Devotionals

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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 56 }

I will declare the decree: The Lord has said to Me, "You are My Son, today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron; you shall dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel." —Psalm 2:7-9, NKJV

In this decree we see that the Bible is not just about God's plans and provision for mankind. It is also about God's plans and provision for His Son. We have an inheritance in which our delight and fulfillment are fundamental. God has an inheritance in which His delight is fundamental. We must be committed both to delight in and to give delight to God. The inheritance for us, the people of God, is the ability to experience both the blessings and the love of a passionate God. The inheritance for God is a passionate people.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Father, this is a nation that was founded on Your purposes and plans. Our inheritance is a covering of righteousness. Destroy the devil's attempt to snatch that inheritance away, and raise up an army of believers to restore this nation to purity.

The Father will experience His inheritance only
as we become radically committed to Him.


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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Character-Building Love

I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you. —Matthew 5:44

Never forget that while you were yet a sinner, Christ died for you (Romans 5:8). It is easy to get caught up in the cares of the world, forgetting how much our heavenly Father loves us.

Rejoice today in a love so deep and sure that death could not extinguish it. His love stretches from time eternal and reaches out to you with grace and mercy. That same love has been shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit.

God wants us to not only recognize our responsibility to operate in all the gifts of the Spirit, but He also expects us to validate those gifts by living a lifestyle that glorifies His name. That means loving our brother when our brother is unlovable.

Is there someone unlovable in your life? Think about that person today. Ask God to bless and touch that person. Ask the Spirit to reveal to you a way to show His love to that unlovely person today. Determine to reach out to today with the love of Jesus.

Jesus, give me love for the unlovely people
in my life. Teach me how to love them
with Your unconditional love. Amen.


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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

Wait to Succeed

Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. —James 1:4

In early 1956 I felt that God gave me a fresh message to preach. I saw things in Scripture that I had not heard preached anywhere. I saw teaching, doctrine, and insight that I thought had been revealed to nobody but the apostle Paul! I foolishly left college since I felt I had no more to learn there. I also was convinced that the Second Coming of Jesus was so near that I was wasting my time with further preparation.

My dad was distraught that his only son had come to this. Dad begged for proof that I was in God's will. I assured him God was going to use me—powerfully and internationally! I had been given visions from the Lord that showed me clearly that I would see great revival. Dad had one question: When? I replied with absolute confidence, "Within one year." He asked me to write it down so he could have it to show me one year later! I wrote it down. One year later I was selling Stroll-O-Chairs, a portable assortment of baby equipment. I had no opportunities to preach.

Dr. Lloyd-Jones once said to me, "The worst thing that can happen to a man is to succeed before he is ready." That statement was probably the most powerful word he ever gave me. I  believe it to be true, and I can only conclude that I was withheld the success I had hoped for by God's gracious will. One reason I took myself too seriously back in 1956 was that I received visions that indicated I would be used of God. I assumed these visions would be fulfilled soon. They weren't. But because I had them and believed they were truly from the Holy Spirit, I assumed I was special. I became arrogant. I was not ready.

I am so thankful God is still peeling away those layers of arrogance and presumption. I'd rather not be greatly used at all than be given a greater anointing that I would abuse. God has withheld the success for which I have hoped for my own good—to keep me from being successful before I am ready.

Excerpted from The Anointing: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow (Charisma House, 2003).


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Around the Word in 365 Days

Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

The Quiet Place

Psalm 31:19-24 Imagine being in a pavilion set in a green meadow sprinkled with wild flowers. As you view the bright blue sky, the only sounds you hear are the birds singing, the quiet flow of the stream beside you and the Holy Spirit making melody in your heart. We can enter such a place daily as we walk in the Spirit. David knew this secret. "Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion far from the strife of tongues" (Ps. 31:20, KJV).

Every morning I lie on the sofa in our sunroom and look at the sky through the sky light above me. On the table beside me is a decorative sign that says "The Quiet Place." The only sounds I hear are the birds singing and leaves gently falling with the breeze. As I sink into the sofa, I climb into the quiet place God has promised me. It is just a time for my Maker and me. It is our time of intimacy. Here my Good Shepherd stills my soul, and I find strength for the day that lies ahead of me. Here I hear His still, quiet voice speaking to me, and I rejoice in Him. Sometimes I sing songs to Him, and sometimes I hear with my spiritual ears His songs to me. Often I hear Him say, "Linda, I love you." No sound is able to break the silence of my soul as I wait upon Him. I know I will soon have to arise from this quiet pavilion and get about the duties of being a wife, homemaker and teacher in the kingdom. Before I arise, however, I ask the Lord to keep my soul and spirit in this quiet place all the day long. I want to be able to hear His voice during the day as He instructs me and teaches me. I want to make melody in my heart to Him all the day long.

The promise of our Lord is that if we would come to Him daily and learn of Him meekness and lowliness of heart, we will be able to remain in this quiet pavilion far away from the strife of tongues. Here we will find rest for our souls, and nothing that is spoken to us will offend us. Every word spoken in strife against us will bounce off this pavilion that is cushioned with His grace and perfect love.

I have come to recognize the instant I walk out of this quiet place by my own free will. My soul becomes troubled, and things others say against me impact my mind and emotions. When this happens, once again I think of that pavilion in the green meadow by the stream, and I say, "Lead me by the still waters, Lord, and comfort my soul." The quiet place is established once again, and I can continue the day with settled emotions. Join me in this quiet place today by responding to His invitation: "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden; and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls" (Matt. 11:28-29, KJV).

READ: Exodus 29:1-30:10; Matthew 26:14-46; Psalm 31:19-24; Proverbs 8:14-26


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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

The Kingdom of Heaven: Here or Near?

"Go and announce to them that the Kingdom of Heaven is near. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons." (Matthew 10:7-8, NLT)

Jesus directed the disciples with these words after giving them power (grace) to minister (Matthew 10:1, NLT). They were to declare the kingdom. God's will was to be done on earth as it is in heaven. If there was a condition in a person's life that was not congruent with heaven's standard, it was to change. People in heaven are not tormented by demons. People in heaven do not have any diseases. People in heaven are not sick. People in heaven are not hungry. The power the apostles had received was to change what was contrary to heaven on earth!

However, we must note (see Matthew 10:7, NLT) that the disciples were to proclaim the kingdom only as near. Yet once the Day of Pentecost had come, it was no longer near but here! The kingdom is now in the hearts of men and women who are born again and filled with His Spirit, just as the kingdom was in and manifested through Jesus as He walked this earth.

In the gospels, when the apostles went forth to bear fruit, the Holy Spirit was only with them and the kingdom was only near. However, Jesus shows that after the kingdom comes, the Holy Spirit will be in us—within. This is why He instructed all of us just before His ascension to heaven, "As the Father has sent Me, I also send you" (John 20:21, NKJV). We have the power within to advance the kingdom in the hearts and lives of people exactly as Jesus did; it's all because of His amazing grace!

Once the kingdom is within, we can advance it, no matter if we are a businessperson, stay-at-home mom, doctor, schoolteacher, mechanic, student, or politician—our occupation does not matter. He commissions all of us.

I hope it's becoming clear. Grace is God's empowering presence, which gives us the ability to live godly lives in the present and to do what is required to advance the kingdom. Grace gives us the ability to go beyond our own ability in every area of life to please God—to live extraordinarily. The reason God set it up this way is simple: He gets all the glory, not us.

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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