Church at Home – 16 May 2021

JAM Kids’ focus: The Virtual Sunday School

This service is led today by Helen Rice with Rev Gary Torbet preaching the message

Call to worship

Praise the Lord O my soul
All my inmost being, praise His holy name
Praise the Lord O my soul
And forget not all his benefits
Who forgives all your sins and heals all you diseases
Who redeems your life from the pit
And crowns with love and compassion
Who satisfies your desires with good things
So that your youth is renewed like the eagles

Psalm 103; 1- 5

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.  Amen.

Galatians 2: 20

Our opening song of praise and worship is:O Praise the Name (Anastasis)’

Opening Prayer:

Loving Heavenly Father, Indeed we praise your name Jesus, we say Praise the Lord O my soul. As we gather before you today, we ask that we remember who you are God, that we might come into your Holy Presence. That we might come into your Holy Presence God. Who are we that, you care for us, you have created us and all that is within creation. May we lift our heads, to you our risen King today, our King who stooped so low in ultimate humility to save us.

Father we pray for our worship today – our songs, our prayers, the testimony we hear. As we gather around your word to reflect on what it means to be your disciples. Forgive us our sins afresh and by the power of your Holy Spirit, mould us into the people you call us to be, “For such a time as this”. We want to see you glorified Jesus in our church, in our lives. We want to see you name lifted high Jesus, and revered and hallowed again across this land. But we are here now Lord, praising you, have your way among us today – speak to us, challenge us we pray. For we pray all of this in the mighty and powerful name of Jesus.  Amen.

All Age Talk      ‘What is a Disciple?’   Helen Rice

In the message Gary is going to share with us an aspect of discipleship.

But what is a disciple?

If you want to learn something new, finding a good teacher is very important. Perhaps you want to learn to play the piano. Wouldn’t you want to spend time with the best teacher you could find? You would watch your teacher play the piano, listen to instructions, learn to read music, and hear what the music sounds like, and through practice you would try to copy what you have seen and heard.

Maybe you would like to learn how to build things. You could find a joiner who could teach you how to use various tools, how to work with wood, how to follow instructions and design.

When you study and spend time with someone who is helping you learn a new skill you may be called an apprentice or a disciple.

Jesus had 12 disciples; they were his followers. In the bible we see how Jesus teaches His disciples, and they faithfully follow Him wherever Jesus goes, spreading the good news of the Kingdom of God. Jesus trains them how to be more like him so they can continue his work when his is no longer with them.

In Matthew 28 verse 19, Jesus spoke with the men who were his followers and told them, “Go, and make disciples of all nations…”. He tells his followers to carry on his work and help others learn about God’s love. This is referred to as the Great Commission.

This invitation is extended to us as well. We can all be disciples of Jesus, learning how to receive God’s love and how to offer God’s love to others.

This next video gives us an example of what Discipleship can look like when we follow the command that Jesus made to his followers; to share His love and Hope and make disciples of all nations.

For the children there is a printable colouring sheet. It has D for disciple on it along with the 12 disciples’ names. As a follower of Jesus, you could add your name to the sheet too.

Prayers for others

Heavenly Father,

We come with grateful hearts for Your blessings to us over the past week. We continue to remember the many people in countries with fewer resources than in our country who are struggling to provide even basic food supplies and medical care at this time. We are also aware that several million people are on waiting lists in our own land to receive initial medical appointments or scans or surgery for sometimes quite serious medical conditions. We pray that You would give strength and assurance to those feeling particularly anxious at this time. Also, we pray for wisdom for the NHS staff who are seeking to reduce the length of time people are waiting to be seen after the backlog that has built up over the past year.  

We also continue to pray for the young people preparing for their National 5s / Higher & Advanced Higher, or College / University exams. We pray that they may know Your peace at this time.

God, we thank You for the vaccine for Covid-19 and the protection it is bringing to the most vulnerable in our society. However, we pray against those who are intent on trying to prey on the vulnerable with many different scams at this time. God shine Your light on these crimes and bring forth Your justice.

We give thanks for church leadership teams and ministers today as they have worked hard over this season to give pastoral support and direction to their congregation. We pray that You would bless leaders and may they know today refreshment for their souls.

We pray for the following chaplains and churches:

Chris Withers (Army Chaplain, Ripon) – We pray for Chris as he journeys with the recruits in the barracks in Ripon and as he seeks to listen, support and encourage them. We pray for opportunities for him to be able to share the gospel with the recruits.

Drumchapel BC – We pray for the church fellowship in Drumchapel as they seek to be salt and light to their community at this time.

Dumbarton BC – We pray for Dumbarton Baptist Church as they reach out to their community with the love of Jesus. We pray for wisdom and guidance for the church as they witness during this season of restriction due to the pandemic.

We come to pray for the needs in our own congregation:

We also continue to pray for a restoration of health for other members of our congregation or members of their families…

We pray too for anyone else with ongoing health conditions and bring them before You now…

We pray for the people whom we cannot visit in residential care, and others who are at home on their own, together with others in our church family who are feeling the effects of increasing age and infirmity…

We now pray silently for anyone else known to us who is in need of our prayers at this time…..

We pray also for our own needs…

We bring all these prayers before you in Jesus’ name, Amen

Bible Reading Luke 14:1-14:

One Sabbath, when Jesus went to eat in the house of a prominent Pharisee, He was being carefully watched. There in front of Him was a man suffering from abnormal swelling of his body. Jesus asked the Pharisees and experts in the law, ‘Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?’ But they remained silent. So taking hold of the man, He healed him and sent him on his way.

Then He asked them, ‘If one of you has a child or an ox that falls into a well on the Sabbath day, will you not immediately pull it out?’ And they had nothing to say.

When He noticed how the guests picked the places of honour at the table, He told them this parable: ‘When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honour, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, “Give this person your seat.” Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. 10 But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, “Friend, move up to a better place.” Then you will be honoured in the presence of all the other guests. 11 For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.’

12 Then Jesus said to His host, ‘When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbours; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. 13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.’

Before we come to listen to God’s Word let us sing: ‘Yet not I but through Christ in me’

Message          “Signs of Discipleship 1: Lessons from Jesus in Humility” 

Series on “Signs of Discipleship: 1 – Lessons from Jesus in Humility”


It is so lovely to be here again and to be with you at Panmurefield Baptist Centre and also everyone else joining in at home on Zoom.

Today and then on two Sundays in July I am going to do a series on “Signs of Discipleship” from the Gospel of Luke Chapter 14, and today we primarily focus on “Lessons by Jesus on Humility”

Just in this one little chapter, Jesus teaching gives us a fascinating and challenging insight into what it means to be a “disciple” of Jesus, for you see calling yourself a “Christian” means nothing if you are not a disciple of Jesus, for that is what biblically, a Christian is.

It says in Acts 11; 26 “And the disciples were first called Christians at Antioch”


So, to start let us try and understand a bit of context, what is the backdrop to the story as this feeds into a better understanding of what Jesus is teaching at this stage and why?

Jesus, has been invited to dinner by the Pharisees, who were some of the religious leaders in the day, and you would think, “That is very nice of them – what a lovely thing to do” One would think?

However we need to notice in v1, “One Sabbath day….and the people were watching him closely” and we also notice in v2 “There was a man whose arms and legs were swollen” a sick man who had obviously been brought there at the invitation of the Pharisee as host. 

We need to not miss and notice that it is Sabbath – that a sick man was there – invited by the Pharisee – Why?  Because they were seeking to trap Jesus into what they saw as “wrong-doing” and discredit him.   You see for the Pharisees and as it says “experts in the religious law”, the Sabbath was about necessity – if something could not be delayed – it was allowed, but if something could be delayed until after the Sabbath it was forbidden – and remember that the Sabbath was meant to be a “Hold Day unto the Lord”.

So Jesus turned their question into another question “Is it permitted to heal on the Sabbath?”  They refused to answer, “Silence from the Pharisees, from the experts in the law”– I thought they were experts?  You see they knew that if they said “Yes” they would be law breakers of their own law, and if they said “No” they would be seen as heartless.

So what does Jesus do,he touches the sick man, releases him from his sickness and sends him on his way.  Jesus, asks what is “permitted on the Sabbath” and as there is no response, Jesus shows that healing the man on the Sabbath is not simply permitted BUT REQUIRED!

The Pharisees, the so called “religious leaders” are “mute” before the authority of Jesus – Jesus was actually inviting them to “come off mute” – and they could not because they had no answer to his scriptural logic and compassion!!

V6 “Again they could not answer”  reminds Luke’s readers then and us now, that there are people like the Pharisees who call upon Jesus, knowing who is, invite him to dinner, sit in His presence, even listen to His teachings and yet remain silent in the face of his concrete and clear call to discipleship and in this situation, to help a fellow human being who is in need!

I don’t know how many of you watch “Line of Duty”, which came to a conclusion a couple of weeks ago, but some of you might know the mantra of Detective Inspector Ted Hastings “There is only one thing I am interested in, which is to catch bent coppers”  Police officers who are meant to representing the law and justice but their criminal actions do the opposite.

You see the people of Israel and especially religious leaders were meant to be “bearer of both God’s name Yawheh and His image” to others and Jesus was seeking to and being successful in exposing people who were meant to be living in a way to represent God’s holiness, his justice, his standards and live out his love – but were clearly not.  This brings us back to the focus of this chapter in Luke 14, “Signs of Discipleship”, being “image bearers of Jesus” and what are some of the key components of following Jesus and living these out authentically.

The Pharisees and the “experts in religious law” are full of their own self-importance and adherence to man-made rules and Jesus now turns to story-telling, to sharing parables, prompted by the contrast between the self-righteous contentment of the Pharisee and the afflicted sick man.  He does this to illustrate what is wrong and he warns now against the folly of self-promotion which is the root of the problem for the Pharisees.


So we now turn to Jesus teaching on Humility and we see in v 7 “those who had come to the dinner were trying to sit in the seats of honour near the head of the table”

You see banquets were public exhibitions of the social status of guests, the social pre-eminence was signified by proximity to the host – an obscure seat distant from the host was an unfavourable position.

It is, if we admit it, part of human nature to be first but Jesus insight tells us that there is danger in the undignified clamour for the best seats – and now Jesus is specifically teaching us in the way of being a disciple, and one of these signs is to exhibit HUMILITY.

As we will celebrate later in the service, in the laying down of his life for us, Jesus set the ultimate example in this!

The advice Jesus gives us here is that when a man succeeds in finding for HIMSELF THAT PLACE OF HONOUR,  you, me anyone run the risk that later another guest may have more claim to it – in the eyes of the host, and then might end up in the lowest place, with all the shame and loss of face implied.

As we see in v10 “Instead, take the lowest place.  Then when the host sees you, he will come and say “Friend we have a better place for you” The way to get to the top is to start at the bottom – if a man/woman, me, you chooses the lowest place as we put others importance in front of ours – the only way we can go is up!!

V11 says “For those who exalt themselves will be humbled and those who humble themselves will be exalted”

Jesus is teaching his disciples and us, to be genuinely humble.  The truly humble man or woman will finish up where we ought to be and receive the honour that is due – that is the way of Jesus, the way of true exaltation is humility.

What is God saying to you, to me, to us today?

What is God through his word, not me, for the word of God speaks for itself, speaking into our souls?

How is God challenging us to be transformed more into his image this week – by increasing our humility.

And where does Jesus take us next, but in an outworking of what humility is like in practice – and one of the ways is to show radical hospitality,

So in other words Humility leading to hospitality!

In v 12 – 14 “Don’t invite your friends, brothers, relatives and rich neighbours for they will invite you back.  Instead invite the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind.”

We see Jesus deepening his emphasis on hospitality, but maybe not just in the way we are comfortable with, Jesus, in a way takes it a step further.

Humility in hospitality – Jesus is teaching here that another hallmark of discipleship, is to show hospitality to either those who cannot repay or without the need for a return invitation!

Jesus is saying to us “when I am willing to put myself in the lowest position and show humility in Christ”– it then needs to extend into how we are living our lives – the practical outworking – which includes hospitality – which is the way of Christ.

Hospitality is great isn’t it – and a really good thing to do and how I long to have my amazing Youth Ministry team round for a meal – something that so many of us have so missed during the pandemic – round for them to have a meal, where we create community, build team, have some food and then pray and plan together. 

So yes it is good to do, but what Jesus is teaching here and the question he asked then and ask us now is “do we only offer hospitality to those from whom will come a return invitation?” But go deeper in your devotion to Christ and invite those who cannot repay you – WOW!!

Isn’t that amazing “Ok, so now yes I get it Jesus – If I’m claiming to be your follower, you’re disciple – out of my response to your grace and salvation – that is how you asking me to live – so that I can be a true “image bearer” of Jesus” to others.

Barclay the theologian puts it like this;

“If we give to receive reward, we will receive no reward, but if we give with no thought of reward  – our reward is certain”, as it says in verse 14 and these are the words of Jesus himself – “For GOD will reward you for inviting those who could not repay you.”  Amen!

Now I get it Lord!  Ok now Lord in the Power of your Holy Spirit help me on the other 6 days of this week, help me to live like that!


So before we come to a worship song, for the Lord to confirm what He is saying to you – How can we apply the scriptures that we are reading today and take this into our week;

  1. Let us not be like the Pharisees – Is our “religious” practice or even the concept we have of what it means to follow Jesus wrapped up in adherence of rules of men rather than a vibrant, dynamic, Holy Spirit filled relationship with you creator – through Jesus Christ.

You see the Jews of Jesus time have no monopoly on inconsistent beliefs.

Is the one above, God someone we acknowledge when it suits us, but we largely ignore, we claim to be “Christian” while denying what Christ says we ought to be?

Do some people believe and yet pay lip service to a “religion” that they neither have patience for or the courage and intention to follow, be it an hour at most at church on a Sunday??

As Barclay again comments “The man who wishes to pass through the narrow door of salvation, will have to discard such half baked religious notions before he can do so.”

  1. Lessons on Humility from Jesus

And the link today you see is from how he saw the hearts of the “religious” the Pharisee, and how he teaches into our hearts – what he desires of us “Lord I give you my heart”

Where should our hearts be, as we give him our hearts and lives – a starting place is Humility – for the way to true exaltation is humility – let us this week follow the teaching of Jesus and his example in humility.

As the theologian Edwards illustrates;

“Christian discipleship is not self-promotion but freedom from it, freedom from self-obsession first – It trusts in the God who call us to give us our personal identity and honour and from there establish our place and purpose in life.”

  1. And finally deepening humility in our hospitality this week – call people to your “banquet” that God calls you to invite – and you will be blessed!!

The Greek word “agape” is to give freely without thought of return, so in our discipleship & humility – who can you invite round for tea and a cake  – and maybe for a meal – maybe someone lonely in our fellowship – hopefully all going well on Monday with Nicola’s announcement last week, whilst maybe yes with social distancing and ventilation!  But could we do that? An exercise in humility and hospitality!

Wouldn’t it be great if the 40-50 people here or on the call were to out in humility this week and seek to be a blessing, where possible, in offering hospitality?

So what is God saying to you today, in our next song “Lord I give you my heart” let us listen to the Holy Spirit and see what is God calling to us this week.

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.

Firstly I will read from;

Philippians 2:5-11

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
    by taking the very nature[
b] of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
    he humbled himself
    by becoming obedient to death—
        even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
    and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.

Let us leave a time of quiet to reflect on these words.

 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: Facing a task unfinished (we go to all the World)

Closing Prayer:

Thank You Lord for this opportunity today to gather in Your presence to worship You. Thank You also for the opportunity to meet and pray together as well as to hear and reflect upon Your Holy Word.  Help us this week to live in a way that honours You and is a blessing to others around us, in Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Benediction:  The Grace