Devotionals

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Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 122 }

After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, "Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this." At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian. A rainbow, resembling an emerald, encircled the throne. Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads. From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. Before the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God. Also before the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as cryst —Revelation 4:1-6

During my early years of seeking to establish a consistent prayer life, I felt as though I were praying into the air—to some nebulous being far beyond my grasp. I had a feeling of disconnectedness, with no real sense of praying to a real person. But over time, my prayer life has been greatly enriched through a simple devotional focus that I began some years ago. I call it "gazing on God's throne." John describes the scene in heaven into which our prayers ascend. This description of God's throne, the Lord Jesus, the four living creatures, and the twenty-four elders significantly changed my prayer life.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Father, may the vision of Your throne remind me daily that my prayers ascend unto that very place and are heard—and answered—each time I pray.

John paints a word picture of the setting to which
our requests and petitions come.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Bless the Lord

Bless the Lord, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word. —Psalm 103:20

When the Word of the Lord goes forth you must decide immediately whether you will speak and walk in His Word or ignore it. At the moment of His Word, the Spirit discerns the intentions of your heart. God knows if you are going through the rigors of religiosity or if you are committed by faith and prayer to move out into the harvest.

This should be the declaration of your mouth:

I send forth the holy angels of God right now.

They are commissioned to minister on behalf of the heirs of salvation.

I am an heir of salvation.

I am washed in the blood of Christ.

I am blood-bought, Holy Ghost-filled, and fire-baptized.

I am not waiting to get into the kingdom of God.

I am in the kingdom now, and the kingdom is in me.

Every day you can declare under the anointing of the Holy Spirit:

In the power of the Spirit and under the authority of the Word,
I declare that the holy angels go forth and become reapers in the fields
which are white unto harvest. I bind every hindering spirit on my life.
I release the anointing of God with His angelic
hosts to bring in my harvest. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

Today's Message

Give Thanks to the One Who Remembers

Give thanks...to the One who remembered us in our low estate. —Psalm 136:3, 23

God made a choice to remember, and He wants us to choose to remember! He wants us to hold Him to His own Word. Nehemiah prayed this way (Neh. 1:8). The psalmist prayed the same way: "Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope" (Ps. 119:49). Hezekiah prayed much the same way (Isa. 38:2). With His own Word we can pray so as to give God "no rest" until He grants our request. (See Isaiah 62:7.) We likewise pray with Habakkuk: "In wrath remember mercy" (Hab. 3:2).

The most depressing book in the Bible (to me) is the Book of Judges. The unthinkable things that are described in this book show that there is a precedent for the worst kinds of sin and wickedness. The bottom line of the Book of Judges is, "In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit" (Judg. 21:25). But there is an ominous explanation that lay behind this folly—an even greater folly: (1) They "did not remember the Lord their God, who had rescued them from the hands of all their enemies," and (2) they "failed to show kindness" (Judg. 8:34-35).

God's promise to remember His Word is recounted again and again:

God remembered Rachel. —Genesis 30:22

God ... remembered his covenant. —Exodus 2:24

For he remembered his holy promise given to his servant Abraham. —Psalm 105:42

In other words, God keeps His promise to remember. He puts us on our honor to remember to be grateful. God kindly cautions us not to forget to be grateful. He puts it succinctly: give thanks.

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

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

Forgiving Iniquities

Psalm 130:1-8 Where would we be if God marked our iniquities? We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. God's plan has always been to redeem us, not condemn us. Redemption is extended to us through Jesus, and the possibility of having our sins, transgressions and iniquities all forgiven is offered to all who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.

This psalm says with the Lord there is mercy and plenteous redemption. How sad it is that men refuse such an offer to have their sins washed away so they can receive a fresh start—newness of life. Why would anyone reject such an offer? People refuse to believe in Jesus Christ because they are blinded by Satan. He deceives many and convinces them that they do not need a Savior.

Pride is often the stumbling block to receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Some people actually believe they have no sin, and therefore they do not need a Savior. Before redemption can take place, we must first believe our lives need to be changed. We must admit that our nature is to sin, and we need a second nature—the very nature of Jesus Christ who was sinless.

God promises to redeem all who will believe in His Son Jesus Christ. His invitation to us all is to receive His precious gift to earth given two thousand years ago. Now that Christmas is coming, I have been cleaning out the basement to ready it to receive the Christmas gifts I purchase. Every year when I do this, I discover there are some presents remaining from last year that were never wrapped or given. So I simply wrap them up and give them to someone this Christmas.

Two thousand years ago God wrapped Himself in an earthly suit, and Jesus was born to give us life and life more abundantly. He died and was resurrected to set us free from the bondage of sin and death. Listen as this great gift on the first Christmas is described: "God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved" (John 3:16-17, KJV).

Have you failed to receive God's gift to you given on the very first Christmas, or have you shelved this gift and refused to open it? The only way we can know God personally is to come to know His Son who was freely given to you. Don't let another Christmas go by without receiving this precious gift, and when you do, be sure to pass this gift on to others.

READ: Amos 4:1-6:14; Revelation 2:18-3:6; Psalm 130:1-8; Proverbs 29:21-22


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Live Extraordinarily

Today's Message

Never Fall Short

God has freely given us the tools we need to live a holy life that pleases Him—that's fabulous news! There's no need to fall short. The writer of Hebrews tells us:

"Pursue...holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God." (12:14-15, NKJV)

The main point here is clear: We need the grace of God to walk in true holiness. We might ask, "If, as we've been taught, grace is only about forgiveness, then what does 'fall short' mean in this verse?" The Greek word here is hustereo. Strong's Concordance defines it as "to be inferior, to fall short (be deficient), come behind, be destitute, fail." Thayer's Lexicon goes into more depth by stating that this word's meaning is "to be left behind in the race and so fail to reach the goal, to fall short of the end."

Holiness is crucial to finishing our race well. Hear the prophet Isaiah's words: "There will be a highway there, called 'The Road of Holiness.' No sinner will ever travel that road; no fools will mislead those who follow it. No lions will be there; no fierce animals will pass that way. Those whom the LORD has rescued will travel home by that road. They will reach Jerusalem [heaven] with gladness, singing and shouting for joy. They will be happy forever, forever free from sorrow and grief." (35:8–10, TEV)

God says that when we walk in the power of the grace of God, bearing true fruits of holiness, we are invincible because of Him. Isaiah says that no fierce animal, such as a bear or lion, will be able to take us out! (This includes our supreme enemy, Satan, who walks about as "a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour" [1 Peter 5:8].) So, we have no reason to fail when we produce fruits of holiness through the power of God's grace. This ability is not because of us but because of Him. We must abide in the grace of God in order to live holy, fruitful, extraordinary lives! 

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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