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The Refreshing Power of Sharing Your Faith: A Reward Worth the Risk

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Cross Radio
November 24, 2021 3:00 am

The Refreshing Power of Sharing Your Faith: A Reward Worth the Risk

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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November 24, 2021 3:00 am

Evangelism is at the heart of Pastor Greg Laurie’s ministry. From this radio broadcast, A New Beginning, to his television program, to his large Harvest evangelistic events, the Gospel is always a central component. Our mission statement is Knowing Him and Making Him Known. And today, from Pastor Greg’s new series called Refresh, we dig deep into some principles for effective personal evangelism by learning from the most successful evangelistic outreach in history.

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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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Today's episode of a new beginning is brought to you by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God. Learn more@harness.org and while you're there, browse our library of free e-books designed to help you grow in your faith. When we make ourselves available to read Lori points out today on a new beginning, God will make his power and direction available to God's people show so strong.

She's looking for someone like you will actually say Lord go to want to say listen, will you be the person so wonderful sure waves.

Gregory's ministry radio broadcast a new beginning television program is large harvest evangelistic.

The gospel is always a central component of our mission statement is knowing and making no today from Pastor Greg new series called we dig deeper into some principles for effective personal evangelism. Learning from the most successful evangelistic outreach.

Okay, let's go back and a long time ago and John would see Fokker far away, a very young Greg Laurie 817 came to believe in Jesus Christ. So I started going to church. I started reading the Bible for the first, my that and I heard the pastor say you need to go out and tell other people about Jesus Christ and I didn't want to tell people what God had done for me. My life is been transformed. I found the answers that I am in my generation were searching for but I did not want to walk up to a total stranger. There was a fear of rejection.

They might ask me a question I don't have the answer to, but but I got a little booklet called the four spiritual laws put up by Campus Crusade for Christ and I went out looking for someone to talk to understand. I thimbleful of theological knowledge. At this point I do very little. I saw a middle-aged woman sitting on the beach in Newport Beach but did to my mom and I thought well maybe she'll be nice to me.

I walked up I was very nervous. My voice was shaking and I said hi good. I talked to you about God and stuff and she says go ahead so I sat down and I was so new at this I literally just read this little booklet. I have even memorized its contents page 1 page 2 page 1 God loves you and is a plan for your life are separated from God by your sin and I read through it and I remember thinking this. I'm doing this. This is not going to work. Who know, I think I am.

This is the most insane thing I've ever done. I I couldn't wait until it was over with so many think it see the summit. I talked to someone about Jesus. I was planning for failure. Trust me. So I get to the end of this little booklet where question is asked is there any good reason why you should not accept Jesus Christ right now realize all that question. So I looked up at her and she said no but don't wait, does that mean you want to accept Jesus Christ right now. She said yes. Oh no, I didn't know what to do what heard the pastor say let's all bow our heads in the word of prayer. So I said the little let's pray bow your head. I frantically searching. This booklet for like what I do now, and I found this little prayer which IN and after she was done praying she said something just happened and something happened to me too. I discovered the joy of sharing my faith. Good thing I didn't want to do the thing I dreaded doing ended up being exciting and fulfilling and refreshing. So that's the title of my message the refreshing power of sharing your faith, which is a part of our new series that were simply calling refreshed. Now I know it seems counterintuitive to talk to people about Jesus because it seems hard. We too are afraid of rejection. But here's the truth of the matter. By the way, I don't think Satan wants you to know this. Listen when you tell others about Jesus, it will revive you. It will restore you and it will refresh you as a follower of Jesus Christ. I want to see that again when you tell others about Jesus, it will refresh you it will revive you.

It will restore you. Proverbs 1125 says a generous person will prosper, listen, and he who refreshes others will be refreshed him so so this is a very important spiritual principle now will know as Christians were supposed to share our faith.

You probably heard the great commission case you don't know it, it isn't found in two Gospels Matthew and Mark. Mark's version has Jesus saying go into all the world and preach the gospel. Matthew's version is going to all the world and make disciples of all nations teaching them to observe all things that I've commanded you, baptizing them in the name of the father son and the Holy Spirit.

Hello, I am with you always says, our Lord, the great commission, we know were supposed to do it, but frankly, most of us don't listen. The Bible says that God is looking for people to show himself strong on behalf of he's looking for someone like you who will actually say usually Lord, how go where you want me to go I'll say what you want me to say listen, will you be the person. If so, a wonderful adventure awaits you. I believe that sharing your faith can be exciting, joyful, and dare I use the word fine. Yes, you heard me right as someone 26 six says those who go out weeping carrying seed this so will return with songs of joy carrying their sheaves with him you for that old song bringing in the sheaves bringing in the she's that's what that's about. You go out with sadness, concern for people that don't know the Lord would you come back with joy as people of come to Christ.

Jesus said there is joy in heaven.

Every time a person puts her faith in Jesus Christ and that there is joy in heaven because of that, there to be joy on earth and in our hearts we had the privilege of playing a role in that as well listen next to personally knowing the Lord the greatest joy I know is bringing others to him and then watching them grow and be transformed. There's joy in telling people about Jesus and seeing them grow in Jesus. Back to the story of Jonah the book of Jonah is a story of a massive revival that came about through the efforts of one man and that man was Jonah. He was called to preach to Nineveh, which was a great city. By the way, the population of Nineveh was around 300,000 might've been a little smaller but that was a mega city back at that time. The reason the population was so high is because it became the capital of Assyria. There was a magnificent palace built there so it was a very, very large city of its day, 300,000 strong. It was a great city.

We read in Jonah 12. Jonah said I don't want to go preach to that great city so that we read in Jonah 14 God sent a great win. And then that when brought a storm in Jonah was ultimately swallowed by a great fish Jonah 117 but the ultimate story of Jonah. It is about a great God, who showed great love to velocity like Nineveh and offered them his forgiveness. If we miss that we missed the whole point of the story.

How was he able to do this.

It started with Jonah himself.

Of course he was swallowed by. Maybe the whale or whatever that creature was it was in the belly of that whale. The Jonah had a personal revival.

It was there that he repented of his sin and recommitted himself to the Lord and was willing to do with the Lord and called them to do any of the message. 40 days and Nineveh shall be overthrown. Wow, what a story this is the listen. Jonah was the right man at the right place at the right time. I wonder if you know somebody right now that the Lord is been nudging you to talk to, whether to engage a person in a conversation.

Did it ever occur to you that God is place you right where you are right now to reach certain people so seize the moment. Mr. Greg Laurie will have the second half of this message just a moment, everybody Greg Laurie here. You know my uncle Fred Jordan at one of the first Christian TV programs out there. It was called church in the home. I remember watching it as a little boy when I was living with my grandparents we have church in the home for you every weekend is called harvest@homebythatharvest.org we have worship in a message of God's word. So join us this weekend for harvested home harvest.Pastor Greg is anchoring our study in Jonah chapter 3 today as he brings his his message called the refreshing power of sharing your faith, part one. What else do we learn about sharing our faith from the book of Jonah number two Jonah went to where the people were Jonah went to where the people were Jonah 33 says John obeyed the word of the Lord went to Nineveh.

Now Nineveh was a very large city it took three days to go through it. Jonah began by going to Dee's journey into this city crying 40 more days and Nineveh will be overthrown that we read these words, the Ninevites believed God, he went right in the middle of the city. He could've just shouted it from the shores of Nineveh 40 days and Nineveh will be overthrown. Thank you very much well I need a ride back somewhere know he went into the city shot a tweet up other than the putter back, but he could've got the message out in other ways. When he realized I need to go to the middle of the city where people are this massive city of 300,000 people listen. We need to go to unexpected people and unexpected places to share with them what will be an unexpected message.

That's why here in harvest or online for you every weekend and you may be watching us@ourwebsiteharvest.org maybe her Facebook page. Maybe on YouTube.

You might be watching this on television, you might be hearing this on radio. These are the various media platforms that we use were always looking for ways to reach people that you would not normally reach people who would not necessarily darken the doorway of a church we read up letter a little bit earlier from that gentleman who was a trucker he heard our ministry while he was driving his truck and we were able to invade his world and this is the thing is christen for not called isolate were called to infiltrate and were called to permeate number three are message.

The message of the gospel must be delivered with urgency and must be delivered with urgency. Notice it says in Jonah 34 as he entered the city, he cried out 40 days and Nineveh will be overthrown. He cried out, this is by the way, not the first time the Jonah crime.

He also cried out in the belly of the fish.

Jonah 2 we read Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the fish's belly and he said I cried out to the Lord because of my affliction and he answered me out of the belly of Sheol I cried, and you heard my voice are you in a time of affliction. Are you in a time of difficulty. Are you in a time of trial. Cry out to the Lord. Jeremiah 33 three says call out to me that I will answer you, says the Lord.

Also, you great and mighty things that you do not know Jonah took the desperation he felt in the belly of the sea creature and channeled it and what God had called them to do in bringing the message to the people of Nineveh. Jonah had been transformed and the fishes dolling Jonah should have died in the fishes belly. He had been saved and preserved by God.

Jonah was a resurrection man and people cannot argue with the transformed life. Jonah should have been dead but he was alive and well. Because of this there was an urgency. There was a passion and what he was saying to have an urgency and a passion and reaching other people. Jonah certainly had it. There was an authenticity in his voice. He was a changed man. As I pointed out he probably was also a bleached man who smelled of vomit. Perhaps in fish, but he had a mission that he was going to fulfill that mission and the people of Nineveh could see this was a resurrection man. This was a man brought back from the dead is a lot of power in your personal story. When you share your faith with others, but I want you to think about of a story in the New Testament is called the story of the woman at the well's and John for we don't know this lady's name but fascinating story. We know she was a Samaritan and of the Samaritans and the Jews wanted nothing to do with each other was a lot of tension there racial tension and then also we know she was an immoral woman because she had been married and divorced five times and she was living with some dude when she encountered Jesus now.

The thing with this woman as she would go on draw water in the heat of the day.

Why because she won when nobody else was at the well. The other ladies would go to the well earlier in the morning, catch up on the latest town gossip, but she was ostracized she was rejected because of the lifestyle she had chosen the live so she's there all by yourself drawing water in the heat of the day and who was waiting for her. But Jesus cries the very son of God. He went out of his way to meet with her because, unbeknownst to her, she had an appointment with God, and there she was at that well and Jesus entered her world and then she heard the truth of his message how she drank of the water he gave she would never thirst again. But there would be a will of living water coming out of her life and she believes she realized she had been talking with the Messiah and we read in John 428. She left her water jar she came back to town instead of the people come see a man who told me everything I ever did.

Could this be the Messiah and we read this. They came out of the town and made their way to Jesus while because she was a resurrection woman.

She was a woman who would then change they knew her she had a bad reputation, but they thought her passion and her excitement for what Christ had done for her, and as a result they came and wanted to hear Jesus for themselves. You know I love the way Jesus connected to her. He asked her questions. He listened to her. He didn't come off as a know it all. Don't be a know it all. I know you know certain things as a Christian, but sometimes are talking to a nonbeliever. And though say something but that's wrong that's so stupid. Why would you think that just listen.

Don't be a know it all who was more of a know it all.

Then Jesus he literally knew it all.

I mean technically new and all because he was omniscient, which means all-knowing sometimes are accused of being holier than thou don't be holier than thou who was more holy. Then Jesus he was the holiest of any man who ever walked the planet because he was God incarnate, but he didn't come up holier than thou.

The Bible says he was a friend of sinners.

He entered her world.

He listened to her. He took time with her and it resulted in a transformation. Listen effective evangelism is not a monologue. It's a dialogue now when I speak at our Crusades. I have the privilege of standing on the stage and speaking good. 30,000 50,000 people sometimes more, sometimes less.

It's effectively a monologue. Occasionally someone might yell at me from the audience, but generally it's me speaking through a microphone through massive sound system to a lot of people. That's a monologue, but when I share my faith 11. It is a dialogue on what grounds of the pulpit like this on wheels it on the market push Madonna I'll my bread, my bottled water hey how are you doing let me tell you about.

You know I don't do it like that. I enter people's worlds. I listen to them. I don't tell them I'm a pastor up front if there is stranger because the runaway and tear if there talking to an actual preacher, but I just try to be a friend to them and so here's some interesting stats for you to consider. 79% of unchurched people agree with the following statement I don't mind talking to a friend about their faith if they really value is not interesting 79%. That's the majority people were not believers are saying. I don't mind talking with a friend about their faith if they value so they want to see. Do you actually believe this yourself. Do you value this your self the Barna group as nonbelievers what they value most. When talking about spiritual things with someone listen they answered.

They want people to listen without judgment. Listen without judgment.

This is an easy for some Christians you want to judge people you want to condemn people you want to yell at people that somehow you gonna reach people. The objective is not to win the argument.

It's to win the soul. The goal is not to burn the bridge is to build the bridge which means you you listen with love, you let them tell you their story and then you appropriately apply the message of the gospel for all of us because we are all called to share the life saving message of the gospel. Pastor Greg Laurie with a study called the refreshing power of sharing your faith.

Part one. This is a new beginning and then were so excited to make available a new book called the Jesus music Pastor Greg in the mid-70s I was a DJ had a Jesus music station not far from Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa were so much of the music was born right and our entire library was about 60 albums a success is so even by the mid-70s. It was still a fledgling music format is nothing like it is today and we try to expand its reach. We tried to work through the churches to get the word out about this new music and yeah frankly most resisted unit was different. Yes, it had drums and guitars.

They didn't want any of that stuff.

Well, things have changed seventh day.

I mean, it's not uncommon to see electric guitars and drums and all that in churches today. All of the things that you see in the church today actually came from the Jesus movement.

One of them is contemporary Christian music. Another is I would say a more casual approach by the preacher may be dressed in a more relaxed way a lot of things that are commonplace in the church were born in this time of revival that started somewhere around maybe 69 went on through the 70s. In one of the big things was the music, the Jesus music was the soundtrack of that movement and I have the privilege of having a front row seat.

I didn't know that I'd walked smack dab into the middle of a genuine spiritual awakening that Rebecca wrote a book about it called the Jesus revolution. By the way that's been made into a feature film that will be released in 2022, but this music was happening. Amazing fresh new music that was current for our generation and not only was it me back then but it continues to this present day, so a book has been written about this called the Jesus music. It's a beautiful hardbound book with the glossy pages filled with photographs and stories about these artists.

The ones who pioneered at the Jesus music people like love song Andre Crouch of the disciples, and of course Larry Norman on through artists like Amy Grant, Michael W Smith through bands like Petra and striper to the present day, with bands that we listen to today and art is that we listen to today fascinating origins.

This book is a story of well flawed individuals of God work through a lot of these artists were perfect people, but who was a perfect person is not the whole Bible, the story of flawed people that God work through. So this is a book that will tell you things about this music that you've probably grown the love that you've never heard before or seen before. It's a brand-new book called the Jesus music. I had the privilege of writing the forward and I think you're gonna really enjoy this. This is a Kennebunk you probably sent on your coffee table and keep out the look at again and again so were encouraging you to order your own copy of the Jesus music written by Marshall Terrell, who I wrote three books with and I working on 1/4 book with. By the way, and this is something you're gonna love and it will be yours for your gift of any size know some of you can give a lot. We appreciate that some of you can only give a little. Whatever you give. We will send you your own copy of the Jesus music is our way of saying thanks to you. Yeah, that's right. And we hope you will contact us today with your investment in this ministry and will send you this beautiful hardback edition of the Jesus music so many great pictures and such great stories of the birth of contemporary Christian music. You can write us at a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call any time 24 seven, 1-800-821-3300.

That's 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org the next time we take a break currently fresh series to bring a study particularly appropriate for Thanksgiving day here in the US joined us here on beginning pastor and Bible Greg Moore and everybody thinks or listening to 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