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Time to Take Out the Trash | When Your Burdens Pile Up

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
November 25, 2022 3:00 am

Time to Take Out the Trash | When Your Burdens Pile Up

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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November 25, 2022 3:00 am

Driving instructors often tell their students to look ahead on the road—don’t focus on the mailbox coming up on the right, or the approaching car on the left. If you focus on those dangers, you tend to steer that direction. On a spiritual level, we find similar advice in the Lord’s Sermon on the Mount. And today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie highlights this time-tested counsel Jesus gives us about the worries and cares that keep us from focusing where we should: on Him.

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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're listening to A New Beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast supported by Harvest Partners. For more ways to deepen and challenge your spiritual walk, enroll in Pastor Greg's free online courses.

Sign up at harvest.org. When you put God in his kingdom first, life will find its proper balance. But instead, we often tend to fret over the everyday concerns of life. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us turn those worries over to the Lord.

All those things you think about, what you're going to eat, what you're going to drink, what you're going to wear, where you're going to live, who you're going to marry, all those things you're concerned about. And yes, all those things you sometimes worry about, God promises he'll take care of it if you put him first. Driving instructors often tell their students to look ahead on the road.

Don't focus on the mailbox coming up on the right or the approaching car on the left. If you focus on those dangers, you tend to steer that direction. On a spiritual level, we find similar advice in the Lord's Sermon on the Mount. And today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie highlights this time-tested counsel Jesus gives us about the worries and cares that keep us from focusing where we should on him.

The title of my message is Time to Take Out the Trash. We're looking at two passages together. One of those passages is 1 Peter 5 and the other one is Matthew 6 because we are looking at the Sermon on the Mount. So 1 Peter 5, Matthew 6. Let me say something that might seem a little odd, but Jesus Christ is our Savior. Jesus Christ is our Lord. Jesus Christ is our God. But Jesus, in effect, wants to pick up your trash.

Let me explain that. Jesus says in Matthew 11 28, come to Me, all you who are weary and can't carry your heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Jesus is saying, would you please bring your cares to Me? Would you please bring your anxieties and your worries and your problems and your burdens to Me? And He says, and when you do that, I will give you rest. I mean that is quite a promise. And we all have cares and anxieties and worries that weigh us down.

Don't we? Here is what the Bible says we should do with them. Let's read 1 Peter 5 verse 6.

I am reading from the New Living Translation. So humble yourself unto the mighty hand of God and at the right time He will lift you up in honor. Casting all your cares upon Him for He cares for you. Stay alert. Watch out. Your great enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him. Be strong in your faith and remember that your family of believers are all over the world and they are going through the same kind of suffering you are.

So if you are taking notes, here is point number one. You are not alone in your suffering. You are not alone in your suffering.

Look at verse 8 there of 1 Peter again. Remember that your family of believers all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are. I don't know why it is, but it is just good to know I am not the only one going through suffering. Right? That there is somebody else that is facing something as hard as I am facing.

Maybe even quite a bit harder than I am facing. And this is where community comes in. This is where the church comes in. The Bible says bear one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ. It is so wonderful when we can do that for one another.

Number two. We need to give our burdens to God. We need to give our burdens to God.

Look at verse 7. Cassie know your cares upon Him. Why?

Because He cares for you. Listen. If it troubles you it concerns God. So what do you do when your burdens are piling up? You bring them to God.

All right. So let's shift gears now and go over to Matthew chapter 6 and we will see the next thing that we need to do. We will read a few verses together.

Matthew 6 verse 25 here is Jesus and the Sermon on the Mount. This is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life whether you have enough food or drink or clothes to wear. Isn't life more than food and your body more than clothing? Well look at the birds. They don't plant or harvest or store food in barns. For your heavenly Father feeds them and you are far more valuable to Him than they are.

Can all of your worries add a single moment to your life? Why do you worry about clothing? Look at the lilies of the field.

How they grow. They don't work or make their clothing. Yet Solomon in all of his glory was not as dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow He will certainly care for you.

Why do you have such little faith? So don't worry about these things. Saying what shall we eat? What shall we drink?

What shall we wear? These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers but your heavenly Father already knows all of your needs. Very important verse.

Verse 33. Seek first the kingdom of God above everything else and His righteousness and He will give you everything you need. So don't worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today. So we'll stop there. Powerful words from Jesus.

So let's review. Number one we're not alone in our suffering. Number two we should cast all our cares on God. Number three this is a big one the believers should not worry. Jesus is saying don't worry. Verse 25 don't worry about your life or a better translation don't have anxiety about the issues of life. Stop doing what you've already been doing.

So the idea is you've been doing this now I want you to stop it. Stop worrying. It comes down to this. We need to trust in the providence of God. God is in control of all things and there's no accidents in our lives and nothing touches us that does not first pass through His loving hand.

So God is in control. Point number four worry does not make life longer. In fact it can make life more miserable. Verse 27 can all your worries add a single moment to your life? In other words can you through worry and anxiety by obsessing over your life make it longer?

No. Worry in fact may shorten your life. Studies have been done that have shown that worry can actually have a detrimental effect upon you physically. So you know and some people they want to live the healthiest life and they're always changing the rules.

Have you noticed that? We're told oh low fat oh only eat these low fat things you'll be healthy. And then I just read in the paper the other day I'm not making this up beef and cheese are really good for you especially together.

Like really? Well I like that. That's a good that's a good discovery.

Then we're told coffee's good coffee's bad coffee's good coffee's bad right? So it's always changing and and we're trying to figure it out. And so you're down at the health food store and I find very interesting people hanging around health food stores. Have you noticed that is wow interesting collection of people here.

And and yet here I am among them for some unknown reason. And when did kale become so popular? Wasn't that just pretty much like what we used to call parsley years ago.

Just kind of a little decoration on the plate. Now we eat kale. We drink shakes made out of kale. We build our Priuses out of kale.

It's just a lot of kale. But I want to tell you this and I'm not you know probably if you're eating a healthy diet and you're exercising it means you're going to probably have a good strong life in contrast to the person who's not doing those things. But I'm just telling you ultimately God determines the days of your life.

You don't determine it. Point number five. Worry is an indication of a lack of faith. Worry is an indication of a lack of faith.

Verse 30. If God so wonderfully cares for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow He'll certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? Now notice Jesus did not say you have no faith. You have little faith. Some have more faith than others. How do you build your faith up?

You build your faith up by doing what you're doing right now. And what are you doing right now? You say well I'm actually taking a nap.

Well wake up and listen to what I'm saying. What you're doing right now is you're listening to a Bible study. And don't you love Bible study?

I do. Well why does this build our faith up? Because Romans 10 17 says faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. See when I hear the Word of God it puts things in perspective.

I see everything the way I ought to see it. So it's important for us to hear God's Word and bolster our faith. Listen we need to believe our beliefs and we need to doubt our doubts. Far too often we doubt our beliefs and we believe our doubts.

Let's flip that around. Doubt your doubts. What if. Doubt that. Forget what if.

Forget what if. Go back to what God says in this Word. What you know is true. And that's how you build your faith. And you also build your faith by using it. Faith often grows in the garden of adversity. And by that I mean when you're going through times of trial and testing your faith grows because you have a choice.

You know run away and abandon God or hang on to God tighter than ever. And faith also comes to use. It's not unlike a muscle. The more you use a muscle the stronger the muscle becomes. You effectively break down the muscle to build up the muscle.

And if you don't do that your muscles will atrophy. So you need to keep moving. And so this is we build our faith by using our faith. So we take steps of faith. We we do things outside of our comfort zone.

We we take risks. We we do things that we would not normally do for God's glory. That's how you build up your faith. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. You know there's nothing like hearing the Word of God and worshiping the Lord together. I want to encourage you to join us for something we call Harvest at Home. It happens every Saturday and Sunday at harvest.org. You can join Christians literally from around the world as we worship and we study the Word of God together.

So join us for Harvest at Home at harvest.org. Well today Pastor Greg is pointing out why worry shouldn't find a home in a believer's life. It's a study based in Matthew chapter 6. Instead of worry put God and His Word in your life first. Instead of worry put God and His Word first in your life. Verse 33, seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you. So Jesus is effectively saying instead of worrying about food and drink and clothing like unbelievers do focus your attention and hope on the things of the Lord and God will take care of all of your needs. Seek God's kingdom first.

And the word seek speaks of persistence. Let's say you dropped a penny on the ground. Would you pick it up?

I would. I'll pick up a stinking penny. Dime for sure. Quarter.

It's an issue now. I'm going to find the quarter. What if you dropped a hundred dollar bill and a little breeze picked it up? Would you go looking for it? Yes you would.

Of course you would. And so think of this as something of the greatest importance. You know this just putting God's kingdom first above all things. But what does it mean when we say seek first the kingdom of God? It means principally above everything else give God number one position in your life.

And what are you seeking? The kingdom of God. What is the kingdom of God? It's the rule and reign of Jesus Christ in your life.

So it's just saying Lord I want your will above my own will. Put God first. Put God first in your marriage. Put God first in your singleness. Put God first in your business. Put God first in your finances. Put God first in everything. In every area of your life you put God first when you start the day with prayer. You seek first the kingdom of God when you start the day with study of Scripture. You seek first the kingdom of God when you're regular in fellowship. All these things are just pretty much no brainers. But sometimes folks don't understand to put God first.

And here's the last thing I want to point out. Number seven. When you put God in His kingdom first life will find its proper balance. When you put God first. When you put Him in His kingdom first your life will find its proper balance.

Verse 33. All these things will be added to you. What you're going to eat. What you're going to drink. What you're going to wear. Where you're going to live.

Who you're going to marry. All those things you think about. All those things you're concerned about. And yes all those things you sometimes worry about. God promises He'll take care of it if you put Him first.

So amazing promise. But look these things that I've shared tonight are not just for any person. The Sermon on the Mount is given to believers. You know it's interesting a point that's often overlooked is we think Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount to the multitudes. People say, I just lived by the Sermon on the Mount.

Well frankly no one probably really lives by it as much as they should. But it was given to His disciples. We don't read Jesus said these words to the multitudes.

It says the multitudes gathered and He called His disciples aside and He said to them. These words are given to Christians. These words are only true for Christians.

These words are only applicable to the man or the woman who has put their faith in Christ. So let me come back to the subject of worry. If you're not a Christian you ought to be worried. If you aren't a Christian you ought to be afraid.

Because there's a lot of things to be afraid of. Starting with you don't have God in your life and you're going to face the consequences for your sins and your actions. And also if you die. Well not if.

When. Everyone will die sooner or later. When you die there'll be no more chances for you beyond the grave.

Why would you risk something like that? You want to get right with God and then you can put Him first in your life and discover His plan for you. Seeking first the kingdom starts with being born again. You know you must be born again. What does that mean? Well Jesus actually coined the phrase and He said it to some religious guy named Nicodemus. He said Nicodemus you must be born again. Whoever is born again will enter the kingdom of heaven.

What does that mean? It means you have a spiritual rebirth. You ask Christ to come into your life. Remember Jesus said and I quoted this earlier in Matthew 11 28, come to me all of you who are weary and you're carrying heavy burdens and I will give you rest. Have you come to church with a heavy burden?

Have you come with a lot of fears? Have you come after maybe reaping the consequences for some really bad decisions you've made and you don't know how to get it all sorted out? Here's what you need to do. Just come to Jesus. It's not a 12-step program.

It's a one-step program. You come to Him with your burdens. You come to Him with your problems. You come to Him with your sins. You come to Him with your addictions. You come to Him with your questions. You come to Him with your trash and say Lord would you pick the trash up because it's overwhelming me. You come to Him with all of it and say I can't fix it Lord. I need you to help me and you cast your care upon Him.

You give it to Him. You know lift it off of you and forgive you of your sin. See Jesus carried that cross. That heavy cross weighing hundreds of pounds on His shoulders and that back that had already been ripped open by the Roman cat of nine tails. He carried the weight of that cross for you 2,000 years ago so you don't have to carry the weight of your sins today. You can be forgiven. Come to Him with all of your sins and all of your cares. I remember when I became a Christian many years ago as a kid 17 years old and I prayed this prayer to ask Jesus into my life.

Frankly I really didn't even know what I was doing. I just knew I needed God and so I prayed the prayer and I remember distinctly after I prayed the prayer I had this feeling that a huge weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. Didn't any of you ever feel that? You know I felt like a weight was taken off of me. I had not read Matthew 11 28 yet. I didn't know Jesus promised to take my burdens off of me. I just know that as a kid who had made a lot of bad decisions in this life all this weight was lifted off of me and I didn't realize it at the time but I was carrying the weight of the world. I was carrying my sin. I was carrying my guilt and my pain and Jesus lifted it off of me and He will do that for you tonight.

So what do you need to do? You need to come to Him. You need to come to Him. So in a moment we're going to pray and I'm going to give you an opportunity to come to Jesus and say well where is He?

Where is He sitting? He's in this room and He'll come and live in your heart and He'll you know there's a phrase that we use and it sounds like a cliche but it's actually theologically correct. I like it. He'll become your personal Lord and Savior.

I like the word personal because it's true. Yeah He's our Lord and Savior. He's my Lord and Savior but He'll be your Lord and Savior. You won't be alone in life anymore.

He'll walk with you through life and forgive you of your sin and then one day when you die you'll go to heaven or if the rapture comes you'll get to heaven faster. Let's hope that happens. I'm down for that. Unless you're eating kale.

No I'm kidding. Even kale people are going to get to heaven. So we're going to pray in a moment. I'm going to extend an invitation for you to respond to Jesus. An opportunity for you to take all of your cares and anxieties and worries and weight and sins and throw them on Jesus and walk out of here tonight a person relieved.

A person at rest. A person who now knows God. If you need to do that why don't you do it as we pray now. Father I pray that your Holy Spirit will speak to every person here.

Every person watching listening wherever they may be. If they don't know you yet Lord let this be the moment they come they come and believe. In Jesus name I pray. Amen. Pastor Greg Laurie with an important closing prayer. And if you'd like to make a change in your relationship with the Lord Pastor Greg will help you do that in just a moment before today's edition of A New Beginning concludes. Well Pastor Greg the release of your new evangelistic documentary Johnny Cash The Redemption of an American Icon is just days away.

Yeah. Tell us about this new film. You know Dave as we think about Johnny Cash's life let me contrast it with Steve McQueen because I wrote a book on both of them and we did a film about McQueen's life as well. McQueen was a hedonist extraordinaire. He knew nothing of God.

Never went to church as a boy. One day he saw a godly man that he spent a lot of time with and that man shared the gospel with Steve and Steve McQueen became a Christian. It was a black and white moment.

It was a dramatic conversion. The story of Johnny Cash is different. Johnny was raised in a Christian home albeit with a cold and distant father but he did love the Lord. In fact he wanted to originally be a gospel recording artist but he ended up becoming a country superstar and in many ways to find his own style of music but Johnny struggled throughout his life. Johnny would be walking closely with the Lord then he would have a lapse. He struggled with drugs like amphetamines and barbiturates and drinking. He had his highs and lows and his ups and downs but in the end Johnny made that recommitment to the Lord.

So I bring this up because we all know folks like this. You know some people come to Christ their past is in their rear view mirror and it's onward and upward. Others they have a lifelong struggle sometimes with drugs or alcohol sometimes with other sins but they're always struggling and we say how can I help a person like that? I have a suggestion bring them to see this brand new documentary film Johnny Cash the redemption of an American icon because they'll see a story of a man who struggled but found his way back to the Lord and how God helped them and sustained them. A great idea sometimes struggling people need to see that breakthrough demonstrated.

They need to see that someone else walked that pathway. So bring that friend to see Johnny Cash the redemption of an American icon. It's a Fathom event that's just days away. You can see the dates at our website harvest.org and tickets are going fast so contact us today. We're making tickets available as a way to say thank you for your generous support that helps make a new beginning possible.

So go online today to harvest.org or call us at 1-800-821-3300 call anytime 24 7 1-800-821-3300. Well Pastor Greg you've mentioned how someone can become a Christian with just a simple prayer right maybe somebody would like to do that right now could you help them with that? Sure I'd love to a simple prayer is right in fact I would like to just pray a prayer and I would ask you to pray it after me right now. Pray these words Lord Jesus I know that I am a sinner but I also know that you are the savior because you died on the cross for my sin and you rose again from the dead.

Jesus come into my life and forgive me of every sin I've ever committed. I choose to follow you from this moment forward. Thank you for hearing this prayer. Thank you for answering this prayer Lord and I pray all of this in Jesus name Amen. If you just prayed that prayer and meant it I want you to know on the authority of scripture God Almighty has heard your prayer and he will answer this prayer.

You are now a newly minted child of God so congratulations you've made the right decision and welcome to the family of God. I want to send you a special gift because of that prayer you've just prayed it's called the New Believers Growth Packet and in it is a copy of the New Testament in a very understandable translation called the New Living Translation. It also is filled with hundreds of notes that I wrote that will encourage you in this commitment you've made to follow Christ and there's some other outstanding materials in this little packet I'll send you as well.

So order your copy today and let me be the first to say to you congratulations and welcome to the family of God. And to get that free New Believers Growth Packet just get in touch and we'll be glad to send it right out. You can call us anytime at 1-800-821-3300 that's 1-800-821-3300 or write A New Beginning Box 4000 Riverside California 92514 or go online to harvest.org and click the words know God. How do we properly and lovingly help to restore a brother or sister who's fallen into sin?

It's a sensitive discussion next time. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher Greg Laurie. 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.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-26 23:52:58 / 2022-11-27 00:02:58 / 10

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