Joel Osteen BlogTweet
Posted 10/19/12 at 11:35 AM | Joel Osteen
In scripture we see that for many years Elisha served the prophet Elijah. He was his protégé. Elijah had seen God's favor in incredible ways. He is the one who called down fire from heaven and 400 false prophets were destroyed. One time, Elijah prayed that it wouldn't rain. For three and a half years, there was no rain. He was one of the most powerful, anointed people that ever lived. When he was getting very old and about to be taken to heaven, he said to Elisha, "What do you want me to do for you for serving me faithfully all these years?"
Elisha could have asked for something simple. He could have said, "How about a couple weeks off?" or, "How about that new iPad? I'd really like that." He could have said, "My request is that I'd be able to carry on your ministry." But, Elisha was bold. He looked at Elijah and said, "What I really want is a double portion of your spirit." He was saying, "I want to do twice what you've done. I want to do twice the miracles, have twice the anointing, twice the favor, twice the influence."
Elijah could have looked at him and said, "Boy, who do you think you are? You sure are greedy. You need to be a little more humble." No, Elijah basically told him, "You just keep serving me faithfully and what you have asked will come to pass." FULL POST
Posted 10/12/12 at 11:46 AM | Joel Osteen
I believe God has new levels of freedom for you today. One of the ways you can see yourself go to a higher level is by learning to choose your battles and refusing to fight battles that don't matter. Friend, you don't have to fight every battle. You don't have to respond to every critic. You don't have to be offended because of what someone said. You're not a crow; you're an eagle. You can rise above it. You can soar at new heights.
This is what Nehemiah did. God called him to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. He and his men got started, but he had two main critics: Sanballat and Tobias. They were constantly criticizing him, spreading rumors, and trying to make him look bad. They said, "Nehemiah is not a builder. He doesn't know what he is doing. If a fox runs on this wall, it's going to fall down."
The whole time, Nehemiah and his men had to listen to these two men belittle them, ridicule them, and make fun of them. What did Nehemiah do? He simply ignored them. He let it go in one ear and out the other. When that didn't work, they went to the city leaders and started spreading lies. They said, "Nehemiah is not building this wall for our good. He's just building a kingdom unto himself." They started questioning his motives. Don't you know that Nehemiah was tempted to come down off that wall and say, "Guys, I'm going to shut you up? I'm going to show you who I am." No, he was smart enough to realize they were a distraction. He chose to ignore them and went on to build that wall in record time. FULL POST
Posted 10/5/12 at 11:11 AM | Joel Osteen
Everywhere I go people ask for prayer for many different reasons, but one of the most common prayer requests come from people dissatisfied with their jobs. They may be paying the bills, but they don’t have any passion for what they do. Consequently, it affects every area of their life and drains them of valuable energy. In his new book, The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, John Maxwell talks about it like this:
"I am amazed by how many people I meet every day who don’t like doing what they do for a living. Why do they do it? I understand the necessity of having to make a living. We’ve all done jobs we didn’t love. I worked in a meat-packing plant when I was in college. I didn’t like that job. But I didn’t stay there my whole life, doing something I found unfulfilling. If I’d loved it and it had fit my passion and purpose, I would have stayed there and tried to build a career. But it wasn’t what I wanted to do.
Philosopher Abraham Kaplan noted, ‘If, as Socrates said, the unexamined life is not worth living, so the unlived life is worth examining.’ If you’re not enjoying what you do for a living, you need to take some time to examine why. FULL POST
Posted 9/28/12 at 12:08 PM | Joel Osteen
My grandfather on my dad’s side was a very good, hard-working man. But, Granddaddy didn’t have any kind of spiritual upbringing. None of his relatives knew anything about God. My father was the first one in the family to come to know the Lord when he was just seventeen years old. Granddaddy Osteen was a very quiet, reserved man. My father shared his faith with Granddaddy many times, but he just wouldn’t hear it. He said, “John, when I’m dead, I’m dead like a dog. Just roll me over in the ditch.”
My father would say, “No, Daddy. You’ve got to live on somewhere after the stars fall like autumn leaves.”
But it just went in one ear and out the other. It didn’t have any effect on Granddaddy. Year after year went by. One Sunday, my father was up in the pulpit at the church he pastored at that time. Granddaddy walked in that church for the first time ever and sat down on the back row. My father was so thrilled! It was a dream come true. Then, right in the middle of his message, Granddaddy got up, walked down the aisle and stood at the altar, interrupting the whole service. He said, “John, I’m finishing today what I started over 40 years ago.” FULL POST
Posted 9/21/12 at 10:10 AM | Joel Osteen
One thing I've learned in life is that you aren't going to agree on everything with every single person you encounter. Backgrounds, upbringing, friends and family all have influence on people's perspective. Scripture shows us in Ephesians 4 that our goal should be to come together in the unity of the faith in the knowledge of the Son of God. In other words, we are eternally connected by believing that Jesus is the Son of God; that He lived on earth, died for our sins, and rose from the dead so that we could live in eternity with Him. Unity in Christ is the foundation upon which everything else in our lives should be built.
My friend Andy Stanley talks about this in his new book, Deep and Wide—Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend. He writes:
"For millennia, before the invention of concrete, builders used stones to lay a foundation for a new building. They gathered granite, marble, or limestone from a quarry and chiseled the material into giant brick-shaped blocks. They then selected one particular stone and designated it the "cornerstone"—the reference stone that would determine the placement of every other stone in the foundation. As they laid other stones end-to-end to form the outline of the building's foundation, they made sure each one was level and square with the cornerstone. FULL POST
Posted 9/14/12 at 1:00 PM | Joel Osteen
Our words have creative power. Any time you speak something, either good or bad; you give life to what you are saying. Scripture says, "We will eat the fruit of our words." That means you will get exactly what you've been saying. You are prophesying your own future. That's why it's so important to send your words out in the direction you want your life to go. You can't talk defeat and expect to have victory. You can't talk lack and expect to have abundance. You will produce whatever you say.
Are you declaring the blessing of God over your life? Are you speaking His promises? Have you ever noticed that many of His promises are in the past tense? For example, in Ephesians God says, "I have blessed you with every spiritual blessing." In Colossians He says, "I have made you worthy." In Psalms He says, "I have surrounded you with favor as a shield." These are all past tense, like it's already happened. In order to activate His blessing, you have to come into agreement with what God has already declared about you. That's faith!
Maybe you don't necessarily feel blessed today. A lot of things may be coming against you in your family, finances or health. But that doesn't change the Word of God. Circumstances don't change what God says about you. However, what God says about you can change your circumstances. You are the deciding factor. Instead of talking about your circumstances, be bold and say, "God, if You say I'm blessed, then I believe I'm blessed! My checkbook may not say I'm blessed. The economy may not say I'm blessed. The medical report may not say I'm blessed. But God, I know You are the ultimate authority, and if You say I'm blessed, then I declare that I am blessed!" FULL POST
Posted 9/7/12 at 10:35 AM | Joel Osteen
One time, I heard a story about a five-year-old boy who had some pet goldfish. He really loved his goldfish, but one day for some reason, all but one goldfish had died. Not long after, he and his father walked over to the fish tank to find that the final goldfish was floating on top of the water totally stiff. The little boy said with great disappointment, "Daddy, he died, too." Before the father could respond, the little boy said, "Daddy, can we pray and ask God to heal my goldfish?"
Well, the boy's father was a minister. He thought to himself, "I want my son to know that he can ask God for anything, but then I'm going to have to explain how sometimes prayers don't get answered." This debate about how to answer was revolving in his mind. Finally, he quit trying to reason it all out and said, "Son, if you want to pray, of course, we can pray."
Early the next morning, the father heard a very enthusiastic "Yes!" coming from his son in the other room. He went in to see what the excitement was about. The little boy said, "Dad, it worked! The fish is just fine!" Sure enough, that little goldfish was swimming through the water as healthy as could be. The dad nearly passed out! He already had his speech lined up ready to explain everything. He threw that speech away and said in complete amazement, "Son, with God, all things are possible." FULL POST
Posted 8/31/12 at 10:16 AM | Joel Osteen
I read a story about this young man who was training for the 1924 Olympics in Paris, France. He was an American who was extremely skilled in canoeing. He could ride the rapids like no one else. He had won many competitions before and was the heavy favorite for the Gold Medal. That was his dream - to win an Olympic Gold.
It just so happened that his wife became pregnant and her due date was during the Olympics. In those days, of course, they didn't have travel like we do today. To go back and forth across the ocean would take several months time. So, he made the decision that he was not going to miss the birth of his first son. Much to the surprise of his coaches and trainers, he informed them that he would not be competing in the Olympic Games.
The news sent shockwaves throughout the sports world. Here he had trained tirelessly for many years. He was the best in his field. As far as his career was concerned, this was the most important thing to him. But he was willing to surrender that dream. Even though it seemed like a great disappointment, he said, "God, I don't have to have that medal in order to be happy."
The day came when his beautiful son was born. Through the years, he poured into that young man. The son was extremely gifted in whitewater rafting just like his father. They spent year after year practicing together, training, getting better and better. In 1948, the son qualified for the Olympic Games in Helsinki, Finland. He went over and competed, and a few days later, here in America, the dad received a telegram. It said, "Dear, Dad. Thanks for waiting around for me to be born. I'm coming home 24 years later with your Gold Medal." FULL POST
Posted 8/24/12 at 10:35 AM | Joel Osteen
A friend of mine was sitting next to a young man on a plane who grew up in a very poor village in east Africa. Their country was in great famine, and they were struggling just to survive. At seven years old, his father was killed. At twelve years old, his mother died. He was separated from his brothers and sisters and then sent to live with his grandmother. His grandmother was very old and very sick, so at twelve years old, he became her caretaker. He would get up at five in the morning and study for an hour. He loved to study and read and learn. At six o'clock, he would walk to get water—an hour and a half each way. He would come back, make his grandmother breakfast, and then go to the school in the little village. He got out of school at three o'clock, went home, made his grandmother something else to eat, and then took the three-hour walk once again to get more water.
In the natural, it didn't look like this boy had much of a future. All the odds were against him. He was an orphan living in the slums with no parents and nobody to watch after him. But there was something special about this young man. Deep down, he believed that he was a person of destiny, that he had seeds of greatness on the inside. Every night before going to bed in that little mud hut, he would get down on his knees and say, "Lord, I want to go to college. God, I want to have an education. I want to make a difference with my life." FULL POST
Posted 8/17/12 at 10:48 AM | Joel Osteen
There's a story in Matthew 20 about a time when Jesus was leaving the city of Jericho. Two blind men were sitting on the side of the road. When they heard all of the commotion of Jesus passing by, they began to holler out, "Jesus! Have mercy on us!" All of the people around them said, "Be quiet! You're going to disturb Him." But the blind men shouted even louder, "Jesus! Please! Have mercy on us!"
Jesus walked over to them and said something interesting. He asked, "What is it that you want Me to do for you?" It seemed obvious what they needed. They were blind. Why would Jesus say, "What do you want Me to do for you?" See, Jesus knew what their physical condition was, but He was asking about their heart condition. He wanted to know what they were believing. He wanted to know what their level of faith was. They could have said, "Jesus, we just need somebody to help us. It's hard being blind. Jesus, we need better shelter. We need a better place to live." But these men were bold. They knew what they wanted. They said, "Lord, we want our sight." The scripture says, "When Jesus saw their faith, He touched their eyes, and for the first time, they were able to see."
Today, imagine that Jesus is standing before you asking the same thing that He asked these blind men. "What do you want Me to do for you?" The way you respond is going to determine what He does. Now don't say, "God, I just want to get by this year. Times are tough." "God, my family is so dysfunctional. Just try to help us stay together." "God, I don't enjoy my job, but just help me to endure it." Dare to say, "God, I'm asking for a blessed, prosperous year." "God, I want to be free from this sickness." "God, I want to see my whole family serving You." FULL POST