Devotionals

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Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 149 }

Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long. Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever with me. I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes. I have more understanding than the elders, for I obey your precepts. —Psalm 119:97-100

Are you a student of the Bible? It is important for us to remember that although it is good to study the Word of God, we are not called to be students first. I love to study the Scriptures, but I am not first called to be a student. I am first called to be a lover. Oh, the glory of being a lover of God! I love to love Him! Therefore, I study in a way that produces love in my heart and produces love in the hearts of the people I impact. Depending on an individual's heart, being a student can either help or hinder a person to fulfill this first priority. On this same note, we are not called primarily to be debaters or fighters for truth. Some people think that their mandate in life is to preserve the truth. They do not realize that we are first called to be lovers.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Loving You should be the focus of my life. Let me never forget that I have first been called to be a lover. Teach me to love first, then to serve.

God wants us to fight for truth, but never before
we wrestle with the idea of being lovers of God.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Anointed for Action

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and-.-.-.-to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. —Luke 4:18-19

Jesus not only testified to be the Son of God, but He attested that the source of His anointing was from God. Here He gives the purpose of His earthly ministry:

* to preach the gospel to the destitute and afflicted;

* to those whose spirits have been crushed by the world;

* to heal the oppressed;

* to open the spiritual eyes of those blinded by Satan;

* and to declare that today is the day of freedom.

If you are in the kingdom and filled with His Spirit, you are also anointed for this same purpose. The anointing is given to meet the needs of others. Step out in faith to minister to the hurting in your family, your neighborhood and your city.

Jesus, open my eyes to see the destitute, afflicted,
brokenhearted, oppressed, sick, and blind people
around me. Anoint me to set them
free with the good news. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

Today's Message

Peace Is Better Than Bitterness

Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. —Hebrews 12:14

When we are bitter, we delude ourselves into thinking that those who hurt us are more likely to be punished as long as we are set on revenge. We are afraid to let go of those feelings. After all, if we don't make plans to see that justice is done, how will justice be done? We make ourselves believe that it is up to us to keep the offense alive.

That the devil's lie. We only hurt ourselves when we dwell on what has happened to us and fantasize about what it will be like when "they" get punished. Most of all, we grieve the Holy Spirit of God, and this is why we lose our sense of peace.

It is my experience that the quickest way I seem to lose inner peace is when I allow bitterness to reenter my heart. It's not worth it! I made a decision for inner peace. But I found that I had to carry out that decision by a daily commitment to forgive those who hurt me, and to forgive them totally. I therefore let them utterly off the hook and resigned myself to this knowledge:

* They won't get caught or found out.

* Nobody will ever know what they did.

* They will prosper and be blessed as if they had done no wrong.

What's more, I actually began to will this! I prayed for it to happen. I asked God to forgive them. But I have had to do this every day to keep the peace within my heart. Having been on both sides, I can tell you: The peace is better. The bitterness isn't worth it.

I have come to believe that the only way to move beyond the hurt and go forward in life is through total forgiveness.

Excerpted from Total Forgiveness (Charisma House, 2002).

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

Looking Unto Jesus

Hebrews 11:32-12:13 These heroes of the faith pressed forward to the goal, and they received the gold. As we see by the lives mentioned in this passage of Hebrews 11, many were martyred and tortured for their faith. How did they get through these great trials of faith, which are even more precious to the Lord than gold? The answer is simple: They kept their focus on the Provider, not the problem. We read in Hebrews 12:2, "Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."

Jesus knew the joy we would all experience because of His sacrificial death and resurrection. He knew the joy He would experience every time someone was liberated from rejection, disease, sickness and bondage of all kinds. He saw the joy we would receive when we repented of our sins and received His forgiveness and cleansing. He saw the joy we would encounter when we would be translated from the kingdom of darkness into His kingdom of light where there is peace, right standing with God and joy. This joy provided Him strength to get through every trial and to even endure the torture of the cross for our sakes. What got Jesus through every trial was His focus. He kept His eyes ever on the Father. What will get us through every trial is our focus. We must keep our eyes upon Jesus.

We all will experience trials, troubles and temptations. Some of the promises in the Bible we seldom claim are, "In the world you will have tribulation," and "Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers them out of them all." The righteous are also promised persecution. Only as we look unto Jesus will we be able to endure these last days. The following prayer was shared with me today, and I thought I would pass it on to you:

Lord, help me to look at my problems in the light of Your power instead of looking at You in the shadows of my problems.

READ: Ezekiel 29:1-30:26; Hebrews 11:32-12:13; Psalm 112:1-10; Proverbs 27:17

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