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What to Do When the Odds Are Against You | True Worth

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
February 26, 2024 3:00 am

What to Do When the Odds Are Against You | True Worth

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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February 26, 2024 3:00 am

Let’s say you want to sell your car. You think it’s worth about 10 thousand dollars. But right away, someone pays you 15 thousand dollars. Sold! So what was your car worth? Well, it was worth what the buyer was willing to pay. Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie brings us some encouraging insights on OUR worth based on the One who purchased us with the blood of His only begotten Son. And given our real worth, we’ll see how the Lord has equipped us for real Kingdom work.

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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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You're listening to A New Beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God.

Visit our website and learn more about Harvest Partners at harvest.org. We should trust God's perspective. Let's say you want to sell your car. You think it's worth about $10,000.

But right away someone pays you $15,000. Well sold! So what was your car worth?

Well, it was worth what the buyer was willing to pay. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie brings some encouraging insights on our work based on the One who purchased us with the blood of His only begotten Son. And given our real worth, we'll see how the Lord has equipped us for real kingdom work. This is the day, the day when life begins. This is our last message in our series on the book of Joshua. You might say, well Greg, you're in the book of Judges. Did you make a mistake?

No. Because what we're about to read picks up where Joshua leaves off. About 200 years later we find out what happened to Israel when they didn't do what God told them to do in the book of Joshua. In our last message we're seeing Joshua parcel out the land, the promised land that God gave to him and the Jewish people.

And we remember old Caleb raising up his 85-year-old arm and saying, give me this mountain. But then we fast forward 200 years and it's the year 1256 B.C. and they have not finished the job that they began. They did not drive all the Canaanites out and they came to regret it.

And you know it's a funny thing but you think about this. Israel was fighting for their survival in the book of Judges and they're fighting for their survival right now before our very eyes. This fight for their survival is nothing new to Israel.

So here we are reading the ancient book of Judges. Because they did not drive out all of the inhabitants of the land, they left a few. This came back to haunt them later. Sort of like if you had a big tree in your backyard that was tearing everything up so you cut the tree down but you don't tear up the roots.

It comes back later to cause problems. This is what's happening to Israel. They drove out the Canaanites and the Amorites and the Hittites and the Ammonites and the Perissites and everyite. But there was one force now that's in power called the Midianites. The Midianites have Israel under their thumb. Why did God allow this to happen? It was his discipline on Israel. According to judges it says Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord so he handed them over to the Midianites.

A little footnote. The Midianites were the first nation to domesticate the camel. Have you ever looked at a camel?

What a weird creature. There are many beautiful animals that the Lord has made. The camel is not one of them.

I have heard it said that a camel is a horse designed by a committee. It is just a very strange animal. But they are actually very powerful and effective animals in warfare. They are big. They can move fast. They can go days without water. They are ugly and they spit too.

I don't have a lot of experience with camels but over in Israel I have climbed up on one and ridden it around a little bit. So here is what the Israelis are dealing with. They look over the hill and here come the Midianites on camels controlling them. And they are living in despair. And they are crying out to God. And the Lord says in Jeremiah 33, call to me and I will answer you.

Now God is going to answer their prayer. And he is going to answer it by choosing a man named Gideon to be the answer to the prayers of the people. I don't know why God chose Gideon. I certainly don't know why God chose me. But I know this if I were God I wouldn't choose any human being.

Because we mess everything up it seems. The Lord could just roll back to heavens and poke his face through and say hello humanity. I am God and you are not. But instead the Lord chooses to reach people through people. Ordinary flawed people like you and me and Gideon. So as our story begins we find Gideon preparing the little wheat that he had hiding behind the walls of a small wine press.

Hardly a picture of heroism or courage. But this is the man that God chose. So Judges 6 verse 12 we read this. The angel of the Lord appeared and said to him, mighty hero the Lord is with you. Gideon said oh my Lord if the Lord is with us then why has all of this happened to us? And where are all of his miracles which our fathers told us about saying did not the Lord bring us from Egypt? But now Gideon says the Lord has forsaken us and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites. Then the Lord turned to him and said go in this might of yours and you will save Israel from the hand of the Midianites.

Have I not sent you? We will stop there. Interesting response on the part of Gideon. The angel comes to him. Hey you courageous man.

You man of bravery. The Lord is with you. He says well if the Lord is with us then why have these things happened to us?

Where are all of the miracles in days gone by? I heard the story of a mother who would read Bible stories to her little girl every night before bed. And she would hear the stories of David and Samson and Daniel and Ruth and Esther. And she said one night to her mom, Mommy it seemed like God was much more exciting back then than he is now.

And that is probably how Gideon felt. Like Lord you did all of these miracles for Israel. We heard about you delivering them from Egypt and when they entered the promised land they marched around Jericho and the walls collapsed.

And here we are being dominated by these Midianites riding these crazy camels and we are hiding in fear. And God could have rebuked them. He could have said, hey man you brought this on yourself. But it is interesting the Lord didn't say that. You know sometimes we find ourselves dealing with situations that are a result of our own bad decisions.

And then we have the audacity to blame God for it. You know you might have a failing marriage. Lord why do I have a failing marriage?

If you love me you would not let my marriage fail. The Lord could say maybe it has something to do with you being unfaithful to your spouse. Lord why did I just get fired from my job and I was just fired from another job a month before that and fired from another job a week before that.

Why did you allow this to happen? The Lord could say maybe it is because you are a horrible worker and you are lazy. You show up late.

You leave early. And there is some cause and effect here. So God could have said you brought this on yourself Gideon you and the Israelites. But instead the Lord didn't say that. He said just go with the strength you have and rescue Israel from the Midianites.

I am sending you. In other words Gideon we don't have time to get into that right now. That will take too long. Here is the battle plan.

I am going to bring a solution and I am going to make things different and I am going to do it through you. But Gideon isn't seeing it. He says in verse 15, Lord how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh and I am the least of my father's house. Another translation puts it this way. I am the runt of the litter. I am the lowest of the low.

That is how he felt. 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 are 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 Pastor Greg is presenting a study in Judges today. The Lord has come to Gideon with an assignment. But Gideon is wondering if he is the right one for the job. Let's continue. And now we see some very interesting principles on the kind of man or woman that God will use.

If you are taking notes here is point number one. God uses people who are humble. God uses people who are humble. They are not proud.

They are not arrogant. They see themselves for what they are. God tells Gideon what he is going to do through him. In verse 15 Gideon says, Who am I? The Lord effectively says, It doesn't matter who you are. The real question is who am I?

Listen buddy it is me working through you. The Bible says that the Spirit of the Lord is searching throughout the earth for a man or a woman that he can show himself strong on behalf of. It doesn't say he is searching for a strong man or a strong woman. He is looking for someone that will just admit their weakness and their vulnerability but will say, Here I am Lord.

Send me. As I have often said God doesn't call the qualified. He qualifies the called.

He can do extraordinary things through ordinary people and would appear as you look at the people that God selects in the pages of Scripture that he goes out of his way to choose the most unlikely people. Why do you think that is? Answer.

He wants to get the glory. I mean this is shown in what he says to Gideon. Verse 12. Mighty hero the Lord is with you. That almost sounds like mockery.

Mighty hero. It would be like going to an F student and saying, Hey Einstein. Or going to a kid that can't throw a football. Hey Tom Brady.

Hardly Tom Brady there. But God sees you for what you can become. See I see what I am. God sees what I can be. What do you see when you look in the mirror? Depends on what kind of mirror.

If it is a magnifying mirror you are probably somewhat horrified. I was holding my little niece the other day. New born baby.

She is so sweet. And I was just amazed at her skin. The skin of a baby. And you look at your own skin.

I just had a visit with my dermatologist and you know that is not a pleasant experience. And so we see our weaknesses. We see our flaws. It has been said mirrors don't lie.

Lucky for you they don't laugh either. So I look in the mirror and I see weakness. But God sees potential. I see what I am. God sees what I can be.

I see the past and I am crippled by it. God sees the future. I see a lump of clay. God sees a beautiful sculpture. I see a blank canvas. God sees a Van Gogh.

I see a lump of coal. God sees a beautiful sparkling diamond. I see a persecuting Saul of Tarsus. God sees a mighty apostle called Paul.

God sees what you can become. I love the story of when Jesus went to the woman caught in the act of adultery. After he dismissed her accusers. He turned to her and he said woman where are your accusers? She said I have none Lord. He said neither do I condemn you.

Go and sin no more. But it is interesting the word that Jesus used. For this woman caught in the act of sexual sin. He called her woman. Or we might translate it lady or even ma'am.

It is a term of respect. Ma'am. Lady. She had been called a lot of things. I don't think anyone had ever called her lady before. She wasn't behaving as a lady at that time. But Jesus didn't just see her for what she was. He saw her for what she would become you see.

The same with Gideon. You man of valor. You man of courage.

You are a hero. Gideon just saw a zero. Now a series of tests come to Gideon to prepare him for what he is about to do.

The first test happened in his home. The Lord said okay here is what I want you to do. I want you to go home. And your dad Joash built an altar to bail a false god. I want you to tear it down. Gideon is like ugh.

Okay. He loved his dad. He respected his father.

Obviously this is going to cause a lot of tension to tear down his father's altar to bail. But he does it. But he does it at night because he was afraid of what his father would think. He was afraid of what the people would think. He did tear the altar down.

But he did it at night. Bringing me to principle number two. If you want to be used by God you need to be faithful in the little things. Be faithful in the little things. God gave him a little test. The bigger one was coming.

Here is a little test. Just go take care of this. Tear down that altar.

Listen to this. God calls busy people. It has been said if you want to get something done ask a busy person. And you will see that so often when the Lord called people they were doing something. Gideon is threshing wheat. Elisha was plowing a field when he was called by Elijah. The apostles to be were mending nets when Jesus called them.

David was tending sheep. So the idea is they are just doing what is in front of them. They are willing to do whatever needs to be done. Listen. You are never too small for God to use.

Only too big. If you will say Lord I will do whatever needs to be done. I will volunteer here. You will be amazed at how the Lord will bless you and give you more opportunities. Jesus said if you are unfaithful in small matters you won't be faithful in large ones.

If you cheat even a little you won't be honest with greater responsibility. So be faithful in the little things. Now coming back to what Gideon did. He tore this altar down but he did it at night. Some have criticized him. Why didn't he do it in broad daylight?

Well because he was afraid. But at least he did it. I would rather do something imperfectly than do nothing.

It is so easy to critique people. You know when we started this church. I have to be honest with you. We had no idea what we were doing. We really didn't.

I was 20 years old. I had only been a Christian three years. Well we took bold steps of faith. And we said let's see what the Lord will do. Did we do everything perfectly?

Of course not. But we learned from our mistakes. And we have been able to see the Lord do some amazing things over the years.

But we have always had our critics. I remember when we started our evangelistic crusades. People said oh that is not going to work. Crusade evangelism died with Billy Graham. And then when Billy started his evangelistic ministry.

They said to him this isn't going to work. Crusade evangelism died with Billy Sunday. Another evangelist. And when Billy Sunday started his ministry. They said it is not going to work because Crusade evangelism died with D.L.

Moody. No Crusade evangelism or evangelism in general will never die. Because God will always raise up someone to do it.

Someone to preach the gospel. But people will push back. Well I don't like the way you do this. Or I don't like the way you do that.

Or it is not going to work here and it is not going to work there. And we just kept going to new places and seeing the Lord work. I heard the story of speaking of D.L. Moody. A lady who came to him. She said Mr. Moody I don't like the way you do evangelism. Moody said well ma'am I am always willing to learn something new.

Tell me how you do evangelism. She said I don't. He said well I like my way of doing it better than your way of not doing it. Right? So yeah maybe Gideon didn't do this perfectly. He did it at night but at least he did it. Now here is what is interesting is after his dad found out.

He was kind of proud of his boy. The people in the city were so angry. Kill this guy. He tore down this altar. His father Joash says well do you have to defend Baal now? Can't Baal defend himself? And it seems like Joash sees the stupidity of worshipping a false god and he defends his son. And I love how it starts in the home of Gideon.

Listen to this. The hardest people to reach are your own family. The hardest. Your family. We read that Jesus did not do many mighty works in his hometown of Nazareth because of the unbelief of his people. Jesus himself said a prophet is not without honor except in his own country.

It is hard to reach your family. And think about Jesus. Who was a better example than Jesus? He was the perfect son. Never disrespectful. Always finished every job he set his hand to.

Just absolute perfection. The only perfect man that ever lived on this earth. Imagine being one of the siblings of Jesus and yes Jesus did have brothers and sisters. And they didn't believe in him until later.

And who was a better example than Jesus? Can you imagine Mary lecturing her kids? Kids why can't you be more like your big brother Jesus?

The mommy is like perfect. I know. But try to follow his example. Joseph made a little bracelet for you to wear. In his workshop. WWJD wear this. What would Jesus do?

Come on mom. He is a hard act to follow. They didn't believe in Jesus until he was crucified and resurrected from the dead.

But he was a perfect example. But it is hard to reach your family. I think of my own mother. It took years for her to come around. Here I was in ministry and leading people to Christ and my own mom was not a believer. And it was so challenging and it wasn't until the age of 70 she made a recommitment to the Lord. And sadly she died not long after that.

But I am so glad she did make that recommitment. But Gideon took a stand in his home for God. Good insights today from Pastor Greg Laurie about the mighty man of valor named Gideon. And there is a lot more to the story as this message continues here on A New Beginning. Pastor Greg just talked about the importance of making a commitment to the Lord.

Asking him to forgive our sins and asking him into our lives. Have you ever done that? Pastor Greg, no matter what a person has done, they can come to the Lord today. Can't they?

That's right. The Bible says whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved. So think of it this way. Maybe you're out on a riptide in the ocean and you can't get your footing and you're in trouble. And you see a lifeguard. Call out for help. And the lifeguard will rescue you.

The same is true spiritually. You're drowning in your sin. You need help. Jesus will save you. He will rescue you. But you must call out to him.

And you know how you do that? You do it in prayer. So let me just lead you in a simple prayer. And you can pray this prayer after me. You can pray it out loud if you like. And this is where you are calling out to Jesus to save you.

Just pray this. Jesus, I know I'm a sinner. And I know you are the Savior who died on the cross for my sin and rose again from the dead. Now, Lord, I turn from my sin and I put my faith in you. Be my Savior, my Lord. Be my God and my friend. I choose to follow you from this moment forward. In Jesus' name I pray.

Amen. Hey, if you just prayed that prayer, I want you to know that Christ himself has come to live inside of you. And I have a resource I want to send you. It's called the New Believer's Bible. So the New Believer's Bible is the New Testament in the New Living Translation with hundreds of notes that I wrote that will encourage you in this commitment you are making to follow Christ. There's some other materials included as well in what we call the New Believer's Growth Pack. But let me get this New Believer's Bible into your hands as quickly as possible.

Here's Dave to tell you more. Yeah, we'll be glad to send it all your way free of any charge if you prayed along with Pastor Greg today. Just ask for the New Believer's Bible when you call 1-800-821-3300. You can reach us anytime 24-7 at 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, we're so excited for you to see the new animated series called The Adventures of Ben Born Again and Yellow Dog. So, Pastor Greg, you've drawn countless cartoons over the years. Take us to that moment when you first saw The Adventures of Ben Born Again and Yellow Dog come to life through animation and hearing those characters speak. Take us to that moment when that was first unveiled for you.

Yeah. Well, it's been very interesting to see how it happens because now with a computer technology, you can take a character and completely create him. So, when we took my original drawings and then they were reimagined a little bit by an animation studio that we're working with, you have a fully dimensional Ben Born Again. And now we get to that part, we can start animating him and putting him against animation backdrops, which are very important as well. Then you add music, which is a very important part of creating the scene. And then you have sound effects. And then you have, of course, their voices. And we have a very talented voice actor who actually does both Ben Born Again and Yellow Dog.

No kidding. Yeah, he's very skilled. He does all of these voices and many more. And all of it comes together and then it becomes that animated experience that we've all come to enjoy. And so it was very exciting even when I saw just sketches of how he was going to look.

But when I saw a fully animated version, I have to say I was very excited about that. And I'm really excited to introduce this to a lot of people because this is something we've never done before. This is brand new, but we like to try new things. So the Lord is blessed as we've done these films and we've been able to reach entirely new audiences around the world, especially with the Jesus Revolution film. And we've just launched a special platform called Harvest Plus. It's sort of like our Harvest content meets Netflix. It's very easy to navigate and you can watch all of our documented films. Now we're going to have a whole section for kids featuring the Ben Born Again animated adventures. It's actually called The Adventures of Ben Born Again and Yellow Dog.

And we're working on new ones as well. But you can watch them right now if you just go to harvest.org or download that Harvest Plus app. You can have it on your phone, on your tablet, on your TV at home. And you can start watching this content. It's there on demand.

There's no charge for it. I encourage you to watch these cartoons with your kids or with your grandkids. And it can be a great way to start a conversation about Jesus. Oh, absolutely. And you know, what kid doesn't like a good cartoon?

And what parent or grandparent doesn't want good values taught to them while they're watching? So find The Adventures of Ben Born Again and Yellow Dog using the Harvest Plus app or at harvest.org. And we hope you'll partner with us so we can continue reaching out with the gospel in innovative new ways.

It's more expensive than you might imagine to produce an animated series, so your investment couldn't come at a better time. And Pastor Greg would like to thank you tangibly with a little gift, a copy of the redesigned Living Water Tract. It comes in comic book form and was the first thing Pastor Greg drew as a new believer way back when. We'll send it to say thank you for your donation. And we won't be mentioning this much longer, so contact us soon. You can call us at 1-800-821-3300. That's 1-800-821-3300. Or write A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514.

Or go online to harvest.org. Well, next time, more insights from the Bible's mention of Gideon and what we can learn from this humble man of valor. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher, Greg Lord. This is the day, the day when life begins Hey everybody, thanks for listening to A New Beginning. This is a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners. So for more content that can help you know God and equip you to make Him known to others, or to learn more about how you can become a Harvest Partner, just go to harvest.org.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-26 05:06:01 / 2024-02-26 05:16:40 / 11

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