January 14, 2022 3:00 am
The Lord tells us to cast all our cares upon Him, for He cares for us. It’s like we’ve come out of a department store with bags full of merchandise, and it’s hard to navigate our way through the parking lot. We drop this bag, then we drop that bag. We might even hear the sound of broken glass. The Lord shows up with a cart and says, I’ll take ‘em from here. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie points out how we can leave our burdens with the Lord. He’ll know what to do with them.
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Sign up at harvest.org. See the trash. So what do you do when your burdens are piling up? You bring them to God. The Lord tells us to cast all our cares upon Him, for He cares for us. It's like we've come out of a department store with bags full of merchandise. It's hard to navigate our way through the parking lot. We drop this bag, then we drop that bag.
We might even hear the sound of broken glass. The Lord shows up with a cart and says, I'll take them from here. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie points out how we can leave our burdens with the Lord.
He'll know what to do with them. I don't know about you, but in my house I take the trash out. And I procrastinate. I put it off.
And I don't know why. It's really not that hard. I have these big plastic trash cans with wheels and a handle on them. And all I got to do is drag them out in the front and put them there. But you know there's something about taking out the trash that I don't really like to do. And then someone comes along and they pick up the trash. We call them the trash man. Maybe a better title would be waste management professional.
Whatever. They do their job and they do their job well. And I'm glad they do it. Because if they decide to not pick up my trash for a month we would have a serious situation.
Right? So let me say something that might seem a little odd. But Jesus Christ is our Savior. Jesus Christ is our Lord. Jesus Christ is our God. But Jesus in effect wants to pick up your trash.
Let me explain that. Jesus says in Matthew 11 28, come to me all you who are weary and can't carry your heavy burdens and I will give you rest. Jesus is saying would you please bring your cares to me. Would you please bring your anxieties and your worries and your problems and your burdens to me. And He says and when you do that I will give you rest.
I mean that's quite a promise. And we all have cares and anxieties and worries that weigh us down. Don't we? You know the feeling. Just when you're laying your head down at night.
Boom. They come. What about this?
What about that? Sometimes they wake you up in the middle of the night. Sometimes you've been able to kind of give them over to the Lord and they'll just pop back into your head again and they trouble you and they feel like just a lot of weight on your shoulders. And sometimes our problems are imagined. We make mountains out of molehills.
And other times our troubles are real. But whatever they are here is what the Bible says we should do with them. Let's read 1 Peter chapter 5 verse 6.
I am reading from the New Living Translation. So humble yourself unto the mighty hand of God and at the right time He will lift you up in honor. Casting all your cares upon Him for He cares for you. Stay alert. Watch out. Your great enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him. Be strong in your faith and remember that your family of believers are all over the world and they're going through the same kind of suffering you are.
So if you're taking notes here's point number one. You are not alone in your suffering. You are not alone in your suffering.
Look at verse 8 there of 1 Peter again. Remember that your family of believers all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are. I don't know why it is but it's just good to know I'm not the only one going through suffering. Right. That there's somebody else that is facing something as hard as I'm facing.
Maybe even quite a bit harder than I'm facing. And this is where community comes in. This is where the church comes in.
Over at our church in Maui they call it ohana which is the Hawaiian word for family. You know as it was already said earlier we don't need to do this alone. Don't try to be a solo Christian.
The Bible says bear one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ. It's so wonderful when we can do that for one another. But I think there's something in us where we say well I don't want to admit I need help. And why is that? Because we're proud idiots. That's why.
That's why the Bible says humble yourself verse 6 unto the mighty hand of God and at the right time He'll lift you up. I think it's maybe easier in general for women to share their hearts with other women than it is for guys to share with other guys. Am I right? Because guys oh we're guys man. We have this all sorted out. We fix stuff. That's what we do. Well you know what we break stuff too. And we get broken ourselves sometimes too. And we need help. We all need to humble ourselves under the hand of God and acknowledge that we need help from other people. You know when our son Christopher was called home to heaven 10 years ago it was devastating for us. And it just rocked our world. And frankly I wondered will I survive this. It's so traumatizing.
It's so hard to wrap your mind around the fact that your child is with you one day and he isn't another. And so you know the first thing I did is I reached out. You say well Greg you're a pastor. Don't you have all the answers.
Well no. Number one. And number two when the day was done I was just a father in pain. So I reached out to fellow pastors and other wonderful people I know. And they were a great encouragement to me. I would just say help me. I'm struggling.
I have these questions. I had questions like anyone has questions. And even though I've given the answers many times I was still needing help. And I also reached out to other people who had lost children. Because knowing that there was someone that had somehow survived this was comforting to me when I was in that first stage of it.
And so that's the whole thing. You're not alone in your suffering. I think if you just found out you had cancer your world is altered. But if you could talk to a cancer survivor and they can give you perspective that can be very encouraging to you. And that is why for those of us who have suffered, who've lost a child, we've lost a spouse, we've had cancer and been able to overcome it.
Or whatever it is we have come through. Don't waste your pain. God allowed you to go through that for a reason. So use that to help other people. Because the Bible says comfort with the comfort that you have been comforted with. So you're not alone in your suffering.
Number two. We need to give our burdens to God. We need to give our burdens to God. Look at verse 7. Casting all your cares upon Him for He cares for you. The word cast here is not the normal word for throwing something. Rather it is a word that signifies a definite act of the will by which we stop worrying about something and let God assume the responsibility for our welfare.
So it's an act. Like okay I'm not going to worry about this because worry doesn't help and I'm going to put it deliberately and intentionally in the hand of God. Coming back to this statement here casting all your cares upon Him. Why?
Because He cares for you. Listen. If it troubles you it concerns God. The other day one of my grandchildren was troubled about something and I was out of town so I FaceTimed her. Tell me what's going on. I wanted to hear.
It didn't seem like a big thing but if it's a big thing to her it's really kind of a big thing to me too. And so in the same way God says I care about you. I'm concerned about you.
Why don't you cast that on me. I'm asking you to do so. Hey what do you do when the trash can is overflowing? You empty the trash. So what do you do when your burdens are piling up? You bring them to God.
All right. So let's shift gears now and go over to Matthew chapter 6 and we will see the next thing that we need to do. We will read a few verses together.
Matthew 6 verse 25 here is Jesus and the Sermon on the Mount. This is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life. Whether you have enough food or drink or clothes to wear. Isn't life more than food and your body more than clothing? Well look at the birds. They don't plant or harvest or store food in barns for your heavenly Father feeds them and you're far more valuable to Him than they are.
Can all of your worries add a single moment to your life? Why do you worry about clothing? Look at the lilies of the field.
How they grow. They don't work or make their clothing. Yet Solomon in all of his glory was not as dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow He will certainly care for you.
Why do you have such little faith? So don't worry about these things. Saying what shall we eat? What shall we drink?
What shall we wear? These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers but your heavenly Father already knows all of your needs. Very important verse.
Verse 33. Seek first the kingdom of God above everything else and His righteousness and He'll give you everything you need. So don't worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today. So we'll stop there. Powerful words from Jesus.
So let's review. Number one we're not alone in our suffering. Number two we should cast all our cares on God.
Number three this is a big one. The believers should not worry. Jesus says don't worry about these things. Jesus is not saying a Christian should not think about those things or be concerned with the needs of life such as what you're going to wear, what you're going to eat, or where you're going to live and things of that nature. He's not saying don't think about it. He's saying don't worry about it. In fact elsewhere in Scripture we're commended for working hard and saving and investing and so forth. So there's a place for all of that. Jesus is saying don't worry.
Verse 25. Don't worry about your life. Or a better translation don't have anxiety about the issues of life. Stop doing what you've already been doing. So the idea is you've been doing this now I want you to stop it.
Stop worrying. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. Hey everybody Greg Laurie here. You know my uncle Fred Jordan had 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. Well we have Church in the Home for you every weekend. It's called Harvest at Home and you can find it at harvest.org. We have worship and a message from God's Word. So join us this weekend for Harvest at Home at harvest.org. Well today on A New Beginning and one of this past year's most requested messages Pastor Greg is offering a helpful biblical antidote for worry in his message Time to Take Out the Trash.
Let's continue. Now some of us worry more by nature than others. How many of you struggle with worry and anxiety?
Raise your hand up. Okay I wouldn't say I'm a worry wart but I would say I do worry at times. And let me say something that might surprise you. To worry can actually be a sin.
You say well really? Yes because when you worry you're effectively not trusting God. In fact the word worry means to strangle or to choke. And that's exactly what worry does to you. It strangles you. It chokes you. You know worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow.
It empties today of its day of its strength. Worry is interest paid on troubles before they're due. And so you can just worry about things that actually will never happen. I've told you before about the guy that had a problem with worry. So he hired someone to worry for him. He literally took it out on the paper and said wanted someone to worry for me.
I'll pay you well. So guy took the job and he was bragging about this to one of his friends. He goes I don't worry at all anymore. But he said why? You're always worried so much.
Oh I know. I hired a guy to worry for me. Hired a guy. How much do you pay that guy? $50,000 a week. Wow. You don't have that kind of money. How are you going to pay him? He said that's for him to worry about. So you might try that.
I don't know how well it will work. But you know when I was down under in Australia. I love the Aussies.
They're just such great people. And they have an expression in Australia. And it's the expression no worries mate. So if you ask them a question. Excuse me can I get directions to this place. Why are you just going over here and turn right over there. Then they say. You say thank you.
They say no worries mate. By the way they never said throw another shrimp on the barbie right. Or that's not enough.
This is a knife right. It's a line from Crocodile Dundee. Forget it.
Very dated reference. How many of you got it though. You got it. Whoa okay. Wow.
Crocodile Dundee fans here. But that's the whole point. No worries. So Jesus is saying don't worry about these things. You know we worry so much about what people think of us. What do people think of me.
You would not worry so much about what people think of you if you realized how rarely they do. Hate to break that to you. So he's telling us don't worry. It comes down to this. We need to trust in the providence of God. What is the providence of God. I have no idea.
I just like the way it sounds. No. The providence of God or the sovereignty of God simply means that God is in control. So either God allows it or God does it.
He either allows it or He does it. So either that thing you're dealing with God did that or God allowed that thing for some reason we may not understand in the moment. But God is in control of all things and there's no accidents in our lives and nothing touches us that is not first passed through His loving hand.
So God is in control. So Jesus now so Jesus now illustrates. Some understand Jesus did most of His teaching outdoors. He wasn't in a sanctuary like this. He did speak in a synagogue on occasion. But mostly He was out and about with His disciples. He spent a lot of time by the water there at the Sea of Galilee.
And so He would use things that were happening around them as illustrations. And He says, well look at the birds. Look at those birds over there. He's basically pointing out birds don't worry.
Why should we? I have a bird feeder in front of my kitchen and I fill it with seed and I like to watch the birds come and eat. They usually come in the morning. I have little tiny lattes out there for them. They really like those. You know they hold them in their little bird and then drink it. It's so cute.
I have to take a picture of it sometime but post it for you to look at. But I watch the birds and I don't see birds get stressed out. You know I've never seen a bird taking a Valium or something like that. You know they go in. They get their seed. They take off.
Right. Those are the little birds. And they know I keep my feeder filled with seed. Then there are those other birds out there that take whatever they want whenever they want. We call them seagulls. The only thing worse than a cat is a seagull. Ok. We could somehow find a way to get all the seagulls to carry off all the cats.
And they could take the kale while they are at it. No I am kidding. I say these. I don't even mean this. But I say these things and people think I hate all these things. And I don't. Well maybe I do.
I am not really sure. I know I don't like seagulls because they are thieving birds. Right. But they will come down. They will grab their food. So the point is the birds get their food. The birds gather their food.
But they don't worry about it. There is an old poem about birds I read a long time ago. It said the robin to the sparrow. Friend I would really like to know why these anxious human beings rush about and worry so. Said the sparrow to the robin. Friend I think that it must be that they have no heavenly Father such as cares for you and me.
And I know it is sweet isn't it. So birds don't worry. Why should we? Flowers don't worry.
Why should we? Verse 28. Why do you worry about clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow.
They don't work or make their clothing. Yet Solomon in all of his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. So Jesus is saying look at the flowers. You know you have seen the countryside sprayed with beautiful flowers. And so Jesus is saying look at all of these flowers. And look at how beautiful they are. Solomon in all of his glory wasn't as beautiful as these flowers. Solomon dressed in his royal robes.
Sitting on his luxurious throne of gold. Did not have the beauty as the flowers that were out there for people to see. And really what Jesus is pointing out is we should not be obsessed with the outward. He is not saying we shouldn't think about the outward. He is saying don't be obsessed with it. Some people are obsessed with the way that they look. They are obsessed with. We live in a selfie culture.
Don't we? And now we have all of these filters on our phones and you know these apps you can get. You can make yourself thinner and change your whole appearance. So it is really not even you.
And we sometimes want to carry that over into real life. And did you know that $16 billion is spent every year on cosmetic surgery. $16 billion. And that is Newport Beach alone.
How many of you live in Newport Beach? Sorry. This is actually a fact. No that is nationwide.
That is nationwide. And I am not against that. Well sometimes I am. You know sometimes you go really?
You wanted that? I don't know. You know.
Sure. But you know we were so concerned about our outward appearance and so Jesus is saying don't be obsessed with that. Yes think about it.
Ok now let me flip that around. Some people should be a lot more concerned with their outward appearance. You know you want to keep your body in the best physical shape that you can. The Bible says bodily exercise profits little but godliness is profitable for all things.
But it does say it profits a little. So it is not like let's just all become obese out of shape and read our Bibles. That is one extreme. And then the other extreme is well let's just you know work out constantly and not have any time for God and just be all we care about is our appearance. We have got to find the balance in between.
To be strong as much as we can physically and in the best shape that we can be in. But understanding that God determines the length of our days. Pastor Greg Laurie with some important perspective today in a message called time to take out the trash. And there's more to come here on A New Beginning including a closing comment from Pastor Greg in just a few moments. Well it's such a privilege to have Pastor Levi Lusko with us today.
He's author of the new children's devotional book Roar Like a Lion. And it comes at a perfect time because of what's going on in the world. You know COVID caught the world by surprise. It just upended everything but it didn't catch God by surprise. Levi what does your book tell us about trusting the Lord and the unexpected trials of life?
Yeah absolutely Dave. I think this book is hopefully going to help people to train for the trials they're not yet in. Every single person every single family is going to suffer some sort of difficulty or loss.
It's not a question of if but rather when. And the Bible says that if we have a righteous heart we have an everlasting foundation and when the whirlwinds of this life come we won't be moved. But the person who builds their house on sand is going to have the trial destroy them. So we talk a lot in the book about how to get ready for hard things that are going to come and how to respond to them when they do by fixing our eyes on Jesus and by having faith. And we talk specifically in the book there's a whole entry just to help people kind of view hard things differently and to believe that that good things can come out of hard situations just like the cross which led to our salvation. Yeah there's a little sidebar in this particular chapter that's called stuck where he talks about what happens when you do get stuck and he said did you know have you ever seen a movie or a cartoon where people get stuck in quicksand the more they move the deeper they get pulled in. You may thought that only happens on tv but quicksand is real. It's a mixture of sand and water and because the water doesn't reach all the way to the top quicksand looks like regular sand but if a person or an animal steps in it they'll begin to sink.
If you ever find yourself stuck in quicksand move slowly spread out your arms and legs and try to float on your back to safety. So not only is this a spiritual book it's a practical book because I've often wondered if I stepped into quicksand what do I do? Now I know because I've read Roar Like a Lion by Levi Lasko. But isn't that just so amusing and you know that's the thing like I think one of the things that's that's fun for me about this book Greg is is that there has to be something that keeps adults interested too and finding out that Frank Sinatra paid sixty dollars for his first microphone and before that he used to sing at his concerts through a megaphone like little things like that that will hopefully be interesting to the kids but also keep the adults paying attention as well. That's right so we want to send you this new book by Pastor Levi Lasko called Roar Like a Lion subtitled 90 devotions to a courageous faith for your gift of any size to help a new beginning continue on ministering to people literally around the world. Yeah that's right and it's such an important time for that work. Hearts are hungry we even saw it several weeks ago at SoCal Harvest one person wrote and said can you believe how many people are here? We came from Los Angeles and frankly we would have driven across the country to be here.
We wouldn't have missed this for the world. It's such an important time to reach out with the love of Christ and your investment makes that work possible and with your donation right now we'd like to send you Levi Lasko's new book called Roar Like a Lion. You can donate securely online at harvest.org and we have operators who can speak with you by phone anytime 24 hours a day at 1-800-821-3300.
That's 1-800-821-3300. Well next time Pastor Greg brings us more insight from his message time to take out the trash. Just a moment ago he commented that we shouldn't worry about how long we'll live that's ultimately determined by God. He closes with this comment. I've told you before about the tv show I saw as a news program and there they had a guy who had made it well past 100. They said we're going to reveal the secret to his longevity.
So I had to wait till the end. The old codger comes on takes the news camera folks and the reporter down to the market and showed him his secret. He ate a hot dog every day and he showed him this is the hot dog guy.
It wasn't like Hebrew National. It was like the cheap hot dog. The cheap one like made out of rat tails. By the way those taste the best don't you think? I do. No kale allowed there.
So here's the guy you know he's working out low fat diet drops dead on a jog and here's the guy that eats a hot dog every day making it past 100. Go figure. So don't worry about it that's the point your days are numbered and ordered by the Lord. Here are some behind the scenes comments just for our podcast listeners. Pastor Levi commented about Pastor Greg's connection with children. I'll tell you what my kids perk up when they hear you preaching. You always do funny voices. You tell funny stories and I think you know Jesus the greatest compliment we can make about Jesus's ministry is that kids always wanted to be around him when he was teaching and doing ministry and I think that as pastors as communicators if kids aren't tuned in to what we're saying we're not doing it right because they should be like magnets to the way that we communicate.
Yes that's right too. I remember you know Jonathan we would go out and have like a dinner with Chuck Smith and Jonathan was just a little kid and Chuck did all these like really entertaining things. Jonathan remember what he did with the napkin? Yeah he could turn it into he would wrap it in a certain way it looked just like a rat and he would hold it in the nook of his arm and he did it some way I could never replicate it and he would hold it in the nook of his arm and he could get it to jump and to run up his arm to where I swore the thing was alive and it was so real and so entertaining and he he would do it over and over and over for me. It's a great trick and I can't do it myself and I tried to figure it out and I'm an adult going like Chuck how do you do that exactly but you know I think that people respond to that kind of thing. But I will say this you've taken that mantle and run with it you know because my kids just come alive around you and obviously you you're a very seasoned grandfather and and I think that's an we should you know always recognize the grandparent because Timothy didn't just have a mother Lois he also had his grandmother Eunice you know to the grandparents listening maybe your kids aren't walking with Jesus but you have a really important ministry to when they come around your house you know that they're getting a double dose of scripture and Jesus and prayer and devotions and you know that's just that that to me is and even if you're not a parent or grandparent at all if you're in in any way in kids lives like Paul wasn't Timothy's dad but he was his father in the faith so you know I think that we all have to do that what we can do and our God's a father to the fatherless the preceding podcast was made possible by harvest partners helping people everywhere know God learn how to become a harvest partner sign up for daily devotions and find resources to help you grow in your faith at harvest.org
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