Devotionals

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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 116 }

Put me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm. For love is as strong as death, jealousy is as severe as Sheol; its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the Lord. —Song of Solomon 8:6, NAS

God's holy flame is relentless and consuming. It will eventually ignite one focused on Jesus with emotions of love for Him. However, if we are too busy to ask Him for this and to wait before Him for it, then this flame will be diminished. Even though our careless living causes this flame of the Spirit to die down, this does not mean God's love has decreased toward us. The flame we are referring to here does not represent God's love and affection for us; rather, it represents the passion and zeal that He imparts in us for His Son. We can lose our passion for Jesus without losing God's love for us.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Yes, Father, the fire of Your love has caused a flame to arise within me that seeks to love You more and to know You more.

We must refuse to believe the subtle lie of the
enemy that says God's love for us goes up and down
with our own vacillating spiritual feelings
and attainments.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Journey to the Jordan

And it came to pass after three days, that the officers went through the host; and they commanded the people, saying, When ye see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, then ye shall remove from your place, and go after it. —Joshua 3:2-3

Joshua stood on the banks of the Jordan and told the Israelites to get ready—in three days, they would cross the Jordan and invade Jericho.

This was a giant step of faith, but Joshua prepared them for what God had in store. When it came time to move, the Ark of the Covenant went before them. As the feet of the priests touched the waters, the waters were cut off, and they crossed safely.

Notice that after the preparation came the stepping forth. Israel had to move through the waters and into the land. Though God had given them the land, they still had to possess it. When God moved, they moved. When He stopped, they stopped. Each step of the way, they had to listen to God.

We miss the moving of God when we do not prepare ourselves and watch for what God is doing. When God gets ready to move, He takes those who are willing and have prepared themselves as holy, pure vessels. Will you be ready when God moves?

Lord, I do not want to move until You move.
I do not want to go forth into battle unprepared. Equip me to possess
the land and to hear Your voice clearly. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

Ask for Mercy

Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the Lord our God, until that he have mercy upon us. Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us: for we are exceedingly filled with contempt. Our soul is exceedingly filled with the scorning of those that are at ease, and with the contempt of the proud. —Psalm 123:2-4, KJV

Have you ever asked God for mercy? Have you ever come to that point where you have realized that God doesn't owe you a favor? He doesn't owe you an explanation; rather, what you need is mercy.

One definition of mercy is "refraining from inflicting punishment or pain on an offender or enemy who is in one's power." Here is a person who has the right to punish and also the power to do so. He has the right to punish, because the offender deserves justice and deserves to be punished. Mercy occurs when the person who could punish shows leniency instead. In short, God's mercy is not getting what we, as sinners, deserve.

The writer of this psalm (we don't know who he was) understood that God can give or withhold mercy. It was written by one who understood God and who also understood himself. He had come to terms with what he was like. He realized he had no right to snap his fingers and say, "God, You have to do this!" He knew that God doesn't have to do anything. Therefore he said, "We will just look to God. We will wait for Him. As the eyes of slaves look to the hands of their master, as the eyes of a maid look to the hands of the mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord."

Have you ever talked to God like that? If you haven't, you are not a Christian. A Christian is a person who has come to realize that he has no bargaining power. He sees himself as having sinned against God, offended His holiness, broken His law, and shown contempt for His Word. When a person realizes that he is a sinner, all he can do is ask for mercy.

Excerpted from Higher Ground (Christian Focus Publications Ltd., 1995).

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

Sing to the Lord

Psalm 135:1-21 When we praise the Lord with singing, it is pleasant to Him, and He will make our days pleasant if we will sing throughout every day. David spent most of his days singing songs of praise. He was a psalmist. We do not have to be an expert as David with his song writing, but we can sing in the Spirit and sing some of David's psalms all the day long. In fact, this is the way to stay filled with the Spirit. Paul exhorts us in Ephesians to sing spiritual songs, psalms and hymns and to always make melody in our hearts. He shares that this is the secret to staying filled with the Spirit. It is hard to fulfill the lusts of our own carnal nature when we are constantly making melody in our hearts unto the Lord.

God rejoices over us with singing, so we in return should rejoice over Him with our singing. He loves it when we raise our voices to Him with songs of praise and worship, and He also hears every song we sing in our hearts.

Have you ever thought of the fact that Jesus is not only our chief rabbi (the teacher who teaches the keys to living), but He is also the chief cantor. Whenever we sing songs of praise and worship in our church, He sings right along with us. We learn this in Hebrews 2:11-12: "For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee" (KJV).

The next time you enter praise and worship with others, picture Jesus singing in the midst of your church. He is singing songs to the Father as we sing songs to Him. If you listen carefully, you may tap into some new songs in the Spirit.

Today as you go about your daily tasks, sing aloud when you can, and be sure to always make melody in your heart. Your day will be a blessed day because the Lord will bless you, and you will be a blessing to others. You also will stay filled with the Spirit.

Lord, give me a new song to sing to You today.

READ: Micah 5:1-7:20; Revelation 7:1-17; Psalm 135:1-21; Proverbs 30:5-6

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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

Rule in Life

?Many believe they are merely struggling sinners who've been forgiven—and someday, in heaven, they will be like Jesus. This fallacy keeps people in bondage and nullifies God’s power in their lives. The Bible tells us we are His children: "Beloved, now we are children of God" (1 John 3:2, NKJV). If we are now His children, we now have access to fully operate in the character of Jesus.  We have the ability to live as He intended us to live from the beginning—extraordinarily! We can live in His image, His likeness, possessing His ability—all through grace! You are a son or daughter of God. You possess His nature. You were meant for anything but ordinary!??

Grace not only instructs us, but it also empowers us to live above our human potential. We're born again, brand-new people, free to live an extraordinary life! The same power that raised Jesus from the dead abides in us. This is why the enemy has strived to reduce grace down to merely a ticket into heaven. If you find out who you are, you will rise up and be a great threat to his work. You'll be extraordinary and change your world!

"All who receive God's abundant grace and are freely put right with Him will rule in life through Christ" (Romans 5:17, TEV). This scripture shows we are to rise above the norm. We are influencers and leaders. If you're a teacher, you can come up with the most innovative ways of communicating knowledge and wisdom. If you're a designer, your creative ideas can be cutting-edge. As a businessperson, you can have inventive ideas and keen marketing strategies that are ahead of the curve. You'll know when to buy and when to sell. If you're a stay-at-home mom, you can be the most imaginative mom in your neighborhood. As rulers in life, we will meet others' needs by the exceedingly great power that's in us.

Those who find this grace-empowered life are not driven by personal gain or greed. They live to bring light, love, truth and resource to those they influence. In reaching beyond themselves, they touch hurting humankind and naturally flourish.

Extraordinary living has been God's plan for you from the beginning—nothing less. But, you must truly believe this to begin enjoying a godly life, advancing in all areas of society. You were designed with the potential to be the most creative, innovative and wisest on earth! You were created to heal the sick and free the captives! A revelation of who you are and what you are called to do awaits you... ask, seek, knock—and believe!

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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