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Hope is On the Way | Finding Our Way With God's Word

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
June 20, 2023 3:00 am

Hope is On the Way | Finding Our Way With God's Word

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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June 20, 2023 3:00 am

Some comedians have stopped performing on college campuses. Why? Political correctness is more important than humor. And on some campuses, the biblical values we once held sacred are now considered hate speech. Look at TV. Curse words and innuendo flow freely, but traditional family values are deemed offensive. Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us find our bearings. The Apostle Paul and several contemporaries show the way.

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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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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. It's a lens of the Word of God. Now I know how to see things, how to think.

The gospel establishes you. Some comedians have stopped performing on college campuses. Why? Political correctness is more important than humor. And on some campuses, the biblical values we once held sacred are now considered hate speech.

Look at TV. Curse words and innuendo flow freely, but traditional family values are deemed offensive. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us find our bearings. The apostle Paul and several contemporaries show the way. Romans 16. We have a lot of personal greetings from Paul to his Christian family and friends. What an honor it would be to be mentioned by name by the apostle Paul in one of his epistles. Especially if your name was Phoebe or Aquila and Priscilla and some other names we'll identify. But it was not a good thing to have your name mentioned in an epistle of Paul if your name was Demas or Alexander the coppersmith.

Because they were mentioned as people who effectively had betrayed him. So someone would come up and say, I have some good news and some bad news. What's the good news?

You're in Paul's epistle. Your name is going to be known for generations to come. They'll be reading about you 2,000 years from today. That's the good news.

What's the bad news? He didn't have very good things to say about you. Well he had some very good things to say about Phoebe. How many of you have ever heard of Phoebe?

Raise your hand. She's kind of embedded here in Scripture. Romans 16 one. I commend you Phoebe our sister who is a servant of the church in Centuria that you may receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints and assist her in whatever business she has need of you. For indeed she has been a helper of many and of myself also.

Phoebe helped so many people over the years. The word that Paul uses here for her helping comes from a single Greek word that translates out to benefactress. You've heard the phrase a benefactor.

That's a supporter. Someone who invests in something. She was a great benefactress to many. She must have been a successful businesswoman who shared her resources and finances to assist the apostle and assist the church.

You know so often we hear about the Peters and the Pauls but we forget about the Phoebes and the Lydia's. Who is Lydia? Lydia is in the book of Acts and she is identified as a seller of purple. Does that just mean she was obsessed with purple things?

No. Back in that day purple was the color of royalty. It meant that she dealt with luxury goods.

Today we might call her a designer. And she was very successful and so she took her resources and supported the apostle. Then there is Mary Magdalene that traveled around with Jesus and the others and she supported them as well. So we celebrate the Peters and the Pauls and the John's but sometimes we forget about the Phoebes and the Lydia's and the Mary's.

And everybody has a very important role to play. Giving your money is just as spiritual as preaching a sermon is. You know it is interesting because Paul earlier there in Romans 15 compared our gifts as fruit. And Jesus said, Here is my Father glorified that you bring forth much fruit.

Jesus is looking for spiritual fruit in your life. I was at the market the other day. All my favorite fruit is out. I love peaches. I love nectarines. I love plums. I love cherries and I love watermelon. So I went to the market looking for fruit. Then you kind of picked the fruit up and you squeezed it a little bit. And if you are like me you take a lot of random bites out of the fruit. No I don't.

I don't really. But looking for fruit. So Jesus is looking for fruit too. Hey is there fruit in your life?

You say well what do you mean by that? Well then I will give you three illustrations of how the word fruit is used of a Christian. Number one when I praise and thank God that is a form of spiritual fruit. When I praise God. When I glorify Him. When I worship Him. Hebrews 13 15 says, Let us continually offer this sacrifice of praise to God that is the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name.

So if we are having a time of worship and your lips aren't moving the fruit is missing. Well I am doing it in my heart man. Move your lips. Move them.

Move them. Give praise to God with your lips. Lift your hands to the Lord. Well the Lord knows I love Him. I know but that is what the sacrifice of praise is about. You see the sacrifice of praise means I give God glory when I don't feel like it. And I don't always feel like it.

And you don't always feel like it. But we do it anyway and that is a form of spiritual fruit. Another form of spiritual fruit is bringing people to Christ. Bringing people to Christ. Paul wrote to his friends in Rome in Romans 1 13, I had planned to come to you that I might have some fruit among you just as among other Gentiles.

So what he is saying is hey when I am with you I am hoping you are going to tell me some great stories about people coming to Jesus. This is also said in Proverbs 11 30 when it says the fruit of the righteous is the tree of life and he that wins souls is wise. So worshiping God sacrificially that is a form of fruit. Leading people to Christ that too is a form of fruit. And thirdly and lastly giving our finances is a form of fruit because Paul says I want to see fruit from you so there will be fruit to your account. Now we are introduced to Aquila and Priscilla. How many of you have heard of Aquila and Priscilla?

Good. You are the Bible students out there. So he mentions them here in Romans 16 3. Give my greetings to Priscilla and Aquila my co-workers in the ministry of Christ Jesus.

In fact they have risked their lives for me and I am thankful to them. And so are all the Gentile churches also give my greetings to the church that meets in their home. Aquila and Priscilla. They weren't preachers that we know of but they helped preachers. In particular there was this fiery preacher named Apollos. But some of his theology was not right. So we read that Aquila and Priscilla took Apollos into their home and taught him the word of God more accurately in Acts 18 26.

They said Apollos come on let's work on a few of these things and get you right in this way and so he could be even more effective. And so they were so used by the Lord. You see thank God for the Phoebe's and the Mary's and the Priscilla's and the Aquila's and the Lydia's. The unsung heroes of the Bible. How many of you have heard of Billy Graham. Raise up your hand. You've heard of Billy Graham. Yeah pretty much everybody. How many of you have heard of Henrietta Mears.

Raise your hand. Henrietta Mears like nobody. Well I haven't heard of her either and I don't know why I even mentioned her name. No seriously she was a lady in heaven now. But Henrietta Mears taught a Sunday school class for kids and young adults at the First Presbyterian Church in Hollywood. Among those who attended her class were Bill Bright and a young man named Billy Graham. Now Bill Bright went on to start Campus Crusade for Christ and Billy Graham went on to well be Billy Graham and touch the whole world.

So Henrietta Mears we don't know much about her but she invested in their lives and she impacted their lives. And I want to just say a word to you that labor and relative obscurity the Lord knows what you are doing and you will be rewarded for it. Maybe the Lord has called you to be a Sunday school teacher and you don't know what impact you are making. Who knows that that student in your class could not be the next Bill Bright, Billy Graham, or whoever that God would use dramatically. Or how about that person that helped you find your seat. How about that person that helped you park your car. How about that person that talks to folks and they make a commitment to Christ. How about all these volunteers in our church.

Let's give them a round of applause because they matter so much. You are so powerfully used by God. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. We continue to hear from so many who have been touched by Pastor Greg's film Jesus Revolution. My husband and I took my 86 year old father to see the movie. Before it started I handed him some tissue. He asked why and I told him he would probably get emotional during the movie because that was the error of his salvation. When most of our family was saved.

Dad chuckled at me but when the movie was over he had used up all the tissue. Thank you Greg for a great movie. What an encouragement to hear how the Jesus Revolution film continues to impact lives. Do you have a comment to share with Pastor Greg? If so, email him. Greg at harvest dot org.

That's Greg at harvest dot org. And now Pastor Greg continues his study from Romans 16 called Hope is on the Way. Now here's another really interesting Bible character. Rufus. How many of you have heard of Rufus?

Well I'll tell you what. He's right here mentioned by Paul. Romans 16 13. Greet Rufus whom the Lord picked out to be his very own and also his dear mother who has been a mother to me. Wow.

What a compliment. To have the apostle Paul say a woman has been like a mother to him. I've been talking a little bit today about young people and so many of them today are coming from broken homes. They've never known a father or maybe their mother never has had time for them or maybe they didn't even have parents to speak of. They need fathers and mothers. They need spiritual mentors.

Mother figures. Father figures that can help them in life. To mentor them. To listen to them. To pray for them.

To love them. You can be that person for someone and so this lady who is not named was like a mother to Paul. So this is the mother of Rufus. Now Rufus had a brother and his name was Alexander.

And Rufus and Alexander were the sons of Simon the Cyrenian. Have you ever heard of Simon the Cyrenian? Ok so he's the guy that carried the cross for Jesus. Remember when Jesus was carrying his cross through the streets of Jerusalem and fell beneath its weight? So the Roman guards are looking for someone to carry the cross and they picked this guy Simon who was from out of town for Passover. I just sort of think he was probably a big guy because that cross was heavy. Hundreds of pounds. Hey you come here.

Pick this thing up. Simon's like what did they pick me? Maybe he was unhappy about it. And he picks up that massive wooden cross already covered in the blood of Jesus. And he's carrying it along and next to him is Jesus and he's looking over at Jesus and the whole thing is starting to impact him. Like this isn't just some criminal.

Who is this man? Well did Simon come to Christ? Well I think he did and I'll tell you why. Because I read now in an epistle that both of his boys Rufus and Alexander are following Jesus and his wife is like a mother to the apostle Paul. So I think what happened putting these things together connecting the dots after he carried that cross for Christ he believed in Jesus. And man what a testimony he would have had.

Can you imagine? We're going to have Simon the Cyrenian speak tonight and tell us about the time he carried the cross of Jesus. Okay I want to hear that message. Simon the Cyrenian. Rufus. Incredible stories.

Incredible people. And now this powerful closing benediction in Romans 16 from Paul verse 25. Now all glory to God who is able to establish you according to my gospel. This message about Jesus Christ has revealed his plan for you Gentiles. A plan kept secret from the beginning of time. But now as the prophets foretold and as the eternal God has commanded this message is made known to Gentiles everywhere so that they might believe and obey him.

Because all glory goes to the only wise God through Jesus Christ forever. Amen. Wow. The secret is out. You know when my grandkids were small I used to have this thing I would do where I would take them to secret places. There was a park maybe a mile from our house and there was a park that was closer. So I would say do you want to go to the regular park or do you want to go to the secret park? It wasn't secret. It was just another park. They said Papa we want to go to the secret park.

And to this day we still call it that. Kathy said I'm going to the secret park. It makes me laugh. It's not a secret. It's in plain sight. Or we'd go into a restaurant and I'd say to the kids okay do you want to go in the normal way or do you want to go in the secret way? We want to go the secret way Papa. So I just go in the back door.

Here we are. Secret. Nobody does this. They like that. And now they know it's not a secret anymore. And we know this isn't a secret anymore. It's plainly there in Scripture. And it's the gospel. I like how Paul says it's my gospel. It's a great moment when it becomes your gospel. Yes it's the gospel. But it's your gospel. You've internalized it. You believe it.

You know it's true. And notice that he says my gospel which establishes us. See it doesn't just save us. It establishes you. The gospel saved you. It saves you. And it will save you in the future.

First of all it saves us. The moment I believe in Jesus my name is written in the Lamb's book of life. And no one will ever take my name out of the Lamb's book of life.

Number two. It's saving me. The power of the gospel helps me to overcome sin and addiction and the attacks of the enemy. And finally it will save me one day when I take that last breath on planet earth.

I'll be taken into the presence of God. And it establishes me. I know what I believe.

I know what is true. I have a lens now by which I view the world. It's not the lens of emotion. It's not the lens of culture. It's not the lens of what is supposedly cool. It's a lens of the Word of God. Now I know how to see things. How to think.

How to live. The gospel establishes you. And really the book of Romans has been just a declaration of the gospel. In fact it's the most basic comprehensive statement of what the gospel is in all of the Bible. That's why it said in our first message of the book of Romans it's been defined the gospel taught to believers. And we have what is sometimes called the Romans road.

I like to close with this. The Romans road. And what the Romans road is simply is how to come to Jesus all from the book of Romans. The first step in the Romans road is Romans 3.23.

It says all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. In the book of Romans I learned that no matter how good of a person I am. No matter how kind I am. No matter how wonderful I am.

Or charitable I am. I'm not good enough to get to heaven because I've broken His commandments and I've fallen short of His standards. But step number two on the Romans road is the wages of sin is death. So there's a penalty for my sin.

But then some good news. The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ. Then over in Romans 5.8 the next step says God demonstrated His love toward us. The why we were yet sinners Christ died for us.

So what have I learned? I'm a sinner. There's a penalty for my sin. But there's also a solution for my sin. And it's Jesus.

And then finally I learn in Romans 10.13 everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved. Oh now there's a way out. See if you're out at the beach and you get caught in a riptide. Or you're out too deep or something happens and you need help.

And there's a lifeguard there. You need to call out for their help. They can't read your mind.

You're going to have to wave your hand. You're going to have to say help and they'll come. And they'll save you.

That's their job. And here's Jesus waiting. And if you'll call upon Him He will come and rescue you. And I wonder if some of you need to call upon Jesus today. Maybe you have lost hope as I was talking about earlier. Maybe you've been so despondent in life you've even contemplated suicide.

I don't know. But I know that hope has a name. And it's Jesus. And He's standing at the door of your life right now and He is knocking.

And He is saying if you'll hear His voice and open the door He will come in. Listen do you need Jesus today? He has everything you're looking for. This culture doesn't have it. This world doesn't have it. But Jesus has it. He has it for you.

And what you need to do is call out to Him. And in a moment we're going to pray. And I'm going to extend an invitation to anybody here.

Anybody listening wherever you are. If you're not sure that Christ is living in your heart. If you don't have confidence that your sin is forgiven. If you want to have this hope we've been talking about. And if you want to know that you'll go to heaven when you die.

And have a life that is worth living. Respond now as we close in prayer and as I extend this invitation. Let's all pray together. Father thank You for Your Word to us.

Thank You for Your love for us. Thank You for sending Jesus to die in our place. And now we pray that Your Holy Spirit will convict and convince those that do not yet know You of their need for You. And Lord help them to call out to You. In Jesus name I pray.

Amen. Pastor Greg Laurie with an important prayer. And if you'd like to make a change today in your relationship with the Lord. Pastor Greg will help you do that in just a moment before today's edition of A New Beginning concludes.

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 saying to you guys, 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'll 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. And then 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 and 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 prayed that prayer and meant it, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, has come into your life. So congratulations, you're now a Christian. Now continue to follow the Lord. And to help you as you follow the Lord, we'd like to send some materials your way we call our New Believers Growth Packet.

It'll answer many of the questions you might have, and get you started off right in your new relationship with the Lord. So get in touch and ask for it. We'll send it to you free of charge. You can call us anytime 24-7 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 and click on Know God.

Well next time, a practical message we all need to hear. It's called How to Deal with Trials and Temptations. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher, Greg Laurie. This is the day, the day when life begins. 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 / 2023-06-20 05:31:54 / 2023-06-20 05:42:23 / 10

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