Joyce Meyer sermon - Live 2 Love (online). God is love, and He wants His children to be loving too. Be encouraged to let go of unloving attitudes, and focus on God's love and loving others.
full textual sermon - Live 2 Love by Joyce Meyer
Announcer: this program has been made possible by the friends and partners of Joyce Meyer ministries.
Joyce Meyer: it's amazing what God can use us for if we will just simply be willing to follow the leadership of the holy spirit. Every single one of you should be a spy for God. Well, there's nothing more pleasing to God than when we love and serve other people. The only way people see and experience his love is through us, and we should always be on the lookout for opportunities to do good. Watch this teaching about loving others, followed by an opportunity for you to do just that.
Joyce Meyer: learning how to be a lot more aggressive in loving other people has sure brought a lot of joy into my life. And as you know, we even call our tv program, "enjoying everyday life," because I spent a lot of years as a christian not really enjoying my life. And then I found out that Jesus died, not only so we could go to heaven, but that we could enjoy the journey. And one of the ways that we do that-- it's not the only way, but one of the ways that we do that is by getting ourselves off of our mind and aggressively, on purpose, being a blessing to other people everywhere that we go, in small ways, in large ways. And you have the ability to do that. As a believer in Christ, you are a new creature in Christ, and you have a new nature. There is a part of you that wants to love people. There's a part of you that desires to walk in all the fruit of the spirit. The bible says in galatians 5 that we have the fruit of the spirit. It's in us: love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, humility, meekness. All of those things are in you. Even self-control is in you, imagine that. Everybody say, "I've got it."
Audience: I've got it.
Joyce Meyer: but we also have a flesh. We also have that old nature. And even the apostle paul said that when he wanted to do right, something would war against him, almost forcing him to do what was wrong. He said, "the thing I wanna do, I can't do, and the thing I don't wanna do, I always end up doing." So, we have to realize that there is a war going on in our flesh. Satan is alive and well on planet earth. But what we have in us is greater than what we have against us. "greater is he that is in us than he that is in the world."
Joyce Meyer: "walk in the spirit and you will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh." So, we can fight with everything that we think we do wrong and all these temptations we have and fight with sin and feel guilty and condemned all the time, or we can have a whole new focus. We can get up every day and say, "today, I'm gonna live to love." And if you're full of love, full of caring for other people, full of really wanting to serve God with all of your heart, then there's not gonna be any room for the bad stuff to get in. I just recently wrote a book on making good habits and breaking bad habits, and I didn't call it, "breaking bad habits, making good habits." I called it, "making good habits, breaking bad habits," because if you will focus on doing the right thing, the wrong thing won't be able to find a place to get into your life.
Joyce Meyer: so, I frankly don't want to fight all the time with selfishness. I don't wanna fight all the time with impatience. And I would tend toward being impatient. That's probably one of the greater weaknesses in the choleric or the type a personality is we know what we want, we're firm about it, we've made a decision, we're going after it, and God help you if you get in our way.
Joyce Meyer: and so, I've learned to be patient with people. I'm not perfected in it yet, but I sure have come a long way. So, if I purpose to be patient with people, then there's no room for the impatience to operate in me. You've got what it takes. You are brilliant. You are absolutely amazing. You are created in the image of God. There is so much good stuff in you that you are just about to pop open with goodness. You've got what it takes.
Joyce Meyer: and if you don't believe that you can do this, then you're never gonna do it. You can live to love other people, and you do it for God. You don't do it for you. You don't do it for what you get out of it. Yes, you do it to make other people happy, but even that should be a second motive. Our first motive is to do it for God to say thanks to him for everything that he's done to us.
Joyce Meyer: how many of you wanna show appreciation to God for everything that he's done for you?You wanna say, "thank you, Jesus." Well, how many ways can you do that? We can say, "thank you, Jesus," but there are millions of ways that we can do it if we simply will learn to be led by the holy spirit. It's amazing what happens, all the little things that God will show you personally that he may not ever show another human being. But God will show you little things that he wants you to do that may seem little, but they're big to somebody else and they're big to God, simply because you cared enough to listen to what he said and do them, amen? My sister-in-law told me yesterday that one of the things that God puts on her heart to do, she walks every morning and she lives in a neighborhood where there's a lot of elderly people, and she said, "i started, while I'm walking, picking up their newspapers and taking 'em up on the porch." Well, you know, that didn't cost her anything except a few steps. It's amazing what God can use us for if we will just simply be willing to follow the leadership of the holy spirit. Every single one of you should be a spy for God. I mean, we all should be spies for God. And what I mean by that is every morning, you covertly go out into the world.
Joyce Meyer: and you've got your God armor on. You know who you are in Christ. You don't go out to impress somebody. You don't go out to have people think well of you. You've set yourself aside. You've deposited yourself with God and you're like, "okay, God, I work for you." And can I tell you something? When you're on God's payroll, he'll always take care of you. You tend to God's business, and he will always take care of your business. And then you watch and you wait and you listen and you look. And you know, you can even make lists. When you hear people tell you things that they would like to have or things that they need or even things that they want, if you can't do it right now, you can write it down. Pray about it. Ask God to provide what you need. Or let's say you hear of somebody who maybe doesn't have any furniture in their house, or somebody says, you know, "all I've got's bedroom furniture. I don't have any living room furniture. I don't have any kitchen furniture yet." Well, maybe you can't afford to go buy them all the furniture they need, but why don't you get aggressive enough to go get a few more christians together and say, "hey, why don't we make this happen for that person?" You'll have so much fun. It will be absolutely amazing to you the fun that you will have in meeting people's needs, amen?
Joyce Meyer: let's look at john chapter 21, verse 15 through 18. "when they had eaten, Jesus said to peter, simon, son of john, do you love me more than all these [others do]?". And of course peter answered back and said, "yes, Lord, you know that I love you." It's a little bit lengthy in the amplified and I'm not gonna actually read all that, 'cause we got three verses in a row that say pretty much the same thing. And then Jesus said to him, "feed my lambs." How many of you see that right on the bottom? "yes, Lord, you know that I love you." "feed my lambs." Okay, Jesus, "peter, do you love me?" "yes, Lord, you know that I love you." "well, feed my lambs." Second time, "peter, do you love me?" "yes, Lord, you know that I love you." Verse 16 says the same thing. Verse 17, "feed my sheep. Feed my lambs." It says that peter began to get a little bit bothered that Jesus was asking him the third time, "do you love me?" It's almost like, "well, you sound like you don't believe me. Yes, I love you." But then it comes back with an instruction, "feed my lambs." Now, what in the world does that mean? It's very simple. You know what? If I was saying it in today's language, here's what I would say. "peter, do you love me?" "yes, Lord, you know that I love you." "well, help somebody." "peter, do you love me?" "yes, Lord, you know that I love you." "well, help somebody." "peter, do you love me?" "yes, Lord, you know that I love you." "well, help somebody."
Joyce Meyer: the greatest way that we can show our love and appreciation for what Jesus has done for us in dying for us, taking the penalty for our sins, shedding his blood, taking the keys of hell and death away from satan, resurrecting from the dead, and letting us share in everything that he bought and paid for, we are joint heirs with Christ, the best way that we can say thank you for the life that we have is by helping somebody else.
Joyce Meyer: how many of you would, if your children were off in a foreign land-- which in some ways that's kind of the way we are. You know, the earth is really not our home. We're like living in a foreign land, and we're God's children. How many of you, if your children were off in a foreign land, you would really appreciate it if somebody else would bless them and help them and help meet their needs. Well, God appreciates it when we do that also. Help somebody. One of the simplest things in the world that we can do. Every day of your life, you can have an opportunity to do this. There will not be a day that will go by that you won't have an opportunity to do this. Now, in order to do this, if you're gonna have your mind full of what you can do for other people, guess what? There's no room to have your mind on you all day long. So, I guess I could come at it two ways. I could say, "get your mind off yourself so you can help other people," and I've said that plenty of times. But I think maybe even a better way to say it is, "get your mind so full of what you can do for other people that you don't have any time left to think about yourself." The more you're a blessing to other-- how many of you have noticed, the more idle you are, the more unhappy you get? You sit around all day and do nothing, and then the next day you do nothing. I'm telling you what, monday, tuesday, by the time wednesday comes, you're mad.
Joyce Meyer: you don't like your life. You're mad at everybody in the house. You're full of self-pity, why? Just simply because you didn't have anything to do but just sit around and think about you. But if you'd get out and be a blessing to somebody else. Now, of course, the flesh doesn't want any kind of inconvenience. Well, I don't wanna do it. You know, the flesh doesn't like to be cold. It doesn't like to be hot.
Joyce Meyer: you all love the tv program, but we get complaints about the bright lights, you know. Give me a break. Let's look at philippians 2:4-7. I think we wanna live with a whole new attitude. Philippians chapter 2. You know, Jesus could not have come here to earth and made the sacrifice that he made for us had he not had and maintained a proper attitude. And you know, in ephesians 4, it says that we need to renew our mind and our attitude every single day. "let each of you esteem and look upon and be concerned for not [merely] his own interests, but also each for the interests of others. Let this same attitude and purpose and [humble] mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus." What was Jesus's purpose? He came here to set captives free, to open prison doors. He came to help us, so our purpose every day can be to help other people. "let this same attitude and [humble] mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus: [let him be your example in humility:] who, although being essentially one with God and in the form of God [possessing the fullness of the attributes which make God God], did not think this equality with God was a thing to be eagerly grasped or retained, but he stripped himself [of all privileges and rightful dignity], so as to assume the guise of a servant (a slave), in that he became like men and was born a human being." Now, let's just stop there for just a second. Jesus coming here and taking on human flesh, the only way I can even begin to make a comparison, and it's probably still a bad one, would be if you or I would decide that for all of the kingdom of little ants crawling around on the ground in the world, so they could have a better life, we were going to leave our humanity and become a little ant and crawl around in the dirt with them all of our life, so they could have a happy life. I don't think we grasp the magnitude of what God has done for us in sending his own son, who was living in glory, to come here. What could it have been like for God to have taken on human flesh? It had to be quite challenging. And by the way, just so we remember it, going to the cross was not easy. If we remember gethsemane, he had to pray so hard to be able to press through the demands that his flesh was making on him that he sweated great drops of blood. That's a lot of pressure, folks. So, it's not gonna hurt us to resist temptation to be selfish once in a while, and just go ahead and let the flesh be uncomfortable, and do the thing that we believe God is asking us to do.
Joyce Meyer: let me give you one example. Do you know-- and this is a fairly accurate percentage, because I've been teaching for 37 years, and so I've done lots and lots and lots of meetings like this. And about 80% of all christians are mad at somebody.
Joyce Meyer: I mean, I could've changed my message and came in here and taught on strife, bitterness, resentment, unforgiveness, anger, and I could've asked at the end, "how many of you, God's reminded you today that you're angry at someone and you want prayer?" There would have been 70% to 80% of the hands that went up. But the bible tells us plenty that our faith won't work without love. Mark 11, "when you pray, if you have anything against anyone," if you have anything against anyone, if you have anything against anyone.
Joyce Meyer: anything. Even if you think it's justified, God says, "no, no, no, no, no." We justly deserve God's anger, and he's not mad at us today. Come on. I mean, we deserve for God to be mad at us. We deserve for him to reject us and put us out of his presence, certainly not to be good to us. But he's none of that, why? Because God is love. Well, I hope you enjoyed that message. You know, being a christian is one of the most exciting adventures in life, and if we follow direction of the holy spirit, it leads to some amazing doors being opened for us that only God can open. Recently, we were able to walk through one of those doors with an incredible opportunity to minister to our chinese brothers and sisters. Take a look at this, and I'll be back in a few minutes with a final word I'd like to share with you.
Joyce Meyer: you know, for many years, we've had a great privilege to work in china, distributing resources to help people, especially in the underground church. It's such a blessing to be able to help them, because they daily put their life on the line in order to be able to preach the gospel to people. Well, we're in asia, and we actually brought about 500 of the underground church leaders out of china, into asia, and we're taking two days to train them. You can see the meeting going on behind me. I've taught three times already. I'll be teaching again this afternoon. They are so blessed to have this opportunity to get together, to fellowship. We're providing a couple of meals for them. And they're loving the word of God. [singing] announcer: it's one of the world's oldest and most complex cultures, and it's home to 1.4 billion people. China is officially an atheist country. christians face the most severe persecution under chairman mao's cultural revolution of the 1960s and '70s, but christianity flourished despite the oppression. And in the 1980s, millions of people came to Christ. During that time, china began to allow a few government-sanctioned churches to open, but many christians chose to worship secretly, in house churches, so they could be free from government control. We've concealed the identities of these church leaders to protect them from possible punishment from the chinese government. [female translating throughout] announcer: china is a massive country, and persecution varies from region to region. In some areas, the church has become less oppressed and more open, but persecution is still a very real threat. In fact, new restrictive laws to control house churches have just gone into effect, causing many of these churches to go further underground. Church leaders are turning off their cell phones to protect themselves from being monitored and followed. Online communication is essential to how chinese churches function, and one of the reasons the gospel has been spreading so quickly. In some areas, these new laws are causing some of the worst persecution in a decade. Western china is one of the most oppressed regions. Many in this area have never even heard the name of Jesus.
Announcer: hand of hope, the outreach arm of Joyce Meyer ministries, has been working with organizations in china to spread the gospel for more than 20 years. In just the last two years alone, hand of hope, working with people like ming and others, have distributed the word of God through more than 350,000 Joyce Meyer books and digital teachings on usb drives, 100,000 of which included dvds, an amazing feat that carries with it great risk.
Announcer: despite persecution, the number of christians in china is growing so steadily that by the year 2030, experts say it could become the world's most christian nation, with more churchgoers than america. In some of those cities where christians can more freely and openly worship, the transformation is astonishing.
Joyce Meyer: well, you know, it's very exciting to be a part of what God is doing in china, and as a Joyce Meyer ministries' friend and partner, you're making it possible for us to equip and encourage our chinese brothers and sisters. I wish you could've seen firsthand what a blessing it was for those 500 church leaders to have two full days of ministry and fellowship without the fear of being monitored or punished by their government. It was your giving that made that possible. Today, we're asking you to give a gift to our missions outreach program. It helps us to do things like what you saw today, but also to be involved in disaster relief, which if you've never lost your home because of a disaster, maybe you don't understand how difficult that is for people. But that happens to many, many people, and thankfully, because of your giving, we're able to help them. We can dig water wells, do medical outreaches, feed hungry kids, help women that have been abused, help deliver victims of sex trafficking, and so much more, but we cannot do it without you. You know what? I'm willing to do my part, and if you do your part, together we can do something that's gonna make a difference in people's lives. So, I'm asking you to pray about it, see what God puts on your heart, and send in the very best gift that you can today. This is a way that you can be part of loving other people, and the more you reach out to others, the happier you're gonna be in your own life. God bless you, and thank you.
Joyce Meyer: well, I happen to be in thailand today, where we're having the privilege of feeding some beautiful children a healthy, nutritious lunch. You know, I've been teaching the word of God for over 40 years, and I teach people about having faith in Jesus. But I believe we also need to not just teach people to have faith, we need to teach them to do the works that Jesus did, and he always helped hurting people. So, today I would like to ask you if you would get involved in our missions programs that are going around the world all the time on a daily basis. Just do what you can, and then God will take it and multiply it and help people all over the world. Thank you for your generosity. God bless you.
Announcer: today, for your donation of any amount towards the outreaches of hand of hope, we'd like to send you Joyce Meyer's book, "promises for your everyday life." Contact us now... Or go to joycemeyer.org.
Joyce Meyer: I had this growing desire in me to help people, help people, help people, help people, help people, and so in addition to all the television, way, way back, like in the very beginning, like 30 years ago, we started setting aside money to help the poor with. God put that in our heart, and so we started even right here in our own city helping do inner city ministry and contributing to other people that had inner city ministries. We started different missions and got involved with different missionaries, and we would support different people that had different works around the world. And to now, you know, we're involved in 150 nations, and I don't even know how many different outreaches with orphanages and feeding programs and water wells and schools.
Ginger: it is such an integral part of the ministry.
Joyce Meyer: well, it's very, very important. I mean, other than my teaching, that's probably the most important thing to me is just being able to help people. You know, Jesus always taught the word, and he helped hurting people. And so, you help people with the word, but you also need to help them at a practical way. Like I say a lot of times, many people are hurting so bad that they couldn't even hear the word if you didn't help them first with their practical situation.
Announcer: we hope you enjoyed today's program. For more information, visit joycemeyer.org. This program has been made possible by the friends and partners of Joyce Meyer ministries