Fearfully and Wonderfully Made - The Difference One Woman Can Make

For Such A Time As This: Two God Fearing Women That Made A Difference In The World

James Greer
May 31, 2020    30m
Just like these two God-fearing women, we have the potential to make a difference in the world. Esther and Rahab may not have looked like the women we would think God would use, but He used them in a mighty way. Sermon by Pastor James. 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 (00:01):
Morning Journey Church. Hey sir. Good to see this many people back. Amen? People in the house. Hey, and it's good to see some of our heroes back there, Janice, Randy Ryland, so glad, and the kids. You know, she's diagnosed with a fast growing cancer and boy, she is one of the heroes and she's doing really great and got a little bit good news. Amen? So thanks for that. Huh? Tony, is that's you Tony. Amen? Continued prayer for you and Janet and the family. God you all are really making a difference. I know Kenny Valentine is back in the back serving too. And man, I mean the cancer's just going crazy here, but God's still getting the honor and the glory. So, just thank you all for what you're doing.

James Greer (00:55):
Before I get in the message today. I want to talk about the murder of George Floyd. It was a tragedy and it's inexcusable, but I do want to talk about a minute. I want to talk about racism, prejudice, discrimination, but I don't really think it's a political problem. Like they're trying to make it. I think it's a spiritual problem. You know, before I start the messages of own racism and prejudice, which won't be the message, but you've got police getting hurt. All police are not bad, in fact, 99% of them are good. Black and white are hurting each other. The truth is it's not a skin problem, you ready? It's a sin problem. Racism and prejudice is a spiritual problem and it can only be changed spiritually, not physically.

James Greer (01:45):
You can, you can see that physical's not working. We've been trying to, you cannot mandate love you. Can't make somebody love you and you can't make each other love each other. You can't do that it's just not working. If we could mandate love. When we married people, I would say, okay, you're mandated to love each other for the rest of your life. And we wouldn't be having the divorce rate we're having. Amen? You can't make laws that have to change people's hearts. The only thing that will change people's heart is God, word and prayer. Something we can do, in the meantime, one person at a time we can change our hearts. We can change our views. We can change our reactions. We can change our words. We can change the way we look at racism and prejudice. Justice must win. Violence is a sin. The real way to win is prayer from within. Vengeance is mine said the Lord and let him repay.

James Greer (02:59):
I want to mention something Thursday night, CR is going to meet again. Amen? Now they're going to start by meeting out here and then the next Thursday night, I think we're going to have an inside meeting. So pass the word. Amen? This Thursday night 6:30. Amen? Alright. Hey man, we're going to be talking about, and Mary Dean did a great intro, because we're talking about the difference one woman can make. And this is the last message in our women's series. And then we start our new men's series after that. And it's called bad boys, bad boys, what you going to do when the Lord comes for you. And we have some bad boys at our church, and I know we'd go get you okay? But the difference really could be the difference one person can make. And if you want to make, if you want to be a difference maker, you have to make a decision to be different.

James Greer (03:43):
For instance others are fearful, and you continue to be faithful. Amen? Others are fearful and you become fearless. Others worry and you've learned how to worship. Others say I can't and you say, I can do all things through Christ. Others are panicking right now. And you have peace because you've got the Lord of peace. Others tremble and you start triumph because God says, I conquer through Christ. Others are prejudice and you become impartial because God said, I love the whole world. Others curse you. And you still be calm. You notice I didn't say I was, but you all can. And so what I want you to know today, there's before you can make a difference. You have to make a decision. You want to be different. This is the last message in the women's series, wonderful women. So I want it to really make a difference. And if you'll make a decision that you want to make a difference, you can.

James Greer (04:42):
It's about two women in the Bible. They say each one of them saved a nation from destruction. That's making a difference. Amen? The first one was a young, beautiful virgin. She went from being an orphan to an overcomer. Her name was Esther. She became queen Esther. She saved the Jews from being killed. She was a Jew. The second woman was anything but a virgin. In fact, she was known as a harlot. God used her to save a nation. She made a difference. She was not a Jew. She went from a prostitute to a princess. She went from a hooker to a hero. That just shows you that God can use us all. Amen? She was a different race, but yet she overcame. The third person in this story is you and me.

James Greer (05:38):
If God can use a beautiful virgin. And the reason that I say that, sometimes you'll be surprised, but some of the best looking guys and most beautiful women struggle with being used by God. But if he can use a hooker to a hero, he can use me and you. So, the third person in the story is God wants to use you to make a difference. 2 Chronicles 16:9 says, the eyes of the Lord, he's running to and fro throughout the whole earth, just to show himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to him. So, God is looking for you. You can say he's running all over the sanctuary this day. He's running into those that are online. And you know, I thank God that we have an online service too, Amen? Thank God that some of the online, front line people they say, listen, they don't want to come to the sanctuary yet.

James Greer (06:28):
because they want to protect us. We have people that live out of town that watch every single Sunday. They're like part of our church family. So, we thank God for them. But then I thank God for you all. The church is growing back. Every service is getting bigger and bigger, and I'm just looking forward to the time we can hug again real soon. Amen? But you have to believe now is your time to make a difference. Not sometime, but to now. And to do that, you've got to make a decision. You got to say now is the time that God wants to use me to make a difference.

James Greer (06:59):
In Esther 4:14, it says this. It says, for if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and delivery will rise from another place. In other words, if you stay silent, somebody else is going to be used to change your workplace, your school, your city, your family. It's going to happen. It's going to come from somebody, but you and your father's house will perish. In other words, your house, isn't going to be changed like God wants to use it to, but God's going to send somebody else to your school, to your job, where he sits you to make a difference. Yet, who knows, who knows whether you have come, who knows who you were born, who knows that you're in that job, in that place for such a time as this. I want you to believe that you can make a difference. I want you to know that God has you, where he is on purpose at a perfect time. God has you where he is, whether your well, whether you're sick, whatever it is he has you where you're at right now to make a difference.

James Greer (08:07):
Esther made a difference. She saved the Jews. Men and women, God wants to use you. Don't. You want to make a difference. Amen. And not just come to church, but be a difference maker. You have to know, you have to know that God wants to use you. God will still accomplish his purpose if you don't allow him to use you. You're the one that will miss out.

James Greer (08:43):
Here's some of the excuses people make. I'm just too busy right now. Be careful. I've used that one. God slowed me down. Real quick. I'm when my kids get grown, not really. That won't happen. You need to be making a difference for God right now, whether the kids, more than any other time. And if you don't make a now with the kids, you won't make them without them. When I retire, whenever that is when I retire, I'm going to make a different no, no. When you retire, if you're not being used by God, you'll probably just retire. Nope, I don't know if that's fun or not. When I graduate, I don't really think we ever really graduate. We just go from one learning process to another, you know. When I get married, then we're going to go together. We're going to, no, no, no you're not. If you're not building your house upon the Lord, now, it won't be built when you get married. How about some people say, man, I get a job. I get the right job, man. I'm going to make a difference. I'm going to give, I'm going to serve, I'm going to tithe. I doubt it. You get that right job. If you're not giving and tithing now, if you make twice as much, you're not going to do it then. And why should God open the door and give you a job when you're not using what he's given you now? God is the one that opens closed doors anyway. I know some people just got a new house. God opened that door. You all just walked through the door. Amen?

James Greer (09:33):
In Revelation 3:8 says, he knows your works. And I, I see, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it. See, I mean, God wants to get you somewhere. He is the one that opened the door for you. You have little strength and I've kept my word and I have not denied my name. See, when you don't make a difference. Now, why should God open the door for you to go somewhere else, or to do better wherever you're at. When you make excuses, why you can't be used now, where you're at, what you're doing and you say, I'm going to do it someday. And you're making excuses that not now. You're assuming that you have a tomorrow. That's not a great assumption. You don't know that you have it tomorrow.

James Greer (10:14):
Today is the day you should do whatever God called you. Today is the day to tell the one that you love. Today is the one to accept Christ. Today is the day. James 4:13 says this. It says, look here. You who say today and tomorrow, we're going to go to a certain town and we're going to stay there for a year. And we're going to do some business there and make a profit. I've got to answer for you. How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? How do you know you're going to even have a life tomorrow? Your life like the morning fog. It's here a little while and then it's just gone. Don't assume that you have it tomorrow to make a difference. If you want to make a difference, start making it today. Amen?

James Greer (11:01):
Second, you just have to learn how to use your influence, but don't abuse. Your influence. Everybody has influence. It's just, you're using it for good or use it for bad. Babies have influence on the world's worth. I'll be out to eat and I'll start talking to the baby and it, man, if I can get them to smile, it's crazy. And sometimes the parents get irritated. Because they're trying to keep the baby calm and I'm going, Hey, you know babies. Haven't we all have influenced sometimes good, sometimes bad. You've got to learn to use your influence for the good.

James Greer (11:54):
Esther 7:2 she learned how to do it. On this second occasion while they were drinking their wine, the King again said to Esther, tell me what you want? See, Esther was not only you special, but listen, Esther waited for the right time to ask the King. When you nearly know how to use your influence, you learn how to do it at the right time. Queen Esther, what is your request? He kept asking a second, third time. I'll give it to you, up to half my kingdom. Now see, a lot of people would have changed their direction then. You'll give me half of the kingdom? Hmm. Well, she was going to ask to save the Jews and he did, but see, she not only knew the right time, she knew how to use her influence the right way.

James Greer (12:47):
And I'm going to tell you a few things the way to learn to use your influence. You ready? Number one, pray that all hearts are ready. All hearts are right. Proverbs 4:22 says, above all things guard your heart. You know why? Because everything flows from your heart. Everything. Second, wait for right timing. Esther knew. And she just went in there before the King, you'll learn that he could have had her killed. Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, everything has a season everything has a time. You need to have already had favor with them. Jesus grew in favor with men and God. You need to have a prepared plan. If you're going to ask, ready to give an answer. So, that is the way that you have an influence. That's also a biblical way to appeal to somebody who has authority over you.

James Greer (14:08):
Third, you have to be willing to step out on biblical faith, take a biblical chance. Esther 4:11, she was willing to. All the kings servants and the people of the kings Providence. They know something when it says, no, they have assurance of this, that any man or woman that goes into the inter courts with a king, that hadn't been called or invited. He has but one law, put them to death. I mean, you've got to be pretty bold. You're going to go in there knowing that everybody knows that if you come in there, and you're uninvited that you're going to be what put to death. Esther was not only willing to step out on biblical faith. She could be put to death. If it didn't go right. Let me tell you something. If you never make a stand, you never stand up, you'll never stand out.

James Greer (15:04):
You need to be willing to take a biblical step of faith. Listen though, not a blind leap of faith. There's a big difference. A biblical step of faith is found in Hebrews 11:1 listen to this, now faith is the substance. So, it has substance, of the things we hope for. It's got hope and the evidence. It has evidence of things not seen. A biblical step of faith. It has a foundation that is tangible. The foundation is tangible. It's God's word. It has hope. Hope is a confident expectation of a positive future. In spite of your present circumstances. You're not looking at what's going on right now, you're looking at what God has in the future. And it has evidence. This is fantastic. Evidence is a confirmation. Evidence in Esther's life was her uncle Mordecai. It's somebody close to you that can confirm what you're doing is a calling from God. It's usually somebody godly in your life. With me, most of the time it has always been my wife. When God called me to preach, I couldn't hardly, man. I hated it. I said, honey, I've got to talk to you about something. I've been putting it off for weeks. I mean, she knew how limited I was more than anybody else. She knew I usually broke out and sweats and I stuttered and couldn't read well. And I said, honey, I really want to talk to you about something. I said, I think she said, you think God called you to preach. I said, how did you know? She says, I've been knowing that for weeks. That was the evidence. Somebody close to you, somebody you can trust. And they confirmed the calling to make a difference.

James Greer (16:07):
Fourth, make sure you're giving God all honor and all the glory, because whatever we do 1 Corinthians 10:31 says, whatever we do give God the honor and the glory. Now this second lady that we're going to talk about, I don't have time to read the whole story, but man, she made a difference. Her name was Rahab, the harlot. I love that. He tells a story about Rahab, the harlot, because she went from a prostitute to a prison. She's in Jesus' lineage. She went from a hooker to a hero. She crossed racial barriers, religious barriers, and social barriers. You talk about somebody that crossed the barriers. She did it. You can read her whole story in Joshua 2. Joshua was fixing to go on the walls of Jericho and they were surrounded by walls. And he sent a couple of spies in to check it out before the attack. Rahab had took these two spies and they hid them. Jericho's army and king came to search the house out. She hid them that they couldn't find them. If they found them and she had lied. She would have been put to death. You notice that Rahab, the harlot and queen Esther have a lot of things in common. They were brave. They had a great faith and you're going to find out even Rahab though she wasn't raised a Jew. She wasn't raised with the godly environment. She believed in God.

James Greer (17:01):
Number one, Rahab was ready to make a difference. She had made a decision when the time comes, I'm ready to change my life. There's some people that are watching online or some people in the sanctuary, you're ready to change your life. You're tired of the way that you were living. And you know that God's here. He wants to change your life. You have to make a decision that you are ready to have your life changed, and she did.

James Greer (17:46):
In Joshua 2:3 it says, so the king of Jericho, he sent to Rahab saying, you bring out the men who have come to you. See, he already knew that were there, who have entered your house. They said, they'd been there. We know that's where they were for. They have come out and search out all the country. They come out to spy on us. They come out to check us out. We know why they're there, but you know what Rahab had done, in verse four, it said, Rahab had hidden them. hid the two men. But she replied, yes, the men were here earlier, but I don't know where they are now.

James Greer (18:37):
She made a decision. Verse four, she told them, I made a decision who I'm going to serve. I'm not going to serve the ungodly King anymore. I'm not going to serve the ungodly Canaanites anymore. I'm going to serve the true and living God. So, you have to come to a point that you say, Hey, I'm not going to serve and live the way I used to be. I'm going to serve the true and living God. I'm going to make a decision. Rahab was willing to step out on faith, biblical faith. She had some guys that were going to confirm it. She made a decision that went into action. She just didn't talk about it. We got a lot of people that talk about their faith. You say today, do you believe in God? I believe in God. Are you willing to make a stand for God?

James Greer (19:15):
Not very many. I mean all the things that are going on in the world today, between the virus and the riots and you don't hear God in the picture. He's the only change agent there is. Joshua 2:8 she tells him, before the spies went to sleep at night, Rahab went up on the roof where she had hid them to talk to him. She says, I know, listen, I know there's a word again. I know with assurance, I know with a positively, the Lord has given you this land. She wasn't even raised with them. She was raised an opposite. She told him, we're all afraid of you. They're behind the walls. They're the ones supposed to be protected. Every one in the land living is in terror. So, they really when the Christians are living the right life, when they're making a stand. You don't worry about what's going on in the world, they need to be worried about you. Amen, Brother James.

James Greer (20:13):
We've heard, we've heard how the Lord made the dried path through the Red Sea. I mean, you just hear what God's doing in your life. You hear what he's doing around you, in Egypt. And we know we know what he did at Sinoh and Og, and the two Amorite kings, we know what you did. You went to the Jordan and you put them completely destroyed them. I'm telling you, man, when you let God fight your battles, you cannot lose. The problem today is we keep trying to fight our own battles. Instead of letting God go before. Man, there's nothing that we should be afraid of. God is stronger and mightier than anything will ever face. Amen? Then she goes on. Now this is her, listen to me, this is her testify unto them. You would think they were the ones going to come tell her about the Lord. No, she's telling them, no wonder our hearts are melting in our fear, no one has the courage to fight. After hearing things for the Lord, they're Lord, your God. He's the Supreme God of the heavens above and the earth below. My goodness she's just given God all the honor and all the glory. I mean, that's what people should be see when you start making a stand for God, God will stand for you.

James Greer (21:32):
But then she said, now swear to me by the Lord that you're going to be kind to me and my family. Since I've helped you give me some guarantee that you do it. Now swear to me when Jericho's conquered that you're going to let me live along with my father and my mother, and my brothers and my sisters and my whole family. So, she was standing in the gap for her whole family. She's the one that was behind the walls. She was the one that was not raised godly. She was the one that was living an ungodly life. And yet here she is telling the spies, the Israelites, the Jews, what a great God they had, and the reputation that God had gone before them. She was giving God the honor and the glory for everything that he had done. She was the one that you thought should have been in fear and said, Hey man, we're the ones behind the wall.

James Greer (22:30):
You all better turn, turn yourself in. But you know what? They accepted her. Turn her terms, Joshua 2:21 is a very important verse. Not only did she say accept the terms, put it this way. She accepted their God. You know how I know she accepted their God? She replied and she sent them on their way. Leaving the, what kind of rope was it? Does anybody know? Scarlet rope, hanging from the window. See the Scarlet rope was hanging from her window was a type that she accepted their God. It was a type of the blood of Jesus Christ in the future. It's a type of all her sins have now been forgiven. She's getting a brand new start. Some of you here today need that. What kind of start? Brand new start.

James Greer (23:24):
I don't care where you've come from. I'm talking about where God wants to take you. Isaiah 1:18 says, he says, come let us reason together. Make a decision today, says the Lord. Though, your sins, they are scarlet. They shall be what? White as snow. Making a decision today. Though they are red like crimson they're like wool. God said, I want you to make a decision today. I don't want you to go home the same way. I want you to be willing to make a difference. I want your sins to be forgiven. I want you to give you a new life. I want to give you a new walk. In closing, I want you to say this. Not say this, but listen to this. Are you willing to make a difference for Jesus? Make the decision today. Are you willing to take a step of faith? You've got to make a decision today. Are you ready to let those you work with know that you're a Christian? Make that decision.

James Greer (24:06):
How are you going to know that. When you're around very many people you'll know there's either somebody's hurting or happy. When they're hurting, pray for them and with them only if it's appropriate, when people are hurting, they won't comfort. You know, the God of comfort. He's comforted you. You're going to practice living out your faith this week at home, which is hard. Sometimes at home is the hardest place to live out your faith. Amen? My wife knows all my weaknesses and then some.

James Greer (25:00):
At work live out your faith. Don't be ashamed of the gospel of Christ. That's where the power God comes from. I want you to ask yourself, what's the one thing that really pulls at your heart? Not 10 things, not 50. What is the one thing that really just pulls on your heart? Maybe that needs to be your passion. Maybe that needs to be your platform. That may take some time, but if you allow God, he'll put it on your heart. I know one person that his passion is winning souls. My goodness, he'll come and just cry and cry and cry. If he finds out you're lost and that's just as passion. Make a decision, you ready? Let God be the Lord of your life. Not just a Savior of your life. So many people come to church, come to church and even get saved. I thank God for that because see man, that's one of the greatest things, greatest part of the ministry. I just love to see people get saved. I love to baptize people. I love to see people make him the Lord of their life. When He is the Lord of their life, it means he's the ultimate authority. He's the ultimate one in control that brings the peace of God in your life. So some of your say, you know you're going to heaven, but you have never surrendered your life for him to be the Lord of your life. That means no matter what else is going on, you're going to say he is the Lord. He's ultimately in control. He's the authority. And that gives me peace.

James Greer (26:48):
This is our verse for this week. 2 Thessalonians three 3:16. Now may the Lord of peace, who is He the Lord of? Peace. Himself Give you peace. May the Lord of peace himself give you peace. Some of you are going through some real struggles with sicknesses. Some are going through financial problems. Some of you are going through marriage problems. Some of you are going through job problems, kid's problems. Can you let him be the Lord of your life this week? Can you let the Lord give you peace himself? That's what he wants to do. Now, what I want to do is I'm going to close in prayer in a minute. But as you bow your heads, I'm going to ask you to, if you want to make a difference, I'm going to give you an opportunity to make a decision today. Let's say this week, I want to make a difference.

James Greer (27:42):
So if you bow your heads, everybody bow your heads and close your eyes. Say, I don't think you can make a difference to you. Make a decision to make a difference. If you'd like to take a challenge. And you'd like to say this week, God, I'd like to make a decision to start making a decision. Just raise your hand right there. Amen. You online, you can do the same thing right there where you're at. You can just raise your hand, say yes. Amen. Amen. All over the room. Amen. You can put it down. Amen. Make a decision. You make it in your home, make it at school, make it on your job.

James Greer (28:11):
We've got so many people that are sick. And so many people have cancer. I don't want to forget any of them, but I'd like to especially pray for Janice right now. And you all know what we do. You can keep your heads bowed, but she's in the back, my left corner. You can put your hand that way. If you want to just lift it towards, it'd be you all’s right. And God, we just pray for Janice right now. And we pray for all those. We've got so many. We've got Tony and Janet, and Fred and Ashley, and we've got Mr. Kinean and the list goes on. Today we want to pray for her. We won't pray the God of hope that give them hope. The God of the Lord of peace, give them peace that you would prepare the doctors before they get there. That you'd put a hedge of protection around the battle. And God, I pray that for each one in our congregation, that's going through such struggles. God, maybe it's not that kind of struggle, but it's other struggles. Would you give them peace right now? God, would you help endorse that we can make a difference in our lives and our families and our community. God. And we'll give you the honor and glory for it. It's in Jesus name. And everybody said, Amen, thank you.

James Greer (29:17):
I'm going to have a pastor, James, those you all in the parking lot, those online good morning and welcome to journey church worship. We're so glad you joined us this morning. Hey, if you have a prayer request and you want someone to pray for you click on the link below. We have people standing by to pray with you and for you. We also have a dynamic children's program, and we're asking you at that time, just to click and, and enjoy our children's worship with your children. If you want to give to the mission of Journey Church, we want you to give, we're asking you to pray about it. We're asking you to click on the link below and give whatever the Lord has given. And if you want to be a part of a small group, an online small group, a small group here on our campus, we want you to be a part. all you need to do is just type in. I want to be a part of a small group or click the link below and you'll find out which group you can be a part of. Hey, let's go to the Lord in prayer.

James Greer (30:01):
Father. I thank you for your love. Thank you for your goodness for your grace and mercy for asking to be a pastor James this morning, as he preaches your word, Lord, that lives will be changed. That families will be changed. Father, father, too. You have all the honor and glory and Father, we ask you to bless the gift and the giver in Jesus' name. Amen.

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