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The Refreshing Power of the Spirit-Filled Life | Calling on God

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
April 23, 2024 3:00 am

The Refreshing Power of the Spirit-Filled Life | Calling on God

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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April 23, 2024 3:00 am

Sometimes, a child needs a little help from his mom or dad. Whether it’s trying to tie his shoe, or trying to climb a tree, sometimes he just can quite make it on his own. Well, whether we admit or not, we often need help from our Heavenly Father. When we try to live a righteous life, but still have a sin nature, that’s when we need to rely on our God. And today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us see how to call on God and accept His help in our daily walk.

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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 Don't try to be righteous by trying harder. Pray for the help of the Holy Spirit. We all have a sin nature.

Don't we know that all too well? Today, Pastor Greg Laurie points out, we need the help of someone more powerful than us. Stop trying to be spiritual. Stop trying to be good.

You will fail because you're bad. But God is good and He'll give you the strength to live the life He has called you to live. Sometimes the child needs a little help from his mom or dad, whether it's trying to tie his shoe or trying to climb a tree.

Sometimes he just can't quite make it on his own. Whether we admit it or not, we often need help from our Heavenly Father. When we try to live a righteous life but still have a sin nature, that's when we need to rely on our God. And today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us see how to call on God and accept His help in our daily walk. Our text that we're going to look at together is Romans 8. Romans 8 is one of my favorite chapters in all of the Bible.

And I think after this message it might become one of your favorite chapters as well. 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 in 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 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. 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'll be no failures. It does not say there'll be no inconsistencies in our life.

What it does say is there's no condemnation. Here's the classic story. There's a woman who was caught in the act of adultery. She was drugged and thrown at the feet of Jesus by some religious rulers. And they said the law says this woman should be condemned to death. What do you say? What do you say? Now I wonder where was the man? He somehow got away scot-free didn't he? Here's this woman caught in the act of sin.

She should be stoned. What do you say? We read that Jesus looked at the crowd. He stooped down and wrote in the sand. Then he stood up and he said let him that is without sin cast the first stone.

That cleared the room out really quickly. You wonder what did he write in the sand? I don't think he was playing tic-tac-toe. He probably looked at one of those men Joshua and maybe wrote down the number of the commandment he was breaking.

I'm not sure. Whatever he did caused him to come under conviction and they all left. And then he turns to the woman and he says woman where are your accusers? It's interesting the word he uses there for woman is a term of respect. Almost as though he was saying lady or ma'am. She had probably not been called that in a long time.

She'd been called a lot of other things. Ma'am lady where are your accusers? She says I have none Lord. He says neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.

You say but wait. She was caught in the act of sin. How could he treat her that way? Listen to what she said in response to his question of where are your accusers.

She said I have none comma Lord. It was at that moment she believed and Jesus saw she believed. Therefore there was 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. Now spirit led people are spiritually minded people. Spirit led people are spiritually minded people.

Look at verse five of Romans 8. Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think only about sinful things. But those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the spirit. Comes down to what you think about.

This is command central. So a thought reap an act. So an act reap a habit. So a habit reap a character.

So a character reap a destiny. Protect your mind. Think about things that please the Holy Spirit. Well what things please the Holy Spirit? Paul identifies them for us here in Romans 8. Romans 8 14 says those that are led by the spirit of God are the sons of God.

Think about that. God wants to lead you as His son or His daughter. Romans 8 15 to 16 tells us God removes the spirit of rejection and assures us that we're God's children. It says God is not giving you a spirit of bondage again to fear but one of adoption whereby you cry Abba Father which is the affectionate cry of a Hebrew child.

Kind of like a little boy or girl saying daddy. And then finally Romans 8 26 and 27 tells us that the Holy Spirit gives us confidence as we approach God in prayer. So listen these are things that the Holy Spirit cares about and these are things that we should care about. Remember you're adopted by God. You're loved by God.

You're welcomed by God. Think about these things because they please the Holy Spirit. Think about the fact that you are loved by God and your lives are in His control because we can be devastated by our worry and forget these simple truths that we need to be reminded of over and over again.

In my first message in this series I talked about the fact that Peter says I want to remind you of these things or refresh your memories. And it's a refreshing thing to remember that I'm loved by God and that God is in control of my life. Now the contrast of living a spirit-filled life is living a worldly one. Verse 5 of Romans 8 says those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things. This is a person that just thinks about satisfying their impulses and the appetites of their flesh. It can be illicit things like sex outside of marriage, sex before marriage, drugs, booze, partying, things of that nature. It can be empty things like fame and fortune. Or it could simply be a person who only thinks about the physical and never thinks about the spiritual. Jesus talks about the non-believers who only worry about what they are going to eat, what they are going to wear, and what they are going to drink. He says don't be like those people but seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you.

No. You need to think about what you are going to wear. You need to think about a roof over your head.

You need to think about what you are going to eat. Jesus is not saying don't think about it. He is saying don't be obsessed with it. Don't make the entire focus of your life pursuing those things at the exclusion of pursuing God. In fact some people ought to think a little bit more about their appearance because maybe they neglect it. You know Paul says bodily exercise profits little but godliness is helpful for all things so people will get out of shape and they will be really overweight and they will quote that verse. Well Paul does say it profits some.

So you can go too far either way. There is a balance in all of these things. But what the Bible is saying is be preoccupied with these things that Paul has told us about here in Romans 8. That we are adopted by God. We are loved by God.

And we are welcomed by God. Don't try to be righteous by trying harder. That is another form of living in the flesh. Admit you can't do it on your own and pray for the help of the Holy Spirit. Paul does that at the end of Romans 7. He writes oh who's going to free me from this life that I am living under the power of sin? Oh wretched man that I am.

And then he gives the answer. It's in Jesus Christ our Lord. Are you struggling with sin right now? Cry out to God. Say God I can't overcome this on my own strength.

I'm coming to you and I'm asking for your help. I'm asking for the help of the Holy Spirit. Stop trying to be spiritual. Stop trying to be good.

You will fail because you're bad. But God is good and He'll give you the strength to live the life He has called you to live. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. We're thrilled when we hear from listeners that join us from every background, every profession, every age. Pastor Greg I just wanted to say thank you. I've always known of Jesus but recently listened to your podcast and your sermons and they've changed my perspective and my relationship with God. I'm 15 years old and a young Christian and I can't wait to see where God's word takes me. Thank you for being such a good role model to me. We appreciate hearing how Pastor Greg's studies are impacting lives.

Would you consider sharing your story? If so, call us and let us know. Call 1-866-871-1144.

866-871-1144. Well Pastor Greg's current series is called Refresh What Every Christian Needs to Know and today's focus is on living a Spirit-filled life. Pastor Greg continues now. How can you tell if you're living a Spirit-controlled life? The Holy Spirit is at home in the hearts of Spirit-led believers.

I underline those two words at home. The Holy Spirit is at home in the hearts of Spirit-led believers. Verse 9 of Romans 8, you're in the Spirit if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you, dwells in you. Now does not the Holy Spirit live in the heart of every Christian?

Answer yes. When you become a Christian the Holy Spirit seals you and He indwells you. But this word here that is used by Paul for dwell means to be at home. There's a difference between just being in a home and being at home. Have you ever noticed different homes have their own smells? I used to visit a home. I won't say who's but it always smelled of mothballs. I think this person felt that you could never have enough mothballs and after you left that home you would smell like mothballs. This is not a good scent people. And then another home has a strange smell. It's like were you just baking socks in the oven or what is going on in this house?

What is this odd smell? It doesn't make you want to stay there for very long. But then you go into a home and there's some great home cooking taking place. Maybe it's Italian food. Oh I love the smell of Italian food or Mexican food or barbecue and you go oh I like this place. I like just being in this room where I smell this incredible aroma. Well is the Holy Spirit at home in your heart?

Is He comfortable in your life? I mentioned earlier that the Holy Spirit has a personality. Yes He is God but yes He can be sinned against specifically. The Bible tells us the Holy Spirit can be insulted. He can be resisted and He can be blasphemed.

And listen to this. The Holy Spirit can even be made sad. Have you ever done or said anything to someone that reduced them to tears? It's so hard to look at someone crying because of something you just said or something you just did. Could we actually make God's Holy Spirit sad?

The answer is yes. Ephesians 4 30 Paul writes, don't bring sorrow to God's Holy Spirit by the way you live. Get rid of bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another just as God through Christ has forgiven you. So rage, anger, harsh words, slander. They make the Holy Spirit sad. Wow imagine if we just went out on social media especially Twitter and decided to not use it to tear any person down.

Don't denigrate anybody. What a different place it would be because some people just live for that conflict. And people seem to be getting so upset these days. There's more road rage than ever. And people don't even seem to know how to get on a plane and behave themselves.

Arrests of disturbances and conflicts in planes now has gone up dramatically. It's almost like after this time of COVID we've all forgotten our manners and we're all filled with this pent up rage that makes God's Holy Spirit sorrowful. Listen you can hold a point of view and not be mean about it. You can have a certain belief and not tear others down while you're talking about it. That grieves the Holy Spirit of God that makes God's Spirit sad and sorrowful. And that is not living a Spirit controlled life. God wants you to be tenderhearted. He wants you to be kind.

He wants you to be forgiving. That pleases the Holy Spirit. Last point Spirit led believers overcome the old life. Spirit led believers overcome the old life. Romans 8 13 says if you live according to the flesh you will die. But if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you shall live.

Another translation puts it this way. So don't you see that you don't owe this old do it yourself life one red cent. There's nothing in it for us. Nothing at all.

The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life. God's Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go. I like that translation. You're living by the power of the Spirit. Just focus on walking with Jesus. When you are in love with Jesus these other things will fall away. Oh yeah you'll get tempted. Oh yes you will sin. But it won't be a pattern anymore. It won't be your lifestyle anymore.

Because you are preoccupied with other things. And more specifically you're preoccupied with Christ himself. Asking him to fill you with his Holy Spirit each and every day. One last verse. Romans 8 14. For as many as are led by the Spirit they are the sons of God.

Let me ask you. Are you a son of God? Are you a daughter of God?

You know I mentioned that we're adopted by God when we become Christians. I didn't ever know my biological father growing up. But my mother married a man named Oscar Laurie. That's where I got my name. Oscar.

No Laurie. And this guy was great. He adopted me formally. He treated me as a father should treat a son.

He disciplined me when I went astray. He tried to teach me lessons and and do the best that he could and helping me to be a good boy. But tragically my mom left him and I didn't see him for the rest of my childhood. But I did have the privilege of reconnecting with him as a young adult after I'd become a Christian and started our church. And I also had the privilege of leading him to the Lord.

That's another story for another time. But he adopted me. He adopted me. And God has adopted you if you put your faith in Christ. For it says as many as are led by the Spirit they are the sons of God. Are you a son or a daughter of God?

Are you a child of God? That comes through believing in Jesus Christ. He can pardon you of every sin you have ever committed. I mentioned that woman caught in the act of sexual sin. And Jesus said go and sin more.

He forgave her right there on the spot. And God can do that for you right here right now. You've messed up. You've made mistakes. You've sinned. You don't have to be controlled by your past.

You don't have to be crippled by it either. You can put it behind you and you can be a new person in Jesus Christ. We've been talking about the Holy Spirit. How you can lie to him. You can grieve him or make him sad or sorrowful. You can resist him. And finally you can blaspheme him. Jesus described the unforgivable sin as the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. What does it mean to blaspheme the Spirit? Because you say well I've cursed God and I've said a lot of things. Maybe I've blasphemed him. Understand as I said earlier the work of the Holy Spirit is to show you your need for Jesus.

Show you that you need to come to him. You can resist him and resist him and resist him and come to a point where you've gone too far. Yes a point of no return. That is blaspheming the Holy Spirit. The only unforgivable sin is the rejection of Jesus Christ.

For the Bible says how can we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? So if you say I don't want Jesus. I don't need Jesus.

I don't care about Jesus. I want to keep living my life the way I'm living it. You have that choice. God's given you a free will.

Now it's the wrong choice. But God's Holy Spirit is saying no come to him. Believe in him. You're loved by him. And if you say no to the Holy Spirit and keep saying no yes your heart can become irreparably hard.

Don't let that happen. There might be someone I'm talking to right now that has run from God for years. Maybe even decades.

Maybe even most of their life. This is your moment to come to him. This is your moment to be forgiven by him. This is your moment to come into a relationship with the God who loves you.

He loves you so much he sent his only son Jesus Christ to come in a rescue operation to planet earth and die on the cross for your sins. And then Christ rose again from the dead. Now he stands at the door of your life and he knocks and he says if you'll hear his voice and open the door he'll come in. I would like to give you an opportunity to open your heart to a whole new life. Open your heart to radical change.

Open your heart to Jesus Christ himself who will come and live in sight of you and forgive you of all of your sin. In a moment I'm going to pray a simple prayer. If you need Jesus in your life pray this prayer with me. You could even pray it out loud if you would like to. But this is your moment where everything can change for you. Let me close with this thought.

This is a yes or no proposition. Jesus said you're either for me or against me. It was those words that got the attention of a 17 year old boy many years ago on this high school campus named Greg. And he looked around at the Christians and thought well I'm not one of them. Does that mean I'm against Jesus Christ? And I certainly did not want to be. So I prayed and asked Christ to come into my life and I've never ever regretted that decision.

And you will not regret this decision either. Jesus is ready to come into your life. If you would like him to forgive you of your sin pray this simple prayer with me right now. Let's all pray. Just pray these words 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 again from the dead. I turn from my sin now and I choose to follow you from this moment forward. In Jesus name I pray.

Amen. An important prayer on this important day for so many who are making a decision for the Lord today. Pastor Greg Laurie leading listeners in prayer today on a new beginning. And if you've just prayed that prayer we want to be the first to welcome you into the family of God. And you may have some questions as you begin living the life of faith. Well Pastor Greg answers many of the typical questions new believers ask as a part of the study helps in his new believers Bible. We'd like to send you a copy free of any charge to help you get started walking with the Lord. So get in touch and ask for the new believers Bible. You can call us at 1-800-821-3300.

Again that's 1-800-821-3300. Call anytime or go online to and click know God. Pastor Greg. Well I'm here with my friend Levi Lusko today. Of course Levi is the pastor of Fresh Life Church and he's also a prolific author. And he's written a brand new book which is a devotional for kids called Marvel at the Moon. I know Levi very well. I've actually known him since he's been a little kid.

Now he's a young man and I know that he loves his wife and I know that he loves his family and he also loves good coffee. But now a new discovery for me I didn't know the extent of it but Levi really loves outer space because in this new book that he's written for children Marvel at the Moon he really engages kids on this topic. So Levi I know that you preach from your pulpit every week at Fresh Life Church and of course you write many books but this one is for the kids. Tell me how is this different to write for kids than for an adult? Well you know being a grown-up child myself a big kid like like you Greg.

I don't feel like it took too much work. I'm very easily amused and I'm I just am a little a little boy in a 41 year old's body. I think sometimes especially when I get around astronauts and NASA I got to send my book about the Moon to the space station. My friend who's an astronaut flew it with him on a mission and it got to spend six months orbiting the planet on the International Space Station and I'm just like when I got to go watch him take off at the launch you know these these things are incredible. The Saturn V rocket that took the Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin and Charlie Duke to space it took off 13 times faster than a bullet leaving a gun. I mean it's unbelievable. Six miles a second this thing travels.

The most powerful rocket ever launched by man is the Saturn V rocket. It's the size of a 36-story building and it takes off that quickly. It's unbelievable and you can't watch that and feel like you're a big deal. You're like you're a big deal. You're like oh my gosh I'm so small this is so massive you feel it in your chest but trying to capture that feeling and that emotion is what I want people to feel reading this book. I want people reading to their kids at bedtime or at breakfast or putting the audiobook on in the car on the way to school or something just to have that feeling of wow excitement you know your pulse racing and that's how we should feel about God because with apologies to the Saturn V rocket God makes it look like a bottle rocket because he's so power powerful you know he spoke stars into existence and he rides on the wind like it's his chariot and in his temple everybody says glory. So the way I felt at that rocket launch is the way we should all feel having our quiet time or worshiping him.

We should come kneel before the Lord our God for he is our maker. Thanks Levi. So that's great insight from Pastor Levi Lasko talking about his new book Marvel at the Moon 90 devotions for kids based on outer space. I think your kids are going to really like this and that's why we're offering it to you for your gift of any size to our ministry and when you send that gift in and I ask you to be generous we use that to continue this ministry you know we want to reach people of all ages and all the time I get letters from not only older folks who listen but they tell me the little ones listen as well and so this is a devotion that is going to be great for the kids. Marvel at the Moon by Levi Lasko. Dave tell them how they can order a copy.

Yeah just give us a call and mention that title Marvel at the Moon. We're eager to send a copy your way to thank you for your partnership. We're completely listener supported so your investment makes a big difference. Just call us at 1-800-821-3300.

We can take your call anytime again at 1-800-821-3300 or go online to Hey everybody I want to encourage you to check out the new Harvest Plus app. It's on Roku, Apple TV and Google Play among others and you can stream incredible content on all major platforms for free. You're going to find live events, our evangelistic films like A Rush of Hope, Johnny Cash The Redemption of an American Icon, Steve McQueen The Salvation of an American Icon and our newest film Fame. Plus our TV programs, our podcast Harvest at Home and a lot more.

Stream it all on any device for free using the new Harvest Plus app. Well next time Pastor Greg explains how we often come closest to God in our times of great spiritual need. It's a revealing study from the series called Refresh. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher Greg Laurie. Thanks for listening to A New Beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God. Sign up for daily devotions and learn how to become a Harvest Partner at
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