Around the Word in 365 Days

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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 148 }

Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus' feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me." And Jesus answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her." —Luke 10:38-42, NKJV

Of course, it's absolutely essential for us to embrace Christ's mandate to reach out to people and to touch the nations. But this heart of service must be secondary, not primary. The reversal of these priorities was Martha's problem. When Mary and Martha were in their little conflict, Martha was not wrong because she wanted to be a servant. However, her priorities were upside down because her natural self, her natural abilities and interests, compelled her to be a worker before she was a lover. In fact, her work distracted her from being a lover (v. 40). When I see a worker I say to myself, "Well, he's halfway there." But I also understand that such an individual will be a much more effective worker if he or she first becomes a lover.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Father, so often in my spiritual service to You I respond like Martha, focusing on the work of the ministry. Help me never to forget that I am first to be a "lover," then to be a "worker."

Many individuals are so focused on enriching
their earthly circumstances and pursuing personal
comforts that they never get serious about
becoming a worker, let alone a lover.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

The Narrow Way

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father. —Matthew 7:21

An all-inclusive, non-condemning, watered-down gospel promotes a generalized version of Christianity and may avoid giving offense—but it will never save one solitary soul!

Those who rewrite the Word of God preach a humanistic gospel filled with good-sounding lies or a perverted gospel, convincing others they can have sin and salvation too. One day they will proudly spread their works before Jesus, expecting a reward. Their faces will fall as they are told to depart! They will protest, "But we prophesied in your name! We cast out devils and did wonderful works in your name!" But Jesus will answer, "I never knew you" (Matthew 7:22,23).

Let's preach the gospel according to Jesus. Let's preach and teach true salvation, being bought with a price, washed in the blood, filled with the Holy Ghost, walking the straight and narrow way. This gospel will reap an eternal harvest.

Jesus, I enter into Your narrow way and desire to
surrender completely to all that You have
for me in my life. Amen.

 


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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

Fulfilling His Will in Our Lives

Do what is right and good in the Lord's sight, so that it may go well with you. —Deuteronomy 6:18

Do you believe that you are consciously in the will of God? God wants you to be in His will and to know what His will is. Paul's word followed the previous admonition: "Find out what pleases the Lord" (Eph. 5:10). When you find out what pleases the Lord—and then do it—you may be sure that you are in His will.

The inner testimony of the Spirit, which will always correspond to God's revealed will (the Bible), is sufficient to convey that you are in His will. If you are not in His will it is because you either didn't obey God's explicit Word, like Jonah (Jon. 1:1-3), or you moved ahead of Him, like Joseph and Mary (Luke 2:41-44).

But "all's well that ends well," as Shakespeare put it. At the end of the day, after having a quarrel with the Lord, Jonah let God have the last word (Jon. 4:11). So it was with Joseph and Mary (Luke 2:51).

Both accounts have these ingredients in common—the people referred to were temporarily out of God's will but fully in it in the end. Is it possible to be out of the will of God and yet in the will of God at the same time? Yes. God permits things in your life that sidetrack you for a time. But it is part of His long-term strategy for your life. All that is permitted as to time and circumstance is redeemable.

Whether one has sinned grievously like Jonah or has run ahead of the Lord like Joseph and Mary, God does not desert His own. His aim in each case is to teach you His "ways"—if you will listen. As long as you can hear God's voice and accept His rebukes, it means you are not stone-deaf to the Spirit. Not only is God not finished with you, but the best is just around the corner.

Excerpted from The Sensitivity of the Spirit (Charisma House, 2002).

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

Looking at the Unseen

Hebrews 11:17-31 As we continue our travels through the Book of Hebrews, underline or circle the phrases looking at or looking towards. Faith always looks at the eternal rather than the temporal. We can see the temporal, but we cannot usually see the eternal. In this chapter we see more stories from the Hall of Faith, and each story has one thing in common. These heroes of our faith were able to see the unseen by faith. We see the faith of Moses in the following passages: "By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible" (vv. 24-27, KJV).

Moses saw Christ with his spiritual eyes. He even saw the rewards Christ would give him on that great day when Jesus will reward the saints for their deeds and words on earth. Moses, like David, Job and Isaiah, saw Jesus Christ in the Spirit even though it was years before Jesus would be born on earth. These heroes of our faith were able to look into the unseen realm of the Spirit.

When Moses asked God to show him His glory, I believe Moses at that time saw much more than God the Father. I believe he saw the Trinity. He could only see the backside of God, who does have form even though He is a Spirit. He also saw Jesus and the Holy Spirit. The Spirit was represented by the fire in the burning bush, as the Spirit is often represented by fire. The golden candlestick in the tabernacle of Moses represented the sevenfold Spirit of God. I believe Moses also saw Jesus. God honored Moses' faith by allowing him to see Jesus not only in the Spirit but also in the flesh. This happened on the Mount of Transfiguration when Moses and Elijah appeared with Jesus on the Mount.

If we want our lives to display the same kind of faith Moses and these other Bible heroes displayed, we must wear our spiritual glasses every day. These glasses correct our nearsightedness and allow us to see into the realms of God's glory.

Are you wearing your spiritual glasses today, or are you still blinded by the problem and trials of this world? Put on your glory glasses this morning and see into the unseen by faith. You will never be the same.

Lord, show me Your glory.

READ: Ezekiel 27:1-28; Hebrews 11:17-31; Psalm 111:1-10; Proverbs 27:15-16

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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

A Holy Tragedy

One of the fruits of grace is holiness, which isn't discussed much in our churches these days. I believe there are two reasons for this. Legalistic preachers have abused many who truly want to please God. These zealots have reduced holiness to a backward lifestyle and taken the joy out of living. This, of course, is far from God's heart. Thankfully a good number have found freedom from this tyranny; however, not without consequences. One of the most damaging results is that they now recoil at the mention of holiness.

The proverb "A scalded cat fears cold water" illustrates that once people have been burned by something, they will fear anything that closely resembles what burned them. How tragic, but this is exactly what has happened with so many who were scalded by legalistic "holiness." They now fear true holiness, which is greatly beneficial.

Secondly, true holiness takes effort on our part, which many are not willing to give. Because we must cooperate with God's grace to produce the fruit of holiness in our lives, many ministers will either unconsciously or purposefully avoid preaching it to avoid losing the appeal of the gospel. Many would rather have an easy gospel that requires no labor than the true gospel. Let's face it: You don't nonchalantly cruise into a Christlike life. Paul says, "We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God" (Acts 14:22, NKJV).

True holiness is a very appealing and important topic. Jesus is not coming back for a contaminated, worldly church but a church "not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing." The church will be "holy and without blemish" (Ephesians 5:27, NKJV). So if it's a holy church Jesus will be returning for, then we should definitely walk in holiness.

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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