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Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 206 }

Send forth your light and your truth, let them guide me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell. Then will I go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight. I will praise you with the harp, O God, my God. —Psalm 43:3-4

It sounds romantic to us now, but as a shepherd boy watching the flocks, David was the equivalent of a night watchman sitting in a booth and making sure nobody breaks into a storage facility. Anybody who has held a job in security knows there is nothing special about it. It's boring, unglamorous, mundane work. You sit there filing your nails, listening to the radio, counting the crickets chirping outside. You don't even want to admit to your friends that you have a job like that. I can picture David, a young teenager sitting in the fields behind his house, playing his guitar, and biding his time. Nobody cared to hear the songs he composed on his nondescript, homemade harp. But as he wandered those back hills of Bethlehem and looked up at the stars, something caught his attention, and he began to sing, "I don't know You very well, but I love You. I want to know You. What are You like? Who are You? What is my life about?" What did David see? What did God whisper to his heart that became the foundation of who he was to become?

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Father, like David, the little shepherd boy who spent his hours isolated and alone, teach me to spend my life in discovering who You are and what You want my life to be.

What did David find in the long hours of gazing on
God's beauty in the stars and the sunsets?

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Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Decisions

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion. —Genesis 1:26

Your character is the sum total of every decision you have ever made. There is no such thing as an unimportant decision. God never intended for man to be a salve of circumstances. We were made to have dominion on the earth, and dominion only comes through exercising our will to make decisions. Your new character is the sum total of one decision which you have made—to follow Jesus.

If your decisions line up with the will of God for your life, though all hell breaks loose you will weather the storm. You will set your chin like flint and say, "I am going to the other side! I don't care that my boat of life is being tossed to and fro. I know Who rides in my vessel, and I will fear no harm. He will keep me safe."

Out of your new character in Christ, you will have the power and courage to make right decisions. Compare every decision to His character. If that decision measure up to Jesus, who is Truth, then you will do what is right. Anything that does not measure up to Christ, discard from your life. Making right decisions is always doing what Jesus would do.

Thank you, Jesus, for being Truth in my
life. Fill me with the knowledge of Your
Truth and the courage to choose what
is right. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

Today's Message

Marriage of the Word and the Spirit


Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly. —Colossians 3:16 Be filled with the Spirit. —Ephesians 5:18

If the Word and the Spirit come together in the church—both in emphasis and in experience—it will be the happiest event in many years. I believe this is God's heart. Yet it is my observation that most of today's church, speaking generally, emphasizes one or the other.

It can be argued that the two are always inseparable—for this is absolutely true. It is by the Spirit that we receive the Word; it is the Word that tells us about the Spirit. They cannot be separated.

But that is not the total picture. Jesus said to His disciples, "You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you," yet He later breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit" (John 15:3; 20:22). This shows that there was more that they needed, even though they had the Word.

Jesus said to the Father, "I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them" (John 17:8), and yet He later told them to stay in Jerusalem until they had been "clothed with power from on high" (Luke 24:49). Jesus Himself was the Word made flesh, but He too received the Spirit (Luke 3:22; John 1:33ff).

When we say that the Word and the Spirit are inseparable, we need to state what we mean. It is possible that one may have the full and undiluted Word but have the Spirit in less measure. That was the disciples' experience prior to Pentecost.

Those who emphasize the Word are not without the Spirit, and those who emphasize the Spirit are not devoid of the Word. It is the degree to which one emphasizes the Word over the Spirit or the Spirit over the Word in one's own ministry that is the issue. What is wrong with either emphasis? Nothing. Each is exactly right. But neither is complete. It is not one or the other that is needed; it is both.

What is needed, in my opinion, is a remarriage of the Word and the Spirit—the simultaneous combination of both the Word and the Spirit in today's servant of Christ and the church. If the Word and the Spirit come together in your anointing and mine, then, as my dear friend Lyndon Bowring said, "Those who come to see [signs and wonders] will hear [the Word], and those who come to hear will see." That is tomorrow's anointing, my friend, and when it comes, the world will be awakened.

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



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Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

No Schoolmaster

Galatians 3:23-4:31 Didn't you just love to have substitute teachers when you were in school? When you walked into the classroom and you saw another teacher, you breathed a sigh of relief and probably thought to yourself, Oh boy, this means no pop quiz, and we'll probably have a free study period! Often some of the rascals in my class would give the substitute teacher a hard time. Substitute teachers earn every penny of their pay.

This never happened to me in school, but what if you entered your classroom and there was no teacher at all? You looked on the board, and written on the board in bold letters were these instructions: "Do whatever your heart tells you to do during this class period. I trust you." What would your response be to such an instruction? Would you want to be as bad as you could be and misbehave, maybe throw spit balls at your classmates? I know what my reaction to such an instruction would be. I would want to live up to the trust that teacher had placed in me. I would feel that the teacher really thinks I am mature enough to behave myself in her absence, and I want to prove to her I can do this. In fact, I think I would encourage all my classmates to demonstrate their capability of being mature and responsible by behaving themselves also.

Such a day may never come in the classroom of a school, but such a day has come spiritually. Paul makes the following bold statements: "But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all children of God by faith in Christ Jesus" (Gal. 3:23-26, KJV).

The fullness of time has come when Jesus Christ came and was made under the Law, but now has redeemed all those who were under the Law and has given us the spirit of adoption that makes us His children and makes God our daddy. The law now is written on our hearts, and we no longer have to have a schoolmaster. Jesus has become our life, and we now live by the faith of the Son of God who loved us and gave Himself for us. Jesus, the obedient One, has fulfilled the Law so that now we are under grace (God's unmerited favor), which enables us to walk in the Spirit and thereby keep the law, which is to love God and love our neighbors as ourselves.

School is not out because we are ever learning in the school of life. Our teacher is now the Holy Spirit who lives within us, and He is the One who obeys through us.

READ: Isaiah 28:14-30:11; Galatians 3:23-4:31; Psalm 62:1-12; Proverbs 23:19-21

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Live Extraordinarily

Today's Message

A Book About YOU

God has set goals for each of our lives. In fact, He recorded them in a book before time began.

"You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed" (Psalm 139:16, NLT).

That is phenomenal! Did you know a book was written about you? It's not just famous people who are featured in biographies. Your story is in a book, too, and the Author is none other than God. He wrote that book before you were conceived in your mother's womb. What a staggering thought—every moment of your life is recorded in that book. 

"For we are God's [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live]" (Ephesians 2:10, AMP).

God planned your paths beforehand, but notice that Paul writes "that we should walk in them." It doesn't say "that we would walk in them." There is a huge difference. Free will comes into effect here because fulfilling these assignments isn't automatic. We have to cooperate in our labor.

God has set the goals, but it's up to us to discover through prayer, reading His Word, and other spiritual means what's recorded for our lives. Then by His grace we fulfill them. For this reason Paul prays: "Since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God," (Colossians 1:9–10, NIV)

Knowing God's will for our lives gives us the ability to always please Him. However, it is not inevitable. God has set extraordinary goals for us, and they will not be accomplished without prayer, faith and fervent labor. 

Your life is unique, special and by no means an accident. No one is common or menial. We all were created for a unique path that is extraordinary.

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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