Tag Archives: Joyce Meyer

Joyce Meyer – Cultivate Healthy Relationships

The man of too many friends [chosen indiscriminately] will be broken to pieces and come to ruin, but there is a [true, loving] friend who [is reliable and] sticks closer than a brother. — Proverbs 18:24

Everyone wants friends, and God wants us to have them. He encourages relationships throughout His Word, but it is important to have healthy, safe, and godly relationships.

Some relationships are not safe for us because we are being used, manipulated, and taken advantage of. God wants us to pray for and love everyone, even our enemies, but that doesn’t mean we should let people take advantage of us.

I personally am not interested in having what I call one-sided relationships in which I do all the giving and the other party does all the taking. God does use us at times in the lives of selfish, self-centered people, and we do make sacrifices, but there is a point at which we are hurting people if we let them manipulate us for their own pleasure.

Stand up for yourself and always be willing to confront unhealthy relationships. Speak the truth in love (see Ephesians 4:15). You are very valuable and entitled to have good friends who will respect and honor you properly.

Prayer Starter: Father, help me always be a good friend. I ask You for safe, healthy relationships in which I can flourish and grow. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

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Joyce Meyer – Cultivate Healthy Relationships

 

The man of too many friends [chosen indiscriminately] will be broken to pieces and come to ruin, but there is a [true, loving] friend who [is reliable and] sticks closer than a brother. — Proverbs 18:24

Everyone wants friends, and God wants us to have them. He encourages relationships throughout His Word, but it is important to have healthy, safe, and godly relationships.

Some relationships are not safe for us because we are being used, manipulated, and taken advantage of. God wants us to pray for and love everyone, even our enemies, but that doesn’t mean we should let people take advantage of us.

I personally am not interested in having what I call one-sided relationships in which I do all the giving and the other party does all the taking. God does use us at times in the lives of selfish, self-centered people, and we do make sacrifices, but there is a point at which we are hurting people if we let them manipulate us for their own pleasure.

Stand up for yourself and always be willing to confront unhealthy relationships. Speak the truth in love (see Ephesians 4:15). You are very valuable and entitled to have good friends who will respect and honor you properly.

Prayer Starter: Father, help me always be a good friend. I ask You for safe, healthy relationships in which I can flourish and grow. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Joyce Meyer – Don’t Keep Records

 

…Love…is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong]. — 1 Corinthians 13:5

Love forgives; it does not hold a grudge. It is not touchy, easily offended, nor is it fretful or resentful. Some people get their feelings hurt about everything. It is very difficult to be in a relationship with people like this. We have many opportunities every day to get offended; each time we must make a choice.

If we choose to live by our feelings, we will never succeed in this all-important facet of love.  If we don’t forgive quickly, but instead keep records of how others have hurt us, sooner or later the list will get so long that we can no longer be in relationship with these people. That kind of resentment is a part of what causes many divorces. If we can learn this important facet of love and abide by it, we’ll save ourselves—and others—tremendous pain and damage to our relationships.

By keeping records of things that others have done to offend us, we fill ourselves up with poison. Bitterness makes our life attitude, words and thoughts bitter. “Drop the issue, let it go” is what the Amplified Bible says we are to do with offenses (Mark 11:25). it is important to forgive quickly. The quicker we do it, the easier it is.

Let’s begin to behave as if we believe the Bible. In it, God tells us over and over again what to do about those who offend us: love them, pray for them, bless them.

Prayer Starter: Father, please forgive me for holding grudges and “keeping score” of what others have done. Help me to forgive those who have hurt me. Help me to truly love others the way You do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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Joyce Meyer – Let Peace Be Your Umpire

Let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts. — Colossians 3:15

I try to run my life by finding peace. If I am shopping, I don’t buy something if I don’t have peace about it. If I am involved in a conversation and find myself losing my peace, I become quiet. When I make decisions, I look at the options before me and see where the peace is. When I am trying to discern between the voice of God and the other voices that compete for my attention, I listen to see which voice or message brings the peace of God into my heart.

I have learned that maintaining peace is important in order to maintain power in our lives. When we don’t have peace, we may very well be making a serious mistake. I would go so far as to say we should never act without peace. We might say that peace is an “internal confirmation” that God approves of the decision we have made. God leads us by peace.

The verse for today says peace is like an umpire that decides what is “safe” or what is “out.” If there’s no peace, it’s “out”! We are to let the inner harmony in our minds and souls rule and act as an umpire continually in our hearts, deciding and settling with finality all the questions that arise in our minds and the decisions we must make in our lives.

We must learn to obey our own sense of right and wrong and resist doing things our inner conscience is uncomfortable doing. God gives or takes peace from our conscience to let us know whether or not we are on track.

Prayer Starter: Father, thank You for leading and guiding me into Your perfect will. Help me to be more sensitive to Your Holy Spirit and follow Your peace in all of life’s decisions. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

From the devotional Hearing from God Each Day by Joyce Meyer.

 

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Joyce Meyer – Receive God’s Healing and Restoration

 

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me…to bind up [the wounds of] the brokenhearted, to proclaim release [from confinement and condemnation] to the [physical and spiritual] captives and freedom to prisoners. — Isaiah 61:1

If you are struggling with emotional distress or a broken heart, God wants to renew your mind, restore your soul, and give you a fresh start.

I don’t know your circumstances, past or present, but you may have hurts that are holding you back and keeping you captive.

I know firsthand how that feels. But I also know what it’s like to be healed and restored. As I received the truth of God’s Word and began to understand that I didn’t have to stay trapped in my past, I experienced emotional healing and deliverance from bondage.

God loves you unconditionally and He wants to do the same for you. So, learn how to receive from God…and be made whole.

Prayer Starter: Father, Your Word says You know everything about me, including all of my pain and disappointments. Help me to begin receiving your unconditional love and healing for the wounded places in my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

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Joyce Meyer – God Is for You

What then shall we say to all these things? If God is for us, who can be [successful] against us? — Romans 8:31

God is a big God; nothing is impossible with Him. We have nothing to fear from our enemies because none of them are as great as our God.

God is for us; He is on our side. Satan has one position—he is against us. But God is over us, under us, through us, for us, and He surrounds us. Of whom, then, should we be afraid?

So, like Mount Zion, we should never be moved because God is all around us. And if that wasn’t enough, I saved the best until last: He is in us, and He said that He will never leave us or forsake us.

Salvation is our most awesome blessing from God, and we have been given the Helper, the Holy Spirit Himself, to empower us to be like Jesus. God has blessings and spiritual power in abundance for us. He is powerful and mighty and able to do what we can never do on our own.

God desires that we let the Holy Spirit flow through us in power to show people His love and to help people with His gifts. It all centers in Him.

Prayer Starter: Father, thank You for always being with me and giving me the strength and ability to succeed in life. Please help me to be ever-mindful of your power and presence within me to do whatever I need to do and to bless the lives of those around me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

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Joyce Meyer – Don’t Quit!

 

And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint. — Galatians 6:9 (AMPC)

“I’ve been a Christian for twenty-three years,” Cheryl said. “I’m just not getting anywhere. I’m as weak as I was when I first accepted Christ as my Savior. I still fail. I just don’t know if it’s worth it.”

Tears streamed down her cheeks as she continued to talk about her failures. “By now I know all the right things to do, but I don’t do them. Sometimes I deliberately do something mean-spirited or unkind. What kind of Christian am I?”

“Probably a growing Christian,” I said.

A startled look appeared on Cheryl’s face. “Growing? Did you hear—?”

“Yes, I heard. But if you weren’t growing, you wouldn’t lament your failures. You’d be satisfied about your spiritual level or tell yourself how good you are.”

“But I’m so discouraged, and I fail God so many times.”

I went on to tell Cheryl she was correct—that she had failed. All of us do at times. None of us is perfect. If we’re not careful, we allow Satan to point to what we haven’t accomplished and where we have been weak. When that happens, it’s easy to feel bad or want to give up.

That’s not the way of the Spirit. No matter how we mess up our lives, God doesn’t give up on us. The Spirit constantly nudges us.

We can allow our thoughts to dwell on what we haven’t done, why we ought to be more spiritual, or how spiritual we ought to be after all these years in our Christian faith. That’s a trick of the enemy—to make us think of our defects and shortcomings. If we focus on what we’re not or what we haven’t accomplished, we are allowing Satan to make advances on the battlefield of our minds.

The fact that my troubled friend was upset was a healthy sign, even though she didn’t see it that way. With the Holy Spirit’s help, she can push back the enemy. She can regain the territory Satan has stolen from her.

Cheryl seemed to think that holy, victorious living came from one major victory after another. Yes, we do have times when we have great breakthroughs; however, most of our victories come slowly. They come little by little. It’s as if we inch forward.

Because we move slowly in our spiritual growth, we are often unaware of how far we have moved. If the enemy can make us think that we must have one decisive spiritual victory after another or we’re losers, he has gained an important stronghold.

My advice to Cheryl, and to all Christians who face those dark moments, is to listen to the words of the apostle Paul. He exhorted us not to grow weary, or as another translation says it, “not to lose heart.” He’s saying, “Don’t quit. Keep fighting.”

Life is a struggle, and Satan is determined to defeat and destroy us. We don’t ever reach the place where we never have to fight. But it’s not just our fight. Jesus is not only with us, but He is for us. He’s at our side to strengthen us and to urge us onward.

My friend kept remembering the times she had failed, but I reminded her of the times she had succeeded. “You think the enemy is in control, but that’s not true. You have failed, but you have also succeeded. You have stood your ground and you have made progress.”

“Don’t quit. Don’t give up.” That’s the message we need to hear. I think of the words of Isaiah: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you…; I have called you by your name; you are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned or scorched, nor will the flame kindle upon you” (Isaiah 43:1b–2).

This is God’s promise. He doesn’t promise to take us completely out of troubles or hardships, but He does promise to be with us as we go through them. “Fear not,” He says. That’s the message we need to ponder. We don’t need to fear because God is with us. And when God is with us, what is there to worry about?

Prayer Starter: God, despite my failures, I know You are with me, encouraging me to never give up. Please help me to focus on how far I have come and strengthen me to keep moving forward and make progress, even in the tough times. Thank you for never giving up on me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

 

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Joyce Meyer – You Can Be Brave

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of a sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control]. — 2 Timothy 1:7

Brave: Courageous; bold; daring; intrepid; fearless of danger; as a brave warrior.

The only way to conquer fear is to confront it and to do the thing you are afraid of. If you don’t, you will be a prisoner all your life.

When we do confront things, we always think that the worst part of the fear was in our minds, and the reality of the thing wasn’t as bad as we had imagined.

If you truly want to be free, understand that facing a fear is better than being afraid all your life. Fear is a terrible burden to live with.

Bravery to overcome life’s fears comes when you ask God for His help, trust He is with you, and face that fear head-on.

Prayer Starter: Father, Your Word tells me to “fear not.” Help me today to place my trust in You and face the fears that are holding me back. Help me to step out…even if I have to “do it afraid.” In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

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Joyce Meyer – There’s Great Value in Variety

Behold, here is what I have seen to be good and fitting: to eat and drink, and to find enjoyment in all the labor in which he labors under the sun during the few days of his life which God gives him—for this is his [allotted] reward. — Ecclesiastes 5:18

If we do the same thing over and over, sooner or later we’re going to get bored. We don’t have to wait for something nice to happen to us, we can be aggressive and do something nice for ourselves. For many of you, I know this is a new thought that may seem foreign and even unspiritual. But I can assure you that it is part of God’s plan. You can create variety, and it will keep your life more exciting.

I sat with my computer on my lap for about four hours this morning and then stopped for a while to do some other things I needed to do. When I went back to my writing, I decided to sit in a different part of the house just for variety. I chose a place that had plenty of light where I could look out the window. Simple little things like this cost nothing, but they are very valuable.

No day needs to be ordinary if we realize the gift God is giving us when He gives us another day to live and enjoy. An extraordinary attitude can quickly turn an ordinary day into an amazing adventure. Jesus said He came so that we might have and enjoy life (see John 10:10). If we refuse to enjoy it, then it’s no one’s fault but our own.

I would like to suggest that you take responsibility for your joy and never again give anyone else the job of keeping you happy. Add a little variety to your life—break up your routine, do something different, and so on. When you do, expect God to meet you and help make your ordinary…extraordinary!

Prayer Starter: Father, thank You for Your unconditional love. Help me to receive Your love and see myself the way You see me. Please allow Your love to flow to me and through me to other people. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

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Joyce Meyer – Let Your Light Shine

 

You are the light of [Christ to] the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. — Matthew 5:14

As believers in Christ, we can be bubbling over with life. We can be vibrant, alive, active, energized, peaceful, and joy-filled.

It is our approach to God that determines our attitude and countenance. When we approach God with boldness, thankful for His grace and confident that He loves us and He is for us, we can’t help but be full of life. However, a legalistic, religious approach to God steals life. It does not nourish it. Remember, Paul said, “The Law kills, but the Spirit makes alive” (2 Corinthians 3:6 AMPC). When we follow the Spirit, we feel alive.

Each of us should ask ourselves the question, Would people want what I have by watching my life and looking at my countenance? Is my life reflecting a thankful, expectant heart, excited about what God is going to do each new day?

We are to be the light of the world. Make sure your light is shining brightly today.

Prayer Starter: Father, thank You for Your unconditional love. Help me to receive Your love and see myself the way You see me. Please allow Your love to flow to me and through me to other people. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

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Joyce Meyer – Obey Quickly

Jesus then said to them, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, Moses did not give you the Bread from heaven [what Moses gave you was not the Bread from heaven], but it is My Father Who gives you the true heavenly Bread. — John 6:32

Jesus said to ask God for daily bread (See Matthew 6:11). He also called Himself the “Bread of Life” (See John 6:35). Seek God’s direction in the morning to gather His daily words for you. You will feel well nourished all day long. Obey quickly if God tells you to do something.

Even if God gives you a difficult task, don’t put it off and dread it all day. Abraham rose early to offer Isaac on the altar; God blessed his obedience and provided an acceptable sacrifice in place of Isaac (See Genesis 22:1–14). David rose up early on the morning that he was to kill Goliath, and through him God delivered the Israelites from their enemies (See 1 Samuel 17:20–53). He will bless and deliver you too.

Prayer Starter: Father, I thank You that whatever You ask us to do, You also give us the grace to do it. Please help me to trust You more. Help me to choose Your will instead of my own…and step out in faith to obey You in every area of my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

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Joyce Meyer – Cast Your Care

Casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully]. — 1 Peter 5:7

You can pray about everything and worry about nothing. When you worry, it says you think you can solve your own problems better than God can. But you were not built to handle problems in your own strength. You were created by God to be dependent upon Him; so bring Him your challenges in life and allow Him to help you with them.

Can you imagine your life without worry? Why not start today to live a worry-free life? Ask the Lord to show you every time you are taking on care instead of casting it off. When He makes you aware of it, be willing to immediately cast it on Him—you will enjoy life so much more. After a period of time, you will actually find it difficult to worry! It just won’t suit you any longer.

Prayer Starter: Father God, You are my One and Only source of peace. Right now, I commit to you all of my worries and concerns—big and small. They are too much for me, but they are not too difficult for You. Help me to trust You more and more. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

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Joyce Meyer – Accidental Mistakes

 

No one born (begotten) of God [deliberately, knowingly, and habitually] practices sin, for God’s nature abides in him [His principle of life, the divine sperm, remains permanently within him]; and he cannot practice sinning because he is born (begotten) of God. — 1 John 3:9 (AMPC)

I like to put it this way: I used to be a full-time sinner, and once in a while I accidentally slipped up and did something right. But now that I have spent many years developing a deep, personal relationship with God and His Word, I concentrate on being a full-time obedient child of God. I still make mistakes, but not nearly as many as I once did. I am not where I need to be, but thank God I am not where I used to be.

There are times when I accidentally make mistakes, but it is not the desire of my heart to do wrong. I do not deliberately, knowingly commit sin. I do not habitually sin. So, I don’t allow those occasions to make me feel insecure. I don’t do everything right, but I do know that the attitude of my heart is right.

I can be having an absolutely wonderful day, feeling very close to the Lord and quite spiritual. Then my husband, Dave, comes home and says he does not care for the outfit I am wearing, and I suddenly become angry and defensive, telling him everything I don’t like about him either.

I don’t intend for that to happen; in fact, I plan to be very sweet and submissive when he comes home. But, as Paul said in Romans 7, the things I want to do, I don’t do, and the things I don’t want to do, I end up doing. We plan for right behavior because our hearts are right, but like Paul our plans don’t always work. Thank God for His mercy that is new every day! (See Lamentations 3:22-23).

Prayer Starter: Father, Your Word says if we repent and confess our sins, You are faithful to forgive us and cleanse us of all unrighteousness (see 1 John 1:9). Thank You for Your great mercy. Help me to receive Your forgiveness and grace for my mistakes and move forward with confidence that You love me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

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Joyce Meyer – Accidental Mistakes

 

No one born (begotten) of God [deliberately, knowingly, and habitually] practices sin, for God’s nature abides in him [His principle of life, the divine sperm, remains permanently within him]; and he cannot practice sinning because he is born (begotten) of God. — 1 John 3:9 AMPC

I like to put it this way: I used to be a full-time sinner, and once in a while I accidentally slipped up and did something right. But now that I have spent many years developing a deep, personal relationship with God and His Word, I concentrate on being a full-time obedient child of God. I still make mistakes, but not nearly as many as I once did. I am not where I need to be, but thank God I am not where I used to be.

There are times when I accidentally make mistakes, but it is not the desire of my heart to do wrong. I do not deliberately, knowingly commit sin. I do not habitually sin. So, I don’t allow those occasions to make me feel insecure. I don’t do everything right, but I do know that the attitude of my heart is right.

I can be having an absolutely wonderful day, feeling very close to the Lord and quite spiritual. Then my husband, Dave, comes home and says he does not care for the outfit I am wearing, and I suddenly become angry and defensive, telling him everything I don’t like about him either.

I don’t intend for that to happen; in fact, I plan to be very sweet and submissive when he comes home. But, as Paul said in Romans 7, the things I want to do, I don’t do, and the things I don’t want to do, I end up doing. We plan for right behavior because our hearts are right, but like Paul our plans don’t always work. Thank God for His mercy that is new every day! (See Lamentations 3:22-23).

Prayer Starter: Father, Your Word says if we repent and confess our sins, You are faithful to forgive us and cleanse us of all unrighteousness (see 1 John 1:9). Thank You for Your great mercy. Help me to receive Your forgiveness and grace for my mistakes and move forward with confidence that You love me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

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Joyce Meyer – Uniquely Gifted to Help

 

Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, [that spiritual endowment]…. — 1 Timothy 4:4

Helen Keller achieved amazing goals despite being unable to see or hear. At nineteen months of age, an illness caused her to go completely blind and completely deaf.

Helen’s parents sought help for her in Boston at Perkins School for the Blind. The Perkins School assigned a tutor named Anne Sullivan to work with the child. Helen was terribly frustrated and often became resistant and violently angry.

Many teachers would have lost their patience, but Anne Sullivan kept her composure and persisted in her efforts to teach Helen. Eventually, Helen learned to read Braille, to write, and even to speak.

Helen also decided she wanted to attend college. Anne Sullivan helped her prepare and gain acceptance to Radcliffe College, associated with Harvard University. With Sullivan’s help, she graduated with honors, having mastered several languages, four years later.

While in college, Helen started a writing career that would last more than fifty years. She went on to receive many awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

A vital key to her success was the fact that Anne Sullivan believed in her. Her patience, wisdom, and teaching ability combined to make her a uniquely gifted teacher for Helen.

Prayer Starter: Father, thank You for my unique gifts and talents. Help me to be “others-minded” and use these gifts to bless the lives of other people. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

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Joyce Meyer – Come Closer!

 

Come close to God…and He will come close to you. — James 4:8

Not everyone is willing to pay the price required to be close to God. Not everyone is willing to simply take the time required or make the investments needed for spiritual growth. God doesn’t ask for all of our time. He certainly wants us to do things we don’t consider “spiritual.” He designed us with bodies, souls (minds, wills, and emotions), and spirits, and He expects us to take care of all these areas.

Exercising our bodies and caring for our souls takes time and effort. Our emotions need to be ministered to; we need to have fun and be entertained, and we need to enjoy being with other people. Our minds need to grow and be renewed daily. In addition, we have a spiritual nature that needs attention. To stay balanced and healthy, we must take time to take care of our entire being.

I believe the whole issue of intimacy with God is a matter of time. We say we don’t have time to seek God, but the truth is that we take time to do the things that are most important to us. Even though we all have to fight distractions every day, if knowing God and hearing from Him is important to us then we will find time to do it. Don’t try to work God into your schedule, but instead work your schedule around time with Him.

Getting to know God is a long-term investment, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t get instant results. Be determined to honor Him with your time and you will reap the benefits.

Prayer Starter: Father, I can’t live without You. Help me to put You first in my life and take the time to develop a deeper, more intimate relationship. In Jesus’ Name, Amen..

 

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Joyce Meyer – Praise Your Way to Victory

 

Be not afraid or dismayed…for the battle is not yours, but God’s. — 2 Chronicles 20:15

If life sometimes seems to be a battle that causes you to feel upset and fearful, you’ll be glad to know you were not meant to fight the battle alone. The Bible says the battle is God’s.

God never loses a battle. And when you work with Him according to His plan, you won’t either.

During trying times, do you worry or worship? Praise and worship should not be limited to a few minutes in church. If you’re not worshipping at home on a regular basis, you may feel like the victim instead of the victor.

But God’s Word clearly details the Holy Ghost-anointed battle plan to combat every challenge you face. When you begin to substitute praise for petition and worship for worry, God will move on your behalf.

Prayer Starter: Father, thank You for always being with me. Please help me to praise and worship You in the midst of life’s “battles” and keep my eyes focused on You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

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Joyce Meyer – Receive God’s Love

 

…God’s love has been abundantly poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. — Romans 5:5

The Bible teaches us that the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us. That simply means that when the Lord, in the person of the Holy Spirit, comes to dwell in our heart because of our faith in His Son Jesus Christ, He brings love with Him, because God is love (see 1 John 4:8).

It’s important to ask what we are doing with the love of God that has been freely given to us. Are we rejecting it because we don’t think we are valuable enough to be loved? Do we believe God is like other people who have rejected and hurt us? Or are we receiving His love by faith, believing that He is greater than our failures and weaknesses?

With God’s help, we can love ourselves—not in a selfish, self- centered way that produces a lifestyle of self-indulgence, but in a balanced, godly way…a way that simply affirms God’s creation as essentially good and right.

God’s plan is this: for us to receive His love, love ourselves in a godly way, generously love Him in return, and then love all the people who come into our lives.

Prayer Starter: Father, thank You for Your unconditional love. Help me to receive Your love and see myself the way You see me. Please allow Your love to flow to me and through me to other people. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

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Joyce Meyer – Known by Our Fruit

 

Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is recognized and judged by its fruit…For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. — Matthew 12:33-34

A woman I’ll call Dorothy knew more about the church and every member and visitor than anyone else did. She was fairly well known as the church gossip.

“One thing about her,” a friend said, “She’s not prejudiced—she talks about everyone,” and he laughed.

One day as I stood near the front door, I heard Dorothy telling several people about one of the deacons, “But it isn’t up to me to judge him,” she said. The venom poured from her mouth, and she went on to mention several others. Of course, she was critical of each one.

I listened to her and realized something. She was only speaking from what was already inside her heart. That’s obvious, but I grasped something else. Dorothy was so critical of herself, so filled with disgust for herself, how could she speak well of others?

Too often people make promises that they’ll speak better of others and gossip less. They really try, but nothing ever changes. This is because they are trying to change their words without changing their thoughts. That’s a bad solution, because they start at the wrong end. What they need to do is look inward, asking, “What is going on inside of me?”

For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart, Jesus said. As I considered those words, I felt a deep compassion for Dorothy. She had allowed Satan to fill her mind with critical, harsh thoughts. She didn’t speak much about herself, but I’m sure she was totally critical of herself as well as other people, and when she spoke, the evil words came out of her mouth.

Jesus said that a tree is known by its fruit. The same is true of our lives. Everything begins with a thought. If we allow negative and unkind thoughts to fill our minds, they bear fruit. If we dwell on the bad, we produce bad fruit.

As we observe people, it’s easy to see the fruit of their lives. They show either good fruit or bad. It’s that simple. But the fruit is the result of what’s going on inside. We can learn a lot about a person’s character simply by listening to their conversation. The more loving our words and actions are toward others, the more loving and kind our thoughts will be.

If I believe God truly loves me, and if I enjoy fellowship with Him every day, I’m planting good seeds in my own heart. The more good seeds I plant, the more good fruit I produce. The more I think kind and loving thoughts, the more I see others as kind and loving.

For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. Kind or judgmental words don’t just come to us—they come out of our mouths because we have nurtured them in our minds. The more we open ourselves to the Spirit’s positive and loving thoughts, the more we pray, and the more we read God’s Word, the more good fruit we produce on the inside—and that good fruit shows itself by the way we behave toward others.

Prayer Starter: Father, I ask You to forgive me for all the harsh things I’ve said about other people. Also, please forgive me for allowing harsh thoughts to fill my mind—about myself or about others. I know I can’t make myself more loving, but You can. Please, help me focus on healthy, positive thoughts. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

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Joyce Meyer – Practicing Thankfulness

 

I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. — Psalm 34:1

We all know that we should be grateful for our many blessings. God tells us in His Word to be thankful, and we know from our own experience that once we seriously start praising God, our burdens and troubles seem to weigh less heavily on our shoulders.

David said, I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. Many evils confront the [consistently] righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all (Psalm 34:1,19 AMPC).

That’s the power of thankfulness. Not only does it help set us free, but as we pause to give thanks to God for the blessings we enjoy in our lives, we actually begin to find more blessings—even more to be thankful for!

I encourage you to take time to practice being thankful. There is so much for us to be grateful for, and we need to focus on it—every single day. Keep in mind the admonition of the psalmist, Be thankful and say so to Him, bless and affectionately praise His name! (Psalm 100:4 AMPC).

Prayer Starter: Dear God, the power of thankfulness is truly incredible. Thank You for blessing me daily and working in my life. I know that without You, I have nothing, so I thank You for the goodness that You have shown me.

 

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