Raising the Bar on Wholeness

Salvation from our sins can lead to wholeness in our lives.

James Greer
Jul 1, 2018    25m
This sermon discusses obstacles to achieving wholeness and satisfaction in our lives. If we go to God with an open heart, and ask him to help us figure out the roots of our problems and we listen to what we should do, we will find salvation and peace in our lives. 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: 00:07 Hey Journey Church, Amen. Hey let's do this. Let's also welcome the Alexander campus. Hey, do y'all want to see Daryl eat his heart out? Those are UGG's. That was my father's day present. I'll tell you, you don't know what he would give to have these. Too bad brother. You know today we're going to be talking about how to have a wholeness and the problem with him, is he had a hole in his heart that only Christ could fill. But one of the things we're going to do today, we're going to talk about why we're not whole, why we don't have wholeness. And there's two main reasons, and I'm going to preach on them, but I want to tell you ahead of time I can never wait to get to the message.

James Greer: 00:46 Number one is worry. And we'll talk about worry, and worry will often cause us to feel like we are unworthy. And the other is the facts. What we do when we have a real problem, if you're not careful, we treat the effect instead of the root of the problem. So we're going to see how to deal with that today, so that's why we don't have wholeness. Second of all, I want you to know there are two main ways to do that, and we'll talk about those two. One is God's word to change our focus, and the others learning how to deal and treat the root. The root is the only way to the remedy of the problem. And then when I say, well, when can you have that? That's today, we're going to give an invitation at the end, and you can find a wholeness and completeness today. See, it's so funny, so many people don't understand what wholeness is. I know a guy, and he's Ricky [inaudible], and you know he's been in wheelchair for many, many years, and God's allowed him to walk now. But he had unbelievable contentment, fulfillment, and wholeness, even while he was in the wheelchair. Because, see, so many people think, if I could only be physically right, everything else is gonna be right. But I know people that are healthy physically, and I know people that are wealthy, but they're not whole, they're not complete, they're not happy.

James Greer: 02:00 I want you to know, don't forget coming July, 8th over here, and the Alexander campus, we're going to be preaching on why God allows suffering. And you're going to want to be here, but what I want to talk about today is how to have wholeness, and how to feel the wholeness that is in your heart. How to have satisfaction, and completeness. In First Thessalonians, it gives us an idea, it gives us an introduction in First Thessalonians, 5:23, it says this, "And now may the god of peace, himself, sanctify you completely. The NIV version says, "May He sanctify you wholly complete, may you become a wholesome. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." In other words, what he's saying is, I want you to be completely whole. Because it said body, soul, and spirit. In other words you could have one of the areas that's whole, that's complete, and another one was not. You can come to Christ, and you're going to go to heaven, but you're living like hell. You can go to heaven, but you're not going to enjoy the heavenly blessing. The Bible says thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. So he want's us to learn to bring some heaven down to Earth. Amen. And just like there's some people maybe who are whole, who are complete in their financial area, but they're not in their relationship area. There are some people that got it rocking in relationship area, but they're just not complete in their, financial area.

James Greer: 03:43 Let me give you an example of one of the ways of wholeness in the Bible. There was a woman that had an issue of blood, she had tried everything, she'd spent all her money. But yet she saw Jesus, and she thought if I could only touch the hem of his garment. And when she had done that, Jesus then says to her, in Mark 5, he said, "Daughter, you took a risk of faith, and now you're.." What, you ready? "You're healed and whole." You're not only healed physically, but now you're whole. He said go live a blessed life. See there lots of people that are healed, but they're not whole. There's a lot of people that are even maybe saved, but they're not whole. There's a lot of people that aren't healed physically, but yet they are whole completely.

James Greer: 04:26 So there's two main reasons, two things that causes us to lack wholeness. and I want us to look at that hole in our heart that makes emptiness in that area. The first is, and we'll go back and we're going to talk about it later. The first is, we treat the effect, and not the cause. Let me give you a little story, back in John 4, we're not going to preach that one, I got to teach all day. But there was a woman in John 4, and she met Jesus at a water well, and Jesus said, if you drink this water, you'll never thirst again. And she said, Jesus, give me that water, and Jesus looked at her and said, go get your husband. And she told the truth. She said, Jesus I don't have one. And he said, you're right, you've had five, and you're living with number six. And she said, I perceive you're a prophet. No kidding. And til she got the drink that Jesus gave, which was living water, she had been treating the effects of her life. She had been trying to treat the problem. She thought only if I get one more man, only if I get the right man, and after five times she was on number six because she had been treating the effect. And Jesus was telling her until you drink of the living water, you'll continue to be thirsty. And there's people in here today, you're thirsty in some areas of your life. It might be physical, it might be financial, but you're still thirsty because you're going from one to the other. You've got to treat the root, see because as long as you keep treating the effect, it will be ineffective. So you have to learn to treat the effect of the problem, by getting to the root of the problem. Now we're going to come back to that, because when we come back to that, I want to teach you how you can get to the root of the problem, and you can go out today as a changed person. You can go out today more complete, more whole, than you've ever been in your life. So that's one of the reasons we'll go back.

James Greer: 06:18 The second reason is worry, worrisome is a word, worry often makes us feel worthless. Have you ever sat around, and just start worrying. Saying, God, I'm not worthy for you to heal me, I'm just not worthy for you to answer my prayers, I'm just not worthy to preach this message. I mean I'll tell you what, so many times on Saturday as I'm getting ready for Sunday, I say, God, I'm just not worthy for this. And if you're not careful, you'll go to the point, you'll keep worrying, worrying, worrying, you'll talk yourself into being worthless. But see my worthiness and my worth, does not come from what I have done, or what I have not done. My worthiness and worth comes by what Jesus Christ did for me, he died on the cross, he shed his blood. When I come to him, I become worthy to God, because of what he did. One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Matthew 6:33, "Seek ye first the kingdom." It means help further the agenda of God. He said, if you'll start doing that, no matter what your physical situation, no matter what your emotional situation, he said, seek ye first the Kingdom of God, help further his agenda in his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. Well, I quote that verse all the time, but if you read the verse right under that, it says, "Therefore take no thought for tomorrow, because tomorrow has enough worry in itself. " Amen. But that was written in a context, that if you're not careful we worry so much about tomorrow, we missed the miracles and the blessings for today. See if we worry about tomorrow, we're focusing on the world as, you ready, instead of the word.

James Greer: 08:00 But if we backed up, and we read how that was written in the context, we'd have to go back to Matthew 6:22. It says, "The light of the body is the eye. If therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light." It goes right on to if the eye does this you will be dark, it is the eye. And he said, listen, I want your eye to be single where your whole body will be full, complete, and joyful, and happy. and content. And so I said, how do we have a single eye? It says we need to be focused on the right things. Listen, I got a camera, I love to take pictures, and Josh has a camera and he likes to take pictures. I'll probably take a hundred to one of his pictures, but it drives me crazy sometimes, his pictures are sharper than my pictures. And the jealous person I am, I call and say, man, I don't get it, why is that picture so sharp, and mine isn't? He said, well, it's all about the focus, and it's all about the light. Oh, the eye's single, it's all about your focus, it's all about the light that you allow to come in your life. So your attitude, and your actions, when they're not sharp, they cause your eye to be out of focus. Because you're focused too much on the wrong thing, you don't see the detail. When you take a picture and it's right, sometimes you can see the very details of that picture. It's almost like you can just touch it, but when it's out of focus, you don't see the details. And our vision is blurred, and we make dumb mistakes, we make dumb decisions. So how do we get our eyes back focused? Well, the word says, in Psalms 119:130 says, "The entrance of the word gives light. It gives understanding to the simple." Psalms 119:105 says, "The word is a lamp unto my feet, and then to my path." And John 1:4, says. "And in him was life, and the life was the light of man." So see what you do is you, instead of worrying, instead of feeling worthless. You refocus on God's Word, and God's promise, and you began to be filled, and full and whole.

James Greer: 10:24 What's the second reason? The second reason is the number one problem today. You keep trying to treat the facts, and not the cause. See wholeness reaches beyond regrets, it gets to the root. I got a guy I worked with about probably 15, 20 years ago, and we are working together at the tire store, he won the lottery. He won millions of dollars, and I thought, we're never going to see him again. He came to work, he said, I'm going to work just like I always did. I thought dude that's cool. I'd of quit. I really wanted to ask him if he had tithed to the church, but I didn't. But anyway, so he had won millions of dollars, true story, well, it wasn't long, he wasn't coming as often. Then he bought a few things new, Them he invested in some things, he didn't know what they were. And within five years, he was broke, completely broke, and didn't have as much as he had beforehand. So was his financial problem money, or was it the root problem on how to handle money? You understand? See, he kept trying to say the effect, if I was rich, I do this. I've had money, I could do that. Well, when he got it, because he didn't treat the root of the problem, he still had the same effect. And he was not effective, even when he got money. The woman that had been married five times, she with lucky number six, she had a problem. She kept trying to treat the effect, instead of the root of the problem.

James Greer: 11:48 That's why in First Thessalonians it says, "The very God of peace sanctify you wholly, complete, wholesome." See when we keep trying, we never go to the root, so we treat the effect, or we stay infected. Or we're not effective. See, wholeness and satisfaction can only come from God. Because in Colossians 2:10, it says, "You are a complete, you're whole, you're satisfied. You're made whole in him, who is the head of all principalities and powers." It says we are made complete in him. Ephesians 3:19, says this, "To know the love of Christ which passes knowledge, that you may be..." What? "Filled in the fullness of God."
James Greer: 12:38 You see what I'm saying? Most people were trying to find it in the wrong place. Acts 2:8, says, "That you might have known the ways of life, and you might make me full of joy." See, knowing the ways of God, is what brings joy in your life. Too many people say, for instance, they'll say, man, I've got this problem in my life, and if I only had a thousand dollars today, my problem will be fixed. I can pay my bills, I can pay my rent, and that will just solve all my problems. So do you have a thousand dollars? Well, the problem is even if I gave him the thousand dollars, that wouldn't solve the problem. That's not the answer, because until they figured out what the root of the problem is, why they got in the problem, they'll always have a problem. Woo, that was good brother James. Couples come, and sometimes they'll say, man, if I could just be in love like we used to be, or if I could just go back to then. Well, there was something wrong back then, or you wouldn't be having the problems where you are now. So what you got to really do is, even in a marriage, whether it's finances in the marriage, you got to learn to say, how can I go to the root of the problem?

James Greer: 13:41 Some people say, Hey God, just take care of this. God, just take care of that. So know, wholeness goes beyond the effect, to the cause. Your regrets have to go to the root. Wholesomeness lets us go to the cause of our marriage problems, or financial problems, and to whatever the problem really is. We got to learn to deal with the effect, or will never be effective. Way too many people are trying to deal with the effects at home. Only if my wife, if Debbie would do so and so, if she would just really listen to you God, and I want to tell you what to tell her, we'd be okay. It just doesn't work that way. We have to learn to go to the great physician. And in Matthew 9:10 it tells a story, it says, "Now it happened as Jesus sat at the table in the house, and behold many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with it." I love it, Because see Jesus, he went and he didn't go where everybody thinks he did, he went to eat. And he says, and as it was, so many of the sinners and the tax collector. They came and sat with him, and they ate with him, and then the disciples. But the pharisees, when they saw it, they were self-righteous hypocrites, religious people. They said, why does your teacher do this? Why are they sitting with this? Why is he with this? See, the sinners knew that they were not effective, they knew that they had been infected. They knew that they were not cured, they knew that they had a problem. The Pharisees didn't. They said, man, why in the world does your teacher eat with people like this?

James Greer: 15:19 You are not going to believe some of the emails I've received, some of them real recently. Here's what they say. Do you know what kind of person's going to your church? First of all, it's not my church. it's God's church. Do you know what that person does? Well, then they're going to tell me that they're a sinner. Now see in these religious people, what they really want is four things to happen. And they said, if you really knew what kind of sinners they were, and so then they tell me what they did. You know about people. If you want to send me an email, and you want to talk about somebody, gets some strength, and come do it in person. They'll send me an email. Because what I really like is when you go to talking about somebody else, and you do it in person, I like to get that other person on the phone. But what they said is, you know, do you know what kind of sinner that person is? Second, do you want those type, true story you can't make this stuff up, do you want those type of people in your church? The answer is always the same. I want everybody that knows they're a sinner to come to our church, and find out how to go from a sinner to a saint, Amen? And then for that I tell them listen, I'm not the judge, the Holy Spirit does. If they'll keep coming, their lives will change, or they'll change churches. But you know our whole model is I mess up, you mess up, we all mess up. So yeah, we want those types of people to come to our church, but we want God's Holy Spirit to change their lives. Amen.

James Greer: 17:01 Do we want them to come to our church? As crazy as that sounds, that's what the Pharisees were doing. They had seen these people eating with Jesus, and they will say, man, did they know what kind of people they were? And Jesus went, and when he heard that, he said to them in verse 12, he said, "Those who are well or whole, they have no need of a physician, but those that are sick." You ready? Until you know that you're not whole, until you know you're sick, you can't be made whole. See I think sometimes we would go the great physician, and then we start trying to tell him how to fix it. We start saying, this is how you make me whole. I'll tell you what, when I went to the hospital the other day, can you imagine me going to an ER, go to the emergency room. The doctor coming in and I said, hey, by the way, I'm brother James, and I want to tell you how to take care of me. Heck no dude. I went in there, and I said, sucker, I am sick, and I need help. Now I also said, give me drugs, until you can find it. But it was the right kind of drugs. But I didn't go in there and start telling him what to do, I didn't start telling him how to do it. And I believe there's way too many people that think they know how to tell Jesus to make them whole, instead of going to the great physician and saying God, show me how to be whole. Too many people with their marriages, say hey God, I can tell you, fix my mate, and then our marriage will be okay. And God said, let me fix you.

James Greer: 18:34 See our completeness and our wholeness in Colossians 2:10, it comes from the power and principalities of Christ. In fact, if you would read the whole thing, in verse 7, it says, "Your roots are in Christ. Getting to the root..." You ready? "Is really the only remedy to solving your problems." If we only continue to treat the effect, we'll never be effective. We got to come and say, man, our foundation is Christ, that he is our rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail. And we've got to go to him. We can't keep trying to tell him how to make us well, and so many people never really find out what's wrong with them. They never find out the right treatment, because instead of going to the great physician and say, God, show me what's wrong in my life, show me the root problem in my life. We go to God, and we start trying to tell him how to fix our life. That's got to change. We've got to be willing to go to him and ask him, God, what's the root problem in my life?

James Greer: 19:40 So this, this is what we have so far. The lack of wholeness comes by worry, and trying to treat the effect, instead of the root. We change our worry by becoming focused on God's word, He is the light of the world. We find the root of the problem, by going to the great physician. Not like the Pharisees. We go to the great physician, and ask him to show us what the problem is. I want you to see this, a question that Jesus asked of somebody that was having a problem. This guy he'd had a problem, he had been sick, Jesus walks onto the scene in John 5:6, and when Jesus saw him laying there, he had been laying there for awhile, and he knew that he had already been there in that condition for a long time. And he said to him, do you want to be made well, do you want to be made whole? And the sick man answered and said, sir, no one would put me in the pool. In other words, sir, no one would help me. Do you want your marriage better? Do you want your finances better? Do you want your emotions touched? And God's walks in, just like he's at Journey Church today, and he's asking me and he's asking you, do you want to be made well? Do you want to be made whole? There was always a reason that I couldn't be made whole, there was always a reason that I didn't get complete, there was always a reason, God, that I had financial problems, God, there was always a reason that I'm having marriage problems. And Jesus says to him, let me tell you what to do instead. He said, hey, take up your mat and walk. Now, wouldn't it been absolutely crazy for him just to lay there when Jesus told him what to do. Amen. But no, they said he got up, and he obeyed God and he he walked.

James Greer: 21:39 While we get ready to close I want to ask you something. Do you know that you're sick and some areas of your life? I think every one of them, she might be well in one area, but you got a problem in the other area. It might be your marriage, it might be your finances, might be your health, it might be emotion. Can I tell you something? Until you know it, you won't get any better. Second, do you actually want to be made whole? Do you want to be fulfilled? Do you want to have satisfaction? Do you want to have completeness? Third, would you stop making excuses for it? Would today, when I give the invitation, in a minute. Would you stop making excuses for the problems that you keep repeating in your life? Would you stop blaming your boss, and your mom, and your dad, and your school, and your finances, and your mate? Would you stop doing that? Instead, would you ask the great physician, what's the real root of my problem? And then when he teaches you the root of your problem, instead of telling him all the reasons you can't do that, would you just do what he said? Would you allow him to be the foundation of your life? Would you allow him to say, this is what's going on? He's getting to the root, which is the only true remedy. The remedy is going to the great physician and asking him, what is the root problem in my life, and I'm willing to obey?

James Greer: 23:05 And the wonderful thing about this today is, listen. We said, why you're not whole, we gave you two reasons it's the worry and the effect. We tell you how to be whole, you change your focus, and you treat the effect. And we'll tell you a third right now as you stand up, is how you can have it. You can have it today, and I'm going to give an invitation, and you act like you're coming to the great physician. First of all, if you're here today, and you're not sure you'd go to heaven, the first thing you need to do is come and say, hey, I need him as my savior to bring me to heaven. Second of all, if you're here today and you know that you're going to heaven, but you need to have some of heaven here on earth, you got to be willing to admit it to God. You got to just say, Hey God, you're the great physician, please show me the root problem in blank. And God if you'll show me the root problem, I'll obey you, and I'll not make excuses for me.

James Greer: 24:06 Father, I just thank you for the day. I thank you for your power. I thank you for your presence. I thank you. There's absolutely nothing too hard for you. God, I pray that our people here at Journey, they're not making any excuses anymore. I pray that they're not like the Pharisees, and they're looking at other people, and saying, man, look at those sinners. Instead they look at their selves and say, God, what area in my life do I need to be made whole? And God, today I'm going to surrender it to you. I'm not going to try to tell you how to do it, I'm going to just simply ask you, what's the root problem in my life? So you're here today, and maybe you said, hey, I've never been biblically, publicly baptized, but today you're going to come. Maybe you've been visiting church, and today you're going to come and join. But I guarantee you every single one of us here has a place in our heart that is still empty, that can only be filled through Christ. And I pray today that you come and you ask God, Hey God, get to the root. And it is in Christs' name we pray. Amen.

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