Daily Archives: August 24, 2012

Our Daily Bread – Risky Business

Read: Luke 9:18-27

As the worldwide financial crisis deepened in 2010, executives of a global banking firm were investigated for deceiving their customers about the risk involved in certain investments they were selling. While promising a high rate of return, the banking firm knew that the investments were destined to fail, leaving those who purchased them with nothing.

Deception is nothing new. Jesus described Satan as one who “does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him . . . for he is a liar and the father of it” (John 8:44). The enemy of our souls tells us, “Live only for the present,” when he knows it will result in our eternal loss.

Jesus, on the other hand, did not offer His disciples a life of prosperity and ease but called them to self-sacrifice and identification with Him. After telling them that He would be killed and raised from the dead, Jesus said, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it” (Luke 9:23-24).

There are two voices telling us where to invest our lives. It’s risky business to follow the wrong one.

When you hear the Shepherd’s voice
As He calls you, “Come to Me,”
In your life make Him your choice
And His faithful follower be. —Hess
If we hold on to God’s truth, we won’t be trapped by Satan’s lies.

Stand and See

Today’s Scripture:

…stand and see the salvation of the Lord…- 2 Chronicles 20:17, NASB.

Today’s Word:

So many people today run from anything that’s hard. They run from their problems. They run from responsibility. They run from people they don’t like. They run from the past. They run from anything that makes them uncomfortable. Instead of facing the issues and dealing with them, they just take the easy way out and go down the path of least resistance. But if you’re going to live in victory the way God intends, you have to learn how to face your challenges head on.

Notice today’s verse doesn’t say, “Keep running until you see the salvation of the Lord.” It doesn’t say, “Bury your head in the sand until God delivers you.” No, God wants us to stand strong, set our faces like a flint, and fight the good fight of faith. And the good news is that you don’t have to do it in your own strength! He’s equipped you with His supernatural power to overcome every obstacle.

Make the decision today to stand strong and face the challenges in your life. Be bold and dare to conquer! As you stand in faith, you will see the salvation, the deliverance of Almighty God in every area of your life!

Prayer for Today:

Father in heaven, search my heart. Show me any area in my life where I may be hiding. I choose today to stand in faith and invite You to move mightily on my behalf in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Copyright © 2012 Joel Osteen Ministries

Success

Today’s Scripture:

Send your grain across the seas, and in time, profits will flow back to you.- Ecclesiastes 11:1, NLT.

Today’s Word:

God has a system that is based on the principle of sowing and reaping. In other words, what you pour out to others will come back to you in increased measure. When you give generously, a generous harvest will return to you. When you help others succeed, you will find abundant success on your path, too.

Are you helping others succeed? Are you helping others get ahead? There are some people in your life who hold the keys for you to reach your full potential. These are people that God has placed in your life for you to help along. The higher they rise up, the higher you will rise up, too. When you give generously of your time, talents and resources, you are setting yourself up for greater success. People will come across your path that will help you grow and reach your full potential.

Do your part to step out and sow the seed. Be on the lookout for ways you can help others. As you give of yourself to help others grow, you’ll see increase in return. You’ll see success and live the abundant life He has prepared for you.

Prayer for Today:

Father in heaven, I open my whole heart You. I invite You to use me to be a blessing in the lives of others. Show me where to invest my time, talents and resources for Your glory. Thank You for the harvest that is coming back to me in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Copyright © 2012 Joel Osteen Ministries

Stretch and Increase!

Posted by Victoria Osteen on 8/21/2012

Have you ever thought about the relationship between stretching and increase? Really, they go hand in hand. If you want to see increase in your life, you have to enlarge yourself. You have to stretch yourself so you can be prepared to receive more and give more. If you want to stretch, you have to take a step of faith and be obedient to what God has placed in your heart.

What are you doing to stretch yourself? You can’t just sit back and wait for something to happen. You have so much to offer this world. There’s more inside of you than you think!

There’s a story about a woman who was newly divorced, almost penniless, afraid of public places, and trying to raise two teenage sons. Through several tragedies in her life, she developed severe agoraphobia and was afraid to even leave her house. She had to make a living, so she searched her heart for ways to support herself and her two sons.

She loved to cook, and all she knew to do for income was to make sandwiches and other simple foods. She found a few customers, but because she was so uncomfortable leaving the house, her two sons had to deliver the sandwiches. Her little home business quickly grew beyond the size of her kitchen, and she now faced a decision. Would she stand still and stop growing, or would she confront her fears and step outside her comfort zone and stretch herself? Though fear constantly harassed her, she recognized that cooking was the seed she had in her hand. As she sat in her house, she could imagine her business growing, and she began to see success. She made the decision to step out and learn and grow. First, she decided to confront the agoraphobia that imprisoned her. Reaching deep inside herself, she was able to take a job as a chef at a local hotel.

Her seeds began to spring forth, and once again, she experienced tremendous success. She was learning step by step that the gifts inside of her were seeds of greatness. A few years later, she opened her own restaurant, The Lady and Sons, right in the heart of Savannah, Georgia. The restaurant’s reputation quickly spread and received national recognition.

Paula Deen’s restaurant was such a success that she eventually landed her own television show, published cookbooks, and even had a role on the silver screen. Today she is one of America’s most beloved television chefs, and it all started when she realized that the power that dwelt inside of her was greater than the fear that held her back.

Oftentimes, people stay where they are in life simply because of fear. Don’t let that be you! Be willing to step out of your comfort zone. Be willing to stretch. Prepare yourself for increase because God has so much more in store for you!

“Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes.” (Isaiah 54:2, NIV)

Copyright © 2012 Joel Osteen Ministries