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Revival Starts with Prayer

By Greg Laurie

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7)

There never has been a prayerless revival in history. Revival starts with prayer.

God said, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).

Notice God said, “Pray and seek My face.” We should not only pray, but we also should seek His face. There is a difference. We can pray like this: “Lord, send revival. Amen.” Now let’s get lunch. Or, we can pray, “Lord, we are seeking You. . . . Lord, we are calling out to You. . . . Lord, we are desperate for You. . . . Lord, we need You. Send an awakening to America.” It is effectively a prayer that doesn’t take no for an answer.

Are we being presumptuous when we pray that way? No, because Jesus said, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7). Another way to translate this would be, “Keep asking, keep seeking, Keep knocking.” Jesus goes on to say, “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (verse 8).

When we are praying for revival, we are praying according to the will of God. When we are praying for the salvation of a loved one, we are praying according to the will of God. We need to press forward in our prayers and seek His face, not backing down.

We cannot organize a revival, but we can agonize for one in prayer. Perhaps we can prepare the ground. Better yet, we ought to “preprayer” the ground. Press on.

What Is Revival?

By Greg Laurie

“Won’t you revive us again, so your people can rejoice in you?” —Psalm 85:6 NLT

Some have defined revival as a community saturated with God or an invasion from Heaven.

Richard Owen Roberts said, “Revival is an extraordinary movement of the Holy Spirit producing extraordinary results.” And A.W. Tozer defined revival as “that which changes the moral climate of a community.”

Listen, revival is nothing more or less than a new beginning of obedience to God.

It’s a church word, revival. It is not for the nonbeliever. Revival starts with the church and then affects the world. The world does not need revival; the church does. The world needs evangelism.

Evangelism does not bring revival, but revival always brings evangelism.

That is why we are doing Harvest America! We have our marching orders from Jesus to “go into all the world.” Let’s do that together on June 10. Will you participate?

C.H. Spurgeon said, “To be revived is a blessing which can only be enjoyed by those who have some degree of life. Those who have no spiritual life are not, and cannot be, in the strictest sense of the term, subjects of revival.”

So revival should be looked for among the church, and more specifically, it starts with you and me as individuals.

The Appearances of the Risen Christ

To help unfold the events between Christ’s resurrection and ascension, below is a chronology of the ten appearances of the risen Christ as recorded in Scripture.

The First Appearance of the Risen Christ

Christ appears to Mary Magdalene and commissions her to tell the disciples about His soon-coming ascension.

The Place: The Garden Tomb

The Time: Early Easter Morning, While It Was Still Dark

The Scripture: John 20:11–18

 

The Second Appearance of the Risen Christ

On their way to tell the disciples about the Resurrection, Jesus appears to the women and commands them to tell the disciples to go to Galilee.

The Place: A Road Near Jerusalem

The Time: Early Easter Morning

The Scripture: Matthew 28:5–15; Mark 16:2–8; Luke 24:1–11

 

The Third Appearance of the Risen Christ

Cleopas and another disciple encounter Christ without recognizing Him.  When they realize it is Jesus, they go and tell the others.

The Place: The Road to Emmaus

The Time: Easter around Noon

The Scripture: Mark 16:12–13; Luke 24:13–35

 

The Fourth Appearance of the Risen Christ

Cleopas and the other disciple arrive in Jerusalem and are greeted with the news that Christ appeared to the apostle Peter.

The Place: Unknown

The Time: Easter Day

The Scripture: Luke 24:34; 1 Corinthians 15:5

 

The Fifth Appearance of the Risen Christ

Christ appears to Cleopas and the other disciples, eats with them, teaches them the Scriptures, and tells them to preach to all the nations.

The Place: Behind Locked Doors

The Time: Easter Evening

The Scripture: Luke 24:35–49; John 20:19–23

 

The Sixth Appearance of the Risen Christ

Christ shows Himself to Thomas and the other disciples, providing Thomas the opportunity to see His wounds and believe in Him.

The Place: Behind Locked Doors

The Time: Eight Days after Easter

The Scripture: John 20:24–29

 

The Seventh Appearance of the Risen Christ

Peter, Thomas, Nathanael, John, James, and two other disciples see Jesus while fishing.  There Christ challenges Peter and says, “Follow Me.”

The Place: The Sea of Galilee

The Time: At Dawn, between Easter and the Ascension

The Scripture: John 21:1–25

 

The Eighth Appearance of the Risen Christ

Christ meets the eleven disciples, and perhaps hundreds of others (see 1 Corinthians 15:6), and gives them the Great Commission.

The Place: An Unnamed Mountain

The Time: Between Easter and the Ascension

The Scripture: Matthew 28:16–20

 

The Ninth Appearance of the Risen Christ

Christ appears to the eleven disciples as they were eating, rebukes them, and commands them to preach the Good News to everyone.

The Place: Unknown

The Time: Between Easter and the Ascension

The Scripture: Mark 16:14–18

 

The Tenth Appearance of the Risen Christ

Christ leads the eleven disciples to Bethany on the Mount of Olives, promises them the Holy Spirit and ascends into Heaven.

The Place: The Mount of Olives

The Time: Forty Days after Easter

The Scripture: Luke 24:50–53; Acts 1:4–11

Encouraging Testimony from “A New Beginning” Listeners!

It may have been about 15 years ago I worked full time and my mother (who loved the Lord, God rest her soul) loved to clean house for me. It made her feel needed and wanted. My father had passed away already. He passed one week after their 50th wedding anniversary.

Well, one morning after she had cleaned for me, I woke up to my alarm, which is a radio. I normally listened to a country and western music station. Well that morning I woke up to Harvest Ministries on 1160 am WYLL in Chicago. She had either turned the switch on the radio to AM or turned the station dial just a little while dusting it. She didn’t listen to radio so I know she hadn’t deliberately turned it. Well, I laid there trying to figure out why my C&W station was not on and not sure who I was hearing and I kept listening and liked what I heard.

You made listening about God sound fun and interesting. Then you gave the invitation to accept Christ as my Savior and I said God this must be a sign that the radio station had somehow gotten changed to this Christian station that I had never heard before.

I had always known about Jesus from my mom but not in the way you seemed to be talking about Him. Well I said the prayer and have been a Christian ever since. I told my mom the story days later and she was so happy because she said she always prayed for all her kids to be Christians and God-loving people.

Thanks again and God bless your ministry. I have attended your crusades and I love all the monthly resources you offer. One of the resources I ordered was the video of you visiting the Holy Land. My mom always wanted to go there but was unable to for many reasons so when I shared the video with her she was so thankful for the resource.

God bless you and all your family,
C & L

Press Release for “Steve McQueen: American Icon”

Here’s the official press release for what happened with Steve McQueen: American Icon.

Greg Laurie’s ‘Steve McQueen: American Icon’ Film Goes Toe-to-Toe With Hollywood in World Premiere

In Blockbuster Premiere Night Event, 100,000 People in 800 Sold-Out Theaters across the Country Watched the Little-Known Story of Steve McQueen

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Pastor Greg Laurie of Harvest Ministries hit the red carpet Thursday night [September 28] in Newport Beach, CA for the world premiere of his newest film, Steve McQueen: American Icon. Surrounded by friends, castmates, and stuntmen who knew and worked alongside the Hollywood Icon, Laurie, along with director Jon Erwin, celebrated the largely untold story of Steve McQueen’s journey to finding faith.

“It’s a testament to the power of the Gospel that the story of how the ‘King of Cool’ gave his life to Christ, has performed so well all across the nation,” said Laurie. “While we wait for the final numbers to come it, it’s clear that this film, and the real life story behind it, is resonating with people in a very profound way. I’m just very pleased that it’s finally being told to a wider audience,” said Laurie.

Organized by Fathom Events, the film’s world premiere was hosted from coast-to-coast on 800 screens with approximately 100,000 people in attendance. Early indications suggest Steve McQueen: American Icon was among the top grossing films of the evening, even outperforming many of Hollywood largest productions.

During his career, McQueen was the number one movie star in the world. His legendary on-screen exploits and death-defying stunts still inspire an army of modern-day fans who often emulate his fashion and love for cars, motorcycles and racing. “Now his fans have something else, something even cooler, to model off of Steve’s life – his faith in Jesus Christ,” added Laurie.

The film, which documents McQueen’s humble beginnings as well as his meteoric rise to worldwide stardom, also explores his ultimate search for peace and meaning which led to his Christian conversion.

One audience member from Ohio brought a friend to the film premiere who, after watching McQueen’s own faith journey, “accepted Jesus into his heart.” “Thank you for making the movie. It was very moving and I was encouraged to commit myself more to the Lord after seeing the testimonies,” the audience member went on to say.

“Towards the very end of his life, McQueen said that his greatest regret was not being able to tell the world about what Christ had done for him,” said Laurie. “There’s a sense that through the success of this project, we’ve helped bring full circle what God started 40 years ago. I’m thrilled to have played a role in that.”

#1 with a Bullitt!

This spring they actually found it.

Steve McQueen’s iconic 1968 Ford Mustang GT.

Only traces of its original highland green paint job remained as it had sat unnoticed in a backyard in Mexico for years. Collectors had been searching for it for decades.

Of course, this is not just any old ’68 Stang.

This was one of the original cars used in the classic Steve McQueen film Bullitt—a film that defined “cool” for a generation of Americans.

Now, I get it. This wasn’t discovering the Ark of the Covenant or the Ten Commandments, but the discovery stopped me dead in my tracks for two reasons.

First, I own a 1968 Bullitt myself. Not the original, of course, but a very close replica. You can call it my “midlife crisis”! People either “get it” or they don’t. On more than one occasion, when I have parked it in the lot, I will return with two or more admirers (always guys) standing by it with lots of questions.

Secondly, this story was of special interest to me because I’ve just spent a year of my life working on a new biography and documentary of Steve McQueen (with Marshall Terrill).

McQueen was Hollywood’s “King of Cool” for a reason. His legacy lives on in a new generation, as his image is ubiquitous in culture (especially the hipster culture). He also still appears in modern films like the recent remake of The Magnificent Seven. Yet, for most boomers like me, we can’t forget when we saw the original version of The Great Escape, as McQueen played Virgil Hilts in a role that propelled him to super-stardom. Then there’s his role as detective Frank Bullitt. He literally flies his car through the streets of San Francisco in what is regarded by many as the greatest car chase scene in cinematic history. Steve McQueen was not cool because he drove the Bullitt car. The Bullitt car was cool because Steve McQueen drove it.

At the time, Steve McQueen was the number-one movie star in the world, and he is still used as a point of reference for masculinity and “coolness” to this day. He was (and is) the definition of an American icon.

Only in America—with America’s dream—could McQueen transform his hardscrabble beginnings into epic stardom. Yet, until late in his life he struggled to find meaning in life, and he suffered because of it.

It might have been because he was born into a home of an alcoholic mother and a father that left him early in life, but eventually he found himself on the wrong side of the law more than once. Then, as his star began to rise higher and higher, he began to chase harder and harder after every pleasure this planet had to offer.

But notwithstanding all his fame and fortune, a colossal vacuum lived rent-free in Steve McQueen’s heart, a yawning chasm, a lack of purpose rooted in the absence of functional, involved parents. He spent his whole life avoiding his mother and searching for his father—searching for someone or something to stand in for him, someone to love him.

He had the best cars money could buy, the most beautiful women at his beck and call, drugs galore, booze until the well ran dry, and much more.

While still the top movie star on the planet, and with all the money and power in the world, he decided to search for more than this world could offer. That was the story I was interested in, and I chased it till I found it. Everyone knew about McQueen’s Bullitt! But I wanted to find McQueen’s salvation.

McQueen knew he needed God, and he found his way to salvation through Billy Graham’s gospel message. In fact, Billy visited him and gave him his personal New Testament from which he shared with him the teachings of Jesus. Tragically, Steve McQueen found out he had cancer about six months after his conversion.

His newfound faith played a key role in dealing with the hardship that was to come, and he fought with great faith and courage to the very end.

As Steve’s son Chad said in a recent interview, “I think Dad was finding his way to go to the next place. I remember, he would wake me up at seven in the morning to go to church, which never happened before he got ill. So I think he was looking for peace.”

When McQueen died on an operating table in Mexico trying one last time to beat back his cancer. He died clutching Billy Graham’s Bible.

He nearly missed it, but eventually he found what so many others need today, especially at the heights of fame and fortune. He needed faith in God.

This column appeared at the Fox News website.
http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/07/08/steve-mcqueen-salvation-american-icon.html

God honors your faithful support of SoCal Harvest 2017

We saw a great outpouring of God’s power and love at the SoCal Harvest in Angel Stadium.

  • Total attendance: 92,000
  • Online visits: 46,972
  • Professions of faith: 10,071

God has honored your faithful support, both financial and through prayer, with the spiritual fruit of lives changed forever! Won’t you join us in thanking God for all He did?

To see more about the SoCal Harvest, including stats, testimonies, photos, and the archived message, go to socal.harvest.org.

On another note, the Harvest Partner Program has been recently restructured. Below you can see what your monthly support is being used for:

  • Sowing Partner
  • Evangelism-Focused Support: Crusades, Harvest America, KnowGod.org, and outreach.
  • $31 per month ($1 per day)
  • Watering Partner
  • Teaching-Focused Support: Daily teaching on radio, TV, online, and on-demand.
  • $62 per month ($2 per day)
  • Growing Partner
  • Disciple-Focused Support: Training courses, devotionals, and study materials.
  • $93 per month ($3 per day)
  • Innovation Partner
  • Opportunity-Focused Support: New and creative gospel endeavors such as film projects and social media.
  • $310 per month ($10 per day)

Again, thank you for your generous and faithful support, which is the backbone of Harvest Ministries with Greg Laurie!

P.S.You are able to make adjustments to your Harvest Partner account at any time online. Visit partner-help.harvest.org to update your monthly gift date, amount, contact information, or payment method.

The Joy of Evangelism

It is my firm belief that God can use you to bring others into His kingdom. Why would God tell us to engage in this thing we call evangelism if it were not so? Know this: the calling of God is the enabling of God.

I believe that God wants to use all of us to bring people to Himself. The book of Proverbs says, “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise” (Proverbs 11:30). Scripture also tells us, “Those who are wise will shine as bright as the sky, and those who turn many to righteousness will shine like stars forever” (Daniel 12:3 NLT).

Let’s start with the question of who is called to “go into all the world and preach the gospel?” Answer: You are! We are! Jesus said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19–20).

In the original language, these words are addressed to everyone. Not just pastors, evangelists, and missionaries, but everyone: businessmen, housewives, students . . . everyone. No one is exempted.

Also, in the original language, this is a command. Jesus is not saying, “If you can find time in your busy schedule, as a personal favor to Me, would you mind going into all the world and preaching the gospel?” No, as our Savior, Lord, and Commander-in-Chief. He says “Go!” This is not “The Great Suggestion,” but rather “The Great Commission.”

If I am His disciple, I am commanded to go and make disciples of others. If I am not making disciples of others, then I’m not really being the disciple He wants me to be! For many of us, however, it is “The Great Omission,” instead of “The Great Commission.” We are simply not doing it.

Let me say something provocative to you: to not do it is a sin! The Bible tells us, “Any person who knows what is right to do but does not do it, to him it is sin” (James 4:17).

But God doesn’t want you to share the gospel out of mere duty, but with joy and passion. One of the most exciting and fulfilling things you can do is tell others about Jesus. This message God has given us was meant to be shared, not hoarded. You were blessed to be a blessing. When you do not share, you begin to stagnate; when you do, you revive. Scripture tells us that those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed (see Proverbs 11:25).

We have a choice: evangelize or fossilize!

Wow, what an incredible Harvest America we had Sunday, June 11!

This could not have happened without the faithful and generous support of Harvest Partners like yourself! We can’t thank you enough and are asking the Lord to encourage you right where you are in your walk with Him!

Here are some of the stats:

Stadium Attendance: 38,000
Stadium Professions of Faith: 2,904
Host Sites: 3,758
Host Site Attendance: 83,700
Live Unique Viewers: 42,305
Online Professions of Faith: 494
Countries Viewed From: 83
Facebook Live Viewers: 120,642

In case you didn’t get to catch the Harvest America event, you can click here to watch it. (You might want to also invite someone who doesn’t know the Lord to join you in watching this life-changing event.)

Thank you again—it seems we can’t say it enough!

If you would like to watch a short recap of what happened at Harvest America, click here.

Tell Your Story

“Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?” So the people came streaming from the village to see him.
John 4:29-30

One of the most effective tools you have in your evangelistic toolbox is telling your story, your personal testimony about how you came to believe in Jesus. After a conversation with Jesus at the well, the Samaritan woman—minutes old in the faith—immediately went out and told others. The Bible tells us that “many Samaritans from the village believed in Jesus because the woman had said, ‘He told me everything I ever did!'” (John 4:39).

It is the power of a changed life. Use your story, because it is a way to preach to a person without preaching at a person. People don’t like to be preached to. Your story is a bridge. You can say, “Let me tell you my story. I didn’t always believe these things. Here is what I used to be. Here is the way I used to live. Here is what I used to think. But here is what I heard, and this is how it changed my life.” They can argue with a sermon, but they can’t argue with your story. They can’t argue with what God has done for you. So use that story to build the bridge.

Telling your story is a powerful bridge for the gospel message. It is merely a bridge to tell His story. It is not about you; it is about Him. So when you tell your story, don’t glorify or exaggerate your past. Sometimes I have heard people give their testimonies, and the story gets more dramatic with the telling. Sometimes Christians want to make their story more dramatic to be more impressive. Just tell the truth.

Don’t boast about what you gave up for God, but about what God gave up for you. We gave up guilt. We gave up judgment. We gave up Hell. And in their place, God gave us purpose and meaning and Heaven. And remember, it is not about you. It is about Him.