Why Your Relationship With Jesus Should Come First

James Greer
Jun 13, 2021    31m
When faced with a loss of identity, we often look towards everything and everyone but God. But we can only find ourselves in our relationship with Jesus. It is through Him that we get our identity, not from others. We're seeking and not finding because we have not sought Him and His righteousness first. 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: [00:00:02] Man, hey, man, I didn't even know Josh was going to do that. I mean if you haven't been tithing, you need to start tithing. Today is the day. What did he say? If you start tithing today and in three months, if you're not as well off or better, Josh is going to give your money back. And then did y’all hear him play the guitar at the end, man? He did pretty good, but I think Mica’s safe. I don’t think he has anything to worry about. Hey, man, inside your bulletin, you got one of these. It’s fantastic. Take it home, read it. And if you need some more, let us know. How should you talk to your kids about the LGBTQ issue? Hey, listen, we're going to continue our series on True Colors. And Luke 11:28 says this. We’re gonna to read this every Sunday because Jesus replied, but even more blessed are all who hear the Word of God and put it into practice. Don't you want some more blessings? Amen? So what I want you to do today is I want you to hear the Word and then I want you to put it into practice. Amen? I want to kind of give us a recap of last week. We said that either the Word or the world is making influence in your life. I say that you need to have the Word needs to be the ultimate authority in your life. If you don't have the God's Word as the ultimate authority, you have chaos.

James Greer: [00:01:22] God doesn't want you to have chaos. He told us in 1 Corinthians 14:33, He said, for God is not the author of confusion, but of peace or calmness as in all the churches and of the saints. So, Jesus says, listen, I don't want you to live in chaos. I want you to have calmness, and the Word will bring calmness. The world will bring chaos. Look, John 16:33 really kind of sums it up. He says, these things I have spoken unto you. In other words, God's Word. You can read it. He speaks to you. That in me, you can have peace or calmness. In the world, you will have tribulation or chaos. Be of good cheer. I have overcome the world. In essence, God’s saying, God's Word continually applied to any circumstance and situation can bring calmness over chaos. Now, when I was writing that, I'm saying, man, God, that is so cool. So no matter what's going on, if I apply your Word, I can have calmness in the middle of chaos. Well, what I didn't know though, you know, this morning I woke up and I'd scratch my eye. Well, I'm kind of a sissy. That's a nice word to where I don't cuss today. But anyway. I mean man, I don't tolerate pain very well. So I say, I know what I'll do.

James Greer: [00:02:44] I'll just go to urgent care this morning. They don't open up till eight o'clock. So I get there at eight. And I guess what they want me to do? They want me to wait in line like everybody else. Can you believe that? So about 8:15, I have to leave. I'm going to preach. So I have my sunglasses on. I said, well, maybe I can put a patch on or something. Well, thank God, one of our ladies found me some numbing eye drops. Sent from Heaven. I thought it was an angel that walked in. I dropped it in and it numbed it. Now listen, I had prayed. I said, God, you didn't give me a spirit of fear but of power and love. God, you're the author of all calmness. It still hurt. But can I tell you this? If you will continue to apply God's Word to any emotional relational situation over a long period of time, He can bring calmness out of chaos. Amen? I also said, you know the reason I believe God's Word, number one, God can't lie. Number two, His word will never change. Number three, His word is alive and it’s powerful and it’s powerful enough to take care of any need and meet any need that you have. And number four, it never changes. But today we're going to be talking about attractions and passion. But before we do that, in Mark 3:25, it says this.

James Greer: [00:04:08] If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. Well, what I mean is that it doesn't mean we're going to all agree on our opinions. In our house, we don't always have the same opinion believe it or not. Now maybe in your house. And the more people you have in the house, the more opinions you have in the house. And if you have kids, you got 15 opinions. Amen? I mean that’s with one kid. But we don't all agree on our opinions, but we all agree that we have to do it in love. Amen? In fact, I love this because John 1:17 says this. For the law was given through Moses, but thank goodness, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. In other words, today we teach and we preach the grace and truth. Because if not, 1 Corinthians 13:1 says this. If you speak in tongues of men or angels but you don't have love, I'm only as a resounding gong and a clanging cymbal. In other words, you got to do it in love. And so that brings us to a verse, one of the first verses most people learn. It’s John 3:16. For God so loved the. God so loved the what? Yeah, God so loved the LGBTQ and you. He loved the world. He loves everybody. He loves the way you're black, you're white. He loves you whether you're rich or poor. He loves everybody that's here, everybody that’s upstairs. He loves everybody online.

James Greer: [00:05:42] Amen? And then He said that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever. Say whosoever. Well, see, I'm doing good just to do English. You know? But I can tell you that the Greek, Hebrew, everything and I can tell you what whosoever means. Y’all ready? It means just whosoever. Whosoever believes, whoever commits, whoever trusts in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. And so what He says then, for God didn't send His son to the world that we should be condemning the world, but saved the world through Him. So God said, listen, He wasn’t condemning the world. He wants them to be saved through Him. So what He's really telling us is this. Whosoever believes in Him is not condemned. But whosoever does not believe stands condemned already because He does not believe in the name of the son of God, His son. Let me tell you the place to start before you do anything with True Colors, with racism, police, authority. Give your life to Jesus Christ. Amen? For God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten son. Whosoever believes in Him shall be saved. So the best place to start if you haven't given your life to Jesus Christ, that's the place to start. Amen? Okay. Number one, I want to talk about the problem. I want to talk about some things I don't understand first. I'm not talking about the problem of LGBTQ, same sex attraction.

James Greer: [00:07:15] I'm talking about some things I don't understand. I don't understand the same sex attraction. Just never had that problem. We got a lot of good looking men here. Ain’t none of y’all attracting me. Amen somebody said. So I just can't understand it. But let me give you an important insight that's worth listening to. When we don't understand something, our first response is to criticize it often. So for those of us who don't have the same sex attraction and those who have opposite sex attraction, we got to be aware. Because by nature, the first thing we’re gonna do is when we don't understand is start criticizing it. It's the same thing at home, with your family, with the kids, on the job. If you're not careful, the first thing you’ll do when you don't understand something instead of trying to understand it, you start criticizing. The same thing is true with racism. Same thing, employees, authority. See, when we don't understand, by nature, the first thing to do is criticize it when we need to be socializing. What I mean by that is this. My first step to better understanding racism wasn't God's Word. I knew God’s Word. God’s Word says, God so loved the what? World. But I don't know. 10, 15 years ago, we hired Paul and Sarah to work at the church. Paul was black and Sarah was white. Paul was kind of like a secretary to me.

James Greer: [00:08:52] And what Paul did, the better I got to know him, we’d eat and fellowship. And Paul would have to correct all my spelling. Paul had a full time job. Matter of fact, Paul corrected it so much, one time when I was in Africa, I sent out a Facebook message and I said, man, I'm loving it. Man, Mandela, he changed the continent or he changed the country and whatever it was. It was the opposite. He sends me a text. He says, whatever I said, it was wrong. He said, would you please correct your Facebook post? It’s either not a continent or it’s not a country and post correctly. I said, no, dude, it’s been 10 years. You're still correcting me? Yes. But what happened was we built a relationship, and that was the first step, see, of building a relationship that crosses a racial barrier. Because listen, relationship, how you do this is build relationship. The first thing, relationship with Jesus brings transformation or should. Amen? Relationship with others should bring transparency. When you have transformation and transparency equals understanding and have the right relationship. That's good, Brother James. Y’all just didn't get it. So that's what we got to do. I don't understand same sex attraction. But what I have to do is try to understand it. Because you don't understand something, the first thing you do is try to criticize it. Our best response is to intentionally begin to try to understand, not criticize, whether it's racism, police, authority, or same sex.

James Greer: [00:10:25] Amen? And you have to do it intentionally. Romans 12:18 says, if it is possible, as much depends upon you, live peaceable with all men, women, boys, and girls. Second, second. I want to talk to you about some things that I do understand. I do understand we all often get our misplaced identity from how we look and how we're accepted. If you're not careful, you start getting your identity on how you look and how you dress. Why do you think people change the way they dress, change the way they look? They want to fit in. Do you understand that we all struggle with some kind of sexual identity as well? Even though you may not have the same sex attraction, men often struggle with their sexual identity. Men, they overdo it. They want [inaudible] I’m a man. You know? Sometimes they even talk like that and walk like that. He the man, whatever that means. You know what I mean? You just know that he's the man. And then women, I won’t even go there. They want you to [inaudible] the woman, however that is. I'm not going to say what that means. But you walk down and they say, they want you to, they’re the woman. See, what I’m trying to say. If you’ll be honest, everybody struggles with some type of sexual identity, you know, a sexual identity.

James Greer: [00:11:46] Maybe not same sex attraction but sexual identity. See, the problem is it's an identity problem. See, the first step we got to learn to practice is understand instead of criticizing. The second step we got to do this. We got to get our identity from Christ, not from how we look and not from what somebody else does. Amen? Because I will tell you, if you do that, you’re gonna always have a problem. You can't get your identity from what you look like and especially what other people think. Have you ever gone to the hospital and seen the ugly babies? They're ugly sometimes. I mean ugly as dogs. But what happens is this. But everybody standing around, you ever been standing there and their parents come by and say, oh, that’s my baby. He’s so pretty. Well, you just lie and say yeah. Well, you know it's ugly. But to them, you know, you just try to say it's okay. That's what you do. So but, you know, don't get your identity from how you look. Don't get your identity from what other people say. See, part of becoming content as a person, is stop comparing your life, your body, yourself to anyone else. Because what the Bible says in Psalms 139:12, and the truth is you're fearfully and wonderfully made. I mean really are fearfully and wonderfully made. God made you that way. Now, listen, I don't think y’all are just trying to be ugly to be ugly. I mean really. I think you should do the best you can with what you got. Amen?

James Greer: [00:13:23] But don't get your identity from the wrong people and the wrong place. But what I'm trying to tell you, we all struggle somewhat with sexual identity. You know? A man wants to look like a man and he should look like a man. There's no problem with that. But it’s when he overdoes it. Women should look like women. That's good. But when you overdo it. The second problem is this. God's given us a desire to have deep, personal relationships. No problem. It’s when we can have a great struggle with it. We want more than just a personal relationship. We want an intimate relationship. And today, Christians and non-Christians alike, they think an intimate relationship means having sex. Well, the problem with that is as long as it's opposite sex attraction and you're married, hey, I can tell you the Bible says have at it. Amen? And then some. In fact, if you're married, the Bible commands it. That's one of the few commandments all the men want to obey. But the problem comes in what if you're not married? What if you have same sex attraction? Then it can be a cross to bear if you want to be a Christ follower. Matthew 16:24 says, then Jesus said to His disciples. See, these are Christ’s followers. If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

James Greer: [00:14:50] For whosoever desires to save his life will lose it. But whosoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what profit is it to man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? See, unlike most people though, listen, I believe that you can have an intimate relationship without having sex. See, because I believe that God created you to have the greatest intimate relationship with Him. See, I believe that you can become fixated on pursuing God, not sexuality. And the same is with singles. I think you can pursue an intimate relationship with God. In fact, in fact, Paul says in 1 Corinthians 7:7, I wish that all were as I am. But each has his own gift from God. One of one kind, one of another. Then look at this. To those that are unmarried, those that are not married, those that are singles, and to the widows, I say that it is good that you remain single as I am. Can I give you a free insight that's never preached anymore? Being single is not a sin. Doesn't matter how old you are. Just because you're 28, 30, 40, 50, being single is not a sin. In fact, Paul said, I wish you could be single like I am. Because he says, I know once you get married and once you get in a relationship, once you have kids, then you have other obligations. Then you got to start taking care of your wife or your husband, your kids.

James Greer: [00:16:33] Paul says, I wish you can just be single like me because then you can have an unbelievable passion to put me first in your life. You can come, you can go, you can serve me, you can serve other people. And you don't have the same obligations that people, singleness is not a sin. Amen? There's some people that need to be single and serve the Lord. And there's some people that are married that wish they were single. But if you can't exercise self-control, they need to be married. For it's better to marry than to burn with what? Passion. We're gonna talk a lot about passion for the rest of the service. Passion can be powerful. Passion can be good. But passion can paralyze you. Passion can be painful. We're going to talk about for a little bit Samson in the Bible. Samson was called by God to be a judge. He was called by God to help deliver the Israelites from the Philistines. And Samson, he had passion, y’all. He had passion for the opposite sex. But he had passion for the wrong women at the wrong time. I'm going to give you about seven stupid mistakes the Sampson made.

James Greer: [00:17:42] Number one, he went to the wrong place. Instead of staying with the Israelites, he went over to the Philistines and won some women over there. If you keep going to the wrong place, I don't care how old you are, you're going to get in trouble. And he looked at the wrong things. You got to be careful what you're looking at. He rejected godly counsel. His mom and dad said, listen, you got all these women over here, all these Israelite women. Can't you pick one of them? He said, no, I want the one woman over there that I can’t have. Ungodly woman. He had all these godly women. He wanted the one that he couldn't have. He compromised his commitment to God. He was called. He had a commitment to God. He was a Nasserite. But yet he compromised his commitment. He ignored his weakness. His weakness was lust, and he ignored it. He would rather have revenge than to repent. See, passion is not a personality. Passion is a perseverance in the midst of a persecution. Samson is a type of a dangerous, misplaced passion. Jesus is a great example of the right passion. He persevered and went to the cross. Amen? So I want us to be very careful. I don't pretend to understand same sex passion, but I do understand about passion. I have passion. I have passion for my wife. I have passion for a relationship with Jesus Christ, an intimate relationship. Man, if you've never had an intimate relationship with Christ, then you need to have a, you need to pursue it.

James Greer: [00:19:38] There's nothing like it. There's nothing like having an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. Because, see, when you get into Heaven, that's what you're going to have. You're not going to have the intimate, sexual relationship. You're going to have an intimate relationship with Christ. And you can begin to have it here. I have a passion to further God's Kingdom. I know that. And you know why? Because when I wake up in the morning, usually the first thing I think about is Jesus Christ or I think about His Word. I think about it during the day. Many times, I think about it at night. See, because what you're thinking about morning, day, and night, that's your passion. It can be good or it can be bad. See, with Samson, it should have been good, but it became bad because he had an opposite sex attraction. But he used it in the wrong way because he had a opposite sex attraction for the wrong women, he went to the wrong place and did the wrong thing at the wrong time. And it ended up with Samsung getting his eyes gouged out. It tells us in Judges 16:21 that the Philistines, they finally seized him and gouged his eyes out. They brought him down to Gaza and bound him with bronze shackles and he ground at the mill in the prison.

James Greer: [00:20:45] But let me tell you what. As bad as all that is, you ready? If you're not dead, God’s not done with you. I don't care what you've done. I don't care how you came here. I don't care what your past is. If you're here, online, upstairs, wherever you’re at, it proves that God's not done with you. That's why you're still here. Amen? Look what happened. And Samson called out to the Lord. See, I don't care what your past is. If you've done something you shouldn't have done or in a relationship you shouldn't be, God's got an answer for you. Call out to the Lord. And he said, oh Lord, please remember me. Please strengthen me one more time. Oh God, that I might avenge the Philistines for my eyes. In other words, God, let me do what you called me to do. Let me finish strong. Let me finish the race. Samson grasped the two middle pillars on which the house rested, and he leaned his weight against them. His right hand is one on one, his left hand on the other. And look what happened. And Sampson said, let me die with the Philistines. Then he bowed with all his strength, and the house fell upon the lords and upon all the people who were in it. But guess what he said? So the dead whom he killed at his death were more than all those whom he killed during his life.

James Greer: [00:22:12] See, that's what God called him to do. But it's a shame he had to wait till the end of his life to accomplish his God given purpose. Amen? But he still was used at the end. God can use you. You don't have to wait till the end of your life. You can call God today and change it. You don't have to wait till the end. God wants to use you now. See, God still used Samson even at the end. See, what happened to Samson, listen very closely, Sampson mistook lust for love which resulted in him being blinded spiritually because he was called by God which led to being blinded physically. When you're, this is just as much for Christians. He was called by God. He was a judge. When you're mistakenly blinded by lust, it blinds you spiritually, and it will lead to physical pain. I told you to have an intimate relationship, it takes truth and trust. Amen? Samson, Delilah had already lied to him several times. He was blinded to her lying to him. He shouldn't have trusted her. But because it was lust instead of love, he went on until it ended up being a physical problem and caused him for his eyes gouged out. Now, what I want you to know is I have something right here that’s called love versus infatuation or lust. And for y’all that want it, you can either let me know or Joy know or somebody, Darrell, somebody know, Richie.

James Greer: [00:23:49] And we'll get you this printout and you can read it. One side says infatuation, one side's love. And just know for yourself, where am I really at? Am I more lusting, infatuation or am I really in love? So that way you can know because it's a real dangerous thing. You got this unbelievable passion and it's hard knowing is this love or is this lust? Lust blinds you from the truth. So you just read it and mark it. And if it's lust, you say, I better break it off. Because now, how about those who have same sex attraction? Well, Romans 1:26 and 27 warns you too. For this reason, God gave them up to dishonoring passions. I'm gonna tell you. There’s that passion again. For their women exchanged natural relationships for those that were contrary to nature. For the men likewise gave up natural relationships with women and were consumed with a passion for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men, receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. Do you know what he's saying? They invited penalty upon themselves. In other words, when you continue to have passion for the wrong things, when you continue to do the wrong thing, God says, listen, you're bringing undue punishment, pain, and heartache into your relationship. You're doing it. You're inviting it in there. God tells us in 1 Corinthians 6:9, it says, didn’t you know that the righteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God?

James Greer: [00:25:25] When you're not right with God, this is what happens. Don't be deceived. Neither sexual immorality nor idolaters nor adulterers. Now, see, churches, they want to skip that part. They want to skip down here. And those men and women that practice homosexuality. How about all the rest of it? How about that? You know, if you're not married and you're having sex or if you're married and you're having sex outside your marriage, you say, listen, nor men practicing homosexuality. It says, listen, or thieves. How about those? Or greedy? Druggers, revilers, swindlers, none of them will inherit the Kingdom of God. In other words, God’s saying, listen, I want you to have a different lifestyle. I want what's best for you. I want you to have love and joy and peace. But if you continue to live like that, you can't. So He says, in Romans 14:17, He says, I got an answer for you. The Kingdom of God is not a matter of what that you're eating, it’s not a matter of what you’re drinking, but it's a right relationship with God. And then you got peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. See, what God is saying to you, He said, I don't want you to miss out on the peace and joy that I have for you. He said, and then when you miss out on that, so therefore you're not seeking to further God's Kingdom.

James Greer: [00:26:35] You’re not seeking Matthew 6:33. Seek ye first the Kingdom and God and His righteous and everything else should be added to you. So see, you're missing Him meeting every single day in your life. You're missing the peace and the joy in your life. You're missing it because you're not seeking the Kingdom of God. God doesn't want that for you. God wants a peace and joy that's unbelievable for you. Let me begin to close with a couple of things. Let's begin to seek to understand before we criticize. That's just period. It can be in your home, it can be in your family, it can be with race, it could be with police, be authority, everything. Let's start trying to understand. Number two, let's focus on growing our relationship stronger with Jesus. By that, grow, grow, grow, grow. Say, man, God, my goal is to have an intimate relationship with Jesus. What if you’d develop such a passion for Jesus instead of blank? Do you understand? If you developed a passion for Jesus instead of blank, whatever blank is, you know what blank is because that's what you think about, that’s what you dream about, that's what you talk about, that’s what you spend your money on. It would change the world. I told you, wrong passion, mistaking lust for love, it's going to result in a spiritual blindness in your life. You can come to church, you can read your Bible, but you're going to be spiritually blind.

James Greer: [00:28:06] Samson was truly a judge called by God. God actually, you ready? God actually used him some even while he was doing the wrong things. Eventually it caught up with him. Got his eyes gouged out. He's in the Hebrew Hall of Fame. Because at the end, God accomplish His purpose through his life. See, spiritual blindness, listen, it will lead to physical hurt in your life. It’s going to do it. Wrong passion causes you to miss out on the peace and joy that God has for you. See, if you're not careful what you're thinking about passion and you're thinking about just sex, same sex or opposite sex, how about a hobby? Your hobby is taking the place of your home, your relationship with God. How about your job? It can be TV. It can be Facebook, can be social media. What's become your passion? It could be reading the wrong things. It could be laziness. What God's trying to do, He said, man, I want you to get the right passion for the right reasons because I want you to have a peace and a joy that surpasses all understanding. And God has a cure for it today. God says, I want you to repent and confess. Did you know in Acts 3:19, He says, repent therefore and being converted that your sins be bought out so a time of refreshing might come in the presence of God. God just wants to pour out His refreshing unto your life.

James Greer: [00:29:50] He wants you to have that peace and that joy. And he said, you know, nobody here has to leave the same way they came. Did you know that God's impressing upon you what the wrong passion is in your life? And God said, why don't you set it aside? You can't have all that God has for you as long as you keep pursuing the wrong passion. Would you let me pray for you? Stand up and let me pray for you. God, you're a wonderful God. I thank you for your love. I thank you for your Word. It is powerful and it is practical. God, first of all, I pray that you would lay upon our hearts the wrong passion that we've been pursuing, that we begin lay it aside today and we confess it to you. And we ask you, God, for that time of refreshing, that renewing today. Doesn’t matter what we did yesterday, doesn’t matter what we did last night. But God, right now, that you give us that peace and that joy. God, for those that need to join today, maybe those need to follow through in baptism today, maybe those that have just been missing the joy and the peace that God has for them, God, I pray to, God, that nobody goes home the same way that they came, that they would come to you, God, with a new heart, a fresh heart, that you could simply have your way in their life. It’s in the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Bruce Goulart: [00:31:17] On behalf of Pastor James, I just want to say thank you for joining our online experience today. Man, what a great, amazing message for week 2 of True Colors. Man, this series has been just amazing so far. And I hope to see y’all next week as we continue True Colors. But if you need someone to pray with you right now, we have people on standby willing to pray with you. You just have to click the link in the description and someone would get with you right away. Man, again, I just want to say thank you for joining us today and hope you have an amazing week.

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