CIT is a gospel-focused church that believes real love, real family, and real life, happens in the church. Whatever your walk and where ever you are in life, God loves you just as you are. If you're in Toronto, we'd love to see you in person at one of our Sunday services. For more information visit us at churchintoronto.com.
Easter: Jesus' Death Removed Barriers - Week 1
The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ are the most important events for Christians. Of the many aspects to the death of Christ, reconciliation is something that we can easily relate to. Jesus' death removed the barrier of sin which alienated us from God. Now we can have access to God.
Follow Me: Discipleship in Mark's Gospel - A Mother's Mission Secures God's Grace - Week 13
She was an educated, accomplished woman from the wealthy commercial city of Tyre. Yet she faced a crisis wealth, education & status couldn’t solve—her daughter’s psycho-spiritual affliction of demon possession. In desperation this mother sought out the visiting Healer-prophet—Jesus. Another obstacle arose—her status as an ‘outsider’ with respect to the Jewish people. But, nothing could deter this mother’s mission.
Jesus’ apparent rejection was harsh, yet it contained glimmer of hope; she laid hold of his enigmatic word, perceived its deeper meaning, and used it to leverage her daughter’s deliverance. As a result, she secured God’s grace despite her undeserving position—and that’s the Gospel! Jesus commended her “great faith” (Matt. 15:28) Yes, her faith was great, but it was also “intelligent faith,” not “blind faith.”
What can we learn from this mother’s quest? A lot: The power of a mother’s love. The value of persistent prayer uttered on behalf of our loved-ones. The need to comprehend God’s Word, to recognize our status within it, and to see how God’s promises & provisions apply to us, so we can claim them for ourselves & our loved-ones. That’s “intelligent faith,” which, combined with persistent prayer, is effective in its working (James 5:16).
Follow Me: Discipleship in Mark's Gospel - Godly Service, Sacrifice, & Rest - Week 12
This week we are looking at Mark 6:7-31. This is another example of one of Mark’s sandwiches. Two stories are told, one begins, gets interrupted and then concludes. But remember, with these sandwiches there is a unifying theme throughout.
This section deals with disciples of Jesus faithfully following him no matter what faces them. Jesus begins by preparing his 12 disciples to go out to preach repentance, cast out demons and heal the sick. The last part of the section, verse 30, sees the 12 returning and telling Jesus all they did and taught. Disciples need to not only listen and learn from Jesus, but also do as he did.
In the middle section, Mark tells the account of John the Baptist’s death at the hands of Herod and his vengeful wife. In spite of being faced with certain death, John remained faithful. What does this story have to do with the first? Why did Mark include it with the going out of the disciples? John lays down a pattern for all disciples of martyrdom and death. While it may seem extreme to us, death because of our faith is a very real experience for many disciples of Jesus throughout history. The challenge? Will we follow Jesus no matter what we are faced with?
There is one last verse, and it’s very instructive. That is verse 31. There Jesus invites his returning disciples to “come away to a remote place and rest.” While our following Jesus often means we are doing things with him, there is another critical, but often neglected element of discipleship. That is rest! We all need to learn to rest with Jesus, and to be refreshed in that rest. Sometimes I think it is fair to say of many disciples that they would rather die doing something than resting and being refreshed by Jesus.
Follow Me: Discipleship in Mark's Gospel - Faith in The Face of Delay and Death - Week 11
The dramatic events this past week have generated anxiety, whether it be COVID-19, oil prices plunging, or stock market crashing. How should we respond to all this? Some responses seem motivated by fear--panic buying of groceries, household goods. How do we find faith that overcomes fear?
In this episode, teaching pastor Nigel talks about these topics and "Faith in The Face of Delay and Death".
Follow Me: Discipleship in Mark's Gospel - The Invasion of the Mustard Seed - Week 10
This week we look at Mark 5:1-20 where we see Jesus take his first mission into Gentile territory. After one episode with a demon-possessed man, all Jesus gained there was that very same demon-possessed man now fully restored. Some would say that was not much of a mission, and from a result’s oriented stand point they could be right.
But Jesus had laid down a principle in Matthew 4 about mustard seeds: they have great potential, and they grow! While something may seem small and altogether incapable of bringing about real life-change to people, that seed has a potential in God’s hands to do just that. How did Jesus begin his invasion into gentile soil? He gained one man and sowed him into that soil. What was the result? Growth! In Mark 7:31-8:9 Jesus returned to that very same area that the restored man was sown into some time later. And this time, thanks to all the sowing the restored man had done, Jesus was able to heal and speak to thousands of people! One seed may not look like much, but in God’s hands, and with a willingness on our part to plant seed in others, God brings about the growth of his kingdom on earth. Are you part of the invasion?
Follow Me: Discipleship in Mark's Gospel - Relentless Growth - Week 9