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The Writing Is on the Wall | Is Your Time Used Wisely?

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
June 29, 2022 3:00 am

The Writing Is on the Wall | Is Your Time Used Wisely?

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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June 29, 2022 3:00 am

In the Lord’s prayer, we pray “thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.” But the way many live their lives, their de facto prayer might be, “God, I have some plans and dreams, and I’d really appreciate it if you’d get on board and help make them a reality.” Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie looks at the life of King Belshazzar, whose plans and dreams evolved into sin and debauchery. God sent the king a text message of sorts that told the king what was coming.

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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 e-books designed to help you grow in your faith. Ask that gift for God's Kingdom. Take that time that God has given and let's use it wisely. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie looks at the life of King Belshazzar, whose plans and dreams evolved into sin and debauchery. God sent the king a text message of sorts that told the king what was coming. So let's grab our Bibles and turn to Daniel chapter 5. Daniel chapter 5.

And the title of my message is, The Writing is on the Wall. Belshazzar was the grandson of Nebuchadnezzar. He was the final ruler of Babylon. He was an evil young man that went out of his way to mock and attack God. And he reaped the very heavy consequences of doing that. He actually saw the very hand of God writing on the wall of his palace with a very specific warning.

Let's read about what happened. Daniel chapter 5. I'm reading verses 1 to 6.

I'm reading from the New Living Translation. Many years later King Belshazzar gave a great feast for a thousand of his nobles and he drank wine with them. While Belshazzar was drinking the wine to give orders to bring in the gold and silver cups that his predecessor Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the temple in Jerusalem he wanted to drink from them with his nobles, wives, and concubines. He brought these gold cups taken from the temple, the house of God in Jerusalem. And the king and his nobles and his wives and concubines drank from them.

Now let me just stop for a moment. These are vessels, instruments that are used for the worship of God. So this guy goes out of his way to say, oh these are for God? Well let's fill them with wine and let's worship the false gods of Babylon. Verse 4.

While they drank from them they praised their idols made of gold and silver and so forth. Suddenly they saw the fingers of a human hand writing on the wall of the king's palace near the lampstand. The king himself saw the hand as it rode. His face turned pale with fright. His knees knocked together in fear and his legs gave way beneath him. You have probably heard it said when your knees start knocking kneel on them and something scares you pray. Call out to God. Did he call out to God?

No. He called out to his astrologers and his fortune tellers and his soothsayers and all the rest of them and said, explain this to me. They said, King we cannot explain this to you. Enter the queen mother, the grandmother.

Grandma's here. She walked in and says, boy you need to talk to the prophet Daniel. He was a great help to your grandfather and he would be of great help to you right now.

Go talk to the man of God. Now Daniel had pretty much been off the grid for 10 years at this point but he was ready for action. He was called on and he immediately comes in. He is ready to deliver the word of the Lord.

He reminded the boy king of his grandfather and his dramatic conversion. Then Daniel says to Belshazzar verse 22, Belshazzar you knew all of this but you have not humbled yourself. So God has sent you a message.

Verse 25 here it is. Many, many, tekel, parson. Here is what it means. Many means numbered. God has numbered the days of your reign and he has brought it to an end. Tekel means weighed.

You have been weighed in the balances and you have failed the test. Parson means divided. Your kingdom has been divided and given to the Medes and Persians.

Loose paraphrase. Buddy your number is up. You have been weighed in God's scales and you don't have what you need right now. So Belshazzar is blown away by Daniel's wisdom and his boldness and he wants to reward the prophet for his insights. Hey let me give you a purple robe and a gold chain and a grill for your teeth. Come on.

Daniel is like I don't want any of your stuff. Did you hear what I just said? The kingdom is done.

The party is over. Yeah but I will make you third ruler. Third ruler of what? This is done for and I don't want your rewards.

I am just telling you this truth because you need to know it. And verse 29 says, And at Belshazzar's command Daniel was dressed in purple robes. A gold chain was hung around his neck.

He was proclaimed the third highest ruler in the kingdom. But that very night Belshazzar the Babylonian king was killed. There is going to be a last night for every person. There will be a last meal. A last statement. A last breath.

Then eternity. I was on a radio program this week. Pastors Perspective with Brian Broderson. Toward the end of the program a lady called. She was very distressed. Her mother Vicki was dying. She was on her death bed. The family was gathered around Vicki. And though Vicki was a believer she was a little bit afraid. And she said the whole family is listening to the radio right now. Can you say something to her? And I just thought of what I would say if I walked into that room personally.

But it happened to be on the radio. And I just said Vicki here is what Jesus wants you to know. He says, Let not your heart be troubled neither let it be afraid. You believe in God believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions.

If it were not so I would have told you. I go and I will come again and receive you unto Myself that where I am you may be also. And where I go you know and the way you know.

Thomas said we don't know the way. We don't know where you are going. Jesus said I am the way the truth and the life and no man comes to the Father but by Me. I said Vicki you are going to go now into the presence of God and you don't have to be afraid. You are going to leave all of your pain behind you.

All of your questions are going to be answered. And you are going to see the Lord and He is going to say to you well done good and faithful servant enter into the joy of your Lord. I could say that to her. I could say that to her because she was a believer in Jesus.

I could not say that to a person who is not a believer in Jesus. I have told you the story before of a father who had three sons and he was on his death bed and he said to his first son my son I love you and I will see you in the morning. He took his second son to him. He said son I love you and I will see you in the morning. He came to his third son and he said son goodbye. The son said why did you say goodbye. He said to my brothers I will see you in the morning. He says that is because they are believers and one day we will be reunited in heaven. And that boy said but father I want to see you again. He says you must believe in Jesus Christ for that to happen. And then the boy gave his life to the Lord. And then the father says I will see you in the morning as well. That is the hope of faith you see.

There is nothing like it. And so one day life will last. So here is what we need to do. Live our lives wisely. We don't know how much time we have in this life before us.

Listen to this. Every morning God deposits into your bank of time 86,400 seconds. That is 1,440 minutes which equal 24 hours. Now you have to choose how you will spend those minutes. Nothing will be carried over to the next day on credit.

You have to spend it and what you don't spend is forfeited forever. Take that time that God has given and let's use it wisely. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. 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. Well we're studying the remarkable encounter King Belshazzar had with a hand writing on the wall. In Pastor Greg's message the writing is on the wall. Okay here's four takeaway points as we come to a close.

Number one and we learned this in the last message. No one is beyond the reach of God. Belshazzar could have been reached but because his heart was hardened he was not given another chance. Folks listen to me there is a point of no return.

I don't know when it actually happens in a person's life but I'm telling you it's out there somewhere. There is the unpardonable sin where you can blaspheme the Holy Spirit. We don't know what it is so we always want to keep reaching out with the message of the gospel and never give up on anyone. No one is beyond the reach of God. Number two. Having been reached we need to pass it on to others.

Nebuchadnezzar did not reach his son evil or his grandson Belshazzar. And so these truths need to be passed on. Listen you're laying a legacy right now for your kids and grandkids. Let me take a quick poll. How many of you have children? Raise your hand if you have children. All right lots of you. How many of you have grandchildren? Wow lots of you.

How many of you have great-grandchildren? Okay first of all God bless you for being at church and being a great example. You made the right decision today.

Right? You did. Because there's a lot of things that people would rather do on Sunday sometimes than go to church. And some people are saying I can't go to church as much as I used to. You know if it came on TV or it's a beautiful day and we're going to go to the beach or I want to go golfing or I'm going to stay at home and watch online. That's what I'm going to do.

I'll watch online. You're really missing out. You need to be here as an active part of the church. And you know and listen people watch us around the country and so I would say to those folks you need to be an active part of your church okay. I've shared these stats with you before.

Listen. If both mom and dad attend church regularly 72 percent of their children will be faithful to do the same. If only dad attends church regularly 55 percent of the children will remain faithful. If only mom attends regularly 15 percent of the children will remain faithful.

If neither attends regularly only six percent will remain faithful. Your kids are watching you. You're modeling it for them. What priorities are you showing them? Do they see you read the Bible? Do they see you pray? Do they see you seeking to live a life that honors God? You're setting an example for them.

Be very aware of that. I don't think Nebuchadnezzar did a very good job of this and his grandson rebelled against God. Point number three.

We're almost done. We're placed here on this earth to glorify God. One of the things that Daniel said to Belshazzar is he said you've been weighed in the balances you've been found lacking and you have not glorified God. That's why I'm here. You say why am I here? You're here to glorify God.

You say what does that even mean? It means that you recognize that your life is a gift from God and whatever you do you want to do it for the glory of God. The Bible says in Isaiah 43 7 everyone who is called by my name the Lord speaking whom I created for my glory whom I formed in me. You are wired to worship. You're designed to bring honor to the Lord. So whatever you do if you're a mom, if you're a dad, if you're a businessman, if you're a school teacher, if you're an athlete, if you're a musician, if you're a preacher, if you're a missionary, if you are a fill-in-blank here do it for God's glory. Be the best you possibly can be. Work harder than anybody else and then when you succeed and I believe you will let people know you're doing it for God's glory. And listen to this.

Flip it around. If you can't do it for God's glory don't do that thing anymore. If I can't say Lord bless me as I go to this thing then don't do that thing. Lord bless me bless me as I go to church today. Yes. Lord bless me as I go to the bar and get drunk today.

No. If I can't write hallowed be thy name over it then don't do it because you're designed to bring glory to God. Last point. One day we will be weighed in God's divine scales. Don't be a spiritual lightweight. What does that mean? It just means something you know they believe but there's no substance. There's no depth.

There's just not much of anything. Look one day you're going to reap what you sow and I know that's usually used in a negative way. You'll reap what you sow.

Well yes but it can be positive or negative. Let's go back to a verse I quoted earlier. Don't be deceived. God does not mock. Whatsoever a man sows that will he also reap. If he sows to the flesh he'll reap corruption. But if he sows to the spirit he'll reap life everlasting. Yes if I sow to the flesh. Yes if I don't have time for God and I break his commandments I'll reap the repercussions. But also yes if I have time for the Lord and I do what he wants me to do I'll reap those blessings as well. What kind of spiritual weight does your life have right now? Some of you are thinking I don't like this message that much.

Why? Well maybe because you're not living as you ought to live. Maybe number one you're not a Christian.

And we'll get that settled in a moment. Or number two you're a Christian but you're not really living for the glory of God. You know you kind of check in with God.

You check the little boxes you know. I read my Bible I don't know some recently. And I'm here at church so that should earn me a little favor with God. But you're not really honoring him or seeking to live for his glory.

You would say honestly you failed. Well God gives second chances doesn't he? There's another time the finger of God broke. He wrote on the wall in the palace of Belshazzar.

He wrote on the tablets of stone. And then there was a woman caught in the act of adultery. And remember she was brought before Jesus. And her accuser said this woman has been caught in the very act of adultery. And the law says she should be stoned.

What do you say? And Jesus began to write on the ground in the sand. We don't know what Jesus wrote but he wrote something. And then he stood up and said let him that is without sin among you cast the first stone. And they looked at what he had written and he went down again and wrote a little bit more in the sand.

And each of them dropped their rock and they went back home. And there was now this woman who had been caught in the act. And Jesus turned to her and he said woman where are your accusers?

She says Lord I have none. He says neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more. Go and sin no more.

Powerful. And that is what Jesus says to each of us. When we have sinned. When we have fallen short. He will forgive us. Now here is the interesting question. When did this woman become a believer causing Jesus to say go and sin no more?

Probably in a nanosecond. Probably about the time he said to her accusers if you are without sin cast the first stone and they all left. And then he says where are your accusers? She says Lord I have none. She called him Lord. Right there.

She believed. How long does it take to believe in Jesus Christ? Does it take years or months or days?

No. It doesn't even take hours. It can happen in a moment. It can happen in a second where you just say I believe in Jesus and I choose to follow Jesus.

That can happen for you right now. So we are going to close in prayer. And in a moment I am going to extend an invitation for you to have the Lord say to you you are forgiven. Go and sin no more. We all fall short. We all break God's commandments.

We all fail. But Jesus died for those sins on the cross 2000 years ago. And He rose again from the dead. And now He stands at the door of our life and He knocks and says if we will hear His voice and open the door He will come in. Has Jesus ever come into your life?

If not would you like Him to? So when that day comes when you are on your death bed if you have the luxury of a death bed. And by that I mean some people know the end is coming.

They can say goodbye to people they care about. But for others death comes suddenly and unexpectedly. Are you ready for that moment? If you are you don't have to be afraid. Because you will go right into God's presence won't you? But if you don't have Christ living inside of you you should be scared.

Your knees should be knocking. Just like old Belshazzar. But God will forgive you. He would have forgiven Belshazzar if he had repented but that was not the intent of this young king's heart.

But it could be the intent of your heart. There's no sin he will not forgive if you will ask Him to forgive you. Let's pray. Father thank you for sending Jesus to walk this planet of ours. To live a perfect life. Then to die a perfect death. And then to rise again from the grave. And Lord we know that Jesus is here with us right now standing at the door of our life and knocking. And if we'll hear His voice and open the door He'll come in. I pray for any that are here that don't know you yet Lord.

Help them to come to you and believe. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

Amen. Pastor Greg Laurie with an important prayer. And if you'd like to make a change today in your relationship with the Lord, Pastor Greg would like to help you with that. And he'll do so in just a moment before today's edition of A New Beginning concludes. And then we want to mention Pastor Greg's brand new book called Lennon, Dylan, Alice and Jesus.

It's a look at the life stories of so many famous music artists whose lives self-destructed. And Pastor Greg some might look at all the trouble that those people get into and say yeah that's why I don't even listen to that crowd anymore. But often their struggles are common struggles. That's right. And there's some things we can learn from them. Isn't that right?

Oh sure. These are just people. When the day is done and they go behind the closed doors of where they live they're just regular people like you and I are. They have the same struggles. They have the same insecurities.

They have the same questions. And just because they have all these things doesn't mean that they're happy. In fact that's why so many of them turn to drugs or other things because they're not finding the fulfillment in the things they may have thought they would find fulfillment in. A lady wrote a book talking about hitting the high note. And she referenced different people who had great success in their careers like Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston. And she said the reason they turned to drugs is because they couldn't hit the high note anymore. And by that she was not speaking of literally hitting a high note but they couldn't maintain that level of excitement and euphoria that they may have experienced when it first started for them. You sort of adjust to that.

You become acclimated to that. So then you say what is the next high note? What's the next accomplishment? What is the next mountain to conquer? Then you conquer that.

Then you say what's the next thing to do? What's the next car I should drive? Or what's the next house I should live in? Or houses I should buy?

Or yacht I should have? Then you accomplish that. You say what's in it? And on and on it goes. And it's just empty, empty, empty. The Bible says there's nothing new under the sun.

It was Malcolm Muggeridge who once said all news is old news happening to new people. And you would think that rock stars would look at the lives of other rock stars who have crashed and crashed and burned and say I'm not going to do that but yet so many of them do. So it's a story of people who are searching but many of them have found the Lord.

Tragically many of them have not found the Lord. So this book looks at both sides of that and what happens with the decisions you make in life. I think though ultimately it will be a very encouraging book for you to not give up praying for people you know that are not yet believers and listen this would be an excellent book to give to anyone you know who is not a believer but they're a fan of rock music because I think this book will really speak to them. Yeah, yeah that's right and again it's called Lennon, Dylan, Alice and Jesus. It's subtitled The Spiritual Biography of Rock and Roll.

Help that loved one learn from the mistakes of these high-profile music icons and avoid the heartache and tragedy. It's a book with some strong warnings but it's also a book of strong hope as well and we'd like to send you Lennon, Dylan, Alice and Jesus to thank you for your donation right now and time is running out we can only mention this a short time longer so call us today at 1-800-821-3300. That's a 24 7 phone number 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org. Pastor Greg I know there are some in our audience who felt God speaking to them today through your message and they want to make a change in their relationship with the Lord.

Could you help them with that? Yeah you know Dave the Bible says whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved so I want to lead you in a prayer where you will be doing just that calling on the name of the Lord. So listen if you want your sin forgiven if you want to know that when you die you will go to heaven if you want Jesus Christ to come into your life and take away your guilt and your shame then just stop what you're doing and pray this prayer with me right now. Pray this after me if you would Lord Jesus I know that I am a sinner I have broken your commandments I have fallen short of your standards but 2,000 years ago you died on that cross for me then you rose again from the dead so Jesus come into my life and be my Savior and my Lord and my God and my friend. I choose to follow you from this moment forward thank you for calling me and accepting me and forgiving me in Jesus name I pray amen. Amen and listen if you have just prayed those words with Pastor Greg and meant them sincerely the Lord has heard you and forgiven you of your sin. Now we want to welcome you into the family of God and would like to send some follow-up materials your way to help you to begin to live this life of faith let us send you a new believers growth packet just ask for it when you call us at 1-800-821-3300 that's a 24 7 phone number so dial right now 1-800-821-3300 or just go online to harvest.org and click the words know God. You know there's nothing like hearing the word of God and worshiping the Lord together I want to encourage you to join us for something we call Harvest at Home it happens every Saturday and Sunday at harvest.org you can 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 at harvest.org. Well next time Pastor Greg brings us one of the most familiar stories regarding Daniel we'll follow Daniel right into the lion's den join us here on a new beginning with pastor and Bible teacher Greg Laurie. Thanks for listening to a new beginning with Greg Laurie a podcast made possible by harvest partners helping people everywhere know God sign up for daily devotions and learn how to become a harvest partner at harvest.org.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-29 00:42:03 / 2023-03-29 00:52:34 / 11

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