Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Jonah Part 3: Cruise-ship or Warship | Colin D

This message was preached  by Colin D'cruz at Word of Grace Church on September 24th, 2017. To listen/download the audio please click hereTo listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here.


Jonah 3:10-“When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened.”

Jonah 4:1-11But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. He prayed to the Lord, “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.” But the Lord replied, “Is it right for you to be angry?” Jonah had gone out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city. Then the Lord God provided a leafy plant and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the plant. But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the plant so that it withered. 8 When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah’s head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die, and said, “It would be better for me to die than to live.” But God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?” “It is,” he said. “And I’m so angry I wish I were dead.” But the Lord said, “You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?”

What an amazing story! Here’s a prophet of God who has been instrumental in the greatest revival known to mankind- a whole city turned on 5 word- 40 days and Nineveh will be no more. Imagine this happening to you! You’d be ecstatic! And here we see that in the midst of this great spiritual outpouring, there is a prophet of God, responds with anger. What an anticlimax!

We see the mystery of why Jonah ran away. He says, I knew you are a gracious God and merciful, abounding in steadfast love. He knew God would not destroy them if they repented. He is so disappointed that he asks God three times to kill him. But God did not take his life. God loved the ninevites, but also Jonah.

Jonah went out of the city and made a tent for himself. He still wanted to see what would happen to the city. We see God’s mercy and kindness. He made a plant grow up and give Jonah some comfort. Jonah is exceedingly glad about this plant. When dawn came up the next day, the plant withered. There was a scotching east wind and he was faint. Jonah has the refrain, kill me.

Jonah was sent in the midst of a dangerous people and he proclaimed the word of the Lord and he was successful. But he was more concerned with his self-interest than the heart of God. He was not happy for the salvation of those who are enemies of Jews.

Exodus 34:6- “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness” When God delivered the Israelites from Egypt, and Moses went away to the top of the mount Sinai, the Israelites had made idols and God wanted to kill them. So Moses pleaded with God and he relents. Then Moses remarks this. God is gracious to the weak humanity, merciful to the guilty, slow to anger in the face of grevious sin, abounding in love to the unlovely and relating from disaster to the one who repents. That is our wonderful God.

Jonah was entrusted with the very words of God that could transform cities. In the midst of that revival he was concerned about his own comfort. Who would Jonah remind us of today? The church!

We can be people who are so happy we’re saved. But do we have the heart of God for God out there? We were like that at one time and the mercy of God drew us to repentance. Like Jonah who was so concerned about his own comfort, it can become our preoccupation.

Titus 1:2-3in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time, 3 and which now at his appointed season he has brought to light through the preaching entrusted to me by the command of God our Savior,

You and I have been entrusted with the word of God.

1 cor 1:21- God chooses to save poepel through the foolishness of what has been preached. When we proclaim the word, there is power to transform individuals and save cities. Are we concerned more with the plant than the people? A church can get so preoccupied with meeting the needs of the people. we are here for the lost.

2 Cor 5:11- “Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others.” Verse 18- “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation”

Imagine the church is like a ship- what kind of ship would it be? A cruiseship where you have all the comforts of the world? Or a warship? A warship is where are on amission where we roll up our sleeves and get to work because we are on a mission.

Daniel  12:3- “Those who are wise[a] will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.”

Matthew 12:30- ““Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” There is no neutral. If we do not gather, it is like being in the river, where if you don’t paddle in the opposite direction, you are scattering, going away in with the river.  

If we are not fishers of men, how closely are we following Jesus?   

We see who God is in this story

God is sovereign. He is in control of the fish, the plant, the worm to eat the plant, the sun to shine and wind to blow. Let’s proclaim the gospel boldly because he’s in control of everything in the world. We need to seek the kingdom. seeking the kingdom is also about using out time and talents to reach the lost.

Have we become complacent or do we have the heart of God for people? Let’s engage the world around us!



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 20, 2017

Hospitality: Loving one another | Colin D

This message was preached  by Colin D'cruz at Word of Grace Church on September 17th, 2017. To listen/download the audio please click hereTo listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here.

Over time, the meanings of words change. Gay used to mean happy. Now it means something else. Nice used to mean foolish. But today the meaning has changed. It’s the same with the word silly- it meant, a blessed person. Hospitable today means having your friends and family over. But earlier, in Hebrews 13, where it mentions hospitality it’s derived from two root words, xenos and philio- which means love for strangers. So hospitality means inviting people you don’t know.

We have digressed from Jonah, but we are going to look at Biblical hospitality. The role of the leadership in the church is to help each of us to obey. We do that in two ways- by teaching, exhorting, etc. and secondly by putting it into practice.

Romans 12: 9- “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”

Showing love is through hospitality. Hospitality is not having your relatives for a meal. It is love for strangers. It doesn’t mean you pick someone up from the street and have them in your house, but it is someone you do not know very well.

1 Peter 4: 9- Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.”

In 1 Timothy Paul states hospitality as one of the qualifications for a leader. This is not just for leaders but for everyone in the church.

Q. Why should we be hospitable?

It starts with genesis 18 with Abraham. He offered hospitality to strangers. In the next chapter, Lot pursues some people so that he could be hospitable to them. In the New Testament, we see Jesus, Peter, Lydia and many more practicing hospitality.
In the modern time, we consider it an intrusion when people come over. So I want to share this morning about loving one another. The way we outwork love is to practice hospitality.

Q. What is hospitality not?

1.      Hospitality is not putting out a massive spread. It can be a simple meal. Hospitality is not entertaining- it is to spend quality time with one another. It needs to be loving.

2.      Hospitality is not about you but the person who you invite. It is not for us to boast and share about all our achievements. It is for you to share life with one another. We need to make it about Jesus because that’s why we are doing it in the first place. Often it leads to connection.

3.      In our culture the women stay in the kitchen. But the key thing is the fellowship that is happening over the meal. So the women need to participate in the conversations.

Q. What is hospitality?

You are inviting people without expecting anything back. There is a reward and we need to look to Jesus for the reward, not to be invited back.

One of the things in Word of Grace is that we invite people over for a meal soon after the Sunday meeting.

To the singles- in India, when we say I’m single, it sounds like they are helpless. But my exhortation to the singles is to practice hospitality anyway. What can you do? You can invite people to a restaurant. You can team up with someone who are a home and invite someone there. To a potluck, bring more than a loaf of bread.

Leviticus 19: 33-34 “‘When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. 34 The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.

We might not have been in Egypt, but we were dead in our transgressions. Now, he made us alive. And because we have this great salvation, we practice hospitality. We must put our heart into it. Hospitality will cost us something. It is all about them and not about us.

I want to commend the church because we are a hospitable people. It doesn’t depend on the size of the house, but the size of the heart.

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, September 12, 2017

Jonah: Part 2- Mercy triumphs over Judgement | Colin D

This message was preached  by Colin D'cruz at Word of Grace Church on September 3rd, 2017. To listen/download the audio please click here

Last week we started looking at this amazing story of Jonah. God spoke to Jonah to speak with the city of Nineveh and ask them to repent. Assyrians, the capital of which is Nineveh is the enemy of Israel and they were cruel. They boasted in their cruelty.

Jonah wanted to see the destruction of this city and didn’t want Nineveh to repent. So he goes in the opposite direction. So God sends a storm to get Jonah’s attention. Jonah is thrown into the sea and the sailors realise that Jonah’s God is the real God. So they become believers and God uses Jonah’s disobedience to bring salvation to unbelievers.

Then a fish swallows Jonah and Jonah stays in the belly of the fish for 3 days and 3 nights.
1.      God provided a fish
2.      God spoke to the fish and Jonah ended up where he needed to go.

Jonah got a second chance. Sin can take different forms: it can be running away from God and it can be staying where we are and not doing what God wants us to do.

God used the wind waves, storm and fish to bring Jonah on to the right track. Jonah arose and went to Nineveh according to the Lord. Nineveh is one of the biggest cities then.
Jonah 3:4-5Jonah began by going a day’s journey into the city, proclaiming, “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.” The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth.”
Can you imagine going to a place like North Korea, and proclaiming this message?

1.      We see the exceeding sinfulness of the world- with hurricanes taking place all over the world, people are looting in this situation. The sinfulness of man is terrible. Let’s look at our own hearts. But Jesus doesn’t want to leave us there.
2.      Mercy of God- Even in the declaration of judgment, God wants to save them. 2 Peter 3:9- god wants people to come to repentance.  People respond to this message. The Mercy of God causes repentance.
a.      1 kings 21: 25-There was never anyone like Ahab, who sold himself to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, urged on by Jezebel his wife. 26 He behaved in the vilest manner by going after idols, like the Amorites the Lord drove out before Israelthe strongest man was Samson, the wisest man was Soloman and the most wicked man was Ahab. But when he repented, this was God’s response- “Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite: 29 “Have you noticed how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has humbled himself, I will not bring this disaster in his day, but I will bring it on his house in the days of his son.
b.      Exodus 34:6-And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, 7 maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.
c.      Lamentation 3:22 “God’s mercies are new every morning”. God always has mercy o those who repent. God responds to humility. He changed his mind in Ahab’s case, he changed his mind in Nineveh’s case. So even for our nation, we need to humble ourselves in front of God and ask for repentance. We see that he has had mercy on the evil nations- what about our nation of India? There is such darkness in our land. We need to value human life in the image of God. we need to stand in the gap and repent like the Ninevites did.

3.      Repentance: we are here because of the Grace of God. we need to pray for our fellow Indians to come to true personal and national repentance.
Q.     How do we repent?
a.      Change in mind: Sometimes when we go in the wrong direction, we need to turn around.
b.      Change in Action- to stop doing the wrong thing and start doing what you should be doing
c.      Humbling ourselves- in every situation, they put on sackcloth and fasted and humbled themselves. Sackcloth is a gunny bag. Matthew 6:16- “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you”  Don’t make a show of your repentance. He talks about prayer the same way. He asks us to pray privately. These are all ways in which we can humble ourselves.

Let’s be a people who are crying out for our nation. Let’s pray for the mercy of God and not the judgment of God. India has 1 mil people joining the workforce every year. If our economy doesn’t pick up there could be anarchy. So we pray for that. 


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 6, 2017

Jonah: Part 1| Colin D

This message was preached  by Colin D'cruz at Word of Grace Church on September 3rd, 2017. To listen/download the audio please click hereTo listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here.

Imagine a nation made up of people who are cruel! They are rich, they conquer nations, and inflict torture on the nations that they conquer. What would you want to do to such a nation? You want revenge!

Today we will review God’s heart towards the wicked from the book of Jonah. Jonah lived in Israel. He lived during the reign of Jeroboam 2. At that time, God spoke to him and said, I want you to go to Nineveh and tell them to repent. God is a holy God and in the past has destroyed nations because of their evil. Nineveh is 500 miles to the north east of where jonah was.

If God spoke to you and speak to ISIS and tell them to repent or I’ll destroy them, what would you do? Stay at home because they deserve to get punishment for their sin. Jonah was the same.
Jonah 1: 1-3- “The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord.”

Jonah was not a normal guy. He was a prophet. 2 kings 14:25- He had prophesied that the Israel would be recovered and it happened. So he was an established prophet.

He ran to Tarshish. This is 3000 miles in the opposite direction. But God is Omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient. So he is everywhere, can do everything and knows everything. If you want to see something is God- is that person these three things?

Sometimes, when we run away from God’s command and his word, we may find open arms. What are the odds that Jonah found a ship ready to go to Tarshish. It is not God’s ship, but Satan’s shipwreck.

 Jonah 1: 4-6Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up. All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god. And they threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship. But Jonah had gone below deck, where he lay down and fell into a deep sleep. The captain went to him and said, “How can you sleep? Get up and call on your god! Maybe he will take notice of us so that we will not perish.”

It must have been a bad storm if the sailors were afraid. God is in control of everything. They knew that it was a supernatural storm. So this was their response.

Jonah 1:7-16Then the sailors said to each other, “Come, let us cast lots to find out who is responsible for this calamity.” They cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah. So they asked him, “Tell us, who is responsible for making all this trouble for us? What kind of work do you do? Where do you come from? What is your country? From what people are you?” He answered, “I am a Hebrew and I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.” This terrified them and they asked, “What have you done?” (They knew he was running away from the Lord, because he had already told them so.) The sea was getting rougher and rougher. So they asked him, “What should we do to you to make the sea calm down for us?” “Pick me up and throw me into the sea,” he replied, “and it will become calm. I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you.” Instead, the men did their best to row back to land. But they could not, for the sea grew even wilder than before. 14 Then they cried out to the Lord, “Please, Lord, do not let us die for taking this man’s life. Do not hold us accountable for killing an innocent man, for you, Lord, have done as you pleased.” 15 Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm. 16 At this the men greatly feared the Lord, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows to him. Now the Lord provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.”

1.     This is not a fairytale- it’s history. I have been to the city of Nineveh- where Jonah is reknowned. Matthew 12: 39-41 He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41 The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now something greater than Jonah is here” Jesus himself to the story of Jonah.

2.     God is in control of everything- he controls the seas, the lots of the sailors, the animals in the sea. You might think that you’re going through difficulties in my life, but understand that your life is in His hands. Romans 8:28- he works all things for the good of those who love him. 

Many years ago, the lot fell in my favour. We left Kuwait and going through a desert in Syria. I was in charge of a bus, and I put in my list of people and it was right at a beginning. But then the guy dropped the lists and our list came up closer to the top.

3.     Jonah heard the voice of God. If you want to hear the word of the Lord, be in his presence. We need to hear him for everything. Yesterday’s word is good, but each day we need to get a word from him. Man does not live by roti alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.

4.     How do we respond to the word? It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been a Christian, once in a while there is a challenging word. Jonah decided to disobey. 4-5 times in the scriptures, it says he went down when God had asked him to go up to Nineveh. When we turn away from his word, progress is downhill. Down to joppa, down in the ship, down to the sea and down to the belly of the fish.

5.     What is God’s response? God pursues us like he pursued Jonah. That is the good news. He wants you to come back and obey his word. God being in control of everything, God used him even in the midst of his sin. The sailors who had their own gods, at the end of chapter one, the sailors cried out to Jonah’s God. In verse 16, they greatly feared the Lord and offered a sacrifice to Him. Even though we are disobedient, God can use us.

6.     Sometimes, when he brings that correction, it is painful. We will later on see that he cries out from the belly of the Fish.

7.     Jonah 3:1- God’s word came to him a second time- our god is a God of second chances. In verse 4 we see his whole message- “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.” He was a man of few words. But something changed and amazingly, every person repented and believed.

Jonah 3: 3-10 The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth. When Jonah’s warning reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust. 7 This is the proclamation he issued in Nineveh:
“By the decree of the king and his nobles:
Do not let people or animals, herds or flocks, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. 8 But let people and animals be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. 9 Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.”
When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened.” 

They were 1,20,000 people. Wicked people repented. There is power in the gospel, that people who were evil will repent.

8.     God responds to humility and repentance- He relented from destroying the city.
If we are caught up in sin and disobedience, there is hope. God doesn’t want to punish and doesn’t want anyone to perish, but wants us to turn and obey. Jesus himself says that Nineveh will be saved because they repented.

Q.So where are you this morning? Are you in disobedience to the word you have received? Or are you like the ninevites living a life of sin?

Muslims have just celebrated bakrid, where a goat is sacrificed. Jesus was the lamb that was killed for us and because he is fully God, he rose from the dead. Just as Jonah was in the belly of the fish, Jesus was in the grave for 3 days- and rose again. Today Jonah isn’t here preaching repentance, but the message of the gospel is the same- “Repent and Believe”.

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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