How Mother’s Prepare the Way for Your Child to be Great |Acts 16: 16-40
Luke 1:15, KJVA; Luke 1:17,KJVA
Choices we make everyday form a habit, which will greatly determine character.
EGO – Exalting God OnlyEGO – Exalting God Only
• Elizabeth’s choices that formed godly character:
o Faith – when you are faith filled you will be faithful; you will walk it out and not allow circumstances to control your faith. Jeremiah 31:25, NKJV
o Brave – she was bold in not allowing anyone else to put a label on her on’s name. Isaiah 54:13, NKJV; Luke 1:59-64, KJVA
o Humble – Luke 3:16, KJVA
o Sacrificed – she served day after day with her husband.
Day after day habits of a mother helps your children be used greatly.
• Walk out your faith.
• Be brave, humble and sacrifice all to know Jesus well!
Sermon Video Transcription
James Greer: 00:00 Well, let’s hear it for the moms. Amen?
James Greer: 00:04 Good Morning Journey Church, let’s welcome the Alexandria campus and welcome the moms there. As great as it is on mother’s Day, you know there’s some people that don’t have that relationship with our mothers. And I want you to know the psalmist said, David said, in Psalms 27:10 he said, hey, “When my mother and my father forsake me, the Lord took me up.” So you have a God that said, hey, I’ll be your father, I’ll be your mother, I’ll be the one that takes you up. So let him be your rescue, let him be your comfort during these times.
James Greer: 00:37 We’re going to start a series, starting next Sunday, I want to give you an introduction. It says Daughters of the King, and we’re going to have three weeks of it. But I want to give you an introduction even before we get into mother’s Day, because ladies what we want you to do is learn to get your sense of worth and self-confidence and acceptance from the King of Kings. We want you know there is a God that says, Hey, I want you to get your acceptance, I want you to get your protection, I want you to get your provisions, I want you to learn to get them from your father. In fact, Mary, when Jesus had risen, she says in John 20:17 it says, “Mary, he said do not cling to me for I have not ascended to my father. He said, but go and tell your brother. And he said, listen, I’ve got a message for you, Mary. I want you to go tell the other people that know me, and you say to them, I am ascending to my father and your father. She said, there’s a new relationship coming Mary, and now that I’m going up, and now that I want my father to be your father. He says that’s a personal relationship. I want him to be your daddy. But he said, I also want my God to be your God. And not only is he your father, now he’s the powerful one. He’s the God of God. He is the Lord the Lord. He is the King of Kings. He said, everything’s fixing to change, Mary. Then he says, listen, now ladies, you can have the one and only, you can have an intimate, personal, powerful relationship that you’ve never had before. And he said, I want you to get your worth from me. Why would you want to get your worth from some man? Some job, some clothes, some makeup, some other person, when you can get yours from the King of Kings. Amen? He accepts you, He created you, He wants to provide for you, and he protects you. He is the King, and he wants you to understand that you are the daughter of the King. Amen?
James Greer: 02:25 Hey, Danny, Danny Beth, come up here a minute, obey. What is this? Yeah. No what exactly is it? No, that is not a $20 bill, a $50 bill. Would you like to have it? Yeah. What if I crumbled it up? Would you still like to have it? Yeah. What if I put it down here and stepped on it? What’d you still like to have it? Why? Because it’s still worth $50. Huh? What if that crumbled up even worse, like this? What if I threw it down there and crumbled it up and did all this? Would you still want it? Yeah. You would, even like this? Yeah. Why? Because it’s still worth $50. Okay, you still want it no matter what it’s been through, no matter where it’s gone. Okay, you can have it. Oh great. Oh Great.
James Greer: 03:23 But see, God created you and you have your worth. It doesn’t matter. See, let me give you an idea before we get into Mother’s Day. When the woman was caught in adultery, Jesus still had worth in her. He stepped in between and he said, he told the other religious people. He said, he who has not sinned, let him cast the first stone. And they couldn’t. And he said, who condemned you as you? And she said, nobody. He said, neither do I. In other words, he said, go and sin no more. He accepted her, and he provided for her. Amen? And see, I want you to get your worth from him. And the woman who’d had five husbands, and she came to the well and Jesus said, hey, you’ve had five husbands. He said, I’ve got water that you could drink, and you’ll thirst no more. She drank of that water, and she was happier than she had ever been. He provided for her. She was accepted like never before. And she was actually one of the great evangelists, she went and brought everybody out. He accepted her, and he provided for her.
James Greer: 04:13 How about Mary? Even as a youth, the angel came and said, hey, you’re going to get pregnant. She was horrified. She was engaged. She was wondering what is the rest of the world going to think? What is my fiance going to think? And he said, don’t worry about it. We’re going to take care you, you’re accepted Mary, we’re going to provide for you Mary. And she said, be it unto me, Lord.
James Greer: 04:37 We’re going to study about Elizabeth. Elizabeth was way up in age and she didn’t have any kids. It said that her husband Zechariah may have been close to 90 years old, and yet no kids, and they ended up getting pregnant. She’s the mother of John the Baptist.
James Greer: 04:53 So it doesn’t matter if you’re young, it didn’t matter if you’re old. It didn’t matter what your past was, it doesn’t matter what your present is. I want you to know that God loves you, and you can get your acceptance and your worth from the King of Kings. Amen?
James Greer: 05:05 So let’s look at this for a minute. Before we do, I want to take a moment. I always get so fast on Mother’s Day, I never take time to honor my own mother. And I want you to see that’s my mother, a picture of my mother, and I’ll tell you that my mother would do. When I was growing up, I didn’t want to talk about church. My mother would say, that’s okay, you don’t talk about it. So my mother would often write scripture, and put it under my pillow, and I would pick it up and I would act like I just curled it up. But I would read it, I’d read it first. Sometimes she would even drop it on the floors, and I would have to pick it up, and I’d read them and I’d throw them away. And she knew something that you mothers, and I, need to know. Isaiah 55:11 says, “God’s word will not return void.” And what she was doing all this time, was God’s word was penetrating, and one time it was activated and it accomplished it perfectly. So I thank God for moms. Amen? Not only do I think God for my mom, I thank God for the mother of my children and grandchildren. That my wife, there she is good looking. She’s not here, so I’ll tell you, I think she is still hot. She told me, never say that in church again, but she’s not here so I can say what I want. Now, the next service I’ll say, she’s so sweet. But not only that, not like that, but she’s poured into my life. She’s been encouragement in my life. We’ve been up, we’ve been down, we’ve been through it all. We’ve been broke, we’ve been up, and she’s the encouragement of my life. And then she’s also the mother and the grandmother of that wonderful bunch. She has to be tough. But anyway, so I want to honor them, and thank God for them, and thank God for all the mothers here.
James Greer: 06:44 But I also want to tell you, moms, you can do everything you want. You can be the best mom. You can pour into lives. And that does not mean that your kids, and all your kids, are going to turn out and do what’s right. You hear the great stories, but there’s a lot of stories that you’ve done the very best you can, and your kids rebel and they don’t serve God and they’re out doing the wrong thing. And I want to encourage you today that Adam and Eve had God the Father as their father, and yet one of their sons ended up being a murderer. So I want you to know that God still loves you and he wants you to continue to serve him.
James Greer: 07:14 But I want to talk about today is Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, who turned out to say he was great in the eyes of the Lord. In Luke chapter 1 verse 15 it starts out and it says this, “And he, John the Baptist, shall be great in the sight of the Lord.” See what’s so great about John the Baptist, he wasn’t just great in the sight of men. There’s a lot of men, that so called are great in the sight of men, but let me tell you, that will not last. See John the Baptist was a forerunner of Jesus Christ and it said, he’s going to be great in the sight of men. He’s not going to drink wine nor strong drink, but guess what? He shall be filled with the Holy Spirit from his mother’s womb, from his mother’s what? Womb. From his mother’s what? Womb. Isn’t that something? Even back then they said that there was activity going in the mothers? Womb. And so it was saying that that was happening.
James Greer: 08:06 See, some children have a special calling even from their mothers? Womb. But all children have a calling from God. Jesus would say, bring the children unto me. Everybody here that comes to know God, every person here that’s going to heaven, had to come to father just like a child. See, John was the one that prepared the way for Jesus Christ his savior. But what kind of mom? What kind of mom could prepare a son to be great above men and God. Elizabeth was. In Luke 1:17 it says this, “And he, John, he shall go before him (Jesus) in the spirit and the power of Elijah. And turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to wisdom.” Man, do we need wisdom today. “of the just, and make ready the people prepared for the Lord” Man, this wisdom is so important today. Ecclesiastes 8:1 says, “Wisdom brings happiness. It’s wisdom that makes your face shine.”
James Greer: 09:08 Let me give you a few insights about wisdom. Adam and Eve, what? Who was their father? God. What happened to one of their sons? He was a murderer, because God gives each person a freewill.” He gives you a free choice, but you don’t have the choice of the consequences of the choices you make. We’re going to look at four character qualities. Whether it’s a man or a woman today that if you practice them, if you live them, it can greatly help your children to grow up and be used greatly by God. John the Baptist grew up and man, he was a man’s man. He grew up a made such a stand for the Lord Jesus Christ, that he was willing to die for Christ. He was willing to have his head cut off. He wouldn’t compromise what he believed. He was brave. He was courageous. He acted like a man. If there was ever a time in history that we need men to act like men, it is today. Amen Brother James. I mean we need men that are willing to protect their wives through the word of God. We need men who are willing to stand on The Word with their children. We need men willing to protect the babies in the womb. We need men today to grow a…purpose. Yeah, baby. Said to watch over my mouth oh Lord. You all thought I was going to say something..to grow a you know what, didn’t you?
James Greer: 10:30 Let’s just move on, Luke 1:15 what does it say? “He shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and he shall be filled with the Holy Spirit. Even in his mother’s womb.” I’m going somewhere because in Luke 1:41 it says, “Then it happened that Elizabeth, she heard the greetings of Mary, and the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.” The baby did what? Where was the baby? See, I think one of the greatest problems in America today is we don’t have godly men in the house. I know it’s Mother’s Day. See, I think if we had godly men in the home that we’re willing to make a stand for their wives and their babies, we wouldn’t have a problems that we’re having today.
James Greer: 11:26 I’m going to show you a quick video that some people that stood up for the wrong things, and I think we need to learn to stand up.
James Greer: 11:52 (Video plays.)
James Greer: 12:04 See, there’s a lot of people making a stand today. See, I don’t think our youth know what to stand for. I don’t think they know the difference between right and wrong so many times, because we don’t have men and women making a stand for what’s right. I don’t want you to leave here as a woman being condemned. Because Romans 8:1 says, “There’s no condemnation to those that are in Christ.” The only reason to live and continue condemnation from any sin, is because you don’t either know God’s word, or if you’ve not confessed it. So I want you to leave here free. But I do want you to know that I believe God can call children while they’re still in the womb, and there’s a biblical basis for it. But John the Baptist, who was great before men, was called wise in the womb, filled with the spirit, and leaped at the very verse. Men need to be men. Amen?
James Greer: 12:57 Okay, so let’s get to it. Four character qualities that we’re going to be talking about today, faith, bravery, humility, and sacrifice. Those are the ones that Elizabeth had, those are the ones that men have that could possibly help shape your boys and girls to be used by God. Of course you understand our day to day decisions help develop our habits, and our habits determine our character. But you understand we all have an ego. Amen? And our ego stands for we’re either exalting God only, or were edging God out, Huh?
James Greer: 13:30 Elizabeth formed such godly character. Number one character she had, she was faithful. She was faithful before the birth of John. She was way, way past childbearing years, yet she continued to serve God faithfully before he was born. See, you’re never too old for a miracle, and you’re never too young for a miracle. They don’t know exactly how old Elizabeth was. But if her husband was close to 80, even if she married a young 80 year old, she was still getting up in years. Amen? So you’re never too old, you’re never too young because John the Baptist leaped while he was still in the womb. But see when your faith filled, you’re ready? You’ll be faithful. When your faith filled, you’ll walk your faith out. See what she didn’t do, she didn’t allow her circumstances to control her faith. She was past childbearing years, yet she was still showing up every day, she was still serving the Lord. See, I’m going to tell you, that’s the kind of people that God works in their life.
James Greer: 14:30 See like today, I know that the Cartwrights, you know that their mom just passed away, but you know they’ll all be here the third service. Her brother will be here, her sister will be here with us. They’ll be in their Journey group. See, they’re still just walking their faith out. Now, my wife’s brother passed away, I know she’ll be in class this morning, I know she’ll be serving Monday, then she’ll be going to…See, they just walk their faith out. See, when you’re faithful, you’re walk your faith out, and that’s the people that God uses. She was faithful before John the Baptist was ever faithful. Amen? See, women Elizabeth’s name meant satisfaction. If there’s anything that you need to learn today is, God’s the only one that can bring ultimate satisfaction in your life. Not a man, not your job, not your children, not even your looks. If you want lasting satisfaction, it only comes with a close, intimate, relationship with God. John the Baptist when he was birthed, it was a miracle. But I’m going to tell you, I believe every time somebody gets saved, it is a miracle birth. Amen? If you’re here today and you’re not sure that you’ve been born again, we can have a miracle birth even today.
James Greer: 15:46 So first of all, she was faithful. Second of all, she was brave. She was brave before John the Baptist, who had his head cut off, was brave. Matter of fact, she tells Mary that she was blessed, but she was brave declaring that his name would not be call Zechariah, which is what his dad was named. Zechariah, do you know that John the Baptist’s dad could not even speak. When the angel of the Lord came and told them that they were going to have a son, and he declared his name was going to be called John. Zechariah didn’t believe it. So because he didn’t believe it, that God said you won’t be able to speak for the nine months. And so he couldn’t speak, so when she became pregnant Elizabeth’s was brave and they were all trying to name the child Zechariah after the dad, and after the family. She had to be brave enough to stand up and she said, no, no, my child’s name is going to be John, because God had already declared it. See, what she was saying is, listen, I’m not going to put the wrong labels on my child. Nobody else is going to put labels on my child except for God. God already has a label for my child. And that label is wonderful and marvelous and we’re not going to put labels. I’m going to tell you if you’re not careful, you will label your child at a young age. I was labeled, I understand that. I couldn’t read well, I couldn’t write well, I couldn’t spell it well. And you know what that label was? Your stupid. Don’t let somebody else label it. Don’t let somebody else label your child by the way they look, by the way their intellectual ability, because God said that that child is fearfully and wonderfully made. He has already got a label for that child. Amen? She was brave. As a matter of fact, if you look at Luke chapter 1 verse 59 it tells about the whole story of what they started doing. It came to pass that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, that was John Baptist, and they called him Zechariah after the name of his father. But his mother, thank goodness for a brave mother. She answered and said, not so, but he shall be called John. And they said unto her, there is none in this [inaudible] that are called by this name. And they made a sign for his father, how he would have him called. In other words, bring him a tablet. They asked him to write it down, and he wrote, his name is to be called John. And they marveled at it, you know what he had said. But his mouth opened immediately and his tongue was looser and he spoke. And what did he do? He praised God. And so it changed things, and so see he couldn’t talk until then. In that great that Elizabeth was the one that helped her husband getting cursed, that he could speak again, she came along beside her husband. She didn’t say, well, listen, the reason he can’t talk is because, listen, I’ve been pregnant for nine months, he didn’t believe what God said. No, she encouraged him when she said, hey, no, his name will be John, and she stood up. It loosened the tongue of her husband, and encouraged him and he stood up and became the man that he should have been all along. Ladies encourage your husbands to be the man that they should be. Amen?
James Greer: 18:44 He was humble, John the Baptist was humble. He said, listen, there’s one coming mightier than me, I’m not even worthy to loosen his shoes. It said in Luke 3:16 what I’m talking about, humble, you come to the point that you want what’s better for the other person even more than you want for yourself. Elizabeth was humble, John became humble. She’s sacrificed before for John did. She did. She served day after day with her husband in the temple, or you can say in the church. See people that serve, and people that sacrifice, they’re the most satisfied people I’ve ever met in my life. Saved people, serve people, one of our core values. But see, before John said, behold the lamb of God, Elizabeth said to Mary, behold the mother of Jesus. Before John recognized Jesus, Elizabeth recognized him. See, the habits that we form on a day to day basis will greatly determine the character that we have in our life. How do moms have great prophets, they become the great prophet. You want to have a child used greatly by God? Walk out your faith on a day to day basis. Be Faithful. Be Brave. Be Humble. Sacrifice. You know Jesus well, very well, before your children ever know him well.
James Greer: 20:23 Let me give you some closing ideas. Men, do you need to come and ask God to help you be the man that God’s called you to be? See, Elizabeth’s husband, his name is Zechariah, had been serving and coming to church every day. Every day. They had wanted a child their whole life. God finally said, we’re going to give you one. He didn’t believe God, but Elizabeth did, and God gave him a child. After nine months was over, he could then speak. Some of you all been coming to church, coming to church, coming to church, coming to church, and God says, listen, I’ve got something for you today. Maybe it’s like God’s laid something upon your heart, and you say, hey, today’s the day that I want to start doing what God’s called me to do. I want to stand up for what God’s called me to do. I want to intercede. I want to pray. I want to do what he said. I want to be faithful. I want to be faithful to church. I want to be faithful to my family. I want to be faithful to my wife. I want to be brave. I want to get my kids the right label. I want to be humble, I want them to know I want what’s best for them, even more than myself. I want them to know that I sacrifice. I’ll give up what I love, for what I love more, which is Jesus Christ.
James Greer: 21:42 Women you need to come and ask God, can I be the woman that you’d have me to be? Can I be one maybe to encourage my husband. She could have easily torn him down day after day for nine months. Some of your thinking, it’d be a blessing if my husband couldn’t talk for nine months. I know that. But through the pregnancy, they couldn’t even share the time together verbally. But when it came, she was brave enough to stand and say, no, no, it’s not going to be Zechariah, it’s going to be what God said so. And at the time, that very time, after eight days, they got to celebrate the miracle together. How long has it been since you all got to celebrate of miracle, an answered prayer from God together? And maybe today is that day. Maybe you need to encourage him, not run him down. Encourage him, and the children, by being faithful, by seeing your faithfulness. Encourage bravery by them seeing how brave you are. Encourage humility by them seeing how humble you are.
James Greer: 22:57 Men, women, boys and girls, let me tell you what, you can’t do it without Jesus Christ. You’ve got to be saved, you’ve got to be baptized, you’ve got to be serving, and you’ve got to be willing to sacrifice, before you’ll experience the miracles of God. See, I don’t know where you’re at today. Some of you are hurting. Some of you really didn’t come in with the joy of Mother’s Day like others. Some of you said, hey man, I’m strained with my mother. Some of you won’t be with your kids. And I want you to remember what David said. He said, even when my father and my mother forsake me, God rescued me, he took me up. And God wants to take you this morning, he wants to comfort you. Some of you have strained relationships right now, maybe it’s between your husband or wife. And God said, you’re not here by accident, you’re here by divine appointment. Some of you’ve never followed through in public baptism, and today’s the day that God called you to do it. Some of you need to experience a miracle, and God says, Hey, you’re never too old, and you’re never too young.
James Greer: 24:17 So would you stand today and let me pray with you, and pray for you. God, I thank you for your son,
Jesus Christ. Man, that’s what it was all about. The whole story climaxed with John the Baptist was a forerunner saying, hey, Jesus is on his way. Jesus paid the price for the sin. Jesus is the one that says, hey, we access the father. He said, hey, my
father’s now your father. My God is now your God. And it’s an invitation from God your father saying, hey, I want you to come to
me. You can come to me as a father, and you can come to me as God, Fathers is a relationship. God is one that has the power to do, and take care of you, and meet your needs. What is it you need him to do today in your life? Would you give it to him? In the precious name of Jesus? Amen?
Recorded in Pineville, Louisiana.