WIC Weekly November 22nd 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 Nina to our livestream service. Sister Nina worshipped with us in church until February, when she went to Germany to work, but is now back in Poland with a permanent job.
Sister Boriana gave a moving testimony of her encounter with evil forces and how she found peace in Jesus Christ.
Here is your link for our service this Sunday on Zoom at 11 am CET:
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".
PLEASE NOTE: 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
Please continue to pray for peace in Ethiopia, which is experiencing a civil war. Please also pray for the safety of Brother Issayas' relatives in the war-torn region.
Your prayers are still also requested for Brother Vahid, who fled Iran after being imprisoned for being a Christian. He is now safe in the UK, but if he applies for asylum he may never see his family and home country again. He needs our prayers for the Lord to guide him.
Please continue to pray for all you know who are experiencing difficulties as a result of the pandemic. Some of our worshippers are experiencing financial problems because of job losses or cutbacks.
Pray for the health and protection of your loved ones, and for members of WIC.
Pray for the Lord to lead His people to repentance and a deeper faith in His sovereign Will.
Sermon preached by Pastor Harry on 15 November
John 3, 16-21; Ephesians 6, 10-18
We have behind us another week of breaking records for COVID-19 infections and deaths. Unfortunately Poland is now one of the world leaders in terms of the number of cases in proportion to the population. The virus is almost as easy to catch as a common cold. It’s clear that we are still under God’s judgement for having become alienated from Him and ignoring Him – and the whole world is suffering for it. Today’s psalm – 142 – illustrates the condition of many people right now. Their spirits are faint, and they are crying out to the Lord, because they are in desperate need.
So when this year’s Thanksgiving is celebrated in North America and one or two other countries, in just under two weeks, many people might think that they don’t have much to give thanks for. Many will be grieving over a loved one on a ventilator in hospital, or even over someone they’ve lost to the virus. That obviously includes Christians and non-Christians. Businesses are closing, and many are left without jobs. All because people have strayed from God. Light came into the world, in the Person of Jesus Christ, but men loved darkness instead of light, because their thoughts and deeds were evil. The world has become more and more corrupt, more and more self-seeking, more and more full of liers and their lies. And now God is passing His verdict on that world.
We Christians seem to have got it into our heads that those who are being judged are only those others: those unbelievers, those people from other religions. But no – the Bible is not addressed primarily to unbelievers! It’s addressed to followers of the Lord – to me and you! God is judging us believers too – and judging us above all!
You see, God wants to have us for His own; but we haven’t yet learnt to submit to His Will – at least, not totally. God made provision for our salvation, but we are constantly going astray, following our own agendas instead of following Jesus. That brings us into conflict with God – we wrestle with Him. Remember Jacob? He wrestled with God, and was left crippled, before he learnt to submit. Remember Jonah? He was thrown into the sea and swallowed by a whale, before he submitted to God. Remember Paul? He was blinded on the road to Damascus, before he submitted to God’s Will for Him. God can make all the rulers of the world submit to Him if He wants. So He allows tragedy to come into our life – or illness, like COVID-19. God wants to bless us – but He must get us to yield to Him first. And so He withdraws His grace for a while, that mankind may seek Him again.
Our reading from John chapter 3 makes it clear that the first step in yielding to God is for a person to believe in the Saviour, Jesus Christ. This is where you and I are right now. The virus is raging; thousands of desperate people are finding a faith in Christ, by God’s grace; but many more won’t change at all, and will continue to be under God’s judgement. They will remain blind and “in the dark” – their spiritual eyes won’t be opened.
If we have already been awakened by the Lord through our faith, we know what’s happening around us. We understand why it’s happening, even if the world doesn’t. We know it’s because of man’s sin and unbelief. And we also realize how weak and vulnerable we are, and how far we too have strayed from God. We realize, like Paul says in our reading from Ephesians, that through our sins and our egos, we have called down evil forces – Satanic forces – which God allows to plague us. Evils like COVID-19. Evils like war. Evils like demonic attack. In a moment, we’ll be seeing how this works out in a person’s individual life, and what needs to be done to stop the evil – one of our sisters will give her testimony. We realize that our fight is not so much against particular people, but against the evil forces that manipulate them, on account of those people falling into some kind of sin. And not only do they suffer, but others around them suffer as well.
So how can we protect ourselves against the forces of evil? Our handbook for spiritual protection is Ephesians chapter 6 verses 10-18, so that “when the day of evil comes, you will be able to stand your ground”. Today is the day of evil – today is the day of COVID-19. God allows it to happen – but it’s still evil. But God also provides us with the way out of this situation: to put on the “full armour” of God. The full armour of God has seven items, as mentioned in Ephesians. Let’s look at them very briefly.
Firstly, TRUTH. Make sure you are always sincere and telling the truth as you see it. None of us is perfect, but if we keep to the truth as we believe it to be, the devil will have no claim on us.
Secondly, RIGHTEOUSNESS. This means living a godly life, to the best of your ability. Live the way you sincerely believe is the right way for you to live – and be consistent in that way of living. Try to model yourself on Jesus and His compassion for others, and the devil won’t get a hold on you.
Thirdly, PEACE. Have peace in your heart at all times. If there’s no peace, Satan has got in there somehow, and you have to get to the source of the problem. Maybe you are sinning in some way. Or maybe you need to pray about someone or something, or take some action. Lack of peace is an indicator that you are not properly protected against the devil.
Fourthly, FAITH. Don’t think you can solve your deepest problems by lack of faith. You must strengthen your relationship with God, usually by talking to Him in prayer and by reading His Word. Lack of faith gives the devil easy access to your inner life.
Fifthly, SALVATION. People embrace their salvation when they finally realize what Christ has done for them on the cross, giving His life for them to take away the effects of their sin, making it possible for them to have eternal life. Without this understanding of what Christ has done for you, Satan will walk all over you.
Sixthly, THE WORD OF GOD in the Bible. We need to nourish ourselves with the Bible’s food. But this doesn’t mean that we should take a verse out of context and make it the basis for our actions. Remember that the devil also quoted the word of God when he tempted Jesus in the desert! But Jesus responded with other quotes from Scripture, to show that every verse has to be seen in the context of the Bible as a whole.
And finally, PRAYER – especially, prayer for the saints – in other words, for our Christian brothers and sisters. I’m guessing that this is what Satan hates most of all – when we talk with the Lord. Please don’t neglect your prayer life, because otherwise Satan will get a foothold on you.
Maybe not so many gifts will be given at Thanksgiving this year. But we have the greatest gift of all: God in Christ, our Saviour, who keeps us safe if we turn to Him. So let’s give thanks to the Lord for His grace; put on the full armour of God to protect us; stand up to the surrounding evil without fear; and keep our eyes firmly fixed on Jesus. May the Lord come quickly to our aid. Amen.
Readings for 22 November
Verse for the week: "In Christ we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that He lavished on us" (Ephesians 1, 7-8).
Responsive reading: Psalm 33, 12-22. First Old Testament reading: Esther 3, 1-7. Second Old Testament reading: Esther 5, 10-14. Third Old Testament reading: Esther 7, 1-10.
Food of the Spirit
Walking By Faith, Not Sight
There was a period in my life when I had a desperate need of a revival experience. God suddenly came to me in a fresh and in a powerful new way, and for months it was as if the Lord and I were going hand in hand. I was overwhelmed with His love. And then one day after the passage of many, many weeks, it dawned on me, "The Lord is not with me like He was," and I was grieved. I went to my prayer closet. "Lord, what wickedness has caused You to depart from me?" And for two or three days I was constantly asking, "Lord, where did I grieve the Holy Spirit? What awful thing have I done to injure You?" And nothing came. There was no sense at all of any help in answering that urgent question.
About the fourth day of asking with great urgency, "Lord, how did I grieve the Holy Spirit?" this question pressed on my heart: "What did you do to gain this awesome sense of My presence?" "Well, Lord, You know perfectly well that I didn’t do anything." "Well, if you didn’t do anything to gain it, why are you so sure you did something to lose it?"
And I cried out, "Lord, if I didn’t do something to grieve the Holy Spirit, why then this loss of the glorious sense of Your presence?" I wouldn’t want to imply that I heard an audible voice, but it couldn’t have been any more distinct if I had. The Lord said to me, "My plan for you is not that you walk by sight, but that you walk by faith."
And I realized that during those precious weeks and months I hadn’t needed faith. The Lord was so near, His presence so real, His power so awesome, His love so wonderful that I was in danger of taking it all for granted. So He then reminded me of the apostles of old, who had to learn to walk by FAITH.
Richard Owen Roberts
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