Devotionals

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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 58 }

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. —Romans 12:1-2

The most powerful witness you and I can give sinners is a radiant life demonstrating that the will of God is good, acceptable, and perfect. Nonbelievers are looking for a contented, fulfilled people who aren't trying to cast off God's restraints—a people who are joyfully abandoned and totally committed to His cause. They need to see Christians who have taken up their crosses, turned their backs to the world, and given their all to the Christ who gave everything to them.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

I want to be joyfully abandoned and totally committed to Your cause, God. Teach me Your ways so that I can prove Your good, acceptable, and perfect purpose in my life.

Nonbelievers long for something or someone that's
worth being passionate for—something
that costs them everything.


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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Get Ready

They marvel at how expectantly you await the arrival of his Son-.-.-.-Jesus, who rescued us from certain doom. —1 Thessalonians 1:10, The Message

The Greek word amaneno translated "await" here is still used in the Greek language today to stress the eagerness of the waiting as well as the readiness of those who are waiting. Paul commended the Thessalonians for their faithful service as they waited for the Lord's return.

Like the Thessalonians, we too are to be ready when Christ returns for the church. How? Through service—our labor of love.

We are admonished in Romans 10:12 to "prefer one another and again" in Hebrews 10:24 to "consider one another." The writers were telling us not to be so wrapped up in ourselves and what we are doing, that we have no time to lend a hand to those in need.

Give yourself wholeheartedly in service to God and His people, and you will be ready for the Lord's return. Don't wait to be served before you serve others. Give without expectation of return. God will reward you and take care of your needs.

Jesus, teach me to serve others the way
You served. I desire to be Your servant
and to prefer others
over myself. Amen.

 

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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

The Power of the Word

When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law. —Matthew 7:28-29

God cares about the honor of His name. But He cares even more about His integrity, which is His Word. This is why Psalm 138:2 says that God has magnified His Word over all His name.

Signs, wonders, and miracles were first unveiled in the Bible when God revealed His name to Moses (Exod. 6:2-3). Yet God wants His Word to be magnified above signs and wonders. Salvation is more important than miracles. Salvation was thus unveiled to Abraham four hundred years before the era of signs and wonders. We are not saved by signs and wonders but by the gospel.

We must be careful, therefore, to walk in obedience to all the Word. Jesus said, "Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms" (Luke 24:44). "Not the least stroke of a pen" would be omitted from the fulfillment of the Law (Matt. 5:18). This shows how clearly and carefully God regards every word He utters.

When Jesus healed a boy with an evil spirit, "they were all amazed at the greatness of God" (Luke 9:43, emphasis added). And yet the exact same word, ekplesso, is used to describe the affect of Jesus' words when He finished the Sermon on the Mount.

This shows that Jesus could amaze people by His word as easily as by signs and wonders! Indeed, when He put the Sadducees in their place, the crowds "were astonished [same Greek word] at his teaching" (Matt. 22:33, emphasis added).

If Jesus could amaze and astonish either by His word or by miracles, it seems to me that this should happen today as well. But we apparently have lost faith in the power of the Word and fancy that miraculous healings alone can restore God's honor. In my opinion, either should do this.

Excerpted from The Anointing: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow (Charisma House, 2003).

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

Like Lightning

Matthew 24:1-28 Suddenly without warning a flash of lightning bolts through the sky. The Second Coming of the Lord will be just that sudden. Does this strike fear in your heart?

Fear was my reaction when David Wilkerson interrupted his message when he was speaking at the Savannah Civic Center with this message: "Jesus just walked in the back door of this auditorium. Look! He is here!"

The audience turned to look, and then he asked us, "What did you feel when I said this?" It was a dramatic illustration of how suddenly the Lord can return. My first thought was, I'm not ready. The bride has the responsibility to make herself ready for the Lord's return. I realized that I must prepare myself. However, no matter how well we prepare, we will never be totally ready. My only hope of being presentable as the bride to my husband, the Lord Jesus Christ, is found in the scripture below: "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure" (1 John 3:2-3, KJV).

With this hope of being like Jesus when He appears, we have no more fear. Faith is the evidence of things not seen, the substance of things hoped for. The substance of hope for us is the promises of God written in His Word. What a great promise to hold to until He comes. I do not have to be fearful about His coming, but I do have the responsibility to purify myself daily. How do I do this? Daily I sin, and often I am not even sure of all the ways I have sinned. The Word of God says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9, KJV).

I can purify myself daily by confessing my sins, both known and those I do not know about, to the Lord. I also ask Him for the strength to overcome the next time I am tempted to sin. Each day I pray, "Lead me not into temptation, but deliver me from evil." Jesus is the only One who can cleanse me and get me ready for His coming. I will be ready if my heart is daily turned to Him.

Lord, I confess my sins to You today. Cleanse me and help me to walk in Your ways. Thank You for Your purity. Purify my heart today.

READ: Exodus 21:22-23:13; Matthew 24:1-28; Psalm 29:1-11; Proverbs 7:6-23

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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

Living Larger

"And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace" (John 1:16, NKJV).

And of His fullness we have all received. The completeness of Jesus has been imparted to us! Not the fullness of a prime minister, president, celebrity, rock star, great athlete or scholar, but the comprehensiveness of Jesus Christ Himself. If you really hear this, you'll never envy another man or woman again. You have the full nature of Jesus Christ in you!

The word nature is defined as "the innate or essential qualities or character of a person."

We are in Christ, He is in us, and we have the fullness of His nature. The seed planted in us when we were born again is all that makes Christ who He is! How awesome. In this world we have the comprehensiveness of His nature!

John says it like this: "As He is, so are we in this world" (1 John 4:17, NKJV). So many believers think that someday in heaven we'll be as He is, but for now on earth we are struggling sinners who've merely been forgiven. This is a mammoth lie, and it keeps people in bondage and nullifies the power of grace in their lives.

And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. (John 1:16)

Here is the point so many miss: Receiving the fullness of God's nature is directly connected with grace. It is God's unmerited gift—a gift that not only saved us from eternal damnation but also gave us His characteristics. One aspect of grace is just as real as the other, and it was all provided the moment we were saved.

God's divine nature was freely imparted to us, and our once hardened hearts were replaced by the seed of God's inherent characteristics. We now have the ability to live as He intended humankind to live from the beginning—extraordinarily. We now can live this life as sons and daughters of God, in His image, His likeness, possessing His ability through grace!

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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