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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Why was Jesus Baptized?| Chris

This message was preached  by Chris at Word of Grace Church on May 15th, 2016. To listen/download the audio please click hereTo listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here


Last week, Sunith shared with us the spiritual and physical truths about worry. He took to a text- Matthew 6:31-33- “So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.Instead of worrying, what is it that we should do? Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness.

Q. What does that look like- to live a life seeking first his kingdom and his righteousness?

I want to do that, but how do I do it? Did you ever ask yourself that question?

What the Word demands from us, he also supplies us. We will return to Mark 1 today. There the Lord has provided us a picture of a life lived pursuing his kingdom and righteousness.

Colin said at the beginning of the year said that we should be people who are marinating in the word. We need the word in two ways- slowly and fast.

Mark 1: 9-45

This is a picture of what a life lived seeking first his kingdom and his righteousness looks like. The example we draw is from Christ.1 Corinthians 11:1- Be imitators of me as I am of Christ.

Earlier in this passage, we noted some weird things. Mark quotes a snippet of Isaiah 40 so we may recount the value of all the things it says.

We understood that God is the one for whom Isaiah was calling, John is calling to make straight the paths- who will come wearing sandals.

In those days, Jesus came from Nazareth and was Baptised by John. The heavens parted and a voice came from heaven saying, “You are my beloved son. With you I am well pleased”.

Q. Why is Jesus getting Baptised? What sins does he have? From what does he repent?
This is not weird, it’s enlightening. We will answer this question in the end.

Q. What just happened?

The sky tears open, a voice comes down saying, “you are my beloved son”. Baptism is pleasing to God. To seek first his kingdom, there are 6 attitudes, attributes, deeds, that are required:

1.      Baptism: Exodus 4:22-23- “Israel is my firstborn son... Let my son go, so he may worship me.” God is saying to Israel you are my beloved son. Israel would agree that throughout their time in OT they were not pleasing to God. But in this son (Jesus Christ) he was well pleased. God is setting up a comparison.

2.      Overcome sin and Temptation: In Verses 12-13 it says that Jesus was then led into the wilderness for 40 days. 40 and wilderness- how long was Israel wandering in the wilderness? 40 Years. This son is seeking the kingdom perfectly. In Matthew 4, we look at the fuller version of what happens. Jesus is tempted with the very same temptation that Israel went through- to lean on its own sufficiency. But where Israel failed, Jesus thrived. Jesus overcame sin and temptation by means of the Spirit and the Word. In this way, he models for us how to seek his kingdom.

3.      Proclaiming the Gospel- encouraging God fearers and those who do not believe: V 14- calling of the disciples. Proclaiming the Kingdom- for others to repent and believe. He starts with the God fearers. But he calls them to a new level of obedience. We should do the same. In your life there are people who believe, but are not living a life seeking first his kingdom and his righteousness. We ought to call them to seek first his kingdom. V. 36-39- Jesus is not just calling the God fearers. He is calling to repentance and belief, those who know nothing about God.

4.      Engaging the darkness around us- v. 23-26- a man with an unclean spirit. V. 29-34- Simon’s mother-in-law, the whole city, etc. through prayer- asking that the Lord would heal our friends and neighbours, and to remove spirits of various kinds. We should do the same.

5.      Recognising the authority of Jesus: Jesus also recognised that he is authoritative. Jesus is our authority. We must recognise the authority of the word of God. What it says, we must do.

6.      Pray- Jesus devotes himself to prayer- spending time with his heavenly father. In walking in such a way as to please God and seek first his kingdom and his righteousness- these are the things we ought to be doing.

Jesus is fulfilling all perfect righteousness. 2 Cor 5:21- “God made him who had no sin to be sin[b] for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”  Jesus came to earth to identify with us and to eradicate our sin.

Isaiah 53:12 says that he was counted among the transgressors. He became to God our sin. He looks at the cross and takes it, kills it and offers himself as a sacrifice. Then he was buried and rose again so that we can be separated from our sin forever. This is exceedingly good news.

Our life might not look like the life lived out seeking first his kingdom- not all of it, not every day.

Rom 3:21-23- “But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in[h] Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” 

The life that Jesus lived on our behalf needs to be in us. What is missing from my life from these 6 things? And should we fail at something for whatever reason, we still praise and give glory to Jesus who gave us freedom in him through his 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.
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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Whack your Worries With the Word| Sunith N

This message was preached  by Sunith Nallala at Word of Grace Church on May 8th, 2016. To listen/download the audio please click hereTo listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here


All of us at some point worry about a problem that does not exist. Today we will talk about how to whack our worries with the word!

Think about how dangerous worrying can be. Statistics attribute more than 100 diseases to worrying. It can take away not only our physical strength but also our spiritual strength.

Worry says God is either dead or does not care about our situation. These words are from the prince of the air who doesn’t want us to succeed. When we worry we automatically cease to trust. Worry is like a rocking chair- it keeps you busy but doesn’t get you anywhere.

We are worried about everything- clothes, health, relationships, marriages, spiritual life, etc. We need to learn how to deal with it.

Q. What does the Word say about worrying?

Job 14:1 says that Mortals, born of woman, are of few days and full of trouble. That is not very encouraging. But later in John 16:33 it says, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” This is a great hope we have. God wants to say one word when it comes to worry- DON’T

Matt 6:25- 34- “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Worry displays the lack of faith in God to cater to your needs. We have a God who knows what we have faced in our lives and even what we will face tomorrow.

Proverbs 15:3-
Psalms 37: 23-24

By this we know that we have a God who sees what we are going through. Hebrews 4:15 says that we don’t have a high priest who is unable to sympathise with us. Jesus has been tempted in each and every way that we have been tempted.

He also cares for us. 1 Peter 5:7- “because he cares for you” This is a great assurance.
In Matthew 6 we saw a command to obey—to seek his kingdom. How do we do that? We are counselled to pray.

Q. Why do we pray?
1.      Prayer leads us into the presence of God. We acknowledge God for who he is- our saviour who loves us. Let us declare who God is.
2.      We also adore him- worship him. We leave our worries to get lost in his presence. When we have our eyes fixed on Jesus, we automatically see that he grows bigger in our hearts, making the problems seem smaller in our minds. When we confront trouble, the greatest resource for us is the ability to step into his presence where the worries and troubles cannot follow. Job 1:20-21- “At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” This how we praise God.
3.      Supplication related to prayer which is earnest requests for the things that move us. James 5:16- “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” Pray with passion- pray for others more than we do for ourselves. Hebrews 5: 7-During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.”
4.      As we pray we surrender in reverent submission. Romans 15:30-urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me.” Col 4:12-Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.”

We see that all these people are praying for one another.

Q. What are requests in prayers?

A detailed prayer about something specific- is a request. He has promised to hear and to answer. Jer 33:3- “‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’” God is saying that he will tell us unsearchable things. We only need to ask.

Q. What should our attitude be when we pray?

Attitude when we pray- thanksgiving. Why? Because God promises to answer our prayer. It may not be immediate but he hears it and it is answered in the right time.



 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 3, 2016

Re-starting your journey with Jesus| Justin J

This message was preached  by Justin Jaykumar at Word of Grace Church on May 1st, 2016. To listen/download the audio please click here.

John 21: 1-14:
“Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee. It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus, Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?”“No,” they answered. He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish. Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, but even with so many the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.”

Week after week, we meet here and worship together. We are all at different places in our relationship with Christ. Christian life is a journey with Jesus.

Q. Where are we in our journey with Jesus?

The Disciples had a living, moving experience with Jesus.

3 things happened in this passage:
1.       It is back to square one- the disciples go back to square one. They started in the Sea of Galilee. They left everything to follow Jesus. For three years! Do you remember the day you met Jesus and what happened to you? The excitement, the joy of reading God’s word- having our quiet time. A peace covered us- a longing to be with God and his people. The disciples also experienced this. They left their people, profession, possessions and place. But here in this story, something strange is happening. We see them going back to a very familiar ground- their comfort zone- their profession. They went back to that place.

Q. Why did they go back?
Familiar ground gives us self-worth and security and significance. They knew the Sea of Galilee like the back of their palm. It is a temptation for all of us. What if Jesus fails? When things get tough, we go back to the place which we think is the refuge. And Peter did not go alone. He took others as well. When you go back, you take others with you.   

2.       Jesus stood on the shore but the disciples did not recognise him. When you go back to square one you fail to recognise Jesus. We go away from Jesus. That initial love dies down. You no more recognise him- cannot hear his still small voice. God’s word does not bring you anything. When you are sliding, there is no interest in spiritual things. We need to take note of this situation.

3.       They failed to catch fish: They toiled the whole night and failed in the very thing they went after. It must have been embarrassing. Peter’s journey began in the same place. The disciples were more concerned about the earthly kingdom. When Jesus was crucified, their dreams were shattered. They were in hiding.

Q. where are we in our journey?
Are our expectations not met? Do I also stand in the same place where I began, am I discouraged or disappointed? Are you wondering what are my accomplishments?

The passage ends with Jesus inviting them to eat with him. They cast the net where he asked them to. They realised it was Jesus and they came back to shore dragging the net.

Jesus came to where they are. He did not wait for them to return with shame. He came down into this world. He comes searching for us. He does not come to put us to shame. He calls them friend. He asserted their place in him. He wanted them to start their journey again with Jesus.

Even this morning, if you are stuck somewhere in your journey with Jesus, he still calls you his friend and calls you to resume a journey with him.

When we resume 4 things happen as we see from this passage:
1.       Recognise that we need help- In verse 5 and 6, Peter recognised that they had failed. If we acknowledge that we have failed, the help comes from the Lord.
2.       We need to obey Jesus- They cast their nets and they caught multitude of fish. As a result, their life was full of blessings. Obedience leads to blessing. Even with the net full, it did not break. We began worship by remembering the people who went before us who obeyed God.
3.       Share your blessings: In verse 10 Jesus asks to bring the fish they just caught. Jesus involves you in his work. He calls us to share our blessings. You are called to surrender your blessing in the hands of Jesus. At the beginning of their journey he said, come I will make you fishers of men.
4.       Come and eat with him- In verse 12 we see that the breakfast is ready on the shore- they went searching for fish but Jesus provided it for them here. What are you searching for? Whatever it is, it is available with Jesus.

We are all awaiting that great feast. As we make Jesus the Lord of our lives, our journey will be full of blessings. If you are stuck somewhere in your journey with God, respond to his invitation, obey his voice, share your blessings and commune with him again. 

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, April 26, 2016

Getting back into the Word| Chris

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


Habakkuk 3: 17-18- “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Saviour.” Because I rejoice in him, if everything else should go wrong, still I can be content.

George Muller said that “It is essential for joy in the lord continue that the scriptures be read regularly.” We began this year with an encouragement to be in the Word.  

Q. How are we doing with the word? Maybe you are in the need of a reset.

Mark 1:1-8: “The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, as it is written in Isaiah the prophet:“I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way. A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’” And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. And this was his message: “After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.””

When we read this passage, we might be thinking, there is so much weird stuff here- Eating honey and bugs and wearing camel hair in the heat. A lot of those seemingly weird details are actually incredibly valuable. They are not random at all. Things that would be obvious to the original audience would really make sense.

Q. John the Baptist- what's his deal? Eating bugs in the desert, etc. 

When it comes to his clothes:
2 Kings1:8- Elijah the Tishbite wore similar stuff. Mark includes the details of the dress of John the Baptist, it is a big deal. People recognized him by his clothes. He was a prophet.
Matt 11:7-10. People saw the clothes and knew that he was a prophet.

Q. What was John proclaiming?
They see him, they know who he is, they go into the wilderness and get baptised.

Q. Why the wilderness?
John in the wilderness. A voice crying in the Wilderness.

Isaiah 9:1 speaks about wilderness- Why are these places blessed?
Ezekiel 36:24 also refers to the same place. The people during the time of Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah were rebellious. The first places that fell to invasion were Galilee.
God makes us a promise during this time that after a time of discipline I will bring you back into fellowship. 

Q. How was he going to come? The same way the conquering army came, to redeem his people. Then John appears in the very spot that God spoke of. Proclaiming make the path straight. What's that about? The prophesy itself is difficult to understand.

Every culture has phrases that are understood in context. The first part of the prophesy is given by John. People are supposed to understand what he is referring to.

Isaiah 40:9- 28 This is who is being proclaimed and whose path is being made straight in the wilderness. That's why people were being baptized for repentance of their sins. The knowledge of God that they have from Isaiah propels them to know his greatness.
Now we see that's it's from the very beginning that it's the gospel of Jesus Christ. What is so good? It is the that the very God we just saw is coming to take his redeemed. His power is limitless

Prepare the way of the Lord- A prophet after 400 years is proclaiming. All these weird details fall into place as we labour to understand the Bigness of the God who is coming.
Mark 1:7- After me comes one who is mightier the strap of his footwear

Q. Why is he talking about sandals?
It is a way of showing respect for sure, but it also means that he is coming as a man. The very God who accounts the nations as nothing is coming as a man to redeem his people and has come and has redeemed. And he didn't leave us alone. He filled is with His Spirit and His Word and that we might continue on in the path.

We were challenged at the beginning of the year to stay in the Word. We know its power and its beauty.

Isaiah 40: 6-8: A voice says, “Cry out." And I said, “What shall I cry?” “All people are like grass, and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field. The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the Lord blows on them. Surely the people are grass. The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever."


If you need to do-over, this is the day to do it. If you want to dwell with him, you don’t have to wait. You can do it right now. The Word of the Lord will stand forever.

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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