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How to Have Peace With God | Drawing Nearer to God

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
May 5, 2023 3:00 am

How to Have Peace With God | Drawing Nearer to God

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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May 5, 2023 3:00 am

Ever bought a product that made you feel out of sorts? A shirt or blouse that was cut strangely. Maybe a pair of shoes that pinched. Or you sat in a chair that looked really comfortable but the minute you sat down, you said, “I’ll stand, thank you.” Many people live their lives all out of sorts . . . and they don’t really know what’s wrong. Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie points out it may be they need to come to the Lord, or come closer to the Lord. Let’s learn more.

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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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Hey everybody, you're listening to A New Beginning, which is a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners. If this program has impacted you, I'd love to hear from you. So just send an email to me at greg.harvest.org. Again, it's greg.harvest.org.

You can learn more about becoming a Harvest Partner by going to harvest.org. The moment we become Christians, we're changed, whether we feel it or not. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie recounts his experience. I distinctly remember the day I accepted Christ into my life. I felt as though a huge weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. And it was the weight of my sin.

It was the weight of my guilt. And all of a sudden I had a peace in my heart I had never known before. The Bible calls it the peace that passes all human understanding. This is the day when the lost are found. This is the day for a new beginning. Amazing grace how sweet the sound. Again you hear all the angels are singing.

This is the day, the day when life begins. Ever bought a product that made you feel out of sorts? A shirt or blouse that was cut strangely. Maybe a pair of shoes that pinched.

Or you sat in a chair that looked really comfortable, but the minute you sat down you said, I'll stand. Thank you. Many people live their lives all out of sorts. They don't really know what's wrong. Well today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie points out that maybe they need to come to the Lord or come closer to the Lord. Let's learn more. Let's turn again to Romans 5. The title of my message is how to have peace with God. I want to talk about for just a couple of moments really why did He come? Why did Jesus come to this earth?

If you're taking notes here's point number one. Jesus was born in a stable in Bethlehem to save us from our sin. He came from heaven to save us from our sin. The Bible tells us a story about a guy named Zacchaeus. He was a little dude.

He couldn't see above the crowd. He also was a lonely little guy. No one wanted anything to do with him because you see Zacchaeus was a tax collector, which means he took advantage of people.

He effectively ripped people off. He didn't have a friend in the town of Jericho. But when Jesus showed up it was a big deal. And everybody wanted to get a shot of Jesus. Can you imagine if it were happening today everybody would be saying, Jesus can I get a selfie with you?

Right. And so here comes Christ walking down the street. People are grabbing him, pushing him, pulling on him. And Zacchaeus climbs up a tree so he could get a view of Jesus. You know you see a lot when you are up high. You see more when you are in a tree. I don't know when this started but all of my grandkids now love to climb the tree in front of our house. They will just sit up there forever. They have a little basket.

They created a pulley system and they lower it down. And one day my grandson Christopher, age five, was upset about something and he ran out the front door and he climbed up a tree. And his sister Allie chased after him and said, Christopher, Christopher, don't become a tree boy.

Come back down. I don't even know what a tree boy is. But he was concerned. Well Zacchaeus was a tree boy.

He is up there watching. And can you imagine his shock when here is this crowd all around Jesus and Jesus is moving along and he stops, looks up, makes eye contact with Zacchaeus and calls him out by name. Zacchaeus come down immediately. I am going to give you a whoop it.

No that is not what he said. That is what he deserved. He says, Zacchaeus come down from that tree. I am coming to your house today.

Well talk about inviting yourself over for lunch. That is exactly what Jesus did. But Zacchaeus was overjoyed and welcomed Jesus into his house. And the people of this city were a critical saint. Jesus has gone to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.

Exactly. After all how can you reach a sinner if you don't spend some time with them? Zacchaeus walked into his home a sinner and he came out a saint.

That is what spending time with Jesus will do. And then Jesus revealed the reason he came. He said, salvation has come to this house for the Son of Man has come to seek and save the lost. That is why he came. To seek and save lost people.

Number two. Jesus was born in Bethlehem to bring life in all of its fullness. Jesus was born in Bethlehem to bring life in all of its fullness. Jesus said in John 10. I have come that you might have life in that more abundantly. Jesus came to bring us life in all of its fullness.

And number three. Jesus was born in a manger in Bethlehem so we could become friends of God and find peace. He was born in that manger in Bethlehem so we could become friends of God and find peace.

Let's read about it now. Romans 5. I am going to read verses 1 to 11.

And by the way I am reading from the New Living Translation. Therefore, writes Paul, since we have been justified, that is a King James translation here in the New Living that says, we have been made right with God by faith. We have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.

Because of our faith Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand. And we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God's glory. We can rejoice too when we run into problems and trials for we know they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character. And character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.

And this hope will not lead to disappointment for we know how dearly God loves us because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with love. When we were utterly helpless Christ came at just the right time and died for His sinners. Now most people would not be willing to die for an upright person.

Though some might be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed us great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God's sight by the blood of Christ He will certainly save us from God's condemnation. For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of His Son while we were still His enemies we will certainly be saved through the life of His Son. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends with God.

Wow. Look at all that God has done for you. Look at all that God has done for me. He has made us His friends. It is a hard thing to wrap our minds around the idea of being a friend of God.

But Jesus said, from this point on I no longer call you servants. I call you friends. You know God is a true friend who will be there when you need Him. He will keep your confidence and He is always in your corner.

And know this about God. He will always tell you the truth. We all need some friends who will tell us the truth don't we. Because we are those people that will not tell us the truth.

But it is instead a true friend stabs you in the front not in the back. So if you are wearing something and you don't know if it is the right thing to wear and you ask a bunch of people is this good. They go you look awesome. Let's go.

Because you are late. Right. And then you can turn to your friend and say what do you think. And they say it sucks.

Change it. Right. That is a friend. Those other people don't care about you. In fact they would be happy if you look bad.

Right. But a friend will tell you the truth and God will always tell you the truth because He actually loves you. And true friends have communication.

You know when you are a friend with someone you are constantly talking to them. Maybe on the phone. Maybe in person. Maybe through text.

I read recently that many young people today would rather text than speak to people face to face. So maybe you are constantly texting or communicating with your friend. It is an ongoing conversation that goes through the day.

Picks up the next day. That is what friendship is. And I think sometimes we overly formalize our friendship with God. Now I will be honest with you. My best friend is my wife. She is also my prettiest friend. And you know I don't get up in the morning and say to her most awesome honey please make me a blessed breakfast today. She is like what is wrong with you? Why are you talking to me that way?

Because maybe it is late. I might say Kathy I am late. I have got to go.

Can you make me something to eat? She will go ok. She understands that. She is my friend. She is my wife.

She will do that for me. Sometimes they have a blessed time. I need coffee now friend.

You know. But friends just communicate. And God wants you to communicate with Him. He is always there ready to listen.

Always there ready to speak to you. Because friends like to spend time with each other. How did this amazing friendship with God come about? Point number one. We have friendship with God because Jesus made it possible.

There is nothing I did to merit it. But we have this friendship with God because Jesus made it possible. Look at verse 5.

We have been made right in God's sight by faith and we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Now you will notice that Romans 5 verse 1 begins with the word therefore. And as I often tell you whenever you read the word therefore find out what it is there for.

It is always drawing upon what has previously been said. So Paul is drawing on what he just said in Romans 4. But really he is drawing on what he has said from Romans 1 to 4. And what have we learned in chapters 1 to 4 of the book of Romans?

We have learned that we are all sinners. Not one of us is right in our own ability before God. Religious people need God. Pagan people need God. Moral people need God. Nobody can keep the law on their own.

Everyone falls miserably short. That is what we learned. Therefore in light of that God has justified us. It is an amazing thing that he has done. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. Hey everybody Greg Laurie here and I want to personally invite you to the Harvest Ministries Israel tour.

April 9 to 19 2024. Listen this is your chance to walk in the steps of Jesus literally in what we call the Holy Land. Learn more at Israel.Harvest.org. Shalom. Well today Pastor Greg is pointing out how we have friendship with God because of Jesus' sacrifice on our behalf. Let's continue now with the message how to have peace with God. What are some of the benefits of friendship with God? Number two this friendship with God brings us personal peace. This friendship with God brings us personal peace.

Look at verse five. We have peace with God because of what the Lord Jesus has done for us. You know much of the promise for the Christian is yet to come. We have the hope of heaven one day. We have the hope of a new perfect glorified body one day. We have the hope of being reunited with loved ones that have gone to heaven before us one day. But this peace that God is talking about can be ours right now. I distinctly remember the day I accepted Christ into my life I felt as though a huge weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. Didn't anybody else sense that when you believed in Jesus? I have talked to many people who have said that.

And it is funny. I was a 17 year old kid. This was 10 years ago.

Plus a few more. But I am a 17 year old kid and I feel like this burden has been lifted off of me. What kind of a burden does a 17 year old kid carry?

Well in my case a pretty big one I guess. And it was the weight of my sin. It was the weight of my guilt.

And it was taken off of me. And all of a sudden I had a peace in my heart I had never known before. The Bible calls it the peace that passes all human understanding. And it is not contingent on circumstances.

It is independent of circumstances. In fact sometimes you notice this peace even more in the midst of very difficult circumstances. I have visited people in hospital rooms who are receiving treatment for cancer. And they will minister to me more than I will minister to them. And they will say, Greg I just sense such peace in my heart that God is in control and I am just rejoicing in the Lord and the Lord just showed me this verse and I am just standing there like in awe. In awe of their faith but even more in awe of the fact that God gives us what we need when we need it. That is the peace He wants to give to you.

But listen to this. You cannot experience the peace of God until you first have peace with God. Because here is why you need peace with God. Prior to becoming a Christian you are at war with God. Now we think of some people that are at war with God.

Very outspoken atheists. Oh yeah they are at war with God. They oppose God.

No. Everybody before they believe is at war with God. That is what the Bible teaches. In fact right here in Romans chapter 5 we read over in verse 10, we were the enemies of God before we were reconciled. Romans 8 5 Paul says, the sinful nature is always hostile to God.

It never did obey God's laws and it never will. That is why those who are under the control of the sinful nature can never please God. You might have thought you were neutral about God.

Well I didn't really have an opinion about Him in way or the other. Well you may think that but you were hostile to God. You were at war with God. But then you met His terms of surrender. And you know what His terms of surrender are? You give in.

That is it. You just say ok you win. I lose. You win. But losing is winning.

When you lose you win. Because when you get to the end of yourself you get to the beginning of God. Remember old Jacob. Caniving guy. Dishonest guy. Always trying to get things in his own ability and he made a mess of his life. And one day the Lord came down and engaged him in a wrestling match. And he was literally wrestling with God. And he fought with all of his might and could not overcome the Lord. And finally he just was worn out and he gave in. And then he said, alright Lord I give in.

Now I am not going to let you go until you bless me. And the Lord blessed him and changed his name from Jacob to Israel. So Jacob went from wrestling to nestling. He went from fighting to trusting. And that is what we all need to do. Stop fighting with God. Stop running from God. And then He will give us the peace that we want. That tranquility that comes when your conscience is relieved. But you do it God's way. Not on your own. Before you can have this peace you have to stop this war you have with the Lord.

Now here is the thing. God has given you this peace. You have it right now.

It is already yours. I think sometimes we are praying for something we already have. We are saying, oh Lord I need more love in my life. Send more love. And God has already given you the love that you need. Because verse 5 says, He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with love.

Here is my suggestion to you. Instead of praying for more love why don't you just start doing more loving things. And I think your emotions will catch up. Let's say some of you are having troubles in your marriage. The romance is gone. And you are beginning to wonder if this marriage is even going to last. Some of you are even thinking about taking up with somebody else and throwing in the towel in this marriage and you are saying I just don't feel the love.

Well why don't you just start doing loving things instead of waiting for the feeling of love. I heard about a woman that wanted to divorce her husband in the worst way. So she found the most gnarly lawyer she could who was known for divorce settlements that favored the person that he was hired by. And so she went to him and says, I want to divorce my husband.

But not only that. I want him to suffer. I want him to feel great pain.

What should I do? The attorney said, you have come to the right place. Here is what you do. For the next six months I want you to smother your husband with affection. I want you to tell him how amazing he is. How incredible he is. I want you to tell him how much you respect him.

How good looking he is. I want you to do it for six months and then you will tell him you are divorcing him. He will not know what hit him.

It would be like being hit with a Mack truck. Do this. It is going to be great. She said okay. So for six months she gets up in the morning. Loves her husband. Tells him how great he is. Tells him how handsome he is.

How much he respects him. And now six months have finally passed and the attorney calls and says okay let's get these divorce proceedings started. She said divorce proceedings?

We are going on our second honeymoon. See she just started doing the right thing instead of waiting for the emotion. So God has given you the love that you need. You say well there is a person that has hurt me.

I can't forgive them. I don't feel it. Who cares if you feel it.

Do it anyway. The emotions will catch up. And God has given you this peace already. It is promised to you right here in Romans chapter 5.

Think about some of the amazing things that God has done. Number one you have peace with God. Verse one. Number two you have free and open access to the presence of God. Verse two. Thirdly you have the hope of glory. Number four.

You have God's love toward you. Verses 5 to 8. Number five. You will not face judgment. Verses 9 to 10.

And number six. You have joy in the Lord. Verse 11. Why does God do all of this for me?

Because He is my friend. But many of us live as though we are spiritually impoverished. I read an article in the paper the other day about a couple in Louisiana that were cleaning up their home. And they came across an unclaimed lottery ticket worth 1.8 million dollars. They had bought it. Forgotten about it. And it was still valid.

And they went down and claimed it. And that is like us sometimes. We are saying oh I need more love. Oh I need more faith. Oh I need more peace. God says I have given it to you already.

If you just look around you will find it. And that is what happened for them and even more what can happen for us. Here is another one. Number three. A true friend is always there for you.

A true friend is always there for you. Verse two. We have access by faith into this grace in which we stand and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Verse one says we have peace.

Verse two says we have access. So peace with God takes care of my past. He no longer holds my sins against me. Access to God takes care of my present.

I can come to Him any time. And thirdly joyfully looking to the future takes care of my future. So God has got you covered.

Past, present, and future. You have an all-access pass into the presence of God. There is no block out periods in God's access pass.

There is no limitations on it. He doesn't give it to you and take it back. You have it at all times. You have been given access. Why?

Because true friends are always there for you. Some good news from Pastor Greg Laurie from his message today on A New Beginning called How to Have Peace with God. And there is more to come in this study. Well, we're making available the new film Jesus Revolution on DVD. Yes, it's available on DVD now. And Pastor Greg, you've probably seen the film more times than nearly anyone, having been there during the entire production of the film from start to finish.

Yes. Let me ask you, what scene in particular stands out to you? What's a memorable moment to you? One of my favorite scenes in the film, Dave, is when Chuck is with his daughter, Jan. And Jan wasn't really walking closely with the Lord in the film version of her life and in the story of Jesus Revolution. And she was a believer, but she was disillusioned. She was wondering why Christians weren't more loving. And one day her dad comes home from a church service, and he was a little discouraged at that particular moment in the story. And he's getting ready to eat the food that's left on the table for him by his wife, Kay. And then there's Jan standing there, and they have a conversation. And I love what she says to her father.

So picture this for a moment. Chuck is sitting at the table. Across from the table is his daughter, Jan. And she says this to her father. You're out past curfew. You okay? Oh, I'm all right, babe. I know I've been distracted. I haven't been around a lot. No, Dad, stop.

I have something that I want to say to you. You see, I was almost done with this whole Christianity thing. I was like, where's the love, you know? What are we even doing here? Where is Jesus in all of this? He seemed like a radical dude.

I'd like him, but this, I don't know. But then you did what nobody else would even dare to do. You let the hippies in, come to find out Jesus came in with them.

And you know what? I'm proud of you. You opened yourself up to something you didn't understand. And I've changed because of it.

Thousands of us. But you don't have to carry it all, okay? Don't lose yourself in all of it. Don't carry it.

Also, don't do drugs. I love that statement Jen makes to her dad. When the hippies came in, Jesus came with them. Now, that is not to imply that Jesus wasn't in their church and wasn't working in their church, but it's sort of showing how Jen was seeing things, that she was a disillusioned church kid, but these young people coming to Christ impacted her.

And then she wanted to be closer to the Lord and made a recommitment to Christ as a result. Beautiful story, beautiful scene. And we want you to see it instead of just listen to it. And that is now possible because the Jesus Revolution film is available on DVD and we want to send you a copy. Now, I know it's out there streaming already. Some of you may have already watched it on some streaming platform like Apple or Amazon. But listen, the Jesus Revolution DVD is special for a couple of reasons. Number one, it has bonus content, including something that I think is very important. It's a special message I filmed as the sun was setting on the beach where I present the gospel.

And I even have a prayer that a person can pray to accept Christ. There's other bonus content on this film as well. And you can show it to as many people as you want. And we will send you this special Harvest Edition of the Jesus Revolution film for your gift of any size. That helps us to continue to preach the gospel and teach the Word of God. So order your copy right now. And you can see that scene with Chuck and his daughter and your own personal copy of Jesus Revolution on DVD.

Yeah, that's right. So get in touch with us today. Our phone number is 1-800-821-3300. We'll send the DVD your way along with a free streaming code to thank you for your donation right now. And thanks for keeping in mind that this resource costs us more than is generally the case.

So your generosity is certainly appreciated right now. Again, call us anytime at 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org. 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 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, next time, Pastor Greg points out how having peace with God and having the peace of God can carry us through the times of trial in our lives. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher, Greg Laurie. A New Beginning is a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God. If this show has impacted your life, share your story, leave a review on your favorite podcast app and help others find hope.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-05 05:20:20 / 2023-05-05 05:30:41 / 10

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