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What I Would Tell My Younger Self | Evidence of Maturing

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
July 25, 2022 3:00 am

What I Would Tell My Younger Self | Evidence of Maturing

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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July 25, 2022 3:00 am

Have you noticed how our perspective changes in life? Some of us hated certain vegetables when we were kids. And now? Well, we may still hate those vegetables, but that’s not the point! The point is our perspective changes. Right? We eat vegetables because they’re good for us. Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us realize that a changing perspective is good evidence that we’re maturing. And today we’ll see how we can embrace and enhance that maturing process. 

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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. And here's the thing you discover in time. Your pain can be effectively turned to gain because what you have gone through was not designed to destroy you, but to develop you. Have you noticed how our perspective changes in life? Some of us hated certain vegetables when we were kids, and now, well, we may still hate those vegetables, but that's not the point. The point is our perspective changes, right?

We eat vegetables because they're good for us. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us realize that a changing perspective is good evidence that we're maturing. And today, we'll see how we can embrace and enhance that maturing process.

This is the day, the day when life begins. Well, there's the obvious answers. I would tell young Greg, brush your teeth every day, boy, because you do not want to have to spend as much time at the dentist as older Greg has. Of course, I would tell younger Greg, wear sunscreen. I was a blonde kid out at the beach a lot.

I don't think I hardly ever wore sunscreen, and I've had more than one trip to the dermatologist, so I'd certainly give that advice. Maybe I would say to a young Greg, you know when Star Wars comes out and all those figures are in the original packaging? Don't open those. Save those because you'll be able to sell those for a lot of money later. I think that's true of original Barbie dolls in their packaging. I just read the other day that an original copy of The Legend of Zelda video game sold for, get this, $411,000.

So I guess I would say, young Greg, go find a few copies of The Legend of Zelda because they'll be worth half a million one day, but don't take it out of the original packaging. Now these are silly things, things that don't matter all that much, but I want to talk about things that really do matter, what I would say to a younger me, and in effect, what I'm saying to young people right now. Let me give you a little bit of advice. Maybe you don't have a mom and a dad that are doing this for you or a grandfather. Let me be your dad for a few minutes or your grandfather and say things to you that you need said to you as a younger person.

This first one may be surprising, but I'm going to start with this. Whatever you're going through, it's going to be okay. Whatever you're going through, it's going to be okay. I know when you're young and you're experiencing things for the first time, life can seem kind of scary. You're wondering about what you're going to do with your life, where you're going to go, who you're going to marry, what career path you're going to choose, and then maybe something bad happens to you. You have a huge setback. You break up with your boyfriend or your girlfriend, and it almost seems like your world has just ended. Listen, it's going to be okay.

You're going to get through this. I look at photos of my younger self. By the way, I just rediscovered these really old photos of me as a little boy.

I believe they were taken when I was living in New Jersey. I was around six or seven years old. I look at this little guy, and knowing now what I know now, I know that little guy is going to go through a lot of suffering. His mother would effectively abandon him. He would never have a father growing up. He would be passed around from aunts and uncles. He would spend a considerable period of time in military school. Life would not make sense to him. Sometimes he would be up all night wondering when his mother was going to come home, and she wouldn't come home, and he'd have to get himself ready for school and take a lot of responsibility on as a little kid. But here's what I would say. God has his hand on you.

God is going to watch over you. I mentioned I was passed around to family members, and I did spend a bit of time with my grandparents. That was probably one of the most stable times in my life because they functioned as parents, but they were parents from another century. They were quite old when I was living with them, and they believed in old-fashioned values, but fortunately, they believed in old-fashioned food too, starting with fried chicken. And by the way, when we had fried chicken, we didn't just go to the market and buy chicken like normal people. My grandfather would kill a live chicken, cut its head off.

I remember as a little kid watching him do it one time. He took the chicken. He put it on a tree stump. He took out the hatchet or the ax, I should say.

Boom! Off comes the head, and the body's running around, spurting out blood. And as I recall, it started running toward me, and I'm thinking, how does the chicken body know where to go? I felt like the little chicken head laying there was saying, go straight, turn right, turn right, whatever.

It traumatized me. I still break out in a cold sweat when I go buy Chick-fil-A. Not really, but fresh chicken, mashed potatoes made from scratch, black-eyed peas, so many incredible things she would make every night. But her crowning achievement was her biscuit.

This was a biscuit unlike any other I've had any place. So it was good. It was stable. And I remember we would sit in the front room of my grandparents' house. They each had sort of a La-Z-Boy type chair, and I'd sit in a little stool in the middle. And I remember we watched Billy Graham. And how was I to know as a little boy that I would one day meet him and actually become friends with him? My grandparents had a little painting of the face of Jesus over the furnace.

It was a floor furnace. And I remember I would look at that picture of Jesus for hours thinking about him. There was something about him that interested me. How was I to know that I would come into a relationship with him?

And he would change my life forever. So despite the hardship I went through as a little boy, I was able to react to it in a different way. Because at the age of 17, I put my faith in Jesus Christ.

Listen to this. You don't decide what hand you will be dealt in life. Some of you are in a stable home with mom and dad raising you in a wonderful way. Some of you are from a broken home.

In fact, probably more of you are from a broken home. And you are facing an uncertain future. You don't get to pick what hand is dealt to you in life. But you decide how you will react to it.

And here's the thing you discover in time. No matter how bad your upbringing is or how bad the experiences are that you go through, your pain can be effectively turned to gain. God can take your setbacks and turn them into setups. Your tests can become a testimony because what you have gone through was not designed to destroy you but to develop you. To develop you so you will be a different person.

And I have been able to take the pain of my past and use it as a tool to help people who are going through similar pain. The Apostle Paul speaks about comforting with the comfort that we ourselves have been comforted with. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. Emails, letters, and phone calls from listeners are so encouraging to us. And they let us know the effectiveness of these studies. Pastor Greg, this letter has been a long time coming. In 2017, my husband and I lost our three-year-old son to a sudden onset sickness.

We began asking questions and no answers seemed to be found. One evening, I was watching TV and came across your message. I was about to change the channel but something compelled me to watch. You were giving your testimony. The more I watched, the angrier I became thinking, Oh great, another pastor with a perfect faith in life, what does he know? At that moment, you began to share about the passing of your son, Christopher. Your testimony saved my life because for so long, I thought I deserved what had happened to our son because of my disobedience to God's word. But hearing your testimony for God made me realize that God doesn't waste our pain. Then and there, I set my heart on seeking God. I started listening to your podcasts and devotions.

And wouldn't you know it, you were in a series called Hope for Hurting Hearts. I know it was the leading of the Holy Spirit for me to tune in. Thank God for that moment, his perfect timing, grace, and love. And thank you, Pastor Greg, you have done more than you realize. We're so blessed to hear how Pastor Greg's messages have comforted this woman. Would you like to share a personal story with us? If so, drop Pastor Greg an email and let him know.

Send it to Greg at harvest dot org. That's Greg at harvest dot o-r-g. Well Pastor Greg is getting very personal today, letting us in on those things he would tell his younger self. Good wisdom coming our way today. I read just the other day that the majority of Gen Z has high levels of anxiety and stress. Let me say something to my younger viewers right now. I know it's harder for you than it was for us when we were growing up. I know older people will say things like, you know when I was a child it was so much harder. No, it's harder for you guys.

One of the reasons it's harder is many of you are coming from broken homes. Another reason it's harder is because everything has been escalated. In my day I might get beat up at school. In your day you might get shot in school. The drugs are much more serious and much harder.

And of course you have social media that amplifies everything and has changed things dramatically. I also read that Generation Z are afraid of the future. And one third of this generation struggle with suicidal thoughts. Am I talking to somebody right now who has contemplated suicide?

Maybe you've even attempted to take your own life. I want you to know something. I want you to know that you are loved. I want you to know that you are wanted. I want you to know you're loved by more people than you could ever imagine. And I also want you to know that God has a special plan for your life. You matter. We need you.

Don't contemplate ending your life. I just watched a documentary film called Roadrunner. It's about the life of celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain. Bourdain first kind of broke out with his book that he wrote called Kitchen Confidential. Then he started working in television and had a very successful show on CNN called Parts Unknown. That took him around the world meeting all kinds of people tasting the most exotic foods. And sort of the life that many people would only dream of.

It's almost like this film Roadrunner was designed to show why suicide is the worst possible solution. Because they interviewed many people that really cared about Anthony Bourdain. And how much they missed him. And how much they loved him. And how devastated and in some cases traumatized they were by him taking his own life. Bourdain actually had a scene filmed where he's with a psychiatrist.

And they're having a discussion together. And to the psychiatrist he says I would like to be happier. I would like to be calmer.

I would like to be able to relax. I would like to be able to look out the window and say life is good. And the psychiatrist replies well you don't do that? You can't look out the window and say life is good? And Bourdain replies no I can't. And then the psychiatrist says to him you need to start thinking do you want to change anything?

And Anthony Bourdain responds I think it's too late for that. Listen it's never too late to change. I don't know what trajectory your life is going in right now.

I don't know what bad decisions maybe you've made at this moment. But it's never too late to change. And it's not just changing the way you feel. You need to change the way you think. Christ can change the course of your life.

Listen just as surely as there is a God in heaven who loves you. There is a devil that's headed to hell who hates you. And Jesus summed up the contrast when he said in John 10. The thief speaking of Satan comes only to steal, kill, and destroy. But in contrast Jesus said but I have come that you might have life.

And that more abundantly. So there is your choice. Life in a relationship with God. Death outside of a relationship with God. Don't let the devil whisper in your ear that you should take your life. The Bible says he is a liar and he is a father of lies. Sometimes people are apprehensive about giving their life to Jesus.

Because they think well it's going to be misery and rules and regulations. Au contraire. That's French for snails with garlic.

No that's escargot. To the contrary God's plan for you is better than your plans for yourself. God himself says in Jeremiah 29 11. I know the thoughts that I think toward you says the Lord.

Thoughts of peace not of evil to give you a future and a hope. Let me just stop right here and ask this question. Would you like to fill that hole inside of your heart? Would you like to have all of your sins forgiven? Would you like to have a fresh start right here right now?

Here is what you need to do. You need to realize that God loved you so much. He sent his son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for you 2,000 years ago. If you will turn from your sin and put your faith in Jesus Christ will come into your life.

And he can change the course of your life. Not to mention your eternal destination from hell to heaven. If you would like Jesus Christ to come into your life. If you would like him to forgive you of your sin.

Why don't we just stop for a moment. And why don't you just pray this prayer with me. Just pray Lord Jesus. I know I am a sinner. And I know you are the savior. And I need you in my life. Forgive me of all of my sin.

I choose to follow you from this moment forward. Thank you for hearing this prayer. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen. We want to send you our New Believers Growth Packet.

It will help answer some questions you might have and lay a foundation for your faith. And we will send it free of charge. Just ask for the New Believers Growth Packet as you write a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514. Or call 1-800-821-3300. We can take your call anytime.

Again dial 1-800-821-3300. Or go online to Harvest.org and click the words Know God. So many saw the movie The Jesus Music in theaters.

Many more were unable due to COVID. But it's now out on DVD. And you can get a copy from us here at A New Beginning. It's the fascinating story of how early Jesus music caught fire. Almost instantly. Chuck Smith hardly ever shed a tear. But Chuck Girard says he did the day he heard a new band called Love Song. He was moved.

So the next thing we hear is can you guys play tonight? It's youth night and Lonnie's preaching. Hours later Love Song debuted at Calvary Chapel.

I can't think of many pastors that would have allowed something like that to happen on their stage. Every night it was something new. A new band would form with new songs. Within six months there was 12 bands. I saw contemporary Christian music born right before my very eyes.

Yes that's true I did. And you know you have to understand that I came to Christ in 1970. So I came to this church called Calvary Chapel and all these bands were up on the stage playing. And I literally thought I was going to have to just give up all music. I mean I was raised listening to the Beatles. You know Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, The Birds, etc.

And I thought well I guess I'll just listen to hymns now and not listen to music any longer. And all of a sudden here's this band called Love Song that I thought were artistically amazing. Fantastic songs. Lush harmonies. Very strong message about the gospel. It moved me deeply. And I remember one of the first times I went to Calvary and this song was playing.

And the lyrics of it were, we're all gathered here because we all believe. If there's a doubter in the crowd we ask him not to leave. We ask you not to leave.

Give a listen to his story. Hear the message that we bring. Feel his faith swell up inside you. Lift your voice with us and sing.

Accept him with your whole heart. And use your own two hands. With one reach out to Jesus. And with the other bring a friend.

With one reach out to Jesus and with the other bring a friend. I thought that song encapsulated really the essence of what this music was about. It was saying look our lives are changed. Christ has done this for us.

We want him to do it for you so reach out to someone and bring them to hear this message. And this music eventually became known as contemporary Christian music. Now there's a whole industry of these bands traveling around the world and of course contemporary Christian radio stations and so forth. And that's fantastic. I love to listen to it.

But you know what? It started in a revival. And that story is told in this documentary film The Jesus Music. And we would like to send you a copy for no charge. And when I say no charge I'm going to ask you to send a gift. Now some of you can only send a little. You'll get your copy of The Jesus Music. Some can give a little more.

Some of you could give quite a bit more. But every you send will be used to continue our mission here at Harvest of bringing the gospel to people and teaching the word of God. So order your copy of The Jesus Music on DVD, Blu-ray and downloadable as well as soon as you can.

In fact, why don't you do it right now? Yeah, we have a copy waiting for you. And we'll get it on its way as soon as we hear from you. We do appreciate your partnership. Frankly, listener support is the only way we can bring you these studies each day. So get in touch with your donation and be sure to ask for The Jesus Music.

It'll come to you on DVD, Blu-ray and downloadable as well. And we won't be mentioning this much longer so contact us soon. Call us at 1-800-821-3300. Call any time. That's 1-800-821-3300. Or write A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514.

Or go online to harvest.org. Ever start your day off wrong? You know, things started badly and just kept going downhill. A lot of it has to do with your focus, where your mind is centered as the day starts. Why not plug into Pastor Greg's daily devotions? They're free of charge. It's good encouragement to keep your eyes fixed on Christ. You can read each day's devotion or listen to the audio version.

Your choice. Sign up today free of charge at harvest.org. You know, there's nothing like hearing the word of God and worshipping 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, next time, Pastor Greg continues his message called What I Would Tell My Younger Self, with insight on how we can avoid the scourge of worry and commit to living a life of honesty and integrity. 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 harvest.org.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-20 01:19:32 / 2023-03-20 01:28:20 / 9

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