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What Do You Live For? | Love and Discernment

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
March 1, 2022 3:00 am

What Do You Live For? | Love and Discernment

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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March 1, 2022 3:00 am

For some people, happiness is as elusive as a feather floating in a strong breeze. It’s in their sights, then escapes before they can lay hold. Is happiness just out of bounds for some people? Or are they looking in the wrong places? Pastor Greg Laurie is addressing those concerns in his current series here on A NEW BEGINNING simply called Happiness. We’re studying Paul’s counsel in Philippians. It’s some of the Bible’s strongest encouragement, even though the words were written while Paul was in chains.

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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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Pastor Grigori points to the happiness we learn to look beyond our own war cries in the heart of your bonds will be in as elusive as green as in their sides. Is this just out of bounds for some people the wrong Grigori is addressing the concerns of the spirit series of legal were studying Paul's counsel with some of the Bible strongest words were written all what if you order some what you look for in one word what would be some would say for me to live is you know just what others might say well for me little disclosure living for that experience. Living for the rocks living for the buzz living for that excitement. Others might say. We know what I live to get even. They always have their nemesis they always like to beautify love to be in a conflict of this there are people like this and live for these things.

Another white say what I meant. I look for possession, it's to get stuff know what I get that stuff. I want to get more stuff and I want to get that other stuff I need to get rid of this. So I can make room for new stuff others. My appear more noble and say well I live to acquire knowledge, but in your pursuit of knowledge you leave God out of the equation.

You're just going to end up with a well educated fool. So what are you driven by what you dream about, what are you passionate about.

I think some people are just enduring. There is waiting for the next thing.

Their favorite day of the week is someday someday there's Schiphol come in someday their prince will come someday go get the promotion. Some buildable than females, or someday the red fire though. I've talked about what people look for. Let me tell you what the apostle Paul lived for Philippians 121 for me to live is Christ and to die is gain by love for me to live is Christ and to die is gain organ explore that a little bit more.

Let's just do a little backdrop on what were looking at here were looking at the book of Philippians and the theme that keeps bubbling up to this great epistle is happiness and joy like this is probably the most poignant happy letter that Paul ever wrote but yet circumstantially he really had nothing to rejoice about a minute, we read that Paul wrote this book enough to come back.

You know, in the Mediterranean and joy in life it's that we get it, but he actually wrote this under house arrest and he was under the control of this point of Caesar, Nero, and in his case was waiting to go to court and Paulette know I get what was about to happen. He might be acquitted. He might be beheaded, but all he knew was he was a prisoner he cannot walk about freely as he wanted to. And if that wasn't bad enough, some of the believers in the church were against them. Some were even spreading lies about this great apostle, but he knew God was in control. Here's what he wrote Philippians 1 to start in verse 12 and will redound to verse 16.

I want you to know brothers that the things that happened to me actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel. So it is become evident to the whole palace guard do all the rest of my chains are in Christ and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident in my chains are more bold to speak the word without fear. Some indeed preach Christ from envy and strife. Some also from goodwill. The former preach Christ himself is ambition, not sincerely, supposing the added affliction of my chains, but the letter out of love knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel. What that only God in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached, and in this writ, I rejoice. Yes, I will rejoice and that brings me to point number one when you live for Christ. You will accept God's will for your life when you live for Christ which we all should be doing. You will accept God's will for your life seek.

Paul went to Rome to preach but he ended up under house arrest on how is that a good idea what he was reaching an elite group of people that would've not been reached otherwise. So Paul understood God had his hand in it.

Look at verse 12.

The things that happened to me have turned out for the furtherance of the gospel number two. When you live for Christ, as we all should. You'll be a person of prayer.

Again, when you live for Christ shall be a person of prayer. Have you ever wondered what to pray for when you pray for fellow believers.

Paul actually gives us an answer here. Look at Philippians 1 verse nine and this I pray you saying to the church at Philippi, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment that you may approve the things that are excellent that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ of the glory and praise of God. Interesting. So Paul's praying that they would grow in both love and discernment, love and discernment.

Sometimes it seems to me as though the two are mutually exclusive word. Some people seem to be very discerning but not very loving and some to be very loving and not very discerning other people that saliva, discernment, ministry, which is another way of saying they like to argue and be obnoxious and it just think you're off a little theologically brother and are always challenging. Everything in that I get this sometimes because of my work that I do in evangelism and I go to different places and speak in, the contact with different people and so maybe I'm at a conference and there's another speaker, I would not agree with. And every point theologically and someone says will Greg endorses everything that that person says well that's not true. And how do you know what I say to that person. You know by enclosed arts. I say a lot of things to a lot of people but I don't talk about it publicly because my conversations with people are private, but I try to influence people I come into contact with in every way that I can help them be closer to the Lord and do what is called them to do.

I don't always do a good job of it but at least I tried. But sometimes physical guilt by association.

You know you talk to that person. Therefore, you endorse everything they say no, not necessarily, but I thought some of these people that are just downright mean to quiz the love man didn't even check out the fact they just jump to conclusions is J. Vernon McGee used to say the only exercise. Some Christians get is running down others and jumping to conclusions coming out through some pull our discerning but they're not loving and I would even question of the really discerning others are loving but they're not discerning, and by that I mean they just accept everything and everyone. It's all good man will love the Lord, you know it.

Whatever they believe. It doesn't matter will actually it does matter. There is a place for discernment, look at Paul says here in verse nine that they would grow in love this. I pray that your love will grow. Still more love is the mark of a true Christian. Don't say to me I love Jesus but I don't love the church, you can't love Jesus and not love the church, you can't love God who you can see if you're not willing to love your brother or sister who you can see, and so a mark of real faith of real love that you love your Christian brothers and sisters. Jesus said by this shall all men know you are my disciples. What if you of what one for another love one for another, so we should be loving in the Bible tells us in Romans 55 the love of God is poured out in our hearts so the love is there, so you don't even need to pray the Lord I did you know I don't have any love you have some lovable thing. I pray your love will grow and you know how your love will grow just are doing loving thing.

Don't wait for the emotion just take a little step in that benevolent gesture that kind word.

The word of encouragement pulses. I pray that you grow in love, but he also says I pray that you will grow in knowledge the way that we grow in knowledge as to the study of Scripture, that's over here tonight to study the word of God. This is called a Bible study and worship service and I love Bible studies on to we can just open up the word of God and look at what it says and see how it applies in our lives and it concerns me that some believers are in their knowledge of Scripture like brand-new Christians still people that abnormal Lord for 10, 20, 30 years that don't even know the basic Bible doctrines and thus they get misled and that is why Paul also said you need to grow in spiritual discernment verse 10 he says that you may approve the things that are excellent. The word approve means to analyze and examine, think carefully, think biblically, think analytically, take all things and compare them to what the Scripture said so we need to be praying these things for others and we need to be praying that God will do these things in our life as well. In just a moment. Pastor Greg helps us see how this attitude of living for extends beyond the grave that's coming up in just a moment, everybody Greg Laurie here. You know my uncle Fred Jordan that one of the first Christian TV programs out there. It was called church in the home. I remember watching it as a little boy when I was living with my grandparents only have church in the home for you every weekend is called Harvest at Home you get invited to we have worship in a message of God's word. So join us this weekend for Harvest at Home harvest.Wilbur considering the importance of living for the Lord as Pastor Greg brings his message today called what do you live for. Invite others to hear this counsel going to Now Paul tells us how living for Christ affects us in this life and the afterlife, but the verse 21 Philippians 1 still for me to live is Christ and the guys came but I believe I'm in the flash that will mean fruit for my labor yet what I shall choose I cannot tell prime hard pressed between the two having the desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. Nevertheless, to remain in the flesh is more needful for you being confident of this. I know that I will remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith that your rejoicing for me may be more abundant in Jesus Christ by my coming to you again together. Verse 21 for me to live is Christ that we hear someone say for me to live is Christ, we wonder you know are these people in touch with reality really to live is Christ. What is it even me. Some will say we know some are so heavenly minded.

There are no earthly good in my counterpoint to that is summer so earthly mind of their no heavenly good thing when you're really heavenly minded when you're really living for Christ. You will be of the greatest earthly good. I mean, you think about the great hospitals in the great universities and other things that have been done historically in our country in almost every case, at least in their original state.

They were started by followers of Jesus Christ, you look at the great relief organizations in the world today there Christian organizations. Christians are always on the front line wherever people are suffering.

It doesn't matter if they believe if they don't believe it doesn't matter for Chris Turner that their Muslims are the Buddhist week. If someone there is a tragedy if there is a calamity. Christians give Christians help Christians are always doing these things was the last time you heard of an atheist relief organization, you know. He then purse. There's no such thing with their Samaritans purse is you know nonbelievers vision. I've never heard of them.

Whatever world vision because they don't care for the most part there might be some out there that might be some exception but by and large it's believers out there doing this work. You see real spirituality is practical policy balance Christian in the most godly men and women I've had the privilege of meeting over the last 40+ years have always been very down to earth. You know not holier than thou kind of people looking down on you but very genuine. People often fun-loving people are people with a self-deprecating sense of humor not that spacey. Why I one clown short of the circus look in on him talking about heavenly minded people are gracious their approachable their assessable and religious people are just weird. I so don't want to be a religious person.

I know they get this religious vibe and they talk religiously and they look at you weird religiously effective.

And here's my suggestion. They were always weird to start with their faith in Christ did not make them where they were weird and now they just talk about Jesus and they're still where maybe there saved weird.

I don't know but there where is all I know your faith in Christ will not make you that person. If you have faith in Christ and know what it means to live for Christ. You have your feet on the ground but your heart in your thoughts will be in heaven. And I think Paul is an example of this in so many ways. I mean that there is no greater example of this in Jesus himself. You know Jesus was a practical man. He was God in human form walking among us.

But Jesus lived a real life on planet Earth.

He was a real living human being, but he was God walking among us. So Paul is saying, to live is Christ and that was pretty much not just Paul's motto but I think the motto of pretty much everyone in the early church. You know, if you look at the church of the first century. They change the world.

They change the world.

They churn the world upside down and imagine that they did it without media you know Thomas didn't have a twitter account. Peter didn't have an Instagram page called another Facebook page that a lot of followers a lot of friends and they changed the world that was there at the time the world that was under the rule of Rome and it's amazing to think about how they did it the first Christians did not out argued the pagans they outlive them. They didn't conquer paganism and did Judaism by reacting blow-by-blow. Instead, the Christians of the first century aliquot out prayed and outlive the nonbelievers. Their weapons were positive, not negative. They didn't stage protests and they didn't hold boycotts of Evernote that they didn't have a campaign to unseat the Emperor they would've done if they did that and said they prayed and preach and proclaim the message of the death of Christ on the cross and his resurrection from the dead and they Message with actions to match and they change the planet there out there loving and giving healing and doing all the things God called him to do so. The slogan of the first century church. The church to change the world was to live is Christ and to die is gain. What was the slogan of the 21st century church be what about my needs. Men, some like that. Maybe you know I go church shopping and I'm in a try to find a church that meets all of my needs.

Or maybe I go to multiple churches listen. If we train people to be consumers instead of commuters will end up with customers instead of disciples, let me say that again if we train people to be consumers instead of commuters will end up with customers instead of disciples so this is the church and change the world, and I pray that we could be the church that changes our world as well. Paul lived for Christ.

He was human. It was not perfect. Did you know the apostle Paul was not perfect to get irritated at times. You know when when he was being mistreated by the high priest servant actually guy struck him he shot back us. Might you, you whitewash wall because it would you say did know you preserve whatever you got ticked off would like to get hit in the face, not the apostle Paul when it was revealed to Paul that there were some guys I wanted to kill him walk out of the town square and safe. Here I am, kill me know he was lowered over the side of the wall in a basket why because Paul wanted to live to see you tomorrow. No Christian doesn't have a death wish. We don't walk around saying that I hope I die today. But here's what we do, say, to live is Christ and the die is getting. I want to live today I want to live tomorrow. I would live as many days as God is given me to live and when that day comes when I'm called a heaven. Then that day will come, but I want to do everything I can to live in this day. So Paul was a practical guy and he cared about the church.

Look at verse 23. I am hard pressed between the two having the desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better but it's important for me to remain in the flesh for you that he wanted to help them, but notice what he says.

He says having the desire to depart with Christ, which is far better listen to this debt for a Christian is something that's going to happen as it will happen for every person, but Paul understood that when death came in, it did come for him. It was a conscious existence, not an unconscious oblivion. It was to be with Christ for me to live is Christ, the die is gain.

In other words, he was not going to just go into a grave.

It was a continuation of life, not the conclusion of life and that life I had was a greater and better life death for the believer is a promotion that for the believer is a graduation death for the believer is a coronation. When you live for Christ are not afraid to die again.

Only the person who is said to live is Christ and then say to die is gain. Pastor Greg Laurie today from a series called happiness study or Paul's counsel in Philippians and there's a lot more to come as this study continues to run a new beginning and then we want to share listener comment we received it says Pastor Greg, I wanted to thank you for today's sermon. It really spoke to me. I read a comment by a person I consider a friend mocking the faith than those who follow Jesus. I was hurt and wanted to reply, but instead prayed for them and gave it to God. Then I heard your message you said all that live a godly life will be harassed and persecuted for the faith that means you are on the right track with God. I wept listening to your words because it was the reassurance I needed to stay strong in my face. Thank you for continuing to preach the word what were so blessed that God is using these daily studies to impact people's lives to give them encouragement and an anchor and if you've partnered with us to help make these programs possible.

Thank you for being used by God. Yesterday we appreciate that listener partnership yes and we have some unique ways to say thank you, don't wait that's right. And you know who you are out there that support us and thank you so much and God bless you I was a good walk up to you and shake your hand and have a few moments with you and I do run into people all the time. Dave, wherever I go, that listen to our radio broadcast that the part of their daily routine were thankful for that. But think all of you for that and he had like to have a few more of you become a partner with us, because I know a lot of you make a new beginning, a part of your daily life or you listen to the podcast or you tell others to listen to it will thank you for doing that and by ordering these great resources we offer.

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As we teach the word of God and proclaim the gospel all around the world. Yeah that's right so we hope you'll make an investment today and we want to say thank you tangibly go to and get all the details, or call us at 1-800-821-3300 reaches anytime 24 seven, 1-800-821-3300 are you receiving Pastor Greg's daily devotions each day via email is not much to care that right now you can sign up today free of and you receive a daily inspirational thought from God's word each day in your inbox again. Go to one join Pastor Greg for more insight on the importance of living for the Lord and how the key to finding the happiness you are looking for. Join us here on a new beginning. Pastors and Bible teacher Greg Laurie and thanks for the new beginning. Greg Laurie podcast made possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God sign up for daily devotions and learn how to become a harvest partner

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