Senior pastor of Lakewood Church, author and inspirational speaker.
Posted 9/6/13 at 9:50 PM | Joel Osteen
In the Scripture, there was a lady who came to Jesus and started begging Him to heal her daughter. She said, "Please, Jesus, my daughter is so bad. Would You please? I'm begging You to heal her."
Jesus was normally so compassionate. Throughout the Scripture, He went around healing everyone. A blind man said, "Jesus, have mercy," and He went over and healed him. A soldier came up and said, "My daughter is sick. Will you come to my house?" Jesus went out of His way again and again to heal so many different people. But what's interesting is that Jesus practically ignored this lady who was begging. He didn't give her the time of day.
After a while, she realized begging wasn't going to do her any good. The Scripture says, "She fell at Jesus' feet and started worshipping Him, started thanking Him, started giving Him praise."
All of the sudden, Jesus stopped what He was doing, looked at the woman and said, "Your daughter is perfectly well. You can go home. Everything is okay."
Today, know that what begging won't do, praise will. Don't be a beggar. Instead, be a believer. When you pray, switch over into praise which is what opens the door for God to act. Don't get stuck year after year begging, "God, please heal me. God, please give me that promotion. God, I'm just begging You." No, instead; all through the day say, "Father, thank You that I'm healthy. Thank You that my business is blessed. Thank You that promotion is coming." Get beyond begging and get into praising and watch His hand of blessing on every area of your life! FULL POST
Posted 8/23/13 at 2:15 PM | Joel Osteen
In John chapter nine, Jesus was traveling through a town. He encountered a man who had been blind since his birth. Jesus went over to the man. The blind man had heard that this healer was in town, a man who could perform miracles, and he was so excited. Out of all the people in the city now Jesus is standing before him. No doubt someone had told him how Jesus touched another blind man's eyes and made him see; or how Jesus had spoke and a little girl was healed. He probably heard how Jesus prayed for a leper and he was cleansed, or even that He commanded a dead man to come back to life. There were many different methods Jesus used to heal people. I can imagine this blind man was expecting Jesus to do something like He had done before.
As Jesus stood before the blind man, I can imagine you could hear a pin drop. Perfectly quiet yet filled with great anticipation. The blind man is probably waiting to hear Jesus speak a word of healing; but instead, all he hears is Jesus spitting on the ground. Imagine what was going on in his mind. "I thought He was going to pray for me. I thought He was going to touch my eyes. Why is He spitting?"
Jesus made mud out of dirt and his spittle and He placed it on the man's eyes. Jesus was unconventional. There was no precedent for this ever happening before in the Scripture. Elijah never did it, Elisha, or Moses. This was the first instance this method had ever been used. The blind man could have said, "Get this off of my eyes. This doesn't make sense. This isn't going to do any good." But he didn't. He didn't have God in a box. He stayed open. Then, Jesus instructed him to wash it off. When he did, he could see perfectly clear for the first time. FULL POST
Posted 8/16/13 at 11:19 AM | Joel Osteen
Back in 1949, there was a young minister you may have heard of by the name of Billy Graham. He was traveling the country, holding meetings in large auditoriums. He was having success, but he wasn't really nationally known at the time.
That summer, he conducted a meeting in Los Angeles in a big tent. A gentleman showed up by the name of William Randolph Hearst. Mr. Hearst owned newspapers all across the country. He was so touched that night that he sent a message to all of his publishers to write favorable articles about Billy Graham. The next week, the whole country was talking about this young minister. He came to national prominence practically overnight because of the influence of one man.
What was that? I call it a divine shift. It was God taking him further, faster. It could have taken Billy Graham his whole lifetime to gain that kind of respect and credibility, but God used one man to show him favor and opened doors that took Billy Graham to a new level.
Now, the good news is that God has already lined up the right people for you. They are already in your future. It's just a matter of time before they show up. They will open doors that you could not open. They will show you favor even though you didn't ask. They will use their influence to make you look good. They're ordained by God to accelerate His plan for your life. FULL POST
Posted 8/9/13 at 9:31 AM | Joel Osteen
My friend, Craig Groeschel, is the pastor of The Life Church in Oklahoma. He told the story of when he was a young man and had just come to know the Lord. The Christian life was all new to him. One Sunday, when he was at church and the music was playing and people were singing, he looked over a few rows and saw this woman who looked very discouraged. It seemed like she had the weight of the world on her. Something said to him, "Craig, I want you to give her an offering."
He had never felt anything like that before. He thought, "I don't even know the lady. I'm not going to go over there and interrupt her." He went back to worshipping and tried to dismiss it, but that feeling kept coming back. He looked in his wallet, and all he had was a $5.00 bill. He thought, "There is no way I'm going to go over there and give that woman $5.00. That would be embarrassing. Besides, what good could $5.00 possibly do?" He pushed it down again and again and again, but couldn't get away from it. Finally, he got his nerve up, walked over right in the middle of the service and said, "Ma'am, I know this sounds totally strange, but I feel like I'm supposed to give you this $5.00." FULL POST
Posted 7/26/13 at 3:48 PM | Joel Osteen
There's a man I read about who wasn't raised in a spiritual home. His parents were fine people, but they just didn't have anything to do with God. One summer when he was in junior high school, all of his friends invited him to a camp put on by the local church. When he arrived, he noticed a big trophy on the platform of the main gathering room. He was very competitive, great in both sports and academics. He made up his mind right then and there that he was going to win that trophy. He found out that it was going to be given to the person who could memorize the most scripture verses. This young man had never picked up the Bible; he'd never been to church before, but he was so competitive that in two days he memorized 30 verses of scripture and won that trophy.
Fifteen years later, he was an all-American football player headed to the NFL with a very bright future. One day he felt a terrible pain in his chest. He didn't know what was happening. He soon passed out. At 22 years of age, he had a massive heart attack. He woke up in the emergency room and lay there with tubes coming out of everywhere, scared to death. He didn't know what to do. But on that emergency room table, all of the sudden from deep inside, all those scriptures he had memorized fifteen years earlier began to come up once again. He started quoting scripture after scripture. "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for You are with me." "The Lord is my light and my salvation. Whom shall I fear?" FULL POST
Posted 7/19/13 at 4:43 PM | Joel Osteen
In First Chronicles 17, God gave David the promise that one of his descendants would always be on the throne. He would have a lasting dynasty. This seemed like a stretch because David wasn't even a king himself. He could have said, "God, I'm just a shepherd boy. I was out tending my father's sheep. I don't have formal training, education or experience." No, David dared to believe God. Even though it looked far out, he didn't dismiss it.
David said in verse 23, "God, do as You have promised. Let one of my descendants always be on the throne." Imagine the nerve David had to ask for something so big. Verse 25 gives us the key. He said, "God, I have been bold enough to pray this prayer because You have spoken it over me." In other words, "God, I'm asking You to do something amazing not because I have all the talent, education or connections, but because You have promised it."
What has God promised you? What is the dream He has placed in your heart? It may look impossible, but if you'll dare to believe Him, just say like David, "God, You promised it, now I'm bold enough to ask You for it."
When you do, don't be surprised if thoughts come that say, "It's never going to happen. You don't have the talent. You come from the wrong family. You've made too many mistakes." The enemy gets stirred up when you start asking God for big things. He'll try his best to discourage you. He'll leave you alone as long as you pray small, ordinary prayers. But when you start praying God-sized prayers, when you start asking God to take you where you've never been before, that's when those thoughts will bombard your mind and say, "Who do you think you are?" Just smile and say, "I'm a child of a Most High God! He began a good work in me, and He will complete it!" FULL POST
Posted 7/12/13 at 10:46 AM | Joel Osteen |
A man was telling me one time how he overheard his junior high teacher telling his mother that he was a slow learner. For 30 years, he wore that label around. He never had a good job, never had real success. He just kind of floundered through life believing that he would always be slow. I talked to him about the importance of removing labels—that what others say about you cannot negate what God says about you unless you choose to believe it. Either you will accept what others say as the truth or you accept what God says as the truth. That teacher may have been sincere. She may have made an assessment based on where he was at the time, but this is a new day. She doesn't know what God has placed in you. I said to the man, "If you're going to reach your highest potential, you've got to say, 'No, thanks. I am not wearing that slow-learner label anymore. That may have been her opinion, but I have another opinion. It's from my Creator, and He says I have the mind of Christ; that I am full of wisdom; that I can fulfill my destiny.'
Today I'm saying the same to you. It doesn't matter what people have said about you in the past. You can't let negative labels hold you back. FULL POST
Posted 7/5/13 at 10:36 AM | Joel Osteen
One time, a man was telling me about how he felt as if he had wasted the first forty years of his life. He had come from a good family. He was bright and had all kinds of opportunity in front of him, but he made some wrong choices early on and ended up a cocaine addict. He told me, "Joel, I don't even really remember the first part of my life. I was so high and so messed up. I ruined my marriage. I blew my education." At one point, he thought his life was over, but today things are different. Now he's in his early fifties, his family is back together, and he has a good job. In fact, he volunteers for us every weekend. He said, "I never dreamed God would give me another chance. I never dreamed I could be this fulfilled."
During this time of year when we celebrate Independence Day, our freedom in America, I want to remind you that no matter where you are in life, no matter what has happened in your past, it's never too late for God to set you spiritually free. It's never too late for Him to turn things around. It's never too late to break that addiction; never too late to have good relationships; never too late to fulfill your dreams. It's never too late to live in true freedom found in Jesus Christ. FULL POST
Posted 7/2/13 at 3:39 PM | Joel Osteen
In Second Kings chapter five, there’s the story of a man named Naaman. He was a captain in the Syrian army and a very influential man, but he had leprosy. One day a young lady who worked for him, a maid at his house said, "Naaman, if you’ll travel to Israel and see the prophet Elisha, he will pray for you, and I know you will be healed."
He took her advice and traveled a great distance to Israel and showed up at Elisha’s house. But when he arrived, Elisha didn’t even get up and go to the door to meet him. Elisha sent his assistant and said, "Go tell Naaman that if he’ll wash in the Jordan River seven times, he’ll be healed of that leprosy."
Well, Naaman was offended that Elisha didn’t take the time to greet him. He had traveled a long way. He was an important military man, and Elisha didn’t even have the courtesy to come to the door to speak with him. Plus, Naaman didn’t want to go wash in the Jordan River. It was a dirty river. Naaman had his own plan. He said in verse 11, "I thought Elisha would come out and wave his hand over me and cure me of my leprosy."
I think those first two words almost kept him from his miracle, "I thought." He had a preconceived idea of how it was going to happen. We’ve all been there.
One of his men said, "Naaman, if he had asked you to do something difficult, you would do it. Why don’t you just do this simple thing?" He finally talked him into it, and Naaman went and washed in the Jordan River. Just as Elisha said, when he came up out of the water the seventh time, his skin was perfectly clean.
How many of us today miss God’s best because we thought it would happen another way? "I thought I would give birth to my children, not adopt them." "I thought I would get well without the treatment." "I thought I’d get that promotion. That’s how I’d be blessed." No, we have to stay open and be submitted to whatever God tells us to do.
When I look back over my life, like Naaman, I have had a lot of "I thoughts." For one, I thought I would be behind the scenes my whole life, not out in front of people! I thought we would build a new sanctuary when Lakewood needed more space, not move into the former Compaq Center where the Rockets used to play. The common denominator in all of my "I thoughts" is that God’s plan was much better than my plan. What God had in mind was much bigger, much more rewarding than anything I dreamed of.
Today, no matter what the circumstances look like, trust God to do things His way. We may not always understand it. It may not be what we thought, but it will always be His best. His ways are always higher than ours. Don’t let logistics hold you back. Trust Him, obey His commands, and embrace the blessings He has in store for you!
Posted 6/21/13 at 5:17 PM | Joel Osteen
Paul prayed in Ephesians that the eyes of our understanding would be flooded with light so that we would know the amazing future God has in store. It's interesting that Paul used that phrase, "flooded with light." See, Paul had experienced a portion of this flood; but we're living in a better day than Paul. We are in the day where Paul declared we would see the surpassing greatness of God's favor.
I can tell you firsthand, Victoria and I have experienced this flood of God's favor. God has overwhelmed us with His goodness. I'm not bragging on us. I'm bragging on God. God has taken us beyond our education, beyond our talent, beyond our training; and He has unleashed His abundance, wisdom and favor in our lives.
I believe there are two main keys to seeing this flood of favor. Number one: you've got to keep God first place in your life and honor Him. Let Him have His way in your life. Deal with the issues that He's bringing to light. Stay open and be willing to change. We don't have to be perfect. We all have flaws and weaknesses, but we should be growing and making progress.
The second key is that you have to learn to take the limits off of God. Believe big. Pray bold prayers. Live with expectancy of what God has for your future. Believe that with Him, all things are possible. FULL POST