Winning is all about the heart and being on the winning team.
- Example of the two teams.
- God’s team
- God’s team will be together for eternity in Heaven. 1 Corinthians 2;9, NKJV
- Devil’s team will be together for eternity in hell. Luke 16:19-31, NIV; Luke 16:19, KJV
- God’s team
- “Say Yes”—an opportunity to start making plans for the score at the end of life.
- “Say Yes” is the safest investment we will ever make.
- It produces rewards here on earth and in heaven which are the only rewards that last. 1 Timothy 6;19, TLB
- By giving to “Say Yes” we are really saying yes to Jesus.
- At the end of the game, we will be glad we were on “Jesus Team.”
- We are not only giving to God—we are investing in our future. 1 Timothy 6:17-19, TLB
- Investing to further God’s Kingdom—God will always do His part by taking care of us.
- Both owners will be trying to draft you into their teams. Matthew 4:8-11, NKJV; Luke 16:19-31, NIV; Luke 16:19, KJV
- Jesus is teaching us the importance of us using whatever we can to get people to heaven and keep them out of hell.
Sermon Video Transcription
James Greer: 00:03 Man, I can’t believe it. You know, I started out today, I came in, I’ve got my LSU. Man, I’m excited, LSU won, right? I watched this video, and the Falcons were starting to win, but at the end the Patriots won. And you know, it’s so true, so many times it seems like we just want to be on what looks like the winning team at that moment. But what I want you to know, what really matters, what happens at the end of the game, right? Right Todd? You know. So doesn’t really matter, you know, how we play the game. But it matters, that we win the game.
James Greer: 00:42 Hey, let’s welcome Alexandria campus, Amen. Man, and Carlisa is over there, you know, she plays our keyboards. She got to be a principal. She’s got her band over there, they got their cheerleaders over there, and they’re just rooting them on to further the kingdom. You know, I thank God that Jesus is the owner, the coach of our life, we’ll be winners not only here on earth, but in heaven one day. See I believe God blesses us individually, and cooperatively. He blesses us as one church, but there’s two locations, but one church. And I think that he blesses you individually. That’s why I think it’s great to have the Say Yes campaign. It gives us an opportunity to be blessed cooperatively as a church, and individually. See some people who can’t teach, or preach, or are sing. But I want you to know some of the greatest supporters we have, you wouldn’t even know who they are. They’re behind the scene, and God has blessed them. And one of the ways they’re furthering God’s kingdom is by what they’re giving. In Luke 6:38 it says, “Give, and it shall be given to you, good measure, pressed down, and running over.” And it doesn’t say what you give, it just said give. And the greatest gift you ever give, is you give love. We’ve got seniors that are just blessing us unbelievably. They might not be at the point that they can sing, or teach, or preach, at this time, but I mean, you got like Ms. Elizabeth, and Joe, and Budgie, and Dorothy, and just all of our seniors. You’re going to be shocked, they may not teach, they may not preach, but they pray like unbelievable, and they financially support every vision that we’ve ever had. So Journey Church, we’ve got a great team, Amen. And speaking of the Journey Church team, that’s my team right there, Journey Church. It is the greatest team of all, man. I just thank Journey Church people, because they have a heart for God.
James Greer: 02:45 But on the way this morning I was really wrestling. Wrestling with who? With God. About I really don’t like to preach on money, and I don’t want ever want anybody to come to church and thinking it’s about money, it’s all about the heart. But I loved it when I finally came to church early. And God, I said, that you know, give me a peace about it. Because I was really struggling with it, because when I was young and went to church, I thought that’s all they ever wanted. By the way, I never preach for money, I don’t even take a salary. I prayed to God I never will. I preach because I want you to have a blessed life, and God really, really convicted me this morning, it’s all about the heart. It’s about my heart, it’s about your heart. But the insight was this, if I can focus and I can get Journey Church people to listen to me, to focus on furthering God’s kingdom, which is what we’re trying to do. Ready? Then God focuses on meeting every other need in our life. Did you get that? That’s big. And all of the sudden, God just gave me peace. He said, you know one of your favorite verses Matthew 6:30 says, “To seek ye first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and everything else will be added.” He said so it’s focused on furthering the kingdom, don’t ever feel bad about furthering the kingdom. And as your pastor, if I can help you focus on furthering the kingdom, then God focuses on meeting the needs in your life. And I think the further we get away from focusing on the kingdom, the farther we get away from having our day to day needs met. And I’ve learned over 40 years in the ministry, one of the ways God often gets my attention, is through my finances.
James Greer: 04:28 God wants our heart. Some of you don’t even know what Say Yes is, and Say Yes is really a movement of God, that’s what it was. You have this in your bulletin, and you can look at it, and pray about it and see what God lays upon your heart. But I see it as an opportunity. I see it’s an opportunity for us to help as many people as we can, to get across the finish line. And the moment they accept Jesus Christ, they’re across the finish line. It’s not an obligation., it’s an opportunity, it’s an opportunity to be a part of a movement of God. If you haven’t ever had that opportunity, you can start today. It’s funding, and help fund the Alexandria campus. Because see, money always measures our heart. We use our money for ministry, or money will be our master, it is all about the heart. That’s why in Matthew 6:21 it says, “Where their treasure is, your heart is also.”
James Greer: 05:28 And so let me tell you where are we at in Say Yes. You all ready? Say Yes. Are you all ready? Say Yes. Journey Church, are Y’all ready? Say Yes. Let me give you an idea, Alright. Already one year into it, we’ve already received $328,000. And I just did this, listen, 25 percent of everybody committed to give, has already totally given, their total commitment. Forty-eight percent are in the process. Only 25 percent of the people that committed never started, and that’s okay. If that’s you, don’t worry, don’t feel guilty. You can opt out, or you can re-up to whatever you feel like you got going on in your life. It’s all right. Seventy-three percent of every single person that committed to Say Yes has either given, or has already paid out. That says something about Journey Church, Amen. The goal today is for those that are giving, that are halfway, don’t stop. Those that have never given to Say Yes and want to, today’s a great chance to do that. Because what we take up in Say Yes the next three weeks, a minimum of 10 percent can go to our Haiti mission. And our Haiti mission, I’ll tell you more about it next week. Or in the next few weeks, the next month, you’ll have an opportunity to sponsor a Haiti child yourself.
James Greer: 06:47 What do the numbers mean? What do the numbers mean? It means we started with a vision, and a dream. And a 52 day miracle built a new sanctuary or opened a new sanctuary. Thanks to Jay, and a lot of work he did, man. It just came about in 52 days, and people were going over bringing rocks, and praying. So we got to see a miracle right off the bat, but the building is not the miracle, the people are the miracle. They’ve only been there for six months. Journey Church, Alexandria you all have already had 47 people join, plus the ones that are going to join tonight. If you’re at Alexandria campus, today’s a good day for making it your home, Amen? But listen to this, they’ve already baptized 22 people, six months. And God said, you know when in reality, when we understand the real finish line, when we understand heaven and hell. What would we give to get one person to cross the finish line? Way more than we’ve already given, Amen? Changing lives, and God’s blessing, and Darrell’s doing a great job leading there. It’s just a great time, and man, if we just save one person, it’d been worth everything that we’ve done. But God has multiplied both here, and there, I believe because our unbelievable, unselfish, and generous giving.
James Greer: 08:08 I love that video about the Falcons and Patriots, I’m was really going to come out, I was going to take this off, and wear the Falcons. Because if I was just [inaudible]. I don’t know that much about football, but if it was 28 to 3, and I walked in and I was going to pick a team, I would have probably picked them. I like to be on the winning team, even if I don’t know them, I just like to win, Amen. I mean you understand they’re behind 28 to 3, and they go into halftime, can I tell you halftime can be your best time. Halftime in your life can matter, halftime can be the greatest time in your life. Your life could change today, from what look like the losers, to be unbelievable. So see, they came back after halftime, and they tied it up 28 to 28. You all ready? And so after halftime I’d want to be on the Patriots team, Amen? Because after that, they went into overtime, and they won the game. And it was just unbelievable, they said it never has happened in the history before, so then I would change. Now see, now I’d want to be on the Patriots team.
James Greer: 09:24 You know what though? What’s going on in your life? I don’t care how far behind you might be in life. If Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior, you can come back. And you can come back stronger than you’ve ever been before. You might feel like you’re a failure, but you know, Jesus said, come back. You know when I really started thinking about the come back, you know Jesus Christ himself at the end of his life, everybody deserted him. They nailed him to a cross, and they put him in the grave, he came back, Amen. He’s the great comeback, and it really happened. But it was a picture of my life, and your life. Sometimes we feel like life is over, sometimes we feel like life is hopeless, but we can come back. You might be here, and you’ve never been married, and you’re getting old, and you want to be married. It could still happen. You might be here divorced right now, you might be on your third marriage, you can still come back. The last half of your life, can be the best of your life. You might have gone broke, you might be broke right now, me and Debbie know what that’s like. We know what it’s like to be in the middle of our life, and be broke, and lose everything financially we had in our life. You can come back. The last half, can be the best half. See, I don’t care how far down someone is, you can still come back.
James Greer: 10:55 What I want is the latter years of my life, and the latter years of Journey Church to be the very best years of life period. Do you know, Haggai 2:9 says, “The glory of the latter temple shall be greater than the former sayeth the lord of hosts and in this place I’m going to give peace, says the Lord of hosts.” Man, that’s what I want, I want to be at the latter half of my life, I want to have peace. In this church I want to have peace, I want it to be the best time we’ve ever had, but remember you’ve got to be on the winning team.
James Greer: 11:28 There’s always these forces, their coaches, or owners, or whatever, and they’re always pulling you in two different directions. The same way in life, there’s really only two teams. Life is not as complicated as we make it. There’s the devil and his team, and there’s God and the winning team. Who’s team your on will make a difference. The thing is, so many times we look what’s going on earth, and we forget to look to what’s going on in heaven. I mean the Falcons and Patriots, you know at halftime, it radically changed. You can be here today and your life could radically change. You can get on the winning team, which is God’s team. There was a man in the Bible who looked like he was winning. Man, it looked like he was a home run. Looks like he was way up in score. If you’d looked at him, you’d of said he has everything going with him. And the story is in Luke 16:19. There was a rich man. What kind of man was he? Rich man. What kind of man? A rich man, and he dressed in purple, and fine linen, and he lived luxury in his life. When it says fair, it means he was fortunate. He had a fortune, and he was famous, and he was flashy. Everybody knew him. I mean he had a Lambercamels, you know what a Lambercamel is? It the Lamborghini of a camels. I mean, he had the best camels in the world. I mean, if you walk by his house, if you saw him dressed when he went out to eat, everybody said, hey, there’s Mr. Rich Man. He’s got it all. He’s got the clothing, he’s got the home, he’s got the camels. I mean, he’s got everything that you would want, it looked like he was on the winning team. There was a problem about this rich man. He never stopped to think what the end game was. He never thought where is he going to be later on? See, that’s why I say the Say Yes campaign is way more than raising money for an Alexandria campus. See Say Yes, listen, giving me and you an opportunity to start making plans for the end of our life, where the score really matters.
James Greer: 13:38 See, making the safest investments you can, we need to learn to invest in heaven before we get there. In the Bible it says in heaven there’s many mansions. If it wasn’t so, I would not have told you so. Hey, I want to have a nicer mansion, but I want it to be in heaven where it doesn’t fade away. Because at First Timothy 6:19, look what it says, it says, “Listen, by doing this, they will be storing up treasures for themselves.” Where? In heaven. By doing this you can be storing up treasure. Where? In heaven. We forget that’s where we’re going to spend eternity, and it’s the safest investment for eternity. And they’re going to be living a fruitful life down here. Do you understand that the tithe is God’s. When you take it first, you’re stealing. But what you give above that, God says, listen, I can begin to bless your life. Not only here, but better than that. I can bless your life in heaven. You’re sending treasures before you get there. It’s the greatest reward you can have. You can have them here, and there. See now you’re no longer just giving to God, you’re investing in your future. Man, I going to tell you, I want to invest in my future. But the rich man, he didn’t see it that way. It looked like he was winning in verse 19. You’d have thought he had it all together, but we come to verse 20 of Luke 19, and at his gate laid a beggar named Lazarus. Man, he was covered with sores, he was longing to eat whatever just fell off the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. He doesn’t look like much of a winner, does he? In fact, if you saw him, you’d say, boy, he’s a loser. Some people say, well, you see he’s getting what he had coming to him.
James Greer: 15:27 We better be careful. Verse 22 says, and the time came when the beggar, he died, and angels carried him into Abraham’s side. And the rich man he died, and was buried. Can I tell you? Every one of us is going to die, apart from Jesus Christ coming back. See, we’re getting to the end game, we’re getting to where it where it’s played out. The only winners are those people that can step across that line from Earth to heaven. The only winners are those people that can step across the line, and accept Jesus Christ. See, the winner is about to be announced in verse 23. He’s fixing to tell us what’s going to happen. He said, in hell, uh oh, where he was in what? Torment. He looked up and he saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus at his side. So he called him, Father Abraham have pity on me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire. Who’s winning now? Who’s on the winning team? The rich man probably had never even spoken to Lazarus, he had probably never even acknowledged him. Let that be a warning to me and to you. Be very careful not to judge what somebody looks like physically. Because see, they might have a spiritual connection that’s way beyond what you have physically. And at that time he said, man, the rich man would’ve said, Lazarus, I want your spiritual connection. I would give all my money, I’d give all my wealth, to have your spiritual connection. But verse 25 says this, but Abraham replied, and he said, son, you remember your lifetime. Oh, we better remember our lifetime. You received your good things. Things, not always payday on Friday. While Lazarus, he received bad thing, but now listen, he’s comforted here and you are in agony. See, what we see on earth, is not always what happens in heaven and hell. See, really while we’re on earth, let me tell you something, we’re really nothing more than getting prepared for heaven or hell. Verse Twenty Six says, and besides all this, between us and you, there’s this great chism, this great valley, has been set in that place. So that those want to go from here to you, they can’t do it. Nor cross over from there to us. It’s settled. It’s over. Once it’s done, you can’t do anything about it. In other words what we do here now. So he says, verse 27, he says, well, he answered and he said this, then I beg you Father, send Lazarus to my house. Send them to my family, I’ve got five brothers. You got any brothers and families that don’t know Jesus Christ? Do you realize what Say Yes is all about now? Do you realize what you give, and your finances is not that big a deal now? Did you know that I pray somewhere, if it’s not this church, and not Alexandria Church. That my family, my cousins, and my brothers, anywhere and everywhere, somebody else reaches them for Jesus Christ. I hope they’re having campaigns, and they’re inviting people that don’t know Jesus Christ. I hope they’re trying to reach people far from God, and bring them close to God. This is what it’s all about. And he said, let him warn them, so that they won’t also have to come to this place of torment.
James Greer: 18:57 See, I’m going to tell you it’s torment. But Abraham replied, they’ve got Moses and the prophets, let them listen. You understand what the illustration is? He was saying, listen, there’s a real hell, and there’s a real heaven. And there’s players while they’re here on earth, and the players, that Moses and the prophets, let them listen to them. That’s me and you, that’s our goal, that’s our purpose, that’s our game. Our game is to do everything we can do, to get as many people into heaven, to snatch as many people from hell, that they can go to heaven. It is our job to get everybody, everyone’s that this side of heaven owes everybody on that side of hell, an opportunity to hear how to go to heaven. And whether that Say Yes, whatever it is, you need to be a part of it and I need to be a part of it, Amen? So Abraham said, but you know what? If someone even from the dead goes to him now, they wouldn’t repent. He said to them, they did not listen to Moses, they don’t listen to the prophets, you know they not going to be convinced to listen to somebody from the dead.
James Greer: 20:05 As I get ready to close, I want you to be very serious. I don’t want anybody to step up, and step out til we’re through. These are some of the most important decisions you’ll ever make in your entire life. We need to all do everything we can do to help somebody else step across the line. Whether that’s Say Yes, if you hadn’t been a part of Say Yes, that’s okay. If you want to be a part of Say Yes, you pray about it, and you can turn in the card, and you can turn it into the Next Step kiosk in the back. Right now this is my concern. Are you sure that you’re on the winning team? Have you given your life and heart to Jesus Christ. John 14:6, Jesus said, I’m the way, and the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father, but by me. You can only come to the father through Jesus Christ. There’s not many teams, there’s not many ways, there’s one way. Would you really pray, and ask God what he’d have you do, even with Say Yes. And quit looking at Say Yes as a financial commitment, and look at Say Yes as a way of being part of you having rewards in heaven, and here on earth at the same time. If you’re here today, and maybe you came, and you’re discouraged, feel defeated, maybe hopeless. Would you ask God to say, hey, this is the time I need to change. Can my next half be the very best half of my entire life? You know what else? Maybe you have a loved one, might be in your family, might be a friend, and they don’t know Jesus Christ. And I’m praying that the Holy Spirit puts on my heart, and your heart, a burden to get them on the right team. And right now, if God brings them to your mind who they are, I pray that you’d come today, and then you’d start praying for them right now. Pray that their heart would be tender, pray that God would send the right people, pray that God would give you the wisdom and the right words to say at the right time. It’s all about the heart. Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not on your understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and he shall direct your path.” Man, do you understand that this message, this series is everything, is all about you allowing God to direct your life.
James Greer: 22:34 Would you stand and let me pray with you, and pray for you? God, you’re an awesome God. God, I’m so thankful I’m on the winning team, and I thank so many here on the winning team, I thank them for their support. God, I pray we never forget what are calling really is. That we don’t come to church, and just play church. I thank you for so many that have given. Not only just to Say Yes, but those that give every single Sunday. God, I pray a special blessing of protection their lives. God, I pray for those that might not know that they’re on winning team of Jesus Christ. In just a moment they’d step across the line. I pray for those that don’t know about what they should do with Say Yes, you’d just give them a clear goal. I pray for those who are here today that are discouraged, and feel defeated, that this will encourage them that their last half, their next step, can be the very best in their life. I pray for those that have never been biblically, publicly, baptized. That today would be the day that they would do that. I pray that God called you to join this church, today would be the day. And then God for all of us, God, you’ve already put some people on my heart as I’m preaching, as I’m teaching right now. That I want to start praying God, that I can witness to them, or the right people come in their life, that they could walk across the finish line into heaven one day. And God, I pray that every single person here right now, you give them a burden for somebody, and they come today and they began to pray for that person. That they would pray that you would open the door. And God, whatever it is that you want to guide us and direct us. It’s in your name I pray. Amen.
Recorded in Pineville, Louisiana.