Assemble | Assemble in Love

Understanding That Love Is The Foundation Of Spiritual Gifts

James Greer
Jul 17, 2022    29m
We all have gifts that God has given us. But we must understand that love is the foundation of spiritual gifts. If we do anything and it is not done in love, it is worthless and means nothing. To be effective, we must understand what it means to truly love. Many things are temporary, but love is eternal 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] Morning, Journey Church. It's an exciting day already. Amen? Didn't that praise team rock the house? And our leader, Little Michael, it's his birthday. Happy birthday. You're such a big boy. If you know what I mean. Man, I'll tell you, stuff the bus. We don't have the envelope to put the money in, but you can just write a check and write stuff the bus. It's going to be so much. We're having so much fun, I tell you. Man, I'm glad you're here today, because if you really listen today and there's an insert in here talking about love. And really the truest sense, it's how to have the best life you could possibly have. We're preaching a series on assemble, but it's how to assemble a church, how to assemble your marriage, but it's just how to assemble a relationship. But it was really written on how to have the best life you could ever have. And when you tell somebody you love them, a lot of times you write a little note and you say, I love you. A lot of times you hang the phone up, and you say, Hey, I love you, brother. You're really saying, Listen, I'm going to be patient with you. Uh oh. I'm going to be kind with you. I'm not going to be jealous with you. I'm not going to be boastful. I'm not going to be selfish. I'm going to be supportive. I'm going to be loyal.

James Greer: [00:01:29] I'm going to be trustworthy. I was in the staff this morning. I was kind of kidding with them. And I was telling them what real love was all about. And I said, You know, that's what it really means. When you tell somebody you love them, that's what it means. One of them said, I'm going to quit saying that. We need to be more selective. Not really that we need to be more selective, we just need to be more honest in how to apply it. Because we all want a better life. Amen? All right. Let me pray. Father, this is going to be a great day today. I just thank you for this message. God, I just pray that you give me the Words to say and the way to say it. But God, I also pray that our words, your words will fall on good soil. In other words, I pray that hearts would be receptive because see, I know Satan tries to come in, and he likes to try to steal the Word before it gets in the heart. God, I pray that they can hear the Word, apply the Word, God, radically change their life. And I pray it in the precious name of Jesus and in the name of His blood. And everybody said, Amen. Well, I want you to know that God says that every one of you are important to Him, every one of you have a gift, and every one of you have a gift. That gift is either a service gift or it's a speaking gift.

James Greer: [00:02:30] But what I want to do, I want to help you on a couple of things. One, if you have a gift, even if you found it, if you're all stressed out, you couldn't use it. Amen? So I'm going to give you a couple of simple things over and over and over for four weeks that if you can apply them, you won't be so stressed out where you can. The other thing I want you to know, even if you knew what your gift was, if you can't do it in love, it wouldn't be effective. So there's two things you've got to learn. Quit being so stressed out and to do it in love, right? Amen. So first of all, you've got genuine concerns. I've got concerns. You got concerns. We all have. That concern is really when you express through dependance on God. I've got problems, God. I do have problems, by the way. You probably do too. We all do. I got some personal problems. I got some physical problems. I got some financial problems. It all depends on how I'm going to handle them. I'm going to say, God, I can't handle these. What are you going to do? In other words, I really have a genuine problem. But instead of saying, Hey, God, I'm going to say, God, what are you going to do? So I'm going to give them to God.

James Greer: [00:03:33] Amen? Now, here's fearful concern. So that's a genuine concern. Fearful concern is this. God, I have problems. I'm going to depend on myself. So, God, what am I going to do? See, I have a fearful. I refuse to let it go. Instead, I keep piling it on my shoulders, piling it on my shoulders, and the situation gets out of hand, beyond control. And I'm trying to handle it. So now I'm stressed out, anxiety. I'm all worried. God never intended you or built you that way. He didn't intend you to say, What am I going to do? He intended you to say, What's God going to do? We all say this. We say, Hey, preachers, priests, they say, John 10:10. I've come, Jesus comes, you got life and you can have it more abundantly. Amen? Yeah, but you're not having it. You can't have it living with continued stress that life and you say what you're going to do instead of what God's going to do. And you can't have it without - you ready? Without having a consistent fellowship with Christ. Listen. When you get saved, you get in the right relationship. But you've got to have a consistent fellowship with Christ. In fact, listen, you ready? Everything. You're going to hear this for four weeks so you might as well get it and write it down. Everything in your life rises and falls on your personal fellowship with Christ.

James Greer: [00:04:43] Everything in your life rises and falls on your personal fellowship with Christ. You're having a problem with your relationship, with your marriage. Uh oh. Goes back to your fellowship. You're having financial problems? It goes back to your fellowship with Christ. You're having work problems? It goes back to your fellowship. Everything in your life rises and falls, depending on your what? Fellowship with Christ. I like to see the upstairs packed like that too. Amen, up there. Whoa. So, man, that's looking good. Okay. So now let's get to the message because we've been talking a whole lot about gifts and how to use them. And we talked about basically, there's two types of gifts. And one's a speaking gift, and one's a service gift. And 1 Peter 4 tells us all about it. I love the way 1 Peter puts it because each of you, each of you have been blessed. If you're saved, you've been blessed. You've not only being blessed that you're going to go to Heaven. That's a great gift. Amen? That's the greatest gift of all. You've been blessed with one of God's many wonderful gifts: speaking gifts or servant gifts. And you're to use it to serve one another. So use your gift well. He gave you a gift. It's a blessing to have it. It's a wonderful gift. Use it and do it well. If you have the speaker gift, preach the Word, brother, spread the message.

James Greer: [00:06:02] If you have a gift of helping people, listen, do it in the strength that God has supplied you. See, when you're using your gift, whether it's speaking or serving, God's giving you the strength to do it. It's an unbelievable gift. So you have a supernatural strength. Everything should be done in a way that it will bring honor to God because of Jesus Christ who is glorious and powerful forever. I mean, when you're doing it, man, God says, I'm going to give you the power to do it. So while the truth is that God gives you a gift, if you don't use a gift or if you're not assembled together the right way, it doesn't really matter. It doesn't matter. It's not just applying to the church. It applies to your family. It applies on your job. It applies to our staff. It applies to every single relationship. I use 1 Corinthians 13 almost every single marriage. And I'm going to read it in a minute. A wedding, I read that. Matter of fact, I thought God just put it in it for weddings. I don't know. But in the context, this in 1 Corinthians 12, it tells you that it's written in the context of gifts. Listen. 1 Corinthians 12:31. I want you, Journey Church, Brother James, to desire the best gifts. Don't you want to desire the best gifts? Amen? So I'm going to show you a much better way.

James Greer: [00:07:26] God says, I want you to desire the best gift. And not only that, I want to show you how to have a better life. God says, I want you to know what it is, and I want to show you how to have it. And I want everybody to have a better life. Everybody wants a better life, whether you're married, whether you're single, whether you're divorced, whether you're young, whether you're old. Amen? I mean, I want a better life. And so He said, I assembled you together as you mature and you use your gift, you can have a better life. See, the truth behind the gifts, the truth behind marriage, relationships, and everything, the real truth to have a better life is understanding love. 1 Corinthians 13 was written in the context of spiritual gifts. We must use our gifts in love. It says this. What if you could speak in all the languages of humans and even in angels? But if you did not love others, it'd be for nothing more than noisy gongs and clanging cymbals. You know what it's saying? This applies to relationships. It applies to marriage. It applies to friendships. We can talk. But if we can't communicate in love, if we can't learn to talk the right way and communicate the right way, it's like a noisy gong and a clanging cymbal. The truth is, you might even love the person. And to some extent, they might love you.

James Greer: [00:08:51] But because you haven't learned to communicate in love, you're irritating that person. You just become an irritation. I've taught you over and over and over, love does not equal joy. We all know people we love, but we just don't like them. You got to learn to communicate in love. Communicate in love is on the way to equal joys. When we learn to talk in love, we begin to love each other. But when we don't learn to talk in love, we irritate the other person. And we might not even know it. The other person might not even know why you're irritating them, that you just irritate them. They see you coming. You're irritated with them. I know people, when I see them coming, I say, Oh, precious Jesus. Where can I hide? Yeah, y'all do too. Don't try to be holier than thou. You know it is. You're just saying, Oh, no. I love them. They're just irritating because they have not learned to communicate in love. And that's what the Bible said. It says, you know, but there's two things you do. Hopefully, you can help them learn to communicate in love. But the other part is this. I don't like this part. We've got to learn to listen in love. I don't like that. Listening is hard, especially you're going to try to listen in love. You know what I mean? And then it goes, hey, listen.

James Greer: [00:10:11] What if you could prophesy? Or what if you could prophesy and understand all the secrets and all the knowledge? And what if I had faith to move mountains? I'd have nothing unless I had love. If I could preach the Word and had great faith in impossible things, it'd just be nothing. Just like I'm talking to myself. It wouldn't mean anything. Nothing at all. That's what I said. But you know, what if I gave away everything I own? Let myself be burned alive for you. That is not going to happen. No. I love you. I don't love you that much. Just don't do it. But what if I did? I'm not. But what if I did? I'd gained nothing unless I loved others. Do you understand what it's saying? In other words, the Bible says that, What if I say he who so sparingly will also reap sparing? In other words, I gave away everything. Let me ask you a question about that. How's your sowing life? Whatever you sow, if you sow sparingly, you're going to reap sparingly. I just say [inaudible] You talking about stuff the bus. We have people, sometimes it doesn't matter, whatever project we have, we say it, man, they cannot wait to write a check. They just sow here, they sow there. Some of them I say, I just can't believe. They need to quit doing that.

James Greer: [00:11:39] I told my wife about one of them. I said, Every time, we can say a family has a problem, we're going to do this problem, every time, they're the first one to write a check. I said, I'm worried about them. My wife said, God just takes care of them. They don't know any better. Just don't worry about them. And I get God does just take care of them. So how is your sowing? In other words, what are you sowing spiritually? Where are you sowing financially? Where are you sowing words? Sometimes people say, Everybody's ugly to me. I'm thinking, Yeah, buddy, you just told on yourself. Who sows badly will reap badly. I mean, it's something. We got some great people in our church. I just think you just love it because not only do you do that. So let us give as we possess in our heart, not grudgingly or of necessity, for God loves a cheerful giver. Wouldn't it be great when we said, Everybody stand up, stand up, we're going to have an offering. And everybody said, Oh, praise God. We get to give. I'm just saying. I think that'd be cool. God loves a cheerful giver. I'm going to try that one Sunday. I'm going to do the little thing they do on there. And I'm going to say, okay, everybody get ready to clap. It's time to take an offering. Let me get back to the message anyway. Second, we got to understand what true love is because when we understand what true love is, it's written, it says, I want you to have the best life you possibly can have.

James Greer: [00:13:05] And when it's talking about that, it's talking to every one of us. Whether you're single, married, or in a relationship, young or old, He said, I want you to have the best life you can have. And to do that, you've got to understand that it starts out very first thing. Love is kind. Love is patient. Love's never jealous, never boastful. Do you know what patience really is? I'm not really that good at it. I always thought patience is you just sit there and listen, listen, listen, listen, listen, listen, listen. That ain't going to work. So that's some patience. That's patience. True patience is when you fully accept the other person's character. You fully accept the way God created that person. That's just who they are. That's the way God created them. That's the way they look. That's their intellectual ability. That's who they are. So many times when people start in a relationship, it's okay. You accept them. You love them. Then you get serious and maybe you get married. Then you start trying to change them. Can I tell you, whether you're single, whether you're dating, what you see is what you get. And it's not your job to change them. If they change, God's going to change them.

James Greer: [00:14:13] You get them to church. If they change, if they need to be changed, it's the Holy Spirit that's going to change them, not you. Part of patience is learning to accept the other person's character. You accept them, and they accept you the way God created them. God said, You're fearfully and wonderfully made. Amen? So you're patient. I'm not going to preach on every one of those in a relationship because you ought to know it. You're in a relationship that's kind and patient and jealous and boastful and proud. And you know what kindness really is. Kindness is you come to the point, you recognize the needs of the other person. I know what their need is. Let me help meet that need. I recognize it. That's being kind. It's not always just kind words. I know a lot of people speak kind words all the time, and they're sorry as can be. Everybody said, They're so kind. They're so kind. No, they're not. They're lazy, lazy, lazy. They use their kindness to cover up their laziness. True kindness is you know the needs of the other person before they ask, and you try to meet it. See, now we're talking about true love. So when you say I love somebody, you better be knowing what you're talking about. Because when you love somebody, you're going to be kind. You going to be patient.

James Greer: [00:15:26] You're never jealous, never boastful, never proud. See, the real problem is in most relationships - y'all ready? It's easy to see the problem in the other person, isn't it? Oh, yeah. I mean, it's all the time. Man, you can see, if they'd change this, if they’d change that, if they'd stop doing that, man, we'd have a better relationship. So it's really easy to see the problem in the other person. But the best thing to do is focus on you being a better person. You focus on you being the right person, not changing the other person. If you'd focus on you being the right person, ask God if they need to be the Holy Spirit, change the other person and the Holy Spirit tell you where you need change, you'd have a better relationship. That's good, Brother James. Let's to add that. Don't be rude. Rude probably goes along with being unkind, impatient, jealous, boastful, proud anyway. You know, you can have all the gifts, all the talents in the world. But listen, if you're rude and you're ugly, that don't amount to anything. Everybody knows people, they're gifted and they're talented, but they're no use. They're no use in the marriage and relationships or at church at all. It's just not worth anything because of the way they act. Second, second, love isn't selfish. When you tell somebody you love them, you mean I'm not going to be selfish in this relationship.

James Greer: [00:16:45] I'm not going to be a quick tempered. Uh oh. I don't even keep records of wrong that others have done. Isn't it good that God's not that way? You know what anger really is? Anger artificially helps us to feel we're in control when we're out of control. I've done that before. I was so mad. I just get angry, and the real truth is I'm angry because I feel like I'm in control when I'm really out of control. It makes me feel like I got power when I'm powerless. That's all angry is. That's what it is. Selfishness, a quick temper. They go hand in hand. When you're selfish, you don't get your way, what do you do? Lose your temper. Lose your cool. You're not effective. That's not effective in your relationships, not effective in your marriage, not effective on the job, not effective in church. See, this applies to having a better life. Period. God's saying, I want you to have the best life possible. Just do it. Period. And then I love it. Listen. I don't bring up your past. Now listen, sometimes you got to talk about your past. Amen? You do things, said things you shouldn't have done. You got to deal with. But listen, don't keep on and on and on. Don't be historical. I mean, having ten years go and you still bring it up. Amen? Aren't you glad that God doesn't bring up everything you've done in your past? Aren't you glad when you confess it and forsake it, He forgives you?

James Greer: [00:18:06] Amen? I'd hate to wake up every morning, God start saying, man, Brother James, you ain't believe how sorry you are. I'd be sorry, sorry. I wouldn't be able to come to church. I just can't believe He forgives everything and forgets everything. Amen? That's the kind of God we have. Why don't you try that? Deal with it. I'm not saying don't deal with it. But deal with it. Let it go. Don't keep bringing it up. If you want to go forward in the relationship, quit bringing it up. Man, if you keep looking in the mirror and you keep looking back, you're going to crash. You're going to crash that marriage. You're going to crash that relationship. God didn't do that. Third, third, love rejoices. Rejoices in the truth, but not in evil. I mean, we got so much stuff to rejoice in. Our church, we ought to be rejoicing and thanking God. Let me give you some things to rejoice in. Some people just have a hard time rejoicing. They come to church. We just baptized somebody. Amen? And they'd say, well, the water was wrong. Why didn't they do it on the stage? Why didn't they? I mean, some people, you just can't make them happy.

James Greer: [00:19:11] Poor things. I mean, you know? let me give you something. This year alone, we've already had 101 new members. Amen? That's something to rejoice about. I was going to say this year alone, we've already baptized 48, but I mean 58. But it's 59. Amen? Already this year. All ages. Youths, kids, everybody. Huh? We got a trampoline park being put together. It's paid in full and then some thanks to y'all. Amen? We're going to have stuff the bus. That's going to be fantastic. We've already got three-fourths of it paid. I think, isn't it, Josh? It's almost paid for. I think $7,500. I think we've already got $5,055. After this Sunday and next Sunday, we'll have $7,000 or $8,000 because y'all give to that, because y'all are giving people less fortunate than you. And God will bless you because you're sowing. You don't have to wait till the end. If you want to give, you can give this Sunday. Youths are getting saved, getting on fire. People are getting baptized almost every Sunday. We've got celebrate recovery. That's for people with hurts and hang-ups and everybody, they got all kinds of problems. People going there. But you know a lot of those people - y'all ready? A lot of those people got out of jail. A lot of those people were on drugs, and a lot of those are wonderful people got their act cleaned up and they're some of the best service at Journey Church.

James Greer: [00:20:24] Isn't that great? People say, See, somebody told me the day that was in the - I won't say where. They said, you got those kind of people going there? I said, Yeah, baby. I said, I sure do. I said, Guess what? We got somebody worse than that coming. He said, How do your people let those people come? I said, Our people are glad they come here. I said, If you ever see their lives change, you'd want them at church, but you can't have them. So they got lots to rejoice about, right? Many churches are closing and we're growing. Did you know on average we got to up 100 in attendance from last year? Amen? That's good. You know, we're growing, man. I mean, we should be rejoicing. We got so many things. And VBS. The goal was to have 150 sign up. We got 183 people signed up. And you're talking about looking for volunteers. Y'all been signing up for volunteers. The list is just going. I hear people at church saying, We can't get any volunteers. We can't get any volunteers. Oh, man, we got. Thank y'all. We got volunteers and volunteers and volunteers. Thank God. Amen? And you can still volunteer, and you can still sign up. Amen? We got an unbelievable organization, and our staff is one of the greatest staff probably in the world. And, hey, we love it. And guess what? Guess what? We love each other.

James Greer: [00:21:38] I had a guy telling me in Baton Rouge, I won't tell you who, what, when, where. He said the worship leader and the pastor would not talk to each other. One of them had to get off stage before the other one came in. I said, Boy, I bet that's great worship. True story. I said, you mean you don't talk to. No, no. I want him to get off before I get up. I said, That's the way to settle it. We got this unbelievable. Can I tell you about school outreach? I'm going to. Thanks. But anyway, I just go for the fun part. We got that bus out there. We going to drive that bus. Not air conditioning. I may drive my car and then get on the bus. But I might not. I don't know. But anyway. When we go to Leslie Moore, we're going to get out of there and hand out all those backpacks. Is that going to be cool? Amen? And then if you're a teacher, if you're a teacher at Journey Church, we'll be going to your school. And every single teacher in that school will get a cup. And one side says Journey. On the other side, it says Logo of your school and in honor of you being a teacher going to our school. And it'll have candy in there, and it'll have a card. And we're going to be going all over in that bus.

James Greer: [00:22:55] That's not air conditioning. You'll be going in that bus. I might be going on the bus. But the point is this. Man, God is rocking the house at Journey Church. You should be rejoicing. Amen? And we got a grief support. We've got small groups. We just got so much going on. Man, and what I'm saying, we should be not only rejoicing, we should be speaking out loud. Not only a Journey Church. When we get outside the church. Amen? Let me tell you what. Yeah, yeah. Amen. You ought to do that with your family. It's easy to think of great things about your mate and your kids. Amen? We think about them, but it's hard to speak them out loud. Rejoice. She got a lot to rejoice about. Not really, Michael. It's the other way around. Sorry. She's tough. Anyway. Rejoice. Amen? Start thinking about things that you can rejoice about your mate, about your kids, but speak them out loud. Amen? Some of you have a job. You ought to be glad you got a job. All right. Enough about rejoicing. Four, four. When you tell somebody you love them, you're supportive, loyal, helpful, and trustworthy. See, that's what I'm talking about. Let me ask you this. Do you support and love and trustworthy in your home? In your church? On the job? Do you support the ministry at church? I mean, I'm not preaching on tithing, but do you tithe? Oh, if you don't give 10%, it's hard to say, hey, man, I love the church.

James Greer: [00:24:35] See, that's what I'm talking about. People talk the talk. It's easy to talk. It's a little harder to walk. I love the church. I love Journey Church. I love the preacher. Do you tithe? Oh, that's different. That's the first 10%. Are you loyal? Well, I'm here when I can. Go somewhere else. I watch it on TV. I go home. Are you trustworthy? See what I mean? That's true love. When you say you love, I want you to know what love is. I want you to know because God wants you to have the best life possible. Not much loyalty today. I can tell you that. But God wants you to know that. He wants you to be that way. He wants you to understand. In your marriage, are you supportive? Are you loyal to that mate? And are you trustworthy? Your mate needs to see absolutely my mate is supportive, loyal, and trustworthy. If not, you need to start working on it. All three of them. You want to have the best marriage that God wants for you? This is all about having the best possible life. The whole message is about, it's not about so much about gifts. It's about having the best life you can have. That's part of it. You can have all the gifts, all the talents in the world. But if you don't have love, it's not going to be effective in the long run because the truth is love never fails.

James Greer: [00:26:08] He's saying, Listen, I want you to have something. You can't make the other person have that. But if you have it, no matter what happens in your life, you can still succeed. You can't make anybody do anything, but you can do what God tells you to do. See, this is the type of love that God has. You ready? For me and you. See, God is supportive. God is loyal to us. God trusts us. But most of all, we can trust God. See, that's the good news. Jesus loves us. His love will never fail for us, no matter what we do. Yeah. He died on the cross. He rose the third day. But he continues to love us. He continues to have patience with us. He continues to forgive us. He continues not to bring up our past. Man, we've got a great God. If we mess up, guess what? He still loves us. So really, not only is this a picture of the relationship we should have with each other, it's a picture of how much Jesus Christ loves me and you. So as I get ready to close, I want you to know, if you don't know Him as your personal savior, as a relationship, today is the day. There has to be a time that you're born again.

James Greer: [00:27:16] You're born once physically. You've got to be born again spiritually. There's got to be a time that you told God, I know I'm a sinner. Forgive me of my sins and come into my heart. If you hadn't done that, today is the day. Now, listen, next to that, you come to church because you want a better life. That's why you're here. You have to have a consistent day-to-day fellowship with Christ. Everything, everything rises and falls depending on your fellowship with Christ. Some of you need to say, if you're not saved, you need to come to the altar and get Christ. Some of you say, Yeah, there's a time I invited Christ, but I hadn't had a consistent fellowship with Christ. I want to quit blaming other people for my problems. I want to let that go. He said, Don't keep bringing up the past. So if there's somebody you need to forgive, today's the day to forgive them. Let it go. And you hadn't been having a consistent fellowship with Christ. So you're blaming the other people for your problems. You're blaming your mate, you're blaming your job, you're blaming everything. It's you. But you don't have to stay that way. Number one, you can have a genuine concern with all your problems, but you can quit saying, What am I going to do. And today, you can say, Hey, what's God going to do? And you can give them to Him.

James Greer: [00:28:30] You can say, I've not been having a genuine, continuous relationship, I mean fellowship with God and I need to say, God, forgive me. Today I want to start doing it on a day-to-day basis. I want to leave here today, knowing that I can have an abundant life. I don't want to carry the problems with me. Some of you have never really been publicly baptized since you were saved. Maybe you were something as a child or a young person. You didn't know what you were doing. Today you say, Hey, man, I want to follow through in baptism, and I want to do it today. Some of you have been coming long enough, but you never made it official that you want to join the church. We're going to have people in the front. I mean, today is the day to radically change your life. But you have to do it. Nobody can do it for you. Would you stand and let me pray? God, you're such an awesome God. I thank you for your Word. I thank you for the power. Most of all, I thank you for your love. I thank you for your love for us. I thank you for the love for this church. I thank you that people's life can be radically changed today, that they can have a life, they can have an abundant life. God, help us to humble ourselves where you'll lift us up. It's in the precious name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

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