By Love Transformed

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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 202 }

The sun will no more be your light by day, nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you, for the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. Your sun will never set again, and your moon will wane no more; the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your days of sorrow will end. —Isaiah 60:19-20

One day we will gaze upon our Bridegroom God for billions of years at a stretch. This description and any other will seem pitiful in its attempt to convey the reality of Him, but we must understand as well as we can that our Bridegroom possesses a beauty that transcends any other in the created realm. He is far above all other magnificence and pleasure. His endless splendor shines forth from His tenderness, gladness, and desire for us. (Indeed, it's impossible to understand His beauty without first understanding His tenderness, gladness, and desire, for His beauty radiates from them.) As we encounter it through Scripture and by His revelation in our spirits, His beauty fascinates and captivates our hearts. He woos and wows us with magnificence.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Father, a billion years will seem as nothing when I stand before You and gaze into Your endless splendor. Teach me about Your tenderness, gladness, and desire so that I may fully comprehend Your beauty.

Being confident in God's love for you
is necessary to seeing God's beauty.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

His Promise ... Your Purpose

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. —John 15:5

If you are abiding in Him, God gives you the desires of your heart. You can only receive what comes through the vine. If your delight is right, your desire will also be right. If your delight is wrong, your desire will be wrong.

Our purpose for being on this planet is to glorify God. The chief end of man is to glorify God. It is not miracles that glorify God. It is not talking in tongues or sitting in church on Sunday morning.

When the life of Christ flows through us to touch and change lives for all eternity, we bring glory to Him.

Your success will not come from your rules, your religion, your rituals, or your regimen. Your success will come because of your relationship to the vine. The greater your relationship, the greater your results. Never touch His glory. Always give Him glory and intimacy with Him will increase dramatically in your daily abiding in Him.

How I long to abide in You, O Savior. I
can do nothing without You. Keep me
close to You, for without You I am
nothing. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

He Gives Mercy to Those Who Ask

I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. —Exodus 33:19

The only way to be saved is to ask God for mercy. Mercy, to be mercy, can be given or withheld and justice be done in either case. Jesus described two people in prayer: one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself; the tax collector begged God for mercy. Jesus warned us, "For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted" (Luke 18:14).

If you want to compare yourself with others, God says you are lost. You should climb down from your pride and say, "God be merciful to me a sinner. I'd be so grateful."

God sometimes chooses to withhold His mercy.

Edom may say, "Though we have been crushed, we will rebuild the ruins." But this is what the Lord Almighty says: "They may build, but I will demolish. They will be called the Wicked Land, a people always under the wrath of the Lord. You will see it with your own eyes." —Malachi 1:4-5

That is enough to bring us to our knees.

This word at the beginning of the Book of Malachi was an oracle to the people of Israel. You say, "Well that is fine. God loved Israel, but I am a Gentile." But in Romans 9:6, Paul says, "It is not as though God's word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel." God has widened the family. His family was not to be continued along racial lines but through those who would hear the gospel and respond to it.

Because God decides to whom to show mercy, it makes all the difference in the world how we approach Him. He is sovereign. When you know that He has said, "I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy" (Exod. 33:19), you come to your knees and say, "Will You be gracious to me?"

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

Silencing the Accuser

Isaiah 33:13-36:22 Have you ever been falsely accused? I can remember several times in my life when people have accused me falsely. Nothing hurts worse. You know in your heart that you did nothing wrong. Yet if you try to justify yourself to your accuser, he usually refuses to accept what is true about the situation. Every day of our lives we deal with a false accuser. His name is Satan. He continually accuses us, and unless we are on the alert, we can easily fall into condemnation.

In our reading today we see how Rabshakeh was sent by the king of Assyria to accuse Hezekiah. Rabshakeh tells Hezekiah he is barking up the wrong tree if he is putting his trust in God. He actually is mocking God's power. He speaks all of this in the Hebrew tongue in earshot of all those who are on the wall. Eliakim, Shebna and Joah ask Rabshakeh to speak in the Syrian language instead of the language of the Jews because they did not want those on the wall to hear his accusations. This did not bother Rabshakeh at all; he wants all of those on the wall to hear what he has to say. He downgrades Hezekiah to his own people and says Hezekiah is trying to deceive them. He says that Hezekiah lied to them when he told them they would defeat the Assyrians. King Hezekiah told all who heard these accusations not to answer them, so they held their peace.

We can learn a lot from this little story. When others accuse us falsely, we can rest assured that Satan has inspired the accusation. Because we know we are not fighting against flesh and blood, but against principalities, powers, rulers of darkness and wickedness in high places, we do not have to reply to the accusation by defending ourselves. The Lord is our defender, and it is better for us to remain silent. We can silence our enemies in the most effective way when we remain silent. This is what Jesus did when He was accused. The moment we begin to defend or justify ourselves, we are not allowing the Lord to fight our battle. Instead we are trying to fight it ourselves. If we keep silent when accused, this really annoys our accuser because he has no more material to accuse us even more.

I had the experience one time of being accused of being a false teacher. I later found out that the person accusing me had accused almost every speaker of being a false teacher when they shared at the group she attended. This person sent me a blazing letter, so I wrote one back. Then another letter came that accused me of even more, based on some of the things I wrote in my last letter. Finally, I heard in my spirit, "Keep silent. Do not write her again." This finally silenced her judgmental, critical, accusing spirit. The accuser always wants us to defend ourselves, but we need to allow the Lord to be our defense. He will justify us if we will let Him, and the enemy will be put to flight. Remember, in quietness and confidence will be your strength.

READ: Isaiah 33:13-36:22; Galatians 5:13-26; Psalm 64:1-10; Proverbs 23:23


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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

The Spectacular Plan for Your Life

Extraordinary. Just hearing this amazing word arouses the desire to surpass the norm, to break away from the status quo. Its definition is “beyond what is usual, exceptional, exceeding the common measure.” One-word synonyms include: remarkable, amazing, marvelous and unimaginable. To better understand the full meaning of this inspiring word, consider its antonyms: common, normal and usual.

Ponder this a moment: The opposite of extraordinary is normal! If we're honest, I think we all want our lives to mean more or be more than what we've known and seen. Unless it's suppressed, there is an innate desire in each of us to rise above commonness. We yearn for the extraordinary.

"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him" (1 Corinthians 2:9, NLT).

These words paint a picture of an unimaginable and extraordinary existence, one far beyond what any mere mortal has known or experienced. You may have heard these words before and related them only to heaven’s glory. But in actuality, they were penned for the here and now! For the writer, the apostle Paul, continues, "But we know these things because God has revealed them to us by his Spirit" (vs. 10).

Paul, who lived during the church's inception, was divinely moved to bring into the open what had been previously hidden to our eyes, ears and imagination. He also wrote the following to describe the mandate of his life:

"My task is to bring out in the open and make plain what God, who created all this in the first place, has been doing in secret and behind the scenes all along. Through followers of Jesus like yourselves gathered in churches, this extraordinary plan of God is becoming known and talked about even among the angels!" (Ephesians 3:9–10, The Message)

There's One Person above all others who desires an extraordinary life for you. He is a Father who delights, like any good father, in the achievements and happiness of His children. His name is God! And nothing will please Him more than seeing you reach your highest potential.

God’s extraordinary plan is revealed when we live extraordinarily. Together let’s give the angels something to talk about!

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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