The topic of “worship” is bound to cause some debate in many Christian circles. And it’s true that over the past 50 years many different “styles” of worship have emerged. So which is the right way to worship God? King Saul’s view was typical of many people today, but God was not impressed. In God’s words: “To obey is better than sacrifice”. In today’s message Pastor Murray explains how easily we can mistake our own selfish (and sinful) ideas of how to please God with the true worship that God desires. And it has less to do with church services and music than we often think!
Life and ministry can be hard. Paul knew that. And he knew that the job that he’d left Titus to do in Crete was no easy job. Titus was going to face many challenges and discouragements.So Paul wrote him a letter. On the surface, these first few verses are just Paul’s way of greeting Titus. But when we look more deeply, we see that these verses contain several foundational gospel truths. In the midst of busy and difficult life and ministry, these are truths that Titus needs to remember. And they’re truths that we need to remember as well.
King Saul was physically impressive but what does God think of him? That’s the question facing us in today’s passage. The Philistines amassed a huge army and Saul was confronted with a massive problem. His military resources were minuscule by comparison. What would he do? How would he respond? And most importantly, where would God figure in this response? In actual fact, this was a critical test for Saul, and sadly, he failed miserably. He took matters into his own hands rather than wait for God and obey Him. God is still looking for people today who will trust and obey Him. When our test comes will He find us faithful?
When will Jesus return? What will it be like in the end times? How should we prepare for life in those days? How we would like to know the answers to these questions! In Daniel chapters 10-12 God gives Daniel an awesome vision of life in the future, initially encompassing the next 400 years, but then projecting forward to the end of time when a climactic battle will take place. In the lead up to this battle Christians will experience great suffering. But the forces of Satan (under a particularly evil king) will be finally and comprehensively defeated (probably in Israel). On that day all God’s people will enter eternal life, while those who don’t belong to Him will be eternally rejected. Are you ready for that day? Does your life show it?
The question of who you can trust to lead you is just as important today as it was 1000 years BC. Somehow, the Israelites thought that a human king would do a better job as their king than God. History would show how disastrous that idea was, but that’s another story! God did allow them to have a king, but in the process of establishing this new kingdom we learn a lot about God’s idea of leadership. True leaders never have absolute authority. They serve under God and assist Him in leading people and nations. That goes for the President of America and any other human leader. Sadly, all human leaders have their weaknesses and fail at certain points. Only one leader can be trusted to lead us perfectly and that is Jesus Christ, who is the King of kings and Lord of lords. Is He your king? If not, why not give your life to Him today and let Him rule over you. His kingdom lasts forever.
It can be easy to read in the Bible about Israel and point out all their sins. It is harder when we discover that their sins are ours as well. In 1 Samuel 8 we see Israel asking for a king. We see their wholesale rejection of God and His wisdom. But we also see ourselves. Are we that different from them? Listen as we are challenged to examine ourselves and repent for the ways that we do what Israel did.
Tonight we continue our Daniel series with the first of the visions in chapters 7-12.
We live in troubled times. Violence, the struggle for power and suffering seem to characterise our world. It’s sad and scary. In these troubled times, we might ask this question; “who’s in charge?” Listen as we discover how Daniel 7 answers that question. Let us think about how this answer ought to affect our lives today.
Who doesn’t know the feeling of wishing they could undo some aspect of the past and start all over again! We all know the shame (and perhaps embarrassment) of these passages of life. In today’s message we see how the Israelites made a fresh start with God. For more than 20 years they had treated God with disrespect. They had given in to the temptations and worshipped the idols of the Canaanites, but this way of life only led to misery …. and they knew why. Under their godly leader Samuel, the people repented and turned back to the Lord, and what a difference that made! Is it time for you to do the same?