Posted by Joel Osteen on 1/4/2013
In Second Kings, there is the story about a widow who doesn’t have money to pay her bills. In those days, if you couldn’t pay your bills, your family was taken and sold as slaves, and that’s exactly what was about to happen. The creditors were coming to take her sons as payment. The only thing she had of any value was a small pot of oil to cook with. The prophet Elisha showed up at her house and told her to do something that seemed strange. He said, “Go out to the neighbors and borrow as many big, empty pots to hold oil as you can possibly find.” He said specifically, “Borrow not a few. Get as many as you can.” He was saying in effect, “Don’t shortchange yourself; make room for abundance.”
The widow went out and borrowed some pots. I can imagine she found five or six of these big, empty pots. When she came home, Elisha told her to pour her oil into one of the empty containers. It appeared as though she would just transfer it from one container to the other, but the scripture says, “Her oil never ran out.” She kept pouring and pouring. God supernaturally multiplied it until all of those containers were completely filled. Here’s my point: She was the one who determined how much oil she would have. If she would have borrowed one container, she would have one full. If she would have borrowed ten, she would’ve had ten full. If she would have borrowed 50, she would’ve had 50 full. It wasn’t up to God how much she increased, it was up to her. God has unlimited supplies. That’s why the prophet said, “Borrow not a few.”
My question today is, “How many containers are you borrowing?” What kind of vision do you have for this new year? Some people have a barely-get-by container. They think, “Oh, man, business is so slow. I’m hoping to just make it through this year.” They’ve got a tiny little container. God says, “Alright, I’ll fill your ‘barely-get-by’ container.” Some of you, like this lady, have five or six containers. You’re
believing to pay your bills, feed your family, and have a little bit left over. That’s good. God will fill those containers. No matter what you’ve been expecting, believe that this year is the year for increase! Know that God can do exceedingly, abundantly above and beyond. He is El Shaddai—the God of more than enough. Make room for His far-and-beyond favor because God is saying, “You need to get ready. I’m going to fill your containers!”
It may not have happened in the past, but God has favor in your future. He has new opportunities, good breaks, blessings that will chase you down. You may not see how this could happen, but God has a thousand ways to increase you that you’ve never thought of. God has explosive blessings, blessings that can thrust you years ahead.
Like this woman, God wants to bless you beyond your normal income, beyond your salary, beyond your retirement. God can give you one good break, one promotion, one idea or one inheritance, and all those containers are filled to overflowing. Now make sure you don’t shortchange yourself. God is saying, “Borrow not a few.” Get ready, get your hopes up, get your faith up, and make room for abundance because that’s what God has waiting for you!
Copyright © 2013 Joel Osteen Ministries
Read: Luke 15:1-7
Whoever dreamed up T-ball is a genius: Every kid on the field gets a taste of the fun and joy of the game before they taste the disappointment of striking out.
In T-ball, a baseball is placed on a rubber tee about waist-high to the 5- and 6-year-old batters. Players swing until they hit the ball and then run. On my first night as a coach, the very first batter hit the ball far into the outfield. Suddenly every player fromevery position ran to get the ball instead of staying where they were supposed to. When one of them reached it, there was nobody left in the infield for him to throw it to! All the players were standing together—cheering with unrestrained exuberance!
Those who have recently come to know Jesus as Savior have an unrestrained joy that is a delight to be around as well. We rejoice with them, and so do the angels in heaven! (Luke 15:7). New Christians are in love with God and excited about knowing Him and learning from His Word.
Those who’ve been Christians for a long time may get discouraged with the struggles of the Christian life and forget the joy of new-found faith. So take the opportunity to rejoice with those who’ve come to faith. God can use them to inspire you to renew your own commitment to Jesus.
For all your sins on Christ were laid;
We’ve been redeemed, we’re justified—
And all because the Savior died. —D. DeHaan
by Joyce Meyer – posted January 02, 2013
weeping . . . Depart from me, all you workers of iniquity, for the Lord has heard the voice of my weeping (emphasis mine). —Psalm 6:6, 8
Even before we are totally awake, Satan is bidding to deceive us and is ready to plant defeating thoughts in our mind. He wants us to be hopeless, faithless, and negative. He definitely doesn’t want us to be positive when we get up. He wants us to have a bad attitude and be selfish and self-centered, full of hatred, bitterness, resentment, doubt, unbelief, and fear—to be mad at everybody,
But thank God, through Jesus Christ we have been redeemed from all of those negative patterns. We can resist the devil and trust God’s power in order to live victoriously today.
From the book Starting Your Day Right by Joyce Meyer. Copyright © 2003 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.
Happy New Year! Joel and I pray that you’ve been blessed and refreshed this holiday season. Welcome to 2013! Can you believe it’s already here?
If you’re like most, you’re probably making your list of goals and to-do’s for the new year. You may have even pulled out last year’s list attempting to pick up where you left off. But no matter what your goals are, I just want to encourage you with this scripture in Proverbs 16:3, “Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.”
Now when you commit something to Him, that means you put everything about it in His hands. It means you trust Him with the process and the results. It also means that you are willing to lay it down if you sense Him speaking to your heart, “This isn’t the right thing for you right now.”
Maybe you don’t have any specific goals or plans for the new year yet. Maybe you’ve had some circumstances that have thrown you off course or you’ve just felt overwhelmed by life. Your part is to just commit each day to Him and let Him lead you moment by moment. Someone said one time, “My five-year plan is the same as my five-minute plan—hear from the Lord and do what He says.” You’ll never be disappointed by following His leading. Scripture says His plans are always for our good. He wants to give us hope and a good future. He delights in the prosperity of His children. He came to give us everlasting and abundant life.
Today, I want to join my faith with yours as you put this scripture into practice and commit your ways to the Lord that He will direct your steps down the path of success in everything you set your hand to.
We love you so much and pray that you have a happy, blessed and prosperous 2013!
Copyright © 2013 Joel Osteen Ministries
by Joyce Meyer – posted November 09, 2012
We should care about others and their pain, pray for them, and do what we can to relieve their suffering. Love is not unfeeling; it cannot look at unjust situations and just simply not care or do nothing. The worldly mentality of “don’t bother me with it, that is your problem” has no place in the lives of Christians.
Obviously, we cannot physically or financially fix everyone’s problem, but we can care. We can work with the Holy Spirit to make sure we don’t allow our hearts to become hardened by all the violence and injustice all around us.
God is love, and He loves righteousness (knowing you are right with God—acting right, talking right, etc.)—therefore, those who walk in love must also love righteousness. Psalm 97:10 states that if we love the Lord, we must hate evil. Those who love righteousness are often persecuted for it—Jesus was, and we are not above our Master (see Matthew 10:24). Don’t hate evil people, just their evil ways. God hates sin, but He loves sinners.
Keep walking in love, hating injustice and unrighteousness, and the favor of God will come upon your life in an astounding way.
From the book New Day, New You by Joyce Meyer. Copyright © 2006 by Joyce Meyer. Published by InProv. All rights reserved.
Read: 1 John 4:7-11
Katie nervously walked into the church youth group party that Linda had invited her to attend. She hadn’t been to a church since she was a little girl and didn’t know what to expect at a Valentine dinner with mostly strangers. But her heart started to calm when she found valentines at her plate that had been written for her from everyone there. They had cards for each other too, but it touched Katie’s heart that they would think to do that for her, a visitor to their group.
Katie felt so welcomed that she accepted Linda’s invitation to a church service. There she heard about God’s love for her in spite of her sinfulness, and she embraced Jesus’ forgiveness. The youth group had given her a fragrance of God’s love, and God opened her heart to trust Him.
“If God so loved us, we also ought to love one another,” the apostle John said (1 John 4:11). That’s a love for our brothers and sisters in Christ as well as for those who don’t yet know Him. Ray Stedman wrote, “As God’s love shines into our hearts, we become more open to others, allowing the fragrance of love to drift out and attract those around us.” The youth group did that for Katie.
God can spread the fragrance of His love through us today.
I am able to love others. Please spread the sweet
fragrance of Your love through me to everyone
I interact with today. Amen.
Do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. – Hebrews 10:35, NKJV.
Have you been praying and believing for something that seems like it’s taking a lot longer than you thought? Many times, people can miss God’s best simply because they give up before they see their “due season” come. Don’t let that be you! Be encouraged today, your answer is closer than you think. If it seems like things are getting more difficult, remember, when the intensity heats up, that means you are closer to your victory. It always seems darkest just before the dawn arrives.
We serve a faithful God, and He’s working behind the scenes on your behalf. Don’t cast away your confidence today because your reward is coming. And just like a new mother forgets about her labor pain once she is finally holding her newborn, you’ll forget about your struggle when you are holding on to your promise. While you are waiting, keep an attitude of faith and expectancy. Wake up every morning and say out loud, “I’ve come too far to give up now. My due season is coming. I will reap my harvest.” Stay in faith and look for His hand of blessing because He has promised you victory, and it’s closer than you think!
Prayer for Today:
Father in heaven, today I stand believing that You are working behind the scenes on my behalf. Give me Your strength to stand in faith until I see every promise fulfilled in my life in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Today is Election Day in America. It’s a day we get to exercise our privilege to vote for the leaders of this country. Scripture tells us in Romans 13 that government and authority is established by God and we should honor those who are in authority over us. No matter what happens at the end of the day, we are called to pray for our leaders and respect those who are in authority over us even if we don’t necessarily agree with everything they do.
Second Chronicles 7:14 says, “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” (NLT) Today and every day, let’s remember to pray for our leaders. As we do, God promises to hear us and restore our land. Join us today and make this the prayer of your heart:
Father in heaven, today we come to You on behalf of our leaders and those who are in authority over us. We pray first that they would know You, honor You, and seek Your ways. We pray that they would have wisdom and discernment to make good decisions. We pray for safety over them and their families and for peace in their hearts and minds. We pray for unity in this country, and may we always remember that we are one nation under God. Thank You, Father, for hearing our prayers and healing our land in Jesus’ name. Amen!
Copyright © 2012 Joel Osteen Ministries
Read: Colossians 3:8-17
One day my wife called me at work and said, “Something’s going on next door. Lots of cars are there.” Because of my neighbor’s occupation, I feared the worst, and soon those fears were realized. Our neighbor, policeman Trevor Slot, had just been killed in the line of duty, trying to stop the escape of two bank robbers. Our community was stunned.
Trevor had no time to prepare for his death. Yet he was ready. His faith in Christ was secure, and his reputation as a remarkable man was intact. At his funeral, attended by hundreds of fellow officers, his colleague Detective Brandyn Heugel said, “He was a dedicated police officer, but first and foremost he was a loving husband to Kim and a doting father to Kaitlyn and Abbie.” Indeed the theme of Trevor’s tributes all centered on his great personality and his love and care for his family.
Trevor’s life exemplified the words of Colossians 3:12-13, “Put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering, bearing with one another, and forgiving one another.” Those traits leave an inspiring legacy.
We don’t know when God will call us home, but we do know this: Each day is an opportunity to leave a testimony worthy of our faith.
May the fire of our devotion light their way;
May the footprints that we leave lead them to believe,
And the lives we live inspire them to obey. —Mohr
by Joyce Meyer – posted November 08, 2012
You are of your father, the devil, and it is your will to practice the lusts and gratify the desires [which are characteristic] of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a falsehood, he speaks what is natural to him, for he is a liar [himself] and the father of lies and of all that is false. —John 8:44
The devil lies. In fact, the devil doesn’t know how to speak the truth.
Most Christians know that—and yet they still listen to his evil words. Sometimes the lies seem to just pop into our minds for no apparent reason; sometimes Satan even speaks to us through other people. He puts something critical or hurtful into their minds about us, and they speak it out for us to hear. If we listen and accept what we hear, our enemy rejoices. If we listen long enough to the deceptive information we have taken in, we will find ourselves facing serious problems. Instead of listening and absorbing the untruths and satanic deceptions, you can look at what Jesus did and follow His example.
After fasting for forty days in the wilderness, Satan tempted Him three times. Each time He defeated the devil by declaring, “It is written,” and quoting the Word of God. No wonder the devil fled from Him (see Matthew 4:1–11). Learn the truth of God’s Word, and every time Satan lies to you, quote a scripture back to him. Learn to talk back to the devil!
Too many people don’t know how to use the Word to defeat Satan’s lies. Many people—even Christians—don’t seem to realize that they can refuse to listen to that voice. Too many people don’t realize that the devil attacks their minds with negative or wrong thoughts. It’s his nature to lie; he is out to enslave everyone.
I encourage people to realize that they are not alone in their spiritual battles—their minds are not the only ones under attack. Satan comes against everyone. His entire goal is to kill, steal, and destroy, but Jesus came that we might have and enjoy our lives abundantly (see John 10:10). By becoming more conscious of the spiritual weapons the Lord has made available to us and learning how to use them, we can gain victory. We can break the strongholds the devil has built in our minds. The Bible tells us that when we know the truth, that truth will free us from Satan’s strongholds (see John 8:32).
In the illustration of Mary, I mentioned that the devil had whispered to her for years that all men were alike and wanted to hurt women and take advantage of them. As Mary read the Bible and prayed more effectively, she learned that it was the devil who had pushed her around. Now she knows she can be free.
As Mary develops in her relationship with God, she is equipping herself to win the battle for her mind. She’s learning more about God and more about how to pray effectively.
“Jesus has become my friend,” Mary said. She had known Him as her Savior and worshiped Him as God, but this was a new revelation to her. One day she read Hebrews 2:18 in a totally new light. It says of Jesus, “Because He Himself [in His humanity] has suffered in being tempted (tested and tried), He is able . . . to run to the cry of (assist, relieve) those who are being tempted.”
That passage came alive to Mary because she saw Jesus not only as God, but as her friend—one who knows what it’s like to be tempted and who knows what it is like to suffer. “I knew He died on the cross, but I had not thought of all the pain He went through for me. To realize that He understands my pain and problems was a new thought to me.”
Mary also says that when negative, mean, or ugly thoughts come into her head, she is learning to stop those thoughts. “Jesus wouldn’t talk that way. Jesus wouldn’t be critical and judgmental, so that’s the devil fighting for my mind.”
Mary hasn’t won all the battles, but she has learned to fight the great deceiver. Every time she wins one battle, the next one becomes easier.
God of all power, thank You for giving me the weapons to defeat the lies of the devil. Help me to always make good use of them. Thank You, Jesus, for being my friend and for being with me in my difficulties and struggles. Amen.
From the book Battlefield of the Mind Devotional by Joyce Meyer. Copyright © 2006 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.