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August 26, 2022 3:00 am
Someone can brighten our day with just a smile . . . or a kind word. Others seem to steal the sunshine and rain on our parade. Isn’t it interesting that other people have that kind of influence on us? Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie points out we should take that to heart and learn to have a positive influence on others. It’s not that hard to do, and the rewards are wonderful. You’ve joined us for a study in the book of Acts Pastor Greg has called The Upside-Down Life.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org and while you're there, browse our library and free e-books designed to help you grow in your faith you were to be some one word will call you Mr. cranky. Are you always know we want to be Mr. or Ms. contagious coming up today.
Read more. He urges Sean an encouraging frame of mind around furniture so that others sure smile were others feel the sunshine is interesting that other people have that kind of influence on Lori points out, we should think that the heart positive that hard to do this for studying the book about all the upside down in your Bibles to chapter 11 chapter 11 in the title of the messages how to be an encourager. Encouragement really matter and not something that we all need in line affect. I read an interesting thing about two doctors who wrote an article called the most dangerous word in the world.
They wrote quote if you were to put yourself in an MRI scanner. It's a good video of your brain and/the word know for less than one second. Other would be a sudden release of dozens of stress releasing hormones and neurotransmitters. The doctors continue to see these chemicals immediately interrupt the normal function of your brain, impairing logic, reason and communication just blasting the word no. But then they went on to say, but positive words like keys and love alter the expression of genes it's strengthening areas in our frontal lobes promoting the brain's cognitive functioning so it reminds us that words really matter what you say to people really matters what you hear from people really matters. Abraham Lincoln, the president of United States needed encouragement. He was really attacked in the media of his day and after he was tragically assassinated in the Ford theater. They found his personal belongings and them among his items that he carried with them a little pocket watch and some other things they found a little folded up newspaper article from some paper some time ago and it simply had these words written on it that Pres. Abraham Lincoln is one of the greatest statesmen of our time when Lincoln we get discouraged should take out the little piece of paper and read it again for a little word of encouragement. Proverbs 2511 says the right word at the right time is like precious gold set in silver, so I want to encourage you and we need to encourage one another as Christians. First Thessalonians 511 says encourage each other and build each other up does not say discourage each other and tear each other down. That's what some people do know encourage each other.
Then in Hebrews 1024 were told. Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as a habit of some, is but rather encouraging one another, and so much more. As we see the day of the Lord approaching we can all use some encouragement so let me say this to you. I don't know what you're going through right now in your life but I want to say whatever you're going through your going to get through it is able. Greg, how do you know you're not on my shoes no I'm not, but I know what the Bible says I think of the story.
When Jesus said to his disciples. Let's go to the other side.
Speaking of the Sea of Galilee, so they boarded the little boat and predictably stormed came and it was a big storm so bad that even this season sailors despaired of life. But what does Jesus say he said let's go to the other side. He did not say let's go to the middle of the Sea of Galilee and drown together showing the said that I had said rather not board the boat. If you don't mind. He said let's get over to the other side. He did not promise them, sees what he promised safe arrival. He said that to everyone of us to say what you mean.
I mean ultimately were all going to get to the other side and of course the other side is heaven and you get to get through whatever you're going through right now. Let me share some verses that may address what you're facing in the moment.
You might say I'm a failure. I'll never change always be the way that I am the Bible says you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you believe what the Bible says not what your emotions say that Philippians 413. You might say well I'm afraid of the future. But God says in Deuteronomy 31 six be strong and courageous.
Don't be afraid or live in front of them, the Lord your God goes with you. You will not leave you or forsake you. You might say well I could go on another day I can handle what I'm going through this hardship.
This illness, whatever it is you're facing and I'm reminded of the words of the Lord of the apostle Paul.
He talked about his affliction that he described as a thorn in the flesh, the Lord said, my grace is all you need to get you through what you're going through to say, but I have no future.
I've given up on living I have no hope. Some 3815 says you all Lord are my whole you will hear my prayer. Someone 35 says I'm counting on you, Lord. I'm counting on you.
I put my hope in your word. Don't put your hope in your circumstances. Don't put your hope in your money. Don't put your hope in people. Put your open Christ and trust the word of God.
They can talk about hope.
Without Jeremiah 2911 with the Lord says I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace, not to be able to give you a future and hope.
Okay so I want to talk about a guy in the book of that was known for encouraging others. Actually, his given name was Joseph when he was given a nickname and his nickname was Barnabas which means the son of encouragement or another way to translate it.
He was known basically as Mr. encouragement Mr. encouragement. I love I'm in is there someone you know they've been literally described as Mr. or Ms. encouragement that Sue Barnabas was he always had a word of encouragement for someone else know if you were to be summed up in one word what will we call you Mr. happiness miss critical Mr. cranky Miss Bible.
I don't know but something that some you up well. Barnabas was Mr. encouragement or are you Debbie downer or Bobby buzz kill right. Who are you are you always known for being the negative person, always having the critical word or are you known for being the positive person always having The Encouraging Word only say you know the balances that there is a place for criticism. There is a place for a reality check. Right.
That's why opposites are often drawn together in marriage. I guess you'll find someone that you're attracted to and often the beer very opposite in the way you approach life.
I know that's certainly true. My wife and myself and I may be true of others and talking to right now, but it is important if you love someone to tell them the truth right because the Bible says faithful of the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful open rebuke is better than secret love. So sometimes as a way of showing my love I will say a critical thing but I'll say it in the right way.
I mean if you're known for encouragement and compliments and affirmation when you bring your word of criticism. It will be received. But if you're known for negativity, hyper criticism and meanness. When you come with another criticism which may, in a sense even be valid, it will not be received because your Mr. or Ms. negativity.
Instead, we want to be Mr. or Ms. encouragement just like Barnabas or Greg Laurie will have the second half of this message in just a moment. So many listeners have commented on the help they received from the resources we make available at a new beginning like this. Listener Pastor Greg. I was sitting at my grandmother's funeral this weekend, talking to my cousin's father during the conversation, I found out my uncle was given a copy of your new believers Bible on the last day of his life just before he died from a brain tumor. Understand this simple faith. Continually he was going after this life.
I think God for the hope of the gospel in its power. Thanks you for being bold. So many happenings to get out the gospel. If you like information about Pastor Greg's new believers Bible just contact email@example.com that's harvest.org you're joining us for study and action. 11 today called how to be an encourager. Here's pastor Greg once again. So Barnabas pops up in the book of acts, and he steps into the critical time in the life of the apostle Paul before he was the apostle Paul when he was still Saul the notorious Christian killer. The men who hunted down followers of Jesus Christ and been who met Christ on the road to Damascus. The problem was a lot of people weren't buying they were believing that Saul was actually no, a Christian, I mean I don't even know what the modern equivalent of that would be maybe would be Alice Cooper. You know I got to know him a little bit, and I've interviewed him.
We've hung out some and I mentioned this to people or we post these things online. It feels like he's not a Christian. He's evil. Well he did used to be evil. He did used to be a rock star living a rock star depraved live by his own admission in a drug addict and everything else but God got hold of him and change them but some Christians are just unwilling to accept that's even a possibility might seem. Another friend of mine me. Michael friend sees no I met him years ago Michael was being groomed to become the Godfather or the Dawn of the Colombo crime family. He's a good fella I made man a mobster and so I had heard that this tiny Michael friend sees as a Christian and he wants to talk to you and you used to be in the Mafia. My responses brother, no media. I asked did he use the word whacked at any point in this conversation really think about sleeping with fishes or anything related to that and so I didn't believe this guy a was really in the mob.
I think he made that up. He was not the mob. Nobody is in the mob and gets out still alive and number two I didn't believe you become a Christian if he was in the month, but I was wrong in both counts. He was arrested sent to prison. The wall in solitary confinement, also known as the whole. He was given a Bible which you started reading and he committed his life to Christ and because he never ratted out any other mobster eventually was released from prison and any used to listen to me. I while he was in solitary confinement on the radio and so he wanted to meet you. We become friends.
Since then, but look this is the same thing that Saul was dealing with no one believe he was really a Christian and her Barnabas enter Mr. encouragement or notices you're a believer for sure. I've talked to you. I know your conversion is real.
That brings me to point number one and encourager sees the potential in others. Cheers.
Mama and encourager sees the potential and others in cheers them on. So Barnabas Mr. encouragement takes Saul of Tarsus under his wing and encourages him and even says let's go on the road together to share the gospel together so Barnabas is helping Saul he's discipling Saul he's teaching Saul, later to become Paul. He sees the potential acts chapter 9 verse 26 go back a few verses chapters when Saul arrived in Jerusalem he tried to meet with the believers but they were all afraid of him and they did not believe that he actually become a believer. Then Barnabas brought them to the apostles and told him solids seen the Lord on the road to Damascus, the Lord had spoken to Saul and he told them that Saul had breached boldly in the name of Jesus I love so Barnabas takes his credibility me.
A lot of it. He was loved by everybody.
And he put it on the line for the newly converted Saul to listen. I'm vouching for this guy. He's a real Christian. And that's something that we all need in line. We need a Barnabas or you need to be a Barnabas let me say that again we all need a Barnabas or an encourager or we need to be a Barnabas encouraging others because sometimes people don't believe you're really converted. After I became a Christian I the funny thing is I grew my hair and beard out after I was converted prior to that I had longer share. But then I became like I should be type looking guy that's I was attending Calvary Chapel were there a lot of people look like me and I decided to go to another church one Sunday.
Very conservative church and I walked in and they were just ending their first service in the choir and the preacher was in the suit time. Everybody was all the men were in suit and ties it would just ring nicely and they have the pipe organ and all that but I heard the tail end of the first message and I thought that's good message. I'm looking forward to listening to it so I come walking into my bellbottoms like to be sure my long hair. My beard and I take a seat. Everyone literally is staring at me. I mean everyone staring at okay I guess they don't have any people to look like me here.
Then the preacher gets up for the second service and I noticed the message is different this time it's evangelistic and at the end of the essay there somebody here that needs Jesus. Someone was lost. There probably are drugs and I notice he's looking right at me thinking all members. Preacher thinks sinners here will I am a sinner but I'm converted now and I'm literally listening to when I have my Bible and I'm sort of pushing it up like welcome. I'm a Christian. Preaching then working to invite you to come to Christ acquired start singing just as I am, and he's looking at me everyone. I'm not exaggerating.
Everyone's looking at me.
Finally, the preacher not making this up gets up from behind his bulb walks down the stairs walks right over to me and says are you safe.
I said yes I am. You look very disappointed. I wasted an entire evangelistic message on this God then he said are you baptized yes I leases are you coming to the church picnic. I don't know and then sold the service and in literally 20 people or more. As we three questions the same three questions are you say yes I am. Have you been baptized. Yes, I have are you coming to the church picnic. No, I don't want to be with you people, and the longer we're I needed someone to help me in that time in between my after my conversion, because it's really easy to fall back into your old life get pulled back by your old friends right in on talking about and then you're doing the openings again and I was a new Christian, I wasn't raised in the church. I didn't understand their lingo or vocabulary.
I went to this little Bible study.
My high school campus. After I was a Christian and the guy they brought in that week was a little different and and I felt very uncomfortable. I thought I really want to hang around these people. But I'm not really comfortable around my old friends anymore. Maybe I'll just sorta be a solo Christian. I'm telling you I get a fall in the cracks so easily, but thank God some guy who was my Barnabas came up to me.
His name was Mark and he said how your name is Greg is not yet yet is I saw you accept Christ the other day that the Bible study lunch limited guys going to be the defense of you that's great okay he goes some want to come to church with me as it make you know I want you to come to church with you and I don't want to go to church if you know really you gotta come with me. I want to come with you. Is this where you live.
No, I don't want you to come next thing I know he is at my house. He picks me up.
He drives me the church. I love this guy was so persistent that was Calvary Chapel in the middle of the Jesus movement. I walked into a spiritual awakening, and I didn't even know it. I walking to this building and it's filled with people all this excitement so many younger people as well. Older folks to and I was a little overwhelmed by all this love and I actually didn't want to be there and I was hoping I could just leave and cousin were no seats and someone in the front row wave Greg Craig there for my high school we have a seat for you. If I want to guess even in the front row and out walks Chuck Smith and I heard the Bible presented in a way for the first time that I understood then they couldn't keep me away from the place because I just wanted to grow, learn more, listen were all called to be a Barnabas. Everyone. Some people want to be the Billy Graham of the want to be the apostle Paul. Some of gotta be the Barnabas working behind the scenes to that person you're discipling that person you're encouraging. They don't want to change the world and your words matter and your encouragement and site today. We can step up and be a source of good positive reassurance in someone else's life. Pastor Greg Laurie with counsel from our study series. In the book of acts series called the upside down life Pastor Greg. Every day we get such wonderful correspondence from our listeners. Yes, letters, emails, text social media postings, and many times the listener will mention their harvest partner and I just make her smile because that means there part of our family explain it well harvest partners in case you don't know are people that stand with this every month you know so many of us listen to Christian radio would listen to great teachings or wings nor favorite Bible podcast and they become these things become a part of our life. And sometimes we take them for granted and so you know when they say hey, help us financially rethink all well. Someone else will do it well.
Sometimes someone else doesn't do it and so I'm asking you to be a partner with us. What does it mean it means that you make a commitment to stand with us financially every month.
You decide how much that will be but every month as a gift comes in that enables us to plan for the future and think about new opportunities that are out there and many opportunities pop up all the time to reach more people with the word of God. Now look there's a lot of great ministries out there that are well worth supporting, but let me just toot our own horn for just a moment anything about harvest ministries is we invite people to Jesus Christ all the time. You know, if you listen that all in one of my messages with the prayer that a person can actually pray and did you know thousands of people pray that prayer with me every year.
I'm not exaggerating.
Thousands of people I've heard stories of people pulling off the freeway when they're driving their car, they bow their head and they pray that prayer I've heard so many incredible stories so know this when you support harvest ministries. You're not only supporting the teaching of the word of God but your supporting the proclamation of the gospel, and not just the proclamation your supporting the ministry that believes in closing the deal. And by that I mean we throw the net and we pull the net back in and we asked people would you like to accept Christ. Here's how to do it.
Why don't you do it and then we send them in new believers Bible do you believe that's an important thing for our nation right now. I sure do. If you want to be a harvest partner.
Here's Dave did tell you more.
Yes, an opportunity to invest in something that matters for eternity.
Pastor Greg is looking for a thousand new harvest partners to join us right now and working together to reach people in such a critical time. The world is a mess. I'm sure you've noticed but as the perfect opportunity to invite them to look beyond this world a thousand new partners may seem like a lot, but these studies are heard all over the country and it's really just a small group in each area that's a yes this is important and I want to do my part so can we count on you will say thank you for becoming a new harvest partner with a copy of Pastor Greg book Steve McQueen the salvation of an American icon will only be mentioning this. A short time longer so call us at 1-800-821-3300. That's a 24 seven phone number 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org/partner 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 join us this weekend Saturday and Sunday for Harvest at Home@harvest.org will next time more insight from Pastor Greg study called how to be an encourager. Join us here on a new beginning. Pastor and Bible Greg Laurie will buy harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God learn how to become harvest partner sign up for daily devotions and find resources to help you grow in your faith harvest.org