Home Service: Sunday 6 September 2020 ~ Compiled by Peter Ratcliffe
Welcome to this Home Service.
I’m writing this imagining that I’m facing our usual friendly congregation which hopefully will become possible again soon.
Let’s begin by reading a few verses from Psalm 27.
The LORD is my light and my salvation — whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life — of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident. One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.
Dear Lord of light and love. Even though our own lives are besieged with all kinds of worries and anxieties, help us to be confident in these troubled times. Help us to turn to you in times of trouble and seek you with all our heart, soul and mind. Amen!
A song to help us focus upon the Lord, our God:
Ascribe Greatness to our God https://youtu.be/oXomlNaDl0E
Ascribe greatness to our God, the Rock, His work is perfect and all His ways are just. Ascribe greatness to our God, the Rock, His work is perfect and all His ways are just. A God of faithfulness and without injustice, Good and upright is He; A God of faithfulness without injustice, Good and upright is He.
The subject of today’s Home Service is: ‘Waiting on God’
Waiting on God can be hard, but the benefits of doing so are immeasurable. Trusting God in the good times is easy but waiting for Him to move during trying times is hard, but so important to build faith, increase our confidence in Him and grow spiritually.
Let me ask you a question:- How long do you wait for the bus to come?
I expect my friend Joanna could throw some light on that question as I sometimes see her waiting by the bus stop. The simple answer is, ‘As long as it takes’, but what can you do while waiting? Maybe think, pray and hope that it will arrive eventually, and rejoice when it does.
Let me ask you another question:- Am I impatient?
When lockdown began, it was a most strange experience suddenly having no work to go to and having the freedom to shop and go to places suddenly curtailed. Suddenly I had time, lots of time, so my attention went to the garden. Back in March this was a good time for sowing seeds. Having sown them in the greenhouse, each day I kept looking out for tiny green shoots, a few days – nothing, a week or two – still nothing, what was wrong with these seeds? I read the seed packet again and noticed ‘germination takes 21 – 28 days’! That long? But, sure enough after some more waiting, seedlings did appear. This teaches us all a lesson that in life, lots of things take time.
It is so hard to wait, it even seems impossible sometimes. We make plans, we set goals and we put a time frame for each item on our list and expect each thing to result in a positive outcome. Unfortunately, that’s not always how things turn out. It is important to note that God does not work according to OUR schedules or OUR lists; He works according to HIS timing and HIS will for us. When we fail to remember this fact, disappointment can set in, which ultimately can lead to anger and resentment; sometimes aimed towards God and this is not a good place to be.
The Bible is full of scriptures about the importance of waiting on God. In fact, many of these scriptures even tell us what the result will be if we wait on Him.
Isaiah 40:31 tells us exactly what the result of waiting on God is: But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Song: Strength will rise https://youtu.be/yubLGTOcm8c
Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord, We will wait upon the Lord, We will wait upon the Lord. Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord, We will wait upon the Lord, We will wait upon the Lord. Our God, You reign forever; Our hope, our strong deliverer. You are the everlasting God, The everlasting God. You do not faint, You won’t grow weary. You’re the defender of the weak, You comfort those in need. You lift us up on wings like eagles.
Lord, teach us to be patient and wait for you. Forgive us when we have relied upon our own strength and left you out of the picture. Fill us with a sense of hope that in our times of waiting, we are not wasting, but gaining in our knowledge and dependence upon you. For those who are weary with illness, made weak through anxiety, in need through adverse circumstances, may you be present as the stronghold in their lives. Lord, today we pray for . . . Amen.
Song: You give strength to the weary https://youtu.be/nz_wwrCh2ig
You give rest to the weary, You bring strength to the weak; As they wait in your presence, There is grace for their need. So I’ll wait, I’ll wait; Yes, I’ll wait for you. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge.’ I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my strength.’ I will say of the Lord ‘He is my shelter, my hiding place’ I will come to the source of all creation; I will drink from the well that never dries. I will draw from the one who won’t grow tired, The Lord of all. You can come in the silence; You can come in the noise. Bringing peace in a moment, Bringing comfort and joy. So I’ll wait, I’ll wait; Yes, I’ll wait, I’ll wait for you.
Let us read the rest of Psalm 27:
For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock. Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the LORD. Hear my voice when I call, LORD; be merciful to me and answer me. My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, LORD, I will seek. Do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger; you have been my helper. Do not reject me or forsake me, God my Saviour. Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me. Teach me your way, LORD; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors. Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, spouting malicious accusations. I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.
Prayer: To wait on the Lord for Renewed Strength
Dear Lord Jesus, at times I feel so weary and tired as I seek to carry out the duties and tasks of each day. Help me Lord, to step aside from the business of the day and to spend time simply waiting upon You, for You have promised that those that wait on You will renew their strength, they will mount up with wings as eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they shall walk and not faint. Lord, too often I try to do things in my own strength and only when I grow weary does it occur to me to take steps to consciously abide in You and to cast all my cares upon You. Teach me Lord, to truly abide in You, moment by moment, and to learn to wait for You as my first option, rather than as a last resort. Show me I pray, what it truly means to wait on the Lord, and to abide in You moment by moment. Help me Lord, to cast all my burdens on You and to learn to wait on You in every situation. Thank You for hearing my prayer. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Song: Great is thy faithfulness https://youtu.be/dTKIqmdfHSk
Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father, There is no shadow of turning with Thee; Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not; As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be. Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness! Morning by morning new mercies I see; All I have needed Thy hand hath provided, Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me! Summer and winter and springtime and harvest, Sun, moon and stars in their courses above, Join with all nature in manifold witness To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love. Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth, Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide; Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow, Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!
May the Lord bless you and keep you safe. Amen!