Sermons by Murray Lean (Page 18)
For most people Jesus is either irrelevant or simply an option in the spectrum of religious gurus. And He has always had His share of knockers. It’s always been that way, as today’s passage makes clear. But in these verses we see Jesus engaging His opponents in a full-on debate. Firstly He points out some truths that every one of us needs to know about ourselves. Amazing how the truth sometimes hurts! But He then spells out some truths that we need to know about Jesus. These truths are essential to a proper understanding of the Christian faith, and if we believe them, as Jesus put it, they will ‘set you free’. What an offer!
Many Christians find praying a struggle, and the disciples of Jesus , so it seems, were in the same boat. But they weren’t quite prepared for the parable Jesus taught them in Luke 11 (and a related parable in Luke 18). When praying for specific needs we must pray with real conviction ……. boldly, stubbornly, even desperately! These are the kind of prayers God loves to hear and answer. Yet so often we give up too easily, and often this reflects a weak view of God and the gospel. So why do we have to keep on wrestling with God in our prayers? Listen in as Pastor Murray challenges us in this hard-hitting messag
There is very little shame these days when it comes to sexual immorality. Promiscuity is taken for granted as a legitimate lifestyle choice. But how should Christians react? In today’s message Pastor Murray addresses this question as he unpacks the story of Jesus’ encounter with an adulterous woman. Rather than throw the legal book at her, as the religious ‘police’ wanted, Jesus chose to forgive her. Even though totally undeserving, she heard those amazing words of Jesus: “Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more”. That’s grace! Have you responded to that grace personally? If so, are you passing it on to others?
Jesus has always been a controversial figure. And even today the opinions about Him are many, varied, and often strongly held. But before we jump to any conclusions about Him we should at least try to understand His message. In today’s passage we hear that message as Jesus calls people who are thirsty to: “Come to me and drink”. Not because they are physically thirsty but spiritually thirsty. People who have tried and failed to satisfy themselves with the material, personal and social “stuff” that life offers. Jesus offers to fill that “God-shaped vacuum” inside the human heart which only He can fill. He knows our deepest needs and kindly offers to meet them if we will sincerely “believe” in Him. This is a wonderful life-transforming invitation, almost too good to be true, and He is still offering it to us today. Perhaps there is “something missing” in your life. Have you considered Jesus?
In many ways the resurrection of Jesus is the “clincher” that makes the Christian faith credible. The apostle Paul even says that if Christ had NOT been raised then “our faith is futile …. we are still in our sins …. we are lost …. we have no hope ….. and we are to be pitied” (1 Cor 15:17-19). Without the resurrection Christians are “no-hopers”! Yes – so much rides on the resurrection. And we can be confident that Christ really has been raised. But in practical terms, what difference does it make to our everyday lives? Listen in as Pastor Murray shares with us seven good reasons to feel encouraged by this wonderful Easter discovery.
Soon after His birth Jesus was worshipped as “King of the Jews” by wise men from the east. Years later He burst onto the public stage with the message: “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news.” The sign above His head as He died read: “The king of the Jews”. A day is coming when He will finally put an end to all evil and be known as “King of kings and Lord of lords”. This King gave His life for you and me. He is more than king of the Jews. He is King and Lord over every one of us. Have you bowed before Him with a thankful heart? Let Him reign in your life today.
Who was responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus? Judas ….the Sanhedrin …..Governor Pilate …..the Roman soldiers? Of course, they were involved. But what about Peter …..and the other disciples? And what about us? As we look more closely at Peter’s denial of Jesus we simply can’t avoid the stark truth that we are all far more like Peter than we care to admit. We think our commitment to Christ is stronger than it is. We think that we are better than others. We fail to pray like we should. We cave in when challenged to identify with Christ publicly. That night Peter saw himself as he really was, a sinner in desperate need of the forgiveness that only Jesus could give him. Perhaps for the very first time he understood why Jesus had to die …….it was for him as much as anyone else. Jesus did forgive Peter and made him a new man. What Jesus did for Peter He wants to do for you and me too.
Humility is not a particularly popular virtue today. In fact it’s probably seen as sign of weakness. We are taught to promote ourselves and encouraged to “have a bit of attitude”. So what does Jesus think? In today’s message we see Jesus turning the world’s values upside-down, and in a most dramatic way. To make yourself a slave to someone else seems ludicrous, yet that’s exactly what Jesus has done for us on the cross. In divine humility He took our place in order that we might be washed clean from our sin. How should we respond to this? By now following Christ in serving others.
Surely one of the more bizarre incidents in Jesus’ life happened during the final few days prior to His crucifixion. During a meal with His friends, Mary of Bethany quite unexpectedly anointed Jesus with 300-400mls of the most expensive imported perfume, then wiped His feet with her hair. Why did she do it? What about the expense? How about the waste of money? Through this act of extreme generosity and devotion, Mary challenges the way every Christian ought to respond to Jesus. As we consider all that Christ has done for us, especially His death on the cross, is there anything we should not be willing to gladly give to Him?
Skeptical scientists question the possibility of a worldwide flood, and even more so the possibility of a man-made ark being the means of saving the air-breathing population of animals and humans. But what if it is true as the Bible consistently teaches? The story of the Bible is the story of God’s dealing, often miraculously, with the people He created. And that’s what we see vividly portrayed in today’s message. God’s judgement upon the sin of the human race through the cataclysmic worldwide flood was matched only by His miraculous salvation of Noah, his family and the animals in the ark. God today still promises judgement upon sinners, but has provided salvation for us in the person of His divine Son, Jesus Christ, who has taken that judgement in our place. We must all face the prospect of that day of judgement and only Jesus can save us when it comes. Are you trusting Him?