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Devotionals

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Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 237 }

Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure." —Luke 10:21

Imagine, if you can, what it was like when Jesus entered a village of Israel during His earthly ministry. I see the kids making a beeline to Him, invited by His smile and His eyes alive with pleasure. They adored the carpenter from Nazareth, the new preacher in town. You can't fool kids. If you are mean, they avoid you, even if you try to act nice. Jesus wanted those kids around Him. They bypassed the sacred boundary lines and ran straight into His embrace. What I would give to see the Son of God overflowing with happiness and delight like that! How great is His joy when immature people receive revelation.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Lord, I can only imagine the wonderful joy and anticipation little children felt as they watched You come into their midst. They crowded around you and welcomed Your smile and gentle caress. Lord, I am also Your little child, and I long to bring a smile to Your face and feel Your gentle touch.

Jesus loves to shock His babes with how good
He will be to them!

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Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

No Man

For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. —John 5:4-5

Jesus asked the man if he wanted to be made whole, and he answered, "Sir, I have no man." He was so caught up with thinking he needed someone to help him, he could not see that his miracle was standing right in front of him!

When you have no man to help you—nowhere to turn but God—you are a prime target for a miracle! No man can do for you what Jesus can do for you.

When you quit depending on your job, the preacher, your family, or the next healing line, you are positioned for your breakthrough. Family may let you down, the preacher may disappoint you, and your friends may forsake you, but Jesus is the friend who sticks closer than a brother. Rely on Him alone, and He will meet you at the very point of your deepest need.

Even your closest friends or family can let you down. But don't be discouraged. You can always trust in your best friend—Jesus.

Jesus, no man can do for me what You can do.
I know that You are my best friend. I will trust
You in everything because You
are my best friend. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

Today's Message

The Greatest Fringe Benefit

The Lord watches over you—the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. —Psalm 121:5-8

Have you ever been in a situation where you have thought, I wish somebody could see what is happening to me right now? Or maybe something good has happened to you, but there is no one to share it with.

The greatest fringe benefit of being a Christian is found in Psalm 121:5: "The Lord watches over you—the Lord is your shade at your right hand." Do you know what that tells me? It assures me of God's very presence. It is the most wonderful thing to realize that our heavenly Father is there. And there will come a time, if you develop the relationship with Him that is available to you, when His attention will mean more to you than anything.

The psalmist said in Psalm 16:8, "Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken." This means that God promises us Himself.  Not only are we assured of going to heaven, but the greatest thing of all is that Jesus says to us, "You've got Me! I am with you always, even to the end. I will never leave you or forsake you." There is nothing more wonderful than knowing that we have Him.

True, you know that you will go to heaven when you die. But when you became a Christian God didn't just shake your hand and say, "Well done; see you in heaven!" No, He says, "I will be with you. I will see everything that is going on, your coming in and your going, both now and forever more."

Excerpted from Higher Ground (Christian Focus Publications Ltd., 1995).

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

Cleansing the Chambers

Nehemiah 12:27-13:31 Have you ever been in a home where the garbage has not been emptied for days, the dishes are stacked a mile high, and bed sheets have not been changed for months? When my son was on drugs and living with two other boys in a rental house, I went to visit him. No one answered the door, but the door was opened, so I thought maybe Ray was sleeping. I opened the door, and what faced me was unbelievable. It was just like the home I described above. When I discovered no one was home, I set about to straighten things out as best as I could. After two hours of work and a spray of room deodorizer, the house was in much better order.

We may never neglect our own home this way, but we can neglect our own temple. Our bodies are the home of the Holy Spirit, and often we need to cleanse the chambers of this home. The garbage of unconfessed sin and the wrong attitudes that keep us from serving God with our whole heart can cause quite a stench in the our personal temples. Confusion can clutter the chambers of our mind, and doubt and unbelief can soon gain a foothold.

In our reading today we see where Nehemiah had to cleanse the chambers where Tobiah lived. Tobiah had taken the things that belonged to the priests and had hidden them in his chambers. Tobiah was an enemy of Israel and Nehemiah. He had scorned Nehemiah as he set about to rebuild the walls of the city. Eliashib prepared a chamber in the house of the Lord for this enemy of Israel to live. When Nehemiah found out about this, he said, "And it grieved me sore: therefore I cast forth all the household stuff of Tobiah out of the chamber. Then I commanded, and they cleansed the chambers: and thither brought I again the vessels of the house of God, with the meat offering and the frankincense" (Neh. 13:8-9, KJV).

Tobiah, an enemy of God, had been enjoying all the things that belonged to the priests. We too have an enemy who loves to rob us of the things of God that belong to us as priests. Jesus calls Satan a thief and a liar who is out to destroy us. If we allow Satan to house himself in one of the chambers of our temple (our mind, soul or body, which is the temple of the Holy Spirit), we will begin to stink with sin. Make no mistake. Satan wants to take over not just one chamber in your holy temple, but he wants to take over your entire body and use it for his dirty work. If we fail to cleanse the chambers of our home where the Holy Spirit lives, then before you know it, the dirt and filth of Satan will spread into more chambers. We will find ourselves far away from the sweet aroma of the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. We are holy vessels that contain the Holy Spirit. I am challenged by this reading, and I hope you are challenged also to do a house cleaning daily through confession and repentance of sins.

READ: Nehemiah 12:27-13:31; 1 Corinthians 11:3-16; Psalm 35:1-16; Proverbs 21:17-18


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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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