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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Creflo Dollar » Creflo Dollar - The Truth About God's Ways - Part 3

Creflo Dollar - The Truth About God's Ways - Part 3

Creflo Dollar - The Truth About God's Ways - Part 3

We are all flawed, and the only way that we can stand here and sit here, or me standing and you sitting, and to declare anything else is because of Jesus. You don't get into Heaven because you "all that," please, throw your list away. Your list ain't gonna help you at the gate. You better not take it, it could be responsible for kicking you out, because you're showing that you're self-righteous instead of Jesus-righteous. I'm not going to the gate of Heaven 'cause I'm self-righteous, I'm going because I'm Jesus-righteous. That means I'm righteous 'cause of him, I'm redeemed because of him, I'm saved because of him, I get to get in because of him, not because of me. You're so scared to hear this because you're so traditionally used to hearing, "Wait a minute now, you've got to buy your way in. You've got to earn it, (self-righteousness), you got to deserve it, (self-righteousness), you gotta make sure you qualify up for it. You got to do stuff to make God do something good for you".

We got that Santa Claus religion. "He sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake". I mean, I was a little boy, I'm like, "How he know I'm awake"? "He knows when you've been bad or good". So, if you want your toys, "Be good for goodness sake, oh, you better watch out". What is it? "You better not cry"? You better not what? "Pout". Look at there, "I'm telling you why". Santa Claus is coming to town. And we took it and say, "That just like Jesus". That just like Jesus. "He see you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake", Jesus do. "He knows when you've been bad or good". So if you want Jesus, "You better be good for goodness sake. Oh, you better watch out".

Y'all get, you get what I'm saying now? We do that all the time and we're famous about doing that using other spiritual things. "I need you God to bless me, so I'm gonna fast. And if I fast long enough and hard enough, he'll give me power". Well, you missed the whole boat. He gave me power. "I'll give you power after he has come". He gave me power when I got born again. "But I got to fast to get power," and lots of preachers around the world are dying 'cause they're fasting and trying to get something they already got. You didn't deserve power, none of us deserve power, power is the ability to get the job done. We don't deserve power, he gave us power because of his grace and mercy. "I've empowered you with ability to get the job done," he gave it to you but you're now trying to do something to earn it. Self-righteousness is a cloak over the church that the church won't wake up to and recognize, "I'm self-righteous".

I'm preaching, I'm teaching this sermon today. Everything I could try in my ability is still not good enough to give me the articulation that I'm presently walking in right now. I sit right there and I just look at that thing like, I know what you're saying, I just don't know how to say what you're saying. I have to trust him. I have to get all ugly and do all that 'cause I'm trying to get the thoughts that he's throwing at me right now, to try to figure out what's going on. I ain't never, you know, do the little Rockette thing. Where does all that stuff come? It was by just trusting him because tradition has made the Word of God of no effect. Everybody need Jesus, amen? Everybody need Jesus. If we have a wrong conclusion about God, we will not flow in grace. We will think we are just reaping from him what we deserve. We think that we are reaping from him what we deserve. Every time we get something, we think we are reaping something we deserve.

Man, boy, that hit me a couple of times. I'm reaping it because I'm smarter than everybody or I work harder or I give, I even wrote a little small book of a hundred things I did to be blessed like I am. It's just one thing you did: You believed Jesus and his Grace came over your life. For real? How many people are walking around in this world, living lives out of a sense that they are simply getting what they deserve?

Think about it, people are living their life thinking they simply get what they deserve. They mishandled their money, so they think they deserve to be poor. They committed adultery, so they think they deserve to lose their marriage. They were critical and demanding of their children, so they deserve to be estranged from their children and not see them. They mistreat their bodies, so they think they deserve to be sick. They cheated at work, so they deserve to be fired. They were promiscuous in their youth, so they deserve to be barren. They were alcoholics, so they deserve to lose everything. They betrayed a friend, so they deserve to be friendless. They are ugly, grumpy, angry, or just simply imperfect, so they deserve to be rejected. They turned their back on God, so they deserve for him to turn his back on them?

Absolutely, yes, there are consequences to our actions in this world, I know that, but the God of grace is seated on the throne of grace, ready for us to come to the end of ourselves, to the end of our self-effort, to the end of flesh, and to throw ourselves on his mercy. To go to God and say, "Yeah, I did all this crazy stuff. Have mercy on me God," because like we showed you this morning, he specializes in creating rivers in the deserts. I said he specializes in creating rivers in the deserts, and he knows how to make roadways in the wilderness.

Now remember this now, we don't need grace if we have behaved perfectly. Do you hear me? You don't need grace if you've behaved perfectly, grace is only for those who don't have it all together. So, if you got it all together, you may excuse yourself, we'll see you in Heaven. Ain't no... need of you stopping by here, 'cause grace is for imperfect people, grace is for people who've not behaved perfectly. And I don't know why it is that you got all these church folks who think that they behave perfectly. "I don't need grace". They even belittle the subject of grace, "Oh, that's basic stuff". I need grace, I need Jesus, I need 'em every day of my life. I need 'em every month, I need 'em every leap year, every Christmas, every regular year, I need, I need grace. And the only people who don't need it are the ones who think that they're perfect; you're not.

Most of us are more conscious of the flesh, and here's the problem, we're less conscious of the love of God, we're less conscious of the grace of God, and we're less conscious of the mercy of God. However, we are more conscious of sin, we're more conscious of the flesh, we're more conscious of Satan. Wow. And we're just not conscious enough of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. How is it that we spend so much time with Satan, sin and the flesh and so little time with the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and the blood and the grace and the mercy of God? Whatever you focus on the most, that's what you're gonna see in your life. And this life is a matter of focus. What is your focus? What are you looking at? Jesus has removed the sin barrier. To me, that's what we oughtta be talking about.

The Bible says in Hebrews 13 and 9, "It is good for our hearts to be established in grace". Our heart should be established in grace, not established in Satan, not established in sin, not established in the flesh. Our hearts should be... Look at that, turn to that Scripture, Hebrews 13 and 9 in the NLT. "Our hearts should be established in grace". NLT says, "So, do not be attracted by strange new ideas, your strength comes from God's grace. Not from rules about food, which don't help those who follow them". It's good for your heart to be established in grace.

Now, this is pretty hard to say, but man, I gotta say it. The biggest obstacle in the church against living the abundant life that Jesus came to give us, the biggest obstacle is unbelief in the finished works of Jesus Christ, the finished works of the cross. That's the biggest obstacle. "I don't believe in all of the works that you say Jesus finished. I don't believe I'm righteous just because I believe Jesus. I don't believe I'm redeemed just because I believe Jesus". And you know what's causing that? One of the biggest things? Because when you don't believe in the finished works of Jesus Christ, it causes you to work, work, work to fix your problems. "I don't believe in the Grace of God," and so you work, work, work.

And I realized that's what was happening to me. I got burnt out in the church because I work, work, work. I was the first one there, opened the church, and the last one to leave, to close it. And this was before I became a pastor. I was an assistant, but I was so burnt out, I was tired. I got so burnt out, you know, I'm trying to believe God, I'm working, working, working, working, working, doing it because I'm figuring if I work hard enough then maybe something'll come through. And back in those days, I mean I graduated with a college degree and the job I got paid $16,000 a year. I thought that was a lot. Like $16,000 a year? Boy, I'm rich. I was broke as the Ten Commandments that Moses dropped on the bottom of Mount Sinai. And I worked, worked, worked, worked, worked, trying to get it to happen.

And I had a pair of shoes that had holes in them. So, when it would rain like it rained today, I'd put some plastic around my socks and stuff and then put my shoes on so, you know, I wouldn't have wet feet. Because I was believing God for my shoes and working hard to get it. And in that church, they used to have the chairs up here and we used to have prayer time and all the preachers on the pulpit would turn around and bow down on their bended knees. Well, when I did that, the bottom of my shoe was like that. And my godmother, Martha Thompson, she gone home to be with the Lord, she was praying and God told her, "Open the eyes," and she saw holes all in my shoes. She said, "Lord have mercy, this boy got hoes all in the shoes".

So I was like, you know, I'm believing God, I need to know, if I'm gonna preach this, I need to know this stuff works, right? So, the choir had made a album, I forgot the details of it and that all broke all up and so, you know, a lot of people walked off because they had some argument about something about the album and all the musicians quit, and so, we needed somebody to play the Decalogue and all that other stuff. And I could play by ear, so I figured it all out, and now I'm playing for the choir and I'm assistant. And then, you know, I'm doing everything else wasn't done, like, you know, cleaning the church up and and I'm cutting the grass and and I'm, you know I'm going and picking the pastor up and chauffeured him around wherever he need to go. And, boy I was tired. But, "God's gonna reward me".

That's what I was told. You work real hard and God'll reward you. I didn't know that all I had to do is believe in the grace of God and he was gonna to grace me with it. I thought I had to work real hard and then God was gonna reward me. Man, I got tired. And then one night we had this little musical singing and we was singing it. I was playing the song, Angels Will Be Singing, by the Hawkins Family and man, I beat that piano like it did something to me. I was irritable, I was tired. So I went home, Pastor called, he said... and they had set up something, I didn't know what it was. It's just when you stop thinking that you deserve it that God'll do something, right? And I went home and the pastor called, he said, "You coming back for the evening service"? I said, "No, no sir, no," 'cause I ain't gonna say, "I'm gonna try". That's what most folks say, "I'm gonna try".

That's just an honest lie. I said, "I ain't coming, man, I'm just tired. I'm just tired". He said, "Just ...please"? He said, "I know you're tired, but please, out of all the ones, I really need you here, just come"? I'm like, "Oh, gosh, I'm..." So, I came, I came and I had an attitude; I beat that piano up some more. Then I sat down and I'm about to think, well, you know, I don't even know if there's a God, all this work. I was sitting there just contemplating on the front row about it. Then somebody said, "Reverend Dollar, would you please come up front"? 'Cause I was believing God man, I'm just believing you for some shoes. Man, I came up there, "Reverend Dollar"? I said, "Yeah what they want now? I guess they want me to buff the altar now, you know what I'm saying? I'm so tired".

I looked up and they came in, they had these bags and stuff. And they said, "We just wanted to take the time to show our appreciation to you". And the first thing they pulled out was them shoes. I said, "I got my shoes. I got my shoes". Now, that wasn't because all of the work I did, that was because of God's grace. As soon as I'd let go of all the work and just believe God, he showed up and do some stuff. But the church has trained everybody in it that you got to work, work, work, work. Let me say this and I'll let you go, give me a few more minutes here. And so, what happens is, those ministries are helping with the problem.

So, a typical ministry is actually quite sin-focused, most ministries are sin-focused, not grace-focus, but sin-focus. And the typical line of interrogation in ministry sounds something like this. If something goes wrong, "What did they do to get themselves in trouble? What happened to them to cause them to be in this trouble? Are they in unforgiveness, and thus unleashing tormentors and getting what they deserve? Or even worse, what demons are enforcing a curse on them"?

And the Devil really likes that one because it gives him a lot of attention. The natural reaction to sin consciousness is fear of punishment and a feeling of shame; that's a natural, a fear of punishment. When you got sin consciousness, if you're sin conscious, you're afraid. And you're afraid a lot of the times. And shame is there. Shame is at an all-time high right now. That's... a weapon Satan is using, to shame you in all kinds of ways. What we need to do as ministries, is we need to point people who are struggling and people who are suffering, we need to point 'em to the love of Jesus and the works of grace; that's what we need to do. We need to show people that his love and his grace is more powerful than anything that you can encounter on the earth.

And that you bring nothing to the table; Jesus did. He prepared the table, he fixed the table and he brought everything to the table. And that's what he meant when he said, "Go out into the highways and the byways, gather them in. Tell 'em they ain't got to bring nothing; the table has been prepared. Come and eat, everything is already there". This is a tradition, it's not gonna win me a lot of popularity points for sure. It's the truth, though. Once you start trusting in Jesus and quit trying to earn some blessing, everything changes. He goes in your life and he makes the biggest difference in your life. Man, Holy Spirit, you're gonna have to make it make sense to everybody that heard it. And I'm just trusting, Lord, that we won't allow the tradition of self-righteousness to ruin all that Jesus died for.
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