By Love Transformed

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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 205 }

What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. —Philippians 3:8-9

Are you surprised at this new approach to holiness? It will change the very face of Christianity. It's nothing like the legalistic straitjackets of yesterday. It's rooted in strong desire, not shame; beauty, not bashing. By understanding that God desires us as His bride, our generation will arise in beauties of holiness yet unknown, with hearts ripe and sweet with passion and love. We will gladly choose Him over everything else that competes for our attention. We will deny our flesh not primarily because of fear but out of the overflow of lovesick hearts, captured by the Man Christ Jesus, beauty incarnate. This intimacy will be motivated most of all by the astonishing revelation that He wants to marry us and have us share His gladness, pleasure, and beauty for time and beyond.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

God, the knowledge of Your desire for me causes me to desire to be holy as You are holy. Your love captures my heart and causes me to long to share Your gladness, pleasure, and beauty forever.

We will count all things lost for the excellence of
knowing Jesus Christ our Lord.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

God's Order

And Laban said, It must not be so done in our country, to give the younger before the first-born. —Genesis 29:26

Everything in the Bible is given to show us God's order and purpose. Jacob tried to cut corners. He wanted to circumvent repentance and holiness in his quest for joy and happiness. Too often we want the reward without the labor, the honor without the fight. We desire gain without pain and victory without sacrifice.

We serve a God of plan and purpose, not one of short-cuts. Laban told Jacob he would have to marry the older sister, Leah, before he could marry Rebecca, the one he truly loved. It is easy to fall in love with happiness and joy, but there is a Leah of holiness our soul must learn to love first. We will never wear the crown if we do not first carry the cross.

Labor as Jacob did, in willing service to our Lord, as we await the wedding supper of the Lamb. When the time for the wedding feast arrives, Jesus will wash away the pain and toil of our labor.

Lord, You desire for certain things to
happen in my life that I know I am
resisting. Teach me to accept
whatever You want from me
so that I may know You and
Your will completely. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

Fiery Trials Now Are Better Than Later

If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames. —1 Corinthians 3:14-15

What are the differences between the fiery trial below and the one which is coming, when the Day will be revealed by fire?

First, the trial below may be hidden from others. You can be in a trial and nobody know it, but God's fire on that Day of days will bring us out into the open.

The second difference: the trial below is usually brought on by earthly pressures—people or perhaps our own stupidity. It may be persecution, it may be financial difficulty. But on that day the fire will be God's fire, without the need of earthly pressures to show where we are.

The third difference: the trial below sometimes comes by way of satanic attack. If you are in a fiery trial now, the devil is not far away. The fiery trial may be the devil attacking you, but on the Day of the Second Coming it will be entirely the intervention of God sending His Son with fire and glory. The devil will have no part in that trial.

The fourth difference, and perhaps the ultimate point that needs to be made, is that the trial below exposes where you are in our progress, but there's hope that when you fail, God will come a second time around and you will do better. But on that Day, it is final; there will be no repeats; that is it.

Do you see why James said, "Consider it  pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds" (James 1:2)? It lets us know how we are doing. It is preparation for the Day of days. It shows where we are spiritually, and it is showing that God is still working to get our attention. Our work will be tested.

Excerpted from When God Says "Well Done!" (Christian Focus Publications Ltd., 1993).

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

Look What the Lord Has Done and Who He Is

Isaiah 25:1-28:13 I will praise Your name, for You have done wonderful things," Isaiah writes. Praise and worship always exalt the Lord. When we praise the Lord, we exalt Him as we speak of the wonderful things He has done. Such praise will naturally lead us into worship, where our focus shifts from what God has done to who God is. This reading in Isaiah is a beautiful blend of worship and praise. Listen as Isaiah declares the many wondrous works the Lord has done. Listen to a few of them:

1. He defeats the enemy and defends the righteous.

2. He swallows up death in victory.

3. He wipes away our tears.

4. He takes the veil off the eyes of His chosen.

5. He brings down the pride of our enemies.

6. He keeps us in perfect peace as we keep our minds on Him.

7. He ordains peace and His works through us.

8. He causes Israel to blossom and bud and to fill the face of the world with fruit.

9. He gathers the outcasts of Israel.

A person's actions always reveal his character. The works we do on earth that will stand the test of time and will not be burned on judgment day are those works that stem from abiding in the Vine, Jesus Christ, and showing forth the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23). All the works done outside of the Spirit will be burned. As we look at the characteristics of God and the marvelous works that result from these characteristics, let's turn our hearts to worship:

1. He is mighty, strong and our advocate because He defends the righteous and defeats the enemy.

2. He is our redeemer because He has swallowed up death in victory.

3. He is our comforter because He wipes our tears away.

4. He is all truth because He reveals who He is.

5. He is meek and temperate because only He can bring down pride.

6. He is faithful and longsuffering because He keeps us at peace through trials.

7. He is creator because He ordained and created works for us to do.

8. He is the vine because only as we abide in Him can we blossom and bear fruit.

9. He is love because He draws us to Himself with His bands of love.

Today praise Him for what He does and worship Him for who He is.

READ: Isaiah 25:1-28:13; Galatians 3:8-22; Psalm 61:1-8; Proverbs 23:17-18


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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

The Language of Faith

True faith originates in our core being. We are not saved by mental awareness, warm emotions, or even intellectual assent. Rather, it's "with the heart one believes unto righteousness" (Romans 10:10, NKJV). Faith deeply believes God will do what He says. Faith produces words of agreement and actions of obedience. The corresponding words and actions are simply evidence that our heart has laid hold of what God has spoken.

Faith has a language. Paul writes, "The righteousness of faith speaks in this way" (Romans 10:6, NKJV). True faith speaks a certain way.

Jesus says, "Have faith in God. For assuredly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be removed and be cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says." (Mark 11:22-23, NKJV)

Notice that Jesus emphasizes that true faith in God will speak in agreement with what it believes; this is the language of faith. In fact, the word says is repeated three times in this one verse, and the word believes is mentioned only once by Jesus. He puts great emphasis on the language of faith.

Genuine faith speaks in accordance with what it believes, for Jesus says, "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks" (Matthew 12:34, NKJV). We don't prove we have faith by speaking what we know is correct. Rather, we spontaneously speak what we already believe. As the psalmist writes, "I believed, therefore I spoke" (116:10, NKJV). Belief comes first; the evidence of speech follows. Paul affirmed, "We also speak because we believe."

Under pressure, or when we are not consciously thinking, what comes out of our mouths is what we actually believe. This is evidence of our faith or the lack thereof.

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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