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Wall Builders | Service

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
May 16, 2022 3:00 am

Wall Builders | Service

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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May 16, 2022 3:00 am

When we attend church in person, we walk on a freshly-swept sidewalk . . . we may be greeted by someone . . . maybe handed a bulletin . . . we pass an usher or two on our way to our seat . . . then we’re led in worship, and we’re taught from God’s Word. You know, a lot of people made themselves available for all that to happen. Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie wonders what you’re willing to do for someone else. It’s an encouraging message today on how we can say yes to service for God.

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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. That's the person God is looking for. Coming up today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie invites you to say yes to God's plan for your life.

God chooses to work through people. Would you be willing to step forward and say, yeah, Lord, you can use me? When we attend church in person, we walk on a freshly swept sidewalk. We may be greeted by someone, maybe handed a bulletin. We may pass an usher or two on our way to our seat. Then we're let in worship and we're taught from God's Word. You know, a lot of people made themselves available for all that to happen. Well, today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie wonders what you're willing to do for someone else. It's an encouraging message today on how we can say yes to service for God. We're in Nehemiah and the title of my message is Wall Builders.

Now let's sort of pick up where we last left off and then we'll talk about chapter three. Here's the narrative. Israel continued to worship false gods and idols. The Lord warned them through the prophets to stop or they would go into captivity. God was very specific about what would happen to them, but still they ignored it. So one day the Lord allowed the people of Israel to be divided after the death of King Solomon. And then a group of them were taken as captives into Babylon, which interestingly was like idol central. God's everywhere. The Lord said, you want false gods? Here you go.

Enjoy. Like putting a kid in a candy shop and after a little bit of candy you feel sick to your stomach. So there they were in this land of idols and they cried out to God to be delivered and after 70 years the Lord answered their prayer. Nebuchadnezzar, the ruler of Babylon, passed it on to his grandson Belshazzar who was conquered by the Medo-Persian forces that came in. Cyrus, the leader of the Medo-Persian empire, let the first wave of Jews return to Jerusalem and led by the priest Ezra, they rebuilt the temple.

But some time it elapsed and the walls were still lying in rubble and ruin. Enter the man for the hour, Nehemiah. Listen, God will do his work in his way, in his timing, but God chooses to work through people. So the Lord was searching for the right person for the job. There's always a right man or a right woman for the job. And the Bible tells us in 2 Chronicles 16, 9, the eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.

Listen to this. Right now God is looking for people to work through. God's looking for a man. God's looking for a woman. He's looking for someone that he can say I'll work through, I'll be strong on behalf of. Would you be that person? Would you be willing to step forward and say, yeah, Lord, you can use me.

I don't bring a lot to the table, but I'll give you what I have. I mean, trust me when I tell you, I had very little to offer to the Lord when he called me to serve him. So anything that has come out of this ministry has certainly been from him.

Enter Nehemiah. Now he has a killer job. He's the cup bearer of the king, which meant he was able to eat the best food in all of the world. See whenever the king ate he took a bite first. Whatever the king drank he took a sip first. A good job unless someone put poison in it. Then it's over.

Ok. Good while it lasted at least. But he was living literally in the lap of luxury. He had a wonderful position there in close proximity to the king. He was more than just someone who tasted the king's food. He gave the king advice. He was a friend to the king. Some even believed he was the second most powerful man in the world because he would have some say so over who had access to the king. He would influence the king.

So this is not a job you would want to jeopardize, but yet the Lord calls him. And here's how it happened. Some friends came and visited from out of town and just like you do when you get together with friends. How are things? How's everyone back in the old hometown?

And they're saying man it's bad Nehemiah. The place is in ruin. The walls are crumbling. There's weeds growing over the walls. They're burned out. They're charred.

It's an embarrassment. And Nehemiah's heart was deeply moved and he decided to take action. And he began to weep.

Listen. After his weeping came working. After his despair came determination.

But he cared. You're not going to do anything for anybody if you don't care about them. So you need to first pray for compassion.

Lord help me see this person as you see them. Far too often we see non-believers as the enemy. And they're not the enemy. They do things that non-believers do. They are profane and they're selfish and they're self-absorbed and they hurt us or insult us.

We go I hate those non-believers. Forgetting you used to be one. They're not the enemy. They're under the control of the enemy.

The Bible says that the God of this world, that would be the devil, has blinded the eyes of those that do not believe. So you need to care about them and remember it wasn't that long ago you used to be one of them. Nehemiah cared. And he cared enough to take action. Now he could have set up a GoFundMe page I suppose. But he decided to go to the king and request the money. So basically as I said before he went to the king and said I'm going to build a wall and you're paying for it. But he prayed first. He prayed that the king would go along with this crazy plan that would cost a lot of money. But he also had a plan.

And one of the things I love about Nehemiah is the practical and the spiritual go hand in hand. Here's a guy who prayed about things but always had a plan in his back pocket. If the king says yes I already know where to get the lumber. I know where to go to get this other thing.

I have it all set up but I'm going to pray. And he went to the king and requested it. And amazingly the king granted his request and even sent an armed escort. So Nehemiah leaves Babylon. He arrives in Jerusalem.

It's probably worse than he imagined. The walls truly are in rubble. He checks it out and then he rallies the people who have been there for some time now.

People who have really not done their job to be honest. And he says guys the Lord is calling us to rebuild the walls. Let's do this together.

They all agree bringing us to the point I left off with in our last message. When you're doing God's work you will face opposition. When you're doing God's work you'll face opposition. Nehemiah 2 verse 19.

When Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem the Arab heard of our plan they scoffed contemptuously saying, What are you doing? Listen whenever God's people say let's rise and build the devil and his forces will say let's rise and oppose. Whenever you're pursuing a divine opportunity there will be satanic opposition. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 16 9, A huge door of opportunity for good work has opened up here but there is also mushrooming opposition.

Get it? Great opportunity. Mushrooming opposition. In fact now I know when I'm doing something God wants me to do I will face criticism. I will face opposition. I'll have people second guess it. I expect that. In fact if I don't see that I say maybe this isn't a good idea.

Because that's almost a way of being confirmed to me. Remember years ago we had this idea to go to Dodger Stadium and do a crusade. People said oh you can't do Dodger Stadium. I mean you can do that down there at Angel Stadium. But LA is a whole different planet. Someone even said to me Dodger Stadium is the graveyard of evangelists. Because everyone that's gone there and tried to do an evangelistic event has failed. It doesn't work in LA.

Forget about LA. Now I have to tell you something. When someone says something to me like that it's a little bit like the red cape in front of the bull. When they say it can't be done I think well can't it? Or can it? Maybe this is more of an issue is it won't be done. But can it be done?

With God all things are possible. So we prayed. We planned. We did everything to make that event a success. And we filled Dodger Stadium. And so many people came forward at the invitation.

The fire marshal had to lock the doors. We've never had that happen before. The field was filled with people coming to Christ.

The same is true for AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas. That was big. I have to admit to you I was overwhelmed by that one. I didn't realize how much pressure I was under before that event until after the event ended and the pressure was relieved. I thought man I've been living under this pressure for so long. I'll tell you this much. It improved my prayer life. Because it seats 100,000 people.

One of the biggest stadiums in America. And so it's getting close. And a friend of mine called. He's a pastor. And I think he was trying to be encouraging.

But have you ever had someone try to encourage you and they actually discourage you? That's what he did. Called up and said, Greg how are things coming for Harvest America at AT&T? I said they're coming pretty well. It's looking good. We're praying you know. It looks like we'll have a good response. And he says, Greg listen. No matter how many people show up. Just remember. Preach the gospel. No matter how many people show up. He's already. The way he said it.

It's one of those. You're going to bomb so bad buddy. Hey but even if 100 people are there. Just preach the gospel.

Thank you so much. I hung up the phone. He said, I'm discouraged.

To my wife. You know and sometimes we'll say that in a way. But you know I was so excited before the event even started.

When someone said it's filled and we're turning people away. See here's what it comes down to. If you want to do something for God there's potential for failure and there's also potential for success. There's no success without risk.

There's no success without opposition. Because Satan hates what we do. He hates gospel preaching. And that's why we're going to keep preaching the gospel and keep it at the forefront of everything that we do. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in 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 a Book of Promises. It has never taken me so long to read a book because I was just absorbing the information contained in 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 and to your podcasts. I'm sending you a very big thank you and I'm so happy that God blessed you with the calling to preach to his followers. We're so grateful to hear of the changed lives through 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. Greg at Harvest dot org.

Do it today would you? Again that's Greg at Harvest dot org. Well we're studying the rebuilding of Jerusalem's walls today in the book of Nehemiah as Pastor Greg continues his message now called Wall Builders. Here now is Nehemiah getting his battle plan together. We see three vital principles in play here. If you're taking notes here they are investigation, cooperation, and determination. Investigation.

First he checked out the problem. Ok here's how big the city is. Here's what it's going to take. Here's how many people I'm going to need to get the job done.

Ok I've investigated it. Now cooperation. Let's put the team together.

Let's get the right people in the right places and tell them what their job is. Finally determination. We're not going to be deterred.

Defeat is not an option. And that brings me to my next point. We need to find our place in the work that God is doing. We need to find our place in the work that God is doing. Now before I read Nehemiah 3 I want you to know it has the potential to be boring because it's a lot of names. If you've read through the book of Nehemiah how many of you have read the whole book of Nehemiah?

Raise your hand. Very good. Good.

How many of you have not read the whole book of Nehemiah yet? Ok. It's ok. Just read it. Read it before next Sunday.

Read it. Now here's what's going to happen. Nehemiah 1. Oh this is great. Nehemiah 2.

This is awesome. Nehemiah 3. What? Lots of names. Lots of names and what they did. But remember all Scripture is given by inspiration of God.

Even lists and even genealogies. Right? They're all there for a reason. As we will see in a moment. Let's read a few verses. Nehemiah 3. This is a little bit like the credits at the end of the film.

You know unless you were in the film you don't care. But they are rolling. And these matter to God.

And they should matter to us. Verse 1. Then Eliashib the high priest and the other priest started to rebuild at the sheep gate. They dedicated it and set up its doors building the wall as far as the tower of the hundred which they dedicated and the tower of Hananel. Two people from the town of Jericho worked next to them and beyond them was Zechar son of Imri. The fish gate was built by the sons of Hanessa. And then they laid the beam set up its doors and installed its bolts and bars. And Miramoth son of Uriah and grandson of Hakaz repaired the next section of wall.

Beside them were Meshulam son of Berakiah and grandson of Meshachazabel and Zadok of Bana. Ok. Really? Really? Yeah really. There is a lot here.

The phrase next to him and after him are mentioned 28 times in the chapter. What does that mean? They worked together. These are different kinds of people. These are not builders. See we think these are construction people. By the way I am very impressed with anyone who is good at construction. Anyone who is good at building things. You know when I go into a hardware store I get all excited. Look at all this cool stuff. I want to build something but I have no skills whatsoever. It is like there is a missing gene in me or something. I can't do it.

I make things worse. And when I meet someone who can repair a car or I am going to put wiring in here or throw this wall up or put up the drywall. It all is so impressive to me. These are not construction people. To the point Nehemiah was a cup bearer. He was an architect or a builder. And so some of these people were priests. And some of these people were goldsmiths. Nehemiah 3.8. Some were perfumers. Nehemiah 3.8. Merchants.

3.32. They were rulers, workers, groups from different towns and different classes. You have men and women. Young and old. Everyone needed to participate for this job to be done.

The same is true of the church. B.C. Forbes the founder of Forbes magazine once said, here is how you spell success. You probably think you spell success. S-U-C-E-S-S. That is not how you spell success. Here is how you spell success.

You spell it T-E-A-M-W-O-R-K. If we want to get something done, we do it together. Practical insight today on a new beginning from our study of Nehemiah's rebuilding campaign. And Pastor Greg Laurie has more to come in this message called Wall Builders.

Including a closing comment from today's portion of the study in just a moment. Have you heard about Pastor Greg's new book? It's called Lennon, Dylan, Alice and Jesus.

It examines the way so many of the top music artists had it made. But their lives soon unraveled. And you know Pastor Greg, I've tried to imagine what it must be like to be extremely famous. You know, where you can't even go to the grocery store without a mob developing. You know, you can't even open your window blinds for fear of paparazzi with telephoto lenses.

And that's the point you make in the book. These music stars have a lot of stuff, but they have a lot of stress too. Yes, they really do. I mean, it's been said, careful what you wish for, you might get it. And these are people that got what they wished for and then it even went beyond their wildest dreams.

But the problem is that dreams in many cases turned into a horrible nightmare. You know, when you look at the founders of rock, if you will, they called them the millionaire quartet. Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins.

They were all produced by a man named Sam Phillips who had Sun Records. These guys came from abject poverty in some cases. They were just country boys. All of them was sort of a gospel foundation. All of them were taken to church as young men and of course they all rebelled against it.

But interestingly, every one of those founders ultimately came to realize they needed to turn to Jesus. Elvis struggled through the years. He often sang gospel songs. There's a lot of fascinating revelations about Elvis Presley in this book, Len and Dylan, Alice and Jesus.

Jerry Lee Lewis is the only one alive still of the four. But in recent interviews, he's talked about his need to get right with God. And of course, Johnny Cash became very strong in his faith. I wrote a whole book about him, as a matter of fact, called Johnny Cash, the redemption of an American icon. And then finally, Carl Perkins who wrote Blue Suede Shoes and other great songs.

He was a raging alcoholic and actually came to the Lord while he was on tour with Johnny Cash and took his bottle of booze and threw it into the ocean and committed his life to Christ and served the Lord for the final years of his life. So yeah, these guys experienced it and in some cases, girls experienced it and saw the emptiness of it. So this is a very honest book. So I start the book with these words. There'll be three surprises when we get to heaven. Number one, some of the people we thought would be there won't be there. Number two, some of the people we never thought would be there will be there. Surprise number three, you'll be there. So these are some of the people you never thought would be there who will be there.

Because no one is beyond the reach of God. Yeah, yeah, that's right. Well, we hope you'll contact us for your own copy of Pastor Greg's new book, Lenin, Dillon, Alice, and Jesus. The subtitle is The Spiritual Biography of Rock and Roll.

There are so many lessons to be learned from the lives of dozens of artists who show us where the pursuit of fame and fortune ultimately leads. And we'll send this book your way to thank you for your partnership. It's only through the investments of listeners that we can continue to bring Pastor Greg's insights your way each day. So thanks for prayerfully considering how you can help.

And we'll thank you with the book, Lenin, Dillon, Alice, and Jesus. Just call us at 1-800-821-3300. That's a 24-7 phone number, 1-800-821-3300. Or write A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, California, 92514.

Or go online to harvest.org. You know, we live in a time when so many people have been trapped in their technological cocoons with their faces buried in their smartphones. Well, next time Pastor Greg urges us to relearn the importance of engaging with others and working together as a team for the glory of God. Be sure to join us next time. But before we go, Pastor Greg closes with another observation about the team we're a part of, the body of Christ. Listen, the church is a family.

The church is also an army. And the church is compared to a body. Everyone is a part to play. Ephesians 4 16 says, He makes the whole body fit together perfectly as each part does its own special work.

It helps the other parts grow that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love. See, everybody has a role to play. Every one of you has a role to play.

I need a few of you to help me. Who wants to come and stand on the stage? Pastor Paul, could you come up right now? And sir, I don't know your name.

What is your name? Could you come up? Michael, I need you now. And come on up the stage. Come on up the stairs over here. Okay, I need this lady here on the aisle, ma'am.

There in the blue. Would you come up please as well? All right. And I need. Who else do I need? I need some. Ma'am, would you second in right there? I stood next to you when we did worship in the tan sweater. You coming up as well. I want this really cool kid with blonde hair.

That cool kid. Come on up here, buddy. Okay, everybody here. Come on up. Okay, what is your name?

Landon. I like that. What's your name?

Judy. Come on over here. I stood next to you during worship. How are you? Fine.

I noticed. Marcel. Okay, Marcel. Okay, you coming up here and Paul, stand in the middle. Now, these are all very different people. They are different ages, men and women, large and small. And they all have a role to play in the church. Every one of them has a part of the wall that they build.

These people are just like you. We all have a part to play. Say, oh, my part doesn't matter.

No, it matters. Because, see, if one part of the wall breaks down, see, maybe if Michael kind of is a little bit of a slacker, though we doubt he would be, and he doesn't keep his part of the wall built up, that's an opening that could be broken into. But Landon, man, his part is fortified. No one's getting through Landon's part. Pastor Paul, he's like sleeping. Okay, that's a problem.

And so we have to wake Paul up and say, we need your part of the wall built up because if any part of the wall is broken down, it's not gonna work. So we're all in this together. Let's thank these folks for coming up. Thank you, God bless you. God bless you. Help others find hope.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-17 23:36:53 / 2023-04-17 23:46:55 / 10

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