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Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 294 }

Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers. —1 Timothy 4:16

One of the most surprising and enlightening things I share with conservative evangelical pastors is that there are people with valid gifts of the Spirit who are themselves still carnal. This challenges a commonly held idea that it is greater truth, wisdom, and character that produce greater power. Many think that only godly, mature people are used by God in demonstrations of power, but there are many exceptions. What is often surprising to both charismatic and noncharismatic pastors is that people can express valid gifts of the Spirit, yet have some pretty significant hang-ups and unresolved issues in their lives. Many leaders have assumed that if there is a definite flaw in a person's doctrine, wisdom, or character, then that is proof positive that the gifts and power in their ministries must not really be from God after all.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Father, You have determined to give Your spiritual gifts to imperfect, human individuals. Help me to understand that Your words and messages may be given through vessels of clay, imperfect people who may not always have the ability to speak with clarity.

Prophetic people must be clear about
major doctrines, but on lesser
points of doctrine, they
might be misinformed.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Obedience

And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the basin; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning. —Exodus 12:22

We can plead the blood of Jesus continuously, but if we are not obedient to the Word of God, we will be wasting our breath.

God told the Israelites to stay inside their homes that Passover night. If they had disobeyed His instructions and crossed their thresholds, the blood would not have covered them.

Even though the Israelites believed what God said, if they didn't follow His instructions to them, the blood could not keep them from harm.

Be obedient to God's commands, and abide under the protective covering our loving Father has provided for you and your family. Are you obedient to the Word of God? Are you obedient to the leading and voice of the Holy Spirit? Will you repent of those areas of disobedience in your life?

Jesus, I repent of any disobedience in
my life. Convict me of any unknown
area of disobedience. In
Jesus' Name, Amen.

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By Love Transformed

Today's Message

The Proof of Conversion

In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing. —Job 1:22

There are many women who are angry with God because they feel He did not give them good looks, and so men find them unattractive. Perhaps you feel this way. Let me ask you a question: Do you wish you looked different, that you were better-looking than you are? I suppose we all wish that. But maybe, one day, when we get to heaven, we'll see it was a particular kindness, which we couldn't see at the time, that God made us just as we are. Do you know what God wants to achieve in you and me? He wants us to come to terms with our looks, with our gifts, with our limitations, with our place in society, with our parents, with the way we've been treated, and to learn to like ourselves like that. One of the greatest evidences of grace is that we like ourselves just as we are.

The proof of conversion is that you see through to the true God and don't let circumstances divert you. I have often been amazed how black people in the Deep South ever became saved when I consider how badly their masters treated them. Yet they heard talk of heaven and knew one day they were going there, where they would be out of their misery. They could identify with that. That's why they were converted. God has a way of getting us past our circumstances. No matter how dreadful our experiences might have been, God has a way of reaching us, and the most unlikely person can be the most glorious convert. The experiences that may have caused us to feel the deepest bitterness can turn out to be our salvation. God has designed all things to get us to look to Him.

Excerpted from All's Well That Ends Well (Authentic Media, 2005).

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

God's Concern for Us

Psalm 139:1-24 Yesterday we talked about how God can perfect everything that is a concern to us. Today we see how God is concerned for us and knows us intimately. In fact, God knows my needs before I even share with Him these needs in prayer. David writes, "For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O Lord, You know it altogether" (v. 4).

David says God understands our thoughts from afar off. He has been watching and caring for us even from the time we were in our mother's womb. This psalm shares how God thinks about us continually. His thoughts toward us are numbered more than the sands on the seashore. We can do nothing but stand in awe of our God's infinite interest in us. The question we need to ask ourselves is, Are we half as interested in God as He is in us? We have entered a covenant relationship with God through our belief in His Son Jesus Christ. Our goal daily should be to get to know the true God more intimately. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could all say our first thought upon waking in the morning is of the Lord and then we continue thinking about Him all the day long? He is constantly thinking about us.

God wants our mind to be centered upon Him continually, not just because He loves this, but He knows great peace will come to us if we will do this. Every day we have to deal with distractions and do battle to bring our thoughts captive to the obedience of Jesus Christ. There is a way, however, we can anchor ourselves in the Lord, and no matter what hell breaks out during the day, we will have peace. The way to do this is to take time to listen to God every morning. Jesus knew how to keep His thoughts directed toward the Father: "The Lord God has given Me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to hear as the learned. The Lord God has opened My ear, and I was not rebellious, nor did I turn away" (Isa. 50:4-5).

The first thought Jesus had in the morning was the Father. He was awakened by the Father's voice, and then He listened carefully to what the Father had to tell Him. Because He did this faithfully, the following stability was given to His day:

1. Words were given that would encourage others during the day.

2. Personal direction was given.

3. The ability to obey was imparted.

4. Strength for the day was infused into His body, soul and spirit.

5. The ability to endure and have a determined will to do God's will was received.

Don't you need all five today? Then take time this morning to listen to the Lord.

READ: 2 Kings 1:1-2:25; Acts 13:42-14:7; Psalm 139:1-24; Proverbs 17:19-21

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Live Extraordinarily

Today's Message

The Plan

??"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him" (1 Corinthians 2:9, NLT).

These words paint a picture of an extraordinary existence. You might hear these words and relate them only to heaven's glory, but in actuality they were penned for the here and now!

The apostle Paul continues, "But we know these things because God has revealed them to us by his Spirit" (verse 10, NLT). Paul was divinely moved to bring into the open what had been previously hidden to our eyes, ears and imagination.

God has a unique plan for your life, and He longs for you to connect with Him in intimacy to discover it. God planned an extraordinary life for you. He is a Father who delights in His children. And nothing will please Him more than seeing you reach your highest.

How can you tap into the infinite wisdom of the One who created the heavens and the earth? Through a close, ongoing relationship with Him. He loves you with an everlasting love and wants to be a part of every area of your life. As you read His Word and spend time with Him in prayer, He will reveal to you His will for your life.

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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