Learning how to live under pressure, especially when it involves the testing of our faith, is essential to our progress in the Christian life. In today’s passage we take a closer look at how suffering is related to the gospel, and how God wants to use it to help us grow in holiness. Jesus is the Messiah, the ’Suffering Servant’, who shed His precious blood to redeem us and make us children of God. Understanding the greatness of this salvation gives us the confidence and hope that whatever we may face in this life, the best is still yet to come …. and it’s worth waiting for.
A bride and groom approach their wedding day full anticipation, excitement, hopes and dreams. It’s a happy day, and they hope for a happy marriage. Whether we’re already married, hoping to be married one day, or considering a lifetime unmarried, we tend to assume God created marriage for the sake of personal happiness. Companionship, sexual intimacy, children and other things marriage brings might make us happy to some extent, but as we read the Bible it seems that God has other priorities for marriage. So we ask: “Why did God create marriage?” and “What should our purpose be within marriage?”
The book of 1 Peter is making a comeback today. It’s original readers felt like ‘exiles’ or ‘foreigners’ in the world of the early church. And that’s the way more and more Christians are starting to feel these days. Somehow we don’t really fit as the world around us becomes more secular. But the reality is that we are different and we don’t fit. This world is not our true home and we aren’t meant to belong here. So how do we cope with this tension, especially when trials come and our faith is tested? In this message, Pastor Murray urges us to see how God wants to use these times to prepare us for the glorious ‘inheritance’ that awaits all who truly belong to Christ. (1 Peter 1:1-9)
The journey from ‘becoming friends’ to being married is an extremely important time of finding out about each other and testing the relationship. What you discover along the way (about your friend and about yourself!) can be quite confronting. But this is meant to be a time of personal spiritual growth as well as working out whether you’re ready for marriage. In this talk Pastor Murray deals head on with some of the practicalities of choosing a life partner. Whether you’re married, engaged, dating or looking forward to that prospect, there’s plenty of food for thought here about the type of spouse God wants all of us to be. (1 Thessalonians 4:1-8)
The society we live in loves money and exalts greed. We seem to be getting richer and richer and yet are not satisfied. We each seem to love money differently – some for the pleasure we can get from spending it, some for the freedom it offers, some for the security it brings and some for the power and success it grants us. It seems that many Christians are not too different to the society we live in. Greed tells us many lies. Come to the Bible to find out what God really says about things like thankfulness, contentment, generosity and serving God when it comes to our money.
Desire shapes behaviour. What we want shapes what we do. This is true in all of life, and especially in relationships. Listen as we consider how right desires transform the way we go about relationships and dating.
For the past 50 years a sexual revolution has been taking place. We can blame the “pill” or many other factors, but the result has been the virtually complete disconnection of sex from marriage in modern western society. Today anything is OK. What started with some cheeky pushing of moral boundaries in movies and magazines has been turbocharged with the arrival of internet porn over the past 20 years. This “normalising” of sexual freedom presents a huge challenge to Christians,…
Family is wonderful, but even at its best, family life is challenging. The family is spoken of as the foundation of our society, but now it seems to be under threat from our western culture. There seem to be cracks in the foundation. Come to the Bible to find the nature, purpose and value of family. We discover that the family does have a future as we delight in doing family well, for the glory of God.
The Sabbath controversy in Matthew 12 reminds us that Jesus gives us freedom from the chains of legalism. Instead of thinking we need to keep the law to appease a cranky God, we remember that we have been set free to joyfully obey our loving God.
With secular humanism steadily gaining ascendancy in Australia today, Christians are being told to keep their faith private. And if they don’t, they are accused of “imposing” their outdated views on modern society. How did this happen? What does this mean for the place of Christians and the church in an increasingly pagan society? And how should we respond in the face of this opposition? In this message Pastor Murray reminds us firstly, that we should not be surprised by…
Anyone who has heard of Jesus has made some kind of response to him. In chapter 11 of Matthew’s Gospel we start to see rising opposition to Jesus as some people are looking for the wrong kind of Messiah and some are blatantly unrepentant. Jesus offers forgiveness and true rest to those who respond rightly to him – in repentance and faith. We do well to ask ourselves: “How am I responding to Jesus – for salvation, and daily as…