Support us on Paypal
Contact Us
Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Joyce Meyer » Joyce Meyer - Holiness - Part 3

Joyce Meyer - Holiness - Part 3

Joyce Meyer - Holiness - Part 3
TOPICS: Holiness
Joyce Meyer - Holiness - Part 3

Well, thank you for joining me today on "Enjoying Everyday Life". I'm really glad that you tuned in. I've been teaching the last two days, and I'm gonna conclude today, teaching on the subject of holiness. And if you started with me the first day and you're still here, I am so very, very proud of you. Holiness is not perfect, but it's pressing toward the mark of perfection. As long as we're in these fleshly bodies, we're never gonna manifest 100% perfection. But God wants to find us pressing on, when he sends Jesus back to get us. Now, we've talked about a lot of things the Bible says about holiness. One scripture in particular that can make you squirm in your seat a little bit, is Hebrews 12:14. It says, "Strive to stay in peace and pursue that holiness without which no one will see the Lord".

Wow, pursue means to go after with all of your might. So, we don't have to have arrived, but we need to be pressing toward the mark. The apostle Paul said that in Philippians 3, he said, "[my determined purpose is] to know him and the power of his resurrection, [that lifts me] out from among the dead [while I'm still in this body]". And he said, "I'm pressing toward the mark of the high calling of God in Christ". I'm pressing toward the mark of perfection. I've not arrived, but I let go of what lies behind and I press. You see the word "Press". Gotta make a little effort, you can't just do everything you feel like. Can't just follow the crowd. You have to know the Word of God. If you're ever gonna know what's right from wrong, you have to know the Word of God.

As I said yesterday, "You can't let Hollywood educate you. You can't let the government educate you. You've got to go to the Word of God". The Word of God is truth. As I said as I was closing yesterday, "truth defined, are the way things really are, not the way you think they are, or wish they were". Only by walking in the truth can we live holy lives. We have to know what the Word of God is and walk in the word. In 2 Corinthians it says that, "The Word of God is like a mirror," that when we look in the word, we see Christ. You know, when I look in this mirror, I could have dirt on my face. I could have lipstick smeared all the way up to here. And if I'm not looking in a mirror, I don't know it. So, I could just go around all day like that.

Well, it's the same way with sin. You know, we can just go around living in sin and do it for years and years, and maybe never even know it. But when you look in the Word of God, and it says that's wrong, then all of a sudden you say, "Oh wow, I've got dirt on my face. I've got lipstick smeared on my face". So I love that, that the Word of God is like a mirror. And when we look into it, we see the image of Christ, but we also see what we are compared to that. And we should always be striving to come up to that image. The Bible says that we are predestined by God to be transformed. That means changed into the image of Jesus Christ. We're supposed to behave like he does and let the Holy Spirit work with us to develop his character in our lives.

Being a Christian is about more than just going to church once a week, and thinking that's all there is to it. Only by walking in the truth can we live holy lives. We must face what sin really is, and be truthful with ourselves about how we're living our lives. And you know, being truthful with yourself is not always easy. truth is the central theme in the Bible. Here's just four scriptures. Jesus came, "Full of grace and truth," John 1:14. "truth came through Jesus Christ," John 1:17. "We worship in spirit and in truth," John 4:24. "If you continue in my word, you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free," John 8:31 and 32. Well, obvious the truth won't make you free if you don't follow it, but if you do what it says, it will make you free. Oh my goodness, God has given me so much freedom and so much liberty.

So, so many bondages, I mean, I was full of unforgiveness, and hatred, and bitterness, and resentment, I had opinions about people, and slander, and gossip, and wasn't merciful, and full of pride. And one by one over the years, God has dealt with me about those things, and brought me closer and closer to being more and more like Jesus. This scripture, "If you know my word, you'll know the truth, and the truth will make you free," began my serious journey with God. And I always say my serious journey with God, because I went to church for a long time before I got serious. And I wanna just ask you that today. Are you serious about your walk with God, or are you just going off to a church service once a week and thinking that, that's all there is to it? We need to dedicate our whole selves to God, dedicate our whole lives to God.

And you might think, "Well, if I do that, I'm not ever gonna have any fun". That's not true. The first miracle that Jesus did was at a party. Living a holy life doesn't mean that you can never go to a party, you can never dance, you can never do anything that's fun. You haven't had any fun until you can lay down at night, and not have a guilty conscience. You haven't really had any fun until you learn how to have fun the right way. You're not gonna tell me that getting drunk on Friday night and having a hangover all day on Saturday and feeling terrible is fun. It may be the only kind of fun you've ever known to have, but I can tell you there's something that's a lot more fun, and that's peace. And when you have peace, you have joy. And both of those come from being right with God.

"The Kingdom of God is not meat and drink:" Romans 14:17 says, "But it is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost". It was painful to face the truth at first. I'd rather face the truth about somebody else than about me. Oh yeah, "You should do this, and you shouldn't do that, and you shouldn't do that, and you should do this". But you know what? God hasn't called us to judge and criticize everybody else, and decide what they should and shouldn't do. He wants us to apply the word to ourselves. And I always tell how one day I was praying for Dave to change, and God told me Dave wasn't the problem. And I thought, "Well, who is, there's only me and him"? I mean, that's how deceived I was. "The heart is deceitful above all else".

And Satan is the great deceiver. And that means that he tells us lies, but if we believe those lies, they become our truth. Even though they're not really truth, they become our reality. That's why we have to have that mirror of God's word. We have to compare. We have to look in that mirror and say, "Well, this is what truth is, and it doesn't line up with what I'm doing". So therefore, I can't change the word, I need to ask God to change me. Instead of asking God to change everybody else, and change your circumstances, how about lifting up your little holy hands and saying, "God, change me, I wanna be like Jesus". Wow. Well, that gives me something to do the rest of my life, work with the Holy Spirit to become more and more like Christ. Spiritual growth is not possible without the truth.

Ephesians 4:15, "Rather, let our lives lovingly express truth [in all things, speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly]. Enfolded in love, let us grow up". Wow, spiritual growth. "Let us grow up in every way and in all things into him who is the head, [even] Christ (the Messiah)". He's saying grow up and become like Jesus, but that's only gonna happen as you face the truth, as you know the truth, as you deal with the truth, as you speak the truth, as you love the truth. I love the truth. Matthew 5:48, "You, therefore, must be perfect". Wow! That scripture used to scare me, until I started studying from the Amplified Bible. And the Amplified classic says in parenthesis that, that means "[growing into complete maturity of Godliness in mind and character]".

Well, you know, I can handle and relax with growing. So, that's what perfection is, it's having this attitude of growing into the fullness of the image of Christ. Even though I may still be growing when Jesus comes to get me, that's all he wants is if I care enough about him to want to be like him. And when I do find out the truth about something, to be willing to make the alteration in my life, not expect everybody else to change and be like me. Psalm 51:6 says, "Behold, you desire truth in the inner being: make me know wisdom in my inmost heart". And you'll see in a little bit where that scripture comes from.

Now, wanna talk to you about self-contemplation and self-examination. And it's not for condemnation. It's just to be honest with yourself about where you're at. Because if you can't be honest with yourself about where you're at spiritually, and what you may be doing wrong, then you can't get to where you need to be, and I can't either. You know, let's just say that I've got unforgiveness in my heart. And so, I read the word and it says, you know, if I've got unforgiveness in my heart, God can't answer my prayers. Well, that should tell me that I need to change. I need to ask God, "God, help me get this unforgiveness out of my heart". Bible tells me I should pray for my enemies, so I should pray for my enemies.

Well, you say, "I don't want them to be blessed". Well, you can tell God that too, but you don't have to worry too much because God's not gonna bless somebody who's living a sinful life. But he might bless them with some truth. He might wake them up and cause them to see how they've been behaving, if you'll pray for them. But let's just say that I'm convicted of this unforgiveness in my heart, and instead of me changing, I make an excuse and say, "Well, they don't deserve my forgiveness". Well, we don't deserve God's forgiveness either, but he gives it to us. I tell you what, when you start dealing with God, you cannot wiggle out of sin. You're not gonna find an excuse. You're not gonna be able to blame somebody else. Self-contemplation, think about yourself. Maybe every night, just as you're going to sleep, think about your day.

What did you think about today? What did you talk about today? What did you do today? Are you mad at anybody? The Bible says, "Don't let the sun go down on your anger, don't go to bed angry". Whatever you go to sleep with, you're gonna wake up with. Don't be an angry person full of unforgiveness. God will convict us of sin, but he'll help us change. Thank God! I can't change myself, but God will help me change, and he'll help you change. The Bible tells us to examine ourselves. It even says to ask God to examine you. David prayed, it's recorded in Psalm 26:2, "Examine me, o Lord, and prove me: test my heart and my mind".

How long has it been since you've asked God to examine you? This reminds me, I haven't done it in a while myself. Lamentations 3:40, "Let us test and examine our ways, and let us return to the Lord"! Wow! Can't be any plainer than that. Let us test and examine our ways, and if we find in any way that we're out of sync with God, let us return to the Lord. Thankfully we can return. He's a forgiving God. If you say, "God, I'm wrong, I'm sorry, forgive me". He forgives us and "He removes our sin as far as the east is from the west". Man, that is the good news of the gospel. No matter what you've done, you can be forgiven, but you have to admit it, confess it, and be willing to turn away from it.

Let me say it again. No matter what you've done, you can be forgiven, but you have to admit it, confess it, and be willing to turn away from it, and live a right kind of life. 2 Corinthians 13:5, "Examine and test and evaluate your own selves to see whether you are holding to your faith and showing the proper fruits of it". Well, I go to church, but how do I act all week? Hmm, am I mean to people? Am I unforgiving? Am I unmerciful? Do I gossip? Do I complain all week because I don't like everything about my job? Or am I thankful that I've got a job? God wants us to be thankful. The Bible says that he'll hear your prayers, but you've gotta pray with thanksgiving. You've gotta pray from the standpoint of a thankful life. A thankful life.

A month ago, I couldn't walk to the bathroom because I was in a wheelchair with a broken leg, and damaged nerves in my other leg. So, this morning when I walked to the bathroom, I thanked God that I could walk to the bathroom. Wow! I remember going through something one time where I had such a... Everything tasted like dirt. I had something called burning mouth disorder, and my mouth just felt like it was on fire. And I remember, "Oh, my coffee tasted so bad," and I love my morning coffee. And I remember thinking back then, "If I could just get up in the morning and enjoy a cup of coffee, God, I would just be so happy, I would never want anything else".

Well, so this morning I thanked God that I could enjoy my morning coffee. Don't forget to be thankful for the things that God does for you. That'll keep you away from the grouchies. It's very easy for us to get an attitude of, "Well, I..." But being thankful will drive that bad attitude away. Examine yourselves and see whether you're showing the proper fruits of being a Christian. Galatians 6:4, it says it too many times in the Bible for us to ignore it. "But let every person carefully scrutinize and examine and test his own conduct and his own work. He can then have the personal satisfaction and joy of doing something commendable [in itself alone] without [resorting to] boastful comparison with his neighbor".

I don't know about you, but I spent a lot of years... No, I wasted a lot of years, comparing myself with other people. But God says, look, if you examine your own life and you do the best that you can, you don't have to compare yourself with anybody else. We don't need to always try to be better than somebody else. We just need to be like Jesus. I don't care who's better than me at whatever they're better than me at, or if they have more than I do, or can do more than I do. The only thing I need to be concerned about is, am I right with God? Do I have peace in my heart? The Bible tells us all over the place that Satan works really hard to try to draw us in to sin.

Now, we're gonna talk about David, Bathsheba, and Uriah for just a few minutes. Here's a man who loves God. David, the Psalmist, the little shepherd boy, who was anointed to be king. He had a heart after God. And in 1 Kings 15:5, it says a very interesting thing, "Because David did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, and turned not aside from anything that he commanded him all the days of his life, except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite". So, seems like David did everything right, except he committed adultery with Bathsheba, and had her husband killed.

Well, that's pretty serious for somebody who seems to be doing everything else right. And not only that, after he did this terrible thing, he ignored his sin for a whole year before he repented. And you can find Psalms where he said, "Before I repented I was miserable. Everything in me was miserable". And then in Psalm 51, is his prayer of repentance, and it is so beautiful. But in 2 Samuel 11:1-10, I'm not gonna read the whole thing, but this is to me so amazing. "In the spring when kings go forth to battle, David sent Joab with his servants and all Israel, and they ravaged the Ammonites [country] and besieged rabban. But David remained in Jerusalem".

Well, that was David's first mistake. He wasn't where he was supposed to be. He was a king, and when kings go forth to battle, David didn't go, he stayed home. And that was when he was on his roof taking a walk, and he saw Bathsheba who was bathing. And that doesn't mean she was on the roof next door, he could've been looking down the courtyard, he could have been looking through the window. But he saw her bathing, and interestingly enough, I did a little bit of study, and it seems like she was only like somewhere between 12 and 14 years old. Course, they got married a lot younger back then than we do now. But she was just a young girl. And he lusted after her, and so he called for her to come to his house, and he had sex with her.

Well, you might say, "Well, why didn't she resist him"? Well, he was the king. She was a young girl. I'm sure she felt like she had no other choice. Well, now this gets even more interesting. So it turns out she's pregnant, and she tells David, "I'm pregnant". Well, he brought her husband, Uriah, home from the battlefield under the guise of giving him a rest, hoping that he would go home sleep with his wife and then he would think that the child was his. So, he says here, go home, enjoy yourself, get a rest, see your wife, in essence, that was what he said. And Uriah wouldn't do it. He wouldn't go home. "But Uriah slept at the door of the king's house with all the servants of his Lord, and he did not go down to his house. And when they told David Uriah did not go down to his house, David said to Uriah, have you not come from a journey? Why did you not go down to your house"?

Now, to make matters even worse, Uriah was one of David's mighty men. He had 37 of them that they were called his mighty men. And he was one of his closest companions. And David could have had any woman he wanted for a wife, but he stole Uriah's. Uriah would not go to his wife because all the other soldiers were out on the battlefield fighting, and he did not feel like... He was a man of integrity, he did not feel like that he should go and enjoy himself with his wife, have a good night's sleep and a nice meal while everybody else was suffering. So, David sent Uriah back to the battle, but then he sent orders for him to be put on the front line, so he'd be killed. Wow. After a while then he brought Bathsheba to his house and took her as his wife.

And in Psalm 51, after Nathan, the prophet, dealt with him through a parable that he told him, and I don't have time to get into all that. But it brought him to a place of repentance. And you can hear the brokenness in David, if you take time to read all of Psalm 51. I'm not gonna have time to read it all. But he said, "Have mercy on me, o God, according to your steadfast love: according to the multitude of your tender mercy and loving-kindness blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly [and repeatedly] from my iniquity and guilt and cleanse me and make me wholly pure from my sin! For I am conscious of my transgressions, and I acknowledge them: my sin is ever before me".

Don't you hate that when your sin is always right in your face? "Against you and you only have I sinned". Well, I think he sinned against Bathsheba too and Uriah. "And I've done that which is evil in your sight, so you're justified in your sentence and faultless in your judgment". And then he goes on and on and on. And then he comes to a place where he says, "Behold, you desire truth in the inner man". David had come to a place of facing truth. "I am in sin. What I did was wrong. I took another man's wife. I had him killed. Now I'm living with her".

Well, you know what? God forgave David, but do you know from that day forward, he was never without war. He always had war. And the child that she was pregnant with died, and that broke David's heart. He had six or seven wives, but Bathsheba was his favorite. I don't understand that, all the multiple wives they had back then, because that wasn't God's will. But it seems like a lot of people in the Old Testament operated in his permissive will. We don't wanna be self-deceived. We wanna face the truth. Oh God, show me truth. Show our viewers today truth. If we've sinned against you, God, please show it to us, and help us not to be self-deceived. We love you, Lord, and we want to be like Jesus. Help us.
Are you Human?:*