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The Refreshing Power of Sharing Your Faith, Part 2 | Remembering What God's Done for You

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
May 7, 2024 3:00 am

The Refreshing Power of Sharing Your Faith, Part 2 | Remembering What God's Done for You

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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May 7, 2024 3:00 am

When people hear what Jesus has done for us, they’ll see what Jesus can do for them. That’s the essence of sharing the gospel. But what HAS Jesus done for us? If we’ve lost sight of how our life has changed, it may be time to for some soul searching before we go out soul winning. Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us reignite the passion in our hearts, and ignite our afterburners in our efforts to share Christ with those who need to meet Him. Today’s study is from the series called Refresh.

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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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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 greg.harvest.org. Again, it's greg.harvest.org.

You can learn more about becoming a Harvest Partner by going to harvest.org. We all have our personal testimony, our story of how we came to Christ and our life changed. But Pastor Greg Laurie says take care to tell it right. Don't make your past sound better than your present. I've heard some people say, you know, I used to party, I had money, I had everything, it was great. But then I came to Christ.

Now it's all of a sudden kind of a downer. Like wait, don't talk about what you gave up for Jesus. Talk about what Jesus gave up for you. When people hear what Jesus has done for us, they'll see what Jesus can do for them. That's the essence of sharing the gospel. But what has Jesus done for us? If we lost sight of how our life has changed, it may be time for some soul searching before we go out soul winning. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us reignite the passion in our hearts and ignite our afterburners in our efforts to share Christ with those who need to meet him.

Today's study is from the series called Refresh. In John chapter 4 verse 3 we read Jesus left Judea and departed again to Galilee, but he needed to go through Samaria. And he came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob's well was there. Therefore Jesus was tired from his journey and he stopped by a well. It was around the sixth hour.

That would be 12 o'clock noon. And a woman of Samaria came to draw water. And Jesus said to her, give me a drink.

For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. Then the woman of Samaria said to him, how is it that you being a Jew would ask for a drink from me a Samaritan woman for Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. And Jesus answered and said to her, if you knew the gift of God who it is that says to you give me a drink you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.

This is a perfect example of how to build a bridge to a person. Now this wasn't a moral woman as the story reveals. She had been married and divorced five times since she was living with some guy at the moment. This is a woman who was ostracized from the rest of the community. She would not have been an educated woman. She didn't know what the Bible said.

And so she was living this life that was in opposition to what the Bible teaches. But Jesus does not start with that. He appeals first to her spiritual thirst. So often we want to go right to the lifestyle of the person we are talking to. And I think in effect get the cart before the horse. We do need to get to that and I will talk about that in a moment.

Because I believe in telling the truth to people. However Jesus starts by building a bridge. Jesus starts by appealing to her spiritual thirst.

He reaches out to her. Bringing me to some points now that you might want to write down. The first point is simply this. If you want to evangelize Jesus style. That is what I am going to call this. Jesus style.

Because that is what it was. If you want to evangelize Jesus style it begins with the burden. Again verse 4. He needed to go through Samaria. As a matter of fact He did not need to go through Samaria.

It was actually way out of the way. He was leaving His country. He was going effectively to another country that was populated by people that were known to be the enemies of Israel. So Jesus leaves His comfort zone if you will. Jesus leaves His people.

Goes to this other place. Not just to a woman who was a Samaritan but in a moral woman who was a Samaritan. So when you want to share your faith effectively it starts with a God given concern. You have to care about the soul of a person who is not yet a believer. The second point if you want to evangelize Jesus style you need to use tact. I already touched on this earlier. Paul used tact there on Mars Hill.

We should do the same thing. Isaac Newton said quote, tact is the art of making a point without making an enemy end quote. And that is a very great way to say it. Now the woman isn't fully getting what Jesus is saying and now she starts to effectively argue with Him.

Bringing me to my next point. To share the gospel Jesus style we must adapt to the situation. John 14 15 the woman said to Him, sir give me this water that I may not thirst nor come here to draw. She is being sarcastic. Oh yeah you have water to drink.

Oh sir give me this water that you are talking about. Jesus effectively calls her out. He says in John 4 16 why don't you call your husband to come here. She says well I have no husband.

Jesus says that is true. You have had five husbands and you are living with some dude right now. She is like whoa how did he know that. She says sir I perceive that you are a prophet. See there will come a moment when you are engaging someone. You appeal to their spiritual thirst but they might ask you a question like well look I am living with my boyfriend or girlfriend.

Or you know I am doing drugs. Would I have to give that up to follow Jesus. You might say well I don't want to say you know yes that might turn them away.

No you need to tell them the truth. Yes you need to give that up to follow Jesus Christ. You see sin is keeping you from God.

Now I don't start with those issues but I am not going to avoid them when I get to them. They need to know that sin separates them from God. But the solution is a relationship with Jesus. The problem is sin.

The solution is Jesus. And so Jesus engages her and tells her what she needs to do. Acts 3 19 says, Repent and be converted that your sins may be blotted out and times of refreshment will come from the presence of the Lord. See we need to tell people they are sinners and that they need a Savior.

Listen to this. The Bible says if you confess your sins He is faithful and just to forgive you your sins and cleanse you from all unrighteousness. Next point. If you want to do evangelism Jesus style you don't deal with everyone in the same way. See Jesus dealt in a certain way with the woman at the well. And then He dealt in an entirely different way with Nicodemus. Nicodemus is in John 3. The woman at the well is John 4. Nicodemus is a religious devout man. John 4 is about an irreligious sinful woman.

But the answer was the same for both. They both needed Jesus. With the woman at the well Jesus engages her, draws her in, confronts her about her sin, and tells her the truth. With Nicodemus who came to Jesus at night Jesus effectively cut to the chase.

Nicodemus is the same teacher. We know you are a great man. No one could do the things that you do unless God is with them. Effectively Jesus says, listen buddy let's just get to the bottom line. You need to be born again.

So the point is we adapt to the person we are speaking to. Now after this woman at the well here is Jesus telling the truth. She says, sir I think you might be the Messiah. He goes, loose paraphrase, girl I am the Messiah. You are speaking with the Messiah. And then we read these words. John 4.28.

The woman left her water pot, went away into the city, and said to the man, come see a man who told me all things I ever did. Could this be the Christ? That brings me to my final point. Telling your story or sharing your testimony is a powerful bridge for the Gospel message. Again telling your story also known as your testimony. Now basically you just tell people of how you came to faith. You know sometimes non-believers don't realize we weren't all born this way. You know people might think, oh Greg he is a preacher.

He probably was raised in a nice Christian home and learned the Bible from his youth. No. I have told you many times that is not the case. For 17 years of my life I lived with my alcoholic mother and went through her divorces, seven in total. And then I made my own foolish choices in the early days of my youth. And then I heard the Gospel and gave my life to Christ. So you have a story. Everyone has a story. And it is a testimony. So this is a way of kind of preaching to a person without preaching at them.

Let me illustrate. Here is how I might use my story. I might say, well you know I was 17 years old. I was using drugs.

My life was empty. And I saw these Christians sitting on the front lot of my high school campus singing about God. And I thought these people are crazy. These people you know fell off the stupid tree and hit every branch on the way down. What is wrong with these people? Why do they believe this?

So I am kind of putting myself in the shoes of the person I am talking to because maybe that is actually how they feel at the moment. But then I will go on to say, but then I tried a new thought on for size. What if this is true? And I quickly dismissed it. It couldn't be true. There is no way it could be true.

But again I thought what if it is all true. And then a guy got up to speak and he said, Jesus said you are for me or against me. And I looked at the Christians and I realized I wasn't one of them.

And that was the day I prayed and asked Christ into my life. Now see I am telling a story. I am putting myself in the way I used to think, which may be the way the person I am talking to is thinking at present. And I am showing them the transition, how I got from A to B. And in a way I am preaching to them because I am telling them what the preacher said.

But I am not pointing my finger at them. But I am building the bridge. That is the point of a testimony.

It builds the bridge. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. We send these daily studies out via radio, satellite, and online. And we don't always know how these messages are touching lives. But when we hear the stories of our listeners, it really is encouraging. Pastor Greg, you never cease to amaze me. I just watched the first episode of your new animated series, Been Born Again in Yellow Dog.

And it was wonderful. I struggled to talk to my 16-year-old son, who has mild autism and ADHD. This animated episode, called The Bridge is Out, allowed me to have an open dialogue with him. He asked questions and was able to understand things more clearly.

It also tested all the Bible studying we've been doing together. Thank you again for always coming out with unique ways of reaching everyone. God bless you. It's a privilege to be able to provide so many resources through Harvest Ministries. Check them out for yourself at harvest.org.

That's harvest.org. Well, Pastor Greg is offering some good encouragement today in his message called The Refreshing Power of Sharing Your Faith, Part 2. Let's continue. Just a few tips about sharing your personal story. Don't glorify or exaggerate the past. Don't glorify or exaggerate the past. You know, some people, their testimony gets more dramatic with the telling.

I've heard some people talk and tell how they came to Christ. I hear them a few years later and, wow, a lot more stuff is in that story. Did you just remember that or are you embellishing it a little bit? You know, don't make your past sound better than your present. I've heard some people say, you know, I used to party. I had money. I had everything. I had women.

I was great. But then I came to Christ. Now it's all of a sudden kind of a downer. Like, wait, your old life was miserable. Why are you making your old life sound better than your new life?

Someone might be listening to you and thinking, I want your old life, I want your old life, not your new life. I love the way that Paul had perspective on his past. Paul was a very accomplished individual, very intelligent, but he dismissed all of it. He said in Philippians 3, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life.

Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ as my Lord, everything I used to think was significant is now insignificant. And then one translation puts it, it's dog dung. The word that Paul used is that rude word excrement.

That stuff, it's like poop compared to what I have now. He says, I've dumped it in the trash so I could embrace Christ and be embraced by Him. Isn't that beautiful? So don't talk about what you gave up for Jesus. Talk about what Jesus gave up for you. I really don't care what you gave up. It's nothing compared to what God has done for you.

Talk about how Jesus died on the cross for your sin, how He made the greatest sacrifice of all. It's not about you, it's about Him. And you tell your story only to make a beeline to His story. The greatest story ever told. So I have a new acronym for you.

BLAST. B-L-A-S-T. This sort of pulls together some of these things I've said to you. B, build a bridge. So when we're talking to people about Jesus, start by building a bridge.

I didn't say burn a bridge. Build a bridge. L, lovingly enter their world. Enter their world. Take an interest in them. That brings me to A, ask questions. And listen, don't interrupt them. Ask them lots of questions. S, share your testimony.

We just talked about that. Tell them your story of how you came to believe in Jesus. And finally T, tell them how to come to Jesus. Again, B, build a bridge. L, lovingly enter their world.

A, ask questions. S, share your testimony. T, tell them how to come to Jesus. We're almost done.

But this is where it breaks down for a lot of people. How do you get the person from A to B? How do you get them to come to Jesus? You've shared your testimony.

You've shared the gospel. How do you pop the question, if you will? It's a little bit like a marriage proposal. I've heard of some pretty amazing and creative marriage proposals. A friend that proposed to his wife underwater. He had one of those little tablets, you know, you can write underwater, and he wrote, will you marry me?

I've heard of people putting it, you know, skywriting, will you marry me? My wife tells me I never properly proposed. She says we were out having dinner.

And I looked at her and we'd been going out for around, I don't know, two years at that point. And I said to her, according to Kathy, well, I guess we're going to get married, huh? And she says, that was my proposal. No getting done on one knee. No, will you marry me? Here's the ring. No, just, well, I guess we're getting married, huh?

Well, it's kind of weak. But at least I said something. So you might ask, how do I actually pop that question? It's as simple as this. After you've shared all those things with the person, you ask them this question. Would you like to ask Jesus Christ to come into your life right now? You need to be led by the Spirit.

But the Lord might direct you to ask this question at an unexpected time. Let me tell you a story about a man named Roy. My wife Kathy and I would go take walks in the morning. And we came upon this older gentleman that was obviously struggling because he would walk and have to stop. And so we started talking with him. He said, I think I've seen you on TV. I said, yeah, I've been on TV a few times. And are you a preacher?

Yes, I'm a preacher. What's your name? My name is Roy. Well, my name is Greg. Nice to meet you, Roy.

How are you doing? Well, he says, I have a heart condition. And my heart actually will hurt.

But I'm exercising and I'm doing everything that I can to stay strong. And so I started to share the gospel with Roy. Roy's immediately defensive. Oh, my whole family's Christian, he says. And they're always telling me to believe in Jesus. But I have a lot of questions about the Christian faith. I said, well, Roy, what are some of them? So he asked me a couple of the questions. And I answer them. And then we say, nice to see you.

And that day is over. So the next day we see Roy again. He goes, I have another question for you, preacher.

Sure, Roy, fire. And hits me with a question. I gave him an answer. I see him the next day. I have another question for you. This went on for kind of a long time, a few weeks actually with the questions from the skeptical Roy.

I wasn't hopefully was going to believe necessarily. But one day I'm sitting with my wife in our house and we're actually having a devotion together. We're reading the Bible and we're praying. And I look out my window and literally right in my eyeshot I see Roy just standing there. And I said, Kathy, I think this is Roy's day to come to Christ.

So I walked out of my house. I walked up, hey, Roy, how you doing? He says, I'm OK. I'm just stopping.

My heart's hurting a little bit. I said, Roy, I'm going to ask you a question. We've had a lot of talks about the questions you have.

Yes. Here's my question for you, Roy. Would you like to accept Jesus Christ right now? He said, yes, I would. It was a moment. So I said, let's pray. And I prayed with Roy.

It was a beautiful thing. So I gave him a Bible. And then I would see him after that. And I knew his family. They were all Christian.

And they were all very excited. I heard that Roy had come to Christ. So I'd see him the next day. And he goes, I was just remembering some of the songs I used to sing in church when I was a little boy. And then I saw him the next day. And he says, my heart's hurting right now. But I'm just thinking of how much pain Jesus went through as he died on the cross. Roy was growing in his faith.

It was amazing. And then for a few days we didn't see Roy out there walking. And one day we get a knock on our door.

There's a young man standing there. And he says, I'm Roy's grandson. I said, yes. He says, I'm sorry to tell you that my grandfather went to be with the Lord. But I want to thank you for sharing the gospel with him. And he loved the Lord. And we had such great times together after he had committed his life to Christ. And I was so thankful I popped the question.

Maybe I can close by popping the question to you. And I'm talking to somebody right now that needs Jesus. And the problem is no one has ever told you how to actually become a Christian.

Let me tell you in the simplest way I can. Let me go back and remind you of something I already said. You're a sinner.

Don't take it personally. I'm a sinner. We're all sinners. We've broken God's commandments.

We've fallen short of his glory. God loved you so much he sent his son to die on the cross for your sins. And then Jesus rose again from the dead. And Jesus is literally standing at the door of your life and he is knocking and he is saying if you will hear his voice and open the door he will come in.

So here's my question. Would you like Jesus Christ to come into your life right here right now? It's as simple as a prayer. I'll lead you in the same prayer I led Roy in some years ago.

Simple prayer where you'll just say Lord I want your forgiveness. I want to have my spiritual thirst satisfied. I want to know that when I die I will go to heaven. If you want Jesus to come into your life. If you want that void in your life filled.

If you want your guilt taken away. If you want to go to heaven when you die. If you want to find the meaning and purpose of life pray this prayer with me right now. I'm going to pray it and you can pray it out loud or you can pray it quietly in your heart. But would you pray with me? Just pray these words. Lord Jesus I know that I am a sinner but I know that you are 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. Be my Savior and Lord. Be my God and my friend. In Jesus name I pray.

Amen. Such an important prayer for those making a decision for the Lord. And as you've listened to a new beginning today if you prayed along with Pastor Greg Laurie we want to be the first to welcome you into the family of God.

And second let us help you get started off right. Let us send you Pastor Greg's New Believers Bible. It's a special edition of God's Word that's perfect for those who are new to the faith. It'll answer many of the questions you may have and help you build a strong foundation for your faith. So ask for the New Believers Bible when you call 1-800-821-3300.

That's a 24 7 phone number 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org and click know God. Well Pastor Greg we're so glad to have our friend author Jay Warner Wallace with us today. I noticed that Jim not only graduated from the Sheriff's Academy but years earlier I don't know if you know this Greg he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Design. Oh wow. And a Master's degree in Architecture from UCLA.

Yes. So early on he got a higher education for his right brain the creative side and then later he educated his left brain the analytical side and both sides of his brain are smarter than either of us. That's my conclusion. That's what the evidence points to.

I seriously doubt that. Let me ask you in your book the new book the Truth and True Crime you describe 15 different investigations and the lessons learned from them. Which one of those 15 investigations impacted you the most do you think? Well some of these aspects we talk about in the book we talk about you know for example financial stewardship we talk about marriage fathers we talk about a lot of practical aspects of human flourishing that are described on the pages of scripture but but now we're kind of just discovering these right these secular studies are just discovering the power of these things yet these have been very ancient claims. I'll say one thing that surprises me it turns out that there's one attribute of human flourishing that has a tendency to improve almost every aspect of your life from your physical health your longevity from your mental health the rates of suicide and depression go down if you adopt this attribute you will become a better learner you get better grades in school you'll actually become a better discerner of of facts if you adopt this attitude you'll be a far better employee and a far better employee or you'll have deeper relationships I mean in just about every aspect that you can measure. Okay let's stop right now Dave we need a drum roll right now because this is big I'm excited to hear about this attribute that will improve everything let's go drum roll the reveal here it comes here it is ready here it comes it is humility and and it's weird because these studies have really been collected now I'd say about 25 years of studies that have shown this and this is perhaps the central claim the central attribute of Christianity if you think about it right number one you've got tons of examples in scripture of of people who adopted and showed humility when Paul says in Philippians to have this attitude in yourselves which is also in Christ Jesus he's talking about an attitude of servant humility but Jesus talks about this explicitly with his followers who want to know who the greatest will be you see this over and over and over again and think about Christianity in general every other worldview is a collection of dues right like you have to do something if you're you have to obey the 10 commandments you have to obey the laws of Christianity and even the laws of the prophets if you're a Mormon even Mormonism has a list of dues Hindus got a list of dues it's true in Buddhism this is true and it's do what you must do and of course when we do things we end up becoming pretty prideful about the fact we've achieved these things I have a friend who's no longer with us and I remember he used to tease all the time that he had a book he was going to write how to become humble in 10 easy steps and how I made it in eight okay well of course this is the problem is that when you pursue humility you end up becoming prideful about the pursuit itself it's self-defeating I think Spurgeon said it best when you properly assess who you are then you start to approach humility I think this is such an amazing insight and there's that and a lot more in this new book by J. Warner Wallace former cold case detective now prolific author and the title of the book is the truth in true crime you're going to be riveted by the stories that Jim tells from as many years serving in law enforcement as well as how they connect to biblical truth and how you can connect that in your life the truth in true crime available to you this month for your gift of any size to help us continue to bring God's word to people that really need to hear it yeah that's right we're completely listener supported and your investment makes all the difference in helping us continue to bring these studies your way so thank you for your partnership and as you send a donation today be sure to ask for the new book the truth in true crime you can call us at 1-800-821-3300 call anytime 1-800-821-3300 or just go online to harvest.org 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 next time as pastor greg's series called refresh continues we'll learn of the refreshing power of god's word join us here on a new beginning with pastor and bible teacher greg lorry the preceding podcast was made possible by harvest partners helping people everywhere know god learn how to become a harvest partner sign up for daily devotions and find resources to help you grow in your faith at harvest.org
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-07 05:24:50 / 2024-05-07 05:36:07 / 11

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