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Joyce Meyer - I'm Saved! Now What?


Joyce Meyer - I'm Saved. Now What?

A simple prayer of accepting Jesus into your life, what we call salvation is how we become a Christian. But, what's next? We sometimes refer to our relationship with God as a walk, or it could sometimes be described as a rollercoaster, or cascading down waterfalls, rapid water, climbing a mountain, running a race. The point is once you start this journey, it does become the adventure of a lifetime. So, Joyce is going to join me here to talk about the practical steps of a new life in Christ. But first, here's a beautifully understandable answer to the question, "What is salvation"?

Now, I'mma tell you a story. It's kind of like the story about the prodigal son"

But there was a young man who dishonored his father's name and he disgraced his family. And he decided to leave home because he wanted to escape the dullness of ordinary village family life. He was bored with it. So, he left home, he found excitement for a while, he prospered in his sinful lifestyle.


And you know, sin will always look attractive for a while. Do you know that? It always seems to be just what you want for a little while.

He visited a hotel where girls were kept in every room, some were older, and some was as young as 10. He became involved in prostitution. He eventually, started selling drugs, and even luring other men into the hotel. He finally got involved in kiDNApping and selling girls. That's how low that he sunk. Well, it was a nasty business but he became one of the most important businessmen in the area, and he had all kinds of money, but eventually the bottom dropped out.


How many of you know that's always what happens, eventually? Maybe most of us who came to Christ came because in some way, shape, or form the bottom dropped out.

He was robbed, arrested, and finally ended up living in a very dangerous part of town near the city dump. As he sat there day after day in his misery, he began to think about his father and the simple, quiet, peaceful life he had when he lived at home in his village. He remembered his father's parting words when he left, which had been about 15 years prior, 'son. I'll be waiting for you'. He began to wonder if his father would still be waiting. But he knew that the word about his lifestyle had made it back to the village, and so, how would his father feel about him now and all the things that he'd done.

Surely, he wouldn't want him back now. But he decided to take a chance and write a letter to his father, and he said, 'father, I want to come home, but I don't know if you'll have me back because I've sinned greatly. Father, please forgive me. I'm going to come on the train on Saturday night, and if you'll still let me come home, would you tie a white ribbon in the tree out in front of our house? And, I'll know if I see that ribbon that you'll have me back'. And on the trip home he began to think about his life and what he thought his father might say, and he just got so nervous, and so anxious, and so afraid that he was going to get rejected that it became obvious to some of the people sitting around him that he was having a problem.

So, one man asked him, 'son, what's wrong?' and so, he began to share with him the dilemma that he was in, and how frightened he was that his father wouldn't have him back, and so on, and so forth. And so, they were getting closer and closer to what was going to be the boys house, and the boy was just so scared he couldn't even look. So, he said to the man that was talking to him, 'I just can't even look. I'm so afraid that he won't have me back, I can't even look. Will you watch for me and if you see a ribbon in the tree would you tell me that it's there?' So, he put his face between his knees and he said, 'sir, do you see the ribbon? Do you see the ribbon? Is there a ribbon in the tree? Is there a ribbon in the branch of the tree?' And the man said, 'son, there's not a ribbon in the tree on one branch, there is a ribbon tied on every branch. That tree is completely full of ribbons'. And the young man looked out the window and could hardly believe his eyes because running alongside the train that was beginning to slow down, waving a piece of white cloth was his elderly father saying, 'son, I've been waiting for you'.


Now, maybe you're the person tonight, that the father's been waiting for. Maybe you're the person watching by TV, or even listening to this on some recorded device, or on your iPad, or your computer, whatever, and you've lived a miserable life, you've been away from God, or maybe you've been backslidden. I want to tell you that the tree's full of ribbons for you tonight. Not just one, but it's full. And the father's arms are open wide. And to be honest, your sin has already been paid for. You don't have to beg God to forgive you. All you need to do is say, "I'm sorry for my sin and I want to enter on a better course of life. I want to turn around and go in another direction".

If you're here tonight, or you're watching by TV, I'm going to invite you to pray with me. You know, receiving Christ is so simple. You don't really have to do anything except just surrender. Just say, "Yes. Yes, I want a better life. I want Jesus". You know, so many people are so afraid of what they'll have to give up if they serve God. Well, you might have to give up misery, depression. I don't know, hangovers. I mean, there probably are a few things that you might need to give up, but trust me, you want to give them up anyway. And the good news is, is when Jesus comes into your life, you won't ever have to do anything by yourself again because he'll always be with you to help you do everything that you need to do.

So, if you need your sins forgiven, if you want to be assured that you're going to be going to heaven when you die, and you want to have a life here on earth where you can serve God, and have some joy, and some peace, and have a friend like you've never had before, then I want you to just slip your hand up and let me see where you're at. Come on, all over the building, I want to see those hands. Come on, come on, all over the place.

Now, see we have people here tonight that are in different, that have never received Christ, there's people here that have been backslidden but there's a lot of just good ole' religious folks here. And by that, I don't mean that insultingly, you love God, but, you gotta let him in. You gotta let him in to your whole life, not just your Sunday morning life, but let him invade your life. Let's have a Holy Ghost invasion in your life. Amen? Now, okay, listen, if you did not raise your hand, but you wanted to, I'm going to ask you guys that raised your hand, there was a lot of you, I'm going to ask you to do something, I'm not going to bring people down the front 'cause there's too many, but I am going to ask you in just a moment to stand up and let me pray for you.

And you say, "Oh, I don't want to get up". Well, you know what? If you won't take a stand in here, there's no hope of you going out there and taking one. So, if you meant it, I want you to stand up right now so we can pray with you. Come on, up, up, up. Everybody that raised your hand, let's get up. Yes, amen, whoo. You see? The party has started. All of heaven rejoices when one sinner repents.

Now, watching by TV, there are people, you're tracking right with us. You're gonna pray this same prayer. God's coming into your life. I want you all just to pray this with me, right now. Let's all pray together. "Father, God, I love you. Jesus, I believe in you. I believe you died for me. You paid for my sin. I've lived a sinful life, and I'm sorry for my sins. Forgive me. I want to turn my life around, but I need you to help me. Come into my life. Live in me. I give myself to you, right now. And I receive you as my very own. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for saving me. I believe that I'm on my way to heaven. And I'm going to enjoy my journey with you. Amen". Amen!

Ginger: Well Joyce, I have to believe that a lot of people just did something very exciting in their life, prayed and are now beginning to reap the benefits of what we were talking about, what Christ did for each one of us. When we take that step, there are a lot of questions, "What do I do now? What do I do next"? And those are the questions that we're going to address now. This is a question that I think many people would relate to, from Jeremy, "Do you have to confess every sin to be saved? I can't remember everything".

Joyce: I can totally relate because I don't remember everything either. And you know, just as part of my prayer time with God, I probably, everyday receive forgiveness for all my sins. It's not something we have to beg for and plead for and give a complete list of everything that we did wrong yesterday. The Bible says that we sin in thought, word, or deed. And so, I don't know how any of us get through any one day and do it all perfectly, but Jesus has forgiven our sins and it's good for all times. We just receive it by faith. And so, if I've done something specifically wrong that I'm aware of that, you know, I'm sorry for, certainly, I confess that sin specifically. But, the short answer to Jeremy's question is, no, he doesn't have to confess every sin. You confess sins, you know, "Forgive me for my sins".

Ginger: There it goes back to the heart.

Joyce: Right, the heart attitude. That's exactly right. God sees your heart. He knows you're sorry. I mean, people ask sometimes, "Well, what if I die and you know, before I get a chance to confess a sin". Well, don't let the devil deceive you with that, because the point is, is you're in a relationship with Christ. He knows that you love him. He loves you. It's not some kind of a legalistic, you know, debit and credit account where now you got something on your record that, you know, until you confess it, it stays on there. We're in relationship with God.

Ginger: That's good. This goes exactly to what you were saying. Don't let the devil steal this from you. Janice asks, "How do I know for sure that I'm saved"?

Joyce: Well, it's something that you have to know by faith. I'm kind of glad that came up because I was thinking earlier, you know, there's a lot of people who prayed that prayer today and you know, they may not feel anything. But, what will happen is they will begin to notice, maybe even, just little differences in their life, but they will begin to notice changes. They may have more peace, they may have more hope. You know, they may find themselves talking to God, which is what prayer is. Where as, they did not do that before. There's a sensing of somebody being with you. And so, the devil would love it if we based it all on feelings, you know. "Well, you don't feel saved. You don't act saved. Nothing's different. Nothing has changed". Everything comes by faith, and faith is very different than what you see or what you feel. It's based on what's in your heart. And so, God is faithful, and he says that if we believe, and we repent of our sins that he is faithful and just to forgive us for all of our sins, and to continuously cleanse us from all unrighteousness. And he is not a liar, he will do what he said that he will do. So, no matter how you feel, you believe.

Ginger: Yeah, there are many questions about the next steps. Let me just rattle a few off and you can tell us what you feel is important. Shamen says, "What books of the Bible should I read first"? Deborah says, "How do I choose the right church"? People ask about baptism. So, what are those things that follow the salvation moment?

Joyce: Well, baptism is important. It's an outward sign of this inward commitment that you have made to follow Christ. And so, you don't have to be baptized in a church, but that's a good place to get baptized. You know, John the Baptist took people to the river and baptized 'em, and so I've baptized people in swimming pools and you know, all kinds of things. But it is good to have somebody that believes, that's like-minded with you to do the baptism for you. So, baptism is very important. And I think that being in church is very important. And it's not because church saves you, but you go to church to learn, to have new friends, to get into relationship with people that are going to believe like you and be like-minded with you. You want to hear the word, you want to be involved in corporate worship, you know, the singing of songs and praise and worshipping God. And if you're in the right church, there's many good opportunities to serve through that church, which is something else that's important.

So, how do you know when you're in the right church? Well, you want to be in one that you know is teaching the proper doctrine. And what I tell people a lot of times is don't get discouraged with trying to find a church. You might go to 10 that you don't feel right about and then you'll go to one where you just feel like you're home. It's just right. You just feel right about it. And so many people, if they try a church and they get hurt, or they try a church and they feel like people weren't friendly, or you know, whatever the case might be, then they just want to ditch it all and forget it and give up. But, you know, like I said, church doesn't save you. I don't really like it when I say to somebody, "Are you a Christian"? And they tell me what religion they are.

You know, Jesus didn't die so we can have a religion, he died so we could have a relationship with God through him. He comes to live on the inside of us, promises to never leave us nor forsake us. But it is important, I think, to be in church. And the other thing that's very important is the study of God's word. And I would recommend that people begin in the New Testament. Psalms and Proverbs are also very good. Psalms are very comforting. Proverbs are full of little wisdom points. You could read one chapter of Proverbs and there might be 20 or 30 different points in there, I mean, things like be honest, don't gossip, don't slander, just things that...

Ginger: Very practical.

Joyce: Just very practical advice. Probably most people would tell you to begin with the Gospel of John because it's just one of the really, really beautiful ones. But, anywhere in the New Testament is good. However, I would probably go along with, you know, beginning with one of the Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John because it takes you from the birth of Christ all the way through to the death and resurrection of Christ. Which you need to have a good basic understanding of those things. There's many, many, many different translations of the Bible available today. I've taught from an Amplified Bible for over 40 years. There's many other really good new English versions that are put into a little more modern language.

I like the Amplified Bible because it kinda gives you a little deeper understanding of some of the Greek words, which I don't read Greek. I don't speak Greek. I don't know Greek, and so it helps me be a little more of a scholar without having to go get a degree in the Greek language. But, like I said, there's a lot of them. So find one that you understand. And you know, what we suggest, a lot of times people just need a direction, so I would just say, if you start with 30 minutes a day, if you can dedicate 30 minutes of your day, and to be honest, if that's too much then start with 15 minutes, but start somewhere and spend some time studying the word. I like to say, "Study", rather than read, because you can gloss over something very quick and not really get anything in it. I would study the word each day until you feel that you have at least one point that you can lock into and say, "Wow", that's you know, "I didn't know that", or, "That's really good", or...

Ginger: It's something to chew on throughout the day and see how it applies.

Joyce: Something to meditate on and think about, I mean like, so many people don't feel like anybody loves 'em. And just to know that God is love and that he loves you and he loves you unconditionally, I mean, for some people that very one thing would be life-changing. So, the Word of God is the food that we need for our spirit man, to help it grow after we become spiritual babies in Christ. So, baptism, getting in a good church, a good word-based church where you really feel like you're growing. Don't just go somewhere just for the sake of going. But make sure that it's helping you, that you're learning, that you're growing and that you feel like it's helping you change. And get involved enough in something that somebody knows you're there and that somebody's going to miss you if you're not there. We need some kind of accountability.

You know, there's too many people that just go sit on the back row of a church, they don't want to be involved, they don't want anybody to bother with them if they're not there. But, to be in community with people requires some accountability and it's good for us. It's not a matter of somebody spying on you or being nosey, but it's good for us if somebody says, "Hey, we haven't seen you for a couple of weeks, is everything okay"? Everybody wants to know that somebody cares about them. And then, the other thing very important, and these are not like, I'm not saying this fourth because it's fourth in importance, but is prayer. But let me say that prayer is really just talking to God. It's talking to God...

Ginger: Just like you would a friend.

Joyce: ...About everything. It's talking and listening. You're not going to hear God like you hear from another human being but he's going to give you understanding. He's going to speak to you. The Bible talks about the still small voice. And God uses his word to speak to you. God will begin to lead you and guide you, and you'll have a knowing on the inside of what's right, and what's wrong. But, you need to just begin to talk to him, "God, help me with my day, today. Forgive my sins. Use me to be a blessing to somebody today". You know, "Help me drive in traffic this morning without having accidents". I mean, God is not just for disasters and emergencies or when we, think, "We're over our head", because to be honest, we're all, "Over our head", every moment of every day.

Ginger: That's very true.

Joyce: Without God, we're not going to do very much. And so, one thing's for certain, if you have a sincere heart, you don't have to follow some kind of a formula. You just go to God like a little child. You come to him as a little child and that's what he wants.

Ginger: That's such a good way to describe it because I know as you're watching you may feel like there are so many questions. You may even feel a little overwhelmed, but you don't have to walk in that. God wants to help you through this process, to give you joy through it and it's really a wonderful journey. And so that's why we have this book from Joyce that will really help as well. This is called, "A New Way of Living", and this little free booklet will answer a lot of the questions that you have. And if you just take it a step, one at a time every day, and you'll see yourself growing closer and closer to God. And it will really all come into focus, it will begin to make more sense. And, those things that you were concerned about will begin to fade away. And it doesn't mean your problems are gone. It just means that your life is new because you are no longer on your own.

So, we want to get this book in your hand. You can call us right now. You can go to the website. And like we said, it's absolutely free just because we believe this is the most important thing that you will ever do. So Joyce, thank you so much. Really good stuff, very, very helpful, really practical.

Joyce: Well, I'm excited about all the people that I believe made a decision today to invite Christ into their life. And I know that they're going to see big changes in the future.

Ginger: Yeah, me too. Call and let us know. We want to celebrate with you, and get this book today.
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