Devotionals

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Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 42 }

Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. —2 Corinthians 1:21-22

In the early days of my journey of becoming more intimate with God, I struggled to feel His presence. I recall the day that I was in my office praying. I had been worshiping at His feet for about fifteen minutes when my secretary suddenly rang into my office. Annoyed at being distracted, I picked up the phone. My annoyance left as I listened to the caller's words: "God says that you are to set Him as a seal upon your heart. He wanted you to know that right now."

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Sometimes, Lord, Your presence is so real to me that I feel as though I could reach out and touch You. But at other times the cares of this world and my own selfish desires keep me from being able to even sense Your presence. Teach me to enter that secret place of intimacy with You.

In this encounter with the Lord, the Holy Spirit
was revealing God's heart and passion for me.

 


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Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Prepare for the Harvest

Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed. —Amos 9:13

Do you see it? The sower will overtake the reaper. God's promised harvest is that sowing and reaping will happen at the same time. Souls and abundance to the saints is coming quicker than we can preach, or sow. Time is caught up in an accelerated process. "Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am" (Isaiah 58:9a). Notice the immediacy of God's response.

The closer we get to the end of the age and the imminent return of Jesus, the shorter time becomes. The time is coming when seed time and harvest will be the same time.

Not only will we reap what we sow suddenly, but God will also multiply the sowers' seed. "Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruit of your righteousness" (2 Corinthians 9:10). That means that whenever we sow seed, God comes behind us and sows more. He brings such multiplication and increase to our sowing that before our seed can hit the ground, we are reaping a harvest.

Lord, thank You for the harvest. Equip me both
to sow and to reap and to expect always
Your abundant harvest. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

Today's Message

To Flow in the Spirit, There Must Be Intimacy

Therefore I was angry with this generation, and said, "They always go astray in their heart; and they did not know My ways." —Hebrews 3:10, NAS

You get to know a person's ways by spending time with them. My wife, Louise, and I have been married for over forty-five years. I know her ways, and she knows mine. When we are asked a question or receive an invitation, we almost always know what the other will say. God wants us to know Him like that.

Flowing in the Spirit means to honor God's "no" as well as His "yes." Paul and his companions were "kept by the Holy Spirit" ("forbidden," KJV) from preaching the word in the province of Asia (Acts 16:6). Really? Are we to believe that the Holy Spirit—not the devil—would actually stop people from preaching the gospel? It seems to me that this would take both supernatural discernment and considerable courage to act on a word from the Spirit like that. This seems to fly in the face of our mandate to preach the gospel to every person (Mark 16:15). How did they know? I only know they listened to the Spirit and obeyed. It must have taken as much courage to obey not to preach as it did to preach.

To flow in the Spirit is to have intimacy with Him and to feel what He wants. It is to learn God's ways, His style, His manner of doing things, His way with people, His gentleness, His indignation, His impulses. In other words, do what pleases the Spirit and what He prompts you to do. God wants us to know His ways; it is as though God admits to having a certain kind of personality. God wants intimacy with us, and there is no greater joy than to keep in step with the Spirit.

Excerpted from Believing God (MorningStar Publications & Ministries, 1997).

 


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Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

God's Blessings

Leviticus 25:47-27:13 We used to sing the song, "There Shall Be Showers of Blessing." This passage in Leviticus tells of the showers of God's blessings that will flow from His throne room upon us. However, all the blessings listed here are conditional. Most of the promises of God are conditional. He promises so much in His Word to us, but for the promises to be fulfilled in our lives we have a part. Both the Old Testament and New Testament have the same main condition expressed for the fulfillment of the blessings and promises. The condition we must meet is to walk in God's ways and keep His commandments.

In the New Testament Jesus gives only two commandments that we must fulfill: To love the Lord God with all of our hearts, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. All the Law, Jesus says, is based on these two commandments. The good news is that Jesus came to fulfill the Law so that we now are capable in His strength of obeying the Law. Many people claim the promises of God without fulfilling the conditions.

Listen to all the blessings that will come to those who walk in God's ways and keep His commandments to obey them.

1. Rain in due season (Lev. 26:4)

2. Fruitful land (Lev. 26:4)

3. Fruitful trees (Lev. 26:4)

4. Abundance—vintage crops (Lev. 26:5)

5. Plenty of bread to eat (Lev. 26:5)

6. Safety (Lev. 26:5)

7. Peace in the land (Lev. 26:6)

8. No fear of enemies (Lev. 26:6)

9. Evil beast will not be a threat (Lev. 26:6)

10. The sword of enemies will not be a threat (Lev. 26:6)

11. Victory over enemies (Lev. 26:7)

12. Old things will pass away and newness will replace it (Lev. 26:8)

13. Fertility (Lev. 26:9)

14. God's presence (Lev. 26:11)

15. God's favor (Lev. 26:12)

What a list of blessings! This list challenges me to walk in the ways of the Lord every day. When the Lord is our shepherd, goodness and mercy will always follow us. Let this be your prayer today:

Lord, lead me in Your paths of righteousness for Your name's sake. Teach me Your ways that I might fear and glorify Your name today.

READ: Leviticus 25:47-27:13; Mark 10:32-52; Psalm 45:1-17; Proverbs 10:22

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Live Extraordinarily

Today's Message

The Spectacular Plan for Your Life

Extraordinary. Just hearing this amazing word arouses the desire to surpass the norm, to break away from the status quo. Its definition is “beyond what is usual, exceptional, exceeding the common measure.” One-word synonyms include: remarkable, amazing, marvelous and unimaginable. To better understand the full meaning of this inspiring word, consider its antonyms: common, normal and usual.

Ponder this a moment: The opposite of extraordinary is normal! If we're honest, I think we all want our lives to mean more or be more than what we've known and seen. Unless it's suppressed, there is an innate desire in each of us to rise above commonness. We yearn for the extraordinary.

"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him" (1 Corinthians 2:9, NLT).

These words paint a picture of an unimaginable and extraordinary existence, one far beyond what any mere mortal has known or experienced. You may have heard these words before and related them only to heaven’s glory. But in actuality, they were penned for the here and now! For the writer, the apostle Paul, continues, "But we know these things because God has revealed them to us by his Spirit" (vs. 10).

Paul, who lived during the church's inception, was divinely moved to bring into the open what had been previously hidden to our eyes, ears and imagination. He also wrote the following to describe the mandate of his life:

"My task is to bring out in the open and make plain what God, who created all this in the first place, has been doing in secret and behind the scenes all along. Through followers of Jesus like yourselves gathered in churches, this extraordinary plan of God is becoming known and talked about even among the angels!" (Ephesians 3:9–10, The Message)

There's One Person above all others who desires an extraordinary life for you. He is a Father who delights, like any good father, in the achievements and happiness of His children. His name is God! And nothing will please Him more than seeing you reach your highest potential.

God’s extraordinary plan is revealed when we live extraordinarily. Together let’s give the angels something to talk about!

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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