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. Greg Laurie helps with our crises. To face the impossible, you must walk by faith, not by feelings. And I wonder if you're facing a Red Sea ride. I wonder if you're looking at what seems to be an insurmountable obstacle. Well, there's no thing that you're facing that's bigger than God. God is bigger than your problem.
It's true. Remember that. Sometimes we can face impossible situations. It seems there's no way out and no way through. Well, God can make a way where there seems to be no way. And today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us lean on the care of our loving God. Roger along for a series called Joshua living in the land of promises. Maybe you need God's help today. Or maybe you really don't. You'll need God's help tomorrow.
Stay tuned and learn how to come to God when he's your only option. Israelites. They're facing the Red Sea. Here comes the armies of Egypt.
What do they do? What would you have done? You would have done exactly what they did. They freaked out. Look at Exodus 14, 10. As the Pharaoh approached, the people of Israel looked up and panicked when they saw the Egyptians overtaking them. And that was a scary army.
That was the most powerful military on earth. Here they come in their chariots and their stallions and their swords and their spears and their shields and helmets. Here are the Israelites just standing there with their kids and their livestock.
Moses has a stick and not a lot more. We're not really an army. And the Red Sea is behind us and the Egyptian army is coming toward us.
And now they look like they're in the worst situation possible. But I love what we read. We read that Moses says to the people, stand still, Exodus 14. And the Lord himself will fight for you. Stand still.
That's the hardest thing to do, isn't it? We want to take things into our own hands. But the Bible says, wait on the Lord. Those that wait upon the Lord will mount up with wings as eagles. They shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint, the Bible tells us.
When you're in a place like this, it's not a bad place to be. Warren Wiersby, a great Bible commentator, said this, and I quote, when human resources are gone, then defined resources can go to work on behalf of those that trust God, end quote. So when you're led by the Lord, make your move. Look at verse 15. The Lord says to Moses, why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving.
Pick up your staff, raise your hand over the sea, divide the water so the Israelites can walk through in the middle of the sea on dry ground. You know, there's a point to wait and there's a moment to pray. And then you've got to move.
That sounds strange. No, you've got to always pray. Well, yes, pray. But there's a moment to move. When intercession has passed, intervention has come. It's time to take action.
Let's illustrate. Let's say you're having problems in your marriage. And wife, you're praying for your husband. Lord, would you speak to my husband? He needs to show me more affection. He needs to do the chores I ask him to do. He needs to be more patient with me. Just change my husband, we pray. And meanwhile, the husband is praying, Lord, change this wife. She's always nagging. She's always complaining. She doesn't appreciate me. Well look, why don't you just do your part?
There's a point to pray, but the Bible says husbands love your wife as Christ loves the church. Why don't you do that, guys? Are you doing it? I'll answer it for you. No. We all fall short of that, don't we, man?
Right? We fall short. We don't love our wives as much as we should. But then the wife is told by God, respect your husband.
Isn't that interesting? God tells a husband to love his wife, and God tells a wife to respect her husband. That doesn't mean that husbands should not respect their wives, nor does it mean wives should not love their husbands, but it is interesting to note there are distinct commands given to each. See, men need respect. They need respect and they need a sandwich. We're not all that complex, ladies.
We just aren't. Just to say to your husband, I respect you. I admire you. I love you.
I thank you for providing for me all these years. You know, that goes a long ways with a guy. But hey, guys, girls need love. You need to love them. You need to show affection toward them. They need to be reassured. These are important things, right?
So do your part. There's a time to pray, but there's a time to take action. What about somebody you need to forgive? Someone has hurt you. Someone has slandered you. And you say, it's so hard for me to forgive. I've been praying, Lord, help me forgive them. Why don't you just go do it? I'm not feeling it, though. Doesn't matter.
Just do it. The Bible says, be tenderhearted, forgiving one another as God in Christ has forgiven you. You know, one of my favorite heroes of Christian history is a lady named Corrie Ten Boom. Have you heard of her? She wrote an amazing book called The Hiding Place. So Corrie was a young lady living in Holland during World War II. She was a strong Christian, along with her father and her sister.
And the Nazis were hunting down Jews, arresting them and sending them to concentration camps. So Corrie and her family hid Jewish people in her home, hence the title of her book, The Hiding Place. One day as the Gestapo figured it out, they arrested Corrie's father, Caspar Ten Boom, her sister, Betsy, and Corrie herself. The father died quickly because he was an elderly man.
He was very frail. Betsy and Corrie ended up in a camp called Ravensbruck, and Betsy was just a godly, saintly woman, and she died. And then Corrie was released on a clerical error, but in reality it was the providence of God. So she lived out her life traveling the world, telling people, there is no pit so deep that God is not deeper still. She described herself as a tramp for the Lord and would speak all over the place. I heard her speak once.
It was amazing. And she was in Germany a few years after the war was over. She had spoken the topic of forgiveness. At the end of her sermon, a line of people wanted to shake her hand, and suddenly a man approaches her and he says, Fraulein Ten Boom, I don't know if you remember me. She had a flashback. This man standing before her, she remembered him as a Nazi in the concentration camp, doing horrible things to her and her sister. She filled with rage and anger, and her fist clenched, and she grit her teeth. And he says, Fraulein Ten Boom, I was so moved by your message and I'm asking you to forgive me.
She said, I couldn't do it. And then she said, in an act of obedience, I extended my hand and I shook his hand and I said, I forgive you, brother. She said, it was like a bolt of electricity went down my arm and through my hand and I felt this burden of unforgiveness lifted off me at that very moment.
You see what happened there? She didn't wait for the emotion, she just did the motion. She just did the right thing, and so there's a time to pray and there's a time to move. And that's what we need to do as well. So they took this great step of faith.
That brings us to our next point. To face the impossible, you must walk by faith, not by feelings. To face the impossible, you must walk by faith, not by feelings. Look at Exodus 14, 21. Moses raised his hand up over the sea. The Lord opened up a path through the water with a strong east wind and the wind blew all that night, turning the seabed into dry land and the people of Israel walked through the middle of the sea on dry ground with walls of water on each side.
Wow. It had been easier to airlift them over, but the Lord took them through. Imagine for a moment, walls of water on each side. Have you ever been to one of those amazing aquariums, big, huge sea creatures? They're just walking along, whoa, look at the whale, look at the dolphins. Keep walking. And they walked and they walked and they walked.
It took a while to get across the Red Sea. And that's the Christian life. We walk and we walk and we walk. We walk by faith, not by feeling. We put one foot in front of the other. Some days we feel it, some days we don't. But the Bible says the just shall live by faith.
Being a Christian or a successful Christian has been defined as long obedience in the same direction. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. Hey, everybody, I want to encourage you to check out the new Harvest Plus app. It's on Roku, Apple TV and Google Play, among others. And you can stream incredible content on all major platforms for free. You're going to find live events, our evangelistic films like A Rush of Hope, Johnny Cash, The Redemption of an American Icon, Steve McQueen, The Salvation of an American Icon and our newest film, Fame. Plus, our TV programs, our podcast, Harvest at Home and a lot more.
Stream it all on any device for free using the new Harvest Plus app. Well, the Israelites are on the run, being chased by the Egyptian army and now stepping onto dry land as the Red Sea had miraculously parted in front of them. Pastor Greg is pointing out practical insights on trusting God today. I wonder if you're facing a Red Sea right now. I wonder if you're looking at what seems to be an insurmountable obstacle. Well, there's no thing that you're facing that's bigger than God. God is bigger than your problem. God is bigger than your problem. I want you to say this out loud. I don't have you say things out loud a lot. I want you to say God is bigger than my problem.
Ready? God is bigger than my problem. Right?
It's true. Remember that. I don't know what you're facing. Maybe it's a physical problem. You know, you're sick or you have a disability or old age is just kicking in.
And you're thinking, oh man, this is hard. You know, think of the great apostle Paul. This is a man that did miracles by the hand of God. Paul prayed for a person to be raised from the dead. Paul prayed for people to be healed. Paul wrote words down in letters that we now call the Bible. Paul went to heaven and came back to tell the story. This is Paul. And Paul was sick, so you would think, man, he's a super saint. Whatever he'd ask for, he'd get it.
Just name it and claim it, man. Paul said, Lord, I'm sick. I have this thorn in the flesh. We don't know what this thorn in the flesh was, but he says, There was given unto me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan sent to buffet me.
Three times I asked the Lord to take it away, and the Lord said, My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength will come through more in your weakness. I know we don't want to go through red seas. I know we don't want to go through valleys.
I know we don't want to go through fiery trials. Sometimes God will airlift us over, but a lot of the time, he walks with us through those difficulties. Isaiah 43 2 says, When you go through deep water, the Lord says, I'll be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up, and the flames will not consume you. So on they walk, and they're done now. The last one's coming through. Come on, come on, come on. Let's go, let's go, let's go. We're done. All of a sudden, the Egyptian army says, let's go, let's get up, and they come through the dry ground and their chariots with all their equipment, and the waters come back, heaping on them, and they all drowned.
Some people would say, that's not fair. The poor Egyptian army, interesting how they died, drowning. Wasn't it the Pharaoh that gave the command to drown all the Jewish baby boys?
Hmm. Looks like he reaped what he sowed. The Bible says, don't be confused about this or deceived. God is not mocked.
You go, Greg, you're wrong. People mock God all the time. Oh, I know. But listen to what the rest of the verse says. God is not mocked. For whatsoever a man shall sow, he will also reap.
Now that's not all negative. It says, if he sows to the flesh, he'll reap corruption, but if he sows to the Spirit, he'll reap life everlasting. He'll reap what you sow. Sow a thought, reap an act. Sow an act, reap a habit. Sow a habit, reap a character. Sow a character, reap a destiny.
It all starts with what you think. Sow when you sow to the Spirit, which means come to church on Sunday. I mean, here, that's a good start. Open your Bible up in the morning. Pray about things.
Surround yourself with believers that will encourage you. That's called sowing to the Spirit. You'll reap life everlasting, but if you sow to the flesh, you'll reap corruption. That's what happened to the Pharaoh. He reaped what he sowed.
One final point and I'm done. After overcoming the impossible, give God the glory. After overcoming the impossible, give God the glory.
Look at Exodus 15, verse 1. Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the Lord. I'll sing to the Lord, for He has triumphed gloriously.
He has hurled both horse and rider into the sea. The Lord is my strength and my song. He has given me victory. This is my God, and I will praise Him. My Father is God, and I will exalt Him.
I love that. Did you know that's a first recorded song in Scripture? No, I'm sure they sang before this, but this is the first time it's recorded. This is called the song of Moses, and by the way, we will be singing the song of Moses in heaven. So this is a hit song.
This is a big deal. They're giving God the praise. You know, we're so quick to call on God when we're in trouble. Are we as quick to give praise to God when He gets us through the trouble?
The answer is no, but we can change that. Now I want you to think for a moment. Have you come recently through a hard trial, or through a Red Sea of sorts, or through some difficulty? Have you? Have you given God glory for that? Oh, Lord, help me. Oh, Lord, come through me. Great, good. He came through for you. Thanks, God, see you next crisis.
No. Given glory. Lord, thank you. Specifically, thank you for what you just did. I acknowledge that as an answer to my prayer.
You did that, and I praise you for it. Remember the story of the ten lepers that were healed by Jesus? One came back to give thanks, and Jesus had a question. Hey, you're welcome, man, but where are the other nine? That's us.
Where are the other nine? Let's give God the glory when He comes through for us, just as the Israelites gave glory to God when He came through for them. In what appeared to be a hopeless situation came the ultimate hope. The Pharaoh's plan backfired, and his army was destroyed. The same thing happened 2,000 years ago at the cross. The worst travesty of justice in human history is when the holy, sinless Son of God was arrested, beaten, and nailed to a cross. But this was the devil's plan. The devil thought, you know, I want to stop Jesus, and I know how I'll do it.
I'll kill Him. Let's go back to the Ark of Scripture. We already saw Pharaoh tried to kill all the Jewish baby boys because Jesus was Jewish. And God laid it down in the book of Genesis when, after the fall happened, and Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit, the Lord said to Satan, there is coming one who's going to crush your head, but you will bruise his heel.
Game on. Battle lines are drawn. Now the devil knows he wants to stop Jesus, so he works with the Pharaoh to try to kill all the Jewish baby boys. Fast forward to the book of Esther. A wicked man named Haman devises a scheme to have all of the Jews killed, and Haman ends up hanging on his own gallows because a courageous young woman named Esther, who won a beauty contest, causing her to become the queen of Persia, used her feminine influence for the glory of God and saved a race. Now we go to the New Testament. Here's King Herod hearing that there's been one who was born who is called the king of the Jews.
Pharaoh gives the command. Kill all the Jewish baby boys. That'll stop them.
No, no, no. You're not going to stop Messiah. But Satan thought, I've got it.
I'm going to infiltrate his ranks. Jesus had 12 disciples. One of them was named Judas Iscariot. And he entered the heart of Judas, and Judas betrayed our Lord for 30 pieces of silver and Pontius Pilate gave the command, and Jesus was nailed to a cross, and he died. Satan thought, I won.
Ah. You can't keep a good man down, and you can't keep the God-man down. Right on schedule, Jesus rose again three days later because he came with the express purpose of dying on the cross for the sin of the world, for your sin and for mine. So it looked like the worst travesty of justice, but in reality it was all part of God's plan. And Jesus died on that cross for you so you could be forgiven of your sin because I might be talking to someone who's just given up. You're thinking, you know, maybe the world would be a better place without me. Don't you listen to that lie from the pit of hell. You're loved by God. God has a plan for you.
And there's a second chance and a third chance. But, Craig, you said we reap what we sow. I know I said that. But did I remind you that God can also forgive you of your sin? And did I also remind you?
Probably didn't. I'm telling you now. If any man be in Christ, he is an altogether different kind of person. Old things have passed away, and behold, everything becomes fresh and new. So you can ask God to forgive you, and he will. I don't want to miss this opportunity to offer this relationship with God to some of you that have joined us.
Jesus Christ, who died on that cross, rose again from the dead three days later. He stands now at the door of your life, and he knocks and says, if you'll hear his voice and open the door, he'll come in. Would you like a second chance in life? Would you like Christ to come into your life? Would you like to be forgiven of your sin?
That can happen for you right here, right now. Let's pray. Father, I pray for every person here, every person watching and listening, wherever they are, Lord. I pray that your Holy Spirit will convict them of their sin and convince them of their need for Jesus, and help them to come to you now. In Jesus' name I pray.
Amen. Pastor Greg Laurie, with an important prayer for those who want to make a change today in their relationship with the Lord. And if you'd like to do that, Pastor Greg will come back in a moment to help you before today's edition of A New Beginning concludes. Well, Pastor Greg, we've really been looking forward to this month because we're launching a brand new animated series that you've been working on for quite some time. Let me ask you, what do your grandkids think about the adventures of Ben Bourne Again and Yellow Dog? They're my toughest audience because they've grown up with my cartoons. I've drawn for them ever since they've been little babies. And so I'll show them to them, and when I get the kids to laugh, I know I've succeeded. And I've actually included their little stories into these cartoons. A lot of these things are based on stories I've told them over the years. I make up things. I make up characters. I tell them Bible stories with sort of a spin with humor added to it. So this is something I've been doing for years with my grandkids. In fact, I've had people say to me, I want to do a children's book. And I've thought about that, and maybe one day I will.
But for now, I thought what I would rather do is animation because this is something I have more of a passion for. So this is dipping my toe into the world of bringing the gospel truth in a fun, entertaining, and humorous way to younger people specifically. So we're very excited about this because one of the things we try to do at Harvest is reach unexpected people in unexpected places with an unexpected message. I like to surprise people where they think, wow, I didn't even know I was watching a Christian film or I didn't know this was a Christian animation. But all of a sudden, hopefully they're being entertained and they're engaged by it, but all of a sudden, boom, here's the gospel message or here's some Bible truth.
And so we do that without apology. In fact, as far as I'm concerned, there's no other reason to do this. I mean, I'm called to communicate the gospel. I'm called to teach the word of God.
That's what I know I'm supposed to do, but I want to do it in the most engaging, interesting way and not bore people. So this is our newest attempt to do that through the adventures of Ben Born Again and Yellow Dog. Yeah, that's right, and it really does fit into our mission of getting the gospel out far and wide. And we hope you feel strongly about that too. In fact, would you partner with us so we can keep reaching out in these innovative new ways? Your investment couldn't come at a better time. You can reach out to us by phone at 1-800-821-3300, 1-800-821-3300, or write A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, California, 92514, or go online to harvest.org. But be sure to check out the newest episode of the adventures of Ben Born Again and Yellow Dog. You can find it on our Harvest Plus app, free of charge, and it's also available at harvest.org. Check it out today. Well, Pastor Greg, you spoke a few moments ago of the need to get our hearts right with God.
Right. Could you help someone who wants to do that right now? Yes, I'd be delighted to. Listen, as you've listened to this program today, maybe something's been happening inside of your heart where you're sensing, I need to do this personally, but how do I do it and what do I do? Let me help you. It's very simple.
In fact, it's so simple you may be shocked. God, this relationship with him is just a prayer away. The Bible says if you will call upon the name of the Lord, you'll be saved. So I'd like to lead you in a prayer where you do just that. You call on the name of the Lord. This can be the moment where you change your eternal address literally from hell to heaven. Just pray these words. Lord Jesus, I know that I'm a sinner, but I know that you're the Savior who died on the cross for me and rose again from the dead. Jesus, I choose to follow you from this moment forward. In your name I pray. Amen.
I know. It's such a simple, short prayer, but you just called on the name of the Lord, and you know what? He heard that prayer, and if you meant that prayer in your heart, he answered that prayer. Now let me help you to get started on the right foot in your new life in Jesus Christ. The greatest adventure awaits you, the life of walking with God. I want to send you what we call a New Believers' Growth Pack.
What is that? Well, first of all, it's a copy of the new New Believers' Bible, and by that I mean we have redone this from ground level up. I've rewritten the notes, and it's a new living translation with a lot of notes on how to grow spiritually woven through this unique edition of Scripture. And let me be the first to say to you congratulations and welcome to the family of God. Yeah, and to get that free New Believers' Bible along with the other items in our Growth Pack, just let us know you prayed along with Pastor Greg to receive Christ today. We'll be glad to send our New Believers' Growth Pack your way free of any charge. Call us at 1-800-821-3300.
Call any time 1-800-821-3300. Or write A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514. Or go online to harvest.org and click Know God. Well, next time Pastor Greg points out how we can get our feet wet. He'll explain how we can live in the land of promises next time. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher Greg Laurie. This is the day, the day when life begins 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
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