How To Raise Kids Without Raising Your Blood Pressure
Develop the courage to change you, before you try to change them. (1 Timothy 4:16, NRSV)
Develop the pain of discipline to change or you will live with the pain of regret. True and lasting change can only come from inside out, not outside in. Every issue you deal with is a heart problem. (Proverbs 4:23, NKJV; Ecclesiastes 8:1, NCV)
Develop the courage to be the right friend.
The real truth is we need more people with the courage to spend the time it takes to develop the right kind of friend. (Proverbs 18:24, NKJV; Hebrews 13:5-6, NKJV) First Jesus needs to be your friend that sticks closer than a brother who will never leave you or forsake you.
Until Jesus becomes your total source of meeting all your needs and everyone else is a conduit God uses you will only try to use those people to meet your needs. You need to show yourself friendly to have friends. (Proverbs 18:24, NKJV)
It cannot be all about you. (1 Corinthians 10:13, NKJV; Philippians 2:3) Humility is not thinking less of yourself; humility is thinking of yourself less. Humility is not putting yourself down; Humility is building other people up. Humility is not denying your strengths; it’s being honest about your weaknesses.
You need to be trusted. (Proverbs 11:13, NCV) Grow to the point you can be open and honest. (Proverbs 27:5-6, NCV) Help each other grow. (Proverbs 27:17, CEV) You have to be consistent/loyal. (Proverbs 17:17, NKVJ; Psalm 145:17, NCV; Proverbs 18:24, NCV)
A friend that will last; Characteristics of a true friend. (John 15:15-17, NLT2)
He is committed to you. (Death of the cross) He accepts you and forgives you. He wants to bring out the best in you. He rejoices in your successes! He will always be there when you need Him. He can always be counted on for help rather than judgment. He sacrificed for you. (Revelation 3:20, NKVJ)
Sermon Video Transcription
James Greer: 00:00 Woohoo Amen Journey Church. Man, that shoe box ministry is fantastic. Mary and Wayne, you all are doing a fantastic job. Looks like it has kicked off great. Amen? Woohoo. Hey, I want to tell you, I mentioned a couple of weeks ago. There’s somebody who joined the 18th, took their life on the 24th. And so there’s hurting people to come every single Sunday. So I like to remind you of Philippians 4:19, my God shall supply all your needs according to his riches and glory through Jesus Christ. I don’t know what your need is, but I can tell you there’s nothing, absolutely nothing too hard that God can’t meet. Romans 8:28 says, God can take anything no matter what it is or how bad it is, and he can turn it around to something good. I’m going to encourage you today to take notes for a couple reasons. You all can learn from our youth. Our youth take notes almost every single Sunday. I’m so proud of you all. Let’s hear it for our youth. Amen? Woohoo.
James Greer: 00:51 But, there’s a reason. It’s a difference between Sunday being a fading memory or a lasting change. I can’t believe you all forget 90% everything I say. My wife says, huh, I wish I could. But anyway, I know what you mean. You know? But what you do is, if you hear the word, believe the word and apply the word, you become transformed by the word. If you’re not being transformed by the word, you’re being conformed to the world.
James Greer: 01:24 Information without transformation will lead to self- justification. So it’s so important. Today will be part five of raising kids without raising your blood pressure. But it’s really not so much about that. Next Sunday we start the wonderful new series, wired for worship. That’s going to be fantastic. This is more about how to have a secret to having a better marriage and I put great kids, but how about just better kids? The secret to having a happy and healthier life. This secret is very seldom practiced. In fact, until I learned this secret, I wasn’t really able to grow like I wanted to. The day I really learned the secret and applied the secret. I began to grow spiritually, emotionally, and financially faster than I’d ever grown in my life.
James Greer: 02:08 And the one thing that you’ve got to learn more than anything else, if you really want to grow in all areas of your life. You’ve got to develop the courage to change you before you change them. And the them is whoever it is. You know your parents who want to change the kids, and a marriage you want to change your mate. It might be your boss, you know, but if you’re not careful, we spend so much time trying to change them. We don’t realize we’re the ones that need to change.
James Greer: 02:57 Now I Timothy tells us a lot about that. I Timothy Chapter 4:16 it says, pay close attention to, who? If you’re not careful, it’s so much easier to pay close attention to everybody else. It’s so easy for me to find the faults in everybody else, but it’s hard to pay attention to yourself. Pay attention to yourself and to your teaching. Be careful what you’re saying. Be careful what you’re doing. Be careful what you’re practicing. Continue to do those things. For in doing this, you will save. That word save there means brings healing, recovery, delivery, protection. See, I don’t know what you need saved from today. I don’t know if you need saved. There’s some healing because you’re hurt, if you need some delivery, if you need some protection, if you need some recovering, but it’s both for yourself and those who hear you. In other words, this message applies today, not only to yourself but it’s going to affect those people closest to you. That’s why it’s so important today. It’s important for you to develop a plan of discipline to change your life. You’re going to either develop a plan to change your life, or you going to live a life in the pain of regret. You ready for your notes?
James Greer: 03:48 Number one, focus on being the right person instead of trying to change the other person. Focus more on being the right person instead of changing the other person. Because we’re the only person you can save, is you. When I say save, I say heal or recover. The only person you can change is you, but in the process of saving you, it will help them. But, most people try to reverse the process. Most people want to focus on changing the other person. When you reverse the process in doing so you reverse the progress. In other words, when you’re focused on changing that other person, instead of being the right person, you reverse the progress and you push them away farther or they change less.
James Greer: 04:51 Step number two, begin to fix your eyes and your hopes and your dreams on God and seek to please him instead of them. Seek to please him instead of them. I’m going to tell you, every single Sunday I have to focus on that. Because every single Sunday, you know, you’ve got to preach to a thousand people. And if I try to preach to a thousand people, now, I have to try to please a thousand people, it would be impossible. So, what I got to do is I’ve got to seek to please him instead of them. But, there are so many people that are trying to please them that they don’t seek to please him, that they’re never happy. And he’s got to be part of your dreams and part of your hopes. Man, it’s okay to have dreams. It’s okay to have hope. It’s okay to have vision. But my question is this. Is he part of your dreams, is he part of your vision? Is he part of your plan? And is he at the top there? In other words, If you do, if you don’t, when you have all these visions all these place and 10 years from now, you finally get there, it’s not going to be what you thought it was going to be. On the other hand, if he is top priority in your dreams and your hopes, you’ll get there faster and when you get there, you’ll be happier. So fix your hopes and dreams on God and seek to please him. So who are you really, really seeking to please more than anybody else? If somebody else you’re going to be sorry.
James Greer: 06:10 The next few things that I’m going to talk to you about, most people aren’t ready for. When I was first told this, I argued with the person, I said, that can’t be right. Then I started finding out how right they were. The third thing is, remember this, most of us don’t see ourselves as we are, but as we want to be. Most of us, almost all of us will not see ourselves as we are, but as we want to be. But others see us as we really are.
James Greer: 06:32 If you don’t think so, doesn’t everybody know someone crazy. I mean, they are just crazy. You know, they’re crazy. Everybody knows the crazy, except they don’t know they’re crazy. If you try to tell them that they’re crazy, they think you’re crazy. Some of you are sitting next to them, you know, it’s crazy. It doesn’t matter. You never outgrow it. It was like that when you were in school. It was that like that when you go to work, I mean, there are just crazies all over. They don’t know they are crazy. They see their selves as they want to be instead of who they really are. The difference is everybody else knows they are crazy, but them. If you don’t think it’s true, don’t look around. Just look up here. Just think in your mind of some people in the room and you’ll say, gee, those people are crazy. You know they are crazy, but they don’t know it. You ready, a whole lot of it is true about you. So, you don’t see yourselves as you really are, you see yourselves as you want to be.
James Greer: 07:42 Now listen, if you’re married, don’t do this. Don’t do it. Don’t go home and say now honey, tell me, what am I really like? Yeah, you don’t really want to do that. You all got to stay together and sleep together, you know, and all that, you know, go to somebody else. Go to some friend you can wrestle with and find out or something. I don’t know. But, if you really, really do say one thing, this is why. Self-awareness is very deceptive. Most people never outgrow what I am going to tell you. That’s why I say most people aren’t ready for this. Because we judge others by what we perceive they should be and should do. How do we judge other people, by what we perceive they should do and what they should be. That’s how we judge other people. But we judge ourselves by making excuses while we don’t do what we should do. You see so that’s what happens. So you stay upset with other people and you don’t grow yourself.
James Greer: 08:51 Jeremiah puts it this way. Jeremiah 17:9 it says, the heart is deceitfully wicked, and the heart is deceitful above all things, who can know it? You can’t. And the Lord can because he searches the heart and he tests the minds. And he gives every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doing. You want to know really how your life is, how your heart is? How’s your fruit life? In other words, the people around you, are they growing in fruit, are they growing closer to God, are lives being changed? Is Your Life? Do you have more love? Do you have more joy? Do you have more peace in your life than you ever had before? If not, your heart’s probably deceiving you. So, how is your fruit life? Then just ask yourself some simple questions, like this, do you like the person you are becoming? By that, do you like the person by the way you respond? By the way you show love? Do you like that person? Well, in my case it depends on what is going on in my life. If I get up and spend a lot of time with God and you come to me, I might say, I love you. I might respond good. If I haven’t spent a lot of time with God, and I have had a bad day, I probably don’t like myself that day too much. I might say things you would not believe I would say. Jesus knows. So do you.
James Greer: 10:12 I’m talking about overall lifestyle though. I’m not talking about one time. So, do you really like the person you’re becoming by the way you respond and by the love you show? Here’s the insight. If you don’t, why don’t you change? The bible says you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. Let me ask you this, is your heart growing softer or harder? Can, I tell you something? The older you get, the easier it is to have a harder heart. You get hurt more. You get betrayed more. You get lied about more. You just get hurt and hurt, and hurt. And it’s very easy to get a hard heart. I know last Sunday, you all know some of my emotions almost got away with me, and I’m not a very emotional person. But, I’m thankful that God’s still said that I can have a soft heart, it’s not like it should be.
James Greer: 11:04 I’m so thankful after all the death and all the emotions and couldn’t figure out what was going on, that Monday morning first thing, Steve says, pastor James, I just wants you to know that service Sunday saved my life. At had two of those texts Sunday. By the way. True story. I was at the point to end my life, until you told us, please hold on a little lower. God’s on his way. He can rescue and he did, but my case, it was so quickly that very afternoon through my little girl and my husband’s love only given straight through Christ. Thank you and the ministry at Journey Church. That was just one and had another one said the same thing. They had thought about taking their life and it planned it, to stay through the weekend because they wanted their family to be happy, and they changed their life. So, I think it’s okay if you get older or you still have a soft heart. Your heart doesn’t have to be hard. But my question to you in here today, right now it’s not how my, how is your heart?
James Greer: 12:12 So, I think it’s okay if you get older or you still have a soft heart. Your heart doesn’t have to be hard. But my question to you in here today, right now it’s not how my, how is your heart? How about those people that says something about you that hurt you and you get bitter? Now I’m not going to have anything to do with them. Dah, Dah, Dah, Dah. Is your heart getting softer or is your heart getting harder? How? How is your heart today? How is it? how was the pace that you’re going at? Is the pace that you’re going at sustainable? If it’s not, whose fault is it?
James Greer: 12:56 It drives me crazy. When I visit with people and they say, I am so busy, you do not understand. I just say, go tell somebody else, please. I use to work full time and pastor a church and I would just go and go and go. So, I didn’t like anyone to tell me that they were too busy, because I was too busy. Sometimes, I would go home and say, honey, between work and the church and all the phone calls, I am just so busy. She would say, whose fault is that? I’m supposed to be the counselor. Whose fault is it? If you’re that busy, whose fault is it? You find me a job, you will play in the church. You can blame your mate. Only person change that is you. If you’re going at a pace is not sustainable. Whose fault is it? It’s yours.
James Greer: 13:25 You ready for this? I love this. Does your finances and your faith match each other? Does your finances and your faith match each other? Our new series is going to be wired for worship. And I love that because, I believe that we all were created to worship God. When I say worship, I say, we just love God. One of the ways we worship, when we sing, and were saying, hey God, we’re praising God. We’re saying, God, I love you and we’re praising him with our words. And when I’m preaching, he’s worshiping you. He’s giving the word. So it’s just a circle. So we worship him, right? I’m saying, I love you. That’s what worship means. And if you’re here today, it’s probably because you, you love God, but does your finances and your faith match up? And the only way you know is the bible says, where your treasure is so is your heart. Do you give at least 10% and you say, brother James, you’re preaching on commission. No, I’m not. I don’t get paid more if your tithe or not.
James Greer: 14:14 Do you give at least 10% and you say, Brother James, you’re preaching on commission. No, I’m not. I don’t get paid more if your tithe or not. I just want you to be blessed. In fact, I don’t even take a salary, but I want you to be blessed. Young people, you Ready? Look up here. If you’re getting an allowance, I personally believe you should start tithing 10% on it. If you work. I think you start early. I don’t think you should wait until you get older and start making excuses like most parents do. Just start right now. God will bless you and God will honor you and you’ll learn the discipline because your heart will follow your finances.
James Greer: 14:43 So, does your finances and faith follow each other? And then, am I giving my family the best or am I giving them the scraps and the leftovers? Those are just a few of the questions that we need to ask ourselves. Because we can only change from the inside out. We can’t change from the outside in. The Proverbs 4:23 tells us that, it makes it real clear. It says, keep your heart with all diligence. Why? Because out of the heart springs all the issues of life. Every issue you’re dealing with right now come from the heart. If I try to talk about issues, and I went over there and I went all in front of everybody, and I say, man, I’m dealing with kid issues, I’m dealing with marriage issues, I’m dealing with health issues, I’m dealing with a financial issues, I’m dealing with job issues. Let me tell you what you’re really dealing with. You’re really dealing with a heart issue, and you can only deal with those issues when you deal with your heart. When you get your heart right, your life will be right. That’s good brother James.
James Greer: 15:26 Ecclesiastes 8 tells us how important it is to understand what’s going on in your life. No one is like of wise person who can understand what things mean. Man, when you get around wise people, they really understand what’s going on. They can help you so much. The problem is when you’re young you don’t realize it. Wisdom brings? Wisdom brings? It makes a sad face happy. What does wisdom bring? What do things bring? More dead if you’re not careful. I mean there’s only one thing that says can bring lasting happiness in your life and it’s wisdom. You learn to see things from God’s perspective and then he gives you the way to apply it into daily life. Right?
James Greer: 16:18 Number 2, all that was the intro. Number 2, develop the courage. You ready? To be the right friend. I wrote it that way on purpose. Most people spend their life wanting the right friends. I need friends, all the right friends. No, no. I want you to discover the courage to be the right friend. If you’ll learn to be the right friend long enough, God will then send you the right friend. Now, when I’m talking about friendship now, I’m not talking, if you’re 18, if your kids are 18 and under, your job is not to be their best friend, it’s your job to be their parent.
James Greer: 17:00 But our job, our message today is not so much about kids. It’s not so much about parenting, it’s about mates. It’s about relationships, about having, having the right friends in your life. I think. I think what happens, we need more men, women, and boys to go with the courage. They’ll say, I’m going to develop the courage to learn how to be the right friend. You notice I said, friend, listen real close. You can only have a very few friends. You can have lots and lots and lots of acquaintances. That’s okay. You can only have a few friends because all the time and energy it takes. So if you have a few friends, that’s good. Proverbs 18:24 says, a man who has friends must show himself friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Number one. Number one, you need to learn to make Jesus Christ your best friend. There is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. If Jesus isn’t your best friend, learn to start developing Jesus as your best friend.
James Greer: 17:57 That’s number one. He wants to be your friend. He’ll never leave you. He’ll never forsake you. The Lord is my helper. He shall not fear man. See until Jesus becomes you all ready, until Jesus becomes a total source of meeting every one of your needs and everything else is a conduit from God. You only use people to try to do what only God can do. So if you’re using people and not even knowing it, and you’re using them up trying to get what only God can give for you. So number 1, Jesus needs to be your friend.
James Greer: 18:41 Number 2, you need to show yourself friendly. I heard people say, this is a true story, not long. I heard, nobody ever calls me. Nobody ever invites me. Nobody ever comes to see me. Flash. Why don’t you call somebody? Why don’t you go see somebody? That’s different. But nobody ever calls me. Why don’t you call somebody? if you need, if you’re that’s where you are, pray that God would put somebody on your heart, but it’s the right one. But don’t try to control it. Don’t try to make them feel guilty.
James Greer: 19:15 Third, huh I love this one. Friendship in life, It’s not all about you. This is one of the greatest things in life. Guess what? Your friendship is not all about you, your job is not all about you. You all want another flashback? This church is not all about you. and you can’t have friendships when you think everything is all about you. And your marriage is not all about you, You said, well, that’s why I wanted a friend so bad. That’s why you don’t have any. You want it to be all about you. One of the number 1 reasons that people don’t have friends, they don’t have friends because they want their life all to be about them and not anybody else. You got to be careful.
James Greer: 19:59 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, no temptation. People don’t understand. There’s no temptation overtaken you except such as common to man, but God, he’s faithful. He’s not going to allow you be tempted beyond that, what you’re able to bear but, with the temptation he’s going to make a way of escape that you can bear it. In other words, everybody needs friends. Everybody needs a few friends you can cry with and everybody needs a few friends who can celebrate with, but nobody wants a friend that you cry with every single time you see them. That’s like the old story goes, there are some people, man, I’m so glad when I see them coming in there. Some people, man, I’m so glad when I see them go. Amen? So, you just got to be careful. Life is not all about you. That’s why Philippians 2:3 is so important. Don’t do anything on through selfish ambition or conceit. Instead be humble. Give an honor to them or other person more than yourself. You know why God talks so much about being humble and humility, because he has more promises in the Bible. You’re ready? About being humble and humility than anything else other than generosity.
James Greer: 21:08 Okay, you ready? 4th, 4th. You need to be trustworthy. Trustworthy. Proverbs 11:13, you all ready? I’ll let you all read this with me. Gossips can’t keep a secret. I mean, some people, man, you just know if you tell them that whole world’s going to tell them. You know there’s telegram, telegraph and tell a Sue. You know, not our Sue. Not if your name’s that. But I mean, you know, there’s some people, you just tell them they, you know, they tell everybody. Listen, if you’re a gossip, you’re betraying your friends trust. You need to be trustworthy. It’s important. Can You keep a secret or are you just a gossip? One of the greatest compliments I know is, even the other day when somebody was there, and they were sharing something confidential with me. And they said, hey, there’s one person you can share it with. I said nope. There’s 2. Your wife and named a person’s name and it was a person that was on our staff and I said, why them? It’s just because I think they’re trustworthy. I don’t think they’re a gossip.
James Greer: 22:09 Well, wouldn’t you like that to be you? Wouldn’t you like to have somebody that came to you and said, man, I’ve got something, some truth I’d like to share with you, but I can’t share with anybody else. But, you can share it with so-and-so. Why can I share it with them? Because I know they’re trustworthy. Don’t you want to be that trustworthy friend? Amen? Amen? Then stop gossiping. If you’re not part of the problem and you’re not part of the solution, keep your mouth shut. Amen brother James.
James Greer: 22:33 Okay, are you offended easily? I went to eat with a guy the other day, I really enjoyed it and we’re talking about friends. He said, I don’t have many friends. And he said, because I don’t have time. I said, well you know, I understand that. He said, God’s, Jesus is my friend. So my wife is next to him, my best friend. Then I had just a couple of more friends. He said, let me tell you what’s so good about these friends. He said, uh, we don’t have a lot of preconceived expectations and because of that, we don’t have a lot of drama in our life.
James Greer: 23:09 I said, dude, you ought to be a theologian, man. I said, you want to tell me that again? He said, yeah. This is what happens. I don’t get to see them a lot, though. They don’t get to see me a lot. Because I can’t have a lot of friends, because of God and the work I’m doing there. And because of my family, we’re doing all this at this time. But he said, the few friends I do have, he said, listen to this. He said, listen, we don’t have any preconceived expectations of each other, so therefore, we don’t have a lot of drama in our life. Wouldn’t it be great to have friends that you don’t have a lot of drama in your life? And everybody said, Amen. I love it. I said, man, you’re a genius, man. It’s so true. So quit having preconceived expectations and quit having a lot of drama, because they don’t want to be your friend. Amen brother James.
James Greer: 23:49 Anyway. Are you demanding? Do forgive quickly? Grow to the point that you can be open and honest. Proverbs 27:5, you can’t really do this with everybody, because they just don’t want to learn. But it’s better to correct someone openly than it is to have love and not show it. That’s only if the people are wanting to do it. I love this verse. Hey you all, youth this is what slap really means. Now, Wednesday night you all slapped. Amen? This is what it means to me. The slap of a friend can be trusted to help you, but the kisses of an enemy are nothing but lies. I wrote my little notes. I got a lot of friends I’d just love to slap the daylights out of. That part was good. I’m laughing. I said, Oh God, this was so funny and God said, but you have more friends that would like to slap you. I said, that wasn’t funny.
James Greer: 24:50 But, are you growing? Be open. 6, 6, help each other grow spiritually. Listen, grow in spiritually. Here’s the, this is not, you know, you’ve got to get it. If you haven’t gotten for growing spiritually is the only guarantee that life’s going to get better. Growing spiritually is the only thing that guarantees you that life will get better. Here’s how you know you’re growing spiritually. You ready? You learn, unlearn and relearn. Can you imagine what I have to learn, unlearn and relearn with technology? I mean, they come out with a dag on phone. I get that phone. Then they come up with another phone. Then they come out with another one. I’m constantly learning, unlearning and relearning. My whole life is a learning curve, but are you?
James Greer: 25:38 Because Proverbs 27:17 says this, just as iron sharpens iron, real friend sharpen the minds of each other. Not just the motion, the minds of each other. See, when you’re real friends, real friends, when you’re out, oh man, you try to complement each other. When you’re in private you talk about the corrections needed. But real friends do this. They’re asking spiritual questions. You’re learning things. You’re asking spiritual questions. What do you really think this means? You think what’s the spiritual application of this? You’re sharing what you’re learning. That goes, listen, if you’re not learning, you’re not growing. If you’re not growing, you’re dying. I guarantee you. I like growing more now at my age, than I did at 21. Because, 21 I didn’t know what I didn’t know. I didn’t know I was so stupid. Now I’m just stupid and I just know it., But, you know, then I didn’t know it.
James Greer: 26:33 6, it’s a lost Godly character. Say it with me. There’s a lost Godly character, loyalty. Loyalty. And people aren’t loyal. They’re not loyal to each other. Marriages, they’re not hardly loyal to each other. They are not loyal to their church, they are not loyal to each other. They are not loyal to jobs, they’re not loyal to friends. Loyalty. Loyalty to the right loyalty is a Godly character.
James Greer: 26:59 Proverbs 17:17 says, the love of a friend, a friend loves at all times. Not sometimes. When? And a brother is born for what? So you’ll know who your loyal friends are, because when everybody else walks out, they walk in. See true friends are there during adversity. They can’t be there all the time. True friends. You can’t be there for everything all the time, you know? But when there’s a real adversity , then they try to be there. They’re born, their loyalty is born there. They want to be with you. They care for you. Psalms 145:17, everything the Lord does is right. He’s loyal to everything he’s ever made. Proverbs 18:24 says, listen to this, some friends may ruin you, but a real friend will be more loyal than a brother. How can a real friend be more loyal than a brother? He says, you can have some spiritual friends. Some of your friends that you meet at Church and you go spiritually with will be more loyal to you than some of your physical family friends. So yeah, some are physical. Some of our physical family friends may not be. But your spiritual friends, whether they’re family or not, if you’re growing loyal and you’re growing spiritually, you’re going to be in eternity together. You’re going to spend the rest of your life together. The question is not, are they more loyal? The question is, are you loyal?
James Greer: 28:21 Loyalty means, if you’ve made a commitment to somebody and something else comes up better, you say, I’m not going with you. I’m going with them. Loyalty means if you are asked to go somewhere, well, I’m going to only thing the real thing is saying, if nothing else comes up, I’m going to go with them. How loyal are you? Does your friend know you’re loyal? Are you wish you washy? Jesus says in John 15:13 says listen he tells you, there’s no greater, greater love have no one than this, that a man lays down his life for his friends. Loyalty uses difficult times to demonstrate our commitment to God and to those called us to serve. You know if you’re loyal or not. Your friends know if you’re loyal or not, but what did I teach you for? Most of us don’t see ourselves as we really are. We see ourselves as we want to be.
James Greer: 29:04 There is a friend that lasts though, and you need to make sure you know him today, and his name is Jesus. He tells us in John 15:15 he says, I’m not going to name or call you call you a slave because you know what? A master doesn’t confine in a slave. You are my friends since I’ve told you everything the father told me you didn’t choose me. I chose you. By the way, you didn’t choose Jesus to be your friend. He chose to be your friend. He is your friend, you just have to choose to be his. I appointed you to go to bear lasting fruit so that the father will give you whatever you asked for using my name. As we get ready to close, I can’t think of anything better than saying, hey man, I got a father that said he wants me to come and ask for whatever I want to ask. As long as it brings honor and glory.
James Greer: 29:43 Let me give you some characteristics of Jesus Christ, which is the best characteristics of a friend. Number 1, he committed to you to death. He died on the cross. Number 2, he accepts you and he forgives you. Number 3, he wants to bring out the very best in you. Listen this, when Jesus looked down, he often sees what we could be, not what we are. That’s what so great. Wouldn’t it be good if we started looking at other people and started seeing what they could be instead of what they are? He rejoices in our success. He’ll always be there in need. He said, I’ll never leave you. I’ll never forsake you.
James Greer: 30:28 You can count on him to help you, rather than judge you. He says, call upon me in time of help and I will deliver you. He sacrificed for you because he died on the cross. And then Revelation 3:20 says this. You Ready? Behold I stand at the door. Jesus is standing in the door of everybody’s heart. Now you all listen to this. And Jesus stands at the door of your heart, when God’s word’s being preached. Satan’s trying to snatch it away. Every Sunday. So Jesus says I’m standing at the door of your heart and I’m knocking. Any man, woman, boy, girl, if you hear my voice, I’m going to open my door. I’m going to come in and I’m going to be with you. I’m going to die and I’m going to fellowship with you, and you with me. We’re going to have a new relationship, a closer relationship than we’ve ever had in our life. He said, I want to have it with you.
James Greer: 31:18 When I give the invitation in a minute, some of you need to be honest. Your heart needs to be open to say, Hey, I, I’m the one that needs to have the courage to say I’m the one that needs to change. It needs to start with me. I need to change my hopes and my dreams. They need to include Jesus first. I need to seek to please him. I’ve been trying to please everybody else too much and I want to change that today. My heart’s starting to come hard, God. I don’t want to be bitter. I want to get better. I want to, I want to be softhearted. I don’t want to be anybody that I cannot forgive. And so if there’s anybody you hadn’t forgiven today’s the day and God’s speaking to you. I want you to forgive him. I don’t care what they did, I don’t care who they were because listen, God forgave you so you can forgive them. Now, don’t put yourself back in a way that you might get harmed, but forgive them.
James Greer: 32:27 Some of you need to commit to saying, I need to start developing being the right friend. All I do is spend so much time looking for friends, go from one person to another, to another, to another. Just because I want them to do what I want them to do and when that one doesn’t, I go to another one. I need to focus on being the right friend. It’s development.
James Greer: 32:54 And then, most of alI, I need to make Jesus my best friend. See when he’s my best friend. I’m relying on him to meet every need in my life. Everything else is a conduit. When I don’t rely on him to meet every need in my life, I began to use up people. Sometimes you don’t even know you’re doing it, and you’re trying to use them up because you’re trying to get your needs met from other people, in other places in other things. And today’s the day you got to say, Jesus, I need you to be first place in my life. See a lot of you have accepted him as your savior, you are go into heaven, but you living like hell. You don’t have the happiness here on earth because you’re seeking the wrong things in the wrong places, in the wrong people. And Jesus is saying, open your heart up today. Be soft, be receptive. Then he finally said, would you ask anything in my name that I can do it for you? Maybe there’s something you need to just come and you need to plead for God and that and whatever that is, it’s going to bring honor and glory to God, and today’s the day for you to do that. Would you stand and let me pray with you and pray for you.
James Greer: 33:58 God, you’re an awesome God. I thank you for your son, Jesus Christ. I thank you for Journey Church. Thank you for the people that are here. I don’t think anybody’s here by accident. I think whole church is here by divine appointment. I believe you’re knocking on hearts and you’re saying, let me in. Some need to come and join today. Some need to come be publicly baptized. Some need to say, I’m the one that needs to change. Some need to say, I need to forgive. Some need to say I need to be made, soft hearts. Some have been gossiping and they say, I need to quit gossiping. Whatever God lays upon your heart, let him have his will in his way to the precious name of Jesus. Amen.
Recorded in Pineville, Louisiana.