All In The Family | How a Family Can Live in Today’s Environment

Understanding How Your Family Can Be A Light In Dark Times

James Greer
Feb 20, 2022    31m
In a world full of iniquity, it's important to understand how your family can be a light in these dark times. We must be grateful, loving one another as God instructed. Forgive when we have been wronged. Lastly, give thanks in every aspect of our lives. 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] Carlisa happens to be with us. Stand up, Carlisa. Yeah. I mean, and I was blessed. I got to see a lot of her promotions as she got to go. And she was patient. It didn't really go as fast as she said it did. There were times that she had to wait. She had to pray. She had to wait. She had to pray. She had to have God open those doors. And man, I just love the culture and character that you bring to Journey Church, and I appreciate the times that we have. You know? And so thank you for that. We're still in part three. Yeah. Part three of All in the Family. And I've never seen a time in history that you're going to have to pick the difference between Christ and chaos. They say, I didn't know this, but there's as many as 6,000 to 60,000, and they believe 60,000 thoughts that goes through your mind every day. And the problem with that today because of the media, as much as 80% of those could be negative. So what you better do is better be careful what you think of. So at this point, it doesn't matter if you're single, doesn't matter if you're married, doesn't matter you’re a youth, doesn’t matter if you’re a child, you got to be careful what you think on.

James Greer: [00:01:23] But listen to this verse. This is not in your outline, but I think it's one of the verses you should write down. It's Isaiah 55:8 and 9. It says, For my thoughts are not your thoughts. Uh-oh. If we have between 6,000 and 60,000 thoughts a day and God says that His thoughts are not our thoughts, we better be careful what we're thinking on. Neither are my ways your ways, declares the Lord. And then He says, as the heavens are higher than the Earth, and so are my ways higher than your ways, listen, and my thoughts than your thoughts. Do you understand all the media today, we didn't have that 20 years ago. And so you got all these thoughts and all these things that are going through your mind. And because God's ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts, we better be careful what we're thinking on because so many times our thoughts are the wrong thoughts. You can see what's going on in the world. You see why we have so much chaos. You better be careful. You need to start, listen, carrying God’s Word. You need to be reading God’s Word. You need to be hearing God’s Word. You need to be meditating on God’s Word. And you need to be listening to God’s Word. There's no other way you're not going to have chaos in your life because God's ways are higher than our ways.

James Greer: [00:02:54] And so many times, His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. I could kind of tell you what's going on today. I can tell you what it's like in America today, and I can tell you how we're going to have to start acting today. I want to tell you what's the most important thing that you need to focus on though. Relationships. There's nothing more important than your relationship with God and your relationship with others. And so because relationships is the most important thing, you ready? That's what Satan wants to destroy. He wants to destroy your relationship with God. He wants to destroy your relationship with your friends. He wants to destroy if you're married, your relationship with your marriage. If you have kids, he wants to destroy that relationship. And because God said it’s closer and closer to Jesus’ return, he's going to go after destroying the family. So I want you to know the times that you're living in. I want you to understand the environment. If you don't understand the environment, you don't know how to fight back. Amen? 2 Timothy 3:1says, But know this, Journey Church, that in the last days, perilous times are going to come. But I want you to read it in another translation.

James Greer: [00:04:10] You may as well know this too, Timothy, Journey Church, that in the last days, it can be very difficult to be a Christian. It might not get easier to be a Christian. It might get more difficult to be a Christian. But I want to tell you something really cool about being a Christian. It's going to be easier to be the light of the world as a Christian. Amen? So what I want you to know is this, for men, they're going to be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, and unholy. You know what I'm saying? Listen, be careful. You don't want those people in your lives. And young people, if you're not married, hey, you don't want to start dating and get involved if you're single with those type of people. You don’t want those people in your life. They're unloving. They're unforgiving. They're slanderers without self-control. They're brutal, despising good. Listen to this. 2 Timothy, look, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of themselves. Okay. Listen to this. You ready? They will portray their friends. They'll be hot headed. Puffed up with pride. This one concerns me. They prefer good times to worshiping God. Now, the reason this concerns me, preferring good times versus worshiping God, that's one of the things that’s happened in America. The first time in the history of America that there's less people professing to be Christians and going to church than going to church.

James Greer: [00:05:51] First time in history. That's one of the reasons you have so many people not going to church anymore. They prefer having a good time. The problem is it probably won’t last. See, if you're really saved, if you're a Christian, the good times won't last for you if you're going after pleasures versus worship because God disciplines those that He loves. So, listen, this is going to be so important, if you're a Christian and you continue to go after the pleasures versus worship, He'll either discipline or convict you. And if you're going after pleasures instead of worship and He's not convicting you and not disciplining you, you better really worry. I'm going to read something that's in there. Another verse is not in your notes that you probably at this time in history need to know.

James Greer: [00:06:55] It’s 1 John 2:18 and 19. It says, Little children, in the last hours, which we can know it is in the last hours. And then He's going to tell you how. They went out from us. They stopped coming to church, they stopped worshipping in other words. But they really were not of us, probably not saved. There was a time they came. They came church on and off. They had been with us. If they had been with us, they would have really been saved. Better continue with this church and worship. But they went out that there might be manifested that might made it clear that they were never with us. Wow. Is that convicting? Is that concerning? Because in Hebrews, it says, listen, God disciplines those that He loves. I discipline because I want them to know they're my son. God treats you as sons. That's why He disciplines you. So this time the Bible says that there's a great falling away and you'll know it's the last days. But be careful because many didn't even know Him in the first place.

James Greer: [00:08:12] Wow. It goes on in Timothy verse 5. It says, having a form of godliness but denying the power of. In other words, they were probably never saved. And from such people, stay away. You got to be careful in this time in history who you're with and who you're around. For of this sort who creep into the house and making captive gullible women. And they load them down with sin and lead them to various lust. In other words, where it says gullible women and lead them, it keeps them burdened down. They go from one burden to another burden. They don't ever seem to be set free. They’re listening to their own people. They’re listening to the wrong preaching. And they just stay burdened. Always learning, going from one thing to another, one thing to another, but never able to come to the knowledge of truth. These are difficult times. It says, there's evil men, there's impostors will grow. They're going to get worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. The thing that I like being to see, I was watching TV the other day and I said, Honey, how can these people believe and not understand? I mean, God, can't they see what's going on? He said, they're being deceived. They don't even know they're being deceived.

James Greer: [00:09:36] That's what's going on in America today. If you cannot see what's going on in America, it’s because your eyes are closed. And what you see going on up North will filter down to South. So you need to be prepared. You need to understand what's going on. Focus, listen, listen, all the focus so far was not so much on bad times. You ready? It's bad people. Have you ever seen the time where so many people are so bad? They have such a hot temper. They're so ugly and so mean. There was at least 19 specific character descriptions. We can't look at all of them, but they had a pattern. They have a pattern of being selfishness, splintering the family, and slaughtering society. The number one thing is wrapped up in all of this selfishness. They're selfish people. The goal of being selfish is to destroy the homes of family and society. Right up front, the Lord told us, in the last days, you're going to be populated by lovers of themselves. There’s never been a time in history that there's so many selfish people, even in their marriage, destroying it because of selfishness and laziness. They talk about themselves.

James Greer: [00:11:00] Don't take this wrong. Y’all ever see so many people take so many pictures of themselves? I'll just say it. Oh, man. They can't walk down the street. Click, click, click. Get in the car. Click, click, click. How many times can you see yourself? I think I'll take one. I mean while I'm preaching. Yes, I got it. I'll post it later. But what I’m saying, they talk about themselves and look at themselves. They want nothing but for themselves. I mean, come on. I'm not selfish. I just like to look at me, and you don't even have to be in the picture. What you don't understand, selfishness not only destroys relationships, it robs your joy. Philippians 4:4:, it tells you this. It says, Always be full of joy in the Lord. Always be full of what? Joy in the Lord. And I say it again, rejoice. Let everyone see that you are unselfish. Philippians is telling us, I want you to be full of joy, full of joy, full of joy, and let everybody see that you're unselfish. Part of joy is being unselfish. But yet you're to see if you think you find joy in being selfish, but it’s a lie. It goes on and says, Because people are lovers of themselves, they're going to be boasters, proud, blasphemers. Boasters, always building themselves up, man. Have you ever been around people? If they were half as good as they thought they were, oh, they would be great. And they want everybody else to love them as much as they love themselves. I mean, my goodness gracious. They're proud. They're haughty. They lack respect for other people. They often look down on people. I mean, this is a society that you're living in. They’re blaspheming. I mean, blaspheming, their verbal abuse towards God. They slander God. It's leading towards the end of time. I mean, there's descriptive words of what’s going on. Disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving. Do you understand that it all stems from selfishness and focusing less on our loved ones, more on self and time and energy and passion, all on themselves? The results is broken homes, broken relationships. For instance, disobedient children, that means willful disobedience.

James Greer: [00:13:28] It doesn't mean like a child just doing something to be a child. We're not talking about that. We're talking about willful disobedience. They totally ignore instructions. They're unthankful and ungrateful towards their parents. They lack gratitude. Unholy, lack respect in the home, at school, and church if you allow it. I had Richie, our youth minister, in this morning. And I said, you know, one of the signs at the end times is disrespectful. I said, How are our youth? He said, to be honest with you, most of ours are respectful. Man, if I had a youth, I would have them in our church. Amen? I'd start them in our kids and our nursery department, and I would bring them right through. Because listen, in the times of today, most of them are not. But yet they're teaching them right here. Amen? But you ask a schoolteacher, you ask an educator, ask Darrell. Darrell said, used to when the teachers were walking down the halls at school, all the kids would move. Now the teachers move. I said, Get a life, man. He said, it’s the truth. I bet you deal with a lot of it, Carlisa. Right? They're not near as respectful as they were. They're more disrespectful. And it doesn't matter what school. It's everywhere. And it says, Hey, it's a sign. It's a shame when adults and the parents have to move and let the kids come. Amen, Brother James. They’re unloving. They've become heartless, harsh, hard to live with. And if goes over to society. They're unforgiving, truth breakers, stubborn, hard hearted, bitterness, bearing toxic fruit. So what is a Christian to do? This is a society that's coming, this is a society that you're going to live in. What do you do? I'm glad you asked. Ephesians tells us. For you were once in darkness. You were once deceived. But now you're in light. Walk as children of light. So what are we to do? We're to walk as children of light. The fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth. So we're to learn to walk in light. Did you know right now the stars are still out? You can't see them. The darker it gets, the brighter they get. Amen? That's what's going to happen. We walk in light. As we walk in light, those living in darkness, some of them are going to say, oh man, there’s still hope.

James Greer: [00:16:10] Some of them are going to want it, and some of them are going to make fun of it. There's never been a time in history that Christians can now walk in light. While most people today are self-centered and selfishness and lovers of money, guess what? Christians, Journey Church, you ready? Be generous and unselfish. And people say there's something different about that person. They just will. You don't even have to say, Hey, I'm a Christian. You just be generous and unselfish. They’ll say, Wow. Most people are boastful, proud, blasphemers. Not you, Christians. You’re going to walk in light. You're going to be humble. You're going to be humble, and you're going to care more about others than you care about yourself. Did you know in Matthew 5:5, did you know that it says the humble are happy? You want to be a happy person, just be humble. You ready? All that, you begin to be light in darkness. People are not like that. No matter where you're at, no matter if you're working, no matter if you're at home, no matter where you're at, just be humble, be generous, be unselfish. Man, some of our people at Journey Church are the most unselfish people you've ever seen in your life. They're the most generous people. Man, you can just mention a need and they give. You go out to eat and they give. They're buying people's food. I mean, that's just not natural. That's supernatural. Amen? Disobedient to parents. We, as parents and leaders and teachers and educators, do the very best you can to teach your young people to respect the parents and their authorities, right? Y’all teach them to respect their elders, too, by the way. You know what I mean? In Leviticus 19:31, it says, You shall stand up before the gray heads. When I walk in, everybody needs to stand up.

James Greer: [00:17:54] No, no, no. Honor them. Okay. Young people, you want to make a difference, you've got to be different. You want to make a difference, be different. Respect your parents. That's different. If you're a Christian, you know, you don't even have to go around telling everybody anymore that you're a Christian. You know, you don't have to do it. You know what? You can shine the bright. You know what? You start showing respect. Respect your teachers, respect your parents, respect the police, respect the authority. Listen, you want to make a difference, you've got to be different. See, you can shine light in darkness. Parents, parents, when you go to work, don't lie, don't steal, respect authority, respect the police, respect all those in authority. All of a sudden, somebody is going to say, hey, man, you know, they don't lie. I mean, you know, most people at work lie. You do know that? So they’re going start saying, man, they don't even lie. You know they're humble. You know they respect their boss. You know they don't run them down like other people do. And you just start to be the light. See, you've never had the opportunity to shine like you do right now. Man, you don't have to go door to door and tell everybody you’re a Christian. All you have to do is do what God says. All you have to do is do the opposite of what darkness is doing and you'll be light. And everybody has plenty of opportunity. You can do it at work. You can do it at home. You can do it in your hobbies. Anywhere you go today, in most opportunities, you got the opportunity to shine. Most people are unthankful and ungrateful today. They're just not. Doesn't matter what you do, don't matter how hard you try. It doesn't matter.

James Greer: [00:19:40] Most of the time, people are just ungrateful and unthankful. Adult, kids, youth, they just are. You know? As you begin to live yours out and speak it out, live it out and speak it out. Live it out and what? Speak it out. You become light. How about with your mate? When you got married, you were thankful. Amen? How about now? How about your job? When God opened the door, you came to the front. God, opened the door, opened the door, opened the door. And you got that job. You were so thankful. You're so excited. Two or three weeks later, God opened another door. Listen, if God wants to move you, He will move you. Carlisa, say amen. There are some different things we got going on. Do you not remember that? Amen. If He wants that door open, He'll open it. If He doesn't, He'll shut it. So God wants you where you're at. If He wants to move you, He will move you. Thank God for the job that you have. There's a lot of people that would like to have your job. Be thankful. Quick going on the job and complaining. Church, my goodness gracious. Thank God you got Journey Church. You don't have to come to church. You get to come to church. I talked to Josh last night. Heather's grandfather passed away, and they're going back up there today, and they've been up there for three days. And he's been helping them just really day and night. And it was, I don't know, 8:30 or so. I said, are you just going to stay up there or are you going to drive home? He said, I’m going to come home for the first two services. He said, I don't have to go to church. He said I get to go to church, brother. I said, man, isn't that something? After doing all that? He's thankful for church. Are you thankful for your kids? I know sometimes they drive you crazy. But do you know kids are a gift from God? They’re a heritage of the Lord? So are you thankful? Do they know you're thankful for them? You know? Are you thankful for the home that you have no matter what it is? Do you know there's homeless people that don't have a home today? Are you thankful for your Savior. Are you thankful for your health?

James Greer: [00:21:48] I think you got to live it out, but I think you got to speak it out. I don't think you're made. I don't think other people don't [inaudible] I don't think they can read your mind. I mean, your heart may know it, but other the people don't. Live it out and speak it out. Every perfect gift and good gift came down from above. It came from God. You can walk in light. This verse in Matthew 5:4, I've read it for 30 years. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. It says, Nor did they light the lamp and then put it under a basket, but on a lamp stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. So therefore, let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven. Have you ever wondered how to live that out? I have. I said, how do I live that out now? Now there's another thing. At, you can type in or look it up, what are good works and you can find it. But I'm talking about let your light shine. I think today you can let your light shine more than any other time. One of the things today, they say most unloving, unforgiving. As Christians, you want to walk it out and live it out. Be the first one to forgive. First one to forgive. First one to show love. What I’d tell you in the very beginning? The most important thing you should focus on is relationships. Whatever you got to do to keep your relationship right with God and relationship right with others, forgive. If you and your mate get in a fight, be the first one to do what? Forgive. You and your kids get in a fight? Forgive. We're supposed to be different. We can let our light shine. Yes, amen. That's hard to say. I am sorry. It is. In closing, let me talk about a few things.

James Greer: [00:24:04] You can't walk in light unless you have the light of Jesus Christ in your heart. He's the light of the world, and it's Him in you coming out that makes light. So if you're here today and you're not sure that you had Jesus as your light and your Savior, today is the day to accept Him. I think He had to be filled with the Holy Spirit. I don't think you can do it on your own. Galatians 5 says this. The fruit of the Spirit is love and joy, patience, self-control. So you have to be filled with the Holy Spirit, and you can't be feeling the Holy Spirit unless you're right with others and right with God. Third, would you be honest with yourself and say, God, what area do I need help in? Don't just come to church and be hard hearted. Don't be close minded. God wants you to be the light. He wants you to have joy in spite of the circumstances. You don't have to worry about what's going on in the world. You have to worry about your relationship between you and God and other people. Would you consider yourself as a generous person? The coolest thing, not only are people coming back to church, last church and the next step, we didn't preach on tithing. People were checking I want to start tithing. Where does that come from? You know why? They just want to be obedient. They just want to do. Do you know that tithing is the last step usually to giving your heart to Christ? Yeah.

James Greer: [00:25:36] Are you generous? Are you unselfish? Do you need to be more unselfish in your home? It needs to start in your home. That's where we really are selfish often. We're often selfish with the people that we love the most where we should be the most unselfish. Humble. Do you always have to have your way? Do you always have to win? It starts with your home. Go on the job, in school. Matthew 5:5 says, The humble are happy. People know if you're humble or not. If you're humble, your light will start to shine. Do you show respect period? If you're young people, do you respect your parents and especially your teachers and those in authority at school? Parents, are you showing respect? Do you come home talking about your boss and your company? Do you respect your authorities? When I used to get pulled over by the police, I used to get so upset. I did. I'd say, don't you have something better? Go get the criminals. I know. That's wasn’t very respectful. Last time, I said, thank you. I know you're a minister of God. They like to have fainted. I did tell them, Would you please hurry because I don't want the people at Journey Church to see you give me a ticket? But God’s really convicting me that we need to respect our police. They’re authorities. They're sent by God. Are you thankful? Listen, when I say thankful, are you living it out and speaking it out? Do you need to ask God to help you start being thankful in the home and on your job, with your kids, with your family, with your home, with Christ, with the church? Speak it out. Live it out.

James Greer: [00:27:32] Let the people, everybody you know that you're more thankful. You know, I think it's almost a sin not to tell our mates. I don't do it like I should. I don’t tell my mate, I don't tell my kids, I don't tell my grandkids that I'm thankful for them like I should. I think it in my heart. But they don't read my mind. So let’s practice it. Are you loving? Do you know when the Bible says loving, do you know what that means? It means you want what's best for them more than you do yourself. That's true love. You can practice that. God will put that on your heart. I've seen Him do that not always in my life, but recently He has done that over and over and over. I can actually say, God, I want what's best for them more than I do myself. I know I can go through it. But God, I want what's best for them. Can you say that? Can you say it for your family? Can you go to work and say that? Say, man, I want what's best for them. Forgiving. Can you forgive in your home? Can you forgive at church? Can you forgive in your family? I mean, relationships are the most important thing. If you have a broken relationship, make it right, especially if that relationship is with Christ. Will you stand and let we pray with you and pray for you?

James Greer: [00:28:54] God, you've really made it clear that you're coming back soon, and I thank God for that. And you're telling us right now we need to get our life right before you get here. Relationships are the most important thing. You talked about being ungrateful, unthankful, selfishness and that we can let our light shine, that we need to. To do that, we've got to have the light of the world in us, Jesus Christ. God, let us don't go home the same way that we came. Let our hearts be receptive. Let us respond to your Word, your Holy Spirit. Let us come to the altar and go home clean. Say clean us. Search our heart, oh God. Let us know if there's any wicked ways in us. Let us deal with it. Let us go home where we can go out and start being the light of the world. Let us have that joy, love, and peace that surpasses all understanding. It only comes from you. Maybe somebody needs to join the church today. They just come and they've been visiting. Today is a day they want to make it official. Maybe you hadn't followed through in public baptism. Maybe today's that day with you. Maybe you just need somebody to pray with you and pray for you. Maybe your one’s like the last Sunday say, hey, I want to be grateful, I want to be generous, I want to start tithing, I want to start giving. Whatever God's laid upon your heart, let Him have His will and His way today. It’s in Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

Bruce Goulart: [00:30:10] Y’all, what an amazing message from Pastor James this morning. It was absolutely incredible. And I hope that y’all are going to take that home today and apply it to your life and that way we can all grow together. Hey, guys, if you want to move today, whether that be salvation, baptism or even just to tithe, I want y’all to text the word ‘MOVE’ to (318) 413-6422. That is the word ‘MOVE’, M-O-V-E to (318) 413-6422. But on behalf of Pastor James, I just want to say thank y’all for joining us this morning. I hope that y’all have a blessed week. Thank y’all.

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