Today’s Word with Joel & Victoria Osteen Ministries

Today’s Scripture
“…Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk…”
(Acts 3:6, NKJV)
Exceeded Expectations
The crippled beggar was expecting the ordinary from Peter, a few coins, but God showed up and exceeded his expectations. The man didn’t see it coming, but that one moment of favor, that one exceeded expectation changed his whole world. I can hear him saying, “I never dreamed I’d be able to walk or work or be this fulfilled!”

God has some of these “I never dreamed” blessings in store for you. Similar to the crippled man, sometimes we’ve struggled in an area for so long that we’ve gotten comfortable with it. We’re expecting a few coins, something to sustain us, but God is about to do a new thing. You’re believing for the ordinary; God is going to the extraordinary. He’s going to take you where you’ve never been. No more coins, no more dysfunction, no more being stuck in your career. You’re about to come into exceeded expectations. So why don’t you put your faith out there?

A Prayer for Today
“Father, thank You for loving me and having such an amazing plan for my life. Help me to expect the “I never dreamed” blessings You have for me. I believe and declare that You are doing exceedingly abundantly above all that I ask or think. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

Locking Out the Thief of Joy By Bobby Schuller

Originally posted here: https://hourofpower.org/locking-out-the-thief-of-joy/

“But godliness with contentment is great gain.”

– 1 Timothy 6:6

As Teddy Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy,” yet I don’t know about you, but for me, it’s hard to resist the temptation of comparing myself to other people. As someone who is relational and empathic, I tend to idealize the ones I interact with and assume that they have better connections with their spouses, children, or friends than I do. During my growing up years, I felt uncomfortable because my parents were divorced. Though they always did their best to provide stability, I remember how agonizing it was to see families that looked perfect and intact. The truth, however, is that not one of those units was as ideal as I perceived and that those comparative thoughts caused me harm and pain. Because I was constantly contrasting my reality with the fantasy I projected onto other people’s families, I existed in a place of ongoing discontentment.

Friend, if you’re feeling alone and isolated in the world, I encourage you to do whatever it takes to stop comparing yourself to others. Even if it requires a fast from social media, make a habit of reminding yourself that nobody’s life is perfect, and draw on those thoughts whenever you are tempted to covet the existence of another. More importantly, open your heart to Jesus in your times of deepest loneliness. Bring Him your feelings of isolation and allow Him to comfort you in solitude. Embrace His still tender voice, and His boundless and unconditional love will penetrate your heart and mind as He whispers to your spirit that you are more than enough.

Prayer
Jesus, I ask for your help in locking the thief of joy out of my life.

Reflection
Who do you compare yourself to? How does it negatively affect you?

Celebrate the Supernatural By Bobby Schuller

Originally posted here: https://hourofpower.org/celebrate-the-supernatural/

“(The Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, and that there are neither angels nor spirits, but the Pharisees believe all these things.)”

– Acts 23:8

If you grew up around church, you’ve probably heard about the Pharisees and the Sadducees. It’s interesting that these two groups of Jewish religious leaders often get lumped together when we talk in terms of Biblical history, because in reality, they held totally different beliefs; in fact, they hated each other. Though there were multiple sects within their population, the Pharisees held the view that there were angels and demons, that God performed miracles, that there is an eternal spirit within every person, and that the whole Old Testament is the Word of God. The Sadducees, on the other hand, were a wealthy political class of Jewish leaders. They didn’t believe in any of those things, and they only accepted the first five books of the Bible. They were all about making alliances within the Roman government, and they did not profess belief in an afterlife. They were politically religious, and their job was to oversee the temple, which was like the Hebrew’s federal bank. Interestingly, though Jesus spoke sternly to the Pharisees, it was actually the Sadducees who put Him to death, because everything He spoke of contradicted their way of thinking. While they were about building a kingdom on earth, He was about building a Kingdom in Heaven — one that held spiritual treasures in the place of highest value.

Friend, my point in giving you this lesson in Jewish history is to remind you that although it’s not good to be hypocritical like the Pharisees whom Jesus reprimanded, you don’t want to be a Sadducee either. You exist first and foremost in a Heavenly Kingdom and everything around you is a physical representation of a spiritual reality. Yes, it’s important to have influence in the governments of this world, but that influence can only come from the Holy Spirit. Instead of struggling for worldly wealth and power, fight your battles in prayer, store up eternal treasures, and allow the everlasting and Almighty God to work on your behalf to accomplish what could never happen in the flesh!

Prayer
Jesus, help me to embrace the supernatural and increase my understanding of the spiritual world that I live in.

Reflection
Of the two governing Jewish religious groups, whose beliefs do you most identify with — Pharisees or Sadducees? Why?

Today’s Word with Joel & Victoria Osteen Ministries

https://www.joelosteen.com/Pages/Blog.aspx?blogId=14187

Today’s Scripture
“…Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light…”
(James 1:17, MSG)
Be on the Lookout
Just like the sun radiates heat, God radiates goodness. It’s not just what He does; it’s who He is. God’s very nature is good. It’s important that we recognize that every good gift comes to us from our Father in heaven, both large and small.

You need to be on the lookout for God’s goodness. Too many times, God is working in our lives, showing us favor, protecting us, sending us healing, but we don’t recognize His goodness. When something good happens, make sure you give Him the credit and thank Him for it. The question is, are you recognizing it? Look around today. Be more aware. Psalm 34:8 says, “Taste and see that the LORD is good.” If you’re going to taste God’s goodness, you have to realize that every good break, every time you were protected, every door that opened, and every advantage you’ve gotten has been God working in your life. Don’t take it for granted.

A Prayer for Today
“Father, thank You that You are constantly working, constantly showing me Your goodness with every good gift that comes into my life. I want to live today with an attitude of thankfulness and gratefulness. I will not take Your goodness for granted. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

Guardian Angels By Bobby Schuller

Originally posted here: https://hourofpower.org/guardian-angels/

“The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.”

– Psalm 37:4

If you come from a tradition of faith (or have watched “It’s a Wonderful Life”), you have probably heard the term “guardian angel.” When I was growing up, I used to think a lot about this and wonder if there was a specific angel assigned to watch over and protect me. I would even envision him sitting by my bed at night as I slept. Though the Bible doesn’t give an orthodox answer to the question of guardian angels, I’m inclined to believe that it does affirm their existence. Interestingly, the idea of assigned angels doesn’t originate in protestantism or Catholicism, it goes back to ancient Judaism, and it finds its roots in a Jewish worldview. The Isrealites believed that God ascribed to every believer an angel that oversaw them, guided them, ministered to them, and helped enact God’s will in their life. This is why David said in Psalm 37:4 “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.” So whether it’s one specific celestial being or many, there is no doubt that angels are an important part of bringing God’s presence and power to our lives. There are numerous times I have experienced the strength and intervention of something outside of myself, and I believe fully that that’s when His angels were acting on my behalf.

Friend, my point in sharing these thoughts with you is not to draw glory and attention to angels, but rather to encourage you with the truth that Jesus loves you so much that He employs Heavenly hosts to fight for you, protect you, and carry out His amazing plans for your life. Nothing can come against what He has ordained for your future, and even when the battle is raging strong, the victory is already won. His Kingdom has come and His will is being done on earth as He dispatches Heavenly armies to make His presence and power known in and through His people, and that includes you!

Prayer
I am so grateful, Jesus, that you dispatch angels to protect and take care of me. Thanks for loving me so much.

Reflection
When have you felt God’s supernatural presence and power with you? Do you believe it was an angel?

Today’s Word with Joel & Victoria Osteen Ministries

https://www.joelosteen.com/Pages/Blog.aspx?blogid=14186

Today’s Scripture
“So then, take your stand! Fasten truth around your waist like a belt. Put on God’s approval as your breastplate…”
(Ephesians 6:14, GW)
Live Approved
Every morning when you get up, you need to put on God’s approval as your breastplate and say, “Father, thank You that You are pleased with me.” You have to put it on. It’s not going to happen automatically. Thoughts will try to convince you that you don’t deserve God’s blessing, and you’ll start feeling condemned, unworthy, and not expect anything good. You have to put on God’s approval to protect your heart.

Something powerful happens when you say, “I like who I am. I have some faults and failures, but I’m changing and growing. Since God approves me, I approve myself.” When you put on the breastplate of God’s approval, chains of guilt, chains of inferiority, chains of low self-esteem are broken in the unseen realm, and God’s favor is released. God is going to keep making and molding you, and you’re going to break free from things that are holding you back and become everything He’s created you to be.

A Prayer for Today
“Father, thank You that I can put on the breastplate of Your approval to cover my heart because You have made me righteous through Christ Jesus. Thank You that I can feel good about who I am. I believe that You are pleased with me today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

God is Always Near By Bobby Schuller

Originally posted here: https://hourofpower.org/god-is-always-near/

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

– Philippians 4:12,13

God is always near. It’s easy to acknowledge that when we feel like things are going our way and we are enjoying a season of health and prosperity, but what about when we are barely hanging on? Whether we like it or not, the Lord often takes us to the end of our rope, not as a means of punishing us, but as a manner of teaching us that all of our sufficiency is in Him. Stretching is good for us and our Heavenly Father wants us to grow as people. Most importantly, however, He wants us to understand that no season in life, whether feast or famine, happens apart from His Hand. We can’t comprehend our own limitations except to experience His strength when we have come to the end of our own. Then, having internalized His faithfulness, we can ascend once more from the valley to the mountaintop with the knowledge that we are free to be content in any and every circumstance.

My friend, you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength! Even if you are facing insurmountable odds and you don’t see a way out of the wilderness, God is with you. He is near and His Spirit is speaking hope to your soul while His angels tear down strongholds, tend to your safety, and bring redemption to your circumstances. Trust Him today, thank Him for the victory that is yours in Jesus, and look forward to the strength He is forging in your soul through this time of testing!

Prayer
I claim victory in you, Jesus, even though I don’t yet see it with my eyes. I know that you are ever near me.

Reflection
What obstacles are you facing right now? How can you embrace the strength Jesus is building in your soul through this time of testing?