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Having a “Big Picture” Attitude about Obedience

Joyce Meyer (9)

As Christians, we have been called to be obedient to God in big things and little things, day in and day out, longer than we can do on our own, in our own strength. Living in godly obedience is sometimes hard, but God has anointed and equipped us for the job. We can do whatever we need to do with His help – and not only that, we can learn to do it with smiles on our faces!

For example, maybe you’re at the mall shopping when the Holy Spirit nudges you to pick up the blouse that slid off the hanger onto the floor, even though you weren’t the one who left it there. Or He’ll ask you to give away some material thing that you really love – to someone you don’t even like!  At other times, God may ask you to stick with people and situations you’d rather run away from while He finishes His work in you.

A good example of someone who practiced godly obedience in a big way was Dr. Paul Osteen, a respected surgeon and the brother of Joel Osteen, a good friend of Joyce Meyer Ministries.  At the age of 12, Dr. Osteen’s father took him on a mission trip to Africa. Even then Dr. Osteen knew he wanted to be a doctor. He vowed that someday he’d return to Africa as a medical missionary. He didn’t know that it would be decades before God would pave the way for him to fulfill that dream.

Dr. Osteen practiced as a surgeon in the United States for 17 years before a gradual dissatisfaction built up inside him. Still, he didn’t act on the feeling, wanting to hear from God. Then his father died, and as the family was driving back from the funeral, Dr. Osteen distinctly heard God tell him to lay down his surgical practice and move to Houston to help out at his brother’s church.  He followed God’s call and moved to Houston where he worked for the next six years at a fraction of his previous salary.

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God Wants to Help…Now!

Joyce Meyer (12)

We don’t have to wait until we’re perfect or doing everything right for God to help us. Even on our bad days, we can pray and God will hear us and help us because He is a God of mercy, grace and favor, and He does things for us that we don’t deserve.

The world teaches us that we need to earn everything we get and we get what we deserve. A religious attitude makes us believe we have to do good works to deserve God’s blessings and approval. But we can never earn or deserve God’s love. And He’s not asking us to. Romans 2:4 says, “…Are you…ignorant [of the fact] that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repent (to change your mind and inner man to accept God’s will)?” (AMP).

God just loves us – unconditionally and constantly. And He wants to be good to us. But for us to experience this love, we have to learn to receive it from Him.

The Bible talks a lot about receiving from God. We can receive His forgiveness of our sin, His mercy for our failures, His grace to empower us to do what we can’t do on our own, His undeserved favor, His power when the Holy Spirit comes upon us…and on and on. And He freely offers it, if we will just receive it. So we need to live in a receiving mode and ask Him to pour it on us!

The word receive means “to act as a receptacle and take in what’s being offered.” It’s relaxed and like, “Now I’m free to enjoy my life.” It’s not about striving to get something from God. The word get actually means “to obtain by struggle and effort.” And if everything in your life is a struggle and effort, you’re in “getting mode,” not receiving mode.

It’s so important for us to understand this because we can never be good enough to earn or deserve God’s love and forgiveness. And if we don’t have faith in God, trusting what He says He wants to do for us, we will be beggars rather than believers. You know what I’m talking about. It’s like praying for forgiveness but still living with the guilt of our sin.

In Luke 18:17 (AMP), Jesus says, “Truly I say to you, whoever does not accept and receive and welcome the kingdom of God like a little child [does] shall not in any way enter it [at all].” Think about this. Let’s say a child misbehaves and their parent disciplines them. The child apologizes so their parent says they can go outside and play. Does the child refuse to go outside, saying, “No, I can’t go play. I’ve been too bad…”? No! The child believes they are forgiven and goes to play. We need to be more childlike when it comes to receiving from God.

When you pray, take time to receive. For example, when you pray for forgiveness, tell God, “Thank You for forgiving me. I receive Your forgiveness!” Don’t just go on and on about your problems. Ask God to help you and meet your needs, then receive it. Remember: God offers His love freely. All you have to do is ask and receive.

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Five Ways to Defeat Terrible Temptations part 2

Joyce Meyer (5)

3. Always Be Prepared

Remember the Bible story of the ten virgins who ran out of oil for their lamps and then expected the others to give them some? Well, it’s the same story with our relationship with God. We need to take the time to get to know Him ourselves.

We need to study His Word. Take notes. Have meetings with yourself, asking God about your weaknesses and how the devil comes and steals your peace. In other words, prepare for your own victories by spending time with God.

4. Avoid the Atmosphere of Temptation

Proverbs 5:8 in the Amplified Bible says, “…Avoid the very scenes of temptation.”

I can’t begin to tell you how important it is who you hang out with, who you become intimately involved with, because the people around us affect us more than anything else.

Surround yourself with people who teach you to live right and create an atmosphere in which God is welcome. And if you come in contact with people who need God, make sure you’re affecting them and they’re not infecting you.

5. Don’t Trust Yourself Too Much

One of the main reasons people have problems is that they lean on themselves and not on God.

We’re always tempted to accept the credit for what God does in and through us. But really, we won’t amount to anything in life if we don’t learn to humble ourselves before Him, giving Him the credit He deserves.

Did you know it’s actually a good thing for you to have a problem in your life that you can’t solve? The thing we don’t often realize is that we can’t handle any problem ourselves, no matter how small it may seem.

First Corinthians 10:12 says, “Therefore let anyone who thinks he stands [who feels sure that he has a steadfast mind and is standing firm], take heed lest he fall [into sin].”

If you want to be able to resist temptation, don’t ever let yourself think “I’ve arrived.” But remind yourself daily to rely on God because in our weakness, He is strong.

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Five Ways to Defeat Terrible Temptations part 1

Joyce Meyer (4)

One of the best questions you can ask someone else is, “What’s the biggest mistake you’ve ever made in your life?” It’s a unique opportunity to learn something new without having to make the mistake yourself.

I think most people can say they’ve learned at least one valuable lesson from another person. In fact, someone may be coming to your mind right now.

Today, I want to share with you five things to help you live a happier, more peaceful life that others can learn from too—five ways to overcome temptation.

1. Be Wise

Wisdom is doing now what you’re going to be satisfied with later on. We need to learn from our past mistakes. And we also need to look at the issues we’re facing right now and take time to think: What decision will have the best long-term effect?

My husband, Dave, likes to say, “You will either make yourself accountable or you will be made accountable by your circumstances.”

Another benefit of using godly wisdom is that you don’t have to go through the whole guilt process, which is a real power-drainer. I don’t know about you, but I can’t stand that guilty “I should have…” feeling.

The good news is, wisdom leads to promotion and it will bring a harvest of blessings in your life.

2. Believe That You Can Resist Temptation

It’s never a good idea to say, “Well, I hope I don’t get tempted with this today because I always give in.” We have to acknowledge that God equips us with the strength we need to resist the devil’s temptation.

First Corinthians 10:13 says, “[…No temptation or trial has come to you that is beyond human resistance.…] …He will [always] also provide the way out (the means of escape to a landing place), that you may be capable and strong and powerful to bear up under it patiently.”

We have to stop saying, “I can’t resist this” or “I just can’t say ‘no’ to that,” because when we do, we’re just hurting ourselves and helping the devil out.

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It Isn’t Easy to Think Like Jesus

Joyce Meyer (11)

No matter how you have thought in the past, you can renew your mind on purpose. In other words, if something comes into your mind that is not according to the Word of God and you know it’s going to poison your mind, just refuse to think it, and then think something positive on purpose.

Ephesians 4:23 says that we need to renew our minds and attitudes constantly. I can tell you that after thirty years of trying to do just that, I still have to discipline my mind to think correctly.

The enemy is always trying to get us to put ourselves down and criticize other people. We have to be very careful what we think about ourselves, what we think about others, and what we think about our future.

And just because our thoughts are on the inside of us where no one else can see them, doesn’t mean it’s okay to let negativity slide. Besides, God loves you too much to let you get away with that.

What Would Jesus Be Thinking Right Now?

The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 2:16 that we have the mind of Christ. Can you believe that? We actually have the ability to think like Jesus would think in every situation.

One of the things we must do is slow down. We need to slow down so we can discern things, following the leading of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes all that means is to take a moment to check your heart and ask yourself: Is this what Jesus would do? Is this what He would think? Is this the way He would respond to this situation?

Galatians 6:10 says, “Be mindful to be a blessing, especially to those of the household of faith [those who belong to God’s family with you, the believers].”

I want you to decide today that you’re going to start thinking in the spirit because the truth is, when your thoughts about your life, the people around you, and your future line up with God’s will, every promise He’s made to you is possible.

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The Benefits Of Forgiving Others

Joyce Meyer (3)

Pastor Billy Joe Daugherty: I walked down to the altar, praying for people one-by-one. I came to this one man and he was just kind of staring at me. I just asked him if there was something that I could pray for. The next thing I knew he went “pow.”


Joyce Meyer: Welcome to “enjoying everyday life” and thank you for spending this time with us today. How difficult is it to truly forgive someone who has wronged you? Well, many of you know my testimony of being sexually abused by my father. It took time to overcome the pain of abuse, and in my process of healing, I had to do something I didn’t feel like doing; I had to forgive my father. Today I want to help you understand how forgiveness will put you on the path to emotional healing. I have a guest with me today whose story of forgiveness will inspire you — Pastor Billy Joe Daugherty.

(narrator) Billy Joe Daugherty is founder and pastor of victory Christian center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In addition, Pastor Daugherty founded “the victory bible institute” which has grown to over 200 locations in numerous countries around the world. Billy Joe’s daily radio and television broadcast, “victory in Jesus” reaches more than 100 million households in north America, as well as via satellite and the internet internationally. Between himself and his wife Sharon, they’ve authored more than a dozen books.

Joyce: Pastor Billy Joe, thank you for being my guest today.

Billy Joe Daugherty: It’s a joy to be here.

Joyce: thank you. In all these years of pastoring and just being a human being and dealing with people, do you ever find the need to forgive anyone?

Pastor Billy Joe: Only daily.

Joyce: Just daily! (laughing)

Pastor Billy Joe: yeah, just a couple of times — morning and night, that’s all.

Joyce: (laughing) it’s one subject that all of us — there’s no one who is not faced with an opportunity to forgive generally on a daily basis multiple times.

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The Lord’s Prayer

Joyce Meyer (5)

Joyce: One time I was doing a series on forgiveness and not being offended. One of the women in the congregation who came to this weekly meeting decided that she would do a little thing to find out more about this thing of being offended. So she took a piece of paper and for seven days, every single time she had the opportunity to be offended and had to choose to either take that offense or forgive, she made a little check mark. At the end of the week she had had 40 opportunities in seven days. Forty opportunities in seven days to either forgive or to store up that offense.

Pastor Billy Joe: A lot of don’t even realize how often they let little offenses, little hurts, little wounds build up inside their life. Jesus spoke about forgiveness so much. In the Lord’s prayer, it’s the only portion of the Lord’s prayer that is repeated after the prayer. He talked about that we’re to forgive even as our father in heaven forgives us — forgiving trespasses — but then after the prayer is ended, he said, “for if you do not forgive, neither will your father in heaven.” he reiterated that portion and I think it’s because of all the things in the prayer, that’s the one we need to focus on the most.

Joyce: I know we have all kinds of different situations that come up in our life, but you had a particular kind of a public situation that took place that some people may have even seen news footage of this event on TV. Tell us what happened to you.

Pastor Billy Joe: I was preaching in November of 2005. I walked down to the altar, praying for people one-by-one. There were maybe 100 people up there, lined up across the front. I didn’t really count, but there were a lot of folks there. I came to this one man and he was just kind of staring at me. I asked him if there was something I could pray for.

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Praised God

Joyce Meyer (9)

The next thing I knew, he went “pow” and he had just popped me. It was his first time in church, so I didn’t know him. Someone asked me, “was that one of your church members upset with you or something?” I went back up on the stage. I was preaching on acts 16 where Paul and Silas were beaten and they were in chains at midnight. So I was talking about how they forgave and they praised God, and the lord turned it around, and they had a jail-house revival, and the jailer got saved and his whole family got baptized that night. And so it was really — though we didn’t plan it, it was an illustrated message and the lord planned the illustration, or the lord caused the illustration to come out right. It wasn’t the lord who caused the hit, but he did cause the situation to turn out of it.

So, I went up on the platform. I finished the altar call, had prayed for people, and I saw people staring at me. I didn’t realize he had broken… I had to have a couple of stitches here, so blood was coming down my face. I said, “let’s forgive this man.” and the other thing that the lord said for me to do during that time was, “let’s begin to praise the lord.” we praised god and we rejoiced, and I got tickled thinking about it. It struck me funny after it. I went to see him on Tuesday and at the time he wasn’t interested in reconciling or having any change of heart.

He was still pretty riled up. What we found out was he had been on a medication and he had either not taken it or something had gone off in it. Over a year passed and I got a letter from him — one of the greatest letters I’ve ever received.  He wrote his apology, asking forgiveness and forgiveness of our church. So the story is not only of us forgiving him, but of him having a repentance and a change in his life, and we rejoice for that. That’s what we believed for. God used that in a miraculous way. On Tuesday after this happened on Sunday, one of the local network news stations came and asked to film me on it. They said, “could we have a copy of the…” well, they took the copy and they started talking to their audience during the day that they were going to show this story on the 10:00 news. They had had the highest number of internet hits they had had on any news story — had been 400,000 in a 24-hour period. They aired that and within 24 hours it hit two million hits. Suddenly, CNN, every…

Joyce: we saw it here.

Pastor Billy Joe: It aired across network news in China, Russia, across Africa. We were amazed at these networks that picked it up and carried the story. And this is what the lord said to me: “this wasn’t about you. I don’t want you to talk about it and just stay on what happened; you’ve got to tell the story but I want you to talk about my son, Jesus, who was struck and how he forgave, and that I’m opening this door of witness to the world.” so in a lot of the interviews that I did with a lot of those network news, the Lord opened the door and then they carried that little blip about…

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Talking About Forgiveness

Joyce Meyer (11)

Joyce Meyer Ministries: welcome back to the program. My guest, Billy Joe Daugherty, and I are talking about forgiveness and why it’s so important not only to god, but to each and every one of us. Pastor, you were talking about the man who hit you at a church service and everything that has come out of that, and what an awesome testimony that is. But I would imagine that it was relatively easy to forgive that man because first of all, you didn’t know him, you had no personal relationship with him, no kind of experience with him. And it’s pretty easy to forgive somebody when you can think, “well, that person just has something wrong with him, so I’m just going to look over that.” but do you believe it’s harder when it’s someone you know, that you have an expectation of them treating you well, or maybe someone that you’ve poured a lot into their life and now all of a sudden they’ve betrayed you or just pulled the rug out from under you, so to speak?

Pastor Billy Joe: I think it is. I think it really is. Many people today are facing abusive situations from people they know — pain related to family, other pains related to job situations or people that they may have trusted or served. The same power to forgive is there for all those situations, and that is it’s the power of choice. Many people say, “i can’t forgive. I just don’t feel it.” they relate forgiveness to a feeling. This is why it’s important for us to realize that it may be harder in one sense, but the decision and the choice supersedes any level of hardness because Jesus left us an example. He said, “father, forgive them,” from the cross. It was a choice. And we have to look at what he was doing.

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The power of love

Joyce Meyer (2)

Roy Lormis: To enter a prison, you go through the walking in, into the command control center, you get processed through and start hearing the gates clang behind you. For some people it’s probably a scary moment; for me it’s just a joyful moment because I understand why I’m there and the purpose for which we’ve come is just about to be fulfilled. How many woke up one day and decided you were gonna do whatever it took to be in prison the next day, huh? Huh? Nobody! You will never know who you are until you know who God is. Let me say that clearly. We really do see a tremendous amount of them giving their life to Jesus. I think since 2002 when we started keeping records for that, it’s like over 63,000 that we’ve actually led to Jesus in the prisons in the services that we’ve done.

Mike Ensch: All we need to do is get out there and sow lots of seeds, and that’s what Joyce Meyer books are doing: here, we’re presenting a gift pack, a book, some hygiene items. What’s really behind there that is so powerful and inmates, a lot of them can’t figure this out: why would people on the outside do this for us? They ask that question because they feel so devalued. That’s the power of love.

Man: I’m 40 years old and I’ve been in the system since I was 22.

Man: For about the past 14 years I’ve been in and out of the system.

Woman: I came into the system when I was 12 years old.

Man: I’ve had all kinds of jobs and had my own company but my addiction led to me losing my company, losing my wife, and the relationship with my children.

Man: I had a bad habit of drinking alcohol. I loved to drink whiskey. The morning that I got arrested I already had three fifths in me before noon and a brand-new half gallon in my hand.

Woman: I was a runaway. I ended up on the streets as a prostitute to supply my drug and alcohol addiction.

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