Joyce Meyer - How Are You Using the Resources God Has Given You - Part 1
Well, I am so glad that you have joined me today for, "Enjoying Everyday Life," and I am excited about what I'm gonna be teaching you today. And I think it's also gonna go into tomorrow. I want to talk to you today about what are you doing with the resources that God has given you? It's something we all need to think about from time to time. You say, "Well, what are you talking about resources"? Well, time is a resource, money, talents, abilities and really even just life in general.
So, let me ask you, what are you doing with your life? What are you doing with your time? What are you doing with your money? What are you doing with the gifts, the talents, and the abilities that God has given you? When you get to the end of your life are you going to be able to look back and not be disappointed, not have a lot of regrets or are you going to be able to say, "I feel that I spent what God gave me well"? "I didn't waste it. I used it for his glory". This is so important for all of us to think about from time to time, because there are so many things in the world that can distract us and pull us in wrong directions. And you only have one life to live, and you only have one life to give. And we all need to think about what we're giving it to.
So, we're gonna start today with John 6:12, where Jesus had a huge crowd that had gathered to hear him teach. And it was getting past lunchtime, they were all getting hungry. And so, he told the disciples to feed them. And of course, they said, "We don't have enough to feed this many people". And he took what a little boy had, and he multiplied it. And in John 6:12, it says, "When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, 'gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted'". I love that scripture. Jesus does not approve of waste. He wants us to make use of what we have and not waste it. And you know, everything that we have, we're always spending, like we spend time.
I heard myself say one day, "I feel like I spend so much of my time trying to stay looking good". And then it just kind of rang back in my own ears. In my own ears, "Yes, I am spending my time". And every day that goes by is the day that we're not gonna get back again. And so, we can't kinda say, you know, on Tuesday, "Well, I think I wasted yesterday, so I'm going to rewind and do it over". Once we've used that time, we don't get it back. So, we want to think a little bit about what we're doing and not just kind of be one of these people that get up every day and just kind of wait to see what happens. We want to have a plan. Always be ready to change your plan if God wants to interrupt it, but have a plan for what you're going to do with your time.
And when you really think about it, between hair appointments, at least for me. Hair appointments, hair color, cuts, styles, nail appointments, facials, exercise, I've now got a professional person stretching me to keep me limber as I age and keep so many things from hurting. All the daily maintenance that we do. You go to the dentist, you get your teeth cleaned, and then he wants you to floss, and he wants you to do this and that and something else. And then you gotta go to the eye doctor once a year, and I go to the ear doctor once a year and get my ears cleaned out and checked. And so, there's a lot of things that we need to do to take care of ourself. You are spending time, but it's not a waste of time. Because the better you take care of yourself, the longer you're gonna last and the better that you're going to feel.
You know, no matter what age you are, let's say you're 20 or 30, you probably don't think that you'll ever be 60 or 70 or 80, but unless the Lord takes you home early, you will be. And I can tell you from experience, you wanna make sure that when you are older that you still feel good, and you can be if you spend some time taking care of yourself. You know, I've said for years, "I do not have time to exercise". But you know what I found out? Anything that you really wanna do, if you wanna do it strongly enough, you will make the time for it. If you wanna know what's important to you, just look at what you're spending your time doing. We're always spending something. Time is a resource that God has given us. Some have more than others, but however much you've been given, once you've used it, you've used it and you're not gonna get it back.
So, I'm asking you today to really think about, when this program's over, I want you to think about what you're doing with your time. And are you putting it into what you want to put it into? Or are you just letting circumstances dictate to you? Are you just spending three hours a day on Facebook just listening to all the gossip and maybe gossiping yourself? Or are you doing something with your time that's fruitful, that's gonna add to your life or add to the life of someone else? You don't have unlimited time. So, don't live like you do. Because some day all your time's gonna be gone. So, you wanna use it wisely. Spending time. I think it's important that we take care of our self, that we look as good as we can, we represent God.
And so, I recommend spending some of your time taking care of yourself. But God doesn't want us to waste our time. Every bit of time that we spend, we're doing one of two things with it. We're either wasting it or we're investing it. And when you invest, it always pays dividends in the long run. But if you waste, it's just gone, and you get nothing from it. Have you ever thought of things like this? "I'm spending too much time arguing with you". "I'm spending too much time being angry and living in unforgiveness". "I'm spending too much time on what I eat, how I fix it, where I buy it, etc. Etc". "I'm constantly having to spend my time looking for things in my house that I put somewhere and can't remember where I put them".
Every single day, there's very few days that go by that I don't have to go looking for my phone. It's kind of become like a joke between Dave and I because I'll have to have him call on my phone so I can find it. It's amazing the places that we can leave our phone. One day, I finally found mine in my makeup bag in my drawer. We can leave 'em in so many weird places and waste time trying to find 'em then. Or have you ever thought, "Man we have so much stuff"? How many of you have too much stuff? Well, you know, everything you bring in your house is something that you then have to take care of, or you have to dust. If you have got 150 trinkets sitting all over your house, those are things that you have to dust. Maybe it's time for you to do a de-junking session. Just get yourself a big box and go through your house and maybe clean out some things that aren't really that important to you anymore.
Sometimes we get so much stuff on our house that we end up not seeing anything. You don't even see the things that you really like. Because people give you things, you don't wanna throw 'em away. So, you put 'em somewhere and then you see something on sale, and you buy that, and you put it somewhere. And so, just be careful how much stuff you have. Maybe it's time to make some changes. Spend your time wisely. Don't waste it. If somebody lies on the couch for three hours every day watching soap operas, that's a waste of time. A total waste of time. But if you do spend your time, say, you take a one-hour walk, that's time invested, because that's gonna help you, your health, that's gonna help your bones, it's gonna help you stay healthy longer.
I'm not saying that all television is wrong. I enjoy watching TV in the evenings, but I am saying that we can watch something that's a total waste of time, or we can watch something that is beneficial. I like good documentaries. I learn things from them. Lately, I've been trying to watch funny movies because I love to laugh. And the Bible says, "Laughter doeth good like a medicine". It's good for us. So, be picky and choosy about what you put on the inside of you. Because once it's in there, it's not all that easy to get it out. Take an inventory of the resources that God has given you. Ecclesiastes says, "There's a time to be born, and a time to die," and it goes on, and on, and on, that there is a time for everything. Each one of us has an allotted amount of time and in Ephesians 5:16 it says, "Redeem the time". Use your time wisely. What does it mean to redeem the time? It means to take it and use it wisely.
Now, let me just stop for just a second and ask you: do you believe that you are using your time wisely? I know God has me teaching this today for somebody that's watching, for all of you that are watching. And it's even good for me studying it because we can get off track in this area so easily. The Bible says in Colossians 4:5, "Behave yourselves wisely, [live prudently and with discretion] in your relations with those of the outside world, (the non-Christians), making the very most of your time and seizing, (buying up) the opportunity". You know, if you're a born-again Christian, Jesus is your Savior. He wants to use you to expand his kingdom. And you have to keep in mind that people, many multiplied millions of people, are looking for something. Some of them don't even know what they're looking for. But you may be the only Jesus that they will ever see.
Now, obviously, you're not Jesus, I'm not Jesus. But we are his personal representatives in the earth, and it is important that we do something other than just go sit in a church once a week and think that's all there is to it. We need to get out in the world, and we need to represent him, and we need to represent him well. When you go to work, don't sit at the lunch table, and just listen to all the gossip and gossip yourself or listen to dirty jokes or just things that are just totally a waste of time. You'd be better off to eat by yourself and read a good book or something rather than to do that. And it's not even really a good witness when you do that, because if you say that you are a Christian, people really expect you to live like one and sometimes they'll test you just to see if you're going to or not.
Before my husband came into full time ministry with me, he worked in the engineering field, and he said there were times when people would come and tell him dirty jokes. And he said, "I can tell they were just testing me to see what I would do". And he told me one time he said to a guy, he said, "You know, I don't want to hear that. So, why do you even bother coming around and telling me"? Well, you know, sometimes, we don't like to say things like that. We don't wanna be embarrassed or we don't want to embarrass the other person. But, you know, the interesting thing, Dave stood up for what he believed in. And you know what the result was?
When these people had problems in their lives, when they had marriage problems, when they got sick, they always came to him and ask him for advice or ask him for prayer. But if you want people to believe that God is actually real and that he does really make a real difference in your life, then you have to behave in such a way that they believe that. Please, please, please don't just go to church on Sunday and then act like everybody else the rest of the week. Don't act like you think you're better than they are, but you have a moral standard to keep, and you need to make sure that you do that and not just act like everybody else because you don't want people to think you're a Jesus freak or that you're weird.
Use your time wisely, especially with those in the outside world. Make sure that you represent God the way that he should be represented. Don't let yourself behave badly and give a bad witness. It could be your only opportunity to show Jesus to that person. If God throws a door wide open for you to witness to somebody, don't be afraid to do it. Sometimes, we witness with our words. Sometimes we just witness with our life and our behavior. You don't need to feel pressured to feel like you need to preach to every unbeliever that you come across. Sometimes God just wants you to pray. It's very important that he prepares their heart, that their heart is open to hear what you have to say. But I believe many times that the loudest sermons that we preach are with our behavior rather than our words.
There's a saying that I think goes like this. "Preach at all times and if necessary, use words". I really believe that we preach more with our lives than we ever do with our words. Matter of fact, if you tell people what to do and then don't do it yourself, it's actually worse than if you would just keep your mouth shut to begin with. You know, there are opportunities that God gives us that if we don't take them, they don't pass us by again. It's important to be obedient to God and to listen to what he puts in your heart and to take those steps of faith to step out and do what he wants you to. When God wants something done, if he has to go through a thousand different people... Now, listen to me, if God wants something done, if he has to go through a thousand different people, he will find somebody that will do his will. Well, why not let it be you?
Don't lose opportunities that God gives you. Don't waste those opportunities that he gives you. You know, Esther is a woman in the Bible. That was a young woman. I'm sure she had plans for her life and she wasn't expecting those plans to be interrupted, suddenly, without notice, from God. But her people, the Jewish people, were in danger of being killed because of a wicked man named Haman who hated Jews. And so, Esther's uncle asked her to go into the king's harem and try to gain favor with the king and to eventually go before him and plead for her people. Well, she was afraid to do that. She didn't know what would happen to her. First of all, you didn't go before the king unless you were called. And if you did go before the king and you weren't called, if he didn't hold out his golden scepter to you, you would be killed. But here's what her uncle said to her, "If you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place".
As I said, God will always find somebody to do what he wants them to do. "But you and your father's family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this"? You know, I personally believe that all of us are born in a particular time in all the history of time for a reason. We're living in very difficult times in the earth right now. Maybe you think, "Sometimes I wish I would have been born at a different time". You know, I think about when I was a teenager, how much better the world was than it is today. I mean, unbelievers then were nicer than some believers are now. We have lost so much ground. So many people don't even know what excellence is anymore. They don't know what integrity is. People don't keep their word. It's like the world is so full of hatred and strife and so many people are in unforgiveness, but I believe that we were called for such a time as this.
I don't believe that you're here by accident during this time frame in life. And I don't believe that I am either. But I don't believe that God just wants us to waste our life or waste our time. I think we're here for a reason. And I believe that if you haven't done it before, it's time for you to start asking God what that reason is. You know, God doesn't look for ability, he just looks for availability. And all you have to do is simply say to God, "God, I'm here, I'm yours. If you want me, if you want to use me for anything, just let me know what it is, and I'll try to do it to the best of my ability". And you know, if you say that to God and you really mean it, it won't be long, and God will find something for you to do. "The harvest is ripe," and the Bible says, "Pray that the Lord would send out laborers into the harvest". And I have recently really begun to pray that prayer on a daily basis, because it's very true.
We need people that will really work for the Lord. And you don't have to have a reverend in front of your name to do that. You don't have to have a pulpit to do that. Matter of fact, the Bible says in Ephesians that he only gives the five-fold ministry to train up the body of Christ, that they might go out and do the work of the ministry. My job is not to do all the ministry, it's to help train you to do your part. And really, to be honest, most people that need Jesus are not gonna go to church to find him. Some will. But you can do more in your little corner of the world. If everybody got out in the world, everybody that's a Christian, got out in the world and just did their part, you could do more than all the preachers in the world. Let God use you. Let him use you where you're at, and don't waste your time.
What are you doing to help somebody else? That's a question that I like to ask people, and I like to ask that of myself. Every day I pray that God would let me help somebody, that I could put a smile on somebody's face, or that I could encourage them or lift them up, or that I could give something to them that will make them happy. You know, don't use the things that you have, don't use people to get things. Use the things you have to be a blessing to people. God gives us all resources. And you know, everything that you own is not really something that you own, God owns it and you're a steward of it. And he expects us to steward what he gives us wisely. There's so many great things that the Bible has to say about this.
Psalm 90 verse 12 says, "Teach us to number our days, that we may have a heart of wisdom". Well, what does that mean? I think it means exactly what I'm talking about today. Think about what you're doing with your life. Think about what you're doing with your time. And, you know, I really feel in my heart that this is a simple message but an important message. And it's one that I don't think that people think about enough. Let me ask you a question. Are you just using all your time to entertain yourself? Are you using all your time just trying to get what you want out of life? Or have you come to the point yet where Paul was, where he said, "It's no longer I that live, but Christ that liveth in me. And the life that I now live, I live by the faith of the Son of God".
Are you ready to actually offer yourself to God for his use? And if you've not received Jesus as your Savior yet, it's very simple to do. All you have to do is admit that you're a sinner. Tell God you're sorry for your sins, you're sorry for the way you've lived, and that you want to be a Christian. You want to be a follower of Christ. Invite him to come into your life. Start learning the Word of God. Begin to follow it, follow the Holy Spirit and do the things that God wants you to do. Don't live in the darkness anymore. It's time to come out of the darkness and live in the light. And then, another resource that we have is money. I know most of you probably think you don't have enough, but what are you doing with what you have?
Some people will never have more than what they have because they're wasting what they do have. Oh, there's so many things to waste money on today. How many things do you have in your house that you bought when it was on sale or you bought because it sparkled or it shined or you thought it was pretty and you took it home and you put it in a drawer, and you don't even know where it's at now. You've never used it. We have so much abundance in this country. We waste more in America than most people in other countries even have. And sometimes we're not even all that thankful for what we do have.
I was in India one time, and I was actually visiting a leper colony. We were feeding them and just trying to encourage them. And I remember one of the lepers, he came to me, and he wanted me to come and see his home. Well, I didn't know what I was gonna see, but I certainly was shocked by what he called his home. When he got me to the place, it was just basically a hole that was dug out of the side of a hill, and it was tall enough to walk into. And what he had in that hole was dirt walls, dirt floor. He had a hammock in there that was his bed. And over in one corner there were a couple of metal pots that had dents in them and a metal plate. And he was so excited about his home. He was more thankful for that hole in the side of the hill than most of us are for the beautiful houses and homes that we have here in our country.
We need to learn to not waste our money, but to use it to help other people and to use it at least some of it to help preach the gospel. My husband has a great saying and we taught this to all of our kids and we're teaching it to our grandchildren. Dave just came up with this great plan for finances one day. He said, "Save some, spend some, and give some". Out of everything that you get, save a little for your future 'cause someday you're gonna need it. Don't just depend on social security. You don't even know what will happen to that by the time you need it. Save some. It's wise to save some.
Spend some. By the time you work hard all week, you want to spend a little money on yourself. You want to get yourself something that you need or want. And that's fine. And give some. Always give a portion of what you get to people who have less than what you have. Don't waste your money on frivolous things that aren't gonna do any good, but really think about what you're doing with your money. Have a plan for your money and make it a wise plan.
Now, we're gonna continue this teaching tomorrow because I still have some other things that I want to talk to you about, about waste. But remember, Jesus said, "Gather up the fragments that nothing be wasted". He is not in favor of waste. And I always say, if you're gonna expect money, you need to respect money. Thank you for being with us today. And remember to tune in tomorrow when we're gonna continue this teaching on not being wasteful. God bless you and have a great rest of the day.