Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Faith And Failure Of Abraham


This message was preached by Colin D'Cruz via zoom  Word of Grace Church, on August  23rd 2020. For the audio please click here.  For the worship please click here

Faith and Failure of Abraham

All through the Bible, we see mainly 2 themes -

1. What has gone wrong
2. How God would put it right

The book of Genesis is the fundamental book. All the other truths in the rest of the Bible are found in Genesis. If we didn't have the book of Genesis, will Exodus and then the other books make any sense? Across the Bible, we see many narratives. We may think they are just stories. But God conveyed truths through these stories/narratives.

Let's look at Genesis chapter 12.

1. God's favour was on Abraham

Abraham's family was in Ur near Harran. Ur is a city in the region of Mesopotamia.
It was an excellent city which was well developed. God calls Abram and asks him to leave this city of Ur which means to leave a life of security, family, wealth and go to a place chosen by God. The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. - Genesis 12:1 NIV

Why did God choose Abram?
God chooses people not because of the good in them but because His mercy, Grace and favor.

We see that the Bible reveals not just the successes but also the failures.

A great blessing was promised to Abraham by God -

“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.” - Genesis 12:2-3 NIV

The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring, I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him. - Genesis 12:7 NIV

We may think what does it have to do with me?

Let's look at Galatians 3:14

He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit. - Galatians 3:14 NIV

This is the link now! Some thousands of years ago a promise was given to Abraham.

Jesus Christ came to this world, sacrifices His life, redeemed us in order that the blessing was given to Abraham some thousands of years ago would come to us through Christ himself.

This is a huge blessing!

* I will make you a great Nation

Thought Abraham and Sarah didn't have children and while they were old and Sarah was barren, God gave this promise to Abraham.

We may think how does this apply to me?
This is how bit applies - We are a part of that promised Nation.

* I will bless you

We see that there were temporal blessings and spiritual blessings.

For us, today, we can also receive that blessing.

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. - Philippians 4:19 NIV

... I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. - John 10:10 NIV

* I will make your name great

Even after thousands of years, the Jews, Muslims and Christians know Abraham and honor him. If he had stayed in Ur, Harran, nobody would've heard his name.

* I will bless those who bless you and whoever curses you I will curse

This is a precious promise!

All the people on earth will be blessed through Abraham. Yes, we are blessed through Abraham.


2. Abraham's faith in God

Moving to the Land God called him to was not an easy thing to do.
But Abraham was -

* Quick to obey
As he obeyed God and went, he encountered God

* True worshipper
Abraham moved to Canaan and among all the Canaanites, Abraham was the only true worshipper of God

The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord , who had appeared to him. - Genesis 12:7 NIV

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 . - Genesis 12:8 NIV


3. Abraham's failure and God's grace

What we see throughout the Bible is that whenever we obey God, we see trials and testing. We see the same happen to Abraham.

Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to live there for a while because the famine was severe. As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “I know what a beautiful woman you are. -Genesis 12:10-11 NIV

There was a famine and Abraham went down to Egypt to live there for a while.

Abraham could have trusted in God and stayed in Canaan. But it looks like he didn't wait to hear from God and moved to Egypt.

After reaching Egypt he told Sarah to lie about their relationship. He asked her to tell everyone that Abraham was her brother so that he would be treated well.

The amazing thing about Bible is that Abraham's weaknesses and shortcomings are narrated too.

When we fail, we will fall. But God's grace is always there.

This is how God showed His grace to Abraham.

He treated Abram well for her sake, and Abram acquired sheep and cattle, male and female donkeys, male and female servants, and camels. - Genesis 12:16 NIV

God provided Abraham with everything that was needed and much more.
Though Abraham failed, God showed Grace and provided for him.

God, yet again showed Grace.

But the Lord inflicted serious diseases on Pharaoh and his household because of Abram’s wife Sarai. So Pharaoh summoned Abram. “What have you done to me?” he said. “Why didn’t you tell me she was your wife? Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her to be my wife? Now then, here is your wife. Take her and go!” Then Pharaoh gave orders about Abram to his men, and they sent him on his way, with his wife and everything he had. - Genesis 12:17-20 NIV

Not just provided but God also rescued them. In the midst of failure and sin, God was faithful to His promise and delivered them out of that difficult situation.

Let's think -

What is God asking us to let go off or do something?

In what areas have we failed?

Let's come to God so that He will give the power to change our ways of living.

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 


Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Lessons From Stephen's Speech Part | Abrahman ,- A Man Of Faith

 This message was preached by Abhishek Bansode via zoom  Word of Grace Church, on August 9 2020. For the audio please click here. 

Man of faith

Summary: Being called out to leave a place of comfort, being given promises which seem unnatural, Abram (Abraham) Displays incredible faith. A “Father” worth modelling our lives on.

As Colin mentioned, we are now looking at the speech of Stephen just before his martyrdom, lets read Acts 7:2-5 To this he replied: "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.' 4"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. 5He gave him no inheritance here, not even enough ground to set his foot on. But God promised him that he and his descendants after him would possess the land, even though at that time Abraham had no child.

The OT scripture which Stephen was referring to here is 

Gen 12:1-5 1The 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. 3I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse, and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you." 4So 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. 5He 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.

We can break these 5 verses in 3 sections:

1.      The Call- Verse 1

2.      The Promises- verses 2, 3

3.      The Action – verses 4, 5

Let’s look at these 3 sections and see how the pattern remains the same today, even today there is a Call from God to us, there are Promises of God accompanying the call, and we need to respond in faith and obey the call.

1.      The Call- Verse 1

        1The LORD had said to Abram, "Go from your country, your people and your father's household to the land I will show you.”

        Here we now see this man: Abram, who receives this incredible call- an instruction- to leave his familiar settings to go to a Land shown to him.

        In the Old and New Testament, Abraham is named in 230 verses. References to Abraham (or Abram) in Genesis 11–25:10 disclose biographical incidents in the life of Abraham. From this point on, the 135 remaining references to Abraham point back to these historical events.

        What do we know about his past?- we know he is from Ur of Chaldeans, his father is Terah, he is married to Sarai, he had 2 brothers one who is no more and that his Nephew stays with him. He was from a pagan background (Joshua 24:2,3)

        He is successful

        He is 75 years old!!

        He obeyed and did respond to the call

2.      The Promises:  

God’s calls to Abram was accompanied by a few amazing promises:

a.      Abram would become a great Nation (2a)

b.      Abram would be blessed (2b)

c.      Abram’s name would become great(2c)

d.      Abram would be a blessing to others (2d, and 3a, 3c)

e.      Abram would enjoy God’s protection (3b)

These promises are so important, that whenever God addresses the patriarchs in Genesis, he refers to these promises, very often amplifying or make them more specific. To grasp the importance of the promises in Genesis, look at God’s speeches in the book, there are more 10 times that these are referred to

1.      12:1-3,7

2.      13:14-17

3.      15:1-7,13-21

4.      16:11-12

5.      17:1-21

6.      18:10-32

7.      21:12-13,17

8.      22:11-18

9.      25:23

10.   26:2-5, 24

11.   28:13-15

12.   31:3

13.   32:27-29

14.   35:1,9-12

15.   46:3-4

These promises are so significant that Apostle Paul talks about these as the gospel, in Gal 3:8 “And the Scriptures foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith preached before the gospel unto Abraham saying in thee shall all nations be blessed.

In Acts 26:6 And Now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our Fathers.

But here is Abram, he is extraordinary, he is a man who was chosen by God, a Man of Faith, whose Name meant “Noble/Exalted” father and who had no child, in the natural these promises must’ve made no sense. No Child but he would be Nation! After 75 his name would be great!

 Remember he is 75 years old, he has lived his life with a name which means father and has had no children of his own, yet he believed and responded in faith. Amazing!


3.      The Action – verses 4, 5

        Faith in Action: it is not just that he believed, he obeyed and acted in and by faith and left from a place where he is well settled, to go to an uncertain place

        The response which makes him a Hero of the Bible: This is what makes him a Hero, to have that conviction, that faith to do things which in the natural seem unwise or rather abnormal.

        A role model for us:

Respond to the Call of God: Just like God chose Abram and Called him, Here today is the Call of God to all of us: Turn from our own ways to THE WAY He has made, His Son Jesus Christ, to be reconciled to him, to have a covenant relationship with him. Our ways are not good enough, Rom 3-23,24 says we have all fallen short of his glory, our ways are never going to lead us to Him. John 3:16 the famous verse is God’s heart- here is my Son, believe in Him to have eternal life.

God is stretching out his Arms and Calling you into a relationship with Him, He has prepared THE WAY. Your age, your circumstances, your social status, your ‘society’ notwithstanding, the Call is for You, the Call is for all of us. If you’ve not put your trust in Him and His Way, today is the day. If you already have done that, the Call is to go deeper- Deep calls to deep- the more intimate and close relationship with God


Act in obedience- believe and be baptised. Work out our inward Salvation, Let us model ourselves on one of the greats of the Bible, a Man of Faith who responded and acted in obedience, let us also act, if we’ve not put our trust in Him, let us do it today and in action get baptised if we have already done that lets work out what's been worked in us-our salvation.

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 


Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Lessons From Stephen's Speech. Part 1- Our Father Abraham


This message was preached by Debbie Vartak via zoom  Word of Grace Church, on August 9 2020. For the audio please click here. 





As we heard Colin quote vs 60 of Acts 7: Lord lay not this sin to their charge….. was it just I, or did you also see a replica or a draw a parallel to an incident that had but recently occurred… the death of Jesus and the events leading up to this were so similar  - that finding no fault in Jesus they accused him falsely and crucified him. Blasphemy, as Colin said, was a crime worthy of death…. Jealousy and envy stand out most,  but more importantly, they could not withstand the Spirit of Wisdom that was upon Jesus and now upon Stephen

Acts 6: 10 supports this and so they chose to accuse Stephen of blasphemy – He spoke against the Temple and the Law of Moses.  Who were they?


1.      It is said that Caiaphas who officiated as high priest at the time of Jesus’ trial was officiating as high priest of the council that Stephen was now brought before. He was a Judge.


2.      The people accused Stephen of blasphemy – Acts 6 : 13


3.      They seized him and brought him before the council


4.      False witnesses were raised to speak and  to accuse him of this blasphemy


5.      “He speaks continuously against the holy temple and the Law of Moses.


Steven’s face shone like an angel, God himself was present and Stephen sensed the presence of God.


1.      He did not get angry

2.      He did not counter the accusation

3.      He did not defend himself.

4.      He used their common history – sacred and holy to them to introduce to Caiaphas and the council that the NEW MUST TAKE CENTRE STAGE AS THE OLD HAS COMPLETED ITS ROLE. Not on this mountain and not in Jerusalem, Jesus had said to the Samaritan but in spirit and truth true worshipper will worship me.


And so in Chp 7 of Acts, to the Question of Caiaphas, “Are these things true?” Stephen sets out to answer his question. He finds a place of commonness and common ground from which to preach the gospel to a bunch of really hard-hearted Jewish leaders.

The God of Glory….. not just any visitation, but one brilliant manifestation of God himself, in HIS appearance to our Father Abraham called to Abraham.. Abraham was visited by one beyond whom there is no one bigger, mightier or comparable. My question to you is was Abraham in the Temple when it happened?  No it was not built. And both Caiaphas and the Council knew this to be true.

God appeared to your father and mine – Abraham. God did not stand in Jerusalem or on Mount Zion and roar his message out to Abraham, He visited Abraham. He is not restricted to this temple. This temple is temporal and so is the Law of Moses and must be replaced with the Wind of change blowing. He visited Abraham in Mesopotamia…. A heathen idolatrous land. It was not Israel, it was not Jerusalem, it was the Ur of the Chaldees.

So who was Abraham ?

We have to go back in history to trace the line from which Abraham came and to know who he was.


Abraham has been mentioned 299 times in theBible and he was and is known as the Father of Nations, the pursuer of righteousness, the Friend of God, the Confidante of God with whom God shared his secrets, Father of the Faithful, Carrier of Blessings, and a haggler, he even bargained with God.


At the time of the Flood, Noah and his family were the only humans who God saved – Noah and his wife, his three sons and three daughters-in-law – 8 humans only. When the floods receded and life began again on earth, Japheth went to the North west to Europe and Asia, Ham went to the south, to Africa and Shem to the East – to modern day Iraq to Mesopotamia.


It was 10 generations from Shem to Abraham. Terah was Abraham’s father. Terah at age 70 fathered Nahor the eldest of 3 sons – Abraham was the youngest and Haran who was second had died leaving behind his son Lot. Where were they living …. IN MESOPOTAMIA (The Ur of the Chaldees)

“Meso” means in the middle or in between and “potamia” means rivers. Between these two very large rivers was this land  - 1) The Euphrates and The river Tigris. Today, it is Iraq, Kuwait, Turkey, Syria.

 Mesopotamia had highly developed and complex societies. People developed technology like metalworking, glass making, textile weaving, gem setting, food control, water storage and irrigation. Strong in Math and Astronomy, they belonged to the Bronze Age.

 2000 BC is when Abraham lived and Abraham and his family occupied the luscious and green pastures in Ur, the capital of Chaldea. In contrast to the arid plateau of Mesopotamia stretched the rich, alluvial plain of Chaldea formed by the deposits of the river Euphrates and Tigris. It was located near the Persian Gulf on the coast where these 2 rivers poured its waters into the Ocean – luxurious – a long green strip of grazing land, suitable for a shepherd tribe like Abraham which required these pasture lands to graze their many many animals.

 However this country was an idolatrous nation. (Josh 24: 15 .. the fathers of the children of Israel who dwelt beyond the flood of the Euphrates served other Gods)  They were impacted by the Hamites, (Gen 9:25 God cursed Ham for exposing Noah’s nakedness, the descendants of Ham) who had stretched to the south-east and lived in Ur. They practised horrible and unnatural idolatrous practices and crimes and amidst these people Abraham lived and grew up. Abraham who disliked these practices, (How do I know this? The scriptures says, for those he foreknew, he also predestined) and God separated Abraham for himself. There has always been that ONE man …..whom God had when he was about to do something earth-shaking…. Noah, Abraham, Lot…  Gen 9: 26 blessed is Shem ….the lives of this shepherd tribe were sweeter and purer than the other people.


Today we are studying Abraham and the Call of Abraham…God saw Abraham and his ways.  Abraham was 70 years when God appeared to him. He becomes the confidant of God, the carrier of great blessings so that we are called the sons of Abraham, the sons of righteousness and faith and grace. Moses writing the Torah sketches the life and character of Abraham and this is one portrait the scriptures draw with great detail.

Genesis 12: 1 and Acts 7: 3 In great splendour, with an outward manifestation that gave him the unmistakable basis for belief even in the worst circumstances, the God of glory appeared to Abraham. What an experience !!!!! And said to him :

Very specifically, God spoke:      Get thee out of  THY COUNTRY

                                                Get thee out of THY PEOPLE

                                                Get thee out of THY FAMILY

Jesus said, If any man wishes to follow me, let him DENY HIMSELF, TAKE UP HIS CROSS AND FOLLOW ME.

To a land that I will SHOW YOU…. 700 miles from Ur to Haran, 700 Miles from Haran to Syria, 800 miles from Syria to Egypt. It was a long long journey.


The Call was specific, it was intangible (involving faith and obedience) and it accompanied great blessing, it called for a lonely walk with only God as his companion, it called for separation and singlemindedness.         

A clear, uncompromising call that now explained the perks, the advantages of making a the decision to hearken to the call.




You shall BE A BLESSING…. ( To those who bless you I will bless, to those who dishonour you, I will curse … e.g. as the lives of Pharaoh, his concubine's,  entire court and country were at risk, their lives threatened by a lie…. God would keep His word… He is the word.

All the families of the earth will be blessed in you.


I will SHOW YOU A LAND - Not give you…. Not one you will own…. No.. only show him… not a foot of the land did he promise Abraham.

I will MAKE YOU A GREAT NATION - I am 70 years and have no heir…. If we take a look

At Genesis 11, oddly enough for each of the generations before Abraham and Terah, all the ancestors between the ages of 29 and 32 had their first child, Terah had his first son at 70 and here was Abraham – 70 years but with no signs of having an heir…. And God is saying I will make you a GREAT NATION….. But the “I” was so great and glorious and the voice behind the promise so faith instilling, that Abraham arose…


So Abraham hears the CALL AND OBEYS….. The call was definitely not easy and he starts correctly by leaving the Ur of the Chaldees,

Part one … leave country …complete.

Part two …leave people… He disobeyed the call,

Part three…. leave family…he disobeyed the call.

Take a look at Genesis 12 which says Abraham departed, yes he obeyed but how – he took with him vs 4 Lot and Terah.  At age 75 after 5 years of staying in Haran ….. not Canaan…. He almost forgot his call, because he compromised … we need to beware of the Terahs and Lots in our lives, who bring compromise instead of obedience in our lives. They come in comfort, covered packages.

vs 5 Abraham, Lot and all the souls that they had gotten in Haran, they went forth after Terah had died. 


My POINT IS THAT ABRAHAM WAS NOT PERFECT. But Abraham lived in the dispensation of Grace and not law, for under the law, for this lack of obedience he would have paid heavily, even with his life….that was the law… The obedience to the Call of God was mingled with partial obedience and for 5 years neglected…. BUT GOD LEFT THE DOOR OPEN FOR HIM TO ENTER….. THAT IS GRACE….and so if anyone feels, I didn’t obey when the call was given… don’t live in regret, the door is open ….. and God’s gracious hand still beckons us. A partial failure holds great lessons for us DON’T COMPROMISE.

When Terah died partial obedience and idolatry were out of the way. Terah worshipped Idols.

Once this happened, “From I will show you the land” …. It turned to “I will give your offspring the land” Gen 17:8.

As we proceed, I want to dwell on the CALL OF GOD, the latter part in particular.



1.      Today Israel is a contender amongst the big economies of the world, silent, strong, impenetrable, backed by the worlds biggest economy.

2.      You and I are the sons of Abraham …. God promised…. Many, many children

At Bethel …. As the dust of the earth

At Mamre …. Uncountable stars in the sky

Gen 17: 2…. I will multiply thee EXCEEDINGLY.

3.      Gal 3 : 7, 29…. If you are Christs then you are Abraham’s Offspring…. Included in that golden circle by faith.

4.      Gen 17:8 I will give ….. for an everlasting possession… This is yet to be fulfilled… forever…..  A GREAT NATION

But how ???? I don’t have a son ….. no CHILDREN… I am 70 years and NO SIGN of a child.

Abraham was to learn with THE PROMISE COMES PROVISION.





So what did GOD PROVIDE ???


A.     In you is a SEED

B.     Gen 13: 2 – Abraham was very rich with livestock, gold and silver……

C.     Gen 15: I will be your SHIELD …. WOW …. From the sun, from the enemy, from the pestilence, from the famine…. And on and on and on.

D.    Gen 15: I will be YOUR EXCEEDING GREAT REWARD ……


F.      Abraham was not just a Shepherd, He was a Chieftain, He was an Army Chief… He had a brain for strategy… He was successful…. Not one died when he went to war to rescue Lot. All the women and the possessions of Lot, he brought back….. He was wise… He knew that the architect and founder was God himself and he lived like a pilgrim in spite of all the wealth and wisdom and possessions.





Was God saying I will see how you do and promote you ……NO NO NO….

I HAVE ALREADY PLANNED YOUR PROMOTION ….. I have faith in you….. I created you…. You were made in my likeness and image.


HOW MUCH GREATER CAN A MAN GET ???? AND HOW MUCH GREATER CAN A MAN’S NAME BE when for the last 3000  years, the nation of Israel and the Jews call ABRAHAM their PATRIARCH, FATHER OF THE NATION.


THIS COULD ONLY BE GOD… This is his faithfulness, This is Him fulfilling HIS word…. He is the word…. So If you are going through a bad season…. Don’t fret…. Promotion is NOT FAR…..




It is SO THAT YOU, Abraham, you… (put your name)  MAYBE A BLESSING


God said to Abraham: YOU WILL BE A BLESSING

GOD’S PRESENCE BRINGS BLESSINGS AND PROTECTION….. Healing, Deliverance, Manifestations of great miracles and signs.



I got your back…. I am with you… I will watch over you, I will punish and bless




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