Resurrection Road | Pouring Costly Oil

Do You Struggle To Declare Yourself As A Christian?

James Greer
Mar 20, 2022    27m
In today's message, we learn that Jesus loves all of us, even those deemed unlovable. When then would you struggle to declare yourself as a Christian? We must magnify our Savior, not our money, the value of things, or our circumstances. Put Him first. He first loved us. Video recorded at Pineville, Louisiana.

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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: [00:00:01] Morning, Journey Church. I'm telling you, that praise team rocked the house. Amen? Man, I stood up so much, this time I had to sit down. Man, y'all, God is just blessing us so much. I’m just so thankful at Journey Church, we're having record numbers in attendance in spite of what's going on in other places and baptism. And I mean, you know, we just had that first Sunday where we had the raising the money for the trampoline and our first Sunday, our goal is $50,000. Our first Sunday, we raised $25,000. So God is blessing us just all the way around. And so I just want to thank you for coming and pushing through and it's just so exciting. If you hadn't signed up, Steven, our children's pastor, is fixing to start a class called Raising Kingdom Kids. And I want to really encourage you, you parents, you should sign up and really go be a part of that. Toni Evans wrote the material, and I can tell you it is really, really good. We'll continue our series, Road to the Resurrection. We've had Palm Sunday, and this Sunday we're going to be talking about how the woman poured the precious ointment on Jesus’ head. But, you know, Jesus, He just seemed like He ministered in love the most unlovable people. Even in the very beginning when Jesus was in the house of Bethany and the House of Simon, the leper, you know, he was kind of unlovable back then.

James Greer: [00:01:32] I mean, you didn't even touch them. You didn't come around them. They were considered very unclean. He would heal the blind, the beggars, the lame, the prostitute that was going to get stoned. Jesus stepped in. I mean, the woman that had five husbands and she was living with lucky number six. I mean, you know, it just seems like He had a way of doing that. It made me wonder, how do you love unlovable people? I mean, we all have people that we know that are just kind of unlovable. Amen? I hope you're not sitting next to them. But I mean, you know, it's just tough sometimes. And so I was thinking, how do we do that or how did Jesus do that? Well, number one, He loved us when we were unlovable because every one of us was unlovable. The Bible says we've all sin to come short of the glory of God, every single one of us. But Jesus does something that we might need to learn. Jesus looks down, and He sees who we could be, not who we are. And it's so important that we try to learn that. We need to look at somebody and see what they could be, not what they are. Even sometimes when somebody does something, that's what they did. That's not who they are. And the more we can learn that, the more we can maybe understand them better.

James Greer: [00:02:57] And so when we understand that, it just so much more because once they finally become a Christian, they're child of the King, they're forgiven, there's no condemnation. They're actually a new creature. So Jesus, many times, even in the New and Old Testament, you can see how He would touch people, and their lives would radically change. And so as we look at the story, you can imagine how He was welcomed at this house. He says now while Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon, the leper. See, Jesus probably had healed him. He probably had leprosy, and Jesus had healed him. And that was just almost unbelievable. And there was a woman that came to Him and had alabaster jar of very costly ointment, probably a perfume. And she poured it on His head as he sat at the table. And some people think that was Mary, Lazarus’ sister. And though that was maybe the most expensive thing that she had. What would you give for a life? Lazarus dead, and Jesus brought him back to life. And they were all sitting around, and the fragrance probably started filling the room. And can you imagine? And they were probably some of them even got angry about it. They should be excited. If you've ever lost a loved one that you really love, you'd give almost anything in your life to bring them back.

James Greer: [00:04:28] Amen? And same thing if somebody is not saved. See, if somebody let's saved, they're really lost, and we should do everything we can to get them to know the Lord Jesus Christ. But here's Simon. He's now healed, healthy, and happy. He's also a picture of it doesn't matter what your past condition is. It doesn't matter what you've done in life, doesn't matter where you've come from. I mean, people with leprosy, there were considered some of the most untouchable, unclean people. They would come close to them, and they would start screaming, “Unclean, unclean, unclean.” But yet Jesus turned him around till he was clean and decided to go into his house. The picture of that is it doesn't matter where you've come from, it doesn't matter what you've done. Jesus said, one touch from Jesus Christ will radically change your life. Amen? He can change you physically, emotionally, and spiritually. And if you're going through a great problem, He may not always remove it. But He'll give you the strength to go through it. First service, I'll look back where Susan was sitting, I saw Janice was here at the first service. And she's had cancer. She had her second brain surgery, and she's got another cancer already. And we pray for her to be heal. Right? But she's not going to be healed. She knows that. The surgery prolongs her life. But I mean, it wasn't long ago, the Fuquay’s lost their mother.

James Greer: [00:06:08] She went to be with the Lord. After she had surgery, she was over there trying to give them food. Most people would have been at home feeling sorry for themselves. I would have been. But I said, you know, God was giving her what she needed. She still will smile and speak and say, God's going to get me through this. And so when you really know Jesus Christ, He radically changes your life. And some of y'all are here, you're going through things, and you don't understand it. She didn't understand it. The leprosy didn't understand it. But why don't you think today, if Jesus could change the person with leprosy, if He could touch somebody like Janice, He could change your life. Amen? So be receptive to that. Let Him give you the strength that you need. So what I'm trying to tell you, Jesus can use you and change you no matter where you've come from, no matter what you're doing. Amen? Second of all, second of all, doing the right things can make other people angry. You think, I have heard people say, I'm just doing what's right, and I can't believe I'm having all these problems. Sure. Well, I don't know. Where'd you get that? That didn't come from the Bible. But when the disciples saw it, they were angry. And they said, why do they waste that? People at church, sometimes people say, why you going to church and waste all your time? Why are you giving to the church and waste all your time? Did you know that 2 Timothy 3:12, you know what it says?

James Greer: [00:07:27] Yes, all who even desire to live godly. I hope everybody that comes to Journey Church, you might not live godly, but you have a desire to live godly Amen? You're going to suffer some persecution. So don't be surprised if you're trying to live for God. Don't be surprised you start trying to tithe, and you have a problem. Don't be surprised you start coming to church, and all hell breaks loose. Don't be surprised. Push through. Amen? It's to push us through and keeping going. That's when you have the victory. That's when you have the rewards. Not when you give up. I mean, I'm telling you. Have you ever had trouble doing the right things? Sure. Have you ever had somebody trying to help somebody, help somebody? And you really honestly, in all your heart, you're trying to help them and then it turn around on you and then they're mad at you later on after you tried to help them? Sure, that's going to happen. But with your heart, you're trying to do the right thing. Have you ever had somebody say, hey, don't go to church. Lets go, enjoy doing blankety blank. Why go to church? When is the last time somebody made fun of you for being a Christian?

James Greer: [00:08:33] If you say never, well, you're not taking enough risk. I want Journey Church people to have some problems because you're a Christian. In the Beatitudes, blessed are those that are persecuted for Christ. Now, I don't want you to be beat. I don't want you to be. But at least somebody say, are you a Christian? Do you go to that church? Amen. Many people see giving to Jesus is a waste. Coming to church is a waste. Giving your money to church is a waste. I hope you don't see it that way. Amen? The number one battle even with couples today is they fight about money. See, for this ointment could have been sold for a large sum of money. It could have been given to the poor. See, you get married and there's one couple that are real conservative and the other will spend money. One wants to tithe. The other one doesn't. One wants to buy things and charge things. The other one doesn’t. So they end up fighting on how they're going to spend their money. One wants to keep an old car. One wants a new one. One wants to stay in the house. Another one wants a bigger house. Let me tell you how you sell it. Put Jesus first and don't spend more money than you make. I just gave y’all a financial course. But Jesus was aware of this, and He said to them - you know Jesus is aware what you're thinking right now?

James Greer: [00:10:01] Sometimes I wish Jesus wasn't aware of what I think. Why do you trouble this woman? She was performing a good service for me. Everybody say service. Jesus likes when we perform a good service for Him. Amen? Did you know every time you tithe, every time you use your talents, every time you give Him your time, it's a good service? You ready? Service is an act of love. Jesus said, I didn't come to be served, but to serve. The happiest people in our church are the people that serve. When Jesus healed the sick, when He gave the blind their sight, when He fed the 5,000, He served and showed His love. When His death on the cross was the greatest act of servitude there ever could have been. When you come to church on Sunday morning, that's your time. Everybody here, downstairs and upstairs. It's good to see y’all upstairs, too. Whoa! Amen? Speak up, up there. There you go. Y'all don't know it, but we got a full balcony too. Whoa! Amen? But, you know, you had to give up your time. Your time is valuable. But see, what you're doing when you come Sunday morning, you're communicating that you love God. You're communicating to the church that you love God, you're communicating to God, and you communicate to yourself that I love God. Amen? And then you take the next step. When you take the next step and you start serving, some of y’all serve in the parking lot.

James Greer: [00:11:40] Isn't it great when you come by and see the people? And when it's raining? I had another pastor, true story, I had another pastor say, when I come out there and I see your guys waving, man, no wonder don't they come to your church instead of mine. I said, well, I appreciate that. And so but they're serving. They do it. Greeters, teachers, ushers, volunteers in the children department, nursery, youth. Youth had 85 people Wednesday tonight. Hey, hey, hey. Security team. Hey, y'all had a good Saturday. Amen? Worship, production. You don't even see the production team. Most of them back here. We have a lot of them in the back. You know what you're doing? You're communicating that you love God, that you love the church, and you're communicating to yourself that you love God. Sometimes you don't love the work. But you love God. There's times that I'm sure you don't feel like being out in the parking lot when it's raining. But you do it because you love God. I don't get up every morning and say, oh, precious Jesus, I get to study today. I mean, I like it. But sometimes I don't to do it. I do love preaching, though. But sometimes before I preach, I don't feel like I want to preach. But whether it's studying or preaching or anything, I'm never sorry that I did it after I did it.

James Greer: [00:13:11] I always love it. I mean, I love it. It energizes me. My wife says, I know you're tired. But I know, man. Now when I get through, I'm zonked. Until then. No, I love it. I think when you serve and do what God's given you, I think He gives you a supernatural energy and just I can't explain. And you're happier than any other time in your life. But when you come to church, I tell you, just coming, period, I mean, do you understand that y’all breaking records compared to most of the United States is going down? We have less people going to church than we ever had. We have less people confessing Christ than we ever have. And y'all are breaking barriers, and y'all keep coming and coming and coming and coming. You ought to be proud of Journey Church. Amen? Be proud of yourselves. Amen? I mean, I'm glad we're that church. Don't worry about it. Where you go to church? Journey Church. That's good. You know? It's important that you get your priorities right. You know what Jesus told me? He said, you're going to always have the poor with you, but you're not going to always have me. You’re going to always have the poor, but you're not going to always have me. Now, shouldn’t we try to minister this to the poor? Amen. Shouldn’t we try to take care of the poor? Amen.

James Greer: [00:14:26] But Jesus is trying to make it real clear. Put me first. Put me before your hobbies. Put me for anything else you're doing. Put me before your family. He said, put me first. That's what He was telling you. He says that anyone comes to me and does hate his father, his mother, his wife, his children, his brothers, sisters, yes, and even his own life, he can't be my disciple. Now He wasn't telling you to hate your wife. Some of y'all are wishing He was, but He's not. Then you could justify the way you're acting. He's not telling you to hate your mother and daddy. He's not telling you to hate your brother and sister. He's telling you, don't you understand I've got to be the most important thing in your life? Don't you understand He's trying to tell you, you better get your priorities right? Don't you understand He's saying that until you get your priorities right, your life won't be right? Don't you understand that He's saying, listen, when you get saved, you change not only what you believe, you change your behavior? Don't you understand what he's Haying? I want you to live your life according to Matthew 6:33. Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these other things will be added. He said, when you get your life right, you don't have to worry about everything else. Really what Matthew 6:33 is that Jesus be the ultimate source of meeting every need in your life. Not your job, not your mate, not your church. But Jesus Christ.

James Greer: [00:15:43] Because when you actually understand Matthew 6:33 that Jesus is the ultimate source of meeting every night in your life, you've got to quit worrying about everything else in your life. Whoa! That's good. I can amen me. I don't care. Because some of y'all came in here, you're so worried about something, and you're not allowing Jesus to be the source of your life. Do you think your problem is bigger than Jesus Christ? All right. Well, put Him first. Therefore, then, you don't have to worry about tomorrow. So I want you to just let Jesus be your source today. And I don't want you to worry about tomorrow. Because tomorrow, I can guarantee you, it has enough to worry about in itself. Okay. Fifth, right actions will bring right rewards. It always does. Now, it might not be here, but it would be in Heaven. It will do it. It says, and by pouring this ointment on my body, she is preparing me for burial. Truly, I tell you, this is really cool here, truly, I tell you, wherever this good news is proclaimed in the whole world what she has done will be told in remembrance of me. See, we're still talking about it. She got a reward. She did that 2,000 plus years again. We're still talking about what she did.

James Greer: [00:17:00] So what she did was right. She got a reward for it. She made a difference. I love it when somebody makes a stand and makes a difference in the world. Amen? The right actions bring the right reward. Man, Ukraine right now, his president, man, he's a hero. Amen? I mean, he's standing up. He's making a difference. He's changing the whole world. It takes great courage to stay there and make a stand. Matter of fact, I was so upset about Ukraine, Monday, I came in with Josh, and I was trying to find out how to get refugees and bring them to church. I said, man, we got a gym, we got room for them, we got bathrooms, we got showers. And let's just try to bring them in. Let's try to bring them here. Our people would help them. Well, guess what? They don't want to come. They want to stay where they're close to their people. Plus the gates really haven’t opened yet. So I told him this morning, I don't know if he's going to, said I might just send Mike Scott over there. I'm serious. I hope his wife's not here. She's not. Because we hadn't told her yet. And so I'm serious. We might just send him to Poland. We already got a connection with Samaritan's Purse through the Christmas boxes that we do, right? Well, Samaritan's Purse is already set up. I just wonder what their real needs are. Don't you want to get involved in some way? Amen?

James Greer: [00:18:19] And just got to watch Mike. He'll try to go to Ukraine instead of Poland. Anyway. Got to give him really clear directions. Amen? But in some way, we need to help. I don't know what it is. But I just love the president standing up. I know he may be killed. But listen, he's going to be killed with courage and a hero instead of a coward. And what we need is some more Christians with some courage standing up for Jesus Christ. Amen? I mean, we really do. They need the courage to stand up for Jesus Christ because He's the Lord of Lords, He's the King of Kings. And it does not matter what happens over there. He's still going to be the Lord of Lords and King of Kings all for the rest of your life, for eternity. That's why we need to make a difference. We need people that are going to make a difference, that will stand up and not be people pleasers. I mean, if you want to change the world, we even got a book that says World Changers. You can just go to and look it up. But what I mean is, I mean, we need people that have courage, great courage. We need great courage. Courageous people risk their lives to make a difference. When is the last time you even took a risk for Christ? I mean people bold to represent Christ. Even on your job, that people know you're a Christian.

James Greer: [00:19:32] You know we ought to do, Journey Church, downstairs and upstairs? Y'all ready? Downstairs and upstairs, are y'all ready? Invite somebody to church next Sunday. Yay. And y'all that don't believe it, when I do the altar call, y’all just come confess that you lied. Let's get bold. Let's get more courageous. Amen? I mean, really. And then fear, fear. I guarantee you that president has fear. Being courageous does not mean you don't have fear. It means you come into God's presence where He gives you the power to push through fear. When you're in God's presence, you can push through fear. Courageous people, it's not that they don't fear. They just push through it. Some of y'all have some fears you need to push through even right here at church. Some of y'all need to know you need to be in a small group. So y'all need to serve. Some of y'all need a leader group. Some of y’all need to invite somebody. Some of y’all need to be baptized. Love what Gage said a while ago that when Brooke got baptized and testified that hey, when she was young, she wasn't really sure she was saved. He knows he's saved now. He wanted to follow through and get baptized today. Amen for him. Amen? And so he just did it. And so, you know, push through your fear, join the church, start giving.

James Greer: [00:20:54] I don't know what your fear is, but today is a great day to start pushing through your fear. Amen? Don't you know that woman took great courage? Y'all might not know it, but women didn't have the same power they did today. No, not back then they didn't. They got the power today. Yeah. Y’all got the power. Back then, they have that kind of power. Jesus was sitting there. All the disciples were there. She walked in with what I believe was the most expensive thing she had in her life. She didn't have to give it. She wanted to give it. You don't have to come to church. You get to come church. I don't have to preach. I get to preach. Change your attitude. It's a big difference. She got to do it. She was courageous. Disciples was in there. She still gave it. She gave the most expensive thing she had. It may have been the last thing. She was courageous. She said, hey, I'm just so thankful for what Jesus did for my brother. I want to show my love and my appreciation to Him. She wasn't worried about what the disciples did. She wasn’t worried about what they said. She just wanted to be courageous. Y’all know in this new campaign we have for the trampolines for the children, do y'all know that we have some youth that are still in high school? They committed to giving $500 each. That's courageous for kids. Amen? Not just one. We had two.

James Greer: [00:22:19] I mean, that's something. That's courageous. That's bold. Boldness isn’t lack of fear. It’s pushing through. The more you know God's Word, the more courageous you can be. Courage grows in the presence of God. Guess what? God's presence is here. When the presence of God is really here, you can't be passive. When you have fear, what you need to do is hear from God. When you hear from God, you don't have fear. What you really need to know more than anything, what's the mind of God in this particular matter? Can you imagine David facing Goliath? Goliath came with him spears and swords, and David said, hey, I come to you in the name of the Lord He knew God. Can you imagine Joshua and they go the walls of Jericho and God said, hey, be strong, be courageous, don't be afraid? And he heard from God, and he was ready. There’s some people here today that came with some problems. And what you need to do is know that God's presence is here. God's presence is here. We've talked about God's promises are here. God's people are here. Therefore, God's power is here. There's no better day to push through your fear than today. You've got to allow Jesus to use you. Maybe He never has. Maybe today's the day you're going to let Him do that. As we begin to close, I want to tell you this. To allow Jesus to use you, you have to have Jesus in you. Maybe today's the day you're going to do that. Maybe you're going to be courageous enough to come down and say, hey, I want to make sure that I have Jesus in my heart.

James Greer: [00:24:04] I want to invite Him today. I want Him to be the Lord. I believe that He died for my sins. I know that I’ve sinned. The Bible says, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. I want to believe that He died on the cross. So I invite Him into my life to be the Lord of my life. Maybe I need to start doing some of the right things. I need to be more courageous. Maybe I need to at least step out and invite somebody to come to church. Maybe at work, when I see people hurting and I know they're hurting, maybe I need to pray with them and pray for them. Maybe I need to get my priorities right. By that, not only get our priorities right with our timing and our family, but as Him being the ultimate source in your life. By that, whatever your fear and whatever you're afraid of today, God didn't give you a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and a sound mind. And I'd like for you to leave your fear here. Leave it on the altar and say, hey, God, you're the source. You're the ultimate authority. You open doors. You close doors. You're the one that’s in charge. And I'd like to leave my fear right here with you. And God wants to do that. Remember that service is an act of love. And just being here today, you communicated to God, to this church, and to yourself that you love God. And I want to thank you for that. I want you to stand up, and I want to pray for you.

James Greer: [00:25:36] God, you're an awesome God. I thank you for being here today. I thank you for the people here today. What an encouragement. What an exciting time it is at Journey Church. I thank you for those that are being saved. I thank you for those that are being baptized. I pray as a church we never take it for granted. Not your favors, not for granted. Thank you for that. I thank that your presence is here in a mighty and powerful way. I pray, first of all, God, if there's somebody that doesn’t have Jesus in them that they would do it today. Courageously just step out and say, hey, I need to make sure I have Jesus. Maybe there's somebody fearful, and I want to tell you that God's presence is here. And the more of God's presence you have, the less fear you have. And man, you have a lot of God's presence. And you just want to cast that fear out. You want somebody to pray with you and pray for you, and you want to leave it here at the altar. Maybe you want to follow through and baptisms like these two did, like the next one's going to do at the next service. You want to just say, hey, I want to follow through. I want to be baptized. Maybe you want to join the church. Today is a great day to do that. Maybe you just want somebody to pray with you and pray for you. Whatever God's laid upon your heart, I pray that you’d just let Him have His will and His way. I ask it in the precious name of Jesus. Amen.

Bruce Goulart: [00:26:56] On behalf of Pastor James, I just want to say thank you so much for being here this morning. Y’all, what amazing service that we had this morning on the Resurrection Road. Y’all, this series has been absolutely wonderful with the skits, with the things that we're doing in service. And so with that being said, y’all, I do not want y’all to miss in-service experience. So if you are local around here, I would love for you to come and join us here at 2900 Donahue Ferry Road. That is 2900 Donahue Ferry Road. And I would love for y’all to be here. Come see me, come meet me in person, y’all. And tell me that you're from online. Y’all, we love to see new people here every single Sunday. And so I hope that y'all can come next week. But if you can't, y’all, we have this online experience just for you. And we hope that you have been enjoying it so much. But if you need someone to pray with right now, you can text the word MOVE. That's the word MOVE to the number (318) 413-6422 and someone will get with you right away. Again, I just want to say thank you for being with us this morning, and I hoe you have a great week.

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