By Love Transformed

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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 207 }

Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. —Psalm 73:25-26

Behind that ruddy face, deep inside that boy's frame, was a heart unlike any the world had seen. It drew God's attention away from the cosmos, away from the majesty of the cities and oceans and natural wonders of the world. Wouldn't you love to feel His attention focused squarely on you? It happened to David. One day the Spirit of the Lord came upon the prophet Samuel and whispered in his ear, "I am replacing Saul, the rebellious king of Israel. I have found a young man who has a heart for Me. He wants the same things I want. He's a young guitar player, and I really like him. He doesn't even know I've heard his love songs in the night, but he has a heart that's hungry for the things that fill My heart. I hear his voice, and I have taken note of him. I want you to tell him what I think about him." In those sun-scorched, no-name fields behind Bethlehem, even before Samuel arrived, David was becoming a picture of the end-time church.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Do You see my heart, O God? It longs to hear Your voice, to see Your face, and to spend time in Your presence. All I want is You, Lord ... just to be with You and to experience Your love for me.

Wouldn't you love for your heart to catch God's
eye as He looked upon creation?

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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Decisions

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion. —Genesis 1:26

Your character is the sum total of every decision you have ever made. There is no such thing as an unimportant decision. God never intended for man to be a salve of circumstances. We were made to have dominion on the earth, and dominion only comes through exercising our will to make decisions. Your new character is the sum total of one decision which you have made—to follow Jesus.

If your decisions line up with the will of God for your life, though all hell breaks loose you will weather the storm. You will set your chin like flint and say, "I am going to the other side! I don't care that my boat of life is being tossed to and fro. I know Who rides in my vessel, and I will fear no harm. He will keep me safe."

Out of your new character in Christ, you will have the power and courage to make right decisions. Compare every decision to His character. If that decision measure up to Jesus, who is Truth, then you will do what is right. Anything that does not measure up to Christ, discard from your life. Making right decisions is always doing what Jesus would do.

Thank you, Jesus, for being Truth in my
life. Fill me with the knowledge of Your
Truth and the courage to choose what
is right. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

Do We Want Revival?

"Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come," says the Lord Almighty. But who can endure the day of his coming? —Malachi 3:1-2

Nearly all my life I have wanted to see revival. I am not sure when I first had an appetite for it, but I grew up in what was something of a revival atmosphere. In 1985, I introduced the first prayer covenant in Westminster Chapel. There were several petitions, and one of them was a prayer for true revival in the congregation. After five years we closed that covenant but revived the idea some years later. Then, instead of praying for true revival in Westminster Chapel, we prayed for the manifestation of God's glory in our midst along with an ever-increasing openness in us to the manner in which He chose to appear.

The people in Malachi's day prayed the equivalent of that prayer. Malachi tells them how their prayer will be answered, and I don't think it is exactly what they had in mind. What they wanted was for God to come in the way He had done in the great days of Solomon, when the temple was filled with His glory and all the nations stood in awe of Israel. They were looking not only for the honor of God's name to be restored, but also for the honor of Israel to be seen in the world. They sincerely believed that when God came that was how it would be. But things were to turn out very differently.

What is the difference? The difference is that praying for revival was, in a sense, setting a limit on God, and that is what these Israelites were doing. Praying for the manifestation of God's glory is not dictating to Him what He should do. Why did we use the word glory? The word glory is the nearest we can get to the essence of God. If we only had one word to describe the God of the Bible, that word would have to be the glory. He is a God of glory. We prayed that He would manifest His glory, and we did not tell Him how to do it. What is revival? Revival is certainly one manifestation of God's glory. Praying for such a revival is inviting God to be Himself. But we must not limit Him.

Excerpted from Between the Times (Christian Focus Publications Ltd., 2003).

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

The Power of Singing

In my fifty years as a Christian I have discovered nothing draws me into the presence of the Lord more than singing. One of the key ways Paul tells us to stay filled with the Spirit is to sing hymns and spiritual songs, and to make melody in our hearts. Paul says in his letter to the Ephesians, "And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God" (Eph. 18-21).

Most of my morning times with the Lord are spent singing to Him, and when I wait for a moment after I sing to Him, often I will hear a song in the my spirit from the Lord. My mother was a soloist who sang all over Atlanta in many churches. One of my happiest memories of my childhood was hearing her singing in the kitchen. She sang hymns while she cooked. Throughout her whole life she always seemed to be full of the joy of the Lord, and His love always radiated from her to others. I think she had learned the secret to staying filled with the Spirit.

As you read this you may say to yourself, "But I can't sing," or "I work all day, so how could I sing all day?" Paul gives the answer to this when he tells the Ephesians to speak to themselves in hymns, psalms and spiritual songs and make melody in their hearts. If you lack the ability to make melody when others cannot hear you, rest assured the Lord will hear you as you make melody in your heart to Him. He loves the sound of your heart as well as the sound of your voice. It is a melody of love.

Let his melody of love ring out in your heart today.

Psalm 59:1-17 David says, "I will sing of Your power; yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy in the morning" (v. 16). David speaks of singing about God's power and mercy because he knew the power of singing. David was a psalmist, and it was his custom to sing continually.

 

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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

Bringing Heaven to Earth

Jesus' mission of revealing the kingdom could be identified with one word: righteousness. We are told, "For the kingdom of God is…righteousness" (Romans 14:17, NKJV). Jesus tells us to "seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness" (Matthew 6:33, NKJV). To put it simply, righteousness means "right in the eyes of God."

Scripture makes it crystal clear: "There is none righteous, no, not one" (Romans 3:10, NKJV). Unless someone is born again by the incorruptible seed of the Word of God, it is impossible to be righteous or acceptable in the eyes of God. However, the Word declares: "Christ was without sin, but for our sake God made him share our sin in order that in union with him we might share the righteousness of God." (2 Corinthians 5:21, TEV)

Because of what Jesus did for us, we are now acceptable to God in every way. Right standing with Him has nothing to do with our effort but is based on the amazing work of Jesus Christ. It breaks my heart to hear Christians refer to themselves as miserable sinners who have just been forgiven when such a great price was paid for us to not only be forgiven and delivered but also to be re-created in the image of Jesus.

First and foremost, the kingdom within speaks of the divine nature, which empowers us to live holy and fruitful in this present world. This power is most evident in the life of Jesus. He showed how humankind was created to live—not bound to the burning desires of fallen flesh, but motivated by righteousness, propelled by the power of the Holy Spirit in love, joy, and peace—abounding in forgiveness, healing, restoration, and lifting others to the higher life. This is the kingdom; it's not only to live holy but also to bring heaven to our lost and dying world.

Now here is His charge to us: "As the Father has sent Me, I also send you." (John 20:21, NKJV)

What a statement! We are to bring heaven to earth in the same manner Jesus did. In essence, this is how it should be: To see one of Christ's true followers is to see Jesus, just as seeing Jesus was to see the Father.

What a responsibility—and an opportunity—this is for each of us!

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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