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Liberty vs. Legalism

How to avoid the traps of religion and enjoy a real relationship with God

As a teacher of God’s Word, I have a great responsibility to equip people with the knowledge of how to live a holy life and not be legalistic. It’s part of addressing the age-old issue in the church of liberty versus legalism—by helping believers understand how to be free in Christ instead of “holier than thou.” But in our quest for freedom, we can’t forget that God is a holy God, and He does want us to live holy lives.

A good place to start is by simply understanding the difference between what real holiness actually means and what legalism looks like.

“Holy” means being separate and set apart for God’s use. It’s about belonging to God, not the world, and pleasing God, not man. The focus is on God’s love and grace—God’s power, given to us free of charge, to enable us to do with ease what we could never do with any amount of struggle or effort. It’s having a heart that desires to do what’s right because you love God, not because you want to try to earn something from God or impress anybody. read more

Don’t Live Frustrated!

The key to a life of peace is accepting God’s amazing grace

I spent a lot of years being frustrated about a lot of things. But one of my biggest problems used to be the frustration I had about me. I didn’t like myself.

So I tried very hard to change. I didn’t like my personality. I felt like I was too bold, straightforward, loud and expressive. Along with that, it seemed that every message I heard at church (and we were in church a lot) just pointed out more things that were wrong with me. I remember at times wondering,  How can one person have so much wrong with them? read more

Placing First Things First

You can give God the time He deserves—and here’s how

Are you faithful to God or are you having an affair?

James 4:4 (AMP) says, “You [are like] unfaithful wives [having illicit love affairs with the world and breaking your marriage vow to God]! Do you not know that being the world’s friend is being God’s enemy?” 

This is basically saying that when we care about anyone or anything more than God, or when we trust in and lean on anyone or anything more than Him, He is not first place in our lives. In other words, we are unfaithful. read more

Living on the Edge

Are you just hanging on, trying to make it through the day? Then it’s time to live within the boundaries of God’s Word.

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. 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.” read more

Do You Respect Yourself!

By keeping our bodies in tip-top shape we can truly do God's work the way He intended.

If you suffer from self-doubt or self-hatred, abuse your body with bad food or bad habits, or regularly find yourself at the bottom of the list of people you do things for, then you do not understand your own value.

I believe that many people today are experiencing a self-respect crisis. This condition has to change in order for us to lead effective Christian lives. read more

God Can Clean Up Any Mess

Do you take your relationship with God serious?

If you’ve listened to my teaching much at all, you probably know I had a rough childhood. In fact, I didn’t really have one. 

I was seriously abused throughout my childhood. My life was horrible! I don’t remember ever being really happy until I was in my 20s. My mind was a mess; my emotions were a mess; I didn’t know how to maintain a decent relationship; I had all kinds of fears; I developed phony personalities to protect myself; I was lonely, in debt, miserable, depressed, discouraged and physically sick. For many years I had a big mess in my life. read more

Your Future Is Now

Why God wants you to invest your life in Christ—today

 I like this saying: The greatest gift you can give your family and your world is a healthy you! In this day and age, there’s a lot of focus on appearance—your clothes, makeup, your car, your house, even the kind of computer you have. But you can look great on the outside and be an absolute wreck on the inside. That’s how I used to be. I dressed myself up every day, but inside I was a mess in my mind, emotions and attitude.

The Bible says Jesus came to make us completely whole—spirit, soul and body. He wants to heal every part of us because He’s “into” wholeness. He wants to restore everything we lost through sin, ignorance, attacks of the enemy and mistreatment from others. Listen—God is a God of restoration. read more

Top Priority

What if we were to use everything God has given us to reach our world?

Scientists have long known that we use only a small portion of our intellectual capabilities. Consider what might happen if we used just a little bit more--or even all--of our latent mental abilities.

Civilization would be much further along than it is now. Technology, inventions, science and medicine all would be more advanced. Education would be improved. Music and art would be drastically enhanced and more enjoyable.

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How to Enjoy Life

Selfishness is not learned behavior—we are born with it. The Bible calls it “sin nature.” Adam and Eve sinned against God by doing what they wanted to do and what He told them not to do.

The sin principle they established was forever passed to every person who would ever be born. God sent His Son, Jesus, to die for our sins and to deliver us from them. He came to undo what Adam did.

When we accept Jesus as our Savior, He comes to live in our spirit, and if we allow that renewed part of us to rule our decisions, then we can overcome the sin nature. It doesn’t go away, but the greater one who lives in us helps us overcome it daily (see Gal. 5:16). That does not mean that we never sin, but we can improve and make progress throughout our lives. read more

Getting Results

When I trusted God and began exercising (even though I didn’t want to), I learned a life-changing principle

Until I turned 64, I’d never exercised in a serious way. I had walked and done a few things to stay in decent shape, but I was not dedicated to exercise. I had reached into my excuse bag many times over the years and come up with all kinds of “reasons” I could not exercise. But, the Lord spoke to me and encouraged me to begin a serious workout program so I could be strong for the last third of my journey through life. 

I already had good eating habits, but when it came to going to the gym several times a week, I used the excuse that I simply could not do that because of my travel obligations. I truly couldn’t figure out how I could manage to put serious workout time into my already busy schedule. I finally decided to do what I could do instead of focusing on what I couldn’t do.  read more

The Way You Do The Things You Do

Are you serving God with the right motive? 

When God called me into ministry, I had a full-time job and was making good money. We had a nice, comfortable suburban lifestyle, but I was miserable on the inside because I was religious and didn’t have a deep, personal relationship with God.

After an encounter with the Holy Spirit in 1976, my life really changed. I began developing an intimate relationship with God, and I wanted to help other people experience what I was experiencing. To do that, I had to quit my job so I would have the time I needed to study the Word of God. read more

How to Keep Your Cool

Learn to chill out when life heats up

Have you ever lost your car keys? You frantically search, knowing they should be exactly where you left them. And as soon as you realize they’re gone, you lose your peace.

I remember when Dave and I wanted to have extra keys made to our safety deposit box. Knowing he had the original key, I asked him for it. He said he didn’t know where it was. read more

Afraid of Fear?


Don’t be. God is with you.

There are many types of fear we could name or count, but they all have the same source and the same purpose. They all are from Satan and they all are intended to steal the life Jesus died to give us. 

We often think fear is simply an emotion or feeling, but it also affects us physically. In Who Switched Off My Brain? author Caroline Leaf notes, “[Fear] triggers more than 1,400 known physical and chemical responses, and activates more than 30 different hormones and neurotransmitters.” Fear, she says, is at the root of all stress. When fear causes a stress reaction, it actually “marinates” the body in toxic chemicals. This, of course, is terribly unhealthy and threatening to our physical well-being. read more

God Is Pro-Choice

No, not like that—His choice is for you to fulfill your destiny


God chose me. He didn’t just get stuck with me, and He didn’t settle for me because there was no one else He could choose. He deliberately chose me. And the same is true for you too. 

I didn’t have a special talent when He chose me. The thing I do best is talk, and He’s made me a mouth in the body of Christ. My voice is unusual and unique—not the kind of voice you would think He would choose to broadcast all over the place. But God has given me the opportunity to speak to billions of people around the world. And I don’t always use correct grammar or pronounce words just right, but we don’t have to be polished according to the world’s standards to be used mightily by God. read more

Start to Do Good

Famed philosopher and orator Edmund Burke once said, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” It’s true. Doing nothing is easy, but it’s also dangerous. Where there is no opposition to evil, evil will multiply.

We all fall into the trap of complaining about the things that are wrong. But complaining does nothing except discourage us even more. It changes nothing because there is no positive power in it. read more

A Greater Love

One of the most beautiful things the Bible says is that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (see Rom. 5:8). He did not wait for us to deserve His love. He loves us unconditionally. To be honest, that’s hard for many of us to comprehend because we are so accustomed to having to earn everything in life.

Because of His great, wonderful and intense love for us, God poured His life out for us freely (see Eph. 2:4). That is revolutionary love! Real, revolutionary love must give itself because it can never be satisfied doing anything less. read more

Be an Encourager

One of the easiest ways to fuel a “love revolution” is to decide to make others feel valuable. Mother Teresa said: “Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody: I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.”

I have discovered that most people we meet or come into contact with in our everyday lives don’t have a sense of their infinite value as children of God. I think the devil works very hard to make people feel devalued and worthless, but we can neutralize the effect of his lies and insinuations by building up, encouraging and edifying people. read more

Love Is Costly

I frequently stay in hotels during my ministry travels. When I am in my room, I always put the “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door so nobody will bother me. Hanging this sign on my hotel room door is acceptable. Putting it on my life isn’t.

Have you ever noticed that God does not always do things on your timetable or in ways that are convenient to you? Paul told Timothy that as a servant of God and a minister of the gospel Timothy had to fulfill his duties whether doing so was convenient or inconvenient (see 2 Tim. 4:2). read more

Never Give Up

To be successful in accomplishing God’s will for our lives, we must have determination. One definition of “determine” is “to settle a dispute by an authoritative decision or a pronouncement.” This definition encourages me because I make “pronouncements,” often as a way of building my determination in certain areas.

Sometimes the best way to overcome the temptation to give up is to say to yourself: “Oh, no you don’t! Stop your whining and straighten up right this minute!” Over the years, when I have felt like giving up and had no one to encourage me, I’ve said to myself: “Joyce, you can make it! It may be hard, but you can make it and don’t you dare think you can’t!” read more

Who Are We To Pass Judgment?

Being critical of others not only destroys our relationships but also blinds us to our own weaknesses.

Much torment comes to people's lives because of judgmental attitudes, criticism and suspicion. Multitudes of relationships are destroyed by these enemies. read more


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