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What I Would Tell My Younger Self | Sunday Message

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
April 3, 2022 3:00 am

What I Would Tell My Younger Self | Sunday Message

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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April 3, 2022 3:00 am

When trials, anxieties, and tough decisions loom large, sometimes it’s best to hear from a voice of experience. In this Sunday podcast, Pastor Greg Laurie directs a special word of encouragement to young people: God has a plan for your life. 

Notes

Whatever you’re going through, it’s going to be OK. 

What you go through isn’t meant to destroy you but to develop you.

“We comfort with the same comfort we are comforted with.” —2 Corinthians 1:4

You are loved and wanted by more people than you could ever imagine.

God’s plan and purpose for you is good!

Put God first in your life.

Read the Bible every day.

“Study to show yourself approved unto God.” —2 Timothy 2:15

Success or failure in the Christian life is determined by how much of the Bible you get into your life on a daily basis and how obedient you are to it.

Stop worrying and start praying.

Worry can ruin your day, your week, and even your life if you let it.

Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength.

Give your worries to Jesus Christ.

God is in control of your life.

Have an attitude of gratitude.

Job thanked God, despite his difficulties.

Live with honesty and integrity.

Character over charisma.

“If I take care of my character, God will take care of my reputation.” —D. L. Moody

Marry the right person.

Find someone Godlier than you.

Wedlock should be a padlock.

Eight words you should say to your spouse every day:

“I’m sorry,” “please forgive me,” and “I love you.”

 Tell those you love that you love them.

Keep short accounts and forgive.

Forgiveness is not about absolving the perpetrator; it’s about healing the victim.

“Forgiveness isn’t giving in to another person; it’s getting free of that person.” —Frederic Luskin, Director of the Stanford Forgiveness Project

Be a nice person.

Be an encourager, not a discourager; lift people up, don’t beat them down!

Have fun.

Be a generous person.

Three things we can give to God: Time, talent, and treasure.

Take care of your health.

Make the right choices.

You make your choices, and then your choices make you.

Tell others about Jesus, and then disciple them.

Spend time with older Godly people.

Finish your race well.

“Hold the course!” —Pastor Chuck Smith

Come to or come back to Jesus right now.

Scripture Referenced

Jeremiah 29:11

Matthew 6:33

Philippians 4:6–7

1 Peter 5:7

Psalm 101:2

Ephesians 4:32

Ephesians 4:31

1 Timothy 4:8

2 Timothy 2:2

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Either think you're listening to the Greg Laurie podcast, a ministry supported by harvest partners and Greg Laurie encouraging you if you want to find out more about harvest ministries and learn more about how to become a harvest partner, just go to harvest.org if you have a Bible window to grab it and turn to second Timothy chapter 4 in the title of this special message is what I would tell my younger self, what would I say to a young Greg as an older Greg, what advice would I give myself what things would I tell young Greg to avoid what things what I tell young Greg to do well. There's the obvious answers.

I would tell young Greg brush her teeth every day, boy because you do not want to have to spend as much time at the Dennis is older. Greg has, of course, I would tell younger Greg wear sunscreen.

I was a blonde kid out at the beach a lot. I don't think I hardly ever were certain sunscreen and I've had more than one trip to the dermatologist would certainly give that advice maybe I would say to a young Greg.

You know when Star Wars comes out in all those figures are in the original packaging. Don't open those save those because you will be able to sell those for a lot of money later. I think that's true of original Barbie dolls and their packaging.

I just read the other day that an original copy of the legend of Zelda video game sold for This $411,000 so I guess I would say young Greg go find a few copies of the legend of Zelda because I'll be worth half a million.

Wendy don't take it out. Of the original packaging of these are silly things, things that don't matter all that much, but I want to talk about things that really do matter what I would say to a younger me and in effect what I'm saying to young people right now.

Let me give you a little bit of advice maybe you don't have a mom and a dad that are doing this for your grandfather. Let me be your dad for a few minutes or your grandfather and say things to you that you need said to you as a younger person. This first one may be surprising, but I want to start with this. Whatever you're going through. It's going to be okay.

Whatever you're going through. It's going to be okay.

I know when you're young and you're experiencing things for the first time life can seem kind of scary. You're wondering about what you're going to do with your life where you're going to go who you're going to marry what career path you're going to choose and then maybe something bad happens to you. You have a huge setback you break up with your boyfriend or your girlfriend, and it almost seems like your world has just ended. Listen, it's going to be okay. You're going to get through this.

I look at photos of my younger self. By the way, I just rediscovered these really old photos of me as a little boy.

I believe they were taken when I was living in New Jersey I was around six or seven years old and I look at this little guy and knowing now what I know now I know the little guys going to go through a lot of suffering his mother would effectively abandon him.

He would never have a father growing up. You would be passed around from aunts and uncles.

He would spend considerable period of time in military school. Life would not make sense to him. Sometimes he would be up all my wondering when his mother was going to come home and she wouldn't come home and you have to get himself ready for school and and take a lot of responsibility on as a little kid. But here's what I would say God has his hand on you. God is going to watch over you I mention I was passed around to family members and I did spend a bit of time with my grandparents and that was probably one of the most stable times in my life because they function as parents. They were parents from another century they were there were quite old. When I was living with them and they believed in old-fashioned values, but fortunately they believed in old-fashioned food to because this is a kind of food I ate before I moved in with my grandparents there called TV dinners and by the way, even though these photos still make the food look all that good the food actually look much worse than this and it didn't taste very good either but we we then put these microwaves doesn't exist yet, and so we would keep these up in the oven.

This food I'm just telling you was not good so I went from that kind of food to living with my grandmother who made everything from scratch, starting with fried chicken. By the way, we had fried chicken. We didn't just go to the market to buy chicken like normal people. My grandfather would kill a live chicken, cut it set off I members a little kid watching them do it one time he took the chicken he put it on a tree stump.

He took out the hatchet or the acts I should say boom outcomes. They had had the bodies running around spurting out blood and as I recall it started running toward me and I'm thinking, how does the chicken body know what ago I felt like the little chicken head laying there with a go straight, turn right turn right whatever traumatized me. I still break out in a cold sweat when I go by truthfully, not really, but fresh chicken, mashed potatoes, made from scratch, black-eyed peas, so many incredible things she would make every night, but her crowning achievement was her biscuit.

This was a biscuit unlike any other I've had any way, so it was good. It was stable and I met we would sit in the front room of my grandparents house. They each had sort of a La-Z-Boy type chair and I'd sit in a little stool in the middle and I remember we watched this guy on television. I would later discover this man's name is Billy Graham and how was I didn't know was a little boy that I would one day meet him and actually become friends with him. My grandparents also had a little kink seen of the face of Jesus over the furnace. It was a floor furnace and I remember I would look at that picture of Jesus for hours thinking about Kim. There was something about him that that interested me. How was I didn't know that I would come into a relationship with him and he would change my life forever. So despite the hardship I went through as a little boy I was able to react to it in a different way because of the age of 17 I put my faith in Jesus Christ.

Listen to this. You don't decide what hand you will be dealt in life. Some of you are in a stable home with mom and dad raising you in a wonderful way. Some of you are from a broken home. In fact, probably more of you are from a broken home, and you are facing an uncertain future. You don't get to pick what hand is dealt to you in life but you decide how you will react to it. And here's the thing you discover in time, no matter how bad your upbringing is or bad the experiences are that you go through your pain can be effectively turned to gain God can take your setbacks and turn them into set ups.

Your tests can become a testimony because what you have gone through was not designed to destroy you but to develop. You to develop you so you'll be a different person and I been able to take the pain of my past and use it as a tool to help people who are going through similar pain of the apostle Paul speaks about comforting with the comfort that we ourselves have been comforted with so maybe a young person is watching this right now in your field with anxiety and stress.

I read just the other day that the majority of GNC has high levels of anxiety and stress only say something to my younger viewers right now. I know it's harder for you than it was for us when we were growing up. I know older people say things like, you know what I was a child. It was so much harder know it's hard for you guys. I one of the reasons it's harder, as many of you are coming from broken homes. Another reason it's harder is because everything is been escalated in my DM I get beat up at school in your day.

You might get shot in school. Other drugs are much more serious and much harder. And of course you have social media that amplifies everything and is change things dramatically.

I also read that generation Z are afraid of the future and one third of this generation struggle was suicidal thought my talking to somebody right now who is contemplated suicide. Maybe you've even attempted to take your own life. I want you to know something I want you to know that you are loved. I want you to know that you are wanted. I want you to know your love by more people than you could ever imagine. And I also want you to know that God has a special plan for your life. You matter. We need you don't contemplate ending your life.

I don't know what trajectory your life is going in right now I don't know what bad decisions review made at this moment but it's never too late to change. It is not just changing the way you feel you need to change the way you think Christ can change the course of your life. Listen, just as surely as there is a God in heaven who loves you. There is a devil that's headed the hell who hate you and Jesus summed up the contrast when he said in John 10. The speaking of Satan comes only to steal, kill and destroy. But in contrast, Jesus said, but I have come that you might have life and that more abundantly. So there's your choice life in a relationship with God. Death outside of her relationship with God. Don't let the double whisper in your ear you should take your life.

The Bible says he's a liar he's a father of lies. Sometimes people are apprehensive about giving their life to Jesus because they think well it's going to be misery and rules and regulations. Au contraire, that's French for snails with garlic know that this cargo to the contrary, God's plan for you is better than your plans for yourself. God himself says in Jeremiah 2911. I know the thoughts that they think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace, not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Let me just stop right here that's his question. Would you like to fill that hole inside of your heart. Would you like to have all of your sins forgiven. Would you like to have a fresh start right here right now. Here's what you need to do. You need to realize that God loves you so much. He sent his son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for you.

2000 years ago. If you will turn from your sin and put your faith in Jesus.

Christ will come in to your life, and he can change the course of your life, not to mention your eternal destination from hell to heaven. If you would like Jesus Christ to come in your life if you would like him to forgive you of your sin. Why don't we just stop for a moment, why don't you just pray this prayer with me just pray Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner and I know you are the Savior and I need you in my life. Forgive me of all of my sin I choose to follow you from this moment forward. Thank you for hearing this prayer in Jesus name I pray, amen. Alright, so back to our message. Things I would say that my younger self.

Number one, it's going to be okay. Whatever you're going through your going to get through it. Number two what I say to my younger self, put God first in your life. Put God first in your life. This of course starts with asking Christ to come into your life with enemies following him. Jesus summed it up this way. Matthew 633 seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added to you know what was he talking about when he said all these things Jesus said don't be like the nonbelievers.

All they think about is what the gun aware what they're going to drink what they're going to eat but I said you seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and these things will be added to you and I were obsessed with all those things. What will lead mobile drink mobile aware what will go will drive where we will work where we will live.

These are not bad things.

By the way to think about. But Jesus is saying don't make those.

The focus of your life.

Put God first in your life. Seek first the kingdom of God.

What is it means the kingdom of God is the rule and reign of Christ in your life see one, they will go to heaven and enter into the kingdom of God and the kingdom of God will come to work but also when the Bible tells us to seek.

At first it, it means just put Jesus first think about God's will. When you make those decisions don't put money first. Don't put career first. Don't put politics first.

Don't even put ministry first put Jesus first and he will take care love you in life. There was a young Solomon ascending to the throne of his father David died, the Lord comes to Solomon and says Solomon asked me for whatever you want and I will give it to you imagine from a moment of talking to you and said ask what you want and I'll give it to you, what would you ask for. Solomon said Lord I pray for wisdom. Wisdom to lead your people the Lord in effect said because you didn't pray first off, you didn't pray for possessions you didn't pray for great wealth or honor, to give you the wisdom you asked for, and all these other things as well. It's a perfect illustration of why putting God first is the right thing to do. That doesn't mean that God's going to make everybody incredibly wealthy, but what it does mean is God, the Bible says will supply all of your needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

So put God first in your life. What is the will of God, you might ask about this thing. I'm about to do. How do you know the will of God answer by reading the word of God shall reveal his will to you in Scripture understand this.

Why are you in this earth and this enters a big question. The question of why am I here what is the meaning of my life. Here's the answer. The meaning of your life.

You are here to bring glory to God not to bring glory to yourself.

Isaiah 43, seven, God says, everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory. That's why you're here so know this God wants to speak to you. God wants to fill you with this Holy Spirit each and every day, put God first in your life and the rest will be blessed peers point number three. What would I say to my younger self. I would say young Greg read the Bible every day and I pretty much followed that advice. Thankfully and I hope many of you are following it as well because sometimes I think Christians as they grow in their faith think well I don't need to read the Bible as much as I used to know.

Listen, you need to read the Bible every single day. You should start the day with it. You should end the day with it and someone it says happy is the man or the woman who doesn't walk in the counsel of the ungodly, or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of the scornful. Listen it is the light is in the word of the Lord, and in it does seem meditate day and night. Then it goes on to say, to be like a tree planted by the rivers of water is leave shall not weather and whatsoever he does shall prosper happy is a man you want to be a happy man you want to be a happy woman read the word of God. It's as meditate in it in Eastern Europe meditation one seeks to empty their mind and biblical meditation one fills their mind with the word of God. This is how you're going to grow spiritually. This is how you will be able to resist temptation were told in the Psalms.

How silly young man cleanse his way answer by listening to what the word of God says so you need to read the Bible every day because Scripture says study to show yourself approved on the God, a workman that does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. Listen to this success or failure in the Christian life depends on how much of the Bible you get into your life on a regular basis and how obedient you are to it, repeat that success or failure in the Christian life depends on how much of the word of God you get into your life in a regular basis and how obedient you are to it.

So read the word treasure. The word memorize the word. I've never met a strong Christian who is not full of Scripture. Here's 1/4 thing I would say to a younger me stop worrying and start praying. I know we all have things to worry about life, but I'm reminded of the words of the apostle Paul in Philippians 4 when he says don't worry about anything, pray about everything. Tell God what you need.

Think of Raleigh is done then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your heart and mind as you live in Christ Jesus.

Worry worry can ruin your day. It can ruin your week.

It can ruin your month actually worry can effectively ruin your life. The word worry comes from a root word that means to choke or to strangle a number of years ago, my grandkids would like to come up and choke me from behind. They thought that was very cute and fun and it was okay. There were very small.

They weren't hurting me and so they would come over to public and we choke you will as I've gotten older. If I let them do that now. I might die so we can play that game anymore, but that's worry does it shows you out. Listen to this. When you worry about the future you cripple yourself in the present worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow.

It empties today of its strength. I mean, even when things are going well although it's a good day.

Nothing's going wrong and then you start worried what's going to go wrong, something is going to go wrong.

I just know what Woodside all about that cannot be helpful.

Jesus said this. Today's trouble is enough for today. Don't worry about tomorrow. Just take each day and take that worry and turning into prayer I would compare this to a natural reflex and a conditioned reflex to learn how to turn, worry in the prayer is a conditioned reflex limit explain natural reflex. You don't have to teach us about it, even a little child touches a hot stove.

They pulled her hand back right because they know that's hard. They know they should not touch that. That's a natural reflex but then there's a conditioned reflex. This is something I'm taught to do. I have a granddaughter name Allie. She is swim meets on Saturdays and before the meat begins. They have someone sing the national anthem.

What is everyone do we stand we put our hand over our heart and respect for our nation, which is represented by our flag that we look toward that is a conditioned reflex. I would not of done that naturally someone had to teach me to do that same thing with driving you know when you first learned to drive. Remember five a granddaughter that just learning how to drive. So I let her drive the other day and I was next to her and you know she had to think about everything you know all will I do know turn your turning to Gallant own parking that's a situation visited trying to figure that out so you want to consciously think about everything you're doing and if you're in a stick shift car a manual transmission okay I got a push in the clutch. I'd have it in gear. I slowly release the clutch.

Then I hit the accelerator, you know a lot of things to remember. But after a while you'll think about it anymore. You drive you eat Doritos you do your taxes what you do all kinds of things when you're driving because you've turned that into a conditioned reaction.

A conditioned way to respond to what you're facing. So now in the same way. Worry hits anxiety kits predicates right away. Pray although I'm scared let's pray this. Let's pretty stop everything you're doing and committed to the Lord.

First Peter five we read these words give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares for you.

By the way, in the original language that signifies a definite act of our will. Where we choose to stop worrying and let God assume the responsibility for our welfare. Billy Graham was interviewed and he was asked the question if he had his life to live over what would you do differently.

Billy's response was quote I would study more, I would pray more, I would travel elastic list speaking engagements about had it to do all over again. Billy said I would spend more time in meditation and prayer. Just telling the Lord how much I love and adore him and looking forward to the time where I will spend with him for all eternity. Will Billy's in that time. Billy's in heaven but I love always in a way of life to do over. It is said speak more. I do more, he says. I'd pray more and I would spend more time in God's presence. I think that's really good advice. Remember this God is in control of your life. There are no accidents in the life of a Christian only Providence we don't believe in fate. We believe in faith. Here's another thing an older Greg would say to a younger Greg advice I would give to anyone young people, but older people as well have an attitude of gratitude have an attitude of gratitude back to the recycled in Philippians 4.

Think God for all he is done then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can under stand, listen, there are things in life that happened was that make no sense, inexplicable things. Yes it is true. Bad things happen to good people. Sometimes bad things even happen to godly people take Job as an example. This was a godly man this memo so godly. The Lord was bragging on him and they haven't, but the Lord allowed a series of calamities, double fault his servant, and Job loss pretty much everything he lost members of his family.

He lost his possessions. He lost his health and we read that Job gave thanks to God, not for what was happening, but despite what was happening. Joe gave thanks to the Lord. And so we should have an attitude of gratitude we say Lord I don't know why this is happening, but I am rejoicing that you're still on the throne having to give thanks to you because you are good and you are in control of my life so spend less time complaining and spend more time rejoicing. You'll feel better if you do, is another piece of advice in older me would give to a younger me that I would give to any person, especially a young person live with honesty and integrity live within to honesty and integrity. What is integrity. Integrity is what you are in the dark when nobody is watching you and I bring this up because you know there are people in life that she and Eli in the steel and they cut corners and they seem to get away with it and is a will. Why shouldn't I do that. Why should I play by the rules. They don't play by the rules look they got that job because they live in their resume or they got that job to build a building even though they cut corners and didn't pull the proper permits or look at person cheated on their spouse and they got away with it and I been faithful to my spouse.

And why shouldn't I do with they do because in the end all these people are going to reap what they sow the Bible says don't be deceived, God is not mocked whatsoever a man sows, that will he also reap. Listen, the longer I live the more impressed I am with character over charisma. I've seen a lot of preachers with dynamic personalities flameout because they did not seek to maintain honesty and integrity. Someone 01 verse two says I'm careful to live a blameless life. I will lead a life of integrity in my own home. Then someone 19 one says joyful people are people of integrity. The great evangelist Theo Moody once said, if I take care of my character, God will take care of my reputation. The Bible we read of Daniel, a man of integrity.

Men who do the right thing affect one time he was arrested for it because he prayed after the king had signed a decree that no one can pray to. When he got except him.

Will Daniel prayed anyway and his enemies came and had him arrested and thrown into a lion's den.

Pretty bleak scenario. But how that story yet all the very men that lied about Daniel ended up being eaten by the lions and Daniel lived to pray another day, same thing is true of Joseph. His stories in the book of Genesis. This is a young man who lived with honesty and integrity, and though he was falsely accused of reaping the wife of Potter for he was vindicated in the end and you will be to cares point number seven what an older Greg would say to younger Greg Mary the right person. So this is the young lady I Mary Catherine Martin was her name.

Here's a picture of her and also just another piece of advice I would say, going back to the beginning. The message I would say to a younger Greg don't wear that ugly tuxedo on your wedding day. Look at how Catholic she looks classic. She was 18 years old. I was 21 years old and man that is the worst the conduct of all time. Mary the right person was and if you're single.

I believe God has a person picked out for you that you can start praying for your spouse right now even though you don't know, maybe you do know Munoz you can start praying for them now, but when you're looking at potential candidates of who to spend the rest of your life with looking at who could be the potential mother or father of your children who could be the grandparent of your grandchildren. Start here. Look for a godly person find some of its even more godly then you don't find some person who is not a Christian and marry them. The Bible says don't be an equally yoked together with nonbelievers, what fellowship does light have with darkness. Don't do that.

Listen honestly.

Marriage is challenging enough, don't marry a nonbeliever on top of it. You need someone you can pray together with and commit things to the Lord with look to God for the strength marriage can be challenging in life, but once you make this commitment. It should be a lifelong commitment.

Weblog should be a padlock and I mean that in the best way and if you're unwilling to do this if you want to just experiment with it and get married and maybe get divorce if it doesn't work out do us all a favor and stay single but rather think about this.

Pray about this antique your time. The Bible says love is patient, some people want to rush in the marriage. All we have to get married immediately. No get to know one another. The Bible says many waters cannot quench love. Neither can floods surround it. If your love for that man. That woman is a real love. It will stand the test of time I heard this great advice that was given to me by a friend of mine named Cliff Barrows. He said there there are eight words you should be willing to say here spouse every day eight words. Here they are, say I'm sorry. Please forgive me and I love you I'm sorry.

Please forgive me and I love you and I would add these words as well.

It was my fault you have to mean the words when you say them.

I'm sorry. Please forgive me. I love you and it was my fault as of the Bible says wives are to respect her husband's husband's are to love their wife as Christ loves the church make the right decision and marry the right person hears point number rate what an older Greg would say to a younger Greg tell those you love that you love tell the people you love that you love them, don't. Don't wait, don't say will be no, I'm sure they know, but it never hurts to have someone say I love you, they can't read your mind say because there's going to come a moment when you can have a last conversation with someone you love, you may not realize it was your last conversation. That's why it's a good thing. The end your conversation with. I love you. The Lord called our son Christopher home 13 years ago. I know that he knew that I loved though I missed him desperately though.

We were devastated by this horrific event we always told him we loved him and that's a very important thing to do. Don't wait to their funeral. They won't hear what happens at their funeral all bring flowers and bring your flowers now stop what you're doing.

Think about people you love your parents, your children, your siblings, some of this meant a lot to you. Send him a text send them an email.

Even better, write it on a card, you know why it's cool right in on a card as it can keep it. They can pull it out to say I just wanted to take a moment to say I appreciate you and I love you.

Thank you for all that you've done for me. Number nine.

Keep short accounts and forgive. Listen to this. People are going to disappoint you alive even people you love again let you down there going to see something that hurt you. Something is going to happen. You'll feel that you been betrayed. Maybe you have been betrayed.

Maybe you just think you been betrayed, but whatever it is you're going to face hurt and pain in life. Here's what you don't want to do harbor grudges against people because that can hurt you. Recent studies suggest that those that do not forgive are more likely to experience high blood pressure, bouts of depression and problems with anger, stress and anxiety see. So when I forgive someone I'm not letting them off the hook. I'm avoiding a lot of misery in my own life. Forgiveness is not about absolving the perpetrator.

It's about healing the victim there is a man who directs the Stanford forgiveness project in these." Forgiveness isn't giving into the other person. It's getting free of the other person as I've said before, when you forgive someone you set a prisoner free yourself. Don't live in a prison that you put yourself in of anger and bitterness and resentment and have it actually ruin your life.

Ephesians 430 says be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another as God through Christ is forgiven you coming back to Joseph after horrible things were done to him. His brothers betrayed him. They sold him as a slave for Pete's sake and in the moment when he could've had them all summarily executed. He had said for gave them and he said you meant it for evil but God meant it for good. Forgive point number 10 be a nice person, it you know if you disagree with someone fine. But don't be obnoxious about it. They have a new word now for people that wrapped and this is usually reserved for the women that probably should come up with one for guys as well. But you see these little videos I will pop up in the call them Karen. I don't know how this started. It was started with a woman named Karen and I'm sorry if your name is Karen but some of us it all day.

There were like Karen and you have a video and someone from each on the cell phone of some woman ranting about something. Whatever it is in and they're getting all upset there screaming and yelling. Don't be that person ever.

You're a child of God be known for your generosity be known for your love, your compassion, not for your anger. Ephesians 431 says don't use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful so your words may be an encouragement to those that cure them be known as an encourager not to discourage or be known as a person that builds people up, not as a people that are not as a person who cares people down.

That brings me to my next point. This was very practical and you might be surprised by you ready for this is a deep theological insight about life what would an older Greg say to a younger Greg.

Have fun. Yes, you heard me right.

Have fun some of the simplest joys of life are before you every single day. Savor the sunset enjoyed the meal linger with family and friends.

Don't be in such a rush to the next thing, live in the moment and I think one way to do this is put the cell phones away word of advice when you sit down for a meal. Don't take cell phones to the table. You have a little want to get feelers to maybe take the watch off to just have a conversation with the people around you in more than one occasion had been with people in everyone's on their cell phone and I'll text them. Be here now. Let's put these phones away.

Let's have a conversation with each other. Here's what I found the greatest joys in life will come from your relationship with God and with others, but sometimes were always thinking about what's going to come out when this comes on going to be so happy when this happens it will be so great. Wait, what about the moment right now-the greatest moments of life are often be in between one's let me use Christmas as an example, we could so psyched about Christmas, don't we economically to Christmas. I can hardly wait to open my present torque. I can hardly wait until the people I bought presents for open them and it's all about that moment and you miss the in between moment, let me you still Disneyland isnever been back there for a while but you know it's so exciting when you pull into the parking lot at Disneyland.

It's so thrilling when you actually walk in the park and follow it so great. I'm so glad to be here, but after three or four hours. You're kinda looking forward to leaving right we get so psyched about the event, we miss the things that happen before the events and after the event. So savor those in between moments try to laugh more.

Paul the apostle said, rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice.

So where was Paul when he wrote that always laying on some beach separate and iced tea. Soaking up some raised Nono he was imprisoned, but despite the fact that he was imprisoned writing to the believers in Philippi, he says red joys in the Lord always lighten up. Don't take yourself so seriously criticized less, complement more. Here's another one. Make the right choices.

You have a choice each and every day to obey God, or to disobey God to do the right thing or to do the wrong thing to pick up the Bible and read it or neglect. The Bible to pray or to worry, these are your choices. Make the right choices. Why because you make your choices and then your choices make you in the end of your life is determined by the beginning of your life the evening of your life is determined by the morning of your life. So if you're young develop good habit patterns now start doing the right things now and that will be great dividends later in life.

Number 15. Tell others about Jesus and the disciples. This is called the great commission Jesus said, going to all the world and preach the gospel to make disciples of all nations teaching them to observe all things that I've commanded you, baptizing them in the name of the father son of the Holy Spirit.

Hello, I am with you, even to the end of the age.

Jesus is saying he will be with the person who does this in a special way.

It means that we look for opportunities to initiate conversations about Christ. To the best of our ability. We seek to lead people to the Lord and then we disciple them said what is that even mean me to take him under your wing and help them get up on their feet spiritually is why discipling the new believer is important for the new believer, as well as for the old believer the older believer stabilizes the younger believer in the younger believer energizes the older believer so you know when you been going to church for 10, 15, 20 years. I don't know what you do after the service, but maybe you start critiquing things that you see what she was wearing no mention you believe how loud the music was that sermon seemed a little too long. You know you kinda gripe and complain maybe, but let's say you have a brand-new believer with you, they just accepted Christ two weeks ago that there in the bloom of first love.

I guarantee you're knocking to be critiquing the sermon or critiquing the church because the new believer will say, you know, the pastor said this and I've never heard that before and so you find yourself elaborating on it to understand how that's helping you as well as it's helping them see a lot of us don't do this, you were not sharing the truth were hoarding the truth, we just think about ourselves, but her true mark of spiritual maturity. As we got our eyes off of our soap and start thinking of others. But then there's the joy of sharing because Jesus said it's more blessed to give than it is to receive share your faith, seek to disciple others. Here's another one, spend time with older godly people sometimes on your youngest morning run young people remember when I was a brand-new Christian I was 17 I knew a lot of people my own age, but I went out of my way to find older people to hang around you know why I thought one of these other young people and I don't think they know much more than I know. So I met people that were older like Pastor Chuck Smith, his wife, Katie Smith and associate pastor there at the church. He pastored Calvary Chapel name Pastor Romain. I spent time talking to them you know why I didn't have a dad growing up I didn't have a mom growing up I needed an older person to help me figure life out to give me some life hacks if you will. And they did that they spent time with me.

I didn't just listen to them speak, I had meals with them and did fun things with them and got to see what a Christian looks like up close and personal, especially in older more mature believer a little bit later in my life and became friends of the great British preacher Alan Redpath wrote a lot of amazing commentaries and of course I became friends with Billy and Ruth Graham being with these godly people impacted me, fine, godly people, you can be was so pure and older believer find a younger believer, you can bring under your wing.

If you're a younger believer find an older believer, you can learn from Paul says to Timothy teach these Jews to other trustworthy people will be able to pass them on to others she were in a race as Christians and this raises a beginning, middle and end. I expect that I'm toward the end of my race and certainly not at the beginning of it and this is a relay race my job in this race is not to hold onto the baton forever. I have to hand it on to the next runner to carry it forward. We need to do the same and we need to share these truths if you're older with younger people. God told Moses to teach these truths to his children when they sit down when they lie down when they walk. When they get up in the go to bed.

In other words just integrate this truth and the life of other people throughout life in general. Listen to this worldview for young people is formed between the ages of 18 months, and the age of 13. Those in those critical years to poor truth and the life of a younger person find a younger person and do that if you're younger person get someone to help you with that cures my final points finish your race well I mentioned were in a race race of life pulses.

Many people are in the race run that you may win. We all want to run when we all are running for the gold. You know we want to do the best we can with the life that God has given us. There will come a moment when we have our last meal, and we give our last statement and then were done we breathe. Our last breath. Hopefully we can say, along with the apostle Paul in this of course is found in second Timothy four I fought the good fight, I kept the faith. I finished the course. Henceforth there is laid for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge will give to me, and that day and not to me only, but to all who love his appearing. You don't know when the end of your race will come my sense race ended at 33 and we used to race on the beach.

By the way Kim and I he was a great runner Christopher but somehow I could beat him for many years, even though he was good runner. He was a long-distance runner.

I was a sprinter so I would challenge him to a race. I would always have the race fever. Me, I would pick the rock up the beetle say let's race of the rock markets ago well I would fever me because I'm a sprinter and I would always be when they were walking along the beach. I said, let's race of the rock you ready and off we go.

If you not only beat me you really be and I think that he is gone to heaven before me. He beat me in the race it will have a long ways to run this race and live this life. Maybe I'll get right with God when I'm in my 80s or 90s. No, your race may be coming to an end more quickly than you plan for. So always be able to say I fought the good fight, I kept the faith. I finish the course run this race well. Speaking of advice I once was sitting with Pastor Chuck Smith asking this question, Chuck.

What would an older truck say to a younger Chuck, what advice would you give yourself and Chuck's response was simply hold the course wasn't sure what that meant. Is that what you mean hold the course in the omicron the race of life and you just hang in there and keep running. He said that's it. Hold the course. That's what he did.

By the way he held the course and was mid 80s before the Lord called him home. I say to you, season saints you that have been walking with the Lord for some time. Hold your course keep running this race because you never know the race will earlier I mentioned that I was with Alice Cooper and of course you probably know who Alice Cooper is he's a famed rock star.

One moment he was the most famous and successful rock star in all of the world is name. He was given was Vincent Fortier and as a young man he got into a Little Rock grant. They were called the spiders and they later changed her name to Alice Cooper and and of course he was known for suspected: and for almost be like a dark figure but in reality a lot of it was an act, but in time Vincent Fournier started turning into the character Alice Cooper almost like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. He started becoming this character in he was drinking. He became an alcoholic and then he became a drug addict, but here's the amazing thing it may not know about Alice Cooper is he's a son of a pastor and he was running from God. He described himself to me in an interview I did with him is the prodigal running from God. Anyone so far that people thought you'll never get right with God. This guy is so evil he told me there were there were destroying copies of his record on the 700 club, but God wasn't done with Vincent. He wasn't done with Alice and he got a hold of him. Alice was actually overdosing on cocaine. He had a rock of cocaine.

The size of a softball and I he was hallucinating and he looked in the mirror and he saw what looked like blood coming out of his eyes and he cried out to God and he took the rock of cocaine and flushed it down the toilet.

And God heard his prayer and turned him around these men walking with the Lord clean and sober for many years now, the only addiction he seems to have today is an addiction to golf clubs to get out the course. I think that's a an acceptable inspection it so to speak, but the point is Alice speaks out about his faith in Jesus Christ. Right now, reminding us that no one is beyond the reach of God. I've talked a lot about younger people, let me talk to someone. So it was a little older, if you made some bad decisions maybe have done some things and he would say it's too late for me it's never too late for you. God can turn your life around. God can forgive you of your sin. God can refresh you and replenish you and revive you but you must turn to him earlier in the program.

I gave an opportunity for people to believe in Jesus Christ, let me do an invitation of a different kind right now, and invitation. The prodigal sons and daughters out there who like Alice Cooper have been running from God.

But listen, God is not forgot about you. God loves you and God will accept you and forgive you talk about the prodigal son, you remember that story in the Bible.

A boy runs away from his father, ruins his life loses everything that he has, comes back in Shane returning to his father in Jesus who told the story the father when he some of the distant Randy him through his arms around him and rejoice and said this, my son, who is dead is alive again. He was lost is found.

Wonder how would God treat me if I returned to him. He would forgive you Abraham Lincoln after the end of the Civil War was asked how they should treat the rebellious Southerners and he said treat them as if they had never left the ideas God will treat you as if you have never left you'll forgive you because on the cross, Jesus took your sin 2000 years ago he repeated in full. It wasn't a partial payment. It was a complete payment and that's why he uttered the words, it is finished.

It is completed. It's done you just need to come and say God forgive me, are your prodigal son or daughter. Have you been running from God. Maybe it's time to return to him.

I'm in a prayer simple prayer you would if you would like to recommit your life to Jesus Christ you can do it right here right now. Let's pray pray these words Lord Jesus. I've been a prodigal. I know it's right but I been running from you, but I'm so thankful you love me and you'll forgive me Lord, I returned to you. Now I recommit my life to you now tight shoes to follow you from this moment forward. Thank you for hearing my prayer and answering my prayer in Jesus name I ask this a minute. Everybody thinks you're listening to this podcast to learn more about harvest ministries follow the show and consider supporting it. Just go to harvest.org and find out how to know God personally go to harvest.org and click on know God


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