Joyce Meyer - A Responsible Attitude
Well, welcome to, "Enjoying Everyday Life". I'm really happy that you decided to spend this time with me, today. Today, I wanna talk to you about responsibility. Now, many of you are very responsible people, but some are not. And if you are a responsible person, you'll just be really thrilled with this message and just feel so good about it, and maybe, if you're not so responsible, it might get a little bit uncomfortable for you, but it's very important that we are responsible.
Philippians 2:5 says, "Let this same attitude and purpose and humble mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus: let him be your example in humility". You know, Jesus was sent here to do something. There was a purpose for him coming and that was to die for our sins, pay for them and that was gonna involve a lot of suffering. And he took responsibility to do everything that he was sent here to do. And we need to be responsible in our everyday lives, as well as, being responsible for whatever God has called us to do in our lives.
Let me just give you a little example. We need to be responsible to take care of our property. Anything that God's given us we need to be responsible to take care of it. Anything that we have requires maintenance. If we don't maintain it, it doesn't do any good to attain it if we're not gonna maintain it. We need to be responsible to pay our bills. I think it was in 2017, 750,000 people filed bankruptcy. Now, there may be some people that get in a situation that's beyond their control and they can't pay their bills for some reason, but I'm talking about people just not managing their money well and overspending and not paying their bills.
We need to be responsible to be on time. It's very rude to be late everywhere that we go. Anybody's gonna be late once in awhile. But if it's a habit then it's something that needs to be corrected. We need to be responsible to keep our word, to do what we say we're gonna do. To save for emergencies and retirement, to take care of and teach your children, to be faithful in your marriage, to respect and take care of your body. Your health is a gift from God.
Don't abuse your body and lose your health. Don't always be wanting something free all the time. Everybody gets so excited about the word "Free". Free this, and free that, and free something else, but you know what? There's nothing that's completely free, because even if you get it free, somebody else had to pay for it. We talk about salvation being a free gift, and it is a free gift to us, but Jesus paid for it. That's why we need to appreciate everything that he did so much. Life is really about responsibility. And I'm blessed in that I've always been a fairly responsible person, but I think being responsible has a lot to do with your success in life.
What is responsibility? It's defined as to be called upon, to give an account of, or to answer for, liable in case of fault. We don't like that, do we? We always want to blame everything on somebody else. To answer for one's conduct, to meet an obligation, to do your duty, and able to choose between right and wrong. And you know, we either choose to be accountable or we will be made accountable by our circumstances or by God. If a person is not responsible to make their car payments, they will be forced to be accountable when somebody comes and tows their car away. If a person isn't responsible to pay their rent, they'll be forced into accountability when they get evicted and have no choice but to move. If a person's not responsible to meet their marital and family obligations, to treat people right, to spend time with them and take care of them, you'll be forced into accountability when your spouse wants a divorce and your kids don't want anything to do with you.
The Bible says, in Romans 14:12 that "Each of us will give an account of ourselves to God". Whoo, imagine that. Now, I'm not talking about salvation. If you're a believer in Jesus, you're never gonna be judged on your salvation. Your name's already written in the lamb's book of life. But we are going to need to give an account of what we did with ourselves, and our lives, and our time while we were here. And the Bible says that "Jesus is coming back and he's bringing his rewards with him to give to each person according to what their deeds deserve".
So, salvation is a free gift. Jesus paid for our salvation. That's not a question. If you really truly believe in Jesus, your name's written in the lamb's book of life. But then, God expects us to live a certain way. "Let the same attitude and humble mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus". He is our example and we should do whatever Jesus would do in a situation. Now, to give an account of ourselves to God, might be something like, "Well, Joyce, you knew better. Why did you spend so much time gossiping and having opinions about other people"? Well, I'll miss a blessing that God would love to give me in heaven, if that's how I handle myself here, on earth.
To be honest, I think there's so many things that people, in general, know they shouldn't do but they do anyway, thinking it's not gonna matter. But it will matter, because someday we will give an account of ourselves before God. Matthew 12 says, "I tell you, on the day of judgement, you will give an account for every idle word that you have spoken". Wow. What's an idle word? The Amplified Bible says it's an inoperative, non-working word. You know, as much as I've studied the power of words, and I've studied it a lot, and written a lot on it, I mean, I guess I still don't fully understand the power of words. Otherwise, I wouldn't say some of the things that I still find myself saying.
Words are containers for power, and we need to be responsible to speak words of life and not words of death. We're all called by God for a purpose. You have a purpose. God has a purpose for you. And the word responsibility actually means to respond to the ability that God has placed in you. Response-ability, respond to the ability that God has placed in you. God called me to teach and preach his word. Well, I couldn't do it if he had not have given me the ability to do it. But then, I still have to respond to that ability. I still have to study. You know, you see this little part right here, but I studied for hours to be able to stand here and deliver this word to you, today.
And I don't want it to fall on deaf ears. I want you to ask yourself, if you are being responsible to do the things that you know that you need to do. "Many are called, but few are chosen," the Bible says. And I think that means many are called, but few are willing to take the responsibility for the call. I actually, know somebody who felt that they might be called to preach, and they said they just didn't wanna do it because they didn't wanna live the narrow life that they knew they would have to live if they were gonna represent God everywhere they went.
Well, you know, that's really pretty sad. I mean, I'm glad that he's at least truthful, but that's still sad to say that I wanna live in a manner that would not put me in a position where I should be preaching the Gospel to other people. And there is a responsibility to teaching and preaching God's word. And I do need to live a narrow life. I can't be doing things that I'm teaching other people not to do and neither should anybody else that's teaching the word. "Many are called, but few are chosen".
Jesus explained that the call would require, not only the privilege of standing in front of people, but also, suffering and sacrifice. Words that were are not very popular. You don't get a big crowd if you announce that you're gonna teach on suffering. Matthew 20:17-22, are very interesting scriptures. "Now, Jesus was going up to Jerusalem. And on the way, he took the twelve aside and said to them, 'we are going up to Jerusalem, and the son of man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. And they will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. And on the third day he will be raised again to life'".
So, Jesus knew what was gonna happen to him when he went to Jerusalem. But he knew what he had come to do, and it was part of his responsibility to go through whatever he needed to go through in order to be able to do it. "Then the mother of Zebedee's sons came to Jesus," she'd heard what he said. "She came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, in front of him asked a favor of him". Can you do me a favor? "'well, what is it that you want?' Jesus said. 'grant that one of these two sons of mine might sit on your right hand and the other on your left when you come into your kingdom'". And here's what Jesus said, I love this. "'You don't know what you're asking for'".
Wow, so many times we ask for things and we wonder why we didn't get 'em, but God actually, did us a favor in not giving it to us because we really weren't ready to be responsible for it yet. It's not just about getting something. Everything that you get comes with a responsibility. Even if you pray for a bigger house, it comes with more responsibility. The house payment's gonna be more. It's gonna take more to clean it. There's gonna be more things that will break down because you now have the bigger house.
And so, a lot of times we ask for things that we don't really want to take care of, and we should take care of everything that we have. Jesus said, "You don't know what you're asking for," and listen to this. He said, "'can you drink the cup that I am about to drink?'" and he was talking about the cup of suffering. He was saying, "If I were to give you those positions, you wouldn't just get the position, you'd also, have to do some sacrificing and there would be some suffering if you're gonna do that". Respond to the ability that God has placed in you or to the opportunity that God has put in front of you. With every privilege comes a corresponding responsibility.
I want you to get that, with every privilege comes a corresponding responsibility. So, let's just say you're praying for a promotion at work. Well, don't pray for a promotion, if you're not ready to take the extra responsibility. Everybody wants to be the boss. But really, there's a lot more to it than just having your name on a door, somewhere. When you're the boss, you can never make one decision that everybody's gonna agree with. Being the boss is not always the most popular thing going on. I think it takes courage to be a leader. And I love this story about Moses and Joshua.
You know, when Moses brought the Israelites out of Egypt, with God's help, he obviously, didn't just bring 'em out. God did many miracles to bring 'em out. And he brought 'em out to take 'em into the Promised Land, which was actually, only an 11-day journey from where they were to the border of the Promised Land, but it took them 40 years to get there. Now, have you spent 40 years trying to make an 11-day journey? I tell you I felt like I did. I kept going around, and around, and around the same mountains. And most of it was because I just didn't wanna do it God's way. Well, Moses led them so far, but then, because he had disobeyed God in something, he wasn't allowed to take him into the Promised Land.
And so, Joshua, who was Moses' servant, in Joshua 1:1-3, it says, "After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua the son of nun, who was Moses' minister, 'Moses my servant is dead'". Well, guess what? Joshua knew that Moses was dead because he'd already been mourning him for 30 days. Back in those times, they even have laws about how long you could mourn. So, they were allowed to mourn Moses for 30 days, then they had to go on with their life. And God had called Joshua to take the people into the Promised Land.
Well, you see, when they were going into the Promised Land, it actually, meant new levels of responsibility. They were told to go in and possess the land. But to possess, the word possess means to dispossess the current occupants. So, actually, when they went into the Promised Land no more manna fell. When they were out in the wilderness their food got rained out of heaven, everyday. Well, that stopped. That meant they were gonna have to work for their food. And every place that they went, God gave them the Promised Land, he said, "Every place in which the sole of your foot shall tread that have I given you," but they had to go take it.
In other words, this is yours, but you've got to step out and take it. This is yours, but you've gotta step out and take it. But everywhere they went, there was an enemy living on that land, so they had to do war with all those enemies. And one of the reasons why they spent so much time out in the wilderness was because they really weren't mature enough to go into the Promised Land and do what God wanted them to do. God has got an amazing life planned for every single one of you, but the quicker we all become obedient to God, the faster we will get to the good things that he has for us.
Don't be the kinda person that says, "Well, I know I should but... I know I shouldn't but"... To know what to do and not do it is sin. Everything that God tells us to do in his word is something that will be good for us. Just because it's uncomfortable or we have to give up something that doesn't mean it's not the right thing for us to do. I don't know what God might be dealing with you about, right now, but I can tell you, whatever it is, he's not gonna change his mind. God is not gonna change his mind and vote with you because you don't want to do it. And so, the best thing to do is just be willing to go through whatever kind of discomfort you have to go through, and do it God's way.
"After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, God said, 'Moses my servant is dead. Now, arise and take his place, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land which I am giving to them. And every place upon which the sole of your foot shall tread, that have I given to you, even as I promised Moses'".
You know, the devil is not gonna leave you alone just because you're a Christian with a bumper sticker on your car. Matter of fact, if you do make a determination to fully serve God with your life, you can plan on the enemy coming against you. I would be concerned more if the devil was leaving me alone all the time than I am if he comes against me. Because if he comes against me, I know that means that I'm doing damage to his kingdom and he's trying to stop me. I said, the other day, "I think the devil hates me". But you know what? I hate him, too. And I hate the evil works that he's doing in the world, today. And I wanna be responsible to preach the Gospel, as much as I can, with every breath I've got until the day that God takes me out of here, because there's so many people in the world that are deceived and need to hear the truth.
Victory is not automatic to us. We must study to show our self approved. Know the word, and apply the word in our life, and be a good example to other people. The word arise, which is in the Bible quite often, means to stand up, to get out of bed, to move, or to change your position. You know, there's another story that I love to tell. And even, if you get tired of hearing me tell this story, it's still so great, I can't ignore it.
In John chapter 5, the first 9 verses, and I'll paraphrase a little. There was a man that had an infirmity. And he'd been layin' by this pool water for 38 years, waiting for a miracle. Once a year, an angel would come and stir up the waters, and whoever got into the pool first, got a miracle of healing. Well, he'd been laying there 38 years, in the same condition. C'mon, there's a message here for you. Have you been in the same condition for 10 years, 15 years, 20 years? Still got a bad attitude? Still haven't let go of the things that happened to you in your childhood? Still mad at somebody all the time?
Remember, you can't live by what you want, think, and feel. You live by the Word of God. And so, Jesus saw the man laying there, knowing he had been in that condition for 38 years, and Jesus said to him, "Do you want to get well? Are you really serious about getting well"? And you know what? In light of what I'm sharing with you today, that's a great question, because some people want a miracle but they don't want to do their part. Some people want a big ministry, but they don't want to live the lifestyle that they need to live in order to represent God right. We want, we want, we want, we want, but are we willing to take the responsibility for what we want? We have a big issue in the world today with the lack of responsibility, and a lot of entitled people who think they should have something just because... I don't know why.
You know, just, "I'm great and I should have it," or, "I deserve it. But I've really done nothing to get it". I always tell people don't be jealous of somebody, if you don't wanna do what they did, to get what they've got. "Well, it must be nice to be like you". Well, you know, people don't just fall into blessings. They spent a lifetime being responsible for something and now God has blessed them. Do you really wanna get well? Let me say that to you, today. Do you really want to get set free from your problems? Do you really want to change?
Well, God loves you so much, he sent Jesus to die for you, and he wants to help you, he wants to change you, he wants to deliver you, but he's not just gonna wave a magic wand and it's all gonna happen. The way that God will deliver you is he'll show you things that you need to change and he'll help you do it. You don't you can't do it without him, but he's not gonna do it without you. I say, all the time, "We're partners with God, and we can't do his part and he won't do our part". So, Jesus said to the man, "Do you really wanna get well"? And the man said to him, "Sir, I have nobody when the water's moving to put me in the pool".
Well, you see, right there, he wanted somebody else to do it for him. "And every time I try to get in, somebody gets ahead of me". Self-pitying statements: "All my life, everybody's always gotten ahead of me. I've always been the tail end of everything. I have nobody to help me". Well, you have God. And he is not just enough, he is more than enough. And he will help you with anything that you're willing to give to him. Cast your care on him and let him take care of you.
You know what Jesus said to this man? This guy's been 38 years in this condition, poor guy, nobody to help him, everybody gets ahead of him. And Jesus said, "Get up," or arise. And he said, "Make up your bed, and go home". Well, I love that. What was the answer to the man's problems? Quit laying there, feeling sorry for yourself, get up and get about doing what you should be doing. You know, it's really a straightforward message, but it's just so powerful. You know, the Israelites did not have a responsible attitude, and that's why they had so many problems, and it took 'em so long to make the journey through the wilderness.
In numbers 20, verses 3 and 4, it says, "They quarreled with Moses and said, 'if only we would have died when our brothers fell dead before the Lord'". Well, what a good attitude: "We just wish we were dead. This is so hard. We just wish we were dead". It must have really been hard having their food rained out of the sky everyday and water coming out of a rock. "'why did you bring us into this wilderness?'" because they wanted to leave. They were begging God to get 'em out of there, and God sent 'em a deliverer, somebody to lead them out. Now, they're blaming that guy and God because they don't like their circumstances.
Numbers 21:4-5, "They traveled from mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea, to go around Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way: and they spoke against God and against Moses," see, blame, blame. "God, this is your fault. Moses, this is your fault". Do you know, as long as we're blaming other people, it keeps us from seeing our part and what we need to do?
Now, c'mon, I know this message may be hard on some of you today, but this is the kinda stuff that will help you, if you'll receive it and listen to it. And I'm not telling you anything that God didn't tell me. I felt sorry for myself for a long time, and God said, "You can be pitiful or powerful, but you can't be both".
Do you wanna have a powerful life? Do you want to get beyond your past and start enjoying the future that God's got for you? Then self-pity has to go, no more self-pity. "'Why have you brought us out of Egypt to die in this wilderness? There's no bread. There's no water. And we just hate this miserable food that you're giving us'". Man, God is patient and merciful, to put up with the way they behaved, all that time. Well, sadly, the Bible goes on to say, in the next verse, that venomous snakes came among the people and bit them and 23,000 of 'em died.
You know what? God didn't want that to happen. That wasn't his will for that to happen. But the people just kept it up, and kept it up, and kept it up, they had a bad attitude, they didn't have a responsible attitude. But I believe that you got this message today, and that you received it, even though it might have been a little uncomfortable, and you're like, "That's it. I hear you, Lord. I wanna be responsible for everything that you want me to be responsible for. Help me change".
Now, today, we're offering you... We always offer you more of the word. That's the only thing I know to offer you that's gonna help you. So, today, we have four CDs called, "9 Attitudes That Will Keep You Happy". Attitude determines altitude. And then, we've got a coffee mug for you. It's got a message on it about being yourself, and that's something we all need to remember, every day. You don't have to be somebody else. You can be yourself because God loves you, and has a great plan for you. Thank you for being with me, today.