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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Joyce Meyer » Joyce Meyer - Living Carefully

Joyce Meyer - Living Carefully

Joyce Meyer - Living Carefully
TOPICS: Lifestyle
Joyce Meyer - Living Carefully

Well, thank you for joining me today on, "Enjoying Everyday Life". I do pray that you'll enjoy the program, and that it will help you live a life that is more pleasing to Jesus. Today, I wanna talk to you about being careful how you live. Now, what do I mean by that? Well, you know, we can't just live any way we feel like living and act any way we feel like acting. And we have to realize that we have an enemy, the devil, and he is always after us, trying to deceive us in some way, shape, or form. So, we need to be careful. For example, the Bible says, "Be careful that you are not deceived". In the last days, there is going to be great deception, and we believe that we're living in the last days, and probably the last of the last days. And so, something that is good to pray about every day is, "God, help me not to be deceived".

Deception is really dangerous, because when you're deceived, you don't know you're deceived. And to be deceived means to believe a lie. And Satan is a liar, and the father of lies. And so, he lies to us. He may tell you when you have a problem that, you know, you did something wrong, and that's why you have this problem. And you need to be able to say, "You're a liar". Or he may say, "Well, you have so many problems, God probably doesn't love you". Well, you need to know the word well enough to be able to say, "You are a liar! God loves me unconditionally, and there's never a moment in my life when he doesn't love me". So, Ephesians 5:15 says, "Be very careful, then, how you live: not as the unwise but as wise".

Now see, I guess I could give you some fancy definition for wisdom, but I like to define wisdom as: doing now, what you'll be satisfied with later. Wisdom means making right choices. And God gives us choice, we're not robots. We can choose to do the right thing, but we can also choose to do the wrong thing. And if we do the right thing, then we're gonna like the results we get in our life. But if we do the wrong thing, we are not gonna like the results that we get in our life. Decisions that you and I make today, will affect tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that. So, let's think about a few things. What is your lifestyle? Is your lifestyle one that would say, "I'm a Christian who loves Jesus"? Or do you just go to church on Sunday, and then live like the rest of the world all week? What are your habits? Are you in the habit of disciplining yourself? Do you have good habits? Do you have a habit of gossiping? Do you have a habit of telling other people's secrets?

Well, those are things that the Bible tells us not to do. We need to actually pay attention to what we do, and not just get up, and do everything we feel like, and everything that we think is okay, and everything we wanna do. We need to live according to the Word of God. To read the word, James says, and not do it, we're deceiving our own selves, doing things that are contrary to the truth. Do you have a purpose in your life? Do you know why you get out of bed every day? Like my son is in charge of our missions, and he says, "This is why I get up every day". Well, I know what I'm called to do, and I get up every day to serve God in whatever way that he wants me to serve him.

Now, I do other things. I don't just sit around and do religious things all day, but that is my purpose. My purpose is to serve God. What is your purpose? Is it to help people? Is it to make money? Is it to have a great reputation? Is it to serve God in whatever way you can serve God? Do you have a plan for your life? And if your plan turns out not to agree with God's plan, are you willing to let go of that plan, and go with God? I think we should all have plans, but we need to make sure if God wants to interrupt them, that we're willing to let go of them. And I love this question, "Are you leaving a legacy"? You know, do you wanna just, when you're gone, nobody misses you, or nobody knows you were here? Or do you wanna leave something that has impacted the earth?

Now, I'm called to minister of the Word of God. So, one of the things that I wanna leave as a legacy is, and I had this goal 40 years ago, I said, "Lord, I wanna leave at least 100 good quality books that I've written about the word, that people can be reading a long time after I'm gone". Well, thankfully, I'm way past 100 books now, but that's part of my legacy. And we're working to make sure that when I am gone, that the ministry can go on, perhaps it'll become a missions ministry then or whatever. But I don't want the work that I've done to just stop and be nothing after that. My kids wanna continue to help God. My grandchildren wanna continue to help God, and work for God. Are you accomplishing anything? You know, time is so precious. I think about time, and it is really absolutely amazing how fast time goes by.

Now, I know if you're 20, you don't think you'll ever be 60, or 70, or 80, but trust me, you will be. And you'll be surprised when you get there, and you'll think, "My life has gone by so fast". Well, the time to make sure that your life is worth something, is now while you're living it. Don't get to 80 years old and then look back with regrets and say, "I wish I would have: I wish I would have: I wish I wouldn't have". But make the right decisions, and the right things, now. So, live carefully. I think it's good, occasionally, to take an inventory of your life. I like, at the end of every year, I like to sit and look through my calendar, and look at what I did the whole year. What did I accomplish? Well, sometimes I'll look and I think, "My gosh, I am so surprised that I did that many meetings, that I got to teach that many times". Or, you know, you can tell how you're living your life by what you spend your time doing.

What you spend your time doing is what is important to you. And believe me, if something is important enough to you, you will find time to do it. For example, my husband has been working out with weights since he was like, 16 years old. So, 65 years, whatever, he's been working out with weights. And so, man, he looks great! He still wears the same size clothes that he did when we got married. He just looks awesome. Well, people can look at him and say, "Man, I wish I looked that good". Well, he didn't get it wishing, he got it doing the right thing when he needed to do the right thing. Well, I didn't start working out until I was 62, because all I did prior to that was make excuses. And the excuse I usually made was I just don't have time.

With all the teaching I'm doing, the books I'm writing, and traveling I'm doing, I just don't have time. But I really felt one day, after looking at myself in the mirror, "You better start doing something now". And God actually spoke to my heart and said, "You're not gonna be strong enough for the last third of your journey, if you don't start getting some exercise". And so, I thought, "Well, doing something's better than doing nothing". Always remember that, doing something is better than doing nothing. So, if you think, "Well, I can't do anything". You can always do something. So, you start with a little something, and you'll find that little something will grow.

So, I thought, "Okay, I'm going to go to a trainer, so I do it right". Because one of my excuses was, I'd always try to exercise, and I'd hurt myself. And so, I thought, "I'm gonna get a trainer, I'm gonna do it right". But I didn't wanna have to go to the trainer all the time. I wanted them to give me a program, let me go home and do it, you know, for two or three months when I had time. Then come back and get a new program. That was something this particular gym did. Well, after doing it for a couple months, I started seeing such good results, that I wanted to do it more. And so long story short, I ended up having a trainer three times a week help me with my workout, and now I have been working out for almost 18 years. Well, I see the results. If you make right choices, you will see right results. Carefully, defined, means with watchful attention to supervise.

Let me ask you a question. Can you supervise yourself? Or do you have to have somebody else stand over you, and tell you the right thing to do all the time? It means to be responsible for, to be careful about. Are you careful about your words? Are you careful about your thoughts? You know, there was a lot of time in my life when I just said whatever I wanted to say. I didn't think about the weight of my words because nobody had taught me that the power of life and death is in the tongue. But now, I'm more careful about what I say. And if I say wrong things, I'm convicted by the Holy Spirit, and I feel that conviction, and I can repent and ask God to help me say better things. "Be careful that no one misleads you". The Bible says in Matthew 24:4, "Watch out that no one deceives you".

Wow. Deception is so great in the earth today, and social media has really caused a lot of it. If you believe everything that you read online, you are gonna be in serious trouble. I did something silly, few weeks ago, I decided to look myself up. And I found something on the internet that said, "All of Joyce Meyer's clothes come from Gucci". Well, I don't even have a pair of Gucci sunglasses. Not that there would be anything wrong with it if I did. And I don't not have Gucci, because I think it's a bad line of clothes or something. It's just not what I want. I wear other things. But the point is, is because they are a little expensive, somebody was trying to make me look bad. They were trying to make me look like, that I just spend all this money on my clothes. Well, it was just an outright lie.

But do you know most people who read that, will believe it? Please be careful that you don't just believe everything that you read online, especially if it's something about other people. And whatever you do, don't spread it. Because what happens a lot of times is people read something, they believe it, and then they tell it to somebody else. And before you know it, there's a rumor started about somebody that's just not even true. The Bible says that we are to be careful who we associate with. So, let me ask you a question. "Who do you spend your time with"? "What kind of people are they"? "What kind of influence are they having on your life"? The Bible says, "Don't associate with anybody who talks too free", that really means talks too much.

And, you know, it's really true, if you're around a person who just talks, and talks, and talks, and talks, and talks, they are going to end up saying things they shouldn't be saying. They're gonna tell things they shouldn't be telling. Because when you just talk and talk and talk, you just eventually forget what you're saying, and you end up just talking to be talking. Proverbs 20:19 says, "He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets: therefore associate not with him who talks too freely". Let me tell you something. If somebody talks to you about somebody else, they're gonna talk about you to other people. "Don't make friendships with those who are given to anger".

Proverbs 22:24 says, "Don't make friends with a hot-tempered person, don't associate with people that are easily angered". Well, why is it important who you associate with? Because whoever you're around can have an influence on you. Like a believer should not spend an excessive amount of time with unbelievers. Now, that doesn't mean we should ignore them, and act like we're better than them. I believe that people who believe in Jesus, should spend a certain amount of time with people that don't. Otherwise, how are they ever gonna be influenced to believe in Christ? But I always say, "Associate with unbelievers as long as you are affecting them, and they're not infecting you". You gotta be sure that you don't become the wrong thing, by hanging out with the wrong kind of people. The Bible says, "Don't associate with people that are given to change".

Well, what does that mean? People that are always changing their mind about what they're gonna do, or changing their mind about, let's just say that even somebody who is just constantly changing jobs. Well, you know, there's a reason for that. There something is not right. If somebody can't get a job and stick with it for a period of time. "Don't associate with those who are immoral, greedy, don't give God first place in their life, foul-mouthed, slanderous, reviling, critical, negative, a drunkard, a glutton, a swindler, or a robber". Well, my goodness, let's see what Paul had to say about that. 1 Corinthians 5:9-11, "I wrote you in my previous letter not to associate [closely and habitually]".

I love that. Doesn't mean ignore them completely, but don't get into real close, intimate relationships with those kinds of people. "With unchaste (impure) people, not [meaning of course that you must] altogether shun the immoral people of the world, or the greedy graspers or the cheats and the theives or the idolaters", and I love this, "Since otherwise you would have to get out of the world completely and ignore human society altogether"! Well, I think that's pretty interesting, because it is almost impossible in the world we live in today, to even live in the world, and never be around anybody that doesn't fit into any of those categories. "But now I'm writing to you," and please listen to this, "Not to associate with anyone who bears the name of [Christian] brother if he is known to be guilty of immorality or greed, or is an idolater [whose soul is devoted to anything that usurps the place of God], or is a person with a foul tongue".

If you know a believer who gossips about other people, if you're smart, you'll tell 'em, "I really don't wanna hear that". It's a nice way of correcting them without them feeling like they're being corrected. You say, "I don't wanna hurt their feelings". Well, would you rather them poison your soul? Be bold enough to help people and say, "You know, we really shouldn't be, those are not the kind of things we need to talk about, let's talk about something positive". I mean, if I'm with somebody and they start, everything is negative, negative, negative, everything in the world, you know, just fallin' apart. I just, I get tired of hearing it after a while, and I just say, "Can we talk about something positive"? I don't wanna talk about negative stuff all the time.

So, he's saying it's worse to associate with a believer who does these things, than it is an unbeliever who does these things, because the believer should know better. Or if "A person has a foul tongue, a drunkard, a swindler," you get the point. You know you can catch sickness, but you can't catch health. Think about that. If you're around somebody with good health, you can't catch their good health, just because you're around them. But if you're around somebody with the flu, you could catch the flu from 'em, if you spend time with them and they breathe on you, etc. Etc. Well, there's a scripture in the Amplified Bible, in the book of Haggai, verses 12 and 13 that I find very interesting. It says, "If one Carries in the skirt of his garment flesh that is holy," so that would be like meat that had been offered to God back in those days, "[because it has been offered in sacrifice to God], and with the skirt or the flaps of his garment touches bread, or wine, or oil, or any kind of food, does what he touches become holy"?

So, if you touch something holy, will that make you holy? It says, "No! [holiness is not infectious]". I love this, you can't be infected with holiness, you have to choose it. You have to live carefully and choose the right thing. It's not gonna just accidentally jump on you. And then he goes to the other side and he said, "If someone is [ceremonially] unclean because he has come in contact with a dead body..." now, these are things from the Old Testament. "If he should touch any article of food, shall it be [ceremonially] unclean? And the priests said, yes, it shall be unclean". Because "[unholiness is infectious]".

Now, I love that, because he's saying exactly what I'm trying to say, to get across here. If I hang out with people who are holy, I'm not gonna catch 'em by hanging out with them. But I can see their good choices, and that will help me make good choices. But if I hang around with people that gossip, slander, are stingy, don't love God, if I'm not very careful, and you can do it, but you have to be careful that you don't begin to start acting like them, without even realizing that you're doing it. Personally, I love to hang out with generous people. I don't like being around stingy people, because I think people that are stingy also have a whole lot of other problems. And I don't like hanging out with people that don't keep their word. I don't like hanging out with people that are lazy. I like to choose friends that are living the way that I want to live, because when we spend time with right kind of people, it helps us also be the right kind of person.

So, ask yourself who your friends are. And some of you actually could make a major change in your life, just by changing some of your relationships. And then the Bible says to guard your heart. Wow! "Guard your heart with all diligence, for out of it flows the issues of life". Well, that's true, out of the heart, the mouth speaks. So, you wanna guard what you listen to, what you let come into you. That's why it's not wise to listen to gossip, or just to listen to a lot of negativity all the time. "Above all that you guard, guard your heart, for out of it flows the issues of life".

Guard your thoughts, pay attention to what you're thinking. Guard what you watch on tv. Be careful about what you watch. You may think it doesn't have any influence on you, but it can. I am so glad when I watch television that I know right from wrong. Because certain things I immediately know, "Well, that's wrong". "Well, that's wrong". "Well, that's wrong". And you only learn that wisdom from the Word of God. I actually wonder, if something major doesn't happen in the world, what is gonna happen to the next two or three generations? Because if they're not being taught what's right, then they're really going to believe that "Evil is good, and good is evil".

Matthew 12:34 says, "You brood of vipers, how can you that are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of". "Set a guard over my lips, o Lord, keep a watch over the door of my lips". And I pray that, "God put a guard over my mouth lest I sin against you with my tongue". To guard means: to protect, defend, to watch carefully, to be cautious, and to pay attention. Are you living carefully? Or are you just living according to the way you feel? Do you just get up every day and just do what you feel like doing, or just whatever you think you wanna do? We need to know the Word of God, and know it well enough that we automatically, without even realizing what we're doing, compare our behavior, or line our behavior up with God's word.

Now, I'm grateful that I've been studying the word for 45 years. Some of you aren't old enough yet to have done that. But I really wanna encourage you to listen to the word. It's so easy to study the word these days. You can get podcasts, you can listen to things as you drive to work and drive home, as you work around the house, you can watch or listen to good things on TV, there's all kinds of conferences and meetings and great churches. Every opportunity that you get, get the Word of God in you, because the world that we're living in today is dangerous. And the Bible says, "Be careful that you're not deceived". "Be careful and be on your guard against the leaven of the pharisees". And that leaven would equal compromise. Be careful that you don't compromise. And to compromise means to go a little bit below what you know to be right.

And boy, I tell you that little bit lie, what a lie that is. The devil will say, "Well it's just a little bit, that won't hurt". Well, yeah, a little bit can do a lot of damage. We need to be careful about the little things in life. If you obey God in little areas, then you will obey God in bigger areas. But if you disobey him in small things, you're probably gonna disobey him in bigger things too. So, I just wanna encourage you today, as I close this teaching, to be a little bit more careful about how you live, who you hang out with, the kind of people you spend your time with, careful about your thoughts, and careful about the things that you say, careful about what you watch on TV. Surround yourself with good influences, because God loves you and he's got a great future planned for you.
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