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Sunday, 29 May 2016


Rev. Canon George Sinclair
by Rev. Canon George Sinclair                           
 Pastor of the Church of the Messiah, Ottawa, ON. 

(Podcast of CFRA broadcast on Sunday, May 29th,  2016)
Broadcast Notes:

Before I begin, I would like to give thanks for an anonymous gift that allowed this show to go ahead. Thank you!

‘The State and The Disciple of Jesus’

Romans 13:1-2 (ESV)

Submission to the Authorities

13 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.

Dear friends, this talk is a shortened version of a sermon I gave at the Church where I serve as Pastor. It was part of a series where I preach through all of the Book of Romans. The series is called, "Grace Shaped Life"

1. The King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the true and living God, tells His grace-ransomed children, to submit to human authorities, and to respect and honour them, in a way which fully glorifies and honours Him.

A Living Sacrifice
12 I appeal to you therefore, brothers,[a] by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.[b] Do not be conformed to this world,[c] but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.[d]
a.       Romans 12:1 Or brothers and sisters
b.      Romans 12:1 Or your rational service
c.       Romans 12:2 Greek age
d.      Romans 12:2 Or what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God

2. Lord, please spare our nation from the government that we deserve, and in Your mercy, grant us a government which is better than we deserve.

3. In light of God's instruction through His word written, I will offer real but qualified respect and honour to rulers.

4. Lord, please help me to be a disciple of Jesus gripped by the Gospel who builds my life on Your eternal truths and not on transient legislative and judicial decisions.

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith,[a] as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”[b]
1.       Romans 1:17 Or beginning and ending in faith
2.      Romans 1:17 Or The one who by faith is righteous shall live

5. Lord, please make me a disciple of Jesus gripped by the Gospel who daily clothes myself with the Lord Jesus Christ and also turns away from all that is within me which is in rebellion against You.

Rev. Canon George Sinclair
Church of the Messiah
To listen to the above broadcast, click on the following link:

Sunday, 22 May 2016


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

PODCAST LINK to CFRA broadcast - Sunday, May 22nd, 2016:

You are valuable

Good morning. And welcome to good news in the morning.  My name is Brent Russett. I am the Senior Pastor at Sunnyside Wesleyan Church here in Ottawa. 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 keep up to date with what is happening around Good News Christian Ministries.

            This morning’s program has been sponsored by a Donner who wants to stay anonymous. Thank you so much for your partnership in the gospel this morning.  

            I want to say a special welcome to our international listeners, who listen via the internet. We are glad that you have found us, and that you are finding this ministry an encouragement.

            This morning I want to tell you about how God’s sees you.
            John Burke in his book

            One of my favourite paintings is Rembrandt`s masterpiece The Return of the Prodigal Son. It is housed in the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg Russia and depicts the moving scene in Jesus` parable when, filled with compassion` the father ran towards his wayward son. The son had squandered his inheritance with loose living, but came begging for mercy. The father embraced him saying, `My son was dead but now is alive, was lost but now he`s found` Jesus paints this beautiful, priceless picture in answer to the religious people`s complaint that he “welcomes sinners.” The (Rembrandt)  painting is worth a fortune.

            Now, just imagine if one day you visit St. Petersburg, and there in a back-alley dumpster you discover Rembrandt’s masterpiece, but it’s hardly recognizable. It’s covered in mud and dirt, it’s stained and the canvas has been torn. You wouldn’t recognize it at all, except you notice the famous hand of the father on the ragged son’s back.

            How would you treat the painting? Like trash? It’s covered in mud, stained and torn – is it worthless? Do you treat it like it’s worthless? Or would you treat it like a million dollar masterpiece that needs to be handled with care and restored? I’m guessing that all of us could see past the mud and even the damage to recognize the immense value inherent in this one-of-a-kind work of art – simply because it was created by Rembrandt’s own hand.

            We wouldn’t try to clean it up ourselves; we would bring it to a master, who could delicately restore it to its original condition.

             As I study the life and interactions of Jesus with very sin-stained, muddied people, it becomes evident that Jesus could see something worth dying for in all the people he encountered. Jesus could see past the mud to the Masterpiece God wanted to restore. (Unshockable Love, John Burke Kindle 211-212)

            That helps me understand what God thinks of me, even when I don’t think that much of me. But it also helps me when I think of others. Here is what I want you to know, I think Bill Hybels put it most succinctly. “Lost People Matter to God.”

            We live in a world where people are valued very differently. I don’t know if it is because there are 7 billion people who share our planet right now, or because we are exposed so often to people who seem expendable, like the billion or so people who live on less than 2 dollars a day. But it seems like people are less valuable than they used to be.

            It seems like some people in our world are valued like Rembrandt paintings, and some are valued like the Canadian group of seven paintings, and others are valued your favourite local painter, and then some are valued like high school art paintings, and some are valued like kindergarten finger paintings.  

            Your value depends on your age. You don’t have any value, at least under the law, until the day you are born. The family that you were born into factors into the value. We have seen in the U.S. that the colour of you skin factors into your value. In other parts of the world, your gender factors into your value. Where you were born factors into your value. One North American killed tragically will get more press than a 100 Africans killed tragically.

            But this is not how God sees the world. To him each of the 7 billion people that inhabit this world is a Rembrandt.
MUSIC – You  Love Broke Through – Keith Green 3:31

            One of the world’s big problems is that religious people don’t see the world as God sees the world. In the New Testament book of James the church is warned not give rich people preferential treatment over poor people – why – because we are tempted to value people differently because of the size of their bank account. But God’s valuation of a person doesn’t take into account the size of their bank account.

            But more than that, religious people are prone to value people based on their morality. This is nothing new. It was a problem back in Jesus day, and it is a problem in our day.

            Come with me to our story
Luke 7:36–37 (NLT)
36 One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to have dinner with him, so Jesus went to his home and sat down to eat.* 37 When a certain immoral woman from that city heard he was eating there, she brought a beautiful alabaster jar filled with expensive perfume.

            Jesus was at a dinner party thrown by a Pharisee named Simon. Pharisees, you might remember were incredibly devout, religious people. They studied the scriptures, they cared about their faith, they shared their faith, they did all the right things. They were on a mission. They thought their mission was from God. Sadly, they were mistaken. They were missional, but they were on the wrong mission.

            Now while the diner party was going on this woman crashes the party. The writer leaves little ambiguity as to who she was. She was an immoral woman, a sinful woman. Luke tells us that, Simon the Pharisee tells us that Luke 7:39 (NLT)
39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know what kind of woman is touching him. She’s a sinner!”

            Even Jesus acknowledges this Luke 7:47 (NLT)
47 “I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven.

            There is no question in anyone’s mind what kind of woman she is. But Simon the Pharisee didn’t know that Jesus knew the moral pedigree of the woman. 

            So the woman crashes the party. I want you to imagine this. Jesus and his disciples are around a table. Not a table like you and I would have supper at. The tables in Jesus day were about 20 centimeters or 8 inches of the floor. You kind of reclined around them. Now imagine Jesus and his disciples sprawled around the table and then- This is what the text says

Luke 7:37–38 (NLT)
37 When a certain immoral woman from that city heard he was eating there, she brought a beautiful alabaster jar filled with expensive perfume. 38 Then she knelt behind him at his feet, weeping. Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair. Then she kept kissing his feet and putting perfume on them.


            It is beautiful but it is awkward. What do you do if you were Jesus. If someone gets a picture of this and post it in the Jerusalem Post, it is not going to look very good. This woman who was known for her sexual escapades is kissing Jesus’ feet. Worse than that, letting down your hair in public was seen as very improper. But this woman does, and she wipes Jesus feet with her hair.

            Jesus didn’t push her away. You don’t see Jesus cringing. Jesus accepts what she was doing for what it was.

            Simon the Pharisee is looking at what is happening in his own house and this is what he thinks.
Luke 7:39 (NLT)
39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know what kind of woman is touching him. She’s a sinner!”

            Simon’s assumption was that if Jesus was a prophet then he would know what kind of woman was touching him. And if he knew what kind of woman was touching him, that he would push her away. He would make her stop what she was doing.

            But Simon’s assumption was wrong. Jesus did know what kind of a person she was, and he accepted her for who she was.

            In Simon’s valuation, this woman ranked about the same as a finger painting created by your brother’s grandson’s friend. In Jesus eyes, she was a Rembrandt.

            I wish we could see people as Jesus sees people.

Michelangelo, the master sculptor, the one who created the subline statue of David said,

“In every block of marble I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and action. I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely apparition to reveal it to the other eyes as mine see it.”

…. God, the Master Artist, created you, me, and every person in his image. That image has been hidden under layers of false identities, encased in walls of insecurity and fear, marred and muddied and damaged by the sins of others and the sins we have done. What we often see in ourselves and in others around us is just an unimpressive block of marble with rough, jagged edges protruding. God sees a Masterpiece waiting to be revealed in Christ.
Burke, John (2014-08-26). Unshockable Love:

            Part of the work of the gospel in our lives is that we are given new eyes. Eyes to see how God sees.

            When you come to Christ and give him your life, he forgives you of your sin, he adopts you into his family, he puts his Holy Spirit inside of you, he makes you holy.

            He transforms us from the inside out. That transformation is progressive and it is ongoing. But you know God’s transformation in you has started to make progress when he gives you new eyes. Eyes to see people as he see people. Eyes to look past the mud and the layers of insecurity and fear and see the Rembrandt. Eyes to look into the granite block and see the masterpiece.

            We are conditioned by the society we grow up in to see people a certain way. If you live in some parts of India you are conditioned to see the lower caste as untouchable – not of value. If you grow up in some parts of the Orient you are conditioned to see males as more valuable than females. If you grow up in some parts of Africa you are conditioned to your tribe as more valuable than others tribes.

 When you grow up in Canada we are conditioned to see people with more money, more power, and more education  as more valuable than those who are poor and powerless and uneducated. But that is not how God sees it.

            In Canada, because we are somewhat influence by the Protestant work ethic, we see those who have worked hard and have become a self made person, as more valuable than those who have not. But God sees something different.

            If you grow up in some churches, we are conditioned to see moral people as more valuable than immoral people. But God sees something different.

            We have not been deeply transformed by the gospel until our eyes have been transformed so we see people like God sees people.
            John Burke in his book “Unshockable Jesus” tells the story of Christine. Here is what he wrote.

“She doesn’t deserve a raise!” Christina thought as her co-worker boasted about her salary increase. “Why, Lord? Why do I have to work with such an immoral pagan who acts like a perfectionist with high work standards, then boasts about her low moral standards? I don’t want to constantly hear about her wild-child party endeavors and sexual misconduct, and then watch her get a raise before I do. I can’t stand her!”

 Christina had grown up in the Bible Belt— Christianland— where people would dress nice to go out to Sunday brunch even if they hadn’t been to church, so as to look like they went to church in the eyes of their churchgoing friends. Austin was so different. People didn’t pretend to go to church. In fact, they didn’t even pretend to be moral! Whenever Christina’s co-worker Stacy would cuss or boast of her weekend escapades, Christina felt justified in making sure Stacy knew she didn’t approve.

She kept it subtle, but her disapproval could be clearly felt by Stacy. The longer they worked together, the higher the silent barrier of differences grew. “I could feel Stacy’s dislike for me increasing,” Christina recalls, “but I also felt like I was right and she was wrong. I felt justified, even righteous. But I wasn’t changing her. In fact, if anything I just provoked her to shock me with greater detail and more graphic language.”

Then Christina heard a series of messages about how Jesus treated his enemies and those who deserved nothing good from him. “I started praying for my attitude at work,” Christina recalls, “but I had to fight judgmental, critical thoughts that seemed to justify my behavior. In order to fight those thoughts, I started to pray for Stacy.

God used those prayers to melt through Christiana’s Pharisaical attitude. ….”

As Christina kept praying for her mean, immoral co-worker, she began to get a new thought, “More than just praying for her, I need to care about her.”

Christina recalls, I started looking for ways to serve my co-worker, which meant I had to take interest in her life and find out what she needed. I asked questions and listened a lot. I found out she had cats, and when she told me she was going to be out of town, I volunteered to watch her cats. When she came down with the flu, I brought her meals. When she got a promotion, I organized a celebration party with our co-workers— she was blown away.

 I could tell my newfound attitude was softening her attitude toward me. But what I didn’t expect is that in the process of serving her, God opened my eyes to all the really good things about her that I couldn’t see through my Pharisee-glasses.

While doing Morph, (My church’s spiritual formation program), one assignment had to do with listening to a non-Christian’s deepest desires. I asked Stacy if she would let me ask her some questions about her hopes and dreams. In the assignment, you basically ask two questions: “What do you hope for in life?” and “What are your heart’s greatest desires?” You cannot tell, preach, share your testimony, or do anything except ask clarifying questions, take notes, summarize, and feed back what you hear, encouraging those desires that align with God’s.

 I listened and asked questions for over an hour, and when we finished, Stacy said to me, “I have never had a conversation like that in my entire life.” She was glowing. The following year, Stacy lost her boyfriend and was devastated. She came to me to talk about it, and she asked me why I had been so nice to her. That led to a deeper conversation about life and faith and the work Jesus was doing in my heart.
 As a result, she started coming to church with me, started seeking God, and found faith in him. This woman I could hardly stand, today, is not only a sister in Christ, but also my good friend. None of my disapproval changed her, but learning to value her and meet her at her point of need— that’s what Jesus used to invite her into new life!

Burke, John (2014-08-26). Unshockable Love: How Jesus Changes the World through Imperfect People (Kindle Locations 1579-1595). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

            Maybe you have run into too many Christians who have judged you like Christina judged Stacey. Those Christians do not reflect how valuable you are to Jesus.

            I am going to skip ahead to Luke 15:1 So you can hear Jesus’ heart on this.

            Luke 15:1–6 (NLT)
Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach. This made the Pharisees and teachers of religious law complain that he was associating with such sinful people—even eating with them!
So Jesus told them this story: “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’
“Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins* and loses one. Won’t she light a lamp and sweep the entire house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she will call in her friends and neighbors and say, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost coin.’ 10 In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.”

            Can you see it?  Lost people matter to God. He searches for them. He cares about them. He calls out to therm. He sees in them not just a hunk of stone, but a work of beauty.

            Jesus showed this when he touched the untouchable leper. Jesus showed this as he talked the Samaritan woman. Jesus showed this as he spoke to the widow. Jesus showed this when he went to the houses of tax collectors. Over and over again in the life of Jesus, we see, lost people matter to him.

            Jesus see something of value, something of worth, something of beauty in them.

            Truth is reality from God’s perspective. I wonder if you see the truth about people. Have your eyes been transformed yet? I wonder if you can see yourself from God’s perspective.

Pro baseball player Matt White had an aunt who struggled to make ends meet for years, living on fifty acres of property in Massachusetts. When her health started to decline, she was forced to sell her property to pay for health care. As an act of kindness, Matt bought the land from his aunt for the appraised value of $ 50,000.

 While exploring the land to see about building a house, he discovered outcroppings of stone ledges. Matt contracted a geologist, who surveyed the land and informed Matt this stone had commercial value for patios and landscapes and could actually be sold for $ 100 a ton . . . and he had about 24 million tons on the land. The appraised value on the surface was $ 50,000; beneath the surface the land was worth over $ 2 billion!

 As Jesus looked out at the masses of people, he saw something of great value beneath the surface. “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9: 36). To be like Jesus to others, we must see what Jesus sees beneath the surface that’s of infinite worth to God.

Lord, I pray that you would show each person how you value them, and that how you take them where they’re at, and you want them to become things of beauty, because of what you do in their lives.
I pray this in Jesus’ name, AMEN.

Pray – for God to show each person who he wants to be for them right now.

“ If Good News in the Morning has been a factor in your journey of faith, we would love to hear your story. Nothing could encourage us more in this work.  Contact us by e-mail or Twitter via the web site –

             Thank you for listening this morning.

            This program is on the air by the grace of God and donations of many faithful people. A special thanks to the person who sponsored this program anonymously.

  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.

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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   How deep the Fathers Love for us – Stuart Townsend 3:35

By Rev. Brent Russett
Pastor of Sunnyside Wesleyan Church in Ottawa:
PODCAST LINK to the CFRA broadcast: