Devotionals

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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 108 }

Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. —Ephesians 5:25-27, KJV

The Holy Spirit wants to impact people for Jesus, not for the latest exciting ministry in the nation or for the pastor with the biggest building. But strangely enough, the Holy Spirit does anoint men and women who do not glorify Jesus in their personal lives. He does it all the time. The church in the last days will have tenacious loyalty to the person of Jesus. If some of the ministries today have that loyalty, then imitate them. But if they don't, please don't be impressed just because some people fall down when the preacher prays for them. That's not enough. I believe some of that may continue happening, but something more, something far better is on the horizon. We are about to discover what it means to live and minister in an overflow of our personal experience of the satisfying knowledge of the person of Christ.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

If all the world forsakes You, Lord, I will not. I want more than just a spiritual façade in my life; I want to be radically overflowing with the joys of Your great salvation in my life.

There's something greater than people falling
down when we pray.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

God's Vessels

I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. —Psalm 37:25

The Lord takes pleasure in the success of His servants. Yet God's abundance is not granted so you can simply lavish it on yourself. It is given to establish the kingdom of God throughout the earth (Deuteronomy 8:18).

We are created to be vessels through which He can pour out His abundance and blessing. God looses abundance in our lives so that we, in turn, can deliver it into the earth to help bring about His kingdom.

Vessels God uses are vessels not contaminated by the ways of the world. The abundance of God overflows from vessels of gold that have been purified in the Refiner's fire.

Set your heart and your mind on becoming "a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work" (2 Timothy 2:21).

Lord, use me. As Your vessel, pour Your Spirit through
me. Sanctify and purify me so that I might become
as vessel of honor. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

Ask for Mercy

Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the Lord our God, until that he have mercy upon us. Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us: for we are exceedingly filled with contempt. Our soul is exceedingly filled with the scorning of those that are at ease, and with the contempt of the proud. —Psalm 123:2-4, KJV

Have you ever asked God for mercy? Have you ever come to that point where you have realized that God doesn't owe you a favor? He doesn't owe you an explanation; rather, what you need is mercy.

One definition of mercy is "refraining from inflicting punishment or pain on an offender or enemy who is in one's power." Here is a person who has the right to punish and also the power to do so. He has the right to punish, because the offender deserves justice and deserves to be punished. Mercy occurs when the person who could punish shows leniency instead. In short, God's mercy is not getting what we, as sinners, deserve.

The writer of this psalm (we don't know who he was) understood that God can give or withhold mercy. It was written by one who understood God and who also understood himself. He had come to terms with what he was like. He realized he had no right to snap his fingers and say, "God, You have to do this!" He knew that God doesn't have to do anything. Therefore he said, "We will just look to God. We will wait for Him. As the eyes of slaves look to the hands of their master, as the eyes of a maid look to the hands of the mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord."

Have you ever talked to God like that? If you haven't, you are not a Christian. A Christian is a person who has come to realize that he has no bargaining power. He sees himself as having sinned against God, offended His holiness, broken His law, and shown contempt for His Word. When a person realizes that he is a sinner, all he can do is ask for mercy.

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

Sing to the Lord

Psalm 135:1-21 When we praise the Lord with singing, it is pleasant to Him, and He will make our days pleasant if we will sing throughout every day. David spent most of his days singing songs of praise. He was a psalmist. We do not have to be an expert as David with his song writing, but we can sing in the Spirit and sing some of David's psalms all the day long. In fact, this is the way to stay filled with the Spirit. Paul exhorts us in Ephesians to sing spiritual songs, psalms and hymns and to always make melody in our hearts. He shares that this is the secret to staying filled with the Spirit. It is hard to fulfill the lusts of our own carnal nature when we are constantly making melody in our hearts unto the Lord.

God rejoices over us with singing, so we in return should rejoice over Him with our singing. He loves it when we raise our voices to Him with songs of praise and worship, and He also hears every song we sing in our hearts.

Have you ever thought of the fact that Jesus is not only our chief rabbi (the teacher who teaches the keys to living), but He is also the chief cantor. Whenever we sing songs of praise and worship in our church, He sings right along with us. We learn this in Hebrews 2:11-12: "For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee" (KJV).

The next time you enter praise and worship with others, picture Jesus singing in the midst of your church. He is singing songs to the Father as we sing songs to Him. If you listen carefully, you may tap into some new songs in the Spirit.

Today as you go about your daily tasks, sing aloud when you can, and be sure to always make melody in your heart. Your day will be a blessed day because the Lord will bless you, and you will be a blessing to others. You also will stay filled with the Spirit.

Lord, give me a new song to sing to You today.

READ: Micah 5:1-7:20; Revelation 7:1-17; Psalm 135:1-21; Proverbs 30:5-6

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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

Unlimited Access to God

"For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope" (Jeremiah 29:11, NLT).

God has a plan for your life! And that plan is good—not average, mediocre, or boring. It was established in the mind of God before you were ever born, before the creation of the earth itself. This truth is made incredibly clear in Psalm 139. Look at what David writes:

"O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord.

My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." (vs 1-4, 15-16 NIV)

God is amazing! He knows every thought before you think it, every word before you speak it. He knows when you lie down and when you get up, and He is totally aware of every day of your life before it takes place. With a heavenly Father like this, why go anywhere else for wisdom and direction for your life?

How can you tap into the infinite wisdom of the One who created the heavens and the earth? Through a close, ongoing relationship with Him. He loves you with an everlasting love and wants to be a part of every area of your life. As you read His Word and spend time with Him in prayer, He will reveal to you His general will and His specific will for your life.

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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