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May 19, 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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When you subscribe to pastor Greg Staley Devos learn more and sign firstname.lastname@example.org. We would God was always do what we must do so with passion versus the Christian life drivers along obedience from the same direction. After Grigori urges to stay focused to favor words are so don't building so with enthusiasm to do so without some critic only wins if you quit tradition records his entire speech is just 17 words young man never give up never give up never give up, never, never, never, never, never, never, his words were slightly, notably longer today on a new beginning. We must order the book of Nehemiah were looking at this book of rebuilding the wall. Nehemiah was called by God to go rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. And when you get to do it. Everyone is either building the wall or in a way were tearing down the wall so I close with a series of questions was time are you a participator or are you a spectator. Are you a servant or are you a slacker. Are you a worker or are you was shorter. Let me put it another way, are you a wall builder are you will wall breaker. Are you a faith builder or are you of faith, breaker did really comes down to one of the two somewhere doing the work of God. Others are standing on the sidelines and critiquing those that are doing the work of God. So let's see what happened now in Nehemiah chapter 4 and I'm to read verses 1 to 3. By the way I'm reading from the new living translation. Son ballade was very angry when he learned we were rebuilding the wall. He flew into a rage and mocked the Jews same in front of his friends and the Samaritan army officers. What does this bunch of poor people Jews think they're doing they think they can build the wall in a single day by offering just a few sacrifices that they actually think they can make something of stones from a rubbish heap and charred ones at that. So by the arm and I was standing beside him remarked that Stonewall would collapse if even a fox walked over the top of so let's see how they handled it. Nehemiah prayed about the criticism and he persisted in the rebuilding of the wall.
What I love about Nehemiah is he never stop building the wall ever. Not even a coffee break. He just kept building and building. Look at me and my four verse four. Then I pray heroes so our God were being mocked, made their scoffing fall back on their own heads, and may they themselves become captives in a foreign land to not ignore their guilt, don't blot out their sins, for they are provoked to the anger in front of the builders and at last the wall was completed, the habits height around the city for the people at work with enthusiasm.
So what you do when you critique what you do when you're attacked you to get to the Lord in prayer. Yes, Nehemiah was praying, but he was also practical. Look at verse nine of chapter 4, we prayed to our God and we guarded this city day and night to protect ourselves to Nehemiah. Among other things, we see how the practical and the spiritual go hand-in-hand.
We learn to Nehemiah how to plan our work and then how to work our plan. It's very important because sometimes people in the name of spirituality are not spiritual at all, let me illustrate, let's say you don't have a job and I don't have a job and I'm just praying the Lord will give me a job there.
Would you do yesterday just dated home and prayed in my lazy boy and you're lazy.
I slipped a little too. I have to admit that I pray I pray it would you do the day before that I I lather my lazy boy and I I pray, prayed for job lords in the job.
Yeah you know what why don't you get up your big fat lazy boy and fill in a resume and submit it to as many places as possible and pray over everyone see there's a place for this spiritual there's a place for the project but we miss that some thought is a good illustration of David and Goliath.
David was on his Aaron for his dad delivering food to his brothers, effectively a pizza delivery because he took bread and cheese to his brother's what is bread and cheese.
I call that pizza okay.
It's always taken pizza do is grow any here is this mad sub Holcomb of a man 9'6" of solid muscle covered in body armor bellowing from the Valley of the law for someone to confide. He's choosing an entire nation off his names.
Goliath uses hey send your champion. Let him find me. If I win you guys serve us. If I lose will serve you. No one would go find Goliath they would looking into bringing a man I've taken up Lisa's biggest him before giving my sling and my rocks.
I love how he walked out there and he looked at Goliath and he said this, the battle is the Lord and he will give you in the my hand. That's good, very spiritual, the battle is the Lord and then he prayed for one hour close decide no no you didn't know, he prayed yeah the battles lords not want to kill you. So he put those stone in the sling and started swinging around and hit the giant on the floor again. Goliath collapses to the ground. David runs over and pulls out Goliath amounts of sword cuts is that I probably had the salt off. It was so bad. I'm density and on as the day holds up the severed massive head of the giant Goliath and all the Philistines freak out. That was spiritual say that it's a boat now don't get me wrong I'm not advocating decapitation or violence of any kind and just simply saying he prayed and he took action. Okay. And the people on the wall.
They prayed but they were practical as well.
Verse 13 we had armed guards find the lowest parts of the wall in the exposed area I station the people to stand guard by their families arm with swords and spears in both weight should they trust the Lord. Yeah, trust the Lord protect yourself.
There's another example of the practical and the spirit soil of the story visits the miracle working on Elijah and this guy had the gift to call fire down from heaven an excellent person to invite over to your barbecue magic you know you little more fire alive just like no problem there is.
Well done good and faithful servant is and I you like to hear his Elijah. He has the big standoff with the profit the bill amount Carmel you've heard of the rumble in the jungle you've heard of the thrilling in Manila. This is the battle of the gods in Elijah one, and fire came from heaven, and right after that Queen Jezebel, a wicked woman said that guy is a dead man walking.
She effectively put a contract on in his life and Elijah ran for cover. He hid in a cave. He was depressed and despondent. In fact, he even said to God, I would just like to die right now and an angel of the Lord appears to him. What is the angel of the Lord do the angel of the Lord says you need to taken up.
Then he wakes up in the angel of the Lord gives them food, you know, so here's my point to make everything so spiritual and feeling so depressed and down spiritually and maybe you just need a nap in the sandwich.
I don't know service. I'm not getting maybe any like a day off, maybe you need to take a vacation. Then you recharge a battery.
Even Jesus took his disciples aside for a time so they could go back and do the work you called them to do. But the spiritual and the practical go hand-in-hand. You know some people get so tied up in theological front souls over the teaching of free will and predestination order those terms.
We will predestination means that God knows everything God decides everything in God chooses us before we choose him predestined and begged Jesus even said you've not chosen me, but I've chosen you, you would go for and bring forth much fruit and there's free will all those verses in the Bible that appealed or will John 316. Whosoever believes in him should not perish but have ever lasting life of Revelation 22.
Whosoever will let them come and drink of the water of life freely price themselves think coming to me all ye that labor and are heavy late and I will give you rest so we can confuse and go away.
Wait a do we choose or does God predestined us in the teaching of Calvinism, which is usually called total depravity.
I mean think you're so depraved and dead in your sin, you don't even have the ability to choose at all. You have to be awakened by the spirit. If you been chosen by God and you better just hope you have not been predestined to hell because they believe some believe that your predestined to hell and others are predestined to heaven. I reject that completely. God is not predestined anyone for help because the Bible says that God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance and some will to get so far is that safe while I don't you want to preach the gospel because I might give false assurance to the non-elect are you serious you been commanded by Jesus to go into all the world and preach the gospel.
It's all sorted out by God. I don't worry about it, like the words of the evangelist Gail Moody, you said, Lord save me elapsed and then Alexa Moore CH Spurgeon was once asked if he could reconcile a luncheon and free will is that I don't even try.
I never reconcile friend but the truth of the matter is, is predestination and free will are in the Bible sometimes the right next to each other. My job is to proclaim the gospel.
My job is to call people to Christ. Our job is to get the message out to as many people as possible. How do you know cure chosen by God believe in Jesus Christ do you just confirm you been chosen by God but God gives you a choice in the matter. So they took those practical steps and they held their course Nehemiah setup assistant is a 24 hour guard in place and if anything happens there is any problem there to sound the trumpet Nehemiah 418 blow a trumpet, and if you hear the trumpet go fly but be reminded our God will fight for us to Greg Moore will have the second half of this message just a moment. It's a joy to hear when the studies touched lives. Listen to these comments from one of her listeners asked her Greg.
I remember the very first time I heard your voice and I knew I would have to listen. It was about five years ago and I was driving my car a snippet of one of your sermons came on. Between songs on a Christian station and I've been a fan ever since.
I really like your jokes to sometimes corny but always funny. You make me a better Christian and I thank you for that. I need all the encouragement I can get to walk the straight and narrow.
I appreciate you my brother in Christ, if you have a story to share. Why not call us and give us all the details. Here's the 1-866-871-1144, 866-871-1144 Pastor Greg is presenting a message and Nehemiah chapter 4 today called dealing with criticism.
It's email@example.com last point we need to finish what God has called us to do. We need to do it with passion and persistence. Let me see it again. We need to finish what God has called us to do.
We must do so with passion and persistence.
Look at verse six. The wall was completed up to habits hi around the entire city for the people and work with enthusiasm. Listen to this.
The most dangerous part of the work is when it's have to when it's have to the halfway point. There is a signalman. We work so hard.
We still love another helpful ball to Bill but then again at how much you've accomplished so you just continue on and you do so with enthusiasm and you do so with passion. Listen, the critic only wins if you quit the devil's two favorite words are give, so don't give up keep building.
Don't give up on your marriage don't care Bob on your family. Don't give up on your life and your spiritual growth is a verse article that I want to come back to it. In closing, first tenant Nehemiah for the people of Judah began to complain. The workers are getting tired.
There's so much trouble to be removed will never be able to build the wall by ourselves. Have you ever felt that way all men.
I'm trying to get my life sorted out, but what a mess.
All the rubble all the trash symptoms are going to move out the old jug to make room for the new guy.
I don't know why but I have some kind of weird fixation with them. Converse shoes. John talking about a level worm over time in my voice as you would too many peers of converse shoes. She says if you get a new pair have to get rid of the old but want to get rid of it (like the logo that really wanted know if you get one. Love to get rid of an old pair why I don't get rid of any of them and have a lot of them now even when they're falling apart. I just glued back together they keep wearing them. There's a principal there. You know you want the new and get rid of the old so you know you maybe you been struggling in your life. You struggle with alcohol, it's your downfall. Every time so you said, Lord, help me and you been able to be free from it for a month or six months and it's great okay now take the practical steps you have any blues left in your health. Amen. Poured down the toilet.
That's a practical step for Senate. Or maybe you have a problem with pornography and you keep going back to your computer looking up Warner you look at it on your phone and in his.
I just can't overcome it.
What you can get these little Internet filters but maybe they don't always work as well is a revolutionary thought if it was necessary get rid of your stinking phone you think you can exist without it.
By the way, you can get phones that aren't smart phones that you just dial make phone calls.
You can go online and all that other stuff with them. Jesus said appear I offend you, pluck it out. If your arm offends you take it off. That was not literal.
Obviously he saying whatever it takes to be free from that sin might be dragging you down, take action, and if that meant literally removing an electronic device from your life.
Do if you have old friends that are dragging you down, get some new friends and take their place.
Stop hanging around the godless people and start hanging around godly people see there's the practical and there's a spiritual take action throughout the rubble clear at all.
How no rebuild the wall. A brick at a time to start right where you are in notes overwhelming and I want you to consider an oak tree for a moment and consider the fact that an oak tree comes from this. It's called an acorn holding acorn implanted in the ground takes a while to break ground but it can turn into an oak tree, but a sort of a picture is in it of life the care we are and were planning that little seed, and were hoping it will ground is something that will stand the test of time. So here's the good news. Next time you see an oak tree. Remember it started with an acorn that held on look at that acorn and just be reminded of what a nut can do is start where you are but you need God's help the people called out to God. Lord help us and you need to call out to God. Only he can help you to do what he wants you to do. Because of this one last thought from how they were to blow the trumpet and of the trumpet blue. That meant they were all the rest of that spot because there was a breach of the wall.
The Bible tells us to listen for a trumpet to first Thessalonians 4, it says the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and the trumpet call of God and the dead in Christ will rise first. We which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds so shall we ever be with the Lord. The Lord is coming back again.
Sometimes this is called the wrap that comes from the root word Park Plaza which is used many times in the New Testament means to be moved suddenly to be moved quickly. I believe there is a generation that will not see death, but they will be caught up in the moment, in the twinkling of an eye and hurtled into God's presence reunited with loved ones who have died in faith, and of gone before us, we could be that generation to grade get over it Helen if you been preaching this over 40 years. Yes, as a matter fact I have and you know what I still believe it is much as I've always believed it and were closer to the date of the coming of the Lord than we've ever been in human history. I don't think it takes a rockets scientist to see this signs of the times all around us, the terrorism, the instability, the violence trouble with nations that fear in the air.
All signs of the times. The Bible told us these things would happen.
But the Bible also says Jesus speaking when you see these things begin to happen.
Look up for your redemption is drawing near. So let me ask you a question that trumpet or the blast. Would you go to heaven would've this for the day Christ would come back and call us to heaven to be one of the ones who would be taken into his presence. Would you be one of the one to be left on this earth does that will happen.
Fermenting probably for most, but all who believe in Jesus will go to heaven and look I don't get me heaven if I get there via rapture or death.
When we are another. I'm getting there. I've got word on it because Christ died for me on the cross and paid the price for all of my sin I believed in him and you can to close now in prayer and I'm going to extend an invitation for some of you to believe in Jesus so you can know your sin is forgiven.
So you can know that Christ is living in you. Maybe you tried to picture like you thought that I did. You and I came here today. The church that gets an alibi. I figure I need a little religion a little religion would do me some good friend.
You don't need a little religion. You need a lot of Jesus. That's the only answer no, your life and forgive you of everything you've ever committed in changing but you must call out to him. The people in our story had to pray and ask for God's help and you must do the same work and pray in a moment, and I'm in no extend an invitation for you to ask Christ to come in your life.
It's all about heads for prayer. If you would please father referred your word and we know one day that trumpet will sound, and people will be called in your presence.
Lord I pray for any here listening wherever they are. If they do not know you yet. I pray that your Holy Spirit will convict and convince them of their need for you and I pray that they will come to you now believe in Jesus name I pray for Greg Laurie important word of prayer.
And if you like to make that kind of change today in your relationship with the Lord. Pastor Greg would like to help you do that will do so before today's addition of a new beginning. Concludes, and then we want to mention the new book were making available if Pastor Greg's new book called Lenin, Dylan, Alice and Jesus it's revealing look at the rise and fall of so many rock icons and the reasons for their self-destruction. Pastor Greg a lot of the ground you cover in this new book is centered around the 60s and 70s show that unique era in American history which you also address in your upcoming movie Jesus revolution to how does this book fit in with the larger projects you been working on while I've always been a fan of music I like movies I like music I like television hello I like all of these things I'm interested in them.
But I also want to bring Christ to people in these worlds. That's why we make movies. We've done films like a rush of hope, which reached millions of people were making a new movie right now. There were actually calling to fame and that fill my interview Alice Cooper Darrell strawberry and others. People who have had the great success in life and it found that's not the answer, but Christ is the answer to all of these projects I work on from a rush of hope for this upcoming feature film Jesus revolution our bridges bridges to walk over and tell stories you know it's interesting, I think the time were living in right now really parallels 1970 the late 60s early 70s we have turmoil in the world. We have the threat of war.
We've had race riots in our street. We've had the effects of drug use. We've had the rise of crime. All things we were experiencing in the late 60s and early 70s. It's even funny to me as I see young people today who every discovered vinyl and they're playing these old records. We used to listen to the first time you see kids hanging out, you know, in the hipster coffee shop touring Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd a designs in their insured are talking about the Beatles as though there are in current bandits hilarious so there was a cultural connection and I think when we make this film Jesus revolution, which is basically set in 1970 and 71 it will speak to a generation alive today. It will connect to them because we were dealing with a lot of the same issues they're dealing with right now so I'm looking to build bridges. That's why I write books like Lenin, Dylan, Allison, Jesus, or I make movies like a rush of open fame and Jesus revolution and we have our events in stadiums and arenas because we want to reach people that don't know the Lord Jesus did not say the whole world should go to church but he did say the church to go to the whole world. I want to go to where people are and reach unexpected people in unexpected places in unexpected ways with the gospel that can change your life.
Now it's right and listen if you'd like to partner with us and help us reach further than we ever have before. I hope you let us know. Consider how you might invest to keep these daily studies coming your way and also help us reach out with the hope of the gospel or is our mission statement puts it, knowing him and making him known and with your generous donation right now would like to send you Pastor Greg's new book called Lenin, Dylan, Alice and Jesus. So get in touch today.
Call 1-800-821-3300. We are here to take your call around the clock that's 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org Pastor Greg you spoke today about having a relationship with the Lord. Someone can enter into that kind of relationship with God right now can say yeah they really can. That's the amazing thing. I think people are surprised that it doesn't take years to become a Christian. It doesn't take months. It doesn't take weeks. It doesn't take days, it doesn't even take ours you can believe on the spot and I would like to lead you in a prayer where you can ask for his forgiveness of prayer, where you can receive Jesus Christ into your life as your Savior and Lord. So if you want Christ to come in your life if you want him to forgive you of your sin if you want a second chance in life. If you want to go to heaven when you die, stop what you're doing and pray after me these words Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner and I'm sorry for my sin and I turn from it now and I choose to follow you from this moment forward as Savior and Lord is God and friend.
Thank you for loving me and calling me ever giving me in Jesus name I pray, amen. Listen if you have just prayed those words with pastor Greg. The Lord has hurt you and forgiven you of your sin. The Bible says Jesus is faithful and just to forgive us of our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness and would like to send you some materials to help you begin to live this new life we call it our new believers growth packet just ask for it and will send it to you free of any charge if you prayed for the first time today with pastor Greg just 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 and click on the words know God better 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 when next I pastor Greg brings us more studies in the book of Nehemiah 11 encouraging counsel on focusing on our work for the Lord no matter what opposition we may face join us here on a new beginning.
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