Around the Word in 365 Days

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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 83 }

My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag. Behold, he is standing behind our wall, He is looking through the windows, He is peering through the lattice. My beloved responded and said to me, "Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come along." —Song of Solomon 2:9-10, NAS

In the early stages of our spiritual journey, we may have seen Jesus as the One whose presence satisfies our hearts, just as the maiden did. As we seek to go on to maturity in our walk with Him, we will surely encounter Him as the mighty King who skips on mountains. In these seasons, He is challenging the comfort zone in our life as He calls us to join Him in His war against all who oppose His kingdom in this world: "Arise, My beautiful one, and come with Me. You can't sit under the shade tree forever. Come and leap mountains with Me. Will you love Me enough to join Me in bringing My kingdom even to the places that oppose Me?"

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Give me the courage, dear Father, to leave the comfort of my shady spot and to leap with You over the hills and mountains that threaten to inhibit my spiritual growth and that oppose Your kingdom.

Can you recall a time when the Lord challenged you
to arise and leave your comfort zone?

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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Prepare for the Rain

For the land, whither thou goest in to possess it-.-.-.-is a land of hills and valleys, and drinketh water of the rain of heaven. —Deuteronomy 11:10-11

God was preparing His people for the land of hills and valleys, ups and downs. He was in charge. God had delivered them from Egyptian slavery, pagan religion, and bondage. The past was finished. Newness was coming.

Now God is preparing you. You can walk in the rain. You can drink from an ever-flowing well. You can leave the desert and the dry season. The past is forgiven, and the chains of bondage are broken.

At times the drought seems like it will never end. It appears that the night will last forever. Look forth, the morning is coming. You will be fair as the moon and as clear as the sun. I know you don't feel like it now, but feelings are not reality. The truth you stand on is not your feelings, not what the preacher preaches, not what any creed claims. Your truth is God's Word. He says that you will look forth as the morning and march terrible as an army with banners (Song of Solomon 6:10).

Exchange your dry season for the season of His rain, refreshing, and renewing. Exchange your defeat for victory as a mighty army marching to vanquish every foe.

Lord Jesus, prepare me for Your rain.
Pour out living water on me.
Refresh me and fill me from Your
fountains that will never run dry. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

Where Is Your Heart?

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. —1 John 2:15-16

There are Christians who are marked by worldliness. I believe worldliness comes down to three things: sensuality, sophistication, and secularization.

Sensuality is the lust of the flesh: people obsessed with sex, as opposed to a lifestyle of self-denial. Sophistication can be thought of as the lust of the eyes: people obsessed with culture, learning, and refinement as opposed to simplicity. Secularization—John calls it "pride of life" —is the obsession with material things as opposed to spirituality.

Worldly Christians who would rather stay home and watch television on Sunday night are nevertheless often the first to criticize things. They appear godly and righteous when they are, in fact, hypocrites.

This is why Christians do not tithe! They can look for every reason in the world why they should not have to do it. It is the worldly spirit that looks for a way not to tithe.

This is why they do not pray. I was talking to someone not long ago whose marriage is on the rocks. I just said to them, "How much do each of you pray?" I was not surprised to hear, "Not at all." How much time do we spend in prayer, by ourselves? How much time do you take to be alone with God? Thirty minutes a day should be the minimum for each of us. I do not care how busy we are. It will give me no pleasure to stand beside you at the judgment seat of Christ and watch a videotape of these words flashed before you, when in fact you justified how busy you were at the time.

Rule of thumb: get immediate gratification because you want to enjoy the things of the world now, and you will erect a superstructure of straw; but if you have the love of the Father in you, it will be 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

Heavenly Rain

Proverbs 3:33-35 Again in our readings for the month of January we see the wicked person's life compared to the life of a just person (one who has been justified by God). God's Word tells us that the rain falls on the just and the unjust. I have always interpreted that to mean troubles fall upon the just and the unjust. However, I see in the Bible where rain is usually a symbol of the blessings of God. When the people of a land are pleasing God, He sends the early and latter rains upon the land. When they are disobedient, He withholds the rain. I believe God is always sending showers of blessings upon the earth. The wicked, however, have the umbrella of pride over them, and they never receive the blessings. Today's passage from Proverbs confirms this.

The curse of the Lord is on the house of the wicked. The Book of James tells us that God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. The wicked in their pride cause a curse to come upon themselves. They raise the umbrella of pride daily and block the refreshing rain of the Holy Spirit and God's blessings upon them. God longs for the wicked to humble themselves and turn toward Him so His blessings will come to them unhindered, but instead, the wicked seek to be blessed by the world and its system rather than by God. The blessings the world offers may appear to be showers that refresh, but in reality these showers are short-lived. These worldly showers never satiate the thirsty land of the soul as God's blessings do, and soon the land of the soul of the wicked is thirsty again. The wicked never see God's blessings in their lives because they believe they obtain blessings through their own efforts. "God helps those who help themselves" is their motto. The truth is that God helps those who know they cannot help themselves. He is looking to bless the contrite, humble-hearted man who is totally dependent upon Him.

The blessings of the Lord flow naturally unhindered to those of a contrite, humble and grateful heart. Grace abounds to the grateful. The wicked never are grateful and therefore never receive the grace God wants to deliver to them. We used to sing a song called "Showers of Blessings." The theme of the song is, "Count your blessings, name them one by one, and then you will see what the Lord has done." One of my joys is keeping a record of what the Lord does daily in my life. He never fails to surprise me. Each day I live is always a good day. I can always find something to thank God for because He is so faithful. I am humbled when I think that God, the Creator of the universe, is looking each day for new, wonderful ways to bless me. Not only are grace and blessings flowing daily from His throne room, but mercy is also a continual soaking shower. Mercy drops are flowing toward you today, and God wants to perfect everything that is a concern to you.

Today let His blessings, grace and mercy flow freely upon us and satiate our souls. Refuse to block the flow of His refreshing, supernatural rain by forgetting to be grateful to Him. The moment we feel we have the day in our hands and under our control, we have opened the umbrella of pride, and we will not experience the soaking of our souls with heavenly rain.

READ: Genesis 39:1-41:16; Matthew 12:46-13:23; Psalm 17:1-15; Proverbs 3:33-35

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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

Living Larger

"And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace" (John 1:16, NKJV).

And of His fullness we have all received. The completeness of Jesus has been imparted to us! Not the fullness of a prime minister, president, celebrity, rock star, great athlete or scholar, but the comprehensiveness of Jesus Christ Himself. If you really hear this, you'll never envy another man or woman again. You have the full nature of Jesus Christ in you!

The word nature is defined as "the innate or essential qualities or character of a person."

We are in Christ, He is in us, and we have the fullness of His nature. The seed planted in us when we were born again is all that makes Christ who He is! How awesome. In this world we have the comprehensiveness of His nature!

John says it like this: "As He is, so are we in this world" (1 John 4:17, NKJV). So many believers think that someday in heaven we'll be as He is, but for now on earth we are struggling sinners who've merely been forgiven. This is a mammoth lie, and it keeps people in bondage and nullifies the power of grace in their lives.

And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. (John 1:16)

Here is the point so many miss: Receiving the fullness of God's nature is directly connected with grace. It is God's unmerited gift—a gift that not only saved us from eternal damnation but also gave us His characteristics. One aspect of grace is just as real as the other, and it was all provided the moment we were saved.

God's divine nature was freely imparted to us, and our once hardened hearts were replaced by the seed of God's inherent characteristics. We now have the ability to live as He intended humankind to live from the beginning—extraordinarily. We now can live this life as sons and daughters of God, in His image, His likeness, possessing His ability through grace!

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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