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Devotionals

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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 144 }

I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. —Isaiah 61:10

A Bridegroom God is a God who has indescribable desire and delight in human beings. He is a God in whom we feel liked, enjoyed, wanted, pursued, and delighted. Both the Father and the Bridegroom desire us. The Holy Spirit, on the other hand, mediates this revelation and imparts love to our hearts so that we might respond wholeheartedly to the Father as children and to the Son of God as a bride. Whether our hearts are focused on the Father God or the Bridegroom God, we experience burning desire. Something profound happens in us when even in our weakness and brokenness we feel wanted, longed for, and rejoiced in. Our response is to abandon our hearts to God. When we see Him as our Bridegroom, our need to feel enjoyed by God is met. Our lives and personalities are completely changed by the realization that God not only likes us and enjoys us in heaven, but He also actually enjoys us and takes pleasure in us while we are here on the earth.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

How incomprehensible it is that Your love causes me to feel liked, enjoyed, wanted, pursued, and delighted. Your love causes me to give my heart back to You, and to live my life only to bring You pleasure.

Something resonates in us when we feel the burning
desire of God's heart.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

The Tomb Is Empty

And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain-.-.-.-But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. —1 Corinthians 15:14, 20

All of Christianity rests on the fact that Christ is risen from the dead. Romans 1:4 says "He was declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead."

Our hope lies in an empty tomb. What made Jesus God was not only His ability to lay down His Life (for many can lay down their lives), but only Jesus could pick it up again.

If Christ has not arisen, then there will be no sounding of the trumpet, and neither will we arise. But because we have been made one with Christ, one day we too will experience the resurrection power of the Holy Spirit—that "great getting up morning."

He is risen. And they which are asleep in Christ along with those that remain will most surely arise to meet Him in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). This is our blessed hope.

Jesus, I remain ready and prepared for Your return.
I live in the hope of Your resurrection power each day.
Fill me this day with resurrection hope and
the courage to witness to that hope. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

The Road to Repentance Leads Back to His Presence

Then Hezekiah repented of the pride of his heart, as did the people of Jerusalem; therefore the Lord's wrath did not come upon them during the days of Hezekiah. —2 Chronicles 32:26

The journey back to where you find the presence of Jesus involves passing through some important stages, one of which is repentance. In part, repentance means admitting you were wrong. Unfortunately, you seldom come to the place of saying "I was wrong" until you are forced to do so. The last thing on earth a person wants to do is admit to being wrong. The natural inclination in all of us is to defend where we are and why. Unless we are forced out of our comfort zone, we will stay in it.

God has to get your attention before you will repent, and He gets it by making you see what you have lost. As long as you can feel you haven't really lost His special presence, you are going to carry on. There are two ways by which you are called to repentance.

1.    You admit God's special presence is gone. Rather than continue as though nothing happened, you repent.

2.    You get caught—exposed. Someone discovers the truth. Someone "spills the beans." Public shame results.

If you do not admit that God's special presence is gone and repent, God resorts to the second plan—public exposure. When a person is forced to repent because of public exposure, the depth of the repentance remains an open question.

To be granted repentance is a gracious mercy of God. As the Word teaches us, we are "changed ... from glory to glory" as a result of repentance (2 Cor. 3:18, KJV). When a renewed measure of His presence reveals your sin and leads to your forgiveness and greater ability to do God's will ... you have received insight. The worst thing that can happen to a man or woman is to become stone deaf to the Holy Spirit, losing all sensitivity to His voice.

The way back is the way of repentance. It is admitting that you have lost the special presence of God and have been wrong in your thinking and presumption.

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

The Speed of the Spirit

James 1:19-2:17 This passage in James talks about the speed we need to set to cruise in the Spirit. We have a cruise setting on our car. When we set it at the right speed, we are able to take our foot off the gas peddle and the car will continue at the right speed. James tells us exactly what speed we should set our hearing, speaking and anger to allow the Spirit to go forward at a great cruise level as we travel the road of life. He says, "So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God" (James 1:19-20).

James says we should set the level of our hearing on high speed and the level of our speaking and anger on slow speed. We were given two ears and one mouth for a reason. We should listen twice as much as we speak. Proverbs tells us that he who keeps his lips keeps his soul from trouble. Most of the trouble we encounter in this life is caused by our not being able to bridle our tongues. When we are willing to listen to instruction and learn from others, we are wise. When we are quick to listen, we also can hear the still quiet voice of the Holy Spirit prompting us, inspiring us and instructing us.

We also need to set the speed of our anger on slow. An angry man stirs up strife, and strife never yields good fruit. When we get into strife, our tongues become uncontrollable, and we run the risk of damaging our own soul and the souls of others. Some people really have a problem with anger, and they are called "rageaholics." When people allow anger to rise up within them and flow out of them, sometimes they experience the same sensation a drunk feels. They are out of control and cannot even remember what they said during their rage. James tells us to be slow to wrath.

Today before you leave to travel through life's journey, check your speed. Be careful to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger. When you set these controls at the proper speed, you are then ready to cruise with the Holy Spirit all day.

Lord, help me to set the controls of my life at the right speed. I want the Holy Spirit to be in control of my life, but if I am too quick to speak, I will run ahead of His still quiet voice prompting me to be still and quiet. Lord, I need to put my mind in gear before I start the motor of my mouth. Help me to listen more than I speak, and help me to seek peace and pursue it. I know if I allow myself to lose it with my anger, I have also lost the control of my life by the Holy Spirit. Forgive me, Lord.

READ: Ezekiel 37:1-38:23; James 1:19-2:17; Psalm 117:1-2; Proverbs 28:1

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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

The Plan

??"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him" (1 Corinthians 2:9, NLT).

These words paint a picture of an extraordinary existence. You might hear these words and relate them only to heaven's glory, but in actuality they were penned for the here and now!

The apostle Paul continues, "But we know these things because God has revealed them to us by his Spirit" (verse 10, NLT). Paul was divinely moved to bring into the open what had been previously hidden to our eyes, ears and imagination.

God has a unique plan for your life, and He longs for you to connect with Him in intimacy to discover it. God planned an extraordinary life for you. He is a Father who delights in His children. And nothing will please Him more than seeing you reach your highest.

How can you tap into the infinite wisdom of the One who created the heavens and the earth? Through a close, ongoing relationship with Him. He loves you with an everlasting love and wants to be a part of every area of your life. As you read His Word and spend time with Him in prayer, He will reveal to you His will for your life.

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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