Devotionals

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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 208 }

Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. —Psalm 25:4-5

People often ask me after I teach on David's life, "How do I get a heart like David's, consumed with love for God?" I tell them that if they behold and study God's fiery love for them, their hearts will become fiery with love for God. As we behold the inner life of the Godhead, we receive divine information about what God feels about human beings, about you and me individually, about our destinies, our personalities, our likes and dislikes, our places in history. We connect with and behold the emotions of God. But more than that, we begin to change.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Teach me Your ways; show me Your personality; let me feel Your emotions, Father. Knowing You in this way will change me from corruptible to incorruptible, from hopelessness to destiny.

What does it mean to be a student of
God's emotions?

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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

The Beginning of Miracles

This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee-.-.-.-and his disciples believed on him. —John 2:11

Jesus' first miracle was to turn water to wine. What Jesus began is not finished; the Miracle-worker has never changed: "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day and for ever" (Hebrews 13:8).

The last miracle did not end with the last apostle named in the Bible; for this to be true there would have to be a complete absence of miracles. Even one miracle would disprove this erroneous statement.

In Mark 16:15-20, Jesus confirmed that miracles are not special gifts for a few, but are for all believers. Those claiming that the age of miracles has ended deny the power of prayer. For God to hear and answer your prayer is a miracle.

You may feel that today you do not need a miracle. All of us stand in need of miracles every day. Every breath is a miracle. Every act of kindness is a miracle. Every time you forgive and receive forgiveness, it's a miracle. Every prayer is a miracle. Miracles are signs pointing to God. Expect God to act miraculously in every moment of your life.

When you pray, expect God to hear and answer your prayer. Healing is for today. Deliverance is for today. Signs and wonders are for today!

Jesus, open my eyes to all the miracles
You are doing every moment that I may
glorify Your name and give You all
honor and praise. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

Ingratitude Brings Spiritual Blindness

But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins. —2 Peter 1:9

The failure of the nation of Israel to be grateful is the underlying explanation for their missing the promised Messiah when He came. You could never have convinced the ancient scholars in Israel that Messiah—a prophet like Moses (Deut. 18:15)—could turn up and not be recognized by them. The problem with both the Pharisees and Sadducees in Jesus' day was that they were arrogantly confident each would be the first to know it when that promised anointed One came.

But when He came—right under their noses—they missed Him entirely. They thought their judgment against Jesus was due to their brilliant minds, but that wasn't it. It was because they were blinded by the God to whom they had not given thanks.

Sadly, Israel had a long history of being ungrateful. And that ingratitude ultimately resulted in their being struck blind. Saul of Tarsus, a remarkable exception, said so:

God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes so that they could not see and ears so that they could not hear, to this very day. —Romans 11:8

The judgment of blindness upon Israel can be traced to their failure to be thankful.

If it is said that the people in ancient Israel dutifully maintained the sacrificial system, it has to be said also that they missed the point. In much the same way people can go to church in a self-righteous and dutiful manner and suppose they are worshiping God.

The final consequence of Israel's failure to remember was that they missed the greatest promise ever given. The penalty for ingratitude is incalculable. This is true for an individual, the church, and any nation.

Excerpted from Just Say Thanks! (Charisma House, 2005).

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

What True Wisdom Is

Proverbs 23:12 We leave our study of Isaiah and prophetic scriptures about the Messiah and look briefly into Proverbs. This proverb gives the secret to effective Bible study: Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to the words of knowledge.

The Bible is the manual for life, and it gives the instructions for living a blessed, meaningful life, a life that glorifies God. If you are like me, I often read instructions, and then I try to short-cut the instructions. I get myself into a real mess when I do this. There is no short-cut to effective Bible reading. First, we must listen carefully to what the passage says, and then we need to do what it says. Faith without works is dead. The words of life are in the Scriptures, but it is up to us to ignite that seed of life so that it blossoms into a mature tree of righteousness. We are the plantings of the Lord. Unless we allow the water of the Holy Spirit to satiate our souls daily as we read God's Word, we will miss out on the transforming and renewing of our minds by the Word of God, and our hearts will not be changed. We must also listen to the Lord and come to know Him intimately.

We live in an age where knowledge has increased dramatically. God has been gracious to my husband and me. He has given us the opportunity to be mother and father-like ones to four very brilliant young people—Christina, our Chinese daughter; Vladimir, our Russian son; Misha, who lives in our apartment (at the age of nineteen Misha was a full professor in a college, and now at age 23 she has two masters degrees); and Daniel, who is living temporarily with us while he awaits entering Emory University as a junior. He entered college at fifteen and has already worked two years on Wall Street. Vladimir graduated with highest honors from Georgia Tech, and now is working with Price Waterhouse. We were sitting at the table with Misha and Daniel the other night, and my husband and I were overwhelmed with the knowledge of these two brilliant young people. All my husband and I could add to the conversation was to nod our heads and say "Wow!" We were impressed with the fact that knowledge has increased in these last days and most people know a lot more than we do. This keeps us humble. I kidded with our house guests and said, "Now I know the plan of the Lord. It is to send as many brilliant people as possible into this home to help us get our own act together. We need all the mental assistance we can get at this age."

This proverb exhorts us to apply our ears to the words of knowledge. There are a lot of intellectual fools who know many facts, but they have not come into the knowledge of the one fact that will affect them eternally. That fact is that Jesus Christ is Lord of all. We know a professor who has so much knowledge, but in God's sight he is a fool because he does not believe God exists. The Bible says that it is a fool who does not believe in God. When we read the Bible we must understand that we are not just gaining more knowledge about God. The goal is to know Him intimately, not just know about Him. I trust you have experienced this.

READ: Isaiah 51:1-18:7; Galatians 1:1-24; Psalm 58:1-11; Proverbs 23:12

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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

The Kingdom Is Within

Jesus made a remarkable statement to His disciples: "Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven" (Luke 11:2, NKJV). This was a futuristic prayer for the disciples, but not for Jesus. And it's not futuristic for us either because it applies right now. Allow me to explain.

The Pharisees had problems with Jesus since He hadn't come on the scene the way they expected. When He showed up—a Nazarene, a carpenter from a poor family, and a friend of prostitutes and mafia (tax collectors were the mafia of the day)—they didn't buy in to Him as Messiah.

So they confronted Jesus and He answered: "The kingdom of God does not come with observation...For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you." (Luke 17:20-21, NKJV)

"The kingdom...is within you"? Jesus was speaking of those who would be born again and filled with His Spirit. He had earlier promised to those who loved Him, "Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom" (Luke 12:32, NKJV).

But when was the kingdom to be given? Jesus' disciples asked Him this nagging question after He was raised from the dead. Put yourself in their shoes. It was finally clear: Jesus, alive and well, was standing before these faithful followers—but where was the kingdom? They were still confused about this even just before His ascension.

They too were still looking for a physical kingdom to manifest itself. While looking for this literal throne on earth, they forgot His words: "The kingdom...is within you." So He corrected their thinking:

"The times and occasions are set by my Father's own authority, and it is not for you to know when they will be [the establishment of His physical kingdom upon His return]. But when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you will be filled with power [the kingdom within]." (Acts 1:7-8, TEV)

"Filled with power" from the Holy Spirit to do what? Advance the kingdom! This was not only for them but also for us. Once the Holy Spirit came to dwell within humankind, the kingdom and all its power would be within us! We now possess the power to advance the kingdom in the hearts and lives of others. And we can now do the works Jesus did in advancing the kingdom—and even greater works!

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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