Devotionals

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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 202 }

The sun will no more be your light by day, nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you, for the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. Your sun will never set again, and your moon will wane no more; the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your days of sorrow will end. —Isaiah 60:19-20

One day we will gaze upon our Bridegroom God for billions of years at a stretch. This description and any other will seem pitiful in its attempt to convey the reality of Him, but we must understand as well as we can that our Bridegroom possesses a beauty that transcends any other in the created realm. He is far above all other magnificence and pleasure. His endless splendor shines forth from His tenderness, gladness, and desire for us. (Indeed, it's impossible to understand His beauty without first understanding His tenderness, gladness, and desire, for His beauty radiates from them.) As we encounter it through Scripture and by His revelation in our spirits, His beauty fascinates and captivates our hearts. He woos and wows us with magnificence.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Father, a billion years will seem as nothing when I stand before You and gaze into Your endless splendor. Teach me about Your tenderness, gladness, and desire so that I may fully comprehend Your beauty.

Being confident in God's love for you
is necessary to seeing God's beauty.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

His Promise ... Your Purpose

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. —John 15:5

If you are abiding in Him, God gives you the desires of your heart. You can only receive what comes through the vine. If your delight is right, your desire will also be right. If your delight is wrong, your desire will be wrong.

Our purpose for being on this planet is to glorify God. The chief end of man is to glorify God. It is not miracles that glorify God. It is not talking in tongues or sitting in church on Sunday morning.

When the life of Christ flows through us to touch and change lives for all eternity, we bring glory to Him.

Your success will not come from your rules, your religion, your rituals, or your regimen. Your success will come because of your relationship to the vine. The greater your relationship, the greater your results. Never touch His glory. Always give Him glory and intimacy with Him will increase dramatically in your daily abiding in Him.

How I long to abide in You, O Savior. I
can do nothing without You. Keep me
close to You, for without You I am
nothing. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

Marriage of the Word and the Spirit


Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly. —Colossians 3:16 Be filled with the Spirit. —Ephesians 5:18

If the Word and the Spirit come together in the church—both in emphasis and in experience—it will be the happiest event in many years. I believe this is God's heart. Yet it is my observation that most of today's church, speaking generally, emphasizes one or the other.

It can be argued that the two are always inseparable—for this is absolutely true. It is by the Spirit that we receive the Word; it is the Word that tells us about the Spirit. They cannot be separated.

But that is not the total picture. Jesus said to His disciples, "You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you," yet He later breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit" (John 15:3; 20:22). This shows that there was more that they needed, even though they had the Word.

Jesus said to the Father, "I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them" (John 17:8), and yet He later told them to stay in Jerusalem until they had been "clothed with power from on high" (Luke 24:49). Jesus Himself was the Word made flesh, but He too received the Spirit (Luke 3:22; John 1:33ff).

When we say that the Word and the Spirit are inseparable, we need to state what we mean. It is possible that one may have the full and undiluted Word but have the Spirit in less measure. That was the disciples' experience prior to Pentecost.

Those who emphasize the Word are not without the Spirit, and those who emphasize the Spirit are not devoid of the Word. It is the degree to which one emphasizes the Word over the Spirit or the Spirit over the Word in one's own ministry that is the issue. What is wrong with either emphasis? Nothing. Each is exactly right. But neither is complete. It is not one or the other that is needed; it is both.

What is needed, in my opinion, is a remarriage of the Word and the Spirit—the simultaneous combination of both the Word and the Spirit in today's servant of Christ and the church. If the Word and the Spirit come together in your anointing and mine, then, as my dear friend Lyndon Bowring said, "Those who come to see [signs and wonders] will hear [the Word], and those who come to hear will see." That is tomorrow's anointing, my friend, and when it comes, the world will be awakened.

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

Looking Forward to the Fall

Isaiah 22:1-24:23 Summer is my least favorite season, so I always search for reasons I can be thankful for this time. I hate to sweat, and Georgia in the summer is no place someone who hates to sweat.

The other evening, as I was watching the sunset, I began to think of reasons to thank the Lord for the summer. I came up with this list: the sights of lightening flies, sparkling skies on warm summer nights, the tastes of lemonade and ice tea, the warmth of sun bathing by the beach, and the sounds of katydids, July flies, June bugs and crickets in the night. I used to be so thankful for summers, because it meant being home from school, sleeping in late and just plain vegging out. I always looked forward, however, to that first crisp coolness in the air that comes to Georgia about mid-September. I look forward now to the trees being dressed in their coat of many colors and the crunch of leaves under foot as I walk with my husband by the river. As I look forward to the radiant foliage and then later to the snow-covered pines in the winter, I think of this scripture in Isaiah: "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow" (Isa. 1:18).

Then as I see the leaves fall to the earth and thick clouds gather to usher in winter rains and an occasional snow, this verse comes to mind: "I have blotted out, like a thick cloud, your transgressions, and like a cloud, your sins. Return to me; for I have redeemed you" (Isa. 44:22).

Fall is always the season when the High Holy Days are celebrated by the Jews, and the days of awe, which are the days of inward reflection, culminate in the Day of Atonement. The sad part of the Jewish faith is that they have no kippur (covering for their sin). Only God can open their hearts to understand the truth that Jesus died to provide the covering for their sin. His shed blood is their covering as well as ours for all sin, but they do not understand this. Today's scripture tell us also that Jesus holds the keys of David: "The key of the house of David I will lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and no one shall shut; and he shall shut, and no one shall open" (Isa. 22:22).

Only Jesus has the key that will turn the hearts of our Jewish friends to know Him as their personal Messiah and Savior. Jesus holds this key; we do not. Pray that He will open the hearts of your Jewish friends and unveil their eyes to behold Him and know Him as their Messiah.

Lord, I pray You will open the hearts of the many Jews who need to know You. Just as Joseph finally revealed himself to his brothers who sought to kill him, please reveal Yourself to Your Jewish brethren. They are Your brothers.

READ: Isaiah 22:1-24:23; Galatians 2:17-3:7; Psalm 60:1-12; Proverbs 23:15-16


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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

The Fullness of Grace

You probably know that by God's grace you're forgiven and saved, but do you know there is so much more that grace gives us?

"And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace" (John 1:16, NKJV). Here is the point so many miss—with grace we can receive the fullness of God's nature! Grace is a gift that not only saved us but also imparted in us the completeness of Jesus. We are in Christ, He is in us and we have the fullness of His nature.

The fundamental problem is that we have cut ourselves off from the flow of grace. Most believe that God's grace has forgiven us from all sin and saved us from hell—which is true—but many are missing the rest: the new nature we have, the power to walk in holiness and the authority to bring heaven's will to earth to meet the needs of humankind.

My life changed dramatically once I discovered that grace includes not only God's amazing forgiveness and the promise of heaven but also His empowerment. Prior to this I struggled, found many of God's instructions too difficult to fulfill, battled inferiority and a poor self-image and wondered why there was so little eternal fruit in my life. However, once the realization came that I now possessed the fullness of God's nature, my life stabilized, blessings flowed and my impact on others for the kingdom increased.

Many believers think that we are merely struggling sinners who've been forgiven—and someday, in heaven, we'll be like Jesus. This fallacy keeps people in bondage and nullifies God's power in their lives. The Bible tells us we are His children: "Beloved, now we are children of God" (1 John 3:2). If we are now His children, then we now have access to fully operate in the character of Jesus. We have the ability to live as He intended us to live from the beginning—extraordinarily! We can live in His image, His likeness, possessing His ability—all through grace!

Grace not only instructs us but also empowers us to live above our own human potential. We've been born again; we're brand-new people. We are free to live an extraordinary life! You are a son or daughter of God. You possess His nature. You were meant for anything but ordinary!

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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