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Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 264 }

When the Lord brought back the captives to Zion, we were like men who dreamed. Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, "The Lord has done great things for them." The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. —Psalm 126:1-3

God doesn't bring us to Zion for our personal enrichment. Often the Lord's blessing will rest on a person, congregation, nation, or city, and they start thinking the blessing was given mostly to add to their personal prestige or lifestyle. This is a danger we must avoid once we arrive at our destiny. Some people imagine that when they finally reach the fullness of their promise and place of destiny, they will have only joy. They picture complete contentment in their anointing and prominence. But it doesn't work that way, even in the grace of God. In our place of destiny, we will still experience pressures, persecutions, and pain. As you prepare to enter your destiny, set your expectations correctly.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Father, when I am tempted to believe that pressure, persecution, and pain are keeping me from reaching my potential in You, cause me to remember that You bring me to Zion for Your pleasure and Your plan, not for my own personal enrichment.

Arriving at Zion is about serving the  kingdom in
greater measure—a privilege far greater
than money or fame.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

No Vacancy

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. —Philippians 4:8

You can probably look back right now and see a time where you opened the door in your mind and let the devil in—where you did not submit to God, where you did not resist the devil; therefore, he did not flee.

When you are rejoicing, the devil cannot get in your mind. When you are shouting, he cannot get in your body. When you are praising God and thanking Him for His goodness and mercy, the devil has no access to your life.

Build up your spirit by praying in the Holy Ghost. Renew your mind with the Word of God, and fill your mouth with His praises. Hang out a "NO VACANCY" sign for the devil, and when he tries to enter in, slam the door by lifting up your voice in praise and thanksgiving.

Strive after Jesus Christ's excellence and perfection. If you are tempted to think thoughts beneath what is true, just, pure, lovely, and virtuous, then stop thinking and start meditating on His Word. Replace every worldly thought with His Word.

Jesus, fill my mind with thoughts that
are true, honest, just, pure, lovely,
excellent, and virtuous. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

Today's Message

Lifestyle Worship

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. —Ephesians 4:1

The way we guard against being a hypocrite six days a week and acting piously on Sundays is by applying the Word of God to our lives. Revival in a church may be quite extraordinary, but it is only a question of whether each member is following the conductor's score in his private life. In an orchestra, the sound is no greater than the sum of the different parts. As Paul says in Ephesians 4:16, "From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love" (KJV). So our worship ought to be a glorious symphony to God—no one out of tune, no one playing too loudly, each person following his or her own score.

Though our worship is not a performance designed to attract other people, or pander to our own love of display, there is a sense in which it is a performance—a performance for God. Our worship is for God, the King of kings; should that not affect us as we prepare for the Sunday worship since our Sunday worship is the culmination of what we are all the time?

How do we actually achieve this? How does the right performance come about? The first is practice at the individual level.

We can all practice living in the presence of God from minute to minute. And in order to do this, we must outlaw all bitterness from our lives. We must seek to be filled with love, with total forgiveness, and acceptance of each other.

Excerpted from Worshipping God (Hodder & Stoughton, 2004).

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

True Satisfaction

Proverbs 19:22-23 This proverb speaks of something that will cause us to be continually satisfied. That special satisfying something is called "the fear of the Lord." When we fear the Lord, which means to love Him and to keep His Word, we will abide satisfied.

Most men and women seek satisfaction in life. Some seek it through pleasure, some through material things, some through food, but only the fear of the Lord will cause continual satisfaction in our lives. The fear of the Lord will give us a satisfaction that causes us to want more. The best way to explain it is when you eat a good meal, you are satisfied, but this does not mean you won't be hungry again. The continual satisfaction of the fear of the Lord in our lives causes us to continually seek to draw even closer to Jesus. We have tasted some of the good things of walking with Jesus daily, but we want to walk even closer to Him. We know our walk of drawing closer to Him will last eternally, so the possibility of His satisfying and satiating our souls moment by moment both in this life and the next is a reality.

Continual satisfaction is one of the promises to those who fear the Lord listed in this proverb. Two other promises are given in this passage to those who fear the Lord. The promise of life and the deliverance from evil are promised to those who fear the Lord. No evil will befall those who fear the Lord. Does this mean a person who fears the Lord will be exempt from troubles? Of course it doesn't. It means that whatever evil Satan has planned for us will ultimately work for our good if we fear the Lord daily. No weapon he throws our way will prosper, and only God's good plan for us in the end will prevail.

Why do bad things happen to good people? Nothing bad in God's sight is going to happen to us if we daily walk in the fear of the Lord. Oh yes, it may seem bad to us at the time we are experiencing suffering or trouble, but in the end whatever seems bad will work for our good because God is a good God. His goodness is everlasting, and His mercy endures forever.

In the midst of whatever we consider a bad thing happening to us, there is a good God who is working out His eternal purposes in that situation. I saw a bumper sticker that said, "Good God, bad devil." God cannot be tempted with evil, neither does he tempt any man with evil. God only allows Satan to tempt us with evil because God plans to have us overcome the temptation, trouble or trial by depending upon His goodness.

Lord, I am challenged today to walk in the fear of You by obeying Your Word and loving You with all my heart. I have the confidence now if I am faithful to do this You will never allow evil to overcome me. Thank You.

READ: 2 Chronicles 4:1-6:13; Romans 7:1-14; Psalm 17:1-15; Proverbs 19:22-23

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Live Extraordinarily

Today's Message

Mercy and Grace

Grace is when we get what we don't deserve.

Mercy is when we don't get what we do deserve.

Mercy manifests when we don't get justice for our sin. Grace, on the other hand, is imparted power we don't deserve that frees us from the tyranny of sin.

Many Christians have lumped the two words together and assigned to both the same meaning. Am I splitting hairs here or is this just semantics? Not at all. Here's a way to think about it: Suppose you play both football and basketball with football rules. Football would go well; however, with basketball you'd lose the uniqueness of the sport in addition to incurring numerous injuries. We've lost the power of the identity of grace because so many have combined it with mercy. We've also incurred numerous injuries by playing grace with mercy's rules.

Grace gives us the power to live, and mercy keeps us free from guilt, condemnation and shame, all of which try to pull us back into sin's grip. Mercy keeps our conscience clear of the judgment we deserve. What amazing mercy God has shown us!

Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace,...that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need. (Hebrews 4:16, AMP)

Mercy is given for our failures, our sins we've repented of. However, grace is given to help, to empower us. What a great salvation our Father has given us—complete and lacking nothing!

Marked by boldness and passion, John Bevere delivers uncompromising truth through his award-winning curriculum and best-selling books now available in over sixty languages. His newest book is Extraordinary: The Life You're Meant to Live. More information is available at www.ExtraordinaryOnline.org.

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