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Joyce Meyer - Payday Is Coming



Well, I wanna do a little message tonight called payday is coming. Payday is coming. Now, you know, if you got a job, you excited about payday. If you don't have a job or if you have one you don't ever bother to go work, then payday's not too exciting. Matter of fact, you get tired of hearing people talk about their payday when you're not having one.

Well, you know, every Christian has a job. If you're a Christian, you have a job but I'm not talking about the place where you go to work every day and get your paycheck from. I'm talking about we work for God, whether you're in full-time ministry or not, we work for God. And every day we need to get up and go out in the world and go to work for God to glorify his name by how we talk to people, how we treat people, how we behave, our attitudes, our words, and all those different things. And anytime that we do labor for the Lord, the Bible says that our labor will never be in vain and that there will always be a reward because God is the Rewarder, capital T, capital R, the Rewarder of those who diligently seek him.

"Do unto others as you wish it would be done unto you". I think that's one of the most important scriptures in the Bible, and I like scriptures like this. I like the sowing and reaping principle. You know why I like it? Because it gives me a little measure of control over my life and I happen to like control. If you don't believe me, ask Dave. Amen? And I think it's cool to realize that even though we know God's in charge of everything, that he's kind of laid out this system that says, "Here, whatever you want, just give some of it away and you'll get it back".

But see, sometimes we're getting stuff back we don't like and we don't always connect it to a seed that we have sown. When somebody is gossiping about you, are they sowing or are you reaping? Come on, that's not hard. Are they sowing, or are you reaping? Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. You know, Christians always talk about and the Bible talks about the flesh and the spirit. We are spirits but we do have a flesh, and we're supposed to keep it under with the help of God and the help of the Holy Spirit and that means that even though we have a flesh, we are to walk in the spirit. The Bible says, "Walk in the spirit and you will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh". So, all day long, every day all throughout our lives, we're making choices. We're making choices, are we gonna follow the flesh or are we gonna follow the spirit?

Now, here's something interesting that I've learned about the flesh and the spirit. The flesh is a gambler. The flesh says, "I'm gonna compromise and do the wrong thing and hope I'll get by with it. I'm gonna eat this box of chocolate and hope I don't gain any weight. Matter of fact, I think I'll pray that I don't gain any weight", depending on how spiritual I am, of course, you know? Sometimes if you're spiritual enough, you think you can pray away everything. "I'm gonna spend more money than I make and I hope I'll get a financial miracle from God".

And so, the flesh will gamble. It will do the wrong thing hoping that it's going to get by with it. But now the spirit is an investor. When you make investments that means that you pay the price up front and you don't always know exactly how long it's gonna take for that interest to kick in and those dividends to start coming in, but you're willing to make that sacrifice up front for the reward that you believe will be attached to it later on. And so, I just want to throw it out for everybody's thinking in general, across the board in your life, do you tend to be a gambler or an investor? And I'm not talking about going to the gambling boat and playing slot machines. I'm talking about, do you take chances? Do you compromise? You know what a compromise is?

We don't really realize how dangerous compromises are but a compromise only means to go just a little bit below what you know to be right. It doesn't even have to be a lot. It's still a compromise if we go just a little bit below what we know to be right. It's the little foxes that spoil the vine. So, I'm pretty excited about this scripture in Matthew 7:12. "So then, whatever you desire that others would do to and for you, even so do also to and for them, for this is (sums up) the law and the prophets".

See, I love that to think that if I want more friends, all I gotta do is be more friendly. If I need a financial increase, all I gotta do is give a little more. I like thinking that I can do something about my situations and my problems. I mean, I love praying but, you know, we're partners with God and we can't just pray and him do everything while we sit back and do nothing. Matter of fact, I'm finding out more and more and more when I pray, God gives me something to do. Amen? When I pray, I prayed for energy the beginning of 2015. I wrote it in my journal, "God, I need more energy". And you know what he gave me? A 5-mile walk every day. Well, I've got energy. It is just bubbling out all over me. But so often we just want to pray for God to do it all while we do nothing but that's not the way it works. He says you will reap according to what you sow.

Now, you know, everybody's happy about that if we're looking at the positive side of the message but there's also the other side that we don't care too much to look about, look at and that's like if I am really hateful to people, and mean to them, and can't be trusted with their secrets, and I'm not kind to people, here's what I'm gonna get, nobody's gonna like me. If I am in a marriage, and I'm manipulative, and controlling, and getting mad every time I don't get my way and things go sour in my marriage, maybe I had a little something to do with it. Well, you guys are really quiet. I don't...

Let's look at Jacob the trickster. Genesis 27. Now, I'm gonna have to kind of skip around in here because it involves about 36 verses and we don't have time for all that but you'll get this real quick. How many of you know the story of Jacob? How many of you don't but you want to learn it? Okay, good. Alright, beginning in verse 1. "When Isaac was old and his eyes were dim so that he could not see, he called Esau his elder son, and said to him, my son! And he answered, here I am. And he said, see here now: I am old, and I don't know when I'm gonna die. So now, I pray you that you will take your weapons, your arrows in a quiver and your bow, and go out into the open country and hunt game for me, and prepare the appetizing meat, such as I love, and bring it to me, that I may eat of it, preparatory to giving you my blessing as my firstborn before I die".

Now, we don't know that much about this today but the blessing of the firstborn in the old covenant was so extremely precious and important to them. It was a prayer of blessing that the father would pray over the eldest son and that meant that he was gonna be blessed and prosper. He was gonna get a double portion of the inheritance and this thing was so strong, it was so mighty, so powerful that once it was prayed, it could never be taken back. Well, Esau was the elder son but he had a brother named Jacob and, you know, when they came out of the womb, 'cause they were twins, Jacob was holding on to Esau's heel.

So, I like to kind of think that he was kind of always trying to get ahead of him. And Rebekah, the mother of the boys, favored Jacob. So, when she heard her husband tell Esau to go get prepared for the prayer of the blessing of the firstborn, she didn't want him to have it, she wanted Jacob to have it so she cooked up this scheme for Jacob to pretend to be Esau, even went to the extreme because Esau was a more hairy man and Jacob was smooth skinned, so they even went to the extreme of putting like goat's hair on his arms and on this part of his neck so when his father felt him, he would think that it was Esau. Now, Isaac was, he was suspicious. He didn't, when Jacob came to him and he said, "Who are you"? I don't know if it was just discernment or what it was but he kind of had a check, but he felt him.

And there's another whole message here. He felt him and he went by what he felt. Boy, that can get us in a lot of trouble, can't it? Boy, I'm learning more and more the older I get to go by that discernment, even if doesn't make any sense to my brain. That's God's way of letting you know something's up here and you need to be really careful. And, boy, if there's any time that we need to be careful, it's in the world today because there is a boatload of deception going on out there. So, it ends up that Isaac prayed the prayer of the blessing of the firstborn over Jacob. And not too long after he did, here comes Esau. And when he begins talking to his father, they all begin to realize what's going on.

Well, it's interesting to note that in... Boy, y'all got a windy pulpit. It's interesting to note that in verse 42 it says, "These words of Esau her elder son were repeated to Rebekah. And she sent for Jacob her younger son and said to him, see here, your brother Esau comforts himself concerning you by intending to kill you. So now, my son, do what I tell you: arise, and flee to my brother Laban in Haran". So, you see when we do the wrong thing, the only option when we get caught, and we always do, sooner or later, we always get caught because the Bible says in Luke 12, there's nothing so closely covered up that it will not be brought out in the open.

So, the next thing he did was he feared. He feared for his life. And so, I've just kind of learned, you know, if I know that I'm doing the wrong thing and I do it anyway, which he knew full well that what he was doing was wrong. Rebekah knew that what he was doing was wrong. Jacob knew that what he was doing was wrong. And anytime that we go against our conscience and we walk in the flesh instead of choosing to walk in the spirit, our only option really is to run and hide, usually from God and we live in fear. Am I the only one that experiences that or do some of you experience that too?

So, he went to his uncle Laban and he went to work for him. Laban had two daughters, Rachel and Leah, and Rachel was very beautiful but the Bible says that Leah had dull, weak eyes. I think that was a kind way of saying she was the ugly sister. And so, Jacob loved Rebekah and he wanted her and Laban said, "Well, you work for me for 7 years and I'll let you have her". So, the 7 years was up and there was a little problem, she wasn't the oldest sister and usually the oldest sister got married first.

Now, let's all remember that Jacob deceived his father, right? We remember that, okay? So verse 20 in Genesis 29 it says, "And Jacob served seven years for Rachel: and they seemed to him but a few days because he loved her so much. And finally, Jacob said to Laban, give me my wife, for my time is completed, that I may take her to me. And Laban gathered together all the men of the place and made a feast with drinking. When night came, he took Leah his daughter and brought her to Jacob, who had intercourse with her". And the only reason why he did it was because they had gotten him dog drunk, and he didn't know what he was doing. But when night came, he took her. And verse 25, "But in the morning". Now, I want you to watch this. "But in the morning Jacob saw his wife, and behold, it was Leah! And he said to Laban," now, this is just so good, "What is this you have done to me? Did I not work for you all those seven years for Rachel? Why then have you deceived and cheated and thrown me down like this? How could you be such a cheat and a liar? How could you treat me this way? How could you deceive me like this after all I've done for you"?

You know what? At that moment, I don't think that he had a remembrance or a clue of what he had done to his brother and his own father. Romans 2:1, I love it. It says, "The same thing that you judge other people for, you do yourself". That's an astonishing scripture. Years ago, I said to the Lord, "Oh, we don't do that. I mean, you know, I wouldn't judge somebody else for the same thing I do". And he said, "Yeah, you look at other people through a magnifying glass but you look at yourself through rose-colored glasses".

So, you see for us there's always an excuse but for other people, there is no excuse. "There is no excuse for you to treat me this way". And so, it goes on and Jacob has 12 sons and his favorite is Joseph and his other 11 sons are jealous of Joseph and they take him out, pretend that he's been killed by a wild animal, and sell him to slave traders. And so, we see how this sowing and reaping just keeps working in his life. You say, "Well, wait a minute, I can be forgiven". Absolutely, totally. God is merciful. And there are some consequences of our sin that I do believe that God removes, but I'm just gonna throw something out and I don't know what you want to do with it but this is what I believe.

So, since I'm teaching tonight, I guess I'll tell you what I believe. I believe that God always forgives our sin and we're always restored to relationship with him. That's where I believe mercy comes in a lot, but I don't think that God's mercy always delivers us from the consequences of all of our sin, nor do I think it would be good for us if it did.

I'm sorry, but we're just thickheaded and sometimes we gotta feel the pain to help us understand, "Oh, that is not a good thing to do. I best not do that again". Because really, if we just live in sin, God forgives us, everything's good. We live in sin, God forgives us, everything's good. We live in sin, God forgives us, everything's good and there's never any kind of consequences of our behavior, then how are we ever gonna learn to not do those things again? So, God chastises us but not because he doesn't love us, he chastises us because he does love us. And we don't really love one another or our children if we just give them everything they want and never let them bear the consequences of what they do wrong, amen?

Now, this whole story with Jacob, I mean, you can make a whole entire message out of this. I want to go to Genesis 32 for just a second because it just gets better and better. So, in Genesis 32, now I mean a lot has happened. He's lived a lot of years and uh-oh, the dreaded day came. Verse 6, "And the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, we came to your brother Esau: and he is on his way to meet you with four hundred men". Uh-oh, the day of reckoning has come. Now, actually, that was not Esau's intention. He actually came to make peace with his brother. He didn't want to have this problem between them anymore but because Jacob lived in fear, he immediately took it all to the negative.

Verse 7, "And Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed". And so, he concocted a plan and how he could appease Esau and he sent out groups of men, tens and twenties, and they all had gifts. And the next group had greater gifts than the first group, and so they would get and present the gifts. And if Esau was still coming, then the next group would give bigger gifts. And if Esau was still coming, then the next group would give bigger gifts. And when it finally became obvious to Jacob that nothing was gonna stop Esau, here's what happens.

Verse 22, "But he," he being Jacob, "Rose up that same night and took his two wives, his two women servants, his eleven sons and passed over the ford of the Jabbok". And I love this. "And he took them and he sent them across the brook: and also he sent over all that he had. And Jacob was left alone with a Man," capital M, "Who wrestled with him until daybreak".

You know, sometimes you can't get free until you're willing to walk away from everything to make things right with God. He finally said, "Okay, I'm just gonna leave it all there. None of this is doing me any good. My plan to make peace with Esau's not working". Oh, this just gets better and better. Verse 25, "And when the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched the hollow of his thigh: and Jacob's thigh was put out of joint as he wrestled with him". And by the way, just so you know, Jacob always walked with a limp after that. "Then he said, let me go, for day is breaking. And Jacob said, I will not let you go unless you declare a blessing upon me".

You know, God actually likes people that will take hold of him and refuse to let go until things are made right and they're restored to their blessings. But we can't just go to God trying to make God bless us. We've gotta be ready to pour our hearts out before him and say, "God, whatever you want to do in my life, I want you to do it. I don't care how hard it is or how difficult it is, I want to be the person you want me to be or I would just assume not even stay alive," amen?

Payday is coming. Now, you know, if you got a job, you excited about payday. If you don't have a job or if you have one you don't ever bother to go work, then payday's not too exciting. Matter of fact, you get tired of hearing people talk about their payday when you're not having one. Well, you know, every Christian has a job.

If you're a Christian, you have a job but I'm not talking about the place where you go to work every day and get your paycheck from. I'm talking about we work for God, whether you're in full-time ministry or not, we work for God. And every day we need to get up and go out in the world and go to work for God to glorify his name by how we talk to people, how we treat people, how we behave, our attitudes, our words, and all those different things. And anytime that we do labor for the Lord, the Bible says that our labor will never be in vain and that there will always be a reward because God is the rewarder, capital t, capital r, the rewarder of those who diligently seek him. Amen?

God is so good. It's unbelievable to me how good he is. And he deserves to be respected. He deserves to be obeyed. And we should have a healthy, reverential fear and awe of God to know that God means what he says. And I love that. I love that respectful fear that holds me in-check and keeps me in balance and says, "No, don't do that". You know, the Bible talks a lot about mercy. And if I tried to read you every scripture that I've got, we'd be here till 1 o'clock in the morning, so I'm just gonna have to paraphrase some stuff. Galatians 6:7 and 8 says, "Do not be deceived: God is not mocked: whatsoever a man sows, that and that only is what he shall reap".

Now, these are New Testament scriptures. This is not Old Testament under the law stuff. You know, sometimes I get tired of hearing that. "Well, you know, that's the Old Testament". Well, Jesus didn't come to do away with the law. He came to fulfill it. And the grace that he gives us in our life gives us the power to obey the word. Grace is not just something to cover up all my stupidity. It empowers us to do what's right. Grace is undeserved favor, but it's also power. It's the power of the Holy Ghost that enables us to be obedient to God.

Let me tell you, when somebody does me wrong, man, mmm... Let me tell you something, I still got some fire in me. But see, I'm afraid to stay angry. I have a reverential fear of staying angry because I know what the Bible says about it, that if I do that, I'm going to be the one that ends up imprisoned because angry people are miserable. But do you have any idea how many angry people go to church every week? If you want to get a good response from a crowd, just get up and preach on unforgiveness, or strife, or not being offended. And you ask at the end, "How many of you need prayer"? I've never, ever, in any church had less than 80% of the people stand up for prayer. Never. So, what does that tell me? We need more messages about the reverential fear and awe of God because you can't be full of bitterness, resentment, unforgiveness, and walk and enjoy the blessings of God. That doesn't mean God doesn't want to bless you, but we're poisoning our own souls by holding that stuff on the inside of us.

Now, it's not easy for me when somebody really does me wrong to forgive them, but to be honest with you, I'm afraid not to. Does that make any sense the way I'm saying that? I'm actually afraid not to because I know what the results will be in my own life. And if they've already hurt me, I'm not going to give them the permission to keep hurting me the rest of my life. I'm just not gonna do that. So, I mean, you know, you get this pretty fast. Seed equals attitude, actions, thoughts, words, prayer. Every word that we speak is a seed that we sow. Thoughts are words. Attitudes are seeds. The Word of God is called a seed. I am sowing seed tonight in your life. And if you let it, if you take it and you water that seed, and you meditate on that seed, and you give it time, it will produce a harvest in your life. And you know what will happen? Honestly, I believe this. You're going to behave better next week than you did last week.

Oh yeah, you will 'cause you're going to remember what I say. "Mm, I don't want to reap that". What we eat is a seed because it produces a harvest of either good or poor health depending on what we sow into our bodies. Do you know... And please don't throw stones at me, but there's a bunch of you that just feel so bad all the time, and you could change all of that if you'd just change how you eat. You know, you can't go to bed at 1 o'clock every morning, get up and have a half a gallon of coffee and three donuts and expect to feel good. That's just not gonna happen. So, all over the Bible, it talks about mercy, mercy, mercy.

Matthew 7, "Just as you judge others, you will be judged. Why are you trying to pick the toothpick out of your brother's eye when you've got a telephone pole in your own eye"? On and on and on all over the place. Matthew 5:7, "Sow mercy, reap mercy". James 2:12 and 13, "Mercy triumphs over judgment". Colossians 3:12, "Put on behavior Marked by mercy". Proverbs 11:17, "The merciful, kind, and generous man benefits himself". But now I want you to listen closely to me because I think we've gotten so mixed up about this. When somebody sins, I'm not to judge them. I don't know their heart and what caused it, or what's gone on in their past, but I have to judge the sin. Just because we're saved, we don't become stupid. I still know that people are doing either right or doing wrong.

And certainly not every time, it's not our place in many instances, but when it is your place and your position, you sometimes out of love are gonna have to tell a brother or sister, "That's wrong. That's just wrong". Sometimes, we gotta do something besides say, "I love you". Yeah, I love you, and I love you enough to tell you, "That's wrong". "And that's not something we're going to put up with". "And that's not something that we're going to keep doing". And sometimes, you have to even say to somebody, "If that's the way you're going to behave, then I'm not going to be able to hang with you".

You know, all the, "Tolerance doctrines," and, you know, hey, I love everybody, but there are some people that are just flat out dangerous. And I'm not going to be hanging around them all the time because I don't want what's on them to get off on me. I'll pray for them, but we gotta be careful who we're hanging around. I believe that whatever's on a person gets off on you if you hang with them long enough. And I mean, I'll just say this because I believe it. If you listen to a lot of my teaching, you know what? You'll start talking like me, sounding like me. That's just what happens. Whoever you hang with a lot, you're going to get some of what they got.

If you got a terrible marriage, don't hang out with five other people that also have terrible marriages, and sit around and have coffee every day and talk about your terrible marriages. Get around somebody who's got a great marriage, and watch 'em, and pay attention, and see what they're doing, and let what they've got get off on you. We can fix a lot of our problems just by getting a new bunch of friends. I'm having so much fun. So, we don't judge people.

You know, I was abused by my dad sexually, and I'll tell you what, I was a mess. I mean, really a mess. And I was a Christian, and I loved God, but I had a lot of bad behavior. Bad behavior. Well, a lot of the stuff I wasn't doing on purpose. I just had a bunch of wounds in my soul. And so, people many times would judge me, and they didn't want to be around me because of the way I behaved. But I was a broken person inside. I needed to be loved, but I had to be confronted. Are you with me? It's not enough just to love me. Somebody had to confront me and say, "If you continue like this, we're not going to be able to stay together".

Dave is such a kind, good man. And one day, he finally looked at me and he said, "You know what? I've about had it. I don't even really like you anymore". And he just said, because he was a godly man, and he said, "I'm committed", but he said, "I'm going to tell you the truth. If you keep acting like this, I don't know that I can put up with this forever". It scared me. And I'll tell you the truth, sometimes we need to be scared. Is anybody there tonight? Sometimes, we need to just have somebody yank the slack out of us and say, "Oh my, you're not going to put up with this anymore". 'Cause you know, we're just dumb enough as long as somebody will take it, we'll just keep dishing it out, and dishing it out, and dishing it out, and dishing it out. That's the flesh in us.

And so, really there's a part of us that wants somebody to confront us. There was a part of me that even wanted Dave to do that. And it's a shame that we have to get scared into doing what's right. How many of you're understanding what my heart is tonight and where I'm coming from, you know? I don't want to see us be hypocritical and phony, and think that because God loves us and he's gracious and merciful, that he's always gonna cover that up. And we could just go on and go on and go on. God's always going to forgive our sins if we seriously repent. We can always have relationship with God. But don't mess your life up. Don't mess up your future by just continuing to do things that you know God is telling you not to do.

Now, let's get on the cushy side of this so you feel better before you leave. Mama gave a spanking, now we'll get the hugs. You know how it is... "Come here". I'll never understand why God didn't give me a dessert ministry, but he just didn't. Yeah, I do know, 'cause he wants us to grow up. As long as the earth remains, there will be seedtime and harvest. You know, the flesh gets really excited about harvest, but it's not too excited about seedtime because seedtime means labor and sacrifice. But Galatians 6:9 says, "If you continue doing what's right, you will reap in due season if you faint not".

Continue is the most important word in that scripture. Continue. That means you can't just do what's right once. We can't just do what's right once and fix up our messed up lives. But if I've sown 1,000 bad seeds and I got all this junk coming up in my life, and so now I've asked God to forgive me, and he's forgiven me. And I can turn that whole mess around by just continuing long enough to sow good seeds that those good seeds choke out all those weeds that I grew in my life. Are you understanding me? We live riotously, we spend money we don't have, we end up deep in debt. Well, how are we going to get out? Well, you're gonna have to sacrifice now for a few years and keep doing what's right. And little by little, pay off the debt, pay off the debt, pay off the debt, pay off the debt, pay off the debt, pay off the debt, pay off the debt, pay off the debt, pay off the debt, pay off the debt, pay off the debt.

Stay out of the malls, stay out of the shopping center. Pay off the debt, pay off the debt, pay off the debt. Don't get on the shopping channel. Pay off the debt, pay off the debt, pay off the debt, pay off the debt and then, all of a sudden, phew, "I'm free". We just gotta get over this idea that God's just gonna wave this loving magic wand. There is no devil in hell that can keep you from the blessings of God if you will dig in both heels and say, "I am gonna keep sowing good seed until I see a complete turnaround in my life. Those who sow in tears will reap in joy". Boy, that's a good scripture. Those who sow in tears will reap in joy. And Matthew 6 is so good. It says that we're to do right, and do good, and be giving, but not to be seen of men. Because if you do it to be seen of men with a wrong motive, then you've got your reward. That's all you're getting. But if you do it in secret unto the Lord, your reward will come from the Lord, and nobody can keep it from you.

I had such a mess in my life, and I can tell you. And don't be jealous when I do. I live in the rewards of God now. I live in that now. But dear Lord, you don't know what I went through. People tell me all the time, "Oh you just.. You look so good. How do you? Wow, have you lost weight? Man, you're so muscular". Oh well, yeah, I just prayed for muscles, and they just came. "Oh God, please give me muscles".

When I started working out at the age of 62, had never exercised and worked out in my life, I was sore for two years. And I am not exaggerating. And I mean, the first month, I was in such pain. I mean, I had one of those things where you fell on the toilet and prayed to be able to get up. I mean, you really could not even, it was just like, I mean, it felt just like you're going to die. But see, here's the thing. You gotta make it through the hard part in order to get to the good part. Come on. And actually, to tell you the truth, that's kind of something I want to get across this week. I'm gonna bring it out more tomorrow in the second service, but we got to man up, so to speak. And we gotta get through the hard part so we can get to the good part. All you got to do to get a little fear of God in you about how you take care of yourself is go to a nursing home.

I take care of my aunt. My mom and dad have already been there, and they've gone on to heaven. But at one time, I had three of them there, three. My gosh. Somebody had something going on all the time. They were constipated, or had diarrhea, or you know. I mean, it was just like on and on and on. Phew. Anyway, that's another story. And I go in there, and I look at these poor people. And you know what? Some of them are not that much older than I am. And it's not just, "Aw, that poor person". I bet they probably ate junk all their life, never exercised a day in their life. I mean, I know that my mom and dad and my aunt didn't. Please take care of yourself. You are precious and valuable to God. Invest in yourself. Honor yourself. Honor the sacrifice of Christ. He needs you. You got a job, and payday is coming, amen? Payday's coming. Those who come to him must believe that he is, and that he is the rewarder of those who diligently seek him.

Let me end with a story. A master builder went to his boss and said, "I'm too tired to build any more houses. I've been doing this for years and years and years. I'm going to retire". And a few days later, the contractor met with this man whose name was Clyde, who was the master builder. And he said, "Look, I really need you to just head up one final project for me. Would you please do it"? After thinking about it, the carpenter agreed and began working on his last project. However, his heart wasn't really in it. He just wanted to retire and get it over it. And as a result, the workmanship was shoddy. And the quality fell far below his usual standard.

As a matter of fact, the house barely passed inspection. On the last day of the project, the contractor gathered all of his employees together at the job site, and asked the carpenter, Clyde, and his wife to also be present. The boss announced, "As you know, this is Clyde's last day with us. He's been such a faithful employee of our company for so many years that we wanted to do something special to honor him. Clyde, this house that you have built is not going to be sold. We're giving it to you and your wife as a gift for your years of service. This, Clyde, is your retirement home. I hope you'll enjoy it for the rest of your life". Clyde just learned the greatest lesson of his entire life. Amen.

Okay, listen just a second. Give me 60 seconds. If you're here tonight and you've never received Christ as your Savior, I don't want you to leave here tonight without doing that. And it's so easy. It's just so easy. You don't have to get yourself all fixed up. You don't gotta be perfect. Matter of fact, you can't be perfect anyway. I've been at this 40 years, and I'm far from perfect, so. If you say, "I want to be saved. I want to have peace with God. I want to know my sins are forgiven. I want to begin to have this peace and joy that you guys talk about". If you say, "Yep, Joyce, that's me. I want you to pray with me tonight. I'm ready to give my life to Christ". Or maybe you've backslid and you tried to serve God, and you just went back in the wrong direction, and you'd like to come home tonight finally to stay.

If that's you, would you just slip your hand up nice and high so I can see where you're at? Bless you, bless you, bless you, bless you, bless you. Okay, now listen. I'd really appreciate it if we could stop the movement in the room. I don't want these people to get distracted. Okay, so listen. I'm going to ask you to do something. I'm going to ask you to stand if you really mean business. You say, "Oh man, I don't want everybody to see me". Well, here's the thing, if you won't take a stand in here, you'll never take one out there. So, if you mean business, stand up right now. We're going to pray together. Bless you. Awesome, wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. Keep standing. Keep standing. Okay, I'm going to ask one last time, is there anybody that knows you should be on your feet and you're still sitting on your tush? You need to get up, don't let this chance pass you by. Anybody else, stand right now. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.

Okay, now I'm going to pray a prayer with you. I want you to, let's just everybody pray this together. But those of you that are standing, pray this out loud with your mouth. You're making a commitment to God. And the ushers are going to be giving you a book, but I'd like you to not pass the books out while we're praying, please. You're giving your life to Jesus, so I want you to understand what you're doing. You're giving your life to him, and I can tell you he will help you run it far better than you ever could by yourself. I'm not going to tell you that all your problems are going to disappear because they won't. But your worst day with Jesus will be better than your best day ever was without him, amen? So, let's pray.

Father God, I love you. Jesus, I believe in you. Thank you for dying for me. Thank you for paying for my sins. Thank you for taking my punishment. I'm sorry for my sins. Forgive me. Give me a new life. I give myself to you, and I receive you, Jesus, as my Savior and my Lord. Thank you for loving me. I want to be a Christian, and I want to live like one. Thank you for helping me, amen.

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