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The Rebuilt Life | Accepting Blessings

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
May 11, 2022 3:00 am

The Rebuilt Life | Accepting Blessings

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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May 11, 2022 3:00 am

When a cashier gives you change back, do you take some of it and put in your pocket? No, you take it all. When you file your taxes, do you tell the IRS to keep your tax refund for themselves? Probably not. If something belongs to us, we’ll take it . . . thank you very much. Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie points out the blessings and promises God has made available to us. Many of us have never taken advantage of them – maybe we don’t even know what they are. Let’s learn today.

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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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

Visit our website and learn more about Harvest Partners at harvest.org. Think of all those gift cards unclaimed. All that money not utilized. So here's the Bible filled with gift cards, if you will. Gift cards!

Because the Bible is filled with promises and all you have to do is claim them. When a cashier gives you change back, do you take some of it and put it in your pocket? No, you take it all. When you file your taxes, do you tell the IRS to keep the tax refund for themselves? Probably not. If something belongs to us, we'll take it.

Thank you very much. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie points out the blessings and promises God has made available to us. Many of us have never taken advantage of them.

Maybe we don't even know what they are. Let's learn today. This is the day, the day when life begins. Nehemiah was the cupbearer to King Artaxerxes, who was the leader of the Medo-Persians. This had to be a man that the king could trust. Actually, it had to be a man that the king liked because he spent a lot of time with him. Because whenever food was served to the king, Nehemiah ate it first. And basically if Nehemiah died, the king would not eat that food. And he would eat a cupbearer.

A new one rather. And he would drink of the cup before the king would drink of it. 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 wouldn't want to jeopardize it. But despite this luxurious life, Nehemiah was concerned about others. That is 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. But he wanted to be with God and with God's people. And he cared about them.

So he asks about them. So we are in Nehemiah chapter 1 starting in verse 1. And by the way I am reading from the New Living Translation. Are in great trouble.

And disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem has been torn down and the gates have been destroyed by fire. Drop down to verse 7. I confess that we have sinned against you. Yes, even my own family and I have sinned. We have sinned terribly by not obeying the commands, decrees, and regulations you gave us through your servant Moses.

We will stop there. Now here are some principles on how to pray from Nehemiah. Principle number 1 if you are taking notes. Because God answered this prayer. If you want your prayers answered, pray Nehemiah's way.

Principle number 1. He acknowledged the greatness of God. He acknowledged the greatness of God.

Look at verse 5 again. Oh Lord God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps His covenant of unfeeling love with those who love Him and keep His commands. Oh great and awesome God. I love that. You know the word awesome is still very popular isn't it? That's just awesome. That was an awesome burger wasn't it? Oh that was an awesome movie. Oh you look awesome today. We throw the word around a lot.

You want to get real technical. Only God is completely awesome. And that is what He says. You are awesome Lord. What does awesome mean?

It means you are awe inspiring. I am speechless Lord. And consider this. When you see God in His greatness you will see your problems in their relative smallness. I am not diminishing your problems because you might be here today with a big problem. A big challenge.

Something that is kind of scary even. But your God is bigger. Your God is way bigger than your problem.

So that is something that you should always remind yourself of. So when you approach God. Oh Lord you are the almighty God. You are the great God. You are the creator God. You are the sovereign God.

Why do I say that? I am just getting things in perspective before I even start. And is this not what Jesus taught us in what we call the Lord's Prayer? The disciples came to Him and they didn't say, Lord teach us a killer prayer. The prayer to pray in case of emergency.

Give us the big one Lord. No they said, Lord teach us to pray. Not teach us a prayer. Teach us to pray. Jesus said, after this manner therefore you should pray.

Or another way of putting it. Follow this template or pattern of prayer. Our Father who art in heaven hallowed be Thy name.

Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. So that prayer that Jesus taught us to pray.

The model for all prayer does not start with my needs. I don't say our Father who art in heaven give me this day my daily bread. No I say my Father who art in heaven hallowed set apart be Your name. Your kingdom come.

Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. So I am contemplating God in His greatness. Number two, Nehemiah reminded God of His promises. He says in verse five, the God who keeps His covenant. Did Nehemiah need to jog God's memory? Does God forget stuff?

No He doesn't. He said, wait Greg the Bible says God speaking your sins and iniquities. Well I remember no more so He forgets our sins. Yeah but there is a difference between literally forgetting things and choosing to not remember things. You know so when God says He forgives our sins and forgets them it doesn't mean He has you know a lapse of memory.

It means I choose to not hold that against you any longer. But He still remembers technical detail. He remembers everything. I forget stuff all the time. I lose my keys. I lose my wallet. I lost my phone the other day. I looked for it like all day. Where is my phone?

Where is my phone? We lose things. We forget things. God never loses anything. He never forgets anything.

He is omniscient which means He is all knowing. So why would you remind God of something when you pray? Well in a way you are reminding yourself as much as you are reminding God.

God you promised to provide us for all of our needs so we are praying in light of that. Sort of like when a teacher gives an exam and they find that the students have learned the material. That is very pleasing to the teacher. You know sometimes people will come up to me after I spoke and say, great sermon pastor. Well thank you very much. What in the message spoke to your heart? Well great sermon pastor.

You weren't listening. And I appreciate the gesture but you say you know it is when you made this one point it really spoke to me. See that brings me joy because ok something got through right? Half the time I will work on a message for a long time and I will have the analogy about a dog. I love the dog story.

Really? Is that all? Is that the dog story?

Is that all you remember? Well it is something I guess. But I don't have a dog story in this sermon. But the point is is that when someone hears what you say that is wonderful and so when we say Lord I have been reading your promises and I remember your promises and I am reminding you of your promises that is a good thing. See that reminds us that we don't just read through the Bible.

We pray through the Bible. Because the Bible is filled with promises. Someone estimated there are 3,000 promises to believers found on the pages of Scripture. 3,000. I don't know if that number is accurate. If you want to go check this week and get a new number to me I might use your number for a while. But then I read the other day that there are 5.8 billion dollars in gift cards that go unclaimed every year.

And you know about that. Do you have gift cards you have not claimed? How many of you have unclaimed gift cards?

I have a few laying around. Think of all those gift cards unclaimed. All that money not utilized. So here is the Bible filled with gift cards if you will. Gift cards. It is already paid for.

You just need to cash them in. And there are so many promises God has given. You say well what are they?

Well let me just give you four quick ones. Number one God says you will never be alone in life. You will never be alone in life. Isaiah 41 the Lord says don't be afraid. I am with you.

Don't be dismayed. I am the Lord your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. Jesus said I will never leave you or forsake you. Number two God will get you through whatever you are facing. Isaiah 43 God says when you go through deep waters I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression you will not be burned up and the flames will not consume you. You know now you hear that promise God is saying I will be with you through the rough waters and the fires.

You are like yeah that is nice. Until you are getting your next round of chemo. Until you are facing the crisis.

Until your world seems to be unraveling and all of a sudden that becomes what it has always been. A great and precious promise from God. And all you have to do is claim that promise for yourself because the gift card is paid for.

Just go redeem it. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. You know there is nothing like hearing the word of God and worshiping the Lord together. I want to encourage you to join us for something we call Harvest at Home. It happens every Saturday and Sunday at Harvest.org. You can join Christians literally from around the world as we worship and we study the word of God together.

So join us for Harvest at Home at Harvest.org. Well Pastor Greg is highlighting some of the rich promises of God available to believers. Promises we often overlook. Today's message is titled The Rebuilt Life. Here is another one. God will provide for your needs.

Do you have financial needs right now? Here is what God says. Jesus speaking in Matthew 6 33. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you. And all these things was a reference to an earlier statement He made when He said, Don't be like nonbelievers who obsess about what they are going to wear and what they are going to drink and what they are going to eat. Jesus is saying put God first.

Seek Him first and all these things will be added to you. Malachi 3 10 God says, Bring all the tithes into the storehouse and there will be enough food in My temple. But if you do I will open the windows of heaven for you and pour out a blessing so great you won't have room enough to take it in. Try it.

Put it to the test. Have you ever put God to the test in tithing? You say, Well I don't believe in tithing. Well God does. And everyone should tithe.

That is where we start. And He said, Well I don't want to tithe. Well you don't have to tithe. But I will tell you what God promises if we are faithful in our giving to Him He will provide for us. And He even says, Put me to the test on this one.

That is very interesting. Because He doesn't say that anywhere else. And also God will forgive us of all of our sins. 1 John 1 8 says, If we will confess our sin, His feet will adjust to forgive us our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Ok. That is four promises. There is 2,966 more.

So go claim them. Speaking of confession of sin. That is what Nehemiah did next. Look at verse 7. I confess that we have sinned against you. Yes me and my own family we have sinned. We have sinned terribly by not obeying the commands, decrees, and regulations that you gave us through your servant Moses.

Notice the use of the word we. And my own family and I have sinned. Interesting as we look at the life of Nehemiah I don't really read of any notable sin.

He had not worshiped false gods like many of his fellow Israelites. But yet he says, I have sinned. I am responsible. You know it is easy to point fingers at everyone else and say they are the problem.

It is them. The whole world is against me. I don't know why everyone dislikes me. I don't know why everyone is getting angry at me.

They are all so wrong. Did it ever occur to you it is you? It comes as a revelation to some people. Could it be you? Why is everyone upside down with you? Why are so many people hurt by you? Maybe it is you. So why don't you stop pointing the finger?

Because have you ever noticed if you point one finger out three are pointing back at you? So you say, Lord my marriage is in trouble. This lousy husband. He needs to repent. Or Lord this ungrateful wife doesn't know how hard I work with these miserable children.

Lord it is just they want so many things. Just change them. Change them.

Change everyone. Did you ever stop and say, Lord change me? I heard a story about a little boy who was sent to his room for misbehaving. He told his mom he thought it over and said a prayer.

She said, very good. You should pray that God will help you not to misbehave. He said, oh I didn't ask God to help me not to misbehave. I asked him to help you put up with me. What about you changing? Stop complaining about your wife and pray that God will help you to be a more godly husband.

Stop complaining about your husband and pray that God will help you to be a more godly wife. And better parents. And on it goes. Start with you. It is you and then it is we. Listen folks. We are all in this together.

We are all in this together. I heard about two old ladies who had never flown before. They were afraid of jet planes so they found a prop plane flying to where they wanted to go. And they took their seat and they were a little nervous and suddenly they heard a loud noise. One of the ladies looked out the window on the other side of the plane and saw the engine had stopped. She turned to her friend and said, what do we do? And her friend said, I wouldn't worry about that.

That is their side of the plane. Well it will affect you too. So it is very easy to say, well if so and so would do this everything would be better. Ok. So and so maybe needs to do that. But you can't control so and so so let's just start with you. We say the nation needs a spiritual awakening. True. We say the church needs a revival. Again true.

But listen. Revival starts with you. Revival is personal. You say, what do you mean by revival?

I mean restoring to original condition. So I am that man or that woman that God wants me to be. Yes it is good to pray for someone else to change but pray that God would change you. Prayer does change things but it is also true that prayer changes you. And sometimes prayer changes you and you change things. So sometimes you will pray in the Lord and say, actually I want you to do this job.

And Nehemiah prayed and God said, good job buddy. Because you are going to be the one. I am going to bring the change through. You are going to be the man who will make a difference. And so he called out to the Lord and we need to do the same.

I wonder what state your life is in right now. You know we talk about these walls of Israel. Walls mattered back in those days.

They were defensive of course. They kept enemies out. And especially the gate of the city was where commerce was done. It was also where the elders would meet and they would make important decisions. They were a place of authority.

So they meant a lot. And in our life we have walls sort of built around us. And sometimes those walls start breaking down. You know we compromise a little here. We compromise a little there.

And then the weeds start growing in and the problems start developing. Maybe we need to go about rebuilding our own walls personally. Maybe it needs to start with a prayer where we just see ourselves as we really are. Listen if you are not a Christian let me tell you you are two state before God. You are a sinner in need of a Savior. Because there is nothing you can do to earn your way into heaven. But the good news is God loved you so much He sent His Son Jesus Christ 2,000 years ago on a rescue mission to die on the cross for your sin.

And to pay the price for all the wrongs you have done and then to rise again three days later. You need Jesus. And even after you have known the Lord for months and years and then decades you still need Jesus. You need Jesus every day and every night and every month and every year.

From your first year to your last. And sometimes we start well and we just get off track. And we need to recommit our self to Christ and we need to rebuild broken down walls.

And that might be some of you now. So we are going to close on prayer and I am going to extend an invitation for some of you to believe in Jesus for the first time. And also an invitation for some of you to recommit your life to Him because well the walls in your marriage. The walls in your life. The walls in your testimony.

They are broken down and in some cases they are in rubble. But God can help you to rebuild those walls again. But it starts with seeing God in His greatness. Confessing my sin and calling out to Him. Let's pray. Father thank You for Your Word to us today. And I pray for anyone here.

Anyone watching wherever they might be who does not know You yet. Lord help them to see that what they really long for in life is You. They long for Jesus. I pray that Your Holy Spirit will convict and convince them of their need for You. And help them to come to You and believe. In Jesus name I pray. Amen. Pastor Greg Laurie with an important prayer. And if you want to make a change today in your relationship with the Lord, Pastor Greg will help you do that before today's edition of A New Beginning wraps up. So stay with us. Well Pastor Greg, you've just released your new book, Lennon, Dylan, Alice, and Jesus.

And we're making it available right now through A New Beginning. Let me ask you, in researching and writing the book, why do you suppose rock stars, and for that matter, celebrities of all different stripes, why do they seem to self-destruct so often? I think a lot of these folks are damaged goods. So many of them come from broken homes. So many of them come from horrible backgrounds.

Or they come from horrible poverty or something else. And they want to be noticed. They want their life to matter. They want their life to have meaning. And I think they're actually searching for fulfillment through fame and fortune. They're thinking if I could one day be famous, if I could one day live in a mansion, if I could one day drive a Rolls Royce or a Ferrari or whatever it is, if I one day had people chanting my name, that would bring happiness. And of course, that's not true.

And they climb to the top of the mountain and they find out there's nothing there. So I think many of them are really just on a search for the meaning of life, but they're born with a talent as a singer, as an actor, as a performer of some kind. And so many of them rocket quickly to the top, and that is like the worst thing that can happen when you don't have a support structure to help you deal with all that adulation, fame and success and all that money you make. I mean, I know it's a cliché when we read the stories of these folks that just spend money like crazy and they find themselves bankrupt and in trouble. Well, they're not prepared for that kind of a life. They just like to sing or they like to perform or they like to do something else.

And then they have this incredible success that can be absolutely, in many cases, devastating to them. But I think a lot of these guys are searching for peace and meaning. Why are they here on this earth?

It's 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 Jesus Christ and discover His plan for your life and get to know Him. And then you'll have that happiness and that peace that you've longed for throughout your entire life.

Yeah, that's right. It's such a strong evangelism tool and a fascinating group of many biographies of so many of the names we know well. The subtitle is The Spiritual Biography of Rock and Roll. And we'd like to send you Pastor Greg's new book, Lennon, Dillon, Alice, and Jesus. It's our way of saying thank you for your investment in these daily studies. We're completely listener supported. We couldn't be here each day without the generosity of listeners like you.

So thank you for your partnership. And when you send your donation, be sure to ask for Lennon, Dillon, Alice, and Jesus. Call us at 1-800-821-3300. We're here around the clock to take your call, 1-800-821-3300.

Or go online to harvest.org. And then Pastor Greg wants to help you if you'd like to make a change today in your relationship with the Lord. Maybe as you've been listening to this message, you've thought, I wish I could come into this relationship with God.

I just don't know how. Let me tell you how you can come into a relationship with God right here, right now. First of all, you need to recognize you need God. You need to admit you're a sinner. I know some people choke on that word, but the Bible says all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. But then you need to recognize that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died on the cross for your sin. The Bible says, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. And then you need to believe in Jesus. Jesus put it this way, for God so loved the world, he gave his only begotten Son, and whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. You might ask, how does one believe in Jesus?

To believe means to put your faith and trust in Christ, in Christ alone, and to receive him into your life as your own friend, Savior, and Lord. The Bible says, for as many as received him, he gave them the power to become sons of God. Would you like to receive Christ? And by that I mean, would you like to ask Jesus to enter into your life and be your Savior, your friend, your Lord? If so, just pray this prayer after me now. Pray these words if you would. Lord Jesus, I know that I'm a sinner, but I know that you're the Savior who died on the cross for my sin. I turn now from my sin, and I ask you to come into my life and forgive me of all of my sin.

Thank you for loving me. Thank you for hearing this prayer. And thank you for answering this prayer. In Jesus' name I pray, amen. Hey, if you just prayed that prayer, I want to congratulate you and say welcome to the family of God.

Yeah, yeah, that's right. And listen, you may have some questions about this change in your life. Well, Pastor Greg would like to help by sending something called our New Believers Growth Packet.

It'll answer many of those questions and help you get started off right in your new relationship with the Lord. It's free of charge. Just contact us and ask for the New Believers Growth Packet. Our phone number is 1-800-821-3300, and we can take your call anytime.

That's 1-800-821-3300. Or go online to harvest.org and click Know God. Well, next time as we continue our study in the book of Nehemiah, Pastor Greg brings insight on the vital role of prayer in the life of the productive believer. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher Greg Laurie. This is the day, the day when life begins. Hey, everybody. Thanks for listening to A New Beginning. This is a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners. So for more content that can help you know God and equip you to make Him known to others or to learn more about how you can become a Harvest Partner, just go to harvest.org.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-20 13:34:16 / 2023-04-20 13:44:50 / 11

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