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Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 212 }

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the  Almighty. I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust." —Psalm 91:1-2

Churches are full of people who spend Monday through Saturday trying harder in their walk with the Lord. They wake up early so they can read through the Bible in a year; they make promises to themselves to invite a neighbor to church or pray for the ailing child a few doors down. They try to show the light of Christ at work and hold their tongues when angered by their spouse. Then on Sunday they cringe in the pew during worship and feel somehow that they've spent another week failing to be a good Christian. But if you experience God's enjoyment of you, then you will begin enjoying God, and this whole cycle changes. Transformation happens as naturally as the changing of seasons. You will live in much greater holiness, and you will be truly happy. You won't be so concerned about not doing bad things because your heart will find no pleasure in them anyway. This process of transformation never ends. We will be always gazing, always discovering, always changing, always enjoying, always reflecting more of His glory and passion.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Day by day You are changing me into Your likeness, Jesus. The things that used to hinder me no longer appeal to me. The wonder of Your presence is all I want. Let me reflect Your glory and passion.

We enjoy God more by searching out and convincing
ourselves of God's enjoyment of us.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

God's Agents

And these signs shall follow them that believe; in my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. —Mark 16:17-18

We are God's agents in the earth, and He desires to manifest His miracle-working power through us. But in order to be used, you must not only be willing to be used, you must also be ready to be used.

Don't wait until you need a miracle to start polishing your vessel. Don't wait until the devil has ravaged your family, wrecked your health, and destroyed your finances to seek a relationship with your heavenly Father.

Ready your vessel by keeping your spirit strong in the Word, in prayer, and in fellowship with your Father. Speak forth His praises and acknowledge Him as your healer, your deliverer, and your provider. Today and every day, confess that you walk in divine health because the Spirit of life resides in you. Confess that His promises are made manifest in your life daily.

What will you do today to ready your vessel to receive all that God wants to pour into your life?

Pour into me, O Lord, Your living waters.
I am ready to receive today all that You
desire to pour into me and out of me.
Amen.

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By Love Transformed

Today's Message

This World Is Not My Home

But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. —2 Peter 3:13

Have you ever thought of your own thorn in the flesh as your having to live in a place that makes you unhappy? We all have to live somewhere until we die, and, for many, it is a case of very unhappy living conditions.

Unhappy living conditions might have been Paul's thorn, because he let us know that being an apostle was the opposite of living in luxury. I think of many big-name preachers today who live in luxury.

Are you aware that there is a sense in which the main issue in both the Old Testament and the New Testament has to do with living conditions? The Old Testament stresses again and again the matter of living conditions. Moses and the people of Israel lived in a desert, and they were looking for a land flowing with milk and honey. The thrust of the Law was that if you obey, certain happy living conditions will follow. If you disobey, the opposite will follow. (See Deuteronomy 28:1-61.) In the New Testament, sadly, the Jews' expectation of the Messiah had to do entirely with living conditions. They thought that when Messiah came, He was going to change living conditions for them and set them free from Rome. This is why they couldn't cope with the thought that their Messiah would end up on a cross. Jesus warned them, for He knew exactly what they were thinking. He said in Luke 17:21, "The kingdom of God is within you." Jesus put it like that so they would understand that this present world is not all there is.

For some people, their only reward is in this present life. But Paul said, "For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit" (Rom. 14:17).

Excerpted from The Thorn in the Flesh (Charisma House, 2004).

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

The Rod and Stem

Isaiah 10:1-11:16 We continue to think of the Jewish people during their High Holy Days. In Isaiah we see another prophetic scripture about their Messiah: "And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord" (Isa. 11:1-2, KJV).

The rod spoken of in this passage is Jesus, and the stem is His heritage in the house of David. Jesse was the father of David, and God promised that the throne of Jerusalem would always be in the line of David. We had a dear Jewish friend who came to know Jesus as his Messiah simply because he read the first chapter of Matthew. As you know, the orthodox Jews are forbidden to read the New Testament. My friend Abraham had a Christian guitar teacher who gave him the whole Bible as a gift when he finished his lessons for the year. Being a good orthodox Jew, Abraham threw the Bible in the garbage without reading it. Later when the teacher asked Abraham how he liked the gift he gave him, Abraham replied, "I lost it." "Well, we can fix that," the teacher replied as he handed Abraham another Bible. This time as Abraham was walking home with another Bible in hand, he decided to sit down and read the first few pages of the New Testament. He read the genealogy of Jesus, and that was enough to convince him that Jesus was truly his Messiah. When he saw how the lineage of Jesus is from the house of David, he knew Jesus was the chosen One. He kept his Bible and hid it so he could read more.

The day will come when Jesus, the rod out of the stem of Jesse, will rule over all nations. His headquarters will be Jerusalem, and the government will be upon His shoulders. Jesus read this very scripture in the temple. He spoke of the special anointing that rested upon Him: the spirit of wisdom and understanding, counsel and might, knowledge and the fear of the Lord. This same anointing is available to all those who have received Jesus as Lord and Savior. Thank God we have this same anointing Jesus had, and this anointing will equip us for anything we face today.

Father, thank You for giving me the same anointing Jesus had when He walked on earth. Help me today to yield to this anointing so that Your will and work will be accomplished in me today.

READ: Isaiah 10:1-11:16; 2 Corinthians 12:11-21; Psalm 56:1-13; Proverbs 23:6-8

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Live Extraordinarily

Today's Message

Equipped For So Much More

One of the main reasons I avoided Christianity for years was its portrayal. I, like many others, saw people of God as Bible-thumping critics who were quick to judge the flaws of others. Or I thought they were passive, backward and ignorant. The idea that Christians were pioneers who lived and thought outside the box, behaving in extraordinary ways, never crossed my mind.

I viewed Christianity as lifeless. Becoming a believer would mean losing my individuality and foregoing creativity, excellence, passion and the ability to succeed in the marketplace, sports, politics, education and other arenas of life. I didn't know it then, but my views were the opposite of how God created us to live because He is the One who breathed into us the desire for the extraordinary.

God spoke: "Let us make human beings in our image, make them reflecting our nature so they can be responsible for the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, the cattle, and, yes, Earth itself, and every animal that moves on the face of Earth." God created human beings; he created them godlike, reflecting God's nature. He created them male and female. God blessed them: "Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Earth! Take charge!" (Genesis 1:26–28, The Message)

We were made to reflect God's nature. He spoke both to men and women, saying, "Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Earth! Take charge!" Adam, the first man, named every species of animal on the earth. God brought the animals to Adam and gave him the responsibility of naming them. There are over one million species of animals on earth. Not only did Adam have the creativity to name them all, but he also had the capacity to remember each one. That was an extraordinary man doing a remarkable feat!

You may ask, "But since Adam fell, weren't those abilities lost due to his disobedience?" No, Jesus flipped the mess Adam created for humankind. Paul wrote, "Here it is in a nutshell: Just as one person did it wrong and got us in all this trouble with sin and death, another person did it right and got us out of it. But more than just getting us out of trouble, he got us into life!" (Romans 5:18, MSG).

The word life doesn't merely describe the way we'll live in heaven; it also means the "here and now." Jesus not only recovered what Adam lost, but He also provided so much more—the potential of an extraordinary life!

The truth is, God not only desires you to live extraordinarily but also has equipped you to do so.

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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