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What Do You Live For? | Where to Find Real Satisfaction

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
January 16, 2023 3:00 am

What Do You Live For? | Where to Find Real Satisfaction

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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January 16, 2023 3:00 am

So many people post pictures of their food on social media. And, admittedly, a lot of it looks really good. But have you noticed the food that’s to die for is also the food you can die from? Isn’t that true? And in the bigger picture, that’s the way sin is. Sin first says “live it up” . . . then says, “you’ll never live that down.” Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie points out where we can find real satisfaction in life. We go to the Author of Life Himself to find out what He recommends.

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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 made possible by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God.

Visit our website and learn more about Harvest Partners at Laurie points out every party comes to an end, but sometimes regrets never do. Living for that experience, living for that rush, living for that buzz, living for that excitement, man, that is just a really lame way to live. So many people post pictures of their food on social media, and admittedly, a lot of it looks really good. But have you noticed the food that's to die for is also the food you can die from?

Isn't that true? And in the bigger picture, that's the way sin is. Sin first says, live it up, then says, you'll never live that down. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie points out where we can find real satisfaction in life.

We go to the author of life himself to find out what he recommends. And it's a picture of a guy shaving in the mirror. And it asks this question, is it an alarm clock or a calling that gets you up in the morning? I thought, well, that's a good question.

And they were selling some who knows what computer item, but I thought it was a bigger question. Is it an alarm or a calling that gets you up in the morning? I mean, what makes you tick? What do you get fired up about?

Everybody is passionate about something. What do you get up for? I know it doesn't hurt if I smoke coffee in the morning. Throw in some bacon and eggs, and now we're talking.

Come on, the smell of bacon in the morning for you vegetarians, the smell of Brussels sprouts, kale, or whatever you enjoy. But I'm talking about more than that. I'm talking about what really gets you moving in life, what gives your life purpose or a sense of meaning, raising it above the level of mere existence. You know, we don't want our lives to just be some blip on the screen.

We don't want to be just another statistic. We want our lives to matter. So my question is, what is your master passion in life? If you were to sum up what you live for in one word, what would it be? Well, some would say, for me to live is, you know, to just live.

To live is to live. You know, their philosophy would be take it one day at a time. They sort of exist almost in an animal-like state, just kind of following impulses and desires and so forth. They just sort of live for the moment. They live for the next paycheck.

They live for the next weekend. Paul talks about people like this. He says, their god is their belly. And some people's gods are bigger than other people's gods, right? But when he said belly, he didn't mean their actual stomach. He meant their appetites. In other words, their god is their appetite. Satisfying the appetites that they have in life.

Man, that is just a really lame way to live. Number two, there are some that would say, well, for me to live is pleasure. You know, it's just living for pleasure.

Living for that experience, living for that rush, living for that buzz, living for that excitement. They might seek it through drinking. They might, they're not happy till, you know, they get that buzz, right? Or some, they're not happy till they're passed out, I suppose.

Because they do it every night. Or they want that drug high, or they want that adrenaline rush, or whatever it is. They live for pleasure. One person said, living for pleasure is one of the least pleasurable things a person can do. And I think that's really true.

The Bible even says, she that lives for pleasure is dead while she's living. And by the way, this is not new to our time. It's going back 2,000 years. Popular philosophers of the day were called the Epicureans. And the teaching of Epicurus, their founder, was the chief purpose of life is pleasure.

So they were living for that as well. And in fact, Caesar Nero was in power at this time. He was the Caesar or the emperor of Rome. And he himself said to live was to be like an unbridled beast in pleasure, passion, and partying. Man, Caesar would have fit in with everybody else today, or many people today. His equivalent would be what we call the Playboy Philosophy.

Hugh Hefner would be the patron saint. So if you want to end up as an old guy in pajamas wearing a captain's hat, go for it. Pretty sad way to live a life, I think.

Chased after pleasure his whole life. But this is the idea there. Cast off all restraints. No absolutes. You do whatever you want to do.

If it feels good, do it. That's what some people live for. Dead end street. Others might say, well, you know what? I live to get even. I don't get mad. I get even. Their philosophy is not live and let live. Their philosophy is live and let die.

If you get me, I'm gonna get you back. In other words, a lot of these people happen to be driving cars, I think. You know, like you're at the light and the light turns green. It's not even the second. It's not a half a second.

It's just like a fraction of a second. He hates you the whole time, cuts you off. He's kind of aggravated people that are basically always in a perpetual bad mood. And they're always at war with someone. They always have their nemesis. They always like to be in a fight.

They love to be in a conflict. There are people like this that live for these things. Another might say, well, I live for possessions. It's to get stuff. And then when I get that stuff, I want to get more stuff. And then when I get that other stuff, I need to get rid of this stuff.

I need to get rid of this old stuff so I can make room for new stuff. And they're just always collecting items and objects and it's always that next shiny thing. It might be a shiny car or a shiny ring or a shiny computer or whatever it is they're chasing after.

But it's an object or a thing. Their philosophy would be he that dies with the most toys wins. And I would just add a dot, dot, dot. He that dies with the most toys wins. Dot, dot, dot.

Nothing. God says, what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul? As I've often said, you've never seen a hearse pulling a U-Haul trailer. You know you're going to leave everything here on this side in this life. I mean Solomon, who lived many years ago, was a man known for his wisdom and also had incredible possessions. And he said this in Ecclesiastes 2.4, I tried to find meaning in my life by building huge homes for myself. And they made gardens and parks and I collected great sums of silver and gold, the treasure of kings and promises. I heard wonderful singers, men and women, and had beautiful concubines. I had everything a man could desire. Anything I want, I took. And I did not restrain myself from any pleasure. And he says, and one day I looked at all the things that I had accomplished and all that I had acquired and it was all meaningless.

It was like chasing the wind. There was nothing, Solomon concludes, really nothing. It would be worthwhile anywhere. Others might appear more noble and say, well I live to acquire knowledge. You know, I want to learn.

I want to discover new truth. And that's actually a pretty good thing. It's a lot better than just living for pleasure or living to get even. But if in your pursuit of knowledge you leave God out of the equation, you're just going to end up as a well-educated fool. I'm not so sure if people are getting an education or if they're getting an indoctrination. Usually in a world view that's contrary to scripture.

I mean you look at a lot of these colleges and you have these safe spaces where you won't have any conflict or disagreement. It's pretty amazing to me. But this is not new to our time either. Our idea is to think, to learn, to master the laws of nature. Then make the mind the master of men. But again, if you forget God in your pursuit of knowledge, you will have learned nothing. Solomon also went after the pursuit of knowledge.

He was known at one point as the wisest man who ever lived. And he said to increase knowledge only increases sorrow. That's in Ecclesiastes 1.16. But students, don't go home and quote that verse to your parents when they tell you to do it. Mom, the Bible says to increase knowledge only increases sorrow.

Shut up and do your homework, okay? That's not what we're talking about. We're talking about pursuing knowledge without God. There's an interesting juxtaposition in our text that we'll discuss in a moment.

Paul talks about joy more than a dozen times, yet he's chained up under house arrest. Pastor Greg helps us investigate that in a moment. Hey, 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 and study the word of God. So join us this weekend, Saturday and Sunday for Harvest at Home at Well, the title of Pastor Greg's message today is What Do You Live For? We're evaluating our priorities and learning to make some adjustments.

Let's continue. So what are you driven by? What do you dream about?

What are you passionate about? I think some people are just enduring. They're just waiting for the next thing. Their favorite day of the week is someday. You know, someday their ship will come in. Someday their prince will come. Someday they'll get that promotion.

Someday they'll build that dream house. Or someday they'll retire. I read a stat that said 94% of people who responded to a survey said they were enduring the present while waiting for something better to happen. But the problem is life passes by so quickly. And before you know it, a good deal of your life may be behind you instead of before you and you'll find that you've been living for nothing. So we need to think about this because then the after life comes. So listen to this. Only those who are prepared to die are really ready to live.

Let me say that again. Only those who are prepared to die are really ready to live. Now I've talked about what people live for. Let me tell you what the apostle Paul lived for. Philippians 1 21. For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.

Oh I love that. For me to live is Christ and to die is gain. Now we're going to explore that a little bit more.

But let's just do a little backdrop on what we're looking at here. We're looking at the book of Philippians. And the theme that keeps bubbling up through this great epistle is happiness and joy. In fact this is probably the most buoyant happy letter that Paul ever wrote. Not that there is not happiness and joy in other epistles he wrote.

But it just seems like there's a lot in this one in particular. At least 19 times in these four chapters of Philippians Paul mentions joy, rejoicing, or gladness. But yet circumstantially he really had nothing to rejoice about. I mean if we read that Paul wrote this book kicking back in the Mediterranean enjoying life we'd say well yeah I get it. But he actually wrote this under house arrest. This wasn't as bad as some of his imprisonment where he might have been like in a dungeon. But this is where he was chained to a Roman guard.

And he was under the control at this point of Caesar Nero. And his case was waiting to go to court. And Paul had no idea what was about to happen. He might be acquitted.

He might be beheaded. But all he knew was he was a prisoner. He could not walk about freely as he wanted to. And if that wasn't bad enough some of the believers in the church were against him. Some were even spreading lies about this great apostle. But he knew God was in control.

And here's what he wrote. Philippians 1. We're going to start in verse 12 and we'll read down to verse 16. I want you to know brothers that the things that happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel. So it has become evident to the whole palace guard and to all the rest that my chains are in Christ. And most of the brethren in the Lord having become confident in my chains are more bold to speak the word without fear. Some indeed preach Christ from envy and strife.

Some also from good will. The former preach Christ from selfish ambition not sincerely supposing to add affliction to my chains but the latter out of love knowing that I'm appointed for the defense of the gospel. What then? Only that in every way whether in pretense or in truth Christ is preached and in this I rejoice.

Yes I will rejoice. So here's Paul chained to a Roman guard writing these words. Can you imagine being one of those guards? I'm sure they didn't like that job at first. Oh no I have to be chained to this stinking preacher. All he does is talk about God.

This is insane. But guard by guard they were coming to Christ and then they were probably standing in line as to who would be the next guy to get to be chained to the apostle Paul for that particular period of time. Because Paul writes in verse 13 it's become evident to the whole palace guard. Now who are the palace guard? These most likely are the praetorian guard. The praetorian guard were the cream of the crop of the Roman military.

They were 10,000 hand picked soldiers. They were initially established by Caesar Augustus who by the way was the Caesar that gave the decree that all the world should be taxed causing Joseph and Mary to go to Bethlehem. But the praetorian guard they were very powerful people.

In fact they were king makers. Sometimes they would play a key role in deciding who the next Caesar would be. And these were the ones who were chained to the apostle Paul and that brings me to point number one. When you live for Christ you will accept God's will for your life. When you live for Christ which we all should be doing you will accept God's will for your life. See Paul went to Rome to preach but he ended up under house arrest.

Now how is that a good idea? Well he was reaching an elite group of people that would have not been reached otherwise so Paul understood God had his hand in it. Look at verse 12. The things that happened to me have turned out for the furtherance of the gospel. Did it ever occur to you that you are where you are because God wants you there right now? Maybe in effect you're chained to someone and by that I mean maybe you're chained to a non-believer. Maybe it's a non-believing husband or a non-believing wife or kids that don't believe what you believe or parents that don't believe what you believe.

Or an argumentative co-worker that you sit next to in your office space or some guy on your construction site that's always giving you a hard time and you're thinking why do I have to be here with this person? Did it ever occur to you that God wants you there to reach that person? So Paul is reaching the Praetorian Guard.

Really quite significant. And he says in verse 14, most of the brethren in the Lord have become confident by my chains and are more bold to speak the word without fear. You see examples of evangelism spark others to be more evangelistic. So they're saying wow Paul is chained up under house arrest and is willing to share the gospel with the Praetorian Guard.

Certainly we who have freedom right now and mobility we should be doing the same. You know if you've ever been around an evangelistic Christian it can be quite contagious. And there are some people man they're just always finding opportunities to share their faith and you think how do they do that? They're just tuned in I think. Tuned into the Lord, tuned into opportunities, looking for opportunities even and you get around a person like that and you think well I think I could do that.

Yes you can as a matter of fact. God has put you where you are for his purposes. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie urging us to follow Paul's example in being a light for Christ no matter where we are. And there's much more to come in Pastor Greg's message, a study called What Do You Live For?

One of our most requested studies of the past year. And Pastor Greg has a final comment before we go today as well. Well Pastor Greg people are excited about the new film coming in just a few weeks, Jesus Revolution. Of course it's the story of Greg and Kathy Laurie, young kids who met and fell in love and how their experiences were immersed in the Jesus movement of the late 60s and early 70s.

It's not only moving but has a strong gospel message in it. Tell us about getting to know the actors who played these key roles, Kelsey Grammer, Jonathan Rumi and the others. Yeah well I got to know them, they're all wonderful people, also skilled. Kelsey Grammer playing Chuck Smith, you know I was sitting with Kelsey in between takes and I asked him, Kelsey why did you take this role? I mean you've had a successful career, you've done very well with Frasier and other things, why would you want to play the role of a pastor? Kelsey said, and he began to tear up as he said this, he said you know I was at a point in my life where I've had success and I wanted to do something that was meaningful. And I was meditating on this and thinking about it and the script came the next morning for this film.

I said Kelsey I believe the Lord sent that to you as an answer to your prayer and Kelsey said I believe that. And boy he puts his whole heart in this film, I was able to be on set and help him with certain scenes you know about how things are said in the church and how we do certain things. So it was a real privilege to help him and he had a lot of questions and boy you'd share something with him and he would just internalize it and put it in his portrayal and I was just amazed at this man's acting skills. You know Kelsey Grammer started out doing Shakespearean plays. He's a serious actor. Yeah serious actor, went to Juilliard, I mean this guy's the real deal but he does just a great job in this role. So Jonathan Rumi who plays Jesus in The Chosen, such a skilled actor but that role of Jesus is so distinct and you think that's what Jonathan will be like in real life but he isn't. He's actually quite funny and he's very easy to talk to and we spent hours talking about Lonnie who I knew personally because Jonathan wanted to get him just right and boy did he.

He just captured this character Lonnie Frisbee who's not an easy character to capture. And then there's Anna Grace Barlow who plays my wife Kathy. You know she just did an amazing job in this performance and captured the strength and kind of the fiery nature of Kathy and the emotion. But there's a scene where Greg finally musters up the courage to ask Kathy to marry him and Kathy played by Anna Grace sheds a tear on cue and I just I can't believe an actor can do this. It's like how can you cry on cue?

This girl really is such a talented actress and then Joel Courtney who played me did just such an amazing job. That was a very challenging character to play because the character of Chuck and Lonnie and even Kathy are all very colorful and flamboyant at times. Greg's more subdued because Greg's damaged. You know you first meet him as a young boy and he's having to grow up quickly taking care of his alcoholic mother so he's guarded.

He's aloof. He has a hard time believing something and Joel did that such an amazing way but then shows Greg opening up and changing. And so you know he's a character that you can follow from the beginning to the end of the film and the moment when he is baptized and prays to receive Christ. Most people who've seen the film feel that's the most powerful moment of the entire film. So you're gonna love this movie.

I guarantee it. Go see it. It's gonna be in a theater near you opening on February 24th. It's called Jesus Revolution. Yeah that's right and don't go alone. Recognize what a powerful evangelism tool this film can be. Bring someone who doesn't yet know the Lord.

Maybe you have a friend who would never accept your invitation to go to church but they would be up for seeing a movie. Start praying about that. And then if you can partner with us as we share the gospel in innovative ways such as this, we hope you'll get in touch with an investment. It's an investment in bringing people into the kingdom of God.

What's more important than that? And if you can make a donation right now, we'd like to send you Pastor Greg's book called Jesus Revolution. It offers even more drama and detail about the Jesus movement and how we just may be on the precipice of the next Great Spiritual Awakening. We'll send you the book to say thank you for your donation. So call us at 1-800-821-3300.

Call anytime 1-800-821-3300 or go online to Well next time Pastor Greg continues our study of happiness and where to find it. More counsel from his message What Do You Live For Next Time. But before we go Pastor Greg closes with these insights. You know sometimes the people that argue the most are actually closer to coming to the Lord than those that say nothing.

I think a lot of times we think if someone is pleasant and nice and we share the gospel we think that's a good thing and then when someone's argumentative that's a bad thing but sometimes it's a very opposite. Because it's been said when you throw a rock into a pack of dogs the one that barks the loudest is the one that got hit. Try it after church. Find some dogs. Throw a rock.

No don't do it. Find a pack of cats. But see you never find a pack of cats. They're very independent creatures.

But the idea is the dog that barks the loudest is the one that got hit. So when you share the gospel with someone and one objects and they protest and they scream and they yell it might be because they're under the conviction of the Holy Spirit. And God's working on their hearts so don't be discouraged. Be encouraged. This is the day, the day when life begins.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-16 11:36:31 / 2023-01-16 11:45:56 / 9

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