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Joyce Meyer - Lies You May Believe



Well, I wanna talk to you this morning. I'm titling the message, "Lies that you might believe". But I'm actually gonna talk to you about deception. It's a very important subject because Jesus told us that in the last days, deception would greatly increase. And we're actually taught in the Word of God to pray that we will not be deceived. And I don't know how many of you do that, but I do it. Not every day, but fairly often, I will pray, "God, help me not to be deceived, and if I am deceived in any area, please show it to me".

So, that's gonna be the first thing you wanna get out of this is you wanna start praying on some kind of a regular basis, "God, if I am deceived about anything in my life, then please show it to me". Deception is a huge problem because it means that we're believing a lie. That's what it means to be deceived. You believe something that's just not true, but it becomes true for you or true for me because I believe it. Just imagine how people are gonna believe who all their lives believed there was no God, and then find out there was. That's gonna be disappointing, isn't it? But the thing is, if I believe a lie, then it makes it true for me, even though it's not true at all. The devil is a liar. He's the father of lies. He cannot tell the truth. The Bible says the truth is not in him. But Jesus, of course, is just the exact opposite, and he gave us his word, and he said, "I am the way, I am the truth, and I am the life".

Sometimes people say, "Well, what is truth"? Well, it's right here. And I know people wanna say, "Oh, don't tell me that all the truth is in that one book". Well, I'll tell ya, it works for me. And I would say that the condition of the world today, and the way people's lives are going, and the way society's going, I mean, man, why not just try something that might work? I say in my sermons sometimes, "You know, if I believe in God all my life, and I spend my whole life believing this, and I come to the end and find out, oh man, I was wrong, well, I just believed a lie all my life," at least I've still been happy. You know? But if you don't believe in God, and you come to the end of your life and you're wrong, it hasn't cost me anything. I mean, I was still happy. But you might have thought you were happy during your life, but boy, you're gonna sure be disappointed in the end.

So, not matter what somebody else has told you, why don't you read the book for yourself? We have a testimony from a man that was a Jewish man, and he went into a barnes and noble bookstore, and he saw my book "Battlefield of the mind," and just kinda, like, started making fun of me, like, "Who does she think she is"? And he opened up the book just randomly, and the page he opened to basically said, I can't remember the exact words. It's better than what I'm gonna tell you, but it was like, you know, "I've been looking for you and waiting for you, and you've been looking for answers," and he was just like...

So, he bought the book secretly, snuck it home because he didn't want his Jewish wife to think that he was reading a book by this Christian woman. So, he kept hearing me talk about the amplified Bible, so he went out and he snuck one of those and brought it home, and started getting more and more convinced as he read the word that there was something about all this Jesus stuff. Well, come to find out his wife was also sneaking around and reading the Bible. So, long story short, him and his wife and all their kids got saved. He said it was just like Jesus said, you know, but then, his Jewish mother...

And you know, the older you get sometimes, the more you get set in your ways and the less likely you're gonna be to change, and she was just like, "No way, no how". She was in a nursing home and she was coming close to the end of her life. And so, he finally left her with a Bible and said, you know, "Please read it. You'll see the truth". So, after awhile, and I just thought this was so sweet. Long story short, she ended up giving her life to Christ too. But she said, "You know what"? She said, "The Messiah that we've been waiting for, he was in here all the time". Isn't that sweet?

And here's the thing. Maybe, maybe what you've been waiting for, maybe what you've been looking for, maybe the peace that you need, the joy that you need, maybe the love that you're looking for, you might just find it in here too. Amen? So, why not give God's word a try? This is the only truth that I know of that is working in people's lives. I mean, across language barriers, across lands. It's always interesting to me to go to some foreign land where I can't even speak their language and it's the same Spirit, the same Jesus, the same God, doing the same things everywhere. And that's not something that we could make up.

But in Matthew chapter 24, which is a chapter that shows a lot of the signs of end times, we are particularly encouraged to not come into deception and to pray against deception. And so, we have to realize that there's many things happening out in the world today that people are saying are truth and reality and they're just absolutely not. So, there's many different kinds of deception that the Bible talks about. It mentions self-deception. We're gonna talk about that today. It talks about the deception of reasoning. It talks about the deception of sin, how attractive sin can look and what it does to you. One of the most deceptive things in the world. It talks about the deception of riches.

There's all kinds of different deception in the world. And it's things that cry out, "I'm your answer. I'm what you need". And yet, they end up destroying you. Often today, what God calls sin the world calls addiction, disease, or genetic formatting. Sometimes we even call it modern times. It's okay today for people to live together and not be married. Well, you know, anybody with any common sense at all knows that God has not gone and got so-called "Modern" on us. You know, he's been modern all along, and what he says is true is not only true for, like, when I was a teenager, but it's true for teenagers today, and will be true for teenagers later on, and later on, and later on, and later on. And it's getting scary to watch how fast things are declining.

And you know, we cannot always change everybody else's mind, but if Christians... The thing that concerns me is the compromise among Christians. Come on. And if we will just get out in the world and be what we're supposed to be, our lives will become a sermon, and there will be such a difference in the way that our lives are than other people's that people are gonna want to know about Christ. But if we're no different than any of them, then what's to want? You know, there's no reason to want any of that. And so, we really need to make sure that we are not living these deceived lives.

Now, let's talk about some lies that I believed in my life. I believed that I was flawed because I had an abusive childhood, and that I would always be flawed, that I would always have a second-rate life, and I would just have to settle for that. Well, I found out in here that was a lie. Maybe you're here today and you've made a lot of mistakes, and the devil's been telling you, "Well, it's too late for you. I mean, you might still go to heaven, but you can forget any kind of a victorious life. You can forget your ministry. You can, you know, forget really having the things that you thought you once could have". That's a lie. That's a lie.

I wonder how many lies people believe in this place today. I just wonder how much... See, the problem with deception is you don't know you're deceived. And so it's like, "Well, no, I don't believe lies". Well, I'm telling you that I did. One of the lies that I believed, as messed up as I was, I believed I was right about everything. And I was very happy to tell everybody what was wrong with them, and I was very happy to make a huge effort to change them. And I was totally deceived. I did not know what a miserable, wretched mess that I was. "Oh God, you gotta change Dave. Oh God, you gotta change Dave. God, you gotta change Dave". And I was shocked one day when the Lord spoke to me while I was praying. Who would expect God to speak to them while they're praying? And he said, "Dave is not the problem". And I thought, "Well, then who is? There's only me and him. It cannot be me".

I mean, seriously, how much are you finding wrong with the other people in your life? Not this section? Okay, what about over here? And the devil loves that, because if he can keep us busy finding things wrong with everybody else, then we never can be confronted by the truth about ourselves, and we just go our whole lives judging, and criticizing, and living this fantasy that there's no problem with us. And I don't care if there's 1,000 things wrong with the person you're married to. You are not gonna change 'em, but God can change you if you'll let him change you. And he can change you so much that you won't even care what's wrong with him. Yeah!

I mean, Dave still does stuff that used to drive me nuts and now I just couldn't care less. Doesn't bother me at all. Doesn't upset me. I don't think anything about it. And I stayed mad for years over stuff that he still does. He didn't change, but God changed me. But he won't change you until you're willing to say, "God, I don't want to be deceived. Show me truth. Help me face truth". So, I believed all kinds of things that weren't true. That's why the Bible says in Romans 12 that we are to renew our minds according to the Word of God. So much deception in the world today, just crazy stuff, stuff that don't even make any sense. One thing that I read said, "Self-deceit is said to be a sin against common sense". Remember last night I said, "You know, in the last 10 years or so, I've just come to the conclusion, you know, if what I'm doing is not working, then why just keep doing it"?

You know, if I'm mad at people all the time that have hurt me and it's not changing them at all, it's just making me miserable, then why stay mad? If I'm worrying all the time and it's not changing my problems, it's just giving me ulcers and headaches, then why keep doing it? Why can't we just have a little sanctified common sense? You know what? We really don't have to be a rocket scientist. This is so practical. The Word of God is so practical and so applicable to our everyday life. If you want people to like you, be nice. That's not hard. I mean, really, if you want people to like you, just figure this out today, you can't have your way all the time. Sometimes you're gonna have to let them have their way. Then they're gonna like you better.

You watch these ads on TV, and they have this pill that you can take, and you can buy a bottle for $59.95, and if you buy it today, you'll get a bottle free, plus they'll send you one to your friends and all this stuff. And this thing does something inside your body, and the fat just melts off of you, and you don't have to change one thing about your eating. And they sell millions of dollars worth of that stuff. And here I am, 40 years preaching the truth, and people don't even wanna send an offering because I'm not gonna tell you that I can melt your meanness away or wave my magic Bible over your head and make you nice.

I'm gonna tell you that you're gonna have to die to self and God's gonna crucify your flesh. And he's gonna change you into his image. And it's not gonna be overnight. It's gonna take time. But it is the absolute, most amazing, most fantastic, interesting journey that anybody can ever take in their life. I mean, I think so much now, and I wanna try to write a book on this sometime before the Lord's done with me here, just about my journey.

Oh my gosh. When I think about where I started from, and how stupid I was, and the stuff that I believed, and the way I acted, and how I treated people, and what God has taught me from this one little book. You're gonna have to excuse me, but I just love, love, love my Bible. I love it. I love it. I like nature programs, and I was watching a nature program the other night, and they had these two baboons that had formed a close relationship. And you know, I mean, they're so ugly they're cute. I mean, they just, my gosh, God has got a real sense of humor. And I thought this show was going pretty good 'til they started telling me that they were closest cousin.

Now, these are your closest cousins, and you know, you've evolved from them. Well, you know, here's the problem I have with that, and nobody's been able to explain it. If we evolved from an ape, then why are there still apes. I mean, did they just miss the evolving program and they didn't get to go on? I mean, I don't get that. Like, well, you got left out 'cause you still look like an ape to me. But look at how I've improved. I mean, common sense. Common sense. And you know who came up with that theory? An expert.

I wanna tell you what, the wisdom of God that you can have without one thimble full of education, the wisdom of God is greater than all the philosophies of all the men on earth. Common sense. It's no wonder that the devil wants people to think that they came from an ape. I mean, why not act like an animal if that's where you came from? If you can't believe that you're special, then you're never gonna act special. But to believe that you're created in the image of God, and that he has a plan for your life, and that he created you with his own hand in your mother's womb, and he loves you, and he said he'll never leave you nor forsake you, now that's something to believe in. That's something that's gonna make your life amazing. Amen?

And now I'm way off track and I've lost my place. Don't know what I'm doing. You know, I believe that God loved me more when I was good than he did when I wasn't good, and boy, that was a lie. See, love is not something God does that we earn. Love is who God is. He is love. I believed that I was spiritual. I did. I went to church every week. I was on the church board. Now, let me tell you, when you are on the board... Ooh buddy, you are spiritual now. You're one of the elite at the church. We were tithers. Our kids went to Christian schools. I thought I was religious and spiritual, until I read James 1:26-27. You do want me to read it to you, right?

"If anyone thinks himself to be religious (obviously observant of the external duties of his faith) and does not bridle his tongue". Well, I wasn't much into that. "But he deludes his own heart," he is self-deceived, he deludes his own heart. "That person's religious service is worthless (futile, and barren). External religious worship, religion as it is expressed in outward acts, that is pure and unblemished in the sight of God is this: visit, help, and care for orphans and widows in their affliction and need, and keep yourself unspotted and uncontaminated from the world". So you see, here's true spirituality. Bridle your tongue. Help the poor.

"Uh. Uh. Well, I go to church". Please don't misunderstand. We make too much out of that one weekly 1 hour, and we think that's all there is to it. And Jesus offers us a life, a lifestyle. We need to do life with God. From the morning when we open our eyes in the morning until we close them at night, it's about God. And I don't care if people think I'm radical, or over the top, or over the edge. If you put God first in your life, everything else falls in place.

But I remember how deceived I was and what a hotshot I thought I was in that church because I knew all the right people, there was no party that I wasn't invited to. Dave was an elder, I was on the church board, and I was a mess and didn't know it. I thought everybody else had a problem. And we would just, it was a regular habit. After church on Sunday, several of us would go to lunch and we would just tear everybody up in that church. Tear 'em up. Hi, guys. How y'all doing?

Now see, I only do this because I've been there, done that. We're not gonna be happy doing that. We're not. The only way we're ever gonna be really happy is to do it God's way. And the only reason why people today, or whatever generation it is, try to say there's no God, and they wanna be an atheist. I'll tell you, every so-called atheist would get saved immediately if they thought they can have the benefits without having to come under any kind of leadership from God. What they want is to do their own thing. They're deceived by the deceitfulness of sin. I wanna know if I'm doing it right. And not because I think I have to do that, but I think that's one of the ways that we can honor God. God, I don't want to be deceived. Teach me truth.

How many of you don't want to live a life of deception? Amen? And one of the first scriptures that the Holy Spirit showed me when I started studying the word was, "If you continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed and you will know the truth and the truth will make you free". Amen? So, I'm pretty big about knowing why I'm doing things and trying to, you know, praying to God, "You know, if I'm doing this great thing that's gonna impress people but I got a stinky heart, please show me. I want everything to be right". Because the Bible says that whatever we do with impure motives, we're not gonna get a reward for it. It's gonna be burned up in the fire.

So, if I pray to be seen, does me no good. If I can have all kinds of gifts and do all kind of fancy things but if I have no love, then all I am is a big noise and a clanging cymbal. I can give and give but if I do it to be well thought of then that's not good. So, God is not nearly as concerned about what we're doing as he is why we're doing it. Can anybody say amen?

So, let's just give an example. We'll pretend for a minute like this is not me, although it was. "A younger and a very excited believer shares with me a verse of scripture that God is revealing to her and she's forgotten where it's at in her Bible but she knows it really well. And she's sharing with me all that God is showing her. And I assure her that I am aware of all that and then I'm kind enough to give her the chapter and verse that I know that she doesn't know". You say, "Well, what's the problem"? Well, then comes God.

"Well, Joyce, out of spiritual pride, you had to let her know that she wasn't really teaching you anything that you did not already know. And you wanted to impress her with your knowledge of where the scripture might be found. In doing so, you've dampened her enthusiasm instead of simply listening to her and being excited for her". The moment that I assured her that I already knew that. "Yeah, yeah, I've known that for a long time. Yeah, I teach that. Oh yeah, I've been teaching that for years. Amen".

You can almost feel the whole atmosphere kind of make a shift when that person now is shut down and they're losing their enthusiasm. It'd be just like if somebody met with a more mature Christian and they were so excited. "Oh, man, I tell you what, I'm having such great fellowship with God. I got up this morning and the first five minutes I was up, I just prayed and worshiped God". And sister super Christian looks at him and says, "Five minutes? That's all you prayed was five minutes"? "Well yeah, how long do you pray"? "Oh, the first four hours every day, you know, I pray". And I've met people like that. But here's the thing, it is so important to me that we really love God truly, I mean really love God with our whole heart and that we're not just playing a bunch of religious games. Amen?

And that we're not just one way on Sunday and another whole way the rest of the week. And I lived like that for so long. And even something little like this, I want to get to the point where I'm humble enough if somebody that's been saved a week wants to spend 30 minutes telling me about something that I've known for 20 years that I don't have to try to tell them how much I know but I can be happy to just let them be excited. Amen? But I still got a ways to go. But, you know, here's the good thing, I recognized it. So the good news is, I'm not deceived anymore. Now I'm just left with it. Well, there you have it. Can't hide from that anymore.

Okay, well, I love to give and I mean I really do just love to give. It's one of the gifts that God has given me. And considering how stingy I used to be, that's pretty good. And so at the end of the year, I got this idea I thought about a couple of people I knew and I thought, you know, I'm gonna give them a gift on the last day of the year and I'm gonna give them a gift on the first day of the year so I can go out giving and come in giving. Well, I mean that sounds good, don't it? But then over the next 2 days while I was planning, God began to make me aware that I was also thinking about how good they were gonna think I was. Oh, don't act like that.

"Oh, aww poor Joyce, aww. Oh, she's so... That's sad. I don't know if I can listen". And I finally just got aggravated with myself and I said, "I'm not gonna do it". If I cannot do it with a right motive, then I'm not doing it. I'm not gonna do stuff just so somebody else can think that I'm good so maybe by next year I can do it for the right reason but I didn't do it this year because I want my life to be right before God. I want my heart to be right before God. Now, here's another thing I'm gonna tell ya and I was gonna tell you this and then I actually, you can see I crossed it off 'cause I thought, no, I better not tell them that. Okay, I mean this even sounds bad to me. Okay, listen. But I just feel like if I'm truthful with you.

And see, the good news is, is I don't feel condemned about any of it. I don't feel guilty. I don't feel condemned. I don't think God's mad at me because here's what I think, I think that God loves it when we face truth. To me, that's the important thing because if I'm willing to face truth, then I can grow. But if I'm not willing to face truth, I'm stuck in a mess that I'm gonna have forever. All right, okay. My mom, my dad, and my widowed aunt all came to a point in their life at the same time when they needed care. And so first it was take care of them in their houses, get their groceries, get the lawn cut, get the house cleaned, you know, do all that.

Now keeping in mind I'm running a worldwide ministry so it's not like I'm looking for something to do, okay? But I'm very aware that if I stand up here and do this and behind the scenes I don't do that, hello, that then it's just a bunch of phony bologna because that is my God-given duty before God, okay? Now, I'm gonna throw in right here that I didn't want to do any of it. Didn't want to, didn't enjoy it, but I did it. Well, then eventually they moved to assisted care living, by the way, which we paid for all of.

So, you haven't had any fun till you're paying for three people to do that. And we have a lot of longevity in my family. I'm just making a point here that it was a long time, all right? And I mean like my grandfather lived to be a 102 so there's no telling how long I'll be around. Amen? I mean I just want you to get this because here's the thing, a lot of you are dealing with stuff in your life that's not very pleasant and you gotta understand that none of it has to keep you from being a Christian and acting like one. And the only way that we're ever gonna have victory as a Christian is if we learn to do things we don't want to do with a good attitude.

And in order do that, we've gotta, first of all, be honest with God. "God, I don't want to do this. I do not want to do this but I'm asking you for the grace to me do it and to do it with a good attitude". So, finally wore out assisted living. Got to the point where couldn't do that anymore and so my dad went in a nursing home first and then he passed away. And, you know, you gotta keep in mind that my dad sexually abused me. My mother abandoned me into the situation so I'm dealing here with people that I don't, you know, have any gooey-ooey feelings for. Did not know unforgiveness. Forgave them. Was committed to taking care of them. But, you know, you can forgive somebody for something they've done to you and that doesn't mean you're gonna have all these whoo-hoo feelings every time you get around them.

And, you know, as I went back and forth about should I tell you this? Shouldn't I tell you this? Should I tell you, shouldn't I tell you? I just think that there's a lot of people as Christians they deal with this kind of stuff all the time but they never would want to tell anybody how they felt because they think it's not awful. It's normal. So, then my mom went in the nursing home. Well, my mother was a sweet lady but she had mental illness, and you just really haven't done anything challenging until you, I mean it's much easier to take care of somebody that has physical illness than somebody that has mental illness.

And well, I forget all the fancy words for it, but she would see things that weren't there, and thought she had bugs in her food when she didn't and, you know, would see just different things. Or you might go, I might go on a day and maybe it's my only day in town that week and I want to go do this. I know it's right. I mean I don't want to go, but I want to go. You know what I mean? It's like, I know I should go, it's the right thing to do and I'm committed to doing my duty before God but I'm like, "Oh God, help me go do this with a good attitude". So, and the reason why I'm telling you all this is this because I dare not think that I'm good because I go. This is where we get in trouble.

Somebody said to Jesus, "Good master," and he said, "Why are you calling me good? There's none good but God". Now he said that in his humanity, in his humanity, he was saying, "I'm not good, only God is good". So, the thing that we have to understand is as we grow in God, any good thing that we see happen through us, it's not because we're good because we're never gonna reach the status of good. I mean we're just not good. God is good and we get to be the vehicle for his goodness to flow through but when we start taking the credit, now we've gotta self-deception problem because we think, "Oh, I'm good," when really there's no one good but God.

Yeah, maybe some of you aren't ready for this but this is where we're going today anyway. And here I'm dealing with this person who never did anything for me. "Oh no, God, I can't think like that. Thank you". Is anybody home? I'm telling you what real life with God is like. Now, do I have to think I'm a bad person? No, I already know without Jesus that I am. So, there's no pretending about that. "Without you, Jesus, I am absolutely nothing, zero, zippo, nothing". But I marvel that God has given me the grace for now probably, I don't know, 15, close to 20 years to do this week in and week out or every other week, and go, and go, and go, and go, and do it, and do it, and do it.

And I'm not doing it because I'm good. I've already told you I don't even want to do it but I'm doing it because I love God and because it is my duty. And wait a minute, and because it is the right thing to do. Whatever made us think that we have to like something to do what's right? So, there we go. I crossed that one out but we got it out anyway. Luke 18:10, see, I don't know, I got this thing in me and I feel it really big this morning. I just want us to be real. I just want us to be real. There's so much phoniness in the world and it shouldn't be us.

Verse 9, Luke 18:9, "He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves and were confident that they were righteous that they were upright and in right standing with God and scorned and made nothing of all the rest of men". Here's an example: "Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a pharisee," who was a religious man, "And one a tax collector," who was supposed to be the worst of the worst. "The pharisee took his stand ostentatiously. But the tax collector, the sinner, merely stood at a distance, without even lifting up his eyes to heaven, and he kept striking his breast and saying, 'o God, be favorable to me, be merciful to me, an especially wicked sinner.'" verse 14, "I tell you, this man went down to his home justified (forgiven and made upright and in right standing with God), rather than the other man: for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted".

Somebody give God a praise. Now, we have the deceitfulness of riches and, boy, that's a big one. But you know something that's very interesting to think about is that it's not just rich people that are deceived by riches. As a matter of fact, there's poor people who have money and things on their mind a whole lot more than people who have stuff. And Dallas willard said this and I thought it was good. "Freedom from possessions is not so much an outward thing as it is an inward thing".

Here's the bottom line, God, he wants you to be blessed and have things and I don't think he really cares how many of them you have. I mean he's pretty rich. But he doesn't want them to have us in any way at all, therefore we are tested on a regular basis and God will put it on our heart to pass something on and to be a steward instead of an owner. You know, we don't need to be attached to our stuff. I mean we got it from God. He don't care how much of it you have, if you could be a steward and not an owner. And let's see, do I have anything else I want to annoy you with before I'm done? Oh, one left. The deceitfulness of sin.

Hebrews 3:13 said, "Warn people against the deceitfulness of sin," so I'm warning you that sin can be very deceitful. It makes you think it's gonna make you happy but it won't. See, there's actually instructions to the people to warn people that you teach, people today aren't too crazy about that but it's what the Bible says, not just encourage, but also warn if you do this, this is what's gonna happen. And so, first of all, sin promises satisfaction and then it destroys us. Sin will always cost you more than you intended to pay. Sin promises freedom but, in fact, it produces bondage.

Now watch. One person thinks, "I want to be free to drink all the alcohol I want". They soon find out that they are no longer free not to drink all the alcohol they want. You didn't get it, did you? See, "If I want to go out and drink, then I want to go out and drink. And if I want to get drunk, I'm gonna get drunk. I'm a free person and I'm not gonna be a Christian yet because I want to be able to do everything that I want to do". I mean really? Is that really what you want to do? And so they think they're free to drink but ultimately, many of them are then no longer free not to drink. Or the same way with drugs. You know, a young person thinks, "I'm just gonna try that, you know, everybody does it. I'm just gonna try that. I'm free to do that". And then pretty soon they find out they're no longer free not to do that now all of a sudden that's become a bondage in their life.

We have to please be careful about flirting with sin. Nobody wakes up some morning that's married and in a full blown affair with somebody that they work with. It happened gradually, flirting, a coffee, a compliment, a doughnut. Must have been doughnuts, I don't know, that got some attention. Somebody thinks, "Well, I want to be free to have sex with women other than my wife". But if I'm a Christian, I can't do all the things I want to do. And soon that person who does that finds that he has lost the love and respect of his wife and children, mother and father, sister and brother, friends and all the other women have now moved on to destroy somebody else's family. I'm gonna say it anyway.

See, let me tell ya something, please understand this. And, you know, the great thing about tv is you can turn me off anytime you want to. I mean these poor folks, they can't get out of building yet. But if you don't like this, you can turn it off but you'll find me again somewhere else if you flip your channels around. I'll be there in the middle of the night. And I am not just doing this for something fun to do. I believe that if we are going to preach and teach people, that we are obligated before God to not just pat them on the head and tell them nothing but, "You're wonderful and God loves you".

That is all true, but he also calls us to a higher standard of living. Don't just live for this one emotional moment. Later on is gonna come and then we have to deal with the aftermath. People say, "Well, the price of discipleship is too high".

I read books from some of these old writers when I mean people were after holiness with their whole heart. They were after God, I mean with their whole hearts. I mean that was it. It wasn't a Sunday morning event. It was, "This is my life". And they talk about the cost of discipleship and the price of really following God, and I've paid a price to do what I'm doing. I mean I lost friends. I got asked to leave my church. I just, you know, well, I don't even want to go into it. But man. Okay, so the price for discipleship is high. But let me just end by saying I think that the price we pay for a lack of discipleship is even higher. Amen?

I pray for you in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, that you would be very open to letting him teach you all the truth that he has to show you, through the Holy Spirit, who knows just exactly how to do it and when to do it, never too much, never too little. And, Lord, I pray that we would grow to be transformed into the image of Christ. And, that we could get out in the world and make your name famous. That we could get out in the world and draw people to you through real godly behavior, not religious behavior, but real godly behavior. Father, I believe that different people got different things out of this today. And, I pray that nobody's gonna leave here feeling bad about themselves, about anything, but they're just gonna be really happy that they've seen some things. And, now, you can begin to work with them and they'll get happier, and happier, and happier, in Jesus' name. Amen. God bless you.

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