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May 25, 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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Here is this thing, this accusation is true, we are going to news you have the room until somebody you find out it is true. None of us like why today Pastor Greg Maurice's just focus on staying aligned more care of your character God will take care of your reputation and concerned with your character dictation your character is what you really are. Your reputation really what others think you are beginning to Greg Laurie Ward relationship with God to follow in opposition character.
All the book of Nehemiah in the series were calling the rebuild lie. Looking at how the people of Israel return from their captivity in Babylon and built up the walls of Jerusalem.
There were lie in shard rubble here in chapter 6 the task is finally finished 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 in chapter 6 is getting personal. The opposition is directed specifically toward Nehemiah himself. Let's look at our text notes Nehemiah 6 of them read two verses that brings me to my first point before we read point number one of your 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 and the gates of sun blotting guestrooms sent a message asking me to meet them at one of the villages in the plain of Ono, but I realize they were plotting the harmony stop there.
So the job is almost, not quite the doors of not yet been many if you don't have the doors hung about how beautiful your walls are proceeding walk right in right to those doors on don't stop now 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. Bad thoughts. Good thoughts, wonderful thoughts, so 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 cake shot so these enemies of Nehemiah. They just wanted to meet with them in the Valley of Ono come down the valley of Ono. Listen, you need to say no to Ono. Otherwise you to be sent. Oh no you know the devil is not to be these wicked he's depraved. His evil buddy and he knows it becomes due with this game plan upfront. Most people would never go 40s and talk to some guy or girl why did you become a drug addict. It is so cool weather to become an alcoholic and ruin your life completely. Maybe you can lose your career again lose your family. Come on now you want to sell. Come on, you know, chill a little bit. You're so rigid. I grab a drink. I know you've had problems with alcohol in the past, but you can handle it for come down to the plane of Ono. Come on here going try this drug.
This one time. It's medicinal marijuana in you been kind of depressed lately, so go ahead and try it.
It's an Oedipal. It's all right to see that it will maybe I'll just try it one time try this at well you know I'm not getting as much of a buzz about that as I used to try this other thing and one thing leads to another little Pete.
The 21-year-old rapper was found dead in his tour bus before a scheduled concert on the day of his death. Keep posted on social media in Erie photo from a recent concert with a caption when I die you'll love me and just hours before his death he had image he posted on Instagram with pills or tabs on his tongue. You can't really tell. And when his tour manager found out that he had died of probably a drug overdose. He said I've been expecting this call for a year and he just joins along a growing number of people what the top of their game just became addicts or alcoholics and and left us actors and actresses and a rock stars the list goes on.
Prince Whitney Houston Heath ledger Philip Seymour Hoffman died with the needle in his arm of an overdose, Amy Winehouse, Chris Farley, River Phoenix go back a few years, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, the list goes on. Ironically, these people were at the top of their game and then this happened to them. So this is a double strategy, just to good taste. Just take a look.
Give it a go. Come down to the plane of Ono and let's talk together, listen don't have any conversations with the devil don't have any communication with Satan. The Bible says, resist the devil and he will flee from you. Nehemiah says I'm not coming down. I'm not coming down from this wall. I'm not going to hang out with you guys. I'm not going to talk with you guys.
I'm busy okay so some allotment beginning.
So the trapper Nehemiah givers to they sent a message just meet us, but he realized there plotting the harmony listen. It's not always sinful things that break our focus.
Sometimes it's choosing the urgent over the important choosing to good over what's best.
Choosing the short term over the long term, so be careful. Mr. Greg Laurie will have the second half of this message just a moment. Everybody what are you doing this weekend. I like to hang out with you at harvest and home service that own it is a time of worship and Bible study exclusively designed for people that are doing in from all over the place so you can be a part of our extended congregation at Harvest at Home.
Join us this weekend Saturday and Sunday for Harvest at Home@harvest.org Pastor Greg is presenting a message from Nehemiah 6 today called don't give up his first point don't get sidetracked. Stay focused.
Let's continue. Point number two Satan hits hardest at the beginning and the yet only say that again Satan gets is hardest at the beginning and the yeah so there was great opposition when they started to build the wall another's great opposition when the wall is finished and they're getting ready to hang the doors of this happened in Jesus he faced heavy opposition in the beginning and at the end of his ministry. Remember in the beginning after he's baptized by his cousin John and the Holy Spirit comes upon them and the father says from heaven. This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased.
We read immediately he went into the desert to be tested and tempted by the devil for 40 days and 40 immediately and actually one of those temptations from Satan was a way for Jesus to skip across.
Satan showed Christ all the kingdoms of the world and he said yes. What all this belongs to me that I can give it to whomever I will give it to you right now you can have in Jesus.
If you worship me is why would that have been even tempting because Jesus came to buy back that which was lost in the Garden of Eden. After our first parents ate of the forbidden fruit.
Satan became the god of this world according to Scripture, the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the sons of disobedience to devastate this is my stuff and you know it's my stop and you know if it wasn't you Jesus for the said notice that it actually was Satan to give it to you. Here's the deal in making you Jesus on making an offer you cannot refuse.
You don't have to go to the cross. You don't have to be crucified if you don't have to bear the sin of the world.
I'll give it to you just worship made phone asking Jesus as it is written, you shall worship the Lord God and him only shall you serve.
So came hard at the beginning. Fast-forward the end of the ministry of our Lord on earth. He's in the garden of Gethsemane and he's sweating blood.
Dr. Luke says he's. What is a were great drops of blood. He was under intense pressure the devil was opposing them trying to stop him from completing his mission and it's true in our life.
Often the devil get this hardest at the beginning and end when you first come to Christ all you became a Christian he wants to pull you back down. Remember the parable of the sower. Jesus talked about the sower that through the seed out. I went on the road side. The birds aided them quickly, so like when you go to McDonald's and an operator wherever in the birds are just waiting, waiting, when, and sometimes a way for the food to get the ground sometimes don't take it if you look away.
This happens they get very aggressive. These little birds and that's the idea that it Jesus said these are they that hear the word of God but Satan comes immediately to snatch away what was in their heart. You remember what it was like when you first became a Christian. Some of you are new Christians in your freaking out, fidgeting, and why McGinn tempted all the time wise is all this crazy stuff coming at me while my old friends calling me up wanting the party why why why is this other thing happening what's going on. The devil trying to pull you down because you just started the most amazing journey you'll ever be on online following Christ, then fast-forward now becoming maybe toward the end of your journey. Maybe getting a bit older and the devil says I want to get you now because I get you now I can discredit you for all those years.
You did good for God's glory so you don't want that they haven't really hit you at the beginning and the end he's persistently good. Verse four. Four times they sent the same message, and each time I gave the same reply. These guys are relentless. There were blowing is phone counseling text text text text text email. Email me your phone call phone call right either certain people that they call you and they won't stop calling you and to you call them back and I'm talking about call call call peacetime call call call you want to talk to because there one hour people don't talk about minimum no matter what your documents can be an hour out of your life, but I have to call them XO. Calling me and so that's what was happening as follows blowing up and cursing for you. What I'm saying. He says in verse three. I replied by sending this message to them.
I am engaged in a great work so I can't come. Why should I stop working to come and meet with you. Point number three you're taking notes. Take care of your character and God will take care of your reputation. Take care of your character. Your personal integrity and God will take care of your reputation now sunblock challenges the personal motives of Nehemiah verse five, the fifth time some blood servant came with an open letter in his hand and this is what it said there's a rumor among the surrounding nations ingestion tells me it's true that you and the Jews are planning to rebel and that's why you're building the wall. According to the report you plan to be their king. He also reports you've appointed prophets in Jerusalem proclaim about you look there is a king in Judah.
You can be very sure this report will get back to the king, will I suggest you come and talk it over with me when there to testing another trick and diversion to get Nehemiah off the wall so they could attack in this time it's slander. It's an open letter notice it's an anonymous letter. We don't know who the author is all but people will post something nowadays it's posted on Facebook on the blog site or whatever. Here is this thing, this statement this accusation isn't true.
We have no I do have a very you know, and in we love the spread stuff like that. Some of the fine gossip as news. You have to hurry to tell somebody before you find out it isn't true you know gossip. According to Proverbs is like a tasty little morsel like those little appetizers you might be given at a party served you in a little trick. Oh that's so delicious. Can I have one more to gossip as a coup. This is juicy right and here's the interesting thing. Don't miss this they were accusing Nehemiah of the very thing they were guilty of Nehemiah wasn't trying to be the king.
He was serving the king to the point Nehemiah had been underwritten in this project by the king. He was a close friend and confidant of the King and the King even said a bodyguard to protect them.
So he was good with the king, but there is a no-no. You want to be the king. This is all about you. You're in some kind of an ego trip.
They were in effect projecting their sin on Nehemiah. This is exactly what Jesus was talking about when he spoke of the suspect and the beam in the sermon on the Mount in Matthew seven he says. Why do you look at the speck in your brother's but not consider the beam of the plank in your own eyes how can you say to your brother will let me remove the speck from your eye and look there's a plank in your own let me update that how can you get this sawdust out of your brother's eye. When you have a telephone pole in your that's what Jesus is saying all this is really interesting because the word that he uses for spec and for being more for plank are of the same substance, meaning that Jesus is saying the reason some people are so adapted finding fault in others is because they're so familiar with that themselves. We say that again. The reason some people are so that at quickly finding fault in others is because they are so familiar with it themselves. She so here's the thing. This was their issue and they were trying to make it Nehemiah's issue a listen.
We do this to you. You follow someone and Instagram Eagle look at this post. Look at this image. Why would they post this. This is so wrong, why do you follow so I can judge a monitor them so you can pass judgment on them each and every day. What a B. This is your problem with this is so egotistical there so prideful.
Maybe they're insecure and that's why they do it and you're the prideful one to a lot of times I'm quick to point it out in your life. Am I guilty of far worse in my own life's sentence will see someone steps out to maybe be used by the Lord will say they're so arrogant. Sometimes we confuse boldness with arrogance when they want to be the center of attention away, how do you know are you God we can you see a human heart.
No, because you cannot judge the motive of another person.
Yes, you can judge their actions even to the point, you should make evaluations about actions, but you can't judge the heart and that is exactly what Jesus meant when he said judge not lest you be judged or a better translation condemned not lest you be condemned.
Stop judging the motives of others and just take a long look at yourself. Make sure you're not doing the very thing they were accusing Nehemiah of doing. They were personally guilty of practical insight coming from our studies of Nehemiah pastor Greg Laurie with his message today on a new beginning called don't give up. There's more to come in and perhaps you've heard pastor Greg is just released his brand-new book called Lennon Dylan, Alice and Jesus a pastor. Greg is very balanced in its look at artists who flamed out and artists whose career caught fire and artist who became on fire for Christ. Yes, you mentioned Bob Dylan, who released three albums with Christian content that has been sort of an enigma that no one can quite figure out. Yes Bob Dylan is surely an enigma. He always has been, and I suspect he always will be.
Dylan is beyond just a musician. Dylan is iconic he influence so many other artists, most notably the Beatles, John Lennon admitted that a number of the songs he wrote were modeled after Bob Dylan songs Jimi Hendrix recorded Bob Dylan.
The birds recorded Bob Dylan.
He was such a man of influence and that's why it was such a shock to everyone. When Bob Dylan came out with the record that was called slow train coming and spoke boldly about his faith in Jesus Christ.
I believe that Bob Dylan had a genuine conversion and for many fans of rock. It was the rock version of the conversion of Paul on the Damascus Road. Dylan went on to record three beautiful gospel records and I happen to think that slow train coming was some of the finest work he had ever done, but anyway in his concert. She started talking about his faith in Jesus Christ.
Effectively Dylan was preaching eye witnesses firsthand.
Kathy, my wife and I went down to Santa Monica saw him there in concert. It was not a full room and there were people yelling out again playing the old songs we don't want to hear this and Dylan was actually trying to articulate his faith. So after his third gospel record. He just stopped talking about it. So some people concluded he didn't believe it anymore and that he had walked away from it and in fact returned to his Jewish roots because they could not believe that he could be a Jewish man, following Jesus Christ. Well, I don't see any indication in my deep dive into the life and career of Dylan that would indicate to me that he has abandon his faith. One of his more recent records, which is a collection of Christmas songs somebody interviewing him said it almost sounds like you believe the words of the songs and the way you sing them in Dylan's response was all I do. So I think that Bob Dylan is what I would call a work in progress. You know there are people that curse God rebelled against God.
Never acknowledge God and you can pretty safely say that as a nonbeliever, but they're not beyond hope and you should keep praying for them.
But then there is some of made a profession of faith. They seem to have had a lapse of the fallen but don't write them off so quickly. I called them a work in progress. Then there are others who have made a profession of faith and are still walking with the Lord. Case in point did the mood she made a commitment to Christ years ago and he's still walking with Jesus Christ today Alice Cooper.
I was really addicted to drugs and alcohol in his life is going downhill fast. He could have so easily been another statistic of a rock star dying of an overdose, but he made a commitment to Christ. He got clean and sober and he is been walking with the Lord for well over 30 years now so I explore many more stories of rock stars and we get into some of the current artist today who made professions of faith as well.
Like Kanye West and Justin Bieber and others, and so we need to be praying for these iconic rock stars who have had so much success and pray that God gets hold of them and also pray that the Lord would cause them to use their massive platforms for his glory and talk about Jesus Christ, but I wrote this book to show you sort of a behind-the-scenes look at what it's like to have the kind of success also to show you the challenges they face the temptations they have to deal with, but also the power of God to transform people that have hit rock bottom.
It's really a message of hope maybe you know someone who needs that lifeline right now. Maybe your friend or loved one who's going down the same path that some of these music icons are troubled and you want to show them where it leads will send pastor Greg's new book your way to thank you for your investment so that these daily studies can continue again is called Lennon Dylan, Alice and Jesus ask for it when you make your donation today.
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