By Love Transformed

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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 54 }

We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the one who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him. We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true—even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. —1 John 5:18-20

Satan's underlying motive goes far beyond a particular issue in society. His goal is for the nations to erupt in rage against God. He is after a militant, unified, passionate revolt against God's laws and Jesus's right to reign over the planet. If you keep an eye on the spiritual temperature of national and international events, you will see the thermometer climbing higher and higher. Satan and his cohorts are fanning and feeding flames to explode in rage and reckless revolt against God's ways.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Father, I cry to You to have mercy on this nation. Cause a movement of holiness and righteousness to sweep our nation, and forgive our sinful disobedience and immorality.

Pockets of anger and rebellion are smoldering
among those who influence and
set the course of morality.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Build an Altar

And Moses [put your name in his stead] built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah-Nissi [God is my Banner]. —Exodus 17:15

Rod ParsleyI challenge you right now to build an altar where you live, work, or worship. Stop what you are doing. Build an altar. Put on that altar the sin of leaving the banner of God unattended and failing to raise high the standard. Cover yourself and your altar with the banner of His love, crying out for His mercy and forgiveness.

After the altar there's a time of equipping and preparing, of training and conditioning for the battle. Get ready. Over the hill a battle rages. Around the corner the enemy sets an ambush and lies in wait. Get ready. Don't climb the hill or turn the corner without building an altar and raising high your standard. Don't go blindly into the battle.

Get under Jehovah Nissi. You are not the moon or the sun. You have no power on your own. But you can leave the night behind. You can become as fair as the moon and as clear as the sun. You can march in that terrible, awesome army of God, raising high His banner of victory. But a standard-bearer's initiation begins at the altar where he is washed in Jesus' blood, cleansed by living water, and exposed to His light.

Jesus, I long to march in Your army, to lift
Your standard high, and to be under Your
banner. I build an altar today and make
of myself a living sacrifice
to You. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

I Am Loved!

"I have loved you," says the Lord. —Malachi 1:2

How does it make you feel to know that someone loves you? Many people are just a little uneasy when someone comes up to them and says, "I love you." Sometimes I say it to people I know really well. As I am about to get off the telephone, I say, "Love you," and they don't know how to respond. "Right, oh well, um ... " is often all I get in return. Once in a while, if they are used to me telling them I love them, they say, "Oh well, same to you." But it is a good feeling to know that you are loved. I want to hear it from my wife every day, and I guess she wants to hear it from me every day, too. Victor Hugo, the nineteenth-century French writer, said, "The supreme happiness in life is the conviction that we are loved."

We all have a need to be loved. When people are difficult to understand, when I wonder what makes them tick, I find that what they most need, and what they most want, is to be loved. There is nothing that breaks the hardest heart like the feeling of being loved. All of us can face terrible opposition and suffering if we feel approved of, accepted, and loved by someone whose opinion matters to us.

There is an even greater feeling than knowing another person loves you, and that is knowing that God loves you. There is no greater feeling than that. When I feel that God loves me and approves of me, I can face a thousand foes. And the message of Malachi is just that, You are loved. We all have skeletons in our closets, and God knows every one of them, yet He still says, "I love you."

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 Character of God

Psalm 36:1-12 This psalm says so much about the character of God. One of the tactics of Satan is to try to bring doubt in our hearts about God's goodness. So many times I have heard the enemy whisper, "If God is so good, why did He let this happen?" To defend ourselves against this tactic we need to know what the Bible says about the character of God. This psalm gives a great character sketch of God.

The verses in this psalm reveal that God is merciful, faithful, righteous and excellent in loving-kindness. He is our protector and provider. When we become grounded in scriptures like this, we will not be overwhelmed when trials and tribulations come our way. We know that because God is good, His desire is to bring eternal good out of every situation we face in life. You have heard this expression: We have to accept the bitter with the sweet in this life. God desires to work everything for the good in the lives of those that love Him and are called according to His purpose. When we love the Lord and respond to His call and purpose for our lives, we can rest assured that all He allows in our lives will ultimately work for our good.

The best illustration I heard about how things work together in our lives for the good was shared in a Bible study I attended. The teacher shared that life is like baking a cake. First, all the ingredients are laid out; if you taste each ingredient separately, you would doubt these ingredients create a delicious cake. The salt is salty, the flour and eggs are tasteless, the baking powder is bland, and the vanilla that gives flavor to the cake tastes bitter. When all the ingredients are stirred together and then baked, out of the oven comes a delicacy that tastes, looks and smells delightful. Two steps are essential for a good cake—all the ingredients must be blended carefully, and the temperature of the oven and the time the cake is left in the oven have to be correct.

We have the Master Baker, and He is blending the different situations, trials, testing and circumstances of our lives with loving care. He will make sure that when we go through fiery trials, the heat will not burn us. He will never allow us to be tested above that which we are able to stand. What will help us the most when we are in the oven of testing is to remember God's character and review His marvelous acts through the years. David knew the secret of this. Circumstances and situations may change in our lives, and sometimes things may look very dark, but God dwells in the midst of darkness. When you put a cake in the oven, unless you turn on a light, the only light you see is the cooking element. God's Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. When we go through fiery trials in our lives, the key to overcoming is to shine the light of God's Word on the trial. Then we can clearly see that God is working, and in His timing the results of this trial will be good simply because God is a good, caring God. Remember, God's character is formed in us when we turn to Him in our trials.

READ: Leviticus 4:1-5:19; Mark 2:13-3:6; Psalm 36:1-12; Proverbs 10:1-2


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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

Self Image

All of us have three images: projected image, perceived image, and actual image. Your projected image is the way you desire others to see you. Your perceived image is how others see you. Your actual image is who you really are.

For so many, their perceived image is what matters most. Their reputation is of greater importance to them than the true motives of their hearts. This causes them to project themselves in the way they desire to be perceived. Their efforts are focused on appearances, status, titles, saving face and so forth.

Consider Jesus—He was rejected by many, slandered by the influential, lied about by the rulers, and viewed by the establishment as a heretic or even demon inspired. His perceived image was not favorable in the eyes of many, especially the notables. Yet His actual image was quite different, for Scripture states that He is the express image of the Father (see Hebrews 1:3).

Jesus was a person of integrity—He was the same with the people He met as He was with His Father. He did not boost His reputation and did not seek the accolades and approval of men. He only cared for what was important to His Father. That is our Father's goal for us, and it should be our goal as well.

"We must all appear and be revealed as we are before the judgment seat of Christ" (2 Corinthians 5:10, AMP). We must remember that our projected or perceived image is not what will be revealed before the entire assembly of heaven. Rather it will be our actual image, our true heart motives and intentions.

Paul continues: "It is because we know this solemn fear of the Lord that we work so hard."

(2 Corinthians 5:11, NLT). The fear of the Lord keeps us in touch with our actual image. The opposite is true as well: The more we lack the fear of the Lord, the more we lean upon our projected image.

You will serve who you fear. If you fear God, you'll obey God. If you fear man, you'll ultimately obey man's desires. For this reason, Proverbs tells us it is dangerous to be concerned with what others think of you. (see Proverbs 29:25).

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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