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February 18, 2021 3:00 am
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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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The following message from Pastor Greg Laurie is made possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God, to find out how to know God personally go to know God.org KNOW know God.org he would you do me a favor sure this message was someone who needs to hear it you need.
Sure sure to have you unplug from church pastor Greg Laurie Susan don't unplug from your source of encouragement in Jesus. I just don't love Christians listen God you can see when you have loved his people can see those you love Jesus, you will love this. People you need to be a mature and is your life.
We have a few for you, but it's a valuable life is falling apart. One. Unplug and support designed by Jesus himself today on a new beginning pastor Greg Laurie points out how to be a part of a live support and we don't really feel like part C that's a warning sign that we need okay quick goal.
How many of you are Christians richer gather your Christian. It looks like most of you. How many of you know are growing Christian juror growing Christian. I hope all of you still raise your hand.
Because if you're not growing as a Christian. If you are not advancing in your faith that will begin the process of you going backwards because the Christian life is one of advancing or retreating. It's a life of getting stronger or getting weaker. I read a story in the paper a while back about trainer person. What's other people get into shape in the sky was superb. Often, you know, amazing physique and all that and so he worked with a lot of clients that were very overweight and it was hard for him to relate to accessibly overweight people because this guy didn't have an ounce of fat on him so he decided as an experiment he was going to go and gain 70 pounds to see what it was like to be an overweight person so we went on this crazy diet intentionally ate only fattening food, you stop exercising altogether. So he was eating corndogs and donuts and for breakfast we had Cap'n Crunch cereal first back to that banana bread for dinner chicken Alfredo pasta and so forth.
And he said at first it was exhilarating to eat this way is that he loved it and there was no discernible differences physique remains even though it wasn't exercising even though he was eating the wrong foods, but then reality kicked in. He said the first thing to go were his absence then the rest.
Soon he was craving the bad food. He was wondering if he could ever get that weight off his blood pressure went up.
He was tired all the time. He grew lethargic and depressed and I think he eventually did lose that weight.
I'm not sure, but to me this is a perfect picture of the slow but certain process of backsliding. You know you don't backslide over not don't call up your Christian friends think he did want to backslide tomorrow night.
You know, there might be some idiot that's done that but generally it doesn't happen. It's a process. It's a slow but sure process right stop doing that which will help me in our start doing that which will hurt me, just like this trainer did and then you start finding that this world is becoming more appealing to you and the things of God are becoming less appealing to you so you have to ask yourself the question, my going to be a growing Christian or am I going to go backward if you go back what I want to tell you what's going to happen. Proverbs 1414 says the backslider in heart will be filled with the fruit of his ways, and a good man will be filled with the fruit of his ways. So whatever path you choose, you'll be filled with that fruit right of the Bible says be not deceived, God is not mocked whatsoever a man sows, that Chile reap if you sort of the less you'll reap corruption and if you sort of the spirit. Your reply ever lasting so this series is how we can be growing Christians.
It's called whatever he growing Christian needs to know. Let's review what we've already seen together. Number one. If you want to be a growing Christian, a successful believer, you must read, study and love the word of God, then repeat that again. You must read, study and love the word of God. Joshua 18 says this book of the law shall not depart from your mouth. You shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do all that is written in it. Then you will have good success of snow this a Bible that is falling apart as an indication of a life. It isn't number two, we discovered that if you want to be a successful and growing Christian you must have a prayer life. The Bible says that we are to pray without ceasing, for this is God's will in Christ concerning us and principle number three and this is all going to focus on in this message to be a successful in growing Christian, you need to be actively involved in the church if you want to be a growing Christian you have to be actively involved in the church on something while I don't need church to get close to God. Yet I feel close to God when I'm golfing or when I'm surfing around when I'm hiking and I'll read a couple of verses and I'll say a little prayer and that's my church. I believe in the Cathedral of nature, you know, and I don't need to go to some building with people in an organized kind of away, but actually you're really missing the point here now. I encourage you when you're out golfing or hiking or surfing to pray you that are surfing especially break the great white is approaching. I did hear about a guy he was out surfing and the great white was approaching close and then for the kill. So this guy couldn't get the sure he knew he was dead so he prayed as any clear thinking person would be settled.
God help me God saved me at least. I pray Lord that it's a Christian chart. Other Christian sharks. Meanwhile shark is closing. Then you can write about this guy in the chart says Lord for this meal that I'm about to receive. I give you think it's a true story that really so pray when you're out and about, but don't miss this point you need to be in the church and when I say the church. I don't mean a building per se, but you need to be in a regular place for God's people are gathering together for worship, teaching, and all the other wonderful things that the church does you need the church and the church needs you and the Bible actually commands us to be a part of the church to be a functioning part of the church. Hebrews 1024 says let's consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, is the matter some, but rather exhorting one another, and so much more is the day of the Lord is approaching a more modern translation puts up versus wait let's see how inventive we can be an encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together that Sunday when spurring each other on, especially as we see the big day approaching some of say well I love Jesus I just don't love Christians listen, how can you love God who you can't see when you can't love his people who you can see know if you love Jesus, you will love his people. In fact, were told in first John 314 we know that we passed from death to life, because we love our brothers and anyone who does not remains in death. So God gives us a love for the people that are part of the church and frankly not going to church is proof something is wrong with you spiritually because first John 219 says these people left our churches because they never really belonged with us. Otherwise they would've stayed with us when they left us. They proved they don't belong with us using so when you leave and never come back then that just shows there's something wrong with you in your spiritual life.
The closer you are to God. The closer you want to be with his people there. Further you are from God. The further you will want to distance yourself from his people. So here's kind of a way to measure your life up right now. We look forward to more being at church with fellow brothers and sisters are hanging out with the bunch of nonbelievers you know if you find yourself uncomfortable with the Christians and whether maybe there's something wrong with you spiritually see. So every Christian should be a part of the church Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment were thrilled when we hear from listeners who join us from every background, every profession, every H Christian holds for wireline.
It's great to the ministry of harvest is impacting the life of the state, why not call us and tell us your story just call 866-871-1144 866-871-1144 today. Pastor Greg is pointing out how important it is for believers to be a part of a local body of believers is a message called why you need the church and the church needs you church is not a movie theater church is a family church is a gathering of the people of God.
Sometimes people sort of have a consumer mentality when it comes to church. Well, you know, I really like the children's program over here but I really love the worship at this other church good teaching in this one is good, the worships, week, but I really love the facilities over here and so we sort of pick and choose our churches according to our taste or our likes or dislikes. There's a little newsflash for you church is not all about you and we figure that out church is going to be a Holland better for us when to stop walking and saying what he gonna do for me how you did a survey, there's a place for that we are here to serve you, but you'll know that your entering into a state of spiritual maturity. When you come in St. I don't want to be the person who served I want to be the person who serves I want to be one of the people who helps us when you go to church come to church. I should say and when you pull into our parking lot, especially in this hot weather we've been having. You see someone standing out there in the blazing sun that's not their job there of volunteer there doing that because they've chosen to do that and then when you see people come forward to make a commitment to try to see those counselors waiting for them. These are just folks from our church who volunteered their time. These are people that are simply discovered the joy of serving and I want you all to discover that I want you all to discover that your why because it will make your old shirt experience so much richer and deeper.
Why does the church exist. The church exists for three reasons. The glorification of God the edification of the saints in the evangelization of the world again. The church is here for the glorification of God were here to bring honor and glory to the Lord as a church and as individuals for the edification of the saints are here to build up one another, encourage one another and finally were here for the evangelization of the world is a simpler way to remember it upward in word outward see. So we want to be a part of that you need the church and the church needs you. The church is an oasis of hope in a desert of hopelessness obtained when the Lord called our son Christopher home to heaven seven years ago.
It happened on a Thursday and to say we were devastated. Is the understatement of the century and how you process something like this.
You never prepare for it mentally or in any other way and and as we went to that horrible process of the initial shock and the rest you know, the weekend came and it was Sunday and and so with double what are we going to do what where else are we going to do were going to church.
I asked a friend to speak for me that day and there wasn't any place I wanted to be. But church people said to a soldier so strong in your faith to be at church. We were so surprised to see you at church this Sunday after your son died so strong what you talking about I was there because I was so weak because I need the church. I need the word of God. I need to worship the Lord. I met someone that's above that is because I preach or teach on that day I was a grieving father missing the sun and I needed a biblical perspective, and I needed to bring honor to the Lord. So we all needed we think about the role the church is probably played in your life. Over the years when a loved one died. Perhaps a grandparent, spouse, even a child were did you turn he probably turned the church hospital tried to do with they could do pretty much they want their bed free and make sure you pay your bills. The funeral home will offer their condolences and course give you a bill for their services as well worded to find help. You probably found it at church when your spouse walked out on you blindsided to know what to do worded to find out probably at the church with your Christian friends. What about when you're having problems with your kids worded to seek help, probably done at the church. You probably think God for that youth pastor that took an interest in your child. Remember when you desperately needed direction in life worded to find it. Perhaps sitting in church carrying a message and God just started to speak directly to you. Where did you find your mates, I think there's a good chance you found them at church and if you didn't. This is the best place to look.
That's why always say how many of your single and I'll do it again because I love doing very single people. It's really one of my joys in life. I like to try to be matchmaker.
My wife told me to stop it but you know, I've been successful two times in these people been married for like over 25 years and so I love to put single people in awkward situations.
I did this recently. I thought to single people and they were just talking. They didn't really know each other and I said you guys submit right I said you should take her out on a date and I'll pay for the other under pressure.
It usually doesn't work. But look, here's my point. What better place to meet that girl that God than in the church and I met my wife at church and I actually saw for the first time when I was preaching. I don't the wrong idea. I'm not scoping chicks when I'm preaching, certainly not now, but even then I was but I did notice her. She had a little halo over her head. You know she was there with her two sisters, and so we went out for coffee afterwords and and then we went out for coffee again and you know going out after church and get dessert. Whatever. And and then after a couple times this is what again and she said let me get my sisters and I said so much. One of the sisters she start again the idea that I was interested in her bed.
This is the place to do it.
Greg Laurie great insights on the church and how we all need to be a part of a local body of believers for so many reasons and he is more to come as this message continues here new beginning and a final comment before we go for today but if you weren't able to hear all of today's insight from Pastor Greg.
You can catch what you missed email@example.com just look for the message titled why you need the church and the church needs you, or call us for a copy on CD at 1-800-821-3300. We can take your call anytime again at 1-800-821-3300. What a privilege to have sports hero Darrell strawberry with us today. He is known to baseball fans and even non-baseball fans the world over and were making available is brand-new book called turn your season around, you know, Darrell. So many are working overtime to make lots of money or to make a name for themselves that love to be rich and famous. Well you been boasts it it is it worth it. Is it worth all the pain now is that was all afraid of at the end of the day. It is really all is meaningless on the sound when you go to King Solomon in the book of Ecclesiastes and he talks about how is meaningless on the sound without God you I had all this, I built all this and you know he writes the book of Proverbs, and then he goes back to write this book.
Sounds like you feel sorry that he didn't stay on God's plan. You know when you get off God's plan you, you find yourself in a certain place and I think when I was when I was reading that about King Solomon and I read the first three chapters of Ecclesiastes said I 46 time the Holy Spirit made me circle humming sound.
He said he said I'd Holy Spirit said.
He said because he was talk about himself and had he kept his eyes on God, he would never fallen off the cliff of the lifestyle that he ended up doing a nest that happens to so many of us if we just realized that having stuff. It doesn't mean anything at the end of the day is important that we keep our eyes on the cross where he shed his blood for sinners like us that we may have life and have it more abundantly in abundant life. I think most people think of stuff and there's really not his peace, joy, wisdom, knowledge, power is far greater this into stuff that I ever achieve what I have now from God.
That's down aside to meet and replace everything that I was searching for the search for all a bigger house, a bigger car because a card house of the house is all going to the site that you live in the house you will drive aquatic arsenal breakdown household. You know, everybody goes through that everyone goes through that and just at the end of the day. Who are you and in whom, who was really important in your life and I think the most important thing that I received was Christ in my life and being a living example of what Christ is all about. When you think about it.
Jesus did live in imaginative writing Cadillac Escalade of Satan and I got this big master said no but here you know he met us right will react so you're less the way God calls us to be. You know not consume all these are for material things because heaven and earth will pass away, but not my word all the stuff as well pass away, but the word of God is never was always somebody you know a lot of people disabled Darrell strawberry just said but Darrell strawberry is been there done that, bought the T-shirt.
Actually, he's been the T-shirt and the point is, this is a man who speaks from experience and I you know you quoted Solomon and Solomon was at that moment, the wealthiest man who ever lived in and he pretty much chased after everything his culture had to offer.
At that time he billed incredibly huge mansions and had beautiful gardens and that people come and do performances of music for him and chased after sexual pleasure and drink and all the rest of it and he said one day I just look at all of those things and I realize it was all emptiness and it was like chasing the wind.
So Darrell strawberry's written about this in a whole lot more with a lot of words of encouragement to help you get through this season of life. You may be in you know were in a tough season collectively as a nation, even globally, with this pandemic and we need encouragement and I have words of encouragement for you.
Written by our friend Darrell strawberry in his new book called turn your season around how God transforms your life and it be our joy to send this to you for your gift of any size to harvest ministries to help us continue to teach God's word, which is so needed. Don't you think and also to proclaim the gospel.
Yet such an important time to share the good news and we want to send Darrell's book. Your way to thank you for your donation really an investment to help us as we touch lives each day with this radio program. So will you. Contact us today and when you include a donation. Be sure to ask for turn your season around. You can write a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call us at 1-800-821-3300. That's a 24 hour phone number 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org well next time more insights about how the church is such an important part of our lives. But before we go. Pastor Greg has one final comment from today study. It's been said people go to church three times in their life when their hats when their mats when they're dispatched the first time they throw water. The second time that the rise the third time they throw dirt that sat because you know what let the church be a part of your life.
There's even some physical benefits I have to tell you I read an interesting article a while back from time magazine. The title was benefits of faith and the church and some other observations included the following heart surgery patients who draw comfort from their religious faith have a significantly higher survival rate than those that do not. They also noted that blood pressure of people who attend church is much lower than those who don't met interesting. Thirdly, people with faith who attend church on a regular basis.
Experience less depression than nonchurch gender about this one suicide is four times higher among non-churchgoers and churchgoers so be a part of the church. It's good for your health, both physically and possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God sign up for pastor grades free daily email devotions and harvest.org