Sermon Video Transcription
James Greer: 00:00 Whoo. Hey, I don’t know if you are for LSU or if you are for Alabama, but it was a great game, Amen? And I’m going to tell you this, people were so excited and they were cheering and they were going on. And man, I was listening that last song. I think, man, we ought to give God a hand. Amen? I mean, you know, always remember, I don’t care what you’re going through in your life, God’s word, and God’s promises are more powerful than your problem. Another thing, you could almost put it another way. I don’t know what your greatest problem is, but God has a promise. If you meet the condition of it, he’ll pull you through. Amen? So we’ve been doing a difference a decade could make. That’s a 10 years, man. We’ve been here for 10 years.
James Greer: 01:02 We’ve had 189% increase. We’ve baptized 767 people without additional 2,412 members in the last 10 years. Do you see what can happen if you do something consistently over a long period of time, it could make an unbelievable large impact. That’s really what all the messages are about. We’re celebrating our 10 year anniversary. In fact, inside, if you want to. We’re said very little about it, but we’re going to a give you an opportunity next Sunday if you want to. It’s an opportunity to give so to the next decade, so into your personal life and give away. A way of saying thanks to God and give you a way of saying thanks to Journey Church. Now what I did is do this. Don’t put any pressure on yourself because God loves a cheerful giver. Don’t and don’t give out of guilt. I’ve used to come to church and I always thought the preacher was preaching to me and he wanted me to give and he wanted my money, and I hated that church. Amen? That’s one of the reasons God blessed me. I never took a salary at church. I think it’s okay. I think you should pay the preacher. I think you should pay him good. God had me in a different situation, different circumstances in life. And I never wanted anybody to think I was doing it for money and I didn’t ever want to start doing it for money. I do want to do it for the blessings of God.
James Greer: 01:55 What I’ve found out, the two greatest miracles that have ever happened in my life came out of being obedient. One, when I first started coming to church, I would come on church because I thought my kids needed to be in church and they did. But, through that God spoke to me, I gave my life to Jesus Christ at a later age. I’m a late bloomer. I didn’t go in the ministry until I was 30 something years old. Then I was teaching a Sunday school class.
James Greer: 02:42 Some of us know Terry, and I didn’t read very well. I was about a fourth, fifth grade reading level. I had dyslexia. I had learning disability and God takes weak things and use him for the strength. But because I was obedient, one of the greatest miracles that God ever did my life was allow me to read well enough to preach. But if I wouldn’t have been obedient in that area, I wouldn’t ever get to see the blessings that I’ve seen. The other greatest blessing that I’ve ever had. I can remember the day, I can remember where I was, I can remember where I was. I was at Faith Baptist church. Brother Harry Gainey was my pastor. He had been taking me through some life courses and he brought in a preacher named Dr. Jean Pritchard and Dr. Jean Prichard, preached on Luke 6:38. And God had already started convicting me about tithing and I didn’t tithe.
James Greer: 03:29 I was very active coming to church and from that day on, I started not only tithing, but listen, I started looking for small opportunities to give. At Journey Church you don’t have to look too much, we’ve got plenty. We got Haiti, we got missions, we’ve got the point. But we didn’t have that back then. We really didn’t. And what I didn’t know that was the beginning, you ready? Of the greatest financial blessings that God could ever bestow on a person. See, everybody works. I worked, I worked hard and just got through from payday to payday, but something happened that day. I didn’t put a check in the mail and get a check the next day. I just learned to be obedient every single week and I began to see God miraculously, supernaturally opened doors. Most of them, you already were not even where I was working. There were other places and other circumstances, but they were so clear that they had to come from God. That’s what I want for you. So many times I don’t want to talk about money because I got bad taste in my mouth, and you did too, but I do want the blessings of God.
James Greer: 05:01 The whole series was God wants to bless you in every single area of your life. See, I think we struggle with two areas. I think we struggle with finances. All of us, and I still have areas I struggle in finances, there are just more of them. Yeah. And in marriage and in relationships.
James Greer: 05:05 And so I said, you know, today, God, you know, if I want us to be blessed the next decade, I’ve got to address those two areas. Today, I’m going to address how to be blessed financially. The next two Sundays I am going to address how to be blessed in your marriage or in your relationship. See, I believe that God has principles that anybody could apply, if you do it on a long basis, long term basis, God will bless you. I used to not believe that. I thought, oh that guy was lucky or he came from a certain crowd. That is not true, God’s blessings are not conditioned upon where you came from. God’s blessings are not conditioned on what you’ve done in the past. God’s blessings on where you’re at and where you want to go. Amen? And I want us to go somewhere. Amen? God wants to bless you and God wants you to be a blessing. If there’s anything want you to get through this series, I want you to know that God wants to bless you and God wants you to be a blessing. Amen?
James Greer: 05:35 Ephesians 1:3 puts it this way. He said, blessed be the God, the father, our Lord Jesus Christ who blesses us with what? Every spiritual blessing in heavenly places by Jesus Christ. He said, everyone. So, I want to give you a review on how he came up to that. First of all, you need to know what it means to be blessed, what it means to be blessed as God takes what we have naturally, and he multiplies it in a way that he meets every single need in our life, physically, emotionally, and spiritually, and we have some leftover. That’s what it means to be blessed.
James Greer: 06:36 I mean, he just takes your natural thing. I can’t wait for some supernatural it when God uses me. That is supernatural. You just don’t know it. But, he takes the natural things and he gives me what I need every Sunday to be able to preach and then some. It’s like when Jesus took the five loaves and two fish and he fed the 5,000 and then he had it left over. He blessed it, gave them what they needed and did some. That’s what it means to be blessed. And I’m going to tell you, God wants to bless everybody in this room and online and in Alexandria. Amen? But there’s a universal law that God put into place that universal law is Galatians 6:7, don’t be deceived. God is not mocked, whatever you man sows, whatever a boy or girl sows shall reap. What that means is I preached that last Sunday and I was leaving and somebody said, man, I wish you could explain that better. I mean, what you sow you reap, amen? You want to change what you’re reaping, change what you are sowing. But, the coolest thing happened. God woke me up at 3:30 in the morning.
James Greer: 07:50 So, listen to this, happiness is a result of right habits repeated over a long period of time. Nothing more than that. Right habits. I mean, happiness is a result of right habits repeated over a long period of time. Now everybody can understand that. Amen? Say, listen, I want to be better off in my finances. Let’s start with small. Start setting some small amount apart every single week and eventually you will. I mean, you all want to grow spiritually, start spending time with God. So, whatever area it is, what is the habit that you need to change? In other words, if you’re not happy in some area of your life, see God can bless you and financially and not bless you relational. Or he can bless you relational and not financially. He can bless you in one area, but not bless you in your job. So, God says, he wants you today Journey Church. He wants you to ask what area that you’re not happy in. Be honest. God already knows it anyway. I used to think I had my sin from God. I’m not going to confess that, like God doesn’t know it. Huh?
James Greer: 08:56 So, what if you were really honest today and you started saying, God, this is the area I’m really not happy with. I’m not happy with the relationships. I’m not happy with my job. I’m not happy with finances, I’m not happy, whatever it is. And then say, what good habits could I start practicing on a regular basis, over long period of time, looking forward to the blessings of God? That is good brother James.
James Greer: 09:24 That’s how I got the two greatest miracles in my life. It started out as obedience, and it led to blessings. I wish I could say to start out with joy. When I first started tithing, I did not get up and say, praise God loves a cheerful giver. I am going to tithe. I didn’t do that. I just said, God. He said, I need to be obedient in that area and I’m going to start. Not only did I start being obedient in that area, immediately the pastor that preached that message, I started sending small amounts to that church. At that time, I wouldn’t even preaching. I’ll just come and I’ll sit and listen to how God blesses whatever you so you show what few years later, God call me in the ministry. I’d never been to seminary or cemetery, whatever they call it, never been to anything. I did try college. I’ve had to quit. You can imagine, but God opened the door and that same Dr. Pritchard said, look, I told him I was called. I said, man, I’ve been called to preach. I’ve never been had a chance to do a message on what he said. I’ll tell you what, call my secretary, here’s her phone number. Ask her every single Sunday. I’ll give you my handwritten or typed scripts that I preached where the verses came from and how, every week.
James Greer: 10:49 He said, have you ever had a soul win? I said, no. He said, I’m going to video it. This was First Baptist Church Panhandle, Florida. They were baptizing 300 people a year and he said, let me video it and send it to you. And I knew right then that God was allowing me to reap what I had sown. I didn’t sow to reap, I just sowed and because of the universal principle I got to reap. I think over and over and over when I kept saying, I can’t preach because I can’t read, but I really feel like God was calling me. I did feel like that. What if I wouldn’t have been obedient? Not only what? I missed these 700 and something people. There’s probably been that many more, literally seen thousands and thousands of people come to know the Lord Jesus Christ. I missed out on that and see, when I get in heaven, I can only bring two things. I can bring God’s word, God’s people, and what I’ve invested in the ministry. That’s it. Everything else is going to go It all started with what? Obedience.
James Greer: 12:00 I told you that back in Genesis 12 that God said, I want to bless you. He said, I’ll bless you and make your name great so you shall be a blessing. He told Abraham that I taught you in Galatians that he said that Jesus Christ came and broke the curse so we could receive the blessings of Abraham. So we’re now joint heirs with God and we can receive the blessing. But God said there’s something. I’m going to leave the choice up to you.
James Greer: 12:24 People keep saying, why are bad things happen in the world? What’s all this happening? Because God didn’t want us to make us robots. He gives us free choices to make. He wants us to love him. He wants us to be obedient. He wants to bless us, but because of who we are, he loves us enough. He wants us to choose him. Wouldn’t it be something if you had to make your mate love you? I don’t know how you do that. It does not work.
James Greer: 12:49 I’ve seen it. I’ve tried it. I hear people do it. Yeah, I love her. I want to love her. She loves me. Oh, God. Because she wants to love me. And so it’s a choice that we make and that God says, I want you know the universe is set up out of the choices you and I make both blessings and curses come from the choice. God says, I pray that you’d pick the blessing.
James Greer: 13:10 So, let’s look at some habits. I’ve got to rock here. First habit we’ve got to remember is God is our ultimate source of meeting every need in our life. Who’s ultimate source? God is. Matthew 6:33, seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and I’ll add everything that is coming to the point in your life that you said, not my job, not my mate, not my Pastor, not anybody. I’m coming to the point that I’m finally learning, that only Christ can meet my needs. Everything else is a conduit. He’s got to be your source. Let me tell you what he’s got. All you need.
James Greer: 13:46 Deuteronomy 8:18 puts it this way, and you better remember this the Lord God says, for he who gives, he’s the one who gives you power to get well. Who gives you power to make a living? God does, but if you go to work, if you’re not careful, you’ll think you’re doing it. I see people all the time. They said, man, I made all this on my own. No, you did not. First of all, some people helped you and then God blessed you or you wouldn’t be there. On the other hand, I know people that work hard, work hard, work hard, and still never have been spiritually blessed. Many times it’s because we forget where this financial blessings come from, whether that’s enough to meet your needs, and then some or different levels for different levels, but I will tell you, you’ve got to understand everything you have, whether you where you work, they might give you the check, but the power to be blessed comes from God. Amen? And if you really want to change your way of thinking when you go to work, you start looking at ways to acknowledge God on your job. Don’t be holier than now, but just acknowledge that God is the one blessing you. God is one who opened the doors and let God work in your life. Let God in your will. God does not need your money, nor does he know it wants your money.
James Greer: 14:43 Do you know what God wants? He wants your heart, but God knows something. You know the fastest way to our heart to get our attention. If there were money. That’s why the Bible says wherever your treasure is, your heart is so. Have you ever really been in a big financial bind and you start crying, oh God, get me out of this. Oh God, get me out of this? Get you out of, I’m doing it for good now, God. So, that’s one of the ways he does that. So, remember that he’s the one that gives us the power to get wealth wherever we’re working. Okay? Number two, you’ve got learn just to honor God. You honor God with your time, you to God with your talent and you honor God with your tithe.
James Greer: 15:51 God says, in Proverbs he says, I have blessings stored up in heaven that are so great. I want to open up the doors of heaven and pour them out. But you know what he said? To those who honor me. One of the ways you honor God as your tithe. Deuteronomy 14:23 says, you must tithe. I love, I’ve been reading Deuteronomy. If you get over to verse 26, 27 or 28 and God starts telling about it, I’m going to bless you. I’ll bless your home. I’ll bless your cattle, I want to bless your kids. I want to bless everything. I said, I’m going to run you down and bless you. God is telling you how bad I want to bless you. But, then he goes back in a minute. He says, but remember this, you give the first of your crop to me.
James Greer: 16:15 See, Deuteronomy 14:23 says this, I love this. The purpose of tithing is to teach you to always put God first in your life. I didn’t know that when I went to church most of my years, I didn’t know that was the purpose of tithing. I thought the purpose of tithing is to function the church as part of it, where the church operates. But, the real purpose when God set up tithing, Well in the New Testament too, in Luke 14 he says, you must tithe, but the real reason he set that up is where you would remember to put him first in your life.
James Greer: 16:30 When he’s writing all this, which you don’t know in the context, the children of Egypt rebelled against God and they put other gods first and they went into bondage to Egypt, to the Egyptians. They became slaves. Now God frees them supernaturally and he’s bringing them out, they crossed the red sea and he’s trying to give them some instructions. He said, I want to bless you. I want to bless your family, I want to bless everything you put your hands to. But, I want you to remember to put me first in your life. What God was warning them is not to go back and have other gods put before them.
James Greer: 17:24 God’s a jealous God. He says in Exodus 25 he says, Hey, you shall not bow down to any other God for the Lord your God, he is a jealous God. He placed the iniquities of the fathers upon the children, the third, fourth generation of those who hate him, but he doesn’t stop there. I hear people quote that all times. I’m under a generational curse. Galatians, I just told you that Jesus Christ came and he hung on the cross, he broke the curse. Amen? And then he says, but he shows mercy to the thousands of those love and keep my commandments. God is a jealous God. God does want you to love him, but God is a merciful God. Every single morning when you get up, especially when I messed up the day before and I’ve said things and done things, I shouldn’t have done that and I’ll do that. And you do that too. Amen?
James Greer: 18:07 Don’t act like you all got it all together because you don’t. I have already been to those churches. I used to think that preacher man, he never sins, then I got to know him. I know later, sinners are sinners. But anyway, and so what you do is this. I get up and say man, God, I’m so thankful for your mercies new every morning. I’m so thankful you don’t give me what I deserve. You give me what I need. I’m so thankful you love me. No matter what I’ve done in my life and man, I just started loving God. But, the main thing, I let him love me. And see when he starts saying he’s a jealous God, he ended up that thing and he said, I want you to know, I want to show mercy to the thousands. I don’t know what’s going on in your life, but I can tell you one thing. God will show you mercy today. It doesn’t matter what you did, doesn’t matter what you said, doesn’t matter where you came from, God wants to show you mercy. God wants to give you what you need, not what you deserve. You want to do it today and he will if you will allow him.
James Greer: 18:38 Proverbs 3:9 says this, honor the Lord by giving him the first part, the first 10th of your income, but you know why says that? And your barns and your wheat and your barley shall overflow and your wine vats, they should be the finest of the wines. You know why God said, he wants you to do that? Because then I will bless you. He said, why do you want to stop the blessings of God in your life? He says, it starts by being obedient. Let me tell you something, when I didn’t know growing up every time, you ready? Every time God tells you to stop doing something or start doing something, it’s not because of what God wants from you, you ready? It’s what God wants for you.
James Greer: 19:19 When God tells young people, honor your mother and your father. You know why he says that? We have a long life and you’ll live healthy life. When God tells you, when he says, don’t murder, don’t commit adultery don’t steal, don’t lie don’t covet other people. You know it’s not what God wants from you is what God wants for you. You’ve got to understand, God wants to bless you and he wants you to be a blessing. God wants you to do that, but I can tell you something, you will not be long-term, financially blessed without the habit of tithing. It can’t happen.
James Greer: 20:23 It’s the one thing that God has shown forth his power in my life, probably more than anything else, except for reading and preaching. Malachi 3:10 hit home so much. He preached on Luke 6:38, give it shall be given. Then he went to this verse and he said, bring all the ties in the storehouse by the way free. Are you all ready? That means to the local church. If you want to give, you above your tithes, not somewhere else. So there’ll be food enough in the temple. If you do, I’m going to open up the windows of heaven to you and I’m a going to pour out a blessing that is so great. You can’t even take it.
James Greer: 20:48 Then he said, let me prove it to you. God said, there’s very few things where God says, test me and try me, and the tithe is one of them. And then he goes on and explains why. In the next verse he says this, verse nine some of you and an awful curse of curses of God upon you. Why? because you have done that. He says, you are cursed with a curse because you have robbed God. And he said, how did I rob God? He said through tithes and offerings. But again, if you’d read Malachi, he says, one of the reasons I want you to do that, I want to open up the windows and bless you with such a blessing that you cannot imagine. See, God is always telling you to stop something or start something where he can bless you.
James Greer: 21:24 Okay, you ready? We’ve got to move, move, move, move. Third thing, if you want to have a blessed life, you got to learn the difference between bad debt and good debt. I was never taught that. Bad debt and good debt. Proverbs 22:6 says, the rich rule over the poor and the borrower is a servant to the lender. In other words, you don’t want to continue to be a servant to the money that you borrowed. And the only way you can be not be a servant to the money that you have borrowed is to learn the difference between good debt and bad debt.
James Greer: 22:17 I always thought all debt was bad debt. No, there’s good debt and there’s bad debt. You ready? Bad debt are those things we don’t need like credit cards. We can’t pay off. Nothing wrong with credit card. If you can’t pay it off, get rid of it. When me and Debbie first got married, man. I had a JC Penney, a Sears, a something else and man, I was doing good just to pay all them. By the time I paid all of them, $10 a month. I didn’t have anything else to pay. So, I eventually paid one-off, paid another one off, paid another one off. For years I didn’t have credit cards because apparently I wasn’t disciplined enough to know when I get to the end of the month, pay it off. If you have those, huh? If you use them, pay them off. Amen?
James Greer: 22:55 If you’re not, if you continue to build debt that is bad debt, you don’t go out and buy a new car that you can’t afford. If you can buy it and you can pay cash for it, God bless you. More power to you. But if you can buy it and you can’t afford it, go buy a used car. That’s bad debt. A house can be good debt or bad debt. A house can be good because you build up equity instead of paying rent. Amen? But about time you get that, you go buy a bigger house and then your house load is so much you can’t live. That’s bad debt. You see the difference between good debt and bad debt and it goes on and on. You can go shopping. I love to shop. I’m a shoe nut. I have more shoes than my wife. I like to shop, but I don’t go by them if I can’t pay for you, don’t go buy clothes and boots and shoes and stuff if you can’t pay for them. If you buy to many, that’s called bad debt.
James Greer: 23:24 1 Timothy 2:9 said, also he had a note to the women, dress yourself modestly and decently. He goes on to say, Christian women, be noticed by your kindness and your goodness, not by what you look like and what you wear. In other words, God doesn’t want you to be ugly ladies. And I don’t either. There there’s no spirituality of being ugly. Some people think there is, but there’s not. I think you should do the very best you can with what you got. Amen? But, what he is telling you is I hope you’re spending as much time energy on the inside as you are the outside. They got this rapper, he’s real famous right now. Kanye West, you all heard of him? He’s going all over the place, brother. But, when he got saved the other day, he said, he told his wife, he said, Kim Kardashian, he said, could you dress a little more modest? She said, you must be on some kind of spiritual journey dude. Go by yourself. He said, it never bothered me the way my wife dressed, but after I got saved, I don’t want everybody looking at everything, 1 Timothy it says just modest, whatever that is to you. Amen?
James Greer: 24:41 So anyways, God says, don’t, that’s bad debt, which you can’t get more and no return on it. Good debt is this, good debt is debt you incur, you ready? That produces income, not takes income. For example, I know a young couple in our church, they bought a shop, some equipment and some tools and he works on cars, and that he’s been had to buy that, but his income now is greater than what he spent. So that was good debt. I know a few young couples here, they’re starting to do some real estate. They’re not making a lot of money now, but it’s paying for itself and later on is going to be more than, it’s pay for itself. I know another young man that has a car, good debt or bad debt. Amen? But now he took the car, sometimes on the weekends. He uses it for Uber and makes enough on each weekend to pay for his car and extra money. You see what I’m saying? You got to understand the difference between good debt.
James Greer: 25:58 I have another friend, he’s got computer knowledge in technology. And he’s using that to make additional income. But, what I’m trying to tell you is good debt does not take from your income. It eventually increases your income, bad debt continues to take from your income, and if you can’t pay for it, it drains you dry. So, you have to learn to save 10%, save about 5% and spend the rest. In fact, I don’t know where it’s at, but I’ll tell you before it’s over. We’ve got a financial guide for everybody that I’ve had printed out, that tells it this is what you make, this huge net income and a percentage to give you to spend in every area of your life. And if they’re not out there, I’ll get them back to the kiosk today because why? It’s not what we want from you it is what we want for you. Amen? Okay.
James Greer: 26:56 Fourth, you’ve got to learn to plan for what you are spending. What’s coming up in December? Christmas. And if you’re not careful, instead of Christmas, it’s crunch. But you know, if you’ve been putting some away all year, even $10 you’ve got $550, $580 now to spend. Put $20 away, you’ve got $1,050, if you have $30, you’ve got $1500. If you did that for 10 years at $30 you’d have 15,000 you see what I’m saying? The little adds up to be a lot, but you had the plan that it just does not happen. Proverbs 21:5 says, plan carefully and you’ll have plenty. If you act too quickly, you’ll never have enough. If you want to go on vacation, you want to buy a car. Whatever it is, start planning with it. It’s kind of like the Bible says where there’s no vision, the people perish. In other words, you can have vision, but without planning action it becomes empty. Proverbs 21:20 says stupid are the people who spend their money as fast as they get it.
James Greer: 27:54 I’m just reading what the word says. Stupid is knowing something doesn’t work and you just keep doing the same thing over and over and over again. It’s time to change. Well as we get ready to close, I want to tell you something. God wants your heart today more than anything else, he wants your heart. He simply just wants you to say, Hey God, I want to be obedient. You know where your treasure is, your heart is.
James Greer: 28:28 Maybe you’ve never given your heart to Jesus Christ for the first time. Maybe you’ve never followed through in baptism. That wasn’t so bad. Amen? He was scared of water. Amen? He doesn’t swim, Amen? But, he had a spiritual victory today. Amen? God didn’t give him a spirit of fear, but of power and love of sound mind. He went down, he came up, Hey man, if he can do it, you can do it. Amen?
James Greer: 28:48 I was baptized at a young age. I was re-baptized in my thirties, out of obedience and what a blessing. Some of you need to give your heart to Jesus Christ this morning. Some of you been coming and coming and coming, and you know, you know, you know this is, this is God’s house for you and wants you to come and he wants you to make this his house and his home and be a part of the family. He wants you to come and join today. God wants you to honor him this week, acknowledge him. Acknowledge him on your job. Look for ways to say, Hey, God’s the one taking care of me. Honor your boss, but honor God by all means from now, from this day forward. Listen, listen, you ready? When you think of tithe, think of a miracle. When you think of tithe, think of a miracle. If you decide you want to give some, plant like that is seed money. Commit to planning. Plan your time, planning your life, and then remember, happiness is a result of repeating the right habit for a long period of time. And as I get ready to close, is there some habits that you need to start or stop this morning? Would you stand? Let me pray with you and pray for you.
James Greer: 29:41 God, you’re an awesome God. I thank you so much for your goodness and your greatness. God, I thank you for Journey Church. I thank you that I have the privilege God to serve here and to preach here. I thank you that we’ve got a church where their hearts are tender and their hearts are soft. God. I want your blessings upon every single one of them. God, whether it’s to give their heart that Jesus Christ, whether it’s to follow through in public baptism or whether it’s to join the church where they start giving, whether it’s to start tithing. God, you lay up on our heart. Help us to be obedient now , and we have the joy later. It’s in Christ’s name we pray. Amen.
Recorded in Pineville, Louisiana.