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The Best Choice: Choosing the Lord Over Worldly Desires

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
June 10, 2021 3:00 am

The Best Choice: Choosing the Lord Over Worldly Desires

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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June 10, 2021 3:00 am

Ever been that one person at your table in a restaurant that takes a pass on dessert? Everybody’s ordering salted caramel this and double chocolate that, and they look at you like you have a second nose growing out of the side of your head! “What’s wrong with you!?” But sometimes we have to pass up the attractive things for the best things. And today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us chart a course for a richer, more fulfilling walk with the Lord, in spite of other things that want our attention.

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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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Day by day. Pastor Greg Laurie citizen.

Others may take notice.

In fact, it might evoke a strong reaction to give up certain pleasures and activities that other people are engaged in Babel is a man what a way you miss living farming benefits and what you went to church again. Seriously, waterways really don't know if I give them any pleasure. That's no sacrifice here on given up for me and restaurant Dessert.

Everybody's Ordering Salted Caramel Is Double Chocolate That They Look at You like You Have a Second Nose Growing Out Of the Side of Your Head. What's Wrong with You but Sometimes We Have To Passionately Attractive Things for the Best Things Today on a New Beginning for Greg Laurie Helped to Start a Course for Richard. Other Things That One Her Attention Bible Marked up 14.

The Title of My Message Is Best Choice. I'm Reminded of a Statement That Billy Graham Made Not Long before He Went to Be with the Lord. He Was Asked the Question If He Had Any Regrets in Life and the Response Billy Graham Said, Quote I Would Study More, I Would Pray More, I Would Trouble Us. And It Would Take Less Speaking Engagements.

I Took Too Many of Them into Many Places around the World.

Billy Says That I Had It to Do All over Again, I'd Spend More Time in Meditation and Prayer and Just Telling the Lord How Much I Adore Him and How Much I'm Looking Forward to the Time Were Going to Spend Together in Eternity." Billy Is with the Lord Now Spending That Time with Them in Eternity.

But Here before Us in Mark Chapter 14 Is a Story of a Woman Who Spent A Lot Of Time Telling the Lord How Much She Loved and Adored Him and Then She Did Something That Was Largely Missed by the Other Disciples.

But Jesus Singles the Story out in the Bible. He Wants Us to Know This Story in Particular. And I Find That Fascinating Because You Read in Mark Chapter 14 Verse by Jesus Speaking He Says Assuredly, I Say, Wherever the Gospel Is Preached in the Whole World, What This Woman Is Done Will Be Told As a Memorial to Her While Okay We Better Pay Attention. What Exactly Did This Woman Do before I Tell You What That Is. Let's Pick up Where We Left, Left up in the Gospel of Mark, Jesus Is Headed to the Cross. He Is Plainly Declared That He Was Disciples That a Place Called Caesarea Philippi, He Told Them He Was Going to Be Betrayed He Was Going to Be Crucified That He Would Rise Again on the Third Day, and This Came As Bad News to His Voice Because His Popularity Was at Its Total Peak. The Name of Jesus Was on Everyone's Lips. Matthew Chapter 12 Verse 12 Said Large Crowds Gathered to Him. He Got into a Boat and the Whole Crowd Was Standing on the Beach and in Luke 12 One Says Thousands of People Are Gathered Together, and They Were Stepping on One Another so Everybody Wanted to Get Close to Jesus. And so He Was Very Popular but Ironically the Same People That Were Expressing Their Interest in Him Would Soon Turn against Him When He Made His Way to the Cross. Even Though His Own Handpicked Disciples Did Not Fully Understand What He Was about to Do. He Had Come to Die on the Cross. This Was Always the Plan from the Very Beginning. And Even Though He Spoke about It in Great Detail His Disciples Misted with One Exception, and It Wasn't John Known for His Spiritual Perception, It Wasn't Peter Normally Known for His Outspokenness It Was and Then Drew It Was a Matthew. It Wasn't One of the Apostles.

It Wasn't a Man. It Was a Woman and She Was Not One of the Apostles, but She Understood What Jesus Had Come to Do in Her Name Was Mary. Let's Read about It Now Mark Chapter 14 Starting in Verse One, Another Passover in the Festival of Unleavened Bread Were Only Two Days Away and the Chief Reason the Teachers of the Law Were Scheming to Arrest Jesus Secretly and Kill Him, but Not during the Festival. They Said for the People They Riot While He Was in Bethany of Reclining at the Table in the Home of Simon the Leper, a Woman Came with an Alabaster Jar of Very Expensive Perfume. She Broke the Jar and Poured the Perfume on His Head. Some of Those Who Were Present Said No. This Is Worth More Than a Year's Wages. Why This Waste of Perfume. This Could Have Been Sold and the Money Could Have Been Given to the Poor, and They Rebuked Her Partially Little the Response of Jesus. He Said Leave Her Alone. Why Are You Bothering Her.

The Poor You Always Have with You. You Can Help Them Any Time You Want but You Don't Always Have Me with You.

She Did What She Could. She Poor Perfume in My Body Beforehand in Preparation for My Burial at ICU Wherever the Gospel Is Preached throughout the World What She Has Done Will Be Told in Memory of Her. Though This Probably Was a Family Heirloom As It's Been Pointed out, It Was Worth a Year's Wages so It Was Worth Thousands and Thousands of Dollars under Normal Circumstances.

Just A Few Drops of from a Bottle like This Would Be Sufficient.

She Pours a Whole Bottle on Him and Then Wipes His Feet with Her Hair. What You This Did Not Get It. And so He Criticized Judas Is Typical of so Many People Today like Dutiful Pharisees. They Want to Give the Bare Minimum to God Still Lamely Ask Questions like, Can You Do This and Still Technically Go to Heaven until I Get Away with This and Still Call Myself a Christian Those of the Wrong Questions Will Will Give Our Leftovers to God. If You Will Will Pray Briefly If We Think of It Will Read the Bible.

If We Can Make Time in Our Busy Schedules for It and and Then What's Even Worse Is We Will Criticize Others That Are More Committed to the Lord Than We Are. Maybe That's One of the Reasons Why the Early Church Change Their World.

Maybe That's Why the Early Church Turned Their World Upside down Because They Had a Sense of Abandoned God Would Tell Philip Go to the Desert Any Way, in Obedience to the Lord God Would Told Peter Reach out to Take a Member They Had in Poland Was Free, Then He Would Do It. They Took Risks That They Left Their Comfort Zone.

Why Because the Scripture Says He Had Been with Jesus Fax 413 Says the Members of the Council Were Amazed When They Saw the Boldness of Peter and John Because They Were Ordinary Men, They Had No Special Training but They Recognize Them As Men Who Had Been with Jesus. Can Someone Tell You Been with Jesus.

Can They See It Reflected in Your Life. Does the Fragrance of Your Life Filled the Room As It Did with Mary and Her Gift to the Lord. It's a Wonderful Thing When People See That and Ask Us Why We Are the Way That We Are. They Want to Know More about Us and Then We Can Share the Gospel. Now Again I Want to Emphasize Mary Did Not Have the Same Privileges As a Disciple. They Spent Pretty Much Every Waking Hour in the Presence of Jesus Were Some Three Years She Was with Him Sporadically, but She Was Going to Take Advantage of This Opportunity. She's Going to Listen to Him. She's Gonna Learn from Him and She's Going to Bring a Great Gift to Him Because She Could See the Lines. Ed Seen This Space and Read or Write the Problems Reflected in His Eyes, and She Understood He Had Said What He Meant and He Meant What He Said He Was Going to Die on a Cross and That Broke Her Heart so She Was Going to Bring Her Tribute to Jesus. Now Seize the Moment Carpe Diem Is the Expression That's Exactly What Mary Did. But of Course Judas Thought It Was a Waste and He Criticized the Report but Then John Gives Us an Interesting Little Detail about Judas. He Said Judas Did Not Say This Because He Cared about the Poor. He Said This Because He Was a Thief. Basically, Judas Was Hanging on the Money for the Disciples and He Was Pocketing It and so Things Are Not Always As They Seem from the outside.

Judas Look Thrifty and Careful and Spiritual and the Woman Looks Frivolous and Wasteful and Silly, but the Very Opposite Was True.

Judas Was Evil and Greedy and Wicked and She Was Thoughtful and Godly and Committed. So Things Are Not Always As They Appear. Mr. Greg Laurie Will Have the Second Half of This Message in Just a Moment in a New Book Pastor Greg Laurie Recalls His Friendship with Dr. Billy Graham. He Had This Ability to Connect from the Beginning to the Middle to the End of His Ministry.

Remember Seeing Him in New York.

It Is Final Crusade in Flushing Meadows. There, and I Remember He Just Looked at the Crowd and Said God Loves You and Then He Would Turn to Another Part of the Crowd, God Loves You Will Read Somewhere That One Woman Is First You Will and the Bible Says God Loves You Live. There Were 2 Mg. He Was the Same in Private That He Was in Public.

He Was the Godly As Men I've Ever Met.

The New Book Billy Graham and I Knew Greg Laurie Euros for a Gift of Any Size at Harvest.or Will We Are in Mark 14 Today As We Consider the Surprising Moment When Mary Anointed Jesus Feet with Oil.

Here's Pastor Greg to Continue.

Now Jesus Commends Her As an Example to Us a Good Verse Eight She Has Done What She Could Just Come Beforehand to Anoint My Body for Burial. She Did What She Could Because She Understood That He Would Do What He Did in the Same Way. The More We Discover about What Jesus Has Done for Us Will Cause Us to Want to Do More for Him.

The Bible Says We Love Him Because He First Loved Us. She Saw This Love That Was Driving Him. She Saw This Concern for Her and the Others in All of Humanity.

And so She Wanted to Do Something for Him to Show Her Love and I Think Sometimes Will Look at People Who Offer Something to the Lord and Some Might Criticize Him for It. For Instance, a Young Person May Give a Promising Career to Go into the Ministry and Some People like Judas Will Say What a Waste. You Could Have Gone out and Had a Great Career Made A Lot Of Money.

That's a Waste.

It Is No Waste at All. I'm Reminded of Young Lady I Just Met. Her Name Is Tiffany and She Works with the World Health Organization and the United Nations over in Yemen and There Reaching out to the Poor People That Are Living There and Die and so Tiffany Has Been Able to Show God's Love to These People and Be a Great Witness of God.

She Watches Harvest at Home.

That's Where She Gets Her Her Teaching Being so Far Away from the United States and Some Would Say without a Waste of a Life. That's a Waste of a Life As Far As I'm Concerned, That's an Investment of a Life You Might Give up Certain Pleasures and Activities That Other People Are Engaged in Babel As They Meant. What a Waste.

You Miss a Big Party. You Should Have Benefits and What You Went to Church Again. Seriously, What a Waste Really Lets Us Run the Clock out and Come to the End of Our Life He Held up Laid out for You and All That Played out or Me. I Just Read a Very Interesting Study That Was Done That Showed People Who Go to Church on a Regular Basis and Have Faith in God, Live Longer, Healthier Lives. So There's Even a Practical Aspect to It All Know If I've Given up Any Pleasure That's No Sacrifice Compared to What God Is Given up for Me.

It Said That Moses Shows to Give up the Pleasures of Egypt and the Pleasures of Sin for a Season to Pursue God's Will for His Life and Whatever You Give up Will Be More Than Made up to You As a Follower of Jesus Christ. Or Maybe You Avoid the Temptation to Go Astray, Your Faithful to Your Wife for a Lifetime. Pupils All Men Come on, You Missed out You Could've Got an Affair Here and There Only Let's Just Look at the Wreckage of Divorce and the Impact It Has on You and on Your Children and Even on Your Grandchildren Will See Who Made the Right Choice. It's Not a Waste. Nothing Is a Waste of Its Done for the Glory of God That This Woman Did She Keep Her Very Best. It Was a Very Opposite of a Waste, or You May Decide to Simply Live for Yourself and Do Whatever You Want to Do with Your Life and One Day God Will Say What a Waste.

Would You Care about the Most. The Opinion of People or the Opinion of God Almighty Give Your Most Precious Things of the Lord.

My Son Jonathan Was in Peru A While Ago with His Wife Britney. We Worked on Some Projects with Compassion International a Great Organization Impacting People around the World, but Especially Children, Helping to Lift People Out Of Poverty in the Share the Gospel with These Folks and so Jonathan Went to a Village in Peru. He Took a Backpack Full of Toys and Other Things in and They Were Hanging out with This Little Family and There's Little Boy Name Anthony and Jonathan Was Playing Soccer with the Little Guy.

There Was Just Rated As Jonathan Was Leaving Getting Ready to Get into His Cab. Little Anthony Randy Hammon and Hugged Him and Then Presented Jonathan with a Little Gift. It Was like This Little Piggy Bank of a Little Dog and Obviously This Was a Very Precious Object to This Little Boy. He Had Very Little and He Gave His Very Best to Jonathan and I Just Thought That's a Perfect Picture of What Were Talking about Here Giving Are Very Best to God. He Deserves Nothing Less. What Is the Most Precious Thing You Can Give Did Jesus Let Me Give You an Idea of What It Might Be. Yes, That Your Resources Yes It's Your Time, but Overall It's Your Life.

Present Your Future to the Lord, I'm Speaking to Someone Right Now Is Very Young in Their Thinking about Their Future. Can I Tell You the Best Thing You Can Do with Your Future Is Choose to Follow Jesus Christ. That Is the Best Choice. The Best Choices I Made in My Life. Number One I Gave My Life to Jesus Christ at the Age of 17 and Number Two I Married a Young Girl Named Kathy and We've Been Married Now for 47 Years. Those Are Choices I've Never Regretted. You Will Never Regret Choosing to Follow Jesus Christ. And Here's Why Choices Matter, You Make Your Choices Then Your Choices Make You so Make That Choice Now and Then Choose to Dedicate Your Life to the Lord.

I Pretty Much Dedicated All of My Life to Jesus. I Was around 50 Years Ago and I Didn't Have A Lot to Offer Christ at the Age of 17 I Was a Confused Kid I Got into Drugs Had Made Some Bad Decisions and I Sit Here I Am Jesus, and Actually Said to God of Your Real, Make Yourself Real to Me and He Did and He Does Whatever Good Has Come Out Of My Life. My Ministry Is Been God Taking Very Little and Multiplying That Sort of like a Little Boy with the Loaves and Fishes It Came to Jesus and Jesus Took That Little Bit of BreadIs and He Distributed It Insert like a Guy Came with. Here's My Little Crackers in My Sardines of Jesus As I Can Work with That and He Touched so Many Lives and You Need to Come I Need to Come We All Need to Come and Offer Our Life to the Lord and He Will Never Regret That Decision Because One Day Will Be Her Last Day a Couple of Days Ago I Made a Phone Call Amending Jim Was in the Hospital. Jim Tragically Is Dying of Cancer. But As We Talked. He Told Me He Came to Christ, Hearing Me Preach in 2011 and Then He Made the Statement, Greg. I'm Not Afraid I'm Ready to See the Lord. I Was so Moved by That and Then Jim Made This Statement to Me. He Said the Meaning of Life Is a Life with Meaning in Christ of the Men You Are so Right.

Yet Such Clarity.

Only a Christian Can Look Death in the Face and Say I Am Not Afraid That I Reminded Jim of the Statement of the Apostle Paul When He Said to Live Is Christ and the Die Is Gain. It Doesn't Mean That the Christian Is a Death Wish. What It Means Is That We Don't Have To Be Afraid to Die Anymore Because Jesus Died on the Cross for Our Sin and Rose Again from the Dead. This Gives Us Hope for the Afterlife. And I Ask You Right Now.

Do You Have This Hope for the Afterlife. Could You Look Death Score in the Face of like Jim Say I'm Not Afraid to Die. You Could Say That If You Put Your Faith in Jesus. For That You Haven't. I Can't Think of Anything More Terrifying Than Death, but Death Is Coming to All of Us, As It Has Been Said, the Statistics on Death Are Quite Impressive.

One Out Of Every One Persons Will Die Only Those Who Are Prepared to Die Are Really Ready to Live. Are You Prepared to Die.

Are You Ready to Meet the Lord Listen If You Want to Go to Heaven If You Want to Know That Your Sin Is Forgiven. You Can Ask Christ to Come in Your Life and Everything Can Change for You.

So the Moment I'm with Prayer. Prayer, and Ask Any of You That Are Watching Right Now Were Not Sure of Jesus Is Living in Your Life.

You're Not Certain That Your Sin Is Forgiven. You Don't Have the Confidence That You Go to Heaven When You Die, I Want You to Pray This Prayer with Me. You Could Print out Loud If You like You Can Pray It Silently, but You Pray This Prayer and Mean It, and God Will Hear You. So If You Want Christ to Come of Your Life.

Pray This Prayer Right Now.

Just 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 Asked You to Come into My Life Right Now and Forgive Me of All of My Sin. I Want to See You in Heaven. One Day, Thank You for Hearing This Prayer in Answering This Prayer in Jesus Name I Pray, Amen.

Pastor Greg Laurie Today on a New Beginning. And If You Just Prayed with Pastor Greg and Have Made a Decision for the Lord. We Want to Welcome You into God's Family, and You May Have Some Questions As You Begin Living the Life of Faith. So We Want to Send You Our New Believers] Absolutely Free.

It'll Help You Get Started, Just Ask for It Is You Write a New Beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or When You Call Us Anytime 24 Hours a Day Seven Days a Week at 1-800-821-3300.

That's 1-800-821-3300 or Just Go Online to What We Been Hearing from so Many Listeners Who Been Enjoying Pastor Greg's New Book Called Billy Graham the Man I Knew and Right Now Pastor Greg Is Revealing Some of the Surprises Found in the Book. These Are 10 Things about Billy. You've Likely Never Heard before. Give Us Another One Today. Pastor Greg on This One Is Kind of a Fun One, but I Need Some Psychedelic Rock in the Background to Set the Scene Here It Is. Billy Was a Preacher with a Genuine Appreciation for Culture. Even Psychedelic Rock so Here's What Happened.

So to Link 16 Supports the Whole Rock Scene Is Exploding in All These Pins Are for Meaning Kids Are Growing Their Hair out Long. A Lot Of Preachers Would Say I Want Nothing to Do with That, the Billy Embraced It and Tried to Understand It.

So Here's Something I Actually Learned While I Was Writing This Book. He Went to a Concert Featuring the Grateful Dead. Can You Imagine Billy Graham at a Dead Concert and I Don't Know If He Was Wearing a Tie-Dyed T-Shirt, but in Performing at the Concert Were Grateful Dead Kim He Johnny Winter and Santana so We Sort of Went Undercover.

I Don't Know the Billy Did a Great Job Going Undercover.

You Know I Remember I Would Be with Them and He Would Pull Ball Cap over His Head As Though That Would Hide His Face, Ending His Face Look like It Should Have Been on Mount Rushmore. His Profile Was so Well-Known and I Know When I Went out with the Many Were the Bulk of People Still Recognize Them. But Anyway He Went Undercover and Engaged in Conversations with Many of the Young People Were There and Even Got up on the Stage at His Rock Concert and Preach the Gospel in 350 Young People Came to the Lord.

Most People Are Better. This Story Is Another Story. Billy Embraced Contemporary Christian Music, a Leader in His Crusades. I Know This Because I Watched It Happened.

There Were A Lot Of These Great Bands Were Forming Back in Those Days DC Talk Audio Adrenaline.

Of Course Michael W Smith until Billy Started Having Them on His Platform on Youth Night. Not Everybody on His Team Agreed with This. I Remember There Was Some Spirited Discussion on the Topic.

Of Course I Was in Favor of It Because It Was a Way to Build a Bridge to His Audience and I Think at Times When There Would Be Some Band That Would Play before Billy and They Get A Lot Of Applause. But When Billy Came on the Stage. The Greatest Applause Was Safe for Him. Here's What I Loved His Billy Just What's His Authentic Self. So Billy Worsens When He Preached and He Would Come out Wearing a Suit Preach As He Always Breeds but Those Kids Loved Him and They Hung on His Every Word, but This Shows Me Even in His Later Years, Billy Was Flexible and Willing to Adapt to the Changing Culture. You Know, the Apostle Paul Said He Became All Things to All Men, and I Think One of the Problems in the Church Today Is Were Answering Questions. No One Is Asking Were Not Answering the Questions That Are Being Asked. Billy Always Had a Great Interest in Knowing What People Were Dealing with. He Wanted to Understand the People He Was Speaking to, and He Always Wanted to Build a Bridge.

Billy Graham Was a Bridge Builder, Not a Bridge Burner. He Was a Peacemaker Not a Troublemaker. He Always Wanted to Bring People to Christ and so Is This One of the Things That Bring out My New Book That I Just Wrote Called Billy Graham the Man I Knew and I Love to Send You a Copy for Your Gift of Any Size and Whatever You Send to Us Here at Harvest Ministries. We Can Promise You It Will Be Used To Reach More People with the Gospel and with the Teaching of the Word of God. So Whatever You Can Send It's Appreciated and Will Send You Your Copy of Billy Graham, the Man I Knew, yet It's a Fascinating Read and Inspiring Read, and You Can Be One of the First to Receive Billy Graham, the Man I Knew Will Send It to Say Thank You for Your Investment in the Mission of This Ministry.

It's an Investment in Touching Lives like This One. This Listener Wrote Thank You Pastor Greg Is Because of You. 24 Years Ago That I Gave My Life to God. I Was Higher Than a Kite up All Night and Started Watching You on TV and You Spoke so Frankly to Me. I Knew What I Had Been Doing Was Putting Me in a Whole Thank You Again When You Know Your Support Helps Us Reach People like This and with Your Investment. Let Us Thank You, with Pastor Greg's New Book, Billy Graham, the Man I Knew Just Write a New Beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or Call 1-800-821-3300. That's a 24 Seven Phone Number 1-800-821-3300 or Go Online to 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 we have worship in a message of God's word. So join us this weekend for harvest of home time. Good news for anyone who's ever failed. Anyone who's ever made a mistake. Anyone who's ever seen. Know anybody like that next time. Pastor Greg points out that God give second chances join us here on the new beginning and cast with meat all by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God learn how to become harvest partners sign up for daily devotions and find resources to help you grow in your faith

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