The Blessed Life | Sermon Week 1

Understanding How Every Christian Can Live A Blessed Life

James Greer
Nov 6, 2022    32m
Every Christian can live a blessed life. But what does it mean to live a blessed life? Is it determined by your financial situation? A large family? What about your physical condition? Learn how to live a blessed life in this sermon. 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] We're going to be preaching on today more of what the blessed life is, and the next few weeks we'll preach on how to have it. But before I do that, I want to give you some simple, simple ways to have the blessed life. It's called the abundant life. In fact, it's so easy and it's so important, from now on, every time somebody joins the church, I want to send them a little note that says, Hey, when you join Journey Church, one of the things we want you to do is learn how to have the abundant life, which is called the blessed life, right? And there's only about three verses and four things you can do to simplify having the blessed life. John 10:10 says that Jesus came that you could have life and have it more abundantly. And then there's a verse in 1 Corinthians 2:9 that says, The Scripture says eyes have not seeing, ears have not heard or entered into the hearts of man, the things that God has prepared for them who - you ready? Who love Him, who promptly obey Him, and who are grateful to Him. So God said, Listen, there are some things that you can do to have things that are beyond your imagination. You can't even dream about them. You can't think about them. They're beyond what you can hear or what you can imagine. And he said, There's three things you can do.

James Greer: [00:01:16] One, love God. And how you love God is you start thinking about all He's done for you, you properly obey God, and you practice being grateful for what He's done for you. And the fourth thing is be generous because of what God gave His Son. God was a generous God. God so loved the world that He gave. So the very essence of God is giving. So what you do, if you want to have the abundant life, you love God, properly obey God, be grateful for what you have, and be generous. And you can learn to have the abundant life. Now, that's not in the message, because today we're going to be talking about how to have the blessed life. Now you can learn more about the blessed life, and next week you'll learn about how to have it. But I learned some kind of discouraging facts this week. One hour after you leave today, you'll forget 50% of everything I taught. I thought, my goodness, man, I mean, I study for hours and hours, and y'all are going to forget 50%. I say, take your outline and write on it. Amen? And then if that wasn't bad enough, 48 hours, you forget 70%. I said, Oh, come on. In a week, you forget 90%. That's not too encouraging.

James Greer: [00:02:42] But one thing I don't want you to forget, God is good. I don't want you to forget God is good, God loves you, and God wants you to have the blessed life. And because if you don't start looking at how good God is and what a blessed life you have, you'll start feeling rejected and empty. The first question I want to ask you today is what do you consider to be the blessed life? Now some y'all, y'all think LSU won. Oh, so we're so blessed. Some of them, Hey, if I was rich and famous, I'd be blessed. Healthy and wealthy, that wouldn't hurt. Some would say if I had lots of kids. Some would say if I had no kids. Some would say empty nest is blessed. I'm just saying. Nothing wrong with that. Now you might have to wait till you're 69 or 70 like me. But empty nest is blessed. That's one blessing. Amen? You only have to have enough kids to understand. Some people say owning a business. Some people say if you could get out of that business, you'd be blessed. Only people that have been in understand this it's blessed to get out. Traveling wherever you go, whenever you want, that can be a blessing sometimes. I tell you, if y'all heard Bruce Goulart, he does most of our media and he does our online. Well, he gave one of the - If you haven't seen him on Facebook, look it up. He talked about his blessed life. He talked about all the things he didn't have, but he talked about the wonderful things he did have and what God had given him. When we focus on what you have and what God gives you, you have the blessed life.

James Greer: [00:04:17] I don't know what you consider the blessed life. I had all the staff write down what they considered the blessed life, and most of them were talking about their family and their faith. We're going to talk about what the Bible says about the blessed life. Now, when I was growing up, I'm going to tell you, it was more legalistic type church. We didn't talk about enjoying yourself. If you did that, you'd be in trouble. If I laughed, my mother would pinch my leg. And then if I kept on, she would pinch my ear. So I better not laugh through that. And you sure better not giggle. I mean, if you laugh like you laughed at our church and sang like you sing at our church, my mother probably would have - Oh, ain't no telling what she had done to me. So when I grew up, I thought, Hey, what you came to church, you sit down and shut up. That's just the way it was. And boring was good. I mean, it was boring. And then I went to hell every single Sunday. I mean, they just preached hell. I'm going to hell. I mean, I probably was, but I mean, I didn't want to go to hell every Sunday. That's just the way it was.

James Greer: [00:05:32] I was so glad when I found out that I could get saved and enjoy God's grace. Amen? And I'm going to talk to you today about something you probably never heard about the blessed life. And it's in Ecclesiastes, starting in Ecclesiastes 5:18. It said, What is the best thing to do in the short life God is giving you? First of all, I said, I want you to learn how to live the blessed life in the short life God's given you. First of all, always remember that life is short. Eternity's forever. Though, as I said, when you're here on this life, it's short. So I want you remember that. But when you're living the short life here, I want you to remember there's another life coming and it's going to be forever. So live this life here in light of eternity. He said, I think you shouldn't enjoy eating. Precious Jesus. I love you, Jesus. Now I am watching what I eat. I've lost 10 pounds. I watch it as it goes down. But I did. No, I really have. But you can enjoy eating and drinking some and working hard. I never came to church and they talked about enjoy eating, drinking, and working hard. You'd be in trouble. But that's what the Bible says. This is what God intends for us to do.

James Greer: [00:06:58] My goodness, you mean God intends for us to enjoy life? I mean, to enjoy eating and drinking, working hard. And suppose that you're very rich. Everybody said, Oh, I'm not rich. When this was written compared to the rest of the world, everybody in here is very rich. In fact, compared to the rest of the world, everybody in here is rich. I mean, if you're on welfare, compared to the rest of world, you're rich. And you're able to enjoy. There he goes again. Everything you own. Go ahead and enjoy. Enjoy working hard. This is God's gift to you. I mean, it's unbelievable. He said, Go ahead and enjoy it. He only says that. Listen, y'all ready for this? The answer is Amen. Are y'all ready for this? God will keep you so happy. He already said enjoy, enjoy, enjoy. Now, God's going to say I'm gonna keep you so happy that you won't have time to worry about every day.

James Greer: [00:07:59] Isn't that something? God said, I want you to learn to live this blessed life. You can eat, you drink, you work hard, and be so happy that you don't even have to worry about tomorrow. Wouldn't that be a life to live? Amen? And then later on, I want you to know how to have that. God intended us, first of all, to work hard and enjoy making a living what we do. So let me ask you a couple of questions. First of all, when you go to work, do you work hard? Because if you don't, don't expect to have enough to enjoy. Oh, yeah. God is not going to bless laziness. But if you work and you work hard, God said that you make enough to enjoy it. Listen, Joy does not come but what you have, though, but who you know. I'm going to jump the gun on one of my points. If you have the right relationship and fellowship with Christ and you do have riches, you can have joy. But you have the right relationship and fellowship with Christ and you don't have relationship, nobody can steal or rob your joy.

James Greer: [00:09:07] It's not what you have. It's who you know and have the fellowship with who you know. So my second question, first of all, first of all, my first question was, do you work hard? Second question is, are you enjoying what you're doing? I could really say this. Are you enjoying your work, your home, and your hobbies? That's what God was saying. I want you to enjoy life. Are you enjoying your work, your home, and your hobbies? Did y'all know I didn't get a hobby till I was almost 65 years old? Did you know that I used to feel guilty for taking off work? I thought you were supposed to work and go to church and come home. That's all I did. I made a little circle. I go to work, I'd come to church, and I'd go home. I didn't have any hobbies. When I did go hobby, I try to find it. It was so hard for me to have a hobby. If I went hunting with my son or my kids, I felt guilty the whole time I was gone. I didn't know that God said it was a gift to go enjoy yourself. It's okay to enjoy yourself if you're putting God first. I'm telling you, if you're tithing and serving God, learn to enjoy yourself. Amen? And if you're not putting God first and you're not giving and you're not serving, why should you enjoy it? God's first in place. If you're not enjoying yourself, I can tell you why.

James Greer: [00:10:35] I wish somebody would have taught me this years ago. I wish somebody taught me my true purpose and mission in life. I thought my total purpose and mission was being called to preach, and that's part of it. But God has a purpose and mission in life for every single one of us that is the same. Most of the time when I came to church, I never learned what it was. And so therefore, I'd come to church and I'd go home. And I thought that was my mission. I went to church. I checked it off. But I knew there was some fulfillment missing in my life, especially when I left church. It was okay at church. The problem with me was Monday to Saturdays. So in 1 Corinthians 10:31, I want to give you within this context, there's three verses that will actually give you your mission and purpose in life. And when you know your mission and purpose in life, you'll have fulfillment and joy that you never had in your life. We were already saying He said to enjoy what you eat and drink. Now. All right. When you eat or you drink or you do anything, I think anything means anything. I mean, you don't have to be a scholar to know that means anything. In other words, you go to work, you stay home, your hobbies, you have its, you hang ups, whatever, whatever you do, always do it to honor God. Number one.

James Greer: [00:11:59] Don't cause problems, number two. Don't cause problems for the Jews. Don't cause it for the Greeks. Don't cause it for anyone else. It belongs to God's church. In other words, number one, honor God. Number two, don't be a troublemaker. Amen? There's people that are troublemakers on the job, at home, on their hobbies, wherever they go. The problem with a troublemaker, they don't know they're the troublemaker yet. They're always the one that has trouble. Have you ever noticed something on somebody. I know somebody. You know somebody. We all know somebody. They're always having trouble everywhere they go. And they think somebody else is the trouble. And they're the trouble. Can I tell you a hint? If you're having trouble with Bill, John, Jane, Joe, Me, James, you're the trouble. I always try to please others instead of myself in hopes that many of them would be saved. Wow. Honor God. Don't be a troublemaker. Y'all want to know what number three is? Stop being so dadgum selfish and hope other people get saved. Y'all, this is gold, man. You should be writing it down. This is your purpose in life. It doesn't matter if it's your home, if it's your job, if it's your hobby. If you do these four things, you begin to find your purpose and mission in life, and you'll have a fulfillment and a joy that nobody can take away from you. It doesn't matter what's going on in your home or your job, at church or anywhere, because now you have God's purpose and God's plan for your life and He gives you a joy that nobody can steal from you.

James Greer: [00:13:47] So what is it? Honor God. Stop being a troublemaker. Wouldn't it be something if you came to church and said, What I want to do is see who I can please? Walk in the door, say, Man, I want to see, Is there anybody I can please today? Number three, I don't want to be selfish. Anybody I can give to. Anybody I can minister to and hope that they get saved? Now, the word saved here means several things. It means sure saved and going to Heaven. Amen? Because we don't want anybody to spend eternity suffering in hell. Because eternity is forever. So we have hope because what we're doing is stop being troublemakers. And what we're doing is stop being so selfish. We don't want our way. We want what's best for everybody. In other words, we learn to deny ourselves. The reason that you're not happy, most of the time it's because you're more concerned about yourself than everybody else. It's in your home, it's on your job, and it's in the church. The most dissatisfied people because you're saying, Man, so-and-so does not meet my needs. The happiest people said, Man, I'm happy that I could give up my place to have somebody else there. I'm not selfish. I look for others to minister to, not just be ministered to. All in the hopes that somebody will get saved, of course, that they would go to Heaven instead of hell.

James Greer: [00:15:29] But it also means to be delivered. There's people that come every single Sunday to church, to your job, at only hobby that are hurting, that need deliverance, that need help, that need protected, that need encouragement. So it needs that. One of the ways that we can do that is to remember what Jesus told His followers. He told us in Matthew 20 when He told us not to be so selfish. But what you've got to really understand about Matthew 20 is what He told us in Matthew 19. The problem with people preaching and reading the Bible is taking it out of context. When you're reading Matthew 20 without reading Matthew 19 and you say, and Jesus called all His followers together. He's called them together, but He had told them something in chapter 19 that was so important. What he's telling them in chapter 20 does not matter. What He told them in chapter 19. Y'all remember the rich young ruler decided not to follow Christ because all he had to give up. And Peter said, How about us? He said, We gave it all up, though. And Jesus said, Oh, don't worry, don't worry. For y'all that gave it up, when we get to Heaven, each one of you are going to sit on the throne and you are going to judge the 12 tribes. He says, What you're giving up here on Earth is nothing. And then He goes on to say this. What you gave up on Earth, I'm going to give you a hundredfold in Heaven. Did I tell you the life is short here? Did I tell you eternity's forever there? So now, see, now the disciples had learned we're going to live for eternity, not the short life.

James Greer: [00:17:27] Part of learning to live the blessed life is understanding life is short here and eternity's forever. Now He steps in and Jesus calls the followers. That's us. Together and said, You know, the rulers and the non-Jews, the people, they love to show their power over the people. And they're important leaders. They love to use all their authority. But Jesus said, But should not be that way among you. Whoever wants to become great among you must serve the rest like servants. You see, you're not pushing and shoving. You're not having to have your way. You're trying to serve. Whosoever wants to become first among you must serve the rest like a slave or like a servant or like a volunteer. In the same way, the Son of Man, Jesus Christ. I didn't come to be served. I came to serve others. And I gave my life ransom for many. He said, You want to learn to have the blessed life? Learn to give and serve other people. Are you ready? Same answer every time. How'd y'all do in school? Are you ready? The closest way that you serve Jesus Christ on Earth is the way you serve other people. In fact, the only way to serve Christ is serve others while you're here on Earth. So my question is, How is your service life? Not your authority, not your power, not your riches. How's your service life? My other question is, how did Jesus serve others? Well, there was the time He washed their feet. That was once. But the majority of time, how did He do it? He went around preaching, teaching, healing, and giving hope. That's how He served others.

James Greer: [00:19:33] Who finds his life will lose it. But whoever loses his life for my sake, is going to find it. You'll find it here. And you'll find it time to come. So Jesus wants you to have this unbelievable, blessed life. And He's trying to make you clearly understand how to have it. Let me give you some really simple insights that probably are not in your outline about your job, your home, and your habits. Number one, God wants you to enjoy it and have a blessed life. I don't know how you were raised. Does that mean you're not going to have problems in this world? You will have tribulation. But be of good cheer. I have overcome the world. See, when you have problems and your life is right in the right fellowship with Christ, you're going to overcome your problem. You're going to have them. But, man, there's nothing like having them and having Christ with you. So number one, number one, the blessed life, God says, I want you to enjoy life. I can prove to you what He wants you to enjoy if I have time, which I'm not going to have time today. Well, I'll just tell you. I can't stay with this, you know.

James Greer: [00:20:47] He wants you to enjoy what you eat. He wants you enjoy what you drink. I can tell you another verse. He says and drink wine. But listen, you can only drink wine if you're old enough and you can handle it. And if you've never drank wine, it's better not to start drinking wine. Two-four? Okay. But if you do, control it. All right. But He said you enjoy eating, enjoy drinking, learn to enjoy where you work. And how do you do that? You understand your purpose and your mission. Later on, He tells you you can even. Y'all ready? You can enjoy dressing up every now and then. It's in the Bible. If y'all don't know it, I'm dressed up. But wouldn't it be a Sunday if we have a dress up Sunday? But anyway. It says everyone dress up and look nice. It says that in the Bible. And then, men, are y'all ready? Don't get me off track. Men, Are y'all ready? He said, Men, enjoy the wife that you love. And all the men said... If you're not, you're crazy. That's the blessed life and it's all for us. Number one. Number one, God says He wants us to enjoy life, the blessed life. Number two, He said, Listen, He wants us to enjoy the fruit of our work. In other words, if you work and you do it right and you put God first, enjoy the fruit of it. It's okay to enjoy what you make. I used to feel guilty. That's okay. It's okay to go on vacation if God provides.

James Greer: [00:22:29] Third, we find enjoyment and fulfillment on our job and our hobbies and our home when we're looking to minister to other people and hope that others will get saved because of what we're doing. Oh, this is so good. I just amen myself. This could change your life. Fulfillment can be fun. But fun might not always bring fulfillment. Fun may not last. Fulfillment will. Fourth, it's only as we serve others where we truly find satisfaction. Serving others is the only true way to serve Jesus. Yet the devil makes you think if you're not serving, if you're not being served. If you're not getting your way, you're not happy. Everybody in here, if you'll be honest, you'll ask God when have I got upset recently because I didn't get my way at work, at home, in the church. What if I went there and said, Hey, I'm here to serve? I'm here to give up my rights for other people. And then fifth, enjoying our job and enjoying it as part of the blessings of God. Learning to enjoy where we work, where we live, and our wives is part of God's blessings. That's good. Six, if you're not enjoying your work, your hobbies, your homes, it's your fault. Not God. Not your boss, not your pastor, not your mate. The joy and blessings that God gives you, nobody can take them from you.

James Greer: [00:24:30] The devil would like you to think that somebody else is robbing your joy and robbing your pleasures. It's because you don't know your purpose and you don't know your mission. The disciples, after they learn what their mission and their purpose where, there was time, they were beaten. They were put in jail. And yet they said, they were happy because they understood their purpose. They understood their mission. And they understood every single thing they gave up here on Earth, they would get 100 times in Heaven. See, that's the problem with Christians. Everybody says, I just barely want to get in. Well, you're going to get in. You're going to be happy. That's all right. I tell you, you don't know your Bible. I would rather be one of the ones sitting on the throne ruling than cleaning the bathroom.

James Greer: [00:25:26] You're going to be glad. You're going to be happy. But you would rather rule if you could. There is degrees in Heaven. There is crowns in Heaven. One of the ways you get them is serving other people. I want you to know that Jesus Christ wants you to be happy in every area of your life. He wants you to stop blaming other people for it. And seventh and last, part of the blessed life is God keeping us so busy doing the right things, going to the right places. You ready? We don't have time to worry about tomorrow. Isn't that something? Part of the blessed life is we learn to go to the right places, doing the right things that we're so happy going to the right places, doing the right things that we don't have time to worry about tomorrow. When we go to work, we're so busy doing the right things instead of the wrong things. When we go to church, when you go to church, do you always try to come to church to do the right things? I mean, do you?

James Greer: [00:26:29] God, I promise you, I don't always do this. I got up this morning. Thank God I was going to get to church. I thank God for the message and how it ministered to me. And I thank God I had the opportunity to give to a church like this. That was so strange. I got up saying, God, it's so strange to have a parking lot program like we're having. When I even have a campaign, I'm asking God for a miracle. I'm hoping biggest miracles are going to come outside of our church. Why not? God can do whatever He wants to do. I'm not even worried about it. My miracle is lives changed at Journey Church. I want you to know that you can have a life that's exceedingly abundant above all that you can ask or think or even imagine. That God wants you to enjoy your job. I looked up something the other day. This isn't part of the message, but I'm going to get to it in a minute. I looked up the people that gave the most and served the most. I looked up the top 15. And they were the happiest people in our church. Isn't that something? They gave the most and they served the most and they were the happiest people. And I've said for a long time, the most satisfied people of people that serve.

James Greer: [00:27:45] But I can prove it now. Isn't that something? But you cannot do that unless you know Jesus Christ, first of all, as your personal savior. If you're here today and you're not 100% sure if you died, you'd go to Heaven. This life is short. Eternity' forever. I beg you today to give your life to Jesus Christ. We want you to. We'll help you. We'll enjoy it. We'll rejoice with you. If you know you've sinned and you believe Jesus died for your sins, just tell Him you sinned, you believe He died, you want Him to come in your heart, be the Lord of your life, and He'll give you a brand-new start. For those that are saved, you've got to be in the right fellowship with Christ. We've got to get right with God and right with others. That's the fellowship. But I told you, the four or five things. It's really clear. Number one, it's mainly stop causing problems. You know, right now, if you're the one that's always bringing up the problem, you're the problem. Just let the Holy Spirit tell you that if you're the one always bringing up the problem, whether it's a job, home, church, whatever, you're probably the problem. Then you need to ask God to give you wisdom to help you stop being the problem. Ask God if you're really serving. Are you selfish? You know if you're serving.

James Greer: [00:29:23] Are you serving on the job or are you serving other people? You always have to have your way? Are you serving in the home? And that's hard for me. But I can promise you, I'm learning to do it. When you go get something, does your mate need something? Are you learning to serve at your home? Are you serving at Journey Church? I can jump the gun because Josh isn't here I don't think. he told me not to. I'm the pastor, Josh. If you want to say, man, I've always wanted to serve, but I just hadn't been able and you want to serve just one hour a month, you can go ahead before we put the campaign out, just sign the next step card and say, I'd like to serve one hour a month and we'll call and ask you wherever it is you want to serve. You can serve in the parking lot, nursery, youth, kids, adults, wherever you want to. One hour a month. We'll rotate you in, rotate you out. If that's not cool, I don't know what it is. Oh, you're supposed to be in the back. We're still going to do the campaign. I just couldn't help it. Uh-oh. Confess. I'm sorry, Jesus and Josh. J&J. Thank you.

James Greer: [00:30:32] Okay. Since he's making up, but since we don't have them made up and I confessed my sin to Jesus and Josh, it's pretty good. If you would like to serve just one hour a month, take this next step card out. Everybody put your name on there and put one hour a month. We'll do the rest. Amen? You can also get baptized, join the church, tithe, prayer, and other things. Right here. Take this. Everybody just take it out anyway. Upstairs, downstairs and in between the stairs. Take it out. Let me see you got it. Amen? Whoa, whoa, wait, wait, wait. All right. It's going to be real easy. Hey, Josh. Josh. Go get Josh! Oh, he came out the other door. What do you want us to do with it? Turn it into Josh. He's not Jesus, though. Every time we have a staff meeting, we say, What's the answer? He says, Jesus. Anyway, next step, turn it into Josh. Almost said Jesus. All right. You're making me forget what I was doing. If you don't know Jesus, come accept Him. If you know Jesus, get in the right fellowship with Him. Amen? Don't be a troublemaker. Serve here, work, home, everywhere. Amen? Have a hope that somebody will get saved wherever you're at. Amen? And now we're going to give an invitation so you can stand. You can bring your next step card up here if you want to. You can have people to pray with you, pray for you. Man, you ought to be so happy you can find your purpose and mission in life. Change your life.

James Greer: [00:32:06] God, I just thank you for today. You're such a wonderful, powerful Praise God. I think that we can give. We don't have to give. God, I pray for those troublemakers. God, I pray that you prick their heart. I pray that they become servants of you. God, I pray that you'd show people how to serve. God, I pray they find their purpose and mission. They can have a joy that surpasses all understanding. God, if there's those here that are not sure they're saved, Oh God, they'd give their heart to you today. God, for those that need the right fellowship with you, God, that they would come. God, those that are burdened, heavy laden, you said come and you'd give them rest. Maybe they need to join the church. Maybe they need to follow through in baptism. God, whatever you've touched their lives, whatever they need to do, I pray that they’d let you have your will and your way. I ask it in the precious name of Jesus. Amen.

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