Joyce Meyer - What Must I Do to Please God? - Part 2
Colossians 1:4, in the Amplified Bible, gives a little different definition of faith, but I love it. It says, "For we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, which is [the leaning of your entire human personality on him in absolute trust and confidence in his power, his wisdom, and his goodness]". So, it's the leaning of our entire selves on him. And I don't know about you, but I've got a few personality quirks. And so, leaning my whole personality on him is a good thing, and I'm hoping he straightens it out. Leaning all of ourselves on him in absolute trust and confidence in one: his power that he can do it, his wisdom that he knows how to do it, and his goodness that he wants to do it. Amen? And he says, I've heard, "Of the love which you [have and show] for all the saints (God's consecrated ones)".
Now, you'll see in many different places in the Bible that faith and love are always connected. "Faith worketh through love," Galatians 5:6 says. Well, what does that mean? Well, two things: one, I have to know that God loves me, or I'm not gonna put my faith in him. But I also need to love other people, because that's the power that pushes my prayers through. Galatians 5:6, in the Amplified, says that, love energizes our prayers, it's the energy to push things through. Let me tell you something, the greatest thing in the world that you can do is love people, and it takes a lifetime to learn how to do it. And today, we've got a whole world full of people that are gettin' harder and harder to love. But, you know, sometimes we're pretty hard to love too, and God loves us.
Let me just ask you, who are you mad at? Who do you need to forgive that you haven't forgiven yet? You're only hurting yourself if you stay mad at people. You're not hurting them, they may be out having a good time not even care that you're mad. But you're hurting yourself because it hinders your faith. The more you love people, the more God is gonna smile on you and you're gonna see things happen in your life. 1 Timothy 1:19, "Holding fast to faith". You gotta hang on to it. The devil will try to take it away from you. The devil doesn't want you to have faith because he knows if you have faith, and you stay steadfast in faith, that you'll get the things that God promises you, and he doesn't want you to have them. That's why that "Asking boldly," he tries to keep that a secret.
So, we'll, "God, if you'll just do this, and if you'll just do that". Don't be a beggar, be bold! "God, you've promised this in your word, and I know I don't deserve it, but I'm trusting you to do it for me anyway". "I got myself in trouble being stupid, God, get me out of it, please". Come on, amen? "Hold fast to faith (that leaning of the entire human personality on God in absolute trust and confidence) and having a good (clear) conscience". Now, boy, we could just have a preaching session on that clear conscience, couldn't we? Hmm. There's no harder pillow to sleep on than a guilty conscience. And also, you can't have faith with a guilty conscience.
So, if there's anything between you and God, get it straightened out. Come clean with God. Tell him about it. Talk to him about it. If you need to apologize to somebody, go and apologize. Humble yourself, and make it right as quick as you can make it right. Because it's hurting your whole walk with God, it's hurting your faith, it's hurting your prayer life, if you don't have a clear conscience. And if there's something that you just have an addiction to, and you keep doing it over, and over, and over, just pray and pray, and spend time with God about that thing, until you're completely free from it. God doesn't want us in bondage. Amen? Romans 12:3-8, "For by the grace given unto me I say to every one of you: don't think of yourselves more highly than you ought to, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each one of you".
Now, everybody has faith. It just depends on what you do with it, that makes the difference. Some people can put their faith in the bank. Some put their faith in their investments. Some put their faith in their retirement plan. Some put their faith in people. And you know what? There is no person that you know that if you get close enough to them, that won't eventually hurt you. And it's not because they're mean and they're trying to do it, they're just a person. You hurt people. I hurt people. That's why we need to be quick, quick, quick to forgive. Come on, don't be a touchy person that's always getting your feelings hurt. I know people hurt you, people hurt me, but I hurt people too. I say things to people without thinking about how it sounds, and hurt their feelings. And I'm so grateful when they're gracious, and they forgive me. Amen? And we need to sow that if we wanna reap that.
God has given each one of us faith, "For just as each of us has one body with many members". I learn a lot through Romans 12. I'm one body here, but I've got a lot of different parts. I've got fingers, and toes, and knees, and elbows, and a neck, and eyes and all kinds of things. And the interesting thing is, none of the different parts of me are jealous of the others. They're not in a fight. Matter of fact, if my little toe hurts, everything hurts. All my parts have empathy for the one part that's hurting. Come on, that's why this is in here, for God's trying to give us an example that we can understand to show how he wants us to work together as a body of believers.
And you know what? Every part of me can do something, but no one part of me can do it all. I walk on my feet, and I pick things up with my hands. My hands get to wear rings, and my eyes get to look at 'em. Do you know that your finger has never seen your ring? It wears it all the time, but it never gets to see it. And your eyes get to see it, but it never gets one of its own to wear. But, you know, sometimes we want what other people have. And, just suppose God answered some of those dumb prayers we prayed. What if the eyes said, "God, I want my own ring. I'm tired of looking at the fingers' rings, I want my own ring". So, what if God answered the prayers? "Okay, there you are, sweetie, you got your prayer answered". "Now, but this leaves me with a problem". Because now, because of jealousy, "Now, I can't do what I'm supposed to do. I got what I wanted, but I can't see to get anywhere".
And the same way our body works together, you know, my hands don't have any shoes, but my hands are so generous that they help my feet get its shoes on every day. Just think about how your body works together and helps each other. And that's why God's got this whole thing in here about how, "For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function". Verse 5, "So in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us". We all have gifts, but we don't all do the same thing. And one of the worst things that you can do is try to spend your life doing something that you're not gifted to do, just because you've seen somebody else do it, and you're jealous of them.
There's something God has given you to do. And I'll tell you what, if you do what God has really put on your heart, you'll be happy. When God first called me into ministry, people ask this sometimes, "How was it for Dave? Was it hard for Dave"? Because a woman being in this position, especially 45 years ago, was very unique and more rare, it was usually the man. And so, it was hard for Dave for a little bit. And he asked God, "Why did you call her to do that and not me"? And God told him, "That's what I've called her to do, and if you'll support her, and just do what I've given you to do, you'll always have joy". And Dave is one of the happiest guys you'd ever wanna see. He's not jealous of me, he's proud of me, he's happy for what I'm doing. And he does things that are just as important. There just, he's not the platform guy. And see, it's just like, parts of our body, some of the most important parts are covered up. Nobody ever sees 'em. Well, God hides some of us too, but that doesn't make us unimportant.
Come on, learn something tonight. So, whatever your gift is, he says, "God has given you the faith that you need, to exercise that gift to whatever degree God wants you to exercise it". And even, 25 people can have the same gift, but all 25 may not have it in the same strength. You can, there are thousands of people that sing, but there are some that sing better than others. There are a lot of people that preach, but some preach better than others. There's a lot of basketball players, but some are better than others. And if we could ever get over the stupid jealousy, jealousy rots the bones. If we could come to the point of believing God cares about me, and God has a plan for me. You know, if you got what somebody else had, but God didn't give you the faith to have it, it would just make you miserable.
We had a home Bible study in the beginning. That was all we did. We did a home Bible study in our home for five years. And it had about 20-25 people that came to it every week. And we were going to a church where the pastor had some pretty strong feelings about, the man being the man, and the woman being the woman. And he said to Dave one day, we were going out of church, he said, "Brother, you need to be teaching that Bible study, not your wife". It's interesting what people will tell you that don't line up with what God told you. Amen? And so we thought, "Okay, well, we'll obey the pastor". So, Dave tried teaching for a couple of weeks, and I tried being quiet. See, you already know how that went. It didn't go good at all, not for me anyway.
And I remember a woman in the Bible study came to me and she said, "What are you guys doing"? You have to follow God. Different gifts. "If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith". Well, that's not my gift. Every once in a while, God will give me a word for somebody, like he put this guy on my heart tonight. That hasn't happened in a long time. And I don't try to make stuff up, just to impress people, because if it's not real, I don't want anything to do with it. "If your gift is serving, then serve". Well, that's not my gift either. My gift would be to tell you to serve. I'm good at the telling other people what to do part. If your gift is teaching, then teach. Bingo! "If it's to encourage, then encourage". That's mike shepard. You cannot be with him for more than 3 minutes without him encouraging you. He is an encourager.
Now, I've learned to be encouraging, because I think we all need to encourage one another, but that's not my automatic go-to gift. "If your gift is leading, then do it diligently. If it's giving, then give generously". That is one of my gifts, generosity. And I've been that way since I was a little kid. I can remember saving my money from little odd jobs that I did to buy my mother gifts and surprise her. I've always loved to do that. And from the time that we started Joyce Meyer Ministries, we've always had outreach programs reaching out to the poor and the needy, because I believe with all my heart that, that is the will of God. And I think that when you put preaching and loving together, now you've got something that can change people's lives, 'cause you go to one of these countries where people are starving, and they're drinking filthy water, and you tell 'em God loves 'em, well, that sounds good, but they're a lot more likely to believe it, if you feed 'em for a couple of years, and build 'em a decent place to live, and dig a well, get 'em clean water, then you start telling 'em Jesus loves 'em, and they believe it.
To me, that's the way to go about missions. When somebody's hurting and you help them, they'll start listening to what you have to say. "If your gift is mercy, then do it cheerfully". There's all kinds of gifts. There's organizational gifts. Every single one of you has a gift. Cooking is not my gift, but I cooked three meals a day for a lot of years. But I don't know where that gift went, but it a disappeared. Last time I tried to fry Dave some eggs, the first egg ended up in the stove, not in the pan. And he actually got a picture of the eggs when I got done with them, but it would be embarrassing to show it. Don't think more highly of yourself than you should, if you can do something that seems greater or better than what others can do, because they can only do what they can do, because God gave them the grace to do it. And you can only do what you can do, because God gave you the grace to do what you do. Amen?
And do you know the gifts that God puts in people, he puts those gifts in them for you, not for them. You know, my gift causes me to work, you get to enjoy it. How much time do you think it's taken for me to write 130 books? I mean, that's what I've done for the last 45 years is prepare sermons, teach, preach, write books, pray for people. I've had the privilege of going on, but see, I couldn't do any of that if God didn't give me the grace to do it. To me, it's not hard because I have the grace to do it. And I wouldn't be happy doing anything else if I didn't do that. Thank you.
I've had the great privilege of going on 68 mission trips out of the country. I wish I could go more. I can't do it anymore because the jet lag is too hard on me. And, you know, if you're smart as you get older, you can still be extremely useful, but you do have to make a few adjustments. And so, I made myself really sick from working too hard a few years ago, and it took me quite a while to get over it. And I've learned that I have to now, give myself to the main things, that I'm the only one in the ministry that can do. Nobody else can preach my sermons, nobody else can write my books. So, I do the things that I'm supposed to do. And God has given me wonderful people all around me, to help me do a lot of the other stuff.