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Exit Stage Left | God's Plan Includes You

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Cross Radio
September 22, 2022 3:00 am

Exit Stage Left | God's Plan Includes You

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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September 22, 2022 3:00 am

The only part where your car touches the ground is where the wheels contact the pavement, right? You may have hundreds of horsepower under the hood, but if that power doesn’t reach the ground, nobody’s going anywhere. Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie points out the power of God is ready to do great things, but He wants our help to bring it to ground level. We’ll follow the example of Elijah in 1 Kings 17, and see how we can be part of God’s plan.

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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 are listening to a new beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast supported by harvest partners for more ways to deepen and challenge your spiritual walk and roll and pastor breaks free online courses sign@harvest.org God has a plan for everyone involved you if you're available. Pastor Greg Morris. As you may be surprised at what can have what we have your on your cell. Your resources it always the first Civil War was what was in the ground as were the wheels you may have hundreds of power doesn't reach the ground going anywhere.

Greg Laurie points out the power of God wants our help to bring it to follow the example of Elijah see how we got to know the life of Elijah is going to see God's power to provide two miracles. This creep would grow even more. Go to first Kings 17 verse eight then the Lord said to Elijah go live in the village of Sarah for near the city of Sidon. By the way, Sidon was a Bales central the balls God bail.

This is where there were more images erected the bill than any other place where does the Lord call Elijah. I'm taking you to the place for all the idols come from. I've instructed a widow there to feed you. So we went to Sarabeth and he arrived at the gates of the village's widow gathering sticks. He asked her what you bring me a little water in a cup, that she was going to Kennedy said they could you bring me a bite of bread to kind of an audacious thing to say a bold request from some scary looking tutu and impoverished woman and the lady actually responded and said I don't really have enough bread to spare. I'm out of flour and olive oil to make more affect. This is my last meal. Elijah was like, yeah, whatever.

Give me some food.

That's not the way it was.

This was a test. This was a test for Elijah and the woman would Elijah, humble himself and become dependent on a widow woman with the widow woman, humble herself and trust God to provide for her window representative of God a man of God came to her. Well the answer for both of them was yes verse 15 she did as Elijah had said, and she Elijah and her family continue to eat for many days, there was always in the flour and olive oil left in the containers.

Just as the Lord that promise through Elijah. I love that I am impressed that she made this food from scratch. I'm I am not a good cook company of your good cooks.

Reggie I used to do a fair job on the scrambled eggs. I kinda prided myself of that and the grandkids are, we want scrambled eggs sure pop up that one day they didn't want them anymore. You know like them. We know like your eggs pop up. So now my thing is I make really good toes.

There is a technique to good toes, so I'm not much of a ship.

I wife she can just whip up this amazing meal out of WT may be the most incredible omelette today in my the other day I was I was over at Jonathan tells my son and his daughter Allie goes in the kitchen. She's got the flower around like what you doing just I'm making crates what your kid you're making crates from scratch impressive to me. But so this lady would make the food every single day and Elijah was being humbled by God. Let's be honest, guys.

We like to do it ourselves would like to come in and fix things, solve problems, have the answer will do. It will make it right and to be dependent on a widow for his daily sustenance. This was a humbling thing for the man of God, but the Lord again was getting him ready because he had some big challenges ahead of him. He was already the guy who threw the gauntlet down at the nerve center of Israel when he stormed into the court of Ahab and Jezebel. And that's intimidating. I've had the opportunity to be in the White House a few times been in the Oval Office. A couple of times but able to pray for the president. It's intimidating to walk into the Oval Office.

First, because there's always the red dots on you all the time over the said snipers keep an eye on him. He looked suspicious, not really, but you know I don't. The first time I walked in I was just this is the Oval Office. The first thing that struck me was how small it seemed. And Diana really is obviously in the shape of an oval is not really a very practical room.

Quite honestly, but this is a room that is the center of power in America and probably this center of the greatest power in the world today and you know when you're in there.

It's intimidating and when the president asked you a question it's intimidating a member the first time I was in the Oval Office, not in the White House, but in the office of Chuck Smith is young kid, and it felt like the Oval Office to me. I was 17.

Your soul, I was a brand-new Christian. I said Pastor Chuck, I want serve the Lord here at church so if you have any jobs for me to do.

I'm ready to do it and I was thinking it's a Greg wanted to preach Sunday morning or Wednesday over here and do this ministry and he said talk to roll me. I didn't know who Romain was. He was an associate pastor of Chuck that used to be a drill sergeant in the Marine Corps and Romain said okay. Grabbed the broom and start sweeping under that tree, then this temperature. He all it did was drop leaves on me what function did it have apart from dropping far too many leaves for any tree. I thought I'd sweep in three minutes later.

This leaves again and I just what they basically have me do janitorial work for free for quite a long time and later I realize that there was a method to that madness you want to be used by God.

Are you willing to do a menial task. Are you willing to humble yourself, you have to be the big guy you have to be the important person. Listen, you can never be too small for God used only to pick and Jesus said if you will be faithful in the little things the Lord will give you greater things and Elijah was faithful in these little thing and he trusted the Lord at this time and it was a good principal for the lady to learn that she needed to trust the Lord as well. God loves to take what we have and multiply. God loves to take a we have a multiplier is so little offered when I was a brand-new Christian. I drew cartoons. That's pretty much it got Ed put some gifts to me that working to develop over time and God is put gifts in you as well. Now you have talents all born with certain talents but then there are supernatural gifts that God gives as he chooses to get it's kind of funny what he gives to because it doesn't always make sense for me to be a teacher is half of the show because I was the worst student, but God gave me that gift in God may be cultivating and developing in you a supernatural give right now is getting you ready for other things in the future. He loves to take what we have and multiply. If you don't believe me as a little boy with the loaves and fish who gave what he had did Jesus, some 5000 people were that there are basically three things that we can give to God, time, talent and treasure time, talent and treasure so you have the time given you each and every day you can dedicate that to the Lord you of your talent, whatever that may be that you can give to the Lord you have your treasure. That is, your finances, but here to me as a great spiritual principle, this woman was impoverished. This woman had nothing but she took what she had and she gave it to God's representative and the Lord blessed her. The Lord makes an amazing promise in the book of Malachi. The last book of the Old Testament when the Lord says bring all of the ties into the storehouse so there be food enough in my temple. If you do the Lord says I'll open up the windows of heaven for you and pour you out a blessing so great you will not have room enough to take it in.

Then the Lord says, try, let me prove it to you. That's the only time the Lord says, put me to the test on this, so here's what it means. Take your time. Take your talent take your resources and always give the first of the best till the Lord.

This is the principle Jesus was giving us in Matthew 633, when he said seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you. Put God first put them to the test and watch how we bless issue watch how he provides for you.

Watch how he got to Greg Lord will have the second half of his message in just a moment. I don't know if you know about this, but we have a weekend service called Harvest at Home exclusively for people that are tuning in literally from around the world listen to this. We even have harvest groups where you can get into a small group with folks from all around this planet of ours study the word of God. So join us this weekend Saturday and Sunday for Harvest at Home@harvest.org seeing how the Lord tested Elijah used in a mighty way. Pastor Greg's message today is titled exit stage left, but now another test first Kings 1717. How did these things that some of the woman on the house became ill grow worse and worse and finally stopped breathing. She said to Elijah what have you done against me all man of God and you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son. Strange turn of events. Everything's going great driven meals together. Then they become like a little family and all of a sudden the boy get sicker and sicker and he dies. This lady has already lost her husband and now her son has died. She's devastated after these things that were says were 70 after one thing after Elijah had trusted God with every tested it come his way. After he faced off with Ahab and Jezebel everyone off the grid and waited on birds to bring him food after he want to be dependent on this poor woman and see God provide after these things. Worst case scenario percent dollars and she even accuses Elijah Miller little and grateful hello is been taking care of them all yeah what what he did he came here just so my son would die, but people do things like that when the bottom drops. People get angry at God's people get angry at God's representative how can a God of love. Let this happen to me. Why did you even come in the my life and they they take their anger out or am I being punished is that why my child died by being punished is that why I'm said the answer is no.

When a loved one dies. It's not a punishment.

The Bible reminds us, is a time to be born, and there's a time to die, but I can understand this mother's pain force. As I said earlier, my wife and I and our son have all been there, but she did little.

I just said is it just just give yourself think it is that you're so grateful in this anything is, took the just just give yourself but I love it just gives her son to him.

Even though she's angry she knows is give them over to Elijah see what the Lord does Lord would say that you give it to me. What is your problem. My son my daughter their prodigal. Okay, just give them over to the Lord. Right now my husband is the worst I know he probably is, but still maybe he's not as bad as you think you maybe the problem is you too but still give them over to the Lord.

I have this anxiety. This fear got given over to the Lord. I have this problem. You just give it to the Lord.

That's what the woman did she give her son to the Lord first Kings 1721 and Elijah stretched himself over the child three times and cried out to the Lord all Lord my God, let this child's life returned to him.

The Lord heard Elijah's prayer in the life of the child returned and he replied, then Elijah brought him down from the upper room. He gave them to his mother, look, he said your son is alive and the woman told Elijah.

Now I know for sure you were a man of God and the Lord actually speaks through you. This is radical and easy. He's getting ready for Carmel for sure that's a big one but just a point of reference. No one had ever been raised from the dead and the Bible. Up to this point, there was no precedent so he can say Lord even as you raise this person from the dead.

I pray you'll do it for the job that it'd never happen, but this is the first time a person was resurrected from the dead.

This was next level faith. I can imagine the joy of the mother to have her son back in when our son died I would have given any fee to have him back. I would've traded my life for kids without hesitation so he could live his life out because I don't Many years of mine. Even at that point, but I wasn't given the choice, but I know that one day I will have my son again in heaven and I'll be reunited with a dream the other night was so real and vivid and you who lost loved ones will know what I'm talking about in this dream I'm with my two sons Jonathan and Christopher, they're both younger. They're not married yet and were out in the ocean. I'm standing on a ledge. They both going to be ocean and so they couldn't disappear in this little cave in a here I think Jonathan same aggressive work. This is really fun. You can catch away about a year. I'm getting really nervous and I'm saying I can see you boys come out of their come out of there right now and then I see them underwater and then they come in the come up the ledge and I help them up all just standing there and and I said you guys will understand what it's like to be a dad one day and you'll know what I'm experiencing. I got a little scared guys and looking at me and I'm just thinking Christopher's here with me right now. It's so amazing. Then I realize it's a dream.

Why can he always be with will. He will be one day and I'll be with him. This is the hope of a Christian, let me say this, God sent his son to die on the cross for arson.

You know, we think of the sacrifice of Jesus.

It was a tremendous sacrifice.

He laid his own life.but think for a moment of the sacrifice of the father to watch his son suffer and die.

I can think of the worst thing for a father then they have to watch their child suffer any proper self-respecting father in a moments notice would step in and take the blow they would take the pain they would take whatever their child is facing in their place. I would even say it's instinctive but yet the father had to allow all the sin of the world to be placed upon his son because he loves you so much. Listen to this.

You have a closer relationship with God that even Elijah know Wayne and Lord doesn't speak to me like that, doesn't he see there wasn't a Bible as we have today in the time of Elijah. So Elijah just heard from the Lord. Then he would hear from him for kind of a long time. The Lord would speak to him again. God speaks to you why you haven't heard of him lately you have one of these this my friends is a Bible open it up read it. Pray that God will speak to you each and every day is gone and Instagram not really any just tweet well in a way he does. You want to read the Scripture, but the point is this just open the word of God and let him speak to you.

But why is my relationship with God, closer than even Elijah because Elijah heard from God, but the Christian has Christ living inside. It's a relationship. This is because Elijah said to King Ahab is the Lord God lives, before whom I stand, he walked around with an understanding that God was there but God was there but in your case.

In my case. In our case, God is here yet. He's here broadly with all of us, but he's in your heart he's in your life. If you're a Christian, well were all Christians were all God's children. Actually, we are all created by God were all loved by God, but one becomes a true Christian when they ask Christ to come and live inside of them and they ask him to forgive them of their sin and then they develop a relationship with them and I want to close this message by just giving you an opportunity to make sure Christ lives inside you'll know if he does, and if you're not sure if he lives in your heart and life.

You should pray and ask him to come in right now and then you have the hope of heaven, then you have the hope of reunion with loved ones that have passed on before you put faith in the Lord. Now you will hope for the future you will cope me on the great, but if you don't have Christ living inside of you. I don't know what hope to offer you. I don't see a lot of hopeful things but I find hope in my relationship with God, and you will to. If you would like Jesus Christ to come into your life.

If you would like him to forgive you of your sin. If you would like to know a certainty that you will go to heaven when you die, you can pray a simple prayer after me right now this pray this prayer you can print out loud if you like to say Lord Jesus, I know I'm a sinner but I know you're the Savior who died on the cross for my sin rose again from the dead. I turned from my sin. Now that I choose to follow you from this moment forward as my Savior, my Lord is my God and my friend in Jesus name I pray today on a new beginning pastor Greg Laurie praying with those asking the Lord to forgive their sins and if you just pray that prayer and meant those words that your sins have been forgiven and your new child of God and we want to welcome you into the family of God, let us in some resources to you that will help you get started in the pathway of faith we call this resource collection are new believers gross packet with Senate free of charge when you call us at 1-800-821-3300. We can take your call anytime.

That's 1-800-821-3300 or just go online to harvest.org pastor Greg so many of us are fascinated by Bible prophecy by we want to know what's coming. Yeah, but we hear so many terms that apply to Bible prophecy mark of the beast millennium, the great tribulation, and our understanding might be a little hazy about what those terms mean and in what order they come, yeah, could you maybe give us a little flyover of God's end times plan. Yes, I'd be happy to, but I need some trumpets and echo and that'll do it.

So you're ready. I'm ready flyover of the book of Revelation. Okay so this is my understanding of how all these events fit together. The next event on the prophetic calendar is the rapture of the church. That's when the Lord comes in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye were caught up in the air to meet him.

It's also what were reunited with loved ones who preceded us to glory. So were caught up to heaven on the heels of that, this mysterious character called the Antichrist is revealed.

That inaugurates what is called the great tribulation. The last for seven years.

Interestingly, the Antichrist comes initially as a good guy up with that." A peacemaker, but in reality he's a troublemaker. He rebuilt the temple for the Jewish people, but he erects an image of himself and demands that people worship him. This marks the halfway point of the tribulation. In this event is called the abomination of desolation. So the first part of the tribulation is the peaceful reign of Antichrist. The second part of the tribulation is over, he unleashes his theory against Jewish people against Christians and God ultimately brings his judgment upon the Antichrist and the tribulation.

We have a group called the hundred and 44,000. These are Jewish people will put their faith in Jesus as their Messiah and they travel around the world proclaiming the good news okay so everything culminates to what the Bible calls the battle of Armageddon and then Christ returns again and the second coming.

This inaugurates the 1000 year reign of Christ, which is called the millennium, then heaven and earth becomes one, the new Jerusalem comes down from heaven to this planet fulfilling the prayer of Jesus when he said by kingdom come that will be done on earth as it is in heaven. So that's a flyover of end times events and by the way, we put this all on this really cool bookmark that comes with our book called revelation, a book of promises and we want to put this book in your hands because I've written it to help you to understand how this great book of the Bible applies to you the very title says it all. Revelation means unveiling and God's desire is not to conceal but to reveal he wants us to understand these things and so I want to help you with that. So for your gift of any size will send you your own copy of this book from harvest ministries that I've written simply called revelation, a book of promises yeah that's right it will be glad to send a copy your way.

As soon as we hear from you. Your donation is an investment in change lives. Your investment helps bring the gospel through our evangelistic harvest crusades such as SoCal harvest coming up November 5 and six, so thank you so much for your generosity. You can write us today at a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call 1-800-821-3300. That's a 24 hour phone number 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org and again the title of pastor Greg book Revelation, a book of promises next time pastor Greg brings us the well-known confrontation between Elijah and the prophets of Vail, Carmel, fascinating story.

Join us here on a new beginning. Pastor and Bible teacher Greg Moore will buy harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God learn how to do, harvest partner, sign up for daily devotions and find resources to help you grow in your faith harvest.org