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May 10, 2022 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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Everybody you're listening to a new beginning, which is a podcast made possible by harvest partners. If this program is impacted you, I love to hear from you. So just send an email to me at email@example.com again it's firstname.lastname@example.org you can learn more about becoming harvest partner by going to harvest.org coming up today master Greg Laurie offers practical advice to help strengthen our ministries on an individual basis and I think sometimes you might think pastors or missionaries or people that work for churches there in ministry, but every Christian is in ministry in the center because ministry is simply service over things God you would be where I am for a reason that I am available to serve you and I want my life to bring glory to you and essentially do list from God. Once we come to the Lord, our sins are forgiven and our names are written in the book of life, which next the Lord has a few suggestions and whether we stand in the pulpit, drill press, whether we deliver babies for bottled water.
Whether we work inside or outside the home. God has worked for us to do right where we are from the book of Nehemiah today. Lori why we pray together all the were so glad to be here today and we know that you of a work that you want to do in our lives and we know you will promises you given to us that are just waiting to be claimed so we pray as we discover those as we talked about building our lives as we look at Nehemiah that you would speak to us through it.
We commit this time a Bible study to you now in Jesus name we pray. Amen. All right, who's ready to study the book of Nehemiah razor yet. Excellent, excellent. Grab your Bible concerning quickly. Nehemiah chapter 1 Nehemiah chapter 1 of my not be a book that your all that familiar with it speeds 475 in my Bible.
That's usually not the best way to find something.
As you probably a different Bible that I got but Nehemiah chapter 1 and the title of my message is the rebuild life. I want remind you that I always encourage you to read ahead. So for next time. Read Nehemiah 1 and Nehemiah to practice read the whole book to be the best thing you know is you look at America today.
I don't know what we've ever been more divided were really divided along racial lines. Racial tension seemed to be at an all-time high were divided along political lines, what we've always had political divisions but I can't think of a time over more divided than we are. In this particular moment were divided along ideological lines that we see the breakdown and redefinition of the family and honestly that is at the root of a lot of our problems in America today. The increase in crime. The increase of drug use. The increase of so many problems refacing can be traced directly back to the breakdown of the family that we have violence in the streets. We have threats to our personal and national security. What are we going to do to turn our nation around. Can we turn our nation around well will get to see a lot of parallels here between our lives and the story of Nehemiah. This is a story of one man who took action and made a difference. His name is Nehemiah and he literally rebuilt a nation. There's so much we can learn together in this book and we will learn together to learn how to pray when there seems to be no human solution to our problem are you facing a problem like that right now there's no human solution we can learn what Nehemiah did when he was in the same situation where you learn how to deal with challenges spiritually as well as practically you know sometimes we only want to have a spiritual solution i.e. prayer we don't do anything. Sometimes you want to do something but we don't break learn how the two go hand-in-hand will learn how to plan our work and work our plan and at the same time Truscott and really, the book of Nehemiah is in many ways a book about leadership so we can all learn how to boost morale when it's failing.
How to build people up and get them on your team. Maybe you're a leader of your workspace.
Maybe you're the boss man of the boss woman are you.
Maybe you're a foreman on a worksite or maybe you're the teacher in the classroom or are you the person in charge in some way shape or form, but even if your lower down on the ladder. You'll probably be a leader of some kind. One day, and it seems that everyone lead someone so there's lessons on leadership here as well. Will also learn together how to respond to personal attacks and react when lies are told about you have your head lies told about you have never been attacked unjustly. Nehemiah phase that will learn how to react.
But first we have to start a lady a little foundation here was some history of the nation of Israel, where they were out at this particular moment in time. Now of course Israel was established by God. Were and are gods chosen people. God ruled them through the various judges over time, but Israel wanted a king any granted their request and gave them a king after their own heart and his name was King Saul. He was the People's choice and he wasn't a very good king.
He started off well but he went off the rails and just his life was a disaster. So God pick someone himself. He was David the shepherd boy who is described after the man after God's own heart and under the reign of David Israel will they were in their glory days around the circumference of the city. They build protective walls. I was around 10 acres of strategic plan surrounded by steep hills and these walls and for 40 years, Israel Dr., Jerusalem, thrive the day was getting old and he knew his day was coming to an end, so he passed it on to his son Solomon and said Solomon my son, know the God of your father, and serve him with an undivided heart and Solomon started off so well known for his great wisdom. People came from around the world to sit at his feet, including the Queen of Sheba who said of him that happens not been told. Within Solomon began to compromise any started getting a bunch of wives. Lots and lots of wives and then some concubines as well. If you don't know what those are, as pastor Paul afterward till it's going talk to Eddie was compromising in many of these were pagan women in the and resulted in trouble. Coming right there in the throne, but soon Solomon died and then Israel split right into in the northern tribes are ruled by Jeroboam in the southern tribes are ruled by revocable abode tribes turn to idols and false God. The northern tribe fell 1st and they were taken into captivity by the Assyrians, the people of the northern kingdom were absorbed in the various cultures of the world, but the southern kingdom fell later and they were deported by the Babylonian so because they had this penchant for idolatry. God says.
You want idols. They'll give you more idols than you can shake a stick at. Welcome to idols, central dialogue that's where they lived as captives for 70 long years, and that's in the book of Daniel was written. Nebuchadnezzar was the king of Babylon number one of his advisors was Daniel and God humbled the great Nebuchadnezzar, and he turned to God, but he didn't successfully pass his legacy on because his grandson Belshazzar went out of his way to mock the God that his grandfather believed in you. Remember the story of Belshazzar drinking out of the vessels that were set aside for the worship of God and in mocking the Lord and then he saw a hand writing on the wall and God said you been weighed in the balances in you been found lacking because right outside of his kingdom was Cyrus and the Medo Persian forces were ready to come in and conquer Babylon. So now Cyrus is the king, and he gives a decree that the Jews can go back to Jerusalem. So in approximately 536 BC, the first wave of Jews returned to Judah under Jerusalem, I know what some of you are thinking this is so over being I don't need a history lesson. Actually, you do because the sender this history is his story. So we need to learn from history and so were this is setting the stage for what were about to read.
We need to have contacts. As we look at the book of Nehemiah together. So here the Jews out returning to Jerusalem.
Though the repose by the Samaritans.
They succeed in rebuilding the Temple and a number of years later, around 458 BC, a second wave of Jewish people return under the direction of Ezra Ezra was a priest. He was a spiritual leader, and upon arriving, the children of Israel were in a state of spiritual decline. The problem was there was intermarriage with the pagan tribes intermarriage.
By the way, God is not against interracial marriage is against interfaith marriage okay so this issue that anyone who makes an issue of interracial marriages know what they're talking about the big thing for God is that we find people that share the same faith that we share because I'll tell you what marriage is hard enough without adding the element of a nonbeliever to it. This is why the Bible says don't be unequally yoked together with nonbelievers for what fellowship does like With darkness and you might say Wyman and Mary non-Christian guy and I'm a lead him to Christ. Now concede that does occasionally happen.
But occasionally far more often what happens is instead of the believer pulling the nonbeliever up.
The nonbeliever pulls the believer down.
That's what the Bible warns against that nothing happened to Israel there intermarrying with all these pagan tribes and so they're totally compromise and it's just a big mess. So Ezra calls these people out to repent and they did and then the Jewish temple was rebuilt but the walls of the city were in shambles. Greg Laurie will have the second half of this message just a moment. It's such a blessing to hear from listeners who take time to express their appreciation pastor Greg magnificent. This is just one of the words that enters my thoughts after completing your book Revelation about the promises never taking me so long to read about because I was just absorbing the information contained each and every chapter.
I kept saying to myself, I'm so glad I won't be here when the tribulation happens pastor Greg I love your preaching, and I listen to you on the radio into your podcast. I'm sending you, and very thank you and am so happy that God blessed you with the calling to preach to his followers were so grateful to hear of change lives to the books and resources of pastor Greg and harvest ministries. If you have a story to share.
Why not contact us and let us know. Email pastor Greg email@example.com doing today would you again next Greg and harvest.org will pastor Greg is laying the foundation study series in the book of Nehemiah. Let's continue his message now called the rebuilt life so the temples rebuilt, but the walls are still in shambles it started like they started the job, but they didn't finish it, kind of like the way I clean thing right my wife. She's very efficient as a cleaner. You know, she shall make food for me to eat and she's cleaning the dish before I finished eating, I climbed partially in the dishwasher to finish it. It sprayed my face things like that because she's always cleaning cleaning efficient cleaning eyelet messes store up the other designate to my office and just looks like a bomb went off in their notebook stuck on books and papers and all these things and so I sent him the get it right today and so I got it all sorted out, but I just looked at like two or three little piles.
I said I get to those later. You know what happened right now. Those piles are big piles and it looks as bad as a look before and after start all over again. That's what Israel look like that's a Jerusalem look like they got some things done but they didn't get all the things done so enter Nehemiah. He's the man that God is going to use is not a priest like Ezra. He's what you would call a layman. Unlike the term layman myself. It's sort of a term that used to describe someone who is not quote in ministry." I think sometimes you might think will pastor's are missionaries or people that work for churches there in ministry, but but actually I flip burgers or I work in the corporate world or or I'm in construction or I'm in education so I'm not in ministry. All contract which is French for snails with garlic, no that's a start up no every Christian is in ministry, in the sense because ministry is simply service over saying God you put me where I am for a reason and I am available to serve you and I want my life to bring glory to you. God didn't pick another priest to finish the job. He picked a different kind of guy who is part of what we might think of today as the presidential cabinet.
He picked Nehemiah was the right man on the right place at the right time. Nehemiah was the cupbearer to King Artaxerxes. It was the leader of the Medo Persians.
This will be like being maybe the chief of staff to the president of the United States you control access to the oval office of you want to see the president you go to the chief of staff. If you wanted to see King Artaxerxes.
You went through Nehemiah. This had to be a man, that the king could trust actually had to be a man, that the king liked because he spent a lot of time with them because whenever food was served at the king Nehemiah either first and basically Nehemiah die the king without either float and it would be the cupbearer a new one. Rather then he would think of the cup before the king would drink about. But in time he became the confidant of the king, he became the counselor to the king in many ways, he was the second most powerful man in all of the nation at this point. So a very successful job and a super cushy one at that.
And you would want to jeopardize it but despite this luxurious life. Nehemiah was concerned about others. That's where his heart was in a perfect world, he didn't want to be in the palace. He wanted to be in the temple.
In other words, he had the finest this world has to offer what he wanted to be with God and with God's people, and he cared about them is that how you feel during the week. You know, maybe at work or school or whatever you said. I can't wait till Sunday were going to worship the Lord working to get into the word of God, you look forward to it like the psalmist who said I was glad when they said in the me let us go to the house of the Lord is that you felt when you came to church today. Are you glad to be in the house of the Lord. Right now, if so yeah that's good.
Listen to them when you're living a godly life, you will want to be with godly people person when you're living a godly life you want to be with godly people let me turn it around. If you're not living as godly of a life as you want to.
You will not want to be with godly people.
So basically, Nehemiah is saying yeah this is nice living here in the palace next to the king, but I care about God's people know sometimes people say things like, will I love Jesus I just can't stand the church.
That's like the stupidest thing ever. By the way is if you love Jesus, you will love his people don't say you love Jesus. If you don't love his people.
For some, 420 says of a person says I love God, but he does brother he's a liar of a person does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God me is not seen.
Nehemiah love God and be loved. His people, his fellow Jews, so he asks about them.
So were in Nehemiah chapter 1 starting in verse one. By the way I'm reading from the new living translation in late autumn in the month of Kislev you know that month right just left that would be around November to December on our calendar in the 20th year of King Artaxerxes rain. I was at the fortress of Susa, anon, I one of my brothers came to visit me with some other men would just arrived from Judah. I asked him about the Jews who had returned there from captivity and how things were going in Jerusalem.
They said to me, things are not going well for those who return to the province of Juneau are in great trouble and disgrace the wall of Jerusalem is been torn down and the gates have been destroyed by fire. There so Nehemiah was deeply moved and touched by this. He thought I'm in this position I'm in for a reason.
He decides he's going to bet the farm and go for broke and leverages position of influence and go to King Artaxerxes and try to fund the building program to rebuild the broken walls of Jerusalem. He realized he was wearing was because God wanted him there. Have you ever stopped and thought about the fact that your exactly where you're supposed to be right now I'm right here right now in church yes wherever you are. This is where you should be, but it's also true of the neighborhood you're in, or the workspace herein other campus. Your Honor, wherever you might be you. It's all men of again just change my circumstances. Did it ever occur to you that you are where you're supposed to be. Nehemiah realizes a God put me here to do something with this position is given to me to Greg Laurie just getting started. Great series examining the leadership and example of Nehemiah is much more to come on a new beginning will pass to Greg.
I have a copy of your new book called Lennon Dylan, Alice and Jesus, which were making available right now.
Just let me read something from your book by May. It's in a section talking about prints and you're right. Contrary to popular belief, adversity is not the greatest test of character overnight success is just ask Dez Dickerson who is princes dazzling lead guitarist from 78 to 83. He said this same was like this vertical takeoff and suddenly there are more people around you. Oh, we have roadies now owe we have bodyguards now and they're there for a reason to.
We experience many riots. We couldn't walk down the street and they had to cordon off the floor of our hotel.
What that does to your head is beyond description and what it does to the human psyche is a whole other thing. There's this internal mechanism that unconsciously begins to take form in your equilibrium get so skewed that you find yourself doing and saying things that are you and get this, he says, you become your own press release. I thought that was very telling.
Yeah that's very insightful and that's written by someone who knows what they're talking about and think about prints himself. I mean this in incredibly talented men died of a drug overdose.
I mean so many have died of drug overdoses.
You would've thought that Prince would've said he my friend Michael Jackson died this way. Hey Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin died this way. Hey, Chester Bennington died this way.
He actually took his own life. I don't want to die that way but that's exactly how he died and I think people take drugs to numb the pain because they just don't know how to live with this altered state of reality. They find themselves, and they need Jesus. And I think so many people look to these rock stars saying oh I wish I was them know you'd you should not wish she were them but you have your challenges you have your pressures and really Christ is the answer for everyone. He's the answer for the rockstar. He is the answer for the unknown person. He is the answer for the billionaire. He's the answer for the person that doesn't have two pennies to rub together. He's the answer for every man, every woman, every boy, every girl every person so I've written this book to say no one is beyond the reach of God.
Don't stop praying.
Don't give up on these people you know I think about electronic dance music DJ Vici's real name was Tim Berglund of e.g. had global success. Thousands of people would come to his rave concert and thought he was the greatest thing ever but a Vici was a young man who according to his parents was searching for peace and the meaning of life. Tragically, he began to drink extensively in his liver was failing and the doctor told me of this cease-and-desist from drinking or you would die. He still a very young guy and then he made somewhat of a recovery and retired from his career and then ended up taking his own life in the worst way imaginable, but I think a lot of these guys are searching for peace and meaning. Why are they here on this earth. And really, we all are. When you get down to it, except these people have had all the successes world offers and of realized how empty it is, I explore the lives of a lot of rock stars past, present, and ones that are emerging on the scene right now so it's not just about rock music. It just about this. Don't take the wrong course in life don't think that things will fill that void in your life or a career will do it, or success will do it, or sex will do it, or any other thing. What you really want what you really need is a relationship with God and we have a lot of rock stars that we talk to for this book and we interviewed that will tell you that from personal experience. As always Christ is the answer now to write so many reasons to dig into this spiritual biography of rock 'n' roll is actually a group of short biographies, several dozen musicians and artists and what we can learn from their lives. It's fascinating and a great tool to help you share your faith letter sent you Lennon Dylan, Alice, and Jesus is our thank you gift to those who can partner with us right now, so that these daily studies can continue your donation also helps us reach out with the gospel as we did just a few weeks ago had Boise harvest to contact us today. Our phone number is 1-800-821-3300. We are always ready to take your call 24 seven that's 1-800-821-3300 or write a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or go online to harvest dock for the next time Pastor Greg brings us more from this foundational study in the book of Nehemiah join us here on a new beginning. Pastors and Bible teachers Greg Laurie and thanks for Greg Laurie podcast made possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God sign up for daily devotions and learn how to become a harvest partner harvest.org