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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 25 }

God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus. —Romans 3:25-26

I have often been asked, "If God is a God of love, how could He send anyone to hell?" But the more appropriate question is this: If God is a God of perfect holiness, how could He send anyone to heaven? How can a holy and just God arbitrarily overlook sin? How could a loving God not forgive sin? Immutable holiness and unconditional love collide. The greatness of God was displayed, not in the fact that He forgave our sins, but in precisely the way He forgave them—He sent His Son as a perfect sacrifice for us. His love was displayed, and His justice was satisfied.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Jesus, I will comprehend Your willingness to give up Your life for mine! Thank You for Your sacrifice on the cross of shame for my sins. Forgive my sins, and prepare me to be worthy of eternity with You in heaven.

God would never violate His holiness, nor
would He turn away from His love.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

The Old Covenant

If ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people. —Exodus 19:5

After four hundred years of bondage in a pagan nation, the Israelites did not understand God. Soon they returned to idol worship. From Mount Sinai, God gave them a set of laws (engraved on tablets of stone) to help them learn how to live holy lives. Yet, the first thing that Israel did was build a golden calf, breaking the first commandment. The Law reveals our sin but cannot empower us to be obedient or righteous.

Living under the old covenant clearly revealed the need for a new and improved covenant (Hebrews 8:7). The old covenant foreshadowed the greater one to come.

Jesus instituted a better and more perfect contract signed in His blood. God’s commandments no longer lie rigid and cold in stone, but now live and breathe inside us (2 Corinthians 3:3).

The new covenant fulfills the prophetic promise given in Jeremiah: “But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel: After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts, and will be their God, and they shall be my people” (31:33). Is His new covenant written on your heart?

Lord Jesus, make my life a living letter written by
Your Spirit so that others may see You in me.
I desire to live a life empowered by Your
Spirit. May others always see You in
all that I say and do. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

Rejoice in the Lord!

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! ... Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. —Philippians 4:4, 6

Rejoicing is, more often than not, a choice. We all love spontaneous rejoicing. Such comes from answered prayer, the answers to our questions, the manifestation of the miraculous, the success and prosperity we wanted. It takes little faith to rejoice when it is precipitated by happy, external circumstances. But the command to rejoice comes because we don't always feel like rejoicing—and yet Paul said to do it all the time. Not rejoicing because of all that has happened but rather "in all circumstances" (1 Thess. 5:18, emphasis added). The choice we make to rejoice comes because we simply don't feel like rejoicing. We just have to do it.

How do you rejoice when you don't feel like it? The answer is, you find things for which you certainly should be thankful and then discipline yourself to voice that gratitude. I go through my journal every morning, item by item of the previous day, and thank the Lord in detail for everything. I have been doing it for over fifteen years. My wife, Louise, and I frequently do this together. Once, when returning to Key Largo in Florida (where we now live) from the airport, Louise said, "Let's thank the Lord for twenty-five things that took place over the weekend." We had a wonderful weekend in Connecticut. We began taking turns and naming particular things. When we finished, Louise said we had mentioned fifty-three things. I think God liked that.

Showing gratitude is the sort of thing you can make yourself do whether you feel like it or not. There are always things you can thank God for if you look around. In other words, even if you don't feel like it, do it anyway.

Excerpted from Pure Joy (Charisma House, 2006).



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Around the Word in 365 Days

Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

God Said It, I Believe It, I Receive It

Numbers 22:21-23:30 This passage relates the story of Balaam, a prophet who was certainly not perfect, but a prophet who knew God was true to His Word. Balaam said, "God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: Hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? (Num. 23:19, KJV).

God always makes His Word good. He keeps His Word, and He performs His Word. He makes His Word good. When we believe this about God's character, we will be able to trust Him and trust His Word. The only reason why we would hesitate to trust the Lord would be that we believe somehow that He will not do what He has said He will do. If we doubt His trustworthiness, then we will not trust Him.

How can we build our trust in the Lord? The only way this will happen is if we read His Word and see His faithfulness to His own Word to perform it throughout history. When we read God's Word, we will see that His Word always performs that which it is sent out to do. When we know this, we can trust Him.

Father, You have proven over and over again in Your Word that You are trustworthy. You never lie, and all of Your promises are "yes and amen" through Jesus Christ. As I read through the Bible this year, help me to be built up in faith. I never want to doubt Your Word, because Your Word is Truth. Amen.

READ: Numbers 22:21-23:30; Luke 1:57-80; Psalm 58:1-11; Proverbs 11:12-13

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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

A Book About YOU

God has set goals for each of our lives. In fact, He recorded them in a book before time began.

"You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed" (Psalm 139:16, NLT).

That is phenomenal! Did you know a book was written about you? It's not just famous people who are featured in biographies. Your story is in a book, too, and the Author is none other than God. He wrote that book before you were conceived in your mother's womb. What a staggering thought—every moment of your life is recorded in that book. 

"For we are God's [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live]" (Ephesians 2:10, AMP).

God planned your paths beforehand, but notice that Paul writes "that we should walk in them." It doesn't say "that we would walk in them." There is a huge difference. Free will comes into effect here because fulfilling these assignments isn't automatic. We have to cooperate in our labor.

God has set the goals, but it's up to us to discover through prayer, reading His Word, and other spiritual means what's recorded for our lives. Then by His grace we fulfill them. For this reason Paul prays: "Since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God," (Colossians 1:9–10, NIV)

Knowing God's will for our lives gives us the ability to always please Him. However, it is not inevitable. God has set extraordinary goals for us, and they will not be accomplished without prayer, faith and fervent labor. 

Your life is unique, special and by no means an accident. No one is common or menial. We all were created for a unique path that is extraordinary.

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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