Devotionals

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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 265 }

Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion. —Psalm 84:5-7

Zion is a prophetic picture of Jesus being made King over all the earth just as David was king over all Israel. It would be a shame to miss this beautiful portrait of what's coming. The Father has promised His Son an inheritance, a bride who will be His eternal partner. She will love Him in this age and the age to come. She will find her fulfillment in Him just as David found fulfillment of his earthly purpose in Zion. I want to assure you that there's a divine pattern in your life. In the pain and the maze of things, it seems as if there isn't a plan and you are wandering aimlessly from cave to cave, pursued by armies much stronger than you, and surrounded by losers. Yet God has a strategic plan and is bringing you to a specific purpose. Each one of us will, God willing, stand before Him one day in Zion. When we submit to His divine leadership in every season of our lives, we will ascend out of the wilderness entirely dependent on Him. He alone will be the reward of our hearts through every season of life.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Father, I rest in the knowledge that You have a perfectly designed pattern of destiny for my life. Help me to understand that You are in each season of my life, are directing each step I take, and will never leave me or forsake me.

God has a prophetic pilgrimage for every one of us.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

The Wagons Are Coming

And they told him all the words of Joseph, which he had said unto them: and when he saw the wagons which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of Jacob their father revived. —Genesis 45:27

Jacob's love for Joseph aroused his ten older sons to jealousy, prompting them to sell Joseph into slavery and then to cover their deed with a lie. In the years that followed, Joseph rose from slavery to power in Egypt, while famine fell upon his family (Genesis 41:56-57).

As his sons journeyed to buy food in Egypt, Jacob looked around and saw his expectations for his sons and his land reduced to dry dust. But Jacob had God's Word. Day after day he reminded himself, "In blessing, I will bless thee and in multiplying, I will multiply thee" (Genesis 22:17).

One day he heard a sound—the wagons were coming! But they weren't creaking and rattling like when they left. No! They were heavy and full of provision and promise! Hold on, don't despair! The wagons are coming, overflowing with the goodness of God.

God's provision is worth waiting for. Don't settle for good. Wait for His best. His provisions last while worldly stuff rusts and corrodes. Don't settle for rusty iron when He has silver and gold for you.

Lord, I desire Your best. Nothing else will do.
So I will wait for Your treasures and will
stop trying to make things
happen my way. Amen

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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

God Is on Your Side

If the Lord had not been on our side when men attacked us ... they would have swallowed us alive. ... Praise be to the Lord, who has not let us be torn by their teeth. —Psalm 124:2-3, 6

Do you know what it is like to have somebody physically attack you? The trauma is one that, humanly speaking, you don't overcome easily. Or perhaps you have been verbally attacked. You know the awful feeling when somebody points a finger of blame at you.

The Lord's people in this psalm were the objects of anger. It is very frightening to be near someone who is angry. Perhaps you live in constant fear of a co-worker's temper or the angry outbursts of a loved one. You know how it feels to live in a situation from which you wish you could be delivered.

The truth is, your real enemy is the devil. The devil's work is to cloud your mind. He can come as an angel of light; that means that he will work through someone who has the appearance of being very righteous, a person of integrity, a person who is believable. Or he may come as a roaring lion.

But we learn from verse 6 that God can step into the situation: "Praise be to the Lord, who has not let us be torn by their teeth."

Maybe you're saying, "I don't think God is on my side." Remember this: God is on the side of anybody who will openly identify with His Son, Jesus Christ. God has promised that everything that happens in the lives of believers will work together for their good.

You will know what it is like for the Lord to rescue you. Maybe you don't see God in it at the time, but that is the only real explanation. God mercifully stepped in.

Excerpted from Higher Ground (Christian Focus Publications Ltd., 1995).

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

Judging Righteously

Romans 2:1-23 There are only a few things we are permitted to judge according to the Scriptures. We are permitted to judge ourselves, to judge or know others by their fruits and to judge the times. We are warned by Paul and Jesus of the danger of judging others. The reason it is so dangerous to judge another is because if we misjudge or accuse another, we open ourselves up to the very same things we are judging in another person. We can judge a person's actions, but we cannot judge their motivations. Only God can know the hearts of men. Sometimes the Lord may give us discernment about what is in another person's heart, but this knowledge is not to cause us to judge, but instead to cause us to pray for that person.

We have a righteous Judge who judges all things. He judges us and gives to every man according to his deeds. That righteous judge is Jesus. If we are saved, our salvation will not be judged, but our works on earth will be judged, and we will be rewarded accordingly. As the Lord judges our works, He also sees the motivations in our hearts when we did those works. Sometimes we fall into the trap of doing good deeds for others because it is expected of us or because we want the praise of men. Our works on earth that will last forever are those works we do in love and obedience to God's will and the leading of His Spirit.

Several years ago I was visiting regularly a troubled girl in a mental institution. It seemed my visits were availing nothing, and I was burdened down with the obligation to visit this girl. My pastor had asked me to do this, so I did. One day a prayer warrior asked me, "Linda, did the Lord ask you to visit this girl?" I thought for a moment, and then I realized He never led me to do this, but instead I was visiting this girl out of obligation, not obedience to the Lord. I learned a great lesson that day. People can ask us to do many things, and we can do many good deeds, not out of love and obedience to the Lord, but out of obligation to men.

There are works created from the foundation of the earth that we are to walk in. I believe when we die the works that will last forever and not be burned will be those that are written already in our book of life. We also need to be careful to obey God not out of duty, but out of love for Him. When I think about how I need to get my own act together and be busy about the Father's will, I will not have time to sit in judgment of others. I daily pray that the Lord will cleanse my heart of every wrong motivation and cause my actions in obedience to Him and in reaching out to others always to be rooted in love. Jesus came to do the will of the Father, and every action He displayed on earth was rooted in His love for the Father. I want to be like Jesus in His desire always to please the Father rather than men.

Lord, forgive me for the times I have done works simply out of obligation to others. Purify my heart and cause me to always be motivated by love, not duty.

READ: 1 Chronicles 16:37-18:17; Romans 2:1-23; Psalm 10:16-18; Proverbs 19:8-9

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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

The Deep Longing

Why have so many Christians embraced the idea that following Christ means losing individuality, creativity, ingenuity, and the passion for excellence in all spheres of life? Too many believers are trapped in "the ordinary" when God promised an extraordinary life!

In stark contrast, believers in the early church were often mistaken for "gods." What has happened to our power and influence? Have we neglected our access to God's ability and presence purchased through the cross?

It's time we lay hold of our core faith! Within each person is an innate desire to rise above the norm.

It's no surprise we're captivated by those who do remarkable feats or possess super powers: Superman, Spiderman, Batman, to mention just a few. Did you know that 17 of the top 25 blockbuster films of all time tell of extraordinary feats and superheroes? Strength and bravery capture our imagination and encourage us to believe in a life greater than we've known.

How intriguing that the bulk of the most popular movies of all time are not love stories, murder mysteries, espionage thrillers, war movies, sports flicks, westerns or dramas. No, the top box office draws are films that center on extraordinary characters doing remarkable feats. Why? Because "extraordinary" is how we were created to live. It was God's plan from the beginning.

This extraordinary life is more than a fairytale, it's available through Christ. You see, more than a need to escape or be entertained, there is a God-inspired longing in everyone for the extraordinary! Within every believer is a hero waiting to be unveiled!

"My task is to bring out in the open and make plain what God who created all this in the first place, has been doing in secret and behind the scenes all along. Through followers of Jesus like yourselves gathered in churches, this extraordinary plan of God is becoming known and talked about even among the angels!" (Ephesians 3:9-10, The Message)

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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