Joyce Meyer (June 21, 2018) - The Parables of Jesus: The Laborers in the Vineyard - Part 2.(3 part of the cycle of sermons by Joyce Meyer) Life can be frustrating at times. Learn how God can transform the trials in our lives into blessings, as Joyce teaches on the parables of Jesus.
full textual sermon The Parables of Jesus: The Laborers in the Vineyard - Part 2. - Joyce Meyer
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Joyce Meyer: how are you responding to God's generosity in your life. Are you getting up every day of your life and doing as much as you can to advance the kingdom? Are you getting up every day of your life and being as big of a blessing to other people as you can possibly be? Now, you know, in the world, there is a system that you get what you deserve. And I think one of the reasons why it's so hard for us to make this transition in our relationship with God is because we learned so much of that growing up. We teach it to our kids. We learn it in school. We even teach it to our dogs. "you went to the potty, here's a treat."
Joyce Meyer: everything that, you know, we do what's right, we get a treat. If you don't do what's right, you don't get the treat. But you see, that's not the way God is. He operates on a totally different system. God gives us undeserved favor. Let's look at Ephesians 2:8 and 9: "it is by free grace (God's unmerited favor) that you're saved (delivered from judgment and made a partaker of christ's salvation) through [your] faith. And this [salvation] it's not of yourselves [it's not of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God; not because of works [not the fulfillment of the law's demands], lest any man should boast. [it is not the result of what anyone can possibly do, so no one can pride himself in it or take glory to himself.]" So, salvation is a totally free gift. Anybody can have it at any time in their life. You receive Christ as your savior, you get to go to heaven. You say, "well, then what's the point of trying to be good?" Well, we do it because we love God, not to get God to love us. I love this statement that was in a book that I read by david wenham. It said: "the truth--there's truth in the old saying that the entry fee into christianity is completely free, but the annual subscription is everything that you've got. No one will be in the coming kingdom on the basis of his or her own achievements, but only on the basis of God's generosity. But everyone will be called to account on the day of judgment and will be rewarded according to his or her response to the Lord's generosity." See, I love that. How are you responding to God's generosity in your life? Are you getting up every day of your life and doing as much as you can to advance the kingdom? Are you getting up every day of your life and bein' as big of a blessing to other people as you can possibly be? That's what God wants us to do, and he doesn't want us to do it to get something from him. He wants us to do it because we've been given so much from God. How could we possibly want to do anything other than love him and serve him?
Joyce Meyer: I don't know about you, but I'm glad that there are gonna be rewards in heaven. Let me tell ya somethin', the Bible says, "what you do in secret, God will reward you in the open." How many of you are lookin' forward to your rewards that'll come from God? I am. You may not get your rewards from people here, but you will get them from God. Now, another parable that goes along the same lines is luke 18, beginning in verse 18: "and a certain ruler asked him, 'good teacher [you are essentially and perfectly and morally good], what shall I do to inherit eternal life?'" Well, he already asked the wrong question, what can I do, "to inherit eternal life [and to partake of salvation in the messianic kingdom]?" Well, Jesus was gonna deal with him based on where he was at. "okay, if you wanna earn salvation, then let me tell you what you have to do." Jesus said, "don't commit adultery, don't kill, don't steal, don't bear false witness, honor your father and your mother." And the young man said, "I've done all this. I'm doin' good." And verse 22: "and when Jesus heard it, he said to him, 'one thing you still lack.'" You know what, no matter how good any one of us think we are, there's always one thing that we lack. That's so frustrating to me.
Joyce Meyer: I mean, as hard as I've tried, I've never had one day where I didn't lack one thing. I'll think somethin' wrong, or say somethin' wrong, or do somethin' wrong, or have a wrong attitude. And so we all come back to the only way that we're gonna get into heaven is by the grace and the mercy of God, not because of anything that we do. "well, but I am better than that guy." Well, let me ask ya a question, the grand canyon is, like, I don't know, what'd they say? Eighty-eight miles across or somethin' like that. I've got it here somewhere. Anywhere, it's really wide, 18 miles across, I think, at the widest point. Okay, let me ask you a question. If I can only jump 6 inches, which would probably be about it for me.
Joyce Meyer: if I could stand here and I could jump 6 inches, and I'm tryin' to jump across the grand canyon, I can only jump 6 inches, and then somebody else comes along and they can jump 17 and 3/4 miles, but the grand canyon is 18 miles, you know what? We're both equally dead. So it doesn't really matter if you're a little better than me or I'm a little better than you, we all lack one thing. There's always something that we're gonna need Jesus for, and that's the good news. So let's just stop comparing ourself with other people and trying to find ways to feel that we're better than them, because none of us are anything without Jesus christ.
Joyce Meyer: I like to say I'm an everything nothing. I'm nothing in myself, but everything in him. Boy, when you read some of these scriptures, it makes you think, "man, is there any hope?" "all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." "all of your own righteousness is like filthy rags." "no one is righteous, no, not one." "no one understands." "nobody seeks out God." "all have turned aside." "they've all gone wrong." Like, "wow, is there any hope?" Yeah, in Christ Jesus. You know what, I've gotten really comfortable with knowing that every day I'm gonna fail. I used to hate that because I'm real goal oriented, and, boy, I would get so aggravated at myself if I woke up with my plan of holiness, and by 9 o'clock, I'd already made a mess.
Joyce Meyer: you know, I can lay in bed and really plan for holiness, and it lasts till I put my feet on the floor. Or till I see another human being.
Joyce Meyer: how many of you are pretty spiritual when you're home alone? Come on, come on. It's the people that get us, and they're everywhere. You just can't-- and, you know, have you ever noticed that God surrounds you with the ones that annoy you the most? You can run away from one of 'em, and you'll find another one right around the corner. Actually, I'll tell ya the truth. I believe that God uses things at different times, now, listen to me, to draw some of the worst out of us. You say, "why would he wanna do that?" Because he has to keep us knowing that we need him.
Joyce Meyer: he has to keep us realizing that we need his mercy just as much as everybody else needs his mercy. Well, let me ask you a question. If I'm happy to receive the mercy of God when I need it, what kind of a christian am I if I'm happy to receive it for myself, but then I resent God givin' it to somebody else? I mean, jonah is such a classic example. When God told him to go to nineveh and preach, he went the exact opposite direction. He did not want to go preach to those people because he didn't think they deserved it. Well, God managed to have a whale swallow him up, and you know the whole story. It's amazing. Last night, we saw a young man who finally got an eye-opening--got his eyes opened by leavin' his father's house and then goin' out and havin' to eat with the pigs, and then he finally said, "well, I'll go back to my father." Well, jonah got swallowed by a whale, and while he was in the belly of the whale, he decided that maybe he needed to repent and do somethin' a little bit different. Maybe you're in a mess right now, and maybe your mess will be the thing that will make you decide that you might need to do things a little bit differently than the way you've been doin' 'em. But nineveh, it made him angry that God wanted him to go and preach to these people because he didn't think they deserved the help. You know, we have to be so careful about thinking, "you don't deserve that. You don't deserve that." Let's just take, for an example, let's just bring it down into a practical level. Let's just say that you work at a place and you're the believer there, of course.
Joyce Meyer: is anybody like this other than me? I mean, are you-- Please don't sit and look at that innocent. It's gettin'. It's gettin' hard. I mean, you don't sit at lunch and gossip. You read your Bible. You go take a walk outside. You get to work early and you pray.
Joyce Meyer: and so, you're believing God for this position that just opened up. It's gonna be a promotion. It's gonna mean more money. And, boy, you got your faith out. You're trustin' God. You're gettin' people to agree with you. And then the most wretched sinner in the place gets the job. Now, why would God let that happen? Well, maybe just to bring an attitude out of you, "well, God, I've done this, and I've done that, and I've done something else, and I deserve--" No, here's the thing. We all come up short every day. We all have to have mercy. And what we need to do is trust God. Sometimes God lets things like that happen just to check out our attitude. You know, Dave said one time, and he doesn't--you know, he doesn't, like, stand up and prophesy a lot, but he felt like he got a word from God to just tell the people that "as long as you're jealous of what God is doing in somebody else's life, you'll never get what you want."
Joyce Meyer: and sometimes we have things stuck on the inside of us that we don't even know is there. Are you ever surprised at your own self? It's like, "I can't believe I did that."
Joyce Meyer: "i can't believe that I thought that. I can't believe I said that. I can't believe that I feel that way." Well, a lot of times, God uses these things in our life. He may let somebody else that you don't like get blessed right in front of you just to pull an attitude out of you that's hindering your walk with him so he can take care of it and get it over with. So let's just say that somebody that you don't think deserves it gets a great blessing. The first thing to say is not, "well, God, that's not fair." The first thing to say is, "you know what, God? What you do is none of my business. And if that's what you decide to do, then help me be happy with your decision. And I trust you that whatever you want me to have, I'll get it at the right time in the right way and nobody will be able to keep it from me."
Joyce Meyer: you know what, we don't need to go out in the world and get jealous of anybody. What we need to do is go out and just see how many people we can be good to. That should be our goal every single day of our life is just get out in the world and be a blessing. Just get out in the world and act like a christian, amen?
Joyce Meyer: I tell ya, the religious people of Jesus's day, they had so much trouble with the generosity that God gave to sinners. And so many of these parables, it's the same story over and over and over. The scribes and the pharisees were standing by looking when Jesus spent time with the especially wicked sinners, and the they would get upset because why would he talk to sinners? And why would he, you know, do what he did with these people? In luke 18, there's a parable that amuses me, beginning at verse 9: "he also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves and were confident that they were righteous [that they were upright and in right standing with God] and scorned and made nothing of the rest of men: 'two men went up into a temple to pray, one a pharisee,'" a religious man, "and the other a tax collector. And the pharisee took his stand ostentatiously," which is a big word, but it basically means he had this posture and attitude that said, "i am so much better than you are." "and he began to pray thus before and with himself." I love that. He wasn't even talkin' to God. He was just talkin' to listen to himself so he could impress himself.
Joyce Meyer: and don't think you don't ever do that. I have to be careful when I'm up here praying that I don't just try to sound in a way that's gonna impress you, but that I'm actually talking to God.
Joyce Meyer: "thank you that I'm not like the rest of men--" , "extortioners (robbers), swindlers [unrighteous in heart and life]--and thank you especially that I'm like this tax collector."
Joyce Meyer: "'let me tell you what I do, God. I fast twice a week; and I give a tithe of all that I gain.' But now there's this collector who's standing here." And it says, "he wouldn't even lift up his eyes to heaven, but he kept striking his breast, and saying, 'o God, (be gracious, be merciful) to me, because I am an especially wicked sinner!' I tell you, this man went down to his home justified (forgiven and made upright and in right standing with God]" so that the guy who said, "God, I'm a sinner, I need mercy," got mercy from God, and he went home justified and in right standing with God. But the guy who thought that he was so good and better than everybody ese, he lost out on everything. We gotta be careful that we don't think more highly of ourselves than we ought to. What about the 12 disciples? Boy, the 12 guys that Jesus picked, and it wasn't even an accident.
Joyce Meyer: he prayed all night before he got them, all night. Let me read you somethin' that I think is cute and makes the point. I can tell ya one thing. I wouldn't have picked some of the people he picked. This letter is to Jesus from the jordan management consultant firm in jerusalem: "dear sir, thank you for submitting the resumes of the twelve men you've picked for your new management positions in your new organization. All of them have now taken our battery of tests, and each of them has had a personal interview with our psychologists and vocational aptitude consultants. It is the staff's opinion that most of your nominees are lacking in background, education, and vocational aptitude for the type of enterprise that you're undertaking. They don't have a team concept. We would recommend that you continue to search for persons of experience in managerial ability and proven capability. Simon peter is emotionally unstable and given to fits of temper."
Joyce Meyer: hey, you know what the good news is here today? God can use you. Even though you'll always lack in one thing, God can use you. And not only can he use you, he's likely to pick you on purpose just to aggravate the rest of the religious people who think that they should be the ones that get chosen, come on.
Joyce Meyer: I can tell ya the truth, I just make people really mad. I mean, like, the real religious people that have got all the so-called "schooling," and they've been to every kind of seminary and seminar and on and on and on, and it's like, "what do you mean?"
Joyce Meyer: "the weak and the foolish things of the world to confound the wise." All you need to do is get your eyes off what he's doin' for everybody else, humble yourself under the mighty hand of God, go to him, and say, "i am nothing without you. I don't deserve anything. But, God, if you'll give me an assignment and help me do it, I'll do my best to be faithful to what you want me to do."
Joyce Meyer: amen? Okay, "simon peter's emotionally unstable, and he has temper fits. Andrew has no qualities of leadership. James and john place personal interest above company loyalty. Thomas demonstrates a questioning attitude that will undermine the morale of the whole team. We feel it is our duty to tell you that matthew," who was a tax collector, "has been blacklisted by the greater jerusalem better business bureau."
Joyce Meyer: "God has called you to do what?" Oh, I remember, people thought I had lost my mind when I told them what I believed God had put in my heart that I was gonna do. I'll never forget a group of lady friends of mine saying, "you know, we've been talkin' about this." And I thought, "yeah, I bet you have." "we've been talkin' about this." And this is what they said to me, honestly: "with your personality, we just don't see how that's possible. Come on, listen, when God calls you, don't expect to get a lot of encouragement from all the people that you know.
Joyce Meyer: because they're gonna look at your exterior, but God sees your heart, amen? "James has definite radical leanings, and he and some of the others register a high score on the manic-depressive scale."
Joyce Meyer: "there is, however, one of your candidates that shows great potential. He's a man of ability and resourcefulness, meets people well, has a keen business mind, has contacts in high places, is highly motivated, ambitious, and responsible. The only one of the 12 that we can recommend is judas."
Joyce Meyer: see, we live in this upside-down kingdom that's actually right-side up, but the world doesn't know it's right-side up. So they look at us and think, "that makes no sense. Why would God use you? Why would you give away some of your money, thinking that's gonna get you more? Why would you ever think the last'll be first and the first'll be last? And what sense does it make if somebody who goes to work an hour before quitting time makes as much as the guy who worked all day?" Well, you know what? God just loves to get us goin'.
Joyce Meyer: "what, what, what, what, what?" What God does with anybody else is none of my business. It's none of your business. Jesus says, "you follow me." How many of you think this would make your life a lot of better if you just--? I mean, once again, look at my husband. You are not gonna find a human being that is happier than Dave. Life is so simple for him. I mean, still, after 50 years of bein' married to him, sometimes it just annoys me that things are so--it's not that I want life to be hard for him, but it's like he just, like, he's just happy.
Joyce Meyer: he's just really happy, but you know what? That's what God told him 40-some-odd years ago when he called me to preach. "you let her do what I've called her to do, and you do what I'm asking you to do, and you'll always be happy. You'll always have joy."
Joyce Meyer: I think it's time that we set about just doin' the part that God has given us to do. Let me tell ya somethin'. Don't compare yourself with other people, not the way you look, not your gifts and talents, not what God calls you to do. Let's center in on trusting God to take care of each one of us without comparing ourselves with other people and saying, "well, why am I not getting what they're getting?" Don't ever, ever, ever think that because you pray regularly, and you go to church regularly, and you tithe regularly, and you try to be a good person that that means that you deserve anything. Because no matter how good we are, we always still lack one thing every single day of our life. And thank God that we do because if we didn't, it wouldn't be very long and we would not think that we needed Jesus. And I'll tell ya one thing. We need him and we need him desperately, amen? Come on, give God a big praise.
Joyce Meyer: well, I believe that we all have an assignment from God, something that he has given us the grace and the ability to do. And, you know, I've discovered from my own life and from trying to help a lot of other people that if we're not doing what God has assigned us to do, we really just end up not very happy. We don't feel fulfilled. And so I wanna encourage you to do what God has given you to do without comparing what you're doing to somebody else. That's one of the big things that makes people unhappy. They feel like that if what they're doing doesn't seem to be as big or as grand as what somebody else is doing, that it's not good enough. But by keeping your focus on God, you will be blessed and God will always meet your needs. Today we're offering you a great opportunity to study the Bible in a more in-depth way. We have put together over a long period of time with a lot of hard work "the battlefield of the mind" Bible. It's a study Bible. And, of course, it's the whole Bible, but we've highlighted all the scriptures on the mind and the mouth, and got lots of articles in there that I've--teachings that I've done, and life points, things for each day. I believe more than any other area, we have difficulty with our thoughts, and also with the things that we say. And you'll find both of those really highlighted and covered well in this Bible, and it's gonna help you not just read the word of God, but study the word of God, thank you. Announcer: new from Joyce Meyer , a study Bible designed to help you renew your thoughts, "the battlefield of the mind" Bible. With insight from Joyce Meyer's bestselling 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, renew your mind through the power of God's word, from Joyce Meyer. Receive your copy today for your gift of...OR More. Call...OR Go to joycemeyer.org.
Joyce Meyer: trust him all the time. Your walk with God is not about everybody else. If you wanna make the devil mad, get happy. He has to get the credit. He has to get the glory. Well, you've spoken and picked your favorite "enjoying everyday life" shows from 2017, and now we're going to reveal the winners. So watch every day to see your winners.
Ginger: how did you begin to see what God really had called you to do in all of this? Dave meyer: well, first, at first, I fought with it for a little while, and then I realized that, and God really impressed upon my heart that "if you want my joy, my peace, and my grace, then you have to do what I've called you to do." I told the guys in the engineering field that I would not always be here working in the engineering field. Eventually, I was gonna be in ministry, and I didn't know exactly what aspect of ministry I was gonna be in, but I told 'em that. And actually, when I left the engineering company, the guy said, "you know how long you've been sayin' that?" And I said, "no." He said, "seven years." I said, "whoa, that's good." I said, "that's God's perfect number." announcer: we hope you enjoyed today's program. Please contact us or visit joycemeyer.org to share your prayer requests, see the conference schedule, or partner with us in sharing Christ and loving people all across the globe.
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