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May 6, 2021 3:00 am
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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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Today's episode of a new beginning is brought to you by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God. Learn firstname.lastname@example.org and while you're there, browse our library and free e-books designed to help you grow in your faith is not going.
Jim was our dreams and our goal horror is defined as an ally ourselves with the means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ and how we align are so fine we may not get fully understand coming up today after Greg Lawry's counsel never commit an unknown future own God will have billion searches every single day. We know we googled 3 1/2 billion surgeons and there are 711. A lot of us are curious today on a new beginning after Greg Lawry speaks to one of the most serious issues of the Christian life.
How can we discover God's will for a long, how can we align ourselves with. Discover how we can find the fulfillment of God you ever seen the bumper occur probably a car that says God is my copilot's events trigger only. If you have that sticker on your car if you do please take it off now actually saw cut of her response to a little bit satirical. It said dog is my copilot and son of God's sake, that's sacrilegious.
Honestly, I like the dog one better than the God one let your dog beer copilot God doesn't want to be your copilot. God doesn't even want you in the cockpit. Okay, so this is part of the problem is is is we sort of envision God is God is my copilot God is my wing man.
God is my close buddy.
Well, you know, look yes it's true. God will be your friend, but oh no he wants to be so much more than that.
You see he is the Potter and you are the clay he is the shepherd and you are the sheep. He is the master and you are the servant we gotta get this one figured out if we read over in first Corinthians 619 that our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in this which we have from God, were not our own. We understand that you're not sure own comfortable say well you know my wife my husband my car my golf, my career my ministry my future my past, my thoughts, my plans, my, my, my, okay, it's okay. They have a sense of the connection to all those things but we need to always remember that everything belongs to God. Your possessions belong to God. Your families belong to God, your future and all belongs to God to listen to this.
Our objective in life is not to find out how God can bless our dreams and ambitions. Let me say that again because this is not always what we hear being taught today.
Sometimes even in churches.
Our goal in life should not be to get God to bless our dreams and ambitions. Listen, our goal or objective is to find kids plan and align ourselves with it.
This is really important. Some of your thing will God doesn't care about my dream. God doesn't care about me but since he cares but our goal is not to get God there would we want him to do. Our goal should be doing what he wants us to do because eventually you'll figure out God's plans for you are better than your plans for yourself so never be afraid to commit an unknown future to unknown God. That's what it means to be a servant. Okay, that's what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. Jesus told the story about a group of servants that were given the task to fulfill that the end of the story.
He said in the same way when you will be me. You should say run were the servants that we have simply done our duty. Sometimes people say great, thank you for all that you do and the sacrifices you make and you know. Thank you for the compliment, but honestly I just do my duty and the same is true of all of us were just doing what the Lord has called us to do. I don't deserve any special applause or praise for what I do, nor do you were just doing our duty, they were just being disciples of Jesus Christ. CS Lewis said and I quote all were called to salvation are called to discipleship. No exceptions, no excuses, but listen, here's the secret many do not know care is this sweet spot of the Christian life effect. This is where you will find life is that what I mean when I say sweet spot like in a rocket. There's a sweet spot and if you hit it you have the maximum control and affect others as sweet spot in the Christian life wert almost becomes effortless where you enjoy that life enjoy the God want you to experience an attempt vetted right here in the great commission.
So let's look at it again.
Matthew 28 we read these words. Jesus speaking go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit.
Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I've given you, and be sure of this, I am with you even to the end of the age were the series now on the topic of discipleship.
The last message I asked you are you as disciple. Now I'm defining what a disciple actually is because I'm committed by Jesus to go into all the world and make disciples.
And we also will.
That's an amazing idea. Let's do it, but you can't make a disciple if you are not first. A disciple yourself, it takes one to make one as I pointed out all disciples are Christians, but not all Christians are necessarily disciples, so here's what it comes down to is a follower of Jesus. I should either be being disciple right should be discipling others and sometimes I'm doing both their so that I'm discipling and someone that's discipling me as it will dissolve us discipling mean it means and I'm thinking a younger believer under my wing. I'm helping them to get established in get more mature spiritually, but at the same time I have someone in my life that's helping me to grow as well.
This is something were all called to be either be a disciple or a disciple maker, and preferably both at the same time orders at start, no-brainer, right here in the great commission be baptized. What is Jesus say go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father son and the Holy Spirit.
Yesterday we baptized a lot of people down there, a Pirates Cove in Newport Beach and it was such a joy to talk to people, young and old who would been impacted by the gospel and there was one gentleman that came up to me and he said you know a Greg, I've been waiting to be baptized for 30 years and my response was I'm really glad you're here. But why did you wait so long. I don't know guider no either. I said, well, better late than never but you know if you've accepted Christ. You should be baptized with his baptism is necessary for salvation will Bible study is necessary for salvation, nor is prayer, nor is attending church. What are those good things to do and Jesus told me specifically in the great commission actually broke it out so this is important to him. So we start in the simple act of obedience to be baptized will begin their and the number two he says obey his command called all the world, making disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father son of the Holy Spirit to teach these new disciples to obey all my command before I can teach others to obey his commands. I first should be obeying his command. What are his commands.
Well, there are many I could cite but let me sum it up in the simple way. Jesus said if you will love me with all of your heart, soul and mind and love your neighbor as yourself. You fulfill the command. Think about a person can apply love God with all of my heart and all of my soul and all of my mind I would never want to break the first four of the 10 Commandments which deal with my relationship with God that I really love the Lord with all my heart, soul, mind, I would want to have another God before them. I wouldn't want to worship a false image. I wouldn't want to take his name in vain if I love my neighbor as myself. I would not want to lie to them or steal from them, or covet something that belongs to them and I certainly would not want to murder them so by focus on loving God with all of my heart, soul and mind, and my neighbor as myself. I will fulfill the commands he gets knowledge of gears and go to our second passage overlooked 14 were Jesus really breaks down what it means to be a disciple of verse 26 he says that many men comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brother, sister Jensen is on life.
He cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.
I made this point my last message, but in case you didn't hear and I want you to know what it is number one of you want to be as disciple, you must love Jesus more than anyone or anything else, you must love Jesus more than anyone or anything else. When Jesus says hate your father, mother, brother, sisters, etc. he's not being literal because in other passages.
I'm told to love my wife as Christ loves the church I told you even love my enemies.
Jesus is using a contrasting term to make a larger point in affect the saying your love for God should be so intense that your love for others would be like hatred in comparison. You need to love Jesus more than you love your wife.
You need to love Jesus more than you love your husband you need to love Jesus more than you love your children, you need to love Jesus more than you love your stuff you need to love Jesus more than you love your life itself is a well I don't know if that's possible. Always possible and listen to this. If you really love Jesus as you want to give you more love for that. Henri husband of yours if you really love Jesus says you want to give you more love for that I say it sometimes. On rare occasions, 19 wife if you really love Jesus says you want to give you love for those crazy teenagers if you love Jesus as you want to give you love more love for those overbearing parents right you give you more love. You'll expand your hearts so you must love God more than anyone or anything else. Love him more than your career love you more than your ministry love him more than even your life. The Lord told us to take apart and follow him.
What does that mean how do we do that Pastor Greg has insight on that next we send these daily studies via radio satellite over the Internet. We don't always know how these messages are touching lives. Pastor Greg on your daily Bible studies. One morning listening to the radio became so interested in the way you explain the Bible but then the station went off the air. I searched and was able to find your Google podcast and now listen to every day, the way you explain the Bible stories finally let me connect with the Lord in a way I've never been able to before attending Christian school and church that I'm thankful to your ministry because it was like someone finally turn the lights on and connected the dots.
After all these years it took someone across the country for me to finally explain things in a way I can understand. I appreciate you and thank you for turning on the light were so grateful to hear of the change lives to harvest ministries. If you'd like to download Pastor Greg's podcasts.
You can do that through Google Apple course modifying or go to harvest.org that's harvest.org will today.
Pastor Greg is offering important principles about being a genuine disciple. It's a study called what is a disciple.
Point number two, the disciple must take up the cross and follow Jesus. Verse 27 whoever does not bear his cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. Luke's gospel over in the ninth chapter Jesus addresses this again with a little more detail. He says if anyone desires to come after me and be my disciple, he must deny himself, listen to this and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever seeks to save his life will lose it. Whoever loses his life for my sake will find so I know what I make a statement like this.
It sounds pretty unappealing. You imagine yourself living this miserable life you know sacrificial life and unhappy life. But as I said in the beginning. This is the way to live as a Christian you furtive in vision, like your friends going up. Hey, want to go out and get dinner and a movie that I know I don't why not because I'm bearing the cross while okay what is. I mean it means I I'm eating bread very old stale bread drinking water and just staring at the wall. All the while dressed in sackcloth. That's not bearing the cross that screen where okay there's nothing to do with bearing the cross because the fact of the matter is, when you're really bearing the cross. You'll be experiencing life.
Don't forget Jesus said if you lose your life for my sake you'll find it. I mean, we want to find the meaning of life and in people so you know I'm learning to love myself, but I just don't love myself, but I'm learning to love myself. You love yourself so much already know I don't because I'm overweight and I don't think I'm attractive and I don't like the way I looked in the last 5000 so please that I shot them posted on Instagram yesterday yeah because you love yourself you took 5000 selfie because you love yourself.
You're aware of your appearance because you love yourself you think about yourself. So don't say your learning to love yourself you already love yourself.
That's is an established fact. Jesus is a know the objective is not to learn to love yourself is to deny yourself and it's two losers and then you'll find yourself somebody will say well I am trying to find myself and that's just another way of saying I want to do something really selfish right now. I hate the expression, by the way to go find myself just shut up okay stop because this is what I hear when the husband's ready to walk out on the wife and kid. This is what I hear when the wife is abandoning her family. This is what I hear when a person is going to make really bad decisions.
I'm trying to find myself. No, Jesus says you actually want to find yourself, lose yourself and how do you lose yourself answer by taking up the cross and following him. But what does it mean to bear the cross we use this phrase cross bearing for a lot of things. Jenna, you might say of your husband. My husband is my cross to bear in life and you might be saying that about you two. By the way, wife my cross to bear. Is this neighbor I have are my cross to bear.
Is this problem I face a know that's not your cross to bear. Here's what your cross to bear, simply as a means you died yourself by dying to yourself or losing yourself. You ultimately find yourself you know what you mean by dying to self. Let me illustrate dying to self means resisting the temptation to do what everybody else does dying to self means to a single person waiting to have sex until you're married, dying to self.
If you're married person means no sex after marriage. Let me rephrase that. Was someone beside your spouse sometimes died yourself means set down the remote control and/or the cell phone and/or the tablet device and/or whatever electronic gadget you're holding onto the control for the videogame and pick up your Bible and read it dying here self means praying when you'd rather be sleeping, died yourself in taking up the cross means forgiving someone who is hurt you if you feel like it or not dying here.
Self taken of the cross means swallowing your pride in telling someone about Jesus dying here self and taking up the cross means doing what God wanted to do instead of doing what you want to do dying here self and thinking of the cross means leaving your comfort zone and engaging the person in conversation about Jesus Christ. There's hundreds, maybe even thousands of opportunities every day to died yourself a dime yourself means getting up in the morning and going to church because were not always in the mood to go to church. Are you always in the mood really your you like it here not know sometimes we are and I heard about a husband and wife that were getting ready for church in the morning and the white goat as a husband had done a thing to get ready. She's ready to walk out the door she said honey, going to church. Margie ready says I'm not going to church today. She said wife says I'll give you three reasons why the people in that church are coal, number two, no one down there like think number three. I just don't want to go. She said I'll give you three reasons why you need to go to church today. Number one. The people there are warm number to some people, like you, and number three you're the pastor so get dress. Let me ask you this is ever been a time where you really didn't want to go to church is one of the mood or yeah the sniffles are there were eight drops of rain or whatever it was right. I love how you know there's a little ring we could go to church but go to the mall of the movie cell right so whatever was easy. I don't know were going to church because that's what we do, that's a priority in this him so you went in the moment the worship began you. I was supposed to be here today. At a time right. I really don't read the Bible. I'm too busy to be the Bible and you open it more out of obedience almost in and then a verse just jumped off the page and spoke directly to a situation you are dealing with preservative time work.
You really didn't want to leave your comfort zone and engage a person you didn't know, in a conversation about Jesus, but you did it out of obedience as a way of denying yourself and taking up the cross. That conversation blew open and it resulted in the person coming to Christ is seen that's what it means, we die to ourselves. We take up the cross and follow Greg Lord, pointing out the self-sacrificing life of discipleship. How was the most rewarding life. We can live and there's more to come as pastor Greg continues his series called discipleship the road less taken hereunder new beginning now to get an instant replay of today's message go to harvest.org and look for the study called what is a disciple and not a word about a brand-new resource were making available a pastor Greg is here to introduce the book and Shannon bream our special guest Shannon the is an attorney. She's a journalist and the chief legal correspondent with the Fox News Channel. She's married to Sheldon brain and she's written a number of books in her newest book, the women of the Bible speak the wisdom of 16 women and their lessons for today. So Shannon, thanks for being with us. I'm sure you're very busy Sia. I see on TV all the time: kind of feel like I sort of know you but it's great to actually speak with you guys tell me great to meet you too. Hey I want to do this we little excerpt from the beginning of your book because I thought it sort of set the stage for what you're writing about them quoting from you now.
For many of us 2020 was a year filled with pain, physical, financial, emotional and mental.
We felt isolated kept away from our loved ones and disconnected from our houses of worship and the sense of community they provide. There were adversities we could not have imagined we'd face in our lifetimes hardships piled up one on top of the other and yet there was hope. There was refuge there was inspiration and healing throughout the Bible.
Women are at the center of some of the most critical events. They were bold and brave finding courage in the moments when everything hung in the balance. They were voices of truth and reason and then you write you can watch these women come alive as we dig into their lives significant. So Shannon then it's you know it's an interesting thing to me.
A lot of preachers try to be political pundits and here you are a news correspondent, a journalist and attorney who deals with these issues every day is a part of your work and yet you write a book about Bible stories and specifically about women of the Bible I think it's really cool and what what motivated you to pick this as your topic at this particular point in time. Thank you and I'm certainly no theologian, and lean not on a lot of people in my life. You are folks like you that I could call up and say hey what is this word meaning Greek. Tell me more about this passage I learned so much the writing this book.
OxyContin me about the idea of doing a book on women in the Bible and immediately jumped at the opportunity.
Seeing what and wonderful open door that they have always allow me to talk about my faith and to be able to spread God's word and I'm super thankful for that minister was really really difficult. It's not figure I would take to write a book with a pandemic in a presidential election. I come the Supreme Court on the untimely death of Justice Ginsburg met with my confirmation battle that through that I was working on this the whole time and just felt blessed and encouraged group in the church. I knew the stories that I didn't really know them in the details and back story on intimate to the history and they really came alive for me in a new way of writing this book and I was really so encouraged the problems of the women centuries ago are very much like a painful problems that women have now and 2021 lead to stories of women who were weighed out in fertile dealing with heartbreak and betrayal. Emily says that seem to have no cure and no hope. And I thought these are all universal problems. They carry through time. Just as we see God never changes over time. He's the same guy who intervened in the stories and when women made bad turns in bad mistakes and that messes with their stories because we wanted to include those in here tumor off-line guy can work through all of them and I think he works to all our stories more now if were willing to put our faith in hand to trust him with the process will I would think you Shannon for writing this book. The women of the Bible speak subtitled the wisdom of 16 women in their lessons for today and you can order this from us here harvest that will send you for your gift of any size.
Yeah, that's right. And as you can tell it's full of substantial encouragement for Christian women but really, for all of us. It's deep and thought-provoking but also easy to follow and find the practical principles for our lives.
And you know with Mother's Day coming up this Sunday. This is the perfect time to give this to the special mom in your life so letter sent you the women of the Bible speak will send it to say thank you for your investment in the work we do each day.
Just try to set a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call 1-800-821-3300. We can take your call anytime 24 seven that's 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org pastor Greg you been teaching the Bible here on radio for many years now. In fact, almost 40 years, but you have some exciting news about television yeah Dave.
I'm very excited to share this news with our listeners and supporters listen everybody were launching a new television program called harvest with Greg Laurie to major TV networks across the United States. This show will air on Sunday mornings on some networks you might be familiar with like the lifetime network FOXBusiness network Newsmax DayStar TBN and kcal here in Los Angeles.
Combining these air times will reach listen to this. Drumroll please. Over 16 million viewers annually. That is exciting and some of these are secular TV networks so were reaching more people who need to hear the gospel so I'm really excited about this and am also grateful for harvest partners and donors who have helped us launch this new TV program join us Sunday morning. You can find air times that harvest.org when next I pastor Greg continues his serious discipleship the road less taken with the disciples are those who make the biggest impact on culture is coming up next time, find a new beginning. Greg Moore and everybody thinks for listening to this podcast to learn more about harvest ministries follow this show and consider supporting it.
Just go to harvest.org and find out how to know God personally go to harvest.org and click on know God