Joel Osteen – The Rewards of Integrity

, , 100 Comments


>>JOEL OSTEEN: WELL, GOD BLESS YOU. IT’S 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. I LIKE TO START WITH SOMETHING FUNNY AND I HEARD ABOUT THIS GROOM, DURING THE WEDDING REHEARSAL HE SAID TO THE MINISTER, “I’LL MAKE A DEAL WITH YOU. DURING THE VOWS, IF YOU’LL LEAVE OUT ALL THAT HONOR, OBEY, LOVE STUFF, I’LL GIVE YOU A HUNDRED DOLLARS.” HE SLIPPED A HUNDRED DOLLAR BILL INTO THE MINISTER’S HAND, WALKED AWAY WITH A SMILE. THE NEXT DAY DURING THE CEREMONY, THE MINISTER SAID TO HIM, “DO YOU PROMISE TO BOW DOWN BEFORE YOUR WIFE, TAKE HER BREAKFAST IN BED, FULFILL HER EVERY DESIRE?” HE GULPED IN ASTONISHMENT, SAID IN A WEAK VOICE, “I DO.” HE THEN WHISPERED IN THE MINISTER’S EAR, “HEY, I THOUGHT WE HAD A DEAL.” THE MINISTER HANDED HIM HIS MONEY BACK AND SAID, “YOUR WIFE MADE ME A MUCH BETTER OFFER.” 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’S NAME.” GOD BLESS YOU. I WANT TO TALK TO YOU TODAY ABOUT THE REWARDS OF INTEGRITY. THERE’S A LOT OF COMPROMISE IN OUR SOCIETY, PEOPLE THAT THINK NOTHING ABOUT BEING DISHONEST, MAKE UNDERHANDED DEALS, NOT KEEPING THEIR WORD. THEY WONDER WHY THEY CAN’T GET AHEAD. IT’S BECAUSE THEY DON’T HAVE INTEGRITY. INTEGRITY IS THE FOUNDATION THAT A SUCCESSFUL LIFE IS BUILT ON. YOU CAN HAVE TALENT, VISION, DETERMINATION, BUT WITHOUT INTEGRITY, YOU WON’T REACH YOUR HIGHEST POTENTIAL. NOW, A PERSON OF INTEGRITY DOES THE RIGHT THING WHEN NO ONE IS WATCHING. THEY DON’T PLAY ON THE COMPUTER BECAUSE THE BOSS STEPPED AWAY. THEY DON’T LEAVE SOMEONE OUT OF A COMMISSION BECAUSE THEY DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT THE SALE. THEY DON’T CUT CORNERS AT THE JOB SITE BECAUSE NOBODY WILL FIND OUT ABOUT IT. THEY GIVE IT THEIR BEST WHETHER ANYONE IS THERE OR NOT. WHEN YOU HAVE INTEGRITY, YOU DON’T TAKE SUPPLIES FROM THE OFFICE TO BRING HOME TO USE. YOU DON’T SHOW UP LATE TO WORK AND HAVE SOMEBODY CLOCK IN EARLIER FOR YOU. YOU DON’T SPEND HALF THE DAY MAKING PERSONAL PHONE CALLS AT THE OFFICE. “WELL, THEY DON’T PAY ME ENOUGH ANYWAY.” MAYBE NOT, BUT THAT’S NOT INTEGRITY. IF YOU’LL DO THE RIGHT THING, GOD WILL MAKE IT UP TO YOU. HE’S KEEPING THE RECORDS. MANY THINGS WE FACE ARE SIMPLY TESTS. GOD IS SEEING, ARE WE READY TO GO HIGHER? MAYBE THE BANK TELLER GIVES YOU TOO MUCH MONEY IN RETURN, ARE YOU GOING TO HAVE INTEGRITY, GO BACK AND MAKE THINGS RIGHT, OR ARE YOU GONNA SAY, “THANK YOU JESUS, YOU DID IT AGAIN”? THAT IS NOT THE ANSWER TO YOUR PRAYER. DO YOU CALL IN SICK TO WORK, COUGHING, SNIFFLING SO YOU CAN TAKE THE DAY OFF AND GO SHOPPING? YOU COULD WIN AN ACADEMY AWARD WITH THAT PERFORMANCE, BUT THAT’S NOT INTEGRITY. DON’T BE SURPRISED IF YOU CAN’T FIND ANYTHING AT THE STORE. THEY DON’T HAVE YOUR SIZE, NOBODY WILL WAIT ON YOU, TRAFFIC’S BACKED UP. MAYBE IT’S BECAUSE THERE’S NO BLESSING ON IT. WE CAN’T DECEIVE PEOPLE AND EXPECT TO HAVE HIS FAVOR. WHEN SOMEBODY KNOCKS ON YOUR DOOR AT HOME AND YOU DON’T FEEL LIKE VISITING, DO YOU TELL YOUR CHILD, “GO ANSWER, TELL THEM I’M NOT HERE.” THAT WORKS, BUT IT’S NOT INTEGRITY. DON’T COMPLAIN WHEN YOUR CHILD DOESN’T TELL THE TRUTH. WE’RE LEADING BY EXAMPLE. WE CAN TELL OUR CHILDREN, “DO THE RIGHT THING. STAY ON THE HIGH ROAD,” BUT IF THEY SEE US COMPROMISING, THEY’RE GOING TO DO THE SAME THING. WHEN YOU INTEGRITY, YOU PAY YOUR BILLS, YOU DON’T SWEEP THINGS UNDER THE RUG. YOU KEEP YOUR COMMITMENTS. DON’T BUY THINGS THAT YOU KNOW YOU CAN’T PAY FOR. “WELL, JOEL, I’M STRETCHING MY FAITH. I’M BELIEVING FOR INCREASE.” STRETCH YOUR FAITH BEFORE YOU SIGN ON THE DOTTED LINE. LET GOD BLESS YOU FIRST. ONCE YOU HAVE THE FUNDS, THEN YOU CAN PURCHASE IT BUT IT’S NOT INTEGRITY TO MAKE COMMITMENTS THAT YOU KNOW YOU’RE NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO KEEP. DON’T PROMISE PEOPLE THE MOON WHEN YOU KNOW YOU CAN’T GET TO THE CLOUDS. DON’T WRITE A CHECK AND THEN PRAY FOR THREE DAYS HOPING IT’LL CLEAR. CHECK YOUR BALANCE FIRST. BE HONEST, BE TRUSTWORTHY, BE A PERSON OF YOUR WORD. YOUR REPUTATION IS ONE OF THE MOST VALUABLE THINGS YOU HAVE. PROVERBS SAYS, “A GOOD NAME IS WORTH MORE THAN GREAT RICHES.” YOU CAN HAVE GREAT WEALTH AND BE LOOKED DOWN ON, SEEN AS SHADY BUT WHEN YOU’RE A PERSON OF INTEGRITY, WHEN PEOPLE LOOK AT YOU AND THINK, “I CAN TRUST THEM. THEY ALWAYS DO THE RIGHT THING. THEY’RE HONEST, THEY’RE FAIR. THEY DON’T TALK TO ME ONE WAY AND THEN TALK TO MY FRIENDS BEHIND MY BACK ANOTHER WAY. THEY’RE CONSISTENT.” YOUR REPUTATION IS TOO IMPORTANT TO LET IT BECOME TARNISHED BY NOT HAVING INTEGRITY. WHEN YOU DO THE RIGHT THING, WHEN YOU STAY ON THE HIGH ROAD, THAT WILL TAKE YOU MUCH FURTHER THAN BEING DISHONEST, MANIPULATING, TRYING TO GAIN AN UNFAIR ADVANTAGE. WE CAN’T TURN IN AN EXAGGERATED EXPENSE ACCOUNT AND EXPECT TO BE BLESSED. WE CAN’T BE DECEITFUL ON TAXES AND EXPECT TO HAVE GOD’S FAVOR. I KNEW A MAN, HE TAPPED INTO THE CABLE LINE BEHIND HIS HOUSE AND BROUGHT CABLE INTO HIS HOME WITHOUT PAYING FOR IT. HE WAS SO PROUD OF IT, HE BRAGGED TO US FOR YEARS HOW HE WAS SAVING $40 A MONTH. THAT MAN NEVER DID RISE OUT OF MEDIOCRITY, CONSTANTLY STRUGGLED, BARELY GOT BY. HE THOUGHT HE WAS GAINING AN ADVANTAGE. THE TRUTH IS, HE WAS PUTTING HIMSELF AT A DISADVANTAGE. YOU MAY GAIN WITH PEOPLE, GAIN SOME MATERIAL THINGS, BUT WHAT IF YOU LOSE WITH GOD? HE CONTROLS THE UNIVERSE. HE’S THE ONE THAT CAN OPEN THE WINDOWS OF HELP AND POUR OUT BLESSINGS THAT YOU CAN’T CONTAIN. I WOULD RATHER HAVE FAVOR WITH GOD THAN FAVOR WITH PEOPLE. THAT MAN WOULD HAVE BEEN BETTER OFF TO PAY THE $40 SO HE COULD HAVE GOD’S BLESSING. THERE’S A LOT WE CAN GET BY WITH, HIDE, EXAGGERATE, BUT ANYTHING WE GAIN WITHOUT INTEGRITY WON’T BE AS GOOD AS IT COULD HAVE BEEN. IT’S BETTER TO BE TRUTHFUL AND HAVE LESS, THEN GOD’S FAVOR WILL TAKE YOU FURTHER. BUT TOO OFTEN, WE’RE LETTING LITTLE COMPROMISES KEEP US FROM THE BIG THINGS GOD HAS IN STORE. INSTEAD OF TRYING TO CROSS THE LINE, THINKING, “HOW MUCH CAN I GET AWAY WITH AND STILL GET BY?” WHY DON’T YOU TRY A DIFFERENT APPROACH AND SEE HOW FAR BEHIND THE LINE YOU CAN STAY? ASK YOURSELF, “WHAT IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO? IF I WAS STANDING BEFORE GOD, WHAT DECISION WOULD I MAKE?” THE MORE INTEGRITY YOU HAVE, THE MORE GOD CAN BLESS YOU. JOHN CHAPTER 1, JESUS SAW A MAN NAMED NATHANAEL COMING TOWARD HIM. VERSE 47 SAYS, “JESUS KNEW NATHANAEL’S THOUGHTS. HE HONORED HIM SAYING, ‘HERE COMES A MAN IN WHOM THERE IS NO DECEIT, AN UPRIGHT, HONEST MAN THAT IS FREE FROM HYPOCRISY AND DOUBLE STANDARDS.'” THAT SHOULD BE OUR GOAL. “GOD, I WANT TO BE SO ABOVE BOARD, SO FULL OF INTEGRITY, THAT YOU’LL DESCRIBE ME LIKE YOU DESCRIBE NATHANIEL, THAT THERE IS NO DECEIT IN ME.” “WELL, JOEL, THAT’S NOT ME.” MAYBE NOT YET, BUT IT CAN BE. YOU CAN BECOME A NATHANIEL. YOU CAN MAKE DECISIONS THAT HONOR GOD. WHEN YOU HAVE INTEGRITY, YOU’RE THE SAME IN PRIVATE AS YOU ARE IN PUBLIC. WE DON’T TREAT PEOPLE AT WORK NICE AND KIND AND THEN COME HOME AND BE RUDE AND HARSH TO YOUR FAMILY. THAT’S NOT INTEGRITY, THAT’S HYPOCRISY. YOU SHOULD TREAT YOUR FAMILY BETTER THAN YOU TREAT ANYONE ELSE. DON’T BE KINDER TO STRANGERS THAN YOU ARE TO YOUR OWN SPOUSE. DON’T BE MORE CONSIDERATE TO COWORKERS THAN YOU ARE TO THE PEOPLE THAT LIVE IN YOUR OWN HOUSE. BE CONSISTENT. SOME PEOPLE ON SUNDAYS IS, “GOD BLESS YOU, GREAT TO SEE YOU.” THEY’LL WAVE REAL BIG, REAL FRIENDLY BUT ON MONDAYS, IF YOU CUT THEM OFF IN TRAFFIC, THEY’LL WAVE WITH ONE FINGER IN THE AIR. THAT’S BEING TWO FACED. THAT’S A PRETENDER. YOU HAVE TO GET HONEST WITH YOURSELF. I’M NOT ASKING YOU TO BE PERFECT, I’M ASKING YOU TO BE REAL. YOU’LL NEVER CHANGE IF YOU DON’T FIRST ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THERE’S SOME PRETENDING GOING ON. THE NEXT TIME YOU’RE TEMPTED TO SWITCH OVER TO THE PRETEND YOU, THE COMPROMISING YOU, THE DISHONEST YOU, PUT YOUR FOOT DOWN. SAY, “NO, I’M NOT GOING THERE. THAT IS NOT WHO I AM. THAT’S AN IMITATION. I AM KIND, LOVING, HONEST, TRUSTWORTHY, CALM, CONSISTENT.” YOU TALK TO YOUR OURSELF THAT WAY LONG ENOUGH AND YOU’LL HAVE INTEGRITY WITH YOURSELF. YOU’LL BECOME CONSISTENT THE SAME ON MONDAY AS YOU ARE ON SUNDAY, THE SAME AT WORK AS YOU ARE AT HOME. THIS IS WHAT I SAW GROWING UP WITH MY PARENTS. THEY WERE THE SAME IN THE PULPIT AS THEY WERE AT HOME. THEY WEREN’T LOVING IN PUBLIC AND THEN HATEFUL IN PRIVATE. I BELIEVE THIS IS ONE REASON THAT ALL OF US KIDS, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF MY BROTHER PAUL, TURNED OUT OKAY. YOU CAN FOOL A LOT OF PEOPLE, BUT YOU CAN’T FOOL YOUR CHILDREN. THEY KNOW WHEN THERE’S A DOUBLE STANDARD, THEY KNOW WHEN THERE’S NOT INTEGRITY. OUR SON JONATHAN GAVE ME A COMPLIMENT A WHILE BACK ON MY BIRTHDAY. HE WROTE, “MY DAD IS ONE OF THE KINDNESS PEOPLE I KNOW. HE TREATS EVERYONE HE MEETS WITH RESPECT.” I DIDN’T KNOW THAT HE REALLY NOTICED, BUT PEOPLE ARE WATCHING. PARENTS, WE ARE LEADING BY EXAMPLE. THIS IS NOT TO MAKE US FEEL PRESSURED, BUT TO MAKE US STRIVE TO EXCEL, TO BE HONORABLE, TRUSTWORTHY, KIND, PEOPLE THAT STAY ON THE HIGH ROAD. WHEN YOU HAVE INTEGRITY, YOU’RE NOT MAKING UNDERHANDED DEALS, HOPING THAT NOBODY SEES YOU. IF YOU HAVE TO HIDE WHAT YOU’RE DOING, IT’S PROBABLY NOT INTEGRITY. I’VE HEARD IT SAID, DON’T DO ANYTHING YOU WOULDN’T WANT TO READ ABOUT THE NEXT DAY IN THE NEWSPAPER. I WAS AT A RESTAURANT YEARS AGO IN ANOTHER CITY. WE WERE TRAVELING TO AN EVENT. I HAD BROUGHT SOME LEMONS IN THE CAR THAT I WANTED TO CUT AND SQUEEZE INTO AN ENERGY DRINK BEFORE I SPOKE, BUT I FORGOT THE KNIFE. WE WERE GOING STRAIGHT TO THE MEETING, DIDN’T HAVE MUCH TIME, SO I THOUGHT, MAYBE AT THIS RESTAURANT, I CAN TAKE ONE OF THEIR KNIVES. AFTER ALL, I’M PAYING A LOT FOR THIS MEAL. JUST A 3 DOLLAR KNIFE, THEY’RE NOT GONNA MISS IT. THEY’RE NOT GONNA CARE. STARTED REASONING IT OUT, TRYING TO JUSTIFY TAKING A KNIFE. I THOUGHT, HOW AM I GONNA GET IT OUT OF HERE? THE ONLY WAY IS TO HIDE IT. I THOUGHT, I CAN’T DO THAT. I’LL GET VICTORIA TO DO IT FOR ME, MY PARTER IN CRIME. I FINALLY CAME TO MY SENSES. JOEL, YOU’RE A PASTOR, YOU ARE NOT GONNA GO OUT OF HERE HIDING A PIECE OF SILVERWARE. I CALLED THE WAITER OVER SAID SIR, I NEED A FAVOR. CAN I BUY THIS KNIFE? HE WENT AND TALKED TO THE MANAGER, CAME BACK, BROUGHT ME A SET OF SILVERWARE IN A BAG SAID, “THE MANAGER SAID YOU CAN HAVE IT.” I THOUGHT, “LORD, THANK YOU, KEPT ME OUT OF PRISON.” BUT HERE’S MY POINT, IT’S MUCH BETTER TO BE OPEN AND HONEST. I PROBABLY COULD HAVE WALKED OUT OF THERE WITH SOME SILVERWARE HIDDEN. THEY MAY NOT HAVE SEEN IT BUT HERE’S THE PROBLEM, GOD COULD HAVE SEEN IT. THE SCRIPTURE SAYS, “IT’S THE LITTLE FOXES THAT SPOIL THE VINES.” I DOUBT MANY OF YOU HAVE BIG AREAS WHERE YOU’RE LACKING INTEGRITY, BUT MAYBE THERE’S SOME SMALL THINGS. THE GOOD NEWS IS IT’S NOT HARD TO CORRECT, JUST TAKES A LITTLE EFFORT, DIGGING DOWN DEEPER TO DO THE RIGHT THING. IT MEANS GETTING OUT OF RUTS WHERE WE’VE GOTTEN COMFORTABLE COMPROMISING, DOING THINGS THAT ARE LESS THAN OUR BEST. DAVID SAID IN PSALM 101, “I WILL LEAD A LIFE OF INTEGRITY IN MY OWN HOME.” HE WAS SAYING, “WHEN NOBODY CAN SEE ME, I’M GOING TO DO THE RIGHT THING. WHEN I COULD SLACK OFF, COMPROMISE, GIVE INTO TEMPTATION, BE DISHONEST, INSTEAD I’M GOING TO TAKE THE RIGHT ROAD. I’M GOING TO BE A PERSON OF EXCELLENCE. I’M GOING TO SHOW GOD HE CAN TRUST ME.” HE WENT ON TO SAY, “I WILL NOT LOOK AT ANYTHING IMPURE, NOT GONNA WATCH THINGS THAT POISON ME.” VERSE 3 SAYS, “I WILL NOT HAVE CROOKED DEALINGS, NOT GONNA GET INVOLVED IN THINGS THAT ARE SHADY AND UNDERHANDED, UNETHICAL. DAVID WASN’T PERFECT, BUT HE MADE UP HIS MIND HE WAS GOING TO WALK IN INTEGRITY STARTING IN HIS OWN HOME, STARTING IN HIS PRIVATE LIFE. WE CAN FOOL A LOT OF PEOPLE IN PUBLIC, BUT WHAT GOD IS CONCERNED WITH IS WHAT GOES ON BEHIND CLOSED DOORS. THE SCRIPTURE TALKS ABOUT THE HIDDEN MAN OF OUR HEART, THAT’S OUR MOTIVES, WHAT WE DO IN SECRET. HOW YOU LIVE IN PRIVATE WILL DETERMINE HOW HIGH YOU GO IN PUBLIC. AND PEOPLE MAY NOT BE WATCHING, BUT GOD IS WATCHING. DON’T TAKE THAT AS SOMETHING NEGATIVE LIKE, “OH MAN, I’M GONNA GET CAUGHT. I’M IN TROUBLE.” TAKE IT AS A CHALLENGE. GOD IS WATCHING TO SEE WHEN HE CAN PROMOTE YOU. HE’S WAITING TO SEE WHEN YOU PASS THESE TESTS SO HE CAN TAKE YOU TO NEW LEVELS. I WONDER HOW MUCH HIGHER WE WOULD GO, HOW MUCH MORE FAVOR AND PROMOTION WE’D SEE IF WE WOULD DEAL WITH THE AREAS THAT WE KNOW ARE HOLDING US BACK. START MAKE THINGS RIGHT, HAVING INTEGRITY IN YOUR FINANCES, IN YOUR RELATIONSHIPS, IN HOW YOU TREAT PEOPLE. “WELL JOEL, I DIDN’T WANT TO HEAR ABOUT INTEGRITY TODAY. I WANTED TO HEAR ABOUT PROSPERITY.” YOU WILL NEVER HAVE PROSPERITY IF YOU DON’T FIRST HAVE INTEGRITY. THE TWO GO HAND IN HAND. I WAS AT A MUSIC STORE WITH JONATHAN WHEN HE WAS TEN YEARS OLD AND BUYING SOME EQUIPMENT FOR HIS GUITAR. WHEN I WENT TO PAY, THE MAN TOLD ME THAT LAKEWOOD HAD AN ACCOUNT THERE AND WE COULD PUT IT ON THAT ACCOUNT. AND I TOLD HIM THAT THIS WAS PERSONAL AND I DIDN’T WANT TO DO THAT. HE GAVE ME THE BILL AND THE TAX ON IT WAS $20. HE SAID, “AT LEAST LET ME PUT THIS UNDER LAKEWOOD’S NAME, THAT WAY YOU WON’T HAVE TO PAY THE TAX.” LAKEWOOD IS A CHURCH AND CHURCHES ARE TAX EXEMPT. I SAID, “THANKS SO MUCH BUT NO, I WANT TO PAY THE TAX TOO. THIS IS TOTALLY PERSONAL.” HE LOOKED AT ME SO STRANGE, KIND OF SHOOK HIS HEAD LIKE, “MAN, YOU ARE WAY OVER BOARD. NOBODY WOULD KNOW YOU DIDN’T PAY THE TAX. MY COMPANY WOULDN’T KNOW, THE CHURCH WOULDN’T KNOW, THE IRS WOULDN’T KNOW.” WHAT HE DIDN’T REALIZE IS SOMEONE WAS WATCHING MORE IMPORTANT THAN ALL THOSE THAT HE MENTIONED, THE MOST HIGH GOD SEES EVERYTHING WE DO. THESE ARE OPPORTUNITIES FOR US TO PASS THE TEST. IF GOD CAN TRUST ME TO BE HONEST WITH $20, MAYBE HE CAN TRUST ME TO HANDLE 20,000, OR 20 MILLION, OR 200 MILLION. I WOULD HATE TO THINK I DIDN’T REACH MY DESTINY BECAUSE OF SMALL THINGS I WASN’T HONEST IN, SMALL AREAS THAT I DIDN’T PASS THE TEST. SURE, I COULD HAVE SAVED $20, BUT WHAT IS THAT IN COMPARISON TO HAVING THE BLESSING AND FAVOR OF THE CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE? WHEN GOD CAN TRUST YOU, WHEN YOU PROVE TO HIM THAT YOU’RE A PERSON OF INTEGRITY, THERE IS NO LIMIT TO HOW HIGH HE WILL TAKE YOU. I SAW THIS WITH MY FATHER, HE WAS A MAN OF GREAT INTEGRITY. IF THERE WAS THE SMALLEST QUESTION OF SOMETHING NOT BEING ABOVE BOARD, PERFECTLY ETHICAL, WE WOULDN’T HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH IT. THROUGH THE YEARS, PEOPLE WOULD BRING DEALS BY. “HEY, YOU GOT THAT BIG CHURCH, ALL THOSE PEOPLE. YOU CAN TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT, MAKE SOME EXTRA FUNDS.” MY FATHER VALUED GOD’S BLESSING ON HIS LIFE MORE THAN WHAT ANY PERSON COULD COME UP WITH. HE TAUGHT ME TO HAVE A HIGH STANDARD AND IF YOU DON’T FEEL GOOD ABOUT SOMETHING, YOU HAVE TO TALK YOURSELF INTO IT, MAKE EXCUSES AS TO WHY IT’S OKAY. IT’S NOT WORTH IT. YOU WILL NEVER GO WRONG BY TAKING THE HIGH ROAD. SHORT TERM, I COULD HAVE SAVED 20 BUCKS, LONGTERM I MAY NOT BE WHERE I AM. PROVE TO GOD THAT HE CAN TRUST YOU, THAT YOU’LL GO THE EXTRA MILE TO DO WHAT’S RIGHT. YOU MAY HAVE TO SAY NO TO SOME THINGS THAT PEOPLE DON’T UNDERSTAND, NOT DO WHAT ALL YOUR COWORKERS DO. MAYBE THEY’RE FINE WITH SLACKING UP. THEY’RE OKAY WITH SPENDING COMPANY MONEY ON PERSONAL THINGS. DON’T JUDGE THEM. THAT’S NOT OUR BUSINESS, BUT DON’T BECOME LIKE THEM. DON’T LOWER YOUR STANDARDS. THEY’RE NOT GOING WHERE YOU’RE GOING. YOU MAY NOT BE ABLE TO DO EVERYTHING YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS DO, WATCH WHAT THEY WATCH, DO BUSINESS LIKE DO BUSINESS. THERE’S A PRICE TO PAY TO BECOME ALL YOU WERE CREATED TO BE. IF IT WAS EASY, ANYBODY WOULD DO IT. THIS TAKES PEOPLE THAT HAVE A MADE UP MIND, “I’M GOING TO HONOR GOD, NOT GONNA COMPROMISE, TAKE SHORTCUTS, DO THINGS THAT ARE NOT ETHICAL. NOT GONNA PUSH PEOPLE DOWN TO GET AN ADVANTAGE, NOT GONNA BE SLOPPY IN MY BUSINESS DEALINGS. I’M GOING TO BE A PERSON OF INTEGRITY, TRUSTWORTHY, HONORABLE,” THAT’S THE KIND OF PEOPLE THAT GOD REWARDS. SOMETIMES WHEN WE COMPROMISE AND DO THINGS THAT ARE QUESTIONABLE, WE THINK WE’RE GAINING AN ADVANTAGE WITH PEOPLE. WE’RE GETTING THE UPPER HAND BUT WHEN YOU WALK IN INTEGRITY, YOU’RE GAINING AN ADVANTAGE WITH GOD. HIS FAVOR ON YOUR LIFE WILL TAKE YOU FURTHER THAN ANY ADVANTAGE WITH PEOPLE. YOU MAY HAVE MADE MISTAKES IN THE PAST, NOT HAD INTEGRITY IN CERTAIN AREAS, THAT’S OKAY, WE ALL HAVE. MY CHALLENGE IS START MAKE THINGS RIGHT. LET TODAY BE A NEW DAY. DON’T GO THE NEXT 30 YEARS LETTING THE SAME THINGS HOLD YOU BACK. WHEN MY FATHER WAS IN HIS 20S BACK IN THE 1940S, HE BOUGHT TWO SUITS ON CREDIT FROM A STORE IN FORT WORTH. HE HAD GOOD INTENTIONS. HE WAS PLANNING ON PAYING THEM BACK, BUT HE GOT BUSY AND THINGS CAME UP. HE NEVER DID. YEARS WENT BY AND HE’D FORGOTTEN ABOUT IT. ONE DAY HE WAS DRIVING THROUGH FORT WORTH AND SUDDENLY HE REMEMBERED. IT BOTHERED HIM THAT HE HAD NEVER PAID THAT DEBT. HE GOT IN THE PHONE BOOK BUT COULDN’T FIND THE NAME OF THE COMPANY, SO HE DROVE TO THE LOCATION BUT THEY WERE CLOSED DOWN. THE PEOPLE NEXT DOOR SAID THEY HAD BEEN OUT OF BUSINESS FOR MANY YEARS. HE WOULD HAVE THOUGHT, “I DID MY BEST, I TRIED.” HE DIDN’T STOP THERE. HE FOUND OUT WHO THE OWNERS WERE. THEY HAD PASSED AWAY, BUT HE WAS ABLE TO TRACK DOWN ONE OF THEIR CHILDREN. HE CALLED THIS MAN, HE WAS MY FATHER’S AGE, AND EXPLAINED THAT HE OWED THEM FOR TWO SUITS HE DIDN’T PAY FOR BACK IN THE 1940S. THE MAN SAYS, “SIR, DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT. WE’VE BEEN OUT OF BUSINESS. WE’RE ALL DOING FINE.” MY DAD THANKED HIM FOR BEING SO GRACIOUS BUT SAID, “NO, I STILL WANT TO PAY YOU.” HE DROVE TO HIS HOUSE, GAVE HIM A CHECK WITH INTEREST 40 YEARS LATER. NO WONDER GOD BLESSED MY FATHER. NO WONDER HE TOOK HIM HIGHER AND HIGHER. IT WASN’T THAT HE JUST HAD GREAT TALENT, HE HAD GREAT INTEGRITY. HE WAS DETERMINED TO MAKE THINGS RIGHT. GENESIS CHAPTER 20, ABRAHAM AND SARAH HAD JUST MOVED TO A NEW CITY. SARAH WAS VERY BEAUTIFUL, VERY STRIKING. ABRAHAM KNEW WHEN THE KING SAW HER BEAUTY, HE WOULD WANT TO TAKE HER INTO HIS HAREM. HE TOLD SARAH, “TELL THE KING THAT YOU’RE MY SISTER, THAT WAY HE WON’T KILL ME JUST TO GET TO YOU.” LIKE HE THOUGHT, THE KING SENT WORD FOR SARAH, HAD HER COME TO THE PALACE. ONE NIGHT THE KING HAD A DREAM. GOD SAID TO HIM, “WHY HAVE YOU TAKEN A MARRIED WOMAN INTO YOUR FAMILY?” THE KING SAID, “GOD, WHAT DO YOU MEAN? ABRAHAM SAID SHE WAS HIS SISTER. SHE TOLD ME ABRAHAM WAS HER BROTHER. IN THE INTEGRITY OF MY HEART, I HAVE DONE THIS.” GOD SAID IN VERSE 6, “YES, I KNOW YOU ARE INNOCENT. BECAUSE OF YOUR INTEGRITY, I HAVE KEPT YOU FROM TOUCHING HER, NOW RETURN HER TO ABRAHAM.” THIS KING WAS ABOUT TO MAKE A MISTAKE, GET OFF COURSE, STEP OUT OF GOD’S FAVOR, BUT BECAUSE OF HIS INTEGRITY, BECAUSE HE WAS TRUSTWORTHY, HONORABLE, GOD KEPT HIM FROM WHAT HE COULDN’T SEE ON HIS OWN. PROVERBS 2 SAYS, “GOD IS A SHIELD TO THOSE WHO WALK IN INTEGRITY. HE GUARDS THEIR PATH, WATCHES AFTER THEM.” LIKE THIS KING, THERE ARE MISTAKES YOU COULD HAVE MADE, WRONG TURNS, COMPROMISE, BUT BECAUSE OF YOUR INTEGRITY GOD STEPPED IN AND CLOSED THE DOOR. HE KEPT YOU FROM THE TROUBLE, FROM THE HEARTACHE. HE’S GUARDING YOUR PATH. SOME OF THE TEMPTATION THAT YOU RESISTED, IT WASN’T THAT YOU WERE SO STRONG, WASN’T YOU JUST DECIDED TO SAY NO, THAT WAS GOD HOLDING YOU BACK. THERE IS A BLESSING ON YOUR LIFE THAT PROTECTS YOU, GUARDS YOU WHEN YOU HONOR GOD. DAVID TALKED ABOUT IT. “GOD KEEPS MY FOOT FROM DASHING AGAINST A STONE. GOD WILL NOT LET MY ENEMIES TRIUMPH OVER ME.” WHEN YOU WALK IN INTEGRITY, GOD HAS A SHIELD AROUND YOU. HE’S KEEPING FIERY DARTS FROM HITTING YOU. HE’S PUSHING BACK DARKNESS. HE’S NOT LETTING THE TEMPTATION OVERTAKE YOU. HE’S CLOSING DOORS THAT WOULD BE HARMFUL. IF YOU WANT TO KEEP THAT SHIELD UP, KEEP YOUR INTEGRITY, BE TRUSTWORTHY, BE HONORABLE, A PERSON OF YOUR WORD. BE SOMEBODY THAT CAN BE COUNTED ON. THERE WAS A VERY WEALTHY MAN THAT HAD A FRIEND THAT WAS A BUILDER. THIS BUILDER HAD BEEN DOWN ON HIS LUCK AND NOT HAD MUCH BUSINESS. THE MAN FELT SORRY FOR HIM, DECIDED TO HELP HIM OUT. HE GAVE HIM A SET OF PLANS WITH A CHECK FOR $200,000. HE SAID, “I WANT YOU TO USE THESE FUNDS TO BUILD ME A NEW HOUSE. YOU HANDLE ALL THE DETAILS, JUST CALL ME WHEN YOU’RE DONE.” HE ASSURED HIM HE WOULD PAY HIM VERY WELL IF HE’D DO A GOOD JOB. THIS BUILDER WAS SO EXCITED THAT HE FINALLY HAD SOME WORK, BUT HE GOT TO THINKING IF WOULD CUT A FEW CORNERS, SAVE A LITTLE HERE, SAVE A LITTLE THERE, HE COULD POCKET SOME OF THAT MONEY WITHOUT ANYBODY KNOWING ABOUT IT. SO, HE WENT OUT AND FOUND THE CHEAPEST CONCRETE HE COULD FIND, HAD THE WORKERS WATER IT DOWN SO IT COULD GO FURTHER. HE SAVED SEVERAL THOUSAND DOLLARS ON THE FOUNDATION. HE BOUGHT THE CHEAPEST LUMBER, SOME OF IT WAS OLD, CROOKED, WARPED, HE DIDN’T CARE. IT WAS GONNA BE BEHIND THE WALLS, NOBODY WOULD SEE IT. HE GOT THE CHEAPEST PLUMBER, CHEAPEST ELECTRICITY, ON AND ON RIGHT AND LEFT CUTTING CORNERS, POCKETING THE MONEY. WHEN HE FINISHED, HE HAD SAVED NEARLY $40,000. HE WAS SO HAPPY. HE CALLED THE OWNER OVER TO LOOK AT THE NEW HOUSE. THE OWNER WAS VERY IMPRESSED, LOOKED BEAUTIFUL ON THE OUTSIDE. YOU COULDN’T TELL HE HAD CUT CORNERS. THIS BUILDER COULDN’T WAIT TO SEE HOW MUCH HE WAS GOING TO GET PAID. HE KNEW THE OWNER WAS A VERY GENEROUS MAN. THE OWNER SAID, “YOU KNOW, I DON’T REALLY NEED A NEW HOUSE. I HAVE A BEAUTIFUL ONE. I JUST WANTED TO HELP YOU OUT.” HE HANDED HIM THE KEYS AND SAID, “HERE, YOU JUST BUILT YOUR OWN HOUSE.” THE BUILDER NEARLY PASSED OUT. HE THOUGHT, “IF I’D KNOWN IT WAS GONNA BE MINE, I’D BUILT IT A WHOLE LOT BETTER.” WE MAY NOT REALIZE IT, BUT WE ARE BUILDING OUR OWN HOUSE. WE CAN CUT CORNERS HERE, COMPROMISE THERE. IT’S NOT HURTING ANYONE EXCEPT OURSELVES. EVERYTHING MAY LOOK FINE ON THE OUTSIDE, WHAT MATTERS IS WHAT’S HAPPENING ON THE INSIDE. ARE WE WATERING DOWN OUR FOUNDATION, NOT BEING TRUSTWORTHY IN COMMITMENTS, SLACKING OFF AT THE OFFICE? WHAT KIND OF MATERIALS ARE YOU PUTTING INTO YOUR HOUSE? I’M ASKING YOU TO BE A PERSON OF INTEGRITY, DO THE RIGHT THING WHEN NOBODY IS WATCHING. DON’T LET SMALL THINGS KEEP YOU FROM THE BIG DESTINY GOD HAS IN STORE. START PASSING THESE TESTS, BE HONORABLE, TRUSTWORTHY, A PERSON OF YOUR WORD. IF YOU’LL DO THIS, I BELIEVE AND DECLARE BECAUSE YOU WALK IN INTEGRITY, GOD IS GOING TO HAVE A SHIELD AROUND YOU. HE’S GOING TO KEEP YOU FROM MAKING MAJOR MISTAKES. YOU’RE NOT ONLY GOING TO BE PROTECTED, BUT YOU’RE GOING TO SEE PROMOTION, GOOD BREAKS, NEW LEVELS, THE FULLNESS OF YOUR DESTINY IN JESUS’S NAME. AND IF YOU RECEIVE IT, CAN YOU SAY, “AMEN” TODAY? I’D LIKE TO GIVE 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.” IF YOU PRAYED THAT SIMPLE PRAYER, WE BELIEVE YOU GOT BORN AGAIN. GET IN A GOOD BIBLE-BASED CHURCH, KEEP GOD FIRST PLACE. YOUR PARTNERSHIP MAKES THIS MINISTRY POSSIBLE. YOUR FAITHFUL AND CONSISTENT MONTHLY SUPPORT MAKES YOU A CHAMPION OF HOPE. THE VISION OF JOEL OSTEEN MINISTRIES IS TO USE EVERY AVENUE AVAILABLE TO PRESENT THE HOPE OF JESUS CHRIST TO PEOPLE EVERYWHERE. WE KNOW IT IS THIS HOPE AND THE TRANSFORMING POWER OF THE GOSPEL THAT MAKES AN ETERNAL DIFFERENCE IN PEOPLE’S LIVES. TO PARTNER WITH JOEL OSTEEN MINISTRIES, VISIT JOELOSTEEN.COM/PARTNER TODAY.

 

100 Responses

  1. Pariseema Thakore

    February 21, 2019 9:17 am

    Thank you for such a wonderful sermon! What a great reinforcement for me! I always listen to your sermons while excersising in the gym. You make my workout more spiritual. God bless you! Praise the lord!

    Reply
  2. Virginia Lacar

    March 3, 2019 4:26 pm

    You are a great preacher Pastor Joel Osteen all your messages are all
    true ! !!God is always guarding my path towards achieving the goals of my life and healthy every day and night!!! Amen 😍 and Amen!!!!

    Reply
  3. Debora Delario

    March 5, 2019 9:26 am

    Happy birthday Joel may u have a good life. & Keep bring people to JESUS. ENJOY your day ❀😊🍍

    Reply
  4. Emily R

    March 11, 2019 4:23 pm

    β€œIf you have to hide what your doing, is probably not integrity”. This is one of my favorite sermons. Truly opened my eyes!

    Reply
  5. Sonja Nghihepa Nghihepa

    March 14, 2019 12:03 pm

    From Namibia (Africa) I listen to you each morning, from work and before bed. You are and have changed my life choices and decisions. I can not decide without ur sermons

    Reply
  6. Marvin McGuire

    March 27, 2019 2:40 pm

    Lord please help me to defeat my addictions and to be the same man in private as I am in public. Help me to be respectful, trustworthy, honest, and loving. Thank you Jesus

    Reply
  7. Carlos Collado

    April 1, 2019 3:31 am

    Becoming a man of integrity has helped me move a lot further. Doing the right things and the things I say even when no one is watching. Being a man of integrity has led me to meet some incredible people in my interview show like David Meltzer, Greg Reid, and Patrick Bet David.

    Reply
  8. Sandra GΓ³mez

    April 6, 2019 3:35 am

    Hello from BogotΓ‘ Colombia, God bless this wonderful ministry!!! Thank you for the wonderful messages πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™Muchas gracias, bendiciones!!!

    Reply
  9. tay tra

    April 9, 2019 8:07 pm

    πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜

    Reply
  10. tay tra

    April 9, 2019 8:16 pm

    πŸ˜πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒπŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒ

    Reply
  11. tay tra

    April 9, 2019 8:21 pm

    πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜˜πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

    Reply
  12. Jill V

    April 14, 2019 4:55 pm

    That statement Pastor Osteen made: "You're building your own house," is so profound. I hope those of us who are watching don't miss it.

    All those folks who have a problem with this pastor, my advice is: If you really feel the pastor is erring is some way, pray for him in love and let the Lord handle the rest, because this young man IS called of God.

    Reply
  13. Lydia Lopez

    April 21, 2019 2:25 pm

    Lord continue the good work in my mind,body and soul! May my life and integrity moving forward be pleasing to you lord. Thanks Joel for this powerful message.

    Reply
  14. ole Fire

    April 24, 2019 1:58 pm

    I have been living a lie.I have been greedy.I failed several tests in my life.My integrity is compromised.May God forgive me all my sins.I want to receive him as my lord and saviour.

    Reply
  15. Val Catt

    May 5, 2019 10:12 pm

    Being in God’s favor seems to me a bit off. It makes more sense to me to say being of God’s favor.

    Reply
  16. Douglas Wayne

    May 14, 2019 9:47 pm

    In other words, it's also known as Karma.

    Here's the most recent real world example:

    Uber's stock collapsed the very first day of their IPO to become the 5th worse IPO in history!

    Uber has been deceiving drivers while stealing their money just so Uber can appear profitable in order to attract investors and become rich.

    Well, their strategy backfired.

    If Uber doesn't change their dishonest ways, they will spiral to their corporate death.

    God is very fair – don't screw hard-working people!

    Reply
  17. Naomi Nzisa

    May 23, 2019 3:02 am

    Amen.this message is so powerful.its talking to me.lord please change me I want to walk in integrity.

    Reply
  18. My view JHJ

    June 1, 2019 10:50 pm

    My problem is Joel need to stop speaking his good deeds and god loves the criminals and bar people. He doesn’t choose the good people…

    Reply
  19. susanne foort

    July 5, 2019 10:40 am

    I'll get Victoria to do it for me …πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ€£πŸ€£ ….. Oh, Joel …πŸ€£πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

    Reply
  20. Justin Rohrer

    July 8, 2019 10:08 pm

    If Your doing the right thing because God will reward you than it's not integrity! Integrity is "doing the right thing when NO ONE is watching" God is watching, so if your Christian you have no sense of integrity you just want a reward.

    Reply
  21. Ret I love you israel Bo

    August 1, 2019 5:37 pm

    MR. OSTEEN THIS MESSAGE, IS LOVE BY KINGS QUEES, DODGES, DUKES, AND THE VERY POWERFUL, BECAUSE IS THE PEOPLE, THAT THEY WANT TO HAVE FOR THEIR SOCIETIES. THANK YOU.

    Reply
  22. noble ucho

    August 6, 2019 5:13 pm

    Powerful!! Thank you pastor Joel… I wanna see you preach about Humility too, that's what I know you for!!

    Reply
  23. linda_ murillo_TKT_9B

    August 18, 2019 2:27 pm

    I'm from Ecuador, I listen to you everyday, and I thank you for the messages you give me, they help me and give me a push for the day to have a bless day.

    Reply
  24. Alex wilson

    August 23, 2019 3:49 pm

    May my sisters and brothers always do what is right towards me πŸ€·πŸ™πŸ“–psalm106:2:3:4:5jd thank you Jesus amen

    Reply
  25. Keiyo Kimaru

    August 25, 2019 3:56 am

    Hallelujah!
    #LakewoodChurch/#[email protected]~ You have been used by God Almighty to restore hope to hopeless.
    God bless you abundantlyβ™₯β™₯β™₯ #PastorJoeOsteen/#LakewoodChurch β™₯β™₯β™₯

    Reply
  26. Cheri Spencer

    August 29, 2019 2:45 am

    Cable curse.. Come on..they billed me 400.00…for putting cable in for years. Don't condemn the victims of corporate greed. Mobsters who. ..have so much and demand your home and your neighbors. Pointy fingers. Point and you need to be watching what you believe in. Angry preachers have turned off many Christians. Condemnation and no justice..no legitimate fairness is not our nation's intention. The wolves are all around..women are abused everyday. God's concerns are always watchful…he does not ignore a system…that is full of greed. God does not maliciously condemn ..over and over..a person overtly rebuked ..tortured..humiliated..that is Satan's realm…demonic individuals..networking.

    Reply
  27. Ester 2019

    August 29, 2019 6:24 pm

    AMEN!! Thanks for Sharing this Powerful Message! Pastor Joel Osteen πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“πŸ’“

    Reply
  28. Foday Kamara

    September 1, 2019 4:52 am

    Integrity and faith will wholeheartedly catapult you divinely in Christ Jesus name Amen and Amen hallelujah πŸ™

    Reply
  29. Merina J

    September 4, 2019 3:49 pm

    I would definitely wanna live a life with integrity , if I do something my soul is tormented until I get it right …I'm surely guided by Holy Spirit no doubt ….Praise be to our God Almighty …..

    Reply
  30. shawn mendrek-likesalotofcreamincoffee

    September 8, 2019 7:07 pm

    The gift of integrity is knowing you are a dying breed holding to your ethics and morals. Discipline is rare these days, so when I find honor, integrity, morals in a person I value them very highly because it is rare.

    Reply
  31. shawn mendrek-likesalotofcreamincoffee

    September 8, 2019 7:15 pm

    Real integrity cannot be bought or sold. It is ingrained through many different ways. Be the light you rarely see in today's society.

    Reply
  32. shawn mendrek-likesalotofcreamincoffee

    September 8, 2019 7:18 pm

    subscribed. I love the slow speed of his speaking. Very engaged in what he preaches.

    Reply
  33. Rhonda Heggs

    October 2, 2019 11:13 am

    GOD, I’m so grateful that I am better than I use to be and that I am a work in progress straightening out all my crooked places in Jesus name Amen

    Reply

Leave a Reply