Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Family Matters 4 - Yours, mine or ours?

Family Matters Part 4

This message was preached by Colin D Cruz at Word of Grace Church  Pune, on the 11 th of August 2013. 

This is part 3  of a series called Family Matters. What is the secret to loving much? being merciful and choosing to forget? How many times have we held on to petty hurts and made mountains out of molehills? Have you trapped yourself in the snare of  un forgiveness . Read and listen to this life changing message. 
To listen to the AUDIO please CLICK HERE
The past few weeks we have been looking at different aspects of living a Christian life- How do we live with each other. Last week, we looked at how to forgive unconditionally. 

This week we are going to look at another aspect of living together.

In Matthew 24: 3 Jesus’ disciples ask Jesus to tell them about the end of ages and Jesus tells them through a parable- the parable of the Sheep and the Goats (Matthew 25:31-46).
Jesus refers to himself as the Son of Man, and that He would come in glory with all the angels with him and sitting on the throne in heavenly glory. He going to come with judgment and is going to separate one from another- the sheep and the goats.

Each of the gospels gives a different view of Jesus. The gospel of Matthew talks about him as the king. Jesus was proclaimed in the gospel of Matthew as:
·        The king revealed- It talks about Jesus as not an ordinary man. Matthew talks about his ancestry, about the wise men who come and bring royal gifts and John the Baptist comes and proclaims Jesus like a herald who proclaims the arrival of a king. We see the temptations that Jesus goes through after the 40 days and nights of fasting and Satan tempts him knowing he is the Son of God. Moreover, he makes a royal entry into Jerusalem. And it ends with Jesus saying that “All authority in heaven and on earth” has been given to him and as a sovereign ruler, he commands us to go and make disciples.
·        The king rejected- Mary was rejected for being pregnant with Jesus. Herod sought to kill him as soon as he was born. After his first sermon, people wanted to throw him off the cliff. He was accused of being a drunkard, glutton, demon possessed, etc.
·        The returning king- Matthew 16:27-28. At the end of the age, Jesus is going to be sitting on the heavenly throne and judge. But on what basis is he going to judge? We cannot see the difference between a Sheep and a Goat. But as a shepherd separates the Sheep and the Goats, he will separate the world into 2 different groups of people. He will then evaluate them, judge them and accordingly, reward or punish them.

In Matthew 25:34- Jesus said that he is coming with his reward- the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. Why is he going to give these rewards? He gives 6 simple things which anyone can do:
  •     I was hungry and you gave me something to eat
  •     I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink
  •     I was a stranger and you invited me in
  •     I needed clothes and you clothed me
  •     I was sick and you looked after me
  •     I was in prison and you came to visit me

Now these are not difficult things to do and for doing this, Jesus rewards them with an amazing blessing.

Q. who do we do these things for?
In Matthew 25:40, Jesus says, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” He is talking about the church. Jesus said, “Whoever does the will of my father is my brother, mother…”

It is however important to understand that Salvation is by faith, not by works. We go to heaven not because we do these things, but by faith alone. But a saving faith is never alone. There has to be a change. What is this change?
>       We turn from worshipping other gods and we turn to Jesus. This is the spiritual change.
>       We share, we give- if somebody asks you to go one mile, you go two.

If you are truly saved, there will be a change. So it is good to evaluate ourselves. Are you saved? If Jesus were to come back, would he find evidence that you are saved? He said, every good tree will bear good fruit. The works will manifest by itself- it’s the manifestation of the new life. And Jesus says, “I am going to reward every act of yours”. Nowadays, people don’t want to part with anything, they only want more and more. So examine yourself if there is a manifestation of this new life.

 James 2: 14-24 explains what it means that true faith will manifest itself. Imagine a poor person, a believer, a brother of ours, walks into the church- if we only pray for him and do nothing else, there is something wrong. Now, Jesus is talking about a brother or a sister and not all the poor people in the world. You and I can make a difference for people who are in our midst. Sometimes we may say, “there are so many poor, what difference does it make?” But it will make a difference to that one person you help. There may be million but let’s reach out to 1 or 2 we come across who are our brothers and sisters. Let’s be faithful with the one.

May be you are thinking- “Good! Someone will hear this and will finally help me out!” But I challenge you to look at this way- “God has blessed me so much! Who can I help?” There is always someone better off than us and someone who is worse off than us. Let us open our eyes to see how we can make a difference to those who are worse off than us.

Q. how can we do this?
One of the things we have come up with is this. In a month, give up 2 coffees in CafĂ© Coffee day or Barista and 1 meal in Mc Donald’s or somewhere else and use that money for helping out someone else. It is sacrificial giving. It does not make much of a difference to us, but as we do that, God will reward us immensely.

Q. what about strangers?
We have visitors every week. Ask yourselves, “How can we show the love of God to them?” Jesus wants us to do that not only with our friends but with strangers who come to us.

Q. What about the sick? - pray, call or message them. Visit them if you can.
Q. what about those in Prison?

Few years ago Word of Grace had a prison ministry and one person gave his life to Christ and came out eventually. There are prison ministries where you can go and visit once in a while with teams that go out there. Some of them are innocent and are languishing in jail. There are also people who have robbed, killed, etc. but if we go with the love of Christ, they can be changed.
At the end of Matthew 25, Jesus addresses the goats and says, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.” We have a high call. When we are truly saved, we are a new creation and we have a new nature. We think of these people and help them.

In Acts 4:34 it talks about the early church and says, “There were no needy persons among them.” How amazing would it be to say that here!
Now, there are 2 ways of doing that. One is, to have a closed membership like a club. And the second is that whoever comes in; make sure that their needs are met. Remember that these are needs and not greed.

In Matthew 10:42 Jesus says, “And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward.”

Q. what about those out there who are poor and needy?
Luke 6:27-36 urges us to love even our sinners, so we are to love those who are out there, who are poor and needy. But you are first called to love the church and then those outside. Charity begins at home- take care of your brothers and sisters and then those out there.
Jesus rewards us in 2 ways:
~       He blesses us
~       If you use those blessings for your brothers and sisters, you are rewarded.

Everything we have is given by God. And by giving away what he has given us, he gives us more. How amazing is this!

So, recognize the needs and how to meet them. Keep your eyes on the king and that reward so that our church is like the one in Acts- no needy people.
God bless 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.

English Language Service 10am. Please check google maps for directions

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