What To Do When Trouble Comes
When we look up. (Isaiah 6:1-8, NKJV; Psalm 121:1-2, NKJV)
We see God is still on the throne, He is still in control. We see God wants to reveal Himself to us when we are in a time of need. (Jeremiah 29:1-14, NKJV; Jeremiah 19:14, NLT2)
We see how pure and Holy God really is. Until we see how pure and Holy God is we will never understand how impure and Holy we are. Any sin and hurt in this world is a result of sin, devil, and freedom of choices which God is trying to turn it into some kind of good.
We will be used like never before when we come to the point we see ourselves as we really are, as God sees us. A divine encounter is looking up, causing us to encounter God’s presence, then we look inwardly to check our own hearts to measure our own standing with God.
When we look in, a conviction will be experienced.
When we really understand what God has done for us, we want to be used and sent by God. Serving and giving back to God is a privilege and honor. Are you attentive, available and willing to accept your calling today?
Sermon Video Transcription
James Greer: 00:00 Man, let’s welcome our Alexandria campus. Amen? Whoo. And Daryl, he wished he had some shoes like this, but he doesn’t. Well, I tell you man, we love Cenla. I’m going to tell you that it has been fantastic. I got the opportunity to serve with one of the groups this week. And I’ll tell you one of the reasons we love Cenla, you want to be a part of, we love Cenla, because I’m going to tell you, when you give, you get to be the one that gets to be blessed. I can tell you, so there are so many opportunities. You can go through there and you can find opportunity or you can create the opportunity.
James Greer: 00:35 But you know, there’s something that I read today, this morning, really, it said a new survey shows that America is unhappier than they’ve ever been. Ain’t that something? So, as a whole, it said, United Nation International Day has just reported that Americans are more unhappier than ever been in their life. And the reason is, they are looking for happiness in all the wrong places. I want us to learn to look for love in the right places. They said America was number 19 in the nation, of unhappiness.
James Greer: 01:08 They said, Iceland. I just got back from there. They were number 4. So, when I was gone for a week or so, I was happy. But what I found out, it wasn’t where I was. It was who I knew. And that’s what I want to talk about. I want to talk about, we love Cenla. First of all, I was talking about who is the we, who’s the we in we love Cenla? Of course that’s Journey Church. Amen? That’s every member of Journey Church. We, everybody that comes, everybody that visits, everybody that’s online. We want everybody. That’s the we, we all want to be a part of. We love Cenla. Amen? And then we want to, we’re going to really talk a lot about love, because I mean love is a really mixed up word today. Love is really more than the action than an emotion.
James Greer: 01:51 And so we’re going to learn that. We want you to serve, we want you to share. We’ll just serve in that. You can be in a small group. We’re going to want you to serve, some at work, at school, at home, in the community. You can serve in ways. You can pick up trash on the street, and you can, one way, you can do it when your shirt or you can get you a sign. And when you do it, we’d love you to post it on your Facebook page or your social media and hashtag we love a Cenla. Join a small group or create one. Where’s Cenla? Cenla is wherever you live, wherever you work, wherever you go to school, whatever your hobby is. But, we have people watch every Sunday from all over, from different parts of the country, different parts of the world. We’ve got one in Baton Rouge. You can serve right there, wherever you’re at.
James Greer: 02:40 I want us to do something also different that’s not in there. I want you to do an act of kindness wherever you work. I mean, you can bring donuts, you can make cookies. Now, if I made cookies and brought them to work, that would not be an act of kindness. So for me, it would be to bring donuts or something, but, it do it at work or school or at your hobby. But, let’s really love Cenla. And then one of the things, every single person that comes to Journey Church is going to bring at least one person through this month. Thank you, one person. Ha, ha. So, we’ll all bring at least one person. Amen? Everybody said Amen. And then on October 20th we’re going to bring them back and we’re going to all celebrate together. So, that’s one thing.
James Greer: 03:07 There’s at least four insights I want you to find as we read through the book of Luke, and Luke 14:15 through 24 that’s what we’re going to be in a minute. And I want you to look for some insights. They may not all be in your notes, but they’re very important that you get them. Number one, the lack of fellowship will equal the lack of fulfillment. Oh. And so the opposite is this. If you’re here today and you don’t have a real fulfillment, you don’t have contentment, it’s because you missing the right fellowship with Jesus Christ. Number two is busyness robs our blessings. If you’re not careful, we get too busy with the wrong things and we miss out on the blessings of God. Number three, Oh, family before Christ will end up in a crisis. Now, we should love our families and sure our family should be after Christ. But, if you totally get it flip flopped, I can tell you sooner or later it might be five or 10 years later, but listen, if you put your family before Christ, you will end up in a crisis.
James Greer: 04:28 And fourth, excuses. Excuses enslave you, that’ll ensure you have failure. So as later on, when we get into the message, I want you to look for those four things, and they’re not in your notes, but they’re probably for the most important things you could get today. And I’ll tell you again at the end. So I’m so excited about we love Cenla, because the way we love Cenla is the way we love Jesus. See that’s the way we love Jesus. It’s why, the way we love the people in John 13:35 says, you’ll know that you’re my disciples because you love one another. I told you over and over, love is more than an action than emotion. If you love through the actions long enough, the emotion can come. Many times the best time to show your love is through the tough times, in the trying times, in the testing times. See, that’s when Jesus showed his greatest love for us.
James Greer: 05:21 It was through an action. It was when he was betrayed, and when he was lied about, he went to the cross, put to death, the burial and resurrection. He didn’t emotionally love us. He didn’t say emotionally that he was so excited, I get to go to cross. No, he spiritually loved us. So ,here’s the problem with love. Listen real close, when you don’t understand what true love is and what it looks like, it deceives you. It discourages you. It disappoints you. I was so great, I got to go on this Iceland trip and man, we got to see some things. I mean, such wonderful trips and beautiful things. And then this lady, this tour lady, she said, uh, I mean look, we got to see the Northern lights, I got to see whales, and I mean it was just fantastic. And there we go, we got to see some waterfalls. And then more waterfalls. But then this lady, she says, I’m going to stop and I got a special treat for you all. I’m thinking this is cool. And you know, we’re, we’re going to walk along the edge of where the volcano is and there’s a little path, she says, listen, you all can pick berries in there. Like blueberries. Well I love blueberries. I’m picking berries. And she said, plus I’ve got a special treat. Well I looked over in the basket.
James Greer: 06:37 I mean I thought we got brownies. And the guy gets off the bus and does that look like a brownie or what? So, I get ahead of Debbie and then they have this drink there and it was kind of like a, they called it schnapps, but it looked like sweet wine or something. So me, I go get the little thing there you all. I’m out of town when you’re in Ireland, Iceland do this. Iceland. So I’m the first one. I go get the brownie. I don’t wait for her to tell what it is.
James Greer: 07:04 I put it in my mouth. And about that time she says this is frozen lamb blood pudding. Oh, so now I’m choking and so I’m going to drink this shot. Well, it’s called schnapps or something. So, now I’m going to wash the blood down. Well it’s about 200 proof alcohol. So now I’m going, I could go, Whoa, I could have caught the whole place on fire. So, now I’m trying to decide, should I throw up, should I cry, should I man up, or should I act like nothing? I look over there and Debbie’s going, pfff. The guy that was over the guide, the guide, the guy that got us all, I see him strolling down the place. He’s going, Dawn and Terry. I see Dawn and Terry and Terry, you man up. You go hunting and fishing all the time, you eat it. And so Terry is going okay. It was horrible. And no, you don’t say anything to her because it was a delicacy there. She had taken special time. She had made what I thought was brownies. I actually got in front of everybody and see she carrying this thing. I stepped in front of everybody and grabbed a brownie. I love brownies. Can I tell you what I don’t love? I do not love frozen blood pudding.
James Greer: 08:29 But what I’m trying to tell you is if you don’t know what you’re getting into, you better be careful. Amen? If you don’t know what love looks like, you might get the wrong thing, and when you get it, you’re not going to want it. I can tell you, I want you to know what we love Cenla looks like. What we love, we care for. Amen? What we love, we serve. What we love, we share. What we love, we celebrate. I mean, we’re going to celebrate on October the 20th, man. We’re going to, everybody’s going to invite somebody, and we’re going to have 1200 people going to worship together. And you’re going to be a part of it, because you were a great part of it. But, I want to know, you need to know what love looks like. Amen? Colossians 4:5 says this. Be wise in the way that you act with the people that aren’t believers. You know why? Make the most of every opportunities?
James Greer: 09:19 So how? How are we going to love Cenla? How should we love and invite people with the store that we’re going to look at? Jesus was telling the disciples why it was so important to invite people. We’re going to talk about inviting them to church. Jesus will say why it was so important to invite people to come and dine with him, to come to the supper, to come and fellowship with him. And see every single Sunday when you come, you should be dining with Jesus. You should be taking in the bread of life, which is God’s word. You should be fellowshipping with him. And we’re going to pick it up in Luke 14. And listen, you’re going to find some people that made excuses not to come and dine with him. We can’t control what other people do, but we can’t control Journey Church. We don’t want you to be making excuses why you don’t do what Jesus called you to do. Amen?
James Greer: 10:25 All right. Number one. Number one, the first reason we’re going to do we love Cenla is because we love Jesus. The love of Jesus brings the blessings of Jesus. Luke 14:15 look at this now. When one of those who set at the table with him, guess who him was? Jesus. Guess who him was? Jesus. Yeah, uh huh. Heard these things. He said to him, blessed, I want you all to remember this one word blessed. Say, blessed is he, that’s me, you, anybody. Who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God. There’s another translation that says, happy are the people who will share in the meal of the kingdom of God. Do you? Did you know? He’s telling you, I’m trying to give you the keys to happy, blessed life. He said, I’m trying to tell you, I want these people to be blessed. I want to be happy and the key is the bread of life. It’s the fellowship to have communion, to die, to have partnership up with Jesus Christ. We all know people that need more happiness and blessings in their life. Amen? So, when God says, I want him to be blessed, I want him to be happy. What is he talking about? He’s talking about, I want him to have Gods divine favor upon their life.
James Greer: 12:01 The word blessed can mean contentment, happiness, and fulfillment. It can mean prosper through the power of God. Yeah. John 6:35 puts it this way, said, and Jesus said to Journey Church, I am the bread of life. Not just some kind of life. I am the bread of life. In other words, when you partake in me, when you’ve taken God’s word, you find life who comes to me shall never thirst. Who believes in me? How many should never hunger, who believes in me shall never thirst. You ready? Lack of fellowship with Jesus Christ equals lack of fulfillment. So basically what Jesus was saying is, I want you to come. I want you to be blessed. I want you to be fulfilled. I want you to have contentment. So, the first reason that we love Cenla is because Jesus Christ wants you to have a fulfillment and contentment and a joy that you’ve never had before, and then he’s telling you how to have it. He says, come and dine with me. Come and have fellowship with me. He’s saying, the right fellowship equals the right fulfillment. You can’t have the blessed life without having Jesus. So first of all, this for me and you. Amen?
James Greer: 12:55 Second of all, because he wants us to invite other people to have the same kind of life. First of all, he wants us to have it, but he wants to invite other people to have it. Don’t you know people that are missing contentment and fellowship and uh, the blessings and happy life. Amen? Verse 16 it said, and he said to them, Jesus said to him, a certain man gave a great supper. Jesus is saying, I’m giving an invitation and I want Journey Church to invite many. That’s what he said. And sent his servant at suppertime saying those who were invited, come, all things are now ready. In other words, Jesus was giving them a taste of Journey Church to be a part of inviting people to come and dine with Jesus Christ. He said, I want you to be a part of the ministry of Christ, by inviting people to come to church and dine and fellowship and take in the word of God. It’s our responsibility to do that.
James Greer: 14:09 But, verse 18 you’re not going to believe it, but all in one accord begin to make what? Excuses. That’s what I don’t want us to do. The first one said, I bought a piece of ground and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused. You know, and I know what excuses are. Excuses of the most part are nothing more than self-justification for failure. Excuses or self-justification for not moving forward in your life and in your marriage. Just staying right where you’re at. Excuses or saying I’m too busy. What does busyness do? Robs your blessings. What they’re really doing is saying that I’m so busy with my job. I’m so busy with day to day life. I’m actually missing the blessings that God has for me.
James Greer: 15:20 I’ve never seen a time where you say, how you doing man? I’m just busy. The next word, I am so stressed out. No jerks. That’s it class, I said jerk. No kidding Sherlock. You just answered your own question. That’s what these people do. If you’d ask them later on and you said, Man what’s going on? They said, Oh man, I’m so stressed out. I’m so busy. I’ve got so much, and what they were doing is they’re saying, Jesus was inviting them to come and dine with him. He was asking them to come and fellowship with him. He was asking them to come and have contentment. He was asking them to come and have fulfillment and they said, no, no, no. I’m too busy. When you’re too busy for Jesus Christ, you are too busy.
James Greer: 15:36 He went all in verse 19 he told them him, and they’ll have said, I bought five oxen and I’m going to go test them. Well, If you bought them before you test them, you need to be careful anyways. I asked you may I be excused and then still in another one, he, this guy probably told the truth. I’m married my wife, therefore I can’t come. She just told him, you can’t come. He probably told the truth. All the rest of them are lying. His wife told him he couldn’t come and he just said he couldn’t come, but the real truth is, this is what I’ll tell you what, okay, you ready? This is very dangerous. Family before Christ will eventually bring a crisis.
James Greer: 16:35 I’ve been in ministry 35 plus years and I see it every year. People that use to come to church. Families that use to come to church, than they get out of church. Didn’t have a crisis because of lack of church. I know people that have wonderful families. They love their kids. They love their mates, and man for a while. They’re so busy. Man, they love each other. And they’re going together and they’re doing everything together and before long there’s another five years, 10 year, 15 years later, and all of a sudden they have a crisis in their family. I’ve seen him, man, they’d get together, they served together, get the kids together, they did everything together and all of a sudden they get to the end of life and the kids are gone. They had nothing together. Can I tell you something? You keep putting your family before Christ and you will have a crisis. There’s a biblical basis for it. I can show you in the scripture. He said, if you put your family before me, you’re not my disciple.
James Greer: 17:02 The wrong excuses always ends up with the wrong results over and over again. That’s why they said less than 30% of the people are happy. Most Americans are not happy because they’re trying to find love in all the wrong places. First John 4:7 tells us where you find love. Beloved, let us love one another. But then he goes on to tell us, for love is of God and anyone who loves is born of God and knows God. In other words, you got get your love from God to love somebody else and they get their love from God to love you.
James Greer: 17:49 So, I got about three questions to ask. Where are you trying to find love? Where are those you know, trying to find love And would you be willing to invite some people to come and try to find the right kind of love? Like I said, your challenge, your goal, we love Cenla, is for you to bring at least one person to church with you this month. Amen? And don’t make excuses. Everybody knows somebody they can bring the church. And then on the 20th make sure you bring at least one person. The third reason that we’re going to have, we love Cenla. Third reason, cause it angered Jesus when people made excuses. But the most important reason we’re going to have, we love sinless because there’s so many people that are hurting, helpless and hopeless. I can tell you right now though, there’s no hurt that Jesus can’t help. There’s nothing to help us that he can’t offer help, and there’s nothing to hopeless that he cannot offer hope. Life is painful, but God has the gift of hope for anybody and everybody that will put their continents in God.
James Greer: 18:57 The word hope in the Bible is this is a confident expectation of a positive future, in spite of your present circumstances. No matter how harsh your circumstances, your criticism, how lonely, how difficult, how serious your mistakes, how impossible your situation might look, God is going to advance his kingdom and he’s going to accomplish his purpose. Your confidence, my confidence, our hope has to be in God, not ourselves. Our hope has to be grounded and become alive and have powerful personal relationship with Jesus Christ. When that happens, Romans 5:5 says, this hope will not lead to disappointment.
James Greer: 19:53 So, Jesus got angry with what happened. And then he picks up in Luke 14:21 and he says, so that servant came and he reported these things to his master and the master of the house. He became very angry. He became angry because everybody began to make excuses not to come and find the fulfillment in the blessed and contentment of life that he offered to them. So, he said to the servant, go out quickly into the streets and to the lanes of the cities, and start bringing in the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind. He said, just go and do that. Why didn’t, why did he say go there? Well, why did he say go to the poor and the maimed and the lame and the, because they were hurting. See, when you get to the point that you know that you’re hurting your helpless, then you’re finally ready to get help. And when you’re finally ready to get healed, he’s ready to help you. And one of the reasons that we were going to have, we love Cenla is, because there’s a lot of people that are hurting, you feel helpless, and they need help and we’ve got the answer, and the answer is Jesus Christ. And there’s nobody to help us, there’s nobody hurting too bad that Jesus can’t help. Amen?
James Greer: 21:05 How does he help them? You find a promise. That’s the bread. You find a promise that applies to the hurt. You apply it. That’s like the bread is the promise. The applying is like chewing on the word. And you chew on it, you chew on it, over and over and over to the hurt. You meet the conditions of the promise and it’ll never fail. Listen to this, God’s word and his promises are always more powerful than any problem. God’s word and his promise, when the conditions are met are always more powerful than any promise, any problem that you’ll ever face.
James Greer: 21:38 And 4th and last, the reason we’re going to have, I love Cenla. Jesus loves a full house, and so do we. Amen? I mean, verse 22 in the service said, master, it’s all done and the room is still or there’s still room. Verse 23, then the master said to the servants, you know what he said? Go out to the highways and the hedges and compel them, plead with them, to come in. That my house might be full. He wants it full. Before I say to you, none of those men that were invited, they’re not going to taste of it. In other words, those that kept making excuses. They’re not going to get the taste of the fulfillment in the contentment, in the joy and the blessings that God had for them.
James Greer: 22:23 My question is for you is do you want a taste of it? Do you have the fulfillment? Do you have the contentment that God has for you? So in closing, I want to ask you something. Have you been having the right fellowship with Christ? Would you actually say that you had the fulfillment and contentment that Christ has for you? If not, would you be willing to say today that, Hey, first of all, you’ve got to make sure you have Christ in your heart. Second of all, you might say, well, I have Christ in my heart, but I hadn’t been having the right fellowship with him. I’ve been looking in the wrong places, so I’d have to say that I don’t really feel blessed. I don’t feel content and I don’t feel fulfilled.
James Greer: 23:12 It’s not because of what Christ is, it’s because I’ve been making excuses. And today I want to come and I want to start getting fulfilled. I want to get back in the right fellowship with Christ. I know how to do that because when I get right with Christ and I get right with others, that’s the first step to start getting fulfilled. Maybe I’ve been too busy. I’ve let busyness rob my blessings. And it can be busyness with pleasure. It can be busyness with family, it can be busyness with worry. It can be busyness in the job. I can just tell you, when you get too busy for Christ, you’re too busy. And you say, today, I want to be still and know that I’m God. And today’s the stage that you’re going to do that. Some of you may honestly say that, you know, maybe I’ve been putting my family before Christ. Now listen, I think after Christ should be your family. But, some people try to be really self-righteous and say, Hey, why don’t you come to church? Because I’m with my family. Why don’t you serve the Lord? Because I’m with my family. Why don’t you tithe because I’m taking care of my family. You better not start putting your family before Christ. You will end up with a crisis and you’ll have invited the crisis upon your own life.
James Greer: 24:49 And then excuses, if you’re not fulfilled, you’re not content, it is probably because of this. When you’ve been making excuses, you’ve been blaming other people for the reasons that you didn’t have what Christ promised you. And today you want to start accepting responsibilities for yourself. Nobody else can give the fulfillment that only Christ can the you. Your mate can’t do that. Your job can’t do it. Church can’t do it. You have to accept your own responsibility. And today you’re going to stop making excuses and you’re going to start accepting your own responsibility. And then today, would you make a commitment to invite and bring somebody to church? See, that’s what Jesus commissioned those people that were listened to, and that’s what he commissioned those closest to him. That’s what he commissioned the in the great commission. That’s what he commissioned me and you to do. So this week, whether it’s in your pleasure. whether it’s in your work, would you invite somebody? Bring somebody to church with this month and especially the 20th, and would you commit to start doing it now asking God, Hey, who would you have me praying for them but leave room for God to open it up. If you have a problem are hurt, would you find God’s word, God’s promise? Would you apply it? Would you meet the condition of the promise? And listen, God’s word and God’s promises are more powerful than any problem you will ever face. So, would you come and give your problem to him? Would you stand? Let me pray with you and pray for you.
James Greer: 25:46 God, you’re an awesome God. I thank you for the invitation to Journey Church to come along and partner with you to participate with you. God, I thank you individually for the invitation. God, for some people here, they’re hurting. They feel hopeless, and the invitations to the. God, I thank you for the cooperative invitation for our church to participate and to be a part. God, I pray that we accept that. God for those that maybe need to come and join this morning to follow through and baptism to come and fellowship with you. They have somebody to pray with them, to pray for them. God, whatever you lay up on our heart. God, I pray today that we’d submit to them. In Christ name I pray. Amen.
Recorded in Pineville, Louisiana.