Perfect Lamb

The Perfect Lamb

29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

John 1:29

Jesus is the Lamb of God. This title has been repeated throughout the Bible’s history. It is found right at the beginning, near the creation and just after sin.

21 Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.

Genesis 3:21

God had to kill an animal to cover the nakedness of Adam and Eve. Although it is not stated, we believe that it was a lamb, the first sacrifice and first physical lesson about the Lamb of God.

But the Bible says that it couldn’t just be any lamb. It had to be perfect for sacrifice.

Your lamb shall be without[a] blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats.

Exodus 12:5

Just as the physical lamb could not have any blemishes, Jesus too had to be a perfect sacrifice. His life could not be stained with sin. His actions but be perfect and blameless. How hard it must have been for a human Jesus to live an entire life in this sinful world with all its temptations and not succumb. But Jesus did it.

For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

2 Corinthians 5:21

Just as the image of the Lamb of God is seen right at the beginning, it is also present at the end.

But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.

Revelation 21:22

The Lamb of God, Jesus, is the Alpha and Omega. He was at the beginning at will be at the end. He was God’s perfect sacrifice and the only reason we have hope in this world. Let us never forget that.

God bless,

Pr. Steven Couto

Teaching and Hearing

Teaching and Hearing

30 So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?” 31 And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him.

Acts 8:30-31

The story of Philip in Acts 8 is one of my favorite evangelistic themed stories. It’s amazing to see God directing this faithful man so vividly.

26 Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, “Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is desert.

Acts 8:26

How great would it be if God also spoke to us like this? Perhaps he does or he would like too. What would be keeping God from doing a similar act with us? We know it isn’t because God has gotten tired of trying to save mankind. Why know it’s not because he’s too busy or no longer has the power. We also know it isn’t because the need is no longer there. So what is it?

27 So he arose and went.

Acts 8:27

Perhaps this is the answer. God spoke to him because he knew that Philip would do it right away without hesitation, fear or excuse. Perhaps we are the ones that aren’t ready to accept the words that God wants to give to us. Perhaps we’re too busy with our own work to do God’s work.

Or perhaps God is speaking to us but we refuse to listen because of all the distractions and noise of the world. When was the last time you took real time off to listen to God?

There’s a lot of guessing and questioning here but one thing is certain. The work is still desperately needed. If God is to come, we must do our work of spreading the gospel. Look at your own life and see if you can’t figure out why you’re not being guided in the same way Philip or the other disciples were in the Bible.

36 Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?”

Acts 8:36

This is the future that could be in all our lives. Instead of struggling to reach people to hear about Jesus, people will be asking us to know more and be baptized.

God bless,

Pr. Steven Couto

Pure and Filled

Pure and Filled

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Psalms 139:23-24

Imagine being at a restaurant and ordering a really expensive and delicious dish. The food comes out of the kitchen, sizzling and filling the room with a beautiful smell. The food is put in front of you, you look down at it and realize the food is on a dirty, grimy plate. Old, dried food is still stuck and molding on the plate. It doesn’t matter how tasty the dish may be, the plate will ruin your appetite.

The same is true with Christians. We have a delicious and nourishing food to give to others- the bread of life and water of life. If we serve that food however on dirty and sinful plates, our own lives, it quickly ruins the food to those who are receiving it.

Hypocrisy is probably the greatest problem of the Christian when it comes to evangelizing. People hear messages of love, peace and joy but then see none of those attributes in the person who is sharing it.

That is why the Psalm says ‘Search me, God’ and ‘See if there is any offensive way in me’ because the psalmist knows how important it is to be clean and pure, not only for their own salvation but also in helping others with theirs.

This month, as we continue with the theme of Personal Ministries, there are two important things we have to do in preparation.

The first is to make sure that we ourselves are clean and that we are good examples when it comes to the messages and promises that we will be sharing about Jesus. That new life should be found in us.

The second is that we are filled with the spirit so that we have something truly valuable and worthy to give. We can only give what we have. We can’t be like the five unwise virgins who had lamps but not enough oil themselves to make it through the night. We should strive to have enough oil to not only fulfil our needs but also to share with others.

Both of these important points that were mentioned are wrapped up in one simple verse.

18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit,

Ephesians 5:18

God has a mighty work ready for us to be a part of. Let us get prepared and move forward in faith.

God bless,

Pr. Steven Couto

Beautiful Feet

Beautiful Feet

11 How beautiful on the mountain are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”

Isaiah 52:7

As we enter into the month of March, we will be looking at Personal Ministries, or in other words, the mission that God has given to us individually. We are all important and carry a great responsibility. The Bible says, “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.” 1 Corinthians 12:7. We all carry the Holy Spirit within our hearts and with that power and a mission to accomplish.

Those that believe in evolution, use vestigial organs, as proof or support for the theory. Vestigial organs and parts of the body that no longer have use or function. Tonsils and our appendix used to be considered vestigial organs that is until we began to learn that they do in fact still carry importance. The appendix is connected with the immune system, specifically the lymphoid tissue.

In humans, the appendix also harbors a layer of helpful gut bacteria—a fact discovered by scientists at Duke University. In a 2007 paper, they proposed that it serves as a “safe house” to preserve these microbes, so that when the gut microbiome is hit hard by illness, we can replenish it with good guys holed up in the appendix.

As for our tonsils, a study done on 1.2 million Danish Children had the following results:

Over a follow-up period of 10 to 30 years, the 5 percent or so who had one or both sets of organs extracted before age nine were found to have a twofold to threefold higher rate of upper respiratory diseases and higher rates of allergies and asthma.

The more we study, the more we learn that there actually are fewer and fewer and probably no vestigial organs in our bodies. God made us whole, complete and perfect.

The same is true for the church. There are no vestigial members in churches. There are no members who have no purpose. We are all unique and special and because of that have a unique and special purpose within the church.

Find what your purpose is and help in creating a healthy growing church.

God bless,

Pr. Steven Couto

A Bright Future

A Bright Future

11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. 

Jeremiah 29:11-13

As America inaugurated a new president in Joe Biden earlier this year, I have to say that most of the attention was not on the new president but on a young woman named Amanda Gorman. She read a poem entitled ‘The Hill We Climb’ and the words encapsulated the reality of many who heard her.

When day comes, we ask ourselves, where can we find light in this never-ending shade?

The loss we carry. A sea we must wade.

We braved the belly of the beast.

We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace, and the norms and notions of what “just” is isn’t always justice.

And yet the dawn is ours before we knew it.


Her words asked the question for tomorrow, not just for those who have been on top but to everyone under the sun. When will we find the victory?

When day comes, we step out of the shade of flame and unafraid.

The new dawn balloons as we free it.

For there is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it.

If only we’re brave enough to be it.


As Christians, these words could not be more true. God doesn’t just want us to accept the light which he’s offering us but to be the light for those around us.

14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.

Matthew 5:14-15

We are not just to embrace the future of light that God has given us, but to become that light and share it with others. God has a future for everyone of us. Let us embrace it.

God bless,

Pr. Steven Couto



 A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones.

Psalm 17:22

Anderson Ruffin Abbott was born in Toronto on April 7, 1837. Although his parents were both black and from Alabama, they were ‘free people of colour’ who after moving north were given the space to grow, and grow they did. Through the purchase of real estate within Toronto, they became prominent in the community and even became active in politics. This prominence allowed Anderson to have an excellent education where he only grew the more, being an honour student in school and college. He became the first Canadian-born black Canadian to be a licensed family physician, became a coroner and even surgeon-in-chief.

It is not the colour of your skin, age, height or weight that determines what you can be in this life. Unfortunately, it also isn’t simply skill that you may or may not have. In most cases it’s the opportunity and chance to grow. A plant that is left in a small pot will reach a height and stop because it cannot extend its roots any further. Should you move it to a bigger pot, it will continue to grow higher and stronger.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:13

What is holding you back? Is it God? No. He is ready to open the doors to let you grow. He wants you to have life and have it more abundantly. Is it others around you? Possibly. We live in a world of greed and discrimination and it can be hard to grow when others try and build walls around you. But God is greater than those who are around you. There is no wall that they can build that God cannot tumble down. Depend on Him and you will not have to be limited by those around you.

Are you holding yourself back? That I can’t answer you but it is the only hurdle that God cannot, or better, will not break down. God will never go over your free will. He will always wait for your choice and accept it. Are you the source of your stunted growth? Is fear what drives your decisions? If yes, again, God is your solution. He will not go above your decision, but if asked, he can take away the fear that hinders you from making the right decision. Pray to God, be planted anew, and watch yourself grow beyond your wildest imagination.

God bless,

Pr. Steven Couto

Freedom and Pains

Freedom and Pains

Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.

Galatians 5:1

William Peyton Hubbard was born to parents who escaped slavery and the plantation where they were forced to labour in Virginia. Through the Underground Railroad, they reached Canada in the 1840’s. While many people were expecting the Second Coming of Jesus and would later become Adventists, they were fully focused at simply staying alive and finding a place to be free. Everyone has a unique story and just because they might not follow your path, doesn’t mean that God isn’t still with them. God want’s that we all should be free. He wants that we have life and have it to the utmost.

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

John 10:10

Let’s not judge one another for the goals we have made. Were we in their shoes, we would probably make the same decisions many times. This life is hard for all but harder for some. Fact is, if you look, you will always find someone worse off than yourself. But don’t let those differences, whether more or less, lead to judgement or condemnation. Let it lead to a response of love and help.

Jesus didn’t differentiate between those who were more in need or less. He helped everyone at all levels of need. He loved all, with all their personal pains.

When you decide to judge another person’s suffering I would ask you to remember the glaciers. What you see above the water is only a fragment of what is underneath. What you see in people is only what they are allowing you to see. Most keep their true pains inside.

William Peyton Hubbard was born in a little cabin in the outskirts of Toronto. It was all his parents could provide. He grew up and became a baker. From there he joined his uncle’s horse-drawn livery taxi service. By acts of God, Hubbard later became the driver for Mr. George Brown and through a growing friendship challenged Hubbard to seek public office.

In 1894 he was elected, one of the first men of African descent to gain a political office in Canada. He was re-elected 15 times in his career.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:13

God bless,

Pr. Steven Couto



“If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.” Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.”

John 14:7-8

What Jesus says here is a powerful testimony of the relationship he had with his father. As people got to know Jesus they were also getting to God the Father. Jesus was a perfect representation of his father.

Can you say the same about your parents or your family? Do you represent them in all things or are there big differences between the people in your home?

People might think that Jesus’ words mean that he wasn’t unique or had his own mind but that is not true. You can be a unique individual and still be a representation of your family. Paul was very different from Peter or John and yet all three were representatives of Jesus.

As church members we are all different and unique. We all have different skills and characteristics but that doesn’t mean we can’t be united in our representation of Christ. Think of it this way. Jesus is the Son of God and therefore infinitely more complex than any one of us. Jesus is actually more actually represented by the joining and unity of our differences than any single person by themselves.

What’s interesting is that Philip was with Jesus for so long and still hadn’t seen the connection between Jesus and the Father. We too, even after many years in church, can be blinded to the representation of other members to Christ. We believe Jesus is just like us and not like other members who are different from us. To this, Jesus has a response.

Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.

John 14:9-11

We cannot judge people who are different as lower than us. Just as there are four gospel stories, each unique and yet all representing Jesus, so to in the church. Each of us should be a living gospel to who God is. Let us not see differences between us but simply different faces of Christ.

God bless,

Pr. Steven Couto

Hard Choices

Hard Choices

And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15

This is one of the most famous verses in the Bible about choice. They are powerful words from a leader who is completely sure of his choice. He will serve the Lord. If you look closely at the statement you realize that Joshua is doing something very important and clever.

There are three groups that he highlights- three types of ‘gods’. The first are those from the past ‘from the other side of the river. It’s not by accident that he uses the words ‘which your fathers served’ because they truly were slaves, who served those on the other side of the river, in Egypt.

The second group that is mentioned is the here and now, the gods ‘in whose land you dwell’. Again he perfectly chooses his words. He tells them that they are the gods of the Amorites, the same people that they conquered and took their land from.

Without saying it outright, he is calling all the people there fools for their choices in gods. Why would you worship the gods of your slave owners? What did you ever gain in Egypt except broken backs and poverty? Why would you want to worship the gods of such horrible people?

Likewise, why would you want to worship the gods of a conquered people, especially if you were the ones doing the conquering? They lost and proved their gods worthless. Why choose what the losers have?

Then there is the third choice. Notice he says, ‘if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD’. What was going on at that time that Israel, the people of God would think it evil to worship him? It’s amazing how we can become so confused in what is right and wrong, good and evil.

If they truly listened to the words of Joshua, they would see that God is the one that delivered them from Egypt and he was also the one who helped them conquer the Amorites. God is not the loser or the evil one. He is the winner and the good and only God.

Joshua knew this and that is why he could stand up without wavering to his devotion to God. How about you? Are you completely sure in who your God is and what he’s done for you? If you are, stand up and proclaim it, just as Joshua did.

God bless,

Pr. Steven Couto

Our Daily Acts

Our Daily Acts

31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

1 Corinthians 10:31

This verse is usually used by people to explain why they eat and drink outside of the Bible’s guidelines. This verse is used as an excuse to put our own desires and habits over the laws and regulations that God created for us. Oddly enough, the purpose of this verse is the exact opposite. When you look at the context of the verse, you realize that even if there is freedom to go outside of God’s laws, we shouldn’t for our good and for those around us. Just look at verses 23 and 24.

23 All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify. 24 Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being.

1 Corinthians 10:31

Paul is making it very clear that God’s laws were created to be helpful and to edify us. To go against that for our own fleshy desires is both harmful and destructive.

What verse 31 really is trying to say is that our relationship with God should go far beyond what we do in the sanctuary, when we pray or read the Bible. It should be intertwined with every aspect of our lives including the most basic like eating and drinking. The simplest acts should be done to the glory of God.

32 Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God, 33 just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.

1 Corinthians 10:32-33

The two verses after 31 are very much connected and actually a continuation of the verse. Not only should our daily lives and actions be a glory to God, but so much so when it involves others around us. We should be even more careful and purposeful with how we glory God when we are talking or in communion with others.

We should always try to give offense to no one, even when they deserve it, because we are in that situation to perform a job for God. Every interaction we have with people, from all backgrounds, is an opportunity to give light and the Light to them.

This Sabbath the sermon will be about praying for, reaching out to and bringing God to 5 people in our lives. This will only succeed if we realize that we are on this job not just when we pray, speak or invite them to something but in every second of our lives. What we do all day, and how we accept the Holy Spirit in our day, will be just as important to those 5 people as any interaction you have with them personally.

Let’s remember:

31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

1 Corinthians 10:31

God bless,

Pr. Steven Couto