Hey, everybody. You're listening to A New Beginning, which is a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners. If this program has impacted you, I'd love to hear from you. So just send an email to me at gregatharvest.org. Again, it's gregatharvest.org.
You can learn more about becoming a Harvest Partner by going to harvest.org. Pastor Greg Laurie points out, our strength is found in the Lord and the Lord alone. As we read in Philippians 4.13. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Take out the word Christ and put in another word and this collapses immediately. How about this? I can do all things through education that strengthens me. I can do all things through money.
How about this one? I can do all things through politics that strengthen me. No, but we can do all things through Christ. This is the day when the lost are found. This is the day for a new beginning. Amazing grace, how sweet the sound.
Again, you're here on the angels are singing. This is the day, the day when life begins. If you knew you had the resources to handle anything, anything that came your way, would that change your outlook on life? Sometimes our demeanor is soured when life has been harsh and we feel there's nothing we can do about it. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie brings some good news.
You can have an attitude of contentment no matter what because your Heavenly Father knows what you're facing and He has a plan to bring you through. Good insight coming your way today. This is the day, the day when life begins.
All right. Well let's grab our Bibles and turn to the book of Philippians. The book of Philippians.
And we're in our worldview series. And the title of the message today is The Biblical Worldview on Finding Contentment. Philippians chapter 4 and we're reading verses 10 to 13. Paul writes, and he says, For I rejoice in the Lord greatly, that now at last your care for me is flourished again, though you surely did care but you lacked opportunity, not that I speak in regard to need. For I've learned in whatever state I'm in to be content.
Underline that verse. I've learned whatever state I'm in to be content. I know how to be a based. I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I've learned both to be full and to be hungry. Both to abound and to suffer need. Verse 13, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
So that brings me to point number one if you're taking notes. Contentment comes when we rejoice in the Lord. Paul found contentment because he rejoiced in the Lord. Verse 4 of Philippians 4 he says, Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice.
And by the way that's a command as we pointed out in our last message. You're commanded to rejoice. It doesn't say rejoice in circumstances because sometimes it's hard. But rejoice in the Lord. Point number two.
Paul found contentment because he took life as a king. You cannot control what comes your way in life. I've tried.
It doesn't work. But I can control my reaction to it. I can control the way I think.
I can control my attitude. That's why you learn this. You learn how to be content.
Which brings me to point number three. Contentment does not come from what I have. It comes from who I know. Contentment does not come from what I have.
It comes from who I know. Hebrews 13 5 says, Let your way of life be without covetousness. But be content with such things as you have. For he has said, I will never leave you or forsake you. See because Christ will never leave me I can be content. It's not about what I have. It's about who has me. And so Paul had found this contentment in his relationship with God.
Point number four. Contentment comes from leaning on Christ. Not leaning on yourself. Contentment comes from leaning on Christ.
Not leaning on yourself. Look at verse 13. I can do all things to Christ who strengthens me. So Paul realized he needed God's help. Earlier in his book he writes to live as Christ and to die as gain. So Paul had experienced some hard times including being stoned.
Not that kind of stoned. And literal stoning with rocks. In fact he was probably killed. We know at some point Paul died. And many believe it was an incident in the book of Acts where he was stoned and thought of his dead and came back to life. And so Paul had the unique experience of dying and going to heaven and coming back again.
Imagine poor Paul. So he's stoned and he's hurtled into the presence of God. And there is the Lord Jesus Christ who says, Well done good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Lord. And Paul is rejoicing in the Lord.
I don't know what happened up there. But maybe the Lord said something like, Hey Paul I've got some good news and bad news. What's the good news? You are coming back again Paul. Again?
What do you mean again? You are going back to earth now buddy. Oh no.
No. I do not want to go back to earth. Paul people are down there praying for you to be raised from the dead. Lord don't listen to their prayers.
They are sinners. I don't want to go back to earth. I want to stay here. I know Paul. But I have a work for you to do. And then he's back there and they are praying that he would be raised. And the Lord came many years. But the Lord also said a thorn in his flesh. We don't know what it was. Some kind of a physical problem. Maybe a result of one of his beatings or stonings. Maybe it was eyesight.
That's what some commentators think. We don't know what certainty but it was a continuing physical issue it would appear. He described it as a thorn in the flesh. A messenger of Satan sent to buffet him lest he would be inflated with pride. So the Lord kind of kept him humble through life. But it kept him leaning on Christ and trusting in Christ.
So he found this contentment. Now we come to a very important verse. Verse 13. Let's say it together. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Let's say it one more time. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Don't you love that verse? The J.B. Phillips translation of that verse goes as follows. I'm ready for anything through the strength of the one who lives within me. I'm ready for anything. I can do all things through Christ. Now take out the word Christ and put in another word and this collapses immediately. How about this.
I can do all things through drugs and alcohol that strengthen me. Is that true? When are people in Hollywood going to get this memo? I mean we breathlessly follow their every move. Their every tweet. Their every post.
Oh they're so wonderful we think. And then we hear of this one checking into a rehab clinic for the tenth time. And we read of this other one getting another divorce. And then we read of another who overdoses on drugs. And then we read of some who commit suicide.
And we don't understand that. Because they are living the good life or so we think. They are living the life that maybe some of us wish we were living.
And why would they just take their own life? I'll tell you Jesus cares for every one of these people. He loves them. Jesus cares about every little child. He cares about every unborn child. He cares about every middle aged person. He cares about an older person. He cares about the elderly person. He cares for all of us and wants to forgive us of all of our sin. And that's all we need to take the gospel out and tell people about Jesus. Because there are people like this that you may know.
And they seem to have it all together on the outside. And he thought why would I share Jesus with them? Look at the car they drive. Why would I tell them about what Christ can do in their life? Look at their beautiful husband or wife and kids and this or that.
No listen. Deep down inside everyone is empty. Everyone is lonely. And everyone needs Jesus. Christ is the answer for everyone.
Not just some. I can do all things to Christ who strengthens me. Not drugs.
How about this. I can do all things to education that strengthens me. Well you can do some things with education. Getting a degree is a great thing.
But he can only do some things to it. I can do all things through money that strengthens me. You can do some things with money. Money is not evil. Some say well you know the Bible says money is the root of all evil. The Bible doesn't say that. The Bible says the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Which while some have coveted after they have erred from the faith. Money is neutral. It can be used for God's glory. It can be used for evil. But you can't do all things through money.
It has its limitations. Well I can do all things through friends that strengthen me. Well sometimes friends let you down.
Sometimes friends abandon you. How about this one. I can do all things through politics that strengthen me. No.
No. We can do some things through politics. And by the way. Christian should be involved in politics. We really should.
Now this is not. Well I don't agree. Look we need to be involved in every part of culture.
Every part. And every Christian should register and vote. And to not do that to me is a bit irresponsible.
Maybe even worse. So you know we want to encourage men and women of God. Who want to do what they can in our nation's capital.
There are good and godly people in Washington D.C. And there are bad and ungodly people in Washington D.C. So we want to be an influence where we can be. But we understand also we can only do some things through politics. But we can do all things through Christ. Christ is the answer. He's the answer for the future of America. In just a moment Pastor Greg explains how contentment is tied to generosity.
We'll see we're more content with what we give than what we get. More on that in a moment. Well today Pastor Greg is presenting his message called The Biblical Worldview on Finding Contentment.
It's available online at Harvest.org. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. This verse pulls it all together.
It brings the perfect balance. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. It shows the place of God's power and it shows the place of our response. It does not teach that God does everything for the Christian. Nor does it teach that the Christian does everything for God. It teaches that God has given the power and resources I need.
And I must appropriate them. Listen there are some things only God can do. And some things only you can do. Only God can forgive you of your sin. But only you can repent of your sin. Only God can lead you but only you can yield to his leading.
So I have responsibility. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. The flip side of that is a statement of Christ where he said, apart from me you can do nothing. Oh without Christ I can't live this Christian life. Without Christ I can't help anyone really. Without Christ I can't do much but all things can be done through Christ who strengthens me. And that's good news.
Last point now. Contentment does not come from getting but giving. Contentment does not come from getting but giving. Verse 19, my God will supply all of your need according to his riches and glory by Christ Jesus. This is an oft quoted yet perhaps misunderstood verse. We need to understand it doesn't just float out in space on its own because behind every promise of God there is a premise. Again behind every promise of God there is a premise.
What is a premise or the context? Well the context of Philippians 4 is Paul is commending the believers for their generosity. Look at verse 17, not that I seek the gift but I seek the fruit that abounds to your account. Indeed I have all in the bound I am full having received from a paphroditis that things sent from you a sweet smelling aroma and acceptable sacrifice well pleasing to God. Then he says, my God will supply all of your needs according to his riches and glory in Christ Jesus.
Let me paraphrase that. Guys I received your offering. Thanks so much. It meant a lot. I know it was sacrificial on your part but I pray God blesses you for your generosity. So these are people that are giving and now he's offering them the promise. God will supply all of their needs. I mentioned getting more stuff does not bring happiness or contentment.
Now let me add another statement. Giving more stuff does. Giving more stuff does.
Conventional wisdom says the more you get the happier more content you will be. The Bible says the more you give the more happy and content you will be. Jesus said it is more blessed to give than it is to receive.
Or another way to translate that. It's more happy making to give than it is to receive. Now this certainly applies to our finances.
Let me say something. This is not really a verse you can apply if you've been foolish with finances. I mean if you just got back from Vegas and spent all your savings and well praise God my God will supply all of my, yeah really? Or because you won't go and get a job when there are jobs out there that you could get. You just are lazy and you don't want to apply yours. Oh my God will supply all of my needs according to you as riches and glory in Christ Jesus while I take another nap on my lazy boy.
Wait you know hold on. The Bible says if a man doesn't work he shouldn't eat. Get off your fat lazy boy chair and work like the rest of us. And God will supply all of your needs. Be a good steward. Remember to give to the Lord. Because God promises if we will give to Him He will give to us.
But let's broaden this. This doesn't just apply to finances. Maybe you are single and you are saying I am lonely and I am tired of them staying in the restaurant party of one. Well my God will supply all of your needs according to His riches and glory in Christ Jesus. God can supply that person for you. Start praying for them. Maybe you are having marital problems.
Well I don't know how we are going to save this marriage. My God can supply all of your needs according to His riches and glory in Christ Jesus. Well maybe you are having problems with your kids. My God can supply all of your needs according to His riches and glory in Christ Jesus. Maybe you need a physical touch from God.
Because you have not been given any hope by the doctors. My God can supply all of your needs according to His riches and glory in Christ Jesus. Now God doesn't heal everyone. But He heals many. And we should pray for His healing touch. The Bible says if there is any sick among you call for the elders of the church who will pray and anoint them with oil and the effectual prevent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
If you need help in that way let us know and we will pray for you. That is what we are here for. So the point is God will supply all the things that you need.
So let's wrap this up. Happiness does not come from seeking self fulfillment but rather the fulfillment of others. Happiness does not come from seeking it but from seeking God. Happiness and contentment do not come from getting. They come from giving. No one has ever been honored for what they received. But rather for what they gave. You don't go to a person's funeral and have someone say, you know how much money this person made in life? Do you know how many cool things they had?
Nobody cares about that. We want to know what they did. We want to hear about a charitable act. An act of kindness. Something they did for someone else. Those are the things we remember about one another. So we keep that in mind. That it is about discovering real contentment.
Listen it comes down to this. What you are looking for in life is a relationship with God. It is not going to be found in a thing. It is not going to be found in an accomplishment. It is not going to be found in fame.
It is not going to be found in any outside exterior thing. It will be found in a relationship with God. Are you content? That is what I asked you in the beginning. Are you a happy person right now?
Are you thinking, well if I just had this and I just had that? No. What you need is God. Tell me what you think you need. I will tell you what you really want. It is Jesus. Tell me what you really want.
I will tell you what you really need. It is Jesus. It is Jesus that you are looking for.
And he is here with us right now. Standing at the door of your life. And he is knocking. And he is saying if you will hear his voice and open the door he will come in.
And I ask you in closing. Have you asked Jesus Christ to come into your life to be your Savior and your Lord? Because the day you do that your questions will be answered. The day you do that you will find the contentment you have been seeking in life. The day you do that is the day you change your eternal address.
Literally from hell to heaven. And he is ready to forgive you but you must ask him to come into your life. We are going to pray in a moment.
And I am going to extend an invitation. Any of you who may have never asked Jesus to come into your life. Listen coming to harvest doesn't make you a Christian. Any more than going to a Krispy Kreme makes you a donut. I don't care if your parents are Christians.
I mean I am glad they are. But that won't make you a Christian. Or if your husband or your wife is a Christian that won't make you a Christian. Or if your friend that came here with you is a Christian. That doesn't mean you are a Christian. There has to be a moment when you say Jesus come into my life.
You say well okay how do I even do that? Through prayer. And I am going to lead you in that prayer if you want to pray it. So in a moment we are going to extend this opportunity if you need Jesus today. If you want to find contentment and the guaranteed hope of heaven. And find the meaning and purpose of life.
It is here for you now. Let's pray. Father I pray now for anyone here.
Anyone listening or watching that does not yet know you. Help them to see Lord how much you love them. And help them to come to you and believe in Jesus. Who died on the cross for their sin. And shed his blood for every evil sinful thing they have done.
Help them to believe in you. Today we pray. Amen. And if you would like to make a change in your relationship with the Lord. Pastor Greg Laurie will help you do that in just a moment before this edition of A New Beginning concludes. So please stay with us.
Yes. You know Pastor Greg those of us who shared our faith often have a need for some kind of resource to help follow up with people who've come to Christ. We don't want to just walk away and say well have a nice day.
Hope it works out for you. Yes exactly. You have a resource we could have on hand for those moments when we want to follow up with someone we shared with.
That's very true Dave. You could keep them in your car. If you're a lady you could keep it in your purse. If you're a guy it would even fit in your back pocket.
Right? So this is called the New Believer's Guide to Effective Christian Living. This has been one of the best received resources we've ever offered. It's basically a pocket sized version of Christianity 101. I mean you literally could put it in your back pocket. You can keep it in your purse.
You can keep it in your car. And what a great resource it is to give out to a believer. No matter how far along in the life they are or if they're just starting out. It's especially effective for a new Christian. I talk about things like discovering the will of God. How to resist temptation. How to share your faith. How to grow spiritually through prayer and fellowship. How to study the Bible and a whole lot more.
Yet it's written in a very straightforward simple way. And you could read it in one sitting. So I'm encouraging you to get your own copy of the New Believer's Guide to Effective Christian Living.
Keep a bunch of extras on hand. I'm sure you're going to find them useful. Oh yeah, absolutely. What a great tool for your own personal ministry efforts.
It'll even encourage you in your own faith. We'd like to send this your way to thank you for partnering with us so that these daily studies can continue. We depend on listener support.
It's the only way we can bring you these programs. There are no churches or large organizations paying all our expenses. And we'll only be able to mention this resource a short time longer. So get in touch today with your donation and be sure to ask for the New Believer's Guide to Effective Christian Living. You can call us at 1-800-821-3300. We're here 24-7 to take your call. That's 1-800-821-3300. Or write A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, California, 92514.
Or just go online to harvest.org. Pastor Greg, you spoke today about having a relationship with the Lord. Someone can enter into that kind of relationship with God right now, can't they? 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 hours. 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 into 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 and I choose to follow you from this moment forward as Savior and Lord, as God and friend.
Thank you for loving me and calling me and forgiving me. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Amen. And listen, if you have just prayed those words with Pastor Greg and meant them sincerely, the Bible assures us your sins have been forgiven. We're told the Lord is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. And we want to send some resource materials to you that will help you in your new relationship with the Lord. We call it our New Believer's Growth Packet and we'll send it without charge if you prayed for the first time today with Pastor Greg.
Just ask for it when you call 1-800-821-3300. That's a 24-7 phone number, 1-800-821-3300, or write A New Beginning, box 4000, Riverside, California, 92514, or go online to harvest.org and click Know God. Well, next time Pastor Greg continues his enlightening series called Worldview with a look at what the Bible says about the afterlife. It's literally a life and death discussion. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher Greg Laurie. The preceding podcast was made possible by 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 at harvest.org.
Whisper: small.en / 2022-11-06 02:54:47 / 2022-11-06 03:00:54 / 6