Joel Osteen - Generational Blessings
Well, God bless you. It's always a joy to come into your homes. If you're ever in our area please stop by and be a part of one of our services. I promise you we'll make you feel right at home. But thanks so much for tuning in. Thank you again for coming out.
I like to start with something funny. I heard about this minister that died. He was standing in line at the pearly gates. The man in front of him was dressed in a loud t-shirt, sunglasses and blue jeans. Saint Peter asked him, "What's your name"? He said, "I'm Joe Cohen. Taxicab driver. New York City". Peter checked his list and handed him a gold staff, silk robe, said, "Welcome to heaven". The minister stepped up. He said, "I'm reverend Joseph snow, pastor of Saint Mary's Cathedral". Peter checked his list, handed him a wooden staff and cotton robe. He said, "Hey, that's not right. The taxicab driver got a gold staff and this is all I got"? Peter said, "Sir, up here we work by results. When you preached people slept but when he drove people prayed".
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 Generational Blessings. Every right choice you make you're making it easier on those that come after you. When you live a life of excellence and integrity, being your best, helping others, those are seeds that will not only make your life fuller and more rewarding but your children and grand-children will be better off because of the way you lived. No person lives or dies unto himself. The choices you are making will affect your family line for generations to come. I want my relatives to do great things in life because of me, not in spite of me. Our children have enough things to overcome without having to deal with our negative baggage.
Your life can either be a stepping stone for your family to go higher or a stumbling block that causes them to struggle. Negative things may have been passed down to you but God raised you up to put an end to it. You can be a difference maker. We hear a lot about the generational curse but there's something called a generational blessing. The scripture talks about how you can store up mercy for your children and future generations. I know I am where I am today, in part, because of the way my parents and grandparents have lived. I am reaping a harvest from seeds that they sowed.
I met a man a while back and he told how as a young man he had lost his way in life. He was living on the streets downtown. My father came out of the hotel and saw him sitting there and went over to talk to him. This young man had a dream of becoming a medical doctor but he had a lot of bad breaks. His school financing didn't go through. He was still hoping to receive a scholarship. My father handed him a $100 bill and said, "You keep believing. God has great things in your future". Today, this man is a very well respected successful surgeon. He stopped by the church and said, "Joel, I wouldn't be where I am without your father. I never got to tell him thank you but at least I wanted to tell you thanks". He handed me a donation for the church, a significant amount. When I turned and walked away, under my breath I said, "Thank you, daddy".
Is there anything you're doing that is going to cause your children to say, "Thank you, daddy"? Are you sowing seeds of kindness? Are you being a blessing? Are you putting an end to negative things that have been passed down? Back in the late 1970's there was a young minister that used to attend my father's thanksgiving conferences here at the church. This young man was just getting started. He was learning how to pastor. He really loved my father. He listened all of my dad's tapes and learned so much.
Well, some 20 years later my father went to be with the Lord. Now I was trying to learn how to minister. This was all so new to me. Well, that young man was one of my favorite ministers - Jentezen Franklin. I used to listen to his CDs, be so inspired. That's what helped me to get started. My father sowed into his life now he was sowing into my life. My dad didn't reap that harvest. His son did.
There are some seeds that you sow, some people that you're helping, you won't reap the fullness of that harvest. God designed it for your children, for your grandchildren. It's a generational blessing. See, you didn't get to where you are by yourself. Somebody prayed. Somebody made sacrifices. Somebody sowed a seed of kindness and you got that good break. You thought you were lucky. It was a coincidence. No, it happened because you had a praying mother. You had a grandfather that was always helping people, a great-grandfather you never met but he sacrificed. He persevered. Now you're reaping from some of those seeds.
The scripture talks about how having a godly heritage is better than having great wealth. You can leave your children money, cars, houses. That's great. I'm all for that. But when you leave them a godly heritage, when you model a life of excellence and integrity, that's worth more than any material thing you could ever leave them. God's blessing on their life will cause them to go further than if they had all the money in the world. You can have less resources but with this generational blessing, opportunity, increase, the right people will be attracted to you. You'll look up and think, "How did I get to where I am? I didn't have the connections, the resources, the talent". What happened? You stepped in to a generational blessing.
In the Old Testament, Joshua and the Israelites were fighting a battle with the Amalekites. Moses was up on a hill holding up his rod in the air. As long as his hands were up the Israelites were winning. When he got tired and put his hands down the Amalekites started winning. A couple of men noticed what was going on and they helped him hold his hands in the air. But what I want us to see is Joshua was down there winning. He didn't realize the only reason he was winning is because Moses had his hands in the air.
If Moses hadn't done his part the Israelites would've been defeated. It's easy to think, "Well, I'm successful because I'm smart. I have a good life because I work hard, because I'm talented. That's why I'm blessed, Joel". And yes, that's true in part but you didn't do it all on your own. You're smart because you have the wisdom of your fathers. It was passed down to you. You're talented because your mother and grandmother worked hard to develop their gifts. They took time to teach you, to build your confidence. You got that good break, that promotion, that new house, not because those people just decided to be nice to you. Somebody in your family line honored God. Somebody you can't see is holding up their hands. It may have been a hundred years ago. They stored up mercy and now you're reaping the benefits. They won so that you could win.
Now my challenge to us is to live your life in such a way that you cause others to win. Every right choice you make you're holding up your hands. Every time you resist temptation, you're winning for your children. Every time you help others, you come to church, give, serve, you're storing up favor. It may be for your children, grandchildren or even years down the road, somebody in your family line will see God's goodness because of the way you lived.
In the book of Hebrews it talks about how a man by the name of Levi paid tithes and offerings while he was in his grandfather's loins. In other words, before he was born. Before he showed up, God credited tithes and offerings to him all because his grandfather was a giver. When you give, God will not only bless you but he will credit your children and your grandchildren. I have a little notebook that my grandfather kept a record of all of his giving. For over 50 years he wrote down every gift. You can read, "1963: $7.00 to the Lakewood building fund. $10 to central Baptist church". On and on. No wonder I'm blessed today. No wonder I'm seeing God's favor. Somebody went before me that was a giver. now God is honoring him by honoring me. I can say, "Thank you, granddaddy. Thank you, grandmother. You paid the price. Now I'm being blessed".
My mother turned 81 years old last week. She had her birthday. she raised five of us kids growing up. My brother Paul, of course, was like raising five extra kids. but I thought about how many thousands of hot meals she must have cooked for us. I mean, heating up those TV dinners was a lot of work. but we never left for school, seriously, without having a hot breakfast, without having her pray for favor and protection over us. Every day I saw my parents reading their Bible. Now all of us kids read our Bible. Our children don't leave without us praying the blessing over them. That generational blessing keeps getting passed down. I can say, "Thank you, mother".
We didn't get here by ourselves. God had people watching after you before you even showed up while you were still in your mother's womb, doctors and nurses were taking care of you. Most likely, your parents believed and prayed many years before you were even conceived, waiting for you. You had grandparents and relatives that worked hard. They made sacrifices knowing one day their granddaughter, their great-grandson, would show up. You are the answer to their prayer. You're living in the day they dreamed about. They wanted your life to be better.
Now, don't take for granted the price that they paid. Because of them you're experiencing generational blessings. How this should inspire us to be our best, to break free from things that are holding us back, to dream bigger, to see each day as a gift. They passed the baton to us. Let's not drop it. Let's not settle and live mediocre. Let's push forward. Let's take new ground. Let's break barriers that have held us back. You may not be able to see them, but right now up in heaven your relatives cheering you on. In that great cloud of witnesses there are parents, grandparents, generations that have gone before you. They're saying, "Go further. Climb new mountains. Set a new standard. This is your day. This is your time. All of what we are has been poured into you".
Now don't let the sacrifices they've made go to waste. Make them proud. They're watching you. My father dreamed of this building. He talked about how one day he was going to build a 20,000 seat sanctuary. For over 50 years he and my mother served faithfully but my dad was never able to build that sanctuary. When he went to be with the Lord it looked like that dream had died but when you honor God, when you live a life of faith, you were storing up favor for your children. Four years after daddy died we needed a larger auditorium. Things fell into place. We were able to acquire this building, the former Compaq Center.
Sometimes when I walk out here I feel like I'm standing in my father's auditorium. All those years that he prayed, he believed, he served, he was storing up favor. God ordained him to lay the foundation and his sons to walk into it. God will always show you further than you can go. He will give you a vision that may not be able to be accomplished only in your lifetime: a generational vision. Some of the things you're dreaming about, that you see through your eyes of faith, God put that in your heart so you could lay the foundation. Pray, believe, stretch, be your best but don't get discouraged if it doesn't all come to pass. It's for your children. Just as you received generational blessings, favor and increase that you didn't work for: you are sowing seeds for generational blessings.
This is what happened with David. He had a dream to build the temple. He cut down the cedars of Lebanon, raised the funds: got everything lined up. But God said, "David, no: I put that dream in you to lay the foundation. I want your son, Solomon, to build it". David saw further than he could go. Solomon stepped into a generational blessing and he built the temple. I don't know of anything that would make me any happier than to see my children go further than I've gone, to see them supersede anything that I've done. Every time you pray, believe, help others, make sacrifices, that's being credited not only to your account but to your children and your grandchildren.
This is why the enemy fights our children so hard. He knows they're next in line for the blessing. Young people, you have a responsibility. Your parents, your grandparents, they worked hard. There are blessings they did not receive because God has them stored up for you. They've been accruing in your account. Whether you're eight years old or 80 years old don't be lazy, indifferent, compromise. Your family worked too hard for you to not take care of and appreciate what's coming your way. some of them worked out in the fields. They weren't treated right. They went through great injustice, sleepless nights, made sacrifices that we don't have to make today.
Don't take for granted the price that they paid. You have a responsibility to not just enjoy the blessing but to go further. God's dream is that every generation increase. It's not enough to just settle where your parents and grandparents are. That's the easy way out. You have generations of wisdom, perseverance, hard work, that's been passed down to you. After all, our ancestors made it without air-conditioning, without smart phones, without beautiful buildings, without the internet. We have no excuse to not go further.
When my father died, I took over the church. I was 36 years old. Most pastors at that age would be trying to get their first building, trying to build their foundation. I had friends that were pastors. They were meeting in high school auditoriums, had a couple hundred people. But my father put me 40 years down the road. I didn't have to start from scratch. We already had an 8,000-seat sanctuary. Thousands of people coming. Plus, the church was debt-free. My dad left us plenty of funds in the bank. When we signed the original lease for this place it was $12 million dollars. We were able to pay cash for that because of what my father had left.
My dad was raised during the great depression. His father picked cotton for a living. His mother made 10 cents an hour washing people's clothes. That's how they spent their lives. Hard-working dedicated people. My father came out of such poverty and lack that he was very frugal, very conservative. He would walk the halls of the office at the old church at night and make sure every light switch was turned off. If he saw a paperclip on the ground he would pick it up, not throw it away, put it on somebody's desk. But because of the sacrifices he made and the faithful members that gave generously back then, now we are sitting in this beautiful building. It's a generational blessing.
When we first moved in back in 2005 I had pastor friends that wanted to come see it. I was almost a little embarrassed. It's so big, so beautiful and I was younger than most of them. I didn't want it to seem like we were showing off and so I would try to downplay it. One day I realized, number one, I'm not bragging on us. I'm bragging on the greatness of God. And number two, my parents and grandparents worked too hard to downplay what God has done. They sacrificed too much. Made 10 cents an hour. Picked cotton until their fingers bled. Believed when they didn't see a way. Prayed for the funds.
I've learned you don't have to apologize for God's goodness. Wear your blessings well. you too have family members that endured great hardships. They struggled so that your life could be better. A mom that sacrificed her dream so she could pour into you. Parents that they didn't buy what they wanted so they could send you to college. A dad that worked two jobs to make ends meet. Don't apologize for what God has done. Your relatives put blood, sweat and tears to get you to where you are. Wear your blessings well.
See, sometimes, it's like people come in at the end of the movie. They see you blessed, prosperous, living your dreams and they judge you by where you are right there. The problem is they didn't see the first part of the movie. Well, you say, "Joel, God has blessed you with that big church. You've got that big ministry". Yes, but you didn't see my grandparents making 10 cents an hour. You didn't see my father preaching to 90 people year after year in an old rundown feed store. You didn't see my siblings and I sweeping out the church. As little kids we used to come up and clean out the building. My father wasn't just the pastor. He was the janitor, the landscaper, the soundman, the secretary. When you have 90 people you do it all.
Isaiah said God will give you beauty for your ashes. Sometimes people see your beauty and they get jealous, envious, "I don't think they deserve that". But I'm convinced if they ever saw your ashes they would be happy for your beauty. If they could see how the generation before you sacrificed, gave when they didn't have much, came when they didn't feel like it, helped others when they really needed help, if they could see your ashes, they would celebrate what God has done in your life.
In the book of Joel it talks about how we should receive the former rain and the latter rain. The latter rain is God blessing you because you're using your gifts and talents, making the most of your opportunities. You're doing your part. That's the latter rain. But it's time to start believing for the former rain. That's all the blessings that are stored up in your family's account. That's the favor that should have been your relatives but they never saw it.
I know right now I am being paid back for my grandparents working so hard but receiving so little. They didn't get what they deserved but God is a God of justice. Now their grandson and their grandchildren are receiving what belonged to them. You too had family members that honored God. You may not have ever met them but you had people that stored up mercy, favor, honor: increase. It's been accruing in your account. Our attitude should be, "Lord, I want to thank you that you are releasing everything that belongs to my family".
In Deuteronomy it says, "May the Lord God of your fathers make you 1,000 times more than you are". Notice, the God of your fathers. When you have a godly heritage, God can increase you in ways you've never imagined. If you had a praying mother you should thank God every day. If you had grandparents that took you to church when you were growing up you may not have liked it, thought it was wasting your time. The truth is, it was storing up favor in your account. Those are the seeds God is going to use to increase you 1,000 times more than you are. In the coming days you're going to stumble into blessings, stumble into favor.
You think, "Where did that come from? I didn't deserve that". That's the former rain. That's God releasing generational blessings. You're going to have wisdom beyond your years. People are going to ask, "How did he get so smart? How did she know that"? It's not just the books, not just the university. That's the wisdom of your fathers helping you to go to a new level of your destiny. You're going to accomplish dreams that didn't originate with you, like I did with this facility. Increase and favor because a loved one laid the groundwork. Those are the houses that you didn't have to build, the vineyards that you didn't have to plant. God has generational blessings stored up that he is about to release in your life.
Well, you say, "Joel, this all sounds good but I don't know any family members as far back as I can see that honored God. I don't think this is going to happen for me". No, you can be the first. God raised you up to get it started. here's the beauty. The one that breaks the curse gets paid back for everything that should have been yours. now, don't settle for things that you know are holding you back: addictions, compromising, taking the easy way out. Be a difference maker. Draw the line in the sand and say, "That's it. This is a new day. As for me and my house we will serve the Lord".
In the Old Testament it talks about the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They understood the power of the generational blessing. There is something significant about three generations honoring God. The scripture says, "A threefold cord cannot be broken". If you can get your father and your son along with yourself, or your mother and your grandmother, when there's three in a row that blessing is multiplied.
My father was raised in a family that didn't know anything about God. They were good hard-working people like I mentioned but he didn't have any kind of spiritual upbringing. But at the age of 17, walking home from a night club at 2 o'clock in the morning my dad made the decision, "I'm not going to live like this anymore. I'm going to give my life to Christ". He was the first one in our immediate family to honor God. Now, all of his children and grandchildren are honoring God. Because of the decision he made I can now say, "He is the God of John Osteen, the God of Joel Osteen and of my son, the God of Jonathan Osteen".
When there are three in a row that's a powerful thing. when you need favor, when you need a breakthrough, you can say, "God, my father honored you. I honor you. My son honors you". That gets God's attention. Now you may have to start this for your family like my father did. Or your job may be to keep it going for your family. Your parents and grandparents honored God. Are you going to break it? Are you going to make it more difficult on your children?
Don't drop the ball. Too much is at stake. They worked too hard to get you to where you are. With the decisions you make, your children, future generations, are either going to be better off, further down the road, or they're going to have to struggle and try to overcome things that you can defeat right now. You have the power to put a stop to anything that's holding you back. No addiction is too strong for you. No enemy is too powerful. No obstacle is too high. You have the most powerful force in the universe on the inside.
Now take a stand for your family. somebody did it for you. Just like Moses held up his hands for Joshua, hold up your hands so that somebody else can win. The Psalmist said our life is like a mist. We're here for a moment, then we're gone. You can't afford to put this off. This is the time to step into your destiny. Your relatives are cheering you on saying, "You go, girl. You go, boy. Make me proud. Do something great. Give it your best".
I know many of you have honored God. You've been faithful. You've seen the latter rain but you haven't seen anything yet. God is about to release the former rain. The increase, the favor, the good breaks that's been stored up in your family's account. I believe and declare generational blessings are coming your way. Get ready for increase. Get ready for new levels. Get ready for the fullness of your destiny. In Jesus' name. If you receive it can you say, "Amen" today?
Well, we never like to close our broadcasts without giving you an opportunity to make Jesus the Lord of your life. Would you pray with me? Just say: "Lord Jesus, I repent of my sins. Come into my heart. I make you my Lord and Savior". Friends, if you prayed that simple prayer we believe you got born again. Get in a good Bible-based church. Keep God first place. He is going to take you where you've never dreamed.