Unleashing Hope | Multiplication by Invitation

What Does It Mean To Abide In Jesus And How To Do It?

James Greer
Jan 9, 2022    23m
What does it mean to abide in Jesus? To abide in Jesus is to abide in His Word, in His love. It is to allow Him to live in you and to depend on Him. How can we abide in Him? By keeping His commandments, obey Him out of love, and keep His Word in our hearts and minds. Video recorded at Pineville, Louisiana.

messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

James Greer: [00:00:02] Amen. Man, that praise team rocked the house. Amen? Well, I'm excited about continuing our series, Unleashing Hope. And what I'll tell you, when we talk about hope, we said hope is a confident expectation of a positive future in spite of the present circumstances. And let me tell you what. If you're here and you're going through something, I'll say, you know, we got marriage counseling, we have grief counseling, we have suicide counseling. So man, there's no reason not to get help. Amen? What I'm going to do is I'm going to tell you, I'm going to be preaching on it. It's unleashing hope. But I'm going to be preaching on what I'm hoping for. I'm hoping on my word for the year's called multiplication. I've asked the staff, everybody to get a word for the year. Some of the word is, Darrell's expect. And like I said, if you come to church and if you have the right expectation, you'll have transformation. If you have the wrong expectation, you'll get frustrated. Some of them have intentional disciple, peace renewal, benevolent, surrender, charity, thrive, consistency, healthy, intentional, and growth. You know what you should do? You ought to pick a word. Say God, give me a word this year. And it just keeps coming back to your mind, and it helps you grow. But my word this year, multiplication. Today, I want us to learn to spiritual multiplication. But I want you to know that God always wanted us to multiply.

James Greer: [00:01:30] Even from the very beginning in Genesis 1:27, He says, and God created man in His own image. I wish we had time to talk about that. Have you ever thought about what we were when God said He created us in His own image? He said, listen, He gives us a choice. Amen? We're creative. I mean, God, can you imagine how creative God was? And you don't realize how creative you are. And then listen, He breathed breath into our nostrils and we became life. Even the very breath that you breathe proves there's God. But anyway, in our own image, He made them male and female. He created them. And then He said, and then God blessed them and God said, be fruitful and multiply. And do what? Multiply. The very essence of God's breath in you gives you a desire to multiply. And then in the New Testament, Jesus told us. So he who had received five talents came and brought five more talents. And Lord delivered to him and said, hey, here's five more. He took and he multiplied them and had five more. And you know what the Lord said to him? Well done. You know why he said well done? Because he had multiplied them. He said, well done, they good and faithful servant. You've been faithful over a few things. I'll make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of the Lord. See, part of the joy of the Lord is when you multiply what God's given you.

James Greer: [00:02:55] I want to multiply new members next year. Amen? Hey, can I tell you something? Last year, 2021, we had 186 new members. Woo. I want to multiply salvation. We had 105 salvations last year. Amen? We've baptized 97. I want to multiply that. I want to multiply small groups. I mean, I just want our whole church to multiply. Amen? But before I get into spiritual multiplication, I want to give you some insights. You ready? Whatever you nurture, it's going to grow. Now, this is some gold. Whatever you nurture is going to grow. In other words, what you sow, you reap. Things like affairs and addictions, they didn't start all at once. They started being nurtured and looking and trying, and they came into being. So what is it in your life that you need to be feeding in 2022? And what do you need to be starving in 2022? See, we're going to be learning to abide in Christ, and that's why it's so important to learn to abide in Christ and live in Christ. But there's some things in your life that you need to be starving in 2022, and there are some things you need to be feeding in 2022. You need to be feeding your marriage. Amen? You need to be feeding your kids, your finance, your love, your health, your time with God, your prayer, your hospitality, your giving.

James Greer: [00:04:27] There's some things you need to be feeding, but at the same time, there's still things you need to be starving. You need to ask God, Holy Spirit, you know, confirm what it is. And God says, you ask and He'll give it to you. See, if you'll nurture your marriage in 2022, He'll make it beautiful in its time. I mean, I've seen marriages that were split up, even going the opposite direction, and they came and put together. They did it God's way, and God put them together right now. They said they have a better marriage they ever had in their life. It's a very important question. People always say, well, it's not only where you are right now. It's where you're going to become, who are you becoming in 2022? Who do you want to become? Not just where you at, who you want to become. Because what you repeat is enforced. So many people think that their problem is their job, their marriage, their money. But the real problem is where you're headed. Why not make a decision to become something on purpose instead of by accident. Say, I'm going to become a follower of Christ this year, I'm going to be a better husband, I'm going to be better wife, I'm going to be a better leader, I'm going to be a better person, I'm going to be better at saving my money, I'm going to be a better investor.

James Greer: [00:05:41] So before I get into how to be spiritual multiplication, let me ask you a question. I'm on a journey to become a better blank in 2022? Do it intentional. Make a decision. Don't let, it won't happen by accident. Now, let me give you the whole thing about abiding in Christ. Jesus tells us in 15:11 and then we're going to get to it in 15:11. He said, these things I have spoken to you that my joy might remain in you and that your joy might be full. The whole essence of what I'm teaching today about abiding in Christ, Jesus wrote that He said, I want your joy to be full. And anybody need extra joy? Amen? And what God knew ahead of time, that we're going to live in a day that everybody is trying to find joy and peace in the wrong things. And He said, I'm going to give you the secret, the steps to finding lasting joy that it might be full. So let's look at multiplied by invitation. Starts out in John 15:5. He simply says, I am the vine. Jesus is the vine. You are the branches. That's me and you. But He also says he who abides in me and I in him, bears not just a little fruit, but how much fruit? Much fruit. And without me, you can do nothing.

James Greer: [00:06:58] Now, if there's, you know, I'm telling you what, I want the results of much fruit. Wouldn't you like in 2022 not just have a little fruit, but a lot of fruit? Amen? I mean, I want more lives saved, more marriages mended, more young people turning to God, more people following Christ. Hey, do you know what are the fruits? Love and joy and peace. And I mean, just more and more and more. Not just some fruit, but I want a lot of fruit. And guess what? Jesus wants that for me, and He wants it for you. Then He goes on in verse 7 and says, if you abide in me and my words. Say words. Abide in you, you shall ask whatever you desire and it shall be done to you. This was so cool for me this week. I've had this message written for several weeks, but you know, I'd go over it and over it and over it. And Saturday I was going over it again. And see, part of abiding is abiding in God's Word. Jesus is the Word and the Word became flesh. That's Jesus. So when you're abiding in the Word, you're abiding in Jesus. And when you're abiding in the Word, you're not always abiding in the Word. You're connected, but you're not always abiding. And I'll talk to you about that later. But when you're abiding, He said, listen, ask anything according to His will, and He hears you.

James Greer: [00:08:14] So I said, listen, 1 John 5:14 says, this is the confidence that we have in Him. If you ask anything according to His will, He hears you. You know what I thought? I was in my office, and I was abiding with God. I said, God, I just realized this is the time to be praying. And God laid people on my heart. I just started praying for them, and I said, God, the good thing about this, I have confidence you hear me and that you're going to answer me. All these years in my life, I never realized the best time to be praying is while I'm abiding in Christ. Because there's times we're not abiding. And I'll teach you that later. But let me tell you what. Those little special insights, those special times when you're abiding with Christ, when you're reading God's Word, when you're in God's Word, when you're hearing from God and God is hearing from you, man, when God lays somebody on your heart, stop for a minute. Lift them up for God. Right. Anyway. Let's go. 15:8. By this, my Father is glorified that you bear much fruit. So you'll be my disciples. I love this. When we bear much fruit, it glorifies God. Isn't that great? Let me give you some of the fruit. Galatians 5:22 says, the fruit of the spirit, that's some of it, is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, kindness, faithfulness.

James Greer: [00:09:45] I mean, that's just some of the fruit. You know what I love about that? When we're fulfilling God's purpose for our life, we have a joy like we've never had before. Listen, do you understand when you're full of love, joy, and peace, when you have longsuffering, which is patience, when you're living it out in your life, you're glorifying God? Isn't that something? So when we're living out, when lives are being changed, when we're living out God's purpose for our life, that we actually bring glory to God. It's okay when you're abiding in Christ, say God, would you give me love and joy and peace? There's Christians that are saved and you're not enjoying the gift that God has for you. He said the fruit of the spirit is what? Love, joy, and peace. He said abide in me and glorify the Father. You're glorifying God by just living it out. John 15:9 says this. As the Father loved me, I also loved you. Abide in my love. So first, He said, there's two ways that you really abide in Christ. First, you abide in His Word. Amen? When you're reading the Word, when you're in the Word, you soak it in, you take it. And then He wants you to just abide in His love. Isn't that something? If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in His love. You ready? Here it comes.

James Greer: [00:11:09] I wrote all these things to you. You know why? That my joy might remain in you and that your joy might be full. Isn't that something? He said, I'm telling you all this for one reason. I want your joy to be full. Anybody want more joy? Amen? Anybody want to be full of joy? Amen? He said the whole purpose of what I'm writing is I want my people, he's writing it to, listen, He said, I'm telling you how to connect with me. I'm telling you how to have joy that surpasses understanding. I'm telling you how to have joy that nobody can take from you. Amen? I'm going to give you three steps that are so simple if you'll listen that you can learn to abide in Christ. Number one, you have to connect. You have to connect to the vine. It said, abide in Jesus, the first thing. It means giving life, to connect to Him. He's the branch. We have to connect the vine, the vine to the branch. See, if there is no connection, there's no life, there's no fruit, there's nothing. The real first connection is at salvation. But see, I know people that got connected that don't have any fruit. But everybody, if you want to abide, the first step is connect to Christ. If you're here today and you never connected to Christ, the first step is to come to the service and say, hey, I want to connect to Christ.

James Greer: [00:12:25] That's the first step. You can't abide if you're not connected. The second is depend on Christ. It's dependance. You're the branch. You abide. It implies dependance. You've all seen trees or branches, and some branches are flourishing and some are just dying. The ones are dying, you just want to tear them off. I've told Darrell, he said, you ever see those sap suckers that come out? The vine just pulls all those others with others. And everybody has sap suckers in their life. You know what that is? Things are trying to get you away from Christ. You get too busy. You don't have enough time. Nothing wrong with hobbies. But if you spend more time on your hobby than you do with Christ, that can be a problem. So whatever it is that draws you away that you don't have enough time to keep your priorities right, that's a sap sucker. You need to take it off of you. Amen? And so it implies a dependence. The branch is dependent on the vine. How dependent are you on Christ? The vine is not dependent on the branch. The branch gets its power and his life from the vine. See, without the vine, the branch is useless. It's helpless and powerless. This is what I learned. To abide, you have to make a willful choice. Take time and your heart has to be right. In other words, I choose, for instance, Saturday morning, I chose to take time and to go in my office and to read God's Word and to be with God.

James Greer: [00:14:04] Almost every morning before this happened, I choose, it's a choice, I choose, I want to abide with Christ. So at that point, I choose to go into my office and spend time and have my heart and spend time with God. So it's a choice. It's time and heart. So I depend on Christ. Now, I wish I could do that all the time. But at those times, I'm abiding. Now I'm learning since those times I'm abiding. Those are the times I'm fixing to start praying too. Amen? So if you're not depending, if you're not making a time, it's a choice that you have to make if you want to abide. Okay? So you connect, you depend, and then you continue. That's what's tough. Continue's when I leave the house. Now, it's a mindset. That's what's tough. When I'm driving down the road, everything's running through my mind and somebody pulls out in front of me and my mindset's not right. I'm not abiding. But he wants us to continue to remain. When the disciples encountered Jesus, they said, where are you staying? Where are you abiding? Where are you living? To abide means to reside. Now, to reside, to continue to remain, to abide, you've got to have the time, you got to have the heart, but you've got the mindset.

James Greer: [00:15:39] Now, now, now it's controlling your mind. You've got a mindset. I think every single day before we leave the house, we've got to reset our minds. To abide, you know, you got an ongoing daily dependance on God, letting His Word abide in us, His love abide in us, His Word, the Word of Jesus has got to, our heart and our mind, it's renewing, it's reviving us, it's shaping us, it's sanctifying us, it's filing us, it's forming us, it's transforming us. I'm going to tell you, that's not easy to do, but that's what He wants to do. In the Old Testament, He put it this way in Joshua 1:8. But if the Book of the Law, which is God's Word, shall not depart from your mouth, you shall meditate. Okay. Now He's saying, why don't you think on it? Why don't you have a mindset day and night? Then if you observe to do according to what it said. Huh? I'll make you prosper and have good success. In other words, God said, listen, you'd be full of joy. That's what I'm saying. He said, you know, to love Jesus and Jesus to love you, you know, abiding sounds easy, but it's really complicated. I've studied it for 40 years. I understand it better now than I ever have in my life. And it's still complicated. I know one thing. I want to learn to abide because I know this.

James Greer: [00:17:04] The things that I have spoken to you, Jesus said, My joy remain in you and that your joy might be full. I'm not closing. I'm getting ready to close. Big difference. Just telling you. Okay? This joy can't come from people, places, and things. The insight that is so cool, y'all got to understand. Some of the greatest insights, Steven, are simple. Are you ready for this? Are you really? You're ready. Say I'm ready. What you're thinking about tells where you're abiding. Say that is good, Brother James. I mean, because listen, everybody wants say how do I abide. I mean, we're in a staff meeting the other day and everybody's waiting. Well, how do we abide? I want to be full of joy. What are you thinking about? Change what you're thinking about. You could start abiding. Let me give you a verse. Romans 8:6. For the carnally minded, the worldly minded is death. In other words, when you're always worried about what's going on in the world, you're thinking about the world, it brings death, spiritual death. You're not happy, you're worried, you're frustrated. It's just doesn't work. Okay? So what is your mindset? How about this? What's your mindset? If it's about the world, it brings death. Not physical death so much. Spiritual death. But to the spiritual what? Minded is life and peace. It simply puts it this way. You want a more abundant life and more peace? Become spiritually-minded.

James Greer: [00:18:59] Anybody here wants more abundant life and more peace? Amen? You've got to change your mindset, what you're thinking about every morning. When you get up, you need a mindset. You need to remove what's not spiritual and make room for the spiritual. Refocus on what's spiritual. You can't control what comes into your mind, but you can control what stays there. You know, it's crazy. The social media is driving me crazy. Y'all get all those pop-ups? Pop up, pop up, pop up. And man, if you hit one of those pop ups, then you can't find out how to X out of it. So the best thing to do, I say just X out of it right off the bat. Amen? Gossip, X out. Jealousy X out. Anger, X out. Immorality, X out. Hatred, X out. Worry, X out. Hey, maybe today I want to show love. I'll take that. I want to have peace today, God. You said I can because it's fruit of the spirit. I'll take that. How about joy? How about patience? How about kindness? How about goodness? How about I can show more caring today? Did you know that we could reset our mind every single day? We have a choice what comes into our mind. Through the power and the presence of the Holy Spirit, you can reset your mind and He gives us that. That's why no temptation takes us that's common to man, but He gives us a way out.

James Greer: [00:20:17] So you get three steps this morning. First, make sure you're connected, admit that you hadn't been dependent, and pray that you can continue to have a new mindset. During the day, think about spiritual things. This week, Debbie has to drive me everywhere. It's okay. Except I'm a control freak. But anyway. I'm trying not to say anything. She had the radio on something else and some news station. I finally said, turn that off. Turn to some singing, turn to something spiritual on. I said, I'm so tired of listening to that news. Drives me crazy. You're doing a good job driving. Change the radio. Do you know if you listen to that junk all day long, you'll get depressed? You'll think the dadgum world is in control. But guess what? They're not. God's in control. I mean, 30 minutes, we were singing and praising God. It turned around. I mean, had a mindset. I changed my mind. Amen? Some of y'all right here today need to change your mind. Amen? You need to say, hey, my marriage is going to get better, my spiritual walk's going to get better, my 2022's going to get better, and just make up your mind today. Amen? All right. Stand and let me pray for you. Hey, God, we're going to have a mindset change today. Some people are going to connect to you as the first step. Make sure, God, that they are connected to you, accept you as their personal Savior.

James Greer: [00:21:54] Some people say, hey, man, I hadn't had the fullness of joy in all 2021. That's because I've been trying to get it in the wrong places. Hey, God, I want to come and start getting it from you. I want to draw on you. I want to depend upon you. Hey, God, during the day, at work, whatever I'm doing, during my hobbies, I want to have a mindset. I want to start being more spiritually-minded. I want to have a better day, a better week, a better life. 2022, I'm going to make a decision. I don't want it to happen by accident. It's not who I am. It's not where I'm at. It's who I'm becoming. And I have a choice of that, and I want to make a commitment today, God. I want to become a better follower of Jesus Christ in 2022. It's in the precious name of Jesus I ask. Maybe, God, there's somebody that needs to join church today, follow through in baptism, maybe you need somebody to pray with you and pray for you. Today is a day to let God have His will. You know what? We're abiding today. He's here. No better day, no better time. You've got a prayer request? Man, you come up and hook up with somebody and y'all pray together. Amen? In precious name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Bruce Goulart: [00:23:01] On behalf of Pastor James, I just want to say thank you for joining our online experience this morning. Y'all, what an amazing week two it was of Unleashing Hope. Again, if you would like a copy of this book, comment down below and we'll get you a copy as soon as possible. Also, if you want to take your next step, y'all, all you have to do is type in a keyword that's on your screen right now to the number (318) 413-6422. That number is (318) 413-6422. And whenever you do that, you just fill that out and we will get with you as soon as possible. Y'all, I just want to say thank you again for doing our online experience, y'all. And I hope to see you next week.

Recorded in Pineville, Louisiana.
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Journey Church
2900 Donahue Ferry Rd
Pineville, Louisiana 71360