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The Plot Thickens | Having Godly Priorities

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
June 8, 2022 3:00 am

The Plot Thickens | Having Godly Priorities

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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June 8, 2022 3:00 am

Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie takes us to the book of Esther for insight on how to have Godly priorities when surrounded by an ungodly culture.

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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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Today's episode of a new beginning is brought to you by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God.

Learn more@harness.org and while you're there, browse our library of free e-books designed to help you grow in your faith Bible is not being resolved one only seen on the outside today on a new beginning. Greg Laurie takes his master how to have godly priorities on godly culture, put God first of all things in her beauty as well as you are. You look like a model using the model.

So what is the pictures and have a graphic artist, Greg Laurie set our site look to a real-life example of beauty racing also reflection of the life of Dr. Billy Graham.

We had a lot of and rightly so, about Billy Graham of this life and his legacy that I've read columns written by Christian leaders.

You know, applauding Billy celebrating Billy about all great but you know the greatest attribute. You can pay the Billy Graham is just to what Billy wouldn't really do what it was all said and done. Yes, he was a Chapel of the president said yes.

He was an influential leader, but really what it was all said and done what Billy did was he sure the gospel and he invited people to Christ.

That's what he did that so we all need to be doing that for were always looking for those new opportunities to bring the gospel to people who have not heard it before. You know I was with Billy once, and I asked him if he had any regrets in life and he said yes inviting you to come with no events and they should have II really custard him a lot. It was always questions questions when I was around about them. So I said Billy nobody regrets, he says yes I ever regret. He said I was at the prayer breakfast in Washington DC. This is when Pres. Kennedy was in office and he Billy spoken afterwards.

The president said Billy I would like you to ride with me back to the White House have something I want to talk to you about Billy was very sick.

You have the flu. He said Mr. Pres., I would love to, but I'm afraid I would give you what I have. Maybe we could get together at another time and have that discussion. President agreed that shortly after Pres. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas Texas. Billy says I always regret that I didn't take that ride with the president and talk to him. You know, there are strategic opportunities that come in life that drop in your lap. It's up to you what you do with them and were looking at an extraordinary life of a woman named Hadas better known as Esther, who put it all on the line when push came to shop God puts Billy on this earth for a purpose. I think he fulfilled it beautifully. God is put you on this earth for a purpose to put all of us where we are for such a time as this.

You can find a purpose and dedicate your life to the glory of God or you can ignore it and chase after the empty promises of this world, it's really your choice, but the book of Esther is about how God placed the right woman in the right place at the right time, and she saved the Jewish people. A.B. Simpson, no relation to Homer said God is preparing his heroes. When the opportunity comes he can fit them into their places in a moment in the world will wonder where they came from" is not a great statement. Did it ever occur to you that you could be one of God's heroes, God is equipping and preparing you for something that I had for such a time as this were always trying to get out of the situation were in other circumstances, written or maybe a relationship wherein and maybe there's a place for that. But then there is also the recognition that God is in control of our lives. Now let's pick up where we last left off King Xerxes. The ruler of the mighty Persia put on a six month feast and that is one long party and the drink from the house and the food to the king was flaunting all of his wealth and his power is bullying and I think there may have been an ulterior motive for Xerxes because according to history. We know on the heels of this PC mounted a large-scale invasion of Greece. Maybe he was buttering the people up getting them ready for this big battle that was ahead and sort of saying to them, he'd check out all of our cool stuff all of our power then you're on the right team, so I hope you're going to back me on this because in attendance at this grade fees for all of the leaders of Persia because it was a far-flung Empire so the king waited to bring out his crown jewel, the pièce de résistance, the beautiful queen varsity so I gave the order, no varsity to come out and make sure she wears her crown thoughts to get the word she says I'm not doing it now.

Some commentators as I pointed I believe maybe the implication is the king said tell varsity to come out wearing only her crown mother was. Not her clothes started displaying even flaunt her before the others, but even if that's not the case.

Clearly he was treating her more like an object look at my awesome wife Linda, my hot wife. My trophy wife. Don't you envy me look at how powerful I am varsity wasn't going along with the program and the king was really embarrassed by this and does so is 8K minutes and then you cannot let this stand. You cannot let your wife get away with this because if you do will never hear the end of it at home. Our wives anything Monica to do what you want queen varsity didn't do with the king wanted.

You gotta get rid of her and throw her out and remove her crown. Now why did the king go along with this, the answer is found in Esther 110 on the seventh day of the fees when King Xerxes was in high spirits because of the wine list paraphrased. He was drunk as a skunk, and when you're drunk you say and do stupid thing right and not for the Bible warns us against drunkenness tells us in Ephesians.

Don't be drunk with wine, but be filled with the spirit of the Bible also tells us in Proverbs 20 verse one wine as a marker and strong drink is a brawler and whoever is led astray by them is not wise. You know, having been raised in an alcoholic home and see what alcoholism does. I can't think of one good thing I've ever seen this come out of drinking but I can see a lot of bad things and so I have a revolutionary thought for you all to consider. Don't get drunk about that. Don't get drunk now here's another of our leisure. Some don't know about that wrong right there is another revolutionary thought.

If you don't drink you won't get drunk. It's so King Xerxes was drunk and apparently he was one of those mean drunks. Some people when they come under the influence of alcohol get very angry and violent and that was the king, so he dismisses varsity now. After this he goes out and leads his army in the battle against Greece and he was humiliated and he returns to the kingdom, and always lonely King this is queen varsity now he had a harem okay get a lot of women that snap his fingers on a woman would be there, but but apparently the king wasn't satisfied with just sexual pleasure.

He wanted love.

He wanted a companion. He wanted some of that actually cared about an the king wanted queen and so he decided that he was going to find that queen somewhere in his kingdom.

Now I know as we hear the story. It's not a very spiritual story give a pagan king with a harem for women who fires his queen and now he wants a new Greener same. How could God work in a situation like this for the effective God was working. One thing to consider if queen varsity had been in power when he came and patched his wicked plot to exterminate the Jews. It is very unlikely she would've protested. So God had to get the right woman in the right place at the right time and that woman was a beautiful young Esther. So the king says I need a queen which is shows that Dotson control God's in control of Kings and Queens and Prime Minister's and presidents. The Bible says that the heart of the king is in the hand of the Lord, and he guides it wherever he wanted to go in a moment.

We'll see how the king decided to select his new queen it's a spectacle you'd expect a big Xerxes. More on that in a moment at harvest ministries we hear from people all around the country and in places that are sometimes hard to reach. Dear Pastor Greg read about in the wilds of Idaho, but are able to enjoy your Harvest at Home broadcast. Recall in our home church away in our 13-year-old son even gave his heart to Jesus by watching harvest at all.

Praise the Lord blessings to you, it's so great to know the Harvest at Home. Broadcast is impacted this family in this way you have a story to tell if so, would you let Pastor Greg know just drop him an email greg@harvest.org again, greg@harvest.org were just getting started in her study of Esther and Pastor Greg continues at the point in the story working at Xerxes acted on his displeasure with queen Vashti so the message goes out to the massive kingdom of Persia, that the king wanted the Queen if this is happening today. No question. It would be a reality show right and so the word went out all these girls apply the ancient historian Josephus believe there was 400 contestants and these girls had to be virgins that go through an extensive makeover and a team of stylists there that would do their hair, makeup and help them to become as appealing as possible to the king and then the winner would be chosen to be the Queen and that's all we pick our story up Esther chapter 2 dropped on the verse five and let's read together.

Note the fortress of Sue so there was a certain Jew named Morty KIA, son of Jared, he was from the tribe of Benjamin was a descendent of Kish and she may I his family had been exiled from Jerusalem by to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar, along with King Jehoiada Kim of Judah and many others. This man had a beautiful and lovely young cousin named Hadassah who was also called Esther what her father or mother died. Morty KIA adopted her into his family and raised her as his own daughter.

There so standing up from all of these gorgeous Persian women is a beautiful Jewish girl named Hadassah. She was an orphan adopted by Morty KIA. So he became a father figure to her. Most likely your aspirations in life would've been to marry a nice Jewish boy a raise a family.

Serve the Lord and live in relative obscurity, but God had another plan for Esther for such a time as this. Reminding us that there are no coincidences in our life.

Only Providence no coincidences but Providence what is Providence mean. Remember, it means to see ahead of time.

God sees what's coming, he sees it in detail. So he knew exactly what was in the future and he was getting Esther ready now.

She was a gorgeous girl. We know that because Esther 27 says now the young lady was beautiful of form and takes their two Hebrew words that are used or when is Haute and the other is to Quito. It translates to hot chick. I'm not. I made sister and I made that are permitted are completely she was she was a hot chick okay to put in vernacular gorgeous drop dead like wow but the thing about Esther is it such as that which he was beautiful on the outside.

She was also beautiful on the inside you know there's so much emphasis put on girls today to be attractive and a lot of this is driven by social media.

I read that plastic surgeries are at an all-time high right now because people actually want to look in real life.

Like the book in Sophie's right, you know, when you take a shot of yourself or pictures taken you of these filters that you can get from these apps and you can make yourself taller, thinner, you can change yourself and weld in the sum of that actually doesn't exist you go to a cosmetic surgeon think make me look like this and all that emphasis and you know all I have to lose weight and I have to appear a certain way and any and all mobile women's magazines out there only support that I subscribed to quite a few of them, if I don't subscribe at that.

The latest issue here is an article in growing thicker hair read that later lose 8 pounds a week eating slimming cereal I get like that racist signs of aging well here's glamour spring fashion and beauty. What's next next level makeup skills sets without shame. You see in these magazines. They promote immorality. So I was really shocked when they came across the latest cover of Vogue magazine and it says Queen Esther on doing what's right. Check this out. I here's what's in this issue. The value of virtue how the daily study of Scripture can help you grow spiritually in your journey 20 scriptures on how to have a better marriage and be faithful to your spouse Vogue magazine, and if you believe this is real. It's not real people. We made it all header graphics department mopped this up, say, wouldn't it be cool if this was out there, but it's not out there that you never would see that on the cover of a women's magazine or any magazine 20 scriptures and how to have a better marriage to be faithful to your spouse you kidding me. They encourage adultery.

They encourage premarital sex even encourage abortion. Oh my goodness what a contrast but here was this secular environment all about outward appearance and you know Esther was so gorgeous. She fit in and even surpassed many of the beauties, but you get that inner beauty and the king took note of it. You know the Bible does not dam a girl being attractive.

I think some people think now I just need to be playing for God's glory really is.

Sometimes the questions that should Christian girls were makeup pay my responses. If the house needs painting you may need little privacy. Maybe the roller. I don't know what kind you go girl. The Bible doesn't condemn a girl at dressing attractively. Esther was attractive. The woman of Proverbs 31 is commended for her attractiveness of Proverbs 31 talks about the beautiful clothing. The woman is wearing. That is all fine.

Here's what the Bible is critical of only focusing on the outside and neglecting the inside that's the focus it's good to have the outside attractive as it can be but you want to be godly on the inside first Timothy 4/8 is physical training is of some value, but godliness is value for all things, holding promise for their present life and the life to come, then over in first Peter three from the new living translation.

It says don't be concerned about the outward beauty that depends on fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry or beautiful clothes so there's a point don't make that your primary focus, but on the other hand, don't neglect it altogether. Okay, just find the balance because Jesus said don't be like the nonbelievers. All they think about is what they can eat whether going to drink what they're going to wear what you should seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added on to you put God first in all things and that inner qualities if you're a girl inner beauty as well as who you are on the outside so all of the beautiful women of Persia are paraded before King Xerxes and he chooses Esther will get Esther to verse 16. Esther was taken the King Xerxes at the Royal Palace and early winter on the seventh year of his reign, and they King loved Esther more than any of the other young women. He was so delighted with their buddies at the royal crown on her head and cleared her queen instead of varsity. God was at work. Now this is a fairytale.

It would end right here. Poor little girl becomes the Queen and they lived happily ever after, but this is not a fairytale. This is a Bible story Bible stories are true, their history and so here's what happened after that the plot thickens as Esther was made Queen. Her cousin Mordecai was made a counselor to the Queen and one day Mordecai uncovered a plot by two of the king's guards to kill him.

He revealed it to the king.

The guards were arrested. They were executed and he was never rewarded for that right knowledge for that sin that happens in life sometimes is not, you know we do something for someone and we don't get the credit. Maybe it's your idea and someone else stole it.

They got all the glory for it are at your workplace. You choose the path of honesty and integrity and you don't advance while the person who chose dishonesty and scheming to advance in your same. This isn't fair, it's not right.

Well Holland now buckaroo it's not over till it's over because were going to see in the book of Esther.

How things played out in the big picture because, among other things, the book of Esther is about reaping what you sow good and bad. Greg Laurie good insight from our study today in the book of Esther as he said there's more to come here on a new beginning, and we want to mention the new book were making available if Pastor Greg's new book called Lennon 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 and no 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 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 in their playing these old records. We used to listen to the first time you see kids hanging out, you know, in the hipster coffee shop scoring 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 are dealing with right now so I'm looking to build bridges.

That's why I write books like Lennon, 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 in reach unexpected people in unexpected places in unexpected ways with the gospel that can change your life now. That'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 Grace new book called Lennon 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 header 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. So join us this weekend Saturday and Sunday for Harvest at Home@harvest.org next time some practical take away troops from our studies in the book of Esther see how we can be ready to serve God in our own lives for such a time as this. Join us next time you're on a new beginning with pastor and Bible teacher for an new beginning as a podcast, made possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God if this show has impacted your life. Share your story leverage you on your favorite podcast and help others find help


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