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Just a Moment | Truths About the Will of God

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
June 30, 2023 3:00 am

Just a Moment | Truths About the Will of God

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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June 30, 2023 3:00 am

The Harvest Crusade is here this weekend! Join us in person at the Honda Center or online on July 1–2 at 6 PM PDT. Learn more here.

Campers who like to go out into the boondocks to find a remote campsite sometimes fly drones to look ahead at what’s around the next bend. They can make better decisions with a bird’s eye view. Well, we’ll make better decisions about our lives if we trust God’s view . . . the one that sees around the bend and w ell into the future. Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie brings some encouraging insights about the will of God and how it’ll keep us from being spiritually stranded in the boondocks.

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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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Ever feel lonely?

Afraid of the future? Pastor Greg Laurie has hope for you at the Harvest Crusade at the Honda Center. July 1st to 2nd with great music from Phil Wickham, Michael W. Smith, Chris Tomlin, plus music from Taya and passion. Bring the whole family and mission is free. It's the Harvest Crusade at the Honda Center July 1st to 2nd for detailsharvest.org You want to know God's will? Don't be afraid to say, not by will, but yours be done. Coming up today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie explains the joy and satisfaction that come when we commit to doing God's will, God's way. Oh, I don't want to say your will be done.

Why? Well, it will be what I want. It'll be harder.

Wait, what if it's better than anything you ever even imagine? Never be afraid to commit an unknown future to a known God. 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. Campers who like to go out into the boondocks to find a remote campsite sometimes fly drones to look ahead at what's around the next bend. They can make better decisions with a bird's eye view. Well, we'll make better decisions about our lives if we trust God's view, the one that sees around the bend and well into the future. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie brings some encouraging insights about the will of God and how it'll keep us from being spiritually stranded in the boondocks. Let's turn in our Bibles to James chapter four.

The title of my message, just a moment. The brevity of life is what James is addressing now and the importance of living your life in the will of God. James four, let's read a few verses.

I'm reading 13 to 17 from the New Living Translation. James says, look here. You who say today or tomorrow we're gonna go to a certain town and stay there a year.

We'll do business there and make a profit. How do you know what your life is gonna be like tomorrow, asks James. Your life is like the morning fog.

It's here for a little while, then it's gone. What you want to say is if the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that. Otherwise, you're boasting about your own pretentious plans and all such boasting is evil. Remember, James says, it is a sin to know what you want to do and not do it.

I'll stop there. Point number one, if you're taking notes, life is short, live it well. Life is short, live it well. James asks in verse 14, how do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Really what James is asking is what kind of life are you living? What are you doing with this precious gift called life right now?

It's an important question to answer because life goes by so quickly. Bringing me to point number two, we should plan for the future but put God's will first. Yes, plan for the future but put God's will first. The problem with these folks, James is addressing, is they're believers but they're living like practical atheists. By that, I mean they're not factoring God into anything. They're just making their plans and forgetting about God. James is reminding them, hey, keep God's will to the forefront of your life. To know God's will, point number three, you need to present yourself to God each and every day.

This is based on Romans 12, one and two, where Paul says, I urge you, therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies, and that means your total being, your personality, your will, your future, present your bodies to God as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable, which is your reasonable service, which means it's the logical thing to do. Then he says, don't be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may know what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God. You want to know God's will? Present yourself to him and don't be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

How do you do that? Fill it with scripture. Then you'll know God's will. What does he say about God's will? The good and acceptable will of God. God's will is good. God's will is perfect. Sometimes the Lord says no to us when we want to do something. He says no. God's out to ruin my fun.

No, no. The Bible says no good thing will he withhold from those that walk uprightly. So if God says no, it's for your own good. Now you're going to have to live a few years to figure that out maybe because you say, oh, no, I know better than God. Well, you'll see. Don't learn the hard way.

Maybe learn from the experience of others. No plan of ours can improve on the will of God. We only see bits and pieces. He sees the whole.

He sees the past, the present and the future in its total context as related to eternity. So don't be afraid to say not by will but yours be done. So here's what you need to do. You need to come to the Lord.

Say, all right, Lord, here's the life you have given me. Here are my plans. Here are my aspirations. Here are my dreams along with my weaknesses and shortcomings and sins.

I offer it all to you because I believe your plans are better than mine. That's really what this is all about. So I heard this story about a father and a son who went to the hardware store. The dad was finishing this purchase and the owner of the hardware store pointed to a big jar of candy right there on the counter. And he said to the little boy, son, take some of this candy. Grab a handful.

It's free. Little guy just looked up at his father. And then the hardware store owner again said, son, I told you the candy is free. Grab a handful.

Take as much as you want in your hand. Again, the little boy just looks up at his father. Finally, his dad grabs a handful of candy and gives it to his son. So they get in the car and they're driving home. The father asks the son, why didn't you grab the free candy?

The boy with the big smile said, because, dad, your hand is bigger than mine. You think you know where I'm going with this? God's hand is bigger than ours. Oh, I don't want to say your will be done. Why? Well, it won't be what I want.

It'll be harder. Wait, what if it's better than anything you ever even imagined? The Bible says he is able to do abundantly above and beyond that which you could ask or think. Listen, never be afraid to commit an unknown future to a known God.

He loves you. His plan for you is good. We need to include God in all of our plans. Look at verse 16.

Otherwise, you're boasting about your own pretentious plans and such boasting is evil. I read this the other day about a 45-year-old California man who was very successful in business. He made $800 million. So he sold his business. Now he has dedicated his life to becoming physically like an 18-year-old. He has employed 30 doctors, experts. He spends millions of dollars. He's on a strict vegan diet.

He applies creams every day, undergoes laser therapy, gets electromagnetic pulses along with strict exercise regimen and much more. He said, all right, go for it, I guess. But guess what? The length of your life is determined by God, not you.

Now you can be foolish. You can make bad decisions. You don't take care of your body.

You don't eat well and you can reap the consequences of that. But Jesus said in Matthew 6, 27, can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Number five, we need to give God the glory for our life and health. So whatever you've accomplished in life or whatever you're about to accomplish in life, just remember God gave it to you. There are some people that have done very well. They might say, I've done well.

I've intrude. I've invested well. I've saved. I've pivoted at the right moment and done great in life.

Okay, fantastic. But remember Deuteronomy 8, 18 says, remember the Lord your God gave you the ability to produce well. Okay, so whatever you've done, that's still a gift of God.

Yeah, but I worked hard. God gave you the ability to work hard. God gave you the breath in your lungs.

God is giving you the beat of your heart. The Bible tells the story of King Nebuchadnezzar ruling Babylon, which at that moment historically was the most powerful kingdom on the face of the earth. And it was a magnificent kingdom for sure. There before Nebuchadnezzar was all the glory of this community and city he had built. One day he went out to his royal balcony and he surveyed his mighty kingdom. Before him rose the hanging gardens of Babylon, one of the ancient world's seven wonders.

Stretched around Babylon were these huge walls that were 360 feet high, 87 feet thick, wide enough for six chariots to ride abreast. He's checking it all out and he says, check out this great city that I built. And the Bible says before he could finish the sentence, God brought his judgment on Nebuchadnezzar. He entered into a form of mental illness for a period of time where he literally thought he was an animal.

He was on all fours. God restored his sanity and Nebuchadnezzar turned to the Lord and believed in him. Remember, give God the glory for all that you have. 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, glad you're joining us for Pastor Greg's message today in James 4 called Just a Moment.

Let's continue now. One final point. We need to do what God has called us to do. We need to do what God has called us to do. Look at verse 17. Remember it's sin to know what you ought to do and not do it. This is speaking of the sin of omission. In the Bible there is a sin of commission and omission.

Do you know the difference? I heard the story of a teacher that was speaking to her Sunday school class. She said, kids, today we're going to talk about sin. First of all, there's a sin of commission.

Does anyone know what that is? Little girl sitting in the front was waving her hand. Teacher said, go ahead. What is the sin of commission? She said, the sin of commission is when you do something you should not do.

That's exactly right. Then the teacher asked the class, does anyone know what the sin of omission is? A little boy in the back of the room was waving his arm back and forth. Go ahead, son. What is the sin of omission? He said, the sin of omission, those are the sins you want to do but you haven't gotten around to yet.

Not exactly. The sin of commission is what you do when you do what you shouldn't do when you cross the line. When you break the commandment. When you fall short of the standard, which is God's glory. The sin of omission is when you know to do right and you don't do it. And I think Christians are more guilty of the sin of omission than they realize. To him that knows to do good, verse 17, and yet does not do it, to him it is sin. Let's take the gospel as an example. We have been commanded by Jesus to go into all the world and preach the gospel. That's what he says, go into all this world, preach the gospel, make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit, we say, amen.

Great. When's the last time you did it? When's the last time you engaged someone in a gospel conversation? Stats tell us that 95% of Christians have never led another person to Christ. 2% of church goers invited an unchurched person to church in the last year, 2%. I know someone, he's here right now, who has been coming here for a couple of years, and he has invited over 14 people to church with him.

He's always at the same seats, a couple more people. I need more people like him. If I had a church full of people like him, we could change Orange County and Riverside, right?

We could. That's great. When's the last time you just invited someone to come to church with you? See, the problem for many of us is the Great Commission has become the great omission. Let me say something that might sound controversial, but I think it's biblical and true. It can be a sin to not share your faith with someone. You're wrong, Greg. We should, but it's not a sin. Hold on.

To him that knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin. Let me illustrate. Let's say you're walking on the street, and there's a house on fire, and someone says, there's a child in there. Now I hope at the very least you will call 911. Maybe you'll be a hero and try to run in the burning house and save the child. But if you just kept walking, oh, first you take a picture. Got to post that on social. And you keep walking? That's irresponsible.

That's almost criminal. Now we have a whole culture that needs to know God. The Bible actually tells us that we should seek to snatch people from the flames of judgment. You say, oh, gosh, Greg, you know, I don't know. I'm afraid I'll say the wrong thing, or I won't have an answer to their question. Yeah, okay, so? I think you know more than you think you know. And I think you might be surprised at what will pop into your mind and out of your mouth when you take a step of faith and say, Lord, use me.

In fact, you might be so good you'll want to take notes on yourself. Well, where did that come from? Well, you'd never know where it came from if you don't take the step of faith. And I suggest to you that there are times the Lord has nudged you to engage that person.

You're walking along, there's some person sitting there on a bench all alone. They look sad and dejected. And maybe the Lord said, just go over there and tell them that they're loved by God. I want to do that. Why not? Well, what if they laugh at me? Yeah, well, what if they take an interest in what you're saying?

Let me take it a step further. What if they want to hear what you have to say? What if they come to Jesus Christ?

How about that? I'd rather take the risk and not have it go so well. But many times it goes better than you may think it will. And speaking of serving the Lord, I believe the Lord leads us all the time to serve Him. You know, it's interesting, the Bible uses different kinds of phrases over 58 times, like love one another, care for one another, pray for one another, encourage one another, support one another, one another.

That's what it's all about. Here's how you know you're maturing spiritually when it stops being about you and it starts being about others. Well, instead of coming to church, you don't say, what about my needs? But instead you say, I've been so blessed by God, how can I serve the Lord? And how do I serve God? I serve God by serving other people, serving the Lord by serving them.

How can I help? So when we get up here and say, you know, we could use some help in Sunday school, or, well, we could use some folks helping us in new convert counseling or helping people find their seats or park their cars, or, well, we could use some help over here or there. And you say, well, you know, here they are, Lord, send them. And instead I should be saying, here I am, Lord, send me. Let me loop back to what I said in the beginning and we'll wrap this message up.

I talked about living our lives well. They pass so quickly. You know, ancient merchants would often write the words memento mori over their accounting books. Ever heard that phrase before? Memento mori. It means think of death. That sounds kind of morbid. I don't want to think of death.

Well, maybe you should a little bit. The Bible says, teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts to wisdom. So it's not a morbid fascination with death, but it's an acknowledgement that it will come eventually. As I've often said, the statistics on death are quite impressive. One out of every one person will die unless the Lord comes for us first.

And I pray he does. But having said that, think about it. Now, why did they write memento mori over their accounting books? Because you check out your bank balance.

You didn't say, look how much money I have saved. Memento mori. One day you're going to give it to someone else. Get perspective. But you think about life in general. Think of the afterlife. It's not just about this life. It's about the next life, too. How we're living our life. How we're rewarded in the afterlife for how we live in this life.

These are all important things. But let me ask you this. What if this were your last day on planet earth?

Someone's name is going to be in the obituary column tomorrow. It's never going to be us. But one day it will be. And where are you going to spend eternity? Now, if you're a Christian, you don't have to be afraid. Because the Bible promises you'll go to heaven.

And you'll be in the presence of God where there is fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore. But if you're not a Christian, according to scripture, you will face judgment. Yes, there is a hell. And the last thing God wants is for anyone made in his image to spend eternity separated from him in this place called hell. Hell was not created for people. Hell was created for the devil, Jesus said, and his demons. So if you're following the devil and his plan and his agenda and you end up in hell, in the end you'll have no one to blame but yourself.

Because the gates of hell are locked from the inside. You made that choice. You made that decision and it was a wrong one.

You don't need to make that decision. This is why Christ died on the cross, you see. He died for our sin.

He took the penalty we should have taken so we don't have to face it. He came to pay a debt he did not owe because we owed a debt we could not pay. And then three days later he rose again from the dead and he's alive and he's with us right now wanting to come into your life. And reveal his plan for you which is better than your plan for yourself. He says he stands at the door of your life and he knocks and if you'll hear his voice and open the door he'll come in. But listen only you can ask Christ to come into your life.

I can't do that for you. Only you can open that door and say Jesus I want you to forgive me of my sin. I want a relationship with you. So I want to close with an invitation for you to ask Christ to come into your life so you can know with certainty you'll go to heaven when you die. Let's pray. Father I pray for every person here.

Every person watching and listening. If they don't know you I pray that your Holy Spirit will convict and convince them of their need for you and that they will turn to you right here right now. We ask this in Jesus name. Amen. An important prayer from Pastor Greg Laurie with those who know they need to make a change in their relationship with God today. And if you'd like to make that kind of change, Pastor Greg will come back and help you do that in just a moment 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's 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 that's incredible. You know think about this an 11 year old boy and an 86 year old man 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. And today is our last opportunity to mention this, so get in touch right away. 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 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 pray that prayer in a minute, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, has come into your life. So congratulations. You're now a Christian. Now continue to follow the Lord. Yeah, and to help you, we'd like to send you some resource materials 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 free of charge. Call us at 1-800-821-3300. We can take your call anytime.

Again at 1-800-821-3300. Or go online to harvest.org and click Know God. Hey, I don't know if you know about this, but we have a weekend service called Harvest at Home.

Exclusively for people that are tuning in literally from around the world. Listen to this. We even have harvest groups where you can get into a small group with folks from all around this planet of ours and study the Word of God. So join us this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, for Harvest at Home at harvest.org. Well next time, as Pastor Greg continues his study series called Walk This Way, we take a look at the imminence of the Lord's return and how we can be ready. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher, Greg Laurie. The preceding podcast was made possible by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God. Learn how to become a Harvest Partner, sign up for daily devotions, and find resources to help you grow in your faith at harvest.org.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-30 05:13:53 / 2023-06-30 05:25:26 / 12

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