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Just Do It | Our Objective

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
December 12, 2022 3:00 am

Just Do It | Our Objective

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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December 12, 2022 3:00 am

God has given each of us a job. It’s an important job. But we probably spend a lot more time at the job that’s printed on our business card than engaged in the job God has given us. God didn’t put us here to be the vice president of this, or the regional director of that. Pastor Greg Laurie points out, our main job is to show others how to know the Lord. Today on A NEW BEGINNING, some practical insight on how to do that job well. The job is discipleship . . . and we all have been called to that privilege.

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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 ebooks designed to help you grow in your faith. Our objective is to go lead others to Christ, establish them spiritually, and do it again and again and again.

Basically, it's wash, rinse, repeat. Pastor Greg Laurie says the Lord calls us all to practice discipleship, to step out of our comfort zone and help someone begin to walk with the Lord. Just do it. Enough talking about it.

Just do it. Go lead someone to Christ, help get them stabilized, and do it again. God has given each of us a job. It's an important job. But we probably spend a lot more time at the job that's printed on our business card than engaged in the job God has given us. God didn't put us here to be the vice president of this or the regional director of that. Pastor Greg Laurie points out today our main job is to show others how to know the Lord. Today on A New Beginning, some practical insight on how to do that job well.

The job is discipleship, and we've all been called to that privilege. You know, when I first became a Christian, I really didn't fully understand what I'd done. I went forward at a little Bible study in my high school campus, as I've told you many times, and I prayed this little prayer. I didn't know what was ahead of me. I didn't know what was going to happen to me, but I believed what I heard. And not long after that, a guy comes up to me that I don't know from Adam's house cat.

He says, Hi. My name is Mark, and I saw that you went forward and prayed to accept Jesus the other day. I was kind of like resentful. Yeah, so? No. But hey, I want to help you. I want to take you to church. I'm like, no, that's okay. I don't want to go to church.

No, no. I really want to take you to church. And I have to tell you something about this guy Mark. Mark wasn't a cool guy.

He wasn't the kind of guy I would have normally hung around. But he was so doggone persistent. And he wouldn't take no for an answer. And the best way, let me take you to church.

Finally I said, okay. But he didn't just take me to church. He introduced me to other Christians.

He had me over at his house for dinner with his mom and his dad. We're just kids at this point. I'm talking to Christians. I'm asking questions.

No question was too ridiculous to ask. Here's what Mark was doing. He was discipling me. And if he had not done that I fear I would have fallen through the cracks. Because a lot of times after a person accepts Christ they don't know what to do next. And so he helped me in that transition. And what Mark did for me we need to do for others.

Because that is what the Great Commission is again. It is to go into all the world and preach the gospel and then make disciples of all nations. Listen. If you are following Jesus as a real disciple you will be leading others to Christ.

Let me reverse that. If you are not leading others to Christ are you really following Him as you ought to as a disciple? Here is their commission. Again Matthew 28 verse 16. Go therefore says Jesus and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given to you and lo I am with you even to the end of the age.

So here is our job. Here is discipleship simplified. I have told you what a disciple is. Now let me tell you what a disciple does or what it means to make disciples of others. Our objective is to go lead others to Christ. Establish them spiritually. And do it again and again and again.

Basically it is wash, rinse, repeat. Evangelize. Disciple. Stabilize. Repeat.

Do it over and over again. But somewhere along the line we have sort of separated evangelism from discipleship. And they are one and the same. We are not just called to invite people to Christ but then we need to take these new believers under our wing and help them get up on their feet spiritually. So here is a few things a new believer needs.

Number one. They need assurance. They need assurance. They need to be reassured that God loves them and God has forgiven them and that their name is written in the book of life. One passage everyone should commit to memory is 1 John 5 13 where John writes, I write these things to you that believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. Reassure a believer of that. Because remember in the Garden of Eden Satan attacked Adam and Eve.

You remember how he attacked? He said to them, did God say what you really thought God said? And He will do that in the life of a new believer.

And for that matter. Older believers sometimes too right? Are you really saved? Do you think Christ has really forgiven you? It is not based on how I feel. It is based on what God has done. New believers need assurance.

Number two. New believers need protection. They need protection.

When you are holding a little baby you have to hold them carefully and hold them in the proper way and support them and anything that could harm them you put yourself in the way of that thing. And new believers need protection as well. Galatians 4 19 says, my dear children I feel as though I am going through labor pains for you again and they will continue until Christ is fully developed in your life. New believers are vulnerable to their emotions as well as being vulnerable to false teaching. Old friends will try to drag them down. Old girlfriends and old boyfriends will materialize out of nowhere. Temptations will come that maybe they have never experienced before right?

You will remember that yourself. So they need to be protected. And just as in the parable of the sower Jesus talked about the seed sown on the roadside eaten by the birds and He said, these are they that hear the Word of God but Satan comes immediately and snatches it away. The new believer doesn't know what is happening but we do. So we need to help them. And number three they need food.

They need food. So when you are a new believer you are hungry for the Word of God. Can you remember the first time you read the Bible as a new Christian? Now if you were raised in the church it was familiar but perhaps it came alive to you. But if you were more like me and you weren't raised in the church and you started hearing these things for the first time. I am just a kid.

17 years old. And I am reading these things in the Bible that relate to me as a 17 year old. And I still relate to them as a 40 year old with added years. And so it is relevant to you in your youth. It is relevant to you in your middle age.

It is relevant to you in your old age. Number four new believers need an example. They need to see what a Christian looks like. You see some things are taught and some things are caught. As Paul said in 2 Timothy 3.10.

There is no 3.10. He says to Timothy you have observed my teaching. Listen my conduct.

My aim in life and my faith. So it is not just my teaching. It is my conduct. It is my aim in life. It is my faith. You have seen an example.

And let's be honest now. Here is one of the reasons we don't want new believers in our life. We don't want to change our behavior. See because if I take a new believer with me to church and we go to lunch after and they are with me I can't gossip. If I have a new believer with me I will probably drive the speed limit and I will probably talk about the message and do things a Christian ought to do already.

Maybe we don't want that added pressure in our life but we are missing out not only on helping them but on helping ourselves. Pastor Greg follows up on that in just a moment. We will see how new believers need longtime believers to show them the way but longtime believers need new believers just as much.

More on that in a moment. You know Pastor Greg the last couple of years have been so tough on everybody. Not just here in the U.S. but all around the world. You know with the pandemic, with the cultural decline, political chaos, economic chaos and certainly spiritual chaos.

Many companies are scaling back and many are just trying to get through it all amidst all the uncertainty. But Harvest Ministries seems to be doubling down in its mission in 2023. Tell us about that. Yeah you know Dave the Bible says when the enemy comes in like a flood the Spirit of the Lord will raise up a standard against him. Listen this is not the time to retreat. This is the time to advance. This is not the time to lose ground. It's time to gain ground and by that I mean we march forward. Jesus said we are the church and the gates of hell will not prevail against us.

What does that mean? Think of one of those old movies you've seen where they're storming the castle and there's the big gate in front and of course they're pouring the boiling oil over the side of the wall. So what do they do? They get a battering ram. Maybe they even set the battering ram on fire and keep hitting the gate till it finally opens.

So here's the picture. We're the folks with the battering ram. The fortress is the culture controlled by the power of the devil. So Jesus says the gates of hell will not prevail against you. Simply means we're going to win as we storm the gates and as we move forward. I'm asking folks listening right now to join us as we storm the gates. Join us as we seek to invade instead of evade.

To permeate instead of isolate. Join us as we seek to get the gospel to as many people as we possibly can and one way you can do that is through your financial investment in Harvest Ministries. Here's David to tell you more. Yeah your investment in Harvest Ministries right now is so strategic. It's the most pivotal time of the year as we're poised to enter a new year of ministry.

A year filled with plans to reach further than we ever have before. Can we count on you to be a partner with us? Get in touch today and let us know you want to become a Harvest partner. Our telephone number is 1-800-821-3300.

Call anytime night or day and again the number 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org. Well Pastor Greg is pointing out the importance of taking part in the discipleship process. Showing a new believer what it means to live for the Lord. Let's continue.

And I think this is an important thing to have a new believer in your life because they will energize you. You know someone asked me in an interview recently what do you like to do in your spare time? I had to think about that. What do I do in my spare time? I don't have a lot of spare time but I thought well I ride my Harley occasionally and very occasionally at this point. I surf once on a blue moon.

So what do I do? And I thought for a moment that I know what I do in my spare time. I hang out with my grandkids. They looked at me like yeah and what else.

That is kind of it. I really like to hang around with my grandkids. Because you know what? They energize me you see. I like to be with them. And I don't make them enter my world. I don't sit them you know behind the computer and say, kids study these commentaries and give me some points.

No. I enter their world. I sit down and watch cartoons with them. I know all the character's names on SpongeBob SquarePants.

Right. And we go get ice cream and we go to the playground and I watch them play and we talk together. And then we have interesting spiritual conversations too.

Last night we had a really interesting one. My granddaughter Allie was asking me about her rabbit that died. Will she see the rabbit again in heaven?

And then she wants to know she will have a pet wolf in heaven. And all these great questions. I love them though. But that energizes me. See that is good for me.

And it is good for us. Because some grandparents have houses where they have a lot of breakable things. Well I don't want the grandkids over because we have breakable things. Can I make a suggestion? Get rid of the breakable things and invite the grandkids over.

Ok. And if it will help I will come over and just break those things and we will get. Is this one of them? Yes. Ok. Grandkids come on.

And in the same way if we have a life that is not welcoming of new believers something is wrong. They need you. But listen to this. You need them. Why?

Because you will discover things you take for granted. Oh yeah I am going to heaven. Oh yeah you know the Word of God is true. Oh yeah Jesus is coming back. Oh yeah yeah.

Really? Because you talk about a new believer. You share these truths with them and they hear it for the first time and they are so excited and you rediscover it. The first time a child tries ice cream. I remember our son Jonathan I gave him ice cream when he was a newborn. Kathy was slightly horrified.

I think she was still nursing him. I gave him ice cream. Why did you do that? I said, but he smiled. And he had a little baby. I gave him a little. He went outside.

I enjoyed that. I got to see that for the first time. First time a child sees snow. The first time a child walks on the sand. The first time a child discovers something and that you take for granted.

He goes in that wonderful. See they need you to stabilize them. You need them to revitalize you.

Because we begin to take these things for granted as I said and don't perhaps enjoy them as much as we ought to. And new believers are the lifeblood of the church. And they are also the lifeblood of older Christians. Some churches grow by church transfer growth. Most of their congregants come from other churches. Harvest grows primarily from new convert growth.

And that is the best kind of growth by the way. And some churches they might be more Calvinistic or more on the Reformed side will not invite people to Christ and their services because they are afraid they are going to call the non-elect to Christ. Because they believe these people are predestined and they only want to see the predestined believe and they don't want to give false assurance to the non-elect.

I like what D.L. Moody said years ago. He said, Lord save the elect and then elect some more.

Ok. But here is the way I see it. God knows who is predestined. My job is to preach the gospel and invite people to Jesus Christ.

And we will keep doing that. And I don't have time to go into all these things but among the beliefs of those who are Reformed they would believe in total depravity. Which means that you are so depraved or so dead in your sin you can't respond to the gospel unless you have been predestined.

I disagree. I believe God has given us a free will and an ability to choose. And that is why so many verses appeal to the free will of man. Others would believe in the Reformed tradition. And I have many friends who are Reformed and love them but I disagree with them on these points.

They believe in irresistible grace. If God is calling you you cannot resist it because you are predestined. I am sorry.

Disagree. I think you can resist it. And harden your heart against God because of many verses that say that. And then others would say well there is limited atonement. Christ only died for the elect.

No. I don't believe that. I believe Christ died for the whole world.

And whosoever will believe in Him can be forgiven of their sin. Those are important distinctions. Those are important distinctions. Harvest is not a Reformed church. Nor are we an Arminian church as some would say. You are Arminians.

And it takes too long to go into what all of that means. But I know some Reformed people who are more passionate about evangelizing Arminians than they are about nonbelievers. We are not Calvinists. We are not Arminian.

We are biblicists at harvest. We believe in what the Bible says and we will go according to that. So we believe in predestination but we also believe in the free will of man. How can you believe in both? Because both are in the Bible. That is why we believe both. And we are an evangelistic church without apology. And we want to see people that don't know the Lord come to the Lord. That is our passion.

So discipling. We are all called to do this. Nobody gets off the hook nor should anyone want to get off the hook. Because this is a privilege. But it is also a responsibility.

And I think sometimes the reason we don't do it is because we are afraid of failure or we are afraid that we won't do a very good job at it. Listen. You know what a new believer needs more than anything else? They just need a friend. They don't need a Bible scholar.

Hey if you are a Bible scholar all the better. But they don't need that. They just need someone to show them what a real living breathing Christian looks like. And if you will take that new believer under your wing not only will you help them but you will help yourself. We are all called to do this.

But if we are honest a lot of us just don't. And I think we need to ask God to help us because He has commanded us to go. But what did Jesus say? All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore and make disciples of all nations. Wait. I don't get the therefore. All power has been given unto me.

Therefore all the resources you need are given to you. So go. Just do it.

Enough talking about it. Just do it. Go lead someone to Christ. Help get them stabilized and do it again. And if you haven't done that find someone who is new in the faith and help them out. And get them into your small group. And bring them into your life. And help them learn what it means to be a Christian.

And you watch them grow spiritually and it will have a revitalizing effect on your life. Pastor Greg Laurie with great insight today from his message called Just Do It. And there's a final comment Pastor Greg wants to share from this study before we leave for the day so stay with us. Well it's a privilege to have Pastor Greg and his wife Kathy with us today along with a special guest. And Pastor Greg we're making available a wonderful book for kids.

It's brand new. But when we're talking about the minds of children that can be a little mysterious. You know we don't always know what they're thinking. But we have an expert here on communicating with kids don't we?

We really do. Her name is Sally Lloyd-Jones. And for folks out there that are aware of the amazing Jesus Storybook Bible you know who I'm talking about. Sally is a prolific author who makes her home in New York City. And Sally has an extraordinary gift of writing for children. She writes in a way that is understandable for the kids. And I have to tell you something.

Making something understandable and simple not simplistic simple actually takes more effort than making it complex. And Sally as a way I would call it an art of turning a phrase of taking the scripture putting it maybe different verbiage that a child can grasp and touching their little hearts. I've seen it as I've read her books to my grandchildren and also there have times I've even taken the Jesus Storybook Bible and read it and I've been personally really encouraged by it and a story kind of came to life in a different way for me. But Sally has a new book out and it's called Known. And Sally this is one of your baby books.

You have a whole series don't you? Yes I have it's paraphrases really in very the tiniest human in the form that they can hold which is a board book so they can really make you know you throw it across the room or bite it like they like to the tiniest humans. So I yes it's a board book and we have a series and this is now the fourth title and they're all paraphrases really.

The first one was found which was a paraphrase of Psalm 23 and then we had loved which was a paraphrase of the Lord's Prayer and then the third one is near which is a paraphrase of part of Psalm 139 and now our newest title is known which is a paraphrase of the other part of Psalm 139. And that is the book that we're offering to our listeners this month for their gift of any size. This is a great book to give to a parent especially of a newborn. Maybe you know someone who has children and and they would love this because it's beautifully illustrated by Jago an artist you've worked with many times over the years and and it just takes this powerful Psalm and brings it in a way that a child can understand and in some cases a parent can understand too. Yes I think well and you know Jago's art which we obviously no one can see while they're on the radio but these books are stories told in two languages so the illustration is half of the story so I always encourage people when they've heard it read to check out the art to get the full story because what Jago does with his art it's what they call in publishing he has heart everything makes you want to hug that little baby that you see and that's what you want because the whole book is about love.

Wow. Anytime Sally's books are offered I want to be in on it because I love your words and as an adult if I was reading this book to a child when I first started reading it there was a few lines that just jumped right out at me and and touched my heart it's the phrase where you write about God he knows my name and the color of my eyes and the dreams inside my heart and I don't know what it was about that when it said the dreams inside my heart and I think a little child you're reading this to a little child for them to understand that I can't always articulate what I'm feeling but then for a parent to be reading it to their child they also sense that they want to pull out the dreams that are inside their children's heart but God knows all about those and he's right there in the midst in the midst of that. This would be such a great book Greg for anyone who's expecting a child anyone who has children in their life grandchildren grandparents really think about how you can make not only this book but maybe the full set a gift to your grandchildren it's something that I think speaks not just to the children but to the parents. That's right we're offering this new book by Sally Louis Jones called Known which is a paraphrase of part of Psalm 139. To you our listeners for your gift of any size this month.

Yeah that's right and we're ready to send a copy your way. What a great gift for Christmas time. Your partnership means so much to us especially right now with the new year almost here we have such exciting plans for sharing the gospel far and wide in the coming weeks and your donation right now will help us reach even further. So thanks so much for investing in the work of the gospel at this important time of the year. You can call us to make a donation and order Known Psalm 139. Our number is 1-800-821-3300.

Call us any time at 1-800-821-3300 or write A New Beginning Box 4000 Riverside California 92514 or go online to harvest.org. Well next time Pastor Greg reinforces the value of godly character as we consider the example set for us by Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. But before we go today Pastor Greg closes this final message in his discipleship series this way. I would like to have a prayer now where all of us would ask God to fill us with the Holy Spirit and give us a passion to do this. And I would ask that you would pray a prayer with me where you are asking God to empower you. The Bible says you will receive power after the Holy Spirit comes upon you to be witnesses unto me. And that is what we want to be witnesses.

We want to fulfill the Great Commission so we need this power. So let's pray for it in our lives right now. Let's all bow our heads. Father I pray for everyone here and I pray that we will seek to well just do this. That we will take steps of faith and just initiate conversations and look for people new in the faith and do everything we can to help them. Not only for their sake but for ours. So we don't reach spiritual stagnation.

So we don't find ourselves going backwards instead of forward. But Lord we can't do this on our own. We need help and we need power. And you have promised us power to be a witness and we are going to ask for it right now. Now everyone I am going to just lead you in a prayer. And I would ask you to just pray this prayer out loud after me. Again as I pray just pray this.

Lord Jesus. You have called me to go into all the world and preach the gospel and make disciples. But I have not always done this Lord.

But I want to. So I need the power you offer. So fill me with the Holy Spirit. Give me a holy boldness.

Like I have never known before. Give me a burden for lost people. Give me a heart for those that are new in the faith. Help me to make disciples. Father you have heard that prayer and now we all pray that you will seal it with your power. And even today we will just sense you are leading and look for those opportunities.

They are everywhere. And what a joy. What a privilege it is to see people grow in the faith. The next thing to seeing them come to Christ is seeing them grow in their faith and become spiritually mature. Lord you have called us to do this. Help us to start doing it. And we commit ourselves to you. And we ask all of this in Jesus name. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-12 05:25:59 / 2022-12-12 05:36:54 / 11

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