Devotionals

Many of these devotionals can be delivered to your email inbox each morning, sign up here.

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 274 }

David said to Achish, "If I have now found favor in your eyes, let them give me a place in some town in the country, that I may dwell there." ... So Achish gave him Ziklag that day. ... Now the time that David dwelt in the country of the Philistines was one full year and four months. —1 Samuel 27:5-7

Even though God had sent a message right to David that He would protect him, fear conquered his heart, and he doubted the promises. In the final lap of the race before God made him king, David stumbled into great compromise in the Philistine city of Ziklag. He chose physical security outside the will of God. And to make things worse, he promised loyalty to Achish, an archenemy of Israel. David lived with terrible tension inside of him. He was a man divided. On the one hand, he still had great zeal for the Lord. On the other hand, he was living in compromise and using the favor and anointing of God in a wrong way. For his entire time in Ziklag, David lived a charade, neglecting his destiny, disobeying the prophet's word, disregarding his other prophetic promises, betraying Achish with lies, and endangering his own men and their families. We have looked at David as the great worshiping warrior king with the heart after God's, but here we see him riddled with the same fear, doubt, and insecurity we see in ourselves.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Father, may I never forget the lesson David learned in Ziklag—where he sought to protect himself and left the security of Your will. Keep me from trying to use my own human powers instead of trusting You in faith. I don't want to find myself in Ziklag riddled with fear, doubt, and insecurity.

David's faith in divine protection was
wavering big?time. He had reached
the end of his courage.

Discusss this devotional

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Give Thanks Always

Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. —Ephesians 5:19-20

Prepare your heart to praise the Lord. Prepare to give thanks for all the blessings He has bestowed upon you. Praise Him when you rise in the morning. Praise Him as you go to work and as you return home. Praise Him in the evening for another day finished. Praise Him before you go to sleep for a restful night and a new sunrise when you awaken.

The more you praise Him and give thanks, the more the devil flees from your presence. Praise and prayers of thanks to the Lord are your greatest defenses against the wiles of the devil.

"What shall I render unto the Lord, for all his benefits toward me?" (Psalm 116:12). Give God thanks today for His boundless grace and mercy in your life. Praise Him today with your whole being. Praise Him!

Jesus, I give You all my praise today. I praise
You for all that you have done in my life.
I praise You for all that you are doing
in my life. I praise You for all that
You will do in my life. Amen.

Discusss this devotional

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

The Anointing of the Holy Spirit

You have an anointing from the Holy One. —1 John 2:20

One of the most frightening comments I have heard since I entered the ministry was uttered by an Episcopalian priest in America: "If the Holy Spirit were taken completely from the church, 90 percent of the work of the church would go right on as if nothing had happened!"

What a travesty of what the church was meant to be! And can it be true also of our personal lives—that many of us are churning out "Christian" activity that has no touch of God upon it?

There is only one antidote to such a situation. It is breathtaking in its possibility, it is awesome in its power, and it is liberating in its effect. It is quite simply—the anointing.

The anointing is the power of the Holy Spirit.

Several years ago someone came into my vestry and asked me, "What do you mean by the anointing?" I remember replying something like this: "It's a gift that functions easily when it's working."

It does not follow, of course, that all that functions easily is our anointing. Some things come easily that are not necessarily good—eating, talking too much, or watching more television than is good for us. Temptation comes easily, and we may find it "natural" to do things that are not productive.

The anointing, however, leads to what is good; it blesses and encourages others. And its function is carried out with ease and without strain or fatigue.

When the anointing is working, it is as natural and easy for our gift to function as eating or talking with friends. The gift is always there but doesn't always function easily. The anointing of that gift makes it function with ease.

Whether you are a secretary, professional person, homemaker, truck driver, or minister, the possibility of the anointing is there all the time; you never know when God will manifest Himself in an unusual way.

Excerpted from The Anointing: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow (Charisma House, 2003).

Discusss this devotional

Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

Snake Bit

Acts 28:1-31 We saw yesterday how 276 souls aboard Paul's ship were spared. In today's reading we see how Paul's life was spared. All those on board the ship swam to the island of Malta, where they were well received by the natives there. There was a chill in the air, and when Paul gathered sticks for a fire, a snake bit him. No harm came to Paul, and this was a great witness to all present.

Most people have a natural fear of snakes. I believe this fear is part of our nature because Satan appeared as a snake to Eve. That wicked serpent is still tempting people, and many are bitten by him. Satan is able to send his venom in to us if we give in to temptation. The bite of a poisonous snake can lead to death if an antivenom serum is not administered quickly. Another way to avoid death if a poisonous snake bites you is to cut out the flesh and all tissue that is around that bite before the poison has a chance to flow into your blood stream. You have heard stories of how people have been spared by quickly taking a knife to cut out the area in the flesh of the snakebite.

Removing the snakebite of sin in our lives follows this same pattern. We have two choices. We can recognize the bite of sin quickly in our lives and confess it quickly, thereby receiving the antivenom serum of the blood of Jesus, which purifies and protects our lives from the death sin can cause in our lives.

The other choice is for us to take action and cut out the flesh part of our lives that has been bitten by sin. This action is called denying yourself. Satan is no dummy, and he knows your weak areas. He knows just the place to send his poison into your flesh because he sees that area of your flesh is very vulnerable. For example, if the weak area in your life is lusting after the opposite sex, Satan will see to it that you will have opportunity to give into that lust by putting things continually before your eyes or thoughts in your mind that begin to poison your system. The only way to overcome this satanic attack is to cut out the infected flesh. David made a covenant with God not to put any evil thing before his eyes. We can quickly deal with the area of sin by cutting out any activity that would lead to further infection of sin in our lives. To some this may mean no longer watching worldly television programs or reading worldly magazines.

No harm came to Paul when the snake bit him because he was filled with God's Spirit and covered by the blood of Jesus. I would not suggest that you handle snakes to find out if you have the same protection. But you can rest assured that you do have the same protection against the snakebite of sin. When that wicked serpent bites you, you now know what to do—confess your sin, repent and receive the cleansing of the blood of Jesus or cut out any activity in your life that will give Satan an advantage over you through temptation. No harm will come to you if you will be faithful to do your part. God is always faithful to do His part. Jesus has overcome in every area you are tempted so that you may overcome every temptation.

READ: 1 Chronicles 11:1-12:18; Acts 28:1-31; Psalm 9:1-12; Proverbs 19:1-3

Discusss this devotional

Live Extraordinarily

Today's Message

Self Image

All of us have three images: projected image, perceived image, and actual image. Your projected image is the way you desire others to see you. Your perceived image is how others see you. Your actual image is who you really are.

For so many, their perceived image is what matters most. Their reputation is of greater importance to them than the true motives of their hearts. This causes them to project themselves in the way they desire to be perceived. Their efforts are focused on appearances, status, titles, saving face and so forth.

Consider Jesus—He was rejected by many, slandered by the influential, lied about by the rulers, and viewed by the establishment as a heretic or even demon inspired. His perceived image was not favorable in the eyes of many, especially the notables. Yet His actual image was quite different, for Scripture states that He is the express image of the Father (see Hebrews 1:3).

Jesus was a person of integrity—He was the same with the people He met as He was with His Father. He did not boost His reputation and did not seek the accolades and approval of men. He only cared for what was important to His Father. That is our Father's goal for us, and it should be our goal as well.

"We must all appear and be revealed as we are before the judgment seat of Christ" (2 Corinthians 5:10, AMP). We must remember that our projected or perceived image is not what will be revealed before the entire assembly of heaven. Rather it will be our actual image, our true heart motives and intentions.

Paul continues: "It is because we know this solemn fear of the Lord that we work so hard."

(2 Corinthians 5:11, NLT). The fear of the Lord keeps us in touch with our actual image. The opposite is true as well: The more we lack the fear of the Lord, the more we lean upon our projected image.

You will serve who you fear. If you fear God, you'll obey God. If you fear man, you'll ultimately obey man's desires. For this reason, Proverbs tells us it is dangerous to be concerned with what others think of you. (see Proverbs 29:25).

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.

 

 

Discusss this devotional

Use Desktop Layout
Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit
button
button

Newsletters from Charisma

Stay in touch with the news, bloggers and articles that you enjoy.