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November 19, 2021 3:00 am
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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. No guide this at our website and learn more about harvest firstname.lastname@example.org are you willing to leave your zone to reach people need Jesus. Jesus loved this coverage on Calvary pastor Greg Laurie wants to know will leave our coverage talk about what you are you willing to build bridges were of a different race you are you willing to build this people more just different. You how are you going to reach them. You won't communicate with the only of not believe how shall they believe in him whom they have not heard how shall they hear without a preacher reaches people through God may want to reach someone you know today on a new beginning. Greg Laurie helps us be ready. There's nothing like helping someone please and find eternal life. Never forget the reward is worth. Let me start with the question have you ever been so leave in around 3 o'clock. Your phone rings and a person actually asked you this question. Did I wake you over some unknown reason, our natural responses. No, I was already away know you weren't. Why is it that we deny it when were sleeping. Sometimes all watch television with my wife and Joe pick something that I don't find all that interesting.
Like some British baking show all follows Josie you were sleeping say no I wasn't but I was because it was actually snoring I've ever fallen asleep and woken yourself up with your own snoring deal with is denying that were actually asleep. I do know but I know this one thing you can be spiritually asleep. You can be spiritually asleep.
As a follower of Christ in the 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 the 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 when you 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 near. Then when we first delete that's what I want to talk about in this message that I'm going the refreshing power of revival.
Now we hear that word revival thrown around a lot.
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, six, will you not revive us again that your people may rejoice in you and then Psalm 80 verse 19 says rest store is so Lord let your face shine upon us, that we may be say revival is refreshment revival is being restored to original condition you see a beautiful car, maybe line around in a junkyard someone buys it. They do bodywork 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 whether you put some water on it and get it out of the sunshine and it comes back to life again. Or maybe you see someone that's just out working in the sun and your exhausted and you come and have a nice meal and drink some cold water in your refresh. 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 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 a church of the book of acts. It's a 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 what we've been walking with the Lord for a while that passion begins to fade. That seal begins to a road and we don't have that excitement and walking with the Lord as we had before.
What we want to have his longevity, but we don't want to sacrifice our passion as we walk with Christ.
I've been married 47 1/2 years now and there's a secret to a long and happy marriage for Kathy and I goes back to our honeymoon. We decided to write 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 they had to be in her back wheel and as he was writing a longer Prattville stumbled a little bit and she leaned down and whispered into the ear of the meal.
That's one thought that was kind of weird actually. We went a little bit further from you'll stumbled again. She leaned forward and says into the ear of the meal. That's twice that's twice with is this all about, and then finally the mule stumbled again and she pulled a pistol out of her purse. I did know she was back in the pistol and she held it up to the head of the newly acquired in the milk truck to the ground, so I was shocked I was outraged. I couldn't believe she just shot this poor mule and they had and I think Kathy why did you do that that was wrong. She looked at me and said that once this is a joke.
This never happened through it and they will 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 its again if you're taking notes years. Point number one revival is like this part that starts the engine revival is like the spark that starts the engine, evangelist Billy Sunday. One said, quote they tell me a revival is only temporary. So was about but it does you some good." 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 far.
Years ago I was in Virginia staying at a friends cabin and he told me okay now this cabin is heated by this little stove here in the 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 in the stove so you have to keep wooing on the fire and you just start with some kindling nice a great worldwide by kindling egos was wrong with you know by kindling. You just go and pick it up off the ground. I said I don't know what kindling this can you show me I'm from California he's from North Carolina so were walking along the ground and kindling.
This 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 with the problem was, it would fill with ash and then he would pour the ash into a metal bucket that was kept on the concrete surface and then when the embers died down. You throughout the ash and then you started filling it up again in the bucket folded quickly. I get up in the middle of the night and and put more one on the fire and keep going and the bucket was filled to the top with asset that 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 similar reports 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 birdie number goes over into the grass area and it starts a fire. Another member goes over here among dried leaves another fire starts another member goes over there another fire start. I just about had a heart attack. I run out and I'm picking these embers up with my kids and throwing them up on the gravel driveway and I go to look for a bucket near the smallest bucket.
It was like the size of an ice bucket. You have an old hotel filling 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've been burned down. Thankfully that didn't happen. 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 the need to keep refueling yourself spiritually over and over again. Mr. Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment hearing from listeners who been impacted by Pastor Greg's teaching God's word is encouraging. Listen to these comments from whatever listeners Esther, Greg wanted to reach out and let you know how much I appreciate your teachings and how the Lord uses you to give hope and understand. I'm a combat veteran who served in Afghanistan right after 9/11.
I've really been struggling with how the situation Afghanistan hold my anxiety and PTSD is been really aggravated recently say this to thank you for helping me this extremely difficult time your teaching from God's word. God has given you an amazing gift to be able to explain and teach his word and wearing a high can understand it. I 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 help to if you have a story to call us and share with us: 866-871-1144 866-871-1144 well today from a series called refresh. Pastor Greg is talking about the refreshing power of revival was continue our nation, the United States of America was born in revival and we need another revival to George's really played a key role in the establishment of the United States of America.
First, there was our spiritual founding father. His name is George Whitfield. He was a British evangelist who came to our shores and preach 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 the nation some 25 to 50,000 people came to Christ. This is out of a population of only 300,000 people, and it was in this soil of revival that lives were changed and now as followers of Jesus people had a morality that 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." You see, it was assumed by our founding fathers that our nation had this soil that we build our nation out of these absolutes that we hold onto.
I mean look at the great buildings in Washington DC what the 10 Commandments there, and the US Supreme Court building any this is something that was at the very foundation of our country. That brings us to the next. George a George, you probably heard of George Washington, a general Washington led the Continental forces to victory against all odds, and was quick to give the glory to God and in college. It was Providence that brought it to be. In fact, Washington directed that a special flag would be me. That would be flown over our Navy ships and the message of the flag was appeal to have and 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 here are prayers and we had spiritual awakenings after Whitfield three in total last of which was the Jesus movement and we need another one right now. So one 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 of all the dishonest people will confess if all the disgruntled people will cheer up if all of you strange people will make up if all of the gossipers will shut up. If all the two soldiers will stand up if all the dry bones will shake up if all the church people will pray then we can have a revival" file, 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 name Jonah.
Let me ask you a question when you hear the name Jonah what you think of next the way, of course, we always think of the whale to funny thing when you read the book of Jonah is only a few verses about this. Well, 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 is come to exist in the longer is out there.
It could have been a one-off custom design creature, God made just for Jonah.
I don't know but some would say will amend could never be swallowed by a whale and lived to tell the story really old.
Tell that to Michael Packard of keep cause of Michael Packard is a veteran lobster diver entered the water in an article written about it, puts it this way, quote, and something truly biblical. Packard was swallowed whole by a humpback whale doctor recalled. All of a sudden I felt this huge job in the next thing I knew it was completely black. They was in there for about 40 seconds" and then the whale he got out of the whale and of the whale regurgitated him, but he rejected my goal and that's what he was in there about 40 seconds, but the men were talking about Jonah when he was in the belly of the beast for three days and three nights out of the end up there. Well it all started when he was running from God is a 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. There were the about enemies of Israel.
Therefore, Jonah wanted nothing to do with.
He had no concern for their souls. It didn't concern him, that God would judge his nation. In fact, it was his open 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 then you are you willing to build bridges to people who are just different then 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's 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 when you know the God of the Old Testament is angry and harsh and judgmental in the God of the New Testament is merciful and loving onset, the God of the Old Testament is the same as the God of the New Testament is merciful is loving and forgiving is also just holy and righteous. But Jonah knew that God would forgive them if they turn to him. So Jonah literally bought affair on a boat going the opposite direction. Well that didn't work out so well for him in the Bible says he went down to the boat and then he went down to tar ships for any step away from God is a step down and you will pay the fair 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've just said okay that's it. Jonah, I'm done with you. I want to get somebody else with the Lord love Jonah had a plan for him it was going to give them a second chance. Just like God loves you and is a plan for you.
So the Lord sent a storm, but we have storms in life as well a storm to be a metaphor for a hardship or difficulty that 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 the storm that God allows you to go through so you will grow up spiritually.
Joe top 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 5000 people were very excited effect, we read that they wanted to make Jesus King and the disciples would be ruling with them. And Jesus said to his disciples get on the boat were 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've 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 the storm. It's a reminder that your loved by God and you're being chastened by God. Hebrews 12 six 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 life 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 his presentation. What were 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. Some of the church opposed it, but I found it fascinating. Pastor Greg at one point Billy Graham wanted to make the music in his Crusades more contemporary and get invited Michael W Smith in DC talk has to be his music guests at a youth event and Billy was in his 70s at the time. Fascinating story yet 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 X blows 72.
It was described as a religious Woodstock so 80 200,000 young people really people of all ages gathered there in Texas and an artist like love song and Larry Norman and Johnny Cash are performed before thousands of people and Billy Graham spoke so is sort of like the seal of approval from the leader of evangelical is him 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 states. 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 been on that board for 25 years. Some opposed it. I stuck up. Fortin said this is a great idea this to 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 in DC talk played and the young people loved it, but when Billy Graham walked out he got the greatest ovation of the night, and that this was just his willingness to do whatever he could to bridge the gap and reaching culture with the gospel.
So this music is 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 wore the sort of pioneers of this music and now turning in 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 is an excellent writer. A great researcher and you're gonna 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 were 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 and return but I'm in will encourage you to be generous because whatever you send us will be used. To get the gospel out and did teach the word of God. So thanks in advance for whatever you can do. Let us send you a copy of this new book the Jesus music you know we would merely bring you the 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 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 harvest.org everybody Greg Laurie here. You know my uncle Fred Jordan at 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 only have church in the home for you every weekend.
It's called harvest that you get invited to harvest.org we have worship in a message of God's word. So join us this weekend for Harvest at Home harvest.will next time Pastor Greg assures 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 Laura new beginning as a podcast, made possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God if this show has impacted your life. Share your story leverage you on your favorite podcast and help others find help