April 17, 2023 3:00 am
Ever been frustrated with some new gadget? You just can’t get it to work as advertised. You’ve flipped every switch, pushed every button, twisted every knob, and nothing. Then, in utter desperation, you read the instructions—and realize doing it their way made it easier. Well God has a set of instructions for life, and today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie opens up one of the most pivotal books in the Bible to see that living life God’s way sure makes things a lot easier!
Listen on harvest.org
Watch JESUS REVOLUTION from home!
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.
Support the show: https://harvest.org/support
See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
Living on the Edge
A New Beginning
Running to Win
What's Right What's Left
Pastor Ernie Sanders
Renewing Your Mind
We're glad you're joining us for A New Beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast supported by Harvest Partners.
Get more encouraging audio content when you subscribe to Pastor Greg's Daily Devos. Learn more and sign up at harvest.org. Conventional wisdom is, everyone should serve me. Conventional wisdom is, I'm entitled. You owe me.
Take care of me. I don't want to apply myself. I just want everything to come my way. Pastor Greg Laurie says believers are called to do the opposite. We're not called to be served, but to be servants. Biblical teaching says, no, put the needs of others first. Serve others. And here's a little secret many of us miss.
There's more joy in serving than there is in being served. Ever been frustrated with some new gadget? You just can't get it to work as advertised.
You flipped every switch, pushed every button, twisted every knob, nothing. Then in utter desperation, you read the instructions and realize doing it their way made it easier. Well, God has a set of instructions for life. And today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie opens up one of the most pivotal books in the Bible to see that living life God's way sure makes things a lot easier. Now we come to a letter that the apostle Paul wrote to the church in Rome.
Paul did not start this church, but he was writing to them. Now let me ask you a question. Can you think of maybe the most important letter you have ever received? And by the way, I think we have lost the art of letter writing, have we not? You know because I have letters that I have saved for years. Letters written to me by people that I appreciate or love or cards drawn by my children and grandchildren. I save everything.
Ok. Because those are precious memories to me. And it is fun to take out a card or a letter and read it. Nowadays I can't even read my own writing. I used to have very legible writing. And now I write something and I go, what did I even write there? Because I type pretty much everything. And so letters are a precious commodity.
Paul wrote a letter to Rome. I remember probably one of the most important letters I ever received was when I was a little boy and I was a budding cartoonist. That is what I wanted to do with my life. To have a cartoon strip. I had my own cartoon characters.
And I sort of lived in this little alternate world. And I started corresponding with Charles M. Schultz. Ever heard of him? The creator of Peanuts. Now he was at the peak of his popularity in the 60s when I was writing him. And he was so kind to write me back. And I would send him a letter and expect a response.
And amazingly this famous cartoonist took the time to write me. I asked him stupid questions. I asked him to critique my art like he didn't have something else to do.
And then even more. I asked him for free stuff. I said, can I have an original piece of art that you use in the strip? And he sent it to me.
And I lost it. And the other day I was in some hotel and they had like an art gallery and they had original art by Schultz. And they had one of those original cartoon strips. It was worth thousands of dollars.
And I looked at it and in the immortal words of Homer Simpson I said, dope. He was so kind though. Sending me signed things. And very generous men. And I remember when I would get that letter from him it had a little drawing of Charlie Brown on the outside. His name Charles M. Schultz. And he lived in Coffee Lane, Sebastopol, California.
Ooh Coffee Lane. It just sounded so mysterious. And I would get this letter.
A letter from Charles M. Schultz. I would open it up. I would reread it again. It was like a letter from heaven.
Well you know what. The book of Romans actually is a letter from heaven to all of us. Written by Paul. All right.
So let's dig in. Romans chapter 1. I am going to read a few verses to you.
Paul a bondservant, you might underline the word bondservant, of Jesus Christ called to be an apostle separated to the gospel of God which he promised through his prophets and the holy Scripture concerning the Son Jesus Christ who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness by the resurrection from the dead through him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all the nations for his name among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ you might underline that we'll come back to it to all who are in Rome beloved of God called to be saints you might underline that too grace be to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ first I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all so Paul was southern see he thanks Jesus Christ for y'all all y'all that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world for God is my witness verse 9 whom I serve with my spirit and the gospel of his son that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers making requests if by some means now at least I may find a way in the will of God to come to you we'll stop there if you want a personal Jesus revolution learn how to be a servant look at verse 1 Paul a bondservant of Jesus Christ this is significant because he was the great one he was the desired one he was the educated one now he's just Paul humble small and he calls himself a bondservant yes he's an apostle but a bondservant now with all the slaves in Rome he was in a way speaking their language see a bondservant was someone who was a slave who had been freed by his master but then went on to voluntarily continue in service as a slave or a special category a bondservant Paul says I'm a bondservant of Jesus I love to do this it is my choice to do this and I want to do this you know if only we could discover the joy of serving others conventional wisdom is everyone should serve me conventional wisdom is I'm entitled you owe me take care of me I don't want to work I don't want to apply myself I just want everything to come my way and biblical teaching says no put the needs of others first serve others and here's a little secret many of us miss there is great joy in serving people in fact there's more joy in serving than there is in being served even Jesus said he did not come to be served but to serve did you know that studies have been done that show that serving others brings personal happiness Americans who describe themselves as very happy volunteer at least five hours a month one study showed that older individuals who volunteered at least 200 hours a year decreased their risk of hypertension by a whopping 40 studies have also shown that those that help others live longer learn to serve serve in some way shape or form listen every Christian is called to do or be something for God's glory let me say that again every Christian is called to do or be something for God's glory in verse 6 Paul says among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ I think sometimes we think people who are in what we might call professional ministry are sort of the elite oh he's the pastor oh he's an assisting pastor oh they work at the church oh they're a worship leader or they're in missionary they're really serving God I'm just out here in the regular old workforce I can't bring glory to God oh yes you can every Christian can and must bring glory to God that's my number one priority to know God and bring glory to his name my number two priority is to be a good husband and a good father and a good grandfather by the way that's even before my ministry as a pastor because if I'm not a good husband father how good of a pastor could I actually be so we have to keep our priorities in order pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. Hey everybody, what are you doing this weekend? I'd like to hang out with you at Harvest at Home. What is Harvest at Home? It is a time of worship and Bible study exclusively designed for people that are viewing in from all over the place so you can be a part of our extended congregation at Harvest at Home. Join us this weekend Saturday and Sunday for Harvest at Home at Harvest.org. Well today in our opening message of a series in the book of Romans Pastor Greg is offering up the best ways to do God's will God's way.
Let's continue. Then we have our calling and God gives his gifts to every believer in Romans we read we being many are one body in Christ everyone members one of another having then gifts differing according to the grace it has given to us. I already told you I never wanted to be a preacher. Do you believe me when I say that? I wanted to be a cartoonist like Charles M. Schulz and I wanted to live at Coffee Lane too because it sounded cool but you see that was not what God had in store for me. In fact it is funny because I mentioned to someone some years ago I was a cartoonist and they said well good because my car is broken. Can you fix it?
Oh no. I am not that kind of a cartoonist. I draw silly drawings.
Some paper. I can't tune a car. In fact I am the last guy you want looking under your hood because it will be a sad result for sure. No you don't need Greg a preacher by the will of God. You need Jack an auto mechanic by the will of God. Or let's say you are having issues with your teeth. You need David a dentist by the will of God. You don't want me in there with a drill.
Trust me. And I went to the dentist recently and they did quite a few things to me and I was slightly terrified because I hadn't been for awhile. And I hate those drills.
And they say it won't hurt but it always hurts. But it didn't hurt thank God. Hallelujah. And he is a believer and he glorifies God with that skill set. A business can glorify God. A businessman rather. And a business.
You know that can be a calling from the Lord. There is a man named Steve Green. And his wife is Jackie and they run Hobby Lobby. Ever heard of Hobby Lobby? So I actually interviewed them because they wrote a book about the Bible. And they are very successful. They are very successful. And they are very successful business.
They make a lot of money. And they also donate millions and millions of dollars to ministries around the world. And they built the Museum of the Bible in Washington DC that you can go and visit now. And I think that is fantastic.
You can go to our nation's capital and see all these monuments and other things. And now we have a Museum of the Bible. And they have taken their abilities and used them for God's glory. So maybe you are not called to preach but you can make money.
That is a gift. Use that for God's glory as well. Whatever you are called to do. Paul says verse 1, I am separated unto the gospel. What does that mean? Gospel means good news.
By the way it doesn't mean good advice. Jesus did not come to improve our life. He came to save our life. Again to reiterate if we learn nothing else from the book of Romans we learn we are sinful.
This is good news. And then verse 7, called to be saints. Have you ever wondered what a saint looks like? Look no further. Here I am. I am a living breathing saint.
You might say, wow I am pretty disappointed. Well guess what. I am looking at a bunch of living breathing saints right now. All of you all. We are all saints. Because what is a saint? It is not a person who has performed a miracle or two or a person that lives a perfect life. A saint is just another word for a believer. So when you put your faith in Jesus Christ you become a bona fide legitimate biblical saint. You don't have to call me Saint Gregory but you can if you want. I heard about a little boy that liked to admire the stained glass windows at his church depicting Saint Peter, Saint Paul, Saint John. One day he was in Sunday school and the teacher asked, who are the saints? The little boy said, there are people that the light shines through. Yeah he had that right. So when God's light shines through you you are a saint.
Ok one last point and we will close. If you want a personal Jesus revolution you need to learn how to pray. If you want a personal Jesus revolution of revival you need to learn how to pray.
Look at verse 9. God is my witness whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers. The thing about prayer is it puts me in touch with God. Here is a question. When things are going reasonably well, if there is no crisis, no problem on the horizon, do we pray as much as we ought to as Christians?
I will personalize it and answer it for you. Do I pray as much as I ought to as a Christian? Ready for the answer?
No I don't. I could pray a lot more. And I think some of you would probably say the same thing. We could pray a lot more. And so when crisis hits what is our first inclination? It is to say God take this problem away. And sometimes He does doesn't He?
And then other times He doesn't take it away. But the reality is that problem, that difficulty keeps me in touch with God. It keeps me dependent upon God. And it keeps me praying without ceasing. I mean Paul says without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers. And then we are told in Scripture pray without ceasing for this is the will of God and Jesus Christ concerning you.
How is that even possible? Pray without ceasing. I have a life. I have to go to work. I have to drive on the freeway to get to work. I have to do a lot of things in life. I can't just pray all day. Why not? It doesn't mean you have to be on your knees with your eyes closed.
You can do it that way. It is not just a prayer before a meal or a prayer with other believers. It is just living in prayer.
Living in communion with God. You know I love how my grandkids always bust me when we forget to pray. It is like their little mission in life. Now even Christopher who is only five did it the other night. We are getting ready to eat and he says, Papa yes you forgot to pray.
That is very true. All right Christopher why don't you lead us in prayer. I don't want to.
Yes. He just wants to bust us. He doesn't want to do the prayer part right. Yeah we don't always pray as much as we ought to.
But it is the idea of calling on the Lord. Listen when you are in your vehicle cruising down the freeway and you are cursing the traffic right. And why do I have to be in the freeway for two hours a day and for some even longer.
It is miserable. Did it ever occur to you your car could become a sanctuary. A place to hear the Word of God. A place to worship the Lord. A place to pray. Just keep your eyes open.
But you know it can be. The Bible talks about Elijah who went into the court of the most powerful man in the world King Ahab. And Elijah said as the Lord God lives before God lives before whom I stand there will not be rain but according to my word.
Basically Elijah recognized wherever he was he was in God's presence. You are not closer to God when you are in a building like this. You can be close to God wherever you go.
Why? Because the dwelling place of God is with us. You are the temple. He is in you. So you too can pray without ceasing.
Let me close with this. Paul uses that word gospel. What does the word gospel mean? Again it means good news. Here is the good news. God loves you. Here is the bad news. You are separated from God by your sin.
Here is the good news. God sent His Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for your sin. And then He rose again from the dead three days later. And if I will respond to Jesus Christ I can be forgiven of all of my sin. Listen you can have a personal Jesus revolution today.
Because you need Jesus. I am not talking about Christianity. I am talking about Christ. I am not talking about religion. I am talking about relationship.
And there is a big difference. Is Jesus living in you? You say well I don't know. How would I know? Do you think if someone just moved into your house in the middle of the night you would be aware of their presence? A bunch of unwashed dishes. Who messed up the sofa?
Who is here? You would know. Because they are cooking fish all night. Right. Whatever. This is probably an analogy that breaks down quickly. But here I think you know where I am going. If Jesus Christ is living inside of you He is not cooking fish and making a mess.
That is where it breaks down. But if Jesus is living in you you will know He is there. And if you don't know that He is there maybe He isn't living in you. Would you like Him to? Would you like Him to forgive you of your sin and become your Savior and your Lord?
That can happen right now. Because Jesus who died and rose again stands at the door of your life and He knocks and says if you will hear His voice and open the door He will come in. Let's all bow our heads. Father I pray now for every person here. Every person listening and watching wherever they are. Help them to see their need for You. Help them to come to You. Help them to believe in You we pray. Amen. Pastor Greg Laurie with an important prayer with those who'd like to make a change today in their relationship with the Lord. If you'd like to make that kind of change today Pastor Greg will help you with that in just a moment before today's edition of A New Beginning wraps up. Well it's so great to have Pastor Levi Lusko with us today. Senior pastor of Fresh Life Church with campuses in Montana, Wyoming, Oregon, and Utah. He and his wife Jenny have authored the new book called The Marriage Devotional.
Great resource. Now Levi you talk about the violin in this marriage devotional. Listeners may think they don't need to spend time talking about the violin but they'll want to talk about the violin won't they?
Yes I think they will. You know we use violin as sort of shorthand for sex which is really an interesting probably illustration for most people but if you think about it you don't just pick up the violin and play a song by Beethoven at first blush. It takes practice. It takes years and it becomes more valuable with time.
I think Stradivarius violin is in the millions now but it's a rare piece of beauty. Not everyone can get their hands on one and sex as God intended it to be is sort of this secret treasure. This walled garden is language from the Bible about sex that we don't let anybody else in except for our spouse. It's not common.
It's not trafficked. It's treasured like a violin and you can get better at it over time as you practice. You know we want to take away culture culture puts this baggage on sex that you have it on the first date and that's as good as it's ever going to be. That's why most romantic comedies end the day they get married if they do indeed get married at all but really God that's just the beginning for what God wants as you grow in it and studies show the most happy demographic in our country when it comes to sexual satisfaction are married couples who have stayed married for decades been committed exclusively to each other and so it's not experience that makes you better at sex it's exclusivity that will make you better at it over time if you do things God's way.
Well imagine that God had it right all along when the Bible says for this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and they shall become one flesh. So we have a great book for you that will help you learn more about how to have a stronger marriage hey how to have a better sex life in that marriage and it's called The Marriage Devotional written by that young man that you just heard from named Levi Lusko and his beautiful wife Jenny. It's a really fantastic book it's not like other books you've seen on this topic I love the honesty of it I love the vulnerability of it I love that it's based on scripture and so this is a book you want to get your hands on and we're going to send it to you for your gift of any size. Dave tell them how to get a copy. Sure we have it available on YouTube for you right now just give us a phone call we're sending it to say thanks for your partnership partnership that makes these daily studies possible so call us today at 1-800-821-3300 we're here around the clock to take your call again the number 1-800-821-3300 or write a new beginning box 4000 Riverside California 92514 or just go online to harvest.org. Well Pastor Greg just before we go would you mind praying with the person listening who wants to make a change today in their relationship with the Lord? I'd be happy to Dave you know as you've been listening to this today maybe you've heard another voice by that I mean yeah you heard me say a few things but you heard God's voice speak to you deep in the recesses of your heart and it suddenly dawned on you this is what I need or to state it more accurately this is who I need I need Jesus and I want Jesus but maybe you don't know how to make that connection let me help you pray this after me right now if you want Jesus Christ to come into your life Lord Jesus I know I am a sinner and I am sorry for my sin and I need your forgiveness right now would you come into my heart my life as Savior as God as friend I choose to follow you from this moment forward thank you for calling me and accepting me and forgiving me in Jesus name I pray amen I know that was a relatively short prayer maybe you felt something as you prayed it maybe you felt nothing that doesn't really matter because God's word says these things we write to you that believe on the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life it doesn't say so you may think you have it or you may hope you have it if God's in a good mood no that you can know it and I want you to know if you pray that prayer in minute Jesus Christ the Son of God has come into your life so congratulations you're now a Christian now continue to follow the Lord yeah and to help you as you follow the Lord we'd like to send you some materials we call our new believers growth packet it'll answer many of the questions you might have and it contains that new believers new testament pastor Greg just mentioned a few moments ago so get in touch and ask for it 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 to harvest.org and click on no god well next time pastor Greg points out how the gospel is the good news that points the way to eternal life it's a message that saves people from death and we should never be ashamed to share it join us here on a new beginning with pastor and bible teacher Greg Laurie hey everybody thanks for listening to a new beginning this is a podcast made possible by harvest partners so for more content that can help you know God and equip you to make him known to others or to learn more about how you can become a harvest partner just go to harvest.org
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-17 05:12:31 / 2023-04-17 05:22:20 / 10