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James Merritt - Slaying the Green Eyed Monster

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    James Merritt - Slaying the Green Eyed Monster
TOPICS: No Hard Feelings, Emotions, Jealousy

I don't know why I'm always excited to preach, but I'm pumped today. I don't know why I'm just pumped. So first of all, thank you for coming, thank you for listening, and we're gonna make history today. You know why? I do have notes. I believe the weakest ink's better than the strongest memory. So, I've always been a believer in notes, but today I'm gonna do something I've learned in a lot of the guys. I'm changing my introductions, I'm getting away from my notes, I'm just felt led to do this. And you'll see why. We're in a series on emotions. And normally when a pastor gets up, he'll ask you a question, how are you feeling today? Why do we ask that? Because emotions are a big deal.

There are people that didn't come to church this morning for one reason. They're not sick, they don't have any fever going on, they don't have COVID. Weather's great. They got the cars running. They just didn't feel like it. Emotions are powerful, but emotions... God can take a bad emotion and he can turn it into a good thing. And exhibit a is my wife Teresa. We've been married 45 years, more in love with her than ever before. Our love story is absolutely one of most incredible love stories you'll ever hear. If you don't know, I proposed to her on the second date. And wouldn't if I had to do it over again, I would have proposed on the first date. That's kind of where I messed up.

But that said, let me tell you one of the things that God did, the reason why we got married. When Teresa was in the ninth grade, she meets a young man named Mark. Cute guy, about 5, 10, 5, 11, had nice hair and came from a very good family. Very good Christian strong believer. And I mean, they kinda hit it off at a dairy queen. And that was it. So, for all of her 10th grade and all of the 11th grade, they were an idol. Went steady two solid years in a row. He picked her up every day from home. He would take her to school. He'd bring her back from school. And sometimes they'd stop off where they got home to have a talk. I'll just leave it right there. But anyway...

So, for two years pure relationship, but they were in love. No question about it. They were in love. They talked about getting married. Her parents loved him, his parents loved her and they were the classic high school sweethearts. Just classic. They'd talked about even getting married. We've told them this morning, they were talking about getting married right out of high school. Her mom and dad who were very well off of, his mom and dad had already agreed that they would pay for both of them to go to college so they could both get married. And so, they were kinda had their plans all mapped out. There was only one problem. One big problem. His name was David. David was a guy that Teresa had met before Mark, about four years older than he was.

And David's a great guys, a dear family friend today. He still lives up in her own town. Wonderful, wonderful believer. But she had dated David. And Mark had a problem that I'll talk about in a moment, that we're all gonna talk about today, but the big problem was David. So, I'm gonna fast forward. As all high school couples can, they got in an argument one day, she was in school and he was gonna take her home and his car wouldn't crank. And it was hot. And he was really getting frustrated. Well, Teresa... And this was one of her gifts she tries to help. So, she was trying to tell him something to try to do. And he made this mistake. He just lost his temper. He said, "Teresa, will you just shut up"? Not a good move.

So, she said, "Do not talk to me that way. You gotta respect me". And then they'd been kinda talking about it. He said, "Well, maybe we all just start dating other people". She said, "Maybe you're right. I think maybe we should". He said, "Yeah, let's just start dating other people". So, she goes back into the school and who does she call to pick her up? Wanna guess? Yeah David. Picks up David. Friday. So, David takes her home and David says... She's tells David what happened. And David said, "Would you like to go out"? Said, "Yeah, we'd like to go out". So, they go out on a date. Well, Teresa had a curfew at 11 o'clock. Always 11 o'clock. Didn't matter if the apostle Paul took her out, she was going in at 11 o'clock she's coming back home. But they love David. So, David asked if he could keep her out until 11:30. She said, "Yeah, no problem".

So, who comes over about eight o'clock that night to patch things up? Mark. She ain't there. She's gone. So, he asked grandma Mrs. I call her Linda now. So he asked Linda. He said, "Where's Teresa"? She said, "Well, you'll have to ask Teresa 'cause she kinda knows the history". So, he waited until 11:10. He realized, okay, this is not right. My curfew's always at 11. He gets home. He starts calling the house every five minutes, every five minutes, every five minutes. Not home. Teresa finally gets home. Her mom meets her at the door and says, "I think you're gonna hear a call from Mark". Sure enough Mark calls, "Where you been"? "I've been out on a date". "Well, have you been with"? "Well, just been out on a date". "Who have you been with"? She said, "David".

Dead silence. Nothing. After about a minute he said, "Teresa, I love you. I really do. You could have gone out with anybody else and I would come back to you, but I will never come back to you again". And he didn't. For one year, she wept, she cried. She was in depression. She was on a funk, for one solid year. Because there was one problem in their relationship that can never be overcome and it never ever works. And what killed their relationship... And thank you, Lord. What killed their relationship was this green eyed monster called jealousy. Killed it. That was his one big problem. The two years they went together he could not stand it. If anybody even looked at her, much less talk to her, but the big one, the giant, the Goliath in his life was David.

I got a question. Have you ever been what we call green with envy? I wish the word only meant the color green, but the literal meaning of the word envy is to boil within. See, here's the problem with jealousy, you may look like you're really cool on the outside like you've got it all together, but jealousy can heat up the furnace of your heart to a 1000 degrees. And when it boils over, it can wreak havoc. You're happy in your house until somebody builds a bigger one. Then all of a sudden your house is not so cool anymore. Your car is perfectly fine. It drives great until somebody buys a new one. And then all of a sudden your cars getting old. It happens to all of us. I can only confess to you. I'm ashamed to say I battled pastoral jealousy. 'Cause I'm a competitor. I want the biggest church. I want the most people. I want to have the most influence. I wanna have the greatest impact. And it affects all of us.

And we're in a series that we're calling no hard feelings. We've been dealing with all these powerful forces in our lives and that's our emotions and our feelings. And today I think probably next to bitterness, I'm gonna talk to you this morning, about one of the most destructive of all the emotions. I have seen it absolutely kill families it caused problems in our own family. As a matter of fact, the wisest man who's ever lived said this about jealousy... Proverbs chapter 2:4. He says, "Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming". But then he asked her a great question, "But who can stand before jealousy"?

I want to tell you something. Even the strongest among us, it's hard to stand up against the furnace blasts of jealousy. You're almost powerless against it. We've all read about how the Pharisees made sure that Jesus was crucified. Have you ever thought about why they crucified Jesus? You ever thought of what really pushed them over the edge? Now sometimes we think well yeah, because he kinda got in their... That's not why they crucified him. Well, they didn't like a lot of his teachings. No, that's not why they crucified him. Yeah, but they could do miracles. They really couldn't do. And he could do things... Yeah that's not really the real reason. Do know why at the bottom line... Do you know why Jesus was crucified? Listen to this, "For He knew it was out of envy that they'd delivered him up".

The Pharisees were eaten up with jealousy. The Sadducees were eaten up with jealousy. I don't care if you can heal sick people. I don't care if you can feed hundred people. I don't care if you can raise up laying people. I don't care what you can do for other people. We can't do it. And we hate you for it. Jealousy, envy... By the way, the word there for envy word, that literally means jealousy. So, in one sense, if you wanna know what killed Jesus, I can tell you one word, what killed Jesus, jealousy. It absolutely crucified Jesus. Absolutely killed him. It was that green-eyed monster that drove the nails through his hands and through his feet.

Now, jealousy if you wanna think of it this way, jealousy's a Hitman. I call him Satan's Hitman. I have seen it, I've sat in my office. I've watched jealousy kill marriages. I've seen it kill friendships. I've seen it destroyed families. It can destroy corporations. It can dismantle governments. It can divide nations. Jealousy will charge you more than you want to pay and leave you with nothing to show for it, but a bitter spirit. And while this greet on monsters, a giant, here's the wonderful thing, you're dealing with jealousy right now. Let me tell you so here's the good news. The bad news is it's a giant. You can't whip it on your own. I'll tell you that right now. How many times have you ever said, " I just gotta stop being jealous".

Tell me how that works out for you? It's not, but God specializes in slaying giants. God can help us slay the giant of jealousy and the word of God reveals how we can partner with God to slay this green-eyed monster that lives in our own lives. So, we're gonna do three things today about jealousy. Number one, let's consider how the problem of jealousy starts. Why are we jealous? Why do people get jealous of each other? Let's read Proverbs 27:4. It has slightly different translation. Listen to it, "We're blasted by anger, were swapped by rage, but who can survive Jealousy"? The wisest man who ever lived said, "You know what, jealousy is a problem we all face, we all fight and at some time or another, it really begins when we're children".

You know that? Listen, if you get two kids under the age of four year and one toy, you got a jealous problem. Don't have to teach, it comes naturally. It is in all of us. Now to be clear, when I'm talking about jealousy, I'm not just talking about envy, that jealousy and envy are siblings, but they're not twins. I want you to understand this. They're related, but they're different. So what's the difference. One difference is in envy is this, here's what envy is, envy is when you don't have something that someone else has, but you would like to, that's envy. You don't have what they have, but you would like to. Jealousy is when you've got what you want, but you're afraid somebody will take it away. See what Mark never realized.

Teresa was all his. Teresa was right there in the palm of his hand. He didn't have to be jealous. His problem was he had it, but he was afraid that somebody might take it away. I read about a man one time he was visiting a mental institution and he walked by a room and there was a man inside just banging his head against the wall over and over and over and over. And he looked at the nurse and he said, "What's wrong with that guy"? He said, "Oh, he's a pastor". "What's wrong with him"? He said, "Well, you know that big church right up the street"? And he said, "Yeah". He said, "Well, he wanted to be the pastor of that church, but the other man got it". He said, "That's so sad".

Well, he went next door and there's another guy beating his head against the wall. He said, "What's wrong with him"? He said, "He's the guy that got the church". Now, there's a common spark. There's a common spark that always likes to find jealousy. And here's what it is, you ready? It is dangerous to do this, but we all do. Is comparison. A comparison is a tool of the devil in your life. Listen to me, it is a tool of the devil in your life. Jealousy happens when we start comparing ourselves with others.

So here's how it works. We start comparing our house to somebody else's house. We start comparing our car to somebody else's car. We start comparing our clothes to someone else's clothes. Or here's one, we start comparing our kids to somebody else's kids. We start comparing our spouse to someone else's spouse. We start comparing our abilities to somebody else's abilities. Or to all of our staff in here, we start comparing our church to somebody else's church. And all of a sudden, you fall into this comparison trap. As a matter of fact, psychologists say that people engage in three types of comparing. If you think about it, it's true. The first type is what we call downward comparison.

Let me tell you what that means. This is easy, downward comparison is we compare ourselves to people who are worse off than we are. What do you think that gives us? It starts with the letter P, what is it? Pride. Yeah, that leads to arrogance. We love that kind of comparison. Now, the second comparison is what we call lateral comparison. That's when we compare ourselves to people who are... They're just like us. They're kind of on the same level that we are, okay? What does that lead to? Well, that leads to competition 'cause we're not satisfied with being even we want to get ahead. So we get competitive.

Well, how can I get a little bigger house? How can I get a little nicer car? How can I make a little more money? But the dangerous one, the danger, is what we call upward comparison. And that's when we begin to compare ourselves to people who are better off than we are. And what does that lead to? Jealousy. Can't stand. It absolutely drives us crazy. It's when jealousy sets in... I didn't know this till the other day. Some people call jealousy, psychologists call it the crab mentality. Now, why do they call jealousy crab mentality? I didn't know this. This will be worth coming to church for. If you live near the ocean, people who live in the ocean will sometimes go out to catch crabs. You probably have done that before.

Well, you need a bucket with a lid on it when you catch crabs, because you know want a crab would do. If you just put a crab in a bucket, what will the crab do? Yeah, he will crawl out, right? So, you gotta have a lid on the bucket. However, listen, this is amazing. If you ever get two or more crabs in the bucket, you don't need a lid. You know why? 'Cause every time one crabs about to get out the other two crab pulling back. They say, "Oh, no, no, you're not going without us". So, the lid on the bucket is not physical, it's emotional. It is the lid of jealousy. And that's exactly what we do. It drives us to put other people down. That's why we do it.

Why don't we put people down with our attitude? Why do we tear the people down with our words? Why do we pull other people down with our actions? It's all because the poison of jealousy enters your emotional bloodstream. For example, somebody will say, "Have you ever noticed that his wife is just so beautiful? She's just so gorgeous". And then before you know it, you say, "But yeah, but she colors her hair". I mean, why do you do that? "Boy, you know her husband, ain't he in the handsome"? "Yeah, he takes steroids". I mean, why do you do that? Why you just can't leave it alone?

Listen, don't sit there look at me Holy, like you don't do this. You're just as guilty as I am, right? Okay. So yeah, like well, why does he have such a bigger church? Well, he preaches my sermon. So, it's just a joke, just a joke. But here's my point, we all do it. Why? We compare ourselves? That's how jealousy starts. Well, let's consider now how the presence of jealousy steals. We talked about how it starts, but how does the presence of jealousy steal? Well, another verse in Proverbs 14:30 says this, "A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones".

Now you think about that just for a second. Are you jealous because you're not the quarterback? Are you jealous because he dates the cheerleader? Are you jealous because she married your high school sweetheart? Are you jealous because your husband never got to the top of the corporate ladder? Are you jealous because your wife is this or your wife is that? Solomon says, "I'm telling you envy rots the bones". Now, why did he say that? Because bones are on the inside of you.

You see jealousy is a corrosive. Listen to this. Jealousy is a corrosive. It doesn't watch you from the outside in, it rots you from the inside out. If your bones rot, what do you have left? Nothing. If not bones decisions right now I've got nothing. Jealousy. Here's what Solomon is saying, if you're not careful, jealousy will steal your very life. It won't just do your joy, it won't just do your happiness, it won't do that, it will absolutely steal your life. I mean, you think about it. Jealousy is nothing more than a common thief. Jealousy will steal the satisfaction of enjoying what you already have just because somebody else may have more of it. Or somebody else may have a better version of it.

I'll read a story one time about a man that was walking along the beach. And he happened to kick up some sand and there was a bottle. And the bottle said, "Rubbed me". Well, he rubbed it. And this genie popped out. And so the genie said, "Congratulations", He said, "I'm gonna give you three wishes. You can have anything you want". And guy said, "Oh man, that's great. There's just one condition". He said, "What's that"? He said, "I used to belong to a lawyer, and he said, for every wish that you make every lawyer in the world's gonna get the same thing you asked for, except they're gonna get double what you asked for. So, just keep that in mind. Whenever you asked for every lawyer in the world will get double exactly what you get".

So, the man said, "Okay". He said... I thought for a moment, he said, "All right, for my first wish I want a 100 dollars". And the genie said, "Okay, but you understand now every other lawyer in the world is going to get $200 million". He said, "Okay". He said, "What else do you want"? He said... I tell you what, he said, "I wanna be so handsome, so good-looking that all the beautiful women in the world will want to have me". And so, the genie said, "Well, okay, but you understand that every other lawyer will be twice as handsome and twice as good looking as you are. And all the women are gonna want them instead of you". It's okay. He's say, "What's your last wish"? He said, "I've always wanted to donate a kidney. Now, I'm full of them today, I'm ready to go. I've done my homework, okay"?

Now listen, jealousy... Listen to me, jealousy... Listen to me, please hear this, jealousy never gives you anything worth having all it does is take away anything that is worth having. It's a thief. It never gives you anything. It just robs. Jealousy is what I call the Apus tree of life. That you say.. What is a Apus? A-p-u-s. Okay, listen to this, it may make you feel good. And I'm gonna be honest. Does it make you feel good when you kinda put other people down? Yes, it does. I'm ashamed to say yes it does. In our flesh it does. Yeah, you're kinda glad to kinda knock people down a notch or two. It makes you good because of your jealousy. But what Solomon is saying is, hey, that feeling won't last long and in the end, it will poison you through and through. It will rob you of the peace that you ought to have in your heart, with how God has blessed you.

So, here's what you do when you get jealous. Here's what happens, instead of being happy for some of the person that God has blessed, you get resentful, you get depressed, you get irritable, you get angry. Matter of fact, we're going to talk about this in a minute. What you're really saying is you don't have a clue what you're doing. Do you know what that guy is? Do you know who that is? Do you know what that guy has come for? Do you know what that? Do you know what that guy's got in his refrigerator? Why are you blessing him more than you are blessing me? And the Bible tells us what we ought to do is what? Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. But you know what happens?

When you're consumed with jealousy, we do just the opposite. When you're consumed with jealousy, here's what you do. Here's what we do. We rejoice when others weep and we weep when others rejoice, isn't that right? Just like jealousy does it just poisoned us. Theodore Roosevelt once said this... Roosevelt said, "Comparison is the thief of joy". So true. Comparison is the thief of joy. How many of you know what kudzu is? How many of you know what kudzu is? Okay, if you grew up north of the Mason-Dixon Line, go look up kudzu. Or just go out in your backyard, okay? There's two things that are invincible to anything except Superman is not invincible to Kryptonite. But except for Kryptonite, Superman's invincible anything, right?

Let me tell you something, kudzu is invincible to anything, period. Nuclear attack doesn't matter. You can not get rid of kudzu. Let me tell you something, jealousy is the emotional kudzu of the heart. If you don't get rid of your jealousy, if you don't deal with your jealousy, wherever that jealousy is coming from, whatever's causing it, it will absolutely take over your entire life. It will go over every single part of you. It will consume you. It will control you. It will contaminate you. And eventually it will condemn you.

There was a professional photographer and he specialized in digital imaging. And he could really fix up a picture. You know what I'm talking about it. And could really kinda Photoshop, make people look their best. He said a woman came in and went to him one day and he said, "I got a family portrait". And he said, "Can you do something with it"? He looks at it, "Oh, absolutely". She said, "Great". She said, "I'll pay whatever it costs". She said, "Would you just do me one favor"? She said, "Do me two favors". He said, "Sure". He said, "could you just take 30 pounds off of me in this picture"? He go, "Yeah, I can do that". He thought to himself, that's a nice request. But then she said, "Okay, so you can take 30 pounds off of me, right"? He said, "Yeah". She said, "Okay, now can you put it on my sister"?

Now, we need to lock the doors. Listen to me, we need to lock the doors to the house of our heart. And we need to borrow the thief of jealousy from ever entering because he'll take everything you've got that's good, and sweet, and valuable, and kind, and helps you to be contended with who you are. So, we talked about how it starts, but now let's talk about this. Let's consider how the power jealousy stops. How do you stop it? How do you stop it? And again, I'm being honest. And God used it, but there is a guy that she would be married till today. And let me just tell you this, I have no doubt they did live happily ever after. He loved her, she loved him. He was a great young man, I'm serious. I've never met him, but he's a great young man. But because he couldn't stop that one thing, it killed the whole relationship.

Well, how do you stop jealousy? Well, there are many ways to slay the green-eyed monster. And Paul of all people, the apostle Paul knew how to do it. And had to do it because if anybody had any reason to be jealous, you think about it envious. If you don't think about the apostle Paul, he had a reason to be jealous. You have thought about this? Don't you think he ever had to fight being jealous of James, and Peter, and John? Oh yeah, he saw the risen Lord older Damascus road. That was cool, but you know what? James and Peter and John could have said to him at any time, been there, done that, own the factory.

I can imagine they're sitting around a campfire and Paul said, "Boys, I wanna tell you there's just nothing like seeing the risen Lord". All Peter had to say was, "You should have seen him before he got crucified. You should've seen him walk on the water. You should have seen him feed those 5,000 people. You should have heard that Sermon on the Mount". You don't think Paul in his flesh could have had every single reason to have been jealous of James and Peter and John? He knew exactly what jealousy was all about. And in a book called Philippians, Paul offers what he found to be a powerful antidote to this potentially poisonous emotion.

So, let me just stop right here. If you're honest enough watching me right now, you're watching it on an iPad, television, computer, iPhone. You're watching by TV, whatever, and you're sitting there and you're being honest to yourself, you're saying to yourself, you know what? jealous is killing my marriage. Jealous is killing this friendship. Jealousy is killing my soul. I'm eaten up with jealousy. How do I stop it? I want you to listen carefully. I'm gonna tell you in one word how to do it. Here we go. I have learned to be... About to say that word real loud, content. Say it real loud, content. I have learned... learn. It doesn't just happen. I have learned to be content, whatever the circumstances.

Listen this next statement. This will be worth coming to church for, including me who has to battle it still to this day, jealousy. Sure. If you really believe what I'm gonna tell you to believe, you'll start seeing jealousy just start to die right in front of you. You ready? Everybody ready? If you believe you're where God wants you to be, if you believe you are who God wants you to be, and if you believe you have what God wants you to have. But do you want to say it? I'm where God wants me to be. I'm who God wants me to be. And I have what God wants me to have. You have zero reason to be jealous of anybody. Zero, zero. You have no reason.

Why would you be jealous of what somebody else has if you've got what God wants you to have? Why would you be jealous of where somebody else is if God's has you where you are? Why would you be jealous of who somebody else is, if God wants you to be who you are? Why would it be jealous of any other pastor of any of the church, if I believe this is the church God wants me to pastor? And I believe that. And I know just for the record, I wouldn't trade this church for any of the church in the world. Just FYI. I wouldn't trade you people for any other people in the world. We may not have... Let me tell you something.

Listen, we may not have the most people... Don't tell anybody this, it sounds so arrogant, but it's true. I got the best people. I got the best people, okay? So, that's what jealousy really is. So, let's just really uncover jealousy for what it is. Let me tell you what jealousy really is. Jealousy is not about you, jealous is not about me, jealous is not about somebody else. You don't what jealous is all about? It's all about God. Because when you're jealous, here's what you're really saying to God. You're saying to God, "You're not fair. You don't love me as much as you love that other person. If you really cared about me, you wouldn't give them what you think. You know what you are, you play favorites".

God doesn't play favorites. God has estimates. God doesn't play favorites. And what you're really saying is, "You know what? You don't have the right to bless somebody else differently than you bless me. You don't have the right to put somebody else higher than you put me. You've got no right to make somebody more prosperous than you have me. You've got no right to promote somebody else more than you". The scripture says, "It's God that puts one up, and God that puts another down". So, you don't want I realize? Took me a while. Yeah, I need to learn how to say amen in somebody else's revival, because that's where God puts them.

Why am I worried about where God puts them? Why can't I be satisfied where God put me? A pastor of a great church, the best church on the planet. I'm married to the best woman in this world. I got some of the best friends anybody's ever had in their life. I've got right now as far as I know my health outside just a little bit of shoulder problem. I'm in great health and that's gonna get better. Why would I be jealous of anybody, of anything, of any reason. Listen, one of the greatest men in the Old Testament was Moses. He was a man of God. God blessed him. God bless him the great way. Well, God multiplied his ministry in the lives of 70 elders. And they were all given the gift of prophecy.

Well, there were two men... You may not remember this story, that's okay. There were two men, their name was Eldad and Medad. They were really, really gifted men. They were really great preachers and they began to prophesy in the camp. And I mean, God's power began to move in a great and a mighty way. Well, Josh who was Moses right-hand man. He comes running to Moses. And he says, "Moses, Moses, do you hear what they're doing"? He says, "Moses stopped them. Don't let them do that". And listen to what Moses said. This is so sweet. But Moses replied, "Are you jealous for my sake? I wish that all the Lord's people were prophets and that the Lord would put his spirit on them". What a great man. He said, "Look, I'm in my own skin, I'm where God wants me to be, I'm who God wants me to be, I have what God wants me to have, listen, why should I be jealous of them? We ought to be glad that God's word is being preached everywhere in such a powerful way".

So, I want you to listen to these words. Listen, we're gonna wrap this up. "It is a good test of the rise and fall of egotism," pride. "To notice how you listen to the praises of other men, of your own standing. Until you can listen to the praises of someone else without any desire to indulge in distraction or any attempt to belittle his work, you may be sure there's an unmodified prairie of egotistic impulse in your nature yet to be brought under the grace of God". Boy, when I read that, can I tell you, I mean, you talk about a pastorate got under conviction. I got under a big time conviction. And I am convinced the great antidote to the poison of jealousy is contentment. That you just wake up every day and the first thing you wanna say is, "I just thank you for who I am. I thank you for where I am. And I thank you for what I have".

So, to wrap this up, we're done. I love this story. I may have told to you, but I don't remember. There was a rich businessman and he would drive by fishermen every day. And this fishermen, he noticed every time he drove by the same time in the afternoon, and that fishermen wound would just be sitting beside his boat. Well, he would wave to the fishermen, but the fishermen would barely acknowledge this man as a road bombing. He rode by in his big limousine. He was driven by chauffeur and made a big show of his wealth and he'd wave at this fishermen. And he just wouldn't acknowledge it.

So, one day this rich man pulls over to the side of the road and he got out and he walked over to the man and he said, "Excuse me". He said, "Do you know who I am"? And the fishermen said, "Yes, sir, I know who you are". He said, "Really"? He said, "Well, do you know how rich I am"? He said, "Well, yes sir". He said, "You're one of the richest men in this state". He said, "Well, I'd drive by here about the same time every day. And I'll wave at you and I acknowledge you and you said you hardly ever even acknowledged me. You even speak to me". He said, "Why are you so jealous of me"? And the man said, "Oh sir, I'm so sorry. I'm not jealous of you. I'm not jealous of anybody". He said, "What? Is everybody jealous of somebody"? He said, "No, sir. I'm not jealous of anybody".

He says, "I guess the reason why I just don't pay much attention to you is 'cause I'm usually sitting there thinking about how happy I am and how contented I am, how satisfied I am in my life". This man said, "Well I drive by here the same time every day in the afternoon. And you're just sitting beside your boat". He said, "Yes, sir". He said, "Why aren't you out there fishing"? He said, "Well, because by the time you drive by everyday, I've caught all the fish that I need". And the businessman said, "Well, why don't you catch more fish than you need"? And the fisherman said, "Well, what would I do with them"? The businessman said, "Well, you could sell those fish". He said, "Okay". "Then you'd earn more money".

Okay. "Then you could buy a bigger boat and you could go deeper. You could catch more fish" He said, "Okay". He said, "Then you could purchase nylon nets and you could catch even more fish and you can make even more money". He said, "Okay". He said, "Soon, guess what? You can buy a bunch of other boats and hire a bunch of other people for you. And then you'd be rich, just like I am. And you never have to worry about being jealous". And the fishermen said, "But I don't have a problem being jealous". He's said, "Besides that, if I did everything that you said, and I wound up as rich as you are, then what would I do"? And the businessman said, "Well, you just sit down and enjoy life". And the man said, "What do you think I'm doing every day"?

You got a choice. You gotta hear me today, you have a choice. You can nurture jealousy in your life and kill your contentment. Or you can nurture contentment in your life and kill your jealousy. But when you finally wake up one morning and you finally realized that the God that created you, and the God that birthed you, and the God that grew you, and the God that guided you, and the God that loved you so much, he sent his son to die for you. And the God that provides for you, and the God that protects you every single day, when you finally understand he's already given you more than you need, you are where you need to be. You are exactly who He want you to be. And you realize how blessed you are, then you'll say, you know what? "I don't have any reason to be jealous of anybody". And you will have slayed the green-eyed monster exactly where he stood.

Would you pray with me right now with head bowed, with eyes closed? I'll be honest. I don't know who I'm talking to in this room exactly, I don't know who's listening to me right now, but let me tell you something. And I know this, there's a marriage somewhere here or out there beyond that camera and it's in big trouble. And you know is in trouble? Because of jealousy. There's some of you right now, you don't even get a good night's sleep because of jealousy. There's some of you right now, you don't have a good relationship with somebody in your family because of jealousy. There's somebody out there right now, you can't even enjoy your house because your high school buddy bought a bigger one than you've gotten. And it eats you up with jealousy.

I want you to hear me clearly. There's one being in the universe that has a right to be jealous and that's God. God is a jealous God. And that's not a good thing, not a bad thing. You say, "Well, why is jealousy wrong for me, but it's not wrong for God"? Because God's the only God there is. And if you're listening to me, if you're jealous of anything or anybody... Listen what I'm about to tell you if you're jealous of anything or anybody, that thing, that person, that relationship, is more important to you than God. And that makes God very jealous. I don't have the right to be jealous of another pastor. You know why? 'Cause I'm not the only pastor that is in the world. I don't have the right to be jealous of another husband. You know why? 'Cause I'm not the only husband in the world.

But God has a right to be jealous for us because he's the only God in the world. And yes, God sends his son, Jesus Christ to die on the cross to pay for your sins. He brings him back from the dead. so you can have eternal life. And you say, "No, he has every right to be jealous that you would put anything ahead of him". So, if you've never trusted in Jesus as your Lord and your savior, whether it's jealousy, bitterness, anger, it doesn't matter. That can die in an instant the moment you give your life to Jesus. If you've never trusted in Christ as your Lord and savior, but you would like to, would you just simply pray this prayer with me right now. I'm gonna pray it out loud. Would you just pray it in your heart? Would you just say right now:

Lord Jesus, I'm jacked up. I'm messed up because we're all messed up. We're all jacked up just in different ways. I'm a sinner and I need a savior. I'm telling you today, Lord Jesus, I believe you are who you said you are, and you did what you said you did. I believe you died on the cross. I believe God raised him from the dead. I believe you're alive right now. And I'm asking you right now, Lord Jesus, come into my heart, save me, forgive me of my sins. I repent and turn away from my sinful ways. I turned my life completely over to you. I trust you as my savior. I surrender to you as my Lord. Kill everything that's ever kept me from you. And helped me to be everything that you want me to be.

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