Persistence in Prayer Pays Off

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Jan 20, 2019

Matthew 15:26, NKJV; 1 Corinthians 1:27, NKJV; 1 Corinthians 1:27, MSG; 1 Corinthians 1:28, MSG


“Small disciplines done consistently leads to big results over time”

 Persistence in Prayer Pays off. (Matthew 15:21-28, NKJV)

  1. Jesus always answers prayers, sometimes yes, sometimes no, sometimes not right now.
  2. It is how we respond when others offend us, that will greatly determine answers to our prayers and the peace we have in our life.
  3. Knowing who you are in Christ brings great rewards–you do not give up; you get up and even more persistent in your prayers.
  4. In the persistent prayer, you love and worship Him because of Who He is, in spite of the unanswered prayer, expecting Him to answer!
  5. Crumbs from Jesus’ table are more powerful than a full meal from the enemy’s table. (Matthew 17:19-21, NKJV)

What did this little dog of a woman’s faith change?

  1. Changed the way she looked at prayer; she believed Jesus could and would because of Who He was.
  2. Changed the timing of God.
    1. Putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ you will be healed. (3 John 1:2, NKJV; Matthew 8:16-17, NKJV)
  3. Changed the way others looked at and expected from Jesus.
  4. Changed the way we look at and love Jesus; love Him because Who He is even when He does not do what we want.
  5. Changed the life of her daughter.
  6. Changed the way we look at prayer and persistence.

Persistence in Prayer Pays Off

James Greer: 00:00 We’re going to be talking about how to go from the underdog to the top dog, amen. But man, wasn’t Dallas’s testimony right one? Amen. You know, it’s really, we can’t do life alone, how much we need each other. And if you’re not in a small group, I’d love to encourage you to do that.

James Greer: 00:16 Inside your bulletin, there’s you know, our whole series is about not just trying, but it’s what? Training. And so we’re helping to train you, especially this week, there’s a prayer everyday. Especially if you want to pray it for your kids, or grandkids, that helps you go through that. Man, last week we had the God’s guarantee. We had almost 60 people that said, hey, I’m going to try God out, so I thank God for that. You hear be the church, man, y’all are rocking the house. We had like 300 people sign up, and we got high achievers like Todd, that’s almost through already. It’s an eight week course, it’s okay dude, but that’s great. And then we’re going to have a graduation pretty soon. If you have not signed up for that, and you want to have the online course, you can just tear out of the bulletin, and put your name and email. And I’m going to tell you, and those that are on Facebook, if they want to they can message us, and we will send them the connection.

James Greer: 01:08 Man, aren’t these beautiful flowers? Hey Ms. Rhymes, that’s in memory of Ron, and so they’re for you when the church is over. Okay? So it’s from James, Mark and Diane Rhymes for you. Amen, Ms. Rhymes? So when church is over today, at the end, that’s yours. Alright.

James Greer: 01:28 Well let me tell you what. I mean, I want you to know next Sunday, is friends Sunday. And if you’re like me, I have to invite a bunch of people, before I get one friend. And so I go through my contacts, and I start making a list, I run into people, and this is a time to really reach out. If you understand there’s a story in the Bible, we may be preaching on it next Sunday. There was four guys that wanted to get their friend to Jesus so bad. When they got to the house, it was so full, they had to get on the roof, tear the roof off and let him down. There was way more to the story than that. You have friends, and I have friends that the only thing that’s going to radically change their life, is a touch from Jesus Christ. In fact, Jesus encouraged us even to beg them, to drag them, to be here. Everybody allow God to put somebody on your heart and, you bring somebody with you next Sunday. Amen. I mean, the Bible says, seek ye first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, everything else will be added. That is basically what he said, is I’ve being trying to further God’s agenda, so let’s do that. Alright?

James Greer: 02:30 I want to tell you today, faith comes by hearing, and hearing comes by the word of God. The Bible also says, that God’s given every man a measure of faith, so you have faith. But what I want you to know that I’m learning about faith. One of the reasons, it seems like I felt like I never had enough faith, I love people that have a lot of faith. But my problem was I was trying to put my faith, in the faith I had in me. You want to have great faith, you start focusing on your faith that’s in Jesus Christ. You focus on who he is, and what he can do, and it will grow your faith.

James Greer: 03:05 But I’m going to tell you today we’re going to talk about how to go from the underdog to the top dog. Amen. I understand what that’s like. I know that especially when I was young, most of my life you know, especially in school, I didn’t do very well, and not even elementary school. I mean the fourth grade was a tough year, I stayed there a couple of years, it was tough. I never did really achieve a whole lot in school. And back then, see that’ll do that now, but back then when you cut up, they had a magazine they’d roll that thing up and taped it, and you bent over and they would tear your butt up. And see what I would do sometimes, because I was embarrassed that I couldn’t read. I would cut up, and I get my butt beat up. And so, so many times I felt like I was the underdog. What it really had back then was dyslexia, and people didn’t really know that then, they would put you in a separate group. You know, everybody knew it. There was this color, that color, and then there was us. No, they didn’t say we’re the dumb group, but everybody knew there was something wrong with that group, you know? And so you know, went through life, so you know. I mean we didn’t even know we were, we found out we were poor when the government printed in the paper what poor was. We never knew that before. But so many of the times, you know that I felt that way. I felt like, hey here’s the underdog, you know. And that’s the way that we will live our life.

James Greer: 04:32 See, God never meant that. I wish I’d understood the verse, that we’re all fearfully and wonderfully made, we’re all precious in his sight. Because if not, you behave, you ready? According to which you believe. You only change your behavior, when you change what you believe. That’s why I want you to understand today, there’s going to be some things very important. One of the things were really important that you want to learn. Is how we respond when we’re told no, we’ll tell you where you are spiritually, and you’re mature level. How you respond when you get offended, greatly determines your power in your prayer life, in the peace in your personal life.

James Greer: 05:15 We’re going to see a woman that was told no. We’re going to see a woman, they called her a dog, and she still kept going. Don’t allow the devil though, to tell you how unworthy you are, for God to answer your prayer. Our worthiness in God, and our faith is in God, not in us, and what we do. That’s what I want you to look at.

James Greer: 05:36 Okay, so let’s look at Matthew 15:26, just starts right off and it says, but he answered her, he said to her. And he said, it is not good to take the children’s bread, and throw it to the what? Little dogs. What’s he calling this lady? A little dog. She went from being an underdog though you’re going to see, to a top dog, because she followed the big dog who is Jesus Christ. And what God does a lot of times it says in First Corinthians 1:27, it says, “God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise.” You know why? Because God has chosen the things like me and you, to fool the other people. And God has chosen the weak things of the world, to put to shame the mighty. I mean, God takes regular people. If you look at one of the translations in First Corinthians, 1:28 in the message, it said, “God chooses the nobody’s.” Many times God takes the nobodies, and it makes them become somebody, where God will get the honor and glory.

James Greer: 06:33 But you know, what I want you to learn today, that persistence in your prayer life will pay off. But I also want you to know, that persistence in your day to day life will pay off. Because it’s the small disciplines, done on a consistent basis, that lead to big results over time. And that applies to every area of your life. And so let’s learn how this woman, who was called a dog, went from an underdog to the top dog. Matthew 15:21 and following, and it says, Then Jesus he went out and departed. He was in one region. Now he’s coming into another region of Tyre and Sidon.” And behold, guess what? There was a woman from Canaan. Well, now the woman from Canaan was a Gentile. But I want you to remind you, Jesus came into this region. It said, and the woman who was a Canaan came from the region, and she cried out to him saying, have mercy on me. When you see somebody crying out to God, saying have mercy on me, they’re saying, God, I may not deserve it, but I know who you are. And Lord, the son of David said, my daughter is severely demon possessed. Now what I wrote is if any of y’all have teenagers, you know what this lady felt like. Amen. I mean, it’s just the way it is but also want you to know that it was this mom’s faith that changed the daughter’s life. It doesn’t say anything about the daughter, except for she was demon possessed. And I’m going to tell you, there will be times in your life. You’ll have people that you love, that are so obsessed or possessed that they can’t help themselves, and they need people like me and you interceding to Jesus Christ to set them free. See, Jesus made the first move, he came into her region.

James Greer: 08:28 And if you’ll allow Jesus to make the first move in your life today, he’ll say, I don’t know what’s going on in your life, but here to make the first move. I’m here to help either answer that prayer, or to change your life. The woman cried out, God have mercy. She expected Jesus to answer her, She expected Jesus to heal her daughter, listen to me it’s very important, not because of who she was and what she have done. So many times I have allowed the devil to discourage me and defeat me about really interceding, about expecting God to prayer because of who I was, instead of who he is. So see, she said, listen, one of the most important things you’ll ever do in your life is how you viewed Jesus Christ. How do you view him? How do you view God?

James Greer: 09:18 Anyway, verse forty three, it goes on and it said, “But he, Jesus, didn’t even answer her.” Have you all ever prayed, and just felt like Jesus, where are you at? I have, I mean I felt like it was empty, it was just bouncing off the roof. And then sometimes I pray and I say, Jesus, and it seems like he says, yes. But when this time she prayed, he did not even answer her, and then the disciples came to her, and urged him to say send her away because she cries out after us. My goodness, can you imagine that now? Now there are some people that didn’t understand her. There are some people that didn’t want to help her. There’s some people that said, you’re just a bother. And if you go through life long enough, there’s going to be people you want to help you and they’re not, there’s going to be some people you come in their life, and they look at you just like you’re a bother. See, Jesus always answers our prayer, sometimes it’s yes, sometimes it’s no, sometimes the timing is not right.

James Greer: 10:07 Now I want you to learn something today about the timing. We have a part of changing the timing of God, not the will of God, the timing of God. It’s so important that we understand that. In fact, you’re going to find out just a minute, he told her the time wasn’t right, it’s just not the right time. But listen, you’re ready? How you respond when you feel you’ve been offended, greatly determines the power in your prayer, and the peace in your personal life. I’m telling you, if you don’t get anything else, you’ve got to get this. Because see, she could have easily been offended. Jesus didn’t say anything to her, the people wanted her sent away. And she could just been offended, and she could have given up. And she could of said, hey, you know, they offended me, I’m not going to go there anymore.

James Greer: 11:03 And let me ask you this, who are you allowing to control your life? Are you obsessed with those people who have offended you, and allowing them to control your life? Or are you allowing Jesus Christ to control your life? See, one of the main reasons we get offended, we’re either selfish, or pride. Have you ever said, man, I can’t believe that person talked to me like that? I have. I can’t believe they talked to me like that. I probably talked to somebody else like that. But when you begin to know who you are in Christ, and you start responding according to who you are in Christ, you can then and only then expect greater rewards. Many, if not most, of us would have got offended. Saw Jesus there, saw his disciples, and you cried out. He didn’t even say a word, he did not even acknowledge her. When the disciples did, they acknowledged, and they said, hey Jesus, why don’t we send her away? She’s a bother. She’s bothering us. The truth is, she knew who she was in Christ, and she knew who Christ was to her. She not only did not give up, she got up and was even more persistent than ever before. Because persistence, the right way, always pays off in a big way.

James Greer: 12:25 What has it caused you to be offended? Is it maybe you came to church, and somebody didn’t speak to you? Maybe you didn’t like what the preacher said. Maybe you didn’t like the music. Maybe it was too dark. Maybe it’s too bright. Maybe it’s too hot. Maybe it’s too cold. Do you see, you’ve got to be really careful how you handle offense. The greatest problem in marriages is, and we’re going to be preaching on that pretty soon in February, is how they handle offense. See, she could have been offended, and she would have missed out on the power of her prayer life. And I guarantee you there’s people right here this morning that have allowed offenses to cause them to come between them and God, and therefore you’re not experiencing the power of prayer that God has for you, and I want God to lay that offense upon your heart today, and at the end of the service, I want you to let it go. I want you to say, those people are no longer going to control my life, I going to let Jesus Christ control me. Amen?

James Greer: 13:22 Verse twenty four, “And he answered and said, I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the House of Israel.” First of all, he didn’t speak to her at all. Then she kept screaming out, Then the disciples said, leave me alone, and then he looked at her and said, my time is not right for you. You’re really not a Jew, you’re a gentile. You don’t really fit in, you’re not the right person, you’re not that important in the world. Really the timing is God wants you saved, but the time is not right. Wow. Jesus was telling her, that’s what he’s telling her, the time is not right. Jesus was going to come to the Gentile, but he said, this was my timing to minister to the Jews. It was God’s will for them to be saved, but the timing was left up to her. How we respond when we’re told no greatly tells me where you are spiritually, and mature, wise.

James Greer: 14:22 Verse twenty five, can you believe this? She was told no, the disciples said, I wish you’d leave, Jesus didn’t speak to her. Right? So she stormed out, ticked off, and she said, I’m never going to church again. You know what she did? She came and worshiped him. How in the world do you worship Jesus Christ, and she said I worshipped him saying, Lord, help me. How do you do that, when he’s treated her that way? How do you do that when somebody tells you no? How do you do that when you come to church, and you feel like your prayers are not answered? How do do that when you’re treated in a way you don’t think you should be treated? Because see, she wasn’t worshiping him just because of what he could do, but because of who he was. Now, she knew because my who he was, she also knew what he could do. It’s a big difference. Many times we get angry, we get upset, we stop coming to church, we stopped giving, we stopped serving. Saying, I can’t believe they said that, I can’t believe something happened to me, I can’t believe the preacher did that. You know, those who get hurt too easy, miss out on the power of God. There’s people in their family right now that don’t speak to each other, because somebody hurt their feelings. Get over it, life was not all about you, it is causing you to miss out on the very power of God. The devil wants you to stay offended, he wants you to not forgive, he wants you to be oversensitive. I going to tell you, he wants you to do that. God wants to give you the power of answered prayer like you’ve never had before. Do not allow somebody else’s offense to stand in your way of coming to God.

James Greer: 15:49 She worshiped him, she loved him, she showed affection to him. Y’all know what? I looked this up. I don’t look up the Greek very often, because I can barely spell it. But anyway, I looked at worship. True story. Strong’s talking Greek dictionary says, this particular accounting of worship was meaning, even like a dog licking the master who they love. I used to tell my wife all the time, hey honey, if you want to, you can just treat me like a dog. Because our dog’s got it good at our house. But do you know what? My dog doesn’t care. He doesn’t care how bad I had it at work, he doesn’t care who hurt my feelings, he doesn’t care what’s going on. It’s a she, but she doesn’t care. When I walk in man, she comes running, wagging her tail and just looking, I’ve spanked her before, and she still comes back. Man, this woman said, hey, y’all might tell me no, I’m going to love Jesus. I’m going to worship him. Hmm. The dog loved him unconditionally. This woman loved Jesus no matter what. She loved him so much, even when he told her no. She said, Jesus, I love you, but would you still heal my daughter. That is so cool to me. What a persistent mom. She said, man, God, I love you, I love you. Jesus said, no. He said, get away, your time is not right. She said, I’m going to worship you, and Lord, would you still heal my daughter. I know what that’s like, I’ve had grandkids and kids like that. I will say, no, would you please leave me alone? They say, would you give me $5 anyway? Would you go on, I’m not. Please, how about $2. You know, I mean, they just keep on. I finally said, here’s the money, leave me alone. And sometimes that’s the way with Jesus, he said, listen, I want you to be so persistent, and have faith in me so much, that you won’t let go till I bless you.

James Greer: 17:48 Verse twenty six, “But he answered and said, it’s not good to take children’s bread and throw it to (What?) little dog.” Man, she was a tough little dog. Amen? I’d rather be a little dog with the big dog, instead of a big dog with the wrong dog. Amen.

James Greer: 18:04 Verse twenty seven. And she said, yes Lord you’re right. I mean, she said, yeah, I’m not that important, I’m not even a Jew, I don’t match up to all the religious requirements. This is so great, because sometimes we come to church and we had something we did, or something we said, or the way that we act. And we come to church and say, man, I feel like such a hypocrite coming to church. I feel even worse, coming to ask Jesus Christ to answer. Listen, he came because we’ve sinned. He does not want us to keep sinning, but he wants to forgive us our sins. He wants us to put our faith in him. “She said, yes, Lord. Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the master’s table.” She said, man, I believe you can do it, God. I know that I’m not where I should be, I know I’m not as important as I should be, I know I’m not a Jew, but God would you answer my prayer anyway? See, her faith was in Jesus Christ, not in herself.

James Greer: 18:54 We know when the disciples one time, and they couldn’t get their prayers answered. And they, in Matthew seventeen in the Bible, said to Jesus privately. They said, you know, why can’t we cast this out? Why can’t our prayers get answered? Jesus said, because of your unbelief. Surely I said to you, if you had the faith of a grain of a mustard seed. Have you ever seen a mustard seed? I have little plastic thing, and I have that in there, and I have one little mustard seed. Sometimes I carry it with me. And she said, you know, if I even have the crumbs. And then Jesus said and you could say to this mountain, move from here, and it will be moved. Nothing will be impossible for you. It does not say with God, it says for you. I used to read that and say, God, I’d never can have that much faith. And Jesus said, good, you’re not supposed to. Your faith is supposed to be in me. It’s in what he can do, it’s in what he is. And then he says, some things go out, but some prayer and fasting. And since I’m not going to have a chance to preach on why some prayers aren’t answered, except for prayer and fasting. I want to encourage you this week, pick a day, pick a day, one day. Whether that’s Wednesday or whatever, but just today before we leave, pick one day and say, hey, I’m going to fast all that day. And I’m going to fast in mind that I’m going to pray for somebody I can invite that’s far from God, that needs to come close to God.

James Greer: 20:16 There’ll be some prayers that me and you never get answered, because we never cared enough to fast. Fast is when you have a meal hunger, it reminds you about the relationship that you need with Jesus Christ. When you fast from the meal hunger, and it comes, it’s to remind you about somebody that you love. That says, hey, the only way they’re going to change their life is to get to Jesus Christ. I want to encourage you this week to do that. Pick a day, fast from food, not water, but fast from food and every time you have a hunger pain, you pray. You pick the day. Okay?

James Greer: 20:51 Alright, you ready? Anyway, she just simply said, hey, if I could get the crumbs from Jesus’ table, it’s powerful enough to do it. Verse twenty eight, he sums it up, I love it, here it is. Now here’s a lady, she was told no, the disciples ran her off, Jesus calls her a dog. She’ fixing to be the top dog now. And basically it’s said, you’re not even the right religion, you’re not the right time, the right place. And then Jesus answers her and says, “O woman, great is your faith.” Why was her faith so great? Because she believed what Jesus could do. It’s like saying, woman, man, I can’t believe your faith in me is so great. “Let it be as you desire. And the daughter was healed from that very hour.” Wow. Whose faith healed the daughter? Was it the daughter’s or the mom’s? It was the mom’s. Our faith, and our prayers, can change other people’s lives. That’s what it’s about. That’s why I’m telling you need to be praying, and you need to be inviting.

James Greer: 22:00 What did she change? Number one, she should have changed the way that me and you look at prayer. You know, you might have a child, you might have a grandchild, you might have a loved one, you might have a mate that needs healing, and today you’re going to just pray like she prayed, pray like a mom. Man, there’s no greater, stronger prayers than a mom can have, when she feels like one of her children are in need. I can remember my mom, my mom prayed for one of her grandsons that drove me crazy, and she wouldn’t give up on him. I mean, the whole family gave up on him, she didn’t, she prayed and prayed. When he finally got 40 something years old, he radically changed his life. Every time I see him now, I think of my mother, I don’t think about him. And he does too, he gives his change, and his credit to my mom that never would give up on him.

James Greer: 23:11 You know, she didn’t believe she deserved it, the mom of this woman, she didn’t let that her. Some of you all came today and you get these unbelievable prayer requests, but you don’t think you deserve it, you might not, but Jesus Christ died for me and you. She not only believed that Jesus could, but he would do it. Do you understand how important it is how you see Jesus Christ? Don’t allow the devil to say how unworthy you are. If you’re a Christian, you put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ, you’re a child of God. She changed the timing of God. Did Jesus tell her now is not the time? Jesus plainly said, man, I came to the Jews at this time, and she changed the timing of God. Can I tell you, sometimes your prayers will change the timing of God. See, I believe that God wants people saved, and I believe God wants people healed.

James Greer: 24:10 I believe that Third John 1:2 says, “Beloved, I wish above all things, you might prosper.” In other words, that you could have a better marriage, a better home, and that you might be in good health, and that your soul will prosper. See, I believe in Matthew 8:16 when it says, “Jesus went around and he healed the demon possessed people, and everyone that was sick, and he took our infirmities away.” See, I believe you put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ, not yourself, you can be healed physically, I believe he does that. You can be healed mentally. I do believe with all my heart that much of the mental problems of today are demon possession, and evil that’s in the world, like this woman’s daughter. I believe you can be healed emotionally. Some of you have got so emotional or are emotional wrecks, because people have offended you. And you’re focusing on the offense instead of Christ, who takes care of us and defends us. But I believe every single one of us will be healed sooner or later be healed spiritually, it might be in heaven, but you will be healed. See, I believe that God didn’t have you here today by accident, I believe you’re here by divine appointment. I believe she changed the way that we looked, and what we should expect for Jesus. I believe when other people saw, how she kept on, and kept on, and how Jesus finally answered. It encouraged them to love him, and to expect him to even do more in their life. The most important thing she changed, was her daughter’s life, her persistence paid off.

James Greer: 25:44 Who Has God laid upon your heart this morning? Maybe that you need to come, and you need to pray for. Who do you need to come and invite? Maybe God’s laid upon you about a child or grandchild, or somebody within your family. Listen, understand this very closely, many times is the very person that offended you, the devil’s want to put you apart, and God’s wanting to bring you together. Invite them, invite them. Have you put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ? I mean, as a savior, yes. But the faith in him to do what he can do in your life, and your family’s life, not what you can do? You’re ready? We’re going to close in a minute. How have you been responding when you’ve been offended? How do you do it? How you respond greatly. tells where you are spiritually, and where you are maturely. So maybe today you may want to respond. You ready, let’s close. Today’s the day you learn to respond in the correct way to Jesus Christ.

James Greer: 26:49 Stand and let me pray with you, and for you. Father, thank you for the day. Man, I thank you for this lady’s faith, God, and her persistence. And God, how you healed her daughter. But the lesson is for me, and you, and the ones in here at Journey Church today, God wants us to learn to respond in the correct way. Some of you need to respond, to invite Jesus Christ into your heart. Some of you need to respond, and follow through in public baptism. Some of you need to respond, and join this church. All of us need to respond in a way, listen, that we intercede and pray for those that are far from God, and bring them back close to God. Pray about who you should invite. God, you lay upon each one of our hearts how you would have us respond, and we’ll give you the honor and the glory and praise, Because it’s in Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Recorded in Pineville, Louisiana.

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Achieve a Blessed Life

Achieve a Blessed Life

Achieve a Blessed Life What do you consider to be the blessed life? Would it include riches and fame? Health and wealth? Having lots of children or no children? Own your own business or getting out of business? Travel whenever and wherever you wanted? What the Bible...

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Church Services in Pineville on Sundays at 8:30AM, 10AM & 11:30am

Journey Church is a friendly, welcoming place to grow closer to God
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