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Sunday, 28 May 2017


Rev. Brian Wilkie
By Rev. Brian Wilkie                                                                                    

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

PODCAST LINK to CFRA broadcast - Sunday, May 28th, 2017:


Broadcast Notes:


Good Morning!  I'm your host today, Brian Wilkie of St. Andrew's Christian Church in Rockland.  As we begin today, my prayer is that The Good News of the Lord Jesus Christ would encourage and strengthen you today!

I gratefully acknowledge today's Sponsor, Eileen Ford. Ilene's friendship, and prayers have been a great blessing during my ministry, Thank you Eileen for four support today.

The Peace of Christ

As be begin today, the theme of my message is the peace of Christ. In my congregational preaching since Easter, I focused on what Jesus had accomplished through the cross and the Resurrection, as the Lord of life, love and peace. And today's scripture addresses the application of God’s peace to the life of believers, and this time Paul addresses the application beginning with two particular people that he knows. Euodia and Syntyche.

Here is God’s word addressed to them and us from Philippians 4:2-

“I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to agree with each other in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you, loyal yoke fellows, help these women who have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life. Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say it: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every thing, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

Now we will get a look at what this means in a few minutes, but first I’d like to have you listen with me, to a song sung by the band Delirious from their album Deeper and it’s called the King of Love. Please listen to it with me.

The theme of peace is such an important one to each of our heart as we go through life, we find our lives unsettled by so many events in the world around us, in our close associations and relationships and even just in our own hearts, as our minds and our emotions sometime come into conflict. So Peace is an important theme in the world today. It’s unfortunate that many, many people these days are filled with anxiety to the point that there’s a lot of people who are being medicated for anxiety disorders. And others are being medicated for other mood disorders because of the lack of peace in their minds. We know that these things occur both because of the chemistry of our brains and also because of the flood of information and the worries that attend life on this planet.

Paul is addressing his church in Philippi. The people that he has worked with to bring people to the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ. And he’s instructing them generally about how to live out their faith, and how to find the fullness of what God has offered them in Jesus Christ. In the middle of this letter, he addresses two women, whose names you can tell I have difficulty pronouncing, Euodia and her friend. Euodia and her friend have worked together with Paul in the past. They’ve worked as a team with Paul and others to advance the cause of God's grace and God's love, bringing that good news to their community, but, and this shouldn’t surprise us too much, these two people have come into conflict. We don’t know the nature of their conflict but we know that they’re people who have worked together in the past, and something has divided them, and they’re lacking in peace.

So Paul does a couple of things. He first of all urges them, each individually, to agree with each other. To come to some kind of terms. To recognize the gifts and the abilities of the other. To respect each other's opinions. What ever it takes, agree with each other in the Lord. That phrase, in the Lord, is important for us as well. That he knows that he can appeal to the most important thing in the lives of these two women, because it’s not Jesus who’s dividing them, but something of less importance. Let’s remember that when we find ourselves in conflict . And he also asks the other members of the congregation, the other believers to help them, to support them as they try to come to some reconciliation.

When he goes into the next paragraph and starts saying, "Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice," we don’t know yet if he’s talking generally to all Christians or whether he’s continuing his appeal to Euodia and her friend. Rejoice in the Lord! Well that’s good advice for people who are caught up in some lesser problem, because problems often take our focus off the really important things. Divisions often take our eyes off the things that unite us. And if they would rejoice in the Lord, remember that joy, then they would be at a place where they can come to peace in their relationship. At least they’d come a lot closer.

You see, they may have lost sight in all their laboring for God, of the love and the grace which moved them into this work in the first place. This does happen among the people of God and maybe some people who are listening to this program today, got fed up with conflict and so on, and have turned away from gathering together with other Christians. It’s unfortunate because God calls us to meet together. To encourage and help one another. But when conflict divides the body of Christ, it undoes so many good things. And so the urging of Paul to Euodia and her friend is an urging to each one of us to be peace makers. As Jesus said in the beatitudes, blessed are the peacemakers for theirs is the kingdom of God. Those who are willing to find ways to dissolve conflicts and continue to work together for the kingdom. Continue to encourage each other and build each other up instead of tearing each other down.

These are people who are peace makers and not only advancing the work of the kingdom, but are themselves enjoying the benefits of being in a relationship with Jesus. In which sins can be forgiven. In which anger can be replaced with hope and joy.

How many people today wish for that kind of peace in their lives? The world definitely needs peace. We are unfortunately inundated by bad news day after day. Moment after moment. What ever channel we turn to on the TV or whatever page we flip to on the internet, we find bad news about attacks, about dangers, about disasters, about troubles everywhere. More than our minds can handle. We need peace in this world. We need peace in our hearts, because without peace in our hearts we can’t be agents of peace in the world. We instead, become part of the problem. Instead of helping to lift people out of desperate situations, we become mired down in them ourselves., and to rejoice in the Lord, to think about the things of God. To agree with each other in the Lord is to find that purpose, which goes on before that momentary struggles of today.

What God is doing is eternal, important and significant. We need something of lasting value; to know what we are building is not going to be washed away with the next storm. To know what we are working towards is something of significance. That is makes a difference in the world. That we aren’t just pushing paper or building sandcastles, we are actually doing something that is of great worth. That gives us peace about our work. You see, even if our lives were easy, and we’ve seen many people who have been destroyed by easy lives, because they find that peace without purpose is empty. They can find all the relaxation and they can find all the pleasures of life, but their hearts remain cold and tired and desperately search for purpose.

God gives us not just quietness, but also a confidence that there is purpose in our lives and in the work that he calls us to do. And another thing about the work God gives us is that it’s hopeful work. When the two women who were in conflict in the Philippians church remember that they are working for the Lord, he tells them –do not be anxious about anything but, in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving present your request to God.

It suggests perhaps that anxiety has crept into the relationship and the work that Euodia and her friend are doing. Is that not what happens so often as we work together. That sometimes we become anxious all the little details and all the things that might not go well. The little failures that cast a shadow on big successes. We find ourselves getting anxious because though we know what we are doing is important. If we fail to have hope, then we will suffer from worry. If instead we remember the Lord and rejoice in the Lord who accomplished all these things on the cross. We will find that we can have purpose and hope together, which can cure us of that anxiety. We can be purposeful and desperate and be full of worry, but if we’re purposeful and hopeful we will be able to move forward.                                                        

We’re going to look into our topic a little bit more, but I did want you to hear some ords from Glen Campbell who reminds us to turn to God in all our needs, as he sings Sweet Hour of Prayer. This is from his album the Inspirational Album.

It’s certainly my prayer for each of us and myself and all of you the listeners of today's program that the peace of Christ will come and richly dwell in your heart, And that’s what Paul wants for us and that’s what God wants for us, for he included these instructions in the word of God. He says do not be anxious about anything but by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your request to God.

When praying and making your needs known to God, it’s important to spend some time not just thinking about your problems, but thinking about the goodness and the greatness of the God to whom you are presenting your prayers. When you are presenting prayers you’re not just making a list of problems which threaten to overwhelm God. You’re speaking to the maker of the whole universe. You’re speaking to one who loves you with an infinite love who has taken your place, taken your sins upon himself on the cross and has suffered even death, in order to bring you into eternal life. So when you’re bringing your petitions and prayers to God, you present them with thanksgiving because God is able to handle it. God is able to help you and lead you and sustain you through any troubles you have It’s with thanksgiving that the peace of God, which transcends all understanding guards your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Laying your burdens before the Lord is an important part of peace. One thing I very much want to encourage you to do because this is a very comforting message, I hope, but I do think that the one of the important things of God calls us to do. As he calls Euodia and her friend to be reconciled, he calls us to the way of peace as well. To come before him not only with the needs that press around us in the world and in our lives , but with also the confession. The confession that we have been misbehaving. That we have been treating others in ways that we shouldn’t. For Euodia and Syntyche they probably had to confess to God the ways they had said hurtful things to each other or the ways that they had been impatient with each other, and they had to come to God and let God change their hearts. And you know as a second step, no doubt, in order to agree with each other in the Lord, they would need to apologize to each other. To confess their sins to each other. And as I have spoken before, when there’s a conflict between two people, there’s usually two people saying, I didn’t start this thing.

But when we recognize that we can take a step to bring an end to the conflict, when we take those steps in humility and we confess our own sins, when we apologize for them, and when we even recognized that we carry bitterness that has just made the situation worse. If we take all these things by prayer and petition with thanksgiving to God, we will find, that the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus.

And so, even in our relationships and I’m reading today this passage as though Paul were talking specifically to Euodia and her friend. When he says what ever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things.

That doesn’t just apply to the goodness of God. It also applies to the people around you. If you concentrate on their faults you’ll find an endless list I’m sure. But if you seek to find the qualities that God has been restoring in them through faith in Jesus Christ. If you seek to see the handiwork of God, the workmanship of their creator in their character, their personality and in their lives. If you seek to see the qualities of redemption and grace then you will find many things that are noble, right and pure in one another. What a way to renew your love for another person than to think about these things and to let those things guide you as you seek to resolve and reconcile the lack of peace in your relationship. To do this before God and to remember the goodness of God is a good uplift for our souls, but take what we’ve learned from God and applying it in loving one another is a great way to restore relationships and find peace.
God desires you to have all the blessings of his son Jesus Christ and he has given Christ to live in our hearts so we are not doing these things without a helper, but with the full strength of the holy spirit and the power of the resurrection working in us. And so we can come with confidence to God and confidence in these situations that we can find peace with God's overwhelming help.

 Now today as we close the broadcast I want you to notice the announcer makes the statement at the end of the program that there’s been a change to our postal address. So if you’re sending financial support or written comments, please pay attention to the new address. And I want to thank again Eileen Ford for being a friend and sponsor for this program.

 Let us turn to God in prayer:

 Almighty God, thank you for making peace between yourself and us through Jesus Christ. Thank you that you continue to reach out to us in love, despite our sin and our rebellion against you. Help us to have the same mind and heart as our Lord Jesus Christ does, as we resolve to be people of peace. Peace in our hearts, peace in our relationships, and peacemakers in the world. We ask that you would bless us with that great gift of the Holy Spirit in fuller and fuller measure, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

And now in a few minutes we’ll listen together to Carolyn Arends interpretations of one of the scriptures which says be still and know that I am God. This song, Be Still, is from her album Love Was Here First.

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

Sunday, 21 May 2017


Rev. Joel Charles

Guest Preacher:
Rev. Joel Charles
Pastor of Shiloh Holiness Church in Ottawa:

PODCAST LINK to CFRA broadcast - Sunday, May 21st, 2017:
Broadcast Notes:

God's Mercy and Our Failures

We’re all imperfect people and we live in an imperfect world. We all experience failures in life.

As a matter of fact, on the very night that Jesus Christ was arrested, before he went to the cross, two of Jesus’ best friends had massive failures.

Judas had the failure of betrayal and Peter had the failure of denial.

So, how does one handle failure?

Well, sadly, Judas rejected the mercy of God and he later went out and took his own life.  But, Peter accepted the mercy of God and he went out and became the leader of the church.

Matthew26:31-36 New Living Translation (NLT)

Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial

31 On the way, Jesus told them, “Tonight all of you will desert me. For the Scriptures say,
‘God will strike[a] the Shepherd,
    and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’
32 But after I have been raised from the dead, I will go ahead of you to Galilee and meet you there.”
33 Peter declared, “Even if everyone else deserts you, I will never desert you.”
34 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, Peter—this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know me.”
35 “No!” Peter insisted. “Even if I have to die with you, I will never deny you!” And all the other disciples vowed the same.

Beware of thinking, “This could never happen to me.”

1Corinthians 10 New Living Translation (NLT)

Verse 12-13:
12 If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall. 13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.

We tend to overestimate our strength. Not only do we overestimate our strength, but we misuse our strength. And when we don’t pay attention to our strengths, they become weaknesses.

It is said that an unguarded strength is a double weakness.

We also fail because we fear the disapproval of others. Every time you make a decision based on what other people will think, you are sowing the seeds for failure in your life.

We see in Matthew 26, that Peter did everything wrong in denying Jesus. But what did Peter do right?

The question is how does one recover from failure?

First you have to grieve it.

To get past most things (especially failures) in life, you have to live through them.
When you grieve your failures, you learn lessons that help you avoid future failings.
In Matthew 26, when Peter heard the rooster crow, he remembered that Jesus had said,  

“Before the rooster crows, you’ll deny me three times. Then Peter went outside and wept bitterly.”

That’s grieving!

In Psalm 51, verse 17, David says to God,

17 The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit.
    You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.

Contriteness is when we say, “God, you’re right, I blew it.”

So we recover from failure when we take the time to grieve.

But, secondly, we recover from failure when we get support.

The first thing Jesus did when he started his ministry, he formed a support group, of twelve disciples. There’s a scripture in Mark16, verse 10, around the resurrection time, Mary Magdalene went and found the disciples grieving and weeping. Notice they were together.
When you go through a major loss in your life, you have to resist the urge to isolate. And you must also resist the urge to insulate, to prevent others from getting in. Both are dangerous.

We were never meant to go through life on our own. We’re better together. We’re meant for community.

The best time to build your support community is before any crisis.

The third thing, besides grieving and getting support to recover from failure, is that you have to cast yourself on God’s mercy.

Peter, himself, wrote about this in the firstbook of Peter, Chapter 1, verse 3. He says, because of His great mercy, God has given us a new life.

God has given us a new life by raising Jesus Christ from death. This fills us with a living hope.

Peter says, (in 1Peter 5:7), to cast all your anxieties on God, because he cares for you.

When you sincerely turn to God, it will amaze you what God will do in you, for you and through you.

In Lamentations3:22-23, it states that the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning. Great is His faithfulness.
God is faithful to us in his mercy, no matter what we do.

Let me show you one of the most amazing verses in the Bible: 2Timothy 2:13:

13 If we are unfaithful,
    he remains faithful,
    for he cannot deny who he is.

God cannot deny himself. God cannot be unfaithful. You may give up on God, but he’s never giving up on you.

That’s the mercy of God.

(Listen to the conclusion of this great message, by clicking on the link, below.) 

By Rev. Joel Charles
Pastor of Shiloh Holiness Church in Ottawa:
PODCAST LINK to the CFRA broadcast: