By Love Transformed

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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 204 }

I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness. —Jeremiah 31:3

Beloved, we will have divine satisfaction forever, discovering more of His beauty through endless ages. And we can begin now! Indeed, we must begin now, for the sake of what God would have us be. He wants us to be always caught up in fascination and to become confident in love before Him; then and only then does He reveal more of His sublime beauty to us. Take one step into this realm, and you find it's impossible to exhaust His store of surprises; they unfold as you perceive more of His heart and as He reveals Himself to you in progressively greater measure. It's like a walk through an endless garden of flowers, each kind more resplendent and inventive than the one before, each path leading to waterfalls and vistas ever more breathtaking to behold. All beauty on Earth is merely a reflection of Him; even the most beautiful thing you can think of will one day be swallowed up by the beauty of His heart like the beam of a flashlight in the intensity of a thousand suns.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Father, what awesome wonder awaits Your children in eternity. I cannot wait for You to take me by the hand and walk me through Your heaven. Your beauty will radiate forever, and I long to begin eternity with You.

The heart of God is a wonderland, a universe of
beauty like no place mankind could dream up.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

A New Place of Worship

And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. —Genesis 22:2

God told Abraham to go to a new place to worship Him. Frequently we too must go to a new place in our worship—a place far from the religious traditions of reciting confessions and going through prayer cards. Tradition will smother the presence of God in our times of worship.

God tested Abraham's faith and obedience, and He will test yours. We may hear Him tell us to lay something on the altar that is precious to us. God does not ask for those things because He needs them, but because we need to be set free from their power in our lives. Every sacrifice we ever make will take us into a new place of worship with Him.

Abraham dearly loved Isaac. Did He love him more than the Lord? No, his faith was tested and he obeyed God. Give your children to the Lord. Give your spouse to the Lord. Give your church to the Lord. On the altar of your surrender you will discover a deeper level of worship and intimacy with God.

Lord, I come to worship You in a new place.
Today I place everything and everyone I
have sought to control on the altar.
I desire on this one thing—to
worship and glorify You.
Amen.

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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

How Do We Weary God?

You have wearied the Lord with your words. "How have we wearied him?" you ask. By saying, "All who do evil are good in the eyes of the Lord, and he is pleased with them" or "Where is the God of justice?" —Malachi 2:17

You know the feeling of making another person tired, when you see that as you talk on and on they are looking bored and they want you to stop, but you are insensitive to it until the last minute and then you are so embarrassed. None of us want to do that to anyone. We don't want to tire people, and we don't want to tire God either. But how could we make God tired, especially as Scripture says, "The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary" (Isa. 40:28). According to that verse God cannot become weary, yet Malachi says that the Israelites have wearied the Lord with their words.

If I made God tired by my words I would want to know about it. When Malachi told them that they made God tired, they wanted to know how they were doing it. So Malachi gives two reasons: one, by saying that all who do evil are good in the eyes of the Lord; two, by assuming that the Lord is pleased with them and by demanding to know where the God of justice is.

First, Malachi does not say that we weary God by our praying. The most encouraging passage in the Bible on prayer are the verses that follow where Jesus encourages us to ask for the same thing day after day until our prayer is answered (Luke 18:3-8).

Second, we do not weary the Lord by confessing our sins to Him. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9). Confessing does not just mean saying the right words in your head; it means being truly sorry.

Third, we don't weary God by pouring out our hearts even if we are complaining. "I cry aloud to the Lord; I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy. I pour out my complaint before him; before him I tell my trouble" (Ps. 142:1-2). That does not weary the Lord.

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

No Schoolmaster

Galatians 3:23-4:31 Didn't you just love to have substitute teachers when you were in school? When you walked into the classroom and you saw another teacher, you breathed a sigh of relief and probably thought to yourself, Oh boy, this means no pop quiz, and we'll probably have a free study period! Often some of the rascals in my class would give the substitute teacher a hard time. Substitute teachers earn every penny of their pay.

This never happened to me in school, but what if you entered your classroom and there was no teacher at all? You looked on the board, and written on the board in bold letters were these instructions: "Do whatever your heart tells you to do during this class period. I trust you." What would your response be to such an instruction? Would you want to be as bad as you could be and misbehave, maybe throw spit balls at your classmates? I know what my reaction to such an instruction would be. I would want to live up to the trust that teacher had placed in me. I would feel that the teacher really thinks I am mature enough to behave myself in her absence, and I want to prove to her I can do this. In fact, I think I would encourage all my classmates to demonstrate their capability of being mature and responsible by behaving themselves also.

Such a day may never come in the classroom of a school, but such a day has come spiritually. Paul makes the following bold statements: "But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all children of God by faith in Christ Jesus" (Gal. 3:23-26, KJV).

The fullness of time has come when Jesus Christ came and was made under the Law, but now has redeemed all those who were under the Law and has given us the spirit of adoption that makes us His children and makes God our daddy. The law now is written on our hearts, and we no longer have to have a schoolmaster. Jesus has become our life, and we now live by the faith of the Son of God who loved us and gave Himself for us. Jesus, the obedient One, has fulfilled the Law so that now we are under grace (God's unmerited favor), which enables us to walk in the Spirit and thereby keep the law, which is to love God and love our neighbors as ourselves.

School is not out because we are ever learning in the school of life. Our teacher is now the Holy Spirit who lives within us, and He is the One who obeys through us.

READ: Isaiah 28:14-30:11; Galatians 3:23-4:31; Psalm 62:1-12; Proverbs 23:19-21

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