Devotionals

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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 177 }

But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to men in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit. —1 Peter 4:5-6

Three faces of Jesus Christ—Bridegroom, King, and Judge—will be revealed and emphasized in the unprecedented end-time activities of the Holy Spirit. The revelation of the Bridegroom is what God will use to restore the first commandment to first place. Seeing the passionate Lover will make us passionate lovers of God. The revelation of the King will cause us to operate in the power of God as we go out to meet the great harvest. The revelation of the Judge will cause us to participate with Him in loosing His judgments. As you reach your heart toward Him, be encouraged that a powerful new dimension of His presence is waiting to unfold; it is the mystery of eternal ages, the heavenly Bridegroom and you—His beloved. The explosive power of this revelation will change you and make you ready to meet the challenges of holiness, compassion, and beauty that await you in the glorious age in which you live.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Jesus, You have awakened a passionate love for You within me. I pray that You will fill me with Your power to win the lost to You. I loose Your judgment in this world and pray that You enable me to bring a harvest of souls into Your kingdom.

Open up your heart to the passionate Lover who is
exhilarated and thrilled about you even while
you are maturing in Him.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Dig a Ditch

And he said, thus saith the Lord, Make this valley full of ditches. For thus saith the Lord, Ye shall not see wind, neither shall ye see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, that ye may drink, both ye, and your cattle, and your beasts. —2 Kings 3:16-17

The armies were dying of thirst when they received the prophet's words. God instructed them, through His prophet, to do something first in the natural: Dig a ditch! It's too late to dig a ditch after the rains come. Get prepared. Stay ready. Be armed. When God says to act, don't delay. Do exactly what He commands.

The man with the withered arm wasn't healed until he stretched forth his arm. Farmers don't expect a harvest until they sow seed. God will not send your increase until you have prepared to receive it. What will you do today to prepare to receive what God has for you?

God has something He wants to give you—so prepare for increase. If you want to make room for Him in your life, you have to dig a ditch.

Jesus, I want to receive all you have
for me. I am digging a ditch, preparing
a place for all You have for me. I am
ready, Lord. Send Your rain. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

True Perception

Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. —John 17:25

Perception relates to our opinion and how we see things. Are you having a running argument with somebody at the moment? Arguing with your spouse? Having a problem at the office? You are just sticking to your guns on something and everybody but you can see that you are being ridiculous, but you say that you know that you are right. You are making the situation miserable by being a difficult person to work with. Is that possible?

Are you afraid to admit to the possibility that you could be wrong? Are you afraid of what might happen if you lost the argument? Do you worry about what other people would think about you if you gave in or someone just showed that you had gotten it wrong?

Now Jesus had a perception about Himself, that He was equal with God. But He did not think it necessary to hold on to that. In becoming like us He was not even omniscient. This may shock you, but He did not know everything. He admitted He did not know the day or the hour of His own coming. He had to learn.

In addition, Jesus was right. His opinion was infallibly right, but He even let that go. You say, "Well, I know I've got it right. I can't let it go." Jesus did. The amazing thing is that God Almighty did not even take Himself seriously, in this sense. That is your example, and yet you cherish your opinion. Why do you not just be like Jesus? He was right, and He let it go. You could be wrong, and if you are wrong, how much better that you let it go. By the way, if you are right, the truth will come out. It will win in the end. You do not have to do a thing about it. Let Jesus be your example.

Excerpted from Meekness and Majesty (Christian Focus Publications Ltd., 1992, 2000).

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

How the Lord Greets Us

Psalm 85:1-13 Greetings are so important. The way we greet people always reveals how we feel about them. If we only greet with a handshake, those we greet are distant friends. If we greet with a kiss and a hug, we usually are greeting those we love and call near and dear to us.

How does God greet us? This psalm gives the answer. First God greets us with mercy and truth, and then He kisses us with righteousness and peace. With truth He springs out of the earth to greet us, and with righteousness He descends from heaven in the bodily form of Jesus to greet us with a holy kiss. The life of Jesus Christ is God's greeting to us. He greets us daily with His peace, His love, His righteousness, His truth, His comfort, His faithfulness and on and on. Jesus is God in the flesh, and how great it is to come to know the Father through Jesus. Sometimes when I picture Jesus He is kissing me first on the left cheek and then on the right cheek. Then He holds my face and looks into my eyes for a long long time. I feel such a surge of compassion within me that I want to jump, leap, shout and ascend to heaven where I can be with Him always.

Today I celebrate my birthday. I used to read a book to my boys about different animals and how they greet us. The chicken says, "Cock a doodle do," the bird sings a sweet song, but the bear gives us a great big bear hug. On every birthday of my loved ones I always say as I hug them, "This is a great big birthday bear hug from me."

Two thousand years ago God, our heavenly Father, gave us all a great big birthday bear hug when Jesus was born on this earth. He was Immanuel, God with us, and He is still giving us great big hugs and kisses. If you have never experienced His hugs and kisses in the spirit, today is your day. Be still for a moment and reach out to Him in praise and worship. Soon you will know His sweet embrace and kiss, and it will carry you through the rest of the day.

Thank You, Lord, for giving me Your kiss of truth, righteousness, mercy and grace through Jesus Christ. I love Him so much. What a joy it is to know His presence even though I cannot physically feel His hugs and kisses. What a day it will be when I will feel His physical arms around me and know the tender kisses on my cheeks. Thank You, Lord, for letting me experience this now on earth in the spirit.

READ: Jeremiah 26:1-17:22; 2 Thessalonians 3:1-18; Psalm 85:1-13; Proverbs 25:16

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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

Never Fall Short

God has freely given us the tools we need to live a holy life that pleases Him—that's fabulous news! There's no need to fall short. The writer of Hebrews tells us:

"Pursue...holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God." (12:14-15, NKJV)

The main point here is clear: We need the grace of God to walk in true holiness. We might ask, "If, as we've been taught, grace is only about forgiveness, then what does 'fall short' mean in this verse?" The Greek word here is hustereo. Strong's Concordance defines it as "to be inferior, to fall short (be deficient), come behind, be destitute, fail." Thayer's Lexicon goes into more depth by stating that this word's meaning is "to be left behind in the race and so fail to reach the goal, to fall short of the end."

Holiness is crucial to finishing our race well. Hear the prophet Isaiah's words: "There will be a highway there, called 'The Road of Holiness.' No sinner will ever travel that road; no fools will mislead those who follow it. No lions will be there; no fierce animals will pass that way. Those whom the LORD has rescued will travel home by that road. They will reach Jerusalem [heaven] with gladness, singing and shouting for joy. They will be happy forever, forever free from sorrow and grief." (35:8–10, TEV)

God says that when we walk in the power of the grace of God, bearing true fruits of holiness, we are invincible because of Him. Isaiah says that no fierce animal, such as a bear or lion, will be able to take us out! (This includes our supreme enemy, Satan, who walks about as "a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour" [1 Peter 5:8].) So, we have no reason to fail when we produce fruits of holiness through the power of God's grace. This ability is not because of us but because of Him. We must abide in the grace of God in order to live holy, fruitful, extraordinary lives! 

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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