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Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 179 }

After this, God gave them judges until the time of Samuel the prophet. Then the people asked for a king, and he gave them Saul son of Kish, of the tribe of Benjamin, who ruled forty years. After removing Saul, he made David their king. He testified concerning him: "I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do." —Acts 13:20-22

One of the toughest questions throughout Christian history has been, "Why did David get this special distinction from God? What set him apart from so many other godly men and women?" The answer has the power to revolutionize the way you see God, the way you relate to Him, and how you view yourself and your destiny in Him. What set David apart as a man after God's heart was his unrelenting passion to search out and understand the emotions of God. This, I believe, is the distinguishing factor in the life of any person—you or me or anyone else—who sets out to have a heart after God's. In fact, someday the church worldwide will be like David in this regard. We will be a massive group of people who worship, serve, and love God with ever-increasing understanding of His emotions and passions. Like David, we will understand and reflect the heart of God in a way humanity has rarely seen.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

I want nothing more than to be a person after God's own heart. I want to worship, serve, and love You with an ever-increasing awareness of Your great love for me.

You can be a person after God's own heart,
just as David was.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

The Devil's Hit List

And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. —Luke 22:31-32

On the top of the devil's hit list are those who love the Lord and walk according to His plan for their lives.

The devil wants to sift you as wheat, but you do not have to be afraid, because he has to contend with the next verse: "But I have prayed for you." Who prayed? Not Abraham, David, Peter, nor Paul. The One who prays for you is the resurrected Son of the living God, the One who conquered death, hell, and the grave. He pulled the keys of your bondage out of the defeated hands of your adversary.

Take hold of this revelation: Jesus is interceding at the right hand of your Father, calling your name aloud and praying, specifically, that your faith won't fail. Then rejoice that you have made the devil's hit list. He cannot touch or harm you. At least, you are a problem to him. At least, he has noticed your work in the kingdom of God. Rejoice when he attacks. You are doing something right, and the enemy hates it.

God, empower me to withstand the
attacks and fiery darts of the evil one.
I know that Jesus is interceding for me,
and I walk in the power of His intercession.
Amen.

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By Love Transformed

Today's Message

Disappointed With a Word From God

Naaman's servants went to him and said, "My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, 'Wash and be cleansed'!" —2 Kings 5:13

Perhaps you have gone to church or to a Bible study hoping for a word from the Lord, and you have sat there thinking, Well, so far God hasn't spoken to me. I don't know why I even came.

Second Kings 5 tells the story of Naaman, who suffered from leprosy. He hears of the famous prophet Elisha through his wife's little Israelite servant girl. He makes all kinds of arrangements and finally goes to where Elisha is. But Elisha won't even come out to meet him! Naaman feels insulted. Here he is—a commander and an officer—and Elisha won't even greet him. Instead, the prophet sends a message (which Naaman doesn't like at all): "Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed" (v. 10).

Naaman goes away angry: "I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy" (v. 11). "How dare he insult me? Go to the Jordan and wash seven times?!"

Naaman's servants persuade him to believe that this really is a word from the Lord. Naaman goes into the Jordan once and comes out just like he was. The second time—still no change. When he goes in a third time, he thinks, Well, I'll start getting better now. But no. Even after the sixth time, there's no difference. But on the seventh time, lo and behold, he is healed completely!

It may be that God has given you a word and you don't like it. You want something else, some other word. Jesus said, "Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much" (Luke 16:10). Accept what God has given you, and who knows what will happen in the end?

Excerpted from When God Shows Up (Renew Books, 1998).

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

How the Lord Greets Us

Psalm 85:1-13 Greetings are so important. The way we greet people always reveals how we feel about them. If we only greet with a handshake, those we greet are distant friends. If we greet with a kiss and a hug, we usually are greeting those we love and call near and dear to us.

How does God greet us? This psalm gives the answer. First God greets us with mercy and truth, and then He kisses us with righteousness and peace. With truth He springs out of the earth to greet us, and with righteousness He descends from heaven in the bodily form of Jesus to greet us with a holy kiss. The life of Jesus Christ is God's greeting to us. He greets us daily with His peace, His love, His righteousness, His truth, His comfort, His faithfulness and on and on. Jesus is God in the flesh, and how great it is to come to know the Father through Jesus. Sometimes when I picture Jesus He is kissing me first on the left cheek and then on the right cheek. Then He holds my face and looks into my eyes for a long long time. I feel such a surge of compassion within me that I want to jump, leap, shout and ascend to heaven where I can be with Him always.

Today I celebrate my birthday. I used to read a book to my boys about different animals and how they greet us. The chicken says, "Cock a doodle do," the bird sings a sweet song, but the bear gives us a great big bear hug. On every birthday of my loved ones I always say as I hug them, "This is a great big birthday bear hug from me."

Two thousand years ago God, our heavenly Father, gave us all a great big birthday bear hug when Jesus was born on this earth. He was Immanuel, God with us, and He is still giving us great big hugs and kisses. If you have never experienced His hugs and kisses in the spirit, today is your day. Be still for a moment and reach out to Him in praise and worship. Soon you will know His sweet embrace and kiss, and it will carry you through the rest of the day.

Thank You, Lord, for giving me Your kiss of truth, righteousness, mercy and grace through Jesus Christ. I love Him so much. What a joy it is to know His presence even though I cannot physically feel His hugs and kisses. What a day it will be when I will feel His physical arms around me and know the tender kisses on my cheeks. Thank You, Lord, for letting me experience this now on earth in the spirit.

READ: Jeremiah 26:1-17:22; 2 Thessalonians 3:1-18; Psalm 85:1-13; Proverbs 25:16

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Live Extraordinarily

Today's Message

Reputation Is Not About You

"Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross." (Philippians 2:5-8, NKJV)

Many people in the world today are fighting fiercely to climb the ladder of success. A great deal of their energy is focused and spent on building a reputation in the eyes of others in order to "make it big." In the process of their pursuit, they quickly become addicted to the approval of others.

Jesus did just the opposite—He made Himself of no reputation (see Philippians 2:7). In other words, He stripped Himself of all His kingly rights and humbled Himself to become human. The Creator literally took the form of His creation. Instead of living His entire life to build a name for Himself, He endeavored to build a name for His Father. He said, "I am not in search of honor for Myself. [I do not seek and am not aiming for My own glory.] There is One Who [looks after that; He] seeks [My glory], and He is the Judge" (John 8:50 AMP).

Having a good reputation is important; however, the motive—or driving force—behind your cause should be weighed. Are you tempted to make a name for yourself for success, or are you a person of good reputation because you long to represent your King well on earth?

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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