Devotionals

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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 51 }

For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. —2 Timothy 1:6-7

The Father will not insult His beloved Son by giving Him a bride that is bored, passive, and compromising. Passionless Christianity is no threat to the devil. It is focused on activities to the neglect of heartfelt affection and obedience to God. True Christianity sparks a flame in the human spirit. It ignites the heart with fervency.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Move me out of complacency and passivity to Your plan and purpose, Father. Wake me up and ignite my heart with fervency for my Savior.

As an inheritance, God the Father has promised
His Son a church filled with people
ablaze with affection.


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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

It's Your Decision

Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. —1 John 4:4

Before you were born again you were a stranger to the covenants of promise, without God and without hope—just who the devil said you were!

But when you bowed your knee to Christ and called Him Lord of your life, you became the righteousness of God in Christ. In Christ you are forgiven, washed, reconciled, and redeemed.

It doesn't matter what the world says about you. The world cannot tell you the truth. The only reliable source of truth is the Truth—Jesus Christ. So, it doesn't matter what others say about you, and it doesn't even matter what you may have said about yourself in the past.

What matters is what God says about you in His Word. You must decide whether to believe God or to believe the lies of the devil concerning who you are in Christ.

Choose to believe the Word of God. Say out loud right now, "I am a child of the King. I am royalty." Trust Him to bring His Word to pass in your life, for greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world!

Father, thank You for making me Your child.
I will continually confess who I am in You.
My identity for eternity is
anchored in You. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

Remedy for Burnout

The bolts of your gates will be iron and bronze, and your strength will equal your days. —Deuteronomy 33:25

God never promotes us to the level of our incompetence. What He truly calls us to do, we can do. As St. Augustine prayed, "Command what Thou wilt; give what Thou commandest." God always provides grace for what He has called us to do. "Your strength will equal your days" (Deut. 33:25). If you or I are operating at a level that brings fatigue and leads to what we now call "burnout," then something has gone wrong; we moved outside our anointing at some stage. It should never happen.

This is not to deny that God may hide His face from us. It is not uncommon to experience the "dark night of the soul." But this is not necessarily the same thing as burnout. God may leave us to test us, as He did Hezekiah, "to know everything that was in his heart" (2 Chron. 32:31). But burnout is what we bring on ourselves by taking on what God did not command.

The apostle Paul came to terms with his limitations and strengths. When his enemies scoffed, "His letters are weighty and forceful, but in person he is unimpressive and his speaking amounts to nothing" (2 Cor. 10:10), it stung. It hurt. But he spoke with disarming frankness when he implicitly acknowledged nonetheless that his public speaking probably did not flow with the eloquence of a trained orator. "I may not be a trained speaker, but I do have knowledge" (1 Cor. 11:6).

"But I do have knowledge," he could say. He may not have been a trained speaker, but he knew what he was talking about. And as it happened, his expertise touched on the very issue that had become the focus at the time. So his anointing came through where it counted. It turned out he had training that mattered. To Paul's opponents, the issue was how you said it; to Paul, the issue was what you said. In other words, Paul's anointing of knowledge more than compensated for his deficiency in public speaking.

There are some lessons here for you and me. First, as I said already, nobody has everything. That is enough to keep all of us humble. But there is another lesson: For every limit there is a compensation. You may not have the gift you envy in another, but God has given you an anointing that person probably does not have.

Excerpted from The Anointing: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow (Charisma House, 2003).

 


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Around the Word in 365 Days

Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

The Greatest Love Story

Matthew 28:1-20 This is the day men give candy and roses to their wives or sweethearts. For me it usually means a dinner out or a weekend away. This day of celebration is in honor of the love between a man and a woman. It is interesting that the symbol of this day is a heart and the colors used to decorate are red and white. The greatest love story ever told also involves the heart and the colors red and white. On the cross Jesus died because the weight of our sin broke His heart, but because of His sacrifice, we now can have our broken hearts mended. The red blood of Jesus poured upon the ground and was offered as an atonement for all sins, which satisfied God's requirements for a penalty for sin. Jesus, who knew no sin, became sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. Though our sins were as scarlet, they became white as snow. On that day over two thousand years ago, the greatest love story was revealed to mankind. This story continues to unfold as we look forward to the day that we will sit at the table of the lover of our souls. There will be a marriage of the Bridegroom (Jesus) with the bride (the church), and the celebration will continue for all eternity.

In this passage today we see a portion of this great love story. First Mary Magdalene and Mary discover the empty tomb at dawn on the first day of the week. These women loved Jesus as both mother and friend, but soon this love would deepen into a supernatural love that would far exceed any human love. God was in Christ Jesus reconciling the world to Himself. God's love is inexpressible, but God's love found expression through Jesus Christ. The height of God's love is His grace, the depth of God's love is His forgiveness, the length of God's love is His mercy, and the width of God's love is His truth. All these four aspects of God's love were fully expressed in Jesus Christ, who is the express image of the invisible Father. When the angel appeared to the two Marys, they were first fearful. But then, when they heard the message, "He is not here, for He is risen, as He said," they were filled with great joy and ran to tell the disciples. This story of God's love expressed through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ had to be shared with others.

Whenever we experience a loving act in our lives, we like to share it with others. On this special dawn, the two Marys could not wait to tell their friends. Their response to this great news should be our response today. Later Jesus spoke to His disciples and said, "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world" (Matt. 28:18-20, KJV).

Is there someone you need to tell the greatest love story to today?

READ: Exodus 37:1-38:31; Matthew 28:1-20; Psalm 34:11-22; Proverbs 9:9-10



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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

Equipped For So Much More

One of the main reasons I avoided Christianity for years was its portrayal. I, like many others, saw people of God as Bible-thumping critics who were quick to judge the flaws of others. Or I thought they were passive, backward and ignorant. The idea that Christians were pioneers who lived and thought outside the box, behaving in extraordinary ways, never crossed my mind.

I viewed Christianity as lifeless. Becoming a believer would mean losing my individuality and foregoing creativity, excellence, passion and the ability to succeed in the marketplace, sports, politics, education and other arenas of life. I didn't know it then, but my views were the opposite of how God created us to live because He is the One who breathed into us the desire for the extraordinary.

God spoke: "Let us make human beings in our image, make them reflecting our nature so they can be responsible for the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, the cattle, and, yes, Earth itself, and every animal that moves on the face of Earth." God created human beings; he created them godlike, reflecting God's nature. He created them male and female. God blessed them: "Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Earth! Take charge!" (Genesis 1:26–28, The Message)

We were made to reflect God's nature. He spoke both to men and women, saying, "Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Earth! Take charge!" Adam, the first man, named every species of animal on the earth. God brought the animals to Adam and gave him the responsibility of naming them. There are over one million species of animals on earth. Not only did Adam have the creativity to name them all, but he also had the capacity to remember each one. That was an extraordinary man doing a remarkable feat!

You may ask, "But since Adam fell, weren't those abilities lost due to his disobedience?" No, Jesus flipped the mess Adam created for humankind. Paul wrote, "Here it is in a nutshell: Just as one person did it wrong and got us in all this trouble with sin and death, another person did it right and got us out of it. But more than just getting us out of trouble, he got us into life!" (Romans 5:18, MSG).

The word life doesn't merely describe the way we'll live in heaven; it also means the "here and now." Jesus not only recovered what Adam lost, but He also provided so much more—the potential of an extraordinary life!

The truth is, God not only desires you to live extraordinarily but also has equipped you to do so.

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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