Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Love In Action

This message was preached by  Colin at Word of Grace Church on September  15th , 2019. To listen/download the audio please click hereTo listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here





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-        Our tag line is "Enjoying God, Making Friends, Changing Lives".
We often focus on the vertical relationship but neglect the horizontal relationship.

In Acts, 120 believers gathered to whom Jesus had appeared.

After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.
Acts 1:3 NIV


Jesus proved that He was alive. He died on the cross for our sins and rose again. If you have not believed in Him, you can do it today.

Jesus gave them a command - wait for the Holy Spirit.

Acts 2:41, after the Holy Spirit came, Peter preached an amazing message and 3000 were added to their number that day.

Believing is one step and getting baptized is the next step.

Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
Acts 2:41 NIV


So from 120 that became 3000 and the Lord was adding daily. Imagine that!

Acts 4:4 They grew to 5000 men (+ women & children)

Acts 5:14 - More and more men and women believed.

Acts 6:1 -The disciples were increasing

Acts 6:7 - Increased rapidly

Acts 21:20 - How many thousands of Jews have believed!

What did they do?

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
Acts 2:42 NIV


This is how the early church was. There are some practices they were engaged in - BOB, Prayer, fellowship and the apostle teaching met together, met in homes, shared their possessions.

They had great love! They were together, they shared and had things in common.

One thing that we see in this - 10000 to 15000 people is huge. They met in the temple courts and in homes.

That's what I want to focus on today - "In home"
You took a lot of effort and came here today. That's great! That's one part.

Paul went from house to house. The large gatherings were important but they also met in homes, ate together. So there were small groups happening as well.

As a Christian, this is one area we need to grow in. There are some Dynamics that happen only in a small group that cannot happen in large meeting.

The church can be like 2 legs - the large meeting and the small meeting. When the small meeting does not happen, it hinders our progress. It is like walking hopping in one leg.
The large meeting is doing well. But the small meeting is not doing well. Some think it is not important and it's okay if I miss it.

John 13:34-35

The mark of a disciple is love one another. This loved cannot be shown in a large meeting. But we can have real fellowship in a small meeting. In a small meeting you can practice your spiritual gifts, pray, share you needs and burdens

Meeting in small groups is critical. Make every effort and make it to your GYM meetings.

What do we demonstrate when we meet together?
It's LOVE!

Yes, there is pressure from work, but for the sake of love, can we stretch ourselves? When we are in love, we don't think of time and distance.


Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.
1 John 2:9
-11 NIV

John speaks a lot on Love.

From the verses, hate can be indifference. Love is an action word - a decision

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
1 John 3:1 NIV


Verse 11 - We should love one another
Verse 14 - because we love our brothers

The proof that you are Born Again is that you love one another.


Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
1 John 3:18 NIV


Love with action and truth.
Words come easy but action is costly.


Action + Truth - Go to the GYM meeting

1John 4:7-10 - God is love

Have you received the love of Jesus? Since God has loved us, we also ought to love one another.

1 John is full of instructions on love.
In a small group, you get to know one another, share heart to heart and the other leg gets strengthened. Take every important opportunity and meet.  Let’s value the Sunday meeting and the small group meeting



Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again),  Spirit-filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that has people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service.  Word of Grace is a part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know more about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org. 

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Saturday, September 14, 2019

An Introduction to the Gospel of John Part 2

This message was preached by  Abhishek and Asha at Word of Grace Church on September  8th , 2019. To listen/download the audio please click hereTo listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here







ABHISHEK:

My message today is the message of Love. Love: demonstrated. 
The Awe inspiring., enduring love of God.

The scripture we are going to look at is John 1: 10 & 11

John 1:10-11 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.

The Gospel of John was written by the Apostle John. And John himself states why he has written this gospel. He writes in John 20:31 that these are written that you may believe and in so doing have eternal life.
So we have to look at these verses John 1:10-11 from that viewpoint.

Verse 10 says, He was in the world - the world which he made himself.
John 1:3 says everything that was made was made through him. 
So he came into the world which He Himself created and yet the world did not know Him. 

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
Psalm 8:3 NIV

This shows the magnitude and power of God.

We can fit 1300000 earths in the sun. But the sun is not the largest star in our solar system. The largest star observed is Canis Majoris which is 1420 times the size of sun.
That's the awesome power of God - the power that makes the heaven and earth. 

Verse 11 says He came to His own
  
but I gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in obedience to all I command you, that it may go well with you.
Jeremiah 7:23 NIV

God separated those people to be his own people. 

the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption to sonship; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.
Romans 9:4-5 NIV

Jesus was their Messiah. But they didn't receive Him. 

Those days the word " receive" meant to receive with a kiss. 

Jesus lowered himself to take on the form of human, servant.


rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
Philippians 2:7 NIV

That's the joy set before him. That's the magnitude of God power. 

John 3:16 talks about Gods love for us.

He endured the lowering only because he loved us.

If we put our trust in him, he gives us eternal life. Here is an invitation - if there's anyone who hasn't believed in Jesus yet, this is a very good opportunity to put your trust in him. 
These things are written so that you'd believe in him.


ASHA

The Great Reception and a Response


Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
John 1:12-13 NIV

The summary of my sermon is The place where Jesus died for me is the place where I live from

Here is a story of a girl -

She is from Kerala, born in a Marthoma Christian family. 
There were 7 families converted by Thomas. Marthoma is one of them.

In 2011, she started reading Bible systematically and she encountered Jesus and accepted him.
In 2016, she got baptized and in 2017, she got baptized with the Holy Spirit.
And that girl is now standing here and preaching.

We all know we are God's creation, his handiwork. But are we children of God?
Believe and receive is the key for eternal life.
To become child of God, do we need to do good things?

We need to do 2 things to become children of God -

1. Believe in Jesus
2. Received Jesus in our lives

This is supernatural because it is God who is giving the right to become a child of God through the Word so that we become the sons and daughters of the King.

This is done by gift of faith. It is a free gift. If I have to buy a gift for a friend of mine, I have to pay for it and give it to my friend for free. 

We were all orphans. But God sent His own son, sacrificed him so that we could be adopted into His family.

Verse 13: it is a new beginning a new birth by renewing your mind and washing your heart with the word of God.

Your ancestry or background has nothing to do with it. And the way of Grace is dependent .We cannot but He can.
 Give your life to Jesus today. 

Now what are you going to do after becoming a child of God.  He has given us the power and the right to become his children .


With great power comes great responsibility: 

When you are becoming a child of God your DNA is changed. ( Divine Nature Activated) .
We are children of God means we are related to him.We carry his DNA, we are inseparably joined to him. 
Basic nature or character of DNA is to replicate without losing its essence. 

What do you say to a person who is using the latest iPhone only to make calls and receive calls?
We would say he's not using it to the full potential.

We are his image-bearers and DNA carriers.
what should be the response: Replicate the divine nature. behave and believe like Jesus. We should give our full potential.

Let the place where Jesus died for us let that be the place where we live from.

 Moravian saying-  May the Lamb that was slain receive the reward of His suffering." By the way I live.



Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again),  Spirit-filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that has people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service.  Word of Grace is a part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know more about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org. 

Monday, September 9, 2019

An introduction to the Gospel of John

This message was preached by  Babu, Alex and Joanna at Word of Grace Church on September 1st , 2019. To listen/download the audio please click hereTo listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here






SERMON by BABU


John 1:1-2 - In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.
John 20:31 - But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

John wants to bring out the redemption nature of the Gospel. He is not concerned with chronology.
John doesn't explain what the names "The Word" is until verse 14 where it explains the form of the Word.
The eternal God who has become a human
.
4 Important aspects of Jesus:

1.Title as the Word
Word means "Logos"
Impersonal force that keeps the world in order. The thoughts in our mind are communicated through our words.
The words -
* Declare the thoughts of God
* Communicates
* Reveals God

2. Word is in relation to time.
Time = Mass x Acceleration
3. God is ONE but manifested in THREE
4. There are many titles given to Jesus - Christ, Messiah
But He is God




SERMON BY ALEX GODINHO:

John 1:3-4 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.

Trusting in the life the giver and follow the light bearer
All things in totality, everything owes its existence to God. The stars, oceans, animals, plants etc. Creation is a finished work but He is still working.

Not one thing has its existence apart from the creative expression of Jesus.

Heb 1:2 - But in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe.
Everything was made through Him.
In Him was life - Spiritual, Saving and Eternal life. When we come to Christ we need to build up our spiritual life.

John 5:24 - “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.

We need to believe in Jesus. He has passed from death to life. We need the gift of life.
Life was the light of men - The new creation begins with the light of Christ in us. In darkness, we can't see. Light makes vision possible.

SERMON BY JO HART:

John 1:4-5 - In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Who is at the driver's seat?

God existed before time. He was the uncreated one.
Light is righteousness, God is light. It is a part of His identity.

Gen 2:7 - Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

Adam took on God's DNA. Adam also was light.
Eph 5:8 - For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light
Our identity was corrupted due to the lack of light. But now, there is hope.

Rom 3:24-25 - and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—

When Jesus died on our behalf, all our sins were dealt with and we were reconciled to who we were originally meant.

Now, we are light when we believe in Jesus. How?
1. Remember who God is:
He is the light

2. Remember who we are:
Matt 5:14 - “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden."
We are the light, we are the city on the hill. That is our identity. Light can never be afraid of darkness.
John 1:5 - The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
DARKNESS WILL NOT OVERCOME LIGHT.

We have been given authority and victory over darkness. Imagine walking into a battle with a 100% guarantee of victory. In the battle of light vs. darkness, light will always win. When we walk in the authority of a victor, darkness has to flee.

3. Remember to love:
Matt 5:44 - But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
Luke 6:27-28 - “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,  bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.
Who are our enemies? Who are those that persecute us? It’s people still living in darkness.
Martin Luther King Jr. says: Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that. Light drives out darkness, love drives out hate.

We can allow our light to shine when we actively love in an atmosphere of hate. When we do that, we actively drive out darkness.
Jesus commands us to love our enemies. To be love in an environment of hate and animosity.

Love is not a feeling or emotion. It is a verb – an action. Therefore we need to actively be loving others.
BUT WHO?
We love our God, our families, our church.
 What about our colleagues or bosses? Are we going in and out, clocking in our hours and leave or are we finding ways to love those that we work with?
What about our neighbors? Do we know who lives next door?
What about our city? We did the traffic awareness, but what else can we do to love our city? There are craters on the road and garbage on the streets. Is there anything we can do about it?
When we sit and do nothing but complain, are we really loving?
Will we leave a hallmark, will we stand out or will we just disappear in the distance?
What about our nation? Are there ways we can actively love our nation? Are there ways we can actively love our nation?

We are not called to be people of fear because perfect love casts out all fear. So when the nation is shaking and scary things are happening, our response is love.

Darkness is merely the absence of light, and fear is merely the absence of love. If we want to be rid of fear, we cannot fight it but must replace it with love.”
— Marianne Williamson

So who’s in the driver’s seat today?
We are overcomers, we are more than conquerors, so how can we overcome the darkness today?  We remember who Christ is, We remember who we are and we remember to love.








Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again),  Spirit-filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that has people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service.  Word of Grace is a part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know more about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.