Devotionals

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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 91 }

His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, nor his delight in the legs of a man; the Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love. —Psalm 147:10-11

Perhaps you have grown so accustomed to the constant, condemning barrage from the enemy, from your own accusing thoughts or the criticism of others, you hardly know what it is like to live without a sense of sin, failure, and rejection clouding your heart. You may have come to view yourself as failing, utterly unlovely and worthless, but that is not the way your beloved Lord sees you. As you look to Jesus and set your soul to follow Him at any cost, one loving glance seizes His heart and carries it away. "You have ravished My heart with one look from your eyes!" He exclaims. "I am overwhelmed by your devotion. You are so lovely, such a source of joy and delight to My heart!"

{ PRAYER STARTER }

There are times, dear God, when I feel like such a spiritual failure. But when I place my eyes back on You instead of on myself, I am filled afresh with the wonder of Your love, which enables me to rise above my weakness and become all You desire me to become.

God calls us forth in ways we would never dream,
yet we accuse ourselves so terribly.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

The Devil's Map

Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression. —Isaiah 58:1

Napoleon was one of the few men who came close to conquering the world. It is said that he would gather his warlords together to study a map of the world. He would point to a little red spot in the center of the map, an island called England, and roar, "Were it not for that red spot, I could conquer the world!"

There is a red spot on the earth today, and the demons swirl in the atmosphere, shaking with rage. They point to the Cross of Jesus Christ. The devil's plans to conquer the world were thwarted at Calvary. Now those who are washed in the precious blood of the Savior stand against the forces of evil and proclaim, "Jesus is Lord!"

God's blood-bought remnant on this planet has the responsibility to point others to the Cross. We must stand up in a world filled with the devil's lies and boldly declare, "Jesus is the only way to heaven!"

Jesus, You are my way, truth, and life.
Your cross is the only way to heaven.
I declare that every devil and demon that crosses my path
today is defeated in the name of Jesus. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

How to Cope With the Past

Many a time have they afflicted me from my youth, may Israel now say: Many a time have they afflicted me from my youth: yet they have not prevailed against me. —Psalm 129:1-2

When it comes to our past, God knows everything. God wants to bring us to the place where we can be ourselves. We do not have to pretend, because God knows us. We also know that He has forgiven us. What is certain is that we must not let past failure or our lack of spiritual progress immobilize us.

This psalm is a reminder that some have a past full of hurts. Perhaps that describes you. If that is the case, remember two things: in the Christian family there will be fellow believers who have suffered in a way similar to you, who can sympathize with you; best of all, Jesus will sympathize with you.

There are some people who have such a keen sense of rejection that they just can't handle a situation where someone tries to love them. They believe somehow it won't be true.

But even though you have known rejection and hurt or have damaged emotions, these experiences will not save you. You may think that because of these experiences you deserve a special break and somehow God will let you into heaven. But He will not.

A lot of people, if they have had some kind of hurt, have not received the victory over their attitude toward the problem. Instead they let the situation have the victory over them.

We must deal with the anger and bitterness toward those who caused the hurt or toward God for allowing it. If we do, God grants us a sweetness of spirit that will lead us actually to pray for those who caused the hurt.

Let me tell you how to cope with your past. It is not to say, "This is the way I am"; it is to say with the psalmist, "But they have not gained the victory."

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

Let Your Light Shine

Matthew 5:1-26 One of the scriptures that always comes to my remembrance when I pray is, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven" (Matt. 5:16.) We are exhorted in the Scriptures to challenge one another to love and good works (Heb. 10:24).

When we were in India, one of the Indian pastors our church supports was under observation by the police. The pastor's neighbors called the police to report that Mr. Raju was having much activity at his home and they suspected he was drug dealing. A police inspector was assigned to follow Mr. Raju. After following Mr. Raju for two weeks, the policeman knocked on Mr. Raju's door. "May I come in?" the police inspector asked John Raju. John let the policeman in, and then the inspector confessed he had been following John for two weeks. The inspector said, "I have a question to ask you, Mr. Raju. What causes you to do so many good things for so many people?" In the two weeks the inspector had followed John he saw John visiting leper colonies, feeding orphans and widows and doing many other good works.

John replied to the inspector's question, "My Boss instructs me to do these good works."

The inspector then asked enthusiastically, "Who is your boss? I would like to meet him." John then shared the gospel with the inspector and introduced him to Jesus Christ, his Boss, and on that day Jesus gained another eternal employee. We had the privilege of seeing the inspector baptized while we were in India.

Let His light shine through you today, and others will see His good works through you and glorify God in heaven. Your main work today above all other work is to trust and love Jesus with all of your heart and allow His love to flow through you to others. Join me in a prayer I pray almost every morning:

Lord, help me to love as You love.

READ: Genesis 11:1-13:4; Matthew 5:1-26; Psalm 5:1-12; Proverbs 1:24-28

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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

The Kingdom of Heaven: Here or Near?

"Go and announce to them that the Kingdom of Heaven is near. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons." (Matthew 10:7-8, NLT)

Jesus directed the disciples with these words after giving them power (grace) to minister (Matthew 10:1, NLT). They were to declare the kingdom. God's will was to be done on earth as it is in heaven. If there was a condition in a person's life that was not congruent with heaven's standard, it was to change. People in heaven are not tormented by demons. People in heaven do not have any diseases. People in heaven are not sick. People in heaven are not hungry. The power the apostles had received was to change what was contrary to heaven on earth!

However, we must note (see Matthew 10:7, NLT) that the disciples were to proclaim the kingdom only as near. Yet once the Day of Pentecost had come, it was no longer near but here! The kingdom is now in the hearts of men and women who are born again and filled with His Spirit, just as the kingdom was in and manifested through Jesus as He walked this earth.

In the gospels, when the apostles went forth to bear fruit, the Holy Spirit was only with them and the kingdom was only near. However, Jesus shows that after the kingdom comes, the Holy Spirit will be in us—within. This is why He instructed all of us just before His ascension to heaven, "As the Father has sent Me, I also send you" (John 20:21, NKJV). We have the power within to advance the kingdom in the hearts and lives of people exactly as Jesus did; it's all because of His amazing grace!

Once the kingdom is within, we can advance it, no matter if we are a businessperson, stay-at-home mom, doctor, schoolteacher, mechanic, student, or politician—our occupation does not matter. He commissions all of us.

I hope it's becoming clear. Grace is God's empowering presence, which gives us the ability to live godly lives in the present and to do what is required to advance the kingdom. Grace gives us the ability to go beyond our own ability in every area of life to please God—to live extraordinarily. The reason God set it up this way is simple: He gets all the glory, not us.

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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