Devotionals

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Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 37 }

I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began. I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. —John 17:4-6

I do not think Jesus Christ enjoys anything more than revealing to others the infinite splendor and awesome beauty of His Father. Every aspect of His ministry reflects the indescribable loveliness of the Father. We sometimes talk about the ministry of Jesus only in terms of physical and emotional healing or the preaching of forgiveness. But the ministry of Jesus was not confined just to miracles and forgiveness. The ministry of Jesus was most significantly defined by His making known the splendor of His Father.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Father, the wonder of Your splendor and beauty is too much for me to comprehend. Make my life a reflection of Your beauty, and show me how to reveal Your glory to those around me.

When it was all over, Jesus summed up His entire
earthly ministry by saying to His Father,
"I've made Your name known to them."



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Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

It Is God's Battle

If, when evil cometh upon us-.-.-.-we stand before this house, and in thy presence-.-.-.-and cry unto thee in our affliction, then thou wilt hear and help. —2 Chronicles 20:9

Outnumbered and surrounded, the nation of Israel faced disaster at the hands of the Moabites and the Ammonites. But King Jehoshaphat called them to get serious with God—to repent, fast, and cry out to God. He reminded God of His covenant of friendship with His people.

When we feel we are in a situation we cannot possibly overcome by our own power, that is the time we, like Jehoshaphat, are to bow our knee and acknowledge the source of our strength. When things get tough, we resist the temptation to get tougher and try to win in our own strength. Rather, we humble ourselves and seek God.

Because you are a joint heir in the covenant, you will receive the same response Jehoshaphat received: "Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God's" (2 Chronicles 20:15).

Do you feel overwhelmed today by a problem beyond your strength and abilities? If so, then turn to the problem-solver. As a joint heir with Christ, be not afraid. The battle belongs to Him!

Jesus, help me to stop trying to fight every battle
in my own strength. Teach me how to turn to
You in every battle of life. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

Today's Message

How to Pray in God's Will

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. —Romans 8:26

Praying in God's will is carried out at one of two levels (or perhaps both): (1) when you know what God's will is and pray accordingly, or (2) when you don't know what God's will is but pray with groans that words cannot express—that is, words you don't understand.

The first level is, in my opinion, quite rare. It has happened, but not often. It is when I know somehow that when I pray for something I also know God heard me and that it will be answered because I prayed in the will of God. I wish I could say that I engage in this kind of praying all the time.

Zechariah and Elizabeth prayed for a son. They did not know that they put this request in God's will and that it was heard. But it was—except that they were not notified for a long time. Zechariah had prayed years before in the will of God, but he was not given the grace of the Spirit to know at the time he was praying in God's will. Knowing at the time is therefore, in my view, rare.

The second level of praying in the Spirit is when you do pray in the will of God, but you do not know what you are praying for. How can this be? Romans 8:26, quoted above, coheres with 1 Corinthians 14:2: "For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God. Indeed, no one understands him; he utters mysteries with his spirit." When you are praying in tongues you are praying in the will of God, which is why you could pray consciously in the will of God at both levels. This is because when I pray in tongues I abandon my wishes to the Spirit. I do not know what God's will is, true, but I know nonetheless that I am praying in God's will because I am praying in tongues.

Excerpted from Pure Joy (Charisma House, 2006).



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Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

The Tongue and Troubles

Psalm 50:1-23 There is one promise of God that will be fulfilled in every life. Jesus said, "In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world" (John 16:33). Because we live in a fallen world, there will always be trouble. This psalm reveals two important responses we should have when trouble comes our way. Verse 15 exhorts us to call upon the Lord in our day of trouble. Verse 23 exhorts us to praise the Lord and to order our conversation aright.

If we will call upon the Lord in the day of trouble, the promise is He will deliver us. If we will praise the Lord and order our conversation aright in the day of trouble, He will show us His salvation.

The moment we enter troublesome times, we should first pray—and then we should be careful about what we say. God will be glorified when we do these two things. If we fail to call upon God in our troubled times, the hope of being delivered through or out of the trouble will be slim.

Preventative medicine is better than a cure. A lot of the trouble we find ourselves in is self-inflicted. We have submitted to fleshly lusts instead of following the Spirit. The preventative medicine to keep us out of trouble is God's Word and prayer. We can prevent the majority of troubles in our lives if we are not anxious about anything, but instead pray about everything. If we stay in God's Word daily, chances are we will be able to discern the origin of the thoughts we have throughout the day. Our thoughts usually come from three sources: God, our own flesh or the devil. We will only be able to recognize the counterfeit if we know the Truth, and we find that in God's Word. We only can take those thoughts captive to Jesus if we recognize who gave us those thoughts.

Another preventative medicine is to be careful about what we speak. There is a proverb that says, "He that keepeth his lips is wise; he keeps his soul from troubles." We get into trouble many times just because we have not been wise in our speech. David, when he wrote this psalm, knew that the only way God could be glorified in our lives was if we learned to order our conversations aright. The tongue is the red carpet we throw out to Satan to walk right into our lives with his special delivery of troubles.

Even if we guard our tongues, pray about everything and stay in God's Word, some troubles will come our way simply because we live in a corrupt world. Tribulation is in the world and always will be until the Lord sets up His kingdom on earth. The moment trouble comes knocking on your door, you need to begin to praise the Lord because you know He is in control. His plan is to work good out of what Satan means for evil. The moment you begin to praise the Lord, a glory shield is placed around you because you have ordered your conversation aright. You will not be overwhelmed by whatever trial is facing you. You will be at peace and can even experience fullness of joy in the presence of the Lord.

READ: Numbers 8:1-9:23; Mark 13:14-37; Psalm 50:1-23; Proverbs 10:29-30



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Live Extraordinarily

Today's Message

The Fullness of Grace

You probably know that by God's grace you're forgiven and saved, but do you know there is so much more that grace gives us?

"And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace" (John 1:16, NKJV). Here is the point so many miss—with grace we can receive the fullness of God's nature! Grace is a gift that not only saved us but also imparted in us the completeness of Jesus. We are in Christ, He is in us and we have the fullness of His nature.

The fundamental problem is that we have cut ourselves off from the flow of grace. Most believe that God's grace has forgiven us from all sin and saved us from hell—which is true—but many are missing the rest: the new nature we have, the power to walk in holiness and the authority to bring heaven's will to earth to meet the needs of humankind.

My life changed dramatically once I discovered that grace includes not only God's amazing forgiveness and the promise of heaven but also His empowerment. Prior to this I struggled, found many of God's instructions too difficult to fulfill, battled inferiority and a poor self-image and wondered why there was so little eternal fruit in my life. However, once the realization came that I now possessed the fullness of God's nature, my life stabilized, blessings flowed and my impact on others for the kingdom increased.

Many believers think that we are merely struggling sinners who've been forgiven—and someday, in heaven, we'll be like Jesus. This fallacy keeps people in bondage and nullifies God's power in their lives. The Bible tells us we are His children: "Beloved, now we are children of God" (1 John 3:2). If we are now His children, then we now have access to fully operate in the character of Jesus. We have the ability to live as He intended us to live from the beginning—extraordinarily! We can live in His image, His likeness, possessing His ability—all through grace!

Grace not only instructs us but also empowers us to live above our own human potential. We've been born again; we're brand-new people. We are free to live an extraordinary life! You are a son or daughter of God. You possess His nature. You were meant for anything but ordinary!

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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