Joyce Meyer - Seven Deadly Sins - Part 2
Thank you for joining me today. I believe that you're gonna hear something that you're going to need. Yesterday I started talking about the seven deadly sins. Now, there's nothing in the Bible that says these sins are the seven deadly sins. But according to, "Christian tradition," which we know how fond we are of tradition, it says that there are seven deadly sins. I guess they're sins that are supposed to be worse than any of the rest. However, we know that sin is sin. The Bible does say, however, that sexual immorality is worse than some of the rest, because it's a sin against your own body. So, we've talked about envy. We've talked about gluttony. And we were talking about greed, when we finished.
Let me just read you a couple final scriptures before we go on to the next one. Luke 12:15 says, "Then he said to them, 'watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed'". So, you know, we can't just assume, "Oh, none of these things will be a problem for me". You have to watch out for them. Life does not consist in an abundance of possessions. So that's not, you know, having a lot of stuff does not make people happy. There's a lot of miserable rich people. And God wants us to have nice things, there's nothing wrong with having nice things. I love pretty things. But we need to make sure that we realize that that's not where our joy comes from. You get more joy, it's more blessed to give than to receive. You actually get more joy from being a blessing to somebody else, than you do getting something yourself.
And 1 Timothy 6:17-19, "Command those who are rich in this world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain". And boy, is that not true. You know, the Bible says that Babylon will fall in one day. And I don't know exactly when that's going to happen, but Babylon, I think, is this world system. And it says it's gonna fall in one day. You think about when the stock market crashed, back in 1929, I mean, one day, and the world was a totally different place. "Put your hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age".
Now, the next of the seven deadly sins is lust. And lust is not only sexual sin. We can lust after anything. I believe anything we want so bad that we think we can't be happy without it, is lust. And I think that's probably the best definition that I can give you that's practical that we can all apply to our daily lives. Be very careful when you start to think, "I just don't see how I can be happy if I don't get that". 1 Corinthians 6:18 says, "Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body". And here's an interesting fact, 40% of married people are affected by immorality, and 95% of all people have sex before marriage.
Do you know how beautiful but unusual it would be today, for a man and a woman, or a boy and a girl, to get married and both of them be virgins? We've taken a too loose of an attitude. And you know, of course, today everybody just thinks that you date, and the next step is live together, which is not scriptural and is not right, and it's something that people should not do. The next of the seven deadly sins is pride. Wow, well, they say that's the toughest one to avoid, and I think it probably is. I mean, pride won't even let you say you're proud. I mean, I could not sell a teaching series on pride, because people that needed it would be too proud to go pick it up.
So, I have to hide stuff like that under other titles. You know like, how to be truly happy. Pride means to think more highly of yourself than you ought to. And the first thing that happens when we think more highly of ourselves than we ought to is, we think less of other people than we should. To be better than somebody else, you've always gotta put somebody else down. And there's nothing that I dislike more than to see a leader, especially a spiritual leader, mistreat other people. That's to me the worst. When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. Proverbs 16:5, "The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: they will not go unpunished". Proverbs 16:18, "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall".
Now, one of the best examples in the Bible is, king Nebuchadnezzar. And it's really pretty amazing if you study just the first chapter... Well, Daniel 4:1-4. "King Nebuchadnezzar, to the nations and the people of every language who live in all the earth: may you prosper greatly! It is my pleasure," now listen to this, "It is my pleasure to tell you about the miraculous signs and wonders that the Most High God has performed for me". God's getting the credit. "How great are his signs, how mighty are his wonders! His kingdom is an eternal kingdom: his dominion endures from generation to generation". Here's the result of giving God the credit. "I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at home in my palace, contented and prosperous". And the Amplified Bible says, "And at ease".
So, he was a happy guy. Things were going good for him, but he was giving God all the credit. Now, that's the first four verses of chapter 4. In verse 30, and I don't know how long 26 verses in the Bible took but, "He said," this is amazing, "Is not this the great Babylon that I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty"? Wow. Gosh, that's what you call getting too big for your britches. And boy, that happens to so many people. You know, even so many spiritual leaders that have fallen into sin and brought disgrace. Most of them, if they ever really talk to you and tell you the truth, they'll just say, "I got so powerful that I thought I could do anything I wanted to".
And so, with great power, there always needs to be great humility, and giving God the credit. With any talent that you have, if you have a great talent, people are gonna compliment you, which is fine. Be gracious, say, "Thank you". But then turn right around and give it to God. So many times when people are telling me how I've changed their life, and this and that and something else, on the inside of me I'm saying to God, "We both know who it is, and it's not me". You have to fight against it, because if you don't fight against it, it'll get you. And pride always comes before destruction. And God cannot promote somebody that's not humble. "Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God, and in due time he will exalt you".
Humble yourself. If you don't humble yourself, God will do it for you. And trust me, it's a lot more comfortable if you do it yourself. If you do it in private, he won't have to do it in public. "Even as the words were on his lips, a voice came from heaven, 'this is what is decreed for you, king Nebuchadnezzar: your royal authority has been taken from you'". So as soon as he took credit for what God was doing, he lost his power. "'you will be driven away from people and you will live with the wild animals: and you will eat grass like the ox. Seven times will pass by you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over all the kingdoms of the earth and gives them to anyone who he wishes'".
Now, if you read this whole story, he became just like a wild animal, and lived just out in the field with the wild animals. And then I love what the Bible says, it says: he came to himself, he came to his right mind. Sometimes we just kind of get out of our mind with our own greatness. And we need to come to ourself and say, "Well, wait a minute, this is not me". Everything that we do, it's good we do it, by the grace of God. It's only because God gives us the ability to do it. We are nothing without him. I try to remind myself of that daily, "I am nothing without you". Jesus said, "Apart from me, you can do nothing". "'at the same time that my sanity was restored, my honor and splendor were returned to me for the glory of my kingdom. My advisors and nobles sought me out, and I was restored to my throne and became even greater than before'".
So, God is a redeemer. There's nobody that's so bad they can't be redeemed and forgiven. There's nothing that you've done that you can't be forgiven for. There's nobody that's so bad that they can't be restored. And so, when you hear teaching or preaching like this, it seems a little bit confrontational. It's not to make you feel hopeless, like you're a lost cause, but it's to get you to come back around and say, "God, I realize I'm nothing without you, forgive me". And God is a God of redemption. He'll bring things back and even make them better than they were before, amen? Job went through a tough time, but at the end he was given twice as much as he had before. And I was given so much comfort in my life, after being abused by my father by Isaiah 61:7 that says that God, "For your [former's] Shame he'll give you a twofold recompense". He'll give you a double reward. Amen? For God loves justice.
Pride. One of the seven deadly sins theologians and Philosophers reserve a special place for is pride. Lust, envy, anger, greed, gluttony, and sloth are all bad, the sages say, they were the super spiritual guys. But pride is the deadliest of all. It's the root of all evil, and the beginning of sin, because it is the sin that Satan committed that brought him down. And really, even you might say the sin that Adam and Eve committed in thinking that they knew more than God did. You know, God said not to do this, but we're gonna do it anyway. Pride causes us to what? To judge other people? To criticize people? To think more highly of ourselves than we ought to? To be unable to take correction? Proud people have very much difficulty saying, "I was wrong". Or they have a hard time saying, "It was my fault". "I'm sorry," even is hard for them.
Pride causes us to take credit for things God or others have done. Pride doesn't like to give other people the credit that's due them. A proud person will let somebody else do all the work, and then take the credit for it. Pride brags and boasts, and the proud person talks excessively about themselves and their accomplishments. They really, really, really like themselves. I'll tell you what, being a tad impatient, when I see one of those animals that they call sloth, it's like, get on with it, will ya. I'm just like, I do not know anybody can move that slow and survive. I mean, I can't move that slow if I tried to. Reluctance to work or to make an effort. Laziness, spiritual apathy, and inactivity is the deadly sin of sloth.
A person that's lazy always wants somebody else to fix their problem. They need to do this, and they need to do that, without ever realizing that we are they. Be the answer that you want to see in the world, instead of expecting somebody else to fix it all the time. Ask God, "What can I do, to help this situation"? Proverbs speaks often about laziness and the ruin that it causes. A Christian is to work hard and put forth their best effort. And when I say effort, I don't mean effort in the flesh, I mean a Holy Ghost inspired effort. Colossians 3:23 tells us to, "Work for the Lord with all of our heart, knowing that it's from the Lord that we get our reward".
Laziness is spiritual inactivity in things like prayer, Bible study, doing things to help other people. A person who doesn't want to help people in need is a sign of a person who is not very interested in the growth of their Christianity. You know, after we're born again, we're supposed to spend the rest of our life being transformed into the image of Christ. Romans 8:29 says we are, "Predestined to be molded into the image of Jesus Christ". And to be predestined, doesn't mean that God said it, so it's automatically gonna happen while I do nothing. It means that, that's what God wants. That's what he has predetermined as his will, and he has made the way for it. But you still have to go out and take what God has given you.
It's like, I remember one time I had some gifts at my house for my daughter, and she was being slow in coming to get 'em. And I said, "If you want these, you gotta come and get them, I'm not gonna deliver 'em". Well, I think God is that way with us sometimes, he's provided everything. You know, really and truly, we're not waiting on Jesus to do another thing, he's already done everything he needs to do. There's nothing else for him to do, he's done it all. What we need to do is step out on it in faith. You've heard the phrase, "Well, you've put your foot in it now". Well, you know, the Jordan didn't part until the priest put their foot in the water, and then it parted. And God told Joshua, he said, "Every place on which the foot of your sole shall tread, that have I already given you".
I love that! He said, "I've already given it to you, but you've gotta go take it". Those steps of faith. And you know, when you step out in faith, you're never 100% for sure that what you're hearing is right. The only way you will ever know is if you step out and find out. And see people are so afraid of making mistakes, that they sit back in fear and do nothing, except maybe wanting God to prove to them that it's what they should be doing. And the thing is, is we don't have to be afraid of failing, because you never fail unless you quit trying. There's always another chance. And it's not, you know, a person who has some humility, it doesn't bother them to say, "You know, I thought I was hearing from God, but I wasn't".
I think God would rather have somebody who really believes they're hearing from God, and step out and try something and be wrong, than somebody who really believes they're hearing from God but won't do anything, until they get 25 confirmations and even then, they may not do anything. You know, I tried to go on TV a long time before God put me on TV, and it didn't work. We got one piece of mail in six months. That's not much. We were only on one local cable station here in st. Louis. But I tried to have a talk show, and I took some of our employees, and I was gonna ask them questions. The problem was, is I didn't let anybody talk. I would ask a question and then answer it. So, it was obvious I wasn't called to have a talk show, right? I needed to wait until I was the only one talking.
Okay, this is a good scripture right here. 1 Timothy 5:8, "Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever". That's why even though my mother and father both abused me, when they got older and God asked me to take care of them, I knew that I needed to do it. It doesn't say, "Take care of them if they've been nice to you". One of our employees is leaving to go and take care of her mother, and she's gonna be able to keep her job and work remotely, but it's hard for her to leave, you know. She loves being around the people here and being part of what's going on. But she said, "After hearing you preach on that," and she's actually one of our editors, and she said, "When I was trying to make a decision about what to do, they gave me a program to edit where you preached on that scripture".
So, God will give us confirmation, but sometimes we don't even pay attention to that. So, we're not supposed to be lazy and idle and slothful, but to stay busy in spiritual activities and to do what we should be doing. Wrath. I think that's the last one, isn't it? Is that seven? Anybody been counting? Yep, that's seven. Wrath is strong anger or indignation. And I know people don't like to think about it, but God does sometimes have wrath. The Bible talks about the wrath of God, and I don't want any of it.
So, Ephesians 4:31, "Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice". These are the things that actually grieve the Holy Spirit. In Ephesians 4, it says that anger, bitterness, resentment, those things grieve the Holy Spirit. And that makes me sad to think about grieving the Holy Spirit. That's not something that I wanna do. Romans 1:18, "The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the Godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness". I'm telling you sometimes when I see some of the things that people are doing in the world today... Romans 5:9, "Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him"! Hallelujah?
Through Christ, we get saved from the wrath of God. And I don't know about you, but I'm pretty happy about that. Romans 2:5, "But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed". So, there will be a day when we will stand before God and give an account of our lives. And you know, this may be like, "Boy, that was really sober teaching". Well, you know what? I'll cheer you up. God loves you. You're awesome. You're talented. You're gifted. You're sweet. You're wonderful.
And you still need to pay attention to the things that I said. Because even though God does love us, there's an expectation of us loving him enough, to obey him. Amen? Don't be in a relationship with God just to get him to give you something all the time. Ask him what you can do for him. Ginger: you know, we all want to do something that makes a difference. We want to leave a Mark once we're gone. And Joyce has taught us how important it is to leave a legacy. But what does all of that mean? How can you leave a legacy? Well, it means putting a stamp on the future and making a contribution to future generations. One way to leave a legacy is to support the people and causes that are important to you.
Maybe, it's things like sharing the gospel of Christ. Maybe, it's things like providing fresh water or a good meal for someone in need. If those things matter to you, like they do to me, like they do to Joyce and so many others, we invite you to join us in partnership here at Joyce Meyer Ministries. We call partners family because what we believe is that we are one big group who love and care for each other, and love and care for other people. We all need family around us. And so, that's why we want to invite you to join us because together, we can do so much more. Leave a legacy. Contact us today and let us know that this is a cause that you believe in, and that you want to be part of it. God bless you. We'll see you next time.