Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Choices | Donald D

This message was preached  by Donald D'costa at Word of Grace Church on October 22nd, 2017. To listen/download the audio please click hereTo listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here.

I’ve been going through the book of Genesis for the last two years. I want to speak this morning on choices. We will look at Chapter 3 where Satan comes to speak with eve and the choices she makes. We can learn a lot from that conversation.

1. God made us special, made in His image and likeness. We need to remember that. Secondly, God alone planned it all, initiates all creation, above all creation and he is sovereign. His will is free and no one can cross it. He alone can decide the purpose for His creation and we cannot question it. He alone can choose the destiny and future of all creation. By virtue of being our creator, we can rest in the assurance that he loves us. He created everything good and only good can be expected from him, not evil. Therefore, God’s choices are good and meant to bless- not harm or curse. In Jeremiah he says, I know the plans I have for you, plans for good and not for evil.

 2. By being made in the image of God, we can choose to love back too. The purpose of love is to be loved. He does not look at us as slaves who do not have a choice. He gives us a choice to reciprocate. In Gen 2:18- 20 he let man name every animal and have dominion. We see here a freedom that no slave is given.

Further we see God’s heart to work out love in a covenant relationship. So he makes woman who is a suitable helper. If God has made us as a regent here to ensure the reign of man, he has to give us a choice. Love must always find a free and willing responder.
God knew the risks of creating a being who had the choice to love him, because that means that being could also reject him. So this being can cause God much pain. Love endures pain and continues to love. God has not given up on mankind. This is a good relational tool for us as well.

All our relationship must reflect the Kingdom of God. the very garden still exists on earth, but the environment has gone and so Eden is gone. We now bring Eden in the boundaries we exist in. The boundaries are physical, but there is a relational, work and spiritual boundaries. Gen 3:1- 7 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’? The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.”

Adam and eve were created by God in His image, without sin as beings of choice give freewill to reciprocate to his love. This freewill also meant they could choose to obey God
As Christians, we have the same choice. Therefore, the Bible talks about a time of accounting. You choose to love him by obeying him or choose to disobey him. in his intention we want to obey God but they have made the wrong choices. They fall into temptation and then into sin. This is nothing new.

There are threats to the choices we make for God. the threat comes in the form of temptation. In this story, something comes to Eve outside of herself, but our own inner desires and longings give in to them.

If you think you can recognise the devil, you need to think again. Paul says, He can appear as an angel of light. Jesus said while addressing Peter “Get behind me Satan”. It is what the person says that is from Satan. Eve is having a conversation with someone who is cool, crafty and sensible. What the person is saying to her is not cool. He is getting her to question her choices. Anyone who brings into question the choices you have made in God is unhealthy.

Some of the examples:
1.      angry people are loving people
2.      money makes the world go round
3.      Sex is clean and normal and natural
4.      I never forget an injury and I never forgive an insult
5.      God helps those who helps themselves
6.      Do not judge me dude, you don’t know what the **** I’ve been through

Q. What are these phrases doing to your thinking? 

They are subtle. People are so gullible that they believe anything the media says. Today the church has become a Mimosa plant- Touch-me-nots. We are not called to be a touch-me-not and curl up as soon as the world touches us, but to touch the world and take to the world what we have.  

2 things the voice of evil will do:

1.      Call into question what God has said. When we are not sure, go back to God’s word. Hosea 4:6- “my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.”Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children.” However personal your leadings of God are with you, they will never contradict the scripture. God will not ask you to commit sin no matter what the circumstances are.

2.      Satan addresses desire- He speaks to Eve about something she desires, something she wants to do- to eat. Our needs are valid and need to be discussed with God and not with Satan. All the evil one needs to know is that God knows what we need and He will provide.
Eve responds to the temptation with her own understanding. Her response shows that she wasn’t relying on God’s word. The tree had a name- the tree of the knowledge of Good and evil. And she adds- neither shall you touch it. This attitude leads to making rules that are not called for. When we do this, we go beyond the realm of what is permissible. Some Christians make rules about wearing only white clothes and no make-up or jewellery. The word of God only calls for modest dressing and not all of this. Many men and women in these Christian groups have fallen despite these rules. So, Eve is not thinking straight.

The temptation from the outside manipulates the desires that are inside. We need to base our choices and decision on what God says.

Gen 3: 4-6-

·        “You will not surely die”- once we enter into the discussion with Satan, there is a clear negation of the Word of God. He made God seem like a spiteful person who wants to withhold power from us. Secondly, to overlook an offence, we use this line- that God will understand.

·        Your eyes will be opened”-  We tempt God with evil. We are called to relate with unbelievers, not to give them company. We are like God but we will never be God. So, what are we trying to achieve? We want to be something- only if certain desires are fulfilled we will serve God. Don’t test God. If you know good, you don’t need to know the evil.

Our acts of disobedience to God only lead us astray and the many who follow us. We make wrong choices, and the wrong choices don’t take away the value God has placed in us. God has not given up on us. Our wrong choices give us a chance to change and repent. God will say, get up. He has a plan and destiny for our lives.


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, October 11, 2017

All in the Family- Abraham | Colin D

This message was preached  by Colin D'cruz at Word of Grace Church on October 8th, 2017. To listen/download the audio please click hereTo listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here.

We just finished the series on Jonah, so when a couple of people asked me what I was preaching on next, I said, Matthew 1: 1-16. It’s the genealogy of Jesus. How many of us skip a list of names in the Bible? Most of us do that! But behind each name is a story of amazing grace. Most of these names are from the Old Testament. But we tend to ignore it. Old testament is the New Testament concealed and the New Testament is the Old Testament revealed. So we are going to preach on each of these characters mentioned in this genealogy of Jesus. So, today we are going to talk about Abraham

Abraham is known as the friend of God. He started as an idolater, but then earned this distinction. He is the Father of the Jews and also the Father of believers. He is an important character who has been mentioned a lot in the New Testament.

In Gen 11 he is first mentioned. Before Abraham, 4 big incidents took place- Creation, the Fall, the Flood and Tower of Babel. Gen 11: 27- 3227 This is the account of Terah’s family line. Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran. And Haran became the father of Lot. 28 While his father Terah was still alive, Haran died in Ur of the Chaldeans, in the land of his birth. 29 Abram and Nahor both married. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife was Milkah; she was the daughter of Haran, the father of both Milkah and Iskah. 30 Now Sarai was childless because she was not able to conceive. Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Harran, they settled there. Terah lived 205 years, and he died in Harran.”

Gen 12: 1- 9The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran. 5 He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Harran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there. Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. 7 The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring[c] I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him. From there he went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord. Then Abram set out and continued toward the Negev”   

God has great plans for Abraham Josh 24:2 talks about Abraham and says “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Long ago your ancestors, including Terah the father of Abraham and Nahor, lived beyond the Euphrates River and worshiped other gods. 3 But I took your father Abraham from the land beyond the Euphrates and led him throughout Canaan and gave him many descendants. I gave him IsaacGod chooses people not because of anything good in them, but says, You did not choose me but I chose you. God chose one man and encountered him and met with him.

In Acts 7 when Stephen was being stoned, he spoke about the history of the Israelite nation. “Brothers and fathers, listen to me! The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham while he was still in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Harran. 3 ‘Leave your country and your people,’ God said, ‘and go to the land I will show you.’ “So he left the land of the Chaldeans and settled in Harran. After the death of his father, God sent him to this land where you are now living.” So we see that Abraham moved whereas his brother stayed back. Mesopotamia was a grand civilisation. So God is calling Abraham to go from this comfortable city and went to Harran. Then God is asking him to move without his family.
Abraham is revered by Jews, Muslims and Christians. So his name did become great. The purpose of God exalting Abraham was for a greater purpose. God blesses us so that we can be a blessing. A pot can only hold some water as per the capacity of the pot. But a pipe can take thousands of litres. We are called to be pipes.

We see the promises of God unfolding in Abraham’s life.

1.      Abraham was saved by faith- Genesis 15:6 “Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.” God saves the same way whether its Old Testament or New Testament. We have the Word of God today. As we give people the Word of God, salvation comes to them by faith. It sounds so easy! But it is by believing in Jesus at his word. Abraham was saved by faith. God called Abraham to leave his family because the idolatrous environment was probably hindering him from living a life of faith. This morning, is God calling you to leave something that is hindering you? It can be a physical move, or a move by cutting off things etc.

2.       Abraham lived by faith: he heard the voice of God and he obeyed him. 7 times God appeared to him and he obeyed immediately. Hebrews 11: 8-19 in the great hall of faith Abraham is mentioned- “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. 9 By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise. And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore. All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” 
It means hear the voice of God and just obey. He obeyed God at every stage. There is sacrifice involved. In Gen 17 God changes his name from Abram to Abraham. Abram means exalted father, but Abraham means Father of a multitude. Imagine a person who has no hair changing his name to ‘O hairy one’. Can you imagine what the neighbours think of it? That is exactly what it was. The next year, Sarah was blessed with a child. So they declared and believed what God has said to them. We have been doing that through our daily declarations.

3.      His obedience was the evidence of his faith: Genesis 22 after his promised son, Isaac was born, God says, “Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!”“Here I am,” he replied. Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”” This was the son through whom he was promised nations. But this was Abraham’s response “Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about.” So he was going to kill him and God asks him to stop. Genesis 22: 6-13Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, 7 Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?” “Yes, my son?” Abraham replied. “The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together. When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram[a] caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son.” Then God makes this amazing blessing in verse 15- 18 “The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time 16 and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, 18 and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.””  This is a wonderful picture of the gospel, because the Ram provided was Jesus himself.
Jesus says, if you love me, obey my commands. Nothing we do or not do can un-save us, but our faith must follow works. Augustine says, “We are saved by faith alone, but the faith that saves is never alone.” Let us be eager to do works of faith. What can we do today in obedience to God? It begins with faith and ends with faith, so in the end it is all about faith. We are the spiritual descendants of Abraham.


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, October 3, 2017

Why Wisdom? | Chris B

This message was preached  by Chris B at Word of Grace Church on October 1st, 2017. To listen/download the audio please click hereTo listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here.


Write down 3 things that are good about your life. For me, one of the things that really blessed me specifically today is Music. It reminds me of Dec 2013 when we were called to my Home church because the worship leader Caroline Johnson was retiring. Before I knew my theology, I was singing it. When the time came to articulate it, I had all the words because Caroline already did it for me.

Today we are going to spend time in the Book of Psalms. We will answer 3 questions:

1.      What are the Psalms?
The psalms are a song book for God’s people to carry the word of God. King David wrote a lot of these songs, to teach us to express ourselves to God. It teaches us how to rejoice, how to grieve, express thanksgiving, etc. Just like my son watched and learnt how to do a somersault, the Psalms show us how to express ourselves to God in a Biblical way. It is a blessing to have that kind of

2.      What is wisdom literature?
Just like the Torah is 5 books, the wisdom literature is also 5 books- Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs. The Biblical idea of wisdom is to align ourselves with God’s thinking. That’s why Proverbs says that the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord.

Romans 12:1-2Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

3.      How do they help us?   
Wisdom Literature helps us in fighting sin. In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve fell into sin. They trusted in the word of the serpent rather than the Lord. Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding”. If Adam and eve understood this, they would have fought that sin.  It transforms us to the image of God by listening to this literature.

Psalm 16

1 Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge. I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.”

If you take out your list of 3 good things and see how these things are from God. If you can’t trace this good back to God, then you need to ask yourself, is this thing really good?

3- 6 “I say of the holy people who are in the land, “They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.” Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more. I will not pour out libations of blood to such gods or take up their names on my lips. Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.

It points us back to Joshua, where when God’s people entered into the Promise Land, God says this- your boundary lines have fallen in pleasant places. One of the blessings of being a part of God’s people is contentment. He is our portion and that is enough for us. The world doesn’t have contentment.

7-8 “I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”

In 1970 the NASA sent out three rockets. The Apollo 13 had a malfunction and they had to get home safely. At one point, they didn’t have enough power to get them home. That led to having to burn the rocket to propel themselves forward in space. They had to look at the earth in the window and fire the rockets to propel themselves forward. So they had to keep the earth in front of them at all times and they made it home safely. The same idea is in this word. The psalmist is saying I put the Lord in front of me, because he propels me forward. 

9 - 11“Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay. You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand

The lie of sin is that it will make me happy. But the truth is that in His presence there is fullness of joy. When we fill our mind with truth, the appeal of sin is lost. The word of the Lord is sufficient in to keep us in our path.

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.