WIC Weekly December 13th 2020
Warsaw International Church
Mobile +48 601 331 032
Worship every Sunday at ul. Miodowa 21 (near Old Town) at 11:00 AM
Entrance from Schillera Street
Last Sunday we were pleased to welcome a Pakistani family currently based in Azerbaijan: Kelly and Kenz, as well as their children Angelica, Paris and Jasper.
Our online Sunday School continues to grow, with nine children attending last Sunday. The group meets at 10:30 am, just before the Sunday service. I'm very grateful to Sisters Preethi, Belinda and Priyanka for their dedication and enthusiasm.
Warsaw International Church - Sunday Service(https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81817145932?pwd=NHJTUkdWQWR3YU9FaFUwWEQzU2dxUT09) Meeting ID: 818 1714 5932
Recordings of our Sunday services are available on our wic.org.pl website or by googling "Warsaw International Church YouTube".
Five Messages from Pastor Harry to Seekers and Unbelievers in the Coronavirus Age have been recorded on YouTube. IF YOU KNOW ANY SEEKERS, UNBELIEVERS OR DOUBTERS WHO MIGHT BENEFIT FROM WATCHING THEM, PLEASE SEND THEM THIS LINK TO THE MESSAGES:
Thank you for all your support and prayers for our church and for one another.
Should you wish to make a contribution to WIC, the church's bank details are as follows:
Warsaw International Church Santander Bank Polska S.A. IV/Oddział w Warszawie ul. Jana Pawła II 17 00-854 Warszawa Polish złoty (PLN) account: PL 63 1090 1056 0000 0000 0600 9128
We continue to pray for peace in Ethiopia and for Brother Issayas' relatives, who appear to be safe in the Tigray region.
Your prayers are still requested for 12-year-old Kacper, a disabled boy who has had a major operation to straighten his spine. He is at home now, and happy, but please pray for his recovery from this operation to continue.
Szymon is a friend of one of our sisters, and is very poorly in hospital with pulmonary embolism. He would welcome your prayers to get over his illness.
Please also pray for Sister Kelly, Brother Kenz and their three children in Azerbaijan, where they are applying for asylum following persecution in Pakistan. Please pray that the Azeri Supreme Court will allow them to stay in that country, and that they may survive financially.
Brother Vahid has also been persecuted in Iran, and is now in the UK applying for asylum. Please pray that the Lord may strengthen him, as he is cut off from his family. Pray also that his application process may go smoothly and that he can stay in the UK.
Please continue to pray for all you know who are experiencing difficulties as a result of the pandemic. Some of our worshippers are suffering financial problems because of job losses or cutbacks. Others have lost relatives or friends due to the virus. Pray for the Lord's protection!
Pray for the Lord to lead people everywhere to repentance and faith in Him as a result of the current crisis.
Sermon preached by Pastor Harry on 6 December
1 John 4, 16-21; 1 Corinthians 13, 4-13; John 15, 9-17
People who are new to Christianity often get confused by the many seeming contrasts in it. The Old Testament seems to portray a different God than the New Testament. Also, Christians stress the importance of faith – but then they also stress the importance of good works, doing good. And they say that God’s Law must be respected – but then they also say that love is the most important. The problem is that all these things are equally important.
There’s a quote in the Letter of James, chapter 2, verse 10: “Whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all”. Wow, that sounds really strict! We see that God’s moral law doesn’t take into account the fact that we are weak human beings. It doesn’t take into account that we’ve inherited a sinful nature from our ancestors! It simply demands that we should be absolutely moral – and this demand never changes. The moment we try to keep God’s law, we fail miserably, because we fall into sin again and again: and we know we can never keep God’s law! We’re all guilty of breaking it – and when we realize that, we also realize there is no hope for us. We break God’s law, again and again.
Until a person gets to that stage of realizing how helpless they are, they won’t understand anything about why Jesus Christ had to die. They’ll think our obsession with the cross of Christ is absurd, stupid. Only when they realize there is no hope for them, because they’re guilty of breaking God’s law – only then will they understand that they can never get right with God by being obedient to Him. It’s impossible to keep God’s law for even one day! When we understand this, only then do we look more seriously at what Jesus Christ did for us. And that’s why our proper job as Christians – whether we are preachers or not – is to always preach Christ crucified. If you argue with someone who has a different faith or belief, you won’t get anywhere unless you show them that they can’t keep God’s law, and that therefore God had to pay the bill – which He did, through the death of Jesus. And the only reason He went through all this is because He loves us. CHRIST DIED FOR YOU, BECAUSE GOD LOVES YOU.
That, dear Friends, is the whole message of Christianity. The rest is just a commentary on it. God’s nature is love; and therefore the nature of Jesus is also love. We know what the nature of love is, by reading 1 Corinthians chapter 13. That chapter tells you exactly what love is – so it tells you exactly what the nature of God and Jesus is, and what your own nature should be like.
It’s very humbling when we go through the check-list: love is patient; love is kind; does not envy; does not boast; is not proud; is not self-seeking; keeps no record of wrongs; always protects; always trusts; always hopes; always perseveres; and so on – and we realize we don’t match up to these Christlike qualities. It’s also humbling to us, because, as it says in 1 John 4, verse 19: “We love because He first loved us”. Without God’s initial love for us, there would be no human love at all. The atheist will tell you that love comes from evolution. We believe it comes from God.
I’m sure all of us have experienced some form of love. We can say that we have been loved, or are loved, by someone. And we can also say that we ourselves have loved, or do love, someone. Who do you love, or who have you loved, most of all in your life? How do you feel when you are separated from such a person? Isn’t it the most painful, the most despairing experience you can imagine? I have sometimes have dreams about some person I love being separated from me – and I feel like crying out in pain. Love is such a powerful force.
Brothers and Sisters, this great love is what Jesus felt, and feels, for each one of us! His presence as the Head of the Church is nothing but a love relationship! Through love, He chose us to be His friends, and to serve Him faithfully, just as friends serve friends. But remember, this love relationship He invites us to enter into with Him is entirely voluntary – He doesn’t push anyone into it. If we say yes to our Divine Lover, we will have not only a love relationship with Him, but we will also cooperate with Him, respect Him, be faithful to Him, and reflect His love in our relationships with others. Sadly, however, most people reject Him – sometimes even after they understand what He has done for them.
I once had such an experience many years ago, that there was a woman who joined my Bible study group. I could tell she was really making spiritual progress, growing in faith, knowledge of the Bible, and so on. So I invested a lot of time, talking to her, explaining more about the Bible, and trying to help her with her problems. But then suddenly she just stopped attending, and I lost touch with her. And I felt very sad, because of the effort I had made to help her spiritually. I say this to illustrate how God must feel when someone for whom Jesus died rejects Him.
But the sacrifice that Jesus made, out of His love for us, is far greater than any sacrifice a human being can make. At Advent, we look forward to the coming of Jesus into this world. But He came to earth for one reason only: to die for us. You see, God’s love for us is expressed in His agony, when He redeemed the whole world – saved the human race from sin and from its inability to keep the law – by dying for us on a cross. At Christmas, we think of Jesus as a baby. But make no mistake: that baby was born for one purpose only: to save you and me. We make a mistake when we turn Christmas into a kind of fairy tale about a baby. In actual fact, the life and death of Jesus is an account of the tragedy of God – amazing salvation for us, but tragedy for God. Jesus suffered and died in agony, so that we might be saved.
Brothers and Sisters, love always demands a sacrifice; and the greater the love, the greater the sacrifice. When you truly love someone, you’ll make incredible sacrifices for them. And when God in His mercy loved such unlovable sinners like us, His sacrifice was the greatest of all sacrifices.
Today we celebrate Holy Communion. We will commemorate that greatest of all sacrifices, performed entirely because of God’s love for us: “This is My body; this is My blood; given for you, for the forgiveness of your sins”. All that Jesus asks here is that we should remember His sacrifice; remember what it cost God: “Do this in remembrance of Me”. May we never forget that we were on Death Row – and that Christ, in His love, pardoned us. We are free. And we can share the presence of Christ with those around us. We can reflect Christ to others. So may we all be thankful for what God has done, and for the opportunities He gives us to share Him. Amen.
Readings for 13 December (3rd Sunday in Advent)
Verse for the week: [God said:] "I have set My rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth" (Genesis 9, 13).
Responsive reading: Psalm 126. Old Testament reading: Isaiah 61, 1-4 and 8-11. New Testament reading: 1 Thessalonians 5, 16-24. Gospel reading: John 1, 6-8 and 19-28.
Food of the Spirit
Mighty Power Of Love
As the famous evangelist, Henry Moorehouse (1840-80), started for the pulpit, two of the church members called him to one side and told him that some of them thought he had better close the meeting that night and leave town.
"Why, gentlemen?" questioned the preacher. "What's wrong? What have I done?" They told him it was nothing he had done, but what was going to be done to him.
They finally told him there was a wicked fellow in the town by the name of Ike Miller who hated preachers, despised the church, abused Christians, cursed the Lord and the Bible. He had told them to tell him that unless he closed the meeting that night, he was coming the next night to break it up and pistol whip him out of town.
Moorehouse told them he felt very definitely that the Lord had brought him there to preach to them and would take care of him, and that he was not running. Soon after he began his sermon Ike Miller came in, walked all the way to the front, and sat down on the front bench. Moorehouse closed his Bible, breathed a prayer, and announced a new text – John 3:16. He preached a sermon on the love of God that would have melted a heart of stone. No one responded to the invitation hymn; in the middle of the second verse, Ike Miller turned and marched out of the room. The crowd broke and the men moved to the preacher.
"Brother Moorehouse, why in the world did you preach that kind of sermon? What does a man like Ike Miller care about the love of God? Why did you not preach on the wrath of God and the judgment for sin?" He told them he was trying to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Outside, in the heart of Ike Miller, the Spirit was at work. He strode blindly from the tabernacle down the main street of town, past the saloons and the gambling house, until at last he came to the little dilapidated shack where he lived with his family. As he came in the door, his two children scurried under the bed, and his wife backed slowly away from him across the room, expecting the worst. Ike knew what they were doing. His heart strained in his great body; his eyes began to smart with unshed tears. He stretched out his arms and gathered his wife into them.
"Lass," he said "you need not be afraid any more. God has brought you a new husband tonight."
From The Sunday School Times and Dawn.
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