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. When we take our eyes off of Jesus and we allow our minds and hearts to be filled with doubt, fear, and anxiety, we can start to sing. Here's what you need to do. Cry out to Jesus. Problems often bring worry and fear, and fear and worry make it difficult to solve problems, and that causes more fear and worry. Many of us have been caught in a downward spiral like that, but often when we get to the end of ourselves, we get to the beginning of God. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie points out that the Lord is ready to help, but He waits for our invitation.
What is it that has you backed into a corner today? Help us on the way from the book of Romans. Why don't you grab your Bible, and we're going to look at two passages. One is John chapter 14, and the other one is Matthew chapter 14. So, John chapter 14, a very familiar passage, one that I really love.
Jesus says, let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions. If it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you, and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself. There where I am, you know, and you may be there also. Where I go, you know, and the way, you know.
We'll stop there. The word that Jesus uses here for trouble is a picturesque word. It means don't let your heart shudder. Have you ever had your heart shudder?
Just really bad news, something that just was a shock to your nervous system. He says don't let your heart shudder. One day, Jesus said to His disciples, let's cross over to the other side, and they got in the boat, made their way across the Sea of Galilee, which is actually a massive freshwater lake, and then a huge storm came, and the waves were beating against their little boat, but Jesus was asleep. They woke Him up and said, Master, don't you care that we're perishing? And He arose and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind stopped, and the water was calm, and Jesus turned to them and said, Why are you so afraid?
Don't you have any faith? See, what they saw was Jesus had the power to stop nature's havoc if He chose to when He said, Peace, be still. And sometimes Jesus will come into the midst of your problem and say stop, and it stops.
And other times He's just with you as you face your problem, but I look at it this way. Better to be in a storm with Jesus than anywhere else without Him. If Jesus is on board my boat, then I'm okay. And by the way, Jesus said, Let's cross over to the other side. He didn't say, Let's go out to the middle of the Sea of Galilee and I'll die.
He said, Dad, I would not have gotten on that boat. He said, Let's go to the other side. He did not promise them smooth sailing, but He did promise them a safe arrival.
And the same is true for us. He has not promised you smooth sailing in life, but He has promised you a safe arrival. You will get to the other side.
Well, I want to look at one last story. This is also on the Sea of Galilee. This is also about Jesus out there during a storm, but this one's a little different. It was a stormy night and the disciples were on the boat, but Jesus was not on board with them on that particular occasion. And then they turned and saw Jesus walking over the tops of those waves. And that brings us to Matthew 14, verse 27.
If you haven't turned there yet, look at that. Matthew 14. Immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, Be of good cheer.
It is I. Don't be afraid. Peter answered them and said, Lord of the Jews, command me to come to you on the water. Jesus said, Come. And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water. And when he saw, you might underline those two words, he saw the wind was boisterous, he was afraid, and beginning to sink, he cried out, saying, Lord, save me.
We'll stop there. So why did Peter sink? Because he was afraid. Fear makes us sink. We all know the feeling.
Everything's going great. Then all of a sudden we're gripped with anxiety and fear, and we're practically drowning in our doubts. Faith gives way to fear, trust to worry, and when faith reigns, fear has no place, but when fear reigns, faith is driven away. Why did Peter sink? Number one, because he took his eyes off of Jesus.
Verse 30, he began to sink and he cried out. He was doing really well. I mean, let's give him some credit. You know, people critique Peter because he was so outspoken and said, honestly, some pretty crazy things, but there's a lot of ink given to Peter. He talked to Jesus and made many statements, far more than any of the others in the gospel. So he had a lot to say.
You always know where you stood with Peter. But, hey, he's the only guy that had the courage to actually try to walk on water. And Jesus actually said, come, and he came, and of course he began to sink. He started to sink.
Why? Well, he took his eyes off of Jesus. Years ago, we were in Hawaii, and Jonathan was much younger then, and he wanted to learn how to scuba dive. So I said, okay, well, let's put you through a little course, and the way it worked is they would train you for a day, and then you would go out for a dive the next day with a certified instructor. So I met the instructor, and I said, well, I'm certified, too. And he says, oh, good, you can come on the dive tomorrow.
I said, good. And so Jonathan went through his whole day of training, and the next day he came, and it was kind of stormy, and all the boats were pitching out there on the water, and I was hoping they'd cancel the dive. And no, it was on still, so we all got on the boat. Now the problem is I had not dove for quite a long time, and I was a little rusty, and I'm getting the equipment on, and you've got the weight belt, and you've got the regulator, and the mask, and the tanks, and the fins, and everything. And you're sitting on a boat, and the way we were to get in is just fall backwards into the water, which is the last thing you want to do when you have a bunch of weight attached to you. And so I was a little nervous because I was hoping I would remember everything, and I didn't like the way the water was moving around, and Jonathan looked pretty scared, so I just didn't want to show him I was scared, too, because I'm certified, right?
I'm supposed to be cool and calm. So we go in the water, and we're under a bit, and it's even worse there. And I look over at Jonathan, and his eyes were as big as saucers. They were huge.
They were huge. He's totally panicking. And he's looking over at the instructor, and the instructor says to him, Jonathan, look at me. Jonathan, look at me. And then he says to Jonathan, remember your training. And I'm looking at the instructor, too, going, okay. I don't know what the training was, but I'm looking at you.
Are we gonna live through this? Well, everything was okay. But I thought that was pretty good advice. Look at me and remember your training. So when we're looking to Jesus, we can do crazy things, wonderful things, faith-filled things, seemingly impossible things. But when we take our eyes off of Jesus and we allow our minds and hearts to be filled with doubt, fear, and anxiety, we can start to sink just like Peter started to sink. But when that happens, here's what you need to do. Cry out to Jesus. Look at verse 30.
Beginning to sink, he cried out, Lord, save me. There's nothing wrong with doing that. What is it that is in us that makes us say, well, I can fix this. I can get through this. I can control this.
Actually, maybe you can't. And really what you need to do is call out to the Lord. Oh, it's a sign of weakness.
I actually think it's a sign of intelligence. I think it's a sign of stupidity to think you don't need God's help. I love what Jesus said, verse 31. Immediately, Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him.
Peter's going down. He catches him, pulling him up, and he says, oh, you of little faith, why did you doubt? Interesting thing, these words little faith is one word in the Greek, and there's sort of a tenderness to it. Oh, little faith. Not two words, one word. Oh, little faith.
Almost like a nickname. Oh, little faith. Buddy, I know I named you Peter, and I know that means rock, and I know rocks sink, but hey, man, you were doing well. You were on a roll. Why did you doubt? Why did you take your eyes off of me?
And then he lifts them up, and they walked back to the boat. Maybe you're sinking right now. You're filled with fear and anxiety and worry, and you feel defeated.
Maybe you're in the grip of some addiction. You say, oh, I can handle it. I've handled this before, and then you've fallen. You've fallen off the wagon, and you're back in that same state again. You never thought you'd be there again, but there you are, and you're wondering, can I ever get out of this again? I feel like I'm sinking.
It's the worst it's ever been. Or maybe there's somebody that has a marriage that's unraveling. You think, I don't think there's any hope for my marriage.
Or there's somebody else that's dealing with some other problem, but you need to call out to the Lord and remember that God is in control of your life. 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, we're getting some good insight today from Pastor Greg on living a worry-free life from a study called God's Answer to Fear, Anxiety, and Worry, Part 1.
Let's continue. Romans 8, 28 says, For we know that all things work together for good to those that love God and are they called according to His purpose. Verse 29, For whom He foreknew, He also did predestined to be conformed into the image of His own dear Son.
So here's how it works. Something bad happens, and we quote Romans 8, 28. Well, all things work together for good. So no matter how bad it is, it's going to be good. That's not what the verse says. It says all things work together for good.
It doesn't even say that God makes all things good because some things are bad. If you lose a loved one, that's bad. That's sad. That's hard. Well, it'll work together for good.
No. God will bring good despite this tremendous loss. There's other hardships you may be facing. Don't try to think that everything has to become good. God will bring good despite some of the bad things He allows in our life.
But here's another big picture. One day when I get to heaven, I may realize that those so-called bad things were maybe actually good things. I don't know that I could understand that, this side of heaven.
But on the other side, I'll say, oh, I get it. You were using that to conform me into the image of your own dear Son. You were using that to prepare me for something still in my future and actually my loved one that died. And I felt so bad about that.
They were in pure bliss and happiness, but I was suffering because I missed them. But now I see that you even had a purpose in that. There's a lot of mysteries. We're not going to figure out this side of heaven. So we just need to trust Him until that day.
But whatever you're going through can be turned around. I read an illustration used by Chuck Swindoll in a book that he wrote about a man that was shipwrecked on an uninhabited island. He painstakingly built a little hut for protection from the elements where he could keep the few items he had salvaged from the rep. And for weeks he lived in this little hut and he would shelter himself from the storms that would come. And every day he would scan the horizon prayerfully hoping for someone to come and rescue him. And then he would go out for a while and search for food and come back to his little hut. And one day while he was out searching for food he came back and was horrified to find his little hut, where his few possessions were, was in flames. Now everything that he had was completely gone. He could not believe his bad fortune. And he fell asleep that night thinking how badly things had gone.
Why would this happen? And then he awoke to the sound of someone's voice and it was the captain of a boat had just arrived. And he said, we saw your smoke signal and we came to rescue you. So sometimes what we think is the worst disaster is a smoke signal leading to our deliverance.
The worst case scenario can actually be exactly what the Lord has ordered for your life. There's one final movement in this story and I'll close. As Jesus is walking to them on the water in Mark's version it says, and he would have walked right past them.
I love that detail. It's like here they are freaking out in the water. They see Jesus walking and he doesn't even walk to them. He's just kind of walking by like, hey guys, how's it going? I'm Jesus. I'm just walking around on the water.
Because when you're God you can do stuff like this. It's amazing. And they're like, no, Lord, Lord, come on board our boat. We need you here. Oh, you want me to come? Yeah, we want you to come.
Sure, here I come. And I think the reason Jesus did this is he won't force his way into anybody's life. You know, you have your problems right now.
I don't want Jesus. Okay, he won't force his way into your life. Go ahead and deal with your troubles in your own way. Freak out, worry, be filled with anxiety. That's not going to help. Turn to drugs, turn to drinking, turn to whatever it is you think is going to fix it.
That's not going to help you. Or you can call out to him. But I'm telling you, the moment you call out to him, he will hear your prayer and he will answer your prayer. The Bible says whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved. And the verse that sums it all up is Revelation 3.20 where Jesus says, Behold, I stand at the door and I knock, and if you'll hear my voice and open the door, I will come in.
How easily he could have said, I'm God, you're not. I'm kicking the door in, so get out of the way. By the way, have you ever tried to kick a door in?
I did once. We were living in a little house in Riverside and we were locked out and we couldn't get in. And so I thought it would be a great idea to kick the door in. And I did after like 25 kicks and practically dislocating my leg, but John Wayne did it with one kick, right?
So it's not so easy to do. He could have kicked his way in. He could force his way in. He says, hey, if you don't want me in your life, I won't come in your life. But if you want me in your life, I'll be there.
I'll be there and I'll help you. And I wonder if there's somebody here that's sinking. Maybe you're sinking in addiction. You're sinking in despair. You're sinking in loneliness.
You're sinking in anxiety. In reality, you're sinking in sin. And your only hope is Jesus. If you'll call out to Him, He'll reach out and pull you out.
But you have to ask for His help and call in His name. He died on the cross 2,000 years ago for you. Let me finish the verse I quoted earlier, John 14, where he says, There where I am, you know, and you may be there also. Where I go, you know, and the way, you know. And Thomas said, we don't know the way you're going, and we don't even know what you're talking about. He says, I am the way, the truth, and the life, and no man comes to the Father but by me. So now he's telling us how to come into a relationship with the Father through Him and only through Him. All roads don't lead to God. All religions don't pray to the same God as some would assert. No. We're calling on the true and living God, and the only way to come to Him is through Jesus.
Why? Because only Jesus died on the cross for the sin of the world. No guru did that. No prophet so-called did that.
No other leader did that. But Jesus died for us, and then He rose again from the dead, and He's alive, and He's with us here right now. And He'll come into your life and forgive you of your sin, but you must ask Him to. In a moment we're going to pray, and I'm going to extend an opportunity for you to believe in Jesus, an opportunity for you to ask Him to come into your life.
If you've not done that yet, why don't you do it right now? Let's all pray together. Father, thank You for loving us so much, that You sent Jesus to die on the cross in our place. Lord Jesus, thank You for coming and laying Your life down and then rising again from the dead. Thank You that You're here ready to forgive sins for those that would call on You. Help those that need You to reach out to You now.
In Jesus' name I pray, amen. We have Shannon Bream in the studio with us today. She's here along with Pastor Greg and his wife Kathy. She's anchor of Fox News Sunday.
I'm sure you're well aware of the name and the face on your television set. She's written a brand new book called The Love Stories of the Bible Speak. And in it, Shannon, you write about Adam and Eve. Tell us about their love story. Obviously, neither one dated very many other people. How does that love story compare to what we all know today as a love story?
This is like the ultimate arranged marriage, right? Because I think it's such a beautiful thing. You see all through creation as God is presenting the animals before Adam and he gets to name all of them. He keeps saying, it is good. I created day and night.
It is good. All of the things that happened. But it wasn't until you have Adam in there that he noticed something wasn't good, that there was no match for Adam.
There was no one. So he actually works from Adam's body to create this helper. But when you really dig into the Hebrew there, it's not what some people, if they are skeptical of the story, would think that Eve was subordinate or she was lesser to him.
It's not that. She was really a partner in life with him. And so I think there's a beautiful model there for how we are to approach marriage. They made some wrong decisions like we all do. But really, this was a partnership of equals that have different roles. But God never assumed one of them over the other. They were in this together.
That's so fascinating. I think it's amazing to think that when Adam foresees Eve, he said, this is bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh. She shall be called woman, for she was taken out of man. He couldn't even define who he was or what he was until he saw her. And she is woman. She has been taken out of man. And now he knows who he is and his role, and he sees her in all of her splendor and beauty. That would have been quite the moment. He says, at last.
Right. She's here. She's arrived. This person I didn't know was missing. This thing from my life that I didn't realize was going to be so crucial to me tending to creation and moving the entire story of humanity forward. So these are some of the things that Shannon writes about in a brand new book that we're offering to you this month for your gift of any size, and the title of Shannon Bream's new book is The Love Stories of the Bible Speak, subtitled Biblical Lessons of Romance, Friendship, and Faith. And we're offering it to you this month for your gift of any size.
Yeah, that's right. It's always our desire to undergird your Christian growth by putting significant resources into your hands. And this is a wonderful new book you'll want to have. We'll send it to say thank you for your investment in keeping these studies coming your way.
So as you donate today, be sure to ask for The Love Stories of the Bible Speak. And we'll only be mentioning this resource a short time longer, so get in touch for your copy as soon as you can. You can reach us by phone any time 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, you wrapped up your message today by talking about eternity. Yeah. 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. 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, that's right, and here's how to get that New Believers Packet. You can call us at 1-800-821-3300.
That's a 24-7 phone number, 1-800-821-3300. Or drop us a note at A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, California, 92514. Or go online to harvest.org and click the words, Know God. Well, next time, Pastor Greg has more in-depth insights on how the Lord enables us to live a life free from fear, anxiety, and worry. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher, Greg Laurie. This is the day, the day when life begins A New Beginning is a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God. If this show has impacted your life, share your story, leave a review on your favorite podcast app and help others find hope.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-26 05:15:37 / 2023-07-26 05:26:32 / 11