Sermons by Murray Lean (Page 15)

Sermons by Murray Lean (Page 15)

Murray Lean

The Fruit-Bearing Life

Jesus had a unique way of describing profound ideas in very simple terms, and that’s what we see in today’s passage. Using the common grapevine as a teaching aid, He explained how His disciples were to live, grow and flourish in the years ahead. Even in His physical absence from them, they were to ‘remain’ close to Him and obey His teachings. At times they would be undergo ‘pruning’ by God. But the object was always that their lives would bear fruit …much fruit …even more fruit … fruit that will last. As we stay close to Jesus, the Holy Spirit produces this fruit in our lives in many different ways e.g.. Christlike character, deeds of love, and faithful gospel witness. Is this a picture of your life?

The Invisible Friend

For many Christians the topic of the Holy Spirit is either mysterious or controversial. Some even avoid it altogether. But Jesus saw the indwelling of the Holy Spirit as an indispensable provision for His disciples (then and now) during the period between His first and second comings. Jesus Himself would continue to be with them in the person of the Holy Spirit……. invisible, yet absolutely real. In today’s message Pastor Murray takes us through some of the valuable blessings that come from the presence of the Holy Spirit, who actually lives inside every genuine believer in Jesus Christ. Does He make a difference in your life?

Finding Hope In The Real Jesus

So what do you believe about Jesus? And how seriously should we take Him? There has always been an element of mystery about Jesus, and even after three years with Him the disciples were still confused. But on this final night before being crucified, Jesus took the opportunity to explain once and for all who he really was. Still today the vital question remains: who is the real Jesus? Ultimately, how we answer that question will determine where we spend eternity. Jesus made the claim that night that: “no one comes to the Father (i.e.. God) except through me”. Do you want to spend eternity with God? Then ONLY JESUS can make that possible! You must give Him your life today.

Jesus In Control

In a world where so often things happen in a random, even chaotic way, it is common to ask: Is anyone in control? But is life random? Do bad things just happen? In today’s message we take a closer look at how Jesus faced up to the looming prospect of being betrayed and denied by two of His closest friends. Yes, these things did happen, and they were low and vicious acts, but they didn’t take Jesus by surprise. He was Lord over the events of that night before going to the cross, and He is still Lord over the circumstances of our lives today. Nothing Judas, Pater or Satan did could derail God’s purposes, and the death and resurrection of Jesus proved that. When Jesus is Lord of our lives He uses even seeming tragedies to achieve His good purposes. He’s in full control!

Clean Hearts & Dirty Hands

What would you say to your closest friends if you knew you were going to die the next day? We find out what Jesus said in John’s gospel chapters 13 to 17. Jesus and his 12 disciples are sharing a final meal together and a few hours later he would be betrayed and handed over to the Jewish leaders and then the Romans. But before that, something most unexpected took place. Jesus washed the feet of His disciples …. even Judas! What was this signifying? What does it mean for us? Actually quite a lot! Find out as Pastor Murray explains the deeper implications Jesus was conveying through this humble action, and how every true disciple of Christ today cannot avoid being a servant for His sake.

Fair dinkum or phoney?

The Christian “brand” these days is marketed by high-profile, so-called celebrity Christians – well-known public figures (sporting stars, movie stars, rock singers, even politicians) who claim to be Christians. In fact, there are many people who are happy to identify as “Christian” because it seems cool. But what does a genuine disciple actually look like? Fortunately Jesus answered this question for us 2000 years ago. According to Jesus, there are a number of specific indicators that distinguish those who are real disciples from those who are fake. In this message Pastor Murray looks at several passages that spell these out. Warning: expect to be challenged.

Suffering & serving in a “me first” world

Humility is not natural to 99% of people. And if it is, then usually we assume the reason is some sort of inferiority complex or psychological deficiency. Some form of pride lurks beneath the surface in every one of us, and this respect the disciples of Jesus were no different to us (as we see in today’s passage). Jesus seized this moment to teach them just how totally opposite His values are compared with the self-promoting, self-seeking values of the world. His followers are to embrace a life and lifestyle of personal suffering and serving others, just like He himself demonstrated when He went to the cross. But what does this look like in practice? Listen in as Pastor Murray helps us understand how to live as a servant of Jesus in today’s “me first” world.

The Struggle To Obey When God Calls

What are your plans for the future? Your career … your finances … your family etc.? According to tonight’s passage, careful planning has its limits, because God may have other ideas. Moses was in a comfortable groove, but God called him to take on a totally unexpected and scary challenge. Moses tried one excuse after another, till finally in desperation he said to God: “…please send someone else to do it”. But God wasn’t interested in his excuses. In so many ways we can be just like Moses when God comes calling. We convince ourselves that He is wrong and our plans are better. But when God calls, He also provides all we need to do the job He is asking. What is God asking of you today? Are you ready, willing and available?

Being Content In A Money-driven World

Jesus always called His followers to resist the temptation to passively conform to the lifestyle and values of the culture in which we live. This peer pressure is no more apparent than in the area of consumerism and materialism. In an age of science, reason and skepticism, it’s not cool to believe in a God you cannot see and touch. So modern man has substituted the God of the Bible with the god of money (and the possessions and comforts that money can buy). Jesus powerfully shows how pathetically futile it is to worship and serve this god, who never ultimately delivers. How much better it is to reject the lure of “things”, and find our contentment in the One who knows our needs and fully provides for those who trust in Him.

Mary – The Lord’s servant

What should we make of Mary, the mother of Jesus? She figures prominently in Roman Catholic teaching, worship and prayer, but what place and what emphasis does the Bible give to Mary? In this message Pastor Murray looks more closely at how Mary responded to the news about her pregnancy and the nature of the baby she would mother. What an impressive woman! But more than that, she grasped the bigger picture of what God was doing in setting up His great plan to save the world, and she was willing to get involved personally in it. Are we as keen to play our part in God’s great missionary plan?

The Man Who Couldn’t Be Ignored

National leadership dramas are nothing new! We’ve had our share here in Australia in recent years. As doubts about King Saul started to increase, the young shepherd-warrior David was attracting more and more attention. But did he have what it would take to lead a nation? Despite of his father’s jealousy of David, Jonathan saw a man to whom he wanted to pledge his absolute loyalty. David did not turn out to be the ideal king Israel was looking for, but 1000 years later a descendant of David did come who was the perfect King – Jesus Christ. He still reigns over His kingdom. Have you recognised Him? Why not pledge your loyalty to Him today?

Changed by Grace

Churches are vulnerable to rogue ideas and deceptive teachers. They need good leadership. They need sound teaching. Tonight’s passage stresses the importance of two vital aspects of this teaching …… firstly, what God expects of us in terms of Christian behaviour, and secondly, how God’s grace is the key to true and lasting change and growth in our lives. Not only are we saved by grace. We are also changed by grace. It is only with God’s help that we can really say “No” to ungodliness and “Yes” to godliness. When we really understand this enabling grace, then it not only makes the Christian life possible. It makes it necessary!