It’s Never Too Late for a Miracle.
We need to be in the right place. (John 5:1-15, NKJV; Ephesians 3:20-21)
The multitudes knew where to go. The church needs to be a place where the sick and hurting know they can go. One of the most important things you can do is come to church with an attitude to anticipate or
The Spiritual Discipline of Anticipation.
Anticipation – a cousin to expectation, excitement, faith, and suspense.
Anticipation + Participation + Preparation = Expectations met.
We need to look to the right person. (John 5:5-6, NKJV)
Jesus sees our needs – Jesus sees our condition and knows how long we have been in that condition. Jesus is the right person to bring about a miracle. Jesus wants to know if you really want to change.
Three big questions to ask yourself today:
Do you need a miracle? Do you want a miracle? Do you want to change? Are you willing to do what it takes to have a miracle?
We see why most people don’t experience a miracle. (John 5:7, NKJV)
This man was about to take himself out of the miracle instead of into one. Way too many people make excuses for why they cannot be happy. If you keep making excuses, you will live your life blaming others instead of moving forward and enjoying the life Jesus has for you.
You are to experience a miracle. (John 5:8-10, NKJV)
When Jesus does His part we still have to do our part. Believe, get up, and walk. We have to stop making excuses for the way we are living and start believing it, claiming it, and walking in it.
Sermon Video Transcription
James Greer (00:01):
I mean what a way to start out the Month of Miracles with miracles. Amen? I mean do you know they had over 500 cars go through? Estimated over 2,000 people. They gave out these little kits for kids, you know, and they had Q codes on them. They’ve already had 800 people open them up and start doing the crafts. Amen? I mean it’s just a miracle to see that was a great time. I appreciate the staff. Appreciate everybody that did that. And I’m looking forward to the fruit that’s going to come from that.
James Greer (00:31):
This is the Month of Miracles and I asked you what’s on your miracle list. And just like it was a fantastic event yesterday, to have a miracle, there’s usually about four things that happen. There’s an anticipation. You should come with great anticipation. Participation, preparation and then your expectations are met. Let me give you an example. I anticipate everyone here today, downstairs, upstairs and online, I anticipate today that your life is going to be changed. Well, I anticipate that. I believe that. Participate, I want you to participate. I want you to participate in the worship. I want you to participate in the preaching. How you participate? When you agree, you can say amen. Let’s practice. Say amen. That’s a good start. If God speaks to you, you can make a note.
James Greer (01:31):
Man, I tell you what, never go to a message even when I’m listening to them on a podcast or radio. When God speaks to me, I write it down and make a note because I understand that 80% or 90% of everything I preach, y’all forget even though you have an outline on the other side, if God speaks to you, just make a note. And then there’s preparation. There’s preparation for me. I mean God just does not write my messages. I wish he would. He doesn’t write it on the wall. I have to study and I have to prepare. And then you have to be prepared when you come into preach. And I have a whole series of scriptures that I get and I hope you get prepared. But we prepared and then some. So then I have the expectations of the anticipation and the preparation and the participation. So I expect them to be met. And my expectations is, I’m gonna to tell you, when I give the invitation, everybody in the service is going to make a decision. Amen?
James Greer (02:26):
I mean that’s just what I believe. I mean it’s miracle month. It’s never, you’re never too young and you’re never too old. I mean Jesus’ birth started as a miracle. That’s pretty young. Amen? And then Abraham, he was almost a hundred years old when he had kids. He the man. He’s my hero. You know? But to have a miracle, you have to have a need. When I’m talking about biblical miracles, I’m talking about a miracle just simply a change in a person, a situation, a circumstance that only God can achieve and only God can explain. I just wonder does anybody really need a miracle? I know I do. I know what mine is. You’ve been handed a little card that says what’s on your miracle list. You can write on there as a way between you and God. You don’t have to put your name unless you just want to. Sometimes that’s a personal need, a family need. Sometimes it’s financial. Sometimes it’s just God, I don’t know. Do you have a need or a circumstance or a situation that you just need God to move in? I believe we here at Journey Church are much like the message that we’re going to talk about today. It was a gathering at the pool of Bethsaida. It’s a pool in Jerusalem. And there was many that were sick and they were blind and they were lame and they were paralyzed. And they were waiting on a move of God.
James Greer (03:58):
But let me give you an insight right off the bat. When you’re reading the Bible and you said there were some sick, that can be physical sick, that can be spiritual or mental but it also can just mean they were just weak. They were just worn out. They were blind and that can mean physical blinded but many times at church, it means spiritual blind. This is what I mean spiritual blind. I said I’ll talk about it later. You come to church and you preach the same message and you’ll see one life change and the next one, they ain’t got it clue.
James Greer (04:28):
It’s going to talk about lame. There were people that were lame and just powerless. Have you known people that come to church and come to church, they just don’t have any power of the God? And maybe that’s you. You’ve come to church and you hear the preaching but there’s just no power in your life. And then most of all, I think what people miss is paralyzed. A lot of paralyzed people came to Jesus. We’re going to see one today and Jesus told him to take up your bed and walk. There was a paralyzed man. I love it because Jesus was preaching. They couldn’t get in and they tore the roof off and they let him through the roof and he came down. I would like that. And Jesus healed him. But what I want you to know is most people don’t realize when you start talking about being paralyzed, it also means you’re just stuck. You’re just stuck on your job. You’re stuck in your marriage. You just feel like you’re just stuck in your life and you just can’t seem to get moving. It just seems like your life is just in a circle and you can’t get ahead. You’re just paralyzed and just waiting on a move of God.
James Greer (05:39):
The differences in the story that we’re going to talk about, I think the majority of them, they came to this pool with anticipation. They participated because they got there and they were waiting for a miracle. I believe what happens so many times at church including ours even though I think we’ve got the greatest church next to Heaven. I mean when I go to Heaven, I’m going to come down and visit sometimes. It’s that great. But I believe that sometimes we miss it. Sometimes you come and you don’t even come with anticipation. You just come to church. You come to church because it’s Sunday. Check, I went to church. You didn’t come with any great anticipation and sometimes you don’t even participate. You don’t participate in the worship and you don’t participate in the message. And so you surely don’t experience a miracle. You get what you put out.
James Greer (06:36):
See, that’s not what I want. Everybody here today, upstairs, downstairs and online, y’all have a chance to experience God in an exceptional way. Number one, number one, we’re gonna look at those that are waiting on miracle because number one, I think they had to be at the right place. We’re going to read John, John 5, start in verse 1. And after this, there was a feast of the Jews and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now they’re in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which was called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having, wait a minute, how many porches? How many? That’s so strange because five is a number in the Bible for death. And it said man, here are these people. They came to the porch, had five porches known for death. Because they were, the people that were coming to this particular porch, every one of them had an impossible need. Some of them were deaf. Some of them were blind. Some of them were lame. Some of them were paralyzed. But you know what the difference is? Some of y’all came to Journey Church this morning and you came in your heart and you just feel like you have an impossible situation. But let me tell you what the wonderful thing, when Jesus came, the dead came alive. Amen? And that’s why Jesus said hey, I come there with the five porches and people came and their lives were radically changed. And some of y’all need a radical change in your life.
James Greer (08:00):
You came to the right place at the right time. There was a great multitude of people. They were sick people. They were weak. They were blind. They couldn’t see. They were lame. They had no power. They were paralyzed. They were stuck. They were waiting on a move of the water. Man, just wait today. You don’t have to wait on a move of water but we can have a move of God. Amen? And for the angel, they went down at a certain time and to the pool and the angel type today, the Holy Spirit, they can come and they can stir the water and stir your heart. And then listen, you ready? Say whosoever.
James Greer (08:39):
Stepped in first. And after the stirring of the water was made well of whatsoever. Say whatsoever. The disease. Yeah. So listen, I love that because what the Bible said it doesn’t matter whosoever and whatsoever. God doesn’t, say oh, just this person or just that person, just maybe you and maybe that. God said whosoever and whatsoever. That means God says there’s absolutely nothing too hard for God. The month of miracles, do you know what God says? Do you believe anything’s too hard for the Lord? And your answer should be no. Amen? I love the whosoever. I love the whatsoever. Let me give you some insights. First of all, they knew where to go. They know to go to this pool and I believe church is the place to go. I believe the sick people, the hurting people, I think this is the place to go where there’s physical hurts, spiritual hurt, emotional hurt, financial. I still think that’s the place to go. I believe the first time I went to church and after a long time, it was after I was married and I had kids, I needed to go to church because I was having marriage problems. And I thought my kids surely need to be in church. So I went to church for my kids.
James Greer (10:02):
I was the one that needed it. I love the time when I’m in church. I love it when I’m preaching those special times from God and the Holy Spirit just falls and moves and touches lives and I just know there’s life change. I know there’s not long, not long ago, Wednesday night, we were just preaching and teaching and praying. And I know there was a young man. He had a heat stroke and he was in ICU and we were praying for him. The very moment we prayed, his eyes opened and I thought man, that’s a move of God. Amen? I know that we people, we have friends in our church that have cancer like Fred and Janet and Janiece and God moves on their heart. They cannot walk through what they’re doing with the cancer they have without having a move of God. Amen? And so there’s those times and we just see God changing lives and touching lives. And then the same people in the same church, they ain’t got a clue.
James Greer (10:53):
They’re blind. They’re clueless. Same God, same church, same Holy Spirit. They come in and they go out the same way they came. God never meant it that way. You didn’t come with any anticipation. You didn’t participate. You didn’t have the right attitude when you walked in. Let me ask you, what are you expecting God to do in your life this morning? Are you expecting Him to speak to you? Are you expecting to get great insight? Are you expecting Him to give you peace in the power of God? Did you come I mean really expecting Him? Have you been participating? I’m going to tell you, when you participate and anticipate and preparation, I mean you should expect. You should have expectations that are met. It’s the spiritual discipline of anticipation. You should learn that discipline. I mean I love the spiritual discipline of anticipation. It’s one of my most exciting disciplines I have.
James Greer (12:07):
Every Sunday morning, one of my favorite verses, probably the favorite verse I have is Ephesians 3:20. Now unto him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all I ask or think. And it’s according to the power that works in us. And see, I believe that God does that. I believe He’s going to do that. And it’s to be the glory in the church by Jesus Christ to all generations forever. Amen. Now what I’m asking you, what do you think God’s going to do in your life? What are you looking for God to do that’s bigger than you? If nothing, you’re going to get it. What a waste. Do you not think God can do exceedingly abundantly above all that you can ask or think? Do you just not dream about what God can do and how He can use you?
James Greer (12:52):
It’s the anticipation. It’s a great word. It’s the cousin of expectation and excitement. It’s an attitude. And I hope every Sunday that you come, you come with that attitude of anticipation and expectation. And if not, you should. You should man, what’s God going to do? I have this unbelievable anticipation I walk through the doors and God’s going to do something. I’m going to participate because I want to be part of it. I have preparation because I prepared before I walked in here. And man, I got the expectation met. Number two, you got to go to the right person, not persons. So many people are going to the wrong people and the wrong places. It’s not a place and it’s not persons. It’s a person and that person is Jesus Christ. Verse 6 says and when Jesus saw him laying there, he knew. He not only knew, he knew that he’d been there and what condition a long time. And He said to him do you want to be made well? Now I want to tell you something first of all. Jesus saw him. Jesus knew it.
James Greer (14:12):
Jesus knows what’s going on in your life. Jesus sees your needs. He sees your condition and He knows how long you’ve been in that condition. I mean don’t think you’re here and Jesus doesn’t know what you need because He does. He knew it before He got there but it was a type of Jesus walking into a situation, walking into church and He’s saying hey, I want everybody at Journey Church, I want you to know whether you’re here, you’re online or upstairs but especially if you’re in this church, Jesus is saying listen, I know what your need is, I know what your condition is and I know how long you’ve been there. And number two, He’s the right person. Jesus is the right person. He’s not some person. He is the right person. And number three, He wants to know if you really want to change.
James Greer (15:08):
Nothing is too hard for the Lord. Do you really want change or do you just want to keep living there? Because let me tell you what, some people have been living such a defeated, discouraged life so long, they’re not even sure they want to change. They’re so used to it. Some people got so used to it. They don’t mean to but they’ve lived like that so long, they just say well, I’m going to use that to get attention. Some people are afraid to change. Some people live that way so long that’s how they get their identity. Now, instead of getting your identity in Christ, you now get it in sickness and in hurt or defeat or in pain. You really don’t know if you want to change because you don’t know what it would be like.
James Greer (15:48):
Some people don’t want to move forward. They feel like they’re just stuck. There’s three questions that we all have to ask ourselves if you want to move forward, if you want to experience a miracle. First of all, do you even need a miracle? Do you need a change in yourself or a situation or circumstances that can only come from God? So number one, do you have a change? Do you do need a miracle? Number two, do you really want one? Do you want to change? Now, I can tell you right now, if I went to anybody and I asked these first two questions, do you want a miracle, everybody would probably say amen. Now if I said do you have, do you have something that could be a miracle? Amen. But if I went to number three and I said are you willing to do whatever it takes to have a miracle, oh, me. That’s the hardest step. If I said do you need a miracle, you’d say yes. I’d say do you want a miracle, you’d probably say yes. Are you willing to do what it takes? Um, depends on what it is.
James Greer (16:57):
So, so many people miss out on it. Most people don’t experience a miracle because like in verse 7, the sick man answered. Jesus says sir, you know, I don’t, I don’t have anybody to put me in the pool when the water stirs. But while I’m coming, another man steps in before me. Can I ask you a question? Did Jesus ask him if he needed anybody? No. Does Jesus need anybody to help Him? No. Jesus wants to do a miracle, Jesus does a miracle. Amen? So what was the truth about it? The man almost talked himself out of having a miracle. I see that all the time. You don’t have to live the way you have to. You don’t have to be in the continual discouragement, defeat. You don’t have, you don’t have to continue worrying and stressed out like you do. You just talk yourself into it. There’s way too many people making excuses why they can’t change, why they have to live in a situation, why they have to hurt, why they have to worry, why they have to live in the past. They make excuses. Listen, you don’t have to keep worrying. Now I have been in a worrying situation. I have worried when I get from the bed, I go to the couch, I get on the floor. I get it. I’ve done it for weeks. I’ve done it for months. I’ve gone to the doctor.
James Greer (18:13):
Let God be true and every man be a liar. You know what worry is? You’re accepting responsibility that was never meant for you. Uh-oh. So if you’re here today and you came and you kept worrying and you’re worrying, worrying, worrying, quit accepting responsibility that is not yours. Amen? Quit excusing why you don’t want to move forward? Quite making excuses why you’re paralyzed. You know? See, the people that say yeah, I want a miracle, yeah, I want to change but I’m not willing to do it because you want to keep blaming other people for your problem. Instead of accepting part of the responsibility, you blame other people. So you never move forward and God never works in your life. There’s some things you have to do if you want to move forward, if you want to experience a miracle, if you want your life to change. You have to do your part because Jesus is always ready to do His part. Verse 8, Jesus said to him rise up and take your bed and walk. Oh, man, you mean I got to do something? You mean I’ve got a financial need and you want me to go to work? I thought you were just going to send a check in the mail.
James Greer (19:23):
I mean I got a sickness. You want me to go to the doctor? I did pray. I think you should pray. Amen? You know, God does use doctors too. Amen? I mean I got a marriage problem but I’m not going to go to the marriage retreat. I’m not going to get a professional counselor. I’m not going to get help. I got a drinking problem. I got a drug problem. I’m going to say God, I want a miracle, I want to change but I’m not going to get help. I’m just going to keep doing the same thing. Get a life. See, you don’t want to do what it takes. Can God help you? Could God do a miracle? Amen. Does God deliver some people supernaturally? Amen. I saw Him deliver Kevin, Josh’s dad. Alcoholic, supernatural delivery. Most people that doesn’t do that, you gotta take a step, you gotta go get help, you gotta get professional help, you go check yourself in, you go to a professional counselor, you get help afterwards. Amen, Brother James. Oh, no, no. I’m not going to do that. Well, then don’t expect change.
James Greer (20:20):
Man, if I was married, I don’t care if you’ve been married a year or like me 46. I gotta be careful. Going on 47. Yeah, absolutely. I’m the first one to sign up for a marriage retreat. Did you know that? When you think that you got it all together, that just shows me, I almost said how stupid you are but just how blinded you’ve been. Stupid too. But stupid and blinded. But anyway. Anyway. So we’re gonna, you know, why would you do that? Why do you think you know too much so whatever area it is? Where are you struggling in that you want God to help you and why would you not get help?
James Greer (21:04):
How about, how about, how about people that are so upset about what somebody said about them or what somebody has done? You know, the greatest thing, man, when I’m really right with God, do you know I don’t worry about what you say about me? I don’t even worry about what you think about me. Did you know I don’t even have to worry about getting revenge? Vengeance is mine said the Lord. I will repay. Man, He protects me, He provides for me. Man, I don’t have to worry about. The greatest feeling you’ll ever have is quit worrying about anybody else. Get your relationship right with God and let Him take care of everybody else. Amen? There are some people that stay so bitter, so ugly, so mean, it actually changes their appearance and their countenance. I’ve seen people that forgive each other and love each other. I’ve seen their actual physical countenance change and their health change. That you can just say, no, I want a miracle, I need a miracle but I’m not going to change. You gotta believe it, you gotta claim it, you gotta walk in it.
James Greer (22:08):
The John 10:10 principle, the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy. You can live that way but it’s a lie. Jesus said I’ve come that you could have life, that you can have it more abundantly or you can believe the Word and claim the promises. Verse 9, I love it. It says and immediately. Immediately what happened? The man was made well. He was made whole. He was made complete and he actually had to take his bed and walk. And that day was the Sabbath. Now, the reason they tell you that day was the Sabbath is because there was all these religious people, they wanted to gripe about Jesus doing work. I love it’s the Sabbath because see, I think that God wants to do a great work in his church and today and on Sunday. I don’t believe you’re here by accident. I believe you’re here by divine appointment. I believe God wants to work in your life. And I believe, you ready? Every person here has a need that only God can meet. So what do you have to do?
James Greer (23:07):
You have to be in the right place. You’re in the right place. I believe you’re here. I believe you’re in the right place. I believe the angel’s not going to come down and stir the water. But I believe the Holy Spirit from Heaven is at our church and He could stir your heart. You have to be willing. And not only do you have to be willing, you have to be willing to go to the right person. The right person is here. His name is Jesus Christ. He tells us in Matthew 19:26, Jesus looked at the Journey Church people. I added that part. He looked at them and He said with men, whatever your situation is impossible. But with God, all things are possible. You’re at the right place and the right person is here and His name is Jesus.
James Greer (23:52):
The angel didn’t stir the water but the Holy Spirit will stir your life and He will move. You have to be willing to accept His help. He wants to help you. You have to be willing to do your part. And that’s where the change comes in. Man, wouldn’t it be a miracle if everybody downstairs, upstairs, and online let God do a miracle in their life today? See, that’s my anticipation. That’s ultimately my expectation is people are going to stop making excuses this morning and they’re going to accept what God has for them. To do that, there’s a few things that got to happen. Number one, you have to be willing to do your part. In your heart, first of all, what is the miracle that you’d like God to do?
James Greer (24:58):
Let me tell you what, if you’re here today and you’re not a hundred percent sure you’d go to Heaven, that’s the greatest miracle of all. If you say I’m just not ready to make that decision, you made the decision. Maybe you’re not ready to go to Heaven. You made the decision. But I pray that you make the decision today to go to Heaven and you invite Jesus Christ into your heart. And we may not have come to the front invitation but you got a next step card. You can check it. And I’ll have brother Darrell up here and he will accept those cards.
James Greer (25:28):
You can come to the front willing to do your part. The Holy Spirit’s already doing His part and He’s telling you to settle it today. Maybe you’ve never been biblically, publicly baptized. You know, I wasn’t baptized until after I was preaching at this church. I was 30 something years old. Mike Scott baptize me right here. I know everybody thought God, you’re preaching. Now you’re going to get baptized? Yeah. Because I knew I wasn’t saved when I got baptized and I just wanted to do my part. Number one, you’ve gotta do your part. Number two, be willing to get the help you need. JD is in the back. He’d be glad. He’s a professional counselor. If you’re a member of our church, I’m not doing it just for that but you get a special rate. Why would you not do that? I don’t know if your marriage or addiction or financial or marriage, whatever. Why when you really, you say God, I got a miracle I need, I want it ,willing to do my part. Go wherever it is to get the help that you need. Quit saying that you want it and that you’ll do it. And you don’t do it.
James Greer (26:41):
Learn truths and apply them. God’s Word is truth. Jesus said I’m the way and the truth. He applies truth. He is life. No man comes to the Father. You get to go to the Father by Him. So the more of God’s truth you know and the more that you apply, the more life you have. Stop making excuses. And then here’s where it changes. Are you teachable? In my 30 plus, almost 40 years in the ministry, here’s where the problem comes in. You have a problem, God could change it but you just don’t have a teachable spirit. Because you don’t have a teachable spirit, your life has not changed, your marriage has not changed, your financial has not changed.
James Greer (27:41):
I honestly believe if you really had a teachable spirit this morning, teachable to God, teachable to those that God would place in your life for good, if you’re really, really teachable, I believe any Godly goal is reachable. I believe that with all my heart. I believe the reason you’re paralyzed where you are is because your heart has not been teachable. I believe the reason your marriage is stuck where it is is because you have not been teachable. I believe the reason you continue worry and frustration and discouraged is because you’re not teachable this morning. You didn’t like me saying that you’re accepting responsibility that’s not yours and you want to self justify why you’re living the way that you’re living instead in your heart right now saying God, I want to be teachable. I want to stop accepting responsibility that’s not mine.
James Greer (28:40):
You want to justify why you feel hatred towards somebody and you want revenge towards somebody instead of saying God, vengeance is yours. You will repay. I don’t have to worry about it anymore. I’m gonna relax. No, because you’re not teachable. You want to just handle it. Did you know if you’re really teachable this morning, listen, that everybody here could leave with an unbelievable supernatural peace and power that’s nothing more than a miracle. The choice is yours. Would you stand and let me pray with you? God, I thank you for this message. It is a miracle because you’re in the miracle working business. God, I don’t know so many people came with so many different things, so many different reasons, worried, discouragement and weakness, stuck in their lives. And God, I just pray, I pray that you’d move this morning, that you’d move on hearts, that hearts and people here would let you have your way and your will in their lives.
James Greer (29:55):
Help them to relax. Help them stop making excuses. Help them to be teachable. Help them to simply say God, I want to stop accepting responsibility that’s not mine. I’ll do my part. I’ll go to work. I’ll work hard. I’m leave the rest up to you. If I need marriage help, I’ll get help. If I need financial, if I have addiction, God, whatever that problem is, I’m willing to do my part today. Then God, you open the right doors. You show me where to go and you show me what to do. It starts with a commitment. For those, God, that need to come to know you today as their savior, take the next step card and don’t put it off because a decision not to do that is a decision not to go to Heaven. Those that want to follow through and get baptized, maybe you want to join the church. Why not join today? You have a prayer request? Write it on the next step card and either bring it and drop it off in the front or put it next to the side. And however, Brother Darrell lets you know it. But man, God, I pray for soft, teachable hearts this morning. I pray, God, that you, that each person here will let you have your way in their life. It’s in the precious name of Jesus I pray. And everybody said amen.
Darrell Ingram (31:21):
On behalf of Pastor James, we’re so glad you joined us this morning in worship. If you still want someone to pray with you and for you, we have people on standby. Our Halloween drive through event was amazing and we want to thank everyone that showed up. We had a great time. So thank you for showing up to our Halloween drive-through event. God’s good. And guess what? We’re fixing to start a new series. It is Miracle Month. So join us next Sunday as we continue with Miracle Month.
Recorded in Pineville, Louisiana.