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Follow Me: Ordinary People for an Extraordinary Purpose

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
May 18, 2021 3:00 am

Follow Me: Ordinary People for an Extraordinary Purpose

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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May 18, 2021 3:00 am

Those who’ve begun reading Pastor Greg Laurie’s new book on the life of Billy Graham – the greatest evangelist in history – know he was a humble young dairy farmer before he accepted God’s call on his life. What kinds of things can God do through you when you accept His call on YOUR life? That’s the question we’ll explore today here on A New Beginning. Glad you’re along as Pastor Greg continues his series in the Gospel of Mark. He’s titled this message collection “The Gospel for Busy People.”

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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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Today's episode of a new beginning is brought to you by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God. Learn more@harness.org and while you're there, browse our library of free e-books designed to help you grow in your faith in Jesus's team was 12, his soul would be the most important area of all the glory of the Lord is looking for ordinary men and women to join him doing one thing saying the scholars they were hopelessly human masters call you want to be Jesus Pastor Greg Laurie Billy Graham greatest evangelist in history know he was a humble young very got all his life.

What kinds of things for God to you when you call on your life. That's the question for today what your law uses series in the gospel of Mark is titled this message collection is those of the words of Jesus to all people today so I start with the question, are you a follower of Jesus Christ. Do you understand what that means though we know the word follower to choose a lot of ways. One way it uses of social media. For instance, if you're on Twitter, you have followers. If you're on Facebook you have friends. Someone summed up the different social media platforms. This way if you're in Instagram Europe regularly same lives a party if you're on snap. Check your save my life as a quirky TV show.

If you're on Facebook, you're saying my life is great if you're on Twitter, you're saying wrong in the.people are very negative on Twitter a lot of critical harsh tweets that people shoot at each other. People like to attack one another on Twitter and of course then you have all of the people that follow you and maybe they retweet you know Jesus never did tweet Debbie going good of the Beatitudes owes would be great tweets. What they blessed our the poor in spirit. Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God, perfect tweets know Jesus did not tweet what he did have his followers and they were pretty eclectic to get some fishermen get a tax collector. Any other cell. Now we have to understand what these terms mean we understand fishermen orders the tax collector and what is a solid zealot is someone who is dedicated to the violent overthrow of wrong, we might actually call them terrorists today attest collector was someone who was colluding with Rome. Rome as the occupying power there in Israel at that particular time. So here we have a man, a Jewish man a particular Matthew that will talk about later, who was in collusion with Rome. Now we have another man named Simon who was dedicated to the violent overthrow of Rome. It would be like having their own parts of your family voting for different candidates that may be true, some of your home.

But listen to this. We are Christian we are members of a different kingdom and it's more important than even politics. And Jesus said this. By this shall all men know you are my disciples, that you love one another. Listen to this Christian should be marked by love, not by always being right, and when I say by being right at me and sometimes in their own mind. If you find yourself shouting that people just was shoddy when I said that all lower my body. If you find yourself always apply and angry and using your social media accounts to blast this group or blast that person something's wrong. Remember you need to be glorifying God with whatever platform is given to you. We need to be characterized and identified by our love for God and our love for others. Well, let's look at Mark chapter 1 verse 16.

As we continue in our series the gospel for busy people. One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew throwing and that the water for the fish for a living. Jesus called out to them, follow me and I'll show you how to fish for people on the way reading from the new living translation the King James translators that verse as follows. Follow me and I'll make you a fisher of men.

Mark goes on to say, and they left their nets at once and followed him a little further up the shore. Jesus, of Zebedee's son, James and John in a boat repairing their nets. He called them at once and they also followed him, leaving their father Zebedee of the boat with the hired soldiers.

Point number one. Jesus is putting his team together you want to be on Jesus team. He was going to choose 12 men in total and they would be the most ordinary of all men. They weren't saints and the traditional use of the word now.

Technically they were six because a saint means a true believer, so anyone who is put their faith in Christ is technically a saint, but in modern usage is saying that some extraordinary holy person, so they weren't saints in that way, nor were they scholars nor were they sages they were hopelessly human. They were remarkably on remarkable, but they were available to the masters call out Simon and Andrew had been disciples of John the Baptist.

Remember we talked about them. Last time he came before Christ, preparing the way and he said to them, as Jesus walked by, behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world so they transferred their allegiance from John over to Jesus, but they still didn't fully understand who Jesus was, what he had come to do, James and John are also mentioned in the given the special title the Sons of thunder. I turned to see James and John, is to outlaw biker you know coming up and being called by Jesus to be a part of the team again. What an eclectic group of people. But here's the point I want to bring your attention.

Note that all of these men were doing something when Jesus called them. Andrew was going and that in the water, along with Simon, James and John were in a boat repairing their nets and we see the same elsewhere in Scripture. People were busy when God called them as an example, David, who would become the king of Israel was watching over his flock when he was summoned by the prophet Moses was watching over a flock when the Lord spoke to him through a burning bush.

Elisha was plowing in the field when he was called by Elijah to carry on the prophetic ministry, bringing me to point number two if you want to be used by God to get busy doing something for the Lord is get busy with what is in front of you then those nets cast those nets. 10 those sheep plow those fields teach that Sunday school class: the mission trip.

Share one on one give that type just get out and do something to do what you can where you can. One way to find out what you're called to do is maybe by discovering which are not called to do so when someone comes to me and says of Greg, I want to be used by the Lord.

I would suggest to them that they go volunteer at their church go to your pastor say pastor, I want to be used by God and I'll do whatever needs to be done now hold on. You may not get the job you wanted might end up doing some janitorial workers sending some chairs up for, or doing something menial like that, that's probably because a pastor is wanting to see if you'll be faithful in the little things I remember when I was a brand-new Christian. I went to Pastor Chuck Smith at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa I was 17 years old and I said Chuck I want to serve the Lord. I'll do whatever you guys want me to do and they gave me different test starting with janitorial sweeping leaves, cleaning toilets and I did it all and remember one day they gave me a special mission to go on for God is that we need a new doorknob for the church office door so I went down to the local hardware store. I've never been a mechanical guy you want anything fix never call me if you want a broken call me I'll help you with that and I look at all these doorknobs in different sizes. I literally pray. God help me find the right doorknob and I chose wanted to get back and it was the wrong size so I failed in my mission but it was little things but I thought will. Maybe God wants me to be in a worship team so I joined this worship group and I was doing percussion. I was playing a conga drum or something like that and I remember standing up there in front of the people, and of course I could really keep the rhythm very well and I discovered this is not what I'm called to do. Sometimes you find that what you are called to do by first finding out which are not called to do. But here's the key. Whatever you do it. The Bible says do it with all of your hard, as unto the Lord and be faithful in the little things bringing me to my next point.

If you want to be used by God. Be faithful and what is before you now. Jesus says in Luke 1610.

Unless you are faithful in small matters, you will be faithful in large ones. If you cheat even a little, you will be honest with greater responsibilities will be faithful the little thing Greg Lord will have the second half of his message just a moment. So many listeners have commented on the help they received from Pastor Greg Staley messages God's word ministers to them and often gets them through some of their darkest hours. Now my friend are hurting her really, how last year and are not, how can I have been any leaving working here and your hard work in getting an I'm not reading your back and reading the Bible like Iraq back. He kind now turn when I go comforting to try you if you had your life changed because of harvest ministries which you let Pastor Greg know just drop him an email greg@harvest.org again, that's great@harvest.org were joining Pastor Greg today in the gospel of Mark for look at how we can follow the Lord's call and be used by God as we make our way through Mark chapter 1 after this Jesus goes into a synagogue encounters a demon possessed man Jesus cast the demon out of the man of the people are astonished. It's interesting the praise that Jesus used, to the demon was required, or literally be muscle by the way, that's the same phrase he used when he rebuked the store. Remember that story and went up and said that the store be still.

It's that same phrase be muzzled because he was saying that the devil stop the devil. Sort of like a crazy dog ready to bite bebop. Be still, so the disciples are beginning to discover the power that Jesus has his power over demons, and in time to get to see that he had power over sickness and even power over death itself, but the most important thing that Jesus had power over with sin. He and he alone could forgive sin.

They would soon discover.

So Jesse was God, but he was God walking in the human body of flesh and blood, and he grew tired and he was hungry and experience all of those things that we experience physically so the next movement in the story is Jesus needed some food and some rest of the to come home to the house of Simon Peter bringing us to this next point which is we need to bring Jesus home because that's what they did in the mall. Don't leave Jesus at the church on Sunday morning to Jesus only to hey take Jesus to work with you. Take Jesus wherever you go by that I mean invite him to be a part of every aspect of your life.

What a privilege for Peter to come home and say to his wife have a special guest dear Jesus Christ, the Messiah will, as it turns out, Peter's mother-in-law was very ill.

Apparently, she lived with Peter and his wife and yes Peter was married, which is an important note is net.

She was very sick and they told Jesus she needed to be touched and so Jesus heals her and Mark 131 saying he took her by the hand and lifted her up, and immediately the fever left her on news travels fast. All of the disciples sought out a quick tweet and there were even some post on Instagram not really what it sounds like it because in moments literally the whole city is there at the door. Mark 132.

That evening after sunset, the people brought the Jesus all the sick and demon possessed the whole town gathered at the door. That brings us now to Mark chapter 2 and Jesus is going to show the primary reason he came not just to cast out demons, not just to heal the sick, not even to raise the dead.

He was coming to forgive sins. And there's nothing more important than having your sin forgiven as I say this, my speaking to somebody right now who is not sure if there sin is forgiven, your haunted by things you've done in your past. It keeps you up at night. You've tried to self medicate. As they say, with alcohol or drugs and numb yourself that the pain of what you've done in the Harmon the pain you brought into other people's lives. I want you to know God can forgive your sin, to tell you how in a few moments. Now let's go over to Mark chapter 2 verse one when Jesus returned to Capernaum several days later, the news spread quickly that he was back home soon the house where he was staying was God with visitors and there was no more room, even outside the door while he was preaching the word for men arrive carrying a paralyzed man on a mat. They couldn't bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, so they dug a hole through the roof right above his head and they lowered the men on this mad right in front of Jesus seeing their faith. Jesus said to the paralyzed man.

My child, your sins are forgiven, bringing me to my next point we need to work together. We want to bring our friends to Jesus forgot they want to get their friend to Jesus. He needs a physical touch. They can't get in the house. It's packed wall-to-wall people so they lowered him to the root of this is gonna hard for us to understand in the 21st century. But in the first century. The roofs were flat there would be an outside staircase leading to the roof.

Sometimes people would set up on the roof like a little patio garden of sorts so they get up on the roof and they start digging through it, digging through the straw. Meanwhile, here's Jesus inside the house speaking to his audience listening to his every word.

All of a sudden a little dirt clod falls of the ground a couple more false and strong comes down the shaft of light breaks through another shaft of light comes through and suddenly this man is on this mad with four guys with robes letting them down. You may be swinging back and forth a little bit in the foot right in front of Jesus. Maybe the guy laying there with a Jesus in my child, your sins are forgiven you, but I love the fact that these guys work together, they cooperated and if we want to see people come to Jesus we need to work with fellow believers because we need to join our efforts together and will get a lot more done. We are much stronger together than we are alone. Remember that story and ask chapter 12 when Peter was arrested for preaching the gospel we read in acts 12 one constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church. They prayed there's power.

When we pray together.

Jesus is of any two of you will agree together touching anything in prayer. It will be done of your father in heaven. The Bible also says two or more of you will gather together Christ will be there in the midst so we need to pray together. My next point is one phrase another shares were God does the work.

It would a person comes the cry since I a chain of events that connect together, resulting in a conversion. Maybe it's a seed sown in the heart during childhood. Maybe that see this water little bit later. Maybe they encounter a Christian, they don't even know who says or does something that makes an impression on them.

Then finally someone takes the time to share the gospel were all part of achieving the God orchestrated to bring someone to the Lord as Paul writes in first Corinthians 3 verse six I planted Apollo's water to Palos was another preacher, but God gave the increase, so neither he who plants is anything know he that waters its God gives the increase in notice that Jesus immediately got to the heart of this man's problem because the heart of the problem is the problem of the heart.

This man needed his sin forgiven. It was even more important than being heal of his paralysis.

A key manager of famous psychologist said if he could convince patients in the psychiatric hospitals at their sins were forgiven.

75% would walk out the next day.

Think about and Jesus can forgive sins know they react properly. They say way what you mean, your sins are forgiven you, and they asked the question who can forgive sins but God alone. And the answer is no one. Some people would say you know Jesus never claimed to be God's followers came up with that later. That is not true. Jesus did claim to be God on multiple occasions, this is one of Jesus were not God he would've said something along the lines of good point that I'm not God but know he for gave that men send them back to Mark 210. He says I'll prove to you that the Son of Man has authority under the forgive sins and Jesus turn of the paralyzed man then said stand up, pick up your mat and go home. That was a clear claim to deity. Jesus was God. We don't want to miss that very important. Mr. Greg Laurie is presenting insights from the first chapter of Mark today here on a new beginning part of a series called the gospel for busy people there so much insight coming our way. In these practical lessons and if you miss a point or two along the way, you can catch up by listening online@harvest.org look for today's message called follow me, and it's a privilege to have Shannon Breen with us today. You may recognize the name. She's an anchor at Fox News and also their chief legal correspondent she's just released a brand-new book called the women of the Bible speak. The subtitle is the wisdom of 16 women and their lessons for today and that Shannon, you mentioned in the book that one of your favorite stories is that of Deborah, who appears in Judges 4 and five. Why is she your favorite. I love her because she box. In essence that so many people who are intimidated by the Bible or by religion or by Christian faithful stable women are respected but the truth is Deborah defies every wrong thought, and how the Bible about women's role in the Bible because she was the leader of Israel. She was a giant she was leading at that time and the people had gotten away from the Lord. If all of this until in our lives and it really need help will be how Deborah is a judge that she settling disputes. She's giving them guidance and kind comes to her and says I want you to lead Israel. I want Israel to go in battle against the Canaanites within a pressing man and she goes and gathers their military commander Barack and says hey guys that were supposed to take on these people get the men together. Let's get out and she's sort of like well well well that kind eyes were not in their favor by any stretch but he said I'll only go if you go with me and she says okay I will go by, you will not get the glory at getting the opposing general Sisera. He will be delivered into the hands of a woman because you're making me go with you on a survey and that's really neat day now. Later on in the story said there are two powerful women there who were leaders on here.

Deborah is leading the entire nation of Israel and is called into battle and doesn't question God against all lot. She says okay let's go and I hope I would be more like Deborah and I just think she's a great example of leadership.

Yet she really is a bold catalyst for change in such an example for women today and the book is filled with one example after another.

True heroes worth following.

Today they're all captured in the new book the women of the Bible speak by author and news anchor, Shannon Breen will send you this new book to thank you for your investment that helps us continue to bring these daily studies and to help touch lives.

Listen to this comment. I've been listening to your podcasts since I was quarantined at home, having contracted covert.

19. It was a depressing time for me because I felt fine, but was confined to my home over Christmas. Your studies brought me joy in precious time filling my heart and mind with his truth. I love your sense of humor and that you preach the truth is you're listening today, countless others are as well. Many were facing challenging times and your investment in the studies helps us continue to reach out and with your donation right now in the amount of your choosing will thank you. With his new book, the women of the Bible speak as for as you write a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call 1-800-821-3300. That's a 24 seven phone number 1-800-821-3300 or just go online to harvest.org Pastor Greg you been teaching the Bible here on radio for many years now. In fact, almost 40 years, but you have some exciting news about television got Dave.

I'm very excited to share this news with our listeners and supporters listen everybody were launching a new television program called harvest with Greg Laurie to major TV networks across the United States.

This show will air on Sunday mornings on some networks you might be familiar with like the lifetime network FOXBusiness network Newsmax DayStar TBN and kcal here in Los Angeles.

Combine these air times will reach listen to this. Drumroll please over 60 million viewers annually. That is exciting and some of these are secular TV networks so were reaching more people who need to hear the gospel so I'm really excited about this and I'm also grateful for harvest partners and donors who have helped us launch this new TV program join us Sunday morning.

You can find here times that harvest.org well next time more insight on the calling of Jesus to come follow me more from Pastor Greg series the gospel for busy people. New beginning and everybody thinks you're listening to this podcast to learn more about harvest ministries follow this show and consider supporting it. Just go to harvest.org to find out how to know God personally go to harvest.org and click on know God


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