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Sunday, 27 September 2015


Rev. Brian Wilkie
By Rev. Brian Wilkie                                                                                    

Pastor of St. Andrew's Christian Community
Rockland, Ontario

PODCAST LINK to CFRA broadcast - Sunday, September 27th, 2015:

Broadcast Notes:

‘Spiritual Appetite

Welcome to Good News In the Morning, a program of words and music bringing a Christian message of hope and encouragement to those who are looking for intelligent meaningful and spirited approach to faith and to life.
This program is sponsored by Good News Christian Ministries PO Box 184 Rideau Ferry, Ontario K0G 1W0. I'm your host today, Brian Wilkie of St. Andrew's Christian church in Rockland. As always I want to start by thanking you our listeners. We are so grateful for your encouragement and support. Please remember that you can always visit our website for materials to encourage and support you in your Christian walk.
If you miss an episode of the show you can go to our website and download the podcast or the MP3 of our broadcast. Details can be found on our website.
Satisfying the Right Appetite
I want to speak to you about your appetite. I hope you all have a healthy appetite for good nutritious food, but want to speak about a spiritual appetite. To lead into this there is a Scripture that has been speaking to me and in my preaching to the congregation in Rockland it's been an important message in last little while.
So from the prophet Haggai beginning at the beginning of chapter 1 he writes,
"In the second year of King Darius, on the first day of the sixth month, the word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest:
This is what the LORD Almighty says: “These people say, ‘The time has not yet come for the LORD’s house to be built.’ ”
Then the word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai: “Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?”
Now this is what the LORD Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. You have planted much, but have harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.”
This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build the house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored,” says the LORD. “You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?” declares the LORD Almighty. “Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with his own house. Therefore, because of you the heavens have withheld their dew and the earth its crops. I called for a drought on the fields and the mountains, on the grain, the new wine, the oil and whatever the ground produces, on men and cattle, and on the labor of your hands.” - The Word of the Lord
So God has chastised the people of Israel who had just returned from exile. Well they had returned from exile a couple decades before. They had been cast out of Israel by Babylon; they had spent 70 years in captivity until God delivered them from the captivity. They came back and they set about: they built the walls to protect Jerusalem and they rebuilt their houses that had been ruined in the battles of 70 years before, they got themselves settled in. They thought they would get going on the temple but they got distracted. They got busy making their houses nicer, making sure that their crops were doing okay, and trying to fill their storehouses. God gives them a message and gives them a warning about what they're doing wrong.
Let's take a look at that the Scripture in a few moments after we hear this music that celebrates who Jesus Christ is. This is called Who You Are and it's sung by Caedmon's Call.
Now people of Israel were neglecting the Lord's house, the temple, which they were supposed to build. Every time the people of Israel drift away from God and don't pay attention to Him they forget about justice, they forget about loving one another, they forget about living the way that honors God and leads to their security. They keep on doing that over and over again but this time God's not going to let them get away with it. He tells them that they need to the need to take a look and connect the dots, because they came to Jerusalem rejoicing, expecting things to really go well. things did go well for a while but now things aren't going well. He says, "you expected much but, see, it's turned out be little." He essentially tells the people to put two and two together - think about this for a bit, try to figure out why things aren't working out you. You plant what you plant and you don't seem to get enough. You eat but you are never satisfied, you drink, but you never have your fill. Nothing seems to be satisfying them and nothing seems to be going quite as well as it should. God says, "Okay I'll tell you what it's about: it's about your neglect of the things of God. This is symbolized by this temple that you've refused to build, where you've refused honor me and you've refused to put an effort into following me and doing what's right." So God has sent drought. God has sent a failure of their crops and everything that they wanted so badly, that they put ahead of God, is being restricted. It is not going well.
Now the people of Israel responded: they built the temple, they honored God. That is just a wonderful thing that they did in their lives.  But did you hear a lot of similarity between what the Lord says to the people of Israel and what we experience in the world today? Look around you. do you see people who are eating but never satisfied? They enjoy food and drink but it never seems to be enough. You see people concerned with fashion with the way they look, with dressing up with makeup, with decorating their bodies in all kinds of ways but they are never satisfied. We have a powerful economy. We are among the richest people that have ever lived in history. We have toys and delights that other generations couldn't even have dreamed up and yet we seem to be a very unhappy generation. Money seems to just come in and go out and we find ourselves never quite having enough. You can look around and see people who put their priorities in the wrong place. They have appetites that just can't be satisfied. Appetites are a good thing. I think we have to agree that if you are alive, you have appetites. If you don't have the right appetites it's likely that you are going to have trouble staying healthy because we need an appetite for food, we need an appetite for drink, we need an appetite for rest and for play. 
We have all these appetites that are very important. They are our servants but they should not master us. There is an appetite that is more important than any of these and, of course, that is the appetite for God. God is truly the source of our life, yes, he gives the things we need for life through the provision of food and oxygen, water and warmth through the sun, but God is the source of all these things. Without God all these things lose their joy, lose their savor. Lfe, itself, becomes meaningless and purposeless. People even in the best material circumstances can fall into despair if they don't have some significance in their life.
So God says give careful thought, careful thought. Think about what's most important have you been neglecting the temple of God? Now today we're in quite a different situation than the people of Israel were.  The temple is not a physical building somewhere. Paul says quite explicitly that our bodies are the temple of God, that God now dwells in us. When the Holy Spirit came, that's God dwelling in us. Our bodies are not merely our homes, but they are God's temple. 
While we might look around at the world chasing after all kinds of appetites and neglecting God, yet this message wasn't delivered to people outside of faith. This was delivered to people that were in God's family and so we might want to point this particular Scripture it ourselves and ask ourselves which appetites are we pursuing as we pursue our lives.
Let's again take a short break as we listen to something else. This song is a song written and sung by friend of mine, Stephen Cowley. It tells about the barriers to faith that we have in ourselves and let's remember that is not just about the unbeliever but the believer whose faith is not yet complete because we haven't yet fully trusted Jesus Christ-  we are saved but our faith is not giving us all the benefit can in leading us in the way of Christ. So here's We Would Not Believe in Stephen Cowley's album Dross to Gold.
How is our appetite for God? When we come to new life in Christ we are born with new appetites. We are new creation and with it comes new understanding of what our needs are. It is not just a thing of our heads: appetites are a thing that involve our whole being, don't they? We can rationalize and reason about appetites but they are a driving force in us. God made us that way, and when he remakes us as new creations in Christ he makes us with an appetite for Him. It is not always a challenge to pursue an appetite: that the appetite picks you up and moves you in the direction that you need to go and so the Christian has an appetite for time with God spent in prayer. The Christian has an appetite for time with God spent in service. The Christian has an appetite for time with God spent in his Word. A Christian has an appetite for time with other believers: where the presence of God is there in a special way, as Jesus says, "when two or three of you are gathered in my name I'm with you." Christian has an appetite for hearing from others, for being encouraged by others and encouraging others. That's why we gather together on a regular basis to study the Word together to encourage each other and to think about how we can serve God better. He's given us an appetite for those things.
But sometimes we do lose their appetite, don't we? Sometimes for various reasons we can completely forget to eat. We can forget to drink. We can end the day with a great big headache and realize that we hadn't had any breakfast and we hadn't had lunch. Somehow or other we are distracted from these important things. Sometimes emotionally we are turned away from our appetites. Sometimes when we suffer great loss we fast, not because we choose to fast but just because we just don't feel like eating. How is that in your Christian life? Has your appetite for God been put aside by distractions? Has it been replaced by an appetite for other things? Are we trying to fill the hole in us with the wrong kind of materials? Do we fill it with experiences and with toys and with games? Is our time filled with busyness instead of turning to God and letting him fill his temple?
Sometimes we can ruin our appetite by taking in the wrong things: eating junk food before dinner.  Did you ever get told not to not to spoil your dinner? Do we fill our minds and our hearts with so much stimulus, so many ideas, so many different inputs from television and radio and the Internet and from all around us, but fail to take what's most important?
Well I think God calls us just like he called the people in Haggai's day to connect the dots here. Is all of our pursuing of other things outside of God filling us? Are we satisfied, are we enjoying the daily bread that God gives us, the bread of his word and fellowship with believers? We can find more satisfaction if we allow God to restore our appetite for him;  if we will take more of an opportunity to eat nutritious spiritual food and find that that we don't actually need the junk food as much as we thought we did. Can we learn to enjoy wholesome spiritual food? Yes we can. We do that by making sure that we don't dull our tastes with junk; by making sure that we consider carefully what we're doing and what the return is on our efforts. We can rebuild our bodies as a temple of God, rebuild our life as a temple of God.
Well than you for looking into God's word with me today, and thank you, listeners for your encouragement and support. We do thank you because you keep us on the air week by week. Can I encourage you to support our ministry financially? Where ever you live, your gift can help us to continue to meet that one vital expense, the cost of broadcasting, which enables us to reach you and over 7000 listeners in the Ottawa River Valley. If you can please make a cheque payable to Good News Christian Ministries and send it to P.O. Box 184 Rideau Ferry, Ontario K0G 1W0 . If you are a Canadian resident, we can send you a receipt for you income tax time. I also want to encourage you to tell others about this program
Be sure to worship in a church where the gospel is soundly proclaimed and lived out with compassion, integrity and resolve.
Almighty God, thank you for your Word. When you disciplined the people of Israel by sending a drought to remind them of their priorities, we see that even in your discipline you are merciful; you lead us in the right way. So please, Lord, lead us to come to the well of living water. Lead us to the bread of life, Jesus Christ, lead us to come to him, to trust him fully and you enjoy the life that he gives us. We pray this in Jesus name, Amen.
Now we will conclude our program with a song by Michael Card which speaks of a life fully devoted to God. Be thou my vision -from the album Star Kindler.
I do pray that the Lord will hold your heart and you would know Jesus personally and profoundly. May the Holy Spirit reside deep within your heart, may the heavenly Father surround you with his constant and abiding and accompanying love.
Good News In The Morning is produced in the Studios of News Talk Radio 580 CFRA.

Rev. Brian Wilkie
St. Andrew's Christian Community, Rockland, Ontario
To listen to the above broadcast, click on the following link:

Sunday, 20 September 2015


Rev. Brian Wilkie
By Rev. Brian Wilkie                                                                                    

Pastor of St. Andrew's Christian Community
Rockland, Ontario

PODCAST LINK to CFRA broadcast - Sunday, September 20th, 2015:


Broadcast Notes:

‘A New Commandment

For today’s show I want to mention a particular person who has been a great support over the years to our program, and unfortunately I have to do this in memory of him, because Reverend Mel Newman died on July 12 of this year. We’ll be missing his encouragement, his support and his wisdom, as he’s been a great servant of the Lord through the years, and we’re thankful for the great hope that we have in Jesus Christ for the resurrection of the dead and that Mel will receive his reward with the Lord.

Today I want to address the topic of the new command that Jesus gave to his disciples.  He addressed his disciples on the evening of his crucifixion, and he spoke to them about many things, but this is one of the parts of what he said after Judas had left to go and betray him
"Jesus said to the disciples, 'Now is the son of man glorified and God is glorified in him.  If God is glorified in him, God will glorify the son in himself, and will glorify him at once.  My children, I will be with you  only a little longer.  You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I now tell you.  Where I am going, you cannot come. A new command I give you.  Love one another as i have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.'” 

This was the scripture from the gospel of John 13:31-35, and in it Jesus announces a new commandment for his disciples. 

Now throughout the teachings that he gave through the Gospels, at the Sermon on the Mount in the gospel of Matthew, at various teaching places throughout Mark, Luke and John, Jesus expands upon the law of God that was given to Moses for the people of Israel.  And he insists that he’s not there to destroy the law.  In fact he says that not one jot or tittle, not one dot on an I, not one crossing of a t, will be forgotten from God’s law until he comes again. So he completes the law and he actually strengthens the law.  From a law that focused very often on the external things we did,  Jesus presses into the motive.  He takes the command about not murdering someone, and he says, 'But if you’ve been so enraged by your brother.  If you are harboring in your heart a thought of anger or a thought of hurt for someone because of your anger, then you’re already breaking that command.'

He said about faithfulness, he said that not only should one not physically commit adultery, he said that if you look at a woman in lust, you’ve already broken the law.  And so he tells us to take the law a little deeper, a little farther, in terms of not just loving on the outside, of not just being ship-shape with the externals, but looking into the heart.

He speaks sometimes about not washing just the outside of the cup and leaving the inside of the cup dirty .  Can you imagine that if your dishwasher cleaned up the outside of the cup but all the leftover drink or food or whatever was in the dish remained in there getting disgusting, day by day.  It would be foolish to wash the outside and not the inside, and Jesus does the same thing with the law.  So he really doesn’t add to the law until he comes to this place.  He expands upon it, but here he introduces a brand new command, and I’m going to suggest that he couldn’t have given this command any earlier in history or in his life.

We’ll take a look at that in a few minutes.  But first I’d like you to hear with me, the Glen Campbell song, You Ask Me How I Know … this is from his album the Inspirational Collection, and I invite you to listen to it with me.

When we look at the new command of Jesus, we come to the whole question of how much Christians are expected to live by the direction of Jesus.  I know that it should be obvious.  We say that Jesus is Lord and there’s no one above Him, no one beside him, no one beyond him.  That he is the one that directs our lives and that we ought to be able to say, our lives are completely devoted to him.  But we so often fall short of that, that  we may start to wonder just how good do we need to be. Well, Paul addresses the people of Thessalonica when he writes to the Christians there and he says,

“Finally brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living .  Now we ask you and urge you  in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more.For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord.   It is God’s will that you should be sanctified; that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honourable. Not in passionate lust like the heathen who do not know God, and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him.  The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.  Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God who gives you his Holy Spirit. 

“And now about brotherly love: We do not need to write to you. For you, yourselves, have been taught by God to love each other, and in fact you do love all the brothers throughout Macedonia.  Yet we urge you to do so more and more. More and more.  Sometimes we can beat ourselves, goad ourselves to try and do more and more.  And wonder where it might end.  What does it mean to live a holy life? What does it mean to be sanctified, set apart for God?   

Sometimes we wonder how much can a human being do?  How good can a human being be?  We will say to ourselves, well, I’m only human. And in that way think that we’re excusing sin in our lives.  But here’s the thing, we need to know exactly how good a human can be, and we need to know something related.   

God is asking a lot of us, when he asks us to love in the way that He has called us to love.  And what’s the measure of how much he’s loved us. In this new commandment Jesus gives, we see an inkling about the answer to both those questions.  You see, God has told us to love one another.  He’s given us examples in his law about what love will look like when it’s played out.  He’s also given examples in parables and teachings to show us how to love one another. He’s told us a lot.  He’s instructed us through generations, and yet this new command comes after all those thousands of years of leading the people of Israel.   

Centuries of instruction, of training and discipline, and now we come to a new command, to love one another as he has loved us.  You see this command couldn’t  have come any sooner in history or in Jesus’ ministry, because we don’t know how God has loved us until we see Jesus’ life played out before us, even to the point of the cross.   

The measure of his love is expressed to a degree in his faithfulness through all the generations.  The measure of  his love is expressed to a degree in the that care he’s given to the people of Israel.  The measure of his love is expressed to a degree in his healings, in his teachings, in his patience with his disciples.  And yet the full measure of his love is not known until we see his greater love, of laying down his life for his friends.  Jesus says precisely that to his disciples so that they will understand what he’s about to do. Greater love has no one than this, that a man should lay down his life for his friends.  And yet Paul tells us that in laying down his life, Jesus was doing something greater than the love that we’ve seen in anyone before.  For Paul says, you know  for a good person, one might possibly lay down one’s life.  But God showed his love for us in this, that while we were still sinners, still enemies of God, Jesus laid down his life for us, as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.  So, Jesus has now set a new bar.  What is this love that he calls us to give to each other. It’s the love that lays down our lives, just as God has laid down his life for us.

How close can we come to living out this love?  We’re only human. Well, here’s the thing. Our scriptures teach us that Jesus Christ was fully human; fully human. That means that he was tempted in every way. That means that he got hungry and weak.  That means that he got hungry and thirsty. In fact, he experienced every kind of hardship that we ourselves faced. He faced rejection from his friends, from his own mother who came with some of his brothers and said, Jesus you need to come away and take some time apart, because they thought he was going mad.  He faced rejection by powerful people.  He faced thanklessness and ungratefulness from people that he had helped, whatever you’re going through, whatever loss you might have experienced, you can be sure that Jesus Christ knows not from a distance, but from his own life. And yet, (the) scripture says that Jesus was without sin.  Jesus did not sin.  How is it possible that a human being, born in the flesh, growing up under human guidance from his mother and Father, living in a broken world.  How is it that Jesus was able to live a sinless life.

Well, we’ll take a look at that in more depth and we’ll take a look at what that means for how we can love one another after we listen to this next song, which is from Mark Schultz.  And he prays to God, Give Me Jesus.  This is from his album, Simply Hymns.

Jesus our brother, who shared with us human weakness, lived a sinless life.  He always deferred to his Father.  Whenever he wanted to go and be by himself he went actually to be with his Father.  He said over and over again that he didn’t do anything on his own, but only what His Father in heaven told him to do.  And perhaps we’re afraid to be as committed to the Father as Jesus is.  Perhaps we don’t trust God entirely.  Perhaps, rather than being merely human, the problem is that we are of little faith.  We don’t trust God’s way.  We can see in Jesus’ life that when he put himself fully into the care of the Father, that the Father was ready to help him, support him, and lead him all the way.  Did his life always lead him down a flowery pathway?  Did he always experience wealth and prosperity and all those things that so many people want to promise?  No.  Jesus did suffer hardship in following his Father.  But his Father was always faithful to him.  He could love and give his life.  Not just on the cross but daily as he called his disciples to, because his Father held his future in his hands.  Even when he went to the cross, the scriptures tells us that it was for the glory set before him he endured the cross.  He trusted that his heavenly Father would make something of his death.  He trusted that his heavenly Father would receive him into everlasting life, as he had shared that everlasting life with the Father for all eternity.  He trusted the Father and showed us that we can do the same. 

There’s even a hymn that suggest that his death of course was for us, and the grave of course was for us and the resurrection was for us;  a demonstration for us of God’s great love.  And it was Jesus coming back to life to continue his gift and his service to humanity of salvation.  And he ascended into heaven for us and he sits on God's right hand for us and intercedes with him for us.  Jesus was fully guarded and kept by his Father, even through the sacrifices that his love called him to make. 

If we want to obey the command to love as Christ has loved, we need to trust God as Christ has taught us, as Christ has shown us.  There’s so much more to loving one another as Christ has loved us,  of actually laying down our lives, both metaphorically, for the most part.  But day by day, giving of ourselves, trusting our Father who sees what is done, will take care of us in the end.

Can we love as Christ has loved?  Not without the same help that Christ had.  Because he was not alone, He had an unbroken relationship with his Father from the beginning. And he has given to us a restored relationship with God, and given us his Holy Spirit so that we can share in the power and the trust and the faith which only the Spirit can give.  We need to lean on God more in order to obey him more.  We need to accept his help and as we live by his word.

Well that’s our message for today and I hope that you will continue in prayer as you consider this call to love as Christ has loved.

Let me pray with you right now;

O mighty God we do pray that you would show us that your burden is in fact a burden that is easy, able to be carried, especially since we share the yolk with you.  Lord, help us to trust you and to obey you, and Lord, help us to rejoice in the great gift you have given us in Jesus Christ.  Amen

Last song....Love take me over ... this is from the album the Glorious Unfolding by Steven Curtis Chapman

Rev. Brian Wilkie
St. Andrew's Christian Community, Rockland, Ontario
To listen to the above broadcast, click on the following link: