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May 13, 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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Whatever you do the will of God's opposition when were walking with the Lord and working for the Lord.
We might expect. Smooth sailing today on a new beginning for Greg Maurice's, not necessarily whatever God's people say let's wise and will people say why ever faced opposition your work close wasting this time there's no gain weight. Easy and effortless. You're not helping yourself. There's resistance going. Laurie says the same applies for work for the Lord.
We may face resistance. We may face opposition from the enemy. That's not the time to run and hide the time to give up we learn from Nehemiah. That means Nehemiah in many ways is a book about leadership were all called to be leaders in some way shape or form. So let's learn from the leadership example of Nehemiah Nehemiah 2 starting the verse one early the following spring in the month of Nissan during the 20th year of King Xerxes ring I was serving the King is one I've never appeared sad in his presence of the king. I think you looking so sad you know.
Look, said to me, you must be deeply troubled that I was terrified, but I replied will live the King. How can I not be said for the city where my ancestors are buried in is in ruins and the gates have been destroyed by fire.
Then the king asked well how can I help you with a prayer to the God of heaven.
I replied if it please the king, and if you're please with mere servant. Send me to rebuild the city where my ancestors are buried with the king of the Queen city beside a mask. How long will you be gone one will you return and I told him how long I would be gone that the king agreed to my request wanted another sound, Nehemiah had a plan ready. Look at Nehemiah chapter 2 verse seven. I said to the king of it please the king, let me of letters addressed to the governors of the province west of the you're Bradys instructing them to let me travel safely to their territories. On the way to Judah and give me a letter addressed to ASAP. The manager of the king's forest, instructing him to give me timber and I needed to make beams of the gates of the temple fortress of the city walls of her house for myself and the king granted these requests because the gracious hand of God was on me that so practical you talk about having a battle plan.
He knew everybody all you race out fees over the wood supply so I need help there and I need this money that it all figured out. Nehemiah had already gone down the Home Depot. He knew what he needed. He just needed a purchase order signed by the king and he was golden and the king gives it to them because the king had so much respect. But yet just to show that he had a practical plan. He was yet still depended on God and he's praying and giving God the credit when he says in Nehemiah 218 and the king granted these requests because the gracious hand of God was on.
She sometimes Christians go to one of two extremes. We become either hyper spiritual everything spiritual and we praying we pray and we pray we talked about it and we never execute or we become so practical, we forget about God that we take the credit. Personally know we need a plan and then we need to pray that God will help us with that plan. If that is the plan is given to us. We have to find the balance in about three men that went on hiking they came to a large violent rushing river. They needed to get to the other side so the first guy. Pray God give me strength to cross the river to move yet massive arms and legs this. This is true and lots to learn. We dove in and swam across the almost drowned but he made it over in about two hours of the second guy watches they said God I pray that you will give me the strength and the tools to cross the river E2 of the bulging biceps, but he was given a little canoe with paddles. It took him a little less time he got over the river in about an hour after a lot of really he did capsize twice so but he made it to the other side.
The third guy what's in the first guy said, Lord, give me the strength give me the tools and give me the intelligence to cross the river and prove he turned into a woman. She looked at the map walk a couple of hundred yards and walked over the bridge that had been there. You girls like that.
The guys are all like is a place of the practical and there's a place with the spiritual is happened Moses and the Israelites got it delivered them from Egypt they were allowed to finally leave and go back to their homeland is are making their way home they come to the Red Sea.
Talk about an insurmountable obstacle. There's no way they can get across it and then they turn and see the Egyptian army in hot pursuit. So what are they doing when they started praying Moses and pray know God help us to love God says the Moses in Exodus 1415 the Lord said to Moses, why are you crying out to me.
Tell the people to get moving.
Pick up your staff and raise it over the sea. Divide the water, so the Israelites can walk in the middle of it on dry ground. See, there comes a point we should stop praying and you should start doing. We have to find the balance pray pray pray good. Amen. Pray now do what your plan. What's a plan of action. Once the first step in your pray Lord heal my marriage God. My marriage is unraveling your husband, Lord help my marriage is now my why was she so messed up Lord heal and wait hold on, what about you to pray for yourself.
Pray that you be the husband.
God want you to be. Are you loving your wife as Christ loves the church. Once you start there. Will she doesn't deserve it doesn't.should love her anyway. The Bible even says love your enemies, you're not getting out of this okay buddy, so you're supposed to love her sacrificially. So the wife is Reno Lord change my because when he is such a loser. He's such a failure is such a disappointment job. Maybe that's part of the reason your marriage is failing because you say those things to him.
What is the Bible say to you, wife. The Bible says wives respect your husband was last time he showed him a little respect. Once last time you complimented him or thanked him for the sacrifices he makes for you and the family see my point is, your pray about it. Make sure you're doing your part as well. Our pray Lord that person is wrong me. I pray that you give me the strength to forgive them.
Amen. Good prayer.
Now go forgive what you go do it. Just go say hi for you. I'm not doing that. I don't feel it meant I got a feeling I don't need to feel it. You need to just do it because the Bible says be tenderhearted, forgiving one another as God in Christ has forgiven you just do it or your pray. No Lord save this person Lord just bring them yourself good. Pray for them. Maybe it's time to go share the gospel with them. Maybe it's time to tax them email them call him, whatever it's I want to talk to a little bit see there's a place of the practical. There's a place for the spiritual. They both work hand-in-hand.
Nehemiah shows us that brings us to our next point leaders take initiative and risks for the glory of God. They take initiative and risks for God's glory. One good definition of a leader I've heard is a leader is someone who takes people or they don't necessarily want to go over they get there, but glad they went like God called you to be a leader you see a little further down the road sometimes more than others do. You can see what we need to go and let's go and do this thing and so you rally people and that's exactly what Nehemiah did. He came to the elders there and that a Jewish folk that had been there for some time and then settled for status quo and he says of them in verse 17 of Nehemiah to you know what trouble were in Jerusalem lies in ruins. The gates have been destroyed by fire. Let's rebuild this wall of Jerusalem and in this disgrace and he went on to tell him how the hand of God the been on this conversation with the king.
The people had been discouraged. Then, been downhearted, then settled for the status quo, but here comes a man on a mission here comes someone with the vision and someone with a plan in their hearts grow excited and they say let's do this thing, bringing me to my last point number eight leaders face opposition leaders face opposition, Nehemiah 219 one son Ballack told via an judge of the error part of our plan. They scoffed contemptuously, saying, what are you doing are you rebelling against the king.
Listen, here's how to know you're doing the will of God, whatever you doing the will of God is going to face opposition, sometimes it's even criticism from fellow Christians. Sometimes it's opposition by by outright nonbelievers, but in some way shape or form. There's going to be pushed back when you're doing God's will and you might symbol Greg on ever face opposition that I never get tempted and I never get tested, then your worthless because the devil is in wasting this time on you but if you say to me all know Greg I get pushed back all the time I get harassment and I'm even persecuted the times that would indicate to me you might be on the right.
Yes, you will face opposition when you're doing the will of God whatever God's people say let's rise and build the devil and his people will say let's rise and oppose the conflict only escalated from there. Your great glory will have the second half of this message in just a moment. I don't know if you know about this, but we have a weekend service called Harvest at Home exclusively for people that are tuning in literally from around the world listen to this. We even have harvest groups where you can get into a small group with folks from all around this planet of ours, studying the word of God to join us this weekend Saturday and Sunday for Harvest at Home@harvest.org will. Today we're learning of the parallel between the opposition Nehemiah phase rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem and the way we face opposition, doing God's work in our time pastor Greg continues now, let's think about the walls of your own life as we wrap this message up when I talk about walls.
I'm talking about a person's relationship with God walls around your life.
The wall of Bible study, the wall of prayer, the wall of involvement with the church the wall of your devotional life and so sometimes we neglect those areas when I neglect the areas those areas of my life.
The walls will begin to crumble in the weeds will start to grow in, and other problems will follow.
Here's a walls breakdown Proverbs 2430 says I walked by the field of a lazy person, the vineyard of one with no common sense I saw was overgrown with nettles. It was covered with weeds and its walls were broken down if you neglect walls. You'll soon be overgrown with weeds. I'm amazed at weeds.
They need no attention at all. You know you can have your little plan that you put out there in your backyard in any water you weed around it. You keep the snails away and and yet you go and hang out with it that night you hug it even it's weird because it's small, but you try to hug it in you play classical music for it and it slowly begins to grow. Meanwhile a weed in a crack in the sidewalk is 20 feet high the same time very conducted kid named Jack is climbing out right now so how does that work with just the way weeds are weeds grow quickly, and weeds. This take over everything at Bechtel uproot the good growth in Jesus use that as an illustration to talk about what it's like to be a believer that there is real believers, but the devil comes in. In the parable that he told of the Wheaton tears. These false plants are plants that look like wheat but are not weak. Tears are called that uproot the wheat and so the point of it is a in a church like this right now we have true believers sitting next to fake believers.
They look like believers. They talk the talk but they don't walk the walk and it's not real. That's one of the ways in double works, but in another thing that Jesus talked about was how the seed of the word of God is so and some seed falls and ground that's embedded with weeds and the weeds choke out the growth of the good seed. He says it's the worries of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desire for other things. Another translation puts it this way or overwhelm with worries about all the things I have to do all the things they want to get in. The stress strangles what they heard nothing comes of it. Listen to this sometimes good things can become bad things if they keep us from the best thing, let me say that again sometimes good things can become bad things that they keep us from the best thing see people when they slipped spiritually. It's not always because of overt sin is just because of a lack of passion going in the right direction.
They just sort of neglect areas of their spiritual life and let other things become more important. So like they say I don't like the Bible. I don't believe in the Bible is say I'm too busy to read the Bible too much going on in my life I have all my social media accounts to manage and I have things to do in movies to go to and fun things to participate in.
Those aren't evil things.
But it's a good thing takes the place of the best thing it can become a bad thing.
Using and so there's other areas.
I just let them become more importantly, will my career.
It's all about my career I got a get a get my career I don't have time for church I can go to church on Sunday. Okay a career is a good thing. But if a good thing takes the place of the best thing. It just became a bad thing.
So remember this see that Jesus is talking about is choked out by weeds which are the cares of this life you want to stay strong spiritually, you have to constantly be moving forward heard it said that it Disneyland. There always painting that they start on one end of the park and go to the other and then start over again. I've also heard that's true of the Brooklyn Bridge are always painting the Brooklyn Bridge sleepy once I go over to the other side.
Go back to the side.
They started out again and do it again because by the time they finished it. The early coat of paint now needs to be repainted over again.
That's the Christian life you never stop growing. You never stop learning, you never stop developing in the moment you do, you going to go the wrong direction to give her driving on the road you have your hand on the wheel. If you take your hand off the wheel is going to veer to the side your hand on the wheel you cars and drive itself home park in the garage perfectly. No, it'll go off to the ditch on the side of the road and in the same way in the Christian life. The moment I stop moving forward, and veer off on the wrong direction.
I don't know about you but when I drive. I think strategically.
I wish I didn't think this way but I I will come to a light and I'm I'm watching everything and okay I try to get that open lane. I just drift over that openly enslave no one in front of me not driving along and I need to get around the previous in the fast lane because treatises are always in the fast Lane effect. I think when people buy a pre-as they make some kind of a bow. I really believe this, I think previous owners all get together and they hold their hand and they say I fell.
I will always drive in the fast lane under this speed limits. It has to be something like that because I see it.
Too often, so I get around the previous right who made the valve and now owe Kevin to go appear to get in this way to get a job that that's the way I drive you that it's not. I'm not seeing this good is just in the where drive but you know the Christian life is not about we live, move forward. I want to get over here and I want to do this thing. The moment just cruising it secure hand of the will side of so this is how walls get broken down a little bit of the time Houston we have a problem those of the words from Apollo 13. It's an outside change the mission the original mission was for them to go landing on the moon.
The new mission was to get the astronauts back to earth alive and so Houston began to work with those aboard Apollo 13 and thankfully they were able to get back to the earth alive again and it's interesting because Nassau pacified that mission as a successful failure and an interesting phrase, a successful failure. Wife will because they gain much-needed experience in rescuing a crew. The crew survived know the original mission was not successful, but the new mission was they were alive and successful failure so maybe you mess up in your life you make mistakes you make bad decisions and you call out to the Lord and ask him to forgive you of all of your sin, and he does that's called a successful failure. Are you going mess up, and you make some do something you should not of done and you come and say Lord my walls are broken down. I need you to rebuild them again. I are broken relationships are broken promises that are broken so many things but help me Lord and he will and you'll have a successful failure because hopefully you learn from your mistakes want to close this message by simply asking the question of this is your favorite part of the sermon. As I said closed yes. I'm almost done. My question is do you have a relationship with God, to have relationship with God that the most important thing.
There is, do you have complete confidence you would go to heaven or do you worry about that sometime will listen that can be resolved. Right now I'm making a guarantee to you that if you will ask God to forgive you of your sin and ask Christ to come in your life.
You can leave knowing you will go to help whenever that day will be you'll know it for sure because Jesus died on the cross and he defeated death of the cross. All yes believers die yes we do but death is not the end for us because there is life beyond this life. There's heaven and there's a hope that God gives to us and that's because we put our faith in Jesus. And if you've not done that you can do it now as we close in prayer, there might be some of you here that have the walls of your life broken down and you need to recommit yourself to the Lord will help you with that as well. So let's all pray father, thank you for loving this so much that you said Jesus to die in our place.
Lord Jesus, thank you for coming. And now we pray that your Holy Spirit will convict and convince those here that do not yet know you love their need for you help them to come to you now. We pray a great glory important were the prayer and if you like to make a change today in your relationship with the Lord. Pastor Greg will come back in just a moment to help you do that for today's addition of a new beginning wraps up and then have you check out Pastor Greg's new book, Lennon Dylan, Allison, Jesus, you can get the details right email@example.com is a look at the lives of so many rock 'n' roll icons whose lives went from the top to the bottom and often to despair at lightning speed is an important cautionary tale yesterday. What are you hoping the reader takes away from this book again called Lennon Dylan Allison Jesus, I hope they take away this simple thought.
No one is beyond the reach of God. I don't care how famous they are. I don't care how powerful they are or what they've accomplished. Everyone needs Jesus or something to keep in mind everybody is empty. The Bible says that the creation was made subject to emptiness as King James for her sort of a hole in our life. The Bible says God is put eternity in our hearts which means were on the search for God.
Listen, you may see a person drive by in a Rolls-Royce there empty another person drives by in a previous there empty. One person has a beautiful home there empty. Someone has a simple little shack they live in there empty everybody's empty number two. Everybody's lonely no matter how many fans you have or how many friends you think you have how many followers you have on social media, you're lonely and really there's a loneliness in your heart for God himself. Thirdly, everyone's afraid to die. All I know some people say oh I'm looking forward to die know they're not there afraid to die.
And lastly I would say everybody just needs Jesus so rock stars, movie stars, billionaires, unknown people.
People that can play two cords in the guitar. Everybody needs Jesus, so this book shows that those who been there and done that and bought the T-shirt have still found that's not the answer and some of them made wrong decisions and reap the consequences. Some of them made right decisions and got on the road that leads to life and started following Jesus Christ. So my hope is when you read this book, you'll say this gives me hope for my son or daughter. This gives me hope for my husband or wife. This gives me hope for that crazy neighbor that's always giving me a hard time. All this gives me hope for my boss or my coworker or my friends from my past, but also I would encourage you this would be a great book after you've read it to share with someone that's not yet a believer at the end of the book as always I present the gospel and I even have a prayer that a person can pray to accept Jesus Christ as such an important tool in sharing the hope of Christ and of the great commission was given to all of us, not just pastors and after someone in your circle of influence you needs hope. We hope you'll share a copy of this book with them again. It's called Lennon Dylan, Alice and Jesus.
The subtitle is the spiritual biography of rock 'n' roll and were sending it to say thank you for your partnership.
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We hope you will ask for Lennon Dylan, Alice and Jesus. You can call us at 1-800-821-3300. We are here around the clock to take your call. That's 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org Pastor Greg or somebody listening right now knows that they need to make a change in their relationship with God. They can do that right now they really cannot. I think some people might say what what, pray what the why listening to the radio, absolutely because guess what Jesus Christ is with you right where you are right now if you want Jesus Christ to come in your life and forgive you of your sin if you want to invite them in your life, why don't you pray this prayer after me right now.
In fact, I would even encourage you to pray it out loud. Let's pray Lord Jesus, I want you to come into my life and forgive me of my sin.
I think you for dying for me on the cross and then rising again from the dead. I choose to follow you from this moment forward be my Savior be my Lord be my God, and be my friend.
Thank you for loving me and calling me and forgiving me in Jesus name I pray, amen Allison is you just pray that prayer maybe you felt something emotional.
I've had people write me and tell me of how they prayed with me at the end of our radio broadcasting.
Tears came down their cheeks or they felt a great joy to be one of those things happen you are and then again maybe you felt nothing.
Listen irregardless of how you feel right now I want you to know a fact if you prayed that prayer and minute Jesus Christ has come into your life. Why no I say that because the Bible says these things we write to you that believe on the name of the son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life that first doesn't say so you can think you have eternal life. For hope of God's in a really good mood. You may have eternal life notes as you can know it.
And if you just pray that prayer and minute prices, near life.
So let me see the you welcome to God's family and would like to help you get started in living your new life with the Lord would like to send you some free follow-up materials called our new believers growth packet just get in touch and will send that packet right out to you as I said, it's free of any charge and a special thanks to our harvest partners and others who support this ministry for helping us make these resources available you can call us anytime 24 seven at 1-800-821-3300. That's 1-800-821-3300 or just go online to harvest.org Pastor Greg points out, the way to be used by God is to make ourselves useful is to make ourselves available. Join us here on a new beginning. Pastors and Bible teacher for an old guy harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God learn how to become harvest partners sign up for daily devotions and find resources to help you grow in your faith harvest.org