“Hearing God’s Voice Personally”
John 10: 2 – 5 & Matthew 6: 5 – 9
- Morning worship online has moved to start at 10am and JAM at 11:15am on the Zoom platform
- You may want to use some of the Engage Worship resources for daily worship during this week.
- The Messy Church At Home information is now available on our church website www.broughtybaptist.org
- Sunday Evening Prayer Livestream 7.00pm
We will be continuing the Prayer Livestream at 7.00pm. This will be another significant time of national prayer for us. Please join in and, if you don’t already do so, would you let your fellowship know about this and put it on your social media. Click here to access.
JAM Kids’ focus:
Here are the links to the new series from Out of the Box for JAM Kids age group.
Rooted New Series 5: on ‘The Fruit of the Spirit’
Rooted New Series 5: Activities and worksheet
JAM young adults Ignite Live have a separate programme at 11:15am on the Zoom platform –parents of teenagers can get a link code by contacting Gary Torbet on firstname.lastname@example.org
Call to Worship
How lovely is your dwelling place,
2 My soul yearns, even faints,
for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh cry out
for the living God.
3 Even the sparrow has found a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may have her young—
a place near your altar,
Lord Almighty, my King and my God.
4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
they are ever praising you.
We are grateful to Dave Rowe for selecting the songs for worship for this service
Our opening song of praise and worship is: 10,000 Reasons
Loving heavenly Father,
We praise you for the opportunity to meet in worship today. We thank you for the gift of worship, of prayer, of praise, of gathering around your word and around your table – that you lay before us.
We praise you afresh this morning, that because of Jesus, and him giving of himself on the cross that we can be forgiven, saved from our sin and from hell – not because of anything we have done, but because of your lavish grace.
Indeed we come knowing and confessing our sin before you – forgive us Lord for what we have done, thought, said or things left undone that you have called us to do.
As we have read in the Psalm, may our hearts today yearn, for our heart and flesh to cry out to you today, that we want more of you.
We want more of your presence, we want more of your Spirit filling us with your love.
Enable us to open our hearts today, to have that desire – not just to come together as a group of people
But as your people Lord in expectancy that you would speak into our lives today, challenge us and mould us.
Only for your purposes and glory we pray.
In Jesus’ name we pray.
All Age Talk
by Moraig Piggot
This week I want to speak to you about distractions. Sometimes distractions can be a good thing and other times they can not be so good in our lives. For example, in my life I welcome anything that distracts me from having to do the ironing as I really do not like ironing! However if I am watching my favourite tv programme or as the case has been during lockdown a box set I don’t like it if a little voice shouts ‘Mum’ in the middle of the programme which means I have to pause it to and go and see what he/she needs/wants.
During lockdown I think there have been some funny distractions that have probably happened in quite a few households. As most people have been working from home and children/young people have been learning at home there have been lots of online calls, meetings and teaching sessions going on. I wondered how many times someone has been on a call and had someone else from their household appeared on the video or started up a conversation that everyone else on the meeting has then heard. I am sure there have been a few embarrassing moments!
One time I was on a work call I wondered what everyone else was laughing and pointing at and I turned around to get the fright a my life as my window cleaner was behind me cleaning the window and everyone on the call had been watching this and I was taking away oblivious to this! We will all of course remember the famous BBC new report from a few years ago when a man was being interviewed in his study at home, when suddenly the door opened and one of his children appeared in the room, then the next things his wife came running in to remove the child much to the amusement of everyone watching.
Sometimes though life can become a distraction when you are a follower of Jesus. Maybe even during lockdown when we actually may have had more time then ever to spend with God but instead because our normal routines have not been the same we have not been giving him enough time or the time we are spending with him has become a request session of all the things we need him to fix. You see when you become a Christian and accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour you need to develop a relationship with Him, and you do this by spending time with him every day.
There is an old bible song which reminds us of this and puts its very simply- “Read your bible, pray everyday and you will grow, grow, grow.” We should be excited about spending time with Jesus each day and listening for Gods voice speaking to us and guiding us.
In the bible there are lots of verses that remind and encourage us to do this and one that we will hear today is in Matthew 6 5-9 where it tells us to go into a room, close the door and pray to God, getting rid of distractions, seek him on our own regularly, spend time on God’s word and what is he saying to us. Therefore we need to be so careful not to allow the distractions of life to stop us from doing this and developing our personal friendship with Jesus. Jesus is the best friend we will ever have and need.
So this is a time to stop and think are we doing this or did we need to be reminded this morning how important making time for God each and every day is. Now don’t panic if you are listening thinking I didn’t know this or have been forgetting because this is what God does, HE knows we need reminders sometimes and he prompts us to get back into good habits.
So boys and girls/ young people it’s a good idea to have something to use to help guide your time with God each day. It may be a bible app on your phone, you get daily bible study books or there are lots of online resources. If you need help to find something, then please speak to your mum or dad or Claire or Gary.
Now Gary is going to share more about this later on in the service and something that I thought would be a good challenge for us all to go away and do this week was to share what we like to use to help guide us in the time we spend with God each day. So I would like you to email the name the book you use, the name of a podcast or app you use or the link to an online resource you use.
You will all know that I am a teacher and as I teacher I like nothing better than we a colleague shares a new resource with me that I didn’t know about and it then helps me to teach/explain things to my pupils. Well it is the same for us in church we should want to help and support each other to grow in our faith and by sharing the different daily deviational resources we use with each other we can do this. So if you email them to me then I will compile a list then send it to Isdale to include in our weekly newssheet so that everyone can see what is available.
Before we sing let’s pray:
Dear Lord and loving heavenly father, we thank you that you love us, we thank you that you loved us so much you were prepared to send your one and only son to take our place on the cross for all the wrong things we think, say and do, we thank you that you are always there, we thank you that you give us daily reminders of how much we are loved, we thank you that you give us daily reminders through your words in the bible of how we should live our lives.
Please Lord help and support us to remember everyday to spend time with you reading your words and speaking to you in prayer, please help us not to be distracted from doing this, please fire us an excitement in us all to want to do this and help us to also encourage others to do the same.
In Jesus precious and wonderful name we pray,
All Age Song: My Lighthouse
John 10: 2 – 5
2 The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.”
Matthew 6: 5 – 9
5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
9 “This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
Message – Hearing God’s Voice Personally
A couple of weeks ago I was reflecting on the particular aspect of God’s vision;
“Looking to Christ”
And as we reflect on the glory of Christ, with unveiled faces, we are overwhelmed by His love and grace. And we can then reflect His glory to others in ever-increasing glory!
I have felt led today to continue with the theme of “Looking to Christ”, falling in love with Jesus and encountering Him, so am going to reflect today on “Hearing God’s voice personally.”
Are we doing this? Is this our experience and How does Jesus teach us to pray, to commune with our Father, to fully develop our relationship with God through Jesus by Hearing God’s voice regularly in our rhythm of life. To attune ourselves to the voice of Jesus personally.
In John 10; 2 – 5, as we read earlier Jesus says;
“The Sheep listen to my voice” so as we follow Jesus, we will be people that can recognise the voice of Jesus and LISTEN TO IT!
“He calls us by name” Do you know that Jesus calls you by name and if you will let Him, he will “lead you out”.
“They follow Him” because they “know His voice”
How do we get to know the voice of Jesus – well he teaches us, but what he also says in John 10; 5;
“But they will never follow a stranger in fact they will run away from him because they do not recognise a strangers voice” – so knowing and hearing the voice of Jesus clearly, regularly and importantly being able to discern, when it is His voice. Being a Christian, which is being a disciple of Jesus, a follower of Jesus – is not about rules, its not about ritual, its not even about following religious practices – it is about developing a relationship with God which comes only by faith in Jesus Christ, because of His sacrifice on the cross and developing a daily, devoted, relationship with Jesus.
I want to take you back to when you met the love of your life – when you fell in love.
What did it feel like?
Remember the butterflies, as you got yourself ready, as the clock ticked down to when you met them.
You just couldn’t wait to spend time with them, that was what you looked forward to most, in your week, in your life – indeed everything revolved around this. You got so excited about the prospect of seeing them!!
I wonder how many of us have the same excitement of spending time with Jesus, after all, if we are disciples of Jesus, if we claim to be Christians & followers of Jesus – He is our first love after all. Spending time with Jesus then ought to be a daily priority, spending time with Jesus in prayer, meditating on God’s word – and hearing His voice speak into our lives and guiding us is the way to develop this daily, vibrant, Spirit-filled Christian’s experience, at least most of the time. So let us reflect on the passage we read earlier about what Jesus teaches about how not to pray and indeed how to pray.
- How not to pray, Matthew 6; 5
Jesus clearly shows us the way not to pray. Some people especially the religious leaders wanted to be seen as “holy” and public prayers was one of the ways to get that attention. Jesus saw through this act of self-righteousness, however. There is a place for public prayer, but to pray only when others will notice you, indicates your real audience is not God!
As Jesus says “They have received their reward in full” only because people are looking at them and that is all they will get – because importantly he knows their hearts and motives. Jesus also comments on using more words than we need. He was addressing the pagans at the time, who thought God could be bullied into giving in if they prayed long enough – Jesus says “Do not be like them” v 8
What matters you see is “motive” If prayers are done with an eye on the crowd, then Jesus calls this “hypocritical” – What matters is learning to pray simply to and for God himself. For this reason Jesus now gives quite specific instructions into how to develop a prayer life – as prayer is not just about talking to God – but more about listening to Him. This is how a relationship with God is developed day by day, and is deepened. So how does Jesus instruct us?
- How to pray, Matthew 6; v 6
Jesus says “BUT when you PRAY, go into your room, CLOSE the door and PRAY to your Father who is UNSEEN”
So when you pray “Go into your room” This is about finding a personal space, a private space, a room in your house, a seat by your bed, in your living room – but it becomes regularly the “go to place” – It can be outdoors, but difficult to close the door and might be raining!!
“Go into your room and CLOSE the door” Close the door – This is a really important part of Jesus’ instruction in “how to pray” What does this mean and signify? It means you are taking seriously your need to be ALONE WITH GOD.
Why? Because when you close the door, there are no other distractions. You have intentionally closed the door and who else is with you in the room? No one else is physically with you in the room, but spiritually you are with “Your Father in Heaven – As Jesus prays “Our Father in Heaven” That is who is with you, present by the Holy Spirit.
What does this say to God about you? You are intentionally making yourself AVAILABLE TO GOD, only you, only Him – you are putting God first. When you do this, what does it mean – Love is spelled T.I.M.E
In James 4; 8 it says “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” Remember Moses and the Burning Bush, it was about proximity and as Moses drew closer to the Bush, God spoke to him – he felt the presence of God and heard the voice of God. It is the same here in what Jesus is teaching us today.
- Other element is faith. Matthew 6; 6 Pray to your Father who is UNSEEN”
What does it say being in a room, on your own – there is no other physical person there. Remember you have closed the door to the world, you are saying no to every other person but yes to Jesus. That is what Jesus is teaching us, if you want to pray, and you need to pray, if you want to meet with God, hear his voice – THIS IS WHAT YOU NEED TO DO – No more and no less, but it is scaringly simple isn’t it!
So spiritually in FAITH, you are communing with your heavenly Father and faith you see is a vital element.
- The bleeding woman healed by Jesus, Mark 5; 34 Jesus says – “Your FAITH has healed you”
- The Roman Centurion who knew Jesus could heal his servant from a distance in Luke 7; 9, Jesus says – “I tell you I have not found such great FAITH in Israel”
- Blind Bartimaeus healed by Jesus, Mark 10; 52, Jesus says – “Go your FAITH has healed you.”
- “Without FAITH it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he REWARDS those who earnestly seek him” WOW!! Hebrews 11; 6 (Read again)
Jesus teaching on prayer “Go into your room – on your own – close the door – and pray to your Father who is unseen. Then your Father who sees what is done in secret WILL REWARD YOU”
Is this your experience just now? Are you hearing God’s voice speaking into your life, into your calling for Him, regularly?
Psalm 84 that I read at the start of the service;
“How lovely is YOUR DWELLING PLACE, O Lord Almighty
MY SOUL YEARNS, EVEN FAINTS FOR (WHERE??) THE COURTS OF THE LORD
MY HEART AND MY FLESH (IN OTHER WORDS MY WHOLE BEING)CRY OUT FOR THE LIVING GOD” WOW!! To be more like this in my life…
Is this something we yearn for, cry out for, you, me, individually, as a church, in these times, in any times.
Maybe you’ve become dry, struggling to hear God’s voice in your life, maybe because you are not yearning, heart and flesh, your whole being.
It can though be you – our – experience – Jesus says – “Go into your room – close the door and pray to your Father who is unseen”
“Then your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you” Matthew 6; 6
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you – your reward is;
The listening ear of the God of the universe, who loves you and longs to draw you into deeper, relationship and revelation ….
The presence of the God of the universe – Psalm 46; 10 says “BE STILL (BE QUIET, SHUT UP) AND YOU WILL KNOW THAT I AM GOD!”
The guidance of the God of the universe – by meditating, stopping and allowing the word of God to enfold you, and guide you into the day Proverbs 3; 5 & 6 “Trust in the Lord in with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding, in ALL your ways acknowledge him AND HE WILL MAKE YOUR PATHS STRAIGHT!”
As we reflected last time, being aware of God’s overwhelming love and lavish grace – “In him we have redemption through his blood the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of GOD’S GRACE WHICH HE LAVISHED ON US!” Ephesians 1; 7 – 9.
As I have been seeking God’s direction on my life recently I have been so blessed to be guided to a Lectio 365 from the 24/7 Prayer Movement which is based around Lectio Divina an ancient prayer pattern;
P R A Y
P Pause, breath slowly and re-centre my scattered senses upon the presence of God.
R Rejoice with all God’s saints by reflecting/meditating on a couple of verses from a Psalm
A Ask, that God would reveal something new to me about Him and me by meditating on a short piece of scripture.
Return to the passage
Y Pray for my heart to YIELD to your will once again.
Followed by a prayer that I will use at the end, amazingly simple but been amazing to sense the daily presence of God and Him speaking into my life and guiding me step by step in what God is calling me too.
So how do we “Hear God’s voice personally”? Are you seeking God, “LOOKING TO CHRIST” and having that expectancy to listen for and hear God’s voice?
Or maybe today, you come feeling a bit dry, struggling to make that time – for your first love in Jesus. Is this a regular rhythm in your life, do you have that desire or, if you are honest you have lost this – if so cry out to God today, in repentance and ask for His help to re-commit yourself to Him, to surrender to Him, consecrate your life to Him and ask Him to give you that desire – to reawaken that desire in your life.
Is God calling you to a deeper, richer relationship.
If that is you I will leave a bit of quiet shortly for your own private time – but if you would like help or support or prayer into your life then please contact myself, Brian, the deacons, Alan or Pat and if there is sufficient interest and desire we can always put on a short practical course to enable you in not only how to set aside time but to give you a framework into how to practice the presence of Jesus.
To develop a relationship – there are no shortcuts – you have to have firstly that desire and be wiling to spend time and as Jesus says “Then your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you “ in amazing ways, speaking to you, guiding you, overwhelming you every day with his amazing love and grace.
I am just going to leave a short time of quiet for your own prayer and reflection – what is God by His Holy Spirit saying to you – how will you respond – now….
Let us pray;
“Father – help me to live this week to the full, being true to you in every way.
Jesus – help me to give myself away to others, being kind to everyone I meet.
Spirit – help me to love the lost, proclaiming Christ in all I do or say.
Our song before we come to communion is: The Power of the Cross
The Lord’s Supper
Jesus invites all Christian who have committed their lives to follow Him to participate in this act of worship. The apostle Paul wrote these words of Scripture in I Corinthians 11:23-26 to guide our observance of Communion.
For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: the Lord Jesus, on the night He was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, ‘This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’ 25 In the same way, after supper He took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of Me.’ 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.
Prayer: Choose your own words of prayer to give thanks for the bread and wine that represent the costly gift of His body and blood for us.
Take the bread: Jesus said: ‘This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.
Take the wine: Jesus said: This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of Me.’
Our closing song is: How great is our God
Dear Loving Heavenly Father
Thank you for your presence with us today. Father thank you for speaking into our lives – be it through song, quiet, communion, prayers or through your word.
May you by your Holy Spirit lead us into the week that is ahead; for times that will be good, for times when it may be a real struggle.
In the midst of all this let us be a people that will seek to put you first in our lives, by having that desire to spend time with you and to hear your voice, clearly, speaking into our lives. We pray that all we do will be for the glory of Christ.
Benediction: The Grace
May the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the love of God
and the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit,
be with us all evermore, Amen
Remember tonight the national online prayer service at 7pm in Scotland
At this link: https://www.facebook.com/scottishbaptist/live/