Time To Dream | It's Never Too Late

Understanding How God Can Carry You Through Tough Times

James Greer
Aug 15, 2021    23m
No matter how broken or helpless you may feel, the truth is that God can carry you through tough times. Even if you think achieving your dreams and goals is impossible, hope is not lost. God wants to restore us and it's never too late to dream. 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] Well, that's exciting. A hundred new members already this year. Let's say amen. Well, I'm excited about our series It's Been Time to Dream. And this is really a special message because everybody is going to need it. Doesn't matter how young or how old. If you're young, you say, well, I've never had my dream shattered, you will. And this also a message that says, hey, if you're not dead, God's not done with you. And it's going to be about Saul's son but mainly his grandson. Saul had a son named Jonathan and he had his grandson that had his legs were broken, ended up in a hiding place, thought he'd never be used again. But he was. Some of y’all’s dreams have been shattered, and you maybe think, they may be health dreams. You might feel like giving up, quitting. Maybe you just can't come back. Maybe it's gone too far. And if you're here today, this is for you. You can’t ever go too far that you can't come back, and God has something for you. Saul's grandson, Mephibosheth, he was five years old when he was crippled. His maid was running to hide for fear of death. And she dropped him. Jonathan, his father was next in line to be king. But instead of waiting to be king, he stepped aside. He stepped aside because he thought God had called David a man after His own heart. Most of us, if our dad was a king and we thought that we were next in line to be king and somebody else said, I think God's called me to be king, we’d be jealous, we’d be all upset, we’d say, I'm the king. I'm the man.

James Greer: [00:02:00] Not Jonathan. Jonathan was not only not jealous, he loved David. He loved him not only as a friend. They had a special bond. They had a covenant bond between each other. And when you have a covenant bond, it’s like a marriage bond. The two become one. And when the two become one, it means you get everything that I have and I get everything you have. I mean when me and Debbie got married, we had a covenant. She got my Fairlane. I got her Camaro. Looking good. I got the best in the deal. Amen? I got the best of the deal all the way around. But anyway. I mean so they had that kind of covenant. Jonathan, who was the king's son, he would often protect David from his father. He would often serve David. You would think it would be the other way around. Now, David, he loved Jonathan and trusted him. Trust is earned. And we know the other person is trustworthy when they behave in a trustworthy manner and a consistent basis over time. That's how you're trustworthy. Jonathan was that way. Jonathan had a son, Mephibosheth. And something happened to him. But if something happened to Jonathan, guess what? He was next in line to be the king.

James Greer: [00:03:30] A civil war broke out. Saul was killed. Saul's son who David loved was killed. There was total chaos going on. In 2 Samuel 4, verse 4, Jonathan. Saul’s son, had a son who was laying in his feet. He was five years old when the news about Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel. The news was, here’s the news that came. The nurse took him up and fled. She was running because of what happened. And it happened as she made haste to flee that he fell and became lame. And his name was Mephibosheth. See, the nurse heard that her grandfather, Saul, had been killed. Then she heard that his dad, Jonathan, had been killed. They were afraid that they were next in line. He was hiding, he was a cripple, he had been dropped, broken, lame, physically. If he had to go to the bathroom as he was getting older, people would have to carry him or he'd have to crawl. His dreams were shattered. He was royalty and now he was in hiding. Not much from being next to king. Not only physically challenged, but the kings men back then, if the king, if another king came in charge, they would kill the previous king linage. Mephibosheth, nurse knew that if they found them, they'd kill her and him. Dreams were shattered. Fear and hurting. He kind of went from the palace to being paralyzed.

James Greer: [00:05:29] He kind of went from a palace to almost being in prison. Maybe you can identify with some situation in your life. Yours might be physical. Your dreams can be shattered like that. It can be a death. We've got a funeral here today. Let’s be in prayer for the Ruggles. Be from 2:00 to 4:00 will be visitation and then we'll have a service. Dreams were shattered. There’s broken hearted. You can have physical dreams can change in a second. I can remember, though I sit in a chair now. People sometimes, especially Brother Darrell, they say, can Brother James stand up? I can stand. I can walk. I can even talk. Now, I can't read and spell well but I can stand. Now, what really happened is this. About a year ago, I had this back problem, and I didn't want the church to know. So I would come and I'd stand, I’d sit in the chair. At the time, I had IVs in my pocket and I was taking IV. And I would come up here and I would sit and preach anyway while the IV was taking place. It was fighting the antibiotic. And after that, I had a real back problem. So I would come and I'd sit. And I didn't, [inaudible] God, I wanted to preach. Me and Debbie, we went on a trip. And it got so bad, I was sitting on my suitcase and they’re having to push me. It was horrible.

James Greer: [00:06:52] I mean I thought, praise, I hope I don’t live like this. I slept on the floor for one year. I didn't want the church to know. For many months, the staff didn't even know it. And so I’d come and I’d sit in the chair. Now, I sit in the chair because I like it. Amen? I don’t know. I can walk. I can talk. I just like sitting in the chair. But at the end of a year, I was worried about, am I going to be like this the rest of my life? Dreams get shattered. God allowed me to have some surgery. Man, I'm healthy and I'm happy. I'm just telling you, dreams can be shattered. Maybe it's an emotional dream. Maybe something happened in a relationship. It could definitely be financial. I mean there's nobody probably here that's been financially broke as many times as me and Debbie. Just crippled. Maybe it's a job, maybe it's a mate, maybe it's a friend. But that's what it is. Mephibosheth, I mean he was shattered. His legs were broken, and they called him to a hiding place, another town, another place. But David changed tradition. Y’all know they say David was a man after God's own heart, right? Check out David's first agenda. Most kings, it would have been a military. They would say, I'm in power and they show their strength, they show their power, they show their economic power, they show their money.

James Greer: [00:08:29] But not David. David was more concerned in a person, in relationships. Give you a real important insight. Be careful. Sometimes the more money and the more power you have, you're more concerned about riches than relationships. Not David. David was more concerned about a relationship than he was riches. That's one reason he was called a man after God's own heart. God's more concerned about having a relationship with you than He is riches as well. He's not worried about your riches. He's got all the riches in the world. But He is concerned about having a relationship with you. And David was too. David steps on the throne and he says, listen. In 2 Samuel 9:1, and David says, is there anyone, still anyone, is there anyone left in the house of Saul that I might show kindness to for Jonathan's sake? For whose sake? Say, Jonathan. He said, listen, I have a covenant relationship with Jonathan. Now I'm the king. It's not over yet. He's in power. He said, I want to see if there's anybody that I can show kindness to. I don't know how you were brought up. Maybe some religion, maybe no religion. I wasn’t brought up thinking God wanted to show me kindness. I was brought up thinking God had a stick just waiting for me to mess up and boom, I was going to get it. But that's not true. See, Jonathan’s son was going to be blessed because of what Jonathan did, not because what his son did. His son had done nothing to enjoy the blessings of what his dad had done.

James Greer: [00:10:11] Jonathan was broken. The Bible said the Lord is nearer to those that are broken. Then the king said, is there not still at least someone of the house of Saul? To whom I might show kindness, the kindness of God. He said, I want to show the kindness of God. And Ziba said to the king, hey, there’s still the son of Jonathan, but he has lame feet. You know, I mean he's got lame feet. See, do you know what we usually do? What he does is Saul was the previous king, David is the king now. All through history, the kings will kill the previous kings’ kids. Not David. In the New Testament, did you know what Jesus tells us to do to our enemies? To be good to them. That's what David was doing. The king said, where is he? Lo-debar. Where's that? That means no pastor, away, away places, nothing grows there. It's deserted, no communication. It's a lonely place, a fearful place. It's an out of the way place. It's anything but a palace. It's really a shack. My goodness, can you imagine? Going from where he was to where he's living now, crippled? David, he said, hey, bring him out of the house from Lo-debar. Said, I don’t want him staying there.

James Greer: [00:11:57] So Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, when he come to David, he fell down, prostrated himself. Then David said and he answered. Here's your servant. Now, he thought he was going to be killed. He thought that he was going to destroy him. And you know what he said? David said, don't be afraid. Don't be fearful. You know what? God has a message for you today. Don't care what you're going through. I don't care what's happening your life. God says, I don't want you to be afraid. God's got a message every single Sunday, every single morning you wake up. It’s don't be afraid because I'm going to surely show you kindness. Did you know that God wants to show you kindness? For Jonathan, for your father's sake. I love that because—I’m trying to wait till the end but I can't. Do you know what? God will show you kindness. Not for your sakes. For Jesus’ sake. Amen? Not for what you did. It’s what Jesus already did. He said, for Jonathan's sake, your father. Not only that, I want to restore to you all the lands that Saul your grandfather and you should eat at the table continually. My goodness gracious. Now you’re going to eat at the table of the king? And he bowed himself and said, what is your servant, that you should look upon me as a dead dog as I. He thought it was over.

James Greer: [00:13:32] Let me give you the insight. Mephibosheth was broken and helpless. Do y’all know who he's a type of? Me and you. That's who he is. That's what the story's all about. The story, see, you got to be careful. The story's not about how great David is. The story's not how great Jonathan is. The story is not how great his grandson, Mephibosheth is, how he's broken. David is a type of God who sent his son Jesus Christ who paid the price for our sins and our brokenness and our helplessness. And David, he said, hey, I'm going to take Mephibosheth, and I'm going to carry him to the table and he's going to eat with the king. And Jesus Christ invites me and you to the table to dine with Him every single day. Amen? The Psalmist said, hey, I prepared a table for the presence of my enemy. You come and dine with me. It's like David said, I will restore everything, everything to Saul. Everything that you lost, I'm going to restore to you. I love that. I have it written in the front of my Bible. In Joel 2:25, it's written, I read every Sunday morning before I preach. It says I will restore. Say restore. I love that because I'm going to replace or I'm going to bring back or I'm going to recover or I'm to deliver it to you, the years that the swarming locusts have eaten. I love that. You know why I love it? Because I don't only believe it, I live it and I've seen God do it.

James Greer: [00:15:02] I've seen the time that I, a few years that we dropped out of the ministry and me and Debbie kind of did the best we could for those years. And I thought I'd never have a ministry again. And God restored what I had and then some. Amen? I mean it's greater than I ever dreamed in my life. He restored it. I have seen the times when we had financially collapsed and lost everything, and God restored it and then some. Man, I know what it's like to lose it and have it restored. Amen? And God is the God of restoration, and you can't go too far that God can't restore you. I don't know what it is. It may be something in your past. God can restore it. Amen? God is the God of restoration. That's what the story is all about. Guess what? There's somebody greater than David. That's our God. He tells us at 1 Timothy 6:15, I love it. Hey, God's going to make it happen. I love that. You could just stop it right there and say, guess what? I don't know what you're going through. Don't worry about it. God's going to make it happen. All right? He's going to make it happen at the right time. And He is the blessed. He is the ruler. Who's the ruler? God is. Not only that, He's the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.

James Greer: [00:16:15] He is the one in charge. He is the one that restores. He's the one that can bring you to the table. He's the one that can help you when you're shattered. He's the one that can help you when everything's broken. He's one when you think it's helpless, He can take care of it. Amen? What do you need restored? Just think about it. Maybe it's a relationship. Maybe it's past mistakes that were so bad that you just think, hey, man, can it ever go away? Can it ever be better? Yes, it can. I know people that have been married one, two, three, some five times. Five may be their lucky number. Now they're happy. I know couples that were already in other relationships, and God restored them and now they're happy. I know God can restore. I know God restores finances. I know He's done it my life. I know He can do it in your life. See, I don't know what you need restoring. But the things that you can't do, God can do for you. Sometimes He does it where He'll get the honor and glory and you can't. Sometimes, like in my life, He allows you to get so low that you can't get up on your own, and the only way you can get up is through Him and Him get the honor and glory. I was so low, I couldn't get up. But God brought me up. God wants you to come. He says, eat and dine at the table with Him. Y’all, that’s fellowship.

James Greer: [00:18:04] There's nothing like it. Revelations 3:20 says, behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I'll come and dine with him and him with me. He actually wants to have a relationship with you. He wants to dine with you. He wants to be with you. Just like they had to pick up the grandson and carry him to the king's table. Jesus said, would you come to my table? God is saying this, I want to treat you like sons and daughters. Well, I'll tell you a good example. The grandson, Mephibosheth, he said, I feel like I'm a rotting dog. That's basically what he was saying. David said, you're not a rotting dog. You’re royalty. Some of y'all have really bad self-esteem in here. You feel bad about the way you look, about the way you feel about yourself, about your intellectual ability, about where you live. God says, stop that. When you accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, God becomes your father and you become royalty and you become sons and daughters of the king. Amen? So stop it. My security. Let me ask you something. Did Mephibosheth do anything to deserve what he got? No. My security is not found in my good behavior. Thank goodness. Amen. My security is found in my Savior, not what my behavior was. David said, don't fear.

James Greer: [00:19:56] Jesus said, don't fear. I'm always with you. Jesus said, I didn't give you a spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind. You're not a rotting dog. You're royalty. You might be so low, so low that you feel like you just got to crawl to the altar. I'd rather crawl to the altar and be with God than stay in my hiding place and not be there. If you can't get there, somebody will carry you. But what I found, once you surrender, God just takes care of you. So basically what I'm going to ask you to do this morning is this. Come to God's table. Bring your problems, your low self-esteem, your troubles, your loneliness, your helplessness, your brokenness, and your fears. And come to the table, dine with the king, and don't leave like you came. Stand and let me pray with you. God, I thank you for your Son. It's your Son that gives us the opportunity to dine with you. Jesus said, I'm the way and the truth. No man comes in the Father but by me. God, there might be some here that are not sons and daughters of the King because they don't know Jesus. If you're here today, the most important decision you'd ever make is let Jesus be your Savior, your Lord. He took your place. You just simply come and say, hey, I know I've sinned. I'd like Jesus to forgive me of my sins. I'd like Him to be the Lord of my life.

James Greer: [00:21:56] I believe He died for my sins and [inaudible] and you just come to the altar. Some of you maybe need to follow through in public baptism just like the last service. Maybe you knew your baptized as a child or maybe it didn't mean anything and now you know what it means and you want a brand-new start, a picture of the death, the burial, and resurrection. Some of you just want to leave your bad self-esteem. You're not a dog. You're royalty. God expects you to live like that. The Bible says you're fearfully and wonderfully made. He created you. And stop that. Some of you are fearful. In the name of Jesus, we want to cast out that fear and that doubt and that discouragement. Some of you have been broken, shattered, and God wants to give you the encouragement and the faith that He's going to bring you through it and give you a brand-new start and He's going to restore the years that were lost. In fact, they're going to be better, that your last half is better than your first half. God doesn't want you to leave here the same way you came. He wants you to leave here with a new hope, a new excitement, a new feeling. Father, I just pray that you'd have your will and your way in every life here. And I ask it in the precious name of Jesus. Amen.

Bruce Goulart: [00:23:19] On behalf of Pastor James, I just want to say thank you for joining our online experience today. What an amazing message today as we continue the Time to Dream series. And if you need someone to pray with you right now, we have people on standby that are willing to pray with you. There's a link in the description that if you click on and fill out, someone will get with you right away. And hope that y’all have an amazing week this week. And thank y’all for joining us and hope to see y’all next week. Thank y’all.

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