Around the Word in 365 Days

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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 181 }

Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. —Psalm 86:11

David went beyond a determination to sincerely obey; he became a student of God's emotions. He wanted to know what wonders, pleasures, and fearsome things filled God's heart. He had many responsibilities and challenges as warrior and king, but he spent his best energies trying to understand what emotions burned in the personality of God. He had a remarkable hunger to understand the emotions and heart of God, and as a result he had a unique grasp of the emotions, intentions, and passions of God's heart. This is the one key, the single motivation that empowered David. And if we are to follow in his footsteps toward an understanding of God's heart, we must have the same motivation. We must yearn to know how God feels, how the passions of His heart move. As we discover the same truths about God's heart, we will find ourselves living the way David lived and fulfilling the call of God on our generation.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Father, motivate me to desire to understand Your emotions, intentions, and passions. I want to know what You feel, what makes Your heart respond to me in love.

By the anointing and the grace of God, we must
become scholars of God's heart.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Be God's Standard Bearer

Is this not the fast that I have chosen?-.-.-.-That thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? —Isaiah 58:6, 7

This text is the foundation for our becoming one of God's standard bearers. Too often the church has gone rushing into battle with dirty garments and soiled uniforms. Too often the church has tried to call the world to repent before she has left the night of sin. We need to come out of our deserts—soiled with past battles and sins—and be washed by living water.

In this text the Spirit of God admonishes us not to hide ourselves from our own flesh. We have been so busy playing the victim and blaming someone else for our failure to obey the commands of God that we have forgotten we were the ones who made the conscious decision to sin.

Before you can progress and rise to the rank of a mighty standard bearer in the kingdom of God you must first hear and respond to His primary call. God's first trumpet call to raise up standard bearers in the church is not to battle but to repentance.

Before we can become clear, transparent, shining, bright as the sun, we must repent and convert so that when the refreshing, revival, and restoration of God comes, we can receive all God has for us as His standard-bearers.

Purify my heart, O God. Make me beautiful,
clean, and pure as the moon reflecting
Your light. Make me transparent,
shining, and bright as the sun.
Make my life a light shining
for Jesus. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

The Promise of Gratitude

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. —1 Peter 1:6

If we wait for circumstances to change before we heed God's command to rejoice, we may wait a long time! If then we begin rejoicing only when circumstances change—but only then, what kind of gratitude is that? If we promise to show gratitude, we can only make good that promise if we maintain a positive sense of being thankful no matter how adverse the circumstances.

What, then, is the consequence of rejoicing and showing thanks when you don't feel like it? It glorifies God. It shows a highly developed faith. It is observed by the angels. It is the greatest threat to our enemy, the devil. It shows how deeply we believe what we claim to believe. "If you falter in times of trouble, how small is your strength!" (Prov. 24:10). Rejoicing in the Lord, the proof of our gratitude, regardless of circumstances shows that we are genuine and that our faith is real.

What is more, it has an extraordinary way of moving God to act. This is the promise of gratitude. I never tire of reading or repeating the account of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, who was told that a vast army was coming against him. Alarmed, the king called a fast for all the people. A prophet of God stepped forward. "He said, 'Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: 'Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God's'" (2 Chron. 20:15). Jehoshaphat and all the people fell down and worshiped. The battle began. There had never been a battle quite like it.

After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise Him for the splendor of His holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: "Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever" (v. 21).

The result: God stepped in. The enemy was suddenly overturned.

Gratitude thus contains an inherent promise. The promise is, show thankfulness and you get God's attention. Show gratitude, and God gets involved. He is moved by praise and can't keep from showing it!

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

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

The Repentance

1 Thessalonians 4:1-5:3 A new series of books has just been produced that speaks of the last days. The series is called Left Behind. These fiction novels, which are based on Scripture, speak of the day of "the Rapture,"a day many believe the saints of the Lord will meet Jesus in the air. That day is described in detail in this series. Trains, planes and cars will crash suddenly, and those left behind will not know that something supernatural has happened. Some members of families will be taken in the Rapture, and others will be left behind.

Our New Testament reading in 1 Thessalonians tells us that the Lord will come as a thief in the night. Suddenly, without warning, the trumpet blast from heaven will usher in that great day. The graves of saints will be opened, and both the dead and living believers will meet the Lord in the air to receive their glorified bodies.

The thought of such a scene is mind-boggling. Scripture, however, is clear, and it is written to comfort us. This scripture is often read at Christian funerals. If this scripture does not bring you comfort, chances are you have not acknowledged Jesus as your Lord and Savior. The question is not, "Will this really happen?" The question to ask is, "When this happens, will I be ready?" Paul in his letters makes it clear that we are to live each day expecting the Lord's return. If you knew for sure that Jesus would return today, how on earth would you live out your day?

Meditate on what you would do if you knew today was your last day on earth. I have thought of this often, and here are some of the things I think I would do. I would call all of my loved ones and friends and tell them how much I love them. I would spend a lot of time with the Lord in prayer and listening to His Word. I would try to reach as many of the unsaved as I could to tell them the wonderful story of Jesus' love for them. I would make sure I had confessed and repented of all of my sins.

Our youngest son Ray used to stand in our carport and look up to the sky. When I asked him what he was doing, he said, "I'm looking for Jesus in the clouds. He may come today." Truly Jesus may come today. Are you ready?

Lord, how different my days would be if I lived each day as if it were my last day on earth. Forgive me for my procrastination, my waste of time, my apathy and my busyness. Help me today to take time with You, and also to share the good news of Your love with those I meet today. Today may not be my last day on earth, but it may be the last day on earth for those I meet today.

READ: Jeremiah 16:16-18:23; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-5:3; Psalm 81:1-16; Proverbs 25:6-7

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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

HOLY - Defined

The word holy is from the Greek word hagios. Some words used to define it are set apart, sanctified, and consecrated, along with pure and morally blameless. The fundamental qualities of holiness are separation, consecration and devotion to the service of God, sharing in His purity and abstaining from worldly defilement.

In the Old Testament, God's people were to be literally separated as a nation. Jews were not permitted to keep company with Gentiles in all areas of life. However, in the New Testament, believers are to be separate from evil while living among and interacting with people who are not in relationship with God. We are to go into the world as lights but not be contaminated by the world. We are to not conform to this world's ways, but to the higher standard—otherwise we are no longer lights.

God says, "'For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,' says the LORD. 'For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts'" (Isaiah 55:8-9, NKJV). When God says, "Be holy as I am holy," He is actually saying, "I don't think, talk or live like you, so come up to My level of living.

"His holiness, therefore, includes more than separation and purity. If holiness just dealt with sexual purity, then the Pharisees would have been holy because they led an outwardly blameless life. Yet Jesus condemned their self-righteous ways. If holiness just had to do with separation, then the hippies of the sixties would have been very holy. It's not just purity, and it's not just separation. It's a transcendent separation and purity. It's a call to the "high life." It's a call to the realm of extraordinary living! It is to live as He lives, to imitate God as His dear children.

When we think like God, talk like Jesus, and imitate Jesus' lifestyle, we will not live like people of the world. Appetites and desires of the flesh will not drive us. We will be creative, innovative, pure in our morals, life-giving in our ways. We will be influencers and often envied by the world due to our success because we are thinking and acting at a higher level.

To walk in true holiness is to experience liberation and freedom at the highest level. It's healthy and will positively affect every area of our lives.

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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