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You Reap What You Sow | A Good Seed Produces Good Fruit

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
June 15, 2022 3:00 am

You Reap What You Sow | A Good Seed Produces Good Fruit

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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June 15, 2022 3:00 am

So many say they’re glad they came to Christ for forgiveness of sin and only wished they’d done it sooner. You don’t hear many say, “I went back to partying and drinking and waking up with hangover – I wished I’d done it sooner.” Few would choose pain and heartache over peace and freedom. Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie shows us a man of great power who sowed evil, and we’ll see he reaped the fruit he deserved. Today, it’s a look at the law of sowing and reaping.

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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 at harvest.org. And while you're there, browse our library of free eBooks designed to help you grow in your faith. So many say they're glad they came to Christ, for forgiveness of sin, and only wish they'd done it sooner. You don't hear many say, yeah, I went back to partying and drinking and waking up with a hangover. I wish I'd done it sooner.

No, few would choose pain and heartache over peace and freedom. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie shows us a man of great power who sowed evil, and we'll see he reaped the fruit he deserved. Today it's a look at the law of sowing and reaping. Well we are in our last message in the book of Esther. Have you enjoyed the book of Esther?

I have. It's been a lot of fun to study for. Even more fun to preach. And so this is the final message. We're in Esther chapter 5, and the title of the message is, You Reap What You Sow. Enter the villain of the story Haman, who has a plot to exterminate Mordecai and the Jews. And so Esther says to Mordecai, okay, I'm going to go to the king. So our story begins in Esther chapter 5 verse 1.

Let's read together. Three days later, Esther put on her royal robes and entered the inner court of the palace just across from the king's hall. The king was sitting on his royal throne facing the entrance, and when he saw Queen Esther standing there in the inner court, he welcomed her, holding out the gold scepter to her. So Esther approached and touched its tip. Then the king asked her, what do you want, Queen Esther?

What is your request? I'll give it to you up to half of the kingdom. She said, well, if it pleases your majesty, let the king and Haman come today to a banquet. I prepared for the king. So the king turned to his attendants and said, tell Haman to come quickly to a banquet, as Esther has requested. So the king and Haman went to Esther's banquet, and they're drinking wine, and the king said to Esther, tell me what you really want. What is your request? I'll give it to you even up to half of my kingdom. Esther replied, this is my request and deepest wish. If your majesty is pleased with me and wants to grant my request, come back with Haman tomorrow. We'll stop there.

This is amazing. Seems like she would have just closed the deal right there. You know, outed Haman and his plot, revealed that she was a Jewish girl, and this was a attack against her and her people, but she's waiting. She's waiting for the right time. Do you know timing is everything? Because a lot of times we're impatient. Are you an impatient person?

I can be, but we need to understand there's a time for every event under heaven, the Bible says, a time to be silent and a time to speak. Now Haman is so excited. He's thinking everything's going my way. All of my scheming, my plotting, my undermining, is finally coming to fruition. The queen has invited me to a banquet with the king.

Verse nine, what a happy man Haman was as he left the banquet. He thinks everything's going my way. I'm gonna wipe out the Jews. I'm powerful.

Oh, it's awesome. But as he's on his way home, he walks by Mordecai, and once again, Mordecai will not bow before him, and it just ticks him off. He goes home to his really, really creepy wife that was as bad as him. Her name is Zeresh, and he says, that Mordecai is driving me insane. He won't bow down before me. I want to kill him really soon. She says, why don't you build a gallows maybe 75 feet high, and he could be hung publicly for his rebellion. He says, wife, that is a great idea. So he brings in the building crew, and they're working through the night. He can't wait to complete the gallows so he can hang Mordecai high for his transgression.

So as you look at this story, you're going, man, things don't seem to be going well. I mean, there's this horrible threat against the Jews. Haman's in power.

The king isn't doing anything about it. But God is always on the move. And as I said earlier as we began this study, though the name of God is never mentioned specifically in the book of Esther, the hand of God is evident in every single page. And the Lord was working through events now as we're going to see how everything came together, and there was a lot of reaping what had been so. Now I debated if I should just paraphrase this and tell it to you, but I'm going to have you read it with me because this is one of the most powerful narratives in the Bible. Did you all bring your Bibles today? You have your Bibles? Okay, grab your Bible. Look at Esther chapter six, verse 14. We're going to read a bunch of verses.

You're going to love this. I'm reading from the New Living Translation. While they were still talking, the king's eunuchs arrived to take Haman to the banquet Esther had prepared. So the king and Haman went to Queen Esther's banquet. And they were drinking wine that day, and the king asked her, tell me what you want, Queen Esther.

What is your request? I'll give it to you even up to half of my kingdom. And so Queen Esther replied, if your majesty is pleased with me and wants to grant my request, my petition is that my life and the lives of my people will be spared. Okay, so Esther's been waiting for the right moment, and now she's going for it. Verse seven, for my people, says Esther, have been sold to those who would kill, slaughter, and annihilate us. Who would dare do such a thing? King Xerxes demands. Who would dare touch you?

I love verse six. Esther replied, this wicked Haman is our enemy. Imagine this scene. There's Haman sitting there like, oh no.

She's Jewish? Look at what it says next. Haman grew pale with fright before the king and queen. This is not good. The king jumped up to his feet in a rage and went out into the palace garden, but Haman stayed behind to plead for his life with Queen Esther, for he knew he was doomed. In despair he fell on the couch where Queen Esther was reclining, and just as the king returned from the palace garden, he said, oh, are you going to assault the queen right here in the palace before my very eyes? The king roared, and as soon as the king spoke, his attendants covered Haman's face, signaling his doom. Then Harbonah, one of the king's eunuchs, said, hey king, Haman has set up a gallows that stands 75 feet tall in his own courtyard. The king says, hang Haman on it. So they hanged Haman on the gallows, and he had set up for Mordecai.

And the king's anger was pacified, and on that same day King Xerxes gave the estate of Haman, the enemy of the Jews, to Queen Esther. We'll stop there. Talk about poetic justice. All right, so what did we learn from this story? Number one, God is always present and at work in our lives as Christians whether we feel him or not. God is always present and at work in our lives as Christians whether we feel him or not. He was at work in the life of Esther. He was at work in the life of Mordecai. He was at work in the lives of the Jewish people, and we see how God worked through such ordinary human events, insomnia, the reading of a book, the anger of a man, and the timing of events.

So I don't know what you're facing right now, but God's at work. I don't see him. He's at work. I don't feel him. He's at work.

He's working behind the scenes. He promises to work all things together for good to those that love God and are the called according to his purpose. Number two, God can take impossible situations and turn them around for his glory. God can take impossible situations and turn them around for his glory. Are you facing an impossible situation? Is the deck stacked against you? Have you been given no hope?

Listen to this. God can change that. As Gabriel the angel said to Mary who would be the mother of Jesus, with God all things are possible. And this looked like an impossible situation for sure, but the Lord intervened. And point number three, you will reap what you sow.

Again, I want to emphasize that can be positive or negative. For Haman, he reaped what he sowed. His treachery, his deceitfulness, his envy, his hatred, all came back.

He hung on his own gallows. But Mordecai s faithfulness, his honesty, his integrity, also the honesty and passion of Esther, that was rewarded as well. In just a moment, Pastor Greg emphasizes the practical application we find here in the story of Esther.

Stay with us. So many listeners have commented on the help they receive from these daily messages. God s Word ministers to them, and it often gets them through some of their darkest hours. Dear Pastor Greg, I wanted to let you know how much your daily radio ministry has meant to my wife and I. At the beginning of the pandemic, my wife started chemotherapy for breast cancer. It was a difficult time for us both, but I was thankful that I was able to be home during this time to help. Many mornings I would make breakfast and we d listen to A New Beginning on the radio while we ate. Your messages and especially your kindness that you always expressed while preaching were so important to us. They gave us hope to face this difficult challenge. Looking back with my wife now healed of her cancer, we both have such happy memories of those mornings spent listening to you. We will always be in your debt for your messages and your kindness. Thank you. How have these daily studies ministered to you and your family? Would you let us know? Tell us your story by calling 1-866-871-1144.

That s a special number, 866-871-1144. And now Pastor Greg continues his message from the book of Esther called You Reap What You Sow. As life goes by, you realize that it s a good decision to obey God. Now some of you are young, and let me say something to you. And hear what I m saying. And I guarantee what I m telling you is true. And if it isn t, you can come to me later and I ll give you your money back.

But this didn t cost you anything. Here s my advice to you. Do what God tells you to do. In life. Follow the Word of God. There will be times when it s very difficult to make that stand for Christ. Very hard for you to hold your ground.

Do what is right before God. I know there are people in life that seem to get ahead. They cut corners. They tell lies. They re dishonest. They get the promotion. They get the attention. You labor away faithfully, quietly, and no one notices you.

It s all going to come out in the wash because everyone is going to reap what they sow. Just know it s true. You know as you look back in your life you ll find some who pursued fun or you pursued faith. Some pursued parties and you pursued prayer. Some pursued sexual pleasure. You pursued sexual purity. Some pursued this world.

You pursued the next. And while others reap corruption or deadness you re reaping life. And while others feel used you feel new. You see. So sow to the Spirit. Put God first in all things. Every day from the moment you get up to the time you go to bed you either sow to the Spirit or you sow to the flesh. So you know you get up in the morning. You can go ahead and check out how many followers you have on Instagram or how many friends you have on Facebook.

By the way they re not your friends. And you know you can be obsessed with things that are secondary. Or you can say I am going to dedicate this morning to first things first.

Opening the Word of God and letting God speak to me through this Scripture. And then you make decisions through the day. What you are going to listen to. What you are going to do. Who you are going to hang around with. Who is going to influence you.

Who you are going to influence. And you will find that you will reap what you sow. It comes down to this. Sow a thought. Reap an act. Sow an act. Reap a habit. Sow a habit. Reap a character.

Sow a character. Reap a destiny. It starts with a thought. What you let into your mind. What you contemplate. What you ponder. Fill your mind with the things of God. Sow to the Spirit.

You will not regret it. I was reading a news site yesterday about a man from Malaysia known as the Snake Whisperer. Did you read this article? He has great skills in handling venomous snakes. Specifically cobras. He was featured on a TV program Asia's Got Talent. He was a firefighter. He was even training other firefighters on how to handle venomous snakes. He would have these snakes. He would get them to do what he wanted them to do and they wouldn't bite him. He was the Snake Whisperer. And one day he was working with one of his snakes and it bit him and he died. Moral of the story. Don't mess around with poisonous snakes.

Seriously. Well what do you think you're the Sin Whisperer now? Oh I can handle this. I know this has been the downfall of many but it will never be my downfall. I can control this vice. I can keep a handle on this issue and one day it gets control of your life. I'm sorry.

You're not the exception. Don't play with sin or sin will play around with you. One last thought which is a preacher's way of saying I'm going 20 more minutes.

No I'm not. Esther was willing to lay her life down for her people. She said to Mordecai okay I'm going to go to the king and if I die I die. But I'll die trying.

I'll do what I can. Well she didn't have to die did she? She lived many more years and because of her sacrificial act saved the lives of many. Well in the same way Jesus was willing to lay his life down and he did die.

He had to die because there was no other way to make us right with God. I went to the market the other day. Second market story in one message. And as I was coming out I was with my granddaughter Allie and there were these two sweet little old ladies sitting there. They must have been in their mid-90s. And one of them said hello. Hello Greg.

I'm trying to do their accent. I'm sorry. I said hi. Yes yes we watch you on television. I said well thank you.

It's great. Yes yes God bless you. God bless you. He said well God bless you. So I walked over to him. Tell me your name. And one of them was named Maria.

And so we're chatting. These two sweet little old ladies. We pray for you.

Thank you so much for praying for me. There's another elderly woman standing there on a walker. And then the two sisters from Romania said Greg pray for her. She doesn't believe in God. And I look over at this lady. She's like what?

What's happening? The lady said I I didn't say I didn't believe in God. I'm just not sure. It's hard to believe in God. I said well tell me why. She said well there's just so much suffering in the world.

I said it's really true. A lot of suffering. A lot of horrible things happen. That's because of sin. Well why why did God let that even happen? Why doesn't God just get control of all of it? Why would all these horrible things have to happen? Well because God gave us a free will you see and we can make a choice.

Oh I've heard that before. You know I have children and I tell them what to do. I tell them what right and wrong are.

And they should do what I tell them. Why doesn't God do that for us? Actually He does. It's called the Bible. And He gives us absolutes for life. But unfortunately we don't always do what He wants us to do.

She said well it just doesn't seem fair. I said well listen God loves you. You think God loves me?

She says me. I said I know God loves you. He loved you so much He sent His Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for you. Well that seems very mean on the part of God to let Jesus suffer like that. I said ma'am it's because He loves you. And Jesus paid the price for your sin.

It was hard for her to get that. And she said I am a good person. I said you have sinned. I have sinned. We are all sinners and we all need Jesus. So we talked about it for a little while and I invited her to church too. So pray for that lady.

I didn't catch her name. But listen. Here is the thing. A lot of people say this.

Well this just doesn't seem fair. Yeah but that is why Jesus died. He died on the cross and took the judgment that should have come upon you upon Himself.

Why is this important? Because listen to me. You are going to reap what you sow. See if you believe in Jesus and ask Him to forgive you every sin you have ever committed throughout your entire life, and there is a lot of them by the way, will be forgiven, erased, and removed instantly. But if you do not ask Jesus to forgive you every sin you have committed in your life will come back to haunt you and you will face the full repercussions of them.

That is pretty scary. You don't want to do that. And you don't have to do that. But if you reject God's offer of forgiveness through Jesus Christ friend you have sealed your own faith. Don't blame God for anything.

It will be on you. He has this great offer. The Bible calls it the unspeakable gift.

Or it is also translated the indescribable gift. It is so awesome. It is so amazing.

It is so free. And all you have to do is reach out and say oh Lord forgive me. So we are going to close in prayer now. And if you are not sure if your sin is forgiven, if it kind of freaks you out a little bit when you think about reaping what you will sow I strongly urge you to believe in Jesus. He died for you. He rose again from the dead. And He is here with us right now standing at the door of your life and knocking.

And He is saying if you will hear His voice and open the door He will come in. This can be the moment where your life changes. You have made a lot of bad decisions. You have done a lot of stupid things. You have a lot of regrets. You can't change that.

You can't change your past. But you can be forgiven of your past because of the sacrifice of Jesus. He will do that for you if you will ask Him to. The Bible says that we will confess our sin. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin.

And cleanse us from all unrighteousness. As we pray now I will encourage you to say, yes Lord I am sorry. I am a sinner. Forgive me.

Come into my life. And He will do that for you today. Let's all bow our heads. Father thank You for loving us so much that You sent Jesus. And Lord Jesus thank You for coming and laying Your life down for us. And now I pray for any person here or any person listening or watching wherever they might be. Help them to see their need for You. Help them to come to You.

Help them to believe in You. Now we ask in Jesus' name. Amen. Pastor Greg Laurie, pointing out the need to come to the Lord to find forgiveness for our sins and the hope of heaven. And if you'd like to follow through and make a change in your relationship with God today, Pastor Greg will help you do that in just a moment.

So please stay with us. Well Pastor Greg, we're making available your new book called Lennon, Dylan, Alice and Jesus. Yeah. In your subtitle you call it the spiritual biography of rock and roll. Yes. It's full of stories of rock icons who saw meteoric success but then often soon after self-destructed. Right.

Let's talk to somebody who may be listening to us right now. Maybe a young person who who really, really, really wants to be famous or wealthy or adored by a stadium full of exuberant fans. You know, so many young people want to be a TikTok sensation or a YouTube influencer.

Drawing on the insight in this new book, what's your message to them? Well, so many of these artists of days gone by that have become iconic didn't have social media in their day. But they had it all. They had massive success, global fame.

You know, they had private jets and Bentleys and mansions and yachts and you name it, they had it. But they saw that wasn't the answer. And I think of stories I've read even recently of young influencers, young people who have had great success on social media platforms and have taken their own lives and it just has amazing and it just doesn't make any sense to us. But in a way it makes total sense because if you think that fame or having more followers or having more people know your name will make you happy, you're going to be very disappointed when you reach that pinnacle and find it is not the answer. So what I want to say to those folks is Christ is the answer. Now God may bless you with success.

God may bless you with fame. God may bless you with other things. But don't make that the sole purpose of living. Here's what the apostle Paul said.

He said to live is Christ. For some people if they were honest they would say to live is possessions. Their motto would be he who dies with the most toys wins.

I would just add to that. He who dies with the most toys wins dot dot dot nothing. Another might say for me to live is success. Well yes you can have success but Jesus said what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul. Somebody else might say I live for this other thing. Live for Christ. Put God first. Jesus said seek first the kingdom of God in his righteousness and all these things will be added to you.

In context he was talking about what you eat or what you drink or what you wear. God will take care of all of the needs of your life but don't make those things the focus of your life. Make Christ the focus of your life and if you do you'll find the meaning of life. Yeah yeah that's right that's good insight and there's a lot more coming your way in Pastor Greg's brand new book called Lennon, Dylan, Alice and Jesus. So can we send a copy to you? It's our thank you gift for those who can partner with us right now. Your investment helps keep Pastor Greg's insights coming your way here on A New Beginning and they help us reach out with the gospel through our large-scale evangelistic outreaches such as Boise Harvest just a few weeks ago. So your investment is an investment in changed lives. Contact us today by calling 1-800-821-3300.

We can take your call anytime at 1-800-821-3300 or write A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, California 92514 or go online to harvest.org. And then here's Pastor Greg once again. Let me close with this thought. Would you like Jesus Christ to come into your life? Would you like your sin forgiven?

Would you like to fill the hole in your soul? Would you like to go to heaven when you die? If so, just stop what you're doing and pray this prayer with me. You can pray it out loud if you like. You can pray it in the quietness of your heart if you choose but pray this prayer. This is a prayer of asking Jesus Christ to come into your life. Pray these words.

Lord Jesus, I know that I'm a sinner but I know that you're the Savior who died on the cross for my sin and rose again from the dead. I turn from that sin now and I choose to follow you from this moment forward. Thank you for hearing this prayer and answering this prayer. In Jesus' name I pray.

Amen. Hey, did you just pray that prayer? If so, I want to congratulate you and be the first to say welcome to the family of God.

Yeah, that's right. You have a whole new life in front of you now. And to help you begin to live this new life, Pastor Greg would like to send you some free follow-up resources called the New Believers' Growth Packet.

It'll help you get started in living your life for the Lord. So can we send it to you? Just ask for the New Believers' Growth Packet when you call us at 1-800-821-3300. That's 1-800-821-3300.

And we can take your call anytime around the clock. Or write to us at A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, California, 92514. Or just go online to harvest.org and click on Know God. Well, next time, Pastor Greg helps us run this race called the Christian life with an eye toward victory.

We'll learn to lay aside those things that slow us down. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher Greg Lauren. Hey, everybody. Thanks for listening to A New Beginning. This is a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners. So for more content that can help you know God and equip you to make him known to others or to learn more about how you can become a Harvest Partner, just go to harvest.org.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-04 21:51:30 / 2023-04-04 22:02:25 / 11

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