Raising an Army | The Army’s Mission and Ministry

Understanding Your Mission As A Follower Of Jesus Christ

James Greer
Nov 7, 2021    30m
Join us in today's message and learn what your mission is as a follower of Jesus Christ. We need to realize that everyone is deserving of Christ's love and forgiveness, even the vilest person can be saved. We must have Jesus in our lives. Everywhere we go, He is with 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: [00:00:00] Morning, Journey Church, I'm telling you what, I want to thank Joy and the staff and all the volunteers and all those that gave. I mean it was fantastic. Amen? Can you imagine giving away 500 turkeys to the community? Man, we got the most giving blessed church in the world. I'm like a daddy that's proud of his kids. I just can't help it, man. I'm just so excited, man. God just keeps blessing us. And you know, and later on this month, I think November 23rd, we're going to be going out to the Grant Parish Jail and feeding 90 something of the prisoners. And I mean we're just blessed and giving and our people just give and give and give. And you know, I found out and I'm going to preach on it next Sunday I think, but the happiest people in the world are the giving-est people in the world. It just works that way. The psalmist said this. Psalms 41:1 through 4, listen to this. Blessed means happy, fortunate, even to be envied. Is he/she who considers, who understands and wisely gives to the poor.

James Greer: [00:01:18] The Lord will deliver them in time of trouble. In other words, God says, as you're wisely giving and trying to take care of the poor, and Journey Church, whether you were there serving, whether you gave financially, whether you were a volunteer, you are part of that. God says, listen, you can’t out give God. That's one of our core values. You cannot out give God. As you're giving to God, and when you're giving to the poor, you're giving the God, God said, guess what? I'm going to deliver you in a time of trouble. You're going to have a time that you're in trouble. And God said, guess what? You're like putting money in the bank. I mean when you're out there serving, you're going to have a time, you're going to get to draw the money back. He says not only that. Listen. And the Lord will preserve him and keep him alive, and He's going to bless him on Earth and He will deliver him from his enemies. In other words, He's even going to take care of you when your enemies. It all started written in the context because you're out serving and giving to the Lord. And the Lord, He's going to strengthen him in his bed of illness.

James Greer: [00:02:18] And you will sustain him in his sick bed. My goodness gracious, I'm going to be preaching. I didn't have this verse yesterday. I just found it this morning. But I'm going to add it to next week's verse. And the Lord be merciful and heal their soul. That's your emotions. For I have sinned again. I'm telling you, isn't it great to be generous? Amen? I mean people were just everywhere with dirty shirts on. And before that, I mean we had people giving $100, $200, $500. There was giving and giving and giving all over the place. Service, service, service. I just want to thank you for it. It's just great. I'm looking forward to going out and serving that 90 something prisoners at Grant Parish Prison. Amen? We’re going to cook 13 turkeys. We. I’m not a cook. You don't want to eat my turkey. We were at the funeral, and the ladies were there and we're talking about we're going to have to have 9 or 10 pans of dressing. Right there, they had nine, I think nine, Lee said. I'll cook a pan, I’ll cook a pan, I’ll cook a pan. And somebody else said, I'm going to cook all 13 turkeys. And then we're going to have to have a group willing to slice those turkeys. You've got to have about 13 pumpkin pies. We got to have cranberry sauce. We got to have rolls. And you know by the time it’s over? We'll have people give so much, we can feed those 90 prisoners plus some. That's just the way it is. It just multiplies around here.

James Greer: [00:03:55] It's just fantastic. We're going to be talking about Zacchaeus today. We're really preaching on that next Sunday. I'm just getting excited about it. But we're going to be talking about Zacchaeus today, and I’m going to be talking about how Zacchaeus wanted to see Jesus. And there's a verse that I found, because Zacchaeus, he was a notorious, hated person. He was the tax collector, and he was a cheat. And I wonder why he wanted to see Jesus. It’s because in Ecclesiastes 3:11, I'm going to read it later on during the message, but I want to read it right now up front. I want to read it in the amplified verse because it says this. It says Jesus, He's made everything beautiful in its time. Because even right now, I could just stop right there. Isn't it great? No matter what you're going through in life, Jesus says, in this time, if you're one of His kids, I'm going to make it great for you one day. Amen? Things might not be good for you right now, but if you know Jesus Christ as your Savior, He says, one day it's going to be beautiful in its time. Don't give up. Amen? Don't stop. Don't quit. Hang on. Jesus said, it's coming. Look what else He said. He also has planted eternity in man, women, boys, and girls’ hearts and in the minds, listen, a divine implanted sense of a purpose working through the ages with nothing under the sun but God alone can satisfy.

James Greer: [00:05:20] Is that not important? In other words, every one of them, every one of them, every man, woman, boy, or girl has something inside of them that's missing that only God can satisfy. And then I want to read our key verse, and then we'll get into the message. We got a key verse every single Sunday. It's on my nametag. I'm surprised that many people have not asked me why I'm wearing these. I'm going to get something brighter. Y'all watch. Anyway, anyway. Our theme verse for the next three weeks is Joshua 1:9. It says, listen, have I not commanded you? Journey Church, as God has commanded you to be strong and of good courage. Amen? And don't be afraid. Why? Nor be discouraged or dismayed. For the Lord your God, He's with you everywhere you go. Man, you ought to read that every single morning. No matter where I go, God's with me. Amen? It's not the tag. It's the man. All right. Let's get on it. All right. We're raising an army, but Jesus understood how to minister. Jesus understood His mission and His ministry, and He did it everywhere he went. Jesus knew His mission, which led to a day-to-day lifestyle of ministry. See, if we're going to really have an army at Journey Church, we got to learn what our purpose is, and we got to understand to learn to minister on a day-to-day basis wherever we go. Point number one, point number one. It's our mission and ministry to learn to minister as we go and where we go.

James Greer: [00:06:49] It's to learn to minister as we go and where we go. In Luke 19:1, it says, and Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. I mean He passed through. In other words, wherever you go, start looking for an opportunity to minister. Now, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was the chief tax collector. He was very rich. I mean my goodness gracious, there he was. See, first of all, Jesus said, hey, I'm going there. In other words, wherever you go, there's somebody there that needs something. Zacchaeus was considered one of the worst of the worst of the people. He was considered nobody wanted to be around him. Nobody wanted to be with him. I want you to think of the worst person you could think of, somebody you'd never want to be with, somebody you’d never want to be around. He's worse than that. I mean he was a cheat. He was power hungry, money hungry, non-caring. He didn't care about you. He would extract the taxes from you. He didn't care if you were starving. You pay him or you get put in jail or tortured. But you know what? He sought to see Jesus. Here's this gut sucker that nobody wanted to be around, the meanest, ugliest person in the world.

James Greer: [00:08:11] And I go, how come he’d seek Jesus? See who Jesus was. But he couldn't because of the crowd. And he was of short stature. See, so what he did was he ran ahead. He climbed up on the sycamore tree to see Him for He was going to pass by. See, I want you to see something. Never believe that Zacchaeus or somebody, the worst of the worst, the richest of the richest, the meanest and meanest still don't want to know Jesus Christ. See, we start going through our modes and through our jobs or through our hobbies and we start saying, that person never would want to know Jesus Christ. And that's not true. See, that truth is that person needs to know, probably wants to know. He doesn't even know what he's missing in his life. Also, listen, you ready? Ready? Never believe that there's anybody that's done something so bad that their life can't be transformed. See, everybody wants to transfer. They want to transfer their job, transfer location, transfer church. They don't need a transfer. They need to be transformed. And another thing, no matter what you've done, no matter how bad it is, you still need Jesus, and Jesus can forgive you and transform your life. Amen? And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and he saw him. See, you got to be looking around. You've got to be looking for people that have a need, people that are missing something in their life. And He said the Zacchaeus, make haste. Come down. For today, I'm going to stay at your house. Wow. Can you believe that? He's going to stay at Zacchaeus’ house? Are you looking for the Zacchaeus? See, the reason I want Journey Church to have an army, I want them to be looking up, looking around everywhere they go.

James Greer: [00:09:55] I want to be looking for the Zacchaeus. I don't want them to be worried about that person's past. I don't want them to be worried about that person's economic status. I don't want them worried about their race, whether they’re rich or whether they’re poor. You know what they really need? You know what they're looking for? You know Jesus’ answer to that? See, Jesus can feel the whole. It said in Ecclesiastes 3:11, it says, every man, woman, boy, and girl. Said everything's going to be beautiful in its time. Some of y'all need to hear that because some of y’all came today and you're really discouraged and you really feel like you're defeated and you're wondering if things are going to get better. And in a precious name of Jesus and based on His word, it's going to get better. Amen? Some of y'all know some people, you think their lives would never change. Can I tell you something? God put eternity in their hearts. He's put it in there. You know? And they know they're missing something. They know there's something there. The problem is you see them trying to fill it. Some people try to fill it with sex. And nothing wrong with that if you're married, by the way. Andrew, don't raise your hand when your wife’s right next to you. She's going to kill you. Andrew’s going woohoo. Cheerleading back there. Anyway. But some people try to fill up with the wrong sex. How about that? Amen? Some people are trying to fill it with the wrong hobbies, sometimes with the wrong habits. Sometimes people are filling it with riches, TVs. I mean they're trying to fill this hole. You see them. They're doing the wrong things, going to the wrong place, doing the wrong thing. Some of the things, you ready? Ready? They're good things. They're just not the best thing.

James Greer: [00:11:43] There's people that are in good organizations. And they're giving their time, their money, and their energy, just not the right organization. Because see, this is not an organization. He's an organism. He's alive. He's real. And so what they're doing, see, every man, woman, boy, or girl has a longing for God in their heart. And only God can feel that. Journey Church, that's why you need an army. You need an army for you're looking for the people that have a hole in their heart that can only be filled with Jesus Christ. Amen? Your first assignment this week, this week, I'm praying that you're aware of somebody else that has a need, whether it's in your school, your work, your shopping, your play, your hobby. And as you're on a day-to-day basis and you're looking and you're aware and God makes you receptive to somebody that has a need and you help meet that need. There's all kinds of resources. I used to be, when the preacher would say something like that, I’d say, man, I don't know what I’d do. I don't know what to say. Sometimes it's just a matter of just being there. Sometimes you can invite them to church. Sometimes you can go to JamesWGreer.com. There's all kinds of free resources there. We resource the mmh of people. I used to say crap, but I quit doing that.

James Greer: [00:13:00] But we do. I mean you can go to JamesWGreer.com and go to help for Help for Hurts. It's a counseling tool. I use it all the time. I was there somewhere the other day. I did it when we were traveling, and I did it the other day. Somebody else, they were grieving. I went right to JamesWGreer.com, Help for Hurts, and grieving and I send it to them right then. And they said, man, they can start minister to them right there. There's all kinds of help there. So if somebody is in need, you can help them, you can resource them, you can pray with them, you can invite them to church. So your first assignment, you ready? You're in the army. Amen? Your first assignment this week is simply be aware, be looking around, and somebody in need, you try to minister to them. Amen? Your second assignment? Do it with joy. Man, that was great yesterday. We had all these unsaved people because I know a bunch of them. And everywhere they went, Journey Church was going, hey, hey, we're glad you're here. Amen. Oh man, we're glad you're here. Get a drink, get something to eat. And man, they were cheerful. They were happy. I don't care if you faked it, you did good.

James Greer: [00:14:01] I know a lot, they don't go to church. Some of them have a false impression of church, and I hope some of them come to this church. Amen? So number two, number two, our mission is to minister in service but to do it with joy. Amen? So we're going to look for people in need, and we're going to minister next week with joy. That means you go to work on your job with joy. Yeah, baby. I've seen some of you. Because next week, when you go to work, you're not working for that job. You're working as unto the Lord. Okay. Luke 19:6. So he, this is Zacchaeus, he made haste when Jesus said. He came down and received Jesus joyfully. Now I know that Zacchaeus is the one they were talking about with joy. So you would think the disciples and the religious leaders, they've got to be excited. Here's this ugly, mean, sorry person. He's coming down a tree, and Jesus invited him to go eat. You'd think everybody would be excited. Amen? Jesus might talk to him. He might be transformed. He might be going from this mean, ugly, uncaring tax collector, and he might be transformed. So everybody should be excited. Amen? When they saw it, they all started complaining. They were dissatisfied. They were upset with Jesus. He has gone to be a guest with the man who is such a sinner? Come on, Jesus. Be careful. Because the longer you’re a Christian, if you're not careful, the easier it is for you to forget what Jesus did for you. You say, I can't believe they come to church. They walk in there and you say, I can't believe they're here. Listen, I know what they did, and I know who they did it with.

James Greer: [00:16:01] Well, God knows what you did too. As a pastor, I'm excited they come to church. I'm excited they're here. If I could, I'd go sit with them. I mean you wouldn't believe, you wouldn't believe the notes I get from people, y'all. You absolutely would be shocked. I get notes from these religious people that say, man, you wouldn't believe who's at your church. I just want you to know what they did. Yeah, I'm glad they're at church. Amen? True story, recently, just very recently, I got a Facebook message from somebody. They don't go here. The message says, you're not going to believe this person that goes to your church. As long as that type of people go to your church, I want you to know I would never set foot in your church. That’s what I said. I said, you have not been here. Praise God, you'll never be here. Thank you, Jesus. True story. They did say that. [inaudible] Really and truly, I just got that. And they said, by the way, let me tell you what they did. I said, thank you. Are you the Holy Spirit? Can you believe that? In the last three months, I've gotten two letters like that. I had somebody else, really well-known in the area, and he wasn't being ugly. He was being nice. He said, how does your church accept those type of people? I said, pardon. I said, what type? You know, those type. No. I said, what type is that?

James Greer: [00:18:03] He said, y'all, just any type go there. I said, yeah. I said, thank God, they do. He eventually said, I wish ours would too. I said, well, I don't know. I said, but I got to worry about my house. I can't worry about somebody else's house. And he said, well, all seriously. I said, because if you’d see when they came and you see them after they're transformed, you'd be the most excited person in the world. And some people say, I can't believe they came to church. I said, I'm glad they came. I can't believe so-and-so invited them. I'm glad they did. I can't believe you went and ate with them. I wish you would. I'm serious. In fact, I'm so excited about it. You'll wait, not next Sunday because I'm going to preach on how generous our church is, but the next Sunday, I'm going to tie message into hospitality. And everybody is going to be challenged. Everybody, y’all going to have to invite somebody to go home and eat with you. You wait and see. We'll change the whole message up. That's going to be part of the army, and it's going to be somebody you don't know. Point number three, point number three. It's our mission and ministry to be generous. You know why? Man, y'all understand that Zacchaeus, he's been out cheating everybody, taking their money, ugly, mean? He gets Jesus. He gets with Jesus. Zacchaeus stood, and he said to the Lord, look, Lord, I'm going to give half of my goods to the poor. How much? You know, the religious are really the self-righteous hypocrites out front.

James Greer: [00:19:43] Did you know they counted to the penny what the tenth was? Zacchaeus gets saved, he said, I will going to give half of mine to the poor. If I've taken anything wrong, which he had, anything and anyone by false accusations, I'm going to restore them fourfold. You know why? I’m going to tell you. The true response to radical grace is radical generosity, the true response to radical grace is radical generosity. See, my goodness gracious, when we become radical generous, that's what happens to our church a lot of times. We say, hey, man, we got a youth event, a children event, a turkey trot, man, people start giving us $100, $500. Some people give $1,000. Our church, they just give, give, give. We don't even ask for it. It's amazing. But Zacchaeus, he said, listen, I've been radically forgiven. I'm going to radically give. In fact, I don't believe if you really ever understand what Jesus Christ really did for you, you got to give. You got to give. You don't go around and saying, hey, can I give, let me see, is this exactly a tenth? You don't count to the penny. Radical grace leads to radical giving. You ready? And radical forgiving.

James Greer: [00:21:03] Free in sight. If you've really been forgiven, you've been radically forgiven. You just don't realize it. You might need to stop and really realize what Jesus Christ did for you. See, He did not just radically forgive you. He adopted you, He chose you, He forgave you, and He accepted you. All right. You ready? We’ve already had two assignments. You probably don't remember them. But assignment number one is this week you're going to be aware of somebody who's in need and you're going to try to administer to them. Amen? Number two, you're going to do it with joy. Number three, you ready? Because you're going to realize that God radically forgave you, you're going to forgive everybody, but you're going to also look for somebody to do for. You can buy them lunch if they're the same sex. Don't go out and take the opposite sex to lunch and say, oh, the pastor said to take you to eat. No, I did not. Ten-four? I already learned, I got to be really clear from now on. Take somebody of the same sex out to eat. Amen? And if you can afford it, pay for it. Give. Amen? All right. Give them a gift unexpectedly. Buy them a book. Do something for somebody at work or at school that you normally wouldn't do. That's your third assignment. I want you to give a gift to somebody this week. It doesn't have to be that much. But I want you to find somebody at home, at work, where you shop, where you get your hair done, somebody someplace and give them a gift of some type. Amen? Also, if you're married, give a gift to your mate. It doesn't have to cost, but it might. It can be a time. It can be a note. It can be a chore. I'd rather buy something personally. It could be something else. I don't know. But I mean give a gift. Amen? So you basically got three assignments this week. You only grow when you give and you do.

James Greer: [00:23:28] Y’all not going to grow spiritually by just coming in here listening. You grow when you listen and you practice what you've heard. Amen? Okay. It's our mission and ministry to know that we're saved. We need to know that we're saved. The Bible says, Jesus said unto him, today salvation is coming to this house because he's also the son of Abraham. I mean when you're saved by grace, you are, but once you're saved, you should be serving, giving, and seeking to help save others. One of the ways you prove that you're saved is because you become radically, generously giving and you give that opportunity. Did you know 1 John 5 says this? He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself. In other words, you start having to witness. And one of the things the Bible says this. It says these things He has written to you, to you and to me, that believe in the Son of God that you might know that you have eternal life. God wants you to know that. He wants you to know that you have eternal life. That you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God. So one of the ways that you know is because you forgive and you give. One of the ways you know that you’re saved, what? You forgive and you give, right? And then He goes on and He tells us. He gives us, at the last, He tells us what our mission and ministry is. He says, listen, the Son of Man has come to seek, to save that which was lost.

James Greer: [00:24:54] That's your ministry, that's your mission, that's your assignment this week. You have three assignments. Look for somebody that has a need, whether it’s at school, work, shop, whatever, hobby. Help meet the need. Second, do it with joy. Third, give out a gift to somebody. Take them to lunch. Whatever you got to do. Time. So listen, in closing, I want to give you a couple of things. First of all, to be in the Lord's army, you got to have the Lord in your heart. I want to tell you, it's the greatest thing in the world. The happiest people in the world are the people that are on fire for Jesus Christ. So if you don't have the Lord, if you're not sure if you died, you'd go to Heaven, today's the day to do that. And we'll give you the opportunity. The second greatest thing you can ever do is try to continue, you ready?, to have an intimate relationship with Jesus. Not just a relationship. An intimate relationship with Jesus on a day-to-day basis. Do things like this every day before you leave. If nothing else, practice the verse that we use every day. Read this Joshua 1:9 and say, God, you've commanded me. I want to be strong today. I want to be courageous today. I don't need to be afraid today. I don't need to be discouraged today. Because Lord, God, you're with me everywhere I go. Talk to Him. Develop it. Because listen, if you develop an intimate relationship, things will begin to happen.

James Greer: [00:26:20] The Psalmist said in Psalms 97:5, it says, the mountains melt like wax at the presence of the Lord at the presence of the Lord of the whole Earth. Intimacy means I'm in God's presence. Intimacy with the Lord, it leads to expectations the mountains melted. Okay. You ready? Intimacy of the Lord leads to expectations. Intimacy, it says, hey, in His presence, the mountains melted. Intimacy with the Lord leads to expectation. God's going to do something big. God's going to bring somebody in my life. God's going to move the mountain. He's going to take care of the problem. Intimacy with the Lord leads to expectation, and then it makes me available to God. I want to be available because God, there's no telling what you're going to do. It's not I have to be with God. I want to be with God. Be sure you're saved. Accept your assignments. Focus on an intimacy with God. Go out here with an expectation of God doing something great in your life. Make yourself available. Would you stand and let me pray with you and pray for you? God, you're an awesome God. God, you're so big and so magnificent, we can't even imagine, we can't comprehend. I thank you that the assignments that you give us are for us to just simply represent you. As you went about every time you saw somebody in need, man, you wanted to meet that need and you did it. We're supposed to be going around on a day-to-day basis. God, wherever we're at, whatever we're doing, we know that you're with us. Help us be aware, not just focus on ourselves and our own family and not to be so selfish.

James Greer: [00:28:09] But to be aware of where we're at when somebody else is in need. Help us to pray with them, to invite them to church, go to the resources and give them a resource. God help us to do whatever we're doing this week. Let's do it with joy, the joy of the Lord, whether it’s at work or a hobby. Whatever we’re doing, let's do it with joy. God help us to be generous, generous with our forgiveness, generous with our giving. Help us look for somebody to give a gift to. Help us do it with our mates. Start with our own homes. And God, for those that don't know Jesus Christ, I pray today would be the day they'd be ready to give their hearts and their lives and just come and say, hey, I believe Jesus died on the cross. I know I’m a sinner. I want to invite Him in my heart to be the Lord of my life. Maybe you need to follow through in public baptism and today's the day. Maybe you want to join the church. Maybe you need somebody to pray with you and to pray for you. Maybe you came today just kind of hopeless. And God said, I'm going make everything beautiful in its time. And you need somebody to pray with you, just to encourage you. You know that that time of beauty is on its way. Maybe now that you're having that intimate time with God right now because He's here, if your heart has been opened today, you have this intimacy right now with God, that intimacy should lead to expectation of God doing something in you and through you. Make yourself available. Just tell God, I'm available. What do you want me to do? Where do you want me to go? I ask it all in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Bruce Goulart: [00:29:58] On behalf of Pastor James, I just want to say thank you for joining our online experience this morning. Man, what an amazing service as we continued our series, Raising an Army. Y'all, this has been an amazing message so far, and we need to raise an army together. Y'all, I hope that y’all take back home this information that y'all got this morning from Pastor James. And if you need someone to pray with you right now, there are people on standby that are wanting to pray with you right now, y'all. So click on the link that's in the description, fill it out, and someone will get with you right away. So again, I just want to say thank you so much for joining our online experience this morning, and I hope you have a great week.

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