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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 267 }

Free me from the trap that is set for me, for you are my refuge. Into your hands I commit my spirit; redeem me, O Lord, the God of truth. —Psalm 31:4-5

The "trap" in this verse can represent many things to us, like spiritual, physical, financial, or relational quagmires. In Jesus's experience, the trap was His bearing the sin of the world before His exaltation. He cried, "Father, pull Me out of the impossible situation, for You are My strength." He knew He could not deliver Himself as He hung in the dark place between promise and fulfillment. His confidence rested in His Father alone. In our own times of trouble and personal injustice, the Lord is looking for that same cry to come forth from our hearts. God is calling us to this place of dependence. He is beckoning us to depend on Him with every hope for breakthrough, every need for provision, every dream of success. We must surrender our deepest desires to God's keeping. We are utterly unable to bring our prophetic promises to pass. Only He can change the times and seasons and bring the breakthrough we long for.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Father, Your Son's confidence as He faced death did not lie in circumstances or people—His confidence rested in You alone. Call me to this place of total dependence upon You; teach me to surrender myself completely to You.

Beloved, in our difficult seasons of life,
we must commit our deepest passions
and prophetic promises to God.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Blood Covenant

But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter, whose praise is not of men, but of God. —Romans 2:29

You are in covenant with God not because of a blood line, but because your heart has been circumcised by the Holy Spirit who pours the love of God into your heart (Romans 5:5). You were born in sin but there is life after birth. You can be born again in Christ (John 3:3).

The message woven throughout the Bible is that God made a covenant of love with mankind; everyone who chooses can become part of this covenant through Jesus Christ.

The desire of God's heart is to be God to us and for us to love Him with all our hearts. Everything God has ever said to His people, and every covenant He has ever made, builds on the fulfillment of that one desire.

If you are not seeking Him today with a pure heart, cleanse your heart of all deceit, all bitterness, and all envy. Allow the Holy Spirit to fill you with the love of God. The purpose of all your worship and devotion is to love Him with all your heart (Matthew 22:37). This is the covenant of love—the strongest of all covenants.

Lover of my soul, how I love You, Jesus. Be
Thou my bridegroom. My passionate
love is given to You alone. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

Spiritual Warfare

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers ... against spiritual wickedness in high places. —Ephesians 6:12, KJV

Satan already knows his doom, and he is also aware that his time is limited.

Something else that is certain about Satan is that he will try to take everybody down with him. He tries to do this by keeping people from being saved. He is called "the god of this world" who blinds "the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them" (2 Cor. 4:4, KJV).

When Satan fails and people are converted, he then does all that he can to keep them from holiness. He will try to get them to grieve and quench the Spirit.

New Christians need to be taught these things. They also need to know the devil will attempt to push us to extreme views about him. He will either try to get us to be overly preoccupied with him or to disregard him completely. If we become preoccupied with the occult, even if it's on the grounds that we just want to learn more about the dangers of Satan, we open ourselves up to oppression, if not possession, by evil spirits. So we need to be very careful. At the other extreme, if Satan can get us to discount anything to do with the occult as foolishness, he will be very pleased because then we will fail to be on our guard.

Here are nine more things about the devil: he is jealous, insecure, vengeful, and persistent. He is also unteachable (he never learns from his mistakes), a liar and a deceiver, and he is full of hate. But, most of all, he is resistible.

"Resist the devil, and he will flee from you" (James 4:7). That is a promise, and it works!

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

Who Is Righteous?

Romans 3:9-31 Yesterday we talked about what righteous people can do to save a city and nation. In today's reading we hear Paul's dramatic statements "There is none righteous, no, not one" (v. 10). "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (v. 23).

Paul is setting the backdrop for the rest of his letter to the believers in Rome. He is making it clear that righteousness is not based upon what we do, but upon who we are. If any of us seek to establish our own righteousness by doing righteous deeds, we will always be a failure. True righteousness is only possible through belief in Jesus Christ. He alone is the only righteous One, and only when He abides within us by the Holy Spirit are we able to be righteous men and women. In another letter Paul reveals how we can obtain such righteousness. He says, "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs to the hope of eternal life" (Titus 3:5-7, KJV).

We can only obtain true righteousness when we believe and receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. He is the only One who can cleanse us of all unrighteousness. There truly is none righteous, except for those who believe in Jesus Christ. Once we have received Jesus Christ, our lives are translated from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light that is ruled by Jesus Christ. We become the salt of the earth, able to preserve neighborhoods, cities and nations. We also can add flavor to the life of others when we introduce them to Jesus Christ. We are lights shining in the midst of darkness, and we are commanded to continually let our lights shine that men may see our good works and glorify God in heaven. Good works will follow us when we believe in Jesus because He does these works through us. The moment I strive to do a righteous work, I am not believing or trusting in Jesus. We are to surrender ourselves to Jesus, and He then can work righteousness in us and through us. He can even cause us to be instruments of righteousness that can lead others to enter into His righteousness.

What a privilege to be a partaker of the divine nature of Jesus Christ. He has a righteous nature, and as we abide in Him, we will continually be conformed to His righteousness. We can be transformed by the renewing of our minds, and as we surrender our bodies to Him, we can walk daily in His righteousness. It is His righteousness that draws men to Himself, not our own. Today let your light shine by walking in the spirit all the day long. When you do this, good works will always be manifested in your life, and others will notice.

READ: 1 Chronicles 22:1-23:32; Romans 3:9-31; Psalm 12:1-8; Proverbs 19:13-14


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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

You Were Expensive!

God's love for us is unconditional and unchanging. This is clearly seen in the words of Jesus' prayer the night before His crucifixion: "Then the world will know that you [God the Father] sent me [Jesus Christ] and will understand that you love them as much as you love me" (John 17:23, NLT).

Did you catch that? God loves you as much as He loves Jesus! That's almost too much to comprehend!

Scripture records that God's love "is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening]. Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end]" (1 Corinthians 13:7-8, AMP). His love for you can never weaken or become obsolete. It is impossible, for His love for you isn't based on your behavior but on His character of faithfulness. God's love for us is so all-encompassing that we simply cannot comprehend its scope.

He sent Jesus to die for us when we were still His enemies (see Romans 5:10). John the apostle writes, "For God so loved the world [you and me] that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).

Why did God give Jesus? The answer is simple: to purchase us back. Our forefather Adam gave up himself and consequently all his offspring (including you and me) to a new lord when he heeded Satan's words in the Garden of Eden. Adam disobeyed God and separated himself and his descendants from their Creator. But since God loved humankind so much, He wasn't willing to assign us the same fate as Satan and his angels.

God needed a creative plan to purchase our freedom. He did this by sending Jesus Christ, the second person of the Godhead, who was fathered by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin. Jesus was all man and all God and lived a perfect life (the only man ever to walk the earth without sin). He went to the cross and paid the price for our disobedience to God. He took our judgment so we wouldn't have to.

The price of our soul is so expensive that nothing else could have bought us back besides Jesus Himself. Scripture states, "God bought you with a high price" (1 Corinthians 6:20, NLT). Then again it's recorded that the Father "is so rich in kindness that he purchased our freedom through the blood of his Son" (Ephesians 1:7, NLT). No person or thing is more valuable to God than Jesus. Yet God saw our value equal to that of what He prized most.

Now here is the amazing fact: If you and I had been worth one cent less to God than the value of Jesus, He would not have purchased us because God would never make an unprofitable deal. God does not make bad purchases. (Recall the above scripture, "God bought you with a high price.") A bad purchase is when you give something of more value for something of less value. In God's eyes, Jesus' value is the same as yours! Do you see how important you are to God? This is why Jesus prays, "You love them as much as you love me" (John 17:23, NLT).

That's extraordinary love!

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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