Bad Boys, Bad Boys What You Gonna Do When The Lord Comes Paul & Steven
Bad Boys Paul and StevenSteven’s greatest witness and influence was the way he died! Paul’s greatest influence was his conversion and the way he lived afterward.
When two bad boys disagree, one might die. (Acts 7:51-60, NKJV)
Blaspheming the HolySpirit–if you resist the Holy Spirit you will not be forgiven, you will not have eternal life. (Matthew 12:31, NKJV) You can know the Word, and not know the Lord. Religion without a relationship with Jesus is dangerous. When God’s Word is preached theHoly Spirit is working to encourage and convict. (Hebrews 4:12, NKJV)
Winning in the Christian view and winning in the eyes of the world are not the same.
Who wins the battle will depend on how your perspective–Christian point of view or a non-Christian point of view. (John 10:10, NKJV) You can have Peace and Pain at the same time. Saved + Dependence on Christ + Representing Christ = Peace in any situation. Being in the right relationship with God does not exempt us from problems and pain. Religion battle and racial battle have always gone on and always will until Jesus returns. The only lasting cure for racism is relationship; relationships with each other and relationship with God. (Galatians 3:28-29, NKJV) If you are a Christian, there is only one-way God’s Way. (Proverbs31:8-9, TEV; Psalm 37:28, NKJV; Proverbs 21:3, KJV; Romans12:17-21, NKJV) Don’t be surprised by problems and attacks. (1 Peter4:12-14, CEV; 1Peter 4:12, KJV)
Important insight to remember.
Don’t be surprised when the enemy sends people into your life to test and try you. The enemy’s purpose is to discourage, defeat, and depart from God’s protection, provision, and PEACE. Fire refines, defines, and removes impurities to improve personality and spirituality.
Sermon Video Transcription
James Greer (00:01):
I’m so glad to see so many back for your first time. And you know, feel comfortable wearing your mask or either way it’s okay. But the main thing is you’re here. Amen? I’m excited today because one of the things, this is the last series on bad boys. Guess what? Next Sunday, we start a new series called emotional monsters. If there’s ever a time, we had to deal with emotional there’s right now. Amen? And so you want to be here for that. Hey, Tony and Janet. In the middle of the message if you’ll really pay attention, you can learn how to respond when somebody hurts you. How to respond when you’ve been treated bad. Now, the one we’re going to talk about, it’s probably treated worse than anybody that I know. But I see people getting so upset just because somebody said something to them or looked at them wrong, or passed them in the car or whatever. And really there’s no reason to get that angry unless they pass you and slow down. Now that just drives me crazy. But we’re going to be talking about Paul and Stephen. Two men that were used greatly by God. Wouldn’t you like to be used greatly by God, Amen? I’m like Randy, the older you get, the more he said, man, I don’t want to further the kingdom of God. You know? And the things that you thought were so important when you were younger, aren’t near as important.
James Greer (01:34):
Stephen’s greatest witness you all ready, his greatest influence, his greatest impact was the way he died. Not just the way he lived, but the way he died. Now Paul’s a different story. Paul, he was a great influencer, and his conversion was supernatural. And after that Saul was the one that probably gave the order for Stephen to be killed. But after that, that was part of his conversion. He then was used to write three fourths of new Testament. That’s pretty good. Amen?
James Greer (02:04):
When two bad boys or two bad people disagree, somebody might die. Now in this case, you’re going to find that they physically one of them died. But, if you don’t learn how to handle disagreements, if you don’t have to learn how to handle a confrontation, something in a relationship will die. Sometimes it’s physical, but most times it’s emotional and spiritual. You said, well, what I need to do is come to church. You sure you need to come to church, but see it’s it’s not religion. Paul, you’re going to find out. Saul was a very religious person. Religion alone kills. Relationships give life. Now I can remember when I used to come to church religious, I mean, I’d come to church. I couldn’t wait to get out. Amen? I mean, I just I’d came. I mean, I’m at church. I can’t wait to get out, but I went to church. It just kills you. But relationships gives life. Not life without problems.
James Greer (02:56):
I want you to listen to Steven preaching. I almost started laughing when I’m reading this. He’s preaching to some real religious Jewish leaders in Acts 7:51. It’s hilarious. He says, you stiff-necked. That’s the way to start a message. Come in. Hey, everybody at Journey Church, you bunch of stiff neck people, uncircumcised and your ears. And you are always resist the Holy spirit as your fathers did. It’s another translation said, you know, everybody at church is out there. I’m pretty sure you are stubborn hardheaded. And that could be true. But I mean, that’s how he started out preaching to him. I mean, he came to church man, and today everybody thinks you’re just supposed to preach and everybody’s supposed to feel so good when you leave. That didn’t happen a lot in the new Testament, they preach the truth. Amen? But they resisted the Holy spirit. They blaspheme the Holy Spirit.
James Greer (03:52):
When I was growing up, I was afraid if I cussed, I did cuss. So do you all. But, what else I was afraid of, what I was afraid of back then, if I said the wrong cuss word, I was going to go to hell. If that was true, three fourths of our church would go to hell. But anyway, let me just get back to. But anyway, in Matthew, 12:31, it talks about this. It says, listen, I want to talk about the blameless. Therefore I say to you, every sin and blaspheme will be forgiven. No worries. There’s certain ones that will, but blaspheme against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. What is that? Resisting the Holy Spirit when he calls you to give your heart to Jesus Christ, when you come, you don’t even understand what it is. I’ve had people said they were just a bullying. There was a drawing in it and it’s called the Holy Spirit. And he wanted me to give my life to Jesus Christ. He wanted me to change my direction and you didn’t do it. Well, if you don’t surrender your heart to Jesus Christ, if you don’t accept him as your Savior, you won’t be in heaven. That’s what it’s all about. It doesn’t mean you said a cuss word. Now I’m not saying we should cuss. Amen? But if that’s what it meant, like you said three fourths of Journey Church, wouldn’t go to heaven. I know that and you know that it’s talking about when God called you to surrender to him and you resisting.
James Greer (04:56):
So then Stephen, he starts preaching again. Okay, 52. He’s going to preach again. He says, which of the prophets did your father’s not persecute? In other words, everybody that came on. Every preacher that came on scene, all you did was give them a hard time. You all even killed those announced beforehand and coming to the righteous one whom you have betrayed and murdered. Now, he’s calling them stiff necked. Now he’s calling them murderers. Now he’s calling them betrayers. I mean, my goodness gracious. Then he goes on and says, who have received the law. What did they receive? What’d they receive? They received God’s word. And it was delivered to them by angels. But you didn’t keep it. That’s real concerning because the truth is they knew God’s word. Matter of fact, I knew it probably better than we did, but it would be like Stephen said, man, I’m so glad you are letting me preach. He didn’t want to preach, but I’m so glad you all are listening. But my real concern is you’re coming to church and you’re hearing the word and there’s no change in your life. So, the danger was Saul knew God’s word probably better than Stephen. Stephen was preaching, but Saul knew God’s word. It said that Paul might have been able to quote the first five books in the Bible word perfect. That’s knowing the Bible pretty good. Amen? Anybody in here want to stand up and try that? So see, religion without relationship is a very dangerous thing. Those are some of the meanest people you’ll ever want to meet.
James Greer (05:44):
I can remember when I was young and going to church, I knew a lot of religious people. They were the meanest, ugliest people. I didn’t want religion. That’s what it was. And it’s because that’s not what I wanted. What I needed was relationship with Jesus Christ. See most wars, family wars, nation wars, country wars, state wars, all that’s going on. Most of it’s a religious war.
James Greer (07:03):
Even in your marriage, you’ll fight about who’s right and who’s wrong. Who’s religion is the true religion. Whose God is the true God. Most conflict could be settled if both parties would agree that God’s word was ultimate authority. Most conflicts in your home, most conflicts in the nation, most conflicts in the cities. You do understand most conflicts can be solved, but there has to be an ultimate authority. When there’s not an ultimate authority, there’s no authority at all. Be very careful. The longer you’re a Christian. The longer you’re a Christian, the tendency you have to be more religious. Don’t become more religious without growing in your relationship with Christ and come to the point today that you, when it says, believe on the Lord, Jesus Christ. When it says, seek ye God first. You do know what he’s saying, right? If you will come to the point that God’s ultimate authority, he takes care of everything else. But instead we want to take care of it.
James Greer (07:43):
Verse 54, he was preaching to now when they heard these things, they were enraged and they ground their teeth. That’s pretty mad. I’ve had some people say some bad things, but I’ve never seen him. Well, maybe I have anyway. That’s how man they were. They were so mad they gritted their teeth. And they were upset with him so much. But, what he was saying? See, the Holy Spirit’s job when it’s working is to both convict and encourage. It’s really not to cause you to gnash your teeth, but to soften your heart. See, when you come Sunday, every Sunday, you have to struggle with, am I going to accept God’s am I going to let my heart be hard or I’m going to resist? What’s being said you have to make that choice. Nobody else can make it for you.
James Greer (08:36):
Hebrews 4:12 says, for the word of God is quick and powerful and that it’s sharper than any two edged sword. I mean, it’s got power in it. If you will accept it. It both encourages and it convicts. When I’m preaching, if you allow the Holy Spirit, he’ll encourage you. But the devil tries to distract you and confuse you every time. Whereas priest says, when the seed is sowed, the devil comes. That’s why he tries to distract you because he doesn’t want the word to get into your heart. But Ezekiel says, I’ll change your heart.
James Greer (09:31):
Ezekiel 11:19 says, this is what I’d like to happen. Every time you come in, he was supposed to have soft hearts. He said, I’ll give you one heart, a new spirit. I’ll take from you the heart of stone. And I’ll give you a tender heart that love God. See, that’s the point of the Holy spirit is to give tender heart. That’s for a relationship. And Stephen, he must have had an unbelievable relationship with God. Sometimes when I pray, I say, God, God, this is James. Yeah. You know, the Pastor at Journey Church, not Stephen.
New Speaker (10:43):
Stephen’s preaching, verse 55. It says, but he, Stephen is full of the Holy Spirit. He gazed into heaven. Look at this, man. How would you like look like to look up? And he saw the glory of God. He saw Jesus standing at his right hand. I mean, he looked up and he could see Jesus himself. I mean, that’s some relationship with God. Let me tell you what, God knows how you’re treating others. God also knows how you’re being treated.
James Greer (10:46):
He said, look, I see the heavens open and the son of man standing at the right hand of God. Unbelievable. Stand up and see Jesus standing at the right hand, opening the door. Jesus was really saying this, I’m going to open doors to heaven. I’m going to allow you to see in before you come in. He was saying, I’m giving you a glance of heaven before you ever come in. You can see in before you come in. And then he said, and then they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears. You don’t think he was preaching. They ran at him in one accord. They finally had unity. But the unity was to kill the preacher. I feel that sometimes, and they cast him out of the city and they did what stoned him. And the witness laid the garment at the feet of a young man named Saul.
James Greer (11:46):
Same one later on becomes Paul. The same one later on is radically changed. The same one that wrote three fourths of the New Testament. But listen to this. How did he respond? As they stoned Stephen, he called out to the Lord. What’s the first thing we should do when we’re being hurt? What’s the first thing we need to do when we have a need? Now see, I usually wait until I don’t have another choice. The first thing he did was he called out to the Lord and he said, save me, save me from this. Don’t let me go through these problems. Tell them to stop. Get Saul, call all the fire from heaven. No, that’s James’s prayer. Kick their teeth in. He said, no receive my spirit. Unbelievable. He fell on his knees and cried out with a loud voice, said, Lord, do not hold this sin against them. When he said this, he fell asleep. That’s almost hard to believe in it. Oh, they stoned him, they drug him out and they killed him. As he was dying. He looked up, he saw the right hand of God. Jesus opened the door. He knew he was coming. His last words were, I don’t hold this against them.
James Greer (12:26):
Jesus and Stephen both when they were being killed, asked that God would forgive the people that were killing them. So that’s so contrary. That’s why when I said you got to, if you want to settle all conflict, it comes to the point that you said God’s word, the ultimate authority. Amen? Not me. Not you, but God’s word. So what does Jesus teach us? What does he teach us about how to treat our enemies? How do we do those that ultimately hurt us? Well, we saw what Stephen did. We saw that Paul was part of it.
James Greer (13:15):
And later on in Romans 12, Paul’s writing about it. He said, blessed are the persecuted that persecute, bless them and don’t curse them. Did you know when he, when he said, bless those, that persecute you do you know what he’s really saying? He’s saying, trying to find something good to say about them. When you hear their name, they persecute you. So we automatically, maybe you all don’t by nature. I automatically want to say something bad or worse about them. Amen? That’s contrary to what God’s word says. See, that makes you want to stop your ears. That makes you want to resist the Holy spirit. See, the devil wants you to say that’s not true because he doesn’t know what I was going through. I might not. But I think Stephen was stoned dead. I think he did.
James Greer (14:28):
He’s the Holy spirit. And he teaches the truth. He’s the ultimate authority. So, this is what we got to do. When we hear God telling really clear how we treat people that mistreat us, we either resist the Holy spirit, get free or we resist God and get in trouble with the devil. He goes on and said, beloved, don’t avenge yourself. But we’re growing up. Protect yourself, take care of yourself. He says, don’t do that. You see what that we resist God’s word so much? Because it’s contrary to our natural desires. It’s called supernatural. But he said, I’m going to give you a new freedom. I can give you a new power. I can give you a power that’s greater than your physical strength. He said, if you’ll just obey the word ultimate authority, he says, look, praise him, bless them. Don’t avenge yourself. Why? Because it gives place to the devil. For his written vengeance is mine.
James Greer (15:27):
I will repay what avenge means. Don’t retaliate with your words and your actions later on, he says, overcome evil with good, not with evil. See when we don’t bless and when we don’t forgive, we’re giving the devil place in our life where we get blinded to the truth. Everybody knows people that have got older and bitter. Bitter and bitter, bitter. I mean, you know, there’s things that they really did get hurt, but they never let it go. And I hear they are bitter. You know, what do we do when other people hurt us, when they say things? Jesus’ words said, we bless them. We overcome it with good. I didn’t say I did that. I’m telling you what God’s word says, let God be true. And everybody else be a liar. Do what He says. So, we bless them or we play God. There’s no in between. You forgive and you bless, or you play God. When you play God, you want to get, even, you want to retaliate. You want to retaliate with your words and your deeds, and yet the truth is this, when we do it God’s way God opens, you don’t realize, God opens up the doors to heaven. He says, then I’ll take care of it. When you do it your way, the door is shut and the devil said, Hey, I got a hold of you.
James Greer (16:49):
So, is there somebody that’s hurt you? Maybe you need to deal with today. Second of all, listen to this you in the room this morning. Who really won the fight? They stoned Stephen and killed him. Dis Saul win or did Stephen win? Do you look at it towards the world or he didn’t look at it spiritually? It’s so many times I see people said, man, poor, poor them. And man, I’m saying, Hey man, God’s blessing them. See if you look at it from a worldly perspective only Paul won. Saul did. Saul killed him. His plan was to scare everybody from Christianity. They didn’t do anything but scatter them and get more. You’ve got to be very careful how you look at things. If you’re not careful, you’ll be looking at things from a worldly point of view. And you think, man, they’re really getting ahead. You look at it from a Christian point of view. If you look at it for, even from Stephen’s point of view, Stephen won. You said, how did he, when he got stoned to death? Yeah, he did. But he only began to live when he died. It all depends on how you look at things from a Christian or nine Christian perspective. Stephen not only won, Stephen’s names in the Bible, Amen?
James Greer (18:06):
Stephen was part of Paul’s conversion. Saul later on became Paul. And I think one of the reasons that he turned his life around because he saw how Stephen died. So he was part of his death was part of getting Saul’s conversion who God used to write three fourths of the Bible. I’m not saying if you’re facing death, that you don’t have fears and doubts and concerns. And I’m sure not saying you should want to die because only God can determine that. What I am telling you is our determination of what’s going on in the world and what Christians determine what’s going on the world has to start being different. You can’t look at it the same. The truth is Stephen was the winner. He won on earth and he won in heaven. It looked like Saul was only winning, but it’s temporary. That’s what John 10:10 says the thief, the devil comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but Jesus came that you could have life and you can have it more abundantly.
New Speaker (19:06):
The devil used Saul for his killing, to do his dirty work. He used the Holy Spirit to heal Stephen. So what, he didn’t heal. Yes, he did. He did. Stephen was healed. Maybe not physically. That’s a great physician Jesus Christ was waiting at the door. The moment he walked in, he was healed. He was rewarded. Never to be sick again. So he was healed. When the Bible says that call upon them Lord, and he shall save you. It means he’ll deliver you or give your human strength to go through it, or he’ll take your home. Let me give you another insight or the false fake teachings today. You can have peace without pain. Yeah. Sometimes you can have peace without pain. Sometime you’re going to have peace and you’re going to have pain. You are going to tell me they stoned that dude. and he was saying, Oh, this is great, throw another stone. No, he was in pain. It was real suffering. So, you can have it.
James Greer (19:37):
I hope I’ve never given the false impression, like what’s being taught today. So many prosperity theology that if you’re right with God and you got peace, there’s no pain. The problem with that, it’s not in the Bible. You can have peace. You can be saved. You can depend upon Christ and you can represent Christ and you can have peace, but it doesn’t mean you won’t have pain.
James Greer (20:27):
Third being the right relationship with God does not exempt you from problems. As a young Christian, every time something went wrong. I thought maybe, maybe it’s something I did, when a lot of times it was. But a lot of times it wasn’t. Some of the greatest battles in my life, emotionally, physically, and financially had been because I was trying to go forward with God, not backwards. Let’s see if you don’t start growing in the Lord. If you don’t understand the whole truth, if you’re only hearing prosperity theology, you won’t believe that. I mean, Stephen was preaching the word. He was willing to die, but even fake faith could not stop his pain in his death. I understand very well with the chase in the Lord is understand when we do things wrong and God convicts us and convicts us and convicts us and convicts us. And maybe we don’t do it. And then he disciplines like a loving father. But so many people don’t understand the opposite that God uses people that are doing the right thing. And many times they suffer. And you’re not going to understand until the other side of heaven, just the way it is.
James Greer (21:34):
Fourth, religious battle and relational battles have been going on ever since the beginning and they’re going to go on until the end of time. That’s what’s going on in the middle East. It’s not going to stop until Jesus comes back. We didn’t have all the peace talks we want. See, even Paul, who was Saul at the time and Stephen, that was really a religious battle. Saul was very religious and he really thought he was doing what was right. He thought he was doing what his religion wanted him to do. And Steven was right. And Stephen was doing what he thought God wanted him to do. We’ve got to be very careful about this.
James Greer (22:33):
Don’t judge people by the way they look, or by the way you perceive what they believe. Don’t judge people by the way they look or what you perceive, what they believe the truth is Saul and Stephen really didn’t even know each other. Saul just had a perception of what Stephen was. And he had a perception what he was like. And I’m sure Stephen had a perception of what Saul was like. And I want to tell you, you can’t cure a false religion like that. Everything’s relationships. Lasting relationships is the only thing that cures, false religion. Relationships with each other and relationship with God. And it’s the only thing that’ll cure racism. It’d be relationships with God and relationship with each other. And fifth, don’t be surprised when problems come your way, don’t let it shock you. Especially if you’re trying to live for the Lord.
James Greer (23:40):
1 Peter 4 tells us about it. I mean, here’s Stephen and he’s preaching the word and all these things happen. And 1 Peter, 4:12 says, dear friends, he said, don’t be surprised. Don’t even be shocked that you’re going through testing. It’s like walking through a fire. He said, don’t be shocked at that. He says, there’s some kind of testing. This is going to come your way. But when you’re surprised about what’s going on, you don’t understand what it is. He later on says, be glad. I’m not going to be glad when I go through it. But anyway, be glad for such a chance to suffer as Christ suffered, it was going to prepare you for even a greater happiness. When you make his glory return, when he makes his glory return, he says, I got all this going on. Then he goes on. He says, listen, count it a blessing. When you suffer for being a Christian, not for, just for doing the wrong thing. This shows God’s glorious spirit in you. Do you understand when you suffer the right way and you’re suffering for God and not like teaches you, but it teaches others. You love the Lord. That’s what it does. It gives us insight. He said, don’t think it’s strange. It means don’t think it’s strange. You all really ready? Don’t think it’s strange when Satan sends people into your life that are a pain. I did good. Just say pain.
James Greer (24:43):
I was just talking about cussing so I don’t want to cuss today, but don’t be surprised. Satan sends them into your life to test you and to try you. Satan does it to try to discourage you and defeat you and put distance between you and God. So the next time somebody is really a pain in the you know what to you, remember? It might be from Satan to test you and try you see where you’re really at. Are you really growing in the Lord? Only thing a fire does it refines you. And it defines you. When we go through the fires of life, it refines us And it defines who we really are. How we respond, tells where we are spiritually, the fire removes impurities and improves our personalities and our spirit If we let it have it right. Now, I ain’t got the point that I’m glad for it. And glad I understand it better, understanding until we learned to fight back and handle it, right. It hurts you worse than does the other person.
James Greer (25:39):
So many Christians are still hurt today because they’ve been hurt. Not knowing that Jesus had a plan for hurts and people that had hurt you. Even in Matthew 5. He was teaching the disciples, at this point, he was just teaching them how to grow in the Lord. And he said, you’ve heard me say, or you’ve heard it said, you shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. Jesus things have changed. I say, love your enemy and bless them. He’s going to tell us three things in the beatitudes that’ll radically change your life if you don’t want to resist the Holy spirit. He’s going to tell you three things. He said, anybody here free from the past. If you want it to you no longer have to hold a grudge. You can let it go. He was trying to teach disciples this upfront number. He says, love your enemy. And we’ll talk about that.
James Greer (26:43):
Number two, he says, bless those who curse you. Do good to those who hate you. Pray for those who despitefully use you and persecute you. Then he goes on. He says, listen, if you’ll do this, the sons of your father in heaven, he say, you may be the sons of your father in heaven. Now he’s not saying you’re going to go to heaven. He didn’t say, he says what you’re going to do. You get to experience the power of God in your life in a supernatural way. And you don’t have to wait until you get to heaven. You can start doing it now.
James Greer (27:48):
So, what do you do when you love them? That’s hard. It doesn’t say you go back and put yourself in the same position. If somebody has abused you, don’t go back and say, Oh, I love you and get abused again. That’s not what it means at all, but says, give them what they need, not what they deserve. Oh, you think of who’s hurt you the worst in life. And God said, I want you to, if you see them, give them what they need, not what they deserve. I want you to bless them by saying a kind word about them. That is very hard. You all hear, it’s very hard. I know some people right now, it’s still hard for me to say kind words, so the best thing to do is not say anything at all. But that’s not what God’s word says. You do what God’s word says. So, you bless them and then you pray for them.
James Greer (28:08):
You talk to God, not everybody else. You talk to God about them. You talk to God about you. If you’re not careful, God will change your heart. He’ll show you probably had part of it and you never saw it before. See when we forgive. We forsake. We give up the right to hurt them back. I don’t know if you ever really been hurt. When I got hurt, I always wanted to hurt them back. If they said something bad about me. I want to say something worse about them. When you forgive, you give that right up. Even though they hurt you deliberately, they may have hurt you personally. It hurts you deeply. You give up vengeance. You give it because God said vengeance is mine and I’ll repay. You refrain from retaliation. There’s nobody here, whether you’re online or in this service that cannot clearly how to understand you being hurt. Now you see when Stephen was teaching, when Steve was preaching, you see what irritated him so much. Because he didn’t want to listen. They didn’t want to change. Some of you all are going to go home the same way as you came, but you don’t have to.
James Greer (28:52):
Number one, when you disagree, it can end the relationship. So be very careful. Or it can cause a relationship to grow, depending on how you handle it. With Saul and Stephen, it ended up in death. If you handle conflict wrong in a relationship, it can end up death. Maybe not physical, but emotional spiritual death. When you end the relationship, it hurts you and your relationship with God. When you’re in a relationship, right? It helps you and your relationship with God. The whole thing about the Christian life is it’s about relationship. God’s word came to convict us and encourage us, not to make you gnash your teeth, be angry, but to give you a soft heart. God always wins. Even when you might think the devil’s winning. When it looked like Saul was stoning Stephen, who was preaching the word. If you were standing out, you’d say, what’s going on? God always wins. He won with Stephen. He said, Stephen come on in, I got the door open.
James Greer (29:40):
Revelation 21 says, I’m going to wipe away all the tears from your eyes. They’re going to be no more death, no more sorrow, no more crying. You’re not even going to have any pain. When Stephen walked in the door, he won. Stephen has somehow learned how to have peace in the midst of probably the most painful thing he’d ever gone through in his life.
James Greer (30:51):
Put your pain, you all ready? Put your pain up to what some of the other people are going through when most of the time yours doesn’t look so bad. Put your poor me situation up to some other things. Some of the people in our church are going through and there’ll be not so bad. If you feel like you’re facing one problem after another, after another, don’t be surprised. Just learn how to fight back and do it. Clearly we fight back. We claim God’s word and his promises. You know like Romans 8:37 that were more than conquers through Christ. Romans 8:28, no matter what it looks like, God can turn around something good again, to focus on what you have, not what you don’t have. Paul says, be content with such things that you have.It can radically change your life.
James Greer (31:36):
Then pray for others. Even those that have hurt you and God began to give you a new freedom that you hadn’t ever had. As we get ready to close in prayer. What I want you to be thinking about is how you respond to the Holy Spirit. You saw how Paul responded. He made him mad and gnashed his teeth. He resisted the Holy Spirit, ended up in a death of the wrong person. Stephen responded, right. It ended up with his physical death, but greater healing than he could ever had before. There’s something that’ll break your spirit today If you allow. See, there’s nobody that’s hurt you, that you can’t go out and forgive. But what I want you to do is apply it Monday. When Satan sends somebody in your life to test you, even if you respond wrong at first, remember God’s there to grow you. He’s there to refine you. He’s there to help you not to hurt you. Have your reactions first go right back to God and see if God can help you on a day to day basis. Maybe like you’ve never done before. Would you stand? Let me pray with you.
James Greer (32:36):
God, I thank you for your son Jesus Christ. I thank you for your word because it’s so clear and it’s so powerful. I thank you for examples like Stephen, that you put them in the Bible that you didn’t try to hide them. I thank you for those that we have in our own church that are going through such a thing, such a time as this where there’s suffering there’s pain and on the worldly view, it doesn’t look fair to me. I’m not God. God sees the end. If you, whether you’re online or you’re in the sanctuary today. And you’re one of those that are surfing, I pray God would comfort you, not without pain, but a strange Holy Spirit would come for you. I pray for those that maybe have somebody at work or somebody in their home or somebody on their job they’ve really been hurt. And it’s legitimate. They really hurt them. They said something, but you would examine your own heart right now. You had stopped justifying what they did to you. And you say, God, I just need a better relationship with you and it takes me forgiving them to have a better relationship. That’s what I’m going to do. See, I’m not forfeiting anything, I’m opening the door and giving God, the honor and glory to do whatever he sees fit.
James Greer (33:22):
Father, there’s ones here today they’ve never accepted Jesus Christ as a savior. I pray. I beg them, don’t resist the Holy spirit. Whether you’re here, whether you’re online, don’t resist the Holy spirit. If he’s drawing you to give your heart to Jesus Christ, do it, do it today. At the end of the service, do it online. If you never been publicly baptized, do it while you can. We had one person this week that had to be baptized in the hospital in the bed because they’re the last moments. Do it while you still can. Maybe God’s called you to join this church. You’ve got the opportunity to do that, but God, most of all, I pray that you’d take our burdens, our hurts and our sorrows and you would turn them into a soft heart. And give us peace. It’s your name we pray. And everybody said, Amen.
James Greer (34:52):
On behalf of Pastor James, we’re so glad you joined us this morning in worship. If you are right now wanting someone to pray with you and for you, click the link below and they’re waiting to pray with you and for you. We also are starting our VBS, July 25th from 9 am to 2 pm. And if you want to be a part of that, just go to our web page and find out more information on our children’s VBS. If you want to give to the ministries of Journey Church, click the link below and give whatever the Lord has laid on your heart. Hey, guess what? We’re going to see you next Sunday.
Recorded in Pineville, Louisiana.