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Joyce Meyer - The Law Of Gradual Growth




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Joyce Meyer - The Law Of Gradual Growth
Joyce Meyer - The Law Of Gradual Growth

This morning, I wanna talk to you about something that I think is really awesome. I'm calling it the law of gradual growth, it actually is a law. Everything grows, everything that's alive grows but the interesting thing is, is you can't see it grow. You can stand and watch a tree all day and you'll never see it grow. You can go away and come back after a period of time and you can say, "Boy, that's gotten bigger". So, the more we watch things in our lives, the less we see. I'd like to say this and I hope you get this, if you're the kind of person that's in a hurry... And I get that. That's still one of my things I have to watch all the time 'cause I'm very focused, very goal-oriented and if I'm not careful, I can be so focused on getting where I'm going, that I don't enjoy where I'm at.

Now, we're gonna talk today. I know it's early, but we're gonna talk. What is the point in rushing to get somewhere if you don't enjoy the journey, amen? And so, if you're the kind of person that's in a hurry or you don't like waiting, being in a relationship with God is gonna be very frustrating. I'm just gonna say that one more time 'cause there's people in here today, you are so frustrated that it's amazing the top of your head has not blown off. And I used to live like that all the time. God began to teach me about grace and told me that frustration is works of flesh. It's me trying to do what only God can do.

And I love what Paul said, he said, "We plant, we water but only God can give the increase". So, we need to do our part. We need to plant, we need to water, but then we trust God to give the increase and we trust him to give it at the right time in the right way. We always think we're ready before we're ready. "Well, God I'm ready". Well, a little more growing, one more trip through the oven, the law of gradual growth. Genesis 8:22, right in the beginning of the Bible, a principle that works in everything, "While the earth remains, there'll be seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night it shall not cease".

This is my opinion, I can't prove it but I think that seedtime should have been broken up even in the Bible and I think it should have said, "As long as the earth remains, there will be seed, there will be time, and there will be harvest", because I don't think we get it the way it's written. It's like we think seedtime is just all one thing, throw your seed in the ground and boy, harvest. But actually, time is just as important as the seed. You plant a seed, you give up some of your finances, you don't see a change overnight. You may not even see a change in a month but if you keep being faithful and you give that seed time and you keep watering that with the word, your harvest day will come, it will come.

Now, I'm not here this morning to talk about giving or to back up what they've been teaching you here about tithing, but I just wanna tell you, if you've never done it, do it and if you're doing it, keep doing it. And don't just do it for what you can get out of it, do it because you love God and your harvest will come. There's no way you cannot get a harvest, if you remain faithful. Seed, time, and harvest, everything functions based on this principle. A baby begins with a little seed in a woman's womb. A tree begins as a seed. A flower begins as a seed. Even a raging river somewhere begins as a little trickle. The Mississippi is a huge river, one of the biggest in America. It runs right through my city so I picked that one. At its beginning, it's 20 to 30 feet wide. At its widest, it's 11 miles wide.

We learn to walk one step at a time. God provides for us one day at a time. God guides us one step at a time. I was listening to one of Joel's podcasts last week and he gave a great example that you probably remember if you were here when he said it, but he said in his car he has a navigation system and that navigation system shows him the whole journey. "Take this road for 6 miles, turn right. Stay on this for 2 miles, turn left". But life's not like that. God doesn't give us the whole road-map for where we're going. He says, "Get in the car and start driving", amen?

And then I particularly liked one of the things that he said on this teaching, he said that one day him and Victoria were going to a church somewhere and they had to take a back road to get there and it just seemed like they were never gonna get there. They were on this back road and couldn't see that much and he began to think, "We may be lost".

You know, sometimes when it takes you a long time and you're not seeing much, come on, you begin to think, we may be lost, maybe this is not God's will after all. And those are testing times. And I really liked what he said, he said, "It sure would have been nice if that lady on the GPS would have said, 'Joel, buddy, you're going in the right direction, just keep going'". But he said, "As long as I kept going in that straight line, she never said one thing", isn't that true? Sometimes you just think, "God, if you'll just tell me that I'm going in the right direction". And I really like that message that I heard from Joel because he quoted me in it. Now, you'd have to be a preacher to get it but when you're listening to another preacher preaching, they quote you, you're like, "Hmm well".

God guides us one step at a time. Everything grows so gradually that you can't see it grow. How many of you just feel like that you just need to be a lot further along spiritually than what you are and you just don't feel like you're growing? You know what? If you're in this building today, you're growing. Honestly, if you're here today, if you got up and you showed up, and if you can even hear 20% of what I say, if you can just keep your mind in the room today for 10% of what I say, and believe me, our mind goes places when we're in church. You go to lunch, you go home and do things. You know, it's like...

That's why it never hurts to listen to the messages over and over and over again. But every time that we sincerely open up our hearts and we let the Word of God in, we grow. The seed that's in us is being watered every single solitary time. We may begin to believe that we're not making any progress but we are making progress. And I learned to say something years ago that has helped me so much, especially when I feel like nothing's happening, I open my mouth and say out loud, "God is working. God is working". 'Cause you know what? I don't know the reference right now but there's a scripture that says, "As long as we're believing, God is working". So, if I keep believing, then God has to keep working because that's the principle that he works by.

Learn to say that when you feel really frustrated, "God is working. I may not feel it, I may not see it but God is working. I'm growing, things are happening in my life". Now, God being God, being able to do anything, why do you suppose that he's arranged everything where it has to take so stinking long? I mean, why couldn't a woman get pregnant and next day she's got the baby? Why go through all that getting fat stuff and the hormone changes, and the, you know, the pain with the delivery and the mood swings, and the morning sickness? I mean, why do we gotta do all that? Why not just "I'm pregnant, I got a baby"?

For that matter, why did God take six days to create the world and then one day to rest, why didn't he just do it? "World... Be". I gonna tell you why, this is what I think, I think that God took some time doing it because he wanted to enjoy it. And I tell ya something, I think that we need to take more time to enjoy the little successes we have, the little victories that we have. Folks, we are in way too big of a hurry, just way too big of a hurry and we're just rushing through life. And most of the time we're in such a hurry, we can't even remember by nightfall what we did all day.

I do something at the end of every year and sometimes I don't even wait till the year's up. I take my calendar and I just go through January, and I look at every day, February, and I look at every day, March, and I look at every day. It helps me remember what I've done. And I actually keep my calendars. I've got a stack of them like this and the other day I pulled out one. I just pulled one out of the pile, it was nine years old. And I looked at that thing and I thought, "Man, my life has really calmed down since then". Do you know as you gain years, you learn how to not work harder, but to work smarter, amen?

So, I'm really big on let's learn how to enjoy life. We call our TV program "Enjoying Everyday Life" because I think there's a lot of people that are walking around breathing but they're not enjoying very much of it. And I love John 10:10, "Jesus came that we might have and enjoy life, enjoy life, and have it in abundance to the full until it overflows".

Let's talk about pregnancy. And, you know, to be honest, we get pregnant with different things, not just babies. You might be pregnant today with a dream or a vision for your life. It might be a dream to get out of debt. It might be a dream to have your marriage healed. It might be a dream to get married. And it might be a dream to have children, but I hope everybody in here today has got some kind of a dream for your life because God created us to want to grow, to want to go someplace. We're created to stretch and to reach out. But the Bible says, and I want you to listen to me, in Ecclesiastes 5, "A dream comes to pass with painful effort, and much business".

It's easy to dream, anybody can do that, but to see the fulfillment of your dreams, now, that's another story. See, being in ministry is not just the pulpit, there's much business and there's painful effort. Now, I want to say something and I want you to remember this, the pregnancy is an important part of seeing your dream fulfilled because that's where you have the anticipation, the expectancy, the wanting it, the not having it yet, the wanting it, the not having it yet. And without that, I don't think we can really appreciate what we have.

I think that when we get things too quickly, we don't appreciate them. And to be honest, that's one of the things that's wrong in our society today. I mean, I've got four kids and I've made some of the same mistakes that some of you are making, but we give kids too much too quick and they don't know how to really value it and appreciate it. And much of the time today, kids don't have to work for what we used to have to work for. And so, don't be in such a hurry. Soak in the moment that you have. Don't be so anxious for your kids to start to kindergarten, and drive their own car, and go to college, and, you know, your kids are gonna be grown before you know it. Take the time to enjoy them a little bit.

Today, it seems like a lot of people want everything free, free. Free this, free that, let the government do it. You know what? The government can't give you anything if they don't take it away from somebody else. They don't have anything to give you. So, really when somebody says, "Well, you know, the government's gonna do that", no, it's not. Somebody else's taxes is doing that, somebody that's working for what they've got is doing that. And we wanna help people that are really needy, there's no doubt about that. But you know what? Free actually just doesn't exist.

We talk about free grace and grace is free to us but it sure cost Jesus a lot, amen? You can come and sit in a church service, you don't have to give, you don't have to do nothing, the lights are on, air-conditioning's on, place is beautiful. You come sit down, you don't have to do anything. You can just get it downloaded free, but it cost somebody something. Somebody had to do the work, somebody had to pay the bills. And it's good for us when we have to wait. I don't know if you're gonna like my message today or not but it's good for us when we have to wait. Because when we wait for something, that's the only way that we can really, really, really appreciate it when we get it. I mean, it's nice.

You know, I'm sure that, you know, my kids are gonna enjoy whatever inheritance they get when Dave and I are gone. Who wouldn't like to get somebody else's stuff? And they're gonna enjoy that and they're gonna appreciate it. But you know what? There's no way they could appreciate it like I appreciate it because I've had to work for it. So, let's just be careful about wanting everything too quick. Proverbs 13:11 says it plainly, "Wealth not earned but won in haste or unjustly or from the production of things for vain or detrimental use such riches will dwindle away, but he who gathers little by little will increase his riches". Let's don't have an entitlement attitude. None of us are owed anything.

Mark chapter 4, verse 26 and 27, I love this scripture. A man plants seed and then it says, "He continues sleeping and rising and it grows, but he knows not how". I like to say it another way, a farmer puts his seed into the ground, or we put our seed of faith in the ground, or we put our offering in church, or whatever it might be. And we go to bed and get up, go to bed and get up, go to bed and get up, go to bed and get up. And, you know, sometimes in life just going to bed and getting up, going to bed and getting up, and driving in traffic and going to work, and emptying the trash, and changing the diapers, and paying the bills, it just gets really old. And the sad thing is, is a lot of people give up and they want something new to do.

And you know what? New things are great and there are seasons in our life when we need new things. I like to find a new restaurant. I like to get a new outfit. New things are good but there's other things that we don't need to trade off for something new, we need to stick with it. The person you're married to is one of 'em. You don't get to go trade off the one you got every 6 or 7 years just because you want something new. See, we think when the goosebumps and the excitement's gone, it's time for something new. Isn't it true?

Now, Dave and I been married 50 years. Five-O, fifty years, to one man. And I love my man. I love Dave. He couldn't be here this weekend 'cause he had a real bad cough but I called him I said, "Don't worry, I talked about you a lot last night". I said, "I even told some stuff on you that you haven't heard yet". But I want to be honest with you, I mean I love Dave. I'm in love with Dave but my heart doesn't pound when he walks in the door. When he kisses me, my knees don't go weak. I don't get little goosebumps, you know? Matter of fact, when we were first married, first several years we were married, I mean, when we sleep in bed, we were like glued together. I mean, I was like, I'd hug up to his back and, of course, then Dave's pretty tall and we had a regular-size bed so we had to turn in unison, you know?

If I turned, he had to turn. If he turned, I had to turn so we just kind of stayed glued to each other all night. And the way we went to sleep is he would put his arm out and I'd lay in his arm. Well, 50 years later, we have split mattresses. I'm like, "Do not get on my side of the bed". And we have split mattresses. We're in the same bed but we have a mattress, we got two different twin mattresses because when he turns over, I don't want my side of the bed to shake. And I tell ya, when Dave and I were first married, I just wanted him to hover over me all the time. I just wanted him to be there and hover over me.

Now, I'm not, don't hover, don't, you know? Eww... Go somewhere. But here's the thing, now listen, I didn't even really know what love was then. Honestly and truly, what I had then was goosebumps, and excitement, and a good-looking man but now I know the price of loving somebody for 50 years and not giving up even though there were many times when I wanted to give up, not doing it.

And let me tell ya something, the end of a thing is so much better than the beginning, the Bible says that. The end of a thing is so much better than the beginning. Don't give up on stuff. Don't give up on yourself. You know, listen, I was divorced when I was in my 20s. My husband was unfaithful and he was a thief and all kinds of things. There's times when you gotta call it quits but don't just throw in the towel because you don't have goosebumps anymore. Don't just give it up because you're not excited about it anymore. You don't have to go find a new church because you don't get excited every time you come in the door now. We need to be faithful to things, faithful.


PART 2
Things are changing all the time in our lives and, you know, I think one of the most important things for people to do is just not to give up, just not to quit and don't give up. Don't give up on people. Don't give up on the other people in your life. Don't ever look at somebody, no matter how big of a mess they are and say, "You're never gonna change". Don't ever do that. My son right now that runs our world missions and is, my gosh, he's been so vital. I mean, we have mission works all over the world and every one of them, he's had his hands into and been involved in starting. And I came really close to just kicking him out of the ministry many years ago.

I remember where I was out on the road when I said, "I'm not doing this anymore". His personality was a lot like mine and we just fought all the time, and he was rebellious, and I wasn't gonna put up with it. And, you know, it's not always easy to have your kids work for you. And I was just, I was ready to call it quits and I still remember so clearly God said to me, "Don't give up on David". Maybe there's somebody in your life right now that you're just thinking about giving up on and maybe God just sent you here today just to hear me say, "Don't give up". Don't give up on 'em.

And you know what? Even if you gotta get away from somebody, you still don't have to give up on them. You can still believe that God can work in their life and God can change them. My father was so mean and abusive all of his life and I kept praying for him and praying for him. I didn't do it every day. I didn't do it all day long but I would always come back to asking God to save him, asking God to save him. He was 80 years old when he finally gave his heart to the Lord. He only had 3 years with Jesus, but you know what? I'm so glad that I never gave up on him. Don't give up on people. God will never give up on you and you should never give up on anybody else.

Let's talk about being faithful for a minute. You know, one of the questions that I get asked all the time is, "Well, what's next for Joyce Meyer Ministries"? And sometimes the question kind of pressures me 'cause when you've been doing it this long, there's not always a next. "What's your vision now"? Love God, help people. And I heard that somebody said something recently that well, it bothered me. They said, "Well, you know, the ministry just doesn't have any new vision anymore". And you know, the person was in their 20s so I'm gonna look over it but anyway, because I hear that some, you know, 'cause I really don't have anything new. I'm just being faithful to what God's given me to do. I just keep turning up. I just keep showing up. I just keep getting another message, and writing another book and, you know, just keeping on keeping on.

And so, I went to God with it 'cause I thought, you know, "Maybe I have lost my edge. Maybe you need to get me stirred up again". Now, we constantly have new vision within our vision. You know, we're always looking for new ways to get the word to people. And I can stand here and tell you stories about some of the things we're doing that are just mind boggling with all the technology we have today but I won't really take the time to do that 'cause that's not the message. But, you know, we're not without vision but I don't have any urgency to go do something new. I don't want to reinvent the wheel. My wheel's rolling just fine.

And I see some of that at Lakewood. Our pastor, our staff pastor's here with us. We got so many employees, we gotta have a pastor to pastor the employees. And he's a great man and he said, "I think it's so great that a church this size takes the time to pray with people individually". You know, I don't remember being anywhere where I've seen that. And you know what? They've done that as long as I've been coming here. And I said, yeah, you know I said, "Lakewood, they really found what works for them and they just keep doing it, they just keep doing it, they just keep doing it, they just keep doing it".

You gotta be very careful, that this urgency for new is not just a trait of the flesh. We gotta be very careful. Like I said, there are new things, God leads us into new things, but we need to make sure that when we start something new, that it's God and that we've counted the cost and we plan to finish it. 'Cause I'll tell ya what, I am much more excited about a finisher than I am a starter. And I just wonder how many people God leads them to start something but they never finish it. I love what the apostle Paul said in Acts 20. "None of these things move me", he said, "Neither do I count my life dear unto myself. If only I might finish my course with joy, with joy".

You think at the age that I am and as many years as I've done this that I don't get tired of it sometimes? One more hotel room. You know the thing that I hate the worst about hotel rooms? You want me to tell you what I dislike the worst? For some reason, they don't think that you need any light. I mean, they're all dark. I seriously thought yesterday, I'm gonna start traveling with a lamp. And I'm gonna get me one that's got big, bright bulbs in it and I'm gonna take the shade off that dude and I'm gonna put it in my room and I am gonna have light, amen?

Now, that's a small thing, you know, but nonetheless when you've done this for 40 years, you're just like, could I just have a little light in the room where I'm at? I'm married 50 years. I've been teaching the word now 41 years. I've written 130 books. I'm being faithful to what God has called me to do because when my time comes, I wanna hear, "Well done, now, good and faithful servant, enter into the blessings of the Lord".

You know, I like to use this example sometimes. How many of you have ever put together a jigsaw puzzle? Okay, anybody ever done a real big one, I mean like a huge one? You know, when you go out and you buy a jigsaw puzzle, which sometimes I'll actually bring. I got a 5,000-piece puzzle that I'll bring be with me to show this sometimes but when you go out and buy a jigsaw puzzle, you buy it because you like the picture on the box. Well, God uses that same stuff on us. Yeah, you got it. He gives us a picture. We see ourselves skinny. And that's great until we're hungry.

We decide we're gonna get in shape, we join the gym, January 1. I know a man that owns a gym and he said 60% of all the people that sign up and pay monthly never come. I think it makes people feel good just to think that they have a gym membership. Well, you know, it's obvious if you have known me for a while that I've lost quite a bit of weight. Well, 2 years ago, I started walking and I walk 5 miles every day, I mean, unless the weather doesn't permit or I'm traveling.

And 13 years ago, I started working out at the gym. Well, on the days that I work out and walk, it's a 2-1/2-hour commitment. And a couple weeks ago, I was downstairs working out with my trainer and I'd already walked probably 3 of my 5 miles and I heard my flesh. You know, your flesh will talk, you know it? And sometimes you need to stand back and just listen to it and say, "You know, you are really stupid". Cause your flesh just doesn't have brain one and it's not gonna do one thing to help us. So, we need to know, and it was actually funny. I told my trainer, "My flesh just said this to me". He's a Christian so he got it.

And I heard my flesh say this and it was really funny. It was a real pitiful voice and my flesh said, "Am I gonna have to do this the rest of my life? Am I gonna have to walk 5 miles every day the rest of my life? Am I gonna have to come to this gym 3 days a week the rest of my life and do this"? And I said, "Yes, that's exactly what we're gonna do". You know why? Because I like the result I'm getting but listen to me, you don't get the result if you don't put in the effort. I mean, some people will go buy a skinny pair of jeans and hang them up and say, "That's my dream". It's like buying the puzzle with the picture on the box.

Now, here's the thing, "Oh, look at my puzzle that I'm gonna work". Then you dump that baby upside down and all those pieces come out and you think, "Oh". And here's the thing that's interesting about a puzzle, especially if you buy a scenery picture, 60% of that thing is blue sky and green grass. Maybe even 70% or 80%. Blue sky, green grass, green trees and that's the way life is sometimes. Have you ever been putting together a puzzle and you got so sick of blue sky you thought, "If I have to look for one more piece of blue sky and try to find the right place to put it, I am gonna pull my hair out". Have you ever been putting together a puzzle and you're trying to make a piece... Come on, that's the way we are with our life. "This piece is gonna fit in here. I don't care what, it's going to fit in there".

Some of you are doing that right now. You got a piece in your life that you trying to make go somewhere because you haven't found the right place for it yet so you're trying to make it go somewhere and it doesn't fit and you're miserable, come on. The blue sky and the green grass is the getting up and going to bed, the getting up and going to bed, the getting up and going to bed. The few moments in my life that I do this, which I really enjoy, the few moments that I do this are nothing compared to all the time that I have to do the stuff to get up here and do this. Amen? I just so much don't want people to give up. I got a word burning in my heart about faithfulness.

You know, back when I was a teenager and first went to work in my 20s, it was not uncommon for people to have the same job their whole life and now people job hop like crazy. You know, it's fine if, you know, you really need to get another job. I'm not telling you you can't change jobs, but you know what? Don't change jobs every time you turn around just to get another 20 cents an hour. There's more to life than just how much money you make. Maybe sometimes you leave someplace where God wants you to stay for a while. Come on, don't go unless God says, "Go", and don't stay unless God says, "Stay". It's time that we stop doing what we feel like doing and start doing what God really wants us to do.

You know why? Now, listen to what I'm gonna say. Maybe you're somewhere right now and you don't wanna be there. I won't even ask for a show of hands. Maybe you're in a job you don't like, in a relationship you don't like and everything in you wants to run away from it. But you know what? If you run away before God's done with it, you will not get the experience that you need that is gonna help you in the next place you go. I've got a message that I did recently and I've been doing it, you know, if I go somewhere where I'm not filming 'cause I can't put the same stuff on TV all the time, just about the value of experience.

See, some of you, you don't like what's going on in your life right now but you're getting experience. And who doesn't want a worker that's got some experience? The first thing that people ask when you go and apply for a job is, "Do you have any experience"? And to be honest, a lot of times, that's more important to people than education. A college degree is good, but do you have any experience? I know people who get out of college and they got a degree and they don't know nothing. I mean, they think they know everything and that's the sad thing because when you think you know everything, that already is proof you don't know anything.

Did you hear what I said? When you think you know everything, that's proof in itself that you don't know anything because you really realize when you're about 50, "I don't know anything. Everything I thought I knew, I was wrong. God, you're the only one that knows anything, now teach me, now teach me". We can't be taught anything until we stop thinking we know everything and God is looking for experienced workers. I love what the Bible says in Hebrews 5:8, that Jesus gained experience through the things that he suffered and that equipped him to be the high priest of our salvation. Come on now, he gained experience through the things that he suffered and that equipped him to be the high priest of our salvation.

Pastor Mike and I were talking earlier about a job that we both had at the same place at one time. We didn't have the same job but we both worked at the same place. And there was a lot of good things but man, there was a lot of hard stuff too. I mean, there was a lot of stuff that just wasn't right, people weren't always treated right, and there was very little appreciation, and just a lot of stuff. But you know what? It was so hard to stay but I had a vision. I had a dream, and that piece didn't seem to fit anywhere in what I saw on the box. But oh, my gosh, I wouldn't trade those days now for anything.

And you know what? I wasn't treated too good, but you know what I learned? I learned a very valuable lesson. I learned how not to treat people. And I'll tell ya something, we are good to the people that work for us, and we appreciate them, and we compliment them, and we do things for them, and we pay them the same salary that they could make if they were doing that job out in the world somewhere. People shouldn't be paid less just because they work for a ministry. We should be treating people well, amen? Just think twice before you decide to run away from something just 'cause it doesn't give you goosebumps anymore. Maybe you need to just stick it out for just a little bit longer.

And, you know, I've kind of found in my life when I just wanna go, it's usually not God. And usually when I've settled in and I'm ready to stay and then God says, "Go", by then I don't wanna go. "Be thou faithful unto death and I will give you a crown of life". That was Dave's scripture that he got when he was confirmed in the Lutheran church. I guess it happens at about 12 years old. "Be thou faithful unto death and I will give you the crown of life". You know what? There is no way that you can understand how faithful my husband has been to sit in the front row and listen to me and watch me do this for 35 years. I've been in ministry 40 years, but I've been doing this for 35 years. And even those first 5 years, we had a home Bible study and we'd all sit around in a circle in the living room floor. He was in every one of those meetings too, every one.

Faithful, just being faithful, just being faithful, just being faithful. He may not look to everybody like he's doing as much as I am, but let me tell ya something, he's liable to get a greater reward than me. I think listening to me for 40 years might be harder than doing what I'm doing. And the thing is I told him one time, "I don't know how you do it". He said, "Oh, I love it, I love it". When God gives you the grace to do something, it's not hard for you to do it.

Let me tell you something, if you're just being faithful in prayer, if you're being faithful in the word, if you're being faithful in your giving, you're the kind of person that God is looking for when he's looking for somebody to promote. "Well, it's not exciting anymore". You know what? I don't imagine that Jesus being on that cross was very exciting either. When I was thinking about this thing about, do I need a new vision? Have I lost my edge? Am I getting old? You know what? Don't ever come under that pressure. I'll especially just speak that to Joel and to Paul and the people, at least to the people that are leaders here in this church. Don't ever come under that pressure of feeling like you gotta do something new now just to excite people. What we need to do is just be faithful, just keep doing.

You know, just keeping go to Africa and operating on people, just keep going. Just keep getting up every Sunday morning and starting with something funny. And, you know, I mean, you listen to Joel's teachings and I mean, I can repeat the first four minutes. "This is my Bible. Now, I like to start with funny", then he tells something funny. And that's good, it's good. Amen? "Be thou faithful unto death and I will give you a crown of life".

When I was thinking about that business of, do I need something new, the Lord brought my attention, it's just like God was just speaking to my heart and showing me things. He said, "Did Jesus do something new every time he turned around"? No, he had a vision, he had a dream, he had an assignment, he came and he did it. And what did he do? He preached the Gospel, he helped people, period. You know, vision is, kind of like a Christian buzzword and we gotta be careful that we don't get too carried away. I don't need something that sounds impressive to get everybody else excited, what I need to do is what God has told me to do and I need to be faithful to that. Even if it gets to a point where it is super boring, I still need to be faithful to that, amen? Does anybody need this today?

I've got a word of advice for you, this is something Winston Churchill said. I just heard this and I love it. "If you feel like you're going through hell, just keep going". That's good, I like that. And that's what I've had to do a lot of my life, just keep going. Just keep going when you're working yourself do the bone and somebody decides they wanna criticize you or judge you, just put your head down and just keep going, just keep going, just keep going.

And then I thought about Paul, Paul didn't do something different every time he turned around. They preached the Gospel, they loved people. That's what all of our assignment is, share the word, love people, show Jesus to the world. It doesn't have to be fancy. We just need to be faithful. Moses was faithful in all of the household of God. Jesus is a faithful high priest. God is faithful. Faithfulness is a Fruit of the Spirit. "Be thou faithful unto death and you will receive the crown of life". Hebrews 6:12, "In order that you may not grow disinterested and become spiritual sluggards", that means lazy.

And you know what? When God first touched my life back in the' 70s, and I'd been a Christian for a long time but I didn't have any fire in my life. When the Holy Ghost touched me back in the '70s, oh man, everything was so exciting. Lord, it was exciting. Every scripture I read was new and exciting. I mean, we would go to church, we didn't think, I mean, a 25-minute sermon would have been almost like an insult back in those days, hour, hour and fifteen minutes, hour and a half. Every church service was 3 hours, maybe longer and that was a season and there was an anointing on it for that time but it was so exciting. You know, it's not as exciting anymore but I'm being faithful and I'm gonna keep being faithful until Jesus comes back to get me. Hey, I got a lot of years into this. I'm gonna finish. I'm gonna finish. I wanna be a finisher.

Wow, what great advice for all of those decisions that we are making in our life all the time, the big decisions, the small decisions, and encouragement to be a finisher. We don't have to do this on our own, we have help. And as Joyce was saying, we really need to seek God anytime we want to make a change in what we're doing, and make sure it really is his will for us and not just something we've decided on our own. Those are hard things in life, but that's why we have the Holy Spirit, and that's why when we seek God he promises that we will find him. We need to be faithful in whatever he asks us to do. There is so much gold in God's word.

The Bible is not just a book that you pick up and read and put down, and go on like nothing ever changed in your life because there is so much in there that is transformative. So, we want to make sure that you have a Bible in your hands that will help you understand the importance of being a finisher, and making the right choices, and thinking the right way. Joyce has a Bible called the, "Battlefield of the Mind Bible". And in this Bible, it not only has all of the Word of God, but it has highlighted those scriptures that help you know how to think, and it has some special notes and encouragement from Joyce's teachings as well.

I think you're going to love it. It's great to study, it's great to make sure that when you have those big life decisions, when you are thinking about quitting and maybe you should not, you can turn to God's word, and I promise you, like I said before, when you seek him you will find him. Contact us today and pick up that, "Battlefield of the Mind", Bible. I think you'll love it. We love you, and we appreciate you being here with us. We'll see you next time.

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