Watch Sermon Recap
Watch Full Sermon
The Vow of Priority
Sermon Video Transcription
James Greer (00:00):
Let’s hear it for Fred and Ashley. Fred, she did so good, didn’t she? He can actually, they actually took the cancer which was terrible results, and they look at it completely different. And maybe help cure their relationship and brought them closer to God. Amen? If you saw them during that, they were reading the devotional, that day-to-day devotional. Next week, we’re going to have that for, we had that just for the retreat. Couples that want that, it’s fantastic. We’re going to give you the opportunity to get that next week. Man, didn’t the pray team rock the house? Hey, Mica’s family’s here from Brazil with him. Would y’all stand up? [inaudible] and family, we’re so glad to have y’all and we’re so proud of your son. But we’re glad that we have him instead of you. Just saying. I mean during the message, we’re talking about breaking up is hard to do, and later on, we’re going to talk about, you know, we raise them anyway. You know, we raise them one day to up and go. Amen? We hope. We think.
James Greer (01:12):
No, he’s done a great job. If you want to know how breaking up is hard to do came about, we were studying a little book that says how to change the world and see, I believe everybody can be a part of changing the world. At the end of it, it said, what do you think the greatest problems are in your society? And what can you do about it? One of them I think that we need to have stronger homes. So I said, you know, we’ve had a marriage retreat, which was fantastic, and God rocked the house. February, Darrell’s going to be teaching that class. And if you haven’t signed up for it, you need to sign up for it. If one of your mates, only one of you can come, you can still do it. We’re hoping to be able to send the video and the tape to the one that can’t make it.
James Greer (01:56):
If you’re thinking about getting married, if you’re engaged, you definitely need to go through it. Amen? So it’s a great opportunity for everybody. So we said, what are the two greatest things? We thought one, marriages. Two would be drugs. If we can help in those two areas, that we can begin to make a difference. And so we’re starting out with the family series about making vows. Today it’ll be a vow of priority. And you know, 50% plus marriages are ending up in divorce. And then other big majority of them are miserable. I’m talking about Christians. They come into church, and they’re just miserable. And God wants you to have a magnificent marriage. He wants to turn your miserable marriage into a message one day that you can help other people. That’s not His goal. In fact, your marriage is supposed to be a type of Christ in a relationship. They see Christians married, they should say, man, there’s something different about them. Their marriage is exceedingly, abundantly above the marriage life. So that’s the goal. We want to make breaking up hard to do. We want to do that by letting you have a greater commitment, an intimacy maybe that you hadn’t had but also the truth about the consequences of breaking vows.
James Greer (03:17):
Many couples here aren’t married or they’re going through divorce. God loves you. God’s a God of a second chance, a third chance. This is mainly to people that are married. Whoever you’re married to right now, that’s who God wants you to stay with. Amen? The answer is amen. Who you’re married to now is who God wants you to stay with. Amen? This month is Valentine’s, man. You guys better speak up. Amen? You’re going to be in trouble. And so, but if you’ve been divorced and you’ve been married, I know people that been married two times, three times, and God’s blessing them right now. There can be consequences that we’ll talk about later on. But let me tell you right now, we want to talk about vows because people are taking them so lightly. People take commitments, they don’t really think anything about it. When you make a vow and you make a commitment to your mate, that doesn’t mean we’re going to try it for six months, and if we don’t like it, we’re going to get another model.
James Greer (04:16):
That’s not the way it works. That’s the way it’s working a lot time. But that’s the way it’s supposed to work. When we’re making a bow, a commitment to God and our mate, we’re making that not only to our mate but to God. I want you to look at the importance of a vow first. I mean in Ecclesiastes, it says, when you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it for He doesn’t have any pleasures in fools. Pay what you vowed. And what happens is sometimes it’s in our marriage, we break a vow. Sometimes the commitment, sometimes say, God, you know, if you’d just open this door, I’d start giving, I’d be at church, I’d do that. And then God doesn’t, you don’t do it. And He said, it’d be better not to vow a vow than to vow a vow and not pay it.
James Greer (04:58):
Don’t let your mouth, started to say overload yourself. Don’t let your mouth. I’m trying to be good today. Cause your flesh to sin. In other words, when you make a vow, you’re sinning if you break it. Nor say before the messenger of God that it was an error. Why should God be angry at your excuses and destroy the works of your hand? You understand when you break a vow, it’s not only affecting you, it’s affecting your family. God doesn’t like excuses. You know who makes excuses? Lazy people make excuses. If you’re married in love, you don’t make excuses. Love makes a way. You just make a way to work. It isn’t always easy, is it? Huh? I fight. You fight. We all fight. Amen? But love makes a way, makes a way for it to work. You know, excuses many times just are nothing much than, nothing more than self-justification for failure. God doesn’t want you to make excuses today. He wants you to go forward. And if you’re not married, there’s going to be a place for you to understand. I mean in Deuteronomy, it tells us again, at the end of Deuteronomy 23:21, it says, if you make a vow to the Lord your God, that you have promised with your mouth. He said, be very careful what you promise with your mouth. Be careful what you say. Let your yes’s be yes and let your no’s be no. It is so much that in the New Testament, God gives us a physical example of a spiritual application, a physical example of a physical application. He’s given us a physical example of Ananias and Sapphira. They made a vow. They made a promise to God and they broke it.
James Greer (06:39):
And there is a man named Ananias and his wife Sapphira. That may be why they have problems. Sold a piece of property. Well, it’s yours. You can buy it. You can sell. But with his wife’s knowledge, they’re going to make this big sale and made a commitment to each other before God. They said, if we sell it, we’re going to give X number of it to God. We’ll give it to His work. I know people all the time, I know y’all don’t do that. But y’all said, man, if I win the lottery, the church is going to have it. Well, I don’t buy a lottery. But if you win, I’ll take your money. We’ll use it for something good. Y’all see the new parking lot out there? Amen? Y’all see the new stage? Amen? Did y’all see all the women’s bathrooms just been painted. All the women said. The nursery is being redone. We’re going to have the nicest nursery in central Louisiana. I mean God is rocking the house. Amen?
James Greer (07:33):
Ananias and Sapphira, they sold the property. In his wife’s knowledge, they kept back for themselves some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the Apostle’s feet. Now the problem was before that, it was theirs. Peter said to them, Ananias, why has Satan fills your heart with a lie against the Holy Spirit that you kept back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? Now he goes on to tell us, when it was yours, Peter, you know, it was yours to do what you wanted to. But now it’s not. He had made a commitment to God and now he’s changing it. Look what happens. While it remained unsold, did it not remain yours? In other words, if you didn’t sell it and do what you want to. Even after you sold it, was it not yours to dispose of the way you wanted to? In other words, you could have done whatever you want. There’s nothing wrong with selling your house, buying a house. But what happened in the midst of that, he gets God involved. Nothing wrong with asking God to open doors. Amen? God opens doors. It’s okay. You might ask God, God, would you please open the door for this job? Well, if He does, keep your commitment. Don’t come up here two weeks later and say, oh God, would you open another door?
James Greer (08:49):
And after it was sold, was it not yours? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You’ve not only lied to man. Uh-oh. You lied to who? To God. When Ananias heard these words, what did he hear? That you had lied not to man but mainly to God. You had made a commitment to God. Now you broke it. He fell down and breathed his last. He died. And a great fear came over all the people. It’s really a picture of how important it is for us to keep our vows. Breaking a vow can be forgiven. We’ll talk about that later. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be consequences. There will be emotional, physical, spiritual, financial consequences. It’s better if you didn’t even vow a vow than you vow and then you break it. I mean when people get ready to get married. Mica, Brooke, they’re in love. They’re fixing to get married. So excited. The Bible says a husband loves his wife as Christ loved the church. He died for the church. Means you got to die for her, dude. Therefore, a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife. They shall become one flesh. Your commitment gets to be to her then.
James Greer (10:17):
Even above your parents who’s here watching an eye on you. It says, then it says, therefore, what God has joined together, don’t let anybody separate. Don’t let anybody put anything distance between you. Don’t let your job, don’t let your hobby, don’t let anything or anybody come before you. That’s why it says, for this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother in Ephesians and joined to his wife and they shall become one. Then he talks about it’s a great mystery. The great mystery is you’re to get married and have a relationship that’s a picture of your relationship with Christ. This is some of the things I say. I say, I James, I Micah, take thee Debbie, this month for 47 years. And everybody says woo! She is tough. Take you, Debbie. And you’ll say, take thee Brooke. You’ll do it so much more romantic. I just know you are. To have and to hold from this day forward, for better or worse. Okay. You better because you’re going to have some good days and you’re going to have some bad days. For rich or for poor. We’ve been both. Made it and lost it. In sickness and health. We’ve gone through that. To love and cherish to death do you part. And then I ask that question, do you so promise? And they say, I do. When you say I do, you’re saying, I’m committing my life to you for life. I’m doing it for the people here, but more important than that, I’m doing it for God.
James Greer (11:52):
See, one of the first steps to having a marriage that honors God is understanding the vow and the commitment that you’ve really made. It’s not only to them. So when you do that, to have a blessed marriage, number two, the priorities of a vow, you got to understand what your priorities do. Your priorities determine your blessing. It determines your direction. It determines your destiny. If you want to have a blessed marriage, you want to have something that directs it and you want have a great destiny, you got to get your priorities right. When your priorities are right, your life is right. If you want to be blessed, get them right. Wouldn’t you like to be at the end of your marriage and your destiny and still have a great marriage? Amen? Y’all want ya’ll’s to get worse? Thank God we got this series going on. Don’t you want the end to be better than the beginning? And everybody said amen! This is how it starts. Here’s the beginning. Here’s the first priority. If you don’t get this, you’ll miss everything else. And Jesus said to Journey Church, upstairs, downstairs, and online, you shall love the Lord your God will all your heart.
James Greer (13:08):
Your thoughts, all your soul, with your emotions and all your mind, your understanding. This is the first, and it’s a great commitment. But the second one is like it. You shall love your wife. Let’s say, love your neighbor as yourself. There’s something I want y’all to know. This isn’t optional. This isn’t your opinion. You don’t get to come to church and say, hey man, Pastor James was preaching. My first priority has got to be God and I might take that and I might–no, no. It’s not optional. It’s not your, your opinion doesn’t matter. You don’t break God’s law. He breaks you. He’s trying to say, if you want a better marriage, you want a better life, number one thing is to put me first. Is he the priority in your life? He’s got to be a priority to honor your life. So this is the order it goes. God is your one. Your spouse is your two.
James Greer (13:58):
Confusion in your marriage usually comes from wrong priorities. See, when your priorities get out of order, you have disorder. Marriages have a lot of disorder. A lot of jobs, there’s disorder. Churches that have disorder. But when you get your priorities out of order, you have disorder in your relationship. That’s why we need to say this. If you’re married. You’re ready? If you’re married, I promise God. Y’all speak it after that. I promise God, you’ll be my first priority. My spouse will be my second. See, If you get these priorities right, let me tell you something. If you get these priorities right, everything else will go right. In fact, I’m going to be preaching on purity. If God’s first and you’re mate’s second, you’re going to be able to stay pure. But if not, you might not. I’m going to be preaching on pursuing your mate. I’m going to be preaching on having a partnership with your mate. But listen, till you get the first two, you won’t get the rest. But you got the first two, God and your mate will help you go overcome the rest of them.
James Greer (15:10):
If you’re not married. And we got a lot of not married. Man, did y’all know they had a hundred plus youth Wednesday night? Let’s hear for the youth. A hundred plus. They rocking the house. But if you’re not married, this is what you do. You commit to seeking being the person that God’s preparing you for the number two. You commit to becoming the person you’re looking for. If you found the person that lives like you and acts like you and talks like you, wouldn’t that be good for you? I mean do you, as single, do you still have God first in your life? In other words, you’re seeking the one which has God while He prepares your number two. If you’re seeking God when you’re number one, when He sends you the number two, the two can become one and you both serve Him together. So the two become one. This verse right here, Ephesians 5:31, it doesn’t add up. The addition does not work. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined together his wife, and the two shall become one. It doesn’t work. One plus one is one. When you get married, one plus one is one.
James Greer (16:23):
It’s saying, you’re inseparable. You’re together for life. You say, how can one plus one be one? Well, believe it or not, this is one body. Huh, Mama? But I got a foot. I got a hand, fingers, a mouth. Still one body. It’s joined together. See, when you get married, God intends for you to be inseparable. You want to be with your wife more than you do anybody. And when you’re away from her, you want to be back. I’m telling you, I’m such a baby. I go somewhere. I’ll call you home before I get home. I want Mama home. When I’m away from her, I call her every night. After about the first night, we’re saying, oh, I wish you were here. Just like two little kids. I wish you were here. It’s okay. It’s only been 47 years. We still want to be together. That’s God’s plan. That’s God going–see, you no longer say, what’s in it for me. You ready? If you’re married or in your relationship, this is what you got. It’s no longer what in it for me. What can I do for you? What if you woke up every morning and you started saying, hey honey, what can I do for you and she said, oh no, what can I do for you? Well, if you ask a man that, he’s going to tell you. But I’m just saying, what if every single day. Just forget that one. Just what if every single you said, hey, I’m not married just for what’s in it for me. It’s what can I do for you? What if you said that every single day? I’m going to try to out serve other one.
James Greer (17:59):
Do you realize what it would change in your relationship? Most problems in marriage and all relationships is selfishness. You just want your way. You want it more than anything else. Now we’re going to change it because the two is one. You need to be taking care of your other one to make it one. It’s just like, we’re learning it’s not what you have to do. It’s what you get to do. You didn’t have to marry her. You didn’t have to marry him. You got to marry him. You got to change your perspective. You didn’t have to come to church today. You got to come to church today. It’s a privilege you come to church. You don’t have to tithe, but all of y’all are tithing. You got to tithe. You see what God’s doing in the midst of us? Amen? See, it’s not what you have to do. It’s what you get to do. It applies to your marriage. It applies to your life. You’ll have a better relationship. Not what’s in it for me. What can I do for you? It radically change you. Number one priority is God. He’s my one. My mate’s number two. Y’all ready? I did not say the children. I mean love them. Like them if you can. Depends how old they are.
James Greer (19:05):
But the goal is they get gone and they get grown and they’re gone. Amen? Don’t go. I got the emptiness . No, you don’t. You got a freedom you never had, dude. Rock. I mean they’re not supposed to be ahead of your mate. They’re not. If you’re getting married, as soon as you leave your mother and father, you respect your parents. You love your parents. But your mate becomes a priority over them. Same thing with your hobby, same thing with your job. See, God’s first. Your mate’s second. Don’t even allow the kids, your parents, friends, don’t even allow your mate to come before God. We did something recently. Y’all going to do it. I got it in my phone. It’s the great qualities of your mate. But I have a quality that very few people know about. My wife allows me to have time with God. She doesn’t come in there and say, I cannot believe you’re spending time with God and not me. Some people do that. In other words, she’s not my God. She’s my wife. I don’t want to be her God. I want to be her husband. So she allows. So you don’t let anything come before God. You don’t let your kids, your parents and friends and hobbies come before your mate. Your mate comes next.
James Greer (20:20):
I mean love your kids. Raise the kids. Best thing you can do for your kids is love your mate. Third, the danger of not keeping your priorities or vow. It’s a danger. It’s a danger in your life because when you don’t keep them and you break them, it brings insecurity, brings instability, all kinds of wrong possibilities, and definitely jealousy. Now all jealousy is not bad. There’s a legitimate jealousy. Matter of fact, if you don’t know it, God is a jealous God. There’s a sinful jealousy and there’s a legitimate jealousy. Anytime you put anything before God, He has a legitimate right because of who He is to be jealous. He doesn’t want you to have idols. He wants to be your first place. Idols for a for Christian is when you start looking to anything or anybody to meet your physical, emotional, spiritual needs, other than God. You can easily know what your idol is when you have pain. Who do you go to? When you have a need, when you have a hurt, when you celebrate, who do you really go to? Anything other than God, God has a legitimate right to be jealous. There’s some legitimate rights to be jealous in your family. If you’re married and you got four or five kids, bless you. We’ll pray for you. But if you do, if you do, your husband might come in one day and say, honey, I need some me time. It’s okay. Your husband might be staying, gone all the time, maybe it’s work or hobby. And you say, hey honey, I need some me time. That’s a legitimate jealousy. Amen?
James Greer (22:00):
Wouldn’t it be something, I know people that are married, they don’t care what their mate does. Oh, just go. Travel. Do whatever you want to do. Come back when you want to. You just go with the guys, whatever y’all do. And then these idiot men– that’s the nicest thing I can think of other than stupid– they say, okay, honey, get all your girls and y’all go out together. Now it’s different than going out and going out. Every now and then you want to get together and y’all go out to eat and have a good time. That’s fine. You start sending a bunch of women out to the wrong place together, trouble’s going to sooner or later happen. You shouldn’t do that. By the way, men, you shouldn’t be going with any woman anywhere by yourself. You’re asking for trouble. And ladies, you shouldn’t be going with some other man someplace. You’re working together, and all of a sudden, they say, why don’t I just take you out to eat today? Okay. I could call my husband. He’ll meet us. Don’t put yourself in that position. God is your number one. They’re your number two. And it’s okay to have legitimate time together.
James Greer (23:03):
Now this is really, really hard to do though. It’s hard to get your priorities right. It’s hard to balance your life period, isn’t it? And you’ll do this the rest of your life. You spend way, way too much time with your wife, you might lose your job because you should be at work. You should be working hard. You don’t spend enough time on your job, you can lose your job. You spend too much time on your hobby, it can become your idol. So what I’m telling you, you got to balance all these things. And God says, listen, there’s a legitimate jealousy, but I want to be on the top. I don’t want you to do anything before me. So the first danger is wrong priorities that bring jealousy, but mainly with God. The second thing, danger of priorities and not only jealousy, but the results of breaking a vow, the results of those are something. God says this in Exodus 20. He says, you shall not make for yourself a graven image. Don’t put anything for me. Any likeness or anything it says in heaven above, earth below or in the water. He said you don’t, and that pretty well covers it. God’s making it really, really clear. I’m number one. Your mate’s number two.
James Greer (24:24):
He’s not asking you. He’s telling you. You know, one of the greatest problem in church and Christian life today? We think everything’s optional. You think, well, my opinion is more important than God. So I might do it, I might not. Do you understand the way God sees it? God said, man, I love you so much. I gave my Son. He was tortured and beaten, crucified on a cross. That’s how much I love you. And you’re not gonna love me back? I’m not going to be your number one? I’m telling you, it’s not optional. It’s not your opinion. Because it goes on. It says, the Lord, He said, I am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third, fourth generation for those that hate me. And He shows mercy to the thousands. Thank God. For those who love me and keep my commandments. The word iniquity, you better be careful. It’s saying you’re breaking your vows, you’re breaking commitments to me. You’re inviting punishment, mischief in your life, in your family as well and your kids and maybe your wife. Your children will be predisposed at that point to your sin. That means they don’t have to do it. They’re just predisposed. They’re very likely to have a pull to do the same thing you did that you shouldn’t have done and you brought it in there. And sometimes what people call problems and misfortune and repeated failure is nothing more than a result from breaking a vow or putting an idol before God.
James Greer (26:02):
God made it real clear in Exodus 34:14, though shall not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is jealous. He said, we can call me a jealous God. So first, God’s gotta be number one. Our mate’s gotta be number two. And Haggai 1:6-7 tell us what happens when they’re not. You have sown much. You bring in little. You eat, but it’s not enough. You drink, but you’re never filled. You’re clothed, but you’re never warm. Listen. You ready? And him who earns wages earns wages and puts them in a pocket with holes. You say, I just never have enough to go around. Your priorities are messed up. God said, if that’s you, you’re just doing that and you never have enough. Never, never, never, never, never. God said you better consider your ways. And look who said that. The Lord of hosts, capital LORD, the ultimate authority, the one that rules all the angels. He the one that takes care of you. The one that provides for you. What He’s really saying is I want you to get your life straight now where I can prove to you I can provide and I’ll protect you.
James Greer (27:06):
Consider your ways. Consider putting Him first. Consider putting your mate second. And then we talked about consider your wages, consider your finances. Is God in first place in your finances? And so many of y’all decided to give and to tithe, it’s unbelievable. We hadn’t been preaching on that and y’all just tithing and giving. That’s why we’re allowed to do all these things. We’re paying cash for everything that you see done. It’s because of y’all’s given and tithing. But my question to you is do you have God in first place in your finances? See, I personally, we’re not preaching on tithing and we’re not preaching on you to give God’s blessed us and then some. And I don’t work on commission. Just for your benefit, I don’t get paid at all. I’m the only preacher I know that gets to pay to preach. But anyway, I want you to know though, if you don’t tithe, your robbing from God and you could very likely bring a curse upon your life. Now it’s not because God needs your money. It’s because your heart will follow your money. That’s where your treasury is. Some of y’all need to make a commitment today. I’m gonna put God first. I’m going to put my wife second. I’m going to put God first in my finances as well. You can break a vow and you can get forgiveness from breaking a vow. There’s only one sin that’s unforgivable
James Greer (28:33):
And you can find that in Matthew 12:31. Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. Now let me tell you. That doesn’t mean you said a cuss word and you’re going to go to hell because half our congregation would go to hell, if not three-fourths. Amen? That’s not what it means. What it means is this. If you resist the Holy Spirit, if you reject Christ as your personal savior, if you don’t invite Him into your heart to be your Lord and Savior, that’s the only sin that He won’t forgive. If you’ve sinned today, maybe it wasn’t breaking a vow. Maybe it’s something else and you know you did it. That’s why 1 John 1:9, confess your sins. He’s faithful and just to forgive your sins and cleanse you from all unrighteousness. So what do you do? First of all, you ask God to forgive you. Second of all, if it affected somebody else, your mate, you ask them to forgive. It doesn’t mean that you’ll miss all the consequences. But that’s what you should. David, King David, who at one time was a man after God’s own heart, he committed adultery of the Bathsheba and the reason committed adultery with Bathsheba. Y’all ready? He got his priorities mixed up. He shouldn’t have been at home when he should’ve been working. Priorities will get you in trouble.
James Greer (29:48):
But he did that and she became pregnant. Now he’s already committed adultery. Now she became pregnant. He should have confessed to God and asked for forgiveness. No, no. Added to that, he decided to have her husband killed. Now here’s David at one time, you say, man, he’s a man after God’s own heart. And he really was. But now he committed adultery and he just committed murder. And the point when the prophet confronted, he didn’t confess before then. The prophet confronted him. He confessed. He asked God to forgive him. He was confronted for his sin. He was sorry for his sin. God said, I’m going to forgive you, but there’s going to be some, Bathsheba’s child is not going to live. Not only that, because of the sword, it won’t depart from your house because you murdered her husband. There’s going to be consequences.
James Greer (30:40):
Three of David’s sons were all later killed the same way. Seriousness of sin that’s not dealt with, how it can be passed down. And I tell you, today is the day to break those sins. Today’s the day to confess those sins. I want you to number one as we close, to see the importance of a vow. It has great consequences and it has great blessings depending on what you do. Number two, I am praying that everybody in here makes a commitment to put God first. That’s just not for the married people. That’s for everybody. Do you understand, young people, if you really put God first, He says, consider the Lord of hosts, the Lord is in authority of everything in heaven and earth, the one that created everything, the one that has three-fourths of the angels at His disposal. He calls on an army.
James Greer (31:34):
He said, would you let me show you how I can provide for you? Would you let me show you I can protect you? I mean He wants you to be, He wants to be number one. Your mate can be number two. If you’ve broken a vow, maybe not this vow, there’s something else that’s just really been bothering you, and you know you need to confess it. I don’t know why we do that. We like to hide from God. Like He doesn’t know it. I want to ask you today to ask God to forgive you. He’s faithful and just, and He’ll forgive you. And then last, if you’ve done that and you’ve asked God, you’ve confessed your sins, you’ve repented and you’ve asked God to forgive you. You ready? Stop living in your past. Move on. God doesn’t want you to just live there. God’s got a wonderful present and a wonderful future for you. And that’s what He wants more than anything else.
James Greer (32:21):
Listen, do you understand when you really, I don’t care what your sin is, do you understand if you come and you confess it and you ask God to forgive and then you go back and just say, oh God, I can’t believe I did it, I can’t believe I did it and you keep living that and living it, you’re saying God’s Son wasn’t a great enough price for your sin? It was. And God wants to forgive you that sin. He wants to give you a brand new start. I like in Acts 3:19, it says repent. Change direction because you’re going wrong. Be converted that your sins might be blotted out. Like He just washed them away through the blood. You know why? Time of refreshing might come in the presence of God. God said, listen, I want you to recover from your past. I want you to relax. I want you to obtain relief. One word for it was I want you to have personal revival because your life has changed. He says, I’m chasing you down to bring relief in your life. Would you let me have it? Romans 8:28, all things work together for the good of those who love Him and called according to His purpose.
James Greer (33:25):
He can take something, the worst thing that ever happened in your life and He can turn it around and you can use it to help other people. I see it all the time. I know at least several couples in our church, several, not one. They were off and they were having affairs already. And God impressed upon them to get back together and make it. And some of them are having the best. I had one of them tell me last week, he said, my marriage is better now than it’s ever been in my entire life. See, God can restore. God can give you relief. God can take something bad and turn it around into something good by love. Zechariah 9:12, I’m going to paraphrase it. He says, come back to safety. The safest place in the world is not where you live. The safest place in the world is having God number one. That’s the safest place in the world. It says, come back to safety. Come back to me. He says, I got a promise for you. I promise that I will repay you. You know what He’s going to repay you with? I will pay you with two blessings for each one of your troubles. That’s a pretty good trade.
James Greer (34:29):
God said, I want you to confess it. I want you to deal with it. And you start living the right life. I’ll repay you with two blessings. How would you like to be doubly blessed for every sin in your life? That would be blessed. Amen? Then why in the world would anybody go home today the same way they came? Why would you not deal with your sin? Why would you not have a refreshing? Why would you not make a commitment? God, I want to put you first and I’m going to put my mate second. I’m going to get right with my finance. I’m going to confess every known sin because I want a time of refreshing in my life. That choice is yours. Stand up and let me pray for you. God, you’re an awesome God. Unbelievable, powerful God. Your Holy Spirit’s here in a powerful way, God. Work on hearts. Speak to them. Each one of us, God, what would you have us to confess to free us like never before, a time of refreshing where the Lord of hosts can provide. He can protect us.
James Greer (35:20):
Maybe you’re here today and you want to join the church. Today’s a wonderful day. You can come to the front. We got the altar back open today or you can take your next step card and you can just write on it. What if you’ve never been biblically, publicly baptized? Maybe you were baptized as a baby or a child and you didn’t really know it. Now you know what you’re doing and today you want to say, hey, I want to make a commitment. I want to follow through in baptism. You can write it on your next step card or you can come talk to one of these here. God, I pray more than anything else that we, as a congregation, make a commitment to put you first, whether we’re married or single, divorced, whatever. Let’s just put you first. Help us to come back to the safest place in the world. That’s a right relationship with you. If we’ve broken those commitments and ask you to forgive us, you will. If we’ve broken and you asked Him to forgive and God has forgiven you, quit living in the past. Start living for the wonderful present future that God has for you. God, it’s my prayer that each person would just let you have your way in their life. It’s in the precious name of Jesus I pray. Amen.
Darrell Ingram (36:36):
Man, it’s so good that you’re here this morning. On behalf of Pastor James, we’re so glad you joined us. If you still want to pray with someone, we have people on standby right now. Pastor James is going to continue the series Breaking Up is Hard to Do next Sunday. We want to see you here. Also, the following Wednesday on the 17th, we’re starting a new marriage class, Creating a Marriage that Lasts. We want you to come and be a part. We start at six o’clock. We’ll see there.
Recorded in Pineville, Louisiana.
Your Vow is Important.
(Ecclesiastes 5:4-6, NKJV; Deuteronomy 23:21-23, ESV)
What happened to Ananias is a picture of the importance and danger of making a commitment or vow and then breaking it before God. (Acts 5:1-11, ESV) Breaking vows can be forgiven, but there will be consequences.
It is better not to make a vow before God than to make one and break it. To make a marriage hard to break up, we have to understand the vow or commitment you’re making is not only between you and your mate, but you and God. (Ephesians 5:25, KJV; Genesis 2:24, KJV; Mark 10:9, KJV; Ephesians 5:31-33, NKJV)
Your Vow is Priority.
Our priorities determine: our blessings, direction, and our destiny. God’s Word makes it clear, God first and people second. (Matthew 22:37-39, NKJV) God is your One and your spouse is your two.
Confusion in marriages comes from wrong priorities. It’s when these priorities are out of order that we have disorder. If you are not married, make a commitment to seek the One while preparing for your two. (Ephesians 5:31, NKJV) Don’t allow your kids, parents, friends, or hobbies take the place of God or the place of your mate.
Breaking Your Vows is Dangerous.
(Haggai 1:6-7, NKJV)
When we don’t keep our priorities right and when we break our vows, it brings Insecurity, Instability, and wrong possibilities called Jealousy. There is such a thing as legitimate jealousy. God is a jealous God. (Exodus 34:14, Webster’s Bible)
Any time we put anything ahead of God, called an idol, He is legitimately and righteously jealous. An idol is looking to anything other than Jesus to meet our every physical, emotional, and spiritual need. (Exodus 20:4-6, NKJV) Dangers of not keeping your priorities and vows is jealousy and the result it brings. (Haggai 1:6-7, NKJV)
Inequity; You are inviting punishment or mischief into your life and the life of your family and children. Sometimes what we call problems, misfortunes, or repeated failures are results of breaking vows and putting idols before God. (Exodus 34:14, Webster’s Bible)
If You Break a Vow, it can be Forgiven.
(2 Samuel 12:13-14; 2 Samuel 12:10, NKJV; 2 Samuel 13:28-29; 2 Samuel 18:14-15; 1 Kings 2:24-25)
There is only one sin that can’t be forgiven. (Matthew 12:31, NKJV) If we have broken a vow against God, the first thing to do is confess it and ask for forgiveness. (1 John 1:9, NKJV) Ask the person you hurt to forgive you.