Sermons.love

Joyce Meyer - What Is Sin?



I can tell ya three different times when I asked God what he wanted me to speak on here, he told me sin. But then another thing he said to me is before you teach on it you have to refresh people in what it is. Because I think sometimes we really just don't know anymore. The lines are getting very blurred out there. About what is really even right and what's wrong. And I just want to tell ya something, God has not only called us to be happy, he's called us to be holy. Amen? I'm gonna say it again. God has not only called us to be happy, which he does want us to be happy. I mean I call my TV program "Enjoying everyday life," so surely I'm all about us enjoying life and being happy, but I also happen to know that you're not gonna be happy if you're not also holy. And the holier you are, the happier you're going to be.

And so we all need a really good word occasionally on let's just, you know, brace up and examine our lives a little bit and let God deal with us and press on to the next level. And, you know, I've noticed that the apostle Paul, he would always compliment the church on how good they were doing, but then he said, "But now I want you to abound in that and to excel in that and do even more". So there never was a place for like, "Hey, I'm loving people enough. I'm kind enough. I'm patient enough. I'm generous enough". He was always saying, "Listen, you're doing good, but I want you to excel and press on to new levels". So let me just say to all of you, you're doing awesome. You are doing great. Just the fact that you are here tonight tells me that you're doing good, that you're serious in your walk with God, but I want to say tonight too, let's all have an attitude to do better. Amen?

Hebrews 12:14, a scripture that sometimes I think we can avoid maybe preaching on because we're not just real, totally sure how people are going to take it. So here it comes. "Strive to live in peace with everybody and pursue that consecration and holiness without which no one will ever see the Lord". Wow. Now, see that could be scary. It's like, "Oh my gosh. So you're telling me, if I'm not living a perfectly holy life, then I'm not gonna go to heaven"? No, actually that's really not what that scripture says at all. First of all, I don't go to heaven and you don't either because of my own personal holiness, it's because Christ, the holy one, died for us. But this scripture does say, that if we're not pursuing holiness, that we won't see the Lord.

So what does that mean? Well I think it all has to do with how serious we are in our walk with God. And I'll be honest with you, I think people who really have a really right relationship with God, I don't think you can prevent yourself from wanting to be Christ-like. I believe it's just gonna be there. When Christ is living in you, you can't just continue to be the way that you always were and if you've been saved 10 years and there's no change from the time you were saved then I think you better get some counseling and sit down and talk to somebody because something may be wrong about the way that you got started. I mean from the time I really got into a serious relationship with God, I have pretty much spent every day of my life since then trying to go forward with God. Amen?

Now pursue is the operative word here. Doesn't say that I've have to have arrived. Thank God that we don't have to say I've arrived. And actually if anybody did say that then we'd have to give you a good message on pride and humility, so no one has arrived, but the operative word here is pursue, which means to crave and go after with all of your heart. And like I said a lot of you are doing that or you wouldn't be here tonight, but you know what? I'm not just doing this tonight just for the people in this room, there's gonna be all kinds of people from all kinds of backgrounds and then all different levels of their walk with God watch this by message in all different parts of the world and I just want to say loud and clear, are you whole heartedly, 100% chasing after God? Are you craving him with all of your heart and all of your strength? Or is Jesus just a little sideline to you?

Maybe you just really want to live the way you want to live, but you're kind of hoping not to go to hell. Well that's not the way that God wants you to live and that's not how you're ever going to be happy and have the best life that he wants you to have. Amen? Now, you know, you just have to excuse me if you feel like sometimes, "Well you know, that's kind of... You know I wish you'd just pat us on the head and just give us some dessert". Well, you know, you already knew when you walked in here you weren't gonna that from me. So, that's just not my bent or the way that I go, that's really not what God has called me to do.

Now holiness is not legalism. To live a holy life does not mean that we never have fun, that we never go to a party. Jesus' first miracle was at a party. And I can read the scripture and tell ya, he loves a party. I mean matter of fact, in the Old Testament they were commanded to have parties. And I mean parties that were days long and I think we could use a few more parties. Amen? To be holy does not mean you can't go to the movies, you can't play cards, you can't dance, it has nothing to do with cutting your hair, not cutting your hair. We're not unholy if we change our hair color, wear makeup, or Jewelry, or colorful clothes, or piece our ears, or get botox. I just thought I'd throw that in there, you know, because all these things that we think make us unholy, "Why you, you do that? And you do that? And you do that"?

And you know, holiness is not about make up, and you know, do I touch my hair up? You better be glad I color my hair, you would not like what you're looking at tonight if I didn't I can tell you that. But what it does mean that in all of those things, we make choices. If we're gonna go to a party we go to a right party. If we're gonna go to a movie we're choosy about what we want to see. If we're gonna dance, we don't dance in a sexually perverted way that's gonna be a temptation to somebody else. Are you with me? If we're gonna play a card game we don't have to gamble and lose our paycheck while we're doing it. So it's not about not doing things, it's about making a choice in everything that we do in how we do that. It's about making choices.

To be honest with you, if you are a Christian, you're already holy. You may not be living holy, but you are holy. Because we're given a status of holiness and sainthood and righteousness when we receive Christ into our life. It's imputed to us. It means it's given to us, but I can have something and still not walk in it. We've been made right with God through Christ and that's the good news. Wow. I don't have wrongness anymore, I have rightness now, but that still doesn't mean that I don't have to choose then every day of my life to do the right thing and the reason why God gives us holiness to start with is because he wants us to live a holy life. We didn't receive an unholy Spirit. We received the Holy Spirit. And he comes to make us holy and to keep us walking in that holiness.

You know what I have is one thing, what people see me do is another thing. And I say all the time, we need to learn how to separate our who and our do and that's true. You need to know who you are in Christ even when you don't always do the right thing, but we also have to understand that we're here for a purpose and that is to be a light in a dark world and so the dark world who needs Christ can't see what's in my heart they only see what I do. Come on now. And so to be honest, if God had no purpose for us after we're saved he would just beam us up and bring us on to heaven and let us get with our heavenly calling and have our mansion, but he has a purpose for us. Every one of us are called to be a light in a dark world. And that means making good choices, many times, when everybody around you is making a lousy choice. And not to put on some kind of a religious attitude about it and condemn them, but just to sweetly and kindly be who you are over and over and over until they become hungry and thirsty for what you have.

I tell people all the time, even though I was a Christian when I married Dave, I was a highly uneducated Christian. I didn't know anything about the Word of God. I had received Christ when I was a child, but I was abused by my dad and so I had lots and lots of personality problems and just hang ups in my life and Dave didn't preach to me all day every day he asked me if I would go to church with him and I said I would and we did, but I wasn't really hearing enough of what I needed to hear in church. I heard a lot of doctrine and I heard some good things, but I wasn't hearing things about knowing who you are in Christ and that you don't have to live under shame and condemnation and some of the things that I so desperately needed. And so I had no peace in my life. Well Dave was consistently an example of peace in our home for at least 3 years. Before I ever even really noticed, "Hmm, he's really different than me".

So I'm trying to make the point that sometimes you're gonna have to get full enough of God to go into a situation that's difficult and just be what you say you believe on Sunday morning. Come on now. Just be what we say we believe on Sunday morning. Come on it's easy to shout about it and yell about it when the music's playing, but when you go home and you got some of the same grouchy, cranky people to deal with that you've always had or you go to your job and you're working with a bunch of unbelievers all the time who are making fun of you and think you're some kind of a kook, the best thing that you can do is just be who you are over and over and over. It may a year, it may take 2 it may take 3, it may take 4, but let me tell you something, a greater job that we have, other than the job that we go to is the job that we have for God and that is to represent him in a world that is desperately needy to see what Jesus is really like. I said to see what he's like. Not just to hear about him, but to see what he's really like.

Now, so, holiness does mean that you can't have any fun. And somehow or another that's what people usually equate it with, it's like, "Well you know, preaching on holiness now you can't have any fun". Let me read you the definition of holiness. It basically says that in the vine's Greek dictionary that, "Holiness is the state predetermined by God for believers". So that's it. That's the call. "Into which in grace he calls them and in which they begin their Christian walk". So, we begin our Christian walk in holiness and then it says, "And so pursue it growing towards perfection". So, I begin holy, in my spirit, right in my spirit, but I don't know what I've got. I have no idea what I've got, I just know that I feel better. I just know that I don't have that black cloud hanging over my head anymore that I've got a little bit of hope now. I just know that I feel better, but I don't really know what I've got. I don't know how powerful I am. I don't know, you know, that God has given me everything that I need to get out in the world and just scare the living daylights out of the devil every single day that I live.

Come on. I don't know that. Can I have just... Yeah that package of seeds. You know I've got a package of, let's see, pepper seeds up here. Now, how dumb would it be for me to go out and put these pepper seeds in the ground and command them to be potatoes? So what sense would it make for God to tell us to live holy lives if he didn't give us the seed of holiness on the inside of us? God is never going to command you to be something without giving you the ability to be that. Amen? So, when I teach on holiness it's not pressure for anybody. All I'm asking you is to show off what you've already got and to show it off in a place where it's desperately needed. You know how we are when we get a new outfit, man, we don't wanna just wear it at home. Sleep in it, go look in the mirror at it, we want to get out somewhere where somebody can see us.

And that's the way we need to be about our Christian character and the Fruit of the Spirit. We need someplace to show off and I don't mean that in a wrong way, but to tell you the truth the church is not necessary the place to try to show off and that's usually what we do. We want to go and impress our other Christian friends with all of our, you know, Christian gibberish and all the things that we do. And really what we need to do is get out in the world. Take what you get in here, out into the world. You know, when you become what I call a secret spy for God life gets exciting. You leave your home every day saying, "Okay, God who can I bless today? Who can I be an example to today"? Not who can I go and be religious around, but who can I be an example to, today. So, you've got what it takes it's just now that we need to grow in this. We need to pursue holiness.

So, what about that well, "Without no man can see the Lord"? It just simply means, if we really do have a right relationship with God there's nothing that's gonna be able to stop you from wanting to improve. And if you're sitting here tonight and you don't want to improve, then honestly I don't even know why you're here. Because who would want to take a Thursday night after working all day to come and hear something like this if you had no interest in improving. So, I already know that you want to, I'm just trying to urge you to understand how important this is. How desperately important it is to understand that God not only wants to make us happy, he not only wants us to give him... He only wants to give us a good life, but to be honest he wants us to make him happy. He wants us to put a smile on his face and the way we do that is by being a blessing to other people and helping him reap a harvest of souls for the Kingdom of God. Amen?

And you know, I'm sorry that God told me to come and preach on sin, but that's what he told me to preach on and so really I take it back I'm not sorry. I'm not sorry. Alright, now listen to this, "This saint hood is not an attainment. It is a state into which God in grace calls men". So, holiness is a gift of God's grace, because to be honest none of us could ever do enough right things to actually ever call ourselves holy by our own behavior. So, we're made holy by the grace of God. "Yet believers are called to sanctify themselves, consistent with their calling, cleansing themselves from all defilement, forsaking sin, living a holy manner of life, and thus experiencing fellowship with God". So, we need to learn what we have, who we are, and then go after it with our whole heart. I'm chasing after God. What about you? I want to be a God chaser. Amen?

Now, now we're gonna look at the book of Haggai, chapter 2 verse 11. "Thus says the Lord of hosts: ask now the priests to decide this question of law. If one carries in the skirt of his garment flesh that is holy because it has been offered in sacrifice to God, and with his skirt or the flaps of his garment he touches bread, or pottage, or wine, or oil, or any kind of food, does what he touches become holy dedicated to God's service exclusively? And the priests answered, no! Holiness is not infectious". Now, just to make sure we understand, let's just say that I'm a priest and this is my bag where I'm carrying my sacrifices in here that have been dedicated to God and declared to be holy. And let's just say I'm walking along and I just bump into pastor Paul and I touch him with my bag. So, because what's in here is holy does that then make him holy? Or let's just say that I bump into my podium well now does the podium become like this holy thing because I touched it? No because you can't catch holiness. You can't get infected with holiness, but now watch this and I love this.

Verse 13, "Then said Haggai, if one who is ceremonially unclean because he has come in contact with a dead body should touch any of these articles of food, shall it be ceremonially unclean? And the priests answered, it shall be unclean. Unholiness is infectious". So, let's just say that I had something dead and diseased in here and I went and hung it around pastor Paul's neck. I'm just picking on him, because I know he loves me. He can catch disease from what was in here. You can catch the flu from somebody, but you can't catch health from 'em. Health you have to choose. Amen? So, we can catch unholiness by just hanging out with wrong people consistently and havin' no opposition at all. Amen? So therefore if I hang out with the wrong people and I listen to dirty jokes at lunch and I sit and partake in all the office gossip and I go to all kinds of raunchy bad movies and I go to parties where there's drinking and all kinds of sexual stuff and drugs and, you know, this just how I live my life I just, you know, go to church Sunday, but I just don't live any different than anybody else all week then that's not pursuing holiness.

And I don't know whether you know it or not and I'm not accusing anybody here because you guys probably come from awesome churches and you're doing great, I hope and pray, but let me tell you something there is a ton of compromise in the church today. We can't just be like the world and be an example to the world. And I think we have to hear this kind of stuff because what we don't hear ever we forget and we have to be reminded and the apostle Paul said it never bothers me to tell you the same things over and over and over and over again. And I'll tell ya, even me preparing to teach this and even more especially when I'm gonna teach tomorrow night has refreshed me in somethings and I've made some new determinations and some new commitments and so we need to hear the whole council of the Word of God. Amen?

1 Corinthians chapter 5:9 through 11. Paul said, "I wrote to you previously in my letter not to associate closely and habitually with unchaste and (impure) people... Not meaning of course that you must altogether shun the immoral people of the world, or the greedy graspers or cheats and thieves or idolaters, otherwise you'd need to get out of the world and human society altogether"! I love that. He's saying you can't avoid everybody that's, you know, wicked and off the wall, you'd just have to leave the world. And you know we want to remember that Jesus ate with publicans and sinners and tax collectors. But he's talking here about a difference in believers and unbelievers.

Now listen to what he says. "But now I do write to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of a Christian brother if he is known to be guilty of immorality or greed, or is an idolater whose soul is devoted to any object that usurps the place of God, or is a person with a foul tongue railing, abusing, reviling, slandering". Oh you guys are too quiet for comfort. "Or is a drunkard or a swindler or a robber. No you must not even so much as eat a meal with a person like that". Now, hmm, I don't know, I may have to get some help up here tonight. You guys are just like, "Whoa".

Okay, now that doesn't mean that you can't hang out with a Christian that's living a wrong life if you're trying to help 'em, if you're trying to counsel them. But being around somebody enough occasionally to try to help them is a totally different thing than closely and habitually fellowshipping with them and that, I love that the amplified Bible says you are not to closely and habitually fellowship with somebody. Because here's the thing, you're not helping yourself and you're not helping them. One of the reasons why Paul said to get away from people like that is because at least you're telling them, "Look, you can't live a double standard. You can't say you're one thing and live another life. I don't want that. I don't want to hang out with a compromiser all the time". Please change. I want you to change. Keep praying for people like that but here's another thing that we really got good at in the church and that's just putting up with stuff. Hmm.

And see, ultimately, you know I care enough about you to stand up here and do this because let's just say that your best friend is a Christian who is constantly, critically judging other people, gossiping, talebearing, complaining, murmuring, greedy, immoral behavior. I won't even get into trying to define that. If you don't know what that is, go figure it out for yourself. It's not good for you and it's certainly not good for them to think that's okay, and we have to love people enough to say, "It's not okay. Please don't do that. Please don't do this to yourself". You know the word "Sin" means to miss the mark or God's standard for us, but it also means to sacrifice and to miss reward. And we studied it. I asked pastor mike to study it for me in the original languages. It means to miss the mark and to forfeit reward.

And so really people are just forfeiting and that doesn't even mean that you might not go to heaven. I don't think that my holy behavior's what gets me into heaven, but I'll tell you one thing, there are gonna be rewards in heaven that I don't want to miss out on. I don't want to still be in kindergarten when I get there or prekindergarten, amen? Or sandbox, whatever that is, that's even before prekindergarten. Amen? Okay, let's see what else I can do to you. It's very dangerous to have a casual attitude towards sin. Now I want you to listen to me, there are many things that the world approves of that God does not approve of. Man's laws may liberate us to do something that God's law does not liberate us to do. In other words, the courts can pass a law and say this is okay, or that's okay, or something else is okay, but if God's word says it's not okay, then it's not okay for us. Amen?

And it scares me sometimes to see just what's happened in the number of years. I mean just to look at what's happened in the world since I was a teenager, which has been a few years ago. Just to see what's happened since then, I can't imagine what's gonna happen in another 50 years and it's scary because if we don't keep preaching these things to people, and if we don't keep preaching them and then teaching them to our children and passing them down from generation to generation, I mean it's not gonna be long and people are gonna really believe that wrong is right and right's wrong. We're already headed in that direction. And so I hope that we all get a little fire in our belly. And I'm not talking about living a legalistic life where you can't have any fun.

I'm having a blast but I'm pursuing God with my whole heart every day. I haven't approved. I make mistakes every day. I'm not perfect in my behavior, but I want to be and that's what God is after, a heart that wants to be. A wholehearted believer who says, "I can't stand to be like this, God. I don't want to be critical and judgmental. I need your help. Help me. That's a bad habit in my life that I've put up with too long and I'm gonna study your word and pray in this area until you completely deliver me from this thing". Now that, God can deal with. Amen? But what he can't deal with is acting like it doesn't matter. Amen? And, you know, young people have such an opportunity today to set a standard for their generation. And I tell you what, if you're a young person here, and by young I mean you know let's just say 25 or under, I'm talking to that group of young, not that you're old if you're over 25. But, you know, I see different young people in here, teenagers and younger people and boy, have you got a job on your hands.

Man. I mean, you know, when I was in school, chewing gum in class was the worst thing that somebody could get in trouble for. It's a little bit different today. And we all can be a light in a dark world. I mean people out there are desperate for help. They don't, you know, the world is so angry and the more that society tries to get rid of God, the angrier that people get and they're angry because we're not built by God to live without God and so the more people try to take him away, the madder people get because there's no solution to any problem that they have. So they just feel totally frustrated, and we need to show them there is an answer, there is a way. And, you know, I encourage you not to feel pressured to get out and preach, preach, preach, preach, preach to people. Just be a message and then when they ask you, "Well, why are you so happy all the time? Well, aren't you afraid you're gonna lose your job? Well, I'm so afraid of what's gonna happen in the world. You don't seem to be afraid. Why not"?

Now the door is wide open to talk to people. We have to be the message. Just because they do it on television doesn't mean that it's permissible for us to do. Hebrews 12:10 says that God disciplines us that we might share in his holiness. I love that. That's the whole reason why God deals with us. I'm so glad that God deals with me. I don't want him to ever leave me alone. Do you want him to ever leave you alone? I don't want God to let me get by with anything. I've got a scripture I'm gonna share tomorrow night where David said to God, "Examine me, o God, and test me and prove me". I think that's a great scripture. "God, come on, look me over really good. Pick me apart and let me know if there's anything that you see that you don't like. Make it clear to me and then help me change it. Test me, o God, examine me".

All right, well, what is sin? Well, it's what God says it is and all we gotta do is read the book. So why don't we just have a little fun? Let's just take the Ten Commandments. I heard somebody say one time, "Who in the world would stand up and try to preach on the Ten Commandments"? I thought, "Well, I think I'll give it a try and just see what happens". You know, just because we've got old covenant and new covenant, that doesn't mean that all of this is useless and that we've done away with it, it just means that it's been fulfilled in Christ. They had to try to keep the commandments on their own power, now we don't have to do that. Jesus gives us the grace and the power to keep them but they're still just as real today as they ever were.

All right, commandment number one, you shall have no other Gods before me. Hmm. Number two, that was Exodus 20, verse 3. This is Exodus 20, verse 4. "You shall not make yourself any graven image to worship it". And this is how people get sometimes, I know a woman one time that read this and she was just like, super spiritual and she had this whole collection of these little... I forget what you call them, but these little dolls and animals, these little ceramic things, and they were very expensive. And she read this, that you were not to have any graven image and she threw the whole collection out, stomped on it and got rid of it. It doesn't say you can't have a model of a bird in your house. It says that you can't have them to worship them.

And see, that's how religious legalism can make you crazy. It's like all of a sudden now you can't do anything. We have to understand the heart of what's going on in the Word of God, that to worship it... And you know we say, "No, I would never bow down to an idol". Well, can I tell you something? For some people, their house becomes their idol. For some people, their job becomes their idol. Anything that takes first place above God, some people, their job is their idol. So we have to be careful about these things. Keep God first in your life. Don't bow down to any graven images. "Don't use or repeat the name of the Lord in vain, that is, lightly or frivolously, in false affirmations or profanely". "Well, I swear to God, if you do this", don't say that kind of stuff. We need to even get over the habit of saying, "Oh my God, can you believe that"? You know why? Because we're not using God's name seriously and with faith when we do that. "Earnestly remember the sabbath day to keep it holy. Withdraw from common employment and dedicate it to God. Six days you shall do your labor and do all your work".

Now we can get really hung up on that unless we see what the New Testament also says about that. So we want to carry the spirit of the sabbath with us, in other words, we can't work all the time. We need to rest, and we need to have time to honor God. But to be honest, we use Sunday, Saturday, it was Saturday in the Bible. So what difference would it make if it was Friday, or Thursday, or Wednesday, or Tuesday night, or Monday afternoon? The whole point is, is I gotta have time for God. I have to have time for God, and I have to have time to rest, and I need to have times where I draw away from work. We worship work in our society and I'll tell you something, we are human beings, not human doings. Nobody is more driven than Americans are.

And if we went and looked at Romans 14, verses 5 and 6, where Paul was giving instructions to people about things like this, he said, "Look, one man esteems all days alike. Another man says that certain days are more important than others". He said basically, "Wherever your faith is it and whatever you believe as long as you're doing unto the Lord, then just do it". And for me, I would have a very difficult time picking out one day because God is my life. So I don't know how I can just pick out a day. And so I think that what we have under the new covenant is even much better than just taking one day a week. To me it's kind of like tithing and giving. You know tithing is just practice for living the life of a giver. Anybody who has a problem with tithing, I don't know what you're gonna do with the real spirit of love because God so loved the world that he gave his very best and his only.

And so we if we have a problem tithing, what are we gonna do when God asks for all of something that we've got or he asks us to really sacrifice something? We're not just doing great because we give a certain percentage of our money. God wants everything that we have to be available to him. He may not ever ask for it but he doesn't wants us to be owners, he wants us to be stewards. Amen? Well, we'll see who's courageous enough to come back. The next one is, regard with honor, obedience and courtesy your father and mother that you days may be long in the land that the Lord your God gives you. Honor your father and mother that it may go well with you and you may live a long life.

Now, I just have to say that my parents abused me. My father sexually abused me. My mother abandoned me into that abuse but when my parents got up in their late 70s and they weren't very healthy, God told me to take care of them. "You take care of them until they die". There was no reason why I would want to do that. It didn't seem fair. It didn't seem right. What had they done for me? But I can tell ya right now, when we obey the Word of God because we love God, we don't need to have any justification for doing what's right. We just do what's right because it's right. And if you have elderly parents that aren't doing well and you never call them, or check on them, and you don't do anything to help them, it is not right.

And I know, you know, there's probably a lot of people watching by TV, "Well, you don't know what my parents did to me". Well, I know what mine did to me and I know the power that it added to my life when I obeyed God in that area. And I know... Well, there's a lot of things that I know but I don't have time to get into that, but anyway, when we know that God has told us to do something and we blatantly refuse to do it, we're just opening up a door for the enemy in our life and we're giving up but we're sacrificing a reward that God wants for us. God never asks us to do anything that's not gonna work out to be the very best for us in our lives. God has only got our best interest at heart. Everything he asks us to do is gonna work out good for us. "You shall not commit murder". But then Jesus takes it a little further in Matthew 5. "If you hate your brother or you're angry with him, it's the same thing as murdering him". Uh-oh. "You shall not commit adultery". And Jesus says, "But even if you look on a woman to lust after her, you have already committed adultery in your heart". Or ladies if you look on a man to lust after him.

That's all right, you can calm down, I've only got 10 minutes left. Come on, we need this, don't we? It's good for us. You know what? You don't need to stare at all the underwear ads on TV. When those come on, just get your fast forward button and get beyond 'em. I mean I gotta make it plain. When you get the underwear magazines in the mail that you didn't order, you know you tried to order a toy and now you're getting 50 magazines you didn't want, just throw 'em in a trash can. Don't even bother flipping through 'em, especially not if you're a guy. Amen? Well? Boy, Paul, you oughta see some of the looks I'm getting up here. Do I get to come back next year after behaving like this? I'll tell you one thing, you'll behave better next week. I don't know what else'll happen but, "You shall not steal". "Well, that's one thing I don't do, thank God, Joyce". Well. Well, how about if you get paid for working a 40-hour week but 10 of those hours you play on the internet when your boss isn't looking and make personal phone calls? Back in Jesus' day, they stoned people doing what I'm doing. But it's the truth.

You know it's like, "Well, everybody does it". But you're not everybody. You're not everybody. You're a child of the living God who has the seed of holiness and righteousness on the inside of you. You are a representative of the Most High God. And just because everybody else does it, that doesn't mean we do it. That's supposed to be the difference. Come out from among them and be separate and that doesn't mean come out with a snooty religious attitude that I'm better than everybody else. That's the totally wrong way to be. Don't ever make people think that you feel like you're better than they are because you're a Christian. Befriend people that need help.

But let's don't just live sloppy lives because everybody else is and act like it doesn't matter. "You shall not lie". "You shall not witness falsely against your neighbor". And the last one, "You shall not covet your neighbor's house, your neighbor's wife, his manservant, his maidservant, his oxes, donkey, or anything that is your neighbor's". In other words, that means you can't jealously want what other people have. We need to be content with what God has given us. Amen? I feel us growing tonight. See, we have to learn to stop thinking that "If nobody saw me, it's okay". Because God sees everything, everything. And the Bible says in Luke 12 that all the things that are hidden, all the things that go on behind closed doors, will someday come out in the open. Amen?
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