Sermons by Murray Lean (Page 15)
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?
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?
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.
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!
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.
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?
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!