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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Is Jesus in your storm | Austin Kudalkar




This message was preached by  Austin Kudalkar at Word of Grace Church  Pune, on the 6th of July, 2014. You can listen/download to the audio by clicking here

Have you ever faced a desperate situation? If Jesus had not intervened your life would have been miserable. 







My father was critically ill last year. We went through rough times. We struggled financially. People from the church stood with s God calmed the storm and rescued my dad from death.
Even the disciples went through struggle and danger. In Mark 4:1- Jesus had taught them many parables. In the evening they went to the other side of the lake.
As they were sailing he fell off to sleep. He must have been very tired.
Without warning, a furious storm came and nearly sunk the boat. The disciples panicked- they were anxious and they were calling out to Jesus. He awoke and calmed the storm. The disciples asked him, “Don’t you care?” Jesus calmed the storm with one word and the storms subsided.
Jesus asked the disciples why they had no faith. The disciples could not figure him out that the wind and waves obey him.
The disciples had witnessed many miracles:
Mark 1:25- the demon possessed man was delivered; 1:30-34: Simon’s mother in law was healed; 1:40- man with leprosy was healed; 2:5- the paralytic; 3:5- shriveled hand healed. The disciples saw the impossible happen.
Q. What can we learn about the Lord Jesus?
He has supreme authority. Hebrews 1: 3 says that “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.” He is the creator and sustainer of all things. Col 1: 16- “For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.
Q. What do we learn from the disciples?
They were fearful, had negative thought. They doubted Jesus inspite of seeing the miracles.
1 Peter 5:7 reminds us to “cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”Philippians 4:6 says do not be anxious about anything. So if you are anxious, you run, cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you.
God is concerned for his disciples- his people. He rescues them from the storm. God rescued Daniel and his 3 friends. God shuts the lion’s mouth. What about David and Goliath? God protects and rescues us. He knows our weakness.
Q. So what does God want from us?
He wants us to be still, to trust in Him and not doubt Him. He assures us in Hebrews 13: 5:6- “never will I leave you, never will I forsake you”. What will man do to you?
Remember the miracles he has done in the past in your lives and in that of your friends.
Q. How do we apply this?
·       Believe He is the creator
·       Trust Him in all situations
·       You may be facing challenges with finances, job, barrenness, life-partner, etc. do not fear. Be faithful, trust in him and God will come through for you.





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.

     Please check google maps for directions!





  

Monday, June 30, 2014

Fire or Ice ? | Colin DCruz

This message was preached by  Colin D cruz at Word of Grace Church  Pune, on the 29th of June 2014 . You can listen/download to the audio by clicking here



The monsoons have been delayed and people are beginning to panic. If the rains get delayed further, what do you think will happen? What if it is delayed for 1 month, 3 months, 6 months , 1 year?



In Israel they had no rain for 3.5 years. The King went around looking for water. It was desperate. We’ll look at an Old Testament Story. (Rom15:4) They were written for a purpose. What happened in 900BC was written so that we will be encouraged and have hope.

1Kings 17
Elijah is introduced out of the blue. Elijah prophecies that there will be no rain till he says o. Ahab realized that as the rain didn’t come after 2 years and he is very upset.
The background to this story is this – During the rule of King David there was peace in the land. Then King Solomon came on the throne and things were still ok. It’s after Solomon that the kingdom split into Israel and Judah. They were on the decline. Ahab was king of the north (1Kings 16:31). He worshipped Baal. He married Jezebel who brought all her idols along with her and the whole nation is affected. The Bible records him as the most evil man that ever lived.

1Kings 18:2
Obadiah and Ahab are looking for water. Elijah is hiding by a brook (the irony) and was being fed by ravens. When the brook dries up God send him to this widows house that has nothing but a little flour and oil. An amazing miracle happens- the jar of oil and flour never runs out till the rain comes.

Elijah now wants to meet Ahab (18:16).
Verse 18 Elijah speaks up to the King who worshipped Baal and Ashtoreth – the Gods of immorality, of lightening, thunder and rain!!!

Elijah challenges Ahab and Jezebel 400 prophets of Baal. Be careful whom you marry. Ahab brings the 400 prophets to Mt Carmel and the people come too.

V21 the people are expectant. Elijah rebukes the people for wavering in their faith but they said nothing! Israel’s started off well but now they were indifferent to Elijah’s rebuke.
You can’t have your legs in tow boats. It will destroy you.

V25 So the sacrifice is prepared and they called on the name of Baal the whole day. They danced in frenzy. Elijah taunts them. Evening came and nothing happened.
Elijah showed the people that these idols could do nothing.

 V32  In the evening Elijah repaired the altar of the Lord. /he put 12 stones on them. He reminded them who they are. They forgot their identity and destiny. God called them Israel i.e. Prince with God.
Then he digs a trench around the altar big enough to hold 15 liters of water. He puts water on the wooed and sacrifices. They did this 3 times and the trench was full (imagine doing that in a time of severe drought!) Elijah is making sure that when the fire comes it has to be a super natural event.

V36 Elijah prayer “ God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel” ( not Jacob). He was in tune with God – he was doing God’s bidding. And fire fell from heaven and it burnt the wood, offering, trench and stones.

V39 the people whose hearts were luke-warm we now warmed again. The prophets of Baal were killed. This is a true story. No matter how technologically advanced we are we still need God to send the rain. He is almighty.
God was showing his people you need to depend on me. God will do what he wants to do to get his people in line ( Heb 12:7)He loves his people.

Elijah placed a challenge before the people i.e God or Baal.
Joshua placed the same challenge. God is sovereign over our lives. We can become luke-warm. God hates it. Rev 3:17

We need to check ourselves – are we on fire like ?Elijah or have we gone cold as ice like Israel who were distracted with other things and  think that all is well because we have  material prosperity?

That is dangerous. Are we passionate about the kingdom? Let the Holy Spirit examine our hearts. We can miss out on what God has for us.
James 5:17-18 tells us that Elijah was a man just like us. Our prayers can be powerful and effective. If we pray God can do amazing things.


Our hope is in God. We need to test our hearts and there is power in prayer. As we do this we will see the power of God poured out on our nation.


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.

     Please check google maps for directions!

Monday, June 23, 2014

A GRACE STORY : PERSECUTOR TO PREACHER | Colin D Cruz


This message was preached by  Colin D cruz at Word of Grace Church  Pune, on the 22nd of June 2014 . You can listen/download to the audio by clicking here




There are 2 religions in the world. First one says, do and the second one says, done! Which one do you follow? 





Why did God save you? Why you and not someone else?Is it because you are better, smarter, etc? When these thoughts come, shoot it down.
We are here because He had mercy and unconditional love. But when we look at God’s word, we see that He chooses all kinds of people to demonstrate His grace.

Q. What does the grace of God really mean?
This story is of a man who was part of a murderous gang who actually murdered someone. Last week, we saw Stephen’s life and how these people killed him.
We begin today, the story from Acts 7:58 “Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul.” This frenzied mob killed Stephen who forgave them for what they did.This is the power of the Christian gospel. We can pray- do not hold anything against these people.

The early Christians were martyred by being fed to the lions, burnt at the stakes, and all kinds of gruesome acts of torture and murder. But the Roman Emperor realized that nothing was changing them.

Acts 8:1- the church was scattered. Only the Apostles were left in Jerusalem. We see the hand of God even in the persecution. They went out to Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth.

Acts 9:1- Saul was breathing murderous threats and was arresting the Christians. He was against the Christians. He seemed like a hopeless case. There are a lot of people like that. But God is in control. Saul was on the way to Damascus when he encountered Jesus in a bright light saying, “Why are you persecuting me?” When you touch the body of Christ, you touch the creator. That’s our security and assurance- that we belong to Christ’s body.

Acts 9:7- Saul was struck by blindness- an amazing super natural intervention by God. And for 3 days he was on a forced fast. And then he went to Damascus where an ordinary disciple named Ananias heard from God to go to Straight Street and to place his hands on Saul, pray for him and restore his sight. His response was that he is an anti-Christian person- are you serious? But He obeyed God and went and placed
God said that this man is my chosen instrument- for taking His word to the gentiles, their kings and before the people of Israel-  Acts 9:15- 16. 

The moment Ananias prayed over him, and something like scales fell off his eyes. At this point, Saul did not eat or drink anything for 3 days. What would you do in that situation? But Saul got up and was first baptized. Then he ate and regained his strength.
And what did he do next? Acts 9: 20- “At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God”. People who heard him were astonished that someone who persecuted Christians is now preaching the gospel that Jesus is the Christ.
       
No matter how big is our sin, no matter how much we’ve done, Jesus’ blood is more powerful. He can forgive us and make us new people. That’s the power of His blood. The response of John Newton to God’s grace- the song Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. Even when we sin grievously, God is able to save and change.
God is much bigger than your sin and has the power to cleanse every sin. Either we pay for our sins in hell forever, or we accept Jesus’ sacrifice as payment for our sin. 

There are 2 religions in the world. First one says, do and the second one says, done! All religions in the world come under the first one. 

Jesus’ followers follow the second one. This says, you can’t do anything and all your works are filthy, dirty rags, it is contaminated with sin and a Holy God can’t accept it. But Jesus is God who loved us so much that he came to the earth and lived a sinless life and died on the cross and rose again from the dead! It is finished on the cross and what he wants us to do is to look at him and believe. When we do this, an encounter with God happens that brings about transformation.

Saul became from a persecutor to preacher of the Christian faith. God’s grace is Big! So what did Saul do after being saved?

1.   The first thing mentioned about Saul after being saved is that he was praying. Once we believe in Jesus, we are no longer in a religion but a relationship and relationships thrive on communication. Prayer is our communication.
2.   The second this is that he was filled with the Holy Spirit. We need more of the Spirit in our lives.
3.   He was baptized! Baptism in water is a sign that you are truly saved where you declare to the powers and principalities, to your family, and everyone else that you follow Jesus.
4.   He wasn’t a lone ranger- He spent several days with the disciples in Damascus. He attached himself to a family of believers. It’s so important that we belong to a local expression of the body of Christ. He joined the other believers with humility.
5.   The next thing was that he started preaching. He did not take his salvation for granted. His focus was on advancing the kingdom. In 1 Timothy 1:15 Paul writing to Timothy says this- “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners- of whom I am the worst.” Paul acknowledged that he is a sinner. He was one of the main apostles. But Paul’s life was an example for us.   
 

God has saved us for a purpose. All around us, people don’t know right from wrong and follow all kinds of teaching. We are not superior to anyone else. We’ve been chosen because God had mercy on us. So the gospel needs to be preached. Once we die or they do, it’s too late. As we look at this portrait of grace in Paul’s life. It’s His grace working in us. We are not comparing or competing with one another. His grace is demonstrated in our lives. There is a needy world out there, so it is my prayer that each one of us becomes a pro claimer of the Gospel.  

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.

     Please check google maps for directions!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The real man - a message on Father's Day | Colin D 'Cruz

This message was preached by  Colin D cruz at Word of Grace Church  Pune, on the 15th of June 2014 . You can listen/download to the audio by clicking here



Today is father’s day. Last week ended where the church began, in the book of Acts 2:42-44. This new band of believers dedicated themselves to 4 things and God’s favor was upon them.




Acts 6 the gospel is spreading rapidly but its not rosy.
Lots of people means lots of troubles as well. The disciples are increasing. Food was a cause of fights. They now choose 7 men to sort this out. What were the criteria? They needed to be full of wisdom and the Holy Spirit. What they did was not glamorous but godly and the result was that the Word of God spread rapidly.

Let’s look at Stephen’s life and see what we can learn from him. What does a real man look like? Today we see advertisements that tell you what you should think a real man should look at : based on what he wears, drives, smokes , drunks etc. Ed Cole says that you are “Male by birth but man by choice”

So Stephen served at tables and preached at the synagogue. These people could not contend with him so they slandered him. He is arrested and he speaks – recapping the history of the Jews. But the priests were so insecure that they accused him of blaspheming.
He was taken to be stoned to death and he did not react but forgave them. He died but went to spend eternity with Jesus.

What can we learn?

1 He was full of faith in the Word and in Jesus. Acts 6:5 where did his faith come from? From, the Word of God. How do we know this? Acts 6:9-10 Stephen knew the word and preached it. In chapter 7 he preaches this long message. He knew his scriptures. He was full of signs and wonders,. Verser8 He did miraculous signs and wonders. To be full of faith you must be full of the Word. Are you faithful with your quiet time? He believed in Jesus and he proclaimed this to the people.

2. He was a man full of the Holy Spirit. His preaching was anointed. We talk about it till today. Acts 1:8. The power is for us to be his witness. A sign that you are filled with the Holy Spirit is that you cannot stop talking about Jesus.
Acts 6:15 His entire appearance changed. His face was look like that of an angel. Another person like this was Moses. God was validating what Stephen was saying.
2 Cor 2:3-18 when we focus on glorifying God we are transformed. AS we spend time in His presence courage you to worship and spend time with God.

3.He was a man full of wisdom. Acts 6:3, He refuted all arguments (6:10) . The Holy Spirit will give us wisdom – for our work, different situations to share wisdom. Stephen’s wisdom was used to administrate food to the widows. James 3:17 wisdom that comes from above is pure, peaceful, considerate, submissive, full of mercy, good frit, impartial and sincere”

4. Stephen was full of God’s grace and power. What does that mean? He chose waiting on tables. When you are full of the grace of God serving in any capacity is an honor and a privilege.

5. Stephen not only served but he also sacrificed his very life. He was willing to sacrifice his life rather than compromise.
Fathers should sacrifice for their wife and children.
2 Cor8:7 “… see that you excel in the grace of giving” we may not have to lay down our lives but we are called to serve.
He was forgiving (v59) “Lord do not hold this sin against them” When we receive grace we are able to forgive and extend understanding.

6. Full of God’s power Acts 6:8. The power comes as we step out in faith.
He was a man of prayer – even in his dying moments he uttered a prayer. A godly man will be a man 0f prayer

What was the effect of Stephen’s prayer? The bible does not record how many to came to faith because of Stephen. His ministry was short. The effect of a man’s ministry is not dependent on the length on days but on the impact on people’s lives.

However there was someone who was a part of his martyrdom i.e. Saul, the Apostle Paul
Now Jerusalem is saturated with the gospel. But it was Stephen’s death that was the trigger to the church being scattered to Judea, Samaria and the beyond.


Do we want to be like Stephen? This is applicable to men and women alike.

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.

     Please check google maps for directions!