Sermons by Murray Lean (Page 15)

Sermons by Murray Lean (Page 15)

Murray Lean

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!

Choosing a leader – God’s way

What makes a good leader? And how do we choose them? These questions are as relevant today as they were 3000 years ago in the nation of Israel. Saul had proven to be an abject failure and God decided it was time to start again and choose a new king. 1 Samuel 16 gives a fascinating account of how God used the prophet Samuel to anoint a shepherd boy as the future king, and how He empowered him for the task ahead. Despite all the question marks over young David, God saw his heart. Outward impressions are often premature, but godly character …. that’s different. I wonder what God sees when He looks into our hearts?

True worship

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!

The Critical Test of Obedience

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?

Living for God in the end times

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?

“Give us a king to lead us”

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.

A Fresh Start with God

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?