Around the Word in 365 Days

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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 60 }

Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him. —Psalm 2:12, NKJV

There is to be an intimate, affectionate, passionate dimension in our relationship with Jesus. Some churches emphasize awe and trembling, often leaving little room for rejoicing and affectionate worship. Others concentrate on rejoicing and blessing. Some of today's charismatic churches have focused on the authority of the believer and the privileges we have in Christ—to the exclusion of His awesome majesty and judgment. Still others are committed to affectionate intimacy with God with a passionate response of love toward Jesus. But God has fashioned the human spirit in such a way that we need all three dimensions—trembling, rejoicing, and kissing—in our relationship with Him.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Father, I have felt a trembling when I stand in Your presence, and I have abandoned my life to rejoicing in worship of such a great God. Now teach me to understand Your affectionate heart and to know the wonder of a loving, intimate relationship with You.

We need to ask the Holy Spirit to revive in our own
hearts all three dimensions of the grace of God.


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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Kingdom Vision

He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. —Matthew 16:15-16

When Peter called Jesus "the Son of the living God," he was saying, "You are the king; this is Your kingdom. You are in control. Everything You say will come to pass. No person can deny You. No devil can withstand You! No circumstance can stop You!

"You are the healer, deliverer, redeemer, the one who ransoms, the lily of the valley, and the bright and morning star. You are hope to the hopeless and help to the helpless. You are a father to the orphan and a husband to the widow! To those who walk the dark night, You are the bright, morning star, the light of the world! You are the Anointed One whom Israel has sung songs about for four thousand years! You are the King of kings and the Prince of Peace! You are who we have hoped for, sung for, prophesied for, believed for, and waited for!"

Who do you say He is? Speak out His name and give Him praise for all that He has done for you.

I praise You, Lord Jesus. You have redeemed my
life from the pit and have set me on solid ground.
You are my hope and my redeemer.
How I praise Your name. Amen.


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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

A Life in the Spirit

But as for me, I am filled with power, with the Spirit of the Lord . . .—Micah 3:8

Flowing in the Spirit is the best way to live. This is not to say that one is conscious all the time that he or she is flowing in the Spirit. But one can be fairly certain whether the Holy Spirit resides in a person ungrieved, and when we know this is the case, there is a great peace and an absence of tension and anxiety.

A marvelous example of flowing in the Spirit was the way Paul reacted to a demon-possessed girl who had a gift for predicting the future and kept pursuing him. For days, she kept mocking Paul and his companions and shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.” The funny thing was, she was telling the truth. Finally, Paul became so troubled that he turned around and said to the malicious spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her (Acts 16:16–18). When we flow in the Spirit we reflect God’s timing: never too late, never too early, but always right on time. There are, however, unusual times of flowing in the Spirit. That is when God is up to something that is not your usual everyday happening. Most of life is lived not on the mountaintop, but in the valley. We must learn to flow in the Spirit in the valley as well as during those times when God does the unusual.

God has never—ever—let me down or left me with the feeling I had been deceived when I experienced flowing in the Spirit. It was pure joy, although sometimes it can be costly. You may lose some friends because you are misunderstood, but God will never desert you.

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

His Word Is Steadfast

Psalm 33:1-11 God spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast. God is not a man that He should lie. I've heard it said the only thing God cannot do is lie. His Word is truth, and this psalm says His Word is right and all His works are done in truth. His Word not only is right, but it also has creative power. God spoke into being all of creation.

I can remember looking up to the night sky near Phoenix, Arizona. I saw stars I did not know existed, and I knew there were probably universes not yet discovered by man. The heavens do declare the glory of God, and we cannot help but stand in awe of His great power. The day will come soon, however, when the stars will fall and all of heaven will be rolled up like a scroll. There is only one thing that will last forever—His Word. All that can be shaken will be shaken as the day comes near to His coming, but His Word will remain steadfast.

These thoughts challenge me to daily read His Word because His Word is eternal. There are only a few things we can take to heaven with us when we leave this earth, and one of them is the Word of God that we have hidden in our hearts.

We live in a world that often is chaotic and unstable. We all need something we can trust that never changes. God's Word is steadfast. Jesus is the living Word, or the Word made flesh, and we can go to Him the moment we feel shaky or tossed about by the circumstances we experience.

I know what a comfort it is to me to have my husband hold me closely and speak comforting words when I am shaking from some trauma in my life. Several years ago as I was driving in my own neighborhood, I hit a little child riding his bike. The boy almost died. My husband was not with me at the time, but as soon as I reached home, I fell into his arms. The strength of his arms supported me, and the comfort of his words calmed my trembling body. I felt secure and safe, and the peace of God submerged me.

We have a faithful God whose Word is steadfast. Jesus, the Word made flesh, is always with us in every circumstance of life. The moment we need an anchor for our troubled souls, He is reaching out to us to hold us close to Him, and He longs to comfort us with His words. The sad reality of life is that many do not turn to Him or His Word for strength and stability in this life. He is our only hope when things look hopeless. Run to Him and hear His Word whenever you need something to hold on to in this life. He longs to hold you throughout every trial.

Lord, teach me to quickly turn to You the moment I feel shaky. You are my solid rock, my strong tower, my only hope in times of trouble.

READ: Exodus 32:1-33:23; Matthew 26:69-27:14; Psalm 33:1-11; Proverbs 8:33-36

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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

The Enemy's Secret Strategy

A remarkable, amazing, extraordinary life is not restricted to certain individuals or professions. It doesn't matter who you are or how you serve in life. If you're a schoolteacher, businessperson, government leader, stay-at-home mom, athlete, factory worker, hairstylist, student, pastor, it doesn't matter because you were created for extraordinary achievements in that role. The power to accomplish remarkable feats and live an exceptional life is not tied to an occupation but to a disposition of the heart. This is not only God's will but also His great pleasure.

Hollywood, religious people, and our culture have painted a warped and limited image of God's people. What is the distortion? We have an enemy named Satan, who is called "the ruler of this world," "the prince of the power of the air," and "the god of this world." He influences the world's systems and sways the minds of those who do not belong to God. He has fallen angels and demons to help carry out his grand strategy.

The sad fact is that too often the church has limited Satan's chief strategy to certain behaviors, like trying to get people to drink alcohol or watch sex scenes in movies. He's much more crafty than that and uses a wide variety of snares and diversions. We've missed his primary purpose. Because what he fears most is Christians discovering who God's made them to be—extraordinary people with abilities to carry out remarkable and unusual feats. This should be the image society has of Christians.

In stark contrast to the present reputation of Christians, one of the great struggles the early church encountered was convincing people that they were not superheroes or gods. Cornelius, an officer in the most powerful army in the world, bowed down to worship Peter and his companions. Stunned, Peter immediately replied, "Stand up; I myself am also a man" (Acts 10:26).

In a city named Lystra, the mob "went wild, calling out in their Lyconian dialect, 'The gods have come down! These men are gods!'" Paul sharply corrected them: "What do you think you're doing! We're not gods!" (Acts 14:11, 14, The Message). When Paul was on Malta collecting firewood, a poisonous snake bit him. He shook it off, and the inhabitants anticipated his death. "But when it was obvious he wasn't going to, they jumped to the conclusion that he was a god!" (vs. 28:6).

Unbelievers said of the early church, "These who have turned the world upside down have come here too" (vs. 17:6). Christians were held in high esteem by their society. It's recorded that the entire city of Jerusalem's attitude toward the church was that "everyone had high regard for them" (5:13, NLT).

In our generation may we each live in such a way to recover that kind of respect for the church.

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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