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The Race We Must Win | Living for The Future

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
March 11, 2022 3:00 am

The Race We Must Win | Living for The Future

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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March 11, 2022 3:00 am

Author Max Lucado has pointed out that a car’s windshield is a lot bigger than the rearview mirror, because we need to focus on where we’re going, not where we’ve been. Too many of us want to drag our past failures right into our present. Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us break from the sins of our past, and focus on finishing our lives well. It’s the final instalment today in Pastor Greg’s encouraging series in Philippians . . . a series simply called Happiness.

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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You are listening to a new beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast supported by harvest partners for more ways to deepen and challenge your spiritual walk and roll and pastor breaks free online courses sign@harvest.org because God forgives them we could do the same because the Lord says their sins and the reason why I remember no go.

This does not mean the memory God is saying this all along. Pastor Greg Laurie as believers have been forgiven. Focus for what we can actually forgive ourselves break the power of living for much as pointed out the car's windshield is a lot bigger than the rearview mirror as we need to focus on where we go where we too many of us want to drag her past failures right into our present today on the new beginning pastor Greg Laurie helps us break from the sins of our son finishing our lives. Well final installment series and for a series called the Christian life is really a long distance run 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 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 be 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 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 Paul says in verse 12. It's not that I have attained from already perfected. You see Paul was satisfied with Christ, but he wasn't satisfied with himself so you think I have a long ways to go. Point number two get rid of extra weight in the things that would hinder you. Hebrews 12 says lay aside the way and this sin that so easily beset you in the race of life.

We don't want excess baggage, so you need ask yourself periodically. If you're running this race as you're walking with Christ. Is there someone or is there something that's slowing you down. Maybe there someone who's a bad influence on you spiritually you're trying to walk with God.

But when you're around them. There's an outcome on chillout relax. Let's try this, let's do that. They're not a good input. Are there something that's slowing you down. Maybe it's something you're doing that's impeding your spiritual performance. So periodically I have to ask myself the question this thing that I'm doing is it a wing or is it away. Is it a wing or is it away is it beating me up or slowing me down. Is it building me up or is it tearing me down number three in the race of life we must run with the right mode run with the right motive. Paul speaks of only one receiving the prize running for the gold if you will, but our primary motive is not running for an award or a reward, but there are rewards promised to Christians but our primary motive is found in Philippians 310, Paul says that I may know him and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings, being conformed to his death.

That's our motive, that I may know him. Our mission statement at harvest is knowing God and making him know Paul say my determined purpose in life is to know you notice he says it's to know him. He doesn't say it's to know about and I fear that a lot of people know about God. Instead of knowing God they can see things about God even see things from Scripture, but is there that deep fellowship and relationship with him. Jesus said, many will say to me on that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and your name did we not cast out demons in your name.

Did we not do wonderful miracles and then Jesus says I will say to them.

I never knew you your workers of iniquity.

I never knew you. They knew about Jesus, but he didn't know them at all. Number four: a clear objective and focus on life. Paul had a clear objective and focus on life. Verse 13 this one thing I do, so sometimes in a world frantic and all these things were doing many things.

Let's not forget the one thing sometimes the many things can take the place of the one thing that I've often said the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.

Principle number five are almost unheard don't look back don't look back, to be retried to run a look over your shoulder behind you more than one race is been lost when the person was in the lead position could not avoid the temptation to see if that other person was there they get the finish line or the ribbon just a little bit before so we can look back. Paul says in verse 13. Forgetting the things that are behind and reaching forward to the things that are for what is it me to forget does not mean you failed to remember. I mean there are things that I remember that I can't necessarily forget when Paul uses this word, forget it means don't be influenced or affected by it any longer. I read an interesting article in the paper about a group in New York City decided to spread their regrets for New Year's so they brought photos of ex-boyfriend's bad medical reports, stacks of unpaid bills, they put them all in a giant shredder in Times Square were a garbage truck would cart them forever. In the article. One person was quoted to say I feel liberated after shoving a photo of her ex-fianc with his new girlfriend into the industrial size machine.

The article says another lady visiting from Ecuador sees the opportunity to banish three unpleasant thoughts are high cholesterol or high blood pressure enter bill so that's fun. Just what the bill still have to be paid and you probably still have high blood pressure in your boyfriend is still with that girl. You can shred all you want. It's a nice sentiment, but isn't it a change anything. But when the Bible says we can forget the things it means we don't have to be influenced by them any longer and it be effectively forgetting something.

I must first be forgiven. There can be no forgetting without forgiveness for the Bible says in Ecclesiastes 315 God requires that which is passed because God forgives and forgets we can do the same. Let me say that again because God forgives and forgets we can do the same because the Lord says their sins and iniquities will I remember no more of this does not mean that God is having a lapse in memory what God is saying is all no longer hold her sin against you. In other words, your sins no longer affect your standing with me, or influenced my attitude toward you. Let me say it again when the Lord says their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.

He is saying that your sins do not affect your standing with me, or influenced my attitude toward you to forget means we break the power of the past by living for the future but things behind. Jesus said, remember lots wife. I should. I remember lots wife because she made a big mistake.

Remember her sorry. God was delivering a lot of his wife and his family out of Sodom and Gomorrah, which he was judging and the angel of the Lord said, this is the way out and don't look back. Alright, so they're walking away and now God's judgment is rainy on the city and quite honestly that would be very tempting to look at okay so we might see God's been a little hard on lots wife and me to look back as you look back in the Bible says, she became a pillar of salt so she's like walk along. Should you know, frozen in time. One of those people of Pompeii, and the explosion of love from I think no Vesuvius but anyway so this is lots wife.

Looking back, but it's interesting because the phrase that is used for her.

Looking back, needs to look with longing. It was deliberate is not just. Oh well know, it's like I'm looking, look up I'm supposed to or not it's intentional, have you ever looked at something with longing coming back to Krispy Kreme. Have you walked in there when the signs lit up see those little glistening donuts come the little conveyor belt.

They come first thing you know they go on the little grease thing get to the cook and the other glazed sway is wait for the amazing you look with longing. At least I did go to the pet store and you see that cute dog all I want him look good longing for your walked to the mall you see the cute outfit in the window.

You look with longing or you look at something else.

The ideas that's what she was doing.

Don't look in a moment. Pastor Greg points out how to reach on when our adversary wants to remind us of the sins of our past. That's coming up in 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. It's called harvest@homeinvitedharvest.org we have worship in a message of God's word. So join us this weekend for harvested home harvest.today Pastor Greg is encouraging us to focus on the road ahead and not look back. Encouragement from his message called the race, we must win. Jesus said, no man, having put his hand of the plow. Looking back is fit for the kingdom of God to look if you're going to run the race of life. Need to put the past behind you stop living in the past. Don't revisit the so-called good old days because that's what defeated Israel in the wilderness.

Remember, they saw we remember the old days back in Egypt when you know we as the garlic to leaks and onions and now we have is this thinking manner were so sick of it. Garlic slinks and onions mother Brett must've stunk, but they have sort of taken the life of bondage in Egypt under the whip of the Pharaoh and inserted imagined it as the greatest life.

Everyone was the worst life ever and sometimes, you know, we turned our back to normal life or walking with Christ. The devil will come to you and maybe bring back one of those memories. We have a little fun with the time is that when you're like I remember my old girlfriend. I remember my agreement little group on Facebook who's an old lady told Dolan in the past live in the moment and look to the future, the devil will remember of the misery you think you want to remember that you know you drank a lot.

You threw up all over the place member that came over that time you were so desponding directed thought of killing yourself member that no he won't mind you, remind you of a few fleeting pleasures because the first step to going back is looking back is he so forgetting the things that are behind and reaching forward of the things that are before, let me have one other thing to this forgetting the past it's also forgetting past victories and by the I think it's a good thing. They reflect back on what the Lord has done. Listen to this sometime successes are harder for people to get over than failures. What I mean by that success is all that we have this great success. There was just fantastic. Okay good, but that was then and this is now, people come up to me to all men member the old days you will days Jesus movement days those days others are awesome days member that is so great well just remember he you know what that is like over 40 years ago. The constant some amazing stuff right here right now and I'm excited about that. I'm looking forward to what the Lord will do so. Let's sum up and conclude number one you must be dissatisfied with where you are number to get rid of extra weight and things that would hinder you certainly run with the right motive for the have a clear objective and focus. Five.

Don't look back one last point them done, you must press on even when it gets hard.

The race of life you want to be a happy person. Press on when it gets hard. You will be happy after you win the race all you know when you're running a race if it's a long distance run and you're in the last lap is like your arms and legs are made out of rubber if you like your heart is going to burst out of your chest.

You can even imagine finishing this but somehow you press on and then you when and then you know what it was all worth it wasn't even though you wanted to walk off that track even though you wanted to quit the race press on verse 13 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

The word that he uses are for pressing comes from the Greek word agonize so can you guess what English word we get from that agonize yes sometimes it's hard sometimes it's painful. What's that expression. No pain, no gain.

That's true in the spiritual life to some degree. Yet the theme of Philippians is happiness and joy 19 times in four chapters, Paul mentions Joy rejoicing our gladness and that includes running and finishing the race of life. Paul said to his friends at the church about process and acts 2024. I want to finish my race with joy finish my race with joy lesson that's not enough to start the race of life we must finish it. Otherwise we been running in vain. In his last epistle, the apostle Paul wrote in second Timothy 47. I thought a good fight, I finished the race, I've kept the faith henceforth remains a crown of righteousness for me and all who love his appearing.

That's the objective you finish this race that you have begun is able.

Greg, I have a long time. You know I was coming from a little time off. I get back in the race later. You don't know when your race is going to end. You don't know when your race is going and you think you are the middle of your race you think you are at the beginning of your race/you might be toward the end of your race.

See what you mean by that because you know when your life is going to win. I don't think you did.

So you want to make every day count. You know my son Christopher is been with the Lord.

Nine years now and on the plaque where he is buried. We have this passage. Second Timothy.

I fought the good fight, I finish the race. I kept the faith. He did. He didn't know he was toward the end of his race. I didn't know he was toward the end of this race, but he was but thankfully he finished his race and I want you to finish your casino. Sometimes I think we feel. Therefore, young. We just have the luxury of a lot of time. I will get around the spiritual things later.

But the reality is, none of us know when life will come doing it so that's why we want to always be ready to meet God and why we want to make every day count and there might be some of you here that haven't even gotten into this race yet, you know, maybe you're here church for the first time or or maybe you don't even know what it means to have this relationship with God.

I talked about people know about God but don't know God that's possible you know about God, but you have no relationship with them and that's really what Christianity is, if you really want to simplify it's a relationship with God. I'm not in the religion.

I don't know about you, I'm not attracted to stained glass and rituals and incense and all that that there is no allure to me. I'm into a relationship with God in heaven. That's what attracts me that's what I want.

Some people like sort of religious things and traditions and all that, by whatever. I'm just saying I'm not one of those people.

But I am really into a friendship with God. I'm really interested in a relationship with God and God is even more interested in a relationship with you and he wants to come and live inside of me that's what being a Christian is having Christ live in you and ask you right now is Jesus Christ living in your life. Has he forgiven you of your sin if you were to die tonight.

And yes, you could and I could, would you go to have if you're a Christian, you will sure if you're not a Christian friend, you won't you won't. And sadly, you will stand before God and all say I never knew you, Lord, I went to church in a money server and Christmas sometimes and Laura night I was baptizes a child, are you and I tried to be a moral person.

Lord I recycled Lord I yell really I never knew you.

I never knew you. But if you will believe in him. Now he'll say welcome coming to the joy of your Lord, you determine what will happen. On the other side by what you do with Jesus Christ on this side.

Jesus died on the cross for you. He spilled his blood for you.

It paid the price for every sin you've ever committed in your forgive you of all that sin right now and come and live in you is your forever friend as your Savior and as your Lord, if you'll ask them to come in really close now in prayer, to give you an opportunity to asked Jesus Christ to come in your life. Let's all bow our heads. Father I pray not for any here that may not yet know you then me know about you, but they don't know you yet Lord, would you help them to see their need for Jesus and help them become due and believing you pass a Greg Laurie important word of prayer.

And if you'd like to make a change today in your relationship with the Lord. Pastor Greg would like to help you with that will do so before today's addition of a new beginning.

Concludes you know our mission statement here harvest ministries is knowing him and making him known. Our primary goal is to teach believers from the word of God and to help unbelievers come into a relationship with Christ. That's why we're here with these studies each day and we hope you appreciate this dedication to the gospel. If you do would you consider partnering with us so we can keep reaching out Pastor Greg debt partnership makes a big difference doesn't yes. So whatever you send to us here harvest will take those resources and use them to continue to reach out through our radio broadcast and are other ways that we reach people through television, online, etc. and that bring the teaching of God's word and the proclamation of the gospel.

Yes, thanks so much for your generosity. It's an investment in change lives should get in touch today and let us know your standing with us. Would you do that and you can make a donation by going to harvest.org while you're there.

Get the details on the resource would like to send your way to say thank you that's at harvest.org or write a set a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call us at 1-800-821-3300. We can take your call anytime. That's 1-800-821-3300 West you spoke today about having a relationship with the Lord. Someone can enter into that kind of relationship with God right now yeah they really can.

That's the amazing thing. I think people are surprised that it doesn't take years to become a Christian. It doesn't take months. It doesn't take weeks.

It doesn't take days, it doesn't even take ours you can believe on the spot and I would like to lead you in a prayer where you can ask for his forgiveness.

A prayer where you can receive Jesus Christ into your life as your Savior and Lord. So if you want Christ to come in your life if you want him to forgive you of your sin if you want a second chance in life.

If you want to go to heaven when you die, stop what you're doing and pray after me these words Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner and I'm sorry for my sin and I turn from it now. I choose to follow you from this moment forward as Savior and Lord is God in friend thank you for loving me and calling me and for giving me in Jesus name I pray, amen, amen and listen. If you have just prayed those words with pastor Greg. The Lord is heard you and forgiven you of your sin. The Bible assures us Jesus is faithful and just to forgive us of our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness and would like to send you some materials to help you begin to live this new life we call it our new believers growth packet just ask for and will send it to you free of charge if you prayed for the first time today with pastor Greg call us at 1-800-821-3300 reach us any time 24 seven at 1-800-821-3300 or write a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or go online to harvest.org and click know God's will. Next time pastor Greg lunch is an important study in the gospel of John I message is called how to not be born again.

I'm thinking once we know how not to will have a good idea how not to not be born again join us here on a new beginning with pastor and Bible teacher Greg floor will buy 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 harvest.org


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