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August 10, 2022 3:00 am
When we spend some serious time out in the sun, it’s pretty obvious. People can see it all over our face. “You got some sun, didn’t you?” Well today, we’ll see when we spend some time with the Son, it may be just as obvious. People will wonder what’s different about us. Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie continues our studies of the Church of the First Century in the book of Acts. Let’s see how to show we’ve been with Jesus.
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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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So just send an email to me at email@example.com again it's firstname.lastname@example.org you can learn more about becoming harvest partner by going to harvest.org today. Pastor Greg Laurie points out, when we spend time with the Lord. People will notice it will show on the outside temp people until you have been with Jesus.
That's what our culture needs to see right now. Christians that want to talk with Jesus. Christians that live such a godly life for me the right to be heard.
People you can look at and you can just tell in which Jesus and you timeout.
See it all over on today see when we spend some time with these son is old and it may be just as obvious. People wonder what's different about today on the new beginning. Greg Laurie continues her studies of the church of the first century. In the book of acts upside down life, see how to show Jesus a while ago my wife were celebrating our anniversary and so on the go big or stay home. I have to get something good for so I went to a nice store and I bought her a nice ring and I put it in a nice so I was going to present it to her that night and I made a stop at a toy store to get something from one of my grandkids and they had those little sheep mood rings. Do you remember those and I looked at them I got you cool the design.
I wonder if I were to put that in the box with a nice ring if my wife would think it's a nice ring is well so I put it in the box with a nice rig and I presented your Kathy.
Happy anniversary and I love you so much. I got you two ring. But here's the problem.
You can only have one which would you want she actually deliberated over a prolonged time, which is alarming to me that's like really. I mean this is the nice ring and you're actually thinking maybe the mood rings you know I don't know okay and she picked the good ring that I several good music and keep the other one at three bucks for. That's a mood ring. So here's the point I wanted to make packaging to make a difference. You know when something is presented in a certain way.
You might think all this is a quality product. This is something that is really valuable and so I bring this up because now when the book of acts were seen as genuine believers at work were seen on the Holy Spirit of God work to the lives of the most ordinary people if you were to sum up the book of facts in this sentence it would go as follows.
It's the spirit of God working through the word of God in the hearts of the people of God, and that's what our culture needs to see right now.
Christians that walk and talk with Jesus Christians that live such a godly life. They effectively earn the right to be heard. People who have been with Jesus people that you can look at you could just tell they in with Jesus you should be able after church. If you go out to a restaurant to be different in every way, to a server or someone at the next table that a person who has not been to church they should look good to go while they're there, they been with Jesus. People should see it in us can people tell you have been with Jesus. I bring this up because here in next chapter 4 verse 13 we read these words, the members of the Council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John that they could see that they were ordinary men who had no special training but they also recognize them as men who had been with Jesus being a Christian isn't trying to imitate Jesus and thought about imitation.
It's about impartation is the differences in their imitation as I'm trying to follow the example of Christ and walk in his footsteps and be a good Christian is people sometimes frame it. I'm not trying to be a good Christian because I'm a bad person. I need more than imitation.
I need Christ living in me and the Holy Spirit, enabling me to live the life that God has called me to live. I can't do it other than I love drop off the road over in Galatians 220. I'm crucified with Christ. Nevertheless I live yet not I but Christ lives in me.
The life that I now live. I live by the faith in the son of God who loved me and gave himself for me. If Christ living in us in this phrase this expression. This term Christian was not adopted by the Christians. Initially, it was the name given to them. They were actually identified in the book of access people of the way is not interesting. They were called people of the way Saul, later to become the apostle Paul talked about how he persecuted those who were of the way. One of the call than people of the way it's pretty obvious. Jesus said in John 14 six I am the way the truth and the life and no man comes of the father but by me. So is that these people are people of the way the way of Jesus. But then some nonbelievers that you know what they are there. There Christian and the word Christian was a derogatory term to describe them there like little Christ everywhere there there like of the party of Christ to complement you going to a restaurant just for a table and it's ready, you know, if you wait for usually and then they say Laurie party of two or if you're an angry person all by yourself better party of one. Whatever. So you take your seat at the table. I'm proud to be part of the party of Christ. I'm proud to be a little Christ, if you will. And by that I mean simple reflection of Jesus. Well, these people were walking with Jesus and the nonbelievers could see it they were observing them, and now we come to the first miracle of the early church we don't read that the Lord said, go to the temple by the gate beautiful the beautiful gate.
It was a special gate there in Jerusalem and there's going to be a guy there who beg for money. I want you to raise a guide to his feet will be that have there was no pillar of fire. There was no angelic message Peter and John were just doing what they did. They went to the temple and prayed and I bring this up because a lot of times miracles happen when the extraordinary invades the ordinary without an advance warning, you're just going about doing what you do as a Christian with a doing prank that's a good thing to do reading the Bible a just being open to the Lord in this door opens and as her walking in. Here's a guy with a picture of the temple.
Everybody knew most ignored him. Peter looks down and him and the Lord speaks to Peter loose paraphrase, he says, look but I don't have any money for you whenever something much better in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, get up and walk. He grabs a guy by the hand and pulls him up or you talk about put them on the long you talk about betting the farm that could have gone south very easily. He could've pulled them up and then he came crashing to the ground, but Peter at active faith, but then he took the next step and pulled the man up the First Amendment, walking and leaping and praising God.
Isn't it interesting that this miracle was not announced at the time I bring this up because sometimes churches will say you have a miracle service this Sunday starts at seven and ends at nine. Wait, what a miracle service. How do you know the more energy you have miracles undergoing God's going to do a miracle. Remember the book events was written over a 30 year period of time. They did not have miracles and healings every single day with them periodically something amazing. Something out of the ordinary something supernatural. What happened but most of the time these guys just like you walked by faith with the Lord we don't know when God's going to do a miracle.
Having said that, pray for them and we should expect God to work but it's up to the Lord. Where and when people do those miraculous things and so Peter takes his great step of faith. And now here comes an opportunity. The focus of this story is not the miracle. It was the door that the miracle open.
It was the opportunity that was novel for Peter to preach the gospel we read in acts 312 Peter Tsongas opportunity and address the people of Israel saw this on Mr. Greg Lord will have the second half of this message just a moment. Whenever you send us a letter text and email or post a comment on social media. We read every word.
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Call us and let us know. Call 866-871-1144. That's 866-871-1144 Pastor Greg is leading our study in the book of acts today called they had been with Jesus. Let's continue with the Christians today were willing to take risks. You know it's funny when you're younger you're more open to adventure right number open to trying new things. If you're a young person at an amusement park. You'll get the craziest, most gnarly ride is a I want to go on when you're older you say I do not want to go on that. I don't know when it happened to me. I don't know if I ever like roller coasters.
Frankly, the beloved going roller coasters you actually go on them, but you don't like them at all. You lets me I I would get a roller coasters and a big hairy with them for nothing and I'm heating this I want this to be over with this strategy. When you get to the top of the track, and you're getting ready for the job I do half home know why did I do this in one day I may have been in my 30s, not even when I was that old. By the way, if you're 30 or not I'll talk to somebody. I'm 30 I'm so old. Trust me you're not old here so young when you're 30, 40 now were getting their 50 it's official, it's official when you're my age, you're all okay anyway summer my 30s I think I just that I want to go and will. But here's the thing a young person, usually not always will take the risk to try something you when you're older, you're more cautious, you're more careful, even going down the stairs. Be careful: the real careful. You go to the restaurant at this name. I use it in the same table you order the same thing, then your faith life seems to be passing by so quickly. Life is not sped up, you just slow down and you're doing the same thing.
So it seems like your life is on Luke but if you change it up a little bit it might change you a little bit. I love how Peter and John took this rest. Tsongas opportunity and known as message Peter unlocks of final elements in the gospel truth that is often over low. I have to say that in many messages. I hear people preach this truth.
This element this key is not in the preaching and I think because it's not in the preaching. It's not really a complete gospel presentation. Let's see if we can find acts 319. Peter turned to these people. After giving up fantastic message about the death and resurrection of Jesus. He says in verse 19 repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out in times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord hears the missing key repentance repentance people are told to believe people are told if you believe in Jesus become of your life. That's true. People are told if you last Christ to forgive you of your sins, he will register but they're not told you need to repent of your sin. What is it mean to repent. To repent means to change your direction is not just been sorry I'm sorry if you go do it again.
Are you really sorry will I cry well. Tears don't mean you're really sorry. You can try chopping onions.
The Bible says God lease sorrow produces repentance. In other words, if you're really sorry. You'll be sorry enough to stop repentance means you turn go in the opposite direction of where you were going before there's a problem.
I think there's a lot of people out there that say I'm a Christian, but they've never repented of their sins. There still living in sin. And this is the problem. What is it mean to repent means to turn from your sin.
What is the promise attached to repentance.
God says if we will repent your sins will be blotted out in times of refreshment will come from the presence of the Lord love that the Greek word here for blotted out means to wash off to our race to obliterate the go whiteboard you know you get those little pins on the right on the whiteboard and then you're done.
You bring out the little razor and it disappears, it's gone or you're on your computer and you type out some things and you highlighted and hit the delete key word is that Texaco I don't know I just disappears and that's the same thing that God does for you when you repent people lots out your sin. He's wiped away. He's washed off. He's forgiven. He's obliterated. He's erased your sin and he's forgotten your sin. Now that doesn't mean that God literally has a lapse of memory like he knows he knows all things. But the word forget means he chooses to not remember or he chooses to not hold it against you. You see, it's a choice. So why do I choose to remember what God's chosen to forget. Why do I keep dredging up my sins over and over again what God says I've forgiven your sins. I blotted out your sins. I've obliterated your sins. I wiped away your sins.
And I have forgotten your sin, so it means he will wipe them away and what happens when he does that were refreshed. Verse 19 times of refreshment will come from the presence of the Lord. The word refresh means rest relief respite refreshment. He wiped third sins away and he refreshes us how many of you have experiences personally.
Michigan don't talk but not great when you send a just have the Lord wipe it away and refresh you.
Well, this is a powerful message. 5000 people believed on this day. As a result, but this did not play well in Peoria.
I have anointed with them, but it's an express in other words, the religious establishment did like this one bit and the Sadducees. In particular, took great offense to another Sadducees were religious rollers along with the Pharisees are two separate groups.
They hated each other, but the only thing they hated more than each other were the Christians in Jesus.
That's the one thing they agreed on, but the Sadducees were upset because the Sadducees don't believe in the resurrection from the dead, they don't believe there is life beyond the grave. Maybe that's what they got their name Sadducees.
If you don't believe there's likely on the grave.
Your sad using so they oppose this and now Peter and John are brought before the Sanhedrin that should've like the Supreme Court of the day right they did the final ruling. We read in acts chapter 4 verse seven. They brought on the two disciples and demanded by what power interviews name if you done this in Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said leaders and elders of our nation are weeping question because we did a good deed for a crippled man you want to know how he was healed limit clearly state to you and all the people of Israel.
He was healed in the name and power of Jesus Christ from Nazareth, the men you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, for this is the one reference to in the Scriptures rinses the stone the builders rejected is now become the cornerstone of their salvation in no one else, for there's no other name in all of heaven for people to call on to save them, then the members of the Council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John. They could see that they were ordinary men who had no special training. They recognize them as men would been with Jesus and since the men would been healed, was standing right there among them.
The Council had nothing to say or I will stop there.
So let's identify what it means to be with Jesus. What it means to walk with Jesus. If you would been with Jesus. Or if you're walking with Jesus, you will boldly share your faith, you will boldly share your faith, don't forget this St. Peter only days earlier effectively had openly denied Christ even seeking an old saying he never knew the man that always freaks on the day of Pentecost that 3000 people are believed and he's preached here in 5000 people are believed where did Peter get this confidence in this current you got it from Holy Spirit.
Remember we read in acts 18 you shall receive power of the Holy Spirit has come upon you to be witnesses unto me, that same power that was given to the believers in the first century is available for believers in the 21st century. That means us because a promise on the day of Pentecost was this promise is unto you to your children to your children's children to all that are afar off, even as many of the Lord our God shall call for Peter had this boldness and we should have this boldness is well known for many to share their faith is a duty, it's a drudgery.
It should be like Peter and see the opportunities here's another point. If you been with Jesus you be a person that knows Scripture as it was pointed out, Peter had not been professionally trained was out of theologian, by the way, they didn't have Bibles in those days they read scrolls and they memorize them and you didn't have your own scrolls that you carry around with you everywhere you would go in here the reading of the Scripture and couple.
That means that Peter committed large portion of scriptures to memory and he was able to quote them. I think been inspired by the Holy Spirit. We don't read that he had a Teleprompter or that he was written up as iPad or know it just was in his heart because he knew the word of God and listen if you want to get closer to Jesus, you'll discover him in the pages of the Bible.
People will know you would been with Jesus. When you love to read and study the Bible because Jesus said low in the volume of the book. I have come to you in the volume, Esther, Greg Laurie, pointing out the characteristics of believers who have been with Jesus good practical insight today here on a new beginning, and there's more to come in and right now it's our privilege to make available a wonderful book called Steve McQueen the salvation of an American icon as many people know. In fact, they may have learned it in your book. Pastor Greg Billy Graham gave Steve McQueen his own Bible yes and McQueen was clutching it when he passed away. So let's say you're up in heaven at the moment, Steve McQueen and Billy Graham for see each other in your eavesdropping. What are they say oh my goodness, I can even imagine what the conversation would be. I'm sure Steve would think Billy for the Bible but it just reminds us that what happens on earth has an impact on eternity Steve McQueen.
He had horrible cancer. This is after he had already committed his life to Christ and the doctors in America had really given them no hope. So we started going down and getting what we might describe as unorthodox treatments at a clinic in Mexico, so Stephen chartered a private plane and he really wanted to meet Billy Graham and talk with him so his pastor Leonard to wit reached out to Billy Graham's team, and an arrangement was made and Billy actually showed up on the runway, boarded the plane and sat down and had a conversation with Steve McQueen.
They had prayer together and Billy reassured Steve and then Steve was alarmed to find that he had forgotten his Bible and Billy said here let me give you mine and Billy gave to Steve his well-worn New Testament he inscribed it to Steve as well and does Steve took the Bible with them down to war as Mexico.
The surgery was successful but tragically, McQueen died in recovery.
When they pulled that sheet back. He was tightly clutching the Bible that Billy Graham gave him. I was talking with Barbara McQueen, Steve's widow and she pulled that Bible out like Elder my only hands and it was a small New Testament and I just thought of all that Steve had. He had a literal airplane hangar full of the coolest cars and motorcycles and planes and things that any guy could want. It was the ultimate man cave one. I was all said and done the most precious object. Steve had was that Bible given to him by Billy Graham powerful story in its in my new book that is titled Steve McQueen the salvation of an American icon.
It's a story of the conversion of the most unlikely person in his days.
Steve McQueen was the number one movie star and all of the world, he came to faith in Jesus Christ after he saw the emptiness of the life he had pursued he had everything that most people dream of and more and he realized that was not the answer, so that sent him on his search and he found his way to Christ and he became a Christian and was walking with the Lord and then later found out he was sick and tragically died of that cancer, but thankfully he is in heaven now and him and Billy Graham are rejoicing together and it's right it's a great story and Pastor Greg goes into even more detail in his book, Steve McQueen, the salvation of an American icon.
It's so moving that story is just the tip of the iceberg of the surprising things you learned about Hollywood's number one movie star of his day, would like to send this to you to thank you for partnering with us. So these daily studies can continue to come your way. We appreciate the fact that you join us and so many others here in this community. Listen as well and your donation helps these teachings continue to teach believers and reach unbelievers, so thanks for your gift today and don't forget to ask for the book, Steve McQueen, the salvation of an American icon. You can call us at 1-800-821-3300. We can take your call anytime. That's 1-800-821-3300 or write a new beginning.
Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 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 study the word of God to join us this weekend Saturday and Sunday for Harvest at Home@harvest.org will Pastor Greg brings us more insight on characteristics that will be evident in our lives when we been walking closely with Jesus. Good insight is coming.
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