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May 20, 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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Learn firstname.lastname@example.org and while you're there, browse our library of free e-books designed to help you grow in your faith on wing Christians can be closer to what we call a family word family speaks of close and mutual concern coming up today to read Maurice's believers have the privilege of being in God's family. Jesus is anyone will. My father is my brother and sister.
So when you become a Christian, you become a part of you and part of our earthly family family of God. There are privileges and responsibilities will begin after Greg Laurie points out how it sometimes difficult to hear about our faith earthly family.
Sometimes one family does want to hear about the other one today some good insight on what got most earthly relationship. We all have only of some causing some families are big and loud. Some families are small and quiet. Pretty much every family is. I would say generally dysfunctional. If your families a bit weird. Welcome to the club we all have strange uncles and weird cousins.
Did it ever occur to you that you're the weird cousin or your the strange uncle in your family. You probably are. Every family unit has its form of dysfunction I came from a dysfunctional family. Knowing the head of a dysfunctional family. It was comedian George Burns who once said and I quote happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close knit family in another city." So you can probably relate to just what Jesus had a family to get a mother name Mary and a father named God top that Jesus also had brothers and sisters in Jesus had a childhood mysterious childhood, no doubt. After all, there's never been a man who was ever walk the earth that was fully God and fully man. He was not a man becoming God, that's impossible.
He was God who became a man, God came near, Jesus was God with skin on Jesus was God walking among us. God how to face here in the gospel of Mark we see him beginning his public ministry. You know the ministry of Christ lasted around 3 1/2 years, but yet he live 30 years before that 33 years total. So what was he doing for the first 30 years of his life whited me about 15 year ministry. Why only basically three year ministry answer, because Jesus was out living our life.
He was breathing our air. He was experiencing our pressures he was facing our temptations and ultimately he would die are that I know it's hard for us to wrap her mind around the fact that God became an embryo that God came among us as a helpless little baby born in a manger that need to be cared for and nurtured and nursed, like any other little baby.
But that's exactly what happened and what we call the nativity when he was in that major he cried like any other baby and he grew up like any other child felt like he was in the manger with you will be ability to speak hello, Mary, Joseph, on Jesus. I'm here to mission the he was just a little baby that grew up like any other baby and grew physically, and in grew in every other way about Bluetooth 52 says he grew in height and wisdom and was loved by God and by all who knew him, so he had the privilege is a deity that he laid aside as he walked among us as a man, he never ceased to be God, but he walked among us as a human being. He never sinned, wants, not only did he never sin, but he never even had a thought out of harmony with the will of his father in heaven. Jesus said I always do the things that please him who could say that, but Christ himself.
He always did the things that please the father and I would think he was the model child. I mean, if Joseph asked Jesus to go do some work in the carpenter shop. I doubt he would get a complaint of Mary asked Jesus to clear the table.
I'm sure he did it cheerfully. I'm confident that when they went down to the synagogue to worship Jesus totally engaged. I know he loved to hear the word of God. I know that he was the perfect child. In fact, we know that his siblings were probably challenged by that. Can you imagine a Mary saying to the brothers and sisters of Jesus kids. Why can't you be more like your older brother Jesus.
They might say mommies like perfect, actually. While he was indeed perfect. He was the perfect son one now he's beginning his public ministry is recorded in the Gospel of Mark and remembered Mark is a gospel of action, the word immediately is used over and over again. Jesus is on the move. Jesus is healing people. Jesus is delivering people from demonic possession. Jesus is forgiving sin city has been confirmed by his father at the baptism when the father says of Jesus. This is my beloved son, and who I am well pleased when the Holy Spirit comes upon Jesus in the form of a dog so question how does the biological family of Jesus respond to all of this.
How does Mary respond. How do the other siblings respond. That brings us to our text Mark chapter 3 verse 22 verse 21.
One time Jesus entered a house on the crowds we get together again soon. He and his disciples couldn't even find time to eat what is family heard what was happening. They tried to take him away, saying he's out of his mind way what he's doing all these miracles, he's busy doing the work of the father and his family shows up and they wanted to come back home because they say he's out of his mind. This brings us to point number one. The hardest people to reach with the gospel are those were closest to you. The hardest people to reach with the gospel. Are your parents or your children or your husband or your wife or your brothers or your sisters, though sometimes people say the reason I'm not a Christmas because I this follower of Christ was a hypocrite. Do you think Christ was ever a hypocrite. Do you think he ever said or did anything that was inconsistent with who he was. Well of course the answer is no. He was a perfect example.
Yet they still did not believe in him and in fact we even read that Jesus could do no miracle in his hometown of Nazareth because of the unbelief of the people, and Jesus himself said a prophet is not without honor except in his own country. So be patient with your family. You may think because I'm a preacher that all of my family believed immediately. The fact of the matter is, is my mom was not responsive to me when I first came to Christ. No, I have to admit I probably was a bit on the overkill side and I hit her with both barrels of my gospel gun telling her she needed to repent of her sins, but it took not just years it took decades from my mother to come around. I believe in Jesus Christ and in fact she did not really come to believe in him until the end of her life and the same was true of her husband Bill who I tried to reach with the gospel. I didn't really reach him until the very end of his life so Jim the hardest people to reach are those in your family, let me say a word to you if you're married to a nonbeliever, especially if you're a woman and maybe you came to Christ and your husband is not come to Christ yet and you're saying how do I reach him preach a sermon to them every day up with little gospel tracts in the sandwiches and when he has lunch so I did to them and that'll reach of no actually what you need to do is probably not given many more sermons you need to just live it. First Peter chapter 3 talks about the way to reach a nonbelieving person is not by your words but by living the word is one translation puts it this side and preaching of a lovely wife, so there comes a point where they don't need more sermons need to see it demonstrated but now as our story progresses, we see the family of Jesus showing up again. Now I'm not sure what happened to bring this event about but they let him know that they were there and maybe they wanted special attention or a better seat in the Howell server. Whatever it was, but working to Jesus, your family are care to visit with you.
We read in Mark chapter 3 verse 31 Jesus mother and brothers came to see him. They stood outside and sent word for him to come out and talk with them. There was a crowd sitting around Jesus and someone said your mother and brothers are outside asking for you. Listen to this response of Christ, who is my mother nor my brothers. Then he looked at those who are around him and he said this is my mother. These are my brothers and sisters. In fact, anyone who does the will of my father is my brother and sister and mother, Eunice, to point number two we become Christians were placed in a new family. Jesus could have elevated his mother. At that point, or even his siblings for the same day who was my mother who wore my brothers and sisters. Those that do the will of God reminding us that when you become a Christian, you become a part of a new family now that doesn't mean you're not still part of your biological family. But sometimes the bond between Christians can be closer than what we call the blood bond we say that were related by blood. But what would become followers of Jesus are we not also related by blood. The blood of Jesus Christ that was shed on the cross for all of our sin. Your Greg Laurie will have the second half of this message in just a moment. It's so encouraging when we hear the listeners are growing by hearing the studies peer pressure. Greg and I found Christ in the mid-1970s. My Christian life I first heard your preacher learned about evangelism at your first harvest Crusade in Anaheim's day you were my friend Bill over my life. Jesus protected me time and time again including viewing the I lived on the coast now for over 25 years and recently read with you for your podcast where I found each podcast is a real Bible study for me and I'm learning so much that is causing me to know God's word more intently nearly 79 years old on enthused and excited about my faith like I was.
Those many years ago. Thank you for helping me rekindle my fire of love for Jesus and my old year lies is wonderful reached pastor Craig's teachings from God's word have made an impact on this man's life, and if you'd like to listen to pastor Craig's podcasts. You can do that through Google, Apple, or spot a fine or just go to harvest.org that's harvest.org. What were talking about family relationships today. Pastor Greg continues today study from a series the gospel for busy people.
Jesus now establishes his new family of disciples of again a real list of the men that are used to change the world. Some are familiar names. Others, not as familiar.
But as we look at these people we see they had such diverse personalities. We see these people because we recognize in their probably like relatives. We already have an eclectic bunch, no doubt about it, but these are the ones that Jesus called recently I watched an old movie from my childhood. It was called the dirty dozen ever see that movie starring Lee Marvin and Charles Bronson and others is a story of this military guy that goes to a prison and recruits a bunch of guys, some headed for death and others who would spend the rest of their lives in prison and he recruited some for a special mission, so they were called the dirty dozen. I'm not suggesting that the 12 apostles were the dirty dozen, but I am suggesting they were very ordinary individual. We might call them questionable hires, but each one was hand selected by Jesus, and they could not be more different from one another.
We read about them in Mark chapter 3 verse 16. Now he appointed Simon to whom he gave the name Peter, James, a son of Zebedee and his brother John, to them he gave the name Blodgett in this which means Sons of thunder. There was Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas James said about Phineas Thaddeus Simon the zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed them so right at the top of the list of very familiar name. Simon Peter, apart from Jesus himself.
No other name is mentioned in the New Testament more than Simon Peter. He was a central figure of Jesus three years of ministry and also for the first three years of the early church and Jesus spent more time with Peter than anybody else. Another thing I would point out no other person speaks as often or is spoken to as often as Simon Peter. I might also add no other disciple is reproved and corrected as often as Simon Peter was seen with distinguished Peter from others, is he would just say what he was thinking. You know how you up inside thoughts and outside thoughts and you veto a lot of things you think about don't see them. Peter seem to just blurt out whatever he was thinking. You always knew you where you stood with a big fisherman. I think he always meant well. He just didn't think things through. So if we were to compare this to family reunion. Peter, sort of like your lovable loud uncle who will hold court you know after the meal, telling great stories and entertaining everybody that was Peter very out spoken, and on one occasion he made this amazing statement to Jesus.
He said in Matthew 1927 the Christ Lord we left everything to follow you. What then will there be there for us the words you say Lord we given up everything to follow you one scented for us a mean one thing to just blurt out that was Peter.
He thought, it's really done. I'm just going to say where the most familiar statements of Peter speaking is that when Jesus was transfigured, he took Peter, James and John with them and by the way, we often think the reason that he took those individuals with them is because they were the more elite apostles. After all, he took Peter, James and John with him in the garden of Gethsemane. It should, Peter, James and John with him when he went to raise the daughter of gyrus that he took Peter, James and John with him to the moment of transfiguration. I have a different theory. I think the reason he may have taken them with them more often than the others, is because he wanted to keep his eye on them when I was in school I was always disrupting class no more than one occasion the teacher would say Greg Laurie I want you to pull your desk up right next to mine so I can keep an eye on you. Maybe that's why Jesus Peter James and John closer to him will anyway hear Peter James and John.
They fall asleep and they wake up in one of the AC picture this. Here's Jesus Christ shining like the sun on one side of Kim is Moses on the other side of Kim is Elijah and they're having a conversation now this is what we would call a holy moment. This is one of those times are you say nothing. You just take it in. You just observe it, but Peter thought it would be a good moment to say a few words. So, he says out loud, it's good we are here. Let's build three tents, one for Jesus, one for Moses and one for Elijah and one of the gospel tells us this he said because he did not know what to say they here's a thought with you don't know what to say don't say anything. There's an old proverb it's not a biblical one, but it has some truth in it which basically says when you don't know what to say don't say anything because it's better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and dispel all doubt. Will Peter learned that out here almost wonder if Moses turned to Jesus and said who was that guy see with you.
It's Simon Peter. He gets excited to know if it's good we are here Peter blurts out on another occasion Jesus revealed to Peter the fact that he was going to be martyred for his faith. Peter immediately pivots over to John and says what about this man. Another words of Joni Barnard.
I met tremble excited about that. What about him. And Jesus gives an amazing response.
He says if I choose to keep him alive until I return, what is that to you. As for you, follow me my speaking to somebody right now that is just wondered why their life is gone the way it's gone. Maybe you've looked at somebody else's life leaves the Lord, why why are they being blessed more than I've been blessed.
So why did this tragedy, but follow me. Why are these things happening in. Here's a responsive price to you. What is that to you. You just follow me. Listen Peter was not only inquisitive. He had initiated one occasion Jesus said who do men say that I am. And Peter says while they say a lot of things, but I'll tell you why think you are Jesus and okay go ahead, he says, I think you're the Christ the son of the living God and Jesus says flesh and blood did not reveal that you Peter, but my father was in heaven.
And then he says your name is Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church not appear in court. But on the statement that Peter made your the Christ the son of the living God, the church is built on the foundation of Simon Peter got helpless at this, the church is built on Christ himself.
The chief cornerstone. But Peter got a right and then Jesus went on to talk about the fact that he was going to be betrayed in crucify them. Peter begins to rebuke and Jesus right to his face, he rebukes them safe. Be that far from you, Lord, and and Jesus said get behind me Satan, for you do not understand the things of God. So I want again Peter was being led by the father what he said and on the other can the devil God in the details and he made that statement discouraging Christ from going to the crucifixion flawed character. Yes, according to church tradition.
Peter did die the death of a martyr and according to church tradition, Peter was crucified upside down, but he was faithful to the end Osher.
He denied the Lord, but he was there with Jesus in the last hours of his earthly ministry, along with the apostle John, and though he had his lapse in this setback. He also had his mega come back when Jesus recommissioned him again. Yet he was part of God's family, and then we have Andrew, the brother of Peter.
They couldn't be any more different if Peter was like her loud uncle at the family reunion. Andrews like the quiet cousin. While Peter's talking Andrews clearing the table and working behind-the-scenes effect was actually Andrew who brought his brother Peter to Jesus in John 141 we read the first thing Andrew did every realize that Jesus was the Messiah.
Was he brought his brother Peter and he said to him, we found the Messiah and he brought Kim to Jesus and that's what Andrew was always doing bringing people to Jesus. And what a great thing to be known for bringing people to Jesus. Remember the story of the feeding of the 5000 and the people were hungry and they didn't know what to do and Andrew Whitten found the little boy was some loaves and fishes, any brought Kim to Jesus, and you know we give a lot of attention to the Simon peters of the world, but we must not forget the fact that there are also the Andrews remember if there were no Andrews.
There would be no Simon Peter people that were faithfully and quietly behind today on a new beginning pastor Greg Laurie is discussing family relationships, our earthly family matters and heavenly family matters. There's more to come as this study continues. If you missed any part of our discussion today you can hear a replay of the presentation by going to harvest.org just look for the title a new kind of family and that is a real privilege to have Shannon bring them with us today. She's, of course, anchor of Fox News at night on the Fox News Channel and she is also author of the brand-new book were making available called the women of the Bible speak pastor Greg MSN and I was wondering, I mean you're on the Fox News Channel.
It's a number one news channel really in the country right now and you're very open about your faith and we really appreciate that you're really a bright light.
You do such a great job as a journalist is a newscaster and an and also your coverage of the Supreme Court and explaining things that are happening there that are not always clear to everyone including me, but I swear desk you like what are some of the challenges you face like you note in the job you have other Fox News. Maybe some of the difficulties you deal with just a in in the workplace or challenges or opportunities is tell us a little bit what it's like to be a believer in that setting.
Well, I think anything working in media will take. That's 24 seven are pretty much think I love what you do an ideal. I felt very blessed and very grateful to be on this assignment forever.
How long the Lord has me here that the truth is, especially of the last year and we all had see you looking watch his people around us and in our own lives has suffered great loss. People have been frightened today had been very ill. We've lost people. We laugh people of lost jobs. They don't know how to hold their household together when it's been an incredibly painful time we've had unrest over racial divisions and you know Christ for reconciliation where that is such an open wound in this country as well. We have so many things that need so much healing and so much attention so there are times that reporting the news gets very difficult because he sees such destruction and such heartbreak over the last year went down has made me do is read deeper into my faith, I've always been Simeon tries to spend time in the word every day. I know I need the equipping. I know I need that forgiveness every day.
But really, over the last year and 1/2 or so it's been okay my priorities. That's when again and then the very first thing I do is I pray I get the word turn on my phone once I do that, you know, I'm off to the races with emails and texts and people who need things and you know things pulling innocent bad news but I really nice last year and now I can't wake up and turn on see how many more people have died. How many jobs have been destroyed cities that had been burned.
People who are hurting, I got a B in the word first for me on it was a wake-up call that I had found comfort and things that are not the Lord, and anything short is him is not here, and it's not where I need to be rooted in laying out my treasure sell. It was a good wake-up call for me to remind myself that I need to spend that time in the word and routing and not every day that I can take on the rest of it. The Lord has planned and I can be on Sunday with a longer fuse and sound more compassionate and more empathetic and not rattled by things in this world because it will all pass away sages or there's a lady who's in the epicenter of news and does. She starts her day off not with their phone, not with the news but with the good news with the word of God.
That's a good example for all of us in the good way that you know get ready for the day and get yourself prepared for the challenges that come your way.
Think that's excellent advice absolutely pastor Greg is speaking with Shannon bream today about her new book called the women of the Bible speak is full of revealing insight on women who made a difference. Women who are inspiring examples for us to follow like a subtitle of the book is the wisdom of 16 women and their lesson for today. Don't miss this encouragement will be glad to send a book your way to thank you for your investment and keeping pastor Greg's teaching coming your way. Each day you can write us at a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call 1-800-821-3300 call anytime 24 seven, 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org will yesterday give us the news about your new TV program called harvest with great glory.
So we really expanded on television.
I would say quite dramatically wanting to reach new people wanting to reach unexpected people in unexpected places like the lifetime channel and is a huge viewership. This is not what you would call a Christian channel it's more of a secular channel a mainstream TV outlet will be on the lifetime network also will be on the FOXBusiness network also on Newsmax. In addition to that will be in great Christian networks like DayStar and TBN if you want to find out more about air times go to harvest.org ever have questions about your faith.
Areas of uncertainty pastor Greg says you're not alone. Next time he assures us God can handle our toughest questions we shouldn't be afraid to bring them more on that next time beginning in the past with me possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God learn how to do, harvest partner, sign up for daily devotions and find resources to help you grow in your faith harvest.org