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Home for Christmas: Make Room for Jesus in Our Hearts

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
December 18, 2020 3:00 am

Home for Christmas: Make Room for Jesus in Our Hearts

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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December 18, 2020 3:00 am

“Make yourself at home.” It’s something we often say to guests. “Hey, make yourself at home.” And their presence in our homes brings us certain blessings and benefits. Well today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie points out that, when Jesus makes Himself at home in our hearts, we’ll notice. We’ll see what kind of difference it makes in how we live our lives for the Lord. It’s the first message in a series of presentations for the Christmas holidays. It’ll help us focus where we should.

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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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The following message from Pastor Greg Laurie is made possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God check out virtue our website for Christian women go to when Jesus is a hole in your heart you will be in the home of the Journal. Remember, Jesus of the age of 12 was one of a call at my father's church is as Christmas approaches, Greg Laurie point shall we need to make room for Jesus not only in our nativities parts.

Jesus is saying processing cost calls is your house, something we often say to go home, and their presence in our home was today on the new beginning. Greg Laurie points out that when Jesus makes himself a home in our hearts notice will see what difference it makes. How we live our lives more first message in a series of presentations for the Christmas holiday focus will grab your Bible job title by messages home for Christmas are about a couple would been married many years and their adult kids and moved out of the house and have their own families and and so the husband to wife one of the kids who live no out of state to come and visit them for Christmas so they invited them in both children said we can't come. So the father called up Who Was Living in New York City and He Said Son I Have Bad News. Your Mother and I Are Divorcing the Son Called His Sister with the Bad News about Their Mom and Dad and Then the Father Got a Call from Both of Their Children, and They Said Don't Do Anything, Will Be There Tomorrow, so the Father Hung up the Phone and Then He Went into the Kitchen Where His Wife Is Making Dinner. He Said Honey Good News.

The Kids Are Coming Home for Christmas Football There.

Their Own Way. I so You Know What We Think of the Holidays We Think of Home. There's All Those Christmas Songs like There's No Place like Home for the Holidays. We Just Think of All of the Songs Where the Word Home in Them Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd Take Me Home Country Roads. A John Denver Homeward Bound Simon and Garfunkel. Please Come Home for Christmas. The Eagles and Heartwarming Christmas Song Take Your Whiskey Home by Van Halen. Maybe That's Why Loretta Lynn Saying Don't Come Home and Drink and Would Love and on Your Mind Will I Think Maybe He Did Come Home with Whiskey and Loving on His Mind. And That's Why the Beatles Wrote She's Leaving Home. So Anyway, but I Don't Know What You Think about When You Hear the Word Home.

You Know, Honestly, for Some Reuniting with Family Can Be Troublesome and Difficult 10 and There's A Lot Of Conflicts May Be That Are Therein, and Every Family Has A Few Strange Family Members That Hard Thing to Accept Is That You Might Be This Strange Family Member in Your Family, but That When I Grew up by Item Only of All, I Lived in a House Here in Apartment There. Sometimes He Lived in a Hotel Room As I Ran around with My Mother with All of Her Marriages and Divorces and so My Mom Is Gone Pretty Much Every Night so I Went out on My Own Dinner I Went to a Place Called the Snack Shop Later to Be Called Cocoas. Now It's Called Rubies Where I Used To Go and I Would Get the Same Thing Every Night a Hamburger and Fries and a Vanilla Shake.

Funny Thing, When I Go to In-N-Out Burger. I Still Order That Today. I Really Fixated on It, but Tom and and I Remember I Tell My Friends at School.

What I Did Everything They Said You Are so Lucky Man, We Have To Go Home and Sit at the Table with Our Family and You Get to Go out and Have a Hamburger and Fries and a Shake. You Know It, but I Wanted Their Life. I Wanted a Family Structure and Sometimes I Would Even Go over to Mike Friend, Some Just to See What It Was like to Have a Family Meal and I Didn't Even like Their Food, but I Remember One Poignant Christmas Memory Were but It Was a Christmas Eve. I Was Probably around 12 Years Old. We Had One of Those White Artificial Trees and We Had One of Those Little Colored Lens Things That Turned Slowly and the Light Came through It on the Fake Christmas Tree. My Mom Was Passed out from Drinking. The House Smelled of Stale Smoke and Booze and As a 12-year-old.

I Sat There Thinking It's Gotta Get Better Than This and It Did Get Better and Got Better When I Asked Christ to Come into My Life from the Course of My Life Changed and Then It Got Even Better Than That. When I Met Kathy and We Got Married and We Had a House Together and It Was All That Was in the Fancy Home.

Our Furniture Was Threadbare Most of It from the Salvation Army but We Raise Our Two Sons up to Love the Lord. For the First Time in My Life I Understood What the Word Home Actually Meant It Was a Positive Thing, Not a Negative Thing I Think You Can Have a Beautiful House and Not Have a Home on the Other Hand You Can Have a Very Simple Structure You Live in, but It's a Beautiful Home. I Think of an Occasion When I Was Called to Visit a Family Because the Mother Had Taken Her Own Life They Lived in a Beautiful Gated Community with an Ocean View and Tragically, This Lady Had Taken Her Life behind the Wheel of Her Luxury Car in Her Garage, She Left Neat Little Notes to Every Member of the Family.

As I Sat There Looking around.

Everything Was in Its Place. It Was Decorated Beautifully and I Thought This Is a House but It's Not a Home and It's a Sad Home, Then I Think of a Number of Years Ago When I Went to Ethiopia and I Visited a Pastor There Was Speaking at a Pastors Conference. He Invited Me to His Home. He Didn't Have Carpet He Had Dirt and He Didn't Have a Stove. He Had Literally an Open Fire, and so He Made Us Some Food Which I Was a Little Reluctant to Eat. To Be Honest with You, but I Pray Lord Help and I Are Not Going to Say No to This Gentleman Offering a Meal and Even Brought Me a Glass of Milk That He Got from His Gal That He Just Milk I Saw Milk Golf, Put It in the Gut. That's Fresh but Little Scary Kinda Used To Get Knitting Cartons on a Note to Say Everything Was Great Though and I Thought This Is a Much of a House, but It Certainly Is a Home and It Really Comes down to What Is Going on in That Home. Well When Jesus Walked This Earth. He Really Had No Home You Could Technically Say That Jesus Christ Was Homeless Even Said Birds Have Nests and Foxes Have Holes with the Son Of Man Speaking of Himself Has Nowhere to Lay His Head. But in Heaven.

Jesus Said the Greatest of All Homes, Because in John 14 Roy As She Did I Tell You to Turn to John 14 Okay, Good.

Well, He Says.

He Says Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled You Believe in God Believe Also in Me.

In My Father's House Are Many Mansions Were Not so I Would've Told You. I Go to Prepare a Place for You If I Go and Prepare a Place for You, I Will Come Again and Receive You to Myself. There Were I Am You Maybe Also a Better Translation of This Statement from Our Lord Would Be in My Father's House Are Many Rooms.

The Phrase My Father's Cells Suggests an Estate Spaciousness. I Just Think Downton Abbey or Something like That Big Spread. But Then He Says That My Father's Estate Read My Father's House Are Many Rooms. Rooms Suggests Coziness of Private Space Effectively. Jesus Is Saying Because, Says Su Casa Right. My House Is Your House. Which Brings Me to My First Point. Jesus Left His Home in Heaven so You Can Have a Home in Heaven. Jesus Left His Home in Heaven so You Could Have a Home in Heaven in a Week so Romanticized the Christmas Story and by Romanticized I Mean We Sort of Taken Away the Reality of It Put A Lot Of Sentiment into It, but Let's Not Miss the Simple Fact That God Almighty Came to This or That Was Born in a Stable in a Manger Surrounded by Animals and Very Unsanitary Conditions That Does Not Diminish the Christmas Story for Me It Enhances It to Realize All That God Left When He Came to This Earth to Be Born among Us Again. Jesus Left His Home in Heaven so We Could Have a Home and Have a Number Two.

Jesus Left His Home in Heaven to Make a Home in Your Heart. Jesus Left His Home in Heaven to Make a Home in Your Heart. Or Another Way to Put It.

He Was Born. So You Could Be Born Again or Is Lewis Put It, Quote the Son of God Became a Man, That Men Might Become Sons of God" That Would Include Women.

Of Course As Well.

But This Is the Whole Point When Jesus Comes into a Person's Life. He Takes Residence in Their Heart. Some Would Say Well I Don't Know If It's Truly Biblical to Say Fast Jesus in Your Heart. Actually Think It's Very Biblical Because Jesus Said over and John 1423. If Anyone Loves Me, He Will Keep My Word and My Father Will Love Him and We Will Come to Him and Make Our Home with Him Also. John 112 Says for As Many As Received Him, He Gave Them the Right to Become Children of God. Again Jesus Left His Home in Heaven to Make a Home in Your Heart and Your Great Glory Will Have the Second Half of This Message Just a Moment, Everybody Greg Laurie Here Inviting You to Join Me Every Weekend for What We Call Harvest at Home. It's a Church Service. It's a Worship Service. It's a Bible Study and Its Wherever You Wanted to Be in Your Home in Your Car Sitting on a Beach Walking down the Street Watching It on Your Phone Wherever You Are Taken with You and Be Ministered to Every Weekend. Join Us for Harvest at today.

Pastor Greg is kicking off a short series of messages to help prepare our hearts for the holiday today study is called home for Christmas.

Point number three when Jesus is at home in your heart you will be at home in the church when Jesus is at home in your heart you will be at home in the church.

Remember Jesus at the age of 12 was in the temple. I wanted to call it my father's house, reminding us that the church is a family doctor first time I really felt it all was when I was in a church with fellow Christian. Many times the word home in church are linked together.

David wrote I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever, or another translation I have a home in the house of the Lord forever. So think of this as a family because it is the family. And when families get together. What are they generally do what they often have a meal together.

I healthy and happy family will eat together and that's what we do every time pretty much.

We have a servicer we have a meal but our meal happens to be the word of God. Job 2312 says I've treasured his words more than my daily food. Just as you need food on a plate or in your lap. If you're going takeout. You need that physical food. You also need spiritual food. Each and every day and you know the early church feasted on the word of God. The Bible says they continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine, the breaking of bread, and in prayers.

And so it is here feeding on the word of God that our family is drink.

Then we develop friendships that last a lifetime. Marriage is to I can think of a number of people that have met also many over the years at church.

Another married. Now they have children.

Some of them are even older and their grandparents and so it's wonderful to see generation after generation meeting the Lord but also meeting one another in church another thing that I healthy family does as they prayed together. You've heard the phrase the family that prays together stays together. Did you know there is data to support that statement. Studies have been done that you have revealed when the family takes time for prayer together. Those families are far more likely to stay together in the days I had so praying with your spouse praying with your children. It's fine to pray by yourself and you should but you should praying with other believers. Why, because Jesus said in Matthew 1819 I tell you, if two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you as my father in heaven will do it for you so when you come of the burden, and you see a fellow Christian it's a good thing to say him and would you pray with me about this right now I am sick and I need to be healed. In that case, you should as for the leaders in the church to pray for you as well because the Bible says it is anyone among you sick call for the elders of the church to pray for him and anoint with oil for the affectional firm forever righteous man will avail much but also it's it's bearing one another's burdens, it praying together in such a great thing to do X12 as a story of Simon Peter thrown in prison and we read this simple verse X12 one constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church is a lot of truth packed into that simple verse. First of all, constant prayer.

They prayed with passion. They prayed with persistence was offered to God for him by the church. They prayed together they understood the power of corporate prayer in the prayer was offered to God himself.

And you know really. We are a family and in many ways you can have a closer bond with fellow Christians and you even have with your biological family or sometimes we call our blood family. What is this not your blood family because we been bought with the blood of Jesus Christ, so we really are a blood family here as well so here's the thing though as we gather together as a family we want to continue to reach out to those who are outside of our family. We want harvest to be a loving place for hurting people. We wanted to be a safe place for sad people. We wanted to be a place for unsaved people to become saved people. This is something we want to do. We want to reach people that don't know the Lord because as I've often said the church is not a museum for St. it's a hospital for sinners. We want people to come here and find God. That's why we're here, among other reasons, I recently received an email from a minimart is a very interesting story. Here's what he said in his letter.

Dear Greg, I was a practicing Muslim for 17 years. I pray five times a day. I fasted during Ramadan and I followed the tenants of the faith to the letter, but I decided to attend services@harvest on Easter. It was then that I made the decision to accept Jesus Christ and I felt the power of the Holy Spirit is a never have before.

Pastor Lori, I'm not given the line about the things I'm telling you, I really felt something the physical and mental sensation. Then I decided to go one step further to get baptized. The following Sunday. I love this guy so becomes the Christ on Easter Sunday shows up. The next Sunday I get baptized.

I know people will know the Lord for years. Whether been baptized yet.

This guy says a week seems about the right time and he gets it done fantastic and he says and I was raised out of the pool. I felt a tremendous burden lifted from my shoulders. I felt the Holy Spirit so strongly in the ever loving presence of Jesus Christ. I never felt this way in Islam. I know this is where I need to be and I can say with an insurmountable expression of inner joy that I am now a Christian.

Thank you so much for great so we want to continue to be a light in our community as a family we have a house of God does not live in a house because the heavens can't contain them. The Scripture says he lives inside of us. We now are the temple of God, but as a congregation we meet in a house if you will. We meet in a building that we sometimes call the sanctuary and just like your home your house are building needs maintenance. I mean, if you've ever been at your home some break to fix it right and so as we come to the end of the year. I hope that you will all give generously.

You know, we believe that when God guides, God provides right but that doesn't mean the money just rains out of heaven. God guides and provides God provides for his people to provide through his people to reach other people about.

Sometimes we miss the joy of giving and Christmas is a time of giving. This is not heard about husband-and-wife could been married many years and they went Christmas shopping and he was a little excited about that idea most men aren't actually and that's why you see them out shopping on Christmas eve wandering around aimlessly looking for things to buy but done so I was shopping with his wife and he sort of disappeared and she wonder where he went, so she called him on his cell phone or are you Reese's life. Sorry I left I remember that jewelry store, we went to 10 years ago, and other was a beautiful diamond necklace and you said you wanted it and I told you I couldn't afford it.

She said yes says well I'm in the donut shop next door to that such talk about missing your moment, we can be so busy, you know, buying gifts for everyone because I miss the memo where the Lord says to us to bring our tithes and offerings into the storehouse, and you know here's the thing that that we've seen and I've told you this before 10% of the average congregation do most of the giving and I think God for that. Temper said, but I wonder what's going on with the other 90% or we can be generous and safe 20% give most of the finances, but what about the other 80%. You know my question for you is are you thermometer or are you a thermostat thermometer just tells you what the temperature is thermostat set the temperature you know are you a world changer or is the world changing.

You, you know, and so I think the ideas that I wanted be a part of wood. God is doing in investing in the work of his kingdom. Listen, God doesn't want your money he wants his money.

The problem is he's given it to you to manage him, and far too often we think it's mine.

I own this this is my that's a my that well maybe in one sense it is. But of course you leave it all behind one day. But if you want to get real technical and theological you belong to God because the Bible says you are not your own. You been bought with a price. Therefore glorify God with your body. So as we come to the end of this year. I'm hoping that some of you were in the 90% will step into 10% and help us to finish Greg Laurie, a good reminder of how our resources ultimately come from the Lord, and he has an idea of how we should use them good insight today here on a new beginning, and we hope you will pray about how you might use some of the large resources to help keep Pastor Greg's teaching coming your way each day here on the new beginning this broadcast is completely listener supported without listener donations. We just couldn't be here and were so thankful for your generosity. Yesterday we hear about the lives that are touched every day here on a new beginning. They write to us. They they call us and their stories are just so moving back to take a listen to this.

I listen to every morning on my way home from time to work my hardest times.

I have a little boy with moderate not to send my mom to cancer.

My soul has been so every day you help me realize that God is more than anything. Thank you for helping millions of people just like me. Well were just so thankful to God that we can be of some help to this lady with her challenges that she's facing with her mother who went to be with the Lord and her child and you know, our hope is just to point people to the word of God because we all get down. We all get discouraged. So as you know, every day we open up the word of God and every day we call people to Christ.

We encourage believers to turn to him like the lady that we just heard from we call nonbelievers to believe in him because Jesus is the answer. No matter what your question is Jesus is the answer and were thankful to be able to do that for the lady we just heard from were thankful to do it for you each and every day so I'm in will encourage you to give a generous financial gift to harvest ministries so we can finish is here strong and get ready for the opportunities that are before us next year.

We have unprecedented opportunities coming our way to expand our ministry around the nation in the world and the way we can respond. Of these is if you join with us in prayer and with your giving and then we can go into new areas. We've never been in before, and is my way of saying thanks you for investing in our ministry. I would like to send you a DVD copy of our cinematic crusade that hopefully you saw if you haven't seen it you can see it now. We call it a rush of hope, a beautiful film that we made in cooperation with the Irwin brothers that present the gospel and a compelling artistic and powerful way this is going to be a great tool in your chance to reach out to your neighbors to your family and the people that you care about. So whatever you can send will rush you your copy of a rush of hope.

The DVD thanks in advance for whatever you can do this right and we hope you get in touch today so we can get this DVD on its way to you and by the way, in addition to the DVD.

It comes with a digital download code so you can watch it online right from your computer or tablet or smart phone. That way you can take it with you and share it with a friend. It's a cinematic crusade right in your pocket or purse to write us today at a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call 1-800-821-3300. We can take your call anytime 24 hours a day. Again, dial 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.for what next time as Pastor Greg continues with good encouragement for the holidays to take us to the book of Romans what he calls real message of Christmas tune in next time you beginning and possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God sign up for pastor grades free daily email, devotions at harvest data work

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