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A Blessing for You | Six Truths for Every Believer

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
October 5, 2023 3:00 am

A Blessing for You | Six Truths for Every Believer

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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October 5, 2023 3:00 am

There are some passages in the Bible that sound poetic and inspiring. The kind of thought you might see on social media or even crocheted on a throw pillow. But if you look below the surface, you can often find a treasure trove of rich insight to sink your spiritual teeth into. Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie looks at a familiar verse, an inspiring verse, but one that reveals six truths about God every believer needs to know. Glad you're along for today's practical study.

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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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You're listening to A New Beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast supported by Harvest Partners. For more ways to deepen and challenge your spiritual walk, enroll in Pastor Greg's free online courses.

Sign up at harvest.org. Why do I need God's grace? Answer, because I sin every day. Coming up, Pastor Greg Laurie points out that God's grace, along with His mercy, keep us from paying the penalty dictated by His justice.

It comes down to this. Justice is getting what I deserve. Mercy is not getting what I deserve. Grace is getting what I don't deserve.

Grace is God's unmerited favor. There are some passages in the Bible that sound poetic and inspiring, the kind of thought you might see on social media or even crocheted on a throw pillow. But if you look below the surface, you can often find a treasure trove of rich insight to sink your spiritual teeth into. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie looks at a familiar verse, an inspiring verse, but one that reveals six truths about God every believer needs to know. Glad you're along for today's practical study.

Grab your Bible and turn to Numbers chapter 6. And the title of my message is A Blessing for You. Would you like to be blessed?

Well, you've come to the right place. Numbers chapter 6, starting in verse 24. The Lord bless you. The Lord keep you. The Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace. And so shall you put My name on the children of Israel and I will bless them. I love that. Don't you? Six truths about God that every believer needs to know.

Number one. God loves to bless you. Isn't that a great thing to know? God loves to bless you.

Listen. The Lord is not stingy with His blessings. Jesus said it is your Father's good pleasure to give to you the kingdom.

And you know this is the thing. God loves to bless you and He wants to bless you. Look at verse 24. The Lord bless you. But what does this word bless or blessing mean? It is a spiritual word.

Maybe the world will try to hijack it but they really have no idea of what it means. It is something only the child of God can experience. And how do you become a child of God?

I will tell you how at the end of the program. But here is a sneak peek. You are not born a child of God. You are not. You are born actually in opposition to God. You become a child of God by putting your faith in Jesus Christ.

And I will tell you how to do that in just a few moments. But this is something that is only for the believer. Only for God's child. So what does this mean to us? We learn two important truths from the very word.

Number one. God wants you to be blessed and happy. Because in the opening chapter of Genesis we read God created man in His own image and in the image of God He created them. And the next words are in Genesis 1.27 and God blessed them. So this blessing that God gives to you is something He wants you to experience. And secondly, it is independent of your circumstances.

Let me say that again. This blessing or this happiness that God wants you to experience is independent of your circumstances. So you might be having great things happen outwardly or maybe you are going through a time of struggle. But you can still be happy. It is not about what you have.

It is about who you know. The Bible says, Let your life be without greed and be content with such things that you have. For He has said, I will never leave you or forsake you.

Listen. If you have Christ in your heart you can be a happy person right now. Then it goes on to say, The Lord keep you. Verse 24.

The Lord bless you and keep you. God wants us to be constantly reassured that He will keep us. There are many passages in the Bible that remind us of the keeping and protective power of God. 2 Thessalonians 3.3 says, The Lord is faithful who will establish you and guard you from the evil one.

Jude 1.24 says, Not of Him who was able to keep you from stumbling and present you faultless before His presence with exceeding joy. And then we are reminded over in 1 Peter 1.5 that we are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation. Now by the way the original language uses a perfect tense so the nearest equivalent would be you are continually kept. Not just that you are kept but you are continually kept. The Lord is going to watch over you. And by the way this phrase that is used here the Lord keep you carries the idea of keeping you through something.

Not necessarily from something but through something. In other words when you become a Christian you will still go through hardships. In fact there will be unique hardships and challenges you will face because you are a Christian. But God never promises to airlift you over all of your problems. But what He does promise to do is be with you through all of your problems. As David said, Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for thou art with me.

Your rod and your staff they comfort me. You might ask well what about when an accident or a tragedy happens in the life of a child of God. Where is the keeping power of God then?

You know in asking a question like that we are assuming that somehow we have the inerrant right to live long easy lives and die peacefully in our sleep one day. But the Bible says our times are in His hands. And that means that the Lord is going to walk with us through life no matter what you are facing and you will never be alone. The Lord bless you and the Lord continuously keep you.

Point number three. God smiles on you. Verse 25 says, The Lord make His face to shine upon you. Now we have maybe said that or we have prayed that or we have sung that.

But do we know what it means? Well it is a beautiful statement that is really saying that when God looks at you He smiles. He smiles. The Lord smiles on you. He is actually described in the Bible as the happy God. So He is smiling on you. And when you walk into the room His face lights up with joy so to speak. Not only is God smiling on you but the Bible says He sings over you.

Over in Zephaniah through 17 it says, The Lord your God in the midst of you is mighty. He will rejoice over you with gladness. He will quiet you with His love. He will rejoice over you with singing. Can you imagine what it would be like to hear God sing? I think we will experience that when we get to heaven.

Number four. The Lord is gracious to you. The Lord bless you. The Lord keep you. The Lord make His face to shine upon you. And the Lord be gracious to you. In verse 25.

This is something we need to constantly be reminded of. We need to understand what grace is. Grace is God's unmerited favor.

It comes down to this. Justice is getting what I deserve. Mercy is not getting what I deserve.

Grace is getting what I don't deserve. Let me illustrate. Let's say I loaned my Harley to someone and they went out and dumped it and destroyed it. They totaled my Harley. I said I want you to get me a brand new bike. That would be justice. Let's say I dealt with them in mercy instead and I said okay you don't have to get me a brand new bike.

I forgive you. But let's say I dealt with them in grace. Not only would I not make them get me a new bike.

I would take them out to dinner in a beautiful restaurant and then I would buy them their own Harley. That would be grace. You see? God's unmerited favor. And the Bible says it is by grace you have been saved through faith not of works lest any man should boast. Why do I need God's grace? Why do I need God's grace over and over? Answer. Because I sin each and every day.

You might say oh Greg you're wrong. I don't think I've even sinned once today. That thought was probably sinful because you're full of pride. The Bible says if you say you have no sin you deceive yourself and the truth is not in you.

Know this. There are different kinds of sin. There's a sin of omission and the sin of commission. I heard a story about a Sunday school teacher who was speaking to her class and and she was going to speak on the topic of sin.

So she announced today kids I'm going to talk about sin. Now who knows what the sin of commission is? A little girl sitting up front raised her hand and the teacher called on her and said yes honey what is the sin of commission? The little girl said the sin of commission is when you do what you should not do.

The teacher said excellent answer. Now who knows what the sin of omission is? Little boy in the back of the room is waving his hand back and forth yes son what is that sin of omission? He says those are the sins you want to do but you haven't got around to yet.

No not exactly. A sin of commission is when you do what you should not do. A sin of omission is when you don't do what you should do. And the Bible says to him that knows to do good and does not do it to him it is sin. So we think sin is when we think a lustful thought or we lose our temper or something like that. Yes that could be sin or that is sin I should say. But sin can also be when the Lord prompts me to open his word and read it and I say no. Sin can also be when the Lord leads me to pray and I refuse. Sin can also be when the Lord directs me to share the gospel with a non-believer and I say there is no way I am going to do it. A sin of omission.

You know what you should do and you don't do it. So we need God's grace each and every day. Don't we? The Lord taught us to pray our Father who art in heaven hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our sins as we forgive those who have sinned against us. Just as surely as you need daily bread or provision from God you need daily forgiveness as well.

And that is where grace comes in. The Lord bless you. The Lord keep you. The Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you. 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 today Pastor Greg anchors his study in Numbers chapter 6 as he highlights six truths about God every believer needs to know. Point number five God is attentive to you. He's attentive to you.

Look at verse 26. The Lord lift up his countenance upon you. Beautiful but what does it mean? It actually means to lift up his face or literally to look, to see, to know, to be interested, to have one's full attention. I touched on this on my message last time where the Lord is looking at you. He's watching you.

You have his full attention. The Lord's effectively saying I watch out for you each and every day. Sometimes we might wonder if God is really paying attention. You wonder if Joseph ever felt like the Lord had kind of forgotten about him. Remember Joseph sold by his brothers into slavery for no good reason. And then he's taken into the house of a man named Potiphar who's sort of like the head of the secret service for the Pharaoh and Potiphar as his crazy wife who's trying to seduce him. He resists her advances and one day she has everyone leave the house and she calls him over and pulls him down on her bed and effectively says have sexual relations with me. And Joseph runs for his life and then he's falsely accused by Potiphar's wife of rape.

He's sent to prison and he's sitting in a prison. And how easily he could have thought God has surely forgotten about me. But the promise of God is the Lord is attentive to you.

He's aware of what you're going through. And in fact God was preparing Joseph for a great work that was going to happen in his future as he would be elevated into a place of great influence. This brings us to our final point. The Lord give you peace. The Lord bless you. The Lord keep you. The Lord make his face to shine upon you. The Lord be gracious unto you. The Lord lift up his countenance or be aware of what you're going through. And finally and the Lord give you peace. I mean knowing all this about God should bring peace to your life. Are you in turmoil right now?

Just know this. He loves you. He's in control of your life and and rest in him. One final thing in this blessing of God to us. Verse 27. The Lord says put my name on the children of Israel and I will bless them.

So the Lord is effectively saying to the spiritual leaders listen you guys you have spiritual oversight. I want you to pronounce this blessing on the people and I'm going to live up to it in their lives. In other words don't make excuses for me. Don't soft sell this. Don't be afraid.

I'm not going to back it up. You tell them I'll bless them. I'll keep them. I'll make my face shine upon them. I'll give them peace.

You tell them and not only tell them I want you to tell them over and over and over again. So I'm telling you right now wherever you are God is smiling on you. He's gracious to you.

He's attentive to you. He wants to give you his peace and you can take that to the bank. But as I said earlier this promise is only for the child of God. The non-believer cannot claim this promise. Only the believer. The blessings of the Bible are only for the person who's put their faith in God.

Why? Because you can have the blessing in your life because Christ took the curse. Let me say it again. You can have the blessing of God in your life because Jesus Christ took the curse. Galatians 3 13 says Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law having become a curse for us for it is written cursed is every man that is hung on a tree.

Listen to this. Jesus was cursed so I could be blessed. Jesus died so I could live. Jesus was forsaken so I could be forgiven. So the choice is yours. Do you want to face a curse of your sin? The repercussions of your evil actions? Or do you want the blessing of God in your life?

That choice is you. Again I quote Deuteronomy 30 where the Lord says I set before you life and death blessings and curses. Now choose life that you may live.

I love this. It's sort of like a teacher announcing a test and then giving you the answer to the question on the test. So the Lord is saying okay here's your choice blessings and curses life and death. Now choose life that you may live. The Lord is very clear. He wants to bless us.

He wants to come into our life. But here's the problem. We're all separated from God by our sin. Every one of us have broken his commandments.

You say well not me. Have you ever lied? Have you ever stolen? Have you overtaken the Lord's name in vain? Have you ever failed to honor your father and mother? Of course you have.

We all have. So the point is this. We've broken these commandments.

And the Bible says if we offend in one point of the law we're guilty of all of it. So we've all sinned but Christ died for our sins. He went to the cross and died in our place and then he rose again from the dead three days later.

And listen to this. He's standing at the door of your life right now and knocking. And he's saying if you'll hear his voice and open the door he will come in. You see you're not automatically a child of God. You're created by God. You're loved by God. But the way you become a child of God is by putting your faith in Christ.

The Bible says for as many as received him he gave them the power to become sons of God. So let's take this Bible I'm holding right now and let's say I'm offering it to you as a gift. If you want the gift of this beautiful green Bible with multiple ribbons coming out of the bottom you have to receive it.

You just reach out and say wow Greg thanks. I'll accept that gift from you. God is offering you this gift of eternal life. You have to reach out and accept it.

You're not born with it. You have to accept it and receive it. And when you do that you become a child of God. So let me ask you in closing would you like Christ to come into your life? Would you like to be forgiven of your sin? Would you like to experience this blessing that I've been talking about?

Would you like to know this peace in your heart that the Bible promises? Maybe you've gone looking for this peace and this purpose and this happiness in all the wrong places. You thought drugs would do it for you. You thought booze and drinking and partying would do it for you. You thought some sexual experience would do it for you. You thought a possession would do it for you. But none of those things have worked have they? And now you're wondering where is the answer?

You figured out where it isn't. It's all in Jesus Christ. He's ready to come into your life and forgive you of your sin but you must ask him in. You say well what do you mean ask him in?

How how is that even done? Through prayer. He's just a prayer away. And in a moment I'd like to lead you in a simple prayer that you can pray after me and this is where you're asking Jesus Christ to come into your life. So listen if you want your sin forgiven, if you want to know that you'll go to heaven when you die, if you want to experience this happiness I've been talking about, if you want this peace I've been describing, I want you to pray this prayer after me. You can pray it out loud. You can pray it silently. However you want to pray this prayer.

Because the Bible says whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved. And in praying this prayer you're doing just that. You're calling on the name of the Lord. Pray this prayer with me right now. Lord Jesus I know that I'm a sinner but I know that you are the Savior who died on the cross for my sin and rose again from the dead. I turn from my sin now and I choose to follow you from this moment forward as my Savior and my Lord, as my God and my friend. In Jesus' name I pray.

Amen. Pastor Greg Laurie, praying with listeners who are making a decision for Christ today. And if you've just prayed with Pastor Greg we'd like to help you get started walking with the Lord. We'd like to send you our new Believer's Growth Packet that'll get you on your way in the Christian life. It's free of charge. Just call us at 1-800-821-3300. That's 24-7 phone number 1-800-821-3300. Or ask for it as you write A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514.

Or just go online to harvest.org and click on Know God. Well Pastor Greg we're excited about the new movie, Fame, talking about the dangers of fame and yet everybody wants to be rich and famous these days. You know, I've never taken one of those celebrity home tours like they have up in Beverly Hills. You buy a map and you drive by the Star's Homes. But I've seen pictures of a few Star's Homes from the street and all you see really is a tall hedge or a wall. It may be a beautiful home, but it's closed off from the rest of the world. They live in a bubble. They may have dozens of bedrooms and their own tennis courts and home theaters and hair salons and bowling alleys, but it's because they can't go out in public. They're sort of under house arrest. You know, they're prisoners of their own fame.

Yes. You know, it's been said, careful what you wish for, you might get it. And you know, so many think, oh one day if I was rich and famous and etc. I'd be happy.

No, you won't be. I can just tell you right now, I could quote so many sources and I have a lot of them in my new book on fame that I'll tell you about in a moment, but I could quote so many sources to prove my point just from culture, just from the celebrities themselves. Then we go to the scripture. The Bible tells the story of Nicodemus. You all know that in John chapter three, Nicodemus was famous. He was the guy people went to for spiritual answers, but one day Nicodemus came to Jesus at night.

It was literally Nick at night. And why did he come at night? Because he didn't want anyone to see him because he's the famous dude who's supposed to know everything and he didn't. But he saw something in Jesus that attracted him. He knew Christ had the answers he was looking for.

And as the conversation begins, Christ actually says to Nicodemus, you are the teacher in Israel and you don't know these things. He was the teacher. He was the man. He was the rock star. He was the movie star.

He was the guy with more followers on social media if we were to put it in today's terms. But he knew that something was missing, so he came to Jesus. And that's what so many people discover. It seems like they either try to go to the wrong things to fill that void after they've had a degree of fame like drugs or alcohol or just buying everything imaginable and getting themselves in financial trouble or whatever else they're pursuing, or they turn to God.

Many of them don't turn to God, but some do. There's actually some well-known celebrities who are walking with Jesus Christ and talk about their faith publicly. People like Chris Pratt, Mark Wahlberg, and others. But I interview two very significant people for this new film. The title of the film is Fame, and I interview Alice Cooper. He's a living legend. Even the rock stars look up to Alice Cooper. But he's one of the most down-to-earth guys, and he has a strong faith in Christ. And he's going to say things that I guarantee will surprise you. Well, let me just play something for you. Here's a scene from the Fame film where Alice Cooper answers my question, who is Jesus Christ to you?

Check this out. He's the core of everything. He's life itself. None of us deserve redemption. But Christ on the cross, he knew your name.

He knew my name. And that made me go, how can I not believe in this? If the Lord is knocking at your door, answer it.

It's the best thing that you could ever do. So those are just some of the things you'll see in this brand new film called Fame. I also interview baseball great Darryl Strawberry. We have a lot of amazing stories and other things in this film that you're going to love. It's visually beautiful, and it's going to just show the emptiness of life without God.

And ultimately, the answer is Jesus. And we also have a book that you can order right now. The book is called Fame, and it deals with a lot of these things I've talked about and much more. And we'll send that to you for your gift of any size to keep our ministry on the air here at A New Beginning and continue to reach people with the gospel and make more films like this one you're going to see very soon called Fame. So Dave, tell them where they can see the film. Yeah, the movie premieres the weekend of October 20th through 22nd at our new Harvest media platform at harvest.org and also other streaming platforms such as Roku, Apple TV, Samsung, Amazon Fire, and Google Play. It's free to watch, so mark your calendar for October 20th through 22nd.

And of course, the book called Fame is a provocative look at the dangers of fame and of pursuing the world's value system. It's a look at how to follow God's plan instead, the plan that offers real satisfaction and peace. We'll be glad to send a copy of the book your way to thank you for partnering with us so Pastor Greg can continue to bring the gospel through this radio program, through books and film, and so many other forms of outreach. So get in touch with your donation today by calling 1-800-821-3300. Call anytime 24 7 1-800-821-3300.

Or write A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, California 92514. Or go online to harvest.org. 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, Pastor Greg points out how to get a handle on our challenges simply by changing our perspective. We'll learn how our problems get smaller when we recognize the greatness of our God. 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 / 2023-10-05 05:05:17 / 2023-10-05 05:16:05 / 11

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