Joyce Meyer - What Is Love? - Part 2
Romans 5:5, "And hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us". So, we have love in us, it's the Fruit of the Spirit that comes into us when we're born again. But it comes as a seed. You know, you have muscles. You might not look like it, but you got 'em. Maybe nobody can see 'em, but they're there. And the only way anybody is ever gonna see 'em, is if you exercise 'em. Well, love is not gonna grow if you don't exercise it. Kindness won't grow if you don't exercise it. Humility won't grow if you don't exercise it. And so, the more we do what God asks us to do, you know, the Bible says, "Knowledge puffeth up".
I know you can open that Bible, and if you're like me, you got a lot of stuff underlined. Well, that don't mean we know anything. And aren't we proud when the pastor says, "Gonna preach on 1 Corinthians 13 today," and you open your Bible and you got the whole thing underlined, and highlighted in yellow. And don't you secretly hope the person sitting next to you, notices how spiritual you are? We do! You can color in your whole Bible. I can give you a box of crayons, and you can sit there and color in your whole Bible all weekend, and that doesn't mean you know anything. How do you know when you know something? When you're doing it. Only when you're doing it. I know the power of forgiveness, when I'm doing it. I know the power of prayer, when I pray about things instead of worrying about them. I know the power of giving, when I give.
Joshua 1:8, way over in the very beginning of the Old Testament says, "Meditate on the Word of God day and night, that you might observe and do according to all that's written therein. For then you shall deal wisely, make your way prosperous and have success". But see, we wanna have the prosperity and success, and skip the doing. And you can't do that. We're partners with God. And God has made 7.000 promises to us in the Word of God, but there is something for us to do. I marvel at the fact that when Jesus went to raise Lazarus from the dead, he told the people to roll away the stone.
Now, let me ask you, if you're getting ready to raise a dead man why would you need people to roll away the stone? Why not just blow that baby outta there? Because they had to use their faith. See, God only moves through our faith. The devil moves through our fear, and God moves through our faith. And faith is a force on the inside of us, but it must be activated. And the way we activate it, is through praying, through saying, and through doing. When I say, "I trust God," I'm releasing my faith. When I pray instead of worrying, I'm releasing my faith. And when I go roll away the stone because God said to, I'm releasing my faith. We have to start doing what God tells us to do. "Well, it's just so hard. It's just so hard". No, being disobedient is hard, because then your life is a mess. C'mon, I've been at this 45 years, I've tried it every way that you can try it. And the only way that you're gonna end up with what God wants you to have, is to do what he tells you to do. I'm so glad I haven't forgotten how to preach.
Alright, 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, "Love endures long and is patient and kind: love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, it is not boastful, vainglorious, it does not display itself haughtily. It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride): it is not rude and (unmannerly) does not act unbecomingly. Love (God's love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking: it is not touchy or fretful or resentful: it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong]. It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness. Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening]. Love never fails".
Now, that's good. We just read all the stuff about love. But now, we're gonna have to spend the weekend taking it apart. Because these are the things that love is seen through. Love is seen through being patient with somebody else's weakness. They feel loved, when instead of making them feel stupid, the new clerk at the grocery store, she's nervous, it's her first day. This was me 45 years ago. Come through, got my big rhinestone "Jesus" pin on. Any of you ever have one of those? Those were big rhinestone "Jesus" pin. And of course, I was in a hurry because I needed to get home and pray. And so, she's getting, there's no price on this item, and she's gettin' all mixed up, and she runs out of tape in her register, and she's a nervous wreck. And you know, here I am.
Now, that is not love, because that is not patient, and that is what makes people not like Christians. 'cause I had my "Jesus" pin, but I was making her feel awful. Now, love, you don't have to wear the pin. Love is to say, "Don't worry about it, just take your time, you're doing good, we've all been new at things, you're gonna do great". And then it's to pray for her when you leave. You pray for her that she'll do good at that job, that she'll learn quickly. Quickly. We were in a restaurant one night after I had done a conference, and I was tired, I'd done four or five sessions. I used to be like a nutcase, probably prayed for everybody in the building. And we went out to eat, and we made a reservation and then when we got there, they told us they didn't take reservations. It's like, "Well, why did you take ours, if you don't take reservations"?
So, we had to wait 45 minutes to get a table. And there was a whole bunch of people with us, we had probably 12 people with us. So, we had this big table, and this girl comes and takes our order, and she seemed a little nervous, but she took the order, and we gave her drink orders. And so, she comes back with this big tray. And there wasn't much room between the table and the wall, and she dumped the whole thing on Dave. Coke, water, iced tea, all down his suit. He was so kind. He said, "It's not a problem, don't worry about it". She went off crying. She came back and her eyes were all red.
Dave went and got the manager and said, "I don't want her to get in trouble, it wasn't her fault, it's too crowded in here". She looked across the table at me and she said, "I know who you are, and I was so nervous because I was waiting on you". And I thought, "Oh, thank you, Jesus! Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you! Thank you, Jesus, that I didn't act like an idiot"! See, God told me, "Don't ever forget, Joyce meyer, that however many people you can help, that's exactly how many you can hurt". That's why you don't need to be up here, if you're not gonna live the life. And that doesn't mean I don't make mistakes. But I'm talking about this nonsense of living a double life. Preaching to people, and then not doing what you tell them.
Henry drummond wrote a book called "The greatest thing in the world," and it's only about that thick. And I wanna encourage you to get a copy of that book, you can order it online. I've got a real old copy. It was written in the 1800's, and this one looks like it might have come from there. But I just bought several new copies, I wanted to give all my kids one and I gave Dave one. And man, he has got some one liners in there, that are just wonderful. And here's one of the things that he said. He says, "It is better not to live, than to live and not love". Wow. So, that's page one. I did an extra message, I worked all day yesterday, and I did an extra message 'cause I thought I wouldn't have enough stuff. I'm so funny.
Jesus said, John 13:34 and 35, "One new commandment I give unto you", one! "Love one another. As I have loved you. By this shall all men know that you are my disciples". He said in this one commandment, you fulfill all the law and all the prophets. And they had thousands of laws in the Old Testament. He said, all you gotta do is love. If you love, you won't sin against anybody, you won't hurt anybody, you won't be jealous of 'em, you'll forgive 'em. Honestly, I mean, if we didn't study anything but love the rest of our life, we'd be ok. Because all the rest of it would just come. Matthew 22:37-39, they asked Jesus which one of your commandments is the heaviest? Which one is the most important? "And he said, you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and all your strength. And you shall love your neighbor even as you love yourself".
See, you're even supposed to love yourself in a balanced, not a selfish, like, "Oh, I'm so wonderful". But you're supposed to love yourself, because God loves you. And you haven't really received God's love until you love yourself. Love the you that God created, the you that you're becoming. In 1 Timothy 1:5, I love this, Timothy said, "The purpose of my instruction", all these things I'm teaching you, is that all believers would be filled with "Love that comes from a pure heart, a (clear) conscience, and genuine faith". So, he said "That's the whole deal".
I'm gonna say it again, we should study love, pray about love, practice love, know scriptures on love. Study stuff you need. I mean, it's ok to like read the Bible through every year, if that's what you wanna do. But you know, just gettin' in the Bible and seeing how much you can read every day, I don't really know how much good that does anybody. I think we need to study in areas where we have weaknesses and issues and problems. I think we spend too much time trying to fix the problem, and not enough time on the answer. We go about it backwards. You know, if we have a bad habit, we try to break the bad habit, and what we should do is form a good habit, and then the bad habit won't have any room in our life. Loving people who are hard to love.
You know, there's a lot of stuffed animals, but I've never bought one of my kids or grandkids a stuffed porcupine. I didn't even think they existed, but I looked online and sure enough they're there. But I watched a special on porcupines and they have 30.000 quills that... Come out. But believe it or not, once a year, a male and a female porcupine manage to get together. But, the woman is in charge. She's like, "If I say, 'no,' it's no, or out comes the quills". All 30, listen, I read it. Like, I'm not making this up. Oohkay! Love can only be known from the actions that it prompts. God's love is seen in the gift of his son.
Now, if I say to you, "I love you," I'm not saying that doesn't mean anything to you. But if I say to you, "I love you," but I never do anything that shows that, then it just becomes a bunch of empty words. But we could show love and never say it, and a person would know that they were loved. We have to start doing. But whose job is it?
Well, here's a story I heard years ago about four people named everybody, somebody, anybody, and nobody. "There was an important job to be done, and everybody was sure somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that, because it was everybody's job, and everybody thought anybody could do it, but nobody realized that everybody wouldn't do it. In the end, everybody blamed somebody, when nobody did what anybody could have done".
How many times do we say, "They need to do something about that"? Who are "They? Well, they need to do something about that". This nebulous "They". "They" say what colors you can wear together. And "They" say, and "They" say, we let "They" run our lives, and we don't even know who "They" are. But just, from now on, just, you know what? Mmm... I've just got so much to say. You know, I was praying one time for God to help somebody. And he said, "Will you stop asking me, to do things that you could easily do, and just don't want to"? "God, they need a new mattress, they're sleepin' on the floor. Lord, would you provide a mattress"? "Yes, I certainly will, through you".
Just get your little "She" money outta your billfold. C'mon, how many of you have "She" money? Yeah so, you don't know what that is? That's money you hide. Dave has "He" money, and I have "She" money. Well, I used to have "She" money. Now, I actually keep money in my wallet all the time, tucked in a certain place, just to give to people, if I run into somebody that needs help. You gotta do this on purpose. And you gotta be prepared. My daughter was in the grocery store, and she realized she left her wallet in the car. And so, she said to the checker, "Oh my gosh, I left my wallet in the car. I'll run out and get it, be right back". The checker said, "No, no, no, nope, nope, I'll take care of it".
She whips her credit card out of her pocket, pays for my daughter's groceries. And I thought, "That lady Carries that credit card all the time. Because that's a great way for her to help people, who don't have enough money to pay for their groceries, or who forget their wallet. She was prepared". And see, that's why a lot of times we don't do anything 'cause we're not prepared. Well, I'm prepared, I got money hidden for it. And I set aside a certain amount of money every month, over my tithe and my regular giving, just to do things for people. And everybody you do something for doesn't have to be flat broke and going down the drain.
Sometimes somebody you would consider rich, needs a blessing more than somebody you would consider poor. Because rich people, everybody's after them to get something. Amen? I mean, I know wealthy people that can't even go to church, because they said, "Everybody just wants something". "Gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme". I tell you what, I have found a new way of living. And I've been at it now for a few years, and I'm liking it more and more all the time. Whose job is it? It's your job. And it's my job. And nothing in our country is gonna change until we all realize it's all of our jobs.