Tag Archives: Greg Laurie
Greg Laurie on Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson, A&E Controversy
What Is Being Asked of Christians Is Not Tolerance, But Acceptance and Endorsement of Sin
How to discern God’s will
Exclusive: Greg Laurie has 3 principles for discovering His purpose
I have been a Christian since 1970. I wish I could say that after all these years of walking with God, I have discovered the foolproof, one-two-three plan whereby I can know the will of God in every situation. Unfortunately, I don’t have this plan. Such a plan does not exist.
I, like any other Christian, have often found myself stumbling into the will of God. There have been times when God has spoken to my heart, I have made a move, and it has been what he wanted me to do. There have been other times when I have been wandering through life, doing whatever I do, and I end up right in the middle of God’s perfect plan. I don’t know that we can always have a guaranteed, foolproof method of knowing his plan in every situation. But I do think there are steps we can take to prepare our hearts to more effectively know his will.
The only hope for our nation’s future
Greg Laurie urges American’s to emulate founders of 1787
As we look to celebrate our nation’s birthday on July 4, I think about all that is great about the United States. I have had the opportunity to travel around the world. I have visited some great countries. But I am partial, and I believe that the United States of America is still the greatest country on the face of the earth. As Sen. Marco Rubio recently stated, it’s the “Miracle of America.”
However, I believe we are at a historic crossroads, much like our Founding Fathers faced that fateful summer in Philadelphia in 1787. They found themselves – 11 years after the Declaration of Independence – facing economic depression, social unrest, interstate rivalries and foreign intrigue. Sound familiar? Those could be today’s headlines.
In the face of this discord, these men tackled the onerous task of uniting disparate voices.
Pastor Greg Laurie Urges Revival: ‘We Have Forgotten God but He Has Not Forgotten Us’
At the National Day of Prayer event in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, Pastor Greg Laurie focused his prayer on asking for God’s forgiveness and seeking a revival for America, noting that although “we have forgotten God, He has not forgotten us.”
Pastor Greg Laurie is shown here at an evangelistic crusade. Laurie released a book and film, entitled ‘Lost Boy: The Documentary,’ detailing his troubled past and how God intervened in his life.
By Katherine Weber , Christian Post Reporter
Laurie, who served as the honorary chairman for the National Day of Prayer Task Force, began Thursday’s prayer at the Cannon House Office Building in Washington by thanking God for blessing America as a Christian nation for so many years.
The megachurch pastor then addressed what he believes to be the “trouble in our culture today.”
“We see the breakdown of the family, crippling addictions, and random acts of horrific violence,” Laurie, who is the senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, Calif., told the crowd of politicians, diplomats, and fellow religious leaders gathered at the annual National Day of Prayer event.
The well-known pastor recently came under fire from LGBT activists who demanded that Laurie be removed from leading the National Day of Prayer events this week due to his biblical stance regarding homosexuality and same-sex marriage.
In response, Laurie clung to his Christian convictions in the face of criticism, telling those gathered at a smaller prayer event at the Family Research Council offices in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday: “I won’t back down.”
“They do not want me to pray. They describe me as ‘homophobic’ and so forth. How can you deal with such a situation? We’re in a time in our country now where I’m attacked because I believe what the Bible teaches,” Laurie said Wednesday.
“If people want to make it all about that, I’m not going to back down. In the immortal words of the great theologian Tom Petty, ‘I won’t back down,’ I won’t. I’m not going to apologize.”
Keeping his commitment, the Southern California pastor joined fellow Christians in Washington to observe the 62nd annual prayer day.
“Lord, we need Your help in America,” he said Thursday. “In recent days, we have done our best to remove Your Word and Your counsel from our courtrooms, classrooms and culture. It seems, as President Lincoln once said, that we have ‘forgotten God.’ But Lord, You have not forgotten us! You can bless and help and revive our country again.
“Lord, in Your mercy, we ask that You would exalt our country again. We have had a number of great awakenings in America. We have experienced times of refreshing, and revivals that changed not only the spiritual but also the moral landscape,” the pastor continued, citing both Psalm 85 and Proverbs 14, which both speak on the redeeming benefits of a religious revival.
“That is our prayer for America today, Lord. Send a mighty spiritual awakening that will turn the hearts of men and women, boys and girls back to you. You have told us if we will humble ourselves and pray, and seek Your face and turn from our wicked ways, that You will forgive our sins and heal our land.”
“Forgive us today, Lord, and heal this troubled land that we love so much,” he added.
Several other prominent Christian leaders spoke at Thursday’s National Day of Prayer event, including James Dobson, founder of the conservative values group Focus on the Family, and Senate Chaplain Barry Black.
Dobson, whose wife, Shirley, is the chair of the National Day of Prayer Task Force, spoke briefly on the importance of gratitude for the freedom so many Americans are able to enjoy thanks to the efforts of the country’s founding fathers.
Chaplain Black, whose speech received a standing ovation, spoke on the importance of praying for all of God’s people, saying “let us stop praying only for ourselves,” and adding that all Christians must remember to give thanks daily for God’s gifts to them.
The National Day of Prayer is a day of prayer and meditation designated by U.S. Congress and held annually on the first Thursday of May. People of all faiths are invited to pray for the nation.
Other notable speakers at the Washington prayer event included Vonette Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ International, and Rear Adm. William D. Lee of the U.S. Coast Guard, among other prominent congressmen and religious leaders.
Greg Laurie to Gay Activists: ‘I Won’t Back Down’
A California megachurch pastor involved in the National Day of Prayer who has recently come under fire for his views on homosexuality has declared that he will not be intimidated.
Evangelist Greg Laurie, who is scheduled to lead the nation in prayer at events …
At a prayer event held Wednesday morning at the Washington, D.C., office of the Family Research Council, Pastor Greg Laurie told those gathered, “I won’t back down.”
“They do not want me to pray. They describe me as ‘homophobic’ and so forth. How can you deal with such a situation? We’re in a time in our country now where I’m attacked because I believe what the Bible teaches,” said Laurie, ahead of Thursday’s National Day of Prayer.
“If people want to make it all about that I’m not going to back down. In the immortal words of the great theologian Tom Petty, ‘I won’t back down,’ I won’t. I’m not going to apologize.”
Laurie paralleled the efforts of gay rights activists to that of the palace officials who sought to stop Daniel (in the Old Testament) from praying and passed a law that resulted in him being thrown into the Lion’s Den.
“Here is something that we need to learn from that. The Devil does not want us to pray. It’s been said that Satan trembles when he sees the weakest saint upon his knees,” said Laurie. “I’ve had people try to stop me from praying this week. And we have these activist homosexual groups who have alerted their people to petition the Pentagon.”
The main focus of Laurie’s speech was on the subject of prayer, which was in keeping with the theme of the FRC event. Among the points made was that it does not matter where one prays, so long as it was with a sincere heart.
“God did not hear the prayer of the pharisee. Why? Because the Bible says Jesus speaking, ‘he prayed thus with himself,'” said Laurie.
“Prayer is the movement of our heart towards God and the main thing is we need to pray because you could pray in any position, anytime, anywhere … it does not matter where you pray, the main thing is just pray.”
In recent days, LGBT organizations like the Human Rights Campaign have demanded that government officials bar Laurie from leading National Day of Prayer events in the nation’s capital this week.
“Pastor Laurie’s message is out of step with what the majority of people of faith across this country believe,” said Dr. Sharon Groves, director of HRC’s Religion & Faith Program. “In greater numbers than ever before, people of faith are feeling compelled to speak up and organize for equality – because of their faith.”
This is not the first time gay activists have attempted to get clergy opposed to homosexuality removed from a major national event. In January, LGBT activists successfully got the Rev. Louie Giglio of Passion City Church in Roswell, Ga., to withdraw from saying the closing prayer at President Barack Obama‘s second inauguration.
Laurie’s remarks came at an event sponsored by FRC titled “The National Day of Prayer Task Force Men’s Prayer Meeting.”
Other speakers at the event included a couple Christian businessmen, FRC Vice President for Church Ministries Dr. Kenyn Cureton, and John Bornschien, Vice Chairman of the National Day of Prayer Task Force.
When God gives a test
Exclusive: Greg Laurie says we’re not to ‘remain forever in spiritual kindergarten’
Have you ever heard one of those ominous-sounding announcements on the radio that says something like, “This is a test of the Emergency Broadcasting System. At the sound of the tone, you will be given instructions. We repeat, this is only a test.” The idea is that certain radio and television stations have been selected as the units to transmit information to tell the public what to do in case there were an emergency such as a nuclear war or a meltdown in a nuclear plant.
In reality, the message would probably go something along the lines of, “This is not a test of the Emergency Broadcasting System. This is the real thing. There is a nuclear meltdown in your area and you are worm food at this time. Have a nice day.” Those broadcasts are to remind us that the real thing could be coming.
God will give tests as well. He will bring tests into our lives to see whether we are learning the material he is seeking to teach us. Often we think that we know more than we really know. We think that we have certain areas down and don’t need any further instruction in them. We think that we have learned to walk by faith, that we have learned to trust God. But sometimes God will retest us, and we will be shocked to find that we don’t know as much as we thought we knew.
God bring tests in our lives so we will learn the lessons that He is trying to teach us and so we will advance spiritually and not remain forever in spiritual kindergarten.
It reminds me of how a mother eagle will teach her eaglets to fly. When it comes time for them to fly, the mother has an unorthodox method of encouraging it. She basically will kick the eaglets out of the nest. That is a long drop, because eagles tend to go to the highest branches and peaks to build their nests. After the mother kicks the eaglet out of the nest, she waits until it has dropped down about 90 feet or more before she swoops down and scoops up the little bird, puts it back into the nest, and then kicks it out again.
Sometimes something like that will happen to us. We are sitting comfortably in our little nest. Everything is going well. And all of the sudden, God will give us a little boot and we are in a free fall. We think it is all going to end. Then he swoops down and picks us up.
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Why does God do that? He wants us to grow up spiritually. He wants us to learn how to fly. He wants us to learn that he is who he says he is. He wants us to trust him, even when we don’t understand him. He wants us to be patient with him, even when he doesn’t work on our schedules. He wants us to grow up and be strong spiritually.
The book of James gives us this little insight about tests and trials: “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing” (James 1:2–4 NTL).
When a trial comes, when hardship comes, when temptation comes, we tend to say, “Not this again!” Don’t we understand that it is an opportunity to grow? It is an opportunity to learn.
God doesn’t want fair-weather followers. He doesn’t want to be thought of as some celestial Big Buddy up in heaven. Nor does he want us to follow him because it makes us feel better about ourselves or because we need “a little religion” in our lives. He wants us to follow him because we love him and want to know him.
During Jesus’ ministry on earth, he knew that people were following him for the wrong reasons and with the wrong motives, and he intentionally did things and said things to thin out the ranks. That may come as a surprise to us, but it is true.
Jesus taught his disciples to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11 NKJV, emphasis added). Notice that he did not say, “Give us this year our yearly bread,” or “Give us this month our monthly bread,” or even “Give us this week our weekly bread.” Rather, it is “Give us this day our daily bread.”
When Jesus taught us to pray that way, he was showing us that we need to be dependent on God. We need to be looking to the Lord to provide the things we need.
But before the petition for daily bread, Jesus said to first pray, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (verses 9–10). Before we offer a word of personal petition, we are to contemplate the greatness and awesomeness of God and let it sink in. And I suggest to you that after you do this, you may change what you are about to pray. As you think of God and his greatness, you will see your problem in perspective.
Many times we diminish God in our minds as to how great he is, and we blow our problems out of proportion, making them far worse than they are. What we need to do is get things in their proper perspective and see how great and powerful our God is. It will help us to see our problems for what they are: things that can be resolved by God.
So when God gives a test, when that trial comes your way, don’t treat it as an intruder, but welcome it as a friend. It is an opportunity for God to show his power in your life. It is an opportunity for you to learn things that you need to learn.
A good place to be
Exclusive: Greg Laurie explains Jude’s admonition to ‘keep yourselves in God’s love’
by Greg LaurieJude is one of the shortest books in the New Testament, and although it is relatively brief, it is nonetheless action-packed from beginning to end. It was written by Jude, who happens to be the brother of James, the writer of the New Testament epistle that bears his name. One thing that Jude does not mention is that both he and James were half-brothers of Jesus.
Imagine being a half-brother of Jesus Christ. Jude’s parents were Mary and Joseph, and you have to wonder what it must have been like growing up with Jesus as your older brother. Do you think Mary and Joseph ever said, “Why can’t you be more like Jesus?”
It was the resurrection. That turned everyone around. The crucifixion was a horrendous thing, but when they saw Christ rise from the dead, that convinced them. Jude saw Jesus nailed to a cross and then resurrected from the dead, and he ultimately believed.
So in his epistle, Jude exhorts his readers, “Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life” (Jude 1:21 NIV).
What an interesting statement that is, because the Bible says that believers are “kept by the power of God through faith for salvation” (1 Peter 1:5 NKJV). God keeps us; but Jude also tells us to keep ourselves in God’s love. Obviously there is God’s part – he is ready to keep us. But we must take practical steps to keep ourselves in his love.
Does this mean that we are to keep ourselves in a state where God will love us? That is virtually impossible. No matter how hard we try, we ultimately will fall short of God’s standards. This is not teaching that we should do certain things to somehow merit God’s love or do certain things to somehow deserve his approval.
When Jude wrote that we are to keep ourselves in God’s love, this simply means that we need to keep ourselves in a place where God can actively show his love toward us.
A good illustration is the story Jesus told about the prodigal son. He was loved by his father, but he foolishly took his portion of the inheritance and went to a distant country, where he lived foolishly. Ultimately, he came to his senses and returned to his father.
While the prodigal was in a distant land, was he still a son of his father? Yes. He was a wayward son, no doubt, and a distant son, without question. But he still was the son of his father. Was he keeping himself in the love of his father or in a place where his father could actively demonstrate his love? No, he was not. His father probably didn’t even know where he was at the time. When he returned home and his father forgave him, took off his rags, clothed him, put a ring on his finger, and threw a party for him, was he then in a place where his father could actively show his love toward him? Yes, he was.
When we disobey God, when we do things that we should not do, it is not that God stops loving us. It is not even that we have necessarily ceased to be true Christians. We are simply wayward. We have essentially taken ourselves out of God’s love and have removed ourselves from the place where God can actively show his love in our lives.
That is what Jude was saying: Stay in a place where God can show his love to you. Simply put, Jude is reminding us that we must keep ourselves from all that is unlike God, from all that would violate his love and grieve him. He was saying, “Stay away from the things that would tear you down. Stay close to God and the people who will build you up.”
Jude pointed to the Israelites as an example, who, in spite of their incredible privilege, did not keep themselves in the love of God. They saw countless miracles. They had God’s spokesman, Moses, leading them through the wilderness. Yet they did not stay in a place where God could actively bless them, beginning with a complete unwillingness to go where he wanted them to go.
When they came to the brink of the Promised Land, they were told to go in. Instead, they chose 12 spies to check things out first. When the spies returned 40 days later, 10 gave a pessimistic report that was filled with fear and trepidation, while two, Joshua and Caleb, gave an optimistic report and encouraged the people to go in.
However, the people turned against Joshua and Caleb, essentially turning against God, who had told them he would give them the land. They even wanted to put these two messengers to death. So God determined that these people would never enter in because of their disobedience. Their unbelief gave way to rebellion, keeping them out of the place where God could bless them in the way that he wanted to.
This clearly shows us that privilege brings great responsibility. None of these people had any excuse. They were exposed to so many amazing things, yet they fell from that place of privilege, reminding us that we, too, can do the same thing.
We can be Christians but at the same time be out of fellowship with God and his people, doing things we should not do. We can remove ourselves from the place where God can actively demonstrate and show his love toward us. We must keep ourselves in a place where God can do that. We must keep ourselves from all that is unlike him, from any influences that would violate his love and bring sorrow to his heart.
Although God’s love is unsought, undeserved and unconditional, it is possible for us to be out of harmony with him. That is why we need to make every effort to keep ourselves in God’s love.
THE MYTH OF INHERENT GOODNESS
Greg Laurie explains the 3 temptations that snared Eve — and snare us
Published: 12 hours ago
If you believe that humanity is basically good, then I have to tip my hat to you, because you have more faith than I do. I cannot believe how anyone could actually accept the premise that humanity is basically good.
What I do believe is that humanity is basically bad. God gives us all a choice in life. It is something called free will, which is the ability to say yes or no. Everyone has that, and we are not forced to choose God. However, consider these words from Scripture: “Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living” (Romans 6:16 NLT).
The book of Genesis records the first temptation ever to take place on Planet Earth:
The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?”
“Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied. “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’”
“You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.”
The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. (Genesis 3:1–6 NLT)
In one sentence, we find a summary of temptation in all its forms: “She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her” (emphasis mine).
The Bible says, “For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world” (1 John 2:16 NKJV).
Every temptation will fall into one of three categories: the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, or the pride of life.
Think about it. There is the lust of the eyes, which is temptation that comes through the realm of the mind – mental temptation. Why do we get tempted in our minds? Because it is command central. It is here that we reason. It is here that we intellectualize. It is here that we contemplate. It is here that we even fantasize. It is here that we dream. It is here that we can do some horrible sins. We can reach into the past through our memories. We can reach into the future through our imagination. You don’t have to do it, we reason. Just think about it. That is all. It doesn’t have to go any further than this.
Notice the subtlety of the serpent, who tempted Eve in the realm of her mind. He asked, “Did God really say …?” He did not deny that God had spoken; he simply questioned whether God had really said what Eve thought he had said. But there is a big difference between dealing with doubt and entertaining it.
That is how Eve was hit: through the lust of the eyes. Eve, check it out! Have you ever seen a piece of fruit like this?
Then came the lust of the flesh. Having seen it, Eve wanted to taste it.
First you think about something, and then it transfers into action. After a while, thinking about it isn’t enough. After a while, fantasizing about it isn’t enough. You want to take it to the next level. So you start flirting. You start touching. You start tasting. And the next thing you know, you are caught up in it.
Then there is the pride of life. You might be avoiding the lust of the eyes and the lust of the flesh, but you could be falling in the pride of life. You might say, “I am not thinking impure thoughts. I am not out there doing horrible, wicked deeds.” But you might be so full of pride that you say, “I don’t really think I need Jesus Christ. I am a moral person. I am an educated individual. I am sophisticated. I don’t need religion; that is only for weak people. I am above it all.” That is the pride of life. And that keeps you from Christ.
Which of these categories are tripping you up today?
Whenever God says no, it is for our own good. If something is a good thing, God will say yes to it. But if he says no to something, then it is for our own good.
Eve was at the wrong place at the wrong time, listening to the wrong voice, which ultimately led her to do the wrong thing.
If you have been hanging around with the wrong people and going to the wrong places, don’t be surprised when you get tempted to do the wrong thing. Stay away from those situations, those relationships, and those places where you know you are weak and vulnerable.
Maybe you have felt guilt over sins you have committed lately. You have been aware that certain things you have been practicing are wrong. God has been kind and gracious enough to make you aware of the fact that you are going in the wrong direction. So what do you need to do? You need to acknowledge your shortcomings and ask God for his forgiveness.
It is not enough to intellectually acknowledge that certain things are true. You must act on them.
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