The sermon "The Beauty of Generosity" Part 1, 01 Feb. 2018- Enjoying Everyday Life by Joyce Meyer. How can you maintain a generous spirit when you live in a self-centered society? Joyce teaches about the value and simplicity of loving and serving others.
full textual sermon "The Beauty of Generosity" Part 1, 01 Feb. 2018 - Joyce Meyer
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Joyce Meyer: when we are giving in any way, shape, or form, whether it's a compliment, an offering, some time to somebody, when we're giving, I think we're more like God than at any other time in our life. For that moment, we're more like God, you know why? Because God is a giver. Philippians chapter 4, verse 5, this scripture has been catching my attention a lot lately, and I'm actually feeling like I may bring this scripture up in a lot of my conferences this year. It simply says, "let all men know and perceive and recognize your unselfishness (your considerateness, your forbearing spirit)," which means long suffering and patient spirit. "the Lord is near [he is coming soon]" now, you know, the apostle paul, and many of the other apostles, they talked a lot about Jesus is coming soon. And I particularly like this verse because he's saying, now, he's saying, "let's make sure that we're pressing in and living right." And so, one of the things we need to really kind of sure up on is don't be selfish, nobody needs that today, right? You're all good. Nobody here is selfish. This is for somebody who didn't come, but i'll preach it anyway. He says, "let all men know and see your unselfishness. Be considerate, be forbearing," and why? "because the Lord is near, he's coming soon." You see, I'm kind of the opinion, and I got this somewhere last year in my teaching, I became convinced that we need to talk more about the second coming of Christ. I do believe the Lord is coming soon.
And you know you might say, "well, you know, they believed that too and look how long that's been." Well, I agree with that but all I know is if they thought it was soon, then I need to really blow the trumpet because my soon is sooner than their soon. And I feel that we have a responsibility to keep reminding people, hey listen, it's not gonna be that long and we're gonna stand before the Lord. Every man, every woman, every person, none left out, will stand before the Lord and give an account of their life. Now, I don't know about you but I don't find that I am just naturally generous. I don't find generosity on the list in galatians of the works of the flesh. One of the works of my flesh is not generosity. Matter of fact, thank God that he has changed me a great deal, but selfishness is so inherent in our flesh that if we don't guard against it-- now the Bible says, "guard yourselves." And so, we have to guard against these things and I believe that sometimes that requires taking a little inventory of your life and just maybe even saying something to yourself like, "what have I done for anybody else in the last week?" I'm going over here. You guys are not.
Joyce Meyer: come on, we gotta have a little encouragement, amen? I mean, just to say to yourself once a week, I mean, if you would just put this into your week, put it on your calendar to once a week, just have a five-minute meeting with yourself. Did you ever think of having a meeting with yourself? I have meetings with myself all the time. We need to do that. And just ask yourself, "what have I done for anybody else in the last 7 days?" Hmm, all right.
Joyce Meyer: all right now, Isaiah 32:8, "but the noble, openhearted, and liberal man devises noble things; and he stands for what is noble, openhearted, and generous." I actually want to read this again. This is such a powerful scripture, "but the noble man--" and, you know, we probably don't even know what that word means. It's not a word that you even hear that much anymore. It means to have very high moral principles and ideals. It is a person who works for what is right and a person who is very virtuous. So, the noble, openhearted, liberal man devices noble things and he stands for what is noble, openhearted, and generous. He is a large hearted person. Don't be small souled, all shrunk up and just no room in your life for anybody but you.
Joyce Meyer: okay listen, be encouraged when you leave here, you can go get a coffee, you can get a burger, you can have a snack. God'll help you recover when I'm done with you today, but this is God's word for the day, amen? Now, we should think about the beauty of that kind of a person. You know, there's a word that I wish we used in this country more often and it's the word "beautiful." When you go to australia, everything it's like, beautiful. I mean, if you get a good meal, it's beautiful. If you hear a good song, it's beautiful. If somebody does something kind, it's beautiful. I love to hang out with darlene zschech, don't get to as often as I used to, but I love to hang out with her because she just is, "oh, it's beautiful. That's so beautiful. Wow, that's beautiful." And you know what? Beauty is attractive. We're drawn to beauty. When I sit and think about things that I enjoy the most in my life, one of the things that I enjoy is just beautiful things, beautiful scenery, a beautiful tree, a beautiful piece of furniture, anything. I just like beauty. And you know why we're like that? Because God loves beauty. And I think that he wants to look at us a little more often and say, "beautiful."
Joyce Meyer: amen? I think when you look at your life and say, "you know what? I'm not gonna put up with this out of myself. I haven't really done anything for anybody in the last couple of weeks. I'mma get busy here and be a greater blessing." I believe God says, "beautiful, that's beautiful." You know what? When we are giving in any way, shape, or form, whether it's a compliment, an offering, some time to somebody, when we're giving, I think we're more like God that at any other time in our life. For that moment, we're more like God, you know why? Because God is a giver. For God so loved the world that he gave, and he didn't just give what he had to give. He gave his best, come on now. He gave his best.
Joyce Meyer: it is astounding what God gave us. I mean, my gosh, who could ever understand what he has given us and what he's done for us while you were still yet in sin? Didn't know him, didn't care to know him, didn't want to know him, were happy in your sin, he sent his only son to die for us.
Joyce Meyer: wow, who does that? Maybe for a really cool person you might do a little something, but who does anything for the biggest rat you know? We don't do that, but God can teach us to do that. This is why he says, this is why he says those really hard, hard things like, "love your enemies, bless those who persecute you." And the amplified Bible says, "bless those who abuse you and misuse you. Pray for your enemies and bless them." And really to be honest, it's not even when you do that, you're not--you're not even really do anything for them because half the time they don't even care but you're doing something for yourself. You're adding some beauty to your life. You no longer have to be this little, small-souled, shrunk-up person who just sits in your pitiful place and hates everybody. "well, you just don't know--" [mumbling] all the promises of God are available to whosoever will.
Joyce Meyer: Acts 2:46, you know, we look back at the early church and, man, we wish we had the power in the church today that they had then. Well, you read about the book of acts and you're just like, "what happened? Where'd all that power go?" "and day after day they regularly assembled in the temple with united purpose," which means unity, "and in their homes they broke bread [including the Lord's supper] they partook of their food with gladness and simplicity and generous hearts." You know what we see right there? Why they were powerful. That's a large part of why they were powerful. They were simple, they were grateful, they got along, and they were generous with one another. The Bible says that we are to be mindful, that means to sit down and actually think about what you might do for somebody else. Wouldn't that be a novel idea? You can do that when you have your meeting with yourself.
Joyce Meyer: every single one of you knows somebody that you could do something for today. Somebody, one, two people out there like that. Everybody knows somebody that you could do something for today. Every one of you have a house full of stuff that you have not used in 10 years and somebody else is desperate for it but you're gonna hang on to it just in case, just in case you need it. Well, even if you did, you wouldn't know where it was, that's the way I am. I mean, I can't find it. The other day my daughter was helping me clean some stuff out and she said, "well, you don't want to get rid of this, do you?" I said, "yeah, I haven't used that in a long time." She said, "well, you might need that." I said, "if I did, I wouldn't know where it was." She said, "no, you're right. You'd just send me out to get another one." It was all this stuff I bought one time when I had some kind of like a head chest thing and I mean, I had every kind of salve, and smell, and rub on, and, you know, that you could have. And I buy things in multiples. I want to make sure I don't, you know, run out. And so, i'll get in there and i'll have-- why do I have four tubes of a&d; ointment? Oh yeah, that was from, you know? Oh, I'm gonna try to stick to my message.
Joyce Meyer: Jehovah Jireh is one of the many names of God found in the old testament and it means the God of barely get by. It means the God of more than enough. Or it means the God who provides or we might say the generous God. Everybody say, "God is generous." Ephesians 1:7 and 8, "in him we have redemption (deliverance and salvation) through his blood, the remission (forgiveness) of our offenses (shortcomings and trespasses), in accordance with the riches and the generosity of his gracious favor." I am so glad that God doesn't just give me a little bit of mercy but his mercy is new every day, every day. You're never gonna get up on any day and God say, "whoops, you've used up all the mercy I had set aside for you." But we're like that with people sometimes, aren't we? It's like, "listen, I am not going around this mountain again with you. I forgave you for that last week. I'm not doing it again."
Joyce Meyer: thank God that he's not stingy with his forgiveness, that he's not stingy with his help, that he's not stingy with his provision. God has not set aside a little, tiny bit, barely enough for us to get by on. He has given us more than enough. And you know what he wants our response to be to that? That we would do more than enough, that we would be excellent people that go the extra mile and we don't just do what we have to do, but we always want to do more than what we have to do.
Joyce Meyer: and you know what? I am just getting happier the more I talk about this. Honestly, I can feel my soul expanding. Oh, we are so off track when all we have room for in our lives is us, and our problems, and our deal, and our wants, and our needs. Get over yourself. Just get over it and say, "God, what can I do for somebody else today?" Be generous, of course, in giving financially. There's so many needy people in the world. Be generous in giving to the gospel. There's so many people that have yet to hear. But be generous in mercy. If you're gonna give a tip at a restaurant, give a good one.
Joyce Meyer: that's what those people live on. Be generous in mercy, generous in forgiveness, generous in compliments. Little less finding fault. Yeah, this is better, yes, isn't it? A little more encouragement. My goodness, people, the world is just full of people that are ready to give up any minute. They don't need to be told what's wrong with them and how bad they are. There's a time for that but, boy, if you're gonna ever correct anybody, mix it up with a whole lot of encouragement. It's a lot more palatable to swallow.
Audience: I love you Joyce.
Joyce Meyer: thank you. The very end of Ephesians 1:7 and 8 it says, "in accordance with the riches and the generosity of his gracious favor," listen to this, "which he lavished upon us--" whoo-hoo, I like lavish. How many of you like lavish? I'm into lavish. I'm into overflow. "in every kind of wisdom and understanding (practical insight and prudence)." It's a beautiful thing indeed to be generous. You know, "oh Lord, you're beautiful. You're so beautiful." And why do we say that? Because of all these things. We're not talking about what he looks like physically. We've never seen him physically. What we're talking about is his attributes, his character, the way he deals with us. And we are far too concerned about our outward image in the age that we live in today. "how many people are on my facebook? How many people are looking at my selfies today?"
Joyce Meyer: I am still trying to get over everybody taking pictures of themselves all day sending them to everybody they know. I'm like, who gives a rip what you're eating and how you chew? I sure don't.
Joyce Meyer: you know, we just gotta be careful that we don't get too carried away. Your worth and value is not in how many people are on your facebook. You know what? Every once in a while i'll hear how many people are on ours. I never go ask because frankly, it's--i don't even-- I don't need to know that. I need to minister the same if I got 2 people on it or 25 million people on it. You know why? Because God is interested in the individual, amen? So, just be careful. Guard yourself. Be wise not to go too far. And when I say don't be selfish, let me just make sure that I say this, I am not talking about not taking care of yourself. I'm not talking about not doing things for yourself. You need to take care of yourself. You need to spend money on yourself. You need to spend time on yourself. You need to do things that you like and things that you enjoy, but we don't need to just do nothing but that. See, I think if we don't take good care of ourselves, we'll break down and we won't have anything to even give to anybody else. So, God wants us to be blessed but we still have to guard against selfishness. If you don't think that a human being shows up on planet earth with selfishness, you just watch when one child takes a toy away from another child, "mine!" And we're still yelling that today, we just don't say it as loud as--mmm. Beautiful things are excellent, wonderful, and appealing, and they have drawing power. We're drawn to beauty. It touches our soul. I like to be around somebody that I feel touched my soul, don't you? Don't you like to be with people that, when you leave, you feel like they deposited something in your soul, not that they just took and drained, and drained the life out of you, and you can't wait to get away from them? I'm sure you know a few people like that, right? You know, I made a decision, I don't know maybe it's been 10 years ago now, that I was not gonna be in anymore one-sided relationships.
Joyce Meyer: I have no interest in hanging out with people who always want something from me and never bother to do anything back. Relationship is give and take. So, I don't want stingy, small-souled friends. I want to be around people that I'm not drained when I get away from them and that I dread seeing them another time. I want to be around people that make a deposit, that touched my soul because they're beautiful people. When we see a-- when we hear a beautiful story, see a beautiful piece of art, see the ocean, see the mountains, or an amazing landscape, often the only thing we can say is?
Joyce Meyer: "beautiful." Sometimes something is so awesome and amazing that there's just no other word besides that one word that will describe what it is. Now you know what? I felt that way about the worship this morning. I did. I actually-- I turned to somebody and I said, that's some of the best worship i've been in in a long time, beautiful. And everything that we do should be beautiful, something that leaves a deposit. I don'twant you just to come here, I don't want you to feel bad when you leave. I want to make a deposit in you. I want you to leave and say, "man, I feel better. I feel encouraged. I feel edified."
Joyce Meyer: the word "generous" means liberal, lavish, magnanimous, munificent, free handed, unselfish, and abundant. Let's look at Deuteronomy 15:11. I really like this scripture. All the way back in the beginning of the Bible. "for the poor will never cease out of the land; therefore I command you, you shall open wide your hands to your brother, to the needy, to the poor in your land." When it's time for offering, do you peek in your wallet and grab the tiniest thing you see? Or do you open it wide and maybe get into some of that "she" money or "he" money you got hidden in those secret compartments?
Joyce Meyer: come on, we all got some somewhere. Be magnanimous, live large. Well, it's time for all of us to stop worrying so much about ourselves and guard ourselves against selfishness. How about asking God to reveal to you today how you can be a blessing to someone else? That'll shift your focus off of you on to being a blessing. Today we're offering you four teachings, over four hours of teaching, on "keeping God first in your life." The Bible says, "seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these other things will be added unto you." So, keeping God first is very important. And we're offering you my devotional called, "my time with God," 365 devotions about how your time with God can be so rewarding in your life. I wrote most of these during my time with God each morning, and they're intended to be a personal word to you that's gonna encourage you for that day. Remember, God loves you and he has an amazingly good plan for your life. Learn all you can about God, be as close to him as you can, and you are gonna love your life so much more.
Announcer: "seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you." Spending time daily with God is the first step toward enjoying your everyday life. Today, we're offering two resources that'll help you do just that. In Joyce Meyer's audio series, "keeping God first," she explains the benefits of seeking God each day and how to develop a deep satisfying relationship with Jesus. To help get you started, we're offering Joyce Meyer's book, "my time with God." It includes 365 devotions, each with a Bible verse and a personal reflection from
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