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The Refreshing Power of the Word of God | Sunday Message

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
August 1, 2021 3:00 am

The Refreshing Power of the Word of God | Sunday Message

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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August 1, 2021 3:00 am

For believers, there is no greater authority and foundation than the Bible. And in this Sunday message, Pastor Greg Laurie informs us that our spiritual success depends on how we regularly get into the Word of God. Get biblical encouragement from Psalm 19 in this final message in the Refresh series. 

Notes 

Don’t build your life on fickle emotions; build your life on Christ and God’s Word.

As we read, study, memorize, and obey Scripture, it refreshes us. 

The word convert means, “to revive, restore, and transform.”

Success or failure in the Christian life depends on how much of God’s Word you get into your life on a regular basis, and how obedient you are to it.

A growing believer will delight in and love the Word of God. 

Hungry Christians are healthy Christians. 

The Word of God is perfect.

“His mercies are new every morning.” —Lamentations 3:23

How do you know the Bible is the Word of God?

All the authors of the Bible write about one theme: God’s redemption of mankind.

The Bible is true because it gives the experience it claims it will give you.

The Bible is true because it is confirmed by science.

It was the Bible that first said that the number of stars were innumerable. 

The objective of the Bible is not to tell us how the heavens go, but how to go to Heaven and how to know God.

The Bible is true because it is the one book that dares to predict the future.

The Word of God transforms us. 

It’s not enough to read and study God’s Word; we must do it!

The Bible is God’s Word to us, and it should be treasured.

The Word of God gives us incredible wisdom. 

The word simple comes from a root word that speaks of an open door.

What if you don’t agree with what the Bible says?

Answer: Change your opinion because you are wrong, and the Bible is right.

The Word of God is right.

Keeping the Word of God makes you happy. 

“Happy are those that hear the Word of God and keep it.” —Luke 11:28

You can have a happy life without sin. 

The Bible tells us how to get to Heaven.

Scripture Referenced

Matthew 7:24–25

Psalm 1:2 

Psalm 119:159–160

1 Peter 2:2

2 Peter 1:20–21

Isaiah 51:13

Genesis 22:17

James 1:22–25

Psalm 119:11

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Hey there. Thanks for listening to the Greg Laurie Podcast, a ministry supported by Harvest Partners. I'm Greg Laurie, encouraging you.

If you want to find out more about Harvest Ministries and learn more about how to become a Harvest Partner, just go to harvest.org. Why don't we pray together? Father, we ask now your blessing as we open your Word and as we actually talk about your Word together. We commit this Bible study to you now. In Jesus' name we pray.

Amen. Before we dig in, I want to show you some of my Bibles from over the years. I keep every Bible. I never throw a Bible away.

Why would you? This is my first Bible. This looks like something from the 70s, doesn't it? Because it is a Schofield Cross Reference Bible. Right after I became a Christian, I called my grandmother and told her.

Her name is Stella. She was so excited because she did used to take me to church when I lived with her and my grandfather for a number of years. She said, Greg, I want to buy you a new Bible. Now it is a funny thing because my first prayer as a new Christian was, Lord, I want to get a really nice Bible because I had this little paperback version. It was already pretty worn.

I think it was used when they gave it to me. So I went to the Bible bookstore and they had this beautiful Bible. Originally you had a black cover with gold pages. Now well it is a little beaten up. But as they say, a Bible that is falling apart is usually the indication of a life that isn't. So I put a leather cover on it because it had to look like a hippie Bible. Right?

Because that is the era. So there is my name there. And I did a lot of drawing. As you know I came from a background of graphic design so I love to draw in the margins of my Bible. Now you can see some pages are falling apart here.

This thing has really seen its day. It is not that I disagreed with this. It is just I don't know why this whole passage from Matthew is missing.

It just came out of my Bible. Here are some more notes. Look at these. You can see the little notes I wrote in the margins. And then I had notes in the back that kind of marks it in time. So this is Bible number one early 70s.

So this is Bible number two. This is a Cambridge wide margin Bible. You see these margins are larger. So I would write notes in the margins. Look how small the writing is. I wrote this with a rapidiograph pen which is what artists often use. So I would write these little notes in the margins. And I don't know how I was able to read these notes. They were so small. Also looking through this Bible I came across a set of notes that I have not seen forever.

I have actually used this title fairly recently so obviously I haven't upped my game since then. But God's answer to fear and worry. So this is second Bible. This would have been the third Bible.

We are still in the 70s. This one is interesting because it has a little metal binder. It is kind of like a notebook Bible. So I would write.

Here is a page that has come loose. But I would write notes in it. And these are things that I would actually speak from the notes in the Bible. So here is one on Elijah. Three points about Elijah. Number one he stood in the presence of God. Number two he had separation from the world. Three he had humility. Over.

Little guy pointing. So you flip it over. Number four obedience. So these are my Bibles. And you know Bibles are so precious and so wonderful.

And it is great to go back and look at them. But I want to talk to you about the power of the Word of God in your life right now. Why don't you grab your Bible right now and turn to Psalm 19.

And again the title of my message is The Refreshing Power of the Word of God. Listen if you want to be a growing Christian. If you want to be a successful Christian. If you want to be a believer that brings forth spiritual fruit as Jesus says he wants us to bring forth. And you need to be a Bible studying Christian. And as a believer we are either progressing or we are regressing. We are either going forward or we are going backwards.

And the moment we stop the forward momentum is when we begin the backward regression. I read not long ago about a coach. A guy who trains people for a living. And most of his clients were quite overweight. Some 60, 70 pounds overweight. This guy, this trainer was in perfect shape. Washboard, abs, ate the right foods, loved to exercise.

And he really couldn't relate to what his clients were going through. So this guy decided to intentionally put on 70 pounds to see what it was like. And so he started by changing his diet from the foods he used to eat to fattening foods. For instance for breakfast he had Captain Crunch cereal and then he would have a snack. It would be banana bread and he would have chicken alfredo pasta for dinner and lots of corn dogs and donuts in between. By the way this diet sounds really good to me except the Captain Crunch cereal. I could live without that.

But all the rest, this sounds amazing. Well it was exhilarating to him because at first there was no difference in his body. He still looked good but then he noticed the first thing to go were the abs. And then he started getting flabby. Then he found that his blood pressure was going up. He was tired all the time.

He found himself lethargic and depressed. And to me this is the picture of what it's like when we start going in the wrong direction spiritually. Instead of eating the nutritious message of God's word we fill our lives with spiritual junk food. So when that happens you need a restart. You need a reboot.

You need a refresh. This is my last message in our series that we are simply calling refresh and I want to talk to you about the refreshing power of the word of God. Because the reality is as believers we all have those moments when we stumble. When we trip up. When we make that wrong decision. We think that wrong thought. And we need to repent. We need to reboot. We need to be revived and refreshed.

And that is what we are going to be focusing on together. Because you want to build your life as a Christian on Christ and his word. At the end of the Sermon on the Mount Jesus gave this summary statement in Matthew 7. Whoever hears these words of mine and puts him into practice he is a wise man who builds his house on the rock. And the rain came down and the streams rose and the winds blew and beat against the house but it did not fall because its foundation was on the rock. But then Christ goes on to say whoever hears these sayings of mine and does not put them into practice he is a foolish man who builds his house on the sand.

And the rain came down and the streams rose and it fell with a great crash. Look every life is going to be tested. Every one of us is going to face storms in life as followers of Jesus. So make sure you are built on the right foundation which is a relationship with Jesus himself and of course on God's word. Don't build your Christian experience on experience. Don't build your faith on your fickle emotions.

Build your life on Christ and his word. Because as you read, study, memorize, and dig into the word of God it will refresh you. Psalm 19 verse 7 says, The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The word that the psalmist uses there for converts means to revive, to restore, and to transform.

Now when we see the law of the Lord that could just as easily be translated the word of the Lord or simply the Bible. In other words the Bible restores you. The Bible refreshes you. The Bible transforms you. I can think of so many times in my life where my mind was going in the wrong direction. Have you ever been gripped by fear, worry, or anxiety?

And found by just quoting the right scripture that it sort of righted you? Or when you're dealing with pain or with grief. We just marked 13 years since our son Christopher went to be with the Lord. And since that has happened I've spoken to countless families who've lost loved ones, especially children. And I've talked to them about grief. Grief is powerful and it can overwhelm you. And there were times when our grief was so powerful and so overwhelming we didn't know if we could go on. But the thing is grief has its place. It's the process of healing.

It's the process of processing the thing that has happened to you. I compare it to being out in the ocean. And it's summer so a lot of us are in the ocean. Maybe we're on our surfboards or our stand-up paddle boards or maybe we're on our boogie boards, right? Have you ever gone over the falls like going over the front of a wave and you're in whitewater?

It's like you're in a washing machine and you don't know which way is up. So if you have a boogie board or some surfboard and a leash attached to your ankle, you know one thing is certain. That boogie board, that flotation device will always go to the surface because people have become disoriented when they've gone over the falls, especially if the wave is big and they don't know which way is up. And instead of going up, they go down. So here's what you do. If you've got that leash, grab the leash and go in the direction of your surfboard or your boogie board and get your head above the water and get a gulp of air because a new set of waves might be coming. That's grief.

It just turns you upside down. You don't know what to think. You don't know what's going on.

Your emotions are running amuck. Grab the leash. What is the leash? The leash is the Word of God. And it pulls me to the surface and I can get my eyes on Jesus for a moment and it can get me sorted out and back in alignment with God again. How important the Word of God is in our life. The Word of God restores us. It refreshes us. It transforms us. Listen to this. Success or failure in the Christian life depends on how much of God's Word you get into your life on a regular basis and how obedient you are to it.

Let me repeat that for emphasis. Success or failure in the Christian life depends on how much of God's Word you get into your life on a regular basis and how obedient you are to it. God told His people back in the book of Joshua, if they want to succeed spiritually, they needed to constantly be looking at His Word. Joshua 1.8, it said, This book of the law, or the Word of God, shall not depart from your mouth. Meditate in it day and night that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it.

And if you do this, your way will be prosperous and you will have good success. Meditate in the Word of God. What does it mean to meditate? Well, in the Bible, it means to contemplate. The idea is given in Scripture of chewing one's food carefully. In Eastern meditation, one empties their mind. In biblical meditation, one fills their mind with the Word of God.

And as you memorize and know and understand Scripture, it'll be a weapon to use as you share your faith and a weapon to defend yourself when you're being attacked. Remember, the first temptation that happened back in the Garden of Eden is when Satan effectively came to Adam and even challenged them to doubt the Word of God. He said, Did God really say what you think He said? Has God really said you cannot eat of all of the trees in the garden? And this is one of the first things that happens to a person when they become a Christian.

They have doubt about what they believe. And Jesus told us how to handle this and showed us, really, when he was tempted in the wilderness. Remember, three waves of temptation came to Christ from Lucifer. And in each instance, Jesus says, It is written. It is written.

He came back to the Word of God, which the Bible describes as the sword of the Spirit. Listen, a growing believer will delight in and love the Word of God. You'll love it. It's not like you'll dread reading it.

You'll look forward to reading it. Psalm 1, describing the happy man, says, Happy is the man that doesn't walk in the counsel of the ungodly or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the Word of the Lord, and in it does he meditate day and night.

The psalmist said in Psalm 119, How I love your commandments, Lord, that give my life back to me because your unfailing love and your words are true. So this is something we need to understand. You have to open up this book. I heard about a woman that wasn't feeling well, so her husband took her to see her doctor, and she went into his office. A little time passed, and the doctor comes rushing out, and he says, Is there anybody here that is a screwdriver?

Someone happened to have one. They gave it to the doctor. He goes back in the office where this man's wife is.

Another moment passes. The doctor comes out again and says, Does anyone have a pair of pliers? Someone gives the doctor a pair of pliers. He goes back in the office. He returns again.

Does anyone here have a hammer? Now the man is alarmed. His wife is in there. He says, Doctor, what are you doing with my wife? The doctor says, I haven't even gotten your wife yet. I'm just trying to get my medical bag opened. See, that's how a lot of us are. We're wondering, Why is life going so poorly?

Why am I making so many bad decisions? Open up the book. The doctor needed to open his medical bag.

You need to open up the Word of God. One of the ways a doctor, speaking of doctors, knows that a person is healthy is if they have an appetite. He'll ask you, How's your appetite? A healthy appetite is an indication of good health. A loss of appetite is an indication of something possibly wrong. Healthy Christians are hungry Christians, and they're hungry for the Word of God.

1 Peter 2 says, Like newborn babies crave spiritual milk that you may grow up spiritually. Because you know the feeling that you have when you haven't eaten? I mean, look, you can set a clock by my stomach.

I get up in the morning. I'm hungry. I'm hungry for lunch at 11 o'clock. I'm ready to eat. I'm hungry for dinner at 5 o'clock. And when I don't eat, I get a little bit cranky. I think the phrase is hangry, right? You're angry, but it's really you're just hungry, hangry.

You just need to eat something, and in the same way, you might find yourself kind of irritable and uptight and anxious and maybe angry, and you wonder, What's wrong? Have you read Scripture? Did you open the day with the Word of God? Jeremiah 15, 16 says, When your words came, I ate them.

They were my joy and my heart's delight, for I bear Your name, O Lord God Almighty. Now, I want to tell you nine things about the Bible you need to know. Nine things about the Bible, and I'm going to go now to Psalm 19 to bring them to your attention.

Read along with me if you can. I'm reading from the King James Version. Psalm 19, verse 7. The law of the Lord. Now, again, let me remind you, this could just as easily be translated the Word of the Lord or simply the Bible. So I'll say the Word of the Lord. The Word of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart. The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever. The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold. And they're sweeter than the honey and the honeycomb. Moreover, by them is your servant warned, and in keeping of them there is great reward.

Beautiful. Now let's start identifying the nine things we need to know about the Bible. If you're taking notes, point number one, the Word of God is perfect. The Word of God is perfect. The phrase the law of the Lord or the Word of the Lord is simply saying it is perfect.

There's no flaws in it. Everything you need to know about God is found in the Bible. Everything you need to know about life is found in the Bible and it never goes out of date. So many things go out of date. Have you ever noticed how strange most people's photos are in the yearbook? It seems like we all collectively decide let's take a really bad picture for our yearbook and have the weirdest hairstyle of all time. So I've had a lot of hairstyles over the years. Let's go back over the life of Greg and his hair. Here I am as a little boy with my mom.

You see curly little blonde hair there. By the way, I'm rocking jeans even when I was a little guy. So I'm still wearing jeans today. Okay, so here now is Greg when he's getting a little bit older.

That's not a real gun. That's a toy in my belt there. I'm kind of growing my hair out a little bit. Here I am in high school. I've got the classic surfer wave going. I wish I still had that wave. I remember I used to whip my hair a lot. You know, you kind of throw your head a little bit. Now the wave is gone and all I have left is just beach.

It's pretty sad. So here's when I was kind of getting into the hippie look a little bit. I'm growing my hair out. Sideburns are growing out. And here is the full blown hippie Greg, early 70s. I was just starting out in ministry and this is what I looked like when I met Kathy.

Here I am where I'm kind of cleaning things up a little bit. The beard's gone. Little Fu Manchu mustache going on. And now I just cut everything off, shaved my beard.

So here's clean shaving me. And this is when I started to make some bad decisions with my hair because I was losing it, you see? So I'm trying to compensate for it and I want to look at this next picture because this is effectively my version of the mullet. But you could just as easily call it the scullet because the mullet basically is when you grow your hair long in the back. And by the way, the mullet's making a comeback.

I would highly recommend against that. Please don't do a yearbook picture in a mullet even if it's popular. Anyway, coming back to it, you grow your hair long in the back. But in my case, my hair was gone so I grew it long and I combed it over.

That's never a good idea. If you're doing the comb over, just stop. Because when you get out of the pool and this long thing of hair is hanging past your shoulders, this is not a good look for you or for anyone else. So I had the comb over going and the mullet, hence the term the scullet. But now I've gotten a brand new hair piece and this is how you're gonna be seeing me from this point on. What do you think of that? No, not really.

That was done on an app by my friend John Irwin. So preachers shouldn't wear hair pieces. It's a lie on your head, right?

So sorry, you're gonna get the ball, Greg. This is me. But these things come and go. Hairstyles come and go.

Musical styles come and go. But the word of God is always current and it's always relevant. I love what Lamentations 323 says. It says, his mercies are new every morning. Can't you think of a time when you've read a scripture you've read before? But suddenly that passage that you're familiar with jumps off the page because it's completely relevant to what you're facing in the moment. You can trust the word of God.

Point number two. And it's really a question. How do you know the Bible is the word of God? Sometimes we'll doubt it. Can I believe the Bible? Can I be certain that this really is God's word to me? So if you have a Bible, why don't you just grab it right now and hold onto it.

Maybe it's an app on your tablet or your phone. But I want you to think about this book I'm holding, this book that we call the Bible. This is God's message to us. Technically speaking, the Bible is not one book, but it's actually 66 different books written over a 1,500 year span of time. Its words were written by authors, 40 of them all told, from every walk of life.

Kings, peasants, philosophers, fishermen, statesmen, and scholars. Yet all of the authors of the Bible write about one primary theme, and that theme is God's redemption of mankind. And each one of these individuals was inspired by God to write these words. Second Peter 1, 20 says, you must understand, no prophecy in scripture came about with the prophets themselves, as they wanted to prophesy, but it was the Holy Spirit who moved the prophets to speak from God. As we're reminded in 2 Timothy 3, all scripture is inspired by God. Or another translation says, all scripture is breathed by God. How do I know the Bible is the word of God? Here's one point. I know the Bible is the word of God because it gave me the experience it claimed it would give me.

Now don't say, well Greg, you shouldn't build your life in experience. This is just one of many points as to why I believe the Bible is the word of God. But I believe it because everything the Bible promised to me was true. Everything the Bible says to me, I have found to be true. For instance, the Bible says, God would forgive me of my sin.

1 John 1, 9 says, if I will confess my sin, he's faithful and just to forgive me my sins and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. So I read that verse and I said, Lord, cleanse me of my sin. One of the first things I remember experiencing as a brand new Christian was the sensation of having a massive weight removed from me.

Now I didn't know what I'd just done. I prayed and asked Jesus into my life. I hadn't read that I should cast all of my care upon him for he cared for me. I hadn't read any verses yet, but I remember feeling this weight lifted off of me. That was God forgiving me of my sins.

The Bible says to me, if any man be in Christ, he is an altogether different kind of person. The old things have passed away. Behold, everything becomes fresh and new. I became a different person after I gave my life to Christ. I saw that change inside of me and I knew it was real. I tried to be a better person. I wanted to be a more caring person.

I wanted to be different than I was, but I couldn't change myself and suddenly with Christ living in me and reading the word of God, I saw that these things happened for me as the Bible said they would. I read in the Bible that God could give to me a peace that passes all human understanding because in Philippians we read, don't worry about anything. Pray about everything and the peace of God that passes all human understanding will keep your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. Have you experienced that peace that passes all understanding? As you're watching me right now, do you find yourself racked with guilt, feeling the pressure of your sins upon your life right now?

Do you feel like you're carrying the weight of the world? At the end of this message, I'm gonna tell you how to have that weight lifted and how to come into a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. I mentioned already that my son went to be with the Lord and I tested the word of God then.

I couldn't even get to sleep at night and I would remind myself of what scripture says and I would quote scripture to myself and it would console me and comfort me and sustain me. I believe the Bible is the word of God because it gave me the experience it promised. Number two, I believe the Bible is the word of God and that it is true because it's confirmed by science. Now some of you might be thinking, no Greg, you're wrong. Science and the Bible contradict each other.

That's not necessarily true. People over the years have scoffed at the Bible saying it's so unscientific. The people that believe the Bible, they're fools and well, it's actually the Bible that told us that the Lord sits on the circle of the earth. It's the Bible that told us the earth was round, not flat as many of the experts thought at one stage in human history. It's the Bible that tells us and told us that the stars in the sky were innumerable but of course astronomers said, well that's ridiculous. We can actually count the stars and they had their count and then they'd get a more powerful telescope and add some more numbers to that and on it grew but the Bible tells us that God stretched forth the heavens into a limitless expanse which can never be measured and filled it with stars that were as numerous as the sands upon the seashore.

Well now modern science says, confirm this is true, that we really can't even count the stars in the sky. It was the Bible that told us the things that we see are made out of things that we don't see. Hebrews 11 three says, by faith we understand the entire universe was formed at God's command and what we see now is made out of things we don't see. Everything that we look at right now is made up of protons, neutrons and electrons and also crutons. Now those are on your salad but the idea is God told us the things we see are made of things we don't see so the Bible was ahead of science in many ways but listen, the Bible is not a scientific textbook.

If it were, it would be much larger and much less comprehensible. The objective of the scripture is not to tell us how the heavens go but how to go to heaven. Let me say that again, the objective of the Bible is not to tell me how the heavens go but how to go to heaven and how to know God. Here's another point, the Bible is true because it's the one book that dares to predict the future.

Not once, not twice but hundreds of times with 100% accuracy. Think of all the scriptures in the Old Testament that pointed to the arrival of the Messiah. The Bible told us in the Old Testament Messiah would be born of a virgin, he'd be born in Bethlehem, he would be crucified and the Bible said in the Old Testament he would be crucified before the actual act of crucifixion even existed. The Bible is the one book that tells us what is coming in our future as well. I'm not talking about Nostradamus here or the Mayan prophecies, I'm talking about a reliable source and that really is the mark of a true messenger from God or a book that comes from God.

Can it predict the future? And the answer with the Bible is yes. Then I could go on and talk a lot about how archeology confirms the Bible.

It doesn't contradict it, it seems like whenever there's a new archeological find it confirms what the Bible said and I could talk about so many things happening in our world right now that are fulfillments of Bible prophecy, the turmoil in the Middle East and much, much more but let me just move on to my next point, the word of God transforms us. The word of God transforms us, Psalm 19 verse seven. The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. See when I read God's word it transforms the way I think. It transforms me in the way that I live.

It changes me. But here's the thing we must remember. It's not enough to just read the Bible. I must do what the Bible says. James 1-22 says remember it's a message to obey not just to listen to. If you don't obey you're only fooling yourself. You're like a person who sees their face in a mirror and does nothing to improve their appearance. You see yourself walk away and you forget what you even look like. But if you keep looking steadfastly into God's perfect law or into his word, the law that sets you free and do what it says and don't forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.

It's amazing. You know when you go and look in a mirror it shows you something. Sometimes you see something that others were seeing but you were not aware of.

Like there's a string of cheese hanging from your lip from the omelet you had that morning. No wonder everyone was kind of smiling at you and looking away. Oh, they must think I look good.

Did they know you have cheese hanging from your face? And the mirror showed you that. So you see something in a mirror.

Make the necessary correction. So I open the word of God. Oh yes, I read the Bible today.

Great. Did you do what the Bible said? The Bible says don't just be hearers of the word but be doers of the word. Listen, the Bible is God's word to us and it should be treasured. As we read in Psalm 19, more to be desired are these things than gold, yes, than much fine gold. Psalm 119, 11, the psalmist says your word have I treasured in my heart that I might not sin against you.

What does that mean? To treasure in your heart means to hide or store something. So obviously this verse and others are advocating and encouraging Bible memorization. Do you have any Bible verses memorized?

If not, why not? You say oh, Greg, I just can't memorize scripture. Oh yes, you can. You have lines from movies that you quote all the time. You have lyrics from songs you've memorized.

You have so much information and data in your brain that you've committed to memory. Certainly you can make some room for the word of God because none of those things are gonna help you in a time of trouble. Lyrics of songs or lines from movies are not gonna sustain you when you're facing adversity in life but the word of God will so commit, commit it to memory. Here's another point, verse seven. The word of God gives us incredible wisdom. The word of God gives us incredible wisdom.

The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. This word that is translated simple comes from a root word that speaks of an open door. It's describing a person who has a mind like an open door.

Everything comes in and everything goes out. This person doesn't know what to take in. They don't know what to keep out. And so they're naive.

They're open to everything and close to nothing. These are the kind of people that read weird conspiracy theories online and they attach as much credibility to the weird conspiracy theory as they attach to scripture. The Bible says they need to immerse themselves with scripture so a simple-minded person, a person with far too open of a mind will become a biblically grounded person and develop a biblical world view. This comes from the study of the word of God. There's gonna be times in life where you're gonna read passages of scripture you don't fully understand. I would encourage you to talk to your pastor or talk to someone who has been a Christian longer and they can probably help you. But I've been asked the question, well what do you do when you come to a verse in the Bible that you don't agree with?

You probably won't like my answer. And change your opinion, you're wrong because the Bible is right. You don't adapt the Bible to the way you think. You'll hear sometimes people say, well you know, my God would never judge a person or I believe in a God and you start describing your own God. You can't make up your God as you go. There's only one God and he's revealed in the Bible. And we don't conform that God to us, we conform ourselves to him.

I'm almost done. Point number eight, the word of God is right. The word of God is right. Psalm 19 verse eight, the statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart. In Hebrew this means the Bible is set up for us the right path for us to follow.

You don't have to lose your bearings and the fog of human opinion. As you read scripture, you know it's reliable. So as you read the Bible, it's good to ask yourself a few questions.

You read a verse, you can ask yourself the question, is there any sin mentioned here that I should avoid? Is there any promise stated here that I ought to claim? Is there any victory for me to gain? Is there any blessing mentioned here that I could enjoy?

And now number nine, my last point. Keeping the word of God makes you happy. Keeping the word of God makes you happy. Psalm 19 verse eight, the statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart.

Jesus said in Luke 11, 28, happy are those that hear the word of God and keep it. You want to be a happy person. Be a person who studies the Bible. You want to be a happy person. Be a person that memorizes the Bible. You want to be a happy person.

Be a person who obeys the Bible. Listen, you can have a happy life without sin. You can have a happy life without drugs or alcohol.

You can have a happy life without sex outside of marriage. God is not out to ruin your life. He wants you to be fulfilled.

The happiness he gives doesn't stop when the party is over. It's a whole different approach to life. It's a change of everything. I mentioned earlier that the Bible promises that if I believe in Jesus, I'll become a different person on the inside because old things are passed away and everything becomes fresh and new. The Bible promises that God will lift that weight off of my shoulders of sin. The Bible tells me what the meaning of life is. You say, well, Greg, what is the meaning of life?

The meaning of life is to know the God who created you. The Bible says God has set eternity in our hearts. What that means is deep down inside, we know there's something more. Deep down inside, we know we're made for something more. What we're really longing for is not some new possession.

It's not some new experience. Even a relationship can't fill this void. What we're longing for deep down inside is a relationship with God himself. Revelation 4-11 says God created all things for his own pleasure. Some people spend their whole life chasing happiness. They spend their whole life trying to find the ultimate pleasure, the ultimate experience. Now, you were created to give God pleasure. When you give God pleasure, which means you come into a relationship with him and a friendship with him, and you begin to communicate with him and hear from him, you will find the pleasure you've been looking for, not from seeking it, but from seeking God himself. The purpose and meaning of life is to know God and discover his plan for you. The Bible also tells me how to get to heaven.

Is there any more important question than that? How do I get to heaven? I was talking with someone the other day, and I asked them if they believed they would go to heaven, and their answer was, well, yes, I'm a good person. I had to break the bad news to them that they're maybe a good person, relatively speaking, but they're not good enough to get to heaven, because the Bible also tells me I'm separated from God by my sin.

I've crossed the line. I've broken his commandments. I've fallen short of his standards, but then scripture reminds me that while I was yet a sinner, Christ died for me on the cross. He had nails driven through his hands and feet and blood and died in my place on the cross of Calvary, and then he rose again from the dead three days later, and if I will turn from my sin, the Bible says, repent and be converted in times of refreshing will come from the presence of the Lord.

You want to be refreshed? Then repent. You say, repent? What does that even mean?

I don't know if I've even pented yet. Why should I repent? To repent means to change your direction. You've been walking away from God. It's time to do a U-turn.

It's actually a military turn. That means U-turn, turn around, about face, and walk toward God. Repent, turn from your sin, and turn to Jesus Christ. You want to go to heaven when you die? Here's what Jesus says. For God so loved the world, he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Let me leave you with this. God loves you. He loved you so much that he sent his own beloved son to die on the cross in your place. Then Jesus rose from the dead and now stands at the door of your life, and he knocks.

If you'll hear his voice and open the door, he'll come in. As Jesus said, whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Do you want everlasting life? Do you want to go to heaven when you die? Do you want the burden of your guilt and shame and sin lifted from you?

Do you want a fresh start in life? It can all happen if you'll ask God to forgive you and if you will ask Jesus Christ to come into your life. In a moment, we're gonna pray, and I'm going to extend an invitation in this prayer for you to believe in Jesus, for you to be forgiven of your sin, for you to have from this moment forward the certainty that you'll go to heaven when you die. If you've not asked Jesus to come into your life yet, do it now. If you need to recommit your life to the Lord, do it now. And pray this simple prayer after me. Just pray this simple prayer. If you want Christ to come into your life, if you want to go to heaven when you die, 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 turn from my sin now, Lord, and I choose to follow you from this moment forward. Thank you for hearing this prayer and answering this prayer. In Jesus' name, I pray, amen. God bless you. Hey, everybody, thanks for listening to this podcast. To learn more about Harvest Ministries, follow this show and consider supporting it. Just go to harvest.org. And to find out how to know God personally, go to harvest.org and click on Know God.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-18 14:16:28 / 2023-09-18 14:33:04 / 17

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