Sunday, February 22, 2015

How to B.L.E.S.S | Alan Preston


This message was preached by Alan Preston at Word of Grace Church on the 15th of Feb 2015. To listen/download the audio please click here.As you read the Bible right through what’s the story being the story? Is it just fanciful stories about Abraham, David, and Paul etc or is there something deeper, fundamental going on?



God’s got a plan. Do we know what the plan is and are we tapped into it?
All scriptures point to Christ. What did Christ come to do? The pinnacle of what God was to offer us a way of salvation yet we are only scratching the surface- the tip of the iceberg. So to say Jesus came to die for our sins it’s only the tip of the ice berg. There is so much more. We need a bigger picture.

When God created man he mad man special. Why was man special and very good? Because he was made in the image of God. He was called to rule and have dominion over every thing created. Why did God ask Adam to name every living creature? Because, he was given authority. When man rebelled he didn’t lose his image of God  but lost his authority.

It got marred, messed up and man invited Satan to rule. This is why it’s called the kingdom of darkness. It was not about one man and woman serving but a change in order. Wasn’t Eve the one who sinned? Then why is it called the sin of Adam? When Satan came in and took over. God always had a plan. This happened in the sovereignty of God’s will. His plan was to restore all things to its original beauty.

So the first step to restore God’s plan was to choose Abraham. Through Abraham all the nations of the world would b blessed
Then Israel failed in its divine purpose in two ways. One, they invited a human king and they worshipped idols and pagan Gods. God was merciful and sent prophet after prophet whom they stoned and rejected.

So God send Jesus. Jesus talks to the Pharisees and Sadducees and says today the kingdom will be taken away from you i.e. the divine purpose for Israel was taken away and embodied in Jesus. Jesus sets in motion a new kingdom. The kingdoms of this world will finish. The Kingdom of God starts with Jesus and is moving on and will continue into eternity. WE live in the overlap period.

So we do our jobs in the kingdom of this world but we belong to another kingdom. We are the people of the future. What it means to repent of your sins is not just repenting for the things done but its saying I have been duped by the Kingdom of this world; I now belong to the kingdom of God which has different values. We are no longer duped by wealth or Bollywood or the powers of this world.

We have seen something better, eternal and that will last. There is a future with Jesus and what’s going on here will not last forever.
When you sin you have been deceived by the Kingdom of this world. Repentance is coming back to Jesus and to the Kingdom of God. That’s why we pray the Lord’s Prayer

So as part of God’s mission it was not to just forgive us but to restore all things to himself. Col 1:20 We are a part of the new things that will emerge and he has gathered a new community called the church. So God’s mission has a church. It’s not church on a mission so we are not isolated in Pune. We will be powerful in bringing the Kingdom of God here on earth. WE restore creation. WE are a part of creation.
Anyone who is a true believer is a missionary-whether you are a teacher, in the call center etc . We are the church gathered on Sunday and the church scattered during the week.
Missionary means more than telling people about Jesus. You‘ll work honestly, pro life,  work for cleanliness etc.

Here is a helpful way of reaching out to your non Christian friends
You B.L.E.S.S them. As a people who are a part of the future how do we bless?

B Begin with prayer. Hearts are changed through prayer not information.
L Listen to people. Ask questions. Feel their pain, identify them, feel their pain
E Eating - have meals with them.
S serve – find ways that you can serve them in a tangible way
S Share your story.

If you do the first 4 you have won the right to be heard on how Christ has made a difference to you. So pray for 5 people, bless everybody, invite 3 to Word of Grace and expect one to turn up.

We will do this because we are on God’s 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.