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Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 269 }

I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. My soul will boast in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together. —Psalm 34:1-3

Committing our spirits into God's hands is an act of aggressive spiritual warfare, not passive indifference. David did it to bring God into his conflicts. He wasn't kicking back and saying, "Whatever happens, happens; I really don't care, Lord." No, he was using a spiritual tactic to bring God into the situation of his personal injustice. He engaged in this kind of spiritual warfare from his youth to the end of his life. When he entrusted a specific situation to God, there was a reaction and a release in the spirit realm. God moved on David's behalf. David became a model of how God settles the score when we war according to His way. One key characteristic in David's life was the way he processed pain, mistreatment, disappointment, and injustice, a process recorded so richly in the Book of Psalms. He learned to war in the spirit by giving up his right to revenge. Other men and women of God such as Daniel, Joseph, and the patriarchs of old operated in this principle as well.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Help me to recognize that committing my spirit to You is spiritual warfare. Teach me to be an aggressive spiritual warrior, entrusting You with every moment of my life. You are the defender of my faith, and I place my hope and trust in You alone.

The Lord beckons us to enter His heart
and leave the agenda of justice to Him.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Pet Skunks

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. —Matthew 6:24

What sin are you tolerating in yourself that you would never tolerate in someone else? What is that pet sin you hold so close? Your "pet" is nothing more than a skunk-.-.-.-and a stench in the nostrils of God.

That pet sin of yours tells God that you have only given Jesus a vote of approval in your mind, that you have never chosen to make Him Lord of your life. The only thing God looks for in us is our desire to conform our will to His.

When we lose a pet that has been with us for years, there is a void in our lives. We grew accustomed to having it with us wherever we went.

Do not become comfortable with sin. Refuse to give place to what is unholy and despicable to God in your life. Search your heart today. Make a decision to let go of that pet resentment or habit, and let God replace the void with the presence of His Holy Spirit.

Almighty God, remove every stench in
my life. I repent of all my pet sins
and ask for Your forgiveness and
cleansing in Jesus' name, Amen.

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By Love Transformed

Today's Message

God Is on Your Side

If the Lord had not been on our side when men attacked us ... they would have swallowed us alive. ... Praise be to the Lord, who has not let us be torn by their teeth. —Psalm 124:2-3, 6

Do you know what it is like to have somebody physically attack you? The trauma is one that, humanly speaking, you don't overcome easily. Or perhaps you have been verbally attacked. You know the awful feeling when somebody points a finger of blame at you.

The Lord's people in this psalm were the objects of anger. It is very frightening to be near someone who is angry. Perhaps you live in constant fear of a co-worker's temper or the angry outbursts of a loved one. You know how it feels to live in a situation from which you wish you could be delivered.

The truth is, your real enemy is the devil. The devil's work is to cloud your mind. He can come as an angel of light; that means that he will work through someone who has the appearance of being very righteous, a person of integrity, a person who is believable. Or he may come as a roaring lion.

But we learn from verse 6 that God can step into the situation: "Praise be to the Lord, who has not let us be torn by their teeth."

Maybe you're saying, "I don't think God is on my side." Remember this: God is on the side of anybody who will openly identify with His Son, Jesus Christ. God has promised that everything that happens in the lives of believers will work together for their good.

You will know what it is like for the Lord to rescue you. Maybe you don't see God in it at the time, but that is the only real explanation. God mercifully stepped in.

Excerpted from Higher Ground (Christian Focus Publications Ltd., 1995).

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

Who Is Righteous?

Romans 3:9-31 Yesterday we talked about what righteous people can do to save a city and nation. In today's reading we hear Paul's dramatic statements "There is none righteous, no, not one" (v. 10). "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (v. 23).

Paul is setting the backdrop for the rest of his letter to the believers in Rome. He is making it clear that righteousness is not based upon what we do, but upon who we are. If any of us seek to establish our own righteousness by doing righteous deeds, we will always be a failure. True righteousness is only possible through belief in Jesus Christ. He alone is the only righteous One, and only when He abides within us by the Holy Spirit are we able to be righteous men and women. In another letter Paul reveals how we can obtain such righteousness. He says, "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs to the hope of eternal life" (Titus 3:5-7, KJV).

We can only obtain true righteousness when we believe and receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. He is the only One who can cleanse us of all unrighteousness. There truly is none righteous, except for those who believe in Jesus Christ. Once we have received Jesus Christ, our lives are translated from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light that is ruled by Jesus Christ. We become the salt of the earth, able to preserve neighborhoods, cities and nations. We also can add flavor to the life of others when we introduce them to Jesus Christ. We are lights shining in the midst of darkness, and we are commanded to continually let our lights shine that men may see our good works and glorify God in heaven. Good works will follow us when we believe in Jesus because He does these works through us. The moment I strive to do a righteous work, I am not believing or trusting in Jesus. We are to surrender ourselves to Jesus, and He then can work righteousness in us and through us. He can even cause us to be instruments of righteousness that can lead others to enter into His righteousness.

What a privilege to be a partaker of the divine nature of Jesus Christ. He has a righteous nature, and as we abide in Him, we will continually be conformed to His righteousness. We can be transformed by the renewing of our minds, and as we surrender our bodies to Him, we can walk daily in His righteousness. It is His righteousness that draws men to Himself, not our own. Today let your light shine by walking in the spirit all the day long. When you do this, good works will always be manifested in your life, and others will notice.

READ: 1 Chronicles 22:1-23:32; Romans 3:9-31; Psalm 12:1-8; Proverbs 19:13-14


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Live Extraordinarily

Today's Message

Free from Sin

??"For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace" (Romans 6:14, NKJV).

Why shouldn't sin have dominion over us? Because we no longer possess a sin nature, but we have entered God’s empowerment, possessing the nature of Jesus Himself. We are free from the power of sin!

The Message says, "Sin can't tell you how to live." God's Word, the truth, declares here that gossip, slander and lying no longer have dominion over you. Adultery, sex outside of marriage, homosexuality, pornography or any other impurity no longer dominates you. Hatred, bitterness, unforgiveness, prejudice and envy no longer control you. Uncontrolled anger, rage and outbursts of wrath have lost their authority in your life. Stealing, substance abuse and alcohol addiction are no longer a master over you. Disobedience to authority, stubbornness and insubordination have lost their dominion over you. And the list continues.

You don't have to yield to such sins anymore because you are now under the empowerment of grace! Look at it this way: You were once imprisoned by your own nature to some of these things and unable to live a godly life. Jesus came and threw open the prison door. He took the keys to sin's powerful domination, and you can now walk out of the prison. You are no longer a slave to sin. You are free and a child of God!

Before we were in Christ, we were slaves to sin and had no power over it. Now we do. We can choose to either submit to sin or we can walk in grace free from sin. Christians have power over sin because they possess Jesus' nature. God did not set you free from sin so that you could continue to sin and be forgiven—without reaping its consequences. God set you free from sin so that you could indeed be free and walk in true holiness as Jesus did. The true believer's goal is not to sin. However, if we sin, forgiveness is still found in His provision of grace.

Grace empowers us to be pleasing to God, to live an extraordinary life! However, if we choose not to walk in our new nature and continually yield to sin, then we give up our freedom and again are captive. New Testament repentance is about truth and represents a complete change of mind or heart. It is when we are deeply sorry we've hurt the heart of God and are now committed to obeying His desire in this area. It takes both confession and repentance to free a believer from sin's grip.

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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