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God's Solution to Man's Problem | Controlling Your Thoughts

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
May 17, 2024 3:00 am

God's Solution to Man's Problem | Controlling Your Thoughts

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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May 17, 2024 3:00 am

Mankind has had some great ideas: air travel, space flight, the wheel, the smartphone. But everyday, each of us has some very bad ideas. God calls them sin. But, good or bad, it starts with an idea. And today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us keep our ideas in check. We’re launching a new series from “the book of beginnings,” the book of Genesis. We’ll see dangerous ideas can be traced all the way back to the Garden of Eden.

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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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Sign up at You are the air traffic controller of your mind. You decide what thoughts are going to be there and what thoughts are going to be rejected. Coming up today, Pastor Greg Laurie urges us to guard our thoughts from taking us on a flight path that leaves us far away from God. Most sins that people engage in, they think about first. They contemplate it first.

They fantasize about it first, right? And so this is why we have to guard our thoughts. Mankind has had some great ideas.

Air travel, space flight, the wheel, the smartphone. But every day, each of us has some very bad ideas. God calls them sin. But good or bad, it starts with an idea. And today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us keep our ideas in check.

We're launching a new series in the book of beginnings, the book of Genesis. We'll see dangerous ideas can be traced all the way back to the Garden of Eden. Have you ever noticed on certain products there's a warning label warning you to not do a certain thing? I came across what could best be described as wacky warning labels.

They're real, but maybe they've gone a little bit too far. As an example, this is a real warning label on a baby stroller. Warning, remove child before folding.

That means somewhere someone folded the stroller with the baby inside still. A warning on a brass fishing lure with a three-pronged hook on the end. Harmful if swallowed.

I think that's true of the fish. I hope a human didn't swallow it. A flushable toilet brush warns not to be used for personal hygiene.

Oh gross. A can of self-defense pepper spray warns users may irritate eyes. That was kind of the plan. If I'm going to spray someone, I hope it irritates their eyes. A popular manufacturer of a fireplace log warns caution, risk of fire.

I was hoping for that. On a chainsaw. This is a real warning on a chainsaw. Warning, do not hold the wrong end of a chainsaw.

That's good advice. Warning on a hair dryer. Do not use while sleeping.

How do you use a hair dryer while you're sleeping? Well, someone apparently has done it. Here's another one. Warning, this Superman costume does not enable you to fly. Oh great. So someone thought they could just jump off the roof because they were wearing that costume. And one more.

Well actually two more. Warning, never try to catch a falling knife. Yeah that's a good idea.

You drop a knife, let it hit the ground. Well catch it. No don't.

And then one final one. And I should have heeded this one because I didn't listen to this warning. Warning on a household iron. Never iron clothes while they're being worn. I have ironed clothes while wearing them. Has anybody else done this?

Raise your hand if you have. So you know you get everything ironed and you look in the mirror and there's one little wrinkle. I'll just iron it. Well what I did was even worse because I have a heavy duty steam iron. I mean this is a next level steam iron. It has a base, a reservoir, water. It's nuclear powered.

Okay. So when you fire a burst of steam it's like like that. So I'm wearing.

Two people just woke up I noticed when I did that. So I'm wearing this shirt and I thought oh it's a wrinkle. I'll just blast it with steam. But I pulled it away from my skin.

I'd be okay. And I gave it a blast of steam and I screamed like a little girl. Later that night I had my shirt off.

Don't try to visualize that please. And my wife looked at me with this red welch. She said what happened to you? I said don't ask. Okay so that's good advice. Well you know there's warning labels if you will in the Bible as well. Things that God tells us not to do and instead things that we should do in their place.

Let me give an example. Psalm 1 says happy is the man or woman who does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of the scornful. Those are things you should not do. But his or her delight is in the word of the Lord and in it do they meditate day and night. So don't do these things.

Instead do these things. Well we are going to look here now at the very familiar story of our first parents sinning against God because they didn't listen to the warning label. That brings me to point number one.

The theme of this message is what happens when we don't follow the warnings. So the Lord placed Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. It was literally paradise. They could eat of any tree. I mean imagine God said this is all yours to enjoy. You can eat of all of the fruit of the trees of the garden and behold the beauty I placed in it.

One restriction. But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil don't eat from that tree. Scene two. Adam and Eve standing at the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The one place God told them to stay away from that's where they were.

Already they're setting themselves up for trouble. They were in the wrong place and then they heard the wrong voice and then they did the wrong thing. So here they are standing by that tree and of course the devil comes and he tempts them. And we see what happens when you don't listen to the warning.

Genesis 3 6 says when the woman saw that the tree was good for food and that it was pleasant to the eyes and desirable to make one wise she took of its fruit and ate and he gave to she gave to her husband with her and he ate. That brings me to point number two. Every temptation in life fits into three categories.

Three categories. Okay so how many of you have ever been tempted to sin? Raise your hand up. You've been tempted to sin. Not every hand's going up so some of you are apparently untemptable. How many of you have given in to the temptation to sin? Raise your hand up. More hands went up which perplexes me. But whatever. Okay. So every sin that you've ever committed falls into one of three categories and it's identified for us in 1 John 2 15 to 16. It says love not the world neither the things that are in the world for all that is in the world the lust of the eyes the lust of the flesh the pride of life is not of the father but of the world the lust of the eyes the lust of the flesh the pride of life every temptation is in one of those categories first there's the lust of the flesh things that feel good we read in genesis 3 16 when the woman saw their tree was good for food it feels good the lust of the flesh would include temptations that are physical in nature whatever appeals to you you're drawn to that thing it's the pleasures of life now you can have legitimate pleasures in life as a christian the bible even says in his presence there are pleasures forever more but there are good pleasures godly pleasures satisfied but then there are ungodly pleasures sinful things that we might pursue the bible even warned she that lives her pleasure is dead while she is living okay so that's the lust of the flesh then there's the lust of the eyes things that look good we read in genesis 3 eve saw that it was pleasant to the eyes most temptation comes through your mind first you are the air traffic controller of your mind you decide what thoughts are going to be there and what thoughts are going to be rejected but you'll find that most sins that people engage in they think about first they contemplate it first they fantasize about it first right and so this is why we have to guard our thoughts and be careful about what we expose ourselves to david fell into sexual sin when he was on his balcony looking around and he saw the beautiful bashiba bathing herself now he couldn't have seen the first thing but it's that second look that gets you into trouble or maybe this super long first look depending and that is why job says i've made a covenant with my eyes that i will not look on a woman lustfully so the lust of the eyes and finally there's a pride of life things that make you feel and look good the devil says to them go ahead and eat of this fruit it's desirable to make one wise and you'll be as a god he says to adam and eve knowing good and evil no it's not wrong to want to look good uh you know it's fine to want to give some attention to the way you appear in fact some of you should give more attention to that and i'm looking at you right now no i'm not actually i'm not but i'm thinking about it no i'm not but um but then there are people that are obsessed with that that's all they think about you know just by visiting their instagram page right so here's the thing we have to find the balance on all of these things the pride of life is an obsession with self wanting to appear more important than we are this is what got lucifer once a high-ranking angel ejected from his former position in heaven and then he became satan or the devil he wanted to be worshipped so these are the things we should stay away from the world with its allure is the external foe the flesh with its evil desires is the internal foe and satan with his enticements is the infernal foe pastor greg lorry will have the second half of his message in just a moment 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 today pastor greg is helping us avoid the temptation of our adversary as we consider the wisdom found in the book of genesis so now let's go back and look at this scene and look at what happened so adam and eve eat of the forbidden fruit now sin has entered the world so here comes the lord walking through the garden of eden in the cool of the day in genesis chapter 3 verse 10 and god calls out where are you and adam answered i heard you in the garden and i was afraid because i was naked so i hid god said who told you you were naked have you eaten from the tree i commanded you not to eat from the man said the woman you gave me she gave me some fruit of the tree and i ate it then the lord god said to the woman what is this that you've done and the woman said the serpent deceived me and i ain't all right we'll stop there point number three adam blamed god for what he had done he blamed god for what he had done i mean what happened to the adam that said of eve after she was created this is not bone of my bones have flesh of my flesh she shall be called woman because she was taken out of man now it's like she did it like you know he he's literally throwing eve under the bus and he's driving the bus over her a couple of times we do the same thing it's not my fault i'm not responsible that person trapped me this person enticed me i have no responsibility at all but in a way adam was blaming god it's the woman you gave me adam's effectively saying hey i'm taking a nap i wake up a rib's missing and she's here it's all her fault but then eve she says the serpent beguiled me let me update that the devil made me do it the devil can't make you do anything the devil can tempt you but you have to want what he's offering or it's not going to happen so she was responsible as well though she was deceived by the devil we play a role in our own temptation in sin james 1 13 says let no man say when he is tempted god is tempting me for god cannot be tempted by evil nor does he himself tempt anyone we do a pretty good job of getting ourselves into trouble because we have a sinful nature my next point because of adam's sin we all suffer because of adam's sin we all suffer but let me make this point if you were in the garden you would have done the same thing and so would i so it's easy to blame them but but this is just human nature all right but we're all affected by this decision he made romans 5 12 says when adam sin sin entered the world and adam sin brought death and death spread to everyone for everyone has sin death death illness disability age all a result of the fall if adam and eve had not sinned we would never get sick if adam and eve never sinned we would never die if adam and eve never sinned i would have hair you see it's all connected we all share in this now let's see what happens after sin has entered the world go to genesis chapter 4 starting to verse 1 i'm reading from the new living translation now adam knew his wife eve and she became pregnant and when she gave birth to cain she said with the lord's help i produced a man later she gave birth to his brother and named him able when they grew up able became a shepherd while cain cultivated the ground when it was time for harvest cain presented some of his crops as a gift to the lord able also brought a gift the best portions of the firstborn lambs from the flock the lord accepted able in his gift but he but he did not accept cain in his gift this made cain very angry and he looked dejected why are you so angry the lord asked cain why do you look so dejected then the lord gives this ominous warning you will be accepted if you do what is right but if you refuse to do what is right then watch out because sin is crouching at your door eager to control you but you must subdue it and be its master okay we'll stop there the book of genesis can be divided into three sections chapters one and two generation chapters three to eleven degeneration chapters 12 to 50 regeneration in chapter three we saw the beginning of man in chapter four we read of his progress and results as he sins against god bottom line mankind wrecks everything he touches because we're sinful by nature if history tells us anything it tells us this man is not basically good man is basically bad bad to the bone sinful to the core history is a space in which cain's acts ultimately became thermonuclear weapons we just take new technology and find ways to use it to make things even worse and it's not the way it began i mean here's adam and eve they're they're having their first child and they'd never seen a pregnancy before and uh much less a birth i was talking to a pastor friend of mine a while ago and he told me about his daughter's wedding and he wanted to see something very profound because he was performing the ceremony so there she is standing with her groom and and he looks at her and he says i was there when you were conceived and he meant to say i was there when you were born okay so it's i mean he was there when she was but still it's just not what you want to hear on your wedding day from your dad but uh that's that's the way that went what adam and eve were present for both conception and birth now you wonder if adam's thinking what's happening to my beautiful wife eva putting a little bit of weight on all of a sudden have you found like a high carb tree out there or something or why are you knitting those little socks what's going on here well she was going to have a baby and she had her first child came and then followed by able and they both brought their offering one day and god accepted the offering of able and he rejected the offer of cain bringing me to point number five being exposed to truth does not guarantee you will follow it cain and able were both raised in the same home they they both saw the same things but one walked with god and one did not walk with god and one did not walk with god one was a true worshipper and the other was not a true worshipper one was accepted the other rejected and this reminds us there's a right and wrong way to approach god and it comes down to this the why or the motive because as far as god is concerned motive is everything one day we as christians will stand before the judgment seat of christ this is not a judgment about whether or not you get to heaven in fact it's a judgment in heaven where rewards are given out for faithful service and the bible says god will test every man's work to see what sort it is in other words the why of what you did do you think well if i have a beautiful voice and in worship i sing louder than everyone that will be pleasing to god maybe and maybe not because if your heart's in the wrong place it's not pleasing to god at all and that person that's always off pitch may be more pleasing to the lord than the person with the beautiful voice or when we receive an offering and one person gives a lot of money and another person doesn't give as much god will be impressed by the motive of why the person did what they did god looks on the heart bringing me to my next point the heart of the matter is the matter of the heart it's all about the heart the why of why we do things and so in the book of isaiah it says god's speaking these people draw near to me with their lips but their hearts are far from me see able was a true worshipper his heart was in the right place cain was not and we're given an insight as to what really happened in hebrews 11 when it says by faith able offered to god a more excellent sacrifice than cain well cain was ticked off angry that god did not accept his sacrifice in fact when the word that is used for anger here in verse 5 means he burned with anger causing the lord even say hey everybody calm down a little bit you know why are you so angry why do you look so dejected the fact is cain's true colors are beginning to show the lord is saying you need to you need to not go this way because this is not going to end well for you bring me to point number seven god wanted confession because that's the only way to forgiveness well why are you doing what you're doing you don't want to do this and cain should have said you're right i'm over reacting i'm sorry lord i repent but but he's just angry and he's justifying his own anger it's a weird thing about anger isn't it how you can feel so right about it until the adrenaline wears off like when you're driving and someone does some crazy thing right they they offer a hand gesture in your direction and you just are so filled with rage or they cut you off or they you know roll their window down and yell something you're you know and and then you do something you regret later and you need to just calm down that was cain he was just losing it and god gives him this interesting warning in verse seven listen you'll be accepted if you do what is right but if you refuse to do what's right watch out sin is crouching at your door eager to control you but you must subdue it and be its master the lord's saying cain you're flirting with disaster sin is like a crouching beast poised and ready to strike and ruin your life if you don't get control of it an important warning from our studies in genesis today with pastor greg lorry here on a new beginning and there's more to come as this study continues the good news regarding the sin that crouches at our door is that the lord makes his power available to those who are truly his we can resist sin and the power of the lord and when we fail god grants second chances it's part of the blessing of being a believer where do you stand with the lord have you truly come to jesus and asked him to forgive your sin and be your savior pastor greg what would you say to the person who wants to make that kind of change today i would say that god is just a prayer away you know it doesn't take years to become a christian it doesn't take months frankly it doesn't even take hours it can happen so quickly it just starts with you saying to god i know i'm a sinner i know that you love me i know that you sent jesus to die on the cross for my sin and pay for those sins and then to rise again from the dead and i want him to come into my life so here's my question to you have you done that yet because jesus who did die on that cross and rose again from the dead three days later is alive and standing at the door of your life right now and he's knocking and he's saying if you'll hear my voice and open the door i will come in why don't you just stop whatever it is you're doing and pray this prayer with me say 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 i'm sorry for my sin and i turn from it now and i choose to follow you from this moment forward i ask all of this in jesus name amen listen if you just prayed that prayer the bible promises that god has heard your prayer and has answered that prayer the bible says that we will confess our sin he's faithful and just to forgive us our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness so god bless you you've made the right decision the decision to follow jesus christ yeah yeah that's right and listen pastor greg would like to help you start off right living for the lord he'd like to send you his new believer's bible it features hundreds of helps for new believers and it's written in an easy to understand translation so contact us for your free copy of the new believer's bible call us at 1-800-821-3300 that's 1-800-821-3300 or go online to and click know god well we're so happy to have jim wallace in the studio with us j warner wallace author and a good friend of ours he's a cold case detective and he's written a brand new book called the truth in true crime and jim a couple of the sentences from chapter five really caught my attention someone who looked like santa claus oddly enough had been killed and you write santa claus was killed over money sex or the pursuit of power it's as simple as that there are only three reasons anyone commits a crime any crime including murder well first what a great opening to a novel that would be you know santa claus was killed over money sex or pursuit of power but that fact is something most of us don't know you an experienced homicide investigator say there are only three motives to crime yeah there's three motives behind any stupid misbehavior let's put it that way of which murder is one but this is true for all of us who are trying to protect ourselves from any level of misbehavior if we're a pastor or we are a leader of a business or if you're just a spouse a parent the things that will cause us to stumble are always the same things uh they're the motives for every crime motive for every misbehavior every sin and it is financial greed sexual lust relationships and this huge umbrella which accounts for about 70 of all their other misbehavior which is the pursuit of power and and so when i get at a crime scene i'm not looking at and think oh there's a thousand reasons why this woman might be killed no there's only three you just find me somebody who has one of those three motives and we're good to go so i just have to look in those three areas now those i discovered those by working murders but they're in scripture and there's a great passage where it talks about you know the the lust of the eyes lust of the flesh and it's really talking about these three motives i just didn't discover that until years after i became a christian so but the reality of it is is that the bible describes the world the way it really is and it describes us the way we really are and that's what you discover working true crime cases is that every time in some of these cases i describe in the book i was on a christian when i was investigating him but as i kind of walked through and said okay santa claus for example a guy who was a homeless guy who was living in our city and you might and he had he possessed nothing of value he was living sleeping every night in a porta potty at a construction site yet somebody was motivated by power he had disrespected he thought he felt he had been disrespected by santa claus and by money because this guy had slipped into his region where he was canning where he was collecting cans and he told him to get out of my area he was basically impacting his ability to to earn money by collecting cans and recycling so it was again as power and money this guy resembles santa claus yeah he looked just like him okay so all the locals knew him that way i don't think they really even knew his name wow and he was going to stab this guy to kill this guy because he felt like he had been threatened into it here's what i have learned if if you scratch just one of those three itches you will eventually scratch the other two wow so you have to kind of reign all of these three aspects in and so what i've tried to do is collect all of the data in modern research from sociologists counselors all these different people who are researching these ideas like what is it that causes us to flourish and what do we need to be careful about and if you look at those things what you're going to discover is a list of 15 attributes of human flourishing that are affirmed by secular studies but are actually ancient so this book is a true crime book but it does make a case for scripture because it shows you that scripture has always described us exactly as we are yeah exactly right all that is in the world the lust of the flesh the lust of the eyes and the pride of life is not of the father but it's of the world and then john tells us so don't love the world neither the things that are in the world and the the best antidote to not love the world is to love the lord your god with all of your heart soul and mind and so 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 in the work we do here it couldn't come at a better time would you let us hear from you today and then be sure to let us thank you with a copy of the new book the truth in true crime just call us at 1-800-821-3300 that's a 24 7 phone number 1-800-821-3300 or go online to hey everybody i want to encourage you to join us for something we call Harvest at Home it happens every sunday at and on our brand new app harvest plus which is available on your mobile tv devices download it now and you can watch Harvest at Home with christians from around the world as we worship together and study god's word so again join us for Harvest at Home at or on harvest plus well next time more insights from man's encounter with sin and temptation in the garden of eden join us here on a new beginning with pastor and bible teacher greg lorry the preceding podcast was made possible by harvest partners helping people everywhere know god learn how to become a harvest partner sign up for daily devotions and find resources to help you grow in your faith at
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-17 05:33:35 / 2024-05-17 05:44:59 / 11

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