Joyce Meyer - The Power Of Serving Others
I wanna talk today about "The power of serving others". You know, this year we've called it a year of thanks at Joyce Meyer Ministries and we've done a lot of special things even at the office, like in our ministry bookstore all year we've had people post little notes of things that they're thankful for and so the windows are just covered with all these little sticky notes because the Bible says: "Be thankful and say so". But it's important not to just say so with words but to also say so with our actions. And I believe that one of the greatest ways, one of the most practical ways that we can say "Thank you, God, for everything that you've done for me," is to do something to help somebody else, amen?
The word "Servant", it kind of comes across sometimes in a way that we don't like. It kind of has an unpleasant, unimportant, even belittling feeling to us. We see it as a low position, perhaps something that you do if you can't do anything else, but Jesus said it is actually the greatest thing of all. "He that is the greatest is the servant of all". But I don't believe that servanthood is just a job that you go get where you, whatever, you know, you're the janitor in the school or you cook for somebody or you're doing some kind of a task that we might term "Serving" but I believe that no matter what we're doing, that if we do it with the attitude of being a servant that that's what God's talking about.
Right now, I have full authority in this room. So I guess the way the world looks at it, you could look at it like, "You know, pretty important up there today. She's got the stage, she's got everybody's, you know, looking at her". But see, I have to always keep in mind that I'm doing this as a servant of God and so, even though I'm the teacher and one with authority today, in my heart I'm here to serve God and to serve you to make your lives better. So whether you're a secretary or you're raising children or you work in a factory or you're a doctor, whatever your position is, whatever--however you're expressing your gifts out in the world, you wanna always go out with the attitude, "I'm here to serve". Amen?
And looking at it the way that most people would look at the definition of that word, I would probably say that I'm not overly inclined to that kind of serving. I don't really have a real strong helps gift in that way but I am serving and I am helping in a different way. I'm serving spiritually, I'm helping spiritually, and I just felt that it was important to get a little better definition of this word before we get started because it certainly means a lot more than mopping a floor or cooking a meal or cleaning the toilet.
Everybody, every single believer, needs to have the attitude, "I'm here to serve". And I want you to listen to what I'm gonna say. We need to be aggressive in praying for and looking for ways that we can serve and/or, slash, help other people. We need to look for ways. We need to pray for ways. We need to sit and think who can I bless, what can I do for somebody else. And the more we do that, the less we're gonna have ourselves on our mind, and the less we have ourselves on our mind, guess what? The happier we're gonna be. Amen.
So we're gonna start with Colossians 3, verses 23 and 24. We're gonna take our time today for this time that we have and go through some scriptures together that I believe God is gonna use to really help us get this in a deeper way than ever before. "Whatever may be your task". The job's not important. What we're doing is not important. We are to "Work at it heartily (from the soul), as something done for the Lord and not for men".
I'm telling you, it would change your attitude toward your job in a dynamic way if every day when you go to work you would think, "I'm going today to serve you. This is what you have given me to do for right now". Even if you don't like it, do it unto the Lord and do it with a good attitude because when we do it that way, then we put ourselves in a position for God to promote us to another thing. But many times, when we're having to do something we don't like, it's a test. It is a character test. And we need to be grateful where we're at and we need to bloom where we're planted and not have a bad attitude and I'm grateful that you are excited about loving your job, amen. I'm teasing you.
All right, Colossians 3:23 and 24: "Knowing with all certainty that it is from the Lord and not from men that you will receive the inheritance which is your real reward". So when anything we do, if our heart attitude is, "God, I'm doing this unto you," then God will reward you. I want you to get that. God will reward you. "[he One whom you are actually serving is the Lord Christ, the Messiah"
Matthew chapter 25. And we're gonna begin in verse 32. Some of the scriptures that I've got today, they're like whole stories and they're a little bit long but I just thought, "You know what? We're just gonna do this and do it right". "All nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate them the people from one another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats".
So we see that at the end of time there's going to be two classes of people: sheep and goats. Now sheep and goats have totally different personalities. They have totally different temperaments. Sheep need to be led and they're pretty easily led and they make this little sound that's kind of sweet, "Baaa. Baaa". The way I sound when Dave asks me to do something I don't wanna do, "Baaa. Yes, honey". But goats, they're always butting up against something. They're always banging their head against a wall and bucking up against something. And so goats say, "But, but, but, but, but, but, but, but".
And so we have sheep people and goat people. And sheep people are easily led to do what God wants them to do but goat people always have an excuse and a reason why they can't and are not gonna do what they should be doing. And especially when this is applied to helping other people. You know, we all love to be helped and we all love to have somebody do something for us. But we're here to serve. I said, "We're here to serve".
And you know, we can either spend our life getting what we can get from people or we can make a complete turnaround today and we can start seeing what all we can do for other people and then we can find out what God can do for us. I don't wanna be satisfied with just what I can get from a person. I wanna find out what God can do because he's able to do exceedingly, abundantly, above and beyond, all that we could ever dare to hope, ask, or think.
Sadly, many people miss the rewards of God because they're always only looking at what people can do for them. Forget about what somebody can do for you and set your mind on what you can do for somebody else. And trust me, if you start asking God and praying, "What can I do for somebody else"? It will not take him very long to show you. Thus why we probably don't pray the prayer more often.
Okay, now Jesus begins to explain, or Matthew does but it's coming from the Holy Spirit, a little bit more about what he meant. Verse 34, "Then the King will say to those at his right hand, come, you blessed of My Father, you favored of God and appointed to eternal salvation, inherit (receive as your own) the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you brought me together with yourselves and you welcomed and entertained and lodged me".
Now let me just say something before I go any further here. We know that we're saved by grace, we're not saved by works. So I'm gonna give you a statement today. We're not saved by serving, but we're saved for serving. Amen? So even in this verse, it kinda looks like, well, you know, wait a minute then, he's talking about those that are saved and then he goes into the good works that they did. But the whole point is, honestly and truly, and I believe this with all my heart, anybody who is genuinely born again, you cannot never change. It is just not possible to be filled with the Spirit of God and never ever want to do anything for anybody else. And if that's the case, then maybe you need to go back to square one and have a good chat with God.
I am so tired of this kind of Christianity that kind of presents the idea that no matter what kind of a sloppy life we live, God is good and he's merciful and, you know, we're gonna go to heaven anyway. Everybody's gonna go to heaven, you know. Well, the Bible tells us that you must be born again but there's also great evidence in the word of God that we're saved for a purpose and that God wants to lead us into that purpose. How many of you believe that we should see some changes after we're born again?
Verse 36, "I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me with help and ministering care, I was in prison and you came to see me". Doing these things gives us an opportunity to partner with and participate with God in his work in the earth. "Then the just and the upright," verse 37, "Will answer him, and say, well, when did we see you hungry and give you food, and when did we give you something to drink? And when did we see you as a stranger and welcomed you, or when did we see you sick or when did we see you in prison"?
Verse 40, "And the King will reply to them, truly I tell you, in so far as you did it for one of the least of these my brethren, you did it for me". And then he turns it around and looks at it from the negative side. "I was hungry, you didn't feed me. I was sick, you didn't visit me. I was in prison, you didn't help me. Well, Lord, when did we see you in all these terrible..." I mean, you know, and any of us would think, "Well, of course, I would do that for Jesus". C'mon now. "Well, I mean, certainly if Jesus was hungry, I would feed him".
How many of you couldn't sit and fill your own bellies if you knew Jesus was sitting right over here hungry? You'd have to share what you had, wouldn't you, amen? And so he said, "If you have not done it for the least of these my brethren, then you have not done it unto me". So here's the bottom line. However we treat people, Jesus takes that very personally. And this has been a big eye-opener for me that I began to get revelation on, thankfully, a good 20 years ago. That if I mistreat somebody or I ignore their need or I refuse to help them when I could, God doesn't like it.
And let me tell you something. His Spirit lives in me and if he's unhappy, then I feel that. And you do too. And so all we can do by helping other people is increase our joy and be happier and happier and happier. Selfish people cannot be happy. You just cannot be happy and selfish and there's probably people here today or certainly people watching by TV and you just wonder what's wrong with your life and I don't know why I'm not happy and... Well, you know, the answer may just be, and don't stone me, but it may just be that you're selfish. I mean, just saying. I don't know for sure, but. That was my problem. I was a selfish preacher. But I can tell that that's not as big of a problem with you.
Okay, Matthew 20, verse 20. I mean, that scripture just grips me. It's like if you've not done it for them, you've not done it for me. "Then the mother of Zebedee's children came up to him with her sons and, kneeling, worshiped him and asked a favor. And he said to her, what do you want? And she said, give orders that these two sons of mine might sit, one at your right hand and one at your left in your kingdom".
Well, isn't that what most people want? They wanna be in charge of something. I wanna be the boss. Well, can I tell you a little something about being the boss? Here's what you get. You get a lot of responsibility. And you get a lot of work. And no matter what decision you make, there's always somebody that doesn't like it. So you better understand both sides of being in charge. And when you're in charge and something doesn't go right, it falls on you.
One of the things that probably is the bigger challenge for me is I've been doing this for 40 years and I never go anywhere that I'm not responsible for something. And sometimes I think, "I wonder what it'd be like just to go to a meeting like this and just sit there and not have to make sure everything else in the building is going right or..." so you gotta understand that just wanting to be in authority can be very, very foolish if you're not prepared to do the other side of what it takes.
And while I'm there, let me just say something else. People have always got something to say about not agreeing with the person that is in charge and the decisions they make. "Well, I don't think you should and if I were you, I wouldn't". Let me tell you something, you have no idea what you'd do. Nor do you understand the full story. Most people sitting on that side, every decision they make would be something that would benefit them. But the person in charge can't just benefit one person. They gotta look at everybody. Boy, this is good for us. So be a little more merciful in your attitude toward your boss and the people that are in authority over you, amen? How many of you are in a position of authority over other people?
Okay, now I'm gonna tell you something really important. You make sure as someone who represents Christ that you treat the people under your authority with the greatest amount of excellence, with respect, you be appreciative to them, you give them credit where credit is due. If you have anything to do with determining their salaries, you make sure that you pay people well. Don't pay them the least amount you can get by with. Pay them the most you can come up with. Amen.