Joyce Meyer - The Great Exchange (Studio)
- How to know Jesus
Well, welcome to "Enjoying Everyday Life". I am so glad that you've joined me today, because I have something special on my heart, that I want to share with you that, I believe is gonna make you feel so much better. You know, in the world today, it seems like everybody's trying to tear us down, but God wants to build us up. So, I wanna talk to you today, about The Great Exchange. Just imagine if there was a store where you could take anything that was old, worn out, useless, torn up, messed up, and you could exchange it free of charge, and get something brand new. We would all love if there was a store like that. And, you know, there's no limit to how many times you can go, and you really don't even have to stand in line very long, because most people don't even know about this store.
And I'm talking about the great exchange that God offers us through Jesus Christ, when we receive him as our Savior. You know, so many people do believe in Jesus, but they don't really know everything that's theirs, in Christ. There are so many promises in the Word of God. And I know as a Christian, I lived for many years, I loved the Lord, I went to church, but my life was still a mess, because I didn't really understand everything that he did for us. And Jesus died for you, for me, so we could go to heaven. But you know what? He died for a lot more than that. He wants you to have and enjoy your life. Now, we have an enemy, the devil, he's a liar and a deceiver, and he does everything he can to try to take that away from you. So, it's important for you to know the Word of God and know what these promises are. What would you like to exchange?
You know, John 16:14 and 15 says, "He will honor and glorify me, because he will take (receive, draw upon) what is mine". And this is Jesus talking about the Holy Spirit. "And will reveal this (declare, disclose and transmit) it to you". Jesus said the Holy Spirit's gonna take what's mine, which in case you don't know, Jesus has everything that we could ever want, and he's going to transmit it to you. But you know, when you're transmitting, you have to have a receiver. We're transmitting on this TV program right now, but there's a lot of people don't have their set on, so they're not gonna get what we're transmitting. So, "Everything the father has is mine," Jesus said. "That's what I meant when I said he [the spirit] will take the things that are mine and will reveal (declare, disclose, and transmit) them to you".
So, everything that he has is ours, if we know how to receive it. But we need to give up our old ways, and our old ideas, in order to experience the practicality of it. We can talk about it, and talk about it, and talk about it. But if you want it to work practically in your life, then you need to be willing to do things God's way. Jesus has purchased with his blood, a great life for each and every one of us. I want you to get that. Maybe right now, you think your life stinks, you're going through all kinds of problems, you've got all kinds of pain and heartache in your life, but that is not God's will for you. He has a good plan for you.
And you might think, "Well, then why am I not experiencing it"? Well, maybe you don't really understand your part and God's part. Jesus has purchased a great life for each of us. It's legally ours. It's been bought and paid for with the blood of Jesus. But very few people experience what is theirs, in Christ. He said, "We have everything that is needed for life and Godliness". But the life that he's talking about comes from a Greek word zoe, which means: life as God has it. So, think about that. What kind of life do you think God has? I bet it's a lot better than ours. But it can be ours, if we know how to receive it. And we receive everything from God, through faith, through believing it. And you know, faith is an interesting thing because faith, "Is the evidence of things not seen," things we hope for, but we have not seen them yet. And it is, "[the leaning of the entire human personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in his power, wisdom and goodness]".
There is nothing that God cannot do for you, if you will put your faith in him. We've all got our faith in something. What's yours in? Is it in yourself? Well, how's that been working for you? Is it in other people? Mmm, how's that been working for you? A lot of times people hurt and disappoint us. Is it in the government? Is it in your job? We need to put our faith in God, because he is the only one that will never, ever, ever, let us down. Now, if you watch my program very much or have read any of my books, you know that I was abused in my childhood, sexually by my father and a few other people. And my mom was just, didn't have confidence, she had a lot of fear. And although she knew what my dad was doing, she didn't have the courage to do anything about it. So, I went through a lot of years of fear, and pain, and hopelessness, if I looked at it in the natural. But I received Christ as my Savior when I was nine years old.
And I wanna talk to you about that today, because maybe you have never taken that step of faith, to ask Jesus to come into your heart, to turn away from a life of sin, and turn your life in the direction of beginning to do God's will. Do you want to be a Christian? And that really means: a Christ follower. What is a Christian? It's someone who follows Christ, who learns his word, and with the help of the Holy Spirit does your best to follow his ways. We all make mistakes but thank God he's there to forgive our mistakes. God's exchange store is always open, and he wants to take your sin, give you his forgiveness. He wants to take your guilt and give you peace and confidence. He wants to take everything in your life that's hurtful and bad and makes you miserable, and he wants to give you something that is absolutely wonderful.
Well, when I first started my journey toward healing, and I went to church a long time before I really understood that God wanted to do anything for me other than give me a ticket to heaven. But wow, he wants to give us a great life on top of that. Maybe you're a Christian and you're just like, "I can't wait to get to heaven". Well, I can't wait to get there either, but I'm so glad that I can enjoy myself while I'm on my way there. And I found Isaiah 61:1-3, and I wanna read it to you. This is a prophecy from Isaiah about Jesus. "The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed and qualified me to preach the gospel of good tidings to the meek," those who are humble enough to receive it, "The poor," that can be poor physically or poor in spirit, "And the afflicted:" Jesus came to help hurting people. "He has sent me to bind up and heal the brokenhearted".
And see, I was a brokenhearted person. I think to be brokenhearted means that you're broken in personality. I mean, I was just all messed up. I didn't know how to have relationships. I didn't know how to think right. I didn't know how to feel right. I just, I grew up rooted in fear. And so, I was afraid of everything, but I pretended like I wasn't. So many people in the world are hurting but acting like they're fine, because they don't want other people to know. Well, God knows, and he wants to help you. "He has sent me to bind up and heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the [physical and the spiritual] captives and the opening of the prison and of the eyes to those who are bound". What if somebody was in prison, and somebody came by and unlocked the door, and they could go out any time they wanted to, but they just kept staying in prison because they didn't know the door had been opened.
Well, that's the way a lot of people are in their lives. Jesus has opened the prison doors, but if we don't know it, we'll keep staying right where we're at, and won't make any move at all toward coming out of those prisons. He said he came, "To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord [the year of God's favor]". Do you know how wonderful it is to live under God's favor? I mean, man, it's awesome! People do things for you for no reason at all. God opens doors that you could never open. He helps you in every way imaginable, not because you deserve it, but just because he is good. He came, "To comfort all who mourn, to grant [consolation and joy] to those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty instead of ashes".
Well, I latched on to that "Beauty instead of ashes," because all I really had was a pile of ashes. I felt like my whole life had been destroyed, and all I had left was a pile of rubble that I was just gonna have to put up with, until I died and went to heaven where I could finally have a good life. But I found out that I could go to the exchange store, and I could turn in my ashes, and I could get beauty. But, you know, a lot of people like to try to have the good life, and yet hang on to the ashes, and that doesn't work. You have to let go of what lies behind and press toward the good things that are ahead. "The garment of praise instead of a heavy, burdened, or a failing spirit". If you're paying attention to this, you're seeing that God's saying, "I wanna give you this good thing instead of this bad thing. I wanna give you this good thing instead of this bad thing. I wanna take this bad thing and give you a good thing".
Let's just say, for example, that you've had a rough life, maybe a rough week or a rough day, and you're sitting around feeling sorry for yourself. Well, you know, God can help you, but you've gotta exchange the pity for his help. So, you have to stop feeling sorry for yourself and say, "God, teach me what I really have that I'm not seeing". Do you know how blessed we all are if we just see it? But sometimes if all you do is focus on your problems and what's wrong in your life, then you never get around to enjoying the good things that God sent his only son Jesus, to die for us to have. So, we give up our ashes, he gives us his beauty. He takes our grief and our mourning, and he gives us his joy. I could stop mourning over what I thought was my wasted life.
And see, the Bible says that God will take even the worst things that happen to us, and he'll work them out for our good. Well, now all those bad things that happened to me when I was a kid, I've exchanged those for beauty, I've exchanged those for joy. And I believe the promise in Romans 8:28, that God can take all things and work them out for our good if we love him and want his will. And so, now God is using those awful things that happen to me, to help people like you that are still hurting. You see, I've got experience with God, and there's nothing like experience. Let's just say somebody gets out of college, and they've got a degree. They've studied something, but they've never really applied it in their life. And then there's this other person who maybe doesn't have the degree, but they've got 30-40 years of experience at doing something.
You know, I would rather have the experienced person, than the person with the degree that has no experience. So, listen, if you've gone through a lot of rough things in your life, instead of sitting around feeling sorry for yourself and having a bad attitude, ask God to start using those things to help other people. Let me say it again. Ask God to start using those things to help other people. One more time. Ask God to start using those things to help other people, because you've got experience. He can take your depression, your shame, your blame, your failure, and exchange it all for an attitude of praise and gratitude. You know how much better your day is if you get up in the morning and instead of thinking about everything that's wrong, you can think of all the things that you have to be thankful for.
My goodness, you know, we have clean running water any time we want it. We have a house to live in. Most of we have a car to drive. If we get sick, not only can we pray for God's healing, but there's medical help available to us. I've been to a lot of countries where people don't even have access to an aspirin. You are blessed and you have many, many things to be thankful for. You just have to think about them. You don't have to keep something that isn't working anymore, you can exchange it. So, let me ask you a question, "Is your life working for you"? Or do you think, "Well, not really, I'm not very happy, always upset about something, a lot of things make me mad, I lose my temper quick". Well, you know what? You can exchange all that for peace and righteousness and joy. The Bible says that, "The Kingdom of God is not meat and drink," it's not things, "But it's righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost". You can exchange your righteousness for his righteousness.
You say, "Well, what do you mean"? Well, you know, sometimes we try to be right with God through doing all these right things. But the Lord says that we can know that our own righteousness is like filthy rags. We can never be right enough to make up for all the wrong we've done. But if we trust God, he will give us his righteousness. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, "He that knew no sin became sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him". Jesus died to pay for our sin, and not only to pay for our sin, but to remove all the guilt and all the shame. Back in the Old Testament, under the old covenant, animals were killed, and their blood was shed to cover people's sins. But Jesus didn't just cover our sins, he removed them as far as the east is from the west. And the Bible says he doesn't even remember them anymore.
If you're feeling bad today because of something you did wrong ten years ago, or yesterday, or 5 minutes ago, all you have to do is repent, which means tell God you wanna turn around and go in the right direction. You're sorry for what you did. And actually, Jesus already died for that sin, the forgiveness is already there. You just have to admit the sin and receive what Jesus has already done for you. You know, a lot of people are not very good givers, but there's also a lot of people that aren't very good receivers. We need to learn how to not only give, but how to receive. No matter how good we are, we always lack some things, so we need the righteousness that Jesus died for us to have. "He that knew no sin became sin that we might be made the righteousness of God in him".
Can I tell you a secret? God loves you and he is not mad at you today, because of the things you've done in the past. But what he wants more than anything, is for you to receive the sacrifice that he sent his son to make, and believe that through faith you can be right with him. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says that, "If any man is in Christ, he is a new creature: old things pass away: and all things become brand new". I love the fact that Jesus takes our sin and guilt. Because I tell you, I suffered terribly for so many years with guilt. Feeling guilty because of what my dad did to me, thinking that it was my fault, "There must be something wrong with me if my own father wants to abuse me sexually". But you remember I said earlier, "The devil is a liar".
Well, he'd been lying to me all my life, telling me it was my fault. But it wasn't my fault. It was not my fault. I was an innocent child that a man with a lot of problems took advantage of. And then the devil delighted in trying to make me feel guilty for something that I didn't even do that was wrong. But I can exchange that now. Any time the enemy tries to make me feel guilty, I can exchange that guilt, that shame for God's righteousness. God loves you so much, and he wants you to be free. The prison doors are open, will you take a step of faith and walk out, today? For our sake, he made him to be sin who had never sinned. Give Jesus your sin and receive his forgiveness.
You know, I'm sure there are people watching today, that you have received Christ as your Savior. But maybe you're one of those people like I was, where you are born again, you believe you're gonna go to heaven when you die, you love God, but your life is just really all messed up. You don't know about all the other things that Jesus has done for you. Well, that's why the teaching of God's word is so important. And on this program, that's what we do every day. We teach people what's theirs, in Christ. Those two little words in the Bible, in Christ. You see, when you received Christ as your Savior, you're considered to be in him, and he comes to live in you.
God actually lives in two places: he lives on his throne in heaven, but he also lives in your heart. And he's promised to never leave you, nor forsake you. And you have the right to pray in Jesus' name. And what that means is you present to God all that Jesus is, not all that you are. I'm so glad I don't try to pray in my name, I would never get anything. But God says we can come boldly to his throne, even when we have made mistakes. We can come boldly to his throne, receive our forgiveness, and ask God for anything and everything that we need, and God will meet those needs in plenty of time. Now, sometimes we have to wait. God doesn't always do things in our timing. And if you're waiting right now for a breakthrough in your life, you've asked God to do some things and you're thinking, "Well, I don't know about all this prayer stuff, I've prayed and nothing's happening".
Don't give up, that's what the devil wants you to do. He wants you to give up and think God's never gonna answer your prayer. Nope, you need to say, "God is working at the right time, my breakthrough is gonna come". But there's other people watching today, that you've never taken that step of faith to give your life to God. That's a scary thought, isn't it, to give my life away? But if you're not doing a very good job of running it anyway, why not give God a chance? You know, I'll have to admit, I just really don't understand people who don't wanna believe in God. We have a world full of people today, and there's more and more of them all the time, that just don't wanna believe that God exists. I mean, wouldn't you much rather believe that a wonderful, loving God created you with his own hand in your mother's womb, than to believe that you evolved from a gorilla?
My goodness, it's no wonder people have anger issues and all kinds of problems. God wants you to feel good about yourself. He doesn't want you to think you're some kinda upgrade from an animal. He wants you to believe that you are his masterpiece. He created you, and there's nobody else in the world just like you. Why don't you give God a chance? Give faith a try. There's nothing for you to lose. Today, you can have all your sins forgiven, actually they've already been paid for, all you have to do is receive it. Can you be a good receiver, today? Can you say, "I wanna receive Jesus as my Savior, I want to receive forgiveness for my sins, I wanna know that my name is written in the lamb's book of life, and that someday I'm gonna go to heaven, but in the meantime, I can enjoy the journey, I can have a good life while I'm making that journey"?
You know, if you're ready to take that step of faith, I'd like to pray with you. And I'm gonna pray a prayer, a simple prayer, because really faith in God is simple. You just believe what he said, even though you don't feel it, or you don't see it. You believe it because God is not a man that he should lie. He always tells the truth. And you receive that by faith. And you may not feel anything when we pray, but you'll begin to see differences in your life. So, if you wanna receive Christ today, you're ready to be a Christian, you wanna live for him, then pray this prayer with me.
Father God, I love you. Jesus, I believe in you. I believe you died for my sins, and that you rose from the dead. I believe you're alive right now, and that you're seated in heaven, but you're also in my heart. Come and live in me, and help me live for you. I receive you now, Jesus, as my Lord and my Savior. And I ask you to teach me how to live for you, and for your glory.
Welcome to a brand-new life, one that you can love and enjoy. And don't forget, the exchange store is always open. So, when you have something in your life that you know is just worn out and old and needs to be replaced, just ask God to take it and give you what he has for you instead. Thank you for being with us, today. God bless you. God loves you and we love you. So, please tune in again the next time that you have an opportunity, and we'll continue to teach you the Word of God. Thank you for being with us.