|WIC Weekly

WIC Weekly March 12th 2023

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

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Spiritual Nourishment

Reflections On Revival, by Richard Blackaby

As I write this, meetings are still underway at Asbury University. The result, it seems, is that the Christian community is in turmoil. Is this of God? Is it man-made? Should we support or condemn it? Not surprisingly, this response is common whenever something unusual happens.

I have not been to Asbury since this phenomenon began. I have preached in the school’s chapel in the past, though my message didn’t spark revival on that occasion! But I have been watching the events closely and have received first-hand reports from several people I trust. In light of these events, I would like to offer some general thoughts on movements of God.

  1. They are God-initiated. People can schedule meetings, but only God brings revival.

The danger with any event such as what is unfolding at Asbury is that people will try to replicate it without allowing the Spirit to lead them. Revivals can certainly spread like wildfire, but you cannot merely gather a group of college students together and assume revival will occur (though it might!).

  1. Revival always involves repentance. Revivals differ widely in many respects. Some lean heavily on the preached word, others on testimonies. Some incorporate music, whereas others don’t. Speaking in tongues or healing are not essential aspects of revival. At its core, revival is when God’s people become deeply convicted of their sin and return to Him (2 Chron. 7:14). Without repentance, there is no revival.
  2. Revival is a refreshing and deepening of our walk with Christ. James 4:8 declares that if we draw near to God, He will draw near to us. This process involves cleansing our hands of our sin. The net result is a closer walk with God. To be “revived” means something was dead or dying. Sin causes death. People experiencing revival tend to feel as if their walk with God has been made alive once more.
  3. Revival has its counterfeits. Most revivals include some people who are inauthentic. They may have been swept up in the emotion. False prophets and deceivers are drawn to such events and seek to lead people astray. Pharisees tend to gather at the sidelines to instruct others on how to conduct themselves. Where there are people, abuse and extremes are to be expected. Extended revivals are those that are carefully guarded from abuse.
  4. Word-based revivals tend to be longer-lasting and more stable than experience-driven revivals. Historically, there have been two primary types of revival, both of which are legitimate. Experience-driven revivals are dominated by testimonies from those involved. Many revivals, such as the ones at Asbury or Brownwood University, began when a student shared a testimony. These can be powerful movements of God, but they are more vulnerable to emotionalism in which people share things that are unbiblical. Word-based revivals are led by ministers and feature preaching and teaching. Jonathan Edwards’ revivals would be an example. They tend to be better protected from abuse, but they can be affected by preachers who are tempted to touch God’s glory.
  5. Revivals have critics. Historically, there are always some who criticize any movement of God. Sometimes people whose own relationship with God is dry and cold recoil at the emotionalism of those experiencing a fresh touch of the Spirit. Others are keen to find any shortcoming or inaccuracy in the proceedings. The problem is that every revival involves imperfect, impressionable, and frail people. It is inevitable that certain aspects will have a shaky biblical basis. Many critics will hurl attacks from afar without experiencing the events first-hand. Others have preconceived ideas of what revival entails and assume anything that doesn’t match up to those ideals is false. These critics assume that if flaws are evident, then the revival is not from God.
  6. Every revival comes to an end. One thing is certain: every revival eventually draws to a close. In the height of the meetings, one might wonder if it will ever end. But it will. That doesn’t mean it was inauthentic. Revivals are largely corrective. They draw people back to Christ. When that goal has been accomplished, people return to their normal lives. It’s unrealistic to think God’s people can attend revival services perpetually. There is also no set time period before a move of God qualifies as a revival. You cannot say, “Well, that only lasted a week, so it must not have been genuine.” Generally, it is the fruit that reveals the depth and extent of a revival, not its duration.

Revivals end for various reasons. Perhaps God has gained His people’s attention and drawn them back to Himself. At times, revivals descend into excess and lose focus. People covet the publicity and manipulate the meetings for selfish purposes, a certain way to squelch a revival. At other times, well-intentioned people steer a revival in the direction they think it should go rather than allowing God to guide the event. Revivals end when people hijack the work that belongs solely to the Spirit.

Our News

Last Sunday we again welcomed many first-timers to our church, including Emmanuel from Cameroon, Dana from Ukraine, Marta from Poland, Peter from Finland, Joyce from Kenya, Lorraine from Zimbabwe, Sam from India, and Bob and his granddaughter Kate from the USA. Bob is a pastor on his way to Ukraine. He shared with us that, after Asbury, many campuses and churches in California are being touched by the revival spirit.

Christian Films

Watch wonderful free Christian films of hope and encouragement! They include films about the life of Jesus, testimonies of Christians who have suffered persecution, and excellent cartoon films for both children and adults on Christian spiritual reformers and missionaries. The link is:

Prayer Requests

The political situation continues to become ever more gloomy, as China is increasingly throwing its weight behind Russia. Let’s believe that these really are the end times. If we do that, we can cast all our worries upon Jesus, because all of this has been foretold in the Bible. The Lord is in perfect control, no matter how disastrous the situation becomes. Only one thing is needed: that we put all our hope in Jesus. If we do that, we’ll no longer worry about ourselves. We all have to die, world war or not, so no use worrying. Rather, we should do everything NOW to ensure that we go to the right place AFTER we die. Let us therefore turn to the Lord in prayer, repent of our sins, confess them to Him, and receive Christ into our hearts as our only Lord and Saviour.

We continue to pray for a great spiritual awakening in our own countries, in Poland and Warsaw, and particularly among English-speaking foreigners in Warsaw, who are our main participants at services. But above all, revival begins with us.

A brother who worshipped with us briefly last September – Bjorn from the USA – has passed on after succumbing to a lung illness while he was in Moldova. Our prayers are with his grieving loved ones, and particularly his mother Uschi.

My wife Ania’s physiotherapist – Robert – is a very good and upright man, though not a Christian. His relationship has just collapsed and he fears for the safety of his 6-year-old daughter Martyna, because his former partner is acting increasingly irrationally. Please pray for Martyna to be protected, and for Robert to come to have faith in Jesus. Ania and I are ministering to him and praying for him. He has always taken an interest in what is happening at WIC!

Last Sunday’s sermon was preached by Pastor Harry on the reasons why people don’t worship Jesus and come to church, and what to do about it (Matthew 11:20-30; John 3:1-3)

What are the things that keep us from worshipping Jesus? I ask this question because I worry when our brothers and sisters don’t come to church for a while. I think: “Maybe they’re losing their faith”. And that could indeed be one of the reasons. If that’s the case, they may be backsliding for a temporary period, and need our support and encouragement. Or they may never have had any real faith in the beginning – just an intellectual idea of God that He must exist, perhaps – but no living relationship with Him. So it’s easy for them to lose even that little bit of faith they once had. Maybe they are a bit like Nicodemus. Nicodemus didn’t know anything about Jesus being his Saviour. He just had a faith in God. But he was curious about Jesus because of the miracles He did. Jesus told him: “You have to be born again, because otherwise you can’t see the Kingdom of God”. We all have to be born again. Nicodemus’ spiritual eyes hadn’t been opened, and that’s why he couldn’t worship Jesus. He hadn’t been born again. But he did come to see Jesus, because he was curious – and perhaps his life was changed forever as a result.

Now, if by God’s grace we already are born again, it’s obvious that being in the company of other Christians strengthens our faith. But some of our people will tell me: “Oh, I’m working and studying so hard, I don’t have time”. Speaking personally, I’ve noticed that if I lay aside my endless duties and concerns for a while, and focus on prayer and worshipping the Lord, then I’m magically renewed, and complete my tasks much quicker when I return to them! I watched those students worshipping at Asbury University for such long hours. They had classes and exams, but were still able to make time to worship Jesus – even during the night! The same thing happened during the Welsh Revival: coal miners would work long hours and still have time for prayer and worship before and after work!

You know, it’s our common sense that persuades us that we can’t spare time for church. But watch out! Your common sense is there only to preserve you, and for no other reason. But God isn’t interested in your self-preservation. All the time, He’s telling you: “Trust Me, and not yourself, and I will look after you”. Proverbs 3:5 says: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding”. Do you remember when Peter started to walk towards Jesus on the water? As long as he was focused on Jesus, he was safe. But when his common sense said: “Peter, you fool, what are you doing? Trying to walk on water? You’ll drown!”, he panicked and started to sink. He was suddenly trying to preserve himself instead of trusting in Jesus.

What else keeps us from worshipping Jesus? I’ll tell you: lack of repentance. Deep down, we know we are not right with God. Maybe our pride has been hurt. Maybe we’ve been insulted. Maybe we’re doing something we know is wrong, but haven’t got to the stage of wanting to stop doing it. So we don’t feel ready to repent of these things and confess them to the Lord. But we can’t worship Jesus properly in such a state. And maybe we stop coming to church because we can’t or don’t want to repent. There’s no joy and peace in our hearts. We are unable to worship.

Today’s reading from Matthew is in two parts. The first part is a warning given by Jesus to those who don’t repent. In the towns where Jesus had performed His miracles, the people hadn’t repented of their sins. So Jesus warned them that with such an attitude they would go to hell. If we put our sins and unbelief before Jesus, we can’t expect to worship Him. We too could find ourselves in hell. Seeing a church full of people worshipping the Lord will make us realize that we don’t fit in there – and so we stop attending. We feel out of place. Actually, we’re being convicted of our own sin and unbelief in this way. We need to repent.

There’s also one more reason that blocks people from worshipping Jesus: their past life. Many of us have done bad things in the past – perhaps even very bad things. We might be terribly ashamed of our past. We might start thinking we’re not good enough for God. Even as Christians, our past life can still take away our strength and make us weary. Our thoughts about our past life can paralyze us, blocking us from true worship. We think: “How can I ever be forgiven for what I’ve done?” But actually, none of us is good enough for God. We are all wretched sinners. If we now have faith and a relationship with the Lord, it’s entirely by God’s grace. It means He’s forgiven us and forgotten our sins. So we too can forget our past – it’s no longer important, either to God or to ourselves. If we have repented of our sins and confessed them, they are forgiven and forgotten.

Brothers and Sisters, if any of those reasons that I mentioned for not worshipping Jesus – if any of them applies to you, then look at the second part of today’s reading, where Jesus says: “If you are tired from carrying heavy burdens, come to Me and I will give you rest”. So here we have the cure for staying away from church! Whatever your reason is for not being able to worship Jesus, Jesus can fix that if only you want to come to Him to find rest!

No one’s expecting you to have some kind of exalted feelings or emotions to come to Jesus. Coming to Jesus or coming to church is not a question of feelings. It’s a question of obedience. Jesus instructs us to come to Him. When John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, had his great spiritual experience – I suppose we might call it the Baptism of the Holy Spirit – he didn’t feel at all ecstatic about it. In fact, he seemed a bit surprised. He went unwillingly to a church service. And there he only felt a kind of “strange warming of the heart”. But his experience nevertheless changed his life completely – and he immediately started having success in winning souls for Christ. That was the confirmation that he now had a closer walk with the Lord. Wesley simply came to Him – and God did the rest, and gave him a spirit of true worship, and thousands of conversions.

Nicodemus also came to Jesus. This made Nicodemus different from all the other Pharisees. He actually wanted to know Jesus – he was curious about Him. We too need to have that curiosity about Jesus. We need to want Him. If we don’t come to Jesus, we can make up all sorts of excuses, but it means we don’t actually want Him. Our own life and common sense and contentment are more important to us than Jesus is.

Brothers and Sisters, today we celebrate Communion, and we can all make a fresh start. Jesus has prepared a place in heaven for us. Do we want that place? If so, let’s come to church. Let’s come to Communion. Let’s throw away our excuses. Let’s embrace Jesus and never let Him go. Let’s give Him priority over everything else – and He will give us a true Spirit of worship. That’s my desire for us all. Amen.

Readings and Hymns for the 12 March service

Verses for the week: “Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away. Then times of refreshment will come from the presence of the Lord, and He will again send you Jesus, your appointed Messiah” (Acts 3:19-20).

Theme: Repentance

Psalm: 139 (selected verses)

Readings: Isaiah 59 (selected verses); Mark 10:50-52

Offering verses: Leviticus 27:30: “One-tenth of the produce of the land, whether grain from the fields or fruit from the trees, belongs to the Lord and must be set apart to Him as holy”.


(At the start) Seek Ye First

[Seek ye first the kingdom of God,

And His righteousness,

And all these things shall be added unto you, Allelu, alleluia

Alleluia, alleluia,

Alleluia, allelu, alleluia

Man shall not live by bread alone,

But by every word

That proceeds from the mouth of God. Allelu, alleluia

Ask and it shall be given unto you,

Seek and ye shall find;

Knock and the door shall be opened up to you, Allelu, alleluia

Purify My Heart

Purify my heart, let me be as gold

And precious silver.

Purify my heart,

Let me be as gold, pure gold.

[chorus] Refiner’s fire, my heart’s one desire

Is to be holy, set apart for You, Lord.

I choose to be holy,

Set apart for You my Master,

Ready to do Your will.

Purify my heart, cleanse me from within, and make me holy.

Purify my heart,

Cleanse me from my sin, deep within.

Jesus Paid It All

I heard the Saviour say,

"Your strength indeed is small,

Child of weakness, watch and pray,

Find in Me your all in all."

[chorus] Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe; Sin had left a crimson stain,

He washed it white as snow.

Lord, now indeed I find

Your pow'r and yours alone,

Can change the leper's spots

And melt the heart of stone.

For nothing good have I

Whereby Your grace to claim;

I'll wash my garments white

In the blood of Calv'ry's Lamb.

And when, before the throne,

I stand in Him complete,

"Jesus died my soul to save,"

My lips shall still repeat.

You Raise Me Up

When I am down, and, oh, my soul, so weary

When troubles come, and my heart burdened be

Then I am still and wait here in the silence

Until you come and sit awhile with me

[:You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains

You raise me up to walk on stormy seas

I am strong when I am on your shoulders

You raise me up to more than I can be:]

(After sermon) What A Friend

What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!

What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!

O what peace we often forfeit,

O what needless pain we bear –

All because we do not carry Everything to God in prayer.

Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?

We should never be discouraged: take it to the Lord in prayer.

Can we find a friend so faithful,

Who will all our sorrows share?

Jesus knows our every weakness – Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden, burdened with a load of care?

Precious Saviour still our refuge – take it to the Lord in prayer.

Do your friends despise, forsake you? Is it more than you can bear?

In His arms He’ll take and shield you – you will find a comfort there.

(At end) Deeper, Deeper In The Love

Deeper, deeper in the love of Jesus Daily let me go; Higher, higher in the school of wisdom, More of grace to know.

[chorus] Oh, deeper yet, I pray, And higher ev'ry day, And wiser, blessed Lord, In Thy precious, holy word.

Deeper, deeper! blessed Holy Spirit, Take me deeper still, Till my life is wholly lost in Jesus, And His perfect will.

Deeper, deeper! tho' it cost hard trials, Deeper let me go! Rooted in the holy love of Jesus, Let me fruitful grow.

Deeper, higher, ev'ry day in Jesus, Till all conflict past, Finds me conqu’ror, and in His own image Perfected at last.

Services and Contributions

WIC is entirely self-supporting. 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 SWIFT CODE: WBKPPLPP

Contributions can now also be sent by PayPal. Just open the PayPal application and search for “Warsaw International Church”. You can also use this link for your PayPal payment:

Our services are also livestreamed on YouTube (11 am CET). The link is: Warsaw International Church - Sunday Service

Recordings of our Sunday services are available on our website or by googling "Warsaw International Church YouTube".

Warsaw International Church
Miodowa 21B, 00-246 Warszawa, Poland | +48 601 331 032 |
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