Though we have been beneficiaries of the amazing grace of God time and time again in our personal lives, one day many years ago we prayed that God would bless our finances in particular, so that we would be in the unique position to publish this magazine without the need to sway to the varied and many ideas of some readers and advertisers. We wanted to report unbiasedly and truthfully, with the word of God being our only beacon. God seemed to like the idea because He answered our prayer and blessed our finances. The test wasn’t very far behind; this 2nd issue of iiNFLUENCE has been a hard one to produce because of the underscoring message of grace.
The account of God’s abounding grace is the simplest message to understand when one is in dire straits and desperately in need of mercy, compassion and love. To those who are comfortable with their station in life, quite often it is a major challenge because of its simplicity. This is true even in the church, among Christians who have all experienced firsthand the miracle of God’s grace in their lives.
Our scheduled cover story for this issue was a world renowned pastor and teacher on the subject of grace. In the last few weeks before going to press we were challenged by the Spirit of God; we could either do a great story on a powerful teacher on grace, or we could live out the message of grace in real terms by featuring Mayor Rob Ford of the City of Toronto, arguably Canada’s greatest metropolis.
Mayor Ford was just another big city mayor until early in 2013 when allegations surfaced about his use of crack cocaine. If that was the worst of it, things may have turned out differently. Mayor Ford repeatedly denied ever using the illegal narcotic, but then there was blackmail, extortion, the mysterious death of someone very close to the case, abuse, public drunkenness, and cries for impeachment. There was so much drama that the world’s media took notice and reporters flocked in from around the world, including the likes of CNN.
Why in the world would a reputable Christian publication like iiNFLUENCE choose to have a disgraced, big city mayor on its cover? You must find out for yourself. The message of grace is sweeter than honey, yet living it out has been a huge challenge to many in the church since its inception. Many erroneously believe that some people are disqualified from God’s grace, including Mayor Rob Ford. Jesus, however, says it is the sick who need a doctor, not those who are well. He came and offered Himself as a sacrifice to redeem the whole world from sin and destruction. This issue will both bless and challenge you.
The grace of God be with you!
Sam & Naomi Tita