Vision: Mission (Colossians 4:2-6)

Big Idea: What’s it going to take to show and tell the gospel to resistant people? It’s going to take three things: prayer, life, and words.

Every month or so, around dinner time, I get an annoying call from a telemarketer. It’s always the same company, and they’re always trying to sell me the same thing: a furnace. And every time I tell them the same thing. I live in a condo. I have no use for a furnace. They always apologize, but then they call back the next month. They just won’t give up. No matter how many times they call, I’m just not in the market for a furnace.

I wonder sometimes if that’s how people feel about us. We’re here today as a church talking about our strategy. This weekend we’re celebrating our second anniversary. Two years ago we held our first service as a brand new church, and right now we’re replanting the church so that we’re as clear as possible about what we’re here to do.

Illustration credit: Seth McBees Napkin Theology'

Illustration credit: Seth McBees Napkin Theology'

And so we’ve talked about our very simple strategy:

Gospel — We exist to go deeper and deeper into the gospel — the good news that God has rescued sinners through the finished work of Christ. We want a gospel doctrine and a gospel culture. We want to keep coming back to Jesus and what he’s done for us. It’s how we begin the Christian life, and it’s how we grow in the Christian life as well.

Community — We also want to experience the kind of community that the gospel creates. The gospel always creates a community. We want to drop the masks and find safety here. Next week we’re beginning small groups, because we believe that the gospel creates community, and Christian growth necessitates community.

Mission — Our church is also about mission. We want people who’ve never heard of the gospel to hear it. We’re here because a lot of people have not heard the good news about Jesus, and we want to experience the beauty of relationship with Jesus.

As we think about missing today — of showing and telling the gospel — we need to face some questions. How do we share the gospel in a community in which many seem to be resistant? How can we share the gospel effectively, when it sometimes feels like we’re about as welcome as the furnace telemarketer? How can we — ordinary people like us — live on mission?

Here’s our problem. We live in what many call a post-Christendom culture. That means that church seems like it’s a fine option for some, but it’s not on the radar of most people. I have a friend who moved from Nashville. He told me that in Nashville, one of the first questions you’d hear is, “Have you found a church yet?” When they moved to Toronto, they discovered that you could be asked twenty or fifty questions when you moved in, but that wouldn’t be one of them. We’re not just dealing with unchurched people who may come back with the right programs or music; we’re dealing with resistant people who don’t think that Jesus or the church have anything to offer them.

I don’t want to overstate the case, because I believe that there are still many people who are open to the gospel. I believe that God is still at work in the lives of many people in this community. But we do have to face the reality that things have changed. Tim Chester and Steve Timmis say this:

If we could place people on a range of one to ten depending on their interest in the gospel, where one is no interest and ten is a decision to follow Christ, lots of evangelism assumes people are at around eight. We teach our gospel outlines. We teach answers to apologetic questions. We hold guest services. We put on evangelistic courses. We preach in the open air or knock on doors. All these are great things to do, but 70 percent of the population is at one or two. (Everyday Church)

Given this, how do we live on mission? How do we show and tell the gospel, sharing the gospel through our lives so that people are invited into community to hear about Jesus?

It’s going to be harder than before. In his book Honest Evangelism, Rico Tice says that people used to generally understand the gospel, so that when Billy Graham came to town, they were ready to be invited and to respond. But then things changed. People began to hold beliefs or objections that had to be dealt with before they could respond to the gospel. Some of the beliefs are: Christians are weird. Christianity is untrue. Christianity is irrelevant. Christianity is intolerant. So you had to work to deal with thee objections and build their trust. Now, things have changed even more. Our culture is defined by tolerance and permissiveness. People don’t engage with faith; they simply dismiss it. Jesus simply isn’t on the agenda; he isn’t even an option to be considered. People don’t think about why they disagree with Christianity; they just think it’s fine for you and not for them. As a result, evangelism takes time and effort. It’s rare to see a person become a Christian very quickly. Things have changed, and in some ways our evangelism has to change as well.

In fact, our evangelism has to change to be closer to what we read about in the Bible, because our situation is closer to the age of the apostles now than it was a few years ago. There’s lots of hope. In today’s passage, Paul is writing to the Colossians, and he gives three important clues about how we can share the gospel in a gospel-resistant culture. What’s it going to take to show and tell the gospel to resistant people? It’s going to take three things: prayer, life, and speech. We’re really going to need all three, because one or two alone probably won’t get the job done.

Let’s look at each one.

First: It’s going to take prayer.

Paul writes in verses 2-3:

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison—that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak. (Colossians 4:2-4)

If we’re going to share the gospel, it’s going to take prayer. “What opens the door, again and again, is prayer” (N.T. Wright). We have a role, but if we ever think that we can accomplish what God has given us to do without prayer, then we’re delusional. How do we show and tell the gospel when many people are resistant? Pray. It always begins with prayer.

One of the things I love about this command is that it’s so accessible. The Colossians were brand new Christians. They were just taking their first steps in the Christian life. Paul was an accomplished missionary who had been halfway around the northern Mediterranean preaching and planting churches. What could the Colossians possibly do to help him? Pray. Prayer isn’t a small thing in evangelism. Paul recognized that unless God opens the door, and unless God enables us through the Spirit, then we’re sunk. Prayer is essential to evangelism.

Notice that Paul doesn’t just say to pray. He says to continue steadfastly in prayer. This is especially important in contexts in which people are resistant, and opposition is expected. We simply can’t do this without prayer. The only way that we can plant this church evangelistically, and see people come to Christ, is if we devote ourselves to prayer.

Friends of mine went to Thailand and India this summer. They both have jobs here in Canada, but they see themselves as missionaries here in Toronto. Their passion is to see people come to know Christ in their neighborhood and workplaces. So they travelled to Thailand and India, and met missionaries there. They wanted to learn lessons about what effective missionaries do there, so that they could be more effective ministries here.

When I saw them a few weeks back, they were changed. They told me that the missionaries said, “We don’t understand what you Christians are trying to do back in North America. You are trying to serve God, but you’re doing it without prayer.” My friends told me that the main thing they learned is that if we are going to get the job done, especially in a resistant setting, it’s going to take prayer. Not just general prayer, but tactical prayer. We’re going to have to ask God to give us insight into particular situations, as well as to pray that he opens doors, and gives us clarity. How do we show and tell the gospel to resistant people? It begins with prayer.

Hudson Taylor, a missionary in China in the 1800s, had a mission station that was particularly effective. There was no accounting for it, because they other stations were equal in devotion and ability. Hudson Taylor was traveling and speaking in England, and after a meeting a man came up and began to ask him about that particular station. Then he began to ask many personal questions. It turned out that the man had been the college roommate of the missionary at that station many years earlier, and he had committed himself to daily praying for the work there. Hudson Taylor said, “Then I knew the answer.”

So pray. I encourage you to pray for individual people, to pray for evangelism in our church overall. I have a friend who walks into a coffee shop and prays that God would direct him to the right person. Pray! Our whole ministry must be bathed in prayer — and certainly our evangelism must be.

This is essential, but it’s not everything. What’s it going to take to show and tell the gospel to resistant people? Prayer, but something else too:

Second: it’s going to take our lives.

Paul writes: “Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time” (Colossians 4:5). “Walk” is a term that refers to the way we live our lives. In other words, Paul is talking about lifestyle evangelism. He tells us that our lives should be compelling demonstrations of the gospel.

But then Paul says that the way that our lifestyles should be marked by wisdom toward outsiders. Paul wants Christians, a minority in a hostile environment, to engage others effectively in proclaiming the gospel. He wants ordinary Christians to demonstrate Christ’s teaching in their lives as they relate to others. It’s about living everyday life with gospel intentionality. Not only that, but he wants us to make the best use of our time. Time is short, and we shouldn’t squander opportunities to evangelize others.

In his book Saturate, Jeff Vanderstelt explains what this can look like. He says that our evangelism can’t be based primarily on church events, because then we’ll be too busy for relationships with people who don’t go to church. Besides, if evangelism is mainly about church events, then evangelism will only happen once or twice a week. Instead, Vanderstelt says:

It must involve everyday life. We need to see that life is the program, because people need to see what it means to follow Jesus in the everyday stuff of life.

We realized we needed to help our people see that life has a normal rhythm. All people everywhere are engaged in things that happen in rhythm— day in and day out. When we engage in these everyday rhythms with Jesus-centered, Spirit-led direction, mission can happen anytime and everywhere, and anybody can be a part of it. 

We needed to train people how to live everyday life with gospel intentionality, showing what it looks like to follow Jesus in the normal stuff. So we asked ourselves: “What are the everyday rhythms of life that everybody engages in everywhere? How can we engage in what is already going on? And how does our submission to Jesus change how we do it?” We knew that if we identified the everyday rhythms of life and trained people to engage in them in light of the gospel with the purpose of making disciples, they would be better equipped to be disciples of Jesus anywhere and everywhere.

Vanderstelt lists six things that we do regularly. All of these are opportunities for us to showcase the gospel in our lives:

  • Eat — “You’re already eating, probably three times a day. Don’t do it alone. Do it with others and watch Jesus join you at the table and change the meal.”
  • Listen — “Quiet your soul and listen to God. And close your mouth once in a while and listen to others. Do both together, and you will find yourself joining in with the activity of the Spirit…”
  • Story — “Know and rehearse God’s story, learn others’ stories, and consider how aspects of God’s story can bring redemption and restoration to theirs.”
  • Bless — Bless others, especially those who don’t deserve it. I heard this week from someone who feels under-appreciated at work. Rather than withdrawing or lashing out, she looks for ways to bless these people, and to treat them better than they deserve, just like Jesus has done for her.
  • Celebrate — Everybody celebrates. Join the celebrations around you, and make them better. Serve. Show people what Kingdom joy looks like.
  • Re-create — Use your hobbies and downtime as ways to connect with others, and to show what true rest in Jesus looks like.

“Live in such a way that it would demand a ‘Jesus explanation,’ Vanderstelt says. That’s exactly what Paul is saying. In our strategy card, we talk about living compelling and attractive lives marked by the gospel. In a resistant culture, that’s what it takes.

Listen: If you understand the gospel, and your life is being changed, then your life will be different. If you eat with others, really listen to others as you listen to the Spirit, if you bless your enemies, and if your life is marked by humility and joy, then it will stand out. Your life will demand a “Jesus explanation.”

What’s it going to take to show and tell the gospel to resistant people? Pray, and then live your life with gospel intentionality. But there’s one more thing that Paul tells us:

Finally: It’s going to take our words.

Colossians 4:6 says, “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” I love what Paul says here. A lot of people think that when Christians talk with people who aren’t Christians, the tone is going to be harsh and judgmental. We’re going to have to set everyone straight. That’s not what Paul says, though. We’re to be gracious to others. It should also be seasoned with salt. That means that our speech to others shouldn’t be boring, but appealing to others. It should leave them wanting more.

I especially appreciate how verse 6 ends: “so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” There is no cookie-cutter approach. We’re going to get questions about the Christian faith. Some of them are going to be difficult, maybe even hostile. Paul tells us to grow in our ability to answer these questions, but in a way that makes the gospel attractive. One commentator puts it this way: Paul expects the Colossian church “to hold its own in the social setting of marketplace, baths, and meal table and to win attention by the attractiveness of its life and speech” (James Dunn).

I want to emphasize that this doesn’t mean that we have all the answers. Many times we can tell people that they have a good question, and that we’ll get back to them. That’s much better than bluffing our way through an answer that doesn’t cut it! It does mean that we are growing in our ability to answer questions and to share the gospel.

St. Francis of Assisi is sometimes misquoted, “Preach the gospel. Use words if necessary.” There’s actually no record of him saying such a thing, which would be funny coming from a man who preached five times a day. He had no problem using words. Besides, as Paul tells us here, sharing the gospel will take our words. We can’t live out the gospel or be the gospel to others. We must speak the gospel. A godly, compelling life is important, but at some point we will need to also tell people about Jesus. So use your words. Be gracious and winsome, but speak of Jesus. Make him the hero. He is worth it.

Most of us are scared of evangelism. Most of us think we can’t do it. Not only that, but we’re overwhelmed in a culture that seems resistant, even hostile sometimes, to the message.

Today’s passage gives me hope. When Paul wrote this letter, he wrote in a setting that was even more hostile to the Christian message. As Paul wrote these words, he was in prison for the gospel, and yet he is full of hope. He writes to a group of new Christians and is full of hope that they will be able to share the gospel effectively. What’s it going to take to show and tell the gospel to resistant people? It’s going to take three things: prayer, life, and words. It may take time. But with God’s help we can do it.

God uses ordinary people like us. Many sociologists have now recognized that “most conversions are not produced by professional missionaries conveying a new message, but by rank-and-file members who share their faith with their friends and relatives” (David W. Pao). God can use us as we pray, as we live ordinary life with gospel intentionality, and as we point to Jesus with our words in as winsome a way as possible.

I want you to take the strategy card that we’ve given you. This is our entire strategy as a church. We want to go deeper in the gospel, deeper into community, and father into mission as a church. It’s not complicated. This is as accessible for all of us, and yet it’s deep enough that we could spend our entire lives doing this.

God wants to use you in a resistant culture to spread his gospel. I want to ask you to apply this today:

  • Pray — Who can you pray for? I have prayer cards, and I flip through them daily as I pray for people. Who can you pray for in your network of relationships? Could you also pray for us as a church, that God would grant us open doors, and that we would be bold to speak the gospel?
  • Live — How can you live your life with gospel intentionality? How can you walk wisely, making the most of every opportunity? How can you eat, listen, story, bless, celebrate, and recreate so that your life demands a Jesus explanation?
  • Speak — How can you speak the gospel? How can you make your faith an everyday, natural part of your conversations with other people? How can you ask questions, pray for opportunities, and then be ready for an opening?

Paul had every confidence that God could use ordinary, baby Christians in a resistant setting. I have every confidence that God can do the same though us. God is on mission, and he can use us as we show and tell the gospel through our lives.


Darryl Dash

Darryl Dash is a graduate of the University of Waterloo, Heritage Theological Seminary, and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He’s married to Charlene, and has two children, Christina and Josiah. Darryl is currently planting Liberty Grace Church in Liberty Village, Toronto. He previously served as pastor of Richview Baptist Church and Park Lawn Baptist Church, both in west Toronto.

How the Gospel Changes Relationships (Colossians 3:1-17)

For a couple of months now we've been looking at the subject of healthy relationships. We just have one week left.

One of the things that I worry about as a series comes to an end is what will change as a result of the series. It's been my prayer that we would change substantially in how we relate to each other as a result of spending time in God's Word looking at how our relationships change as a result of what God accomplished for us at the cross.

I know that after the service is over today, some of you are going to face the challenge, for instance, of forgiveness. I know that another group of us are going to have good reason to be ticked at someone. It's going to be very easy to badmouth them and to voice our displeasure to countless other people. There are going to be all kinds of relational challenges that all of us are going to face. What is going to sustain healthy relationships among us as a church?

Let me tell you what won't work. What won't work is simply trying harder. We know this already. In just a month we're facing a new year. Can you believe it? Someone the other day talked about 2011. I initially thought it sounded so far away that I don't even need to worry about it anymore. 2011 isn't that far away.

The reality is that there are going to be lots of people who make resolutions. Some of them are even going to keep some of them for more than a couple of weeks. We know that willpower and self-power aren't ever enough to bring lasting change. Most of us have tried this, and we've realized that we simply don't have what it takes.

This is especially the case when it comes to the biblical standard of relationships. The truth is that some people do have the willpower to lose weight. Some people do have the willpower to make and keep resolutions. Not many, but some. Nobody has the power to rise to the biblical standard of relationships through self-effort. No-one! We're going to need more than steely resolve if we are going to see our relationships change for the better.

If we're going to change, we have to be connected to a power that's beyond ourselves. The reason why many of us have not changed up until now is that we've been trying on our own power. Let me tell you right now: it simply won't work.

But there's an alternative. In the passage we have before us, Paul tells us how our relationships can change substantively. Paul says that the gospel creates new people and a new community, which makes a new kind of relationship possible. Let me say that again: The gospel creates new people and a new community, which makes a new kind of relationship possible.

Let's unpack that.

First: the gospel creates a new people.

We live in an old house, a wartime house built some sixty years ago. When we moved in the floors had been redone, sort of. They hadn't done a good job. Not only that but the floors had been redone so many times that it wasn't possible to refinish them one more time. We didn't need our floors refinished; we needed a brand new floor.

In the passage before us, Paul says that this is what we need as well. Some of us think that we need a bit of sanding, a bit of polishing, a fresh coat of finish. But look at what Paul says in verses 1-3:

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Paul says that our old self - our lives apart from Christ - wasn't just refinished. This is so important. Our old selves would never have the power to pursue the biblical teaching on relationships. They were done. Our old selves were like the floor that couldn't be refinished; the car that couldn't be repaired; the house that couldn't be fixed; the sickness that couldn't be cured. If we attempt to obey out of our old selves, there would be no hope for us at all.

But Paul says that we died, and that we have been raised with Christ. God hasn't renovated us. He's remade us. He's given us new life. Look down at verses 9 and 10 with me:

Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.

You see what Paul is saying here? You haven't been refurbished. If you have something refurbished, it's been used. You don't know where it's been. But it's been turned in and cleaned up. It's not new; it's just made to look like new. It's like the kid who loves to play outside. His hair is always unkempt and he's always got dirt and bruises all over, because he loves to be out playing in the backyard. His mother calls him in and brushes his hair and puts him in a suit and takes him to a nice restaurant, but underneath he's still the same boy who can't wait to get home and get dirty again. He's been cleaned up but he hasn't been changed. That's not what we need, and it's not what Paul says has happened to us when we came to Christ.

We haven't been refurbished, Paul says. We've been made completely new. This is what gives us hope. We can change in our relationships. Our old selves have been removed and put to death. If you are in Christ then a new self has replaced it. This makes all the difference when it comes to how we can experience all that God has told us about how to have healthy relationships.

But that's not all. The gospel creates new people, but it gets even better.

The gospel also creates a new community.

Read verse 11 with me:

Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

This is staggering. In this verse Paul lists different groups of people who would not normally associate together. The barriers between these groups would be huge. You're talking race, ancestral religion, class and caste. There would be all kinds of suspicion between these groups, which would lead to conflict and unhealthy relationships. You would never want to put a group of these people in the same room and lock the door. This group of people simply would not get along.

So here you have three groups of people, most of whom would be opposed to each other:

  • Gentle vs. Jew
  • circumcised vs. uncircumcised
  • slave vs. free

You may as well add oil vs. water. These three groups just would not get along. Then Paul adds to others to the list: barbarian and Scythian. A barbarian was a bit of a derogatory term. Greeks in that time viewed themselves as being culturally superior, and would mock the way that non-Greeks spoke which sounded to them like "bar bar bar..." So they mockingly called them barbarians. It wasn't a compliment.

And then you have Scythians, a people group from part of what we would today call the Ukraine. It gets even worse. A Scythian was simply an extreme example of a barbarian. They were thought to be the "epitome of unrefinement and savagery." They were a violent, uneducated, uncivilized people. The historian Josephus wrote of Scythians: "Now, as to the Scythians, they take a pleasure in killing men, and differ little from brute beasts."

Paul says that "here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all." These groups that normally would have nothing to do with each other are now part of the new humanity that God is creating. God is creating a new humanity in which differences in background, nationality, color, language, and social standing are completely irrelevant to the question of love, honor, and respect that are to be shown.

When Paul says "Christ is all, and is in all," he means "Wherever one looks, one sees Christ" (N.T. Wright). Think about this. We used to look at others and see enemies. Now we look at others and see Christ.

So when Paul talks about a new people, he's not really talking about new individuals. God is creating a new humanity. The church is really a people who have experienced the saving power of Jesus Christ and who are being transformed into a new community of people. D.A. Carson put it best: "Christians are a band of natural enemies who love one another for Jesus' sake."

The gospel creates a new people, and these new people become a new community.

The result is that a new kind of relationship is possible.

Verse 3 says, "You have died..." Verse 5-10 say:

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.

"You have put to death." Do you see what Paul is saying? Our job is to act out of the reality of what has already happened in Christ. It's possible to be dead and not to put to death the things that characterized our old natures. This is why many of us haven't seen our relationships change. We'e still trying to live out of our own power. Paul says that we have to take what is true in reality, because of what Christ has done, and make it true in our experience as well.

Before you and I were saved, we were like radios that only had one station. Everything we heard was from the vantage point of the old us. When you come to Christ, a new station has been added to your life. But unless you tune in, you will never hear the music.

Many of us are still feeding from the old station and so we are living the old way even though God has given us a brand-new channel. Unless you tune in, however, you will never hear about the power that you have in Christ. What God has done is to give us a new channel once we come to Christ. He wants us to understand that we've been united with Him.

That's why Paul says in verse 10, "Put on the new self..." When you take a shower, you don't put on the same clothes that you had on before. If you did, you'd be canceling out the benefit of the shower. When you clean the inside, you want the outside to match it. Having a clean inside and a dirty outside cancels the point in being cleansed. When you came to Jesus Christ, God gave you a blood bath.

You were bathed in the blood of Jesus Christ. You were cleansed from all of your sins. So Paul says that we are to put on the new self.

The gospel creates new people and a new community, which makes a new kind of relationship possible. And Paul describes what this new kind of relationship looks like in verses 12 to 14:

Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

These are the new clothes that Christ has called us to put on. If we just skip to verses 12 to 14 and try to live them out through sheer willpower we'll fail every time. But if we experience the power of the gospel, which creates new people and a new community, then our job is not to will ourselves into healthy relationships. Our job is simply to tune in to the gospel and make true in our experience what is already true in reality.

Our hope for lasting change in our relationships comes back to Jesus. John Perkins is a man who was beaten in a Mississippi jail, being repeatedly kicked and stomped on as he lay in a fetal position for protection. The beating went on and on as he writhed in a pool of his own blood while inebriated officers took turns, using their feet and blackjacks. At one point an officer took an unloaded pistol, put it to Perkins's head, and pulled the trigger. Then another bigger man beat him until he was unconscious. As the night wore on, it got worse. During a conscious period, one officer pushed a fork down his throat. It was barbarous torture, a great, substantive reason to hate. But this is what happened, as John Perkins tells it:

The Spirit of God worked on me as I lay in that bed. An image formed in my mind. The image of the cross--Christ on the cross. It blotted out everything else in my mind. This Jesus knew what I had suffered. He understood. And He cared. Because He had experienced it all Himself. This Jesus, this One who had brought good news directly from God in heaven, had lived what He preached. Yet He was arrested and falsely accused. Like me, He went through an unjust trial. He also faced a lynch mob and got beaten. But even more than that, He was nailed to rough wooden planks and killed. Killed like a common criminal. At the crucial moment, it seemed to Jesus that even God Himself had deserted Him. The suffering was so great, He cried out in agony. He was dying.

But when He looked at that mob who had lynched Him, He didn't hate them. He loved them. He forgave them. And He prayed God to forgive them. "Father, forgive these people, for they don't know what they are doing." His enemies hated. But Jesus forgave. I couldn't get away from that....

It's a profound, mysterious truth--Jesus' concept of love overpowering hate. I may not see its victory in my lifetime. But I know it's true. I know it's true, because it happened to me. On that bed, full of bruises and stitches--God made it true in me. He washed my hatred away and replaced it with a love for the white man in rural Mississippi.

Let's pray.

Father, as we deal with relationships, we realize that it isn't about just trying harder. It's about seeing what Christ has done. And today we see through Christ you have created new people and a new community, which has made a new kind of relationship possible.

So as we pray, do for us what you did for John Perkins. Allow us to see Jesus, and allow that to change the way we see others. Allow us to live out the reality of what you've accomplished through Jesus. We pray this in his name. Amen.


Darryl Dash

Darryl Dash is a graduate of the University of Waterloo, Heritage Theological Seminary, and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He’s married to Charlene, and has two children, Christina and Josiah. Darryl is currently planting Liberty Grace Church in Liberty Village, Toronto. He previously served as pastor of Richview Baptist Church and Park Lawn Baptist Church, both in west Toronto.