Join me in reading Today’s Word with Joel and Victoria Osteen:
A NEW ROUTE
I know people who feel like they’ve wasted years of their lives because of poor choices. They spent years in a relationship that was toxic, years with an addiction, years at a job where they weren’t fulfilled. But you have to realize, nothing you have been through is ever wasted. Your past experiences, good and bad have deposited something on the inside of you. Those challenges have sharpened you to help make you who you are today.
When the enemy brings hardship into your life, God has a way of taking that experience and turning it around for your advantage. You may think you’ve hit a dead end, but if you’ll stay in faith, you will see God begin to open up a new route. He’ll put the right people in your path, the right opportunities, the right circumstances to move you forward toward your God-given destiny.
Today, don’t focus on what’s happened in your past, focus on what God will do in your future. He wants to restore your soul and revive your dreams. Keep believing, keep expecting, keep hoping because God has a new route for your future!
Father God, I come humbly before You today. I give You my past, present and future knowing that You will redeem my life. I release those who have hurt me, I choose forgiveness so I can be free to move forward in the new route You have for me in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Join me in reading Today’s Word with Joel and Victoria Osteen:
FAILURE IS NOT FINAL
Are you down on yourself today because of past mistakes you’ve made or because you’re not where you want to be in life? God knows every poor choice, every difficulty, every wrong turn you may have made, and He’s already planned your comeback! In scripture, Jonah took a detour, so to speak. It took him a little bit longer, but because he called out to God, because he believed, God not only rescued him, but God got him to his final destination.
Friend, know today that failure is not final. God always has the final say. Mistakes don’t have to keep you from your destiny. God’s plan can override every setback. Your world may be in turmoil today in a relationship, in your finances or health. But know this: not only will God rescue you; He will set your feet on a rock and lead you to your final destination in life. Remember, the promise He placed on the inside of you didn’t go away because you had some personal failures. No, that failure is only temporary but His Word remains forever! Keep hoping, keep believing because He will move you into the blessing and victory He has prepared for you!
Father God, thank You for Your hand of victory and blessing that is on my life. Today, I shake off the past, I shake off failure, I shake off poor choices and trust that You are restoring me and leading me into the plan You have for me in Jesus’ name. Amen!
Today I am reading day 334 of Joseph Prince’s Devotional:
Jesus Is Your Restorer And Nourisher
Ruth 4:15 15And may he be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age…
Famine impoverished the life of Naomi, an Israelite. But it was the deaths of her husband and two sons that left her completely destitute. (Ruth 1:1– 5) Or so she thought, until Boaz, who was a wealthy and close relative, entered her life.
As her kinsman-redeemer, Boaz married Ruth, Naomi’s widowed daughter-in-law. And through that union, Naomi had a grandson. The birth of her grandson gave her a new lease of life, causing the womenfolk in her village to declare that the restorer of life and the nourisher of her old age had come into her life. (Ruth 4:14–16)
Boaz is a picture of Jesus, our kinsman-redeemer. Jesus became our kinsman when He was born into this world as one like us. And He became our Redeemer when He paid with His life and blood at the cross to redeem us.
Jesus gave Himself to us as our restorer of life and nourisher of our old age. When the restorer of life is in our lives, what we have lost can be restored. (Joel 2:25_26) And with the nourisher of our old age in us, our bodies can be gloriously renewed even though we advance in our years.
That is why when Moses died at the age of 120, his eyes were not dim and his natural vigor was not diminished. (Deuteronomy 34:7) Caleb, at 85 years old, could still drive out the giants from the land. God had literally nourished his body and made it strong for war. (Joshua 14:11) Sarah was certainly rejuvenated in her old age by God for she was still desirable to a king at the age of 90. (Genesis 20:1–2) God even renewed her womb. She received strength to conceive seed (Hebrews 11:11), giving birth to Isaac in her old age.
Beloved, God is outside of time and your faith in Him brings you into this timeless zone. There, what the years have stolen will be restored. And even as your years increase, you will not grow weak and weary because the restorer of life and nourisher of your old age is in you!
Thought For The Day
With Jesus the nourisher of our old age in us, our bodies can be gloriously renewed even though we advance in our years.
Today I am reading day 318 of Joseph Prince’s Devotional:
Claim Your Restoration!
Acts 3:20–21 20… that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, 21whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things…
As a believer, you have a right to expect restoration of the things that the devil has stolen from you. It may be your health, marriage or finances, but payback time is definitely coming!
Acts 3:20–21 tells us that before Jesus comes back for His church, we will experience “the times of restoration of all things”. What a hope that gives us, knowing that God will restore to us all things before Jesus returns!
My friend, if the devil is attacking you in any area, tell God, “Father, I will not allow the devil to rob me of my health, marriage, children or finances. These blessings are blood-bought and paid for by Your Son!” Claim your restoration in Christ and heaven will hear you.
There will be such times of restoration of all things to the body of Christ that His people will only get better, stronger, healthier, and more successful and glorious! When God restores, even under the old covenant, His people always received much more than what they had originally lost, in terms of quality and/ or quantity. How much more will our restoration be under the new covenant because of the shed blood of the Lamb of God!
A divorcee with a teenage son came to our church and accepted the Lord in May 2003. She began to pray for the restoration of her marriage and the reunion of her family. She knew that the chances of this happening were close to zero since she had not met nor spoken with her ex-husband since their divorce 10 years ago. She did not even know if he had remarried. But God caused their paths to cross at a wedding at the end of 2003. Today, their relationship is healed, and together with their son, they worship as a family in church.
Even though what happened for that sister may not happen for every divorced person (God can give you a better spouse and marriage), I believe that God wants you to know that your times of restoration are here. Heaven is waiting to hear you stake your claim for restoration!
Thought For The Day
You have a right to expect restoration of the things that the devil has stolen from you.
Today I am reading day 307 of Joseph Prince’s Devotional:
When God Ran
Luke 15:22 22“But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet.
If you are a believer, you are probably familiar with the touching story of the prodigal son that Jesus shared. Who do you think the father in the story represents? Jesus’ Father in heaven, of course. Jesus was giving us a picture of His Father, who is also our Father.
In the story, the father was seen running toward his son, who was returning home. (Luke 15:20) Do you realize that God is never described as being in a hurry in the Bible? He is always cool and composed. The only time He is portrayed as being in a hurry is in this story. Though improper in Jewish culture, the father held up his robe and ran. Where was he running to? Why was he in such a hurry?
The father was in a hurry because he had seen his son, who was still a long way from home. He was running toward his son as he could not wait to embrace and kiss his child again.
The father was in a hurry to clothe his son with the best robe. My friend, our Father has put the best robe — the robe of righteousness — on us. In doing so, He has reinstated us as sons of the Most High God, a position that we had lost when Adam fell.
The father was in a hurry to put a ring on his son’s hand. Like the authority that is invested in the signet ring of a rich man’s son, our Father is eager to put back into our hands the authority to invoke His name, so that we can walk in dominion every day.
The father was in a hurry to put sandals on his son’s feet to assure him that he was still his son — only servants went about barefoot. Our Father never wants us to feel like hired servants or outcasts. We are always His sons.
Beloved, if the Father appears to be in a hurry, it is only because He is in a hurry to assure you of your position as His precious child!
Thought For The Day
If the Father appears to be in a hurry, it is only because He is in a hurry to assure you of your position as His precious child!
Today I am reading day 232 of Joseph Prince’s Devotional:
Much Better Than Before
Isaiah 61:7 7Instead of your shame you shall have double honor, and instead of confusion they shall rejoice in their portion. Therefore in their land they shall possess double; everlasting joy shall be theirs.
God says in His Word that you will receive double for your trouble. If the devil has given you one trouble, then for that one trouble you can expect to receive a double-portion blessing! And if that trouble has caused you to experience shame, God’s promise to you is this: “Instead of your shame you shall have double honor”. God wants to give you a double-portion blessing for every trouble you go through!
And don’t think that God is behind your troubles. The devil is the real culprit. Sometimes, it could be the one you see in the mirror every morning! But the moment you respond to God in faith, He gets involved in your restoration. And He does not restore to you the same amount that you have lost. You always get more than before, if not in quantity, then in quality. You will be at a higher place than before. You will be healthier, wiser, financially stronger or more at peace!
This was the case with Job. Satan was behind Job’s troubles, but when Job responded in faith, God took it upon Himself to restore to Job all that he had lost. The Bible tells us that Job received double in terms of quantity — from 7,000 sheep to 14,000 sheep, 3,000 camels to 6,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen to 1,000 yoke of oxen and 500 female donkeys to 1,000 female donkeys. And for the children he had lost, God restored in terms of quality — his daughters were the fairest in all the land. (Job 1:2–3, 13–19; 42:12–15)
If Job, who was not under the new covenant, could be blessed with double for his troubles, how much more we who are under the new covenant! In fact, God will not only restore double but triple, fivefold or even sevenfold! Such was the restoration experienced by one of our pastors, who was cheated of some money. In the end, he received a sevenfold restoration!
My friend, for everything that you have lost, get ready for God’s restoration. Expect to receive double and even more for every trouble!
Thought For The Day
If Job, who was not under the new covenant, could be blessed with double for his troubles, how much more we who are under the new covenant!
Today I am reading day 145 of Joseph Prince’s Devotional:
Double For Your Trouble!
Zechariah 9:12 12Return to the stronghold, you prisoners of hope. Even today I declare that I will restore double to you.
I am sure that you have heard the expression, “When life throws lemons at you, make lemonade!” Well, I want you to know that when the devil throws lemons at you, God Himself will make lemonade for you! After all, the Bible says that God works all things together for your good. (Romans 8:28)
And He does it with style — He restores double for your trouble! Beloved, if you have lost a husband or wife through divorce, or a precious child through death, God can restore double to you, so that you end up having more than before, if not in quantity, then in quality!
Consider Job in the Old Testament. When he lost everything, his wife told him to curse God and die. He refused and, instead, responded to God in faith, and “the Lord gave to Job twice as much as he had before”. (Job 42:10)
When David lost the child he had with Bathsheba, he stopped pleading and started worshiping God because he trusted in the mercies of God. Later, God blessed David and Bathsheba with another son named Solomon, who became the wisest and richest king the world has ever known.
Today, God promises to restore double for your trouble — “Even today I declare that I will restore double to you.” If He declared it, He will do it! So you cannot but have hope that things will be even better than before. That is why in the same verse, He calls you “prisoners of hope”. My friend, hope in the biblical sense means a confident expectation of good things happening in your life. You are a prisoner of that! You can’t help but wake up feeling hopeful. You can’t help but expect good things to happen to you!
So when trouble comes from the devil, don’t give up and say, “It is hopeless!” Don’t worry or get angry. Worship God like David did and see that trouble as an opportunity for God to bless you with more than what you originally had. And because God has declared it, be confident that you will get double for your trouble!
Thought For The Day
Because God has declared it, be confident that you will get double for your trouble!
Today I am reading day 107 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:
Restoring Relationships: Listen First
Proverbs 19:11 A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.
Philippians 2:4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
Psalm 73:21-22 When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you.
The third biblical step toward restoring a relationship is to sympathize with the other person’s feelings.
If you’re going to restore broken relations, you need to use your ears more than your mouth. Before attempting to solve any disagreement you must first listen to the other’s feelings. Paul advised, “Look out for one another’s interests, not just for your own.” (Philippians 2:4 TEV)
The phrase “look out for” is the Greek word skopos, from which we form our words telescope and microscope. It means pay close attention! Focus on their feelings, not the facts. Begin with sympathy, not solutions.
Don’t try to talk people out of how they feel at first. Just listen and let them unload emotionally without being defensive. Nod that you understand even when you don’t agree. Feelings are not always true or logical. In fact, resentment makes us act and think in foolish ways. David admitted, “When my thoughts were bitter and my feelings were hurt, I was as stupid as an animal.” (Psalm 73:21-22 TEV) We all act beastly when hurt.
In contrast, the Bible says, “A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense.” (Proverbs 19:11 NIV) Listening says, “I value your opinion, I care about our relationship, and you matter to me.” The clich_ is true: People don’t care what we know until they know we care.
Today I am reading day 106 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:
Restoring Relationships: Take Initiative
Matthew 5:23-24 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.
To restore a broken relationship, the Bible says you need to take the initiative.
It doesn’t matter whether you are the offender or the offended, God expects you to make the first move. Don’t wait for the other party. Go to them first.
Restoring broken fellowship is so important, Jesus commanded that it even take priority over group worship. He said, “If you enter your place of worship and are about to make an offering, but you suddenly remember a grudge a friend has against you, abandon your offering, leave immediately, go to this friend and make things right. Then and only then, come back and work things out with God.” (Matthew 5:23-24 Msg)
When fellowship is strained or broken, plan a peace conference immediately. Don’t procrastinate, make excuses, or promise, “I’ll get around to it someday.” Schedule a face-to-face meeting as soon as possible. Delay only deepens resentment and makes matters worse.
The success of a peace conference often depends on choosing the right time and place to meet. Don’t meet when of you are tired, rushed or could be interrupted. The best time is when you both are at your best.
Today I am reading day 105 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:
Restoring Relationships: Talk to God
James 4:1-2 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God.
The first biblical step toward restoring a relationship is to talk to God before talking to the person.
If you’ll pray about the conflict first, instead of gossiping to a friend, you’ll often discover that either God changes your heart or he changes the other person without your help.
All your relationships would go smoother if you would just pray more about them. As David did with his Psalms, use prayer to ventilate vertically. Tell God your frustrations. Cry out to him. He’s never surprised or upset by your anger, hurt, insecurity, or any other emotions. So tell him exactly how you feel.
Most conflict is rooted in unmet needs and many of these needs can only be met by God. When you expect anyone – a friend, spouse, another pastor, or family member – to meet a need that only God can fulfill, you are setting yourself up for disappointment and bitterness. No one can meet all of your needs except God.
The apostle James noted that many of our conflicts are caused by prayerlessness: “What causes fights and quarrels among you? You want something but don’t get it. You do not have, because you do not ask God.” (James 4:1-2 NIV)
Instead of looking to God, we look to others to make us happy and then get angry when they fail us. God says, “Why don’t you come to me first?”
Today I am reading day 104 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:
Relationships are Worth Restoring
Philippians 2:1-2 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.
1 Corinthians 6:5 I say this to shame you. Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers?
Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Relationships are always worth restoring.
Life is all about learning how to love, and God wants us to value relationships and make every effort to maintain them instead of discarding them whenever there is a rift, a hurt or a conflict.
The Apostle Paul taught that our ability to get along with others is a mark of spiritual maturity. Since Christ wants his family to be known for our love for each other, broken fellowship is a disgraceful testimony to unbelievers. This is why Paul was so embarrassed that the members of the church in Corinth were splitting into warring factions and even taking each other to court.
He wrote, “Shame on you! Surely there is at least one wise person in your fellowship who can settle a dispute between fellow Christians.” (1 Corinthians 6:5 TEV) He was shocked that no one in the church was mature enough to resolve the conflict.
If you want God’s blessing on your life and you want to be known as a child of God, you must learn to be a peacemaker. Jesus said, “God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.” (Matthew 5:9 NLT)
Notice Jesus didn’t say, “Blessed are the peace lovers,” because everyone loves peace. Neither did he say, “Blessed are the peaceable,” who are never disturbed by anything. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who work for peace” – those who actively seek to resolve conflict.