Joyce Meyer - The Gift Of Awareness
What I wanna talk to you about today is something that's been on my heart for myself personally for a few months, and I've started praying this on a regular basis, and that is "The gift of awareness". Now, that's not an official gift listed in the Bible, but I believe that we spend so much time being unaware of things that we should be aware of, and probably are very aware of things that we don't even need to pay that much attention to. And I believe that there is a real demonic push from the kingdom of darkness to keep people from being focused.
And do you know, even though you're sitting here today, if your mind leaves this meeting, to go to the store, to think about what you're gonna eat later or all the things you need to do later, for all intent and purposes, you're not here. And so it's a challenge in the world that we live in today because there's so much coming at us. I mean, it's just phones ringing and dings for email and dings for text messages, and it's just, I mean, even riding down the road, there are so many messages on the side of the road, and just so much stuff coming at us, that it's getting more and more challenging to keep our minds on anything for any length of time.
And I know even just like in my workout routine that I do with my trainer, he tells me all the time, "Focus on the muscle that you're working". He calls it, "Put your mind in the muscle". And of course, I have a hard time doing that. I'll be lifting weights and be in India or I'll be, you know, lifting weights last week and here in Winston-Salem or, you know, whatever the case may be. And I've asked him to talk to me some about why that's so important, and he said, "Because when you put your mind in it, the muscle actually behaves better and you get more value out of it". And so I think that we need to really begin to pray and ask God to give us what I'm just gonna call the gift of awareness. There's so many things even going on around us all the time, that we need to be aware of. And we're missing things. We're missing things that God's doing, we're missing things that God wants us to do. We're missing a lot of beautiful people out there because we just don't focus on what we should be focusing on.
Is anybody in agreement with me today that we need to have a greater gift of awareness? And so that's what we're gonna talk about. We're gonna talk about it in several different areas, but first, I would like to talk about being more aware, and this is something that's really important to me. Being more aware of what God is doing in our lives. And I believe that God is doing things all the time that we just miss and don't even see. Sometimes, we think we're lucky, sometimes we think it's just coincidence. Sometimes we don't think at all. But I believe that one of the things that brings us into a closer, more intimate relationship with God, is if we pay attention to what he's doing in our lives and we make a bigger deal out of it than what we do.
So let's start in 1 John chapter 4, beginning in verse 16, and I'm gonna share some things that happened to me many, many years ago as a result of this scripture. Now, these scriptures are about learning to be conscious of God's love. You see, nothing does you much good if you're unconscious of it. That's why the Bible teaches us a lot about meditating on things. And that just means to roll your mind over and over on things. How awesome is it if you wake up in the morning and you lay in bed for just a few minutes and you're conscious that God is watching you, that you're not alone, that he's right there with you, that he loves you, and that he can never love you any more than he does at this moment right here? But if you don't think about that, if you don't roll that over and over in your mind, then for all intent and purposes, it's like it's not even reality for you.
And these are some of the habits that we need to develop as believers in Jesus Christ if we really want the word of God to benefit us like it's supposed to. Meditate on the word. Think about the promises of God and think about how blessed you are, and what God has done by saving you, and the mercy that he shows to you every day. And the more you ponder these things, and I'm not saying you have to go around all day long just, you know, trying to be some spiritual guru and just sitting around, you know, meditating on the word, you know, but we need to be more aware of what we have in Christ Jesus.
Well, you know, as a young woman starting out in ministry 30-some-odd years ago, this was after I had taught home Bible studies for five years. I was now working at a church in St. Louis. So this was probably like about 31 or 32 years ago. It was important for me, although I didn't know it, that I get a really good foundation in my life about how much God loved me. And you know, we can tell everybody God loves you, but do we really know how much God loves us? I mean, like, really? The Bible says that if you know the perfect love of God, that it casts out all fear. You don't have any fear. Because when you know that God really, really loves you, you know that no matter what happens, that somewhere in the midst of it, God is gonna work something good out of it, and that even though none of it makes any sense, that there is a plan in it somehow, that's gonna ultimately work out for your good. And so even in the midst of hurting, you can be comforted even in your pain, knowing that God will take even that pain and do something wonderful and beautiful in you through that.
And so, the very first message that I taught publicly, when I started teaching at the church where I started the women's Bible study that has ultimately grown and developed into what we see today, when I prayed and asked God what he wanted me to teach, he said, "I want you to tell them that I love them". And I thought, "Well, I, you know, God, I want a message of power". I remember saying that. "I want a message of power". And I said, "Everybody knows you love 'em. Everybody knows you love 'em". And the answer that came back in my heart was, "No, they don't. If they did, they'd act a lot different than what they do".
Now I want you to track with you today and think about what I'm saying. And so, eventually, over the next little bit of time, God led me to this 1 John 4:16, and I'm gonna read 17 and 18, and it just really... You know, we all talk about, like, key moments in our life with God and specific things that have happened to us that have been real life-changing things. And this was actually one of them for me. This 1 John 4:16 just really taught me a lesson that has been very valuable in my life. "And we know (we understand, we recognize, and we are conscious of)," not unconscious. "(we are conscious of by observation,)" I'm taking it slow because I want you to get these words. "(by observation and by experience) and we believe (adhere to, put faith in and rely on) the love that God cherishes for us. God is love, and he who dwells and continues in love dwells and continues in God, and God dwells and continues in him".
So we're gonna read 17 and 18 in a minute, but I wanna elaborate on this for just a few moments because what God showed me out of this is that he was loving me all the time, that I just was not conscious and aware of it. And that he was doing all kinds of things for me all the time that was showing his love for me. A lot of them are in little ways. But how many of you know that sometimes it's the little things that people do for you that can ultimately end up meaning the most? It is exciting to be a Christian. You never know what God is gonna do and what he's gonna do next. Any given day, you never know what God is gonna do. You never know where he's gonna show up. That's why we need to be expecting, we need to be looking, we need to be focused, we need to be aware, and we need to stop thinking that all these things that happen... Let me tell you something, if 500 people have applied for a job and you get it, that's not an accident. And that's not because you're so brilliant either. It's because God gave you favor, amen?
Let me tell you something that God put on my heart this morning. God wants to take so much better care of you than what you're letting him do. He wants you to deposit yourself with him, just like you drive through at a bank and put your paycheck down that slot, what kind of confidence and trust does that take? And you get a little deposit slip back saying the money's in there and safe and then you just going about your business, and when you need something, you write a check or you use your debit card. Well, let me tell you something. The Bible says that we should deposit ourselves with God. And if you will deposit yourself with him every day and say, "This is not about what I can do: it's about what you have done. I love you. I want to catch you showing out in my life," amen?
And be like a little child. Unless we come like a little child. Become like a little child and I'm challenging you today to make a bigger deal out of the little things that God does for you and also to get more excited about them. And I can tell you, living like this is probably one of the most exciting parts of my personal relationship with God. It just keeps me fired up and stirred up, just to see the things that God does for us. Actually, my mom died last week, and I'm good with it. She was 90. She had had a very difficult life. She was born again, and she's so much better off today than what she ever was when she was alive here.
Somebody might think, "Well, what are you doing out preaching just a few days after your mom died"? Well, I think that's the happiest thing to do, don't you? Amen. I noticed... Everybody say, "Noticed". See, I'm gonna share some scripture with you in a minute. Jesus noticed everything. I mean, no matter where he was going, he noticed people around him that were hurting and needy and not only did Jesus notice, he stopped. There's a very well-known book that's been around for a long time called "In His Steps," studying the steps of Jesus. But I think we need to study the stops of Jesus. I think that we need to see how just a simple little need that we have will stop Jesus in his tracks.
You know, an intimate, personal relationship with God is what I'm talking about. I'm not talking to you today about dead, dry, rote religion where you just march into a building every week, sit there, you know, get up, get down, you know, get up, get down, get bored, fall asleep, can't wait for it to be over. Go home and then go back and do the same thing the next week. I'm talking about living with God, abiding in him, letting his word abide in you. I mean, get full-on, full-in, it's all about God. "In him we live and move and have our being, and apart from him, we can do absolutely nothing". I'd like to come out there and just unzip all of you and shove this in you and we need to be excited about serving God, amen?
And so I noticed just some things that God did for me. First of all, I was home the two days she was in the hospital before she went to heaven, which I'm not home that much. And so, I felt like God arranged that. I think it was pretty nice of God to arrange for her to die on a day when I could be there. Now, that may sound goofy to you, but because I could have been on the other side of the world, and I think it was more important for her that I was there than anybody. So first of all, I was there. The other thing that I saw that God did, which just was so sweet, I'll always remember this. The week before she passed, she had the best week that I had seen her have in years.
And I had given her my devotional, "Trusting God day by day," and she'd been having lots of serious problems with her eyes, and we'd gotten her some new glasses, and they'd done a little laser thing and it was really interesting because we went through all that and she only had those glasses about ten days. And it was a lot of work and effort and a lot of money, but God wanted her to have that thing that she wanted so much, which was to be able to see and read, and she was like a little kid. She would call me up, not every day, but she called me three or four times in that week, "Well, honey, I just want you to know that I'm sitting up in my chair and I'm reading my 'trusting God day by day' devotional. And this is" and she said, "And this is what you told me to do today. And I just want you to know that I'm gonna do what you tell me to do".
And she was so happy about being able to see. And then also, the last time that I visited my mother, we had the best visit that we had had in possibly ten years because my mother had some mental issues, and visiting was not always as pleasant as you might have liked it to have been. And we just had a great time. I mean, I always went because I knew it was what God wanted me to do. But a lot of times, it wasn't all that pleasant. It depended on what anxiety level she was at that day and how much dementia was showing up. And she was just like, it was just perfect that day. And I believe that God did that for me.
Now, see, I could just write all that off and say, "Well, wasn't that a coincidence"? Or "Wasn't that lucky"? Can I just tell you something? Just throw the word "Luck" away. Just that word annoys me. I don't like to hear Christians use the word "Luck". Now, I'm not saying it's a sin, but let me tell you something. If you're in a full-on relationship with God, there's nothing lucky about anything good that happens to you. It is on purpose, a blessing from God, amen?
So way back, 32 years ago, I began to learn to live like this. And it did so much for my personal walk with God, and I personally think it really increases the anointing on my life and helps me be able to share Jesus with you in a way that is very real and personal instead of just like, you know, he's some God off up in the sky somewhere that we've got to be afraid of half the time. Verse 17: "In this union and communion with him love is brought to completion and attains perfection with us, that we might have confidence for the day of judgment". If you need more confidence, soak up more of God's love. "With assurance and boldness to face him, because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love dread does not exist, but full-grown, complete, perfect love," which is the kind of love that God has for you.
I'm not talking to somebody else today. I'm talking to you. And to you that are watching by TV. I know you're out there. And God loves you. And he's doing things for you all the time. And it's time we wake up and begin to see how good God is and how much he loves us and get excited about it. "For fear brings with it the thought of torment and punishment, so he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love has not yet grown into love's complete perfection".
So this is the first thing that I think that we need to be more aware of, is just really how much God loves us. And I would challenge you to keep what you can call a book of God's favor or a book of remembrance. Guys can do it as well as ladies. I know you may not wanna sit around and journal all the time, but you know, just a little book to write down some of these little things that you catch God doing for you, and I'm telling you, you get about three, four, five years of that under your belt, and you have a rough rotten day where you feel depressed, you can get a cup of coffee or tea or water or whatever you drink, you can get that book out and you can remember, c'mon, there's power in remembering. You can remember some of the outrageous things that God has done for you. And immediately, you'll start to feel closer to God.
We're loved. God loves us. Doesn't matter who doesn't love us. "If God be for me, who can be against me? If God is on my side, whom shall I fear"? Now, I think that we should be more aware of what God is doing for us than what he's not doing for us. I think we're pretty good at being aware of that. I'm telling you what, God's involved in every little detail of our lives. Develop the gift of awareness. I'm praying all the time, "God, grant me the gift of awareness". Well, you begin to pray that over your life. "God, grant me the gift of awareness. I wanna be more and more aware of the things that I should be aware of".
Matthew 7 says: "Why are you aware of the speck that's in your brother's eye and unaware of the log that's in your own"? Well, we could camp right here for the rest of the day, couldn't we"? I don't know about you, but I am trained, highly skilled and trained in fault finding. You say, "Well, what kind of a person are you"? An honest one. I notice things that I shouldn't be noticing. It's part of my personality. I just see things. I notice things. And it's, you know. Thank God because of his word, I've learned to handle those things differently, and so maybe I would notice what was wrong without making any effort at all, but now I've learned that I can make a little effort and I can notice what's right, and then that medicine of God's word is the antidote that I needed for the poison that was filling my soul of being a fault-finder.
God has got an antidote for everything that tries to poison our soul. If you got snakebite, the first thing you do would be go to a hospital and get an antidote. At least, if you were smart and wanted to keep living, you would. And we have a whole list of antidotes right here for everything that ever tries to poison our soul. I mean, you can find it right in the concordance. You're angry? Seven scripture references: look 'em up, soak 'em in, wow. "Man's anger does not promote the righteousness that God desires". Mmm. "A man who can't control his anger is like a city broken down without walls," wow.
And see, the more you do this, the more you won't even have to go look at 'em: your spirit's gonna be full of 'em and it's almost like, I feel like sometimes like I'm a spiritual jukebox. It's like you just punch any button and just get a whole bunch of stuff out of me. But when you have enough word in you, no matter what kind of a situation you get in, the devil may push one button, but the Holy Ghost can push another button, and out's gonna come the antidote for what you need. "Well, I wish I knew the word like that". Stop it. You don't need wishbone: we need backbone. Nobody gets a great life wishing for it.
You know what, I believe the devil tries to keep us focused on things we cannot do anything about. Come on, now get this. He tries to keep us focused on things we cannot do anything about so we don't focus on the things that we could do something about. You see, I can't make another person want to love God and I can't make another person want to change. Now I can pray about that and God can work in them because it's really got to be an inside job. But what I can do something about is I can receive conviction from God about my own life and I can cooperate with the Holy Spirit to let him change me, but the enemy wants us not to even see our own deal and be so busy finding fault with everybody else. Oh God, grant me the gift of awareness, the right kind of awareness.
In Matthew 12:14-15, the pharisees were holding a consultation against Jesus. "The pharisees went out and held a consultation against him, how they might do away with him. But being," what? Aware. "But being aware of this," I love it, "Jesus went away from there. And many people joined and accompanied him, and he cured them all". You know, we need to be more aware of the motives and the attitudes of the people around us. Boy, we could save ourselves a whole lot of trouble if we weren't so off up in the clouds. I mean, not everybody that comes around you is a good person for you to be around. Some of you, your life could change dramatically if you would just switch up some friends. Amen? You sure you believe me? I don't know.
Can I tell you something? If every time you have coffee with Mary Jane, she's gossiping about everybody else that you know, wake up and smell the roses. She is gossiping to them about you. Well, you know, we're just best friends and we share things with each other only. Hogwash. Be more aware of the fruit that's on people's lives. You'll know them by their fruit. Be a good fruit inspector. If there's no fruit, get yourself some new buddies. You know, if you're a little more aware of what's going on around, and boy I've learned how to do this and it has saved me, oh my gosh, so much trouble.
You know, my husband and I, we almost never have an argument now. And Lord, we lived in the warzone the first I don't know how many years we were married, mainly because I didn't know when to shut up. No way, no how was I going to shut up. I was going to be right and have the last word. Well, I finally got to the point where I really wanted peace, more than anything I wanted peace. And I can tell you if you want peace, you may have to do a little changing. Awareness. We live half the time like we're unconscious... "Oh God, I just don't know what happened. I don't understand". Well, stop living in a coma all the time. So often because we live in our own mind and in reasoning, boy you got to be so careful about reasoning. God wants to give us discernment. And discernment is something deeper. It's something you feel in your gut. Wisdom is just, "Bet I can figure this out". Don't you love to get with people and just try to figure stuff out?
Matthew chapter 16, verse 5. "Oh God, grant me the gift of awareness". Anybody with me today? "And when the disciples reached the other side of the sea, they found that they had forgotten to bring any bread. And Jesus said, 'be careful and on your guard against the leaven the ferment of the pharisees and the Sadducees'" now Jesus was going to take this very natural situation and he was going to teach them a deep spiritual lesson, but they just weren't with it at all. They just didn't get it. I wonder how many times God is trying to teach us some deep, profound spiritual lesson and we're just like, "Huh? What"? "And they reasoned among themselves, saying, 'now is it because we didn't bring any bread?' but Jesus," what? "Aware of this, asked, 'why are you discussing among yourselves the fact that you have no bread? O you of little faith how little trust you have in me. Do you not yet discern perceive and understand? Do you not remember the five loaves or the five thousand, and how many small hand baskets full we gathered up'"?.
They had just witnessed two outrageous miracles. Jesus fed 5,000 with a little fish and a loaf of bread. He fed 4,000 the same way by the miracle of multiplication. Now they forgot so fast that they went across the lake in a boat and got all upset because they forgot to bring any bread. Come on, what are you upset about today that if you just remembered a few things that God's done for you in the past? And then he went on to teach them a deeper lesson. He was actually talking to them about not listening to the religiosity of the scribes and pharisees.
I got so many scriptures up here, we'd pass out if we stayed this long. How often do we miss the miracle of the moment? I wonder how many special moments God has arranged in our lives and we just, "Duh duh duh duh duh duh," don't even know it. Jesus was always aware of the right timing for things. Wow, boy can we save ourselves a lot of trouble if we just don't head into things. "Bless God, I'm going to tell you what I think". You know, there are things we need to talk about. There's times when I need to discuss something with Dave that I'm not sure what the reaction's going to be. Or maybe, you know, I already know how he feels about something and he's not for what I'm for, and you know, I need to try to talk to him again. I don't do that anymore without praying and waiting for the right timing. And Dave is not even hard to get along with, so just imagine if you've got somebody that is hard to get along with how much more you need to wait and think and pray and find the right time.
It is amazing to me sometimes, excuse me, but the dumb things that people say. And it's not that what they're saying is wrong, it's just the timing is so bad. And you know what, you can do the right thing at the wrong time and it suddenly becomes the wrong thing. Timing. Don't jump all over your husband the minute he walks in the door about not sweeping the grass off the sidewalk when he mowed it last night if you know he's just fought 2 hours of traffic trying to get home. Wait till he gets over that, feed him, then talk to him. Ezekiel 11:19. "And I will give them one heart a new heart and I will put a new Spirit within them, and I will take the stony unnaturally hardened heart out of their flesh, and I will give them a heart of flesh sensitive and responsive to the touch of their God".
Now as a born again believer, God has taken a hard heart, given you a sensitive heart, but that doesn't mean that you still don't have to develop that and work with God to learn things. We have all the fruit of the Spirit on the inside of us as a seed, but we don't always operate in that fruit because we haven't developed them and worked with God to see them come to fullness in our life. And I was once a very hard hearted person. You know, when you've been hurt a lot and pushed around a lot, you get hard because you get tired of getting hurt and you think that's the only way to protect yourself. And you know, having a hard heart and being in ministry just doesn't work together very well, and it really doesn't work good for anything. But I became very aware that I really needed to be softened by God. And nothing will soften you like being in the presence of God, recognizing his love, and just seeing all the things that God does for you. I mean, that can just turn you into a pile of jelly just knowing how much God cares for you.
And so I want to encourage you if you've got some kind of an attitude, "Bless God, I don't need you. Don't try to tell me what to do. I'm my own person. Nobody's ever going to push me around again". You know what, that's not cute. It's not attractive. It's not what the way God wants us to be. Come on, do I have any people here that were ever like that? Do I dare ask how many are still like that? No, I won't. But see, this is good news. See, I know that lady was kidding. She said, "We're not going there," but here's the point. If you don't go there with me today, you'll go there again at some other time. We put the hard things off. And you know what, God's trying to talk to some people today about being more aware of what he wants you to do, the timing for things, and stop just living off the top of your head and making your own decisions. Zip your lip a little more often and try to hear what God wants.
You remember when the woman was taken in prostitution and all the religious people kind of put Jesus on the spot. "Well, you know, this is what the law says. Now what are you going to do? How can you possibly be merciful like you say you are and totally keep the law like you say you do"? And I love what Jesus did. He didn't just immediately give them an answer. The Bible says that he bent down and wrote on the ground with his finger. What in the world was he doing? Doodling? I don't think so. This is my own opinion, but I believe that he was listening for the right exact right way to handle that situation. He didn't just jump off on his own. And boy did he have the right answer. "Okay, I'll tell you what. Let the one among you without sin throw the first stone".
See, the only thing that ever gives us a right to judge anybody else is if we are perfect and sinless and never make mistakes. So I think we'd all have to walk away too. You know, I don't have time to do it, but I've got so many scriptures up here where Jesus noticed, he stopped, he was aware, over and over and over. Jesus was walking along and he noticed a man blind from birth. Jesus was walking along and he noticed the crippled man. Jesus was headed somewhere and a woman came up to him and touched him who'd had an issue of blood for 18 years, and he stopped and he took time for her. He was going somewhere and the centurion came to him, saying, "Would you heal my servant"? He said, "I'll go and do it". He said, "You don't even have to do that. You speak the word and my servant boy will be healed".
You know, we're all going somewhere. Jesus was always going somewhere. I'm always going somewhere. You're always going somewhere. But I think we're running over a whole lot of hurting people and we're totally missing the whole ministry that God has for us. Can I tell you something that you may think sounds a little ridiculous, but I happen to believe this, you know. Yes, this is my ministry, but I have a ministry that's even more important. And you know what that is? That's my private, everyday life ministry, and it's more important how I treat people in my daily, regular, normal, Monday through Friday life than it is what kind of show I put on when I'm up here.
And I am acutely aware that if I don't stop for hurting people and I'm not sensitive to the needs that people have, I'm not going to have an anointing when I get up here. If you want to increase the power on your life, you start loving people more. You be more aware. You take the time to stop for people, even when you think you're in a hurry and you're busy going somewhere. You've got a ministry. You don't need to ask God any more what you're supposed to do with your life. Today, I'm calling everybody into full-time ministry. I'm issuing the call. Acts 10:38, "See how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and power, who went about doing good". That was his ministry. Got up every day and went about. I've decided that I can went about. I'm able to do that.
The Bible says, "Be more concerned for the interests of others than you are for the interest of yourself". Here's why. If you deposit yourself with God every day and you get up and you went about... come on, a few of you are following me. You make your deposit every morning. Just imagine yourself, you're driving through the drive-thru at heaven. "Here I am, Lord. Plunk, I deposit myself with you. Now grant me the gift of awareness today so as I went about in society to school, to work, in the neighborhood, to the grocery store, whatever I do".
Let me tell you something. God wants to use you. There are people around you all over the place that are contemplating suicide. They hate themselves. Nobody has ever said anything good to them. They're beat up and beat down. They're bleeding internally and you have, you have the power and the ability to do something about it. "Well, Joyce, I have problems". You're probably going to keep them too. Want me to tell you how to get rid of your problems? Drive-thru, deposit yourself with God. "God, I am your problem. If you cannot change me, I sure cannot. I can't fix my problems. I can't make people treat me right. But you can, God. All things are possible with you. I'm giving myself and my whole mess to you". Come on, did you hear me? "I'm giving my self and my whole mess to you. Now here I am, God. What can I do for you"?
Stop giving God a list of 20 things every day he has to give you to keep you saved. Don't worry, my time's almost over. You know the story about the good Samaritan? "Well, Lord, who's my neighbor"? In Luke 10. He said, well, let's just suppose there was a man who was walking along and he got beat up. Somebody just jumped on him and beat him up and stole all of his goods and left him on the side of the road, dying and bleeding. And a priest came by, passed over on the other side of the street. Didn't have any time, he was going somewhere. He was a religious man on his way to church, I think. And then a Levite came by. They were pretty up there too, you know. He also did the same thing. He didn't stop. But then a Samaritan came by who supposedly was not even a godly person and he was on his way somewhere too. We're all on our way somewhere.
The most important thing is the fruit that's coming off of our lives. Was the priest godly? He didn't act like it. Was the Levite godly? Didn't act like it. But the Samaritan, whom we would have assumed would have had nothing going on, he stopped. And he didn't only stop, he plunked down money. Now you know, we get real unwilling to help if it's going to cost money. And then not only that, I find very interesting he didn't even put a limit on what he would spend. He said, "And whatever you have to spend taking care of him, when I come back I'll pay you". "Well, I give my tithe". Urgh. "Well, I gave at the office. I gave last week". I'm talking about a lifestyle, not a law that we follow.
Okay, look, I got a good statement. This is fresh, never said this before. It's just bubbling up now. If you want a new life, you've got to have a new lifestyle. You know, there's people all around you that are hurting and bleeding. And you know, I looked up some statistics and in 2010, which has been 4 years ago, that was the newest statistic I could find, 1 million people committed suicide and another million attempted suicide. There are all kinds of people around you every day that feel invisible, they feel that nobody cares about them, they're alone, they're frightened, they're brokenhearted, they're bruised, and they're wounded. And we carry around the hope of the world in us.
How about being more aware? You say to somebody, "Oh, how are you today"? "Okay". They ain't okay, not if they said that. They're not okay. "You doing okay? Well, let me just tell you God loves you. He's got a good plan for your life". "Well, I might feel kind of funny saying that". Deposit yourself with God and don't worry so much about how you feel about everything and just let God use you. Amen, we don't have to be obnoxious and try to cram the Gospel down everybody's throat, but we can pass out a little hope.
Now I just want to say a word especially to our TV audience, although it certainly could apply to people in here too. You know, we frequently have people, I mean not all the time, but it's happened a good number of times, tell us, "I was flipping through the channels, contemplating suicide, and I accidentally turned on your program. And God spoke through you and I made another decision and now I'm serving God".
I remember a woman who said that she was sitting on the couch. She had a gun in her hand. She was going to shoot herself up under here, so she was trying to prop it here. The remote was in her way, so she went like that and it turned my program on. And she said, "The thing that you said at the moment that I turned it on was, 'God loves you and he's got a good plan for your life.'" That girl not only didn't kill herself, she ended up becoming a worship leader. Don't tell me God don't care about you. He knows where you're at, he knows what you're going through, and God does love you and he does have a good plan for your life. And if you're contemplating killing yourself, don't because you are valuable and we need you, amen?