Devotionals

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Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 147 }

Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. —1 Corinthians 15:58

God wants us to be relationally oriented first and achievement oriented second. Yes, we are to do the Great Commission, but who we are in Him is far more important than what we do for Him. Christ's kingdom is established in this way. He does indeed want us to sow spiritual seed and cultivate a spiritual garden. To know we are loved, to actually feel God's affection, is more vital to our growth to be a wholehearted lover of God. This is our life source. This is the essence of true success. When we are relationally oriented first, we do not work in ministry because of a need to feel successful. We already feel successful because of our relationship with Jesus. We launch out and do the work of the Great Commission from a foundation of success. This sense of success equips us to continue working even when we face adversity. But if we work because we are trying to achieve success, we will burn out quickly through added temptation and strife.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Father, I want to continue growing in my relationship with You. My relationship with You is the focus of my life. Knowing You love me and desire to be with me empowers me to work to fulfill Your Great Commission.

Once we are successful in this spiritual sense,
then we can serve Him in ministry with
deeper obedience and perseverance.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Fresh Fire

Take up the ashes which the fire hath consumed with the burnt offering on the altar, and-.-.-.-put them beside the altar. —Leviticus 6:10

God is saying, "Take yesterday's ashes off the altar and get them out of my presence." He is saying, "Lay yesterday's spiritual experience aside." For too many, their first experience with the baptism in the Holy Ghost is their last. If we have not had a fresh experience with God today, we are late. If we did not receive a renewed filling today, we are lagging behind.

Not only are God's mercies renewed daily, but He wants to refresh our spirits so that we remain overflowing with Holy Ghost power and anointing. God has new frontiers for us to conquer. Yesterday's flame is growing dimmer. Get ignited in the Spirit!

To dwell in the presence of God requires fresh fire every day! Humble yourself before Him and say, "I am not ready to go forth until I have first been prepared by You. Touch me today."

Let the fire of the Holy Ghost daily purify and prepare you, and give you fresh passion for Him.

Lord, I long for Your fresh fire every moment
of my life. Renew, cleanse, purify, refresh,
and restore Your servant. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

Today's Message

Finding Our Way Back to Him to Move Forward

I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me. —Proverbs 8:17

Do we ever truly recover exactly what we lost? I believe the honest answer is both yes and no. Let me explain.

When we find our way back, the anointing to which we must return is virtually a new anointing. It is new because when we find it again, we must adjust to where it is and how it is manifesting now. Adjusting to the Dove is a lifelong process of agony and surprise.

Some of us take longer in our return to the anointing because the whole time we are looking for the return of the anointing. We are all prone to say, "The old wine is better."

Each of us tends to begin trying to recover the anointing in our most familiar spot—our comfort zone. But God is saying to us, "See, I am doing a new thing!" (Isa. 43:19).

One of the reasons God stays behind and allows us to move on without Him is that we will be forced to see the new and different ways He chooses to manifest His glory.

The Christian life is a continual series of events that lead us out of our comfort zone. These repeated transitions take us from the natural level to that of the Spirit. The irony is that even the new level of the Spirit will eventually become another comfort zone to us. It too will have to be left behind in some sense. Then we will be allowed to become settlers in heaven. Until then we must continue to adjust to the Dove and the surprising and unpredictable ways God challenges our faith.

Excerpted from The Sensitivity of the Spirit (Charisma House, 2002).

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

A House Full of Angels

Hebrews 13:1-25 This chapter begins with an interesting two verses: "Let brotherly love continue. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels."

In thinking over our lives I recall several encounters with what I am sure were angels. I just finished reading a book called Awakened by Angels, so these two verses in Hebrews particularly interest me. In this book the author had his eyes opened to see into the spirit realm, and he had ongoing encounters with angels. I must caution the reader to be careful about what kind of material he reads about angels as there are many counterfeits out there, especially in the New Age Movement. We have to remember there are two kinds of angels—the ministering spirits sent by God to minister to the saints and the angels of darkness that clothe themselves and make themselves out to be angels of light. This book on angels, however, I felt was valid because Jesus was always lifted up. The author received no teachings from the angels. He only received short messages from the angels. The Holy Spirit, who is the Great Teacher, gave all the teachings to the author, and they were all scripturally based.

One of the encounters the author had is described in the book, and I have heard many similar stories. He and his wife were traveling home by car when they saw a stranger wanting a ride. They almost picked him up, but were hesitant, so they drove to their home. Only fifteen minutes later this stranger appeared at their door. He asked for food, so they allowed him to come in and fed him. He then left. The Holy Spirit told the author later that this was not a man, but was an angel sent by the Lord to test their hospitality.

I had an encounter with what I am sure was an angel. It was right after Martin Luther King was assassinated. I had started an interracial prayer group in the inner city. As I was driving from this meeting, an African American man dressed in a gray suit was thumbing a ride. I gave him a lift, and when he entered the car, I asked him if he was a pastor. He said, "No," and then he delivered this message to me: "The day is coming when there will be people standing in line to get into the churches in Atlanta to hear the gospel preached and to experience the power of God." He then asked me to drop him at the next corner. When I looked in my rearview mirror to see where he was going, he was no longer there.

One of the End-Time exhortations is to be given to hospitality. I understand now why we are urged to open our doors to people more than ever as the day draws close to the Lord's return. I believe God will send more and more angels our way to minister to us because the days are going to be hard before He returns. We may face persecution as many are already facing this. Don't hesitate to be hospitable, because you never know whom you may be hosting.

READ: Ezekiel 33:1-34:31; Hebrews 13:1-25; Psalm 115:1-18; Proverbs 27:21-22

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Live Extraordinarily

Today's Message

The Spectacular Plan for Your Life

Extraordinary. Just hearing this amazing word arouses the desire to surpass the norm, to break away from the status quo. Its definition is “beyond what is usual, exceptional, exceeding the common measure.” One-word synonyms include: remarkable, amazing, marvelous and unimaginable. To better understand the full meaning of this inspiring word, consider its antonyms: common, normal and usual.

Ponder this a moment: The opposite of extraordinary is normal! If we're honest, I think we all want our lives to mean more or be more than what we've known and seen. Unless it's suppressed, there is an innate desire in each of us to rise above commonness. We yearn for the extraordinary.

"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him" (1 Corinthians 2:9, NLT).

These words paint a picture of an unimaginable and extraordinary existence, one far beyond what any mere mortal has known or experienced. You may have heard these words before and related them only to heaven’s glory. But in actuality, they were penned for the here and now! For the writer, the apostle Paul, continues, "But we know these things because God has revealed them to us by his Spirit" (vs. 10).

Paul, who lived during the church's inception, was divinely moved to bring into the open what had been previously hidden to our eyes, ears and imagination. He also wrote the following to describe the mandate of his life:

"My task is to bring out in the open and make plain what God, who created all this in the first place, has been doing in secret and behind the scenes all along. Through followers of Jesus like yourselves gathered in churches, this extraordinary plan of God is becoming known and talked about even among the angels!" (Ephesians 3:9–10, The Message)

There's One Person above all others who desires an extraordinary life for you. He is a Father who delights, like any good father, in the achievements and happiness of His children. His name is God! And nothing will please Him more than seeing you reach your highest potential.

God’s extraordinary plan is revealed when we live extraordinarily. Together let’s give the angels something to talk about!

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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