Devotionals

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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 88 }

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. —Romans 12:1-2

Some people think the will of God is always hard, but that's not true. The will of God is good, satisfying, and perfect. We find great fulfillment and joy in doing the will of God. On the other hand, there are times when we must say no to the desires of our flesh, times when our own carnal passions conflict with the will of God. At such times we must deny ourselves, and yes, that is difficult. That is what Jesus meant when He said, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me" (Luke 9:23, NAS). If we want to be co-laborers with Jesus, fulfilling His purposes in the earth, we must step out of the comfort zone and move into the life of faith where our only source is the invisible God and the integrity of His Word.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

I no longer want to dwell in comfort, Lord, if comfort means I have failed to deny Your cross daily and to follow You. Your purposes are what I crave to fulfill, and I commit to living the life of faith in utter trust in You.

Christ said we cannot be His disciples
if we do not pick up our cross and follow Him.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

El Shaddai

But he saveth the poor from the sword, from their mouth, and from the hand of the mighty. —Job 5:15

Like Job, who lost everything, you may feel as though you are far from God's blessing. As he sat in the ashes of ruin, Job's wife urged him to curse God and die. But Job proclaimed, "I know that my redeemer liveth!" (Job 19:25).

Job kept his eyes on God and was completely restored. The same God who brought Job back from the jaws of death and destruction can touch your life. Everything you need is already available because our God is El Shaddai, "the One who is All Sufficient."

God did not send the children of Israel into Canaan to be defeated, but to conquer. He wants your Promised Land to be conquered, and He wants to use you to conquer it. El Shaddai, the All Sufficient One, has given you all you need to possess your land. It is time for you to tell the dethroned and defeated devil, "Stand back! You have no authority. I am taking what is rightfully mine."

Prepare yourself to take back what the enemy has stolen. He has no authority over you, your family, or anything that the Lord has given you. The enemy can only take what you choose to lose. Everything you need to defeat the enemy is provided to you by El Shaddai.

El Shaddai, I refuse to accept defeat. I stand firm in
the authority of Jesus Christ and take back in His name
all the enemy has stolen. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

What Brings Us Under Judgment?

But if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment. —1 Corinthians 11:31

This verse is important for Christian living. Three things lie behind this verse. The first is undiscovered sin. God focuses on sin that has not been brought to your attention. It has always been there, but, for some reason, you did not realize it.

For years I did not see it, but I was such a murmurer and such a complainer. I am sure everyone else who knew me saw it, because others always see our faults! We just cannot see them in ourselves. But there came a time when, thank God, He just grabbed me and showed me.

But why was I not aware of that sin before? The simple answer is that I was not listening to God. I was not spiritual enough to recognize it. It is no coincidence that great spirituality always carries with it a great sense of sin.

The second is unconfessed sin. Why does anybody confess sin? It is because we are ashamed. We can confess sin because we are truly sorry, and when we are sorry we turn from it. That does not mean we will be perfect, but we will loathe ourselves for our imperfection and try by the grace of God not to repeat it.

The third point is unrestituted sin, which is when you refuse to make things right. So why would you make restitution? There are two simple reasons to do so. First, you will give another person peace. The second reason is that you will get peace yourself by doing it. Not all confessed sin requires this, of course, but there comes a time when you have no choice but to make things right with a fellow Christian. And when you make restitution, it will give him peace, and you will be at peace.

If you deal with the sin now, it will not show up then. Sweep it under the carpet now, and it will come out then.

Excerpted from When God Says "Well Done!" (Christian Focus Publications Ltd., 1993).

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

How to Be Happy

Proverbs 3:13-15 Everyone in this life is searching for happiness. The word happy in Hebrew is the same word for "blessed." We all want blessings in our lives, and yet so many fail to live a happy, blessed life. This passage in Proverbs gives the secret to a continual life of happiness or blessedness. "Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding"( Prov. 3:13).

All the treasures of wisdom are hidden in Jesus Christ. Unless a man comes into this knowledge of Jesus Christ, he will always lack the wisdom that brings happiness. Chances are also he will seek happiness in the wrong places.

There are two kinds of wisdom—the wisdom of this world, which comes from below, and the wisdom of God, which comes from above. James tells us about these two kinds of wisdom: "Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? Let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy" (James 3:13, KJV).

Which wisdom will you choose to walk in today? If you choose the wisdom from above, you will have a happy, blessed day no matter what circumstances you encounter.

Lord, You are all wisdom, and I will grow in heavenly wisdom only as I stay close to You, talk with You and listen to Your Word. You are the way that leads me to all the hidden treasures of wisdom. Your Word is the road map that instructs me as I follow this way. Help me as I go searching for hidden treasures today in Your Word, and help me to operate in heavenly wisdom today in all of my relationships with others. Thank You. Amen.

READ: Genesis 30:1-31:16; Matthew 10:1-26; Psalm 12:1-8; Proverbs 3:13-15

 

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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

What Is the Fear of the Lord?

The fear of the Lord is not being scared of God. How can we have intimacy with someone we are scared of? God's greatest passion is to have close fellowship with us.

The person who fears God has nothing to hide. In fact, he or she is scared to be away from God. King David had a holy fear of God and still ran toward Him and said, "Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you" (Psalm 139:23-24, NLT).

To fear God means you give Him the place of glory, honor, reverence, thanksgiving, praise, and preeminence He deserves. He holds this position with us when we esteem Him and His desires over and above our own or others'. You hate what He hates and love what He loves. You passionately seek truth in your "inward parts."

Holy fear is manifested by our unconditional obedience to Him, whether we understand what He is doing or not. When we properly fear God, we know that we can't hide anything from Him. 

We must allow the Word of God to penetrate deep into our heart to judge our thought processes, attitudes, perceptions, intentions and so forth—thus changing the way we behave.

We can't fool God by making a superficial acknowledgment of the importance of pleasing and fearing Him but departing from it when it isn't convenient. It must be a firm and never-changing decision, for upon it hinges whether we are capable of growing into the image of Jesus Christ.

If you don't truly fear God, you will grow distant from Him. For this reason we are told: "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom" (Psalm 111:10). And again: "Friendship with the LORD is reserved for those who fear him. With them he shares the secrets of his covenant" (vs. 25:14). The Lord will not reveal Himself to those who lack holy fear. He must take preeminence in a person's life in a deep-rooted heart decision: My life is not my own; it belongs to my Lord, Jesus Christ.

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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