Joyce Meyer - The Small Adjustment That Makes A Big Difference, Part 1
The title of what I wanna bring you tonight is "One small adjustment that makes a big change in your life". I'm gonna talk to you about one little, little, little tiny thing that you can do. You may have to do it every day, but one little tiny thing you can do that can literally just turn your life completely around. How many of you would like to know what it is, okay? Attitude. Hmm, well, I can see that's a felt need. Now, our attitude is our thought life turned inside out. It's something that's in us, but everybody sees it. It comes out in facial expressions, it comes out in body language... You don't have to open your mouth, and everybody knows you're disgusted. Or how 'bout this one? Impatience, "Can't you move along faster than what you are"?
It's the posture that we decide to take toward our life, the posture we decide to take, the way we decide to look at our circumstances and our situations. It affects how we feel, how we behave, and ultimately, the whole quality of our life. Your attitude is yours, and nobody can force you to have a bad one if you don't want to. I'm gonna say that again. Your attitude is yours, doesn't belong to somebody else, and nobody can make you have a bad attitude if you don't wanna have a bad attitude, nobody, amen? How many of you actually really believe that? See, maybe we don't think about it like that. We think, "Well, you know, I'm just like this because I've got all these problems". But being like that doesn't solve your problems. It doesn't change your problems. What it does is it makes you miserable, and probably most of the people around you. Nobody enjoys bein' around somebody for very long that's got a bad attitude.
Now, some people are just kinda show up on planet earth with a better attitude than some others do, and I had to work at this. I grew up in a very negative situation, and just my natural temperament would lean more toward being deeper and trying to fix everything that's wrong, and seeing what's wrong. And I just wanna tell you that anybody can work with the Holy Spirit to form a habit of having a good attitude if you really want to. Some of you may have to work at it a little bit more than others, but we're all like that in some area. Every single one of us have to work at some things a little bit more than we might other things, and God will always help us. Your attitude is yours, and nobody can force you to have a bad one if you don't want to.
In Ephesians chapter 4, verse 23, it says: "Be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude]". So if you have a lot of problems, which some of you do, this is gonna be a daily decision. If you tend to be a little more toward the negative side in your thinking, or a little bit more melancholy in your personality, then this will have to be a daily decision for you. But it's worth it in the long run because to have a sour, bad attitude just absolutely makes you miserable. Now, airplanes have something called an attitude indicator, not altitude indicator, attitude indicator. And it shows the position of the plane, the wings of the plane to the horizon. And the horizon would represent average or normal. So if you're right on target with that, then you're in an average and a normal position.
When the airplane is climbing, it's said to have a nose-high attitude, and if the airplane is diving, it's said to have a nose-down attitude. So when our attitude is up, we have an above-average life, and when it's down, our life will be below average. To change the altitude of the plane, the pilot simply makes a little adjustment. And you know what? I have found out that a lot of life is about just making little adjustments on a regular basis. My life can get out of balance and maybe I'm workin' too hard and not resting enough, and I can just make a little adjustment and change that. Or maybe I'm startin' to get lazy and I'm just sittin' around too much and I need to get up and get a little bit more done, and I can just make a little adjustment and make that happen.
Now, look at me. I'm gonna say somethin' important. I think everything I say is important, but this is important. Somebody else is not gonna come along and fix our problems. Thank you for those three people that agree with me. The Bible gives us the answers to what to do, and the Holy Spirit gives us the strength and the ability to do it. And I'm tellin' you, some of you may think you have got some of the hugest problems in the whole world, and maybe you do, but I'm tellin' you what, little adjustments. Little adjustments can sometimes make an unbelievably big difference in your life. And I think a lot of times, we look for these huge, big deep answers to our problems, and sometimes, I don't know, maybe you feel rotten all the time and you just need to drink more water. I mean, honestly. I mean, people can just feel absolutely terrible just because they're dehydrated and they don't know it. And so, many times, it is just a simple thing that you can do, a simple something that you can change. And if we really listen to the Holy Spirit, he'll show us what those simple somethings are in our life.
Conversation with Joyce Meyer
Ginger: Well, Joyce, we did something kind of fun. And we went on social media and we asked all of our friends, if you could sit here in this chair and have a candid conversation with Joyce, what would you like to talk about? And we got so many responses. A lot of good things. But surprisingly enough, one of the top things that they want to talk to you about, is what we're going to do today in our candid conversation. And that is this question: "What happens after you die"? I think many people, right now, are just... There's some fear, and there are a lot of questions, so I think it's a great conversation to have.
Joyce: Well, I thought I'd start out by saying, "I can't tell you by experience because I haven't died yet".
Ginger: That's the problem. Nobody can, right?
Joyce: I went back to the Bible, which I mean, I've studied this before, but there's a lot of really great scriptures that tell us that we have nothing to fear, unless of course, we're not living for God. And the Bible does tell us that we have two choices: heaven or hell. And I know there are people that like to say, they don't believe in hell, but it's in the Bible. You're either going to believe the Bible or you're not going to believe the Bible. You can't just pick and choose what you want. And then, there's people who say, "Well, I just don't believe that a good God would send somebody to hell". Well, God doesn't send anybody to hell, people make their own choices. And that doesn't mean that we have to live, perfect lives to go to heaven. The Bible says, in order to be saved, you must believe that Jesus died for your sins, and that he rose from the dead, and confess it with your mouth.
And obviously, if you truly believe in Jesus, I mean, truly believe in Jesus not just like, some kind of a mental, "Well, yes, I believe there's a God out there somewhere". But if you truly believe in Jesus and then you're going to want to serve him, you're going to want to know his word, and you're going to want to serve him. And the more revelation you get on, how much God loves you, and how good you are, and how good he is, the more you want to do the right thing, but even in wanting to do the right thing, we still never live perfect lives. And so, the Bible promises us that if our name is written in the lamb's book of life, which it's in there, if you're truly saved, then you're never going to come up for judgment concerning your salvation. But there's a lot of scriptures that still talk about that after we die, there will be a judgment. We will face God and give an account of our lives.
Ginger: Well, let me ask you a question, just to clarify that. Because I think that's one of the things that a lot of people have fear about is, "Will I make it or not"? You know, "Have I done enough good"? Or "How do I know that my name is in the book"? So, we will all face judgment. But there is that question of: "What happens when I get to that gate"? You know, we don't know what it's like.
Joyce: We don't know what it's like, I just, you know, I know it's going to be good. I know heaven's gonna be beautiful beyond anything that we could even possibly imagine, you know? There's twelve gates going into the city and each one is made out of one single pearl and the streets are made out of translucent gold. So, I just said, you know, anybody who has a problem with sparkle is gonna have a hard time in heaven. But a story that I wanna tell that I think just is amazing, doesn't give direct answers but it still says a lot in itself. A friend of mine, her mother was sick for quite a while. And her and her husband, and other brothers and sisters took turns staying with the mom. She got to the point where she couldn't really raise herself up in bed. They were just kind of biding their time, you know, waiting for her to come to the end. And all of a sudden, one day, she raised straight up in bed, got a smile on her face and said, "Yes"! And she died.
Joyce: And so, she obviously, saw something that was exciting and beautiful. But one of my favorite scriptures, and we talk about this judgment, Romans 14:12 says that "We will all come before God and give an account of our lives". So, I won't give an account for somebody else, I'll give an account for me. But I know I'm born again. I know that my name's written in the lamb's book of life. I'm doing the best I know how to, to serve God. I repent when I make mistakes.
Ginger: Yeah, you're not perfect.
Joyce: I'm not perfect. You know, I make mistakes all the time but our right standing with God is not based on our perfection. It's based on our faith, in Jesus. "He, that knew no sin became sin, that we might be made right with God, through Jesus Christ". But none the less, we will have this judgment, but we're not being judged there for our salvation, not people that are born again. People that aren't are gonna have a different experience. But we are gonna be judged for our works. And I think that's interesting that we're going to have rewards for our works that we've done, in the body, here on earth, or we're gonna lose those rewards. But 1 Corinthians 3:10-15, in the Amplified classic edition. I love this scripture. It says, "According to the grace (the special endowment for my task) of God bestowed on me, like a skillful architect and master builder I laid [the] foundation, and now another [man] is building upon it. But let each [man] be careful how he builds upon that foundation. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that, which is [already] laid, which is Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the anointed one)".
So, let's just say we're born again, and Jesus becomes the foundation of our lives. "But if anybody builds on that foundation, whether it be with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or straw". So, we all build some kind of life, but what kind of life are we building? You know, there's many people who say they believe in God, they believe they've accepted Christ as their Savior, but they still live very selfish, self-centered lives where they're really not doing anybody else any good, or trying to help anybody else in any way. "The work of each [one] will become [plainly, and openly] known (shown for what it is): for the day [of Christ] will disclose and declare it, because it will be revealed with fire". Now, I don't know this for a fact, but there's a place in revelations where Jesus is depicted as having eyes like fire. And so, I think that this could represent that when we stand before God on that Judgment Day that, that will be him looking at us and our works. "And the fire will tres... And test and critically appraise the character and the worth of the work that each person has done".
Now, this to me is good. "If the work, which anybody has built on this foundation [any product of his effort whatever] survives [this test], he will get his reward. But if any person's work is burned up [under the test], he will suffer the loss [of all of it, losing his reward], though he himself will be saved, but only as [one who has passed] through the fire". So, basically, this is telling me that, you know, if I'm born again, I'm born again. And if I'm truly born again, believe in Christ, trust him for the forgiveness of my sins, I'm going to go to heaven, but who in their right mind wouldn't want all the rewards that God could give him. I mean, I have no idea what they are, but I'm sure they're probably pretty awesome.
Ginger: So, this so much to take in. So what you're talking about is not a yes or no to get into heaven based on our works. It is not that, that is not how we get into heaven.
Ginger: But it is a judgment of our life that we'll talk about the rewards that we receive once we're in heaven.
Joyce: Right, and you rarely ever hear this talked about, but I think that these works that are gonna be judged, I think they're gonna be judged based on motives. In other words, people live too much on the surface and don't think very much about why they're doing what they're doing. You know, we just think, "Well, you know, I've done this and I've done that like", you know, there's a lot of people you can say, "Do you believe you'll go to heaven when you die"? Well, you know, "I try to live a good life, you know. I try to do this, I try to do that". And that tells me they don't really understand. You know, you can't really love God and appreciate what Jesus has done in your life, and not want to do anything back for him. We don't do good works to get God to love us. We do them because we're so amazed at how much he does love us.
And I wish that this was taught more in all churches. We have to know who we are in Christ before we can ever really... You have to be made right with God before you can do anything right. I mean, how many people live their whole life and never, really, they think about impressing people, and I do this to impress people. And, you know, the Bible talks about don't pray to, you know, to be heard of people, and don't pray to be admired, and don't give in order for people to, you know, admire you. But do, what you do, even if you have to do it in secret, do it unto God, and because you believe that, that's really what he wants you to do. And so, you know, we can fool a lot of people, but we can't fool him. And so, you know, God knows why I'm in this ministry, and why I do the work I do, and why you do the work that you do, and it can't be to get attention, to be well thought of. It's like motives are very important to God. And motives are very simply the why behind the what.
So, God's not as interested in what I'm doing. You know, because there's a place in the Bible that says, many will say, "Well, you know, Lord, Lord, we did this, we did that, we did this, we did that". And he'll say, "I never knew you". You know, God wanted us because he wanted somebody to have a relationship with. So, there's just so many scriptures. Hebrews 9:27 says, "Just as people are destined to die once and after that to face the judgment," well, that pretty much does away with the thought of reincarnation. We're gonna die once and then we're gonna face the judgment. So, "We must all appear", 2 Corinthians 5:10, "We must all appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad". But, here again, that's not to buy your salvation. That has to already be a settled fact before you ever even... If you've not received Christ as your Savior and you don't understand the grace of God, and how good he is, and how little you deserve what he's done for you, then you can't really do, good works with a right motive because you're always going to be doing them...
Ginger: That's so true.
Joyce: To get something. And then, what's heaven gonna be like? "He'll wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death, or mourning, or crying, or pain, for the old order of things has passed away". So, we know it's gonna be a very happy place. Imagine being in a place where there's no hatred, no strife, no arguing, no disunity, where it's total peace. An atmosphere of total and complete love, where worship is going on all the time. And you know, I don't know beyond that, maybe it's gonna be so amazing that God couldn't even tell us, you know? I mean, Paul said that he went to the third heavens and saw things that he couldn't even find words to explain. People do not need to be afraid of death as long as they know in their heart that they've received Christ as their Lord and Savior. You don't even have to feel like you have to do everything just right. I just always say, get up every day, give it your all, do the best you can, and God will take care of the rest. I mean, if...
Joyce: Go ahead.
Ginger: Well, what I love about all of these things that you're sharing, is it builds a greater picture. It builds a continuation of life rather than an end to it. In other words, our life here on earth is finished but, in that moment, we go on into something so much greater and completely different and that relationship that we're building with Christ, here is the foundation of that. But it gives you such a different peace and even a different feeling about death, that it is more of the next step, than the end.
Joyce: Yeah, I mean, people say it's like going through a revolving door. Like I said, I haven't died, so, I don't know what it's like. And I don't know that everybody's experience is exactly the same. But there are enough people that have had these near-death experiences. And everybody talks about seeing a light, everybody talks about the feeling of complete peace, and happiness, and joy. I mean, I understand what Paul meant, when he said, "To live is Christ, to die is gain". I mean, my purpose here now, is to serve God and finish the work that he's called me to do, and I love my life but I'm looking forward to heaven. I mean, I think it's gonna be amazing beyond anything that we can possibly imagine. And I really hate to see people be so afraid of what it's going to be like. We know that God is good, and so, as good as he is to us sometimes here, you know, we can't even imagine how good it's going to be...
Ginger: Heaven will blow the doors off that.
Joyce: When we go to heaven. And so...
Ginger: I think it's harder here for people, because they miss those people who've gone on. You know, death is so much harder for those who are left behind.
Joyce: Well, and when we grieve for people that have died, we're not really grieving for them, we're grieving for us. You know, we've lost them, but they're better off. I mean, Paul said at one point, he said, "I'm hard-pressed to decide between the two". He said, "I would rather leave and go on and go to heaven. That would be better for me, but it would be better for you, if I stay here and continue to teach you the word". And that's pretty much the way I feel. You know, I'm so grateful that I don't have to be afraid of that. And I don't want other people to be afraid, and I don't want 'em to misunderstand anything that I'm saying today, you just...
Let me say it again, you don't have to be perfect. We make mistakes. If we could be perfect and never make mistakes then we wouldn't need Jesus. The reason why God sent him is because we can't be perfect. And, you know, there's just so many scriptures. I mean, if people would just study these scriptures, even for themselves, in the Bible, just get online and look up scriptures about heaven or scriptures about what happened to, "What happens to us when we die"? I mean, that's all I did to get all these. And I mean, you know, there's just like, Daniel 12:2 says, "Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt".
And you know, if we just want to stretch ourselves a minute and talk about people who are not believers in Christ, you know, we've got a phone number on our screen and we'd be happy for them to call if they doubt their salvation, or they know they haven't given their life to Christ yet, we'd love to have one of our operators, talk with them and lead them into a relationship with Christ through prayer. I mean, really, being born again is the simplest thing in the world. You just have to be willing to turn away from sin and turn toward God, and be sorry for the way you've lived, and ask him to help you live the way that he wants you to live. Being a Christian is an exciting life because there is always something to learn, always something to learn.
Ginger: That is very true. Well, it's a great conversation. I mean, you know, it's the real stuff of life, it's what's on people's minds, it's a deep dive into God's word, so, thank you very much.
Joyce: And I want to say too, I don't want anybody to get off on to, "Well, now, I better try to do a lot of good works, so I get rewards". You don't even do the good works to get the reward, that's the thing, because if you do, then your motive's wrong again. So, it's all because, "I love the Lord, and I want to make him happy. I want to do things for other people because it blesses him when we do that".
Ginger: Thanks Joyce.
Joyce: You're welcome.