Devotionals

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Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 107 }

Although I am less than the least of all God's people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. —Ephesians 3:8-9

God isn't interested in making men, ministries, or churches famous. He's committed to spreading the fame of His Son throughout the nations. He's looking for believers who are ablaze with passion and devotion to His Son and who will say, "I have only a moment on Earth. My citizenship is in heaven, and I want to spread Your fame. I want to capture the hearts of the people for You!" God ultimately desires to give His people greater grace and power. But I believe He will reserve the greater power—the mightier release of His Spirit—for the time when the church seeks to proclaim the riches of Christ's marvelous personality. He will anoint and empower believers who seek to capture the hearts of others for His Son—not for themselves.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

I long to be a part of the generation that sees a mighty release of Your Spirit in our world. Anoint me and empower me to seek the lost and bring them into a transforming personal relationship with You.

The day of the spiritual superstar is over.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

God's Vessels

I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. —Psalm 37:25

The Lord takes pleasure in the success of His servants. Yet God's abundance is not granted so you can simply lavish it on yourself. It is given to establish the kingdom of God throughout the earth (Deuteronomy 8:18).

We are created to be vessels through which He can pour out His abundance and blessing. God looses abundance in our lives so that we, in turn, can deliver it into the earth to help bring about His kingdom.

Vessels God uses are vessels not contaminated by the ways of the world. The abundance of God overflows from vessels of gold that have been purified in the Refiner's fire.

Set your heart and your mind on becoming "a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work" (2 Timothy 2:21).

Lord, use me. As Your vessel, pour Your Spirit through
me. Sanctify and purify me so that I might become
as vessel of honor. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

Today's Message

‘But If Not’ Faith

Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. —Daniel 3:17-18, KJV

A sweet old lady stood up in a prayer meeting in Alabama, only to exhort: "Do you have the 'but if not' faith?"

It is absolutely true that we must be willing to serve God whether or not He blesses us. That was part of the reason for the Book of Job. Satan questioned whether Job, a wealthy man, would serve God if he wasn't blessed materially: "Does Job fear God for nothing?" (Job 1:9). Job's suffering soon followed—with God's permission and purpose. Job later said: "Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him; I will surely defend my ways to his face" (Job 13:15).

Likewise Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego—the three Hebrew young men living in Babylon—were commanded to worship King Nebuchadnezzar's image of gold under the threat of being thrown into a furnace. They wouldn't bend. They wouldn't bow. And they didn't burn. But they were willing to die. Nebuchadnezzar wanted to know why would people like these three men refuse to do a simple thing like falling down before his image of gold.

The "but if not" faith! God is able to bless us, but if not, we will not bow down to idols. God will bless us when we give, but if not, we will give anyway. God will bless us when we worship and praise Him, but if not, we will worship and praise Him anyway.

We must not only be willing to be vocal in our thanking God, but we must also do it all the time—whether we feel like it or not. Whether He blesses us or not.

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

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

God Is Great!

Psalm 145:1-21 I remember as a child praying this blessing before every meal: "God is great! God is good! Let us thank Him for our food! Amen." This psalm expresses the greatness of God. David says, "Every day will I bless You, and I will praise Your name forever and ever. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable" (vv. 2-3).

It would take our whole lifetime to search out God's greatness, but at the end we would realize we had not even begun our search. His greatness is truly unsearchable.

Today I am thanking Him for the great life He has given me with my husband as we celebrate our wedding anniversary together. Today we celebrate also the birth of Jesus in our marriage and in the marriages of all of our three sons. Jesus lives in each of their hearts, and Christmas is celebrated every day of their lives. Christ lives within us, and He is our hope of glory. He is the light of the world that does not go out when the Christmas lights are turned off. He is and was and ever more will be the great I Am, Emmanuel—God with us—the Great Potentate of all time, the King of glory who touches our lives with His glory and causes our light to shine before others.

Every day can be Christmas day if we will bless the Lord and praise His name. Joy will flood our souls, and no man will ever be able to steal this joy. Today I not only celebrate my marriage to my husband, and the joy it brings, but I also celebrate my marriage to Jesus Christ who gives me joy now and forever more, even into eternity. Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised.

Lord, I give thanks and praise to You today. Don't let a day go by that I do not praise Your holy name. Thank You for the generations after me in my own family who will praise Your name and declare Your mighty works to others. You are truly good. You are gracious, full of compassion, slow to anger and of great mercy, and You are good to all. Your tender mercies today are over me and all my loved ones. Thank You for Your everlasting greatness.

READ: Zechariah 9:1-17; Revelation 17:1-18; Psalm 145:1-21; Proverbs 30:32

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Live Extraordinarily

Today's Message

Equipped For So Much More

One of the main reasons I avoided Christianity for years was its portrayal. I, like many others, saw people of God as Bible-thumping critics who were quick to judge the flaws of others. Or I thought they were passive, backward and ignorant. The idea that Christians were pioneers who lived and thought outside the box, behaving in extraordinary ways, never crossed my mind.

I viewed Christianity as lifeless. Becoming a believer would mean losing my individuality and foregoing creativity, excellence, passion and the ability to succeed in the marketplace, sports, politics, education and other arenas of life. I didn't know it then, but my views were the opposite of how God created us to live because He is the One who breathed into us the desire for the extraordinary.

God spoke: "Let us make human beings in our image, make them reflecting our nature so they can be responsible for the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, the cattle, and, yes, Earth itself, and every animal that moves on the face of Earth." God created human beings; he created them godlike, reflecting God's nature. He created them male and female. God blessed them: "Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Earth! Take charge!" (Genesis 1:26–28, The Message)

We were made to reflect God's nature. He spoke both to men and women, saying, "Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Earth! Take charge!" Adam, the first man, named every species of animal on the earth. God brought the animals to Adam and gave him the responsibility of naming them. There are over one million species of animals on earth. Not only did Adam have the creativity to name them all, but he also had the capacity to remember each one. That was an extraordinary man doing a remarkable feat!

You may ask, "But since Adam fell, weren't those abilities lost due to his disobedience?" No, Jesus flipped the mess Adam created for humankind. Paul wrote, "Here it is in a nutshell: Just as one person did it wrong and got us in all this trouble with sin and death, another person did it right and got us out of it. But more than just getting us out of trouble, he got us into life!" (Romans 5:18, MSG).

The word life doesn't merely describe the way we'll live in heaven; it also means the "here and now." Jesus not only recovered what Adam lost, but He also provided so much more—the potential of an extraordinary life!

The truth is, God not only desires you to live extraordinarily but also has equipped you to do so.

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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