Devotionals

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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 147 }

Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. —1 Corinthians 15:58

God wants us to be relationally oriented first and achievement oriented second. Yes, we are to do the Great Commission, but who we are in Him is far more important than what we do for Him. Christ's kingdom is established in this way. He does indeed want us to sow spiritual seed and cultivate a spiritual garden. To know we are loved, to actually feel God's affection, is more vital to our growth to be a wholehearted lover of God. This is our life source. This is the essence of true success. When we are relationally oriented first, we do not work in ministry because of a need to feel successful. We already feel successful because of our relationship with Jesus. We launch out and do the work of the Great Commission from a foundation of success. This sense of success equips us to continue working even when we face adversity. But if we work because we are trying to achieve success, we will burn out quickly through added temptation and strife.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Father, I want to continue growing in my relationship with You. My relationship with You is the focus of my life. Knowing You love me and desire to be with me empowers me to work to fulfill Your Great Commission.

Once we are successful in this spiritual sense,
then we can serve Him in ministry with
deeper obedience and perseverance.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Fresh Fire

Take up the ashes which the fire hath consumed with the burnt offering on the altar, and-.-.-.-put them beside the altar. —Leviticus 6:10

God is saying, "Take yesterday's ashes off the altar and get them out of my presence." He is saying, "Lay yesterday's spiritual experience aside." For too many, their first experience with the baptism in the Holy Ghost is their last. If we have not had a fresh experience with God today, we are late. If we did not receive a renewed filling today, we are lagging behind.

Not only are God's mercies renewed daily, but He wants to refresh our spirits so that we remain overflowing with Holy Ghost power and anointing. God has new frontiers for us to conquer. Yesterday's flame is growing dimmer. Get ignited in the Spirit!

To dwell in the presence of God requires fresh fire every day! Humble yourself before Him and say, "I am not ready to go forth until I have first been prepared by You. Touch me today."

Let the fire of the Holy Ghost daily purify and prepare you, and give you fresh passion for Him.

Lord, I long for Your fresh fire every moment
of my life. Renew, cleanse, purify, refresh,
and restore Your servant. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

Finding Our Way Back to Him to Move Forward

I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me. —Proverbs 8:17

Do we ever truly recover exactly what we lost? I believe the honest answer is both yes and no. Let me explain.

When we find our way back, the anointing to which we must return is virtually a new anointing. It is new because when we find it again, we must adjust to where it is and how it is manifesting now. Adjusting to the Dove is a lifelong process of agony and surprise.

Some of us take longer in our return to the anointing because the whole time we are looking for the return of the anointing. We are all prone to say, "The old wine is better."

Each of us tends to begin trying to recover the anointing in our most familiar spot—our comfort zone. But God is saying to us, "See, I am doing a new thing!" (Isa. 43:19).

One of the reasons God stays behind and allows us to move on without Him is that we will be forced to see the new and different ways He chooses to manifest His glory.

The Christian life is a continual series of events that lead us out of our comfort zone. These repeated transitions take us from the natural level to that of the Spirit. The irony is that even the new level of the Spirit will eventually become another comfort zone to us. It too will have to be left behind in some sense. Then we will be allowed to become settlers in heaven. Until then we must continue to adjust to the Dove and the surprising and unpredictable ways God challenges our faith.

Excerpted from The Sensitivity of the Spirit (Charisma House, 2002).

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

Looking Unto Jesus

Hebrews 11:32-12:13 These heroes of the faith pressed forward to the goal, and they received the gold. As we see by the lives mentioned in this passage of Hebrews 11, many were martyred and tortured for their faith. How did they get through these great trials of faith, which are even more precious to the Lord than gold? The answer is simple: They kept their focus on the Provider, not the problem. We read in Hebrews 12:2, "Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."

Jesus knew the joy we would all experience because of His sacrificial death and resurrection. He knew the joy He would experience every time someone was liberated from rejection, disease, sickness and bondage of all kinds. He saw the joy we would receive when we repented of our sins and received His forgiveness and cleansing. He saw the joy we would encounter when we would be translated from the kingdom of darkness into His kingdom of light where there is peace, right standing with God and joy. This joy provided Him strength to get through every trial and to even endure the torture of the cross for our sakes. What got Jesus through every trial was His focus. He kept His eyes ever on the Father. What will get us through every trial is our focus. We must keep our eyes upon Jesus.

We all will experience trials, troubles and temptations. Some of the promises in the Bible we seldom claim are, "In the world you will have tribulation," and "Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers them out of them all." The righteous are also promised persecution. Only as we look unto Jesus will we be able to endure these last days. The following prayer was shared with me today, and I thought I would pass it on to you:

Lord, help me to look at my problems in the light of Your power instead of looking at You in the shadows of my problems.

READ: Ezekiel 29:1-30:26; Hebrews 11:32-12:13; Psalm 112:1-10; Proverbs 27:17

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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

A Sexual Nightmare

We are straying far from God's heart because we are so influenced by our society. In so many ways, the church has become a subculture rather than what we are called to be—a counterculture.

The gospel of forgiveness and inheriting heaven is preached but not the complete gospel of also being set free from the dominion of sin. As a result, many are easily conformed to this world, where it's common for a man and woman to live together, have sex outside of marriage or with the same gender, and divorce and remarry for reasons other than unfaithfulness. And these practices are becoming more common among Christians because the church has not proclaimed what Jesus has freed us from.

It pleases God when we live holy, especially in our sexuality. This is the area that usually goes haywire outwardly if there is a deeper problem inwardly. If you were able to look into the heart of a professing Christian who is enslaved to fornication, adultery, homosexuality, pornography or any other sexual impurity, you would most likely find a deeper issue. It could be pride, rebellion, lust for power, bitterness, envy or some other iniquity, but no matter what's there, the root is always a lack of true fear of the Lord.

Finally, dear brothers and sisters, we urge you in the name of the Lord Jesus to live in a way that pleases God, as we have taught you. You are doing this already, and we encourage you to do so more and more. For you remember what we taught you in the name of the Lord Jesus. God wants you to be holy, so you should keep clear of all sexual sin. (1 Thessalonians 4:1-3, NLT)

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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