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God Keeps His Promises | Prioritizing the Lord

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
May 21, 2024 3:00 am

God Keeps His Promises | Prioritizing the Lord

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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May 21, 2024 3:00 am

So many of us spend so little time thinking about the Lord during the day, and yet we want to live with Him forever. God’s Word has a bottomless supply of insights for life, but social media captures so much more of most people’s attention. Well today on A NEW BEGINNING, as Pastor Greg Laurie continues our Genesis series, we’ll see how Noah remembered the Lord—it was his priority—after reaching dry land following the Flood. We’ll learn a number of principles from following the life of this great patriarch!

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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 is the Lord's Day. There might be things we can do, but we're going to go worship the Lord in church. That's a way to remember the Lord. So many of us spend so little time thinking about the Lord during the day, and yet we want to live with Him forever. God's Word has a bottomless supply of insights for life, but social media captures so much more of most people's attention. Well, today on A New Beginning, as Pastor Greg Laurie continues our Genesis series, we'll see how Noah remembered the Lord. It was his priority after reaching dry land following the flood.

We'll learn a number of principles from following the life of this great patriot. Genesis chapter 6, the title of my message is God Keeps His Promises. Let's pray. Father, we're so glad you keep your promises to us.

We don't always keep our promises to you. But even though sometimes we are faithless, you are always faithful. Now we ask you to speak to us from your Word. I pray for anybody here who doesn't know you that this would be eye-opening for them, and they would want to get right with you. Or maybe someone who has stumbled and fallen in some way, shape, or form, that they could be restored after hearing this message from your Word. We commit this Bible study to you now. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen. So we've all had promises made to us.

Maybe some were broken. Maybe we made a promise to someone else that we broke. But the good news is when God makes a promise to us, He's good for it.

You can take it to the bank. He always keeps His promises. And in fact, every time you see a rainbow, it's a reminder that God keeps His promises.

Because the rainbow is a symbol of this covenant that He made with humanity after Noah and his family got out of the ark and landed safely. Now the Lord was promising something very special to them. And God keeps His promises to us. Someone said that there are at least 3,000 promises from God to us in the Bible. Well what are they? Here's just a few.

You might want to write down these references. God promises to forgive you of all of your sins. 1 John 1 says that if we will confess our sin, He's faithful and just to forgive us our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. God promises to give us a new life in Christ.

Because over in 2 Corinthians 5.17 it says, If any man be in Christ, he is an altogether different kind of person, the old things have passed away, and behold, everything becomes fresh and new. I love that. One of the reasons I like it when it rains is everything gets cleaned.

All the dirty cars are cleaned. Right? And you might even see a rainbow afterwards. God makes all things new when we believe in Him. He promises to be with us in our hard times. Maybe I'm talking to somebody right now going through a very difficult time.

You feel as though you've been abandoned and you're alone. Well here's what God says. When you go through deep waters, I'll be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown.

When you walk through the fire of oppression, you'll not be burned up and the flames will not consume you. God also promises to complete the work He has begun in your life. Philippians 1 says, I'm sure this, He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. God also promises to give us peace in our hearts when we're tempted to worry because we're told in Philippians 4, 6, don't worry about anything, pray about everything, and the peace of God that passes all understanding will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. God also promises to provide for your needs. Jesus says, don't be like the non-believers.

All they think about is what they're going to eat, what they're going to wear, what they're going to drink, but rather seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you. One other promise I would like to focus on. Jesus promises that He will come again to our world. That's right. Jesus said in John 14, 3, I will come again.

And He means what He says and He says what He means. It's interesting, I read a Gallup poll that revealed that 66% of the American people believe Jesus Christ is coming back to the earth in the future. 66%. That's more than the amount of Americans that claim to be born again. So even non-believers are believing Jesus is coming. I think even people who aren't Christians are alarmed at the state of our world right now.

The turmoil, the upheaval, the unraveling before our eyes, it appears, of our own culture. And they're saying, is this like what the Bible was talking about? They're wondering, is Armageddon coming? Jesus is coming again. And there's a series of events that are going to happen in the end times.

And they're a lot like dominoes closely stacked together. And when the first one falls, the others will fall in rapid succession. And those events in chronological order are the rapture, the revealing of the antichrist, the tribulation period, the battle of Armageddon, the second coming, and then the millennium. So it starts with the rapture. That's the next event on the prophetic calendar.

First Thessalonians 4 17 says, the dead in Christ shall rise first, and we which are alive and remaining shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, and so shall we ever be with the Lord. The word caught up is from the Greek word harpazo. It means to be taken by force. It's been translated into the word rapture.

That is commonly used to describe this event. We're caught up to meet the Lord. And I bring this up because Jesus actually said it would be like it was in the days of Noah before the Lord's return. Matthew 24 37, Jesus said, the arrival of the Son of Man will take place in times like Noah's. Before the great flood, everyone was carrying on as usual, having a good time right until the day that Noah entered the ark.

They knew nothing until the flood came and swept everything away. The Son of Man's arrival will be like that. Two men will be working in the field. One will be taken, the other left behind.

Two women will be grinding at the mill. One will be taken and another left behind. So stay awake.

Be alert. You have no idea when your master will show up. So we're talking a little bit about Noah last time and how evil things were and how no one managed to walk with God when no one else did. But what does it mean to walk with God?

It's really quite simple. If you take a walk with someone, the idea is to get in cadence with each other so you can have a conversation. And there is actually a verse in the book of Amos that gives an insight. It says, shall two walk together unless they have agreed. Unless they have agreed. So to walk with God is to be in agreement with Him. In fact this can be translated, can two walk together unless they have made an appointment. So you have an appointment with God.

And I suggest you keep it. You remember that Adam had an appointment with God or he would meet with the Lord in the cool of the day. And one day the Lord showed up in the Garden of Eden and Adam was hiding.

Why? Because he had sinned against the Lord. And God wants you to keep your appointment. You know some people are always late for everything. Are you one of those people? Who are the late people? Raise your hand.

See, while you're raising your hand you're owning that. You're the late people. Always late. Always 15 minutes late.

Right? Why is that? You don't want to be late for your appointment with God. How many of you are punctual and always on time? Raise your hand. Oh a few more of those people. Ok now let me ask you another question.

How many of you who are punctual are married to a late person? Raise your hand. Interesting. Welcome to my world. I won't say who's who. But you might be able to figure it out.

But anyway. And speaking of marriage, the word, unless you have agreed, also speaks of a betrothal. Can two walk together unless they have been joined as if in marriage? And the picture of us being married to Christ is used many times in Scripture. He's the groom. We're the bride.

Right? And my wife and I, you know, being married so many years, know each other very well. We'll go into a restaurant and we'll sit down.

A restaurant we've been to before. And before Kathy even picks up the menu I'll say, you're going to order this. And she'll ignore me. And she'll go through this whole process of asking many questions about, can I substitute that for this and this for that and what about this other thing? And she goes around and around and she always orders what I say she'll order. Because I know what she's going to do. And she often knows the same about me. I'll forget something. She'll remember it. Between us we have one complete brain.

Right? But here's the idea. I'm getting in sync with God. I know what God thinks about this.

How do I know what God thinks about it? Because I read the Bible. And the Bible reveals God to me.

And I know his thoughts. When we get into the Sermon on the Mount, effectively you're reading the manifesto, the worldview of Jesus himself. That's why if you have a red letter Bible, the Sermon on the Mount is all red.

All red because it's just the words of our Lord. You want to know what Jesus thinks about these things? Well of course read the whole Bible. But in particular in the Sermon on the Mount you will see.

So can two walk together unless they have agreed? So to walk with God means to get in sync with God. To be in rhythm with God. Pastor Greg Laurie 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 we're learning some lessons from the life of Noah today. As Pastor Greg brings a message from the book of Genesis.

Let's continue. Number two, Noah was a witness for God. He was a witness for God in 2 Peter. He's described as a preacher of righteousness. You know though he didn't have a lot of converts.

In fact he didn't have any. He lived 950 years and effectively outside of his family did not have a single convert. But he stands as an example to all of those faithful seed sowers out there. You know it's not my job to convert anybody. It is my job to faithfully communicate the gospel. So maybe you've shared the gospel with many people and no one has ever responded. Maybe you might want to think of breath mints.

I'm not sure. Stop eating raw garlic before you engage people. There might be some extenuating circumstances here we could look at. But apart from that your job is to deliver the message and leave the results in the hands of God. Well Noah did that but he did reach his family. Because Hebrews 11 says, By faith Noah being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household. Number three, Noah worked for God.

He worked for God. He said I want you to effectively build a giant boat. Now there was no body of water nearby. It had never rained before and Noah's building a giant boat.

Effectively like a big box that was unsinkable. In one of the greatest practical acts of faith in all of history, Noah cut down that first gopher wood tree to build this ark. You know the Bible doesn't tell us he was a carpenter. He certainly wasn't a ship builder. But God called an unqualified man to do something. God does not call the qualified.

He qualifies the call. Consider this fact. The ark was built by amateurs but the Titanic was built by professionals.

Sometimes it works out just fine. Now when we think of the ark we think this is impossible. You could get all of those animals inside of that ark.

Well it's not impossible at all. And they didn't have to get every animal in there. They were only to carry air-breathing, land-dwelling animals and creeping things and winged animals like birds.

Aquatic life like fish and whales and other amphibious creatures obviously could be in the ocean around. They didn't have to have every breed of dog for instance. Out today they just had to have the original two dogs before we started coming up with all of these weird oodles. Someone decided a poodle should be bred with every other breed of dog. We have labradoodles and all kinds of other variations. Jackapoodles, poodles.

I looked this up. There's even a German woodle which is a German wire hair standard poodle. Look how many of you own a labradoodle?

Raise your hand up. Okay let me just insult your dog for a moment if you don't mind. This is my opinion. I've thought of getting one. They're very cute and they're hyper allergenic right? Okay we know that so they don't shed.

Okay it's nice. But everyone I know that has one of these dogs, these dogs all seem to be collectively stupid. And I've tried to figure it out. They run around like they're insane. Like what is wrong with this dog? Other dogs will sit quietly. You can pet them. The labradoodles are you know just I don't know what it is and so I googled it. Why are labradoodles so stupid? And said something interesting happens because labs are not stupid and poodles are not stupid. But when you get the oodles gone something happens.

But I also read that it's because they're very hyperactive and they need to be attention given to them. Okay whatever but I shouldn't have said any of these things. I know I've offended someone.

I'm sorry. I feel like gone after the cat people long enough now it's time to just offend everybody out there I could possibly offend. Let's think for a few moments about the spiritual life of Noah. I mean this man you know really without any support to speak of followed the will of God. And he sat on this boat for all of this time and he waited on the Lord. And then when they finally reached dry land bringing me to point number four he remembered God. And I'm really impressed by Genesis 8 20 that says Noah built an altar to the Lord.

I mean hey if you'd been cooped up in a boat for that long wouldn't you want to just run around for a while. Noah said no I'm going to bring a sacrifice to God. I'm going to remember that God did all of this for us. And I think it's so important to remember the Lord. There's so many ways that we can do it. You know one way is just to say grace over a meal.

I like that don't you? I love when I see a family just bow for a moment of prayer and ask God to bless their food. By the way if you're asked to say grace don't go too long. You know it's just thank you Lord you provided this food. Don't wait for the food to get cold. Just don't be that person. You probably have a labradoodle too. I don't know.

Probably in the restaurant with you right. Because it's your emotional support dog right. But giving thanks that's a simple way. When you take a portion of your income the tithe and offering and say we're going to give faithfully to the Lord. That's a way to remember the Lord. When you get up in the morning you need to start the day with scripture and prayer. That's a way to remember the Lord. When you set Sunday aside and say this is the Lord's day. There might be things we can do but we're going to go worship the Lord in church. That's a way to remember the Lord.

Good encouragement today on a new beginning from Pastor Greg Laurie. By way of his message called God keeps his promises. You know one of the first promises Pastor Greg mentioned earlier in the message is that the Lord promises to forgive our sin. If we will confess our sin he is faithful and just to forgive us of our sin and cleanses from all unrighteousness. That's a promise there for the taking. Have you received that promise?

That promise is for everyone isn't it Pastor Greg? That's right the Bible says whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved. So think of it this way. Maybe you're out in a riptide in the ocean and you can't get your footing and you're in trouble and you see a lifeguard. Call out for help and the lifeguard will rescue you.

The same is true spiritually. You're drowning in your sin. You need help. Jesus will save you. He will rescue you but you must call out to him and you know how you do that? You do it in prayer. He will lead you in a simple prayer and you can pray this prayer after me. You can pray it out loud if you like and this is where you are calling out to Jesus to save you.

Just pray this. Lord Jesus I know I'm a sinner and I know you are the Savior who died on the cross for my sin and rose again from the dead. Now Lord I turn from my sin and I put my faith in you. Be my Savior, my Lord. Be my God and my friend. I choose to follow you from this moment forward. In Jesus' name I pray.

Amen. Hey if you just prayed that prayer I want you to know that Christ himself has come to live inside of you. And I have a resource I want to send you. It's called the New Believers Bible. So the New Believers Bible is the New Testament in the New Living Translation with hundreds of notes that I wrote that will encourage you in this commitment you are making to follow Christ. There's some other materials included as well in what we call the New Believers Growth Pack. But let me get this New Believers Bible into your hands as quickly as possible.

Here's Dave to tell you more. Yeah we'll be glad to send it all your way free of any charge if you prayed along with Pastor Greg today. Just ask for the New Believers Bible when you call 1-800-821-3300.

You can reach us any time 24-7 at 1-800-821-3300. Or go online to harvest.org and click Know God. Well Pastor Greg we're making available a new book called The Truth in True Crime. And author Jim Wallace is with us. That's right. Now I'm not saying that I'm nervous about interviewing a police detective today.

But I did wipe all the fingerprints from my car before we came into the studio. Good. But our guest does have such a fascinating and unique outlook on the issues of life, doesn't he?

He really does. Jay Warner Wallace, that's the name you write as. But you're known as Jim. But you were a detective. You worked SWAT. You worked undercover with gangs. But you specialized in being a cold case detective. Is that an accurate description of what you did? Yeah, and a lot of that was just because my dad was a detective before me. And he had a couple unsolved cases. And when I became a detective in homicide, I thought, oh, wouldn't it be nice if I could solve, I mean, just solve one of them.

Yeah. And so, you know, it seems to me, I know a lot of people in law enforcement. And, you know, to be a police officer, especially today, you see the worst. People lie to you all the time. You have to be suspicious.

It's kind of the nature of your job. You can become jaded really easily. And yet you became a Christian at age 35 as a detective, as a guy who was not really raised with these beliefs. And you've been a Christian now 27 years. Tell us what prompted you to be open to hearing the gospel and how you became a Christian.

Well, I think your story about how you were raised with your mom is very similar to my story. And I just wasn't raised in an environment where I knew any Christians. But my wife was interested more than I was. Now, she wasn't a Christian either, but she was way more interested than I was. So when I walked into the church, the pastor said Jesus was really smart, the smartest man who ever lived. That provoked me enough to buy a pew Bible.

I think I spent six or seven dollars on it. And I started to examine the gospels to see what was so smart about Jesus. That started me looking at them forensically. I was looking at them like eyewitness accounts.

So how do you test an eyewitness account, do all that. And so there's also another aspect of this for me that I think you learn by watching the people you take to jail. Interestingly, a lot of the stuff that we would say lead to human flourishing, and we're discovering these things in the surveys and research of the last, say, three decades. Well, to be honest, it's very ancient stuff. That has been the consistent teaching of scripture for 2,000 years.

Look, I think that there's two things, Greg. Is Christianity true? I needed to know. Is it true? But I'm not sure that the next generation right now in high school really cares if it's true. As much as they care, is it good? So I think that the case shifts.

Like if I got my age of 62, I just need to know the facts. If it's true, I'm in. If it's false, I'm out. I think for a lot of young people, I've got to know first, is it good? Because why would I even look at this if it's homophobic, misogynistic, racist, all the isms? If that's what it is, I'm not interested.

So that's why now, this stage of life, I'm writing more about whether Christianity is good. Wow, that's really interesting. That's a unique thing that's happened in recent years, isn't it?

Yes. You can imagine if there is no objective truth and if everything is a matter of personal opinion, then if I say this is true, then it really loses its meaning. I mean in my head when I say it, this is objectively true.

This resurrection actually occurred. Not that it's true for me because I like it, but we're in a world right now where I'm not sure people even think there are such things as objective truths. So I think that unsurprisingly in a world like that, the issue has become, well, is it good? And so I think, yes, not only is it good, it is a consistent voice from God about how humans could flourish if they simply adopted the attributes, the perspectives of the New Testament. But it turns out that all these criminal cases I've been working will also demonstrate you ought to live this way.

Right. And that's what this book is really all about. And you weave a lot of those stories into this book as well. That and a lot more in this new book by J. Warner Wallace, former cold case detective, now prolific author, and the title of the book is The Truth in True Crime. You're going to be riveted by the stories that Jim tells from his many years serving in law enforcement as well as how they connect to biblical truth and how you can connect that in your life. The Truth in True Crime, available to you this month for your gift of any size to help us continue to bring God's Word to people that really need to hear it.

Yeah, yeah, that's right. Your investment helps others come into a relationship with the Lord, and this book will help you move forward in your own walk with the Lord. We'll send you The Truth in True Crime to thank you for your partnership with us right now. Just give us a phone call at 1-800-821-3300. We can take your call anytime 24-7. Again, the number 1-800-821-3300.

Or go online to harvest.org. Well, next time we'll see that after the flood and after Noah's family began to rebuild their lives, Noah had a spiritual failure. Well, we can learn from it next time. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher, Greg Laurie. This is the day, the day when life begins.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-21 05:25:27 / 2024-05-21 05:36:00 / 11

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