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February 22, 2021 3:00 am
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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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The following message from Pastor Greg Laurie is made possible by some special friends of this ministry.
Pastor Greg wanted to see a special word of thanks to the harvest partners who make this ministry possible next time your online check out Pastor Greg's personal email@example.com today on a new beginning. Pastor Greg Laurie pointed out church museum so much. Something we intend. It's something we're a part of the church like the consumer going to the church like wanting to glorify God, church, because you have something to bring to the table that God is given you discover the joy of serving as a new work was to be a blessing watch from a distance were were you part of the conversation received at the table or did you observe from the next room just a producer.
Family gatherings are spectators. Everyone is a part today on a new beginning.
Pastor Greg Laurie points out church family gathering of believers. Everyone has a part way to see how we church and church needs turnover. No chapter 2 to look at what God says about the church. The purpose of because of those first century believers. This is after the day of Pentecost. It happened in 3000 people believed they continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and prayers, and fear came upon every soul in many signs and wonders were done through the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common and they sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people and the Lord added to the church daily those that were being say. There this church was healthy. If I could get Summit up in this acronym well. They were well WELLW for they worry worshiping church, even for they were an evangelistic church. L. Number one, they were a learning church in all. Number two, there were eight loving church. They were well worshiping evangelistic learning and loving start with that first principle number one, they worry worshiping church.
Verse 47 praising God and having favor with all the people of the Lord added to the church daily those that were being say something wonderful happens when God's people come together for corporate worship.
It's just amazing. The Bible says God inhabits the praises of his people, haven't you sent the Lord's presence during worship.
It's a wonderful time.
Number two, they were an evangelistic church that ENR acronym of well worshiping an evangelistic. There was a constant flow of new believers coming into the church.
You show me a church that does not have new believers coming in and I will show you a stagnating church wife because new believers are the lifeblood of the church. So if we are not evangelizing, we will soon be fossilized. Okay, so no L. Number one, there were a learning church so there were worshiping. They were evangelizing and they were learning. They were learning and you look at that early church and they were into God's word. Verse 42. Look at it they continued steadfastly in the apostles talk underline those two words continued steadfastly. Those words mean they did it with the real passion was a passion. There was an excitement. I think we need more anointed preaching today. Don't you think more anointed preaching, but I also think we need more anointed listening.
You should listen to the word of God as though your life depends on it because it does, you realize that your life depends on not only your afterlife. You want to make sure you're right with God and you know you're going to heaven because you put your faith in Christ. But then just life in general life before you how to live as a follower of Jesus Christ. That's how the early church listen and that's how we are to listen in our final point, they were a loving church. Verse 42. They continued steadfastly in fellowship. I love that word fellowship comes from the Greek word point Indiana and it's translated many way's intoxicant hardware to translate. There's not a specific English word, the correlates with that.
So we translated fellowship with translated communion. It talks about that something special that happens when God's people get together, you know, and Malachi 316 it says those that fear the Lord talk with each other in the Lord. Listen in her. That's a fascinating statement because that phrase listened and heard means to print to hear or to bend down so as not to miss a single word other woodcuts is all my people talk to me.
I like to eavesdrop for my people speak my name. I like to hear what they're saying I'm really interested enough I'm talking to you and were having an interesting conversation. I got to just tell you one of my grandchildren come up to me and grab me on the leg and say pop up your conversation with me. It's effectively over because a grandchild is calling that's relationship.
I'm sorry. See they got that relationship got sick. I listen when my children talk to me. I bent down I pay attention and we fellowship in and by that I mean after the service and were talking of the things of the Lord were sharing things that God has done in our life. In verses that are meaningful and even joking and having fun.
All of it can be a wonderful thing that God will bless. That's why you should not rush out of church because they were a learning church and they were a loving church and and I can hear it, but this is in the classroom and when I just here to absorb X amount of data and walk out were here to learn, but then were here to encourage one another.
You might have just the right word for someone that needs to hear it after church today or they might have just the right word you but when you find yourself out of fellowship with God you find that you're out of fellowship with other believers as well. Some of someone I don't know you know the church so fully hypocrite so sick of that. Please hypocrites, okay, yeah, others hypocrites in the church. But as I often said it still cares is always room for one more, but you understand, there are hypocrites. That's not good, but sometimes people will say I feel judged when I go to church I few people are judging me when we say someone respond to that that will surprise you, and even offend a few. Maybe you need to be judged. Everything about that judge village be judged in CFS. The students only love the quote that verse that we don't understand we use that verse is a sword to keep people away.
That means condemn knowledge to be condemned.
I'm in no position to condemn any person listen, I'll tell you some. I am to judge and you are to judge the Bible says judgment must begin at the house of God. If I see something in your life that I think is dragging you down spiritually.
I love you enough to tell you the truth if you see something of my life that's hurting me and you come and bring it to my attention.
I recognize you do that because you care about me. That's not judging that's loving that's evaluating and we have to be looking at each other looking out for each other. That's called accountability and this is why people church church you don't I mean by church. They got all kinds of churches on Sunday mornings we go to this church another Sunday morning to go to the southern church and then midweek we go to the Sangamon London Sunday night to sometimes go to that thing and they think that's a wonderful and I'm telling you that that's a bad thing for you spiritually, you might be surprised to know the most pastors would agree with me on this. I would rather you be a part of another church actively involved attending serving giving all the rest that come here and go there and go to another place and go to another place this really what you're saying is I don't want to be accountable to anyone anywhere I want people to know me well enough to see how you doing haven't seen you in church when I was at for other churches don't touch me. Maybe you want to be in one trip. Maybe you need a pastor and maybe you need a consistent theology maybe you need a group of friends that you meet with on a regular basis and it's not a bad thing to visit another church. I'm just saying you need a home church. You need your own church. You need your own pastor and you need a place where you belong. A place where you can grow and learn and serve and develop your spiritual that's what the church is for Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. Hearing about listeners who found Jesus through pastor Greeks teaching is so encouraging hi Pastor Greg early last year. I found the Lord and accepted him there and harvest Christian Fellowship before that if someone had told me that I'd be a believer in Christ, I wouldn't have believed God is so my best to you and your family. If you had your life changed through pastor Greeks teaching. Would you let him know just drop him an email and great harvest on Oregon. Again, that's great harvest.org Pastor Greg continues now with his message why you need the church and the church needs you want to get to the place we discover the joy of serving.
I touched on this earlier, but I think the real mark of spiritual maturity is we don't. You don't come to church, like the consumer going to the theater which you come to the church, like the congregant wanting to glorify God, you come to the church like a member of the body of Christ is biblical verbiage. You come to the church because you have something to bring to the table. Gifts that God is given you, and you discover the joy of serving Jesus said if you want to be first, you need to be a slave, and the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and then you start realizing it. It's a blessing to serve.
It's a joy to help other people out. Listen, you are blessed to be a blessing that we recognize that God is given the spiritual gifts Romans 12 verse five Paul says we be many, are one body in Christ everyone members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us.
Every believer has a gift or gifts plural that have been instilled in their life's sake. Will Greg, how do I discover my spiritual gift.
This answer might surprise you because it might sound unspiritual but it actually will work. Sometimes it's a process of elimination, sometimes finding out what I'm good at begins with finding out what I'm not good at. So here's what I would say volunteer for everything you know we need help over here in Sunday school all help we need help over here the ushers I'll be in our search we need to convert countersuit to save time in winning all good men. Is there then he will do a very good at that. The kids tied me up and set me on fire just in respect okay out of the parking lot. I was hit by three cars that I ran into. I don't know why I do that okay probably should use either I try to help on the worship ministry, but actually I I don't I don't how to sing and you I found out but I was not called to do by doing it once this is in the very early days of the Jesus movement.
Probably in all these bands reforming Christian vents forming and I get seam over Calvary Chapel and Chuck would come of this bandages form one week ago. They're going to come sing for us now with Seth Basey.
Doesn't home Bible study once and we're singing some song. One of the guys there was a good musician wrote a song another gentleman that was what this was an amazing flautist someone who plays the flute. I found it. It's a flautist and so hey guys, amazing.
So so he's playing the flute, my friend singing a song Rogers tennis sing-along and we thought we found a pretty good so I started like to pound on the table little beep you know can in the loop beat the table and they said let's form a man before you know we had a name. So we go over to Calvary Chapel. We say we want to play tonight. I forgot what her name was idiocy like that and so we were told it was okay and so I couldn't take you know, a coffee table up there in the stage of me just don't give me a conga drum so I'm up there with his band guitar is flautist singers and me with a conga drop so the band starts in realizing I have no rhythm. I really can't do this at all and this may be the most embarrassing moment of my life in this song is like a year long, and this went on my walk up there and I knew I'm not called to music well strike that wonderful I was really shocked with my fist called to preach as I was the last thing I ever expect. But I found the God inability.
Some would question this, but usually my wife after every service not it's not every sermon it's most sermons occasionally snow but the point is is you never know who would've ever thought that I meet. I would've never volunteered to speak all speak no way I don't want to speak, but when I did it I realize all this is a gift. See, it's not a natural ability was a gift that's I'm not talking about natural ability. Some people artistic.
Some people are more technical in their thinking. Others have disk elements, talking about that I'm talking about spiritual gifts from heaven planted in your life for the Holy Spirit. Civil like what okay here's a list. Here's Romans 12 from the new living translation. Just listen. Just as God is given our body different parts and each part of our body has a function. The same is true of the church of God is giving you the ability to prophesy. That means that you would share a word given to you from God and inspired word could be preaching that could be one on one, just some I like a revelation from heaven about something called a prophesy speak out when you have faith that God is speaking through you. If your gift for serving others serve them well so recall the serve. Serve.
Well, whatever it isn't doing well and that means preparing a meal to the best job preparing the meal that means cleaning up after do the best job cleaning up. If that means setting the chart. It turned out, praying for someone. Whatever it is serve them well.
If you're a teacher do a good job of teaching a teacher should prepare a preacher should know is text if you're called to encourage others to. If you have money, Sherry generously so God has blessed you with money and it is called you to. Given there actually is a gift of giving every Christian should get every Christian should give financially. Every Christian I believe should time but then there are those that have an actual spiritual gift of giving the Lord is just blossoming away to a generously Paul says if you have a givers showing kindness to others would gladly don't show kindness you know reluctantly so how are you I love you know givers showing kindness doing gladly. Don't pretend you love others really love them. Hate what is wrong, stand on the side of good love each other with genuine affection and take delight in honoring each other like that. Take delight in honoring each other you know it doesn't always have to be about you and know somebody else's used by God and instead of sulking nursing will that should have been me you should say I'm so glad God bless you and and I just want to thank the Lord for how is using you and say what you want or others. The Lord will honor you. Don't worry about will we lift each other up as we all live the Lord up.
That's the way to do it so you want to be a growing and successful Christian read the Bible, pray an active part of the church, let me close by asking this you know maybe you need God tonight. We talked about nonbelievers joining us and maybe you're that person you come here checking this out. Maybe a friend invited you. Maybe they bribed you with food after the service which you would hope would end really soon. You're going to take in this all in and you're contemplating it but you can't say right now that you know that you're going to heaven when you come here would like a problem with addiction to something drugs or alcohol made you come here would like a problem with your wife, your husband or your kids or your parents. Are you having problem over here a problem in your worker upon this. Whatever your problem is out today with the solution is you need Jesus Christ in your life that's attending this you will forgive you of yours in and he will come and take residence in your heart and transform you meant when you have the big things taken care of other things managed to sort themselves out when you know you're going to heaven.
Whatever pressure you're under, or structure facing the kind of puts it in perspective. Do you know you're going to heaven. Are you sure right now that if you were to die, you would go to him. I hate to break this to you but the only other alternative is hell.
The last thing God wants is for any man or woman made in his image to end up in hell. That's what he sent Jesus Christ his own son to die on the cross for our sin and the paid the price for every sin we committed the full turn from our sin put our faith in Jesus, God will forgive us and we can have the guaranteed assurance of heaven, and then we have Christ living in us. Have you done that yet in a moment were going to pray and I will extend an invitation for you to believe in Jesus. Listen, becoming a Christian doesn't take years. It doesn't take months. It doesn't take weeks.
It doesn't take days, it doesn't even take hours can happen just like that for you. Jesus stands at the door of your life, and he knocks he says if you hear his voice and open the door he will come in a committee or life, but she was asked to man.
I'll give you an opportunity to do that. Let's hope our heads. Father, thank you for your word to us tonight, Lord Jesus, thank you for coming to this earth on a rescue operation to die on the cross for our sins know. I pray for any who do not know you love them to see their need for you help them to come to you, Esther, Greg Laurie, with her important prayer if you'd like to make a change today in your relationship with the Lord. Pastor Greg will help you do that in just a moment before today's addition of a new beginning.
Concludes did you hear all of today study here on a new beginning. If not, you can catch up by going online to harvest.org look for the title. Why you need the church and the church needs you, or to get a CD collar 24 hour phone number 1-800-821-3300. That's 1-800-821-3300 and what a privilege it is to have baseball great Darrell strawberry with us today. Darrell is just released a new book called turn your season around. The subtitle is how God transforms your life.
You know Darrell you made a U-turn from so many issues in your life. What counsel do you have for others who need to turn their back on drugs or drinking or immorality. They just find themselves being pulled back into all that stuff especially during this pandemic.
If they were sitting right across the table from you, what would you say to them I will say to them that they really should be able to accept the help from someone who truly loves them and I think of my life I've made to turn it was because my wife Tracy. Michael was 18 years ago I was in the house in South Florida should go smoke crack and she was banging outdoors, kicking him down, pulling me out and she actually was loving me through the whole process when I can love myself and I want to say to someone that struggling with that when you see someone loving you through the process. When you can't love yourself allow that help to to help you in that period of time on me unless a lot of confusing guano you feel hopeless at that time but one thing I've learned through this process of change your life. My life and change by myself. God use people to help people and we can understand the importance of other people encouraging you and walking with you and not tolerating which Tracy did and she didn't tolerate my my madness but she still encouraged me to help me that God had a plan for me. You'll have to accept euro what the person is more through but at the same time, you still show love and compassion. So I would just I would encourage anyone that struggling somewhat assurance of love and compassion, trust the process is not overnight miracle just doesn't happen like that is a process and once I went through the process and accepted the help from somebody else. I started getting on the side because when you think about everybody. God used in the Bible. They all have struggles and issues to just like all the rest of us and youdon't struggling issues.
They only get on the right side with other people helping you and encouraging you to your faith. So if you want to get a copy of Joe strawberries brand-new book that he feels is the most important book he's ever written. You can get it from us here to new beginning again.
The title is churn your season around how God transforms your life.
I will send you this book for your gift of any size to help us to continue on here add a new beginning to teach the word of God and to preach the gospel that change the life of Darrell strawberry yeah that's right it's the gospel that continues to change lives anywhere any time, even in a pandemic, even in a time of uncertainty and your investment helps that kind of outreach happen to be asking to partner with us now and if you can send an investment right now. We should ask for Darrell's book turn your season around.
You can write a new beginning.
Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call 1-800-821-3300.
That's 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org and we won't be mentioning this much longer.
So contact as soon yesterday just before we go. Would you mind praying with the person listening who wants to make a change today, in their relationship with the Lord. I'd be happy to Dave you know is you been listening to this today.
Maybe you've heard another voice. By that I mean you've heard me say a few things, but you heard God's voice speak to you deep in the recesses of your heart and it suddenly dawned in you.
This is what I need order stated more accurately. This is who I need I need Jesus. And I want Jesus, but maybe you don't know how to make that connection. Let me help you pray this after me right now if you want Jesus Christ to comedy your life Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner and I am sorry for my sin and I need your forgiveness right now. Would you come into my heart, my life as Savior, as God as friend. I choose to follow you from this moment forward. Thank you for calling me and accepting me and for giving me in Jesus name I pray, amen. I know there was a relatively short prayer. Maybe you felt something as you prayed it. Maybe you felt nothing, that doesn't really matter because God's word says these things we write to you that believe on the name of the son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life. It doesn't say so. You may think you have it or you may hope you have it of gods in a good mood. No that you can know it and I want you to know if you prayed that prayer and minute Jesus Christ, the son of God has come into your life. So congratulations, you're now a Christian now continue to follow the Lord to help you would like to send you some resource materials we call our new believers growth packet will answer many of the questions you might have and get you started off right in your new relationship with the Lord. So get in touch and ask for it will send it free of charge. Write a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call 1-800-821-3300 were here to talk with you around the clock to call now 1-800-821-3300 or go to harvest.org and click the words know God Pastor Greg continues with his insights from a series what every growing Christian needs to know to look at the trials we face. Why does God allow bridging insights coming next time possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God sign up for pastor grades free daily email, firstname.lastname@example.org