Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Father's heart

This message was preached by Colin  D cruz on the 9th of June at Word of Grace Church. You can download or listen to the audio mp3 by clicking here

In today’s world we have so many opportunities, choices of vocation etc. But what you consider the most challenging job to be?






Its being a father. You may say “whats so challenging about that?”
Firstly it’s a great privilege. In today’s world marriages are under stress, many struggle with starting a family etc. We need to realize that children are a gift from the Lord.

In the Bible very few were good fathers. Even King David, though a man after God’s own heart failed when it came t beign a father. The bible I very candid about failures.

Being a father is not only a challenge but significant. How?

In the 1900s 2 families trees were researched upon.
Max Jukes’ descendants included:

7 murderers,
60 thieves,
50 women of debauchery,
130 other convicts.
310 paupers (with over 2,300 years lived in poorhouses)
400 who were physically wrecked by indulgent living.

It was estimated that Max Juke’s descendants cost the state more than $1,250,000.

Jonathan Edwards’ godly legacy includes:

1 U.S. Vice-President,
3 U.S. Senators,
3 governors,
3 mayors,
13 college presidents,
30 judges,
65 professors,
80 public office holders,
100 lawyers and
100 missionaries.

This is a powerful example showing how a parent’s leadership can have a profound effect on their children and the generations to come.
We all know the tremendous contribution mothers make.

Senora Dodd was brought up by her father as one of 6 children  So she decided to celebrate fathers day on his birthday but later it got streamlined to the 3rd Sunday in June.

Throughout scripture God has many titles but one that even Jesus used was “Our Father”. Paul wrote about “Abba father” – its an intimate term of endearment.
The Jews would not even say the name of God. But Jesus said that we can call Him Father. Fatherhood is a good thing. There is great pressure to take  away traditional role of the father and mother today. Many countries have legalized same sex marriages.

The role of the father and mother is very important – they are equal but have different functions. The Father is the head of the household and ought to loving provide. The mother is primarily a home maker and is in equal partnership with her husband.

What is the father's role?
  • It is a great privilege as I said before. Today there is a big stigma attached to childlessness. It is in God’s hands so when you are struggling to have children do not fight with each other.
  • Our role is to look at our heavenly father and model him. We all have earthly fathers and we know that they are not perfect. It’s sad when the bad things have been passed on viz violence, addictions etc.

In Christ that curse is broken. Jesus can nullify all the negative effects of the past. WE are a new creation and a changed people.
Zep 3:17 The Lord takes great delight in you. Isn't that amazing? We need to delight in our children. Give them lots of love, hugs and kisses.
Love toward your children – affirm them, encourage them.
  • Provide for your children – it’s a father's responsibility.
  • Teach them. Deut 6:7 impress them on your children. It’s a father’s responsibility to teach the children the ways of the Lord. At home the father’s role is to be the spiritual priest. If you have not started it’s not too late. The Spiritual nurturing of your children is up to you and its your responsibility and not that of the Sunday school which takes place for only half hour a week. Bless them before they go to school.


  • Discipline them 0 in love. In India we let the kids run loose and wild and when they are adults everyone want to control them. Heb12
  • Model it – In everything we do we need to model it. Your children are watching you. It’s a rewarding job. We have a great responsibility and opportunity to leave behind a great legacy.

What to father’s need? Respect, and honor. Ex 20:12 We need to honour them so that you will live long. This is the 1st command with a promise.
Verse 4 Fathers do not exasperate the. The bible has a lot to say about bringing up children.

We need much grace and help to live up to this high calling.
Invest in yourself and the generations to come.

Besides having biological children we can all have spiritual children and that is a great legacy to leave behind as well. We are all in this together. Lets make an impact on the generations to come.


Colin D Cruz
June 2013

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.

English Language Service 10am

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Love of God

 This message was preached by Colin  D cruz on the 9th of June at Word of Grace Church. You can download or listen to the audio mp3 by clicking here

Life is tough for most people. Unending bills, battling with health, relationship problems, misunderstandings between friends and relatives, legal requirements – taxes, paperwork etc., challenges and pressure at the work place to perform and do the impossible, delays in answers to prayer, etc, etc.
But in the midst of the storms of life, what is your anchor that will keep you safe and help safe and keep you from sinking? Is it your endurance, your strength, your intelligence, your personal contacts, your bank balance, your family?

I want to take us to scripture this morning  that will show what will take us to our final destination.
I want us to look this morning to the one sure thing that will keep you safe and rooted amidst  the hurricanes of life and will take you safely to our final port of call heaven.
That one sure thing is Not our faith or our love for God but GODS LOVE FOR  YOU.

Lets turn this morning to the letter of Jude, a short letter tucked in the back of the Bible between 3 John and Revelation, only 25 verses.
Author: Is the half brother of our Lord Jesus.
Judas – English form “Jude” which translates the Hebrew name “Judah”. 

Called

That  small word called has huge meaning and implication. Call refers to salvation and those who responded to it.
 There is a general call like in Matt 11:28 . Not all who listen to the general call, respond. It often goes unheeded and rejected. Jude is not speaking about God’s general invitation to sinners (Mt 11:28

Rather he is speaking of God’s special call. This call is an internal call made by God himself through which He awakens the human will and imparts spiritual life – enabling once dead sinners to embrace the gospel by faith (Jn 5:21, Acts 16:14, Eph 2:5)

It is what Christ referred to when he said “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him” Jn 6:44
Most frequent one word descriptions of Christians –i.e Called.

Our statement of faith i.e called does not mean we are morally or intellectual superior to others . For many years you could not see but now you see. So don’t bagger your friends and relatives saying “why can’t you see?”

What was your state before He called you ?
Eph 2 – dead in our transgressions (not responsive). You were spiritually dead. Not only that you were hostile to God –  but you were humanly incapable of altering the condition of our heart. Your conversion did not start or originate with you. It was not initiated by you. It started with God touching us and drawing s to Jesus.

We often think we responded to the gospel and when you think of it in isolation, glory comes to you. But when you think about and realize that God was at work in you, you realize the grace of God upon your life. It’s like Lazarus who was dead and could do nothing till Jesus spoke the words and life came into his body. It’s the same with us.

Therefore we cannot convert anyone – we can pray, share the gospel but all that is of no effect unless the Father touches their heart. This has implication s for life. For example who you marry. Choosing a marriage partner – only believers
2 Cor 6:14 Don’t be unequally yoked with an unbeliever whether marriage , business
1 Cor 7:16 How do you know you will save your wife/husband.
1 Cor 7:39 She if free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord.

Then some have had dramatic conversions, some as a child but every one has this in common i.e we were called
Every Christian has this calling in common. Dramatic as Paul’s or simple like Lydias (the Lord opened her heart as Paul was preaching) Each and every conversion is dramatic. Greatest miracle one can experience in our lifetime.
Acts 9: Sauls conversion (dramatic)
Acts 16: Lydias conversion (quiet) Simple conversion, nothing dramatic. She had gone to pray. She was religious but not a beliver. She hears Paul and the Lord touches her heart.
Both are equally miracles of God. Both were called by God. None of us can do it on our own.

Why did he call You?

Have you thought of that? When you go for a job you need to qualify at different rounds of interviews? But why did God call you? You may say, I am a smart guy, intelligent, good, handsome, I can be useful etc. Banish those thoughts! We didn’t deserve anything. All our righteous acts are like filthy rags.
 Jude tells us “who are loved by God the Father”

Why does He love us?  Divine motivation.  Because he loved you. Behind the call of God is the love of God the Father. Be clear we don't deserve it. This should fill our hears with gratitude. There is no place for grumbling but thanks.

Sometimes we have moments of doubt and despair and we think “Does God really  love me?” we look at the challenges we face – health, marriage, work, childlessness. And you may think is He withholding his love? Lets have a right view of God. HE does not love you because you had a quiet time or you are good. He loves you because He loves you. Isn’t that reassuring?

When we think of God the Father we can think of him as tolerating you or is very disappointed in you and eager to discipline you. If you are uncertain it will find its way and affect every area of your life.It will affect your reading scripture, prayer (how we approach him.). You will be looking inward all the time vulnerable to introspection, condemnation, hesitant to commune with the father, not growing in your knowledge of the father love, vulnerable to despair, and a distinct absence of joy in your life. The reason they don’t have joy is because they are looking at their own performance or other people’s performance.
Jude want s to communicate to us that the Father loves you personally.

Jude wants the original recipients to have a proper view of God the Father and to receive fresh assurance and his love and receive fresh assurance of his love.

Loved by God the Father

He called and summoned sinners like you and me through proclamation of the gospel, as an expression of  his electing love determined before the creation of the world. This call took place in your life because he loved you personally, he loved your particularly.
Called by God because he loved you and chose u with full enthusiasm. It is his will that you be convinced of his love. Every Christian can say I am loved by my father. Every Christians can say that but not every Christian does say that.

There is to be a degree of certainty. You are loved by the father. Where you look for that certainty can make all the difference. Don’t look within yourself for the reason for that love. Don’t look there you will not find it.

So don’t come to God based on your recent performance but come to God based on the righteous in Jesus.

Kept for Jesus Christ.

We are all on a spiritual journey where we are becoming more and more like Jesus. In heaven we will be transformed to be perfect and sinless. If you are truly called and loved by God you will surely be kept. This  is a massive assurance. Many authors call this the preservation of the saints.

What massive assurance this must have been for the original recipients.  Influenced by false teachers and false teaching hat have infiltrated the church. They might wonder will I make it. Those whom the Father has called he loves and those he calls he will keep. They see the adverse effect of some doubting and some participating and some advocating. Wonder will I make it. Jude writes   Protect and preserve them from all dangers – doctrinal and circumstantial. Influence and effect of sin.
Faithfulness of God to protect and preserve.

You finishing the race does not depend on yrou effort but on God keeping you till the end. Some of us think its my effort – I’ll pray, fast etc. there is a role we play but Salvation begins and ends with God. Jesus will keep you till the end.
V24

 What are we to do ?Will we make it to the end ?

V24 To him who is able to keep you from falling  and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy. – to the only God our savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore. Amen.
Keep you from falling, kept for Jesus Christ.
One day we will die and stand before the throne  of God. What is the assurance of heaven. This is our assurance. Jesus is  without fault. In the OT the priest didn’t look at the person but at the lamb to make sure it was perfect. For us God does not look at us but at the perfect lamb Jesus who is our sin bearer.
We don’t need to be afraid when we come into God’s presence anymore. Jude is telling us Jesus will help us to come into God’s presence with great joy. Why? Because its not what you have done or not,  but what Jesus has done.
Jude is so amazed that he breaks out into worship. That’s why the gospel is good news it speaks about the forgiveness of man.
Jude ends with something we need to do.

What?

V20 But you dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.  Keep yourselves in the God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. We need to study the word and pray. Both are important.
We are called to hold to keep ourselves in the love of God. God will not let you go no matter what trials we may face.

Our salvation is sure. God loves us. God has a wonderful plan or your life from now till eternity. So lets believe and encourage one another with these words. Will God change his mind? Human love is weak. But God’s love is unchanging. We are blessed because God loves us, cares for us.

Word of Grace Church is a spirit filled (charismatic), evangelical  ( Born- again) English speaking church that preaches from the Bible as God's inspired Word of 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. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Vision –The Nuts and Bolts Part 8 : Mission


Part 8 Add caption
This message was preached by Colin D Cruz at Word of Grace Church on the 2nd of June 2013. You can listen to the audio mp3 by clicking here.
This is the concluding message of an 8 part series. You can  read all the related blog posts by clicking on the label Vision 13/30


Isn’t is a wonderful thing to have your mortgage written off or paid by someone else? We have an eternal debt to pay but the good news is that it has been paid in full by someone: his name is Jesus. Jesus paid the price for our sins. We should be the happiest people on earth.
However now we have a responsibility to tell others that the debt has been paid.

Over the last few months we looks at 7 values we hold dear. In life we can’t stop the rain and the floods but we can make our home water and storm proof by building on the Rock and not on sand.

To sum up the 7 values”
Private Worship: this is about building a relationship with Jesus by spending time in the Word , prayer, meditation and worship. May I encourage you to spend time with God. If we don’t have a relationship with Jesus we have nothing.

Public Worship: When we come together we see God’s power being released in our midst. God can change us in an instant.

Hear Worship: the Bible says where your treasure is there will your heart also be. We need to be good stewards of all the resources God has given us.

Small Groups: This  is the pulse of the church. Here is where the church gets built up and where you grow. Make sure you are a part of some life group.

Obedience to God’s Word : knowing is not enough. We want to be doers of the Word. An ounce of obedience is worth far more than a ton of knowledge.

Love: We can have everything but is we are not loving we have nothing. We need to be filled with the love of God to love others.

Servanthood: the  Son of man did not come to be served but to serve. Jesus is our greatest model and everything we do is serving.

The  8th value I want to talk about today is MISSION

1.      The Father sent his son. Think about what heaven must be like. It is a perfect place. He left the beauty of heaven to live on earth.
John20:21 Jesus tells the disciples that as the Father has sent me I am sending you. Jesus will bless but we also need to fulfill what He wants from us. We are the most entertained generation that ever was but there is still an emptiness inside. The reason is that they are missing out on knowing God and knowing their calling in life. Imagine if you made a cow try to be a watch dog, what will you get?”

Acts 1:8 The Holy Spirit is not there just to give us a feel good factor but He is there to make us effective in the world. Jerusalem is your own people. Judea is your neighbourhood and the ends of the earth – is everywhere else.

You may feel you don’t have the courage to witness but the Holy Spirit will give you the power. Aren’t you glad someone shared the gospel with you? In the same way be that some one to somebody else now.
We are not sales people trying to sell something in a clever way. No. We have the greatest news of all – out of love we go to our friends, neighbours and tell them the good news. The great commission is for all not just for the super pastor.

There is not greater joy than seeing someone come to faith apart from your own salvation.
The whole world is struggling with sin- we can’t save ourselves and we can’t live up to the requirements of the law either. Rom 3:22-23

Jesus said He who does not gather with me scatters!! That’s serious ! We can’t be neutral.
2Cor5:9, 10. Hell is real and horrible therefore we persuade people.
Verse14 Christ’s love compels us. If you have the love of Jesus in your heart no one needs to arm twist you – you will love to do it.
V15. No longer will you live for yourself but you will use your resources for God’s glory.
V18. We have this amazing privilege.
We are God’s ministers. We are here to bring peace between God and man.
Only the gospel can bring peace. We have a responsibility – let us impact our neighborhood.

Matt 28:18-20 We should all have the desire to make disciples. One day Jesus will return and then it will be too late. There are also amazing rewards for us.

Everyone will not go to heaven so while we have time let’s make Jesus known and famous!
Word of Grace Church is a spirit filled (charismatic), evangelical  ( Born- again) English speaking church that preaches from the Bible as God's inspired Word of 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.