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The Hidden Truth Behind Dysfunctional Families – Gratefulness Fights Greed

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Nov 18, 2018

Genesis 3:6, NCV

What activates the dysfunctional gene?

  • Dysfunction is birth (gene activated) by being dissatisfied. (1 Timothy 6:7-8, NKJV)
  • Dissatisfaction comes from disbelief or distorted view. (Genesis 2:15-17, NCV; Genesis 3:6, NCV; Genesis 3:11-13, NCV)
  • When we have a distorted view of what we have we begin to focus on what we don’t have instead of all God’s given us.

How to function better in a dysfunctional world.

  • Don’t make decisions based on emotions only. (Jeremiah 17:9-10, NKJV)
  • Focus on all God’s given you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18-19, NKJV)
    • Gratefulness fights greed.
    • Practice being grateful.
  • Commit to knowing God’s Word in the matter. (Psalm 119:11, KJV)
    • The will of God is the Word of God. (Psalm 119:89, NKJV; Matthew 24:35, NKJV; Psalm 119:133, NKJV; Psalm 119:169, NKJV)
    • Ask God’s will before you do something or before you buy something.
  • Thank God for all He has done in your life.
    • The dysfunctional family started by not being thankful for all God had given them. (Luke 17:15-19, NKJV; Luke 17:19, MSG)
    • Thank God for sending Jesus to be your Savior, for continuing to forgive you, for meeting your needs.

Sermon Video Transcription

James Greer: 00:00 Let’s welcome Alexandria campus, amen. I’ll tell you what, they’re dysfunctional over there too, but I’m really dysfunctional. And like you said, I deserved to buy the tee shirt. Hey, did y’all get one of these? Everybody? Amen. Man, I’m telling you, it’s a great opportunity to invite. Nice cards for Christmas Spectacular. I guarantee, you know, at least five families that are dysfunctional. Amen. So you get those and, you invite them to come next Sunday, as we continue our dysfunctional series. And man, you can’t believe it. Hey, you don’t think that little dude there looks like he could get in trouble. That’s the one that me and my wife have sponsored, and I’ll tell you what, I’ve actually been over there and seem him. If you haven’t picked a child to sponsor yet, you know, go back there and look at it. Everybody can afford at least $7 a month.

James Greer: 00:54 And with Thanksgiving being here, and Christmas being here. If you’re not careful, listen, what we all do, is we focus on ourselves and our family. And you’re going to find out that part of dysfunction comes as a result of that, but we want to be thankful. I hope everybody has a happy Thanksgiving. And in First Thessalonians tells us this, “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of Christ Jesus.” Now when we don’t quench the Holy Spirit, part of being thankful and generous, empowers the power of God in your life. I thank God that Satan has been defeated, and that we are redeemed.

James Greer: 01:37 But I want you to know that the dysfunction that I have, and dysfunction that you have. We started last week, we talked about one of the first things you need to learn about dysfunction is, you received a dysfunctional gene from your parents. So your dysfunctional gene from your parents, and the environment that you lived in, greatly determines how you respond and behave. But we learned that you got a physical gene from your parents, but you got a spiritual gene from Jesus Christ when you get saved, that’s stronger than the gene that you got from your parents. So if you didn’t hear part one, you need to go back and watch it, but that’s what it was. We get re-gened when we get saved.

James Greer: 02:24 Today we’re going to talk about the secret behind dysfunction. We’re going to find out where it came from, the reason it came, and how you can change today. Next week, we’re going to take a family, a son, and why so many kids and a family are dysfunctional. And we’ll look at Joseph. And then the last week, I’m telling you, we’re going to look at the most dysfunctional marriage, I think in the whole Bible. So I want to encourage you to stay with us during this dysfunctional season, and if you miss a season, go back and get it on the Internet.

James Greer: 02:53 See, I want to talk about today, the hidden secret behind dysfunctional families. But remember this gratefulness, fights greed. We’re in a season of thanksgiving, amen. It’s not just about the dinners, it’s not even just about the families getting together. It’s about functioning when the families get together, sometimes when families get together, that’s the most stressful time in the world. Amen. Yeah it is, you just don’t want to say it. But thankfulness leads to triumph, generosity proves your gratefulness. See, gratefulness fights greed, generosity proves that you’re truly grateful. Generosity fights selfish greed. Most families know that they’re dysfunctional. I mean, you can ask me if I’m dysfunctional, I don’t have to go look it up. Now, you don’t have to ask anybody in my family, they all know we’re dysfunctional. Most people don’t know where dysfunction started, even in their own family. It’s true that we’re all dysfunctional because we inherit it from our parents. Our parents were dysfunctional, we’re dysfunctional, our great, great grandparents were dysfunctional, all way back to Adam and Eve.

James Greer: 04:04 So yeah, we inherit a gene from our parents that calls us to be dysfunctional, but what activates it? What puts it into action? What causes our family be so dysfunctional? What causes us to have such stress in our families, and our loved ones, and relationships? Well, back in Genesis 3:6 says, “And the woman saw that the tree was beautiful.” By the way, woman, they like beautiful things. Nothing wrong with beautiful things as long as they’re the right beautiful things. “And the fruit was good to eat, and that it would make her wise.” Now there’s two kinds of wisdom. There’s worldly wisdom, and godly wisdom, she was looking at worldly list wisdom instead of godly wisdom. So she took some of the fruit and she ate it. She also gave it to her wimpy husband, and he ate it also. You do know that men are charged with the fall. Adam is. Not the women, because you’re going to find out real clearly, he knew that he was doing exactly what God told him not to do, and the woman was being deceived. That’s why God said the two need to become one.

James Greer: 05:17 See, what activated the deceit was this, this is so important, dysfunction is birthed, or is activated, by dissatisfaction in your life. Do you understand that? That’s why I’m saying to you, we’ve got to learn to be generous, we’ve got to learn to be grateful. Because being dissatisfied breeds dysfunction. Adam and Eve committed the first sin, and yeah it was all passed down to everyone, but they sinned because of deception. The woman was deceived, right? In dissatisfaction, they weren’t happy with all God given them. So, the main cause of dysfunction within a family, or a church, is they’re not satisfied with all that God has given them. Do you know why mates start getting a divorce? All of a sudden, they’re not really satisfied with the mate that God had given them. It’s not just with mates. With children, they become dissatisfied with their parents. People with their jobs, they become very easily dissatisfied today. It happens in church, it happens in homes, it happens in his car, and see when you really focus on what you don’t have, and you become dissatisfied it’s leading to you operate dysfunctionally.

James Greer: 06:35 God had already given them everything they needed, Adam and Eve, to be satisfied, to be content, and then some. But because there was deception, and dissatisfaction, dysfunction came in. Now Acts 17:25 says, “God’s given us everything we need.” See, the same is true with me and you, God’s given us all we need to be satisfied. But we often deceive ourselves, and we’re dissatisfied with what we have, and we start to operate in a dysfunctional way. In our homes, in our jobs, in every area. First Timothy six says this, it says, “You brought nothing into this world, and you’re going to bring nothing out.” Now that’s partly true. You can bring a few things out. You can bring God’s word with you, and you can bring what you’ve given financially to further God’s kingdom with you. Then he goes on to say and have food and [inaudible] i with these things, you shall be what? Content, you should be satisfied. Dysfunction is birthed, and activated, from dissatisfaction. Dissatisfaction comes from disbelief or a distorted truth. God will say something, and we either don’t believe it, or you know what happens? We think we’re smarter than God. That that’s what happened. That’s what happened with Adam and Eve, and that’s what happens to me and you. In Genesis 2:15, it tells us this. It says And the Lord, God, took the man. He put him in the garden of Eden to tend it, and to keep it. And the Lord commanded the man saying, of every tree in the garden of Eden, you might freely eat. You know, but there is a tree, the one of knowledge of good and evil, you shall what? Not eat. You should what? Not eat. From that day on if you should eat, you will surely die. So they said, hey, I’m smarter than God.

James Greer: 08:33 See, most people are even deceived or distort the word of God. The reason you’re deceived or you’re distorted, is you start thinking the only reason God’s telling me to start something or stop something, is to keep me from what I want. But no, God tells you to start something or stop something, because he’s trying to help you get what you need, not what you want. And so it becomes distorted, and we don’t really understand it. And it goes on to Genesis 3:6, but you know what, “The woman saw that the tree was good for food, and it was pleasant to the eyes, and the tree desirable to make one wise worldwide. She took the fruit and she gave to her husband and they ate.” Well, the problem was this, what’s the one thing God told them not to do? But they weren’t satisfied with the whole garden of Eden, and everything God had given him, so they wanted to take the one thing that he said not to do. Genesis 3:11, he says, “You shall die.” Right? What he meant, when you continually sin and do not what God says, there comes a distance between you and God. And so he said, “God came looking for him and he said, who told you you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree which I commanded you that you should not eat?” What does he say? So he said, “So then the man said, the woman whom you gave to me.” Do you all realize he’s talking to God? Do you realize now he did something that he knew he shouldn’t do? First of all, he blamed God for the problem. I know people all the time, they’ll get in trouble, and they do something they shouldn’t. I can’t believe God’s allowing me to do this. Well you did it. And they start blaming God, and then after he blamed God, listen that you gave to me. You know who he’s blaming? The woman. What is this that you have done? So first of all, what? He blames God. Second of all, he said, God, you gave me this woman. He’s blamed the woman. The first dysfunction in the Bible was when Adam and Eve began to blame God, and each other, for what they had done wrong. “God says, woman, what is this that you have done? The woman said, the serpent deceived me, and so I ate.” And the Lord said to the woman why have you done that? And she now blames the serpent. Adam blames God, and then his wife. Eve blames God, and the serpent. Nobody’s wanting to take responsibility of what they done.

James Greer: 11:14 See, Adam and Eve, they became dissatisfied with all that God had given him. And number two, they thought they were smarter and God. Why is the only reason you will not obey God’s command? Because you’re distorted, deceived, or you think you’re smarter than God. You remember, gratefulness does what? It fights greed. Okay, you ready? Dissatisfaction often comes from disbelief or distorted. Dissatisfaction and dysfunction come from a belief, or a distorted view, of either what you have or what God’s word says. That’s where it all comes from. Believing the lie. When you have a distorted view of all that you have. you began to focus on what you don’t have.

James Greer: 11:56 God’s already said, I’ve given you every single thing you need. So how can we learn to function? Number two, function better in a dysfunctional world. Number one, or A, don’t make emotional decisions. Don’t make decisions based on your emotion. For youth, for instance, you know, youthes their brain is not even really emotionally functional until they’re between 21 and 26, it is scientifically proven. And so up to that point, they’re making most of their decisions on emotions, and don’t even know why. But Jeremiah 17:9, it tells us, don’t do that. “For the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. Who can know it?” Well you don’t know it, I don’t know it, but you know the Bible says in verse 10, God knows it. He says, “The Lord, he searches the heart, he tests the mind, even in everything man, according to his ways, according to the fruits in your life.” So number one, don’t make decisions based on emotions only. Number two, focus on all that God has given you. Focus on what you have, not what you don’t have. That’s why I First Thessalonians 5:18, it says, “In everything, give, (What?) thanks” In everything do what? Give thanks. I’m thankful for this church. I’m thankful for this [inaudible].

James Greer: 13:12 This morning, Josh and Richie walked in, and I was just reading, didn’t say too much. They said, well, good morning to you. And I stopped and I said, man, I am so thankful to have you all in my life. It’s been a long time since I told them that. I think it here, but I don’t speak it here. And one of the things that we got to do, we got to be thankful in everything. It’s the will of God, through Jesus Christ, and when we’re unthankful, we began the quench the power and presence of God in our life. Now one, don’t make decisions just based on emotion. Number two, begin to give thanks, and be grateful for all that God’s done. Gratefulness fights greed. Generosity, we’ll talk about it later. Proves that you’re really grateful. Practice this week being grateful at work, at home, with your family, and everything and everywhere you do. You’re going to find out our homework later on, is to practice being grateful and generous. You said, well, my mate was here. That’s okay, that’s great, practice it anyway.

James Greer: 14:19 Third, commit to knowing God’s word. That’s what really matters. Either you’re deceived and distorted, and you’re operating dysfunctionally. Because you either don’t know God’s word, or because you think you’re smarter than God. See, Psalms 119:11 says, “Thy word I’ve hid in my heart (Why.) that I might not sin against you.” The best way to stop making bad decisions is to know God’s word, because God’s word is always God’s will. Okay, you ready? How about this? Before you do something out of the ordinary this week, you ready? Or before you buy something? Oh no, is this Black Friday coming? Ask, do you think that’s God’s will. You do know how to know God’s will, it’s God’s word, and usually God’s authorities. You know, if you’re not sure, it’s that easy, you go into God’s word, and you go to godly counsel. God usually navigates our lives, if we will listen through the influence of godly counsel or authorities in our life. Psalms 119:89, it says, “Listen forever oh Lord, your word is settled in heaven.” See we can bring God’s word to heaven with you. Matthew 24:35, it puts it this way, “Heaven and earth, they’re going to pass away, but my words will by no means ever pass away.” Psalms 119:133, says, “Direct my steps, by your word.” How do you know that you’re doing what God says? Walk one day to day basis, directed by they word. Let no iniquity have dominion over me. God says, listen, Psalms 119:69, he says, “Let my cry come before you oh Lord, give me understanding according to your word.” Do you understand how important it is for you to make decisions based on God’s word, not your emotions? What’s your homework? Well, we’ll come back to it, but one of the things right now is don’t do something, or buy something, before you ask God’s will in the matter. God’s will is God’s word, and godly counsel. You’ve got to practice it.

James Greer: 16:35 D or four, practice thanking God for all he’s done. Thank you for sending Jesus. Thank you for continually forgiving us, Amen. So what we can forgive others. Thank him for meeting every need in your life. Thank him for your health. Do you know, until you’re unhealthy, you don’t really thank God for your health? I very seldom thanked God for my health, but when I got unhealthy. I started saying, Oh, precious Jesus, heal me, my health is so important. But why don’t we just thank God regularly for our health, for our family, and for our physical family, for our spiritual family? What does being thankful to have to do with dysfunctional families? Let me tell you. How the dysfunction start? By being dissatisfied, by not being thankful. There’s a story in the Bible in Luke chapter 17, there were ten men that had leprosy, and Jesus came and they were hollering and crying out to him. Heal us oh Lord, have mercy on us Jesus. In Verse 15, it says, and one of them, and God healed all ten of them. But one of them, when he saw that he was healed, he returned with a loud voice. What? Glorifying God. Then he did this, he fell down at his feet, giving him what? Thanks. What did he do? Gave him thanks. There was ten of them, only one came back. I believe that’s the way it is in God’s work, God’s doing work, but only about one out of ten thank God for all that he’s done. And he was a Samaritan, it’s usually the people that realize they don’t deserve it, are the most thankful people. It is the people that have come from the lowest, that God brought them to the highest, they’re the most thankful. You know what Jesus said though? Jesus answered, hey, weren’t there ten that were cleansed, but where are the other nine? And Jesus went on to tell them, were there not any found who returned to give glory to God, except this foreigner? In other words, only one out of 10. But guess what he ends up with, so he said to him, arise and go your way for your faith has made you well. Another version said has healed you, and saved you. In other words, he healed you from your leprosy, and saved you from destruction. When you look at the word saved here, it can mean to make whole, or to to be delivered. See what made the difference? We all know a lot of people that say they’re saved, but they’re sure not whole are they? Jesus said, because you came back, and you thanked me and you glorified me, I not only healed you from your disease, I saved you from your distorted life that was headed to hell. So I’m telling you, being thankful is part of making you healthy, it’s part of making you whole. See, being grateful needs to be expressed out loud. Made me think, you know, here’s this guy. Does God know your heart? Yes or no? Amen? Does he? Yes. All those people were thanking God, he ran back in verbally expressed his thanksgiving to God. See God knows our heart, but he still wants to hear us speak it out. Just like our mates may know our heart, our kids might know our heart, our employees, employees may know our heart, it’s something about speaking God’s word out loud that brings radical change in life.

James Greer: 19:47 Alright, you all ready? As we get ready to close, and get your homework out. Number one, practice being grateful this week. Practice it, verbally speak out loud, to your mate, your children, your parents, your employees, your boss, employees, your teacher and friends, anybody that’s influenced your life, tell them you’re thankful for having them in your life. I wrote this message, then I’ll tell you what, I got the greatest staff in the world, I have the greatest family, I think, in the world, but very seldom do I express it. Very seldom do I say, man, I thank you, for just who you are, I thank you for being in my life. So I’ve got to practice what I preach. Amen? Why is it so hard to do that? When is the last time you told your mate, I am just thank God that you’re in my life. When is the last time you told your child, when is the last time he told the person you work with? Just speak it out loud verbally, thank you Jesus, that you’re in my life.

James Greer: 20:46 Second of all, practice being generous. It’s generosity that teaches you the truth between fake gratefulness, and true gratefulness. Fake gratefulness is thank you, thank you, thank you, talky, talky, talky, and no action. Those people irritate me. I ran into somebody this week, and I pulled up, and they ran to the car and they started telling me all this that they were thankful for, and that that they were thankful, but they had no action. See, generosity proves to you, and to God, that you’re truly grateful. You need to be generous, we need to be generous, with our money. You need to be generous with your tithing. You need to be generous with your giving to God. Man, see the difference is the way you look at it, I think it’s fantastic that me and my family get an opportunity to help sponsor a child in Haiti. Instead, I worry about what I’m gonna get my kids, and my grandkids. I don’t have to worry about what I’m getting this child, all I’ve got to do is give so much a month, and that child’s going to get food, shelter, clothing, a Christian environment, praise God. Be Generous with your giving, amen. Be generous with your giving. You got to understand that, that prove that you’re really grateful. Where your heart is so is your treasure. Otherwise you’re just talky, talky. Okay? I mean, Second Corinthians 9:7 says, “God actually loves a cheerful giver.” He wants you to be. Do y’all know one of the greatest parts of worship, should be, we don’t do it. It should be man, we’re singing praise God, and we stop and we say, hey man, we’re going to have a time of worship. What it really means, we’re going to take up our tithes and offering. God said, I love the cheerful giver. It’s the sacrifices that God loves. Man, we should just be celebrating, amen, it’s our turn. Be generous with your tips. This this week, practice being generous with your tips. Don’t give five percent, ten, give at least 15 percent or above. So be generous with your tips. Be Generous with your time. Don’t just say I love you, show that person that you love him. Help clean up, help pickup. help wait on them, I don’t know, but be generous with your time. And then fourth, be generous with your word, God’s word.

James Greer: 23:14 Okay, part of your homework, which is very simple this week. The first thing which you can, the first thing in the morning spend five or ten minutes every morning with God’s word. And when you’re spending that five or ten minutes, some people will spend more, some less. Look for one verse stands out, write that verse on a piece of paper or card, stick it in your pocket and carry it with you during the day, and as you have opportunity, look at it and read it. We need to practice being with God. In fact, you already for something? You have to practice being with God, before your with people. You’ll be a lot better off, you’ll not be near as dysfunctional. Say I’m going to practice being with God, before I’m with blank, my mate. I’m going to practice being with God, before I’m with my employee. I’m sure going to practice with God, before I’m with my kids. How do you practice? Well, read five or ten minutes, write down and carry it with you this week. Because when you carry with you, and you’re reading, that’s similar to being in meditation. Joshua 1:8 says, “When you meditate on my word both day and night, and you obey what it says, you begin to prosper and have success.” God begins to cause you to prosper and succeed, and you’re not as dysfunctional as you were when you began that week.

James Greer: 24:26 Now, here’s some practical, simple, answers that help you function in a dysfunctional world. But it always comes down to this, do you want to be a doer of the word, or just a hearer? We come to church, to learn to be the church.

James Greer: 24:45 All right, let’s get ready to close, and stand and let me pray with you, and pray for you. Father, I pray if there’s somebody here that’s never accepted Jesus Christ, that was your most precious and generous gift, and they would come today. Now God, for those of us that have caused dysfunction in our homes, and in our families, I pray in just a minute when I gave an invitation from you. That they would come, and they’d say, God, please forgive me for my part of the dysfunction around me with my family, with my kids, and on the job, and the arguments and disappointments. And God help me to be more grateful, and help me to be more generous, where it fights the dysfunction in my life. Help me to focus on what you’ve given me, be satisfied, and not always focus on what I don’t have. Listen, God, let’s commit to taking the spiritual steps, not just coming to church, and going out the same way that we came. God, some need to just come and join, and some needed to get publicly baptized. Some just need to come to this altar God and say, I’m committed to following through these steps, I’m not going to continue to be as dysfunctional as I have, and God, I want you to forgive me for my part. Whatever God has laid upon your heart, I pray that you do it now. It’s in Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

Recorded in Pineville, Louisiana.

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