Why I Love My Church
Journey Church is where all people are welcome to worship together.
Sep 10, 2017 32m
This sermon discusses the reason's why the staff loves Journey Church. Pastor Greer compares Journey Church to a what Jesus believed a church should look like. The overriding principle being acceptance of everyone that wants to worship together. Video recorded at Pineville, Louisiana.
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.
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 - [00:13] - Hey, don't you love going to church, amen? Hey man, look at this - got me some skinny jeans. I tried to get these to match, but they didn't. You know why I look like this? Because my wife was asleep this morning when I left. I usually wake her up early in the morning and say, "Hey honey how do I look"?
James Greer – [00:25] - And she'll lie, she'll say "Oh, honey you look so good". Or she'll say, "You're not wearing that to church".
James Greer – [00:35] - And so, I decided if I was going to wear this, don't wake her up. So I went outside and was trying to be real quiet. True. I pulled the door closed and I locked myself out of the house. I forgot my keys. I said, "Man, there ain't no way I'm going to wake her up." Then I remember my granddaughter had been at the LSU game and she came in about 3:00 this morning. Instead of going to the dorm she came to the house. And so I'm beating on the door and the side and everything, and I'm trying to call her on the phone.
James Greer – [00:51] - She said, "What do you want?"
James Greer – [00:51] I said, "Come and let me in the house, but don't say anything."
James Greer – [00:59] - And so she was so asleep she didn't notice anything. And so I got the clothes, I went back out, and I thought man this is an exciting Sunday.
James Greer – [00:59] - And I'm going to wear this for three reasons. One, my wife doesn't know it. Two, it's to prove to you that Journey Church loves everybody. They don't care what they look like, what they act like, how they dress. They're welcome to come. Amen?
James Greer - [01:15] - And then there's a second reason. I want to honor Trey. Ya'll do know that a lot of worship leaders they wear these like this. Now, I never knew why. One, they all do it. The second reason when they hit those high notes, I know why! These things are so tight. But, everybody needs to get a pair, you know? And, and so like I said, I really thought, it's perfect. And then the shoes, you see they're gray? I really was trying to match my shirt, but I didn't. I got a good friend, Terry Mitchell and every Sunday he wears his tennis shoes to either match his hat or match his shirt. Now he's so organized he lays them out where they're all matching. We went out of town one time to go fishing, and I looked in his room and everything was perfectly organized. His tennis shoes matched his shirt and his hat. I said, "Uh-oh." I said, "Do one thing."
James Greer - [02:07] - He asked, "What's that?"
James Greer - [02:10] - I said, "Do not go in my room." I said, "You'll have a heart attack and we won't get to go fishing." But anyway, so, I just had a good time. I really love Trey. In fact, what I did today is actually changed our message up. I changed it brand new. And Debbie, Trey's wife, she got it this morning about 7:30-8:00. I know she's excited because she had the other one all ready to go. I gave her that and I think she cussed under her breath, I don't know. Yeah, I'm not looking forward...
James Greer – [02:40] - And then Art had to be gone so Justin's up there man. I asked Justin, I said, "Justin, did you ever get a pair of these?"
James Greer – [02:41] "Nope."
James Greer - [02:42] - "You ever gonna get one?"
James Greer – [02:47] - "Nope."
James Greer - [02:51] - But anyway I appreciate you doing the sound, and I told you Art had to be out of town and Justin is doing it. I appreciate it so much. But you know what? We only have a couple of guys, and we're training people for sound. If you have a real musical ear for music, you might talk to Justin or Trey and they can go there...
James Greer – [02:56] - So let's kind of get started. What I did was I changed it because last week I said to the staff, I said, "Listen, write an insight and send it to me on why you love the church." And so what I did was, you know, you really need to know why I love Church, why the staff loves the church, and then you'll see that we operate with our staff like a family. We don't always agree. Do you always agree in your family? You just lied if you said yes. But, anyway so we don't always but when we go out of there, we have unbelievable unity. And that's what we want to do in our church. That's what we want to do in our family. We want to operate like a family.
James Greer – [03:28] - But also Trey said, "Listen, I love my church because I get to be a part of lives being changed every Sunday. I've seen people's lives completely changed that I thought would never even walk in the doors of the church."
James Greer – [03:44] - He said, "Another reason I love the church is I have a pastor who is 65 years old." I don't know what you love about that. But anyway he chooses to keep pressing forward and growing. Most would just say it's okay and just stay with that. He's still willing to take risks.
James Greer – [03:54] - "I'm amazed at the depth that he'll do to reach people and it challenged me and it inspires me."
James Greer – [04:06] - Trey, I'm not 65; I'm 64. I won't be 65 until February so, I'm gonna enjoy every bit of it. But I want to share that I was going to take out of that the insights where they talked about the pastor, but I'm not. Not because I don't want you to hear what they say, but because of the relationship we have with each other. What we have in there is special, and I want you to have it.
James Greer – [04:22] - Kayla, my daughter wrote this. You Ready? She said, "I love my church because we're one of a kind." No joke. "We're not that church where they say, “haha you go over there haha.”
James Greer – [04:36] - Next Sunday everybody wear their shirts, and you will have a thousand people walking around and they'll say, "Oh, you go to that church." Just be proud and say "Yeah, I go to THAT church, whatever THAT church means, I don't know."
James Greer – [04:44] - But it's okay that you go to THAT church and we're one of a kind. It's okay because we accept every single person, even though we all mess up.
James Greer – [05:00] - John 13:34 says, "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this, all men will know you are my diciples by the way you love one another."
James Greer – [05:04] - How do people know you're a disciple? By the way you love one another, and they come to this church and they say "Well, you know I'm going to know if they're a disciple or follower of Christ by the way they love one another."
James Greer – [05:14] - Now listen, it didn't say how many Bible verses you quote. It doesn't say how you look or how you dress. It says, "Thee will know that you're my disciples by the way that you love one another."
James Greer – [05:24] - I want our church to be known for loving one another. It doesn't matter what they look like. It doesn't matter how they dress. We want them to be able to come. Amen?
James Greer - [05:37] - Sharon Jones, our secretary, and Women's Ministry leader, she said, "I love my church because I believe our hearts, our hands, and our feet are close to what Jesus would have us do this side of Heaven. Also, we intentionally love people."
James Greer – [05:49] - Can I tell you something? If you don't intentionally tell people...
James Greer – [05:51] - There is going to be people that you don't love. I mean, when they walk in the door you make an effort and say "I'm going to intentionally love them no matter what they look like, no matter how they act, no matter where they came from. "
James Greer – [06:01] - "So we make an intentional effort to love them, even though they've messed up. I believe one of the reasons is it's in our pastors' DNA is to love everybody. So, I love this place, I love these people, and I love the church."
James Greer – [06:17] - Matthew 4:19 says, “Come, follow me.” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people." But you know what? Jesus said hey man, if you're following me, there'll be people getting saved; there will be people getting baptized; lives being changed. And listen, we want to be followers of Jesus Christ. Amen?
James Greer – [06:31] - Brother Darrell said, "I love my church because it's the closest church to the New Testament church that I've ever been a part of", and I agree. I love that.
James Greer [06:40] - In Acts 4:13, the church is blowing up, man. People are getting saved. Lives are getting changed." Peter stands up and preaches. He was cussing Jesus right before this, and now the resurrection came and he got filled with the Holy Spirit. Peter stands up and preaches, and 3,000 people got saved. I mean, that's a New Testament Church. In Acts 4:13, it says "When they saw the boldness of Peter and John, they perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men." I understand that. They said, "Listen, you, you hadn't been trained like the Pharisees. You haven't met the law. You can't quote the scripture. You don't really know everything that they know. We've received, that you're uneducated and you're untrained."
James Greer [07:17] - I understand, because I am one of those. I've never been to the seminary or cemetery (whatever it is), but it's okay to go there, Amen? But then they look at me and they say "Man he's uneducated and he's untrained." But more will come because they realize Peter, he had been with Jesus.
James Greer [07:39] - What I want you to know is it's not so much what you know, but it's who you know. See when it's not so much what you know, it's who you know; then you want to learn who to learn from and when you learn from Him, people absolutely will be marvels and say 'God, there's something different with them and it's not their education." It's who they know. And, when you know Jesus, you will be different.
James Greer – [07:58] - Charlie. I love Charlie. Charlie is a real intellectual giant.
James Greer – [08:03] - He tells me something, and I ask, "Can you break that down for me?"
James Greer – [08:08] - He says, "Yeah, you don't get it".
James Greer – [08:12] - I say, "No I don't get it. Can you use some different words"?
James Greer – [08:12] - But, I love Charlie! Charlie said, "I love the church. I've been involved in leadership in many churches for 35 years." He said, "I've been preaching at churches. I've been teaching at churches for 35 years, but I've never been a part of a movement of God."
James Greer – [08:22] - Listen, I've been in church for 35 years myself and I've wanted to be a part of a movement of God, but I've never seen the movement of God like I've seen in Journey Church the last five years. He's just moving like crazy. What a rare privilege it is to be a part of a church where people were getting saved every week. Let's never take it for granted. Every time we baptize it should be like a revival. Man, we should be cheering and saying, "Hey man, they're rejoicing in Heaven." We need to be rejoicing on earth.
James Greer – [08:51] - He said, 'Every weekend I've never seen anything that compares to Journey Church; not their love, not their compassion, not their acceptance of everyone, no matter where they come from, no matter what their past is. Yeah, it starts with a pastor, but nothing is going to stay in the way of bringing people to Jesus Christ".
James Greer – [09:09] - In other words he said Journey Church wants to be a place where people can feel loved. Amen? They have compassion and they're accepted. Can I tell you that's what Jesus Christ is? When you come in the church, if you feel that you need love, you need acceptance, you need forgiveness, you're at the right place because James can't do it, but Jesus can. John 10:10 says, the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy, but he said, Jesus came that you could have life and that you could have it more abundantly. God wants you to have an abundant life, and Jesus said, I'm not going to let anything stand in the way of you having that. If ya'll are trying to look in the bulletin, it's not going by the bulletin. You can take it home and read it though. It's okay to read. It's a good read.
James Greer – [09:49] - Robert and Sarah said, "We love our church because we have a pastor and a wife."
James Greer – [09:53] - Praise God for my wife. She's going to come to the third service. I may not be wearing this after that. I love my wife.
James Greer – [10:02] - But, man, I'll tell you what she says, "You can't even fight fair dude."
James Greer – [10:07] - I said, "What do you mean I can't fight fair?"
James Greer – [10:07] - She said, "You know, we'll start fighting and you'll throw the God card out there. You say, well you know you need to be home. You need to be doing...[unintelligible]. God."
James Greer – [10:13] - She said, "Listen, can we just fight? I fight. You fight. We all fight, but don't use the God card to fight with".
James Greer – [10:21] - So, we had to learn. I'm trying to learn to fight fair. I still like to win though. But if it wasn't for my wife, I never would be wearing [unintelligible]. She has to give up or time, her energy and everything in her life to allow me to go and to do things. So, we do have a great wife and I thank God for her. I mean she loves people and loves to see people's lives change.
James Greer – [10:39] - But [Robert and Sarah] said, “When you come to church we have genuine love. Everyone's welcomed, accepted and loved. Our church is action packed. It's a movement of God, and we get to experience powerful praise and practical preaching. Every single Sunday."
James Greer – [11:00] - Romans 15:11 says, "Praise the Lord, even you Gentiles singing to Him". It says listen when we come, the Jews and the Gentiles, it means no matter what race, no matter what color, no matter where you came from, when we all come, we get to praise God together Trey. Amen?
James Greer – [11:13] - And then there's Randy. Randy said, "Yeah I love the church, because it's where real needs are met in a practical, spiritual way."
James Greer – [11:19] - Let me tell you how needs are met sometimes in a practical, spiritual way. Acts Chapter three - Acts is just the book man, like just the church is blowing up like we are. There was a certain man who was lame from his mother's womb, was carried, who laid daily at the gate of the temple, which is called Beautiful, where he could beg for [unintelligible] at the temple. What a life. From his very birth, all he could do was lay. He was laying. His mother or loved ones would carry him and they'd bring him to the temple and he always just had to beg for whatever he could get. The only life he knew was a begging life. He didn't any hope. He did have anything coming. All of his life depended on other people feeling sorry for him and giving him something.
James Greer – [12:05] - Peter comes by. Acts 3:6 says, "Silver and gold, have I none." It's so important because what he thought, if he had enough silver and gold, and even though he was laying, he would be happy. It's just like so many people that come into church today. They think if I had just had enough money, if I just had more silver, if I just had more gold, they would be happy. I'm going to tell you, Peter was teaching us that there's something more than just having silver and gold.
James Greer – [12:27] - But he said this: "I do not have silver and gold to give you. But listen, in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk; and he took him by the right hand and lifted him up and immediately his feet and his ankles and his bones were strengthened." Then what did he do? He was leaping. He stood up and he walked into the entrance of the temple. He was walking and leaping and praising God.
James Greer – [12:47] - Let me tell you what, once you've really been touched by Jesus Christ, once you lived in the past like you felt hopeless and Jesus Christ reaches down and raises you up, you'll never want to go back to living like you used to live before. You don't want to live like that. If your life hadn't been radically changed, you've never really been touched by Jesus. Because see, he went from hopeless to having the perfect, happiest time in his life. That's what Jesus does for me and does for you. See, if you came here today, and there's many of you that came, and you felt that way. My life is hopeless. I just messed up. I could never get better. And, what you need is Jesus to help you up.
James Greer – [13:28] - Carla said, "I love my church. I felt welcomed and loved from the first day that I came through the doors. This church has become not only my home, it's the people and they have become my very family."
James Greer – [13:37] - Ephesians 3:10 puts it this way. It's very important that most people don't understand. The church is a family. The church should operate like a family. Ephesians 3:10 says, "For this reason, listen, it says to show to all the rulers in Heaven." The writer said, listen, there's this stuff going on in Heaven and we want to show on Earth what it can be like. You understand, the angels in, Heaven, they've never been lost and saved. They don't know what it's like to rejoice and to come together after your saved and be one family together and serving God together. So, they're rejoicing, but they're watching. And he said look let's do this. Let's show them what it's like.
James Greer – [14:18] - How perfectly wise He is, God, Jesus, when all His family, Jews and Gentiles alike; in other words He said, listen, what I want to do, I want to look down from Heaven. I want to see the Jews and Gentiles coming to church. He said I want to see them worshiping together. I want to see the blacks, the whites, the Mexicans, and all in between. We've got them. But anyways, I want to see them joined together in a church. I want them to be like one family.
James Greer – [14:41] - Our staff is like we have one family. We don't always agree. Sometimes I feel like I'm the dad. Anyway, we come in there and we don't agree, but when we leave, we all have this unbelievable unity, just like at church. At church, God wants it to be like one big family and operate like a family. And He said, just in the way He had always planned it through Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ said, I planned that you would look like a family, act like a family, and operate like a family. And that's what we do here at Journey Church. Let me say this: being prejudice is not a racial problem, it's a sin problem.
James Greer - [15:17] - Do you know one of the things that's happened in Houston and in Florida right now? Did you know when you go to get saved, people are getting in a boat and they go out. They don't say, let's just go get the white people. Let's just go get the black people. Let's get the Mexicans last. Let's get the ones that are mixed. Let's leave them. No, no, they don't. One thing that has happened in Houston, it's going to happen there. I don't wish it happened, but you see now they're coming together like never and they're praising God and they're serving each other. And, as one person said, it takes a community to have unity. Amen? And they're seeing it like they've never had before.
James Greer – [15:54] - Revelations 5:8-9 says they were in Heaven. They set a new song that says, you are worthy talking about Jesus to take the scroll. You're worthy Jesus to open the seal. You are worthy because you were slain from the beginning. You have redeemed us to God by the blood, out of every tribe, tongue, people.
James Greer – [16:08] - I love it, because some people when they get to Heaven, it's going to be like hell. That's good brother James. You see down here, they just think there are only certain religions getting to Heaven. There's only certain colors getting to Heaven. There's only certain people getting to Heaven. I love it because God's going to put them right in the middle of every tongue, every tribe, every color, every race. And you're all up there praising God.
James Greer - [16:31] - Listen, I tell you what, instead of waiting for Heaven to be like hell, why don't you have a little Heaven right here on earth where you don't have to have hell and Heaven? Amen. Tell me, God doesn't have a sense of humor, brother. He rocks the house; He's going to put you right next to the person you're most prejudice to, and you've got to be there forever. I'd like to do that at church. I might just start mixing ya'll around. I want to take some of the blacks and put them in the middle and take all the whites and put them over there and others over there. I will show you we can all be one. [cheers] I love Jesus. I'm having too much fun. You don't even know.
James Greer – [17:17] - Next, Tommy and Susan. They said, "I love my church." Tommy says he's already lost one child to drugs. Death. Overdose. Their other oldest child now has cancer. "So, how do I describe this with no words until you have walked in our journey, until you have been ministered to us by the pastor in the church family; you could fully never understand why we love our church."
James Greer – [17:44] - I Corinthians 12:25 says, "so that there should be no division in the body [of Christ]." Can I tell you something? God doesn't like division. He likes unity. He doesn't want division in your home, He doesn't want it on the job, and He doesn't want it in church. He said listen, where there's no division, I want you to do this, but that the members may have the same care one for another.
James Greer – [18:00] - In other words, if one of the members suffer, all the members suffer. If one of the members is honored, all the members rejoice. That's why we need each other. We have to grow big and grow small. We have to grow big because God wants to keep reaching people. We have to grow small because you've got to be ministered to. You can't be cared for if we don't know that you're sick. We can't be cared for if we don't know that you're in the hospital. You've got to grow big, but we've got to grow smaller. You need to get into a small group. You need to get in a Journey group or you need to get connected with somebody. Let us put you together if you want to do a small group in the home, but we need each other because when one suffers, we should all suffer. Amen? But when one rejoices, we should all rejoice. When somebody says hey my child is now off drugs, man we should rejoice! When somebody gets a promotion, we should rejoice. When someone suffers, we suffer; when they rejoice, we rejoice like one big happy family. Amen?
James Greer – [18:48] - Cheryl said, "We place a high priority on what Jesus wants more than what we want. Do you know that people as a whole are very selfish?" No joke. Amen. She goes on to say, "But at Journey, people are giving of themselves, trying to reach people far from God and bring them close to God." We're in the middle of a movement of God and we're seeing unbelievable fruit.
James Greer – [19:14] - John 15:5 says "You abide in me and I'll abide in you. My branches cannot bear fruit by themselves unless they abide in the vine. Neither can you, unless you abide in me. Then He said, if I am the vine, you're the branches. He that abides in me and I in him the same, bring forth much fruit, but without me, you can do nothing."
James Greer – [19:29] - Do you understand that God said "Listen, I want you to abide in me; I want you to have fruit in your life. I want you to have love, joy and peace." That's the fruit. I want you to have other Christians.
James Greer – [19:36] - Listen, where are they short and nasty where Journey Church is asking them "Would you come with me next Sunday?"
James Greer – [19:46] -And they said, "Well, you know THAT church? Yea, it’s THAT church. But come anyway." Amen.
James Greer – [19:46] - When you see them talking about you, when you're in the line at a store and they're talking about you and say, "I really wonder about them". Just say, "Well, why don't you come see?" I'll tell you, you wouldn't believe the things people say. Holy Moses.
James Greer – [20:02] - She (Cheryl) said we have this unbelievable unified staff. You don't realize it, but man, we are unified. You know what happens in so many churches? In one of the churches they don't like the pastor. I know a lot of ya'll don't like me. It's okay. Anyway, I've heard it all my life, but it's worse now than it's ever been. And so what?
James Greer - [20:18] - You don't like me and maybe you don't like something else. What most people do, they go around and try to find the staff people that they can tell. Can I tell you, man, the staff loves me, and I love them? You go to them, and they're going to tell me. Trey? Or, they're going to say, “Well let's go see brother James.”
James Greer – [20:42] - Just like if you come talk to me about Trey and say, "I can't believe Trey wore those skinny jeans".
James Greer – [20:43] - And, I'll say, “Get you a pair".
James Greer – [20:43] - But, I'd say "Well, let's go talk to Trey about it."
James Greer – [20:43] - If you've never worn them, you don't know how uncomfortable they really are. Sorry Trey. I'm liking this way too much. Oh, when you get a pair and lead, DO NOT hit a high note during the invitation. God loves you, and the home and the family. You're in the home and in the family.
James Greer – [21:14] - Psalms 133:1 says, "Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity." He wants unity in your home and your church and your job. Let me tell you how. We're going to go over it real quick. Focus on what you have in common, not your differences. You can have everything different in our church and you can come say, hey, we got one thing in common we want to reach out to people far from God and bring them close to God. Don't have unrealistic expectations. Choose to encourage, rather than criticize; refuse to gossip and refuse to listen to gossip.
James Greer - [21:40] - You understand that one of the reasons God blesses us is because we've come and we've said we refuse to gossip and listen to the gossip. You as a leader, and every church member, listen. If you're a member, you're a minister. You're not to listen to gossip.
James Greer – [21:57] - Just tell them "Hey, you know we're just a church, and brother James said we don't do that. You better go see him." They'll just stop. Just don't listen to them. That's the way you stop gossip. You don't say, "Oh yeah, I can't believe that."
James Greer – [22:04] - Sometimes they gossip like this: "You know, we need to pray for Billy Bob. You know how bad their kids are." Yea, yea, yea.
James Greer – [22:12] - "And you know all that medicine she's on, no wonder she acts like that, but we got to pray for her". No, no, don't do that. Don't, don't, don't, don't be a sneak. Don't be a gossip.
James Greer – [22:22] - Practice God's methods of conflict resolution in Matthew 18:20. Do you know what that is? If you've got a problem with somebody, you go see them. You don't go around them, you don't go behind them. You don't go to everybody. Go see them. I don't care what your age is, I don't care what your color is. I don't care who you are, if you've got a problem go see them. Amen? And, keep your mouth shut if not. And then, you support your pastors and leaders when ya'll do that.
James Greer – [22:46] - Then Brantley comes along. Man, you've got to be careful with what Brantley says. Sometimes I couldn't read it, but this time it wasn't too bad. He said, "I love my church. It's full of a bunch of mess ups, but we accept all these mess ups. We don't even try to clean them up. We'll let these mess ups go to God and let God clean them up in His time." And then he said, "We have a pastor that doesn't even take a salary, but he does cuss some." I'm not sure if that was a compliment or not. I don't cuss near as much as I was. My wife got on me.
James Greer – [23:17] - She said, "You have got to clean your act up" so I'm trying. Shew! One time you know what she said? She said, "You cuss more at church than you do at home. What is wrong with you?" I don't know.
James Greer – [23:42] - What I really said is "Those people drive me to it"" [laughter] No I didn't. That didn't have anything to do with the message.
James Greer – [23:42] - Luke 7:33 does, though. There's John the Baptist. You know what he said? He said that there were religious people and they were judging Jesus. John the Baptist said he'd go without food. In other words, John the Baptist, he would fast. He never even took a drop of liquor in his whole life. [laughter] It sure is quiet now. No place but Journey Church would ya'll give yourselves away. Ya'll are crazy. And you said he's crazy.
James Greer – [24:15] - In other words, John the Baptist man, let me tell you what. He followed the law. He fasted, he prayed. He'd never taken a drop of liquor in the first. They looked at him and they said he's crazy. And then Jesus said, but me, I eat my food, I drink my wine. And you say what a gluttonous Jesus is. He drinks, and He runs around with the lowest sorts of people. Who did Jesus run around with sometimes? The lowest sorts of people. And the Pharisees and the religious people - they can't stand that.
James Greer – [24:49] - In fact in Luke it says later that one of the Pharisees asked Jesus to come to his house to have lunch, and Jesus did it. I love it. They sat down and there was a woman on the street. She was a prostitute. There was this lady in the Bible, her name was Rahab. She was a harlot or a hooker. She was. Yet she saved Israel, and you'll see where she went from being a hooker to being holy. Amen?
James Greer – [24:51] - I was going to preach that on Mother's Day and my wife said, "You're not preaching that."
James Greer – [24:51] - My title was "How to go from a hooker to holiness."
James Greer – [24:51] - She said, "Nope." Don't think she doesn't have the stroke in the house. Oh mercy, please, Jesus. Keep me out of trouble.
James Greer – [24:51] - Anyway, that was a woman of the street. She was a prostitute. Let's leave it at that. And, there she bought this very expensive jar of perfume. What kind of perfume was it? Very expensive. See, I want you to know at least a prostitute knew when she was coming to see Jesus, she wanted to give her very best. We got religious people that come to Jesus, and don't give him anything. She knew that she was going to give Him an expensive gift. A sacrificial gift will always cost you. You see, she wasn't worried about what it costs her. She's worried about what she could get from Jesus. Going in she knelt behind Him at His feet weeping, her tears falling on His feet. She wiped off with her hair off with her hair and then kissed his feet. Then she poured the perfume on it. I'll tell you one thing, I definitely would have put the perfume on first before I kissed it.
James Greer - [26:56] - She was showing how humble she was in her life. She was showing she knew where she came from. I don't care what anybody says. I don't care that they're watching me. But when the Pharisee who asked Jesus to come to his house saw what was happening, he said to himself "This proves that Jesus is not a prophet". If you read the whole thing, later on it proves He was. For if God had really seen him, He would have known what kind of woman this was. What kind of woman this was?
James Greer – [27:28] - People are always telling me, one of the reasons your church is growing is because you like all those people who come to your church. All of those type people? What are those people?
James Greer – [27:42] - I mean Jesus said, "Hey, I want them all to come."
James Greer – [27:42] - You know what? If that prostitute would have walked into some churches, they would have said, "I cannot believe she's in our church."
James Greer – [27:46] - And our people by the most would say, "Thank God she's at our church!" Amen? Because listen, if you don't come in the church, you don't hear the word of God, and you can't change your life. You are not the Holy Spirit, and you're not God. Your job is to love them and bring them, and my job is to let me do the preaching and let the Holy Spirit do the changing. Amen Brother James!
James Greer – [28:10] - True story, true story. People have said to somebody in our church "It seemed like ya'll accept all those kinds of people". Whatever kinds were.
James Greer [28:19] - They said, "You know what? I believe if the gays and prostitutes came to your church ya'll would accept them."
James Greer – [28:22] - He said, "I think it we would, because you know what? If you don't get anybody in the church under the word of God, you can't change their lives." So everybody, no matter ....
James Greer – [28:38] - You know what they said? They said "Yeah, ya'll like all those people." Yea, we like those druggers, we like those people who are addicted. We like the prostitutes. If they keep talking about us, I'm going to put an ad in the paper that says Journey Church - prostitutes and drunkards, welcome. I'll show them and give them something to talk about. If you want to talk, I can give you something to talk about. Amen?
James Greer – [28:53] - Brittany said, "You know, I love my church because it's safe. Caring, loving people from all walks of life. Listen, it is a place where grace resides." This is real important WHERE GRACE RESIDES. Grace has to be given.
James Greer – [29:11] - She said, "It's a place where everybody's welcome, a place that I love. I love the people, and I love the place."
James Greer – [29:11] - Listen to this. If you don't get it, get it. When there's great disgrace, there's greater grace. When we feel disgraced, we go to God's grace.
James Greer – [29:26] - In Romans 5:20 it says more over the wall entered into the fence that might have bound, but where sin abounded, grace, much more abound. See, the law does not save us. The law shows where we've sinned, and when we've sinned and how bad we've sinned. Then grace then kicks in so we know how bad we sinned. We go to God and grace kicks in. When we feel disgraced, we run to grace. When we feel disgraced, we run to: grace. Say that. When we feel disgraced, we run to grace. Man, ya'll better love grace. Amen? We've got a bunch of graceful people in here who have been disgraced and have to go to grace. You can't out-grace God though.
James Greer – [30:10] - Andrew says "I love my church. It's the only church probably in central Arizona that hired an 18-year old as a youth pastor."
James Greer – [30:10] - Well, we have an 18-year-old youth pastor and a 21-year-old worship leader. Thank God they are willing to take a chance on lives being changed. 1 Timothy 4 says let no one despise your youth but let them be an example of the believers in the word of the conduct and the love of the spirit. Listen, we don't want to look down on our youth. Some of our youth are the greatest examples in our church. Man, when they come and they worship, and they change your life don't look down on them. Encourage them, okay?
James Greer – [30:30] - Lastly, Josh. Josh. Let's do it and we're going to close. Josh says "I love my church. I wasn't going to raise my hand because I have the greatest pastor."
James Greer – [30:43] - And, I looked at him and said, "Because you only had one."
James Greer – [30:46] - But anyway, he said, "The greatest pastor. Well, there's no one I'd rather do ministry with than brother James. And, our vision drives us to our passion to reach people and give us a purpose worth living. My kids are going to grow up in church, loving church. I'm not embarrassed to ask people to go to church. We have an awesome worship team. I'm not afraid to try things outside of the box. I know that we all mess up. It's a place that I'm growing spiritually and it's the closest relationships I have in the world."
James Greer - [31:07] - You know what? If you're here today and you don't feel accepted, you don't feel loved, man today is the day for you to come and invite Jesus Christ into your heart. Can I tell you He accepts you, He loves you, He will forgive you? Where disgrace abounds, grace much more abounds. Second of all, if you've been visiting our church, you now know what our church is all about. Today's a good day. You might as well join or say this church is not for me. It's too crazy. It's okay. We're probably not for everybody, thank God.
James Greer – [31:07] - But you know now what our staff is like, you know what the pastor is like. You know what I believe that Jesus is like, because see I believe He loves you, He accepts you. I don't care what you have going on in your life. Some of you are down so far, you're like the lame that didn't think he was getting better. And, it's like Jesus picked him up and then he could walk, and he could leap, and he was happy. Some of ya'll just need picked up, some encouragement. You need somebody to pray with you and pray for you. So, whether it's to accept Christ, follow through with a public baptism, to come and join the church, or let somebody minister to you, I'm going to let you stand.
James Greer – [31:07] - I'm going to pray and then I want you to move. God, I love you. I thank you for your word that's powerful and it's practical. God, I think I'm in a church that loves people. God, I know that you love everyone here, and everyone here hurts. You've got compassion on them. You want the ones that feel disgraced to enjoy your grace, God. You want those who aren't sure if they're saved to come and get saved, those that have never been baptized to come and get baptized. Those that are heavy laden, come and find rest. Those who have been thinking about joining the church - TODAY is the day. As soon as I say Amen, you step out and I pray in Jesus' name Amen.
Recorded in Pineville, Louisiana.