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 harvest.org. Remember, you're an adopted child of God. You are welcomed by God. God wants to hear from you, and that's what it is to be spiritually minded people. It's fashionable to be an independent thinker, to question the norm, to think outside the box. But what do we call all those independent thinkers who think the same way? It may not always be beneficial to think outside the box, but it is always beneficial to look up. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie points out success isn't measured in how different we are from other people.
No, it's measured in how much we pattern our thoughts and our actions after the Lord. More on that today. This is the day, the day when life begins. Anyway, there are three basic reasons, I think, that people find themselves depressed. They're either depressed about their past, about their future, or about their present. First, they're often depressed about their past. It's something you did, something you wished you had not done.
Maybe it was a year ago, a day ago, maybe it was 25 years ago, but the ramifications and effects of it are still a part of your life today. So there's a depression about that. Or maybe you find yourself anxious about your future. You're worried about something. You have a problem of some kind and you're thinking, what if this happens or what if that happens? And it weighs heavily on you. Or maybe it's just something you're dealing with in the moment. You have a big whopper of a problem. It seems like an insurmountable obstacle and it may be a financial problem, it may be an illness, it may be a family problem, or whatever it is.
You come here today with this issue. I read about a young woman who was living a very successful and happy life. She was a dietitian living in New York City, also kind of a foodie.
She posted on her Instagram account all these incredible photos of eating food in exotic locations. But then tragically she committed suicide. And she wrote a suicide note to her mother and said that despite all of these great things, despite having a great life, she said, I feel absolutely nothing. Then she wrote, I have accepted hope as nothing more than delayed disappointment and I'm just plain old fashioned tired of feeling tired. End quote.
How sad that is. She thinks hope is delayed disappointment. And I think the problem is if you put your hope in this world that is hope misplaced. It's not going to help you.
It's not going to solve your problems. The oldest book of the Bible, the book of Job, puts it this way in Job 8-13. The hopes of the godless evaporate. Their confidence hangs by a thread. They're leaning on a spider's web. Have you ever leaned on a spider's web?
It's not going to support you very well. And that's what it's like to lean on this world. I wish I could have spoken with this young lady and told her there's hope.
She was looking in the wrong places. And Romans 8 is filled with promises about our past, present, and future. This chapter is all about how to live a spirit led life. So let's read a few verses together. Romans 8 starting in verse 1. There is therefore no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the spirit. For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak to the flesh, God did by sending his own son in the likeness of sinful flesh on account of sin. He condemned sin in the flesh that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the spirit. We'll stop there.
If you're taking notes here's point number one. A spirit led believer lives a condemnation free life. A spirit led believer lives a condemnation free life. Romans 8 one starts with no condemnation.
It ends with no separation. However Paul does not say there will be no failures or inconsistencies because we're all going to mess up. We're still going to sin. But he tells us there's no sort of condemnation.
Why? Because Jesus took that condemnation, that judgment that we should have faced on himself when he died on the cross of Calvary. The Bible says if any man be in Christ he has a new creation. Old things are passed away. Everything becomes new.
Number two if you're taking notes. The best way to not go backwards is to go forward in the spirit. The best way to not go backwards is to go forward in the spirit. Verse four. The righteous requirements of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the spirit.
Listen to this. Every one of us should start every day by asking God to fill us with the Holy Spirit. Because Ephesians 5 says be filled with the Holy Spirit. Speaking to yourself in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. Singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord. And the word filled speaks of something that's continuous as in be constantly filled over and over again with the Holy Spirit. Also in the original language it's a command. God saying I command you to be filled over and over again with the Holy Spirit. What does it mean? It means that the Holy Spirit permeates my life.
Because one way this word is translated is permeation as in salt permeating meat to preserve it. God wants his spirit to permeate every area of your life. Your thought life. Your marriage.
Your business. Everything that you do he wants to permeate it. And then another translation of the word filled means to have the wind fill your sails. Have you ever been out on a lake in a little sailboat and there is no wind. You are just bobbing around. And then a gust of wind comes and you hoist your sail and you pick up speed.
Oh that's the way to do it. How much better life is when I let the Holy Spirit fill my sails and give me the strength to live this life he has called me to live. I am not talking about trying harder.
I am talking about asking God to help you because you can't do this on your own. Point number three. Spirit led people are spiritually minded people.
This is a big one. Spirit led people are spiritually minded people. Verse five. Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things. Those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit.
Pause for a moment. Think about things that please the Spirit. In other words be preoccupied with things that preoccupy the Holy Spirit.
What would those things be? Well the rest of Romans 8 answers that question. Here is a few things the Holy Spirit wants you to think about. Verse 14 says those who are led by the Spirit are the sons of God. Verses 15 to 16 tells us God removes the fear of rejection and assures us we are His children. Verses 26 to 27 tell us that the Holy Spirit gives us confidence to approach God in prayer.
Here is what the Holy Spirit is preoccupied with. He wants us to think about the fact that we are adopted, we are loved, and we are welcomed. You are adopted. You are loved and you are welcomed. He welcomes you in prayer.
So this is important when you are going through something that is stressing you out and causing you to worry. Remember you are an adopted child of God. You are welcomed by God. God wants to hear from you. And that is what it is to be spiritually minded and have your mind dominated by the Spirit. The contrast is to think about sinful things.
Verse 5. Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things. A lot of things can fall into this category. It can be wicked, horrible things, lust and anger and hatred.
It can be empty things like fame and fortune. It can be a person that just thinks of the physical. Never gives a passing thought to the spiritual. Jesus said don't be like nonbelievers who only think about what they are going to eat, what they are going to drink, and what they are going to wear. He is not saying don't think about those things.
Just don't make that the only thing you think about. Be preoccupied if you will with the things of God. Jesus said seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.
In all these things what you will eat, what you will wear, what you will drink will be added to you. Attempting to be righteous by trying harder is also living in the flesh. You just need to admit you can't do it on your own. That is what Paul did in Romans 7. Oh wretched man that I am.
Who is going to deliver me? I can't do this on my own. That is an important thing to say. Have you ever done that? Have you ever just cried out to God and said God if You don't come through for me I am dead on the water.
Lord I need Your help right now. I love what the psalmist wrote in Psalm 42. He was so honest with God. He says oh God my rock why have You forgotten me?
Why am I walking around in tears harassed by my enemies? By the way there is nothing wrong with burying your heart to God. He is not crying out against God. He is crying out to God. It is ok to say Lord I don't get this. Lord I don't like this. Lord this is frustrating.
Where are You? Why are my enemies prevailing over me? Why is this happening to me? It is ok to say that to God. But then I love what the psalmist does. He sort of corrects his own thinking. And in verse 11 he says why am I discouraged and why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God. I will praise Him again for He is my Savior and my God. I love the fact that he cries out to God in frustration. He is honest. It is heartfelt. He is candid.
And then he corrects himself. Hey man put your hope in God. You can yet trust Him. He has come through for you before.
He will come through for you again. So we cry out to God. Well we are focusing on the characteristics of spirit led believers today. As Pastor Greg brings a message called How to Live a Spirit Led Life from the book of Romans. Number four the Holy Spirit is at home in the hearts of spirit led believers. The Holy Spirit is at home in the hearts of spirit led believers. Verse 9. You who are in the Spirit if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you.
Now listen. When you become a Christian the Holy Spirit comes and lives inside of you. The Bible says that we are convicted by the Spirit and then ultimately when we believe we are sealed by the Spirit then the Bible tells us we can be filled with the Spirit and empowered by the Spirit.
So this all happens to the follower of Jesus. We were with our grandkids a couple nights ago and they were staying overnight and we were telling them about the Holy Spirit and about how the Lord is with us wherever we are. And then I started talking about angels for their bedtime story. And I told my granddaughter Allie. You know when angels appear they appear as men.
She said that is not fair because she wanted them to be girls too. And then I said to Christopher our grandson angels are with us in this room right now. And then he said that is kind of scary.
I thought that was hilarious. That is kind of scary. I said no it is not scary.
It is good. But the Holy Spirit comes in every believer. But this is very important wording that Paul uses here. He says if the Spirit dwells in you. The word dwell means to be at home. See there is a difference between the Spirit being in you and the Spirit being at home in you. Have you ever been to someone's house and you just feel at home?
You are comfortable. Have you ever been to someone's house and you don't feel at home? Let's say the mom and dad are having a fight there. I kind of want to go now. Let's say the house has a bad smell.
Well I don't want to be here much longer. See my point is simply some homes I don't want to be in other homes so I don't want to leave. And the idea here is the Holy Spirit is at home. He is at home. He is comfortable there.
Is He comfortable in your life? You know the Bible tells us that there are certain sins we can commit that offend the Holy Spirit. We can grieve the Spirit. We can make the Holy Spirit sad. We don't want to do that.
But we want to let Him have the rule of our home. In our home Kathy is in charge of all decor. All decisions of what colors, walls are, furniture, pictures. I will give my input. Now I have my little department. Anything mechanical I am into that. It is like we are buying a toaster.
I am going to research toasters now. I get into all that stuff. But you decide in the house. I will tell her what I think. And most of the time she is right. Sometimes they disagree.
What does it matter? We have peace. Peace in the home. Let the Holy Spirit have His way in your home. You can say, All right well Lord I kind of think this and I sort of think that. And the Holy Spirit is like, OK but this is what I want.
And that is what we are going to do. Because I want you to dwell in my heart. I want you to be at home in my heart. I want you to be comfortable there.
And I want you to be ruling there. One last point. Spirit-led believers overcome the old life. Spirit-led believers overcome the old life. Verse 13. If you live according to the flesh you will die. But if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live. You can't do it on your own. You can try all day long. Crucify the flesh.
Well no. Walk in the Spirit and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh. If you go forwards you won't go backwards.
The best defense is a good offense. A modern translation of Romans 8. 13 says, So don't you see that we don't owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent? There is nothing in it for us.
Nothing at all. The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life because God's Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go. That's a fun translation. And I think it really catches the gist of what Paul is saying. Listen. The best way to put something to death is deprive it of oxygen. You don't feed the flesh. You starve it.
Don't cater to those things. Focus your energies on walking in the Spirit and being closer to Jesus. One last verse. You said that was your last point.
I said that was the last point. This is the last verse. Verse 14. For as many as are led by the Spirit, they are the sons of God.
Closing question. Are you a child of God? Are you a child of God? You say, well we are all God's children. Actually we aren't.
I hate to break that to you. We are all created by God. We are all made in the image of God. We are all loved by God. But we are not all God's children in a technical biblical sense. The Bible says for as many as received Him, He gave them the power to become sons of God.
Daughters of God. So the way I become a child of God is not by birth in a Christian home. It comes about by rebirth. Jesus said you must be born again. There must be a moment when I say, Lord I know I am a sinner and I know you are the Savior. And I ask you to forgive me and come and live in my life. Then you are reborn. Born again.
And then you become a child of God. Back to this horrible story of this young lady who took her life. Who wrote, I have accepted hope as nothing more than delayed disappointment.
And I am just plain old fashioned tired of feeling tired. Oh I wish I could have told her hope is not delayed disappointment. I would have told her hope has a name and it is Jesus. And that is who you need. And that is who we all need right now. Applause. So we are pretty much done here. And we are going to pray in a moment. But I want to extend an invitation on this day to any of you here. Any of you watching.
Wherever you are. If you don't know Jesus Christ right now. If you are not sure you are a child of God.
Would you want to become one. If you have done something in your life you are ashamed of. Something you wish you had never done but you don't know what to do. I am telling you you can be forgiven of it. And there will be no condemnation in your life. But you must call out to God.
If you need to do this please respond to this invitation. As we close now in prayer. Let's all bow our heads if you would. Everyone praying. Father we have heard your word. We know you love us.
We know you sent Jesus to die on the cross for us. And now we pray that you will speak to us. And I pray specifically for anyone here or anyone watching. Or listening wherever they are. If they don't know you Lord. Bring them to yourself.
Right now. In Jesus name I pray. Amen. Pastor Greg Laurie with an important prayer. And if you would like to make a change today in your relationship with the Lord. Pastor Greg wants to help you with that. And he will do so before today's edition of A New Beginning concludes in just a few moments.
Well Pastor Greg I've read so many comments from people all over the country. Who just love the movie Jesus Revolution. And a lot of people have been asking if it's going to be available in some form.
That they can take with them. Maybe play at home after it disappears from theaters. What's your answer on that question? My answer is. Roll fanfare music now. Yes it's true Dave.
You can have your own personal copy of Jesus Revolution. You know I've talked to so many people who've seen this movie so many times. People have seen it two, three, four times. Some have seen it nine, ten, eleven times.
And you know one of the reasons they keep going back is. A. They love it.
And B. They love to take friends to see it. So I'm so excited to announce that we have an exclusive version of the Jesus Revolution DVD available for you to get. So you can have your own personal copy. Let me tell you a little bit about it. Now I know Jesus Revolution is streaming out there on Apple and Amazon. But this is different what we're offering.
Because number one. This special edition of the Jesus Revolution DVD has a message that I recorded. Done in a cinematic way as the sun was setting on the beach.
I share the gospel. I pick up where the film leaves off. And so this is the perfect thing to watch right after you've seen the film.
Especially if you had someone who was watching it who was not yet a believer. There's also a lot more bonus content that we will exclusively offer on our version of the Jesus Revolution DVD. And also it supports our ministry.
So instead of just buying it. When you get it from us. Listen for your gift of any size. And we're hoping you'll be generous with that gift.
Because this is one of the more expensive resources we have offered. But for your gift of any size. We will rush you your own copy of the Jesus Revolution DVD. And you can watch it nine times.
You can watch it 90 times. You can give it away. It's there for you to keep. So order your copy today and help us continue to preach the gospel. And teach the word of God right here on A New Beginning.
Yeah, that's right. And it would be our privilege to send a copy your way on DVD. And we'll also include a free streaming code. And we'll do that as soon as we hear from you. You can call us anytime 24 hours a day at 1-800-821-3300. That's 1-800-821-3300. Or write A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514.
Or go online to Harvest.org. Well Pastor Greg, today you wrapped up your message by talking about eternity. How can someone listening know that they're going to heaven?
Well that's a great question. And I guess, let me take it a step further. I know that is the most important question you can ask. How can a person know they're going to heaven? Let me say at the outset, I believe I'm going to heaven. In fact, I'll take it a step further. I know I'm going to heaven. You say, Greg, isn't that kind of arrogant?
Not really. Because I know this because God has made a promise to me. And I've believed that promise. The Bible says, we write these things to you that believe on the name of the Son of God. That you may know that you have eternal life. I've believed on the name of the Son of God. Thus I know I'll go to heaven when I die. Here's my question to you. Do you believe on the name of the Son of God? Is there any more important issue than that?
I can't think of one. So I'd like to lead you in a simple prayer. And this is a prayer where you will be asking Jesus to forgive you of your sin. And you'll be asking him to be your own savior, friend, Lord. It's a prayer only you can pray.
Pray these words if you would. Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner. But I know that you are the savior who died on the cross for my sin and rose from the dead. Jesus, come into my life. I want to believe in you. I want to follow you.
I want this relationship with you. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sin and rising again from the dead. And I thank you that you've heard this prayer. And I believe you've come into my life.
In Jesus' name I pray, amen. I want to help you grow in your faith. I want to help you grow spiritually. So I have a free gift for you. It's called the New Believers Growth Packet. What's in it?
No, not a bag of seeds to plant in your backyard. I guess it's sort of a form of a bag of seeds because I want to sow some spiritual seed in your life to help you develop as a follower of Christ. So I'm going to send you a copy of the New Testament in the New Living Translation, but it's a special edition. It's called the New Believers Bible. And it's filled with notes that I wrote that will encourage you in this new commitment or recommitment you've made to Christ. And there's some other materials in the New Believers Packet as well.
So order your copy today. And I'm so glad I had this privilege today to lead you in that prayer. God bless you.
You've made the right decision, the decision to follow Jesus Christ. Yeah, and here's how to get that New Believers Growth Packet. Simply call us at 1-800-821-3300.
We're here 24-7 for you. That's 1-800-821-3300. Or write us at A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514. Or go online to harvest.org and click the words, Know God. Well next time, Pastor Greg helps us see how spiritually minded people have all the resources they need to cope with the pain and perplexities life brings our way. More from our studies in the book of Romans. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher, Greg Laurie. This is the day, the day when life begins. Thanks for listening to A New Beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners. Helping people everywhere know God. Sign up for daily devotions and learn how to become a Harvest Partner at harvest.org.
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