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March 23, 2022 3:00 am
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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, I love to hear from you. So just send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org again it's email@example.com you can learn more about becoming harvest partner by going to harvest.org in our darkest hour.
Our heart cries out with questions. Pastor Greg Laurie says don't be afraid to take those questions to God, Lord, what were you born where were you when my marriage is all will worry when my child went astray were you when my loved one, it's okay to pour your heart out to the Lord. The key is for your heart out to the Lord causes you pain care and with anyone, friend, vendor the checker at the supermarket. A wrong number because their phone other people. All that pain locked away inside the chambers of your heart. What's the best way to deal with today on a new beginning. Pastor Greg Laurie points out the value of bringing RP the Lord wants us to: he has the capacity to bring help in the midst of a crisis, now we see a storybook. John 11. It's a story of Mary, Martha and the brother Lazarus who died they were devastated by this unexpected tragedy. They were effectively saying this will see in a moment. It's not fair because they were a tightknit family, one that happened to be very close to Jesus. In fact, Christ himself frequent in this home. Often there was something about the home of Mary and Martha that made them feel comfortable and I think it was probably Mark is cooking. I have no doubt that she was a great chef and the food was fantastic and Jesus would show up with all of his buddies and crashed there you succeed, vernacular, and Martha always welcome them. There was probably something always on the stove and Martha is home and that Jesus felt welcomed and loved their and spent a lot of time there and they could legitimately say that Jesus was their personal friend. So when their brother Lazarus was also a friend of our Lord got very sick. They just sent word to Christ, figuring he'd take care of it straightaway brings us to our text, John 11 verse one now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. It was that Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. Therefore the sisters sent word to him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom you love is said. There so here we are Mary Martha there probably brag in different you know Jesus work with social tight to be here any moment you come walking down that road like he always does, and Martha hook him up with a great meal.
He'll kill Lazarus and love a great time. They waited and they waited and they waited. Now Lazarus is sicker and sicker. Now he's died now it's been one day.
Now it's been two days now. It's been three days now.
It's been four days and still know Jesus and one day here comes Jesus headed toward Bethany so not only is he not healed his close friend.
He even missed the funeral. So in their estimation. Jesus had fail. Jesus was late and here's what happens. John 11 verse 20 then marked as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming one and met him, but Mary was sitting in the house. Martha said that Jesus Lord, if you would've been here, my brother would not die while pretty accusatory, but even though I know whatever you ask of God shall give it to you, Jesus, adore your brother will rise again. Martha said well I know they will rise again in the resurrection of the last day. Jesus said I am the resurrection of the life he that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.
And whosoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this.
I'm asking you Jesus asked her I'm asking you if you believe this is still true.
Martha was very honest Lord, what were you, Lord. We were telling everyone you'd come through for us. Maybe you said that the God in all honesty, Lord. Where were you when my marriage dissolve Lord.
Where were you when my parents divorced, what were you in my child went astray were you when my loved one died, but I want you to notice something that's very important. Jesus did not reprove Martha. He was such a very understanding, very patient with her and here's my point. It's not a bad thing to tell God how you feel you don't have the candy coat, prayers you know you can be honest with God in prayer you can actually say Lord I do like the way things are going right now and I'm not happy right now and I don't understand why you're doing what you're doing right now but I'm crying out to you Lord I have nowhere else to go. Like the apostle said, when Jesus said, will you also go away. They said, Lord, will show we go. You alone have the words of eternal life loose paraphrase.
Lord you're the only game in town were specifically you're the only God in town we'll like this and were asking you why it's okay to pour your heart out to the Lord. The key is you pour your heart out to the Lord. Let me just say that. Let's just say for the sake of appointment, God condescended and answered your question Lord why you really want to know. Yes, okay, ready, yes here's why. I don't agree you would like it to you. We live on promises, not explanation so I think we should spend too much time wondering why I don't know that we would ever understand some of the things that have happened to us here in this life, but I think will understand all the things that have happened to us when we get to heaven.
Jesus did not correct.
Martha brother he seeks to give her an eternal perspective. Martha verse 26 I am the resurrection and the like, either believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live in is over lives and believes in me shall never die. You believe this guy believe it. Okay, so she's gone enter Mary by the way, Martha was very outspoken. We know this from other stories in the Bible. She was always one to speak her mind. You know where you stood with Martha, you know someone like her. They just blurt out things in the thick. I don't know why. Just at that.
There's there's Martha Sumter. Mary was quieter.
She was very perceptive, spiritually banal look at how the story shifts here. Verse 32 of John 11 then Mary came where Jesus was and Solomon fell down at his feet and said same thing as Martha Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, he groaned in the spirit and was troubled and he said were feeling him, they said, Lord, come and see for 35 Jesus wept. Then the Jews said see how he loved.
By the way, that's the shortest verse in the Bible is the I can't memorize Scripture is try what Jesus wept say that out loud. Jesus well you got a Scripture memorized the place to start, but it brings up a very important point, which is point number three.
Jesus weeps with us in our times of pain that surprise you. Jesus weeps with us in our times of pain. We like to go no godsend different gods disconnected God doesn't really care. No, no, Jesus was and is God what is God like God is Jesus.
Jesus is God. Jesus was God, with a face on Jesus was God walking among us is a man you want to know what God is like, look at Jesus. So what is God deal when were in pain. He feels that pain as well is the only one who can truly say feel your pain.
So why did this happen because Jesus according to Isaiah 53 was despised and rejected a man of sorrows, according with the most bitter grief. We turned our backs on him and look the other way when he went by when he was despised. We didn't care get in our weakness. He carried our sorrows, they weighed them down. Yet Jesus bore your sins did me. But he also carried your sorrows so but heard she would affect him if it causes you pain. He care Jesus wept. That says a lot about how he looks at us and how we cares about assisted death breaks God's heart. Just as a breaks our hearts and therefore Jesus not only cares, but we also find another emotion of our Lord here that sort of surprising. We see anger combined with sorrow of verse 33 John 11 when Jesus saw her weeping, and saw the other people wailing whether he was moved with indignation.
It was deeply troubled and they came to the crane. That's verse 38 know I dropped down to it was a cave with the stone rolled across its entrance.
So the word trouble can be translated.
He was mad.
Listen Jesus experience the full gamut of human emotion. People join. He felt happiness he felt sorrow and he felt anger all yeah Jesus got angry but I would want to be in his bad side.
Would you member the story when he made a whip drove the moneychangers out of the temple while here he is angry again.
So who is he angry with busying with Martha no. Is he angry with Mary again. No busying here with these people know he's angry with death itself and affect prices angry with the Grim Reaper if you will, is angry that this had to happen. This was not my plan but this is the way it is and it makes me angry. The best part of the story is just ahead were Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead. Pastor Greg returns in just a moment and I don't know if you know about this, but we have a weekend service called Harvest at Home exclusively for people that are tuning in literally from around the world listen to this. We even have harvest groups where you can get into a small group with folks from all around this planet of ours, studying the word of God.
So join us this weekend Saturday and Sunday for Harvest at Home@harvest.org we pick up today's study, Jesus arrived at the tomb of Lazarus and wept. Mary pointed out that if Jesus had arrived sooner maybe her brother would not have died. Pastor Greg continues we see what happens after that he says will show me where you instantly walks up there and Martha warned the Lord by now he stink that's King James and I love the word stink because it's a really Elizabethan way of telling someone they stink severe was some guy and he is and smell good, because he hasn't been in a week just so you know by now, you stink offenses authorities is decomposing. Yeah, what's this Lazarus come for here comes Lazarus from the other side alive again.
It's a good thing Jesus said Lazarus come forth because if he had simply said, come forth every body and every grave would've simultaneously burst from the ground and burst from the tombs. That's the power of Jesus we can be heard on the other side in heaven itself. By the way, this was not a sweet deal for Lazarus. This poor guy had to die twice. This is bad enough to die once come back to life in die again some other time. Lazarus is thinking you enjoyed it over on the other side. There are no Abraham's bosom and that was nice and comforting and really you really that brings me to my next point number four. God can be glorified through human suffering and he can bring good out of bed. So in this case it was a horrible tragedy, but God intervened and brought a resurrection and sometimes to suffering some of the best things in life can happen sometimes that rejection that the motion that firing that setback that break up whatever it is to be something that propels you forward in a way you never imagine. So this look like the worst case scenario, Lazarus is dead will never see him again. Jesus brings him back again so here's what you need to know both grow strongest in the garden.
I may well want hope right.
The Bible says if you're hoping to get it through tribulation because Romans 53 says we glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces endurance and perseverance produces character, and character produces hope, hope grow strongest in the garden of pain. We think no hope grows when everything's going well. Hope grows when there's no problems, no accidents, not the case.
Hope grows and things are hard, because that's when God comes through and shows you is power in the darkest circumstances that freehold get from what is hope. Using as an acronym HOPE holding on with patient expectation so Lazarus was brought back again from the other side. Jesus said I'm the resurrection of the life he that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.
Listen to is not an entrance to death, but to life. Heaven is the earthly life of the believer glorified and perfected to listen Christ has conquered death, is to know when are you nuts Greg people still die we mean Christ is conquered death.
Why do people die or another very well actually. But I'm seeing death is not the end. As I said earlier, we live in the land of the dying and were headed to the land of the living. When you put your faith in Christ you have life during life and you are the hope of life beyond the grave. Why, because when Jesus died on the cross. He paid the price for our sin. Any conquered death. Death died when Christ rose so yes believers still die. Yes there comes a moment when our heart will stop beating in will no longer be able to draw breath in our lungs. Yes, the day will come when will be technically brain-dead. I may already be right now.
I'm not sure but the point is that they will come.
But the soul lives on. You see, that's what unique about humanity.
What are you trusting in right now. Proverbs 1028 says the hopes of the godly result in happiness, but the expectations of the wicked are in vain, and I just read an article that made up point just read it today was about millennial's and God and here was a headline millennial's are losing their faith and replacing it with pizza push-ups and profound digital connections and of this article says my quote just 27 to 20% of people in their 20s and early 30s attend religious services regularly, according to the latest figures on the pew research Center and what they're doing instead is some are finding their answers in yoga others on Facebook and some even in pizzerias like one guy named Capon who said he found in the pizzeria.
What he did not find an organized religion, deep conversations and relationships. This is so crazy I don't know what to say but I kinda got it in a way to what these young people are saying as were not seated in organized religion.
I don't see it in organized religion either in this by the way, is not organized religion were talking here about a relationship with Jesus Christ. And that's what you need. That's the only thing that will sustain you because when you come to the end of your life.
Pizza is not going to save you or you know God, and certainly not Facebook or any other social media when 9/11 happened. Some of you donors long time ago.
But when 9/11 happened when the twin towers of the World Trade Center came crashing to the ground and we all watched it happen in real time. It was a national trauma and I'll tell you what churches were packed and there were people on street corners having prayer vigil. Even the Congress got along for a day to sit on the steps of the N broken to a spontaneous version of God bless America. It was almost Bible like for a while and then we went back to our old ways. Again, yeah, I think we turn to God because instinctively we know God has what we need, we can say don't believe in organized religion.
Please talking about organized religion were talking about Jesus Christ, dare I say it, Jesus is greater than pizza and Facebook in yoga and religion and rituals and possessions in power and money.
Jesus is greater than anything this world offers and he's the one you need to turn to. Because he's the only one who can save you and you can be a Christian any pizza sauce so just put in its proper place in your mouth. All right, it won't fill the hole in your soul. But Jesus will in Jesus Christ, who died in the cross 2000 years ago rose again from the dead and easier with this right here right now standing at the door of your life, and he is knocking anything.
If you hear my voice, and open the door. I'll commit someone close by giving you an opportunity to believe in Jesus an opportunity to find hope in this life and opportunity to fill a hole in your heart you tried to fill with other thing he's just a prayer away. If you need Jesus tonight if you're not sure that you go to heaven when you die if you're not convinced your life is right with God or maybe fallen away from the Lord you feel like you need to come back to him again when extend an opportunity as we closed on prayer. So let's all bow our heads right now and pray together. Father, thank you for your love for us. Thank you for sending Jesus to die on the cross for us.
Lord Jesus, thank you for coming and dying and rising, and thank you for the hope of life beyond the grave and life during life.
I pray for any care that may not yet know you hope them to see their need for you hope them to come to you and believe in you right now Jesus, Esther, Greg Laurie important word of prayer. And if you like to make a change in your relationship with the Lord today.
Pastor Greg will come back in just a moment to help you do that simply stay with us.
You know Pastor Greg sometimes will hear from people who moved to a new community and they want to be able to hear a new beginning on the station in their new area and they'll right to tell us that yeah and would like to make that happen, but it often takes financial resources to make those arrangements. Yes, so we hope our listeners will pray about making an investment today and we want to thank them with an important resource were making available. Yeah, that's right. The reason we offer these quality resources is so we can just help you encourage you and bless you, but also it's a way for you to support our ministry because as you can imagine, it takes money to be on the radio and we want to continue to reach you in your area and going to new areas were not on yet so we put that gift to work to reach more people with the teaching of the word of God and the message of the gospel. Yeah, that's right.
So would you prayerfully consider partnering with us today. You can make that investment online and get details on the resource would like to send your way to thank you. It's a book called don't give the enemy a seat at your table written by Pastor Louis Giglio. He points out where in the battle for the control of our minds and our enemy is trying to push a narrative that will lead to defeat the subtitle is it's time to win the battle of your mind and will send you this book to thank you for your investment. Just go to harvest.org or drop us a note at a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call us anytime 24 seven at 1-800-821-3300. That's 1-800-821-3300 Pastor Greg or somebody listening right now knows that they need to make a change in their relationship with God. They can do that right now and they really cannot. I think some people might say what what, pray what the why listening to the radio, absolutely because guess what Jesus Christ is with you right where you are right now and if you want Jesus Christ to come in your life and forgive you of your sin if you want to invite them in your life, why don't you pray this prayer after me right now.
In fact, I would even encourage you to pray it out loud. Let's pray Lord Jesus, I want you to come into my life and forgive me of my sin. I think you for dying for me on the cross and then rising again from the dead. I choose to follow you from this moment forward be my Savior be my Lord be my God, and be my friend. Thank you for loving me and calling me and forgiving me in Jesus name I pray, amen. Ellison is you just pray that prayer maybe you felt something emotional. I've had people write me and tell me of how they prayed with me at the end of our radio broadcasting. Tears came down their cheeks or they felt a great joy to be one of those things happen you are and then again maybe you felt nothing less than irregardless of how you feel right now I want you to know a fact if you prayed that prayer and minute Jesus Christ has come into your life. Why don't I say that because the Bible says these things we write to you that believe on the name of the son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life that first doesn't say so you can think you have eternal life.
For hope of God's in a really good mood.
You may have eternal life notes as you can know it. And if you just pray that prayer and minute prices, near life.
So let me say to you, welcome to God's family and would like to help you get started in living your new life with the Lord would like to send you some free follow-up materials called our new believers growth packet just get in touch and will send that packet right out to you as I said, it's free of charge and our special thanks door harvest partners and others who support this ministry for helping us make them available you can call us anytime at 1-800-821-3300. That's 1-800-821-3300 or write a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or just go to harvest.org and click on know God.
Next time we follow Mary into another biblical story. So great was her love for the Lord that she gave her all including an extravagant sacrifice, and perhaps her most cherished possession join us here in a new beginning. Pastor and Bible Lord, thank you, a new beginning.
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