Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Godly Parenting


This message was preached at Word Of Grace Church on March 24th 2024  by Colin. For the audio & video please click here.  For the worship please click here. 

Godly Parenting

 What does God expect from parents? All of us must recognize that children are a gift from God.

Psalm 127:3 - Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.

We must know that God is involved in our children’s life before their birth.

Psalm 139:13-14 - For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

God loves children. What is God’s goal in us having children? In the garden of Eden, God’s promise to Adam and Eve was to fill the earth with people who know Jesus.

Malachi 2:15 - Has not the one God made you? You belong to him in body and spirit. And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring.

God is seeking Godly offspring. We realize that children can be demanding and whining. That’s because they are lost. They have a heart that is turned away from God.

Genesis 8:21 - The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though[a] every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.

Proverbs 22:15 - Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far away.

Children are self-centred, angry, defiant, and whiny because foolishness is bound up in their hearts. Our role as parents is to help move them from this to Christ-centeredness. That is our prime responsibility. Our highest calling is to take our faith and put it in our children’s hearts.

2 Timothy 1:5 - I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.

The other responsibilities are –

1.     Provide for our children.

1 Timothy 5:8 - Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

It is our duty as parents to provide for our family and meet the needs of our family.

2.     Shower them with our love.

We must show love to them through words, hugs, kisses, serving, caring for them, reading for them, praying for them and spending time with them. Both mother and father must do this. Give them time, not just gifts.

3.     Teach and train them.

Children have an evil bent in them which makes them take the wrong path.

Ephesians 6:1 - Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.

Ephesians 6:4 - Fathers,[b] do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

Deuteronomy 6:6-7 - These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

God says, take my Word, learn it, put it into practice and teach your children while sitting, walking, lying down and all the time.

The main responsibility is in the parents’ hands but not with the school teachers and Sunday School teachers. In different situations, draw them to God all the time. Pursue the right beliefs and right behaviour all the time.

Teach them to greet one another and respect one another.

It is hard work and not a one-time event. It is for life. As they grow, different things need to be addressed at different stages in life.

4.     Discipline them.

If children are not disciplined, they grow wild. We are instructed by God to discipline our children.

Proverbs 19:18 - Discipline your children, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to their death.

Proverbs 13:24 - Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.

Discipline is love.

Hebrews 12:7 - Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their fathers?

As parents, we love our children in different ways. One of the ways to discipline them is sometimes to spank** them. This should never be in anger. Before you discipline them, make sure that they understand the instruction given and how they have disobeyed. (**Spanking is to be used very rarely, in extreme cases of disobedience and one spank on the bottom is enough. We do not encourage spanking once the child is over 8 years of age, or in very rare cases). We do a whole training on bringing up children so this is just skimming the surface.

Always, discipline them in private but not in public. Don’t feel embarrassed to take them aside and discipline them.

All these responsibilities help our children to become :

1.     Respectful

1 Timothy 3:4 - He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full[a] respect. 

1 Peter 2:17 - Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.

Teach your children to greet everyone and be respectful. They will keep forgetting and it is our job to keep reminding them. Teach them how to behave when they are  in other people's homes and in public places. 

2.     Responsive

Luke 2:51 - Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart.

Jesus obeyed his parents. 

The goal for obedience is to say just once and the children would immediately listen and follow. That’s the goal. It may not happen immediately and needs training.

3.     Responsible

We must give them age-appropriate responsibilities.

2 books can really help parenting – Strong-willed child and Dare to Discipline by James Dobson.

We must realize that we cannot change the hearts of our children. We are like farmers. We sow, water, and care for them but the change comes from God. We must be faithful in loving them, providing for them, training them, teaching them, disciplining them and leading a godly example. It is hard work but if we are consistent, the rewards are great.

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 part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know more about us please log onto   

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Death Resurrection & Hope - Part 1

This message was preached at Word Of Grace Church on March 17th 2024  by Colin. For the audio & video please click here.  For the worship please click here. 

Resurrection of Lazarus

” Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. So the sisters sent to him, saying, "Lord, he whom you love is ill."“ - John 11:1-3 ESV

We hear of Mary and Martha speaking on so many occasions, but no words spoken by Lazarus have been recorded. This incident of the resurrection of Lazarus happens a few days before the Passover.

Lazarus was sick. The word sick is used 11 times in this chapter. The Mary mentioned here is Lazarus’ sister, the same Mary who poured perfume on the Lord’s feet! John is making sure we know which Mary is being referred to as there are many Marys mentioned in the gospels.

The sisters send word to Jesus that Lazarus is sick. They lived in Bethany which was 2 miles from Jerusalem.

Ask 5 questions - what, when, why, where, how

Where- Where was Jesus at this time? Interestingly at another Bethany on the other side of the river Jordan (Jon10:39-40) which was 30 km east from Bethany near Jerusalem. Bethany, which is close to Jerusalem. Jesus was also at Bethany across the Jordan. The distance between the 2 places was 30 km.

Who went with the message? There was a messenger sent to Jesus.

What was the message? “The one you love is sick.” Another recurring theme in chapter 11 is Jesus’ love for this family; “The one whom you love is sick”. What would you do if someone had an emergency?? Would you not rush to help them?

”Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. Then after this, he said to the disciples, "Let us go to Judea again." The disciples said to him, "Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone you, and are you going there again?" Jesus answered, "Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him." “ - John 11:5-16 ESV

Why is Jesus delaying coming? This was completely out of character. Jesus waited for 4 days!!

What can we learn from this? The people Jesus loved dearly also faced difficult situations. Jesus had a great love for this family, but they still suffered. Whenever there are challenges, we are looking for solutions. Don't doubt the love of God when you go through tough situations.

V11. Wherever there are challenges God is looking to be glorified rather than just answer to prayer. “After saying these things, he said to them, "Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him." So Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, "Let us also go, that we may die with him."

This was Jesus’ last and biggest public miracle. He had raised only 3 people from the dead but this was the biggest miracle of them all before his resurrection, he does this miracle. Jesus is demonstrating his humanity, He weeps and mourns for his friend, but in his deity, he raised Lazarus from the dead. Through it all, the aim is to bring glory to God.

Jesus healed many people of all kinds of diseases, but this is the greatest because Lazarus was dead for 4 days and buried in the tomb.

Jesus and the disciples make the day's journey.

The disciples told him, "Lord if he has fallen asleep, he will recover." Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep. Then Jesus told them plainly, "Lazarus has died, and for your sake, I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. 

”Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off, and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother. So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary remained seated in the house. Martha said to Jesus, "Lord if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you." Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again." Martha said, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day." Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he dies, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?" She said to him, "Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world." - John 11:17-27 ESV

Bethany means “house of the poor”. It was customary to hire mourners in those days and a home of the deceased would be in mourning for 7 days.

Our relationship with Jesus is critical.

” When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled. And he said, "Where have you laid him?" They said to him, "Lord, come and see." Jesus wept. “ - John 11:33-35 ESV

This is Jesus’ humanity.

” Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. Jesus said, "Take away the stone." Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, "Lord, by this time there will be an odour, for he has been dead four days." Jesus said to her, "Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?" So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, "Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me." - John 11:38-42 ESV

In John 20:31. Martha tells Jesus that He is late!!

V22 - They demonstrate true faith.

V24-25 Jesus says “I am the resurrection and the life. Do you believe this?”. Death is a doorway (2Cor 5:8)

As Rev. Billy Graham said death is a change of address - either in the presence of God forever or in hell forever. Which way will you go?

V27 “I believe that you are the Christ” Martha was a believer.

32 Mary fell at his feet. Both expressed their hearts and were reverent.

V35 We see Jesus’ humanity again - he was troubled and he wept. We mourn with those who mourn.

V37 Some people criticised Jesus’ late coming.

V38 Several times it says that Jesus was moved. Do we know of people who are in trouble amongst us?  You can listen to prayer and help when you can.

V39 Lazarus was in the tomb for 4 days.

V40 This was for the glory of God.

John 20:32 John gives us the reason for writing the book:  that by believing we may have life in his name. Jesus’ intention of delaying was to glorify God so that we may believe him.

” When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out." The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, "Unbind him, and let him go." - John 11:43-44 ESV

Lazarus, who was dead came to life!

There were 2 kinds of people:

  1. ” Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what he did, believed in him,“ - John 11:45 ESV
  2. ”But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. So the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the council and said, "What are we to do? For this man performs many signs. If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation."“John 11:46-48 ESV from this day on, they plotted to take his life.

Which one are we?

In troubled times it is not that we do nothing! We pray.

Today will we receive Jesus or dismiss Him? What are we taking away from this story? Who are we in this story?

Mary and Martha who believed?

Those who saw and believed?

Those who made plans to kill him.

Your decision today can change the rest of your life!

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 part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know more about us please log onto   

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Kingdom Agents Part 4


This message was preached at Word Of Grace Church on March 10th 2024  by Colin. For the audio & video please click here.  For the worship please click here. 


Nehemiah was a captive, who was taken to Persia. There he rose to become the cupbearer. It tells us that he was a man of integrity. Even though he was a thousand miles away from Jerusalem, he was concerned. He asks his brother for a report and he weeps. His heart went out to the people of God and the city of God. 3 months later at an opportune time, he requested the king to let him be released to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. He got permission, papers and provisions from the king. He went out and surveyed the walls of the city and saw the destruction. He then envisioned the people to rebuild the walls. 

The people then put their hands to the task and did the work of rebuilding. It wasn’t a skilled job, but everyone except the nobles of Tekoa did the work. No matter what we are in the world, we are brothers and sisters in Christ. Then there was opposition from people who were trying to distract them from doing the work of God. 

”And at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought the Levites in all their places, to bring them to Jerusalem to celebrate the dedication with gladness, with thanksgivings and with singing, with cymbals, harps, and lyres. And the sons of the singers gathered together from the district surrounding Jerusalem and from the villages of the Netophathites; also from Beth-gilgal and from the region of Geba and Azmaveth, for the singers had built for themselves villages around Jerusalem. And the priests and the Levites purified themselves, and they purified the people and the gates and the wall. Then I brought the leaders of Judah up onto the wall and appointed two great choirs that gave thanks. One went to the south on the wall to the Dung Gate. And after them went Hoshaiah and half of the leaders of Judah, and Azariah, Ezra, Meshullam, The other choir of those who gave thanks went to the north, and I followed them with half of the people, on the wall, above the Tower of the Ovens, to the Broad Wall,“ - Nehemiah‬ ‭12‬:‭27‬-‭33‬, ‭38‬ ‭ESV‬‬

The temple was dedicated with great joy! 

”And all the people gathered as one man into the square before the Water Gate. And they told Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses that the Lord had commanded Israel. So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, both men and women and all who could understand what they heard, on the first day of the seventh month. And he read from it facing the square before the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and those who could understand. And the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law. They read from the book, from the Law of God, clearly, and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading.“ - Nehemiah‬ ‭8‬:‭1‬-‭3‬, ‭8‬ ‭ESV‬‬

There was worship, confession of sin and the preaching and teaching of the word, keeping of the law. But in chapter 13 we see things change. We see people backsliding. 

”On that day they read from the Book of Moses in the hearing of the people. And in it was found written that no Ammonite or Moabite should ever enter the assembly of God, Now before this, Eliashib the priest, who was appointed over the chambers of the house of our God, and who was related to Tobiah, prepared for Tobiah a large chamber where they had previously put the grain offering, the frankincense, the vessels, and the tithes of grain, wine, and oil, which were given by commandment to the Levites, singers, and gatekeepers, and the contributions for the priests.“ - Nehemiah‬ ‭13‬:‭1‬, ‭4‬-‭5‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Some corruption started taking place. This happened when Nehemiah was not there. 

  1. The people of God pledged to follow God's word but they backslid. They allowed the enemies of God to come up and set up a room in the house of God. 

  2. To be set apart: 1 Corinthians 6:14 ”Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never!“ god's standard is to be a people set apart. If you’re thinking of marriage, this is important to note. The word of God says we are not to be unequally yoked. 

  3. To keep the sabbath 

  4. Not supporting God's work 

Lessons to learn : 

  1. Ordinary people can be used by God to do extraordinary things. With God all things are possible. Moses was 80 years old when he started the exodus. Jesus used ordinary fishermen to build his church. Mary was a young teen girl and God used her to be the mother of Jesus. The problems are so big that we feel overwhelmed. God places a burden in your heart for something. You don’t have to do everything, but each of us must do something! 

  2. We need to be prayerful people: William Wilberforce worked to abolish slavery in England. These things happen through persistence and prayer. 

  3. Each of us has a role in God's kingdom: there is no caste system in Christ, we are all one in Christ. Nehemiah 3:20 ”After him Baruch the son of Zabbai repaired another section from the buttress to the door of the house of Eliashib the high priest.” They worked zealously and with all their heart. We all are busy but we have to work for God. Befriending people out there so that we share the love of Jesus with them. Within the church let’s open our homes and hearts. 

  4. Move out of your comfort zone: Nehemiah was living in luxury. But he moved out of his comfort zone, to a ruined city. We default to what is easy. But God wants us to stretch. How can we stretch? In a gym, unless you stretch, you don’t grow. It’s the same with our hearts. 

  5. Never underestimate the consequences of sin: as the church we are called to live holy lives. We are living in a time of abundance of access to the word of God. But if we don’t use it, we will run out of steam. It’s like oxygen. It is abundant, but we need to inhale it.

Thank god for NDehemiah. One day we will meet him in heaven 

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 part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know more about us please log onto   

Thursday, March 7, 2024

Kingdom Agents Part 3


This message was preached at Word Of Grace Church on March 3rd 2024  by Colin. For the audio & video please click here.  For the worship please click here. 


Colin D

Change is inevitable. Nations have changed in their power and influence. Portugal was a powerful nation in 16C AD. Two thousand years ago the Romans ruled and before them the Greeks, before them the Persians, and before them the Babylonians. Kingdoms will come and go but God’s purposes will prevail and continue to be fulfilled. Rom9:17

Let us look at Nehemiah – He lived 450 years before Jesus.

What can we learn about transforming cities and nations through this book?

1Cor 10:11 “These things were written as warnings and examples for us.

NEH 1:1: Our story begins in November in Susa – modern-day Iran (Persia). They conquered Nebuchadnezzar. How did Nehemiah land 900 miles away from Israel?

150 years before Nehemiah the Jews (Jer 25) continue their rebellion. Jeremiah prophecies that they would go into captivity for 70 years. They were taken captive to Babylon. Seventy years later the Persians rose and conquered Babylon.

Return of the exile Phase 1 – Ezra. He helped build the temple, but the walls were not yet built.

Neh1 Nehemiah was the cupbearer to the King. He had an important role. To be a cupbearer you also had to be cultured, conversant in law, have a good personality etc.

Neh2:1 The King is Artaxerxes. Nehemiah and Ezra were contemporaries. Ezra was older. Nehemiah came 20 years later. Artaxerxes was the stepson of Queen Esther.

Nehemiah is still in exile, but this was his heart posture.

1.  He was concerned about what was happening in Israel.

2.  He wept and mourned.

3.  He fasted and prayed for days.

4.  Nehemiah had a great relationship with the King and was the closest to the King next to his wife.


Prayer is mentioned fourteen times because Nehemiah was a man of prayer.

Neh. 9:5-37 is the longest prayer recorded in the bible.

Am I concerned about God’s people i.e. both the small c church and the big C church?

Ch2:4 Nissan – it is the month of April. A few months later. Nehemiah’s sadness shows on his face and the king notices it.

Nehemiah speaks to the Kings and asks to go to Israel.

This reminds us of Jesus. He was concerned for us who were lost and in exile to Satan’s kingdom. He left His comfort of heaven and came to save us.


Nehemiah asks on behalf of his people at 2:11. He comes to Jerusalem in v 13 inspects the ruins and sees the mess.

2:17 He saw a problem and did not grumble about it. So, they start building a wall.

Ch3:1 So the people got involved. The high priest, priest, goldsmiths, perfume maker, temple guard, Levites and merchants – all together built the wall. They got their hands dirty – they did not stand at the ceremony.

3:5 One group did not help i.e. the nobles of Tekoa.

4:6 They worked with all their heart. Whatever we do for God is a great honor.

When you are building for God, you will face opposition.

4:13 So this is what Nehemiah did. He put families in charge of guarding the walls where they lived. They built with a shovel in one hand and a sword in one.

6:15 The wall was built in 52 days.

They also helped the poor.

Ch8 – they heard the word.

Ch9, They repented and fasted and rejoiced.


What can we learn from this?

History keeps repeating itself. But Jesus is building His church and transforming cities.

Rulers will come and go but the church will last forever.

What can we do? – Be a people for prayer

They all served together.

We need to guard unity. God can do great things through unity. So, make an effort to be there.

As we play our part, we can build great things for God.

 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 part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know more about us please log onto