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Watch 2022 online sermons » Joyce Meyer » Joyce Meyer - Making Right Choices - Part 1

Joyce Meyer - Making Right Choices - Part 1

Joyce Meyer - Making Right Choices - Part 1
TOPICS: Choices, Decisions
Joyce Meyer - Making Right Choices - Part 1

Well, thank you for joining us today on, "Enjoying Everyday Life". And you know what? I believe that what I'm going to teach, today, is going to help you enjoy every single day of your life more. You know, I wonder how many decisions you've already made today. I wonder how many choices you've looked at, "I can do this," or, "I can do this," and made a decision about which one you're going to do. I don't know how many decisions we make every day, how many choices we make, but it wouldn't surprise me if it's up towards a 1.000. We make decisions about what to wear, about what to eat, about what to say, about what we think. We're always making decisions. And if you make right decisions, you're gonna like your life a lot more than you're gonna like it, if you make wrong decisions.

You know, a lot of times our lives are not going good, and we like to blame, blame, blame. Blame it on somebody else, blame it on something else, blame it on the devil. But a lot of times, it's because we're making wrong choices. Now, God has given us his word. And if we follow the word, do what it says, we'll make right choices instead of wrong ones. And obviously, the Bible doesn't cover every single, solitary thing that you might need to make a choice about. But you have the Holy Spirit, if you're a believer, you have the Holy Spirit living on the inside of you. And one of the things that he's sent to do is to guide us and lead us. So, we need to follow the leadership of the Holy Spirit.

You might say, "Well, Joyce, how does he guide us"? Well, one of the things is, is like, we say, sometimes, "You know, I just had a check about that". Well, what do we mean? We just mean, I started to do something, and I just felt a little uncomfortable. You're in a conversation, you're talking about something, and it's making you a little uncomfortable. Well, maybe, it's because you're talking about something that you shouldn't be talking about. The Holy Spirit leads us by peace. We should let peace be the umpire in our life. Now, if we make right choices, life is gonna be great. If we make wrong choices, we're gonna get the result of those wrong choices. You know, it's wonderful that God has created us in a way that we can make choices. We have free will. And I think everybody wants that. But there's also a responsibility that comes with being able to make your own choices.

Deuteronomy 30:19 says: "This day I call the heaven and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you, life and death," good and evil, "Blessing and cursing. Now choose life". I always liked that. It's kinda like, these are your choices, and in case you don't know which one to do, choose life. "That you and your children may live". Do you know the choices that you make, not only affect you, but they affect the other people around you? Our children, different ones of them, have come to us and thanked us at different times for the things that we taught them growing up: for teaching them to give, for teaching them integrity, for the sacrifices that we made so they could have the lives that they had. Every decision that we made affected our children. And now, the decisions that they're making are affecting their children.

If you don't make right choices... and I want you to really listen to this, what you're gonna have is regret. And there's nothing worse than regretting what you've done but not being able to go back and fix it. You know, Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of stew. And the Bible says that later, he sought for an opportunity to undo that decision, but he could not find one. Now, we can always be forgiven for wrong things that we do. God is merciful, and he's gracious, and he forgives, and forgives, and forgives, and forgives. And the Bible says that he not only forgives our sins, but he forgets them, and moves them as far as the east is from the west. We can be forgiven, but we cannot always undo the circumstances that we get as a result of what we have done. Sometimes you can, but a lot of times you can't. To regret means to feel sorry, disappointed, or distressed about something, to feel sorrow or grief over something, to mourn, a sense of loss and longing for someone that's gone, distress over a desire unfulfilled, or an action performed or not performed.

Now, you know, anytime that I talk about regret, I have to think about my own father, who has now, thankfully, gone on to be with the Lord. And I'm glad to be able to say that he is with the Lord. But he did not make a decision to receive Christ, as his Savior, until he was 80 years old. He died when he was 83. The other 80 years of his life, he made all kinds of wrong choices. He just was mean. He was hard to get along with. He drank excessively, alcohol. He didn't like people. He abused me sexually. He was a lousy father to my brother. He was violent with my mother. Well, I can tell you, and I hate to have to give this report, but at the end of his life, I know he looked back and he was sorry for the way he had lived. I know he was sorry for what he did to me, because he finally, when he was 80, told me that he was sorry for what he did. But he waited until he was 80 to tell me that he was sorry.

And, you know, I have to say, and this sounds bad, but really, even when he was gone, I don't think there was anybody that missed him. There was nobody at his funeral, except the few of us in the family. And that's sad. It's really sad, but it was his own fault because he made wrong choices. He had a wrong life. Well, I believe that some of you, today, many of you are making right decisions, and you're growing in God, and you're enjoying your life. But I also, believe that there are people watching, today, and maybe, you turned the program on accidentally, you thought. Something caught your interest, so you're still listening. Maybe you watch all the time, but there's some things in your life that you've been kind of letting slide. And I really want to encourage you to think about the decisions and the choices that you're making, in every area of your life, and make a decision, that to the best of your ability, you are going to try to make right choices, because I want you to hear me, every choice that you make, right, or wrong has some impact on your life.

If you make a wrong decision, there's going to be a circumstance, come up, that you are not going to like, or enjoy. But if you make right decisions, there's going to be something good, that's gonna happen in your life, that you are gonna like, and you're going to enjoy let's talk about some examples of things that people might regret. Have you ever said, "I wish I wouldn't have done that," or, "I wish I would have done that," or, "I wish I wouldn't have said that," "I really regret that I ate that"? I think we've all been there. "I wish I had saved more money, all these years. Now, I regret that I spent everything that I had". "I regret that I never exercised in my life, and now, I feel so bad and I feel so tired, all the time". "I regret that I didn't finish school". "I wish I would have spent more time with my children, when they were young, but I was too busy trying to make money, and I didn't have time for my family and my friends. And now, I'm lonely because I didn't build any relationships," and on, and on, and on, and on.

Well, you know what? Wishing doesn't change anything. When you hear statements like that, those are statements of regret. But the good news today, is you can do something about it by making right choices. You know, Proverbs is a book in the Bible that is full of wisdom. We call it the book of wisdom. And it covers so many areas of our life. It covers financial matters. It talks a lot about the mouth. It talks about anger and how angry people are going to have bad lives. It wouldn't hurt to read, there's 31 Proverbs, in the book of Proverbs, one for every single day of the month. How 'bout if you read one proverb every single day? And at the end of the year, you would have read each one 12 times.

Many people regret their whole life, and if they do, it's just the result of making wrong choices. You know, there's a man in the Bible, named Gehazi. And he was actually, a servant of Elisha. And Elisha was a great prophet. And there was a man, named Naaman, who was the commander of an army, and he had leprosy. And someone told him about Elisha and that he could heal him from his leprosy if he would go and see him. So, he went to the king and asked permission to go. And he asked the king, if he would send a letter to Elisha, asking him to heal him, which the king did. So, his servant, Gehazi, went along with him, and they went and knocked on Elisha's door. And the servant went in and told Elisha what the man wanted. And Elisha sent an instruction: tell him to go and wash in so-and-so river and he will be cleansed.

Well, when the servant, Gehazi, went back out and told Naaman, the prophet said, "You are to do this," he got upset. He said, "Well, I thought he would at least come out and wave his hand over me". He had a problem with pride. He wanted the prophet to come out, and make a big deal over him, and be all excited that he had come. And, you know, maybe the attitude that he had, was the reason why he had leprosy to start with. A lot of times, the problems that we have in our life, are things that we have done, that if we wouldn't have done them, we wouldn't have that problem.

Now, that's not always the case. But it could have been, in his instance. Well, he was gonna leave in a huff, and be mad. And some of the people with him, talked him into going ahead, and doing what the prophet had told him to do. And sure enough, he went and washed in the river, and he was cleansed. Well, he was so excited. He had taken along with him gifts, silver, gold, different clothing items that he was gonna give the prophet if he was healed. Well, when he tried to give these things to Elisha, he said, "No, I will not take anything". He didn't want anything for just functioning in the gift that God had given him. He didn't want anything from Naaman. And so, Naaman, and his group, they started back home.

Well, Gehazi, the servant of Elisha got to thinking about that money. You know, sometimes, we get ourselves in trouble because we kinda get to thinking about the wrong thing. And he thought about that money, and he thought about those clothes, and he thought, "Well, why shouldn't we have some of that"? So, he decided he was gonna go chase after Naaman. And he told him a lie. He said, "My master Elisha has sent me to you. A couple of people came that he wasn't expecting, and now, he needs some supplies for them. So, he would like some of the money, and some of the changes of clothes". Well, Naaman, was very happy to give them to him. And, of course, Gehazi thought that Elisha would not know anything about it. But Elisha new things, because God revealed them to him. So, when Gehazi got back, and Elisha asked him where he'd been, he lied to the prophet. And then, he said, "No," and he told him what he'd done, and so on, and so forth. Well, Gehazi ended up with the leprosy that Naaman had.

And you know, here's the interesting thing. You never hear anything in the Bible about Gehazi, again. I wonder how many people had an opportunity for greatness, but somewhere along the line, they made wrong choices and then you never hear from them, again. You know, we can even think about different, famous people that we hear about. Maybe, a great singer, or an actor, or an actress, or some kind of performer, this happens fairly often, boy, they come on the scene and they're so popular and everybody loves 'em, and they're getting awards, and they're on everything. And then, all of a sudden, they start making some wrong choices. And you know, one of the reasons, why we make wrong choices is, sometimes, we start thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought to. We begin to think that we can just get by with whatever we wanna do. And then, all of a sudden, you just don't hear about those people anymore.

Well, what happened to 'em? Well, something happened to 'em, and it was something that wasn't good. I don't know if Gehazi was around and saw some of the good choices that other people made later on, and what happened to them. But if he was, I'm sure that he regretted when he thought about the man that he could have been. I wonder if there's any of you, today, that you're regretting the person you could have been, and you think it's too late. You know what? I have a feeling that God has you watching this today, because he wants you to know that he's merciful, and forgiving, and it's not too late for you. You can begin again. God is always got a fresh start for people.

1 Timothy 6:10 says, "For the love of money is the root of all evil". And you know, Gehazi let the love of money destroy his life. Now, you know, we all wanna make money. We all wanna be successful. And there's an opportunity, in America, if you work hard, you can increase and do lots of great things. But let me tell you something. Money is not the most important thing in the world. And the things that money can buy are not the most important things in the world. You can like money. You can enjoy money, but don't love money. And don't ever use people to get money. Use money, to bless people. I wanna say that again. Don't use people to get money. Use money to be a blessing to people. And if you do that, you'll always be on the right side of things.

There was a young man who came to Jesus, and he was a rich young man. And he said to Jesus, "What must I do to inherit eternal life". And Jesus told him, "Well, don't kill, don't steal, don't commit adultery," and he was talking about the Ten Commandments. And the young man, said, "Oh, I've done all that from my youth". And so, Jesus said to him, "Well, there's one thing you still lack". But I love in Mark 10:21, it says, "Jesus looked at him and loved him". There's so many times when Jesus said hard things to people, but he said them because he loved them. You know, sometimes, we think people only love us if they tell us everything, we wanna hear, and give us everything, we want. But sometimes, not giving somebody what they want is a greater act of love than giving them what they want. And he said, "'you still lack one thing. Go and sell everything you have and give it to the poor, and then you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, and follow me'".

Well, that sounds like it would have been a pretty difficult thing to do. And sure enough, it says, "The man went away sad, depressed, gloomy and grieved, because he had great possessions". And you know what? I'm sure that he probably stayed that way for the rest of his life, because he made a bad decision over money. Don't do that. If you were in Mark chapter 10, and you can read it later, I believe if the man would have done what Jesus asked him to do, he would have had joy and peace, and he would have gotten back what he gave away, multiplied many times over. Because a few versus after this event that I'm telling you about, in Mark chapter 10, Jesus told his disciples that, "It was hard for a rich man to get into heaven, but all things are possible with God". And then, he said, "Anyone who gives up houses, lands, mother, father, anybody for my sake will, in this lifetime, receive 100 times as much as they gave".

You know what? God is never trying to take anything away from you. He's always trying to get more to you. What was this young man's problem? Why did he make the wrong decision? Because he loved his money too much. You can love money too much, and it will keep you from making right choices in your life. I really wanna encourage you today, to look at your life and to make right choices. Do you know one choice can change your destiny? One choice, in my life, changed my destiny.

Back in 1976, the Holy Spirit touched my life. And God put in my heart that he wanted me to teach his word all over the world. Well, to be honest, it sounded like a crazy thing. I mean, I wasn't qualified to do that. I didn't have the education to do that. That's been 45 years ago. Women didn't do that, then. But by the grace of God, I made the decision to step out, and start in the direction of trying to do what I felt like God had told me to do. And it cost me a lot of relationships. There were a lot of people who thought I'd lost my mind, and they didn't wanna be friends with me anymore, if I was going to do that. But you know what? That one choice changed my life. It altered my destiny.

And I believe that some of you have choices in front of you, right now, very serious choices. Maybe, you're thinking about getting married, but you really don't have peace about the person you're about to marry. You kind of, down deep inside, know that it's not gonna go good. But you're kinda desperate. You're afraid that you'll never have anybody. So, you're thinking, you're gonna go ahead, and do it, anyway. You know what? I made that mistake in my life. When I was 18 years old, I married a young man. The first man that came along that showed me any attention. And I was afraid, because I'd been sexually abused, by my father, that I would never have anybody. And so, even though, I didn't have peace about what I was doing, I did it anyway. And sure enough, it turned out to be a 5-year disaster, where I just got hurt over, and over, and over again. And so, I'm pleading with you, today, if you're at a point of decision in your life, especially a serious decision, go with peace. Don't just go with what you wanna do. Go with peace.

Romans 5:19 says, "For just as through the disobedience of one man that many were made sinners". And that's talking about Adam. Adam let sin into the world through his one, bad choice. "So, also, through the obedience of one man", that man being Jesus Christ, "The many will be made righteous". Thank God, for Jesus, and that he came and made the right choice to do his father's will even though it was a difficult thing to do. I had to make a choice between my friends, my reputation, or following God. And I'm so grateful that he gave me the grace to follow God. Joshua 24:15 says, "Choose for yourself this day whom you will serve. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord".

And I wanna tell you today that you need to make the choice that, you know, that God is leading you to make. Because I shudder to think what my life would have been like, had I done what people wanted me to do, or what I thought would have been comfortable. If your marriage is in trouble, be sure you make the right choice. You know, when Dave and I first got married, I had a lot of problems from my childhood of being abused, and I didn't really know I had a lot of problems. I mean, I knew my behavior was bad, but I made all kinds of excuses for it. And Dave put up with it for a long time. He's a very patient and a loving man. And then, finally, he came to the point where he said, "You know, something? You've got me to the point where I just can hardly stand you". And he said, "I'm a man of God and I wanna do what's right, but I don't really know how much longer I can put up with this". Well, you know what? I had a decision to make. And at that point, in my life, thank God, he helped me make the right decision, and I decided that I needed to change.

Now, I want you to listen to me 'cause somebody needs to hear this today. You can blame your problems on everybody else. You can find fault with everybody else. But you can't change them, you can't do anything about them, only God can. You can pray for them. The only person you can do anything about is you, and you can't do that without God's help. So, maybe, you need to be the one to say today, "God, I need to change, and I want you to change me". Stop blaming everything on somebody else, and take responsibility for the mess your life has gotten into, and start learning how to make right choices in your life. I hope this has helped you today. God loves you. He has got a great plan for your life, so start cooperating with him. God bless you.
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