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Around the Word in 365 Days

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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 52 }

Why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, "Let us break Their bonds in pieces and cast away Their cords from us." —Psalm 2:1-3, NKJV

Satan, aware of the Father's agenda to fill the church with passion for His Son, has devised an agenda of his own. To carry out his plans, Satan is raising up wicked leaders who are committed to sin. They are passionate in their resistance against the holy things of God. This passion will become a hellish rage against Jesus just before He returns. This raging conflict will be fought on many battlegrounds: religious, social, and political ideologies; the economy; science and medicine; morals and ethics; and education, music, and art.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Father, I resist Satan's wicked agenda to keep people from turning to You. I stand against his plans, and in Your Spirit I challenge him to release his captive hold and set the prisoners free to place their trust and hope in You.

These wicked leaders will violently oppose the
idea of a passionate people filled
with affection for Jesus.


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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Work of Faith

Every time we think of you, we thank God for you. Day and night you're in our prayers as we call to mind your work of faith, your labor of love, and your patience of hope. —1 Thessalonians 1:2-3, The Message

The faith of the Thessalonians was well known. Paul tells us their success was because they followed the example of the apostles.

They laid down their idols and abandoned the false worship they were taught from childhood. They gave themselves wholly to serving with deep devotion the one, true God. Although they came under great persecution for their faith, Paul exhorted them not to waver because God had given them the ability to overcome.

Our work of faith is not what we do but what God does in us. We must yield ourselves to the work of His Spirit in us. "Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his [Christ's] working, which worketh in me mightily" (Colossians 1:29). Christ is working in your mightily today.

Because you have a new identity, you can laugh in the face of the devil, and like the Thessalonians, be a sign and wonder to a hurting world. Christ's mighty works will be manifest in your life all around you to see and to give praise to the glory of God.

Work mightily in me, O Lord. Take my faith, hope,
and love in You and use all that I say
and do for Your glory. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

Don't Beat Yourself Up Over a Mistake

If we are out of our mind, it is for the sake of God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. —2 Corinthians 5:13

There are some actions of the past in some of us that we will probably never, never, never know for sure whether they were right or wrong. That is, we will never know until we get to heaven. God also lets some things remain in suspension to keep us from taking ourselves too seriously!

And what is the best attitude to adopt from then on? I answer: we learn to laugh at ourselves. Leave it to God. Have a laugh! The truth is, God for the moment has chosen not to tell us whether what we said or did was right! We might as well laugh, because crying about it won't help! If you make a choice whether to laugh or cry, why punish yourself?

Giving something over to God is a great privilege. We cast our anxiety upon Him because He cares for us (1 Pet. 5:7). Once we cast our care on Him—leaving our burden to the Lord, we should not look back. The highest level of proof that we really have cast our care upon the Lord is to forget the whole thing and just laugh!

People who take themselves too seriously cannot laugh at themselves. They certainly cannot bear to be laughed at. But when we don't take ourselves too seriously, we will not take it so hard when we are laughed at, and therefore we can enjoy laughing with them—at ourselves!

God is in no hurry to give us the shaking of the shoulders or the slap on the wrist—or whatever we may need. I just know one thing: God tends to deal with me sooner or later, and often sooner—especially if it has to do with a cross word with Louise, my children, or a close friend. I am just thankful that He doesn't let me get away with things!

Excerpted from Controlling the Tongue (Charisma House, 2007).

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

Fruitfulness

Mark 3:31-4:25 We learned yesterday about how fruit is cultivated in our lives. The key to cultivating any of the nine fruit of the spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23 is to spend quality time with Jesus daily. This is how we prepare the soil of our hearts to receive His Word. Only the Holy Spirit can water the seed of God's Word and cause it to grow and produce.

Every farmer knows the most effective rain a crop can receive is a gentle, steady rain that daily showers his fields before the heat of the afternoon sun. We can receive such a shower from the Holy Spirit every morning as we study God's Word if we allow the Holy Spirit to enlighten our understanding. The water of the Holy Spirit will cause the seed of God's Word to germinate and grow and eventually produce a bumper crop of the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. It is essential that our souls be watered and refreshed by the Holy Spirit daily and that we are able to keep the soil of our hearts moist with His Spirit all the day long. How do we do this? Paul tells us in Ephesians 5:18-21 exactly how to stay filled with the Holy Spirit.

He tells us to:

  1. Speak to one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.
  2. Sing and make melody in your heart to the Lord.
  3. Give thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of Jesus.
  4. Submit to one another in the fear of God.

In this passage in Mark, Jesus tells us what will cause the soil of our souls or hearts to become parched and dry. He tells us exactly about the weeds that will choke out fruitfulness in our lives. He lists three lusts of the world that choke out fruitfulness in our lives: the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches and the lusts of other things. John expresses these lusts clearly: "For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world" (1 John 2:16, KJV). Whenever we allow the cares of the world to overwhelm us, we are operating in the pride of life, which is trusting in ourselves more than we trust in God. If we truly trusted God, we would release all of our cares to Him and not worry about anything. Whenever we become absorbed in making money and accumulating wealth, we are operating in the lust of the flesh, which is seeking to satisfy our fleshly desires with more and better food, drink, clothing, entertainment, etc. Whenever we begin to covet other things and have our focus on things rather than God, we are operating in the lust of the eyes, which is greedy longings in our minds. God no longer is our focus. Material things and satisfying our five senses becomes our chief goal.


When we walk in the Spirit and daily stay filled with the Spirit, these lusts of the world will not be able to choke out our fruitfulness in the Lord. The worldly cravings of our souls or lusts will have to take a back seat because we will be filled with God's Spirit.

READ: Leviticus 7:28-9:6; Mark 3:31-4:25; Psalm 37:12-28; Proverbs 10:5

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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

Pleasing a Perfect God

When it comes to pleasing God, the big question is, "Can we do it?" Do we have what it takes to make Him smile? Can we who live in an imperfect world, bring a perfect God delight? Can we actually please Someone who is flawless?

The apostle Peter writes, "We have everything we need to live a life that pleases God. It was all given to us by God's own power" (2 Peter 1:3, CEV).

There's our answer—we have everything it takes to live a life that pleases our heavenly Father. Settle this in your heart and don't ever let this knowledge slip away. His Word is true and unchangeable. Never accept the lie that you don't have what it takes to please God. The fact is you do!

Many believers look at certain Christians, especially great leaders, and think they could never measure up or be as delightful in the eyes of God as the apostle John, the apostle Paul, Billy Graham, Oral Roberts, Mother Teresa, or anyone else they admire. The truth is that no one has any more ability to please God than you! You have the ability to please God, but it is up to you to utilize the power and live it out.

God expects us to be faithful with what He's given us. Scripture specifically states that we are entrusted with gifts "to each in proportion to his own personal ability" (Matthew 25:15, AMP).

We must always pay attention to what has been given us by God. A person's ability to write, teach, preach, sing, compose music, design, manage, organize, lead, interact well with people and so forth is a gift given by God. If I keep that in mind, it guards me from the deadly traps of pride or envy—pride in thinking I'm better than others, envy in coveting what another person has.

You were perfectly created by God to function in the Kingdom with your gifts and abilities to fulfill your specific assignment. You determine how to steward what you have been given—with it, you can bring great pleasure to your heavenly Father.

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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