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Devotionals

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Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 240 }

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." —Isaiah 55:8-9

When God the Holy Spirit reveals the heart of God to the human spirit, it is the most exhilarating experience in this age and the age to come. It is the ultimate pleasure in created order. But that pleasure is not just for eternity; it's for this age as well. He gives us tokens of that pleasure now. He wants to motivate us, empower us, and protect us by letting us experience those pleasures as a down payment for what's coming. That strong pleasure turns to strong motivation. When the enemy comes to accuse God in my presence, I latch on to what I know to be true. I remind him, "It is written, 'His heart rejoices, His tongue is glad.' Even in my weakness, He is filled with joy when He looks at me." The enemy tries to tell me I'm a hopeless hypocrite, that Christianity is not working for me, and that I am uniquely messed up compared to everybody else. These are the same old lies he tells everybody. I respond with what is written in the Word about His rejoicing heart and His glad tongue. I speak these words of God against the attack of the enemy and fill my heart and mind with truth.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Father, when Satan tries to intimidate me with his lies and accusations, help me to remember Your love and to hear Your voice speaking words of love and truth. Give me courage to confront the enemy with Your love for me and to send him packing.

God is the author of real pleasure. It springs
from His very personality.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Giant Killers

David therefore departed thence, and escaped to the cave Adullam-.-.-.-And every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him; —1 Samuel 22:1-2

When David and his men went into the cave, they were discouraged, in debt, and defeated. In the natural they had plenty to be discouraged about, but they were in the cave with God's anointed King. They became intimately acquainted with David, and the anointing on David's life rubbed off on them. When David's men came out of the cave, they were mighty, valiant men of war! Spend intimate time with God and receive His anointing on your life.

In the presence of the anointing, you will grow stronger and more assured than ever before. Stay in the presence of the Anointed One—Jesus the Christ. Refuse to leave His presence. There you will come to know intimately the One who died for you.

You will come out stronger and surer than when you went into the cave with God. Your steps are ordered of the Lord, so expect signs and wonders to follow you. Proclaim boldly, "I have been with the Lord God Jehovah, and I am ready to reap the harvest He has prepared!"

Lord, before I kill any giants, let me spend time
with You, the killer of giants. I know that You
have defeated all the giants in my life.
Draw me close to You so that
I might be immersed in
Your anointing. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

Today's Message

Humility of Attitude

For as he thinks within himself, so he is. —Proverbs 23:7, NAS

Before it is ever obvious, humility has to begin in your heart. But how is that possible? It is because of a certain attitude. John put it in the practical terms of loving your brother. He said, "Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble" (1 John 2:10).

Looking further at the example of Jesus' humility, we can see that often Jesus approached people in different ways. He had to adjust to the person to whom He was talking, to the people He had to deal with, to the place where He was, and often the situation. His adaptability was obvious because He accepted people as they were. This was part of Jesus' humility.

Humbling ourselves, therefore, does not mean making people adjust to you; it is making yourself adjust to them. Satan will throw people in your path and put people among you that annoy you and get your goat—people that are foolish, or not very clever, or not very attractive. Remember that you are praying to be more like Jesus. Then you have somebody in front of you that Jesus would adjust to because He humbled Himself. He had to do it all the time.

Just like sheep in a field, we always think the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. "I would be happy if I were living or working elsewhere," we say, or, "If only I were married to someone else." Let me tell you something: happiness in the external is fleeting. As long as you get your comfort and satisfaction because of the way the situation is, then it is only going to last until the situation changes. And it will change. Learn to find your peace internally. Then external changes will not alter it. You can be happy anywhere.

Excerpted from Meekness and Majesty (Christian Focus Publications Ltd., 1992, 2000).

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

Spring Up, O Well!

Nehemiah 7:61-9:21 In today's passage we learn the importance of the joy of the Lord. Nehemiah says, "For the joy of the Lord is your strength" (Neh. 8:10). We saw this fact demonstrated in a dramatic way when we attended the first Jewish festival that was held in St. Petersburg, Russia. This festival was designed to reach out to the Jewish people. The music artists shared not only their music, but also their personal testimonies of how they came to know Jesus as their Messiah. The first evening as people gathered into the auditorium, I studied each face. The people seemed expressionless, almost without any emotion, and I did not see one smile. Then the music began.

At the end of the performance these dear Russians were out of their seats dancing joyously before the Lord. What happened? The well of the living water that seemed dry within them was primed, and they were able to drink from the wells of salvation with joy. Many were saved that night, and for the first time living water began to bubble within them, and then it overflowed.

On that night I understood the assignment that was given to me as we traveled throughout Russia. The Lord had spoken to my heart, and He told me to speak aloud in the metro and on the streets of Russia these words, "Spring up, O well!"

Russia had just been delivered out of seventy years of Communism's oppression. God desired to dress the Russian people with the garment of praise that would lift their heaviness. So many in Russia have a serious drinking problem and we learn in Scripture that it is the spirit of heaviness that often causes dependency upon alcohol. People self-medicate to lift their spirits with the wrong kind of spirit (alcoholic beverages) when only the Lord can lift our spirits permanently. On this night, those attending the concert were ignited by the joy of the Lord. They all would need this joy to strengthen them for the troubled days ahead.

All believers have a well within them that they can daily draw from to sustain them and give them strength. They draw from this well with buckets of joy. Sometimes we do not feel joyful, but if we will prime our well by praising the Lord anyway, suddenly the joy of our salvation is restored. Don't fail today to let your well of salvation spring up and overflow. Say to your soul today, "Spring up, O well!"

Lord, I need strength to face this day, and I know Your joy is my strength. By faith, even though at first I feel nothing, I choose to praise You. Spring up, O well, and let Your joy overflow from my soul.

READ: Nehemiah 7:61-9:21; 1 Corinthians 9:1-19; Psalm 33:12-22; Proverbs 21:11-12


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Live Extraordinarily

Today's Message

Finishing Well

When we produce fruits of holiness through the power of God's grace, we have no reason to fall back into a life of sin and bondage. They are free, empowered and whole. However, this promise does not apply to believers who do not walk in true holiness. Hear what Peter says about this:

"But those who fail to develop these virtues of [holiness] are blind or, at least, very shortsighted. They have already forgotten that God has cleansed them from their old life of sin. So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Doing this, you will never stumble or fall away." (2 Peter 1:9-10, NLT)

We will never stumble or fall away. We are an invincible people, not because of our own ability, but because of the ability grace provides. So, in essence, grace gives us the power to walk the highway of holiness, which secures for us the promise of finishing the race well. It keeps us from becoming shipwrecked in our faith and falling short.

Peter covers the opposite side as well. Those who do not walk in the power of grace fail to develop the virtues of holiness. The result is blindness and forgetting that God has cleansed them from their old life of sin. This blindness makes it very difficult, almost impossible, to stay on the narrow road of holiness. Quite easily they will venture back to a lifestyle captive to sin (and most often still believing they are covered and protected by God's grace).

Paul penned to Christians: "Don't you know that you are slaves of anyone you obey? You can be slaves of sin and die" (Romans 6:16, CEV). When we willfully and repetitively follow sin's desire, we become entangled in it and are once again its slave.

God has indeed given us His grace. We've been given the nature of Jesus Christ and have been freed from the dominion of sin! Why would anyone who has been made free want to venture back into sin's captivity and flirt with death?

So, my friend, don't fight for your right to habitually live in sin and still make it to heaven. That is the wrong way of viewing life. Rather, realize God has given you an amazing gift—freedom! You don't have to sin any longer; what you couldn't free yourself from before, you now can live free from through the power of His amazing 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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