Latest videos

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Which one will it be?Yes or no?

This message was preached by P. J Smyth at GodFirst Church titled "On mission contextually".  We viewed it at Word of Grace because it reflects our vision and values. P. J is a friend of Word of Grace and leads Godfirst which is a part of the family of churches we belong to (Newforntiers Intl.)

The link to the video can be got by clicking here



Church- Is it even worth finding out about? Paul in Ephesians gives us a high view of church. If creation is the wheel, the church is the HUB. The manifold wisdom of God is demonstrated through the church.

When you come to the Life Group, Church you are entering into the center of the universe.
What is the church?

 A community on a mission – not just a family or an army. But a family that is an army on a mission. God sent Jesus on a mission, to rescue us. We are on a mission to help people cross that line of faith. Is 54 – A church should strong and long, ever growing.
God wants to build community and to make us one. Not just that, but to make us GO – to the ends of the earth. We need to be a strong community and going community.

 The Apostle write a lot about strength and about going community, Paul wanted to go to unreached regions i.e your neighbor, your office colleagues. We see it in Acts – the richest community life, looking after one another, sharing stuff, and money food but on a mission.

But this is fraught with challenges, in the OT and the NT . Nehemiah experienced this too. He rebuilds the wall using family units - he wanted community doing the mission.
Jesus himself at his most poignant moment on the cross felt neglected.

Other problems faced by the NT churches and that we could face. When we have growth and there are strains and tensions.

Acts 6 The mission was going so well that it took a strain on the community. There could be a lack of leaders, life groups, and musicians. Theirs was food. etc. The leaders gathered and said the solution is not to stop mission. “Ministry of the word of God”  i.e. the advance of mission happening not just Bible teaching. They came up with  solution – chose 7 men from among you. The result is  the number of disciples increased rapidly. When they strengthened community the disciples increased. When you grow there are tensions, and some feel neglect especially the older ones.  We have to be a warm loving community.

Church will be done differently because culture is changing. The message never changes. We are here to make not yet Christ followers become Christ followers.

Solutions

1. Not right to stop mission. We are not a hospital though we care for you. When you are needy we put you on a mobile stretcher and care for you while we keep moving.

2. Increased honesty – they complained. This is good. It’s ok to say you are not doing well at all. Get help. You may be complaining about yourself or the church. We are not perfect. Complain with a good attitude if you can, complain with a bad attitude but let us talk and know what you are passionate about.
Sometimes we will take your suggestions, and sometimes we may not. What you must not do is seethe because you will blow up.
Increased honesty keeps the community together

3. Increased Organization.  Its not an enemy to church life. We do not want to be too organized either. We may drop the ball here and there but we want to be organized.

4. Increase the number of leaders. Jesus said that the harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few. There is no problem with the harvest but with men and women not stepping up to take responsibility. The harvest stays unharvested because there are no leaders. God will not give us more harvest if we don’t grow more leaders who will train others and become fishers of men. This is critical.

Whether we go or stay we are all on mission. WE need more leaders why? We need pastors – one analogy is we are a flock. You may say I can never be a pastor. If you care for people you are a pastor It is  loving and caring for people, not about using the microphone. It’s helping shepherd develop and love – that’s what a pastor is. 

WE need more leaders and pastors. There are different kinds of pastors – some do it one on one. Leaders are critical for community and for mission. You don’t get advance without leaders. WE don’t get advance without leders breaking rank and saying “I’ll do it”. When you take lead out of leadership we get “er”..!!!
We always need to go for three times the number of leaders. To grow, and to give away.

5. Increased responsibility.
Are you involved or committed. The chicken is involved the pig is committed. When you do this you move from “that church” to “my church” from them to me. A man can’t really live unless he find a cause to die for- Martin Luther. We have a cause to live and die for!!! WE are here to plunder hell to populate heaven.

Can you learn to say “YES”. When you say “no” let it be a considered no with a clear conscience. But be in the habit of saying “yes” to God.  Saying yes to God often comes through requests that come from your leaders. God will give you strength and grace and your spiritual muscles will grow and your joy will increase as you do the good works you were meant to do.

6. Increased faith – for one another. I believe that you can do it because God is amazing and God is in you. We must have faith for one another and spur one another on toward love and good work. Have faith for your local church mission. This is not just for the leaders and some.  But, for YOU as well.

God responds and honours faith. If we have corporate collective faith it moves God’s arm. God loves faith so stir it. When wind blows on a field of wheat all the stalks sway in the wine. When Gods word comes we all should respond.

7. Increased Spirit – The spirit comes to empower, joy to obey and makes us sensitive to know who to talk to. Also we all don’t need caring for all the time. Some need it at specially times and we need to ask God to show us who needs special care.

8. Increased hospitalityThis is very basic to being a Christ follower so much so both lists of what a church leaders should look like  has hospitality on the list. If you don’t get how hospitable God is to you, sought you out and took you into his family, if you don’t practice it, you need to check how much of a Christ follower you are.

It’s about opening your home up. How many people do you have in your home? Something great happens when you open your home up. Hospitable – listen more; give yourself even if it’s for three minutes after the meeting talking to someone new.

It’s about where you are sitting now – where your church meets on a Sunday. Your meeting place is your personal lounge and we are a family. This is our home so we should feel relaxed and make people feel at home. There are new comers and we should be very alert to them.

Are we late when we have visitors at home?  No that would be inhospitable. So we want to be here at the meeting before your visitors come in so you can welcome them. Be open and look out for them. Then there will be a strong community and mission vibe. If you are shy still do it. God was not shy with you. Do it your way but do it.

We are God’s solution along with other local churches in this city for any problem any person has a high view of church – a community on a mission.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION AND DISCUSSION
1 What is your view of Church? How does it fit in with this view expressed here?
2. Do you feel you are well connected to the community here? Have you seen your neighbourhood, job etc as a mission field? Are you reaching out to people there?
3. What are the strains and tensions of growth at Word of Grace ( ask this of your local church)?
4. What do you feel you want to complain about but have not done it yet? Can you talk to one of the leaders please?
5.What responsibility am I carrying at Word of Grace. How am I serving? Has your default been “no” or “yes”? Can you say “yes” more? Is this “that church” to you or “my church” ?
6. How can we express corporate faith better? How can we grow in being sensitive to the Holy Spirit?
7. Are you are harvester in God’s mission field? Who are you caring for in the community?
8. Hospitality- What are your thoughts on this? Have you received hospitality from Word of Grace? Are you practicing hospitality? Is your home open? How many people from church have you invited to your home in the last 3 months /ever? Singles have you taken any one out for a meal/coffee?
Are we welcoming to first time visitors – do they feel welcomed, cared for? Have you made the effort to invite them to your home? Are we welcoming to people new to the city: do we help them settle in and feel welcomed? One way is to get their contact number so maybe you could catch up with them mid week.
At the church meeting: Are we on time to the meeting to welcome our guest or are we habitually  late for the meetings?

Remember :
We are God’s solution along with other local churches in this city for any problem any person has a high view of church – a community on a mission.


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, September 3, 2014

The secret to true success | Colin D Cruz


This message was preached by  Colin D Cruz at Word of Grace Church  Pune, on the 31st  of August 2014. You can listen/download the  audioby clicking here


Imagine if you had a huge task before you or a challenge. Something you have never done before, what would you do?






Joshua was in that situation. Moses has died and he has taken up leadership of 3 million people. His job was to take them into the promise land; it was a big job because they were a difficult bunch. It wasn’t just taking them from A to B but in B there were enemies!! However God said that he was giving them the land. The promise of God was there in and for a difficult situation.

In Joshua Chapter 1 we see how God instructs Joshua how to be prosperous and successful.

Josh. 1:1 The Promise given to Moses is passed on to Joshua
Verse 8 He is given further instructions.

Think about it. Is God giving him a great military strategy? No!  All He tells him is to have his quiet time every day ! There is no iron dome to protect them. All he is asked is to do is to read the scriptures meditate on it and obey it and that will make him successful. Was it a command or a suggestion? It’s a command - a promise with a condition.

In life we face many challenges, in health, finances, relationships, unanswered prayer. What do we do, how do we overcome? The solution is the same - the one given to Joshua is applicable to us as well.

1. Do not let this book depart from your mouth. What book was he talking about? The first 5 books of the Bible, not some gurus’ Secret of success. Its talking about meditating, reading and obeying God‘s word.

Think about it. Depart from your mouth? What does this mean? The Words of the book should be on our minds, our lips: we should be able to read, recite and mediate.
2Tim. 3:16 All scripture is God breathed. It’s not been written by man, but God inspired even as men wrote it.

Psa. 19:7-11 - As you read God’s word it will revive your soul. As you feel hopeless or without faith, faith will come when you read the Word. We get wisdom from above from the Word. The Word brings joy to our heart.
If you are feeling faithless, hopeless, joyless, read the Word, it will revive you.

2.  Meditate on it day and night – its one thing to read, but reading is not enough. How many of us read something in the morning and forget what we’ve read by the evening.

In Hebrew there are two words for meditate – The first one is to “mutter” which is similar to worrying.  Muttering – instead of worrying about the situation, you mutter the word. You confess the promises in scripture. 2 Cor. 4:13, I believed, therefore I have spoken out. When we believe we speak.

Your situation may be bleak, but confess the promise and the truth. Can you talk and eat at the same time. When you confess truth, you keep negative thoughts away from you. We protect ourselves with the shield of faith.

The second meaning for meditate is "like a cow chewing cud". We read on the word, feed on it but throughout the day He wants us to think about it. You will not be able to do this if you don’t memorize it.  Memorize as you drive to work, go to the toilet, and have a glass of water. As you do this, God will give you new insights into His Word.
Psa. 1:2 Blessed is the man ... His delight is in the law of the law. Do I delight in it?

Why is this important? Prov. 23:7 As a man thinks, so he is. AS you think about the truths in the Word you will be transformed, and those things will happen in your life. What you fix your mind on, that is what will happen to you.
Day and night –  i.e.  all the time. Today when you go out for lunch – share something that impacted you from the Word. Let’s sharpen each other. Let’s teach each other.

3.  Be careful to do everything that is written in it – this is obedience. It’s good to read, recite, and remember but it’s useless if we don’t obey. What is one thing that we can obey? Think about Nike – “just do it”. Take one thing, not ten things and obey it. The Bible warns us about knowing and not obeying James 1:22.
If we just read and not do we are being deceived. V25 If we obey, we will be blessed in all he does. See how it connects with Josh 1:8.

This is a simple formula.  We are all weak but the grace of God is there. There is no condemnation, but if we love Jesus see what  John 15 says : If his words remain in us we can ask anything..
At Word of Grace we encourage everyone to have a notebook and journalize and as you do this day after day, you will see how you will grow in God’s word. If you don’t have a journal, can I encourage you to get one?

Then you will be prosperous and successful - God’s anointing, enabling and favor will be upon you. We will never be perfect in understanding, meditating or obeying the Word. But as we do it amazing things will happen. See what happened with Joshua – God asked them to do something and the walls of Jericho came crumbling down and they experience success after success.

At the end in Joshua 21:43- The Lord gave them rest and success. The Lord handed over all the enemies to them. Every one of the promises of Israel was fulfilled. WOW!!Wouldn’t you want that to be your testimony? I want that. If you are student, working, in our family, in our finances etc God want s us to be blessed.

What is prosperous – Some say it refers to success not money. I beg to defer.  Jos 22 :6 - Return to your homes with your great wealth..So wealth is also included, but its not only wealth. Some focus only on wealth.

Rom 15:4  For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.

If you want hope, meditate on what happened to Joshua and do what he did. God gave promises and instructions and Joshua obeyed. The result is success and prosperity. 

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, August 26, 2014

A strange encounter of an empowering kind | Colin D Cruz


This message was preached by  Colin D Cruz at Word of Grace Church  Pune, on the 23rd of August 2014. You can listen/download the  audioby clicking here



I want to tell you a story about two people who received bad news and were downcast. They were travelling to another town. Their friend 
has just been murdered and they were discussing the events that surrounded that death. And they were very sad.


They were on their on their way to Emmaus . They had put their faith in Jesus but he has been brutally been killed and they are downcast.

Like 24:17
As they were talking, Jesus suddenly appears to them but not in His glory (v15) and they were kept from recognizing him. He asked them what they were talking about. They were surprised that this stranger was not aware of the recent events that shook the whole place. Now it’s the third day after Jesus death. They heard that Jesus body was not to be found and did not believe fully (24:11) not did they understand.

If you were with Jesus, what would you do? He deliberately kept them from recognizing them. Why? For 2 years He had been telling them that this will happen.

Verse 25 - Jesus response, “How foolish you are, how ignorant.” Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to God’s word. The Old Testament is all about Jesus. He told them that the scriptures were all about Him but you need eyes to see. Jesus was mentioned in Gen 3:15, Gen4: Abel offered a lamb, Gen 6-8 Noah’s Ark, Ex 12 Angel of death passing over, Ex16: Manna – the bread of life. Every book of the Bible has Jesus in it.

Jesus chose to reveal himself through the word. Today we have the privilege and opportunity to read God’s word in our own language. We may not have supernatural encounters but we have His word and He speaks to us. We at Word of Grace uphold the Bible and encourage everyone to read the Word daily and feed on it.
It’s also helpful to have a journal to record what God speaks to you.

Verse 27: Jesus explained the scriptures to them. Imagine they knew what no else knew – they had exposition of scripture from Jesus himself!!

Verse30 then Jesus does something. As they broke bread and ate and their eyes were opened, he disappeared.
Although they had a second’s glimpse , see what effect the last 2 hours they spent with Jesus had on them (v 32). Their hearts began to burn. When we come to the Word it’s not routine or discipline but trust God to speak to you.
The Bible is amazing – little children can understand it and theologians can be puzzled by it.
Stick with the Word till your heart begins to burn.

V33 these guys must have been tired after a 7 mile walk but “at once” they returned to Jerusalem.
What will energize us? The Word of God will. The scriptures are not enough but we need God’s illumination as well.

Shall we commit ourselves to read God’s word?
So whatever your situation look to Jesus. As we look at him, dig into scripture you will be energized to look into God’s word.

The Word of God can revive us set us on fire to do things for Him. We see Jesus through the Word. Can we commit to read the Word and journalize what God speaks to you?

R. Bonke “He who is full of the Word will never be short of ministry”

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, August 20, 2014

Mirror, mirror | Colin D'Cruz

Mirror, mirror



This message was preached by  Colin D Cruz at Word of Grace Church  Pune, on the 17th of August 2014. You can listen/download to the audioby clicking here

What do you think of when you wake up the first thing in the morning? Do you look at yourself and have great thoughts about yourself?Lets look at God's Word this morning rather than the mirror to get a right perspective on ourselves.

What if I told you that you are great! On what basis can I say that? What does God's word have to say? It has truths about God and man.

When we think of greatness, we always think in comparison, don't we? So how great are you? What does Jesus say?
Well, He thinks and says that you are great.

Matt11:10
 John the Baptist was the forerunner of Jesus. Jesus is talking about him that John is the greatest amongst those born of woman. Yet He who is least in the Kingdom of God is greater than John the Baptist. There is so much truth here that it can transform the way we live.

1. John the Baptist was the greatest who ever lived before Jesus - even greater than Moses who saw the glory of God, delivered the Israelites out of slavery,parted the  Red Sea. Through out the Old Testament we have great prophets and kings.

Then what makes John the Baptist greater than all these? There is something called progressive revelation. Abraham knew something about God and the Messiah. As time went on the others had more revelation. Adam knew a little ( Gen 3:15).  The "He" is Jesus  who will crush Satan's head.

Isaiah had greater revelation. He knew that the Messiah would be born from a virgin. Micah knew that Saviour would be born in Bethlehem. Malachi talks bout John the Baptist. This is the last prophet in the Old Testament and after this there is a period of silence for 400years.

And now John the Baptist bursts upon the scene.His greatness was in this- he was chosen to prepare the way. Apart from Mary, John the Baptist had the privilege of knowing and proclaiming the Messiah to the people.

John the Baptist was a bit of an odd character ; dressed inn camel skin and ate wild locusts and honey.He must have been quite a sight! The amazing thing is that from the time of his birth he was filled with the Holy Spirit. Matt 3:2 In spite of  his oddness, people from everywhere came to him, confessing their sins and they came to hear him preach. It was a revival time. People came from Jordan, Jerusalem and all over. He did not preach a soft gospel. He called the religious peopled a  "you brood of vipers". He had a greater revelation of who Jesus is and of the Holy Spirit.

In God's eyes its not what you do that makes you great but the knowledge of Jesus, and being filled with the  Holy Spirit.
John 1:29 Look the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. The Jews understood this language and what John was trying to say. John knew who  was i.e the son of God.

Matt11:11 - This is a truth difficult to grasp. Our greatness comes from what God has done for us through Jesus. therefore I am great because of Jesus. I have a destiny because of Jesus. today we have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, we has scripture. The Old Testament people had the Holy Spirit in seasons and only on special people for specific events.

Col :2  In Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Eph 3:8-9

So what should response be? Matt11:12

The Kingdom is advancing and forceful men take hold of it. What does this mean?
1. Where ever the gospel is preached there will be opposition. You preach Jesus is the only way and see the reaction you get. Across the world people have been killed for their faith.
2. As kingdom people there needs to be some energy exerted. We need to be forceful with ourselves, not others.
1Cor 9:27 "I beat my body and make it a slave..." and we have a responsibility to  take the gospel forward and we have to do something about it.

We have and belong to the true kingdom, so what are we going to do about it? Its about pushing ourselves beyond what the flesh desires. We need to ask ourselves what we can do to advance the Kingdom of God.

Phil 2:12-13 Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,," Salvation is free because of Jesus.But now that you have it, do something with it. Ask what is it you can do to advance the kingdom. We work in partnership  with the Holy Spirit and He enables us.

So let me urge you to find out what  you can do because you are great. 
Why fear and trembling?
We will face an evaluation of our lives. 1Cor 3:10 Be careful how you build- it will be revealed by fire" Its going to be tested.  There are great reward in store for us. No eye has seen what God has in store for us.
We can suffer loss , not salvation . We can forfeit reward that could be ours.
You are great and you have role to play in kingdom advance.


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.