Creflo Dollar - Don't Forget God - Part 1
If you have your Bibles, go with me to the book of Titus chapter 2, and we're gonna read verse 11 through 13. And tonight, I wanna talk to you about, I wanna kind of add on to some stuff we talked about Sunday. I wanna talk to you about, if we have to give it a subject, "Don't Forget God". "Don't Forget God". Titus chapter 2 verse 11 says, "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us". So the grace of God teaches us, it doesn't teach everybody, but it teaches us who believe. "It teaches us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lust, that we should live soberly, righteously, godly in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ".
Now, the Bible talks about teaching us how not to pursue ungodliness; and from Sunday, ungodliness it means not having regard for God. Ungodliness, not having regard for God. So when you're talking about being ungodly, we're not just talking about people who operate in wickedness. You can be talking about a person who's born again, and they are not taking God into account. You can talk about a person who goes to church, and they're doing things without taking God into account. So you have to ask yourself a question, "Am I still doing things without taking God into account"? Everything that one cannot ask God to bless is ungodliness. I mean, think about it now, that you are so in yourself that you don't even feel a need to ask God to bless it. The Bible calls that ungodly, it's ungodly.
We've been trained in ungodliness being about wickedness, and that is absolutely the truth. But we've spent little to no time talking about ungodliness, meaning, disregarding God and not taking God into account, disregarding God and not taking God into account. And so let's look at that just for a moment. Genesis 11 verse 4. I mean, just be amazed of the number of people who forget God. They forget about God, they forget God has something to do with that. What I wanna do tonight is as I review something from Sunday, I'm taking you to New Testament phrases of humility versus pride. And so I'll read over this, won't spend too much time with it, but verse 4 says, "And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth".
Now notice a number of times you see in this Scripture, "Let us build us a tower that reaches unto heaven and let us make us a name lest we be scattered abroad". Isn't that amazing? That's a total disregard for God; and if you read on down into this, confusion was the only thing that could break out. That's what happens when people disregard God. There was no taking God into account when it came to building this tower. It was all about self, okay. All right, let's look at this Hosea chapter 8 verse 14. Hosea chapter 8 verse 14. Verse 14 says, "For Israel hath forgotten his Maker". Look at that. "And buildeth temples". But they didn't do it with taking God into account. "And Judah hath multiplied fenced cities: but I will send a fire upon his cities, and it shall devour the palace thereof". Why? They didn't take God into account. They did what they did, and those are awesome things that they did, but they did it having no regard for God.
And I think I showed you Sunday, why that's such a big deal. Because everything God created depends on him except for mankind, okay. Look at Hosea chapter 13 and verse 6. And then this will be the last one, and we'll get started tonight. Hosea 13 and 6. "According to their pasture, so were they filled; they were filled, and their heart was exalted; therefore, have they forgotten me". Don't forget God. That really got me to thinking like, what are things that I've done in my life, great victories, great accomplishments, but I did it disregarding God? What amazing things that maybe happened in my life and I took the credit for it? I forgot God. The healing, the deliverance, the raises, all the things that God has done for you, don't forget God. I can tell you, there's something that happens when you don't forget God.
Now I'm asking myself a question. I'm like, Okay, well what about people who, I mean, I'm telling them not to forget God and they continue as born again Christians, they continue to have no regard for God. I mean, when you disregard God, you don't even take notice of him. You know, he's not even in the equation. It's just all you that's in the equation, all right. So let's translate this, all of this over into the New Testament. 1 Peter chapter 5 and verses 5 through 8. 1 Peter chapter 5 and verses 5 through 8. He says, "Likewise, you younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with," what? "Humility for God resisteth," who? "The proud but he gives grace to the humble". Oh wow, he resists the proud, he gives grace to the humble.
All right, verse 6. "So humble yourself therefore, under the mighty hand of God," why? "That he may exalt you in the right time". Right? Due time. And this is how you, this is an illustration of how you do that, humble yourself, he says, "So cast all your care upon him because he cares for you and for he cares for you". Now listen to these statements very, very carefully. Please listen to them 'cause I wrote them 2:30 this morning. Dependence upon God produces humility in man. Dependence upon God produces humility in man. So, I can say it another way, that if you really wanna know what real humility is, it's regarding God. It's depending on God. That's humility, it's taking him into account, taking his Word into account.
Now, here's a tough statement. Pride and boasting are traits of natural man, and pride and boasting, they spring from man's dependence upon self. Pride and boasting, it springs from man's self-sufficiency, and that's what pride is. It's man depending upon himself. Pride is this self-sufficiency, whereas humility is all about dependence upon God. Your dependence upon God will produce humility in your life, but pride and boasting are traits of that natural man. And it springs from man's dependence, your dependence upon self and you being self-sufficient. So whatever success comes to man, it tends to feed and nourish his pride. Whatever success comes from man, it tends to feed and nourish his pride.
Now, whether you wanna admit it or not, you have to really get yourself alone and you gotta ask yourself, "Am I nourishing my pride"? Do I really wanna say to people, "I did this, I'll give God the glory because you know, I'm trying to be like spiritual, but did that really come out of the heart"? Whatever success comes to man tends to feed and nourish his pride. So these traits, though they're not always obvious when you talk to people about this, are very persistent and they're also evident in the lives of those who are saved. There's this deep rooted desire to wanna be something. Now if not openly, if we just look in your heart, there persists a feeling of self-importance. I know what I'm talking about. I had to deal with this, that which they came from.
This deep feeling of wanting to feel important. And it was, it was when the Lord said to me, he said, "That's pride". He said and then just begin to point out. I mean, you're not gonna raise your hand and say, "Yeah, amen Pastor, that's me". But God will help you; he pointed some stuff out to me. He was like, "You know, you doing this, you're trying to show yourself important, and that's pride, and that's not my program. My program is grace. I'm the one that will make sure that I exalt you, you don't have to do that". My attempt to try to be important was also my attempt to try to exalt myself. And that's something that a lot of Christian people, a lot of preachers, they need to deal with this issue. It's not gonna be openly, but it's something that persists in their heart, this feeling of self-importance.
So this feeling of pride, that's what it is. That attempt to strive and achieve self-importance, that is pride. This feeling of pride, it's completely out of a harmony with God's program of grace, why? Because grace emphasizes the fact that everything is of God. Grace emphasizes the fact that everything is of God. And I got some wonderful Scriptures to just show you the next time you think it is of you. You have to realize that everything that we have, it's God, it's God. I mean, you know, I wish sometimes I could just tell you all of the stuff that I'm going through and the stuff that I, but sometimes I have to wait until I finish going through it and then testify about it later. It doesn't make sense to me to give a unfinished testimony. I can talk about it, but it ain't done yet.
You know, people get up and they, "Oh, I thank and I praise God, and I thank and I praise God, thank and I praise God". You go checking and they say, "Well, they didn't turn out like I thought it was gonna turn out". See, because I believe that God does stuff sometimes just to see what you gonna do. Just say so, remember this night, so when I testify, God does stuff just kinda see what you gonna do. And I tell you what, I know he loves me and I know he loves you, and there is nothing that you have of your own, nothing. Let me show you these Scriptures. 1 Corinthians 4 and 7 in the New Living Translation. This really in a sense rocked my world. I mean, everything is of God. Everything is of God and there's this thirst sometime of wanting to say, "No, it's not".
I use the illustration. My nephew, my dad bought him a bicycle for Christmas and his mom would teach him that all this stuff comes from God and he's around my dad and he asked, "Who got that for you? Who got that bike for your Christmas"? He said, "Jesus". My dad said, "No, Jesus didn't, I bought that bike". Hungry, really hungry. And I'm like, "Dad". You know, really is it? "No, I spend that money I need, I want". Some people just want you to know, you know what I'm saying? They want you to know. Look at this wonderful Scripture, 1 Corinthians 4:7. "For what gives you the right to make such a judgment? What do you have that God hasn't given you? And if everything you have is from God, why boast as though it were not a gift"?
How am I ever gonna get up here and boast about how anointed and powerful I am? That's so stupid; it's a gift from God. How are you ever gonna tell somebody about how awesome your life of prosperity is? And you know, you just got this job that ain't no way in the world you could have got without God. Come on, man. And so it really gets my attention, I'm like, wow, I'm not openly going out to say to people I'm prideful and I'm boastful, but there was a moment where I had to look deep inwardly and ask myself, "Is that a consistent, deep feeling on the inside that I don't want to admit, but I still wanna pursue the feeling of being important"? There's no greater deliverance when you can get delivered from that.
Now God's gonna exalt you. You gonna find yourself doing stuff and that's why I'm saying, don't forget about him now. God will exalt you and people will ask you, "Well, how'd you do this, how'd you do that"? And you'll tell them, "Listen, I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, he's my Lord and I give him all the glory and the honor, everything you have seen, all things come of thee, O Lord". And when that can happen, God can use you, 'cause you won't forget him. How many of y'all ready be used by God, amen? Now look at 1 Corinthians chapter 1 verse 28 and 29 in the NLT. 1 Corinthians chapter 1:28-29 in the NLT. "God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and he used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important". That's powerful.
Look at this God chose, let's get it before I go there. "God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important". And so God's gonna confront this pride of the world. The next verse 29. He says, "As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God". You can't ever boast about it, you can't ever boast about it. And I've seen people in the church gradually making it all right to boast about what they have done and what they have. Nah, just do what I did, have a moment where you look at yourself inside and realize, I think like David and so many others did, "All things come of thee, O Lord, and of thine own have you given me". What I'm given is not mine. Oh, hallelujah. "All things come of thee, O Lord".
So the only condition placed upon man for the enjoyment of all of the blessings of grace, there's only one condition in order for you to enjoy the blessings of grace, and that's faith. Now, listen to me carefully now. I'm sure when you hear that, well, I understand faith, faith. All right look at what he says now in Romans chapter 4:16. Let's look at it in the King James and then in the NLT. Romans 4 and 16. Romans 4 and 16. He says, "Therefore, it is of faith, that it might be by grace". So he tells us here, that that is the condition of receiving what grace has made. I used to say it like this, "Grace makes, but faith takes". The very design of faith is to apprehend and to take possession of what grace has made available, that's it.
Now, people have taken their faith and they're doing all kinds of things with it, but the original purpose of your faith is to lay hold of what grace has already made available. He says, "Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who's the father of us all". And so everything that God has done for us, we receive it by faith. So this faith is a simple dependence upon God. That's how I'm defining it tonight, and I believe in proper New Testament context that this faith is a simple dependence upon God in order to receive his blessings of grace.
This faith is a simple dependence upon God. I don't know what everybody else is doing, I don't know about all of the little formulas and stuff you have, and I don't have any problems with any of that. I mean, I'm just preaching to you what I believe, I'm preaching to you what I know, I'm preaching to you what I've done for 41 years and I'm telling you it's a simple dependence upon God. And whatever God has said is a simple dependence upon him. Whatever God... you know, when sickness comes on your body, it's a simple dependence upon God, "I am healed". When a situation comes in your life, and you need provision, it's a simple dependence upon God. I'm not telling you got to say it five times, and you gotta jump some hoops, and you got to do some cartwheels and, you know, you gotta fast for 50 days; and no, it's just a simple dependence upon God.
And I don't know, I can't make that any easier, a simple dependence upon God puts you in a place where you receive all the blessings of grace. And sometimes God will test you, and I don't mean it like what I just said, I'll fix that up later, but you know what I'm saying. Sometimes, sometimes I think we go through things just to kind of not, God already knows what we're gonna do. I think we go through things to see what we gonna do, you know. I can sit up here and preach about how this works, how that works, dependence upon God, and then I get my opportunity to do what I preached. I get my opportunity to do what I preach. I'm not gonna allow what I believe so strongly and so intimately about my father, to just be these words that are floating in the air and miss those opportunities to simply depend upon him.
I wanna see what I've been missing. I wanna see how greater it's gonna be. It's gonna be better than what it has ever been in the times past. I define faith tonight as your simple dependence upon God so that you can lay hold of all the blessings that grace has made available. Well, let's look at a few Scriptures to check this out. Look at Romans 3:27. I think we just did, didn't we? We did, in Romans 3:27, King James and NLT, he says, "Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? Nay: but by the law of faith". And the New Living Translation says it like this, "Can we boast, then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God"? Oh man, can you boast? It's like, "Can you go around and tell everybody all the things you did to be accepted by God"? He says, "No, you can't". "Because our acquittal is not based on obeying the law. It is based on our simple dependence on God," which we call what? Faith. And there are people who will boast about how they were accepted by God. "See, child, I started going to church every first Sunday". No, that didn't do it, all right?