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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Joyce Meyer » Joyce Meyer - How Are You Using the Resources God Has Given You - Part 2

Joyce Meyer - How Are You Using the Resources God Has Given You - Part 2

Joyce Meyer - How Are You Using the Resources God Has Given You - Part 2
TOPICS: Wisdom, Money
Joyce Meyer - How Are You Using the Resources God Has Given You - Part 2

Well, welcome to, "Enjoying Everyday Life". I am so glad you've joined us today and I believe that you're gonna enjoy today's teaching. You know, the Word of God is so powerful. It's not like regular words. And I started yesterday teaching about not wasting things, not wasting the resources that God has given us. After Jesus fed the 5,000, he said to "Gather up the fragments that nothing be wasted". And so, God is not for waste. He wants us to use what he gives us wisely. And we all have resources, things like: time, money, energy, abilities, gifts, and talents, or just life itself.

You know, I don't think there's anything sadder than to see somebody come to the end of their life and when they look back, all they have is regrets. I think about my dad sometimes and my mom. And of course, my dad sexually abused me while I was growing up and he just was a mean person. I know he'd been hurt in his life, too, and he was acting out of his wounds. But even though he was born again three years before he died, and he did have those three years, I know that he had to look back and just have so many regrets.

Or I think about my brother who ended up taking his own life several years ago. And I'm sure that he regretted that he got addicted to drugs and God gave him many opportunities to be free. And a couple of times he was clean for two and three years, and then he would go back to it. And I'm sure he regretted that. Or my mother, who didn't deal with the situation with my dad, even though she knew what was going on and she never really had a life. I think she just felt guilty her whole life and I'm sure that she had a lot of regrets. And, you know, when I get to the end of my life, I don't want to look back and have regrets.

Now, sure, there's all of us, there's things that we do that maybe we wish we wouldn't have done. But I've even discovered with those mistakes that I make, if I ask God to and really trust him, he can take those things and work them out for my good. Romans 8:28 says, "That all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to his purpose". And if God decided to take me home right now, I can honestly say that I don't have any regrets about my life. I feel that I've used my gifts and abilities to serve God. And it doesn't mean I do everything right, but I don't want to be at the end of my life and have nothing but regrets.

And so, let me just ask you today: if today was the last day that you were gonna have, could you look back at your life and be content and be pleased with it? "I've given myself to what I believe that I should have given myself to". Or would you just have regrets? "I wish I would have done this". "I wish I would have done that". "I wish I wouldn't have done this". "I wish I would have used my time wisely". "I wish I wouldn't have wasted my money". You know, the decisions that you make today are gonna affect tomorrow and the day after that and the day after that. And every day that we live, we have decisions to make. And we need to decide, one of the most important things is, decide what you're gonna do with your resources.

So, yesterday we talked about time and I'm not gonna go over all that information again. But just to say, what are you doing with your time? We all spend our time. And so, when you spend it, are you wasting it or are you investing it? And then we just began to talk about money, and I said, the best plan with money is to always spend some, save some, and give some. That's something my husband, Dave, came up with, and it's a very simple formula, but it really is biblical. God wants you to give some. He wants you to spend some of what you make on yourself for things that you'll enjoy. And he wants you to use wisdom and save some for the future or for maybe a time when something happens that you're not expecting, and then all of a sudden, you're not desperate because you have got some money put aside.

And so, we need to keep balance in all these areas. You know, you actually can give too much. You can give so much to one person that you prevent them from taking responsibility for their own life. You can cripple people by giving them too much, especially your children. You need to let them learn how to work and be responsible and take care of themselves. Americans waste more than most societies have. Abundance should be respected, not wasted.

Well, there's a story about a man in the Bible that we call the prodigal son, and he got a little bit ahead of himself, and he wanted his inheritance before it was time for him to have it. And actually, what he did when he asked his father for his inheritance was extremely rude. Because, especially in that culture, him asking his father for his inheritance, "I want my inheritance now," was equivalent to saying, "I wish you were dead". And his father gave him his inheritance. I've wondered sometimes why he gave it to him. But sometimes the only way we can learn what we need to learn is to maybe end up doing something and having a wrong result. I think most of the things I've learned, I've learned from the mistakes that I've made.

And so, his father gave him his inheritance. And the Bible says that, "Not long after that, the younger son got together all that he had, set off for a distant country and there he squandered his wealth in wild living". Think about that. He "Squandered his wealth in wild living". You know, I hear stories sometimes about people, like, we'll take, for example, movie stars or singers who are very well-known, and they've made literally millions and millions of dollars in their life and they die with almost nothing. Well, those are people that have wasted everything that they had. And then, you see other people who were very wise, and they end up not having pressure later on and they have a good inheritance to leave to their children and their grandchildren. And the Bible says that, "A wise man will leave a good inheritance for his children's children".

So, God expects us to use our money wisely. He's not for wealth. Well, this young man ended up, he ran out of money, and he ended up going to work for a pig farmer. And things got so bad for him that he was eating the same thing that the pigs were eating. And I love what the Bible says. It says, "He came to himself". He came into his right mind, and he realized that all of his thinking had been wrong. And he said, "I'm going to go back to my father and beg him to forgive me". He realized what a mistake he had made. But he was forgiven, his father welcomed him home with open arms. But he still had wasted his inheritance. And so, God will always forgive us for our mistakes. He'll always forgive us for the things that we do that are wrong.

I believe that God forgave my father when he repented. I truly believe with all my heart that he's in heaven. And I believe God forgave him, but he still had to deal with the result of his sin because he still had wasted his life and he couldn't go and get it back. And so, even though we can be forgiven for our sin, sin still does have consequences. There's another story in the Bible. It's Luke 12:15-20. I love this one. "Then he said to them, 'watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed: life does not consist in an abundance of possessions'".

Are you just spending your life tryin' to get more and more and see how much you can own? Are you working maybe two or three jobs and ignoring your children, just tryin' to make money? You know, there's a lot more to life than just possessions and what you own. And to be honest, sometimes, people that don't have as much are happier than people who have a lot. And quite often we think, "Oh, if I just had this much money, I would never want anything again". Well, I can tell you that's not true because our flesh is greedy, and it only knows one thing: more, more, more. And no matter what you have, you're always gonna want more. And greed, they call it the "Green-Eyed Monster".

I hate greed. I hate the way it makes you feel. I want to be very thankful for everything that God has given me. I don't want to look at other people that have more than me and be jealous because I believe that God gives each one of us what we're able to handle. And I want to be thankful for what he's given me. Real life does not consist in our possessions, it's found in having a right relationship with God. And instead of being selfish and always trying to get something for yourself, it's in being a blessing to other people. And I believe that greed is a very strong evil spirit that would love to consume us and control our life. And there's only one way that I know how to fight greed, and that's with aggressive generosity. I refuse to get greedy.

And so, I always make sure that I use a good portion of what I have to be a blessing to other people. Selfish people cannot be happy. Maybe you're unhappy and you don't know why. It could be because you're not doing anything for anybody else. God did not create us just to always be wanting something for ourselves. He really created us to reach out to other people. And as we reach out to other people, God will always make sure that we have a plentiful supply in our life. The Bible talks about bread to eat and seed to sow. In other words, God will give you enough for yourself, but he'll give you an overabundance so you can be a blessing to somebody else. "And he told them this parable: 'the ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. He thought to himself, "What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops"'".

So, this guy had so much already that he didn't even have any place to put this new crop. So, "Then he said, 'i know what I'll do. I'll tear down my barns and I'll build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain'". He had more than he needed. "And I'll say to myself, 'you have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy: eat, drink and be merry'". Well, this guy's thinking was all wrong. He was making sure he was taking care of himself, but that's really not what God wanted him to do with this overabundance that he had. "And God said to him, 'you fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself'"?

I want you to think about that. If you have an abundance in your life, are you a generous person? Are you a blessing to other people? Do you give generously toward the preaching of the gospel? Which is very important. Do you help other people that are less fortunate than you? Do you give to the poor? Do you help missionaries? Are you one of these guys, like this man, where you just tear down your barn and build a bigger barn so you can have more, and more, and more? Remember, joy does not come from having more. The Bible says, "It is more blessed to give than it is to receive". That doesn't sound like it would work that way, but it actually does.

When you learn the joy of giving, you'll be a very happy person. There's a law of use that says, "Use it or lose it". And sometimes if all you do is try to store it up somewhere, you may end up losing it somehow. A warning is given to those who have money and just keep on holding it. Nothing wrong with having money, but you need to use it wisely. Mark 10:19-27, well, actually, through 29. It's another great parable story that I want to share with you. A young man had come to Jesus and said, "What must I do to be perfect, to be doing everything you would have me do"? And he said, "Well, you know the commandments: 'you shall not murder, not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you should not give false testimony, you shall not defraud anyone, and honor your father and your mother'".

And this young man said to Jesus, "Teacher, I have done all this since I was a little boy". And "Jesus looked at him", now, listen to this, "And loving him. He said, 'one thing you lack,' and he said, 'go and sell everything you have and give it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, and follow me'". Well, right away, some people may think, "Eww, everything? You want everything"? "And this man's face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth". So, he wouldn't obey God. And I can understand how he felt, "Give it all? Give everything away? Well, what about me? What's gonna happen to me"?

Well, you'll see in a few minutes that Jesus really wasn't trying to just leave the man with no money. It was a test to see if he would be obedient and if he would have been, he would have ended up with more than what he gave away. "Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, 'how hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God'! The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, 'children, how hard it is to enter the Kingdom of God'"! And then he said, "'it's easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who's rich to enter the Kingdom of God'".

Now, if you're a wealthy person, don't be afraid. I'm not saying you can't go to heaven. But I do think we all need to realize that money can really get in our way if we're not careful. That's why it's so important to be a generous giver, because that always helps you fight off greed. And every time God gives you more, you need to give more. Stay ahead of the devil and don't let him make you greedy and stingy. It's one of the ways to end up at the end of your life with nothing but regrets. Well, what about this thing about going through the eye of a needle?

Well, there is a historical reference here that will help understand that. There were certain gates that went into the City of Jerusalem, and there was a gate called, "The eye of the needle". And that gate was a very small gate. And camels, which is what they used then for transportation, would come loaded down with all kinds of goods. And because the camel was a bigger animal. The only way it could get through that gate was to get down on its knees and crawl through the gate. And what I get out of this, this is my rendition of it, is that the more you have in life, the more you need to stay on your knees in prayer that you'll use it wisely and in the right way.

Now, some of you may be thinking, "Well, I don't have that problem 'cause I don't have enough". Well, I still encourage you to save some, spend some, and give some. No matter what you have, no matter how little you have, use that formula to save a little, give a little, and spend a little. Start teaching this to your children when they're little. I gave my grandsons, I was visiting my son, who lives out of town, last week, for a week. And when I left, he has four boys, and I gave each one of them some money. And I said, "Now don't forget to give some of this, save some of it, and spend some".

What a good thought that is. What an easy way to manage your money properly. And so, the more you have, the more you should pray that it won't take a hold on you and turn you in a wrong direction. "The disciples were even more amazed, and they said to each other, 'well, who then can be saved'? And Jesus looked at them and said, 'with man that is impossible, but with God all things are possible'". And then in verses 28 and 29, "Then Peter spoke up and he said, 'well, Lord, we have left everything and followed you'! 'truly, I tell you,' Jesus replied, 'no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this lifetime'".

Wow. So, he's saying, "If you obey me", if that young man would have obeyed God and he would have sold his possessions and given it all to the poor, the Bible's saying here he would have received a 100-fold return back. If we are obedient to God in our giving, we will always have more than enough. And some people wonder why they don't have enough. And I just ask you to examine your life and ask yourself what you're doing for other people. I just want you to take a little inventory and just ask yourself what you're doing for other people. I can truly tell you that you cannot out give God. "And in the age to come he will receive also eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first".

I love these wonderful stories. Jesus called them parables because people can learn more from these parables than they could from other things. And so, the next thing we'll talk about is energy. You know, I believe that we're all given a certain amount of energy for our life. And I've had some rather bad experiences that were my own fault. Being insecure because of being abused, having a type-a personality, I'm a worker, but I was excessive, and I got all my worth and value out of work because I was insecure. And so, God had to really work with me in my life to get me to realize that I needed to work, but I also needed to rest. God said we should work six days and rest one. So, at least one out of seven days, we should honor God by resting. No matter who you are, you need rest.

And there's so many people today that are sick, so many people that are in pain. And I just read a statistic the other day that said 85% of everybody who is sick, and the sickness is real, but the root cause of it is stress. Stress is actually killing people. And also sitting around too much, not getting enough exercise, not moving enough. The more you sit around, the tireder you're gonna be. Actually, the doctors are saying now that sitting is the new cancer. We sit, work on our computers. We sit and watch television. We sit, we sit, we sit, we sit. And so, if you want to maximize your energy, you need to get up and move some.

Recently, I have been being stretched by a professional who knows how to do it without hurting me. And I just felt like I was too stiff and wasn't limber enough and my balance wasn't good. And that was what came to my heart to see if stretching would help. And I know how I am, I would overdo it. Because I go at everything, i, full force and I didn't wanna hurt myself. So, I got somebody that knew what they were doing. And of course, the day when she comes, she does it, but then, she's giving me home stretches to do the days that she's not there. And yesterday, I experienced this, and again today, after I did my stretches, I had more energy than I did before I did them. I get up in the morning and I sit in my chair, and I pray, and I drink my coffee and I sit there, and I read my Bible and I sit there, and I study, but we can't just spend our life just sitting somewhere.

We've gotta get up and move. I highly recommend that everybody get some kind of exercise. There's a lot of different things you can do. I'm not gonna tell you what to do. You can walk. You can exercise with weights. You can play tennis. Whatever, it's up to you what you do. Pickleball's a big thing now, I understand that people can get a lot of exercise that way. But I think we all have a certain amount of energy for our entire life. But if you use up all of yours over here on the front end, you're gonna pay for it back here. And I made myself sick several times from overwork and I paid the price for it. And still have certain issues that I deal with because I didn't use the wisdom I should have used when I should have used it.

As I said earlier, you can be forgiven for anything, but sometimes you still have to deal with the results of things that you did that were unwise. I believe a wise person does today what they're gonna be happy with later on in life. A foolish person does what feels good right now and they don't even think about tomorrow.

I believe that it's very important that you use your energy wisely. And it's interesting to think that energy increases the more you move around and do things. A younger person may entertain a bad temper and have energy left over, but the older you get, you'll begin to find that a good temper tantrum can just absolutely wear you out. I believe negativity steals our energy and makes us tired and wears us out. If we will obey God and have the kind of godly attitude that he wants us to have, it will add energy to our life. If you're sad and depressed, it steals your energy. Be happy, God loves you. Be thankful that will add energy to your life. And please join us again tomorrow when I finish up this teaching on not wasting the resources that God has given you.
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