Joyce Meyer - Heaven Is My Home
Well, I want to start by talking to you for just a little bit to lay a foundation about contentment and satisfaction. I think we all would agree that there's an awful lot of discontented people in the world and they're certainly not all unbelievers. I've experienced that in my life. I'm sure you've experienced it in your life. You may be at that place right now. Sometimes, you're discontent you don't even really know why, you don't even know what it is that's wrong with you.
And, Philippians 4:11-13, Paul talked about this thing about being content and he said, "Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned," and I think learned is a key word here because he said, "I've learned in whatever situation I'm in to be content". I often wonder what Paul had to go through to learn that. Maybe, he found out after years of going through the same thing over, and over, and over that being discontent doesn't change your circumstance, and so you might as well make the best out of whatever situation you have and go ahead and enjoy your life. He said, "I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned..."
Aren't you glad that we can learn? And you know what? We'll be learning until Jesus comes back to get us. And, I like learning, I like learning new things. I love it when God shows me things. I don't even get upset when God shows me something that I'm doing that's wrong because the only way we can ever change is if we see the truth. Amen? So, anytime that God convicts you of something that's wrong in your life. Don't ever get like, "Oh, I've always got something wrong with me". Just say, "Thank you Lord, for caring enough about me to not leave me alone the way that I am". "I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need".
Now, you agree, we all go through these stages of discontentment, right? To be honest with you, I think there's, well, I'll just start with me. There are times, more times than I would like, that it just seems like there's something I want, and I don't even really know what it is, and then I get aggravated at myself because I think you know, if anybody should be content, it should be me. Does anybody go through that? But here's the thing, if we don't know what that feeling is then satan can use it to do two things: to confuse us and to make us think that there's something we need, that we really don't need, that if we just had that then we'd be happy.
Jeremiah 2:13, a real favorite scripture of mine, it says, "For my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living water and they have dug for themselves, wells that have no water in them". Have you ever dug a well that had no water in it? Now, some of you are thinking, "No, I've never dug a well in my life". Well, it basically means you work and work to make something happen in your life, thinking it's the thing that you need, and then when you get it, you're still the same unhappy discontent person that you always were. I got a few amens out there. And, if you just think about it, you can see how satan uses this to deceive people and to keep them sometimes spending their whole entire life looking for something that is never going to get rid of that feeling that they have.
And, some people think, "Well, you know, it's romance. I'm missing romance in my life". Or, maybe, you've been married for a long time and you think, "Well, there's just no romance left here". So, you think you need a new man or a new woman, or an extra man or an extra woman while you keep the one that you've got. And, I can just tell ya that, that never works out good. Amen? I don't care who you get, they're gonna have something wrong with 'em. Amen? And if you end up with six or seven, it could be you that has something wrong with you. Amen?
The amplified translation of that scripture says that contentment means, and I love this: to be satisfied to the point where you're not disturbed or disquieted no matter what state you're in. So, to be content doesn't mean that you never want anything. I mean, life would be pretty boring, I think, if we never wanted anything. We work for things, we work toward things. And, some of the things that we feel, "Well, if I could have that I'd be a little happier," they may be true things. But, you know, you're young and you want to get out of school, and you want to get a degree, and then you wanna get married, and then you wanna have kids, and then you wanna buy a house, and then you wanna few other things...
And, you know, what happens by the time you get all that and then you're still like, I don't know, it's almost like you're hungry for something but you don't know what it is. We all know what that's like, don't we? It's like you're roaming around the house. Is it potato chips? Is it ice cream? You know, is it an apple? What is it that I want? And, really, even a lot a times, like for real, when you think it's a physical hunger, it's a spiritual hunger that you're really trying to fill up with something else. And so, satan can easily take advantage of that and keep people digging empty wells their whole entire life.
Most of the people in our society, and I'm sure that many Christians are more content than people that are not Christians, but there's still too much discontentment even among us. Most of them are in a constant state of some kind of low-level discontentment. We're not happy with our spouse or our children, we want them to change. We want, "Them" to change. We want a different or a larger home. And then, we get the larger home and we complain because we gotta clean the larger home. We want a new car, the latest smartphone, and on, and on, and on the list goes. And then, this to me is one of the worst.
When you feel that discontentment, if you're not careful, you'll start blaming it on other people. "You're not making me happy". "If you would do this, I would be happy". "If you wouldn't do this, I would be happy". "If you would pay more attention to me, I would be happy". The list goes on and on. We want to weigh less. We want to have a different job. No matter what it is, we never get done wanting things.
Now, the Bible says we brought nothing into the world and we're gonna take nothing out. So, I just want to mention something to you, and this is a true fact, everything that we buy and bring home is in the process of decay from the time we bring it in. And, if you don't believe that, just go find yourself a junkyard and look at all the worn-out, rusty, beat-up stuff in there. And remember, that at one time that was somebody's dream. And, they may have even lost their marriage to get what is now a pile of junk. Or, maybe, they had no relationship with their kids because they were so busy working money to buy what is now a pile of junk.
And so, we really need to make sure that we enjoy things. God wants us to enjoy things. There's nothing wrong with having things. But, when we get out of balance with it, then it becomes a real problem in our life. We all have too many things. And, to be honest, I think that's a large part of what's wrong in the world today. We have so much abundance and so much of everything that our focus has shifted off of what is really important: family, kindness, pursuing God, to getting another and more than. Keep it in balance, that's all I'm really saying is, keep it in balance. And, you know, maybe give a little more money, maybe bless a few more people. Maybe bless a few more single moms at your church that can't even take their kids out to lunch, you know.
So, Luke 12:15 says, "And he said to them, 'take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness,'" and that's just, I want more. "'for a person's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions'". Now, I told you that I find that a small part in me is always longing for something, and yet, I didn't know what it was. It aggravated me 'cause I felt like I should just be the most content person in the world. And you know, I used to think it was, "Well, if my ministry would grow. Well, if this... If that... If this, and that, and something else". And to be honest, I've got all that stuff now that I thought would do it and it still doesn't. You know why? Things, and popularity, and power, no matter what it is, it does not have the ability to keep any one of us 100% satisfied.
And, one day recently, God showed me very clearly what it was. And, maybe you'd think, "Well, I would have thought you would have known that". Well, for some reason I didn't. And so, maybe there's some of you here who don't know it either, so we'll see. God just simply said, I was praying about it and he said, "Well, you're never gonna be completely satisfied here because this is not your home". The truth is, we don't really belong here. I mean, now obviously, God put us here and we're here for a purpose.
You know, I thought the other day after studying some of this stuff on heaven, God created us because he wanted somebody to fellowship with, but I just thought, kind of, a God, kinda thought, you know, hoping maybe, he'd answer me. We coulda just, "You could of created us and we could of went right to heaven, and we could of fellowshipped with you there. We didn't have to take this silly trip". Amen? But see? Here's the thing, and this is why God did it this way. He doesn't want anybody to love him because they have no choice. "I set before you life and death, choose life that you and your descendants may live".
God doesn't force himself on anybody. He invites us into relationship with him. And even, the trials and tribulations that we have here, they all have a purpose too, because we can't just love God in the good times. And, we don't need to blame our problems on God. The devil's alive and well on planet earth. And, he's really the source of all wickedness and evil. Now, thankfully we serve a God who can take any of it and work it out for good. It doesn't have to be good for God to work it out for good. But, I want to say this: whether or not God can take something painful and work it out for our good, in a large part is dependent on the attitude that we have.
See? When you have something bad, and unjust, and unfair happen to you, you can't blame it on God, because he's not your problem. So, if your a little bit mad at God here tonight, you just need to go ahead and get over that, 'cause he's the only one that can help you. Amen? And, temptation must come, our faith is tested in this life. And, if we will not serve God in the valley, in the wilderness, we will not serve him on the mountaintop. Amen?
Now see, when you really are in love with Jesus and you've lived without him and then you had a few years of living with him, you're probably like me, I don't even know why anybody would get out of bed in the morning if they didn't have God in their life. Because, this little planet that we live on, as we all know, is getting worse and worse morally, it seems like, by the hour. I mean, anybody that's been alive very long, you look back, I mean, I look back at when I was a teenager and I mean, even immoral people, people who totally didn't believe in God behaved better than a lot of, "so-called believers" do today.
And boy, we are in such danger of being way too influenced by the world and the world's ways. And, we're supposed to stand apart. We're supposed to be different and you can be expected to be rejected because of it. So, if you want everybody to like you, you are never gonna be a red-hot, on-fire, fully-committed Christian. Because, if you are, there's gonna be people that are gonna reject you and not like you. But, here's the thing. I mean, we don't know how to think about eternity. We don't know how to think about forever, you know. All we know is, it's a long time. Well, it's gonna be a really, really long time. And, you want to make sure you're in the right place. And you've only got two options: heaven or hell.
And, some people say they don't believe in hell. They don't believe that God would put anybody there. Well, God doesn't put anybody there. "I set before you life and death, you choose life that you and your descendants may live". It's funny the things that people come up with, that they just decide is true because they don't want to believe the real truth. God doesn't send people to hell. He invites 'em to come into relationship with him. Now, you know, hell sounds like, not a very nice place: weeping and gnashing of teeth. But, I think the main thing that it's gonna be is separation from God.
See, even people that are unbelievers now, you're still being influenced by the Spirit of God in the earth. We can't even imagine what it would be like if the Spirit of God was suddenly just taken out of here. We don't realize how much we're influenced by the Spirit of God just here in the earth. And, I'll tell you believers, we have got a big job in front of us. Don't ever ask what your purpose is. Your purpose is, is to get out in the world every day and act like who you say you are because we're not gonna influence anybody by having a bumper sticker and going to church and acting like the rest of the world, the rest of the week. Amen?
And so, this is not your home. You're literally just passing through. And, the whole thing is, is you're never gonna be one hundred percent satisfied, content, or happy here because this is just really not where you belong. You're not gonna have it all until you get home, amen? And you know, I think one of the reasons why I've never taught a message like this is because, I don't know, I guess I thought people might not wanna hear about heaven, they want to hear something that's gonna help 'em right now. And, we tend to be that way. But, I can tell ya, after studying for this, and pondering this, and some of the things I felt myself in the last few years, I believe that a message like this can give people hope.
You know, I think about maybe, people who have been given a diagnosis of a terminal illness and how this can help them to realize that they're just passing through and the pain they're in now is gonna to be gone pretty soon. And, they're gonna be in a place where there's no crying and no tears. Can you imagine being somewhere where everybody loves each other? Nobody hates anybody. Nobody's mad at anybody. Whoo! This world is not our home, heaven is. And, we'll never be completely satisfied until we're home and with the Lord, face to face.
Hebrews 13:14, it says, "For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come". Hebrews 11:16, "But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city". Lord have mercy. Jesus said, "I go to prepare a place for you that where I am, there you may be also". You know what's happening right now? He's preparing the place and he's preparing us for the place that he's got prepared. Come on. Don't be afraid of getting older, you're just one day closer to heaven. I've been saying that every night when I go to bed. "Well Lord, I'm one day closer to heaven. One day closer to coming home". And, I enjoy my life. I love what I'm doing. I love my family. But, I don't want to be afraid of leavin', I want to look forward to it, amen?
1 John 2:15-17, "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the father is not in him". Now, you know, that's a pretty strong statement. I mean, what's Jesus saying? "You're either going to love me", we have to keep God first. You can enjoy the things in the world, not, "Worldly things," but the things that God has put in the earth. He put them here for us to enjoy but we can't become attached to it. Amen? Don't ever mistreat people to get things. Use things to be a blessing to people. I'mma repeat that. Don't ever mistreat people to get things, use things to be a blessing to people. "For all that is in the world: the desires of the flesh, the desires of the eyes and the pride of life, is not from the father, but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever".
Wow. The world is passing away. Someday this thing is not gonna be here anymore. Revelation 21:1-4, "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, 'behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.'"
I think, we need to think about it a little more than what we do. You know, actually, to be honest, the Bible doesn't tell us a lot about what heaven is gonna be like. And, I've pondered that because it seems like, if God gave a more explicit explanation, more people might be interested in going. But, of course, we know that God knows what he's doing, but, I saw this just a couple of weeks ago, I'll tell you why he doesn't tell us any more than what he does. Because, it is so unimaginably, awesomely, wonderful that if he tried to explain it, we wouldn't get it anyway. We wouldn't get it. We can't even imagine the atmosphere of heaven, or that kind of love, or a place where nobody's angry, nobody's jealous, and everybody totally loves everybody else.
My goodness, aren't you tired of people fighting? Aren't you tired of the silliness? I mean, the news, I don't even know how you can call it news anymore. It's just like, this one killed that one and somebody else did something else. And you know, then if you've got enough money, you can buy your way out of it, and it's just like, I'm just like... But, one day it's all gonna be over. And, we will stand before God, and the Bible says we will give an account of our lives. Now, here's the thing. You're not ever gonna be judged based on whether you get into heaven or not, if you're a believer. If your name is written in the Lamb's book of life, there's gonna be no judgment about your salvation. But, as believers, we will be judged on our works and whether or not they were pure works.
In Corinthians, it says that all of our works will pass before the eyes of fire and any work that we have built upon the foundation, which is Jesus Christ, can either be built with wood, hay, straw, or stubble, gold, silver, and if they're impure works, they'll be burned up in the eyes of fire. And if they're pure works, they will last and we'll be rewarded for them. Do you know how many people do good things, but they do them, "To be seen, to be noticed, to get applause, to be well thought of"? And, it goes on in the church all the time. That's why we have such a hard time keeping our mouth shut about what we do. Now, I love this part.
Romans 8:22 and 23, "For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, for the redemption of our bodies". So, not only do we groan, but all of creation groans waiting for the mess to be over. Creation groans, even creation has got enough sense to know it wasn't meant for this. Is anybody understanding this? Is it helping you to, maybe, understand any of the dissatisfaction in your life?
Here's the thing, if you know what that feeling is, think of how much trouble it's going to save you. And, you can enjoy your life so much more because when you're going along and enjoying your life and then, you have one of these, discontent attacks, you know what it is. It's like, "No devil. I know what that is. You ain't getting me this time. I'm not gonna get sidetracked here and go chasing after some, thing". See? The devil uses that stuff to derail us from our purpose and we go chasing after something that's not gonna satisfy us anyway. We forsake the fountain of living waters and we dig wells that have no water in 'em. We get a new body. Lord have mercy, no cellulite. No corns on your feet, no bunions, no planters fasciitis or achilles heel, or... Don't you know that it makes the devil mad when he just can't make you unhappy? Just imagine how that frustrates him. 'Cause, you know what? Your joy is really what he's after.
"It's the joy of the Lord that's your strength". Philippians 3:20 and 21, "But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself". Wow. It's a mystery yet to be revealed, 1 Corinthians 15:50-55, "I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep," he means die, "But we shall all be changed, changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall all be changed".
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. And if you can just use your imagination with me, I don't have time to actually do this but I've told people before, you know, we're in a walk with God. And, some people have been saved longer than others, the longer you been saved, the further down the road you should be. I mean, if you've been saved 50 years and you still, well, you get it. There's a little something wrong. But you know what? If you're working with God, and you're working with the Holy Spirit, and you're loving Jesus, and you're letting him work in your life, you don't have to compare yourself with where somebody else is at spiritually. You don't have to compare your prayer life with them, or you're holiness level with them, or how many great things they're accomplishing compared to what you're accomplishing. We've done a great thing if we can just get up and get through the day happy, loving Jesus. Amen?
And so, maybe, when Jesus comes when the trumpet blows, maybe somebody's here, and somebody else is over here, and somebody else is over here, and somebody else's almost made it. But, when the trumpet blows, I believe Jesus will step across that line and wherever you're at, he'll get you and bring you the rest of the way. So, enjoy where you're at in the Lord. If you're not where somebody else is at, so what? Just get up every day and do your best. If you're praying five minutes every morning and you're just thrilled about it, don't go to breakfast with sister super Christian and listen to how she prays four hours every morning, and then get condemned and think you're not doing anything. Live your own life with God. And that doesn't mean that we shouldn't learn and grow and that other people's example can't be good for us. But, you're not to compete with other people and try to be like they are.
What if I told you that God loves you just the way you are? Well, what is heaven gonna be like? Well, there's more that we don't know than what we do but it does say there'll be no hunger and no thirst. We're gonna eat in heaven, but we'll never feel hungry. Revelation 19:6-9, now, this is an important part, don't lose me. "Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, 'hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns.'" Now, these are some of the things that the apostle John saw that's recorded in revelations. He heard, and he saw these things, and Paul said that he saw things in the third heavens that he couldn't even talk about. He couldn't even explain it. There were no words to explain it. "'Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.'"
Now, that's what we're supposed to be doing right now. Did you hear me? We are this bride that he's talking about and Jesus is the bridegroom. And, you think about a bride, how she prepares for her wedding day. Oh, my goodness. I mean, I've got a granddaughter that knows who she's gonna marry, but they're not going to get married for a couple years yet, we hope. Well, whatever God wants. But, last week she's out looking at wedding venues, she said, "I want to be prepared. I want to be ready". What if we had that attitude? Come on, what if we had that attitude?
This is not my home, this is practice. I'm just learning how to love people here. I'm just practicin', learning how to forgive, and learning how to not get angry and not be selfish. I'm a bride preparing myself to meet the bridegroom. Come on, not focusing on everything we want and need but focusing on being prepared to meet our bridegroom. I mean, a bride looks her best on the wedding day. She's had the skin worked on, she's been losing weight, I mean, she has her makeup done professionally, she gets her nails done, she gets her hair done. The dress has gotta be perfect. Oh, there's such a fuss made over getting her ready to meet her bridegroom. Whoo, Jesus, I hope somebody's understanding me. Okay.
Now, I just want to tell you a couple things about what heaven looks like before I read this sentence, 'cause then I'm gonna have to, the whole city's gold, not just the streets. For some reason, I had the idea it was just the streets. No, it says, the whole city is made of pure gold, like crystal. Twelve gates, each one made of a single pearl. Now, I don't know how big those gates are, but whoa, can you imagine a pearl like that? And the walls are all embedded with the finest of gems, with rubies, and diamonds, and jasper, a lot of gems that I've never even heard of.
I had somebody write in a long time ago, and said my rhinestone earrings were bothering 'em. And I thought, "You're gonna be really uncomfortable in heaven". If my rhinestone earrings, or my ring, or you know, whatever, bothers you...Whew. Okay, back to the marriage supper of the lamb. Matter of fact, I'mma read a little bit of this again. "'Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. It was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure'", which represents holiness, "For the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. And the angel said to me, 'write this: blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the lamb'".
You're invited. Amen? It's an invitation, the Lord is saying to you tonight, "I'm inviting you. I'm inviting you to accept me, to become part of my bride, to prepare yourself for the marriage supper of the lamb". What kind of a meal is that gonna be? Oh, my goodness. We got a glorified body. We're in this perfect atmosphere. We're the bride of Christ. It's an invitation. And, I'm going to issue that invitation, right now. To anyone here or anyone watching by television, no matter where you're at in the world, no matter what you've done in the past, no matter how far away from God you've been, if you've killed someone, if you've done terrible, terrible things, tonight, I want you to know that you're invited.
You're invited. And, you don't have to do anything. All you have to do is RSVP, "Yes, I want to come". To receive Jesus, all you do is surrender your life to him, believe that he died for your sins, that he paid the price for your sins. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved. And all those who come to him, he will never cast away. He will never cast them out. Anybody who comes to him, will never be rejected. They'll never be cast out. So, if you've never received Christ as your Savior and you're ready to turn away from a life of sin, receive Christ, and start preparing yourself, in a minute, I'm going to ask you to raise your hand.
If you have backslidden, you've served God at some time, or tried to, you didn't get very far. You back slid, you've gone back into sin and now the devil's telling you God'll never have you back or maybe, you've tried four, or five, six, seven times, and a lot of that is if you just don't, you gotta have the right teaching. When you get born again, you've gotta have the right teaching or you don't know where to go from there. Or maybe, you're one of those people that I was talking about before, that if somebody asks you if you're going to heaven you'd say, "I hope so". No, you can know for sure. You can have assurance of where you came from and where you're going.
If you're here tonight, and if you're home watching by TV, or watching on your iPad, or your phone, and you wanna be part of this, you can do the same thing right where you're at. If that's you, and you want to pray tonight, let me pray for you, will you just slip your hand up and let me see where you're at? Come on, all over the place, I want to see those hands. Everywhere in the building, I want to see those hands. Yeah.
Okay, listen. Can I ask you to do this for me, not to embarrass you, but just to get you started? It's kinda like a jump start. I'm not gonna bring everybody down to the front 'cause there'd probably be too many people, but if you really meant what you said, when you raised your hand, I just want you to stand up. Come on, just stand up. All over the place, just stand up. Come on, everywhere, just stand up, stand to your feet. Come on. 'cause see, we're not trying to embarrass you, but if you won't take a stand in here, you'll never take one out there. Alright. Some Christian that's around these people, just touch 'em gently, put a little love on 'em. Now, let's all pray together. Everybody pray this prayer with me:
Father God, I love you. Jesus, I believe in you. I accept your invitation. I want to be yours. I repent of my sins. I believe you paid for them. You took my punishment. And, I receive you, Jesus, as my Savior, and my Lord. And, I release myself to you. Take me just the way I am. And, make me what you want me to be. Now, I believe I'm saved. I'm born again. I believe you love me. And I'm on my way to heaven. I'm coming home. Amen.