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The Refreshing Power of the Spirit-Filled Life | Guidance and Power

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
April 22, 2024 3:00 am

The Refreshing Power of the Spirit-Filled Life | Guidance and Power

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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April 22, 2024 3:00 am

A car can’t go anywhere without an engine. A car better not go anywhere without a steering wheel! A car needs propulsion and direction. You know, so do believers. And today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie points out how it’s the Spirit of God who provides both. He leads us in the path we should go. And He gives us the spiritual strength to make the journey. You’ve joined us for an encouraging series today called “Refresh: What Every Christian Needs to Know.”

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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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We're glad you're joining us for A New Beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast supported by Harvest Partners. Get more encouraging audio content when you subscribe to Pastor Greg's Daily Devos.

Learn more and sign up at harvest.org. This isn't about trying harder. This is about realizing that there is power there to help us to live this Christian life. A car can't go anywhere without an engine. A car better not go anywhere without a steering wheel.

A car needs propulsion and direction. And you know, so do believers. And today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie points out how it's the Spirit of God who provides both. He leads us in the path we should go, and He gives us the spiritual strength to make the journey.

You've joined us for an encouraging series today called Refresh, what every Christian needs to know. Heard the story of an old farmer, his wife, and their son who drove into the big city for the first time in their old beat-up pickup truck. So the father and son decided to go into this towering skyscraper and check out the magnificent lobby.

The wife stayed in the truck. As the son and the father walk in, they see these massive doors suddenly open up, and an elderly woman walks inside. And then the doors shut. A few moments pass, the doors open again, and out comes a beautiful young girl. The old farmer says to his son, quick, go get mama.

That's an elevator, by the way, in case you missed the joke. But wouldn't it be great if we could just change that quickly? You know, watch one service online, and your whole life is changed, and the trajectory of your life is changed.

Well, that's not going to happen. Listen, when you put your faith in Christ, your eternal destination changes from hell to heaven. Your citizenship is now in heaven. But then becoming more Christ-like, well, that takes a lifetime. But let me say, what better way to live one's life? So I want to talk to you about how you can change, and how you can continue to see change in your life as a follower of Jesus in this message, the refreshing power of the Spirit-filled life. Let me start with a question. Are you content with where you're at right now spiritually? Or do you find yourself taking two steps forward and three steps back? You seem like you're growing, and then you have a huge setback. Maybe there's a pattern of sin in your life right now that you can't seem to break free from. It's sort of like a Goliath.

It just becomes more powerful with each passing day. If you don't know what I'm talking about, Goliath is from a story in the Old Testament. He was a 9 foot 6 inch giant of a man that faced off with young David in the valley of Elah. And you know, Goliath wasn't born a giant. I'm sure he was a big baby. I don't think anybody would have ever wanted to change his diaper. And man, when he had a temper tantrum, I can't imagine the terrible twos for Goliath.

But eventually the little baby became a young man, and then he became a full-grown adult giant of a man. And maybe that's how you feel about your sin. It just gets larger and larger, and you don't know how to defeat it. It maybe even causes you to become very depressed. Am I talking to a depressed person right now? A person who's really down right now? In fact, you're so down that you even contemplated taking your own life.

May I say to you, don't even consider that. You are loved by God. You are loved by people more than you realize.

And you have so much to offer. But yes, we do get depressed. And I think there's one of three reasons we get depressed. We get depressed by something we did in our past. Something we did we wish we had not done.

Something we said we wish we had not said. So you're depressed about your past. And maybe the ramifications of bad decisions continue to affect you this day. Or maybe you're anxious and depressed about your future. You worry about, what if this happens? What if that happens and it weighs heavily on you? Or maybe you're weighed down by something presently.

You're facing a big problem. It may be internal. It may be external. Maybe it's involving work or your family. It might be an illness. A financial crisis.

A legal problem. The list goes on. I read a tragic story about a young woman who was a successful dietitian living in New York City. Her Instagram page was filled with happy photos of her dining around the world and visiting exotic locations. She was living the life some people only dream of. But tragically she took her own life through suicide. In her suicide note to her mother she wrote these words, quote, Despite a great life, she was feeling absolutely nothing. She wrote, I have accepted hope as nothing more than delayed disappointment. And I'm just plain tired of feeling tired. End quote. Am I talking to somebody right now that's just tired of feeling tired? You feel that hope is nothing more than delayed disappointment?

By the way, that's not unique to our time. In the oldest book of the Bible, the book of Job, Job writes in Job 8, The hopes of the godless evaporate. Their confidence hangs by a thread. They are leaning on a spider's web.

Have you ever tried to lean on a spider's web? That won't hold you up very well. If you put your hope, if you put your trust in the things this world, this culture offers, you will come up empty.

That's what happened to this woman in such a sad way it ended for her. But you can put your hope in God and everything can change for you. Now our text that we are going to look at together is Romans 8. Romans 8 is the answer to the depression about one's past, present, and future.

And there is hope resonating from the verses we will read in Romans 8. For starters, Romans 8 tells us that there is no condemnation for our past. There is no condemnation for our past because Romans 8 says, There is therefore no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. You know when we sin, and we all do sin of course, the devil condemns us.

And then we join in the condemnation and we condemn ourselves. But yet what does the Bible say in 1 John 1.9? It says that we will confess our sin. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Now is God telling the truth or not? Well He is telling the truth. And if He tells us He will cleanse us from all unrighteousness, I should accept that in my life and believe that God has forgiven me.

Listen to this. I should not choose to remember what God has chosen to forget. Number two. Romans 8 38 tells me there is no separation from God's love in the future.

Number one. No condemnation from God for my past. No separation from God in my future. Because Romans 8 38 says, Paul speaking, I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love, neither death nor life, nor angels nor demons, nor our fears for today or our worries about tomorrow, no not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love.

Isn't that a great promise? No demonic power can separate you from the love of God. No matter what you do, God will never stop loving you.

Listen to this. God is not mad at you. God is mad about you.

He can't take His eyes off of you. And third and lastly, Romans 8 28 assures me that all things in the present are working together for good. You know this verse probably. 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. So no condemnation in the past.

No separation in the future. And whatever you're going through, God can ultimately work together for good. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. Hearing about listeners who find Jesus because of Pastor Greg's teaching is so encouraging.

Hi, Pastor Greg. In 1996, I accepted Jesus at a Promise Keepers event in Oakland, California, where you invited me to come down and accept Christ. It's because of your story that I found Jesus and I'm now part of your life because you helped lead me to the Lord. Because of that, my three sons are saved and most of my grandchildren as well. Your faithfulness in sharing the truth has changed my whole family. We're so grateful to hear of the changed lives through Harvest Ministries.

And if you have a story to tell, would you consider letting us know? If so, email Pastor Greg. Greg at harvest dot org.

Do it today while you're thinking about it. Again, that's Greg at harvest dot org. Well, we're in Romans Chapter 8 today for Pastor Greg's message called The Refreshing Power of the Spirit-Filled Life. Let's continue. I love Romans 8 because it's a one-stop shopping destination for hope. And we discover how to live this Spirit-filled life. And that starts, of course, with the Holy Spirit Himself. Let's read Romans 8, verses 1 to 4. There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death, for what the law could not do, and that it was weak to the flesh, God did, by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh on account of sin. He condemned sin in the flesh that the righteous requirements of the law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. So who is the Holy Spirit?

Let me say, first of all, that He has a distinct personality. The Holy Spirit is God. The Holy Spirit is a member of the Trinity. The Holy Spirit has will. The Holy Spirit has purpose.

And He has a specific work that He wants to do in your life. For forward Christians, it's a Holy Spirit that convicts us of our sin. It's a Holy Spirit that draws us to Christ. It's a Holy Spirit that seals us once we have believed in Christ. And then after that, as a believer, it's the Holy Spirit who will lead you, who will empower you, and will fill you each and every day. In fact, over in Ephesians 5 it says, Be filled with the Holy Spirit, speaking to yourself in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your hearts to the Lord. Be filled with the Spirit.

And by the way, that has nothing to do with your emotions. I think, unfortunately, people have taken the work of the Spirit and made it appear very strange. They're wild-eyed. And they speak strangely when they talk about how the Holy Spirit filled them, you know. And you go, I don't know if I want that. That kind of scares me.

Those are just weird people. It has nothing to do with the Holy Spirit. Being filled with the Spirit just simply means being controlled by the Spirit. When you ask God to fill you, you're asking Him to control your life.

In fact, the word that is used there, describing the filling of the Spirit in Ephesians 5, the word filled can be translated to permeate. So you have to think of salt in the first century, how it was used. They would have meat. Obviously they didn't refrigerate it.

That tech didn't exist yet. So they would take meat and they would rub salt into it. It would permeate into the meat and preserve it. Our closest comparison would be beef jerky. You know those little strips of beef you buy for $20 in small little bags.

Well, they would preserve their meat. So here's what he's saying. The Holy Spirit wants to permeate your life. The Holy Spirit wants to be a part of every aspect of your life. The Holy Spirit wants to be a part of your marriage. The Holy Spirit wants to be a part of your singleness. The Holy Spirit wants to permeate your career. He wants to permeate your ministry.

He wants to be a part of everything. Let the Holy Spirit permeate your life. And then another way this word is translated is the word that is used to describe wind filling a sail.

So have you ever been out on a sailboat and there's no wind and you're just waiting for that gust of wind to carry you along? Let the Holy Spirit fill your sails. Let the Holy Spirit permeate every area of your life. Let the Holy Spirit fill you and control you.

This isn't about trying harder. This is about realizing that there is power there to help us to live this Christian life. So when Paul says be filled with the Spirit, it's also in the original language a command.

So here's what Paul is saying. I command you to go to God and say that I need your Holy Spirit to permeate my life and to fill my sails and to guide me each and every day. So what do we learn here about living the Spirit-filled life, the refreshing power of the Spirit-filled life? If you're taking notes, here's point number one. I already touched on this.

Let me come back to it. A Spirit-led believer lives a condemnation-free life. Let me say that again. A Spirit-filled believer. A Spirit-led believer lives a condemnation-free life. Romans 8 starts with no condemnation and then ends with no separation. It does not say there will be no failures. It does not say there will be no inconsistencies in our life. What it does say is there's no condemnation because there's no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. You're a new person.

The Bible says, If any man be in Christ, he is an altogether different kind of person. The old things have passed away. Behold, everything becomes fresh and new.

See, God sees you for what you will become, not just what you are. I remember that he saw Simon and he gave him a new name, Rock. You are Rock, he said to Simon. Simon the vacillator. Simon the impetuous.

Simon the hot-headed one who always spoke his mind. You, Jesus says, are Rock. I think the other disciples might have been in the background snickering a little bit, thinking, Does Jesus know who this guy is? Oh, he knew. But he knew that Simon would grow into his name. And God sees what you will become, not just what you are. We see failure. God sees potential. We see a Simon. God sees a Peter. We see the past. God sees the future. We see the end. God sees a new beginning.

Point number two. The best way to not go backwards is to go forward in the Spirit. Again, the best way to not go backwards is to go forward in the Spirit. Verse four. The righteous requirements of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. Now before Romans 8 is Romans 7.

Is that not an amazing insight? But in Romans 7 we find Paul struggling with sin. Not sure how he can overcome sin. In Romans 7 we read Paul writing, I want to do what is right but I can't. I want to do what is good but I don't. I don't want to do what is wrong but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don't want to do, I'm not really the one doing it. It's sin living in me that does it. Hey, does that sound familiar? Do you ever find yourself doing the thing you don't want to do?

Thinking the thoughts you don't want to think and you're thinking, Why is this happening? In fact in Romans chapter 7 Paul uses the word I 30 times and there's not a single mention of the Holy Spirit. But in contrast in Romans 8 there are at least 20 references to the Holy Spirit. So the idea is in Romans 7 he's trying to do it in his own strength. And in Romans 8 he realizes there's help. There's power. There's one here who will enable me to live the life God has called me to live and it's the Holy Spirit. Again the best way to not go backwards is to go forward. See if you are a spiritual person you will want to do spiritual things.

Take as an example a fit person. Now I was in New York City some time ago with my friend Skip Heitzig who is a pastor in Albuquerque, New Mexico. So we went to this place called the Meatball Shop. And it's pretty well known and I have to tell you if you are ever in New York go check it out. They have the best meatball sandwiches on earth.

And I have been there a few times and I have sort of figured out the best way to order. I order the spicy meatballs with the spicy sauce on the white bread. The reason the white bread is good is it sort of absorbs the sauce. And he put some red pepper flakes on it.

It's fantastic. And so I am eating my very good spicy meatball sandwich on white bread. But Skip Heitzig, I am not making this up, orders chicken meatballs. Not pork meatballs. Not spicy pork meatballs. Chicken meatballs. Wait for it.

On kale salad. I think there should be a law against that actually. But then again look at Skip. He is incredibly thin.

And I am not. So maybe there is a method to the madness. So when you look at a fit person there is probably a reason they are a fit person. It involves what they eat. What they don't eat.

Their exercise regimen. And other things that they do. Now let's apply this to the spiritual life. One person gets up in the morning and the first thing they do is they open up the Bible. And they pray. And they ask God to fill them with the Holy Spirit. Then they get in their vehicle and maybe they are driving to work. And they are listening to a Christian radio station, worship music, or maybe a podcast of a Bible study. And they are getting stronger spiritually. Well another person in contrast sleeps in. No Bible study.

No prayer. They listen to talk radio on the way to work. So one is in church involved. Involved in a small group. The other is not in church or they are only there occasionally.

Not involved in a small group. And then we wonder why is one person doing better than another person? It could be compared to two dogs fighting. Fighting all the time. I heard the story of a man who had two dogs that were constantly fighting. And someone asked him, how do you determine which dog wins?

He said, the one I feed the most. See you have two natures. You have a new nature given to you when you became a Christian. And you have an old nature and that is what you always default back to automatically. Your sinful inclinations. So if you want to do better spiritually you have to feed the one dog if you will. Feed the new nature.

Listen I am not trying to put you under legalism here. That is what we have been freed from. This is not works righteousness. This is in fact a working righteousness. And the way to do it is with the help of the Holy Spirit. Good practical insight from Pastor Greg Laurie. On today's edition of A New Beginning he is bringing us a message called The Refreshing Power of the Spirit-Filled Life.

Part of his new series titled Refresh. Now we want to pause for just a moment and mention that this power from the Holy Spirit is available to believers. It is available to those who have entered into a relationship with the Lord. Pastor Greg has a further word to share about that. So as you have been listening today maybe you have thought to yourself, man I wish I had this relationship with God that is being talked about.

Well you can. He is only a prayer away. You see becoming a Christian it doesn't take years, it doesn't take months, it doesn't take weeks, it doesn't even take hours. It can happen in a moment.

That is how it happened for me. I just heard the gospel and all of a sudden I realized this is all true. And maybe you have realized that as well. Let me ask you. Would you like Jesus Christ to come into your life? Would you like him to forgive you of your sin? Would you like this relationship with God we have been talking about today? If so, why don't you just pray a simple prayer with me. Say this to God. Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, but I know that you are the Savior who died on the cross for my sin and rose again from the dead. Jesus, I turn from my sin and I choose to follow you from this moment forward as my Savior and Lord, as my God and friend. Thank you for hearing this prayer. And I ask this in Jesus' name. Amen. Hey, did you just pray that prayer? If so, I want to send you at no charge what we call a New Believer's Bible.

Here's Dave to tell you more. And let me just say congratulations. You've made the right decision.

Yeah, that's right. And listen, to help you begin to live this new life, this life where you're at peace with God and can begin to enjoy the peace of God, let us send you Pastor Greg's New Believer's Bible. It's the perfect resource for someone who's new to the faith. We'll send it free of charge if you'll just contact us and request it. Call 1-800-821-3300.

That's 1-800-821-3300. Or go online to harvest.org and click Know God. Well, it's a real privilege to have our friend, Pastor Levi Lesko, with us today. He's just finished a 90-day devotional book for kids called Marvel at the Moon.

And we'll tell you how to get a copy. Pastor Greg? So, Levi, I love the title of your new book and this whole theme about space. You even dedicate the book to the men and women of NASA. So, were you like a junior astronaut when you were a kid or something?

You know, I'm not a junior astronaut, Greg. But, you know, it just lifts our hearts up to see beautiful things. That's why in Psalm 8, David said, God, when I consider your heavens, the sun, the moon, the stars that you made, now, what is man that you are mindful of us?

And what is the son of man that you would visit us? And there's just something, I think, about the way God made us, that when we see a beautiful sunset, when we hear the ocean waves, and when we look up and see the stars and moon, it puts us in our proper place. I like to say that it right-sizes us.

You know, because we tend to walk around feeling pretty important. We're big deals. Our problems are so big. But then you look at the moon and the stars and you go, Oh, God, you measure it with the span of your hands. You're so big. We're so small.

We're just going to trust you. And I imagine David as the king, you know, when he would stand on his balcony looking up at the stars. All the pressures of running the kingdom of Israel probably melted away when he would be reminded of the bigness of Yahweh. And I think that's what I want to point our kids to, and I think that's what, you know, we can hopefully, through this resource and others like it, continue to engage not only their minds and souls, but also their imaginations, because that is such an important, oftentimes underutilized tool as we grow up. Well, that's a great insight. Levi Lesko has written this powerful book called Marvel at the Moon for Kids, 90 devotionals based on outer space and the Bible, beautifully illustrated. This is going to engage not only your children, but, listen, adults, you're going to like it, too. You're going to learn a lot.

I know I've enjoyed reading it myself. We want to send you this book by Levi Lesko, Marvel at the Moon, for your gift of any size this month. Whatever you send will be used to keep this ministry going so we can do what we do.

Teach God's Word, proclaim the Gospel, call people to Christ. So I encourage you to order your own copy of Marvel at the Moon, our gift to you this month, for your gift of any size. Yeah, that's right. And we have a copy waiting for you. Just get in touch with your support and ask for Marvel at the Moon. You can call us anytime around the clock at 1-800-821-3300. That's 1-800-821-3300. Or write A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514.

Or just go online to harvest.org. Well, next time we'll stay right here in Romans, Chapter 8, for more good insights on how to live a Spirit-filled life. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher, Greg Laurie. This is the day, the day when life begins Hey everybody, thanks for listening to A New Beginning. This is a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners. So for more content that can help you know God and equip you to make Him known to others, or to learn more about how you can become a Harvest Partner, just go to harvest.org.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-04-22 05:20:54 / 2024-04-22 05:31:46 / 11

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