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2021 online sermons » Joyce Meyer » Joyce Meyer - First Things First - Part 1

Joyce Meyer - First Things First - Part 1


Joyce Meyer - First Things First - Part 1


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Joyce Meyer - First Things First - Part 1
Joyce Meyer - First Things First - Part 1

Thank you so much for joining us today. I believe that the time you're investing is going to pay great dividends in your life because we are gonna talk about something really important today. We're gonna talk about priorities. Actually, I'm calling it putting first things first. And you know, sometimes, we don't have any trouble putting them first, but then it's keeping them first that can become the challenge because there's so many other things that try to crowd in.

You know, there is a scripture in 1 Peter, I think it's 5:8 in the Amplified Bible it says, be well-balanced, for your adversary, the devil, roams about like a lion roaring in fierce hunger seeking whom he may devour. And then it says, "We're to steadfastly resist him". Well, I think it's interesting that it says that if we stay well-balanced, that we can keep the enemy out of our lives, and if we're not balanced, we can let him in. And you know, balance really has a lot to do with priorities. It's like knowing what's the most important, what comes after that, what comes after that, and keeping things the way they should be. And that is our responsibility.

You know, so many people today complain about their schedule. They complain about not having any time, and what everybody expects out of them. And you know, I catch myself doing it too sometimes, but the Lord reminds me that it's my schedule, I made it, and I'm the only one that can change it. And so we have to become responsible for the things in our life that don't seem to be working well, and sometimes there's nothing we can do about it. Sometimes it's just an attack from the enemy. But sometimes we have let our lives get out of order, and we've opened up a door for the enemy. Let me just give you one example: the Bible talks about how we open the door for the enemy through holding onto unforgiveness. Don't let the sun go down on your anger. Don't give the devil any such foothold.

And so it's up to us to make sure that we don't go to bed mad. But I wonder how many, even of you that are watching, even though I know you're wonderful, and you do most everything right, I wonder how many of you went to bed last night angry at somebody? Perhaps even the person that you were sleeping with? Hopefully and prayerfully, the person that you are married to. And we need to realize that we can't just pray everything away, we pray for God to give us the strength to do what we need to do. So, let's talk today and tomorrow on the program, about priorities: putting first things first. Well, Christ is the center of all things. He is the first, and the most important thing in our lives.

Colossians 1:17-18 from the Amplified classic edition, and we really need to read this slow because it is just so powerful. And he himself existed before all things. So, before there was anything, any world, any universe, anything, there was God. And in him all things consist (cohere, and are held together). I love that, like God is the glue, so to speak, that holds us together, that holds our lives together, that holds the universe together. When you think about, just the earth on its axis, and how it rotates and if it just didn't rotate exactly perfectly, I guess it'd fall off and no tellings what would happen. Who keeps the sun and the moon and the stars, in the sky? Who makes all of these things in the universe work right? I'll tell you whether you know it or not, you are dependent on God. God provides food for the animals. He provides enough sunshine, enough rain.

God is so good, and he is involved in everything, and it's time that we start giving him credit for it. "He is the head of [his] body, which is the church": he refers to the church, not just the one building you go to, but the church, all believers, as his body. "He is the head of [his] body, the church: seeing that he is the beginning, the firstborn from among the dead, Jesus was the first one to ever come back from the dead. So that he alone", now, get this, "That he alone in everything and in every respect might occupy the chief place [stand first and be preeminent]".

Well, God should be the main thing in our life. Well, let me just ask a few questions: what's first in your life? Is making money, first in your life? Trying to buy more things than you already have? Do you spend too much time at work, rarely any time with God, rarely any time with your family? If you do, it will eventually catch up with you and there will be consequences. We need to think about consequences, we reap what we sow. The Bible tells us not to store up treasure on earth, where it can be destroyed at any moment. Matthew 6:19, don't store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.

You know, the Bible says in revelation that Babylon falls in one hour. And the businessmen and those who love commerce begin to mourn. Now, Babylon was actually a city, but it's also, gives us the idea of wealth and prosperity, and business, and all the commerce that goes on in the world. And I'm not suggesting that we don't need to make money, we do, we need money. I'm not suggesting that we shouldn't save money. We do need to save money for emergencies and save a decent amount of money for retirement. But don't worship money, don't make money more important than what it is.

Often people say that money is a root of all evil, but that's not what the Bible says. It says, "The love of money is the root of all evil". And I think we all always have to remember and remind ourselves that, we came into the world with nothing and the Bible says that, we will go out of it with nothing. This is a very important subject to think about. We all have so much stuff, I mean, just stuff. How many things do you have in your house that you don't need, never use, but yet you might even go out and buy another one?

Keep first things first in your life. Don't make money the most important thing in your life. How 'bout getting your college degree, maybe for you, right now, that's the most important thing in your life. Well, first of all, let me say, I'm all for education. I think you should get as much of it as you feel that you need. There are some things that we just can't do without the education to do them. I certainly wouldn't wanna go to a doctor that had never gone to school, and had years of training in what's required to be a doctor.

So, even today, in a lot of places, you know, when I was growing up, you didn't need a college degree as much as you do today to get a job. A lot back then people were willing to train you, and they even liked that sometimes better than getting somebody who already thought they knew everything. But today, not impossible, but a lot of places really put a lot of value in the college degree. So, I'm not saying that it's not important, but some people get so smart that they no longer can believe like a little child. You know, Jesus said that if we wanna enter the kingdom of heaven, we must come to him as a little child. And I think that's so important.

You know, are you childlike in your heart? We don't wanna go around acting like babies. But it's so true, I think, the more people know, sometimes, not all the time, but sometimes the less they are able to believe. Because if you let your head get more full than your heart is, then you're gonna want to understand everything. And I will just tell you now, you are not, nor should you, understand everything about God. Who can figure out the Trinity?

I read the other day that a man trying to figure out the Trinity, would be like a worm trying to figure out a man. There's no way that you can say, we have one God but shows up in three persons. You can never make three equal one, or one equal three. But and I don't understand that with my head, but I do understand it with my heart. I believe it with childlike faith. We have God the Father, Jesus the son who is fully God, and the Holy Spirit who is also God. You can't understand all the things that happened in the world, why bad things happen to good people. There's too many things we can't understand. So, we have to be willing to, yes, think about things, but if it comes to the point where you're being confused by thinking about them, at that point that's when you say, I trust God.

You say, "But I can't see God, I can't feel God". But we can know, not in our mind but in our heart, that God is. He says, "Without faith, it's impossible to please him, and those that come to him must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of everyone who diligently seeks him". Let's look at some of the things that God has to say about worldly wisdom. 1 Corinthians 1:19-21, "For it is written: 'I will destroy the wisdom of the wise: the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate'. Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? Now listen, for since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of preaching to save those who believe".

It's so amazing to me sometimes when I'm teaching in a conference, and I can see the people, to just watch their faces and watch the change that comes over some of the people as I preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It's wonderful to see light come into dead eyes. It's amazing when we have the privilege of leading someone into a relationship with God through Christ. They believe with their heart the Word of God, the Gospel of Christ when it's preached. There's so much power in it, that it can go beyond what you think, or what seems to make sense to you, and you can know in a different way than knowing with your head. The Bible talks a lot about knowing. Job said, "I know that my redeemer lives". Well, he didn't just mean he knew it with his head, because his life was in a lot of trouble. It wouldn't have looked to him like his redeemer was alive, but he said, "I know," and he meant I know down here. And can I just simply say this right now because I feel like it's something God wants me to say?

Some of you just need to stop trying to figure it out. Whatever "It" is to you. It could be your current problem. It could be some, difficulty that you are or have gone through in life and something that seems really unfair happened to you and you just don't get it. Go beyond what you think, to what you know in your heart. Shut that head off sometimes and just sit quietly in the presence of God and see what is in your heart. Worldly wisdom verses godly wisdom.

James 3:13-17, "Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such 'wisdom' does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice". Well, now see, the world might say, if somebody mistreats you, you need to shut them out of your life or get them back. You need to make them pay in some way. But that's really not godly wisdom because godly wisdom tells us to harbor such things in our heart is gonna ruin our own life and that we need to forgive people even though they don't deserve it. And when we do forgive people, then we can trust God to take care of us.

"The wisdom that comes from above", I love this, "Is first of all pure: peace-loving, considerate, submissive", oh, that's a good one, because we have very few really submissive people in the world today. Most people just absolutely do not want to be told what to do. "Full of mercy and good fruit, impartial", true wisdom knows that God created everyone equally. We all have equal value to God, and we should honor one another in the same way. One person is not better than another in God's eyes. Knowledge, too much knowledge, too much head knowledge, I should say, can cause one to be puffed up, the Bible says and that means proud.

Now, here again, I'm not against education, get all the degrees that you wanna get, but make sure that you always keep in front of you that God's ways supersede the ways of the world. And perhaps even some of the ways you've learned to do things, if they don't agree with God's word, then you need to go to God's word, not what you've learned. Do you know that a lot of young people that go to college, a huge percentage of Christian young people that go to college, come out having had lost their faith? Somebody was just telling me last week about their child, who's a good, godly child, has only been in college one year, and they've already lost so much of their faith. Well, we don't have to do that. What we need to do is check what the world teaches us against what God teaches us, and always go with God because God needs to be first in our life, in all things.

In our time, in our conversation, in our thoughts, in our actions, our entertainment, our attitude, our decisions: God always needs to be first, always. What would happen in our society today? Like the number one thing the Bible teaches is love. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. And you shall love your neighbor even as you love yourself. What if every person in the world went to a college for four years to get a degree in walking in love? Wow! Come on, what if we went to school to learn about mercy, and kindness, and giving, and generosity, and forgiveness? You know, those are the things that we really need to know.

So, go to all the schooling you want to, get all the information you want to, but make sure that you always have time for this, in your life. Don't say, "I don't have time for that right now, I'm busy getting a degree". Love is the most important thing in the world. The Bible says that we can have all of everything else, all the worldly wisdom, prophetic powers, on, and on, and on, but if we have not love, we are a useless nobody. So, walking in love everyday should be our number one top priority. Now, you know, I don't know how long it takes you to get ready to go out. But like, when I was coming here to the studio today, it takes me an hour: to take a shower, wash my hair, fix my hair, put on makeup, pick out the right clothes. Sometimes I can do it in 45 minutes, but usually it takes an hour. And if I look at myself and I don't like the way I look, I'll go try another outfit.

Well, let me ask you a question. Do you spend as much time getting ready spiritually before you go out as you do getting ready physically? See, I spent two hours with God before I spent that hour getting myself to where I thought I looked good enough to go outside. Now, you my say, "Well Joyce, I don't have that kind of time in the morning, I've got a house full of kids". Well, God doesn't expect something out of you that you can't give him. But you need to start your day with God, even if it's five minutes in the bathroom, you need to start your day with God.

And let me just say something else, and I want you to remember this, whatever you put your time into, whatever you put the most of your time into, that is the thing that is the most important to you. Let me say it again, the more time you put into something, the more important it is to you. We like to think we have no control over our schedule, but we do. We certainly do. So, we need to be educated but beware of having more head knowledge than you do spiritual knowledge. Don't fail at Christianity. Or some people fail at Christianity because they don't educate themselves in being a Christian.

You know, being a Christian is about a lot more than just going to church. I can go out and sit in my garage all day and that'll never make me a car. And you can go sit in a church three times a week, every week of your life, and that will never make you a Christian. Being a Christian is about receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior as your only help and your only hope, and leaning entirely on him for the forgiveness of sins and for salvation, and having through Christ a deep, personal, intimate relationship with God, where he is invited into and welcomed into every single area of your life.

Now, let me just tell you now, if you do not have that, you can call the phone number on your screen and one of our operators will be happy to explain more to you about what it means to be born again. And they will lead you through prayer, into a relationship with God through Christ. Please call us if you don't have that and you need it. Are you trying to climb the corporate ladder of success? You have to be careful, because some people spend all their life trying to climb the ladder of success only to find out when they get to the top that it's leaned against the wrong building. There's nothing that makes me sadder than to see an elderly person say somebody in their '80s, and all they can think about is all the things they regret. Things they regret that they did, things they regret that they didn't do.

Let me tell you when you're on your deathbed, you're not gonna ask to see your checkbook balance. That's not gonna be what you want. You're gonna want your family, your friends, around you. You're gonna want to have the comfort of God in your life, knowing that even when you leave this earth, you're going to a better place to live with God throughout all eternity. Is your girlfriend, your boyfriend, your husband, your wife, more important to you than God is? Do you choose them, over God? You know, the people that are important to us, need to have a high place in our life, but people will disappoint you and let you down. But the Bible says that if we go with God, we'll never be disappointed. How about your children, are they the number one thing in your life? Well, you know what? They're gonna grow up and leave.

Now, that doesn't mean that you can't always have a good relationship with your children. But my daughter for example has four children, all grown, and the last one just left home. Now, here she was a few years ago, driving kids everywhere, and her life was so busy with all of her kids. But you know, you need to make sure while you're raising your children that you also are building a relationship with God and other relationships, because you're going to need them, eventually. And yeah, don't know what it is that you spend all your time doing. But I know that we need to make good habits. And a lot of times we focus on breaking bad habits, but if you just focus on making good habits, there will be no room for the bad habits.

And so, we're offering you today, some teaching called, Making Good Habits, Breaking Bad Habits, and a coffee mug, so you can start every morning with God. It says, "Good morning. This is God. I'll be taking care of your problems today, and I won't need your help". It's good to have reminders all around us about God to make sure that we keep him first place in our life. Now, be sure you join us tomorrow, and we're going to continue along these lines of teaching. Thank you.
And so, we're offering you today, some teaching called, Making Good Habits, Breaking Bad Habits, and a coffee mug, so you can start every morning with God. It says, "Good morning. This is God. I'll be taking care of your problems today, and I won't need your help". It's good to have reminders all around us about God to make sure that we keep him first place in our life. Now, be sure you join us tomorrow, and we're going to continue along these lines of teaching. Thank you.
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