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Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 65 }

Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. —Colossians 3:9-10

A spiritual fortress made of thoughts can be a fortified dwelling place where demonic forces can hide. A stronghold in the mind is a collection of thoughts in agreement with Satan—thoughts that are lies against what God has revealed about Himself. Wrong concepts and ideas about God are not automatically eliminated when we are born again. We are continually in the process of being renewed by a true knowledge according to the personality and likeness of God. Until we are walking in that full, perfect knowledge of God, you and I must not make the mistake of assuming that the process of change is over.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Show me the strong places in my mind where Satan has kept me from seeing the truth of Your revelation, Father. Tear these strongholds down, and destroy anything that hinders me from being just like You.

You and I must not make the mistake of
assuming that the process
of change is over.


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Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Abundant Life

Lord, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear. —PSALM 10:17

Great revelation doesn't come without preparation. You cannot plant an acorn in concrete and expect to grow a majestic oak tree. In the same way, you cannot expect great revelation until you have prepared your heart to receive it. The soil of your heart must be prepared to receive the seed of God's Word. Your heart's soil is prepared by repentance, prayer, study of the Word, worship, and seeking God's face.

Revelations are released for specific needs at certain times. The Reformation was based on one simple truth: "The just shall live by faith." This was the message the world of Martin Luther's day so desperately needed to hear.

God chose the '40s, '50s, and '60s of this century to say, "I am still your healer." God's revelation for our generation is a truth that has been abused, ridiculed and misunderstood: Our God is a God of abundance.

His abundance was not placed on earth to satisfy our fleshly desires, but rather, to establish His kingdom. Pray for the Holy Spirit to lead you into a lifestyle of abundant, kingdom living.

Jesus, I praise You for the abundant life You are giving me.
I desire to hear Your voice and seek Your face. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

Today's Message

Snuff Out Gossip

Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down. —Proverbs 26:20

Gossip. What an ugly word. I hate the word. It is what sells millions of cheap and tawdry magazines at the checkout line in a supermarket. I so despise them that I like to think I am above this stuff.

I may not read these magazines, but I am just as guilty as those who do read them when I myself hear with glee that a person I don't like has been found out—and I pass it on; or I repeat news of something unflattering about an enemy or a person who has wanted to hurt me in some way; or I make a person feel good that I know would relish news of their enemy's difficulty. James says the tongue is a fire (James 3:6), and when I enter into conversations like this, I grieve the Holy Spirit.

Gossip is a defense mechanism to preserve our self-esteem. It arises out of an inferiority complex; we build ourselves up by tearing others down—or enjoying hearing that they are in trouble of some kind. It is a poisonous habit that betrays our insecurity and lack of spirituality. If gossip makes us feel better, we are self-deceived.

We may claim to be Spirit-filled, sound in our theology, faithful in our commitment to the church, zealous in worship, and have devotional lives that are highly admirable. But when we grieve the Spirit by saying what comes to mind that is not honoring to God, we become the very examples James laments: we praise the Lord and curse men.

James asks, "Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?" (James 3:11). If the well in us—the Holy Spirit (John 7:38-39)—overflows, one expects the fruits of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23). But when the Spirit begins to speak through us, and instead of love, joy, and peace, suddenly there emerges anger, vengeance, and envy, something has gone terribly wrong.

The Holy Spirit will not produce gossip, anger, revenge, or any other fleshly reaction any more than a fig tree can bear an olive or a grapevine bear a fig (James 3:12-16). It is impossible for the Holy Spirit to produce other than the fruit such as love, joy, peace, and self-control. If we say we are Spirit-filled, then let us display the fruit of the Spirit.

Excerpted from Controlling the Tongue (Charisma House, 2007).



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Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

You Can't Take It With You!

Matthew 24:29-51 There is an expectancy of the Lord's soon return that only the Holy Spirit can give. Paul had this expectancy, and nearly two thousand years later men and women all over the world believe in Jesus and are anticipating His return.

Our two youngest sons had their own unique way of expressing their expectancy of the Lord's return. Our youngest son, Ray, shared his eagerness for the Lord's return by standing almost daily in our carport. I asked him, "Ray, what are you doing?" As he looked up to the sky he said enthusiastically, "Today may be the day Jesus comes!"

One night when we were having family devotion, my husband read this passage from Matthew about the Lord's return. As Tom closed his Bible, our middle son, Ron, responded to the reading with a question. "Dad, will we leave this earth wearing clothes?" You could tell Ron was intently thinking of the day we would meet Jesus in the sky. My husband paused for a moment to get his thoughts together, and then Tom said, "No, Ron, we will not have clothes on because naked we come into the world and naked we will leave the world." Then Ron said, "That's cool, streakers in the sky!" This was a nine-year-old's view of the rapture.

Are you eagerly awaiting this Lord's return? It may be today.

Lord, I want to have this expectancy in my heart every day. Help me to order my day as if it were the last day I would spend on earth. Thank You for another day to give Your Word voice on this earth, and thank You for the excitement You are now stirring in my heart about Your soon return.

READ: Exodus 23:14-25:40; Matthew 24:29-51; Psalm 30:1-12; Proverbs 7:24-27


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Live Extraordinarily

Today's Message

Set Free from Sin

I received Jesus Christ as my Lord in 1979 and it changed my life. Immediately I lost the desire for alcohol, I stopped swearing, and other sinful desires gradually disappeared the more I read, meditated on, and spoke the Word of God over my life.

However, there was one area of sin that didn't go away as easily. I struggled with lust and was addicted to pornography. I had periods of freedom, but after time gravitated back to it. At the end of a four-day fast on May 6, 1985, I was set free from the stronghold of pornography and lust. By His grace, I'm still free today.

However, once I was set free from pornography's grip, I still had to resist the desire to engage. Prior to May 6, I seemingly couldn't resist with any success. After May 6, I could resist, but I had to cooperate with grace to fight off the urge to look at pornography. Its power over me was broken after fasting and intense prayer, but I still had to steadfastly resist the desire.

Over time, as I continued to pray and allow God's Word to saturate my mind, I noticed that my desires had changed. I no longer had to make myself turn away from pornography; rather, I was repulsed by it. God's grace had changed me thoroughly from the inside out. The writer of Hebrews describes this blessedness:

"For everyone who continues to feed on milk is obviously inexperienced and unskilled in the doctrine of righteousness (of conformity to the divine will in purpose, thought, and action), for he is a mere infant [not able to talk yet]! But solid food is for full-grown men, for those whose senses and mental faculties are trained by practice to discriminate and distinguish between what is morally good and noble and what is evil and contrary either to divine or human law." (5:13-14, AMP)

I realized that God's Word had brought my senses and mental faculties into alignment with His desires and thoughts. Holiness is to think, talk, and live as He does. The flesh can be trained, but it loves habitual patterns. Just as it can be trained in unrighteousness, it also can be trained in righteousness. We can take dominion over our mind and flesh through the power of grace. Our flesh responds to what it is fed.

His grace is more than enough to set you free from any sin!

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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