Joyce Meyer - Beatitudes - Part 5
Well, thank you for joining me today on, "Enjoying Everyday Life". And you know what? That's exactly what Jesus wants us to do. He wants us to have an abundant life that we can enjoy. He wants us to have joy overflowing so it'll bubble over on other people and that will cause them to want a relationship with Christ like we have. Today, we're talking about one of the one of, "The Beatitudes," or one of the things that Jesus talks about in, "The Sermon on the Mount". We've been talking about this all week. And today, we're gonna talk about the peacemakers. "Blessed are the makers and the maintainers of peace, for they shall be called the sons of God". I love that.
Are you a peacemaker? Do you go out of your way to make peace with people? Or do you always wait for them to come and make peace with you when there's been any kind of a rift between you and them? I remember, years ago, when I didn't really know hardly anything, and I was learning and really wanting to grow in God, and if Dave and I had some kind of a rift and God would start to convict me, or speak to my heart that I needed to go and apologize to him, I said, one time, to the Lord, "Well, it's not my turn. I apologized last". And he assured me that there's no scripture that says, "Apologize and make peace if it's your turn".
You know what I think? I think whoever goes and makes peace first, is actually, the one that's the most mature. Blessed, happy to be envied, people with large wonderful lives must be peacemakers. "Blessed are the peacemakers, they will be called the sons of God". The immature, baby stage of Christianity, people in that stage, live by their feelings. They're carnal. But mature believers live by the spirit. They follow the leadership of the Holy Spirit, even if it doesn't necessarily feel good to their flesh. Satan can always steal the peace of anybody who walks in the flesh. And I always like to say that he sets us up to get us upset. He wants us to lose our peace because when we get frustrated, we start saying and doing all kinds of things that are fleshly, carnal things that we should not be doing.
A maker and a maintainer of peace must have peace as the number one goal in their life. We really need to maintain an attitude of peace in our lives at all time. And we need to recognize when we're starting to lose our peace and quickly do whatever we do, make whatever adjustments we need to, to get it back. And you might say, "Well, Joyce, I just wish I had some peace". Well, you do have peace, because the Bible says in John 14:27, Jesus said, "'peace I leave with you: my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and neither let them be afraid'". The Amplified Bible puts it extremely plainly. It says, "Stop allowing yourselves to be upset and disturbed. And stop allowing yourselves to be fearful and intimidated".
Jesus gave us his peace, but it's up to us to walk in that peace. We're partners with God, and we can't just sit back and pray for peace, if we're not gonna do our part to keep that peace, to maintain that peace. And I'll tell you, there so many arguments that people have over who's gonna be right. But, you know, my son said to me, one time, because he used to be like that. He would argue with you all day long just to prove he was right. And he said, "You know, I've discovered that being right is not all it's cracked up to be". And it's true. It's really like, what have you proven if you finally get somebody to say that you're right. Why not just turn things over to God and if you're right and you need to be shown to be in the right, trust God to make that evident, but don't try to make it evident yourself.
You know, the Bible says that we are inheritors, that we are joint heirs with Christ, and we inherit blessings and things from God. And a child, I know, like, we have left a will. And now, all of our children are grown and of age, but when we made that will, we had a son that was still only like 11 or 12 years old. And so, we had his part of the will, we had a trustee that was over that. Which meant that if anything happened to us and whatever we had, at that time, would be divided four ways because we have four adult children, but we didn't want him to get a fourth of anything that we were leaving at that age, because we didn't want it to hurt him. He needed to be ready and mature enough to handle those kinds of blessings.
Well, the Bible says the same thing about us, as far as this inheritance that we have from God being enacted. It is our inheritance, but we need to be mature enough to show God that we're ready to handle those kinds of things. And in particular, in, "The Beatitudes," it's talking about power. Power is released in our lives when we have the same attitudes that Jesus had. "Blessed are the pure in heart". "Blessed are the meek". "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness". "Blessed are those who are merciful," because when you show mercy, you'll receive mercy. And "Blessed are the makers and the maintainers of peace for they shall be called the sons of God". They're mature sons and daughters of God. The inheritance that God wants to give them, can be released to them, and they can walk in power.
Galatians 4:1 and 2, says, "What I am saying is this: as long as an heir", which is what we are, is joint heirs with Christ, "Is underage," or immature, "He is no different than a slave, although he actually, owns the whole estate". So, for instance, talking about the example of our son, even though he would have had that inheritance and it was his and he could have said, "This is mine. My parents have left me this. It's mine". He couldn't spend any of it. He couldn't do anything with it. So, it did him no good at all until he was mature enough to handle it. And that's the way that we are in our walk with God.
And I think, a lot of times, we read about the promises of God in the Bible, and then, we don't understand why those things are not a reality in our life. And most of the time, it's because we just, honestly, are not mature enough yet, to handle them. God is not gonna give you a big worldwide ministry, something to be in charge of, if you're gonna end up using the finances in a wrong way, and living a life that you should not be living, that ends up bringing shame to the name of Jesus. And so, we need to thank God that he doesn't give us things before we are ready to have them.
And one of the things that shows real maturity is being a maker and a maintainer of peace. Because I can tell you, in the world that we live in today, walking in peace is something that you will have to do on purpose. It's not something that you can just pray into your life. It's not something that is easily obtained. In order to stay in peace, you have to learn not to worry, how to cast your care on God. You learn how to humble yourself and forgive people, how to be merciful. You learn how to be quick to forgive, how to not judge, how to not criticize, how to not have excessive opinions about what other people are doing, not worrying about all the lies that Satan tries to tell you, and even all the conditions in the world today.
We need to look at the Word of God a lot more than we look at the newspaper and believe the Word of God a lot more than we believe what the news says. Because no matter what the world says is gonna happen, we've already read the Bible. We read the end of the book, and we know that God is in charge, and he's coming back for his people. Amen. I hope if you're some place where you can, you're saying, "Amen". 1 Corinthians 14:20, "Brothers and sisters, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults". It's time to leave the baby stage of Christianity and grow up. We need maturity, which means we don't get to do just everything that we feel like doing, we do what we know God wants us to do, no matter how we feel about it.
Let me ask you, and I'm just asking you this lovingly, just to get you to think: do you do what you believe God wants you to do no matter how you feel about it? Or do you have a tendency to follow your feelings too much, and it ends up getting you in trouble? You can get in financial trouble. You can get in relationship trouble. There's all kinds of trouble that can be had by following the flesh. Well, when we walk according to the spirit, then we begin to see this inheritance that God has left us opened up in our life. "When I was a child", 1 Corinthians 13:11, "When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me".
Well, humility is necessary for peace. Anybody that's gonna walk in peace is gonna have to learn how to humble themselves under the mighty hand of God. I have a wonderful husband that's actually very easy to get along with, but there are times when we don't agree, and times when I'm tempted to argue with him about something, or tempted to maybe get my feelings hurt. And I know Dave loves me, and I don't think he would ever hurt my feelings on purpose. So, I've just come to the point where most of the time I just decide not to get my feelings hurt. I may feel that in the beginning, and then, I have a talk with myself, I have a meeting with myself. And you know, sometimes, we make time for our friends, and we make times for television, and we make times for all kinds of stuff, but maybe, you need to have a meeting with yourself, and you need to talk to yourself a little bit about some of the things going on in your life, and some of your attitudes.
And so, I can talk to myself and I can say, "Now, Joyce, you know that Dave loves you. And you know that he loves God. And he did not hurt your feelings on purpose. So, it's up to you whether you get them hurt or not. You can be miserable all day and be mad at him, and let this little, tiny thing blow into some huge ordeal. Or you can decide right now, to believe the best and let it go". You know, the Bible says that love always believes the best of every person. And maybe, right now, there's somebody that you're offended at or somebody that you're a little bit mad at, they've hurt your feelings, all you have to do really is just decide that you're gonna believe the best. Instead of believing they did it on purpose, believe that they don't even really know that they hurt you, and pray for them that if they do need to repent about something that God will show them that, and you go ahead and walk in love with them.
Paul encouraged the church to walk in unity and harmony. Well, I sure don't see that much going on today. So, we apparently still need encouragement. I know of so many people, right now, that are, I know of people are on the verge of divorce. I know people that are mad at the place they work for and they don't think they get this, and they don't think I get that. Somebody was telling me, this morning, about some girl that's been mad at her mother for years, and years, and won't talk to her, and it's caused all kinds of problems in the family. And these are church-going Christians.
You know, what's the point in us going to church every Sunday and sitting in a pew and saying, "Amen, amen," and clapping at just the right time when the preacher says just the right thing, and then going back out in the world and living no different than the heathen? We need to apply the principles of the Word of God to our decisions, and we need to walk the walk and not just talk the talk. Paul encouraged the church to walk in harmony with one another, and he told them they would need a humble mind in order to do that. Well, a humble mind doesn't always think, "I'm right and you're wrong. You're dumb, but I know what I'm doing". Philippians 2:2-5: "Fill up and complete my joy by living in harmony and being of the same mind and one in purpose, having the same love, being in full accord and of one harmonious mind and intention".
Now, you know, we're not always going to agree about everything, but we can learn how to disagree agreeably. In other words, I can learn how to not necessarily think the way you think but I can still be respectful to you and give you the right to have your own opinion. We don't have to fight about our differences of opinion. "Do nothing from factional motives [through contention, strife, selfishness, or for unworthy ends] or prompted by conceit and empty arrogance. Instead, in the true spirit of humility", which is, "(lowliness of mind.)" wow, that's a great: lowliness of mind. I don't think bad of myself.
I don't have a low opinion of myself, but I don't think I'm better than anybody else. That's what it means to have lowliness of mind. When we don't think that we're better than other people, then it'll be much easier to walk in peace. But, "Instead, in the true spirit of humility," which is, "(lowliness of mind) let each regard the other as better than and superior to himself [thinking more highly of one another than you do of yourself]". Now, this is not telling you to think lowly of yourself. It's just saying to look at other people with respect and to have a high opinion of them, and not treat them as if they don't know anything, and none of their opinions could possibly be right.
I remember when Dave and I would even just try to decorate a room together, and we like different things. We're different people and we like different things. I like everything to blend together and match, and Dave wants everything to stand out. Well, I would think, "How could you like that? How could you possibly like that"? I mean, I didn't even understand how he could like it, let alone expect me to want to put it in the house. And to be honest, I still don't understand why he likes some of the things he likes. But this I do understand, he has a right to like them, and I need to respect his right to be different than me.
C'mon, I want somebody to get this today. The other people in your life have a right to not think the way that you think or to want what you want. You say, "Well, Joyce, how do we ever have peace"? Well, when you have two people, or a group of people that are mature Christians, you all find a way, through humility, to live in harmony. And that doesn't mean that you all necessarily feel the exact same way about everything, but you learn how to compromise enough to find a place of agreement. We need to do this for Jesus' sake. Humility helps us avoid petty arguments. And so many of the things that we argue about are indeed petty. When it comes right down to it, they really don't make any difference at all. It's just us trying to prove that we're right.
2 Timothy 2:23 and 24, "Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but he must be kind to", uh-oh, "Everybody, able to teach, not resentful". Listen to the Amplified Bible, "But refuse (shut your mind against, have nothing to do with ill-informed) trifling (stupid) controversies over ignorant questions, for you know that they foster strife and breed quarrels," in other words, as soon as you realize that you're starting to get upset over something petty, over a foolish, silly question or an argument, that's the point to drop it and let it go, and say, "Nope, I'm going to stay in peace".
You can stay in peace if you want to. But one of the things you'll have to be willing to do, if you want to stay in peace, is learn how to adapt and adjust yourself to other people and things. Romans 12 talks about staying in peace: "For as far as you're concerned live at peace with all men". And it says that we should be ready and prepared to adapt and adjust our self to people and things. Well, you see, selfish and self-centered people can't do that. Until I matured some, in the Lord, I was not able to do that. I would always argue, and fuss around. And it had to be my way or no way, and if I didn't get my way then I was going to be upset.
And that's not the way God wants us to be. He wants us to walk in obedience to him. How many would like a little lesson, right now, on obedience? You know, if you don't do what you believe that God really wants you to do, if you know in your heart, what's right and you choose to do what's wrong, you are going to have a guilty conscience. Nothing can be done about it. You'll have a guilty conscience. But nothing is better than doing your duty with a clear conscience. Paul said that he always made sure that he kept his conscience clear. You know why? His faith wouldn't work without that, and he knew that he needed his faith to work.
Paul had a lot of difficult things going on in his life. He had a job to do for God, and he couldn't afford to let himself be upset all the time over petty, silly stuff. And can I tell you, that you don't have that kind of time to waste? That's kind of what I've decided in my life. I don't have time anymore to waste on silly, petty arguments that don't make any sense at all. I don't need to get into somebody else's business. I don't need to have an opinion that they don't want. Most of us have got enough business of our own to stick to, that if we just let God deal with us about us, that'll be the most important thing that we do.
Acts 23:1: "Paul looked straight at the Sanhedrin said, 'my brothers, I have fulfilled my duty in God in all good conscience up until this day'". And in Acts 24:16, he said, "'so I strive always'", I strive. I work at it. I put in effort to, "'always keep my conscience clear before God and before man'". The Amplified puts it even plainer: "'therefore, I always exercise and discipline myself [mortifying my body, deadening my carnal affections, bodily appetites, and worldly desires, endeavoring in all respects] to have a clear (unshaken, blameless) conscience, void of offense toward God and toward man'".
Only the mature are able to do this. Nobody is able to do this unless they are mature in God, unless they walk according to the spirit, not according to the flesh. A guilty conscience hinders our faith and we don't need that. We need to be able to go to God in prayer and ask in faith for the things that we need and want. We need God's help. We need his power. We need his anointing in our life. And peacemakers are powerful people. If you wanna increase the power in your life a hundredfold, just make a decision that you're gonna find out how to live in peace. And there's so much that the Bible has to say about peace. Just listen to this.
Ephesians 4:26 and 27: "'when you're angry do not sin'. Don't let the sun go down while you are still angry, do not give the devil any such foothold". Wow, wow, and double wow. It doesn't say you'll never get angry, but it says, "When you're angry don't sin". In other words, when you feel anger rise up, right then, is when you need to be careful about what you do next. Don't let the sun go down on your anger. Do whatever you need to do to get it straightened out, before the sun sets. Because whatever you go to sleep with, you're gonna wake up with the next day. And then, it says, "Don't give the devil any such foothold in your life".
If we give the devil a foothold, then the next thing he'll get is a stronghold, and before we know it, he's gonna be in control and we will have lost our freedom in God. Forgiveness is necessary to have peace. Yesterday, we talked about mercy, and how important it is to give people mercy and to believe the best of people, and I wanna urge you to do that. I wanna urge you to pursue peace. Make it your goal every day to live in peace because that is God's will for you.
Now, today, we're offering you teaching. So, wonderful. Books and teaching CDs, things that you can read and study that will help you stay on that narrow path in life. Make room in your life every day for the Word of God. Today, we're offering you four CDs, four hours of teaching called, "Nine Attitudes That Keep You Happy". Or you might as well say, "9 attitudes that will release God's power in your life," they're on CD. And then, also, the, "Battlefield of the Mind Study Bible", which is actually, the Amplified translation of the Bible, but we've got all kinds of articles in it, things that I've taught on about the mind and the mouth two really, really, really important areas in our life. And then, we've highlighted all the scriptures that, I can't say we didn't miss any, but we tried not to, on the mind and thoughts, and the mouth, and the power of words.
And boy, I'll tell you, you can just take Proverbs and just read through that and you'll have a message that will help you get through any day of your life. You know what? We love you, we care about you, and we pray for you, that you will have the best life possible. Jesus died for you to have a good life. He has a good plan for your life. And I want to encourage you today to do your utmost to be obedient to God because everything that God asks you to do is for your benefit. Have a great rest of the day. God bless you.