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WIC Weekly July 12th 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
Email: pastor@wic.org.pl
Website: http://www.wic.org.pl

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Our news

Last Sunday we welcomed Eunice from Kenya (based in Katowice) to our online service. This was also our second online Communion service. We shall continue to meet for online worship throughout July.

Here is your link for this Sunday’s service at 11 am CET:

This Thursday you are invited to our Bible study. The text will be Matthew chapter 7, 15-29. The Zoom link for the Bible study, at 6 pm CET, is:
Warsaw International Church - Bible Study (every other Thursday @ 6:00 pm)
Time: May 14, 2020 06:00 PM
Meeting ID: 416 626 997

Recordings of our Sunday services are available on our wic.org.pl website.

This Thursday you are invited to our Bible study. The text will be Matthew chapter 7, 15-29. The Zoom link for the Bible study, at 6 pm CET, is:
Warsaw International Church - Bible Study (every other Thursday @ 6:00 pm)
Time: May 14, 2020 06:00 PM
Meeting ID: 416 626 997

Prayer requests

There is so much suffering in the world due to COVID-19. The virus infection rate is increasing dramatically, globally. In particular, our friends and relatives in the United States, India, Russia, Brazil and Iran desperately need our prayers. In many countries, persecution of Christians is increasing even as the virus rages: the church needs our prayer support. But above all, we pray that people everywhere may seek and find the Lord, and cry out to Him for their protection.

Please continue to pray for Wouter in Holland, still recovering from an operation to remove a brain tumour.

Your prayers are also requested for a Sister suffering from severe pain in her liver, as a result of cysts.

Several worshippers are encountering difficulties in arranging formalities to visit their relatives abroad or in coming to Poland. We pray that the procedures may go smoothly and that their hopes and plans may work out.

Finally, on this Sunday the run-off to the presidential election in Poland will be held. The two candidates are running neck and neck. May the Lord protect the Polish nation and lead it closer to Him.

Last Sunday’s sermon

Readings: Amos 6, 1-7; Matthew 11, 28-30.

You may have noticed that our readings today have this common theme: we can call it “rest” or “ease”. In the passage from Matthew, Jesus tells His audience – and also us – “I will give you rest; you will find rest for your souls”. And in the Old Testament reading, the prophet Amos is declaring the words of the Sovereign Lord given to him for the people of Israel: “Woe to you who are complacent in Zion”. In more traditional English Bible versions, the translation is: “Woe to you who are at ease in Zion”. Being complacent means being self-satisfied and contented – sometimes dangerously so. For example, we can say that people all over the world are becoming complacent about the coronavirus. They are no longer taking the threat so seriously, and so they are not keeping their distance, not wearing masks in public places, not disinfecting their hands. They are dangerously at ease about the situation.

Amos was a prophet from the time when the Jewish people were divided into two kingdoms: North Israel, and Judah further south. He came from Judah, but worked in the Northern Kingdom, and prophesied that God’s judgment would come not only to the surrounding nations, but also to the people of Israel themselves – both in the north and in the south. Why? Not only because of their social injustice and religious hypocrisy, but also because they had become complacent: the Jews were at ease in Zion. But it was a false sense of security they had, because God was going to send judgment upon them: they were going to be invaded by the Assyrians and taken as slaves to Babylon.

Zion is a symbol, not only of Jerusalem, but of the whole of Israel: the entire Jewish nation. Zion therefore includes both religious and unreligious Jews: both believers and unbelievers. They were all going to be judged for being at ease, contented, comfortable. They chose to ignore what was happening all around them, in other countries, and were spending their time enjoying security, comfort and well-being. They were eating and drinking well. They were making music on their instruments. They did not “grieve over the ruin of Joseph” – in other words, they weren’t bothered by the damage they were doing to their nation, and to themselves, as a result of their unspiritual behaviour. Their comfort and security were making them more and more indifferent spiritually.

Of course, this text isn’t just a message to the people of Israel. It’s a message to the whole world today! We have grown fat in our comfort. We have become more and more apathetic about matters of faith. Dangers seem a long way away – and yet God’s judgment is drawing close. The signs are everywhere – we’d be foolish not to notice it.

But this is also a specific message for the church – Zion is us believers. Let’s remember one thing: spiritual decay takes place in stages. Because of the circumstances at present, Christians have already had three months of not having to get up earlier on Sunday mornings to go to church. We can sleep in late, and even finish off our breakfast while we switch our computers on. Maybe that’s still necessary at the moment. But beware! It’s easy to move on from there and think: “Does it really make any difference if I take part in an online service or not?” And then we think: “Does it really make any difference if I read my Bible today? Does it make any difference if I pray or not?” And finally we end up thinking: “Does it make any difference if I believe in God?” If we are too much at ease, we start to lose our motivation. We mistake God’s protection for a chance to be lazy.

You see, the Israelites wanted to feel safe and comfortable. They didn’t want to have the additional problems that surrounding countries were struggling with: war, pestilence, drought and disease. So the Israelites thought that, just by retreating into their comfortable homes, and keeping themselves isolated and well fed, they would be free of those problems, because after all, they were “God’s chosen people”. God wouldn’t lead His people to destruction, would He? And yet He did. Why? Because they didn’t do His Will. There was a breakdown of concern for others, and a breakdown in religious feeling. They had become progressively apathetic in their attempt to stay safe.

In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus also focuses on the idea of being at ease, being at rest. But this is obviously a completely different idea of rest to what Amos is talking about! We could describe the two kinds of rest as “false rest” and “true rest”. Again, Christ’s message is to everybody – to unbelievers, but also to believers. Come to Jesus, and He will give you true rest. If you are weary because of the burdens you’re carrying, you can get rid of those burdens by placing them on Jesus’ shoulders and letting Him take care of them – and you will refresh yourself, renew yourself, find new strength, new happiness, new creativity, new healing and insight. That’s a promise to everyone who dares to make the move to Jesus.

Notice that I said “dares”. We have to dare to come to Jesus. So many people are just too afraid to risk this. They think they have too much to lose. They don’t want to be yoked to Jesus. They are at ease in their complacency. They don’t want to commit themselves.

What’s a yoke? It was a special piece of wood that was placed onto two oxen. It was placed on the oxen to keep them together, to make sure they moved in the same direction when the farmer ploughed his field. So Jesus is inviting us to be yoked to Him – in other words, to choose to move in the same direction as He moves. It’s not a passing emotion, like going to church for a few weeks and then stopping. It’s a long-term walk with Jesus, in step with Him all the time. Many people are too scared, too unwilling to take that step. It takes courage and determination to be a disciple of Jesus.

But the words “come to Me” apply equally to mature believers. Don’t we ourselves drift away from Jesus, time and again, when we become more pre-occupied with our worries, our daily obligations, our little pleasures and comforts? – and we lose our rest in Him. Notice how often we lose sight of Jesus as a Person, and get hooked on laws, rules, rituals and theological systems, like Calvinism or Lutheranism just as examples, or on creeds or statements of belief – and we become more pre-occupied with these than with the Lord Himself! Only when we grow weary of all this, and become overburdened, do we think of returning to Jesus: God as a Person.

Dear Believer, are you moving in the same direction as Jesus? Are you properly yoked to Him? Don’t be at ease in Zion, because God may one day punish you for it – not because He hates you, but because He loves you, and will therefore chastise you. If God has given you the grace to stay safe, then stay safe – but don’t become complacent about your new way of life. Stay alert by listening to sermons and services, study the Bible more, and pray more.

God never leaves us alone in new circumstances. He provides His grace – extra grace, if necessary. He strengthens us in the sacraments – such as in today’s Holy Communion. He invites us to re-dedicate ourselves to Him whose body was broken, and whose blood was shed, for us. As we take Communion today, let’s reflect on what Jesus dared to do for us, and on what we as a church should be daring to do for Him, even in a situation of lockdown. It may actually be harder to serve the Lord when we worship at home – because more self-discipline is required of us.

May we follow Jesus wherever He leads us. And may we have the discernment to know where that should be. Amen.

This Sunday’s readings

12 July is the Sixth Sunday after Pentecost.

Verse for the week: "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death" (Romans 8, 1-2).

Psalm: 119, 105-112. Old Testament reading: Genesis 25, 19-34. New Testament reading: Romans 8, 1-8. Gospel reading: Matthew 13, 1-9. 18-23.

Food of the Spirit

Prophetic Words From The Year 2000

Awake, Christians of America - and of the whole world! The judgments of God hang over us and only desperate measures will save us from worse horrors than are now crushing the very life out of some throughout the world. The fact that we live in a so-called Christian land is not going to save us from God’s judgments. God’s Word says, "Woe to them that are at ease in Zion" (Amos 6:1).

What Can We Do?

One thing that all Christians must do is to pray! Really pray! Cry mightily unto God! Only God can save us, and God saves in answer to real prayer. This is no time to be fearful and to wonder why things are as they are. God knows why - talk directly to Him about the disaster that threatens the entire world today.

This is no time to get discouraged, to think, "There’s nothing I can do." There is something that every born-again child of God can do and must do - and that is to pray! You don’t have to think of giving up, of quitting. God’s Word says, "They that wait upon the Lord shall...not faint" (Isaiah 40:31). Never think of fainting, of giving up. It is contrary to God’s Word. "Men ought always to pray, and not to faint" (Luke 18:1).

Prayer Imperatively Needed

Charles G. Finney tells of a man who used to pray every Saturday night until midnight for God’s blessings on the church where he attended. But there was a revival on at his church, and one Saturday night, feeling weary, he thought he could just omit his usual time of prayer. The next day there was not the blessing in the meetings that there had been. This man got up and confessed that he had failed God by not praying the night before.

We know God always answers the prayer of faith - for an individual and for companies of people. Jesus says, "All things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive" (Matthew 21:22). Then what a frightful thing to neglect prayer, to idle away our time, drift along - hoping for the best, when the very bell ropes of heaven are in reach of every single one of us, and when God needs our fervent, persistent, "never-give-up" prayers to get His will done in earth, as it is in heaven.

Oh, Christian people of America and of the whole world, cry mightily unto God that He, for Jesus’ sake, will help us and deliver us from the horrors that threaten us, and that He, in Jesus’ mighty name, will revive His work, and "in wrath remember mercy" (Habakkuk 3:2). It is not that we are asking the Lord to avert the final judgments from a Christ-rejecting world, but that He will revive His work and save as many as possible before final judgments fall.

"Wilt Thou not revive us again: that Thy people may rejoice in Thee?" (Psalms 85:6). "God is faithful" (1 Corinthians 10:13). "Shall not God avenge His own elect, which cry day and night unto Him, though He bear long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily" (Luke 18:7-8).

Pray for revival! Pray for all in authority (1 Timothy 2:1-6), "that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty." The Bible tells us to pray for all in authority. This is part of our bounden duty - and privilege as Christians - for our own welfare and the welfare of our loved ones is bound up, from a material standpoint, in the welfare of our country. "Seek the peace of the city...and pray unto the Lord for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace" (Jeremiah 29:7).

Pray earnestly, definitely, in faith, believing, persistently and with importunity (Luke 11:1-10), for men in authority (and for those who will be in authority after the coming election). Pray that if they are not born-again Christians, God will convict them of sin and save their souls.

People of God, this is no time to trifle! Our freedoms are already slipping away from us. Now is the time to storm heaven in Jesus’ mighty Name. Tomorrow may be too late. "Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth" (Proverbs 27:1).

Pray earnestly that God, for Jesus’ sake, will use what men and women and means He chooses to get His will done in earth, as it is in heaven! (Matthew 6:10). Believe God to do that very thing!

W. C. Moore

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.

Warsaw International Church
Miodowa 21B, 00-246 Warszawa, Poland | +48 601 331 032 | pastor@wic.org.pl
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