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July 21, 2021 3:00 am
It’s such a foundational issue that God reserved the first of His Ten Commandments to address this. And so we’ll address it today here on A New Beginning with Pastor Greg Laurie.
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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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You are listening to a new beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast made possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God this at our website and learn more about harvest email@example.com ideology really bothers long as the first commandment.
Pastor Greg Laurie reminders to David. God doesn't want us to worship any god couldn't be more clear. God cares about the number one will not share his glory with another vehicle listed here is faithful. Certainly was and he says I don't want you getting other gods warming boy little preeminent reason God created man is a man might have created to work you know if we worship another God, money, job or hobby. Another person our lives become the antithesis of what we were created such a foundational issue God reserve the first of the 10 Commandments to address the so will address it today. Your new beginning today were really sharp topical message with the title good news and a bad world.
How many of you would like to hear some good news today Roger have a good alright let's turn our Bibles, the second Kings chapter 7 second Kings chapter 7. This was a very dark time in the history of the nation Israel a time that I many ways parallels are things could not of been more bleak. But we'll see how God woke in on this difficulty and brought some very good news will see the problem will see the promise will see the people God chose to bring the promise and finally the proclamation of that good news first, let's identify the problem. This, as I said was one of the darkest moments in the history of Israel.
Everything had gone wrong. They had sunk to the lowest of the depths and their economy had completely collapsed up famine had swept the land and the king was powerless to do anything about it.
Things were so bad. People were so hungry they were eating what is identified in the King James version as dog dog, or if you know that it that would be pigeon poop okay on unit 10 I said it. That's what it was in fact the delicacy of this time would've been the head of a donkey.
There were so impoverished and so hungry. In fact, there was one incident that broke out were two women decided to kill and eat their own son, and they struck an agreement that they would eat one boy and one day and the other on the next and so they killed the first boy and they ate him and then the next day, the mother of the boy change your mind and get them in the lady who killed her son the day before was upset and so they went to the King King. This is why it's her turn the killer boy so we can eat them.
What you gonna do about it. And the king couldn't believe this was happening and we read that he ripped his clothes and that was sort of a biblical way of saying usually better repenting, but he was frustrated and he was angry. So what any nudity dropped to his knees and say, God, what's wrong what we done to bring this calamity upon us, Lord, have mercy on us, know the king said was that stinking prophet of the Lord, Elisha, I want to be dead now.
What he strikes out at God's representative because they were reaping the consequences of their sinful actions. You see, God had withdrawn his blessing from the nation of Israel. Why because they had turned to worshiping false gods.
Let me be straight with you. Idolatry really bothers God's that we don't think it's a big deal.
I read a Paul a while back work people sort of assess the 10 Commandments and they believe that murdering was the worst thing that you could do and maybe adultery wasn't far behind it, but a lot of people simply don't think idolatry is that big of a deal really. God begs to differ because the first two commandments actually deal with the topic of idolatry.
Why is it a big deal to God because it you're not worshiping God you to be worshiping someone or something in his way, and all these other actions and sinful activities really are the result of God, not being in its proper place in our life. God cares about being number one. I know some people are bothered by that. I read that Oprah Winfrey once said that she can't worship a jealous God, a God that wants our praise her God would never be that we will ever know about Oprah's God, but I'll tell you about the God of the Bible.
He is a jealous God and he will not share his glory with another zero that's a little paranoid in God's part is that it is and how you see it. Let me ask you question husbands.
How would you feel if your wife was going out with a different guy every night of the week. Are you good with that boy school, you're an idiot. Was I would you feel if your husband had a girlfriend for every day of the week will, of course, you would never accept that because when you enter into a marriage relationship you expect him to be faithful to you, and that's what you should expect in the same way when we enter into a relationship with God. He expects our faithfulness to him. He is faithful certainly to us and he says I don't want you to have any other gods performing. But the king was worshiping other gods and so the spamming came and so the consequences came but instead of turning the Lord. He wants to turn on God's servant.
It's an interesting thing. You know, people will sin against God.
The reap the consequences of sinning against God, and then will get mad at God for letting this happen to them as though he somehow did it to them, when in reality God worn them all along.
Don't do this or that so-and-so could happen and then they will also strike out against God's people. Maybe you'll go up to someone and say you know what the situation that you're in right now up a lot of it. You brought in yourself and if you would just turn from your Sen. who are you to judge me, but you think you are you perfect know I'm not perfect, not at all, but I just know the word of God.
So Doyle chose the word got you know what you're a hypocrite in your judgment will in your holier than thou and Neil doesn't the Bible say Judge not lest you be judged. Well, yeah, the Bible does say that but it's actually the final turn wouldn't say go to find whatever but if you have that happen. You go to someone even in love and meekness and you try to offer a solution and they get angry at you. You know, that just means you're doing your job.
Jesus said in John 1521. The world people of the world hate you because you belong to me but they don't know God who sent me.
So when people strike out at you for no reason to rejoice. Probably just means you're doing what ought to be doing.
Jesus said in Matthew 511, count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me what it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable usually glad when this happens, give a chair even though they don't like it. I do God says that all the heavens apply and know that you're in good company because my prophets and witnesses have always gone into this kind of trouble. Yes this was coming because of their disobedience and because the king couldn't solve it. And a lot of times we have problems like with our economy, we expect government to fix it. But guess what government can't fix everything. I don't know if government can fix anything.
In reality, I think very often make it worse is Pres. Ronald Reagan that one said and I quote the government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases if it moves, tax it.
If it keeps moving regulated if it stops moving, subsidize it, and Reagan also said the nine most terrifying words in the English language are, I'm from the government and I'm here to help. The king was powerless. He didn't have the answers because the answers were not economic. The answers were not military.
The answers were not political. The answers were spiritual they needed to turn to God and I bring this up because we can't help but see a parallel between their times and ours. It's been said, he who refuses to learn from history is forced to repeat its mistakes mocha mothering said, quote all new news is old news happening to new people and really all that we see happening we seen it happen before, and we've seen what can happen if we turn to the Lord our answer is to turn to the true and living God, the God that yes we call the probably found of this country. Don't let anyone engage in revisionism and tell you that our country was not clearly founded on Judeo Christian principles.
It was founded on the teachings of Scripture. I'm not saying that every one of our founding fathers was a believer in Jesus Christ. But I'm saying that they respect for the word of God, and they invoke the name of Jesus Christ.
We can build this country on the teachings of Islam or Buddhism or any other religion. They were built on the clear teachings of Judeo-Christian ethics.
More specifically, the Christian faith, and I think if we will turn back to the true God of the Bible, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He will hear and he will answer Mr. Greg Laurie will have the second half of this message just a moment whatever you send us a letter and email or post a comment on social media. We read every word. Going with heroin. Two hours everyday method of clinic it would look better.
Greg on the radio. He changed the way I thought about God telling me. The best way I can look out thank you so much. It's so great to hear how these lessons God's word impacted this man and his family and if you have a story to tell Pastor Greg an email Greg at harvest on again. That's firstname.lastname@example.org today. Pastor Greg is pointing out how to call on God in our time of need. We go to second Kings chapter 7 to the time of Elisha the prophet we see what happens now as we turn to our text it. Second Kings chapter 7 I'm read verses one through nine. View and you can read along. Of course, and I would be reading by the way, from the new living translation, so Elisha, the prophet appears on the scene and he says, verse one share this message from the Lord is of the Lord says. By this time tomorrow in the markets of Samaria 5 quarts of fine flour will cause only half an ounce of silver, 10 quarts of barley grain will cause only half an ounce of silver, the officer assisting the king said to the men of God, this couldn't happen for the Lord open up the windows of heaven.
Elisha said you'll see it happen.
But you will not be able to eat any of it. Now the story shifts.
There were four men with leprosy sitting at the entrance of the city gates. Why should we sit here waiting to die. The asked one another will starve. If we stay here.
I will starve up we go back in the city so we might as well going to surrender to the Syrian army if they let us live so much the better. But if they killed us while we would've died anyway.
So that evening we went out to the camp of the Syrians, but no one was there for the Lord because the whole army of Syria to cure the clatter of speeding chariots and the galloping of horses and the sound of a great army approaching and they said the king of Israel as part of the Hittites and the Egyptians to attack us and they panicked and fled into the night abandoning their tents or horses or donkeys and everything else and they fled for their lives so the leopards arrived at the ends of the They went from one tent to another eating drinking wine carrying out silver and gold and clothing and hiding it.
Finally they said to each other hate this is not right. This is a damn good news and were not sharing it with anyone and we wait until morning some terrible calamity will certainly fall on us, let's go tell the people at the palace. Therefore, what is going tell the king's household. So we've already identified the problem was sent. It was idolatry. It was a fact that Israel had abandoned God hears the promise. The promise was God was going to change things. Elisha said that food was going to be a portable next day in the king's aide says that's not even possible. He says in verse two. Even if the Lord open up the windows of heaven that couldn't happen and then Elisha shoots back will tell you what you'll see it happen. But you personally will not be any other and so here's what it comes down to this man was willing to believe God's solution and it was a spiritual solution and God is told us to call upon him in the day of trouble, but this guys a will not not a will work. I just refuse to believe and unify the way it's not a bad thing to be skeptical, but unbelief is different. Unbelief says I choose to not believe what God says in his word know that is simply not true and that this man was doing. He was simply full of unbelief and I'll tell you what he was 11.
Six says it's impossible to please God without faith. For anyone that comes to him must believe that he has and is a rewarder of those that sincerely see If you want this relationship with God.
You need to come in faith in the Bible is replete with stories of men and women who had their lives transformed because they reached out and believing faith and took God at his word. You God can do some pretty amazing things and that brings us to the people that God used to bring the message about we looked at the problem Israel was facing. We've looked at the promise of provision. So who did the Lord called to bring this message to the people he chose for leopards for hard for us to understand how significant that what's you see a leper was a man or woman who had an incurable disease.
They were a person that was experiencing a slow death. There they lost the ability to feel and sense pain and and what they had was highly contagious and so they were quarantined they were isolated and if a leper was out and about. They had to cry out to any person coming near the unclean. So everyone kept their distance from lepers effective you were a leper.
Your only other friends would be yellow leopards, so God says that's a who can I use a Harold this message. I know all choose leper's chemical and so these lepers going to. This can and in the here's the reason I think what you know life pretty bad for us and what happens, it can't get much worse than a dynamite or what.
And we are really hungry now we stay here in the wilderness will die, but you don't go to the camp of the Syrians. Maybe the be sympathetic toward us and throw some table scraps of 11 meal. Maybe they'll kill us to what is a matter were gonna die anyway. What are we gonna lose to the governor, the camp of the Syrians and not only are they not just from table scraps. The Syrians have fled and there's food everywhere but why did the Syrians flee because they heard the noise of an approaching army in the Syrian They thought the Israelites had hooked up with some allies to drive them out of there can and so they fled. Now this is a great example of how God can work both naturally and supernaturally at the same time because what happened was God supernaturally third out the Syrians with the noise of an army. What was the noise of the Army was an illusion or a trip by God, no God just allowed the Syrians to get a glimpse behind the veil of the spiritual arm because around us right now we have an army of angels and there are also demons present as well.
If we can see behind the scenes to the supernatural realm and certainly not at this very moment it would blow our minds frankly probably freak us out a little bit am reminded of that story and second Kings six were Elisha's with his servant, and the Syrian army is approaching two apprehend them in the servants sees the approaching army and he cries out to the prophet, and he says I'm afraid analyzes the same and don't be afraid for their more on our side.
Then there are arm bears and then Elisha prayed Lord open his eyes that he may see the Lord open the servant size and when he looked up he saw the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire, all you see we have more on our side they have on their and did you know that the Bible says the angel of the Lord encamps around those that fear. The Bible also tells is it angels are ministering spirits sent to minister to those who are the heirs of salvation Hebrews 114 United States.
While I have some pretty big problems. Father enough angels to go around absolutely because Daniel 710 tells us that there are thousands and thousands of angels all over 100 million angels doing the bidding of God so that I would do the job but to think so. The Lord supernaturally cleared out the Syrians but then he led the lepers naturally God works both openly and secretly, towards an angel of the Lord did not come to the lepers and save a lepers over here. There's free food now know that there the Lord drove all the Syrians away. Meanwhile, the lepers are just sent another talking with each other and you know what drove them to that can hunger the sum as simple as wanting to get a meal.
Have you ever found yourself in the middle of the will of God.
When you were doing a rather mundane thing. I suggest to you that you might be surprised to hear me say this, but I suggest to you that the will of God is not always easy to discern and anyone that says they always know the will of God.
I don't think you're being completely honest, I don't always know the will of God. Most of my life. Quite honestly is a Christian is one of faith, whereby read scripture I pray for wisdom.
I make decisions and act on them and I hope I'm in this well I hope that's not a disappointment to you. I don't know if you thought that every morning God woke me up and spoke to me audibly good morning Greg, here is your mission, should you decide to accept 145. The will be amending Joel at the gas station pumping gas across the street from harvest Christian Fellowship. Your mission, should you decide to accept it is to share the gospel with him. This message will disrupt in five second check didn't think DD thinks date being the six that was a message instructing here's the way it really works. Greg's right along in his car and he's out of gas in the idea like lasagna.
Greg says must get gas now I pull over to the gas station. I'm standing there pumping away and I look over and there's some guy with a house gone, here are you doing good. What you and Joachim Greg we start talking all of a sudden I realize divine appointment. See that's outward to me.
Most of the time. So were looking for visions and were looking for angels and were looking for pillars of fire and audible voices and meanwhile God saying you know what I have opportunity for you right now if you'll just pay attention you'll need to both supernaturally and naturally, but for the most part the Christian life is one of faith. We study his word.
You pray for direction you apply its principles any go out and do the right thing. That's our objective and that's going to do practical instruction.
Pastor Greg Laurie about remaining faithful in our walk with God and letting him lead us along the way and Pastor Greg will have more insight for us in just a moment before today's addition of a new beginning wraps up. But listen, if you missed any part of what Pastor Greg Broadus today. You can catch up by going online to harvest.org just look for the title good news in a bad world.
And then it's a real joy to have children's author Sally Lloyd Jones with us today were making available two of her books right now near and babies carry along Bible. Both are full of biblical truths and practical encouragement for kids and Sally unit with school starting up in the fall when things getting back to normal or some kind of new normal.
How can your resources near and babies carry along Bible helped lay a foundation for young kids that have been justice unsettles his parents have been during this whole pandemic.
That's a great question like, I mean I think in some ways we all need the same thing when role adjusting to this new normal in their affairs that went Napa for you, even just getting used to not wearing a mask when we used to have to get used to wearing a mask and I we don't wear a mask and so it's very unsettling and for me I just think what comes an adult and comes a child town and its taking your eyes off the thing that scary and putting it back on God, who is so much greater than anything that we could be afraid of, and to keep remembering I have a father who loves me and he so powerful and he's good and he loves me.
So even if you have something that you repeat in your head when you get scared like God I'm feelings get help me.
I think giving children something simple like that that they can do so that when they scanned, they have something they can say or remember the so good.
We need to plant those truths in their little hearts and Sally's resources are full of the kind of truth. That's why we want to make available near about the closeness of God based on Psalm 139 and babies carry along Bible so the little ones can have their own Bible with the built-in carrying handle containing 10 of their favorite Bible stories will send both books your way to thank you for your donation and investment in keeping Pastor Greg's teaching coming your way each day here on the new beginning, so contact us today at a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call 1-800-821-3300. You can call us anytime 24 seven at 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org when next time. Pastor Greg continues his message called good news in a bad world before go for today. Pastor Greg comes back to wrap up this way. Pastor Chuck Smith. I remember a time. I had lunch with him and I said I Chuck.I have a question for you. If an older child for talking to a younger Chuck of all these years of knowing the Lord of walking with the Lord. What would you tell yourself as a young man is older men. What would you say this is what you need to remember Chuck judges. I would say hold your carts as it that's it. Yes, hold your corpse so I said when you say hold your course you mean just keep doing what you're doing to try hold your course and I thought you know that's what we all need to be doing right now we need to hold our quarters pulled the corners. Sometimes it's easier sometimes it's harder sometimes it's uncertain sometimes it's more clear that Judge shall live by faith and keep moving forward. The commitment you may go on and things really to a new beginning. Greg Laurie podcast made possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God sign up for daily devotions and learn how to become a harvest partner harvest.org