Devotionals

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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 65 }

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 3:9-10

A spiritual fortress made of thoughts can be a fortified dwelling place where demonic forces can hide. A stronghold in the mind is a collection of thoughts in agreement with Satan—thoughts that are lies against what God has revealed about Himself. Wrong concepts and ideas about God are not automatically eliminated when we are born again. We are continually in the process of being renewed by a true knowledge according to the personality and likeness of God. Until we are walking in that full, perfect knowledge of God, you and I must not make the mistake of assuming that the process of change is over.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Show me the strong places in my mind where Satan has kept me from seeing the truth of Your revelation, Father. Tear these strongholds down, and destroy anything that hinders me from being just like You.

You and I must not make the mistake of
assuming that the process
of change is over.


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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Don't Let Go

And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. —GENESIS 32:24

The name Jacob means "deceiver, supplanter, liar, or thief." All his life Jacob had lived up to his name. When conflict arose from his deceitful actions against his brother, he didn't see any way out. In fear and desperation, he returned to Bethel. He climbed the mountain where he first made an altar to the Lord, and it was there that the angel of the Lord wrestled with him.

Jacob said to the angel, "It took too long to find you, I'm not letting you go!" In that struggle, Jacob was forever changed. God gave Jacob a new nature. He carried God's mark, and He carried a new name—Israel.

When God takes hold of us, old things pass away, and all things become new in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). He made all things new for Jacob, and He will do the same for you. Seek God with all your heart. Refuse to let go until you have been forever changed.

Jesus, change me. Make me a new creation by the power
of Your Spirit. Destroy the old and make me new. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

Receive the Highest Treasure

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. —Matthew 6:19-20

All who are saved are going to heaven, but not all who go to heaven will receive a reward. This may be new theology to you, but you need to understand that. You may have thought, Well, if I am saved, I am saved, and I am not going to worry about anything else. When you stand before the judgment seat of Christ, even though you are not going to go to hell, you will see then why Paul stressed it again and again.

When workers get their paycheck they decide whether to spend it all now or put some in the bank. So when you are tempted to take recognition, you can put it on deposit or you can just spend it. There is a chance to get your spiritual recognition pay now, for instance, by getting even with that person by snapping back, by reminding people that what they did was wrong. Although you are right, and you "win" and receive your pay, that is it. You withdrew what could have been on deposit in heaven. Only it is low pay. You really lost.

What is the high pay? I do not really know. Paul uses three words, as far as I know, to describe it: reward, praise, crown. Peter also uses the expression: "you will receive a rich welcome" into the kingdom when you die (2 Pet. 1:11). But this assumes a certain conduct (2 Pet. 1:5-8). Not all will receive this welcome.

What is a high pay? What is the reward? What is the crown? As I have said, I do not know for sure what that is, but I am sure it is worth waiting for. And I am sure I am not alone. Many of you will want to hear from the lips of Jesus Himself: "Well done." I call that high pay!

Excerpted from When God Says "Well Done!" (Christian Focus Publications Ltd., 1993).

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

Lift Up Your Head and Hearts

Psalm 24:1-10 This psalm has special meaning to me because it is one of the psalms I memorized when I was in grammar school. The first thing we did each morning in school was pray the Lord's Prayer together, read a psalm and work on memorizing it, pledge allegiance to the flag and sing the national anthem. Can you imagine the stir this would cause in public schools today if this was done? It is illogical that God and country have been removed from our children's education when education has its roots in Christianity. The first schools that existed in our country were church schools. How I pray that one day we will be able to once again have freedom of speech that includes praying aloud in public schools. Until that time we as parents can teach our children the importance of honor for country and the value of the Word of God. We need to exhort our children to memorize Scriptures because the Word that is hidden in children's hearts at a young age will be with them always. I actually paid my boys to learn Proverbs. They were given $1 for every verse in Proverbs they memorized. When our Russian son took this on as a challenge, he just about broke me.

The verse I remember in this psalm is as follows: "Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in" (Ps. 24:9, KJV).

I have always wondered what that verse meant, but now I think the Holy Spirit has helped me to understand it. We are the temple of the living God, and there are gates and doors to that temple. We are a spirit, we have a soul, and we live in a body. The spirit is the holy of holies part of our tripart being. This is where we commune with God in the spirit. The soul has three parts—mind, will and emotions. The soul represents the inner court of the temple, and the body represents the outer court of the temple. The gates to our soul are our five senses—touch, taste, see, smell and hear. Everything that enters our souls enters through those gates. We have a responsibility to God to be careful about the material that enters these gates to our soul. This psalm also exhorts us not to lift up our souls unto vanity. Instead we are to lift our souls daily up to the Lord. This is what "Lift up your heads, O ye gates" means.

We are also to lift up or open up the doors to the Lord, and the promise is the King of glory will come in. The holy of holies in the physical temple was blocked from anyone entering except the high priest, and he was only allowed to enter once a year on the Day of Atonement. The mercy seat was behind a huge veil in the holy of holies. It was here at the mercy seat that the high priest communed with God and saw and felt His presence. We also have doors to our spirit (the holy of holies in our tripart being). Those doors are our hearts. We are to worship the Lord our God with all our minds and all our hearts. When we open the doors of our hearts to the Lord, we go boldly to the mercy seat and find grace in time of need.

READ: Exodus 8:1-9:35; Matthew 19:13-30; Psalm 24:1-10; Proverbs 6:1-5

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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

A Book About YOU

God has set goals for each of our lives. In fact, He recorded them in a book before time began.

"You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed" (Psalm 139:16, NLT).

That is phenomenal! Did you know a book was written about you? It's not just famous people who are featured in biographies. Your story is in a book, too, and the Author is none other than God. He wrote that book before you were conceived in your mother's womb. What a staggering thought—every moment of your life is recorded in that book. 

"For we are God's [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live]" (Ephesians 2:10, AMP).

God planned your paths beforehand, but notice that Paul writes "that we should walk in them." It doesn't say "that we would walk in them." There is a huge difference. Free will comes into effect here because fulfilling these assignments isn't automatic. We have to cooperate in our labor.

God has set the goals, but it's up to us to discover through prayer, reading His Word, and other spiritual means what's recorded for our lives. Then by His grace we fulfill them. For this reason Paul prays: "Since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God," (Colossians 1:9–10, NIV)

Knowing God's will for our lives gives us the ability to always please Him. However, it is not inevitable. God has set extraordinary goals for us, and they will not be accomplished without prayer, faith and fervent labor. 

Your life is unique, special and by no means an accident. No one is common or menial. We all were created for a unique path that is extraordinary.

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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