Joyce Meyer - Put First Things First - Part 2 - sermon online. Time is precious. Learn why giving God a portion of your time each day can make an extraordinary difference in your life. You'll be encouraged to put God first.
Joyce: really, to be honest, this is not really an option. It's like, if you wanna have victory, if you want to make it through daily life with some joy, god must come first. [music] joyce: is jesus first in your life? Matthew :: "seek ye first the kingdom of god and all of these things will be added unto you." In case you've forgotten this, let me just remind you that you don't have to seek things and neither do i. We seek god and he adds the things. Psalm :: "delight yourself in the lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart." Beautiful single lady who wants to get married so bad, you can hardly stand it-- [audience laughing] joyce: you'd be happy just to have a date, as a matter of fact, it's like-- [audience laughing] joyce: tell god what you want, then get off of it. Don't camp on top of it the rest of your life.
Seek god and let him do the right thing in your life, amen? [audience applauding] joyce: and i'll just--just throwing this out there for your comfort. You know, if you're single right now, you can pretty much do what you want to. [audience laughing] joyce: when you get married, not so much. [audience laughing] joyce: now, hey, I love being married. I've been married years and i've got a good one, a really good one. [audience applauding] joyce: but here's the thing. You wanna make sure you wait long enough to get a good one 'cause if you get a bad one, mmm. You gonna wish you were single again. [audience laughing] joyce: colossians : and . I want you to look at this. This is so good. "and he himself existed before all things, and in him all things consist (cohere, and are held together]" I love to just look at that verse over and over.
He's holding everything together right now. Jesus says in here, "everything falls apart." "he is the head of [his] body, the church; seeing that he is the beginning, the firstborn from among the dead," now, just get this last sentence, "so that he alone in everything and in every respect might occupy the chief place [stand first and be preeminent]." That's such a good scripture. Okay, so let's just talk about some of the things that could be first in our life that probably shouldn't be. Well, how about making money? No, we all like money, we all need money. But when you're on your deathbed you're not gonna ask for your bank balance. [audience laughing] joyce: there's not one person in here that's gonna say, "bring my accountant, I wanna know how much money I got in the bank." You're gonna want some family, you're gonna want some people that love you, you're gonna wanna have peace to know that you're gonna meet with jesus at any moment. Matthew :, he says: "do not gather and heap up and store for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust and worm consume and destroy, and where thieves break through and steal." But here's a scripture that I absolutely love. Do you know in revelation, I think it's :, it says: "because in one [single] hour all the vast wealth has been destroyed (wiped out] and all ship captains and pilots, navigators and all who live by seafaring, the crews and all who put their trade on the sea, stood a long way off."
Do you know what the bible says? In hour in the last days babylon's gonna completely fall. The whole world system and everything we put all of our confidence in, stock market's gonna fall, everything's gonna fall. So we have to realize that everything that we have, all of our money, all of our possessions, everything we have--and i'm not saying this to be scary, i'm just saying it so we get our priorities in line. I'm saying it to myself as well as you, I mean, it could be gone in hour. So we wanna make sure that jesus is first. And sometimes when we get too caught up in trying to make money, how many people are working today--i'm not saying it's you, but how many people are working two and three jobs so they can pay for a bunch of stuff that they don't even need? A bigger house, a more expensive car, or this or that, a boat, a yacht, a whatever, and it's okay to have those things if you can have them without stress in your life. But if they're gonna stress you out and you're gonna be stressed out over the debt of having to pay for those things all the time, and you're gonna have to work so much you can never spend any time with your family, then maybe god brought you here tonight so you could re-examine some of your priorities. [audience applauding] joyce: 'cause you know what happens when we don't look at our priorities? To be honest, we can get in places and not even know how we got there. It's, like, what happened to my life? Have you ever thought that? How did I get in this mess? How did I let myself get into this situation? All those things have pull on us.
Okay, maybe you're a young person and right now you don't have a lot of time for jesus. I mean, you got a little 'cause you're here tonight or you got a little 'cause you're watching this tv program when it comes on. You don't have much time for jesus, but you give joyce minutes in the morning. [audience laughing] joyce: but you don't--you just don't have a lot of time for that right now 'cause you are busy getting your degree. Well, so let's just talk just for a smidge about education. Now, education is wonderful and thank god for smart people in the world and all the stuff that they do. And i'm certainly not saying not to be educated. I will tell you this. The anointing is better. And I don't mean that insultingly but, I mean, you--like, I don't have a lot of education beyond the th grade and i'm doing okay. I've got god's anointing.
However, god can use people with big brains in different ways. The apostle paul was probably the most highly educated of all the apostles and he wrote two-thirds of the new testament. So i'm not saying not to have education. I'm not saying that it's not good. I think it's phenomenal, but it's not as important as having the anointing. Now, if you can be really smart and have the anointing, whoo! I know a few people like that and they can do stuff that I can't do. So you don't have to have it for god to use you, but if you do have it and you still put god first, then he can really use what you know but in the right way, amen? So i--just two scriptures just so whatever it is you know or what it is you think you know, you don't think that it's more important than what it is. You know, sometimes, people that are highly educated look down on people that aren't as smart as them and that's not good. It might surprise you who god will use. "for it is written," corinthians :, : "it is written, I will baffle and render useless and destroy the learning of the learned, the philosophy of the philosophers and the cleverness of the clever and the discernment of the discerning; I will frustrate and nullify [them] and bring [them] to nothing. Where is the wise man (the philosopher), the scribe (the scholar)? Where is the investigator (the logician, the debater) of this present time and age? Has not god shown up the nonsense and the folly of this world's wisdom?" So, you know how many smart people there are sitting around having discussion groups about how to fix our world? You know how many billions of dollars are spent on people trying to figure out what is the problem in the world, what is wrong in our schools, what's wrong in the government. Well, I can tell 'em for free.
as long as god is first, everything else works out. The further you move him down the line, the worse conditions get. [audience applauding] joyce: I just--you'll have to excuse me for just a minute, let me take my liberty, but I don't know how dumb you can be and still breathe. [audience laughing] joyce: I mean, surely people with even a little bit of a brain can look at what has happened in our society and see that the more people try to get rid of god, the worse conditions our world gets in. [audience cheering] joyce: and so, I mean, honestly, and i'm not trying to be insulting, but if you don't see that, then you can have degrees and i'm just telling you, you are not very smart. [audience laughing] joyce: so there's education and there's wisdom. And god wants us to be educated, learn all you can learn, but use it for god's glory. Don't get all caught up in some worldly notion and idea of how things should be because god says, "i'm gonna bring it all to nothing." Now, here's a good one. "if i--" this is corinthians . "if I have all knowledge; and have not love, I am a useless nobody." If you have all knowledge, if you know everything. You could have every degree that exists, and if you don't know how to love, then the bible says you're nobody, you're nothing. So just--let's just think about this for a minute. What would happen if every grade school, every high school, every college, every person who went to those schools, what would happen if they had to take a course in what love is and how to walk in love? What would happen if they had to take a course in manners? [audience applauding] joyce: I mean, you can be smart and still be rude. [audience laughing] joyce: you can be very smart and still be obnoxious and not know how to treat people, not know how to love people. And so, see, if your head knowledge outweighs your spiritual knowledge, are you with me? If your head knowledge is greater than your spiritual knowledge, then you're already headed for trouble. [music] joyce: well, remember, as long as we give god first place in our life, everything else will work out.
The further you move god down the list, the harder things can get. So how do we keep god at the top of the list? Ginger joins me now with your questions. Joyce: well, ginger, I know that this is challenging for everybody. I think eventually we get it. It's like nothing's Gonna work if I don't make that a priority, but it's challenging to form that habit in the beginning. Ginger: it is, and we have some great questions. People who really want to do what's right because, like you said, they know it's what works and yet. Here's a question from emily rose from kansas city. She says, "i want to live a life surrendered to god. I struggle with so many things. Sometimes it's all I can do to just get through the day. So how do you know god is working in and through you when faced with so many challenges?" Joyce: well, first of all let me tell her that my granddaughter's named emily rose. I thought she might like that. And you know, everybody today is busy. Sometimes I just get so tired of hearing that word, I just wanna scream. It just kind of--like, no matter what you ask people, they're busy. And god's never called us to be busy. He called us to be fruitful. Matter of fact, i'm not even sure you can find that word in the bible. I have--don't know that for sure, but I don't remember ever seeing it. And so often, so much of what we do doesn't even really need to be done. We get busy trying to meet other people's expectations and all kinds of stuff. But, you know, the answer to her is gonna be probably the same as it is to a lot of these questions. The day won't be as frustrating, it won't seem nearly as overwhelming, if you start the day with god. And starting a day with god basically means to talk to him. And, you know, you can start that before you ever get out of bed. You know, you-- good morning, lord. I love you. I need you today. You know, I like people to take as long as they can. I don't like the phrase, "well, just take a few minutes with god," like he's only worthy of a few minutes. But, you know, even if this is not a habit for people, which that has a lot to do with this, to be honest. I mean, if you do it long enough, you'll get to the point where not doing it is not an option for you because you just--it just becomes part of who you are. But like any good habit, the enemy's gonna fight us in the beginning. So let's just say even if you only start with minutes, then you can gradually increase that. I would like to see people spend at least a half an hour every morning with god. And by that, I mean talking to god, praying for people that you know that are having a rough time, going through a hard time, and if-- ginger: and there are always a lot of those. Joyce: yeah, there always are, and it's good for us to pray for other people.
We don't always need to just be praying for ourself. Reading a book, a christian book, that you're really getting a lot out of. You know, I think a lot of times people think, "gotta read my bible, read my bible." Well, yes, we wanna study the bible, but if you're reading a book that's full of scripture, you know, it's not having something with "the bible" on the front of it that is gonna make us any more spiritual than just reading the word. And it's good for us to get that word in us. It just--it reminds us to keep god first and the thing is, I really believe that more than what you're gonna do with that time, people get all worried about what am I gonna--what am I supposed to do? Well, I think just giving god the time is the key. I don't care if you sit there and just go, "duh," you know? We need to put god first in our time. Ginger: yeah, it's making a priority. Joyce: yeah. Ginger: here's the next question from jonathan. He says, "temptation and stress keep distracting me from keeping god first and focusing on him. How do I keep god first?" Joyce: well, part of the thing is the mind. Just, you know, setting your mind in the right direction and I don't know what kind of temptations he's talking about, but spending time with god is one of the best ways in the world to avoid temptation. And our stress is really caused from trying to do more than what we should do. Even this morning, you know, i'm a very focused person. And so I was coming to the tv studio, we've got some meetings this afternoon, i'd a lot of things I needed to do in here today. I get up, I do my morning walk, my morning exercise, and so I have a tendency to get started and just go from thing to thing to thing to thing to thing. And i--this morning when I got back from my walk, I sat down on the edge of my little seat in my bathroom and my husband said, "what are you doing?" I said, "i'm taking minutes between events just to try to breathe." And I think sometimes even if we would do that, it would really help the stress level. I mean, stress literally is killing people. I mean, I was talking to my daughter yesterday about all the--how much more sickness and disease there is today than years ago. And I mean, there's more than one reason, but a lot of it is just stress induced. And, you know, god told me one time, "you made your schedule. If you don't like it, you're the only one that can change it." So I think just to say, "i'm stressed out," and I don't mean this in a wrong way, but it can almost for all of us just become like an excuse, like we can't help it. And really, how many things are people spending their time doing that nothing would change that drastically in their life if they just didn't do that anymore? And so, we have to be willing to make the changes.
God will even show you changes to make, but we have to be willing to do that and to get god in that first spot and not change it. Ginger: because the stress lowers when our priorities do get in order. The worry that comes with stress lowers when we're spending time with god because we're giving him our burdens. Joyce: that's right, you're casting your care on him and taking the pressure off of yourself. Ginger: so it really is the solution in so many ways. All right, here's another question from rowdy. He says, "every time I keep my focus on jesus, the devil uses things from my past to bring me down. I feel anxious and worried to the extent that I don't perform or i'm losing time on things that I should be doing and I need help." Joyce: okay, you know what I think that he should do? I believe that he should have several scriptures written out or on a card on, you know, on a x card or whatever, and when he starts feeling that, instead of trying to fight it himself, he needs to go to the word. For example, the bible says: "looking away from all that will distract unto jesus." So when he starts to be distracted by past sins or failures, that's the best time to keep your focus on jesus. And maybe some scriptures about the new life that's provided for us in christ. And, boy, a great one is "forgetting what lies behind and pressing toward the things that are ahead." I mean, there, I mean, I can think of a number of scriptures right now. And I really think a lot of times we try to fight battles that the word would win for us because it is the sword of the spirit. That's the greatest weapon that we have against satan is the word of god. And so to learn those scriptures and then he would get to the point where he didn't have to get out a card and read them. He would have them in him and you can even get to the point where those scriptures will automatically come. The holy spirit brings things to our remembrance when we need them, and so I would say, "fight with the word instead of fighting in the flesh." Ginger: yeah, oh, that's great. Be ready to fight back a little bit. Joyce: yeah, that's right. Ginger: nica asks, "how do you keep god first? I have plans and i'm working toward them, but how do you keep your eyes on god and not on your plans?" Joyce: well, i, I mean, this is a little bit of a story and i'll try to tell it short. But I had the same problem years ago in trying to form the habit of putting god first. And I worked at a church and so, in a way, I was a little bit proud of myself that I worked for god. And one morning, he put the thought in my heart, "well, you're so proud of yourself because you work for me, but you're not spending any time with me." And so spending time with god even needs to trump doing "church work."
And god finally got the point across to me and the amplified version of some of the scriptures about seeking god says: "require him as a vital necessity in life." And I had an uncle at the time who had a pacemaker, and if he didn't charge it every so many days it would go flat which meant he would die and-- ginger: not good. Joyce: not good. And so one time we invited my aunt and uncle out for a steak dinner. We thought we were gonna really give 'em a free big meal and they were gonna love it, and my aunt said, "i'm sorry, we can't go today. Your uncle has to charge his pacemaker." And I said, "well, can't he do that another time?" And see, that's the attitude we take about spending time with god. And she was insulted. She said, "well, no. If he did, he would die." And god used that to get across to me, "you're not gonna make it in this world trying to do what you're doing if you don't spend time with me on a regular basis and put me first." Ginger: that's really good. Joyce: I think it just has--we have to understand, really, to be honest, this is not really an option. It's like, if you wanna have victory, if you want to make it through daily life with some joy, god must come first. Ginger: yeah, let's do one more. Helen from australia says, "i would like to know how do you put god first when you are so unwell in pain and suffering that all you want is to be healed and joyful again?" Joyce: okay, I totally get that. I've had just about several weeks ago, I had a, thankfully a minor, back surgery. But in the last few years i've had to have both hips replaced and I understand about pain, and it does--it can really hurt you mentally, emotionally, physically, and in every other way. But I will say that in the midst of that, I found myself talking to god even more, like, "strengthen me, god. Help me." And she may be doing that even more than what she thinks she is because--just because she maybe can't do the same things that she once did that she might consider serving god, you know, first of all, god knows where she's at right now. He totally understands that. Jesus bore our pain, he was familiar with pain. The bible even says in isaiah that he was familiar with sickness. He took our sickness on himself, and so he knows, he understands, and I would just encourage her, she's already got enough to deal with. Let's don't add to it by now starting to feel bad about yourself spiritually because you can't do the things that you once did. God understands that, and I can tell you, "god help me," for people that are hurting can be just as much of a spiritual prayer as somebody getting on their knees and doing heavy intercession for an hour. So I think it's good and I wanna compliment her that even in the midst of what she's going through, that she would take the trouble to write us with that question. That shows her heart and that's what god cares about. Ginger: it does. Well, thank you very much, joyce.
We appreciate your help. Joyce: well, today, as always, we're offering you some teaching on this subject. You know, the time that we have on the tv program is just--really, it's just not enough. It helps, but it's not enough to get something really embedded in your heart to where it becomes part of you. So today we're offering you four teachings called "pursuing what matters most." Four hours of teaching about knowing what to put first. And also we'll send along a "hand of hope" notepad and pen for you to take notes and write with. I want you to really take that first step in pursuing god and see what blessings he has in store for you. You'll never feel like it was time wasted. I can guarantee you that. Announcer: we all have pursuits in life, whether it may be success, better pay, a better job, anything. And while it's not wrong to desire these things, we shouldn't let them be the first priority. So learn to put god first on the list, no matter what the circumstances, and discover the secret to true joy and peace. Order joyce's teaching series, "pursuing what matters most." As we learn to keep him first, everything else in life will work out. And when you call to order, you'll also receive this "hand of hope" notepad and pen set. This four-teaching cd series, notepad, and pen can all be yours today for a gift of... Or more. Contact us now...OR Visit us at joycemeyer.org.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's new devotional, "my time with god." Call...OR Go to joycemeyer.org. Ginger: you know, i've just been wondering lately, what is it that makes a person want to leave the comfort and monotony of home to come someplace crazy like this and do a medical clinic? Well, let's ask the volunteer doctors and nurses who do it all the time. Male: seeing the world is awesome. It's always a great adventure. Female: because the kids are so amazing. Female: I do this because god put it in my heart to help others. Female: because it's life-changing. Male: we love it. It's awesome. Female: 'cause it's really fun. Ginger: so, what do you think? It can't hurt to at least check it out, right? All you need to do is go to our website, joycemeyer.org. All the information is there for you and, just think, your adventure may begin today.