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5/6/15 3:23 A

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Develop Your Gift

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE
“Do not neglect your gift...”
(1 Timothy 4:14, NIV)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria
You were created and designed for a specific purpose. God has placed gifts inside of you to equip you to fulfill your purpose. Do you know what those gifts are? What are you passionate about? What can you do better than other people? What would you choose to do if there were no obstacles? God wants you to develop and pursue the gift inside of you because your gift is a part of your destiny.

The gifts God gives aren’t just for us. He gives us gifts to help build other people. You have a specific role to play in the body of Christ. That doesn’t mean God’s going to send you to a third world country or make you preach. But, there are people all around you that only you can reach. Are you using your gifts to build the kingdom? Are you serving in your local church? Even if you are still discovering what your gifts are, you can simply take a step and volunteer. Everyone has something to give. You can give a smile, a handshake or an encouraging word. When you step out and serve others, that’s how you develop your gift and move forward in the destiny He has for you!


A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, thank You for equipping me to fulfill my destiny. Thank You for walking with me and guiding me. Show me ways to develop the gifts You have given me so that I can be a blessing everywhere I go in Jesus’ name. Amen.
— Joel & Victoria Osteen


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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5/5/15 11:47 A

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God Never Changes

by Max Lucado • May 5

Though he creates, God was never created. Though he makes, he was never made. Though he causes, he was never caused. Hence the proclamation in Psalm 90:2, “Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting, you are God.”

God—an unchanging God, an uncaused God, and an ungoverned God. You and I are governed. The weather determines what we wear. The terrain tells us how to travel. We may challenge these forces and alter them slightly, but we never remove them. God, our Shepherd, doesn’t check the weather; he makes it. He doesn’t defy gravity; he created it. Unchanging. Uncaused. Ungoverned. These are only a fraction of God’s qualities, but aren’t they enough to give you a glimpse of your Father? Don’t we need this kind of shepherd? Don’t we need an unchanging shepherd?

From Traveling Light

IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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5/4/15 5:41 P

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God Will Lighten Your Load

by Max Lucado • May 4

If we let him, God will lighten our loads. Why don’t you try traveling light? Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Try it! Try it for the sake of those you love. How do you embrace someone if your arms are full of bags? For the sake of those you love, learn to set them down.

And for the sake of the God you serve, do the same. God has a great race for you to run. But you have to drop some stuff. How can you share grace if you’re full of guilt? How can you offer comfort if you’re disheartened? God is saying, “Set it down, child. I’ll carry that one.” What do you say we take God up on his wonderful offer? We just might find ourselves traveling a little lighter.

From Traveling Light

IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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5/3/15 4:50 P

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He Restores Your Soul

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE
“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul...”
(Psalm 23:1–3, ESV)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria
God wants to restore your soul today. Your soul is your mind, your will and your emotions. You are a three-part being: you are a spirit — that’s the part of you that lives for eternity, you have a soul, and you live in a body while you’re here on earth.

Your soul is where you may store hurt, disappointments or brokenness from the past. But when God restores your soul, He brings His healing power in to those broken places. When God restores you, He makes you better off than you were before. He makes you stronger, more alive, more loving — complete!

I love the picture that is painted in this verse. Notice that He leads us beside still waters. He makes us lie down in green pastures. This is a picture of rest. When we are resting in Him, He is able to do a work in our lives. He is able to bring that restoration. Don’t let the busyness of life keep you going so fast that you don’t stop and rest. Take time to be still before the Lord and let Him restore your soul.


A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, thank You for leading me into a place of rest. Today I surrender my brokenness to You and open my heart to receive Your healing. Restore my soul in Jesus’ name. Amen.
— Joel & Victoria Osteen


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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5/2/15 12:23 P

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Bring Out the Best

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE
“...love is kind...”
(1 Corinthians 13:4, NIV)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria
One translation of today’s verse says, “Love looks for a way to be constructive.” In other words, love looks for ways to improve someone else’s life. Love brings out the best in other people. Don’t just get up in the morning thinking about yourself or how you can make your own life better. Think about how you can make someone else’s life better. Ask yourself, “Who can I encourage today?” “Who can I build up?” Someone in your life needs your encouragement. Someone in your life needs to know that you believe in them. I believe God will hold us responsible for the people He’s put in our lives. He’s counting on us to bring out the best in our family and friends.

Are you improving the lives of those around you? Are you giving them confidence? Ask the Lord to give you creative ways to invest in those around you. As you sow seeds of encouragement and bring out the best in others, God will send people along your path that will build you up, too and help you move forward into the blessing He has in store for you!


A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, thank You for loving me. Thank You for believing in me and always building me up. I ask that You show me creative ways to encourage and build up the people around me. Help me to be an example of Your love today and always in Jesus’ name. Amen.
— Joel & Victoria Osteen


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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5/1/15 11:38 A

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Letting God’s Spirit Lead

by Max Lucado • May 1

In Acts 8:26-27, an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go to that chariot of the Ethiopian and stay near it. So Philip ran toward the chariot.” The two have a Bible study in the chariot. It’s so convincing that the Ethiopian is baptized that day. Philip teaches, the Ethiopian obeys, and the gospel is sent to Africa.

Romans 8:14 says, “the true children of God are those who let God’s Spirit lead them.” You invite a couple over for coffee. Nothing heroic. Just a nice evening with friends. But from the moment they enter, you feel led to inquire, you feel a concern that won’t be silent. So you ask. You catch a glimpse of what it means to be led by the Spirit. Has it occurred to you? You have the same Spirit working within you that Philip did! Think about that.

From When God Whispers Your Name

IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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4/30/15 4:56 P

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A Trashy World

by Max Lucado • April 30

We live in a trashy world. Unwanted garbage comes our way on a regular basis. Haven’t you been handed a trash sack of mishaps and heartaches? Surely you have. What are you going to do with it?

You have several options. You could take the trash bag and cram it under your coat and pretend it isn’t there. But you and I know you won’t fool anyone. Besides, sooner or later it’ll start to stink. Or you could disguise it. Paint it green, put it on the front lawn and tell everyone it’s a tree. Again, no one will be fooled. So what will you do?

If you follow the example of Christ, you’ll learn to see tough times differently. God loves you the way you are, but he refuses to leave you that way. He wants you to have a hope-filled heart—just like Jesus!


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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4/29/15 7:11 P

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Guarding Our Hearts

by Max Lucado • April 29

For most of us, thought management is, well, un-thought of! We think much about time management, weight management, personnel management. But what about thought management? Shouldn’t we be as concerned about managing our thoughts as we are managing anything else?

Jesus was. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life.” Jesus guarded his heart. If he did, shouldn’t we do the same? When Peter was about to question the necessity of Calvary, Christ blocked the doorway. Jesus says in Matthew 16:23, Peter, get out of my way. Satan, get lost. You have no idea how God works.

Jesus wants you to have a heart like his. That is God’s goal for you. He wants you to think and act like Christ Jesus. But how? We can be transformed if we make one decision…submit our thoughts to the authority of Jesus!

From Just Like Jesus

IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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4/28/15 1:50 P

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No Deception

by Max Lucado • April 28

A woman stands before judge and jury, one hand on the Bible, the other in the air, and makes a pledge: to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. She’s a witness. Her job is to tell the truth.

The Christian, too, is a witness. We, too, make a pledge to tell the truth. The bench may be absent, the judge unseen, but the Bible is present, the watching world the jury, and we’re the primary witnesses—subpoenaed by no less than Jesus himself in Acts 1:8. “You will be my witnesses, in all of Judea, in Samaria, and in every part of the world.”

The witness in court eventually steps down from the witness chair, but the witness for Christ never does. The claims of Christ are always on trial, and we remain under oath!

From Just Like Jesus

IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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4/27/15 4:24 P

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Bring Focus to Your Life

by Max Lucado • April 27

Want to bring focus to your life? Do what Jesus did. Go home, love your family, and take care of business! Your first mission field is under your roof. What makes you think they’ll believe you overseas if they don’t believe you across the hall?

But Max, I’m ready to do great things for God. Good, do them at work. Be a good employee. Show up on time with a good attitude. Don’t complain or grumble. Do as Colossians 3:23 says, “Work as if you were doing it for the Lord, not for people.”

Why don’t you take a few moments and evaluate your direction? Ask yourself, “Am I serving God now?” Regardless of what has controlled you in the past—it’s never too late to get your life on course!

From Just Like Jesus

IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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4/26/15 7:48 P

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A Door of Opportunity

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE
“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”
(Colossians 3:2, NIV)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria
God is ready to present you with new opportunities! He wants to open new doors before you. It doesn’t matter what’s happening in the world around you, God’s Word remains true!

In an instant, God can bring the right people into your life, the right opportunities, and the right resources to take you to a whole new level. But in order to go to a higher level, you have to have a higher way of thinking. You can’t allow worry and fear to fill your thoughts because fear actually blocks the door of God’s blessing. Instead, fill your mind with the Word of God. Let His truth empower you because His ways are always higher than our ways, and even now He is working behind the scenes on your behalf to open a door of opportunity!


A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, thank You for opening doors for me that no one can close! I believe that You are faithful, and You are a rewarder of those who seek after You. Fill me with Your peace and joy today as I seek You and look for the door of opportunity in Jesus’ name. Amen.
— Joel & Victoria Osteen



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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4/25/15 1:48 P

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On Target

by Max Lucado • April 24

Jesus had no money, no computers, no jets, no administrative assistants or staff; yet Jesus did what many of us fail to do. He kept his life on course. He could have been a political revolutionary. He could have been content with being a teacher or a physician and heal bodies. But in the end he chose to be a Savior and save souls. Luke 19:10 says, “The Son of Man came to find lost people and save them.” “He did not come to be served, but to give his life as a ransom for many people.” (Mark 10:45)

The heart of Christ was relentlessly focused on one task—the cross of Calvary. He was so focused that his final words were, “It is finished!” Wouldn’t you love to look back on your life and know you had done what you were called to do?

From Just Like Jesus

IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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4/24/15 10:45 A

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When God Smiles

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE
“They did not conquer by their own strength and skill, but by your mighty power and because you smiled upon them and favored them.”
(Psalm 44:3, TLB)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria
Do you need supernatural strength to conquer something in your life today? Maybe you need strength on your job or to overcome an addiction. Maybe you need strength to deal with a difficult person in your life. No matter what you may be facing, God has supernatural strength for you in every situation!

It’s interesting that this verse says they conquered “because God smiled upon them and favored them.” When God smiles on you, He is empowering you. Did you know that simply calling on God causes Him to smile? It pleases Him when you come to Him. When you surrender yourself to Him, that’s when you receive His favor and strength.

Today, know that God loves to show Himself strong on your behalf. Turn to Him, call on Him and surrender every area of your life to Him. Let Him fill you with His joy and supernatural strength to overcome in every area of your life!


A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, thank You for smiling on me today. Show me Your favor so I can walk in Your strength today. Thank You for equipping me with everything I need to live as an overcomer. I bless You and honor You in everything I do in Jesus’ name. Amen.
— Joel & Victoria Osteen


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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4/23/15 6:58 P

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Be a Prisoner of Hope

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE
“Return to the stronghold, you prisoners of hope. Even today I declare that I will restore double to you.”
(Zechariah 9:12, NKJV)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria
Are you in an emotional prison today? You may not have thought about it that way, but if you are holding unforgiveness or bitterness toward someone who has wronged you — whether it was five, ten or thirty years ago — that is an emotional prison. God’s Word promises that if you’ll step out of that prison and become a prisoner of hope, He will restore back to you double for your trouble! That means if someone wrongs you, instead of getting negative and bitter, your attitude should be, “They just did me a favor. They just qualified me for double!” That’s the attitude of a prisoner of hope. Lock into the attitude of victory that says, “I will not be defeated! It may look impossible, but I know God can do the impossible. They may have treated me wrongly, but I’m not worried. I know God is my vindicator. It may be taking a long time, but in due season, I know I will reap if I just don’t give up.” Stay strong and in the place of hope knowing that you will come out with double for your trouble!


A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, today I choose to release those who have wronged me. I know You are my vindicator. You are my redeemer. Today I choose to be a prisoner of hope. Thank You for giving back double for my trouble in Jesus’ name. Amen.
— Joel & Victoria Osteen


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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4/22/15 3:05 P

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A Big View of God

by Max Lucado • April 22

Exactly what is worship? I like King David’s definition in Psalm 34:3, “O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.” Worship is the act of magnifying God, enlarging our vision of him, and observing how he works.

Of course his size doesn’t change, but our perception of him does. As we draw nearer, he seems larger. Isn’t that what we need? A big view of God? Don’t we have big problems, big worries, and big questions? Of course we do. Hence, we need a big view of God. Worship offers that. How can we sing, “Holy, Holy, Holy” and not have our vision expanded? How can we sing these words and not have our countenance illuminated? A vibrant, shining face is the mark of one who has stood in God’s presence. God is in the business of changing the face of the world! Let him begin with yours!

From Just Like Jesus

IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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4/21/15 3:46 P

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Potential Time with God

by Max Lucado • April 21

Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.” Imagine considering every moment as a potential time of communion with God. Try being silent with God.

By the time your life is over, you’ll have spent six months at stoplights, eight months opening junk mail, a year and a half looking for lost stuff (double that in my case), and a whopping five years standing in various lines.

Why don’t you give these moments to God? By giving God your whispering thoughts, the common becomes uncommon. Simple phrases such as “Thank you, Father”…“Be sovereign in this hour, O Lord”… “You are my resting place, Jesus”…can turn a commute into a pilgrimage. You don’t have to leave your office or your kitchen. Just pray where you are. Let the kitchen become a cathedral or the classroom a chapel. Give God your whispering thoughts.

From Just Like Jesus


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Troubles Won’t Last

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE
“Our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!”
(2 Corinthians 4:17, NLT)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria
In this life, God warns that we will have trials and tribulations. The good news is that He also promises to deliver us from them all! Now, He doesn’t necessarily say that He will deliver us instantly, or the way we expect, or on our schedule. It can be tempting to get discouraged when things don’t happen the way you expect. But when you feel like trouble is surrounding you, that’s when you have to dig your heels in and say, “I’m not giving up because God promised me victory!”

If you are going through a dark time today, keep moving through it! Remember, it’s always darkest just before the dawn appears. That difficulty didn’t come to stay, it came to pass. Your job is to stay in faith and keep praising and thanking Him for delivering you. Set your hope in Him, stir up your faith, and keep believing because soon you will see the victory God has prepared for you!


A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, thank You for giving me the strength to overcome every obstacle I face in life. I set my mind on You. I set my hope on Your love knowing that You are paving the way to victory all the days of my life in Jesus’ name! Amen.
— Joel & Victoria Osteen


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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What is Faith?

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”
(Hebrews 11:1, NIV)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria
Faith is more than a feeling. Faith is a confidence that comes from knowing God and His promises. When you know a person well, and you know they always keep their word, and they tell you they are coming to your house at 6:00pm, then you have faith that they will come to your house at 6:00pm. You aren’t going to call them at 5:30pm and ask if they are still coming. No, you trust that they are faithful to do what they said.

Faith in God works the same way. When we know God’s character and His promises, faith begins to grow. That’s why Romans says that faith comes by hearing the Word of God. That’s how we get to know Him.

Today, I encourage you to build your faith by spending time in God’s Word. Get to know Him and His plans that are for your good. Let faith rise up in your heart and bring to pass all that you’ve been hoping for!


A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, thank You for confident hope and assurance found in You. Show me Your ways as I study Your Word. Let faith rise in my heart as I seek You first in all that I do in Jesus’ name. Amen.
— Joel & Victoria Osteen


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Led by an Unseen Hand

by Max Lucado • April 17

For years I viewed God as a compassionate CEO and my role as a loyal sales representative. He encouraged me, rallied behind me, and supported me, but he didn’t go with me. At least I didn’t think he did. Then I read 2 Corinthians 6:1, “…we are God’s fellow workers.” Fellow workers? Co-laborers? God and I work together? Imagine the paradigm shift this truth creates. Rather than report to God, we work with God. We are always in the presence of God; there’s never a non-sacred moment.

Our awareness of his presence may falter, but the reality of his presence never changes. What if our daily communion never ceased? Would it be possible to live—minute by minute—in the presence of God? Is such a goal realistic? Within reach? If we are to be just like Jesus, you and I will strive for constant fellowship with God!

From Just Like Jesus

IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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How to Move On

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE
“But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions.”
(Mark 11:26, NASB)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria
God never promised that life would always be fair. In fact, He warns us of just the opposite! People aren’t perfect; we all make mistakes and bad decisions. You may have been hurt by others in the past, but what’s most important is how you choose to deal with that hurt.

When you harbor hurts and offenses, it keeps you stuck in the past. It only causes harm in your life. If you want to move forward in joy and peace, you have to choose forgiveness.

Yes, forgiveness is a choice, and it has nothing to do with the person who hurt you. Forgiveness is the choice to hand your hurts over to God and let Him make up the difference. When we choose to extend forgiveness, that’s when we choose to receive His forgiveness! Today, choose God’s way, choose forgiveness, and choose to move forward in the blessing and victory He has prepared for you!


A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, thank You for the gift of forgiveness. Today I open my heart and mind to You. I ask that You help me understand Your truth about forgiveness so that I can be set free. I love You and bless You today in Jesus’ name! Amen.
— Joel & Victoria Osteen


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Surrogate Spirituality

by Max Lucado • April 16

Some of us have tried to have a daily quiet time and have not been successful. Others of us have a hard time concentrating. And all of us are busy. So rather than spending time with God, listening for his voice, we’ll let others spend time with him and then benefit from their experience. Let them tell us what God is saying. After all, isn’t that why we pay preachers? Isn’t that why we read Christian books?

If that’s your approach, I’d like to challenge you with this thought: Do you do that with other parts of your life? I don’t think so. You don’t let someone eat on your behalf, do you? Do others take vacations as your surrogate? Listening to God is a firsthand experience. When he asks for your attention, God doesn’t want you to send a substitute. He wants you!

From Just Like Jesus

IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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THIS MADE ME CRY IF YOU READ MY BLOG ON COMPUTER YOU WILL FIND OUT WHY I COULDN'T SLEEP LAST NIGHT.

Sweet Sleep

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE
“In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.”
(Psalm 4:8, ESV)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria
God promises to give blessings to His beloved in sleep! He wants you to rest securely in Him and be rejuvenated nightly in your mind and body.

Sleep is so important not only to our physical health, but also our spiritual well being. When we are well rested, we are better able to handle the things that come our way. It’s easier to keep our hearts and minds in the right place so we can stand stronger and make better decisions.

If you haven’t been sleeping well lately, ask God to show you what you need to do to get back on track. Do you have cares you need to cast on Him? Are you worrying instead of worshiping? Has a spirit of fear crept in? Do you need to make better decisions about what time to go to bed? Remember, God wants you to be rested. He wants you to be rejuvenated and revived so that you can be your best for Him!


A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, thank You for giving me the gift of sweet sleep. Help me to cast my cares on You and make it a priority to stay well rested so I can live the life You have designed for me in Jesus’ name! Amen.
— Joel & Victoria Osteen


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Ears to Hear

by Max Lucado • April 14

“Let he who has ears to hear, use them.” Jesus said these words more than once. We’re reminded that it’s not just enough to have ears—it’s necessary to use them.

Scripture has always placed a premium on hearing God’s voice. “Happy are those who listen to me” is the promise of Proverbs 8:34. When John wrote to each of the seven churches in Revelation, they were addressed in the same manner: “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” John 10:3-5 says, “The sheep recognize his voice…” They follow because they are familiar with the shepherd’s voice.

Our ears, unlike our eyes, do not have lids. They are to remain open, but how easily they close. Romans 10:17 says, “Faith comes from hearing.” How long has it been since you had your hearing checked?

From Just Like Jesus

IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Just Listen

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE
“And after the earthquake, there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire, there was the sound of a gentle whisper.”
(1 Kings 19:12, TLB)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria
Do you ever find that when people are talking, your mind is racing so fast thinking about what you are going to say instead of really listening?

In scripture, we see God’s voice is not the loudest one out there. Many voices of the world are vying for your attention. You have to be intentional in order to hear His voice. His voice is still and quiet, and so we must be still and quiet in order to hear Him.

Make hearing His voice a priority in your life. Set aside time each day to just listen. Develop a hearing heart so that you can know His voice and understand His ways.


A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, give me the wisdom and discernment to hear Your still, small voice through the loudness of this world. Today I come to You, and I choose to be still and quiet and just listen. Thank You for speaking to me as I wait patiently on You in Jesus’ name. Amen.
— Joel & Victoria Osteen


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Your Heart, His Home

by Max Lucado • April 12
The crowning attribute of Christ was this: his heart was spiritual. His thoughts reflected his intimate relationship with the Father. Our hearts seem so far from his. He is pure; we’re greedy. He is peaceful; we’re hassled. He is purposeful; we’re distracted. He is pleasant; we’re cranky. The distance between our hearts and his seems so immense! How could we ever hope to have the heart of Jesus?

Ready for a surprise? You already do. One of the supreme yet unrealized promises of God is simply this: if you’ve given your life to Jesus, Jesus has given himself to you. He has made your heart his home. It would be hard to say it any more succinctly than Paul does in Galatians 2:20, “Christ lives in me.”

God is willing to change us into the likeness of the Savior. Shall we accept his offer?

From Just Like Jesus

IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Embrace Your Season

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE
“The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, which shines ever brighter until the full light of day.”
(Proverbs 4:18, NLT)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria
God has ordained seasons in your life. It’s easy to get frustrated when our dreams aren’t coming to pass on our timetable. When that happens, we have to submit our plans to Him and trust that He has a better plan. Understand that in God’s kingdom, every season is not harvest. There are plowing seasons. There are planting seasons. There are watering seasons. And sure, we would love for every season to be a time of increase, but without the other seasons, we wouldn’t be prepared. It’s during the plowing seasons when God’s bringing issues to light that we need to deal with. He’s getting us prepared for promotion. If you’re not making as much progress as you would like, the key is to not lose any ground. Don’t go backwards. Hold your position by keeping an attitude of faith and expectancy, even when it’s hard. Keep plowing by speaking the Word daily. As you do, you’ll pass the test, and God promises your due season is coming!


A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father in heaven, thank You for Your faithfulness in all seasons of my life. I trust that my time is coming, and I choose to remain faithful. I submit my ways to You today and trust that You have the best plan for my life. I love You and praise Your name today in Jesus name. Amen.
— Joel & Victoria Osteen


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Brighter Days Ahead

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE
“The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, which shines ever brighter until the full light of day.”
(Proverbs 4:18, NLT)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria
Are you facing a situation that seems dim today? Maybe you can’t quite see what’s going to happen in the future. As a believer, God promises that your path will shine brighter and brighter as you seek Him. He promises that the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn shining brighter to the full day!

What does it mean to be righteous? Righteousness is simply being in “right standing” with God. Being in “right standing” with God is about surrendering your life to Him. It’s about obeying His commands and seeking His plan for your life on a daily basis.

No matter what you may be facing today, know that God has a bright future for you. He wants to show you His ways and lead you down a bright path! Seek Him in all things and trust that you have brighter days ahead!


A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, thank You for giving me a bright future. I know that You have a wonderful plan and purpose for me. Show me Your ways as I put You first in all things in Jesus’ name. Amen.
— Joel & Victoria Osteen


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Who Says We Can’t Change?

by Max Lucado • April 8

Here’s some good news. You aren’t stuck with today’s personality. You aren’t condemned to “grumpydom.” You are tweak-able! So what if you were born a bigot? You don’t have to die one.

Where did we get the idea we can’t change? Where do statements come from such as, “It’s just my nature to worry,” or. . . “I’ll always be pessimistic. I’m just that way.” Or, “I have a bad temper. I can’t help the way I react?” Who says? Would we say, “it’s just my nature to have a broken leg. I can’t do anything about it.” Of course not. If our body malfunctions, we seek help. Shouldn’t we do the same with our hearts? Can’t we seek aid for our sour attitudes? Of course we can. Jesus can change our hearts! He wants us to have a heart like his!

From Just Like Jesus

IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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HYMN
It Is Well With My Soul Lyrics
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.



IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Just the Way You Are

by Max Lucado • April 7

Don’t confuse God’s love with the love of people. That kind of love often increases with performances and decreases with mistakes. When my daughter was a toddler, she loved going to the park and playing in the sandbox. And often I’d give her an ice-cream treat. One day as I turned to do that, I saw her mouth was full of sand. Where I intended to put a delicacy, she had put dirt. Did I love her with dirt in her mouth? Absolutely. Was I going to allow her to keep the dirt in her mouth? No way. I loved her right where she was, but I refused to leave her there.

God does the same for us. “Spit the dirt out, honey,” our Father urges. I’ve got something better for you.” Jesus wants to give us a heart like his. Can you imagine a better offer?

From Just Like Jesus

IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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A Heart Like His

by Max Lucado • April 6

What if, for one day, Jesus were to become you? His priorities would be governing your actions. His love would be directing your behavior. Would people notice a change? How about your enemies? Would they receive more mercy? Keep working on this for a moment. Adjust the lens of your imagination until you have a clear picture of Jesus leading your life—then snap the shutter and frame the image. What you see is what God wants. Nothing short of a new heart. In Philippians 2:5 it says, to “think and act like Christ Jesus.” He wants you to have a heart like His.

I’m going to risk something here. It’s dangerous to sum up grand truths in one statement, but I’m going to try. God loves you just the way you are, but he refuses to leave you that way. He wants you to be just like Jesus!

From Just Like Jesus

IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Celebrate New Beginnings!

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE
“He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.”
(Matthew 28:6, NIV)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria
Jesus is Risen! That’s a reason to celebrate today and every day! Because He is risen, we can rise up, too. We can have victory over sin and death and embrace eternal life and abundant life!

Jesus’ resurrection represents a new beginning for all of mankind. When we receive Him as Lord and Savior, believing He died for our sins and was raised from the dead, that’s when life begins!

Today, know that God loves you and receives you just the way you are. If you need a new beginning, there’s no better time than right now. Call on Him, receive Him by faith and join with us to celebrate resurrection!


A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, today I receive a new beginning in my life. Thank You for sending your Son, Jesus to die on the cross and be raised from the dead so that I can have eternal life in Jesus’ name — Amen.
— Joel & Victoria Osteen


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Rise Up Today

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE
“I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”
(Romans 9:17, NIV)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria
Easter is a wonderful time to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ — that glorious event that changed history over 2,000 years ago. But, did you know that God is still in the resurrection business today? When you receive Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you become born again. Your spirit is resurrected so you that you can have a personal relationship with God.

Not only does He want to resurrect your spirit, He wants to resurrect your dreams, your hopes, your relationships and every area of your life! Today, call on Him and allow Him to display His resurrection power through you!

We love you and rejoice with you as we celebrate the resurrected life of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!


A PRAYER FOR TODAY
God, today I surrender every area of my life to Your resurrection power. I want to be born again into a new life with You! Help me to let go of my old ways and embrace the life You have for me! Thank You for sending Your Son so that I might have life in You! In Jesus’ name. Amen.
— Joel & Victoria Osteen


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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An Anchor for Your Soul

by Max Lucado • April 3

Six hours, one Friday. To the casual observer the six hours are mundane. But to a handful of awestruck witnesses, the most maddening of miracles is occurring. God is on a cross. The Creator of the universe is being executed!

It is no normal six hours; it is no normal Friday. His own friends ran for cover. And now his own father is beginning to turn his back on him, leaving him alone. What do you do with that day in history? If God did commandeer his own crucifixion. . .if he did turn his back on his own son. . .if he did storm Satan’s gate, then those six hours that Friday were packed with tragic triumph. If that was God on that cross, then the hill called Skull is granite studded with stakes to which you can anchor your soul forever!

From On Calvary’s Hill

IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Calvary

by Max Lucado • April 2

Come with me to the hill of Calvary. Watch as the soldiers shove the carpenter to the ground and stretch his arms against the beams. Jesus turns his face toward the nail just as the soldier lifts his hammer to strike it!

Couldn’t Jesus have stopped him? With a flex of bicep, a clench of the fist, he could’ve resisted. But the moment isn’t aborted. Why? Why didn’t Jesus resist? As the soldier pressed his arm, Jesus saw a nail—yes. The soldier’s hand—yes. But he saw something else. A long list of our lusts and lies and greedy moments and prodigal years. A list of our sins. He knew the price of those sins was death. He knew the source of those sins was you. And he couldn’t bear the thought of eternity without you. He chose the nails!

From On Calvary’s Hill

IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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I Will Be With You

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE
“When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown!”
(Isaiah 43:2, TLB)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria
We all go through difficult times in life. Maybe a loved one let you down. Maybe you didn’t get the job or promotion you wanted. Maybe you’re having a challenge in your health. Sometimes it can feel like a raging river of emotion inside, but God promises that He is with you. He won’t let you down. He still calms the storms that rage around you!

What did the disciples do when they were in a great storm in Mark 4? They called on Jesus! They turned to Him when they didn’t know what to do, and He brought peace to their circumstances. Today, if you are going through circumstances you don’t understand, know that it’s no surprise to God. He’s already prepared a way of escape for you. Call on Jesus, today! He’s closer than the air you breath! He loves you with an everlasting love, and He promises that He is always with you!


A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, thank You for being with me in the storms of life. I choose to trust You even when I don’t understand. I choose to call on You knowing that You can bring peace to the storms in my life in Jesus’ name. Amen.
— Joel & Victoria Osteen


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Don’t Be Afraid to
be Different

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE
“Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul.”
(1 Peter 2:11, NIV)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria
When you become a follower of Christ, your life becomes different. Everything about you becomes different. When we follow God’s commands, it means we do things differently from others. It means, instead of being offended, we choose love. Instead of insisting on our way, we serve others. It means, instead of trying to be right all the time, we build and lift others up.

This isn’t the way most people in the world act but that’s okay. We are called to be different. We are called to rise higher. We are called to be examples of God’s grace, mercy and forgiveness. It may not make sense to others but that’s okay. God will promote you to a new level of blessing and victory when you commit yourself fully to Him. Don’t live a life of mediocrity, live a life of excellence for God. Life a life pleasing to Him and don’t be afraid to be different!


A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, thank You for transforming me into Your image. I know that I am not like the world, I am set apart for You. Help me to love like You and be a light everywhere I go. In Jesus’ Name. Amen!
— Joel & Victoria Osteen


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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A Balanced Workout

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE
“For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. ”
(1 Timothy 4:8, NIV)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria
Scripture talks about the value of getting both physical exercise and spiritual exercise. Yes, our spiritual development will last into eternity but our physical development helps us to be more effective while we are here on earth. We have to take care of our whole person in order to live balanced life and reach our full potential.

Remember, our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. Are you making time to take care of your temple? Sometimes we make a bigger deal about getting exercise than we need to. You don’t have to get a gym membership or work out for a long time to have benefit. Just start somewhere. Start walking in your neighborhood. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park a little further away from the grocery store. Do whatever you can do to stay active because exercising spiritually and physically is what makes a balanced workout!


A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, I declare today that I am committed to be my best spiritually and physically. I desire to honor you with my whole being. Help me to make good decisions for myself and for my loved ones and be an effective example everywhere I go. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
— Joel & Victoria Osteen


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Far From Christ

by Max Lucado • March 30

Imagine the scene at the cross. Soldiers huddled in a circle, dice-throwing—casting lots for the possessions of Christ. Common soldiers witnessing the world’s most uncommon event. To them he is just another criminal; the cross is forgotten.

It makes me think of us. The religious. Those who claim heritage at the cross. All of us. The strict…the loose…the simple…spirit-filled…evangelical. All of us! We’re not so unlike these soldiers. We too, play games at the foot of the cross. We compete for members. We scramble for status. Competition. Selfishness. Personal gain. It’s all there. We major in the trivial, we split into little huddles. Another name. Another doctrine. So close to the cross but so far from the Christ. “May they all be one,” Jesus prayed. One. Not one in groups of two thousand. One church. One faith. One Lord. No hierarchies. No traditions. Just Christ.

From On Calvary’s Hill

IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Be Delighted

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE
“Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
(Psalm 37:4, ESV)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria
Have you ever noticed that people will go to great lengths to do things that make them happy? They will work hard towards their goals or achieving a desired result. They delight themselves in their accomplishments. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying your work but God wants us to delight ourselves in Him. He wants us to find joy in serving Him.

That word “delight” actually means “to make soft and pliable.” It gives the picture of clay in the hands of the Potter. God wants us to be flexible with Him and allow Him to mold us and make us into His image. That’s when He can use You and that’s when He will give you the desires of your heart!


A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, thank You for your many promises and blessings. I yield myself to You, I delight myself in You and thank You for giving me the desires of my heart. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
— Joel & Victoria Osteen


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Pleasant Words

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE
“Pleasant words are as honeycomb, sweet to the mind and healing to the body.”
(Proverbs 16:24, AMP)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria
Are you speaking pleasant words? In other words, are you looking for good and kind things to say about yourself and others? The Bible tells us that pleasant words are healing to the body. They can bring healing physically, spiritually, and emotionally. When you speak words of life and encouragement, it’s like sowing seed for your own healing.

Today and every day, choose your words carefully. Sow good, pleasant seeds and reap the sweet harvest of healing God has prepared for you!


A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, thank You for Your Word which is truth that sets me free. I choose to speak pleasant words of life to others so I can experience life and healing in return. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
— Joel & Victoria Osteen


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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He is Strong in You

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE
“That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
(2 Corinthians 12:10, NIV)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria
We all have seasons in life when we feel overwhelmed. When unexpected things happen, we can be tempted to get discouraged. We may feel like we don’t have what it takes, or we may feel weak. Anytime you feel this way, you have to realize that feelings aren’t facts. The truth of the matter is that God has equipped you and He already has a plan for you to come out of that difficulty. Scripture says, when you feel week, that’s when God’s strength rises in you. His strength will overcome any opposition you may face.

Remember, anytime you feel week, that’s when God is strong on You! Keep praying, keep believing, keep pressing forward and rise up in the victory He has in store for you!


A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, thank You for giving me Your strength for any adversity I face in this life. I know that with You, I will overcome. Help me to keep my heart and mind focused on You as I move forward in victory. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
— Joel & Victoria Osteen


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Father, Forgive Them

by Max Lucado • March 27

Of all the scenes around the cross, the one that angers me most is when those in the crowds said, “Let this Messiah, the King of Israel, come down from the cross, that we may see and believe” (Matthew 27:42). There’s nothing more painful than words meant to hurt.

1 Peter 2:23 tells us that “Jesus entrusted himself to him who judges justly.” He simply left the judging to God. “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing,” he said. They were a crazy mob, mad at something they couldn’t see so they took it out on, of all people, God. Yet, Jesus died for them. How could he do it? I don’t know. Sometimes I wonder if we don’t see Jesus’ love as much in the people he tolerated, as in the pain he endured. Such amazing grace!

From On Calvary’s Hill

IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Simon Carries Jesus’ Cross

by Max Lucado • March 26

Four soldiers. One criminal. One cross. Simon, a farmer, stands among the crowd and can’t see the man’s face, only a head wreathed with thorny branches. Jesus stops in front of Simon and heaves for air, the beam rubbing against an already-raw back.

“His name is Jesus,” someone speaks. “Move on!” commands the executioner. But Jesus can’t. The beam begins to sway. Simon instinctively extends his strong hands and catches the cross. “You! Take the cross.” Simon dares to object. “I don’t care,” the soldier says, “Take up the cross!” And Simon did literally what God calls us to do figuratively: take up the cross and follow Jesus. Luke 9:23 says, “If any of you want to be my followers, you must forget yourself. You must take up your cross each day and follow me.”

From On Calvary’s Hill

IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Peace Be With You

by Max Lucado • March 25

When the Roman soldiers took Jesus out of the Garden of Gethsamane, Jesus’ followers took off. We don’t know where they went but we do know they couldn’t get him out of their minds. They came back and the church of our Lord began with a group of frightened men in an upper room.

Sound familiar? How many churches have just enough religion to come together, but not enough passion to go out? Good people. Good intentions. Words. Promises. But while all this is going on, the door remains locked and the story stays a secret. What will it take to unlock it?

Allow Jesus to come into your upper room and stand before you. Place your hand in the pierced side. Look into those eyes that melted the gates of hell and sent Satan running. Look at them as they look at you, and you will never be the same.

From On Calvary’s Hill

IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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The Temple Curtain Torn

by Max Lucado • March 24

On Calvary’s Hill, Jesus cried out in a loud voice and died. Then the curtain in the Temple was torn into two pieces, from the top to the bottom. What did fifteen-hundred years of a curtain-draped Holy of Holies communicate? Simple: God is holy! God IS holy—separate from us and unapproachable. Even Moses was told, “You cannot see my face because no one can see me and live.” God is holy and we are sinners, and there is a distance between us.

But Jesus hasn’t left us with an unapproachable God. 1 Timothy 2:5 says, “There is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Jesus Christ.” When Jesus’ flesh was torn on the cross, the curtain was torn in two. With no hesitation, we are welcome into God’s presence—any day, any time. The barrier of sin is down. No more curtain!

From On Calvary’s Hill

IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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A Cry of Victory

by Max Lucado • March 23

“It is finished.” Jesus cried! Stop and listen. Can you imagine the cry from the cross? What was finished? The history-long plan of redeeming man. The message of God to man. The works done by Jesus as a man on earth were finished.

Had Jesus’ hands not been fastened down, I dare say that a triumphant fist would have punched the dark sky. This is no cry of despair. It is a cry of completion. A cry of victory. A cry of fulfillment. Yes, even a cry of relief. “Take me home.” Come, ten thousand angels! Come and take this wounded one to the cradle of his Father’s arms.

Farewell, manger’s infant. Yes, take him home. Take this Son to his Father. He deserves a rest. Bless you, holy ambassador. Go home, rest well. The battle is over! It is finished.

From On Calvary’s Hill.

IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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See God’s Faithfulness

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE
“Thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph through Christ...”
(2 Corinthians 2:14, NASB)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria
Do you take time to look back and see the victories that God has given you? Do you have them written down somewhere in a journal? It’s so important to meditate on the victory of God in your life everyday because it helps you to take hold of what today’s verse is saying — that God always leads us in triumph!

Today, if you are going through a difficulty, instead of focusing on your problems focus on your God. Declare, “Thank You, God, for leading me into victory!” Meditate on His faithfulness in days past and keep an attitude of expectancy. Give Him thanks and praise because He is leading you into victory in every area of your life!


A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, thank You for Your faithfulness to me in so many situations. Fill me with expectation for what You will do in the future in Jesus’ name! Amen.
— Joel & Victoria Osteen


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Living in God’s Power

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE
“...with God all things are possible.”
(Matthew 19:26, NIV)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria
God promises that with Him, all things are possible! Possibility is powerful! Possibility means you aren’t limited. It means you have options. No matter how you may feel right now, you aren’t stuck and you aren’t confined to your circumstances. No, you have a door of possibility in front of you, the question is: will you walk through it? How do you walk through that door of possibility? By placing your faith in Him. By trusting that He is at work even when you can’t see it. By praying and believing and worshiping Him in the good times and bad.

Today, meditate on the fact that God has the power and ability to restore broken families, He can restore lost dreams and work miracles beyond what you could ever imagine in the natural. Choose to trust, choose to believe, look for His goodness and know that with God, all things are possible!


A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, thank You for choosing me and using me for your glory. I rest in knowing that my life is in Your hands. I choose to trust, I choose to believe, I choose to walk in Your power knowing that all things are possible with You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen!
— Joel & Victoria Osteen


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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My God, My God

by Max Lucado • March 20

On Calvary’s Hill, Christ lifts his heavy head toward the heavens crying out, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani”—which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34). We would ask the same. Why him? Why forsake your son? Forsake the murderers. Desert the evildoers. Abandon them, not him.

What did Jesus feel on the cross? The icy displeasure of a sin-hating God. Why? Because Jesus carried our sins in His body. With hands nailed open, he invited God, “Treat me as you would treat them.” And God did. “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” Why did God scream those words? So you will never have to!

From On Calvary’s Hill

IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Saved to Serve

by Max Lucado • March 19

Some people feel so saved they never serve. Some serve at the hope of being saved. Does one of these sentences describe you? Do you feel so saved that you never serve? So content in what God has done that you do nothing? The fact is, we’re here to glorify God in our service.

Or is your tendency the opposite? Perhaps you always serve for fear of not being saved. You’re worried there is a secret card that exists with your score written on it; and your score is not enough. Is that you? If so, know this: The blood of Jesus is enough to save you. John 1:29 announces that Jesus is “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.”

The blood of Christ doesn’t cover your sins, conceal your sins, postpone or diminish your sins. It takes away your sins, once and for all! So…since you are saved, you can serve!

From He Chose the Nails

IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Two Thieves, Two Crosses

by Max Lucado • March 18

Scripture says, “And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left.” (Luke 23:33)

Calvary’s Hill. Two thieves—gaunt and pale. With the cynicism of most of the crowd, one calls out, “So you’re the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself, and us too, while you’re at it!”

The other in defense says, “Don’t you even fear God when you are dying? We deserve to die, but this man hasn’t done one thing wrong.”

Lodged in the thief’s statement are what anyone needs to recognize in order to come to Jesus. Jesus is not on that cross for his sins. He is there for ours! And the thief on the cross makes the same request any Christian makes, “Remember me when you come into your Kingdom!”

From On Calvary’s Hill

IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Centurion at the Cross

by Max Lucado • March 17

Matthew 27:54 says when the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw all that had happened, they were terrified and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”

The centurion was no stranger to finality. But this crucifixion plagued him. As the hours wore on, he didn’t know what to do with the Nazarene’s silence or with his kindness. But most of all, he was perplexed by the black sky in mid afternoon. No one could explain it. When Jesus suddenly sliced the silence by calling out, “It is finished,” it wasn’t a scream. It was a roar—a lion’s roar! Perhaps that is what made the centurion say what he said. “This was no normal man. This was the Son of God.” Had the centurion not said it, the soldiers would have. The rocks would have. Surely he was the Son of God!

From On Calvary’s Hill

Calvarys_Hill


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Praise No Matter What

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE
“I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel.”
(Philippians 1:12, ESV)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria
We can learn so much from the apostle Paul. He was deliriously happy and joyful because of what Christ had done in his life. Even when he was chained and shackled in a dark prison because of his faith, Paul praised God and counted it a privilege to deliver the message of the gospel. He had His eyes focused on the prize of eternity! He didn’t let a bad day throw him off course. He didn’t get depressed when people didn’t like him. No, He stood confident in Christ knowing that praise prepares the way for victory!

One thing we know is that you can’t defeat a person who is always happy and praising God. If you are in a battle today, if you need a miracle in your circumstances, follow Paul’s example and open your mouth and begin to praise to Him! Develop an attitude of faith and expectancy. Keep your eyes focused on eternity because when you praise God no matter what, you’ll be victorious no matter what and embrace the good things He has for your future!


A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, today I set my eyes on You and thank You for ordering my steps. I will praise You because You are good and I trust that no matter what, You are working in my life! In Jesus’ name. Amen.
— Joel & Victoria Osteen


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Hope For Your Future

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE
“Return to the stronghold, O prisoners who have the hope; this very day I am declaring that I will restore double to you.”
(Zechariah 9:12, NASB)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria
Are you a prisoner of hope? A prisoner of hope is someone who has an attitude of faith and expectancy even when things aren’t going their way. They know that God has a plan to get them through difficulty, a plan to restore their health, finances, dreams, and relationships. You may not be where you want to be today but have hope because all things are subject to change.

In this scripture, God promises to restore double to those who hope in Him. When God restores something, He doesn’t just set things back the way they were before, He goes above and beyond. He makes things better than they were before! That’s a reason to have hope today. That’s a reason to rejoice today! Don’t let circumstances drag you down, instead, choose to be a prisoner of hope and watch what God will do to restore every area of your life!


A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, thank You for Your good promises found in Your Word. I choose to be a prisoner of hope. I choose to keep my eyes on you knowing that you are working behind the scenes and you will restore double in every area of my life! In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
— Joel & Victoria Osteen


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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This brought tears to my eyes.

He Will Have Mercy

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE
“Two blind men were sitting beside the road. When they heard that Jesus was coming that way, they began shouting, ‘Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!’ ”
(Matthew 20:30, NLT)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria
Today’s verse talks about two blind men that no one really paid attention to. No one gave them much of a chance — but Jesus did! All through scripture we see that He had such great compassion and mercy, everywhere He went and He still has it today.

Maybe you feel like life has overlooked you. Maybe you feel like the people around you don’t really see what you are going through. Today, know that God sees you. He’ll never overlook you even when people overlook you. He is good and no matter what has happened in your life, remember that His mercy endures forever.

Notice what these men did — they called on Jesus. Even when people tried to quiet them, they called even louder. They had confidence that He would hear them and you can have confidence, too! Be bold and step out in faith, call on Him and trust that He sees you and hears you and He will have mercy!


A PRAYER FOR TODAY
God, thank You for Your great mercy and grace. With Your help, I want to step out and act on my faith so that I may see Your great works in Jesus’ name! Amen.
— Joel & Victoria Osteen

IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Jesus Chose the Nails

by Max Lucado • March 13

God has penned a list of our faults. The list God has made, however, cannot be read. The words can’t be deciphered. The mistakes are covered. The sins are hidden. Those at the top are hidden by His hand; those down the list are covered by His blood. Your sins are blotted out by Jesus. The Bible says He has forgiven you all your sins. He has utterly wiped out the written evidence of broken commandments which always hung over our heads, and has completely annulled it by nailing it to the cross.

He knew the source of those sins was you, and since He couldn’t bear the thought of eternity without you, Jesus Himself chose the nails. The hand is the hand of God. The nail is the nail of God. And as the hands of Jesus opened for the nail, the doors of heaven opened for you!

From He Chose the Nails

IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Appointed Favor

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”
(Ephesians 2:10, NASB)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria
God has already prepared paths for you to take in your future! When God laid out the plan for your life, He lined up the right people, the right circumstances and the right breaks. In your future, He’s already released favor, supernatural opportunities and divine connections. The breaks you need in life have already been preordained to come across your path. If you will stay in faith and go out each day and be a person of excellence, you’ll walk into these appointments of favor. It will be just as if you stumbled into God’s blessings!

When you really understand this principle, you’ll begin to get excited about every single day! You’ll have a spring in your step as you think about what blessing is coming next! It could be today. It could be tomorrow. It could be next week. Keep expecting. Keep believing. Stay focused on the fact that God has already released into your future everything you need to fulfill your destiny. Start declaring seasons of increase over your life. Declare that favor is on you and opportunities are coming. As you do, you’ll move forward into the favor and blessing God has ordered for you!


A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Heavenly Father, thank You for setting up a good life for me. Thank You for ordering good things for my future. Help me to understand Your goodness more so that I can trust You and follow Your path for me all the days of my life in Jesus name. Amen.
— Joel & Victoria Osteen


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Give God Your List!

by Max Lucado • March 11

God not only wants the mistakes we have made—He wants the ones we are making. Are you drinking too much? Are you cheating at work or cheating at marriage? Mismanaging your life? Don’t pretend nothing’s wrong. The first step after a stumble must be in the direction of the cross.

1 John 1:9 promises, “If we confess our sins to God, He can always be trusted to forgive us and take our sins away.”

Start with your bad moments. And while you’re there, give God your “mad” moments. There’s a story about a man bitten by a dog. When he learned the dog had rabies, he began a list. The doctor said, “there’s no need to make a will—you’ll be fine.” “Oh I’m not making a will,” he said, “I’m making a list of all the people I want to bite!” God wants that list! He wants you to leave it at the cross.

From He Chose the Nails

IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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The Universal Symbol of Christianity

by Max Lucado • March

The cross is the universal symbol of Christianity. An odd choice, don’t you think? Strange that a tool of torture would come to embody a movement of hope. Its design could not be simpler. One beam horizontal—the other vertical. One reaches out like God’s love. The other reaches up, as does God’s holiness. One represents the width of His love; the other the height of His holiness. The cross is the intersection. The cross is where God forgave His children without lowering His standards. God treated His Son as a sinner, so that Christ could make us acceptable to God.

Why would He? John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world.” Aren’t you glad the verse doesn’t read: For God so loved the rich?. . .the famous? The sober or the successful? No, it simply reads: “For God so loved the world!”

From He Chose the Nails

IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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How Do you Say Lucado?

by Max Lucado • March 9

My last name has created some awkward moments. A woman said, “Max Lu-KAH-do—I’ve been wanting to meet you.” I let it go thinking that was the end of it. But then a man said to me, “My wife and I’ve been trying to figure out how you say your name. Is it Lu-KAY-doh or Lu-KAH-doh! I felt trapped…as I looked at my new friend who had been mispronouncing my name.

On an infinitely grander scale, God faces with humankind a similar issue I faced with the woman. How can He be both just and kind? How can He redeem the sinner without endorsing the sin? From our perspective there are only two equally unappealing solutions. From God’s perspective, however, there is a third. It’s called the Cross of Christ! And that is one phrase you want to say correctly!

From He Chose the Nails

IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Hold on to Hope

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
(John 10:10, ESV)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria
Satan wants you to give up and quit so he can have the victory in your life. But, you can overcome him through the almighty power of God! Christ performed many miracles in the Bible, and He is still doing miracles today. The Bible says He is the same yesterday, today and forever. No matter what weapon the enemy may throw at you, it cannot penetrate the defense that Christ has put around you! Guard your hope, your joy and your victory in Christ because they are God-given blessings that He wants you to enjoy every day.


A PRAYER FOR TODAY
God, do not allow the enemy to overcome me, but help me to guard my joy, my hope and my victory in Christ, which are wonderful gifts from You in Jesus’ name! Amen.
— Joel & Victoria Osteen


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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The Blessing of Unity

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE
“How good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity...for there the Lord has commanded the blessing.”
(Psalm 133:1–3, KJV)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria
Did you know the Lord has commanded that blessing come upon you when you are at peace with your brothers and sisters in the Lord? As believers, we are called to work together in unity in order to fulfill God’s purposes. We are called to serve one another in love and serve together in the house of the Lord. Is there someone that you don’t quite get along with? Pray for that person. Go out of your way to be a blessing to them. Do your best to walk in peace and unity.

As we serve one another in love, the Bible says the world will know that we are Christians. The world will recognize that we are true followers of Christ by our actions, not by our words. Make the decision today to live in peace and unity with your brothers and sisters in the Lord. If the only thing you can agree on is that Jesus is Lord, focus on that. Focus on the love you have for God and for seeing people come to know Him. As you focus on walking in peace and unity, you will walk into the place of blessing the Lord has commanded for you!


A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Heavenly Father, search my heart today and see if there is anything that is keeping me from walking in unity with other believers. I choose love today. I choose peace today. I choose unity today. Help me to be an example of love to those around me. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
— Joel & Victoria Osteen


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Worry or Worship?

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE
“...We have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”
(2 Chronicles 20:12, NIV)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria
The enemy would love to get you worrying instead of worshiping God. When the devil brings you thoughts of worry, anxiety and fear, let them be a reminder to thank God that His answer is on the way. Say, “Devil, thank you for reminding me,” and then say, “Father, I thank You that You are at work on my behalf.” That’s what King Jehoshaphat did. The people of Judah were surrounded by three major armies. It didn’t look like they had a chance. This godly king was probably bombarded with thoughts of fear and anxiety. But, he gathered the people together, lifted his eyes toward heaven, and prayed the simple prayer in today’s verse. Jehoshaphat’s prayer was answered. God told the people to march right in to the enemy’s camp, singing and shouting praises on their way.

Notice, they weren’t worrying — they were worshiping — and God delivered them. Do you need a victory in your life? Then learn to worship instead of worry!


A PRAYER FOR TODAY
God, You are truly the great God who is the Provider of everything we need and much more. I want to be a worshiper instead of a worrier. So today I claim Your promise of deliverance from thoughts of fear or anxiety. Thank You for giving me the victory in Jesus’ name. Amen.
— Joel & Victoria Osteen


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Why Did He Do It?

by Max Lucado • March 6
Why did Jesus live on the earth as long as He did? To take on our sins is one thing; to experience death, yes, but to put up with long roads and long days? Why did He do it? Because He wants you to trust Him. Even His final act on earth was intended to win your trust.

Mark 15:22.says, “They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha where they offered Him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. And they crucified Him.” Why? Why did He endure all this suffering—all these feelings? Because He knew you’d be weary, disturbed, and angry. He knew you’d be grief-stricken, and hungry, that you’d face pain.

A pauper knows better than to beg from another pauper. He knows he needs someone who’s stronger than he is. Jesus’ message from the Cross is this: I am that Person. Trust Me.

From He Chose the Nails

IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Seasons of Sowing

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE
“Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.”
(Psalm 126:5, NIV)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria
The Scripture talks about seasons of sowing and reaping in your life. In Psalms, it talks about sowing in tears and reaping in joy. That verse is saying that the sowing seasons are usually the most difficult. It’s hard to keep a good attitude when all your friends are being blessed, but you’re not. You may feel like they don’t work as hard as you do. You may feel like they don’t give like you do or don’t deserve the blessing. That’s a time of testing. It’s hard to go through disappointments and stay positive and hopeful. These are seasons of sowing.

If you’ll do the right thing even when it’s hard — when you sow in tears — you will always reap in joy! Have a new attitude toward what God has placed in your heart. It may be taking a long time, but God still has a plan to bring it to pass. Don’t give up. Your time is coming. It’s never too late! God is saying, “This is your season. Keep your faith stirred up.” Keep sowing because in due season, you will reap the bountiful harvest with a song of joy in your heart!


A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Heavenly Father, thank You for another day to serve You and sow into the lives of those around me. I ask for Your strength today to do Your will and keep a good attitude. Help me recognize my season of sowing so that I can be ready in the time of harvest. I love You and bless Your holy name today. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
— Joel & Victoria Osteen


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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A Brand New Thing

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE
“For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun!”
(Isaiah 43:19, NLT)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria
Can you see the “brand new thing” God is doing in your life? Sometimes it’s easy to see the hand of God moving, and sometimes the storms of life can cloud our vision. But no matter where you are in life today, meditate on this truth that God is working even when you can’t see Him. Like a seed buried deep in the ground, it may seem dark and lonely and there may be dirt all around, but that is place where life springs forth. Trust that God is doing a new thing! You can trust Him because He is faithful!

His plan for you today is blessing. His plan is to give you a future and a hope. His plan is to do a new thing in your life. Let go of the thoughts of the past and open your heart to what God is doing today. Ask Him to show you what He’s doing. Ask Him to reveal it to your heart. Seek Him and you will find Him and see the brand new thing He’s doing in you!


A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Heavenly Father, thank You for doing a work in me, even when I don’t see it. Thank You for the brand new thing You have. I open my heart and put my faith and trust in You. In Jesus’ name! Amen.
— Joel & Victoria Osteen


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Jesus Canceled our Record

by Max Lucado • March 4

How would you feel if a list of your weaknesses were posted so that everyone, including Christ Himself, could see? Yes, Christ has chronicled your shortcomings. And, yes, that list has been made public. But you’ve never seen it. Neither have I.

Come with me to the hill of Calvary. Watch as the soldiers shove the Carpenter to the ground and stretch His arms against the beams. One presses a knee against a forearm and a spike against a hand. Jesus turns His face toward the nail just as the soldier lifts the hammer to strike it. Couldn’t Jesus have stopped Him?

Through the eyes of Scripture we see what others missed but Jesus saw. Colossians 2:14 says, “He canceled the record that contained the charges against us. He took it and destroyed it by nailing it to Christ’s cross!”

From He Chose the Nails

IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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He Became Sin for Us

by Max Lucado • March 3

What is the fruit of sin? Step into the briar patch of humanity and feel a few thistles. Shame. Fear. Disgrace. Discouragement. Anxiety! Haven’t our hearts been caught in these brambles?

The heart of Jesus, however, had not. He had never been cut by the thorns of sin. Anxiety? He never worried. Guilt? He was never guilty. Fear? He never left the presence of God, He never knew the fruits of sin until He became sin for us.

Can’t you hear the emotion in His prayer? “My God, my God, why have you rejected me?” These are not the words of a saint. This is the cry of a sinner. And these are words we should say… but these are words we don’t have to say because Jesus said them for us.

From He Chose the Nails

IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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We Have a Problem

by Max Lucado • March 2

Can you live without sin for one day? No? How about one hour? Can you do it? No…nor can I. And if we can’t live without sin, we have a problem. Proverbs 10:16 says that we are evil and “evil people are paid with punishment.” What can we do? Observe what Jesus does with our filth. He carries it to the Cross.

God speaks in Isaiah 50:6, “I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting.” Mingled with His blood and sweat was the essence of our sin. Angels were a prayer away. Couldn’t they have taken the spittle away? They could have, but Jesus never commanded them to. The One who chose the nails also chose the saliva. Why? The sinless One took on the face of a sinner, so that we sinners could take on the face of a saint!

From He Chose the Nails

IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Trust the Father

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE
“My times are in Your hands...”
(Psalm 31:15, NIV)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria
Throughout the Psalms, David acknowledges that he chose to put his life in the hands of the Lord. In this verse, He was, in essence, saying, “I trust You, God, because I know You are good — my times are in Your hands.” Are you willing to release every area of your life to the Father? Are you willing to trust Him with the times and seasons of your life?

You may be in a situation right now that you don’t fully understand, but take heart — God is a good God, and you can trust Him. He is working behind the scenes on your behalf. If you’ll keep your heart surrendered to Him, you’ll begin to see things change in your favor. As you continue to trust Him, He’ll open doors for you. He’ll take what the enemy meant for evil in your life, and He’ll turn it around for your good. Keep standing, keep believing, and trust Him. Your times are in His hands!


A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Heavenly Father, today I choose to trust You. I trust that You are working behind the scenes on my behalf. I trust You with my whole life — my times are in Your hands. Help me to stay close to You today so that I can hear Your voice. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
— Joel & Victoria Osteen


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Believe and Receive

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE
“Therefore, I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
(Mark 11:24, NIV)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria
Has God spoken things to your heart that haven’t come to pass yet? Sometimes when we are believing for things, it’s easy to let circumstances and the pressures of life drag us down. But when you make the choice to receive your promise by picturing it in your mind’s eye, and declaring it with the words of your mouth, your faith becomes stronger. You begin to feel more confident. You begin to feel more settled. You begin to have joy and peace because you know God is working behind the scenes on your behalf.

What are you believing for God to do in your life today? Can you see it in your mind’s eye? Can you see yourself healed? Can you see yourself paying off that last debt? Can you see yourself at your ideal weight? Can you see yourself sharing the gospel with a family member or coworker? Ask the Lord to give you the picture of what He sees when He looks at you. As you open your heart and allow God’s thoughts to become your thoughts, and your receive His promises by faith, just like it says in the above verse — whatever you ask for in prayer will be yours!


A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Heavenly Father, thank You for another day to serve You. Thank You for the gift of faith. I ask that you search my heart and mind and remove anything that does not please you. Give me your thoughts of peace and joy today so that I can learn to receive all you have for me today. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
— Joel & Victoria Osteen


emoticon May I add a comment of my own. Sometimes God says no, sometimes he says wait.
Another thing you need to be careful of is what you ask for. If you persist you just might get it and wish you hadn't.


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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I On-and-Off Salvation

by Max Lucado • February 27

On-and-off salvation never appears in the Bible. Scripture contains no example of a person who was saved, then lost, then re-saved, then lost again. Where there is no assurance of salvation, there is no peace; no joy. Is this the life God creates? God’s grace creates a confident soul who declares, I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.

1 John 5:13 says, “These things have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.” Trust God’s hold on you! His faithfulness does not depend on yours. His performance is not predicated on yours. His love is not contingent on your own. Your candle may flicker—but it will not expire!

From GRACE

IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Grace–A Never Ending Supply

by Max Lucado • February 26

Grace is simply another word for God’s tumbling, rumbling reservoir of strength and protection. Grace comes to us not occasionally or miserly but constantly and aggressively, wave upon wave. We’ve barely regained our balance from one breaker, and then, bam, here comes another. John 1:16 calls it “Grace upon grace.”

We dare to stake our hope on the gladdest news of all! If God permits the challenge, he will provide the grace to meet it. We never exhaust his supply. He never says, “Stop asking so much! My grace reservoir is running dry.” Heaven knows no such words. God has enough grace to solve every dilemma you face, wipe every tear you cry, and answer every question you ask. Would we expect anything less from God? Having given the supreme and costliest gift, Romans 8:32 says, “How can He fail to lavish upon us all He has to give?”

From GRACE


IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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Stop the Frenzy

by Max Lucado • February 25

Attempts at self-salvation guarantee nothing but exhaustion! We scamper and scurry, trying to please God, collecting merit badges and brownie points, and scowling at anyone who questions our accomplishments. Call us the church of hound-dog faces and slumped shoulders.

Stop it! Once and for all, enough of this frenzy. Hebrews 13:9 says, “Your hearts should be strengthened by God’s grace, not by obeying rules.”

Jesus doesn’t say, “Come to me, all you who are perfect and sinless.” Just the opposite. He says, “Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”

There is no fine print. God’s promise has no hidden language. Let grace happen, for heaven’s sake. No more performing for God. Of all the things you must earn in life, God’s unending affection isn’t one of them. You have it! You can rest now.

From GRACE

IRENE FROM TEXAS
The Lord bless you
and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:22-26 (NIV)



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