Devotionals

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Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 183 }

I have not departed from your laws, for you yourself have taught me. How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path. Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. —Psalm 119:102-105

David refused to live with less than the very highest God would give him in his day. He never let himself feel disqualified by his weaknesses, but he contended mightily for the release of God's power during his generation. He caught a glimpse of God's zeal for His people and became convinced that the Lord would release His power for the benefit of the entire nation of Israel. In David's generation, God's power was often expressed in military feats. Therefore, entering into all that God would give his generation translated into military conquest of enemies. The principle today is the same, though not expressed in military terms. But like David, we must refuse to draw back until we experience God's full power for our generation. When we get caught up in the glorious emotions that burn within God's heart as David did, we begin to see the tremendous, unprecedented blessing and power God has planned for this hour in history. We lose our ability to settle for same ol', same ol'. We burn like torches with strong vision as our fuel.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

God, what is Your plan for my generation? What are You doing in my world today? Reveal to me the path I am to take to be a part of Your great plan.

We become people who contend for the power of
God available to our generation.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Don't Trust Your Feelings

And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. —John 11:43

Fear hinders, but faith marches into enemy territory. Fear appears logical and authentic, but is only a product of our senses—what we see, hear, touch, taste, and feel. Operating in the realm of the natural only leaves us vulnerable to the devil's tactics (John 12:31).

When Jesus approached the grave of Lazarus, He saw the stone firmly in place. His sense of smell told him the man was dead. He heard with His own ears the weeping mourners. He could taste the bitterness of His own tears. But Jesus did not let His senses lead Him away from the tomb. He was not looking at the situation with the eyes of man, but with the eyes of faith. He cried out, "Lazarus, come forth!" Death fled when He looked past the natural and operated in the spiritual.

You senses may tell you to fear. Your thoughts may give you many reasons why defeat and death are your only options. But God is the God of the impossible. With God, defeating death is not impossible because He is the resurrection and the life. Trust Him to do the impossible in spite of your natural feelings and reason.

Never trust your feelings because we walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). Put your trust in God alone.

Lord, with You all things are possible.
Help me to trust You even when
my thoughts and senses tell me
that things are impossible.
Amen.

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By Love Transformed

Today's Message

Perfect Parenting

Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. —Hebrews 12:10

No parent is perfect; that is what is so ironic about this title. Perhaps you think back to your own childhood and how your parents raised you. You may want to go to your mother or your father and say, "You really made a mess of bringing me up!" Yet that's the way parents are. They do as they think best, punish when they lose their tempers, and scold their children in front of other people.

But only God is the perfect Father. God disciplines us for our good, and He doesn't make mistakes. Many of you have had an imperfect parent. Some of you can't call God Father because your only frame of reference for a father is that the man who fathered you wasn't very nice. Let me tell you something: if we have to have a perfect father in order to address God as Father—then no one would be able to do it. We are not supposed to look to our natural parents for the perfect frame of reference of what a father is supposed to be like. Look to Jesus. He is your frame of reference.

Let me say this: you and I need to remember God has a plan for our children as well as for us. The time comes when we have to release them. Maybe, after they are too old to discipline, we still want to point the finger and straighten them out. But perhaps you who have children need to join me in releasing them to God. He is the perfect Parent.

Excerpted from All's Well That Ends Well (Authentic Media, 2005).

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

The Repentance

1 Thessalonians 4:1-5:3 A new series of books has just been produced that speaks of the last days. The series is called Left Behind. These fiction novels, which are based on Scripture, speak of the day of "the Rapture,"a day many believe the saints of the Lord will meet Jesus in the air. That day is described in detail in this series. Trains, planes and cars will crash suddenly, and those left behind will not know that something supernatural has happened. Some members of families will be taken in the Rapture, and others will be left behind.

Our New Testament reading in 1 Thessalonians tells us that the Lord will come as a thief in the night. Suddenly, without warning, the trumpet blast from heaven will usher in that great day. The graves of saints will be opened, and both the dead and living believers will meet the Lord in the air to receive their glorified bodies.

The thought of such a scene is mind-boggling. Scripture, however, is clear, and it is written to comfort us. This scripture is often read at Christian funerals. If this scripture does not bring you comfort, chances are you have not acknowledged Jesus as your Lord and Savior. The question is not, "Will this really happen?" The question to ask is, "When this happens, will I be ready?" Paul in his letters makes it clear that we are to live each day expecting the Lord's return. If you knew for sure that Jesus would return today, how on earth would you live out your day?

Meditate on what you would do if you knew today was your last day on earth. I have thought of this often, and here are some of the things I think I would do. I would call all of my loved ones and friends and tell them how much I love them. I would spend a lot of time with the Lord in prayer and listening to His Word. I would try to reach as many of the unsaved as I could to tell them the wonderful story of Jesus' love for them. I would make sure I had confessed and repented of all of my sins.

Our youngest son Ray used to stand in our carport and look up to the sky. When I asked him what he was doing, he said, "I'm looking for Jesus in the clouds. He may come today." Truly Jesus may come today. Are you ready?

Lord, how different my days would be if I lived each day as if it were my last day on earth. Forgive me for my procrastination, my waste of time, my apathy and my busyness. Help me today to take time with You, and also to share the good news of Your love with those I meet today. Today may not be my last day on earth, but it may be the last day on earth for those I meet today.

READ: Jeremiah 16:16-18:23; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-5:3; Psalm 81:1-16; Proverbs 25:6-7

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Live Extraordinarily

Today's Message

Living Larger

"And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace" (John 1:16, NKJV).

And of His fullness we have all received. The completeness of Jesus has been imparted to us! Not the fullness of a prime minister, president, celebrity, rock star, great athlete or scholar, but the comprehensiveness of Jesus Christ Himself. If you really hear this, you'll never envy another man or woman again. You have the full nature of Jesus Christ in you!

The word nature is defined as "the innate or essential qualities or character of a person."

We are in Christ, He is in us, and we have the fullness of His nature. The seed planted in us when we were born again is all that makes Christ who He is! How awesome. In this world we have the comprehensiveness of His nature!

John says it like this: "As He is, so are we in this world" (1 John 4:17, NKJV). So many believers think that someday in heaven we'll be as He is, but for now on earth we are struggling sinners who've merely been forgiven. This is a mammoth lie, and it keeps people in bondage and nullifies the power of grace in their lives.

And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. (John 1:16)

Here is the point so many miss: Receiving the fullness of God's nature is directly connected with grace. It is God's unmerited gift—a gift that not only saved us from eternal damnation but also gave us His characteristics. One aspect of grace is just as real as the other, and it was all provided the moment we were saved.

God's divine nature was freely imparted to us, and our once hardened hearts were replaced by the seed of God's inherent characteristics. We now have the ability to live as He intended humankind to live from the beginning—extraordinarily. We now can live this life as sons and daughters of God, in His image, His likeness, possessing His ability through grace!

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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