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The Refreshing Power of Revival: Wake Up

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
November 19, 2021 3:00 am

The Refreshing Power of Revival: Wake Up

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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November 19, 2021 3:00 am

How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? God reaches people through people. God may want to reach someone you know . . . through you! And today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us be ready for that assignment. There’s nothing like helping someone meet Jesus and find eternal life! You’ll never forget it. The reward is worth the risk.

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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're listening to A New Beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God.

Visit our website and learn more about Harvest Partners at Are you willing to build bridges to people who are of a different race than you? Are you willing to build bridges to people who are just different than you? How are you going to reach them if you won't communicate with them? How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? God reaches people through people. God may want to reach someone you know through you. And today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us be ready for that assignment. There's nothing like helping someone meet Jesus and find eternal life. You'll never forget it.

The reward is worth the risk. This is the day, the day when life begins. And for some unknown reason, our natural response is, no, I was already awake. No, you weren't. Why is it that we deny it when we're sleeping?

Sometimes I'll watch television with my wife and she'll pick something that I don't find all that interesting, like some British baking show. And I'll fall asleep and she'll say, you were sleeping. I'll say, no, I wasn't, but I was because it was actually snoring. Have you ever fallen asleep and woken yourself up with your own snoring? What does it deal with us denying that we're actually asleep?

I don't know. But I know this one thing. You can be spiritually asleep. You can be spiritually asleep as a follower of Christ and a nation can be asleep as well. And I have some thoughts about our nation because I believe America needs to wake up spiritually. No question, God has blessed our nation in so many ways.

We sing about it, America, America, God shed His grace on thee. And I'm praying that God will send another spiritual awakening to our nation. Listen, we don't need to be woke. We need to be awake.

Let me say that again. We don't need to be woke. We need to be awake. Romans chapter 13 says it's all the more urgent.

You know how late it is. Time is running out so wake up because our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. And that's what I want to talk about in this message that I'm calling the refreshing power of revival. Now we hear that word revival thrown around a lot and you might wonder what is revival exactly.

I think we overly mystify this word and don't necessarily understand its actual meaning. Revival is just another word for refreshment or restoration or simply returning something to its original condition. The psalmist says in Psalm 85, 6, will you not revive us again that your people may rejoice in you?

And then Psalm 80 verse 19 says, restore us O Lord, let your face shine upon us that we may be saved. Revival is refreshment. Revival is being restored to original condition. You see a beat up old car maybe lying around in a junkyard. Someone buys it. They do body work on it. They repaint it. They drop a new engine in it. Put new tires and wheels on it. And you see it rolling down the road.

You can't believe it's the same car. That is called a restoration. You see a plant that's beginning to wither. You put some water on it and get it out in the sunshine and it comes back to life again. Or maybe you see someone that's just out working in the sun and you're exhausted. And you come and have a nice meal and drink some cool water and you're refreshed.

That is what I'm talking about. Being refreshed or restored again. A revival is when God's people come back to life again because they've been refreshed, they've been refilled, and they've been restored to their original condition. The church needs a revival. We need to be restored to original condition.

You might ask, what is original condition? It's the church of the first century. It's the church of the book of Acts. It's the church that turned their world upside down. We need to be more like that. The church needs a revival.

But our nation? Our nation needs a spiritual awakening. Revival is for believers.

Awakening is for non-believers. Revival for a believer is getting back to that first bloom of a love relationship with Jesus Christ. You know, sometimes when we've been walking with the Lord for a while, that passion begins to fade. That zeal begins to erode. And we don't have that excitement in walking with the Lord as we had before. All we want to have is longevity, but we don't want to sacrifice our passion as we walk with Christ.

I've been married 47 and a half years now, and there's a secret to a long and happy marriage. For Kathy and I, it goes back to our honeymoon. We decided to ride on pack mules in the Grand Canyon. And neither one of us had done this before, so we get on our little pack mules, and it's a very narrow little path with a sharp decline.

You don't want to fall off this little path. And Kathy was ahead of me in her pack mule. And as she was riding along, her pack mule stumbled a little bit, and she leaned down and whispered into the ear of the mule, that's once. I thought that was kind of weird, actually.

We went a little bit further. Her mule stumbled again. She leans forward and says into the ear of the mule, that's twice. That's twice?

What is this all about? And then finally, the mule stumbled again, and she pulled a pistol out of her purse. I didn't know she was packing a pistol. And she held it up to the head of the mule and fired, and the mule dropped to the ground. So I was shocked. I was outraged.

I couldn't believe she just shot this poor mule in the head. And I said, Kathy, why did you do that? That was wrong. She looked at me and said, that's once. Okay, this is a joke. This never happened. I just wanted to throw it in there.

Don't be traumatized by my story. But listen, we want to maintain that love relationship with Jesus Christ, and sometimes we walk away from it, and revival is getting back to it again. If you're taking notes, here's point number one. Revival is like the spark that starts the engine. Revival is like the spark that starts the engine.

Evangelist Billy Sunday once said, quote, they tell me a revival is only temporary, so is a bath, but it does you some good, end quote. You know, periodically we need that reboot. Periodically we need that refresh.

Periodically we need that bath. We need God to intervene, and we need to keep that fire burning. We need to keep fuel on that fire. Years ago I was in Virginia staying at a friend's cabin, and he told me, okay, now this cabin is heated by this little stove here and fireplace, so you have to always keep these flames going. And I said, okay, there's not central heating?

No. The whole cabin is heated by this fireplace and this stove, so you have to keep wood on the fire, and you just start with some kindling. I said, great, where do I buy kindling?

He goes, what's wrong with you? You don't buy kindling. You just go and pick it up off the ground. I said, I don't know what kindling is. Can you show me? I'm from California.

He's from North Carolina. So we're walking along the ground, and kindling is just little bits of branches and other things to start a fire with. And so he showed me, and I got the fire going, and the fire was working just fine. Well, the problem was it would fill with ash, and then you would pour the ash into a metal bucket that was kept on a concrete surface. And then when the embers died down, you threw out the ash, and then you started filling it up again, and that bucket filled up quickly. I'd get up in the middle of the night and put more wood on the fire and keep it going, and the bucket was filled to the top with ash. I thought, I've got to get rid of this, but I'm sure the embers are cool now.

It's been quite a long time. So I went outside. It's very dark.

It's very cold. I'm standing on the porch of this cabin, and I throw the ash out, and along with the ash comes these little burning embers. It's like everything went into slow motion, and one burning ember goes over into the grass area, and it starts a fire. Another ember goes over here among dried leaves. Another fire starts. Another ember goes over there. Another fire starts. I just about had a heart attack. I run out, and I'm picking these embers up with my hands and throwing them up on the gravel driveway, and I go to look for a bucket, and they had the smallest bucket.

It was like the size of an ice bucket you have in a hotel. I'm filling it with water, running out, trying to put out all these little fires. I was terrified. I was convinced that I would wake up the next morning, and the whole area would have been burned down. But thankfully, that didn't happen.

But that's when a fire gets out of control. But see, here's what you want to do. You want to keep feeding a fire, and you need to feed the fire of revival, and you need to keep refueling yourself spiritually over and over again. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. Hearing from listeners who have been impacted by Pastor Greg's teaching in God's Word is encouraging.

Listen to these comments from one of our listeners. Pastor Greg, I wanted to reach out and let you know how much I appreciate your teachings and how the Lord uses you to give hope and understanding. I'm a combat veteran who served in Afghanistan right after 9-11.

I've really been struggling with how the situation in Afghanistan unfolded. My anxiety and PTSD has been really aggravated recently. I say this to thank you for helping me during this extremely difficult time with your teaching from God's Word. God has given you an amazing gift to be able to explain and to teach His Word in a way that I can understand it and apply it. Thank you for pointing us to the cross and helping me personally to stay focused on the blessed hope that Christ is coming back, and all things will be righted.

How have these studies in God's Word helped you? If you have a story, why not call us and share it with us? Call 866-871-1144.

That's 866-871-1144. Well today, from his series called Refresh, Pastor Greg is talking about the refreshing power of revival. Let's continue. Our nation, the United States of America, was born in revival, and we need another revival. Two Georges really played a key role in the establishment of the United States of America. First there was our spiritual founding father.

His name was George Whitfield. He was a British evangelist who came to our shores and preached the gospel, and thousands of colonists came to Christ. It was the first great spiritual awakening in what would become to be known as the United States of America. Between 1740 and 1742, before we were even a nation, some 25,000 to 50,000 people came to Christ.

This is out of a population of only 300,000 people. It was in this soil of revival that lives were changed, and now as followers of Jesus, people had a morality. They had moral absolutes to live by.

They were living by what the Scripture said. And so our nation was born out of the flame of revival. It was our second president, John Adams, who made this statement, and I quote, The United States Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.

It is wholly inadequate for the government of any others, end quote. You see, it was assumed by our founding fathers that our nation had this soil that we built our nation out of, these absolutes that we hold onto. I mean, look at the great buildings in Washington, D.C. You have the Ten Commandments there and the U.S. Supreme Court building.

I mean, this is something that was at the very foundation of our country. That brings us to the next George, a George you've probably heard of, George Washington. General Washington led the continental forces to victory against all odds and was quick to give the glory to God and acknowledge it was providence that brought it to be. In fact, Washington directed that a special flag would be made, that would be flown over our Navy ships, and the message of the flag was, Appeal to Heaven.

It's a tree with branches going upwards, and the idea was we need to call on God. We need God's intervention for this all to work, and God did hear our prayers. And we had spiritual awakenings after Whitfield, three in total, the last of which was the Jesus Movement.

And we need another one right now. So what needs to take place for us to have a spiritual awakening, a revival in America? One writer put it this way, and I quote, If all the sleeping people will wake up, if all the lukewarm people will fire up, if all the dishonest people will confess up, if all the disgruntled people will cheer up, if all of the estranged people will make up, if all of the gossipers will shut up, if all the true soldiers will stand up, if all the dry bones will shake up, if all the church people will pray up, then we can have a revival, end quote.

Wow, well said. So I want to look for a few moments with you at the greatest revival in human history. And it took place in the city of Nineveh, and of course the man that God used to bring this revival about was named Jonah.

Now let me ask you a question. When you hear the name Jonah, what do you think of next? The whale, of course. We always think of the whale.

It's a funny thing when you read the book of Jonah. There's only a few verses about this whale. By the way, the Bible never says whale. The Bible says it was swallowed by a great fish. The root word could be translated sea monster. It could have been a whale. It could have been some creature that has come to exist and no longer is out there. It could have been a one-off custom designed creature God made just for Jonah.

I don't know. But some would say, well, a man could never be swallowed by a whale and live to tell the story. Oh, really? Well, tell that to Michael Packard of Cape Cod. Michael Packard, who's a veteran lobster diver, entered the water, and an article written about it puts it this way. Quote, in something truly biblical, Packard was swallowed whole by a humpback whale. Packard recalled, all of a sudden I felt this huge shove, and the next thing I knew, it was completely black, and he was in there for about 40 seconds. End quote.

Incredible. And then the whale, he got out of the whale. I don't know if the whale regurgitated him, but he rejected Michael, and so he was in there about 40 seconds, but the man we're talking about, Jonah, well, he was in the belly of the beast for three days and three nights.

How did he end up there? Well, it all started when he was running from God. You see, God came to Jonah, and he said, I want you to go to the city of Nineveh, and I want you to preach the message that I give you to them, and Jonah flat out refused.

Why? Nineveh was a wicked city. Nineveh was known for their atrocities and their intense cruelty that they would demonstrate toward their enemies, and Nineveh, the capital of Assyria, they were the avowed enemies of Israel. Therefore, Jonah wanted nothing to do with them. He had no concern for their souls. It didn't concern him that God would judge this nation.

In fact, it was his hope that God would judge this nation. Let me ask you a question. Are you willing to leave your comfort zone to reach people that need Jesus? Are you willing to build bridges to people that are of a different political persuasion than you? Are you willing to build bridges to people who are of a different race than you? Are you willing to build bridges to people who are just different than you?

How are you going to reach them if you won't communicate with them? But here was Jonah's real reason for not wanting to go to Nineveh. His fear was that God would forgive them. He knew the loving nature of God.

He knew that God extended mercy, and he did not want the people of Nineveh to hear a message of forgiveness and turn from their sin and be spared, by the way. So much for the angry God of the Old Testament concept. Sometimes people say, well, you know, the God of the Old Testament is angry and harsh and judgmental, and the God of the New Testament is merciful and loving.

Nonsense. The God of the Old Testament is the same as the God of the New Testament. He's merciful.

He's loving. He's forgiving. He's also just, holy, and righteous. But Jonah knew that God would forgive them if they turned to him. So Jonah literally bought a fare on a boat going the opposite direction.

Well, that didn't work out so well for him. And the Bible says he went down to the boat, and then he went down to Tarshish. Any step away from God is a step down. And you will pay the fare when you run away from God. Remember this. Sin will take you further than you want to go.

It'll keep you longer than you want to stay, and it will cost you more than you want to spend. But also know this. God will always have the last word. The Lord could have just said, okay, that's it, Jonah.

I'm done with you. I'm going to get somebody else, but the Lord loved Jonah. He had a plan for him, and he was going to give him a second chance, just like God loves you and has a plan for you. So the Lord sent a storm. But we have storms in life as well. A storm can be a metaphor for a hardship, a difficulty. In fact, there are three kinds of storms we face as Christians. There are perfecting storms, there are protecting storms, and there are correcting storms. First there are perfecting storms. That's a storm that God allows you to go through so you will grow up spiritually.

Job talked about the difficulty he was facing, how he would come through it and be like gold. That was a perfecting storm. Joseph, of course, was thrown into prison. He had done nothing wrong, but God used him to help many other people. So that was a perfecting storm.

Then there are protecting storms. Remember when Jesus and the disciples were with the people in Galilee, and Jesus performed his most popular miracle to date, the feeding of the 5,000. People were very excited. In fact, we read that they wanted to make Jesus king, and the disciples would be ruling with them. And Jesus said to his disciples, get in the boat, we're going to the other side. And as they were crossing the Sea of Galilee, a great storm came. That was a protecting storm.

Jesus was protecting them from something that would have been very destructive in their life. But finally, there are correcting storms. These are storms we effectively bring upon ourselves.

But here's the good news. Even if it's your fault, God will not abandon you in your storm. Because by sending this storm, it's a reminder that you're loved by God and you're being chastened by God. Hebrews 12 says the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone that accepts his son. So this chastening happened in the life of Jonah because he was loved by God.

And the Ninevites that God wanted to reach through Jonah were also loved by God. So inside of the belly of this sea monster, maybe a whale, a great fish of some kind, Jonah had a personal revival. Pastor Greg Laurie talking about revival today here on A New Beginning. The title of his message, The Refreshing Power of Revival.

And there's more to come from this presentation. Well, we're making a new book available that's just fascinating, called The Jesus Music. It talks about the rise of contemporary Christian music and how it wasn't always smooth sailing as some in the church opposed it. But I found it fascinating, Pastor Greg, that at one point Billy Graham wanted to make the music in his crusades more contemporary and invited Michael W. Smith and D.C. Talk to be his music guests at a youth event. And Billy was in his 70s at the time.

Fascinating story. Yeah, Billy was always a person who was willing to take risks for the kingdom of God. So going back a few years, when Jesus music was just exploding, there was an event in Texas called Explo 72.

It was described as a religious wood stock. So 80 to 100,000 young people, or really people of all ages, gathered there in Texas. And artists like Love Song and Larry Norman and Johnny Cash performed before thousands of people. And Billy Graham spoke. So it was sort of like the seal of approval from the leader of evangelicalism at that time, Billy Graham.

Okay, now fast forward many years. Billy has been doing his crusades and he wants to reach younger people. So the idea came of let's put Christian music that's contemporary on the stage. I can tell you not everyone supported the idea.

I know because I was there. It became a little bit of a debate among the members of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association Board of Directors because I've been on that board for 25 years. Some opposed it. I stuck up for it and said this is a great idea. This will reach more young people. And indeed it did.

But I have to tell you, Dave, I was at one of those concerts and Michael W. Smith played and DC Talk played and the young people loved it. But when Billy Graham walked out, he got the greatest ovation of the night. And this was just his willingness to do whatever he could to bridge the gap in reaching culture with the gospel. So this music has played a significant role in the church for the last 50 years. But I bet a lot of you do not know the origin story.

You don't know how it got started. You don't know who were the sort of pioneers of this music. And now turning into the music you love today on the many Christian stations around the United States and indeed the world. So there's this brand new book out called The Jesus Music written by my friend Marshall Terrell. I've written three other books with Marshall.

He's an excellent writer, a great researcher. And you're going to learn a lot. And I think this book is going to be a blessing to you.

And frankly, you would pay a lot for this hardcover book with glossy pages and photographs and stories of these artists through the years. But we're going to give it to you for your gift of any size. So whatever you send to us, we will send you this book, The Jesus Music, in return. But I'm going to encourage you to be generous because whatever you send us will be used to get the gospel out and to teach the Word of God.

So thanks in advance for whatever you can do. And let us send you a copy of this new book, The Jesus Music. Yeah, you know, we wouldn't be able to bring you these studies each day without the support of listeners like you.

We have no other way to cover the costs of broadcasting other than the generosity of those who listen. So thank you so much for your investment. And with your generous donation today, be sure to ask for The Jesus Music. We'll send it right out. You can write us at A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514. Or call 1-800-821-3300. We can take your call anytime around the clock. That's 1-800-821-3300.

Or go online to Hey everybody, Greg Laurie here. You know, my uncle, Fred Jordan, had one of the first Christian TV programs out there. It was called Church in the Home.

I remember watching it as a little boy when I was living with my grandparents. Well, we have Church in the Home for you every weekend. It's called Harvest at Home. And you can find it at We have worship and a message from God's Word.

So join us this weekend for Harvest at Home at Well, next time, Pastor Greg assures us no one is beyond the mercy of God. Good encouragement about those who are hard to reach for Christ. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher, Greg Laurie. This is the day, the day when life begins. A New Beginning is a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God. If this show has impacted your life, share your story, leave a review on your favorite podcast app and help others find hope.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-20 17:43:07 / 2023-07-20 17:53:43 / 11

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