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Don't Give Up | Response to Hardship

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
May 24, 2022 3:00 am

Don't Give Up | Response to Hardship

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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May 24, 2022 3:00 am

If we sow a thought, we’ll reap an action. Sow an action, reap a habit. Sow a habit, reap a character. Sow a character, reap a destiny. We need to give some thought to our thoughts. Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie continues our studies in the book of Nehemiah. It describes a great undertaking, how the workers were under great pressure, they faced great opposition, and we’ll glean some great lessons on how they responded. Our study today is titled, “Don’t Give Up.”

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

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Everybody you're listening to a new beginning, which is a podcast made possible by harvest partners. This program is impacted do love to hear from you.

So just send an email to Mia Greg again it's you can learn more about becoming harvest partner by going to were surrounded in each and every day by Temptations Pastor Greg Laurie says we can decide if they influence our thoughts and actions you in the air-traffic controller of your mind. You decide what claims the land right.

This is common in that isn't coming and that's what were told over and instead take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ. Because here's the thing. If you give the devil an inch.

He will take my connection to what action have a habit, reap a character. Character we need to give some thought to work today on a new beginning. Pastor Greg Laurie continues her studies in the book of Nehemiah describes a great undertaking of the workers were great. They faced great opposition doing some great lessons on how they respond. Our study today is titled we will know what it's like to start a project about like cleaning out the garage right I needed organize my garage so badly. It's just a mess and you know you look at 1/4 why start then I go to other people's garage is near, just perfect. Everything's organize.

I love that. But some things we start. We don't complete those things, but in other areas of life, it becomes more significant sometimes they start something like a marriage, and he gets hard and marriages to get our dumb thing and they give up or they start a ministry or they planted church and it's not as easy as they hoped it would be so they give up or they start a career and it didn't go as they had hoped our they want to go to school and they don't complete it and so the list goes on. And sadly, there are even people to make a profession of faith, but then turn away later. You know, the apostle Paul had this happen with the guiding Dimas Dimas is mentioned two times in Paul's epistles.

I mean how cool would it be to be mentioned by name in the writing of Scripture. Dimas made it in the list two times the first time is over and Philemon. Chapter 1 verse 23 Paul writes a paraphrase my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus greet you as do Mark Aristarchus Dimas Luke or my fellow laborers involve one of those guys. I drop that in every conversation hi my name is Aristarchus. Maybe you've heard of me from the book of finding that's me Dimas made it twice, but the problem is the second mention was not as good as the first because later there in second Timothy four, which would be Paul's final epistle, Paul said Dimas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed Thessalonica. Basically Paul say remember that Dimas guy, he bailed on me and he's even walked away from the faith. Loving this present world more than he loves the Lord. Not a good way to be remembered. He didn't finish what he had begun or looking at the book of Nehemiah in the series that were calling the rebuild life. I was looking at how the people of Israel return from their captivity in Babylon and built up the walls of Jerusalem. There were lying in charred rubble here in chapter 6 the task is finally finished to see God at work. He wanted to do that he found the leader in Nehemiah listen to this. Sometimes God calls people to lead who don't necessarily want to leave. Not every leader wanted to be a leader.

God called Gideon to be a leader of Israel, and he was hiding from his enemy. The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said hey Gideon you mighty man of courage, reality as he was about as courageous as he could be in that moment of cowering in fear because of his enemy the Midianites but the Lord was calling them in the service and immediately Gideon protest what you want me. I'm the least of my father's house. Another way to say that would be on the run in the litter bother with me my brothers and do a much better job know God wanted getting sometimes a reason the Lord chooses those people that don't want to be leaders is because they will become the best leader because they will not have self-confidence.

The love God confidence because they know they can't do it on their own when the Lord called Moses. Moses was reluctantly said Lord I'm I have a speech impediment get somebody else to do this and listen to this. Not only is it true that sometimes God calls people to be leaders that don't necessarily want to be leaders. But sometimes God doesn't call people who do want to be leaders. Maybe it's because they wanted too much.

Maybe it's because they wanted for the wrong reason Simon tried to buy the power of God to do miracles.

Now listen in is a great privilege to be a leader and there is great joy in being able to perhaps see things change our influence things are accomplished something of value, but it can also be a serious pain to be a leader if not for the faint of heart is a price that you will pay because if you're a leader wherever you might lead you're going to be misunderstood or misrepresented, mock, criticize, and sometimes they'll even be friends on your life still comes down to this.

Don't try to be a leader of God is and called you to be one but if he has called you to lead by all means do so. But there's a responsibility that goes with it because Scripture tells us to be. Not many teachers knowing they will receive the greater judgment. The people of vastly great, what's it like to stand in a stadium and preach the 40,000 people are 100,000 people, is the ultimate ego trip. You might be surprised by my answer no effect. Maybe it's the opposite of that.

Because here's how I see it I step up on the stage and I am representing God Almighty and on the be held accountable for everything that I said so I think a very serious.

I did get very serious because I want to make sure I'm saying the right thing and saying it in the right way and most importantly that it's biblical and honoring the Lord, but it's something that God must call a person to well it's hard to be a leader in Nehemiah knew all about it. I mean listen.

He left the cushy is job ever to do something that was very difficult. He went from the palace to the worksite. He went from loyalty to rubble mean his job was to eat everything the king eight and to live in the very lap of luxury without the pressure of being the king and now he feels led by the Lord to go help his fellow Jews rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Nehemiah wasn't a construction guy. He wasn't a guy that was normally out there in the worksite, but maybe he was now a hard hat with a soft heart. He wanted to do something for the Lord.

So he loved his comfort zone to obey the Lord and now he's finished the task maybe one of the most difficult tasks in human history. He's pulled it off and it's been done in 50 today.

How did he do it. Simple answer. He kept his eye on the ball. He kept his eye on the ball in the first five chapters of Nehemiah, we find opposition directed toward the people, but no one chapter 6 is getting personal.

The opposition is directed specifically toward Nehemiah himself.

We know in war enemy troops are often told to shoot the commanding officers we know in football that the objective is to sack the quarterback.

So the devil often sets his sights on the leaders in the church, the devil will set aside on the pastors and the other leaders.

That's why we need to pray for them. Let me ask you want to see you ever pray for me. I need your prayers.

You don't realize how much I need your prayers. So we need to remember to pray for anyone in the position of leadership in Nehemiah was incredibly focused on his goal.

He was not going to let hell or high water stopped him again as I said, he kept his eye on the ball.

Certain sports require that like golf, which I've never really understood, comply me. I understand it. I tried to play it. I'm so bad at it when I was a friend is a very good golfer. He was trying to teach me how to do a proper golf swing and that I would miss the ball completely is so embarrassing. I talked to someone the other day's been golfing for years. I said how long would it take for me to become competent enough that golfing were.

Maybe I wouldn't embarrass myself out in the course. He 7034 years I was like for jackets and baseball you keep your eye on the ball. That's very important. And that's exactly what Nehemiah did and that's children like to, you know, in marriage, you gotta keep your eye on the ball. What is that mean it means constantly be doing things to strengthen your marriage.

Don't be merely reactive. Be proactive, be the best husband you can be be the best wife you could be a stoke the flames of your romance don't just neglect it.

It's true also in ministry of God's call to the ministry. Keep your eye on the ball don't phone it in.

Don't rest on your laurels don't going to cruise control. Be proactive. Looking for ways to even be more of active at what you do. I want you to know we take that very seriously. Here were always trying to be the most effective we can be in this church and this is true of so many things in life.

It's even true of the Christian life. The moment you take your eye off the ball and he just sorta kicked back a little bit could be the set up for a fall be constantly moving forward and growing and learning and becoming more like Jesus or Greg Laurie will have the second half of this message in just a moment.

It's a joy to hear would be studies touching 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 riding 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 jobs 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 number 1-866-871-1144, 866-871-1144 today. Pastor Greg is presenting a message called don't give up the full study is Let's look at our text now it's Nehemiah 6 is going to read two verses that brings me to my first point before we read point number one if you're taking notes don't get sidetracked.

Stay focused again, don't get sidetracked. Stay focused. Nehemiah 6 verse one sunblock to buy a guess of the Arab and the rest of the enemies found out that I had finished rebuilding the wall and remain though we had not yet set up the doors in the gates son blotting guestrooms send a message asking me to meet them at one of the villages in the plain of Ono, but I realize they were plotting to harming stop there. So the job is almost dumb and not quite the doors of not yet been many if you don't have the doors hung on care about how beautiful your walls are proceeding walk right in right those doors on don't stop now. We have some bunnies in our garage. They belong to our grandchildren. There's two of them now.

One is cotton. That's the mother and then her little baby bunny chubby cutie, I didn't name them. One of the grandkids did. Funny though, Kathy calls me that as well.

Cutie which he doesn't usually use cutie. It's just the chubby but anyway I digress up the other day one of the garage and chubby cutie and cotton are losing me to jailbreak there hopping around trying to catch them.

You know, and I told her my garage is messy so I member to maneuver around things and and I and my little grandson Christopher just grabbed little chubby cutie well-timed and so we put them in the cage and we secured the little door you have to keep the doors shut will you have sort of a door in your life and if you leave the door open bad things can come in. You need to start by guarding your mind. You are the air-traffic controller of your mind, you decide what planes going to land right you decide what thought is going to take residence in your mind because all kinds of thoughts come to us all of the time. Often their horrible thoughts that God's good thoughts.

Wonderful thoughts are. You decide. This is common in that isn't coming and that's where were told over and second Corinthians 10 take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ. Because here's the thing.

If you give the devil an inch.

He will take a mile. So you have to guard these things keep that Kate shot also guard your mouth before you blurt out something so often we say something or tweet something or oppose something or whatever it is I don't want to tower the election incident.

Here's what someone 41 three says set a guard over my mouth the Lord keep watch over the door of my lip and told you before, you might apply the acronym think before you speak.

Think TH I NK T stands for is a truthful, before you say it, ask yourself the question is what I'm about to say truthful H is it helpful. I mean, maybe it's truthful but is it helpful I is it inspiring about this went in. Is it necessary for me.

Maybe it's truthful but is it really necessary. Does it need to be said K is it kind could it hurt somewhat badly if I said it think truthful helpful inspiring necessary time.

My musing, great. If I apply that principle I would say basically nothing.

A mad Soviet so these enemies of Nehemiah say they just wanted to meet with him in the valley of Ono come down to the Valley of Ono listen you needed say no to Ono. Otherwise you to be said oh no you know the devil is not to be these wicked he's depraved these evil buddy and he knows it becomes due with his game plan upfront. Most people would never go 40s and talk to some guy or girl and take you happily married person. I'm thinking I'd like to just wreck your life and I would like to destroy your marriage so how about if you committed adultery and betray your spouse and then you know you get a divorce and we really messy and then your children will be a strain from you lose the respect maybe for the rest your life and destroy your Christian testimony. I'm thinking we should do this together. What you say there might be some moron out there looked okay. Generally, we would say no to hopefully to the devil instead comes and says he come on down to the plane of Ono. Let's just talk a little bit to check this out check out a little porn won't hurt you.

Besides, everybody watches that it's okay to check it out.

They have this little flirtatious conversation with a member of the opposite sex. It'll be fun to get you sorted take a little free sample. I would to Krispy Kreme donuts the other day in a long time and I have to say they're still good.

That's the beauty that is beauty on display. This he freshly made a hot blaze donuts coming down the little conveyor belt thingy and then I got some cold milk to wash them down with and in no doubt they were there so good going down. I think you and you know what they do you want getting up.

Would you like a free sample in your like yes I will admit you did just like disappears are slightly smaller than regular donut. I bought a dozen more and I did need a dozen more but I really people with me, but still you know I they're so great when you first see them look tasty and have a little global milk have another one have another and then about 25 minutes later you start coming down from that sugar hi all.

Okay, so the devil comes here. Here's a free sample is just you're just a sample by unit to go forward and we try these things out so this is a double strategy, just take it taste just take a look.

Give it a go. Come down to the plane of Ono and let's talk together you can try us, me was I don't have any conversations with the devil don't have any communication with Satan. The Bible says that double and he will flee from you. Nehemiah says I'm not coming down great wisdom today study with pastor Greg Laurie based in the book of Nehemiah pastor Greg will have more from this message as she continues to run new beginning with pastor Greg were excited about your new book called Lenin, Dylan, Alice and Jesus subtitled the spiritual biography of rock 'n' roll. The title list Jesus among some seemingly dissimilar names.

As you know Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Alice Cooper, by it.

It's almost like a civil service exam will pick the one that doesn't belong it.

Well, go to the Bible and look at Jesus and Nicodemus, Jesus and Zach key is Jesus and the woman at the well, Jesus and the woman caught in the act of adultery. It fits because my point is take these iconic people and I wanted to tell you about their spiritual journeys to spiritual biography of rock 'n' roll and it has some surprising revelations about maybe your favorite pop or rock star things you did not know about them specifically in the area of their search for God, for instance, take John Lennon. Of course we all remember his famous statement when he said the Beatles were more popular than Jesus.

Let me just address for a moment to a generation. The people at that moment in time.

There was some truth to that, and I would include myself as a young person because I knew nothing of Jesus but I knew everything about the Beatles and Lennon went on to try to explain it. Say well if I would've said television is more popular than Jesus, there would have been this controversy or uproar, but things changed in the life of John Lennon after he made that statement and we explore those things in the book. No, I'm not suggesting John Lennon was a Christian at the end of his life, but I have to point this out.

There was a moment in time when John Lennon made a profession of faith to be a follower of Jesus Christ.

Not only that he recorded two gospel songs that you can find online. If you search for them now. It was not a long-lasting thing but it was very big to him. He wrote about it extensively in his diary, but then he seemed to fall away from that. But in some ways toward the end of his life, which was a very tragic and you see that he mentioned some of those things again so here's my point. John Lennon made a profession of faith.

Earlier in his life. He was tragically gunned down in New York City by Mark David Chapman. He was conscious after he was shot he was being driven to the hospital and the police officer driving him said do you know who you are and Lennon replied yes I do if he was conscious and aware if John Lennon called out to Jesus Christ in the final moments of this life, would his prayer have been heard. The answer is yes, we think of the thief on the cross, who said the Jesus Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom and Jesus said, truly, truly, I say to you today you will be with me in paradise.

I wrote this book to give encouragement and hope to people out there who will read it, who have a loved one that is not a Christian. They don't seem like they would ever become a Christian and might be your husband or wife or your mom or your dad or your son or your daughter or a coworker or a friend and you will see in this book as you explore the lives of those who have been there, done that, bought the T-shirt and in many cases been the T-shirt that they climbed the top of the mountain and there was nothing there so shouldn't surprises that these people are searching for a deeper meaning in life. You see when you are thinking if only I was rich. If only I was famous. If only I had a record or if only I filled out you know a stadium with a bunch of people chanting my name, I would be happy.

These people have experienced it. They know that's not the answer. So many of them have gone in a deep search for God so there's a lot here that may surprise you. Yeah, that's right. It's a fascinating read and we want to make it available to you to thank you for your partnership in this ministry a new beginning in harvest ministries are dedicated to helping people find the real answers to the big questions of life to look beyond the lures of this culture in this world and find with their soul is longing for and get on the last couple of years, more than 220,000 people have made professions of faith in Christ and if you can partner with us to reach even more would like to thank you by sending this new book, Lennon Dylan, Alice and Jesus just give us a call at 1-800-821-3300. We can take your call anytime. That's 1-800-821-3300 or write us at a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 four. Go online to harvest down or the next time as pastor. Greg continues his study of the challenges Nehemiah faced personally good encouragement about protecting our godly character.

Join us to run a new beginning with pastor and Bible teacher Ray floor and thanks for the beginning Greg Laurie podcast made possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God sign up for daily devotions and learn how to become a harvest partner

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