Around the Word in 365 Days

Many of these devotionals can be delivered to your email inbox each morning, sign up here.

Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 174 }

But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. —1 Corinthians 1:27-31

Fasting in fellowship with the Holy Spirit helps protect us from discontentment, coveting, and fleshly cravings. Fasting will lead to a change of your emotional chemistry. You will, for the most part, no longer desire to have the things that you once wanted. This is because fasting intensifies your detachment from worldly concerns. The strange thing about fasting is that it requires doing nothing instead of doing something, for when you fast you don't eat, don't work, don't talk, and so on. This is the ultimate state of the foolish and weak things of this world confounding the so-called wise things of the world. Fasting literally begins to unlock and release those negative feelings that have been ruling our hearts and ruling us. The presence of God released through fasting also helps to break the bondages of self-absorption so common in today's world.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Father, remove my fleshly cravings and concerns so that I can fast unimpeded by the cares of this world. Strengthen my spiritual identity in You so that I will no longer desire the things of this world.

Fasting is a powerful spiritual tool that
strengthens your spiritual identity in God and
weakens your fleshly identity.

Discuss this devotional

Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Settle It

For which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know in whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. —2 Timothy 1:12

God is going to be God, whether the answer to your prayer ever manifests or not. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego looked death in the eye and said, "Our God is more than able to deliver us, but even if he doesn't we will still serve Him" (cf. Daniel 3:16-18).

Settle it in your mind and in your spirit once and for all that you are committed to God and His ordinances. Determine that, come what may, you are going to serve Him in loving obedience.

We all know what to do when God is speaking to us. It is when He is silent that those who have not settled it begin to falter in their walk. You will stumble over every rock of adversity the devil tosses in your path, unless you can shout like Timothy with the conviction of knowing in whom you believe.

Ambivalence leads to double-mindedness. God cannot use a double-minded man (James 1:7-8). Settle in your mind that you will have single-minded devotion to Christ. Settle it before the storm comes.

Jesus, I have settled the Lordship issue
in my life. You are Lord. You are Master.
You are my King. You alone will I obey.
Amen.


Discuss this devotional

By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

Praying for Those Who Hurt You

... and pray for those who persecute you ... —Matthew 5:44

Praying for the one who has hurt you or let you down is the greatest challenge of all, for three reasons:

1. You take a route utterly against the flesh.

2. Nobody will ever know you are doing it.

3. Your heart could break when God answers that prayer and truly blesses them as if they'd never sinned.

And yet Jesus' word to pray for such people is not just a polite suggestion. It is a command—one that may seem so outrageous that you want to dismiss it out of hand. Some see it as a lofty but unrealistic goal.

But this is not what Jesus means. He is commanding you to pray that your enemy will be blessed. If, however, you should pray that he or she will be cursed or punished instead of being blessed, just remember that is how your enemy possibly feels about you. After all, have you ever been someone's enemy? Have you ever done something that brought a fellow Christian to tears and brokenness? If so, how would you like that person to pray for you? That God will deal with you? That God will cause you to have an accident? Yet how would it make you feel if they prayed that you would be blessed and let off the hook? That you would prosper as if you'd never sinned? Would you not like that? "Do to others as you would have them do to you" (Luke 6:31).

Jesus wants a sincere prayer from you. It is like signing your name to a document, having it witnessed, and never looking back. You are not allowed to tell the world, "Guess what I did? I have actually prayed for my unfaithful spouse to be blessed." No. It is quiet. Only the angels witness it, but it makes God very happy.

Excerpted from Total Forgiveness (Charisma House, 2002).

Discuss this devotional

Around the Word in 365 Days

Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

God Put On an Earth Suit

1 Timothy 3:1-16 The major belief that reveals whether or not a religion is true or not is the belief in the mystery of godliness Paul writes about to Timothy. He says, "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory" (v. 16).

The dividing line between Christianity and other faiths is the belief that Jesus Christ is God in the flesh. God put on an earth suit and came and lived among us. When I was a little girl one of the most popular toys was an ant farm. I remember watching for hours a colony of ants enclosed between two pieces of glass. I could watch these ants, but I could not totally identify with them. The only way I could totally identify with them was for me to become an ant, get myself inside those two panes of glass and begin to work alongside of them. This is exactly what God did when He became flesh. God is a Spirit, and for God to identify with us totally He had to become flesh and Spirit. He had to put on an earth suit and dwell among us. Jesus, the Son of man, Immanuel—God with us—was the earth suit God wore for thirty-three years on earth.

Because God was in Christ Jesus reconciling the world to Himself, He could identify with us completely. Jesus was touched with the feelings of our infirmities, and He experienced sorrow, grief, pain, weakness, weariness and all the feelings we experience in our bodies, because like us, He had a body. Jesus was also tempted in all points even as we are tempted, yet He was without sin. Jesus knew exactly what it felt like to be tempted by Satan because He was tempted by the devil in the wilderness. Jesus knew what it felt like to long to eat and fulfill His bodily needs when He was tempted to turn the stone into bread after fasting for forty days. Jesus knew what it felt like to be tempted to take a short-cut to glory when Satan tempted Him to throw Himself off the pinnacle of the temple. Jesus knew what it felt like to be tempted to possess the world (climb the ladder of success quickly by bowing down to Satan's way instead of God's way). Jesus did not give into any of these temptations, but instead He overcame by using the sword of the Spirit and saying, "It is written." He overcame so that we might overcome through Him, but this does not negate the fact that Jesus felt just as we do when we are tempted. He, however, was without lust or sin.

Because Jesus experienced all the points of temptation that we experience, He now can make perfect intercession for us. Jesus can quickly rescue us when we are tempted if we will just call on His name. Because Jesus felt every thing we feel except lust, He knows how to comfort us in our weakness. This is the mystery of godliness—Immanuel—God with us, and He still is. Jesus ever lives to make intercession for us, and He sits in His resurrected form on God's right hand. Jesus knows what you are facing today, and right now He is praying for you.

READ: Jeremiah 31:27-32:44; 1 Timothy 3:1-16; Psalm 88:1-18; Proverbs 25:20-22

Discuss this devotional

Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

Greater Works

To be holy is to live like Jesus, to walk as He did on this earth, bearing the same fruit. Jesus made this clear: "You did not choose me; I chose you and appointed you to go and bear much fruit, the kind of fruit that endures." (John 15:16, TEV)

What enduring fruit is Jesus referring to? He revealed the answer to this during His Last Supper: "The truth is, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works..." (John 14:12, NLT)

Greater works? He specifically states, "Anyone who believes..." I would have found these words difficult to believe if anyone other than Jesus had said them. However, this remarkable statement is straight from His lips, and His Word is infallible! We have been brought into His family, made one with Him, and given His nature and Spirit. Therefore, we are not only to do the miraculous works He did but to surpass them! How is this possible? Through His grace.

Grace gives us the power to go beyond our natural ability. It brings us into the extraordinary realm. Hear Paul's words: "And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work." (2 Corinthians 9:8, NKJV)

In this scripture, Paul was specifically discussing finances and giving, but the principle applies to all areas of life. There are several key words we need to highlight. First, Paul says, "...all grace abound toward you"—not a little bit of grace but all. Every spiritual blessing is ours in Christ Jesus (see Ephesians 1:3). This is why the Holy Spirit through Paul states, "No one, then, should boast about what human beings can do. Actually everything belongs to you...and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God" (1 Corinthians 3:21, 23, TEV).

Paul continues by saying you will always—not just in some incidents, but always—have all sufficiency (total and complete) to abound in every good work. Jesus declares that each of us will accomplish greater works. So, abounding, empowering grace gives us complete and total sufficiency to meet every need we may encounter, no matter what it is! There is nothing that cannot be accomplished in regard to bringing heaven's provision to earth, for grace has fully provided it all.

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.

Discuss this devotional

Use Desktop Layout
Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit