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All Things | Greater Glory and Greater Good

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
May 23, 2023 3:00 am

All Things | Greater Glory and Greater Good

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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May 23, 2023 3:00 am

Many of us have heard stories of someone who made a trip to the doctor for some minor ailment, but then the doctor discovered something much more serious. Had it not been for the minor matter, that serious matter may have gone undetected. Are they not actually thankful for that minor ailment? Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie brings us perspective on the things that come our way, and how God uses them all for His greater glory, and our greater good. Important perspective today on our challenges.

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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. In Romans, we read all things work together for good to those that love God. Pastor Greg Laurie expands our perspective on that verse. For us, good is, well, just everything going our way, right?

Good is green lights. Good is good health. Good is everything happy. But sometimes an affliction or a hardship can be good because it can cause us to turn to God. So God can take what is perceived as a bad thing and can actually become a good thing in His hands. Many of us have heard stories of someone who made a trip to the doctor for some minor ailment, but then the doctor discovered something much more serious. Had it not been for the minor matter, that serious matter may have gone undetected.

Are they not actually thankful for that minor ailment? Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie brings us perspective on the things that come our way and how God uses them all for His greater glory and our greater good. An important perspective today on our challenges. We are going through the book of Romans together. And I love chapter 8. And I especially love verse 28. And I want us all to read it out loud together.

Ready? And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. But do we understand what this verse actually says? When the Bible says all things work together, that is not for the general public. It is not true for every person out there because all things don't work together.

There is sort of a variation of it. It says something along the lines of, well, all is well that ends well. And then we sometimes hear people say, it is all good man.

Well you know what? It is not all good man. Sometimes it is really bad. And things don't make sense. And things happen to us that are inexplicable. This is a very specific promise to a very specific person. And that person is someone who loves God. If you love God, and by that I mean if you put your faith in Jesus Christ and trusted Him as your Savior and Lord, you can lay hold of this promise for yourself no matter what you are going through right now. And there are things that happen to us that seem like they may be bad that are actually kind of good.

Example. For us good is, well, just everything going our way. Right? Good is green lights. Good are blue skies. Good is paid bills. Good is good health. Good is everything happy. And that is good.

I will agree with you on that. But sometimes an affliction or a hardship can be good because it can cause us to turn to God. Because sometimes when things are going really well, let's be honest, we forget God. We don't pray like we ought to. We don't read our Bibles that often. We just take these things for granted.

But when the bottom drops out and a crisis hits we drop right to our knees. And that is good. So God can take what is perceived as a bad thing and can actually become a good thing in His hands. In Psalm 119 there is a number of statements that Psalm says about this. First of all, in verse 67 he says, Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I have kept Your word. Then he writes in verse 71 of Psalm 119, It was good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn Your statutes. Then later on he writes, Your judgments are righteous, and in faithfulness You have afflicted me. Because you will go through things in life and you will say this isn't good.

But maybe it will turn out to be good. You know sometimes God is protecting us from ourselves. There is an interesting story of when Jesus fed the multitudes with the loaves and fishes. By the way that is the only miracle found in all four gospels. And after the miracle was done we read that the people wanted to make Jesus king.

And so Jesus said to His disciples get into the boat. And they went out across the Sea of Galilee and this great storm comes. And there are three kinds of storms that come into the life of the Christian. There are perfecting storms, correcting storms, and protecting storms. So there are correcting storms. We mess up. We bring these storms on ourselves.

That is what Jonah did more or less. Then there are perfecting storms. God allows hardship in our life to make us more like Jesus. But listen.

Then there are protecting storms. Jesus was protecting His disciples from all that adulation because He knew it would have gone to their heads and ruined them. The people wanted to be Christ's king.

And they would have ruled and reigned with Him. So we might say oh Lord I want to be famous. I want to be wealthy. I want to have everything this world has to offer. Do you?

Is that really the best thing for you? There is a film that a lot of people have gone to see Bohemian Rhapsody. And a whole new generation is discovering queen music. Now everywhere you go you hear queen music. We will rock you Bohemian Rhapsody.

We are the champions etcetera. And a lot of teenagers have discovered queen for the first time. But I hope we don't miss the bigger story of what really happened to Freddie Mercury born Farouk Bulsara in Zanzibar. He changed his name. He created a persona. And after he started achieving some success he lived a life of luxury and with unlimited funds diving head first into the pursuit of pleasure. Elton John a close friend of Freddie Mercury said Mercury was the only person who could out party him. Elton said Mercury had appetites that were unquenchable. And ultimately Freddie Mercury himself said in an interview he had created a monster.

In an interview he said and I quote, the monster is me. Success, fame, money, sex, drugs, whatever you want. I can have it all. But now I am beginning to see that as much as I created it I want to escape from it.

I am starting to worry. I can't control it as much as it controls me. End quote.

Freddie's excessive partying and lifestyle ultimately caught up with him and he passed away of complications due to AIDS in 1991 at the age of 45. Sad. You see those good things, those things that so many people want that didn't work out so well. So God can take what is perceived as a bad thing and bring good out of it and sometimes a good thing can actually be a bad thing. The classic example of the guy who lived out Romans 828 is not in the New Testament but in the old. His name is Joseph. And we all know his story. He is just a young guy.

You know there is not a single critical word said about Joseph in the entire narrative of a story that goes over many chapters of Genesis. But Joseph was favored by his father. So his dad gave him a super cool coat that was given only to the people who were sort of over the workers.

So instead of working in the fields like his brothers he had this nice coat and he would kind of cruise around wearing it. And maybe he was a little bit of a show off. Maybe he was a little too much of a snitch on his brothers.

But if those are the worst things he did it is not a lot. But his brothers despised him. They said, let's just kill our brother Joseph.

That will be the end of it. But then as they were preparing to kill him and thinking about it and talking about it a group of slave traders passed by. So they said, well let's just sell him to the slave traders. Make a little money off him. So they sold their brother to slave traders. And they go home to dad with this coat of many colors. Put some animal blood on it and said, oh sorry dad your beloved son Joseph got killed today by wild animals. Meanwhile Joseph is on his way.

Destination unknown. He is bought by a man named Potiphar who is actually effectively the head of security for the Pharaoh. And Potiphar brings him into his beautiful home. Puts Joseph in charge. And because Joseph is such a godly man everything is running along beautifully.

Potiphar is prospering. But Potiphar had a lustful wife that put her lustful eyes on young Joseph. She was the original cougar.

And day in and day out she would say basically have sex with me. And he refused her. And the Bible even tells us he was very good looking.

Very well built. But he refused her advances and said how can I do this horrible thing and sin against the Lord. And one day she decided to have every servant out of the house and only Joseph is there. And she grabbed him by the coat to pull him on the bed and he ran out of there as quickly as he could and she falsely accused him of rape. Now he is in prison.

From the time he went to the house of Potiphar to the time he was released from prison was around 11 years. How easily he could have doubted God. God what are you doing? I believed in you. I didn't give in to the advances of this woman. I lived a life of integrity.

And look where it has gotten me. But he waited. And ultimately the Pharaoh had a dream. And Joseph interpreted the dream. And it resulted in him being the second most powerful man in all of the kingdom of Egypt. He was in charge of the food supply because he told the Pharaoh a great famine was coming and Pharaoh believed him. So Joseph was over everything and now he can see the hand of God is working because his brothers come to Egypt looking for food because the only food supply was now under the control of Joseph. But they didn't recognize Joseph.

They thought he was dead. His head was probably shaved like an Egyptian. Had that cool Egyptian eyeliner. Walked like an Egyptian. He recognized them.

They didn't recognize him. And the day finally came for him to reveal to his brothers who he was. Boy this could have been the ultimate revenge story. He could have turned to his brothers and said, I have a particular set of skills.

Skills I have acquired over a long career that make me a nightmare for people like you. Oh sorry that was from Taken. Now this is it could have been payback time. But instead Joseph makes this amazing statement in Genesis 50 20. You intended to harm me but God intended it for good to save many people alive. Joseph are you crazy? Your brother sold you to be a slave. You were falsely accused of rape. You were in prison and you were an innocent man. What do you mean God intended it for good?

Because Joseph seemed to understand Romans 8 28 before it was even written that God was in control of his life. 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. When 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 we're focusing on Romans 8 28 today and Pastor Greg's message called All Things. Let's continue.

Don't miss this. This is the most important insight of this message. You might want to write this down. After Romans 8 28 is Romans 8 29.

Hey is that good or what? But it is good because Romans 8 28 says we know that all things work together for good to those who love God to those who are the called according to his purpose. Now look at verse 29. For whom he did foreknow he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his son that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. People will debate endlessly about who is and who is not predestined.

I will talk about that later. But they miss the point of what we are predestined for. What does it mean to be predestined? It means that God chose you before you chose him. Jesus said you did not choose me. I chose you and ordained you that you should bring forth much fruit.

So we will sit around and talk about who the elect are, who the elect aren't, who is chosen, who isn't chosen, and miss the whole point of why we were chosen. Why was I chosen? Again to bring forth spiritual fruit. Why did God predestine me? So I would be conformed into the image of his own dear son. So God's end game is to make you more like Jesus. Whatever you are going through right now it is to make you more like Jesus.

He is getting you ready for that day when you will see the Lord. So I don't know what your problem is right now. I am sure you have one. But I want you to know that it is going to ultimately be resolved. Maybe it will happen today. Maybe it will happen in a week. Maybe it will happen in a month. Maybe it will never be resolved in a way that you understand until much later.

Perhaps as you get older and reflect back in your life you will understand why. And for others it won't be resolved until you get to heaven. But you will understand that God is in control. Now look I want you to do something. If you have a pen or a pencil I want you to pull it out.

Now I want you to throw it at me. No don't. Please don't. No don't. I want you to take your pen or pencil and I want you to go to your Bible and I hope you write in your Bible. It is a good thing. Go to your Bible right next to Romans 8.28.

Draw a little bracket around it and over to the side. I want you to write down your problem. Maybe it is one word. Maybe it is two words.

Maybe it is three words. But whatever your problem is. Family problem. Financial problem. Health problem. Other problem.

Whatever it is just write it down. You say why? Because you are going to look back at that verse in a few months. Maybe a little later.

Maybe a little sooner. And you are going to start seeing how God is causing even that to work together for your good and for His glory. It will be a little reminder that God hasn't forgotten about you.

So wrapping this up. All things work together for good to those that love God. This is where you understand that all of life's events pass a point of providence.

This will give you equilibrium in the middle of a storm. Faith in the midst of doubt. Courage in the midst of danger. And hope in the midst of despair. So whatever is going on know God is in control. Remember Psalm 119 says all things are your servants. Ephesians 4 all things are done according to God's plan and decision.

You might say well I don't think that my problem will ever be resolved. Here is another verse that mentions all things. Matthew 19. With God all things are possible. All things. No not my problem. No it says all things.

It doesn't say most things or everything except your problem. With God all things are possible. You say but I am so weak.

Greg I can't go on another day. Paul says in Philippians 4 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. And some might say well I have really messed my life up. I have made so many mistakes. Even God couldn't sort this out. I am sorry I have to disagree with you because Revelation 21 5 says He that has seated on the throne says behold I make all things new.

All things new. Then He says write this down. That is why I like to write things down.

Write this down. These words are trustworthy and true. Yes even your mess can turn into a message.

Yes even your problem can be resolved. Yes God can even take what you have done that is wrong and bring something good despite it and He can make all things new. This is only true for the Christian. The greatest injustice in the history of humanity was when they took Jesus Christ the very Son of God and Savior of the world and beat Him, bludgeoned Him, whipped Him, and nailed Him to a cross made out of wood.

The worst thing that could have happened. Yet out of the worst thing that could have ever happened came the greatest good for all of humanity because there on the cross Jesus died for our sin and paid the price for every wrong we have ever done because all things work together for good to those that love God and are called according to His purpose. He died on that cross for you.

He did it because He loves you and because He wants to forgive you. As again as I said Romans 8 28 is for believers only. Maybe you are a non-believer here today watching wherever you are you say well it is all good man. It will all work out. No it won't.

It might get worse. But if you are a Christian all things work together for good to those that love God. So you need to start loving God.

You say how do I do that? You need to admit you are a sinner. Realize that Jesus Christ died on that cross for your sin, for my sin, for our sin. He rose again from the dead and He can come into your life and make all things new. He can make your family new. He can make your lifestyle new. He can make your future new. He can make everything new.

But you must come to Him and say Lord I am sorry. You know we have been having a lot of rain here in California haven't we? But one thing I like about rain is when it is over everything is clean. Even the people that don't wash their cars get a car wash. The streets are clean. And if things are just right you will see a rainbow.

That is nice. So God can do that for you. He can cleanse you and make all things new but you must come to Him and ask for His forgiveness. Is there somebody here today that needs to believe in Jesus? Is there somebody here watching me that needs to have all things made new?

Is there someone that needs to know they will go to heaven when they die? If that is you respond to this invitation let's all bow our heads. Father thank You for Your Word to us. Thank You for Your love for us.

Thank You that You really do make all things new. And I pray for anyone that has joined us that does not yet know Jesus. I pray that this will be their day to believe. This will be their moment to be forgiven.

This will be the time when all things become new for them. Help them to come to You and receive forgiveness from You now. In Jesus name I pray. Amen. Pastor Greg Laurie with an important word of prayer. And if you would like to make a change today in your relationship with the Lord, Pastor Greg would like to help you with that and he will do so before today's edition of A New Beginning concludes. Well Pastor Greg we're making available the film Jesus Revolution on DVD so many of our listeners have asked about that.

Nice. Well I read across a listener comment about the movie. This lady writes and says my husband took my 86 year old father to see the movie. Before it started I handed him some tissue.

He asked why. I told him he would probably get emotional during the movie because that was the era of his salvation. Well dad chuckled at me but when the movie was over he had used up all the tissue. That's so beautiful. So this was Lionsgate's most successful movie since 2019 but it's now available to watch in our own homes.

That's right. It's a great day isn't it? It really is. And I want to add one more story to that gentleman story. A lady writes me great movie. My kids are 10 and 11 and they loved it. My son who was 10 leaned over while the movie was playing and whispered that he was sorry for being disrespectful and he's planning to bring his Bible to school the next day so he could ask his friends to meet him at the pavilion at recess so he could tell them about Jesus.

He said I know mom that might sound kind of scary but I'm not scared because Jesus wants me to be bold. Wow. So you know think about this an 11 year old boy and an 86 year old man.

Isn't that amazing? All touched by this movie. This is a multi-generational movie. There's not a lot of movies you could sit down and watch with grandpa your mom and dad your son and your daughter and maybe even your grandkids but this movie kind of covers multiple generations in such a powerful way and we are very excited to announce that you can now order your own personal copy of the Jesus Revolution film on DVD. That means you can watch it as many times as you want.

You can show it to as many people as you want whenever you want. It was a blockbuster hit in the theaters shocking many people but I believe it was an answer to our prayers because we've been praying about this film for a long time. The movie connects. The movie impacts lives. The movie in a way does the heavy lifting.

Here's your job. Just get someone who's not a believer to sit down and watch the movie with you. You could show it to them on your computer.

You can show it to them in your front room. You can show it wherever you want to show it and afterwards there's a special message that I recorded that's uniquely on this DVD we're offering. It's about eight minutes in length where we shot it on a beach as the sun was setting really beautiful and I pick up where the story of the film leaves off and I tell a person how they can accept Christ and even lead them in a prayer. I'm telling you right now you will see people come to Christ with this movie as a tool if you get them to listen to it and watch it.

I think you might be surprised at what God will do. This is I believe the greatest resource we've ever offered in the entire history of Harvest Ministries. So get your copy today and I'll give it to you for your gift of any size but I want to be upfront. We have to pay more for this resource than we normally pay but we're not going to charge you. We're going to ask you to just send whatever you can but please be generous so we can continue to teach the word of God and proclaim the gospel right here in a new beginning.

Yeah that's right and we so much appreciate your generosity. We'll be glad to send you Jesus Revolution on DVD along with a free streaming code as soon as you contact us. Just give us a phone call at 1-800-821-3300.

You can reach us anytime around the clock at 1-800-821-3300 or write A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or go online to harvest.org. Well Pastor Greg you've mentioned before that someone can become a Christian with just a simple prayer. Maybe somebody would like to do that right now. Could you help them with that?

Sure I'd love to. A simple prayer is right. In fact I would like to just pray a prayer and I would ask you to pray it after me right now. Pray these words, Lord Jesus I know that I am a sinner but I also know that you are the savior because you died on the cross for my sin and you rose again from the dead.

Jesus come into my life and forgive me of every sin I've ever committed. I choose to follow you from this moment forward. Thank you for hearing this prayer. Thank you for answering this prayer Lord and I pray all of this in Jesus name.

Amen. If you just prayed that prayer and meant it I want you to know on the authority of scripture God Almighty has heard your prayer and he will answer this prayer. You are now a newly minted child of God so congratulations you've made the right decision and welcome to the family of God. I want to send you a special gift because of that prayer you've just prayed. It's called the New Believers Growth Packet and in it is a copy of the New Testament in a very understandable translation called the New Living Translation. It also is filled with hundreds of notes that I wrote that will encourage you in this commitment you've made to follow Christ and there's some other outstanding materials in this little packet I'll send you as well. So order your copy today and let me be the first to say to you congratulations and welcome to the family of God. Yeah and to get that New Believers Growth Packet just get in touch and we'll be glad to send it right out. You can call us anytime around the clock at 1-800-821-3300 that's 1-800-821-3300 or write A New Beginning Box 4000 Riverside California 92514 or go online to harvest.org and click Know God. Well next time Pastor Greg continues his study series in the book of Romans called Relentless Grace. We'll stay here in Romans chapter 8 for a message called Too Good to Keep to Yourself. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher Greg Laurie. 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.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-23 05:18:29 / 2023-05-23 05:28:54 / 10

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