Devotionals

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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 301 }

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. —Romans 5:1-2

There is no way anyone will understand justification by grace appropriated only through faith without looking at it from God's perspective. When we see the holiness of God on one hand and the depth of mankind's sin on the other, a lot of things come into a new light. Justification by faith alone makes sense only when you realize that no amount of human effort could bridge that immeasurable gap. No amount of consecration or sanctification could earn the right to the gifts of the Spirit any more than indulgences could gain forgiveness or Simon's money could purchase God's power. Gifts of the Spirit are given based on the grace of God, not on the maturity, wisdom, and character of the vessel.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Father, there is a great gulf that stands between Your perfect holiness and the sinful, hopeless condition of mankind. Nothing but a simple faith in You can bridge that gulf and cause Your forgiveness and mercy to flood over my soul.

God's solution on the cross makes sense
when you realize that the human effort
equation is hopelessly flawed.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Spirit-Led

If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. —Galatians 5:25

The greatest asset of Christian families today is the leading of the Holy Spirit. We must all learn to discern the prophetic voice of God and learn to obey Him. A gentle nudging of the Holy Spirit to pray may make the difference between life and death in your family. You may only hear a gentle, "Do not go to the store right now; stay and worship me." While you are worshiping Him, the devil's plan to meet you head-on with a swerving truck is thwarted because you heard-and obeyed.

Satan hates a godly family because he knows its spiritual strength. The devil would like nothing better than to sow strife and discord into your family life, opening the door for him to attack.

Determine to join hands with your family members every morning and to pray a hedge of protection around each other before anyone leaves the house!

Spirit of God, lead me. Teach me how to be a spiritual
leader in my family, church, and work. By
Your power, help me close and lock
every door of attack from
the enemy. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

Gaining Self-Respect

The second is this: "Love your neighbor as yourself." There is no commandment greater than these. —Mark 12:31

Have you ever heard someone say, "I hate myself"? People who hate themselves don't like other people, and they are miserable. But saying this also gives them a certain kind of self-righteous feeling, as if people will excuse them. But when you have real self-respect you like yourself. You may say, "Oh, I don't think God wants us to like ourselves." Wrong. The apostle Paul said that no man ever hated his own body. (See Ephesians 5:29.) Jesus told us to love our neighbors as ourselves, and that is part of being human. But when you don't appreciate yourself, something has gone wrong.

The opposite of being confident is being fearful. Are you governed by a spirit of fear where you don't have confidence? Are you always looking over your shoulder thinking, Look who's here! What are they saying? What will they think of me if I do that? Have you ever wanted publicly to confess Christ but have been afraid of what someone would think if they heard about it? Confidence is lost when you lose self-respect.

The gospel of Jesus Christ was designed to give you self-respect. Jesus will never lead you to do anything that would prevent you being true to yourself. If you want to regain that feeling of self-respect, of liking yourself and feeling confident and unashamed, you need to come to the foot of the cross and get right with Him. Once you put your faith in Jesus, you are given the Holy Spirit. He will be with you and will guide you. The Bible will become the most precious book you have ever known, and you will know through the Spirit and the Word how to live your life. You will begin to like yourself and to have confidence, and you will not live with feelings of guilt and shame.

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

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

Who Is Like the Lord?

2 Samuel 22:21-23:23 One of my joys in life is to rise before dawn and praise the Lord with all of His creatures at sunrise. There is a verse in Psalms that says, "You make the outgoings of the morning and evening to rejoice" (Ps. 65:8). Have you ever noticed how the birds sing the loudest at dawn and sunset? I try not to miss this morning and evening symphony of worship, and I love joining my voice to it. I also love to see the morning star in the sky, and I recall Jesus' description of Himself: "I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the Bright and Morning Star" (Rev. 22:16).

In our reading today in 2 Samuel the last words of David are recorded. People's last words are always very important, and David's last words describe the Lord in many ways. His last words share how much the Lord meant to him throughout his lifetime. He says the Lord is the lamp who lights his darkness. He says the Lord is his buckler, rock, tower of salvation and his strength and power. The Lord is his teacher and meek instructor. David says the Lord's gentleness has made him great. The Lord is his security who helped him not to slip and is his deliverer from all adversaries, both physical and spiritual. David gives this beautiful description of the Lord that complements the Lord's words about Himself in Revelation 22:16: "And he shall be like the light of the morning when the sun rises, a morning without clouds, like the tender grass springing out of the earth, by clear shining after rain" (v. 4).

What a description of our Lord! Have you awakened to a cloudless sky after a stormy night and seen the tender grass shining after the rain? David is expressing descriptively the Lord's illuminating power, the clarity and brightness of His countenance, and the refreshing satiating personality of the Lord. He is the dawning of every day, the refreshing rain for my tender soul and the clarity of heart and mind I need for this day.

Who is like the Lord? There is no one exactly like the Lord. It is astonishing, however, that He has chosen to conform us to His very image.

Lord, today I want to be more like You than I was yesterday. I want to shine a light and move the clouds away for those who are oppressed today. I want to provide the refreshing rain of Your Holy Spirit to the one who is in a dry place. Only You can satiate and satisfy the souls of men, but use me today as Your instrument to deliver Your liberating power and sustaining power to others. Amen.

READ: 2 Samuel 22:21-23:23; Acts 2:1-47; Psalm 122:1-9; Proverbs 16:19-20


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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

A Life You Were Created For

??Have you often thought, "There must be more"? You’re not alone. I believe a fresh revelation of truth will unlock the God-potential within you. You probably know that by God’s grace you’re forgiven and saved, but do you know that His grace empowers you here and now in this life?

"And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace" (John 1:16, NKJV). Here's the point so many miss: With grace we can receive the fullness of God's nature! Grace is the gift that not only saved us but also imparts to us the completeness of Jesus. We are in Christ, He is in us, and we have the fullness of His nature. Without this insight, we cut ourselves off from the flow of grace. Most believe God's grace has forgiven their sin and saved them from hell, but there is so much more! We have been given a new nature, and we are empowered to walk as Jesus (see 1 John 2:6) with authority to bring heaven's will to earth.

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

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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