WIC Weekly February 14th 2021
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
At last Sunday's Communion service we were thrilled to see, for the first time, little Cristian, son of Sister Mariia and Brother Philip. We wish this family abundant blessings from the Lord!
Last week I omitted to mention that, at our Annual Congregational Meeting, Sister Anna K. from Turkey was appointed to the Church Council. And one of the ideas proposed at the Meeting has already been implemented, in that we now have a prayer group led by Brother Bogosi and Sister Pulane, meeting on Saturdays at 8 pm.
Join us for worship this Sunday at 11 am CET. Here is your link for the Sunday service: Warsaw International Church - Sunday Service 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".
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 17v 00-854 Warszawa Polish złoty (PLN) account: PL 63 1090 1056 0000 0000 0600 9128
We pray for Sister Fem to be successful with her application for a visa to continue studying in Warsaw.
May we also keep Sister Priyanka in our prayers, as she is still seeking work in Poland now that her postgraduate studies have almost ended. A return to India would mean persecution for her.
I met with a Romanian brother, Vasily, in Warsaw last week, after he requested a New Testament. Vasily has just found employment involving the protection of the EU's borders, and will be in Warsaw from time to time. Please remember him in your prayers, that he may successfully complete his training period and continue to grow in spiritual knowledge and wisdom.
Please continue to pray for revival in Warsaw International Church and also globally, as so many people are searching for meaning to their lives and finding faith in Christ.
Last Sunday's sermon was preached by Pastor Harry:
Psalm 147, 1-11; Isaiah 40, 21-31; 1 Corinthians 9, 16-23; Mark 1, 29-39
I wouldn’t be surprised if the thing that people generally value most in life is – what do think? – their own health. If I put up a sign outside the church saying: “Come to church tonight to meet God”, probably no one will come. But if I advertise that a famous healer will be at the church tonight, to heal all your sicknesses, the church might well be packed – everyone wants to get rid of their illnesses. And so it was when Jesus healed Simon Peter’s mother-in-law in Capernaum: without even any advertising, the whole town came to the house in the evening, to bring their diseases to Jesus, or to watch Him miraculously healing others. They knew that God had come to Capernaum!
We often feel alone with our problems – and not just our illnesses. Not only do we frequently feel that other people can’t help us, but we also feel that God doesn’t seem to be around either. Our thoughts are the same as the thoughts of the Israelites, mentioned in our verse for the week from Isaiah. Like them, we too complain that our way is “hidden from the Lord”, and our cause is “disregarded by our God”. And so we fall into depression and despair, because our problems don’t seem to be resolved.
But the prophet Isaiah makes it clear, in our reading, that this is just not true: God is involved in the world. He raises up and brings down rulers. He is the creator of all there is: the “starry host in the sky” (millions of galaxies and trillions of stars; I was watching a program on TV the other week – one of the great telescopes focused on the most distant star known to us – a very faint object – but then a new-generation telescope was built, which focused on the same star, and guess what? – 13,000 galaxies, even more distant, came into view!). And yet God is at the same time personally concerned about those who are suffering – as it says: “He gives strength to the weary, and increases the power of the weak”. Think about it: how many times have you been down and in despair, and He has picked you up again?
In the spiritual realm too, we sometimes feel that God isn’t responding to our calls to Him, or to our prayers. At last Sunday’s Annual Meeting, I was talking about my vision for our church. My vision is actually for revival among us, because I really do believe that the Lord wants to bless us with a powerful awakening. I believe we have many things already in place. We aren’t restricted by theological constraints – because we’re a non-denominational church. We aren’t restricted by ethnic or cultural limitations – because our worshippers come from all over the planet. And we aren’t restricted by a particular style of worship – our hymns, for example, are both traditional and modern. Also, our worshippers are serious, spiritual-minded people, rather than nominal Christians. We would gladly receive the presence of God in a revival. And yet, revival has not yet come to us, despite the pandemic driving many people to God.
Nevertheless, we know that revival can occur, and we see what it looks like at the house of Simon Peter’s mother-in-law. We see Jesus healing, driving out demons, praying and teaching. We see miracles taking place: people getting well instantly, evil spirits being expelled, and those who were possessed by them being restored to their normal selves. Those are the hallmarks of a revival: God is clearly felt to be present.
One sign that God is preparing to act in such an amazing way is when His children feel mysteriously drawn to Christ, compelled to pray, and to share the Gospel message and their testimonies with others. Praying and sharing are no longer burdens or obligations, but activities we want to spend time doing, over and over again. In our reading from 1 Corinthians, Paul states: “I am compelled to preach”. Even if he’s not going to be paid for it, Paul will still carry on sharing the Gospel with others, fitting his message to suit his audience.
Brothers and Sisters, are you feeling increasingly compelled to pray, and to share your faith, your testimony, with other people? And are you increasingly desperate for a spiritual awakening around you, and in the church? Because if so, maybe God is preparing us for a great spiritual blessing? I hope some of you have read the words of an old Puritan writer, Matthew Henry, which are quoted on the home page of our church’s website: “When God intends great mercy for His people, the first thing He does is to set them a-praying”. God Himself creates the conditions for revival, by acting upon us!
Not only will we be compelled to pray and share our faith, but a new seriousness will come over us. God’s written word – the Bible – will become incredibly important to us: we will crave its spiritual food. Our church services will not be regarded as entertainment, but as a blessed opportunity to get closer to the Lord. And we shall find ourselves becoming more and more aware of our own sinfulness, as God’s holy light shines on us and shows us areas of sin within us, which we never imagined to be there. We shall feel increasing horror at our own uncleanness, and shall ask God to have mercy on us and help us get rid of the enemy within.
If all these conditions are happening more and more, they are signs that the Lord is raising us up to prepare us for revival. But you know, there’s one last situation that often precedes a revival – an unexpected situation. You can have all those previous things I mentioned going on – and yet there’s still no amazing awakening. I was reading about a revival in the small town of Smithton, Missouri, 25 years ago. The pastor had been teaching his congregation for years about revival; and the congregation had been praying for years, for revival; but nothing had happened. Then, for no apparent reason, a number of church leaders who had been the pastor’s most trusted friends suddenly turned against him. The pastor was shattered, and felt as if all the life had gone out of him – he was a completely broken man. He decided to take a fortnight’s holiday before resigning his job, and his wife took over the preaching duties. But when he returned, a great revival suddenly broke out in the church, and thousands of people from the surrounding districts came to know Christ.
So what was this unexpected final condition for revival? It was brokenness – total humiliation. When the pastor came to the very end of his possibilities, God stepped in. God often waits for all our hopes and ambitions to be crushed – and even our respectability – before He steps in with His mighty power. Like in our Communion today, we have to become broken bread in the hands of Christ, before the blessings can rain down from heaven. God has to break us before He can use us.
Yes, Brothers and Sisters, if the Lord is preparing us for revival, He’s probably going to break us in two as part of the preparation. Unforeseen difficulties will come our way; and we will think we can’t go on. But when you come to the end of yourself, that’s when God begins His work of power. So don’t cry like the Israelites: “My way is hidden from the Lord; my cause is disregarded by God”. God is not disregarding our cause! The dark night of the soul comes just before the dawn of Christ! “God will raise you up on eagles’ wings; He will bear you on the breath of dawn; He will make you to shine like the sun; and He will hold you in the palm of His hand”. May the light of Christ shine in our hearts, until we experience His glorious Presence among us. Amen.
Readings for 14 February
Verse for the week: "And we (...) are being transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory" (2 Corinthians 3, 18).
Responsive reading: Psalm 50, 1-6. 1st New Testament reading: 2 Corinthians 3,16 - 4, 6. 2nd New Testament reading: 2 Peter 1, 16-18. Gospel reading: Mark 9, 2-8.
Food of the Spirit
Revival Through Brokenness
Anything that is broken is considered no use and is usually thrown away. However, in the Scripture, God only uses things or individuals that are broken, for example, the alabaster box, and the Holy Communion bread. The Hebrew meaning for "break," means to shatter, smash or crush. In the Chambers 20th century dictionary, brokenness appears as bankrupt, fragmentary or humbled. God’s people are ready for revival only when they are broken.
"The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart and saves such as have a contrite spirit" (Psalm 34:18).
True revival always begins with our heart. Before revival comes, God usually will show the condition of our heart. A true searching of our heart will cause us to pray out, "Be merciful to me, O Lord!" This is the cry of a person who is broken. This deep cry for a radical, supernatural and inward change of heart will result in a revived heart.
The first thing a broken Christian will do is to confess to God his total dependence upon God. Not only that, he will also confess his total responsibility for his failure and sin that bring grief to God’s heart. God’s Word teaches us that He draws near to us when we are broken and when we admit our lukewarmness, pride and arrogance.
Brokenness is necessary so that God can do a thorough cleansing work in our lives. Past impurities and unconfessed sins will be revealed as we seek the Lord for forgiveness and help. A clean heart does not entertain or delight in impure thoughts and impure pleasure. A Christian whose heart has been cleansed will need to constantly and carefully guard against sin. A broken heart is teachable, humble, sincere, soft and easily penetrated by God’s Word.
All this is obtainable only through God’s dealing. When God breaks us, He does so to bring glory to Himself. All through church history, before God uses anything or any individual, He usually breaks them, for example, Jacob at Peniel, Gideon’s 300 soldiers breaking the pitchers, the lad’s five loaves and two fishes.
Revival is not all emotion and exalted feeling, but it brings us down low so God can do spiritual surgery in our lives. Brokenness of heart is necessary before God can bring us the cry of victory and exaltation. In sending us revival God has to bring us to a deep sense of our own impurities and sins, or in another word, "brokenness." Out of a broken vessel, God knows that He can fill us with whatever He so desires. All glory will go to Him as we shine brightly for Him. Only through our brokenness will the mighty rivers of revival flow continuously out of us to touch our family, our friends, our church, our nation and our world for God!
Peter Tay Eng Hoe
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