Joyce Meyer - Changed By Grace
Father, thank You for the Word this morning, and how we can be changed, but only by Your grace. And help us once and for all to get that through our heads and really know it. Our heads and he said to them, "What is impossible with men is possible with God." Can anybody say amen?
What you cannot do and what I cannot do, God can do. What is impossible with men is possible with God. Let's just soak that in for a minute so that doesn't just kind of whizz over our heads and we just run on to the next thing. What you can't do, God can do. Maybe you cannot change your child, but God can. You cannot make somebody love God that you would love to see have relationship with God, but let's just give God a chance to work on 'em for a while.
I can't change my circumstances, but God can. I can't make everybody that I minister to like me, so I've turned that over to God. God can give me favor. It's amazing what happens when we start praying and believing for supernatural favor.
Grace is undeserved favor. It's God giving you things you don't deserve, opening doors for you that you cannot even imagine could open for you, getting you a promotion at work that you're not even qualified for. I know 'cause I've had that happen to me. Before I went into ministry, I had that happen. I mean, I would end up with jobs I no more had any business having, and I don't really have any... in the natural have any business doing what I'm doing now. But when God gives you favor, He can put you somewhere. And when God puts you, He keeps you.
We need to learn how to really trust God for favor instead of struggling trying to make our own way all the time. Let's be more aggressive in trusting God for favor. When you go out to shop, "God, I ask You for a favor. Give me discounts I didn't even know were available." Amen? When you go into a restaurant, "God, I ask You to give me favor." It just takes a minute. It's just a way of releasing your faith to say, "God, I'm trusting You to do for me what I cannot do for myself."
I remember a woman that I was talking to one time, and this was so sad to me. She worked in a department store, and somehow I started asking her about, "Do you guys just get a salary? Do you work on commission or what?" And she said, "No, we work on salary." But she said, "We do have to meet a quote, and if we don't do that, then we can lose our jobs."
And she said, "I'm a little concerned 'cause things haven't been, you know, going very good for me." And I said, "Well, why don't you pray for God to send you customers?" And she was a christian woman, her and I had already been talking about that, so I said, "Why don't you pray for God to give you customers?" And she looked at me so odd, and she said, "Well, would it be okay to pray about something like that?"
Now, here this woman had been a believer for something like 30 years, and she didn't know that she could ask God to give her a favor. I said, "Well, there's people in here buying stuff. Why don't you pray for God to give you favor with them and supernaturally guide 'em over here to you?" You have not because you ask not.
Let me tell you somethin', you can ask God for anything, and if He don't want you to have it, He just won't give it to you, so don't worry about that. Now, I kind of got over, "Well, God is this your will? Is it your will, God? If it's Your will." You know, I know what the Bible tells me, but, you know, there's a lot of things I don't know. So, we have freedom and liberty to ask God radically and aggressively. The Bible says that God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above and beyond all that we could ever dare to hope, ask, or think.
God wants us to prosper, but we're not going to do it on our own. We need God's help, favor. You can have favor. What is impossible with man is possible with God. Luke 18, verse 18, "And a certain ruler asked Him, 'good teacher [you are essentially and perfectly and morally good], what shall I do to inherit eternal life?'"
Now, first of all the question is a goofy question because He says, "What can I do to inherit?" and the two are totally opposite of one another. First of all, when you inherit, you don't do anything, you receive something. I can tell you that whatever we have when the Lord calls us home, our children will inherit it. They didn't work for it, we did. And they're gonna get it. Whatever I can't manage to use, they're going to get. Now, do they do anything to get that? Well, they're just my kids.
Come on, you can get somethin'. They're just my kids. And everything that they get will not be based on their perfection, it'll be based on one thing and one thing only, and that is blood relationship, our relationship with one another. Are you with me today? Everything that you receive from God is based on blood relationship. You were bought with the blood of Jesus Christ. It's not based on what you do, but it's based on whether or not we are willing to really fully believe the Word of God.
Is anybody here willing this morning to step out of your flesh and decide to believe the Word of God? Let me tell you something, if God can do something for anybody, God can do something for you. "Well, you just don't know all the wrong things I've done." Yeah, well, you don't know all the wrong things I've done either. Let me tell you something, we all make mistakes. If we could be perfect, we wouldn't need Jesus.
What can I do to inherit, wrong question. Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one's good but God." verse 20, "You know the commandments: don't commit adultery, don't kill, don't steal, don't witness falsely, honor your father and your mother." And he replied to him, "All of these I have kept from my youth."
Now, here comes the kicker. "And when Jesus heard it, He said to him, 'one thing you still lack.'" Now, that is so frustrating. "Well, I've done this good, and I've done that good, and I've done this good, and I've done that good, and I've kept this rule, and I've kept that rule." And Jesus looks at us and says, "Well, yeah, but there's still something you lack."
You know, the interesting thing is no matter how many right things we do, there's always something wrong that we're going to do. So, it's so frustrating unless we learn to get in on the right plan, which is Jesus died for us because we have weaknesses in our flesh. And there is no way that we can ever possibly keep all of the law and do everything right and be perfectly holy, but He, right now this moment, is interceding at the Throne of God for you and for I, and keeping everything right.
I said this morning, "Jesus, pray for me today. And Holy Spirit, pray through me today." Just think of that. He's constantly at the throne, interceding for us. And the Bible says that God views us, He chooses to see us as right because we're in Christ. He chooses to see us as the righteousness of God. He chooses to see us justified, just as we never sinned, just because we believe.
We believe, we inherit. We're joint heirs with Christ. Everything that He bought and paid for, we get. Everything He worked for, everything He died for, we get. It's by grace through faith. It's provided by the grace of God. It's bought with the grace of God. And faith is only the hand that reaches out and says, "I'll take it."
See, sometimes we can even get mixed up about faith and we can think, "Well, you know, I got that because of my faith. Well, all you got to do, brother, is just believe. Just believe." But you know what? I read something many, many years ago, and it really blessed me.
Faith is not the price that buys the blessing of God. It is bought totally by the grace of God, totally by the blood of Jesus. Faith is only the hand that reaches out and receives it.
You know, to get means to obtain by struggle and effort. But to receive means to just be a receptacle and take in whatever's being offered.
Did you get saved? Did you get your blessing? Did you get healed? Did you get your breakthrough? Well, truthfully, if we got any of that, if we have any of those, it's not 'cause we got it. It's because God gave it. Did you get a breakthrough? No, I can never get a breakthrough, but I'm prayerful that God will give me one. I'm prayerful He'll download one on me. One thing you still lack.