Devotionals

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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 55 }

Therefore the people wander like sheep oppressed for lack of a shepherd. My anger burns against the shepherds, and I will punish the leaders; for the Lord Almighty will care for his flock, the house of Judah, and make them like a proud horse in battle. —Zechariah 10:2-3

First, Satan deceives the leaders. Then he unites them around his diabolical purposes. He motivates them to devise clever ploys to capture public opinion and undermine righteousness. They plot to erase the wise boundaries of right and wrong, good and evil that God has marked out in His Word for benefit of the human soul. The momentum of unholy passion is building. Dark-minded rulers from every level of society—lawmakers, educators, corporate heads, entertainers, advertisers, religious leaders, media moguls, and others—plot to attack the holy commandments of God. They seek first to dilute, then to demolish them from society, one by one.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Place in my heart the names of the leaders of this nation that You desire to capture for Your purposes. Keep me faithful in praying for them, and show me how I can partner with You to bring Your will to pass in this great nation.

He provokes leaders to cast off the
restraints of God's written Word.


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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Character-Building Love

I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you. —Matthew 5:44

Never forget that while you were yet a sinner, Christ died for you (Romans 5:8). It is easy to get caught up in the cares of the world, forgetting how much our heavenly Father loves us.

Rejoice today in a love so deep and sure that death could not extinguish it. His love stretches from time eternal and reaches out to you with grace and mercy. That same love has been shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit.

God wants us to not only recognize our responsibility to operate in all the gifts of the Spirit, but He also expects us to validate those gifts by living a lifestyle that glorifies His name. That means loving our brother when our brother is unlovable.

Is there someone unlovable in your life? Think about that person today. Ask God to bless and touch that person. Ask the Spirit to reveal to you a way to show His love to that unlovely person today. Determine to reach out to today with the love of Jesus.

Jesus, give me love for the unlovely people
in my life. Teach me how to love them
with Your unconditional love. Amen.


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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

What Really Matters

We, however, will not boast beyond proper limits, but will confine our boasting to the field God has assigned to us, a field that reaches even to you. —2 Corinthians 10:13

Sometimes the hardest thing in the world is to accept yourself. I have struggled immeasurably at this point. To be myself has been about the hardest thing I've sought to do in ministry. My consolation is this: God will use me only to the extent to which I am true to what I know. This means I must not pretend to understand a verse in the Bible that remains hidden at the moment.

But in the early years I began to take myself a bit seriously, especially if I had preached a good sermon. While compliments can be encouraging, they almost ruined me in some ways because I tried to come up to a standard that some said I met. It wasn't my standard but theirs.

It hadn't been that way at first. I was merely myself. But my preaching began to change. Some said I had been shouting too loudly when I first preached, so could I please stop it. Still others said, "Don't tell anecdotes or refer to yourself when you preach." When I managed to remember these things, I would get praise from certain people who hinted that, just maybe, I came up to their standard!

But I was miserable. Before I knew it, I was bordering on moving outside my anointing. If I was truly myself, I was afraid people would think, Yuck. But if I was not myself, God would think it! I eventually came to terms with my limits—which is probably the hardest thing I have ever done. It became a matter of sheer obedience to God. I had to affirm Him for making me as I am and affirm myself, even if people didn't like it. After all, I began to see with ever-increasing conviction that what matters is what God thinks and the way I will be regarded on the Final Day.

Excerpted from The Anointing: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow (Charisma House, 2003).

 


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Around the Word in 365 Days

Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

Our First Love

Mark 1:29-2:12 "And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean" (Mark 1:40, KJV). The motivating force in Jesus was to do the will of the Father. His first love was the Father, and everything He did on earth was first to please His heavenly Father. In this passage we see Jesus' great love for the Father as He put the Father and His will first and obeyed the Father. Many people came to Jesus for healing and deliverance, and He healed all who came to Him, but He knew that His Father had called Him to preach. First He obeyed the Father in fulfilling His call, but He also was moved with love for the people. When the leper approached Him, he was moved with compassion.

Jesus had a soul even as we do because He was both man and God. He had a mind, emotions and a will. His will was motivated always by love. The actions we do daily should stem from our love first for the Father and then toward others. God has given us many gifts, but if those gifts are released from our lives with any other motivation in our hearts but love, they are wood, hay and stubble in God's sight. All the works we do on earth that are not motivated by love will be burned when our works are judged in heaven.

I had a perfect illustration of how love is to be the channel for every word, deed and gift in our lives. I was standing in the kitchen washing dishes when suddenly the whole kitchen faucet flew off, and the water became a geyser that reached the ceiling and splashed down on me. I panicked, but the Holy Spirit prompted me to turn off the water so I could screw the faucet on again. As I screwed the faucet on tightly and then turned the water on gently, I clearly saw the purpose of a faucet. A faucet channels water in such a way that it is effective. The flow of water now had direction and purpose, when before it just got me all wet because the faucet was missing and there was no direction. As I pondered this, I heard God speak to my heart. "I have given gifts to men, but these gifts must be channeled through My love. If love is not the motivating force in your words and deeds, then what you say and do daily is in vain. For your life to have direction and purpose, your words and deeds must always be channeled through My love. My power and gifts can easily be misdirected and misused with others if love for Me first is not the motivating force of your will. Disastrous results can occur when I am not your first love. If the power of My Spirit is not channeled through loving actions, people you minister to will experience power without purpose. My purpose is to refresh and change them eternally by My Spirit."

READ: Leviticus 1:1-3:17; Mark 1:29-2:12; Psalm 35:17-28; Proverbs 9:13-18


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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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