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The Golden Key to Spiritual Growth: Life Application

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
May 25, 2021 3:00 am

The Golden Key to Spiritual Growth: Life Application

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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May 25, 2021 3:00 am

Surprisingly, 20 to 30 percent of prescriptions for chronic health conditions are never filled . . . and about half are not taken as prescribed. Think about that. We go to the doctor, he or she examines us and gives us the medication to make us better. All we gotta do is take the pills . . . and an alarming number don’t! Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie points out the Bible’s prescription for growing spiritually . . . but, same thing, we’ve got to follow the Great Physician’s instructions.

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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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You are listening to a new beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast made possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God.

Visit our website and learn more about harvest partners@harvest.org as though your like the rooms on how you hear the word of God today your great glory. Which of the Bible, which opened next made me the most important one. Many of your students and humans of the teaching on the radio when you're in a small open devotions in God's amazing. It's important that you revisions for chronic are never filled out for not taken as prescribed. Think about the doctors he or she examines is the medication to make better we go to do is take the pills alarming numbers don't today on a new beginning glory point of the Bible growing same thing we gotta follow the great physician, my favorite is in the Bible. It's a parable.

I know the parable was a parable is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning in one of the look at the parable of the sower, which is a parable that reveals to us the golden key to spiritual growth. Mark chapter 4 verse one.

Once again, Jesus began teaching by the Lakeshore, a very large crowd soon gathered around Emily got to do about the side of the boat with the people remained on the shore and they taught them by telling many stories in the form of parables such as this one lesson says Jesus. A farmer went out to plant some seed and he scattered it across the field. Some fell on the footpath and the birds came and they that other seed fell on shallow soil with underlying rocketed sprouted up quickly, but it withered under the hot sun. He continues on other seed fell among thorns, or weeds that grew up and choked out the tender plants in a produce no fruit so other seeds fell on fertile soil and they sprouted brew and produced a crop that was 36. Even 100 times more that it been planted a listener. This then he said he was ears to hear, let him listen.

That's a parable of the sower say Wally, that's nice. What is it me that's exactly what the disciples said all that, what does this mean and how Jesus explains or interprets the story here in Mark chapter 4 verse 13 then Jesus said to them if you can understand the meaning of this parable. How will you understand all the other parables. Here it is the former plant seed by taking God's word to others. The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message but Satan comes at once and takes it away. Now the seed that fell on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message I receive it with joy, but they don't have deep roots and they don't last long, and they fall away as soon as they are problems or are persecuted for believing God's word of verse 18 of Mark chapter 4, but the seed that fell among the thorns of the weeds represents those who hear the word of God.

But all too quickly. The message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth and the desire for other things and no fruit is produced on the final category and then seed that fell on the good soil represents those who hear and accept God's word to produce a harvest of 30, 60 or even 100 times as much, as has been planted all right category number one I want to call them Highway. Here's Highway hearers and it's in verse 15 of Mark for the seed that fell in the footpath represent those who hear the message only to have Satan come at once and take it away.

So these are the people that that you know the they hear the word of God.

But it doesn't really penetrate their hard hearts. Jesus, as the birds come in me that you know you've been at McDonald's or some other place in the birds are hanging out that's free food man that food hits the ground so they swooped down and get it right so that's what happened. These are people that hear the word of God. But it doesn't really penetrate her hardened heart category number two I'm in a call them rocky road here.

Rocky road hearers verse 16. The seed that one on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately notice the word immediately. Immediately they receive it with joy. But since I don't have deep roots. They don't last long, they fall away and as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God's word so they start they take hold of it. But then it doesn't take root in their life. So the problem with this person.

Is there heart is shallow soil. There are some people to just get excited about a lot of things. Generally they have the fad that there into the new this new that maybe if new technology and all they want to talk about is a new technology or maybe it's a band they follow, and they're just really enamored with that. Or maybe at some of the thing there into the get in the fitness fitness fitness running and doing all the things and they abandon it. And these are people that are fickle by nature, you know, when you're at the market and there's all that stuff for sale. As you're checking out new, maybe I'll buy that by that thing you would normally but was her impulse purchases. They know exactly what they're doing. They done research to know what kind of items to put in front of you because there is always the impulse of person.

If you want to have an illustration of this. Just walk down your block maybe on some Saturday when people's garage doors are open and you see all these treadmills and workout machines. And do you see people usually in their home gym working out another usually a hanger verse stuff out of the washing machine and and people got excited. Spent a bunch of money on it but didn't follow through. This can happen in the can happen in people's relationship with God. Maybe one of the reasons a person like this would fall away is because they build their faith on the wrong foundation.

Listen, there's only one foundation to build your faith on its Christ, its Christ and Christ alone.

Don't build your spiritual life on a church in and of itself. Don't build your spiritual life on another person, or even on a pastor or a spiritual leader because people will let you down. Build your life on Christ.

He will sustain you and be there for you but it could be persecution about the Mark four verse 17 and since they don't have deep roots. They don't last very long. They fall away. Listen as soon as they have problems or are persecuted I will know about this when we decide to follow Jesus and you announce it to your family that doesn't always go over all that well doesn't, and I I came from a family of a lot of people that drank and smoked and I you know live that lifestyle and I used to do it myself and suddenly I'm the Christian and red Thanksgiving and I think we ought to have a prayer before we either think Luke what happened to Greg Edwards. The old gray well I was changed in and did so I was mocked and made fun of. Then harassed and and we all are were all persecuted in some way shape or form. In fact, the mark of a true Christian is they will be persecuted at the barometer of where your rat spiritually. Second Timothy 312 says if you desire to live a godly life. You will be persecuted so maybe this new believer. Or at least we thought they were new believers is going strong and someone makes fun of someone gives him a hard time.

They said that said, I'm out okay. They were never converted or it could be something else that pulls them away, but they never built their life on to Greg Laurie will have the second half of this message in just a moment, everybody Greg Laurie here. You know my uncle Fred Jordan at one of the first Christian TV programs out there. It was called church in the home. I remember watching it as a little boy when I was living with my grandparents we have church in the home for you every weekend is called harvest@homeinvitedharvest.org we have worship in a message of God's word. So join us this weekend for harvest of home harvest.joined us for pastor Greg's message the golden key to spiritual growth today study on a new beginning is based in the fourth chapter of Mark. Let's continue were almost to the golden key of spiritual growth. We have one more category before I'll call them thorny hearers thorny hearers. Let's look in verse 18 of Mark for together the seed that fell among the thorns, the weeds represent those who hear the word of God, but all too quickly.

The message is crowded out. Listen, you might want to underline the things by what the worries of this life. The lure of well and the desire for other things and no fruit is produced is not interesting. So this category. The thorny here is not like the person that shoots up of lots of excitement and enthusiasm. This is a person who seems to be growing spiritually but gradually they just walk away because other things become more important of them listen, not bad things necessarily. Notice it says the worries of this life, the concerns of this life. I mean there's nothing wrong with being concerned about how you get to put food on the table, sending along with having the concern about roof over your head something wrong with thinking about the needs and necessities of life. But this is a person that allows those things to become more important than God.

I mean, they believe it's good to read the Bible. They believe it's a great thing to pray. They're all for going to church is to say, don't do it like when others just doesn't think there's other things were doing. Instead, you know, other things that are more important to us and then reading the Bible would rather spend more time in social media and we like to spend more time watching movies or you know, we just don't have time for God will that that's a choice that you're making. It's been said, quote more is been killed by food than poison." And another quote.

The second best is often the worst enemy of the best for just the worries of this life. So basically of thorn or a weed if you will, is anything the crowds Jesus out of our lives begin. Verse 19 it's crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth is not interesting. The lure of well it's not even saying wealth itself.

It's the lure of well you know it's an interesting passage in first Timothy 610 that says the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves through with many sorrows that we further verse misquoted heavily people will say you know the Bible says money is the root of all evil back to the Bible doesn't say that money is neutral. It's it's amoral, not immoral in and of itself, you decide what money will be in your life. It's the love of money. It says the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil which while some have King James coveted after that they've aired they've left the faith and pierced their hearts through with many sorrows.

This is the personages obsessed with material things obsessed with getting a head financially obsessed with money money money. It's all they think about it's all they talk about and that can be something that distract you spiritually because it becomes more important to you than God, and you miss out on the true riches someone of these days when you die. And yes, you will die. We all will leave everything behind, as I've said before, you've never seen our hearse pulling a U-Haul trailer so don't make your life about all those things not having said that there's nothing wrong with being successful.

The Bible even says Jesus speaking if you'll seek first the kingdom of God, he will provide all the things that you need, but just don't make that your primary focus.

May Christ your primary focus, and now we come as promised to the golden key of spiritual growth ready for it.

Go to verse 20 of Mark for in the seed that fell in good soil represents those who hear and accept God's word and produce a harvest of 3016 and 100 times as much as been planted here.

It is the golden key this spiritual growth is how you hear the word of God me say that again the golden key to spiritual growth is how you hear the word of God to give verse 20 they hear and accept God's word.

Now we all know that we can hear something and yet not here a little right. Maybe your mom is lecturing you and teasing you need to remember to make your band and take out the trash and do your homework and in your mind you just here blah blah blah. And so you're not really paying attention your hearing audibly. But you're really not listening and so human, listening to a message from God's word. Have you been paying attention you been checking your phone constantly you're having a side conversation. I mean it. You need to listen to what God's word has just say see every category in the parable of the sower herded" but they didn't receive it. They didn't hear it in the right way the story is told of a Pres. Franklin Roosevelt, who often endured long receiving lines at the White House and then he complained that no one ever listen to what he said so we tried a little experiment out on one occasion there was a long line of people to meet him and he decided he was going to say to every single person I murdered my grandmother this morning so person comes in. Resident says I murdered my grandmother this morning and there were funny, although good to meet you Mr. Pres., that's fantastic. You're doing a great job. Another person comes I murdered my grandmother this morning. People kept coming by to give saying that I murdered my grandmother this morning. Obviously nobody was listing because nobody responded to it until the ambassador from Bolivia came along and he actually heard what the president said I armor to my grandmother this morning and the ambassador from Bolivia said well sir, I'm sure she had it coming. Well listen is we don't listen.

That's why Jesus says he that has ears to hear, let them hear listen to this success or failure in the Christian life depends on how you hear the word of God is not a light thing to hear Bible studies. I know many of you are Bible students and you Lucinda podcasting great biblical teaching on the radio and you're in a small group and you read devotions and God bless you. That's amazing your fantastic but it's important now that you hear is that you apply it, and that you obey it.

It's not see a dangerous thing to hear the word of God and not apply it in your own life. So what is the golden key of spiritual growth. Listen.

It's hearing it's receiving and it's obeying the word of God. Now in Luke's version of the parable of the sower which we been looking at as a little detail that's very important, he says, having heard the word they keep it and they bring forth fruit with patience patients. Now that's a word of patients from a root word in the Greek that means endurance, endurance okay so the way you get this endurance from the Greek is through trials. The trying of your faith produces endurance. And so if you been tried in your faith. If you been tested as a Christian that's making you stronger in the way you bring forth fruit is through endurance and getting through hard times getting through challenging circumstances and so this is very important for us and how do we bring for spiritual fruit. Jesus gives the answer in John 15. He says if you abide in me, you will bring forth much fruit. Then he goes on to say, and this is how you glorify the father by bringing forth fruit what is fruit its results, its actions, it's, it's evidence that you're a true follower of Jesus and how does that happen.

Jesus is by abiding in me. What is it mean to abide in him means a sink.

Your roots deeply into him and walk with him and cultivate your relationship with him.

Each and every day. Let me close by asking, are you abiding in Christ of you build your foundation on Kim. Which of these categories. Do you follow are you like the highway here that hears it and blows it off of this are really interested in that you're not interested in spiritual things are you like the rocky road here who cares it and you build it on the wrong foundation and with her in the sun. You don't stay with it. Are you like the person was their heart choked up at the cares of this life and the lure of wealth and other things. I hope not, you can be the person on good soil, you can bring for spiritual fruit.

The golden key to spiritual growth is simply that, and I hope you have that relationship with God. Listen to this. There are some people listening to me right now that are hearing this message of the gospel for the first time I'm, like the farmer thrown out the seat and maybe for the first time you've heard this simple message.

There is a God in heaven who loves you a God in heaven who wants a relationship with you. But the problem is your separated from him by your sin, but the good news is 2000 years ago God sent his son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for your sin. He paid the price for all the wrongs you've ever done in Christ rose again from the dead three days later and now Jesus who died and rose stands at the door of your life, and he knocks and he says if you hear his voice and open the door to commit, listen, you can of Christ come in your life right now son just thrown the seed out what you going to do with the are you going to say I want that I want Jesus in my life and I want my sin forgiven, it can happen for you right here right now it's about how I mean, would you when we do you pray, pray, a simple prayer and God will hear your prayer and even more, God will answer this prayer. Only you can say yes to Jesus Christ that's a choice you have when you open the door of your life right now and asked Jesus to come in if you want your sin forgiven, if you want to know that when you die you will go to heaven if you want to be ready for the Lord's return.

If you want to fill that big old keeping hole in your life and get rid of your guilt. If you want this relationship with God have been talking about them. Pray this prayer with me right now, you might bow your head. You could even prayed out loud, but just pray this prayer with me and this is a prayer warrior asking Jesus to come in your life. Pray these words Lord Jesus, I know that I'm a sinner but I know that you're the Savior who died on the cross for my sin and rose again from the dead.

I'm sorry for my sin and I turn from it now and I choose to follow you from this moment forward as my Savior and my Lord is my God, my friend, Jesus name I pray men Greg Laurie bring an important prayer with those making a change in the relationship with God today and if you yourself are prayed with Pastor Greg and made a decision for the Lord would like to help you get started in your new relationship with God. Let us send you our new believers growth packet. It's a collection of resources. Pastor Greg has assembled to help answer your questions and get you started off right in your walk of faith and will send it without charge. 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.

Again, dial 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org and click the words know God will repeat that contact information in just a moment or two and then a pastor Greg's wife Kathy is with us in studio today she's joined by author and news anchor Shannon bream.

Maybe you seen Shannon on Fox News at night on the Fox News Channel. She's written a new book called the women of the Bible speak. The subtitle is the wisdom of 16 women and their lessons for today here's Kathy. I love the idea. Whenever I'm studying characters from the Bible that I want to clean fun and learn friend and being brave like and step out and do the things they did. Sometimes I find myself a little intimidated by them because I think I'm not brave like Deborah I'm night bolts like the Allen others.

I want to know the source at their strength, the source at their bravery and to me when I find myself looking at the piercing and thinking that all those attributes and characteristics are ones that they came up with on their own that they were born and they were gifted, etc. you know what that discourages me but when I think wait a second. These women were ordinary women, their wives, their mothers, they lived in difficult times that I believe sat secret to their strength had to be something deeper than their own personalities of their own intelligence and how to be something more would you speak to that when when you think about these women in Scripture is that yes where inspired by them. But we have to be more than inspired by then. We need something to change us right exactly women are also different in the book. We do have people like Deborah who was courageous and immediately when I told her to go. She went women who were hesitant or downing, and very few men were all that experience that I think about Sarah when she was told that Abraham would be the father and she would be the mother of many nations and and older and older that she got. She took matters into her own hands trying to tell them how messy and she arrived when she was told that she would have a child and kind and confronted her and about laughing. She said no and I wasn't laughing as we were doing all the time. He knew that Sarah laughed when he made that promise. So I think it's good to recognize to that. There were women along the way to really dig down and who were hesitant.

Like I said with Queen Esther, she didn't immediately charging to King Xerxes and say I have a demand to make to save my people and she was fearful about going and she asked for the protection coverage of fasting before she went. So I think it's good to recognize that we all can be hesitant or fearful in our lives but stepping out in faith and trust in God.

What he's promised that's what he's told us or calling upon that strength through fasting and prayer on those are all tools at our disposal. So no matter what were born with gifts we do or don't have. I think we can grow and we can certainly develop a closer relationship and walk with God and through that gain strength to move forward. We can become better equipped and putting on the full armor and so I think there are so many ways for us to grow in our Christian life so that we can step up and the courage doesn't have to be our only have a source of strength that's far beyond our own which is understanding how we can call on me and rely on that and now it will be there when you find that kind of inside and more in Shannon bream's new book called the women of the Bible speak. The subtitle is the wisdom of 16 women and their lessons for today. Think of how this insight might encourage someone you know what sister or wife or mother grandmother will be glad to send you this new book to thank you for your investment. Your donation that helps keep Pastor Greg studies coming your way. Each day we won't be mentioning this book much longer, so contact us as soon as you can write us today at a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call 1-800-821-3300. We can take your call anytime. Again, dial 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org next time will consider our problems and anxiety. In light of the God calls us his own. It's a message that lays it on the line, God is bigger than your problem joined us next on we can add everybody thinks her list. Beginning this is a podcast made possible by harvest partners. So for more content that can help you know God and equip you to make him known to others or to learn more about how you can become a harvest partner. Just go to harvest.org


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