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. A lot about you. What is the one thing in your life right now? What fires you up?
We'll get your blood pumping. It could be your career. It could be the pursuit of success.
It could be relationships. But they should not be the one thing. The one thing should be the pursuit of God.
When you get that right, you get everything right. Some tend to think God only uses perfect people, people with no blind spots, no failings, no shortcomings. But the more we study the Bible, the more we see how God used the imperfect people to do remarkable things for His kingdom. How can we be the kind of person God is looking for? Pastor Greg Laurie answers that today here on A New Beginning as we examine the life of a great leader of Israel who God chose personally, over and above other candidates who appeared more impressive.
We're starting this brand new series called The House of David. David is a study in contrast. In battle he was fearless. In wisdom and ruling his kingdom he was without peer. But he wasn't some macho dude. He had a tender heart toward God and was both a poet and a musician.
In fact, he's the only man described in the Bible as the man after God's own heart. So how many of you would like to be used by God? Raise your hand. Don't do it if you don't mean it. All right.
That's pretty much everybody except you, sir. Why? Why? All right.
If you want to be used by... I know you raised your hand. I'm just kidding.
But it wasn't very high. It was serious. Like this. No, I'm kidding. Okay. What kind of person does God use?
You're taking notes. Here's point number one. God uses ordinary people. God uses ordinary people. David was just an ordinary shepherd boy, though a good looking one. But he had a deep spiritual life and intense devotion to God despite the fact that he was just a boy.
Just a boy still. But he had this love for the Lord. But God loves to choose ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary things. Why?
Very simple answer. So he gets the glory. If he picks the most talented, if he picks the most handsome or beautiful, we say, well, of course, look at them.
But when he picks that other person, that person you would have never chosen, you say, well, that has to be the Lord. I remember in school, I goofed off so much in class and I actually had a teacher write this on my report card. And it's funny, I remember it to this day. Quote, Greg Laurie spends too much time looking out the window, daydreaming and drawing cartoons.
He will never amount to anything. Thank you for those affirming words. By the way, I had that teacher killed. Michael Franzese helped.
These are jokes, people. No, but you remember something like that. But God had a different plan for my life as he does for every life. Again, God looks on the inward, we look on the outward. One of the greatest evangelists in all of American history was Dwight Lyman Moody, best known as D.L. Moody. Now, D.L. Moody was the Billy Graham of his day.
D.L. Moody was not an attractive man. He was not an especially intelligent man.
He mangled the English language. But God handpicked him. He was working in a shoe store and one of his coworkers decided to share the gospel with Dwight. Dwight responded and gave his life to Jesus Christ. So Dwight went from selling souls to saving souls. And he really changed his world.
And he was a very unexpected choice. God uses ordinary people. Number two, God is looking for truly spiritual people.
God is looking for truly spiritual people. Not a holier than thou fake spirituality. I can't stand fake spirituality. People that are so quick to criticize others.
People that make themselves look better at the expense of others. People that brag about their spiritual accomplishments. And I have had the opportunity to meet a lot of godly people in my day. And I found that the most godly people were also the most down to earth people with a self-deprecating sense of humor.
They were easy to approach. Those people that act aloof and better than you and they do it in the name of spirituality. That isn't spirituality at all. David had real spirituality. It is reflected in his Psalms. By the way he wrote probably around 75 Psalms.
Maybe more. In Psalm 57 he wrote my heart is fixed oh God. My heart is fixed.
I love that. He said I know what I believe. I know what matters. And I am fixed on this Lord. In Psalm 27 he really lays out the very purpose of his life when he wrote in verse four one thing have I desired of the Lord. And thou will I seek after that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life and behold the beauty of the Lord and inquire in this temple.
Notice that phrase one thing. One thing have I desired of the Lord. Paul had the same idea when he wrote over in Philippians 3 this one thing I do. Forgetting the things that are behind and reaching forward to the things that are before. I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
The one thing do you have that one thing in your life a lot of us are like dogs going around in circles chasing our tails. I've told you before the most godly man I ever met was Billy Graham and I love to visit him in this mountain home in North Carolina in the little town of Montreat. It was always a great treat and I've had the privilege to visit a lot of beautiful homes and meet important people but none impressed me like Billy Graham.
I'd rather go hang out in his front room and then in the oval office. And he was such a down to earth godly guy. And he had dogs German shepherds. He loved German shepherds. And I would go to his house and he had this one German shepherd.
I don't know what was wrong with this dog. If it found some loco weed or something. This dog literally was perpetually running in a circle. Running in a circle. Running in a circle the whole time. You would get there.
You'd leave a couple hours later. Dog still running in a circle. I said to someone what is wrong with that dog. They said he's chasing his tail.
I said I've heard this expression. I didn't know dogs were actually this stupid. I mean just a shout out to the cat community. I've never seen a cat do that.
That's a level of idiocy. This dumb dog was chasing its tail. But we can be the same way. Chasing our tail.
Going around in circles and getting nowhere. Speaking of the one thing. One day Jesus went to the town of Bethany where Mary and Martha lived. They were good friends of his along with their brother Lazarus. And Jesus was hungry. Brought a few friends along.
12 in total. Hey Martha good to see you. Would you mind making some lunch for us? And so she goes into the kitchen.
She's trying to whip up a feast fit for a king. Can you imagine if Jesus showed up at your house and wanted a meal? What would you feed him? Would you give him leftovers? Shall we give him these deviled eggs or is that inappropriate?
I don't know. I mean Jesus Christ God incarnate sitting in your house. Well of course Martha wants to make a fantastic meal for Jesus.
Wouldn't you? But Mary wasn't helping. She's like where's Mary? She looks out in the front room. Mary's just sitting at his feet looking up at him.
Give me a break. I need some help here in the kitchen. So she became so frustrated she bursts out of the kitchen. Probably has her apron on.
Food splattered everywhere. Puts her hands on her hips. And she says to Jesus, Lord tell my sister to come lend me a hand. I love what Jesus said. He said in Luke 10, dear Martha you're fussing far too much.
You're getting worked up over nothing. One thing is essential and Mary has chosen it. It's the main course and it will not be taken from her. You know Martha look I'm thankful you're making me a meal but this is the main course.
Mary got it right. It's the one thing. One thing have I desired of the Lord.
That will I seek out for. This one thing I do says Paul. Forgetting the things that are behind. Jesus says to Martha one thing is important. It's the one thing that singular clear aim in life.
It's been said quote our greatest danger in life is permitting the urgent things to crowd out the important. What is the one thing in your life right now? What fires you up? What gets your blood pumping? What are you really passionate about?
We all would say well Jesus Jesus. Yeah good I'm sure that's true for many of us. But is it really? Is that really the thing you're the most fired up about or is it something else? It could be your career. It could be money. It could be possessions. It could be the pursuit of success. It could be relationships. And by the way there's nothing wrong with any of those things I just mentioned but they should not be the one thing. The one thing should be the pursuit of God.
When you get that right you get everything right. The pursuit of God. Yes you can have a career. Yes you can have possessions.
Yes you can have relationships. These are things God will give you. But the most important thing is the pursuit of God. Jesus put it this way.
Seek first. It's the one thing again. The kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you. What things?
In context He said don't be like non-believers that worry about what they're going to eat. What they're going to drink. What they're going to wear. We could add what they're going to drive.
What they're going to do. Hey put God first and all these things shall be added to you. This is why David was a man after God's own heart. His heart was fixed on the Lord and he had that one thing before him. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. We love hearing what Pastor Greg's teachings touch individuals and families. Hi Pastor Greg. I want to let you know that I was saved at your harvest crusade last year along with my husband and my daughter. After hearing your recent message on anxiety my friend also accepted Jesus.
Thank you for your continued commitment to the Lord and may God continue to use you to bring more people to Him. We're so grateful to hear of the changed lives through Harvest Ministries and if you have a story to tell of how these studies have touched your life or that of a family member I hope you'll I hope you'll contact us today. Email Pastor Greg.
Greg at harvest dot org. That's Greg at harvest dot o-r-g. Well so far today Pastor Greg has pointed out that God uses ordinary people and God is looking for truly spiritual people. What else does God desire? Pastor Greg continues. Number three David was a faithful man. He was a faithful man. Now at this particular point in his life his job was to watch his sheep.
He mentions later he faced off with lions to protect him and won and he would spend hours worshiping the Lord and tending his sheep. Listen just because God has called you to be a leader it doesn't mean you're ready. God may show you that He's called you into leadership of some kind but there will be a series of tests you will need to go through first. Sometimes God will give you a little glimpse of your future. A sense of where you're going to go.
That's a good thing. God gave to Joseph a very profound vision of what he was going to do and that his brothers would be bowing before him one day. But honestly sometimes it's best to keep your visions and dreams to yourself. Because he told that to his brothers. Hey guys guess what I had a vision and you're all like bowing before me.
They're like we're going to kill you. Well they didn't kill him but they sold him into slavery didn't they. So you know he needed to wait on these things. The Lord will show you don't go boasting of what you think God has called you to do.
Just be faithful in the little things and if it's meant to happen it will happen. Not through your manipulation or conniving. God will bring it about. Now keep in mind David has been anointed to be king. He's the king but he's not walking around saying hey I'm the king now.
He just went back to tending the sheep. He wrote a lot of beautiful psalms as I mentioned. But one psalm that probably stands out above all the others is Psalm 23. I think Psalm 23 next to the Lord's Prayer is probably the best known chapter from the Bible. Even by many non-believers. It's recited at funerals and hospital beds when we're afraid.
It shows up in movies like Titanic and songs like Gangsta's Paradise by Coolio. You never know where you're going to hear Psalm 23. And you think how did that come about.
And here's the way I see it. David's just sitting around one day looking at his stupid sheep. And he's thinking the Lord is my shepherd.
I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in cream pastures. He leads me beside the still waters. I mean really when you break that down I know it's poetic and beautiful but think about what he's actually saying. The Lord is my shepherd. He's thinking sheep are stupid.
I'm stupid. Sheep are dependent upon me the shepherd to protect them. I'm dependent on the Lord to protect me as my shepherd. He makes me to lie down in green pastures. You ever notice that?
Makes me. Why would you have to be made to lie down in a green pasture? Because if you're a sheep you're dumb. Because sheep it's time to eat.
Come on here. Time to eat. Eat the grass. Now lie down beside the still waters.
Drink. You've got to drink sheep. They need the help of the shepherd.
But then he writes later, yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for you are with me. Your rod and your staff they comfort me. He would be very familiar with the primary tools of a shepherd. A rod and a staff. The staff we know what that is. A long crooked instrument.
The rod basically a club. You need both to direct sheep. You'll use that staff to pull them back into line when they do go astray and they often do.
But then periodically if they continue to disobey you give them a whack with the rod. Because better to be a whack sheep than a dead one. I read a news article about a bunch of sheep. This happened in Turkey. One sheep walked off the edge of a cliff and others followed.
Well what is wrong with these animals? The first sheep get up on the cliff and say ok I'm going to walk off the cliff now. Everybody follow in single file. Let's go.
It's not that bad. Let's go. Boom. Boom. Boom. Boom. You think after the 500 sheep one of the sheep would have said I'm not doing this.
No. We've got to go. Let's go. We're sheep. All we like sheep have gone astray. We've gone astray. We've turned everyone to his own way the Bible says. The Lord is my shepherd. But yea though I walk through that valley you're with me.
And how true that is. How much comfort that has brought to people facing death. How many times has that first been read to someone on their deathbed.
And how many times has that first brought comfort to someone going through a time of trial. Maybe I'm talking to someone that's in a valley of sorts. Of the shadow of death. You need to be reminded that you're not alone in this valley and the Lord is walking with you. Yea though I walk through. He didn't say yea though I die in the middle of the valley of the shadow of death. Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death. I will fear no evil.
Why? Because you are with me. God is with you too.
Isn't that great to know. Maybe he thought of it when he was facing Goliath. Oh wow he's big.
Over nine feet tall. Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death you are with me. Bottom line David longed for closeness with God. That's why he's called the man after God's own heart.
His heart seemed to beat in time with the Lord's. And if you want to be a man or a woman of God you would do well to have the same priorities. Have that one thing in your life. Again David said one thing of I desired of the Lord and that will I seek after. Don't be like the proverbial dog chasing its tail.
Get your focus. David was not perfect. He was flawed. He failed on more than one occasion and blew a hole in his hole if you will. But God gave him a second chance and a third chance and a fourth one.
And again I want to refocus on this. Jesus identified with David. Jesus the son of David was born in Bethlehem because David was born in Bethlehem.
So when the rule went out when Quirinius was governor that everyone should be taxed from Caesar Augustus. You went to the home of your ancestors. So Jesus was born in Bethlehem. And then Jesus lived a perfect life and then he went and died on the cross and he rose again from the dead three days later.
And he's alive and he's here. And he's ready to forgive any one of us who have failed because we've sinned. We've fallen short. We've messed up.
Other things have crowded him out of our lives. But here is Jesus the son of David ready to forgive us and give to us a second chance as he did to David so many years ago. If you don't have this relationship with God right now. If you don't know that your sin is forgiven or maybe you've forgotten about the one thing and you've been distracted by the many things or even words you've gone after a sinful thing.
This would be a good time to commit or recommit your life to the Lord. Let's all pray. Father thank you for your word to us now. Thank you for what Jesus did on the cross. Thank you for the price that he paid. And now I pray for any that have joined us who may not yet know you.
Help them to come to you right now. Listen if you've never asked Christ to come into your life or if you want to make a recommitment to him today you could just pray this simple prayer. Lord Jesus I know that I am a sinner but you are the savior who died on the cross for my sin and rose again from the dead.
I choose to follow you Lord. I want to have that one thing in my life. I want to put you first in my life. I want to be a man after your heart.
A woman after your heart. I commit myself to you now. In Jesus' name I pray.
Amen. An important prayer from Pastor Greg Laurie with those making a change in their relationship with the Lord today. And if you've just prayed those words and meant them sincerely, we want to be one of the first to welcome you into the family of God. And then we want to help you get started in living each day with the Lord. Let us send you what we call our New Believers Growth Packet. It'll help answer your questions and help you build a solid foundation for spiritual growth. We'll send you the New Believers Growth Packet without charge when you call us at 1-800-821-3300.
Call any time 1-800-821-3300 or write A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, California 92514. Or just go online to harvest.org and click the words, Know God. And then we hope you're making plans to see Jesus Revolution, the brand new movie from Pastor Greg and the Irwin brothers of Kingdom Story Company. It's a compelling look at the time of the Jesus movement of the late 60s and early 70s and how the chaos and uncertainty of the era prepared the way for spiritual renewal. Things were really bad. The Vietnam War was still raging. Young men were coming back in body bags. There were riots in the streets, racial tension at an all-time high.
The country seemed to be coming a part of the scene. Think for yourself and question authority. Get as high as you possibly can. Turn on, tune in and drop out. It was a hopeless time for many. I could be in the middle of a crowd until so long. Pastor Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa reached so many. They're lost.
They need the Lord. One of those young people who found the Lord was a teenager named Greg Laurie. And I walked into this church crammed full of people. They were in the pews, sitting on the floor, standing on the sides. The place was overflowing, and I was overwhelmed by it all, to be honest with you. Pastor Greg came to Christ during the Jesus movement, and his experiences are the thread that runs through the new feature film Jesus Revolution.
It's in theaters now. Pastor Greg, what do you think will surprise people the most when they see Jesus Revolution? Okay, I think they're going to be surprised at how gritty and realistic it is. We don't pull our punches. We show the emptiness of bad choices, including drugs.
We show the search of a generation. Number two, I think they'll be surprised at how funny the film is at times. It's huge laughs in certain moments of the film, very enjoyable. I think they'll be moved very emotionally. I think they'll shed a tear or two when they watch certain scenes from this film. But then the last thing I would say is they'll be surprised at how much gospel is in it, like how the gospel is there in the story. And there's even a moment where Greg and this hippie evangelist named Lonnie Frisbee pray together. And I believe when that scene is played in the theaters that there will be people praying that prayer along with Greg. So there's a lot of twists and turns in this film that surprise people.
But I've had so many people say they just loved it. And John Irwin, who's made many incredible films, Woodlawn, American Underdog, I Still Believe, I Can Only Imagine, says hands down this is the best film I've ever made. It's the most important film I've ever made. Every film I've made has been leading to this film.
So I really think you need to get out there and see this film in the theater. And you know what? Take someone with you. It's a great shared experience with someone you care about. Take someone with you that does not yet know the Lord. I think you could have an incredible conversation after, and you might even find that person open to giving their life to Jesus. Yeah, that's right.
And that's what it's all about. Jesus Revolution is in theaters now. And thanks so much for partnering with us as we share the gospel in this innovative way. You partner with us as you support the film at your local theater, and you partner with us when you send a donation to support sharing the gospel. In fact, to thank you for your generosity right now, we want to send you the book that tells the story in more depth.
It's also called Jesus Revolution. We'll send you the book to thank you for your investment. And today is our last opportunity to mention this, so get in touch right away. Our 24-7 phone number is 1-800-821-3300. Again, 1-800-821-3300. Or write A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, California, 92514.
Or go online to harvest.org. Well, next time, as Pastor Greg continues our studies of the life of David, we follow along as David encounters a nine-foot, six-inch giant named Goliath. Pastor Greg offers important counsel for defeating our giants. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher, Greg Laurie. Thanks for listening to A New Beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God. Sign up for daily devotions and learn how to become a Harvest Partner at harvest.org.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-28 05:39:12 / 2023-02-28 05:49:22 / 10