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Devotionals

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Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 217 }

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. —Romans 15:13

Beloved, I tell you, studying the heart of God is absolutely crucial if we are to have healthy families and careers. The most practical thing you can do to take care of your family or business is to cultivate an overflowing heart. As you regularly behold the happy God in the Word, you will be progressively filled with happiness. You will take care of your family far better than if you were grouchy. Have you noticed that the blessing is much smaller for the people around you when you go about your God-ordained responsibilities with a spirit of depression, heaviness, anger, and bitterness? But if you invest time in understanding the happiness of God's heart for you, your heart is gloriously awakened. You become powerful and effective in your duties in the kingdom of God and in all aspects of life. Don't buy the argument that spending time on this is not realistic or practical. In truth, there is nothing more practical we can do.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Remove any spirits of depression, heaviness, anger, and bitterness from my heart. I do not want them there. I want to experience Your abundant joy and have a heart that is filled with happiness and power.

Grumpy, duty-bound service is better than nothing,
but it is not God's best way.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Take Your Medicine

Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceful fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. —Hebrews 12:11

Austin was sick when he was only two and had to take some terrible-tasting medicine. It is not easy getting a two-year-old to take something that tastes bad. But we were not making him take it because we did not love him. We were giving him what we knew would help him get better.

Now that he is older, he understands how much we love him, and he trusts us to always do what is best for him. He may not always like the medicine, but he knows when he takes it he will get better.

If you are wondering why things never get better in your life, perhaps you have not yet learned to take your medicine. God created you to live like Him, but if you absolutely refuse to take your medicine, He will let you live your life your way. Determine to take your medicine and live in the fullness of the life God has for you.

What medicine is God wanting you to take today? How is your attitude? Are you submitting or resisting God?

Lord, I desire to receive whatever You
have for my growth and benefit. Help
me to submit to Your will, even when
I do not understand. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

Today's Message

Welcome Home!

But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ. —Philippians 3:20

During the era of President Theodore Roosevelt, who was famous for big game hunting in Africa, a Southern Baptist missionary completed forty years of Christian service in Africa. The missionary sailed from Africa to New York and heard a band playing as the ship was coming into the harbor. He was so excited! He couldn't believe it was happening, that his friends had brought a band to welcome him home. Tears filled his eyes as he quickly worked his way down the exit of the ship to walk down the gangplank. Suddenly a security man stopped him and spoke officiously, "Step back, sir." The old missionary waited while President Roosevelt, who had been on a big game hunting trip, was the first to disembark. As it happened, the old missionary was the last person to leave the ship.

He put his suitcase down as he stood on the dock. The band that had been welcoming the president of the United States had dispersed. Nobody was there to welcome the returning missionary home—not a soul. The old man made his way to a modest hotel in New York and fell to his knees as soon as he entered his room. "Lord," he cried, "I've served You for forty years in Africa, and no one welcomes me home. President Roosevelt spends three weeks hunting, and they have a band playing for him." The Lord then whispered to the old missionary, "But you're not home yet."

One day Jesus will welcome us home. There is coming a day when we will see for ourselves what John saw—the New Jerusalem "coming down out of heaven from God" (Rev. 21:2). That will be our eternal home, and one day we will be home never to move again.

Can you imagine how thankful we will be then? The bliss cannot be described now, and I wonder if we will ever be able to take it all in then. We will certainly thank Him then. Let's do it now more than ever before. In fact, all the time.

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

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

The Power of Confession

Psalm 51:1-19 David was called a man after God's own heart. Yet, he was also a man who committed adultery. He was a man after God's own heart because he realized he sinned against God and confessed his sin before God and repented of it. God heard David's cry, and when the life of David was mentioned in Chronicles, his sin of adultery was not mentioned. God not only forgives, but He also forgets. He not only blots out our transgressions, but He also cleanses us. John writes about God's complete act of forgiveness in 1 John 1:9: "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

If we turn to God in humbleness of heart after we have sinned and confess our sin with a heart that seeks not to commit that sin again, God cleanses us and empowers us to overcome the next time we are tempted in that area.

God does not stop at forgiving and cleansing. He also empowers us to overcome temptation, and He restores the joy of our salvation. It never ceases to amaze me when I think of God's extravagant love. Paul writes of his desire that all know the height, the depth, the length and the width of God's love. The height of God's love is His grace that enables us to overcome whatever we need to overcome, especially sin. The depth of His love is His forgiveness that reaches into the deepest recesses of our heart to both forgive and cleanse. The length of His love is His mercy that endures forever to all generations. The width of His love is His truth that causes us to live free from bondage. Whenever we speak His truth, walk in His truth and are truthful about our own sin, we experience the boundless width of the freedom of His love.

David experienced the height, the depth, the length and the breadth of the love of God. He made himself available to experience God's extravagant love the moment he confessed and repented of his sin. The power of confession is that it provides the open door for us to receive the power of God's love.

Lord, reveal to me today if there is anything I need to confess to You. Help me to always have a heart toward You as I daily am honest with You about my own sin. I want to experience Your extravagant love today.

READ: Song of Solomon 5:1-8:14; 2 Corinthians 9:1-15; Psalm 51:1-19; Proverbs 22:24-25


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Live Extraordinarily

Today's Message

A Life You Were Created For

??Have you often thought, "There must be more"? You’re not alone. I believe a fresh revelation of truth will unlock the God-potential within you. You probably know that by God’s grace you’re forgiven and saved, but do you know that His grace empowers you here and now in this life?

"And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace" (John 1:16, NKJV). Here's the point so many miss: With grace we can receive the fullness of God's nature! Grace is the gift that not only saved us but also imparts to us the completeness of Jesus. We are in Christ, He is in us, and we have the fullness of His nature. Without this insight, we cut ourselves off from the flow of grace. Most believe God's grace has forgiven their sin and saved them from hell, but there is so much more! We have been given a new nature, and we are empowered to walk as Jesus (see 1 John 2:6) with authority to bring heaven's will to earth.

My life changed dramatically once I discovered that grace not only includes God's amazing forgiveness and promise of heaven, but also His empowerment in this life. Before this, I struggled trying to be good in my own strength. I found many of God's instructions too difficult to fulfill, I battled inferiority and poor self-image as I wondered why there was so little eternal fruit in my life. However, once the realization came that I possessed the fullness of God's nature, my life stabilized, blessings flowed and my impact for the kingdom greatly increased.

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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