Devotionals

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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 230 }

Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God. —1 Corinthians 4:5

Paul described this aspect of God: the glad-hearted Judge. Paul was addressing the Corinthians, the most carnal church we know of in the first century. Only the Laodiceans in the next generation rivaled them in carnality. Paul exhorted the Corinthians, "Do not judge anything before the time when the Lord comes." In other words, "Don't make final evaluations toward people or even yourselves." He distrusted his inability to accurately judge even his own heart. Then he dropped a bomb by telling the Corinthians that God will someday reveal the things hidden in darkness and in the secret counsels of their hearts. You can almost hear the gasp: "Oh no! We're in for some big-time punishment." Yet they had not heard Paul's full message. In the next sentence he zigged when they thought he was going to zag.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

How amazing that when I stand before You in judgment You will reveal the hidden things of my heart. It's amazing because Your Word tells me that You will rejoice over me with gladness, not punish me in anger.

When God judges us, he doesn't fume with
frustration and anger.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Active Faith

And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. —Matthew 21:22

The devil cannot hinder those who believe they receive when they pray.

A woman in our church was abandoned by her husband. She prayed for his return, and she believed she received when she prayed. There was no evidence to support her belief as one year turned into two and then three.

One day she said to me, "Pastor, my family thinks I am crazy, because I am still waiting. But I believed I received when I prayed, and there is nothing I can do now except thank God that I shall have it."

That faithful woman believed for twelve long years. One day she called and said, "My husband came to my house and said he had an experience with God. He asked if I could forgive him and let him back into the family."

How long are you willing to wait on God—a day, a week, a month, a year, a lifetime? Are you willing to wait for as long as it takes?

I had the joy of renewing their marriage vows, and they are still happily married today. Why? She believed she received when she prayed.

Lord, I will wait on Your will, in Your
way, and in Your timing. I know that
by trusting in You, I will receive
Your best. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

Love Is Being Satisfied

Love ... does not envy ... —1 Corinthians 13:4

A dictionary definition of envy would be something like "a feeling of discontent aroused by someone else's possessions." That is what I mean by being unsatisfied. However, love gives one a feeling of being satisfied. The person who is unsatisfied is still looking for his identity, wanting to know who he is.

Three things can be said about envy. First, it is of the flesh; it flows from nature. We don't have to go to school to learn how to be envious; everybody grows up that way.

Envy is also a feeling. The feeling may or may not be verbalized, but it is there; you feel it. Envy comes from the Greek word that means "to boil," that is, with hatred. Often we won't admit that we feel this way. It flows from our dissatisfaction with ourselves and the feeling that other people are so much better off. Yet when this loves comes, we just don't feel that way!

Envy is based on fear. Fear because of what we don't have, being threatened by what others do have. But envy is misleading. Someone has put it like this: "If envy were not so tragic, it would be comical, because it is always based on a misconception of the other person's position." So, someone might say, "If only I had his money, what freedom I would have!" But when we are satisfied, we say: "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not be in want" (Ps. 23:1). There comes a time when the love of God is poured into our hearts, and we don't feel any envy at all. We become happy with the way God made us and the way He has led us. That is what agape loves does for us: it doesn't envy, and it is not threatened by another person's position. Whenever we are tempted to envy someone, we need to remind ourselves that we don't know the other side. Perhaps if we knew the facts better we would realize there is not so much to be envious of.

Excerpted from Just Love (Christian Focus Publications Ltd., 1997).

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

Who Is Our Daysman?

Job 8:1-11:20 Job in this passage cries out for a daysman to stand between him and God. He was crying out for a mediator between God and himself. Job did not know that God's plan from the beginning of the earth was to provide such a daysman. Jesus Christ, who would be our intercessor and our redeemer, is now our daysman or mediator who stands on our behalf before God. Later as we read the Book of Job, we see how God revealed His plan to Job, and Job finally knew he had a redeemer—one who could buy back everything he had lost, one who could redeem his very own soul from destruction.

We are all familiar with Handel's Messiah and the part that declares, "I know that my redeemer liveth, and He will stand in the latter day." This is based on what Job finally knew in the Spirit. Job knew one day he would stand before God justified and made righteous because of his faith in this redeemer. Job also believed in the resurrection because he says later that his flesh would see God.

Job knew Jesus by the revelation of the Holy Spirit even as David knew Him. Even though Jesus had not been born as a babe in Bethlehem, He was seated next to the Father making intercession for Job and for David. Jesus was with God in the beginning of Creation, and by and through Jesus was everything made. He is the living Word who flung the universe into being, and later He was the Word made flesh.

Thank God we can know our redeemer personally. We have an advantage over David and Job. We can read about our redeemer's life on earth, the people He touched, the conversations He had with the Father and others, the experience He had on the cross, and His death, burial, resurrection and ascension to His former place—the right hand of the Father.

Join me as I praise Jesus, my redeemer, my daysman, who enables me to stand before the Father because of His righteousness. The Father through the Son has redeemed me from a life of darkness in sin and has translated me into His kingdom of light, which is filled with His righteousness, peace and joy. I can say with Job, "I know my redeemer lives, and one day my flesh will see Him face to face." What a day it will be when I see my daysman face to face. Hallelujah!!

READ: Job 8:1-11:20; 1 Corinthians 15:1-28; Psalm 38:1-22; Proverbs 21:28-29

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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

A Book About YOU

God has set goals for each of our lives. In fact, He recorded them in a book before time began.

"You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed" (Psalm 139:16, NLT).

That is phenomenal! Did you know a book was written about you? It's not just famous people who are featured in biographies. Your story is in a book, too, and the Author is none other than God. He wrote that book before you were conceived in your mother's womb. What a staggering thought—every moment of your life is recorded in that book. 

"For we are God's [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live]" (Ephesians 2:10, AMP).

God planned your paths beforehand, but notice that Paul writes "that we should walk in them." It doesn't say "that we would walk in them." There is a huge difference. Free will comes into effect here because fulfilling these assignments isn't automatic. We have to cooperate in our labor.

God has set the goals, but it's up to us to discover through prayer, reading His Word, and other spiritual means what's recorded for our lives. Then by His grace we fulfill them. For this reason Paul prays: "Since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God," (Colossians 1:9–10, NIV)

Knowing God's will for our lives gives us the ability to always please Him. However, it is not inevitable. God has set extraordinary goals for us, and they will not be accomplished without prayer, faith and fervent labor. 

Your life is unique, special and by no means an accident. No one is common or menial. We all were created for a unique path that is extraordinary.

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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