Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The heart of the Father| Colin D

This message was preached  by Colin D'cruz at Word of Grace Church on June 18th, 2017. To listen/download the audio please click hereTo listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here.

We know we have a heavenly Father when we are in Christ. We want to pattern our lives according to the Godly Father.
Q. What is a heavenly Father like? Luke 15 contains 3 parables which speaks about what the Father is like.
1.      Parable of the lost sheep:   ““What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’”

Q. Have you ever lost something and then find it?
Jesus was saying, in verse 7- “Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance”
Here we see the Father’s heart. God is rejoicing even when one person turn to him.
It is important when we read the Bible that we understand the context. Why is Jesus sharing these parables. In verse 1- “Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him.” these sinners were outcasts in those times. The Pharisees and Scribes kept the law scrupulously. They memorised the first 5 books of the Bible. They did everything according to the law. They could only walk so much on the Sabbath, if you walk further, it is work. In Israel there is a Shabath lift where you don’t even press a button.
Tax collectors were not like our Income Tax officers. Rome governed most of the known world. They built roads because they sent soldiers to any part of the empire on these roads. They paid for these soldiers by taxing the people. They appointed Tax Collectors for this purpose who taxed the people more than they were supposed to, and pocketed the next. The Pharisees saw that Jesus was eating with these kind of people. Sinners, were maimed and with physical deformities because they were physically deformed. Other type of sinners were prostitutes and people who did jobs no one else wants to do.
Jesus was eating with people like this. In India we have this situation with caste system. Jesus broke down all barriers. He preached to them, ate with them and went to their homes. He explains the Father’s heart to the people who were questioning this behaviour of his. He repeats in verse 10- “Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” God is looking for people who will repent.
2.      Parable of the lost coin:Or what woman, having ten silver coins,[a] if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? 9 And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ 10 Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.””

3.      Parable of the prodigal son:There was a man who had two sons. 12 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’” What is he asking for? His inheritance before the Father dies. It is insulting, saying you don’t matter, just give me what I will get when you die. The son got the inheritance- which was land, cattle, etc. Then, this son sold everything and leaves his father’s house. He squanders it on  wild living.
a.      The son was doing a wrong thing- sometimes, God can let us continue in our wrongdoing for our season till we come to the end of ourselves. The Israelites kept worshipping idols. The heart was sinful. God let them continue in their sin till they were taken captive by the Assyrians and Babylonians where they were surrounded with idolatry. So if you notice in the New Testament the 4 gospels have no mention of idolatry. They had come to an end of themselves and threw idolatry out. 

b.      The Trajectory of sin: In verse 14, after he spent everything, there was a severe famine. He spent everything irresponsibly. “And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything.” He had great privileges in his Father’s house. To the Jews, pigs are unclean and to say they have to feed pigs is disgusting. He is willing not just to feed the pigs, but to eat what they were eating.

This is a picture of the trajectory of sin. Any sin we indulge will lead us to the rock bottom. But the good news is coming. There is a point in time when we come to our senses. We ask ourselves, what am I doing?

c.      Repentance:I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants. And he arose and came to his father.” This is the act of repentance. That we turn from our sin and turn to our Father.

d.      Father’s response- if your son behaved this way, how long would you lecture him? The heart of the Father is this- “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him” Even though the son turned away, the Father’s eyes looked out for him. He doesn’t say, “Let him come here and I’ll talk to him”. It is not respectable to run for the patriarch. But he was overcome with joy. He can’t wait. At this point, the Pharisees would have freaked out.

e.      Restoration: Verse 22-23 “Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrateThey were restoring his position and celebrating his return.

This is the heart of the father. We could be like the Pharisees wanting to judge them and deal with them. But the Father heart of God doesn’t only accept the son as a servant, but restores him as a son. Forgiveness is free but it cost the Father a great deal. Let us receive the heart of the Father- that is, forgiveness to the worst sinner. We are here to seek and save the lost. It is going to be messy, but restoration is the heart of the Father. The Pharisees did not understand the behaviour of Jesus, but he was simply displaying the Father heart of God.

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 have 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. To know more about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.  


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Power with Purpose| Colin D

This message was preached  by Colin D'cruz at Word of Grace Church on June 4th, 2017. To listen/download the audio please click hereTo listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here.

We celebrate Pentecost Sunday today, 2 thousand years ago.

4 times in the gospel, Jesus is introduced by John the Baptist. Matthew 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16 and John1:33- All introduce Jesus as the one who will baptise us with the Holy Spirit and Fire.

In verse 35, he looks at Jesus and says behold the Lamb of God. We all know Jesus as the Lamb of God. He takes away our sin. Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin. Jesus shed his blood for us. We are so aware of that and thankful. But 4 times John the Baptist said he is the baptiser  who baptises us in the Holy Spirit.
Jesus appeared to his disciples after rising from the dead. He came alive and went to his disciples- he spent 40 days with them. Then he asked them to wait for the promise of Father. 

Acts 1:4- 11And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now. So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.””

Q. What is the purpose of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?

In Acts 1:8- The reason is that we will receive power. It is not for ourselves, but to go into the rest of the world and tell them about Jesus. As we go out and preach the word, there is power for wonders and miracles.

In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit was poured out on specific individuals from time to time. Judges 6:34- the spirit of the Lord clothed Gideon. It was only on this one person. 
 In Judges 14:19- The Spirit of the Lord rushed upon Samson. Over and over, God’s spirit 
came upon individuals.

But there was a promise that the same power, would be on us. Joel 2:28-32 ““And it shall come to pass afterward ,that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Even on the male and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit. “And I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the Lord has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the Lord calls.”

Baptise is another word that means immerse. There is no significance in the word. It is like dying a piece of cloth. You baptise the cloth, and when it came out, the cloth was transformed. When we are immersed in the Holy Spirit, there is a transformation that takes place.

Romans 15:18-19-For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience—by word and deed, by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God—so that from Jerusalem and all the way around to Illyricum I have fulfilled the ministry of the gospel of Christ

Paul is saying that by the power of the Spirit of God, I have preached the Gospel. They are able to tell people to repent and accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour.

On the day of Pentecost, in Acts 2, two things took place
1.      They were all together in one place
2.      They were all praying.

Q. what were they praying for?

Jesus said they will receive the Holy Spirit. So maybe they were praying for the Holy Spirit
The Father is not reluctant to give us the Holy Spirit.

John 14:16- Jesus too is praying for us to be Baptised in the Holy Spirit. So, it is not just us, but also Jesus who is praying for us.

John 16:7- Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.
Acts 2: The jews had 3 pilgrimages they celebrated. All the jews from around the world come to Jerusalem. Pentecost was one of those days. It is 50 days after the Passover. It is also the feast of the harvest.

In verse 2-4 “And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested[a] on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

This was a supernatural manifestation of the Presence of God. This was the result of being filled with the Holy Spirit.

Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6 And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. 7 And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? 9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, 11 both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians—we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.”

When people are baptised in the Holy Spirit, everyone was amazed. They thought they were all drunk. Then Peter stood up and said this.

Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. 15 For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day.[b] 16 But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel

Later, through a vision to Peter, he received revelation that the Spirit was poured out for Gentiles as well. One of the signs of being baptised in the Holy Spirit is that they were speaking in tongues and declare God’s praises. That is what they saw the Gentiles doing.  

Paul on the road to Ephesus- he meets some people who were not even believers. So Paul preached the gospel. Then he laid his hands on them and they were baptised in the Holy Spirit. Although Paul is laying his hands, who is one baptising? Jesus. He is the baptiser

Acts 9:17- this is how Paul got filled with the Holy Spirit. Ananias laid his hands on him to be filled in the Holy Spirit.

John 7: 37-On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as[f] the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’””

Jesus is saying that a thirsty person will become the source of that water. In all these things, we need to believe.

Gal 3: 2- “Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith?”

Verse 5- “Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith

We need to believe Jesus. Take him at his word that we will be filled and streams of living water will flow out of us.

We need boldness. Peter, on the day when Jesus was crucified, he was so afraid. He denied Jesus to a servant girl. But after being baptised in the Holy Spirit, he stood up boldly and proclaimed the gospel.

We can’t do what we are called to do, without the Holy Spirit. We need Him for the wonders and Miracles that point to Jesus.

D L Moody was a great evangelist who preached and 2 old ladies would pray for him to be baptised in the Holy Spirit. On the road one day, he got Baptised in the Holy Spirit. When he came back and preached the same things, multitudes were converted. This is a supernatural power.

Our motto is enjoying God, making friends, changing lives. We want to see transformation of lives. This weekend, there was another terrorist attack in London. I was thinking about the power of the Bible and the work of the Holy Spirit. The terrorists, who come from an Islamic background, were filled with another Spirit and they killed many people. On the other hand, there is Abdullah from an Islamic background, filled with the Holy Spirit. What is he doing? He is preaching the Gospel. Look at the difference!

When the Holy Spirit fills us, it is an amazing thing. He manifests in different ways, as He wills. Expect to receive him.

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 have 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. To know more about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.  
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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The Effective Call | Chris B

This message was preached  by Chris B at Word of Grace Church on May 28th, 2017. To listen/download the audio please click hereTo listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here.

Before I jump in to anything else, I need to share a challenging story. My wife asked me to take care of the kids for a day, both of whom are mobile. There was an incident when I was supposed to take the kids out and we had an incident with the lift. I called my son to come out of the lift and he did not come, so he got stuck. Then we retrieved him and it was ok. But there was something wrong with my calling. God’s calling is not like our calling. When he calls us, we cannot say no.

This morning we will be in Jude. The greetings in the epistles can be so helpful. We often skip through them. Today we will see that every bit of God’s word has unbelievable value to us.

Jude 1-2Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James, to those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ

Jude identifies himself as the servant of Jesus. James was the brother of the Lord. So Jude is also a brother of Jesus, but he doesn’t even bring it up. Our primary identity is not biological, it is spiritual.

This has a lot of implications for us. If you were born in an important family, it is easy to think that your identity comes from that high standing. Jude’s emphasis is not on brother of the Lord,  but servant of the Lord. On the other hand, if you come from a shameful family, the shame of that can be significant. I have liberating news for you, that’s not your identity. All of us have the opportunity to have the same mindset as Jude. The scripture tells us that the greatest is the one who is a servant of all.

 Q. What does it mean to be called by God?

Romans 8:30-And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

God the Father, before creation, knew and loved his children. He called them, justified and glorified them. These are all in the past tense because they are so certain that they have already taken place. It is unshakable and unchanging.

1.      We are loved by God the Father- before the ages began, he created you to love you and then redeemed you to love you. Before he said let there be light, he said let there be Chris.

2.      We are kept for Jesus Christ—when something originates in the mind of God, Jesus accomplishes it. The doctrine of Salvation is an example of that. We are his treasured possession, his Bride. As we are waiting for Jesus to return, God gave us the Spirit as a seal until the return.

Q. Have you ever been concerned that you would lose your salvation?

Know that we are kept.

May mercy, peace and love be multiplied- what does that mean?

In the midst of chaos and difficulty, we experience God’s mercy, peace and love. That is what we pray for.

Q. How are we called?

I used my voice to call my son. But according to 2 Thess 2:14- “To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.


We were called through the power of the gospel. The truth that Jesus has borne your sins and have resurrected from the dead and is now the Lord of Lords and King of Kings. That is what called us to salvation. 

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 have 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. To know more about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.  

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Stephen | Colin D

This message was preached  by Colin D'cruz at Word of Grace Church on May 21st, 2017. To listen/download the audio please click hereTo listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here.

Last week we looked at Acts 6 where we saw that the number of disciples were increasing. There was phenomenal growth taking place and in the midst of this growth, there was a problem. The Grecian widows were being overlooked and it could have derailed the whole move of God. The Apostles could have said don’t bother us with this kind of stuff. But they addressed it by appointing 7 men to wait of tables and they continued to minister. As they fixed this issue, there is great growth.

This week we look more closely at one of the heroes, who rose up to fulfill this need. Stephen, has been recruited to wait on tables. To make sure the widows get their food. In Acts 6:8, what does he do?

He did wonders and miracles.

Not only this, he was proclaiming the word and debating with the Jews who came from out of Jerusalem.

Acts 6 : 8- 15- “And Stephen, full of grace and power, was doing great wonders and signs among the people. 9 Then some of those who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), and of the Cyrenians, and of the Alexandrians, and of those from Cilicia and Asia, rose up and disputed with Stephen. 10 But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking. 11 Then they secretly instigated men who said, “We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God.” 12 And they stirred up the people and the elders and the scribes, and they came upon him and seized him and brought him before the council, 13 and they set up false witnesses who said, “This man never ceases to speak words against this holy place and the law, 14 for we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and will change the customs that Moses delivered to us.” 15 And gazing at him, all who sat in the council saw that his face was like the face of an angel.

Then Stephen preaches a message which is the longest message recorded in the New Testament. In Acts 7:54, the people drag him out and stone him to death. That is the short life and ministry of Stephen.

1.      Stephen’s calling:
The church was just formed. In Acts 1:8 there is a promise to be His witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the regions beyond. Now great things were happening in Jerusalem. There must be about 30,000 people who became believers. Out of 30,000 they wanted to select 7 men who were people of repute. Out of them, Stephen’s name was the first name mentioned. Stephen was said to be full of faith and Spirit

2.      Stephen’s Character:
There are so many similarities in the life of Stephen and the life of Jesus. He had a servant heart.

I.                 Like Jesus at the last supper, wrapped his robe and taking a basin of water washed the disciples’ feet. That’s what Stephen agreed to do.
II.               Jesus performed great wonders and miracles.Stephen too did it.
III.              Stephen, like Jesus, went preaching the gospel in Synagogues. There were synangogues based on where people had come from. Stephen was a greek speaking Jew. He preached the gospel to these people.
IV.              When people could not stand his wisdom, they did not know what to do. Then, they slandered him. Lazarus was raised from the dead. The Pharisees were not happy with that and decided to kill Jesus and Lazarus. They had the same reaction for Stephen. They falsely accused him.
V.               Death- In their death as well, there is a lot of similarity.

A.     Stephen was full of faith. We know this because he was full of the word of God. Stephen did not have a paper and pulpit to speak. He was accused and people wanted to kill him. He just stood up and defended his faith.

B.     He was full of wisdom. In verse  10, the Jews could not stand his wisdom and Spirit. One of the people who he could have been debating with is Paul. Paul is from Cilicia. Paul’s teachings show that they have been affected by Stephen’s preaching. He spoke about Salvation by Faith by Grace.

C.     He was full of Grace. Like Jesus in his death when Stephen was being stoned, he prays for them. That’s not our reaction, is it? In Acts 7: 60-And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.”

The length of our life doesn’t determine its impact.

Q. What was the impact of Stephen’s life?

The Promise of God was launched as a result of the persecution that came about. Stephen’s martyrdom sparked a persecution which pushed out the disciples to go into the world.

Saul’s conversion was the other implication of his life. He took over from Stephen. He was a bridge between the gospel going to the Jews and the Gentiles. Peter appointed Stephen. Saul was impacted by Stephen and he went to the Gentiles.

Tertullian- “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.”   Jim Eliot and his friends went as missionaries and were killed. We could think, what a waste of young lives! But that year, more than 800 young people committed their lives to mission.

God has not changed his plans.

Q. What can we do to do God’s will?

We need to follow in the footsteps of Stephen. It means, humble ourselves and serve wherever we can. Without the preaching of the gospel, people can’t be saved. So all of us need to do that irrespective of your position. Stephen and Philip did miracles and wonders. Not only did he live well, but he died well. He was full of the Holy Spirit and Full of Grace. In everything we need to be full of grace. Stephen has set before us a tremendous example.


Next time, we look at the example as being full of the Holy Spirit. His face was like that of an angel. It happened to Moses as well. Let us seek to be people who are full of the Holy Spirit. Let us see what impact  our life can have on the Gospel and the Kingdom.

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 have 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. To know more about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.