Devotionals

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Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 117 }

Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things. —Psalm 107:8-9

Intimacy with Jesus is the context in which the deep longing in our hearts for more of Him is progressively satisfied. People who are born again do not automatically have a sense of the nearness of God. Effective ministry produces a satisfaction that comes through helping others and being useful in God's kingdom, but it is not the same as the satisfaction that comes from encountering God in our inner man. The Holy Spirit may give spiritual gifts to believers and release His power through us, but these things do not ultimately satisfy the desire in our hearts for more of God. When our spiritual hunger is not being satisfied, we will experience frustrating spiritual boredom and restlessness.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

You alone can satisfy the longing of my heart, Jesus. All I want is more of You. Let me live my life in intimacy with You.

Nothing but an intimate relationship with Jesus
will satisfy this inner cry birthed
by the Holy Spirit.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Water Your Seed

And thou shalt go unto the priest that shall be in those days, and say unto him, I profess this day unto the Lord thy God, that I am come unto the country which the Lord sware unto our fathers for to give us. —Deuteronomy 26:3

The children of Israel presented their tithes and offerings to the Lord along with their profession of faith. The priest took each man's offering before the altar as the giver recounted the story of Israel's deliverance from bondage.

The Israelites recounted their years of bondage before God liberated them. They remembered their persecution by their Egyptian masters. They remembered their deliverance and their possession of the land.

Only when you recognize the depth of your sin can you realize the breadth of His righteousness. Bring your gifts before God, acknowledging who you were before God took hold of you. Recall your deliverance through the blood of Jesus Christ. Take a moment to praise God for all of your past blessings. Keep His praise continually on your lips. Praise Him for His grace to deliver you into His kingdom.

Father, I give you praise for all the favor and grace
You have shown me in the past. I declare Your blessings
as a testimony of Your faithfulness. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

Today's Message

Ways of Showing Gratitude

Rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. —Colossians 2:7

We show God gratitude by not only telling Him, but we show gratitude also by living a holy life. Never forget that we are not saved by being holy; we are holy because we have been saved. But because we are still sinners, we easily forget and become careless.

Gratitude is demonstrated furthermore by our giving Him one-tenth of our income. Now tithing was made legal under the law. We, however, are not under the law but under grace. We are not required to tithe as a condition to salvation. But God promises to bless those who do.

We show our thanks to God for saving us by sharing our faith with others. What if our gratitude to God were summed up entirely by our witnessing to others? What gratitude to God would you have manifested until now?

We thank God by the amount of time we spend alone with God. We reveal how important another person is to us by the actual amount of time we give to them. How much time do you give solely to God by being utterly alone with Him and talking only to Him?

We thank the Lord by discovering what pleases the Lord. This comes by experiencing two things: (1) walking in the light (1 John 1:7) and (2) becoming acquainted with the ungrieved Spirit of God (Eph. 4:30). When we discern what pleases Him, we know better how to please Him!

We show gratitude also by our church attendance. It is no small insult to God's name when His people are not found regularly meeting together. "Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching" (Heb. 10:25).

Excerpted from Just Say Thanks! (Charisma House, 2005).

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

Sing to the Lord

Psalm 135:1-21 When we praise the Lord with singing, it is pleasant to Him, and He will make our days pleasant if we will sing throughout every day. David spent most of his days singing songs of praise. He was a psalmist. We do not have to be an expert as David with his song writing, but we can sing in the Spirit and sing some of David's psalms all the day long. In fact, this is the way to stay filled with the Spirit. Paul exhorts us in Ephesians to sing spiritual songs, psalms and hymns and to always make melody in our hearts. He shares that this is the secret to staying filled with the Spirit. It is hard to fulfill the lusts of our own carnal nature when we are constantly making melody in our hearts unto the Lord.

God rejoices over us with singing, so we in return should rejoice over Him with our singing. He loves it when we raise our voices to Him with songs of praise and worship, and He also hears every song we sing in our hearts.

Have you ever thought of the fact that Jesus is not only our chief rabbi (the teacher who teaches the keys to living), but He is also the chief cantor. Whenever we sing songs of praise and worship in our church, He sings right along with us. We learn this in Hebrews 2:11-12: "For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee" (KJV).

The next time you enter praise and worship with others, picture Jesus singing in the midst of your church. He is singing songs to the Father as we sing songs to Him. If you listen carefully, you may tap into some new songs in the Spirit.

Today as you go about your daily tasks, sing aloud when you can, and be sure to always make melody in your heart. Your day will be a blessed day because the Lord will bless you, and you will be a blessing to others. You also will stay filled with the Spirit.

Lord, give me a new song to sing to You today.

READ: Micah 5:1-7:20; Revelation 7:1-17; Psalm 135:1-21; Proverbs 30:5-6

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Live Extraordinarily

Today's Message

Pleasing a Perfect God

When it comes to pleasing God, the big question is, "Can we do it?" Do we have what it takes to make Him smile? Can we who live in an imperfect world, bring a perfect God delight? Can we actually please Someone who is flawless?

The apostle Peter writes, "We have everything we need to live a life that pleases God. It was all given to us by God's own power" (2 Peter 1:3, CEV).

There's our answer—we have everything it takes to live a life that pleases our heavenly Father. Settle this in your heart and don't ever let this knowledge slip away. His Word is true and unchangeable. Never accept the lie that you don't have what it takes to please God. The fact is you do!

Many believers look at certain Christians, especially great leaders, and think they could never measure up or be as delightful in the eyes of God as the apostle John, the apostle Paul, Billy Graham, Oral Roberts, Mother Teresa, or anyone else they admire. The truth is that no one has any more ability to please God than you! You have the ability to please God, but it is up to you to utilize the power and live it out.

God expects us to be faithful with what He's given us. Scripture specifically states that we are entrusted with gifts "to each in proportion to his own personal ability" (Matthew 25:15, AMP).

We must always pay attention to what has been given us by God. A person's ability to write, teach, preach, sing, compose music, design, manage, organize, lead, interact well with people and so forth is a gift given by God. If I keep that in mind, it guards me from the deadly traps of pride or envy—pride in thinking I'm better than others, envy in coveting what another person has.

You were perfectly created by God to function in the Kingdom with your gifts and abilities to fulfill your specific assignment. You determine how to steward what you have been given—with it, you can bring great pleasure to your heavenly Father.

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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