WIC Weekly January 31st 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
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".
Our church’s Annual Congregational Meeting will take place right after this Sunday's service. It will be open to anyone who would like to take part, but only official members will be able to vote. Membership of Warsaw International Church is free of charge, and there is no clash with your home church, because ours is a non-denominational church: we don’t represent any particular Christian confession. Please consider if you want to become an official member of WIC, to be able to vote. If so, please contact Pastor Harry or any member of the church council you know. You can also become an official member right after the service on 31 January by simply expressing such a wish on Zoom.
Official members who will be unable to attend the Annual Congregational Meeting can cast a proxy vote. A proxy authorization form has been sent to you in a separate email.
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 17v 00-854 Warszawa Polish złoty (PLN) account: PL 63 1090 1056 0000 0000 0600 9128
Sister Katia's mother is making a good recovery from Covid-19 after having been hospitalized.
Sister Boriana sent this praise report: "I have a testimony to glorify the power of Jesus Christ! Earlier today I prayed for our security guard lady called Barbara (she is a very nice Polish lady) who works downstairs (she is a security guard to the blocks where we live. I laid hands on her shoulder because this is where her pain was. I honestly said the quickest prayer (I remember even stumbling a little with my words as I felt slightly nervous). So I prayed and left her because I went for a walk with my daughter. But on the way to the playground I had a strong feeling in my heart that her pain would be gone by the end of the day. I also had a clear mental thought: Galatians 5:13: “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.” This gave me very strong confirmation that it was from the Lord and that she would be healed! And I just want to mention here that I don’t even know the Bible fully yet! I began to sing and glorify His name and healing power! I just felt very happy . So, about an hour ago I went to our local shop, and as I was passing Barbara’s office I waved to her, making a sign with my hands to ask if she was ok and how her shoulder was. She came out of the office with a smile on her face saying the pain she had was gone. I honestly couldn’t believe it - although Jesus had already told me she would be healed. I said: “Oh praise the Lord, I’m happy for you!" and she said: "Oh yes, this is Jesus’s power!" I just wanted to share how powerful, gracious, kind and merciful our Lord Jesus Christ is - including the power of the Holy Spirit too!"
Please continue to pray for Sister Priyanka to get a job in Poland. A return to India could in her case mean rejection by her family, as she was baptized as a Christian while in Warsaw.
Your prayers are requested for Rev. Grzegorz Giemza (director of the Polish Ecumenical Council) and his wife. They both have Covid and are feeling very unwell. Grzegorz lost his mother and his brother to Covid towards the end of last year, and is now suffering this additional tragedy.
Please pray for Sister Fem, who has applied for a study visa to be able to stay in Poland and continue her studies. Pray that she may be successful with her application.
Please continue to pray for our worshippers who are applying for asylum due to persecution in their home countries: particularly Vahid who fled Iran, and the Green family who fled Pakistan. We pray that they may be able to settle and start a new life in a safe country.
Pray that people all over the world may turn to Jesus Christ the only Saviour of mankind. May we never stop praying for this during this time of spiritual awakening opportunities.
Last Sunday's sermon was preached by Pastor Harry:
Psalm 62, 5-12; Jonah 3, 1-5; 1 Corinthians 7, 29-31; Mark 1, 14-20
Two weeks ago, if you remember, Sister Priyanka gave us the powerful message that, because of what we see happening in the world, we could be in the very last period of the time known as the “last days” – a time stretching all the way from the death of Jesus right up to today. Now, for us, 2,000 years may seem a very long time, but for God, a thousand years are like one day, as Peter tells us in his second Letter. But already right after Jesus’ death and resurrection the first disciples and apostles were prepared for the world to end at any time.
The apostle Paul was certainly one of those prepared, as we see from the reading in 1 Corinthians. His expectation that the end was imminent led him to write that people should detach themselves completely from the world – living as if it was going to end today. Don’t get too involved with your marriage partner. Don’t be excessively happy or sad about the events of this world. Don’t get attached to your belongings, your relationships with other people, your work, your hobbies, and so on. It sounds a bit exaggerated to our modern ears. But Paul was making a good point: the more you get involved in such matters, the less you’ll be thinking about the fact that one day you’ll have to leave it all behind – and what then? Are you ready for what will happen to you?
So what is really important in life, if all these matters are of secondary importance? Two points are of supreme importance, if we want to be prepared for what will happen to us: namely, our relationship to God; and also our calling. Firstly, our relationship to God: this must be as close as possible, as is illustrated by the words of Psalm 62: “God alone is my hope; my rock and my salvation; my fortress; my victory and honour; my refuge; my trust”. Do you see how firm that relationship has to be? If we don’t have such a close relationship with God, we’ll be blown all over the place by the winds of life.
The second thing that’s of supreme importance is our calling. That means: not what we want to do for ourselves, but what God wants us to do for Him. Our other two readings today are concerned with just that point: our calling. But do we always know what God wants us to do for Him?
In our reading from Mark, Jesus is calling some more disciples: Simon Peter, his brother Andrew, and the two sons of Zebedee – James and John. They’re all fishermen. Jesus tells them two things: “follow Me”; and “I will make you fishers of men”. These men could presumably have resisted His call – but for some reason they didn’t. Actually, in our Old Testament passage, Jonah did resist God’s call at first – but it didn’t do him much good. After his unfortunate experience at sea, he was ready to obey the Lord’s call, and he went to Nineveh to warn the people there that their city would be destroyed in 40 days.
Now, we – as Christians – might resist God’s call as well (maybe through ignorance, because we don’t think of it as being God’s call). But I can imagine that generally we do our best to try to carry out God’s will for us, as we understand it. Maybe it’s harder for us than for the disciples, because they had Jesus teaching them all the time. But I’m sure we feel that God is calling us too to be, in some way, “fishers of men” – if only because we want others to have the peace and joy that we have. We know others are unhappy deep down – because we ourselves were in their situation before we became Christians; and we remember our own inner confusion, as compared with now. So we tell our friends and loved ones about the Good News of Jesus Christ, and urge them to believe in Him – because we want the best for them.
But we miss out something essential when we rush out to serve the Lord. Did Jesus just tell others to believe the Good News? In the text from Mark, Jesus says: “Repent and believe the Good News!” Repent. That was Jonah’s message too, to the people of Nineveh: “If you don’t repent of your sins, you’ll be destroyed”. How often do we tell people that? “Repent of your sins; repent of your false beliefs; feel sorrow, and turn away from them”. And even more important: how often do we repent of our sins which still trouble us from time to time? Can our message to others be effective if we ourselves don’t practise it?
Actually, the Bible tells us that repentance and faith are gifts from God (Acts 11, 18: “God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life”). God grants repentance. All we can do is sow a seed, and hope that a person’s response will be positive.
Does that mean we shouldn’t tell others to repent and believe? Of course not – in fact, Jesus expects us to do that, as fishers of men. But it does mean that we might be disappointed by a person’s lack of response.
If Jesus were here in person, and wanted to make us fishers of men, what do you think He would emphasize in teaching us to fish? Inviting someone to church, maybe? Stopping them in the street and giving them a leaflet, or knocking on their door? Giving them worship songs or a YouTube sermon to listen to?
Over Christmas, Brother Eric was telling me and Ania about some of the interesting things you can catch if you go fishing in his part of America. On one occasion, he caught a turtle – in fact, he caught a “snapper turtle”. It has powerful jaws, and is not an ideal pet. In fact, when Eric pulled it out of the water, it nearly snapped his fingers off. The moral of that story is: be careful how you fish!
Be careful – because when you talk to others about Jesus, they might snap at you; and you’ll feel dejected: “what did I do wrong?” Actually, there aren’t many accounts, in the Bible, of the disciples trying to evangelize people – in fact, the main account is when they failed to heal someone. But what we do see is many occasions of Jesus praying – sometimes with His disciples, sometimes on His own, including after they had fallen asleep through praying all the time. Of course, after Jesus’ death, the church leaders did evangelize – but they were effective only because Jesus had taught them the supreme importance of praying for people to be converted.
And Friends, if repentance and faith are gifts from God, then it follows that the most effective way of fishing for people is not to trust in yourself and your persuasive powers, but to trust in God by pleading for them in your prayers. Prayer makes all the difference.
Maybe we can become a praying church, more and more – not just in our meetings, but in our private prayers at home. Remember: it’s not our service of God which is the most important – God Himself is the most important; and prayer strengthens our relationship with Him. So don’t keep thinking about how you are going to serve God – just be focused on Him alone, and let Him show you how to serve, and where to serve. Today’s psalm says: “Pour out your heart to Him, for God is our refuge”. That was the position of Jesus, and of His disciples and apostles: pouring out their hearts in prayer. That’s the key for evangelism, for being fishers of men. And so may we too, as fishers of men, focus on God, plead with God, for the world to repent as well as to believe. Amen.
Readings for 31 January
Verse for the week: "You must be blameless before the Lord your God" (Deuteronomy 18,13).
Responsive reading: Psalm 111. Old Testament reading: Deuteronomy 18, 9-19. New Testament reading: 1 Corinthians 8, 1-13. Gospel reading: Mark 1, 21-28.
Food of the Spirit
The Lord can give repentance to the most unlikely, turning lions into lambs, and ravens into doves. Let us look to Him that this great change may be wrought in us. Assuredly the contemplation of the death of Christ is one of the surest and speediest methods of gaining repentance. Do not sit down and try to pump up repentance from the dry well of corrupt nature. It is contrary to the laws of mind to suppose that you can force your soul into that gracious state. Take your heart in prayer to Him who understands it, and say, "Lord, cleanse it. Lord, renew it. Lord, work repentance in it." The more you try to produce penitent emotions in yourself, the more you will be disappointed; but if you believingly think of Jesus dying for you, repentance will burst forth. Meditate on the Lord's shedding His heart's blood out of love to you. Set before your mind's eye the agony and bloody sweat, the cross and passion; and, as you do this, He who was the bearer of all this grief will look at you, and with that look He will do for you what He did for Peter, so that you also will go out and weep bitterly. He who died for you can, by His gracious Spirit, make you die to sin; and He who has gone into glory on your behalf can draw your soul after Him, away from evil, and toward holiness.
I shall be content if I leave this one thought with you; look not beneath the ice to find fire, neither hope in your own natural heart to find repentance. Look to the Living One for life. Look to Jesus for all you need between Hell Gate and Heaven Gate. Never seek elsewhere for any part of that which Jesus loves to bestow; but remember: CHRIST IS ALL.
C. H. Spurgeon
Please be informed that your Data Administrator within the meaning of Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council (EU) 2016/679 of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation, ”GDPR”), is Warsaw International Church with its registered office in Warsaw (00-789) at ul. Willowa 1.