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They Had Been with Jesus | When Mistreated Because of Your Faith

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
August 11, 2022 3:00 am

They Had Been with Jesus | When Mistreated Because of Your Faith

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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August 11, 2022 3:00 am

Jesus warned us that we may face persecution for our faith. It doesn’t mean we’re doing something wrong, it may be an indication that we’re right with the Lord. Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie points to that characteristic and several others that show us how we’re doing. If we’re walking closely with the Lord, these traits will be obvious. It’s good insight, and a good opportunity to take some notes. Pastor Greg is in the book of Acts today, reading from the New Living Translation.

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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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We are glad you're joining us for a new beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast supported by harvest partners get more encouraging audio content.

When you subscribe to pastor Greg daily depots. Learn more and sign up@harvest.org hundred Laurie will be early church raised opposition significant problems as they persevere toward the apostles. They were doing never just being in the name of Jesus. This was first century culture. They were trying to cancel out the message of the gospel with the gospel. Never be counsel ever in we may face persecution doesn't mean were doing something wrong.

Maybe you were right with the Lord today on a new beginning. Greg Laurie points to that characteristic, and several others that show was over doing walking closely with the Lord. These traits will be on good insight, no reading. Let's grab our Bible chapter 3 the title of my messages.

They had been with. 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 beautiful day there was a special gate there in Jerusalem and there's going to be a guy there who beg for money.

I wanted to raise a guide to his feet. I will be that help. There was no pillar of fire. There was no angelic message. John were just doing what they did. They went to the temple and prayed as her walking and here's a guy was a picture of the temple.

Everybody knew most ignored him. Peter looks down and him of the Lord speaks to Peter Lewis paraphrase, he says, look but I don't have any money for you, whatever. Something much better than the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, get up and walk. He grabs the guy by then 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 to go to pull them up and then he came crashing to the ground, but Peter and active faith.

But then he took the next step and pulled the man up and of course the man was walking and leaping and praising God. 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 a stress the people of Israel 5000 people believed on this day. As a result, and now Peter and John are brought before the Sanhedrin, that sort of like the Supreme Court of the day right they be of the final ruling. We read in acts chapter 4 verse seven. They brought on the two disciples and demanded by what power and in whose name if you done this, then 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 stated 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 is 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 and they recognize them as men would been with Jesus and since the men would be in the heel 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're taking notes. Here's note number one or point number one I should say. If you have 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 same 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 and 3000 people are believed in these preach there in 5000 people are believed where did Peter get this confidence in this current you got it from the Holy Spirit.

Remember we read in acts 18 you shall receive power of the Holy Spirit is 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 have this boldness and we should have this boldness as well.

You know, for many to share their faith is a duty to drudgery. It should be like Peter and see the opportunities number two if you been with Jesus you be a person that knows Scripture. 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, you'll come to you in the volume of the book.

Here's another point about being with Jesus walking with Jesus, you may not like what it's true. A person who is been with Jesus will be persecuted. You'll be persecuted. The authorities told the apostles to stop what they were doing. No reason was given.

They said just don't do it any more. Acts 417 but to keep them from spreading their message any further, we must warn them not to speak to anyone. In Jesus name again so they called the apostles back in and commanded them.

Never again to speak or teach in the name of Jesus you know this was this was first century counsel culture right, they were trying to cancel out the message of the gospel.

But the gospel will never be canceled.

Ever. That's you know I will dial there's other hues you can stand on in their important causes, but the hill I will die on is the hill of the gospel. No one will stop me from preaching it. Go try with the always fail. Notice that the issue was the name of Jesus stop speaking in the name of Jesus.

I've been asked to know to pray at different events I get asked to do these sort of civic events in a couple of times a mental please don't pray in the name of Jesus I want to bring in the name of Jesus.

I'm not to be told he can't do that and if they don't want me to do that they should not submit income and print because that's how I roll.

That's how we pray we go to the father in the name of Jesus I don't think it's a small thing we need to pray in the name of Jesus we need to preach in the name of Jesus we need to live in the name of Jesus because there is power in that name. That's why I tried so weird to me. When nonbelievers invoke the name of Jesus when they see their atheist. If you're an atheist. It seems the last name you would want to speak is the name of Jesus Christ.

Remember he didn't even exist.

God isn't even real in your you say Jesus Christ you say that because in your own way your acknowledging he exists and there is power in that name right. We know that even nonbelievers know that and so persecution will come. That's one of the hardest things about being a Christian. Let's be honest, I mean if you want to be loved by everyone. This is a problem because Jesus said, beware when all men speak well of you. I mean if everyone thinks your grade and nobody has any issues with you and no one's ever upset with anything you say I have to wonder are you living in the name of Jesus. Now I'm not saying be unnecessarily offensive as much as possible. We should be the most loving person.

The most caring person, the most compassionate person the best neighbor the best coworker best at whatever we do, but were looking for the opportunities to get the gospel and at the same time and if you do that you will be persecuted.

So what should I do when I'm persecuted going to the corner and saw no the opposite is what Jesus says in Matthew five God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and see all sorts of evil things against you, because you are my followers so Jesus says be happy about it. Be very glad about it for a great reward awaits you in heaven. So how can people tell that we've been with Jesus number one you'll be bold in your witness number two you'll be a student of Scripture number three you'll be persecuted is my last point a person was been with Jesus will be a person of prayer.

You'll be a person of prayer.

So after being persecuted, Peter and John were dismissed what they do. The women got together with the Christians look at acts 429.

The pray knelt together.

I now Lord, they pray here there threats and give your servants great boldness in their preaching. Send your healing power may miraculous signs and wonders be done to the name of your holy servant Jesus, currently God from this prayer after this prayer the building where there were meeting shut. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit.

They preach God's message with boldness. Mr. Greg Laurie will have the second half of this message just a moment. We really enjoyed hearing with Pastor Greg's teaching and preaching touch lives. Pastor Greg, I'm a junior in high school, was raised in church and saved at a very young age, but when I started high school, I fell away from the Lord one day I heard you on the radio and your message helps me see that I need to get my life right with God, which I did. Thank you for all you do and allowing God to work through you. It's a blessing to know that listeners young and old are hearing these messages and God is using his word to touch hearts will have Pastor Greg studies impacted your life would you let them know drop an email to greg@harvest.org we're learning some of the characteristics that confirm were walking closely with the Lord. Pastor Greg's message is called. They had been with Jesus here some important little trip is about prayer found in these verses, number one, they prayed together so there threatened by the Sanhedrin there told him no longer preach in the name of Jesus. The first thing they do. They said let's get together with our fellow Christians.

Let's pray about it. Why because there's power in United prayer Galatians 62 says share each other's burdens, and in this way you will obey the law of Christ.

Jesus said, I tell you, if any, two of you will agree together on earth concerning anything you ask of your father in heaven he will do it. Pray together. Maybe you've come to church today with the bird. Maybe there is a concern to you. You of a loved one that is very sick or you yourself are very sick. We are facing a catastrophe of Christ as a challenge.

Are you just feeling down at such a great thing to say. Don't couple Christian friends. Can we just pray together. Now when you notice how things can just change when you just lifted up to the Lord instead of bearing that all by yourself. You share with others and they help you sort of lifted up. It's like when you try to lift the couch all by yourself, and how hard it is and then you get three other people to help everyone takes a corner and you pick it up and in the mix all the difference in the world. They prayed together and then as they prayed together.

Verse 23 says as soon as they were free. Peter and John returned to the other believers and told them with the owners and said and they all lifted their voices together in no number two verse 24. I love this part of their prayer. It says they prayed, O Sovereign Lord. Verse 20 4O Sovereign Lord Creator of heaven and earth and the sea, and everything in so the Sanhedrin said you can't preach anymore, so they went to a higher authority. Later, they said we must obey God and not we live under civil government.

The Bible tells us that civil government is put in that position of power by God. But sometimes, government leaders, presidents, governors, congressmen and senators mayors and others may tell you to do something that is against Scripture.

If that happens that we must obey God and not man, moment right. This is one of those moments in the mobile specifically you could no longer preach the gospel yell no way were going to keep reaching the gospel with a call out to God and called him the sovereign will we call God's sovereign. It simply means that I'm acknowledging his greatness.

So it's really a good thing to remember your God is all-powerful is all-powerful. That's why Jesus in what we call the Lord's prayer taught us to pray as follows. Our father who art in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is any heaven then it says give us this day our daily bread. So Jesus is giving us a template for prayer and he is in effect saying if you have the luxury of time when you pray, take time to contemplate the awesomeness and greatness and power of God and I will put your problem in its proper perspective owes sovereign God owes sovereign God. It was Spurgeon who pointed out that God's power is great and it is then that we can trust it and we should call upon them. Chuck Swindoll said God is able to do what he pleases with whomever he chooses whenever he wishes and they prayed for God's will look at verse 29, oh Lord, consider their threats to give us your servants great boldness and preaching your work so they were told not to preach so they said okay. You keep reaching that we pray that will be even bolder, even bolder than they were before. They did not pray they would have a break from persecution, but that they might have boldness and persecution. It's sort of like pray Lord I don't pray for a lighter load. I pray for a stronger back. I want to be stronger and bolder.

I think we all should pray that prayer and once again they were filled with the Holy Spirit. Let me remind you what it needs to be filled with the spirit means to be controlled by the spirit as I told you before, we should pray for the filling of the spirit, every single day because Ephesians 5 says be being filled with the Holy Spirit speak of yourself in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, and so the ideas asked for the filling of the spirit again and again and again God filled them in this prayer was pleasing to God, because verse 31 says the place shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and I want to pray for them as we close our service.

But before we do that I want to just offer this final thought. Have you been with Jesus.

Let me put it another way, do you know Jesus you have a relationship with Jesus Christ. I love how these folks were described initially as people of the way people that are walking with the Lord talking with the Lord hearing from the Lord. Do you have that kind of relationship with God or does he seem distant and disinterested. You just perceive them as some kind of a force out there in the universe so no God is personal. It's a relationship with him that we all can have because Christ died on the cross and rose again from the dead and now wants to come and live in us. Remember I told you, being a Christian is not about imitation. It's about impartation, meaning Christ living in you. Does Jesus live inside of you right now I don't really know that he probably does.

Someone moved into your house in the middle of the night. You think you know the cook and finish at four in the morning. I I'm not comparing Jesus to someone cooking fish in your house I'm I'm just simply say that you would know if someone moved in your house, don't you think of the creator of the universe, the sovereign Almighty God took residence in your heart you would know and if you don't know that I would say to me, he doesn't live there or that can change right now because the Bible says, for as many as received him, he gave them the power to become sons and daughters of God. Have you as Christ to come of your life.

As he forgiven you of your sins have your sins been blotted out, wiped away, washed, have you been refreshed review come here today with pertinent load of guilt weighing you down. Guilt is not always a bad thing.

Sometimes God uses guilt to just show us how much we need his help. The objective is not to get rid of guilt. The objective is to get rid of what causes the guilt and what causes the guilt is your sin, you see, what if your sin is forgiven and your sin is removed, then the guilt goes with it. So let's just deal with the symptom. Let's deal with the cost go to the Lord and say I know I've said I'm sorry I need Jesus in my life. Forgive me Lord, and if you do that you leave here a different person than when you came it so going to close with a prayer and if you want Christ to come in your life if you want him to forgive you of your sin. You can pray this prayer with the let's all pray if you want Jesus to come in your life you want to be forgiven of your sin, you want to go to heaven when you die. Pray this prayer with the Lord Jesus, I know I'm a sinner but I know you're the Savior who died on the cross for me, and rose again from the dead. Now come into my life to be my Savior and Lord, I repent of my sin.

Jesus name I pray. Prayer with pastor Greg Laurie today here on a new beginning.

If you just pray that prayer and ask Jesus to forgive your sin. We want to first say congratulations and welcome to the family of God. And we also want to help you as you begin walking with the Lord would like to send you our new believers gross packet. It's free of charge that will help you get started on the road of face, just ask for the new believers growth packet when you call 1-800-821-3300 call anytime around the clock again. That's 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org and click no God.

Stay with his pastor Greg comes back in a moment to pray with us all and then we have a wonderful resource to make available to you is the revealing book called Steve McQueen the salvation of an American icon, and a pastor Greg I have a letter I want to read to you, it says I have the most amazing testimony of my husband of 36 years.

He was not a believer and was diagnosed with stage IV esophageal cancer. He told me that he was not going to turn to my God being the Christian that I am my said to myself, God is bigger than you did a lot of talking while he was in hospice. I was talking to him about Jesus and the stories in the Bible that I gave him the book on Steve McQueen that you wrote.

I believe it was because of that book and the conversations I had with him that he came to Christ. I have the most immeasurable amount of peace because of that it is not goodbye, it see you later as you said before Patrick Dennis God is so good for blessing you to be able to bless me to bless my husband while well that is why I wrote this book to reach an unexpected person in an unexpected place with an unexpected message because people have asked me why would a pastor write a book about Steve McQueen or about Johnny Castor but a bunch of rock stars.

Well, I've always been interested in culture but I'm an evangelist and I want to build bridges to people and I can take these stories as testimonies to reach other people with the gospel. One of the most powerful tools we have in our evangelistic toolbox is our personal story of how we came to faith, but very few people know the story of Steve McQueen, I mean McQueen was the man's man.

He did it all.

He did his own stunts road the motorcycles drove the racecars and when he was off not making the film he was doing motocross so this guy was living the dream. The women throw themselves at Amia tons of money incredible collection of cars and motorcycles and planes, but there was a big old hole in Steve's heart and it sent him on his surgeon when he was at the very peak of his fame.

He walked away from Hollywood, he did know what he was walking away to but he walked away. But God was setting everything in the place so Steve would be the right guy that he could relate to amending Sammy Mason who was a pilot who would teach Steve how to fly his antique Stearman biplane and it was through those conversations in the cockpit, as Stephen Sammy spent hours together that Steve realized he wanted what Sammy had a relationship with God. So McQueen made a commitment to follow Christ and then he went on to serve the Lord. But tragically, his life did not go as long as he had hoped and he did get cancer and ultimately he died of it.

But before that his faith was strong in his faith was real, but a lot of people haven't heard a story so I wanted to tell the story in this book that I wrote Steve McQueen, the salvation of an American icon, and I would like to send you a copy of this book, I won't charge you for it, but I'll ask for something in exchange I would like you to send the gift of any size whatever you can do now. Some can only send a little that's okay. Some can send more.

That's great.

Some can send quite a bit more.

That's fantastic. Send what you can and I'll send you and return a copy of this book, Steve McQueen, the salvation of an American icon. Yet we have a copy waiting for you and will send it just as soon as we hear from you and thank you for partnering with us in our efforts to teach believers and reach unbelievers.

Our mission statement is knowing him and making him known.

You can call us at 1-800-821-3300. We are here around the clock to speak with you. That's 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org will next time pastor Greg takes us to the sin of Ananias and Sapphire and shows us the peril of living. Anything less than an honest life before God. But before we go.

Pastor Greg closes this way right now for the Lord to fill us with the Holy Spirit again because we need that power knowing that you need it when I needed I needed. I need a boldness I neither need that strength.

We all needed each and every day so you want him to fill you right now. Just pray these words Lord Jesus by him we but you are strong. I need courage I need boldness so fill me with your holy right here right in Jesus name I had a new beginning as a podcast, made possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God if this shell has impacted your life. Share your story leverage you on your favorite podcast and help others find help


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