Today's episode of A New Beginning is brought to you by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God. Learn more at harvest.org.
And while you're there, browse our library of free eBooks designed to help you grow in your faith. Right to get even. And I'm leaving it in the hands of God. You would imagine the U.S. holds the distinction of being the most litigious country on earth, right?
Well, actually, that dubious honor goes to Germany, but the U.S. isn't far behind. When we've been wrong, so many want their day in court. They want to be made whole.
They want someone to pay. What's God's heart on the matter? Pastor Greg Laurie answers that today on A New Beginning as we continue our practical studies of the life of David. Glad you're along.
Good insight is coming our way. So there was a bear hunter out in the forest looking for a prey. Suddenly he laid his eyes on a big giant bear.
He lowered his rifle. He got the bear in his sights. He exhaled and he began to carefully squeeze the trigger when the bear turned around and said, excuse me, isn't it better to talk than to shoot? Well, the hunter was shocked because not only did the bear talk, but he had an English accent. But the bear wasn't done. Then the bear went on to say, could we negotiate the matter?
Tell me what it is you're looking for. Hunter said, Hunter said, I want a fur coat. Ah, said the bear.
Now we're getting somewhere because I want the full stomach. So they disappeared into the forest together. Only the bear came out afterwards. Apparently the negotiations had been successful. Everyone got what they wanted.
The bear got a full stomach and the hunter got a fur coat. That's what it's like when you do a deal with the devil. There are some people you never want to negotiate with. I have a friend who's like the master negotiator. In fact, he is brutal.
I call him the force of nature. But here's the problem. You don't want to negotiate with him. You want him to negotiate for you, right? You don't want to get into any kind of a deal with the devil because it may seem good for a moment, but it's always going to be a bad deal for you. This is why the Bible tells us in Ephesians 4 27, don't give place to the devil.
Or as another translation puts it, don't give the devil a foothold. So Satan, Lucifer, is cunning. He's clever. He's wicked. He's evil. And he's been honing his craft for a long time. He knows that he generally cannot bring a Christian down in one fell swoop.
Therefore, he tries to dismantle them one bite at a time. And this is often done through the subtle and very effective trap of compromise. Show me a Christian that's starting to compromise, and I will show you a Christian who is headed towards spiritual ruin.
Let me say that again. Show me a Christian who's starting to compromise. Lower their guard here. Lower it there. Going back to old vices, old sins, just a little bit.
Not all the way, just a little. You see that happened, and I can tell you they're headed towards spiritual ruin. Okay, so where are we in our series in the house of David at this point? David is running from the very jealous King Saul. Saul has been rejected from ruling over Israel because of his disobedience to God. David has been chosen to be the next king, and he's even been anointed by the prophet Samuel. Saul is going to do everything in his power to stop David from ascending to the throne. And now what appears to be an opportunity for David opens up.
Let's read about it. First Samuel 24. Looking at verse three again. First Samuel 24 verse three.
I'm reading from the New Living Translation. At the place where the road passes some, Saul went into a cave to relieve himself, and as it happened, David and his men were hiding further back in that very cave. Now's your opportunity, David's men whispered to him. The Lord is telling you, I put your enemy into your power.
Do with them as you please. So David crept forward and cut out a piece of the hem of Saul's robe. But then David's conscience began bothering him because he had cut Saul's robe. He said to his men, the Lord forbid that I should do this to my Lord the King. I shouldn't attack the Lord's anointed one, for the Lord himself has chosen him. So David restrained his men and did not let them kill Saul.
Wow. So here's the test for David. Would he be merciful or would he be angry and bitter like King Saul? David had every justification to take the life of Saul. Saul had thrown javelins at him. Saul wanted him dead. But yet David could have taken revenge at this point and he chose not to do it.
All right, so that brings us to point number one if you're taking notes. Point number one is we need to do God's will the right way at the right time. We need to do God's will the right way at the right time. Listen, God will accomplish his will in your life in his perfect timing and he doesn't need your help. Let me add to that in fact if you try to assist the Lord you may make it much worse not better.
Ecclesiastes 3 11 says God has made everything beautiful in its time. Oh I know it's hard. I know if you're married to a non-Christian man you want him to come to Christ so you're going to help out the Holy Spirit. You're going to nag your husband into the kingdom of God.
No you won't. No I've got when I make his lunch in the morning I'm going to put Bible tracks in his sandwiches. Yeah that'll reach him for sure. Or you have that child who is not following the Lord as you raise them to and they're not believing everything you've taught them and you feel that you're a catastrophic failure as a parent. You keep praying for that child and you don't give up on that child and know that God wants to reach him even more than you want to reach them. God will accomplish his will in his time. Now it is clear that David not Saul would ultimately be king.
When and how that would happen it was not clear. But David refused to strike Saul because he recognized that his position that is Saul was from God. He was placed there as the king. Sort of like the military idea of saluting the rank not necessarily the person. In other words even if I don't respect that commanding officer they rank above me so I salute the rank.
I have respect. That's what David was doing here. But he has this tender heart toward God and he doesn't want to take Saul's life. He even feels bad about cutting Saul's robe.
Bringing me to point number two. We should not take vengeance on people even if they deserve it. We should not take vengeance on people even if they deserve it. David chooses to forgive Saul instead of taking vengeance on him. Vengeance is not ours to deal out.
It's God's. I know that isn't easy. I know that doesn't come naturally because we live in a world today of conflict. Now we've always had conflict but I think it's worse today than any time in my life where people are attacking each other. Where people are always in conflict with someone else and violence is escalating.
And then you have social media that amplifies everything. And then you go to a movie and it's about exalting vengeance. The whole plot of the film is waiting for the bad guy to get it from the good guy right. And it makes you feel like payback is the answer not forgiveness. But here's what we're taught in scripture.
Point number three. Instead of taking vengeance we should instead forgive. Now it's hard enough to not pay someone back. That's hard. But to forgive them?
Oh that's even harder right. But here's what the Bible says Ephesians 4 31. Be kind one to another. Tender hearted. Forgiving one another as God in Christ forgave you.
How many of you by nature are easygoing forgiving people? Raise your hand up. Oh how many of you are not? Raise your hand up.
Yeah there you are. You're my people. I by nature am not the kind of person that wants to turn the other cheek. You hit me I want to hit you back. You insult me I have a better insult to hurl back at you. But that is not what God wants me to do.
But it's my nature that has to be that has to be suppressed. I'm commanded in scripture to forgive. I love the statement of C.S.
Lewis. He said quote everyone thinks forgiveness is a lovely thing until they have someone to forgive right. Great concept.
I'm for it. Forgiveness yes. Then someone wrongs you. Then someone hurts you. Then someone slanders you. Or they tell a lie about you.
And you say this isn't right. I got to get them back. And then you start thinking about personally forgiving them it's not easy. I like you have had people hurt me through my life. I've been betrayed. I've been attacked.
I've been slandered just like you. But I forgive these people not because I'm so wonderful though I am. Let me tell you why I do it. I do it because the Lord tells me to. But I do it for another reason. I do it for my own sanity.
For my own sanity. Forgiveness does not mean condoning bad behavior. It's not dismissing it. It may not even mean reconciliation because that's not only possible. To forgive means I'm surrendering my right to get even. And I'm leaving it into the hands of God.
That's all. It doesn't mean I'll necessarily even be reconciled with that person. Because some people don't want to reconcile at all. But it means that I'm getting free of that person. Forgiveness is not giving in to the person who hurt you. It's getting free from that person. Get it?
And guess what? Even psychologists are acknowledging the power of forgiveness. There was an interesting article in Time Magazine about forgiveness. It was titled Should All Be Forgiven. Quoting from it it says, scientists and sociologists have begun to extract forgiveness and the act of forgiving from the confines of the confessional transforming it into the subject of quantifiable research. End quote.
So you know let me just sort of paraphrase that. Scientists are saying this isn't just for people in church. This is for everybody. And one writer went on to say several psychotherapists are testifying that there's nothing like forgiveness for dissipating anger, mending marriages, and banning depression.
They're not even looking at this biblically. They're just saying hey we found when you forgive you'll be a happier person. We found when you forgive you'll have a better marriage.
We found that when you forgive your depression will not be what it was. So it's good for you spiritually. It's good for you physically.
It's good for you psychologically. And if you're a child of God it's not an option. It's a command. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just 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 Harvest.org. We're learning the value and benefit of forgiveness today and Pastor Greg's message called don't make deals with the devil. Back to our story. So King Saul has done his business and from a safe distance David says hey king uh notice a draft in the old robe and he holds it up and says I cut it off. I could have killed you but I chose to not do it. All of a sudden it appears that King Saul is having a change of heart. Back to First Samuel 24 verse 16. Saul calls back is that really you my son David? And he began to cry and he said to David you're a better man than I am. You repaid me good for evil. You've been amazingly kind to me today. The Lord put you in a place where you could have killed me.
You didn't do it. Who else says Saul would let his enemy get away when he had him in his power? May the Lord reward you for your kindness. You've shown me today for now I realize that you are surely going to be king and the kingdom of Israel will flourish under your rule.
Wow that looks pretty good at face value right? And this by the way is the first time that Saul acknowledged that David was now the rightful king. So this appears to be a game changer. Okay this is good.
This is progress. But was Saul really repentant? The Bible says godly sorrow produces repentance. What that simply means is if you're really sorry your behavior will change. And if your behavior doesn't change are you really sorry? Are you really repentant? As they say the proof is in the pudding. I don't know what proof we're looking for in the pudding but we're told it's there.
But it simply means that if you really mean it you'll have evidence to back it up. I don't think there was any repentance in Saul's life. If he was wasn't serious he would have given the royal robe and crown to David right there on the spot. But Saul went back to his palace in Jerusalem. He had no intention of abdicating his throne. But David was no fool.
He didn't go home with Saul. He could have said hey it's all good. Let's go back.
Let's have a meal together. David said no I've had a few too many javelins thrown at me. I don't trust this guy. And he was right to not trust the guy.
Because Saul would be back soon with three thousand fresh troops to hunt down David. This brings me to my last point. You can't make deals with the devil.
You can't make deals with the devil. So I have five grandchildren and four girls and I have one grandson. Boys are very different than girls.
Understatement of this century. And what girls want for a birthday present or for Christmas is way different than what boys want. So I got my grandson what he asked me for for Christmas which was a snake. Because nothing says the birth of Jesus like a serpent. It's a little black king snake.
Really cute. And so you know they have to feed the snake. Little rodents. You know that.
Sorry to break this to you if you don't know that. They're not vegetarians. You can't feed them kale. So he feeds them these tiny little mice. And so so in this room where the snake lives in this little secure cage that he can't get out of is another cage about 10 feet away that has a hamster.
You already know what happened. So the other day Jonathan Christopher's dad said, hey buddy I haven't seen that hamster for a while. Why don't you go check on him. Make sure he has food and water. So Christopher goes to the hamster's cage and there's kind of some sawdust on the bottom and sometimes the hamster hides.
He's looking everywhere looking for it. Can't find the hamster. All of a sudden he pulls out the snake. Somehow the snake got from the snake cage over to the hamster's cage.
So I think there was a conversation. And the hamster was looking at the snake. And then snake says let's negotiate.
What is it you want? Hamster said I want a snakeskin jacket. And the snake said good I want a full stomach.
You figure out what happened. That's what happens when you make deals with the devil. Oh I've got this under control. This will never be a problem. This is secure. This will never come into my life.
I can't even lower my guard. No the devil is very sly. A snake can get out of the tightest little spaces. I know this because as a kid I too had many snakes.
And they got out of their cages all the time. One time I had a beautiful snake I had been saving up for and it got out of its cage. And my mother who hated my snakes but tolerated them said it came slithering to the front room. I said what did you do? She says I opened up the glass door and just let him keep going.
No that's my snake. Just let him keep going. That's the devil. You give him an inch you'll take a mile.
You give him a little bit he'll take more. Don't make deals with the devil. We've got to learn that story for sure. So my recent book is called Lennon, Dylan, Alice, and Jesus. On the cover is a photograph of John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Alice Cooper, and an image of Jesus. And some people who didn't read the book but literally judged the book by its cover said you know these people can't be saved. They made deals with the devil. Almost as though satan appears to them has a document they sign it.
Okay if I make you a successful rock star you belong to me forever. Listen it is possible in a broad sense to make a deal with the devil. And by that I mean you can of course compromise and give in to sin and enticement and be entrapped by him. But if you want to get out of that deal you can get out of it because Jesus paid for that on the cross of Calvary.
Colossians 2 14 says Christ cancelled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. So when you believe in Jesus and ask him to forgive you of your sin all deals are off. Oh no people say they sold their soul to the devil. You can't sell your soul to the devil.
God owns your soul and you belong to him if you've trusted in Christ. Great insight today here on A New Beginning. Pastor Greg Laurie with his message called Don't Make Deals with the Devil. It's a good lesson on how forgiveness will improve our lives. By the way Pastor Greg just mentioned his book Lennon, Dylan, Alice, and Jesus.
You can find out more about the book at harvest.org. Well it's our privilege to speak with author and theologian Randy Alcorn today about his book called... Hey wait you never call me author and theologian. Okay from now on do you want me to call you Dr. Greg? No no Randy actually is a theologian. I wouldn't call myself a theologian but Randy is a theologian. Well and Greg you you could introduce him as foremost expert on the Beatles, Alice Cooper, etc. You know that's you know there you go. Yeah and uh the purveyor of many Liverpudlian type actions. Liverpudlian accents that's right. I can talk like the Beatles.
I can actually do all four of them but I won't do it now. Well Randy we're talking about your book called Heaven for Kids. Many people know that you wrote the big book on heaven, literally the big book on heaven.
That's right. The book on heaven for kids, let me ask you what what do you think is the most common thing kids misunderstand about heaven? Well I think the biggest thing is that kids often think of heaven as this completely foreign place and a place that isn't fun. A place that is just totally solemn or maybe it's all singing and nothing else and to them it's like well they want to get outside and go and do things and enjoy relationships and hang out with each other and all of that and you know we we do as adults as well we want to do meaningful things and even earthly things not worldly and like a negative spiritual sense but God made us to live on this planet and so when kids start thinking about heaven as this place where we won't enjoy the things we enjoy here and now then they they don't want that. They they like the world they live in except they don't like the bad parts of course sin and curse and death and suffering and maybe their pet has died or you know whatever it is and they don't want that but they do want all the good things that bring them joy in the world and so I think what we have to do is say hey exactly what you're saying is what God promises. A world, a new earth and you'll have a new body that will never be sick and you'll live in a new earth where there'll be no sin or suffering. The earth itself will be Eden magnified that's what the new earth will be so so Satan didn't derail God's plan and make it like oh okay Satan messed everything up and God's plan was for righteous humanity to rule the earth to the glory of God but that now is never going to happen on the contrary it's going to happen in greater and more wonderful ways and we will live on the earth that God made for us forever but a redeemed version and we will be a redeemed version of our old selves without the sin without any desire to sin we won't sin and we won't want to sin and we won't want to want to sin. Okay very true you know I love that phrase you used Randy Eden magnified and this is the hope that every believer has who has put their faith in Jesus Christ and we want to offer a very special book this month for your gift of any size and the title of the book is heaven for kids but I suspect Dave that as the adults are reading this to their kids or grandkids they might be encouraged themselves because it's full of biblical truth about the afterlife. Yeah yeah that's true it's something we all need to know and parents often face a challenge explaining heaven in a way kids can understand so let us send you heaven for kids by Randy Alcorn when you partner with us right now to help continue these daily studies we'd like to send this book to you to say thank you so get in touch with us today you can call us anytime 24 7 at 1-800-821-3300 that's 1-800-821-3300 or just go online to harvest.org well next time pastor Greg has good insights on our value before God he looks past our failures and sees our potential join us here on a new beginning with pastor and bible teacher Greg Laurie. Hey everybody thanks for listening to this podcast to learn more about Harvest Ministries follow this show and consider supporting it just go to harvest.org and to find out how to know God personally go to harvest.org and click on know God
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-07 04:57:43 / 2023-03-07 05:07:04 / 9