Devotionals

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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 213 }

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature. ... You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. —Colossians 3:5, 7-10

Paul taught the Colossian believers to seek renewal by receiving knowledge of the image of God. Spiritual renewal and that durable transformation of the mind we all seek will only happen through the knowledge of God's heart bursting into our own hearts. That only happens when we come into contact with God and the truth about God in His Word. Nothing holds greater power to transform your inner life than that moment when God's voice touches your spirit with personal revelation of who He is, who you are in light of that, and what He would have you do. It might be nothing more (and nothing less) than the revelation that He really enjoys being with you. That alone can change your life, if you make it a foundation of your walk with God. When you witness that, you are transformed—you behold and become. Such an experience can never be neutral. It awakens you to who you are, who He is, and who you will be.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

What You think about me, the way You feel about me, is all that matters to me, Father. All else seems far away when I behold Your awesome beauty and discover Your marvelous love for me.

What God thinks and feels about you is worth far more
than the best advice from the most important
people in your life.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

God's Agents

And these signs shall follow them that believe; in my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. —Mark 16:17-18

We are God's agents in the earth, and He desires to manifest His miracle-working power through us. But in order to be used, you must not only be willing to be used, you must also be ready to be used.

Don't wait until you need a miracle to start polishing your vessel. Don't wait until the devil has ravaged your family, wrecked your health, and destroyed your finances to seek a relationship with your heavenly Father.

Ready your vessel by keeping your spirit strong in the Word, in prayer, and in fellowship with your Father. Speak forth His praises and acknowledge Him as your healer, your deliverer, and your provider. Today and every day, confess that you walk in divine health because the Spirit of life resides in you. Confess that His promises are made manifest in your life daily.

What will you do today to ready your vessel to receive all that God wants to pour into your life?

Pour into me, O Lord, Your living waters.
I am ready to receive today all that You
desire to pour into me and out of me.
Amen.

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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

A More Excellent Way

And now I will show you the most excellent way. —1 Corinthians 12:31

Paul's ultimate purpose was to show exactly what the New Testament means by love and to show if we are like Jesus, what Jesus meant by love. What is this most excellent way?

Love is first to be seen as a demonstration. Paul says, "I will show you the most excellent way."

It is a demonstration in words: Paul promises to demonstrate the most excellent way by language. By any account it is one of the most sublime pieces of writing on record; even many non-Christians stand in awe of it. These words are the Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit, and they should convict us. I know of a man who read 1 Corinthians 13 every day for a year—on his knees. He was never the same again!

It is also a demonstration of works. We are not saved by works; we are not saved by love; we are saved by faith. Paul is writing to those who are saved. If they will live this way, they will dazzle the world. Jesus said, "Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven" (Matt. 5:16).

But it is also a demonstration of wisdom. What Paul calls love, James calls wisdom. Why? Possibly because James, a Hebrew, grew up in the wisdom tradition of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes. All of the wisdom in the Book of Proverbs can be demonstrated living by love.

It is a demonstration of the will. When I call love a demonstration of the will, I mean it is a choice. Every single one of us can live this way. It doesn't matter what our IQ is, our age, or our maturity. The Christians at Corinth had been saved for four years, and Paul calls them "childish." But this is the way to grow up. Love is a choice. We must never wait for a mood or feeling to overwhelm us. That may never come. Love is voluntary, an act of the will—what we deliberately and consciously choose to do.

Excerpted from Just Love (Christian Focus Publications Ltd., 1997).

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

The Great Exchange

2 Corinthians 5:12-21 My middle son, Ron, was in Bogota, Colombia on a mission journey. He went with a team into a drug dealing area called the Cartuge. His team visited a drug rehabilitation center there where criminals were learning about Jesus and being born again. When Ron entered the center he felt impressed by the Holy Spirit to offer to wash the feet of these men. Many of them did not know the story of Jesus' washing the feet of His disciples, so Ron read it to them. After the reading of the Scripture, the foot washing began.

Each team member knelt with a bowl of water and towel to minister to the man they felt the Holy Spirit wanted them to minister to on that day. One on the team members named Dave had just put on a brand-new pair of socks that morning. When Dave removed the socks from the man he was ministering to, he heard the Holy Spirit say, "Give him your socks." As soon as he finished praying for this man, Dave took off his socks and said, "I want you to have these. They are a gift to you." The man picked up his filthy socks and handed them to Dave. He said, "I want you to have my socks. They are a gift to you." Dave hesitated for a moment and then put this man's stinky socks on his feet and said, "Thank you."

What a great demonstration of exactly what happened on the cross. Our reading today says, "That is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us; we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him" (vv. 19-21).

On the cross Jesus was willing to wear our filthy socks of sin so that we could have the clean socks of His righteousness. He dressed us in His robe of righteousness. He who knew no sin became sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. Because of this divine exchange we can live a new, clean spotless life!! What an exchange!!

Lord, often I feel I have nothing to give You, and then You remind me I can always give You my own sins. When I do this by confessing my sins, You give me the gift of cleanness of heart and mind. Help me to never wear the dirty socks of sin by refusing to confess my sins so not only can You forgive me, but also cleanse me of all unrighteousness.

READ: Job 40:1-42:17; 2 Corinthians 5:12-21; Psalm 45:1-17; Proverbs 22:14


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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

Unlimited Access to God

"For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope" (Jeremiah 29:11, NLT).

God has a plan for your life! And that plan is good—not average, mediocre, or boring. It was established in the mind of God before you were ever born, before the creation of the earth itself. This truth is made incredibly clear in Psalm 139. Look at what David writes:

"O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord.

My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." (vs 1-4, 15-16 NIV)

God is amazing! He knows every thought before you think it, every word before you speak it. He knows when you lie down and when you get up, and He is totally aware of every day of your life before it takes place. With a heavenly Father like this, why go anywhere else for wisdom and direction for your life?

How can you tap into the infinite wisdom of the One who created the heavens and the earth? Through a close, ongoing relationship with Him. He loves you with an everlasting love and wants to be a part of every area of your life. As you read His Word and spend time with Him in prayer, He will reveal to you His general will and His specific will for your life.

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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