Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Living in the New Era | A Jay

This message was preached by Colin D at Word of Grace Church on June 30th, 2019. To listen/download the audio please click hereTo listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here







LIVING IN THE NEW ERA



We as a family of churches – Regions Beyond are carrying a word for us and that is a ‘Promise of a New Era.’ While we were spending time last week seeking God asking “what does this new era look like.”

The word says that we are in a new era – not a new season because seasons come and go and we know what a season is going to look like. A new era is something absolutely new and different – there is no prototype that has gone before us and we have never been this way before.

I am going to speak to you about someone who was called to live a life in the new era where there were implications and costs involved. Let us see how he and his family responded.

Gen 12: 1 – 3
The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.
2 “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.[
a
]
3 I will bless those who bless you,
    and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
    will be blessed through you.”

God wants every man and woman to carry a promise of God in the new era. The call of living in the new era is amazing – you don’t know what is in front of you and sometimes it’s confusing, breathtaking, at times it can be ugly.

 It can be like trying to build a plane in the air. Abraham was in a place where he was relying on God for what’s coming next. He came from a house of idol worshippers where he and his father Terah were idol worshippers when God got a hold of him and said “I want you to live in a new era.” 

God gave him some very big promises – so big that they were to play a vital role in the universal plan of redemption. His role was to be part of God’s big picture where God would reconcile man back to himself. Let’s look at scripture and see what this was all about.

Vs 1 The Lord said to Abraham
1)     God is the origin of the call over our lives.
It’s simple, but sometimes we forget. Abraham had done nothing to receive this call on his life. When God speaks, stuff happens. When God said “let there be light”, there was light. When God called Abraham there comes in the picture of the redemptive plan of the universe – God’s people being called back to God.

The Bible is full of such stories like Moses in the wilderness. He saw the bush that was burning but not being consumed by the fire and there was no smoke. He went there and God spoke to him. He came up with lots of excuses but God called him to do something and he did. Samuel got up and went to Eli and said “did you call me?” Eli said no until he understood that it was God who was calling him and he responds. 
Andrew and Peter were on the boat and Jesus said “come follow me and I will make you fishers of men and they left their boats and their nets to follow Jesus. Saul became Paul in a moment. Now there’s my story.

  
If you are sitting here today wondering if Jesus really exists and died for your sins, today is the day of salvation. Give him your heart and he will be yours forever.

We need to be absolutely sure that it is God who has called you because when challenges come, you will need the strength, the grace and the courage from God alone.

2)     The Call is costly.
Our battles are going to get more difficult. We are living in times where times are gonna become very difficult, but our victories are gonna become easier because it is  God who will fight for us.

Vs 1 The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.
Sometimes the call is literal, it actually requires us to leave our family and our household and go.

 But many times, God is actually saying “leave your comfort zone.” We have become very comfortable – it is about me: my wife and children, my job, etc. and I am comfortable. That’s when God says come on – move on. Things are not about us.

Leaving our comfort zone can look very different for each one of us. Sometimes it can be about Sunday morning – the alarm goes off and you are on the serving team, you feel someone else can replace you, and you rest. The serving team needs you – the buck stops with you. Sometimes it can be about Sunday afternoon – on Sunday afternoon I want to chill, I want to rest. I know that Colin and Navaz call for hospitality, but maybe I can rest and do it next week.

 Then next week becomes the next and it never happens and we get comfortable. God says let's come out of our comfort zone. Getting out of our comfort zone can also be about sharing the love of God with our friends.

I am friends with this person and we are comfortable. I don’t want the friendship to get awkward or for us to get disconnected so let Jesus be out of the conversation here -  but God says to come out of the comfort zone.

By asking him to leave his country, God was saying leave your comfort zone that you are in and to leave his people and his familiarity.

By asking him to leave his Father’s household, God was asking him to leave every security that comes with living under a protected roof. God was saying “make me your security, make me your dependable one, you can rely on me, I will be with you forever, I will never leave you.”

The scripture talks about the call being costly – Peter and Andrew left their nets, Matthew left the table to follow Jesus. There was a man who Jesus said to come follow him.

The man said, “let me bury my Father and then I will follow you.” It wasn’t that his Father had just died and he had to carry out a funeral service. What he really meant was let my father get old and die, let me grab my inheritance, then I will follow you. Then Jesus said “If you hold on to your life, you will lose it, if you lose your life for me, you will find it.”


. There is a cost involved and the cost may look different for everyone. It may look like no promotion. We are coming into times where people may look at your name and your belief system and say I don’t want this man or woman to go ahead in life and there will be a choice that will be in front of you. Will you follow Jesus or will you leave Jesus out of the equation. You will know when you are being ashamed of the Gospel.

The call is costly but it doesn’t end there. God is Faithful – he promises us that he will never leave or forsake us. There is a purpose behind the call – there was a purpose behind Abraham’s call.

3)     Purpose of this call.

God said to Abraham
“I will make you into a great nation,
    and I will bless you;
I will make your name great

In those times, making your name great was not just being famous, but it meant that people will know you and the purposes of God in many generations to come. Today we are still talking about Abraham in 2019 which means God has been faithful – he has kept his word.

All the families of the world will be blessed through Abraham – and that is great. God’s ultimate purpose by calling us is much more than just us being blessed. We are blessed to be a blessing. It is far better to be a blessing than to be just blessed. 

The rest of the world wants big houses and cars. For us God is saying “I want you to be a blessing.” Imagine someone dies and everyone says: “this lady was such a blessing to our community, to our city.” That’s what God wants for us.

 Once we get a hold of that, everything – the way we do life, our attitude changes. The way mums and dads raise their children would completely change. Everything around us would change when we realize that God has called us to be a blessing.

How can we be a blessing? What does that mean for us?
If we line up with God’s purpose, we will be a blessing. God’s ultimate purpose is people from every tribe tongue and nation came to know Jesus. Jesus said go and make disciples, baptize them in the name of the Spirit and I will be with you till the end of age. That is God’s ultimate purpose. When our lives align with this purpose of God, he is glorified and our purpose on Earth is fulfilled.





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 has 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.  Word of Grace is a part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know more about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Meet the Colossians Part 1 | Colin D

This message was preached by Colin D at Word of Grace Church on June 30th, 2019. To listen/download the audio please click hereTo listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here



Colossians PART1

Do you love Jesus? Do you love his bride? How far are you willing to travel to meet someone you love? How far will you go on foot or on the back of a donkey?

Coli 1:1-9 today we are going to look at the life of a young man named Epaphras
Epaphras. He traveled 2000km to visit Apostle Paul in Rome. There were no planes or trains in those days. It was a long and arduous journey. Colosse is a city in Asia Minor, modern-day Turkey.

Acts 19:8 Paul was in Ephesus and he preached in the Synagogue for 3 months. Then he lectured in the Hall of Tyrannus for 2 years. The result is all the Jews and Greeks in the area (Asia Minor) heard the gospel. He did this daily. Then these Jews/Greeks in turn, took the gospel to other cities.

Epaphras was from Colossae and he took back what he heard from Paul and planted a church there. The church was going on and he was concerned about some heresies in the area and wanted to discuss this with Paul before it affected the churches.

In response to this, Paul writes this letter to the Colossians.
Verse 1. Paul has not been to Colosse. He is writing as the Apostle who was chosen by God. He did not appoint himself. God met with him miraculously. He also includes Timothy in his greeting. Paul often wrote about his companions.

Verse2. to the holy and faithful. What a lovely way to address people. Holy is another way for calling them, Saints.

If you know Jesus as your Savior, you are a saint. We often get confused with the word. Eph1:1 to the saints. You do not have to have a perfect life. It does not mean you are sinless. It means once upon a time you were a sinner (Rom9:9, Rom 3:23, Gal 3:26). “You are sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus: So we are changed from sinners to sons. We are saints and servants.

Saints = set apart. It does not mean perfection eg) Your towel is set apart from your body and the mop for the floor.

When we get into sin, we are using the towel for the floor.
Now some people in the church are, messed up. We are being sanctified.

Verse3. We always thank God. Paul prayed for the people and thanked God for them. Let us pray for one another and people’s needs. Be mindful of people’s needs.

Paul thanked God for the people. Why did Paul give thanks for the people?
·       He heard of their faith in Christ Jesus. Faith is the bridge that will take you to heaven.
·       Love for all the saints

·       Hope stored up for you in heaven

Do you see all three here: Faith, hope, and love.

Let’s look at FAITH today.
What Paul is talking about is saving faith. We think it’s intellectually believing but Faith should result in changed behavior. There is a saving faith and a demonic faith.

James 2:14-19 Faith without deeds is dead. Biblical faith must be followed by deeds. Salvation comes by faith alone. But, faith that saves is never alone.

Even the devil believes in Jesus and shudders. People can know Jesus but have not put into action saving faith.

Do you have true faith?
John Newton was a profane sailor. His mother used to pray for him. One day a storm arose for 11 days. He thought he would die. During that time he remembered some of the scriptures his mother taught him when he was a little boy. He cried out to God and he was saved. He gave his life to Jesus. Did he give up all his bad habits immediately? No. That sanctification process took time. He eventually gave up slave trade. He wrote the song Amazing Grace.

No matter how big your sin God’s grace is greater.
Ephaharus was concerned about the purity of the church. He addressed the problem before hand, before anything could happen.
Do you have saving faith in your life? When you have true faith, there will be transformation.
Can we pray for one another? There are different ways to show love to one another. We have great opportunities to love one another. Let us do it in different ways.
The next time we will look at HOPE.








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 has 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.  Word of Grace is a part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know more about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Waiting and hoping on God | Colin D


This message was preached by Colin D at Word of Grace Church on June 30th, 2019. To listen/download the audio please click hereTo listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here

Isaiah 40:5-31
Think about your greatest accomplishment. Maybe you’ve excelled at school or at work. Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, a machine to show moving pictures, a transmitter, etc. If anyone had a right to boast, it was him. But he humbly said he couldn’t make the simplest form of life. Only God can do that

As we focus on the greatness and goodness of God, it strengthens us to go through anything. In Jer 9:23, Jeremiah says our boasting should be in the fact that we know God. Charles Spurgeon said, “The highest science, the loftiest speculation, the mightiest philosophy, which can ever engage the attention of a child of God, is the name, the nature, the person, the work, the doings, and the existence of the great God whom he calls his Father.” A W Tozer said, “What comes to our mind when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” It is so important that we have the right view of God.
So how does this passage in Isaiah tell us about who God is?

1.      God is eternal- His word is eternal. He is without beginning and has no end. The hills which are full of trees wither completely due to change in seasons. Millions of men have come and gone, but God and His word have stayed forever.

People have tried all means to end the word of God. The Roman emperor wanted every copy of the Bible to be burnt, but 25 years later the next emperor, Constantine asked 50 copies of the Bible to be written out. Our God is on His throne. In 1778 Voltaire made a prediction that 100 years from then, the Bible will be a forgotten book and Christianity will cease to exist. But the Geneva Bible Society now uses his home to print and distribute Bibles all over the world. God’s word does not depend on you and I. He will watch over His word and His church.

2.      God is great: V. 12-15; 23-26
Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand,
    or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens?
Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket,
    or weighed the mountains on the scales
    and the hills in a balance?
13 Who can fathom the Spirit[d] of the Lord,
    or instruct the Lord as his counselor?
14 Whom did the Lord consult to enlighten him,
    and who taught him the right way?
Who was it that taught him knowledge,
    or showed him the path of understanding?
15 Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket;
    they are regarded as dust on the scales;
    he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust.”
“He brings princes to naught
    and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing.
24 No sooner are they planted,
    no sooner are they sown,
    no sooner do they take root in the ground,
than he blows on them and they wither,
    and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff.
25 “To whom will you compare me?
    Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One.
26 Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens:
    Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one
    and calls forth each of them by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,
    not one of them is missing.”

We look at the creation – He created everything out of nothing. On 20 Aug 1977, the Voyager 2 was sent to view the outer planetary system. On 28 Aug 1989 (more than a decade later), it only reached planet Neptune, and eventually left the solar system. But God made millions of galaxies like our galaxy! Our Universe is so vast and we are so tiny in comparison. When presidents and primemnisters are in office, they seem big, but He brings them to nothing. That power is nothing before the power of God.

Pharoah for instance- they build massive pyramids much before their time. But they messed with the wrong people and God did a miracle and Egypt is no longer the glorious city it was. Our hope in a God who has all power.

In Daniel 5, we see how Belshazzar did not honour God and used consecrated goblets for his party. The hand of God wrote a warning on the wall and that very night he was killed.

3.      God is gracious: v. 27-31 “Why do you complain, Jacob?
    Why do you say, Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord;
    my cause is disregarded by my God”?
28 Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.”

We need to be a people who wait and put our hope in the Lord.
a.      What is our hope in?
History is moving forward and will culminate when Jesus comes back. In history, the Glory of God was manifest at different times. But on the second coming, everyone will see His glory. Our hope is that Jesus will come. So let’s put our trust in His. 1 Thess 4: 16-17

b.     How do we wait on God?
Spending tie in god’s presence and in His purpose is how we wait on God. As you spend time in His presence- reading the word, meditating, you build yourself up. We must get involved in His purposes while we are waiting for His promise to be fulfilled.

Our God is on the throne! He is eternal, he is great and he is gracious! Let’s encourage one another with these words.

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 has 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.  Word of Grace is a part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know more about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.