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Don’t Diminish Your Value

 |  by Victoria Osteen

Tuesday, April 2, 2019
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Here's something that your heavenly Father wants you to know today: You are chosen. The apostle Paul describes God's great love for you, saying, "For he chose us in Jesus Christ before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight" (Ephesians 1:4). He chose you and brought you into His family through your relationship with Christ. You don't have to find your worth and identity in other people or in things of this world because it has already been given to you in Jesus Christ.

That's why the enemy works so hard to decrease our value and our worth, trying to bring us down, discount us, and cause us to forget our true identity. He'll use other people to judge us, to leave us out, and to make us feel unqualified because he knows that if he can tear down our value, it will take away our sense of purpose. Just think about when something you own and value gets battered and worn, it loses its value, and eventually, loses its purpose, so you get rid of it. That's why the enemy constantly tempts us to find our value in things other than Christ.

The point where the enemy primarily attacks is to make us feel unworthy to receive the gift of our salvation through the grace of God. He'll whisper to you, "Look what you did yesterday. How can God accept you? You're so unworthy of His love and gift of grace." What is your answer? Say, "That's right. I am not worthy. But Jesus Christ is worthy, and my identity is fully in Him and what He did for me." It's almost too simple, isn't it? That's because God's favor and grace is undeserved.

Don't diminish your value by diminishing what Christ did for you. He did it for you. He did it because He loves you. None of what you did in the past determines who you are—God has already chosen you and qualified you. You may have made some mistakes. We all have, but that doesn't change your value in the eyes of God. He loves you—not because of your performance, not because you do everything perfectly, but because you are His child.

When you hear those voices of confusion, those accusations that question your identity and your worth—that is not from God. That is from the enemy. And you have the answer: "God chose me in Jesus Christ. I am the righteousness of God in Him. Nothing can change my value and worth."

Victoria's new book, Exceptional You!, is available now. Discover 7 ways to live encouraged, empowered, and intentional. Click here for more information.

Love is What Changes People

 |  by Victoria Osteen

Tuesday, April 9, 2019
comments: 0

Today it seems as though everyone is trying to get their opinion out there on anything that's important to them, especially when they disagree with someone else's opinion. And there's so much out there to disagree about, and so many ways to voice those opinions! Even among believers, so many seem bent on criticizing other believers' beliefs or lives. It's as though we've forgotten how much people mean to God and that He has called us to always show respect to others, whether we agree with them or not.

We need to ask ourselves what our purpose is for living. Is it to get our "right" opinion out there or to honor God and further the spread of the gospel? Honestly, the truth is that most people don't really care what you think, or if you go to church, or whether you know and say all the right things. What gets their attention is what you do. It's how you show your faith. The Scripture says, "The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love" (Galatians 5:6). What pleases and honors God is when we express our faith in Him through loving acts to other people.

Over the years I've come to see that the loving attitude of our heart toward others can bring healing and resolution and even change in others, but not always. However, even if they don't change, I can tell you that you'll change. The Scripture says, "Those who are kind benefit themselves" (Proverbs 11:17). Another translation says, "Your own soul is nourished when you're kind." When you're good to people, you bring healing to them, and you nourish your own soul. You're breaking down walls and barriers that would keep you limited. And that's what matters the most to God. He's not going to ask us how many people we changed, but whether we walked in love.

In this world that is so full of conflict, we need to step back and say, "I'm going to be loving toward people, especially difficult, unlovable people." Look for opportunities to be good to not only the difficult people in your life but also to those who are in your own backyard, or a coworker, or a neighbor who could use your help. The Scripture says, "Do not withhold good from whom it is due, when it is in your power to act" (Proverbs 3:27). We can do far, far more through love than we can by spreading our opinions. Amazingly, God works through the expressions of our love and touches the lives of others!

NEW! Text-Giving is Available at Lakewood

 |  by Lakewood Church

Sunday, April 14, 2019
comments: 0

Text to Give

We give because we are made in God's image, and He is a giver. We are never more like God than when we give. When you partner with Lakewood to bring hope to our city and the world, you're doing what God did. John 3:16 says God gave His only son.

We are partnering with Pushpay, the leading Text-Giving provider. They have worked with thousands of churches across the world providing the highest level of security with simple and safe online and text giving. (https://pushpay.com/security/)

Here's how to get started:

1. Text "Lakewood" to 77977

2. You'll receive a text response with a secure link to enter your giving amount and your credit/debit card or bank information.

Within moments, you will receive an email confirmation for your giving. In the set-up process you will be asked for your name and email address, so your donations will be credited to your existing giving account at Lakewood.

We are so blessed that you have made the commitment to give in this way, and are honored that you are helping us continue to spread hope!

Resurrection Life

 |  by Victoria Osteen

Tuesday, April 16, 2019
comments: 0

This coming weekend we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, and while you celebrate, I want to encourage you to also live the resurrection life He came to give us. Jesus came to give us an abundant life (John 10:10). He didn't come to make us religious. He is the living God, and because He lives, He wants to walk with us, talk with us, and live in us. To bring us into a relationship with Himself, He died and rose again in our place. He took our sin and shame, everything that would ever try to come on us, and He paid our debt in full. "He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west" (Psalm 103:12). We don't have to walk in guilt and condemnation. We are free to go and live the resurrection life.

So how do we live the resurrection life? We have to have a resurrection mentality like the apostle Paul had. He says, "I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me" (Philippians 3:12). He wanted to not just know about what Jesus had done, but he wanted to experience all of it. Paul knew that he had battles to fight and that he had the resurrection power to win. Keep in mind that before he came to know the Lord, Paul persecuted the church severely, sending believers to prison and contributing to their deaths. Can you imagine the guilt and the shame that tried to come on him as he was preaching this good news? Have you ever thought, "I can't tell the good news because of what I've done in the past"? That's what Paul was talking about. He was saying, "You have to press on and take hold of all that Jesus Christ has done for you through His death and resurrection."

Press into God's grace and mercy. Press on and take hold. Jesus never said it was going to be easy. It wasn't easy for Him. It cost Him His life on the cross. But on the third day when He came out of that grave alive again, He turned that bad situation around and brought it out for our good. He wants to take the situations in your life and turn them around for your good. His plan is still working. It worked the day He was raised from the grave, and it is still working for us today. But we have to take hold of all the good things that Christ has done for us.

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