Joyce Meyer - My Favorite Scriptures
I've just had it in my heart to do a series of teachings on my favorite scriptures in the Bible and why and kind of share with you maybe what was going on in my life at the time God revealed these scriptures to me. And I think that probably you're gonna relate to every single one of them. But some of them are probably gonna really touch home with you, maybe in an area that you're in right now in your life.
So today's message is not about one subject. It could be about ten subjects before we get done. Every time I sit down and go over this, I keep adding scriptures and so I finally just had to close it and say, "I'd better not add anything else." And so I know I'm not gonna get through all of 'em but I'm gonna just keep at this until I feel like I get out of me what's rolling around in me.
Ow many of you have some favorite scriptures, things that just really mean a lot to you? And, you know, they're probably something that God showed you or revealed to you at a time when you really desperately needed it. I think that most of us who've been walking with God for any length of time, you have some scriptures that you could say, really, just turn things around for you.
And I really want people to study the Word. Not just read the Bible, but study the Word. And so part of this I'm doing because I really hope it's gonna help you see the real power that's in the Word of God. There's power in God's Word.
So I was a Christian for a long time before I ever started studying the Word. I talk about when I became a serious christian. Because, you see, you can be a christian and, if you really believe in Jesus, really truly believe in Jesus, I believe that your name is written in the Lamb's book of life and you'll go to heaven.
But I don't believe that anybody can ever enjoy their life or be of any value to God unless they study the Word and really learn to live like a christian. Being a christian and living like a christian is two different things. And in order to live like a christian, we need to know the Word and then we need to choose with God's grace and help, to do the Word in every situation in our life.
So, back in when I got on my serious journey with God, one of the first scriptures that I remember really meaning much to me was John 8:31 and 31. So let's take a look at that first.
"So Jesus said to those jews who believed in Him, if you abide in My Word." Now, the word abide means to live, dwell, stay, and remain. So to abide in the Word is certainly different than reading the Bible, amen?
So "If you abide in My Word [hold fast to My teachings and live in accordance with them], you are truly My disciples. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free," amen.
Now, the reason why that was important to me was because I just had so much bondage in my life. I'd been sexually abused by my dad, and my mother didn't know how to help me so she just didn't.
And then I married the first guy that came along after that and he mistreated me for another 5 years, ran around with other women, and ended up going to prison and, you know, you can't live like that for the first 23 years of your life and not be damaged. And many of you know exactly what I'm talking about. You did not get a good start in life but that does not mean that you can not have a good finish.
And so being set free sounded really good to me. "You will know the truth, and the truth," if you learn to live by that, "Will make you free." So I needed the hope of freedom. You know, we have to have hope if we're gonna press in and continue day after day after day, doing the right thing.
And so I want you to know today that no matter how much trouble you're in, no matter how many things you've done wrong in the past, no matter what has been done to you, there is hope for you of freedom and enjoying a life that really appears to be not ever damaged at all because when you're in Christ, you're a new creature. Old things pass away and all things become brand new.
All right. Now, it's a journey. I'm still being set free from things. And one of the things that I love about my walk with God is that it is a journey. He that hath begun a good work in me will complete it and bring it to its finish. You're not where you need to be, but thank God you're not where you used to be. You're okay and you're on your way. Today is a good day.
Now, the next thing that I can remember that God really impressed on me and some of these things, to be honest, took maybe 2 or 3 years for them to become revelation to me. And you need to know that, that just liking a scripture doesn't mean that it's working in your life. Just because you've got it underlined in your Bible doesn't mean it's working in your life.
And so, sometimes it will take you maybe even years to get a full revelation on something. See, we don't need just information. We need revelation. There's a difference. So don't ever be skittish about hearing the same thing over and over and over or even going in your own Bible and reading and re-reading and pondering the same scriptures over and over.
Now, God had to teach me that He loved me. And that He loved me unconditionally. And I wanna stay with that for just a few moments this morning because that really, truly, is the bottom line of our problem. We want to know that we're okay. Deep down inside of us, we wanna know that we're accepted and that we're accepted as we are.
That doesn't mean that we don't need to change and get better, but God loves us unconditionally. We don't understand that. I don't understand unconditionally. I've been trying for 40 years to understand it. I still don't totally get it every day of my life. But God loves us totally apart from what we do.
And as we receive that love, that unconditional love, then it actually gives us the "Want to" to do the right thing. So if we're trying to do the right thing to get God to love us, then it becomes works of the flesh and we're living under the law because we're trying to buy something that's actually a free gift.
But if we receive His love, receive His love, receive His love, then we'll find that now we are loving Him because He loves us and, out of that love, we're gonna want to do the right thing and we're gonna do everything we can to do the right thing and we're gonna be really sorry when we don't do the right thing just because of this love thing that's going on between us and God.
Love is what heals a broken heart. Love is what heals a wounded soul. And God doesn't want His love for us just to be like a theory or a teaching that we hear. And this was where I think it got really life-changing for me.
1 John 4:16. You know, it's interesting, you can read scriptures and read scriptures and read scriptures and they don't necessarily... I mean, they're good, but they don't mean all that much to you.
Then how many of you know sometime, one day, you can read it and it's, like, you never saw it before in your whole life? And see, that's the exciting part about the Word of God. And so, here's 1 John 4:16 , "And we know...". And I love the Amplified Bible. I've taught out of it for 40 years and, you know, I'm not a student of Greek and so this kinda expands some of the words that I might not ever go and understand. You might not like it as much just for reading, but it's great, great for study.
"And we know (we understand, we recognize, and we are conscious of, by observation and by experience) and we believe (adhere to and put faith in and rely on) the love of God... the love that God cherishes for us. God is love, and he who continues in love dwells and continues in God, and God dwells and continues in him."
You say, "Okay, well, what was so important to you about that?" Two words. Go back to verse 16. No, back to where we were. 1 John, yeah. You see the word conscious? "We're conscious of and we observe." Those two words just, like, jumped off the pages at me.
Now, remember, I'm kind of letting you into my personal life, how this worked for me. What God began to teach me was to watch for Him to love me in my everyday life. Watch for it, notice it, make a big deal out of it. Be conscious of it.
Do you know, there can be all kinds of things going on around you and you just be totally unconscious of it. It's amazing how many miracles we miss that God's doing in our life because our head's off somewhere else and we just don't pay any attention.
So I'm gonna give you one little example that happened to me just since I got in this town. And this kind of stuff goes on all the time. And if you'll start paying attention to these things in your life, it actually will really enhance your walk with God.
Okay, last week, I started wanting coconut cream pie. Now, I haven't eaten coconut cream pie in... I don't know how long. But I wanted coconut cream pie. And so, I usually eat dessert once a week. That's my treat. And so I plan it.
I want everything quiet when I eat it. I don't wanna talk to anybody while I eat it. I don't wanna get phone calls while I eat it. I wanna know that I'm eating it. I wanna taste it. I wanna enjoy it, okay? And so I started thinking where can I get coconut cream pie? And so I'm even online looking, "Best pies in St. Louis," "Best cream pies in St. Louis." Well, I couldn't find anything.
So we got to this town and we get here on Thursday afternoon and I cannot even tell you how long it's been since I've eaten at a capital grille. But we decided to go eat at capital grille. Well, we get a nice table by the window and, lo and behold, we're not sitting there very long and the waitress comes out to the table next to us with this little pie.
And I kept looking at that and Mike was looking at it and finally Mike said to the lady, "What is that?" She said, "Coconut cream pie." I went, "Ah! That's God! God's getting me my pie".
Now, see, to me, that was just, like, the coolest thing. God cared that I wanted coconut cream pie. And see, these are the kinds of things that if you're not looking for it, you miss it. How many of you agree with what I'm saying?
And so, you know, the Bible says, "Unless you come like a little child you shall in no wise enter in." And some of you might think, "Well, that's just downright silly." Well, it's really not, you know. And I actually even keep a book of remembrance where I write things down like that.
And I dunno, when I die I guess somebody will find it and look at it and say, "Man, she got excited over a piece of coconut pie?" Well, you know what? I think that that's what enhances our personal walk and relationship with God. And I want you to know that God cares about you and the Bible says that if we will delight ourselves in Him, He will give us the secret petitions and desires of our heart.
So I want you to start being on the lookout every day for God's love in your life. Let's be conscious and aware of God's love, not unconscious and unaware of God's love, amen. I like that scripture.