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The Influence of a Godly Life | Bringing Others to Faith

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
July 20, 2022 3:00 am

The Influence of a Godly Life | Bringing Others to Faith

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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July 20, 2022 3:00 am

Famous actors can scarcely go out in public without being mobbed. What are they famous for? Pretending. They wear make-believe clothes, step on to a make-believe set, and deliver make-believe lines. And then, in the commercial break, they hope to make you believe they actually use the hair care product they’re holding. Why do we let them influence us so? Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie points to a man—a famous name—whose influence can truly compel us toward godliness.

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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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You're listening to A New Beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners helping people everywhere know God.

Visit our website and learn more about Harvest Partners at harvest.org. Not the person with the hit song or the top athlete or the celebrity of the moment. The real stars are the ones that engage people in conversations about Jesus. That try to bring others to faith. Famous actors can scarcely go out in public without being mobbed.

What are they famous for? Pretending. They wear make believe clothes, step onto a make believe set and deliver make believe lines.

And then in the commercial break they hope to make you believe they actually use the hair care product they're holding. Why do we let them influence us so? Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie points to a man of famous name whose influence can truly compel us toward godliness. Let's grab our Bibles and turn to Daniel chapter 12 and the title of my message is the influence of a godly life. The influence of a godly life. Daniel influenced so many people. He influenced Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Then as we continue through Daniel there's the unexpected conversion of Nebuchadnezzar himself.

The most powerful man on the face of the earth. And there's a number of things that stand out in Daniel's life. But maybe the key to his successful life and ministry is found in Daniel 1a. Where we read Daniel purposed in his heart he would not defile himself. And this was in a relatively small area about the food from the king's table.

But it was that resolution. It was that commitment. That determination that carried him through life. So let's read a few passages together. Daniel chapter 12 I'd like to read verses 1 to 4. At that time Michael the archangel who stands guard over your nation will arise and there will be a time of anguish greater than any since nations first came into existence. But at that time every one of your people whose name is written in the book will be rescued. Many of those whose bodies lie dead and buried will rise up some to everlasting life and some to shame and everlasting disgrace. Those who are wise will shine as bright as the sky and those who lead many to righteousness will shine like the stars forever. But you Daniel keep this prophecy a secret. Seal up the book until the time of the end when many will rush here and there and knowledge will increase.

We'll stop there. So verse 1 tells us a time of anguish is coming. This time is spoken of by Daniel later in the book of Revelation and other passages of Scripture we also notice the great tribulation period. It will be a period in human history of unprecedented horror and holocaust. It is coming on the earth. Now here's an interesting verse.

Daniel 12 10. Many will be purified and made white and refined but the wicked will do wickedly and none of the wicked shall understand. The wicked will do wickedly.

No surprise there. Wicked people just keep doing wicked things. That's a trajectory of human history. Many things just go from bad to worse. So wicked people will continue to do wickedly but then this hopeful statement many will be purified made white and refined.

Interesting. Is this a promise of revival in the last days? Will we see a revival or a series of revivals or spiritual awakenings where people turn back to God? I would hope so.

And I think there will be actually. God says in the last days I will pour My Spirit out on all flesh that sons and daughters will prophesy and the old men will dream dreams. That was quoted by Simon Peter on the day of Pentecost. The last great American revival was the Jesus movement. In fact you probably know I have written a book about it called Jesus Revolution. And I wrote this book because I wanted to tell the story of the last great American revival.

Not to live in the past or just take a walk down memory lane. I actually wrote it as though I were sitting across a table from a millennial and saying God could do this in your generation. And that is why it was so cool at the baptism when a young man comes up to me holding a copy of my book. Jesus Revolution and I think his name was Isaiah. He was 17 years old. He said I just read this book and I am reading it again.

This is changing me. See he got the message. This could happen for his generation. It has been said that the fame of revival spreads the flame of revival. So the reason I wanted to tell a revival story was to inspire a younger generation saying maybe you can have revival in your time as well. You know it is interesting that Time magazine dubbed this moment in time the Jesus Revolution. We didn't call it a revolution. We called it a movement. It is a Jesus movement.

And we are Jesus people. But Time magazine said this is the Jesus Revolution. They chose that word. You know it is interesting because the word revolution means an upheaval. A change.

Dramatic change. And there was a lot of revolution in the air back in the late 60s. Of course there was a drug revolution that is still infecting our country. The mantra of the day was drug, sex, and rock and roll.

Make love. Not war. And all kinds of drugs entered the mainstream. The Beatles or Pied Pipers in a way went from singing I want to hold your hand to I would love to turn you on. And a whole generation got turned on and destroyed in many ways.

In fact the opioid epidemic of 2018 really erupted in the late 60s. And then the sexual experimentation of the late 60s with the introduction of the birth control pill in 1960 where promiscuity was encouraged really was an attack in many ways on the family. Why live in the constraints of a family? Why do you need a husband and a wife and a mom and a dad? Man let's just do our own thing.

That was the saying then. Just do your own thing man. No we did our own thing.

The Bible says there is a way that seems right to a man and the end thereof are the ways of death. We sowed the wind. Now we are reaping the whirlwind and facing the consequences of all those bad decisions. 1968 was the big wakeup call for the 60s. All the cool psychedelic day glow colors had faded to gray and everything just started unraveling in 68. Martin Luther King great civil rights leader shot down on the balcony of his hotel. Robert F. Kennedy who won the nomination for his party to become the president shot and killed in the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.

Young men coming home from Vietnam in body bags. Riots in the street. Man it looked like America was going downhill fast.

And it was. So God sent a revolution. The Jesus revolution. And it changed the nation. And we need another one right now.

How did it happen? Well read my book and find out. No seriously.

I will tell you a couple of things. It wasn't planned by anybody. It is not like someone said let's start a revival. Because you can't really start a revival.

You know sometimes churches have signs out in front. Revival. Tonight only.

From seven to nine. Hey you may have a great meeting but that is not necessarily a revival. A revival is an awakening that is coming back to life.

It is a restoration. But I do think though that though we can't bring about a revival in our own strength we can prepare the ground. Or maybe I should say we can pre-prayer the ground. I had the privilege of being at the White House recently for a dinner that was put on for evangelical leaders. And there is a few things I said but one thing I pointed out was our nation the United States of America was founded during a spiritual awakening.

Did you know that? One of our founding fathers George. Not George Washington. But George Whitfield a preacher from England proclaimed the gospel and thousands of people living in the colonies.

This is before we were officially a nation. Came to faith in Christ. So the obvious result was moral change in culture. Because whenever people come to Christ it changes the way that they live. And this became the soil that was so receptive to the seeds of liberty of this new nation that was being formed.

I don't think we could have had the United States of America without that incredible soil tilled by the evangelist George Whitfield. So I pointed out we started with awakening and we needed another one. And I quoted 2 Chronicles 7.14.

We all know that verse. If my people which are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked way God will hear from heaven and heal our land. So yes revolution. The word revolution doesn't just speak of an upheaval. It also speaks of turning around or rotating.

Right? A revolution. Returning to something and in our case we need to get back to the church that changed the world. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. You know there is nothing like hearing the word of God and worshiping the Lord together. I want to encourage you to join us for something we call Harvest at Home. It happens every Saturday and Sunday at Harvest.org. You can join Christians literally from around the world as we worship and we study the word of God together. So join us for Harvest at Home at Harvest.org. Well today Pastor Greg is talking about our challenge to impact the world and see another spiritual awakening like we did in the time of the Jesus movement of the 60s and 70s.

He continues now. Let me close with just five takeaway truths of the Jesus movement. Of the Jesus revolution. Things that we did. When we came to church point number one there was a sense of expectancy when you came to church.

A sense of expectancy. In other words nobody ever came late to church. Because we were going to meet with the Lord. We were going to worship the Lord. You know the Bible says of the first century church they continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine. The breaking of bread and of prayers. The phrase continuing steadfastly means of a passion. An urgency. Yes it is true we need anointed preaching today. I think one of the worst sins a preacher can commit is boring people. You say so what is your problem?

I don't know. What can I say? But listen we also need anointed listening.

You know we come with expectation. That was there. Number two the worship was passionate and heartfelt. We didn't have these awesome worship bands back then. Effectively contemporary Christian worship was coming alive before our very eyes.

Back in those days you might have a couple of acoustic guitars. And we would just sing these super simple choruses. Usually scriptures set to song.

Which by the way I still remember all of them today. It is a great way to learn scripture. But we would sing these simple songs but people would engage. People would worship. And I think it is so important when we come to church that we do it. We worship.

See listen to this. If you want to see revival do revival like things. Don't wait for the emotion. Let's say that your marriage was struggling.

And you came to me. Greg we have lost the spark in our marriage. We have lost the romance in our marriage.

I would probably ask you husband. When is the last time you took your wife out on a date? Uh. I can't.

A decade ago. Yeah. I would say you know what. Maybe if you want romance you should do romantic things. Just be romantic. Emotions will catch up. So a sense of expectancy. An engagement in worship. The Bible says that we sometimes bring the sacrifice of praise.

We are not always in the mood. Number three. We had a hunger for the Bible. The Bible was taught in all of our services.

Not just referenced. We devoured it. We studied it. We consumed it. Hungry people are healthy people.

Sometimes when you don't feel well you go to your doctor and they will ask you. How is your appetite? You will say it is pretty good. Yeah and you need to lose about 20. But sometimes our appetite isn't that good.

We have lost weight. And so when you are doing well spiritually you will be hungry for the Bible. Not just to hear in church but you will be hungry for the Bible every day. You need to start every day with the Word of God. You tell me your spiritual life is lacking.

You tell me that you have lost the passion. Do you read your Bible every day? Well I don't always feel like it. Well who cares?

You have that discipline of opening up God's Word and starting the day off with Scripture and read it throughout the day. We did that a lot back in those days. Here is another one. We are almost done. We believe Jesus was coming back. We actually believed it. Well Greg you obviously were off.

What was that? Like over 40 years ago. True. But I still believe Jesus is coming back. In fact I think we are 40 years closer. He could come back at any moment. We have never been closer to the return of Christ and we are right here right now at this moment. And I think if you really believe Jesus is coming back it will impact you in the way that you live. How many of you believe Jesus could come back in your lifetime? Raise up your hand. Hey that is awesome. And if you really believe that it should affect you in the decisions you make. And I am going to talk about that a little bit more in our last message from this series in Daniel.

And lastly number five. We invited people to come to Christ in every service. And they did.

By the hundreds and thousands and thousands. And that is why we do that here. You say, Greg why do you always give invitations?

Well are you serious? Because lost people come into church all the time. And I am glad they do. I know most of you are believers. And I know I take a little more of your time maybe at the end of a service when I invite people to come to Christ.

But I will tell you what. If you brought a non-believer to church that day you are thankful it is happening. And you are praying for that person to believe aren't you.

And so you should be. And by the way we should be bringing people to church that don't know the Lord obviously. You know I know we all get fired up here at Harvest when the so-called harvest happens. And we get out there and we invite people and that is awesome. But every week we should be bringing people to Christ and looking for opportunities in our own life to share our faith. I love this statement of verse 3 Daniel 12. Those who are wise will shine as bright as the sky. And those who lead many to righteousness will shine like the stars forever.

You know who the real rock stars are. The people that share their faith. Not the people who have the most followers on social media. Not the celebrity of the moment.

Not the person with the hit song or the top athlete or whoever is in the public consciousness at any given time. The real stars are the ones that try to bring others to faith. That engage people in conversations about Jesus. We are all supposed to do that. Because this is a place where people can meet God. And I pray it always will be.

It has been up to this point. I pray it will always be that place. A hospital. Can you imagine going into an emergency room of a hospital. Looking at all these people who need medical care and say, Get out of here. You are all so sick man.

No. That is what a hospital is for. And that is what the church is for. It is not all we are for. We are here to worship God. We are here to hear the Word of God. We are here to develop our spiritual gifts. But we are here to be a place where people that don't know the Lord could come and meet the Lord and have their life changed by Jesus Christ.

And you might be one of those people. I don't know how you got here today or where you are watching me right now. But wherever you are let me say this. If you are not sure if Jesus Christ is living inside of you. If you don't have the confidence that your sin is forgiven and that you will go to heaven when you die. Respond to this invitation.

I am going to give now. I mentioned Jesus could come back at any moment. If you don't have the confidence that you would be ready to meet the Lord in the air when He does come back. Respond to this invitation right now as we pray.

Let's all bow our heads. Father now thank You for Your love for us in sending Jesus. Lord Jesus thank You for dying on that cross for our sin and rising again from the dead. Now I pray for anybody here who does not yet know You.

Help them to see their need for You. And help them to come to You and believe. We ask in Jesus' name. Amen. Pastor Greg Laurie, with an important prayer about coming to the Lord to find forgiveness of sins.

And if you'd like to do that, Pastor Greg will help you in just a moment before today's edition of A New Beginning concludes. Tell me your name and what you do in the music industry. I'm Amy Grant.

And I have been making music and telling stories since I was a teenager. I don't want to make this thing negative. But at the same time I want to be honest. I can't believe I'm getting emotional. I don't know how to say this. I've never shared this with anybody. I don't want to say this. The whole thing came alive.

Loud, mean, proud. I don't understand that. Stop, stop, stop, stop, stop.

This thing on paper shouldn't have worked. The Jesus movement is no longer a California fail. Contemporary Christian music has become a video game. And we see all the intricacies and everything.

We're just going to go. The story was so massive. That's an excerpt from a brand-new film called The Jesus Music produced by the Irwin brothers. You know them best for their films like I Can Only Imagine, I Still Believe. And next year they're releasing a feature film based on my life and on the spiritual awakening called The Jesus Movement. And the title of that film will be Jesus Revolution. Well out of this movement of God that happened in the early 70s a whole new form of music came to be that we call contemporary Christian music today. But in the initial stage it was just called Jesus music.

It became an industry with all kinds of people involved and there's some drama in this story as you'll see. But what I love is it's a story of redemption. How God has used flawed people to bring this music to us.

But listen, God always goes out of his way to use ordinary people to do extraordinary things. You're going to be surprised by, blessed by, encouraged by this movie that we're going to send you for your gift of any size on DVD, Blu-ray and also downloadable. Again it's called The Jesus Music.

You may have seen it in the theaters or on streaming platforms. Now you can have your own copy. Now listen, whatever you send will be used to help us here at A New Beginning and Harvest Ministries to teach God's word and proclaim the gospel. So order your copy right now of The Jesus Music. You're going to love this. Yeah, it really is a terrific film.

It's a fascinating story along with plenty of surprises. We hope you'll let us send it your way. We're sending it to say thank you for your partnership. When you partner with Harvest Ministries and A New Beginning, together we can reach even more people. You know, more than 220,000 have made professions of faith in the last two years.

And it's the investments of friends like you that help make that possible. So contact us today with your investment and let us thank you with a copy of The Jesus Music. As Pastor Greg said, we'll send it on DVD, Blu-ray, and also give you a way to download it to your tablet, your phone, your computer. So just give us a call at 1-800-821-3300. We can take your call anytime, again at 1-800-821-3300. Or write A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514.

Or go online to Harvest.org. Well Pastor Greg, you pointed out the importance of asking Jesus to forgive our sins a few moments ago. Could you help those who want to do that very thing right now? Yeah, you know the Bible tells us that Jesus Christ stands at the door of our life and he knocks. And if any man will hear his voice and open the door, he will come in. Maybe as you've heard me speak today, well you've heard another voice speaking to you.

It's the voice of God. And you realize you need Christ in your life. You need your sin forgiven. You want the assurance that you will go to heaven when you die.

Well here's what you need to do. You need to pray. And I would like to lead you in a prayer right now where you will be saying to Jesus, Lord, come into my life. I choose to follow you.

So let's pray. Lord Jesus, I know that I'm a sinner, but I thank you for dying on the cross for my sin. I turn from that sin now and I put my faith in you. Be my Lord, my Savior, and my God, and my friend. I choose to follow you, Jesus, from this moment forward.

Thank you for loving me and calling me and accepting me. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen. Listen, if you just prayed that prayer, I want you to know on the authority of scripture that Christ himself has come into your life. The Bible says these things we write to you that believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.

If you just prayed that prayer in minutes, you can know today you have eternal life. And may I be the first to say to you, welcome to the family of God. And we want to help you grow as a believer. So let us send you our New Believers Growth Packet. We'll send it free of charge if you prayed with Pastor Greg today. Just call us at 1-800-821-3300. We can take your call anytime.

Again, that's 1-800-821-3300. Or write us at A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514. Or go online to harvest.org and click the two words, Know God. Well next time, Pastor Greg brings us the finale to the series in Daniel called End of Days. We'll finish with a study called Things to Do Before the End of the World. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher, Greg Laurie. In the day, the day when life begins Hey everybody, thanks for listening to A New Beginning. This is a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners. So for more content that can help you know God and equip you to make Him known to others or to learn more about how you can become a Harvest Partner, just go to harvest.org
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-21 21:16:08 / 2023-03-21 21:26:01 / 10

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