Receive forgiveness for your sins. According to Joyce Meyer, receive the grace of God. I’m telling you the truth. I know what I’m talking about. I’ve been through this. You have to get out of that “getting,” works-oriented mentality and you have to come to him initially like a weak, helpless little baby. Basically in the beginning you just have to lean on God and let him do virtually almost everything for you, then the time will come for a transition. Last night I told you a story about how I’ve had an issue with impatience. That’s just kind of been my thing. I’m a strong-willed choleric. I want it and I want it now. So I’ve worked with God on that all my walk with him and I’ve gotten a lot better but that’s still an area where I need to just get it over with. Okay? So a month ago some impatience rose up and I’m praying: oh God, you gotta help me. For the one millionth time, God, I’m asking you to help me. Help me, help me, help me. I said last night that a lot of times when we ask God to help us, we really don’t want him to help us, we want him to do it for us. Well, he does that in the beginning of your relationship, just like you do everything for your babies. You don’t expect your baby to go heat its own baby bottle, pour the milk in, and feed itself. No, you do everything for it but if you’ve got a 30-year-old son sitting on the couch… Get it yourself! I’ve done my part. I bought it at the store. I put it in the refrigerator. I paid for it. It’s there for you. If you want it, you go get it. Now, here’s what you have to understand: when I told you what God said when I prayed for the one millionth time for him to help me, I’ve never heard God say this; he said: you don’t need help. You already have all the help you need. You know the Holy Spirit is living on the inside of you and you know that he is your helper. God said to me what he said because I’m not a baby Christian anymore and I’ve been taught and I’ve got revelation and I know the process, I know that in order to be free from anything, I have to be willing to die to the flesh, and I know that if God tells me to do something — and I know he’s certainly telling me to be patient — if he’s telling me to do that, then his grace is going to be there for me but I have to do my part and take a step of faith. But you see, a baby Christian would try to run off and do all those things on their own so they could feel good about themselves and get the credit. In Joyce Meyer Ministries, it was mentioned that by the time you mature in Christ, that’s no longer your mindset. Now you’re saying: okay, God, I believe your grace is available for me. I’m putting my faith in you. I’m taking a step of faith. I want to start doing this right but every step of the way: I trust you, God. I trust you, God. I trust you, God. I trust you, God. I trust you, God. I trust you. I trust you and I trust you. Do you understand what I’m saying? Yes!: You can’t do it just by willpower. “Apart from me, you can do nothing.” But we’re partners with God. Is God gonna put you somewhere where he can’t keep you? Is God going to tell you to stay somewhere and the only way that you can be there is to be miserable 7 days a week, 24 hours a day? No! How many of you agree that if God tells you to be somewhere, you can be happy while you’re there? Here’s the thing: He’s not going to lead you anywhere where his grace can’t keep you. God’s will comes with his grace to do it with a right attitude. “Come unto me!” Don’t wait till your whole life is a wreck and it’s going to take a truckload full of Christians to wipe you up out of the ditch somewhere and you’re gonna need 18 months of intensive counseling. Don’t wait till there’s only one little teeny-tiny spark of life left in you and that one’s hidden. When you first feel crispy around the edges, run to him and you say: God, I receive your strength. We pray: oh God, please, please, God, please, please, please. Oh God, please forgive me. God, please forgive me. God, please, please forgive me. Forgive me, God, and God, strengthen me. Oh God, please strengthen me. God, you just gotta strengthen me. We just stay in ourselves and even in our prayers we’re trying to get something. Come on!: Just stop all that and just go to God: Lord, I love you. Thank you that you love me. Oh Lord, forgive my sins. I’ve made such a mess out of things. Here’s what I want you to do from now on. This is the key: don’t just pray-pray-pray-pray then go back the next day and pray the same prayer, pray-pray-pray-pray-pray, go back the next day and pray the same prayer. I spent years asking God to forgive me: Oh God, forgive me, forgive me, God, forgive me. Boo-hoo, God, forgive me. I wish he would have said it sooner but maybe I couldn’t have heard it; after several years went by, I knelt down by my bed one night to say my same little pitiful prayer: oh God, forgive me, boo-hoo-hoo. In my heart I was talking about all this stuff from my whole life and the mess and he said: “Joyce, I forgave you the first time you asked me to. Now you need to forgive yourself.”, which in essence was another way of saying: you need to receive it. You need to receive it. You know what? I’m transmitting television broadcasts all over the world every day but if people don’t turn on their receiver, no matter what I’m sending out, they’re not going to receive it. Last night 170 people came to the altar and gave their life to Christ. Now listen. Just listen. That salvation was available to them all the time. The “by grace” part was already taken care of when he died on the cross. Last night, they made a decision to receive what God had already provided over 2,000 years ago. If you can see the joy that comes on people’s faces when they just receive Christ and then the bible says: the same way you received him, that’s how I want you to live. What I want you to do from now on when you say “Oh God, forgive me for my sins,” I want you to stop right there and say: and I receive that forgiveness right now. Now listen. Instead of thinking that in your prayers the more words you come up with, the better they are, try to state your case to God in as few words as possible because the more you talk, the more confused you get. We can pray and just get into trying to impress God and we’re just talking: blah-blah-blah-blah-blah-blah. Blah-blah-blah-blah-blah-blah. And you go away and you haven’t received anything you asked for. If I say to you “here’s a gift for you,” you have to take the time to reach out your hand and take it unto yourself. What I’m sharing with you today for many of you in this room and thousands watching by tv can literally be life-changing. You have to take time to receive: I receive your forgiveness right now. I believe I’m forgiven. It’s mine. You say: well! What if I still feel guilty? Then you don’t bow down to your feelings, you know the devil is a liar, and you say: you know what? I don’t care how I feel. I know the truth. I know that God is faithful and if I ask him to forgive me, he forgives me and it’s not about how I feel. I may not feel forgiven but I am forgiven and my feelings will catch up with my decision. Come on now! Come on! Come on! Let me conclude with this one example: James chapter one. James 1 starts out talking about trials and tribulations. vs.2: consider it wholly joyful when you fall into all kinds of trials and temptations. vs. 3: knowing the trying of your faith worketh patience. It goes on and talks about all the problems we have and then verse 5 says: if any of you is deficient in wisdom, — if any of you have a mess in your life and you don’t have enough wisdom to know how to get out of it — let him ask of the giving God who gives to everyone liberally, generously, without begrudging it, without reproaching him or without finding fault with him, and it will be given. What is this saying? You can make the biggest mess out of your life and if you’re sincerely sorry for it, you can go to God and because of his mercy, even though you don’t deserve it and by all rights he shouldn’t help you, just because you ask him, he will help you get out of that mess. He’ll show you what to do. He won’t remind you of how bad you were, he won’t resent it. He’s a giving God. But a lot of people when they’ve made a mess out of things, they won’t even go to God and ask.