Joyce Meyer - An Attitude of Contentment - Part 2
- How to know Jesus
You wanna be happy and you wanna be content, how many of you do? Okay. Then you can't do it with one foot in the world and one foot in the kingdom. You can't do it hiding a bunch of stuff and not dealing with it. You gotta get on God's program 'cause he's not gonna get on yours. Contentment is a result of righteousness, right standing with God. And yes, the Bible says that we are made right with God through the blood of Jesus Christ. He gives us righteousness, but then we're supposed to work with the Holy Spirit to work that out of us and turn it into right behavior. We're made right with God, but our behavior has to catch up with that. God gives us everything that we need, a seed of everything we need on the inside of us to be everything he's asked us to be. He wouldn't ask us to do right if he didn't give us righteousness.
Discontentment means to be unhappy, not satisfied, or to have a sense of resentment. And listen to this, discontented people resent people who have what they want. And many times, we'll get judgmental, "Well, they don't need a house that big". "Well, you shouldn't have spent money, you don't need a swimming pool". "You don't need to drive a car like that". I've never had anybody be jealous of anything I have, if they have one, too. Come on. Now, there's a little something in the Bible called greed. And greed is not a little problem. It's a big problem. And we have to fight it just like we fight the temptation to other sins. And greedy just says, "More, more, more. I just want more". And believe me, the society we live in today is a more society. "I've already got 25, but I want another one". More. And the Bible has some very interesting things to say about greed, and they're not very pretty.
Proverbs 1:19, "So are the ways of everyone who is greedy of gain: such [greed] takes away the life of its possessor". In other words, you can't be greedy and be happy and live the life that Jesus died for you to live. Now, listen. We are born selfish, but we're born again generous. We're born greedy, but we're born again a giver. When you can get beyond selfishness and really become an aggressive, generous giver, the joy you'll have is just absolutely wonderful. But we gotta, we have to conquer that greed, first. The first, there's that, "What about me"? Well, you know, "Why should I give away everything I've worked for"? Well, there's joy in giving. It's more blessed to give than to receive. And I'm not just talking about giving money into the offering. Don't worry, I'm not taking another offering, here, today. I'm not trying to get your money.
I'm talking about living a life of generosity. In every way, from how you tip your waiters and waitresses. In every way be generous: be generous with compliments, be generous with smiles. In every way, be generous. We were sitting in the back room, today, during the lunch break, and I just happened to say something about my purse, and I said, "I've had that purse seven years and I need a new one but I'm looking for a certain kind". I don't like a purse that doesn't zip up. I want pockets, you know, certain things. Well, about an hour later, here comes Ginger back from the coach store with a purse just exactly like what I wanted. And I have looked for three years, and I couldn't find a purse like that. And see, I'm telling you if you will be generous and not be greedy, God will get to you what he wants you to have.
Come on. And God doesn't want us trying to get everything for ourselves. He wants us to live to make other people happy. Then he'll work through other people to make you happy. Just a brand-new way of living. And it's a new way for a lot of Christians. There's so many people in the world that don't know how to receive. And there's a lot... Yeah, not me either. You don't wanna offer me somethin' 'cause I'm taking it. I'm a good giver and I'm a good receiver. Amen? I cannot stand it when I try to give somebody somethin' and they give me this, it's really phony, like, "Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no, no". It's like, "You know you want it, why not just take it and say, 'thank you'"? Not that false humility, "Oh, no, no, no, no". I hate that! Sometimes, if I wanna give somebody something, I'll have somebody else give it to 'em 'cause I don't wanna go through that. Amen? And, you know, we all have kind of special areas in our life. I buy people dogs.
Now, don't write me and ask me for a dog. But I had a dog for 12 years and loved her so much, just, and it was a different time in my life, I had a lot of people in positions to help me and I've tried like four other times since then to have a dog and it just, my lifestyle and a dog just don't go together, right now. And so, I've bought and given away four dogs. And so now, I just, I like to buy dogs. So, when I hear of somebody who wants a dog, I'm like, "I'm your person". I have a lot of dogs named after me. A girl at work, I bought her a dog. She named it Haymish J. So, I'll tell ya, I'm sowing seed, and one of these days, I'm gonna have the dog I want. Amen? I'd like one that doesn't pee or poop. If anybody's got one like that, I'll take it. Oh, my gosh, the last dog I had: he was so sweet. His name was duke. But I get up really early in the morning, like, I mean, sometimes 4 A.M. So, it's dark outside at 4 A.M.
Of course, you gotta take duke to the bathroom. And I locked myself out of the house, and I had on spaghetti strap pajamas. And I could not wake Dave up. I didn't have my phone. I didn't have my key. I couldn't call anybody. I couldn't get in. I had to go to a neighbor's house at 4 A.M. In my pajamas. And I barely knew this woman. And she looked at me like, "What? What's wrong"? I said, "Can I use your phone? I locked myself out of my house, taking my dog to the bathroom". I thought, I don't know why I told you that story. Anyway. A greedy spirit stirs up conflict, but those who trust in the Lord will prosper. You can ask God for anything you want to ask him for, but don't get discontent if you don't get it the way you want it when you want it. Amen?
Greed must be a very serious problem because in 1 Corinthians 5:11, Paul said, "Now I'm writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister in Christ, but is sexually immoral", we get that, "An idolater", we get that, "A drunkard", we get that, "Or greedy, or a slanderer, or a swindler". Well, how many Christians slander other people and don't think anything at all about it? Must be a problem. Let me ask you a question. How many grouchy, cranky, complaining, ungrateful people do you hang out with? Oh, you're looking at me like, you know why Paul says that we must not hang out with them? Because whatever's on people is gonna get on you. Let me tell you, the spirit on them is gonna get on you. You listen to me all the time and you'll start sounding just like me.
I've had people, like, "My husband said, I sound just like you". Well, yeah, whatever, you know, you listen to somebody a lot, or you're around somebody a lot, you're gonna take on some of their traits. I always tell people: you can hang out with unbelievers as long as you're affecting them and they're not infecting you. We don't want to ignore unbelievers. They need us. But we gotta make sure that we're not taking on what they're trying to give away. Amen? So, be careful. Greed is a demon spirit. There's nothing the devil hates worse than generosity. There's nothing he hates worse than people who fund the preaching of the gospel. Amen? That's why we've got all this weirdness today with people's attitude about offerings and you know, you gotta be careful now, not to say the word prosperity 'cause that, well, I looked, the other day, the word prosperity is in the Bible 121 times, so, what's wrong with me saying it? God wants you to prosper.
And that does not make me a "Name it, claim it preacher". Online it says I'm a "Prosperity preacher". That is stupid. That is not all I preach about. It's a very little part of what I preach about. I preach about spiritual maturity. The devil just can't stand it, if you tell people that God wants to bless them. The devil wants you to have nothing, so you cannot give anything! Now, I'm gettin' mad! Do you know that everywhere you go people talk to you about money and you expect it? Why is it that church is the only place people get mad about it? "Well, all you do is talk about money". Well, honey, if you had my bills, you might say a little bit about money, too. And we don't really ask people for anything. You know why? God takes care of us. We don't have any debt. You know why? Because our ministry is a giving ministry and God meets our needs. We take care of the poor and he meets our needs. Whoo! Having a good time. Giving is so much fun. Just get your sweet little mind off yourself long enough.
Listen to what people say. People will tell you what they want and need. I wasn't, on purpose, trying to tell Ginger I needed a purse. We were just talking, but she heard me, and she took action. And that's what I do. I listen to what people say, and then I take action. God told me, a long time ago, he said, "Stop asking me to do things that you could do and just don't want to". "Oh God, Susie q at work, her mattress is 30 years old. She needs a new mattress. Would you help her get a new mattress"? He's like, "Get her one, yourself, you can afford it". Do you hear me? Some of you are kinda tuning out, right now. It's like... Yeah! Make the devil mad. Generosity is spiritual warfare. You know that? "Well, you know, I can't give all my money away". Nobody's telling you to give it all away. I'm just saying, "Be generous". If you're a tither, don't do like $12.31. I mean, at least be generous enough to round it off to the next dollar. Eeew, I'm gonna get myself in trouble if I don't get outta here.
Come on, let's get brave. Let's look at Malachi 3:10 and 11, "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there might be food in my house". In other words, wherever you want to do your eating, that's where you need to do your giving. "'test me in this,' says the Lord Almighty, 'and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven'". Wow! I'm glad he doesn't say, "Test me and see if I'll just put a little crack in the door so a little bit will dribble out to you". He says "No, I'll throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much that there won't be room enough for you to take it in. And I will prevent the pests from devouring your crops". Well, I had ants all over my sink this morning. I said, "God what? Get rid of those pests".
Now, you know, a lot of people say, "Well, tithing is under the law". Well, I won't argue with you about it if that's what you wanna say. But I'll just say this, if they could tithe under the law, well, what should we be doing by grace? No, don't tithe, do more. Besides that, Jesus talked about tithing. God says to even "Bless your enemies". Listen, if you're jealous of somebody and you just cannot seem to get over it, I'll tell you how to get over it, go buy 'em a present. I'm not joking. Matthew 5:43, "You've heard that it was said, 'love your neighbor and hate your enemy'". You know, in the Old Testament, they got to hate people. We don't get to do that. I mean, David prayed some wicked stuff on some of his enemies. "But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you".
And when you give to those who have not treated you right, this is me saying this, you confuse and defeat the enemy. I mean, what's he gonna do with you if you give to your enemies? Some of you are probably thinking of a few people, right now, you need to give to and you're like, "This is gonna be expensive". Do you know how hard it was for me when God told me to take care of my mom and dad until they died? When he first put that on my heart, I rebuked it. I thought it was the devil. I said, "There is no way that God would ask me to do that". Oh, yes, he will. Yeah, he will. You say, "Well, that's not fair". Well, I ask him to do a lot of things for me that's not fair, that I don't deserve. And he does 'em. Seek to be good to other people.
You know, if God asks you to do something for somebody, don't be the kinda person who needs three prophecies and an appearance of angels and, "Now, God, if this is really you... I mean, God, if it's really you, give me a confirmation God, if it's really you". You know what? Even if it's not really God, he'll never get mad at you for blessing somebody. So, I stopped all that nonsense a long time ago. I said, "I'll tell you what God, you don't have to prove to me that you want me to bless people. I'm just gonna bless everybody unless you tell me not to". How's that? Let's turn a corner and do a new thing. Let's make the devil mad. Well, I'll end with this and give you somethin' to think about. First of all, generosity is a weapon.
There's a few of you in here that know what I'm talking about. Maybe not everybody does, but there's a few of you. You know what? Hiding all your money in a bank somewhere is not gonna make you happy. And I'm not saying don't save money. You should save money. You should be prepared for your future. My husband has a great plan on giving. Out of everything you get: you should save some, spend some, and give some. Nobody wants you to work and never spend any money on yourself. God never asked you to do that. I'm not talking about that. But don't keep it all. Save some, give some, spend some. We always say, "Boy, I wish we had the power that they had in the church, in the Book of Acts".
Okay, you want that kinda power? Ananias and Sapphira kept what they said they would give, and they dropped dead. "Well, maybe, I don't want that kind of power". And you know how they lived? Everybody sold all their goods, and they all brought the money to the apostles, and everything was divided among everybody, so nobody had need. Yeah, well, we probably don't wanna live like that, do we? "I'm not giving you what I work for". No, we shouldn't be giving people money who won't work and won't do their part. But we should be helping people that are doing the best they can and they're still hurting. Amen?
And, you know, one of the things that's wrong with the church? We have now given the government the job of taking care of everybody. And have you ever considered this? They don't have anything to give anybody unless they first take it away from somebody else. "Yeah, we'll help you, but we'll raise your taxes". Well, that's not right, because they give a lot of money to people who won't do nothing. They wouldn't take a job if you gave them ten. I'm talkin' about, I mean, God said if you won't work, you shouldn't eat. I'm talking about we should help people that are disenfranchised and they're doing the best they can, but they need help. Amen?
We should always help people like that. Well, I bet if we had about another week, we could get things straightened out, couldn't we? I wrote a closing statement. I'll read it. "The attitude of contentment has a voice. It says you trust God. It says you're thankful for what you have. Be content and satisfied with what you have, and God will release more as he knows you're ready. Contentment is the doorway to happiness. It is spiritual warfare against the devil. If you are not content, then you are looking in all the wrong places for fulfillment. Remember that things cannot satisfy, only God himself and being in his will can satisfy us completely. If you're not satisfied, don't seek anything the world has to offer, seek God".