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Lost in Translation: What It Means to Bear Our Cross

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
June 4, 2021 3:00 am

Lost in Translation: What It Means to Bear Our Cross

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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June 4, 2021 3:00 am

So much of life is determined by our focus. Do we focus on career more than family, or family more than career? Do we focus more on pursuing goals, or enjoying the journey? Some focus on happiness . . . it’s their most important pursuit in life. And yet happiness isn’t found through direct pursuit. Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie points out that happiness comes when we put God before ourselves . . . when His will becomes our will. That’s our cross to bear.

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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 more@harness.org and while you're there, browse our library of free e-books designed to help you grow in your faith, one is also were all called their cross-links was the means knowing your so called human energies after having nearly everything else today. Pastor Greg Maurice's happiness ultimately comes from pursuing God nothing wrong with wanting to be happy but it's not like chasing putting God first in your life following buyer focus on career more than family family more than career focus more on pursuing goals, enjoying the journey. Some focus on happiness is their most important pursuit of life and happiness is found today on a new beginning after Greg Laurie points out, happiness comes when we put God before ourselves is will becomes will Jesus came to this earth to die for the sins of the world what his disciples the Because it was lost in translation. There will in their belief was he was going to establish an earthly kingdom then and there before Christ would wear a crown you would first have to bear across no condor text here in Mark chapter 8, his ministry in Galilee is coming to a close. This is a transitional moment in his ministry and for the first time he's going to speak very clearly and a great detail about why he has come. Let's look at our text Mark chapter 8 verse 31 then Jesus began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things to be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law that he must be killed and three days later rise again notice a detail in those words. He lay that out guys. Here's is going to but training is going to be the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law that I will be killed, but I will rise again in three days. He spoke plainly about this. A look of this, Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, Jesus turned and looked at the disciples, he rebuked Peter say get behind me Satan, for you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns stop there.

By the way, this is the first time Jesus ever taught specifically.

Clearly and I might even that graphically about the fact that she was going to die. I don't even think they heard the appeal be raised on the third day part they just heard he was going to die.

I don't think I'm overstating that when this was really shocking to them. He was effectively saying I Jesus who you've given up everything to follow. I'm going to be murdered in cold blood. I'm to be taken from you there thinking how could that be part of any planned you're the Messiah you're supposed to establish your kingdom here and now. How was this going to be part of something good for you to be taken and murdered and in fact we've given up everything to follow you, Jesus, and we made these great sacrifices, and so Peter thought that he would sort of set Jesus straight and we read in verse 22 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, and by the way the original language that implies it was done over and over again. I'm trying to imagine this. Peter says Jesus coming for second buddy lists, what you don't I rebuke you Jesus.

You cannot do this, he's rebuking God Almighty mean this is insane. And Jesus listens to them. And then Jesus says, I rebuke you Peter, the devil gave you that thought to determining from this course. I'm going to die on the cross and there's no getting around this. Now Jesus, shall we say shifts gears. Now he personalizes that an ineffective same look guys, I'm not the only one who's going to bear across.

You're going to bear across to affect you need to bear across and though these words were given some 2000 years ago. They ring true for us today.

These words that were about to read are not just for first century Christians. They are also for 21st century Christians with go back to Mark chapter 8 verse 34. Many call the crowd to him along with the disciples and said whatever want to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.

For receipts to save his life will lose it, nor loses their life for me and the gospel will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world and yet forfeit their soul are what can anyone give in exchange for their soul. If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when it comes in his father's glory.

There you can insert your name here if Greg will take up the cross and follow me. If Josh will take up the cross and follow me. If Mary will take up the cross and follow me.

This isn't just for the 12 disciples of Jesus.

This is for you. I said but I don't even know what that means to take up the cross and follow him. Well first he says deny yourself the word deny means to say no to yourself means to put God's will, above your will. What is this crossover all called to bear. Well, first let me tell you what it isn't, because I think we have a lot of misconceptions about the cross today. You know, we adorn our churches with massive crosses.

We got in the lawsuits about work crosses can be displayed week we tatted cross on our arm.

We we make it a fashion a sensory but in the first century know this. The cross was a repulsive symbol, by the way, the cross was not the symbol of the church in the beginning no later it came to be a symbol of the church, but back then, if you feuded cross that was a despicable symbol because the cross was an incredibly horrible way to die. It was not invented by the Romans, which always say it was perfected by them and the Romans crucified, thousands of people in line. Roman streets with them as a warning to not rebel against Rome. Crucifixion was saved for the worst of criminals. So if you were in town, getting food for dinner, and you saw a man walking by you surrounded by Roman soldiers bearing the cross you knew this man was gonna die a horrible painful torturous death so to even use the picture of her cross was repugnant and repulsive. No it's okay. It was a bad thing. So what is it mean that I think we use this phrase bearing the cross in ways that are not really biblical friend since her mother might say, well my cross to bear. It's my children and then the children of the mother sake large cross to bear, is our mother or someone else might see. Will my affliction or this difficulty I have is my cross to bear. You identify what ever issue you have or difficulty you have is your cross to bear.

That's not what it means to bear the cross. Listen to this to bear the cross means one thing it means, deny yourself and put God first, let me illustrate.

I've been a Christian now for 50 years and I've seen a lot of things I've seen gifted preachers shoot up like rockets and then come crashing down. I've seen people that have their lives changed by Jesus walk away from their faith. I've seen very talented people that I thought would do great things for the kingdom sort of flameout so as time is past. I'm not so much impressed by charisma is much as I am impressed by character and longevity friend since I'm more impressed with someone who just lives of people Christian life. I'm impressed by a husband who keeps his vows to his wife to a lifetime.

I am impressed by a wife who stands by her husband through thick and thin. I'm impressed by a Christian who stays with it every day, sunny days and stormy night. I am impressed by a believer who weathers the storms of life and continues to give glory to God because that's what following Jesus is all about is one person to find it being a Christian is long obedience in the same direction long obedience in the same direction 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 that 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@homeinvitedtoharvest.org we have worship in a message of God's word. So join us this weekend for harvested home harvest.what were learning the importance of bearing the cross of Christ as pastor Greg presents today's message called lost in translation. By the way, you can get a copy of Pastor Greg's new book, Billy Graham, the man I knew by calling one 808 21 3300 pastor Greg once again bearing the cross isn't as awful as you might think. Look at the statement of our Lord in verse 25 whoever will save his life shall lose it. But whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find. Here is what the Lord is effectively saying that you'll get your priorities in order. If you deny yourself and take up the cross, you will find fulfillment in life. Listen, there's nothing wrong with wanting to be happy and God is really telling you how to be happy but it's not by chasing happiness as one person said the pursuit of happiness is one of the least happy things a person can do so you don't find happiness by pursuing it you find it by putting God first in your life, and following him. This is contrary to our narcissistic culture of today are Sophie culture where people literally die trying to get the ultimate Sophie hanging off the side of a cliff or doing something dangerous. We want to look good. We want to put out this appearance that we have it all together were so obsessed with ourselves. The Bible even says by the way, one of the signs of the last days would be people would love only themselves. Second Timothy three is that not an accurate statement of today, people loving only themselves. Here's what you need to know selfish people are unhappy people. No studies that confirm this research is shown. This is true. Now you can get a momentary burst of what we might call a temporary happiness by doing something selfish. Another which is catering to yourself, you will they talk about with people shop that there's a certain euphoria that they can get a buying something they call a retail therapy right, you get sort of a rush so I got this thing but then you know you get it all anywhere once and you're not as excited by that thing. And so, experts say the basically selfish people are unhappy. One expert said selfish acts bring you happiness, but only in the short term but selfish happiness fades quickly and then drive you to more selfish behavior on the other hand, selfless acts bring happiness.

You know this from experience when you've done something for someone else. You put the needs of another person before your own. And after you did that thing you will experience this happiness. And that's really what Jesus is saying look instead of loving yourself and being obsessed with yourself, deny yourself and if you will lose your life you will find your life, what is it mean to deny yourself to give some examples to deny yourself means you're not embarrassed about your head and pray over a meal even around nonbelievers to deny yourself means you speak up for your faith even when it's unpopular to deny yourself means you take up the cross and resist the allure and temptation of this world to live for self and instead you choose to serve others to deny yourself in marriage is the put the needs of your mate above your own to deny yourself is to control your impulses as a single person to deny yourself means you get up every day and you will open up the word of God. I could just go on and on.

Is able. I don't know that sounds a good miserable like to listen to me this is a happy life. This is a joyful life because you have your priorities in order and this is why Paul wrote in Galatians 220 I am crucified with Christ. Nevertheless I live yet not I but Christ lives in me, leave a positive outcome that comes when you take up the cross and put Christ first verse 35 Jesus says if you'll seek to save your life will lose it, but if you lose your life for my sake and the Gospels, you will find.

Listen as I said earlier, there's nothing wrong with wanting to be happy.

God wants you to be happy he's even described in Scripture as the happy God, but go about it in the right way and don't chase after your desires, put his will above your own, and as you lose your life you will find your life by following Jesus Christ and one day you'll look back on your life and realize it was all worth it. Think of people who've wasted their lives in the pursuit of what the pursuit of success in the pursuit of so many experiences in the pursuit of whatever it is they think is important to listen to this one day your life will be summed up in the paragraph on a program that will be handed out at your funeral service and no one will really care about how much money you made. No one will really care about your awesome car collection, no one will really care about how many sexual experiences you had no one will really care about how famous you were but the want to talk about is all you were a selfless person you are a caring person you were a loving person we've seen so many who wasted their life that been to funerals and as her describing the person I'm thinking that they know the same person I'm you that's not the person I view. But how wonderful it is when a child of God passes into eternity. We can talk about how they follow Jesus and put him first in and what they did for other people and it brings glory to God. That is why I exist.

In closing Dr. this question of Jesus to his disciples who do men say that I have now let me ask you this. Who is Jesus to you. Is he the son of God is he the Savior of the world.

If so, then follow him pick up your cross and follow him and put God first in your life you know it's interesting how many times Jesus uses the word must in the verses we read. He said he must be killed. Then he said we must take up the cross and follow him, but none of this makes sense until we come into our relationship with him. So let me share with you one more must Jesus said to Nicodemus, the religious ruler 19 you must be born again. Let me ask you, in closing, are you born again.

Some people say we, you know, I'm a I'm a Christian. I'm just someone of those born again. Newsflash, you can be a Christian without being born again. Again Jesus said you must be born again. What is it mean it means to be born from above means you have a spiritual birth. Listen to this. If you're born once you'll die twice, but if you're born twice will die once. What is I mean if you're born once you'll die twice so you're born physically and then you'll ultimately die physically and spiritually. But if you're born twice. It is born physically and born again spiritually you'll only die once.

Yes, your body will die, but your soul, your spirit will live on. You must be born again, you need Jesus to come and live inside if you listen. Jesus came to this earth as we pointed out to be born in the manger to die on the cross for your sins for my sins because were all separated from him. We've all broken his commandments. Time and time again and then he rose from the dead, and he will give you complete forgiveness.

Can you imagine that sure I'm talking to somebody right now that is so ashamed of certain things that they've done and they wonder, could God ever forgive a person like me and the answer is a resounding yes. Not only can he forgive you he will forgive you right here right now.

You disable what you mean by that I mean by coming to the Lord in prayer. You could ask for his forgiveness and he will wipe away every sin you've ever committed still forgive it and I'll forget it. Jesus said in John 316.

By the way, in that same conversation with Nicodemus after he said you must be born again. He said for God so loved the world he gave his only begotten son. And whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life. You hear that you can have everlasting life, and you can know that you go to heaven one day. How do you do that by asking Jesus to come in to your life. So in a moment were going to pray. I'm going to extend an invitation to you to ask Jesus into your heart if you will, into your life to be your Savior and your Lord and girlfriend. You must be born again.

Who do you say Jesus is you think is the Lord and call out to him right now if you want your sins forgiven. If you want to know you'll go to heaven when you die if you want Christ to come of your life if you want all of your past forgiven, it can happen right now. As we pray you need Jesus in your life. Pray this prayer with me right now. Just pray these words Lord Jesus, I know that I'm a sinner but I know you're the Savior who died in the cross for my sent and rose again from the dead Ike Schoen from my sin.

Now that I choose to follow you from this moment forward as my Savior and Lord, thank you for hearing this, and answering in Jesus name I pray, amen. Mr. Greg Laurie important prayer with those making a change today. The relationship with the Lord. If you just join Pastor Greg in prayer and have asked Jesus to be your Savior would like to offer some help free of charge would like to send you our new believers growth packet. It'll help you get started in your walk with the Lord and help you build a solid foundation for your faith to contact us and ask for the free new believers.] You can write a new beginning.

Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call us at 1-800-821-3300.

We are here to take your call anytime 24 seven. Again, dial 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org and click on know God, what were talking about the 10 things that might surprise you about Billy Graham.

These 10 observations comfort Pastor Greg's new book, Billy Graham, the man I knew we learned that Billy originally wanted to grow up and be a major league baseball player. We learned that young Billy was a bit of hyperactive mischievous young man but he matured and ended up becoming a door-to-door salesman with the Fuller brush company so passionate which number four on the list to number four, but I need my echo chamber to announce a properly are you ready I'm ready.

Billy Graham 10 things I will surprise you about the world famous evangelist is number four.

His time on the golf course made a significant impact on his ministry. Okay, so Billy was attending the Florida Bible Institute in the Tampa Bay community of Temple Terrace, and he held a lot of odd jobs. He did housekeeping duties dishwashing lawnmowing, but then he became a caddie on the school's golf course and they gave him access to some very important Christian scholars and administrators and preachers and evangelist me later became a golfer himself in and golfed with many US presidents including Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan Billy one set of golf. Quote the only time my prayers are not answered, are on the golf course" is pretty funny. So Billy loved to golf. You know in it was a way to relieve stress and it was a way to meet people and that he had some amazing adventures out there on the golf course. I talked about that a little bit of my book. Here's another one. Number five, Billy Graham's wife was vital to the success of his career in witness of that so true Ruth Bill Graham Billy's wife of 64 years was an amazing woman. I would say she was in every way is equal. Billy said of Ruth, she's the theologian of the family, and he wasn't kidding. If you walk by Ruth's office.

All these books were opened up on her desk all these Bibles and when you talk with her. She does" effort, quote, and so much wisdom as well. And really, really listen to what she had to say. She really was the love of his life. I remember one moment with Billy and Ruth. Ruth was very sick at this point she wasn't long for this life on earth. Billy was sitting whether they were holding hands with was in a wheelchair and my friend Dennis Eggen, Jeannie, and was playing the hallelujah chorus on his acoustic guitar. It sounded something like this memo. Dennis was playing the song. I looked over at Billy and Ruth in the eyes and there was a smile on their faces.

I could tell they were sharing something of a special moment, but I wasn't really sure what it was all about. When the song was done, Billy turned to Ruth and said that's a song they played on our first date. So as it turns out when Billy Graham invited Ruth Bell was her name, then out for a date, he took her to a concert where they performed handles Messiah so I never really forget that I love spending time in their home and Nancy write a lot about Ruth in this book, Billy Graham, the man I knew because we would go and speak at a conference center that was really Ruth's vision is called the Billy Graham training center at the Cove. She would attend and then afterward should see want to come over to our house for lunch mom like fish swim yes and so we would have sometimes booed from downtown. There was take-out Chinese food and some great ribs another things sometimes Ruth might even make something for us and we would sit around would tell stories with a laugh. Listen to Ruth's great wisdom and she was always such a delight to be around. And so I wanted to tell her story as well as Billy Graham story because honestly I don't think there would be a Billy Graham as we knew him. If there had not been also a Ruth Bill Graham so this is all of my book, Billy Graham, the men I knew and will send you a copy of this book for your gift of any size whatever you can send will take those resources and use it to continue this ministry and inspired really by the example of Billy Graham. We will continue to call people to Christ you know Dave effectively. Everything I learned about evangelism I learned from Billy Graham.

II learned it by listening to him by watching him by asking them questions about how we did it, why he did it and so I took those same principles and I apply them whenever I invite people to Christ were called to do that here in a new beginning. Guess we are here to teach you the Bible yes were here to encourage you in your faith. But yes we are here to call people to Christ, and we have many, many people come to Christ every year through a radio broadcast alone. So if you believe in reaching people that don't know Jesus. Order your copy of Billy Graham, the man I knew that's right, and will send it your way to thank you for your investment in this important work of reaching people with the gospel. It's a unique look at the life of one of our generation's true heroes of the face.

The book is brand-new and will send you a copy to say thank you for your investment in these daily studies we can only bring them your way is listeners invest to help us continue to reach out as we do so thanks for your partnership. It couldn't come at a more strategic time again is called Billy Graham the man I knew right us today at a new beginning.

Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call 1-800-821-3300. We can take your call anytime 24 seven again at 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest the whole next time. Pastor Greg leads us into Chapter 9 of Mark's gospel where we study the fascinating account of the Transfiguration of join us next time you're on a new beginning.

Greg Laurie everybody thinks her list.

Beginning this is a podcast made possible by harvest partners. So for more content 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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