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Devotionals

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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 118 }

I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure. —Psalm 16:8-9

Intimacy with Jesus brings a deepened security and rest in our inner man. As we interact in a deeply personal way with Him, we grow in our knowledge that we are accepted and cherished by God. This knowledge progressively frees us from feelings of insecurity and the intimidating, paralyzing fear of others' opinions or actions against us. A focus on Jesus ultimately leads us to an increased knowledge of His heart of affirmation for us. This is absolutely vital. As important as human affirmation is, it is woefully inadequate without God's affirmation of us. When we are secure and confident in God's love, we grow out of our fears related to how people receive and treat us. When we know we are pleasing Him, the criticism that comes from others does not affect us nearly as much as it did in the past. "Proving" our value to others ceases to be the dominant drive in our emotional makeup. God's pleasure and His approving smile become the most powerful emotion that we have.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Father, as I learn to rest more and more in Your love, I am able to grow out of my fears and intimidation from others. Your approving smile is all I need.

It is the knowledge that we are loved, accepted,
and valued by God that gives us
a greater sense of value and true self-worth.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Stuck in the Mud

Then took they Jeremiah and cast him into the dungeon of Malchiah the son of Hammelech, that was in the court of the prison.-.-.-.-And in the dungeon there was no water, but mire: so Jeremiah sunk in the mire. —Jeremiah 38:6

Jeremiah was persecuted and imprisoned on several occasions, and finally left to die in a dank, wet cistern. After years of faithfully preaching the Word of God, he was tossed into a pit of mud from which there was no escape. But God used an unlikely method to rescue him—an Ethiopian eunuch and some rotten rags (Jeremiah 38:11).

God may not rescue you the way you plan. He may not act when you expect Him to act. But He is never early and never late. God always acts at the appointed time to deliver you. Stand firm and wait on Him. When you are at the end of your rope, hold on to His Word and cling to His promises.

When you feel like the enemy has overpowered you and the world is against you, always remember that God has not forgotten you. He has given us His Word that He will never leave us nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6).

You may be up to your neck in problems and so deep in debt you cannot see the light of day, but get ready-.-.-.-your redemption draweth nigh.

Lord, I am holding on for You. Though I am stuck in the mud
and surrounded by difficulty, I know that You will never leave
nor forsake me. You alone are my salvation
and the lifter of my head. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

It's About Heaven

If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. —1 Corinthians 15:19

Is there any news more wonderful than this: we are going to heaven! There is a sense in which the bottom line of the Christian faith is this: those who trust in Christ's death on the cross are going to heaven and not to hell. Martin Luther regarded John 3:16 as the "Bible in a nutshell." Those who believe in the Son will not perish, that is, will not go to hell. Those who believe in the Son will have everlasting life, that is, will go to heaven.

Too often the heart of the Christian message becomes clouded with what in fact are but secondary benefits of the gospel. For example, "We are so much better off here below." Or, "Our lives have changed. We are much happier than before. Even society is all the better when the gospel has made an impact." True. I know what people mean by that.

But the main reason Jesus died on the cross was to make it possible for us to go to heaven when we die. Believe it or not, Christianity is essentially about our death. The wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23). Jesus came to reverse what Adam lost in the Garden of Eden. The gospel is essentially about this great reversal.

We will know a lot more about heaven five minutes after we've been there than all the speculation this side of heaven! We all have questions, such as: Will there be literal streets of gold? Will there be literal mansions in which we will live? How will we spend our time, that is, if time as we know it exists in some way? In a word: What will we be doing in heaven?

Whatever else is true, I am sure of this: among many other things, we will all spend a great deal of "time" in eternity thanking God for His goodness.

Excerpted from Just Say Thanks! (Charisma House, 2005).

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

Blessed Unity

Psalm 133:1-3 One of God's greatest desires is that we dwell together in unity. One of Satan's greatest desires is that we would be divided. God hates it when men come against each other with accusations and strife.

This psalm talks about the sweetness of unity. It compares unity of the brethren to the oil that flowed from Aaron's beard upon his garments. Oil usually symbolizes God's anointing and His Holy Spirit. When the priests were anointed for service, oil was poured over their heads. This oil flowed freely and soaked even their garments.

The only way unity of the brethren will ever be achieved is through the anointing of God's Holy Spirit. Natural man seeks his own agenda, and pride rules over him. If we, however, submit ourselves to be filled daily with the Holy Spirit, there is that possibility we will not even strive at all during the day. We will instead seek peace and pursue it.

When there is division in our families or church, we first should pray for God's anointing. This anointing includes the spirit of wisdom and understanding, might and counsel, knowledge and the fear of the Lord, which are all aspects of the Spirit of the Lord. Daily I pray for a double portion of this anointing because I know the anointing is my only hope of being able to love and help others the way Jesus does. This anointing is my only hope of living in peace and harmony with those around me. Perhaps you would like to pray with me this morning as I ask for this anointing:

Father, today I ask for a double portion of Your anointing—the spirit of wisdom and understanding, counsel and might, knowledge and the fear of the Lord. Let the Spirit of the Lord rest upon me this whole day. Thank You for the unity of heart with You and with others this anointing always produces.

READ: Jonah 1:1-4:11; Revelation 5:1-14; Psalm 133:1-3; Proverbs 29:26-27

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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

Living Larger

"And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace" (John 1:16, NKJV).

And of His fullness we have all received. The completeness of Jesus has been imparted to us! Not the fullness of a prime minister, president, celebrity, rock star, great athlete or scholar, but the comprehensiveness of Jesus Christ Himself. If you really hear this, you'll never envy another man or woman again. You have the full nature of Jesus Christ in you!

The word nature is defined as "the innate or essential qualities or character of a person."

We are in Christ, He is in us, and we have the fullness of His nature. The seed planted in us when we were born again is all that makes Christ who He is! How awesome. In this world we have the comprehensiveness of His nature!

John says it like this: "As He is, so are we in this world" (1 John 4:17, NKJV). So many believers think that someday in heaven we'll be as He is, but for now on earth we are struggling sinners who've merely been forgiven. This is a mammoth lie, and it keeps people in bondage and nullifies the power of grace in their lives.

And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. (John 1:16)

Here is the point so many miss: Receiving the fullness of God's nature is directly connected with grace. It is God's unmerited gift—a gift that not only saved us from eternal damnation but also gave us His characteristics. One aspect of grace is just as real as the other, and it was all provided the moment we were saved.

God's divine nature was freely imparted to us, and our once hardened hearts were replaced by the seed of God's inherent characteristics. We now have the ability to live as He intended humankind to live from the beginning—extraordinarily. We now can live this life as sons and daughters of God, in His image, His likeness, possessing His ability through grace!

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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