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How to Be a World Changer | Using Your Faith

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

How to Be a World Changer | Using Your Faith

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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September 29, 2022 3:00 am

Can you imagine chocolate chip cookies WITHOUT the chocolate chips? Can you imagine fried chicken, hold the chicken? Some ingredients are prerequisites. And today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie points out that our job is to influence the world around us. We’ll see today that God calls us to change the world. But there’s a must-have ingredient involved. Without this ingredient, we’re just spinning our spiritual wheels. Let’s learn how to follow the Bible’s blueprint.

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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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You're listening to A New Beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast supported by Harvest Partners. For more ways to deepen and challenge your spiritual walk, enroll in Pastor Greg's free online courses.

Sign up at harvest.org. World changers have an active, not a passive, faith. Today, Pastor Greg Laurie points out how we can let our light shine and change the world. And he explains today, faith is an essential ingredient. Faith is given to us to use, to stretch, to flex, to develop. And the more you use your faith, the more faith you will have. If you neglect your faith, it will atrophy. If you use your faith, it grows.

Use it or lose it. Can you imagine chocolate chip cookies without the chocolate chips? Can you imagine fried chicken pulled the chicken? And some ingredients are prerequisites. And today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie points out our job is to influence the world around us. We'll see today God calls us to change the world, but there's a must-have ingredient involved.

Without this ingredient, we're just spinning our spiritual wheels. Let's learn how to follow the Bible's blueprint. Grab your Bible and turn to Hebrews, chapter 11, and let's all pray together. Now, Father, we pray as we open your Word that we will discover how we can be a world changer instead of the world changing us. Speak to us from your Word, we ask in Jesus' name. Amen.

Question. What do you see when you look in the mirror? If you're like me, you don't always like what you see, especially if it's a magnifying mirror. It's been said, mirrors don't lie. Lucky for you, they don't laugh either.

Right? Well, I want to talk to you about how God looks at you. How the Lord sees you.

When I look at myself, I see weakness. God sees potential. I see what I am. God sees what I can be.

I see the past. God sees the future. Maybe I see a lump of clay. God sees a beautiful sculpture. I see a blank canvas. God sees a Van Gogh. I see a lump of coal. God sees a sparkling diamond.

I see a vacillating, unsure Simon. God sees an apostle Peter. You see or I see a persecuting Saul of Tarsus. And God sees a mighty man of God named Paul. So maybe we think of ourselves as zeros but the truth is God can make us into heroes.

Hebrews chapter 11 is basically the hero's hall of faith. It's a collection of a very interesting group of men and women that went out and changed their world. They were ordinary people just like you and me but they did extraordinary things. They faced adverse circumstances like we do but they rose above their circumstances and changed their world. It was said of the first century church they turned their world upside down. By the way that was not meant as a compliment. I think in many cases for some Christians the world is turning us upside down instead of us turning our world upside down.

So I want you to discover how you can be a world changer. The operative word in Hebrews 11 is that these were men and women of faith. It is not because they were great people that they are included in the hero's hall of faith. It is because they had faith in a great God.

I mean think about some of the people that made the cut. Gideon was a frightened farmer when the angel of the Lord called him to be a mighty warrior to deliver Israel. Moses he was a fugitive from justice when the Lord called him at the burning bush. And we think of so many others who were called and were such flawed individuals. Think about Abraham. We think of him as the father of faith but yet we know that he lied about his wife twice.

Quite a lack of faith in his part I might add. His son Isaac did the same thing. Sarah she makes it into the hero's hall of faith yet she left at the promise of God.

Then she denied it. I already alluded to Moses. He lost his temper. He killed a man. David makes it into the hero's hall of faith but he committed adultery and then he tried to cover it up and effectively committed murder. Samson also made it in to Hebrews 11 and he was very immoral.

Listen these winners didn't always collect medals. Sometimes they collected scars but not one mention is made of their failures in Hebrews 11. I find that interesting. So here's what we learned from that is God was seeing them for what they would become not just what they were. Maybe you've messed up in life. Maybe you feel like your story is over.

That's not true. God can change your story. God can change the narrative.

The trajectory that your life is taking. And if we learn nothing else from Hebrews 11 we see that that God can use flawed people. So let's read Hebrews 11 verse 1 and get a definition of the operative word in all of their lives which is faith. Hebrews 11 one says, faith is a substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen. We're going to discover now 10 principles about how you can be a world changer.

So if you're taking notes here's point number one. World changers have an active not a passive faith. I'll say that again for emphasis. World changers have an active not a passive faith.

Listen the more you use your faith the stronger it grows. I have to admit it's been a while since I've been to a gym. But back when I was going to the gym I remember this one guy. He'd work out. He had a sculpted physique you know. Just bulging biceps and abs and everything was going right with this guy. But for some reason I don't know why he had the skinniest little legs you've ever seen. It was like this massive upper body and like chicken legs.

Yeah I don't know what he thought. Well legs don't matter. I won't work out my legs. And that's how it can be with some of us.

We we work out in some areas but we don't work out in others. So here's the thing you need to understand. Faith is like a muscle.

The more you use it the stronger it becomes. But some of us treat our faith like a fragile egg. Oh it's an egg. Don't don't drop it. It's like when I go to the market. If I have three bags of groceries and they're filled with canned things and you know vegetables and bread. If I drop one of those bags I'm telling you Murphy's law guarantees it. I'll always drop the bag that has the eggs in it.

Right. So eggs are fragile. We think faith is fragile.

But it is not fragile. Faith is given to us to use. To stretch. To flex.

To develop. And the more you use your faith the more faith you will have. If you neglect your faith it will atrophy. If you use your faith it will grow stronger. Listen to this.

Use it or lose it. Jude 1 says this. You see dear friends build yourself up in your most holy faith by praying on the Holy Spirit. Staying in the center of God's love.

Keeping your arms open ready for the mercy of our master Jesus Christ. Notice the emphasis there is on faith doing things. Faith is praying. Faith is staying. Faith is keeping.

Faith is active. Big trend right now is four wheel drive vehicles. I read recently that half of all vehicles that are sold have four wheel drive capacity.

That's nice. If you live in Montana or Colorado a lot of these people don't do any four wheeling. But then they'll jack their vehicle up and put huge wheels and tires on it you know.

And when they pull up behind you at the light you're looking at their chassis and your rearview mirror. And maybe you'll talk to one of them as they're putting gas in it and say wow that that's an amazing vehicle. Do you do a lot of off-roading?

They'll say are you kidding? You know how much I spend on this thing? Oh wow you don't off-road at all?

No I'm on my way to the car wash to just keep it really clean. See here's the sad thing. You have a vehicle that is designed for four wheel drive capacity and you're not using it. And the same is true of us. God has given us this faith to use but we don't use it. We neglect it.

We have it in our little display case. Our faith is all show and no go. But world changers have an active not a passive faith.

Point number two. World changers do things with their faith. They do things with their faith. Here in Hebrews 11 we read these words. Abel offered a sacrifice. Noah prepared an ark. Abraham obeyed. Abraham offered up Isaac. You see they did things with their faith.

Listen to this. A faith that has no works is a faith that does not work. James says faith without works is dead. Bringing me to point number three. The faith we need as a world changer grows stronger through testing.

I don't know about you but most of us don't like to be tested do we? It's been said Christians are a lot like tea bags. You don't know what they're made of until you put them in hot water. Maybe you're in the hot water if you will of temptation right now or the hot water of some kind of testing and you're saying that this is trying my faith. I don't know if I can get through this. In fact I'm starting to lose my faith.

Listen to this. The faith that cannot be tested is a faith that cannot be trusted. If you have real faith in God your faith will grow stronger through adversity and difficulty not weaker.

We're told in James 1 when all kinds of trials and temptations crowd in on you brothers don't treat them as intruders but friends realize they've come to test your faith and produce in you a quality of endurance. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. Many listeners write or call us sharing their stories of how these daily studies in God's word make an impact on lives.

I started listening to your message. I transport a lot of veterans to medical appointments and things of that nature. I keep the radio on to your station and the veterans have a chance to hear the word.

Some of them for the very first time and a couple of them have decided to give their life another chance. A couple of veterans who had attempted suicide found peace and comfort in the words that were given through your messages. I want to say thank you very much and God bless you. What an encouragement to know that Pastor Greg's messages are touching lives in some unexpected ways. Do you have a comment to share with Pastor Greg? If so call 1-866-871-1144.

That's 866-871-1144. Well today Pastor Greg is pointing out how faith is the key to living a life that draws others to Christ. Let's continue. All right where do we get faith?

Point number four. We get it by reading and understanding the Word of God. Romans 10 17 says, faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. So right now you are building your faith. That is if you're listening to me. Pay attention.

Are you listening? If you are and you're thinking about what Scripture says it can strengthen and build your faith. The more I read the Bible the stronger my faith can become. So we want to be looking into the Word of God. And then point number five.

Listen this is a big one. Faith can make the difference between something happening and not happening. Let me repeat that for emphasis. Faith can make the difference between something happening and not happening. We see so many instances in this Scripture. There was one woman that was praying for her daughter and Jesus answered her prayer and then He said to her, woman great is your faith.

It will be done as you desire. See she put her faith into action. She was persistent with her faith and Jesus granted her request and commended her for her faith. But yet we also read Jesus could do no mighty works in the hometown He lived in of Nazareth because of their unbelief. Jesus would go to some cities and miracles would happen. Demons would come out of people.

The blind would receive their sight and the deaf would hear again and lepers would be cured. But He goes to Nazareth and they are like ah Jesus. We remember Him when He was knee high to a grasshopper or should we say a locust. Yes we remember Him working at the carpenter's shop with Joseph. And we knew that kid.

Well so what? That kid was God incarnate who was the Messiah. But they didn't appreciate that about Him and so they doubted Him immediately. Well no miracles were done there. We can stop the work of God in our life by unbelief.

Unbelief is the thief. And you see in Scripture how God worked through people exercising their faith to produce amazing things. God could have parted the Red Sea by His own power. He didn't need Moses to hold up his stick.

That's all it was a staff. He didn't need Moses and his stick. The Lord could have done it. But He said Moses hold up your staff and see the work of the Lord. God could have also done many things like bring fire down from heaven on the altar when Elijah was facing off at the prophets of Baal. He didn't need Elijah to call for that fire. But the Lord wants us to exercise our faith. The Lord wants us to be a part of this process.

So you need to call out to Him. The Bible tells the story of a man named Bartimaeus. He was blind. And Jesus was coming through his town. And someone said to Bartimaeus, Jesus is coming. So Bartimaeus he says, Jesus son of David have mercy on me.

They shh. Don't bother Jesus. So what does he do? He gets louder. Jesus son of David have mercy on me. Jesus turns like whoa.

Who is this guy? You know you read that verse in the Bible that says a squeaky wheel gets oil. That's not a verse in the Bible. But it's a saying.

It has some validity. Bartimaeus was a squeaky wheel. Jesus turned to him.

Ok. What do you need? I want to be healed of blindness. And Jesus healed him. You see faith being used again. And that is the definitive principle of Hebrews 11. These people use their faith. Hebrews 11 says, without faith it is impossible to please God. For he that comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him.

Listen. What God did in the lives of people years ago He can still do in the lives of people today. God wants to do something fresh in our generation.

Let me personalize that. God wants to work in your life. He wants to work in your home.

He wants to work in your sphere of influence. I heard about a mom who was reading exciting Bible stories to her little daughter and one night the little girl said, Mommy it seems like God was a lot more exciting back then. Well you know maybe it's because we don't apply faith. These men and women took risks and God blessed them. Let's read a little more about them. Hebrews 11 33 to 35 it says, By faith these people overthrew kingdoms. They ruled with justice. They received what God had promised them. They shut the mouths of lions and quenched the flames of fire. They escaped death by the edge of the sword. Their weakness was turned to strength. They became strong in battle and put whole armies to flight.

Women received their loved ones back from death. That brings me to principle number six. World changers are indestructible until God is done with them. World changers are indestructible until God is done with them. So stop worrying about when you're going to die. That is in the hands of God. The Bible says it's appointed unto a man who wants to die and then comes to judgment.

It's going to happen at the appointed hour. So if you're freaking out about it and stressing about it all the time you're wasting a lot of energy. You'll live as long as God wants you to live.

Not a day longer. But then again your life will not be cut short if God wants it to go on longer. You're indestructible until God is done with you. Illustration right here in Hebrews 11 verse 33. They shut the mouths of lions. Now one biblical character comes to mind when we think of lions.

Can you guess who it is? It's Daniel. We all know the story of Daniel in the lion's den. You remember Daniel was a prophet of the Lord and he was serving King Darius who ruled Babylon. And Darius really leaned on Daniel for his council. He was a man of integrity.

A godly man. And these other guys who were advising the king didn't like Daniel. It's like this guy is getting all the king's attention.

We've got to get rid of him. And they knew the only way they could get Daniel out of power was to find something connected to his faith because Daniel had this amazing habit. Every day he prayed. So they got the king to unwittingly sign a decree that no one could pray to any god except the king for 40 days. And the decree was signed and it was a law.

No more praying in Babylon. Daniel heard about that and thought interesting. And he went home and opened up his windows like he always did and prayed. He was arrested. And he was thrown into a den of lions because he violated the king's order.

But I'll tell you what. The Bible tells us the king had a sleepless night despite the comforts of his palace. Meanwhile Daniel slept like a baby in a den of hungry lions. He probably said, hey Simba come up here. I'm going to use your stomach as a pillow.

And you know Leo I'm going to prop my feet up on you. And he went to sleep. He slept like a baby. And it just reminds us of this simple fact. Better to be in a lion's den with God than anywhere else without him. He was better off in a lion's den than the king was in a palace. And Daniel said to the king, my god has sent his angel to deliver me.

So my point is simply this. God wasn't done with Daniel yet. And God is not done with you yet. So you trust him. Pastor Greg Laurie presenting 10 Characteristics of World Changers today here on A New Beginning.

We've completed the first six on the list and we'll have the rest as this message continues. Well Pastor Greg, listeners to A New Beginning are Bible students. They know the scripture. But there's a lot of symbolism in Bible prophecy.

You've studied the subject a great deal. How much of that symbolism do we know for sure what it means and how much of it is open to interpretation where godly people do disagree? Well, I think it's very important to understand Bible prophecy. There are constant exhortations to understand these things. Jesus, when he was speaking of an event called the abomination of desolation, said let the reader understand. In the book of Thessalonians, Paul writing to the believers there, he says, brothers, I would not have you be ignorant. Then he went on to talk about the rapture.

So we don't want to be ignorant. We want to understand and the very word revelation means to unveil. Now there are different ways that we can view these truths and I think godly people can and they do frankly disagree on some of these things. Now my position is I believe that there is an event called the rapture that could happen at any moment. I believe in a pre-tribulation rapture. Now the tribulation period is last seven years starts with the emergence of antichrist. It ends with the return of Jesus Christ. I don't believe we as Christians will go through the tribulation period. I believe we'll be raptured before that time comes. Now that belief alone will affect you in the way that you live because if you believe you could be caught up to meet the lord in the air and you see the signs of the time showing how close the tribulation period could potentially be you realize if the tribulation period is close then the rapture of the church is even closer. So I could use the illustration of seeing Christmas decorations up and you know they go up so early now don't they what is it August or something it's like I can't believe Christmas decorations are up well guess what if I see the decorations for Christmas going up it says this Thanksgiving is coming you see no Greg it says Christmas is coming no I know but if Christmas is coming Thanksgiving is coming even sooner because Thanksgiving precedes Christmas doesn't it so the point of it all is if I see signs of the times out there telling me that the tribulation period is coming then that means that Jesus is coming even sooner for his church that belief alone will affect you in the way that you live and I talk about that and a lot more in this book called revelation a book of promises it's hard cover it's a thick one this is going to be a resource that you'll keep at home and hopefully you'll consult it again and again and my prayer and my hope is it will help unlock this great book the final book of the bible the only book of the bible I might add it has a special blessing promise to the person who reads hears and keeps the words of it and I want you to get this book I've written simply called revelation a book of promises and we'll send it to you for your gift of any size and here's Dave to tell you more well thank you very much yeah it's a substantial commentary from pastor Greg more than 400 pages in length if you've been less than clear in your understanding of last day's events you need to get this resource hey Dave let me jump in really quick and not only are we offering this book revelation a book of promises but we have this really cool graphic bookmark that we have put together that gives you a timeline of end times event so you probably wondered okay I know I've heard about the rapture and the tribulation period and the anti-christ and the second coming what happens when well this very beautiful little visual bookmark sort of lays it out for you that's included in the book you're talking about right now yeah that's right it comes automatically so get in touch with your donation today and we'll thank you with a copy of revelation a book of promises and we'll only be able to mention this resource a short time longer just call us at 1-800-821-3300 that's a 24 7 phone number 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org well next time more insight on those 10 characteristics of world changers good inspiration and instruction for these critical times join us here on a new beginning with pastor and bible teacher greg lorry the preceding podcast was made possible by harvest partners helping people everywhere know god learn how to become a harvest partner sign up for daily devotions and find resources to help you grow in your faith at harvest.org
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-31 23:06:03 / 2022-12-31 23:15:32 / 9

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