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Palm Sunday Message - Spring Cleaning: Becoming an Influencer for God

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
March 31, 2021 3:00 am

Palm Sunday Message - Spring Cleaning: Becoming an Influencer for God

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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March 31, 2021 3:00 am

We all have a “circle of influence.” It’s those people who listen to what we have to say. Maybe it’s our family. Friends at school or at work. Maybe it’s hundreds or thousands of people we connect with on social media. But do we influence those in our circle of influence? Today on A New Beginning, in a message preached on Palm Sunday, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us consider the message that God wants us to communicate about the price His Son paid at Calvary... a price paid so that we might live.

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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 harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God, you want to hear from you. Would you consider emailing me you can reach me at again that's Greg and you can also make me one of your friends on Facebook and drop me a comment or you will ridge or a barrier people coming to Jesus today on a new beginning. Pastor Greg Laurie points out, it's our job as believers to hear the home we have with other Gospels regular wrongdoers were noticed by more John you got your the only Bible. Some people are ever going to read what kind of a representative of Jesus Christ our you listen to what we have to say maybe it's her family friends at school were or maybe it's hundreds or thousands of people we connect with on social media, but do we influence those in our circle of influence today on a new beginning message preached on Palm Sunday, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us consider the message God wants us to communicate about the price is paid at Calvary price praise we might live to chapter 19 the title of my messages spring cleaning. Let me say this at the outset of this might surprise some people. God is not mad at sinners is about goods that God is not mad at you. He's mad about you he loves you. Now Palm Sunday. This is the day that Jesus rode the donkey into Jerusalem and the way the branches, but this is also the day that we see Jesus display raw real human emotion know this about Jesus.

There's never been a man who walked the earth like him. He was not just a good man. He was out of course.

He was the God man not Amanda became God, that's impossible. But God who became a man. He was fully God and fully man. How does that work.

I don't know but I know that though he was God walking among us. He still had human emotion, he still felt physical pain. He was still hungry, he was still thirsty. In fact, the Bible says of him.

In Hebrews 415 we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses.

He was in all points tested as we are yet without sin.

So what this means is Jesus understand what you're going through right now.

I know a lot of you are worried. I know a lot of you are frightened. I know a lot of you have so many concerns weighing down on you.

I know that you get up in the middle of the night with a lot of troubles and I'm telling you, Jesus understands and he cares and he want you to cast that care and give those burdens over to him.

So let's set the scene for our story. There was an air of expectancy in Jerusalem the name of Jesus was on everyone's lips affect Luke chapter 19 verse 11 says when they heard these things, he spoke another parable because he was near Jerusalem and they thought the kingdom of God would appear immediately. In other words, they thought this was it. They thought Jesus was going to establish his kingdom then and there and in their minds, the Messiah would overthrow Rome you see the Jewish people have been conquered by the Roman Empire and they were under Roman control and they didn't like it one bit. They want to be Romans out if so they thought. Jesus, the Messiah would overthrow the power of Rome and they thought he would establish his earthly kingdom then and there. They failed to understand the prophecies which said that before Messiah would come and rule the earth, he would come and die for the sins of the world before he would sit on the throne he would go to the cross. So Jesus was not coming to overthrow Rome. He was coming to establish his kingdom in the hearts of men and women by dying for them on the cross so is Jesus is coming into Jerusalem and their lay in the palm branches before him. The supreme issue in his mind was not Rome's army.

It was God's temple and this reminds us that when God wants to send a spiritual awakening to a nation.

It starts first with this people.

Second Chronicles 714 verse. Most of us know, says God, speaking of my people which 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 forgive their sin and heal their land. Noticed God does not say of government, will humble themselves or Hollywood would humble themselves, and they all ought to, but he says of my people. That's us books. Those of us who believe in my people. The Lord says, which are called by my name. Listen, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways. Is there any wicked way, you need to turn from right now. Gen. George Washington when he was fighting in the Revolutionary war is the general of our forces and later to become our first president had a special banner prepare. This is before the American flag folks in this banner have these words written on it appeal to heaven appeal they have in Washington understood that our only hope to become a nation was by the intervention of God. We need to appeal to heaven. So here's a story. Luke chapter 19 verse 37 as he rode along the crowd spread out their garments on the road ahead of him and when he reached the place for the road, started on the Mount of olives.

All of his followers begin to shout and sing as they walked along praising God for the wonderful miracles they had seen St. Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord peace in heaven and glory in the highest heaven, but some of the Pharisees said this isn't right. Rebuke your followers: do not say that Jesus replied I love this. He says that they kept quiet, the stones along the road would burst into cheers and as he came closer to Jerusalem, he saw the city ahead. They began to weep. It's hard for the rubber minor on Jesus riding a donkey that doesn't seem like the coolest creature to ride. I'm not a white stallion that would be like, you know, a conquering hero in a parade driving a previous uncanny. Don't take it personally. But you know a donkey but but actually in this time it had a different meaning than it has today. By the way, Jesus will come back riding a white horse in the second coming. You could call it Air Force One. If you like. Just a suggestion but anyway the writer donkey had symbolism to the Romans and the Jews for the Romans they knew what a conquering Gen. would return from war.

You would come riding a donkey.

Meaning he's a victor to the Jews.

It was a reminder of the prophecy of Zechariah that said, when Messiah, so come riding a donkey into Jerusalem, so the Jews understood Jesus was saying he was the Messiah.

The Romans understood Jesus was declaring himself as a king.

He was playing his hand, if you will.

Up to this point. He would repeatedly say our is not yet. His mother said come on Jesus do a miracle here at the wedding feast and King of Galilee, says woman my hours is not yet come. But now is ours come the hours come for him to go to the cross and died for the sin of the world and here everybody is having a great time they're saying it's a break, I don't think that's a little Rebecca with over the big party and Jesus is weeping that anyone notice that anyone see. Why was he sat God sad when people are too busy for him. God sad when we sin against him.

God sad when we reject so Jesus wept, but he not only wept, but then he displayed anger go back to Luke 19 verse 45 and it says this and reading from the new living translation.

By the way, Jesus entered the temple he began to drive out the people selling animals for sacrifices. He said the Scripture declares my temple is a house of prayer and you've turned it into a dented fee and after that he taught daily in the temple with the leading priests and the teachers of the law and other leaders begin planning how to kill him, but they could do nothing.

I love this because all of the people hung on every word you said Mr. Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message just a moment.

So many listeners have commented on the encouragement they receive these daily messages like these posts on social media.

Pastor Greg 20 years ago I gave my life to Jesus. After listening to you on the radio.

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Thank you so much for all you do.

Has Pastor Greg heard from you. If these daily studies God's word and encouraged one drop of the common email him at again, that's Pastor Greg has been pointing out the sadness of the Lord when people are too busy for him. He continues now with his message called spring cleaning. Okay, we talk about what makes God sad. What makes God bed.

But you got God doesn't just lose his temper with the Lord at a temper tantrum planets line around know he doesn't do that when the Lord displays anger.

It's what we would call righteous indignation something can anger that you and I feel like I get angry or irritable when I'm hungry. I think you call it being angry know the Lord is unlike that at all, but he was angry know the gospel of Mark gives us a really interesting detail about the story. Same story, different gospel different perspective. Mark 1115 says he entered the temple drove out the merchants listen and knocked over the tables of the money changers and the stalls of those selling those weight knocked over the table.

What happened to the meek and mild Jesus all listen. Jesus was not the first hippie as some people think no peace and love man note, Jesus was a man's man. He was a strong man to overturn the table. These are big tables that foldable little card tables use overturning these tables because there's righteous indignation.

I mean, when you turn the table over, that's going to get people's attention. We've all seen the Western silk course. You know, and there's going to be a fight in the bar you know and usually there's the bar scene, and everybody's just to know carousing about making a lot of noise and there's a piano player. I don't know why he always has a garter on his sleeve a little bowler had these always playing this thing thinking thinking thinking thinking. Some like that and all of a sudden you come to the table and there's a bunch of cowboys around there.

I won't tell voices think you're cheap, as is Anna cheap and than the ones I charge the table over the cards go flying. The chips go find it so far it it's a problem that everyone gets everybody so putrid table over your making a scene. Jesus was creating a scene. He was angry. Why bottom line. These people were in charge of the temple were price gouging that's right two years I work you came in with your little lamb that you love and you can offer it as a sacrifice in one of the people in charge of the well that this is not really acceptable, but we have these other animals. You can buy it hiked up price and so this angered God because these people were standing in the way of people coming to believe. So here's my question for you.

Are you a bridge or a barrier to people coming to Jesus to there's five Gospels is in a Greg you're wrong.

There's four numbers five, Matthew Mark Luke John and you. Your the fifth gospel. You're the only Bible. Some people are ever going to read what kind of a representative of Jesus Christ. Are you so Jesus clean the temple, not to tell you one other thing that I find very interesting.

This is the second time the temple was cleansed, he did it once before two times to clean the temple, and what happened well everything was fine for a while. They got rid of all those money changers, but little time past fungi such as table or in another persons at their table up pretty soon things are back to normal access unit were doing well with the Lord we ask Jesus to come into our life.

He cleanses us of our sin were a whole new person with a new set of priorities, then maybe we let a little compromise back in our life a little vice creeps back in. One thing leads to another. All of a sudden it's time for housecleaning. I entitled this message or titled it spring cleaning and I don't know about you but I'm a messy person and I don't like Mrs. that's ERD but I make a lot of messes and Kathy. In contrast, my beautiful wife is very clean. She's very neat she's very tight shall make a meal and she wants to clean the dishes before she'll eat it the other day she made the bed and I was still in that I was missing for two days okay help achieve very tidy and always attending to these things and also go to a later grade clean up your desk. I'll get to it later in the book start stacking up on the messes start building and then out of frustration. I'll clean it but then the mess will start up again.

These always cleaning so you have two approaches to cleaning the Greg way or the Kathy way the Greg way is never do today. Would you can put off until tomorrow. The Greg way if there's some dust, sweep it under the rug. The Greg way is that if you want to get rid of them just go to the door. The Kathy way is clean the carpet clean under the carpet the Kathy way is to organize the drawer you throw something into there's two ways you can live your life.

You can live like I do in the way. Clean messes up.

Let them build in the big problems you can constantly be senior need to be cleansed.

Having your temple cleanse. You are the temple of God, the Bible says God's Holy Spirit lives in you.

In the Old Testament's presence would be an attempt later in the temple, but now we are the temple of God. He lives in us and sometimes we need our temple cleanse. We need the Lord to come and do some spring cleaning in our own life.

Is there some sin that is crept into your life or back into your life. Or maybe some of you listening to me right now. It never asked Jesus to forgive you of your sin. I gotta tell you, you all sin. Let me restate that we all sin, all of us.

Maybe some sin more than others, but one sin is enough to separate us from God.

We have this promise first John one. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. So if you say amen I'm good. I'm a good person.

I don't send sorry you say you have no sin or deceiving yourself. The truth is and then you you're a sinner.

As you broken God's laws new fallen short of the standards but then it goes on to offer this promise.

But if we will confess sarsen he's faithful and just to forgive us our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Some of your sin, you know, I want to believe, but I don't know where to start. Maybe if I just clean my life up and then I would come to God.

Listen, don't clean your life up and come to God come to God and he will clean your life come to God with your problems. Come to God with your vices come to God with your sin come to him and say Lord I can't save myself and I need you to save me right now. Yes, we talked about what causes God to be said God is sad to see you separated from him. He wants friendship and relationship with you. Remember that story of that boy that run away from home. We call it the story of the prodigal son when the father saw him a long ways away. He ran to greet him and threw his arms around him and welcomed him home.

That's how God feels toward you right now. No matter what sin you have committed because Jesus died on the cross for that sin Palm Sunday is really pointing to the cross, Jesus rode into Jerusalem and then ultimately he began his journey to the cross. The same people that cried Hosanna on Sunday would be crying crucify him only days later, but no one forced him thing and that cross. He went there willingly nails did not hold them to their cross love did for you and me why he died there for our sin, so we could be forgiven so we could be made right with God, and I wonder if there's someone watching me right now that does not know if the right with God or not.

What I mean by that. You know that you go to heaven when you die you know the I know I'll go to heaven when I die is illustrative bragging is not well maybe if I bragging on Jesus. It's not anything I did. It's based on what he did for me. I'm just a sinner and I said Lord forgive me any did Neil do that for you no matter what sin you've committed. Remember that story I told about the sinful guy who just said God be merciful to me, the sooner it's only gonna say. And then the Savior will come in forgive you of all of your sin so you can know with certainty that you will go to heaven when you die so you can be ready for the return of the Lord so you can enter into this relationship with God in heaven who loves you the God in heaven was a plan for you. You'll give you the meaning of life on earth, and it give you the hope of life be on the great because of that pretty much cover it. Jesus said I've come that you might have life and that more abundantly. Then he said I am the resurrection and the life he that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live in is whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. You don't have to be afraid of death itself because Christ defeated death at the cross death died with Christ rose let's give you that opportunity to asked Jesus to come of your life so you can know that you go to heaven when you die so you can find the meaning of life you've searched for so if you want Jesus to come of your heart right now if you want to begin this new relationship with him. Why don't you just pray this prayer with me robe you are just dye your head, yes God in heaven will hear this prayer prayed after me you can pray out loud if you like. Again, just pray Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner but I know that you are the Savior, and I ask you to forgive me come in my life. I choose to follow you from this moment forward. Thank you for hearing this prayer in answering this prayer in Jesus name I pray for Greg Laurie were to prayer today here on a new beginning prayer with those who were making a decision for the Lord today and if you just pray that prayer with pastor Greg would like to follow up with you and help you as you begin to live the Christian life would like to send you our new believers growth packet free of charge. It will answer the questions you might have and get you started on the right foot. Just ask for it as you write a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call us anytime 24 hours a day at 1-800-821-3300. That's 1-800-821-3300 or go online to and then we want to make available pastor Greg's outstanding book called Jesus revolution.

The subtitle is how God transformed an unlikely generation, and how he can do it again today Prof. Greg, my son and his family used to live pretty close to some railroad tracks and trains came through quite a lot. I noticed that you can feel the rumbling before the train gets there. That's right, we ask you is there a revival coming down the tracks.

Are you feeling some rumblings right now.

My response would be to hear the train. The common it's common not study Jessica II pray so and I hope so because there's a lot of turmoil and trouble in our nation right now and if God doesn't step in. I don't know how were going to heal this nation of ours. But God does give us a prescription for the healing of a nation from second Chronicles 714, which I've quoted before and I'm sure a quote again because God says of my people which 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 heal their land.

We need the Lord to heal the nation and we need to pray for a spiritual awakening. The last great spiritual revival in the history of our nation was the Jesus movement, also called the Jesus revolution was since I was there I wanted to tell people what it was like someone asserted to get back in time and try to put you in that place.

But then I have take away truth that I've written in this book that you can apply in the hope that you could have a spiritual awakening in your life or in your church or in your community and in our country. We need God.

In America we need God in our lives.

We need to be returned to our original state, and I think sometimes we over spiritualize the word revival, but she sees another word restoration forwarded take an old beat up 57 Chevy sit around in a junkyard and restored to original condition. Get the engine running. Redo the upholstery given a new paint job, put it back out on the street gets a that is a beautifully restored bar. We want to see our nation restored. We want to see our lives restored. We need to see a revival. Let's pray for that together they help you learn more about what God did in the last great spiritual awakening. I want to send you a copy of my book, simply titled Jesus revolution. I hope that it will inspire you to pray that you will have your own personal revival and I'll send you this book for your gift of any size whatever you send will be invested into this ministry so more people can hear the word of God and so more people can come to know Jesus Christ, so order your copy of Jesus, revolution, and we hope you'll do that today we have a copy waiting for you will get it on its way to you just as soon as we hear from you a day. Don't forget to tell them that there's also a study guide that will send them along with a copy of Jesus revolution again for the gift of any size yet that's right.

It's a great tool to help you study these insights on a deeper level and even lead a small group study learn how your Bible study group for home fellowship group can help pave the way for the next great spiritual awakening, so I hope you'll send a generous gift today and that you'll ask for Jesus revolution along with the study guide and today is our last opportunity to mention this, so get in touch right away. You can write a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call 1-800-821-3300. We are here to take your call 24 seven at 1-800-821-3300 or go online to everybody Greg Laurie here personally inviting you to join us for what we call Harvest at Home. It's a Bible study.

It's a worship service. It church in your home, you're not able to get out your church right now. If so, join us per Harvest at Home people are listening this from around the world listen to this. We have seen thousands of people make a commitment to follow Christ. Join us this weekend Harvest at Home.oh well. Pastor Greg helps us consider the self-sacrifice of the Easter story will focus on Jesus willingness to lay down his life so that we might have life.

Join us next time. Beginning possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God sign up for pastor grades free daily email devotions and

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