Joyce Meyer - Nothing Good Happens Accidentally
Welcome to "Enjoying everyday life," and God does want you to enjoy every single day of your life. Today, I have a message I wanna share with you called, "Nothing Good Happens Accidentally". You know, passive people are people who want something good to happen, and there's a lot of people like this. Boy, they want something good to happen, they're praying for something good to happen, but they don't ever do anything to help make it happen. And the Bible says that we reap what we sow, and some of the scriptures I'm gonna share with you today, and some of them are parables, you're gonna see that God always gives us a part, there's something he wants us to do and then he responds to our obedience. But first I want to read you a scripture that in the Amplified Bible, the classic Amplified, I think just has a wonderful, wonderful message in it.
So, this is Haggai 2:12-13, "If one carries in the skirt of his garment flesh that is holy because it has been offered in sacrifice to God". Now keeping in mind that they killed a lot of animals back then to sacrifice them, to God, animal sacrifices. And so he's saying if someone carries the flesh from something that's holy and has been offered to God in sacrifice, "And with his skirt or the flaps of his garment he touches bread, or pottage, or wine, or oil, or any kind of food, does what he touches become holy dedicated to God and consecrated to him exclusively? And the priests answered, 'no!' holiness is not infectious. So, you can't just catch a good case of holiness". But watch this, "Then said, Haggai, 'if one who is ceremonially unclean because he's come in contact with a dead body should touch any of these articles of food, shall it be ceremonially unclean'? And the priest answered, 'it shall be unclean'. Because unholiness is infectious".
Wow. Now, the best way to really for us to see this, is to think about sickness and health. You can catch the flu from somebody, but you can't catch good health from somebody. If you wanna have good health, you have to take care of yourself and do certain things. But by just being passive and being around people that are sick and not trying to take any precautions, you can catch what they have. And in this scripture, he saying, you know, "Can you just be passive and sit and do nothing and just catch a good case of holiness"? No, if we're gonna walk holy before God, we're going to have to put out an effort, be obedient to God, listen to the Holy Spirit, do the things that God tells us to do. You can't just catch holiness, but if you just hang out passively with a bunch of the wrong kind of people in all the wrong places, you can just be guaranteed that your behavior and your life is gonna begin to go downhill.
So, I want to talk to you today about being active, and not getting stagnant. Passivity is a much bigger problem than a lot of people think. You know just because you're not doing anything wrong, that may not necessarily mean you're doing anything right. There are sins of omission just like there are sins of commission. We need to be purposeful, not passive. A decision to do nothing is still a decision, but it's one that makes us weaker and weaker. There is a law of activity, I love this, the more we do, the more we can do, the less we do, the less we can do. And boy, that's something to remember even as you get older, you gotta keep moving, you gotta keep doing things, you gotta stay active. God does not reward passivity, he does not reward laziness. We don't reap where we have sown absolutely nothing.
Now, I have three parables here that are all taken from the book of Matthew, that all have the same lesson in them, but I think it's gonna be worth it for us to go through them and I'll make comments as we do. Matthew 25:14-28, "Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey". Well, you know, this is talking about how God gives us gifts, portions of himself, if you will, and he wants us to use them, and grow and grow good things happening from our life, good fruit. He wants us to bear good fruit. He doesn't give everybody the exact same thing, he gives each person what they can handle.
It doesn't matter if you feel like you only have one gift, use that one gift. God will not hold you accountable to use something that he didn't give you. "The man who'd received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five more". He was an active guy who believed in doing something with what he had. "So also, the one with two bags of gold, he gained two more". He wasn't expected to gain five, because he didn't have five to start with, he had two and he made two more. But once again, he was using what God gave him. But the man who'd received one bag, he didn't even invest it and make one more. That's all he would have had to have done, he wasn't gonna be held accountable to do five, he wasn't given five or two, he wasn't given two, "But he took the one that he had and out of fear, he buried it in the ground. And when his master came back to settle accounts with them".
And you know what? The time is gonna come when God is going to settle accounts with us. Now, don't misunderstand me, our salvation is not based on what we do, it's not based on our works, salvation is a gift of God's grace that we receive through faith. But there are gonna be rewards for our faithfulness. The Bible talks about it in many different places, that he's gonna come back and he's gonna give people what they deserve for what they have done. And I don't know about you, but I want all the reward that I can get when I get to heaven. And the only way that's gonna happen is if I do what's right, right now. I can't wait till I get there and say, "Oops, can you hang on a little bit? I wanna go back and do what I should have done when I was there". It's not gonna work that way.
o, "After a long time the master came back to settle accounts with them. And the man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. 'master,' he said, 'you entrusted me with five. See here, I have gained five more'. And the master replied, 'well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful over a few things: I will put you in charge of many things'". And then, I love this part, best. "'come and share your master's happiness'". You know what? The only way we can really be happy is if we're doing something with what God has given us. God has created us to bear good fruit.
So, let me ask you, what are you doing to make somebody else's life better? Not just what are you doing to make your life better, but what are you doing to make somebody else's life better? Because when you make somebody else's life better, then you have joy added to your own. "Then, the man with the two bags of gold, the master came back, and said the same thing to him, 'well done, good and faithful servant. You're gonna be put in charge of much, enter into the joy of the Lord'. Then to the man who had received one bag of gold, he said, 'master, I knew you to be a hard man, harvesting where you had not sown and gathering where you had not reaped. So I was afraid and I went out and I hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you'".
Well, he obviously didn't know his master because his master was not like that. And we need to know that God is good and that he is faithful to his word, and he gives us seed to sow, and if we sow that seed we will reap a great harvest. If we don't reap it here, we'll reap it in heaven. God expects us to use what we have and we either use it, or we lose it, as you will see. "His master replied, 'you wicked, lazy, idle servant'"! Or we might even add the word passive in there. "'you knew that I harvest where I had not sown and gathered where I had not received'", queston Mark. So, that's the way you thought I was? "'Well then, you should have at least put my money in the bank, so I could have gotten some interest on it'". "So, you would have been able to give me something, a little bit of fruit on what I invested in your life".
God has invested himself in us. God has put parts of himself, his gifts in you, and in me, and he expects us to do something with them. Let me ask you a question. How much do you sit around and complain? How much time do you waste feeling sorry for yourself? Or, are you busy, are you active prayerfully, asking God, "Show me who I can help, show me what I can do to make somebody else's life better"? You wonder why you're not happy? Selfish people are not happy. When I asked God many, many years ago, "Why am I not happy? I have everything that should make me happy, why am I not happy"? And he told me, "You're unhappy because you're selfish". And that was true.
You know, you can be a Christian and be a selfish Christian. You can be in ministry and be a selfish person, and I was. But when we begin to really walk in love, and do things for other people, life gets so much better. "'well, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so when I returned I would received back with interest. So, take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags'". Wow, use it or lose it. Come on, let this message today, motivate you to be active, not passive. Don't just sit around and wait for something good to happen. Nothing good happens accidentally.
Matthew 25:1-13, another parable. "At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise". The world is full of wise people, it's full of foolish people, and we need to decide which one we are, and if it's not the wise one, then we need to make a change right away before things get worse. "The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them". The Amplified Bible says, "They didn't take any extra oil". Their lamps had oil in them.
You gotta remember the culture this was written in, they didn't have electricity, they had lamps with oil in them. And when someone was going to get married, it was a little different than today, the bridegroom was usually talking business with the father about what the dowry was gonna be, they were actually making a business deal. And the, "Bridesmaids," as they would have been then, were waiting with their lamps, but they didn't know how long they were gonna have to wait. So, the wise ones took extra oil just in case the negotiations went on longer than they might have expected. But the foolish ones didn't wanna do anything extra.
Now, watch this. "The wise, however, took along jars of oil with the oil that was in their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. At midnight the cry rang out: 'here's the bridegroom! Come out to meet him'! Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise", now, here it is, you don't wanna miss this, "'give us some of your oil: so our lamps don't go out'".
You know people who do nothing, always want the people who did something, to give to them out of their hard work and labor. And you know, we wanna help the poor, we wanna help people that are truly needy, but we don't wanna just enable lazy people and passive people to continue to be lazy and passive. You're not, some people you think you're helping but you're not helping them, you're enabling them. And the virgins, because they were wise, said, "'no, if we do then we may run out ourselves. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves'". So, they left to do what they should have done before they came. "But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. And the virgins who were ready, went in with him to the banquet and the door was shut. And later, came the others, also. 'Lord, Lord,' they said, 'open the door to us'! But he replied, 'truly I tell you, I did not know you'".
That's such a sad story. But you know what? This is what happens. You gotta stay spiritually active, now, spend time with God, get to know God, spend time studying your Bible, get in a Bible study group, get the church, listen to good teachings online, or watch good things on TV, like, "Enjoying Everyday Life". We're on there every morning for you, somewhere, evening in some places. I've written almost a hundred and fifty books, surely, there's one of those books that you could read that would help you. The book stores are full of great books, the television is full of good things that you can watch. You don't even have to put out much effort to get the Gospel, today.
You know, I can go to India and hold a crusade and pastors and people hungry for the word, will walk for three days to get to that conference. And they'll sit there all day long and listen to one teacher after another, after another, after another, and not even get up and go to the bathroom. I don't know how they do that. But they're hungry, spiritually hungry. And you know, today, a lot of people won't even drive their luxury car that's air-conditioned, thirty minutes to go somewhere because, "It's just too far, and I don't wanna go that far". Well, we need to get hungry, now, for spiritual food, so we're not caught unawares when the enemy comes against us.
And then, there's a great parable also, at the end of Matthew chapter 25. These three parables, in Matthew 25, are worth studying. Matthew 25:31-45, "When the son of man comes in his glory, with all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. And all the nations", now listen, "Will be gathered before him and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats". Let's just say that a shepherd has many sheep and many goats. But it's time to go to market, and he needs to separate the goats to go where they need to go, and separate the sheep where they need to go. And so, he's using this as an analogy of how it's gonna be in the end time for us.
And so, there are some people that are gonna be considered sheep and some that are gonna be considered goats. And you know, goats are always butting their head up against something, they're a little bit on the stubborn side. And so, you might say, we have "Goat Christians" that are always, "But, but, but, but," there's always a reason why they can't do what they're supposed to do. But "Sheep Christians" are, "Baa, baa, baa," they are obedient. Sheep are gentle little animals that are easily led by the shepherd. They learn to trust the shepherd and they follow the shepherd. "Then the king will say to those on his right hand", it says he'll put the sheep on his right hand, the goats on the left.
"'Come, you who are blessed by my Father: and take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world'". It's time for rewards. "'for I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger, you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me'". "Then the righteous will say Lord, 'when did we do all those things for you'"? And then he says, "'If you've done it unto the least of these my brethren, you've done it unto me'".
Wow. My goodness. Do you mean to tell me that Jesus takes it personally how we treat other people? If I do something kind for someone who's hurting or in need, that means I've done that to Jesus? Wow. Makes me wanna do even more. We're his body, aren't we? But then he turns it around and said, "'I was hungry, you didn't feed me, I was naked, you didn't clothe me, I was sick, you didn't visit me'". Goes through the whole list again, and they said, "'Well, when were you in that condition and we didn't come and help you'"? And he said, "'If you didn't do it to the least of these'".
The least of these... You know, the people we don't think are important, the people that nobody even notices or pays attention to, the world is full of hurting people that nobody even bothers to see their pain. He said, "'if you did not do it for them, then you did not do it for me'". Wow. You know, if you think about your breath, you breathe in and you breathe out, you breathe in, and you breathe out. You do that all-day long. Well, if I said to you right now, "Take a deep breath and hold it". How long could you hold it before you'd have to let it out?
Well, you know, that's a good example of how God wants us to live. He wants us to take in his blessings, but then he wants us to let them back out to other people. That's the only way we can keep from becoming stagnant in our lives. Oh, I wish with all my heart that everybody could catch this revelation. My life has changed so dramatically since I've seen this. You're not gonna just wake up every morning and naturally want to do something for somebody else and give something away or pay somebody's rent because they're about to get kicked out of their apartment. You're gonna not just naturally jump out of bed every day wanting to do that, you have to do it on purpose.
You say, "God, I wanna help somebody today, who can I help today"? And that's what makes your life better. Be alert. Jeremiah 1:11-12 Amplified says, "Moreover, the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 'Jeremiah, what do you see'"? And he said, "'I see a branch or shoot of an almond tree the emblem of alertness and activity, blossoming in late winter'. Then the Lord said to me, 'you have seen well, for I'", God says this about himself, "'I am alert and active, watching over my word to perform it'". So, God didn't just make a bunch of promises, and just sat back on his throne and has done nothing. He says, "No I'm active, I'm alert, I'm working in people's lives, I'm working in the earth, I'm drawing people to Christ".
Can I tell you that God is working in your life today? And he also wants you to work to make somebody else's life better. The Bible says, "Stay alert for the practice of prayer". Well, you know what? When you see somebody in need, don't think, "Well, when I pray, I'll pray for them". No, pray right now. You don't have to be in any certain position or any certain posture, you can pray silently if you're somewhere where you can't pray out loud. Pray for people, be alert for prayer, and I mean, the minute you feel that the devil is attacking you, pray. The minute you feel a symptom of sickness trying to come on your body, pray.
Prayer is so powerful and it's such a privilege. It's not an obligation, and it's not a duty, it's a privilege. The God of everything, the great and wonderful God of everything, says, "You can come to me and ask me for whatever you need". Anything that you ask for that's in God's will, he'll answer your prayer and give it to you. "Watch and pray that you come not into temptation". You know, if there are things that you know are temptation for you, pray everyday about those things. Don't just wait until you're already in big trouble and then pray, "Oh, God, forgive me". Pray.
You know, if a food is a big temptation for you then don't just thank God for the food there, but ask him to help you not to eat too much of it. Pray about things, don't just assume or presume. "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak". You may be willing to do the right thing, but you're flesh will get the better of you if you don't pray and put your trust in God. I wanna encourage you to avoid all stagnation. Don't let yourself become stagnant, don't think you can just breathe in and hold it in and keep it all for yourself. You've got to breathe in and breathe out, breathe in and breathe out. Take in God's love, give it back to somebody else. Take in God's comfort, give it back to somebody else. Take in God's kindness, give it back to somebody else. Don't let your life be purposeless.
I have a wonderful book to offer you today, and we're offering it to you for your gift to the ministry of any amount. That means everybody can get this book. All we ask you to do is send in the best that you can. And the book is called, "Seize The Day", and it's about having purpose in your life and being active, getting up ready to take the day, not just getting up waiting to see what's gonna happen today. "I hope I get blessed today". No, with God all things are possible, so, you can make it a great day if you want to. God bless you.