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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 56 }

I will declare the decree: The Lord has said to Me, "You are My Son, today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron; you shall dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel." —Psalm 2:7-9, NKJV

In this decree we see that the Bible is not just about God's plans and provision for mankind. It is also about God's plans and provision for His Son. We have an inheritance in which our delight and fulfillment are fundamental. God has an inheritance in which His delight is fundamental. We must be committed both to delight in and to give delight to God. The inheritance for us, the people of God, is the ability to experience both the blessings and the love of a passionate God. The inheritance for God is a passionate people.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Father, this is a nation that was founded on Your purposes and plans. Our inheritance is a covering of righteousness. Destroy the devil's attempt to snatch that inheritance away, and raise up an army of believers to restore this nation to purity.

The Father will experience His inheritance only
as we become radically committed to Him.


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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Enduring Love

If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don't have love, I'm nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. —1 Corinthians 13:1, The Message

Gifts are temporary, but love endures. God takes an entire chapter to tell us, "If you don't love each other, you can forget all the rest of it." If you are not caring for your brother, God couldn't care less about your prophesying.

There is a dying world that doesn't care how well you sing or how eloquent your word of wisdom is. They are dying, seeking New Age gurus, sticking needles in their arms and drowning in a cesspool of pornography, because they need someone to love them!

God desires that you reach out to them with His love. They don't need your judgments, accusations, or criticisms. They need Christ. Only He can set them free from their bondages, diseases, or sin. Love them the way God loves you.

The love of God at work in and through you is more powerful than all the gifts of the Spirit rolled up together.

Jesus, fill me with Your love. How I desire
to love others the way You love me!
Use me as an instrument
of Your love. Amen.


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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

As God Forgave You

Be kind and compassionate to one an­other, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. —Ephesians 4:32

There are a lot of things God knows about me that I wouldn't want anyone else to know. God has enough on me to bury me! But you will never know any of it because God won't tell.

This is precisely how you and I are forgiven: "As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us" (Ps. 103:12). Our sins are "wiped out" (Acts 3:19). It is as though our sins don't exist anymore—they are gone, gone, gone, gone! Insofar as our standing and security with God are concerned, they will never be held against us.

Joseph is sometimes referred to as a type of Christ—a person in the Old Testament who, long before Jesus came along, displayed characteristics of Jesus Himself. Despite his imperfections, Joseph was indeed a type of Christ in many ways. His ability to forgive his brothers as he did foreshadows Jesus' actions toward His disciples. Scared to death and ashamed over the way they had deserted Jesus when He was arrested, they were huddled behind closed doors when the resurrected Jesus turned up unexpectedly and declared, "Peace be with you!" (John 20:21). The disciples were totally forgiven—and they knew it.

We all have skeletons in our closets; some are known to others, many are unknown. It is comforting to know that God freely and totally forgives all of our sins and will never tell what He knows. That is the way Joseph forgave. And that is the why we are urged, "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you" (Eph. 4:32).

Excerpted from Total Forgiveness (Charisma House, 2002).




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Around the Word in 365 Days

Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

God's Occupation

Mark 1:1-28 In order to follow someone or something, one has to leave something or someone. When Jesus said to Simon and Andrew, "Come, and I will make you fishers of men," they did just that. They forsook their nets and followed Him.

One morning I asked my heavenly Father why those fishermen left instantly when Jesus asked them to follow Him. The response I heard in my spirit was that Jesus had a compelling compassion for people. God became a man, and He dwelled among us to identify with our weakness. Jesus was touched with the feelings of all our weak areas. When He saw Simon and Andrew, His heart was moved with compassion. That love was instantly transmitted to them, and they could not help but follow Him. The love of Jesus compelled them like a magnet, and their focus was no longer on their occupation, but on Jesus.

The invitation was clear, "Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men." People are much more important than jobs and money. To fish for men is an eternal occupation that pays eternal dividends. People are God's special treasure and His inheritance. We are His inheritance, and He has invested His all in us. Jesus was asking Andrew and Simon to become investors in this eternal inheritance-people.

Are you a people person? When you have seen Jesus in the spirit, there is only one response you can have. Your heart will leap within you, but that is not all. Your heart will be moved with compassion for all the people you know, and even some you do not know. When you see Jesus in the Spirit, you will leave behind your focus on your job and money, and your new eternal occupation will be fishing—fishing for men. As you fish for men, all you have to do is throw out the line with the bait. God by His Holy Spirit will pull the fish (people) into the net of His kingdom. The line you throw out is prayer for that person you want to come to know Jesus as Lord and Savior. The bait is God's Word. God's Word never returns void. It always accomplishes the things it is sent out to do. The Spirit of God does the rest. Remember to share with the person you are witnessing to that God cleans His fish after He catches them. So many people resist accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior because they think they have to clean up their act. Only God by the power of His Holy Spirit can do the cleansing needed in a life, and the cleansing agent is the blood of Jesus. If we confess our sins, He is faithful to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Want to go fishing with me today?

Jesus, sometimes I lose my focus, and I forget why I am here on earth. I am here to be a fisher of men, and I need You to help me to stay focused. Help me to see each person I meet today as Your special treasure. Help me to be co-investor with You in their lives.

READ: Exodus 39:1-40:38; Mark 1:1-28; Psalm 35:1-16; Proverbs 9:11-12


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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

Love and Pleasure

We can't do one thing to make God love us any more than He already loves us, and we can't do anything to make Him love us any less. However, we are responsible for how pleased God is with us.

If you have children, it might be easier to understand. Your love for them is inexhaustible but they determine by their actions, attitudes and behavior how pleased you are with them, right?

Lisa and I have put challenges before our four sons with the promise of nice rewards for their labor. It delights us when they rise to the occasion and we're thrilled to reward them. But when they don't fulfill the tasks, we can't reward their work. We want to, but when you reward children when they don't deserve or earn it, you take away incentive—and incentive is a good thing.

God's pleasure in us is no different—it is based on our choices in life. This is why Paul writes, "We make it our aim to be well pleasing to Him" (2 Corinthians 5:9, NIV). We should be passionate in our pursuit to be fully pleasing to Him. Nothing else should take preeminence over this purpose. If we live with this supreme goal as our life standard, then two things will occur: abounding joy and complete fulfillment.

Our primary motive for pleasing God is driven by our love for Him. We adore Him because He first loved us and filled our hearts with His love! As a true child of God, your greatest satisfaction comes when you know God is pleased with me. If we walk in this knowledge, nothing can overpower that joy.

The second benefit of pursuing this supreme goal is that we'll be rewarded greatly. Earning a great reward is the exact reason Paul exhorts us to please God, and he elaborates on this in the next verse. "Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad" (2 Corinthians 5:9–10).

We are advised to please God because someday He will judge us. You may ask, "But I thought Jesus had saved me from that?" Yes, He is your Savior, but one day you'll stand before Him as Judge. Many are unaware that on some future day every believer will stand individually before Christ's judgment seat and rewards will be given based on what was done in our short time on earth. Today's English Version states, "We will each receive what we deserve" (vs. 10).

Our sins will not be judged, for the blood of Jesus eradicated the eternal punishment ascribed to sin. Rather, we will be rewarded, or suffer loss, for our labor as believers in Jesus Christ.

And it's not just a reward God desires us to possess, but a full reward! "Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully" (2 John 1:8, NIV).

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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