Hey there. Thanks for listening to the Greg Laurie Podcast, a ministry supported by Harvest Partners. I'm Greg Laurie encouraging you.
If you want to find out more about Harvest Ministries and learn more about how to become a Harvest Partner, just go to harvest.org. We want to know your will. So we would say, speak Lord, your servant is listening. We ask this all in Jesus' name. Amen.
You can be seated. Well, it's not a great time of worship. Come on. Excellent. Thank you guys and girls.
When I say guys, I mean girls too, right? Okay. Hey, a couple of things I wanted to mention. The Jesus Revolution film is around a month away. Billboards are starting to go up. Check out this billboard for the Jesus Revolution film. Isn't that cool?
You know what I love about that? I just like seeing Jesus Revolution on a billboard. Even if they don't go see the movie, just the name of Jesus.
It's a name above all names, right? That's going to be on marquees and theaters and you're going to see commercials for it in other places as it gets closer. So let's be praying for that. And here's something we want to do in regards to prayer. We're launching a campaign today that we're calling 714. So it's based on 2 Chronicles 714 which says, God speaking, if My people which are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then the Lord promises, I'll hear from heaven and forgive their sin and heal their land. Listen, America needs supernatural intervention right now, okay?
It just does. All the conflicts, all the violence, riots again on our streets, all of the things happening. We need God. So here's what we're asking you to do. You get out your phone. You might even do it right now.
Get out your phone and set your alarm to 714, either a.m. or p.m. or both if you prefer. So when your alarm goes off, it reminds you to pray every day until the movie comes out. So here's two suggested things to pray about. Of course, you can pray about whatever you want to pray about. But one is, Lord, send a spiritual awakening to America, right?
We're thinking of what you said in 2 Chronicles 714. And, Lord, I want to do my part. I'm your child. I want to turn from my wicked ways.
I want to humble myself. And I pray you'll send a revival to my home, a revival to our nation. And so let's all be praying that. And then, of course, pray for the film because this film is going to be a tool in the hand of God. And we believe people are going to come to Christ as a result of watching it.
So 714, set your alarms. Let's all be praying together. Let's turn in our Bibles to James chapter 4. Who wants to hear a Bible study? Raise your hand up. Who doesn't? You don't want to hear one? Okay, good. We're all in the same boat here.
James chapter 4, the title of my message, just a moment. One of the things that strikes me about life is how quickly it passes. You know, when you're young, doesn't it seem as though life moves at a snail's pace?
I vividly remember being in elementary school, bored beyond comprehension, was just waiting, waiting for the clock to strike the right number and we got up for recess or we got out of school. It seemed like I was in elementary school for 30 years, right? Every day seemed to take forever. Now, time goes by so quickly. Weeks go by. What, it's Sunday already? What, the month is over already?
What, it's a new year already? Billy Graham once asked what the greatest surprise of his life was and he said, the brevity of it. I think that's true. And so as life goes by so quickly, it just seems as though it's speeding up.
But it really isn't. Scientists tell us the reason life seems to go faster when you're older is because you're not having new experiences. You know, you get into a routine and you go to the same restaurant and you sit in the same table and you order the same thing off the menu and you come to church and you sit in the same seats. And I know where you all sit, by the way. I know when you're not here. Oh, well, so and so's not here today.
Where are they? Someone is in their seat. We like routine. But when you're young, you're more open to change and new opportunities. I read an article yesterday in the paper about signs you're getting old.
2,000 adults were polled. One of them was, you forget people's names. Oh, that's so true, isn't it?
That even happens when you're young, right? You're talking to someone. How are you?
Hey, good to see you. I don't remember their name. And you're hoping they'll use their name in a sentence. You're just waiting.
Just waiting. Just say your name in some way and they don't say it. Good to see you.
See you next time. You start forgetting things like that. Here's another sign of aging. You groan when you bend down. You sit down. You get up. Another sign you're getting old is when you're bending down. You wonder what else you can do while you're down there. I don't want to come down here again. So let's get it over with now. Here's another sign of getting old.
You don't know any songs in the top 10. I have to admit that may be true of me right now. Another sign of getting old is you avoid lifting things because of back concerns. By the way, this is a great way to get out of lifting things, too.
I can't. My back, you know. But seriously, I'll think, if I take the other end of that sofa, am I going to pay for this later? Because you throw your back out.
It's a situation, right? Another sign of getting old, you fall asleep in front of the TV every night. Just last night, I was watching something. I fell asleep. Kathy says to me, Greg, are you sleeping? I'm like, no, I was.
Why do we deny it? It's not a sin to sleep. Unless you sleep all day, but. And here's another sign of getting old, complaining about things more. Complaining. Another sign, taking a nap every day. I actually kind of like to do that, but that's a sign of getting older.
Here's one final one. You start driving very slowly. I mean, really slow. Like, way too slow. Like, just stop.
Hurry. And you're always in a Prius. You know it's true. It's true.
I'm telling you this is totally true. There's something wrong with Prius drivers. How many of you drive a Prius?
Jersey? Get out. No, don't. You probably get much better mileage than the rest of us, so congratulations on that wise car choice. And let me just say to you in closing, drive faster. No, don't.
No, do. Especially if you're in the fast lane. But life passes so quickly. Job 14 one says, how short is life?
How full of trouble? We blossom like a flower. Then we wither like a passing shadow.
We quickly disappear. Now, I know some of you who are young and thinking, oh, Greg, come on, this is a message for old people. I've got my whole life in front of me. Yes, you probably do. And I hope you do. And I hope you live that life well.
But you never know, right? I read a true story, a tragic story about a singer, Richard Versailles, age 63, singing at the Metropolitan Opera. He climbed up on a ladder for a scene and he was singing these lyrics, too bad you can only live so long.
They didn't get a heart attack and died on the stage in front of everybody. How sad, though. Too bad you can live for only so long.
And that's so true, too bad. But the brevity of life is what James is addressing now and the importance of living your life in the will of God. James 4, let's read a few verses.
I'm reading 13 to 17 from the New Living Translation. James says, look here. You who say today or tomorrow, we're going to go to a certain town and stay there a year.
We'll do business there and make a profit. How do you know what your life is going to be like tomorrow? Asks James. Your life is like the morning fog.
It's here for a little while, then it's gone. What you want to say is if the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that. Otherwise, you're boasting about your own pretentious plans and all such boasting is evil. Remember, James says, it is a sin to know what you want to do and not do it.
I'll stop there. Point number one, if you're taking notes, life is short, live it well. Life is short, live it well. James asked in verse 14, how do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Really what James is asking is what kind of life are you living? What are you doing with this precious gift called life right now? It's an important question to answer because life goes by so quickly. Job 9 says, my life passes more swiftly than a runner. It flees away, filled with tragedy.
It disappears like a swift boat. You've heard of William Shatner. He played Captain Kirk in Star Trek.
He's 92 years old, excuse me, 91 years old. He made this statement a while ago, quote, I'm so not ready to die, it petrifies me. I go alone, I go to a place I don't know. It might be painful, it might be the end.
My thought is that it's the end. I become nameless and I spend a lifetime being known, end quote. Someone needs to tell William Shatner that there's a God in heaven who loves him and he can know where he's going.
He can go to heaven if he puts his faith in Jesus Christ and he can live long and prosper. I'm trying to do the thing, I don't know how well I'm doing. Remember, how many of you know what I'm trying to do?
Get these fingers together, stay together, forget it. Okay, but here's what this, David says the same thing in Psalm 39. He says, my life is no longer than the width of my hand. An entire lifetime is just a moment to you. Human existence is but a breath. We're merely moving shadows, we're busy and our busy rushing ends in nothing. We heap up wealth for someone else to spend. And so Lord, where do I put my hope?
My only hope is in you. So now James is addressing Christian business people, people who are out there working hard to make a living. In this particular instance, he's talking to successful Christian business people, those who had done quite well.
He's commending them for it, but he's also reminding them to keep God at the forefront of their lives and remember that everything they've accomplished has come from the Lord because sometimes people forget about the Lord. Bringing me to point number two, we should plan for the future but put God's will first. Yes, plan for the future but put God's will first.
Sometimes people may think it's unspiritual to plan and actually it's very spiritual to plan. Proverbs 6 says take a lesson from the ants, you sluggard. Learn from their ways and become wise. They labor hard all summer gathering food for the winter. Check out the ants before you step on them. They work hard. They're always busy little ants, moving big stuff around, ants getting ready for the future.
Take a lesson from the ants. You know, it seems right now that in our nation, there's a trend toward laziness. I think it was always there but certainly COVID accelerated it, add a bunch of government money given to people and a lot of people are not returning back to the workforce today. I don't know if you've noticed but there's a lot of employment opportunities out there. It's getting hard for a lot of folks out there to find people to come and work and we're losing that very principle our nation was built on. Our nation was built on the importance of personal responsibility, innovation and working hard. It's called the Protestant work ethic.
It's a good thing. This is why we live in a strong and prosperous nation. If we lose it, we have problems and the Bible tells us in Romans 12-11, never be lazy but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. So I don't know what you do for a living but you should be the best at what you do. You should work harder than anybody else. You should get in early.
You should leave a little bit later. You should work cheerfully and you should do everything you do for the glory of God wherever it is. God has not called everyone into so-called ministry. He hasn't called everyone to be a preacher but He has called us all to minister and serve the Lord and give honor to God whatever our profession is. If you're a doctor, do it for the glory of God.
I'll tell you what. If I need surgery, I don't need a preacher. I need a godly surgeon who knows what he's doing.
Right? I may need a Christian attorney. I may need someone else in another field in building and in music and in art and in politics. We need strong believers out there to represent us well and so this is what we all are called to do, to work hard and to honor God. But the problem with these folks James is addressing is they're believers but they're living like practical atheists.
And by that I mean they're not factoring God into anything. They're just making their plans and forgetting about God. So James is reminding them, hey keep God's will to the forefront of your life. Paul told the believers in Ephesus he would return to them if God wills.
And then he wrote to the Corinthians, he planned another visit to them if the Lord wills. So it's okay to make plans but this is always factoring. This may change. God doesn't mind but if the Lord wills.
Now some people take this too far. You know you say hey you want to go out to lunch after a church? I don't know if the Lord wills. Well if God speaks to you, we'll be at In-N-Out Burger okay? And you get there, are you going to get a burger? I don't know if the Lord wills. There's not a lot of other options here. This is In-N-Out Burger okay?
It's pretty much a burger or another variation of a burger. But you know you can use this sort of spiritual jargon. That's not what he's saying. The idea here is just factor God's will in whatever you do. It should be the joy.
It should be the delight. It should be the desire of every Christian to do God's will. When a person is truly converted, and by that I mean when a person is truly come into a relationship with Christ, it will be reflected in the way that they live. Starting with the repentance from sin.
There'll be a humility there. A desire to pray. You'll have a new love for others that wasn't there before and you will want to do God's will. David wrote, I delight to do your will, oh my God. Do you delight to do God's will? Here's the problem is we think God's will isn't as good as our will.
We think our plans are better than God's plans and that's because we don't understand the Lord as we ought to. I think if you do your job well and put God first, God will bless your career. Yes, he can bless you financially.
Yes, he can bless you in every way. I mean, I just think of a few companies that have put God first and look how well they've done. Take Hobby Lobby.
You ever been to a Hobby Lobby? Right, so this is a Christian-owned company, the Green family, and they've been very successful financially. So they went and built something called the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. It's incredible. If you're ever in D.C., visit it.
It's just amazing. They also invest in the work of ministry and evangelism. It helped churches. They've even invested in our crusades financially and we appreciate that.
That's a company that's successful and they honor God and with their prosperity, they invest it in the work of the kingdom of God. Then there's Chick-fil-A, Christian-owned company, also make a great chicken sandwich. There's always a line at Chick-fil-A. In fact, I want one right now, but they're closed on Sunday.
I'm not sure I love that part, but I appreciate it and I respect it. How about In-N-Out Burger, another Christian-owned company, right? In fact, at the bottom of their cup, you'll notice John 3.16 is written there, but if you read it, you'll pour your Coke on your lap.
So just until you're done with your Coke. I love that they put that first there. Years ago, when we were first starting our crusades in 1990, I'd become friends with Rich Snyder. He was running In-N-Out Burger.
He has since gone on to be with the Lord. So we were contemplating going to a larger venue than the Pacific Amphitheater, so we were looking at Angel Stadium. We asked, how much is it to rent Angel Stadium?
Again, 1990. They said $50,000. Whoa, okay. We don't have $50,000. That day, Rich Snyder calls our office. Hey, what are you guys doing for your crusades?
Is there anything I can invest in? Well, we're reluctant to even tell him. Well, we just kind of want to go to the stadium, but it's $50,000.
He said, I'll have a check to you today. See, he helped us get started in our stadium. You can glorify God wherever you are, whatever field you're in. You can bring glory to God. And so this is the point that James is making, is remember to factor the Lord in everything that you do. By the way, when we talk about the will of God, there are certain things in the Bible that are clearly God's will for everyone.
This doesn't vary from person to person. You might want to write these verses down. Number one, it is the will of God that you are filled with the Holy Spirit each and every day.
Did you know that? That's God's will for you. Ephesians 5, 17 says, don't act thoughtlessly. Understand what the will of the Lord is.
Don't be drunk with wine because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit. By the way, in the original language, that's a command. So God is saying, I command you to be filled with the Holy Spirit. And then also in the Greek, it speaks of something that's continuous, meaning do it over and over again. So God is saying, I command you to be filled with the Holy Spirit again and again and again. So a great way to start your day, even when you're still laying in bed, you just say, Lord, fill me with the Holy Spirit today.
Give me all the power that I need. Number two, God wants you to be holy and as a result, sexually pure. First Thessalonians 4, 3 says, God's will for you is to be holy. So stay away from all sexual sin. And if you would control his own body and live in holiness and honor, not in lustful passions like the non-believers who do not know God.
OK. What does this mean? Pretty clear. No premarital sex. No extramarital sex. The only sex God will bless is the union of a man and a woman in marriage. End of story.
That's it. Not a man and a man. Not a woman and a woman. Not a man who wants to become a woman or a woman who wants to become a man.
No. God's order is a man and a woman in marriage, faithful to each other for life. Anything outside of that is not God's will.
Here's another one. God calls each and every one of us to pray and give thanks. First Thessalonians 5 17 says pray without ceasing and everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. So put God's will first in your life.
Listen to this. To know God's will, point number three, you need to present yourself to God each and every day. This is based on Romans 12 one and two. Where Paul says I urge you therefore brothers by the mercies of God that you present your bodies, and that means your total being, your personality, your will, your future. Present your bodies to God as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable, which is your reasonable service, which means it's the logical thing to do. Then he says don't be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may know what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God. You want to know God's will? Present yourself to him. And don't be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
How do you do that? Fill it with scripture. And then you'll know God's will. And what does he say about God's will? The good and acceptable will of God. God's will is good. God's will is perfect. Now sometimes the Lord says no to us. When we want to do something, he says no. God's out to ruin my fun.
No, no. The Bible says no good thing will he withhold from those that walk uprightly. So if God says no, it's for your own good. Now you're going to have to live a few years to figure that out maybe. Because you say, oh no, I know better than God. Well, you'll see. Don't learn the hard way.
Maybe learn from the experience of others. No plan of ours can improve on the will of God. We only see bits and pieces. He sees the whole.
He sees the past, the present, and the future in its total context as related to eternity. So don't be afraid to say not by will but yours be done. So here's what you need to do. You need to come to the Lord.
Say, all right, Lord. Here's the life you have given me. Here are my plans. Here are my aspirations. Here are my dreams along with my weaknesses and shortcomings and sins.
I offer it all to you because I believe your plans are better than mine. That's really what this is all about. So I heard this story about a father and a son who went to the hardware store. The dad was finishing his purchase and the owner of the hardware store pointed to a big jar of candy right there on the counter. And he said to the little boy, son, take some of this candy. Grab a handful.
It's free. The little guy just looked up at his father. And then the hardware store owner again said, son, I told you. The candy is free. Grab a handful.
Take as much as you want in your hand. Again, the little boy just looks up at his father. Finally, his dad grabs a handful of candy and gives it to his son. So they get in the car and they're driving home. The father asks the son, why didn't you grab the free candy? The boy with the big smile said, because, dad, your hand is bigger than mine.
Right? You think you know where I'm going with this? God's hand is bigger than ours. Oh, I don't want to say your will be done. Why? Well, it won't be what I want.
It'll be harder. Wait. What if it's better than anything you ever even imagined? The Bible says he is able to do abundantly above and beyond that which you could ask or think.
Listen. Never be afraid to commit an unknown future to a known God. He loves you. His plan for you is good. So we need to include God in all of our plans.
Look at verse 16, otherwise you're boasting about your own pretentious plans and such boasting is evil. I read this the other day about a 45-year-old California man who was very successful in business. He made $800 million. So he sold his business. Now he has dedicated his life to becoming physically like an 18-year-old. He has employed 30 doctors, experts. He spends millions of dollars. He's on a strict vegan diet.
He applies creams every day, undergoes laser therapy, gets electromagnetic pulses along with strict exercise regimen and much more. Okay. So all right.
Go for it I guess. But guess what? The length of your life is determined by God, not you.
Now you can be foolish. You can make bad decisions. You don't take care of your body.
You don't eat well. You can reap the consequences of that. But Jesus said in Matthew 6, 27, can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Number five, we need to give God the glory for our life and health. So whatever you've accomplished in life or whatever you're about to accomplish in life, just remember God gave it to you. There are some people that have done very well.
They might say, I've done well, I've intrude, I've invested well, I've saved, I've pivoted at the right moment and done great in life. Okay. Fantastic. But remember Deuteronomy 8, 18 says, remember the Lord your God gave you the ability to produce well.
Okay. So whatever you've done, that's still a gift of God. Yeah, but I worked hard. God gave you the ability to work hard. God gave you the breath in your lungs.
God has given you the beat of your heart. The Bible tells the story of King Nebuchadnezzar ruling Babylon, which at that moment historically was the most powerful kingdom on the face of the earth, and it was a magnificent kingdom for sure. There before Nebuchadnezzar was all the glory of this community and city he had built. One day he went out to his royal balcony and he surveyed his mighty kingdom. Before him rose the hanging gardens of Babylon. Out of the ancient world seven wonders.
Stretched around Babylon were these huge walls that were 360 feet high, 87 feet thick, wide enough for six chariots to ride abreast. He's checking it all out and he says, check out this great city that I built. And the Bible says before he could finish the sentence, God brought his judgment on Nebuchadnezzar. He entered into a form of mental illness for a period of time where he literally thought he was an animal.
He was on all fours. God restored his sanity and Nebuchadnezzar turned to the Lord and believed in him. Remember, give God the glory for all that you have. One final point, we need to do what God has called us to do.
We need to do what God has called us to do. Look at verse 17, remember it's sin to know what you ought to do and not do it. This is speaking of the sin of omission. In the Bible there is a sin of commission and omission.
Do you know the difference? Heard the story of a teacher that was speaking to her Sunday school class. She said, kids, today we're gonna talk about sin. First of all, there's this sin of commission.
Does anyone know what that is? Little girl sitting in the front was waving her hand, teacher said, go ahead. What is the sin of commission? She said, the sin of commission is when you do something you should not do.
That's exactly right. Then the teacher asked the class, does anyone know what the sin of omission is? A little boy in the back of the room was waving his arm back and forth, go ahead son, what is the sin of omission? He said, the sin of omission, those are the sins you want to do but you haven't gotten around to yet.
Not exactly. The sin of commission is what you do when you do what you shouldn't do, when you cross the line, when you break the commandment, when you fall short of the standard, which is God's glory. The sin of omission is when you know to do right and you don't do it. And I think Christians are more guilty of the sin of omission than they realize. To him that knows to do good, verse 17, and yet does not do it, to him it is sin. Let's take the gospel as an example. We have been commanded by Jesus to go into all the world and preach the gospel.
That's what he says. Go into all this world, preach the gospel, make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit, we say, amen, great. When's the last time you did it? When's the last time you engaged someone in a gospel conversation? Stats tell us that 95 percent of Christians have never led another person to Christ. Two percent of churchgoers invited an unchurched person to church in the last year.
Two percent. I know someone. He's here right now who has been coming here for a couple of years. And he has invited over 14 people to church with him.
He's always at safety, he's got more people. I need more people like him. But a church full of people like him, we could change Orange County and Riverside, right?
We could. Well, you know, so that's great. When's the last time you just invited someone to come to church with you? See the problem for many of us is the Great Commission has become the great omission. Let me say something that might sound controversial, but I think it's biblical and true. It can be a sin to not share your faith with someone. Well, you're wrong, Greg, you know, we should, but it's not a sin, hold on. To him that knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.
Let me illustrate. Let's say you're walking down the street, and there's a house on fire, and someone says, there's a child in there. I hope at the very least you will call 911. Maybe you'll be a hero and try to run in the burning house and save the child.
But if you just kept walking, oh, first you take a picture, got to post that on social, and you keep walking, that's irresponsible, that's almost criminal. Now we have a whole culture that needs to know God, and let me take a quick poll. How many of you believe the Bible is true? Raise your hand up, okay. How many of you believe what the Bible teaches about the afterlife and that there really is a heaven? Raise your hand up.
How many of you believe that in this afterlife there is also a hell and a future judgment? Raise your hand up. Okay, most of you raise your hand.
Here's my question now. Why are we not doing more people to keep them from going to hell? Because the Bible actually tells us that we should seek to snatch people from the flames of judgment. You say, oh, gosh, Greg, you know, I don't know, I'm afraid I'll say the wrong thing or I won't have an answer to their question, or, yeah, okay, so? I think you know more than you think you know, and I think you might be surprised at what will pop into your mind and out of your mouth when you take a step of faith and say, Lord, use me.
In fact, you might be so good you want to take notes on yourself. Well, where did that come from? Well, you'd never know where it came from if you don't take the step of faith. And I suggest to you that there are times the Lord has nudged you to engage that person.
You're walking along, there's some person sitting there on a bench all alone, they look sad and dejected, and maybe the Lord said, just go over there and tell them that they're loved by God. I want to do that. Why not? Well, what if they laugh at me? Well, what if they take an interest in what you're saying? Let me take it a step further. What if they want to hear what you have to say? What if they come to Jesus Christ?
How about that? I'd rather take the risk and not have it go so well, but many times it goes better than you may think it will. We all have an amazing opportunity before us right around the corner. February 22nd is when the Jesus Revolution film opens, it's so simple.
What do you need to do? You need to buy two tickets and bring someone with you that is not a Christian. Now on this particular date, February 22nd, we're going to do a local premiere that I'll tell you about in the very near future that we can all be a part of.
It's going to be fantastic. But we filmed a special gospel close for this particular release date of February 22nd where the gospel is presented. I even have a prayer I lead people in.
You can take someone to the theater. It's like having a Harvest Crusade in a movie theater. We'll even have Bibles to give to the people that respond. Then on the 24th of February, it's released nationwide. There's going to be a phone number at the end of that film and people can call that number and hopefully many of them will make a commitment to Christ.
We have purchased literally thousands and thousands of Bibles getting ready for the response that's going to come. So that's so simple. This is the lowest hanging fruit of all time. Hey, you want to go to a movie with me? My treat. There you go, right?
You might say, hey, you want to come to church, eh, want to go to a movie? I'm in. Right. Fine.
Let's use this as an opportunity. And speaking of serving the Lord, I believe the Lord leads us all the time to serve Him. You know, it's interesting. The Bible uses different kinds of phrases over 58 times like love one another, care for one another, pray for one another, encourage one another, support one another, one another. That's what it's all about. Here's how you know you're maturing spiritually. When it stops being about you, it starts being about others. Well, instead of coming to church, you don't say, what about my needs? But instead you say, I've been so blessed by God, how can I serve the Lord? And how do I serve God? I serve God by serving other people. Serving the Lord by serving them.
How can I help? So when we get up here and say, you know, we could use some help in Sunday school or, well, we could use some folks helping us in new convert counseling or helping people find their seats or park their cars or, well, we could use some help over here or there. And you say, well, you know, here they are, Lord, send them. And instead I should be saying, here I am, Lord, send me. So today, after church, we have a great opportunity for you where you can go out after the service, and we have representatives of our ministry ready to talk to you and tell you about what they're doing.
I checked it out. There's a little free food, not a lot, but you know, you say, oh, wow, I could maybe help here. You can ask them, tell me what it's like to serve in this ministry. These people running these cameras, these are volunteers, you see. People helped you find your seat, they're volunteers. People that help you park your car, volunteers. People ministering to your children right now, volunteers. We train them, we equip them, we help them, but they're serving God by serving you. See, so you need to join their ranks.
You need to join their ranks. Well, I don't feel led. Really? Don't you? At all? For anything at all?
No, I don't feel led. Not so sure about that. To him that knows to do good does not do it.
To him it is the sin. Let me loop back to what I said in the beginning and we'll wrap this message up. I talked about living our lives well. They pass so quickly. You know, ancient merchants would often write the words memento mori over their accounting books. Ever heard that phrase before? Memento mori. It means think of death. That sounds kind of morbid. I don't want to think of death.
Well, maybe you should a little bit. The Bible says, teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts to wisdom. So it's not a morbid fascination with death, but it's an acknowledgement that it will come eventually. As I've often said, the statistics on death are quite impressive.
One out of every one person will die unless the Lord comes for us first, and I pray he does. But having said that, think about it. Now why did they write memento mori over their accounting books? Because you check out your bank balance, you didn't say, look how much money I have saved.
Memento mori. One day you're going to give it to someone else. Get perspective. But you just think about life in general. Think of the afterlife. It's not just about this life. It's about the next life too. How we're living our life. How we'll be rewarded in the afterlife for how we live in this life.
These are all important things. But let me ask you this. What if this were your last day on planet earth?
Someone's name is going to be in the obituary column tomorrow. It's never going to be us. But one day it will be. And where are you going to spend eternity? Now if you're a Christian you don't have to be afraid. Because the Bible promises you'll go to heaven and you'll be in the presence of God where there is fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore. But if you're not a Christian according to scripture you will face judgment. Yes there is a hell. And the last thing God wants is for anyone made in his image to spend eternity separated from him in this place called hell. Hell was not created for people. Hell was created for the devil Jesus said.
And his demons. So if you're following the devil and his plan and his agenda and you end up in hell in the end you'll have no one to blame but yourself. Because the gates of hell are locked from the inside. You made that choice. You made that decision. And it was a wrong one.
You don't need to make that decision. This is why Christ died on the cross you see. He died for our sin.
He took the penalty we should have taken so we don't have to face it. He came to pay a debt he did not owe because we owed a debt we could not pay. And then three days later he rose again from the dead and he's alive and he's with us right now wanting to come into your life and reveal his plan for you which is better than your plan for yourself. He says he stands at the door of your life and he knocks and if you'll hear his voice and open the door he'll come in. But listen only you can ask Christ to come into your life.
I can't do that for you. Everyone who may have brought you here to church today can't do that for you. Only you can open that door and say Jesus I want you to forgive me of my sin.
I want a relationship with you. So I want to close with an invitation for you to ask Christ to come into your life so you can know with certainty you'll go to heaven when you die. Let's pray. Father I pray for every person here.
Every person watching and listening. If they don't know you I pray that your Holy Spirit will convict and convince them of their need for you and that they will turn to you right here right now. Now while our heads are bowed and our eyes are closed and we're praying together is there someone here that would say I need Jesus. I want my sin forgiven.
I want to go to heaven when I die. Pray for me. Listen if you want Christ to come into your life.
If you want to go to heaven when you die. If you want him to remove your guilt and your sin wherever you are I want you to lift your hand up right now. Lift your hand up and I'm going to pray for you. Lift your hand saying I need Jesus today. God bless you and God bless you. God bless you.
Anybody else? Raise your hand up high where I can see it. God bless you there in the back. Raise your hand up. Let me pray for you. God bless you.
I was watching at Harvest Riverside and one of the overflow areas here at Harvest OC. I can't see you if you raise your hand can I but it doesn't matter. Just take that little step of faith. You folks watching online you can do the same thing. Now I'm going to lead you all in a prayer.
Here's what I want you to do though. If you raise your hand with me during that last moment of prayer I want you to stand to your feet and we're going to pray together. Stand to your feet wherever you are even if you didn't raise your hand. You want Christ to come into your life.
We want him to forgive you of your sins. Stand up when we're going to pray. Go on stand up.
There's others standing. You're not alone. Stand up. You want to pray this prayer.
You want Jesus to come into your life. Stand and let me lead you in this prayer. Anybody else? Stand now.
God bless you. I'll wait another moment. Anybody else? It's important to make this little stand I think. Say hey I'm serious. I don't care if someone hears me. This is for real between me and God. Anybody else? Stand now. Let me pray with you.
You won't regret this. All right. I'll leave you that are standing. I want you to pray this prayer out loud after me. Just pray it out loud. Pray these words.
Lord Jesus I know that I'm a sinner but I know that you're the savior who died on the cross for my sin. I turn from my sin now and I choose to follow you from this moment forward. In Jesus' name I pray. Now Father we all pray that you will fill us with the Holy Spirit. We need that power and we want to receive it from you right now. And so we're just asking that you will empower each of us to be the person that God wants us to be because we need boldness to share the gospel. We need a supernatural courage to do what you've called us to do. To live a godly life.
To put you first in all things so fill us now. And I just want you all to just pray these words. Fill me with the Holy Spirit Lord.
Just say that right now. Fill me with the Holy Spirit Lord. Lord you've heard that prayer. You promised to give the Holy Spirit to those that would ask. We receive this power. Use us Lord to share the gospel. Use us Lord to serve others. Use us no matter what our career choice is to bring glory and honor to your name wherever we go. To work hard. To work with integrity. To work with honesty and do what we do for your glory. Everything we have has come from you. The breath we draw is a gift from heaven. We're thankful for it Lord. So we recommit ourselves to you now. In Jesus' name we pray.
Amen. Hey everybody thanks for listening to this podcast. To learn more about Harvest Ministries follow this show and consider supporting it. Just go to harvest.org. And to find out how to know God personally go to harvest.org and click on know God.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-30 06:23:01 / 2023-01-30 06:41:53 / 19