Fooling Around | How to Love God with All Your Heart, Soul and Mind

Understanding God's Unconditional Love, Joy And Peace

James Greer
Mar 12, 2023    28m
To experience God's unconditional love, joy, and peace, we must first seek unity with God. We must learn both to love correctly and to receive love correctly. And we must also cooperate with God to receive His blessings. 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] So as we learn today how to love the Lord thy God with all our heart, all our soul, and all our mind, it'll always take at least three things: communication, cooperation, and dedication. Now, the Bible says in Matthew 22:37, it says, Jesus said to him and to me and to you, You shall love the Lord thy God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and the greatest commandment. The second is like it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. And then it says that, on these two commandments hang all the laws of the prophet. Now that's great. But like I said, you can't love God until you first allow Him to love you. And if anything happens today, one thing I want you to do is allow God to love you. Because once you've allowed God to love you, a whole lot of your stress and worries and problems will then take care of themselves. Because see, the answer to worry and stress, kind of in Matthew 6:33 where it says, Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and everything else shall be added unto you. It kind of goes along with Matthew chapter 22. There's two really important things about love and relationship. Number one, falling in love is one thing. Staying in love is something else. I mean, it's something. I mean, falling in love, even with your mate, your friend, that's one thing. Staying in love, that's something. I mean, even with our dog. I love our dog. I mean, when we got our dogs, oh, I love them dogs. When that dog pooed in the house, I didn't love it near as much.

James Greer: [00:01:45] No, sir. I love it. I love to see people that have the baby. They'll go to the hospital. Oh, those babies are so pretty. They're not all pretty, by the way. But anyway, you say they are. You don't ever go and tell Mom and Dad, that baby's ugly. You just say, Oh, yes, it's pretty. Some of them are ugly, though. But anyway, you say, then they get the baby home. Oh, it cries, messes. So falling in love is one thing. Staying in love is something else. It's the same thing with all relationships. Falling in love is one thing, but staying love is something else. Number two, falling love is fun. It is fun. Can't you remember falling in love? You had all the little tingly feelings. Oh, I love it. I mean, you could even enjoy it. You could get on the phone and just enjoy them breathing. I breathe. You breathe. That's fun. I mean, falling in love was great. I mean, me and Debbie, we've been married almost 50 years. 49 years in February. And, man, when we were falling in love and I'd call Debbie, I'd tell you, I'd go over to Debbie's house and knock on the window, and she'd tell her mother. That wasn't fun. But I mean, falling in love, it's fun. Staying in love is work. I mean, you don't stay in love without a lot of work. Part of that work is communication, cooperation, and dedication. Not only with each other, but the same thing with God.

James Greer: [00:03:15] If you want to love God, enjoy God's love, you got to learn to communicate with God. Or we ought to say commune with God, fellowship with God. See, it's the same thing with your mate and anybody else. I mean, if you really want to do that. I mean, speaking of dogs, you know, one of the things about dogs, they forgive quickly and love freely. I think some people could learn something. If you want to have a better relationship, forgive quickly and love freely. Anyway. Anyway, I've told you before, something really important about love. Love does not produce joy. We all know people that we love. We just don't enjoy being around them. You got people in your own family that you love them, but you just don't enjoy them. You got people at work. You love them but just don't enjoy them. I mean, even at church, they'll say, you know, so and so. Oh, yeah, I love them. But you're really thinking you hope you don't see them. Love does not produce joy. I used to say love communicated correctly produces joy, but that doesn't necessarily produce joy. There's two things that'll help produce joy. Love communicated correctly. But love has to be received correctly. So it's communicated correctly and received correctly before it can produce love. Because it's the same thing every Sunday. I'll be preaching and have the same crew here. And I'll be preaching and some people receive it, a few will remember it, and most don't.

James Greer: [00:04:47] I mean, I know that they say 80%. I mean, y'all forget 80% of everything that I say. That is not exciting. I got a great idea. Why don't y'all write down at least one thing to remember and not that my dog pooped when he got home. I mean, one thing that y'all can remember that applies. Like to have good relationships and produce joy, you got to communicate it correctly and you got to receive it correctly. That's one thing. Y'all can post that, but not something else. So I mean, so it really is important. The same thing on I can preach it. You've got to receive it, though. Even if I communicate it correctly, If you don't receive it, it's not going to change your life. See, so when I'm preaching and teaching God's word, either if I'm communicating and you don't receive it, you don't enjoy it. The same message. Somebody can receive it and enjoy it. And the other person, Oh man, I can't stand that message. I can't stand that preacher. I understand. But God is the greatest communicator in the world. God communicates several ways, of course, through the Holy Spirit, but God communicates through His Word and through action. See, true love is communicated not only through word, but action. And God created it both because he said not only she's the greatest communicator. God said God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.

James Greer: [00:06:13] God is trying to communicate his love to every single person in the world. He said, I want you to understand my love is in, I say in my Word that I love you and I showed you in my action that I love you. I love you so much that I gave my son. So see, really, if you just say you love somebody, but yet you don't have any action, it's easy to say that you love. But if your action doesn't follow you, that's just talk. God, the greatest communicator in the world, did it with action and love. The Bible says in Amos 3:3. How can two walk together unless they agree? See, a lot of times you don't understand when two people are together, three people together, if you're not careful, instead of focusing on the other person, we often become me-centered instead of you-centered. So we got to be really careful. We got to learn to communicate better. The better we communicate, the more confusion that we can cut down, the less problems we can have. Because, see, you got enough problems communicating. I can communicate to Debbie and say, Debbie, she say, What do you mean by that? Or she can communicate to me, and I say, Huh? What are you talking to me like that for? She say, Like what? You say, you keep on, I'll talk to you like that. I mean, but you can really not mean it, and it can be communicated incorrectly and not received correctly.

James Greer: [00:07:38] And you can still have misunderstanding. When something's not communicated and received correctly, there can be anxiety in the relationship that brings insecurity, brings loneliness, brings misunderstanding. See, in 1 Corinthians 14:33, it says God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints. See, God is not the author of confusion. So if he's not, guess who is. The enemy. See, the Bible says you war not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers. See? So there's a couple of things that happen. When confusion comes, we probably didn't communicate it correctly, we didn't receive it correctly, or we didn't spend time with God correctly. So really see, if God is not the author of confusion, when we didn't spend time with God because God is the author of peace, not confusion or we didn't receive it correctly or we didn't communicate it correctly. And the enemy would love for it to cause confusion. So if we spend time right with God, then it's easier to communicate with God, and it's easier to receive it. Right? Because see, when you're not right with God, you can do this. You can walk in the room, you can walk by somebody thinking and somebody else will walk by and say, Do you see the way they looked at me? No, I didn't even see them. Yeah, they did. They gave me that look. What look? You're trying to cause confusion because you either did not spend time with God or you thought they communicated it wrong to you or you received it wrong.

James Greer: [00:09:15] See, why are you worried about how somebody else looked at you instead of what God had to say to you? See, and you can, the devil will quickly have you lose your peace when he's the author of peace and he'll cause confusion. He can do it in the house. You can walk in and say, Hey, honey. Why are you saying, hey, honey like that? You talk about causing confusion. I mean, when I talk about it's easy to fall in love. It's hard to stay in love. You know, when you're first in love, you say, honey, where do you want to go to eat? I don't care. You say, okay, let's go eat steak. Oh, that's wonderful. Then now you're in love, you know? And now it's gone a year or two and you say, Hey, honey, where do you want to eat? I don't care. How about steak? I don't really want to eat steak. How about seafood? Just wherever you want to go. I didn't really have seafood on my mind. Where do you want to go? I don't care. I don't care. I don't care. You want to get hamburgers? I'm tired of hamburgers. I mean, it's easy to fall in love. It's tough to stay in love. But you got to learn to communicate it and receive it correctly. And God's not the author of confusion, but of peace. Amen.

James Greer: [00:10:19] When you have confusion, remember? You probably didn't spend time with God, right? Or you didn't communicate it correctly or you didn't receive it correctly. That is gold if you don't know it. Because guess what? You're going to have some confusion in your home, in your church, on your job, and even in your marriage. If you think about that, it would change because, see, what God wants is unity. Unity, it tells us in Psalms 133:1, it says, Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren, Christians, to dwell together in unity. See, God wants you to dwell in unity. He said it's like the precious oil upon the head. Like it's running down the beard, the beard of Aaron running down on the edge of his garment. When it says how good it is, did you know when it says, that means pleasant? It's like anointing. It's like a perfume. It's like when there's really unity in a home or a church or a family or you can walk in and say, Man, this is nice. It's just putting out something. It's really, it's like, man, it's like you can just say, Man, praise God. Something happens here. Let's say amen. Some of y'all got it. Let's say we got unity here. Amen.

James Greer: [00:11:41] But yet, when you don't, man, you just worried about what you say. You act like you're walking on eggs. And, you know, if you say anything, you don't mean it, you know? And that's not what God wants. God wants you to have unity. He wants you to, He wants it to be pleasant. I mean, God wants you to have unity with your mate and on the job. I mean, God, when he said, I create woman to complete you, not compete you and with you not to compare with you. And it's the same thing. We were talking in staff. We got the most wonderful staff probably in the world. And one of the things that we do at staff is everybody tries to complete the other one. No matter where we're going, no matter what we're doing, no matter what direction, they come together and try to make the other one successful. And they don't compete, they don't compare, and you shouldn't do that in a relationship. You shouldn't compare. I'd hate to come home and say, Man, I wish you looked like old so-and-so. That would not go good in our house. But also, if I went home and I said, Hey, Debbie, you're looking good, but just think, if you look like old so-and-so, what it'd be like around here.

James Greer: [00:12:47] Ooh, that would not go. If she compared me to some other guy, the way they look, the way they work, the way they act, that was not good because I didn't get married for her to compare me to somebody or to compete with somebody. I got married where we could complete each other. Amen. And that's the same thing. God says in relationships, you got to communicate where you can complete each other, not compete with each other. Amen. And God wants us to have this unbelievable unity. So when you start having a unity, first of all, the unity comes, you got to have Jesus Christ as your savior. You got to have some of the same goals. You try to find things in common. But it takes time to communicate love. The two greatest sacrifices to show your love is time and money. If you want to know what you really love last year, go back and see what you spent your time and money on. That shows you love. Whatever I spent my time and money on, that shows what I love. You can say, Oh, honey, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you. But you never spend any time with her. She said, Oh, yeah. Talk is cheap, buddy. And if she says, Oh, honey, I really love you, I really love you, but she would really always rather go out with the girls than you. Huh? You better check it out.

James Greer: [00:14:09] Time is love because true love is an action. If I say, God, I love you, I love you, I love you, and I don't spend any time with Him, then I'm going to have confusion. Because I don't have communication and I don't receive it like I should. So time with God, with your friends, with your mates, whatever. It takes time. And also you can say with God, it's your tithe. Now, we're not going to preach on tithe, but it's time and tithe. Tithe and money. If Debbie said, I've got to have some money and I said, No, no, I'm spending all the money, baby, you don't get any, that wouldn't be sure. Now, I don't think you should spend money that you don't have to try to buy love by any means. I think if anything, that's showing you don't love somebody when you over obligate, that puts them in a bind. But you should want them to have money and what they want, even for yourself. In other words, if you said, hey, I mean, she can't go buy a new dress, but you went and bought a new four wheeler. Uh-oh. You drive the old car, but I'm going to get me a new one. Oh, I did do that. Sorry about that. If you want one, go get one. But I mean, you know, what I'm saying is what you did in your time and your money only proves that you love. Whatever it is, whatever it is, go back in your mind right now and say whatever I spent my time and money on, proves that is what I love.

James Greer: [00:15:32] Okay? So number one, you got to be able to communicate and you got to communicate it correctly and you got to receive it correctly. Number two. Number two, you got to cooperate. You got to cooperate. See, even if you communicate it correctly, if they don't cooperate, you don't have love. See, if you want to have love and joy and you spend time but they don't cooperate, you got a problem. There's another word for cooperate in the Bible. It's called being stubborn. And the Bible says in Psalm 75:5, it says this. Don't try to use your power, your influence against Heaven. In other words, don't not cooperate with God. Don't be stubborn. Instead, cooperate with God. Another verse, it tells us in Proverbs 21, it says this. People who act with stubborn pride are called proud braggers and mockers. In other words, God says, You stubborn people, you're proud, and you're going to end up being a bragger, a beggar, and a mocker. In other words, you're going to, it's going to pay. You're not going to enjoy who you are. Be careful about being stubborn. Amen. Those who are always respectful will be happy. In other words, the people try to cooperate with God, those people that commune with God, those people try to get along. Y'all ever known some people, I could say, you know, that this shirt is blue. And they say, oh, no, it's not. You got white on it. It's mostly white. I mean, you know, they just don't cooperate. They don't cooperate at home. They don't cooperate at work. They don't even cooperate at church. And they think everybody else is the problem. Free insight. You're the problem. And they're always having trouble everywhere they go.

James Greer: [00:17:15] But those who are stubborn will get into what? Trouble. Those people that don't cooperate with God and learn to cooperate with other people, they'll be trouble everywhere they go. Then the Bible says this. He's talking to the king. He's talking to King Saul. It says for rebellion is like the sin of witchcraft and stubbornness. Not cooperating with God is as iniquity and idolatry. Putting everything else before God because you have rejected the Word of the Lord. He has also rejected you from being king or from your kingdom. Saul lost his kingdom because he wouldn't cooperate with God and being stubborn. Now, today in Romans, the Bible says the kingdom of God, it's our kingdom on the inside. It says, the kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy. So when you're stubborn and you don't cooperate with God, you don't lose necessarily your physical kingdom, though you might, but you do lose your peace and joy. Stubbornness and not cooperating will cost you. Jesus said, I want you to cooperate. He tells us in Matthew 11:28, he says, Come unto me. Cooperate with me. All that labor and heavy laden, all that are stressed out, all that came with a lot of problems. He says, Listen, I want you to cooperate and come to me in your labor and heavy laden. I'll give you rest. In other words, what he's really saying, if you'll cooperate with me, you can trade in your stress for rest. That's pretty good cooperation. Amen. So when God calls you, why would you go home all stressed out and worried when he said, Why don't you cooperate with me and you could find rest? Amen. He said, Cooperate with me.

James Greer: [00:19:00] When you don't cooperate with God, there's things that happen to you. You'll often focus on the conflict instead of the cure. I've told y'all many times I'm not a good counselor. But a few weeks ago, I decided, somebody called and I've known them for a while and they said, Listen, can me and my wife come in? We're really having conflict. I told him right then, I said, You know that you shouldn't come to me. Oh, yeah, I love you, Brother James. I said, Let's go. Okay. They came in naturally. They were both just griping at each other and both of them telling me what's wrong with the other. I couldn't even speak. And I like to speak. So they just kept on and on and on. Telling me what's wrong. I finally said, Would y'all just shut up? That's my counseling word. Shut up. And I said, I agree. Y'all both got something wrong with you. I agree with you. No problem. You came to the right place. You're both messed up. But let me ask you something, man. Y'all have been having conflict the whole time you're here. I'm going to let y'all talk in just a minute. What's the cure? For the first time, they shut up and couldn't speak. They had focused so much on the conflict, they never shut up long enough to let God help them find out what the cure is. And if you're not careful, we'll be doing the same thing in our home and our job. And even with God, we'll start telling God all our problems. We'll tell everybody else our problems. We're so focused on what's wrong and all the problems, we don't let God give us the cure. Amen. And he said, Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden. I'll give you rest. You need to learn to cooperate with God. You need to learn to cooperate with each other. You need to let God be the other. He tells us, A person stands alone, he can get attacked. He can't defend himself. But he that stands back-to-back, he will conquer.

James Greer: [00:20:43] But he said even better than that, three are even better. And what? Triple stranded cord can't easily be broken. That's God. See, if you're married, you, your wife, and God. Then you're cooperating with God and you can stand longer and do better. But God says I have a plan for you. I really have a plan for you to cooperate with me, if you will. And if you cooperate with me at this plan, you have the best life you've ever had. But you have to listen. You have to receive and you have to cooperate. And God said this in Ephesians 2:10. He said, This is how you cooperate. For we are God's own handiwork and workmanship. You have to say, God, I look the way I do, my intellectual ability is the way it is because you created me that way. Created in Christ Jesus born anew. You have to accept Jesus Christ as your savior for this to work. I'll give you that opportunity in a minute. God's been communicating to you that He loves you. And he says you have to be born anew that we may do those good works, cooperate with God, and part of love is working.

James Greer: [00:21:54] You're predestined. He planned beforehand for us taking the path which He prepared ahead of time for you. God's already gone ahead. He's already prepared a place for you. But you got to cooperate with Him. You got to receive it that you should walk in them, living the good life which He prearranged and He's already made ready for you. God said, I want you to cooperate with me. And there's two main ways you cooperate with Him. You accept Jesus Christ as your personal savior because He’s communicated that He loves you. He said, I love you so much, I gave my only begotten son. You cooperate because He said whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. You cooperate because you believe in Him. He said, I prearranged the life, a path for you to walk in it. You have to cooperate with me. You got to be willing to walk in the path that I prearranged. Then you get the good life as you walk in that life. What I want to do, then the last one would have been dedication. But dedication is simply in the easiest sense is small amounts of consistently doing the right thing over a long period of time. And you have success.

James Greer: [00:23:09] But the greatest success that you could have today is to enjoy God's peace and God's joy, which you cannot have apart from Jesus Christ. What God's been trying to communicate and what I've been trying to communicate to you today is God's love. And He's tried to communicate through love and His action. But you still have to cooperate with Him. You have to be willing to accept it. And what I want to do in just a minute, first of all, is give you a chance to cooperate with God and to accept His love. And then we'll give you some following steps. So first of all, if you'll stand for just a minute. And if you're here today and you want to cooperate with God, you want to accept Jesus Christ as your savior, because that's what He's been trying to communicate to you. He said, I've been trying to communicate through the Word. I've been trying to communicate through the action of giving my son. I've been trying to communicate it to you that you can have a brand-new life. I've been trying to communicate that you can be sure that you would go to heaven. I've been trying to communicate that all your sins can be forgiven. I've been trying to communicate to you that you have no more guilt. I can try to communicate to you that I'll give you rest instead of stress. So if you'll bow your heads just a minute and close your eyes.

James Greer: [00:24:25] If you want to cooperate with God, if you want Jesus Christ as your personal savior, I'm going to count to three. And if you just raise your hand. One, two, three. Just raise your hands up high. Amen. Just raise your hands. You want to cooperate with God, raise your hand real high. Keep it up there. Upstairs and downstairs. Raise your hand. Amen. Just cooperate with God. There you go. Just keep it up. And as you get the packets, make sure you fill it out. Yeah. One more time. If you didn't get the package, just raise your hand one more time. As you get that, if you'd fill out just the front page and they'll come back and get it for you. You know, I always feel like out of all decisions somebody makes, I always think that's the most important decision of all. See, we cooperate with God in a lot of ways. Some of the ways we cooperate with God is we need to say, I'm going to accept your communication better, God. Some ways we cooperate with God and say, God, I need to be a better communicator in my own home with my own family, not just with you. Some of the ways we cooperate with God is say, listen, I need to be a better communicator. I need to be better to cooperate. I need to stop being so stubborn.

James Greer: [00:26:07] Now if y'all just pick the cards up. If everybody else will look up here for just a moment. I'm going to ask y'all to pray with me, and then we'll give another invitation. Just say after me. Say, Father. I know I've sinned. I want you to forgive me of my sins. Come into my heart. Be the Lord of my life. I believe Jesus died on the cross and rose on the third day for my sins. In Jesus' name. And everybody said amen. The Bible says in Romans 10:13, whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. And that's what you did. You know what I love to? One of the greatest things we celebrate at Journey Church, I don't know, is baptism. That was so exciting. You got baptized. We had two more baptized in the other service. And I think you know what? Baptism's the picture of death, burial, and resurrection. But it's also saying, I'm not ashamed of Christ. You know? And that's a brand-new start.

James Greer: [00:27:13] And I'm going to give an invitation in a minute. And the counselors here, maybe that God's laid upon your heart that you need to follow through in baptism. Maybe you were as a child or a baby, and now you need to go down and come up and you just maybe want to come and say, Hey, I want to follow through in baptism. Maybe you want to join the church like some did the last service. Whatever God lays upon your heart. But if you'll bow, let me pray. God, I thank you for today. I thank you for your Word. God, some of us need to just communicate better with you. Some of us need better communicators at the home. Some need to cooperate better with our mates, our friends at work. We need to just stop being so stubborn. When I talk about dedication, some people just need to rededicate their lives to you. God, we need to be showing our love through our time, through our tithe, through our money. God, whether it's to join the church, follow through in baptism. Some came here, God, and what they need is rest. They've been all stressed out and they want to cooperate with you today. And you said, Come unto me all that labor and heavy laden and they'll find rest. God, I pray that you could have your will and your way. I pray it in the precious name of Jesus. Amen.

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