Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Grace in Suffering | Chris B


This message was shared  by Chris B at Word of Grace Church on February 25th, 2018. 


When I think about our time at Word of Grace two events stand out- the Birth of my daughter Eden and the death of my Father-in-law. It is easy to rejoice with those who rejoice, but to weep with those who weep is harder.

Suffering is wildly misunderstood by the Corinthian Church. 3 ways in which God makes suffering to be grace in us:

1.      Suffering is Grace to me
2.      Suffering is Grace to them
3.      Suffering is Grace to us

Grace to me:

2 Corinthians 5:1-5For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, 3 if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. 4 For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5 He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee

As we suffer in our earthly bodies, our earthly tent, we are longing for our eternal home. So it doesn’t let us get comfortable with our lives here.

Grace to them:

Paul’s thorn in his flesh was grace to him but also grace to them. When we were born again God made us a new creation and we were transformed.

Matthew 7: 24- 27 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
Only in the context of a storm can it be demonstrated that a house has been built well. The same way, suffering is the context in which our faith is tested.

Grace to us:

2 Corinthians 1:3-7Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.[a] 6 If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. 7 Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.”

Where there is suffering, there is comfort. If our daughter is hurting, Jenn or I will immediately scoop her up and comfort her. In the same way when we suffer, we experience the comfort of the Father.

Romans 8:35- 39-Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,“For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

More than conquerors means that the things that are designed to destroy our faith not only do not destroy us but strengthen 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

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

How to reconnect with God | Chris B

This message was shared  by Chris B at Word of Grace Church on February 4th, 2018. To listen/download the audio please click hereTo listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here.

Story from my own life- May 19, 2007- Just after midnight, I approached a young lady whose name was Jennifer Johnson and asked her to marry me. I won’t spoil the ending for you. 

Q. Why did I ask her to marry me?

Not because she could make perfectly round chapattis. The answer is that I wanted to spend the rest of my life in her presence. I didn’t want to go a single day without being refreshed by her presence.

That did not happen for some time, but finally we did get married. We had a small celebration that night with some friends and we went to sleep. That Sunday I was scheduled to preach something that I will be preaching today.

1 John 3:1-3See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. 3 And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.

In verse 2, what we will be has not yet appeared. It doesn’t mean we will be disowned later. It means that we are not children of God in these bodies, but when Jesus returns, what we will look like and how we will be with him, we do not know. We will be in a body like him, not prone to sin or sickness. While we can describe what it wont be like, what we will be is harder for us for we have not seen it.

We will be like him. We know that because we will see him as he is. This is an important principle. To the degree that you see Jesus as he is, to the same degree, you are sanctified. The world doesn’t know us because it did not know him. As we go from death to life, we begin being transformed. 2 Corinthians 3:18-And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” As we behold him, we are being changed from one shade of glory to the next.

That’s why in 1 John 2, he says that whenever he appears we will be like him because we will see him as he is. The transformation will be complete as we see him completely. This is a work that is done through the spirit. This is a spiritual discerning and not a physical seeing. It is a perceiving.

 Q. How do we do that?

3 categories of things that are going to help us:

1.      This July Jenn and I will celebrate our 10 years. Recently I was away for 8-10 days and I was feeling disconnected from her. We were not communicating, I didn’t know what was happening with her- we were just not in step. Have you ever felt that way with a family member? When we went out for one day, we reconnected. It is super-important for my marriage. In the same way, we need to regularly connect with God. It happens by experiencing him in his word.

2.      We also need to talk. We go to God and pray. God is an infinitely patient listener.

3.      Together- together with him. When we corporately gather to do together-together with him- to sing songs and worship him, be encouraged by others testimonies, the gifts of spirit encourage us to move forward together.

If we want to see growth, we need to be doing this regularly! These means of grace are very valuable for us. Think back to the verse 1 John 3:3. As we gather together- together with him, it strengthens our hope in him. It gives us greater desire for him. We are more delighted by him than the world.

Q. What does this look like?

When we have this hope, 1 Peter 1:3-9Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls”.

There is a fourth idea, which I think is equally important- i.e. suffering: In this letter Peter is writing to a people who have lost everything. He speaks about the living hope. Even though they are suffering there is inexpressible glorious joy. When we are suffering we get a chance to come together and ask God for a miracle. But if you have joy even when you are suffering, it is sign to you that God is working in your life and that you are growing. When you have every reason to be unhappy, you rejoice instead of complaining, then you see the Lord grow in you in your walk. It is through the lens of suffering that we get to see how we have grown in Him.

Joy in the midst of suffering is a gift that is given to us. That is an excellent sign that we are children of God. I recommend that we do these things to grow and mature in God- to be transformed by him through seeing and knowing him. 

Let’s pray!


 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