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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Joyce Meyer » Joyce Meyer - Matthew 5 - Part 2

Joyce Meyer - Matthew 5 - Part 2

Joyce Meyer - Matthew 5 - Part 2
TOPICS: Bible Study, Matthew 5, The Beatitudes
Joyce Meyer - Matthew 5 - Part 2

Well, thank you for joining me today on "Enjoying Everyday Life". I love God's word. I love to teach God's word. And I hope that you really love God's word too. Because if we abide in his word, we will have a life that is beyond anything that we could ever imagine. I'm teaching out of Matthew chapter 5, and we're in the middle of "The beatitudes". And yesterday, I got to the one on, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled and completely satisfied". You know, there's not a lot of really truly satisfied people in the world. And that includes Christians. When you think about just being content, the Bible says, "Contentment with Godliness is of great gain".

And, just to be content and to be satisfied is worth much more than any amount of money that we could have. You know how many rich people there are that aren't satisfied? How many people who have homes and vacation homes and boats and all kinds of things that we think, "Boy, if I could just have that, I'd be happy". But it's not things that satisfy us. But he says, "If you hunger and thirst after righteousness, if you really have a heart that you really want to do what's right, you hunger to do what's right, you'll be a person that will be completely satisfied". 2 Corinthians 5:21, one of my favorite scriptures, it says, "He that knew no sin became sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him". And isn't that amazing that it doesn't just say he took our sin, it says, "He became sin".

I can't even imagine how awful that had to be for Jesus. He was totally holy and yet he became sin, took our sin and became sin for us and then gave us his righteousness. And the Bible says that he did all this while we were still yet in sin and didn't even really care about him. That scripture was really important for me because of the way I grew up being abused. I felt guilty all the time. I always felt like something was wrong with me. And I think it's interesting that the devil always wants to point out what's wrong with us. But the first thing Jesus wants to give us his right-ness, or righteousness. He wants us to have a good attitude about ourselves, not a bad attitude. Righteousness stresses guiltless and blamelessness. Just imagine that, stand before God blameless.

How many of you find that when you wake up, one of the first things the enemy tries to put on your brain is everything you did wrong yesterday? And so, that's not the way God wants us to live. I struggled terribly with feeling guilty for years and years. And when I learned that to receive God's righteousness by faith, it was a huge, huge thing for me. And I think that's something that in a lot of churches, people aren't taught. Matter of fact, I think a lot of times they pound, "You're a sinner, you're a sinner, you're a sinner"! And the truth is, is we are righteous people who sin. Our identity is not sinner. I was a sinner, now I'm forgiven, and I've been made right with God, but I still do sin and make mistakes. However, they've already been paid f0r too. And if I repent that I'm truly sorry for them, I can be forgiven. It wasn't an easy lesson for me to learn and I studied righteousness for a long, long time.

Sometimes when you have a real problem with something, you're not gonna get over it just because you read one scripture. You have to stick with it for a long time and just go over it and over it and over it till it becomes part of you. The next beatitude is Matthew 5:8, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God". Now that doesn't necessarily mean see God with your natural eyes, but I believe that when you're pure in heart, you hear from God so much easier than if you're not. And I think you enjoy his presence a lot more and you recognize his leading. "Pure in heart," wow, that means I'm not judging people. I'm not finding fault with people all the time. I believe the best of people. Let's think about that. It's so easy to be critical and judgmental and have an opinion about everybody, "Well, I would never do that".

Well, you might not do that, but you might do something worse. And in Romans 2:1, it says the various things that we judge other people for, we do ourselves. And a long time ago, when I was reading that, I thought, "Now, why would we do that"? And God gave me that little example about, he said, "You look at everybody else through a magnifying glass, but you look at yourself through rose colored glasses". You know, for us, there's always a reason, but for other people, "You have no excuse for behaving that way". Even though we always excuse ourself, there's no excuse for other people.

You know, a really good example about a pure-hearted person was king David. Now, he committed adultery and murder, but yet God said that David was a man after his own heart. So, he was weak, but he wasn't wicked. And I like that, that's something I got a hold of about two years ago. When some things that Jesus said to the disciples, and it was before Peter would deny him, and before Judas had betrayed him. And I thought, "How could you say the good things you said about them"? And I was reading something that said, "They were weak, but they weren't wicked".

So, see you can have a pure heart and still have weaknesses, and still do things that are wrong, but God sees our heart. Men look at the outside, but God sees our heart. And that's what we do with people. And you know, we really don't have a right to judge people. We're supposed to judge sin, but not people. So, we need to keep that in mind when somebody is doing something that's wrong. We don't know where they came from, we don't know what they've been through, we don't know how much they're struggling with that thing, how much they're praying about it, seeking God about it. So, we really don't have a right to judge people, but we should judge their sin. We're not, you know, if we study the Bible, we know what sin is, and we recognize it. The more you study, the more you recognize it.

But then instead of judging a person, pray for the person and tell God, "I have no right to judge them. I know what they're doing is wrong because I know your word, but I know I do wrong things too". And we really need to try to believe the best of people instead of just the worst. It has helped me a lot. Just, you know, when I hear something about somebody, or even when somebody does something that hurts my feelings, I can either believe, "You did that on purpose and you just tried to hurt me," or I can believe, you know, "You really didn't even realize what you were doing". We help ourselves if we believe the best of people. When the heart is pure, faith is not hindered. Many people are trying to serve God with blockages in their heart: unforgiveness, anger, offense, bitterness, resentment, jealousy, complaining, discontentment, or hidden sin. Or maybe bitterness toward God because your life hasn't turned out the way that you wanted it to be.

Here's a good example I read one time, the painter, Leonardo da vinci, was painting one day, and some children came into his studio, and one of 'em knocked over some of his paint, and he got mad at the kid and yelled at him. And he was trying to paint the face of Jesus, and he noticed that he just couldn't do it until he repented of that sin and got that blockage out of his heart. And I just wonder how often we're trying to seek God for something or trying to get an answer for something, but we have things in our own heart that need to be taken care of. And so, I think it is important in our prayers that we ask God, "Show me if there's anything in my heart that's hindering me".

You know, sometimes I think we have things in our hearts so long, we don't even realize they're there. You know, maybe you've been mad at somebody for 20 years, and you don't even realize that that's still stuck in there. And you know, I've found out God will be glad to show me things if I ask him. I may not always want to see 'em, but he'll show me. Titus 1:15, "To the pure [in heart] All things are pure". See, if our heart's pure, then we're gonna have a pure attitude toward people. "But to the defiled and corrupt and unbelieving nothing is pure: their very minds and consciences are defiled and polluted". Without a pure heart, it's impossible to believe the best of every person. We become suspicious, critical, and judgmental, fault finders.

I used to be like that. And you know what? I'm glad I'm not like that anymore. It's so much easier on us to walk in love than it is to always have something bitter going on inside of us. You know, heart motives are the most important things to God. And you can do the right thing with a wrong motive and lose your reward. Which is kind of interesting. If I give to somebody, but I do it to make them indebted to me, or so people will see me and think I'm good, the Bible tells us that we lose our reward even though we'll be saved, we lose all of our reward. So, motives need to be right. Matthew 5:7, "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy". I think we need to go back and read the definition of what it means to be blessed again, "To be happy, to be envied, spiritually prosperous, with life, joy, and satisfaction in God's favor and salvation, regardless of our outward conditions". A merciful person.

You know, I wasn't a very merciful person when I began my journey with God. I had not been shown much mercy as a child. My father was mean, and he never gave mercy to people and so I just never had a good example to learn it from. And I was rather legalistic, and I wasn't very merciful to people. I always wanted to make 'em pay. And after I started hearing that I should be merciful, I tried to be merciful, and I found that I couldn't. And what God taught me was, "You can't be merciful to others because you don't know how to receive my mercy". See, here again, you cannot give away what you don't have. So, you need to receive mercy from God. If you've done something wrong, you repent and then you receive God's mercy. You don't just keep finding new ways to punish yourself because you do something you shouldn't be doing.

I think it's Hebrews 12 says, "Looking away from all that will distract unto Jesus, who is the author and the finisher of our faith". And one of the things that distracts us from God is constantly thinking about everything that's wrong with us. That's not what God's called us to do. You repent and you move on. God gives us mercy and he wants us to give it to others. Ephesians 2:4 and 5 says, "But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)". That's such a good scripture, even when we were still dead in our sins, he died for us and gave us his mercy. So, we don't get to wait until people are behaving good to treat them good. That's how people are changed by people loving them when they're really not lovable.

James 2:13, "Because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment". It's easy to judge people, but mercy is much greater. In the Bible, mercy means to give forgiveness or to withhold punishment. And you know, we develop a lot of ways to punish people for their injustices against us. We shut them out of our lives. We ignore them and won't talk to 'em. We avoid even going into the same room with 'em. Come on, you know, if you get mad at the person you're married to, if you're someone that's married, isn't it miserable to live in a house with somebody and not talk to 'em and not go in the same room where they're at? "I'm not gonna talk to you". We talk badly about them to other people. We refuse to bless them when they need help. And that's not the way God is.

Hebrews 4:15 and 16 says, "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in plenty of time to meet our need". God desires mercy, not sacrifice. Matthew 5:9, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God". You know, we're all children of God. But to be called a child of God, to me, is different than being called a son or a daughter of God. You know, when my children were little, I always called 'em, these are my children. But now, I say "This is my son," or "This is my daughter". They've grown up and matured. And I think when he says, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God," I think that's saying that they have matured and grown up.

We have to value peace and make every effort to keep it. I don't know if you've found this out or not yet, but I have discovered that peace is not gonna fall on me like ripe fruit falling off a tree. I have to want it. I mean really want it. And I have to be willing to not expect everybody else to behave in a way that's gonna give me peace. But I have to learn how to be peaceful in the midst of circumstances that aren't ministering peace to me. We're supposed to have peace with God, peace with ourself, and peace with our fellow man. If we wanna enjoy life and see good days, we gotta have peace with God, peace with ourself, and peace with our fellow man.

Romans 14:19 says, "Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and mutual edification". Do you know sometimes maybe you've had a disagreement with somebody and you may be really sure that they're wrong and you're right, but that doesn't mean that God doesn't want you to go and be the one to make peace. That's hard, isn't it? "Well, I shouldn't have to apologize to them. They should apologize to me". But you know, I think whoever goes to make peace first is the more spiritually mature. Peace cannot be based on our circumstances: it has to be based on our faith in God. Humility is necessary to maintain peace because many times you will have to be the one that will go and make the peace, swallow your pride, not have to be right. "You know, I thought I was right, maybe I'm wrong".

It's amazing how many arguments that saves. "I thought I was right, but I may be wrong". Inside you may be thinking, "I'm probably not, but I could be". Unity is such an important thing. You know, where there's unity, there's anointing. That's why we work so hard here at the ministry to try to keep strife out of the ministry, and we talk to you pretty often about getting along with each other. And it's something, if you're gonna get along with people, you're gonna have to do it on purpose. Because we're all so different, and so easy to find fault with one another.

But I'll tell you, I've learned, I just, maybe it has something to do with how long I've lived, but I don't have the energy for all that anymore. I just don't have the energy for all that being mad, you know, it wears you out to stay mad all day. I mean, at the end of the day, you're just exhausted. It's like hard work. And so, I would much rather swallow a little bit of my pride and keep peace. Sometimes, one of the ways to keep peace... how many of you have learned to tell when a conversation is escalating and you think, "If I don't shut up we're gonna have a problem here". And so, there was a time in my life when there was no way I was shutting up. I was gonna have the last word or else. And now, I've found out that's not that important. I don't need to have the last word. I just need peace.

Matthew 5:10, "Blessed are those who are persecuted for doing what is right". Now, that's a hard one, isn't it? But you know what? A moral person will be persecuted by immoral people because when you're doing what's right and you're around somebody who's living in sin, just your presence convicts them. So, they're gonna always try to find fault with you so they feel better about themselves. The devil tries to cause persecution for those doing what is right. Doing right or obedience is the key to all the blessings of God. Now actually, this must be pretty important because the next verse says the exact same thing. Matthew 5:10-12 says, "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely".

Well, I don't feel very blessed. But he says, you're blessed. They talked about him the same way. "Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for they also persecuted the prophets who were before you". Don't be surprised when you're trying to walk with God and people find fault with you. And it's hard because you think, "I'm just trying to do what's right. Why are you picking on me"? Well, it's really actually not even the person, it's the devil working through the person. I think that's something that we forget a lot is that, you know, like Jesus, when Peter was trying to get him not to go to Jerusalem and suffer, he looked at him and said, "Get thee behind me satan. You're in my way, you're an offense, you're trying to keep me out of the will of God".

It was almost like he wasn't even talking to Peter. He knew that it was the devil working through Peter. And so, I don't suggest that you call people "Satan," but I think we do have to remember that, you know, the devil is alive and well on planet earth and he's, I think, having a real fit these days because he knows his time is short. And so, don't be surprised at some of the things that may happen even in the future. I think it may possibly get more difficult for Christians because they are, in a way, beginning to be persecuted in many different ways.

1 Peter 2:19 through 21. Ooh, these are tough scriptures to swallow. Mhm! "For one is regarded favorably (is approved, acceptable, and thankworthy) if, as in the sight of God, he endures the pain of unjust suffering. [after all] What kind of glory [is there in it] If, when you do wrong and you're punished for it, you take it patiently? But if you bear patiently with suffering [which results] When you do right and that is undeserved, this is acceptable and pleasing to God".

Now, it's not your suffering that pleases God, but it's your good attitude while you're suffering that pleases God. I know this is not just a real happy, happy message right now, but we do go through these things and we need to know what the Bible says about them and be reminded that even in those times, God still wants us to... Look at all the things that people said about Jesus. I mean, they spit on him, and tried to kill him, and told all kinds of lies about him, and he never even answered 'em back 'cause he knew who he was. And if we know that we're serving God and we're doing what's right, we have to not be bothered by what people say about us because it is the enemy working through them. "For even to this you were called [it is inseparable from your vocation]. For Christ also suffered for you, leaving you [his personal] Example, so that you should follow in his footsteps".

I think probably one of the hardest things to handle is for somebody to talk unkindly about you and not to try to justify yourself. Not to try to make them understand that you're really a good person and they need to see that. But just imagine if we don't say something to people, then they already know, they know they're not behaving right. And if we don't say anything to them, then that gives God an opportunity to bring that conviction. But when we start an argument with them, then we interrupt the whole process. Just remember that, "Whatever you think". Jesus knew who he was, so he didn't have to argue with them about it. The old Joyce didn't put up with anything from anybody, but I'm glad I'm a new Joyce now. "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things pass away, and all things become brand new".
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