By Love Transformed

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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 179 }

After this, God gave them judges until the time of Samuel the prophet. Then the people asked for a king, and he gave them Saul son of Kish, of the tribe of Benjamin, who ruled forty years. After removing Saul, he made David their king. He testified concerning him: "I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do." —Acts 13:20-22

One of the toughest questions throughout Christian history has been, "Why did David get this special distinction from God? What set him apart from so many other godly men and women?" The answer has the power to revolutionize the way you see God, the way you relate to Him, and how you view yourself and your destiny in Him. What set David apart as a man after God's heart was his unrelenting passion to search out and understand the emotions of God. This, I believe, is the distinguishing factor in the life of any person—you or me or anyone else—who sets out to have a heart after God's. In fact, someday the church worldwide will be like David in this regard. We will be a massive group of people who worship, serve, and love God with ever-increasing understanding of His emotions and passions. Like David, we will understand and reflect the heart of God in a way humanity has rarely seen.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

I want nothing more than to be a person after God's own heart. I want to worship, serve, and love You with an ever-increasing awareness of Your great love for me.

You can be a person after God's own heart,
just as David was.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

The Devil's Hit List

And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. —Luke 22:31-32

On the top of the devil's hit list are those who love the Lord and walk according to His plan for their lives.

The devil wants to sift you as wheat, but you do not have to be afraid, because he has to contend with the next verse: "But I have prayed for you." Who prayed? Not Abraham, David, Peter, nor Paul. The One who prays for you is the resurrected Son of the living God, the One who conquered death, hell, and the grave. He pulled the keys of your bondage out of the defeated hands of your adversary.

Take hold of this revelation: Jesus is interceding at the right hand of your Father, calling your name aloud and praying, specifically, that your faith won't fail. Then rejoice that you have made the devil's hit list. He cannot touch or harm you. At least, you are a problem to him. At least, he has noticed your work in the kingdom of God. Rejoice when he attacks. You are doing something right, and the enemy hates it.

God, empower me to withstand the
attacks and fiery darts of the evil one.
I know that Jesus is interceding for me,
and I walk in the power of His intercession.
Amen.

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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

Disappointed With a Word From God

Naaman's servants went to him and said, "My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, 'Wash and be cleansed'!" —2 Kings 5:13

Perhaps you have gone to church or to a Bible study hoping for a word from the Lord, and you have sat there thinking, Well, so far God hasn't spoken to me. I don't know why I even came.

Second Kings 5 tells the story of Naaman, who suffered from leprosy. He hears of the famous prophet Elisha through his wife's little Israelite servant girl. He makes all kinds of arrangements and finally goes to where Elisha is. But Elisha won't even come out to meet him! Naaman feels insulted. Here he is—a commander and an officer—and Elisha won't even greet him. Instead, the prophet sends a message (which Naaman doesn't like at all): "Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed" (v. 10).

Naaman goes away angry: "I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy" (v. 11). "How dare he insult me? Go to the Jordan and wash seven times?!"

Naaman's servants persuade him to believe that this really is a word from the Lord. Naaman goes into the Jordan once and comes out just like he was. The second time—still no change. When he goes in a third time, he thinks, Well, I'll start getting better now. But no. Even after the sixth time, there's no difference. But on the seventh time, lo and behold, he is healed completely!

It may be that God has given you a word and you don't like it. You want something else, some other word. Jesus said, "Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much" (Luke 16:10). Accept what God has given you, and who knows what will happen in the end?

Excerpted from When God Shows Up (Renew Books, 1998).

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

How Does Your Garden Grow?

2 Thessalonians 1:1-12 My husband and I were so excited about beautifying our backyard, so we went and bought some brightly colored azaleas and other plants. We labored to plant them. As we look today at our back garden, we see only dried-up bushes. We had such a drought this summer, and because of water restrictions, we could not water the plants. They all withered and died.

Such is the case in the life of many Christians. With great enthusiasm they receive Jesus and then begin to plant God's Word in their hearts. Often, however, the enthusiasm wains, and suddenly they find themselves in a spiritual drought. The only way out of a spiritual drought is to begin once again to refresh your spirit with the water of God's Spirit and His Word.

Our New Testament reading today speaks of three things we are to grow in daily—faith, love and patience. Paul says, "We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other" (v. 3).

What a compliment Paul paid to the church at Thessalonica. He said their faith was growing exceedingly and their love toward one another was abounding. He goes on to say that their patience also was great.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if others noticed we were growing daily in faith toward God, love toward one another and patience in all circumstances and tribulations? How is your garden growing today? It might be time to water faith, love and patience with the Word of God poured upon you by the Holy Spirit.

Paul ends this reading in Thessalonians with a wonderful prayer. I would like to pray a similar prayer for you this morning and also for myself:

Father, in Jesus' name I pray for the persons reading this devotional. I pray that they would be counted worthy of their calling and fulfill all the good pleasure of Your goodness and the work of faith with power. I pray that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ might be glorified in them according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

READ: Jeremiah 22:1-23:20; 2 Thessalonians 1:1-12; Psalm 83:1-18; Proverbs 25:11-14

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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

The Plan

??"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 extraordinary existence. You might hear these words and relate them only to heaven's glory, but in actuality they were penned for the here and now!

The apostle Paul continues, "But we know these things because God has revealed them to us by his Spirit" (verse 10, NLT). Paul was divinely moved to bring into the open what had been previously hidden to our eyes, ears and imagination.

God has a unique plan for your life, and He longs for you to connect with Him in intimacy to discover it. God planned an extraordinary life for you. He is a Father who delights in His children. And nothing will please Him more than seeing you reach your highest.

How can you tap into the infinite wisdom of the One who created the heavens and the earth? Through a close, ongoing relationship with Him. He loves you with an everlasting love and wants to be a part of every area of your life. As you read His Word and spend time with Him in prayer, He will reveal to you His will for your life.

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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