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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 17 }

"I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow. I will satisfy the priests with abundance, and my people will be filled with my bounty," declares the Lord. —Jeremiah 31:13-14

Oh, the sense of anticipation that filled my heart as I realized that the Lord had real affirmation and affection for me. I began to feel confidence before Him. It was too good to be true! I wept for joy. And when the tears finally ceased, I could sense the anger, bitterness, guilt, and condemnation beginning to diminish in my heart. My little, flickering flame of human zeal was replaced by a blaze of passionate love for a glorious person. His intense devotion and ardent affection for me far exceeded that of my earthly father's ... and I knew I would never, ever, be the same.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

God, You—the Creator of all heaven and Earth—are really my friend! Your friendship causes a rush of excitement in me. I am filled with such great love for You, and I will spend my life loving You more and serving You with all that I am and have.

Understanding God's great affection for me
was beginning to reignite my love for Him.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

New Weapons

Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies. —Psalm 139:21-22

Covenant partners exchanged weapons and pledged to fight each other's battles—the enemies of one to be the enemies of both.

We have entered into covenant with Almighty God and have taken on His enemies, wrestling not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, powers, the rulers of the darkness of this world, and spiritual wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:12). His enemies—our flesh and the devil—become our enemies.

Jesus has given us a new set of armor and powerful weapons to stand against the forces of darkness and has given us a mandate to take His weapons and go into battle (Ephesians 6:13-17). Put on His armor today:

His belt of truth

His breastplate of righteousness

His shield of faith

His helmet of salvation

His sword of the Spirit

Put on Christ today (Galatians 3:27). He is our truth and righteousness. He is the author and finisher of our faith. He is our salvation, and Jesus is the Word of God. So go to battle today against the enemies of the Father.

Jesus, I put You on today. Your armor protects me.
Your Word is a mighty weapon for destroying
the enemy's power. I refuse to enter today's
battle until I put on You. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

Sometimes God Says ‘Stay’

Whenever the cloud lifted from above the tabernacle, they would set out; but if the cloud did not lift, they did not set out—until the day it lifted. —Exodus 40:36-37

Sometimes it is God's will for you to just stay. You may want to move on—but God may want you to stay. You may say, "It's time to get moving. Let's get the show on the road." But God says, "Stay. In quietness and trust is your strength" (Isa. 30:15).

The ancient people of Israel had to learn this lesson. They had to learn to take their cues from the visible glory of God—the pillar of fire by night and the cloud by day.

Israel was locked into this manner of direct guidance from God. They could only move when the cloud lifted. If the cloud did not lift, they stayed. No matter how tedious and tasteless that particular place in the wilderness might have been, they had to "stay put" until they were released to move on. The cloud did not adjust to the Israelites; they had to adjust to the cloud. It often takes as much courage to stay as it does to move. It may take even more faith sometimes to remain where you are than to explore a new geographical area.

It may not be mere boredom, however, that tempts you to move on. Sometimes it is opposition. Whatever the case may be, whenever God says, "Stay," it is with a definite purpose. You will never be sorry when you remain where we are, even though you may not know the reasons at the time, if God says you must.

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

Jochebed

Numbers 26:52-28:14 One morning I was waking from a night's sleep, and I heard the name "Jochebed" in my spirit. I knew it was the Lord calling me Jochebed. I got up and looked up the name in the Strong's Concordance and found that Jochebed was the mother of two sons and a daughter. Both of her sons were priests. She was the mother of Moses, Aaron and Miriam. The name Jochebed in Hebrew means "the Lord glorified."

For over a year I pondered about why God would call me Jochebed. One night coming home from church I was listening to Chuck Swindoll on my car radio as he shared the Hebrew meaning for priests. He said that the word priests in Hebrew means "bridge builder." When my boys were very young I asked the Lord to show me their call in life. He was faithful to do this and spoke to me the following:

• Your oldest son, Russ, will be a bridge between races.

• Your middle son, Ron, will be a bridge between nations.

• Your youngest son, Ray, will be a bridge between families. He is a peacemaker.

This prophetic word has been fulfilled in all three of my son's lives. Russ has had many opportunities to bridge the races, and Ron and his wife and two children left for China in 2001 to teach English as a second language to Chinese college students. Ray and his wife, Teri, are reaching out to Jewish people in Budapest, Hungary. Through their witness to the Jewish people, they are joining the two families of God—Jew and Gentile—together as one.

The Lord called me Jochebed because I too am a mother of priests—bridge builders in the kingdom of God. If you have children or grandchildren, why don't you spend some time seeking the Lord about their call in life? I know God will be faithful to reveal this to you.

Lord, Your Word tells me that there are works You have prepared for me to do even before I was born. The same is true of my children and grandchildren. I desire to know what these works are so that my whole family can walk in every work You have prepared. Show me clearly the call You have on each of my loved ones. Thank You.

READ: Numbers 26:52-28:14; Luke 3:1-22; Psalm 61:1-8; Proverbs 11:16-17

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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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