Devotionals by Greg Laurie

Because He Loves Us

So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was. - (John 11:6)

Lazarus was sick. But instead of going to see him in Bethany, Jesus intentionally waited two more days. Then He arrived in Bethany a full four days after Lazarus had died.

Sometimes it might seem as though Jesus is completely indifferent to our troubles. He might not do what we’re expecting Him to do.

As Martha and Mary were waiting for Jesus to heal their brother Lazarus, maybe they thought, “He’s going to let us down. Maybe prayer doesn’t work.”

But John 11:5 tells us, “Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.” Jesus delayed His arrival, yet we read that He loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus.

In the original language, the word for loved is the Greek word agape. It speaks of a sacrificial, agonizing love that loves a person in spite of his or her lovability.

It’s the same word used in John 3:16, which says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Jesus died for every person. God loves us in spite of ourselves, in spite of our lovability.

Interestingly, when Martha and Mary sent word that Lazarus was sick, they said, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick” (John 11:3). The word they used for love is the Greek word phileo, from which we get our English word Philadelphia. It speaks of “brotherly love,” the love that a friend has for a friend.

Martha and Mary were thinking only of friendship, but Jesus was thinking of sacrificial love. They were thinking only of their temporal comfort, but Jesus was thinking of their eternal benefit. They wanted a healing; He wanted a resurrection. He wanted to do above and beyond that which they could ask or think.

Copyright © 2017 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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About A New Beginning

Is the end of the world near? What will happen after I die? What is the meaning of my life? You've got questions; Greg Laurie has biblical answers on A New Beginning.

About Greg Laurie

Greg Laurie pastors Harvest Christian Fellowship (one of America's largest churches) in Riverside, California and Harvest Orange County in Irvine, California. He has authored several books including the Gold Medallion Award winner, The Upside Down Church, as well as Losers and Winners, Saints and Sinners and The Best Is Yet to Come. You can find his study notes in the New Believer’s Bible, The Seeker’s Bible, and the Start! Bible.

Host of the television program GregLaurie.tv and the nationally syndicated radio program A New Beginning, Laurie is also the founder and featured speaker for Harvest Crusades — contemporary, large-scale evangelistic outreaches, which local churches organize nationally and internationally — and Harvest America, which offers churches nationwide the opportunity to host a crusade event simultaneously from their own local venues.

Whether speaking or writing, God has gifted Pastor Greg Laurie with the ability to apply biblical principles to current events in a way that is relevant and easily understood by people of all ages, from all walks of life. The trademark of a Greg Laurie sermon, book, or broadcast is his contemporary, yet straightforward style and format. He resides in Southern California with his wife, Cathe.

Contact A New Beginning with Greg Laurie

Mailing Address
A New Beginning
P.O. Box 4000
Riverside, CA 92514
Telephone
1-800-821-3300