Assemble | How to Receive Spiritual Gifts

How To Receive And Activate Your Spiritual Gifts From God

James Greer
Jul 24, 2022    34m
We all receive a God-given spiritual gift. But many ponder how to activate your spiritual gifts. You must know God, have a consistent relationship with Him, be honest with God, and thank Him at all times, good and bad. 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: [00:00:00] Good morning, Journey Church. Man, our VBS was unbelievable. I never had that much fun when I was a kid. Amen? Man, not only was it fun, I mean, lives were changed. So we thank you for all those that volunteered and the teachers and love to see that. Also, listen, man, we got stuff the bus. Man, Miss Marsha, y'all really stuffed some stuff in there. My goodness gracious. So thank y'all for all those that did that and helped to do that. I mean, this thing is packed. And I'm going to start giving those out and you can still be a part of that. We're going to be going to Leslie Moore and giving it to kids that are less fortunate. And we'll give out 150 of those. And look, now, the kids will have a mat to lay on when they come to school. And you're going to want to be a part of that. And I think there's an envelope or envelope in the bulletin if you want to still be a part of that. Not only are we doing that, then if you're a school teacher at Journey Church, every school, not only are we going to stuff the bus by your gracious gifts. And y'all have given. Y'all are so gracious. You really are. We're making a difference in kids' lives. But we want to thank the teachers, too, that teach. And we decided if you're a teacher at Journey Church, in honor of that teacher, every teacher in that school will get a cup and thanking them for being a teacher too. So they'll just be hundreds and hundreds of cups given out in honor of teachers of Journey Church. So that's because you're giving. Amen?

James Greer: [00:01:30] So you can just put your money in the envelope and put it there. I want to share something else that's on my heart and doesn't have anything to do with the message. Today at 3:00, we'll have a memorial for Dorothy White. And most of her family has been her church family. And she'll have some family here today, too. But I've decided that it's really important to be planted in a church. You plant, you flourish, because sometimes your church family is as close as your physical family. And so they'll minister to you. And this church has ministered to both Dorothy and through the years, and they'll follow through on her memorial today at three. But also, I got a call, just found out Friday, but they really put it together this weekend. There was a guy that's been, I've been with him 20, 25 years. His name was Tony [inaudible]. He was the first staff guy here. He did the books for us, and his wife was the librarian for me. And his wife died, and he decided to move on. But this was his family. His church family was here. Basically, all he had. Then moved down there and I didn't even get a call, which is okay. But I found out that he passed away right after Father's Day. And they just sent his urn or remains back up, and we'll probably have a memorial out at Forest Lawn Friday at 10:00, and we'll do that. The church will, the kids. Nobody will be here. I just thought, you know, it's kind of sad in a way. But it's important that you plant at a church and that you're connected in a church, because I can tell you, that gets to be your family.

James Greer: [00:03:20] I'm all for family. I mean, I got 13 grandkids and five kids and I don't know how many other. And I love them all, and I want them all to be here and worship. But I'm just telling you, church family, you need to be connected. You need to be planted, rooted. And I'm going to do more and more to try to do that in September in different ways and new ways I've never done. And you can come to church. You don't have to go. If you love small groups, that's great. If you want to do a home group, just yourself, and we'll try to make that available. But it's just been kind of a strange time to have these people pass the way they passed. And, I don't know, just different. So be rooted. Be rooted here. We're going to continue our series on Be Assembled. And I want to go over a few things to bring us up to where we're at. And like I told you, everybody is important to God and everybody is important in this church. Everybody has at least one gift, at least one. You can easily find your gift because basically you've got a speaking gift or you've got a serving gift. Most people are so stressed out, they can't use their gift. So we talk briefly where you cannot be so stressed out. But I learned that as I've studied the gifts, that gifts and grace go together. Gifts and grace go together. And it's so important because when you learn that gifts and grace go together, it can change the way that you serve, the way you go to school, the way that you live.

James Greer: [00:04:50] Grace is the power to do whatever God's called you to do and do it with joy. Grace is the power to do whatever God's called you do and do it with joy. Now there's all kinds of grace and we're going to talk about it. But in general, if you preach, preach with grace. If you serve, serve with grace. Whatever it is. And if you do it right, you do it with joy. I want to mention about stress again, because every Sunday for six Sundays, we're going to remind you that there's general concerns and fearful concerns. General concerns is express our dependance on God. And when we have a problem and we can't handle it, we say, God, what are you going to do? We turn our problems over to God. Cast all our cares upon Him. Fearful concern is we express our dependance on ourself and we say, God, what am I going to do? And so we have a true concern but refuse to let it go. Instead, we pile up on our shoulders, gets higher and higher and higher and the situation gets out of hand and we say, God, what am I going to do? How am I going to do it? I can't do it. I can't handle it. You get stress and anxiety. And God said, That's true. You can't. So God said, I really created you to have a consistent fellowship with me on a day-to-day basis. I want you to have a consistent fellowship with me on a day-to-day basis, and I want you to continue to give your problems to me and don't carry them. And it's so important that first you get saved, but then you have a consistent fellowship with God. Because I've told you over and over, I'm going to tell you again.

James Greer: [00:06:24] Everything rises and falls on your personal fellowship with Christ. Everything. So you see how important it is. So if everything rises on your personal fellowship with Christ, let's get into some of the things that Christ wants for you. First of all, He wants you to know what your spiritual gift is. It tells us in 1 Corinthians 12:1, I'm going to read it in the amplified version first. Now about the spiritual gift. You ready? The special endowment of supernatural energy. This is so cool because what the Bible says is when you operate in your spiritual gifts, you get a special endowment of supernatural energy. Amen? Brethren. He's talking to Christians. And I don't want you to be misinformed. That most people don't realize that God's grace gives you a special endowment of supernatural energy to do what He's called you to do and do it with joy. And we'll talk about different types of grace here in a minute. Another translation says this. Now concerning your spiritual gift, brother, I just don't want you to be ignorant. God says I don't want you to be ignorant because when you operate your gifts, the supernatural energy, you further God's kingdom and you do great damage to Satan. And so, of course, He does not want you to do that. So what are our spiritual gifts? They're just manifold grace of God. 1 Peter puts it this way. As each one of you received a gift. Each one of you. You don't have to be a scholar to figure this out. Each one of you here has received a gift. Amen? Minister one to another. I'm going to tell you now.

James Greer: [00:08:17] I'll tell you later. The word minister here means everybody's a minister. If you're a member, you're a minister. Some of us get paid. Some of us don't. But you're still a member. Amen? Everybody's a member, minister. And we'll do it one to another. But we're to do it as good stewards as what? The manifold grace of God. There's multi graces of God. There's not just one. There's multi graces of God. The spiritual gifts were for the purpose of making us mighty in spirit. It's to use this unbelievable power that God's given. Let me give you an example of Old, Old Testament's always a picture or a type for New Testament. Exodus 9:16 said, But indeed, for this purpose, I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you and that my name might be declared in all the earth. God says, What I've done is I'm going to give you this manifold grace of God, this supernatural power and energy to show forth my power in you where you'll declare it on the earth. In other words, God says, Listen, I've given you the gift of grace. They go hand in hand. Grace and gift go hand in hand. These gifts are from God. They give you the power to bring honor and glory to God while you're here on earth. See, what happened is when Jesus. You ready? The answer's yes. Are you ready? Yes. When Jesus ascended, grace and gifts descended. When He went up, they came down. He went up to be with the Father. And He said, I'm going to give you gifts and grace to carry on my ministry on earth while I'm in Heaven.

James Greer: [00:10:03] That's good, Brother James. Let me give you some examples of some gifts. One of the gifts that most people don't realize, the grace gifts. I don't want this gift. But I've seen it in our church more in the last two years than the last 38 years I've preached. It's in Paul. Paul said, unless I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of my revelation, a thorn, a problem, a hurt, a sorrow in the flesh was given to me. A messenger of Satan to buffet me. Let's not be exalted above measure. And then he goes on and said, Now listen to this. When you're hurting, when you have a problem, when you have a sickness, when you have an illness concerning this thing, I pleaded with the Lord three times. One of the first things you should do whether you're sick, whether you're hurting, whether you're on [inaudible], the first thing you do is you go and pray to God. Amen? I want it to depart from me. And sometimes through our prayers together, when we're praying and come in unity as one, sometimes God relieves the pressure. But most of the time, He gives the power to go through it.

James Greer: [00:11:20] See, when I grew up, they never gave you the other part so many times. I just thought my prayers weren't working. And so I said, God, you're not removing the problem. You're not removing the problem. You're not removing the problem. And so therefore, I didn't get to enjoy the grace and power to go through it. Then he said, My grace is. What is my grace? So God said, no matter what I'm going through, no matter what you're going through, if you learn to activate, the grace of God is sufficient for you. And my strength is made perfect in your weakness. In other words, when you're weak, He says I'm strong. Therefore most gladly, Paul said, I would rather boast in my infirmity that the what? Power of Christ rests upon me. Now, see, I understand this because I see examples of this like I've never seen it before. Look at Janice Rawlin. She's not here today, but she's watching online. There's probably, I've got a picture of her, and one of them's me and her standing at the door. She's already had two brain surgeries. She's going through unbelievable treatments. Few days ago, treatment was so bad in between treatments that she couldn't do anything but go from the bed to the bathroom. She was hurting so bad. The next day I talked to her and she said, What are you doing, brother? I said, How do you do that? She said, The sun came up and I rose up.

James Greer: [00:12:50] Y'all have pictures up there? Isn't that a good picture? She makes me good-looking. And then look at this other picture of her. This was just recently fishing. She had just, listen, she had just been taken off her experimental drug because they said it wasn't working anymore. And they said, this is the last thing we can do for you. And they put a port and gave her some chemo. This weekend, there she is. She caught 26 perch and five catfish. Amen? Her and Randy went fishing. That is the grace of suffering in action. I don't want that. But she's living it out. You cannot do that without the grace of God. She's witnessing to people. When you see her, where do you say, how in the world can you live that kind of life? Amen? It's impossible apart from the grace of God. Matter of fact, you go to minister to her, she'll minister to you. That is the gift of grace of God. So there's all kinds of gifts. And, you know, let me tell you what she is. She's tough and tender. She's tough and tender. That's one of the greatest gifts of God. There's another great gift of God. There's the gift of overcoming sin. But where sin abounds, grace much more abounds. I sin. You sin. We all sin. But thank goodness, grace is greater than our sin. Amen? There are sins that we sin now. God said I'm greater. There are sins in our past. Isn't it great that God's grace is greater than those sins? We've all known people that I mean, we sin, but we know people just seem like there was a lifestyle of sin. I've known people that spent 15 more years in jail.

James Greer: [00:14:38] And then the grace of God came upon their lives. And now they're using their gifts to serve right here at Journey Church. Sin abound, grace much more abound. Some of y'all have sin in your life and you're letting it ruin your life. And God is saying, don't do that because where sin abounds, grace is greater than your sin. He'll forgive you, He'll restore you, and He'll use you. Amen? That's a great gift. Amen? There's a gift of salvation. If you're saved, it's by grace, not by what you did. It's unmerited favor. It's by grace that you are saved through faith and not works. You cannot work your way to Heaven. You cannot be good enough to go to Heaven. You can't repent enough to go to Heaven. It's about faith. It's about what Jesus Christ did for you by grace. You're saved through faith, not of your selves. It is a gift of God, not of works lest anybody boast. See, grace and gifts are gifts. You can't work for them. Nothing you can do to get them. See? So there's all kinds of grace gifts. And God says, I want you to know, if you're saved, guess what? It was a gift. Matter of fact, if you're saved, it was God's greatest gift because He gave His son. Amen? Nothing you could do for it. He did it all for you. Isn't it great there's nothing you can do to get saved? I've had people say, Man, I want you to come to know Jesus. I'm going to wait till I get good enough. I'm going to wait till I stop this habit. I'm going to wait. You can't do anything. It's not nothing you do. He saved you. He saved His Son because of what you're doing.

James Greer: [00:16:16] So if you're here today and you're not saved, today is a wonderful day to do it. If you're here today and sin is weighing you down, God's grace is greater than your sin. And then there's that salvation like going to Heaven. And then there's saving grace. Continue to save you. But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, we shall be saved in the same manner as they. Now, He was saved. He was on His way to Heaven. But He needs saved. He needed to be delivered. You can be saved going to Heaven. And you still need to be saved. You're being saved. In other words, you're saved when you accept Jesus Christ and His gift. Amen? But you can have a lot of problems here on Earth and you need to be saved. You need to be delivered. You need to get out of bondage. You need to be free. Or you need to get the strength to go through what you're going through. And you need to learn to go through it with joy like Janice. Amen? Joy and Janice. That's a good one, huh? Amen. J and J.

James Greer: [00:17:30] Then everybody has this gift. It's the gift of ministry. Ephesians 3:7 says, of which I became a minister. Say, minister. Everyone here is a minister. I looked up that word this morning. That word means teacher, pastor, or servant. And when it says servant, it meant they ran around and waited tables and they cleaned. It said they were real servants or it said they were pastors. In other words, when I became saved, I became a minister. Every member is a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working power of God. Do you know what effective means here? I thought it mean, you know, that you're effective. Like you're good at it. It means by the effective, energized workings of His power. In other words, He said, I want you to minister, but I want you to minister not only in your own power, but the energy and power that comes from God. I'm sweeping floors. I'm going to sweep it to the Lord. If I'm mopping, I'm going to do it as unto the Lord. If I'm making chairs, whatever it is. We got people on our staff. We got people working on our staff. We got people cleaning on our staff. And man, they do it as unto the Lord. Man, that's a praise God. It is now a ministry. It's not a job. Amen?

James Greer: [00:19:05] You need to minister. Basically, you minister at home. The hardest place to minister to be effective. You ready? Effective. Is at home. They know you best. They know you when you cuss. I know y'all don't cuss. Some of y'all do though. I know you. You're saying, Amen, Brother James. You know I do. But they know you at your worst. They know you when you get angry. They just know you. You can't minister at home without the grace of God. I'll tell you what. You get up here in fellowship with Christ. Like he said, everything rises and falls on the fellowship with Christ, which you're in the right fellowship of Christ, you can be effective at home that day. You go to work. You can't be an effective minister at work if you hadn't had fellowship with Christ. You can work hard, but you're tired, you're worn out, you're not happy, you're touchy, you're edgy. Everybody's worked with those kind of people. Sometimes you're that kind of people. And then you just don't want to be around them. But you're also around people that have been with Christ. And they've had the right fellowship with Christ and they go to work and you don't understand. They're doing the same kind of work, but they're doing it with joy. Do it at school. Some people go to school and they don't do anything but rebel from the teachers and from everybody else. Some people go to school and they go to school with joy. You ready? The church. Some people come to church and their hearts are tender and they want to learn. They want their lives changed and they want God's Word to be planted in their heart and they want it to grow. They come and they say, man, that's just wonderful. I can get this energy from God and whatever I do in life, it can be effective. And some people just say, hey, I'm here to check it off. Everybody's a minister.

James Greer: [00:21:22] You've got God's gift. It's just, are you effective with it or not? God says, I want to give you that gift. So you will. He said, I want you to use it in the big church, the body of Christ, which is everybody. Everywhere we go. And I want you to use it in the little church, which is the local body of church. It's given by God and it's to be used in a spiritual nature. Sometimes it's just spiritual when you're saved. Sometimes you might be a great salesman, a plumber or a doctor, teacher, Wal-Mart worker. I don't know. But if you're not using it to further the God, further the kingdom, you're not using it in a spiritual nature. Spiritual gifts are nothing more than a drive, an opportunity that results in achieving God-given goals. Spiritual gifts, when you're when activated, when it's activated, it gives you the discipline and drive and desire to achieve your God-given purpose and do it with joy. Spiritual gifts, when they're activated, they give you the desire, the drive and desire to achieve your God-given purpose and do it with joy. Purpose, point, how does somebody like Janice go through cancer and do it with joy? She's activated God's grace because possibly part of her purpose is to live it out where changing people's lives. There's [inaudible] over there. Amen? So she can do it. She's changing people's lives.

James Greer: [00:22:55] True success is this. In other words, you've got to find out what's burning in your heart. What's God put in your heart? What's burning in your heart to do for God? Success really comes from doing something you really love while serving other people while you do it. I mean, I couldn't get up, I wouldn't have the drive and excitement to study and preach if I couldn't do it with the grace of God. Romans 12:4 says, For as we have many members in one body, but not all members have the same function. So we being many are one body in Christ and individually members one to another. In other words, if you have a desire and drive to study, you probably should teach. If you have a driving desire to serve, you should be serving, passing out bulletins and helping other people do it. If you have a desire to make money, give. Don't just make and keep it. Give it away. Amen? To church. If you have a desire to comfort those people, when people are hurting, you hurt and you just want to minister, you had the gift of mercy. We need you. You have the gift of mercy. You should be one of the ones going to the hospital. When people are hurting, you ought to help in your class.

James Greer: [00:24:18] If you got the gift of details, you need to come around me and help me. You got to get the administration. I love all y'all that have the gift of encouragement. I appreciate it because y'all use it to encourage me and others. That's a great gift. Many of y'all at our church are using your gifts, teaching and serving and encouraging. Mercy, it's a great gift. It's wonderful. You should have some kind of burning desire to do something. God's gift is trying to come out of you. It's so exciting to experience this. It's a special endowment of a supernatural energy and joy that when used is given by God's grace, it's unbelievable. Who gives the gift and when do you get it? Well, the gift and grace comes by the Holy Spirit when you get saved. See, you get born physically once. Everybody in here, you know your physical birthday. Mine is 2/27/53. Wow. Anyway. But then I had to have another birthday. You don't get your spiritual gifts and God's grace and going to Heaven by just having one birthday. You've got to have another birthday. The second birthday is when you get saved. So you got to have a second birthday. And when you have your second birthday, when you get saved is when you get the gift. My first day you get some abilities and some talents. I didn't get too many. I couldn't play sports very good. I can't sing. I can't play guitar. I just barely nothing. I wish I could have had something. I wish I could sing. I love to sing. A while ago, that praise theme was rocking the house. I was singing anyway. God says make a joyful noise. He didn't say it had to be good. And man, they were good. I mean, I just nothing. Nothing. Couldn't do any of it very good. But when I got saved, God gave me some gifts. And I love it. I love the gift of preaching and teaching and studying. I just love it.

James Greer: [00:26:29] Ephesians 4:8 says this. Therefore, it says when He, Jesus, ascended on high and led the captivity captive, He gave gifts to men. He went up. Gifts came down. Amen? And so you got them. So you've got to get it when you're first born again. Sometimes we don't explain born again very well even though we talk about it every Sunday. So I want to use John 3 this time instead of Ephesians. In John 3:1 there was a man named Nicodemus. He is a real religious people. Religion doesn't get you to Heaven. Nicodemus probably knew the first five books in the Bible memorized. He tithed of everything he had. He was a Pharisee and the name was Nicodemus. He was a ruler of the Jews. The man, he came to Jesus by night because he probably didn't want anybody to see him. And he said to Him, Rabbi, we know that you're a teacher who comes from God, for no one can do these signs that you unless God is with them. He said, in other words, he said, Man, I know you come from God. And he said, You know, really, Jesus, I'd like to know what you know. I'd like to really know how to go to Heaven. And Jesus answered and said, Most assuredly I say to you, unless you're born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.

James Greer: [00:27:48] You can't understand it. You can't perceive what's happening unless you are born again. And Nicodemus said, How can a man be born again? Can I enter a second time into my mother's womb to be born? Of course not. So he's trying to figure out what Jesus said. Jesus said, I'm telling you what, Nicodemus. Most assuredly I say to you, unless you're born of water and the Spirit, you cannot enter the Kingdom of God. He said, First, unless you're born again, you don't see it, you don't perceive it, you don't understand what's going on. And then unless you're born again, you can't enter it, and you can't go to Heaven. That which was born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit. He's trying to tell Nicodemus, you must be born again. He said, Don't marvel at what I say. You must be born again. I've got a message for you. You must be born again. You're born once when on your birth. They tell me that, ladies, that your water breaks. I don't know. It does. That's water. You're physically born. Then you have a spiritual birth when you accept Christ. So if you're here and you've only been born one time, today's the second time to be what? Born again. Amen? So that's what you have to do. First, you got to be born again. Second of all, you've got to be willing to use your gifts. Use your gifts like serving, teaching, administration, whatever is burning in your heart. But also, use the other gifts that I talked about. Use those wherever you're at in your life. If you don't know what your gift is, take a next step card and just write your name on it. Say I'd like to know what my gift is and we'll contact you and we'll help you find your gift.

James Greer: [00:29:31] And then this might be what you need as we get ready to close. Number one, we talked about you might need salvation because you might need to be born again and that's Heaven. Second, you might be suffering. Not necessarily like her, but just suffering. I have suffered before and prayed that God would move the suffer and problem. And He didn't. But what I didn't understand is I could pray and say, God, you said your grace is sufficient. And now God, I want to pray. I want, first of all, God, I want you to move it. Remove it. But God, if you don't, God, would you give me God's grace? Give me the grace to go through whatever I've got to go through and do it with a certain amount of joy. I'm not happy that I'm suffering. But God, I want to be a witness for you while I'm suffering. And see, I missed that part most of my life. And so I'd just suffer on my own. Sometimes I wouldn't even tell anybody because I was supposed to be the pastor and I was supposed to be strong. And I'd hurt and I'd cry in private and not let anybody know. But man, I tell you, the last five, eight years, I just said, God, give me your grace. And then I'm never alone again. You might be alone, but you don't have to be lonely. Big difference. Big difference. And so I get in my room and I'm with Christ.

James Greer: [00:31:05] And I say, give me your grace. Doesn't matter if it's hurting emotionally, physically, financially. I say, give me your grace, God, to get through. And I've seen Him do it over and over and over again. I want you to understand the suffering grace of God. It might be saving grace, not saved like going to Heaven, but deliver problems, hurt, strength. Say like God remove the problem. It might be serving grace. Every member is a minister, use it at home, use it at work, school, church. Use it effectively. Only way you can do that is have regular fellowship with Christ and be more effective in every area of your life and you'll see the difference. You've got to surrender. Say, God, I can't do it, but I can do it with you. Maybe you need the grace to overcome sin. Maybe that sin haunts you in the past. And you just want to confess it and say, God, your grace overcomes sin. I want to leave my sin at the altar. I know I'm saved, but I'm tired of my sin in the past. I want you to forgive me. I want you to wash it away. I want a brand new start. Because your grace, God, is greater than my sin. And He will do that. Would you stand and let me pray with you and pray for you? God, you're such an awesome God. Your grace and your gifts, they're beyond able to explain, both your graces and your gifts.

James Greer: [00:32:49] But we don't have to completely understand them to enjoy them. God, I pray everybody here today, that they would take your gifts and use your grace. Whatever area it is in their life, whether it's sin, suffering, salvation, serving, God, they'd [inaudible]. Maybe they need to join the church and be planted here. I think everybody needs to planted. I've just got this unbelievable burden for people to be planted, to be part. As you get planted and you get nourished, then you can start flourishing. So maybe you need to join and start planting yourself. Be planted. Join. Maybe you need next steps to follow through in public baptism. Maybe you weren't really saved when you were baptized like me. And now you know what you're doing and now you want to follow through and say, Hey, I want to be baptized. You want to make it public. You want to come to the front. Maybe you want to come the front and just have one of these people at the front just pray with you. Maybe you're suffering right now and you hadn't been able to share it with anybody. It might be emotional, it might be physical. And say, Man, I'm suffering and I need God's suffering grace. Would you please pray with me? Maybe it's sin that's just been haunting you and today you're going to let it go because God's grace is greater than your sin. So whatever it is God's called you to do, I pray today you let Him have His will and His way. I pray in the precious name of Jesus. Amen.

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