Devotionals

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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 122 }

After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, "Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this." At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian. A rainbow, resembling an emerald, encircled the throne. Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads. From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. Before the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God. Also before the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as cryst —Revelation 4:1-6

During my early years of seeking to establish a consistent prayer life, I felt as though I were praying into the air—to some nebulous being far beyond my grasp. I had a feeling of disconnectedness, with no real sense of praying to a real person. But over time, my prayer life has been greatly enriched through a simple devotional focus that I began some years ago. I call it "gazing on God's throne." John describes the scene in heaven into which our prayers ascend. This description of God's throne, the Lord Jesus, the four living creatures, and the twenty-four elders significantly changed my prayer life.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Father, may the vision of Your throne remind me daily that my prayers ascend unto that very place and are heard—and answered—each time I pray.

John paints a word picture of the setting to which
our requests and petitions come.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Bless the Lord

Bless the Lord, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word. —Psalm 103:20

When the Word of the Lord goes forth you must decide immediately whether you will speak and walk in His Word or ignore it. At the moment of His Word, the Spirit discerns the intentions of your heart. God knows if you are going through the rigors of religiosity or if you are committed by faith and prayer to move out into the harvest.

This should be the declaration of your mouth:

I send forth the holy angels of God right now.

They are commissioned to minister on behalf of the heirs of salvation.

I am an heir of salvation.

I am washed in the blood of Christ.

I am blood-bought, Holy Ghost-filled, and fire-baptized.

I am not waiting to get into the kingdom of God.

I am in the kingdom now, and the kingdom is in me.

Every day you can declare under the anointing of the Holy Spirit:

In the power of the Spirit and under the authority of the Word,
I declare that the holy angels go forth and become reapers in the fields
which are white unto harvest. I bind every hindering spirit on my life.
I release the anointing of God with His angelic
hosts to bring in my harvest. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

Give Thanks to the One Who Remembers

Give thanks...to the One who remembered us in our low estate. —Psalm 136:3, 23

God made a choice to remember, and He wants us to choose to remember! He wants us to hold Him to His own Word. Nehemiah prayed this way (Neh. 1:8). The psalmist prayed the same way: "Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope" (Ps. 119:49). Hezekiah prayed much the same way (Isa. 38:2). With His own Word we can pray so as to give God "no rest" until He grants our request. (See Isaiah 62:7.) We likewise pray with Habakkuk: "In wrath remember mercy" (Hab. 3:2).

The most depressing book in the Bible (to me) is the Book of Judges. The unthinkable things that are described in this book show that there is a precedent for the worst kinds of sin and wickedness. The bottom line of the Book of Judges is, "In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit" (Judg. 21:25). But there is an ominous explanation that lay behind this folly—an even greater folly: (1) They "did not remember the Lord their God, who had rescued them from the hands of all their enemies," and (2) they "failed to show kindness" (Judg. 8:34-35).

God's promise to remember His Word is recounted again and again:

God remembered Rachel. —Genesis 30:22

God ... remembered his covenant. —Exodus 2:24

For he remembered his holy promise given to his servant Abraham. —Psalm 105:42

In other words, God keeps His promise to remember. He puts us on our honor to remember to be grateful. God kindly cautions us not to forget to be grateful. He puts it succinctly: give thanks.

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

Hasty Words

Proverbs 29:19-20 I remember my mother's instructions, "Put your mind in gear before you start the motor of your mouth." I've tried to follow that advice all my life, but sometimes I forget. When I do, I usually find that what I say in haste hurts others. Someone told me to roll my tongue around in my mouth twenty times before I speak. That also is good advice.

The Holy Spirit moves in a gentle way and speaks in a quiet voice. He does not press us into action. Instead He impresses our spirit with a gentle leading. Whenever we move in haste we are going the way of the enemy. Often our tongues are the weapon Satan uses to invade our souls. There is a proverb that says, "He that keeps his lips keeps his soul from troubles."

When we speak in haste, we supply the enemy with a rapid-firing machine gun that does not even need reloading. Our mouth drives on before our minds get in gear. When our spirits are provoked, we speak unadvisedly. Psalm 106:32-33 says, "They angered Him also at the waters of strife, so that it went ill with Moses on account of them; because they rebelled against His Spirit, so that he spake rashly with his lips."

If you have provoked someone to anger, that situation can be defused right away if you say, "Wait a minute; I spoke in haste, and I ask your forgiveness for causing you to be upset." A good scripture to meditate on before we begin our day is Ecclesiastes 5:2: "Do not be rash with your mouth, and let not your heart utter anything hastily before God. God is in heaven, and you on earth; therefore let your words be few."

This scripture tells us that God has a lot more to say than we do, so we had better listen to Him before we speak. If we are listening to God before we speak, then our words will be few. He wants us to speak only those things that are true, lovely, of good report, pure and virtuous. This limits our conversation, doesn't it? It also keeps us from speaking foolish words. "Do you see a man hasty in his words? There is more help for a fool than for him" (Prov. 29:20).

Lord, help me to hold my tongue. Sometimes I just rattle on and on, and when I do, I always say something wrong. Help me today to listen to You before I speak. You have things You want me to say to others.

READ: Amos 1:1-3:15; Revelation 2:1-17; Psalm 129:1-8; Proverbs 29:19-20

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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

Pleasing a Perfect God

When it comes to pleasing God, the big question is, "Can we do it?" Do we have what it takes to make Him smile? Can we who live in an imperfect world, bring a perfect God delight? Can we actually please Someone who is flawless?

The apostle Peter writes, "We have everything we need to live a life that pleases God. It was all given to us by God's own power" (2 Peter 1:3, CEV).

There's our answer—we have everything it takes to live a life that pleases our heavenly Father. Settle this in your heart and don't ever let this knowledge slip away. His Word is true and unchangeable. Never accept the lie that you don't have what it takes to please God. The fact is you do!

Many believers look at certain Christians, especially great leaders, and think they could never measure up or be as delightful in the eyes of God as the apostle John, the apostle Paul, Billy Graham, Oral Roberts, Mother Teresa, or anyone else they admire. The truth is that no one has any more ability to please God than you! You have the ability to please God, but it is up to you to utilize the power and live it out.

God expects us to be faithful with what He's given us. Scripture specifically states that we are entrusted with gifts "to each in proportion to his own personal ability" (Matthew 25:15, AMP).

We must always pay attention to what has been given us by God. A person's ability to write, teach, preach, sing, compose music, design, manage, organize, lead, interact well with people and so forth is a gift given by God. If I keep that in mind, it guards me from the deadly traps of pride or envy—pride in thinking I'm better than others, envy in coveting what another person has.

You were perfectly created by God to function in the Kingdom with your gifts and abilities to fulfill your specific assignment. You determine how to steward what you have been given—with it, you can bring great pleasure to your heavenly Father.

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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