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The Refreshing Power of the Word of God | Guidance From God's Word

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
May 9, 2024 3:00 am

The Refreshing Power of the Word of God | Guidance From God's Word

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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May 9, 2024 3:00 am

According to one survey, only 5% of people read owners’ manuals. Maybe that’s why one lady called Kitchen Aid to ask which was the best spin cycle in her clothes washer for drying her lettuce. And then wanted to know why her clothes were turning green. Well, we have an owner’s manual for life: the Bible. But so many leave it on the shelf. Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us recognize the Bible for what it is: a book that gives the prescription for life.

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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. to what you're facing in the moment. You can trust the Word of God. According to one survey, only five percent of people read owner's manuals.

Maybe that's why one lady called KitchenAid to ask which was the best spin cycle and her clothes washer for drying her lettuce, and then wanted to know why her clothes were turning green. Well, we have an owner's manual for life, the Bible, but so many leave it on the shelf. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us recognize the Bible for what it is.

It's a book that gives the prescription for life. This is my last message in our series that we're simply calling Refresh, and I want to talk to you about the refreshing power of the Word of God, because the reality is, as believers, we all have those moments when we stumble, when we trip up, when we make that wrong decision, we think that wrong thought, and we need to repent. We need to reboot. We need to be revived and refreshed, and that's what we're going to be focusing on together. Listen, a growing believer will delight in and love the Word of God. You'll love it. It's not like you'll dread reading it.

You'll look forward to reading it. Psalm 1 describing the happy man says, happy is the man that doesn't walk in the counsel of the ungodly, or stand in the way of sinners, or sit in the seat of the scornful, but his delight is in the Word of the Lord, and in it does he meditate day and night. The Psalm has said in Psalm 119, how I love your commandments, Lord.

They give my life back to me because you're unfailing love, and your words are true. So this is something we need to understand. You have to open up this book. Heard about a woman that wasn't feeling well, so her husband took her to see her doctor, and she went into his office. A little time passed, and the doctor comes rushing out, and he says, is there anybody here that is a screwdriver?

Someone happened to have one. They gave it to the doctor. He goes back in the office where this man's wife is.

Another moment passes. The doctor comes out again and says, does anyone have a pair of pliers? Someone gives the doctor a pair of pliers. He goes back in the office.

He returns again. Does anyone here have a hammer? So the husband grows alarmed, and he goes into the doctor's office and says, doctor, what are you doing with my wife? The doctor says, I haven't even gotten to your wife yet. I'm just trying to get my medical bag open. See, that's how a lot of us are. We're wondering, why is life going so poorly?

Why am I making so many bad decisions? Open up the book. The doctor needed to open his medical bag.

You need to open up the Word of God. One of the ways a doctor, speaking of doctors, knows that a person is healthy is if they have an appetite. He'll ask you, how's your appetite? A healthy appetite is an indication of good health. A loss of appetite is an indication of something possibly wrong. Healthy Christians are hungry Christians, and they're hungry for the Word of God.

1 Peter 2 says, like newborn babies crave spiritual milk that you may grow up spiritually. Because you know the feeling that you have when you haven't eaten. I mean, look, you can set a clock by my stomach.

I get up in the morning. I'm hungry. I'm hungry for lunch at 11 o'clock. I'm ready to eat. I'm hungry for dinner at 5 o'clock. And when I don't eat, I get a little bit cranky. I think the phrase is hangry, right? You're angry, but it's really you're just hungry. You just need to eat something. And in the same way, you might find yourself kind of irritable and uptight and anxious and maybe angry.

And you're wondering, what's wrong? Have you read Scripture? Did you open the day with the Word of God? Jeremiah 15, 16 says, when your words came, I ate them.

They were my joy and my heart's delight, for I bear your name, O Lord God Almighty. Now, I want to tell you nine things about the Bible you need to know. Nine things about the Bible. And I'm going to go now to Psalm 19 to bring them to your attention.

Read along with me if you can. I'm reading from the King James Version. Psalm 19, verse 7. The law of the Lord. Now again, let me remind you, this could just as easily be translated the Word of the Lord or simply the Bible. So I'll say the Word of the Lord. The Word of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart. The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever. The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold. And they're sweeter than the honey and the honeycomb. Moreover, by them is your servant worn and in keeping of them there is great reward.

Beautiful. Now let's start identifying the nine things we need to know about the Bible. If you're taking notes, point number one, the Word of God is perfect. The Word of God is perfect. The phrase the law of the Lord or the Word of the Lord is simply saying it is perfect.

There's no flaws in it. Everything you need to know about God is found in the Bible. Everything you need to know about life is found in the Bible and it never goes out of date. So many things go out of date. Have you ever noticed how strange most people's photos are in the yearbook? It seems like we all collectively decide let's take a really bad picture for our yearbook and have the weirdest hairstyle of all time. So, and by the way the mullet is making a comeback.

I would highly recommend against that. Please don't do a yearbook picture in a mullet even if it's popular. Anyway, these things come and go. Hairstyles come and go.

Musical styles come and go. But the Word of God is always current and it's always relevant. I love what Lamentations 3 23 says.

It says, His mercies are new every morning. Can't you think of a time when you've read a scripture you've read before but suddenly that passage that you're familiar with jumps off the page because it's completely relevant to what you're facing in the moment. You can trust the Word of God.

Here's another point. The Word of God transforms us. The Word of God transforms us.

Psalm 19 verse 7. The law of the Lord is perfect converting the soul. The testimony of the Lord is sure making wise the simple. See when I read God's Word it transforms the way I think. It transforms me in the way that I live.

It changes me. But here's the thing we must remember. It's not enough to just read the Bible. I must do what the Bible says. James 1 22 says remember it's a message to obey not just to listen to. If you don't obey you're only fooling yourself. You're like a person who sees their face in a mirror and does nothing to improve their appearance. You see yourself walk away and you forget what you even look like.

But if you keep looking steadfastly into God's perfect law or into His Word the law that sets you free and do what it says and don't forget what you heard then God will bless you for doing it. It's amazing. You know when you go and look in a mirror it it shows you something. Sometimes you see something that others were seeing but you were not aware of.

Like there's a string of cheese hanging from your lip from the omelet you had that morning. No wonder everyone was kind of smiling at you and looking away. Oh they must think I look good. Did they know you have cheese hanging from your face? And the mirror showed you that.

So you see something in the mirror make the necessary correction. So I opened the Word of God. Oh yes I read the Bible today.

Great did you do what the Bible said? The Bible says don't just be hearers of the Word but be doers of the Word. Listen the Bible is God's Word to us and it should be treasure. As we read in Psalm 19 more to be desired are these things than gold yes than much fine gold. Psalm 119 11 the Psalmist says your word have I treasured in my heart that I might not sin against you.

What does that mean? To treasure in your heart means to hide or store something. So obviously this verse and others are advocating and encouraging Bible memorization. Do you have any Bible verses memorized?

If not why not? You say oh Greg it's I just can't memorize scripture. Oh yes you can. You have lines from movies that you quote all the time. You have lyrics from songs you've memorized.

You have so much information and data in your brain that you've committed to memory. Certainly you can make some room for the Word of God because none of those things are going to help you in a time of trouble. Lyrics of songs or lines from movies are not going to sustain you when you're facing adversity in life but the Word of God will so commit it to memory. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. It's a joy to hear when the work we do here at Harvest Ministries truly impacts lives.

Listen to these comments from one of our listeners. Last year I watched the Jesus Revolution movie, ordered your New Believers Bible and started watching your Sunday sermons online. For 28 years I thought I was a Christian but honestly don't think I was saved until a year ago when I gave my life to Jesus. I'm 60 years old and recently found a Bible teaching church in my area and was baptized. Thank you so much for your influence and evangelism in my life.

I now know for sure that the Holy Spirit lives in me. Discover the many resources available to you at harvest.org and while you're at it share your story. Write Pastor Greg an email.

Send it to greg at harvest.org. That's greg at harvest dot o-r-g. Well we're in psalm 19 today as Pastor Greg presents his final message of the refresh series. It's a study called the refreshing power of the word of God. Here's another point verse 7. The word of God gives us incredible wisdom. The word of God gives us incredible wisdom.

The testimony of the Lord is sure making wise the simple. This word that is translated simple comes from a root word that speaks of an open door. It's describing a person who has a mind like an open door.

Everything comes in and everything goes out. This person doesn't know what to take in. They don't know what to keep out and so they're naive.

They're open to everything and close to nothing. These are the kind of people that read weird conspiracy theories online and they attack as much credibility to the weird conspiracy theory as they attach to scripture. The Bible says they need to immerse themselves with scripture. So a simple-minded person will become a biblically grounded person and develop a biblical world view. This comes from the study of the word of God. There's going to be times in life where you're going to read passages of scripture you don't fully understand. I would encourage you to talk to your pastor or talk to someone who has been a Christian longer and they can probably help you. But I've been asked the question well what do you do when you come to a verse in the Bible that you don't agree with?

You probably won't like my answer and change your opinion. You're wrong because the Bible is right. You don't adapt the Bible to the way you think. You'll hear sometimes people say well you know my God would never judge a person or I believe in a God and you start describing your own God. You can't make up your God as you go. There's only one God and he's revealed in the Bible and we don't conform that God to us. We conform ourselves to him.

I'm almost done. Point number eight the word of God is right. The word of God is right. Psalm 19 verse 8 the statutes of the Lord are right rejoicing the heart. In Hebrew this means the Bible is set up for us the right path for us to follow.

You don't have to lose your bearings and the fog of human opinion. As you read scripture you know it's reliable. So as you read the Bible it's good to ask yourself a few questions.

You read a verse you can ask yourself the question is there any sin mentioned here that I should avoid? Is there any promise stated here that I ought to claim? Is there any victory for me to gain? Is there any blessing mentioned here that I could enjoy? And now number nine my last point keeping the word of God makes you happy. Keeping the word of God makes you happy. Psalm 19 verse 8 the statutes of the Lord are right rejoicing the heart.

Jesus said in Luke 11 28 happy are those that hear the word of God and keep it. You want to be a happy person. Be a person who studies the Bible. You want to be a happy person. Be a person that memorizes the Bible. You want to be a happy person.

Be a person who obeys the Bible. Listen you can have a happy life without sin. You can have a happy life without drugs or alcohol.

You can have a happy life without sex outside of marriage. God is not out to ruin your life. He wants you to be fulfilled.

The happiness he gives doesn't stop when the party is over. It's a whole different approach to life. It's a change of everything. I mentioned earlier that the Bible promises that if I believe in Jesus I'll become a different person on the inside because old things are passed away and everything becomes fresh in you. The Bible promises that God will lift that weight off of my shoulders of sin. The Bible tells me what the meaning of life is. You say well Greg what is the meaning of life?

The meaning of life is to know that God has created you. The Bible says God has said eternity in our hearts. What that means is deep down inside we know there's something more. Deep down inside we know we're made for something more. And what we're really longing for is not some new possession.

It's not some new experience. Even a relationship can't fill this void. What we're longing for deep down inside is a relationship with God himself. Revelation 4-11 says God created all things for his own pleasure. You know some people spend their whole life chasing happiness. They spend their whole life trying to find the ultimate pleasure, the ultimate experience. No you were created to give God pleasure. When you give God pleasure which means you come into a relationship with him and a friendship with him and you begin to communicate with him and hear from him you will find the pleasure you've been looking for not from seeking it but from seeking God himself. The purpose and meaning of life is to know God and discover his plan for you. The Bible also tells me how to get to heaven.

Is there any more important question than that? How do I get to heaven? I was talking with someone the other day and I asked them if they believe they would go to heaven and their answer was well yes I'm a good person.

I had to break the bad news to them that they're maybe a good person relatively speaking but they're not good enough to get to heaven. Because the Bible also tells me I'm separated from God by my sin. I've crossed the line. I've broken his commandments.

I've fallen short of his standards. But then scripture reminds me that while I was yet a sinner Christ died for me on the cross. He had nails driven through his hands and feet and blood and died in my place on the cross of Calvary and then he rose again from the dead three days later. And if I will turn from my sin the Bible says repent and be converted in times of refreshing will come from the presence of the Lord. You want to be refreshed then repent. You say repent. What does that even mean?

I don't know if I've even pented yet. Why should I repent? To repent means to change your direction. You've been walking away from God. It's time to do a U-turn. It's actually a military turn.

That means U-turn. Turn around about face and walk toward God. Repent.

Turn from your sin and turn to Jesus Christ. You want to go to heaven when you die? Here's what Jesus says. For God so loved the world he gave his only begotten son. It whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Let me leave you with this. God loves you. He loved you so much that he sent his own beloved son to die on the cross in your place. And then Jesus rose from the dead and now stands at the door of your life and he knocks.

If you'll hear his voice and open the door he'll come in. As Jesus said whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life. Do you want everlasting life? Do you want to go to heaven when you die? Do you want the burden of your guilt and shame and sin lifted from you?

Do you want a fresh start in life? It can all happen if you'll ask God to forgive you and if you will ask Jesus Christ to come into your life. In a moment we're going to pray and I'm going to extend an invitation in this prayer for you to believe in Jesus. For you to be forgiven of your sin.

For you to have from this moment forward the certainty that you'll go to heaven when you die. If you've not asked Jesus to come into your life yet do it now. If you need to recommit your life to the Lord do it now. And pray this simple prayer after me. Just pray this simple prayer if you want Christ to come into your life.

If you want to go to heaven when you die pray these words Lord Jesus I know that I'm a sinner but I know that you're the Savior who died on the cross for my sin and rose again from the dead. I turn from my sin now Lord and I choose to follow you from this moment forward. Thank you for hearing this prayer and answering this prayer. In Jesus name I pray.

Amen. Pastor Greg Laurie closing with an important prayer with those making a decision for the Lord today. And if you've just prayed with Pastor Greg and you've meant those words sincerely your sins have been forgiven.

Jesus is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. And we want to help you get started living the Christian life. Let us send you Pastor Greg's New Believers Bible. It's been read by millions of people and they enjoy scores of helps for new believers and the easy to understand translation. So get in touch for your free copy of the New Believers Bible. Call us at 1-800-821-3300. We can take your call any time.

That's 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org and click know God. Well we're so happy to have a good friend with us in the studio today to talk about his new book The Truth in True Crime. He's homicide detective J. Warner Wallace and I'm your humble announcer D. Wayne Spiker. You know what's funny about that Dave is that I've used Warner now for a number of years because that was my grandfather's name and I learned how to be a married man from watching my grandfather and my grandmother because that was the one marriage that we one intact marriage I had in my family. So I remember watching him and it ended up becoming kind of kind of coming out one of the chapters of this book that I wrote where I talk about the role of fathers. And you are now a grandfather too.

Now I'm a grandfather right so now I want to do for my grandkids what Warner Wallace did for me and and like one of the stories I tell in this book is I was working gangs for two years and I remember. This will surprise you because Jim's very conservative looking. You can see him as a detective but he used to have hair because he worked undercover to the middle of your back. Yeah I did.

People wouldn't even talk with him he'd go into a restaurant with his wife they would seat her and yes she would get the seat first because he was afraid they wouldn't see them. I mean we'd be waiting forever and you know what's interesting about that Dave. Did you brush your hair was it just wild?

Yeah well I was always better if I didn't brush it but this is how sad it was when I first started I wasn't sure what I was gonna do with my hair so I had a mullet. Oh yes. Oh no.

For about the first. They've come back. I know they have. Can you believe it? I mean they're really popular.

I know they are. I'm sorry. Jim I had something worse than a mullet it was called a scullet. A scullet is when you have your hair and you're balding and you do a comb over on the top and grow it long in the back that's even worse than a mullet.

Well you know if you have a hat on you can't tell a mullet from the scullet so that's the problem. But I remember I wrote a chapter in this book Truth and True Crime that was about my experience working gangs and I was working in a part of South Los Angeles County where the diversity of gang members was really dramatic. I mean we would have Hispanic gang or multi-generational Hispanic gang members. We'd have African-American gangsters. We'd have white gangsters in our south end. We had Korean gangsters on our west side and they were so different racially, socioeconomically where their status was, who they really were just from a kind of ethnicity perspective and I had two young boys at the time they were like six and four maybe and I thought what is it?

What's the common denominator? And it was when I discovered it I wrote about it in this book it's simply this it's lack of dad and it's different for different groups. It might be that your dad's been locked up your entire life. It might be that you never knew your dad. It might be their dad's a workaholic, great businessman, upstanding citizen but he's never home.

It doesn't matter what the cause is. It's lack of dad and when you realize that it was sobering for me because here I'm working these cases where I'm never home and I thought okay this is one of those areas of human flourishing even if you're not a dad, you're not a guy. Your life has probably been touched by somebody who took that role seriously and you're more likely to flourish if there's someone in your family who has done a good job at that and that's something that we can we listen we get to the point now where we're not even willing to think there are any differences in the roles of parents men and women and we do that to our own peril because it turns out that moms and dads provide different features in the family that are driven by their biochemistry it's not a cultural issue right and and because of that we cannot ignore it and by the way this is the teaching of scripture yes and so this is going to seem old-fashioned to people right well it turns out that all these attributes of human flourishing I'm talking about in this book are really old-fashioned christian principles that we seem like we're just discovering these things again in the last generation or so but these are ancient. Jim Wallace has written about this in his brand new book The Truth in True Crime and it's our gift to you this month for your gift of any size to help us continue to dispense God's wisdom to you all on a regular basis. Yeah that's right and we so much appreciate your investment we're listener supported and have no other way of covering the expenses of bringing these studies your way so thanks for contacting us with your support and when you do be sure to ask for The Truth in True Crime it's our thank you gift for your donation right now you can call us at 1-800-821-3300 that's a 24 7 phone number again it's 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org. 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 launches a new series in Genesis we'll go back to the beginning on A New Beginning it's a collection of studies called It All Starts Here join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher Greg Laurie. A New Beginning is a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners helping people everywhere know God if this show has impacted your life share your story leave a review on your favorite podcast app and help others find hope.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-09 05:54:45 / 2024-05-09 06:05:11 / 10

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