What a Family is For

Understanding God's Purpose In Creating The Family

James Greer
May 16, 2021    48m
Did you know that God had a very intentional purpose in creating the family? Family is important. God created families to be fruitful and to support one another in difficult times, loving one another, and relying on each other. Our homes should be a place of peace and refuge. When we honor God, we honor family. 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 (00:02):
Man, they did fantastic in that worship this morning. Amen? Whoo! Man, I could say TNT because it was Trey and Terry. They did fantastic. And Mica, Brooke, their honeymoon. Whoo. But guess what? Then they get to come back, go to work. Honeymoon's over. They're having a good time and we're so proud for them and looking forward to them getting back. The new series is Family Matters. But listen, whether you're married or not, you do realize every Sunday, at least probably a fourth of our church that's in here and those that are online are not married. So every time I say family, you can put the word relationship. The same principles will apply. And so this is not so much what a family is or is not. We'll be doing a series on that pretty soon. This is more about how a family would function or how I relationship should function or could function. And so whether you're married or not, you need to have relationships. I hear people all the time say, listen, I just wish you could preach a message that was practical. This is going to be simple. This is going to be practical. It might be so practical that you can practice it next week. How about that? Amen? You want to be practical and practice? Amen? Okay. It'll be so practical, you can practice it. You can practice it if you say I'm not married. I'm single. Practice at work. Amen?

James Greer (01:43):
You might not want to practice it. It's that simple. Did you know the hardest placed to live out your Christian life is? It's in your home? It's usually not at church. Now, every now and then, it's at church. You know? That's why next week it's going to be how to have harmony in the home. That's going to take two weeks. It could take two years, but we're going to do it in two weeks. So you're going to be here. There's two main points I want you to try to get today. Okay? Two main points. Family needs a place to weather the storms. Because if you don't learn to weather the storms, your relationships will wither away. I've seen relationships, I've seen that they're going along good. And then the storms come and they don't know how to handle the storms of the relationship. Just withers away. I've seen marriages that were together a while. And then they've gone through tragedy and the marriage just withers away. They couldn't stand the tragedy. Some marriages, when they have tragedies or storms, they grow closer together. I've seen that in our church. I know Randy and Denise are watching right now, Rawlin. They're on their way back to Houston. They have depended on each other. They've had to.

James Greer (03:05):
But many times when tragedies come, the relationships wither away. And everybody needs people together. Everybody needs relationships when the storms come. Amen? The other thing when you need family for a place of refuge, a place of shelter, a person you can just rely on. But when you don't have a relationship, when you don't have a family, when you don't have friends that you can have a place of refuge, someone you can rely on, you start feeling rejected. Now I'm going to tell you, when you have a family and relationships and you don't have a place of refuge, you start feeling rejected. I can tell you what happens. I've been in the ministry many years now. And those people, they could go to God for He is our refuge and He is the right place. But many people don't go to God. So they start looking for their refuge and their comfort in the wrong places. They feel rejected and they feel they need acceptance. And they look in the wrong places, in the wrong people, in the wrong things. That's why our home needs to be a place of refuge, a place to weather the storms together. Amen?

James Greer (04:18):
So that's the two things that I want to get across today. God made it really clear in Matthew 7 verses 24 and 27 that we're going to all face storms. In fact, he said, therefore, whosoever hears these sayings of mine and does them i's like a wise man, woman, boy, and girl. Do you want to be wise? Say amen. Then you built your house on the rock. Now, who is the rock? Say Jesus. Jesus is the rock. And then he says, even though, basically he said, even though you built your house, your relationship upon the rock, the rains of sin, the floods are going to come. The winds are going to blow. They're going to beat upon your house. Now he just said those people that built their house on the rock, they're still going to have great adversities, problems that they're going to face. But it didn't fall. For the foundation was on the rock. So what I would say more than anything else right now, if you're here today and your foundation is not Jesus Christ, you need to build it upon him. Amen? But anyone who hears these sayings of mine and does not do them, there's something, there's every single Sunday, there's people that come and they hear the message, but they don't let it go in their heart. They hear it, but they don't do it. And God calls you a fool. They built their house on sand.

James Greer (05:46):
And the problem with that, the rain is still the sin, the floods came, and the winds blew and they built on the house and it fell and great was the fall. The storms are going to come. The difference is who you go through the storm with. It makes a difference. Man, when you go through a storm and you have the right people to go through a storm with, go through it with the right person, it just divides the load. You go through it with Jesus, He carries the load. You still feel it. It's still there. Can you imagine? I can't imagine going through the storms that I've gone through in my life and the tragedies if I didn't have Jesus Christ. I don't know how people make it. And then having the right person to share the load with. Man, I've been blessed. It's been my wife. But maybe if you're not married, you still need somebody. Lots of people are saying the families are finished today. They're saying it's out of date. It's a thing in the past. It's not finished. It's fragile. It needs to be strengthened. TV almost makes fun of it. It never portrays a happy family or what a normal family would be. Very seldom do I ever see on TV what a normal family would be. Never. The cartoons today are making fun of family.

James Greer (07:20):
So what really matters is what the Bible says. I mean when in doubt, go to the owner's manual. Amen? That's called the Bible. Way back in Genesis 2:18, it said, the Lord said, it's not good for man, woman, boy, and girl to be alone. Now what I want to tell you here is He said, I'll make you my helper comparable to him. And what I've told you last week, what that word meant, even God is our main helper. Amen? So if you're not married, God can be your helper. But what it is saying, it's not good for you to be alone. You need relationships, somebody you can rely on. But God is your main helper. You can be married and have the best relationships in the world. Sometimes there's nobody but God's going to be there for you. Amen? And then it goes on in 24, it says, a man shall leave his father and mother and join to his wife and they shall become one. Oh, Art. Guess what? Brooke just left you. That could be it. Amen? She just, they became one. Don't worry. They come back. Anyway. Don't get too excited. Let me give you some insights. Insight number one, it was God's idea to have a family. It wasn't our idea. God came up with the idea. And since it's God's idea, there's always going to be families around in spite of what TV says, in spite of what political leaders says, in spite of what cartoons are saying. The family is going to be around. It's the building block of society. It's going to be here.

James Greer (09:03):
Number two, in the very beginning, when God made Adam, he put him in a perfect environment. He had everything he needed supposedly, but he was alone. He was not content. God gave him a woman. The second greatest gift man ever gets is the right woman. Not just any woman. Some of the guys know that. Some of y'all it's not always the woman when you've been married four or five times. You've got a little part in the thing. But what God's saying, I created every single person with a deep need for relationship, for other people to share your life with. God came up with it. God gave us a deep need to have people to share our life with. Can I give you a free insight and a warning? Just because you've had a bad relationship does not mean you cannot have a good one. Just because you've been hurt does not mean God doesn't have somebody out there you can have harmony with. So please let down your guard and ask God to send you the right person. I know people today that have said that they've been hurt. I'm through with it. I know somebody I'm thinking of right now. They've been married two or three times and he said, I'm done. I'm over. I'm not going to do it again. He's happily married right now, happier than he's ever been in his life. So God does have people out there. There are still good people out there. So don't do that. Don't hurt yourself. You ready? Don't hurt yourself just because you've been hurt. Okay.

James Greer (10:51):
Number one, family is a place to weather the storm with. Remember, if you don't have people to weather the storm with, you will wither away. You will personally and your marriage will. I've been doing it for years. I've seen it happen. Don't do that. Make your mind up right now. If you're married, say right now, I'm not gonna allow my marriage to wither away. Amen? You're going to have storms. In fact, I don't think a marriage, I don't think a couple should get married until they have at least one or two good fights and go through a storm. I don't. I think it ought to be mandatory. When you come in for counselling, have you had a good fight? No, never been in a fight. You're not ready yet. Have y'all had a storm? Nope, nope, nope. Wait, wait, come see me when you've had a good fight and a good storm and you had conflict resolution. I don't think, I think it ought to be mandatory by law. I don't think you ought to get married till you've been had conflict resolution and you've gone through a storm in life. By the way, have you? No, I'm just kidding. Anyway. Because you're going to have it. I can tell you one thing. You're going to do it. It's just going to happen. You're to be a very difficult time. But tell you one thing, tell you one thing. When you have the right person, it's sure better to go through life. I'd hate to go through the, face the deaths, the financial crisis, the disappointments, the children problems. I know y'all don't have those. We have five kids, 15 grandkids. Yep. Depression, the sorrows. You're going to have them. You're having personal, financial, jobs, disappointments. I don't want to face them alone.

James Greer (12:46):
You don't want to face them alone. I probably wouldn't be here if I had to face them all alone. Ecclesiastes 4:9 through 10, in fact, I read them during the vows, Mica and Brooke. But they're stronger than you could think. It says, two are better than one. You need to be in relationships. If you're not in a relationship, the right relationships, doesn't have to be a marriage relationship. Get into at least a small group. They have a good reward for their labor. You have more success. You share things together. It says, for if they fall. No, no, no. When they fall. You're going to fall. And if you're in the right relationship, one's going to lift up his companion. If you're in the wrong relationship, they're going to step on you. But woe, cry, sorrowful to him who's alone when he falls. It's tough to fall and be by yourself. For he didn't have anybody to help him. He just falls and he's down there by himself. I thank God that my wife has always been her strongest when I'm the weakest, all our marriage life, almost 50 years, 47, 48, whatever it is. She's always been stronger when I'm the weakest. For if they fall. They will fall. One will lift the companion up. But woe to one that falls.

James Greer (14:26):
When you don't have anybody to help you, it's terrible. Make up your mind. I'm going to build a relationship. If you're married, make up your mind. I'm going to help the one that falls. Now stop for a minute. You can't always be the one that's receiving. I see too many marriages where it's just one person doing the receiving. You're draining the other person dry. It's a two-way street. You're there to help them when they're down. Then you get up and you help them when they're down. Amen? Two are better off than one, for they can help the other succeed. You can be a success when you come together. Then you enjoy the successes together. When a couple helps each other, they're more successful. It's not a matter of. They will be. The Bible calls it a reward for their labor. That's what part of God's plan from the very beginning for you, for your purpose, your family, from the very beginning, to be more successful than they've ever been, to be prosperous. Way back in Genesis. Way back in Genesis 1:27, 28. When He said, I created man in his own image. He said, in the image of God. He created male and female. He created. We're spiritually equal, man and female. We have the same access to God, the same creative ability. God said, I started it out that way.

James Greer (15:56):
You know what he said after that? And He said them. God created them. Who is them? There's always been God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. That's always been them. They've always been in unity. There's always been the trinity. They've always been one. To be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth, govern it, reign over it. I mean you know what He's saying when He's saying multiply and subdue it and dominion? He said, I created the family to have unity, to be fruitful, to subdue it, to have dominion. In other words, to have a victorious, prosperous life, to have successful life. Depend upon each other. It was always God's way. You do it together. You subdue it. You reign over it. You rule it. You fill it. You multiply it. Go back to Ecclesiastes 4:10. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help him. But as someone who falls alone, you're in real trouble. Verse 11 says this. Likewise, two people lie close together. Oh, they keep each other warm. I'll talk about that later. But how can one be warm alone? Verse 12 says this. A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated. But two can stand back to back and conquer. Three, it's even better because there's a three-braided cord. It's not easily broken. So let me give you some of God's plan for relationships, for families and married or if you're planning on being married.

James Greer (17:47):
Number one, to become one, there's unity. God created couples and relationships to have unity. Your goal should be what? Unity. United. Are you going to have fights? Sure, you're going to have fights. Anybody that says they don't have fights, a liar. But it's not to fight. It's to have unity. Your goal is to fight for unity. Amen? You'll be stronger, better protector. For this reason, man shall leave his father and mother. They join together. They become one. It's unified. God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. They're unity. They're going one direction. They do one purpose. Second, support each other when the other one falls. Are you supportive to the other person? The part of having a relationship is this. We are supporting each other during hard times, during difficult times. So we fight for unity. We're supportive. But listen, don't go home and say, you never support me. You might be the person that needs to be supporting the other person. In all my years, most of the time, many of the time, not all the times, many of the times, the people that don't think they get enough support don't give the support. That's good, Brother James. Third, third. This is just for married people. You ready?

James Greer (19:10):
This is for Mica and Brooke. If y'all are watching, this is for y'all. You keep each other warm. Ecclesiastes 4:11. But 1 Corinthians 7:3 has as a husband and wife, you should be fair with each other about having sex. Amen? And 1 Corinthians 7:5. Yeah, amen, man. So don't refuse sex to each other. Some of them are writing. First time they've ever taken notes in church in their whole life. For a little while, only in order to spend time in prayer. Now, some of you are going to start saying, I'm praying. I'm praying. You're lying. Lest Satan would be able to tempt you because of self control. All right. Let's move on. Fourth, fourth. Stand back to back because the enemy is going to attack. If you would really, I'm not gonna read it all, if you would really read Ephesians 6:12 and you kept reading it, we don't wrestle against flesh and blood but against principalities, powers, rulers of darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places. And then it says, take on the whole armor of God. It's all about front arm. It's about the sword of the spirit, the helmet of salvation, the girdle. It's all about front. Because guess what? Somebody has got to have your back. And so you're back to back. One of them is going forward. One of them has got you back, man, and nobody can get you down like that.

James Greer (20:41):
I mean you don't need a whole army. You need a husband and wife or two relationships, two people that are taking care of each other. You're standing back to back. Amen? Third's the most important. It's the three chord. Say, listen, we're going to have the most important. Three cord represents Jesus Christ. Listen, you don't have to be married to have Jesus Christ as center of your life. Amen? That's the Matthew 6:33. Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and He'll take care of everything else. Is He the center of your life? Amen? If you're not married, don't get in a relationship with anybody that Christ is not going to be first in their life. Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep. Okay. Number one, number one. First in the family, you need somebody to weather the storms with. Make a commitment. If I'm going to be in a relationship, we're gonna have storms.

James Greer (21:43):
Are you going to commit to weather the storms? You're gonna bail out the first time we have a problem? There's no sense even going any further because we're going to have them. If you're not married, you should ask them. Okay? Second of all, if you're in a marriage right now, y'all need to talk about it. Honey, let's weather the storms together. Or honey, maybe our marriage is withering away some and maybe we allowed the storms to do that. Are you ready? Did you remember Pastor James said that because the ones that was built on the rock, they still stood? Maybe we're not building our relationship on the rock of Jesus Christ. And today, today, we're going to make a commitment to do that. Okay. Second, we got to move on. We got to rock. I mean really rock. I got so much. Do you ever listen to podcasts? Do you know they have a one, one and a half, two. I can listen to two. That's when they talk real fast. I hope y'all can too. Anyway. Second, second.

James Greer (22:49):
A family's got to be a place of refuge. Amen? Proverbs 14:26 says, in the fear of the Lord is a strong confidence and His children, they have a place of refuge. Y'all say refuge. That means shelter. A place of hope. You want to have a shelter of hope and still have a place of rejection. Amen? When we finally get home every day, we don't want to have a storm every single day. We want to have a place of refuge. Amen? I mean you have pressures. You have problems. You know? Your family, your children, they're trying to be conformed to the world instead of be transformed. They don't understand they're fearfully and wonderfully made. And I'm not going to quote that verse because we don't have time. They have problems and they don't understand. And for every problem, they have a promise that God is more powerful than the problem. Amen?

James Greer (23:39):
They need a refuge. You need a refuge. They don't need to feel rejected. What I want to tell you is you got physical, emotional problems. You're going to have all these problems. You're going to have disagreements. That's normal. Can I tell you what's not normal? It's to come home every single day and be cussing and raising hell. Not every day. Some days. Not every day. So if every day you're coming home and one of the other's cussing and raising hell every day, you need to stop doing that. That is not normal. So stop it. Amen? I don't care if you go to church or not. You can come in here and be churchy churchy if you want to. Don't go home and do that every day. Every now and then, that's going to happen. This is what you say. I'm sorry. Would you forgive me? If you'll say that a few times, you'll stop doing it. I hate to say that. Now you're saying, well, that means you do it. I'm going to go home and tell them you cuss. Big deal. Do worse than that. Worry about you. Anyway. Don't judge lest you be judged. Anyway. One of the hardest place to live the Christian life is at home. Amen? What about this? What about this? What if I gave you some real practical steps to live out your Christian life? Would that be excited? Okay, let's do it. Let's go. Romans 12:14 through 21. Bless those who persecute you. Oh, wow. How about the ones that have a bad attitude towards you? How about the ones in your house and on your job and in your school? Bless and do not curse them. I mean Carlisa just got promoted. Amen? Can I tell them the rest of the story?

James Greer (25:40):
Couple of years ago though, there is some people I would not speak that weren't that sweet to her. They really weren't. I can remember some conversations we had. And we said, don't speak. Carlisa said, thought about speaking and I'm not sure it was bless them. She did say that. I'm ad libbing a little bit. But because she didn't, she did what was right, God has blessed her. God did promote her. It's not always in your own time. So this is rule number one. This week when somebody curses you or has a bad attitude, you're going to praise them or speak good of them. Oh, wee. I know y'all want it to be practical. So now it's going to be practical and personal and practice. Everybody gets an opportunity to practice this. Everybody's going to come across somebody with a bad attitude this week. And you're gonna speak good about them. You're not going to say, you're not going to go to your little friends and gossip about them. Okay? Rejoice with those who rejoice. That's great. Look for every opportunity. Rejoice with somebody in your family and you have plenty of that. Okay?

James Greer (26:51):
Verse 16, we got to skip to verse 16 real quick because I love it. You ready? Okay. Live in harmony with one another. Don't be haughty, snobbish, high-minded. Ready adjust yourself. Give yourself to humble tasks. Say humble tasks. Humble tasks. Never overestimate yourself. Be wise. Don't be wise in your own conceit. All right? This is great. To have harmony, you have to be humble. So guess what? You get to practice the humble tasks this week. First of all, when somebody has a bad attitude, you're going to speak kind to them. Second of all, you got to be kidding. Second of all, you gotta find the humble task. Whatever the most humble task this week. Is it taking out the trash? I don't know what it is. You do it. Quit looking to your mate. Quit looking at your kids. You do it. Kids, quit looking to your parents. If you've got somebody in the house, you're going to get a drink, make sure you ask them one or you get them one. You're going to get something to eat, make sure you get everybody in the house one. Oh, Brother James, this is so good.

James Greer (28:00):
So we're going to practice, practice, practice, practice, practice. Don't repay evil for evil. Somebody's evil for you. you're going to try to be good to them. As much as possible it lives in with you, be peace. You're going to be a peacemaker this week. Never avenge yourself. In other words, don't try to get even with anybody. You know, a Christian, you always win. Did you know that? A Christian cannot lose. If somebody is evil to you, the Bible says, never avenge yourself. Give place to God to do that. Vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord. Just don't do it. Forgive them. If the enemy is hungry, feed them. Somebody's been mean to you and your family, do something great for them. Give them a gift. Y'all got plenty practice this week. Overcome evil with good. Amen? Okay. Y'all ready? We gotta start closing fast. The devil in the world wants you to think family and relationship are over. They're not over. They're fragile. Do y'all know what Jesus said when He's on the cross? He said it is finished. It wasn't finished. That was the beginning of new life. God today wants to give you a new life, a new marriage, a new relationship, and a new start. Amen? It's not finished. It's a new beginning. All right.

James Greer (29:21):
Today you can have a new life. You can have a new beginning. First of all, if you hadn't built your life, your marriage, your relationship on Jesus Christ, in just a minute when I give the invitation, boom, today's the day. Some have already in their home need to come and say, hey, we hadn't been weathering the storms too much. We've really been withering away and we want to change that. We want to start supporting each other starting today, not Sunday. Some need that third chord, whether you're married or not. That's Jesus Christ needs to be first placed in your life. Some need to practice, practice. Everybody here. Downstairs, upstairs, online, you need to practice the practical message. Somebody has a bad attitude? You're going to speak well about them. Y'all hear, Journey Church? The world, anybody can do what the world does. So bad attitude, we're gonna think of something good. We're gonna look for ways to rejoice together. We're going to look for a humble task. We're gonna look for ways to do good things for people, especially those people in our house. We're going to be the peacemaker in the house, not the troublemaker. We're going to leave vengeance up to God. Just let it go today. Forgive anybody and everybody. And you're going to practice overcoming evil with good. I'm going to tell you, if there wasn't enough practical stuff here today, it's because you aren't listening.

James Greer (31:06):
I believe some of you need to give your heart to Jesus Christ. Some of you need to rededicate your life. And some of you say, hey, I need God's strength to practice this lesson this week. Would you stand and let me pray with you and pray for you? Father, I just thank you for Jesus. I thank you He is the way and the truth and the life. I thank you He is the only way to God. I think you He is the only way that we can live out our Christian life. I thank you He is the one that we go to. He is our refuge. He's the one that helps us weather the storms. God, I believe that you bring the right people into our lives. And I pray for those that are married that that is the right person to weather the storm. I know it is. They're the one to have refuge with. I pray for those that haven't been doing that together, that right now their hearts would be tender, God. Your Holy Spirit would begin to convict. They wouldn't wait. They wouldn't wait to get outside, God, even today in a minute, just when I say amen, that they'd make their way to the front. For God, that those that are not married, that you would send the right people into their lives. Just because they've been hurt, don't let them hurt themselves. Let their hearts be tender this morning, God. Send the right relationships. Maybe it's not marriage relationship but the right people. Everybody needs people to be comforted. Everybody needs people to celebrate with. Everybody needs people to cry with. God, I pray that you'd do that. I pray that you would open the right doors right now. God, for those that are in the wrong relationships, if they're not married, God, that you'd begin to close those doors. If they're married, God, I pray that you'd make their hearts tender. God, I believe church is a family. I pray God that you'd have the right relationships here at church. I pray for those that have not joined if this is a church that you would have them, that you would have them. I thank God for those that have recently joined. For those that need to be baptized, we're having baptism every single service this Sunday. I just praise you and honor you for that, God. But for those others that may want to get baptized, today would be the day. Those that just want somebody to pray with them, pray for them. God, whatever you laid upon their heart, I pray that you'd have your way and your will. It's in the precious name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Bruce Goulart (33:41):
On behalf of Pastor James, I just want to say thank you for tuning into our online experience today. Man, I hope that you enjoyed week 2 of Family Matters. And if you need someone to pray with you right now, we have people on standby that are willing to play with you right now. There should be a link down in the description or in the comment section that you click on, fill out, and someone will get with you right away. And again, I just want to say thank y'all for joining us this morning and I hope to see y'all next week. Thank y'all.

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