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Watch 2022 online sermons » Joyce Meyer » Joyce Meyer - Grow Your Faith - Part 1

Joyce Meyer - Grow Your Faith - Part 1

Joyce Meyer - Grow Your Faith - Part 1
TOPICS: Spiritual Growth, Faith
Joyce Meyer - Grow Your Faith - Part 1

We have a tendency sometimes, to just kinda sit and hope somethin' good happens. But I want you to release your faith this afternoon. Faith is a force that you have inside your spirit. And you can just let it sit there, or you can release it on purpose. And I want you to release your faith, that everything I say this afternoon you're gonna get something out of it. Everything. There's a scripture in Hebrews 4 verse 2, that says, "For indeed we have had the glad tidings [the gospel] proclaimed to us just as truly as they [the Israelites of old did when the good news of deliverance from bondage came to them]".

So, the Israelites heard messages that were good news about being delivered from bondage. But now, listen to this, "But the message they heard did not benefit them, because it was not mixed with faith". The messages they heard didn't benefit them, because it was not mixed with faith. And it concerns me sometimes, that people just come and just sit in church, and kinda wait for somebody to do somethin' to 'em. And they don't really mix their faith with what they're hearing. They don't really like, "This is for me". Sometimes we sit in church, and we think of all the people we wish were there to hear that good message. Don't we? But you're here, and that means you need to hear what's being said. And that means you need to apply it to your life. And so, you're gonna really listen, and you're gonna listen already having your mind made up: "God's gonna teach me something today, and by his grace, I'm gonna go outta here and do it".

So, I think it's very important that we decide ahead of time, I'm gonna learn something today, and I'm gonna do it. We don't just need more knowledge in our head, we need more action, on the knowledge that we have. You know, we Christians, we like to color in our Bibles. We've got all these colored magic markers, and we like to underline everything. And I don't know, it just makes me feel better if I underline it. It just, you know, if I read something that really seems to kinda jump out at me, I gotta get a pen and underline it. And, you know, you can underline it, and put stars around it, and highlight it in yellow, and be proud of yourself when you open up your Bible, it looks like a coloring book.

C'mon, be truthful. Have you ever just opened up your Bible, and secretly hoped that the person next to you saw how spiritual you are? Man, I tell you, my husband has got his Bible so marked up, and he has got so many bookmarks in his Bible, I'm afraid to touch the thing. And I mean, just lookin' at his Bible, you'd think, "This man is a spiritual giant". Well, he is. But I'm just saying that, you really can't tell that just by his Bible, you could only tell it by his character. When are we ever gonna realize, "You will know them by their fruit"? You'll know them by their fruit.

I recently heard a story about somebody who, got a big mess going on in their life, I'm not gonna get into it. But you kinda look back and think, "How can that happen to somebody like that"? But then, if you really think about it, this person really wasn't that nice to the people that worked for him. Minister, but wasn't that nice to the people that worked for him. Didn't treat people really all that good. And, you know, to me, there's nothing worse, than a minister who mistreats people. I mean, I think that stinks in the nostrils of God. That just upsets me more than anything. And so, we could've known years ago, that something was gonna fall apart down the road, if we woulda just been a little better fruit inspectors. Amen?

And I wanna encourage you to be a good fruit inspector: the people you listen to, the people who have input in your life, the people you hang around with, the people you eat lunch with. Do yourself a favor and get around some people that can add to your life. Amen? Get around somebody that you wanna be like them. Hang out with generous people, don't hang out with stingy people. Don't just go to lunch with somebody week, after week, after week, that always sits there and waits for you to pay the bill, 'cause it's a character issue. Don't hang out with people that gossip about other people. Because if they're talking about somebody else, they're talking about you to them. Protect yourself from the garbage that Satan tries to dump in you.

And everything you hear when you come to church... don't just come to church and hope something good happens. Pray before you get there. Pray for the ministers. Pray for the worship team. Don't just always sit and expect them to do somethin' for you. Pray for them. Let them know that you appreciate them. Do a little spiritual work before you get there. Take a little extra money, you know, a couple of tens, or twenties and see somebody that looks like they're hurtin', or need to be encouraged. Or find a single mom and give her the money to take her kids out to lunch. Don't always just go to see what you can get. "Well, I'm gonna go and get my blessing". Oh, sometimes I just get so tired of that. I want everybody to be blessed, but I want you to be a blessing.

Do you know it's greater to be a blessing, than it is to get blessed? "It's more blessed to give than to receive". Amen? So, I want you to mix your faith with everything you hear this afternoon. We're talking about how much fear there is, and that there's only one way to conquer fear, and that's with faith. You know, there's certain antidotes for different poisons, or like different snake bites. And there's antidotes, for some of the junk the devil tries to throw at us, too. Being thankful is the antidote for grouchiness and complaining.

And you know, I wrote that book called, "The Power of Thank You". And I've been encouraging you this weekend to get it. And I don't know how many of you have been smart enough to go get it yet? But, you know, that book really helped me. Because you know what I found? I mean, I have found this to actually be a reality. If I start to kinda sink, maybe I'm tired, you know, like, I'll be tired when I get home from here. And tomorrow it's gonna be warm in St. Louis. My husband's probably gonna go play golf, and I'm gonna be home by myself. And I'm gonna be tired. And this doesn't happen very often anymore, but you know, I could start to kinda get... "Just give everybody everything I got. What does anybody do for me"? I'm not beyond that, the devil attacks me, too.

And let me tell you something. The devil comes after you when you're tired, more than any other time. You gotta be really careful when you get excessively tired, because you're weak. And he comes against you when you're weak. And I have discovered, just try this. When I start to feel that, if I start, I mean, I'll just say "Uh-uh devil, been there done that, here's what I got to say, 'God, I'm thankful that I've got this beautiful home. I'm thankful that I can stay here today by myself and rest and nobody's gonna bother me. I'm thankful God, I got to preach to all those people this weekend.'" and I'll tell you what, you can run the devil off by being thankful.

Now, don't forget what I said. I just said you can run the devil off by being thankful. Don't sit around and gripe about what you don't have. Thank God for what you do have, 'cause no matter how bad your situation is, it could be a lot worse. Amen? I hope somebody's gettin' convicted. Not condemned, but convicted. We need to not complain. God is good to every one of us. So, I wanna talk about faith some more this afternoon. Gonna talk specifically in a little bit about the shield of faith. You probably see my shield up here. First of all, I wanna tell you that faith can grow. The Bible talks about great faith and little faith. And I don't wanna have little faith, I wanna have great faith. And you know how your faith can grow? The only way it can grow is if you use it.

You got to use what you have, if you want more. You invest what you have, and it will increase. And faith is a force that's on the inside of you, but it has to be released. And you release your faith, I think, I know three ways you can do it for sure, by praying, by saying, and by doing. When you pray in faith, the Bible says that, "The fervent effectual prayer of a righteous man avails much". I wanna tell you something, I am a big fan of prayer. And I'm not even necessarily talking about locking yourself in a room and, you know, praying five and six hours at a time. I think we need to pray our way through the day.

What does the Bible say? Be constant in prayer. Pray at all times everywhere about everything. You don't have to be in some spiritual position on your knees, with your eyes closed to pray. Prayer is just talking to God. But you gotta mix your faith with it. Do you know it's very possible to pray, and not mix your faith with it at all? Let's just talk about prayin' over our food. "Oh father, thank you for this food, I ask you to bless it in the name, bless my body, in Jesus' name, amen". We pray over our food all the time. And so, it can just become this ritual, that means nothing to us.

I read that in a book the other day, and I thought, "You know what? I'm guilty of that and I'm gonna stop that". Because I don't want what I eat to kill me and make me sick. And the stuff we eat today, especially if you eat out, there's all kinds of stuff in it, chemicals, and this and that, and something else. I was looking up some nutritional facts on this one restaurant we eat at. And this one dish that Dave eats had 3700 mg of salt in it. You'd be surprised what an education you'd get about what you're putting in your body, if you just do a little bit of study. No wonder God tells us to pray over our food. Amen?

I honestly think if we were more sincere in our prayer, and the Bible talks about that, about being sincere when you pray, "The fervent effectual prayer of a righteous man avails much". "Makes tremendous power available in it's working". You do the best you can to choose right things to eat, and then when you pray over that stuff, stay focused. That doesn't mean you have to get loud and long. It just means to be focused. Think about what you're really saying, "Father, thank you for this food. If you didn't give it to me, I could have nothing. And I pray over this, that if there's anything harmful in it, that you will take it out and not let it make me sick. I pray that this will be health and nourishment to me, in Jesus' name, amen". Well, that's much better than, "Thank you for the food", anybody agree with what I'm saying?

So, I want you to understand what I'm sayin'. Things don't work, if you're not releasing your faith with 'em. You can have faith and not release it. So, you can release it through praying. You can release it through saying, through declaring the Word of God. When I don't feel good, or when I get sick, I will always say, "I believe God's healing power is working in me, and every day I'm gonna get better and better in every way". But you know, we're tempted, we're all tempted to just go around all day, and talk about how bad we feel. We want everybody to know how bad we feel. Well, that's fine, you can tell somebody, "I'm not feeling good". But at least follow it up with, "But I believe God is working in me, and every day I'm gonna get better and better in every way".

And, when I'm having a trial, when I'm having a problem, I have formed the habit of always saying, "This is gonna end well. Right now, I'm really going through it and it's hard. But I'll tell you what, this is gonna end well. And God's gonna take what Satan meant for harm and work it out for my good". See, you can release your faith by saying. Not only that, if you listen to people, you can tell how much faith they've got by what they say, especially when they're having a problem. And you can learn a lot about yourself, if you listen to what you say, when you're having a problem. If you're already sick and tired, why do you say, "I'm so sick and tired of being sick and tired"? Why not say, "This too will pass, God's gonna work this out for good, and I believe it's gonna end well".

We could use a good message on the mouth, couldn't we? 2 Thessalonians 1:3, "We ought always," always, "To thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing". I love that. Don't ever get to the point where you think you've arrived. Don't you dare, if I talk about a certain scripture, and you open your Bible up, and you got it underlined and all colored in, don't you dare think, "Oh, I got that one. I know that one". No, you say, "I need this, tell it to me again".

Paul said I never get tired of telling you the same stuff over and over. You know, why? It takes us a while to get it. And then I don't know about you, but I need to be reminded of stuff. 'Cause there's so many things that the Bible teaches us, that we can let things slip. You can be generous at one point in your life, and then maybe start to backslide in generosity. And so, God will send somebody along to teach a message on generosity, and then you get back on track. I believe that everything in God's kingdom should always be growing. We should always be growing as believers. Be growing in our faith. And I love this, be growing in the love that you have for one another.

If there was only one message that I could preach the rest of my life, I would have to preach on loving God, loving yourself, and loving others. 'Cause I'll tell you when you get right down to it, the main theme of the Bible is faith and love. Faith and love. And the Bible says that our faith only works and is energized through love. Everything in God's kingdom grows.

2 Corinthians 4:13, "It is written: 'I believed: therefore I have spoken'. Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore we speak". If you're a real man or woman of faith, people hear it coming out of your mouth. And then, you can release your faith through doing what God tells you to do, through taking God-inspired action. Faith works through love. It works through knowing that God loves you. You're not gonna put faith in God, if you're not positive, that he loves you. So, let me tell you again, God loves you. And then, I wanna go to a scripture I've mentioned a couple of times, but I wanna read this to you, point out something.

Mark 11:24, or 22, "'have faith in God,' Jesus answered. 'truly I tell you, if anybody says to this mountain, "Go, and throw yourself into the sea," and does not doubt in their heart but believe that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours'". Well, how can I believe that I have something that I can't see? Because you can have things in your heart before you have them in your possession. Amen? I haven't seen Jesus return yet, but I'll tell you what, you're not gonna convince me that he's not coming back.

I believe he's coming back. I haven't seen an angel but I know there are angels that watch over us and protect us. I don't see gravity, but I use it every day. C'mon? So, you do believe things that you can't see. So, he says, "Believe that you have received it". So, to me, that's just like saying, "I've asked for it, I believe it's on its way. And I believe God's timing is perfect in my life". Amen? Believe that you have received it, and you will get it.

Now, I made a point last night, out of saying that he doesn't bother to say when you'll get it. And that can kinda be somewhat of a problem, because if we really read the Bible, Abraham waited 20 years, Moses waited 40 years, Joseph waited 13 years. You say, "Man, don't tell me that. I can't wait that long". Well, your breakthrough could come in the next 20 minutes. But you gotta make your mind up, if it is 20 years, you're still gonna keep believing God. We cannot put time limits on our faith. We can't give God ultimatums. "Well, if something doesn't happen soon, God, I'm just gonna give up".

What, have you been saying that or what? You can wait however long you have to wait, as long as you keep a right attitude. You keep saying, "It's on its way, God's working". And I do that whenever I feel my faith start to weaken, I'll open my mouth and say, "I believe that God is working". Can I encourage you to do that? Even, you know, if you're having a long-term illness, and the devil is trying to discourage you, "You're never gonna get your healing. You're gonna be sick the rest of your life". Well, one of two things is gonna happen, either God's gonna heal you, or he's gonna give you the grace and the strength to go through whatever you need to go through. Amen?

I told you I was abused when I was a child, and I've loved God as long as I can remember. I was born again when I was nine years old and I don't even know how I knew I needed to be saved. But I had a praying grandpa and I think he just prayed me in. And I would lay in my bed at night and pray that God would get me out of that situation with my dad. I prayed that my mother would leave him. I probably prayed some stuff I shouldn't have prayed. Like I prayed that he'd die, which wasn't too good. But I just wanted out of the situation. But God didn't get me out of it. He did not get me out of it. Well, why God why? You know what? We ask too many questions that God's not gonna answer. Did you hear me? When God when, and why God why? You know what? If we have real faith, we don't need to know all that. We just say, "God, I know you're gonna do the right thing at the right time". C'mon.
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