Devotionals

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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 154 }

As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him. —1 John 2:27

Secondary rewards on the earth are very important. They include an anointed ministry, a breakthrough of finances, a couple of good friends, health, and strength. All of these are very important rewards, but they are secondary. I love the secondary rewards. We need them, and they are God's will. When the first commandment is seen as a task of labor—as a sacrifice—the secondary rewards often become primary to us. In other words, our main concern becomes how much anointing is on our ministry, how much money we have, the condition of our health, and the number of deep and loyal friendships we have. These secondary rewards become our primary focus when we see ourselves as making sacrifices for God. However, such rewards become secondary when Jesus is our magnificent obsession, because our highest level of purpose is fulfilled.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Father, may loving You never become a task of labor or a difficult sacrifice to me. Your Son, Jesus, has become my magnificent obsession.

We become powerful and fearless in the grace
of God when the primary purpose of love for
which we were created begins to be fulfilled.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Your Future Is in Your Seed

Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. —Mark 9:23

My heart breaks when I see someone suffering in physical pain, because I know the Bible provides the answer. I am troubled when I see someone bound by addiction, because I know the Bible provides the answer. I ache when I see Christians struggling financially, living from paycheck to paycheck, barely able to get by, unable to bless the kingdom of God as God intends—because I know the Bible provides the answer!

Determine today to change your future with the seed you sow, because your future is tied to your seed. Any seed that is not planted remains the same. Take the seed God has placed in your life and sow it in faith. Your past will determine your present and your future unless you sow new seed today. What you sow today will shape your future. Allow God to use what you sow to bring you from where you are to where God wants you to be. Take God at His Word and let go of the things you are holding onto so tightly.

Determine to take a step of faith beyond anything you have ever done-.-.-.-to secure a future greater than you can imagine.

Jesus, empower me to sow seeds of love,
kindness, good works, service, compassion,
mercy, and giving today so that my harvest
tomorrow might bear the good
fruit of Your Spirit. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

Tears Will End in Joy

Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. —Psalm 30:5

God knows how much we can bear, and even when He chastens in the sense of punishment, He knows how much each of us can take.

It is possible that right now you are going through something awful—a nightmare. Perhaps your nightmare is because you are obedient, and it is God's way of making you more like Jesus. "For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God" (1 Pet. 2:19). But the nightmare will end.

When the nightmare is over, it could mean a restoration of honor. In Psalm 126:4 the psalmist said, "Restore our fortunes, O Lord." It could be that your good name is under a cloud. Maybe you have done something that has caused people to raise their eyebrows, or perhaps you have been falsely accused and you long to have your name cleared.

It could be a restoration of holiness. Are you a backslider? Have you been living in sin and just doing anything that your body feels like? It is not worth it.

It could be a restoration of humility: "Those who sow in tears, will reap with songs of joy" (Ps. 126:5). Perhaps you have become proud and unmanageable, and God has had to humble you.

Tears get God's attention. Hannah wept because she was barren. God gave her Samuel. The church whose womb has been strategically closed by God may find the answer in sowing in tears, that God could say, "Sing, O barren woman, you who never bore a child. ... For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back" (Isa. 54:1-7).

Do you want to know the way back? It is the way of tears, sorrow that is true repentance. When you are sorry, the way to end the nightmare is to weep. God sees tears.

Excerpted from Higher Ground (Christian Focus Publications Ltd., 1995).

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

Exhibit Exhortation

Hebrews 3:1-19 We live in a day when many are falling away, and one of the main reasons is the severe lack of exhortation between brothers and sisters in Christ. The letter to the Hebrews could be subtitled "EXHORTING BELIEVERS TO EXHORT." We are urged to exhort one another daily while it is still today. If we are faithful to exhort one another, we will not be as likely to fall for the deceitfulness of sin.

The hardening of our hearts comes when we stop fellowshiping with others, and if no one calls to say they have missed us, we begin to think nobody cares. That is exactly what the devil wants us to believe. No one would fall away from the faith into unbelief if they were daily being prayed for, encouraged and exhorted by their fellow believers. If I knew that someone from my church would be calling me weekly just to encourage me and ask me how I was doing, I would not want to let this person down.

There was a lady in our church who took upon herself the ministry of notes. She continually wrote notes to those in the body of Christ, and all of her notes were so encouraging and uplifting. This lady is no longer in our church. Perhaps no one wrote notes of encouragement to her. I really miss this ministry.

In our readings in the letter to the Hebrews we will discover exactly how to encourage and exhort one another. I am convinced that most Christian counseling centers would be closed if the body of Christ was doing its job of exhortation. All of Paul's letters begin with an exhortation to the church he is writing to, and then he shares some of the things they need to improve upon in their service to the Lord. We do not know who the author of Hebrews is, but whoever he was, he understood the importance of the ministry of exhortation.

I am exhorted by the following scripture to take seriously the beautiful ministry of exhortation: "Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called 'Today'; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin" (vv. 12-13).

Lord, forgive me for not exhorting my brothers and sisters in Christ daily. I pray You will help me establish this beautiful ministry of exhortation by giving me at least one name daily of someone who needs a call or a note of encouragement. Then help me, Holy Spirit, not to pass that opportunity by, but instead to act upon those gentle impressions You give me. Thank You.

READ: Ezekiel 1:1-3:15; Hebrews 3:1-19; Psalm 104:1-24; Proverbs 26:24-26

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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

Reputation Is Not About You

"Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross." (Philippians 2:5-8, NKJV)

Many people in the world today are fighting fiercely to climb the ladder of success. A great deal of their energy is focused and spent on building a reputation in the eyes of others in order to "make it big." In the process of their pursuit, they quickly become addicted to the approval of others.

Jesus did just the opposite—He made Himself of no reputation (see Philippians 2:7). In other words, He stripped Himself of all His kingly rights and humbled Himself to become human. The Creator literally took the form of His creation. Instead of living His entire life to build a name for Himself, He endeavored to build a name for His Father. He said, "I am not in search of honor for Myself. [I do not seek and am not aiming for My own glory.] There is One Who [looks after that; He] seeks [My glory], and He is the Judge" (John 8:50 AMP).

Having a good reputation is important; however, the motive—or driving force—behind your cause should be weighed. Are you tempted to make a name for yourself for success, or are you a person of good reputation because you long to represent your King well on earth?

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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