How the Ordinary Can Be Used for the Extraordinary

How Can God Use Me For The Extraordinary This Christmas?

James Greer
Dec 13, 2020    35m
God often uses ordinary people to get the extraordinary done, and He can use you for extraordinary this Christmas. He sees what we can be, not what we are. The key is to be available to Him. Allow Him to be your Savior and Lord. Above all, seek Him. 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):
Welcome to Journey Church. Boy, did we have fun with that. Amen? And I am not going to tell you what it was in the box either. I guarantee that. Hey, everybody got a present. Do not open it yet. Amen? I mean I'm going to tell you what, today the message is for participators. And so are you ready to participate? Amen? Now, if you did not get a gift, if you don't have one, right now, if you will raise your hand, the ushers will make sure that you get one. So we want you to have a gift because you're going to need to participate today. So if you don't have a gift, raise your hands and the ushers will get you one. And don't open it until later on. One of the main difference between, let me ask you this. Would you like for it to be an extraordinary Sunday? Amen? Okay. Yeah.

James Greer (00:49):
One of the main difference between having an ordinary Sunday and extraordinary Sunday is you being a participator instead of simply a spectator. Oh, there we go. And listen, once you become a participator on a Sunday, you become a part of being a spectacular Sunday. Amen? So see, one of the simple things, one of the simple things you can learn about going from ordinary to extraordinary, the main thing is you just put in the extra and that's what I want us to do today. I want us to learn how some ordinary people became extraordinary. But more than that, I want you to be extraordinary. I want you to learn how to go from ordinary to extraordinary. I want you to have an extraordinary Christmas. By the way, we'll learn about some shepherds and shepherds are just kind of ordinary people that God used in extraordinary ways.

James Greer (01:48):
And they're examples of how God wants to use me and how God wants to use you. And it's going to start out in Luke 2:8, and it's going to give you the reading. It says, and now there were in the same country. What? Shepherds. Say shepherds. And they're living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. I love that because I love that God sent word to the shepherd that we're keeping watch over the sheep, their flock. And they were doing it by night. See, the shepherds were willing to protect their sheep. See, that's what shepherds do. The shepherds, they show up every day, every night. And that's what we should do. Every Sunday, we should show up. Amen?

James Greer (02:30):
I mean if I'm going to be the shepherd under the God shepherd, I need to show up for Sundays. Amen? That's a start. I need to show up, but I also need to feed. I need to feed. Y'all need to take in the Word of God. Amen? I need to show up. I need to feed, need to protect. You take God's Word in. See, and then you go after the lost sheep. Sheep are kind of stupid. I didn't say y'all are stupid. I just said sheep as a whole are kind of stupid and sheep that are stupid, they wonder around and the shepherd has to go after them and try to bring them back. But I love that God used shepherds to announce that the Great Shepherd was coming. He announced that the Great Shepherd was coming. The Great Shepherd, he watches over us day and night. And not only does a shepherd that's watching his sheep willing to die, the Great Shepherd did die. Not only did he die, he died for me and you. He died not just to die, but he rose again. He died to save us. He died to protect us. He died where he could provide for us. See, this whole series is about us learning how to be participators for Christmas, not just spectators.

James Greer (03:53):
When you become a participator for Christmas, Christmas begins to become spectacular. And as you continue in the message today, it's my prayer that you'll be a participator in the Christmas story this year, not just simply a spectator and it'll help your Christmas become spectacular. So let's look at how the ordinary get an extraordinary message. Verse 9, in behold, the angel of the Lord stood before them and the glory of the Lord shone around about them, and they were greatly afraid. God didn't send a message from God. God didn't send Jesus to scare us. He sent Jesus to save us. Amen? But when you get, when ordinary people get an extraordinary message, sometimes we're afraid. I can remember when God called me to preach. I was afraid. Amen? How about when Mary, when Mary got a message from God said, hey, you're going to have a child.

James Greer (05:00):
She said, hey, I've never even slept with a man. I'd be afraid too if I was her. Amen? I mean that's just the way it is. When you get an extraordinary message and you're an ordinary person, you're often afraid. So first thing God does, He says, listen, do y'all know the cure for fear? If I ask you the cure for fear, I usually use to say the cure of fear is faith. That's kind of true and kind of not. The opposite of fear really is love. The cure for fear is love. 1 John 4:18 says this. Wherever God's love is, there's no fear. Where God's love is, there's what? Say no fear. Because God's perfect love, it drives out fear. And you know, one of the most famous verses in the world, John 3:16 for God, so loved the world, right? You know, how can I come preach every Sunday when I know my dyslexia could kick in, when I know I could turn the words backwards, when I know I could turn the verses back, when I know I might not even know the words? How could I do that? It's because my love for God sf my love for you. How could Jesus Christ, how could He go to the cross? He was fearful.

James Greer (06:27):
He begged God, the Father. He sweated tear drops and says anguish. How could He, how could you go from that fear to go to the cross, to be beaten? Because His love for me and you. Even the shepherds, the reason that they followed the glory of God is because they said, man, I'd love to see the Savior. And I want you to know the cure for fear is love. Amen? Love overcomes fear. Verse 10. When the angel said to them, don't be afraid. I love that because every time we're fearful, I want you to know, God usually has a promise. Says, don't be afraid. I don't know what you're fearful of today. I don't know if it's fearful of Christmas. I don't know if you're fearful for work. I don't know if you're fearful about the virus. God has a word for you.

James Greer (07:13):
Guess what it is? Don't be afraid. Behold. Guess what? I bring you good tidings. I'm bring you good news. I bring you great joy which will be to a few people. It's to all people. It's the good people. It's the rich people. It's the poor people. It's the white people. It's the black people. When he says all people, he means, guess what? You got it, man. I mean so he said here's an extraordinary message. Don't be afraid. I've got good tidings or I've got good news. I've got great joy. And it's for everyone. If God sent a message to me and to you, and He said, man, I got this great news, I've got this good tidings, wouldn't it be your part and my part first to enjoy it, second, to accept it, and third, to spread it? Amen? I love it when He says, good news, good tidings, God said, listen, man, I sent my son, Jesus Christ.

James Greer (08:09):
That's the good news. The good news means to restore broken lives and broken relationships. This world is in a broken condition. The good news is God sent His son and His son mends broken relationships and broken lives. That's what the word good news means. Verse 11, and he says, for there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, a deliverer, one that can heal what's hurting, one that can recover, one that can make you whole and truly one that can save. He saves you from something to something. He saves you from hell but to Heaven. Amen? And he says, man, I got good news for you. There's a Savior born. And when you accept a Savior, you're saved from something to something. You have a delivery. You've got something to heal. You got something to recover. You got something you can be whole. What do you say from I'm saved from hell, but I'm now going to Heaven? Amen? I mean that's good news. Amen?

James Greer (09:15):
And who is He? He is the Christ. He's the Messiah. He is the anointed one. He's the Lord. He is the master. He's the one in control. And he's going on and tell you, I got good news. I got great joy. I want you to know you now got a Savior. You got one that can deliver for you. You got one that can save you. He is the Christ. He's the Messiah. He is the anointed one. He is the Lord. Man, he said, I got all this good news for you. He's the Great Shepherd. He's one that can protect. He can provide. He died for me. He died for you. Once you accept the good of God's greatest gift which is what Christmas is all about, Jesus Christ, you never die again. You do understand once you accept Christ, you never die again? That's what he said. That's what he wanted you understand way back in verse 11 that the part of the good news was a Savior was born. A deliverer was born. One that delivers you from hell and brings you to Heaven. John 11: 25 tells you this. Jesus said unto her. I am the resurrection and in life, Jesus speaking, who believes in me, though he may die, he shall live again. And then He says this. She said to Him, yes, Lord. In other words, He said do you believe? She said, yes, Lord, I believe that you're the Christ. You're the anointed one. You're the Son of God who is come into the world, Jesus death and the last enemy. Let me ask you a question. Do you believe that?

James Greer (10:55):
See, if you don't believe that, today is the day to believe that. He said, man, that's what Christmas is all about. He said, listen, today, I sent a Savior where you never have to die again. He said, listen, if you accept Him, if you're saved, when you die, you only begin to live. He said, that is good news. The good news is you never have to die again. And guess what it says in 1 Corinthians 2:9. He said, but as it's written, eyes have not seen, ears have not heard, entered to the hearts of man, the things that God has already prepared for those who love. Do you understand once you get saved, you can't even imagine all that God has prepared for you. It's beyond your imagination. He's gone before you. He has good news. He has great joy. You can't even imagine what He has in store for you. Man, we ought to be excited about Christmas. We ought to be excited what He's already done, not what He's going to do. He's already done it.

James Greer (11:49):
Verse 12. It says, this is going to be a sign to you. You're gonna find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes. He's going to be lying in a manger. And suddenly, suddenly, there with the angel, a multitude of heavenly hosts. They were praising God, and they were singing. And they were saying glory to God in the highest. Man, listen, are you ready? And peace on earth and earth peace, goodwill to all men. Can I tell you something about that? We're supposed to have peace earth, peace goodwill to all men. Towards your mate, towards your boss. Despite what's going on to other races, to other colors. If you don't have peace and goodwill, you don't want the best for other people, you're missing out on what part of Christmas is all about. Because God said, listen, I sent my Son. I want you to have peace. I want you to have goodwill. I want you to know it's for everybody. Everybody here, everybody to come, everybody in the past and everybody in the future. He said, I want you to have peace and goodwill towards men.

James Greer (13:04):
What are we to do with the extraordinary message that God gave us? He gives us an extraordinary message. He said it's a Savior. It's for all men. It's the good news. Brings great joy. I love verse 15. So it was, this is what we'd do, so it was when the angel had gone away from them unto Heaven that the shepherds. Say shepherds. I love this about shepherds. I'm writing a letter to everybody in Journey Church. From the shepherd to the sheep. I know that God, Jesus is ultimate shepherd. But I'm the under shepherd, and I'm writing my responsibilities in yours. And it all came from this message. In the small group leaders, in your under shepherds and y'all are gonna get one of the letters. And it was the angel had gone away unto Heaven, and the shepherds said to one another, let's go. Let us now go.

James Greer (14:09):
Wouldn't it be great, Journey Church, if we really took the message to heart, and when we heard the good news and we understood what it was, that we had a Lord that was in control of everything, we had a Savior that saved us from hell to go to Heaven, that we had a Savior that was going to deliver. And we heard the message and we all got together and we said, let's go. Let's go! Let's go to Bethlehem. Let's go to Pineville. Let's go to Alexandria and let's see the things that have come to pass. Let's go see. We've seen it happen. Now let's go tell. Which the Lord has made known to us. I love that. Let us go. Let's go do what God's telling us to do. Let's go to Bethlehem and see Jesus. Listen, you know what I want us to let us go do? Everybody got one? Take it out. Because see, I want to let us go. I want us to go to Pineville, Alexandria, wherever you live. Dry Prong. Yeah.

James Greer (15:12):
It's just wherever it is. You know, and I want to invite them to see Jesus next Sunday. Amen? I want them to hear about the good news. I want them to know that we have somebody that mends broken relationships, mends broken lives. And I want you to invite them. I want you to open your present now. Boy, y'all wrapped them dudes. Oh yeah. That is pretty cool. No wonder it took you all day. Imagine wrapping 500 of those dudes. Did y'all get, did y'all get a Sharpie? Huh? I'm gonna write my name on one side. Okay. I got my name on one side. Pastor James. Guess what I'm going to be praying about the rest of the service and at the end of service? I'm going to be praying about the person I'm going to bring next Sunday. Oh.

James Greer (16:35):
I want you to see you do believe that Jesus is the Savior? Amen? You do believe that that was the good news that's the Savior was born, the one that saves us from something to something, the one that can deliver us? You do believe in the good news that He restores broken relationships and broken lives? You do believe that somebody that doesn't know Jesus Christ isn't saved from hell to Heaven and you do want them to go to Heaven? Amen? So I want God to be laying on your heart till the rest of the service, who you're going to write on the other side and at the end of the service, we're going to take them up, but you're going to get another one when you go out to carry with you to remind you who you're going to invite and who you're going to bring next Sunday. Therefore, you're not only now, you're not a spectator, you are a participator. Amen? Amen?

James Greer (17:34):
Oh, precious Jesus. I got a church full of participators. Can I tell you something? When you really become a participator and you see a life changed, your Christmas will be so spectacular, you'll never forget it the rest of your life. There is no greater gift in the whole world than the gift of Jesus Christ. You're challenged to be evangelists next week. You invite them to come. It's my challenge to tell them about Jesus Christ. Now, if you feel led to, amen, we got a lot of people witnessing right now. I just have a problem if you don't participate. God's greatest gift in the whole world was His Son, Jesus Christ. We're supposed to be celebrating Christmas. If you're not careful, we get so wrapped up in the gifts, in the presence of the world, we miss out on the greatest gift of the world which is Jesus Christ. I'm not doing this just for you. I'm doing it for me. I need to be more accountable to you, I need to be more accountable to God and I need to do my very best to bring one or two or three people to church next Sunday. So be a participator, not just a spectator. Amen? As you think about it during the lesson, if you think about who you're going to invite, don't just invite. I want you to bring them with you. Write their name on the back. At the end, we'll take them up.

James Greer (19:19):
Amen? Okay. So let us take a trip to Bethlehem. That's where they were. Amen? They were in Bethlehem. And so let's look how the ordinary goes to extraordinary even when you're talking about Bethlehem. Because in Micah 5:2, it says, but you Bethlehem, you're the little among the thousands of Judah. You're just this little bitty, almost nothing place. Yet out of you comes forth to me the one to be the ruler of Israel, Jesus who's going forth from the old, from everlasting? Do you understand what it says? God chose Bethlehem? The least of all the cities? And the message was to the shepherds to go to Bethlehem? The world might have called Bethlehem insignificant, little town, unimportant, a nothing. The truth is God saw it different. The truth is God saw it the birthplace of His Son. The truth is God sees things as it could be, not as it is. Se, you might think sometimes I'm just a little nothing. I'm insignificant. I'm not that important. No, no. That's not how God sees you. God sees you and says you could be. You're not insignificant. You're a child of the King. You're a child of God. He sees the significance in you. He sees the importance of you. And what God wants you to do is see yourself as God sees you. Amen?

James Greer (20:52):
God wants you to go from ordinary to extraordinary. God doesn't see you as you are. God sees you as you can be. Yeah. How does He do that? I don't know. With the shepherds, it was the glory of the Lord that led them to Jesus. With the wise men, it was a star. With me and you, it's the Holy Spirit and God's Word. Let's keep going to Bethlehem. Because Bethlehem looked insignificant, it looked unimportant. When we go to Bethlehem, it looked inconvenient. Can you imagine Joseph and Mary had got there, there was no room, there was no clean sheets. They had traveled about 70 miles on a donkey. And ladies, I don't know what it's like to be pregnant. Thank God. I don't want to know either. But I heard it's not very comfortable. When I was in the waiting room with my wife, I got kicked out. But after you finally get there and think, man, here I am. I know that's where God wanted me. God guided me. God's directed me. Mary said, you know, I am the mother of the Messiah. Good, go to the barn.

James Greer (22:13):
Go to the stables. Doesn't look too promising. Looked inconvenient. You would think that's even incorrect. You just got to remember whatever God promises, He will perform and He will provide. You got to understand many times in our life, my life, it looks like this is so inconvenient, God. Just doesn't look like it's correct. It doesn't look like you're in control. Hmm. Listen, God's in control. You might even be in a mess. Literally, they could have been in a mess in the barn. It was one of the greatest miracles there ever was. You had the virgin birth of Jesus Christ. See, sometimes I think before the greatest miracles comes the greatest obstacles. And many times, I believe that we miss out on the miracles because we focus on the obstacles and we give up too quick. Don't give up. Find the promise. Let God perform the miracles. So let's keep going to Bethlehem.

James Greer (23:32):
That's where ordinary proves that ordinary people, ordinary places, that's where they became extraordinary. And that's where it looked like they were insignificant, but it was very significant. So if you're here today, I want to tell you you're significant and you're important. That's where it looks like it was incorrect, but it's correct. Wherever you're at, whatever you're doing, God can work a miracle right there. On your job, in your family, in your marriage. It's okay. God's in control, not you. Let Him be in control. Relax right now. Say, if God can take them and He can take them to Bethlehem, that was supposedly insignificant, if He can have a birth of a baby in a barn, He can use me right where He's at. I quit worrying so much about where I'm at, who I'm working for and let God have control. Just relax. He's got it. See, if you want to go from ordinary to extraordinary, you've got to understand what really causes you to go from ordinary to extraordinary. You got to have a purpose.

James Greer (24:48):
It was the purpose that calls the wise men to travel, the shepherds to go, Mary and Joseph to cross all the obstacles. It was all because they wanted to experience this exceptional relationship with Jesus Christ. They said, I want to see Him. I want to believe it. I wanna talk to Him. There's nothing more powerful than going from an ordinary relationship with Christ to an extraordinary relationship with Christ. Nothing like it. Once you ever tasted, you always want to go back to it. Do you know what I want you to go away with? I want you to go away with say, man, I want to extraordinary relationship with Jesus. You see how it changed their lives? Number one, He has to be your Savior. I mean you got to understand that your Savior, you're not going to hell because He saved you. You're going to Heaven. Amen? You got to understand He's your deliverer. He's your Savior. He's your deliverer. He's your healer. He's the one that makes you whole. He's your Savior. See, if you're not careful, we start taking Him for granted. He's got to be your Lord.

James Greer (26:04):
It's more than just coming to church. It's more than just getting baptized. But if you're here and you haven't been baptized, man, listen, we're going to baptize, Steven, how many? Three today. What's that going to make it? Do you know? We're going to, 97 today! Are we going to hit a hundred this year? Amen. If I have to baptize you, Steven, we're going to hit a hundred. Sometimes you act like you're lost. I don't know. But anyway, God's rocking the house. He's got to be your Savior, but He's got to be your Lord. It's so great when you understand. People celebrate that He's their Savior, that you're not going to hell, that you're going to Heaven. But then people drop the Lord part. I used to think the Lord part was a bad part, but it's a great part because that means He's the ultimate authority in my life. He's the one that's in control, but He's also an all-powerful one. And He's the Lord over all the armies. Man, God could call down a legion of armies anytime He wants to. He could've delivered Jesus on the cross. He's got to be your Lord. He's got to be your Savior. He's got to be your Lord. Some of you today, you've accepted Him as your Savior, but you hadn't let Him be your Lord. And today's the day. Let Him be your Lord. Let Him be your authority. Let Him be your protector. Let Him be your provider. Let Him be the ultimate authority in your life. Third, you have to continue to seek after him.

James Greer (27:34):
The whole story was the wise men sought after Him. The shepherds had to go to Him. If you don't move, God won't move. If you let fear keep you, you'll never get there. The shepherds were willing to go and seek after Him. 2 Chronicles 26:5 said, as long as I sought the Lord, God made me to prosper. I love seeking God. It didn't say that I was perfect. It didn't even say that I didn't mess up. He said, as long as I sought the Lord, I'll prosper. I'll have an exceedingly better life than the normal person. Why wouldn't you seek the Lord? Jeremiah 29:11 said, you called upon me, go, call up on me, go, pray to me. And said, I'm going to listen. You will seek me and you'll find me when you search for me with all your heart. You got to seeking. He's not hiding from you. He wants you to find Him.

James Greer (28:46):
Fourth, be used by Him. You're never happier in your life than when you're being used. Save people, serve people and they're the most satisfied people. This week, your challenge is to invite somebody to come. That's serving God. Number one. This is under simply be used by Him. So you invite somebody. Number two, ask God how He wants to use you. God, what do you want me to do? I understand that saved people should be serving. God, I understand that serving people are the most satisfied. God, I want to be satisfied. Third, tell God I'm willing to be used. Many times, God wants to hear that we're willing to be used before He tells us how to be used. Fourth, read God's Word. And this time when you're reading God's Word, it's not how much you read, whether you want to read a chapter or a few verses, whatever you want to do. As you read the Word, just ask God to speak to you. I would rather read a few verses and hear from God than five chapters and hear nothing. I love it. When I read a few verses and God speaks to me, I just want to stop and write it down.

James Greer (30:26):
I was reading to my wife last night. I put notes in my phone sometimes when God speaks to me. And she said, where'd you get that? Where'd you get that? Where'd you get that? I said, I forgot that. That's why I wrote it down. I would never ever come to church and not write down at least one insight. Never do it. I would not do it. If you're coming to church every Sunday and God's not speaking to you and giving you at least one insight, I'm not doing my job or the Holy Spirit's not doing His job in you or you're lost. Why not share that insight? Why not share one insight that God gave you? Why not use social media for the right thing instead of the wrong thing? Amen? And if you couldn't get at least one thing today, take it out of the notes and just use it. So read God's Word and ask Him to speak to you. And fourth, and this is something that God convicted me about, thank God for the greatest gift of all, Jesus Christ. If you're not careful, you get saved and now you're saved, we just take it for granted. Are you saved? Yeah, I'm saved. Are you baptized? Yeah, I'm baptized.

James Greer (31:48):
Oh my goodness, dude, God gave His Son. Amen? So let's give God a hand for giving His Son for us and that we're saved. Amen? Let's thank Him for it. This is the greatest gift that was ever given is Jesus Christ. And I want you to try to give that same gift to somebody this week. I want you to take the challenge. I want you to be a participator. I want you to write a name on the back of that domino. In a minute, Pastor Darrell's going to come up and we're going to have offering. You drop them in there. We're going to pray for them. You're going to get another domino when you leave. But you do the inviting. Amen? Be a participator, Journey Church. Amen? I want you to go from ordinary to extraordinary. It just simply takes a little extra. Would you stand and let me pray for you?

James Greer (32:36):
God, I pray for myself. I pray for Journey Church. I pray for those online. I pray that we can all go from ordinary to extraordinary. And those people that are online, I wish you were here where you could get a gift. God, I pray that lives are changed starting right here and starting with me. Holy Spirit, do your work, do your job. For those that don't know Jesus as Savior, their Lord, today, oh God, I pray would be the day. I pray they'd take their next step card out. Each one should have one. And they would say, hey, I want Jesus to be my Savior. Man, if you hadn't been publicly biblically baptized since you've been saved, man, Christmas season is the time to do it. Mark the cards. Say, man, next Sunday, I'm going to get baptized. I'm going to be part of the hundred.

James Greer (33:30):
I'm going to be part of a miracle. Maybe you came in here and you didn't have peace. Why not? God gave His Son for you to have peace. Focus on the peacemaker, not the problem. Focus more on Christ this Christmas. Focus on giving the right gift which is Jesus. Focus on goodwill towards all men. That means if we have a problem, let it go or make it right where you can have peace. Make it right with others and make it right with God. Then you can have the goodwill towards all men whether you need to forgive or be forgiven. If you want to join the church, I think everybody needs a family and this is a great family. Mark it on the card. If you have a prayer request, write it down. Whatever God's laid up on your heart, that God have His way in His will. It's all in the precious name of Jesus. And everybody said amen.

Darrell Ingram (34:45):
On behalf of Pastor James, we're so glad you joined us this morning. If you want to pray with someone, we still have people on standby right now. There are a couple of things that I would like to touch base with you. First of all, Wednesday, the 16th at 6:30 is the King's Birthday Pageant. Our kids are going to be putting it on and we want you to come and be a part of it. The second thing that I want to tell you is Pastor James next Sunday will be continuing Don't Be a Spectator of The Spectacular series. We'll see you next Sunday.

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