Around the Word in 365 Days

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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 82 }

The voice of my beloved! Behold, he comes leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills. —Song of Solomon 2:8, NKJV

Because the Lord loves us so affectionately and so deeply, He gives us a whole new revelation of Himself. At this stage of this beautiful song of love, the maiden sees her beloved in an entirely different dimension. She watches as he comes to her, leaping and skipping like a gazelle. The hills and mountains speak of obstacles that must be overcome. They include trials and tribulations of Christian growth. They also refer to our struggle against satanic principalities and powers. These obstacles may be the kingdoms of this world that oppose the gospel. It doesn't matter. No obstacle is insurmountable for our God.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Lord, I recognize the hills and mountains that bring the trials and tribulations of Christian growth. May I never lose sight of the fact that each step I take over these mountains brings me closer and closer to You.

Little by little in this progression of holy passion,
we begin to figure out that fervency is not the same as full maturity.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Possess Your Land

Therefore all they that devour thee shall be devoured; and all thine adversaries, every one of them, shall go into captivity; and they that spoil thee shall be a spoil. —Jeremiah 30:16

God did not drive out the inhabitants of the Promised Land. He promised the territory to the Israelites, but they had to possess it.

Any army strategist understands the meaning of possession: Enemy territory has been occupied, and the spoils of war have been taken. You are engaged in a battle against the enemy of your soul. The devil has stolen what belongs to you, and God is telling you to take it back.

Let God transform your thinking. Stop relying on your feelings and start trusting His Word and His will for your life. You may feel defeated, but Christ has already won your victory at the Cross. You may feel sick, but Christ has already healed you by His stripes. You may feel impoverished, but Christ has already laid up an eternal inheritance for you in heaven. Don't trust your feelings—trust Jesus.

Make this your season to spoil the enemy and possess your spiritual Promised Land of blessing and abundance.

God, I trust You, not my feelings, thoughts, or circumstances.
I refuse to believe the lies of the enemy. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

Save Me From Self-Righteousness

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self . . .to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. —Ephesians 4:22-24

Do you know that self-righteous people are the hardest people in the world to reach?

I would rather deal with anybody rather than a self-righteous Christian. I have begun praying, "God, save me from self-righteousness." It is the easiest trait in the world to enter into my own life when I literally think I'm in the right and it's the other person that is in the wrong.

When you are dealing with a self-righteous person, you have a battle on your hands. And this is why smugness is so dangerous.

We can recognize smugness in other people although seldom can we see it in ourselves; yet it is one of those things that is hard to prove. You find it wherever you go; they all believe that they are the ones that have got it right: "We are the ones God is blessing; we are saying this, this, this . . ." Where is that one who will say, "There is something wrong with us!"

In order not to have to listen to what God may be saying through someone else, we justify ourselves as being the ones through whom God is going to work; if blessing comes, it will come through us! We do not like to think that God could be doing a work somewhere else with someone of whom we do not approve.

Perhaps you do not like this teaching. But if this sounds like you, then if you go on that way I guarantee you, one day your superstructure of smugness will come out. The truth is that smug people have no objectivity about themselves; they live in a dream world. They do not think, for they know they are right!

The rule of thumb, therefore, is stay smug, and you will erect a superstructure of straw. Be broken, and you will erect a superstructure of gold.

Excerpted from When God Says "Well Done!" (Christian Focus Publications Ltd., 1993)

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

The Pearl

Matthew 13:24-46 Jesus compared the kingdom of heaven to a merchant man who sought good pearls. When he found one of a great price, he sold all that he had and bought it. In this passage Jesus shared four parables about the kingdom of heaven. The last parable is about the pearl. He does not explain this parable, so the hearer or reader must interpret it himself.

The pearl of great price I believe is the person who needs salvation. Recently I heard a speaker share an even deeper interpretation of this parable. Just before Jesus gave the parable about the pearl, He shared the parable about a man finding a treasure hidden in a field and how he sold everything he had to buy the whole field so he could possess the treasure. The speaker explained that the Jews understood the parable about the treasure because they knew they were God's treasure. Over and over again God speaks of Israel as His treasure. They, however, did not appreciate the parable about the pearl. Pearls to the Jew are unclean because they come from oysters. You will never see an orthodox Jewish lady wearing pearls. The pearl in this parable represents the Gentiles, who are considered unclean by the Jewish people. Jesus was saying, "He came to earth and purchased the world by His shed blood in order to save all those who would believe in Him, and this includes both Jew and Gentile (the whole family of God). 'For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life' (John 3:16, KJV)."

The price God gave to purchase both the treasure (the Jewish believers) and the pearl (the Gentile believers) was His own Son, who died and shed His blood to forgive and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. How could the man know about the hidden treasure and about the pearl that was hidden inside an oyster shell? The man had to have supernatural

x-ray eyes to see these priceless treasures. God is the man in the parable, and He has x-ray eyes. He humbles Himself to look at the hearts of men, and He sees the hearts that will receive Him even when we are still sinners. The hearts of both Jews and Gentiles who will believe in His Son are hidden treasures and costly pearls.

Do you understand that you have been bought with a great price? That great price was the blood of Jesus. Do not ever feel worthless, because God sees you as worth the death of His only Son. He loves you. Receive the revelation and fullness of His great love today.

READ: Genesis 41:17-42:17; Matthew 13:24-46; Psalm 18:1-15; Proverbs 4:1-6

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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

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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