WHAT IS GOOD NEWS FOR TODAY?
15-Aug-21 | Num. 21:4-9; Jn. 3:14-18 Today's Good News Heals the Soul | Ptr. Narry Santos
08-Aug-21 | Jn. 3:1-8 Today's Good Newa Brings New Life | Ptr. Jon Bernardo
IT’S ALL GOOD NEWS!
Dr. Steven Lawson said, “No one can be saved until they know they are lost. No one believes the good news until they know the bad news.” This is an apt description of the conversation that Jesus had with Nicodemus – a man who thought that he had lived up to everything humanly possible to get right with God. Jesus gave him the bad news but also gave him the good news – it is possible to get right with God, but not through the human credentials, merit, and work that we think would get us there. It was God who initiated and completed this work – and He did it through something and Someone who made this all possible. And folks, this is all good news for us!
- Good news of a new __________ (vv. 1-3)
- Good news from a new __________ (vv. 4-8)
- Good news of a new __________ (vv. 13-15)
- Application / Celebration / Inspiration
01-Aug-21 | Jn. 1:14-18 Today's Good News Brings Fresh Grace | Ptr. Narry Santos
TODAY’S GOOD NEWS BRINGS FRESH GRACE
This Sunday, we start a new short series on “What Is Good News for Today?”, based on selected passages from the Gospel of John. Given our pandemic challenges, what can we consider as good news? Good news (or gospel) is found in Jesus, whom the Gospel of John describes vividly as full of grace & truth (1:14). Based on Jn. 1:14-18, we see the word “grace” 3x (1:14, 16, 17), which is our foundation of good news. What do we need to remember about such grace?
- GOD IS THE SOURCE OF ALL GRACE (1:14-15)
God’s grace is reflected in His glory (the greatness & grandeur of God). In the Old Testament, God’s glory is seen in the word “shekinah” (to dwell or appear). In the New Testament, it is evident in the “glory of the One & Only,” who is Jesus, who tabernacled or dwelt among us (1:14) & who is full of grace & truth. The good news of God’s grace & glory is found in Christ.
- WE RECEIVE GRACE THAT NEVER RUNS DRY (1:16)
We are recipients of God’s grace that He reveals in Jesus (the Word, life, and life). The fulness of His grace is described as “grace in place of grace” (NIV), “grace upon grace” (NASB), or “one blessing after another” (GNT). The good news of God’s grace shows that it never runs dry.
III. JESUS REVEALS THE BEST OF GOD’S GRACE (1:17-18)
“Grace & truth comes through Jesus Christ” (1:17b), who is also described as the “God the One & Only” (1:18a). Jesus clearly makes known (exegetes) who the Father is (1:18b). The good news is that Jesus reveals the Father in all His grace & glory.
GOD'S CONTROL OF WHAT IS AHEAD
25-Jul-21 | Jer. 33:1-3 God Wants Us to Cal on Him| Ptr. Jon Bernardo
JUST A CALL AWAY
This Sunday, we’re ending our short sermon series in Jeremiah with a verse within a passage that has often been dubbed as God’s phone number. While that’s certainly encouraging, there’s so much more we can learn about God than knowing how to get a hold of Him.
At the time the Lord made this revelation to Jeremiah, Judah was besieged by a foreign empire bent on breaking its knees. God’s command through Jeremiah came with a promise of hope – one that God, as He does, follows through and eternally completes through His son, Jesus Christ.
May the story of Jeremiah and the message he spoke bring a transforming conviction in your heart as you again come before His enduring love and grace.
- God’s call is a personal ____________
- God’s call has purposeful ____________
- God’s call has promising ____________
- Application / Celebration / Inspiration
18-Jul-21 | Jer. 29:10-14 God Knows What Is Best for Us | Ptr. Narry Santos
GOD KNOWS WHAT’S BEST FOR US
By Pastor Narry Santos
This Sunday, we continue the short series on “God’s Control of What’s Ahead,” based on selected passages from Jeremiah. God’s sovereignty is surely evident today, as it was in the past. His control will continue over our life, family, church and the world, no matter what happens. This is what Judah (Israel’s southern kingdom) experienced during its exile in Babylon for 70 years. Based on Jer. 29:10-14, what 2 realities help us understand God’s full control, even during this continuing pandemic?
- I. THE BEST IS YET TO COME (29:10-11)
Despite Judah’s 70-year exile in Babylon (29:10a; see 25:11), God is committed to fulfill His gracious will & plan for the people (29:10b, 14b). He acts with love & commitment to His people. He knows & does what’s best for them (29:11a). In fact, even in exile, they can prosper by building (settling down [29:5a]), blooming (being fruitful & productive through starting families [29:6] & providing sustenance [29:5b]), & blessing (seeking peace & prosperity in exile [29:7a] & pray for the city [29:7b]). Even in trying times, God wants us to thrive & flourish. Then in the future, God will bring about better times (29:11b). He will initiate things to happen for our best (see Deut. 30:3-5). Claim that the best is yet to come.
- IT’S BEST TO KNOW GOD BEST (29:12-14)
God told the Jews in exile to come to Him, pray to Him (29:12a) & seek Him (29:13a), assuring them that He would listen (29:12a) & be found by them (29:13b, 14a) when they seek Him fully (29:13c). God allows us to be in exile-like circumstances, so that we would seek Him (see Acts 17:26-27). To know God best, we need to seek Him first (see Matt. 6:33).
11-Jul-21 | Jer 1:4-10 God Is Still Sovereign Over Us | Ptr. Jon Bernardo
GOD IS STILL SOVEREIGN OVER US
We are in the first sermon in this new series called: “God’s Control of What Is Ahead” – focusing on selected passages in the OT book of Jeremiah. An important series because we’re all asking what’s ahead. What is looming in the horizon with all that’s been happening? We’ll use the backdrop of Jeremiah’s story and message to again glean important truths about God and the gospel
You may be surprised about this Sunday’s sermon title as if we don’t already know this. As with many common truth of the Bible and God’s nature we need to not just be reminded of them but we need to know the deeper implications of this truth in how we worship God and walk appropriately in the truth of who God is and what that means for the whole world. God’s sovereignty hasn’t waned or weakened, and that is an encouraging and an empowering truth in our day as we see human institutions failing; as the structures and resources we’ve relied on have been crumbling. God is not only in control (as He has always been) but He remains passionate to see that His bigger purpose and plan for us accomplished according to His love.
- Rely __________ in what God knows (vv. 4-5)
- Rest __________ in what God can do (vv. 6-8)
- Remember __________ how God loves (vv. 9-10)
- Application / Inspiration / Celebration
CULTIVATING A CULTURE BEYOND OURSELVES
04-Jul-21 | Matt. 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; Rev. 7:9-12 - God's Call for All Nations in Canada | Ptr. Narry Santos
GOD’S CALL FOR “ALL NATIONS” IN CANADA
(Matt. 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; Rev. 7:9-12)
Happy Post-Canada Day! As we celebrate this special occasion, we thank God for how He providentially brought us to a nation, where the nations of the world have moved to call it their new home. It is not by accident that we are in Canada. It is not by accident that we live in the midst of the most multicultural place in the world. It is not by accident that God mandated us to care for the people from different cultures around us. Why must we minister in a multicultural way?
I. GOD’S PASSION INCLUDES “ALL NATIONS” (Matthew 28:18-20)
The Great Commission is nothing less than global. Jesus commands us: “Go and make disciples of all nations” (Matt. 28:19a). The word “nations” comes from the Greek word, ethane, where we get the English words “ethnic” & “ethnicity” – which refer to “people-groups.” Though the gospel is to be shared individually, the scope of sharing it is for “all nations.” The blessing of being in Canada is that almost “all nations” are now at our doorstep. God is so passionate in caring for “all nations” that Jesus promised, “I will be with you always, to the very end of the age” (28:20b). Let’s be passionate for what Jesus is passionate for – “all nations.”
II. GOD’S PLAN INVITES “ALL NATIONS” (Acts 1:8)
God’s Great Progression begins with our “Jerusalem” (i.e., local area; same people group [Jews]), then with our “Judea & Samaria” (i.e., distant area; similar people group [Samaritans = half-Jews + half-Gentiles), & ends with “the ends of the earth” (i.e., remote area; different people group [Gentiles]). Let’s go out of our comfort zone to reach “all nations.”
III. GOD’S PARTY INVOLVES “ALL NATIONS” (Revelation 7:9-10)
God’s Great Celebration will be in heaven in the future for God’s people. Those who will celebrate will be “a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people & language” (Rev. 7:9a; cf. 5:9b). This great multitude, which will “come out of the great tribulation” (7:14), will worship God, saying: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, & to the Lamb” (7:10). Let’s take as many as we can to be part of such a great multitude from “all nations.”
20-Jun-21 | Rom,15:1-13 Habit of Strength: Accept One Another | Ptr. Narry Santos
HABIT OF STRENGTH: ACCEPT ONE ANOTHER
Happy Father’s Day! Fathers need to develop the habit of strength: accepting others, just as Christ accepted us. Romans 13:1-13 shows us that the way to develop this habit is by becoming imitators of Christ (15:2, 5, 7). This passage also concludes the way we are called to treat other believers (the first way is in 14:1-2 [without judging them] & the second way is in 14: 13-23 [without hindering their spiritual growth]). How do we become imitators of Christ?
- BUILD UP OTHER BELIEVERS (15:9-5)
Paul picks up the language of “strong” (in conviction, conscience, & concession, so that they are free to eat anything [14:2], treat each day alike [14:5], or drink wine [14:21]) and “weak” (who eat vegetables only, consider some days sacred, & not drink wine). We are to not despise the weak but bear with them & not please ourselves (or be self-focused like a self-contained unit) (15:1b). Going beyond ourselves is to think of the welfare & lasting benefit of other believers & to build them up (15:2b, or “edify” them [14:19]) or to love them [13:9]. Jesus is the best example of doing this (15:3; see Jn. 4:34; 5:30; 8:29), as He claims in 15:3b (quoted from Psalm 69:9, referring to Jesus’ suffering at the cross as a result of doing His Father’s will). Jesus’ example (along with other examples in Scriptures) moves us to endure & be encouraged with hope (15:4). This moves Paul to give a benediction (15:5-6) that focuses on God, unity (to think the same, to live in harmony), following Christ, & glorifying God.
- ACCEPT ONE ANOTHER (15:6-13)
Paul then gives a reflexive command: “accept (or receive) one another” (15:7a; 14:1). The motivation for mutual acceptance is the acceptance of us by Jesus (15:7b), just as God accepts the strong & weak (14:3b, 6-8). Jesus showed this acceptance to all believers, even though we were “powerless” (5:6a) & “ungodly” (5:6b) “sinners” (5:8) before we became believers. Habitual acceptance brings praise or glory to God (15:7c). But the challenge in applying this command at that time was the acceptance of Gentiles by Jews & the acceptance of Jews by Gentiles. They were enemies before they were in Christ. But Paul reminds them again of the example of Christ, who served the Jews (15:8) & benefitted the Gentiles (15:9-12), even though they did not have a covenant from God, they received mercy (15:9) & as a result could rejoice in Him (15:9-11). This moved Paul to again give a benediction (15:13) that focuses on God, hope, joy, peace, trust, and the Holy Spirit.
13-Jun-21 | Rom.13:1-7 Habit of Submission: Give to Caesar What Is Caesar's | Ptr. Jon Bernardo
HABIT OF SUBMISSION: ACKNOWLEDGING AUTHORITIES
In our current series “Cultivating a Culture Beyond Ourselves”, we explore all dimensions of our relationships in the world as Christ teaches us to look after the things that concern others – even more than our own.
This Sunday, we’ll address a part of our Christian life that we seldom talk about – and that is our relationship with governing authorities. In Romans 12, the apostle Paul puts an emphasis on the Christian’s relationship with other people – both within the church as in our relationship with fellow followers of Christ – and then with everyone else. Here in the first part of Romans 13 – particularly in verses 1-7, the apostle Paul extends that discussion within the realm of civic authorities, i.e., world governments who are in charge of keeping the rule of law and social justice.
What is expected from a follower of Christ when it comes to their relationship with the governments of the world for which they are a part of as citizens? What does the Christian’s personal relationship with Christ have to do with their responsibility to these governments? And what if the Christian’s obedience to those who are in authority come into conflict with their obedience to God? The answers are not simple so we look to God’s word for wisdom.
- ________ of Government: Submit to authorities because God is in ___________ (vv. 1-3)
- ________ of Government: Submit to authorities because they are God’s _________ (vv. 4-6)
- ________ to Government: Submit to authorities because to God it’s _________ (v. 7)
- Inspiration / Application / Celebration
06-Jun-21 | Joint GCFT Peel, Halton & York | GCF York 10th Anniversary | Ptr. Narry Santos
REMEMBERING TO GIVE THANKS TO GOD
As we celebrate with GCF Peel and GCF Halton the 10th anniversary of GCF York, we remember to give thanks to God. To recall who God is and what He has done is enough reason for us to rejoice. A major church milestone is a call not just to celebrate but also to praise and thank God for the great works He has done for us. Psalm 136, which is often referred to as the “Great Hallel,” reminds us to rehearse God’s character and acts of wonder. Using antiphony (or responsive alternation between 2 groups), this psalm’s theme is to praise the Lord who did great works, and its refrain is because of His enduring loyal love (seen 26x in 26 verses). How do we celebrate together?
- GIVE THANKS TO GOD (136:1-3, 26)
The psalmist calls us to praise and thank the Lord (136:1a, 2a, 3a, 26a). The basis for this call is the nature and character of God: (1) His goodness (136:1a); (2) His love (136:1b, 2b, 3b, 26b); and (3) His name (Lord [136:1a], God of gods [136:2a], Lord of lords [136:3a], and God of heaven [136:26b]). The Lord’s loyal love refers to His covenant faithfulness to His chosen people whom He loves. Let’s always praise and thank God!
- REMEMBER GOD’S GREAT WORKS (136:2-25)
The psalmist proceeds from the call to praise and thank God to the cause for the praise and thanks. The introductory summary of this cause is contained in the words “who alone does great wonders” (136:4a). God’s marvelous acts are evident in creation (136:4-9), in history (136:10-24), and in providing food for all (136:25). All of these great wonders are given by God as tangible expressions of His redeeming and sustaining love. Let’s always remember God and His great works!
30-May-21 | Rom.12:9-21; 13:8-14 Habit of Selfeshness: Love People Sincerely | Ptr. Narry Santos
HABIT OF SELFLESSNESS: LOVE PEOPLE SINCERELY
We have discovered 2 habits that cultivate culture beyond ourselves: (1) habit of sacrifice; & (2) habit of service. Today, we will look at the habit of selflessness: loving people sincerely. Romans 12:9-21 presents a lengthy series of short commands (usually in positive & negative pairs; 12:9, 11, 16-20) on social relationships, whether with believers or unbelievers. What 3 ingredients of selflessness make us go beyond ourselves?
- LOVE: ATTITUDE THAT ATTRACTS OTHERS (12:9-13)
Love is attractive. It has 3 descriptions: (1) “sincere” (12:9a) – without hypocrisy; (2) “hate what is evil” (12:9b); & (3) “cling to what is good” (12:9c). It is seen in 2 ways: (1) “be devoted in brother love” (12:10a)—with family affection; & (2) “honour one another above yourselves” (12:10b; Phil. 2:3). It is evident service (as a “slave”) in 2 ways: (1) “never lacking in zeal” (12:11a)— not hesitating, shrinking, or lazy, but diligent; & (2) “keep your spiritual fervor” (12:11b)—literally “boiling” in excitement. Service is also shown in 3 attitudes: (1) “joyful in hope” (12:12a; cf. 5:2-5); (2) “patient in afflictions” (12:12b)—steadfast endurance under pressure; & (3) “faithful in prayer” (12:12c)—persistent & diligent to pray. Love is shown by sharing to others in 2 ways: (1) “sharing with God’s people who are in need” (12:13a; cf. Acts 2:44-45; 11:27-30; 15:25-27); & (2) “practice hospitality” (12:13b)—pursue friendliness to strangers.
- BLESS: RESPONSE THAT FEELS FOR OTHERS (12:14-16)
To bless others (12:14; Matt. 5:44; Luke 23:34; Acts 7:59-60), which is the new way to love, is a commitment to respond in selfless ways, whatever be the action or emotion of others. To bless involves empathizing with others, whether believers or unbelievers, by: (1) rejoicing with those who rejoice & mourning with those who mourn (12:15); (2) living in harmony with one another (literally, having the same attitude toward one another) through humility (negatively: “do not be proud” & “do not be conceited”; positively: be willing to associate with people of lowly position; 12:16).
III. PEACE: RELATIONSHIP THAT OVERCOMES OFFENSES (12:17-21)
Avoiding retaliation (12:17a) & revenge (12:19a), doing what is right (in the ethical sense of good, noble, & honorable; 12:17b) & relating in peace (or living in harmony as much as possible, 12:18) overcome evil from enemies. The motivation to do this is that to avenge is not our domain; it is God’s (12:19-21; Prov. 25:21-22). Rom. 12:21 gives a summary for attaining peace.
23-May-21 | Rom.12:3-8 Habit of Service: Use Your Gifts for Others | Ptr. Jon Bernardo
HABIT OF SERVICE: GIFTED TO GIVE
The fruit of sacrifice for God’s glory is service to others. Sacrifice must result in service while service must involve sacrifice in presenting one’s self to God as a living sacrifice according. That phrase “living sacrifice” means that in everything and in everyday must be lived as a means to worship God.
God gifted His people so that He can demonstrate His grace in very practical terms, which means that we receive gifts not so we can keep them but so that we can release them. In other words, God blesses us so we can bless others. What we receive by God’s grace must be given away by the same measure of faith that God has given. Everything comes by His grace so everything must be done for His glory through the generous giving of ourselves for the sake of others. Isn’t this exactly the same thing that Christ did for us so that we may follow in His footsteps? What gifts has God given you? How are you using it to serve others?
- APPLICATION: ____________ God’s gifts for ____________ (vv. 6-8)
- CELEBRATION: ____________ God’s glory through ____________ (vv. 4-5)
- INSPIRATION: ____________ God’s grace in ____________ (v. 3)
16-May-21 | Rom.12:1-2 Habit of Sacrifice: Give Everything to God | Ptr. Narry Santos
HABIT OF SACRIFICE: GIVE EVERYTHING TO GOD
This Sunday, we start a 6-part series entitled “Cultivating a Culture Beyond Ourselves,” based on Romans 12-15. To cultivate this culture, we need to develop 6 habits (of sacrifice, service, selflessness, submission, strength, & sharing). Our 1st message in this series focuses on the habit of sacrifice (which refers to giving everything to God). Based on Rom. 12:1-2, how do we give our everything to God?
- OFFER OURSELVES TO GOD (12:1)
Paul begins his practical pleadings based on God’s mercy (i.e., His compassion to deliver us out of sin & misery). Then Paul exhorts us to offer (or yield) our bodies (or total being) as living, holy & God-pleasing sacrifice (cf. 6:13, 19). We then are able to do what worships or serves God. What’s the point here? A life totally lived for God greatly pleases Him. Let us then use every part of us to please Him!
- OVERHAUL OUR MINDS (12:2)
A dedicated life leads to a transformed life that discerns God’s will & delights Him. Two commands need to be obeyed: (1) do not be conformed to society’s standards; & (2) be transformed (coming from the word translated “metamorphosis,” meaning total change from the inside out). Transformation (cf. 2 Cor. 3:18) happens with the renewal of the mind (cf. 2 Cor. 11:3; 4:4; Phil. 4:8). The battle is won in the mind. Let’s rethink how we think. When we do that, we prove by testing (or ascertaining) God’s good, pleasing & perfect will. Let’s commit to always mind our mind!
SOUL CARE: CURE FOR THE WEARY LIFE (Studies from the Old Testament Sages)
09-May-21 | Mother's Day | Ptr. Jon Bernardo
BOLD, BLESSED AND BEAUTIFUL
Bold, blessed and beautiful! Do you think that about yourself as mothers and women in general? The years may have taken a toll on you causing you to not feel remotely bold, blessed or much less beautiful. But take heart. If you’re not feeling or thinking this way about yourself, then maybe after this sermon you will begin to think of yourself differently through the eyes of the One who gave you reason to be bold, blessed and beautiful. God tells us through the teachings of Paul, Peter, and the Proverbs that women were meant to be bold, blessed and beautiful as they commit and live their lives to honor God – the radiance of an external beauty that comes from the inner beauty of a redeemed soul.
- Boldness to learn ____________ (Titus 2:3; 1 Peter 3:1-2)
- Blessed by loving ____________ (Titus 2:4)
- Beautified by living ____________ (Titus 2:5; 1 Peter 3:3-6)
- Inspiration / Celebration / Application
02-May-21 | Colossians 2:6-7 GCF - Halton 2nd Anniversary | Ptr. Ferdie Umali
ROOTED AND BUILT UP IN CHRIST!
The Lord Jesus Christ wants His followers to have progress in their spiritual lives. Anticipating that challenges will come along the way (cf. John 17:14-15), He knows that unless His people will be “rooted and built up” in Him, they will be easily swayed back and forth by the cunning doctrines and the craftiness of the people around them (cf. Eph 4;14).
The apostle Paul was committed to trust in Jesus in his spiritual journey. And in this Bible text, he reminds the Colossians to not only learn the fundamentals of the faith but also to live by it and to lean on Jesus Christ alone in their daily life. There are three steps that are laid out here in order for us to progress in the right direction or path.
I. To receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior (v.6a) – SALVATION
II. To live in Christ continually (v.6b) – SANCTIFICATION
III. To overflow with thankfulness (v.7c) – SATISFACTION