Senior pastor of Lakewood Church, author and inspirational speaker.
Posted 1/3/14 at 3:44 PM | Joel Osteen |
Welcome to the New Year! So often at the first part of any new year, people are coming out of the daze of the holiday season and feeling focused, determined and ready to accomplish their goals and resolutions. But if we're not careful, before long, we'll find ourselves slipping back into our old routines and habits. Why don't you decide that this year is going to be different? Let this year be the year for you to break free from those things that have held you back once and for all. How can you do that?
First of all, you have to know that God desires for you to be free from every weight and bondage of the past. However, before you can change your behavior, you have to change what you're thinking and saying. Your thoughts and your words clear the path for your actions. It may seem hard to break an addiction, but is it hard to just SAY, "Because of Jesus, I am free from ______"? Is it hard to SAY, "I have power over _______"? Can you declare, "Greater is He who is me than ________"? Can you meditate on His goodness? FULL POST
Posted 12/27/13 at 5:46 PM | Joel Osteen
In the scripture, there's a man by the name of Simeon. One day an angel appeared to him and told him, "You will not die until you see the birth of Christ."
Imagine how far out that promise seemed, especially back then. Simeon didn't tell anyone about it. He kept it to himself. Do you know there are some promises you're not supposed to tell your friends and all of your family members? They may not be happy for you. They may tell you how it's not going to happen or that you're too old or you really can't do that? That's why some promises are between you and God. The scripture calls it a "secret petition of your heart."
Well, years went by and Simeon didn't see any sign of the Messiah. Five years…ten years…I'm sure the thoughts came saying, "You heard God wrong. It's been too long. It's never going to happen." The enemy has no new tricks. He uses the same type of lies on us today: doubt and discouragement. FULL POST
Posted 12/20/13 at 5:36 PM | Joel Osteen
Mary, the mother of Christ, was a teenager living in Nazareth. An angel appeared to her and said, "Mary, you are highly favored of God. You will give birth to a child without knowing a man. He will be the Son of God."
Now, when God spoke this amazing promise to her, you might imagine the thoughts of defeat and doubt that were bombarding her mind. Thoughts saying, "You can't have a child without a man. That's impossible. That defies the laws of nature." If she would have looked at things just in the natural, she would have talked herself out of it. But Mary didn't consider her circumstances; she considered her God.
I love the way she answered back to the angel. She didn't say, "That sounds so far out. I just don't see how it could happen." No, she was bold. She told the angel, "Be it unto me even as you have said." In other words, "Let it happen. I am in agreement. If God says I'm highly favored, then I believe I'm highly favored. If God says the impossible is going to happen, I believe the impossible will happen." FULL POST
Posted 12/17/13 at 1:50 PM | Joel Osteen
We all have to deal with delays, inconveniences and people that are hard to get along with. We all encounter people who are rude, inconsiderate or annoying. And sometimes, it's not a stranger; it's somebody who is close to you. But Jesus said in John 14:27, "Stop allowing yourself to be upset and agitated." Notice, it's a choice. He didn't say, "I'll take away everything that will cause stress and frustration." No, He said it'll still be there, but if you have the right approach, it doesn't have to upset you.
One lady told how one of her husband's relatives was very opinionated. He was always making sarcastic, demeaning remarks toward her. This couple was newly married, and every time they went to a family get together, inevitably, the relative would say something that offended her. She would get upset, and it would end up ruining the whole trip. This happened like clockwork again and again. It got to where she dreaded going to these family events. Finally, she said to her husband, "You've got to do something about this man. He's your relative." She expected her husband to say something like, "You're right, Honey. Nobody should talk to you like that. I'm going to go in there and straighten him out." But he did just the opposite. He said, "Honey, I love you, but I can't control this man. He has every right to have his opinion. He can say what he wants to, but you have every right to not let it offend you." FULL POST
Posted 12/6/13 at 6:27 PM | Joel Osteen
One time Victoria and I were at Disneyland with our children. It was ten o'clock at night and we'd been at the park all day long. As we were leaving, Victoria wanted to go into the gift shop with our son, Jonathan, and pick up a few souvenirs. I was carrying our daughter, Alexandra who was two years old at the time and was asleep on my shoulder. I was hot, tired, and had been walking around all day. I said, "Victoria, no, I don't want to stop at this gift shop." She said, come on, Joel, it's just going to take me a minute." I said, "All right." And I went out and sat on the bench at the entryway to the park.
It just so happened there was a big clock up in front of me. I waited five minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 20 minutes. When you're the one waiting, things seem to take so much longer. And the longer I waited, the more frustrated I got. I not only gave away my joy, I gave away my peace, my strength—everything I had! I was hot and Alexandra was making me more hot as I was holding her. What was my big problem? Did I have a major accident? Did I lose my job? No, I just had to wait an extra half hour at Disneyland. FULL POST
Posted 11/29/13 at 10:24 AM | Joel Osteen
When our son Jonathan got his driver's license a couple of years ago, we bought him a used car. A few months after he got that car, Alexandra, at age thirteen, came up to me and said, "Daddy, when I get my driver's license are you going to buy me a car?" She wanted to get this on the record early on. I said, "Yes, Alexandra. I'm going to buy you a car." She said, "You promise?" I said, "I promise."
Do you know that since the day I gave her my word she has not asked me one time to buy her that car? She is totally convinced that I will do what I said. So much so, that she talks about that car as if it's already hers. She has no doubt that car is coming. But how would I feel as a father if she came up every day and said, "Daddy, please get me that car. Daddy, I'm begging you. When I get my driver's license please get me a car." FULL POST
Posted 11/15/13 at 11:33 AM | Joel Osteen |
There's a man in the scripture by the name of Zerubbabel. He had a dream to rebuild the temple. The whole city had been destroyed, but Zerubbabel came back and laid the foundation. The people in the city were not for him. They didn't want the temple rebuilt. They went to the authorities and had an order issued telling him to stop. For ten years, no work on the temple was done.
I can imagine Zerubabbel, week after week, going by the property and seeing the empty foundation and all the supplies stacked up all around. It was like rubbing salt in a wound. I'm sure he thought, "God, I started off good. I had big dreams. These people came against me. I had so much opposition." Now he's thinking it won't ever happen. But we have to remember, God never starts something that He can't finish. FULL POST
Posted 11/8/13 at 11:19 AM | Joel Osteen |
One day after service, I met an older gentleman. He was telling me that he had been at a pharmacy earlier that week to pick up a prescription. He thought his insurance would pay most of it. He ended up not having enough money when it was time to pay. In line behind him was a young man who attends Lakewood. He had just finished working out and ran into the drug store to get something to drink. He overheard the conversation between the cashier and the man and that he didn't have enough money. The young man said to the older man, "You stay here. I'll be back in ten minutes." He ran home, got his wallet, came back and bought the man's prescription.
As the older man was telling me the story, he was so excited and said, "Joel, I came to Lakewood today for the first time because if there are people like that at Lakewood, then I want to be here." FULL POST
Posted 11/1/13 at 10:53 AM | Joel Osteen
One day, I read about this 7-year-old girl named Jamie. She lived on a farm with her family. They had a cow that was about to give birth. Her father had already told the family that they weren't going to keep any more cows. Moving forward, every time one was born, they would have to either sell it or give it away. But for some reason, little Jamie really wanted to keep this calf that hadn't even been born yet. It was a desire of her heart. She started pleading and pleading with her father, "Daddy, please let me keep it. Daddy, please make an exception."
After a couple of weeks, she wore her father down. He said, "Jamie, I'll make a deal with you. If the calf is born black then you can keep him. But if he is brown or spotted like the rest of our cattle, we're going to give him away." She agreed. Well, little Jamie didn't know any better. She started praying and praying. Every night before she went to bed, "God, I'm asking that this cow be born black and that there won't be any doubt that he belongs to me." FULL POST
Posted 10/25/13 at 11:13 AM | Joel Osteen
In scripture, a lady named Rachel died after giving birth to her second son. There were complications during labor, and she was in so much pain and agony. Right before she died, she named the boy Ben-Oni which means "son of my sorrows." She labeled her son based on what she had experienced. Now this little boy was going to have to go through life being called Son of My Sorrows.
Sometimes in life, people will put a negative label on you not because of anything you've done but because of the pain and heartache they've experienced. Hurting people end up hurting other people. Bitter people are quick to stick on those negative labels.
A few minutes after Rachael died, her husband Jacob came rushing in. The nurses were holding the baby. They handed him to Jacob and said, "This is your son. His name is Ben-Oni, son of my sorrows. When he heard that, something rose up in Jacob and he said, "No. That is not his name. No matter what he's been through, my son will not be called Son of My Sorrows. His name will be Benjamin." Benjamin means "son of strength, son of power, son of my right hand." FULL POST