How to Increase Your Faith

You must sow and reap to enjoy the fruits of the holy spirit

James Greer
May 21, 2017    23m
Pastor James Greer uses the word of God to help us learn how to grow our faith. He talks about how we must sow what we wish to reap. He uses several bible passages to help make this point clear. When you apply this knowledge to your life you can begin to reap the fruits of the holy spirit. 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: 00:02 Let's hear it for Journey man, Journey worship team, you all knocked it out man. Let's see, man, I'll tell you what. I'm so excited about the new series we're starting. It's going to be Faith it work. But it's going to be today how to increase your faith. Before we do that. I want to tell if there's anybody that's in the military, been in the military. If you'll stand up. We want to recognize you and thank God for the service that you have, amen. So we appreciate you all. Thank God for you all. We appreciate you.
James Greer: 00:34 I will tell you the series that we're talking about today is increasing your faith, but James 2:20 says, "Faith without works is dead." Now you know how God does, I start a new series and God just says, okay here's some training ground.

James Greer: 00:50 I was out of town this week and we went from Quebec to Toronto, And we got there and I went from the Canadian Airlines to Delta Airlines, and they say, you go sit in this little room and you can't leave until your baggage gets here. Well my baggage didn't get there. So the plane leaves. Now what I should've done by faith, I should've just believed that they will come give me some tickets, I'll be able to get on a plane and leave. It doesn't work like that. They sent me back over there, after three hours, they booked me on another flight at 10:00 that night. They said go to the hotel, be back at 4:00, and they still sent me to the wrong airport. Now what I'm trying to tell you is faith without works is dead. I'm going to tell you, I had faith that I was going to get home, but I had to work my rear to get home. Thank you Darryl, Amen. So faith without works is dead.

James Greer: 01:40 What I want you to learn is the balance between the divine factor and power of God, and the human factor that God gives us to do our part. It's like praying without working is empty, but working without prayer is powerless. But when you start doing the prayer of God, and working for God, what looked impossible now becomes possible. And see it's like your church, if you want Journey Church to grow like I do, and lives to get saved...we already baptized six people today. Six people. Hey you all, this morning I got ready, there was no water in the baptistery, but faith without works is dead. So somebody had to fill it up. So instead of doing it at the beginning of the service, we did at the end of the service, and brother it was ice cold. But we did it, we finished it. And I tell you man thank you Jesus, I mean people are getting saved, people were getting baptized. God's blessing us an unbelievable ways.

James Greer: 02:36 But you know, there's a lot of people that are saved, they have faith. But their faith has never grown. They've never increased their faith. You're still living the same way you did when you first came here and, you graduate. There's no better time to learn to increase your faith than right now. Because I'm going to tell you, this will apply to your life, my life, and everybody's life. The key verse is Luke chapter 17:5, the apostle said to the Lord Jesus, "Increase our faith." Man, they had seen Jesus do all kinds of things, they'd seen him give the blind sight, and heal the sick, and he feeds the 5,000. And Jesus was just doing all these miracles, and the apostles had been watching it and they come up and say, "Lord, increase our faith." Man, when I think about that, Lord, I want my faith increased. Not only do I want my faith to increased, I want your faith increased. Amen. And so what you've got to know first of all, if you want your faith increased, you've got to know and believe that your faith can be increased.

James Greer: 03:41 In Second Corinthians chapter 10:15, the last part said, "Having hope, that as your faith is increased, we will greatly enlarge." In the living translation it says, "So we hope that your faith will grow, such that the boundaries of the work among you shall be extended." Do you understand that Paul's teaching [inaudible], and he said listen, this is so important. If my faith increases, and your faith increases, the ministry and the work that God's given us will increase. We'll see more lives change, we'll see more people get saved, and that's what it's all about. Amen.

James Greer: 04:09 In Luke chapter 17:5, the apostles said, "Lord, increase my faith. Jesus answered them and said, if you had the faith of the grain of a mustard seed." Of a what? mustard seed. Seed is the key. You might say to the Sycamore Tree, be thou plucked up by the roots, and be thou planted in the sea, and it must obey. There's a key word right there in Luke 17:5-6, and it has to do with [inaudible] and seed, are the key to increasing your faith as you're learning. Point number two is this, what you speak to by faith, has to respond. What you speak to by faith, has to respond. Jesus didn't say, well, I'm thinking about it in my heart. He said, you speak to the problem. I mean you speak to the problem, or the problem will what, speak to you. So in other words when you guys have a problem, you got to learn to speak to it. Listen, I don't really have a problem with a sycamore tree. I got a lot of things I'm sick of in my life, Amen. And that's the things is I've got to learn to speak to. But before I could speak to it in faith, I have to get it into my heart.

James Greer: 05:27 Romans 10:8 says, what does it say, "The word is near to you. It's in my mouth and it's in my heart. That is the word of faith which we preach." In other words, faith that works. If we want to increase our faith, it has to be in our mouth and in our heart. Verse 9 says, of Romans 10, "If you confess with your mouth to Lord Jesus, and you believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, thou shall be saved." See you can be here today, it can be your first time, it could be your 20th time. The Bible says, "If you confess with your mouth, and you believe in your heart, that God raised Jesus from the dead, you could be saved." That means saved, that you go spend an eternity in heaven instead of hell. That's what it's saying. But that's not all it says, listen, you can be here, confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead and you will be saved. It could mean healed, it can mean be recovered, it can mean to make whole your life, it's just something missing, it can mean safety, it can mean supernatural protection. And what I want you to know, the same way that you are saved and going to heaven if you'll learn, is the same way that you have to learn to increase your faith as you go. See then it says this, God's word it has principles that they'd have to apply to increase your faith. Verse 10 says, "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." Unto deliverance, unto rescue.

James Greer: 06:39 So we have to get the seed of God's word into our heart. And that's so important, because what happens when God's word talk about into our heart, talking about our ground. That's why our heart is the soul. You got to come to church, you've got to have a tender heart, it's got to have good ground. So many people, they come to church, but they're not receptive to the word of God. See when you come in, and maybe I'm just coming because of some reason, I don't really come. You can preach to a group like this and some person will go home and their life will be changed, some marriage will be changed, some people will fine peace and the power of God, and some people had a hard heart and they didn't receive anything. So you have to pray that you don't have a stony heart. So I guess my question will be to yours, how's your heart today?

James Greer: 07:23 And then verse 11 says, the Scripture says, "Whosoever believes in him, shall not be ashamed." I love that. Trey said a while ago, he said when he was in elementary school, he hated it for them to call on his name because he was ashamed. But God's word says, listen, the very first verse 11 of Romans 10 says, "Whosoever believes in him should not be ashamed." Every single Sunday at the end of the service, did you know I give an invitation? I give an invitation for salvation for us going to him, I gave an invitation as far as being saved, you want to be made whole, you need a new peace, a power, a protection of God, and God said, don't be ashamed of me. You want to come and be baptized because you're not ashamed to accept Christ, because you're not ashamed. So one of the reasons we give an invitation is we want to give you an opportunity not to be ashamed of Jesus Christ.

James Greer: 08:07 Verse 12 says, There's no difference between the Jews and the Greeks, for the same Lord is rich all that call upon him." Don't you love this? It doesn't matter if you're rich or poor. Doesn't matter if you're black or white. It doesn't matter where you came from. It doesn't matter where you at. God's promises and principles are the same for every single one of us, if we'll apply it. And he sums it up and says, "For whosoever calls upon my name shall be saved." Let me ask you, do you all know what whosoever means in the Greek? Darryl? It's really tough, it means whosoever. Anybody. It's for everybody. It says, whosoever calls, whoever says with their mouth's, whoever confesses with their mouth that he is the Lord, they shall be saved.

James Greer: 08:59 Why? Because verse 14, he says, "And then you shall call on him." How do you call, with your mouth. "How can you call on whom you did not believe, and how can they believe in him who they have not heard?" Do you understand why it's so important to come to church and have a receptive heart? You're going to have something in your life and you're not going to know how to handle it because you've never heard it. You said, look I've got fear, I'm so afraid. Well you weren't in church when he said God didn't give you a spirit of fear, but of power, of love and of sound mind. You say well I just worry, you weren't in church when they said, don't worry about anything, but pray about everything. You see, how can you do that by faith if you not heard it? Do you understand why it's so important to be in church? You're going face a situation, a circumstance, nothing but the word of God can change it. And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they be sent. This next verse I really love, and it is written, "How beautiful are the feet, of those who preach the gospel of peace, and who shall bring glad tidings of good" Hey you all, after church, everybody needs to go behind the church by the gym, and the youth, amen, are having a fundraiser. It's jambalaya and it's good, I promise. You need to go back there and buy it, even whether you have supper or not, buy four or five to support them. But when you go by, my wife's back there, say Debbie, brother James sure has pretty feet. You all just lay it on, because she doesn't think my feet are very pretty. She doesn't even think, when we were younger, she don't even think they smell very good. I mean, I used to try to torture her, so she just needs to hear that I had beautiful feet. Amen. But what's really the beautiful about the feet, it's not the feet, it is coming up here and preaching the word of God that can change your life. That you can have the peace and power and joy of God, from the word is preached.

James Greer: 10:36 Verse 16:10, "But they have not obeyed the Gospel. For Israel says, Lord, who has believed our report?" Then verse 17 of Romans 10, it says, "So faith comes by hearing, and hearing comes by the word of God." So if you're going to increase your faith, you got to increase your hearing of God's word. In other words you need to be in church, you need to be in the word, you need to be under the word. Most people never learn how to increase their faith. You ready? What you seed, you will receive. In other words, what you sow, you will reap.

James Greer: 11:15 Now here's the principle to learn, it is so important, I'm not good at it but it applies. If you could learn this one principle, what you seed, you're going to see. If you could learn this one principle, that I'm going to tell you, it'll change every relationship in your life. Every single one. What you do is you don't sow what you reap, you sow what you want to reap. It's so hard because listen, when you're ugly to me, I want to be ugly back, right? And it's every situation, on the job if somebody is bad, you want to be, you go to school and they're talking about you, you want to talk about them. So now you are sowing what you reaped, instead of sowing what you want to reap. What you've got to do, is learn to speak God's word and God's principles on what you want, not what you're getting. You don't do because somebody's saying to you, you do what God says to do. So if you'll learn a principle, don't sow what you're reaping, instead of sow what you want to read, Amen. It's this sowing and receiving, this sowing and reaping. It's one of God's first laws, it is one of God's first principles in the whole Bible.

James Greer: 12:12 And there's worldly principles and there's godly principles. In other words, if I say everybody pray for me, I'm going to jump off here and I don't want to hit the ground. There's the law of gravity. You can all pray, but I'll bet you all anything, that I hit the ground. Right? I'm going to tell you how these laws work, it is so crazy, you have to get on a plane. It is heavy, it looks like it impossible, but yet it has so much power, so much thrust it overcomes the law of gravity. But there is a problem about that though. After a while, that plane has the land and refuel. Because if it runs out of fuel, it won't overcome the power of gravity, and it will crash. You ready? So many Christians don't understand it's the same thing. The law of the world, and the principles and the lust of the world, they're always trying to draw you down. They're always trying to discourage you. They're always trying to defeat you. Listen, it's God's word and God's principles, quoted when you're in that situation, that overcomes the law of the world and the law of gravity. So it's so important that you learn how to do God's word. Here let me show you how I know that it's a law, it's a principle. Genesis 1:11, and God said, "Let the earth bring forth grass, and the herbs that yields seeds, and the fruit trees that yields seeds, according to its kind." According to its kind. You all ready? According to it kind. Whose seed is in itself on the earth, and it was sown. and the earth brought forth grass. The herb that yields seeds, according to its kind. According to what? Its kind. And the tree that yields fruit, those seeds, it is in itself what? It's kind. And then God said, it is good. Do you understand? There is a law, it's a principle that God put in the very beginning, that what you sow, you're going to reap. Whatever you put in the ground is going to come out. If you plant apple trees, you're not going to get oranges. He said they're all going to come the same. In God's word, the seed is God's word. It's what he's plants. He said that's what's going to come out. It's a principle. It's the law. When he said, listen, Lord, increase my faith. He said, man, you take the grain of a mustard seed and you speak God's word, and it'll pluck up and it'll be [inaudible]. See, you can't plant, you can't continue to say the wrong word, do the wrong acts and expect different results.

James Greer: 14:37 You Ready? You today, basically, are the results of what you've been sowing in the past. What's going on in your life, good or bad, is basically a result of the seeds that you sow. Until you realize, until you own up to it. See you blame your mama, your daddy, your assistant, your brother, your school, your church. You just go on and on, and so you're blaming everybody. What you need to do is change the seeds that you're sowing in your life. Thank you brother James. Whatsoever you need more of, you need to start planting those seeds. You need more peace, you need more power, you need to be a better man, better parents, you need better finances. See you see something in somebody else's life that you want. And you see them and you say man, they got a great marriage, you see them man, they're a great parent, you see them and say man, they've got a better financial situation. You see them, you know that they have a relationship with God. You see them, they have this unbelievable faith, this peace, this power with God.

James Greer: 15:39 Reality, what you're seeing is the results of the seed by faith, that they'd been planting. See what you got to quit doing is quit hoping for and quit wishing for other people's fruit. And you start going out and start getting the right seed that you need, and you start sowing it, and watering it, with the word by faith, and eventually it'll produce that kind of fruit. That's what it says in Galatians 6:7, "Don't be deceived. God is not mocked." In other words, whatever a man sows, he will also reap. Good or bad. Not might, he said, you will reap it. He says, if you sow the flesh, the flesh will reap corruption. If you sow the spirit, the spirit's reaps everlasting life. No, we're not only everlasting in heaven, but you'll have a quality of life that's an exceedingly, abundantly above average life. If you sow to the spirit. Let us not grow weary in well doing. In due season, you'll reap, if you don't give up. You can't plant, I've never seen anybody plant, and the next day that'd come up. So you keep going, you keep going, you keep by faith confessing, and planting the right seeds that God gives you. And then you shall reap, if you don't give up.

James Greer: 16:41 But he says until then, you ready? "Therefore, as you have opportunity, let us do good to all, but especially those who are in the household of faith." Do you understand what I'm saying? I want you to do good works, I want you to volunteer. But listen, the first place, you need to be doing by faith. You need to be serving in God's house with God's family. You don't need to have so many other activities, that you can't be working here what God calls do. Because if you're saved, every single person has at least one gift that's supposed to fit into family, that we can all grow together, mature together, God used greater together. So if you're so involved in other things. it said first of all, do it as opportunity in God's house. You need to come today and say, God, I've been putting my seeds in the wrong house, and today I'm changing my life.

James Greer: 17:28 I naming myself, I don't care. My dad always had a big garden. Matter of fact, some of you all won't believe this, my dad, when I was real little, we had a paint horse that called him ball. And he put me up on him, and let me ride one time. While he got behind him, and plow the garden. Man the ground was tough, it was hard, but they would just plow it up. And so they would plow it up, and of course, that's a picture of our hearts. Our hearts are really hard and your heart's need. Some of it's hard against the other people, some of it's hard against God, some of it's hard against what God's calls you to do. But my dad, he would plant, he would plow it up, and then daddy would put the seed in the ground. And not only did he do that, he would put the seed in the ground, and he had all these rows, and he put this little bitty stick, it looked like a Popsicle stick, he really did that. And then they put a little picture of whatever it was, whether it was okra or peas, and it had a little picture at the end of the row. Every single time, whatever that picture was, that's what came up in that row. Every time. And so he did that to know what he had seeded, what he had put it in the ground, and what he watered. Now, not only did daddy plow up the ground, not only did he plant the seed, my daddy would pull the weeds out every single day. Because what'll happen, if you don't know, if you've got a garden and you wait you'll have weeds in there overtake the garden. Before long, if you're not careful, the weeds will choke out the fruit and there won't be anything there.

James Greer: 18:46 So you not only have to plow up your heart, and have a tender heart, not only do you got to take in God's word which is the seed. then you had to pull you want to know what you've got to pull out? The negative thoughts, the negative words, and the sins that are unconfessed. But you see they choke out the power and the blessings of God, that God wants for our lives.
New Speaker: 19:12 So then you started anticipating the fruit. Man, my daddy, we had peas. we had corn, we had squash, I skipped that one. And we'd get tomatoes, we had okra. And man, my God, then daddy, he'd go out when it'd get real hot. And then he would begin to reap what he had planned, and what he had sown, and what he had pulled, and reaping's even work. People don't think it is, but you got to go out there, and you got to reap, you got to bring it in, and continue to work. But I'm going to tell you, it's always worth the work.

James Greer: 19:44 John 1:1 says, "In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God." Integrate that Jesus, the Holy Spirit and God, they've always been, and always will be. And he was, in the beginning, with God. Do you understand this powerful word of God? And then he said, "In all things were made through him, and without him, nothing was made, that is made." The only reason you don't have, blank, in your life is because you're not sowing the word of God in that area of your life. In other words, I can tell you, you can have anything that God's word promises, you can have it in your life if you want to. But listen, you got to make sure that he's got a soft heart, you got to make sure you plant the seed, you got to make sure that you water, you got to make sure that you pluck out the weeds. One of the greatest problems today is that you come to church and you hear God's word. and the seeds planted in your heart, but then you go out the doors and you don't protect it, and the devil will still take it away. Instead you've got to close out the negative thought, you got to close out the negative word.

James Greer: 20:34 Some of you have been coming to church for five years, and God says, I know that you got a sin that you need to confess, and you hide it like you're hiding from God. God says to confess your sins. He said I'm faithful and just to forgive you of your sins. In Acts he says, "Repent from those sins, he said, a time of refreshing will come upon your life."

James Greer: 20:53 All right in closing, I want to give you some formula here. Number one, seed is God's word, the ground is our heart, the weeds are negative thoughts, negative words, sins that need to be pulled out every day. And it's a law, a biblical law of God, that fruit will be the result of the seed that you plant. So my question is this, the first thing you need to do is, by faith, accept Jesus Christ as your personal savior. That's where faith starts. The Bible says, whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. So if you're here today, you may need to just step out, and just mention that. hey I want to be the one that called upon the name of the Lord, because I want to be saved. Maybe you're here today, and you're saved, as far as you know one day that you'll go to heaven. But how about saved as far as to be made whole, to rescue, to heal, to make complete, to have peace, to have the power and presence of God in your life. So what'd I ask you, in just a moment, when I ask you to stand. And this is what I'm going to ask you. What seed in your life do you need to start planting today? What seed is it?

James Greer: 22:11 So if you would, would just stand and let me pray with you, and pray for you. Father, I thank you for your word, that it's powerful, that it's practical. I pray for those that are here today, God that may not know you as their savior. That they would come and say I'd like to confess you with my mouth, and believe in their heart that God raised him from the dead, and I shall be saved. Just step out in just a minute. Some of you have done that, but you never increased your faith, you've never grown. And today you say to God, my heart, I want it to be soft today, I want to receive your word, I want to see what's preached and God, whatever it is in my life, I'm going to start taking the seeds and planting them. I don't know what it is you need. But I pray God, the Holy Spirit, would touch every heart here today. Maybe some of you need to come and follow through in baptism. Maybe some need to join the church, maybe some need a new relationship. I don't know what it is in your life. Maybe you've had worry, and maybe you've had fear, and you need to just come say, God, I need to increase my faith today. Whatever it is that you need, I pray this morning, that you would come and that you'd give God the honor and the glory for it. It's in Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

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