Sermons from August 2017
Many of the world’s most famous people have been revolutionaries – people who lit a spark that changed the world by grabbing the imagination (and the hearts) of their followers. By this measure, Jesus Christ would have to be at the top of the list. His three short years in the spotlight started something that is still being felt 2000 years later! How did he do it? What was His secret? In this message Pastor Murray takes us back to where it all started – the places, the culture, the people and the strategy He used. From these humble beginnings the world has been changed forever. Have you joined the Jesus revolution? If not, this message will challenge you to join up today.
The Israelites were required to sacrifice hundreds of animals to make preparation for the ministry in the Tabernacle. The pinnacle and the end point of this costly preparation is hearing God speak to them through Moses. God speaks to Christians through the Bible and reveals himself to us through his Son Jesus. Do we treasure this relationship with God enough?
Let us admire and learn from Jesus, the one who triumphed over temptation in the wilderness.
Jesus finally arrives on the scene, he is baptised and is about to begin his public ministry. John the Baptist and the Heavenly Voice announce him to be God’s chosen Messiah who will suffer for and rescue his people. He comes with all authority. People, then and now, must respond in true repentance.
What do we mean when we say that God is holy? In His very being he is pure, perfect and unique – separate from anything and anyone tainted by sin. As God’s people we are called to be holy. At Mt Sinai, as the Israelites were about to commence their journey to the Promised Land, God gave them practical instructions regarding how they were to live their holiness. While the details may sound rather harsh and legalistic to modern ears, the principles behind them are still very relevant to us today. Holiness is not a vague other-worldliness that belongs to a different time in history. The holiness of Jesus Christ is ours! It is God’s gift to every believer, to be lived out each day in every part of life with the help of the Holy Spirit. It should be the distinctive mark of every Christian!
What’s the point of the tough times in life? Tonight we see Israel encounter three tough times on their journey. Each time, they grumble about their circumstances and each time their grumbling is met with God’s grace. In these stories we see that God uses the tough times we face to strengthen our faith in him.
The two million Israelites were out of Egypt, camped at Mt Sinai, and now ready to head off to conquer the promised land of Canaan. But before beginning the journey God gave them a set of instructions… a census to determine the size of their army, how to set up the camp around the tabernacle, a census of the Levites, and the roles of the different Levite families. Why were these details so important? Certainly there was a practical dimension, but even more so, God was teaching them about Himself – His faithfulness, His presence with them, His holiness and His desire for their obedience, especially in view of the battles ahead of them. Jesus has come to save sinners from slavery to sin and lead us to our heavenly destination. How well do we know our God as we make our journey through life?