Hi, this is Joel and Victoria. Thanks for listening to our podcast and thanks for supporting the ministry. If you enjoy today's message, why don't you be a blessing and share it with a friend? We appreciate you and for God's very best in your life. So God bless you. Always a joy to come into your homes. We love you. We know God has great things in store for each one of you if you're ever in our area. I hope you'll stop by and see us.
I promise you will make you feel right at home. But thanks for tuning in today. I like to start with something funny each week. And I heard about these two famous baseball players. They were discussing whether or not there would be baseball up in heaven, and they made an agreement that whoever died first would come back and tell the other if indeed there was baseball in heaven. Few months later, one of the players died. And just like he promised, he came back, said his friend.
I've got good news and bad news. The good news is there is baseball up in heaven. The bad news is you're scheduled to pitch next Thursday. All right, hold up your Bible, say it like you mean it. This is my Bible. I am what it says I am. I have what it says I have. I can do what it says I can do today. I will be taught the word of God. I boldly confess.
My mind is alert. My heart is receptive. I will never be the same in Jesus name. God bless you. I want to talk to you today about redeeming the time. Time is one of the most valuable commodities that we have. It's more valuable than money. You can make more money, but you can't make more time. Queen Elizabeth said on her deathbed, I would give my entire kingdom for just one more day. When you woke up this morning, God gave you a present is called today.
With that gift comes a responsibility. The Scripture tells us to redeem the time. That simply means don't let it go to waste. Don't live this day. Unfocused, unhappy, negative, defeated. Make the most of each day. Things may not be perfect. You may have some obstacles, but you can never get this day back. If you will learn to see each day as a gift, you will live more intentional. You will realize when you spend your time, you are spending your life.
You can either invest it or you can waste it. Imagine every morning a bank deposited eighty six thousand four hundred dollars into your account. That money was yours to use however you would like. The only catch is at the end of the day, what you didn't use. You lose, it's taken out of your account that would get your attention. You would be focused. You would make sure you took full advantage and not let one penny go to waste.
Why? It's valuable. It's the same principle with time. Every day God gives us each eighty six thousand four hundred seconds. You can spend it as you would like. You can invest it by living positive, hopeful, pursuing your goals, being a blessing to others. Or you can waste it by being disorganized, unhappy, negative, discouraged, worried. But the principle is the same at the end of the twenty four hour it goes away. We can never get it back when we fully understand the value of our time and we see each day as the gift that it is, it helps us to keep the right perspective.
We realize there are some battles that are not worth fighting. You don't have time to get involved in things that are not between you and your God given destiny. And if somebody has a problem with you, as long as you're being your best doing what you believe God put in your heart, with all due respect, that's their problem and not yours. You don't have to resolve conflict with every person. Some people don't want to be at peace with you.
That's just a distraction. And when you realize your time is limited, you don't respond to every critic. You don't waste your time trying to convince people to like you that are never going to like you. You accept the fact that not everyone is going to understand you. Not everyone is going to give you their approval. But that's OK. You just run your race when you're redeeming your time. You're not trying to keep someone happy. That's never going to be happy.
There are people that no matter what you do for them, it's not going to be enough, no matter how many times you rescue them, no matter how many favors you do, sooner or later they're going to find fault with you and end up being unhappy. But understand their happiness is not your responsibility. You should be kind. You should be respectful. But your attitude should be if you don't want to be happy, that's fine. But you're not going to keep me from being happy.
I know this day is a gift and I'm not going to waste it trying to fix somebody that doesn't want to be fixed or trying to change something that I cannot change. Friends, you have a responsibility to redeem the time that God has given you. He's entrusted you with his life. He's breathed his breath into you. He's put gifts and talents on the inside. You have seeds of greatness. You didn't just show up on planet Earth. You're a person of destiny.
You have an assignment with a purpose to fulfill. With this gift of life comes a responsibility to develop your talents, to pursue your God given goals, to become everything that he's created you, to be on a regular basis. You need to re-evaluate what you're doing and how you're spending your time, refocus your life, let go of any distractions. Shake off any self-pity. Any discouragement, any disappointment and run your race with purpose friends. God did not put you here to be controlled by somebody else.
He didn't put you here to drag through the day and barely make it. You were not created to have to constantly try to convince someone to like you. If somebody doesn't want to be your friend, let them go and God will bring you some better friends.
You don't have to talk somebody into loving you or coming to see you or calling you.
God already has arranged the right people that will celebrate you, people that can't wait to be around you, people that appreciate who you are and what you have to offer.
When we come to the end of our days, we're going to have to give an account. God is going to ask, how did you spend your life? What did you do with the gifts are put in you? How did you use the time I gave you? We can't do like Adam and make excuses. God, this woman you gave me, she got me off course or. Yes, God, I wasn't very happy, but no, I didn't have a good job or yes, I worried all the time.
But the economy was so bad. Shake that off and make the most of each day. I believe you and I are going to be able to say, God, I live my life to the full. I recognized each day was a gift. I developed my talents. I wasn't controlled and manipulated. I didn't get involved in battles that didn't matter. I didn't let disappointment stop me. I didn't lose my integrity and compromise. I was a giver and not a taker.
God, I gave it my very best are redeemed. The time when you have that kind of attitude, God will increase you.
He'll give you more influence, more opportunity. The apostle Paul said we should run with purpose in every step. That means when you get up in the morning on purpose, set your thoughts in the right direction. Positive, hopeful. This is going to be a great day on purpose. Put a smile on your face, a song in your heart, a spring in your step and then on purpose. Go out each day with a plan, with a goal not distracted by every phone call run in here.
And they're upset in the traffic to stress, to enjoy the day. No, redeem your time, be an on purpose person.
And yes, I'm all for being flexible and certainly for taking time to help others. But if we're not focused, if we're not running with purpose in every step, we will allow distractions to get us off course and keep us from God's very best. When you realize your time is limited, you don't get offended. Every time you turn around, you don't let little petty things and politics at the office sour your day. You don't go around offended with unforgiveness because somebody mistreated you.
You let it go and trust God to make your wrongs right. I talked to a lady recently and she told how a family member had done her wrong. She was so upset and starting to get so bitter. I told her what I'm telling you, life is too short to live it that way. Just let it go and trust God to be your Vindicator. She wouldn't hear. She said, no, Joel, I'm not going to be happy until they apologize.
What she didn't realize is she is wasting valuable days. That person hurt her once. Now she's allowing them to hurt her again and again because she will not let it go. And I wonder how many of us like her have wasted valuable days. We can't say we redeemed the time. We just drug through the day. Offended, upset, worried. Some people have lived like this for years with bitterness, unforgiveness, nursing an old wound. Instead of moving forward to the great things God has in store, they keep going back to the old.
It's just like a scab. Every time you pick it, it reopens the wound. It's never going to heal until you leave it alone and stop going back. What am I saying? Quit reliving the hurts and pains of your past when those pictures come up on the movie screen of your mind. The good news is you've got the remote control, change the channel. You can choose what you want to dwell on. Do you realize how much energy it takes to be bitter?
Do you know how much emotional energy it takes to hold a grudge? We only have a certain amount for each day. If we use our emotional energy for the wrong purposes focused on the negative dwelling on who hurt us, we're not going to have the energy we need for the right purposes. We're not going to make the best decisions. We're not going to be as creative. Our gifts and talents won't come out to the full. We're not only doing ourself a disservice, but we're doing our family, our friends a disservice.
We're not redeeming the time where you say, Joel, I'm not going to be happy until they get what they deserve. That's only fair. I can enjoy my life until my co-worker stop talking about me. Listen, we can't control any of that. You cannot control what people do or what they say. You can only control yourself if you're allowing that to upset you, to cause you to go around bitter and angry. Then you are giving away your power.
You're letting them control you. The scripture says don't let the sun go down on your anger. The reason many people have no joy, no enthusiasm is because they go to bed every night with unforgiveness, dwelling on their hurts and pains, reliving their disappointment. When you go to bed like that with a cluttered mind focused on the negative, then when your sun comes up the next morning, it's clouded by all these things you brought over from yesterday. It's just like in the natural when it's overcast outside and the clouds are blocking the sun, it's kind of dark and gloomy.
That's what happens when we go to sleep with bitterness, with resentment focused on the negative. Some people have not seen the sun shine in their life for years and years, not because it's not up there, not because God doesn't have great things in their future, but simply because they keep letting their sun go down with all these negative things on it. The problem is, if it goes down with resentment, it comes up with resentment. If you go to bed with self-pity, you're going to wake up with self-pity.
That's what's blocking God's blessings. It's stopping you from seeing the bright, clear future that God has in store. And if you want those dark clouds to go away, if you want the sun to shine brightly in your life, once again, it's totally up to you. You control the weather, you control the clouds. Here's the key. Every night before you go to bed, just look up and say, Father, I am releasing every negative thing that happened to me today and forgiving every person that hurt me and forgiving myself for mistakes I've made.
I'm releasing every disappointment, every worry, every heart. And I'm not going to bed angry, upset in self-pity. I give it to you and I lay down in peace. When you do that, your son is going to go down with nothing, blocking it. Maybe over the years you've had things build up and today it looks like there's layer after layer of overcast skies in your life. The good news is, if you'll just be diligent, keep releasing this every night, little by little, the clouds are going to break up and the sun will start to shine through.
You will have a new spring in your step. Your goals and dreams will come back to life. You'll have more energy. You'll feel better. You'll meet new friends, got to open up new opportunities. What's happening? Those clouds are breaking up and the sun, God's goodness is starting to shine through once again. No matter what you've been through in the past, you need to draw the line in the sand and say, that's it. I'm not going to bed any more with something blocking my son.
That means you're not going to go to bed dwelling on unanswered questions. God, why did my loved one not make it? Why did my marriage not survive? God, why didn't I get that promotion that I prayed and worked so hard for? No, just let it go. When you lay down to sleep, don't take any baggage with you. Don't go to bed thinking about the disappointments of the day and what you didn't get done and what somebody said.
Just clear your mind and say, God, I'm giving it all to you. I'm releasing it right now. If you get in a habit of doing that every night before you go to bed, then nothing is going to block that. Sun is going to shine brightly in your life. I saw an interview with a lady. She was supposed to be on the flight to Buffalo that recently crashed. None of the passengers or the crew survived. She had been booked to be on this flight.
But at the last minute, something came up. She missed it and took one. Thirty minutes later, she realizes she has been given a second chance. That could have easily been her. She talked about how that changed her perspective. Now she appreciates each day much more. She sees it as a gift. She told how she doesn't get upset is easily little. Things don't bother her. She doesn't get offended. She's much more forgiving, much more understanding, much more loving.
You know what she's really saying? I don't go to bed any more with things that are blocking my son. I realize how limited my time is. And I'm not going waste it in unforgiveness or in things that I can't change and will make the most of each day. That's the attitude I want us to have. We don't know how long we're going to be here. The scripture says our life is like a mist. We're here for a moment and then we're gone.
And I wonder how long we would stay offended if we knew we only had six months to live. I wonder how. Many times we'd get upset and go around worried if we knew we just had a few more weeks or how many days would we drag through with no passion if we knew our time was coming to an end very shortly, most likely that would change our perspective. I saw a sign on the freeway the other day.
It said, Do you have any reason to be grateful? Just check your pulse. What's it saying? As long as you're alive, you've been given a gift. Every morning you wake up with air to breathe. Every day you can see the sunshine. Every time you hear your kids laughing and playing.
Every evening, you see the stars, you hear the crickets, you feel the warmth of your spouse. Let that be another reminder that God has blessed you with a gift of today. Don't take it for granted. It's funny sometimes the things we complain about or the very things other people would love to have. We complain about the children. Oh man, these kids are so much work. All I do is cook and clean. Do you realize some couples aren't able to have children?
They do anything they could to have children like yours. Don't take it for granted or this job.
Joel, it is so stressful. I just don't like my boss. Do you know how many people would love to have your job, learn to appreciate it? Or how about this, Joel? This has been a man. He just gets on my nerves. We don't get along. This may surprise you. You may not even believe it, but there are some ladies that would love to have your husband. I know some of you are thinking, can I give you a phone number right now?
It says in Second Corinthians, don't squander one bit of the marvelous life God has given you. Notice that saying don't waste one tiny bit, don't waste another second focused on the negative and what you don't have in life. Don't waste another minute being discouraged and depressed. Don't go another day with unforgiveness and bitterness in your heart. I have people say to me all the time, Joel, if I had known back then what I know now, I would have sure live my life differently.
I wouldn't have got upset so easily. I wouldn't have tried to reconcile with somebody that didn't want to reconcile with me. I wouldn't have gotten distracted and not pursued. My God, given goals. You know what they're really saying? I would have been more careful and more deliberate about how I spent my time. I would have maximized each day. That's what I'm asking you to do, take inventory of how you're spending your life. It's very sad to come to the end of our days and have to say, if I would have only chosen better friends, who knows where I would have ended up, if I'd only forgiven this person, gotten out of self-pity and gone on with my life, if I'd only taken more time for my family and not worked so much for.
And now is the time to make adjustments. We can't do anything about the past, but we can do something about right now. We can start redeeming the time. I understand. I'm not redeeming the time. If I go around with a chip on my shoulder focused on my disappointments. Now, when you go through setbacks and we all do, don't waste the time by thinking about what you've lost. Invest the time by thanking God for what he has come in.
Thank him for the new doors he's about to open. I talked to a young lady recently. She was a reporter at a local television station during Hurricane Ike. She was covering the story. Her assignment this particular day was to find people that were really struggling and having a tough time finding food. Basically, it was to find sad stories. So she went to one of the local food drops where they were given away free food, and she talked to the people in line.
But nobody had a sad story. They were all grateful and believed that they were going to make it. It just so happened that Victoriana were there with some of the Lakewood volunteers helping out. And she brought the camera over to me, said, Joel, tell me the worst thing that you've seen today. I said, yes, some people are struggling, but they have faith. They know they're going over and not under. They know they're victors and not victims.
And this is going to be their best year. In spite of the hurricane, she took the microphone away and said, I knew you wouldn't tell me anything negative. She went and found Victoria. Victoria was worse than me. She said, these people are fired up. They know God's in control. Their best days are still out in front of them. She went back to the to the station and told her boss, I couldn't find any sad stories, but I got Joel and Victoria Osteen.
She was so excited. She thought the boss would be thrilled, but he wasn't thrilled at all. He didn't want me in Victoria. He wanted sad, depressing stories. Long story short, that young lady got terminated over that incident. She was let go at first. She was kind of discouraged, but she understood this principle that every day is a gift from God. Instead of dragging around, defeated and discouraged, she started thanking God for the new doors he was going to open, thanking him that he had a better plan.
What was she doing?
Redeeming the time, not complain and not feeling sorry for herself. She knew she wouldn't be alive if God didn't have another victory in front of her. It wasn't long after that that she got a call from a very prestigious organization. They said, we saw your report on the hurricane, the same one that caused her to get let go. They said we were just wondering if you'd like to come work for us and head up our whole media department and produce documentaries.
That was a dream come true for her. She smiled and gave me a big hug and said, Joel, I just want to thank you and Victoria for getting me fired. I heard somebody say disappointments are inevitable, but misery is optional no matter what kind of setbacks you face, no matter who does you wrong, you do not have to drag through the day defeated, upset in self-pity, redeem the time. Thank God that he's still in control.
Thank him for the new doors he's going to open. I understand every person goes through the valleys, but the valleys are what lead us to higher mountains. If you never go through a valley, you'll probably not get to a higher level. The key is when you're in the difficult seasons in those valleys, you've got to redeem the time just like her. Instead of complaining, instead of feeling sorry for yourself, go out and do something good for somebody else.
So a seed volunteer while you're in the valley, give somebody a ride while you're in the valley. Pray for others while you're in the valley, usher. While you're in the valley. When you sow a seed, when you invest it the right way in helping others, then those seeds that you sow are going to create the harvest. You need not just to take you out of the valley, but they're going to lead you to a higher mountain, to a level you've not been before.
And David, put it this way in Psalm 90, verse 12, God teach us to number our days and realize how few they really are. Help us to spin them like we should. And forty five years old, it seemed like it was just yesterday that I was graduating from high school. It's been 20 something years. I don't know where the time is gone. A few years ago, I made a decision that I was not going to live another day.
Negative, discouraged, worried, offended. I have plenty of opportunities just like you, but I do my best not to go there. That's what I'm asking you to do today. We should pray with David every day. God help us to realize how short our time here on Earth really is. I read a story by Jeffrey Davis called One Thousand Marbles. It's about a man that was listening to the radio early one Saturday morning. He was a young executive, very busy in his career.
He didn't spend much time with his family. He wanted to, but he just had so much to do. This Saturday was no different. He couldn't go to his children's ball games. He had extra work at the office, plus some projects at home. He needed to take care. He was eating his breakfast as fast as he could, about to rush out for the day when he became intrigued at a story an older gentleman was telling on the radio about how he learned to appreciate.
Each day this gentleman told how when he was fifty five years old, he calculated that if he were to live to be seventy five, he would have approximately one thousand more Saturdays left in his lifetime. So he went to the local toy store and he bought a thousand marbles, put them in a jar and placed them on a desk at home every Saturday without fail. He took one marble out month after month, year after year. He watched the marbles go down before he signed off on his radio program.
After telling this story, he said to his listeners today, I have taken out the final marble. I'm seventy five years old. I'm back here next week. As far as I'm concerned, God has given me extra time. That young executive listening that touched his heart. He knew God was speaking to him. He ran upstairs, woke his wife, gave her a big kiss, said, Honey, let's go eat breakfast together. This morning she was pleasantly surprised.
She said, that would be great. But what got into you? He said, Oh, nothing. I just haven't spent a Saturday with you and the kids lately. And by the way, while we're out, can we stop by the toy store? I need to pick up some marbles. What happened? All of a sudden he realized how short his time here on Earth really is. Let me ask you, how are you spending the eighty six thousand four hundred seconds God gives you each day?
Are you investing it or are you wasting it? Are you taking time for the people you love the most? Are you allowing bitterness and unforgiveness to block your son, to cloud your life? Are you letting others control you? Or perhaps distractions keep you from your God given destiny? No. Make the most of each day when you get up in the morning, learn to accept the present God gives you thank him for another gift of today and then go out and live it to the full.
Things may not be perfect, but that doesn't have to stop you from enjoying the day. Look at all the good things that are in your life. Enjoy the beauty of God's creation when you go through disappointments. Remember, don't let the sun go down on that disappointment before you go to bed. Just clear out your mind and turn it over to God if you will. Run with purpose in every step accepting. Appreciating the gift of today, then you are redeeming your time.
You're not only going to enjoy your life, but God is going to increase you and promote you. You're going to overcome your obstacles. You'll see your gifts and talents come out to the fall. And when you come to the end of your days, you'll be able to say, I have no regrets. I have spent my life. Well, hey, man, do you receive that today?
We never like to close our broadcast without giving you an opportunity to make Jesus the Lord of your life. Would you pray with me? Just say, Lord Jesus, repent of my sins, come into my heart and make you my Lord and Savior friends. If you prayed that simple prayer, we believe you got born again getting a good Bible based church. Keep God first place. He's going to take your places you've never dreamed up.
Thank you for listening to the Joel Osteen podcast. Help us continue to share the message of hope with those all over the world. Visit Joel Osteen, dot com slash. Give hope to give a gift today. Thanks so much for listening to today's message. I hope you subscribe so you can receive the latest podcast to keep you inspired all through the week. We're praying for you. I know God's best is still ahead. We'll see you next time.