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May 27, 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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You are listening to a new beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast supported by harvest partners for more ways to deepen and challenge your spiritual walk and roll and pastor breaks free online courses sign at harvest out alert you need personal virtual volume coming of the red warrior invite you to pause for a few moments and take stock of where you are in your relationship more was your time in your Christian one. Your passion for Christ was with zero time in your life when you read God's word more faithfully and more involved in church more than you are now. Was there a time when you shared the gospel more so personal spiritual Bible said he needed to be newly filled with the Holy Spirit is because I finally when it comes to having a passionate relationship with the Lord we have to continually refresher as we all have a slow week. Greg Laurie see where we are relationship, the Energizer, they were back of the book of Nehemiah that were in Nehemiah chapter 702 in there with me the title of the message is I have a personal spiritual revival. You know you look back at the late 60s and the early 70s. There's a lot of parallels between then and now. I read a lot of interesting articles lately about this, noting how similar they actually are. It was a nation that was divided back then racial conflict a drug culture. Things are very dark to listen to this when things are really dark gods light can shine brightly and I think were due for another Jesus revolution.
Listen to this description from the 1971.
Edition of Time magazine talking about the spiritual awakening, I think you really captured what was going on. That's a style that's inconceivable that our own day.
I can imagine reading this entire magazine today they said, quote Jesus is alive and well and living in the radical spiritual fervor of a growing number of young Americans who proclaimed an extraordinary religious revolution in his name. The article continues their message. The Bible is true miracles happen. God really did so love the world he gave his only begotten son Bibles about whether the chair is further covered King James version or scrubby back pocket paperbacks. There are invariably well-funded and often memorized. There is an uncommon morning freshness about this movement rights time a boy an atmosphere of hope and love. Along with the usual troubles deal, but their love seems more sincere than a slogan deeper than the frustrating sentiments of the flower children. What startles the outsider is the extraordinary sense of joy. They are able to communicate." A great sound like a revival to me and why. Let me make a distinction between two words that are often used interchangeably. Revival and awakening. Here is what it comes down to America needs a spiritual awakening the church needs a revival and awakening is when God sovereignly pours out his spirit and in impacts of culture. That's what happened in the Jesus revolution that would happen in multiple spiritual awakenings in the history of America predating Osby and established as a country but a revival that is what the church must experience its when the church comes back to life when the church becomes what it was always meant to be returning to passion. I think many times we overly mystified the idea of revival.
We don't really need to because another word I can use a revival is restoration restoration, restoring something to original condition. WC a cool old car cruising down the road are restored to showroom condition anything while that's beautiful someone took time to do that that can happen in the life as well.
Not just when the model first comes out with. You can keep it beautiful and keep it in perfectly restored condition. That's what the church needs as a minibar, a touring he was a friend of DL Moody user initials a lot in those days. Anyway, RA Torrey, a great preacher and an evangelist in his own right who traveled around and spoke a lot and let a lot of people to Christ, made this statement and I find it interesting, he says, quote I can give a prescription that will bring a revival to any church or community or any city honor is what Tori says you need to do number one first get a few Christians, they need not be many jet them thoroughly right with God. This is a prime essential if this is not done the rest of what I say will come to nothing. So number one get some people who are willing to get right with God. Number two.
Let them find themselves together in a prayer group praying for revival until that happens. Open and God comes down number three let them put themselves at the disposal of God for him to use as he sees fit and wanting others to Christ.
That is all that is sure to bring revival to any church or community. I'd given the same prescription around the world right story. It is been taken by many churches in many communities and in no instance has it ever failed and I cannot fail" let's review. Get right with God. Get together with other Christians and pray for revival number three make yourself available to God, especially in winning souls to we can do that now that spiritual awakening that outpouring of the Spirit. That's up to God.
We can organize it, but we can agonize for it in prayer and we can call upon God to send it, but let's just get out there and do these practical things that he recommends well for us here in Nehemiah 8 is a national revival. I love this definition of revival. I'm not sure who said it, but let me quote it quote revival is when God get so sick and tired of being misrepresented. He shows up himself.
Not great God get so sick and tired of being misrepresented. He shows up himself before we talk about revival here in the book of Nehemiah.
Let's start with a few lists a lot of us of list right now on his list to lead to say that God is a stickler for detail and he also keeps very careful books, listen to this. Everything you say and do is recorded by God in heaven. And here's some good news. Every person who believes in Jesus Christ as her name recorded in heaven. Every Christian who believes in Jesus Christ as their name written in the book of life, so I don't know what you're going through today. But just remember this is your Christian your name is written in the book of life that that's a big thing. It is one of the disciples of Jesus came to them and they're all excited because he them power to cast demons out of people, so they're talking about how wonderful was Jesus as guys listen don't rejoice because you can cast out demons, but rejoice, because your names are registered in heaven. I don't know when this happens I don't know if God writes our name in the book, way, way back before were even born because he knows who will believe in him and he knows who will not find an open happens when I believe in Jesus at that very moment what I'm confident of this once you've asked Christ to come in your life, your name is in the book and listen, it will never be blotted out of the book it secure. Your salvation is secure in Christ Mr. Greg Laurie will have the second half of this 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 book of promises never taken me so long to read about 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 into your podcast. I'm sending you a very big thank you and am so happy that God bless you with the calling to preach to his followers were so grateful to hear of the change lives to the books and resources Pastor Greg and harvest ministries. If you have a story to share.
Why not contact us and let us know. Email Pastor Greg firstname.lastname@example.org doing today would you again next Greg and harvest.org well today. Pastor Greg is presenting a message called how to have a personal spirit Nehemiah island.
We have lived my we have a lot of please give will become the portions of the Bible, like the genealogy of Christ or a list like this weekend and skim over it. For starters, it's hard to pronounce all those names but when does God record them because they matter. These are people that mattered to him. People that contributed to the success of the rebuilding of the wall so we come to Nehemiah 7.
We have a list of people in what they're doing but now it sort of shifts gears because were going out Nehemiah chapter 8 as well, will you look at the spiritual awakening listen. First they had to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. They were getting Jerusalem ready for a big event to come will God is at work.
He looks at the big picture, we tend to look at the small one were myopic. We see what's in front of us.
We see what's troubling us God's looking down the road. What is going to ultimately accomplish God was getting Jerusalem ready for the day when God incarnate, would walk their streets God incarnate, would be born in the manger in Bethlehem. God incarnate Jesus Christ would going to the temple there in Jerusalem.
Jesus Christ would teach in the streets of Jerusalem, and ultimately Jesus Christ would be crucified outside the walls of Jerusalem.
So these walls had to be built. But here's another list. Nehemiah 7 verse one after the wall was finished and I set up the doors in the gates, the gatekeepers, the singers, the Levites were appointed. I gave the responsibility of governing Jerusalem to my brother Hannah and I along with Hannah Anaya, the commander of the fortress, for he was a faithful man who feared God more than most. So now the walls are done in Nehemiah appoint some people to take care of business. His brother Hannah and I and had Anaya.
They were faithful to God, the Bible says and they also feared God listen to this, the greatest ability is dependability.
Again, the greatest ability is dependability. Are you a dependable person. See Nehemiah knew he could lean on these guys. He knew they would get the job done as there are people I know that many of the more care and under certain people. I know that if I give a test to it.I don't have to think about it. I don't even have to ask out when it is done and it's going to be taking care because that's a dependable person of the biblical weekend businesses probably would come back with all the you know what to get the job done. So God's looking for people that can take a task and complete it and he's looking for people who are faithful in the little things you want to be used by God one day. Would you like God to call you in the some form of service. That's a good thing to aspire to take care of the little things right now. Do what is in front of you right now because Jesus said if you are faithful in the little things will be faithful in the large things.
But if you're dishonest and little things you will be honest with greater responsibility see everybody had a part to play in the small building project.
Many of them rebuilt the wall near their home.
Everyone was vital because of there was a breach in any part of the wall.
It was penetrable and they needed to keep the wall secure.
The same is true of the church. We all have a role to play. Not all of us are called to be kind. Anaya is our hand and eyes. Some of us are Nehemiah.
Some of us or someone else, but we all live apart to play, finding, developing and using the gifts that God has given us in the church that we shift gears to Nehemiah 8 and a new person. Emergencies been there all along, but that now were going to find out more about him. He has his own book. His name is Ezra he's a priest and he is now leading this great revival.
Nehemiah chapter 8 verse one when the people assembled with unified purpose at the square just inside the Watergate. They asked Ezra the scribe to bring out the book of the law of Moses, which the Lord given for Israel to obey and on October 8. Ezra the priest brought the book of the law before the assembly which included the men and the women and the children old enough to understand he faces square just inside the Watergate from early morning to noon. He read aloud to everyone who could understand the people listen closely to the bulk of the law, and Ezra the scribe stood on a high wooden platform that have been made for the occasion, and to his right, stood, and there's a bunch of people to do is right and left, let you review those things later because I Pronounce all of those names and address it on the platform in full view of the people when they saw them open the book they all rose to their feet. There so this was a full-blown revival what is revival its restoration. What is revival its waking up from sleep.
Its waking up from sin. So what are some signs of revival will, according to the text will be looking at number one, you know you're having a revival when people are hungry for God's word again. You know you're having a revival when people are hungry for God's work, let me personalize up for you because the title of this message is how to have a personal spiritual revival. You know you are having a revival when you are hungry for God's word. Are you hungry for God's word today. I hope so that's a good sign.
If you are these people were hungry for God in the Ezra is the one bringing it to them.
No, he's always been a part of this narrative.
His book parallels the book of Nehemiah. When the Jews were originally released from the captivity of Babylon. They were led by Ezra and they rebuilt the temple so things started out well, but people would cool off a little passion wasn't really there, as it should have been. The walls were in total disarray enrolling in rubble. So God touches the heart of Nehemiah the Kings cupbearer who leads the second way but people in as the walls are rebuilt. The people are revitalized and there inspired by an old Ezra would just waiting for with the Lord would do you been praying you been studying the word of God. Ezra 710 says that he study the law of God to practice it and teacher standards in Israel and he had been praying Ezra 96 says Ezra prayed. Oh my God, I'm utterly ashamed. I blush to lift up my fees to you for our sins are piled higher than our heads and our guild has reached to the heavens. They don't you look at the godly Ezra is a lot of sin to identify their but yet he seen our sins.
This brings up a very important point revival starts with you.
She's easy to say, those people are compromising, what about there since he what about you what about me. It starts with me, and realizing that God wants to revive me personally before they can be a revival in the church that was first meet a revival in you. Here's my question. Do you need a personal spiritual life, so I don't know how can I tell if I need one let me ask you a few questions was a time in your Christian life. When your passion for Christ was stronger. If so, you need a personal spiritual revival was there a time in your life when you read God's word more faithfully and more involved in church more than you are now.
If so, you need a personal spiritual revival was there a time when you shared the gospel more that you look for opportunities to engage people with the message of Jesus Christ and so you need a personal spiritual revival because these are signs of someone who is love.
Their first love your great glory. Good counsel today about reevaluating our lives and having a personal spiritual revival and there's more insight coming as he continues to study here on a new beginning with Pastor Greg.
I have a copy of your new book called Lennon Dylan, Alice and Jesus, which were making available right now yes what I read something from your book by May its intersection. Talking about Prince and you're right. Contrary to popular belief, adversity is not the greatest test of character overnight success is just ask Dez Dickerson who was princes dazzling lead guitarist from 78 to 83.
He said this same was like this vertical takeoff and suddenly there are more people around you.
Oh, we have roadies now owe we have bodyguards now and they're there for a reason to. We experience many riots. We couldn't walk down the street and they had to cordon off the floor of our hotel. What that does to your head is beyond description and what it does to the human psyche is a whole other thing. There's this internal mechanism that unconsciously begins to take form in your equilibrium get so skewed that you find yourself doing and saying things that are you and get this she says you become your own press release. I thought that was very telling. Yeah that's very insightful and that's written by someone who knows what they're talking about and think about Prince himself a mean this in incredibly talented men died of a drug overdose. I mean so many have died of drug overdoses. You would've thought that Prince would've said he my friend Michael Jackson died this way. Hey Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin died this way he Chester Bennington died this way. He actually took his own life. I don't want to die that way but that's exactly how he died and I think people take drugs to numb the pain because they just don't know how to live with this altered state of reality.
They find themselves, and they need Jesus.
And I think so many people look to these rock stars saying oh I wish I was them know you. You should not wish she were them but you have your challenges you have your pressures and really Christ is the answer for everyone. He's the answer for the rockstar. He is the answer for the unknown person. He is the answer for the billionaire. He's the answer for the person that doesn't have two pennies to rub together. He's the answer for every man, every woman, every boy, every girl every person so I've written this book to say no one is beyond the reach of God. Don't stop praying.
Don't give up on these people you know I think about electronic dance music DJ of Vici's real name was Tim Berglund of e.g. had global success. Thousands of people would come to his rave concert and thought he was the greatest thing ever but a Vici was a young man who according to his parents was searching for Kees and the meaning of life. Tragically, he began to drink extensively in his liver was failing and the doctor told me of this cease-and-desist from drinking or you would die. He still a very young guy and then he made somewhat of a recovery and retired from his career and then ended up taking his own life in the worst way imaginable, but I think a lot of these guys are searching for peace and meaning. Why are they here on this earth. And really, we all are. When you get down to it, except these people have had all the successes world offers and of realized how empty it is, I explore the lives of a lot of rock stars past, present, and ones that are emerging on the scene right now so it's not just about rock music. It just about this. Don't take the wrong course in life don't think that things will fill that void in your life or a career will do it, or success will do it, or sex will do it, or any other thing. What you really want what you really need is a relationship with God and we have a lot of rock stars that we talk to for this book and we interviewed that will tell you that from personal experience.
As always Christ is the answer now to write so many reasons to dig into this spiritual biography of rock 'n' roll is actually a group of short biographies, several dozen musicians and artists and what we can learn from their lives. It's fascinating and a great tool to help you share your faith letter sent you Lennon Dylan, Alice, and Jesus is our thank you gift to those who can partner with us right now, so that these daily studies can continue your donation also helps us reach out with the gospel as we did just a few weeks ago had Boise harvest so contact us today. Our phone number is 1-800-821-3300. We are always ready to take your call 24 seven that's 1-800-821-3300 or write a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or go online to harvest.org you know there's nothing lying here in the word of God worshiping the Lord together. I will encourage you to join us for something we call Harvest at Home every Saturday and Sunday harvest.org you join Christians literally from around the world as we worship and we study the word of God together. So join us for Harvest at Home and harvest will next time more counsel on how we can have a personal spiritual revival, including special insights on the danger of sin and how to resist in our lives. Join us here on a new beginning has to revival feature regularly and will buy harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God learn how to do, harvest partner, sign up for daily devotions and find resources to help you grow in your faith harvest.org