Joyce Meyer - It Is Time To Invest In Yourself
First of all, a healthy you is the best gift that you can give your family and your friends, a healthy you. It's actually the best gift that you can give yourself. And when I talk about health, I'm not just talking about physical health, although that is very important and we will talk about it at some point, but I'm talking about being emotionally healthy, being mentally healthy, being spiritually healthy.
How many of you have to deal in close relationship with somebody they're just not a whole, healthy person and it really can just be very difficult, isn't it? And so I think that when we think about the people that we love and what we might be able to give them, one of the best things that you can give the people that you're in relationship with would be like a confident you instead of somebody that's insecure and constantly needs all kinds of pats on the back to just make it through every day, an emotionally stable you where they don't have to guess what kind of mood you're gonna be in. Every day when they see you, they pretty well know that you are what you are and that no matter what happens in life, you've got the fruit of self-control and you're gonna be cool with all that.
Even, to be honest, I mean even if you don't get a good night sleep, you can be harder to live with than if you'd actually get the rest that you need. And so we want to talk this weekend about being completely whole, not just having a little bit of what Jesus can do for us but to be whole people. Luke chapter 19, verse 10 is where we're gonna start. Luke chapter 19, verse 10. And if you can travel through your Bible really quick, you can look these up. If not, we'll put them up on the screens for you. "For the son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost".
Now I want you to look at that for just a minute because it doesn't say what we probably think it says. It doesn't say that he came to seek and to save those who were lost, although he did. But he came to seek and to save that which was lost. So he doesn't just come to save us from our sins and give us a pass into heaven, but anything that we've lost, anything that should have been ours that the devil took away from us, anything that got messed up that you missed out on that was stolen from you, even your childhood, Jesus came to give that lost thing back to you, everything. But if you don't believe that, if you don't know that, then you're not gonna tap into it.
I think one of the saddest things is that so many people go to church, and I mean I suppose, if you're going to church on a regular basis, you're semi-sincere about wanting some kind of a relationship with God, but so many people think that all there is to it is just hopefully maybe having your sins forgiven and hopefully squeaking in the back door of heaven, maybe. And a lot of people you ask them, "Are you saved"? "Well, I hope so". You know they don't really even have the confidence that they're saved and they think that that's all there is to it.
And I know how sad that is because I was one of those people for a long, long time. I went to church all the time. I loved God. Dave and I were involved in the church, but I had no idea that all the things that had been taken from me in my life could ever be restored, so I was actually a rich, wealthy child of God. And I'm not talking about financially. I'm talking about all the things that God has given us, but I lived poverty stricken because I didn't know how to tap in by faith to the things that God had provided me. I didn't know, for example, that God could and would give me back my childhood.
You say, "Well, how'd you get your childhood back"? Well, I started when I was about 50 becoming a child. Amen? I never got my childhood. I had to worry as a child. I had to be afraid as a child. I didn't get to have the things that other children have and so I learned how to let my, "daddy", love me when I was in my 40s. And I learned how to be a child of God and how to come to him like a little child, and how to enjoy myself like a little child, and how to not have to worry, and how to know that my daddy was gonna take care of everything when I was in my 50s and 60s.
So I just want you to know going into this tonight that if you have not been believing for the full deal meal and there's something in your life that you think that Jesus can't take care of, then I want you to know tonight that you've been lied to and you've been robbed and he wants to make you completely whole. Amen? Let's give God a praise for that.
Now so let's just take a look at Genesis chapter 1, beginning of the book to get a little bit of an idea of maybe how God intended this thing to be. "God said, let us, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, make mankind in our image, after our likeness", so wow that's exciting already that we are created in the image of God. Isn't that awesome? "And let them have complete authority". Well, I'm liking this already. Let them have complete authority. In other words, they're not to be the tail, but they're to be the head. They're not to be under, but they're to be above. They're not to be pushed around by everything in the earth including the devil, they are to be on top and not the bottom. They're to be confident people who walk with authority and hold their head up high and know who they are. Don't you like that? I'm kind of liking that?
And, of course, then this goes on to talk about, "Let them have authority over the fish of the sea, the birds, the beasts and over everything that creeps". And I always like to say, and that includes the chief creep, the devil. And we can have authority over him too. And yes, this is talking about animals but there's a lot more than this here. Basically God is saying, "You're the cream of the crop. You're the best that I've created. You're the top of the chain here, and I want you to have the best life, not an inferior life. I want you to rule. I don't want you to be ruled. I want you to have the best that you can possibly have".
"And so God created man in his own image, in the image and the likeness of God he created him: male and female he created them. And God blessed them, and said, be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth". And I love that whole, "Be fruitful and multiply". In other words we're not just kind of passing through here, taking up space, wondering if we can make it through every day. We are to bear good fruit every single day of our life and something should be made better because you're here on the planet. Something should be made better because you're here on the planet. And then I like this in the amplified it says, "And fill the earth, and subdue it using all its vast resources in the service of God and man".
Now, that little thing right there that's amplified in the amplified Bible, I get a lot out of that because God says, "I'm gonna give you everything that you can possibly ever want but there's not gonna be a selfish thing". See, in the garden it was not a selfish thing. Adam had no selfishness in him until he sinned. Eve had no selfishness until she sinned. There was total, complete love and love always wants to give. Love always cares more about the other person than it cares about itself.
And so he said, "You use all these resources I'm giving you in the service of God and man". He never gave man the job of taking care of himself. God, from the getgo said, "I will take care of you. You use what I give you to be a blessing to other people and I will always take care of you". So one of the things that must be restored in our life is we must be set free from selfish, self-centeredness and restored back to being the person that God wanted us to be which was not to have to live with me, me, me on my mind all the time and actually be fruitful, multiply, have dominion, get up, hold my head up high, have confidence, not go through my day petrified and afraid, make somebody else's life better today and use what God has given me to bless people and to bless God.
Now that's a life. And anything inferior to that is not a life. I think that I can honestly say that the greatest thing, if you said to me, "Joyce, of all the problems that you had, what's the greatest thing that God has set you free from"? I could quickly say, number one on my list is he has set me free from me. Amen? There's no worse life than when all you can think about's yourself, when you gotta worry about yourself and worry about how people are gonna treat you, worry about whether or not your needs are gonna be met and are you gonna be number one. How are you gonna look? What are people gonna say about you? It's terrible to just have to have yourself on your mind all the time and Jesus actually came to set us free from being selfish and self-centered and all wrapped up in ourselves and I'll prove it to you.
2 Corinthians chapter 5, verse 15. How many of you could use being free from yourself maybe a little bit more? All right. Well, I want to keep growing too. You know if there's nobody in your life but you it's pretty lonely. "And he died for all," 2 Corinthians 5:15, "And he died for all, so that all those who live might live no longer to and for themselves, but to and for him who died and was raised again for their sake". I love that verse. It says one of the reasons why Jesus died was so we no longer have to live a selfish, self-centered life. Isn't that cool?
See, he came, yes, to forgive us for our sins and, yes, so we could spend eternity with him but while we're here, thank God, while we're here, there's something for us while we're here. While we're here, there's freedom from selfishness, there's freedom from fear. You can be confident while you're here. You can bear good fruit while you're here. Anybody who is a believer in Jesus Christ never has to get up one day of your life and say, "Why am I here? What purpose do I have? What value am I to anyone"? You're very valuable to God that's why he sent his son to die for you and pay the terrible price for you that he paid? Amen?
All right, now, wholeness. If you want to have wholeness in your heart, then you need to seek God with your whole heart. There's a little word in the Bible spelled a double L, all. And I don't know what we don't understand about all but some people think all means part and all means all. That's very simply what it means. "I will bless the Lord at all times. His praise shall continually be in my mouth". So therefore no matter what's going on, it doesn't matter because it comes under the all times and I need to be praising God during those times. Bring all the tithe into the storehouse. You don't want to go there, right? Well, I will anyway.
Bring all the tithe into the storehouse. That doesn't say part. "Bring it all in", God says, "And I will open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing so great that you cannot contain it". Amen. There's lots of little "Alls" in the Bible. Now let's look at Psalm 63. "My whole being shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness: and my mouth shall praise you with joyful lips," my whole being. Look at Psalm 63:8. "My whole being follows hard after you and clings closely to you". So you know what? If you want to get a little bit emotional about God, that's okay because that's part of your whole being that you are permitted to praise God with. How many of you think we ought to get a little bit excited about God? Amen. I think we should be excited about the Word of God.
Let me tell you something, there's probably a lot of events in here that people rant and rave and shout and yell and scream about and this should be the best and the loudest because we've got the best and the loudest thing. Okay, now listen. Now we're gonna get a chance for you to think a little more seriously about what "All" might mean to you. "I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and I beg you," strong language, "I beg you in view of all the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication". Okay so now he's not saying to wait till you feel like it. To decide something means you make a decision to give it. You decide to dedicate it. This glass that we have on the road is dedicated to my water glass. It has been set aside and you understand it is mine. It has some nice, little, pretty etching on it.
See little sparkles in there. I drink sparkly water while I teach 'cause it keeps my throat nice and clear and that's just my glass. It's set aside for that, okay? Well, in the same way, God wants us to dedicate all of ourselves to him. So could I ask maybe is there any part of you that you've not let go of yet? Uh-oh. See, you thought it was gonna be fluffy, but here we go. Is there any part of you that you haven't let go of yet? I don't know, like maybe when I talked about tithing, did you cringe? See, how quiet you get? And you don't need to go turning your television off. Just leave it on. If you don't listen to me now then you'll have to hear it from somebody sooner or later. Don't get nervous because I said give. What part of all don't we understand? Amen?
And so he says here make a decisive dedication. Now here we go, you ready? "Of your bodies presenting all your members and faculties as a living sacrifice". You know once the Old Testament law was finished, he was done with dead sacrifices. Now we're the temple of God, he comes to live in us and he wants us to offer ourselves daily as a living sacrifice unto him. And, you know, every time you smile, it glorifies God, especially if you smile when maybe you're going through a tough time because that says, "I put my trust in you". "Presenting all your members and faculties as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship".
So he's saying right off the bat, and it's not too much to ask, by the way. This all thing that we're talking about is not too much at all. See, we think, "Well, wait a minute, my time belongs to me. Well, no, hang on, my money belongs to me. I worked for that. Well, I can think what I want. Well, I can say what I want". Well, see, the more we have that kind of an attitude, the worse our life is. So it's really just this simple, I get the job of trying to bring you up higher in saying yes to God right away no matter what it's gonna take because you have committed all of ourself, your thoughts, your entertainment, your friends, how you dress, your money, your eyes, what you look at, who you hang out with, everything all, all, all. You've committed all to God.
The devil's not gonna use your mouth. He's not gonna use your mind as a garbage dump. You're not gonna speak for him, everything all. Your mouth belongs to God. Your mind belongs to God. Your hands belong to God. Your feet belongs to God. Come on now. Your money belongs to God. Your time belongs to God. You know why? Because the Bible says we've been bought with a price. We don't belong to ourselves.
Now, the first step to wholeness is very simple, Jesus said, "Come to me. Come to me". I love that, those three words. "Come to me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest". So can I just take a minute and say yes to everybody in here, anybody here who's not yet come to Jesus, we're gonna give you an opportunity to do that at the close of our service and if you've not received Christ as your Savior, then please, please, please tonight just come to him. Just you don't have to be all fixed up. It's a come as you are party. Just come to him. Just come.
And if you're watching by television, please, if your life is messed up, if you're overloaded with stress and you're overburdened with fears and worries, just come. You don't even have to understand anything. Just come and say, "Okay, Jesus, I'm coming. Just take me the way I am and do something with me. I want you in my life". It can be the simplest prayer that you ever prayed and prayer is just simply talking to God. So if you believe God is there, if you even believe it a little bit, just give him a chance to get into your life and see what he can do. "Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest".
Well, then even after you've received Christ, when you get into this laboring, struggling, kind of life that God doesn't want you to live, the answer is just stop it and come to him. Come back to him. One of the reasons why we don't have the peace we should have is because we don't take enough time when we're upset and frustrated to just stop for a minute. I mean even if you're a mom at home trying to raise three or four little kids and you feel like you want to tear your hair out by 9 o'clock every morning, just take a little 2-second break and say, "I'm coming to you, Jesus".
Now John 7:37 it says, "Now on the final and most important day of the feast, Jesus stood, and he cried in a loud voice, if any man is thirsty, let him come to me and drink"! I love that. So here he's saying again, "Look, if there's anything that you need in your life, anything that is hurting you, the answer is come to me". You know, it's so simple that we miss it. We would rather sit around in groups and try to figure out what we should do. I always tell people, don't go ask somebody else what you should do. They're probably not even doing a very good job of running their own life and now you're asking them how you should solve your problems. Go to God first and if he wants to use somebody, let him use them.
Now, here is some of the best news that you've ever heard, especially for those of you that have not yet come to Christ so just bear with me for a minute. John 6:37. This is just like so good. This is a yummy scripture. "All whom my Father gives and (entrusts) to me will come to me: and the one who comes to me I will most certainly not cast out I will never, no never, reject one of them who comes to me". Whoa I like that, whoo! I mean is that not a great scripture? Anybody who just comes to him, he says, "I will never, no, I will never reject not one of them who just comes to me".
So you see, you don't have to worry tonight if you think, you know, "I do want to get this thing right. I'm gonna give my life to Christ. I want him to come into my life". Don't be even concerned that he won't take you because you've done too much wrong. He will never not ever reject you. When you pray, he never says, "No, I don't want to hear from you". When you need help, he never says, "No, go away, I'm not helping you". But the enemy tries to make us think that he does sometimes, doesn't he?
Can you say tonight, "I will never be rejected"? Say it again, "I will never be rejected". Say, "God will never reject me". Ooh, I'm liking that. That's feeling better all the time. God will never reject me. Now do you know to some people, that's life-changing news and I just feel in my heart that there are people watching on television in different parts of the world and it's like, "You gotta be kidding. He'll take me just the way I am"? Yes, he will take you just the way you are. And, you know, there's a number on your screen that you can call and we'll have somebody pray with you. You can receive Christ right this moment. You don't have to wait one minute longer. He's got his arms open wide and he's saying, "Come to me. Come to me".
Now, Jesus came to give us Life, Life with a capital L. Let's look at John 1:4. "And in him was Life," capital L," and the Life," capital L, "Was the Light," capital L, "Of men". Why are they capitalized? Because they're talking about Jesus himself. "The thief comes only to kill, steal, and destroy but I came that you might have life and have it abundantly to the full until it overflows". Now this life that he's talking about is not just a breathing, mobility life where you have the ability to walk around and you breathe some air in and out.
If you look up the word "Zoe" in the Greek dictionary, here's the meaning. So exciting. I actually wrote it out here in longhand on my paper. It's life as God has it. Can you wrap your brain around that for a minute? How many of you think that God's worried tonight? How many of you think he's concerned about what's happening in the world? How many of you think that God is upset, that he's frightened? No, he's so full of life that none of that can even get into him and that same kind of life is offered to us.
"Life as God has it, that which is in the father that he gave to the son and that which the son manifested to the world. Man was alienated from it through the fall and man becomes a partaker of it in Christ". It is his present possession through his relationship with Christ and it is not just to be mobile but to have moral power such as holiness and righteousness. Isn't it amazing that God can take an outright full-time, especially wicked sinner and give them a seed of life and turn them into a holy, righteous child of God? How many think that's pretty good news? So I ask you really, what do we have to be unhappy about?
And, you know, I think sometimes we miss some of these wonderful scriptures in the Bible. You know if you just ever take the time to just look up the word "Life," it's just like it's astounding what it says about life. Now, the kind of life that I'm talking about is a life that like oh, there's something going on in here. And I'm not saying you gotta be like slappy happy every day and going around, "This is the day the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad".
I'm talking about that you get up and you've got the energy to want to get up and live. You want to keep things around you nice. You want to be good to people. You want to take care of what you own. You want to take care of yourself. You're looking for creative ideas. You want to get out and do something good that day. Thank God we don't have to get up anymore and go, "Oh God, I just don't know if I can make it through one more day. This is just more than I can take, God. If I don't get a breakthrough today, I just think I'm gonna go over the edge". Life! Life as God has it! Life, zoe life is on the inside of us. It comes initially in seed form when we receive the Son of God. The seed of Almighty God comes into our spirit as it's watered by the word.
And see even tonight, I'm watering what's already in you with the Word of God and it's gonna sprout up and grow bigger and bigger and bigger and you're realizing things tonight. It's like, you know if I explained this life to you and I said, now everybody who wants to stay after, I'm gonna give shots of life. How many of you would stick around? You'd roll that sleeve up and get your arm out? Well, that's what I'm doing right now. I'm not giving flu shots tonight. I'm giving shots of life tonight. In him was life and the life was the light of men and that life becomes our gift through relationship with Christ.
Thank God I've got a reason to be alive. And I love to watch what the word does to people. You know what's gonna happen tonight? Somebody that's depressed is gonna get set free. Somebody discouraged is getting encouraged right now. Somebody that feels like that you can't take it one more day, right now that life is hitting and you're like, "I can put up with anything I have to put up with because the greater one lives in me". You see, we got something going on on the inside and it's trying to work its way to the outside. Amen? And I'm in there helping the Holy Ghost tonight trying to push that good fruit out. Life! Life as God has it.
Now, I'm going somewhere. Stick with me. 1 John 3:14. Actually we've already been a lot of places but we got a beginning here and ending and right now we're in the middle. "We know that we have passed over out of death into Life," capital L, "By the fact that we love the brethren (our fellow Christians). He who does not love abides (remains, is held in and kept continually) in spiritual death". Wow. So here's the thing, we've got all this life in us, this zoe life, the ability to have this amazing life but the Bible's saying if you don't learn how to love each other, then it's all gonna be bottled up in you and you're gonna be full of spiritual death. But here's the way that you can know that that life is yours when you learn how to love people, Love and Life with a capital L are the same thing.
So could I just suggest, if you're mad at anybody, get over it. If you're not believing the best about people, change your mind. If you need to forgive somebody, forgive them. If you're offended, get over it. Come on, you're not looking as happy as I'd like you to look. "Well, it's just not fair". Okay, can I tell you what's not fair? The thing that's not fair is that Jesus had to go to the cross and die for a bunch of people like us. That's what's not fair. All the rest of it, we can deal with. God is a God of justice and he will make wrong things right if we put our trust in him. Amen?
And I'm not saying your pain is not important to God. I'm not saying that the people who hurt you are right but I'm telling you we gotta stop this stuff. We gotta start really loving for Jesus' sake because there's a world out there that's dying and going to hell and they are not being impressed by our bumper stickers and Christian Jewelry. We gotta have the goods. We gotta know how to walk in love and treat people right.
So the next time you're talking to some of your Christian friends and somebody says, "Oh, well, you know, they're whatever denomination. Well, you know, they're Pentecostal. Well, you know, she speaks in tongues". You know what? Why don't you just speak up and say, "You know what? We don't know anything about them. We don't know what kind of relationship they got with God. Let's just not judge and criticize people. Let's all be one in Christ". Amen? Amen? You know, I might be pretty nice if you really got to know me, you never know.
All right, now, how in the world do we get to this love? It's a nice word, makes a good sermon, gets a good shout, but how do we get there? How do we finally get to the point where we can walk this thing out in our daily life? 2 Peter chapter 1 lays it out for us very clearly. See, we're talking about tonight being spiritually healthy. You come to Jesus and then you set yourself to dedicate your life to him to learn to do things his way instead of your own way. This is not like a tweet. This is gonna take a few minutes, okay?
So stick with me, you can do it. For his divine power, I'm in 2 Peter chapter 1, beginning in verse 3, "For his divine power has bestowed upon us all things that are requisite and suited to life and godliness, through the full, personal knowledge of him who called us by and to his own glory and excellence". Well, you have to kind of take that apart to get full value of it but he's saying, God's power, nothing that we've done, but God's power has given us everything that we need to live an amazing, godly life.
So you got everything you need to live a great life, everything. It's all in you and it comes to you through the full, personal knowledge of Jesus Christ. Now, don't be satisfied with any secondhand faith. Don't be satisfied to call somebody else up to look up your scriptures all the time. Get in your Bible and find them for yourself. Amen?
Every time you need prayer, you don't always have to be the one in the prayer line. After a period of time, you ought to be the one praying for the other people. It's not that we don't all need prayer, but I'm trying to make a point that the deeper we come to know Christ, the more we realize these things. "By means of these," verse 4, "He has bestowed," that's like given, "Us his precious and exceedingly great promises, so that through them you may escape by flight from the moral decay, the (rottenness and corruption) that's in the world because of," and I love this, "Selfishness, covetousness". So he's saying the whole mess that goes on in the world, all the rottenness, all the corruption, it's all there because of covetousness, because of lust and greed and selfish, self-centeredness. It's all there. But we already saw that we've been delivered from that through the death of Christ, right?
Come on say, "I can be set free from me". Say it again, "I can be set free from me and become a (partaker) of the divine nature". So I can be set free from me and I can actually begin to live and act like God would want me to. I can act like his child. For this very reason, now the next four, five, three, four, five verses I'm gonna read you are very important because it says, "Now hear's what God's given". Now how do you get it released in your life? Are you ready? "For this very reason, adding your diligence to the promises, employ every," uh-oh, "Effort". Oh gosh.
A lady asked me the other day and this is just classic, she said, "How can you stay so fit at your age"? I said, "Well, I work out three times a week and I pay attention to everything I put in my mouth". And she said, "Oh, darn". And you know we gotta be careful about that, that we want, we want, we want, but we want it all to be just kinda given to us by osmosis. We don't want to have to do anything to get it. "Well, isn't there any way that I can have muscles without working out"? "Is there any way that can just shovel food in day and night and eat anything I want to and still look like twiggy"? No. Oh, help me.
"And employ every effort in exercising your faith to develop virtue (excellence, resolution, Christian energy), and in exercising virtue you will develop knowledge and (intelligence), and in exercising knowledge, you will develop self-control, and in exercising self-control", see, some of you've already lost me, "You will develop steadfastness (patience, endurance), and in exercising steadfastness you will develop godliness (piety), and in exercising Godliness you will develop brotherly affection, and in exercising brotherly affection you will finally come to Christian love".
So here just let me tell ya, I don't care how many wonderful messages I preach to you about leaving here and going out and loving everybody, that ain't gonna happen, not unless you get this list out. First thing you gotta have is knowledge. The first thing you want to know is him, not just what God can do for you, but to know him and the power of his resurrection, to know the character of God and how amazingly wonderful he is and to get so thankful for your salvation that you can't hardly stand yourself.