Devotionals

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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 261 }

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called—one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. —Ephesians 4:2-6

The Lord told David to go to Hebron and only take a little bit of the kingdom. There were twelve tribes of Israel, and Hebron represented only one. God was testing and training David once again. He wanted David to find his identity in God, not in being king of Israel. Therefore, God only released a partial fulfillment of the full destiny promised to him. God will do this to us, too. It's an agonizing experience, but it builds incredible patience in us. David spent seven more years limited to the city of Hebron. Still, he didn't become angry with God for making him wait through another season of testing. He knew the Lord would give him all of Israel when it was time. He was after the perfect will of God and would not settle for less. The only reason David could act this way lay in his identity: being king of Israel was not the key to his sense of importance. And we too will triumph in the lesson of Hebron when we see we are already successful before God and don't strive for success before men by going after position and honor.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Teach me, Father, that the accumulation of blessings that You have brought into my life pale in importance to the intimate relationship You long to share with me. Let me dwell in Hebron, the place of partial fulfillment of Your destiny for me, content to find my identity in You and You alone.

God wants you to find your identity
in God, not in earthly success.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Whom Will You Believe?

And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gideon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae, of David also-.-.-.-Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions.-.-.-.- —Hebrews 11:32-33

Sometimes when we are confronted by the cares of the world, we find ourselves believing in a God who is different from the God of the Bible. Not believing God is who He says He is probably accounts for most of the uncertainty and defeat in our lives.

Believe in Him! The God of the Bible always hears and answers your prayers. The God of the Bible does not cower in the presence of the devil and will never leave you nor forsake you. The God of the Bible cannot fail.

He is the God of battles, the Lord of Hosts, and the God of victory. He will never surrender in the face of adversity because the war is over and He has emerged victorious! Just believe in Him and the battle is already won!

Never consider defeat when He is in the plan and the battle. Never allow doubt to distort His Word or truth. Above the roar of the battle, only one voice rings out the truth—the voice of God. Listen to His still, small voice whispering His truth in your heart.

God, how I listen intently for Your voice in
Your Word, in worship, in the stillness,
in the Spirit, and in the prophetic
moments. Speak to me and I will
both listen and believe. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

Lifestyle Worship

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. —Ephesians 4:1

The way we guard against being a hypocrite six days a week and acting piously on Sundays is by applying the Word of God to our lives. Revival in a church may be quite extraordinary, but it is only a question of whether each member is following the conductor's score in his private life. In an orchestra, the sound is no greater than the sum of the different parts. As Paul says in Ephesians 4:16, "From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love" (KJV). So our worship ought to be a glorious symphony to God—no one out of tune, no one playing too loudly, each person following his or her own score.

Though our worship is not a performance designed to attract other people, or pander to our own love of display, there is a sense in which it is a performance—a performance for God. Our worship is for God, the King of kings; should that not affect us as we prepare for the Sunday worship since our Sunday worship is the culmination of what we are all the time?

How do we actually achieve this? How does the right performance come about? The first is practice at the individual level.

We can all practice living in the presence of God from minute to minute. And in order to do this, we must outlaw all bitterness from our lives. We must seek to be filled with love, with total forgiveness, and acceptance of each other.

Excerpted from Worshipping God (Hodder & Stoughton, 2004).

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

You've Got to Serve Somebody

Romans 6:1-23 One of the things men rebel against is serving a master. Many rebel against serving God because they feel they will not be able to do their own thing. What rebellious people do not realize is that even though they are not serving God, they are serving another master when they do their own thing. When we resist God, we submit to Satan. When we submit to God, we are able to resist Satan.

In this passage in Romans Paul makes it quite clear that we are all servants. We are either servants of sin or servants of righteousness. The fruit of sin is death. The fruit of righteousness is peace, joy and life. We have to decide which fruit we want our lives to produce. If we honestly look at this choice, it truly is a "no brainer." Who on earth would choose death over life, peace and joy? Yet many make such a choice daily when they seek to do their own thing rather than God's thing.

Paul exhorts us to offer the members of our bodies as an instrument of righteousness unto God. If we do not offer the members of our bodies to God, then we have by our own neglect or apathy submitted the members of our bodies to Satan through giving into our own lusts. If we do not reckon ourselves dead daily to sin, then the members of our bodies will be alive to lusts and to Satan's plan, not God's plan for our lives. A daily prayer I pray is:

Lord, I offer the members of my body today to You to be used as instruments of Your love, righteousness, peace and joy.

When I pray this prayer, I know I have submitted to God, and I also know He will give me the strength to resist the devil and give me the power to say no to my own lusts. If I sincerely want to do God's thing today instead of my own thing, He will move heaven and earth to see that I have the power and ability to do His will. In fact, He has already moved heaven and earth to empower me to do His thing instead of my thing. The earth quaked when Jesus died on the cross for me, and the heavens were opened when Jesus ascended victorious over sin and death.

God only wants one thing from us today. He wants us. We can offer our bodies as a living sacrifice to Him today by offering the members of our bodies to be used as instruments of His love, righteousness, peace and joy. If we will do this, the power of heaven and earth are at our disposal. His name is Jesus. He is all power and has defeated every other power in rebellion against Him. He has defeated Satan and provided a way for us to escape from our own fleshly lusts. Hallelujah!!!

READ: 2 Chronicles 1:1-3:17; Romans 6:1-23; Psalm 16:1-11; Proverbs 19:20-21


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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

Bringing Heaven to Earth

Jesus' mission of revealing the kingdom could be identified with one word: righteousness. We are told, "For the kingdom of God is…righteousness" (Romans 14:17, NKJV). Jesus tells us to "seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness" (Matthew 6:33, NKJV). To put it simply, righteousness means "right in the eyes of God."

Scripture makes it crystal clear: "There is none righteous, no, not one" (Romans 3:10, NKJV). Unless someone is born again by the incorruptible seed of the Word of God, it is impossible to be righteous or acceptable in the eyes of God. However, the Word declares: "Christ was without sin, but for our sake God made him share our sin in order that in union with him we might share the righteousness of God." (2 Corinthians 5:21, TEV)

Because of what Jesus did for us, we are now acceptable to God in every way. Right standing with Him has nothing to do with our effort but is based on the amazing work of Jesus Christ. It breaks my heart to hear Christians refer to themselves as miserable sinners who have just been forgiven when such a great price was paid for us to not only be forgiven and delivered but also to be re-created in the image of Jesus.

First and foremost, the kingdom within speaks of the divine nature, which empowers us to live holy and fruitful in this present world. This power is most evident in the life of Jesus. He showed how humankind was created to live—not bound to the burning desires of fallen flesh, but motivated by righteousness, propelled by the power of the Holy Spirit in love, joy, and peace—abounding in forgiveness, healing, restoration, and lifting others to the higher life. This is the kingdom; it's not only to live holy but also to bring heaven to our lost and dying world.

Now here is His charge to us: "As the Father has sent Me, I also send you." (John 20:21, NKJV)

What a statement! We are to bring heaven to earth in the same manner Jesus did. In essence, this is how it should be: To see one of Christ's true followers is to see Jesus, just as seeing Jesus was to see the Father.

What a responsibility—and an opportunity—this is for each of 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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