Tonight we begin our new series, Daniel: Strangers in a secular world. We begin by looking at the circumstances in which Daniel and his friends found themselves as exiles in Babylon. All the signs pointed to the fact that they were “out of place,” living as strangers in a foreign land. In the same way, we who follow Jesus live as “strangers” in this world. We must work out how we will remain involved in this world while continuing to stand firm in our faith.
What do you make of miracles? Do they happen? If so, why do they happen? And what do miracles tell us about God? In an age of science and rationalism these are big questions. Yet the Bible is full of supernatural events, and they are especially apparent in the ministry of Jesus. In today’s message Pastor Murray takes us to perhaps the most spectacular of all Jesus’ miracles – the raising of Lazarus from the dead. As with all His miracles, His purpose was to force people to recognise who He really is, the divine Son of God, who has power over life and death. His claim was extraordinary: “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me will live, even though he dies.” Jesus promises LIFE now, beyond death, and forever to all those who put their faith in Him. Do you believe this? Listen to this challenging message. It may just change your life!
Sooner or later every single one of us has to face a medical crisis in one form or another. It could be someone close to us. It could be ourselves. No matter how robust our health or strong our faith, we will all one day die (unless Jesus should return before then). The medical profession will do its best to keep us going, but will always eventually have to concede defeat. So how can we develop a perspective on these things that is both true to life and true to the Christian faith? In today’s message, Pastor Murray unpacks this question by looking at how Jesus coped with the illness and death of His close friend, Lazarus. What seemed to be a hopeless tragedy had an extraordinary turnaround as Jesus offered Himself as the ultimate healer of every disease and the absolute guarantor of life forever beyond the grave.
Someone said there are only two types of people in this world: sinners who admit it and sinners who don’t. Whatever our lives look like, the one great certainty is that we all ‘fall short of God’s glory’ and we all need God’s forgiveness. But do we realise that? It’s very possible to have a ‘holier-than-thou’ attitude like the Pharisee in the story, and miss the overflowing joy that comes when we appreciate how much we owe to Jesus for His mercy to us. Instead, let’s be like the ‘sinful’ woman. She knew how undeserving she was. But she had experienced the love, acceptance and forgiveness of Jesus and nothing could stifle her gratitude.
Throughout his ministry, Jesus made some amazing claims about himself. But he also pointed to evidence that supported these claims. He appealed to those who listened that they believe his claims on the strength of this evidence. Join us as we look at two of the claims Jesus makes in John 10 and think about the evidence that supports those claims.
In the end, every one of us must decide; will we believe that Jesus is who he says he is, or not? Our answer to this question affects everything.
Jesus confronts money loving Pharisees with a message about an incredibly rich man and an incredibly poor man who was paid at the rich man’s doorstep. As it turned out, they both died and the poor man went to heaven but the rich man went to hell. The rich man was condemned because he ignored God’s Word as he did not care for the poor man. In the same way, if we want to be saved we need to live our lives like we take God’s Word seriously.
By nature most of us are followers. Just look at the number of Twitter and Facebook ‘followers’ some celebrities have these days. Whether it’s fashion, lifestyle, secrets of success, or even religion, we have an intuitive desire to copy others. So who are you following? Have you considered Jesus? In today’s passage Jesus presents Himself as the good shepherd who loves, leads, cares for, protects and even dies for His sheep. He offers them life ‘to the full’. Can there be a better life than the one Jesus wants to give us? Why not respond to His personal call and start following Him today?
What limits do you impose on the way you forgive others? Is it easier for you to forgive some people, but not others? Are you able to forgive people for “minor” things, but not for “serious” things they do to you? Is there a maximum number of times you will forgive someone before you decide you can’t forgive them any longer?
Peter had a question about the “limits” of forgiveness. He wanted to know how many times he needed to forgive a brother who had sinned against him (Matthew 18:21). Jesus answered by telling a story that challenges any limits we might place on the way we forgive others.
Listen as we consider what God has done for us and what it looks like for us to “forgive as the Lord forgave you” (Colossians 3:13).
Think about the ways God has blessed you. With money? With time? With certain talents or opportunities? Now ask this question; “Are you a faithful steward of these things?”
Jesus told a parable that shows why it is so important for us to be faithful stewards of what God has entrusted to us. He is our Master, and he wants us to make the most of the things he has given to us.
One day each one of us will be called to account for how we have used what we have been given. Jesus wants us to be faithful stewards and to persevere in that until we hear the words of the Master, “Well done, good and faithful servant! (Matthew 25:21).
Listen as we consider what it might look like to be faithful stewards in the world we live in today.
It’s extremely difficult for someone who has never been blind to understand what it must be like to receive the gift of sight. A world of darkness is suddenly transformed into a world of colour, faces and light! And that’s what happened when Jesus miraculously healed a congenitally blind man. Why was he born blind? Only God knows. But we do know that Jesus performed an even greater miracle soon after, which had an even more profound impact upon this man’s life. Listen in as Pastor Murray unpacks this passage and shows how Jesus backs up His claim to be “the light of the world”, giving spiritual sight to everyone who believes in Him.