Around the Word in 365 Days

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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 57 }

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. —Ephesians 3:16-17

What eternal riches God has offered mankind. What dignity and destiny He has bestowed upon the human race by designing us to live eternally for the praise of His glory. What a privilege to become the passion and pleasure of Christ Jesus. There are dimensions of pleasure and fulfillment that can never be experienced until we say a passionate, abandoned yes to the lordship of Jesus Christ. Yet so few believers have really said that yes to God.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Yes, Lord, yes! Whatever You want to do in my life—yes! However You want to transform my heart—yes! Wherever You want me to show forth Your glory—yes! Dwell in my life through faith and cause me to have an everlasting yes in my spirit to Your will.

It is little wonder that the unbelieving world looks
at a bored, compromising, bickering church and
sneers, "If that's what a Christian is, forget it."


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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Get Ready

They marvel at how expectantly you await the arrival of his Son-.-.-.-Jesus, who rescued us from certain doom. —1 Thessalonians 1:10, The Message

The Greek word amaneno translated "await" here is still used in the Greek language today to stress the eagerness of the waiting as well as the readiness of those who are waiting. Paul commended the Thessalonians for their faithful service as they waited for the Lord's return.

Like the Thessalonians, we too are to be ready when Christ returns for the church. How? Through service—our labor of love.

We are admonished in Romans 10:12 to "prefer one another and again" in Hebrews 10:24 to "consider one another." The writers were telling us not to be so wrapped up in ourselves and what we are doing, that we have no time to lend a hand to those in need.

Give yourself wholeheartedly in service to God and His people, and you will be ready for the Lord's return. Don't wait to be served before you serve others. Give without expectation of return. God will reward you and take care of your needs.

Jesus, teach me to serve others the way
You served. I desire to be Your servant
and to prefer others
over myself. Amen.


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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

Remedy for Burnout

The bolts of your gates will be iron and bronze, and your strength will equal your days. —Deuteronomy 33:25

God never promotes us to the level of our incompetence. What He truly calls us to do, we can do. As St. Augustine prayed, "Command what Thou wilt; give what Thou commandest." God always provides grace for what He has called us to do. "Your strength will equal your days" (Deut. 33:25). If you or I are operating at a level that brings fatigue and leads to what we now call "burnout," then something has gone wrong; we moved outside our anointing at some stage. It should never happen.

This is not to deny that God may hide His face from us. It is not uncommon to experience the "dark night of the soul." But this is not necessarily the same thing as burnout. God may leave us to test us, as He did Hezekiah, "to know everything that was in his heart" (2 Chron. 32:31). But burnout is what we bring on ourselves by taking on what God did not command.

The apostle Paul came to terms with his limitations and strengths. When his enemies scoffed, "His letters are weighty and forceful, but in person he is unimpressive and his speaking amounts to nothing" (2 Cor. 10:10), it stung. It hurt. But he spoke with disarming frankness when he implicitly acknowledged nonetheless that his public speaking probably did not flow with the eloquence of a trained orator. "I may not be a trained speaker, but I do have knowledge" (1 Cor. 11:6).

"But I do have knowledge," he could say. He may not have been a trained speaker, but he knew what he was talking about. And as it happened, his expertise touched on the very issue that had become the focus at the time. So his anointing came through where it counted. It turned out he had training that mattered. To Paul's opponents, the issue was how you said it; to Paul, the issue was what you said. In other words, Paul's anointing of knowledge more than compensated for his deficiency in public speaking.

There are some lessons here for you and me. First, as I said already, nobody has everything. That is enough to keep all of us humble. But there is another lesson: For every limit there is a compensation. You may not have the gift you envy in another, but God has given you an anointing that person probably does not have.

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

The Greatest Love Story

Matthew 28:1-20 This is the day men give candy and roses to their wives or sweethearts. For me it usually means a dinner out or a weekend away. This day of celebration is in honor of the love between a man and a woman. It is interesting that the symbol of this day is a heart and the colors used to decorate are red and white. The greatest love story ever told also involves the heart and the colors red and white. On the cross Jesus died because the weight of our sin broke His heart, but because of His sacrifice, we now can have our broken hearts mended. The red blood of Jesus poured upon the ground and was offered as an atonement for all sins, which satisfied God's requirements for a penalty for sin. Jesus, who knew no sin, became sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. Though our sins were as scarlet, they became white as snow. On that day over two thousand years ago, the greatest love story was revealed to mankind. This story continues to unfold as we look forward to the day that we will sit at the table of the lover of our souls. There will be a marriage of the Bridegroom (Jesus) with the bride (the church), and the celebration will continue for all eternity.

In this passage today we see a portion of this great love story. First Mary Magdalene and Mary discover the empty tomb at dawn on the first day of the week. These women loved Jesus as both mother and friend, but soon this love would deepen into a supernatural love that would far exceed any human love. God was in Christ Jesus reconciling the world to Himself. God's love is inexpressible, but God's love found expression through Jesus Christ. The height of God's love is His grace, the depth of God's love is His forgiveness, the length of God's love is His mercy, and the width of God's love is His truth. All these four aspects of God's love were fully expressed in Jesus Christ, who is the express image of the invisible Father. When the angel appeared to the two Marys, they were first fearful. But then, when they heard the message, "He is not here, for He is risen, as He said," they were filled with great joy and ran to tell the disciples. This story of God's love expressed through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ had to be shared with others.

Whenever we experience a loving act in our lives, we like to share it with others. On this special dawn, the two Marys could not wait to tell their friends. Their response to this great news should be our response today. Later Jesus spoke to His disciples and said, "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world" (Matt. 28:18-20, KJV).

Is there someone you need to tell the greatest love story to today?

READ: Exodus 37:1-38:31; Matthew 28:1-20; Psalm 34:11-22; Proverbs 9:9-10



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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

The Fullness of Grace

You probably know that by God's grace you're forgiven and saved, but do you know there is so much more that grace gives us?

"And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace" (John 1:16, NKJV). Here is the point so many miss—with grace we can receive the fullness of God's nature! Grace is a gift that not only saved us but also imparted in us the completeness of Jesus. We are in Christ, He is in us and we have the fullness of His nature.

The fundamental problem is that we have cut ourselves off from the flow of grace. Most believe that God's grace has forgiven us from all sin and saved us from hell—which is true—but many are missing the rest: the new nature we have, the power to walk in holiness and the authority to bring heaven's will to earth to meet the needs of humankind.

My life changed dramatically once I discovered that grace includes not only God's amazing forgiveness and the promise of heaven but also His empowerment. Prior to this I struggled, found many of God's instructions too difficult to fulfill, battled inferiority and a poor self-image and wondered why there was so little eternal fruit in my life. However, once the realization came that I now possessed the fullness of God's nature, my life stabilized, blessings flowed and my impact on others for the kingdom increased.

Many believers think that we are merely struggling sinners who've been forgiven—and someday, in heaven, we'll be like Jesus. This fallacy keeps people in bondage and nullifies God's power in their lives. The Bible tells us we are His children: "Beloved, now we are children of God" (1 John 3:2). If we are now His children, then we now have access to fully operate in the character of Jesus. We have the ability to live as He intended us to live from the beginning—extraordinarily! We can live in His image, His likeness, possessing His ability—all through grace!

Grace not only instructs us but also empowers us to live above our own human potential. We've been born again; we're brand-new people. We are free to live an extraordinary life! You are a son or daughter of God. You possess His nature. You were meant for anything but ordinary!

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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