Devotionals

Many of these devotionals can be delivered to your email inbox each morning, sign up here.

Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 322 }

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. —2 Peter 3:9, NKJV

The Scriptures suggest that God extends His grace to people and patiently waits for them to change. God desires that all of us examine ourselves carefully in the light of His Word and become sensitive to the Holy Spirit's conviction in areas that need to change. But eventually, if we don't recognize the problems and deal with them, all kinds of external circumstances can be used to bring to light the unresolved or carnal issues in our lives. If we really love God, He gives us the chance to respond voluntarily to the Spirit. But if we don't respond, He will often extract submission from us.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Father, when I feel a thorn pricking at my spirit, help me to remember that the purpose is to allow me a chance to deal with Your conviction and to respond in submission to Your will.

The thorn in the flesh produces humility over time
in the lives of sincere yet immature
followers of Christ Jesus.

Discuss this devotional

Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Broken Chains

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me-.-.-.-to preach the acceptable year of the Lord. —Luke 4:18-19

The "acceptable year of the Lord"—the Year of Jubilee—was the last in a fifty-year period. During the first forty nine years, the Israelites could own slaves, sow their fields, prune their vineyards, and gather the harvest; but each seventh year was set apart as a Sabbath for the land. At the beginning of the fiftieth year, the trumpet sounded, proclaiming the Year of Jubilee. This was a year when the ground wasn't worked, slaves were set free, and debts were erased. It was a year of rest for the entire land.

When Jesus stood in the synagogue and spoke these words, the trumpet sounded for all time and eternity declaring our freedom! "If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed" (John 8:36).

The blood from Calvary's Cross declares your freedom—freedom from poverty, broken-heartedness, and death. The chains have been broken forever.

Lord Jesus, make this season in my life Your year
of Jubilee for me by setting me free from past
debt and giving me the heart of
a cheerful giver. Amen.

Discuss this devotional

By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

Be Prepared to Affirm God

And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ. —Ephesians 1:9

Are you seeking God? How hard are you trying? Are you requiring that He meets your expectation? You say, "If God turned up, believe me, I would recognize Him." That is exactly the point I want to make: when we feel we know God so well, we are in danger of becoming too familiar with Him. The way we must love the glory of the Lord is not that we affirm Him because we see that which makes us feel comfortable, but that we know He is God and can manifest Himself in unusual ways.

Sometimes God puts us in a place where we can't give the reason we affirm Him. He continues to work in this way, so there are times when we have to take a stand, where we know the truth, but we are not allowed to explain ourselves. Are you prepared to be committed to Jesus Christ to the extent that you just affirm Him, even though you know you are not allowed to explain yourself except to say, "Jesus is my Savior; I am unashamed of Him"?

When we see God working in an unexpected way, we may fail to recognize Him. Sometimes theologians describe the "otherness" of God. He is different. He may turn up in a strange way. God may come with silence or by hiding His face and seeming not to answer. Sometimes the way in which He turns up seems silly. But God chooses the foolish things of this world to confound the wise.

Our reaction is, "How can God do this to me—if that's really God?" Then explain this: Jesus, dying on a cross, how can that be God? Why does God seem so detached from the way with which we are comfortable? The answer is lest we feel too familiar with Him and become presumptuous. The proof we love God is that we recognize He may appear in a way that feels strange, and we are prepared to affirm Him no matter how much it hurts and no matter how strange it seems.

Excerpted from All's Well That Ends Well (Authentic Media, 2005).

Discuss this devotional

Around the Word in 365 Days

Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

Seasoned Speech

Proverbs 15:22-23 I pray almost every morning, "Lord, put me in the right place at the right time." As I read this proverb, I now want to add to that prayer, "Lord, help me to speak the right thing at the right time." There is a time to speak and a time to keep silent.

Often the enemy gives us critical, judgmental thoughts about our mates and other people. Satan would love nothing better than for us to speak those thoughts out loud. Over my forty years of married life I have learned the voice of the enemy. When he gives me negative thoughts about my husband or about anyone, I always say, "Satan, if you think I'm going to give voice to your thoughts, you have got another think coming." I often share with people that if I had spoken all the thoughts the enemy planted in my mind to say to my mate, I would not be married today.

You have heard the expression, "You need to speak your mind." If we spoke our minds all the time, we would probably have a miserable life with no friends. Before I speak, I give what I want to say the "Think Test." The "Think Test" is found in Philippians 4:8, where Paul lists the things we are to think about:

Whatever things are true

Whatever things are honest

Whatever things are just

Whatever things are pure

Whatever things are lovely

Whatever things are of a good report

Whatever things are praiseworthy

Whatever things are virtuous

Before I speak I ask myself if what I am about to speak true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of a good report, praiseworthy and virtuous. If the words I am about to speak do not pass the "Think Test," then I do not say those words. You have heard the expression, "You need to count to ten before you speak." There are eight things listed in the "Think Test," and we can add two more—whatever things will edify and whatever things are gracious. Now we have our ten things to think about as we count to ten before we speak. You will find if you do this faithfully, you will be a person of few words, but the words you speak will have an impact on people that could change their lives. After all, we do have the words of life. Why should we waste our time speaking the words of death that Satan wants us to speak?

Lord, help my speech today to be seasoned with the things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, praiseworthy, virtuous, edifying and gracious.

READ: 1 Samuel 26:1-28:25; John 11:1-53; Psalm 117:1-2; Proverbs 15:22-23

Discuss this devotional

Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

You Were Expensive!

God's love for us is unconditional and unchanging. This is clearly seen in the words of Jesus' prayer the night before His crucifixion: "Then the world will know that you [God the Father] sent me [Jesus Christ] and will understand that you love them as much as you love me" (John 17:23, NLT).

Did you catch that? God loves you as much as He loves Jesus! That's almost too much to comprehend!

Scripture records that God's love "is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening]. Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end]" (1 Corinthians 13:7-8, AMP). His love for you can never weaken or become obsolete. It is impossible, for His love for you isn't based on your behavior but on His character of faithfulness. God's love for us is so all-encompassing that we simply cannot comprehend its scope.

He sent Jesus to die for us when we were still His enemies (see Romans 5:10). John the apostle writes, "For God so loved the world [you and me] that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).

Why did God give Jesus? The answer is simple: to purchase us back. Our forefather Adam gave up himself and consequently all his offspring (including you and me) to a new lord when he heeded Satan's words in the Garden of Eden. Adam disobeyed God and separated himself and his descendants from their Creator. But since God loved humankind so much, He wasn't willing to assign us the same fate as Satan and his angels.

God needed a creative plan to purchase our freedom. He did this by sending Jesus Christ, the second person of the Godhead, who was fathered by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin. Jesus was all man and all God and lived a perfect life (the only man ever to walk the earth without sin). He went to the cross and paid the price for our disobedience to God. He took our judgment so we wouldn't have to.

The price of our soul is so expensive that nothing else could have bought us back besides Jesus Himself. Scripture states, "God bought you with a high price" (1 Corinthians 6:20, NLT). Then again it's recorded that the Father "is so rich in kindness that he purchased our freedom through the blood of his Son" (Ephesians 1:7, NLT). No person or thing is more valuable to God than Jesus. Yet God saw our value equal to that of what He prized most.

Now here is the amazing fact: If you and I had been worth one cent less to God than the value of Jesus, He would not have purchased us because God would never make an unprofitable deal. God does not make bad purchases. (Recall the above scripture, "God bought you with a high price.") A bad purchase is when you give something of more value for something of less value. In God's eyes, Jesus' value is the same as yours! Do you see how important you are to God? This is why Jesus prays, "You love them as much as you love me" (John 17:23, NLT).

That's extraordinary love!

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.

Discuss this devotional

Use Desktop Layout
Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit