Devotionals

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Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 110 }

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. ... How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! —1 John 4:8-10; 3:1

Through a series of divine coincidences and interventions, some friends of mine who had remained childless through twenty-three years of marriage, and who hadn't even had their names on an adoption list because they were considered over the age limit to adopt, were blessed with a beautiful little boy just a few days old. They knew they would love their little son devotedly whether or not he ever returned their love, but they set out to win the child's love by demonstrating their love and affection for him. Then the day came when the couple's little son began to return their affection. The father's heart melted. What he felt was just a small expression of what our heavenly Father feels when His children start returning love back to Him.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Let me fill Your heart with joy and love as I return to You a portion of the great love You have given to me. Teach me how to praise You better, to love You more, and to express my heart to You in thankfulness for all that You have done for me.

We will never exhaust the fullness of the depth of love
God has demonstrated for us by making us
His sons and daughters in His own house.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Faith Talk

Let them say continually, let the Lord be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant. And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and of thy praise all the day long. —Psalm 35:27-28

Three important factors are at work in the process of possession:

Have faith. Jesus tells us to "have faith in God" (Mark 11:22).

Believe. "Whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith" (v. 23).

Pray. "What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them" (v. 24). When these elements are combined, they are more powerful than any weapon of war. You are no longer looking at what you have, but what you shall have.

Speak faith into your spirit. Remind yourself of the promises of God. Remember, God "calleth those things which be not as though they were" (Romans 4:17).

Your tongue will either announce your next victory or your next defeat. Speak victory. Refuse to open a door for the enemy's attack with your tongue.

Help me, Lord, to confess Your victory with my tongue.
Make my confessions positive not negative, rooted in
faith, not unbelief or doubt. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

Today's Message

"I Appreciate You"

Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. —1 Thessalonians 5:12

Showing gratitude must not be done only to God. We all need to remember to show appreciation to people. Paul said, "I am obligated to both Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are at Rome" (Rom. 1:14-15). He showed gratitude by what he did. His ultimate gratitude was, of course, to God, but he was not unaware of how God used people to bless him. Read Romans 16. It is largely written to thank people! Paul wanted to show how grateful he was by his actions. We are all obligated to people who have helped us. We may not always be able to show it to the very people, however much we would like to, but we can act upon what they have given us and do good to others.

I am very grateful to preachers and teachers in my past. My first pastor was Rev. Gene Phillips. He could not know how his life impacted me during the first few years of my life. I could go on and on naming people whose lives made me want to pray more. And yet I thank these men best by living a life that honors them.

It has been my practice to thank people, then, if I can, when they are still alive. People like compliments. I know I do. Do you? Tell people when they are a blessing to you. It may be the first time anyone has taken the time to speak a blessing to them. Your kind word of appreciation may come to them when they have had a bad day and lift them up!

Excerpted from Just Say Thanks! (Charisma House, 2005).

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

Not by Might, nor by Power, but by My Spirit

Zechariah 4:1-5:11 We sing a song in our church based on this scripture. This song is saying it is not by our own might or strength that we do God's will. It is by the might and power of the Spirit that we are able to do anything for the Lord on this earth. The Holy Spirit is the might and power of God. The Holy Spirit manifests God's works and wonders on this earth, and these wonders and works reveal God's might and power. We can only see the wind by watching the trees rustle their leaves and sway to and fro. God's Spirit manifests God's power and might throughout the earth and also through our own lives. We are vessels of the Lord created to contain His Spirit. We have to remember, however, we are not to keep this treasure to ourselves. We are to manifest God's glory (His might, light and power) to others by allowing the Holy Spirit to rustle us, to stir us up and to pour the oil of His anointing from these earthen vessels to all those we encounter throughout the day.

God intends for us to do mighty exploits for Him today, but we must be filled with the Spirit and anointed by the Spirit for this to become a reality in our lives. Whenever I try to do things in my own strength I fail miserably. So often I overcommit myself to people and to doing things, and I feel overwhelmed. When this happens the Holy Spirit whispers this gentle reminder in my ears. "You can do all things through Christ who gives you the strength." Suddenly the pressure and stress of what I am facing is removed, and joy replaces worry. His joy begins to strengthen me for whatever task I am facing.

One of the prayers I pray often in the morning is the one below. Maybe you would like to join me as I pray this today:

Lord, give me strength to face whatever this day may bring. Empower me by Your Spirit to walk in Your ways and to do Your will. I depend upon Your might and power totally and refuse to do things in my own strength. Thank You, Lord, for the Holy Spirit who is Your might and power.

READ: Zechariah 4:1-5:11; Revelation 14:1-20; Psalm 142:1-7; Proverbs 30:21-23

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Live Extraordinarily

Today's Message

The Language of Faith

True faith originates in our core being. We are not saved by mental awareness, warm emotions, or even intellectual assent. Rather, it's "with the heart one believes unto righteousness" (Romans 10:10, NKJV). Faith deeply believes God will do what He says. Faith produces words of agreement and actions of obedience. The corresponding words and actions are simply evidence that our heart has laid hold of what God has spoken.

Faith has a language. Paul writes, "The righteousness of faith speaks in this way" (Romans 10:6, NKJV). True faith speaks a certain way.

Jesus says, "Have faith in God. For assuredly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be removed and be cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says." (Mark 11:22-23, NKJV)

Notice that Jesus emphasizes that true faith in God will speak in agreement with what it believes; this is the language of faith. In fact, the word says is repeated three times in this one verse, and the word believes is mentioned only once by Jesus. He puts great emphasis on the language of faith.

Genuine faith speaks in accordance with what it believes, for Jesus says, "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks" (Matthew 12:34, NKJV). We don't prove we have faith by speaking what we know is correct. Rather, we spontaneously speak what we already believe. As the psalmist writes, "I believed, therefore I spoke" (116:10, NKJV). Belief comes first; the evidence of speech follows. Paul affirmed, "We also speak because we believe."

Under pressure, or when we are not consciously thinking, what comes out of our mouths is what we actually believe. This is evidence of our faith or the lack thereof.

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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