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Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 302 }

But the Lord said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." —1 Samuel 16:7

Throughout Bible times, God forgave and extended great mercy to people who, by our standards, did some pretty despicable things. Without diminishing the gravity of some of the more serious sins on our list, Jesus showed everyone that things like pride, hypocrisy, treatment of the poor, unforgiveness, and self-righteousness were more serious to God than we could have ever imagined. It seems He is rather patient and merciful with people who do bad things due to the fact that they are unwise, immature, or just weak. But to those who continue to deliberately disobey God, attempting to misuse God's grace and turn it into an excuse for sin, He often exercises His judgment, exposing such deliberate rebellion. We need to be careful about judging spiritual gifts as invalid because of people's weaknesses and immaturity. God may be more concerned about what He has set out to accomplish in the life of the prophetic vessel than about passing full judgment on that person.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Holy Spirit, give me the grace to understand that Your purposes are far above what I can see with my human eyes. When I am tempted to discredit a prophetic message from You because of unwise, immature, or weak actions in that prophet's life, remind me that You often speak through weak vessels.

When compared to the purity and holiness of God,
the differences between the best of us and the
worst of us are not as great as some
of us might like to imagine.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Train Up

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. —Proverbs 22:6

Satan's strategy since the Garden of Eden has been to tear down the spiritual foundation in the family. He will move against our children any way he can. He will try to attack them with sickness, accidents, violence, spirits of rebellion, and spirits of the occult. He will try to invade their minds with ungodly philosophies and doctrines of demons that undermine the teachings of their parents and their church.

In too many homes, family worship and Bible study have been cast aside for the television set. It is time for Christian families to take the power and authority God has given to us and use it against the enemy!

It is time to re-establish the home as the spiritual foundation God intended it to be. Parents and grandparents, consecrate and dedicate your home and your family to God. Declare today that, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" (Joshua 24:15).

Jesus, as for me and my house, we will serve,
honor, and obey You. We respect Your
authority and humble ourselves
before You in all things. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

Today's Message

The God of Bethel Sees and Speaks

I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar and where you made a vow to me. Now leave this land at once and go back to your native land. —Genesis 31:13

There are things about you that only God knows. You have told nobody, but God has a way of getting inside your heart with a single word. This is the way He conquers the hardest heart and the greatest skeptic with his closed spirit.

Nobody but Jacob knew about Bethel. Bethel was a place so special to Jacob, and God knew exactly what to say. Jacob was so discouraged; he felt he had nothing to live for. And then God turned up with these words: "I am the God of Bethel." God could have introduced Himself by saying, "I am the God of your father, I am the God of Abraham, I am the God of Isaac." But He chose to introduce Himself in such a way that Jacob knew it was the true God.

You may ask why Jacob waited twenty years to hear these words. I can't explain God's timing, but I know it is perfect. God sees the end from the beginning, but He knows we want answers now. It must hurt Him to see our pain, and He longs for the moment He can speak to us. But it will be at the time when it is best for us, and when He finally steps in, we will have no complaints.

It could be that you are struggling with a situation that is very painful, and you ask, "Lord, can You see what they are doing?" You may think you cannot go on because of the pressure you are under. But the God of Bethel is the God who sees. He knows what you are feeling. He sees what they are doing.

God said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you" (Heb. 13:5). The God of Bethel will speak, and He will withhold nothing from you that is good.

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 View of the Poor

Proverbs 17:4-5 This proverb shares how God looks at the poor. Anyone who mocks the poor reproaches God. "He who mocks the poor reproaches his Maker; he who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished" (v. 5).

God sees the poor as His treasures. Whenever we speak against anyone on this earth, we are speaking against God. You've heard the expression, "God does not make any junk." I cannot stand when I hear derogatory words spoken against people who are of lesser means than others. You've probably heard the expression "white trash." I hate that expression because people are not trash; they are God's priceless treasures.

In our travels throughout the world, some of the happiest and most blessed people I ever met would be considered by our standards to be dirt poor. I'll never forget giving a pair of shoes to an evangelist in India. It was the first pair of shoes he ever owned. He put his new shoes on and danced round and round in them. He was forty years old. When we were in Mexico I recall the beautiful humility and love of these Mexican people who often were without even water to drink. They were so grateful for everything we gave them, and they always asked if they could do something for us in return. We gave a blanket to one man, and he in turn gave it to his daughter.

It was the only blanket the entire family had ever owned. Some of the Mexican people in the remote villages never took a shower because of the lack of water, but daily they experienced the showers of God's blessings. His blessings did not come to them as material things, but as eternal things like joy, love, peace and fulfillment.

In contrast, some of the saddest people I ever met were men and women of great wealth. I recall visiting a home where our host took great pride in all of the priceless treasures he and his wife had purchased in their travels all over the world. I never heard him mention any of his family members or speak of the people he met on these travels. Things seemed to be much more important to him than people. There was such an emptiness in this house even though it was filled with priceless treasures. As I left this man's home I thought, All the treasures he possessed will one day be ashes, but the poor people we met in India and Mexico will last forever. Those who know the Lord will live forever. Even though their bodies will turn to dust or ashes, their soul and spirit will live eternally, and one day they will receive a resurrected body.

I trust you fill your life with God's priceless treasures daily. Handle them with care and love.

Lord, forgive me if I have ever looked down on the poor. You never look down on people, but instead You humble yourself to see the hearts of men whether rich or poor. Help me to see the hidden treasure in the hearts of all those I meet today. Amen.

READ: 1 Kings 11:1-12:19; Acts 9:1-25; Psalm 131:1-3; Proverbs 17:4-5


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Live Extraordinarily

Today's Message

A Life You Were Created For

??Have you often thought, "There must be more"? You’re not alone. I believe a fresh revelation of truth will unlock the God-potential within you. You probably know that by God’s grace you’re forgiven and saved, but do you know that His grace empowers you here and now in this life?

"And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace" (John 1:16, NKJV). Here's the point so many miss: With grace we can receive the fullness of God's nature! Grace is the gift that not only saved us but also imparts to us the completeness of Jesus. We are in Christ, He is in us, and we have the fullness of His nature. Without this insight, we cut ourselves off from the flow of grace. Most believe God's grace has forgiven their sin and saved them from hell, but there is so much more! We have been given a new nature, and we are empowered to walk as Jesus (see 1 John 2:6) with authority to bring heaven's will to earth.

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

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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