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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 210 }

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. —Psalm 143:8

Gazing at the heart of God is what made David a man after God's heart. That's what brought intimacy with God—intimacy that captivated him his entire life. Beholding and becoming does the same for us. By pressing into God's heart through study and a personal pursuit of our relationship with Him, we become men and women after His heart. We experience what David experienced when he gazed upon the almost indescribable heart of God. I'm convinced that if we beheld what David beheld about God, we would live as he lived, and we would carry our hearts before God as he did. We would become different as a result. Without even thinking about it much, we would follow in the footsteps of this ancient, yet very modern, king. You see, David was no superman. The things he beheld in God's heart are still there, available to you and me as they have been available throughout history for men and women who cared to pursue Him with all their might.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

When I read the story of David, at times I feel inadequate to experience friendship with You as David experienced it. But that is the yearning of my heart. Let me be a person who lives in intimacy with You.

God invites you and me, right now, to behold the
very things David did.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

He Sends the Wine

And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the vats shall overflow with wine. —Joel 2:24

God intends for our hearts to overflow with His joy. He fills you with joy as a result of your spirit man being in tune with Him.

Nehemiah 8:10 declares, "The joy of the Lord is your strength." His joy sustains you when the doctor says you will not have long to live, when your kids are on crack, or when you don't have a dollar to change. True joy is unaffected by your circumstances.

When you become filled with the Holy Spirit, you receive His joy. In Acts 2, those present in the Upper Room became "intoxicated" with the Holy Ghost, causing the crowd to believe they were drunken with wine. In Luke 10:21, Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit. Romans 14:17 reveals that the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

They became drunk with joy! The early disciples of Jesus were drunk with the new wine of His Spirit and with the joy of the Spirit. Thank Him for His incomparable joy permeating your spirit.

Thank You, Jesus, for filling me with
Your joy. Guard my heart so that
nothing will rob me of Your joy.
I will rejoice in all things,
giving You praise. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

The Importance of Unity

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! —Psalm 133:1, KJV

We all have our opinions, and we are sure that we are right. And right beside our opinion is our pride.

If I hold to a particular point of view and you don't go along with me, then my pride is at stake. It is natural for me to want to be proved right, to have my opinion validated. So I want you to agree with me. If you do agree with me, I like it. But the fact that I want you to agree with my opinion doesn't make it right.

That's why the unity of the Spirit is a remarkable achievement. The unity of the Spirit is not natural, but it is supernatural; therefore, it cannot be explained naturally. What do I mean by that?

When we come across a person who is ambitious to achieve, we can understand this too, because this is natural. But unity of the Spirit is supernatural. It means that our natural ways, where we want to be heard and make our opinion felt, are not important, and we are willing to step down.

There are three observations that I suggest are important.

First, blessing is given where there is unity: "For there the Lord bestows his blessing" (Ps. 133:3).

Second, unity is what Satan fears most. He will come alongside like an angel of light to make you think something is of the Lord when it is not. The devil will remind you of every wrong in other people.

Third, unity of the Spirit is not an optional matter. Some of us have lost credibility with others because we have to have our way all the time, and people feel they are walking on eggshells because we are so difficult and so abrasive. What we need to do is to come to the place where the Holy Spirit is ungrieved, and we are willing to feel messy and not look so good; then the anointing will flow.

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

The Rod and Stem

Isaiah 10:1-11:16 We continue to think of the Jewish people during their High Holy Days. In Isaiah we see another prophetic scripture about their Messiah: "And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord" (Isa. 11:1-2, KJV).

The rod spoken of in this passage is Jesus, and the stem is His heritage in the house of David. Jesse was the father of David, and God promised that the throne of Jerusalem would always be in the line of David. We had a dear Jewish friend who came to know Jesus as his Messiah simply because he read the first chapter of Matthew. As you know, the orthodox Jews are forbidden to read the New Testament. My friend Abraham had a Christian guitar teacher who gave him the whole Bible as a gift when he finished his lessons for the year. Being a good orthodox Jew, Abraham threw the Bible in the garbage without reading it. Later when the teacher asked Abraham how he liked the gift he gave him, Abraham replied, "I lost it." "Well, we can fix that," the teacher replied as he handed Abraham another Bible. This time as Abraham was walking home with another Bible in hand, he decided to sit down and read the first few pages of the New Testament. He read the genealogy of Jesus, and that was enough to convince him that Jesus was truly his Messiah. When he saw how the lineage of Jesus is from the house of David, he knew Jesus was the chosen One. He kept his Bible and hid it so he could read more.

The day will come when Jesus, the rod out of the stem of Jesse, will rule over all nations. His headquarters will be Jerusalem, and the government will be upon His shoulders. Jesus read this very scripture in the temple. He spoke of the special anointing that rested upon Him: the spirit of wisdom and understanding, counsel and might, knowledge and the fear of the Lord. This same anointing is available to all those who have received Jesus as Lord and Savior. Thank God we have this same anointing Jesus had, and this anointing will equip us for anything we face today.

Father, thank You for giving me the same anointing Jesus had when He walked on earth. Help me today to yield to this anointing so that Your will and work will be accomplished in me today.

READ: Isaiah 10:1-11:16; 2 Corinthians 12:11-21; Psalm 56:1-13; Proverbs 23:6-8

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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

Set Free from Sin

I received Jesus Christ as my Lord in 1979 and it changed my life. Immediately I lost the desire for alcohol, I stopped swearing, and other sinful desires gradually disappeared the more I read, meditated on, and spoke the Word of God over my life.

However, there was one area of sin that didn't go away as easily. I struggled with lust and was addicted to pornography. I had periods of freedom, but after time gravitated back to it. At the end of a four-day fast on May 6, 1985, I was set free from the stronghold of pornography and lust. By His grace, I'm still free today.

However, once I was set free from pornography's grip, I still had to resist the desire to engage. Prior to May 6, I seemingly couldn't resist with any success. After May 6, I could resist, but I had to cooperate with grace to fight off the urge to look at pornography. Its power over me was broken after fasting and intense prayer, but I still had to steadfastly resist the desire.

Over time, as I continued to pray and allow God's Word to saturate my mind, I noticed that my desires had changed. I no longer had to make myself turn away from pornography; rather, I was repulsed by it. God's grace had changed me thoroughly from the inside out. The writer of Hebrews describes this blessedness:

"For everyone who continues to feed on milk is obviously inexperienced and unskilled in the doctrine of righteousness (of conformity to the divine will in purpose, thought, and action), for he is a mere infant [not able to talk yet]! But solid food is for full-grown men, for those whose senses and mental faculties are trained by practice to discriminate and distinguish between what is morally good and noble and what is evil and contrary either to divine or human law." (5:13-14, AMP)

I realized that God's Word had brought my senses and mental faculties into alignment with His desires and thoughts. Holiness is to think, talk, and live as He does. The flesh can be trained, but it loves habitual patterns. Just as it can be trained in unrighteousness, it also can be trained in righteousness. We can take dominion over our mind and flesh through the power of grace. Our flesh responds to what it is fed.

His grace is more than enough to set you free from any sin!

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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