WIC Weekly September 13th 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
WIC is continuing to meet online for Sunday services. PLEASE NOTE THAT WE NOW PLAN TO RETURN TO CHURCH SERVICES ON 27 SEPTEMBER.
Last Sunday we were pleased to welcome Tess from the Philippines and Ryszard from Poland to our service.
This Thursday, at 6 pm CET, we resume our fortnightly online Bible studies. This week we'll be looking at THE LORD'S PRAYER, in Matthew 6, 5-18. Invitations will be sent out in a separate communication.
Thank you for all your support, in any form, and particularly your prayers, for our church.
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
Here is your link for this Sunday’s online service at 11 am CET:
Join us for this Sunday’s live online service on Zoom at 11 am CET by clicking: Warsaw International Church - Weekly Zoom Service (Sundays @11:00 am) Time: Sundays @ 11:00 AM Warsaw Meeting ID: 375 882 822
Recordings of our Sunday services are available on our wic.org.pl website.
I am so sad to announce the passing away of the niece of our Sister Evangeline who used to worship with us in Warsaw but is now back in India. Little Ria, who lived with her family in the USA, was 14 years old, loved horses and hoped to take part in equestrian events in the Olympic Games one day. She was unaware of any allergy to horses, but was given a new horse to ride and died of a massive asthma attack. Our hearts and prayers go out to Ria's immediate family and to Evangeline and her family. The funeral will be held this Thursday in Kentucky. Rest in peace with the Lord, dear Ria, and may there be your beloved horses where you are now.
Our Turkish Sister Anna has applied for a visa to come to Poland to be with her daughter Fem. Let's pray that she'll be able to come over.
Brother Bogosi's wife and children are also hoping to come to Warsaw from South Africa, and they would appreciate our prayers as well.
Sermon notes from sermon preached by Sam Singh on 23 August
Passion for Christ When the cat is away, the mouse comes to play in the field :) Let’s turn in our Bibles to Philippians 4:13.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Truly this is a great promise for all those who love and believe in our Lord Jesus Christ. On many occasions, I have personally considered this Bible verse for my own personal growth.
- For promotion.
- For good performance ratings.
- To be the best at work and to gain recognition.
- To get through tough career assessments.
- To travel round the globe.
That is all good and there’s nothing wrong with it; however, the context of this verse should be meditated on in conjunction with other Scriptures written just a little above this verse, so let’s look at them now.
Philippians Chapter 4:11-12 says:
“Not that I speak in regard to NEED, for I have learned in whatever state I I am, TO BE CONTENT.
I know how to be abased (lowering myself, humbleness) and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need”.
Paul learnt to be content in whatever state he was in, in joy and in suffering, and Christ strengthened him in all his sufferings.
In 2 Corinthians, Chapter 11 explains the suffering that Paul went through.
He was stripped, beaten with rods, stoned, shipwrecked, exposed to robbers, murderers, weariness, toil, hunger, thirst, cold and nakedness.
For what gain did Paul have to go through all this suffering? It was for his love for Christ Jesus, and the mission given to preach the Good News and to be Christ’s witness to the ends of the world. History says Paul was beheaded by the Roman Empire, for Christ’s sake. John the Baptist was martyred for preaching the gospel of repentance. He was beheaded for speaking the truth. Stephen the Martyr was stoned to death for Christ’s sake.
Romans Chapter 8, verse 35 onwards clearly explains this in detail. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness or peril or sword?
As it is written : “For your sake we are killed all day long, we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter”. Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I’m persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created things shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Graham Stains, an Australian missionary, cared for the poor and became involved in the Leprosy Mission for treating lepers in the state of Orissa, India. He married his wife Gladys and together they became very involved in ministry to the poor and helpless. He began outreach into villages with the message of the cross, lifting up Jesus among the tribal people. He had gone to a village for an evangelism campaign, and was sleeping in the station wagon outside the local church building when he was attacked by a mob numbering more than one hundred. He was burnt alive with his two sons Timothy & Phillip in the early hours of January 23rd 1999.
Romans 10:15: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace”. 1 Corinthians, 15:55: O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory? Verse 58 : “Therefore my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labour is not in vain in the Lord”. Our Lord Jesus chose ordinary working men who later became world changers. They suffered greatly for their faith and in most cases met a violent death on account of their bold witness.
I come from a city where Saint Thomas preached the gospel in AD 70 and was martyred for his faith and witness. My family and my forefathers could be the harvest of his suffering. Are we witnessing Christ? Witnessing Christ is not an option; it’s a very natural outcome resulting from the passion you have for Christ. Are we ready to suffer for Christ, die to SIN and to worldly desires? So that God can use us powerfully? Are we ready to empty hell and fill the heavens for JESUS? Jesus loves you. God bless our Church. God bless Poland.
Sermon notes from the sermon preached by Christopher Stone on 30 August
Reasons to be joyful
PSALM 105: Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! 2 Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works! 3 Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice! 4 Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually! 5 Remember the wondrous works that he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he uttered, Psalm 105:1-5
What is the first section asking us to do? Sometimes we can read over these things so quickly that we miss that God is asking us to do something. If we read verses 1 – 5 carefully we will see that God is asking us to do at least ten different things.
Give thanks – verse 1 “give thanks to the Lord” – verse 1 “call upon his name” Make known – verse 1 “make known his deeds among the peoples!” – verse 2 “sing praises to him” – verse 2 “tell of all his wondrous works!” – verse 3 “Glory in his holy name” – verse 3 “let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!” Seek God’s strength – verse 4 “Seek the Lord and his strength” Seek God’s presence – verse 4 “seek his presence continually!” – verse 5 “Remember the wondrous works that he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he uttered”
Throughout I have used the word ask but actually, if you read it carefully, these are not requests – these are commands. When God said that He is the king of the universe, he meant it. He is the King – We are his loyal subjects. He commands. We obey.
If you love God this morning, God is commanding you to give thanks to Him. If you love God this morning, God is commanding you to call on His name if you are in trouble. If you love God this morning, God is commanding you to tell of all the wonderful things he has done in your life. Singing is not optional.
But why? Why does God want our worship?
This is a tricky question because we are trying to get inside the mind of God, and a thousand sinners would come up with a thousand different stories. But God, in his love and wisdom tells us the answer.
There are two purposes to human life: To know God; To enjoy Him forever.
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11 says:
What is the purpose of life: “You make known to me the path of life;”
1.To know God: “in your presence”
- To know God: “at your right hand”
2.To enjoy him forever: “in your presence there is fullness of joy”
- To enjoy him forever: “at your right hand are pleasures forevermore”
So the things that Psalm 105 order us to do are either – knowing God more: Seek God’s strength Seek God’s presence call upon his name
Or enjoying him forever: give thanks to the sing praises to him make known his deeds amongst the peoples let the hearts of those who seek the rejoice! Glory in his holy name If I taste a delicious apple pie I want to say, “this is delicious”. If I hear a beautiful piece of music, I want to sing along. If I see an amazing mountain, I want to take a pic and share it with my friends. When I saw my son born, I wanted to tell everyone that he was wonderful.
And God is the highest thing, most beautiful thing, most powerful thing, most holy thing in the Universe.
If you have ever heard the voice of God You have heard the truest thing in the entire universe Then you will want to call to him when you are in trouble
If you have ever seen something of God You have seen the most holy thing in the entire universe Then you will want to glory in his holy name
If you have ever felt God Then you have felt the most powerful thing in the universe Then you will want to sing praises to him
And why does He want you to do that? Because it makes him look magnificent!
Why should we worship God? What has he done for you that might cause you to praise him?
In Psalm 105 God reminds the people of Israel of seven massive miracles that he did for them in the past so that you would praise him and trust him for the future.
In verses 9 and 10 he reminds them of the story of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob.
In verse 17 he reminds them of the story of Joseph in Genesis.
In verse 26 he reminds them of the calling of Moses at the burning bush and the calling of his brother Aaron in the book of Exodus.
In verse 28 he reminds them of the plagues that he sent on Egypt in the book of Exodus.
In verse 37 he reminds them of how he saved them when they crossed the Red Sea.
In verse 39 he reminds them of how he looked after them when they lived in the wilderness for 40 years
In verse 44 he reminds them of how he was with Joshua when they were given the land of Israel.
These people had a foundation to worship God. To call on his name , to tell of the things he had done. What is your foundation this morning? Why do you have a reason to seek his presence?
Let me give you seven reasons from Ephesians 1:3-7: 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,
Brothers and Sisters, Tom and Alice and Renata, you are blessed, Sam and John and Stephen, you have been given every spiritual blessing, Mike and Essayas, you are chosen by God Eric and Celina, you are loved Bogosi and Vanessa, you have been adopted into the family of God Daniel, you have been redeemed Liz, you have been forgiven.
And so, let us “sing praises to him” and “tell of all his wondrous works!” and “Glory in his holy name”!
Sermon preached by Pastor Harry Irrgang on 6 September
Exodus 12, 1-14; Romans 13, 8-14.
Our two readings today are all about instructions. They’re about instructions to God’s children – or, if you like, to God’s chosen people. But why should God’s chosen people need instructions? Surely, if God has saved us, we don’t need extra instructions, because God’s going to do everything for us, isn’t He?
However, we see in the Bible that it doesn’t work like that. We may be God’s chosen people – but we still have to be careful to follow His instructions. If we don’t follow them, there’s something wrong with our salvation, isn’t there? And we should ask ourselves: are we really saved, or are we just kidding ourselves?
Look at the Old Testament reading – the account of the Passover. God is going to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, to free them from slavery under Pharaoh – where they were probably employed to help build the pyramids. Despite all the plagues that God sent, the Pharaoh was still unwilling to let the Israelites go. So God determined to kill every firstborn child and animal in Egypt. But this didn’t mean that the Israelites had to just sit back and watch it happen. They had work to do.
What did they have to do to be safe? The families had to kill a male lamb and smear the blood on the door-frames of their houses. Then they had to eat the cooked meat together with unleavened bread – bread without yeast – and be dressed up, all ready to leave their homes. Only then would the Lord lead them safely out of Egypt. Suppose some family didn’t follow those instructions – the Bible doesn’t tell us about that, but it could have happened. In that case, they would not have been safe at all, but would have suffered the same fate as the Egyptians. To escape destruction, you cannot sit back and do nothing, hoping that God will do everything for you. You have to do something yourself. That’s true of the natural world, and also of spiritual matters.
That was all under the Old Covenant – the old agreement between God and man, under which God promised to lead and save His chosen people, if His people respected His laws – an agreement which His people couldn’t keep. So God made a New Covenant, a new agreement. He Himself sacrificed His Son, Jesus Christ – in other words, God sacrificed Himself. He did so, to lead His children out of Egypt – but not Egypt the country, but Egypt as a symbol for sin. Christ saves God’s people from their sins. But again, there is work to do. We can say that God is like a farmer who gives us the crops, as if by magic – but if we don’t plough the field or sow the seed, there won’t be any crops.
You see, when Christ comes into our lives by the grace of God, we are then no longer at peace with our sins – we are at war with them. What we accepted quite happily in the past, when we weren’t Christians, we now no longer accept. Our newly found faith compels us to take action – otherwise it’s not a real faith. As it says in the Letter of James: “What good is it if a man claims to have faith, but has no deeds? Can such faith save him?” The implication is: no, it can’t. In fact, James says that faith without deeds is useless. Why not? Because we are not overcoming our sins.
So what must we do? “Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ”, as it says in our verse for this week. That doesn’t just mean believe in Jesus. It means “put Him on”, as you would a coat or a suit. Become like Him in your daily walk. Becoming like Jesus has two aspects: a positive aspect (in other words, what we must actively practise), and a negative aspect (in other words, what we must avoid). And our reading from Romans shows us that the positive aspect is to practise active love. “Love your neighbour as yourself”. We’re not talking here about passionate love or romantic love. We’re talking about plain human decency towards others.
It seems a simple, common thing, doesn’t it? – plain human decency. Being nice and helpful to people. Wanting the best for them, no matter who they are. Doing all we can to make life easier for them. Standing up for them, when they are treated badly. Using our time, our skills, and if necessary, our money, to help them. It sounds easy. But you know as well as I do that, in reality, there are many, many people who make life difficult for us; and many people who don’t help us at all; and perhaps there are even people who hate us, because of who we are, or what we represent.
When my wife Ania and I were on holiday, we met many people on our walks. They all seemed to be just like Jesus – good Samaritans. Maybe the people from the Krakow area are all like Jesus! If we weren’t sure which path to take, we would ask somebody, and they would always be friendly and show us the way. Maybe if they knew our religious or political views, they wouldn’t be so friendly? Like in the incident that took place two weeks ago.
A woman had put up a small booth in front of a church, encouraging people to change to a more ecological, smog-free way of heating their homes. She had put up a sign saying “change your heater” – in Polish, “zmień piec”. So she was horrified when a man came up and started acting aggressively – in fact, he demolished her booth. Why did he do that? Because he mis-read the sign. Instead of reading “zmień piec”, he read “zmień płeć” – which means “change your sex!” He thought she was one of those LGBT people, and he was outraged that she was encouraging people to change their sex, outside a church!
Do you see the point I’m making? We could have met that man on our walk, and he would probably have been nice and friendly, like Jesus, and would have shown us the way. But in a different context, he acted like the devil. And now, let’s examine ourselves. Are we always Christ-like on every occasion, in every situation? Do we always act decently towards our neighbour, or even towards our own relative? If not, we have work to do – because Christ is not yet fully dominant in our life.
And then there’s the negative aspect of being Christ-like: the things we must avoid doing. Paul gives us some examples: put aside your deeds of darkness; don’t spend your time drinking; avoid sexual immorality; don’t be quarrelsome or jealous. Maybe we should make up our own list. We know our faults instinctively – and probably we’re too ashamed to tell others. So again, Christ is not fully dominant in our life. We always like to leave a door open for our sins.
So the Bible teaches us today that our faith must be practised by following God’s instructions. We must turn our faith into flesh and blood. Act decently towards others on all occasions, and avoid sinning on all occasions. Only then will we fulfil what God expects of us.
Dear Friends, today we celebrate Holy Communion. Here too we have concrete signs, concrete symbols: the bread is the flesh of Jesus; the wine is His blood. We eat and drink. That means we ourselves are becoming Jesus. We are clothing ourselves with Him. We can no longer afford to be just Harry, or Sam, or Marilyn, or Monique. We are the Body of Christ now. The old has gone; the new is here. May the grace of God be with us all, that we may do His Will perfectly. And then, when the time comes for us to die, we will already be fully clothed in Christ Jesus our Lord. To Him be all honour and glory. Amen.
Readings for 13 September
13 September is the 15th Sunday after Pentecost.
Verse for the week: "Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters" (Romans 14, 1). Psalm: 103, 1-13. Old Testament reading: Genesis 50, 15-21. New Testament reading: Romans 14, 1-12.
Food of the Spirit
Me: Hey God.
Me: I'm falling apart. Can you put me back together?
God: I would rather not.
God: Because you aren't a puzzle.
Me: What about all of the pieces of my life that are falling down onto the ground?
God: Let them stay there for a while. They fell off for a reason. Take some time and decide if you need any of those pieces back.
Me: You don't understand! I'm breaking down!
God: No - you don't understand. You are breaking through. What you are feeling are just growing pains. You are shedding the things and the people in your life that are holding you back. You aren't falling apart. You are falling into place. Relax. Take some deep breaths and allow those things you don't need anymore to fall off of you. Quit holding onto the pieces that don't fit you anymore. Let them fall off. Let them go.
Me: Once I start doing that, what will be left of me?
God: Only the very best pieces of you.
Me: I'm scared of changing.
God: I keep telling you - YOU AREN'T CHANGING!! YOU ARE BECOMING!
Me: Becoming who?
God: Becoming who I created you to be! A person of light and love and charity and hope and courage and joy and mercy and grace and compassion. I made you for more than the shallow pieces you have decided to adorn yourself with that you cling to with such greed and fear. Let those things fall off of you. I love you! Don't change! ... Become! Become! Become who I made you to be. I'm going to keep telling you this until you remember it.
Me: There goes another piece.
God: Yep. Let it be.
Me: So ... I'm not broken?
God: Of course not! - but you are breaking like the dawn. It's a new day. Become!!!
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