Sunday sermon 29 June 2014 – Listening to God……and how to hear Him?
Sermon: 29th June 2014 @ 10:30am
Listening to God ……… and how to hear Him?
Preacher : Sean Cloete – Elder
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight Lord – my rock and my redeemer.
This is the day that the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it..
Good morning everyone and welcome to our service this morning.
FIFA World Cup Story – Rio – Maracana Stadium & the Statue of Christ the Redeemer.
Let us Pray ..
Lord Jesus, we thank you for this wonderful day and that you have brought us together to worship you here today.
Thank You Lord for your gift to us – of the Holy Spirit.
We feel Your presence Lord – and acknowledge the huge debt we owe you that we can never repay.
We acknowledge that we have fallen short of Your glory and ask for forgiveness.
Forgive our sins Lord we pray – please take these sins and drown them in the deepest, darkest ocean, and look upon them no more. We pray for our Pastor and his wife who are taking a well-earned break this week-end. Lord, we pray You will be with them, guide them, look after them – and bring them back to us refreshed.
Help us to serve one another as you taught us Lord – and grant us You peace.
Let’s try something – but I’ll need your help…
Here we go…….
Knock – Knock
Congregation: Who’s there?
See what I mean
What goes through your mind when God speaks to you?
Who? …… Why ………….
Is this for real……..?
Are You sure you want to speak to me Lord …….. ?
Are You sure You haven’t made a mistake……?
Is that really You…..
But the truth is we’re really not sure what to do – are we?
But here is some good advice from His Word:
Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”
Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
In today’s readings:
In Genesis – God wants to see how obedient Jacob was to Him.
In Romans – Paul sends a warning to Christians about sin – but where do you think he gets the message from?
And in Matthew – Jesus tells Peter that he will build the Christian Church.
Can you imagine if Jacob, Paul and Peter never heard God speaking to them ………. How differently things could have turned out.
Reach for the Bible ….
This would be a very short Book ….
In our prayers we ask God to speak to us – but what happens when He does?
And do we know when He does…….??
Have you ever heard people say about someone who is lucky – “he or she must have God on their side” ??
We can ALL have God on our side ………
ALL we have to do is to ask HIM to come in.
When you turn to God ……..He comes running towards you.
Pretty simple …….
Then if it’s so simple ….. Why does the world find it so hard?
For those of you whom were in the 2nd Service last week Robin asked a few questions in closing:
Do we acknowledge Christ in the rest of our life (outside our Church life)?
We know that we worship our Lord on Sunday (because we are all here this morning).
But … what about the rest of the week?
Are we living a Double Life – are we Secret Christians?
How are things in your world?
C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien were great friends…..
Our world would be poorer without two other worlds: Narnia and Middle-Earth.
Yet if two young professors had not met at an otherwise ordinary Oxford faculty meeting in 1926, those wondrous lands would still be unknown to us.
Many people are not aware that C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien were good friends.
Tolkien helped convert Lewis to Christianity, whereas Lewis encouraged Tolkien to expand his fictional writing.
Both taught at Oxford, both were interested in literature, and both wrote fictional books which promoted basic Christian themes and principles.
At the same time, though, they also had serious disagreements – and in particular about Christianity.
The truth was that …….. Although both men were committed Christians ‘’’ they looked at things quite differently.
But, rest assured when Lewis was writing the “Narnia” stories and Tolkien was writing the “Lord of the Rings” ……… God was talking to them
God speaks to us in different ways – not only through the Holy Spirit.
He speaks to us in dreams, visions, through other people, He sends us signs, confirms things through readings in His Word ……….. And so on.
But how can we be sure God is speaking to us – and how can we recognise His voice?
If the truth be known ….….
There are actually 4 types of “voices” which we hear speaking to us.
So, it’s important that we learn to distinguish each one so that we are able to recognise the true voice of God:
The 1st Voice
- The voice that is the most obvious – your own voice.
- This is not God speaking to you.
The 2nd Voice
- Another voice which demands for our attention is the “voice” of other people.
- This also is not the voice of God.
The 3rd Voice
- The third type of voice is the “voice” of the devil.
- The devil has crafty ways of speaking to us which he has perfected over 1000’s of years.
- It is often indistinguishable from our own thoughts and feelings.
- Remember ….. The battlefield where the devil wages his warfare is in our minds.
- Don’t be confused – this is not the voice of God.
The 4th Voice
- The fourth and final type of voice is the most important, but it is also the most subtle. It is the voice of God.
- He speaks to our conscious mind and to our conscience – this is why when we do something we shouldn’t have – or conscience lets us know.
- Don’t expect God to speak to you in a sensational, spectacular or supernatural way.
- If God were to speak out loud to us all the time then we wouldn’t need Faith to hear him.
- On the other hand, if God speaks so softly to us that we need to draw closer to God in order to hear Him better then there is a lot of faith involved and it requires cultivating and more intimate relationship with the Lord.
- This exactly what God is after…?
This is why it is crucial for us to know the Word of God – by reading it every day.
And …. to be able to hear the voice of God within us so that we can recognize when our enemy is planting thoughts and feelings in us.
Paul says in his letter to the Corinthians ……By knowing God through His written Word and His spoken Word; we can recognize the schemes of the enemy so that the devil is less likely to outwit us.
The devil can imitate God but he is a created being – just like we are.
There is no reason to be afraid of him.
So, resist the devil – don’t fear him.
He was defeated when Jesus Christ died on the Cross.
We are living in a war zone – here on planet earth. Be on your guard…..
But remember that Love is the antidote for what the world can throw at us – and Love is something that the Devil will never have.
As Christians, we don’t belong to the world – we are citizens of heaven serving as ambassadors here on earth.
In Galatians Paul writes ….. “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.
He goes on to say ……”But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.
Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”
In Corinthians he writes …… “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres.
Love never fails.”
The closer your walk with God is the better you will be able to hear Him.
But we say I’m not worthy or I can’t because I’ve done all these bad things.
God will forgive what you have done.
Your past is no accident …….. It prepares you for what God has planned for your life.
We all excel at something. There are some things that just come easier to us than others.
What are they?
Don’t you think He might be telling you something?
And Remember …….
• Live one day at a time – and live for God.
• Leave yesterday alone – its run its course. Its pointless getting hung up about it.
• And there is nothing you can do about tomorrow – it hasn’t happened yet.
God will take your sins away …if you ask him.
And if you believe He is speaking to you …… Don’t leave it too long.
Let us Pray…….
You have given us so much by providing our salvation,
Help us to make the Gospel attractive to others,
By the way we shine Jesus’ light on those we encounter each day.
May God Bless us all.