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The Race We Must Win | Living With Purpose and Intent

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
March 9, 2022 3:00 am

The Race We Must Win | Living With Purpose and Intent

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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March 9, 2022 3:00 am

In Pastor Greg Laurie’s current series, he’s been focusing on Paul’s words in Philippians. While he was under house arrest, he wrote some of the most inspiring counsel on where to find happiness and joy. And as Pastor Greg presents the final message in his Happiness Series, we see Paul talks about the Christian life as a race. And much like a coach inspiring his runners, today on A NEW BEGINNING we’ll be inspired to run with purpose and intent, so that we finish well.

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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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Everybody you're listening to a new beginning, which is a podcast made possible by harvest partners. If this program is impacted you love to hear from you.

So just send an email to me at greg@harvest.org again it's greg@harvest.org you can learn more about becoming harvest partner by going to harvest.org today on a new beginning pastor Greg Laurie brings us the finale in his prolific and serious with the message he calls the race, we must win.

It's a funny thing that we have servants stranded in children sports especially today we give kids trophies were showing on his participation okay/in the race of life God wants us to win one is to just show up is not just about running. It's about winning and using on Paul's words in Philippians while he was under house arrest. He wrote some of the most inspiring counsel on where to find joy in his pastor Greg presents the final message is happiness here we see Paul talks about the Christian life is a race much like a code, inspiring his runners today on a new beginning inspired to run with purpose and intent.

However, since I was a kid always wanted to be an athlete, but the problem was.

I was never really good at any sport. In particular, when I tell you I was the last one picked for the team. I'm not kidding.

Actually but I did go out for football when I was in high school I was a pretty fast runner and so I went through all the training and I even shave my head which was hard because I had really cool server blonde hair. I had like a nice little wave that I would do this all the time.

You know the sacrifice said here to be on the team that will it's worth, and I want to be on the team and I shave my head like literally the day after I called into the principal's office and they said you can't be on the football team. I said why not. They said your grades are too low by responses. Okay, could you have told me that before I shave my head, but you know one thing I was pretty good. I was running I could outrun most people not long distance running though sprinting was what I was better at.

Whenever there would be a race. I would be ahead of everyone but of course it would quickly lose steam and then people would catch up with me and sometimes they would let me. And periodically turtles would pass me but I was good with that initial burst of steam. But you know the Christian life is really a long distance run, and it's something we engage in each and every day I you know there's a lot of people want to get out and run, but a lot of people don't follow through, even with after they buy running shoes which are very expensive now. By the way case you haven't noticed, I read that 87% of those who buy running shoes never use them. 87% eight check out these running shoes to God for a run. Know what I want for my card to Starbucks and I'm looking good right so you know that's how it is in real life now. I am not naturally the kind a guy that wants to go have a workout that's the thing I want to get out of doing it so bad I don't even like to jog my memory. But the last week I was at the gym and I was stretching and I was bending and I was lifting and I was just getting out of the car that's so sad about that window. Seriously though, I go to the gym seven days a week. I do yeah it's on the way to Krispy Kreme donuts is by the gym. I should say all right.

Well anyway but you know if you want to be a reliable you have to be committed to work out. I read that the average Olympic athlete works out four hours a day, 310 Daisy here for six years to compete for the goal and then once. If you are selected to be on the Olympic team, which is a great honor. Of course you know you have to discipline yourself and a very important thing you must play by the rules. It's a funny thing that we have servants friend. I think in children sports especially today where they say you know we don't really keep tabs on who's winning because everyone's a winner by the way, that is, I don't think that's a good thing to do for kids because that's not the way it is in the real world.

Okay we give kids you know trophies for showing up. It's a participation trophy okay. Newsflash in the race of life God wants us to win.

He doesn't want us to just show up. It's not just about running. It's about winning and you know when they say everyone's a winner.

That's actually not true.

Everyone is not a winner. There are losers in the race of life because they bail or they break the rules. They don't finish what they started. God wants us to win in this race. First Corinthians 924 says remember in a race everyone runs with only one person gets the prize.

So run in such a way that you will win. Every athlete practices self-control the door to win a prize that will fade away, but were doing it for an eternal prize so I discipline my body like an athlete tree needed to do what it should. Otherwise, after I have preached to others, I myself would be disqualified. We can illustrate this with a lot of examples of athletes who maybe won an Olympic event, but it was found out later that that they had been using steroids or in some other way. They broke the rules and so they even had their gold metal taken from them on some occasions. Well anyway, we want to run this race of life and we want to run it well, so there are things that sort of slow us down the race of life things that impede our progress. What are they, let's go back now to Philippians 2 and look at verse 14 and 15 and I would point this out, complaining and bickering can hinder us in running the race. Let me say that again complaining and bickering can hinder us in running the race of life and also impede our happiness and joy. Look at verse 14 and 15 do all things without complaining and disputing that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world. Another translation of 14 and 15 goes as follows do everything readily and cheerfully, no victory, no second-guessing allowed going to the world uncorrupted a breath of fresh air in this squalid unpolluted society provide people with a glimpse of good living in the living God. I love that translation now. When Paul uses the word complaining a better way to translate it would be murmuring. It's not speaking aloud boisterous screaming, but rather low tone discontented muttering that make sense to start first visit. I don't like what's going on for for the person who's like this. I do like do you like what's going on. I don't agree with that. You do good with that.

Don't be another, always complaining, sort of like Popeye member Popeye ever watch a Popeye cartoon is always moderate. What is he saying no. I know he's muttering right that that's the idea here you know. And that's how some people are there always muttering or complaining or jumping to conclusions. I'm amazed how people will jump to conclusions. You know the only exercise. Some Christians get is running down others in jumping to conclusions they think they heard something which maybe they didn't hear it all, or they misinterpreted it, then the bill the whole case on the thing that really wasn't even true, and then the get angry about it in this confessor and go on for a long period of time. Don't let that be you or destroy the man he decided to join a monastery become a month. We had to take a vow of silence and at the end of the year he would be allowed to appear before the head priest, but he could only say two words so after one year of being in this monastery. The monk said that's hard. Another year passes the meat they had pre-city says foods coal after the third year he come from, for they had previously says I quit. They had pre-says well it's no wonder that you've arrived done nothing but complain, but people are like this and I found that people who liked and complained are never happy to keep it to themselves.

The kind I want to spread it around.

What you think. If you agree that that we should do that it I don't think this is right and that's just the sort of person they are, but yes verse 14 says do all things without disputing this speaks of arguing and argumentative person is always looking for fault and wrong with others. There always looking for approval by generally argumentative people.

I do they're just looking for a thing to get upset about this. Go from conflict to conflict. The Bible saying don't be that person, and this is the very opposite impact of what a Christian ought to be, because first Corinthians 13 says love believes the best of every person, but some people believe the very worst about every person they think their motives are always wrong in their second-guessing and challenging it, and then we are to also be blameless of diverse 15 B blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation. By the way, the word blameless means to be on believable on believable. In other words, people can blame us because we don't do things wrong. It speaks of moral integrity manifesting itself sternal, of course. Jesus modeled this for us is able to turn to his accusers in John 846 one day and say to them. Can you prove me guilty of any sin of I'm telling the truth. Believe me, why don't you believe me or do you think hey what is right and wrong. One center I committed while there was none at all. Will that was Jesus and what about the end of the prophet he was a guy just like us and he was such a godly man that when his enemies wanted to trip him up because they were jealous of his power and influence with the king. We read in Daniel six for his enemies couldn't find anything to criticize or condemn because he was faithful always responsible, and completely trustworthy. We are to be blameless in the second word that is used here is be harmless in a better way to translate this would be inexperienced and evil alike. This is not a stupid person.

This is not a nave person. This is a person who is simply not chosen to be experienced in evil of this is the person or maybe when the dirty joke is told they don't get it. What all sorry your mind is a perverse like everybody else right so this is the idea inexperienced in the minimum. Pastor Greg will move from the obstacles to of to the principles we should embrace if we want to run our race to win. Stay with us. Everybody Greg Laurie here encouraging you to join us as we give her what we call harvesting that home. It's worse and it's a message of the word of God. You can watch it with your family and your front room or you can watch it on the go on your tablet on your phone or your computer. Take it with you think the word of God with you.

Join us for harvested home Harvest as we run our race for crime. There are things that can slows down today. Pastor Greg is warning us of those impediments and obstacles to avoid. Let's listen we are to be without fault. Number three says in verse 15. This means no blemish or indication of disease and ESL. Greg Ellis is nice to stand up there behind your pulpits and you tell us these things, you know, but I can live at this level besides God loves me and accepts me so I don't want to live at the level hold on I can be an excuse. Yes, God accept you as you are. But did you know he doesn't want to leave you that way for a lot of times in the name of God accept me as I am.

We continue in the path of a B sinfulness, but we never grow spiritually and we just rationalize it by faith. Will God accept me a lovely as I am.

But God wants you to grow up spiritually. God want you to become more like Jesus. And remember, we Artie read in Philippians 2 it is God that works in you both to will and do of his good pleasure. God will not ask you to do anything he will not give you the power to do the calling of God is the enabling of God and if we live this way. Verse 15 says will shine as lights in this perverse world.

If you really want to see a light shine brightly, turn it on in a dark place. Let me put it another way, ever see someone check their tax on their cell phone in a movie theater. I don't care how far away they are. It's noticeable and quite honestly it's distracting. So in the same way when were alight in a dark place.

We really stand out from the crowd and people notice us for sure, but it's very important verse 16 says, holding forth the word of life, so I may rejoice in the day of Christ. In other words, you want to just be a good example and not tell people why you're living the way that your living so someone might save you and I notice your you're a happy person.

You're a kind person.

You're always serving others. What is it about you. Why do you live that way. Well, I I believe in you know having a strong family living by a set of morals really where you get your morals.

I believe, where you got them I get them from the Bible and by the way, I wasn't always this way the guy was the opposite of this before, but Christ is coming to my life and thank you for that compliment, but anything you see in me as a result of my relationship with Jesus Christ say we want them to know why we are the way that we are that's what is being said here by Paul in Philippians holding forth the word of life. Okay, so having said that, knowledge of gears and talk about this race, we are to run very familiar words in verse 12 of Philippians 3, Paul says not that I've already attained from already perfected, but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ is laid hold of me brothers, I do not count myself to have apprehended, but this one thing I do, forgetting the things which are behind and reaching forward to the things that are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Therefore let us as many of us are mature have this mind and if any of you think otherwise, God will reveal this so I started with the idea of the race of life were all in this race we need to run this race to win. We got a play by the rules, but what principles do we learn here about running the race of life you're taking notes.

Here's principle number one you must be dissatisfied with where you presently are spiritual. You must be dissatisfied with where you presently are spiritually.

Paul says in verse 12. It's not that I have attained from already perfected another translation of verses 12 to 14 would go as follows by God saying I have it all together that I haven't made, but I'm on my way reaching out for Christ, who was wonderfully reached out for me. Friends don't get me wrong by no means do I tell myself an expert in all this, but I have my eye on the goal were God's beckoning us onward to Jesus, I'm off and running and I'm not turning back. You see Paul was satisfied with Christ, but he wasn't satisfied with himself. So it's and I have a long ways to go, you realize that about yourself. Did you give a long ways to go.

Really, it's not being that I have arrived. What I'm sure you've made a lot of progress since you first believe, but all my seems to me the more you know the Lord, the more you realize that you have a lot of changing to do.

And if anyone could have thought that he had arrived. It would be the apostle Paul.

I mean this is a man who was led countless people to Christ Jesus established churches.

He's written up epistles in yet he is saying I have so much to learn and so far to go.

You imagine a group of Christians sitting around the apostle Paul. Someone might say, well you know what it God inspired me to share something with someone today. Another might save the Lord led me to give the gospel to someone today and Paul can say well, God give me inspired letters called epistles that make up half the Bible that will last forever. Oh well, okay, you win. I don't think Paul would've ever said that. But I just see for a point. Think of the comparison.

Some of you until I heard God speak to me once. Another might say, well, I sensed his presence is where worshiping the other day impossible. Actually, I die. I went to Kevin and then I came back from the dead to write more epistles.

By the way, did I mention I raise someone from the dead. I mean who can top this guy, this guy was at the top of his game begets. He says I am so far to go in the just a reminder that no matter how long you've known the Lord is always room for growth. Letting one of the problems as we become satisfied with where we are one of the reasons that you might be self-satisfied is your comparing your running without a other Christian see the other day.

I did a race with my grandchildren Dale wanted to race me.

We want to raise pop and I thought wow this I could lose today because couple of my getting older but will will give it a go. So we picked the spot my wife went a ways away 3 feet knows further but so were all getting ready to run in and we take off and I beat in and you know not that so what I be the budget grandkids you know that's kinda sad I should let them win. But there is game on okay but that's the point I beat children in a race. Okay so you somberly fast. Yeah, you know, Christopher is four years old. So what now if I would've raised against an athletic runner. I would've been horribly so my point is simply this fine comparing myself to people much weaker than me always seem like I'm doing better but if I compare myself with other people who are really running well I'll see him and I have a long ways to go. And that's reliable. I'm not as bad as that guy. Try comparing yourself with someone that's doing well to that sense of self-satisfaction is not a good thing Paul did not compare himself with others and convert himself with them so that would Jesus Christ plan here is progress, not perfection. We will never be perfect. Greg Lord important insight on having the right mindset. As we run our race for Christ. There's more to come. In this final message from his series called happiness here on a new beginning and then we want to share a 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 and 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 hang out like to have a few more of you become a partner with us because I know a lot of you make a new beginning the 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. We don't offer junk resources people. I think you know that if we are going to send you something. It's gonna be something you want to have in your library whatever you send will be used to continue this ministry called a new beginning. As we teach the word of God and proclaim the gospel all around the world. Yeah that's right so we hope you make an investment today and we want to say thank you tangibly go to harvest.org and get all the details or you can write us at a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call us at 1-800-821-3300 reaches anytime 24 seven, 1-800-821-3300 are you receiving Pastor Greg's daily devotions get these inspirational thoughts in your email box every day.

Sign up free of charge@harvest.org Pastor Greg brings us more great encouragement from his message called the race, we must win series called happiness. Join us here on a new beginning. Pastor and Bible teacher, regulatory and new beginning. The podcast made possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God if this show has impacted your life.

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