Around the Word in 365 Days

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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 149 }

Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long. Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever with me. I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes. I have more understanding than the elders, for I obey your precepts. —Psalm 119:97-100

Are you a student of the Bible? It is important for us to remember that although it is good to study the Word of God, we are not called to be students first. I love to study the Scriptures, but I am not first called to be a student. I am first called to be a lover. Oh, the glory of being a lover of God! I love to love Him! Therefore, I study in a way that produces love in my heart and produces love in the hearts of the people I impact. Depending on an individual's heart, being a student can either help or hinder a person to fulfill this first priority. On this same note, we are not called primarily to be debaters or fighters for truth. Some people think that their mandate in life is to preserve the truth. They do not realize that we are first called to be lovers.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Loving You should be the focus of my life. Let me never forget that I have first been called to be a lover. Teach me to love first, then to serve.

God wants us to fight for truth, but never before
we wrestle with the idea of being lovers of God.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Anointed for Action

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and-.-.-.-to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. —Luke 4:18-19

Jesus not only testified to be the Son of God, but He attested that the source of His anointing was from God. Here He gives the purpose of His earthly ministry:

* to preach the gospel to the destitute and afflicted;

* to those whose spirits have been crushed by the world;

* to heal the oppressed;

* to open the spiritual eyes of those blinded by Satan;

* and to declare that today is the day of freedom.

If you are in the kingdom and filled with His Spirit, you are also anointed for this same purpose. The anointing is given to meet the needs of others. Step out in faith to minister to the hurting in your family, your neighborhood and your city.

Jesus, open my eyes to see the destitute, afflicted,
brokenhearted, oppressed, sick, and blind people
around me. Anoint me to set them
free with the good news. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

Peace Is Better Than Bitterness

Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. —Hebrews 12:14

When we are bitter, we delude ourselves into thinking that those who hurt us are more likely to be punished as long as we are set on revenge. We are afraid to let go of those feelings. After all, if we don't make plans to see that justice is done, how will justice be done? We make ourselves believe that it is up to us to keep the offense alive.

That the devil's lie. We only hurt ourselves when we dwell on what has happened to us and fantasize about what it will be like when "they" get punished. Most of all, we grieve the Holy Spirit of God, and this is why we lose our sense of peace.

It is my experience that the quickest way I seem to lose inner peace is when I allow bitterness to reenter my heart. It's not worth it! I made a decision for inner peace. But I found that I had to carry out that decision by a daily commitment to forgive those who hurt me, and to forgive them totally. I therefore let them utterly off the hook and resigned myself to this knowledge:

* They won't get caught or found out.

* Nobody will ever know what they did.

* They will prosper and be blessed as if they had done no wrong.

What's more, I actually began to will this! I prayed for it to happen. I asked God to forgive them. But I have had to do this every day to keep the peace within my heart. Having been on both sides, I can tell you: The peace is better. The bitterness isn't worth it.

I have come to believe that the only way to move beyond the hurt and go forward in life is through total forgiveness.

Excerpted from Total Forgiveness (Charisma House, 2002).

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

The Frame of Faith

Hebrews 11:1-16 We recently purchased some beautiful oil paintings painted by some Israeli art students. These students were temporarily in the United States selling their paintings to earn money for their art school in Jerusalem. They went door to door and also had a few shows in the U.S. The paintings were not framed, but we had the promise of these students that a fellow student would call us who could give us a good price on framing the pictures for us. We waited and waited for this call. Meanwhile our beautiful pictures were gathering dust while they were stored under our bed. No one knew we had such beautiful paintings because they were not framed yet and we could not display them on our walls.

Our reading in Hebrews today describes the beautiful lives painted through history by men and women of faith. As we read about those heroes of our faith, we can picture in our minds the scene of Noah who by faith prepared the ark; Abraham who by faith left his homeland to go to a strange land; Sarah who by faith gave herself to Abraham when she was ninety because of the promise of a child; and on and on the scenes pass through our minds.

We learn in Hebrews 11:3 that there is a very special frame for these pictures of faith: "By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible."

Through faith the Word of God framed the worlds. God sees to it that when we are presented with His artwork there is already a frame for each masterpiece. Just as our paintings could not be displayed until they were framed, these scenes of great faith painted by our Bible heroes could not be displayed without the Word of God framing these scenes. It is through the Word of God that we are able to read these wonderful stories that inspire us to greater faith. In every scene of faith conveyed in chapter 11 of Hebrews, we see how these men and women of faith received and acted upon the Word of God. They attached themselves firmly to the frame of God's Word and then displayed His Spirit, character, power and works to the world. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. God has framed the masterpiece of your life in the golden frame of His Word. Without His Word, we could never display the faith that works by love and moves mountains to the world.

Lord, help me to attach myself firmly to the frame of Your Word so that my life will display the beauty of Your character and love to others.

READ: Ezekiel 24:1-26:21; Hebrews 11:1-16; Psalm 110:1-7; Proverbs 27:14

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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

Mercy and Grace

Grace is when we get what we don't deserve.

Mercy is when we don't get what we do deserve.

Mercy manifests when we don't get justice for our sin. Grace, on the other hand, is imparted power we don't deserve that frees us from the tyranny of sin.

Many Christians have lumped the two words together and assigned to both the same meaning. Am I splitting hairs here or is this just semantics? Not at all. Here's a way to think about it: Suppose you play both football and basketball with football rules. Football would go well; however, with basketball you'd lose the uniqueness of the sport in addition to incurring numerous injuries. We've lost the power of the identity of grace because so many have combined it with mercy. We've also incurred numerous injuries by playing grace with mercy's rules.

Grace gives us the power to live, and mercy keeps us free from guilt, condemnation and shame, all of which try to pull us back into sin's grip. Mercy keeps our conscience clear of the judgment we deserve. What amazing mercy God has shown us!

Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace,...that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need. (Hebrews 4:16, AMP)

Mercy is given for our failures, our sins we've repented of. However, grace is given to help, to empower us. What a great salvation our Father has given us—complete and lacking nothing!

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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