How to win at life

Living to fulfill your godly purpose helps you overcome tribulations.

James Greer
Oct 16, 2017    27m
In this sermon Pastor James Greer talks about living for your godly purpose. If you continue to push forward toward fulfilling your godly purpose, it can help you overcome tribulations you may face. 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 We started a series about three weeks ago, it was called Goal, and our goal is to help you to grow farther, faster. Well, there's one main difference to help you do that. Everybody has to have some authority in their life. It's either the world or the word and there's only one letter difference in the two words and that's "L", which stands for life. If you begin to make your decision based on the word instead of the world, you begin to have new victories that you've never had before.

James Greer: 00:27 John 16:33 says these things. I have spoken unto you that in me so that you might have peace in the world. You're going to have tribulation, pressure, stress, burden, and troubles but be of good cheer. I have overcome the world. He overcome the world through the word. So we started a series first of all about three weeks ago, and it said that we know that God has a pre-determined destiny for your life, and we showed you in Ephesians 2:10 that said he prepared it ahead of time and if you learn to walk in that you'll have a good life. Then we learned last week that God wants you to have joy. Not only joy, but fullness of joy and how you enter into joy greatly returns what you do with the things God's already given you, not the things you don't have.

James Greer: 01:09 And then today more than anything else, we want to help you find God's purpose for your life. Because God has a purpose and he has a project. 1 Corinthians 10:31 says whatsoever things you eat, whatever you drink, whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God. Well I used to hear that, but I didn't understand really what all is the glory of God. So we're going to give you at least six things that a few minutes that bring glory to God, but my goal today is for you to better understand God's purpose and God's project. God's purpose doesn't change God's purpose is to bring honor and glory to God in whatever you do. Amen? But the projects might change.

James Greer: 01:45 When I drove up at 7:00, I went to the back and there was at least a couple of golf carts back there, and I think Wayne and Kevin for sure and one other person were on there. Well listen, their project for the day, was to go here to do it to the glory of God and make sure that people get from the back to the front the best they can. Amen? But now when they go to work Monday, they have different jobs. So that project Monday is to go to work and do the best you can at that job to bring honor and glory to God. And we're going to give you at least seven ways that you can do that. So there's one is a purpose; the other is a project. To understand this, to begin to live this out, that God's purpose and His project gives you a new power, a new peace wherever you go.

James Greer: 02:26 See, when we're not living out God's purpose and understanding God's project, we ultimately live in panic. Have you ever known people that just seemed like their whole life is panic? Every time you see them coming, it's a disaster in their life. And it's just I'm panicking, the kids are panicking, man the house is panicking, and my job is panicking. Man, I came to church and even Brother James got me in panic. Amen? I mean you know, so what you do is when you don't understand your purpose (which is to bring honor and glory to God) and you don't understand, He continues to give a project on a day to day basis. You'll live in panic, but just the opposite will happen is, hey, my purpose is to bring honor and glory to God, my project is maybe go today or maybe stay at home with kids or maybe your work, whatever it is. That project for the day is you fulfill that project.

James Greer: 03:10 The best you can do to bring honor and glory to God (and we'll give you at least six ways in a minute that you can do that) because once you find out God's purpose, once you're living out his project and now it gives you peace, it gives you power. You can relax because He shall give you provisions. Matthew 6:33 says seek ye first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness. All these other things will be added. See, God doesn't want us to live in panic. He wants us to live a relaxed assurant, courageous life. Acts 1:8 says, when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, he'll give you power to go in all nations, so we're going to learn. It's God's purpose for us to bring honor and glory to Him whatever therefore you eat whatever you drink whatsoever you do.

James Greer: 03:50 Aren't you glad he said whatsoever? Because otherwise we will say well, I come to church. My goal is to bring honor and glory to God. Amen? But when I go to work, I have a different purpose noted. I used to try to separate the two. I would say, "Hey, when I'm at work, I'm at work. When I'm at church, I'm at church." But, yeah, that's not right. That's just another project God has me on, and when I'm at work, I do these things to bring honor and glory to God. It says, listen, in Revelation 4:11 says, you are worthy, oh Lord, to receive glory and honor and power for you created all things. Who created all things? God did, and by your will they exist and were created. Do you understand that He said, now that I created the world, everything is held together by me. In other words, if you want to have better relationships at home with your family, build on having a better relationship with God because he says, I'm the one that holds everything together.

James Greer: 04:42 So let's look at number one, that your story has to revolve around his glory. To find your purpose, you have to understand that your story revolves around His glory. See, what happens is most of us maybe come to church. Maybe we'll read our Bible a little bit, some of us maybe even tithe (I don't know). But I mean if you're not careful what you think is your story revolves around your glory. Most people live a life thinking their story in life revolves around their glory. So when something happens in their life, when one door shut, they get all discouraged all defeated and they start blaming other people. But see, when your story revolves around God's glory and that door is shut, it means, hey, God's got something else for me to do.

James Greer: 05:25 When I was younger, maybe I was going to buy something, a house car or whatever, and I just say, man, the door would shut and I'd get all upset. I can't believe I'm not getting that [unintelligible]. Now when the door shuts, I say praise God. I didn't need it.

James Greer: 05:37 You see the difference? You come up and you pray for a job. God open the door, open the door, open the door. If He doesn't open doors it’s because he wants you to stay where you're at. He said, I got a project where you're at. See, when you go to work Monday though, your project is not to please you, but it's to please God. And so when your story revolves around your own glory, when you go to work, it's like "Hey, I'm here. Y'all are blessed. I came to work today."

James Greer: 06:03 I know people like that and then when something happens, they just can't believe and they're all upset, but when you go to work and you say, man, my purpose will never change. It's always bringing honor and glory to God, but my project changes wherever I'm at to do this project, the best I can to bring honor and glory to God. And listen, that includes suffering.

James Greer: 06:25 There's a lot. The fastest growing religion today is prosperity. You know they say just name it, claim it, and you'll be great. If you do the right things, you will be rich. If you do the right things you'll never be sick. There's a problem with that because it's not in the Bible. In fact, 1 Peter 4:16 says, yet if anyone suffers, suffers emotionally, physically, financially as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glory in God in the matter. Let me tell you what: Jesus is always our greatest example. Right? Jesus [unintelligible] hey, did He suffer? Absolutely. He suffered when He went to the cross. He suffered when they beat Him before He went to the cross. But you know what? He glorified the Father [unintelligible] by finishing already started, but what He did during the midst of his suffering, not only does it say He say, "It's finished", before he did he asked, "Would you forgive them of their sins, for they know not what they do?"

James Greer: 07:19 Did you know Stephen in the Bible? He's the first ordered to get stoned to death. Saul, who wrote 3/4 of the New Testament, before he became Paul, he was there with him and they were stoning him to death, and it says that Jesus stood up on the right hand of the Father to receive him. And Jesus (when he went to Heaven) He sat down on the right hand of the Father. When Stephen was being stoned, Jesus stood up to receive him. Did you know that Stephen also said don't hold this on account of them.

James Greer: 07:49 Do you understand when people mistreat you and you forgive them anyway, it brings honor and glory to God. When you're suffering and you still look the God for comfort you're bringing honor and glory to God. I want you to know that the Bible says that God is the Father of all comfort. So, can you have comfort and tribulations at the same time? Absolutely you can. In fact in 2 Corinthians 1:3, it says blessed be the God, the Father of my Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort. So we can do both at the same time.

James Greer: 08:20 See, God's passion and God's purpose is for us to bring honor and glory to God. Our passion and our purpose is to live a satisfied life. God is most glorified, you ready, when we're most satisfied? When you learn to be satisfied with God, that's when He's most glorified. 1 Corinthians 6:20 says, for you were bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body and your spirit which are of God. So you were bought with a price. Everyone this side of Heaven The everyone this side of Heaven owes everyone this side of hell to know that Jesus came and died for their sins.

James Greer: 08:57 Now see, we get a free gift, but the price was paid by Jesus Christ so that God created us on purpose with a purpose to help accomplish his purpose. God created us on purpose with a purpose in a way, you ready, you cannot really find your purpose without doing his purpose? That's why you have so many people today, even a lot really seem to be successful.

James Greer: 09:18 I mean, I watched this show at 6:00 (y'all shouldn't really watch it), but it talks about all these entertainers you know and what they're accomplishing, what they're doing. I'll tell you I watched it one day [unintelligible], and the next day they're gonna change lives. I watch the next day they're fixing to do something else and then they're talking about poor, poor them they're breaking up. Well they break up every other week. And then they talk about well they just bought a $7,000,000 house. And then they talk about how horrible they are and how they're suffering and how they're hurting and they're not happy. Because they haven't understood what their real purpose is. Their purpose is to bring honor and glory to God in whatever they do. But can they do it? Sure.

James Greer: 09:56 Do we need Christian actors? Do we need Christian actresses yet? Do we need Christians in politics? Yeah. As long as they know their purpose is to bring honor and glory in whatever project door He opens. So see that's why they're not satisfied. I know people that have a lot of possessions. That doesn't satisfy them. See, without your purpose, possessions and pills won't bring satisfaction. Now there's some pills you better take. If I was up here preaching, and I didn't take some of my pills, you'd be in trouble. Y'all think I go bing bing now, I'd go bing off this wall. But what I'm saying is I'm talking about the other kind of pills, the ones that get you in trouble.

James Greer: 10:29 So anyway, you gotta understand your purpose and God's got a project. Amen? So what does it mean to have your story revolve around his score? What does it mean that whatever you do bring honor and glory to God? I'm going to give us some of the best examples because it's the characteristics of Jesus and the characteristics of God that when lived out in our life, brings honor and glory to God. John 17:4 says (Jesus Speaking), I've glorified you on earth. I have finished the work which you have given me to do, and now oh Father glorify me together with yourself, with the glory which I had with you before the world was. In other words, Jesus said one time, God, I was with you in Heaven. I was with you God, and I was with the father, God the Son, God, the holy spirit. They've always been there. He was just reincarnated when He came here, but He said, now I want you to bring glory to me. And He said, because I have finished the work that you have given me.

James Greer: 11:24 Do you understand one of the first ways you bring honor and glory to God is finish what God has given you. In other words, God gave you a job. Finish that job. If God opens a door, go there. You're in a marriage right now. Finish it. Stay there. See what God says is I want you to finish whatever I started that brings honor and glory to you. 2 Corinthians 8:11 says and now you should finish what you started. So when you finish it, whatever it is, is one of the characteristics of God. Even during suffering. So this is what we have today. We want instantaneous satisfaction. It doesn't happen. Jesus said, I finished it, and in spite of all odds, despite of all the beatings, in spite of all the suffering, I finished what you called me to do. Has God called you to do something and you hadn't finished it yet?

James Greer: 12:13 In Luke 14:28-30 it says, for which of you intending to build a tower, doesn't sit down first and count the cost? Whether he has the cost to finish it, lest after he has laid the foundation, he's not able to finish it. And they see how they mocked him. In other words, God says, when you're not finishing the task that God's given you, the world looks at it and they don't only mock you, it brings mockery to God.

James Greer: 12:38 In other words, we're going to eventually have another campus in Alexandria. Now I'm going to preach at this one, and we're going to satellite that one. We're not moving, Amen? But what we do once we start it, we want to finish it to the honor and glory of God. Why are we going there? Our purpose is to bring those people far from God close to God one step at a time. That is our purpose, but how we do it often changes. I mean, we have [unintelligible], we got Harvest Fest coming up, and it's fun. We'll should have a thousand people go through the parking lot during Harvest Fest, but we have Harvest Fest for the very purpose of bringing those people far from God close to God one step at a time.

James Greer: 13:14 We're hoping some of those people's lives get changed. So it doesn't matter what we do. One time we did the motorcycle thing. But see the purpose doesn't change the project to do it does change. I remember one time I had them carry me down here in a coffin. My wife almost killed me. I didn't tell her I was gonna do it, and then when I popped out.....

James Greer: 13:31 I didn't tell her because she wouldn't have let me do it. But the point was we do different projects, but they always got to go back to the purpose. In fact, y'all want to know what we do? Anything apart from sin to see people come to know Jesus Christ. See. We've got the same purpose, but we have all these different projects.

James Greer: 13:48 Man, next Sunday we're going to be project crazy. You're not gonna believe some of the things we're going to do. I heard Darrell talk about what [unintelligible] and spinners and spots and dots, and all these have in common. It's going to be wow next Sunday. Because you're going to find out, it's going to be the wildest Sunday I think we've ever had before. You're going to go on a journey of your life, but the whole purpose behind this, what the brain will feel far from God close to God, so we want to finish whatever he started, number one. Number one, you bring honor and glory until you finish. Number two, you bring honor and glory by giving. Now one of the greatest characteristics of God, the father and God the son is giving. You're most like God when you're giving and forgiving.

James Greer: 14:30 John 3:16 says, for God so loved the world, He gave his only begotten son. Whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life. Let me tell you what, the opposite of giving his selfishness.

James Greer: 14:42 Yeah, I can change both marriages. Y'all want to have a better marriage? Just stop being so selfish. You know, I've told y'all I'm a terrible counselor, so don't go see me. We have great counselors. I don't know if JD is here. Go see JD, he's great and he will help you. I've had people quit after they come to me. I really have. I've had them walk out and never come back. That gives me the discernment I’m not a good counselor. But see what I want to do as soon as I really see what's happening, I want to say, hey man, quit being so dadgum selfish. Life is not all about you. Live for the other person. Give for that other person and your life will be radically changed. But they don't want to hear that. Most people come to me and they just want you to agree with them. Well that's great. So now you've got marriage problems, so you go to other people that have marriage problems where you can both have marriage problems. Now you've got finance. You've got another person has finance problems. Well, y'all could sit and sulk and sour. Don't do that. God doesn't want you to do that.

James Greer: 15:43 He wants you to have the characteristic of giving, and not only did God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son. John 3:17 says God didn't send his son in the world to condemn the world. Our job is not to go around condemning the world. Our job is to tell others we know somebody that came to remove the condemnation, but through the world that through him, we might be saved. Now, that word saved means if you're saved, you can go to heaven. If you're here today and you're not sure, you'll go to heaven, you need to come and get saved, but that word also means healed.

James Greer: 16:14 You can be saved going to heaven and you've got all this emotional baggage and God says hey, I came to help you with that. It means delivered. I'm in this unbelievable problem in my life. I need to be delivered. It can mean protection, but most of all it needs to make whole. When he said, listen, I sent not my son into the world to condemn the world, but through him that they might be saved; they might be made whole. See, do you want to give more or receive more? Which one makes you happier? That's how you'll know.

James Greer: 16:44 Okay, so first of all, when we finish what we start, that brings glory to God. When we learned to be generous with our time, energy, and money, that's [unintelligible]. Then third, when we forgive. Matthew 6:12 says, forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. When we give forgiveness, we receive forgiveness. I'm gonna tell you what. If you're not careful, and you don't forgive, bitter.

James Greer: 17:16 See the reason that Jesus and people like Stephen had this wonderful power and presence of God is because they didn't have bitterness and you know that because both of them were in the hardest time in their life when they were both being tortured and put to death. They said, forgive them for they know not what they'd done. So when you really understand what Jesus did for you, you can forgive somebody no matter what because if forgiveness runs to bitterness to anger, which quenches the power and presence of God, and your prayers aren't answered, you're not influencing your family because you've quenched the power of God. Let's say if you want to be forgiven, you forgive others.

James Greer: 17:49 I mean, there's very few people in the world I've hated. I probably shouldn't say hate. I just didn't like this particular person greatly. The reason I would come to the altar I'd say God I know that you're telling me to forgive him, but every time I'd hear his name [growls]. Every time I'd see him [growls]. I didn't want anybody to speak the name and when I saw him I wanted to shut my eyes. But one day God really worked the circumstances out and I got to be with him one on one. Instead of not forgiving him, I said, "I want to forgive you, I want you to forgive me." And we hugged. Man I felt great. Amen?

James Greer: 18:27 But the next day this particular person came around and said, "Let's go do this. Let's go there."

James Greer: 18:27 I said, "There ain't no way Jose."

James Greer: 18:32 I want to forgive you, but I don't want to run with you. Ladies sometimes there's somebody that's abused in your life, maybe emotionally or physically or maybe both. Now listen, you need to forgive them, but don't put yourself back in that same situation. Amen? And so there's a great difference between forgiveness and putting yourself back in a situation that brings physical and emotional harm. Forgive them where you are set free. You know, sometimes you don't forgive those suckers and they're out there happy as can be? They're out there running around. They're off on vacation. And you're sitting here angry and bitter. So, anybody in your life that you have not forgiven, let the Holy Spirit touch your heart and at the end of this service you come out of obedience and forgive them. Amen? Set you free, man.

James Greer: 19:16 Because (number four), we got finished giving, forgiving and freedom. Number four brings honor and glory in the freedom you live. 2 Corinthians 3:17-18, now the Lord, He is the spirit and where the spirit of the Lord is there is liberty or freedom, but we are with unveiled faces beholding as a mirror the glory of the Lord and are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the spirit of the Lord.

James Greer: 19:44 In other words, the Bible said first of all, the more you know God's word, the more you reflect God's word. The more you apply God's word, the more liberty and freedom you have. Listen, the you know God and the more you understand God that He loves you, the more you love him. The more you love him, the more we love other people. And the more we love other people, the more reflection in the glory that God gets from us. See, there's a freedom that God wants us to have that's unbelievable. He wants us to have freedom from worry, freedom from fear, freedom from bondage. He wants to have freedom from anything like that. Anybody in here go to CR? Just one. The first service we had a bunch of them. Did you know that one of the things that brings honor and glory to God is when they set you free from bondage?

James Greer: 20:26 Say some people say, well, I'm set free from maybe drinking, maybe alcohol. How about anger? How about gluttony? You see what I'm saying? One of the things that brings honor and glory to God, is if we can live in freedom. See when you're living in freedom, you have a newfound courage and power and presence of God in your life and you're not intimidated, but you have a Godly security in your life and that's what God wants us to be. So freedom from bondage because when that happens, John 17:10 says (Jesus is speaking), And all of yours are mine and all of mine are yours, and I am glorified in them. Part of Jesus Christ's glory after he ascended was the Christians left behind that are set free from worry and fear and discouragement and bondage. So God says, Jesus Christ, one of His glories right now is to see others free. He also wants us free from condemnation. See, there are Christians that get saved, they get forgiven, and then they still live in condemnation.

James Greer: 21:22 I had a young person called me the other day. He wasn't too young, but anyway he called, and he said "Man, I just can't help it. Years ago I did something. Every time I'm with my family and friends, it always goes back, and they condemn me for what I did." He asked, "What can I do?"

James Greer: 21:33 Can I tell you something? First of all, you can't control what somebody else does. I was with a group last night and they said, hey, what if we get here and get downtown and such and such happens? Listen, we can't control what they do. All we can control what we do. Amen? I wrote this and sent it to him. Romans 8:1, there is now, now where you're at, now because of Christ, no condemnation to those that are in Jesus Christ, that do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the spirit of God.

James Greer: 22:01 In other words, when Jesus Christ, when you get saved, he does not want you to live in condemnation anymore. He wants to set you free from that. So what do we have? God wants you to finish what you started. Amen. He wants you to give and not be selfish. He wants you to forgive. He wants you to live in freedom like you've never done before, and He wants you to make decisions based on wisdom, not situations and circumstances.

James Greer: 22:27 Luke 2:52, Jesus increased in wisdom and stature and favor with God and men. When we grow in wisdom, it not only brings honor and glory to God, it brings favor and influence the people. So when we really grow in wisdom, we see God's mind in the matter. The happiest, most successful people in the world are those people that have made decisions based on wisdom. When you go to ask for advice, you want to go to somebody that God has given wisdom in that area.

James Greer: 22:52 Wisdom is the most important thing that you can get with all that giving, get wisdom, which is the mind of God in the matter. Say I just made a decision and I don't know how. James 1:5, if any of you lack wisdom, let him ask God who gives to all liberally without reproach. So when we make decisions based on wisdom, we had the mind of God in the matter.

James Greer: 23:14 And 6th and last, getting publicly baptized, brings honor God. I mean, we're so blessed. I think we have three more people in the next service to baptize. We had one this service, but what you don't know is even in Matthew 3:16 says, when He (Jesus) had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately out of the water. Stop. You can only come out of the water if you went in the water. Amen? So that's why sometimes I dunk them twice. Sometimes I want to hold them under a little longer. That's James's interpretation. It doesn't say that, it just makes me feel good, but what he said when He came up out of the water, the dove descended on His shoulder and it's alighted and followed him. God said this is my beloved son who I am well pleased. So when you get publicly baptized, that does not save you, but it says, I'm no longer ashamed of Christ.

James Greer: 24:05 When Trey married Brittany, what if he would ever bring her out? What if when he got to church he said, Brittany you gotta stay back there. It would mean he got married, but he was ashamed for anybody to see her. Man, that's a bad marriage, brother. Amen? The same was being baptized. Baptism doesn't save you, but it says, I'm no longer ashamed of Christ. It's a picture of the death, burial, and resurrection. It's a picture that washed away all the sins and all things become new. Because the Bible says, if you're ashamed of me, I will also be ashamed of you. Romans 1:16 says, I'm not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ for its the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes. So how do we bring honor and glory to God?

James Greer: 24:45 We understand our purpose is whatever we do to bring honor and glory, our project is wherever you go next. And on that project, you do it different ways, but it still comes back to the same purpose. First of all, you finished what you begun

James Greer: 25:03 Have you began something and then just quit right in the middle of it? Have you begun something that God's called you to do and then you quit? Hey, is there something that you said, Oh God, if you'll do this, I'll do it, and then now you're not doing it.? Have you prayed about getting a job and then you started suffering for a little bit on the job and then you want to quit because you don't know your purpose? You don't know that's your project? See, some of the greatest glory is when you're working on a job and all hell breaks loose and you walked through it for the glory of God. I know people that are in marriages that are sticking. All hell's breaking loose, but they're saying, man, I got to hold on. I'm trying to finish the work. I know people that used to come to church that don't come to church anymore, and I'm not upset. I feel sorry for them because see what the devil likes to do is get you out from underneath the flock and get you out there all by yourself where he can kill, steal and destroy you. Finish what you started.

James Greer: 25:59 Quit being so selfish and learn that the world is not all about you. You're not here to bring glory to yourself. You're here to bring glory to God. So you give and then you forgive the two greatest characteristics. You're most like God. When you forgive somebody in your life, maybe hurt you, and they really did hurt you. Don't let bitterness rob you from the power and presence of God. Are you living in freedom? Freedom from worry, freedom from fear, freedom from bondage. You come before and maybe today you need to join, maybe never been publicly biblically baptized, and today's the day that you want to do that. Would you stand and let me pray with you and pray for you? God, I thank you for today. I thank you for your purpose. God help each one of us live out your purpose. Let's us go on whatever project is next. God someone's project is right here, right now to forgive somebody. Somebody, you've called to join the church, somebody you called follow through in baptism. Somebody came in worried and feared and discouraged and you want to give them liberty today because you said, God, all that Labor and heavy laden, let them come unto me and find rest. God, help our church to go home with rest and peace and power today. God, we'll give you the honor and the glory. In your name we pray, Amen.

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