Devotionals

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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 90 }

But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. —1 Thessalonians 5:8-9

It is this revelation of Jesus's ravished heart for us that awakens our hearts to fervency for Him. It ignites holy passion in us. It is His love for us and our response of love and devotion back to Him that act as a breastplate of love, guarding our hearts with holy affections in times of temptation.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

If Your love is so passionate for me, dear Father, then I am filled with such an intense longing to devote my heart and life to pleasing You. Guard my heart, dear Father, and draw me ever closer to You.

Jesus yearns for you with a longing for
an even more intimate relationship with Him.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

The Devil's Map

Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression. —Isaiah 58:1

Napoleon was one of the few men who came close to conquering the world. It is said that he would gather his warlords together to study a map of the world. He would point to a little red spot in the center of the map, an island called England, and roar, "Were it not for that red spot, I could conquer the world!"

There is a red spot on the earth today, and the demons swirl in the atmosphere, shaking with rage. They point to the Cross of Jesus Christ. The devil's plans to conquer the world were thwarted at Calvary. Now those who are washed in the precious blood of the Savior stand against the forces of evil and proclaim, "Jesus is Lord!"

God's blood-bought remnant on this planet has the responsibility to point others to the Cross. We must stand up in a world filled with the devil's lies and boldly declare, "Jesus is the only way to heaven!"

Jesus, You are my way, truth, and life.
Your cross is the only way to heaven.
I declare that every devil and demon that crosses my path
today is defeated in the name of Jesus. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

Ultimate Joy

"My food," said Jesus, "is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work." —John 4:34-35

Jesus drew His strength from His obedience; it was His sustenance. That is what excited Him, just being obedient.

Similarly, what makes a Christian a consistently committed person is that he gets his joy in doing what he knows pleases the Father. When he is obedient, that is his joy.

When we are obedient, too often it is because we say, "Well, later on I'll get something out of this." But what happens when this is our motivation is that we give up when the going is rough; we give up if things do not work out. We want some evidence that this obedience counts for something. We must come to the place where we get our joy from obedience. Joy is the unlooked-for reward that Jesus certainly knew was the outcome of His humility.

Although we know that Jesus is God, He allowed Himself to be considered as other than God: He allowed Himself to have another identity in peoples' eyes.

We will sometimes use the expression projecting an image. Everyone has an image. Sometimes it is an image we want; sometimes it is one we dislike. What image did Jesus project? There was one identity, and it was one that if they said it, He considered it a compliment. Do you know what it was? It was the identification as a prophet. In truth, Jesus is said to be prophet, priest, and king.

Jesus embraced the role of a prophet, and this is the image He conveyed. It is interesting that the one undoubted characteristic of a prophet is that vindication always comes later, after death, when they get to heaven.

This is the problem. Jesus was a prophet, and to be a prophet means no vindication until you are dead, and then, when you are safely out of the way, the next generation will praise you. My fellow Christians, we are called today to become prophets. Expect no recognition; do not even expect a decent burial. But great will your reward be in heaven!

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

Listening to the Heart

Matthew 9:1-17 Jesus' response to the scribes who accused Him in their hearts of blasphemy was, "And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house" (Matt. 9:4-6, KJV).

Our hearts speak louder to Jesus than our words. The scribes never said audibly, "You are a blasphemer," but they said it within themselves, and Jesus heard their thoughts. The Bible says, "As he [a man] thinks in his heart, so is he" (Prov. 23:7).

God knows the thoughts of your heart. Does this scare you? This would only scare you if you are holding on to evil thoughts in your heart. All through our lives our enemy, Satan, will bombard our minds with temptations, but we have the power to reject these thoughts. Satan will give us mental images also that will stir lusts in our hearts, but we have the choice to pull the shade down within us and say, "No, I will not look at that."

When these thoughts are allowed to remain in our minds for a length of time, they can become longings. The lust of the eye is greedy longings in our minds like fantasies and vain imaginations. Looking at pornographic material can cause greedy longings in our minds. Even if we never see such material with our natural eyes, Satan has the power to give such images to our minds.

God destroyed the whole earth except for one family of eight because of the wicked imaginations in the hearts of men. Are these wicked imaginations in our heart today? Satan will send these imaginations, but the moment the image comes, we have to shine the light of Jesus upon that dark image. How do we do this? We say aloud, "I will worship the Lord my God, and Him only will I serve." This is the sword of the Spirit to wield as a mighty weapon to dispel the wicked images Satan sends you. All worship is based upon imaginations.

Which God will you worship today—false gods or the one true God? Jesus is the divine expressed image of the invisible God. We need to keep His face ever before us, and then our imaginations will be touched with His purity. If the eyes of our minds (our imaginations) are single upon Jesus, then our whole bodies will be filled with light.

Father, give me holy imaginations today. Cleanse my mind and give me Your thoughts.

READ: Genesis 26:17-27:46; Matthew 9:1-17; Psalm 10:16-18; Proverbs 3:9-10

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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

A Book About YOU

God has set goals for each of our lives. In fact, He recorded them in a book before time began.

"You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed" (Psalm 139:16, NLT).

That is phenomenal! Did you know a book was written about you? It's not just famous people who are featured in biographies. Your story is in a book, too, and the Author is none other than God. He wrote that book before you were conceived in your mother's womb. What a staggering thought—every moment of your life is recorded in that book. 

"For we are God's [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live]" (Ephesians 2:10, AMP).

God planned your paths beforehand, but notice that Paul writes "that we should walk in them." It doesn't say "that we would walk in them." There is a huge difference. Free will comes into effect here because fulfilling these assignments isn't automatic. We have to cooperate in our labor.

God has set the goals, but it's up to us to discover through prayer, reading His Word, and other spiritual means what's recorded for our lives. Then by His grace we fulfill them. For this reason Paul prays: "Since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God," (Colossians 1:9–10, NIV)

Knowing God's will for our lives gives us the ability to always please Him. However, it is not inevitable. God has set extraordinary goals for us, and they will not be accomplished without prayer, faith and fervent labor. 

Your life is unique, special and by no means an accident. No one is common or menial. We all were created for a unique path that is extraordinary.

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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