WIC Weekly July 18th 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
Last Sunday we welcomed two new student ladies at our service, both from Ethiopia: Keneni and Tinsae. At the end of the service, a small presentation was prepared for our Sunday School teachers Preethi and Belinda, and also for the boys present: John, Stephen and Sebastian. I wish teachers and children alike a restful and enjoyable vacation. We hope to resume both Sunday School and Bible study in September.
This Sunday we will be joined by Ken and Jennifer Campbell - a father and daughter team of American evangelists who are flying in from Romania. The service is guaranteed to be a great experience, so be sure to bring your friends. It will also be livestreamed on Zoom and YouTube. Here's the link: Warsaw International Church - Sunday Service Meeting ID: 818 1714 5932
Ken and Jennifer will be in Warsaw from Thursday onwards, doing street evangelism on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, which they are inviting us to take part in. Ken and Jennifer are also musically talented. If you are interested in participating in some street evangelism (a good experience!), we will meet at 2:30 pm on each of those days, by the tall column of King Zygmunt by the Royal Palace in the Old Town. We will have leaflets in English, Polish, Arabic and Russian to hand out. It will also be a good opportunity to wear our WIC T-shirts!
For those who will be with us in church, please bear in mind that, by law, masks must be worn at all times.
Recordings of our Sunday services are generally available on our wic.org.pl website or by googling "Warsaw International Church YouTube".
There will be no prayer group meeting this Saturday.
Thank you for your continuing support and prayers for our church and for one another. WIC is entirely self-supporting: without your contributions we cannot operate as a church, and now that we are back in our church building our expenses have increased considerably.
Should you wish to make a contribution to WIC, our 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 pray this week particularly for our planned evangelism event (see above), for Ken and Jennifer to come to Warsaw safely, and for many people to hear and believe the Good News of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ, made possible by the sacrifice of His precious blood.
We pray also for revival in God's church worldwide, in Poland and Warsaw, and in our church too.
We pray for all those we know who are sick and suffering in any way, that the Lord may bring spiritual, physical and mental healing to them by His grace.
Let us continue to pray that the pandemic and its consequences may cause increasing numbers of people to turn to Jesus in their need.
We ourselves need to pray for revival within us.
Last Sunday's sermon was preached by Pastor Harry:
Dear Friends, God has given us Christians a great message to share with others! It’s that Christ has saved us – and will save everybody else, if only they will let Him! Isn’t that a great reason why we should “blow ye the trumpet, blow”?
And in our Gospel reading, Jesus is starting His real mission in life, by proclaiming that same great message: “The Kingdom of God is near you! Repent and believe the Good News!” What’s the Good News? It’s that God saves the human race through the person and work of Jesus Christ. Just believe it; and let Him save you from your sins – because you can’t save yourself! Only Jesus can save us – otherwise we perish! But people must allow Him to save them!
Notice that, at the very same time, Jesus calls His first disciples: Simon Peter and Andrew, and then James and John. He calls them – and they follow Him immediately, in the middle of what they’re doing. No negotiations or discussions! You can’t help feeling that Jesus’ call was irresistible: not against their will; but so powerful that they didn’t want to resist it. And He immediately gives them their commission, their main task: “Come with Me, and I will make you fishers of men”. They’d never done anything like that before. Their task was now to win other souls for Christ.
Over 2,000 years later, still nothing has changed. Many of us would say we were called irresistibly, and our life changed immediately. And with that change of life comes the immediate commission: we are now fishers of men; because we are now Christ’s disciples. That’s where we go wrong, isn’t it? We don’t seem to realize what our main task is!
Now, you might say that our main task as Christians is worshipping – not leading other people to Jesus. But have another look at today’s psalm: Psalm 96 – verses 2 and 3: “Sing to the Lord, praise His name; proclaim His salvation day after day. Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous deeds among all peoples!” And again, verse 10: “Say among the nations, ‘the Lord reigns!’” So what do we see? We see that worship and telling others the Good News about Jesus are actually one and the same. The two should never be separated! We say: “I can come to church to worship God, but don’t expect me to do evangelizing and talk to people, or even to hand out leaflets. It’s just not me!” And we say that, because we associate evangelism with spreading the Good News outside, and we associate worship with going to church. But that’s wrong! Evangelism is simply inviting others to join you in worshipping the one true living God. It’s a natural outflow of your worship life.
Don’t get me wrong. Jesus is not calling us to save other people! Only Christ can save anybody! Neither can we build our church by “doing evangelism”. We can’t build Warsaw International Church! Christ builds the church! If we intend to build this church, we’re going to destroy it – because we will end up building a temple of our own idols to worship! No! Our job is to proclaim – to worship, and proclaim Jesus to others. To tell them what Jesus Christ has already done for us. To tell them that He will do the same for them, if only they will let Him! And our job is to pray to Christ, that He may build. We don’t know His plan. Maybe He has to pull things down first, before He can start building on a proper foundation. Of course, it’s the same in our individual life: a tragedy from our point of view may actually be a blessing from God’s point of view. So let’s not interfere with Christ’s building work. Let’s simply worship Him – by praying and proclaiming, and praising Him. That’s how revivals are born. It’s not a question of how good or holy we are – no one is good or holy enough! Revival is a question of simply letting Christ revive you!
This coming week, we have a great opportunity to proclaim to others that Jesus has saved us, and is the Saviour of the whole world! We have an opportunity to change our ways, by extending our worship to the outside world. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday, a father and daughter from the United States – Ken and Jennifer Campbell – will be in Warsaw, evangelizing – and we can join them on any of those days. And they will make up the main part of our service on Sunday. It’ll be a powerful blessing for all who come – so bring your friends to the service! Because of their experiences, Ken and Jennifer’s life is overflowing with worship – and they have a constant need to share this, to proclaim it to others. They are perfect models for each one of us.
There’s just one little obstacle we have to overcome when we talk to someone about faith: brick walls. Stone walls. I always have the impression there’s a brick wall between me and a person who is spiritually lost. We can talk to each other, be nice to each other, we can like or even love each other – but spiritually we are standing on opposite sides of a brick wall. And we can’t get through that wall in our own power – it’s stronger than we are.
You know, Joshua had this problem when he wanted to conquer Jericho: strong walls. The people were all tightly shut up inside the city. The Bible tells us that no one went out, and no one came in. Isn’t that the situation with lost people? – a complete spiritual blockade. We can’t get through to them – and they won’t come out to us.
But by the grace of God, Joshua and the Israelites have an unexpected support: the commander of the Lord’s army. We can say it’s God Himself, or Jesus Christ. The first thing He tells Joshua is to take his sandals off, because he’s standing on holy ground. Do you see? God tells us to worship Him, and to pray. Never attack the wall in your own strength!
Then the Lord says to Joshua: “I have delivered Jericho into your hands”. Not “I will deliver”, but “I have delivered”. Isn’t that beautiful encouragement? The citizens of Jericho don’t yet know it – but they’ve already lost the battle! And the Israelites already have that information! All they have to do is believe it! So when you pray for a person’s brick wall to collapse, it has in fact already collapsed! All you have to do is believe it, and keep on praying. You might not see the answer for many years. But if you believe, and pray persistently, that wall will crumble, and the person you’re praying for will be saved, because they too will believe, and will let Jesus save them eventually.
And indeed – Jericho did not fall at once. It took seven days of marching around the city – in other words, a certain time. But notice: there was no fighting. Nothing was done under the Israelites’ own strength. They just trusted God and followed His instructions. And when they blew the sheep’s horns, the wall collapsed, and Jericho was claimed for the Lord. That’s how any kind of evangelism is done – the three “p”s: prayer; proclaiming the Good News; and praise.
Just a little footnote, with the story of Rahab the prostitute. She was lost! She’d been living a life of sin – but never once is she condemned for that! We must never condemn the lost. Never judge them. Jesus never did. Because we are in exactly the same position – we were lost once; but Jesus broke down our brick wall.
Ask yourself: have you failed to seek the lost for Jesus? Have you failed to witness with your mouth for the Lord Jesus Christ? Has your life shown Jesus to those who are lost, or not? I confess that my answer is: I’ve failed. I have my brick walls too – the Lord has to break us all down.
We Christians need to confess this sin, and do something about it. This week is the perfect opportunity: Thursday, Friday or Saturday, evangelizing with Ken and Jennifer. Meet on any of those days at 2:30 pm by the tall column of King Zygmunt in front of Warsaw's Royal Palace in the Old Town. We have leaflets in English, Polish, Arabic and Russian. The question is: will we – like the disciples – say “yes” to Jesus, and follow Him, and become fishers of men? Because that’s what discipleship means. “Go into all the world and make people My disciples, and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you”, said Jesus. It’s the greatest commission we will ever receive. Amen.
Readings for 18 July
Verse for the week: "We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: be reconciled to God" (2 Corinthians 5, 20).
Old Testament reading: Ezekiel 3, 18-21. New Testament reading: 2 Corinthians 5, 17-21.
Food of the Spirit
The Trial Of Faith In Divine Healing
A believer told me of how he had been healed from a terrible illness which had brought him to the edge of the grave. There was no chance of healing from human help, and it was made plain to him that through "holding-on faith" he could get the help he needed. What success had he?
He rested on the Scripture, "Through His bleeding wounds we are healed" (Isa. 53:5, translation). But the healing was not manifested, and symptoms being still present, he felt drawn to take each symptom to God in prayer and put it to death according to Romans 8:13: "If ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live." In a wonderful way health was restored, and it became known that the Lord had done the work.
Why the Delay?
Why does God sometimes delay the manifestations of healing? The answer is that faith must be perfected, and in order to be perfected, faith must have a chance to grow. Concerning this matter, the Bible is full of teaching, for example, the taking of Jericho by Joshua.
Israel had come near to Jericho. God said, "See I have given Jericho into your hands" (Josh. 6:2). Then they began according to God's direction to march around the city seven days. Six days they went around carrying the ark as a sign of Christ and blowing trumpets which meant they expected victory. On the seventh day they went around the city seven times, the seventh time shouting victory, and the walls fell down flat.
Our Jericho may be a besetting sin or a certain incurable illness that resists all that man can do. These symptoms lift themselves up before our eyes like walls of Jericho. The Lord says, "See, I have given Jericho into your hands" – through His wounds we are healed. We receive our healing by faith on this promise. We reckon it is done through faith in the finished work of Jesus. But symptoms still remain. Before mind and eyes there is no change, suffering is strong.
Now we begin to exercise faith. We march one day, two days in the Name of Jesus. We carry the ark and the trumpets, symbols of the presence and power of God. Still there is no change at all. Nevertheless we go forward, and praise God for victory. We march three or four days and no change comes. We are so sure of the promises that we go forward again five or six days. Still the walls are not broken through.
Illness seems never so hard to put aside as now; symptoms seem greater and pains are harder to bear. The enemy presses near, but faith shrinks not, for hath not God said, "I have given Jericho into your hands?" "By His stripes ye are healed" (Isa. 53:5). Our faith rests only upon His faithfulness who says, "I will not leave you till I have done that which I have spoken to thee of" (Gen. 28:15).
The number seven has a particular meaning. It is the expression of holding-on faith which reaches the highest point in the cry of triumph of the victor when there is nothing to see. The walls remain untouched. We have praised, believing it is done. We cry victory and walls fall at last, the symptoms of disease disappear and healing is manifest.
The proving of our faith has been long and hard, but faith has grown and we have come to know God better. We are drawn closer to Him. We were sure of victory the day we began to march. The march was the proving of our faith.
Faith Is the Hand that Takes
Faith is our spiritual hand. Holiness or healing become ours like any material thing we hold in our hands. God has done the work. It is a spiritual work whose fulfillment is not dependent on what we can see. God works in answer to our faith.
Do you believe that God has given Jericho into your hand? You are not yet healed, and you say, "What can be the reason? Is it the will of God to heal me?" God is as willing to heal today as ever He has been, but He delays in order that we may learn new lessons of faith. He demands that for days we walk in darkness while we look at what is not as if it were. We are to look at His finished work and count the thing done. Resting on His Word, we praise Him for victory which has been won even when we are yet in our pain and weakness.
God waits till we take the last step of faith. We must believe where we do not see or feel. He says, "It is finished." He gives us the right to say, "It is finished" when we take the finished work for ourselves. When God says, "By His stripes ye are healed," we need not hesitate to say the same words. Shall we not follow on and let the measure of our faith be fulfilled?
We know so little the full meaning of victorious faith. Our faith should be such that we trust the Word alone and not our feelings or what we see. Faith needs no feelings to rest upon. The faithfulness of our God is enough, so we rest upon what His written Word declares until victory comes.
Faith is something opposite to our natural lives which expect everything from what one sees and feels. Therefore Paul says, "Faith is the confident certainty of things man is expecting, and the strong conviction in that which is not seen" (Heb. 11:1). Such a faith is able to conquer. Faith is to believe what we do not feel or see, and the reward of faith is to see and feel what we believe.
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