How to Have a Winning Team

Lesson's we can learn from sports about how to become successful.

James Greer
May 19, 2019    23m
In this sermon Pastor James Greer celebrates Tioga winning the baseball championship. He then talks about how to be successful, how to be on the winning team. He explains that we should aspire to be on God's team, and teaches us how. 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 So whether you went to Tioga, or your kids went Tioga just for our community, we celebrate with them. Amen? Hey, you notice I got my red and white on for Tioga, and we are having a special celebration, I think in the third service. Coach Montel and the players will be here. But you know, if you don't realize it, coach Montel is such a humble guy. Do you know, he went here about three or four months before I ever knew him. He just comes and he sits right back there and he's a very humble and quiet. But he must love the Lord, and is a great coach, and so we're going to honor them today. And, Cecil, thank you for coming back in town and cooking, you and Kay, appreciate that, for cooking for them.

James Greer: 00:51 You know, it would honor them and we had to change the message. I hated to preach daughters of the king, and so we changed the message on how to be on the winning team. And it could apply to any area of your life, because we all want to be on the winning team. Amen? And it can be in your home, it can be on your job, and of course it can be a church, but I want you to know it all starts with the heart. And in Proverbs 4:3 it says, "Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of the heart springs the issues of life." If they were here today...But first of all, let's welcome the Alexandria Campus. Amen? I don't know if the camera can these, but if they could, I wish Darrell could eat his heart out because I know these shoes would just make him jealous. But anyway, when I said, for out of the heart springs every issue of life, winning is all about the heart. But when I say the issues, whether they're good or bad, they come from the heart. Our actions, our behavior, come from the condition of our heart.

James Greer: 02:01 And if you want to change your conditions in life, change the condition of your heart. In fact, Proverbs 23:14 says, "My son, he says, if your heart is wise, my heart will rejoice indeed myself." You know what it said? Joy is greatly determined by the condition of our heart. It's not the circumstances, it's not the situation, it's the condition of your heart. In other words, it says when your heart is right, you can have joy in spite of your situation, in spite of your circumstance. Do you understand how important it is to have the right heart? Amen? Matter of fact, the heart can bring you places that nothing else can. In fact, it's in your life, you're hoping that your heart is right.

James Greer: 02:48 Let me give you an example, first of all football game, and it was called the Falcons and the Patriots. The Falcons were up 21 to 3 at half time, and a few minutes into the third quarter it was 28 to 3 the Falcons. Then the Patriots came back and tied it, listen, 28 to 28. It went into overtime, the Patriots then scored, and they won the game. They said was the first time in history that a team had come back so far from behind at halftime and won. It's because they had heart. Now say that that's exciting, but it was even more excited to me to hear how Tioga came back at the very end, the last inning, and they won the state championship 4 to 3. That's exciting. Amen?

James Greer: 03:37 But do you know what's even more exciting to me than that? I don't care how far behind you are in life, Jesus as your Lord and Savior says you can come back. In fact, you can come back stronger and finish as a winner. It might be you've been married two times, three times, four times, you can still come back and finish well. There was a woman that'd been married five times, and when our heart changed, she came back and she finished well. It might be that you've been broke or bankrupt, or you're broke right now. But Jesus took five loaves and two fish, and took it to heaven and he looked to heaven, and he blessed it and he broke it, and then it fed 5,000 with leftovers. See, we can bring our financial and physical brokenness to Jesus, and when he blesses it, our latter half can be better than our former half. You can have a son or a daughter that's gone far, far from God, and their heart changes it's all about the heart. They can be like the prodigal son, his heart got hard and he left his father and he wined and dined, but he ended up in the pig pen. And his heart was changed, and he came back to his father when his heart was right. His father welcomed him with open arms, and then his father said, hey, let's have a party. So what I'm telling you, you can always come back with Jesus Christ, it's how you finish. Amen? It's all about the heart.

James Greer: 05:08 In fact, it's my prayer that my latter years are my best years, and I believe that can happen. In fact, Haggai 2:9 says, "The glory of the latter temple be greater than the former, says the lord of hosts. And in this place I give peace, says the Lord of hosts." I mean, I want the latter years of the church to be the best years. I want my latter years to be the best years. In fact, I can tell you the truth, my latter years at church have been better than my former years. It's better now than it was when I was in my thirties. When I was in my thirties, we struggled to have 30 people, and right now god is blessing us and I wanted to even get better. Amen? I want to have peace in this place, it said God said, I want to have hope here, I want to have hearts that are soft here. So first of all, it's all about the heart if you want to be on a winning team. Amen? If you want to have a happy home, it's all about the heart. If you want to have a happy family, it's all about the heart.

James Greer: 06:04 But second of all, if you want to have a winning team, you got to have the right team. Remember to have a winning life, you've got to have a winning team. Because there's lots of good players that have a heart, but they're not on a winning team. To have a winning team, they've got to have a winning coach. This is something funny to me, all the sports, baseball, football, basketball, soccer, everybody wants to be good at something, they go and get a good coach. Amen? What about life coaches? The most important thing in life, maybe it's your marriage, you don't have a coach. You're in financial trouble, you don't have a coach. You see the thing that's going to live on, the most important thing in your life, and you don't even have a coach. I think it's strange that we would pour our time and our energy and our money, now listen, I think you should have a coach. And I think football coaches, basketball coaches, baseball coaches, I think all that's important. But I think the most important coach you can get, is you get you a life coach that will help you live the best lights you ever had.

James Greer: 07:15 But anyway, let's say that you get a coach. Get a good one, because can I tell you something? Everything rises and falls on leadership. Everything. Everything. You know, because you're going to have two teams the rest of your life, they're pulling your two different ways. There's going to be the devil trying to pull you one way, and God trying to pull you the other way. The Bible says that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against powers and principalities. God's trying to pull you one way, the devil's trying to pull you the other way. Tioga, they had a great coach, and they had great success, and they worked hard and they did that. But any great coach in life, wants you know where true success comes from. And Exodus tells us, Exodus 33:14 says this, "And the Lord replied, I myself will go with you, and give you success." There's two things you don't need to waste in life, success and pain. If you want to see somebody destroyed real quick, you promote them, and promotion will destroy most people. And one of the things you need to learn in life is don't waste success, and don't waste pain, God wants to use you in both of those areas. But really the truth is, that true success at last comes from God.

James Greer: 08:43 There's going to be a couple of sections of scripture that I'm going to give you today, and God will guarantee that you can be more successful. One of them is Joshua, and I'm going to read it. And what I was going to be, Matthew, and he says, "Here's the prescription for success in any area of your life." Let me read Joshua first and it says this, "And this book of the law, which is God's word, shall not depart out of your mouth. You shall meditate, and think about it day and night." What do you think about all the time? What do you think about when you get up in the morning? What do you think about when you're driving down the road? I woke up the other morning, and then the first thing I thought about, I had to preach a funeral. And I woke up and I thought Psalm 127 it said, "Children are the heritage of the Lord." And I thought, how in the world, God could I think of that? And I was thinking of the Cartwrights, and I was going to do their mother's funeral, and I didn't know their mother. And God said, listen, their children are their heritage, and you know their children, and I just preached on their children. And I did that because I had been thinking on God's word. And the Bible says, listen, you want to have success, start meditating on it day and night. So what you think about will greatly determine what your actions are. You meditated day and night that you might observe, and do according to what's written in there. You're going to do it because you've been thinking about it. For then, you will make your way prosperous. You do it, because your actions follow your thinking, and you're going to have a good success. Now, it didn't say what you're doing. It didn't say in your job, it didn't say in your finances, it didn't say in your preaching, it didn't say in your marriage, it says, if you do this, this will be the result.

James Greer: 10:28 Then he said, have I not commanded you now? He says, hey, be strong, be of good courage, don't be afraid, don't be dismayed. Why? For the Lord your God, he is with you wherever you go. I love that, it's one of my key verses in all the Bible. Because it says, hey, whatever you do, if you want to have success in some area of your life, whether it's your finances, whether it's your marriage, whether it's your church, whether it's your business, whatever it is, you can start applying these verses, and God says, I will make you prosper. I'll make you successful, because I will be with you. Now you got to remember who does it, God does it, but he does it because you're thinking about him and you're doing when he told you to do. Amen? One of the keys to success and prosperity is those verses right there.

James Greer: 11:13 I'm going to repeat this again because I'm doing a video on it right now, is meditation and medication,
if you're on medication need to go hand in hand. I think if you take medication and you don't do meditation, I don't think it's fair to you, or to God. And whether you're a doctor and you're giving medication, or whether you're an individual and taking medication, I don't think is fair to do one or the other without both of them together. Okay?

James Greer: 11:50 Proverbs 3:6, Remember the Lord, you remember God in all you do, and he will give you what? Who gives it to you? God does. Second Corinthians 3:5 and not because we think we can do anything of lasting value by ourselves. Why? Our only power and success comes from where? God. It's very easy when you start having success to forget where it comes from, and as soon as you start forgetting where it comes from is when you start losing it, and so we got to remember it comes from God. In fact, psalm 75:6 says this, "For promotion and power comes from nowhere on earth, but only from God. He promotes one, and he disposes another. God lifts one up, and he brings one down. So what do you have to do? It starts with the heart. You need a winning coach. You need one that tells you where, where it comes from, and then you need to have your priorities right? Get your priorities right?

James Greer: 12:51 So I told you there was two scriptures, or two passages, that I was going to tell you that basically helps you have success and prosperity in any area of your life. Now, success and prosperity does not necessarily mean financial success and prosperity. It means doing what God's called you to do, in the best you can with what God gave you. Joshua 1:8-9 is one, Matthew 6:33-34 is the other one. Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore, you don't have to worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow has enough to worry about its own thing, and sufficient in itself today. In other words, God says, listen to, if you will learn that I'm the ultimate source of meeting every single need in your life, and you get your priorities right, your life we'll be right. You want your life to be right, get your priorities right. And how do you know if they're right? Hey, how do you know if they're right? Because you're looking to him, that your first response when you have a need in your life is to look to God, not somebody else and not something else. You don't automatically look to your boss, you don't look to your mate, you look to God. Everything else is a conduit by God. And then you use what you got to further the kingdom of God. Galatians 3:17 says, "Whatever you do in word and deed, just do it unto the Glory of God."

James Greer: 14:21 So all right, so what do you do to be on a winning team? It's all about your heart, you've got to have a team, you've got to have a coach, you've got to have right priorities, you've got to have right players. Now we're getting there. The coach's main job is not to play every position. It's like the pastor's job, it's not to do everything in the church, it's to find out who fits to do the job in the church. The same thing it is with the coach, to the best of their ability, they're discerning who should play where, and when they should play. It's the same thing in life. The sooner you can discern what's your part of the body is in the church, and you start doing that, the better you function the more complete you'll be, and the happier you'll be. But let me read something, First Corinthians 12:14 it says, "For in fact the body is not one member, but it's many. If the foot should say, because I'm not the hand, am I not for the body of the body, is it therefore not for the body of the body? And if the ear should say, because I am not an ear, am I not of the body? Is the ear therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an ear, where would the hearing? And if the whole were the hearing, where would be the smelling? But now God has sent the members, each one of them in the body just as he pleased. And if there were all one member, where would the body be? But now indeed there are many members, yet what? One body. Now he's starting to put it together and the eye can't say to the hand, and I have no need of you. Nor again can the hand say to the feet, I have no need of you. No, much rather they're members of one body which seems to be weaker, or unnecessary." So in other words the body's saying, hey, there's many members in one body, not all members have the same [inaudible], we'd be many in one body. Hey, let me tell you what, if you don't have your foot, you're going to be in tough shape.

James Greer: 16:42 In other words, it said the same thing happens in church. Most people don't even understand the real purpose of the preachers. One of my purposes, I've got to preach every Sunday, that's part of my purpose. Amen? But that's not my only purpose. My other main purpose is this, it's to help you find your purpose, help you find your position in the body of Christ. See, it'd be crazy to go to a ball game and the coach run around and try to play every position, whether it's football or baseball. Now he's going to run out there and try to play first base, then he's going to try to play catcher, and then he's going to try to play pitcher. But I know preachers and churches that think that's what the preacher's supposed to do. They're not effective. Wouldn't it be something if you went to the ballgame, and all the players ran up and sat in the bleachers and tried to cheer, that wouldn't be a very good ballgame would it? Yes or no? If you came to the game, you were hoping the players get out on the field and play their butts off. Amen? You want them to play to win the game. Amen? Every time I come to church, I want you all on the field playing. Amen! I preach to myself, it's okay. Thank you Jesus.

James Greer: 18:06 Anyway, Ephesians 4:11-12, I'll show you, I'll show you, And God, he gave some apostles, some prophets, some pastors, and some teachers, for the equipping, or the training, of the saints for the work of the what? Why am I supposed to do it? For the equipping of the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. Can I tell you something? When you don't find your part, the church cannot operate right. Whether it's the foot, the toe, the hand, whatever it is, if you're a member of Journey Church, you're supposed to be part of that church, part of that body. You say, well, I just don't know what it is. That's what I'm here for, I'll be glad to help you. All you have to do is fill out one of those next steps, and say, hey, I need to find my place, and we can help you find it. God's already equipped you, and he's got a place for you, and God's sitting there waiting for you. You're never, never happier than when you found your God given position, and you become part of the body. It's like winning the game every single day, and it's like when you come Sunday and you find your part and you operate in it, it's like the greatest championship you could ever win. And the reward is not only here, it's in heaven.

James Greer: 19:43 So as we get ready to close, I want to ask you a question. Are you on the right team? I'm talking about the real right team, God's team. Are you sure if you died that you'd go to heaven? That's the most important team in the world. Have you found your spot on the team? I don't care how young you are, and I don't care how old you are, you know God's got a place for you. if you're not dead, God's not done, that's cop out. You might need to be on the prayer team, but God's got place. If you're a member Journey Church and you do not know where you're playing position is, today is day I want God to convict you and say, help me find my place, and we'll help you find it. If you never been biblically, publicly baptized like we just did, I want you to come and say, hey, I'd like do that. Maybe you need to say, the truth is I hadn't had my priorities right, so my life hadn't been right. You can't control your past, you can control your present. You can say to God, starting today, I'm going to apply Joshua chapter one, I'm going to meditate on your word, I'm going to do what it says, where I can have success. I'm going to apply Matthew 6:33, I'm going to get my priorities straight, because I want my life straight.

James Greer: 21:18 And then listen, I kept saying it's all about the heart, right? Everything's about the heart. Acts puts it this way, "I want to have a conscience, clear, void of offense against God and man." And when our heart is right, everything else starts being right. How do I have a heart that's right? First it's got to be right with God. You've got to say, well I accepted Christ. Good, that's the first step. Every sin that God brings into my life and has convicted me, I'm ready to confess that sin to get my heart right. Create me, God, a clean heart, so I get right with God. Then we'll get right this way, anybody that I have an offense against, anybody I've offended, I'm going to ask him to forgive me. Anybody that's offending me, I'm going to forgive them. I'm going to get my heart right. When my heart is right, my life begins to become right.

James Greer: 22:30 So I want you to stand and I want to pray with you, and I want to pray for you. It's my prayer that you'd go out today with your heart right. God. I love you. I thank you that our hearts can be right, and that you want them to be. Help us to have a clean heart, God, helps us be on the right team, which is your team. Help us to find our position where we should play, God. God, help us to confess our sins before you, help us to get our priorities right. When our priorities right, our life is right. God, helps get our heart right. When our heart is right, the rest of our life will be right, God. Convict us, God, and then free us, God. Then give us a time of refreshing. God, It's in your name we pray. Amen.

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