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Devotionals

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Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 239 }

To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy—to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen. —Jude 24-25

Can you believe this? Jesus has the ability and intention to present you with exceeding joy before the Father. On that final day I can imagine an angel greeting me and saying, "So, what do you think? It's Judgment Day. Any nerves?" I'll answer, "Nerves? Nah, I love being here!" How about you? Do you cringe when you think of that day? Do you fear that God will rebuke you publicly, before all the saints? What is your dominant emotion when you envision that day? If it is fear or dread, what does that say about your image of God? Have you fallen for lies of the devil and accepted a false view of a vindictive, unsmiling Savior? Or do you picture yourself running and embracing the Lord? Does your heart skip a beat with anticipation? Do you picture His goodness outweighing and outlasting His anger? Do you see the judgment as revealing the good motives of your heart, too?

{ PRAYER STARTER }

My heart is filled with unspeakable joy as I think about the moment I will stand before You in heaven. I long to see Your smile of approval and see Your arms outstretched in welcome. Because of Your gift of righteousness I am ready, and I cannot wait!

Do you wish you could find some broom closet
and wait out the judgment, coming out when
the day of reckoning has passed?

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Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Lord, Open Our Eyes

And they talked together of all these things which had happened. And it came to pass.-.-.-.-Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. But their eyes were holden that they should not know him. —Luke 24:14-16

Two weary men headed for home, their hopes for liberation dashed on a bloody Cross. The man they believed was their Messiah had been murdered.

Although Jesus Himself joined them in the way, they did not recognize Him. They had heard Peter and the others testify that the tomb was empty, yet grief, fear, hopelessness, and tragedy blinded their eyes. They were focused on their circumstances rather than on their promise.

They had had expectations that were unfulfilled. But Jesus did not come to meet our expectations. He came to fulfill the will of the Father.

But as Jesus journeyed alongside these disheartened men, He revealed the triumph they could not see. Their eyes were opened, and they knew him (v. 31).

Don't let your expectations blind you to what the Father is doing. Are you confused over your circumstances and disappointed that God has not moved as you expected? Let the One who walks beside you open your eyes to His plan and His purpose.

Jesus, open my eyes to see You and my ears
to hear You. As You walk beside me in
the way, reveal Yourself and the
Father to me, I pray. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

Today's Message

The Blessing of an Unhappy Employment

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men ... .It is the Lord Christ you are serving. —Colossians 3:23-24

You may assume, because you have obeyed God, that He will fold His hands and say, "That's wonderful, and just for that, here is what I am going to do for you!" And you expect an immediate reward.

The challenge of unhappy employment is a test from God. So what's the challenge? Make the best of a bad situation. Don't always run away to look for another job. Don't promote yourself to the level of your incompetence. Don't jump out of the frying pan into the fire. Remember that God put you there for a purpose. God could change everything overnight. Remember that this life is not all there is. Many around you don't have heaven to look forward to, and God doesn't want any of us to be too happy here below.

Unhappy employment may also help you to appreciate even more the good things in your life. It may be helpful and self-edifying to thank God for things that are positive. Do you have good health? Do you have a home? Do you have loved ones? Do you have friends with whom you can share? Do you have a good relationship with God?

Your relationship with God is more important than your job. Get your joy from the inward anointing. There are some Christians who are happy with their jobs—so happy that they are not very spiritual. They don't pray; they don't have intimacy with God. With unhappy employment you may be enjoying a relationship with God that you might not otherwise have simply because you pray more than the person who is content. God loves you and wants your company. He knows what you would be like if you were too comfortable.

The greater the suffering, the greater the anointing and the greater your future. God will do this for you. It may not mean you will become prime minister, but you will reign one day, and, when it comes, it will be worth waiting for. You will treasure that worst situation.

Excerpted from The Thorn in the Flesh (Charisma House, 2004).

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

Daily Positioning Ourselves to Receive Blessing

Psalm 34:1-10 What a thrill it is for us to watch our grandchildren as they begin to crawl first, and then pull themselves up to a standing position. Shortly thereafter they begin to take their first steps. Sometimes, however, in their efforts to pull themselves up to the standing position, their legs get tangled and they cannot move. Someone has to come to their rescue and position them once again so they can hold on and stand up.

God, our heavenly Father, also delights as He sees us pulling ourselves up spiritually to a standing position. He knows that once we are in a standing position, we are ready to walk in the Spirit as our spiritual legs are strengthened. It grieves Him when we get tangled with sin and the world because then we are paralyzed and unable to walk in the spirit. In His mercy He often comes to our rescue and reveals our sin to us so we can confess, repent and become untangled with sin and all its consequences.

Today's psalm gives us several ways we can position ourselves to receive the strength of the Lord to walk in the Spirit. Walking in the Spirit always results in great blessing. Let's look at some of these ways to position ourselves to constantly walk in the Spirit:

1. Have a grateful heart. Bless the Lord and praise Him (v. 1).

2. Brag on the Lord. Tell others what He has done for you (v. 2).

3. Make the Lord the most important person in your life (v. 3).

4. Seek the Lord daily and fellowship with Him (v. 4).

5. Pray and cry out to the Lord for deliverance from all your troubles (v. 6).

6. Fear Him. Stand in awe of His goodness and worship Him (v. 7).

7. Enjoy the Lord. Delight yourself in Him and taste His goodness (v. 8).

8. Trust in Him with all of your heart (v. 8).

When we do the above things, we are in a position to walk in the Spirit all the day long. We can position ourselves this morning in our prayer time as we enter into His gates with thanksgiving. Rehearse all of His works and wonders; seek Him and fellowship with Him. Fear and stand in awe of Him as you worship Him. Make your petitions known to Him, enjoy His presence and trust Him with your day today. Now you are ready to walk today in the Spirit, and you have positioned yourself to receive every blessing God has designed for you this day.

Lord, I enter your presence this morning through prayer, and I look forward to walking with You all day. Thank You for the blessings that await me.

READ: Nehemiah 9:22-10:39; 1 Corinthians 9:20-10:14; Psalm 34:1-10; Proverbs

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Live Extraordinarily

Today's Message

Set Free from Sin

I received Jesus Christ as my Lord in 1979 and it changed my life. Immediately I lost the desire for alcohol, I stopped swearing, and other sinful desires gradually disappeared the more I read, meditated on, and spoke the Word of God over my life.

However, there was one area of sin that didn't go away as easily. I struggled with lust and was addicted to pornography. I had periods of freedom, but after time gravitated back to it. At the end of a four-day fast on May 6, 1985, I was set free from the stronghold of pornography and lust. By His grace, I'm still free today.

However, once I was set free from pornography's grip, I still had to resist the desire to engage. Prior to May 6, I seemingly couldn't resist with any success. After May 6, I could resist, but I had to cooperate with grace to fight off the urge to look at pornography. Its power over me was broken after fasting and intense prayer, but I still had to steadfastly resist the desire.

Over time, as I continued to pray and allow God's Word to saturate my mind, I noticed that my desires had changed. I no longer had to make myself turn away from pornography; rather, I was repulsed by it. God's grace had changed me thoroughly from the inside out. The writer of Hebrews describes this blessedness:

"For everyone who continues to feed on milk is obviously inexperienced and unskilled in the doctrine of righteousness (of conformity to the divine will in purpose, thought, and action), for he is a mere infant [not able to talk yet]! But solid food is for full-grown men, for those whose senses and mental faculties are trained by practice to discriminate and distinguish between what is morally good and noble and what is evil and contrary either to divine or human law." (5:13-14, AMP)

I realized that God's Word had brought my senses and mental faculties into alignment with His desires and thoughts. Holiness is to think, talk, and live as He does. The flesh can be trained, but it loves habitual patterns. Just as it can be trained in unrighteousness, it also can be trained in righteousness. We can take dominion over our mind and flesh through the power of grace. Our flesh responds to what it is fed.

His grace is more than enough to set you free from any sin!

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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