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Special Message: How to Be a World Changer

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
September 20, 2020 4:00 am

Special Message: How to Be a World Changer

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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September 20, 2020 4:00 am

In this Sunday morning message, Pastor Greg Laurie takes a look at men and women of faith, whose lives are recorded in Hebrews 11. These heroes of the faith overcame adverse circumstances through faith, and we’ll learn what we can do when we exercise bold faith in our world.

Take a listen and learn “How to Be a World Changer.”

Notes  

It was said of the First Century church that they “turned their world upside down.” 

We need genuine World Changers today. 

The people in Hebrews 11 were not perfect. 

They are not in the Heroes Hall of Faith because they were great people; they are there because they had faith in a great God! 

These winners didn’t always collect medals . . . sometimes they collected scars.

They were looked at for what they became, not what they were.

Read: Hebrews 11:1

1. World Changers have an active—not a passive—faith.

The more you use your faith, the more faith you have.

Faith means doing things!

Praying. Staying. Keeping.

2. World Changers do things with their faith.

A faith with no works is a faith that does not work! 

3. The faith we need as a World Changer grows stronger through testing.

4. Where do you get faith?

By hearing and obeying God’s Word.

5. Faith can make the difference between something happening or not happening. 

It is impossible to please God without faith. 

God is not limited by your circumstances; He is limited by your unbelief.

Read: Hebrews 11:33–35

6. World Changers are indestructible until God is done with them.

We will never know, this side of Heaven, the significant role angels have played.

7. World Changers are never alone.

God will always grade temptation to the fiber of our lives.

You are not alone in life!

8. World Changers apply their faith and pray!

We must remember that all the heroes of faith were just like us!

9. Even World Changers get depressed at times.

God made these believers strong in battle, not strong before battle.

The first group of World Changers glorified God through escaping.

The second group of World Changers glorified God by enduring.

Read: Hebrews 11:35–39

10. World Changers are often not appreciated and are instead persecuted.

11. World Changers have a reward waiting that will make it all worth it!

God will restore what you have lost as well.

Scriptures

Jude 1:20–21

Hebrews 11:4, 7

James 1:2–3

Romans 10:17 

Hebrews 11:6 

Hebrews 11:33

Matthew 18:10

Hebrews 11:35

James 5:17

Hebrews 11:34

Hebrews 11:35

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Find inspiration from men and women who changed the world with Pastor Greg’s new book, World Changers. Just go to harvest.org/donate

Learn more about Greg Laurie and Harvest Ministries at harvest.org

This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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Everybody Greg Laurie here. You're listening to the Greg Laurie podcast and my objective is to deliver hopefully compelling practical insights and faith culture and current events. From a biblical perspective to find out more about our ministry. Just go to our website harvest.org so thanks for joining me for this podcast.

Grab your Bible and turn to Hebrews chapter 11 question what you see when you look in the mirror if you're like me you don't always like what you see, especially if it's a magnifying mirror. It's been said Mears don't lie looking for you. They don't laugh either." Right.

Well, I wanted to talk to you about how God looks at you.

How the Lord sees you. When I look at myself I see weakness. God sees potential I see what I am God sees what I can be. I see the past God sees the future maybe I see a lump of clay. God sees a beautiful sculpture. I see a blank canvas.

God sees a van Gogh I see a lump of coal. God sees a sparkling diamond I see of vacillating, unsure Simon God sees an apostle Peter you see here I see you persecuting Saul of Tarsus and God sees a mighty man of God, named Paul, so maybe we think of ourselves as zeros but the truth is God can make us into heroes. Hebrews Chapter 11 is basically the hero's hall of faith, it's a collection of a very interesting group of men and women that went out and change their world they were ordinary people just like you and me, but they did extraordinary things they they face adverse circumstances like we do, but they rose above their circumstances and change their world. It was said of the first century church. They turned their world upside down. By the way, that was not meant as a compliment.

I think in many cases for some Christians the world is turning us upside down instead of us turning our world upside down. So I want you to discover how you can be a world changer. The operative word in Hebrews 11 is that these were men and women of faith, it's not because they were great people that there were included in the hero's hall of faith, it's because he had faith in a great God anything about some of the people that made the cut Gideon was a frightened farmer when the angel of the Lord called him to be a mighty warrior to deliver Israel. Moses he was a fugitive from justice when the Lord called him at the burning bush and we think of so many others who were called and were such flawed individuals think about Abraham. We think of him as the father of faith but yet we know that he lied about his wife twice by the lack of faith in his part, I might add. His son Isaac did the same thing Sarah. She makes it into the heroes all abate yet. She laughed at the promise of God.

Then she denied it already alluded to Moses he lost his temper.

He killed a man.

David makes it into the heroes, all of faith, but he committed adultery, and then he tried to cover it up and effectively committed murder.

Sampson also made it in Hebrews 11 and he was very a moral lesson.

These winners didn't always collect metals.

Sometimes they collected scars but not one mention is made of their failures in Hebrews 11. I find it interesting.

So here's what we learned from that his God was seeing them for what they would become not just what they were. Maybe you've messed up in life. Maybe you feel like your story is over.

That's not true. God can change her story, God can change the narrative the trajectory that your life is taken and if we learn nothing else from Hebrews 11 we see that that God can use flawed people.

So let's read Hebrews 11 verse one and get a definition of the operative word in all of their lives, which is faith. Hebrews 11 one says faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Working to discover now 10 principles about how you can be a world changer. So if you're taking notes.

Here's the point number one world changers have an active not a passive faith say that again parenthesis world changers have an active not a passive faith. Listen, the more you use your faith is stronger. It grows after admit it's been a while since I've been to a gym. I haven't been to one since other coronavirus started butter back when I was going to the gym.

I remember this one guy he'd work out he hit a sculpted physique. You know just bull Jean biceps and abs that everything was going right with this guy but for some reason I don't know why he had the skinniest little legs you've ever seen.

It was like this massive upper body and like chicken will expect that I don't know what he thought what legs no matter I will work on my legs and and that's how it can be with some of us week we worked on in some areas but we don't work out another's. So here's the thing you need to understand faith is like a muscle, the more you use it the stronger it becomes. But some of us treat our faith like a fragile leg, oats, and they don't don't drop it. It's like when I go to the market via three bags of groceries and their filled with canned things and you know, vegetables, and bread.

If I drop one of those bags I'm telling you Murphy's Law guarantees it will always drop the bad, and as the eggs in it right so eggs are fragile. We think faith is fragile, but it is not fragile. Faith is given to us to use just threats to flex to develop and the more you use your faith, the more faith you will have. If you neglect your faith, it will atrophy.

If you use your faith, it will go stronger.

Listen to this use it or lose it. Jude 120 says as you see their friends, build yourself up in your most holy faith by praying of the Holy Spirit staying in the center of God's love keeping your arms open ready for the mercy of our master Jesus Christ. Notice the emphasis there is on faith doing things. Faith is praying. Faith is staying. Faith is keeping faith is active big trend right now.

It's four-wheel-drive vehicles I read recently that half of all vehicles that are sold have four-wheel-drive capacity. That's nice if you live in Montana or Colorado put a lot of these people don't do any four wheeling, but then they'll jack your vehicle put huge wheels and tires on it, you know, and when they pull up behind you at the life you're looking at their chassis in your rearview mirror and and maybe you'll talk to one of them is her putting gas in and say wow that that's an amazing vehicle due to a lot of off-road angles.

Are you kidding you know much I spent on this thing, all while you don't off-road. I don't know I'm on my way to the car wash to just keep it really clean. See, here's a sad thing.

You have a vehicle that is designed for full four-wheel-drive capacity and you're not using the same is true about God is given us his faith to use, but we don't use it, we neglected we have it in our little display case. Our faith is all show and no go. But world changers have an active not a passive faith point number two world changers do things with their faith.

They do things with their faith. He in Hebrews 11 we read these words. Abel offered a sacrifice. Noah prepared an ark. Abraham obeyed Abraham offered up Isaac. You see, they did things with their faith was in the best of faith that has no works of faith that does not work.

James says faith without works is dead, bringing me to point number three.

The faith we need is a world changer grow stronger through testing. I don't know about you but most of us don't like to be tested doing it's been said Christians are a lot like teabags you don't know what they're made of into you put them in hot water maybe here in the hot water if you will.

Temptation right now or the hot water of some kind of testing and your say that this is trying my faith that I don't know if I can get through this event concerning the lose my faith.

Listen to this. The faith that cannot be tested is a faith that cannot be trusted. If you have real faith in God, your faith will grow stronger through adversity and difficulty not weaker were told in James one all kinds of trials and temptations crowding in on you, brothers, don't treat them as intruders but friends realize income to test your faith and produce in you a quality of endurance all right where we get faith.

Point number four.

We jutted by reading and understanding the word of God. Hebrews 1017 says faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. So right now you are building your faith. That is if you're listening to me for attention. Are you listening if you are in your thinking about what Scripture says it can strengthen and build your faith, the more I read the Bible, the stronger my faith can become so we want to be looking into the word of God and then point number five. Listen, this is a big one. Faith can make the difference between something happening and not happen, then repeat that parenthesis faith can make the difference between something happening and not happening.

I we see so many instances in this of Scripture, there was one woman that was praying for her daughter and Jesus answered her prayer. Then he said to her, woman, great is your faith, it will be done as you desire to. She put her faith into action. She was persistent with their faith in Jesus granted her request and commended her for her day but yet we also read Jesus could do no mighty works in the hometown he lived in of Nazareth because of their unbelief Jesus ago to some cities and miracles would happen. Demons would come out of people, the blind would receive their sides in the deaf would hear again. The lepers would be cured but he goes to Nazareth.

There like Jesus we remember him when he was knee-high to a grasshopper should be say a locust.

Yes, we remember him working out the carpenter shop with Joseph. We knew that kid will so what that kid was God incarnate who was the Messiah, but they didn't appreciate that about Jim and so they doubted him immediately.

Well, no miracles were done there. We can stop the work of God in our life by unbelief.

Unbelief is the feet and you see in Scripture how God works through people exercising their faith to produce amazing things God could have parted the Red Sea by his own power, he did need Moses to hold up instead Follett was a staff you need Moses and a stick.

The Lord could've done it, but he said Moses hold up your staff and see the work of the Lord God could have also done many things like bring fire down from heaven on the altar when Elijah was facing off of the profits a bill he didn't need Elijah to call for that fire, but the Lord wants us to exercise our faith. The Lord wants us to be a part of this process, so you need to call out to him Bible tells us Drive amending Barta. Nancy was blind and Jesus was coming through his town and someone said the Barta Miss Jesus is coming, so Barta Ms. he says Jesus son of David, have mercy on me, H don't bother Jesus. So was he do, he gets louder. Jay's son of David, have mercy on me, Jesus turns like will resist you know you read that verse in the Bible that says the squeaky wheel gets the oil that's on a verse in the Bible. But the thing that some validity.

Barta Miss was the squeaky wheel Jesus turned on.

Okay what you need.

I want to be healed of blindness and Jesus healed him. You see faith being used again. That is the definitive principle of Hebrews 11. These people use their faith. Hebrews 11 success without faith it is impossible to please God, for he that comes to God must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of those that diligently seek him.

Listen what God did in the lives of people years ago. He can still do in the lives of people today.

God wants to do something fresh in our generation. Let me personalize that God wants to work in your life. He wants to work in your home. He wants to work in your sphere of influence heard about a mom who was reading exciting Bible stories to her little daughter and one night the little girl said mommy. It seems like God was a lot more exciting back good will you know. Maybe it's because we don't apply faith. These men and women took risks and God bless and let's read a little more about them. Hebrews 1133 to 35 it says by faith.

These people overthrew kingdoms.

They ruled with justice they receive.

Would God had promised them.

They shut the mouths of lions and quench the flames of fire.

The escaped death by the edge of the sword, their weakness was turned to strength. They became strong in battle and put a whole armies, the flight women receive their loved ones back from death that brings me to principle number five world changers are indestructible until God is done with them world changers are indestructible until God is done with them. Worrying about when you're going to die. That is in the hands of God Bible says it's appointed under women. Once diamond comes the judgment is going to happen at the appointed hour. So if you're freaking out about it and stressing about it all the time you're wasting a lot of energy you live as long as God wants you to live. Not a day longer.

Then again, your life will not be cut short. If God wanted to go on longer. Your indestructible until God is done with you illustration) Hebrews 11 verse 33 they shut the mouths of lions. Now one biblical character comes to mind when we think of lions. Can you guess who it is that's right, it's Esther. No, not really. It's Daniel. We all know the story of Daniel in the lion's den.

You remember Daniel was a prophet of the Lord in he was serving King Darius who ruled Babylon inside Darius really leaned on Daniel for his counsel.

He was a man of integrity, godly man, and these other guys who were advising the King didn't like Daniel click this type is getting all the king's attention.

We gotta get rid of them and they knew the only way they could get Daniel out of power was to find something connected to his faith because Daniel had this amazing habit that we talked about last time.

Every day he prayed, so they got the king who unwittingly signed the decree that no one could pray to any God except the king for 40 days and the decree was signed and it was a long no more praying and Babylon. Daniel heard about Interesting. And he went home and opened up as Windows like he always did, prayed, he was arrested and he was thrown into a den of lions because he violated the king's order, but I'll tell you what the Bible tells us the king had a sleepless night, despite the comforts of his palace. Meanwhile, Daniel slept like a baby in a den of hungry lions, you probably said a simple, pure only use your stomach as a fellow in you know Leo on the prop my feet up on you and he went to sleep. He slept like a baby and I just reminds us of the simple back. Better to be in a lions den with God than anywhere else. Without him, and he was better off in the lion's den and the king was in a palace and Daniel said to the king. My God has sent his angel to deliver me so my point is simply this, God wasn't done with Daniel yet. And God is not done with you yet. So you trust him. Here's another principle number six world changers are never alone world changers are never alone. Verse 33.

They quench the power of fire.

Now this is probably alluding to the story of Shadrach me shack in the Bendigo also in the book of Daniel and friends of Daniel. It's a parallel story, the king, this is Nebuchadnezzar now who preceded a Darius who gave a decree that everybody should bow before a giant gold statute that he erected in Shadrach me shack in the Bendigo being the Jewish boys and believing what the Bible said were not can I have another God before the Lord.

They refused about the king was outraged and he threw them into a fiery furnace. In fact the planes were so hot that they killed the bin who were putting the men after they were dropped in the furnace.

The king looks and Kim believes of his eyes is probably rubbing them in St. Wayside through three people in the furnace and I see 1/4 one and there walking around. Who was this mysterious, shadowy figure walking with Shadrach me shack in the Bendigo in the fiery furnace as though it were a walk in the park on a Sunday afternoon. It was Jesus walking with them and they were delivered and Jesus is walking with you through your hardship right now you feel all alone you feel abandoned. I want you to know that God is there and that God cares and Jesus is low. I am with you always, even to the end of the world. Principle number seven world changers apply their faith. They apply their faith to get verse 35 of Hebrews 11 women receive their loved ones back to death.

This is probably a reference to Elijah raising the widows son to life again.

So Elijah was a great prophet of the Lord right and that he went to a woman. The widow she had very little money. She had a son. Her most prized thing on earth are beloved boy and he asked her if he could crash at her house.

If you will. If she could put them up. And so she let him stay and she would feed him from the meager supply of food that she had. She didn't realize she'd invited a world changer indoor home.

The great prophet and it's a great principal, because the Lord kept providing for her, and she always had what she needed and just illustrates the principle of putting God first in your life and honoring him to your giving and he takes care of you. One day the widows son died she actually blamed Elijah Ford. I should've never invited you here to stay at this house and this happened because of you.

Elijah is like God when we just take care of this. All right. The Bible tells us that he went to that boy and he carried him up to his little apartment and he raise the boy from the dead.

Listen, even death does not stop a world changer normally think of Elijah.

We think he's a rock star. He's a biblical legend.

Elijah calling fire down from heaven Elijah stopping the rain. Elijah raising a boy from the dead. That's all true because what Elijah was a dude like you that the Bible even says in James 517 Elijah was as human as we are yet he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, and none fell for 3 1/2 years. Your some to remember about Elijah after he had his great contest with the profit the bill amount Carmel.

He fell into a deep funk. He was deeply depressed and actually didn't even want to live any longer. That brings up another point. Even world changers get depressed at times.

Again, they're not here in Hebrews 11 and the hero solid faith because they were great people. It's because they put their faith in a great God. Think about the weakness of so many of them and so we all have our moments of sadness. We might even deal with depression and these are human beings and God worked in in God can work through you as well.

Now I want to shift gears and bring this message to close because now we come to another group of world changers. Now they too had great faith.

They too trusted God, but they then walked through fires didn't part the Red Sea and they did not have their dad restored. In fact, they suffered greatly, and many of them die. So how's this work where they were were the losers in the Hall of Fame while the others were winners, not at all because we don't decide how long of a life we will live.

We don't decide what circumstances will have to face. We just decide how we will react to them.

The first group of world changers that I talked about glorify God through escaping Daniel Shadrach me shack in the Bendigo. This second group of world changers glorify God by enduring it's read about them Hebrews 11 verse 35 others were tortured, refusing to turn from God in order to be set free.

They place our hope in a better life after the resurrection never jeered at their backs were cut open with whips. They were chained in prisons. Some died by stoning others were sawed in half. Some were killed with the sword one about wearing skins of sheep and goats destitute and oppressed and mistreated, of whom the world was not worthy wandering over deserts and mountains and hiding in caves in the holes in the ground, but they earned a good reputation because of their faith. None of them receive all that God had promised God had something better for them and for us.

Point number nine almost done world changers are often not appreciated but instead their persecuted, according to Jewish tradition. Isaiah was sawn in half of the wooden saw alluded to here in Hebrews 11. Even today around the world. Christians are persecuted understand this religious groups are persecuted but no group is persecuted like the Christian all the studies that have been done on this topic bear that truth out. Christians are the most persecuted people in the world today, and we know that our brothers and sisters suffer living in nations like China and North Korea and I in certain Islamic nations where they're not allowed to practice their faith, but the Bible does say all that live godly in Jesus Christ will be persecuted though that's on a promise. We usually claim as it is, who wants to be persecuted. Who wants to be Jared who wants to be mocked wants to be laughed at is that happen you lately. People made fun of you there make jokes about you when you walk into the room. Oh here comes holy Joe oh here comes Mr. spiritual total preach to us. You know, and they put you down because of what you believe what I'm seeing you hold your ground and be a man or a woman of faith, because you would affect our change in the world. The very fact that you walk into a room and they identify you.

First and foremost as a Christian, and it affects everything around it says something just be a loving Christian be a nice person. Make sure when you're persecuted your persecuted for the right reason. I think some Christians who are obnoxious in their intrusive and their overbearing and their argumentative and their arrogance and then when people reject what they say they say, thank God and being persecuted for righteousness sake hallelujah know you're being persecuted because your rate jerked no be persecuted for righteousness sake because you reflect Christ world changer and I talk about all of this in my new book world changers world changers someone who changes the temperature of a room. I opened by asking the question, are you a thermostat or are you a thermometer thermostat sets the temperature. The thermometer tells you with the temperature risk do you set the temperature in the room or do you merely reflect that. Let me put it another way, are you changing the world or is the world changing. You hate these world changers and category two. They suffered and it doesn't seem fair, does and we feel that way in life. We think what what why am I suffering you don't, why am I going to do this in other people are not going to this.

Why am I single well when all my friends are married. Why can we have children when one of my good friend says five children. Why did my child go prodigal and their children did not wide-awake of this horrible illness will all of my friends are healthy. Why did my child die list goes on them and speaking from a back in here. I've struggled because as you know, our son went to be with the Lord in 2008 and in you and I remember after it happened, I would look at so many people wed huge families and all their children were alive and I had two sons and one of my sons is taken from me and it was devastating and heartbreaking and I struggled with that but but I had hoped, but I have hope that brings me to my last point world changers have her reward waiting the will make it all worth it. We have her reward waiting that will make in all worth it because it promises restoration here for these people who've suffered one day all of our questions will be answered. One day God will restore in heaven and in the next life. What we have lost in this life. Look at verse 35 repeaters 11.

They place their hope and a better life after the resurrection, you know, we put all of her focus on this line but there is an afterlife and that goes on forever in this life on earth. Even if it's long is relatively short is not. The Bible says we spent our life like a story that's already been told it's a puff of smoke that appears for a moment Scripture says and vanishes away.

Then there's the afterlife and I want to ask you this question. In closing, are you ready for the afterlife. Let me put it another way, if you died today would you go to heaven is a well I hope so.

I have faith in the good Lord of the man upstairs in the blood of the good life in that's all nice but he doesn't want to just be the good Lord of the man upstairs and a good life is and to get you to heaven because heaven is not for good people might surprise somebody right now heaven is not for good people. Heaven is for pregiven people. You see, you can live a good life and not go to heaven. I'm not going to get to heaven because I'm a preacher I'm not going to give a heaven because I've done X amount of good things I meant to get to heaven because I put my faith in Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord who died on the cross for me. 2000 years ago, and here's my question to you. You done that, she being a Christian is not just a long and read the Bible now and go to church and say Christian things Nono being a Christian is having Christ himself, take residents in your heart. The Bible says, for as many as received him, he gave them the power to become sons and daughters of God. Have you received Christ as it would mean receive Christ. I mean have you said to God, I'm a sinner and I know Jesus is the Savior, and I want him to forgive me of my sin and come and live in my life. If you've not done that you can do it right here right now I told you we showed a rush of hope on all of our social media platforms. We saw thousands of people come to Jesus and you can come to Jesus right here, right now he stands at the door of your life in the knots and he says if you'll hear his voice and open the door to come in. Would you like your sins forgiven.

Would you like to know that when you die you will go to heaven. Would you like him to fill the big hole inside of you.

Maybe you been trying to fill with other things. He's just a prayer away the moment.

I'm in a praying. I would ask you if you want Christ to come into your life to pray this prayer with me again as I pray pray this prayer you can print out loud right here. Let's all pray pray these words Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner. I know that I've fallen short of your glory but I think you for sending Jesus to die on the cross for my sin and the rise again from the dead.

I turn from my sin, I repent of my sin and I asked Jesus to come in the my life right now to be my Savior and Lord my God and my friend in Jesus name I pray, amen. Did you just pray that prayer if you did want to look on your screen right now, there might be a box of your watching me on computer or on a tablet or phone. There's a box you can click by clicking the Boettcher St. I just prayed with Greg to accept Christ. I want to send you at no charge. This Bible called the new believers Bible custom-designed for someone like yourself who is making a new commitment to Jesus, it's a very friendly easy to understand translation filled with hundreds of notes that I wrote that will tell you more about what it means to be a Christian. What it means to be a world changer of send this to you.

Please fill out the little form and let us rush you a copy of the new believers Bible watching on the screen. Maybe YouTube or to the app that we have on the Roku box or Apple TV others. A phone number you can call call that number we have someone standing by would love to talk to you and send you the new believers Bible so make that commitment or recommitment to Jesus you will not regret it, bless you. Thank you for watching, let me pray for you before we go.

Then I have a final thing to say. Let's pray father I pray for everybody watching right now. I pray if there were a believer that they will be a world changer help them to leave their comfort zone. Help them to take a bold step of faith.

Help them to make a difference in their world because Lord you've called us all to go into all the world and preach the gospel and make disciples, help us to do that, we commit ourselves to you now in Jesus name we pray. Amen.

Everybody Greg Laurie here. Thanks for listening to our podcast and the learn more about harvest ministries. Please subscribe and consider supporting this show. Just go to harvest.org and by the way, if you want to find out how to come into a personal relationship with God.

Go to know God.org that's key NOW GLD.org


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