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What I Would Tell My Younger Self: Embracing God's Word

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
December 10, 2021 3:00 am

What I Would Tell My Younger Self: Embracing God's Word

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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December 10, 2021 3:00 am

There’s a certain wisdom that comes from growing older . . . from learning some of the lessons of life. There’s even more wisdom that comes when we embrace God’s Word as our pattern for living. And today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie looks to the Bible for practical principles we can put to use. If you missed some of the principles he’s already covered, we invite you to catch up by listening to the previous two programs online at There’s good insight coming your way worth taking some notes.

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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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Hey everybody, you're listening to A New Beginning, which is a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners.

If this program has impacted you, I'd love to hear from you. So just send an email to me at Again, it's

You can learn more about becoming a Harvest Partner by going to Ever wish you could go back and advise your younger self before some of those mistakes were made? Pastor Greg Laurie has been thinking about that. Here's what an older Greg would say to a younger Greg. Just be a nice person. You're a child of God. Be known for your generosity. Be known for your love, your compassion, not for your anger. Be known as a person that builds people up, not as a person who tears people down.

Be a nice person. There's a certain wisdom that comes from growing older, from learning some of the lessons of life. There's even more wisdom that comes when we embrace God's Word as our pattern of living. And today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie looks to the Bible for practical principles we can put to use. If you missed some of the principles he's already covered, we invite you to catch up by listening to the previous two programs online at

There's good insight coming your way, worth taking some notes. What would I say to a young Greg as an older Greg? What advice would I give myself? Let me give you a little bit of advice and say things to you that you need said to you as a younger person.

This first one may be surprising. Marry the right person. Marry the right person. Listen, if you're single, I believe God has a person picked out for you. In fact, you can start praying for your spouse right now, even though you don't know them. Maybe you do know them.

Who knows? But you can start praying for them now. But when you're looking at potential candidates of who to spend the rest of your life with, looking at who could be the potential mother or father of your children, who could be the grandparent of your grandchildren, start here. Look for a godly person. Find someone that's even more godly than you. Don't find some person who's not a Christian and marry them. The Bible says don't be an equally yoke together with non-believers. What fellowship does light have with darkness?

Don't do that. Listen, honestly, marriage is challenging enough. Don't marry a non-believer on top of it.

You need someone you can pray together with and commit things to the Lord with and look to God for the strength. Marriage can be challenging in life. But once you make this commitment, it should be a lifelong commitment.

Wedlock should be a padlock, and I mean that in the best way. And if you're unwilling to do this, if you want to just experiment with it and get married and maybe get divorced if it doesn't work out, do us all a favor and stay single. But rather, think about this, pray about this, and take your time. The Bible says love is patient. Some people want to rush into marriage. Oh, we have to get married immediately. No, get to know one another. The Bible says many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it.

If your love for that man or that woman is a real love, it will stand the test of time. I heard this great advice that was given to me by a friend of mine named Cliff Barrows. He said there are eight words you should be willing to say to your spouse every day. Eight words.

Here they are. Say, I'm sorry, please forgive me, and I love you. I'm sorry, please forgive me, and I love you. And I would add these words as well.

It was my fault. So I put this in one of my devotions. And by the way, we have a daily devotion at

You can sign up for it. And I send some devotional thoughts from Scripture to you each and every day. But anyway, in my devotion, I wrote out what I just said to you. The eight words that can change your marriage.

And a friend of mine, Larry, read it. And he walked into the room where his wife was. And he said to her just out of the blue, I love you, please forgive me, and I'm sorry. She was stunned. Her eyes were with tears. Larry, thank you for saying that to me.

That's so beautiful. What prompted you to say that? He says, oh, I just read it in Greg's devotion. I thought he would try it out. Probably shouldn't have told her that.

But it worked pretty well. You have to mean the words when you say them. I'm sorry, please forgive me, I love you.

And it was my fault. Here's what the Bible says. Wives are to respect their husbands.

Husbands are to love their wife as Christ loves the church. Make the right decision. And marry the right person.

Here's another thing. Tell those you love that you love them. Tell the people you love that you love them.

Don't wait. Don't say, well, they know. I'm sure they know. But it never hurts to have someone say, I love you. They can't read your mind.

Say it. Because there's gonna come a moment when you're gonna have a last conversation with someone you love. You may not realize it was your last conversation.

That's why it's a good thing to end your conversation with, I love you. And the Lord called our son Christopher home 13 years ago. I know that he knew that I loved him. Though I missed him desperately. Though we were devastated by this horrific event.

We always told him we loved him. And that's a very important thing to do. Don't wait to their funeral. They won't hear what happens at their funeral. Oh, I'll bring flowers then. They'll bring your flowers now. Stop what you're doing. Think about people you love. Your parents. Your children. Your siblings. Someone that's meant a lot to you. Send them a text.

Send them an email. Even better, write it on a card. You know why it's cool to write it on a card? Because they can keep it.

And they can pull it out. Just say, I just wanted to take a moment to say, I appreciate you and I love you. Thank you for all that you've done for me. Here's what an older Greg would say to a younger Greg. Take better care of your hair or you're gonna lose it. No, that's not the point.

Here it is. Keep short accounts and forgive. Keep short accounts and forgive.

Listen to this. People are gonna disappoint you in life. Even people you love. They're gonna let you down. They're gonna say something that hurts you.

Something's gonna happen. You'll feel that you've been betrayed. Maybe you have been betrayed. Maybe you just think you've been betrayed. But whatever it is, you're gonna face hurt and pain in life.

Here's what you don't want to do. Harbor grudges against people. Because that can hurt you. Recent studies suggest that those that do not forgive are more likely to experience high blood pressure, bouts of depression, and problems with anger, stress, and anxiety. So when I forgive someone, I'm not letting them off the hook.

I'm avoiding a lot of misery in my own life. Forgiveness is not about absolving the perpetrator. It's about healing the victim. There's a man who directs a Stanford forgiveness project and he said, quote, forgiveness isn't giving in to the other person. It's getting free of the other person. As I've said before, when you forgive someone, you set a prisoner free yourself.

Don't live in a prison that you put yourself in of anger and bitterness and resentment and have it actually ruin your life. Ephesians 4 30 says, be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another as God through Christ has forgiven you. Coming back to Joseph. After horrible things were done to him, his brothers betrayed him. They sold him as a slave for Pete's sake. And in the moment when he could have had them all summarily executed, he instead forgave them.

And he said, you meant it for evil, but God meant it for good. Forgive. Here's another one. What would an older Greg say to a younger Greg? Just be a nice person.

This is my advice to everyone, not just young people, be a nice person. You know, if you disagree with someone, fine, but don't be obnoxious about it. They have a new word now for people that rant. And this is usually reserved for the women. They probably should come up with one for guys as well, but you'll see these little videos that will pop up and they'll call them Karen. I don't know how this started. If it started with a woman named Karen, and I'm sorry if your name is Karen, but someone will say, oh, they were like Karen. And you have a video that someone probably shot in the cell phone of some woman ranting about something, whatever it is.

And they're getting all upset and they're screaming and yelling. Don't be that person ever. You're a child of God. Be known for your generosity. Be known for your love, your compassion, not for your anger. Ephesians 4 31 says, don't use foul or abusive language.

Let everything you say be good and helpful. So your words may be an encouragement to those that hear them. Be known as an encourager, not a discourager. Be known as a person that builds people up, not as a person who tears people down. Don't be Debbie Downer or Bobby Buzzkill. Now, these are just names of people that are always bringing you down. Debbie Downer, no matter what you say, she'll be down about it. She'll be negative about it.

Bobby Buzzkill, no matter how much fun you're having, Bobby comes in and he's just the buzzkill of everything. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. You know, sometimes we can't always make it to church, but here's the good news.

Here's the good news. Church is coming to you. It's coming to you on your TV screen or on your tablet or your computer or even your phone. We do it every weekend and it's called Harvest at Home. We have worship. We have a message from the Word of God. If you want to find out more, just go to and join us this weekend for Harvest at Home. While you're listening to a series of very practical precepts from Pastor Greg's message, What I Would Tell My Younger Self, and if you need to hear any part of this counsel again, go to That brings me to my next point.

This one's very practical and you might be surprised by it. You ready for it? This is a deep theological insight about life. What would an older Greg say to a younger Greg? Have fun.

Yes, you heard me right. Have fun. Some of the simplest joys of life are before you every single day. Savor the sunset. Enjoy the meal. Linger with family and friends. Don't be in such a rush to the next thing.

Live in the moment. I think one way to do this is put the cell phones away. Word of advice, when you sit down for a meal, don't take cell phones to the table. If you have the little watch that gets the alerts, maybe take the watch off too. Just have a conversation with the people around you. On more than one occasion I've been with people and everyone's on their cell phone and I'll text them, be here now. Let's put these phones away and let's have a conversation with each other.

Here's what I found. The greatest joys in life will come from your relationship with God and with others. But sometimes we're always thinking about what's going to come. Oh, when this comes I'm going to be so happy. When this happens it'll be so great. Wait, what about the moment right now?

I found the greatest moments of life are often the in-between ones. Let me use Christmas as an example. We get so psyched about Christmas, don't we? I can hardly wait to Christmas. I can hardly wait to open my presents.

Or I can hardly wait until the people I bought presents for open them. And it's all about that moment and you miss the in-between moments. Let me use Disneyland as an illustration. I haven't been back there for a while but you know it's so exciting when you pull into the parking lot at Disneyland. It's so thrilling when you actually walk into the park and oh it's so great.

I'm so glad to be here. But after three or four hours you're kind of looking forward to leaving, right? We get so psyched about the event. We miss the things that happen before the event and after the event. So savor those in-between moments.

Try to laugh more. Paul the apostle said rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice. So where was Paul when he wrote that? Oh he's laying on some beach, sipping an iced tea, soaking up some rays. No, no, no. He was in prison.

But despite the fact that he was in prison, writing to the believers in Philippi he says rejoice in the Lord always. Lighten up. Don't take yourself so seriously. Criticize less. Compliment more.

Here's another one. Be a generous person. Be a generous person. You might say well Greg I'm not wealthy. I can't afford to be a generous person.

This has nothing to do with how much money you have in your bank account. It's just an attitude in life. Be a giver not a taker. Be the person that offers that something to someone else that you will split your meal.

I will be honest. I don't like to split my meal with anyone. When I go to a restaurant with my wife she will say what are you going to order. I will say I'm going to order a hamburger. She says well I'm going to order a salad. Ok and I will say you're going to want some of my burger. No I don't want any of your burger. I just want a salad.

Ok fine. So the burger comes. Her salad comes. And now I'm eating my burger. I'm almost to the last bite. I'm looking forward to it.

And just as I'm ready to take it my wife will say can I have a bite of that. Sure. Here. It's hard sometimes for us to share.

But be a generous person in life. Don't be the cheapskate that disappears when the bill shows up in the restaurant. Where did Joe go. I don't know. He just disappeared. Then he come back ten minutes later.

Oh did the check come. Give me a break. Don't be that person. Be the person that's generous and giving. And by the way that applies to your relationship with God.

You want my advice. Give faithfully of your finances to the work of God. I started doing this when I was a very young man.

When I was literally living at poverty level. I believe that everything I had was given to me by God. And we would take our tithe ten percent and we would give to the Lord at church. And then we would give above and beyond that in special offerings.

I've never regretted that. In Malachi 3 10 the Lord makes His promise. Test me in this says the Lord by the way. The Lord never says test me in anything except this one thing.

Test me in this says the Lord. Bring your tithes into the storehouse and I will open up the windows of heaven and pour so much blessing on you you won't have room enough to receive it. There are three things we can give to God.

Our time, our talent, and our treasure. God's given you your life. God's given you every beat of your heart.

He's given you your time. Invest your time wisely serving the Lord. The Bible says redeem the time because the days are evil.

And a better translation of that would be make wise use of every opportunity. So bring your time to the Lord. Then you bring your talent. God has given you talent. Dedicate your talent to the Lord.

Use your talent for the glory of God. You say well I'm not a preacher so what. I don't know that we need more preachers. But we need more Christian businessmen and we need more Christian entertainers and we need more Christians in sports and we need more Christians in accounting and we need more Christian attorneys and we need more Christians in politics and we need more Christians in so many areas of life.

Just men and women that say I'm here to glorify God. I'm going to bring my time. I'm going to bring my talent.

And finally I'm gonna bring my treasure. Everything you have has been given to you by God. Be a generous person. Here's a little piece of advice you might be surprised by. But I would say this to a younger person. Take good care of your health.

You know, just do the practical things in life. Oh, I know some will say, well, that's not really spiritual. And I love to quote 1 Timothy 4.8. It says bodily exercise profits little. That's true. The Bible says that maybe that's not the best translation. Another translation puts it this way. Physical training is good, but training for godliness is far better.

So the point of it is this. Put God first, we already covered that point, but that doesn't mean neglect your body. God gave you your body.

Your soul is in a body. And the Bible says glorify God with your body, so don't neglect your health. Make sure you go to the doctor for checkups.

Make sure you do the proper things in your nutrition and your exercise and all the other things in life. Here's another piece of advice an older me would give to a younger me. Make the right choices.

Every day we get up, we have lots of choices in front of us. Starting with Taco Bell. Have you driven through a Taco Bell lately?

There's so many options. I don't even know what's happening anymore. I went there the other day with my wife. I don't know how this happened, but we're watching a movie, and in the movie there's a scene where there's a man and a young man having a hamburger at a little counter in a restaurant. And we both looked at each other and said, let's go get a burger. But the problem was McDonald's was too far away and Taco Bell was closer, so we ended up at Taco Bell. How do you go from a burger to Taco Bell?

I don't know. And then we get to the menu and we're like, what is, Kathy's saying, what is all this stuff? I don't know what a cheesy gordita crunch is.

What is this? And so I think I ended up ordering just two tacos because I know what those are. And then there's Sirius XM. You have Sirius XM? So you have all these options. You have 50s on five, 60s on six, 70s on seven, 80s on eight, 90s on nine.

And as I scroll through those, like my life is passing before me because I lived through all of these decades. And now these choices don't matter which channel you listen to on Sirius for the most part, or what choice you make at the drive-through restaurant, but then there are the big choices in life. You have a choice each and every day to obey God or to disobey God, to do the right thing or to do the wrong thing, to pick up the Bible and read it or neglect the Bible, to pray or to worry. These are your choices. Make the right choices.

Why? Because you make your choices and then your choices make you. And the end of your life is determined by the beginning of your life. The evening of your life is determined by the morning of your life. So if you're young, develop good habit patterns now.

Start doing the right things now and that will pay great dividends later in life. Such practical counsel from Pastor Greg Laurie today. It's a unique message called What I Would Tell My Younger Self. Good insight not only for young people, but for all of us.

And there's more to come as this study continues here on A New Beginning. Well Pastor Greg, movies and TV programs about Jesus go back decades, but it seems they're more common now than ever before. That's true.

Why do you think that is? I think people have a real interest in the Bible and I think when you visualize it, when you cast people to play parts and it's directed well and you add music and you know what you're doing, it can be a powerful way of getting people into the greatest stories ever told. And I'll pretty much watch any dramatization of the Bible. I've seen some okay ones. I've seen some pretty good ones.

But we are offering you right now, which I think is the cream of the crop. I don't know if you've seen it yet, but if you haven't, you're gonna see it now. It's a special series on the life of Jesus called The Chosen. It's directed by Dallas Jenkins.

Dallas is the son of author Jerry Jenkins who wrote the Left Behind books and Dallas has got lightning in a bottle here. He has just cast this series so perfectly. Peter and Andrew and Thomas and Mary and Nicodemus, he's made these characters come to life, but his crowning achievement is the casting of actor Jonathan Rumi and the role of Jesus. I've seen many cinematic portrayals of Christ of the years and I think this is the best I've ever seen. In fact, I was speaking with actor Jonathan Rumi who plays the role of Jesus and told him how powerful his portrayal of Christ was in those scenes of The Chosen.

I did not come to deliver the people from Rome. And from what? From sin, from spiritual death. God loves the world in this way. But he gave his only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life. So this has nothing to do with Rome. It's all about sin. God did not send his son into the world to condemn it Nicodemus.

He sent him to save it through him. So I'm very excited to announce that here at Harvest we are offering season one of this amazing series in the life of Jesus called The Chosen to you for your gift of any size. Is this not the perfect time to watch this with your children? And I'm telling you, your kids are going to love it. My grandkids love it. You're gonna love it.

Older people are gonna love it because it's done so well. The New Testament stories will come to life for you in a way like you've never seen before. So for your gift of any size to us here at Harvest Ministries for the month of December, the month when we celebrate the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ, we wanna send you the chosen. Some of you can give more, some of you can't give as much, but whatever you send will be put to use to continue teaching the word of God as you hear it here in a new beginning and giving people an opportunity to come into our relationship with Jesus Christ.

Yeah, that's right. And it's the most strategic time of the year for that investment. Not only are there tax deduction benefits at the end of the year, but this is when we determine how far we can reach with the gospel in the coming 12 months. And we have huge plans for 2022, including a large crusade outreach and a film documenting the Jesus movement.

We're praying God sends another revival like the Jesus movement. So your donation couldn't come at a better time. And with your investment, be sure to ask for season one of The Chosen on DVD.

You can donate online at or write us at A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, California, 92514. Or call us at 1-800-821-3300. We can take your call anytime.

Again, dial 1-800-821-3300. Well, next time, Pastor Greg presents the conclusion of his message called, What I Would Tell My Younger Self. Some of the best counsel is yet to come. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher, Greg Laurie. This is the day, the day when life begins. Thanks for listening to A New Beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God. Sign up for daily devotions and learn how to become a Harvest Partner at
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-10 13:52:01 / 2023-07-10 14:02:58 / 11

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