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Learn more and sign up at harvest.org. The Lord invites us to come to Him when we're at the end of our road. Coming up today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie says that's where hope is found.
Are you facing hardship right now? Cry out to God. He will hear your prayer. This is the day when the lost are found. This is the day for a new beginning. Amazing grace, how sweet the sound. Oh, can you hear when the angels are singing?
This is the day, the day when life begins. We love to watch movies where the hero is stuck in an impossible situation with time running out. Will he make it? Can he make it?
And he is rescued just in the nick of time. But when we're stuck in a tough spot, it's not nearly as enjoyable. No inspiring music, maybe just an icy, lonely silence. And it may look like our time is up. Well, today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie says don't give up hope. Instead, realize where your hope comes from.
This is the day, the day when life begins. Well, you're on the brink of collapse. Or maybe you have a marriage that is unraveling before your eyes. Or maybe a loved one has died and you don't know how you're going to survive something as devastating as that. Or maybe it's a preacher that won't finish his sermon.
He just drones on and on. Let's pray that doesn't happen today. Well, I bring this up because we're going to look at the nation Israel. They're facing the Red Sea. They're facing an insurmountable obstacle.
And right behind them, if that wasn't bad enough, right behind them is the Egyptian army in hot pursuit. So basically it was them between the devil and the deep blue sea. They were between a rock and a hard place. They were between impossible and more impossible. But God intervened, reminding us that with God all things are possible.
He's bigger than your problem. Have you ever looked up that phrase, but God, in the Bible? A lot of interesting places where it appears where God intervenes. Take the story of Noah. Of course the judgment of God came upon the earth through the flood. And there they are bobbing around in the ocean in that ark with all those smelly animals. And I wonder if Noah started to lose hope. But Genesis 8 says, but God, but God remembered Noah and the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark. And he said, a wind over the earth and the waters receded. And then the Lord gave them a beautiful rainbow to look at, which is a reminder that God keeps his promises.
So whenever you see a rainbow, remember it's a reminder that God always keeps the promises he makes. Or take the story of Joseph, sold by his brothers into slavery. They thought he was dead. God preserved him of course. And elevated him into a position of great power where he was in charge of the food supply. And one day his brothers appeared before him.
And Joseph made this statement to them in Genesis 50, 20. You intended to harm me, but God. There is that phrase again. But God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done.
The saving of many lives. Even death does not have the final word. Oh I know. It seems so permanent and so hopeless. But Psalm 49 verse 15 says, but God will redeem my life from the grave.
He will surely take me to himself. So here's my situation. It's different. It's worse. It's harder.
Is it? Is it harder than the Red Sea in front of you and the Egyptian army behind you? Is it harder than some of the things we've already pointed out? God is bigger than your problem. I mean the very life of Moses demonstrates that. He had to overcome obstacles when he was just a little guy.
Actually his parents had to overcome. You'll remember the Pharaoh gave you the Cree. All the Jewish baby boys are to be put to death. But those Hebrew midwives would not go along with that game plan. And they spared the lives of those little ones including the life of the beautiful baby Moses. The Bible actually tells us he was a beautiful child.
And so his parents put him in that little basket and gave it a little push and it's kind of flowing down the Nile River. And as if on cue Moses cries and the Pharaoh's daughter the princess of Egypt hears the cry, looks in the basket, sees this gorgeous little baby and adopts him as her own son. And now he's probably being groomed to be the next Pharaoh of Egypt. And he was a prince raised in royalty. But yet underneath his beautiful robes of royalty beat the heart of a Hebrew. And his heart broke over the mistreatment of his fellow Jews.
And you know the story. One thing led to another and he took matters into his own hands and he saw an Egyptian taskmaster cruelly treating a Jewish man. And so Moses looked to the right. He looked to the left.
He should have looked up. And God would have said no, no, no. And he killed that man. And then when the Pharaoh heard that he put a contract out on the life of Moses. And so Moses went into exile for 40 years.
But of course the Lord recommissioned him at the burning bush and said that he was going to use him. And so now Moses goes in. He demands a release of the Jewish people.
And actually the Pharaoh agrees to it. And Moses begins his great journey to the new destination the Lord was calling them to. He must have felt such a sigh of relief when they were finally out of the bondage of Pharaoh. Like Martin Luther King he might have said, free at last, free at last.
Thank God Almighty I'm free at last. But a lot of troubles were still going to come his way. The Lord directed him to the new land. The promised land. The land of Canaan. What would later become known as the land of Israel.
Though they don't occupy all of the land that God actually gave them. And as they are making their journey the Lord set them up with this very interesting GPS system. By day it was a cloud that would move. And at night it was fire in the sky. So if the fire moved you moved. If the fire stopped you stopped. If the cloud moved you moved. If the cloud stopped you stopped. You know a lot easier to figure out than some of our GPS systems. I have a love-hate mostly hate relationship with GPS. Because you know sometimes I think it takes us the wrong way.
I have read some very interesting stories of people that were. One person was led to the middle of a runway in an airport. And they actually drove out there. And another person went off deep into the wilderness off the normal road. And the cop came and said, what are you doing? They said, well the GPS said go here.
Right? And on my GPS if I go off track or I follow it for a while and I make a wrong turn it will say recalculating, recalculating, recalculating. And it will tell me to go do a U-turn or whatever. Then you know a little later if I don't do what it says. It will say why didn't you do what I told you to do. It's very naggy GPS.
I have to fix that. But their GPS was very simple. Move when the Lord told them to move. Go where the Lord told them to go. God directs us through His Word.
This is our GPS system. Confirmed to us by the Holy Spirit in our heart. Everything you need to know about God is found on the pages of the Bible.
Everything you need to know about life is found on the pages of the Bible. God tells you things you should do and things you should not do if you want to be a happy person. A good summary is Psalm 1 where it says, Happy is the man or the woman who does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of the scornful. So if you want to be happy, according to Psalm 1, don't hang out with ungodly people and go to ungodly places and do ungodly things. But then it goes on to say but his or her delight is in the Word of the Lord and in it they meditate.
They contemplate. They ponder the Word of God day and night and then there will be like a tree planted by a river of water. So God says do this and you will be happy. Stay away from that because that will bring unhappiness. But then we will read these things and say but what does God know? Maybe you are young and you say come on man I have raging hormones. I don't like all this stuff in the Bible about these rules and regulations on sex.
I am going to go hook up and go out there and enjoy myself. And then you engage in premarital sex or extramarital sex and you don't understand why God has laid these parameters out. He has laid them out for your own protection. For your own good. And as you get older you start seeing the repercussions that come from these decisions that people make often when they are younger.
It might be another area where you realize God knows what he is talking about. Solomon was the king of Israel. Very powerful man. Renowned for his wisdom. But he decided that he wanted to go see for himself everything this world had to offer. He had unlimited resources. Unparalleled power. Opportunity galore. And so he just went for it hook, line, and sinker.
Or maybe I should say hooker, line, and sinker. Because he also had a thousand concubines. So he pushed the envelope.
And he said in Ecclesiastes chapter 2, I took everything I wanted. I never said no to myself. I gave in to every impulse. I held back nothing.
Then he says this. Then I took a good look at everything I had done. I looked at all the sweat and the hard work. And when I looked I saw nothing but smoke. Smoke and spitting into the wind.
This is a modern translation obviously. There was nothing to any of it. Nothing. So he said I looked at it all.
It was all empty. It was a huge mistake. I wasted years of my life. And then he comes to this conclusion. Ecclesiastes 12. He says here's the last and final word on this matter. Reverence God and do what he tells you to do.
And that's it. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. Caring about listeners who find Jesus because of the ministry of harvest is so encouraging. Pastor Greg, about 22 years ago the Lord used one of your sermons to bring me to Jesus. Thank you for preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. Keep up the good fight of faith. Has Pastor Greg heard from you? If not, why not drop him an email and tell your story? Send it to gregatharvest.org.
Do it today while you're thinking about it. Again, that's gregatharvest.org. Well, we're joining the Israelites as they flee the Egyptians today. And Pastor Greg's message called, Between Impossible and More Impossible.
Let's continue. So the Lord leads Israel on a different route than expected. Instead of the direct route straight through to the land of Canaan, the Lord takes them on an alternate route and they end up at the Red Sea. And word gets back to Pharaoh. These crazy Israelites don't know where they're going. And they're just sitting there at the Red Sea. And the Pharaoh says, You know what?
I should have never let them go in the first place. I'm going to go down there and we're going to wipe them out and bring some of them back to be our slaves again. But what the Pharaoh didn't realize is he was falling into a trap. And guess who set the trap?
God Himself. He set a trap for the Pharaoh to go for. And so the Pharaoh gets his army together, says, Let's go.
And his charioteers and their gleaming armor and their swords and their spears are now in hot pursuit of the Israelis. And when the Israelites standing there at the Red Sea are thinking, This is so bad. It's so horrible. It can't get any worse. Wait.
What's that noise? And here comes the Egyptian army and they said, It just got worse. You ever been in a situation like that? It's so bad. And then it gets worse. And you think it can't get any worse? And it gets worse. This is it. This is as bad as it will get.
And it even gets worse than that. So what do they do as the army is closing in on them? They did what you would do. They completely freaked out.
Okay. Look at Exodus chapter 14. It's Pharaoh approached the people of Israel, looked up and panicked. And when they saw the Egyptians overtaking them, they said to Moses, Weren't there enough graves for us in Egypt? Hey, Moses, this is your fault. Yeah, it was hard back there, but this is even worse. You brought us out here to die.
This is crazy. You know, it's an interesting thing. They ended up wandering in the wilderness for 40 years unnecessarily.
I might point out. But that was because of their disobedience. Have you ever been on a roundabout? They have a lot of those in Europe, especially in England. And it's weird when you drive in England because, first of all, their steering wheel is, in my opinion, on the wrong side of the car. Then you add to that the fact that they drive on the wrong side of the road.
And then you add jet lag and you have a bad combination. Right? Because everything is counterintuitive. You want to go right when you should go left. And so I was driving there some years ago when I was visiting and we got on one of those roundabouts. And you're supposed to go around and then exit. But I couldn't figure it because I wanted to exit one way and you're supposed to exit the other way. I was on that roundabout for one week. But do you ever feel like you're on an eternal roundabout in your life?
It's going around and around making the same mistakes and the same things over and over again. That's a summation of what happened to Israel in the wilderness. So now they're upset with Moses.
You know, it's interesting. It took God one night to get Israel out of Egypt. But it took 40 years to take Egypt out of Israel. It was still in their heart. So they blame Moses. Did you bring us here to die in the wilderness? We didn't do the same thing. We complained. We're upset with God. So that's how they were feeling.
That brings me to point number three. When facing an impossible and even more impossible situation, pray. When you're facing an impossible situation, that is the time to pray.
Verse 11 says, They cried out to the Lord and they said to Moses, Why did you bring us here to die in the wilderness? Cry out to God. Are you in trouble right now?
Are you facing hardship right now? Cry out to God. He will hear your prayer. You remember the disciples were out on the Sea of Galilee. A mighty storm came. Jesus was asleep.
They woke Him up. They said, Lord, don't you even care. We're going to drown. We have water coming over the top of the boat.
What are you going to do? And Jesus rebuked the storm. But He also rebuked His disciples for their lack of faith.
But you have to at least give them credit when crisis came. When the storm hit, they called out on Jesus. As it has been said, If your knees start knocking, kneel on them. And so faith and worry cannot coexist. If worry is prominent, faith won't be there. If faith is prominent, worry will lead. And that's why Paul reminds us of Philippians 4.
Don't worry about anything, but pray about everything. Here was their problem. They were letting their circumstances affect their outlook. Look at verse 10. They saw the Egyptian army in pursuit. By the way, this was a mighty army. Armor, spears, powerful chariots.
There was no mightier army on the face of the earth at this time. And they took their eyes off of God. Off of the promises of God. Now I love what Moses says to them. He reassures them that God will protect them and guide them. Look at Exodus chapter 14.
Verse 13. Moses told the people, don't be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today.
The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm. You're joking, right? We're backed up against the Red Sea.
They're in hot pursuit. And you're saying just chill. Relax.
Everything's great. Oh, this army you see now, they won't even be here tomorrow. Just be still and wait on the Lord. It's not easy to do that, is it? See, when I put my eyes on my circumstances, I can see them in a different light. Unbelief tends to create or magnify my difficulties. But in contrast, faith rises up above them and helps me see them through the eyes of faith. So here's Israel. They're between an unconquerable army and an impassable sea.
They're between the devil and the deep blue sea, between a rock and a hard place. Look at Exodus 14, 15. Then the Lord said to Moses, why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving. Pick up your staff and raise your hand over the sea and divide the water so the Israelites can walk through the middle of the sea on dry ground. You know, there can come a time in your life when it's time to move instead of pray.
That might sound strange. We should always pray. Yes, we should. But there can come a moment where you've prayed enough, now it's time to take action. See, there's God's part and there's your part. There's a time to pray and there's a time to move and they're all calling out, oh God, help us. Oh Lord, the Lord's saying, okay, whatever.
Start walking. Pastor Greg Laurie with great insight today on what to do when faced with an impossible situation. Well, Pastor Greg, Johnny Cash has been in heaven for about 20 years now.
That's right. If you had a chance to ask the man in black one question, what would it be? What would I ask Johnny Cash? Hey Johnny, are we actually related? Because, you know, when I was a kid, you all know my story, if you've seen Jesus Revolution, my mother was out living her wild life, so for a period of my childhood, I lived with my grandparents. We called them Mama Stella and Daddy Charles and they were from Arkansas. I remember watching Johnny on TV in my grandparents' home and every now and then, Johnny would get himself into trouble and my grandfather would be reading the newspaper and he'd fold the top down, look over to his wife Stella and he'd say, Stella, your cousin's in trouble again. So I grew up wondering if I was related to Johnny Cash.
Well, I actually did some research with a genealogist that goes to our church and as it turns out, I probably am related to him distantly because my grandparents came from the same area of Arkansas that Cash came from and my grandmother's maiden name was Stella Fowler Cash. So, hey Johnny, are we cousins? That might be interesting to find out, but I thought how cool in heaven it would be to go see Johnny in concert.
You know, the funny thing, we think about heaven as this surreal place with, you know, just sitting around in clouds and actually, the Bible describes heaven as a real place or real people where we do real things and you might be out with some friends and they say, hey, we're gonna go to see Handel's Messiah tonight. Handel himself will be there, wanna come? You'd say, no man, I'm gonna go see Johnny Cash. You mean the man in black? Well, he's actually the man in white now. You know, will we hear Johnny Cash perform music in heaven?
Why not? So, one day we will see him and we'll be reunited with loved ones that have gone before us, but you can hear him and learn a lot more about him right now in a new resource that we are offering. Now, as you recall, we did a film called Johnny Cash, The Redemption of an American Icon that was in theaters around the United States. Well, now it's available for the first time on DVD. Now, it is streaming out there on different platforms like Apple and Amazon, but we're offering it on DVD with some special bonus content, including a special presentation of the gospel I did, sort of wrapped around the story of Johnny Cash. And also, we have a streaming code with this DVD that we're offering you, which means you can download the movie to your laptop, to your phone, to your tablet.
You can keep the DVD or give it away to a friend. What a great gift to give to a non-believer or someone that's really struggling spiritually. So, we wanna make this available to you now for your gift of any size. Whatever you send us will be put to good use to enable us to continue to teach God's word and preach the gospel here in a new beginning, and we will rush you your own copy of this brand new DVD, Johnny Cash, The Redemption of an American Icon. Be generous in what you send. We have to pay a bit more for this resource than we normally pay, and we wanna thank you in advance. You're gonna love having this movie in your home or available to show to people whenever you want.
It's yours to keep. All right, well the fastest way to make those arrangements is to call us at 1-800-821-3300. We are here around the clock to talk with you. Again, 1-800-821-3300. And thank you for your generosity.
Your gift helps us reach out with the gospel each day here on A New Beginning. You can also write us at A New Beginning Box 4000, Riverside, California 92514. Or go online to harvest.org. 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 next time, Pastor Greg continues his encouragement from the message between impossible and more impossible. We'll see there comes a time when prayers need to give way to action. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher, Greg Laurie. This is the day, the day when life begins 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 / 2023-09-06 05:26:08 / 2023-09-06 05:36:03 / 10