September 1, 2023 3:00 am
The stock market has had some tumultuous times in recent years. Trillions of dollars lost in days. But some managed to weather the storm...a few even had a gain. What’s the difference? They knew where to invest. What investments are a sure thing? Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie points out we should invest our lives in our relationship with God and His plan. That’s a plan that never devalues, dwindles or depreciates. Today, we’re studying the life of Moses.
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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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And give him your best, because he gave his very best for you. The stock market has had some tumultuous times in recent years, trillions of dollars lost in days. But some managed to weather the storm. A few even had a game.
What's the difference? They knew where to invest. What investments are a sure thing? Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie points out we should invest our lives in our relationship with God and His plan.
It's a plan that never devalues, dwindles, or depreciates. Today we're studying the life of Moses. Before I was a Christian, I always had an interest in Jesus Christ. I was fascinated by him. There was a portrait that hung in my grandparents' house, and I lived with them for a number of years of Jesus. And I would just sit there as a little boy and look at it and wonder about him. I knew he existed at one time.
I never thought of him as someone I could enter into a relationship with. And pretty much everything I knew about Jesus I learned from movies. For instance, I discovered from movies about Jesus, this is of my childhood, that he had blonde hair and blue eyes. Then looking at religious art, I learned other things about Jesus. I learned that Jesus often walked around carrying a lamb. I'm not really sure why, but he often picked lambs up and just carried them around. I don't know what he did with them afterwards, but he carried them. I also learned that he sometimes held a lamb and carried a staff as well. So that's how you knew who Jesus was. He had a lamb and a staff. And then finally he had a special hand gesture he did. I'm not sure what it was. Just the little fingers. Not quite the peace sign. He had his own little sign that he flashed. Hey what's up?
Here I am. You know and I think some people maybe sort of thought of Jesus as the original hippie. You know peace and love and good vibes and always had a kind word for everyone. And it is true it was peace and love. And it is true that he had the greatest teachings that were ever given.
And I believed that as a kid. But the part I didn't like about his story. In fact I thought why doesn't someone make a movie about Jesus and change the ending. I hated the ending of the Jesus story. I didn't like the part of him being crucified. Oh I know he rose again from the dead, but I didn't like that part.
I wanted to just watch the front end of the story and edit out the last part of the story. It made no sense to my little brain at that time. But it was not until I became a Christian I realized it was all about that part of the story.
It was all about the cross. I had also discovered that it is very doubtful his eyes were blue and that his hair was blond. He was Jesus of Nazareth not Jesus of Sweden. He was Semitic. His hair would have been dark. His skin would have been dark. His eyes would have been dark.
But that is not really important is it? Because nowhere in the Bible do we have a physical description of Jesus Christ. And if God thought we needed one he would have put one in there. So the real issue is why did he come? Why was he born in the manger?
He was born in the manger in Bethlehem to ultimately die on the cross outside of Jerusalem. The incarnation was for the atonement. The birth of Jesus was so there would be the death of and the resurrection of Jesus because his death on the cross was not an afterthought on the part of God the Father. In fact it was the Lord's purpose and plan from the very beginning. Because in Revelation 13 8 Jesus was the lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
What does that mean? It means before there was a solar system. Before there was a planet called earth. Before there was a garden called Eden and a man named Adam and a woman named Eve. Before sin entered the human race a decision was made in the councils of eternity. A decision made by the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit that the Son would come to this earth on a rescue mission.
God would become a man and walk among us and live the perfect life and then ultimately die the perfect death. And the Lord even announced it there in the book of Genesis to the serpent Satan after he deceived Adam and Eve. He gave Satan fair warning.
There is coming one who will crush your head but you will bruise his heel. And that is why the cross is so important to us as Christians. And that is why Satan hates the message of the cross. Why? Because it spells his doom and defeat. He doesn't want us to think about it. He doesn't want us to talk about it.
Why? Because there is power in the message of the death of Jesus on the cross. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 1 18 for the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
And that is from a Greek word dunamis. That means the explosive power of God. That message. The cross.
The blood of Jesus that was shed. It is arresting. It is controversial. It is offensive.
And it is the truth. And sometimes in the church it is neglected. We don't talk about the cross maybe as much as we used to. Sometimes in our attempt to cross over we don't bring the cross over. And if you don't have the message of the death of Jesus in your preaching as a minister or a representative of Christ you are missing the key element.
That is the essence of the very gospel presentation. I have told you this before. But years ago I was having lunch with Billy Graham and I asked him a question. I was in my 30s when I asked this. This is five years ago.
In a few more years. I said Billy if an older Billy could speak to a younger Billy what advice would you give yourself? And Billy's response was I would preach more on the cross and the blood of Christ because that is where the power is. And I took note of that. And I have tried to practice that as well. So I bring that up because now in this message we are going to talk about the cross and the blood in the Passover celebration and also in communion.
But kind of picking up on our story. Remember that the Lord has told Moses to go to the Pharaoh and demand the release of the Jewish people. The Pharaoh dug in and he flat out refused saying in Exodus 5 to who is the Lord that I should obey his voice and let Israel go.
I don't know the Lord nor will I let Israel go. It is almost as though the Pharaoh said oh yeah you are the Lord. Well I am this stinking Pharaoh. Let's see what he has got. Come on God.
You are looking at me. Bring it on. The Lord is saying seriously.
I will bring it on. The Lord was very gentle with him in some ways. He did send plagues each gaining an intensity over the one before it to get the Pharaoh's attention.
But the Pharaoh's heart as we discovered got harder and harder. The Bible teaches that God takes no delight in the death of the wicked. I think sometimes people think the Lord is just up in heaven waiting to strike out and to bring judgment.
It is the very opposite. God does not want to bring judgment. But he will because this word is true. And he tells us there are penalties and repercussions to disobedience. So the Lord gave Pharaoh chance after chance to cooperate. And the Pharaoh resisted and his heart got harder. So a series of ten plagues or judgments came upon Egypt.
And the Pharaoh was finally worn down by them and then tried to mislead and deceive Moses through a series of compromises which thankfully Moses did not give in to. So now there is one final judgment. And that would be the death of the firstborn of Egypt.
The death of the firstborn. Now when we hear about this some might see it as cruel and harsh and extreme on the part of the Lord. But let me say that for all practical purposes the Pharaoh decided his own fate.
You might respond well how so. Well Moses warned Pharaoh that he would be treated the way he treated the Jews. Let me say that again. Moses warned Pharaoh he would be treated the way that he treated the Jews. Exodus 4 22. The Lord said say this to the Pharaoh. Thus says the Lord Israel is my son my firstborn so I say to you let my son go that he may serve me. But if you refuse to let him go indeed I will kill your son your firstborn. The Lord is very clear. Listen you are messing with my son. Israel.
They are my son. And if you do this it is going to come back on you. As the Bible says what goes around comes around. The Bible doesn't say that actually.
I was wondering if it really was. But the Bible does say don't be deceived. God is not mocked. Whatsoever a man sows that shall he also reap. Jesus said in Matthew 7 you will be treated as you treat others.
The standard you use in judging is a standard by which you will be judged. Okay Pharaoh I am responding to what you are doing. Pharaoh drowned the Jewish baby boys so God drowned the Pharaoh's army.
He had no one to blame but himself. Remember the story of Haman. A wicked man came up with a plot to kill all the Jewish people.
Exterminate them from the face of the earth. But he had a special hatred for a man named Mordecai a Jew. And he built a gallow to hang Mordecai on. And what happened in that story Haman himself hung on the gallow he designed for Mordecai.
And in the same way with Pharaoh I want to wipe these people out and instead the judgment came right back on him. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. I don't know if you know about this but we have a weekend service called Harvest at Home exclusively for people that are tuning in literally from around the world. Listen to this we even have Harvest groups where you can get into a small group with folks from all around this planet of ours and study the word of God. So join us this weekend Saturday and Sunday for Harvest at Home at Harvest.org. Well we've been following the confrontation between Moses and Pharaoh and Pastor Greg takes us to the Lord's instructions to Moses about Passover.
Let's continue. So the Lord leveled his judgments against the false gods of Egypt effectively showing them that their gods have no power because their gods are not real. The Egyptians worshiped the Nile River as a goddess so it was turned to blood. The Egyptians worshiped the desert so it turned to lice. They worshiped the frog. Don't ask me why. So God gave them more frogs to worship.
Frogs everywhere. And the judgments come and finally the Pharaoh gives in and says all right go. Now the Lord is going to give Moses detailed instructions on something they were going to do from that day forward called the Passover. And the Passover is very important to both Jews and to Christians. And here are God's instructions for observing the Passover. Let's read them in Exodus chapter 12. I will read verses 1 to 5. I am reading from the New Living Translation. While the Israelites are still in the land of Egypt the Lord gave the following instructions to Moses and Aaron.
From now on this month will be the first month of the year for you. Announce to the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each family must choose a lamb or a young goat for a sacrifice. One animal for each household. If a family is too small to eat a whole animal let them share with another family in the neighborhood. Divide the animal according to the size of each family and how much they can eat. The animal you select must be a one-year-old male. Either a sheep or goat with no defects.
We will stop there. So the Passover as I said is important to the Jews. This is to remember what God did for them. That He passed over them in His judgment upon Egypt because they observed this and did what He told them to do. But Passover is important to believers as well.
To Christians. Because Jesus celebrated Passover with His disciples because He knew it pointed to Him. Everything in the Old Testament points to what is fulfilled in the New Testament. Christ is concealed in the Old Testament. He is revealed in the New Testament. So all of these feasts and other things that they did were pointing to Messiah and that is why Paul writes in First Corinthians 5-7 indeed Christ our Passover lamb was sacrificed for us.
That is why John the Baptist pointing to Jesus said, Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Jesus was the fulfillment of the Passover lamb. So here are some takeaway points from the Passover that apply to you.
And if you are taking notes here is point number one. The Passover was to be a new beginning. The Passover was to be a new beginning.
Verse 2. From now on this month will be the first month of the year for you. So God starts by making this a new beginning for the nation Israel. Right in the middle of the year God gives to the people a new beginning. And in the same way it doesn't matter if it is June, October, or March, or whenever you ask Christ to come into your life and ask for His forgiveness you can have a fresh start as well. Jesus says in Revelation 21 5, Behold I make all things new. So point number one. The Passover was a new beginning. Number two. The lamb that they were to offer was to be the very best. It was to be carefully chosen and examined. The very best.
We should bring our very best to God not our leftovers. I heard the story of an old farmer. He was known to be very stingy. Do you know any stingy people? How many of you know a cheapskate? Raise your hand. You know a cheapskate. How many of you are a cheapskate? Raise your hand. So some of you are having, I'm a cheapskate. Yeah. So you are the guy that mysteriously disappears into the bathroom when the bill comes right or the check comes.
Or you can't reach your wallet for some reason or you left it in the car or whatever. Well we all know cheapskates don't we? Well the farmer you know he was very cheap. And that is why the minister was surprised when the farmer came and said, preacher I just had two calves and I am going to give one to the Lord. And so the pastor said, well which one are you going to give?
The stingy old farmer said, haven't decided that yet. So a little bit of time passed and one of the calves got sick and died. And then that old farmer showed up at church the following Sunday with a dead calf draped over his arms and said, I have bad news pastor. The Lord's calf just died. Get it?
He chose the one that died. Well I don't need it anymore. I will give it to God. And sometimes we do the same thing. We give our second best to God. We give our leftovers to God. How many of you like to eat leftovers? Raise your hand up. How many of you are stingy and like to eat leftovers? Raise your hand up.
Ok. Maybe there is a connection. My wife loves leftovers. Oh I love leftovers. Let's just reheat. Oh I don't want to reheat you know. Especially pizza. Some things don't reheat well do they?
And she loves leftovers. I don't. But imagine for a moment if you would if Jesus showed up at your house after church today.
How would you know? Well he is blond hair and blue eyes. He would have a lamb wrapped around his neck. He would have a staff there as well.
No we know he wouldn't look like that. But let's just say for the sake of an illustration Jesus was on your porch when you got home and you were like Jesus we were just worshiping you at church. He goes yeah great. So what have you been doing here standing on my porch? He says behold I stand at the door and I knock. If any men hear my voice and open the door I'll come in. Oh you want to come in? Yes I do.
Ok come on in. Now you have an opportunity to make some food for him. Are you hungry Jesus?
Yes I am. What are you going to feed him? Oh we can't give him the devil's food cake.
That just wouldn't work. Hide the deviled eggs. Do we still have the angel's food cake? What do you feed Jesus? Leftover pizza.
No. You make him something fresh. Martha knew about this because Jesus would often show up at her house unannounced with 12 of his buddies wanting a meal. And she would create wonderful meals for the Lord. She never gave him her second best.
She gave him her very best. And we should give our very best to God as well. But do we do it? You know when you get up in the morning do you give the very beginning of your day to the Lord and open his word? Well after I check social media. And after I answer a couple of emails.
And after I watch a little television or whatever else. And so we know what we should do. We don't always do it as we ought to. We know we should give our finances to the Lord.
But sometimes they'll say well I don't have any money left. The Bible says in Proverbs 3 9, honor the Lord with your possessions and with the firstfruits of your increase. Firstfruits mean you do it first before anything else. Listen put God first in all things and he will bless you in all things.
It's true. Put him first. Jesus said in Matthew 6 33, seek first the kingdom of God in his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.
What does he mean when he says all these things? The context of that statement is Christ was talking about don't worry about what you are going to eat. Don't worry about what you are going to wear. Don't worry about these things. But rather seek first the kingdom. He is not saying don't think about them.
You should think about what you are going to eat and think about what you are going to wear. But don't be obsessed with it. Don't worry about it. But instead put God first in your life.
Listen to this. Put God first in your marriage and watch how it changes. Put God first in your finances and watch how they will change.
Put God first and give him your best because he gave his very best for you. Pastor Greg Laurie with great encouragement from our study today on the first Passover. Pastor Greg the new movie Johnny Cash the redemption of an American icon is such an engaging film. It highlights the spiritual journey of the man in black. But it does so from a number of different perspectives. You hear many people reflect on Johnny's unique story.
Tell us about that. Well when you order your copy of Johnny Cash the redemption of an American icon on DVD along with a streaming code so you can download it to your computer your phone or your tablet you're going to see that a number of very well-known people talk about their relationship with Johnny Cash. One man in particular who actually narrates the film and was very close to Johnny in fact he toured as a member of Johnny's band is Marty Stewart. Marty tells us now a story of the last time he was with Johnny Cash and what happened. Give a listen. I went over to his house and I was about to go on the road and I just wanted to go check in on him hug his neck tell him I love him and I had recorded a song of his called the walls of a prison that I wanted to play for him and so I played it for him and I sat at his feet he put his hand on me he said excellent son I said you got it I knew he didn't want to hang out too long so we talked a minute and before I left the room he says is there anything in this room you want I said just your love he said you got that and as I was about to leave he was sitting in his wheelchair with his back to the window and the late afternoon light was coming in and I had my camera all in my bag and I said JR let me take your picture and there was like four frames and the first three he just kind of looked like this I said JR he reared up and he looked like an old president and when I got the negatives back on there's the picture before I left the room I said how's your spirit he said good I said you got plenty of rope left he said I got plenty of rope I said all right I'll be home in 10 days whatever it was I didn't think it would come while I was gone on that trip but it did country music singer marty stewart from the movie johnny cash the redemption of an american icon you know the film could focus on all of johnny's hit records or the massive crowds that came to see him it could focus on his tv shows or recording an album at fulsome prison but instead it focuses on johnny himself who grew up poor faced unbelievable heartache but always in a home with a deep resounding faith in the lord and that's what pulled him through the tough scrapes and failings of his later years now pastor greg refers to this as an evangelistic documentary and it's so inspiring it's great encouragement for the rest of us who've had some failings we want to send you a copy of johnny cash the redemption of an american icon on dvd along with a free streaming code so you can watch it on your phone or tablet or tv we'll send it to say thank you for your generous support of these daily radio studies so why not contact us today call 1-800-821-3300 call anytime 1-800-821-3300 or write a new beginning box 4000 riverside california 92514 or go online to harvest.org what can wash away our sin nothing but the blood of jesus those are familiar lyrics from a classic hymn but next time pastor greg points out the reason jesus blood is a critical part of our redemption join us here on a new beginning with pastor and bible teacher greg lord so hey everybody thanks for listening to this podcast to learn more about harvest ministries follow this show and consider supporting it just go to harvest.org and to find out how to know god personally go to harvest.org and click on know god
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-01 05:22:16 / 2023-09-01 05:31:42 / 9