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Get Your Feet Wet | The Role of a Christian Parent

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
February 15, 2024 3:00 am

Get Your Feet Wet | The Role of a Christian Parent

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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February 15, 2024 3:00 am

We don’t take our young kids to the shoe store to learn to tie their shoes. We don’t take them to the dentist to learn to brush their teeth. We don’t take them to a nutritionist to learn to eat their vegetables. No, there are certain things parents teach their kids. It’s just part of being a parent. And today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie points out those things that go along with being a Christian parent . . . namely to pass along our faith . . . to train them up in the way of the Lord . . . to disciple them.

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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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A New Beginning
Greg Laurie

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

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

You can learn more about becoming a Harvest Partner by going to harvest.org. Christian parents need to go the way of faith and show the way of faith to their kids. Pastor Greg Laurie points out the importance. It is our job, our responsibility as parents, to raise our children in the way of the Lord.

That's so very important. That's our job. That's not the school's job. That's not even Sunday school's job. It's our job as parents to teach these things to our children.

We need to take it seriously. We don't take our young kids to the shoe store to learn to tie their shoes. We don't take them to the dentist to learn to brush their teeth. We don't take them to a nutritionist to learn to eat their vegetables. No, there are certain things parents teach their kids.

It's just part of being a parent. And today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie points out those things that go along with being a Christian parent, namely to pass along our faith, to train them up in the way of the Lord, to disciple them. Well here we are in the book of Joshua. This is a pivotal moment. The wilderness wanderings are done. The spies have gone into the land and they've come back with a good report. Rahab has been a great hero of the faith and she has protected the spies and so now they're poised and ready to enter into this promised land.

There was just one really big problem, an obstacle in their path. It was the mighty rushing Jordan River. So let's read now Joshua chapter 3 as the Israelites come to the point of entry of the promised land and they face the Jordan River.

I'm reading from the New Living Translation. When you see the Levitical priests carrying the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, move out from your positions and follow them for you've never passed this way before. They will guide you. Stay about a half mile behind them. Keep a clear distance between you and the ark.

Make sure you don't come any closer. Then Joshua says to the people, purify yourselves or tomorrow the Lord will do great wonders among you. In the morning Joshua said to the priests lift up the ark of the covenant and lead the people across the river and they started out and went ahead of the people. The Lord told Joshua today I'll begin to make you a great leader in the eyes of the Israelites. They'll know that I'm with you just as I was with Moses. Give this command to the priests who carry the ark of the covenant. When you reach the banks of the Jordan River take a few steps into the river and stop there.

Okay we'll stop here. Here was their challenge. You have to cross the Jordan River. This is flood season.

This river moves at about 10 miles per hour. There's no way you want to cross this river with your little kids and your livestock and and your belongings. It's it's not possible but they yet began to walk so they needed to have faith in God and we need to have the same. Here's the thing with faith. Faith gets stronger through use. Faith is like a muscle. The more you use it the stronger it becomes. The less you use it the weaker it becomes. If you don't use your faith it will atrophy.

You need to apply it. We treat faith like it's a museum piece or something to talk about and admire. Where it's like an egg. Don't drop the egg. Then they crack and that's faith. Oh we have to be careful.

No faith needs to be used and the more you use it the stronger it becomes. So the Israelites step into the water following the priests who have the ark of the covenant aloft where everyone can see it. Suddenly they're going through the water. It pools away. Now it's different than the Red Sea.

When they came to the brink of it Moses holds up his staff and the Red Sea parts and it's like walls of water on each side. The difference here is they had to get in the water. How high did it go? It's moving fast. Maybe it got up to their ankles. Maybe up to their knees.

I don't know. Then all of a sudden the water pulls aside. They walk over to the other side. Go to Joshua chapter 4. They are to commemorate this event with stones of remembrance. Joshua 4 verse 21. Then Joshua said to the Israelites in the future your children will ask what do these stones mean?

They piled up a bunch of stones. You can tell them this is where the Israelites crossed the Jordan on dry ground. For the Lord your God dried up the river before your eyes. He kept it dry until you were all across just as he did at the Red Sea when he dried it up and we all had crossed over. He did this all the nations on the earth will know that the Lord's hand is powerful and that you might fear the Lord your God forever.

We will stop there. So it is our job to pass on what we have learned to the next generation. We don't want to live in the past but we don't want to forget it either. It is good to keep a record of what God has done. My wife has a little notebook where she writes prayer requests down. She will say do you know what we were praying for on this day one year ago?

I will say know what? She said we were praying about this. And I remember oh wow that was a big thing that we were wondering how we were going to get through that challenge. And look how the Lord answered that prayer. So when you reflect back on what God has done for you in the past it helps you as you are facing the present and then looking forward to the future. Let me ask you has God been faithful to you in the past?

Yes or no? Yes okay. But sometimes we have spiritual amnesia. We forget what the Lord has done. So it is good to commemorate these things.

They were to set up 12 stones. We need to remember as well. You know the thing is is sometimes people want to live in the past and they don't want to move forward into the present and certainly not into the future. And that is not a good thing. I like to hang out with younger people. I love to hang out with my grandkids.

I have told you that before. But I like to spend time with younger people in general. And one of the reasons is is when you hang around old people and I am an old person that may come as a shock to me. But sometimes when I hang around older people it is not long until everyone starts talking about their latest operation right. Or their newest ache or pain. And that just gets kind of old to me frankly. You know old people like to say things like back in my day right. Or I am just going to sit here for a minute and rest my eyes. Okay whatever.

Let's go get the early bird special. Okay old people. Hanging around young people sometimes you don't even know what they are saying anymore.

They have their own language. I was sitting with my granddaughters the other day and one of them said, that is sus. I said, what? She said, that is sus. How many of you know what sus means? Don't act like you do. All these younger people here, the rest of you, you don't know what it means.

No you may. Sus means suspicious. So if I see something that doesn't look right or someone doesn't seem right I will say he is sus. So if some kid says you are sus that is not a good thing. Just be aware. And I heard that one of my granddaughters said to her mom the other day, bro listen. I am your mother.

Stop calling me bro. Right. There is another one. They have Riz.

They have Riz. You ever heard that one? How many of you know what that means?

Okay you guys. That is a good thing. If you have Riz it means that you have charisma. It is short for charisma. So if some kid says you have Riz, thank you, you are sus. Wait what? We will never find that out if you don't hang around young people. You will be around old people saying things like that is hunky dory and that is malarkey.

Or that is far out man. It is a good thing to remember what God has done. Listen when Joshua finished his task he was sadly forgotten in one generation. In Judges 2 it says, Joshua the son of Nun the servant of the Lord died at the age of 110. After that generation died another generation grew up who did not acknowledge the Lord or remember the mighty things he had done for Israel.

Wow. One generation. Next generation didn't know any of it. They had forgotten all of it.

All the great things God had done through Joshua were largely forgotten. Bringing us back to our responsibility as parents to raise our children in the way of the Lord. That is so very important. That is our job. That is not the school's job. That is not even Sunday school's job though we thank God for all the folks that do it. That is not the job of the Christian school though we are thankful for the Christian school. It is our job as parents to teach these things to our children.

We need to take it seriously. Moses said in Deuteronomy 6 and he said this to me personally. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. I love this. Repeat them again and again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home. When you are on the road. When you are going to bed and when you are getting up.

I love that. Just integrate it into your life. By the way I think it is a good idea to do devotions with your kids. Just a thought about devotions.

Don't make them too long. You don't need to take your kids through 18 chapters of Leviticus. Five chapters will suffice. No but seriously there are some great resources out there that you can use. I actually would recommend the New Believers Bible that I wrote the notes for. There are a lot of little guides in there and tracks that you can follow that will take you through a lot of important things in Scripture.

So you could use a tool like that but read a passage. Interact. Ask your child questions.

Listen to what they say. It is not for you to pontificate and sermonize. It is for you to integrate those truths into their little lives and show them how they apply to what they are facing. It is so important. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. We send these daily studies out via radio, satellite, and online. And we don't always know how these messages are touching lives. But when we hear the stories of our listeners it really is encouraging to us. Hi Pastor Greg. I watch you on YouTube almost every day and you have been a wonderful influence in my life. It was because of your teachings that I gave my life to Jesus. I pray that the Lord keeps you going strong in preaching God's word for many more years to come. Thank you. If you've had your life changed because of Harvest Ministries would you let Pastor Greg know? Just drop him an email. Greg at Harvest.org. Again that's Greg at Harvest.org. Well today Pastor Greg is helping parents see the value of passing along our faith and our values to our kids and grandkids.

It's part of today's study in Joshua 3. One day we'll be gone as parents and I wonder what our children will remember about us. I can tell you this much your kids will remember the time you made for them. They'll remember all of those games you showed up for.

All of those recitals. All of those events and you were there taking pictures you know being crazy mom and dad. They remember. Oh they looked embarrassed at the time.

The first thing they did when they got up there is they looked for mom and dad out in that audience. I remember hearing President George H.W. Bush make an amazing statement. He was asked what his greatest accomplishment was in life. So George H.W. Bush was the head of the CIA. He was the ambassador of the United States to China.

He was the vice president and the president of the United States. So this man who's very accomplished has asked what his greatest accomplishment was. He says my greatest accomplishment is my kids still come home to see me.

I love that. He understood something that's very important. They'll remember that. Your kids will remember the way you interacted with your spouse because you're effectively now giving them a template for their future. You're saying this is the way that a husband should treat a wife.

This is a way that a wife should treat her husband. They're watching it. They're observing it and most likely they're going to repeat it for better or for worse. So when you think it's a good idea to have arguments in front of your kids and raise your voice and slam doors and have your kids take sides in your debates you're doing a great disservice to those children. Model for them what they need to see. They'll remember that as well.

They'll also remember your words of affirmation and your words of criticism. Some parents beat their children down. Other parents lift their children up. That doesn't mean we should not correct our children. That is the job of a parent. Not necessarily the job of a grandparent I might add. Though a grandparent might need to do that.

I feel the job of the parent is to raise a child. The job of the grandparent is to fill them up with sugar. Spoil them. Indulge them. Be delighted by everything they say and do. And then give them back to the parents.

Right? But grandparents play such an important role right now. I've heard so many stories as you have of delinquent parents who have failed in their responsibilities and grandparents have stepped in. Sometimes ended up raising the child. And how important that is.

My grandparents made a great impact on my life when I lived with them for a time when my mom was living her crazy life. But we are to train them up in the way that they should go. And so this is something we all should do. Now I'm sure every one of us as we have heard this have thought well I have fallen short on a lot of these things.

Right? We have made a mess of our life. Maybe I am talking to someone who has made decisions they deeply regret.

You have lost precious time with your kids as an example. And you say it is too late for me. I can't change. Well you can't change the past but you can make decisions that will affect your future.

And you can say okay I am not going to live that way anymore. And I am going to repent. Remember when we repent God relents. God gave to Nineveh another chance. He will give you another chance as well. Acknowledge where you have fallen short.

Ask God to help you. And move forward. Now let's wrap this up and pull the camera back for a moment. And look at the bigger picture of Israel entering the promised land. What was this all about? This land was going to be the very geographical location of the most important event in all of human history. This is where the Son of God was going to come down from heaven and enter our world. This is where Jesus Christ would be crucified for the sins of humanity and of every person. This is where He would rise again and ascend to heaven. And this is the place that He would return to as well.

This is what it was all about. And now we are told to put our faith in Him. And I can't think of anyone I would rather put my faith in. Don't put your faith in objects or possessions. They will let you down. Don't put your faith in accomplishments. Don't put your faith in other people. You can love them and respect them. But don't put your ultimate faith in them. Don't put your faith in politicians. They are going to disappoint you.

Don't put your faith in preachers. They will disappoint you too. Except me. No. I will disappoint you as well. I don't even have to say that. Why did I even say that? Yeah. But I won't. I will. Yes.

No. Put your faith in God. That is where your faith belongs. He will never let you down. Ever.

Let me close by saying there might be somebody here who hasn't done that yet. But Jesus said for God so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son and whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. Do you need a second chance in life? Do you need your sin forgiven? Do you have this certainty that you will go to heaven when you die?

If not Jesus Christ who died on that cross and rose again from the dead is standing at the door of your life right now and He is knocking and He is saying if you'll hear His voice and open the door He will come in. If you've never asked Jesus to come into your life why don't you respond to this invitation right now as we close in prayer. Let's all pray. Father thank You for Your Word to us. Thank You for Your love for us.

And I pray for everyone that is here. If they don't know You. If they don't have a relationship with You. If they've not put their faith in You let them do that right now. And while our heads are bowed and our eyes are closed and we're praying. If you want Christ to come into your life. If you want Him to forgive you of your sin.

If you want to know that when you die you will go to heaven. If you're ready to say yes to Jesus pray this out loud after me. Pray this now.

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 and rose again from the dead. I turn from my sin now and I choose to follow You from this moment forward. Thank You for hearing this prayer and answering this prayer. In Jesus name I pray.

Amen. Such an important prayer from Pastor Greg Laurie with those making a change in their relationship with God today. Some will mark this day as the moment their life with Christ began. And if you're among that group if you prayed today with Pastor Greg and have meant those words we want to welcome you into the family of God. And we want to help you get started walking with the Lord. Let us send you Pastor Greg's New Believer's Bible.

He mentioned it earlier today. It has hundreds of special helps for those who are new to the faith and we'll send it to you free of any charge. Just ask for the New Believer's Bible when you call 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. Well Pastor Greg let's talk about the adventures of Ben Born Again and Yellow Dog. Okay. Now I heard James Dobson say that kids build confidence if they're encouraged to develop a talent of some kind.

If they're really good at athletics or singing or something that that helps them hold their head up. Yes. Did your artistic talent give you that kind of anchor? Yeah I would say so because people love cartoons and they always want me to draw them.

Will you draw me? And a caricature is an exaggerated version of a person. So if someone's ears are a little bit big you make them far larger or other features you exaggerate them and it's meant to elicit a laugh. So some people are easier to caricature than others.

Sometimes I'll be out with my wife and I'll say that guy is just waiting to be caricatured. You know it's something that people are very entertained by especially children. You know when I meet a child and I want to build a bridge to a child I'll just draw a cartoon.

They're just immediately impressed and it's something that really engages children. But I find that people of all ages love animation and we've had a huge huge return and renaissance in animation overall. So I thought this is a good time to get into this space with the message of the gospel. As people know you know we do evangelistic events that we call harvest crusades and then we've done films like Jesus Revolution and our evangelistic documentaries like Johnny Cash or redemption of an American icon or Stephen Queen the salvation of an American icon or our film A Rush of Hope. But I thought what about animation? We could reach a whole new audience especially children and it's using humor. So this might surprise you when I tell you what my objective is. Number one when we started these animated cartoons my first objective was to make them entertaining and funny. He said oh no Greg they should be gospel centric.

Listen they are but they have to fit in the medium. If you make a bad film no one cares about your message you have to do it well. Same with music you want people to hear your message it has to be a good song. So my feeling is whatever we do we want to do it with excellence and with artistic integrity.

So number one we wanted them to be funny entertaining and be a real cartoon. But then at the same time we wanted to get the gospel in it and sort of sneak up on people a little bit so they engage with Ben Born Again. That's a play on words in case you missed it Ben Born Again as in I've been born again. So Ben Born Again and he has this dog. Now this dog has had many names over the years I've been drawing him since I was around 10 years old.

I once called him Herman the dog and then he became oh my goodness what I think he was uh T-Bone again. I didn't really like that name someone else came up with it and then I just said you know what he's a dog he's yellow let's just call him yellow dog. In fact here's just a little teaser where uh Ben Born Again tells yellow dog how he got his name check this out. Oh sorry I forgot to introduce you to my buddy yellow dog. Yellow dog? Why did you even name me that? Dude because you're yellow and you are a dog it's a cool name. Oh I see. So there you have it Ben Born Again and yellow dog and we're very excited now to bring these animated cartoons to you to watch with your kids to watch with your grandkids and you can be certain of this they'll be entertaining they'll be engaging the kids will laugh but they have gospel truth in them and some deal with topics that are very important from a biblical perspective we read tell some very well-known bible stories but then there's some wacky funny things that happened to Ben and his dog you see yellow dog is always getting himself into trouble and so Ben has to explain things to him and help them through these things and so uh the people might connect to yellow dog and Ben is sort of the narrator he's the one that though he's the voice of reason he's there to articulate the gospel so if there was a straight man and a funny man Ben's a straight man and yellow dog he's there for the laughs and the exploration and the journey of it all trying to figure it out well it's a great concept and you'll love seeing this for yourself and that's why we're so excited to say that the very first episode is out now you can view it right now for free at our new harvest plus app and also at our website harvest.org it's a high quality christian animated cartoon that your kids or grandkids will love it's part of our mission to take the gospel to as many people as we can and to use new innovative ways to spread that message thank you for your support of this important goal we hope you might prayerfully help us right now so we can produce even more episodes of the adventures of Ben born again and yellow dog and pastor Greg wants to thank you tangibly with a redesigned copy of the living water tract in comic book form that's the art piece pastor Greg designed that got the whole thing started years ago so let us hear from you you can call us at 1-800-821-3300 we can take your call anytime at 1-800-821-3300 or write a new beginning box 4000 riverside california 92514 or go online to harvest.org well next time good insight on how to be victorious in spiritual battle more from the series joshua living in the land of promises join us here on a new beginning with pastor and bible teacher greg lord a new beginning is a podcast made possible by harvest partners helping people everywhere know god if this show has impacted your life share your story leave a review on your favorite podcast app and help others find hope
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-15 05:33:58 / 2024-02-15 05:44:08 / 10

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