Encouragement From The Word

Valuing life

When I’m scrolling through my social media feeds, it takes something significant for me to “stop the scroll”.  Reading a post a couple of weeks ago by an acquaintance, whom I met while on a mission trip to India several years ago, made me stop.

As you may know, India is having severe challenges with the virulent spread of the Coronavirus.  Thousands of people each day are dying.

He said that the problem wasn’t that India didn’t have the resources to stop the spread of COVID-19; the problem is that there is a lack of value for human life.

Now, that’s just one man’s opinion, but this is his nation and his culture he’s talking about.  He understands it far better than I ever could.  And this is a sad assessment indeed.

I fear it is not limited to India, nor to the issue of the pandemic.

It’s a deep pond we’d be wading into, filled with quicksand, were we to begin the journey; this is not the forum for such conversation.  But you know the issues as well as I do:  once-civilized societies are demonstrating a lack of value for human life, whether at its beginning, its end, or its middle.

How do we turn that around?

One simple step is for all of us – starting with followers of Jesus, but spreading to all of society – to treat every other person as Jesus would treat him or her.    This doesn’t mean agreeing on everything; it doesn’t mean approving of everything; what it does mean is that each person has value because each person is made in God’s image.

Not every cultural or religious tradition grasps this, but as Christians, we do.

Let’s set the example.

So God created human beings in his own image.
    In the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them” (Genesis 1.27, NLT).

Biblical Messages

Who are you looking for?

For this first Sunday in Lent, we skip over to John 18.1-14 to the last encounter Jesus had before he was led away to be crucified.  “Who are you looking for?” he asked the Roman soldiers.  It’s a good question for us to ask, too.  Learn why in this message, where you can listen or watch via the links below.


Biblical Messages

God’s Masterpiece

Due to technical difficulties, today’s message did not record.  Also due to technical difficulties, the video I showed at the end of the message did not have any audio.  Here’s a link to the video we saw but did not hear!

But here’s the big idea.  Created in God’s image as the pinnacle of God’s creation, that image was stained by sin, and only Jesus can restore it.  By faith in him, and by faith alone, we find that image fully restored and can see ourselves as God’s masterpiece, his workmanship.

If you’ve got self-esteem issues, or are wondering how you “identify”, look to the cross.  Look to Jesus, in whom we are affirmed in Christ as the magnum opus of God’s handiwork.

This message was based on Ephesians 2.1-10.  We’ll get the technology doing its thing again this week.


Encouragement From The Word


Maybe I’ve been living under a rock, but until this week, I had never heard of this supposed trend among certain men to walk up to female reporters (and perhaps others) and offer an exclamation whose acronym is FHRITP. The fact that Shauna Hunt of CityNews in Toronto was willing to call some men out on this abhorrent activity has brought it to light, thanks to the viral nature of social media.

Critics are right to complain that this is unacceptable behaviour. Where does it come from? What would prompt men to disrespect women in this way – or in any other way?

Schools can do all the teaching they want to on values and the like, but if boys (and girls) are not taught at home about the innate value of human persons, it’s not likely to stick. Parents, and especially Christian parents, have a responsibility to teach their children – particularly by modelling it – that everyone deserves respect.

Do you treat your spouse respectfully? Your parents? Your kids? Your friends?

Do you have the guts to call out a friend who treats another person disrespectfully?

After all, as followers of Jesus, we have the greatest reason of all to respect others: all human beings, according to Scripture, are made in God’s image. And that in itself should be enough to enable us to respect others.

What about those who are not followers of Jesus?

Well, there’s one more reason to share the good news of Christ with them!

So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1.27, NLT).