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The Plot Thickens - I

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
March 23, 2020 12:04 pm

The Plot Thickens - I

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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March 23, 2020 12:04 pm

It’s not easy to maintain a godly value system in the midst of an ungodly culture. And Monday on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us learn some valuable lessons from a young woman named Esther. At a dangerous moment in history, she stepped forward courageously.

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The following message from Pastor Greg Laurie is made possible by some special friends of this ministry. Pastor Greg wanted to see a special word of thanks to the harvest partners who make this ministry possible next time your online check out Pastor Greg's personal blog@blog.greglaurie.com Bible does not be as old as the Bible is only focusing on the outside and the gluttony of the today on a new beginning. Pastor Greg Lori takes his master have godly priorities when surrounded by an ungodly culture, put God first of all things in her beauty as well as you are on the outside begin our message based on the life of Esther, just a moment before we get started, let me ask you to help us quiet our hearts are so much to worry about in our world right now. Help us focus where we should 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 and you're like an alarm is door a proper but it's happening it's real. This is a pandemic and we go to 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. So understanding the message you're going to hear 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 sunday@ourwebsiteharvest.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.

In fact, is available right now@harvest.org once again to today study in the book of Esther as Pastor Greg begins by reflecting on the life of Billy Graham. A lot is been said, and rightly so, about Billy Graham in this life in his legacy that I've read columns written by Christian leaders.

You know, applauding Billy celebrating Billy and that's all great but you know the greatest attribute.

You can pay the Billy Graham is just to what Billy did and wouldn't really do what it was all said and done. Yes, he was a chaplain. The president's and and yes he was an influential leader, but really what it was all said and done what Billy did was he share the gospel and he invited people to Christ.

That's what he did that so we all need to be doing that for were committed to crusade evangelism through harvest America on the so-called harvest and other things that we do were always looking for those new opportunities to bring the gospel to people who have not heard it before. You know I was with Billy once, and I asked him if he had any regrets in life and he said yes inviting you to come with no events and they should have II really custard him a lot. It was always questions questions when I was around about them.

So I said Billy you have any regrets. He says yes I have a regret. He said I was at the prayer breakfast in Washington DC. This is when Pres. Kennedy was in office.

Any Billy spoken afterwards. The president said Billy I would like you to ride with me back to the White House have something I want to talk to you about Billy was very sick. He had the flu. He said Mr. Pres., I would love to, but I'm afraid I would give you what I have. Maybe we can get together at another time and have that discussion.

President agreed and shortly after Pres. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas Texas. Billy says I always regret that I didn't take that ride with the president and talk to him. You know, there are strategic opportunities that come in life.

The drop in your lap. It's up to you what you do with that and were looking at an extraordinary life of a woman named Hadas better known as Esther, who put it all on the line when push came to shop God puts Billy on this earth for a purpose. I think he fulfilled it beautifully. God is put you on this earth for a purpose to use put all of us where we are for such a time as this that you can find that purpose and dedicate your life to the glory of God.

Or you can ignore it and chase after the empty promises of this world, it's really your choice, but the book of Esther is about how God placed the right woman in the right place at the right time, and she saved the Jewish people. A.B. Simpson, no relation to Homer said God is preparing his heroes.

When the opportunity comes he can fit them into their places in a moment in the world will wonder where they came from" is not a great statement.

Did it ever occur to you that you could be one of God's heroes, God is equipping and preparing you for something that I had for such a time as this were always trying to get out of the situation were in other circumstances, written or maybe a relationship wherein and maybe there's a place for that.

But then there is also the recognition that God is in control of our lives. Now let's pick up are we last left off King Xerxes. The ruler of the mighty Persia put on a six month feast and that is one long party and the drink from the house and the food to the king was flaunting all of his wealth and his power is bullying and I think there may have been an ulterior motive for Xerxes because according to history. We know on the heels of this PC mounted a large-scale invasion of Greece. Maybe he was buttering the people up getting them ready for this big battle that was ahead and sort of saying to them, he'd check out all of our cool stuff all of our power.

Many are on the right team, so I hope you're going to back me on this because in attendance at this grade fees for all of the leaders of Persia because it was a far-flung Empire so the king waited to bring out his crown jewel, the pice de rsistance, the beautiful queen varsity so he gave the order Novosti to come out and make sure she wears her crown thoughts to get the word she says I'm not doing it now. Some commentators as I pointed I believe maybe the implication is the king said tell varsity to come out wearing only her crown mother was nut her clothes started displaying even flaunt her before the others, but even if that's not the case. Clearly he was treating her more like an object look at my awesome wife Linda, my hot wife. My trophy wife. Don't you envy me look it up powerful.

I am varsity wasn't going along with the program and the king was really embarrassed by this and does so is 8K benefit me and you cannot let this stand. You cannot let your wife get away with this because if you do will never hear the end of it at home.

Our wives anything Monica to do what you want queen varsity didn't do with the king wanted.

You gotta get rid of her and throw her out and remove her crown. Now why did the king go along with this, the answer is found in Esther 110 on the 70 of the fees when King Xerxes was in high spirits because of the wine list, paraphrase, he was drunk as a skunk, and when you're drunk you say and do stupid thing right and not for the Bible warns us against drunkenness. It tells us in Ephesians. Don't be drunk with wine, but be filled with the spirit of the Bible also tells us in Proverbs 20 verse one wine as a marker and strong drink is a brawler and whoever is led astray by them is not wise.

You know, having been raised in an alcoholic home and seeing what alcoholism does. I can't think of one good thing I've ever seen this come out of drinking but I can see a lot of bad things and so I have a revolutionary thought for you all to consider. Don't get drunk about that. Don't get drunk, here's another of our pleasure. Some don't know about that right there is another revolutionary thought. If you don't think you will get drunk. So King Xerxes was drunk and apparently he was one of those mean drunks. Some people when they come under the influence of alcohol get very angry and violent and that was the king, so he dismisses varsity now. After this he goes out and leads his army in the battle against Greece and he was humiliated and he returns to the kingdom, and always lonely King this is queen varsity now he had a harem okay get a lot of women that snap his fingers and a woman would be there, but but apparently the king wasn't satisfied with just sexual pleasure. He wanted love. He wanted a companion.

He wanted some of that actually cared about an the king wanted to clean and so he decided that he was going to find that queen somewhere in his kingdom. Now I know is we hear the story. It's not a very spiritual story give a pagan king with a harem for women who fires his queen and now he wants a new Greener same.

How could God work in a situation like this, with effective God was working. One thing to consider if queen varsity had been in power when he came and patched his wicked plot to exterminate the Jews. It is very unlikely she would've protested. So God had to get the right woman in the right place at the right time and that woman was a beautiful young Esther. So the king says I need a queen which is shows that God is in control, God's in control of Kings and Queens and Prime Minister's and presidents. The Bible says that the heart of the king is in the hand of the Lord, and he guides it wherever he wanted to go. Pastor Greg will present the second half of today just a moment. Pastor Greg it was a negative encouragement to hang on to our 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 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 want to the fire. You will not be burned, the planes 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 to 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. So the message goes out to the massive kingdom of Persia, that the king wanted to queen. If this is happening today. No question. It would be a reality show right and so the word went out at all these girls apply the ancient historian Josephus believe there was 400 contestants and these girls had to be virgins there to go through an extensive makeover and a team of stylists there that would do their hair, makeup and help them to become as appealing as possible to the king and then the winner would be chosen to be the Queen and that's all we pick our story up Esther chapter 2 dropped on the verse five and let's read together.

Note the fortress of Sue so there was a certain Jew named Marta KIA, son of Jared, he was from the tribe of Benjamin was a descendent of Kish and she may I his family had been exiled from Jerusalem by to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar, along with King Jehoiada Kim of Judah and many others. This man had a beautiful and lovely young cousin named Hadassah who was also called Esther what her father or mother died more decay. I adopted her into his family and raised her as his own daughter. There so standing out from all of these gorgeous Persian women is a beautiful Jewish girl named Hadassah.

She was an orphan adopted by more decay.

I saw he became a father figure to her. Most likely your aspirations in life would've been to marry a nice Jewish boy a raise a family. Serve the Lord and live in relative obscurity, but God had another plan for Esther for such a time as this. Reminding us that there are no coincidences in our life. Only Providence no coincidences but Providence what is Providence mean. Remember, it means to see ahead of time. God sees what's coming, he sees it in detail. So he knew exactly what was in the future and he was getting Esther ready now. She was a gorgeous girl.

We know that because Esther 27 says now the young lady was beautiful of form and face.

There's two Hebrew words that are used or when is Haute and the other is to Quito.

It translates to hot check.

I'm not. I mean sister and I made that are permitted are completely she was she was a hot chick okay to put in vernacular gorgeous drop dead like wow but the thing about us. It's not just that which he was beautiful on the outside. She was also beautiful on the inside. You know there's so much emphasis put on girls today to be attractive and a lot of this is driven by social media. I read that plastic surgeries are at an all-time high right now because people actually want to look in real life. Like the book in Sophie's right, you know, when you take a shot of yourself or of pictures taken you of these filters that you can get from these absent. You can make yourself taller, thinner, you can change yourself and weld in the sum of that actually doesn't exist you go to a cosmetic surgeon think make me look like this and all that emphasis and you know all I have to lose weight and I have to appear a certain way and in the on all the women's magazines out there only support that I subscribed to quite a few of them, and I don't subscribe it. Here's the latest issue, here's an article in growing thicker hair read that later lose 8 pounds a week eating slimming cereal I get like that racist signs of aging.

Here's glamour spring fashion and beauty. What's next next level makeup skills. Sex without shame thing you see in these magazines. They promote immorality. So I was really shocked when they came across the latest cover of Vogue magazine and it says Queen Esther on doing what's right.

Check this out. I here's what's in this issue.

The value of virtue how the daily study of Scripture can help you grow spiritually in your journey 20 scriptures on how to have a better marriage and be faithful to your spouse Vogue magazine, and if you believe this is real. It's not real people. We made it all better graphics department mock this up, say, wouldn't it be cool if this was out there, but it's not out there that you never would see that on the cover of a women's magazine or any magazine 20 scriptures and how to have a better marriage to be faithful to your spouse you kidding me.

They encourage adultery. They encourage premarital sex even encourage abortion.

Oh my goodness what a contrast but here was this secular environment all about outward appearance and you know Esther was so gorgeous.

She fit in and even surpassed many of the beauties, but she got that inner beauty and the king took note of it. You know the Bible does not dam a girl being attractive. I think some people think now I just need to be playing for God's glory really is. Sometimes the questions that should Christian girls wear makeup, pay my responses. If the house needs painting may need little brush and maybe the roller. I don't know what kind you go girl. The Bible doesn't condemn a girl at dressing attractively. Esther was attractive. The woman of Proverbs 31 is commended for her attractiveness of Proverbs 31 talks about the beautiful clothing. The woman is wearing. That is all fine. Here's what the Bible is critical of only focusing on the outside and neglecting the inside that's the focus it's good to have the outside attractive as it can be but you want to be godly on the inside first Timothy 4/8 is physical training is of some value, but godliness is value for all things, holding promise for the present life and the life to come, then over in first Peter three from the new living translation.

It says don't be concerned about the outward beauty that depends on fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful close to the point don't make that your primary focus, but on the other hand, don't neglect it altogether. Okay, just find the balance because Jesus said don't be like the nonbelievers. All they think about is what they can eat whether going to drink what they're going to wear what you should seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added on to you put God first in all things and that inner qualities if you're a girl inner beauty as well as who you are on the outside so all of the beautiful women of Persia are paraded before King Xerxes and he chooses Esther to get Esther to verse 16. Esther was taken the King Xerxes at the Royal Palace and early winter on the seventh year of his reign, and they King loved Esther more than any of the other young women. He was so delighted with her studies at the royal crown on her head and cleared her queen instead of varsity. God was at work. Now this is a fairytale. It would end right here. Poor little girl becomes the Queen and they lived happily ever after, but this is not a fairytale.

This is a Bible story and Bible stories are true, their history and so here's what happened after that the plot thickens as Esther was made Queen. Her cousin Mordecai was made a counselor to the Queen and one day Mordecai uncovered a plot by two of the king's guards to kill him.

He revealed it to the king. The guards were arrested. They were executed and he was never rewarded for that right knowledge for that sin that happens in life sometimes is not, you know we do something for someone and we don't get the credit. Maybe it's your idea that someone else stole it. They got all the glory for it are at your workplace. You choose the path of honesty and integrity and you don't advance while the person who chose dishonesty and scheming in advance and you're saying this isn't fair, it's not right. Well Holland no buckaroo. It's not over till it's over, as were going to see in the book of Esther, how things played out in the big picture because, among other things, the book of Esther is about reaping what you sow good and bad.

Greg Lord good insight from our study today in the book of Esther as he said there's more to come here on a new beginning. But if you like to preserve the insight you heard today.

You can get a permanent copy of the study by calling us for the CD asked for the message called the plot thickens when you call 1-800-821-3300. That's 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org and at that website you can get an instant replay of today's message yesterday.

We have a new edition of the Bible where making available right now. It's called the new believers Bible but really is for every believer who want some help getting the most from God's word and where we really need to get the most from God's word right now. Don't worry yet. We really do Dave and the others 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, and it takes you do a passage and I give you some commentary and some application then it takes to 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's how 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 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 is 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. That's right and it's the full Bible, both old and new Testaments with study helps for every believer, even though it's called the new believers Bible. In fact, if you request this new bottle 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, 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 writer set a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call 1-800-821-3300 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org. Easter is the most hopeful time of year. Pastor Greg Laurie points on the pathway to eternal life. Jesus Christ came out of it empty to fill our inner foodie you know needs.

Hope this Easter season ring them to hear the good news. Pastor Greg special music asked that we as the perfect opportunity to bring someone to church that does not get to know the Lord.

82% of the uninsured are likely to attend church have a friend or coworker, neighbor or family member invites and here's the big difference this year to do it all online. That's right, Easter is coming to use your house your tablet to your phone wherever you want to view it is go to harvest.org to find out more, let's work together to reach the largest group of people we have ever been able to make contact with this coming Easter harvest Easter on line when at times impractical take away true studies in the book of Esther see how we can be ready to serve God in our lives for such a time as this. Join us next time you beginning and possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God sign up for pastor grades free daily email, devotions@harvest.org


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