Devotionals

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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 316 }

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines. —1 Corinthians 12:7-11

Prophetic ministry cannot be an end in itself. Its purpose is always to strengthen and promote something greater and more valuable than itself. People get off track when they allow themselves to become more focused on the unusual means of the message rather than God's purpose in that message. It is not so important whether the message comes from a five-star prophet with mountain-moving confirmations, or if it is something that simply seems good to everyone involved. The message is always more important than the method. The subjective side of our faith is always to be scrutinized in the light of the objective side, but both are essential. God is always working to bring the Word and the Spirit together. If we have the Word and the Spirit, we grow up.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Holy Spirit, may I never seek to merely know about You. Give me a passionate desire to know You, Your personality and being.

Our desire is for God, not just
knowledge about Him.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Escalating Population

And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings. —Revelation 10:11

By the most conservative calculations, in the year 2050 there will be ten billion people on the earth. With each tick of the end time clock, millions of new souls are born into the world.

More people than have ever lived in the entire history of the world are alive today. We are seeing end time prophecy come alive in the form of "many peoples and nations" living on the earth.

God has a plan for those "many peoples and nations." When the newscasts tell us of the exploding masses of people in the earth, remember that John saw them first in heaven: "And, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb" (Revelation 7:9-10).

Some day every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord (Philippians 2:10). Is there someone today that you know who needs Jesus? What will you do to bring them before the throne of Jesus in repentance and faith?

Father, make me sensitive to everyone around
me and the condition of their souls.
Help me to witness to the unsaved
I know about Jesus. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

Being Accepted

A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, "Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean." Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am willing," he said. "Be clean!" Immediately he was cured of his leprosy. —Matthew 8:2-3

All of us can tell whether another person is going to accept us. We can almost feel it. You must have some inkling if you came to see me whether or not I would listen, whether I would care. What I wish is that I could radiate the love of Jesus, that you would feel that I want to be like Him.

The leper knew that if he went to Jesus he would be accepted.

Some people teach that a precondition to becoming a Christian is that you have to do this or that, and only then will Jesus accept you. What we see here is that Jesus accepted the leper just as he was, and lo and behold, the leper believed Jesus could heal him, and Jesus did. Jesus is still the same today. He accepts you as you are.

In fact, we are told in John 8:3-11 that Pharisees, who were a self-righteous, legalistic group of people, brought a woman caught in adultery and said to Jesus, "In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?" Jesus bent down and started to write in the ground with His finger. Then He said to these people, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." Hearing that, they all left. Then Jesus said to the woman, "Where are they? Has no one condemned you?"

The woman said, "No one, sir."

Then Jesus declared, "Then neither do I condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin."

What did He do? He accepted her. That is His way. Jesus displays such tenderness. I could give one example after another to assure you that whatever may be in your past, whatever it is that you've done, this Jesus will accept you.

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

Divine Love

John 15:1-27 Most of us are familiar with the love chapter in 1 Corinthians 13, but did you know there is another love chapter in the Bible that is just as important? John 15 is that chapter. Here Jesus tells us that He is the vine and we are the branches. The word divine has "vine" in it, and the "di" is short for deity. One could say divine love is God's dependent love. So many of us, including me, try to have the qualities of love listed in 1 Corinthians 13, but we fail miserably. Love is the fruit of the spirit, and the nine fruit of the spirit all radiate from divine love. It is impossible to love as Jesus loved when He walked on earth over two thousand years ago. We can, however, demonstrate His love to others if we are totally dependent upon His Spirit. Jesus tells us to do three things to radiate His love daily:

1. Abide in Him (without Him we can do nothing).

2. Abide in His Word (faith operates through love and is based on God's Word).

3. Keep His commandments (love God with all of our hearts and love others)

Every day I pray, "Lord, help me to love as You love." I have to realize, however, that I have a part to play in continuing in His love. When someone abides with another, he lives in the same dwelling place. Where is your abode? Where is your dwelling place? Our dwelling place must be in the presence of the Lord. I have to remain in His presence through a conscious act of submission and a total act of surrender throughout the day. How do I submit and surrender? My part is to hear, hide and heed the Word of God.

1. Hearing His Word means I must have fellowship with Him (abide in Him).

2. Hiding His Word means I must let the Word have affect on my soul to change me.

3. Heeding His Word means I must obey what I have heard and what I have hidden.

Jesus is with us wherever we go, and He wants to manifest His love through us to the world. The mark of a Christian is His love, which is both compelling and compassionate. There is a passion in God's love for us that can only be conveyed through Jesus Christ His Son. God so loved the world that He gave His Son. Greater love has no man than he lay his life down for another. Jesus laid His life down willingly for the whole world, but if you were the only person existing in the world, He would have done the same. In response to such a great sacrifice, I can only spend time in His presence hearing His Word, hiding His Word and heeding His Word.

Lord, help me to abide in Your presence all this day long. With Your help I will do my part to continue in Your love.

READ: 2 Samuel 9:1-11:27; John 15:1-27; Psalm 119:53-70; Proverbs 16:1-3

 

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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

Pleasing a Perfect God

When it comes to pleasing God, the big question is, "Can we do it?" Do we have what it takes to make Him smile? Can we who live in an imperfect world, bring a perfect God delight? Can we actually please Someone who is flawless?

The apostle Peter writes, "We have everything we need to live a life that pleases God. It was all given to us by God's own power" (2 Peter 1:3, CEV).

There's our answer—we have everything it takes to live a life that pleases our heavenly Father. Settle this in your heart and don't ever let this knowledge slip away. His Word is true and unchangeable. Never accept the lie that you don't have what it takes to please God. The fact is you do!

Many believers look at certain Christians, especially great leaders, and think they could never measure up or be as delightful in the eyes of God as the apostle John, the apostle Paul, Billy Graham, Oral Roberts, Mother Teresa, or anyone else they admire. The truth is that no one has any more ability to please God than you! You have the ability to please God, but it is up to you to utilize the power and live it out.

God expects us to be faithful with what He's given us. Scripture specifically states that we are entrusted with gifts "to each in proportion to his own personal ability" (Matthew 25:15, AMP).

We must always pay attention to what has been given us by God. A person's ability to write, teach, preach, sing, compose music, design, manage, organize, lead, interact well with people and so forth is a gift given by God. If I keep that in mind, it guards me from the deadly traps of pride or envy—pride in thinking I'm better than others, envy in coveting what another person has.

You were perfectly created by God to function in the Kingdom with your gifts and abilities to fulfill your specific assignment. You determine how to steward what you have been given—with it, you can bring great pleasure to your heavenly Father.

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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