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Loving God: Getting Back Where You Belong

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
December 16, 2021 3:00 am

Loving God: Getting Back Where You Belong

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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December 16, 2021 3:00 am

Sometimes we all NEED a new beginning, don’t we? When our spiritual lives have meandered and we’re not as close to the Lord as we used to be, it’s okay to make an adjustment. God allows U-turns. It’s legal in every state! Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie points out how we may have come to this point, and how we can get beyond – way beyond. And you want to invite someone else to hear today’s study, just direct them to our website. They can listen for free at harvest.org.

View and subscribe to Pastor Greg’s weekly notes.

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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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We are glad you're joining us for a new beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast supported by harvest partners get more encouraging audio content. When you subscribe to pastor Craig daily defenses.

Learn more and sign up@harvest.org remember where you were going to love Jesus was a high point review your goals in a month ago to go. I don't know where you were before. If you notice your spiritual moment that today pastor Greg Laurie said it's time for a course correction. St. Paul said where you want the lives of meandered and were not as close to the Lord as we used to be okay to make the judgment. God allows U-turns is legal in every state.

Greg Laurie points out how we may have come to this point how we can get beyond way beyond you want to invite someone else. Your website listen for free Bible to Revelation chapter 2 so go to 22 of Matthew and then Mark Revelation pop over there in a moment the title of my messages loving God. Jesus had just dealt with the Sadducees. As you recall now the Pharisees feel it's their turn they come with this question we picked it up and Matthew 22 verse 34 when the Pharisees heard he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question, testing him understand this was designed to paint Christ into a corner if you will testing them and say teacher went to the greatest commandment in the law. Jesus said you shall love the Lord your God with all of your heart, with all of your soul and with all of your mind.

This is the first and great commandment in the second is like it you shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all of the law and the profit to the crisis a sinner worry about all these little commandment in which one is worse than the other get back to this love God with all of your being, and I say all this stuff will be sorted out. But just what this love that we have for Christ to be walked away from. Sometimes we don't love him as we once did we look back in our lives as Christians or mosaic. There was a time in my walk with the Lord for my love was much stronger than it is today.

I've effectively left my first love. This happens in marriage all the time. You know when two people are newly married. Maybe you see them out about their so affectionate. You see this young couple holding hands, gazing into each other's eyes kissing is safe.

They must be newly married. Why, because we will been married for a while. Don't do that anymore. This happens in our faith to where that affection is gone.

That passion is gone. The communication is broken down and in effect, the honeymoon is over. This was the situation with the church in Ephesus that Jesus spoke to in the book of Revelation.

They were an active busy engaged church, but they were lacking in love. So let's read about them. Now go over to Revelation right had to turn Revelation 2 verse one to the angel of the church of Ephesus write these things says he that holds the seven stars in his right hand. This is speaking of Christ, who was in the midst of the seven golden lampstands. This is a picture of the church. So here's Jesus walking through the church. I know your work, your labor, your patient, you cannot bear those who are evil. You have tested those who say there are apostles and are not you found them liars. And you are persevered in a patient zeal labored for my namesake and you not become wary. Nevertheless I have this against you, you have left your first love was this really that big of a deal.

We update thing they left their first love. Yeah, acceptable big deal because if you read the words of Jesus to the seven churches in Revelation your findings get progressively worse. Starting with a breakdown of the first love to the church of Ephesus, and culminating with the outright rejection of Christ and the church of Laodicea we find Jesus is on the outside trying to get in; I sent at the door knocking up you'll hear my voice, and open the door, I will commit that verse is often quoted as we tell nonbelievers about how they can accept Christ but in its context. It was to the church. The unbelieving church and so this is how things can get worse.

So yes, it is a big deal to leave your first love because it can lead to worse things down the road I think about how things were when you first started taking your wife or your husband out somewhere you know you did all the right things you first of all, you open the door for her right for you, you still do that but you just get in just a knock on the window because the doors lock The new ticket of when you would go to a restaurant you'd open the door for her right this way, my dear, and then you over the table and you pull the chair out here you go. 11 C for the did you take her to her favorite French restaurant. You have a little gift for her. You want to impress her. Then he got married, things of change you still open the car door for her. You just close up before she's all the way in. You still pull the chair for her and the rest are, you just don't put it back in the when she falls in the ground you point and laugh.

You still give her little gift for you disk error. Her your dirty laundry yesterday and you take in the finest French restaurants.

What was it junk is a box of will get some French fry that spring to Senate a week ago today, golden arch as alcohol things of change that can happen in your relationship with the Lord as well. Remember when you first came to faith in Jesus Christ. What a joy it was to pray. I mean you never knew that you could talk to God when you realize you could call upon in more of you word no matter what you are facing. You can pray it was a privilege and you utilized it then that was the Bible, the missing users manual of line. Now you have the book that told you how to live your life the book that told you what your priorities are to be the book that told you how to be a good husband, a good wife, a good parent. The book that told you how to get to heaven. Most importantly, and then it was church menu couldn't wait to get to church it would go to a Sunday service a midweek service. Even another service, then you would listen the Bible teaching on the radio read Christian, but couldn't get enough in your line sharing your faith meant I was easy was the overflow of a Christ Goldline you're always looking for opportunities to talk to someone about Jesus while things have changed. You still studying the Bible is not as much is used to offer all you studied all those years a lot of be good for something and you're not so sure you can read anything you haven't read before so you get to it. If you find time in your busy schedule prayer all Geico pray it's not so much a time of prayer as much as it is just a quick prayer here and there. Are you sure you want to be at church about using them the same place every Sunday.

Thank you very much, and no one better try to take your stinking scene, but if that preacher goes over his allotted time, you're not happy and you also sometimes leave early traffic oh yeah you still share your faith once in a while, but you feel now.

They should just look at your example is a follower of Jesus, as opposed to actually going in starting a conversation, you know how awkward and uncomfortable. That can be. Here's my question for you. Have you left your first love Jesus as remember from where you will fall in interesting word fallen isn't falling to leave your first love.

Why yes it is because it can lead to worse things classic example of this is King David. We remember him as the man after God's own heart, as is described in Scripture. The sweet psalmist of Israel, the greatest king in the history of the nation of Israel but also we have to do for honest remember he was in adulterer and in effect a murder out of that up all that happened when he left his first love.

You didn't start that way were first introduced to David. He's a young boy watching this blog as she writing love songs to God. I don't think he he was some just really sensitive pediment artist know he would go out and like wild animals as well.

And if they initiate he was a tough man but he also had a sensitive part, but fast forward a number of years now. The Bible says in the time when kings would lead their troops for the battle. David was back home just kicking back, sleeping in late walking around in his rooftop patio when he catches sight of a beautiful woman bathing herself appropriately made that Shiva David Caesar. He lust after her.

He has are brought up to his chambers.

He has sex with her.

She becomes pregnant, you know the rest of that story and it all fell apart for him. But you see at this stage in his life. You don't read of David writing these beautiful Psalms that we read you don't read of David singing the Lord as he often would out of the wilderness and later for King Saul don't see this tender heart. It's gone. He's moved beyond it First love in his life was a mess result. Have you your first love can happen so easily, so we need to get back to that love and love the Lord with all of our hard soul and mind are Greg Laurie of the second half of this message moment right after a quick look at the way a new beginning touches the lives of listeners guidelines and goals and how filings should have left me 10 line Eckstein's wow she that's a great little letter is netted 10 years old. She wants to dicker. They have and I don't know what I can say about that. But I'll tell you this much. I'm so glad that she's watching and it's getting through to her that she loved the rush of hope. I'm always thrilled when I get a letter from a kid, I have to tell you I have a soft spot in my heart for little ones. I love to engage them because you know you never know they might so little Steve in their heart that will break ground later but we love children and were so thankful children are watching our ministry that we put out there online and on radio and if you're a little kid in your listing right now.

I'm so thankful you're listening and I know a lot of times you tell me you love the jokes so the jokes are going to keep coming kids and keep listening.

You know, these daily studies connect with people of all ages and connect with people all over the world that is only possible through the partnership of our listeners. Thank you for your support of a new beginning and you could send a generous year-end gift today by going to harvest.org and now Pastor Greg continues his message called loving God, how can you tell if you or someone else really loves God. Here are some tests if you will, to see if your love for God is real number one if you really love God you will long for personal communion with him, you really love God alone for personal communion with him when you really love someone you like to spend time with them. You enjoy their company and their companionship. When you hear of husbands and wives spending less time together and taking separate vacations. This is not a good song. I don't say this to impress you, but if it does good.

I love to hang out with my wife.

She is my best friend and she feels about me but I like to be with her. I value her opinion and were there together all a lot and we spent a lot of time together and that's because were in love and if you really love the Lord you want to be in fellowship with him number two. A person who love the Lord will, in turn, love the things that he love you will love the things that he loves and we know what he loves why what he is declared in his word.

The psalmist declares oh I love your word is my meditation day and night to here's my question for you to love the word of God and love that not tolerate it not put up with it or go clear, duty, and reader fibers, which that's over know you love the word of God. God loves his work you love hanging out with the people of God. God loves the church. Do you love lost people God does.

If you love the Lord, you will long for fellowship with him and you will love the things that he loves in the flipside of that is if you love the Lord, you will hate the things that he hates because his nature is becoming your nature some 90 7/10 is you the love the Lord hate evil and God hates sin and we should do this thing. The Bible tells us in Romans 12 to up or that which is evil, the promise sometimes were fascinated with evil. Wellwood says I want to check this out its research records you should heed evil see it as God sees it. That image comes up on the TV screen or whatever it oh no, turn it off turn away from it. That's not right. I know that something God hates and I don't want to be fascinated by something God hates, and I certainly don't want to love it.

Another thing to keep in mind is if you love God you will love other Christian don't tell me you love God you can see when you don't love people whom you can see your love is in real for God. If you hate other Christian Bible says were told over and first John 314 if we love other Christians to prove they have passed from death to eternal life, but a person who doesn't love them is still dead. Anyone who hates another Christian is really a murder at heart.

So don't tell me you love the Lord and in your harboring hatred toward fellow believer number five if you really love the Lord, you will long for the return of Jesus Christ. You long for his return. Second Timothy Faure Paul says there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge will give to me on that date and not to me only, but to all who love his appearing. You love his appearing. By that I mean are you longing for the return of Jesus in number six.

And lastly, if you love the Lord you will keep his commandments, Jesus says in John 1421 he that has my commitments and keep them.

He is the one that loves me and the one who loves me. I will love and I'll disclose myself to him. If you love God will do what he said let's just say that I walked up to what I said I love you. Thank you so much Greg, you're welcome and I slap you across the pit while that hurt.

Why did you do that. I don't know what came over me because I love you so much and I'm so sorry, will you forgive me.

While my face is still stinging but okay I'll forgive you.

I love you I love you and I punch you in the solar Plaxo yard even free.

One way to do that. I don't know I love you so much for I just why did I do that all men can you forgive me. I'll never do it again okay just try to breathe again. Yes, I forgive you. I forgive you yeah you know what, I love you Deb my picture right across Shaw nunchuck your fee that is I'm so sorry what I do know why I love you when you got up and started running every time I say I love you. You want to get away from me there is a problem. My actions don't match my work with the Starwood adjusted upward.

Oh I love you so much I love you more than anything else and then you go out and you sleep with your boyfriend or girlfriend.

You're unfaithful to your spouse how I love you so much. Lord, you're so good. Get drunk today him party. I love you so much, Lord, menu tell a lie about someone when the second if you love him keep his command. And if you're not willing to keep his commandments stop talking about your love for God. The proof is in the pudding. I have no idea what that expression means proof is in the pudding. Looking forward is where I guess a means of putting Texcoco good putting the proof is in your actions and what you do. Let's just say you walked away from your first love. You've left it.

How do you get it back like a revelation.

Jesus gives the 3Rs of getting back to your first love. Our number one remember, remember, or literally keep on remembering remember where you were at your highest point of love for Jesus on another translation puts it. Remember the height from which you will fall in what was a high point for you as it here he goes in a month ago.

Is it a decade ago. Is it three decades ago. I don't know, but there was a boy.

He is a get that. That's when I was firing on all cylinders. That was it right yeah okay.

Remember, keep that in your mind for a moment that is a point of reference you want to return to now our number two rep. 10. First you remember then your opinion, what is repent me means to change your direction.

Go back to where you were before the St. Paul said That, get that get back to where you once belong that same Paul McCartney by the way that St. Paul the apostle know to bed to where you were before first to remember. Then I get back go back there again. Here's the most important thing repeats do the first works quickly repeats what was it like when you're Christian life was at its highest point.

What did you do well. Every day I get up and read the Bible really do that again. What else did you do well, you know, I've heard or read the Bible read good Christian much of you that to I listen to Christian radio. You do that is what praise praise music plaintiff do that to what else while afraid all the time frame the morning Friday afternoon brave. I was driving with my eyes open. Of course you go back and do that soon. What else why love church really couldn't get enough church. I just love to hear the word of God and fellowship with God's people and be a part of what the Lord was doing. Yes, go back and do that as well. What else did you do while I actually look for opportunities to share my faith. I pray that the Lord would lead me in as a matter of fact I was leading people to the Lord all the time wanted to go back and start doing that to go back and do the first works quickly. This is rocket science. Love the Lord your God with all of your heart the core of your being with all of your soul. Your motion with all of your mind. Your reason and your intellect, and with all of your spring with everything you have channel it in the loving God and then love your neighbor as yourself. If you live that when everything in life will come into its proper place.

Listen before I can fully love God, I need to know how much God loves me.

Did you know that loves you. The Bible says we love him because he first loved us. Our love for God is really a response to his how do I know God love you Minna read in a book God loves me. Okay, how do we know because he proved how to prove it by sending his son Jesus Christ to die on the cross on my plate.

Jesus said, greater love has no man than this, and he lay down his life for his friends. Jesus went and laid his life down on the cross. It wasn't nails and held him to the cross.

2000 years ago.

It was love for you and me. For God so loved the world, Jesus said he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life. So let me ask you, enclosing you know that God loves you and have you responded to that love Jesus died and rose again from the dead and as I mentioned earlier, he does stand at the door of your life that he does not and he says if you will hear his voice and open the door he will come in.

Would you like Jesus Christ to forgive you of your sin right now. Would you like to be certain that when you die you will go to heaven. Would you like your guilt taken away God to do that for you if you want to make this commitment did Jesus respond to this invitation. Right now, as we close in prayer. Okay, it's all bow our heads and everyone praying please father, thank you for loving each one of us, Lord Jesus, thank you for demonstrating that love going to the cross and dying there in our place, and now we pray for any that have joined us who do not yet know you, Lord, help them to see their need for you help them to come to you find your forgiveness we ask a man Greg Laurie pointing out the need we all have to put our hearts right with God and if you like to make a change today in your relationship with the Lord. Pastor Greg will help you do that in just a moment before today's addition of a new beginning wraps up and then were so excited about making a wonderful video resource available for you and your family have you heard of the television series called the chosen.

It's the first multi-season series about the life of Christ, and it's also get this the highest crowd funded TV series or film project of all time. It's a series that portrays Christ through the eyes of those who met him and walk with him and it's powerful. The cinematography is stunning and the acting is really first rate and how accurate is it to what we read in Scripture where the show has biblical scholars from a variety of denominations reviewing scripts to ensure historical and biblical accuracy. The chosen helps you see what it's like to live life side-by-side with Jesus as he encounters needy people who need a touch of the Masters hand. Pastor Greg says this is the best for trail of the life of Christ he's ever seen on film and we want to make season one of the critically acclaimed series called the chosen available to you on DVD as our thank you gift for your donation right now, that's an investment in change lives through a new beginning and through our large evangelistic events. We heard this from someone who just attended SoCal harvest a few weeks ago I listen with my heart instead of my ears and it became clear I need Jesus in my life. Not tomorrow, not five minutes from now. But right now what your investment helps people have a moment of decision like that. So we hope to make a donation today.

You can donate securely online@harvest.org or write a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call any time around the clock at 1-800-821-3300. That's 1-800-821-3300 will Pastor Greg or somebody listening right now knows they need to ask the Lord to forgive them of their sins.

Could you help them with that right now you know what they've of love to do that. It's an amazing thing to me that over the years I've heard so many stories of people who have come to know Christ. Listening to this broadcast and will say things like I prayed the prayer with you with the end of the program: Guy Robie had said. I pulled my car over to the side of the road and prayed that prayer in Christ came in the my life just incredible and I like to lead you in that same prayer look, I don't have some super special prayer it's it's a basic prayer based on scriptural principles of what it means to believe in Jesus Christ.

I mean if we went to get real technical. The only sinners prayer if you will. We often call this prayer a sinner's prayer.

The only real sinner's prayer in the Bible is a guy who just prayed God be merciful to me a sinner solidly join a prayer similar to that.

But this is a prayer will you will be acknowledging your need for Jesus and putting their faith in him solicit if you want to go to heaven when you die if you want to know that you are a child of God.

If you want the Lord to forgive you of your sins. Just pray these words. If you would, Lord Jesus, I know that I'm a sinner and I'm sorry for my sin and I turn from that sin. But I know that you died on the cross of Calvary for my sin and rose again from the dead, so forgive me Lord, I choose to follow you from this moment forward. I want you to be my Savior. I want you to be my friend. I want you to be my God, thank you for hearing my prayer and answering my prayer in Jesus name I ask this amen I know some of your sin. All that so simple. It is simple, yet it's profound this and it to think that God Almighty just heard that prayer and is answered their prayer in that Christ is come to live inside of you. You might say will Greg I didn't have an emotional experience. This is not about an emotional experience. This is about the fact of what happens when a person believes Jesus said it this way for God so loved the world he gave his only begotten son. And whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life. When you prayed that prayer you are in effect putting your faith in Christ. You were choosing to believe in Jesus.

Now I want to help you start growing spiritually so I have something to send you at no charge.

It's my gift to you. It's called the new believers packet and then it is a copy of the New Testament in a very friendly understandable translation called the new living translation also has some notes that I wrote hundreds of notes.

Actually, that will encourage you in this commitment you made these notes will answer a lot of the questions you probably have right now there's some other materials in this packet as well so order your copy of the new believers packet immediately and thanks for giving me the opportunity to lead you in that prayer and I wanted to be the first to save you.

Welcome to the family of God, and let me pass along our contact information so you can get that free new believers growth packet just right is that a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call 1-800-821-3300 were here 24 seven to take your call.

That's 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org and click on know God ever wonder how long your life will last. Pastor Greg points out, your life will last exactly as long as God plans it in the very beginning. Join us to run a new beginning*and Bible teachers regulatory and bank to a new beginning. Greg Laurie podcasts 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


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