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God's Purpose for Us | Sunday Message

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
January 14, 2024 3:00 am

God's Purpose for Us | Sunday Message

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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January 14, 2024 3:00 am

Pastor Greg Laurie introduces a fresh series, "It All Starts Here," where we explore the Book of Genesis. In this first message, he focuses on God's purpose for us while helping us understand other topics, such as the creation of the world. 

Notes:

Genesis 1

We are created on purpose and for a purpose.

God has a plan and purpose for you.

Acts 13:36

We need to know and fulfill our purpose.

Romans 8:28

Genesis means, “beginning.”

The book of Genesis begins with God.

Genesis 1:1

Since God created the heavens and the Earth,

He is more than adequate to meet your needs.

Genesis is the ground floor and foundation of the entire Bible.

Without it, the rest of the Bible would be incomprehensible.

Read: Genesis 1:1–10

God is triune, meaning, three-in-one—eternally existing in three persons.

Genesis 3:22; Genesis 11:6

The Trinity consists of three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

God is the Creator of all things!

Created (Bara) means, “to create something out of nothing.”

Only God can create; that is, call into existence that which had no existence.

God has always existed.

He is self-existent. He has existed from the beginning.

Revelation 1:8

God created all things in six days!

Genesis gives a broad-stroked painting of creation, not a photograph.

The focus of Genesis is not to show us “how the heavens go,”

but “how to go to Heaven.”

I don’t believe in the Bible because Science proves it true;

I believe in the science that the Bible proves is true!

God created mankind in His image.

Read: Genesis 1:26–28

After each thing God created, He said, “It is good.”

When God created man, He said, “It is very good.”

Genesis 1:31

Read: Genesis 2:1–3

God did not rest because He was tired; He rested because He was done!

The word rest in Hebrew is Shabath and it means, “cease.”

“Cast all your care on Him, for He cares for you!”

1 Peter 5:7

The God who created you will bear it for you.

“If you will come to Him, He will turn your night into day with a word. He will reorder your broken life with a word. He will bring form out of chaos with a word. It’s His specialty.”

“The Lord remembers us, and He will bless us.”

Psalm 115:12

The meaning of life is to know and bring glory to God!

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Learn more about Greg Laurie and Harvest Ministries at harvest.org.

This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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A New Beginning
Greg Laurie

Hey there. Thanks for listening to the Greg Laurie Podcast, a ministry supported by Harvest Partners. I'm Greg Laurie encouraging you.

If you want to find out more about Harvest Ministries and learn more about how to become a Harvest Partner, just go to harvest.org. We dedicate this church to you. And Lord, we dedicate our country to you. How our country needs you so desperately. So we ask you to speak to us now as we open this important book.

In fact, the first book of the Bible, Genesis. Speak to us through it, we pray. In Jesus' name we ask this. Amen. You can all be seated. Hello everybody.

Hello to Harvest Orange County, Harvest Riverside, Harvest Maui. Glad you can all be a part of this. Welcome to our morning service. Couple of quick announcements before we dive in today to Genesis.

And you can turn there. We'll be there in a few moments. But I want to announce that we're starting a new series today in Genesis that's titled It All Starts Here. But also, we're launching our Harvest groups.

We took some time off for Christmas, but we're back engaged again. And I want to encourage you to join a Harvest group. Because you're going to grow, so much as a result. Now I know some people are hesitant to join a group.

Because you're afraid you're going to get in a small circle and have to do a lot of hand-holding and gazing into each other's eyes. And before you know it, you'll be singing Kumbaya together. Well, that probably won't happen at all. But what's going to happen is you're going to study the Bible. How many of you like to study the Bible? Okay, that's what these groups are all about.

Digging deeper. And by the way, we have an amazing curriculum to help you do that. So I encourage you to join a Harvest group. Now, how many of you are in a Harvest group? Raise your hand up. Okay, quite a few of you. How many of you are not in one? Raise your hand up. That'd be the rest of you, by the way.

Okay, just, I'm not committing to anything. Right. Well, we want to encourage you to join one. And so after this service today, you can find out more. We're going to have some of our group leaders. So in Riverside, you guys go to the space. Here at Harvest Orange County, you guys go to the cafe.

And at Harvest Maui, you go to the Connect tent. So go to your place, and you'll meet group leaders and find out more about them. And by the way, we have groups for everyone. We have them for men, for women, for couples, for young adults, for youth, for cat owners. No, actually, we don't, because cat owners don't want to go to small groups. They want to hang out with cats. Okay, so nothing for them. But for everybody else, we have a group just for you.

So join a Harvest group. I think you'll thank me later. How about this?

Go to it one or two times. And if you don't like it, I'll give you your money back. Oh wait, we're not charging you.

They're free, aren't they? Okay, but try it out. Okay, announcement number two.

This is a big one. On January 28th, that's the last Sunday of this month, we're going to be having an all-church prayer meeting in the evening at 5 o'clock p.m. I think it's so important to dedicate ourselves to the Lord in prayer. Have you ever noticed that when the Lord gave us what we call the Lord's Prayer, it goes as follows. Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread. Have you ever noticed that's something you pray with other people? There's nothing wrong with praying my Father who art in heaven, but the fact is, the way Jesus gave it to us, it's our Father. There's power in united prayer. And we remember in Acts 12, after Simon Peter was arrested and put in prison, Acts 12 one says, and constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church. So the church understood the power of united prayer. They prayed together. And that's what we're going to do on January 28th at 5 p.m. We're going to pray together for our church, for our nation.

For you, for each other. So mark that on your calendar. And if you consider Harvest your church home, please be a part of this great prayer meeting. All right, well let's go to Genesis 1. And this is the first message in a new series that we're calling, it all starts here.

And the title of this message is God's Purpose for You. So I heard about an older man who was speaking to a younger man. And this young man was a law student. And so the older gentleman asked the younger guy, hey, what do you want to do when you graduate?

And he said, well, I'd like to get, you know, a position with a law firm and make some good money. And the older man said, okay, then what? Then the guy said, well, I'd like to get married and have some children and eventually get a good home to live in. The older man said, right, then what? Well, then I would like to maybe vacation, you know, a little bit more and eventually travel around the world with my wife. Yeah, okay, then what?

Well, I guess I would like to pass my money onto my children so they could live a life as comfortable as I've been able to live. The older man said, okay, then what? Well, then I guess I die.

And the older man said, then what? Then what? You know, we can spend our entire life chasing nothing. It's been said if you aim at nothing, you're bound to hit it. You are walking aimlessly through life with no real meaning or purpose.

I'll tell you then what? Then comes eternity. So it's a brand new year. It's a time for us to start over again. And we're starting this new series.

And among other things, we're gonna learn this. God created us for a purpose and on purpose. God created you on purpose and for a purpose. There is a purpose for your life. 58% of young adults report experiencing little or no purpose or meaning in their lives. Is that a description of you?

Here's what you need to know. God has a plan and a purpose just for you. You're here to serve a purpose. So my question for you is, are you serving that purpose that God has for you?

You say, well, I'm not sure. What should that purpose be? The apostle Paul had it right when he said, my determined purpose in life is to know Him and become progressively, more deeply, intimately acquainted with Him. That's His purpose and that should be our purpose as well.

Make sure we're fulfilling our purpose to do what we're supposed to do. Now this is a phone. How many of you have these phones? You have a phone? Take it out and stomp on it right now.

I think if you do that, 2024 will be the greatest year yet. No. But these phones, they're not cheap, are they?

I don't know. This is an iPhone. Maybe you have an Android phone. I'm sorry about that.

No, it's okay. Whatever. But your texts come in a different color and we can't communicate with you. That's the iPhone world. But anyway, so we have this phone. So what is it made for? Well, I found that it really is great for skimming on the surface of the water. I've been able to get about eight bounces out of my iPhone. I also found it's a fantastic doorstop. Hold the door open with my iPhone.

I even scooped up after the dog the other day with my iPhone. Well, of course, I don't do any of these things because that's not what it's made for. What is the iPhone made for? It's made to waste our time and suck all of the joy out of our life. We use it for its intended purpose.

No, seriously, it can be a tool. Hopefully, we use it for what it is made for. And that's what we want to do with our lives as well. And we find God's purpose for us in this first book of the Bible. The word Genesis means beginning.

It's the beginning or creation of something, its starting point. In Genesis, we find the greatest story ever told. The story of Jesus. In Genesis chapter three, we have the first Messianic prophecy. The first verse that speaks of a coming savior that will arrive on our planet.

The Bible says Christ was crucified from the foundation of the world. And that simply means that God knew man would blow it. God knew that Adam and Eve would eat of their forbidden fruit.

And by the way, if you were in the garden, you would have done the same thing. God knew that we would sin and God made a provision for our sin. But the book of Genesis tells us the big story. But here's the thing that we want to start with. Point number one. The book of Genesis begins with God.

So if you're taking notes, there's point number one. The book of Genesis begins with God with this simple verse. Genesis 1, 1. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Look upon the screen.

Let's repeat this together. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. How many of you believe that verse? Raise your hand up.

Wow. If you believe that verse, it changes everything. If you believe that verse, you'll have no problem with the miracles of the Bible like the virgin birth of Jesus and his resurrection from the dead. You'll have no problem with Jesus walking on water or raising others from the grave as well. Because it all comes back to in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. And this is true, and I believe it is, and it sounds like you believe it's true as well. If God created the heavens and the earth, then I think he's more than adequate to meet your needs, whatever they may be.

Don't you? And so God is eternal. He has no beginning. He has no end.

He sees and knows everything. And he knows what's coming in the year before us right now. Realistically, for some of us, this could be our last year. Well, we'll go to heaven. For others, it's gonna be a significant year, an important year. But whatever comes our way, God will be with us.

Whatever challenges may come, whatever opportunities may come, he will be there walking with us through this year. Genesis is the ground floor and the foundation of the entire Bible. Without the book of Genesis, the Bible would be incomprehensible. The book of Genesis gives vital information concerning the origin of all things. And therefore, the meaning of all things. So who wrote the book of Genesis?

Well, short answer, God did. But God gave it to Moses. And Jesus himself attested to the fact that Moses is the author of Genesis.

And not only did Moses write Genesis, he also wrote Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy at around 1450 B.C. And on this eve, 1968, astronauts Frank Borman, James Lovell, and William Anders orbited the moon on Apollo 8. And they became aware of the presence of God in outer space.

And they publicly read the first 10 verses of Genesis chapter 1 to a listening world. I've had the privilege of meeting two astronauts personally. And I have to tell you, I'm very impressed by astronauts. The first one I met was John Glenn. And of all places, I met him in a depart, he didn't look like that when I met him, by the way. But I met him in a department store in England.

And I was there waiting for my wife, who was shopping. And John was waiting for his wife, too. And this is what he looked like when I met him. He was Senator John Glenn.

And he's a very tall gentleman. And I walked up to him and said, excuse me, are you John Glenn? And he said, yes. And we had a nice discussion.

And we talked for a while because our wives were shopping, as I said. So that was the first astronaut I met. And when you stop and think about that space capsule that John orbited the earth in called Friendship 7, that's such an amazing feat, the size of that thing.

It was like a tin can floating through space. Well, the second astronaut I had the privilege of meeting was James Irwin, who was on Apollo 15. And he walked on the surface of the moon.

I was very impressed to meet a person who walked on the surface of the moon. And he told me that when he was there, he sensed the presence of God. He wrote that he looked out into the inky blackness and saw earth like a blue marble, suspended in space, and was overwhelmed with God's presence.

I love that. You know, the psalmist says, if I go to the depths of the ocean, you're there. If I go to the heights of the heaven, you're there.

I guess that includes the surface of the moon as well. So let's read now those verses that the astronauts read in space to a listening world. Genesis chapter 1.

And you can read along with me, but also on the screen, we have some beautiful video that sort of illustrates what we're reading. Here's what we read in Genesis 1, 1 from the New King James Version. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, let there be light. And there was light.

And God saw the light, that it was good. And God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light day, and the darkness He called night.

So the evening and the morning were the first day. And God said, let there be a firmament, or a space, in the midst of the waters, and divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament and divided the waters which are under the firmament, from the waters which were above the firmament, and it was so. And God called the firmament heaven. And so the evening and morning were the second day. Then God said, let the waters under the heaven be gathered together in one place, and let the dry land appear.

And it was so. And God called the dry land earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called seas. And God saw that it was good. There it is, the book of Genesis.

So here's point number two. God is triune, that is three in one. One being eternally existing, and three persons.

Let me say that again. God is triune, meaning three in one, eternally existing, and three persons. In fact we see the Trinity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit at work in the creation of all things. In Genesis 3 22 we read God saying, behold man has become one of us. In Genesis 11 6 God says, let us go down.

And in Genesis 1 26 we read God says, let us make man. Wait a second, who's God talking to? Is this a conversation with angels?

No, because we're not made in the image of angels. We're made in the image of God. This is a conversation among the members of the Trinity.

Each member of the Trinity exists simultaneously, yet each one is distinct, yet perfectly united. Number three, God is the creator of all things. Again Genesis 1 1, in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The word therefore created in the Hebrew is bara, which means to make something out of nothing. Only God can create. Only God can call into existence that which has no existence.

Now if I eliminate God I have a big problem. In the beginning a mass of gases. Well where did the mass of gases come from? For that matter where did the space come from?

That's not the beginning. So sooner or later everyone gets around to asking the question, where did God come from? And there's no easy answer for that because God did not come from anywhere. God has always existed. He is self-existent and he has existed from the beginning. In Revelation 1 8 he says I am the first and the last. I am the Lord God Almighty who was, who is, and who is to come. Well wait, I can't understand that.

Well check this out. If God were small enough for your minds he wouldn't be big enough for your needs. God has always existed. We read in verse 2 the earth was without form and void. And that's pretty much a describe, a description of our lives as well before we knew the Lord. Darkness filled our life. And God said let there be light. And there was light. And God brought order to our chaos and hope for our hopelessness and light for our darkness.

Point number four. God created all things in six days. God created all things in six days. So verse five says the evening and the morning were the first day. Now were these thousands of years or literal days? This addresses the old earth, new earth theories.

And for me personally I believe they are what they are. Days. Well how could God do all that in a day? Go back to Genesis 1 1. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. With God all things are possible. That's the answer.

Number five. Genesis gives a broad stroked painting of creation not a photograph. So in other words the book of Genesis is not a detailed account of creation.

If God wanted to give us a detailed account you could have filled the entire Bible with it. But basically the Lord gives us one page on creation. The focus of Genesis is not to show us how the heavens go as much as it is about how to go to heaven.

Let me say that again. The focus of Genesis and the rest of the Bible for that matter is not to show us how the heavens go as much as it is there to show us how to go to heaven. However that is not to say that the Bible is not reliable scientifically. There are so many things that the Bible said far before the scientists figured it out. It is the Bible that said the stars in the sky are innumerable.

They're like the sands of the sea. And scientists and astronomers scoffed at such a ridiculous statement because they had counted the stars. But then they developed a more powerful telescope and found there were more stars.

And they expanded that number and then they expanded it again. And now with the Hubble telescope and others we realize there's billions of stars out there as the Bible said. Scientists tell us there are 400 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy alone. Astronomers estimate there are 100 billion galaxies. And each galaxy has more than 100 billion stars. And every one of them was made by God.

And the Bible not only says that but it says that He has named each star. Why do I bring this up? Because whatever you're facing I think God can handle it.

Right? Think about it. Listen I don't believe in the Bible because science believes it's uh let me restate that again.

I don't I'm choking up. I don't believe in the Bible because science proves it's true. Rather I believe in the science that the Bible proves is true. My source of truth is the scripture.

Number six. God created mankind in His image. He made us in His image. We're not a highly evolved life form.

We're not evolving from animals. We're uniquely created and made by God Himself. We are His image bearer.

That's not true of any other created thing. Genesis 1 26. God said let us make man in our image according to our likeness.

Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, over the cattle, over the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. So God created man in His own image. In the image of God He created him. Male and female He created them. Then He blessed them and said be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and every living thing that moves on the earth. You know it's interesting to know after each thing that God made He would say it is good but after He created man He said it is very good.

Genesis 1 31. Humans are uniquely made in God's image as I said and I don't know what's going on right now but people seem to be more obsessed with animals than any time I can remember. You know what I'm saying? And by the way I'm an animal lover but sometimes it's going a little far. You know we have to take the animals everywhere with us now. The animals are in the car. We take the animals into the restaurant. We push the dogs around in the strollers right. And now people are on planes and they have to have their emotional support animals. They've got their dogs and their cats. But I read that other animals that people have taken on planes.

I'm not making any of these up. Pigs, ducks, ponies, a pony. I saw a photograph of a pony in the plane. Look that plane isn't big enough for the people much less with a pony in there. Someone else brought a kangaroo.

No I'm not making it up. Probably came from Australia I suppose. But and then people leave their estates to their animals. Designer Karl Lagerfeld left 1.5 million dollars to his cat Shaupet. That's one rich cat you're looking at right there.

I wonder which Shaupet spent all that money on. But then there's another person that left 10 million dollars to their pet hen named Gigu. Even another left 10 million dollars to a German shepherd.

Come on people. Now animals are animals and we have to see them for what they are. But nowadays people treat animals as though they're our children. People say animals are people too. No they aren't. They're animals.

Let's appreciate them for what they are. Jesus would talk about how our father cares about the animals and the birds in particular. Says he knows about every bird that falls to the ground. He even used birds as an example for us showing us that we don't have to worry. Jesus said look at the birds. They don't plant or harvest or store food and barns yet your heavenly father feeds them.

Are you not more valuable than they are? And then he says can all of your worries add a single moment to your life? Have you ever seen a bird worry? You ever seen a bird pop a valium?

I don't think so. God provides for them. But animals don't seek God. Animals don't sit around and wonder about the meaning of life. I don't think your dog lays around and thinks to himself what is the meaning of my life?

And I figure if a dog had a voice it would sound something like that. What is the meaning of my life? I've tried everything this world offers. Chasing cats. Drinking toilet water.

Eating roadkill. Though I did like that a great deal. But my life is so. Dogs don't think that. I know cats don't think that. I think cats think murderous thoughts toward us. But people do think that. From our earliest years we wonder about the meaning of our lives.

And why is that? Because you've been made in the image of God. And the Bible says God has set eternity in our heart. It's like you were pre-wired to know God.

That's why we are that way. So God made all of these creatures. All of this amazing creation. Yesterday Kathy and I took a look at our grandson Christopher up to Pomona for a giant reptile show. And boy there were all kinds of amazing creatures there. Lizards and snakes and little creepy crawly spiders. Every creeping thing basically was in this place.

And he ended up getting a little frog. But you know it's amazing to look at God's creation. And thank God for that creation. But there's no one higher than the creation of humanity.

After this God rested. Go to Genesis 2. By the way I can't get to every verse in Genesis 1 and 2. So I encourage you to dig in deeper on your own and read ahead.

And that's why we have harvest groups so you'll dig in deeper. But God rested. Genesis 2 verse 1. Then the heavens and the earth were finished and all the host of them and on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made and he rested on the seventh day from all of the work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it because in it he had rested from all the work which he had created and made.

We'll stop there. So God did not rest because he was tired. That's why we rest. God rest because he was done. It was completed. It was accomplished. In fact it's a word that is used here for rest.

The Hebrew word Shabbat where we translate it to Sabbath. And it simply means cease. God's done.

I'm finished. There's a similar word in the New Testament that is used. And it is spoken by Jesus as he hangs on the cross of Calvary where he uttered seven significant statements. And among those statements was the single word Tetelestai. And the word Tetelestai is translated it is finished. What was finished? His work was finished. He had accomplished what he had come to do to die on the cross for the sin of the world. And it was accomplished. It was completed. It is finished. And our salvation is finished.

Once you believe in Jesus Christ you don't have to work for your salvation. It's a gift to you from God. To be saved. It's a gift to you from God. So you can rest from the weight of sin.

And you can rest from your fears as well. In the hand of God who created all things. Listen to this. This almighty God. This all powerful God. This all loving God can certainly handle whatever we throw at him. And we should throw our problems at him. 1 Peter 5 says cast all your care upon him for he cares for you.

Now that is interesting that word cast as in cast your cares means to hurl or to throw violently. Like throw your problems on to Jesus. And we all have problems don't we. We all have we all have anxieties.

We all have things that keep us up at night. Cast them on Christ. In fact that word cast your cares upon him is only used one other time in the New Testament. And that's speaking of when they took that donkey and put their garments on it and Jesus rode it into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.

So in effect here's what the Bible is saying. Cast your cares on Jesus as though he if you will was your beast of burden carrying your problems for you. Let Jesus take your burdens. Let him take your trash. You know I don't know about how it works in your home but in our home I take the trash out. And I have little cans with wheels. And now in California we have 25 separate trash cans. You know okay this is the recyclable things and and this is the other things what is it the landfill. And and I stand there with these little bags. I don't know which would I think I'm confused.

Are they going to arrest me if I get it wrong. And then the trash man shows up and I'm so glad he shows up. Because he takes my trash and if I forget one week that trash starts piling up. The same can be true of life. Your trash can pile up. Your problems can pile up.

Your anxieties can pile up. Your sins can pile up. Hurl them on Jesus. Throw them violently if you will on Jesus.

I don't want this stuff in my life. Years ago we were in Hawaii as a matter of fact and there was a little restaurant we went to on the island of Oahu called Eggs and Things. If you're ever in Oahu go have breakfast at Eggs and Things. You'll thank me later. But we would go very early every morning to beat the crowds and it just so happened when we would walk over there that the trash man would be cruising by with this truck picking up the trash cans and put them in the back of the trash truck. And and Jonathan was just the littlest guy at that point. I was carrying him up on my shoulders and he got very excited when he saw the trash man. And he would point at and say my man my man. And he actually said my man okay.

And the next day we went there and the trash can truck shows up again. Little Jonathan's pointing. My man. My man.

I turned to Kathy. Maybe Jonathan will be a trash man when he grows up. I don't know. But here's your man. It's Jesus. He says let me take your trash.

Let me take your anxieties. Casting all your care upon him for he cares for you. Throw it on Jesus. The God who created the heavens and the earth. The God who brought something out of nothing. The God who created you will bear it for you.

Arkant Hughes an excellent Bible commentator wrote this and I quote, the very same power that flung the stars out into the unfathomable expanding universe while orchestrating life and the irreducible complexity of the cells of your body will act on your behalf. If you will come to him he'll turn your night into day with a word. He'll reorder your broken life with a word. He'll bring form out of chaos with a word. It's a specialty end quote.

Well said. But God can bring a genesis in your life. Again genesis means beginning. God can bring a new beginning in your life. He can make all things new. We've all done things we regret.

We've all said things we wish we had not said. But God can change that if we come to him and bring our lives to him. Here's the thing to consider as we close this message. To me this is a real mind boggler. This almighty God. The creator of the heavens and the earth. This God who has a name for every star. The God who brought this magnificent creation out of nothing cares about you and he loves you.

David was watching over his flock of sheep one day one night actually and he wrote this down in Psalm 8. When I look at the night sky and I see the work of your fingers the moon and the stars that you set in place. What are mortals that you should think about them?

What are human beings that you should care for them? Have you ever just laid out and looked up into the sky? You have to find a spot where you can actually see the stars. But as you look up there you just think wow the God who made all of this cares about me. He knows every star by name.

He knows every bird that falls to the ground. He knows every thought that we think and he's thinking about me. As David wrote in Psalm 109 I'm poor and needy yet you think of me. In Psalm 40 we read the psalmist say many oh Lord are your wonderful works what you've done and your thoughts toward us cannot be counted.

If I were to speak of them they're more than you could number. I love that. God's thinking about you. God cares about you. And think about Jeremiah 29 11 of course where I know the thoughts that they think towards you says the Lord. Thoughts of peace and not of evil to give you a future and a hope.

Let me come back to that question I raised earlier. Why did God create me? What is the purpose of my life? What is the meaning of my life?

Heard about a father that was driving his daughter for the first day of middle middle school and he thought it was time to start talking to her about some deep subjects. So he turned to her and he said honey what is the meaning of life? And she said the meaning of my life is to please mom.

And the dad said oh well what about dad? She said the meaning of your life is to please mom too. So pretty good answer because the Bible says if mama ain't happy ain't nobody happy.

The Bible doesn't say that but it's got some truth there. No but the meaning of my life is to please God. The meaning of my life is to know God. The meaning of my life is to glorify God.

I said earlier he said eternity in my heart. I'm wired to worship. I was made to have a relationship with God. Of course that was all lost in the Garden of Eden and we'll talk about that next time when Adam and Eve ate of that forbidden fruit.

But the the point is simply this I can know God because Christ died for my sin. He came and walked among us as a man died on the cross and rose again from the dead and now he stands at the door of our heart and he knocks and he says if you'll hear his voice and open the door I will come in. You know coming back to animals again there's some crazy little bird in my backyard and I don't know what's going on in this this bird brain of his. But there's one little window in our room and and he always says tapping at the window.

I hear this so tap tap tap. Hey look there's that bird. He doesn't go to any of the window. He's just tapping at the one. I don't know what he wants. Why he taps on that window. He's like behold I stand at the window and tap tap tap. There he is crazy bird.

He wants in. Well Jesus stands at the door of your heart if you will and he knocks but you have to open that door and let him come in and he will reveal the purpose of your life. Maybe you've chased after the things this world offers and you've found them empty. You've tried everything it has. You've tried toilet water.

No you haven't. But some of the things this world offers are worse than that actually. And we chase after these empty things and we find no meaning.

We find no purpose. Back to that opening illustration. Then what? You reach all your goals. You check all the boxes.

You get the accolades and even more you have the success. Then what? I'll tell you then what then ultimately life will come to an end and then you stand before God. But you don't have to be afraid if you're a Christian because if you're a Christian you can say along with the apostle Paul for me to live is Christ and to die is gain. It doesn't mean that the Christian has a death wish. It doesn't mean we get up in the morning and say I sure hope I die today. I don't think anyone loves life more than a Christian because we know the Creator. But having said that we don't have to fear death anymore because we know there's an afterlife and we'll spend it in the presence of God in heaven reunited with loved ones who have died in faith who have preceded us. But until that day we want our life to count and we want it to matter. And as we come to this new year this first Sunday of 2024 I ask you do you have a relationship with God?

Why not start this year right? Walking with Jesus Christ knowing your sin is forgiven. Living in a close relationship with Him.

That's why you were made. Again as Paul said my determined purpose in life is to know Him. Do you know Him? You may know all about Him.

That doesn't mean you know Him. To know Him is to have Him living inside of you as your Savior and your Lord and your friend and your Master and your God your Lord and only you can ask Him to come into your life. So we're going to close in prayer and I'm going to extend an invitation for anyone that wants Jesus Christ to come into their life or anybody that wants to make a recommitment to Him as we enter into this new year. Let's all pray. Father thank you for your love for us. Thank you for creating us. We're created on purpose for a purpose and that purpose is to know you and I pray for anybody here or watching wherever they are. If they don't have a relationship with you let this be the moment they believe.

Now while our heads are bowed and our eyes are closed and we're praying. How many of you would say today I need Jesus. I don't have Him living in my life. I am actually very afraid to die. I have a big hole in my soul and I want to find this meaning and purpose you've been talking about today. Pray for me. If you want Jesus Christ to come into your life. If you want Him to forgive you of your sin.

If you want to know that you will go to heaven when you die. Wherever you are I want you to raise your hand up and I'm going to pray for you. Raise your hand up where I can see you and I'll pray for you today.

Raising your hand you're saying I need Jesus today. God bless you. God bless you. Raise your hand up where I can see it. God bless you. Yes. Anybody else? God bless.

God bless you as well. Wherever you are you're not too young to do this. You're not too old to do this. You're not too good to do this. You're a sinner like the rest of us.

You're not too bad to do this. God will forgive any sin but you must come to Him. Let me pray for you. You want Christ to come into your life today. Raise your hand up. Let me pray for you. God bless. While our heads are still bowed maybe there's some people who would say I've lost my way.

I know it's right. I know how I should live as a Christian but I have not lived that way. But I want to recommit my life to Jesus at the beginning of this new year. I want to come back to the Lord like a prodigal son or daughter. Pray for me. If that's your desire raise your hand up and let me pray for you. God bless you. God bless you.

Now you guys watching on the screen wherever you are Harvest Riverside, Harvest Maui, online you can make the same commitment. All right now every one of you that has raised their hand I want you to stand to your feet and I'm going to lead you in a prayer. Stand to your feet. If you raised your hand even if you did not stand up and we're going to pray together and settle this right here right now.

God bless you. By the way others are standing. You won't be alone. Stand up and we'll pray together. Wherever you are you guys at Harvest Riverside stand up. You guys at Harvest Maui stand up. I'll wait one more moment. Anybody else stand now.

If you're in an overflow area watching one of our screens just stand up. We're all going to pray together. You don't have to be in this room.

It's between you and God. He'll hear your prayer. Anybody else stand now. God bless all of you standing. All right I want you standing to pray this prayer out loud after me. Again as I pray pray this out loud right now. Pray these words. Lord Jesus I know that I'm a sinner but I know that you're the Savior who was born in the manger of Bethlehem.

Who died on the cross of Calvary and rose again from the dead. Jesus come into my life. I choose to follow you now. Be my Savior. Be my Lord. Be my God and be my friend. In Jesus name I pray.

Amen. God bless every one of you. God bless you. God bless you. Hey everybody thanks for listening to this podcast. To learn more about Harvest Ministries follow this show and consider supporting it just go to harvest.org and to find out how to know God personally go to harvest.org and click on know God.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-14 04:25:35 / 2024-01-14 04:41:04 / 15

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