The most important thing to God is how we treat other people, evangelical leader Joyce Meyer says.
Meyer, founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries, delivered a guest sermon on Sunday at Pastor Craig Groeschel's Life.Church, one of the largest evangelical megachurches in the U.S.
In her sermon, Meyer focused on the importance of motives, saying that Christians need to ensure that their motives match their faith.
"God is much more concerned about why we do what we do than what we do," Meyer tells the audience, adding that the most important thing to God is "how we treat other people."
The Charismatic Christian speaker used Isaiah 58 to communicate this message, saying the verses of this chapter prove that God wants us to do more than flaunt our Christianity; He wants our actions to backed by pure, selfless motives.
In these verses, God is telling us: "I don't want you to just do religious works trying to impress me, I want you to get the sin out of your life and learn how to treat other people right," Meyer says.
"The facts are that you fast only for strife and brawling and to strike with the fist of wickedness. You do not fast as you do today to make your voice heard on high. Is a fast such as this what I have chosen, a day for a man to humble himself? Is it only to bow down his head like a reed and to make sackcloth and ashes as a bed?" verses 4-5 read.
"Do you call this a fast and a day pleasing to the Lord? [Rather] is this not the fast which I choose, To undo the bonds of wickedness, To tear to pieces the ropes of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free And break apart every yoke? 'Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry And bring the homeless poor into the house; When you see the naked, that you cover him, And not to hide yourself from your own flesh and blood? Then your light will break out like the dawn, And your healing will quickly spring forth; Your righteousness will go before you, The glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; You will cry for help, and He will say, 'Here I am,'" verses 6-9.
These verses exemplify the theme of backing up your actions with good motives, Meyer says, as the people in the chapter are rebuked by God for fasting without the right intentions.
The best way we as Christians can test our own motives is by taking a moment to ourselves and asking: "Why am I doing this?"
"Sit down, have a meeting with yourself, and check your motives," Meyer encourages, saying that there have been moments in her ministry when she has become so involved in God's Word that she has forgotten to maintain her personal relationship with Him.
"We can be so busy thinking that we're serving God that we can't even hear God when He's trying to talk to us," the evangelical leader says.
The overall message of this chapter is to "get the junk out of your life and start treating people right," Meyer adds.
"God is much more interested in my heart, and me doing things so I can glorify Him, than me getting into some kind of religious behavior while I've still got other junk going on in this life," the evangelical leader concludes.