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What I Would Tell My Younger Self | Importance of Passing on Wisdom

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
February 6, 2023 3:00 am

What I Would Tell My Younger Self | Importance of Passing on Wisdom

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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February 6, 2023 3:00 am

Whether you’re an electrician or a chef, an auto mechanic or a roofer, chances are you served some sort of apprenticeship. You learned the trade from someone with a few years under his or her belt. Well, the Lord has a similar plan for how believers can pass knowledge from older to younger. And today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie shares the kinds of precepts that we should be passing on. 

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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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Today's episode of A New Beginning is brought to you by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God.

Learn more at harvest.org. And while you're there, browse our library of free ebooks designed to help you grow in your faith. We're in a race as Christians, and this is a relay race. And my job in this race is not to hold on to the baton forever.

I have to hand it on to the next runner to carry it forward. We need to do the same. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie points out how discipleship is an important part of God's plan for passing insight and wisdom from older believers to younger believers. So if you're a younger believer, find an older believer you can learn from. Whether you're an electrician or a chef, an auto mechanic or a roofer, chances are you serve some sort of apprenticeship.

You learn the trade from someone with a few years under his or her tool belt. Well, the Lord has a similar plan for how believers can pass knowledge from older to younger. And today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie shares the kinds of precepts that we should be passing on. If you missed the first 14 precepts in this thoughtful message, get a replay at harvest.org. Hey, if you have a Bible, why don't you grab it and turn to 2 Timothy chapter four. And the title of this special message is what I would tell my younger self. Advice I would give to anyone, young people, but older people as well. I would say, young Greg, tell others about Jesus and then disciple them.

This is called the Great Commission. Jesus said, go into all the world and preach the gospel and make disciples of all nations, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. And lo, I am with you even to the end of the age. Jesus is saying He will be with the person who does this in a special way. It means that we look for opportunities to initiate conversations about Christ. To the best of our ability, we seek to lead people to the Lord and then we disciple them.

You say, what does that even mean? It means you take them under your wing and you help them get up on their feet spiritually. Here is why disciplining a new believer is important for the new believer as well as for the old believer. The older believer stabilizes the younger believer and the younger believer energizes the older believer. So you know when you have been going to church for 10, 15, 20 years, I don't know what you do after the service, but maybe you start critiquing things. Did you see what she was wearing?

And oh man can you believe how loud the music was? And that sermon seemed a little too long. You know you kind of gripe and complain maybe. But let's say you have a brand new believer with you. They just accepted Christ two weeks ago.

They are in that bloom of first love. I guarantee you are not going to be critiquing the sermon or critiquing the church because the new believer will say, you know the pastor said this and I have never heard that before so you will find yourself elaborating on it. Do you understand how that is helping you as well as it is helping them? But see a lot of us don't do this. You know we are not sharing the truth. We are hoarding the truth.

And we just think about ourselves. But a true mark of spiritual maturity is when we get our eyes off of ourselves and start thinking of others. But then there is the joy of sharing because Jesus said it is more blessed to give than it is to receive. Share your faith. Seek to disciple others.

And here is another one. Spend time with older godly people. Sometimes when you are young you just want to hang around young people. I remember when I was a brand new Christian I was 17. I knew a lot of people my own age. But I went out of my way to find older people to hang around.

You know why? I thought, what do these other young people know? I don't think they know much more than I know. So I met people that were older like Pastor Chuck Smith, his wife Kay Smith, an associate pastor there at the church he pastored Calvary Chapel named Pastor Romaine. I spent time talking to them.

You know why? I didn't have a dad growing up. I didn't have a mom growing up. I needed an older person to help me figure life out, to give me some life hacks if you will.

And they did that. They spent time with me. I didn't just listen to them speak. I had meals with them and did fun things with them and got to see what a Christian looks like up close and personal. Especially an older more mature believer. A little bit later in my life I became friends with a great British preacher Alan Redpath who wrote a lot of amazing commentaries. And of course I became friends with Billy and Ruth Graham. Being with these godly people impacted me. Find godly people you can be with. So if you're an older believer find a younger believer you can bring under your wing. If you're a younger believer find an older believer you can learn from.

Paul says to Timothy, teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others. See we're in a race as Christians. And this race is the beginning middle and end. I expect that I'm toward the end of my race.

I'm certainly not at the beginning of it. And this is a relay race. And my job in this race is not to hold on to the baton forever.

I have to hand it on to the next runner to carry it forward. We need to do the same. And we need to share these truths if you're older with younger people.

People. God told Moses to teach these truths to his children when they sit down, when they lie down, when they walk, when they get up and they go to bed. In other words just integrate this truth into the life of other people throughout life in general. Listen to this worldview for young people is formed between the ages of 18 months and the age of 13. Those are the most critical years to pour truth into the life of a younger person. Find a younger person and do that.

And if you're a younger person get someone to help you with that. Here's my final point which is simply this. Don't give too many points when you're saying what an older you would say to a younger you.

I'm kidding. The last point is this. Finish your race well. I mentioned we're in a race, the race of life.

Paul says many people are in the race. Run that you may win. We all want to run to win.

We all are running for the gold. You know we want to do the best we can with the life that God has given us. And there will come a moment when we have our last meal and we give our last statement and then we're done. We breathe our last breath.

Hopefully we can say along with the Apostle Paul and this of course is found in 2 Timothy 4. I fought the good fight. I kept the faith. I finished the course.

Henceforth there is laid before me a crown of righteousness which the Lord the righteous judge will give to me in that day and not to me only but to all who love his appearing. You don't know when the end of your race will come. My son's race ended at 33. And we used to race on the beach by the way him and I. He was a great runner Christopher. But somehow I could beat him for many years even though he was a good runner. He was a long distance runner. I was a sprinter. So I would challenge him to a race. I would always have the race favor me. I would pick a rock up the beach. I'll say let's race to the rock. And Mark had said go.

Well it would favor me because I'm a sprinter and I would always beat him. And one day we're walking along the beach. I said let's race to that rock.

You ready? And off we go. And he not only beat me he really beat me. And I think that he has gone to heaven before me. He beat me in the race. You think well I have a long ways to run this race and live this life. Maybe I'll get right with God when I'm in my 80s or 90s.

No. Your race may be coming to an end more quickly than you planned for. So always be able to say I fought the good fight. I kept the faith. I finished the course.

Run this race well. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. It's encouraging to know that Pastor Greg's messages reach far and wide even halfway across the world. So here's my story. I'd been claiming to be a Christian but I was actually living for the world. All that changed after I was arrested and sent to jail. I'd hit rock bottom thinking I'd lost everything.

I live in Australia and I was in a holding cell cuffed and being transferred to a van to appear before a judge. I heard a voice in my head saying you're here because you haven't surrendered. I knew it was the voice of God. As I stepped into the van I prayed Lord if you get me through this I promise I'll serve you. In jail I spoke to a chaplain and I asked for advice on what to read in the bible and he told me to read the book of John.

So I read John twice while also reading Matthew, Mark and Luke. Anyway after serving my time I was recently released on parole and that next Sunday I went to church and surrendered my life to Jesus. All glory to God. I then looked for a genuine Christian radio station and I found one in Springwood Australia. Since then it's the only radio station I listen to every morning on my way to work and I love and I love Pastor Greg Laurie's preaching.

That fuels me up and so do the worship songs. Thank you. What a great story of how God's word has touched this man's life. Do you have a story to tell? If so would you call us and share your story? Call 866-871-1144.

That's 866-871-1144. Well today Pastor Greg is passing along advice to those younger in the faith and really to all of us and he recalls getting some counsel from his mentor Pastor Chuck Smith. I asked him this question Chuck what would an older Chuck say to a younger Chuck?

What advice would you give yourself? And Chuck's response was simply hold the course. I wasn't sure what that meant. I said what do you mean hold the course? You mean like we're in the race of life and you just hang in there and keep running? He said that's it. Hold the course. That's what he did by the way. He held the course into his mid-80s before the Lord called him home. I say to you seasoned saints you that have been walking with the Lord for some time hold your course.

Keep running this race because you never know when the race will end. I was with Alice Cooper a little earlier this week and of course you probably know who Alice Cooper is. He's a famed rock star at one moment. He was the most famous and successful rock star in all of the world. His name he was given was Vincent Fournier and as a young man he got into a little rock band.

They were called the Spiders and they later changed their name to Alice Cooper. And of course he was known for spectacle and for almost being like a dark figure but in reality a lot of it was an act. But in time Vincent Fournier started turning into the character Alice Cooper almost like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. He started becoming this character and he was drinking.

He became an alcoholic and then he became a drug addict. But here's the amazing thing you may not know about Alice Cooper is he's the son of a pastor and he was running from God. He described himself to me in an interview I did with him as the prodigal running from God. And he went so far that people thought he'll never get right with God.

This guy is so evil he told me they were destroying copies of his record on the 700 Club. But God wasn't done with Vincent. He wasn't done with Alice. And he got hold of him. Alice was actually overdosing on cocaine. He had a rock of cocaine the size of a softball. And he was hallucinating and he looked in the mirror and he saw what looked like blood coming out of his eyes and he cried out to God. And he took that rock of cocaine and flushed it down the toilet.

And God heard his prayer and turned him around. And he has been walking with the Lord clean and sober for many years now. The only addiction he seems to have today is an addiction to golf.

He loves to get out on the course. I think that is an acceptable addiction so to speak. But the point is Alice speaks out about his faith in Jesus Christ right now reminding us that no one is beyond the reach of God. I have talked a lot about younger people. Let me talk to someone who is a little older. Maybe you have made some bad decisions. Maybe you have done some things and you would say it is too late for me.

It is never too late for you. God can turn your life around. God can forgive you of your sin. God can refresh you and replenish you and revive you. But you must turn to Him.

Let me do an invitation of a different kind right now. An invitation to prodigal sons and daughters out there who like Alice Cooper have been running from God. But listen God has not forgotten about you. God loves you. And God will accept you and forgive you. We talked about the prodigal son. You remember that story in the Bible.

A boy runs away from his father. Ruins his life. Loses everything that he has. Comes back in shame. Returning to his father and Jesus who told the story of the father when he saw him at a distance ran to him.

Threw his arms around him. And rejoiced and said this my son who is dead is alive again. He who was lost is found. You wonder how would God treat me if I returned to Him. He would forgive you. Abraham Lincoln after the end of the Civil War was asked how they should treat the rebellious southerners. And he said treat them as if they had never left. The idea is God will treat you as if you have never left.

He will forgive you because on the cross Jesus took your sin 2,000 years ago. Years ago. He paid it in full. It wasn't a partial payment. It was a complete payment. And that's why he uttered the words it is finished. It is completed.

It's done. You just need to come and say God forgive me. Are you a prodigal son or daughter? Have you been running from God? Maybe it's time to return to Him. I'm going to pray a simple prayer. If you would like to recommit your life to Jesus Christ you can do it right here right now. Let's pray.

Pray these words Lord Jesus. I have been a prodigal. I know it's right but I've been running from you. But I'm so thankful you love me and you'll forgive me. Lord I return to you now. I recommit my life to you now.

I choose to follow you from this moment forward. Thank you for hearing my prayer and answering my prayer. In Jesus name I ask this.

Amen. Pastor Greg Laurie with an important prayer today. And we hope you'll get in touch with us and let us know about the decision you've made.

Whether you're coming to the Lord for the first time or coming back to the Lord, let us know how God has spoken to you. And we'd like to send you some follow-up resources to help you build a strong foundation of faith as you go forward. We'd like to send you our New Believers Growth Packet. It's free of charge and it'll help you as you take your next steps. Just ask for it as you call 1-800-821-3300.

And you can reach us any time around the clock. That's 1-800-821-3300. Or write A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514. Or just go online to harvest.org and click Know God. If you missed any part of Pastor Greg's extended length message called What I Would Tell My Younger Self, you can get a replay at harvest.org. In the presentation, he offered 17 guidelines for Christian growth. And we've covered them all over the last four programs.

So be sure to hear what you missed at harvest.org. In the new movie Jesus Revolution, Pastor Greg points out how the time is right for another great spiritual awakening, like we saw during the Jesus movement of the late 60s and early 70s. The tension and chaos of the culture was so similar to what we see today. The Vietnam War was still raging.

Young men were coming back in body bags. There were riots in the streets. The country seemed to be coming apart at the scene. The time was right for a change. The time was right for the Jesus movement. There's two Time magazine covers that sum it up. I believe it was 1967 when Time magazine did a cover. It was black background with red type, reversed out, asking the question, is God dead?

Very ominous. And then just a few years later, Time magazine 1971, this sort of psychedelic image of Jesus on the cover with the statement, The Jesus Revolution. What a difference a few years made. What a difference a revival made. I think understanding the backdrop of the time helps you to understand the powerful move that took place. Well, Pastor Greg, you pointed out that your dream for this new feature film, Jesus Revolution, is that it would lay the groundwork for the next spiritual awakening. We need it, and the time is right for it. You would say the conditions are similar now to the time of the Jesus movement, right?

Yes, I would. Very similar. In fact, I can't think of any two decades that are more alike than the late 60s, early 70s in this moment in American history. Certainly, I wouldn't say that of the 80s, the 90s, or even the early 2000s, but right now it's so parallel. It's even kind of interesting how certain drugs have made a comeback. Weed is so widespread, marijuana. More people smoke marijuana today than cigarettes, and LSD has made a comeback.

These are bad things, by the way, and those are drugs that my generation experimented with, myself included, searching for answers and, of course, not finding them. But then just the divide between generations, the racial division, which was very strong in the late 60s, just the general chaos. So many things are similar, and we had a revolution, but it wasn't a political revolution.

It wasn't a moral revolution. It was a Jesus revolution, and so I look back and I think, God, I was able to be there, and now other people can see what it was like. When you watch this film, Jesus Revolution, you're gonna feel in many ways like you're going back in time, and that was our hope. As I spoke with the director, John Irwin, I had vivid memories of details.

I'm a designer. Before I was a preacher, I was an artist, and so I noticed things. I noticed colors and textures and other things, so I gave him as much detail as I could, and I tell you, he captured lightning in a bottle. There are scenes in this film where you feel like you're there experiencing it for yourself. It's very interesting. When older people watch this movie, it's sort of a flashback, to use a 60s term. They remember like when my character Greg is baptized. I see people get tears in their eyes. They're reflecting back on their own conversion, but when young people watch it, it's an entirely different experience.

It's almost as though they're experiencing it themselves, now, in real time. So I think this movie is gonna reach people of all ages, and I'm hoping that young people are impacted, and I'm hoping that they'll see it and say, we want this to happen in our generation. We want our own Jesus movement, and if this film played a role in that, we would be so excited. You know, it's been said, the fame of revival spreads the flame of revival. So this is a revival story, and our hope and prayer is that it's not just a film, but that it creates a movement, that it moves people toward God and inspires a generation of younger people to pray for their own Jesus revolution.

Yeah, yeah, that's right. It's something we can all use as a tool to help bring friends and loved ones face to face with the hope of the gospel. We hope you'll plan to see Jesus Revolution when it premieres February 24th. It has the gospel message built right in. And by the way, there will be a special national preview showing February 22nd.

That's two days earlier. It'll feature some bonus content, including an easy to understand presentation of the gospel by Pastor Greg. To get tickets to the special preview February 22nd, go to jesusrevolution.movie.

Now that's dot movie, not dot com. Again, jesusrevolution.movie. We hope you'll pray that God uses this as an instrument to bring many people to Him, and we hope you'll partner with us to keep spreading the good news in creative ways such as this. If you can invest in this work right now, we'd like to send you Pastor Greg's book called Jesus Revolution.

Read it before you see the film. It obviously goes into much more detail, and it would be our privilege to send this to you to thank you for your donation. So call us anytime at 1-800-821-3300. That's 1-800-821-3300. Or write A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, California 92514.

Or go online to harvest.org. And then one other thing. As you know, 2 Chronicles 7 14 says, If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Pastor Greg is asking us all to do just that, to humble ourselves and pray each day. At 7 14 each day, we're committing to praying for revival among believers and a spiritual awakening in the culture. And we're asking God to use Jesus Revolution as the catalyst. Will you join us in this? Commit to praying with us each day at 7 14.

Thanks so much. Well, next time, with the new feature film coming out, Pastor Greg takes some time to explore the Jesus movement of the late 60s and early 70s. It's the last great spiritual revival our country has seen, and it has seen several. So join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher, Greg Laurie. 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 / 2023-02-06 05:23:38 / 2023-02-06 05:33:14 / 10

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