Joel Osteen Blog

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Posted 9/28/12 at 12:08 PM | Joel Osteen

Promises to God

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

The Unity of the Faith

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

I Declare

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

Child-like, Goldfish Faith

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

Unexpected Ways

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

He Opens Supernatural Doors

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

What Do You Want Him to Do?

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

Posted 8/10/12 at 1:10 PM | Joel Osteen

It’s Time for Some "First Times"

One time at church, I was talking to a college student. She was about to take a very important final exam. She asked, "Joel, would you pray that God will help me make a C on this test?" I kind of laughed and said, "Why wouldn't we want to pray that God would help you make an A?" She said, "Oh, all I ever make in this subject are C's." She had conditioned her mind to strive for a certain level.

Well, I encouraged her to dream a little bit bigger, and we prayed that she would break through and make an A. So, she went home and studied. She prepared. She did her part. A few weeks later, she came back beaming with joy, holding her test results. For the first time ever, she made an A in that subject.

Now, this is just a simple example, but how often do we get conditioned in our minds to live at a certain level? You may think, "This is the way it's always going to be. This is what I make. This is where I live. This is my level of talent." But don't just look at things in the natural. We have to remember that we serve a supernatural God!

Today, I encourage you to break out of the rut and start praying bolder prayers. It's time for you to have some "first times" in your life. For the first time, you have an abundance; you're not struggling. For the first time, your child is making good decisions. For the first time, there is somebody in your life to love. You're not just talking about the dream. You're living the dream. Take the limits off of God. Stop asking for a C and start asking for an A. Stretch your faith. God wants to do something new in your life. He wants to give you the secret petitions of your heart, the things that you dream about but never told anyone. You would love to start a business, love to take a mission's trip, love to get married, love to own your own home, but it seems so unlikely, so far out of reach. If you told your friends, they would probably laugh. They wouldn't understand it. That's okay. You don't need their approval. This is between you and Almighty God. In your quiet time when nobody else is around, you need to be bold and start asking for those hidden dreams, for the promises God has placed on the inside. As you pray those bold prayers according to His will, it won't be long until you see every dream and every desire come to pass! FULL POST

Posted 8/3/12 at 12:42 PM | Joel Osteen

Thank God for Generational Blessings!

We can all look back through our family lines and see how our parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and others in our family history have affected our lives. Sometimes people see negative things that have been passed down, but the blessing of God is passed down as well. In fact, Exodus 20:6 says that He shows love and mercy to a thousand generations of those who obey Him. Maybe you don't know anyone in your recent family history who was dedicated to the Lord, but do you think someone in your history a thousand generations back may have been?

When we walk into divine blessing and God gives us something we don't deserve, we have to realize that sometimes it's because somebody in our family line sowed those seeds. Every act of kindness, every time one of your relatives sacrificed and honored God, they set you up for success. They may not have reaped a reward in their lifetime, but God is faithful. He doesn't forget about it.

In my own life, I realize that the reason I am doing what I am doing today is because my parents sowed seeds for 40 years before I ever got here. I'm reaping the rewards of a generational blessing. My father went to school with holes in his pants. He would put cardboard in the bottom of his shoes because they were so torn up. They made great sacrifices so that we could be where we are today. One way I can honor them is by wearing my blessings well—by thanking God for His faithfulness and fulfilling what has been handed down to me. FULL POST

Posted 7/27/12 at 11:59 AM | Joel Osteen

Another Chance

I've talked to a lot of people over the years that really get down on themselves because of the mistakes they have made in the past. They don't think they deserve God's goodness. They think they've gone too far. But the amazing part about the mercy of God is that even when we bring trouble on ourselves, even when it's our own fault, God will still receive us when we come to Him. He still extends forgiveness; and when we repent and receive that forgiveness, we don't have to live in condemnation. God says, "I will still bring you to a flourishing finish."

Think about Sampson in the Bible. His birth was predicted in scripture. An angel appeared to his mother and said, "You're going to have a son. He will be a deliverer." As long as his hair wasn't cut, Sampson would have supernatural strength. He had a supernatural beginning. He grew up to do great things. He had uncommon strength and could not be conquered by his enemies. But over time, he let his guard down. He became undisciplined and revealed the secret of his strength when he wasn't supposed to. They ended up cutting his hair, and he became weak and was captured by his enemies. They were still so afraid of him that they gouged out both of his eyes. This once powerful man who carried God's anointing and favor ended up chained, working as a slave, grinding at the mill. You would think after all that, "God wouldn't have anything to do with him. He had his chance. He had a supernatural birth, supernatural strength and favor. He made wrong choices and gave it all away. Too bad for him." However, that's not the way our God thinks. God will always give you another chance. FULL POST

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