Thursday, February 27, 2020

The Three Bs Of Marriage | David F

This message was preached by David Fernandes at Word of Grace Church on Feb 23rdFeb 2020 . To listen to the audio please click here.to listen to the worship please click here.



When I preach at a wedding, who am I speaking to? Is it the couple? Or everyone? The vows that were shared by the couple this morning are so deep that they have a tremendous head start. They were written straight from the heart. I have decided that I'm going to speak to everyone.
Gen 1:26-31 - 26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
27 So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.
28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.
31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.
This description is an ideal description of what a life supposed to be. Can life actually be so?
Before the fall of man, what it was supposed to be is how it is supposed to be now.
The answer to every problem in the world is found in Genesis.
We belong to a God who is good. He's speaking to all of us now. If anyone hasn't known his goodness, today is the day for you to know.


1. Blessing
God blesses us.
Gen 1:28 - 28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
His original intention is to bless us. If you're going through a time of trial, remember that he has made you have a blessed life. What is a blessed life? It is freedom, peace, Jo, tranquility.
He gives us acceptance. None of us is rejected. He gives us a clear conscience and good relationships. And there's one perfect relationship - God and us
That's one amazing blessing upon us. When there's strife, that's not a blessing. When there's peace, that's a blessing. It starts in the family and goes to the national level.
2. Bountiful
We are destined to be bountiful. Fruitfulness - productivity, fulfilling dreams, goals, and purposes.
During the marriage course, I ask the couples - "what is the purpose of your marriage?"
If you're sitting here and think your life is going nowhere, ask God -"What is marriage?"
In the garden of Eden, when God wanted to give us life, something happened. But let's not go there. Let's be in the present. Love through Christ.
3. Bliss
We don't use this work these days.
For me, bliss is Goa, relaxing, someone offering coconut
water.
Bliss is really a state of the heart. There's intentionality to being blissful. How? - By looking at the one who is the author and finisher of our faith. Freedom from conflict gives us Bliss. The Bible gives a blueprint to resolve a conflict.
Phil 2:3-5 - Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature[a] God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
And a part of being in bliss is to celebrate differences.
What once was lost, can be restored. Because of Christ's death and resurrection, we live in him and have hope in him.

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. 

Monday, February 10, 2020

Intimacy That Leads To Identity


This message was preached by Navaz D  at Word of Grace Church on Feb 9th 2020 . To listen to the audio please click here.to listen to the worship please click here.


IDENTITY THAT COMES FROM INTIMACY WITH THE FATHER
Last week we heard a story about 2 sons and how they responded to the Father. I believe God is speaking to us about something deep and life-transforming. I wonder which son did we identify ourselves with or did we feel we belonged to neither?
The Lord has been drawing me back to a few passages of scripture again and again
. Amongst them are John 15, Ephesians 1 and Romans 8:14-17.

‘The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him, we cry, “Abba, Father.”’ (Rom 8:15)

Verse 9  “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love”  ( John 15:9-10)

Today I want to talk about Identity that comes from Intimacy with the Father.
Jesus came to give us life in all its abundance. The devil comes to steal, kill and destroy. Jesus came to reveal the Father and his main mission were to reunite us with Him.

Everything we have and enjoy comes from being in Christ. Jesus shares his inheritance with usWho gives us this inheritance? Naturally, does our father or your brother give it to you? Your Father. You may share your inheritance with your brothers/siblings.

In The Old Testament even though God talked about the nation of Israel as his children, the people did not really relate with God as Father However, when Jesus walked on the earth he only referred to God as His father. Only once did he refer to Father as God and that was on the cross.

Today we call to carry a father wound that was knowingly or unknowingly inflicted upon us by our earthly fathers. 


If he never affirmed you, you struggle with knowing who you are.
We have another player in this and his name is Lucifer.  Adam and Eve were deceived by the first orphan – Lucifer. Lucifer lived in God’s presence and was the chief worshipper. When he fell he lost his brilliance. His lights went out, literally and he was plunged into darkness. He was cast out of God’s presence, which was marked, by love and intimacy. He lost that forever.


The orphan spirit is independent, untrusting, and rebellious, un submitted and has fractured or broken relationships. That is the nature of Satan and that is what he makes us do as well. We can be Christians but still functioning like orphans.


The older son was also functioning from an orphan spirit. He seemed to be obedient, dutiful. But he had no intimacy with the father or else he would have known that everything the father has was his to enjoy.


 But we have often put the cart before the horse. Many have put the Great Commission before the Great commandment. When we know that we are loved and love God in return we are able to love our neighbor not just as ourselves but as Christ. When we love as Christ we will burn with passion for his Bride and for the lost.


Therefore, we need to learn to abide in Jesus. Remain in him. Develop an intimacy with the Father like Jesus did


Spend time with the Father. Let him talk to you and learn to listen. Replace the orphan thinking with truths about yourself and about the Father that is there in the bible. The truth will set you free. Intimacy with the Father will develop your identity. Identity helps you walk into your inheritance from which you can live an abundant life and make an impact.  Let us pray.



Jesus said his goal was to make the Father known to us. He could only do that by putting an end to the barrier of sin that separated us.

There has been a steady shift in our culture and even around the world in the past few decades. Never have we seen the issue of fatherlessness in our life experiences as we are seeing today.

Nobody has had perfect parents or fathers. Say I have not had perfect parents. Say I am not a perfect parent. Say I will never be a perfect parent. But we aim to become healthier ones. We have only good and perfect Father and that is Father God.

Several things could have happened to us during our growing up that could have tainted our view of the father.

If he was distant and uninvolved, you grew up learning to become independent and self-reliant and feel rejected and unloved.
If he was an angry man you learned to related with him in fear guilty and shame
If he was negligent in providing you grew up insecure and with a poverty mindset that there will never be enough and will there be enough for tomorrow
If he was cold and distant you grew up not knowing how to bond
If he was always critical, you grew up with a poor self-esteem and learned to defend and justify and cover up your mistakes
IF he was physically or sexually abusive, you grew up with fear, shame and a deep distrust for authority because the one that should have protected you, violated you.
If he showed approval, only when you did things right you grew up learning acceptance is based on performance and would work hard to please and earn his love.
I could go on with this list but you get what I am saying.

Any one of these or a combination of these sets off a whole pattern of thinking and behaviors that can start very early in life.

Today God want to heal that wounded heart and reveal his father heart to you – that is for you, that loves you with an everlasting love, that gives you more than you can ask or imagine, his love is unconditional

But when we come to Christ the cross restores a connection that was severed not because of what you did but what happened along time ago in the garden of  Eden.
There are two types of Christians - one where Christ is at the center and the other where self is still at the center of their lives because we cannot trust the good, good Father .
We all lives in both these categories to varying degrees. Our aim is to live in Circle 1 more and more.

The Bible tells us that when we are born again we become children of God. We are adopted into his family. the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to son ship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”’ (Rom 8:15)

We are no longer slaves to fear or to the torment of Satan. We are children of God.
It is the orphan spirit and you see this operating in every human beings life, in political systems, cultures, families, relationships etc.

Deep down they struggle to comprehend that God loves us. 
 Even as Christians we are born again when we move from one kingdom into another, we carry some of those ways into the new kingdom and those ways have to be replaced.

The orphan spirit is one of them. It is not cast out, it needs to be replaced. It gets replaced by truth, truth that transforms the way we think which affects how we behave. This is a lifelong process and an ongoing process.

To understand this we have to go back to the beginning in order to deal with the roots.
 God created Adam and Eve to have a perfect relationship with him of love trust and intimacy. However, for there to be true love and trust there needs to be choice. Therefore, there were these 2 trees.

When he saw that God made man in his own image and was enjoying the intimacy he once had he turned his hate and envy toward mankind and was on a mission to steal, kill and destroy man’s identity, intimacy and inheritance in God.

So his biggest battle is against you, a child of God. He knows that when sons of God realize and live in their identity the earth that is his dominion will be dispelled of darkness, as son and daughters of God shine as light and regain their lost glory because of the fall.  These son’s and daughters who know who and whose they are, will fill the earth with the knowledge of and the glory of the Lord.

So how does he go about trying to keep us from realizing our full potential?  He uses orphan thinking – the root of it is lack of trust. That is what he used with Adam and Eve. He made them believe that God was holding out on them and not giving them the best.
When Adam and Eve sinned it separated them from God. Fear and shame replaced love and intimacy.

Praise God for salvation. God is not ashamed to be called our God and Jesus is our brother (Heb2:11)

Through the cross we are reconciled to the Father. We have to choose to embrace son ship i.e what we have positionally we now need to walk out experientially.

Last week we looked at the story of the prodigal son – Do you know that both the sons operated out of an orphan spirit? The younger was overtly rebellious, independent and self-willed.

 Instead he chose to work amongst and live like a slave who did not have access to the Father’s wealth.

Inheritance comes from a place of intimacy and identity. When you are the legitimate child of the father, you are automatically come into the inheritance.
The older son tried to earn favour from duty. The religious spirit is like this. Jesus was making this point to the Pharisees but I think its true for us today too.

CONCLUSION
So all this has been bad news or a reality check.  What do we now? How can we replace the Spirit that besets all of us. What can we do to walk free and walk into our full identity as sons of God?

 Now we have to be careful of playing the blame game : I am like this because my father was like this. No. The cross broke the curses of previous generations. WE are new creations in Christ .

We are also now adults who make adult choices. WE can choose to walk away from that by replace negative thought patterns with ones that are based on the truth that God loves us and is for us completely to the very end of time.

When we have intimacy with the father, we get identity. From identity, we get our inheritance and with our inheritance, we make an impact on this planet.

 This year I believe marks a new watershed in your life. I am not calling it a season. Seasons are there for a time until the next one comes along. This is a watershed, a turning point that is going to alter your life forever if you want it. It is going to be life-transforming. You are going to activate that DNA that was put in you when you became a Christian.



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, February 4, 2020

Come Join the Party

This message was preached by Lasya V at Word of Grace Church on Feb 2nd 2020 . To listen to the audio please click here.to listen to the worship please click here.

COME JOIN THE PARTY

One of the most famous stories in the Bible is the story of the prodigal son. In Luke 15 Jesus tells them the parable of the lost sheep, the lost coin and then the parable of the prodigal son. So you know the story… the wayward son, takes the inheritance of the father while he is still alive. He spends it on reckless living and finally comes to himself and returns home with the hope that if he grovels enough, and expresses his grief over what he has done, maybe he can join his father’s servants. He comes expecting insults and anger, but at least he wouldn’t die. The father, of course, cuts him off midway in his apology and embraces him. And that’s where we pick up the story… from verse 22

But the father said to his servants, 'Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet.

The father restored us before we are cleaned up. We received righteousness, authority and the rights of a son simply by repenting and coming to the Father.

And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.' And they began to celebrate.

When you first came into the kingdom, how many of you felt celebrated by the Lord? And over time we begin to be faithful in the church, we read our Bible, we come from set up team, we help the poor, give our tithes… we begin to get a little less conspicuous.

 The father expects fruitfulness in your life. And this is where most of us are in this journey. So let’s pick up the story from verse 22:

"Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. And he said to him, 'Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.' But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, but he answered his father, 'Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!' And he said to him, 'Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.'"
Luke 15:22-32 ESV

In the kingdom there is a pattern and it’s repeated about 6 times in the gospels alone that the last will be first and the first last. Have you ever experienced this in your workplace or your family, or church that someone who came after you, less deserving than you, gets promoted, gets recognized… So how do we handle our brother’s blessing? How do we keep our hearts from envy?

This is a year of intimacy and revelation the Bible says that it’s the pure in heart who will see God? So let’s get ready for that…
The Father’s response to the elder brother is key for us to understand how to overcome this envy that defiles our hearts, destroys our fruit and drives us away from the presence of God. But that is for another day. The father’s response is 'Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost and is found.' He comments on 3 things - the elder brother’s position, possession, and participation.



  1. Position - Son, you’re always with me
  1. The father reaffirms his sonship and reminds him who he is in that house.
  1.  A king has both sons and servants in the same house. Do you know which one you are?
  1. The son stays because of his name - he inherits the name of the father. But a servant stays for his gain. If you are here for the titles, the blessing, the sermon or worship, the gifts, etc… you are functioning as a servant in your own father's house. Yes, we serve God and our brothers and sisters. But we serve God because we are sons and daughters. We are not sons and daughters because of our service. You can never serve your way to sonship.
  1. Another distinction between a son and a servant is that though they live in the same atmosphere, they have different access.
  1. Action: Go to the brother / sister who offends you and because that is where you will discover intimacy with the father.
  1. Possession - All that is mine is yours
  1. The younger brother took his inheritance and wasted it. It’s not coming back. So everything that the father has now only belongs to the elder brother.
  1. But when we have been faithful and working hard, it’s easy to think that we deserve something when we compare it with some others in the kingdom. But the truth is that it’s all by grace. We work hard by grace and receive the reward by grace.You deserve your wages, but you can never deserve your inheritance. Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. Colossians 3:23-24
  1. Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 1:18 is we may comprehend “what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints.
  1. Action :
  1. The local church is a physical manifestation of the house of God in your surroundings. So if you say I’m a son/ daughter of the kingdom of God, then be a son/ daughter at the local church. Commit yourself to it. OWN IT!
  1. This hall belongs to you, these speakers, curtains, in fact, the very people on your right and left belong to you… so own it! Sign up for the setup team today.
  1. Participation- It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive-

  • The father expects us to be a part of the reconciliation - to share in his joy!
  • The father saw his son while he was still a long way away because his eyes were looking for him. But his brother only noticed him when he was cleaned up and he was being celebrated with music and dancing. The elder son was not a part of the process of reconciliation. He did not share in the joy of the father.
  • There is another elder brother in this book- the firstborn Son of God- Jesus Christ.  He was a part of the process of reconciling his father’s children. Yet he stepped down from his heavenly abode and lived a sinless life, proclaiming the kingdom of God, reconciling man back to their position as sons and daughters of God, died on the cross for the joy that was set before him, satisfying the wrath of God against sin, so that we now stand in His robes of righteousness and boldly enter the presence of God and call him ABBA Father!!!!
  • Action: ask yourself which elder brother you will be? There are people in your life who are lost sons and daughters of God and the father is longing for them! You and I have the opportunity through Christ to reconcile them to the father. So go to them today!


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.