Don’t Just Go To Church - Be Planted

Understanding What It Means To Be Planted In The Church

James Greer
Mar 21, 2021    32m
To effectively be the church, we have to be planted in the church and in God. When we are planted, we will flourish. Then you will experience growth, blessings, and truth. You will be victorious and triumphant. The Lord is our rock. We only need to obey and trust Him. When we rely on Him, we will not whither. 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 (00:00):
Well, good morning, Journey Church for those that are here and those that are online. Man, I'm so proud of Journey Church. I'm going to tell you, we've been preaching about don't just come to church but also be the church. And today we're going to be talking about, don't just come to church, but be planted at the church. But I'm gonna tell you, you talk about coming to church and then being the church. I mean yesterday we had hundreds and hundreds of people going from door to door, delivering bags that were stuffed with Easter invites. And that was just fantastic to see people all over. And that's being the church. Amen? And then we had the funeral, the Fuquays and I mean just hundreds of people, hundreds of people that came by and they comforted the Fuquays and they helped with food and ministering to them. And I'm going to tell you, that's not just simply coming to church. That's actually being the church.

James Greer (01:04):
Romans 12:15 says, rejoice with those that rejoice and weep with those that weep. We had three funerals this week. I almost said four, but one of them was a wedding, Steven. But anyway, but anyway. But I noticed something. The ones that were really planted in the church, rooted in the church, how important it is to be connected and rooted. Because of the way they were planted, because they were rooted, the way they were connected, the way they were cared for. Small groups came together and they ministered to them. They fed them. They cared for them, not only here but in their home. And I just want to tell you, if you're not connected to a small group, it's so important. I was just so happy, so proud to be a pastor of a church like that. They say the church is like a family. And I said, I was a happy father. 1 Peter 3:8 says, and now this is the Word to y'all. You should be like one big happy family, full of sympathy towards each other, loving one another, tenderhearted and humble.

James Greer (02:35):
It's one thing to preach a series and that's great. But it's another thing to see it lived out. And to see our church living it out with my own eyes is unbelievable. And church, you're doing it. You're living it out within the church with the people and you're living it out outside the church, seeing the people. And that's what church is all about. And I just thank God for you and to give God the honor and the glory. Revelation 4:11 says, you're worthy, Oh Lord, to receive honor and glory and power. You created all things and because of you, they all exist and they were created. In other words, He just says I'm in control. But today we're going to move further. We're going to say, don't just come to church, be planted at the church. And we will learn the difference between coming to church and being planted at church. See, when you're being planted, when you got roots in a church, it's hard to be moved. You don't like to be plucked up. You don't like to be moved from there. You want to come to church, you want to be planted, you want your roots to be nourished, you get your strength, you draw on that water which is the Holy Spirit. And that's how you do it. And I love the Psalmist, Psalms 92, it tells about being planted in the church.

James Greer (03:54):
In chapter 92, starting verse 12, it says, the righteous. When it says the righteous, I want you to say, when you're right with God and you're right with others. When you're right with God and you're right with others. Amen? There's something going to happen in your life. You're going to flourish. You're going to thrive. You're going to thrive like palm trees. At first, I thought that isn't too much thriving. But we'll talk about that later. And you're going to grow like a cedar. Well, I don't know if I wanted to be a palm tree or a cedar. But the more we learn about it, the more we'll like it. Amen? Now the next verse, verse 13, I really like. Those who are planted in the house of the Lord. Where do you need to be planted? Say in the house of the Lord. They're going to flourish. They're going to flourish in the courts of our God.

James Greer (04:47):
And they shall bear fruit in their old... And everybody said... Not that I'm old, but if I get older, I want to bear fruit. Amen? I mean we're bearing more fruit right now, y'all, than we've ever seen in our life. We baptized seven last week. We got some to be baptized. I mean we're baptizing people every single Sunday. And believe it or not, I know I'm getting older. A little bit. Only on the outside. I'm going to get to still bear fruit in old age. Listen to this. And they shall be fresh and flourishing. I mean is that fantastic or what? To declare the Lord is upright and He is my what? Rock. He's my what? Rock. There's no one writes this in Him. So I want to give you a few insights, about seven insights about being planted in the church and learning to become the church. Number one, the righteous. When I say the righteous, those that are right with God and right with others. Amen? Yeah. Because I used to think when I'd hear that word, I'm never going to be the righteous. I'm never going to be good enough. And you say, well, I know that, Brother James. But neither are you. My righteousness is because of Jesus Christ. Amen?

James Greer (06:15):
But I do have some say in being right with God and right with others. And I want to do that because when I do that, I flourish, I thrive. It doesn't say, I might. It says, I will. I mean I want to be rooted. I want to be planted. Did you know when you're rooted and when you're planted, the leaves and the branches know when there's a problem? Did you know when you're really rooted in a church and you're really planted in a church and you're really there, when something else is going wrong, the leaves, the people around you, they know there's something going on in your life. I mean we need each other. You don't need to just come to church. You need to be planted in the church. Second of all, we're gonna grow like the palm trees and the cedars and we're going to flourish. The only guarantee that life's going to get better is that you keep growing spiritually. Third, when I'm planted in the house of the Lord, the church, I'm going to flourish.

James Greer (07:22):
I just wonder, there was times I didn't feel like I was rooted and planted. I want you to feel like you're rooted. I want to feel like you're planted here. And if you're not, why not? Why don't you feel like this is where you're rooted and planted? Or if not, what can we or what can the staff, what can the church do to help you do that? What can we do to help you feel like, man, that's where I'm getting my nourishment, that's where I'm getting my strength, that's where I'm pulled to every Sunday? I feel like I've got to be there. I've got to get my strength for the rest of the week. And if you don't feel that way, let us help you. Fourth, because I'm righteous. I'm right with God and right with others, and I'm planted in the house of the Lord, I'm not only going to bear fruit. I'm going to do it in my old age. And everybody said, amen. And not only am I going to do it at my old age. Listen to this. I'm going to be fresh. That means you're gonna stay sharp. I mean you're going to be sharper. I mean some people are just old. I got a phone call. It was a wrong call the other story. True story. I said, hello. And they said I must have the wrong number. I said, well, who were you looking for? And they said, a pharmacist. I said, well, baby, I take a lot of pills. I could probably help you. But I'm not the doctor. She said, hello? I said, you got the wrong number.

James Greer (09:04):
But what I'm saying, I mean there's people that are old. I look at Debbie sometimes and say, man, they're old. She'll say, you're older than they are. And then I know some people, they're old but man, they're just sharp. They might be old in age but they're still sharp. They're still learning. They're still training. They're still going forward. I mean, my goodness gracious. Did you know when we had 8,000 bags to stuff that some of the people that stuffed them were some of the oldest people in the church? Y'all flourish, man. Y'all rock the house. Y'all show the young people. What it's all about. Yay. Woo. I thought it was hilarious. Young people, you're welcome. When y'all get some strength, y'all can help too. Poor little babies. I never seen so many wimpy young people in my entire life. Get a life. Maybe you're getting your nourishment from the wrong place. I don't know. I'm just saying. But us, oh man, no, no, no. We're going to be fresh. We're going to be sharp. We're going to be flourishing. I love it because when you're planted in the church, you don't simply just come to church. You're rooted. You get the strength of the church. You stay sharp. You flourish. You thrive. You bear fruit. Amen?

James Greer (10:24):
I can stay fresh and flourish because I'm getting my strength, my power, my freshness, comes from the rock. Where? The rock. I love the rock. The Lord is my rock. He's my rock. It says in Matthew 7:24, it talks about the rock. Therefore whosoever hears these sayings of mine and does them will be like a wise man who builds his house on the rock. So if you want to build your house on the rock, you hear the Word and you do the Word because you're going to have storms that come into your life and the winds are going to come and they're going to blow. But your house is built on the rock. Amen? Amen, brother. That man has some wisdom. I mean let's go in Matthew 16:18. Let's go. And I also say to you, that you're Peter, you're Journey Church. And on this rock, it's really talking about Jesus Christ, the rock. I'm going to build my church. You know what? When the rock, when you build your life on the rock, the gates of hell shall not prevail. Oh hell's going to break loose but it's not going to prevail. Amen? And man, I'm going to give you the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven. What you bind on earth will be bound in Heaven, whatever you loose on earth will be loose in Heaven. My goodness gracious. When you build your house on the rock, you got the keys to the Kingdom. Amen?

James Greer (11:48):
Sixth, the rock is strength. It doesn't wither. You want the rock. Seventh. It doesn't say because I come to church, I flourish. It says, because I'm planted in the church. I want you to be planted. I want you to be rooted. I want you to get your nourishment. What does it mean to flourish? And that's not a word we use too much now. Say, man, Cecil, how are you doing? I'm just fresh and flourishing. Can't say, no, he doesn't. But that's really what it means. It means for a Christian, you need to be fresh. You need to be flourishing. It means to be thriving. It means to be growing and not just simply here. It means to be growing spiritually. You're not only blessed but you're being a blessing. It literally means I'm striving, I'm prospering, I'm flourishing. The Psalmist compares it to the two tree, to the cedar and to the palm tree. Because a cedar is, it was durable. It was pleasant to look at. It even smelled good. I'm not going to compare a lot of our Christians to that. But Solomon's temple, you know, he used it to build posts and beams and roofs, cedar, because it lasts for centuries. Because it was durable. I don't know if any of y'all have ever seen or had a cedar chest. But they were attractive. They even smelled good.

James Greer (13:29):
We're to be compared to a flourishing, like cedar ,durable, strong, emotional, lasting. And then palm branches, triumph, victory, flourishing. When Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the donkey, they said he had palm trees. In John 12:12, it talked about it. And the next day, we're getting ready to celebrate Easter. Amen? Invite people. I think they have some extra bags out there. Y'all can get some, grab your tin, deliver them, use them to invite people. Amen? Let's keep inviting. The next day, a great multitude had come to the feast. When they heard Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, they took branches of what? Palm trees. And they went out to meet Him and they cried Hosanna. In other words, victory, praise God, King of Kings, blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord, the King of Israel. They were just blessing Him. They were saying, hey, they were using the palm trees as a type of celebration and type of victory. They're evergreens so they'd last for a long time. And you're flourishing. You're planted. You're rooted. You bear fruit in your old age. You're fresh.

James Greer (14:55):
How about those that don't come to church? How about those that aren't planted? How about those that roots don't go deep? They probably do the opposite of flourishing is withering. I know people that are young age, they seem like they're all withered up. I know people older that don't. I think flourishing and withering is a spiritual condition depending on how you're rooted and how you're planted. And seeing this big tree by the road, He came to it and He found nothing on it but leaves. And He said, no, no, there's no fruit. And guess what? Immediately, the fig tree withered away. It's the lesson of the withering fig tree because it just withered away. There wasn't any fruit in it. It wasn't accomplishing its purpose. So I'm just wondering in your life, do you feel like you're flourishing or withering? See, what happens, even in the Christian life, people that are withering away, they want to look for excuses to blame other people. It's my boss. It's my mate. It's my job. I mean it's my kids. It's my dog. It's my cat. It's you.

James Greer (16:16):
You Know? Instead of fruitful, you're unfruitful. You're unproductive. Mark says, 4:19, and the cares of the world, the deceitfulness of the riches, and the desires for other things, they just choked out the Word and you become unfruitful. Instead of durable and stable, you're fragile and unstable. Instead of having triumph and victory, you feel defeated and discouraged. How do you get planted? How do you get rooted? Because you always got to change the root if you want to change the fruit. I can tell you, self-centeredness, it's the root. It's the root to most problems. If you want to have significance and you want to start watering your root, spend your time and your energy and your money, begin to help other people and give of yourself. Number one, if you want to start rooted, you got to pray. Prayers. Earthly permission for Heavily interference. When we say in Matthew 6:10, we say, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Amen? Heavenly Father, I pray that your will be done in my life while I'm here on earth. You want to start getting planted? Start asking God that He would have His will in your life, that He would use you while you're here on earth. 1 John 5:14 tells us, now this is the confidence. He said, I want you to have confidence in this. I want you to have confidence in Him, that if you ask anything according to God's will, He hears us. And if you know that He hears us, whatsoever He asks, then you know that we have the petition that we ask of Him. He says, listen, he says, I want you to know.

James Greer (18:12):
I want you to know if you want to be planted, you want to be grounded, you want to ask God, God, I want your will to be done in my life while I'm here on earth. Then when I know your will, I can pray your will. And when I pray your will, I got confidence that you're going to answer me. Second, second. And something to do with the seed. Anything that's got to be planted has to be planted with the seed. It's all what you do with the seed. It's like the seed when you come to church. You can get so familiar with the church and the preaching, you're not even receptive anymore. The most important thing you can do is come to church and be receptive to God's Word. Be ready for it. Expect it. Say, hey man, God, speak to me. Come with anticipation. And then not only with anticipation, then participate. Man, I love it, man. I mean our church, not only they come with anticipate, man, y'all getting to where y'all participate like it's unbelievable. When the worship starts, y'all are participating. Amen? And come with an expectation. Mark talks about it. He says a lot of people didn't understand what was going on. But when he was alone with the disciples around him, the 12 ask him about the parable. Well, he'd been talking about a parable and they didn't get it. And he said to them, to you that's been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God. Man, I love knowing the mysteries of the kingdom of God because the kingdom of God is not meat or drink. It's peace and joy. And God said, I want you to know that.

James Greer (19:45):
But those who are outside, all the things, they come in parables. In other words, they don't really understand them. So that seeing, they may see and they don't perceive. See, there's some people, same people come to the same church, hear the same message, but they're not receptive. They weren't ready. They didn't participate. They heard it. They saw it but they didn't perceive it and hearing, they didn't understand it. Lest say should turn from their sins and be forgiven. But there's a parable. Then he sowed. And this is what he said. He said to them, they didn't understand the parable. How then will you understand all the parables? He said, okay, now he said, I'm going to start explaining it to you. Y'all ready? That was a question. It was a pretty easy answer. If you're going to participate. Are you ready? So the sower sows the Word. That's what I try to do every single Sunday and it depends what you do with the Word. That's the seed. I sow the Word. And this is what happens. And these are the ones though by the wayside where the Word is sown, this happens every day. Happens every Sunday. You sow the Word. Soon as the Word is sown, when they hear it, Satan comes and he tries to immediately take away the Word that was sown in their hearts.

James Greer (21:30):
You better be aware, you better focus, and you better concentrate when you come to church. Because when the Word is being sown, Satan's trying to take it from you. The Bible says in John 10:10, the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy. But on the other hand, you can be receptive and Jesus came that you get a life and you can have it more abundantly. It greatly depends on if your heart is receptive. Amen? And he goes on from there. Then he says, verse 16. He says this. Likewise, there's those that are sown into a stony ground who when they heard the Word, immediately received it with gladness. I feel sorry for these. Many times, it was over time. Their hearts have just gotten hard. They come to church for a little while but their hearts are so hard. They feel a little better but they've allowed things through life. If you're not careful, life will harden your heart. Hurts harden your heart, don't they? Hard times harden your heart. God wants you to have a soft heart. Ezekiel says he'll do this. And then I'll give them one heart and I'll put in them a new spirit within them. I'll take the stony heart out of their flesh and I'll give them a heart of flesh. Can I tell you, if you came today and you're one of those hard hearted because you've been hurt, would you let God give you a new heart, a soft heart? See, He's talking about the different hearts that are here today, the one Satan's trying to steal it and then some of you hard-hearted. And he goes on and said, and they have no roots in themselves so they just endured for a time. And after when tribulation and persecution arose for the Word's sake, immediately they stumbled.

James Greer (23:44):
Trouble makes you doubt your heart. If you've never doubted, you've probably never been hurt bad enough. When you're hurt bad enough, you can doubt. For you that are doubting, I've doubted before. I've been hurt bad enough to doubt. Thank God I didn't continue to live on my feelings but facts. Let your conduct be without covetousness. Be content with such things you have. But He Himself, Jesus said, remember this, I'll never leave you nor forsake you no matter what you think is going on. He said, that you might boldly say, the Lord is my helper. I will not fear. Then He says, what can man do to you? What can he do? Nothing compared to what God has. Then He goes on. Now these are the ones sown among thorns. They're the ones, they hear the Word. They're coming. You're hearing the Word. Everybody's hearing the Word. See, it's all a matter of what you do with the Word. Amen? But then the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in, they just choke the Word and they become unfruitful. See, riches can rob your joy. Riches can rob your heart. Riches are so deceitful, they can make you think, only if you get this, I'll be happy. And when you get it, it's not what you think you got what you wanted. Maybe you get that job and you get that riches but you lose your family.

James Greer (25:37):
Not so happy then, are you? Matthew 16 says, well, what does it profit a man, woman, boy, or a girl if he did gain the whole world and lose your own soul or lose your own family? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? Get so wrapped up in the world and be deceived by that. It's tough. See, your desires will greatly determine your destiny. You can change your desires, determine how you receive and what you do with God's Word. But then thank goodness, those that are sown good ground. In other words, you came to church, your heart is cultivated, you participated, you're ready to receive the Word, they hear the Word, they accept the Word, they bear fruit. Some 30, some 60, some 180, man. Same people. Same room. It's all in What you do with the Word. I love how he goes after that. Just like it's tucked in there. Also, He said to them, is a lamp brought in to be put under a basket or under a bed? Nah. Or is it set on a lampstand? In other words, once you've got the seed, once you've done the right thing, your light's going to show. If there was one thing that I would've said about Janet at the funeral is she let her light shine. She would smile. She was a testimony. Christians, our attitude should also be different than other people, not just our actions.

James Greer (27:30):
In closing, I want to tell you some things. Number one, to be planted, you have to have the seed of Christ in you. You gotta be re-gened. You got a Holy Spirit. There has to be a point in time, like today is the day like no other day. I hope your heart is receptive. If you're not sure that if you died, that you would go to Heaven, today is the day that you accept that seed, that you confess your sins. You just simply say, I know that I'm a sinner. My sin has separated me from God. I believe that God loved me so much, He sent His son Jesus Christ and He died on the cross and He rose on third day. And I want to invite Him into my heart and forgive me of all my sins. And in just a moment, you can come and you can accept that seed. Amen? You need to be in the Word and under the Word. You need to be at church every single Sunday apart from emergencies. Your heart needs, you need to be receptive when you come in. You need to participate. Then you need to believe. You need to believe it's the right as a Christian that's right with God and right with others to thrive and to prosper and to be a blessing. God said that. It's your right. You're sons of God, you're daughters of God. He said, you're planted and you're planted in the house of God. Just say, hey, I'm going to get right with God. I'm going to get right with others because I want to thrive. I want to prosper. I not only want to be blessed but I want to be a blessing. Amen? I want to stay sharp. I want to stay fresh in spite of my age. I want to bear fruit.

James Greer (29:12):
I want to bear fruit at young age, at a middle age, at an old age. Don't we all want to bear fruit? Amen? Ask God. Say, God, help me to bear fruit. I want the fruit in my life. Love, joy, and peace. But God, I want to bear other fruit. I want to see other people come to know the Lord Jesus Christ. So I'm asking you, are you flourishing or are you withering? Are you ready to change today? The choice is yours. Stand and let me pray with you and pray for you. God, you're such an awesome God. I just love you and I thank you. I thank you for what's happening in our church. God, I pray for those, first of all, that maybe need to be take that seed, the seed of the Holy Spirit. Be planted in their heart, that they would just step out in just a minute. Don't wait on anybody else. Don't worry about anybody else. Just say, man, I need to plant. I need the seed. I need to make sure I'm going to Heaven. And you just step out whether it's a next step card or we got people at the alter and you just do that. Maybe your next step's to follow through in baptism and you're ready to do that. Maybe your next step is to join the church. Maybe you've just been kind of withering away and you've got to stop blaming everybody else. And you said, man, God, I want to ask you right now. I want you to use me while I'm here on earth. That's a biblical prayer so He'll answer that prayer.

James Greer (30:38):
God, I want to be planted. I want to be nourished. I want to be fresh. I want to be blessed. But God, I want to be a blessing. Listen, God, show me how I can bless others today. God, so many times, we come and we're just looking for the blessing, looking for the blessing. Man, when you start being a blessing, you'll find the blessing. I pray that everyone here today looks for a way to bless somebody else whether it's a word or a deed, whether it's emotional, spiritual, or financial, that they would do that. And then God, those that are hurting today, I pray that we could minister to them, that you would come and that we could pray with you. God, they might feel like they're withering. By the time they leave, they'll be flourishing. I pray nobody leaves the way that they came. They can just come to this altar, God, or they can leave their problems and stress right here, God, and go home fresh, new, flourishing. Bring us fruit, God, in our lives. God, I thank you what you're doing. I thank you what you're going to do. This is all in the precious name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Bruce Goulart (31:52):
On behalf of Pastor James, I just want to say thank you for joining our online experience today. Wasn't that just an amazing message that he just preached? If you need prayer right now, we have people on standby, waiting to pray with you right now. So there's a link down in your comments that you can click on and fill out and we'll get with you as soon as possible. I just want to personally invite y'all to the service next week and I hope to see y'all there. Thank y'all.

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