Hey everybody, you're listening to A New Beginning, which is a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners.
If this program has impacted you, I'd love to hear from you. So just send an email to me at gregatharvest.org. Again, it's gregatharvest.org.
You can learn more about becoming a Harvest Partner by going to harvest.org. Ever wish you could go back and advise your younger self before some of those mistakes were made? Pastor Greg Laurie has been thinking about that. Here's what an older Greg would say to a younger Greg. Just be a nice person. You're a child of God. Be known for your generosity. Be known for your love, your compassion, not for your anger. Be known as a person that builds people up, not as a person who tears people down.
Be a nice person. There's a certain wisdom that comes from growing older, from learning some of the lessons of life. There's even more wisdom that comes when we embrace God's Word as our pattern of living. And today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie looks to the Bible for practical principles we can put to use. If you missed some of the principles he's already covered, we invite you to catch up by listening to the previous two programs online at harvest.org.
There's good insight coming your way, worth taking some notes. What would I say to a young Greg as an older Greg? What advice would I give myself? Let me give you a little bit of advice and say things to you that you need said to you as a younger person.
This first one may be surprising. Marry the right person. Marry the right person. Listen, if you're single, I believe God has a person picked out for you. In fact, you can start praying for your spouse right now, even though you don't know them. Maybe you do know them.
Who knows? But you can start praying for them now. But when you're looking at potential candidates of who to spend the rest of your life with, looking at who could be the potential mother or father of your children, who could be the grandparent of your grandchildren, start here. Look for a godly person. Find someone that's even more godly than you. Don't find some person who's not a Christian and marry them. The Bible says don't be an equally yoked together with non-believers. What fellowship does light have with darkness?
Don't do that. Listen, honestly, marriage is challenging enough. Don't marry a non-believer on top of it.
You need someone you can pray together with and commit things to the Lord with and look to God for the strength. Marriage can be challenging in life. But once you make this commitment, it should be a lifelong commitment.
Wedlock should be a padlock, and I mean that in the best way. And if you're unwilling to do this, if you want to just experiment with it and get married and maybe get divorced if it doesn't work out, do us all a favor and stay single. But rather, think about this, pray about this, and take your time. The Bible says love is patient. Some people want to rush into marriage. Oh, we have to get married immediately. No, get to know one another. The Bible says many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it.
If your love for that man or that woman is a real love, it will stand the test of time. I heard this great advice that was given to me by a friend of mine named Cliff Barrows. He said there are eight words you should be willing to say to your spouse every day. Eight words.
Here they are. Say, I'm sorry, please forgive me, and I love you. I'm sorry, please forgive me, and I love you. And I would add these words as well.
It was my fault. So I put this in one of my devotions. And by the way, we have a daily devotion at harvest.org.
You can sign up for it. And I send some devotional thoughts from Scripture to you each and every day. But anyway, in my devotion, I wrote out what I just said to you. The eight words that can change your marriage.
And a friend of mine, Larry, read it. And he walked into the room where his wife was. And he said to her just out of the blue, I love you, please forgive me, and I'm sorry. She was stunned. Her eyes were with tears. Larry, thank you for saying that to me.
That's so beautiful. What prompted you to say that? He says, I just read it in Greg's devotion. I thought he would try it out. Probably shouldn't have told her that.
But it worked pretty well. You have to mean the words when you say them. I'm sorry, please forgive me, I love you.
And it was my fault. Here's what the Bible says. Wives are to respect their husbands.
Husbands are to love their wife as Christ loves the church. Make the right decision. And marry the right person.
Here's another thing. Tell those you love that you love them. Tell the people you love that you love them.
Don't wait. Don't say, well, they know. I'm sure they know. But it never hurts to have someone say, I love you. They can't read your mind.
Say it. Because there's gonna come a moment when you're gonna have a last conversation with someone you love. You may not realize it was your last conversation.
That's why it's a good thing to end your conversation with, I love you. And the Lord called our son Christopher home 13 years ago. I know that he knew that I loved him. Though I missed him desperately. Though we were devastated by this horrific event.
We always told him we loved him. And that's a very important thing to do. Don't wait to their funeral. They won't hear what happens at their funeral. Oh, I'll bring flowers then.
They'll bring your flowers now. Stop what you're doing. Think about people you love.
Your parents, your children, your siblings, someone that's meant a lot to you. Send them a text. Send them an email. Even better, write it on a card. You know why it's cool to write it on a card? Because they can keep it.
And they can pull it out. Just say, I just wanted to take a moment to say I appreciate you and I love you. Thank you for all that you've done for me. Here's what an older Greg would say to a younger Greg. Take better care of your hair or you're gonna lose it. No, that's not the point.
Here it is. Keep short accounts and forgive. Keep short accounts and forgive.
Listen to this. People are gonna disappoint you in life. Even people you love. They're gonna let you down. They're gonna say something that hurts you.
Something's gonna happen. You'll feel that you've been betrayed. Maybe you have been betrayed. Maybe you just think you've been betrayed. But whatever it is, you're gonna face hurt and pain in life.
Here's what you don't want to do. Harbor grudges against people. Because that can hurt you. Recent studies suggest that those that do not forgive are more likely to experience high blood pressure, bouts of depression, and problems with anger, stress, and anxiety. So when I forgive someone, I'm not letting them off the hook.
I'm avoiding a lot of misery in my own life. Forgiveness is not about absolving the perpetrator. It's about healing the victim. There's a man who directs a Stanford forgiveness project and he said, quote, forgiveness isn't giving in to the other person. It's getting free of the other person. As I've said before, when you forgive someone, you set a prisoner free yourself.
Don't live in a prison that you put yourself in of anger and bitterness and resentment and have it actually ruin your life. Ephesians 4 30 says, be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another as God through Christ has forgiven you. Coming back to Joseph, after horrible things were done to him, his brothers betrayed him. They sold him as a slave for Pete's sake. And in the moment when he could have had them all summarily executed, he instead forgave them.
And he said, you meant it for evil, but God meant it for good. Forgive. Here's another one. What would an older Greg say to a younger Greg? Just be a nice person. This is my advice to everyone, not just young people.
Be a nice person. You know, if you disagree with someone, fine, but don't be obnoxious about it. They have a new word now for people that rant and this is usually reserved for the women. They probably should come up with one for guys as well, but you'll see these little videos that will pop up and they'll call them Karen. I don't know how this started. If it started with a woman named Karen, and I'm sorry if your name is Karen, but someone will say, oh, they were like Karen. And you have a video that someone probably shot in the cell phone of some woman ranting about something, whatever it is.
And they're getting all upset and they're screaming and yelling. Don't be that person ever. You're a child of God. Be known for your generosity. Be known for your love, your compassion, not for your anger. Ephesians 4 31 says, don't use foul or abusive language.
Let everything you say be good and helpful. So your words may be an encouragement to those that hear them. Be known as an encourager, not a discourager. Be known as a person that builds people up, not as a person who tears people down. Don't be Debbie Downer or Bobby Buzzkill. Now these are just names of people that are always bringing you down. Debbie Downer, no matter what you say, she'll be down about it. She'll be negative about it.
Bobby Buzzkill, no matter how much fun you're having, Bobby comes in and he's just the buzzkill of everything. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. Hey everybody, what are you doing this weekend? I'd like to hang out with you at Harvest at Home. When is Harvest at Home? It is a time of worship and Bible study exclusively designed for people that are viewing in from all over the place so you can be a part of our extended congregation at Harvest at Home. Join us this weekend, Saturday and Sunday for Harvest at Home at Harvest.org. While you're listening to a series of very practical precepts from Pastor Greg's message, what I would tell my younger self. And if you need to hear any part of this council again, go to Harvest.org. That brings me to my next point.
This one's very practical and you might be surprised by it. You ready for it? This is a deep theological insight about life. What would an older Greg say to a younger Greg? Have fun.
Yes, you heard me right. Have fun. Some of the simplest joys of life are before you every single day. Savor the sunset. Enjoy the meal. Linger with family and friends. Don't be in such a rush to the next thing.
Live in the moment. And I think one way to do this is put the cell phones away. Word of advice, when you sit down for a meal, don't take cell phones to the table. If you have the little watch that gets the alerts, maybe take the watch off too. And just have a conversation with the people around you. On more than one occasion I've been with people and everyone's on their cell phone and I'll text them, be here now. Let's put these phones away and let's have a conversation with each other.
Here's what I found. The greatest joys in life will come from your relationship with God and with others. But sometimes we're always thinking about what's going to come. Oh, when this comes I'm going to be so happy. When this happens it'll be so great. Wait, what about the moment right now?
I found the greatest moments of life are often the in-between ones. Let me use Christmas as an example. We get so psyched about Christmas, don't we? I can hardly wait to Christmas. I can hardly wait to open my presents.
Or I can hardly wait until the people I bought presents for open them. And it's all about that moment and you miss the in-between moments. Let me use Disneyland as an illustration.
I haven't been back there for a while. But you know it's so exciting when you pull into the parking lot at Disneyland. It's so thrilling when you actually walk into the park and oh, it's so great. I'm so glad to be here. But after three or four hours you're kind of looking forward to leaving, right? We get so psyched about the event we miss the things that happened before the event and after the event. So savor those in-between moments.
Try to laugh more. Paul the Apostle said, rejoice in the Lord always. And again I say rejoice. So where was Paul when he wrote that? Oh he's laying on some beach, sipping an iced tea, soaking up some rays. No, no, no. He was in prison.
But despite the fact that he was in prison, writing to the believers in Philippi, he says rejoice in the Lord always. Lighten up. Don't take yourself so seriously. Criticize less. Compliment more.
Here's another one. Be a generous person. Be a generous person. You might say, well Greg I'm not wealthy. I can't afford to be a generous person.
This has nothing to do with how much money you have in your bank account. It's just an attitude in life. Be a giver not a taker. Be the person that offers that something to someone else that you'll split your meal.
I'll be honest. I don't like to split my meal with anyone. When I go to a restaurant with my wife she'll say, what are you going to order? I'll say, I'm going to order a hamburger.
She says, well I'm going to order a salad. Okay. And I'll say, you're going to want some of my burger?
No. I don't want any of your burger. I just want a salad.
Okay fine. So the burger comes. Her salad comes. And now I'm eating my burger. I'm almost to the last bite. I'm looking forward to it. And just as I'm ready to take it my wife will say, can I have a bite of that? Sure. Here. It's hard sometimes for us to share.
But be a generous person in life. Don't be the cheapskate that disappears when the bill shows up in the restaurant. Where did Joe go? I don't know. He just disappeared. Then you come back 10 minutes later.
Oh did the check come? Give me a break. Don't be that person. Be the person that's generous and giving. And by the way that applies to your relationship with God.
You want my advice? Give faithfully of your finances to the work of God. I started doing this when I was a very young man.
When I was literally living at poverty level. I believe that everything I had was given to me by God. And we would take our tithe 10% and we would give to the Lord at church. And then we would give above and beyond that in special offerings.
I've never regretted that. In Malachi 3 10 the Lord makes his promise. Test me in this says the Lord. By the way the Lord never says test me in anything except this one thing. Test me in this says the Lord. Bring your tithes into the storehouse and I will open up the windows of heaven and pour so much blessing on you.
You won't have room enough to receive it. There are three things we can give to God. Our time, our talent, and our treasure. God's given you your life. God's given you every beat of your heart.
He's given you your time. Invest your time wisely serving the Lord. The Bible says redeem the time because the days are evil.
And a better translation of that would be make wise use of every opportunity. So bring your time to the Lord. Then you bring your talent. God has given you talent. Dedicate your talent to the Lord.
Use your talent for the glory of God. You say well I'm not a preacher so what. I don't know that we need more preachers. But we need more Christian businessmen. And we need more Christian entertainers. And we need more Christians in sports. And we need more Christians in accounting. And we need more Christian attorneys. And we need more Christians in politics. And we need more Christians in so many areas of life.
Just men and women that say I'm here to glorify God. I'm going to bring my time. I'm going to bring my talent.
And finally I'm going to bring my treasure. Everything you have has been given to you by God. Be a generous person. Here's a little piece of advice you might be surprised by. But I would say this to a younger person. Take good care of your health.
You know just do the practical things in life. Oh I know some will say well that's not really spiritual. And I love to quote 1 Timothy 4 8. It says bodily exercise profits little.
That's true. The Bible says that. Maybe that's not the best translation.
Another translation puts it this way. Physical training is good. But training for godliness is far better. So the point of it is this. Put God first.
We already covered that point. But that doesn't mean neglect your body. God gave you your body. Your soul is in a body.
And the Bible says glorify God with your body. So don't neglect your health. Make sure you go to the doctor for check ups. Make sure you do the proper things in your nutrition and your exercise and all the other things in life.
I'm almost done by the way. Here's another piece of advice an older me would give to a younger me. Make the right choices.
Every day we get up we have lots of choices in front of us. Starting with Taco Bell. Have you driven through a Taco Bell lately?
There's so many options. I don't even know what's happening anymore. I went there the other day with my wife. I don't know how this happened but we're watching a movie. And in the movie there's a scene where there's a man and a young man having a hamburger at a little counter in a restaurant. And we both looked at each other and said let's go get a burger. But the problem was McDonald's was too far away and Taco Bell was closer so we ended up at Taco Bell. How do you go from a burger to Taco Bell? I don't know. And then we get to the menu and we're like what is. Kathy's saying what is all this stuff? I don't know what a cheesy gordita crunch is.
What is this? And so I think I ended up ordering just two tacos because I know what those are. And then there's Sirius XM. You have Sirius XM? So you have all these options. You have 50s on five, 60s on six, 70s on seven, 80s on eight, 90s on nine.
And as I scroll through those I'm like my life is passing before me because I lived through all of these decades. And now these choices don't matter which channel you listen to on Sirius for the most part. Or what choice you make at the drive-thru restaurant. But then there are the big choices in life. You have a choice each and every day to obey God or to disobey God. To do the right thing or to do the wrong thing. To pick up the Bible and read it or neglect the Bible. To pray or to worry. These are your choices. Make the right choices.
Why? Because you make your choices and then your choices make you. And the end of your life is determined by the beginning of your life. The evening of your life is determined by the morning of your life. So if you're young, develop good habit patterns now. Start doing the right things now.
And that will pay great dividends later in life. Such practical counsel from Pastor Greg Laurie today. It's one of our most requested messages called What I Would Tell My Younger Self. Good insight not only for young people but for all of us.
And there's more to come as this study continues here on A New Beginning. Many are so looking forward to seeing the new feature film Jesus Revolution. It looks at the Jesus movement of the late 60s and early 70s. Young people, hippies, were finding the Lord. Pastor Chuck Smith and his wife Kay had a burden for these young people. Kay said we want to meet a hippie.
And so one night here's Lonnie with his, you know, long hair and, you know, the bells on the bottom of his cuffs and the flower kid, you know. Well, Pastor Greg, we mentioned before that Pastor Chuck Smith figured prominently in your story and the story of the Jesus movement, of course, and contemporary Christian music. He's been in heaven now for almost 10 years. What do you think he would say about Jesus Revolution?
Yeah, I think he would love it because it's a story of what Jesus did in a generation. It shows that Chuck was willing to leave his comfort zone. You know, Chuck wasn't a fan of rock music. Chuck was just this kind of salt of the earth, hard-working guy. I mean, on his day off, Chuck liked to build things. Chuck was a construction guy. You know, he was a man's man, very practical. And so he was pastoring this church.
It wasn't a really large church. And he saw these counterculture kids doing crazy stuff, growing their hair out long, hanging out in the streets. And he thought they all needed to get a haircut and get a job. But his wife Kay had a real heart for these people and was praying for them. And God brought a hippie evangelist into Chuck's life named Lonnie Frisbee. And to Chuck's eternal credit, he opened his heart to this and let this young man preach in his church. And then Chuck opened his heart to these musicians that came in with their songs about God. You know, we're so used to electric guitars and drum kits and all the things that we have in churches today.
But back in those days, in the late 60s, you didn't have that in church. And this was a whole new thing. And Chuck took risks. And he took risks on a young guy named Craig.
That's me. And he helped me get started in ministry as well. And I wasn't the only one. He did it for a lot of young men and a lot of young women. He was a real pioneer. And he was a real trailblazer. And so he's portrayed by Kelsey Grammer in a powerful performance. Kelsey didn't try to take on the mannerisms or voice inflections of Chuck, which were very distinct. But he captured the character and sense of it in an amazing way.
And you'll love it. And so if you know Chuck, you'll say, oh, well, you know, Chuck sounded a little different. But that's not the story.
The story is what Chuck did. And that is reflected in this film. And so people, a whole generation, are going to discover the great man of faith he was and the risks he took. And the result was a spiritual awakening. I think you're going to love this.
Yeah, yeah. It really is a moving film and a powerful evangelistic movie as well. Plan to bring someone with you who needs to meet the Lord when this film opens on February 24th in theaters all across the country. And by the way, there will be a special national preview showing February 22nd two days earlier. It will feature special bonus content, including an easy to understand presentation of the gospel by Pastor Greg. To get tickets to this special preview February 22nd, go to JesusRevolution.Movie.
That's dot movie, not dot com. Again, JesusRevolution.Movie. And thanks so much for partnering with us as we share the gospel in this innovative way.
When you come out to the movies and support this film, you help us tell the story of the past to a whole new generation. But more than that, you just may plant the seeds of the next spiritual awakening, like we saw during the Jesus movement. If you appreciate the work we do in sharing Christ in surprising new ways, we hope you'll partner with us.
Would you consider that? If you can make a donation right now, we want to send you Pastor Greg's book called Jesus Revolution. What a great resource to help you enjoy the movie even more. You can donate today by calling 1-800-821-3300. That's at 24-7, phone number 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 presents the conclusion of his message called What I Would Tell My Younger Self. Some of the best counsel is yet to come. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher Greg Laurie. 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.
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