We Love Cenla - The Call to Peace

God's peace and power in the midst of any struggle.

James Greer
Oct 20, 2019    31m
In this sermon Pastor Greer talks about any struggle in life we may have, and how if we are saved, we can have peace. We need to become dependent upon God, because he called us and equipped us and then send us out into the world to share the good news. 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 Good morning Journey Church. Whew. Let's welcome the Alexandria campus for sure. Amen? Man, I am so proud of we love Cenla. Man, you can just go all over Cenla. You see kids, youth, adults, they're serving Cenla out of love, just in everybody shares, shirts. I mean it's just really, that's what it's all about is giving back. We come to church to learn to be the church. Amen? And you all are really doing that. I'm telling you, I'm so excited about the message about how to have peace in any situation or circumstance. And I'm going to kind of give you the prescription even before I preach the message.

James Greer: 00:54 But, I also have to tell you some things. You all know, I'm kind of a wimp when it comes to shots and things. Yeah. So, I'm praying, God, give me peace. You know, and so few months back I was fixing to go on that trip and I had to have a contrast MRI. So now I'm hyperventilating before we get there. So he says, we'll just give him a Valium. That did not help. They said give him another one that did not help. They gave me three, I still hyperventilating. And so I said, can my wife come in? He said, you want your wife to come in? I said, yes, I do. And I said, can she hold my hand? He said, well, this is a strange request. I said, well, I'm just a strange guy. I said, in case you put a cool rag on my head, and then can you stop every 10 minutes? No, come on. And they did. And I still did it. And I'm thinking, how could I have peace. Now what I do want to note, and I want you know was I was anxious, I about hyperventilated. I went through it. But, I did have peace about the results that I could not control. That's what I'm talking about.

James Greer: 01:34 I'm not telling you there's not going to be times of anxiety and anticipation. I'm talking about a supernatural peace that God's in control. I can remember when I had the infection in my back and they said, okay, they're going to have to put in a port line, and they go up here somewhere and they come by your heart. And I'm telling the lady I'm sweating. I said, could you give me drugs? She said, pardon? I said, I'm serious, ma'am. Would you call the doctor and give me drugs? She says, aren't you? Oh, Hey, aren't you the pastor at Journey Church? I said, so give me twice as many drugs. She said, Jesus is going to take care of you, just come on. I thought, Oh my God, she didn't give me any drugs.

James Greer: 02:15 But, I do want you to know there's financial things that rob our peace. There's physical things that rob our peace, emotional things that rob our peace, but I want you to know peace is greatly determined, you ready? By how we represent Christ in any and every situation. That's big. You need to write it down. Yeah. Peace is greatly determined by how we represent Christ in any and every situation. How his character is represented. Knowing when to speak, what to say, what not to say, when to say it and how to say it. In other words, it'd be honest love, mercy, forgiveness, faithfulness, patience and humility.

James Greer: 03:00 I'm going to tell you, I'm going to give you three things. It gives you the prescription of peace. I know I'm not supposed to do this before I preach the message. I just can't help it. I want you guys to get so excited. Do you ever read a book and just want to go to the back and see what the main thing is? That's me. I've already read the message. I got the answer. Why don't I just tell you, we say Amen and go home. And everybody said, Amen. I'm going to preach it anyway.

James Greer: 03:50 So, let me give you the description for a peace that can't be taken from you. Number one, you have to be saved. When I say saved, uh, I mean you're saved from something to something with people don't understand. And I hope that we get to that. That's why you see so many people that come to church for a little while and they get saved, and they get baptized, and they're happy and then they're gone. Because they don't understand you're saved from something and you're saved to something. So, you've got to learn that, that you're saved from something. So, you've got to make sure that you've had an experience with Christ. You have got to say my birthday, two 27 53 I know it's hard if you all believe that I'm that old, but I am. But, then I had to have a spiritual birthday. It's that spiritual birthday that helps me go to the next step and have peace. So, you had to make sure that you've had a spiritual birth or an acceptance of Christ of salvation.

James Greer: 04:38 Second, you have to have learned to have total dependence upon Christ. Really, when the Bible says, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, you should be saying, that word really means that I'm going to commit my life to Jesus Christ. He is going to be the Lord of my life. So, really being saved and becoming depending on God, go hand in hand. We've just not preached it and taught it that way. And so when I'm not easy, when I don't have peace, it's usually because I'm not depending on Christ. I'm depending on myself, depending on my job, I'm depending on my ability. I'm depending on somebody else. So, it's salvation and the assurance of salvation. It's a total dependence upon Christ.

James Greer: 05:28 You ready? It's the right representation of Christ. The right representation of Christ greatly determines the peace in any, and every situation that we'll ever go into. So when you, if you are sure you've been saved and you're totally dependent on Christ and you're rightly representing Christ in the situation, you could have peace in any situation. Then I said, God, if that's the case, what's the opposite? Listen, I'm so excited that I wrote it in my Bible and I'm carrying it in my car. Because when I start getting uneasy, when peace starts to leave me, I looked down and I said, well, what's going on in my life? God, I know I'm saved. I gave my life to Jesus Christ. I followed through in public baptism. I mean, I was baptized when I was young and I knew I wasn't saved because I got worse. And then so later on, I surrender my life and I got baptized when I was in my thirties and God, you've called me to preach, so know that I'm saved. I know I'm going to heaven, but God, I need some heaven while I'm here on earth.

James Greer: 06:50 So, are you totally dependent upon me in this situation? I said, Oh, maybe not. Why not? Do you know, sometimes I want to be in control? Sometimes, I just want me to control. Sometimes I don't even ask God about it. I'm think I got this thing figured it out, until I don't have it figured out, and then I want God to figure it out. Amen? And so are you totally dependent on Christ in whatever it is you're going through right now? And it's so important that you get this because every single Sunday we're seeing more and more people that don't have peace and people that are struggling with what they are going to do with their lives. We had it again Wednesday night. I love the young girl got up and she said, man, I was in the class. I went home and did my homework and I got to the end and I decided I'm not taking my life because my life is worthy. Amen? And I love the class because they didn't say, oh poor you. They got up and they embraced her and they loved her and they hugged her. And so I'm telling you, you can have a peace that surpasses all understanding, no matter what's going on in your life, because God wants you to depend on him no matter what's happening in your life. Amen?

James Greer: 07:55 So, you are saved, you are totally dependent. Here comes a tough one. Did you know that? I don't really even know as long as I preached that the third part was so powerful to the rest of the peace of my life. Do do you? Do you know that I didn't realize that one of the reasons, so many people don't have the peace that surpasses understanding, that they don't have the joy that God intended them to have is because they forget the original intent of their calling. They forget that they are called from something to something, but most of it, if they didn't know what that to something was, so they missed the joy.

James Greer: 08:39 Are you representing Christ in this situation? Wow. So God, am I not representing you in this situation, this circumstance? And when I'm not God, why should I have peace in it? Now you've got to understand, understand, understand that. And Luke 4:24 it says, sometimes a prophet is not accepted in his own town, in his own city, in his own family. Sometimes the people that you want to impact the most, you can be saved, you can be totally dependent upon Christ. You can walk into your family and represent Christ and they're not going to accept you. But, the thing about it is when you do that, when you walk out, you can still have peace. That's the message. Amen? I should just give an invitation, I know I should, I know I should, but I'm not. We're saved from something, Amen? What are we saved from? What are we saved from? Hell. We say hell here, huh? Hell yeah. I mean, my daughter when she turned, and my granddaughter turned 19, that was one of the first things she said. I'm 19, I can say hell now. I'm glad you waited until you were 19. Amen? How many of you all waited until you were 19? But anyways, so say you're saved from something, you're saved from hell. Bu,t what we forget about being saved from hell is, how close we were and how he snatched us out.

James Greer: 09:56 We've got a friend, he goes to church here. His name is Terry Driggers and he was, he used to drive these race cars and or stock cars, whatever, and one time he flipped over, got in a wreck and the fuel bust and it got all over him and he was burning up. He was burning to death alive. Yeah, he was burning alive. You remember that? And they finally pulled him out. He's all, his skin was scorched and his fingers, some of his fingers were burned off, but he was snatched out of that car, driven to the hospital. After a lot of stuff, he was finally recovered. But, what happens today? You don't think that much about that now. Now you just move on with life. Somebody told me the other day he's racing again. Come on.

James Greer: 10:56 But, what I'm telling you is after we get saved, sometimes if we're not careful, we forget what we were snatched from. God sent his son to die on the cross and raised on the third day and he snatched us away from the grips of hell. Amen? That's how great it is. But, that's just half of it. Because the longer you go from that, the less you seem as real to you. It's still real, but it just doesn't seem as real. So the minute that you are saved from that, you were saved for something, and that something was to represent Christ. And most people don't know that Most people say what does that mean? I've got to preach, I got to teach. I'm like, I’ve got to be a, no, no, no. Let me tell you what God's called you to represent Christ wherever you're at, whatever you're doing, however you're doing, just do it there. Amen? When he says, I've come that you can have an abundant life, God wants you to have it. God has called you. He said, when you believe upon me, when you commit to me. So, what he said is that's what he has for you. I was reading, I was reading the new Testament. I always wondered how to did the disciples and the apostles do that.

James Greer: 12:13 Yeah. A lot of times they didn't even go to cemetery or seminary or whatever it is. You know, they just, just a joke. I think you should get the best education you should. Even though I don't have one, I think you should get one. But anyways, they didn't have that back then. God would just call a man and empower them from the Holy spirit and they just go out and speak for Christ. Amen? Yeah. Sometimes they got beat up for it. Yeah. Yeah. Because listen, this is what I want you to know. This is what I want you to know. Having God's peace and God's power does not exempt you from problems and pain.

James Greer: 12:53 That's not what I'm saying at all. No. There's some growing false, the theology that's being taught that is, that says that, that's not true, man. Look, look at Acts. Acts chapter five. Let me, let me read you something, man. 40 God's word. It says, you know what happened? Then they call the apostles back in. Then what had happened is the apostles, they'd been out preaching, they'd been out teaching, and the religious people didn't like what they're doing. So in Acts chapter 5:40 they called them back in. And then what guess what they did, after they had beaten them and whipped them. I will say, that's painful. Amen? I would say they had some pain and I say they had some problems. Then they warned him, don't speak the name of Christ again. They let them go. Now, I don't know about me and I don't know about you, but if they called me and they brought me to jail and they booked me in jail, and they beat me and they whipped me, and they said, now listen brother James, I don't care how long have you been at Journey Church? I'm going to let you go, but don't talk about Christ anymore.

James Greer: 14:05 I don't know. They knew that they were saved from something, for something. And there for something was to talk about Christ. Let's see what it says next. The apostles left the council and they were happy. How do you leave after you've been beaten, and whipped, happy? Because God considered them worthy to suffer for his sake. They understood that they were saved from something to something. Even though they hadn't been beaten, even though had been whipped. And every day they spent in the temple from that day on, they never stopped teaching and telling people about the good news of Christ. The good news means their story and broken relationships can bring peace. So they had something that we missed. They knew they had been saved for from something to something. They knew that peace had been planned by the father, it had been purchased by the son, Jesus Christ, and it's provided by the Holy spirit who lives in us. See, peace is a byproduct of trusting God's promises, God's purpose, and God's plans for our life.

James Greer: 15:11 Let me bring you through a couple of steps. Number one, you have to accept your calling from God. Uh, the first step is, except your calling. Or you could say being, say in Luke chapter 10:1 we've been going through Luke ten one it says, after these things the Lord appointed 70 others and he sent them two by two before the faith of every city and every place where he himself could not go. He said they were saved. Now they're going to be sent. They were saved and then they were what? Sent. They were not only saved, they were sent, but why were they saved? They were saved from hell, but they were sent for something. They were sent to represent Christ everywhere they went. They were sent the represent Christ because he couldn't be everywhere, just like he can't be physically everywhere today.

James Greer: 16:10 So, he sends us. And before he sends us, John tells us in John 6:44 no man really comes to me. No, no, no. We don't just come to him unless the father who sent me draws him. In other words, God draws us and calls us. And then we go. And that's what's so great about Romans 10:13 whosoever calls upon them, the Lord shall be saved. Who is whosoever? Anybody in here. What is called? I commit. I believe. I pray upon them. Lord shall be saved, shall be made complete, shall be made whole. See, most people know they're saved, but they don't know what they're saved for. They're saved from hell, but they don't know they're saved for service or you've learned better and an ambassador, a representative, a mouthpiece. You're saved. So your sent.

James Greer: 17:14 See, the biggest problem in Cenla is not the drugs. It's really not drugs, though it's a huge, huge problem. It's not crime. Crime is part of drugs. It's not the homeless. It's not the violence. It's the lack of peace. That's the problem. That's problem in the world today. So, the second step is this, First you've got to make sure you're saved and you know God's sending you. You're saved and you're sent, you're saved and you're sent. Second of all, you got to understand the power that you've already been equipped with. You don't understand. And in Luke 10:17 he says, not only when he sent the 70 they returned with what? Joy. The 70 returned with joy saying, Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name. And he said, I saw Satan. I saw, I saw him falling from heaven. Behold, I give you authority to trample over the serpents and scorpions over all the powers of the enemy by nothing, by any means.

James Greer: 18:12 shall hurt you. You ready? God called you. God sent you. God empowered you. Learn how to use the power. The word is the power. God's word is the power. Learn, how to use it. Learn how to use the good news, and so they were going, you know, why do you have to fear men when you have God with you? Then he went on to say, the harvest is truly great in laborers are few, send forth the harvest of labor. So there's so many people out there. Verse three said, this kind of blew me, Luke 10:3, because he was talking about all the power he gave us. He said, how I called you, how I equipped you, how I empowered you. They said, go your way. Behold, I send you a lambs among wolves. That's real encouraging. Amen?

James Greer: 19:09 That's not too peaceful. I'll say, great. Everybody at Journey Church get really excited. You had been called, you're going to be sin. You're going to be sent as lambs among wolves, and we'll see who makes it back and laugh. There's a diversity, because there's some people out there, lambs among wolves that don't know Jesus Christ as their great shepherd. But, when you know Jesus Christ, who listen, Jesus, he created the wolves. He's in control of the wolves. He is the good shepherd. He is your father. He goes before you. He's with you. He's your provider, he's your protector. And when he's the good shepherd, you're not worried about the wolves. You're worried about the shepherd being with you, Amen? Makes a difference.

James Greer: 20:07 You all remember David, the shepherd boy turned into the King. Goliath was a big wolf and a big mouth, nine foot 10. He kept screaming at David and making fun of his God. And David was a shepherd boy and he ran towards Goliath and he took a sling. He put in it a rock and he slung it, hit Goliath right in the head, and Goliath fell. And David, went over there and cut his dag gum head off. Do you understand that? That was a type of what Jesus says, man, you are called, you are equipped and you are sent. The rock is Jesus Christ and the words to be thrown forth and no matter how big and how powerful John is, he got to fall. It's going to happen. It's a picture of what God won't do to you. Third, we've got to be dependent. We've got to be dependent upon the power. He tells us in Luke four when Jesus, he'd called him he equipment and he sent him, he said, don't carry any money back with you. Have nothing, nothing, sandals. Don't do anything. The reason that Jesus was telling them that this one, it was a picture of me and you before he really provides, he wants us to really depend.

James Greer: 20:56 I want you, if you can read 15 chapters later, he asked her, he says, Hey, did I meet every need? Was there anything you wanted? They said no, and they said, now you start taking stuff with you. See, we want to take stuff with us and then bring God along. God said, I want you to come to the point in your life this morning, today, not tomorrow. Today. This is a very important message that I want you to totally depended upon Christ. Whatever's going on in your life. I don't care if it is financial cares or marriage, I don't care. I don't care if it's physical. I don't care if it's emotional. Today is the day to make sure that you're saved. Today is the day to make sure you go totally dependent upon Christ. He tells him, Philippians 4:19 that my God, he will supply all your needs according to his riches in glory, not mine. He is. Amen? Dependent, be dependent on him. He'll bring you.

James Greer: 21:39 We have got people. I don't have much time. I'm going to tell you that you all don't know he's not here, so that's even better. Josh Poe, he's executive pastor at church. That dude, he depends on Christ. He believes. When we have a say yes campaign, he'll pray about, he'll go to Heather. He'll give way more than he should. Whatever campaign he does. It always astonishes me. Always. I know what he makes, so I'll sometimes I'll say, Josh, did you really pray about this? He'll said, yeah, I think God, God will provide. Next thing you know, God will provide. Comes along and it looks like by the time he should panic by now, you should start panicking. He doesn't and God gives him peace and I've seen God provide supernaturally for them and their family. Time after time after time, he just believes, Hey man, I'm going to live for God. I'm going to give what God called me to. I'm going to depend upon God, instead of panicking instead of in the midst of panic, I'm going to give, I'm going to have God's peace and God will give me the provision and he does it. I've seen him do it at church, time and time and time again.

James Greer: 22:22 I know that I had some concerns by the way, the way were financing, by the way, we are in great shape, but last week, and I know I was praying about some things that we needed to do and how we're going to celebrate our 10th anniversary and somebody dropped a $50,000 check in the mail. Hello? Can you say Amen? And you know we're at the end of our say yes campaign, but yet as much as that is, did you know we had, we raised $500,000 to say yes for an Alexandria campus? Amen? I mean, God just provides and provides and provides and provides supernaturally. So what brother James, now we're at the end. How are they going to go? I don't know, but God does. Amen?

James Greer: 23:38 So, you've got to understand, you're saved, you're accepted, you've got to understand you've already been equipped. You've got to understand, you've got to be dependent. And the key, the last thing you've got to understand, you've got to represent Christ. You've got to be an ambassador for him. That's what he was telling them. And in Luke 10:5-6, he told him this. He said, whatever house you enter first say what? Peace be to this house. If the son of peace is there, your peace will rest on them. In other words, we're supposed to be bringing peace, the God of peace. If not, it's going to return unto you. Uh, stop, insight. Guess what? Can that house rob my peace? Nope. If I went there as a representative of Jesus Christ to bring peace, and yet they didn't accept my peace, it returns to me. I may get a double portion of peace. They may be living like, you know what, but they can't take my peace. Amen? That's what God said.

James Greer: 24:34 I mean, Journey Church, were to be bringing peace to Cenla and to every place we go. That's what it means in Philippians 4:7. May the God, the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your heart. I mean the Psalmist says Psalms 29:11, the Lord give you strength to his people and the Lord will bless his people with peace. One of the blessings of God is peace, and he wants you to have it. I am going to read how we are to represent him. In Corinthians 5:18 how he makes it clear. It's not what we do in life. I wasted so much.

James Greer: 25:30 I use to say, man, I don't know if God called me to preach and if you call me to teach, I don't know if he called me be a tire man, which he didn't, because I want out of that. I don't know if he, I mean, I don't know. I don't know. This I know he did call. See, it's not so much what's your doing? It's how you're doing what you're doing and who you're representing as you go. You can be on staff at this church, but if you're not representing Christ, you're not doing what he called you to do. You could be on your job and a Christian representing Christ and making a bigger impact. See, I think the biggest impact will not be made in here. I bet the biggest impact if we're going to change Cenla is going to be made out there. Amen? Alright, you all ready? 2 Corinthians 5:18, all this is from you all say, God, all this is from through Christ.

James Greer: 26:29 God made peace between us and himself. And God gave us the work of telling everybody about the peace we can have with him. We're peacemakers. God was in Christ making peace between the world and himself in Christ. God did not hold the world guilty of sin. Amen. And he gave us the message of peace. Christ had no sin, but God made him become sin, so that Christ through Christ, that we would become right with God. All this is from God through Christ to make us peacemakers. In other words, God had said we are to be his speak for Christ. Uh, all this of God through Christ. He made peace between us and himself and God gave us the work of telling what, when he started telling everyone, when you start being speaking for Christ, you're becoming an ambassador for Christ. You're becoming a representative for Christ. Tell everyone about the peace that they can have with him.

James Greer: 27:37 In other words, he said, I've got something for you. I want you to speak for Christ. Do you all remember back when I told you in Acts chapter five when the apostles got thrown in jail and they were beaten, whipped and they came out and they were happy about it? They had been called, they had been sent and the reason they were beat is because they were speaking for Christ. They understand their representation. So, as I get ready to close, I want to ask you something today. Do you have the peace that God has for you today? I mean, really, truly. Are you really truly sure there's a time you accepted Jesus as your savior? Not that you just came and joined a church like I did when I was a young age and went on, never no change in my life. I think believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and I shall be saved. Believes that I'm going to commit my life to Jesus Christ. He's going to become the Lord of my life because I really believe he snatched me out of the gates of hell. So you are saved.

James Greer: 28:51 Some of you in here and you know, you know, you know, I don't know what it is, whether it's emotionally, financially, spiritually, marital, or I don't know, kids. Whatever it is that you don't have peace. I want you to depend upon Christ today. You say, well, I don't know what to do. He didn't tell you that, did he? That's faith. There's absolutely nothing too hard for the Lord unless you keep him out of your life. So, it is an open invitation to every single person here. I can't imagine every person here listen to me. I can't imagine every person here not accepting God's call this morning to peace. I can't. You're going to accept it for salvation. You're going to accept the call for dependence, moral and God. Are you going to be honest? And you're going to say, I have not been representing Christ the correct way in situations and as of today. I see that in the best of my ability when the Holy spirit lets me know it, there'll be times that you mess up. I mess up, we all mess up, but God I want to be a better representation of you, where I can have a peace that surpasses all understanding and that call is for every single one of us. So let's stand.

James Greer: 30:45 God. Whew, this message is from you, but it was for me. It's for everybody here today. God, help us accept your call. Help us have a piece of surpasses all understanding. Help us make sure that one day if something happens, they were snatched from the gates of hell and we're on our ways to heaven. And if somebody hears, not sure that in just a moment that they would step out. Maybe they'd never been biblically, publicly baptized today's the day. Maybe they want to join the church. Maybe you came with unbelievable anxieties and pressures, and today you want to have a peace. And you want us to say, I want to be more dependable on Christ, who says he'll supply all my needs. And then, hey, I really hadn't been representing Christ in this situation. I've got some chaos. I got some turmoil going on, but I understand now I can't control what somebody else said. I can't control what they did. I was supposed to be representing Christ and I want to go back and I want to do it the right way. I want to say the right words, and not say the right words, and just let Christ take care of where I can have a peace that passes all understanding. Maybe you just need somebody to pray with you and to pray for you, or maybe you just need to come this alter and pray, whatever God's called you to do. I pray that you'd let him have his wilderness way. It's in Christ name I pray. Amen.

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