By Love Transformed

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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 87 }

Until the day breaks and the shadows flee, I will go to the mountain of myrrh and to the hill of incense. All beautiful you are, my darling; there is no flaw in you. —Song of Solomon 4:6-7

We see our failures and shortcomings, and we may automatically think that God is accusing and condemning us. The devil has deceived us, leading us to attribute to God what is true of himself. Satan, not God, is the accuser of the brethren. God is our affirmer—our encourager. He believes in our sincere desires to obey Him more than we do and calls us forth in ways we would never dream. He says, "I love you! I have great affection for you! I will transform a fervent, immature maiden into My reigning, mature bride."

{ PRAYER STARTER }

When my failures and shortcoming seem to overcome me, Lord, give me the courage to recognize the work of the accuser. You do not accuse me, Lord, but You affirm my desire to obey You, and You call me forth into my destiny in You.

Christ sees our desire for obedience
even when it is only in seed form in our hearts.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Be Bold

The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion. —Proverbs 28:1

This is the heritage of the righteous. We are warriors with enemies to overcome. One of our strongest enemies is fear. Fear stifles the church from fulfilling its destiny.

What would you attempt for God if you knew it was impossible to fail? God gave a direct order when he said, "Fear thou not" (Isaiah 41:10). It isn't an option. He also told you why you need no longer be afraid: "For I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee: yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness" (v. 10). Fear is counteracted by faith.

Perfect faith cannot exist where there is doubt concerning God's will to prosper you. When the will of God is known, faith comes alive and fear dies. Faith and fear cannot exist in the same space. Fill your heart with faith in Christ, and fear will flee.

Jesus, I renounce fear for faith in You.
I rebuke the spirit of fear and stand firm
trusting You. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

God Loves Failures

For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength. —1 Corinthians 1:25

Jacob is one of the most important characters in the Old Testament. He was the grandson of Abraham, the son of Isaac, and the third of the patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. If we look at Jacob's life, we soon recognize that the Bible does not cover up the weaknesses and frailty of its heroes. Jacob, whose name was later changed to Israel, was not a particularly attractive person.

If ever there was anyone who knew the guilt of failure, then Jacob is your man. The name Jacob means "heel" (or possibly "deceiver"). Jacob was the world's greatest manipulator. He wanted to control people. He was a terrible parent and brother. He stole his twin brother Esau's blessing, and, by cunning, he tricked him into selling his birthright.

Jacob may have been a complainer, a controller, but God loved him. "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated" (Rom. 9:13). Jacob, though not a very nice guy and not a very attractive person, was loved by God. When it came to the end of Jacob's life, the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews chose one event, which says that "Jacob . . .worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff" (Heb. 11:21). It shows him in his old age before he died, looking back on his life, a life riddled with guilt, but a life that, when it was all over, turned out as if it were perfect. He got his son back. He learned to appreciate Leah and the things God had done for him.

The "Jacobs" of this world aren't very pleasant, but God loves them.

God loves failures. Do you know why? It's because He wants to take your life, turn it into a trophy of grace, and bring you to the place where you see that His hand has always been on you. He wants to turn that failure into a blessing.

Excerpted from All's Well That Ends Well (Authentic Media, 2005).

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

The Benefits of Wisdom

Proverbs 3:16-18 The benefits of wisdom are not just happiness. This passage lists some of the benefits we will experience if we will live our lives in the wisdom from above.

  • We will have length of days.
  • We will have honor.
  • We will have wealth.
  • We will experience pleasant lives.
  • We will have peace.

The above is a list of what all men desire. They want to live long lives, have honor and wealth. They want to experience peace and live pleasant lives. The man who seeks the wisdom from above will experience these benefits.

A man of wisdom will learn to be content or happy in whatever state he finds himself. Happiness is not based on our circumstances. Happiness is based upon our character. If our character grows daily to be more like the character of Jesus Christ, we will be blessed every day of our lives.

Does this mean we have no problems if we live in the wisdom from above, which is peaceable and pure, full of good fruits and without partiality and hypocrisy? Wisdom does not protect us from troubles, because Jesus is all wisdom and He experienced many troubles while on earth. He also said, "In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world" (John 16:33). Operating in the wisdom from above guarantees us that we will come through each trial, each testing, each temptation we face victorious, but only if we depend upon Jesus through troubled times. The moment we try to take control of troubled times without consulting and inquiring of the Lord who is all wisdom, we will experience misery instead of joy in the midst of troubled times. We have no idea what is facing us this day, but God already knows. Take time to ask Him for the wisdom from above to face every problem, person and circumstance you may encounter today.

Lord, help me to seek You today with all my heart. Help me to look to You today for wisdom in every problem, circumstance and relationship today. Thank You for overcoming the world so I can be of good cheer and not be overwhelmed by the troubles in this world. I desire to live in peace and contentedness today no matter what I face. You are my peace and joy. Amen.

READ: Genesis 31:17-32:12; Matthew 10:27-11:6; Psalm 13:1-6; Proverbs 3:16-18

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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

Pleasing a Perfect God

When it comes to pleasing God, the big question is, "Can we do it?" Do we have what it takes to make Him smile? Can we who live in an imperfect world, bring a perfect God delight? Can we actually please Someone who is flawless?

The apostle Peter writes, "We have everything we need to live a life that pleases God. It was all given to us by God's own power" (2 Peter 1:3, CEV).

There's our answer—we have everything it takes to live a life that pleases our heavenly Father. Settle this in your heart and don't ever let this knowledge slip away. His Word is true and unchangeable. Never accept the lie that you don't have what it takes to please God. The fact is you do!

Many believers look at certain Christians, especially great leaders, and think they could never measure up or be as delightful in the eyes of God as the apostle John, the apostle Paul, Billy Graham, Oral Roberts, Mother Teresa, or anyone else they admire. The truth is that no one has any more ability to please God than you! You have the ability to please God, but it is up to you to utilize the power and live it out.

God expects us to be faithful with what He's given us. Scripture specifically states that we are entrusted with gifts "to each in proportion to his own personal ability" (Matthew 25:15, AMP).

We must always pay attention to what has been given us by God. A person's ability to write, teach, preach, sing, compose music, design, manage, organize, lead, interact well with people and so forth is a gift given by God. If I keep that in mind, it guards me from the deadly traps of pride or envy—pride in thinking I'm better than others, envy in coveting what another person has.

You were perfectly created by God to function in the Kingdom with your gifts and abilities to fulfill your specific assignment. You determine how to steward what you have been given—with it, you can bring great pleasure to your heavenly Father.

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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