The sermon "Book of James Bible Study" - Part 3 - Enjoying Everyday Life - Joyce Meyer (online). God's Word gives us the strength to do His will in our lives. Learn how to reach for the "medicine" you need as Joyce continues her Bible study on the book of James.
full textual sermon Book of James Bible Study - Part 3 - Enjoying Everyday Life - Joyce Meyer
Announcer: the following program is paid for by the friends and partners of Joyce Meyer ministries.
Joyce Meyer: "true religion that's pure and undefiled," doesn't just go to church and go home and do nothing. Pure religion, true and undefiled, that pleases God is the kind that gets busy helping other people that are hurting. That is what we're called to do. We've made it all the way to chapter 1, Verse 18, and I'm gonna start with chapter 1, Verse 19, and it talks about being a doer of the word. "understand [this], my beloved brethren. Let every man be," gonna say three things, "quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to take offense and get angry." Now I looked at this list this morning and I personally like to--i like to kind of think about where I'm at spiritually and how am I doing in these areas. So i'll tell you, I don't have a huge problem with anger anymore. God's really worked in my life with that. I mean, years ago I spent more time being angry than I wasn't angry but I don't--i got a revelation on that. I don't waste much time with that. I'm not real easily offended because i've kind of trained myself to quickly try to believe the best and believe that if somebody did offend me, that's probably not what they were trying to do. And so that has helped me a lot. However, when it comes to listening, I could still use to grow a little bit because I kinda like talking more than I like listening. And also in the area of being slow to speak. Sometimes I say things before I should say them. However, I am happy to report that I am a lot better than what I used to be. And so, you see, we--I'm so glad that we can celebrate our progress and we don't have to be depressed about how far we still have to go, amen? Now when it comes to this listening thing, that we should listen more, obviously we should listen more to people. We can learn a lot if we listen to people, amen? And but I think it also has another meaning that we need to realize and that is, is that we need to always have one ear tuned toward God. And i'd like to kinda present this idea to you this weekend that we basically live in two worlds at one time. We're in this world but we're also at the same time, we're here with our feet on the ground, we're connected to another world. Now, you see me with my feet here on the platform this morning but you better hope I'm hearing from God. Because if I'm not--if I'm not letting him lead me and guide me, then you probably won't get very much out of this. And so I'm not, like, sitting here real aware, you know, that God is speaking to me but I know when I teach that there are times where I will have a plan and i'll get up and what I say has not much to do at all with my plan because God already knows what you need. I think that we talk too quick and we answer people too quick and we need to slow down and think a little bit, make a connection with God, "how do you want me to handle this situation? Do you want me to say anything? Do you want me to be quiet?" Just taking more time before we pop off an answer can be real wise. I wanna give you a biblical example. You might be familiar with the story where Jesus was being taken to task by some of the pharisees. They were trying to find a reason to find fault with him. And so they brought a woman that was caught in adultery in front of him and they knew that the law said that they should stone her. And Jesus could not break the law. He kept the law perfectly so we would be free from the tyranny of living under the law. And when he said on the cross, "it is finished," he meant that old system of trying to live under the law of moses. But he couldn't break the law so now he's in a situation where the pharisees are watching to see what are you going to do and yet, he didn't want the woman to be stoned and so, if you remember the story, Jesus, when they said to him, "what do you say? The law says we should stone her to death. What do you say that we should do with her?" Because he's out teaching love and mercy so now what's he gonna do? You ever felt like you were kind of in a trap somewhere and you're, like, "hmm, well, what am I gonna do now?" And so Jesus, the bible says that he bent down on the ground and he wrote in the sand or the dirt with his finger. Now, what was that all about? What was he doing? And then he gets up and he says, "let him who is among you without sin cast the first stone." Well, the answer was perfect. Because he didn't break the law with what he said but he still kept his message about love. Well, whichever one among you has never done anything wrong, then you can be free to cast the first stone. And it says, "one by one, they dropped their stones and walked away." And so I think if we would take more time to listen to what we should be saying before we open our mouth, things would get a lot better. That's lesson number one, Amen?
Joyce Meyer: now let's just say that maybe--well, let's go on here. "for man's anger does not promote the righteousness that God desires." So gave a little exhortation last night about the dangers of staying angry and how we need to forgive people and yet we find that to be one of the hardest things that God asks us to do. Am I not correct? Don't you find it very difficult when somebody has really treated you badly to forgive them? It's a very challenging thing to do. Well, the only thing that's gonna help us do it is the word. Verse 21: "so get rid of all uncleanness and the rampant outgrowth of wickedness, and in a humble (gentle, modest) spirit receive and welcome the word which implanted and rooted [in your hearts] contains the power to save your souls." So if we look at this in context, he's saying, okay, now listen to this. Be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to take offense and slow to get angry because your anger doesn't--it's not the right thing. It's not the way God wants us to live. And so here's some help for you. Be sure that you receive the word of God with an attitude of meekness because it contains the power to save your soul or, if you will, it contains the power to tear down that spirit of anger that you're feeling and actually will give you the strength. The word of God will give us the strength that we need to let go of things that God wants us to let go off and it will give us the strength to do the things that God wants us to do. I don't think that we have ever fully realized how amazingly powerful the word of God is and how, like, I mean, you know, how many of you take some kind of medicine? Okay, well, now, we don't know how it works. It's kind of amazing that you can have some super big problem or a pain somewhere or something going on in your body and yet you can take a pill and if you take it on a regular basis, those symptoms will go away. Well, you see, I think that the word of God is medicine for our soul, amen? I believe that we have got this humungous medicine cabinet that's right here and it has something in it for everything that ails you. There's help in here for jealousy. There's help in here for condemnation. There's help in here for the lost. There's help in here for the weak. There's help in here for the angry. There's help for our mouth. There's help for our mind. There's help for selfishness. I mean, this is a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful book. It is a treasure, amen?
Joyce Meyer: so here's what I would do. If I was angry and I was having a very difficult time getting over it, I would look up several scriptures on anger 'cause, see, here's the thing. If i've got a headache, putting a band-aid on my head don't help. So we need to take the word of God purposefully, depending on what we need. If i've got a bad attitude, looking up scriptures on how I can be blessed is not gonna change my attitude. C'mon, I know it's early. You can get this, amen? And so what I'm telling you is that the word of God can be used specifically for specific situations. Like, I recommend if you are starting out in a walk with God and you have all these boatloads of problems, things that you need to grow up in and get over, I mean, it's fine to be on a certain bible-reading plan. I think that's great discipline. But if I were you, if you're having a specific problem with something, I would commit to studying the word of God in that area. Are you with me? Study the word of God in that area because there's power in the word to help you solve the problem that you have. Now, this is a little book we have. We call it the purple book but it's about the power of speaking God's word out loud. And it's divided up into categories for you so it's kind of like a real quick, like, man, I'm in trouble, I'm about to tell somebody off, and I need to get some medicine here, help me. Except they put a thing on here and now it's tearing my page. Okay, there. So I can get this and I can go, "i will bridle my anger. I will trash my wrath. I will cool my pipes."
Joyce Meyer: "and God will help me. I follow the example of the Lord who is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, plenteous in mercy and love and kindness. I am slow to anger and I have great understanding. I am not like he who is hasty of spirit, exposing and exalting his folly. I speak soft answers that turn away wrath, not grievous words that stir up anger." And so there's three pages of these kind of scriptures here. And I can tell you the truth. If you read these out loud, it won't be long and your soul will start to calm down and you're gonna start to feel better and better and better. Now all anybody can do in my position is tell you what will help you. But knowing what i've said is not gonna do what needs to be done. It's you going home and doing it when you have a personal situation going on in your life that will make the changes. That's what I would do, even right now. If I was having a huge problem with something and I could not get over it, let's just say I was having an attack of jealousy. I heard some really good news about somebody that I'm not real crazy about and I'm not real happy, if you wanna know the truth, that they got blessed. And I don't wanna feel that way. I know that's not God's will for me because jealousy and envy rots the bones. Well, I don't want rotten bones. I wanna have strong bones. So I would look up several scriptures on jealousy. I would pray. "God, you gotta help me." And then I would take my medicine. Are you out there today? I would take my medicine and I would let it help heal my soul. Now, "be doers of the word [obey the message], not just a listener to it, betraying yourselves [into deception by reasoning contrary to the truth]" now, you know, these Verses are so important and I don't wanna just get in too big of a hurry here to get to the end of chapter 2 that I miss some of the really important things that I think that need to be said. So let's look at this. "be a doer of the word [obey the message], not just a listener to it." Then he says, "betraying yourselves [into deception by reasoning which is contrary to the truth]" now that's kind of a mouthful and we could miss what he's trying to say. So let's just slow down and take it apart. If i--i can go to church three times a week and I can watch christian tv every morning and I can listen to teaching cds on the way to work, but if I don't do then what i've heard, it does me nor anybody else any good at all because the bible does not say that we're blessed in our hearing. It says we're blessed in our doing.
Joyce Meyer: when we do--and I really think that because there's so much available to us today, I really think that sometimes we get so proud of what we know. "well, Joyce, I`ve got all your books." Well, then, why are you still acting the way you do? I mean! People love to tell me they've got all my books. "I've got all your books." And you know, we like to display them on our shelves because when our friends come we look so spiritual.
Joyce Meyer: but it's in the doing. Now let's just assume that we all want to obey God. And so we don't wanna just hear; we wanna do. And now let's just take this a step further and say we're not just hearing somebody preach the word, but now God is trying to say something to us 'cause we can hear from him too. And a large part of our walk with God is not just going to church and hearing messages, but it's letting the holy spirit guide us day by day in our walk with him. Where I can be in the middle of doing one thing and the holy spirit can let me know, "that's not what I want you to do. Don't act like that. Don't say that. Be quiet," whatever. And if we learn while we're in this world to keep one ear tuned to the holy spirit, then while we're here, we can be in the world but not be of the world. And that's what Jesus is asking us to do. We can be in the world but we can quickly make adjustments because of what God is saying to us. Example, let's just say that I'm in a meeting like this and I happen to notice somebody on our team that seems just--i don't know what it is, you know, I can't really put my finger on it but I just really kind of sense that they need a blessing right now. Are you--do you ever kind of notice that with somebody, like, they just need a blessing right now. And so I pray, "Lord, how can I bless this lady? How can I be a blessing to her?" Well, the next thing that happens is I notice a bracelet I have on my wrist. Pretty, sparkly bracelet that I'm quite fond of and the next thing I'm feeling is I should give that to her because I remember earlier today she told me how pretty it was. Now I really don't wanna give my bracelet away.
Joyce Meyer: and so my mind gives me a reason. C'mon, i've heard from God. I'm pretty sure at this point I'm hearing but now there's the doing. And so if I don't do what I felt like God showed me to do it's because I have betrayed myself by coming up with some kind of a reason why it's okay not to do it. Are you with me? So she needs a blessing. "God, how can I help her?" I'm being real spiritual so far. I'm caring. I'm being compassionate. How can I help her? Oh! C'mon, is anybody home in the house today? So now, I don't wanna give her my bracelet so--and I actually had this happen so this is a good--this is a living story. And so I look at her and I think, "she is really skinny. That is gonna fall right off of her arm." And I took it home. C'mon, you know, we--it's amazing the stuff that we can come up with, okay? I've had an argument with somebody. I'm really sure it was their fault.
Joyce Meyer: and I'm waiting for them to apologize and I don't really intend to talk to them until they do. And I'm reading a book, let's say, a devotional by Joyce on how to get closer to God every day. got my morning devotion and it says: "be a peacemaker." Uh-oh, right away, I'm thinking, "hmm." So I get this little sensing that God wants me to pick up the phone and call this person and be aggressive. Well, I don't wanna do that. So I come up with a reason. Are you there? My reason is that I apologized the last time. And it would simply not be right for me to have to apologize every single time. C'mon, somebody give God a praise. One more example and then we'll move on. Offering time.
Joyce Meyer: it's offering time. You hear a nice appeal about water, like we talked about this morning. You feel a little, you know, yeah, that'd be a good thing to give to. You kinda almost start to do something and then you think, "but I gave last night. I don't need to do that." So you just don't do it. Well, see, i've gone through the same thing and it's, like, God had to remind me, "well, no, you don't have to but you can." See, we have to stop finding reasons and excuses for not doing what God wants us to do and then complaining because we don't have the blessed life that we say that we wanna have. Because we're blessed not in our hearing but we're blessed in our doing. So let me just share this with you and then I'm gonna move on. If there are things in your life that you know that God has put on your heart to do and you have not done them, anybody? Then go home and get busy and stop complaining about why God's not speaking to you because he's probably not gonna say anything else until you do the last thing he told you to do.
Joyce Meyer: if you knew how many years it took me to learn all this stuff that you get downloaded in about an hour here. Now, James 1:26 and 27 and then we'll go on to chapter 2. And we're not gonna spend much time here because I'm actually gonna cover all this material later. And I don't have the--there it is. "if anyone thinks himself to be religious--" can we say, "that's me"? "(piously observant of the external duties of his faith) and yet he does not bridle his tongue but deludes his own heart, this person's religious service is worthless (futile and barren)." So bottom line is, is he's saying, "look, if you wanna locate yourself, listen to yourself. If you wanna know more about your true level of spirituality, Joyce, just listen to yourself. Listen to what you complain about. Listen to the things that you say. Listen to the things you say about other people." We can learn a lot about ourselves by listening to ourselves. But as I said, I don't need to spend a lot of time there because we got a lot of that tonight. I probably shouldn't tell you that 'cause some of you'll think, "i ain't going back."
Joyce Meyer: and then the next Verse says: "true religion pure and undefiled is this: to visit, help, and care for widows and orphans in their affliction." So God's saying you need to help the poor. We're also gonna get to talk about that a little bit more this morning so I don't need to camp there. And I mean, it's very specific. "true religion that's pure and undefiled," doesn't just go to church and go home and do nothing. Pure religion, true and undefiled, that pleases God is the kind that gets busy helping other people that are hurting. That is what we're called to do. Forget about ourselves, help other people that are hurting and, in the process of that, God will take care of us much better than we could ever take care of ourselves.
Joyce Meyer: and then the last thing it says is: "and to keep yourself unspotted from the world." And so we really need to understand what the word of God says and get busy about doing it, not just hearing it. Somebody say, "good preaching, Joyce."
Audience: good preaching,
Joyce Meyer: well, being a victorious christian actually means more than just believing God and his word and his promises. It must also be followed up with action in our lives. In other words, we study the word of God and we see what God asks us to do then we follow it up with action. And God always gives us the grace and the strength to do what he's asked us to do. Why not ask God today what he wants you to do and follow it up with action? Today, you've watched just a portion of the teaching from the book of James. But you can get the whole study today. This is something that we've done with other books of the bible and people have really enjoyed it. I've enjoyed it. And I just wanna encourage you that bible study, your own bible study is so important to your life. So today we have the book of James, the action plan, and this includes a personal study guide on the book of James, it's a booklet, and four teachings on cd and dvd. And you can also download the study guide. I really want you to learn the word of God for yourself in a personal way that's gonna really affect your life. I believe that God is gonna really help you make some changes that you've been wanting to make for a long time. Now, God loves you. He loved you before you ever did anything right or wrong. And actually, he will never ever, ever, stop loving you. So you remember that and enjoy the day that he's given you. Announcer: "receive and welcome the word, which implanted and rooted [in your hearts] contains the power to save your souls." For a limited time, we're offering a bible study of James action plan, Joyce Meyer's teaching through the book of James.
Joyce Meyer: what Paul said is right. We are justified before God by our faith. But what James said is right too. We are justified before men by our works.
Announcer: with this action plan you'll find a companion personal study guide, the book of James booklet, and four teachings on cd and dvd. The book of James has so many valuable things to say about living a successful life. As you take the time to watch and listen, you're planting good seeds that will strengthen your faith. A bible study of James action plan. All this can be yours for a donation of...OR More. Call us... Or visit us at joycemeyer.org.
Joyce Meyer: well, there's really no special formula to spending time with God. It's just very important that you do it. Making this a priority will change your life like nothing else. I know it has mine. And now I wanna help you enrich your time with God by sharing some thoughts and insights from my own life in my brand new devotional called "my time with God." Let's focus on him together and my prayer is that these scriptures and declarations of faith will help you grow deeper in your relationship with christ a little bit more every single day. Announcer: order your copy of Joyce Meyer's new devotional, "my time with God." Call... Or go to joycemeyer.org.
Announcer: so, the bible is God's manual to help us navigate life. But life often gets in the way of knowing the bible, finding the time, knowing where to begin, and discovering what this all means to you. We understand, and we'd like to help. At joycemeyer.org/study, you'll find free resources to help you get more out of the bible, whether you're a new christian or have been walking with christ for years. So, jump in today. The word, it's free, it's mobile, and it's tailored for you at joycemeyer.org.
Announcer: new from Joyce, a study bible designed to help you renew your thoughts, the "battlefield of the mind bible" with insights from Joyce Meyer's best-selling book, "battlefield of the mind" paired with the scriptures that inspired them. Explore God's word in a deeper way to help you learn to think how God thinks, gain practical truths for overcoming life's challenges, train your mind for ultimate victory, and more. The "battlefield of the mind bible," now available from Joyce Meyer.
Joyce Meyer: well, if you've ever felt like you're just average or perhaps even like you're a failure, let me encourage you to see yourself as God sees you. You know, you are his unique design. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14 declares, "i praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful. I know that full well." I believe that we need to learn to see ourselves the way God sees us, not the way the world sees us. announcer: the preceding was paid for by the friends and partners of Joyce Meyer ministries.