You're listening to A New Beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God.
Visit our website and learn more about Harvest Partners at harvest.org. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie points out we find real peace when our thoughts and emotions are in harmony with the Lord. If you've run out of things to worry about, just turn on the news. It's one crisis after another, 24 hours a day.
The old saying in the news business is, if it believes, it leads. But the Lord calls us to set our minds on things above. And today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie shows us why. When we've made our peace with God, it's so easy to enjoy the peace of God. Pastor Greg shows us how to enjoy a biblical worldview that's not mired in worry and fear.
This is the day, the day when life begins. Worry is a completely negative thing to have in your life. Actually, modern medical research has proven that worry breaks down our resistance to disease.
It actually diseases the nervous system, specifically the digestive organs and the heart. 79 to 90% of all visits to primary care physicians are stress-related complaints. Now this happened to me not long ago. I thought maybe I'm having a heart problem because I was feeling pressure in my chest. And I thought, is this a heart thing? And so I googled symptoms of heart attack. It said pressure in chest.
Yeah, I've got that. And then it said nausea. And I immediately felt nauseated. I mean, like right there, I felt nauseated. So I thought, I'm going to my doctor. I didn't even tell Kathy about this.
She was out doing something. I drove to my doctor. I said, I'm afraid I might be having a heart attack. So he did an EKG in me. There was nothing wrong with me at all. Then the bill came a week later and I did have a heart attack.
Seriously, those things are expensive. Well, what I've been doing is I've been playing racquetball again. I used to do that many years ago. And in my attempt to get that crazy little ball, I've slammed up against the wall a few times. And so I bruised my chest hitting the wall. It's not a heart attack.
It's just idiocy and action is what it actually is. But there's all these things that we worry about that don't help us at all actually. So let's try to stop worrying. You say, well, it's easy for you to say.
Well, I know. But I want you to consider who wrote the words we're about to read. They were written by the apostle Paul under adverse circumstances.
When Paul wrote the words we're about to read, he was under house arrest. But he gives to us some of the most inspiring words down on the pages of Scripture. A series of verses that every believer should know and even commit to memory. I'm talking about Philippians 4 starting in verse 4. And we'll read down to verse 8. Paul writes, Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice.
Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing.
Or literally don't worry about anything. But in everything my prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Look at this promise. And the peace of God that passes all human understanding will guard your heart and mind through Christ Jesus. This is the biblical worldview on overcoming fear and worry.
Three elements I want to bring to your attention. It's right praying, verses 6 to 7. It's right thinking, verse 8. And finally right living, verse 9. So right praying, right thinking, right living.
Let's start with the first one. Right praying. The next time you're tempted to worry, pray instead. Notice it says with thanksgiving.
With thanksgiving. That's an important element before the prayer is answered. Because they take time to worship my Father and remind myself of His greatness and power. And in doing so I automatically put my own problems into their proper perspective. When I see God in His glory I see my problems the way I should see them. Big God. Small problems.
Big problems. Small God? We need to pray that He will have His will in our life and that we rejoice in the fact that He is in control. Daniel's life is a perfect example of this. Here is Daniel the prophet.
An older man at this stage of his ministry. Ministering to the leader of Babylon Darius. And Darius valued the counsel of Daniel.
Well Daniel had some competition. There were other advisors to the king that didn't believe in his God. And they didn't like the fact that the king favored Daniel.
So they wanted to get rid of him. But the problem for them at least was there were no skeletons in Daniel's closet. No sin for them to uncover. So they said the only way we are going to trip this guy up is we catch him doing something with him and his God. So they got the king to unwittingly sign a decree that no one could pray to any God except the king himself. And Daniel heard about it and went to his house and opened up the windows as he always did and got down on his knees and he prayed. But even more he gave thanks to God. It is important to give thanks to God. I think it is a great thing when people pray over their food at home and even in public places. You know when you are in a restaurant. Bow your head and thank the Lord for your meal. It is a great witness I think to other people around there to see a family praying together.
Don't you? Just make sure you leave a tip. Because when you don't leave a tip it is a bad witness to the server. Ok. And be generous.
Don't be a cheapskate. So you know the idea is that we are giving thanks to God even before we have the answer that we may be hoping for. Daniel prayed, the Bible says, and he gave thanks to God and he made supplication for others. And this word is used here as well in Philippians. In everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Supplication is where you are praying for others. And sometimes praying for others puts your problems into perspective.
Right? Maybe you are having a hard day. Oh I am having such a hard day Lord.
I have got a flat tire. Life is so hard. Why God would you allow this to happen to me? Then your Christian friend calls and says, Would you pray for me?
I just got the test back and I have cancer. Yes I will pray for you. And as you pray for them suddenly you see how stupid you were being when you were complaining about your problem.
Here is someone with a real problem. And your heart goes out to them. And as you make supplication for them it helps you put your own issues into perspective. In everything by prayer and supplication praying for others with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
And what happens? And the peace of God that passes all human understanding will keep your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. And it is a peace that God can give you no matter what you are facing right now. So if you want to overcome fear and worry you need to have right praying. Then number two you need right thinking.
Right thinking. If you are taking notes you might write that down. Verse 8. Whatsoever things are true. Whatsoever things are normal. Whatsoever things are just. Whatsoever things are pure and lovely.
Whatsoever things are of good report. If there is any virtue. If there is anything praiseworthy. Meditate or think on these things.
Here is another translation of that verse. Summing it all up friends I would say you do your best by filling your minds and meditating on things that are true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious. The best and not the worst. The beautiful and not the ugly. Things to praise. Not things to curse.
I love this. If you want personal peace it involves the heart and the mind. Because Isaiah 26 says, Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee because he trusts in thee. So think about what you think about. It is sort of like when you sit down to eat it will affect you. For instance I can't eat certain kinds of food late at night because I have acid reflux.
What a drag it is. Because I love to eat food late at night. And I love spicy food. How many of you like spicy food? I love spicy. I am like Tabasco sauce on everything. Cholula on everything.
I love it you know. And so I have to think about it. So it is maybe at night. Maybe 8 or 9 o'clock I am hungry. Oh I would love to eat some Mexican food. No way. Italian food.
No way because the tomato is acidic. So I have to make other choices. Also I can't drink caffeine after 7 o'clock because it will keep me up all night. So there is a cutoff point for me and coffee. So I have to think about it because I know that coffee or that food will have a direct effect on me. So I need to look at that in life in general.
This thing. This show I am going to watch on TV. What kind of effect will it have on me? This movie that I am about to go to. What effect will this movie have on me?
This music I am going to listen to. What effect will this have on me? See if you want personal peace it comes down to praying right and it comes down to thinking right. And it comes down to guarding what you put in your mind. In a moment Pastor Greg takes us to some words from the psalmist David about how to quiet our minds in times of distress.
Good insight is coming next. Hearing about listeners who find Jesus because of Harvest Ministries is so encouraging. Pastor Greg, as a 20 year listener to your radio show and fellow Harbor High graduate, I thought you would appreciate hearing how I used your salvation prayer to bring my dad to the Lord in the final moments of his life. My father was a big gregarious man who played football for the Missouri Tigers back in his early years. He became a successful businessman in California and was married four times. However, through the years he was a very good father to me and my three siblings. Just recently my dad flew out for a visit and got to hold his great granddaughter for the first time.
It was on this trip that he fell down a staircase which set in motion a domino effect of health issues that were insurmountable, leading to a heart attack days later. Knowing he had just hours or minutes to live and not knowing if he had accepted Jesus Christ as his savior, I asked him if he would like to repeat after me the prayer of salvation that I've heard you pray, Pastor Greg, and he promptly said yes. After leading my dad in this prayer of salvation, I said to him, Dad, congratulations, you're going to heaven.
A quiet peace settled over him and he was no longer afraid to meet his maker. Have these daily studies in God's word touched your life or the life of someone in your family? If so, why not drop Pastor Greg an email and let him know? Send it to gregatharvest.org. Again, that's gregatharvest.org. Well, today Pastor Greg is helping us think biblically. We're discovering that if our minds are in tune with the Lord, it will lower our fear and worry.
Let's continue. Why is the mind important? Well, because this is command central right here. And by the way, why am I bald? Because grass doesn't grow on busy streets. Us bald people, we know all the jokes.
Trust me, we've heard them all. But it's right here. I think about something before I do it. I contemplate it here in my mind first. You see, with my mind I reach to the past through memories.
I reach to the future through imagination. So I need to learn how to think properly and biblically. And as 2 Corinthians 10, 5 says, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Jesus Christ. So the next time you're troubled, you might try talking to yourself. Say, Greg, are you out of your mind?
Well, listen to what I'm saying. Because we need to say to ourself, think biblically. Because these things don't always come naturally. For instance, we see the psalmist in some despair in Psalm 42. He says in Psalm 42, verse 15, Why are you downcast on my soul? Why are you disturbed within me? Notice, many of the psalms are songs and prayers, right?
And they're honest. And as you read some of those psalms, he says things that you and I say. Well, I dare not pray that.
No, go ahead and pray that. Lord, I'm hurting right now. I'm in pain right now. I don't understand this right now. I'm struggling with this right now. And so the psalmist says, Why are you troubled, Saul?
Why are you disquieted? Then he sort of talks to himself and says, Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, for He is my Savior and my God. So sometimes you're getting down. I don't know what's going to happen. I don't know how I'm going to get out of this situation.
I'm afraid. And then you say, Listen, self, don't worry about anything. Pray about everything. And the peace of God that passes all human understanding will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.
Quote the Bible to yourself and remind yourself of the truth of God's Word. That's what it means to think biblically. So it's right praying. And it's right thinking.
And there's one more. Right living. Right living, verse 9. These things that you've learned and received and heard and seen in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you. You cannot separate outward action and inward attitude. You need to live these things out in your life.
Now, let me say this. Studies have found that 85 percent of the things that we worry about never happen. Okay, so all the stuff you're worrying about right now, I don't even know what it is. Like some of you are worrying, will he ever stop this sermon?
Will this go on forever? I don't know what you're worrying about. 85 percent of it, it's not going to happen. So a lot of you, ah, it's good to know. But some of you are thinking, yeah, but what about the other 15 percent? That's a good point.
What about the other 15 percent? What about that fear or that worry? What if this happens and then it does happen? In fact, not only does it happen, but something even worse than you were considering happens, what then? Well, then the Lord will be with you in your time of difficulty.
Listen, God has not promised we're going to live in a pain-free world. It's been 15 years now since our son Christopher left us and went to heaven. And you never get over this. And I just talked to a couple who have been married 10 years longer than Kathy and I have.
52 years. And they lost their son like 34 years ago. And they told me, you never get over it. Because you don't expect your children to die before you. You expect you die, then your children will die. And it's out of the natural order.
You don't ever plan on what kind of casket you'll choose for your child's funeral. And those are the kinds of issues you have to deal with when a child dies or when a loved one dies. And so you say, well, Greg, this is kind of scary to me and even a little frightening for you to even talk about this. Okay.
I understand that. But we need to face facts. Loved ones are going to die and hardship will come in our lives. Now some live relatively pain-free lives.
But the rest of us don't get out that way. We live in the land of the dying but we are headed to the land of the living. You see. So that's the good news. But we have to face these things.
But here is the good news. When death comes, and yes it will come, we have this promise from Jesus when He says in Revelation 1.17, Don't be afraid. I am the first and the last. I am the living one.
I died but look I am alive forevermore. And I hold the keys of death in the grave. Oh I am so glad He holds the keys. If I had the keys they would have been lost for years now. I lose every set of keys all the time. I have these little things to find my keys.
It is just pathetic. I even lose hotel keys. But Jesus never loses the keys. And He is saying, don't be afraid. I will be there for you.
That is the thing. Most of the stuff you worry about isn't going to happen. And when things do happen God will be there for you in the middle of it. You know someone asked me not long ago what was the most spiritual moment of your life. In other words when is the time in your life when you felt God's presence more than any other. Well I had to think about it.
Let's see. Was it the day of my conversion? Well that was a wonderful moment. I still remember it vividly.
But that wasn't it. Was it the day I was baptized? Oh I remember that day like it was yesterday. But that wasn't the most spiritual moment.
Was it the day I married Kathy as wonderful as that day was? That was not my most spiritual moment. And then I realized the most spiritual moment of my life.
In other words a moment where I felt the presence of God more than any other was when I heard the news that my son had died and God was there with me. And here is my point to you. God will be with you giving you what you need when you need it. Not necessarily before and never after. So don't worry about it. Don't worry. Remember that song Don't Worry Be Happy?
I hated that song. But you know theologically it was right. So turn your worries into prayers. But let me just say this in closing. For some of you that have joined us here you might be afraid today. You have come in here with something that has scared you. Maybe it is a medical scare. Maybe it is a loved one that has died recently. Maybe you had a close brush with death. Or you are just in panic about something.
And here is what you need to know. God can remove that worry and replace it with a peace that passes all human understanding. And when you have all of your bases covered you don't have to be afraid. You know why Daniel was able to sleep peacefully in the lion's den after he was arrested for praying publicly? It is because he knew he was in a win-win situation. Win-win. Option number one. He has a good night's sleep and uses a big fat cat for a pillow. Option number two.
He is eaten by one of the cats and ends up in heaven. It was win-win. And it is the same for us. Our options are win-win. That is why Paul said to live is Christ and to die is gain.
So my option is this. I can live for the Lord. Walk with the Lord.
Discover His plan for me in this life. And then when death does come I go straight to heaven. It is win-win. It is a great thing to know.
But if you are not a believer in Jesus listen to this. It is lose-lose. Not win-win. Lose-lose. Not even win-lose as some might think.
It is lose-lose. Because in this life you live with guilt. In this life you live with the repercussions of your sin. In this life you don't have the peace that passes all human understanding. In this life you don't have God. And in the afterlife you will be separated from God for all eternity.
Lose-lose. But you can change that today by believing in Jesus. You say well what do you mean by that? I mean by praying and asking God to forgive you of all of your sin. Because 2000 years ago God sent His Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for us. And if we will turn from our sin and believe in Him He will come and live inside of us. And we can know with certainty we will go to heaven when we die.
We are going to close now in prayer. And I am going to extend an invitation for anybody here to believe in Jesus who has not yet made this commitment. So if you need Christ in your life. If you need this peace we have been talking about. If you want to be free from your fear and worry.
Respond to this invitation. Let's all pray. Father thank You for loving us so much that You sent Jesus.
Lord Jesus thank You for coming. And now I pray for every person here who is in attendance or is watching or listening. If they don't know You yet help them to come to You. Help them to believe in You. And help them to be forgiven by You.
We would ask now. Amen. Pastor Greg Laurie with an important prayer. And wherever you stand with the Lord today you can make a change and make things right. Pastor Greg will help you do that in just a moment before today's edition of A New Beginning concludes. You know Pastor Greg sometimes we may discover a Christian friend of ours may have some questions on the basics of the faith. And we could all use a resource that would help answer those questions and help them build a solid foundation for their walk with the Lord. You have a resource like that available don't you?
Yes I do Dave. It's called The New Believers Guide to Effective Christian Living. This is a simple small book.
It's very understandable. And basically I lay down the basics of spiritual success. If you want to go forward spiritually this is going to help you. By the way these are truths and principles you never outgrow.
You need to return to them again and again and again. We talk about things like discovering God's will. How to pray effectively. How to share your faith. How to know the will of God. How to study the Bible and much much more. The cool thing is you could read this in one sitting.
It's almost like we're just sitting down and talking together over a cup of coffee. And I'm just breaking down the basics of the Christian life for you or for whoever you give this book to. So order your copy of The New Believers Guide to Effective Christian Living. You might even want to order a few extras. It's a great resource to have on hand.
Yeah that's right. It's small enough to keep in a pocket or in a purse or in the glove compartment of your car. Let this help you in your own personal ministry. And we want to send a copy of this your way to say thank you. Thank you for praying for us and for investing so these daily studies can continue. It's only possible through listener support.
So thanks for letting us hear from you today. Again, when you give, be sure to ask for The New Believers Guide to Effective Christian Living. You can call us at 1-800-821-3300. That's a 24-hour phone number. 1-800-821-3300.
Or go online to Harvest.org. Well Pastor Greg, we heard in today's message the importance of coming to Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins. Yes. For those who've never done that before, maybe you could explain just exactly how we do come to Christ.
Yeah, I'd be happy to Dave. You know, sometimes people wonder, well how does one become a Christian? Sometimes you'll hear people say, well I'm in the process of converting.
Listen, you're either converted or you're not converted. Conversion doesn't take years. It doesn't take months. It doesn't even take hours.
It can happen in a flash. Listen, God is only a prayer away. You need to admit your sin to God, turn from it, and put your faith in Jesus Christ and you can know that you'll go to heaven when you die.
Have you done that yet? If not, it would be my privilege to lead you in a prayer of asking Christ to come into your life and forgive you of your sin. If you would like to do that, please pray this prayer after me right now. If you want Christ to come into your life, pray this prayer after me now.
Let's pray. Lord Jesus, I know that I'm a sinner, but you died on the cross for my sin and paid the price for every wrong I've ever done. I turn from that sin now and I ask you to come into my life. Be my Savior, be my Lord, be my God, and be my friend. I choose to follow you from this day forward.
Thank you for loving me and calling me and accepting me. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen. If you just prayed that prayer in a minute, Jesus Christ himself has come to live inside of you. The Bible says for as many as received him, he gave them the power to become sons of God. If you just prayed that prayer, you are receiving him. So God bless you and welcome to the family of God.
And you know what? We have some great resources we want to send you to grow spiritually. So here's Dave with some details. Yeah, those resources are all assembled for you in our New Believers' Growth Packet. It's free to those who are making a first-time commitment to the Lord today. So get in touch and ask for the New Believers' Growth Packet. Call us at 1-800-821-3300.
We're here to speak with you 24-7, again the number 1-800-821-3300. Or go to harvest.org and click on Know God. Well, next time Pastor Greg continues his WorldView series with some great insight on where contentment is found.
It isn't found where the world tells us to look. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher Greg Laurie. This is the day, the day when life begins. Thanks for listening to A New Beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God. Sign up for daily devotions and learn how to become a Harvest Partner at harvest.org.
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