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Saturday, February 6, 2016

Following like Ruth| Gary W

This message was preached  by Gary Welsh at Word of Grace Church on  January 31st, 2016. To listen/download the audio please click hereTo listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here

Ruth as we see her from Ruth 1: 1-18 is a very different character. Unlike Samson, she is someone to model our lives over. she is full of honesty, faithfulness and integrity. 

Proverbs 18:22- " He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord"

Ruth is living in difficult days, when there was a famine in the land. The Israelites were in the cycle of disobedience and conquest. God is doing what he said he would do. Deuteronomy 28:15 "However, if you do not obey the Lord your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come on you and overtake you". 

Most people in Africa don't irrigate and are totally dependent on the rain. The rain was the blessing for the Israelites for obedience. God blesses obedience and holiness. when they move to this other land, all the men die- the misery continues. Naomi is in a foreign land with foreign daughters-in-law. In Ruth 1:20 Naomi says, “Don’t call me Naomi, ” she told them. “Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The Lord has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.” We can find ourselves in such a situation. It seems like there is no way out and our experience is to think- Where is God? 

There are two things we need to remember:

1. Even if we are saying where is God, we need to know that he doesn't leave us. Naomi knows God has not left her. When we read the book of Job, we know right in the beginning what is happening. Job is not aware of the conversation between Satan and God. Satan accuses saying- no wonder he loves you. Naomi is in the same situation where she doesn't know why this is happening to her.\

2. the reality of God's discipline in our life- we believe in grace and all but God disciplines those he loves. that comes to shape us. It is not an Old Testament truth. God doesn't change. Israel won't be cut off. They are being disciplined.

In times of tragedy, we need to work out if it is God or the devil. We need to examine ourselves- are there things in our life that need to be changed? God brings it up to us.

Q. Are there things that God is saying to you to get in order?

He loves us and he will discipline us. we don't always know why- Job did not know. 
There are times which require some tough decisions. Ruth makes a courageous decision and followed it through. Naomi is a bitter woman at this point and Ruth was prepared to stick with her. She has embraced new customs, faced new enemies. She was never going to return to her people. She trusted God. She decided to go after God who dealt with Naomi badly. Churches need to be filled with people like this. I think when we get to eternity, in the throne room of God, we will be surprised to see the people who are in the front. 

Ruth was a wife- widow- wife. She faithfully served God on fire. we need people who make decisions and stick by them. Ruth marries Boaz and becomes David's great grandmother. She is part of Jesus' ancestry. Her courage leads to all these things. Ruth did not know either. She had no prophetic word about what was going to happen. We need people who serve through the good and bad times. 

I hope you are not meeting attenders though it is important to meet like this. But do what Jesus wants us to do. We need to exercise a commitment to build the church. This is what Jesus is doing on this planet. We need to be added to the church. 

There are tough times that people go through. Jesus promised us a fight and in that fight we will get hurt. We need to be radically committed to the local church. 

Q. Are you reliable?- to be in Pune, to build the local church here even if this is as good as your life will ever get? 

Life consists in more than wealth- at the end of life.

Q. Are you leading people to Jesus? That's the measure.

Q. Where are you investing? 

You invest into where you are going. So all your belongings need to go into heaven. Let's give our lives for that which counts and not for that which burns. 

Sometimes, church can seem inconsequential. But Jesus is not building better schools, hospitals, etc. He is building the church. 

Q. Are you building the church? 

You need radical commitment to do that, without even knowing what is going to happen. Let's live according to the Bible and be ready to make difficult decisions. Ruth is an example to us- ready to make godly decisions- to extend 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.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Lead us into battle| Gary W

This message was preached  by Gary Welsh at Word of Grace Church on  January 31st, 2016. To listen/download the audio please click hereTo listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here

If you are a leader you need to have people following you.

Judges 16:23-31
Samson is a complex mixture of a man- Sexually promiscuous, violent man. But in Hebrews he is one of the heroes of the faith. This was a time of difficulty for people of Israel. At this point Israel was delivered Egypt and has entered the promise land.

In Judges 1:6-7, we see that they begin to do the very thing God has asked them not to do. They began to intermarry and began to worship other Gods. This is a very low period for the people of Israel. We are in a similar time where the people of God need are required to rise up.

In the promise land, the philistines were ruling over them and they have accepted it. God chose Samson because God wanted to fight. Samson is the only one who wants to fight, granted for wrong reasons, but was ready to pick a fight with the Philistines.

  1. Leadership can be lonely. We preach teams, we have eldership teams and we want build teams. But sometimes you can feel like the only person who is concerned about things. Israel was overwhelmed. If God did not choose the judges, they would have been totally ineffective and have assimilated with the others.
  2. We live in urgent times. If godly men and women don't fight, we can miss the thing we have been called into. He's coming back for his glorious church but we can be the generation that experiences a great downfall like the Israelites did at this point. If we are not careful, we can get overwhelmed by the vast majority of the population who are not Christians. It is tough for the gospel to enter some place, but in some places the gospel is also retreating. The gospel was thriving in different places at different times. Ephesus which was once a thriving center Christianity, is the presence Turkey where most of the population are confessing muslims. Around the world, the gospel is retreating. 98% of Indians are not confessing Christians. We are in urgent times and we have a God given task to go and spread the gospel. We need to take action.
  3. This is the time for Christians to fight. Judges 15: 14-15 "  As he approached Lehi, the Philistines came toward him shouting. The Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon him. The ropes on his arms became like charred flax, and the bindings dropped from his hands. Finding a fresh jawbone of a donkey, he grabbed it and struck down a thousand men." God wanted someone ready for a fight. Although we cannot model our life according to everything Samson did, we need to model ourselves to have this fighting spirit. Fighting is the language of the church. To see nations changed we need to be a fighting people. We musn't be complacent.
Ephesians 6:12-  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms" If you are followers of Christ, you have a battle and our battle is against the spiritual forces. 
We need leaders who will lead us into a battle- Men and women who just refuse to go along with the crowd. 

Q. Are you fighting? Are you a warrior?

Our task is the discipling of all nations. Pune is just the beginning. It goes to the ends of the world.
  1. We need to do it in the power of the spirit. Samson did not look like a body builder. So they asked him- where does your strength come from? It is all in the power of the spirit. There is no other way to do it. Without the Holy Spirit, we will run out at some point. 
Q. Are you baptized in the Spirit? 
It is not just for experience. It is so that we can be powerful witnesses in the Spirit.
  1. Fight with holiness. We are to look like Jesus. Others need to ask us- why do you behave, speak, respond like that? we should be different from the people in the world. The Holy Spirit and holiness are not additional extras. They are essential.
The grace of God is so extraordinary that my past sin, my present sin and the sins I will commit in the future have all been dealt with already at the cross. It is amazing! But let not this glorious truth lead us into careless living. Samson loses his power because of lack of holiness. His hair was merely a picture. 
  1. We need to pray. We trust God to do something. We need to have solid times of seeking God for him to do what only he can do. we are all called to pray. 
  2. Let's give all that we've got. Samson says, let me die with the philistines. When Samson is holding the pillars, and giving up his life for the sake of his people, it is intentional that he looks like Jesus. He is a shadow of who was going to die on the cross for the sake of God's chosen people. We are called to die- to give all that we've got.
Q. What have you got?

God gives us everything we have to serve him and to give him absolutely everything. Jesus says, lose your life for my sake and you'll have it abundantly. Don't perish, have eternal life. 

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, January 27, 2016

Philippians Part 16- How to win the race: Introduction| Colin D

This message was preached  by Colin D at Word of Grace Church on  January 24th, 2016. To listen/download the audio please click hereTo listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here

The Great Apostle Paul wasn’t a neutral person. He was anti- Christian. He both physically and verbally opposed them. He took and dragged people to jail. He was aggressively anti- Christian.

Acts 22:4-9 is the testimony of Paul. An amazing work happened on his way to Damascus. Paul was persecuting the church and Jesus asked him why he was persecuting him. The church is the body of Christ and causing harm to the body is directly causing harm to Jesus. Paul was there when Steven was put to death.

In verse 10, the transformation happens when Paul says, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ Paul was born again! He gave his life over to the proclamation of the gospel.
In addition to the suffering, there was much glory in his life as well. In 2 Corinthian 12:1-4 Paul talks about the amazing encounters with God. He had visions and revelations, he had great experiences. Yet, he had many things that we have- he is a new creation, he has salvation, right standing with God, etc.

Paul is a great Christian. Last week we looked at 5 things that Paul wanted: knowing God, righteousness of Christ, the power of Christ, the fellowship of sharing in his suffering and the resurrection body on the second coming of Jesus.
Phil 3:12- Paul says, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal,but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. He says I’m not perfect. That is so different from so many Christians

Q. Are we complacent and content with what we have?
We have all things God has given us. Is that all? No. There is something for us to do. As long as there is breath in us.

1 Corinthians 9:24-25- Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever”. The Christian life is like a race. We are not running for heaven, salvation, forgiveness, etc. We already have all those things. The process of running is our sanctification. The goal of our life is to be like Jesus. It doesn’t happen automatically.
Verse 26-27: Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize

We have received so much but it is not everything. Romans 8:29- For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the first-born among many brothers and sisters. That’s the goal of our life- there is a fighting that is involved. The perseverance we need is by the grace of God.

Abhinav Bindra is a rifle shooter and won a gold medal in the 2008 Olympics. Now, did he just wake up one morning and go shooting at the Olympics? No. He does everything it takes to get the accuracy in shooting. He has given his life to that. And he has achieved it. Now these medals don’t last, but our actions have eternal significance. Let’s make every effort to become like Jesus. We are not perfect and we need to put in effort to become more like Jesus, and we do it with the grace 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.
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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Philippians Part 15- Rejoice Part 2| Colin D

This message was preached  by Colin D at Word of Grace Church on  January 17th, 2016. To listen/download the audio please click hereTo listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here

Many people have died in these past few days. On the tombstone there will be two dates and a dash in between. That dash represents your life.

Every time I go to a funeral I realise that life is short. So whatever I am pursuing- is it worth it?
Have you heard a preacher say ‘finally’? Paul says finally half way through his letters. It’s a marker saying, ‘so then’!

Paul says ‘rejoice’ 20 times. He qualifies how we should rejoice in the Lord. You may say that you don’t know my situation. Happiness comes from happenings. Joy depends on Jesus and what he has done, who he is. We thank him for the big and small things. When we face challenges, the way to overcome that is to focus on the attributes of Jesus.

In Africa, there is a miracle berry- after eating which everything else tastes sweet. Praising Jesus is like that. As we thank him, we are able to rejoice in everything.

Remember where Paul is writing from- not from a 5-star hotel but in chains in prison. He says that it is no trouble for him to repeat things over and over again. I want to remind you to Eat Pray Love.

When Paul was travelling he received a vision to go to Macedonia ( Acts 16). When he went there he preached the wonderful gospel of grace that we sang about this morning.

We are all sinners- none of our good deeds can make up for our bad. The son of God became a man, lived a sinless life- died on the cross- so that my sins would be forgiven. You don’t need to do anything. That’s the gospel of grace.

Q. What happened at Philippi?

He preached this gospel and moved on. Then, some Jews came along and told them that believing is not enough. They had to get circumcised. Paul was livid when he heard this.  ( Gal 5:12) They were saying that Old Testament practices had to be followed as well. Paul was angry with them.

So we do not put confidence in anything we do but in the finished work on the cross. All our works are nothing. In verse 4 Paul lists his pedigree. He was a Jew of the highest order. But he did not boast in any of this. Compared to knowing Jesus, everything was a loss- even the good things, even the preaching, evangelising etc. Knowing Christ is the greatest of all. Paul considered everything else as s#*t.

We thank God for what he has done in our lives but we don’t boast in it.

In 2016 can we focus our attention on knowing Jesus more deeply.

Colossians 2:2- Christ is all sufficient, all satisfying. In him are hidden all the treasures of knowledge.

Let’s look at 5 things Paul talks about. The goal of Paul’s life is to know Christ. Romans 3:20-23- the law makes us conscious of sin. No one can keep the whole law. But when we come to Jesus we get a righteousness that comes by believing. So we get salvation because of Jesus.

1.       Know Christ- verse 10. This year, let’s grow deeper in knowing Christ.
2.       Righteousness
3.       There is a power available to us in our time of need.
4.       The fellowship of sharing in his suffering. We can pray in our pain and that draws us close to him. As we suffer we remember him in his suffering.
5.       One day we will pass away. But when you are in Christ, our last breath on earth is our first breath in heaven. And when Christ returns, we will have resurrection bodies. We will live with the Lord forever.

Let’s devote our lives. We could be caught up in so many other things, but let’s have an ambition to know him more.


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.