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How to Participate in the Spectacular
How to Become a Wise Person. (Matthew 2:1-6, NKJV; Numbers 24:17, NKJV; John 16:13-14, AMP; Hebrews 11:6, NKJV)
What made them wise enough to be participators instead of simply spectators? Because they became participators they got to be part of and see. The exciting thing is so can you if you will do what they did.
What did they do? They believed the Word of God. They were willing to obey the Word of God. Believe the Word + Obey the Word = Spectacular results of the Word.
Not Everyone Wants to Participate in the Spectacular. (Matthew 2:2-6, NKJV)
The wise men wanted to share their excitement and ask the right questions, but not everyone will want to participate in your spectacular event.
Remember, Satan always wants to turn your excitement and spectacular happening into the opposite of what God’s trying to do in your life. If you want to know what spectacular things God’s trying to do in your life, just look at what Satan is trying to destroy and reverse it.
The Results of Participation in the Spectacular. (Matthew 9-11, NKJV)
Rejoicing and exceedingly great joy. When we know the Word + believe the Word + Obey the Word = Rejoicing and Exceedingly great joy. It cost them being inconvenienced.
They got to worship Jesus. Fell down and surrendered. Surrendered – to become preoccupied and completely dependent upon Christ that reflect our behavior.
Giving your best. You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving. What we love we give to and what we give we learn to love. You cannot and will not participate in the Spectacular without the giving of our best.
Sermon Video Transcription
James Greer (00:01):
Amen. Well, good morning, Journey Church. Man, I got into watching it so much. I so excited. You know, every one of those represents a person and every person matters to God. Amen? In a minute, we’re going to give you an illustration and same thing with the light. We’re going to go through a story today. We’re going to talk about how to be a participator, not just a spectator. And we’re going to allow y’all to participate. And then we’re going to say, let’s follow the star. But what we’re going to do, we’re going to start and we’re going to take the star in the New Testament of Jesus’ birth. But if you’ll stay with me, you’re going to find the significance of the star all the way back in the Old Testament and how important it was. In the Old Testament, it was just really, it talks about terrible times, dark times. And they just kept saying, just keep waiting for the star, waiting for the star, waiting for the star. And the star finally appeared and you’ll see why there’s so much joy and rejoice in it is because the star was to bring light in the darkness. So we were going to go, we’ll see, back in a little while, the star in the Old Testament, we’ll see it in the New Testament. And you’ll see how the star was really the type of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit always leads to Jesus. The wise men followed the star. The star led to Jesus. Jesus’ birth was the birth of light.
James Greer (01:35):
Not only was it the birth of light, when we get saved, we become light and we become the light of the world. You ready? And Jesus’ whole mission was to keep us from spending an eternity in darkness. And so it made a full circle of Jesus being the light of the world and trying to keep us from darkness. It also made full circle that how terrible the times were right before light, when you’ll see in the verses, it just says gloomy times, terrible times. And about that time, light came. It talks about in the New Testament, that things are going to get worse and worse and worse and worse. And Jesus is going to come back again. The difference was in the Old Testament, they were so excited to see the light because they didn’t have the star, the type, the Holy Spirit in them like we do. So how blessed we are today. I’m going to read a couple of verses, and then I want you to get your phones out in a minute and let’s look at something. In Matthew 2:1 and 2, it says, and now after Jesus, He was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the King, behold, whole wise men from the East, they came to Jerusalem saying, where is He who was born a King of the Jews for we have seen His star. Whose star?
James Greer (03:01):
His star. It wasn’t just some star. It was His star. It was Jesus’ star. The star is a type of what? The Holy Spirit. And then the Holy Spirit always leads you to Jesus. Okay? In the East and having come to worship Him. Now, it’s really important. See, now that star, it was a birth. It was a light. It was a physical birth, a physical star that shows how you go from darkness to light. Now that’s a physical light. But also, wouldn’t it be exciting to baptize two more people? Amen. Woo! And every time somebody gets saved, they go from darkness to light. See, if you’re not saved, you’re still living in darkness. You don’t have the guidance, direction that only God can give you. Now, also, we’re supposed to baptize two more next Sunday, I mean next service. And you know what that means? We’ve had a goal all year long. What if we could baptize a hundred during the virus? And it looks like this year, we’re going to baptize a hundred even during the virus. Amen? But there’s also a picture of a spiritual light that you go from darkness to light. Now I want to show you something. turn out all the lights. Ooh.
James Greer (04:08):
Now, if you’ve been invited today to come, turn on your flashlight on your phone. If you were invited to come, just turn your light on. There you go. There you go upstairs too. I love it upstairs. Now I can finally see you. Turn them on. Turn them on. There you go. If somebody at one time, keep turning them on, if somebody at one time or another has touched your life, turn your phone on. Turn your light on. If you’ve accepted Christ, turn your light on. Wow. Now you see how one light does another light does another light does another light does another light does another light? It’s kind of like the domino effect. One person invites another invites another invites another invites another invites another. It’s so important. But now everybody turn all your lights off and then turn every light off in the whole sanctuary. Turn the camera lights off. Turn them all off. See, as dark as it is, it’s pretty dark.
James Greer (05:35):
I’m going to read a verse in a little while, and it talks about how the star led to Jesus and Jesus became the light of the world. And you’re gonna find out in John that He became the light, and when we accept Him, we have the light that lives in us. And it’s so important what the light does. Do you understand if every one of y’all was darkness, right? And yet I was saved and I had the light living in me, just me, just me and everyone of y’all was against me, all the darkness of the world because I had the light that it could always overcome, that all of y’all, upstairs too, it wouldn’t matter. Just me having the light. You cannot, darkness cannot comprehend. It cannot overcome light. And it sure can’t overcome this. That was just for fun. Just for fun. And what else you’re going to find in a minute, what you’re gonna find in a minute. Okay. So this is the story. Let it stay off. This is the story.
James Greer (06:39):
So in the Old Testament, it was dark. They could still function. Like right now, you can function. But you can’t get around like you’d like to. I mean I could get to the back. But if I wanted to turn my light on, I could get there a lot faster. Guide and direction. I mean I just turn it on. I could walk right to the back. But without Jesus Christ, it’s like trying to function in here without light. And you’re going to find out when we read verses later on, it says they walked in darkness and in the shadow of death. How do you walk in darkness and the shadow of death? Just to give you an idea of how important this full circle went and you’re seeing the star and how important the star was. In the Old Testament, they had been walking in darkness. They couldn’t wait. They couldn’t wait. They couldn’t wait. They couldn’t wait. They finally saw the star. The star led them to the birth of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ became the light of the world. And then later on, not only did He become the light of the world, it says later on that light lives in you.
James Greer (07:35):
Not only does the light live in you, it says it draws you from the shadow of death. I don’t know what the shadow of death they’re talking about. But cut that out one more time, and let me give you an opportunity of the shadow of death. Over and over again in Isaiah and even in Luke, I never understood that until I followed the star from the Old Testament to the New Testament and why they were rejoicing so much about the star bringing light and following you and bringing you out of the shadow of death. Okay, let’s turn lights on. Y’all ready? Let’s go. Anyway, so what I wanted you to know how important light is and that Jesus Christ is ultimately, He is the light of the world. And so let’s read the Christmas story and then let’s get some insight. Now, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of Herod the King, behold, there was wise men. They came from the East. They came to Jerusalem saying, where is He? That’s what everybody should be saying. Man, where is Jesus? Amen. I mean once you connect with Jesus, you got it. Amen? If you’re here today and you don’t have Jesus in your heart, the Holy Spirit is here which is a type of the star, and He should be drawing you to Him. So they said, where is He who is born King of the Jews for we have seen His star, the star, His star, which is type of the Holy Spirit in the East.
James Greer (09:11):
And we have come to worship Him. That’s why we’re here today. Amen? Worship Him. Hey, we show our love that we care for Him. Then when Herod the King, when he heard this, he was troubled. I’m going to tell you what, if you don’t have Jesus, if you don’t have the Holy Spirit, it doesn’t matter if you’re the king of this world, you’re the king, not the big king, your life is in trouble. See, you’d think he had all the power, all the wealth. And yet when he heard the name of Jesus, it troubled him. See, on the other hand, if you got the name of Jesus and you have the light of the world living in you, even the power of Herod shouldn’t scare you. So I don’t know what’s going on in your life, what you’re troubled about, you’re going to find out today, you should have peace. Amen? And all Jerusalem with Him.
James Greer (09:55):
And when they had gathered together, this is great. They call the chief priests and scribes together and to inquire of them where the Christ was born. Now, listen, here they were, the wise men. They had followed the star. The Holy Spirit was leading them to Jesus. They came to Herod and kind of said, listen, let’s get the scribes of the Pharisees. Who were the scribes of the Pharisees? They were the religious people of the day. They were the ones they went to church every Sunday. They knew God’s Word. You know what’s so scary about this? It’s how easy it is to miss Christmas. See, they knew about Jesus. It’s like you can celebrate Christmas. You can give gifts. You can come to church. You can do all these things. They knew God’s Word and yet they asked them. They said, where is Jesus going to be born? And they said to Him in Bethlehem, in Judea, it’s written by the prophet. They knew the Word. They knew where He was going to be born. They knew about Him. But they didn’t know Jesus. The danger every single Sunday that I fear is there’s people that come and they hear about Jesus, talk about Jesus, they don’t know Jesus. That’s what had happened to them. They were very religious, more religious than anybody here. They knew where He was going to be born. They knew God was going to send Him. They wanted to know about Him, but they didn’t want to know Him.
James Greer (11:19):
But you Bethlehem, you’re in the land of Judah. Are you not the least among the rulers. Now see, they said not only in Bethlehem, but it’s going to be, is that not the land of the least? Have you ever felt like you weren’t very important? I mean you’re just the least. You’re really not that significant. You’re not that important. Well, that’s okay. It doesn’t matter really what other people think. It doesn’t matter if you think, oh, you’re just the least among your family. You live in the least place. You have the least amount of money. You come from the least amount of track. Because I’m going to tell you what, when Jesus comes on the scene, you become important. Amen? I mean now they said, where was Jesus born? Man, He was born in Bethlehem, and it becomes important. Amen? If you ever travel over there, Donald, you know, it’s fantastic. We get to go see where you want to go. You want to go see where the birth of Christ is. That’s the highlight of the trip. Amen? I mean you want to go see it. Now where Bethlehem may be the least, it becomes important. When you come to know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, you become important because you become the child of the King. Amen?
James Greer (12:23):
And out of there show the ruler and he’s going to shepherd my people of Israel. Not only that, now He’s going to be that, and you’ve got a shepherd that’s going to shepherd you. But you know Herod, he didn’t like that. He had secretly called the wise men and determined from them where there’s a star again. So the star has been important from the Old Testament to the New Testament to it was transferred to Jesus Christ. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, go, you search carefully for the young child. When you find Him, you come back with word and then I might come and worship Him also. He didn’t really care. You’re going to learn next Sunday that he didn’t really want to worship Him. He wanted to kill Him and he killed all the male babies two years and under, slaughtered them. When they heard the king, they departed and behold the star is there. There’s a star again? Which they had seen from the East went before them. That’s what you want.
James Greer (13:22):
See, what I was going to do is I was going to use the light in and out through the whole service. But I thought that’d be too much. I could cut it off right now. And I would say, hey, how hard would it be to get from here to the door? And it’d be hard if it was pitch dark. But if I turned the light on, especially the light I have, it would be easy to walk from here to there. And some of y’all have decisions you need to make. And I can tell you what, when you have Jesus Christ in your life, if you’ll let Him make the decision, you let Him shine a light on it, it gets a lot easier when the Holy Spirit’s guiding you than when you’re trying to walk in darkness. Amen? Because when they saw there’s the star again, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. You know, I used to, be honest with you, I used to just wonder why in the world was it so exciting just to see Jesus? Just to follow a star and to see Jesus? Because you’re going to find out later as you read the Old Testament that meant so much more to them. They understood that not only that He was going to be the King, He was going to be the Savior, He was going to be their deliverer.
James Greer (14:33):
It’s just like me. When I when I first got saved, when you first got to saved, weren’t you excited? Amen? I mean Jesus forgave me. He’s going to guide me. He’s going to direct me. I’m going to come to church. I want everybody to watch. And then before long, if you’re not careful, you start taking it for granted. You don’t realize that Jesus saves you from something to something. You don’t realize He saves you from hell to Heaven. You don’t realize He gives you a new life, that He gives you a new direction, He gives you a new guidance. See, that was new to them. That was fresh to them. They had heard about it all their life for years and thousands and thousands and thousands of years. And I was thinking, God, thousands of thousands of years and then you finally got there. And I was reading the other day in the New Testament. You know what it said? A thousand years is like a day for God. I said, all these thousands of years, and God said, well, it took me a couple of days to get there.
James Greer (15:20):
And when they had come into the house and they saw the young child with Mary, His mother, they fell down and they worshiped Him. They opened up their treasures and presented Him the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Isn’t that cool? You realize that Christmas became a tradition of giving gifts? Amen? Nothing wrong. I’m going to give gifts. You give gifts. We all give gifts. But the real tradition was not so much me and you giving gifts. It was giving gifts to the greatest King, the King of all. It was giving to Jesus. If you’re not careful, here we go in traditions again, we give gifts to everybody except for the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Amen? Amen, Brother James. You’re preaching. Anyway, I’m just teaching the truth, man. You learn about a star, you learn about the Holy Spirit and you’ll learn about where Jesus came from and how gifts started.
James Greer (16:09):
How did the wise men even know to follow the star? The star was a type of the Holy Spirit, the same way you know, and listen, if you’re saved, you know what to do, what’s right and wrong. I love it when you used to have the altar call. Wasn’t that cool? I love it because I’d get to come down the front and I would stay there and they’d come to the front and I’d be praying with them. You know? And they’d say, man, I just don’t know if I’m saved or not. And I did this, I did that. And I said, well, why? And I said, well, I just feel so bad and I feel so guilty. You’re saved. How do you know? Because when you’re not saved, you don’t feel like that. You don’t feel guilty. You just do it and rock on.
James Greer (16:48):
The reason they could follow the star is the star is a type of Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit guides and directs you way back, way back, way back. When Daniel was in charge of the Magis, he would teach God’s Word. Daniel was in charge. He was in charge. He was still an ungodly kingdom, but yet he was in charge of teaching what he wanted to. And he would teach them. And Numbers 24:17 said, there’s going to come a time I see Him, but not now. And behold Him, but not near. You’re gonna see a star that’s going to come. It’s going to come out of Jacob, a scepter. In other words, a ruler shall rise out of Israel. So see, these wise men, they had been waiting years and years and years. And they said, man, there’s going to be a star.
James Greer (17:37):
It’s going to come. And the star is going to come and it’s going to stand over Jesus, a type of the Holy Spirit. And it was bringing a type of light into darkness. You’re going to read, I’m reading a little bit in the Old Testament and you’re going to see why they were so excited because they had been in darkness and they had been waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting. And now bingo, Jesus is here. Now we come into the New Testament. We come into the New Testament and Jesus explained, now I am that light. I’m the one that you’ve been waiting for. I’m the one. In John 1:4 and 5, He says, listen, y’all been looking. He said, hey, in Him was life, in Jesus. Not only am I life and the life was the light of man. Who was it the light of? Man. So in other words, you see all the lights while ago? Every single person who’s accepted Jesus Christ, you got the light in you.
James Greer (18:24):
And guess what? The light shines in darkness and darkness cannot comprehend it. Do you understand the power that you have in you now? That’s a physical picture of the spiritual power that you have living in you. Darkness can’t ever overcome you. It can’t do it. I’m going to teach you at the end, I hope to, there’s people say all the time, I’m just in a dark place right now. And I’m going to give you a verse for it. You might be in a dark place, but if you’re a Christian, you don’t have to live there anymore. Amen? Because see, Jesus is the light of the world. He came, you became, the light lives in you. That’s in 2 Corinthians 2:14. Thanks be to God. Why? Because you always are triumph in Christ Jesus because He lives in you.
James Greer (19:01):
Matthew 5:14, He talks about after you get saved, you are the light of the world. You’re what? Not that you want to be. Not you asked to be. Jesus just told you. And in John, He says, hey, I am the light. When you accept me, light now lives in you. You’re the light of the world. You’re a city that sits on a hill that cannot hide. Why? Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand that gives light unto the whole house. In other words, you can be the light in the house wherever you go to work, on your job. Wherever you’re at, you’re to be the light there. There’s a dark world out there, but all these little lights are supposed to be going around. Let your light so shine before man. Why? That they might see your good works and glorify your Father which in Heaven.
James Greer (19:49):
Now, listen, that’s what happened. See how it was dark a while ago and we had all the little flashlights on? When you go out of here today, see, you’re not supposed to just stay at church. You’re supposed to leave here and be the church. Amen? You go on your job, and you say, well, there’s no Christmas there. Yeah, you are. You need to be at that job. You’re the light on that job. You’re the one that can bring peace on that job. You’re the one that can pray for those people that are hurting on that job. See, we’re supposed to go out in a dark world and we’re to be the light. And let me give you insight. When you try not to be the light in the world, ooh, it’s like taking a candle and putting a basket over it. It struggles to get out.
James Greer (20:25):
It sucks for air. And many times what you’re calling anxiety is nothing more, you ready? Not all anxiety. Many times it’s the Holy Spirit’s trying to push up, and you’re pushing down. You say, I just can’t do it. I can’t do it. And the Bible says, I can do all things through Christ. You said, I’m just so fearful. And the Bible says, I didn’t give you a spirit of fear but of power, love, and sound mind. So you’re just pushing back and forth. No, no. I’m going to just be fearful. I’m going to be fearful. And you got anxiety about fear. God said, no, no, no, no, no. The Holy Spirit’s trying to tell you, no, that’s not true. You got a spirit that lives in you. I didn’t give you a spirit of fear, but of power, love and sound mind. So you just push Him back and forth.
James Greer (21:02):
You won’t let your light shine. You see what I’m saying? You’re worrying, worrying, worrying, worrying, worrying, worrying, worrying. The Holy Spirit’s trying to tell you, stop worrying, stop worrying, stop worrying. You’re saying no, no, no. I’m gonna worry. I’m gonna worry. You’re suffocating. You’re bringing anxiety. The Bible says, cast all your cares on me because I care for you. See, you’re the light of the world. You can’t help it. That’s who you’re supposed to be. That’s how you’re supposed to function. You say, well, I just lack. I’m not gonna make it. I’m not going to make it. Why you say that? God said, I’m gonna supply all your needs according to His riches in Heaven. You see that you’re suffocating the light and the life out of your own self?
James Greer (21:38):
See, the star. You with me? The star, the Holy Spirit, He led them to Jesus. Jesus is the light. He came onto the earth. You accept Him, you got the light in you. You try to hide it, He wants to come out. Light always, always overcomes darkness. And when you try to stay dark, you can’t last. There’s a verse in the New Testament that kind of gives you a beautiful picture of it, why it’s so, so important. It’s in Luke 1:79. It says, to give light, Jesus, let’s just say, Jesus wants to give light to those who sit in darkness. Old Testament people said, man, we’ve been in darkness. We need the light. And Jesus came to give those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death. Do you understand when you don’t have Jesus, not only you sit in darkness, you sit in the shadow of death?
James Greer (22:51):
That’s why I always say that Jesus not only saves you from something but to something. Do you understand the shadow of death is, there’s really still a hell and there’s still a Heaven. But see ,the problem, when He says the shadow of death, the reason the star and the light and everything is so important, the reason Christmas is so important, He wants to keep you from the shadow of death. Because if He doesn’t get you from the shadow of death, you’ll live in darkness the rest of your life. He says to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow. Then why? Because I want to guide them into the path of peace. He wants to give you peace. Isaiah gives you another illustration of how bad it was. He tells us in Isaiah 8:22, it’s also a physical picture of people who are lost that aren’t saved.
James Greer (23:43):
Isaiah says, and when they will look to the earth and they’re gonna see all the trouble in darkness and gloom and the anguish. And they’re going to be driven into darkness. It says, man, that’s the way we were living. We couldn’t wait till the light gets here. Can you imagine living like that day after day after day, year after year after year? And then you finally see the star. No wonder there was so much joy and excitement. They’re tired of the darkness. There’s many people feel like, well, that’s what’s going on in the world today. We’re full of trouble and darkness and anguish. 2 Timothy 3:1 says, in the last day, there’s going to be plenty of darkness and trouble and anguish. The difference is today, can you imagine living in the Old Testament? Today, we got the Holy Spirit living in us. We’re the light of the world. We’re the light in the darkness. Just think if you take all the light out. See, everything can be going on in the world, you still can be led to peace.
James Greer (24:30):
Isaiah goes on. Isaiah 9:2 and 3, just keeps talking about it. He said, and the people, they walked in darkness, but they finally saw a great light who dwelt in the land of the shadow of what? Death again. Unto them, a light has shined. Now you see, in the multitudes of the nation and it increased His joy. I’m gonna tell you, when you stay in darkness long enough and you start seeing light, you see joy. They rejoiced before according to the joy of the harvest. People started getting harvest and the men rejoiced when they divided the spoils. I’m going to tell you, there’s excitement. Man, isn’t it great when you start seeing people get saved? Amen? Every time somebody gets saved, I say, man, you just snatched another one from the harvest of the hell. And so man, we should be rejoicing. We should be excited. I mean see, they were rejoicing, there were exceedingly joy. If you went back and read back in Matthew 2: 9 and 10, it said that when they saw star, they rejoiced with exceedingly joy. I mean it was joy, joy, joy, joy. There was darkness, joy, darkness, joy. Because when you really understand what they were saved from, you get unbelievably excited.
James Greer (25:37):
Isaiah 9:6 sums it all up. It says, guess what’s going to happen? Unto us, a child is going to be born. Who was that? Jesus. The Son is given. The government rests on His shoulder. That’s coming. That’s not here yet. You didn’t see the cycle. Darkness, troubled times, anguish, sorrow. The star came. It gave them light, hope. Transferred to Jesus. The star led to Him. He’s the light of the world. We have light in us now. Now the troubles in the world gets worse and worse and worse. We’re still the light. Jesus comes back again. His name’s going to be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace. Do you understand what a wonderful thing that we have that He came to save us from, that He came to save us from the darkness? And He says there, that darkness is horrible. There’s going to be weeping and gnashing of teeth. It says it’ll be terrible. But I’m going to close with what you get.
James Greer (26:51):
When you follow the star, when you get saved, you got a star that’s called the Holy Spirit. And the first thing the Holy Spirit does before you’re even saved, before they even saw Jesus, that star drew them to Jesus. If you’re here today and you’re not sure that you’re saved, it’s the Holy Spirit that’s drawing you to know that you’re saved. See, not that you just come to church. The most religious people in the world and the first Christmas missed it. They knew about Jesus. They knew where He was going to be born. But they didn’t know Jesus. You got to simply know that you sinned, believe Jesus came and died for your sins and shed His blood, invite Him into your heart to forgive your sins and make sure one day, this gold means you’ll go to Heaven. And still then, this green keeps growing and learning, man. So the Holy Spirit comes to draw us. Once you’re saved, you got the Holy Spirit, He comes to guide and direct you. Some of you got major decisions you may need to make today.
James Greer (27:56):
Let me give you the illustration. If I turn the lights off and I get this bright light, everything else could be dark. I can shine that light. I simply go from there to there to that door anyway. Some of y’all need to know that certain doors need to be open, certain doors needed to be closed, some of those decisions are financial, some of those are marriage. You need to let the Holy Spirit through God’s Word and God’s counsel help you make those decisions. Those decisions made the right way will give you peace. So He’ll give you a guide. One of His names is Wonderful Counselor. He wants to counsel you. So quit going to the wrong people and the wrong places and let God through the Holy Spirit guide you. Some of you, you just need a Father. Maybe you never had one. Maybe your father has passed on.
James Greer (28:50):
One of the things that He says, He says when He comes, He’s going to have an Everlasting Father. He wants you to have a father relationship. He says, hey, I want you to have a relationship with God. When you accept Christ, you have a father relationship with Him. He wants you to go to Him like He’s your father. Let Him care for you. Let Him shepherd you. Some of you need peace. He is the Prince of Peace. He told you back in Luke that I’m going to walk you to peace. The Prince of Peace, you do know now lives in you? And if you don’t know Him as your Savior, why would you leave today without having the light of the world and the Prince of Peace living in you?
James Greer (29:39):
And then this, I hear it a lot of times and especially y’all that are on staff, people say I’m just in a dark place right now. We all have times we’re in dark places. But I want you to remember this verse,, Luke 1:79. We’re going to use it. When people tell us from now on they’re in a dark place, we want to pray with them, we want to pray for them, but we want tell them Jesus came to give light to those who sit in dark places. We want to pull them out of the shadow of death. And I want to tell you a couple of things about the shadow of death. We don’t want anybody to ever take their life again. We have it too often here. If you’re in that point of shadow of death, let us know. Tell us. Let us show you can have life in the land of the living. And I know there’s as many as 10% of the people between here and online that are thinking that. So please don’t do that. This is a word for you right now. Jesus said, I give you light to those that are sitting in darkness and in the shadow of death. Don’t do that.
James Greer (30:42):
You know the rest of the verse? To guide your feet unto the way of peace. God wants to guide your feet to peace. Maybe you’re here and you’re just in turmoil. Guess what? God says, I’m going to guide you to peace. So God’s got peace for you. So I don’t know whether it’s His guidance, His direction, what it is you need in your life, but God has it for you. But it all starts with making sure that Jesus is your Savior and He’s your Lord. So as we stand and I pray for you, I want you to make sure that you’ve done that. Father, I thank you first for your Son, Jesus Christ. I pray for those that may not have Him as their Savior, that today right now, that they just admit they’re a sinner. They’d like to Him to come in their heart. I pray for those that are in a dark place right now, that you would see how you don’t have to stay there anymore. I don’t care how dark it is. I don’t care how you feel. Jesus Christ, He came, He died where you do not have to stay there. He went to the cross, but He rose from the grave. He overcame darkness and He wants to give you peace.
James Greer (31:55):
Maybe you need to make decisions. Let the Holy Spirit guide and direct you. Maybe some of the decisions are to get saved, follow through in public baptism. We got baptism today or you can do it next Sunday. Maybe it’s to join this church. You got a next step card. I think most people have next steps. I think most of us have a next step whether it’s to join and get baptized, get in a small group, continue to read, confess, whatever your next step is. Bring the next step card out. Maybe you need somebody to pray with you, to pray for you. What I really want you to do is see you got the light. You got the Holy Spirit. I’m asking the Holy Spirit to shine the light on what you need to do or what you need to stop doing to give you peace, give you direction. All in the precious name of Jesus. Amen.
Darrell Ingram (32:57):
On behalf of Pastor James, we’re so glad you joined us in worship today. If you still want someone to pray with you and for you, we have people on standby. What is fixing to happen here at Journey? We’re going to have the second Pepe book coming out and I’m excited because it’s Pepe and The Greatest Story Ever Told. You can pick one up for $5. So everyone come get you one. On behalf of Pastor James, Merry Christmas.
Recorded in Pineville, Louisiana.