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This is Not a Drill | Cheerfully Giving for God

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

This is Not a Drill | Cheerfully Giving for God

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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June 3, 2022 3:00 am

Every Sunday morning belongs to God . . . unless it’s a beautiful day, then you gotta get out in the fresh air. Every Sunday morning belongs to God . . . unless the weather’s awful, then you gotta watch the forecast. Devotions, every morning . . . unless you didn’t sleep well, or were out late the night before. God isn’t content with the leftovers of our lives. He wants to be top priority. And today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie points out that principle even extends to our financial management.

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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 made possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God.

Visit our website and learn more about harvest partners@harvest.org news is we want to give God love although we are all that we have come from God coming up today on a new beginning after Gregori wonders, we're just his generation with God to give you your life you gave you your job, your help on the percentage to make the paying right every believer's and give their finances to the Lord every Sunday morning belongs to God was the fourth devotions every morning was you didn't sleep well. God is content with our lives wants to be top priority today on a new beginning. Gregori points out that principal even extends when the Constitution of the United States line in America officially became a nation. A crowd of people were standing outside of the meeting room were founding fathers were waiting to find out what happened. A woman thought Benjamin Franklin and said so Mr. Franklin what type of government have you and your delegates given us, and Franklin famously responded a Republic.

Mdm., if you can keep it. The idea was okay. We've laid the foundation.

Now it's up to you to see what you do with it what the foundation was laid in Jerusalem the walls rebuilt the temple was there but they were not keeping it there were not doing well at all started well but they were not finishing well listen. It's great to have a great start and a great finish but you can evenly have a mediocre start or even a bad start and have a great finish with yours. What's not good the greatest of start and a horrible finish.

If you're running in a race and you don't finish the race. It doesn't matter if you've held the first place position for 9/10 labs if you don't finish the race. You don't win the prize and the same is true of the Christian life we want to finish strong and you know what you decide right now are you going to do later in life you don't decide later. The evening of your life is decided by the morning of your life. The end from the beginning. So here you are, you been married two years and you say I want to have a strong marriage 42 years later okay great.

You decide that right now and every day you do everything you can to strengthen the marriage.

Don't wait until you're older because when you get older the problem is you get set in your ways you like routine like predictability you like to do things the way you've always done them no decide now establish good habit patterns now. You're the one who will decide how it's all going to end up in the same is true of the Christian life. You know, we start out with a bang. But if we put it into cruise control Houston we have a problem. The key is maintenance. The Bible says work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God that works in you both to will and do of his good pleasure does not say work for your own salvation. As you can know you work it out. See, it's given to you is a gift of God. You can work it out as the apostles John and Paul said we can work it out. John Lennon, Paul McCartney would be to forget it and secure cultural reference a giggle. What what what verses that's not a verse of the song, forget it. Okay when you are translated cultural reference it and work, but we can work it out. So when Paul says, work out your own salvation.

It means discover what God is giving you.

He uses a word that speaks of being in a mine and pulling the gold out so it's a lifelong discovery of growing and learning and being transformed. You never reach a plateau work.

One good I don't need to go to church anymore. I don't even read the Bible anymore. I'm I've arrived know you haven't, I think the one way you know you're growing spiritually is when you realize you need to continue growing spiritually at something to keep in mind that one of the ways you know you're not doing well spiritually is when you think you don't need to keep growing spiritually so let's backtrack a little bit then will come to get to the conclusion but let's pick up chronologically where we left off last time you remember me on my returns. They rebuild the walls address brought out of mothballs.

He led the first wave of Jews returning to Babylon.

He helped to rebuild the temple. He had been largely inactive to bring about again. He read Scripture to the people for three hours.

Then they confess their sins to God for three hours and there's this great revival that breaks out and know that people make a series of very significant commitments to the Lord and that's where we picked up were in Nehemiah 10 point number one of your taking notes.

They surrendered to the word of God.

They surrendered to the word of God. Nehemiah 1028 then the rest of the people, the Pres, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers and temple servants and all what separated themselves from the pagan people of the land in order to obey the law of God, together with their wives, sons and daughters and all who are old enough to understand. They swore an oath, they bound themselves with an old and they swore occurs in themselves. If they failed to obey the law of God is issued by his servant Moses, they solemnly promised to carefully follow all the commands, regulations and decrees of the Lord our God.

There is a serious another siding on the dotted line.

You know you can go look at a car all you want. I love this time I buy this car. I want to get this car and when the estate gone for so you going in the safe. I'm ready to buy the car and they bring out hundreds of sheets of paper that you have to sign sign sign sign sign and sign the same is true when you stand in front of a pastor and before your friends and family and state your vows to your husband or your wife to be.

You're making a commitment publicly. That's why think it's it's a great thing to make a public stand for Jesus Christ to sort of seal the deal when you're baptized at the public commitment.

People can see it. They should see it when you make that first stand in front of your nonbelieving friends at your workplace or on your campus and you say I am a Christian. Have you made a public profession of your faith.

Does your family know you're a Christian all your family, your extended family to people in your neighborhood know you're a Christian to people in your workplace know you're a Christian to people on your campus know you're a Christian to people that folly one social media know that you are a Christian make your stand for Christ publicly because Jesus said if you'll stand up for me all stand up for you and so we make that stand and we stand by that stand that we have made no optimal say we believe the Bible will say we love the Bible and we will quote the Bible but will we surrender what the Bible says this is the requested. Don't just quoted to me.

Don't to say how much you love it will use surrendered to what the Bible says when he restated will you surrender to what the Bible says on every single topic. I used to have a little plaque years ago that said, God said it, I believe it, that settles it is that sum up the way you feel will come back to that point in the moment. Point number two they separated themselves from ungodly influence. They separated themselves from ungodly influence is a diverse 28 then the rest of the people the Pres Levites, gatekeepers, singers, temple servants, and all who had separated themselves from the pagan people of the land in order to obey the law of the Lord.

We promise to not let our daughters Mary the pagan people of the land and not let our sons marry their daughters. Note the cause and effect, they separated in order to obey look at it again. They had separated themselves from the pagan people in order to obey the law of the Lord. Listen to this. If you want to live a godly life. You will need to separate yourself from some things and some people and in exchange.

Surround yourself with other things and other people someone sums it up perfectly. It's as blessed as a man walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, or stands in the way of sinners or sits in the seat of the scornful God is. The lie is in the law of the Lord in the unit does he meditate day and night, so you had this separate from one thing enjoying yourself to another the problem of the Israelites. They had a constant problem with that Getting pulled down by ungodly people, they would intermarry with pagan people and end up doing pagan things using that usually what happens when believers Mary non-believers see the promise. Generally, the believer does not pull the nonbeliever, but rather the nonbeliever pulls the believer down now, having said that, while I miss what I'm saying don't marry a nonbeliever. I'm not saying don't have contact with nonbelievers because how we gonna reach people with the gospel. If we don't have contact with them. Separation does not mean isolation you might be surprised to know that when I have friendships with nonbelievers and I have friends that don't know the Lord and we talked and I stand for what I stand for and they know what I believe. But I don't expect nonbelievers to behave is believers.

I'm not going to harp on those things that you happen to be doing as much as I'm going to try to point you to Christ because once you come to Christ all those other things will get sorted out.

So that's my main objective with the nonbeliever bring them to Greg Laurie will have the second half of this message in just a moment. I don't 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 in was small group with folks from all around this planet of ours, studying the word of God. So join us this weekend Saturday and Sunday for Harvest at Home@harvest.org will pastor Greg is bringing his practical insights on standing for our faith. The book of Nehemiah.

It's a message titled, this is not a drill point number three. They were invested in God's kingdom. They were invested in God's kingdom there making this valid giver 32. In addition, they say, we promise to obey the command to pay the annual temple tax of 1/8 of an ounce of silver for the care of the Temple of our God, for 35. We promise to bring the first part of every harvest of the Lord's temple year after year Weatherby from across the soil from our fruit trees of this is primarily an agricultural culture, livestock, culture so they would bring their offerings, it would often be something from the field or something from the flock, etc. today, we would not do that we would bring finances, but the point in principle is still the same. But you know, a lot of times we don't want to give God our best notice they brought the firstfruits the best we want to give God leftovers the other day I was with my son Jonathan and his son Christopher, my grandson and Jonathan gave Christopher a little bag of chips, so is eating these chips enjoyment. Jonathan says hey buddy can I have a chip Christopher is now since I have a chip cadet of a chip, Christopher decreases crunching up like he's in pain. No son give me a chip I needed chip I give you those chips give me a chip back you think using an agony he reaches in and pulls out the most pathetic little chip Huber is just microscopic pennies. It's even hard for him to give it all reside turning away like your take it all and is that says no I want a big chip call Pacific give me a big chip son give you good chip you finally I thought this is so much like us and God. God gives us everything God gave you the bag of chips man you gave your life you gave you your job gave you your help. It's all from God. God says, I like to get back a percentage to meet the you paying right that's what this is all about. There were going to bring the very best of the Lord God established certain laws for the nation of Israel regarding tithing to be more to bring 1/10 of the material resources to the temple bring the best not the worst snow summits. It will tithing is not in the New Testament. Therefore, I will give nothing to God ever Brilliant deduction I'm being sarcastic by the way, listen to this 10% is entry level that's not where you stop. That's where you start. Listen to this in the New Testament the standards of the Old Testament are always raised never lower. Let me say that again in the New Testament.

The standards are never lowered.

There always raised friends and Jesus said, you read that it has been said, you shall not murder but I say to you, if you look at some moment he did in your heart that's like you murder them.

You have heard begin of the Old Testament that it has been said 10 Commandments, you shall not commit adultery but all I see in the you if you look at a woman with lust in your heart.

That's the same as committing adultery but if you do, the lower the bar know we actually raises the bar so it comes down to this. Listen, every believer should give of their finances to the Lord. Now is this tough preachers took money when the second. What is your discomfort really over.

Remember earlier point, we surrendered to the word of God always love you what the Bible says about prayer, about hold about the return of Christ about comfort yeah amen amen. And then there's giving you more like Christopher with the little chip we should welcome everything the Bible says about everything and just do it so was the Bible say Paul deals with it extensively in the book of first Corinthians chapter 16. Here's what we learn and you can write these notes down with these things up later. Every believer should give systematically. Every believer should give systematically. Paul told the believers in Corinth to set aside a sum of money on the first day of every week for them. That would be Sunday. Christians are to give systematically, not sporadically, or when it occurs to that. I think that's why electronic giving is so fantastic. That's how we get in our home, and by the way that's that's just the we tied. Of course, but then we give above that I don't see that the Bose is just on the stone when I'm supposed to do as a Christian and I happy to do it but you know you can do electronically and it happens automatically. But however you do it you should give systematically number two we are to give proportionately where to get proportionally. Paul says in first Corinthians 16, everyone should give in keeping with their income so look something. Give more some could give less but everyone should give something number three we are to give joyfully, joyfully, Paul writes in second Corinthians 9. Six.

Remember this, a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop with the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. You must decide in your heart how much to give.

And don't give reluctantly or in response to pressure. For God loves a person who gives cheerfully will say well I can give cheerfully. Therefore, I'll never do again that he likes it like I can pray cheerfully will never pray again. I can read the Bible happily because I get boards on never read the Bible you know change your heart man get in sync with God and Jesus say it is more blessed or happy to give than to receive. Do you understand what you say you think keeping your stuff makes you happy. Jesus is giving your stuff make you happy if you want to be happy to what he says and he wants a blessing that will come your way. One last point, if you follow God's principles about giving you can expect him to meet your need. If you follow God's principles on giving. You can expect him to meet your needs. Second Corinthians. I made God will give generously and provide all your need and you'll always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with other UC so God does not promise to supply your greens, but he does promise to meet your needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Listen, this is like a double test, God tests us and we can test God in this rare moment to test about so I love Jesus all of someone about okay are you following these principles. It's a test of really your commitment because were a man's treasure is, there will his heart be also. But then we can test God is what you talking about. The Bible says don't does God hold on.

One time God says testing you know where it is. Malachi God says put me to the test on this one.

Bring your ties into your offerings into the storehouse, listen, God says, and watch this.

I will open up the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing so great you will not have room enough to receive it from me to the test on this one. So it's a double got and see what Greg Laurie with insights on the only time in Scripture where God invites us to test him today's message on a new beginning is titled.

This is not a drill, and then have you check out Pastor Greg's new book, Lenin, Dylan, Allison, Jesus, you can get the details right now@harvest.org is a look at the lives of so many rock 'n' roll icons whose lives went from the top to the bottom and often to despair at lightning speed is an important cautionary tale yesterday. What are you hoping the reader takes away from this book again called Lennon Dylan Allison Jesus, I hope they take away this simple thought. No one is beyond the reach of God. I don't care how famous they are. I don't care how powerful they are or what they've accomplished. Everyone needs Jesus or something to keep in mind everybody is empty.

The Bible says that the creation was made subject to emptiness as King James for her sort of a hole in our life. The Bible says God is put eternity in our hearts which means were on a search for God. Listen, you may see a person drive by and Rolls-Royce there empty another person drives by in a previous there empty. One person has a beautiful home there empty.

Someone has a simple little shop. They live in there empty everybody's empty number two. Everybody's lonely no matter how many fans you have or how many friends you think you have how many followers you have on social media, you're lonely and really there's a loneliness in your heart for God himself.

Thirdly, everyone's afraid to die. All I know some people say oh I'm looking forward to die know they're not there afraid to die. And lastly I would say everybody just needs Jesus so rock stars, movie stars, billionaires, unknown people. People that can play two cords in the guitar. Everybody needs Jesus, so this book shows that those who been there and done that and bought the T-shirt have still found that's not the answer and some of them made wrong decisions and reap the consequences. Some of them made right decisions and got on the road that leads to life and started following Jesus Christ.

So my hope is when you read this book, you'll say this gives me hope for my son or daughter.

This gives me hope for my husband or wife.

This gives me hope for that crazy neighbor that's always giving me a hard time. All this gives me hope for my boss or my coworker or my friends from my past, but also I would encourage you this would be a great book after you've read it to share with someone that's not yet a believer at the end of the book as always I present the gospel and I even have a prayer that a person can pray to accept Jesus Christ as such an important tool in sharing the hope of Christ and of the great commission was given to all of us, not just pastors and after someone in your circle of influence who needs hope. We hope you'll share a copy of this book with them again. It's called Lennon Dylan, Alice and Jesus.

The subtitle is the spiritual biography of rock 'n' roll and were sending it to say thank you for your partnership. We couldn't be here each day without the partnership of our listeners were fully listener supported. So thank you so much for your generosity and with your donation. We hope you will ask for Lennon Dylan, Alice and Jesus. You can call us at 1-800-821-3300. We are here around the clock to take your call.

That's 1-800-821-3300 or write a new beginning.

Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or go online to harvest.org well next time. Pastor Greg returns with one final installment wrap up message in the book of Nehemiah. Some of the most important counsel yet coming next time.

Join us here on the new beginning pastor and Bible teacher Greg Laurie and everybody thinks for listening to this podcast to learn more about harvest ministries follow the show and consider supporting it.

Just go to harvest.org and find out how to know God personally go to harvest.org and click on know God


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