A father was talking with his daughter and her 5-year-old friend, Kristin, about birthdays. Kristin’s was March 30 and the father’s was March 27.
“The father said, “You know what Kristin? Our birthdays are three days apart!” She looked up at him and then said, “Yeah, but you grew much faster than I did!”
Why is it that some people grow faster spiritually than others? Why is it that some people make a commitment to follow Jesus Christ and then fall away, while others make a commitment that lasts a lifetime?
It all comes down to doing everything we can to grow spiritually.
God’s Part and Ours
We need to understand that there is God’s part and there is our part.
The Bible tells us to “work out our own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12). A more accurate translation of that verse would be “Carry to the goal and fully complete.” What this means is we are “working out” what God has “worked in.”
But then that verse goes on to say, “For it is God who works in you both to will and do of His good pleasure.”
Clearly there are some things only God can do, and some things only you can do. For instance, only God can save a person.
Only God can forgive and forget our sins.
Only God can change the human heart.
But at the same time, only I can believe.
Only I can repent.
Only I can follow.
So, what practical steps do I need to take to become a growing Christian?I will answer that tonight in my message “What Every Growing Christian Needs to Know, Part 3.”
It all happens at Harvest Orange County.You can join us live or watch the webcast at harvest.org.
Let’s remember all of those who have served in our military and laid their lives down for our country.
We thank God for the freedom we enjoy in what I believe is the greatest country on earth, the United States of America!
As we gather with family and friends, let’s remember also to pray that God will send a great revival to our country as well. We have never needed it more.
And remember to fly the Stars and Stripes!
Its’ good to be back home and I am looking forward to speaking this Sunday at
Harvest/Riverside and Orange County.
We had a fantastic trip to Israel,Greece,Turkey and Rome and had the excellent Harvest video crew shooting everything we saw in HD video to share with you.
This Sunday I will share some highlights from the amazing ancient city of Ephesus.
This is the first of the seven Churches we have been looking at in our Revelation series.
Jesus had some very specific warnings to them,AND US that we will pay attention to.
We will also have a special communion service after the message.
So,I hope to see you at Harvest this Memorial day weekend!
If you cannot join us in person,it will all be carried live as usual at
Here are a few more videos we shot in Israel. Shalom!
Here’s a video with Stella Laurie on the way to the Shepherds’ Fields.
Behind the scenes of our video shoot at the Shepherd’s Fields.
Harvest Worship in the Garden of Gethsemane
The House of Caiaphas
I am in Rome, Italy along with my wife and 300 friends from around the country for a tour following in the footsteps of the great apostle Paul. But since today is Mother’s Day, I wanted to send along an article my wife wrote about the prayers of her own mother.
Reflections on My Mother’s Prayers
By Cathe Laurie.
My husband Greg has often said, “Your loved ones may escape your preaching, but they can never escape your prayers.”
For a number of years, my devout mother prayed for my sisters and me. She often sat us down on her bed and tried her best to reach our hearts with words that, honestly, went in one ear and out the other. This proved to be a great test of her faith. Time after time, I mechanically nodded in outward agreement while staring blankly out the window, wishing it would end. I learned not to disagree or raise an objection, only because it would have prolonged the torture.
I was utterly disinterested in what she was saying.
Then one day, it dawned on me: my mother had quit her daily lectures. It was a relief; no more lengthy discussions at the dinner table or in her bedroom. “Whew!” I had escaped her incessant pleading!
I had escaped her pleading with me, but not her pleading with God. It was much later, after I had come to faith, that she revealed how she had determined to quit talking and instead to diligently pray that her daughters would be saved.
I share this with you today and pray it will serve as an encouragement to you moms who have children that seem disinterested, even hostile to your faith. I know it may look hopeless at times, and you may be tempted to doubt that your prayers are being heard. But we need to know that when we pray for that lost child, our prayers are according to the will of God. Keep seeking. Keep knocking. Keep asking!
I often think of St. Augustine’s mother, Monica. As a young man, Augustine cast off his once childlike faith, but he could never cast off her prayers and her stubborn love. They followed him from their small town to the big city of Carthage, where things in his life went from bad to worse. There, Augustine’s life would be marked by what he later admitted were his “wicked ways” and “carnal corruption.”
At 29, despite Monica’s incessant pleading with him not to go, Augustine determined to set sail for Rome. Her prayer was that God would somehow prevent her son from making the journey. Despite her specific prayer that Augustine not leave, he did, and she wept and wailed in sorrow. But though God didn’t answer that specific request, He had heard the main point of her prayers. And He was at work in ways she couldn’t see. In God’s perfect plan and timing, so different from her own, the place she feared would be her son’s undoing was the place he would finally surrender to God’s will.
So may I challenge you who are weary and about to give up, don’t! Though it may be a long wait, and it may seem like God is not at work, know that He is—in ways you can’t always see.
There is a heartfelt poem written by Ruth Graham for her once prodigal son, Franklin. I pray that it will inspire you to not lose heart when it comes to your children. I pray you will trust God for their salvation, their very lives, and for God’s timing, not your own. And remember, they may escape your preaching but they can never escape your prayers.
with my Jacob,” I would pray,
“wrestle till the break of Day”;
till he, knowing who Thou art,
tho’ asked, will not let Thee depart;
saying, “I’ll not let Thee free
saving Thou wilt first bless me;”
O God of Jacob, who knew how
to change supplanters then, so now
deal, I pray, with this my son,
though he may limp when Thou art
Ruth Bell Graham, from “Prodigals and Those Who Love Them”
Based on Genesis 32:24–31
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!
Check out this weekend’s TV program where we deal with the theme of Hope.
My special musical guest is Steven Curtis Chapman and my message title is “Hope for Troubled Hearts.”
Both Steven and I know the loss of a child dying, and we share with any hurting people out there the hope that we have found in Christ through His Scripture. And that hope includes the fact that we will be reunited with our children again in heaven!
So, if you could use a good dose of hope today, watch the program on demand or go to your local TV listings to see if it’s showing in your area.
To find out more, go to