdom:
*  1:2a, 3a:  "Instruction" or "training"--the first synonym for wisdom, giving notice at once that wisdom will be hard-won, a quality of character as much as of the mind
* 1:2b:  The second synonym for wisdom is "understanding" or "insight"--and it usually appears alongside the words "discern between" (e.g. "discern between good and evil")
*  1:3a:  The third synonym is "wise dealing"--i.e. good sense, practical wisdom, savoir-faire...Its particular character shows in its verb-form, which often means "be successful"
*  1:4a:  shrewdness and discretion:  the godly woman or man is in the best sense a man of affairs, who takes the trouble to know his way about, and plan his course realistically
*  1:5  "knowledge" and 'Learning"--implying not so much an informed mind as a knowing of truth and indeed of God himself
Wisdom is practical:
*  The word translated "knowledge" comes from a Hebrew root that describes skill in hunting (Gen. 25:27), sailing (2 Chron. 8:18), and playing a musical instrument    (1 Sam. 16:16). 
*  The Hebrew root for "learning" means "to lay hold of, to grasp, to acquire or buy."
*  The word translated "counsel" is related to the verb "to steer a ship"


1.        INSPECT ME

My son, do not forget my [a]teaching,
But let your heart keep my commandments;
For length of days and years of life
And peace they will add to you.
Do not let kindness and truth leave you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart.

So you will find favor and good [
In the sight of God and man.

*  God gave Solomon great wisdom (1 Kings 3:5-15), so that people came from the ends of the earth to listen to him and returned home amazed (1 Kings 4:29-34; Matt. 12:42) 

2.      DIRECT ME
3.     Wisdom is all about choosing the right path.

*  Proverbs 1:20-23  "Wisdom shouts in the street, she lifts her voice in the square.  At the head of the noisy streets she cries out; at the entrance of the gates in the city she utters her sayings:  "How long, O naive ones, will you love being simple-minded?  And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing and fools hate knowledge?  Turn to my reproof, behold, I will pour out my spirit on you..."

*  In chapters 1, 8, and 9, Wisdom calls to men and women to follow her and enjoy salvation, wealth, integrity, truth, and life. 
*  In chapters 5, 6, 7, folly calls to the same people and offers them immediate satisfaction but doesn't warn them of the tragic consequences of rejecting Wisdom: condemnation, poverty, wickedness, deceit, and death.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge [SUBMIT TO] Him,
And He will make your paths straight.
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and turn away from evil.

It will be healing to your [c]body
And refreshment to your bones.
Honor the Lord from your wealth
And from the first of all your produce;
10 So your barns will be filled with plenty
And your vats will overflow with new wine.

*  Andy Stanley:  “Direction, not intention, determines destination.”


PROVERBS 3  "7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; 
    fear the Lord and shun evil. 
This will bring health to your body 
    and nourishment to your bones."

James 1:5 says:  “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” 

11 My son, do not reject the [d]discipline of the Lord
Or loathe His reproof,
12 For whom the Lord loves He reproves,
Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.

13 How blessed is the man who finds wisdom
And the man who gains understanding.
14 For her profit is better than the profit of silver
And her gain better than fine gold.
15 She is more precious than [
And nothing you desire compares with her.
16 [
f]Long life is in her right hand;
In her left hand are riches and honor.
17 Her ways are pleasant ways
And all her paths are peace.
18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her,
And happy are all who hold her fast.


19 The Lord by wisdom founded the earth,
By understanding He established the heavens.
20 By His knowledge the deeps were broken up
And the skies drip with dew.
21 My son, let them not [
g]vanish from your sight;
Keep sound wisdom and discretion,
22 So they will be life to your soul
And adornment to your neck.

23 Then you will walk in your way securely
And your foot will not stumble.
24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid;
When you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.

*  God blessed the first 20 years of Solomon's reign.  He had peace on every side of his kingdom, God blessed him with wealth (an annual income equivalent to $ 328 million in our day); he completed the temple that David his father instructed him to build; he designed and built for himself a magnificent palace.


25 Do not be afraid of sudden fear
Nor of the [
h]onslaught of the wicked when it comes;
26 For the Lord will be [
i]your confidence
And will keep your foot from being caught.
27 Do not withhold good from [j]those to whom it is due,
When it is in your power to do it.
28 Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come back,
And tomorrow I will give it,”
When you have it with you.
29 Do not devise harm against your neighbor,
While he lives securely beside you.
30 Do not contend with a man without cause,
If he has done you no harm.
31 Do not envy a man of violence
And do not choose any of his ways.

32 For the devious are an abomination to the Lord;
But [
k]He is intimate with the upright.
33 The curse of the Lord is on the house of the wicked,
But He blesses the dwelling of the righteous.
34 Though He scoffs at the scoffers,
Yet He gives grace to the afflicted.
35 The wise will inherit honor,
But fools [
l]display dishonor.

Let’s pray:

Heavenly Father, we thank you for your Word. Where would we be without it! Your Word, Lord, is the apple of our eye.
And, today, we dare to say this prayer together: “God inspect me. God direct me. God correct me. God protect me and God, yes, perfect me, through your Word.”
I pledge in 2015, to study your Bible, and put Christ first in my life; choosing Him above happiness, knowing that you desire, ultimately, my holiness, in Jesus’ name, AMEN.

Rev. Juliet Schimpf
To listen to the above broadcast, click on the following link: