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God's Call...Man's Excuses | God Uses Flawed People

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
August 25, 2023 3:00 am

God's Call...Man's Excuses | God Uses Flawed People

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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August 25, 2023 3:00 am

There’s a special form of Japanese pottery called Kintsugi. It means “golden joinery.” Broken ceramics are restored with a lacquer resin mixed with powdered gold, silver or platinum. The repairs are obvious...and beautiful! The Bible speaks of us as God’s workmanship. We may have some cracks and chips, but God can heal us in a beautiful way and make us vessels of honor. And today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie explains how we can be fit for the Master’s use.

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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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We're glad you're joining us for A New Beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast supported by Harvest Partners. Get more encouraging audio content when you subscribe to Pastor Greg's Daily Devos.

Learn more and sign up at harvest.org. Jesus can take whatever wrong you've done and forgive and, yes, heal and be glorified in your life still. There's a special form of Japanese pottery called kintsuki. It means golden joinery.

Broken ceramics are restored with a lacquer resin mixed with powdered gold, silver or platinum. The repairs are obvious and beautiful. The Bible speaks of us as God's workmanship. We may have some cracks and chips, but God can heal us in a beautiful way and make us vessels of honor.

And today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie explains how we can be fit for the Master's use. Now, by nature, I will admit it, I am a messy person. How many messy people do we have out there? Just own it if you're kind of messy, you live in clutter, you have a lot of cats in your house. No, not that, but how many of you are very tidy, neat people? Raise your hand up, okay. How many of you who are messy are married to a tidy person or you're tidy and you're married to a messy person? Yeah, so you all need marriage counseling, don't you, right?

Yes. But you know, my desk is always cluttered. I have lots of books stacked up, papers, drawings from my grandchildren, half-eaten burritos, my collection of powder puff girls' figurines.

No, that's a joke, it's actually Hello Kitty figurines. No, anyway, so you know, I live in clutter and I'll clean it up, but listen, I've got good news for messy people, especially those who have made a mess of their lives, is the Lord is really good at cleaning up our messes, right? He can turn your mess into a message and He can turn your test into a testimony. Talk about a guy who messed up his life. Moses really blew it big time. Taken into the court of Pharaoh, being trained presumably to be the next Pharaoh of Egypt. He knew this was not the life he wanted to live and being a Jew himself, he wanted to help his fellow Jews get out of the bondage of Egypt. He sensed his destiny early on, but he had the right idea, but he certainly went about it in the wrong way. And he went out one day looking at the treatment of the Jews and he saw an Egyptian taskmaster who was especially cruel, beating a Hebrew, and he stepped in and the Bible says he looked to the right, he looked to the left, and he killed the guy, hit him in the sand, which isn't a great idea if you're trying to hide something, because sand shifts.

It was quickly discovered. The Pharaoh found out, effectively put a contract out on the life of Moses. Now Moses has now gone from the prince of Egypt to being a fugitive from Egypt. So as our story opens, he's moved off to the wilderness and he's been there for 40 years. And now the Lord comes and speaks to the 80-year-old Moses.

Let's read about it together. Exodus 3, starting in verse 1. One day Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian, and he went deep into the wilderness near Sinai, the mountain of God. Suddenly the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire in a bush. Moses was amazed because the bush was engulfed in flames when it didn't burn up. Moses said to himself, Amazing. Why isn't this bush burning up?

I must go over and see this. And when the Lord saw he had caught Moses' attention, God called him from the bush. Moses. Moses.

Here I am, Moses replied. God told him, Do not come any closer. Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground.

We'll stop there. God proceeds to tell Moses he has seen the suffering of his people. And now he is appointing Moses to go back to the Pharaoh and demand the release of the Jewish people. And Moses was stunned. He hadn't heard from God for 40 years. Now you would have thought that Moses would have fallen down on his face and said, Thank you, Lord, for second chances. But instead he becomes a human excuse machine.

Now this may sound humble at first. Like I am not worthy. But in reality God had called him so it was an act of disobedience. Let's look at his excuses because these are the same excuses we offer as to why God would never work through us.

Excuse number one. Moses effectively says, I am not deserving to be used by God. I don't deserve to be used by God. Exodus 3.11. Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Moses asked God. How can you expect me to lead the Israelites out of Egypt? He did have a point. If you were God would you have picked Moses?

Yeah, I am going to use this guy that murdered the Egyptian. The Lord seems to go out of his way to pick, well, flawed people. Maybe it is so he will get the glory ultimately. God is not looking, as I have said many times, for ability. He is looking for availability. God does not call the qualified. He qualifies the called. Really what he wants is just for someone to say, well, Lord, I am in. I will go.

I will do it if you want me to do it. Moses says, well, I am not deserving. Well, no, we are not deserving.

But it is not based on what we deserve. It is the grace of God that he calls us by. Number two, Moses effectively says, but I don't have all the answers.

Verse 13. Moses protested, if I go to the people of Israel and tell them the God of your ancestors has sent me to you, they won't believe me. They will ask, well, which God are you talking about?

What is his name? So what should I tell them? God replies, I am who I am.

Just tell them I am has sent me to you. So Moses basically says, who am I? God responds, I am that I am. In other words, Moses, it is not about you.

It is about me. Excuse number three, the people won't believe me. Exodus 4.

Go over one chapter. Exodus 4. Moses protested again. Look, they won't believe me.

They won't do what I tell them. They will just say the Lord never appeared to you. Now let me stop there for a moment and say he has a point. Because remember, after he killed the Egyptian, he saw two Hebrews arguing and he tried to intervene. And one of them said, who made you a prince and a ruler over us? Are you going to kill us as you killed the Egyptian? So the point was they were not initially responsive to his leadership. So he said, I don't want to do that again.

I don't want to have them reject me again. Verse 2. Exodus 4. The Lord asked him, what do you have there in your hand? Moses replied, well it is a shepherd's staff. Throw it down on the ground, the Lord told him. So Moses threw it down and it became a snake. Moses was terrified and he turned and ran away.

That makes me laugh actually. Then the Lord told him, now take hold of its tail. So Moses reached out and grabbed it and it became a shepherd's staff again. Perform this sign the Lord says and they will believe you. And the Lord told him, they will realize that the Lord God of their ancestors, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob has appeared to you. So we will stop there.

So I see this as a somewhat comical scene. What is that? A shepherd's staff throw it down, throws it down. Turns into a snake. Probably a cobra. The cobra was the symbol of Egypt and a very venomous snake. You get bit by a cobra.

You may not belong for this world. So the Lord says, pick it up by the tail. One thing you never do with a snake is pick it up by its tail. I know because I used to collect snakes.

Don't ask me why. But when I was a kid I had this great fascination with reptiles and snakes in particular. And I used to catch them in the wild as well as buy them from pet shops. And then when you catch a snake you know you are sort of following it through. It is slithering ahead of you. And there is a little instrument you can use, sort of a pronged instrument. And if you can get it on the snake's neck, not easy to do, hold him in place, reach down and pick him up. Or you can do it with your foot. And so we would step on the snake's head, kind of lightly, and then reach down and get him by the back of the head. And then grab the rest of his body and then throw him into a pillow case and be bit by him probably four times in the process. But the reason you hold him at the back of the head is so he can't bite you. You pick a snake up by its tail. It can rear right back and strike. And so Moses obeyed God.

So you have got to give him credit. He picks up the cobra probably. And now it turns back into a staff again. Now as I said the serpent, the cobra, was a symbol of Egypt. It is also a symbol of Satan. So in effect the Lord is saying, I want you to face your fears.

Here is a symbol of Egypt. Take the snake by the tail. Or as the expression states, take a tiger by the tail.

Right? Go for it. Don't be afraid.

Face your fears. 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. Well today Pastor Greg is offering some important reassurance for our times of fear and uncertainty.

We are studying the life of Moses in the series Water, Fire, Stone. I wonder what fears you are facing right now. Maybe I am talking to somebody that is an addict. You are an addict to drugs. Maybe it is meth, pot, heroin, some other drug.

I don't know what it is. Maybe you are an alcoholic. You drink every single day and you can't break free from it. You have tried and you have failed and you have just given up.

I am telling you take the snake by the tail. Face your fears and know this. God is bigger than your addiction and He can deliver you from the power of it. But you have to stop making excuses for it. And you have to stop blaming it on other people and own it.

This is you. You need to be willing to change. You need to bring it into the light of day. Make yourself accountable to others. Say, help me with this. Pray for me. Maybe you need to go to rehab or get some kind of treatment. But face it and attack it.

And don't let it control you for another day. We know the story of David and Goliath. And you remember David the little shepherd boy based off with this nine foot six inch massive individual named Goliath who was armed and body armor and had everything. And David has got a little sling and a rock. But he had the Lord. Or rather should I say the Lord had him.

And I love how the story unfolds. Goliath is there and what does David do? He attacks him. David doesn't retreat.

That would make sense. He doesn't even hold ground. He runs toward his opponent whipping that sling around praying the whole time. And like a guided missile it implants itself into the forehead of Goliath who crashes forward to the ground. And then David what does he do? He gets Goliath's sword and he cuts off his head. By the way that dude had a big head.

Probably took a while. I am serious. Then afterwards he holds it up. By the way that is one way to get a head in life. Head of Goliath ladies and gentlemen. These are the jokes.

Ok. So here is how you face a giant. You attack it and you cut its head off. You go this is gross.

What are you even talking about? How do you tackle an addiction? How do you tackle a problem? You bring it out in the light of day. You do it in the power of the Lord. And you cut off any opportunity to continue to live that way in the future. So he took the snake by the tail. Alright so in closing. What are the take away truths from this message?

Number one. Ask God to forgive you. If you have messed up like Moses. Admit you have messed up.

And as I said in another message try to fail forward. In other words learn from your mistakes. You see Moses learned some important lessons. First in the court of Pharaoh. Where he was schooled in the ways of Egypt. He knew Egyptian culture. Egyptian art.

Egyptian military strategies. He knew about all the Egyptian deities. This would all come in handy when he was facing off with the Pharaoh. And in the wilderness he learned how to deal with wayward sheep. That would come in handy as he led an army of people through the wilderness for 40 years. He learned why impulsiveness was a bad idea. And he learned how to wait on the Lord.

Number two. If possible ask for forgiveness from those you have hurt. So if you have hurt people apologize. Apologize to your parents. Apologize to your ex-spouse. Apologize to your children. Oh you should never apologize to a child.

Yeah you should. If you have hurt them. If you have been wrong. Well I don't want them to see my flaws.

They know your flaws trust me. Just say you know what? At the time that I did that thing I was wrong. And I ask you to forgive me. And be amazed at the healing power in saying something like that. Because I see this happen a lot. You know fathers I don't want to pick on you but I will.

You know you mess up. Maybe you walk out in your family. Or maybe you are an absentee father. But moms too it happens. And then the children get older and you have no relationship with them. And then you have no relationship with your grandchildren.

And it is this miserable scenario. Did it ever occur to you that you could go to your child even your adult child and say I wasn't the father I should have been. I wasn't the mother I should have been. And I am really sorry. Would you give me another chance? You might be surprised what will happen.

That all of a sudden healing could start taking place. So if necessary apologize and listen to this. Make restitution.

That is a word we don't hear much these days. Restitution. So we will say oh sorry I did that. I just went and wrecked your car. Sorry I wrecked your car on purpose. Forgive me. I forgive you. Ok bye. Wait.

Hold on. Buy him a new car. That is called restitution. Zacchaeus was a man who took advantage of other people financially. He met Jesus and his life was changed. And he came out and publicly announced I will restore four times whatever I took from any person wrongfully.

Jesus said truly salvation has come into this guy's life today. See we don't think of restitution. Well I am sorry. Well it is nice to see you are sorry.

Can you fix it? Let's say that you spread a rumor about someone that was not true. You even put it on social media. It was found to be false and wrong.

Oh you go to them. Sorry. Let your repentance be as widely known as your sin. You spread the false message. Now spread the right message. So we won't do that.

We will just apologize but if possible make restitution. And listen to this. Now your failure, mistake, or sin is a part of your story. Maybe you will use it as an object lesson. Don't do this thing because I did this thing and I faced the consequences of it and I wished I had never done it. And I don't want you to make the same mistake.

That is failing forward friend. And that is turning your mess into a message and turning your test into a testimony. You say this is what the Lord has done for me. I messed up.

I did so many things wrong. But the Lord did this for me. Remember the story of Malchus. That guy who led the charge to arrest Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. And Simon Peter pulled out his sword.

Took a swing. Off comes the guy's ear. So what does Jesus do? He heals the man's ear. The ear of Malchus.

So by the way I found out through careful study. Malchus's last name was Van Gogh. Malchus Van Gogh. Google it later.

Van Gogh cut his ear off. Forget it. Is it artist?

Dutch artist? Ok. Anyway. I digress. Delayed reaction.

And the delayed reaction is I get it and it wasn't funny. So what's the point? Why are we wasting time while you.

Let's just stay a little longer here. Ok we're done. Ok. Jesus' last miracle was covering up the blunder of a disciple. If I were Jesus I wouldn't have healed that guy. I would have said it serves you right. Jesus healed him.

Boom. Jesus can take whatever wrong you've done. And forgive.

And yes heal. And be glorified in your life still. So in closing maybe there is somebody here that doesn't even have a relationship with Jesus Christ. We are talking about what it is to know the Lord.

Is he living inside of you? Is your sin forgiven? You've tried to be a good person. You've tried to live a good life. You've tried to change your life.

And you failed. You need help. You need God. You need Christ who died on the cross for your sin and rose again from the dead three days later to come and live inside of you. And I would like to close by giving an opportunity for you to pray and ask him to come into your life right now because he stands at the door of your life and he knocks and he says if you will hear his voice he will come and live inside of you. But you need to ask him to do that. And I would like to close in prayer by extending an invitation for you to put your faith in Jesus.

And then turn your mess into a message. Let's pray. Now Father, I pray for any person here who does not know you wherever they are, I pray that your Holy Spirit will convict and convince them of their need for you that they would come to you and believe.

In Jesus' name I pray, amen. Pastor Greg Laurie with an important closing prayer. And if you'd like to make a change in your relationship with the Lord, Pastor Greg will help you do that in just a moment before today's edition of A New Beginning concludes. Well Pastor Greg, there are a lot of people who don't know the Lord and they feel their life has been so troubled that maybe the Lord wouldn't want to know them.

But God's grace is bigger than our sin. And that's a message that comes through loud and clear in a new DVD we're making available. Yeah, it really does. And the title of that DVD is Johnny Cash, The Redemption of an American Icon. Now as you may recall, I wrote a book by the same title, which you might want to order. It's a great book. And then we made it into a first-rate documentary film, incredible production value done by the same team that brought you Jesus Revolution, beautifully done cinematic interviews with people that knew Johnny like Marty Stewart, others that were influenced by Johnny like Tim McGraw, Winona Judd, Sheryl Crow. And also you hear from members of Johnny's own family, including his sister, Joanna Cash Yates, and his son, John Carter Cash, and others. I was able to bring a perspective on Johnny's life as well. And so we want to send you this incredible DVD that tells a story of redemption.

And it brings hope. And maybe it's your story or maybe it's someone you know, it's their story and they need to see this film. And now for the first time, it's available for you to have for good, for keeps, to share with others. You can even give the DVD away if you'd like to someone and download the film to your phone or your computer or your tablet because we also provide you with a streaming code. And one other thing I would mention is there's bonus content on this DVD you'll not find anywhere else. Now you can find this film on the Apple platform, on the Amazon platform, but they don't have this bonus content. And this bonus content includes a message that I gave on how to come to Jesus Christ sort of wrapped around the story of Johnny Cash. So let us send you Johnny Cash, the redemption of an American icon on DVD complete with streaming code and bonus content for your gift of any size.

Now let me say this. We bring these resources to you to be a blessing, but also to give you an opportunity to invest in the work of the kingdom of God. Here at Harvest Ministries, we want to teach God's word, but we also want to call people to Christ. And if you've been a listener for long, you will know that we often give an invitation for people to come to the Lord. And did you know that thousands of people come to Jesus every year listening to this radio broadcast? So when you invest in what we're doing financially, you play a part in that.

You share in the fruit of that. So be generous when you send your gift to get your copy of Johnny Cash, the redemption of an American icon. And in advance, let me say thank you.

Yeah, and it's easy to do. Just give us a call and we'll be glad to send it your way to thank you for your investment in keeping these daily studies coming your way. Dial 1-800-821-3300. We can take your call anytime 24-7. Again that's 1-800-821-3300.

Or just go online to harvest.org. Get your copy of Johnny Cash, the redemption of an American icon. And then Pastor Greg, just before we go, would you mind praying with the person listening who wants to make a change today in their relationship with the Lord? I'd be happy to Dave. You know, as you've been listening to this today, maybe you've heard another voice. By that I mean, yeah you heard me say a few things, but you heard God's voice speak to you deep in the recesses of your heart. And it suddenly dawned on you, this is what I need. Or to state it more accurately, this is who I need. I need Jesus and I want Jesus.

But maybe you don't know how to make that connection. Let me help you. Say this after me right now if you want Jesus Christ to come into your life. Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner. And I am sorry for my sin. And I need your forgiveness right now. Would you come into my heart and my life as Savior, as God, as friend?

I choose to follow you from this moment forward. Thank you for calling me and accepting me and forgiving me. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen. I know that was a relatively short prayer. Maybe you felt something as you prayed it.

Maybe you felt nothing. That doesn't really matter. Because God's word says, these things we write to you that believe on the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. It doesn't say, so you may think you have it or you may hope you have it if God's in a good mood.

But I know that you can know it. And I want you to know, if you prayed that prayer and meant it, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, has come into your life. So congratulations. You're now a Christian. Now continue to follow the Lord. Yeah, and to help you as you follow the Lord, we'd like to send you some resource materials we call our New Believers Growth Packet.

It'll answer many of the questions you might have and get you started in your new relationship with the Lord. So get in touch and ask for it. They'll send it to you free of charge. Again, it's the New Believers Growth Packet. Call us at 1-800-821-3300. We can take your call anytime, 24 hours a day.

That's 1-800-821-3300. Or go online to harvest.org and click Know God. Well, next time, Pastor Greg brings us insight on Moses' dramatic confrontation with the Pharaoh of Egypt. More from the series Water, Fire, Stone. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher, Greg Laurie. A New Beginning is a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God. If this show has impacted your life, share your story, leave a review on your favorite podcast app, and help others find hope.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-25 05:19:16 / 2023-08-25 05:30:21 / 11

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