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Learn How to Make the Greatest Changes in Your Life

Joyce Meyer (7)

God loves you and wants to have a relationship with you. In fact, He will never love you more than He does at this moment, and you don’t have to get your life all together before you come to Him. Here’s another wonderful thought: God is not surprised by your behavior and He knew all about you before He invited you to have a personal, intimate relationship with Him.

The truth is, we can’t do everything right or change ourselves in our own strength. But we can’t just settle for living with sin in our lives and ignore it. And everyone has something they need to overcome to have the abundant life Jesus died to give us—whether it’s self-pity, anger, impatience, unforgiveness, or anything that keeps us from fellowship with Him. So how do we effectively deal with sin?

There are two things we need to conquer sin and develop intimacy with God: Truth and Time. Jesus said, “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by (through) Me” (John 14:6 AMP). John 8:32 (AMP) says, “You will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free.” There is a way that Jesus prescribes for us to walk, or live, and a truth He wants to reveal to us. If we will receive that truth for ourselves, and about ourselves, we will experience freedom from sin and real intimacy in relationship with Him. To do this, we are going to have to invest time with Him and in His Word.

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Clinging to the Vine

Joyce Meyer (21)

Have you ever seen a movie where a guy is out in the desert, and he thinks he sees a pool of water up ahead? He runs and jumps in the middle of it and finds out it’s just sand. It was just a mirage—something that appeared to be something it wasn’t. Satan often keeps us chasing after things that end up leading us to nothing. What we really need is to just hang on the vine.

In John 15:5 (AMP), Jesus says, I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing.

Think about a branch that’s cut off from the vine: The first and second day it’s still looking good. On the third day, it gets a little bit droopy. Then it gets a little crispy around the edges on day four. And by day five there’s only one little green thing left. By day six, it’s in a real mess. It’s the same way for us spiritually when we don’t stay connected to Jesus, the Vine that gives us life.

I used to try so hard to be good. I loved God and wanted to please Him, but I just couldn’t behave right sometimes. It was so frustrating until I realized that I need to always stay connected to Jesus so I can produce the fruit of good behavior.

How are people going to know that we’re Christians? They’re going to see the fruit of the Spirit. And we can develop that fruit when we cling to the Vine. You’re not going to get it by struggling and being frustrated and trying to make it happen yourself. It’s going to happen by spending time with God.

How to Spend Time with God

If my husband comes to me and says, “I really want to spend the day with you,” then I put aside everything else and give him my attention. It’s not really what we do that matters—he just wants to be with me. Sometimes we get all caught up in what we think God wants us to do. We think, I’ve got to read my six chapters in the Bible and pray for an hour and…

But what you need to do is go somewhere you can be alone with your Bible, a notebook and some worship music and be with God. Some days you’ll read more Scripture than others, and some days you’ll be more quiet or pray more than others. Some days you may worship and sing or even cry or laugh. Every day doesn’t have to be the same; what matters is that you’re spending time with Him.

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The Truth About Living on the Edge

Joyce Meyer (21)

Are you living an unsustainable life? Have you ever said things like, “I can’t keep this up much longer. If I have to live like this one more year, it’s probably going to finish me off. I tell you, it’s all just too much!” Do you feel like you’re on a treadmill and if you try to get off, everything will fall apart, so you just keep going?

This is what it means to “live on the edge.”

It seems these days that it’s a popular way to look at life. But it’s not the way God wants us to live.

People who live on the edge are stressed-out by the demands of life, frustrated, hanging on, just trying to get through one more day. They have reached their limits but are ignoring them and hoping they can get by with it.

If you’re living like this, you need to de-stress your life by establishing godly boundaries.

It’s very unfashionable in our American culture to say “I’ve had enough and can’t do anymore.” We seem to think we should be able to do it all, no matter how many commitments and obligations we have, and we compare ourselves with people who appear to be managing it all without a problem, which usually means we are getting our sense of worth and value from what we do, not who we are in Christ.

But I have good news for you: You don’t have to be like anybody else or keep up with anybody else. You need to be who you are – who God created you to be – and you don’t have to apologize for it.

It’s okay to say, “I’ve reached my limit.”

Moses is a great example of this. In Exodus 18:13-27, we see that Moses was trying to do too much for the Israelites. He was a good leader, who took his responsibility seriously, but he needed help.

 

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The Benefit of a Good Attitude

Joyce Meyer (2)

Nobody with a bad attitude pleases anybody. In fact, if you murmur and complain, people are probably tired of hearing it. And if we’re honest about it, usually when we’re like this, it’s because we want others to feel sorry for us, which doesn’t do any good.

I know this is true from personal experience. I used to be very negative and felt sorry for myself a lot. I would complain to my husband, Dave, but he would say, “Joyce, you just want me to feel sorry for you and I’m not going to do it because it won’t do you any good.” At the time, it made me so mad, but I’m glad he responded to me this way because he was right.

I eventually learned the truth that no matter what is going on in my life, I can choose to have a good attitude. And if you have a good attitude, God will give you favor with people and in circumstances of life. While we can’t always choose our circumstances, we can choose how we will react to them.

How Dying to Self Leads to New Life

So often our dreams are about us and what we want for our life or what’s good for us. But Jesus, our example of how to live, gave His life not for His benefit but for ours. Shortly before He was crucified, He was in a garden praying and He said, “Not My will but Yours be done” (see Luke 22). He came from the glory of heaven to earth to give us life. Everything He did was for us.

We need to die to self, or selfishness, to really live the dream God has for us. What are some things we must die to? Here are a few: our plan, our timing, our way, our reputation, getting credit for what we do, the need to be in control, and the need to be right.

If you will give your life to God like Christ laid down His life for you, God will do amazing things in you and through you. It’s not easy but the reward on the other side is so worth it – the fulfillment of your God-given dream!

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From Dream to Reality: Giving Birth

Joyce Meyer (5)

You might be in a place where it’s time to give birth to your dream. You conceived the dream, made it through all the way to full-term, and now you’re ready to begin living your dream. You’re probably pretty excited about this step, but I must warn you, the worst pain often comes right before delivery.

Delivery Day

The Bible calls this time “travail.” In Isaiah 53, it says that Jesus had travail of soul, but it brought Him satisfaction. When He was in the garden shortly before the crucifixion, Jesus prayed for God to remove the cup He was about to drink if it was possible, but He knew that God’s will needed to happen, even if it brought Him great pain.

So often our dreams and visions are about what we want for our lives. But Jesus wasn’t praying for anything that would do Him any good. Everything He did when He gave His life and died on the cross wasn’t about what was best for Him—it was all for our benefit.

We need to realize that while God always has our best interest at heart, there will be times when we need to be willing to put aside what we want or what is easy for us so we can do the right thing to help someone else. Occasionally you can talk someone into going through this painful time of delivery—dying to self—if they think they are going to get something personally out of it, but it’s another thing entirely if it’s all about helping someone else and the kingdom of God.

Don’t settle for living a self-centered life that will hold you back from living in the fulfillment of God’s dreams. It is likely that He will call you to die to many things before your dream is ready to be delivered. He knows when we’re tired of waiting and we’ve been dreaming for a long time, but He needs us to go through that time to get us ready.

When you think you can’t stand one more minute, if you will bear down and push through it…the baby will arrive. You’ll go through all the travail of birth, but the Bible says that when that baby is born, you’ll forget all the pain and will be filled with complete joy.

There’s a seed of everything God is on the inside of you. As you let Him take those seeds and allow Him to do His work, you’ll conceive and give birth to something bigger and better than you imagined. And the fulfillment of your dream will be beneficial to you, the people around you and the kingdom of God.

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God wants to help us

Joyce Meyer (1)

It’s certainly not wrong to want to be a better person. God gave us that desire. But according to Galatians 3:10, …anyone who tries to live by his own effort, independent of God, is doomed to failure (MSG). That’s why so much of the time we will find ourselves frustrated, disappointed and overwhelmed by the “stuff” in our lives. We try to work it out on our own. And that will never do.

God wants to help us…He loves us…we are His children. But He will not force His help on us at any time. He sees us when we struggle and fight and complain our way through things. And I believe it breaks His heart, when all we have to do is ask Him for help.

God taught me this truth in a way I’ll never forget. My husband, Dave, is tall. I’m not so tall. We have a really high window over the kitchen sink in our house. When that window is open, there’s no way for me to close it without a big ordeal. But how do you think it would make Dave feel if I ran out of the house to go ask the man next door to come and close that window for me? Or what if I tried to do it myself, straining and stretching, maybe climbing up on the counter, possibly knocking things over, getting all worn-out…while Dave was sitting right there? That would really be insulting to him. In the same way, it grieves God to watch us struggle so needlessly, when all the while, He is right there waiting for us to simply exchange trying for trusting.

His grace is the power for living an abundant life. Our faith receives, not “buys,” the blessings of God. Striving, struggling, trying can never do that. Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us that it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast (NIV).

So in the same way we became born again, we live in the Spirit—by God’s grace, through faith. It’s simple. Humble yourself. Ask God for His help. Then, do what He says. Trust in His power—He is mighty to do whatever we need Him to do and to help us do our part. Trust in His wisdom—He knows what, when and how to do it.

Trust in His goodness—He wants to do it.

Now, isn’t that amazing?

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The Upside of Sacrificing Your Pride

Joyce Meyer (3)

If you’ve been through some tough times in your relationships, you probably know that being right is highly overrated. We’re not likely to agree with each other by accident because we’re all different, so we need to put a real effort into creating an atmosphere of unity.

And where there’s unity, there’s anointing and blessing. There’s power in agreement…and there’s peace.

I can promise you that sometime in the next week, you will have an opportunity to be offended. You may be tempted to have an all-out fit. But before that even happens, I encourage you to set your mind to be the “bigger” person.

Why? Because when we do, we can have the healthy relationships God wants us to have.

We’re not ever going to be perfect like Jesus, but we can get better at loving imperfect people. In other words, we can be like Him. Are you with me? Let’s give God glory in our relationships.

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You Can Stop Strife As Soon As It Starts

Joyce Meyer (9)

The Bible says that we are still under the control of the flesh as long as we are envious and jealous of others and there is arguing among us (see 1 Corinthians 3:3).

The minute we begin to sense a spirit of envy or jealousy within us or an urge to be offended, we need to make a decision to put our feelings aside and say, “I am not offended.”

If we don’t do this and instead just stuff it down inside us, little things become giants in our lives. Then before we know it, we’re angry, bitter, resentful people, going to church every week but not acting any different than the rest of the world―and that’s just not going to work.

God wants us to care more about maintaining peace in our relationships than we care about being right. And He wants us to have a good attitude even when we don’t get our way.

Acts 13:22 says God is looking for those who will “carry out My program fully” (AMP), and part of that is learning to forgive quickly, frequently and thoroughly.

When you have a conflict, you need to do your part to resolve it no matter what the other person chooses to do. Someone has to choose to be humble and apologize first―and as a Christian, that very often means you.

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How to Take Hold of God’s Best for Your Life

Joyce Meyer (3)

Being a committed Christian is a full-time job―and it’s certainly not for wimps. But having that kind of life is worth everything we have to give.

Listen to Romans 5:19: “For just as by one man’s disobedience (failing to hear, heedlessness, and carelessness) the many were constituted sinners, so by one Man’s obedience the many will be constituted righteous (made acceptable to God, brought into right standing with Him).”

One person’s choices really can change the world. Just think of some of the great heroes of our faith! You and I will never know the full extent of the price they paid, but because of their obedience, millions of people around the world have come to know Jesus Christ. And you have the same opportunity.

Incredible things can happen because of the right decisions you make every day. I hope you’ll encourage yourself with this one question: What will happen if I obey God today?

 

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Knowing God: Why Some People Get It and Some Don’t

Joyce Meyer (2)

I love what Paul prays in Ephesians 1:17 (AMP): “[For I always pray to] the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, that He may grant you a spirit of wisdom and revelation [of insight into mysteries and secrets] in the [deep and intimate] knowledge of Him.”

Having a revelation of God and His work in your life is the only way to understand Him. That’s why it’s so important to pray for God to reveal Himself to people—it’s something only He can do. We cannot reveal God to others. We can witness and talk of His love and good works, but people can’t understand spiritual things unless their spirit is alive.

I go through interviews all the time. Some of them are Christian, some are not. And people always want to know what the “phenomenon” is—why do people listen to my messages and come to our conferences? I used to try so hard to make them understand it. I wanted them to see that it’s really not me, or my books, or my preaching. Interview after interview I tried to make them get it that it’s God working through me.

After years of these discussions and trying to convince people, I finally get it. I get that they don’t get it. Some people can’t understand what I mean, no matter how many ways I say it, and I understand why: They don’t understand because they haven’t had a revelation of God.

Now this applies to so much more than interviews, and it’s helped me understand a better way to witness to other people.

Everything spiritual has a practical side, and I think that’s one of the biggest things we’ve missed. We try to tell people cloud-floating spiritual things, but then we don’t bring it down to a practical level where they can do something with it in their everyday lives.

God has shown me through the years that we need to know who God is and experience His love for us. He wants us to know that no matter what we do or say, He will always love us. But to understand this part of God, we have to have a revelation, not just information or head knowledge. Actually, head knowledge alone is usually what gets in the way of our faith and trust in God. And if information never turns into revelation, it won’t do you any good.

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