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March 26, 2020 12:04 pm
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The following message from Pastor Greg Laurie is made possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God, to find out how to know God personally go to know God.org KNOW know God.org would you do me a favor sure this message was someone who needs to hear it today master Greg will reward so Jesus is free from our chain. There's even more to the story is the rational part of the story.
Here's a picture of the slain Lord Jesus comes in this one is a portable mouse for you wherever you want me to go to Cornell what goes on. No adult was 10 so long beginning beginner message based on the life of Esther, just a moment before we get started looking ask you to help us quiet our hearts and others. There's so much to worry about our world right now. Help us focus where we should you do, there's a new words that have entered our vocabulary because of COBIT 19 words like pandemic shelter in place quarantine visas up in a part of our vocabulary. But no, they are if you would've told me that markets would be depleted of supplies and and that we would be asked to stay at home and that I would be among the most foldable because well I guess I'm technically elderly. I was 67 years old.
I was at home in your like an alarm is door a proper but it's happening it's real. This is a pandemic.
And we gotta work together as Americans. The CDC is giving us guidelines that are therefore our own protection so we can get through this together.
But listen I want to say something to you. I think you should be practical and observing the guidelines given to you by the Centers for Disease Control, like washing your hands, maintaining good distance between people so we can get over the hump of this thing.
But here's what I want to say don't worry but pray.
The Bible says don't worry about anything, pray about everything. It doesn't say don't think about these things, but it does say don't worry about them. You know, worry has no value whatsoever, worry actually will deplete you not help you worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength is understanding the message of you here right now it's a message I gave up before all of this happened so there might be references in this message that that don't seem to fit in the time were in right now but I just want you to know that you're the harvest we care about you were here for you want to continue to minister to you during this time, and I would like to also mention to you that were doing special services every firstname.lastname@example.org and work simply calling it Harvest at Home so you can login and watch it and we have multiple showings throughout the day and then you can watch it again through the week so tune in the harvest.org this Sunday and watch Harvest at Home and do me a favor let somebody else know that were out there offering hope. Here's what we want to do it harvest we want to offer Christ in the midst of the crisis.
We really do.
And again, more encouragement is available right email@example.com well, let's dig into God's word. Pastor Greg takes us to the book of Esther to discover that we are chosen sons and daughters of the King that when we last left Esther a bad moon was rising, the villain of the story came in emerges on the scene and now he has come into power. As you recall, the king is put him as second in command and not only that but the king is given to him in his signet ring that would be like giving someone your credit card or giving them your passwords. Payment had access to all the power of the king, and he hatches this wicked plot to eradicate the Jewish people from the face of the earth.
Why was we discovered together. Haman was an avowed enemy of Israel descendent from the Amalekites king. A gag was spared in the egg Haggai were a race of people, and Haman wasn't a gag. I took he had a blood feud with Israel, and of course our good friend Mordechai and Esther were Jews so they would be on his hitless now with this plan with the good Esther three starting in verse five when he came and saw that Mordecai would not bow down or show him respect. He was filled with rage. She had learned of Mordecai's nationality, so he decided it was not enough to lay hands on Mordechai alone and said he looked for a way to destroy all the Jews throughout the entire empire of Xerxes that would be that person. Empire so he's in power. He wants to wipe the Jewish people out and he gets the Kings approval so more chaotic attaches wind of this plot and so he being a government official himself sends word to Esther saying you've got to do something.
Meanwhile, Esther is living in the literal lap of luxury there in the palace of the king, she was included in isolated and knew nothing about the plight of her people.
So Mordechai is standing outside of the walls of the palace cupboard in sackcloth.
He's in morning. Because of this threat against the Jews in an someone notices him and says a Esther your cousins outside not dress very well. He looks pretty unhappy. Jesus will send him some new clothes and and they send them think will talk about missing the point altogether and so now Mordechai needs to tell Esther what's really coming down. That brings us to Esther chapter 4. Look at verse 13, Mordecai said to Esther, don't think for a moment that because you're in the palace, you will escape when all the other Jews are killed if you keep quiet at a time like this.
Deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from of some other place.
Would you and your relatives will die, but who knows perhaps you were made. Queen for such a time as this very interesting statement than Mordechai makes to Esther. Here's what we need to remember that God does not need us. Sometimes Evergreen was a God meets us the reason God created humanity is because he was lonely up there in heaven wanted some companionship nonsense God doesn't need anything or anyone but having said that, it is true that God wants us it is true that God loves us. It is true that he longs for relationship and friendship with us. Now here's a question. Can God reach lost people without us. Yes, but does he want to reach lost people without us know because the Bible says, how will they hear without a preacher and how they preach unless they are sent. How beautiful are the feet of those that bring good tidings of peace. So here's what Mordechai said Esther girl listen if you don't act on this God will raise up somebody else. But don't think you're off the hook here because of you will die along with the rest of your fellow Jews, but did it ever occur to you that you are where you are because God put you there. We did it ever occur to you that cranky neighbor that that difficult to deal with coworker other person the you come into contact with on a regular basis could be your mission field. Did you ever stop and think about praying for the person by name and praying for an opportunity to engage them in a conversation to lead them to Christ.
And so she was chosen by God and we been chosen by God that brings us to Ephesians pop over there really quick.
Ephesians chapter 1. Why did God choose us how many of you believe you been chosen by God raise her hand up. That's good. Why do you think God shows you here's the answer in Ephesians 1 verse four just as he chose us before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and without blame before him in love, having predestined us to Dobson. You might underline those words adoption to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, heard the story of two brothers were signing up for Little League.
They were to write down their birthdates, which they did, but the coach noticed they were both born on the same year, but they were born two months apart when I'm a little confused about you do brothers how can you be brothers will be born in the same year. A few months apart in one of the boys that were adopted go to know which one of you was adopted. They both said in unison. We don't know what you mean you don't know how can you not know which one of you was adopted visible. Our dad said to us he loved us both so much. He couldn't remember which one was adopted. I told that story to my wife and she said how good a father be so stupid, you're missing the point. It's because the father love the boy, oh and we been adopted into God's family. Notice the verse says in verse five.
According to his good pleasure that were predestined to adoption the pleasure of his will.
God is happy to have done this for us. You know when you have kids, how many of you have children, Regina Ricky, how many of you have grandchildren vision. It's different when you have grandchildren is not, you know, because the role of a parent is to raise a child to be responsible to teach them what right and wrong.
Hard to to help them develop a work ethic. Most importantly, to to show them how to have faith in Jesus Christ. The role of a grandparent is to fill the child was sugar give them toys. Have fun with them I'm exaggerating, but the point is that a grandparent can be more indulgent that a parent can be.
It's sort of the reward we get for parenting and as a punishment on our children for the misery they brought us as we return their child to them full of sugar right but you know I do things for my grandkids because I want to because I know always of the parent to do your homework go to bed.
Brush your teeth so I argument would say who wants to go get ice cream and buy a toy what they like that idea.
That's my good pleasure.
I enjoyed it because I enjoy seeing them have a good time for you know them enough responsibilities and it's not like I only fill them with sugar. We have wonderful talks together about a lot of wonderful things but we have good food, what were doing it as well.
You know, but the idea is that this is my good pleasure. And it's God's good pleasure when he adopted us into his family anything about that adoption. I don't know about you but I was adopted. That's right got my name Lori I never knew my biological father effective found out later in life that the guy my mom told me was my dad was in fact not my dad at all and and so I did strike down my biological father. Years later, after my mother died. The problem was he had senility was setting in. And he didn't remember my mother. You didn't really know why wasn't so it was a little underwhelming to say the least. But the one man of all of my mother's husband's and she had seven and a lot of boyfriends in between the one man that she did me like a father should treat a son was a gentleman name Oscar Lori and he cared for me and he disciplined me and he tried to teach me right from wrong and it was heartbreaking to me when I was a little boy was taken away from him because I always regarded him as my dad one of my great joys in life. As I was able to go back to the East Coast where he lived, and track them down to my young adult years when I was just starting to pastor and I was able to share the gospel with them and leave him to Christ, so that was a great joy to say thank you for what you did for me.
And now, let me sort of return the favor little bit but the Lord put that altogether. But to be adopted is a great thing because you really chosen your chosen by the person by the parents and God has chosen us to be his adopted children.
I mean, the Bible uses different pictures to describe it like a slave out of the open market and that's what the Bible says you've not received the spirit of bondage like a slave but one of adoption where why you cry, Abba, father to. Here's a picture here in the slave market you're chained up on no one's bidding on you. No one wants you and Jesus comes and says I'll take this one NLP retail is even bargained for you your so grateful to a big purchase. He looks like a bill nice master pieces of Your new master affordable master. I'll follow you wherever you want me to go okay good, let's go to the courthouse wife, because I'm now adopting you as my child. That's what God did for us. It took us out of the slavery of sin and adopted us as his own child. That's why we have so much to be thankful for.
We were chosen by him and hear something amazing. Look at verse six of Ephesians 1 to the praise of the glory of his grace by which he made his accepted in the beloved pastor Greg will present the second half of today's message just a moment pastor Greg. It was a negative encouragement to hang on to it for minds are drifting toward the issues we see around us right now. Yes I would say it's good to be up on the latest news uncovered 19 but don't spend all of your time watching the news or reading newsfeeds on your phone you need to be thinking about what the word of God says let me share a verse with you from Isaiah 43 to this is the Lord himself speaking to us when you pass of the waters. I'll be with you when you pass of the rivers will not sweep over you when you walked to the fire. You will not be burned, the flames will not set you ablaze. Listen to this Christian friend.
You are indestructible until God is done with you.
He's going to get you through this.
So look to him. Listen to him them. So glad that you've taken the time to tune into a new beginning. We have some more hopeful word for you now from the word of God. I want to tell you something that may blow your mind right now. I'll start with the question how many of you believe that God the father loves God the son, raise your hand if you believe you love the sun okay now here's something I want to tell you, God the father in heaven loves you as much as he loves Jesus Christ his son. Did you know that. So don't ever doubt that God loves you is a will. What is that based on what that's based on the statement of the Lord himself and what is the real Lord's prayer found in John chapter 17 verse 22.
He says of the father, may they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me. Look, I stand accepted in the beloved. The Bible says what is Amy I stand in Christ. With the I'm not worthy.
I don't deserve it. Never deserved it. You'll never be worthy. Bottom line, God shows you God for gave you God adopted you and you stand in Christ love as much as the father loves his own son on the cross.
God treated Jesus as if he had personally committed every sin ever committed by every person who would ever believe though we committed none of them let me say that again on the cross, God the father treated Jesus as if he had personally committed every sin ever committed by every person who would ever believe though he never committed any of them. That's called the doctor and the substitution listen.
He died in our place, our substitute. God punished Jesus as though he lived your life that we might become the righteousness of God in him. So he gave his life for my life and that is why I have this position with God. Jesus lived to the age of 33 years old. Jesus could have done everything came to do literally over the weekend beginning just ascended from heaven died in the cross rose from the dead done deal. You're all good, but he walked among us as a man for all those years before he began his public ministry, which was relatively short, why did he do it because he lived a perfect life. He was righteous in every way, and he passed every single test, 33 years old. My granddaughter Stella and Lucy were talking to me a while ago and they said popout. That's what they call me how old do you want to be when you're in heaven and people ask how will we be in heaven is like your because of it.
If you make it to 99 you want to be 99 in heaven. Probably not right. You want to be three in heaven. Probably not.
So I said I don't know I say 33. That's a good age and I said, by the way, that was the age of Jesus than my granddaughter Stella said what I was the age of my daddy Christopher who is in heaven. Our son Christopher went to be with the Lord when he was 33 years old and then she thought about it for a moment said there must've been a reason that that was interesting. And then Lucy said to me, I want to be too when I'm in heaven.
I said you want to be to what he wanted me to. She said because I miss the old me that's Lucy install in a nutshell right there. Those comments are not trying to be a psychologist here for a moment, but I don't know, dad.
You had already told you I didn't have a dad side. No point of reference. To speak of except for Oscar Lori which was pretty short-lived. Actually about maybe when you think of a father you would a distant father and uncommunicative father.
Maybe a cold father. Then again, maybe what is super affectionate father, a loving father and nurturing, supportive father. I don't know but whatever father you had on this earth.
I just want you to know that your father in heaven is better even if you had an awesome day and maybe you had yeah maybe you had a horrible dad. I don't know. But your father in heaven is perfect.
And he loves you and you been made, accepted in him. Listen, you are here on this earth for a reason God has a plan for your life. God put Esther where she was for a reason. We need to find that reason and we need to do what we can to bring honor and glory for the Lord is two things we can do with our lives. We can chase after the empty promises of this world and just waste and many do they waste their entire life, you can say I want God's will. I want to discover God's plan. I want to take the position is given to me.
Whatever it is wherever it is and leverage it and use it for his glory. Let me close with this. How do you know if your chosen by God will as I said earlier, believe in Jesus Christ and you prove that you are. I would assume everybody here would already be a Christian but I don't think we should always assume that it's possible there someone here who was never asked Jesus Christ to forgive them of their sin's possible that one of you is here at this study in your thinking.
I'm not really sure if my sin is forgiven. I mean III want to think that but I'm not sure about what I would like to be. Listen, remember this, Jesus died on the cross for your sin, and he rose again from the dead and now he stands at the door of your life, and he knocks and he says if you hear his voice and open the door he will come in doesn't say it's all predetermined. You have nothing to say about it.
You can open the door or you could not open the door. Jesse could be resisted.
If on an irresistible grace is irresistible grace.
That is why the Bible says harden not your heart if you can hear his voice, so you have a choice in the matter.
A big choice, but if you want to prove your chosen by God, I urge you to believe in Jesus Christ right now and if you're not sure that you do. I like to give you an opportunity to do as we bar had some prayer. It's overhead right everybody praying father, thank you for loving us so much that you sent Jesus Christ to die on the cross for each of our sins, he stood in the gap for each and every one of us the Lord we are so thankful for that. And then he rose again from the dead and now Lord, we know that you offer your forgiveness to anyone who would believe so. I pray not for anybody here anybody watching or listening wherever they are, that they don't know you yet. Help them to come to you.
Help them to believe in you. Now we ask Greg Laurie important were to prayer today here on a new beginning.
And if you like to make that kind of change in your relationship with the Lord today. Pastor Greg will come back in just a moment to help you do that, we stay with us and if you'd like to preserve this encouragement for the future. You can get a CD or MP3 of today's message when you contact us here at a new beginning just mention the title.
Why God chose you. Our phone number is 1-800-821-3300 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org yesterday. We have a new edition of the Bible were making available right now. It's called the new believers Bible but really is for every believer who wants some help getting the most from God's word and while we really need to get the most from God's word. Right now the way that we really do Dave and you know there's a lot of very comforting us sections in the new believers Bible. I was just looking at it the other day and a whole section on how the Christian is indestructible until God is done with them. Here's the deal. There's like reading tracks in the new believers Bible you read one note in it takes you do a passage and I give you some commentary and some application then it takes you do another passage then do another so in a way the title new believers Bible well and want to see. It's misleading, but it doesn't encompass everything. This is this is the Bible for everyone filled with hundreds and hundreds of notes that will strengthen you and your faith will bring encouragement to you and listen. This is a great Bible to do devotions with with your family. I know that's intimidating to a devotional of my family will just turn to the new believers Bible get on one of these reading tracks right go with the subject through the verses of Scripture and you just read that read the Scripture and then talk about it as a family is a great way to get in the word and it's something that will help you a great deal. I really feel very strongly that every one of our listeners should get a copy of this brand-new version of the new believers Bible old and New Testament into their hands and start using it you will be blessed as a result, because nothing comforts us. Nothing strengthens us. Nothing stabilizes us like the word of God and listen to this. I want to give it to you for your gift of any size that so much I want you to have it. There is a considerable amount of cost and every one of these Bibles, but I want to send it to you for whatever you can send it was because I want you to have it but I would ask you to be generous.
If you can be and help to support us financially because our objective care at a new beginning is to bring light in the darkness. It's to bring Christ in the crisis that were collectively as a nation facing a crisis and we need the word of God like never before. Help me with that order your copy of the new believers Bible send what you can to support us financially and I hope that it will be a blessing to you. Now that's right and it's the full Bible, both old and new Testaments with study hopes for every believer, even though it's called the new believers Bible.
In fact, if you request this new Bible right away will include our resource called start to follow.
It reinforces the seven lessons on the basics of the Christian faith, including why church is important, yes, even online. For instance, at harvest.org how to discover God's will, and how the Bible is our users guide for life, especially in times like this and will send you both of these new resources to thank you for your gift of any size so get in touch right away and mentioned the new believers Bible writers had a new beginning.
Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call 1-800-821-3300 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org Pastor Greg or somebody listening right now knows they need to make a change in their relationship with God. They can do that right now. Kathy really can and I think some people might say what what, pray with why listening to the radio, absolutely because guess what Jesus Christ is with you right where you are right now if you want Jesus Christ to come in your life and forgive you of your sin if you want to invite them into your life. Why don't you pray this prayer after me right now.
In fact, I would even encourage you to pray it out loud.
Let's pray Lord Jesus, I want you to come into my life and forgive me of my sin. I think you for dying for me on the cross and then rising again from the dead. I choose to follow you from this moment forward be my Savior be my Lord be my God, and be my friend.
Thank you for loving me and calling me and forgiving me in Jesus name I pray, amen. The listen is you just pray that prayer maybe you felt something emotional. I've had people write me and tell me of how they prayed with me at the end of our radio broadcasting. Tears came down their cheeks or they felt a great joy to be one of those things happen you are and then again maybe you felt nothing. Listen irregardless of how you feel right now I want you to know a fact if you prayed that prayer and minute Jesus Christ has come into your life. Why no I say that because the Bible 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 that first doesn't say so you can think you have eternal life. For hope of God's in a really good mood. You may have eternal life notes as you can know it.
And if you just pray that prayer and minute prices come in your life. So let me see the you welcome to God's family and would like to help you get started in living your new life with the Lord would like to send you some free follow-up materials called our new believers growth packet just get in touch and will send a packet right out to you as I said, it's free of charge. Here's the mailing address, a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call 1-800-821-3300. That's 1-800-821-3300 or just go online to harvest.org and click on know God is the first effort to bring someone to church.
It does not get know the Lord is a big difference this year were going to do it all online. That's life. Easter is coming here how your family to your phone wherever you want to view it just goes to harvest.org to find out more, let's work together to reach the largest group of people we have never been able to make contact with this coming Easter harvest Easter on my Pastor Greg advances the story will contrast the two men Mordechai and Heyman want an honorable man. The other evil man and will see how he reaps what he so next time you begin possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God sign up for pastor grades free daily email, firstname.lastname@example.org