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By Love Transformed

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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 145 }

To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. —Revelation 3:21

This powerful statement from the very lips of Jesus describes what we will inherit. Here the Lord tells how He desires for us to sit on His throne with Him. Beloved, you have married into indescribable wealth and power and into the aristocracy of the eternal city. One day soon you will instantly be in the midst of it in full power. Giving our hearts to Him as voluntary lovers is the only purpose God has for us. Therefore, that should be the summation and summary of all that we are and all that we do. When we receive our crown on the last day, we will then say, "We have loved You because we so enjoyed loving You. We were not forced to love You. This is how we long to live. We did not serve out of some sort of mandatory decree of obedience. We are voluntary lovers of God. We want to be lovers because of the beauty of God."

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Father, I give my heart unreservedly to You. I want nothing more than to love You all the days of my life and to spend eternity as Your bride.

Developing our relationship with the Bridegroom
God is the best way we will know the fullness
of His plan for us.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Hold on for the Joy

Joy cometh in the morning. —Psalm 30:5

You may be walking through the driest, darkest, most desperate situation of your life, but hold on—joy comes in the morning. Remember, weeping lasts only for a night. The army of God goes forth in the morning and marches under the banner of light (John 9:5).

Jesus declares, "But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life" (John 4:14). Stop drinking from the old wells of your past traditions and worldly pre-occupations. Refuse to drink the stagnant, sin-infested, putrid waters of this world, and dig new wells deep into the pure waters of God.

Sing a new song unto the Lord as Israel did: "Then Israel sang this song, Spring up, O well; sing ye unto it" (Numbers 21:17). Christ is the well of living water springing up within us.

We must allow His well to flow continually and eternally from within us through the Holy Spirit. "He that believeth on me [Jesus], as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive)" (John 7:38-39).

Jesus, fill me with Your living water. No longer will I
be content with the night or with a dry season. I long
to live in Your light and drink Your living water. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

God Is for You, Not Against You

Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. —James 5:14-15

Jesus cared about the sick. One of the first things said about Jesus in the New Testament is His care for the afflicted: "Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people" (Matt. 4:23). The sick came to Him, and healing them was much of His ministry. Even after He went to heaven, the ministry of healing continued. It is even mentioned in the very last chapter of the Book of Acts that the apostle Paul healed people on the island called Malta. The sick people came to him; he placed his hands on them and healed them, and everybody on the island was cured (Acts 28:9).

James says, "Is any of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him. ... If he has sinned, he will be forgiven" (James 5:14-15). Why did James say that? Because the healing ministry of Jesus was not over. God cares about our well-being—spirit, soul, and body. He still wants to heal you.

Sometimes sin and suffering are related. Sometimes they are so related that James actually said if one has sinned (meaning that if the illness they are praying for is traceable to sin), when the prayer of faith is offered, then the one who is healed will also have this sin forgiven. So James is showing the possibility of the connection with sin. This is why he says if one has sinned, he will be forgiven. And that's a big if, because it is implying that sin may not be the cause of illness at all. Do not let the devil accuse you or make you believe your illness is because of sin. However, if you have valid suspicion that it is, then, before God, ask for the elders of your church to pray for you.

Excerpted from The Thorn in the Flesh (Charisma House, 2004).

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

God Is Good

James 1:1-18 I saw a bumper sticker that said "Good God; Bad Devil." This is a statement most Christians should understand, but often we give God credit for doing bad things in our lives. We have to recognize that God is not evil, neither can He tempt us with evil. Whatever God does or allows in our lives will always be good. The author of sickness, confusion, disease, misery and strife is the devil. James makes it very clear in his letter that God cannot tempt us with evil. Only the devil tempts us with evil. James says, "Do not err, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning" (vv. 16-17, KJV).

If we are seeking to walk with the Lord daily, we can rest assured that whatever He allows in our life will ultimately be for our good. God allowed Satan to tempt Job, but at the end of the testing Job had everything restored to him double over what the enemy stole. Paul tells us that all things work for the good of those that love the Lord and are called according to His purpose. If we are rebellious against God and refuse our call in life, we cannot expect for everything to work for the good even though we are saved.

I loved the illustration a Bible teacher gave about life. She shared that God creates our lives as a homemaker makes a cake. First the homemaker collects all the ingredients in the recipe: Baking soda, which has a salty taste; salt; flour, which has no taste at all; eggs, which are tasteless; milk, etc. are all added at different times. The cake is stirred and finally baked. Only after the cake is baked are we able to taste these blended flavors and enjoy the results. Throughout our lives we will experience the bitter with the sweet, the flavorful and the flavorless, but if our hearts are determined to serve the Lord, the end result will be good. None of us like to think about being put into a hot oven, but we all will experience fiery trials. Peter even said for us not to be surprised when this happens.

Our reading today says the man who endures temptation will receive a crown of life. It is no fun to be tempted of the devil. However, if every time we are tempted we seek the way of escape, that is Jesus, we will have the victory. The fact God allows temptation has always puzzled me. We pray in the Lord's Prayer, "Lead us not into temptation." We have to remember that the Holy Spirit, not Satan, led Jesus into a time of temptation. The reason God allowed this temptation of Jesus was so He would win the victory over the tempter for us. Now the reason that God allows us to be tempted is to prove to the enemy that we too have the victory over him because of what Jesus did for us on the cross. We can endure temptation and receive the crown of life because Jesus endured and overcame every temptation Satan presented Him. Even trials, troubles, temptations and testings will work for our good if we love Jesus and are living our days fulfilling His will and His calling on our lives.

READ: Ezekiel 35:1-36:38; James 1:1-18; Psalm 116:1-19; Proverbs 27:23-27

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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

The Cleansing Process

There is a huge difference between justification and sanctification. Justification is salvation from eternal death, whereas sanctification is the process of holiness.

We were justified the moment we received Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. At that moment, our old self died and we became a brand-new created being, inwardly possessing the nature of Jesus. We were immediately justified in the eyes of God and all unrighteousness was eradicated from our spirit. We had nothing to do with this. We didn't earn it, nor did our "goodness" deserve it. It was freely given by God's grace.

However, the moment we were born again, the work of sanctification (holiness) began. This was when what was done on the inside of us, in our spirit, started working its way to the outside, into our behavior. Paul says it like this: "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling" (Philippians 2:12, NKJV). What we must not forget is that sanctification (holiness) is also a gift of God's grace. But this time we have a part in the process and need to work in conjunction with it.

Beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. (2 Corinthians 7:1, NKJV)

God's gift of grace supplies us with the power to cleanse ourselves! We cleanse ourselves from all filthiness inwardly and outwardly, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. So even though grace is a free gift, we have to cooperate with its empowerment to produce the fruit of holiness in our lives. Grace not only justified us but also now empowers us to serve God acceptably with holy fear.

Let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. (Hebrews 12:28, NKJV)

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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