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September 19, 2022 3:00 am
Believers have the privilege of sharing a life-saving message within their circle of influence. But many times, we let those opportunities pass by. Maybe we don’t feel equal to the assignment . . . we’re just “regular folks” and the stakes are so high. Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie introduces us to another “regular guy” who stepped out with uncommon courage and did great things for the Kingdom. Let’s learn how we can find the courage to follow in his footsteps.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org and while you're there, browse our library of free e-books designed to help you grow in your faith in the presence of God. You will not go for any words that you never thought for the supernatural for coming up today. Read more.
He points out the confidence we represent God will tell others about.
Keep in mind this really speak wherever it is wherever we go. God is God is a majority lifesaving measures. Many times we look those opportunities you don't feel equal to the assignment were just regular folks are so high today of a new beginning for you to another regular felt was uncommon learn how we can find the following let's go to King 71st Kings 17 were starting a brand-new series titled Elijah the power to stand in the title of my message is there's a new kid in town. Elijah the prophet what you think of when you hear that may well we think of the prophet who boldly stormed in the record of the wicked King Ahab and said there will not be dew nor rain these years, except that my work we think of a boy being raised back to life again. By this miracle working prophet. Of course, we think of fire coming down from heaven up on Mount Carmel you've heard of the shootout at the okay corral that this was the shootout amount Carmel with Elijah the prophet to Bill and God answered by fire. That's all true but then there's another side of Elijah. Sometimes we don't think about. He was given the depression and discouragement with things did not work out he experienced intense fear and deep loneliness at times.
He doubted the faithfulness of God. See he would even allow his anger to distort his thinking and he would experience dark depression. On one occasion, at least he even wanted to die. Who is this guy Elijah answer. The Bible says Elijah was a man just like us was another translation puts it, Elijah was a human as we are and it's so true. He came in a very dark time in the history of Israel. But this single man changed history and caused Israel to turn back to God. And it shows how one man or one woman can make all the difference only to live in very dark times in our country right now we have all of the turmoil we have the crime we have the divisions racially and politically, and reminds us of the passage it says in the last days. Things would go from bad to worse. If you have a steady diet of news you're going to be a pretty agitated, worked up and depressed person and it could cause you to just throw up your hands in despair and say there's just no hope. It's just so bad, but there's always hope, because God is here and he's ready to intervene. We need a spiritual awakening in America, we need to pray for that spiritual awakening but listen to this revival is what God does for us to evangelism is what we do for God. I cannot cause a revival to happen tomorrow, nor can you even if we all aspirate together.
God will send that awakening when he chooses to send that awakening but on the other hand, evangelism.
That's something I can do.
Harvest. We take the great commission really seriously the philosophy of some is to invade the culture you could sum it up in one word, isolation. But understand this, that is virtually impossible. You can try to remove yourself and your children from the culture of the culture will find you. By the way, that is not what Jesus told us to do is not called us to isolate. He is called us to infiltrate heat. He wants us to permeate our job is not even a it's to invade right invade being meaning that we go into our culture into our world going to all of the world and preach the gospel, going to our world. Go into every place we can well that's our job because Jesus is called us to be both salt and light in the culture. He says you are the salt of the earth salt. Others lost insulting. This isn't good for anything. Sort of like when a Coke goes flat. It's worth less or when you order a decaf lowfat lavender worthless latte. I think you should have the will or were worthless of you in order that just say I would like a lowfat decaf worthless latte place but you don't so that's what it's like to not have an influence with a salty Christian is one that is standing up for what is true speaking out against what is not true but also what else to salt do. It stimulates first and I were living this a true follower of Jesus, we will stimulate and others. A spiritual thirst and then Jesus said you're not just assault of your you're the light of the world. He said let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your father who is in heaven. Will Elijah was certainly that he was salt and light and this stage of the history of Israel closely parallels America today. Basically, the people had abandoned God so they didn't believe in God anymore. They had just put other gods in his place was GK Chesterton's" when a man stops believing in God he doesn't then believe in nothing, he believes in anything." That's what was happening then that's what's happening now what we have in America is basically an ABC religion ABC anything but Christ whatever I tell you, will entertain that whatever philosophy sure we'll get into that, but when we come to Christ.
No, we don't know money really care about that at all.
The reason there was a moral breakdown in Israel is because it was a spiritual breakdown because there can be no real morality without spirituality. And when I use the word spirituality. I mean a relationship with God is real, and failed to do this and that's with their troubles began this out that there were outright atheists. They were just worshiping other gods as well and we can judge them and say they were so wrong to do it and they were, but we have our idols to will get into this later, but an idle or a gob of the small G is anyone or anything that takes the place of God in your life is something you get fired up about something you're passionate about more passionate about your then your faith in Jesus that could potentially be arrival little historical background here before we dive in Israel. He had had years under the leadership of Saul, David and family Solomon so so you know wasn't the worst king of all time, but he was in the great King, and he was replaced by David who was probably the greatest king in the history of Israel, though he had his flaws and setbacks and sins.
Then finally his son Solomon, who ruled well for a time and was known as the wisest man in all of the world, even the Queen of Sheba came to sit at his feet, but of course he had his backslide he return to the Lord. But then there was a division after King Solomon died in Israel was divided into two sections was southern kingdom in the northern kingdom and idolatry exploded and now there's a new king in town and his name is a habit. He was the most sinful king up to that point. And if that wasn't bad enough, he married an extremely wicked woman named Jezebel, who effectively was the power behind the throne. Jezebel was an overt worshiper of the God bail and she introduced bail worship to Israel by the way bail means master or Lord, bail is the God of the elements, the God of the weather, the God of the sun, the stars, and that's why it's so significant that when Elijah based off of the profits of bail up on Mount Carmel really asking the God was real to answer by fire that should've been a walk in the park for bail. But nothing happened because bail wasn't real. He was a false God, and that's what Elijah was seeking to show a human Jezebel were so bad that the Bible says of them in first Kings 16. Ahab did more to provoke the God of Israel.
The anger that all the kings of Israel were before him, so they thought hey this is great, the true God doesn't really care. We can have our cake and eat it to write. By the way I lead taking the then why can't you have your cake and eat to. So that's a very thoughtful give the best of both worlds. We still believe in the Lord. Of course, but we can have all this fun, we can break God's laws. We can live a morally and do all of these things, but of course God warns in Scripture.
Don't be deceived, God is not mocked whatsoever a man sows, that will he also reap. Remember that story of the boy king Belshazzar who went out of his way to mock the true God of Israel, taking the special vessels that were used in the temple for worship and filling them with wine and toasting and praising the false cards and there was that hand writing on the wall was a hand of God with a little heavenly graffiti telling Belshazzar that his days were numbered. God will not be mom Mr. Greg Laurie of the second half of his message just a moment.
We love hearing from her listeners. Whether it's a short word or they take some time to tell us what's going on. We read every word pastor. Granted I'm thankful for your devotions and treats each day. They only seem to have a direct impact on what I'm going through is indeed the case today.
Thank you for staying true to the word to all these years I can trust her teachings and that's Golden to me. Thank you Greg, how have these studies in God's word touched your life. If you have a story to share. Why not call us and tell us about: 866-871-1144. That's 866-871-1144 overlearning important life lessons from the account of Elijah and first Kings 17 Pastor Greg resumes her study now called, there's a new kid in town you playing with said it's good I will eventually catch up with you read an interesting article about a man who tragically died recently.
He was bitten by a snake. A venomous snake that this guy had 124 snakes in his house, including rattlesnakes, cobras, black mom, but some of those are poisonous. One of this they spit up so you know, here's the bottom line is if you hang around with venomous snake sugar will eventually get bitten if you play around with send it to is going to bite you. Ecclesiastes 811 reminds us because sentence against an evil work is not executed quickly. Therefore, the sons of men are fully set to do evil. Let me paraphrase that because you get away with something for a long period of time you think you will always get away with it, but you will eventually it's going to bite you.
Eventually it's going to blow up on you eventually it's going to come out and you can have to face the consequences of it. Funny thing later on.
Then, in this story, King Ahab accuses Elijah of being the one who troubles Israel. You're the one that brought all this trouble on Israel, and Elijah says I'm not the one who troubles Israel. You're the one who troubles Israel and the nation is reaping what it sows because of the leadership of you and Jezebel in the same way. Many times we blame God for the problems we bring on our self. So here's the thing. Whenever things are dark, God will raise up his man, his woman, he always has the right man of the right woman at the right time when the people rebelled against God, the Lord raised up either canola when the people were in slavery, God sent Moses when the very survival of Israel was at stake.
The Lord sent Esther what all these people have in common. They were imperfect people serving a perfect God, ordinary people doing extraordinary things again. Elijah was a man just like us now. Not only was he bold and courageous. He didn't seem to care much about his appearance either were told in second Kings 180 was a hairy man and wore a leather belt around his waist. Elijah was a rugged, roughhewn, unsophisticated men from the outback of Gilead. So let's start the story first Kings chapter 17 verse one just simple verse in the lines of the testified of the inhabitants of Gilead, said to Ahab, as the Lord God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, I'd underline that the Lord God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years except in my work stuff there. Elijah flung down the gauntlet of his challenge. At the very nerve center of Israel. There was a new kid in town and he was not afraid if he walks right into the kings court. I mean here they are Ahab and Jezebel sitting on the regal drones dressed in royal robes and all of a sudden this crazy dude from the wilderness walks in all hairy, not caring about them. No protocol doesn't bow before them. No niceties just drops a bomb and walks out. God bless you, thank you very much been a great audience. Good night drops the mic right.
Who is this God how to get past security. This was Elijah the prophet is very name said it all. His name means my God is Jehovah. It was a rebuke to the king and queen your God may be pale, but my God is the Lord and my God is alive in your God is not, as the Lord God live he serve the living God, and we do to know where Elijah's promise of note. He's described as a Tisch bite from Gilead that we were Gilead is matter to what a Tisch bite is well actually I Gilead was east of the Jordan River. It was sort of like, well, the Australian outback. The people that lived there were roughhewn tan from the sun.
Tough, you know I'm not saying Elijah was Crocodile Dundee but what is it dad noted ICCs in the life you he was kind of got is a rough God and just his appearance was sort of shocking and he was bull boarding gift and boldness were to be kid that courage Elijah stood continually in the presence of God.
Elijah stood continually in the presence of God, though he was technically in the presence of Ahab and Jezebel. He was always conscious of God's presence some 91 says he that dwells in the secret place of the most high will abide under the shadow of the Almighty have ever tried to walk in someone shadow yet to be very close, don't you, and so he was always aware of God's presence wherever he went he was aware God is with me. God is hearing this, God is watching this and also God is leading me and God is guiding me. He always walked closely to the Lord and listen to this.
When you stand in the presence of God. You will not bow before any man. It'll give you a curds that you never thought you could have before. It's a supernatural courage. Proverbs 28 one says the righteous are as bold as a line. This awareness of God's presence give Elijah to stand his ground and it's a good reminder for us to keep in mind the simple fact that to whoever we speak whatever it is and wherever we go. God is and one person can make all the difference in the world you're an army of one, but one with God is a majority because you stand in his presence you stand in his strength. Remember David facing Goliath in the Valley of the law. Here's David is just a young man still and here's Goliath use and overgrown beast of a man over 9 feet tall solid muscle covered in body armor and David attacks Goliath. He doesn't just hold his ground.
He goes toward Goliath. These as you come to me with sword and spear, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, and the other boldness that God gave him and we can have that boldness as well. You may be the only Christian in your family, the only Christian in your workplace.
The only Christian in your neighborhood. Are you willing to take a stand like Elijah did.
It's easy for us as believers to sort of feet into the woodwork.
You know, we don't want to stand out. We don't want to be the person who disagrees of the person who doesn't laugh at the dirty joke that everyone thinks is hilarious. The person that stands away from the crowd so we might wink of that indiscretion for fear of coming off to goody good or tell that lie to get that promotion but you don't want to be a compromise. God is looking for men and women today were willing to stand in the gap like Elijah because he Ezekiel 2230.
The Lord says I sought for a man and I would add a woman among them who would make a wall and stand in the gap before me on behalf of the land that I should not destroy it, but I found none be that person that make sense that Elijah continually walk in the presence of God Pastor Greg Laurie about the courage and boldness. We can have as we serve the Lord and there's more to come as this study continues here on a new beginning pastor Greg when we look at world events global hostility toward Israel recovering from a worldwide pandemic. Good talk of new ones, contempt for biblical values. It sure seems like the time is right for the Lord to return yes, but many people our age. Remember Pastor saying that back in the 70s. So what can we learn from your book were making available on Revelation, but I think we want to always live our life ready for the Lord's imminent return, he may come tonight. He could come in the year he may come in 10 years, 20 years we don't know when he's coming. I've always avoided any kind of date setting because Jesus says no one knows the day or the hour. However, there are so many passages that tell us to wake up spiritually and to put on the armor of God, because the day of the Lord is coming. It will come. It could come in our lifetime may come after, but no matter what life will come to an end and we will enter eternity. So we want to be ready for that moment.
But there are many signs of the times happening right now that I think we should pay attention to the Bible tells us that in the end times. It would be like a woman having labor pains. Now you know when mother is ready to give birth. Her labor pains become more frequent and there closer together and that is exactly the analogy Jesus use when you see these things begin. The company says look up for your redemption is drawing near. We've had an increase in many things. The Bible said would be happening. As an example, the Bible predicted that one day there would be a cashless society.
100 years ago that would've seemed absurd, but today with modern technology with crypto currency with all of the tech that's happening around us, we can see how we could step into that immediately. The Bible tells us in the last days that there would be a spread of plagues globally. I think that you could say that this pandemic covered 19 was a plague and that is a sign of the times I could go on and on and things that are happening. The tension in the Middle East and much much more. As we see these things happen. The reminders that Jesus is coming again will I tell you what the book of Revelation unlocks this for us, and I've written a book simply called Revelation subtitled a book of promises. This is a thick book. This is a hardcover book that will be a resource that you can go to again and again and it's going to help make the book of Revelation more understandable to you and you'll begin to understand, perhaps for the first time how to apply these Drews in your own life. Listen, I want to send this book to you for no charge. It's actually for your gift of any size or encouraging you to send something to help us continue to reach out to this radio broadcast a new beginning, and our other outreach efforts, as well as how we proclaim the gospel. This is how we do it you pray for us.
You support us, you give us the ability to reach new people and is our way of saying thanks will send you your copy of this book. Revelation subtitled a book of promises will be glad to get it on its way to you immediately and will also include a custom bookmark. We produced it lays out the timeline of the events of Bible prophecy, the rapture, the second coming, the tribulation, the millennium sheet of all displayed in proper order. Very helpful in the bookmark is included when we send you a copy of pastor Greg book when you send your donation be sure to ask for Revelation, a book of promises. Just call us at 1-800-821-3300. Our team is standing by around the clock dial 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest stockholder next time more insights from Pastor Greg study the life of Elijah join us here on a new beginning. Pastor and Bible regularly and everybody thinks or listening to this podcast to learn more about harvest ministries follow the show and consider supporting it.
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