Around the Word in 365 Days

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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 58 }

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. —Romans 12:1-2

The most powerful witness you and I can give sinners is a radiant life demonstrating that the will of God is good, acceptable, and perfect. Nonbelievers are looking for a contented, fulfilled people who aren't trying to cast off God's restraints—a people who are joyfully abandoned and totally committed to His cause. They need to see Christians who have taken up their crosses, turned their backs to the world, and given their all to the Christ who gave everything to them.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

I want to be joyfully abandoned and totally committed to Your cause, God. Teach me Your ways so that I can prove Your good, acceptable, and perfect purpose in my life.

Nonbelievers long for something or someone that's
worth being passionate for—something
that costs them everything.


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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Increasing Power

For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. —1 Corinthians 12:12

Your brain provides every electrical impulse required by your internal and external organs to function rhythmically and powerfully with one another.

Your hand can move independent of the body. But adding your wrist, arm, shoulder, torso weight, and movement increases the hand's impetus, power, and capabilities.

Although you are complete in Christ, you must be joined to the body of Christ to be functionally complete and to accomplish His will.

When you occupy your place in the body of Christ, your significance multiplies by the entirety of the body of the living, resurrected Christ. By joining yourself to the body, you increase in Him as you decrease in self. "A spiritual gift is given to each of us as a means of helping the entire church" (1 Corinthians 12:7 NLT). You are gifted to serve others. You are blessed so that you may be a blessing to others.

When the devil sees you, a fitly joined member of the body, he knows the body is in full operation under the Lord Jesus Christ, head over all things to the church.

Lord, use the gifts You have placed in me to
serve others. I am willing to be Your vessel
of ministry in order to bless others. Amen.


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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

How to Recognize God

When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, "Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it." —Genesis 28:16

The most wonderful thing that can happen to anybody is for God to turn up. The problem is that we don't always recognize Him at the time, and we only see later that it was God.

The trouble is, we think God can only come in one particular way, and that's the way we've met Him. The question is this: If He turned up in an unexpected way, would we affirm Him?

The sooner we learn to recognize the Lord, the better. For some, it may take years to see that God has been in a situation with them; for others, it may take only a few seconds. But the narrower the time gap, the better, for it shows our hearts are in tune with what God is doing. I can think of nothing worse in the world than for something that God is in to be happening and I not recognize it.

If you're not a Christian, then it's also true for you that the sooner you realize when God is there, the better, because the Bible says, "My Spirit will not contend with man forever" (Gen. 6:3). Let me put it like this. It may be that whenever you hear preaching, you sense that the Holy Spirit is dealing with you, that God is on your case. You know that the preacher wouldn't know much about you, if anything at all, and the only way he could speak in this manner was if God had led him to do so.

If you are a Christian and the Lord turns up and you don't recognize Him, you are impoverished since you miss seeing God for who He is, then. I guarantee you will wish later you had seen it was the Lord sooner.

Be open to the unexpected time. Be open to the unexpected manner in which God might turn up. He came to Jacob in a dream. God can do that.

Jacob affirmed God. Fortunately for him, it didn't take him long. The question is, how long will it take you?

Excerpted from All's Well That Ends Well (Authentic Media, 2005).

 


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Around the Word in 365 Days

Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

A Willing Heart

Exodus 35:10-36:38 And they came, every one whose heart stirred him up, and every one whom his spirit made willing, and they brought the Lord's offering to the work of the tabernacle of the congregation, and for all his service, and for the holy garments" (Exod. 35:21, KJV). This is a beautiful story of how the people had a willing heart to give, to work and to serve. We learn in the next chapter how willing the people actually were. Exodus 36:5 says, "And they spake unto Moses, saying, The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work, which the Lord commanded to make" (KJV).

Often in this passage we see the phrase, "their hearts were stirred up." When we have a willing heart, the Lord by the power of His Holy Spirit is able to stir our hearts. The great encourager, the Holy Spirit, stirs us with an anointing and a vision to give generously. All He is waiting for is a willing heart.

Recently I received a letter from a YWAM missionary who told a modern-day version of this passage in Exodus. The YWAM base in Africa was hosting a school of prayer where people came from all nations. At one of the meetings it was announced that a special offering would be taken to raise the monies needed for a high-tech video machine that would enable interactive teaching through the video. The price was $17,000. No one that night came prepared to give an offering, but this did not discourage the willing hearts present at this meeting. God moved upon the young people present to give precious jewelry, stereos, guitars, etc. Possessions worth $11,000 were given. A man from Taiwan then offered to pay the balance, but later the Lord moved on this same man's heart to give the full amount of $17,000. All the precious items were returned to their owners because this man was stirred in his heart to give the total amount needed. What a story of redemption.

When we have a willing heart, we are stirred up to give by the Holy Spirit. Then our heavenly Father is stirred to return to us in some way far more than we thought possible. He has already redeemed us as His precious possession.

Lord, give me a willing heart, and then enable me by the power of the Holy Spirit to give generously. Stir me up to give, and thank You for enabling me to be a faithful giver.

READ: Exodus 35:10-36:38; Matthew 27:35-66; Psalm 34:1-10; Proverbs 9:7-8



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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

You Were Expensive!

God's love for us is unconditional and unchanging. This is clearly seen in the words of Jesus' prayer the night before His crucifixion: "Then the world will know that you [God the Father] sent me [Jesus Christ] and will understand that you love them as much as you love me" (John 17:23, NLT).

Did you catch that? God loves you as much as He loves Jesus! That's almost too much to comprehend!

Scripture records that God's love "is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening]. Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end]" (1 Corinthians 13:7-8, AMP). His love for you can never weaken or become obsolete. It is impossible, for His love for you isn't based on your behavior but on His character of faithfulness. God's love for us is so all-encompassing that we simply cannot comprehend its scope.

He sent Jesus to die for us when we were still His enemies (see Romans 5:10). John the apostle writes, "For God so loved the world [you and me] that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).

Why did God give Jesus? The answer is simple: to purchase us back. Our forefather Adam gave up himself and consequently all his offspring (including you and me) to a new lord when he heeded Satan's words in the Garden of Eden. Adam disobeyed God and separated himself and his descendants from their Creator. But since God loved humankind so much, He wasn't willing to assign us the same fate as Satan and his angels.

God needed a creative plan to purchase our freedom. He did this by sending Jesus Christ, the second person of the Godhead, who was fathered by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin. Jesus was all man and all God and lived a perfect life (the only man ever to walk the earth without sin). He went to the cross and paid the price for our disobedience to God. He took our judgment so we wouldn't have to.

The price of our soul is so expensive that nothing else could have bought us back besides Jesus Himself. Scripture states, "God bought you with a high price" (1 Corinthians 6:20, NLT). Then again it's recorded that the Father "is so rich in kindness that he purchased our freedom through the blood of his Son" (Ephesians 1:7, NLT). No person or thing is more valuable to God than Jesus. Yet God saw our value equal to that of what He prized most.

Now here is the amazing fact: If you and I had been worth one cent less to God than the value of Jesus, He would not have purchased us because God would never make an unprofitable deal. God does not make bad purchases. (Recall the above scripture, "God bought you with a high price.") A bad purchase is when you give something of more value for something of less value. In God's eyes, Jesus' value is the same as yours! Do you see how important you are to God? This is why Jesus prays, "You love them as much as you love me" (John 17:23, NLT).

That's extraordinary love!

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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