Devotionals

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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 24 }

Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. —Romans 6:12-14

When you begin to comprehend God's perfect and immutable holiness, and at the same time realize His unfathomable love for you, then you will begin to understand His hatred of sin in your life. The illumination of your heart with the knowledge of God transforms you into that same image. A casual attitude about sin comes from an incomplete understanding of God.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Make me holy, Father, and separate me from anything that hinders me from serving You with a pure heart. Transform me into the image of Your Son, who gave His life that I might live.

The cross of Calvary was the greatest display
of the character and attributes of God.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Covenant Blood

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me. —Galatians 2:20

Both parties of the covenant cut their right hands and mingled their blood, symbolizing they were now one person with a new nature.

Jesus Christ is at God's right hand (Ephesians 1:20), and His precious blood is the only blood shed for this new covenant. His pure blood replaced our polluted stream. God's own arm brought salvation (Isaiah 63:5).

To be crucified with Christ is to die to the old self. The old life is drained from me, and His pure blood fills me with new life. "And Jesus Christ was revealed as God's Son by his baptism in water and by shedding his blood on the cross—not by water only, but by water and blood (1 John 5:6 nlt).

When we enter God's covenant, we become a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). We receive His laws written on our hearts (Hebrews 8:10). We die to all self-centeredness and self-seeking. Everything we do—our attitudes, our motives, our every action—we surrender to the God of the covenant.

Declare with confidence today, "Yet not I, but Christ liveth in me" (Galatians 2:20). Receive a new heart from the Lord (Ezekiel 36:26).

Lord God, change my heart of stone into a new
|heart of flesh. Replace my hardness with a
tenderness toward You. Fill my heart with
Your living waters so that life
flows through me. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

Lonely but Never Alone

And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. —Matthew 28:20

There are varieties of loneliness. For example, there is the loneliness of solitude—being alone without companions. You live alone. You eat alone. You watch television alone. You spend Christmas alone.

Then there is loneliness of singleness. I think the hardest question I am asked is why does God allow evil—to which I just reply, "I don't know!" The next hardest question I am asked is, "RT, why can't I find a wife?" "Why can't I find a husband?" "Why can't I find a girlfriend or boyfriend?" My heart goes out to such people.

I grant that there are a lot of people who are single and very happy; they don't want it any other way. But many would like to be married—they are so lonely. But there is something worse than being single, and that's being married—but unhappily. Part of the loneliness of singleness is sexual frustration. Sex is a God-given desire. Sex was not born in Hollywood but at the throne of grace. There is a physical need for sexual fulfillment. Loneliness only adds to this, and my heart goes out to the many who suffer in this way.

Jesus is at the right hand of God. When He was on earth He was tempted at all points, just as we are (Heb. 4:15), but I have to say that He resisted. But it is comforting to know that Jesus has never forgotten what it was like then. He therefore sympathizes now. The difference between Jesus and some of us is that once we come out of something, we forget what it was like. Jesus has never forgotten what it was like.

Excerpted from The Thorn in the Flesh (Charisma House, 2004).


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Around the Word in 365 Days

Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

The Perfect Sin Sacrifice

Mark 16:1-20 God is a God of infinite detail. He made sure that Jesus fulfilled every requirement for a sin sacrifice according to His laws. The account in Mark of Mary Magdalene bringing sweet spices on the Sabbath to anoint Jesus' body reveals a very important fact about Jesus' burial.

Jesus died around 3 p.m. in the afternoon just before sundown on a Friday. At sundown the Sabbath would begin, and the body could not be prepared on that day. When Jesus delivered His spirit into the hands of the Father and died, He was taken off the cross and wrapped for burial. There was not sufficient time to prepare His body completely for burial because those tending Him were rushing to get the job done before sundown.

When the Sabbath was past, the two Marys brought sweet spices to anoint the body of Jesus and thus complete the embalming process that could not be completed before the Sabbath. Along with these sweet spices I believe frankincense was included. Frankincense is a sweet white gum that comes from a tree in Israel. It has a sweet odor and was mixed with other sweet spices to make the holy perfume mentioned in Exodus 30:34. Frankincense was used with oil to cover most of the sacrificial offerings required by the Levitical law. There was one sacrifice, however, upon which frankincense was forbidden for anointing. This sacrifice was the sin offering. We find this in Leviticus 5:11: "He shall put no oil upon it, neither shall he put any frankincense thereon: for it is a sin offering" (KJV).

God is a God of infinite detail. He made sure frankincense was never laid on the body of Jesus, because if it had been, He would not have fulfilled the requirements as the perfect sin sacrifice. I believe Mary was carrying the very frankincense that was given to her by the Magi on the night Jesus was born. She probably kept it in a safe place and treasured it for years.

The scriptures do not tell us that Mary was carrying frankincense, but it is a natural assumption since she was carrying sweet spices. I believe this was the case and that it proves how awesome our God is. He has marked the heavens with the span of His hand and can hold all the waters on earth in the hollow of His hand (Isa. 40:12), yet He humbles Himself to number the hairs on our heads and to see the hearts of men. He has named every star in the universes (Ps. 147:4-5), and yet He saw the need to prevent frankincense from being applied to the body of our Lord, which would have nullified His acceptance as the perfect sin sacrifice.

All we have talked about this morning should give us strong confidence that God can meet our needs through Jesus Christ because He loves us. Jesus fulfilled every requirement to be the perfect sin offering for our sake, and because He did, we now can have access to the throne room of God through prayer and can approach His throne of grace and find help in time of need. So what are you worried about?

READ: Numbers 16:41-18:32; Mark 16:1-20; Psalm 55:1-23; Proverbs 11:7

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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

Divine Empowerment

God didn’t just rescue us; He empowered us so that we can live successfully here in this world. He didn’t want children who would have the title of righteousness but not have the ability to overcome the sins and weaknesses that ensnared them in the first place. No, He designed salvation to be complete—triumphant living in this world as well as in the one to come.

"Every Scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, [and] for training in righteousness (in holy living, in conformity to God's will in thought, purpose, and action)"

(2 Timothy 3:16, AMP).

God took great care in getting His Word to us, so why do we take it so lightly and not put more emphasis on it? Why do we try to make His infallible Word fit into or confirm our lifestyle or social culture instead of allowing it to shape our lives? It's incorruptible, eternal and can never be altered or changed. It is the rock where we're to stand firm and to base our lives on.


The living Word not only instructs but also empowers us to live above our own human potential—extraordinarily. We've been born again; we're brand-new people; we're sons and daughters of God!

It's so amazing when you think of it. The stars that sailors have set their course by for generations, the sun that has given light and warmth to our atmosphere for thousands and thousands of years, and the constellations that have been shining for longer than humans can remember can all fade out and die before the Word of God can fail. The Word of God is so mighty that it holds all created things together!

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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