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July 28, 2021 3:00 am
And today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us examine some of the most foundational passages in helping us gain our bearings. Glad you’re along for the start of a brand new series we think you’ll really enjoy.
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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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The Bible gives us help in finding happiness coming up today on a new beginning pastor Greg Laurie leads us in a practical look at the Lord's sermon on the Mount Blessed are the poor in spirit.
What is that mean this is not about your bank account. This is your spiritual poverty recognizes civil war from the Lord lost your helpless and your hopeless apart from Christ. Everyone is virtually destined to know where you are you how to get where you're going to a level of the Bible helps us understand where we are underway along the straight and narrow path of righteousness to see our need to help me today on the new beginning pastor Greg Laurie helps us examine some of the most foundational helping of pain are very long for the start of a brand-new series. Let's turn our Bibles to Matthew chapter 5 are going to do series in the sermon on the Mount, and I'm calling this series, salt and light were all called to be salt and light in our culture, but the title of the message is happiness what it is and how to have it. Matthew chapter 5 when we start with prayer father we ask you to bless now as we open your words speak to our hearts and help us to understand how it is you want us to live how we can find the happiness that often eludes us how we can be people walking in the center of your will.
So we commit this time a Bible study to you now in Jesus name we pray. Amen. Did you happen to read the story of the young Swedish DJ superstar beachy.
He was at the top of his game making millions of dollars and he had what most young people dream of today name and money he appeared in jampacked arenas. He was in constant demand, but that theme took its toll on a beachy's life and at the age of 28 he committed suicide and the question is asked why would you do this, why would you end your life at such a young age and his family gave the answer and I quote they said he really struggled with thoughts about meaning life and happiness. He could not go on any longer. He wanted to find peace."
I wish I could have sat down with this young kid and somebody got the answers and you're not going to find them out there in that culture. Your inner that world herein. It's in a relationship with God through Jesus Christ and I beachy is just one of many people that are found this out the hard way.
I thought documentary the other day in the life of Elvis Presley very much, and Elvis, you know, was an amazing person he was raised in abject poverty. He he loved to sing in the church. He loved to sing gospel music.
He had an incredible voice and of course he became globally famous and had what many people dream of, but you know he once said that his life to him was miserable and he said I feel that I'm sick and tired of my life.
I need a long rest and then he ended up dying of a prescription drug overdose and in this documentary that his widow was a part of.
She said that she thinks Elvis actually committed suicide here. That's over such a long time ago, but just then fast-forward down to the 60s rock icons Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix all died of drug overdoses at the age of 27.
Fast-forward to present day, Michael Jackson, friends and many others join the list, Tom Petty, who ironically was one of the narrators in the documentary film about Elvis died not long after, because of a prescription drug overdose and Tom Petty. As it turns out was a heroin addict in the 90s.
I'm just thinking all these people. They have it all and yet they turned to drugs and and some of them in their lives intentionally and it just goes on and on and what are people going to learn that the answers are not in those things will look this desire for happiness.
It deeply within us were hard wired to be happy.
So here's a question. Where do we find this happiness. Well, let me first say we don't find it, you won't find it in this world because a lot of it's based on well how things are going. If things are going reasonably well. Well were happy that things are not going so well will then were unhappy. Someone put it this way. There are two sources of and happiness in life.
One is not getting what you want and the other is getting it see if you don't get it. You say well if I just had this and I would be happy but when you get everything when you have all of your dreams fulfilled when you reach all those goals and maybe even surpass them and you find out empty. It is then you realize it's not in these things at all. Will many money will give happiness. No actually, it won't money can buy some things but not the most important things money can buy you a bed, but it can't buy you a good night sleep money can buy you books were not brains. They come by your house but not a home they can buy you medicine but not health it can buy you amusement but not happiness. So how do you find happiness well. Studies have been done on the subject. In one study done by Gallup.
It found that spiritually committed people are twice as likely to report being very happy.
Then the least spiritually committed people saw Rhonda something now spiritually minded people are happier than those that are not spiritually minded and I'll take that a step further godly people will be the happiest people. So the more godly we become. The more we chase after the Lord we will find the happiness that is alluded us for so long, not from chasing after it. But from following after him because the Bible says happy are the people whose God is the Lord CS Lewis put it this way and I quote God designed the human machine to run on himself.
He himself is the fuel for our spirits were designed to burn the food.
Our spirits were designed to feed on. There is no other. That is why it is no good asking God to make us happy in our own way without bothering about faith. Lewis concludes God cannot give us a happiness and peace, apart from himself because it's not there. There is no such thing." So there it is. It's in God. And here's something you need to know God wants you to be happy. God wants you to be happy as I could live so you might say will Greg you're wrong. God doesn't want you to be happy.
No way. Actually he does and I can make a biblical case for and here it is.
I know he wants us to be happy because he tells us that in Scripture. He tells us over and over again that this happiness is something that he wants us to experience in a relationship with us.
Why because the word blessed is another word for happy there interchangeable word. So what we use the word blessed as we will use in a moment in the Beatitudes you could just take the word out and put in the word happy.
So really, the theme of the Beatitudes, which is the point of entry into the sermon on the Mount is happiness how you can be happy if you will do these things in the opening chapter of Genesis we read these words. Genesis 127 God created man in his own image in the image of God he created them and then it says and the Lord bless them, bless them there's a word blessing blessedness are true happiness is something God wants all of us to have finally get good news to know that God wants me to be your great glory 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 at Home. You can find it, harvest.org we have worship in a message of God's word. So join us this weekend for harvest of home harvest.digging into the subject of happiness. Today, as Pastor Greg launches a study series in the sermon on the Mount.
Let's continue find a biblical worldview. Obviously by studying Scripture, but really by zeroing in on the sermon on the Mount who gave the sermon on the Mount, if you ever read letter Bible all your pages are read right now our day here in red letter country.
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, you know something people say I just go with the red letters. Why go with the whole Bible. Thank you, because it's all inspired by God but someone had the bright idea of taking the words of Jesus importing them in red so were in the red letters here as Jesus is really giving to us is worldview. If you will. You want to know how Jesus thinks study the sermon on the Mount. You want to know how as heartbeats do. The sermon you want to know what he feels about living and about life in general. Again studying the sermon this sermon. The sermon on the Mount is his official manifesto. The manifesto of the King of Kings and the Lord of lords. It begins with the words in Matthew 52. He opened his mouth, that's a very interesting phrase it's a phrase that is used to describe some solemn grave or weighty statement and I want you to notice something these words are delivered not to the multitudes, but to his disciples. Sometimes people think that Jesus preach a sermon to the multitudes.
The Bible doesn't say that as the multitudes gathered. He called his disciples to him and said. Then he said in the will read the words that he said why do I say that because these words of Christ cannot be lived out by nonbelievers. Sometimes people say I just about the sermon on the Mount know you don't know and can live by the sermon on the Mount without the help of God.
These words are for believers only. They're not just mere principles to employ these. Therefore, godly people, and it starts with what we called the Beatitudes another person describe them as the beautiful attitude or attitudes that should be, by the way, the first four Beatitudes deal with our relationship with God.
The second floor deal with our relationships with people in the word blessed issues. Again, remember the words blessed and happy are interchangeable. So if you want to be happy in the best sense of that word.
You must be and do the following. Let's read Matthew five starting in verse two. Then he opened his mouth and taught them who is disciples saying.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they who hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets that were before you.
So Blessed are these people know how different the Beatitudes are from modern culture. If the Beatitudes are rewritten for culture today they would go along these lines. Blessed are the beautiful, for they shall be admired. Blessed are the wealthy, for they will have it all. Blessed are the popular for they will be love. Blessed are the famous, for they shall be followed that some of Jesus as he started the bombshell. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Let me say it another way, happy are the poor in spirit. No, what does that mean there's a lot of Ms. understanding about this. He did not say Blessed are the poor, he said, Blessed are the poor in spirit.
There is no blessedness in being rich or poor, in and of itself. The Bible does not come in poverty, nor does it condemn well. The Bible says the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Listen, I've met wealthy people who are happy.
I've met poor people who are miserable. I've met poor people who are happy and wealthy people who are miserable. This is not about your bank account.
This is about your spiritual state before God.
It says poor in spirit. So if you want to be a happy person if you want to receive God's blessing, you must first be poor in spirit. What is that mean actually the word pork comes from a verb meaning to shrink tower or cringe to shrink tower or cringe. This is what beggars often did in this day, listen to be poor in spirit is to recognize one's spiritual poverty apart from God is to see your spiritual poverty to recognize this simple fact that apart from the Lord your lost your helpless and your hopeless apart from Christ.
Everyone is spiritually destitute of regardless of their education, wealth, accomplishments, or even religious knowledge to be poor in spirit means you admit that your spiritually bankrupt and some people of our time admitting this. You know they think you're all that and a bag of chips right they have a hard time admitting there is center because are so accomplished there so talented there so attractive, or there so wealthy or whatever it is they are in Muncie of the Gen. Nieman remember him and he was a powerful leader in Syria, but he had a problem underneath the gleaming armor that he started around in Nieman was a leper and that he had found no cure was an incurable disease. Someone told him there was a prophet in Israel name Elijah who prayed for people miracles happen they so wanted to go visit Elijah so Nieman did so shut up and like this out probably the big entourage came in and you know there is as beautiful armor isn't gorgeous horses this chariot and any was probably thinking the problem would come out bobble forum and give them a meal and why did this even answer the door to send the services go tell them to immerse himself in the Jordan River seven times. So here's name and in his chariot and door open so what is going to get anything he has gone I'm speaking for Elijah here go immerse yourself in the Jordan River seven times will be healed. Thank you. Blessed door shots. Symptoms like what scene the boy am I Nieman I'm powerful I'm awesome I'm amazing and he's going on home.
Dr. Siri goes with better rivers back there was shall I go on their muddy river when we were in Jerusalem recently we have the privilege of being flown around in a helicopter and boy you really see how small Israel is when you see it in the air and as were flying over the Jordan River. I just said to my wife. There really is money is in it. It just sort of muddy river.
It's on a beautiful river at all and that's what Nieman sonic that I want to go on that dirty old River that one of us friend said. But what if you got to lose any of come all this way want to try can't do that. You know I Nieman did not want to go on the Jordan River because he had to peel off his armor and revealed his condition but he decided to do it so I took off his helmet. He took office breastplate. Some of his soldiers are probably a little horrified to see the disfigurement of leprosy on his face on his body.
It would sort of eat away at your flesh was horrible and as he torqued off all of his armor and walked down the river.
Yet, to humble himself even want to do that but he immersed himself one time nothing happened to time. Same thing 3456 times he still covered in leprosy it goes down seven times the last time seven. He comes up. His flesh is like that of a baby ever looked at the skin of the baby during glasses you get a baby skin CAT scan is flawless, then you look in a magnifying mirror your skin and you must have a heart attack right.
The skin of the baby is so beautiful now in the skin of a baby again. I mean, he was like restored.
But what of the afternoon.
We had to take off all of his armor, and we have armor that we hide behind as well and we don't want to admit our need for God, but he took his armor off.
So here's what the Bible is saying you want to be happy.
Admit that you are a sinner you want to be happy.
Admit your true spiritual state. CH Spurgeon, the great preacher said, quote the way to rise in the kingdom is to sink in your selves. Again, the way to rise in the kingdom is sinking yourself that is the opposite of culture. Culture says assert yourself demand your right. You deserve it. God says see yourself as you really are and admit your weakness and that is the beginning of true happiness. Blessed are the poor in spirit.
Blessed is the person that sees himself as they really are.
Theirs is the kingdom of heaven to Greg Laurie presenting the foundational message in his new series based on the sermon on the Mount series called salt and light. Pastor Greg will have more from this message.
Next time here on a new beginning. It's a presentation called happiness, what it is and how to habit part one, but if you missed any of today's insight you can get a replay instantly by going to harvest.org or inside our harvest app yesterday were excited about making available a couple of warmhearted resources from our good friend, author Sally Lloyd Jones is always a good friend of yours and Kathy's and yes I know is you some your way through these new resources. They really touched your heart as well. Absolutely. Dave yelled there just what is the right word. There just charming their adorable there there biblical and yet there done so beautifully well so a child can understand them.
You know it's been said that the objective of a preacher is to get the cookies on the lower shelves of the children can get to them and I think that Sally Lloyd Jones does an amazing job with the project.
She works on from the Jesus storybook Bible to this special resource were offering right now that is simply called near, and she always brings it home and away. A child can understand, so she works with this very talented artist named John go and this is beautifully illustrated and is a graphic artist. I really appreciate is his design sensibilities and his attention to detail and this is based on some 139 so this is something I want to put in the hands of the folks out there especially. You then have young children or you then have grandchildren, you give them this little book and they're gonna want to open it and look at the pictures and read it or you can read it to them, but I promise you there gonna want to open this and check it out because this is so well done. Otherwise, why would we offer it to you were very intentional on what we choose to bring to your attention here at harvest because we want to provide you with the finest spiritual resources so you can reach your family, both young and old. What you got a copy of a right in front of you maybe you could read just a little bit of the book for sure. So Dave, if I was going to be this to my grandkids. I would read along these lines, God is my father who made everything and I'm a little explored of the white world is near me and he protects me, sees me and he knows me. He is strong and he looks after me is with me always. However far I go. He's always near me. I can climb the highest mountain I can find of the highest I can dive into the deepest see my concealed far far away to the north pool he'll be there. I contract jungle. I could write as her.
I could zoom as fast as I still be there. Even in the darkest night there. Steve close anyone ever because I'm his little child loves is not great those the words of Sally Lloyd Jones from her children's book near and we've had a little bit of enhancement ourselves. But you know you can add your own creativity.
As you read this wonderful story to your children or grandchildren the skies the limit and by the way, will also include Sally's resource called babies carry along Bible and adorable little board book with 10 Bible stories told in rhyme will send both resources near and babies carry along Bible to thank you for your donation right now and time is running out.
We can only mentioned this a short time longer, so get in touch today at a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call 1-800-821-3300. That's 1-800-821-3300 go online to harvest for well we're just getting started study of the Beatitudes next time. Pastor Greg brings more insight on what it means to be blessed or happy sure to join us on a new beginning.
Pastor Greg Laurie and thanks for doing new beginning. Greg Laurie podcast made possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God sign up for daily devotions and learn how to become a harvest partner harvest.org