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Joyce Meyer - Taking Better Care Of Yourself

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Well, thank you for joining us today on "Enjoying everyday life," and we are so excited about having this opportunity to share God's word with you today. And I've had something a little special on my heart and I just want to share with you how valuable you are and I really mean that. You're so valuable. You're a valuable person in the earth. I think that the devil works really hard trying to make people think that they have no value, and that they're not necessary, and they have no purpose but you are valuable, you're special, and you have gifts, and talents, and abilities that we need.

And it's very important, now I want you to listen because this is what I want to talk to you about today. It's very important that you, if you're not already doing it, that you make a decision that you are gonna take really good care of yourself. And think a lot of times people think that that's being selfish but I think it's being wise because, you know what? There's no greater gift that you can give to everybody else than a healthy you. What a great gift to give your family, a healthy you, healthy emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually. In every way, God wants us to have good health.

"Beloved, I would above all else that you prosper and be in health," 3 John 2. I believe that it's God's will for us to have energy, bright, clear minds, not to be tired and just to drag ourselves around all the time and dislike most of what we do because we really don't feel good. And I don't have any substantial figures that I could give you so I'm just guessing but I would imagine if we just took a survey that we would find that probably more people don't feel good than those who feel good. What do you think? You think that's off? How many people are tired and, you know, this nondescript, you know, "I don't know," so we go to the doctor and we murmur about this and that and something else. They really can't find anything so they might throw a few pills at you but you go home still have the same problems.

And I know about that because I frankly lived like that for a lot of my life. Thankfully I've learned some things that have really helped me and I'm still learning all the time and I just felt that I wanted to share this word with you today. So first of all, we want to look at 1 Corinthians 6:19 and 20. "Do you not know that your body is the temple, the very sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who lives within you"? Everybody in here today say, "I am the home of God". Wow, you are God's house as a born-again believer. "Whom you have received as a gift from God, you are not your own". Wow, we need that revelation, don't we? "You were bought with a price purchased with the preciousness and paid for and made his own. So then, honor God and bring glorify to him in your body".

Now, what does it mean that you were paid for? We were bought and paid for with the precious blood of Jesus Christ. He purchased us back from the enemy who before our relationship with Christ was in charge in our life through lies and deceptions. He was ruling us through lies and deceptions but now we have the Spirit of God, we have the truth of God's word and little by little, day after day, we are entering into more and more freedom and being able to enjoy the kind of life that God intended for people to have in the beginning of time. Your body is the very sanctuary of God.

Let's just suppose that you were looking for a church to go to, you've become a believer and now you're looking for a church to go to. Well, if you saw one on this certain street but, man, the paint was all peeling off, and it just boards were loose, and it was all broken down, and it just didn't look good at all, that probably wouldn't be the one that you would choose because the way that church looked would already say a lot to you about the leadership and what probably was or was not going on inside. And so, like it or not, how things look do affect us. It's just the way it is.

So, today if we are the house of God and people are looking at us, I think that we should make the best representation that we possibly can. Now, when I say this, I'm not talking about body size, or hairstyle or, you know, any of those kinds of things. I'm just talking about valuing yourself enough to take what you have and do the very best that you can with it. How are we going to impress anybody else if we're just dragging ourselves around all the time with a sour look on our face? How are you?

"Well, I'm just pressing through, I tell ya, just it's just tough. I mean I'm under this and under that". I mean we have problems, our problems are real, and we need to be able to express those, but I think as our representation to the world as the body of believers and our representation of the world of, "Hey, this is what it's like to be a Christian," then we should be happy, have a smile on our face, have some victory, be doing good things for people. We should be making a very positive impact and influence in the world today, and I think it's fairly safe to say that if we, as an entire body of believers, and when I say we I'm certainly talking about more than those of us in this room or even those who might be watching the program today. I'm talking about believers worldwide.

If we were behaving the way we should and doing things the way we should, I would pretty much say that we would be such a billboard for relationship with Christ that we would not be dealing with all the people that are deceived and lost in the world that we are today. So, I think it's time that we step up to the plate and each of us do a little bit better in how we take care of ourselves. Is everybody still okay? You're still breathing, right? We're all right, all right. And don't you turn your television off. That is not fair. You haven't even heard the rest of what I'm gonna say. You need to hear this.

2 Corinthians 5:20, "So we are Christ's ambassadors, God making his appeal as it were through us". Don't you love this? And I love now what the amplified says. "We are Christ's personal representatives". Wow. Penny Shepherd, personal representative of Jesus Christ. Just think about that. Joyce Meyer, personal representative of Jesus Christ. You're a personal representative. I'm here to represent Jesus Christ. Amen.

Paul said, "I beg you for his sake to lay hold of the divine favor now offered to you and be reconciled to God". Now I think a lot of times some of the things that I'm gonna talk about today people think, "Oh, God don't care about that". I mean, you know, with all the... 'cause really the five or six points I want to bring you today are just so simple it's like, "Well, duh, how did I miss that"? But, you know, sometimes we can just complicate things so bad that we just miss the simple things that we could do that would really make a big difference. And so, he does care about all the little things and God doesn't want us to just go to church on Sunday. He wants us to live the life that's gonna represent him all week long.

So, Romans 12:1 in the message Bible is very interesting. I almost always use the amplified translation but this is so cool. Listen to this, "So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: take your everyday, ordinary life (your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life) and place it before God as an offering". Wow. Let me do this again. "Your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life--and let us place that before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking". Wow. "Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you".

Okay, so, let's talk for a little bit about how important it is for you to take care of yourself. First of all, if you don't take care of yourself, I don't know who you think's going to. And you only have one chance here, you only have one body, and if you wear it out early, you can't go somewhere and buy another one. Now, you know, today they're so good at things that you can't even get replacement parts but there are some things that you can't replace. Amen? And so, you are important to God and that's what I want to say to you.

You're not an accident. You're not just here taking up space. God has something for you to do, something that is important and you're not likely to do it, and neither am I, if I feel bad all the time. I'm telling you, if I feel bad, I don't even want to pray. I'm sorry. Maybe that doesn't sound very spiritual but I mean if I feel really bad, I don't want to study, I don't want to pray, I just want to do nothing, and that's not the way God wants us to be. He wants us to be energetic, and full of zeal, and able to do things, and being creative in our thinking. And I'm certainly not implying here that we never have a tired day or an off day but I'm talking about as a whole, when people say to you, "How are you"? You should be able to say truthfully, "I'm great". Well, how've you been feeling? "I'm doing really, really good".

You know, I said to my daughter last week, I said, "I have been feeling so good". And it felt so good to say that because so many times when people ask you how you feel, there's always 15 areas that hurt, that bother us, that we can complain about. Now, I think that there are things that we need to do if we want to feel better and a lot of them are things that you may think are insignificant but I want to talk to you first about eating. We'll just get that one out of the way.

First of all, no two people are gonna look exactly alike in body size so we don't need to, you know, get the world's view of what we should look like, but we need to just do the best we can. I've prayed for years, "God, help me eat right, look good, feel good, and weigh what you want me to weigh, not what I want to weigh but what's right for my body". Because honestly, and we all know this, I mean I have a friend that could just eat 4 times what I do and she weighs 93 pounds. And it is a bit annoying sometimes, you know, when people can just eat the whole refrigerator and never gain any weight but we have to deal with what we've been given, see? And so, my body's not like that. I've always had to be a little bit careful all my life but I've come to the conclusion that instead of complaining about it, it's worth it to me to do it. Because you know what most complaining is? It's just an excuse to not do what's right. Thank you for the great response.

Now, let me ask you a question. This thought came to me and I thought, you know, that really is interesting. Why is it that if we decide to eat right that we say we're on a diet? It's a lifestyle. Eating right, taking care of yourself, getting enough sleep, drinking water, having a balanced life, it's a lifestyle. It's not like oh, discipline, self-control, hate it all. Let's think about mindless eating for a minute. You say, "What's mindless eating"? Well, it's all the stuff that people pick up and stick in their mouth that they don't even know they ate.

I was at a furniture store one day, who would expect to find cookies in a furniture store? I mean I wouldn't think that there would be cookies in a furniture store. I have a shoe store that I go to, they always have chocolate chip cookies there and if you don't eat them there, they want to bag them up and send them home with you. It's like, I came here for shoes, not cookies. I came for furniture, not cookies. Well, I noticed in the furniture store that when I went in, this plate was full and when I left, it was totally empty so that means that most people who walked by that plate of cookies, picked one up, popped it in their mouth and ate it, and they didn't even realize that they did it.

And can I tell ya something? Things that you don't even realize you're eating, you don't even enjoy them and so half the time it leaves you still hungry or wanting something else that's why some people say don't ever eat standing on your feet, always sit down, and eat, and enjoy it. There's nothing wrong with eating something sweet but there is definitely something wrong with overdoing anything, and I think at least if we're gonna eat, we need to know we ate it, we need to have enjoyed it, and we need to not pick up everything that's laying around, eat it and then say, "Well, I just don't know why I weigh too much. I just hardly ever eat a thing".

You know, I used to have a fork problem and I never would get dessert but I would fork everybody else's to death. In other words, you know, I would not get any but I would want three bites of Dave's so by the time I had three bites of this, and four bites of that, and two bites of something else, and a piece of this, and a piece of that, I ate more than the people who just sat down and had dessert and admitted that they ate dessert. But we like to lie to ourselves and think that we're not doing something when, in fact, we are.

So, mindless eating, excessive eating, not eating enough, some people don't eat enough, unbalanced eating, bad eating, junk, sugar, drive-thru, fast food, soda, or pop, depending on what part of the country that you're from. In the south if you say soda they're like, "Huh"? Lots of caffeine, fast food, prepackaged foods, excessive salt in food. Now, here's the thing, get educated.

You know, when I was growing up, I knew nothing about what I was eating and I was always a chunky teenager and it always caused me a lot of grief. I was usually the last girl to get asked to go to the dance, or probably never got asked to go to the dance in many cases and I just was always, you know, I just didn't feel good about myself. I was fluffy. I wasn't like huge but I was fluffy, and fluffy's comfortable if you're gonna lay down on it and rest but that's about all. But I think that's a nice way of saying that I'm overweight. "I'm not overweight, I'm fluffy".

And so here I'm this overweight teenager and it's making me miserable all the time, but I knew nothing about what to eat. My parents were from the country and so everything was fried, vegetables were kind of like a no-no. We had fried chicken, fried eggs, biscuits, gravy, fried pork, fried pies. I mean we fried everything. And when I would come home from work, I mean from school, my dad worked nights and so a lot of evenings what I would eat for dinner, my mother would take a box of creamette macaroni, a whole little box, boil it, put a can of tomatoes in it, cut up an onion in it and that would be my dinner, and then my dessert would usually be a piece of cake with a bunch of icing on it about that thick, and I didn't understand why I was overweight. I wasn't getting any protein, wasn't getting anything that was good for me.

You know, people would even be smarter if they ate right. Well, they weren't trying to be bad parents, they just didn't know. We didn't know anything. And I went through a lot of bad health issues until I read my first book, simple book, on health and nutrition. And I was astounded when I began to realize what I was putting in my body that I had no idea that I was putting in my body.

Now, most people would think it's not too exciting to spend your time reading a health book but if you want to feel better, that's a great place to start. For example, there's a popular cheesecake that I loved and I can tell you when I went anywhere near it, I had bites. Not pieces. My old problem would resurrect and I would have bites until one day I decided to look up and see what was in it. The smallest amount of calories that any had in it was 850 for a piece and the largest was 1200. I have not eaten a piece since. You know why? Here's the reason, it's not worth it to me. See, it's just some things are just not worth it if you know what you're doing.

Another thing, we travel a lot, we're in hotels and I don't know why but you go off to the meeting, you come home, and they've decorated your pillow with chocolate candy. It's like this thing in hotels, "Let us put you to sleep with chocolate and sugar". Well, like most people, I'd take one, mmm, looks good, pop it in my mouth, mindless eating until one day I decided to read the little paper on the back. Every one of those little pop-ins was a hundred calories and all sugar. I don't pop them in anymore. I leave 'em, I throw 'em away, or I give them to somebody else that doesn't want to feel good but I don't, I don't eat them.

So, aren't we having fun? Aren't you glad you turned the program on today? Aren't we having fun? I'm sure you're thinking, "I don't know why I'm sitting here watching this". Well, maybe you're just the one that needs it. So, get educated, read labels. Sleep 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night. Now, there are a few rare people who only need 4 or 5 hours of sleep a night but I tell you the truth, if you really only need that much sleep, then you should feel really good and energetic when you wake up.

Sometimes when you're younger, you can do with 6 hours sleep but I'm telling ya what, by the time you get my age, you need to go to bed at night, and you need to get up in the morning. I'm much better in the morning. I get up 4:30, 5 o'clock, 5:30. I'm asleep at night by 8:30, 9 o'clock. I know to a lot of you that sounds insane but you just wait till you get a little bit older. You're gonna stop feeling like you have to be in on everything that's going on at night everywhere it's going on and you're gonna say, "No, I think I'm just gonna stay home and get some rest".

Now, things change as you get older. I'm not telling you you gotta be in bed every night at 8:30 and up every morning at 4:30, but I think it's good to have a regular bedtime. Your body functions better if you have some kind of a regular bedtime and you should get 7 to 8 hours sleep a night.

So there you have it. Water, drink half your body weight in water. Now surely somebody's thinking, "If I do that, I'll drown". Well, here's the thing, drink at least 8, 8-ounce glasses of water and it's still a challenge for me and I love water, but the only way that you're ever gonna do it is to keep it with ya all the time. Drink a lot of it in the morning and that helps you get you started off right. Everything we drink doesn't have to have some other flavor in it, or some sugar in it, or some caffeine in it.

A lot of people say, "Well, I can't stand water. I just don't like water". You know, some people say water gagged them. I have a granddaughter that can't drink water. Well, my dad was like that and he died with kidney disease, so water is the only thing that will properly cleanse your kidneys. So drink water. Doesn't mean you can't drink anything else, but drink lots of good, fresh, clean water. Here's the one you're gonna hate, exercise.

Okay, let me just tell you quick, God gave us all these joints because we're supposed to move, that's the bottom line. And the more you move, the more you're gonna be able to move. The more you do, the more you'll be able to do. The less you do, the less you are going to be able to do. Now, it's a long story and longer than I have time to get into but a few years back, God spoke to my heart one day very clearly and he said, "If you don't start taking better care of yourself, including regular exercise, you are not gonna be strong for the last one-third of your journey".

Well, more than anything, it's important to me that I finish the call of God on my life. And I've already lived two-thirds of my life. Now, some of you that doesn't mean anything to you, but to me it means that I'm on the back end here. And I've got a lot left to do, and I want to do it, and I want to feel good so I have to make an investment on the front end if I'm gonna do that. And I can just tell you for me, and I know that a lot of people exercise is like the biggest u-uuuhhh, but it has been the single best thing that I have ever done for myself ever to exercise on a regular basis. And now I've added walking and, you know, it doesn't cost anything to walk. If you can't do anything else, get out and walk. "I don't have time to walk".

Can I just tell you this and then we don't have to have anymore arguments about it? People do what they want to do. I mean it's just that simple. And I was the one, nobody was a bigger excuse maker than I was. "I don't have time. I'm too busy. Every time I try to exercise, I hurt myself". Well, that was because I tried to get in shape in two sessions, you know, and you can't do that. It's a commitment and investment, and there's lots of different ways that you can do this. You can do it at home. You don't have to pay money to do it. You can walk. You can even be involved in a very active sport that you really enjoy, but I'm just saying move.

Everybody has to get some exercise or you are not going to feel good. Get plenty of rest, eliminate as much stress as you can from your life, that's a big one, isn't it? Wow. You say, "Well, I can't help it. I'm just so stressed out". Well, you know what would change a lot of that? "No, I can't do that. No, I don't think I better commit to that. No, I really need to stay home tonight and rest. No, little Johnny, you don't have to play five sports at school so I live in the car chauffeuring you around. Pick one or two things that you would like to do". "No" is a word that will save your life. Amen?

And let me just throw in here that anytime people want to hear yes, they're not gonna like it if you say no but you are responsible for yourself. Amen? And then along with this, laugh as much as you possibly can, laugh. My goodness. Learn how to laugh at yourself, amen? Go stand in a store and read funny birthday cards. I do that, they're hilarious, some of them are just hilarious. Have a funny friend. I have a couple of funny friends. Mike Shepherd is one of my funny friends. He just makes me laugh. Laugh a little bit more at yourself. So, just in closing let me say that you need to seek to live a balanced life. And, you know, whatever this meant to you today, it had to be fast. I said probably too much in too little time but whether it's water, or sleep, or eating better, or a little more exercise, getting more rest, or laughing more, do some things for yourself because you are valuable and we want you to be around for a long, long time.
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