Devotionals

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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 18 }

Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty? They are higher than the heavens—what can you do? They are deeper than the depths of the grave—what can you know? Their measure is longer than the earth and wider than the sea. —Job 11:7-9

Our world is affected tragically every day by people who possess little or no sense of God's transcendence. Much of creation does not know—or care—that its Creator is unequaled, unrivaled, and supreme. Transcendence when in reference to God means that He exists not only in but also beyond our realm of reality. In other words, He's not like us—far from it. God is exalted far above His created universe, so far that even the brightest human minds cannot begin to fathom it.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Father, today I just want to stop to recite again everything that I know You are and everything that I know You are doing in my life. I'll never be able to fully understand who You are, Father, but I want to know more and more about You every day of my life.

My inner man is continually in the process of being
renewed into a fuller, more complete knowledge
of God and His glorious personality.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

The Indelible Sign

For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. —Philippians 3:3

Covenant partners symbolized their pledge by cutting into their flesh, thus creating a scar. When God entered into covenant with Abraham, he instituted a different kind of symbol.

Abraham was told to circumcise every male in his household. Throughout the history of Israel, circumcision was the indelible sign of a covenant relationship with God.

The sign of the new covenant that Jesus instituted is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. We are recognized by the sign and seal of His Spirit within us (Acts 2:38). We are sealed with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13).

Determine to display all the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance (Galatians 5:22-23). The fruit of the Spirit is the very nature of Christ in you—the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27).

Boldly prepare to share the gospel with those whom the Holy Spirit gives you the opportunity to share. As a Spirit-filled believer, allow your life to point to the Greater One. He must increase while you decrease (John 3:30).

Increase in my life, O Lord. Be Thou my all in all.
Shine through me with Thy fire. Cleanse me
with Thy blood. Make of my life a mirror
reflecting Thy glory. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

Faith to Move Into Action

By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned. —Hebrews 11:29

God has a way of bringing our options down to one. He has a way of securing the response to His Word down to one. God did not lead the children of Israel through the land of the Philistines, lest they turn back altogether. He wanted instead to bring them to the place where they would have no choice but to turn utterly to Him. That was "the crunch"—not turning back.

There was nothing to do but to lift up that rod—and watch God do the rest. Moses may have thought, I've never done this before. I may look like a fool, but here it goes! Up the rod went. Across the wind came. God did the rest.

They didn't swim across. They walked. They didn't run. They walked. They enjoyed the spectacular sight up close. Some were given the honor of carrying the bones of Joseph. They had pockets full of loot, jewels, valuables. Parents would say to their children, "Take a close look at this. This is our God at work. Don't ever forget it." Pharaoh, in the meantime, made the most unwise calculation to be seen among the Egyptians yet. What was it? The Egyptians thought that they could do what the children of Israel had done.

Their most fatal error was trying to continue the pursuit of Israel across the Red Sea, but they realized it too late. For the same pillar of fire and cloud that had been Israel's guidance became Egypt's confusion.

The rod that was used to deliver Israel was used to condemn the Egyptians. The same Word that saves some will condemn others. Faith does what cannot be done by those who do not believe. And yet, faith also does what crying to God cannot do. There comes a time that we must act, do, obey. Lift up your rod. If that is what God has told you to do, nothing else will happen until you do it. Doing it is faith.

Excerpted from Believing God (MorningStar Publications & Ministries, 1997).

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

Discretion

Proverbs 11:22 Today's proverb is one of my favorites. Whenever I meet a woman who lacks discretion, immediately I have this mental picture of a pig with a beautiful gold-jeweled ring in her snout. Sometimes I have to battle this image in my mind, because it does cause me to be closed to anything this woman might have to say.

What is discretion? Webster's defines discretion as "the power to discern and judge, the freedom to make decisions and choices, being careful about what one does and says, prudence." I have mentioned before how wisdom, prudence and discretion are usually linked together. They are like God-assigned bodyguards who keep us out of trouble.

Over the years I have met a few women who lack discretion. If you are reading this and think you might be one of these women in my life, don't worry. The fact that you are reading this devotional means that you do have some discretion. When I meet a woman or a man who lacks discretion, I know exactly how to pray for them. I pray they will grow in the wisdom that comes from above. James 3:17 says, "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy."

A person who operates in the wisdom that comes from above will be a discreet person who knows when to speak and when not to speak. To put it bluntly, a discreet person knows when to keep his mouth shut.

The other day I was so excited about going to an event where I would meet some new Christians. I always love fellowshiping with Christians because the subject we always share in common is the Lord and what He is doing in our lives. As I entered the home, several groups were already gathered while we enjoyed refreshments. As I floated from group to group, I was so disappointed. One group was discussing a recent murder in Atlanta. Another group was discussing an interview with a sports figure on TV that was less than edifying. Everything being discussed was what these ladies had seen on TV the night before. I thought to myself, Garbage in, garbage out. We speak what we have filled our minds with, and so often it is just garbage.

To grow in discretion, we must submit ourselves daily to a fresh washing of the Word of God. The world around us is so cluttered with garbage and filth that if we do not do this, our minds will never be renewed and the thoughts we think and the things we say and do will lack discretion.

Lord, help me to fill my mind with Your Word and to develop discretion.

READ: Numbers 32:1-33:39; Luke 4:33-5:11; Psalm 64:1-10; Proverbs 11:22

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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

Living Larger

"And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace" (John 1:16, NKJV).

And of His fullness we have all received. The completeness of Jesus has been imparted to us! Not the fullness of a prime minister, president, celebrity, rock star, great athlete or scholar, but the comprehensiveness of Jesus Christ Himself. If you really hear this, you'll never envy another man or woman again. You have the full nature of Jesus Christ in you!

The word nature is defined as "the innate or essential qualities or character of a person."

We are in Christ, He is in us, and we have the fullness of His nature. The seed planted in us when we were born again is all that makes Christ who He is! How awesome. In this world we have the comprehensiveness of His nature!

John says it like this: "As He is, so are we in this world" (1 John 4:17, NKJV). So many believers think that someday in heaven we'll be as He is, but for now on earth we are struggling sinners who've merely been forgiven. This is a mammoth lie, and it keeps people in bondage and nullifies the power of grace in their lives.

And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. (John 1:16)

Here is the point so many miss: Receiving the fullness of God's nature is directly connected with grace. It is God's unmerited gift—a gift that not only saved us from eternal damnation but also gave us His characteristics. One aspect of grace is just as real as the other, and it was all provided the moment we were saved.

God's divine nature was freely imparted to us, and our once hardened hearts were replaced by the seed of God's inherent characteristics. We now have the ability to live as He intended humankind to live from the beginning—extraordinarily. We now can live this life as sons and daughters of God, in His image, His likeness, possessing His ability through grace!

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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