Devotionals

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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 82 }

The voice of my beloved! Behold, he comes leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills. —Song of Solomon 2:8, NKJV

Because the Lord loves us so affectionately and so deeply, He gives us a whole new revelation of Himself. At this stage of this beautiful song of love, the maiden sees her beloved in an entirely different dimension. She watches as he comes to her, leaping and skipping like a gazelle. The hills and mountains speak of obstacles that must be overcome. They include trials and tribulations of Christian growth. They also refer to our struggle against satanic principalities and powers. These obstacles may be the kingdoms of this world that oppose the gospel. It doesn't matter. No obstacle is insurmountable for our God.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Lord, I recognize the hills and mountains that bring the trials and tribulations of Christian growth. May I never lose sight of the fact that each step I take over these mountains brings me closer and closer to You.

Little by little in this progression of holy passion,
we begin to figure out that fervency is not the same as full maturity.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Possess Your Land

Therefore all they that devour thee shall be devoured; and all thine adversaries, every one of them, shall go into captivity; and they that spoil thee shall be a spoil. —Jeremiah 30:16

God did not drive out the inhabitants of the Promised Land. He promised the territory to the Israelites, but they had to possess it.

Any army strategist understands the meaning of possession: Enemy territory has been occupied, and the spoils of war have been taken. You are engaged in a battle against the enemy of your soul. The devil has stolen what belongs to you, and God is telling you to take it back.

Let God transform your thinking. Stop relying on your feelings and start trusting His Word and His will for your life. You may feel defeated, but Christ has already won your victory at the Cross. You may feel sick, but Christ has already healed you by His stripes. You may feel impoverished, but Christ has already laid up an eternal inheritance for you in heaven. Don't trust your feelings—trust Jesus.

Make this your season to spoil the enemy and possess your spiritual Promised Land of blessing and abundance.

God, I trust You, not my feelings, thoughts, or circumstances.
I refuse to believe the lies of the enemy. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

Love to Cope

[Love] always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. —1 Corinthians 13:7

Why be filled with the love of God? In the time of testing, in the time of trial, does it work? And the apostle Paul pauses, almost dramatically, to show that this love of God will not only enable us to be like Jesus, but also will support us in the time of severest trial. We can put up with anything if we have this love.

The verse contains four descriptions of love: love trusts, hopes, protects, and perseveres. And these four descriptions stand alongside four envisaged situations. They are four negative situations that you and I face all the time. Paul shows how love meets each particular situation. These situations are listed in ascending order with regard to the amount of pressure that they have on us. So the minimal level, or the minor pressure, is where a wrong has been done to us. Alongside this Paul says, "Love always protects."

Then there is the next level, that of moderate pressure where there is an external want in our lives. Alongside that Paul says love "always trusts." Then there is a higher level, that of major pressure, where a worry totally dominates us. Alongside that Paul says love "always hopes." But the highest level, that of maximum pressure, is spiritual warfare. Addressing this situation, Paul says love "always perseveres." So, at each level of pressure, we are given descriptions of love, but there is more. We need to see that the grace that equips us for the situation is that which also enables us to protect, trust, hope, and persevere.

Paul is showing us the benefits that are ours that enable us to cope in the time of pressure. He says that we protect, we trust, we hope, we persevere. He doesn't say we will be shouting "Glory! Hallelujah!" all the time. He doesn't say, "Oh, this is wonderful!" Nothing like that. But what he does say is that it works.

Excerpted from Just Love (Christian Focus Publications Ltd., 1997).

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

Come Unto Me

Matthew 11:7-30 The invitation extended throughout the Word of God is "Come unto Me." We live in a world that is burdened and heavy-laden, a world where men have no rest for their souls. Men everywhere seek peace of mind and long to have joy in living. They run to drugs for pseudo peace and alcohol for temporary highs, but there is no lasting peace or joy apart from the Lord. Only the Shepherd and Bishop of our souls, Jesus Christ, can offer eternal peace and joy and right standing with God the Father. He gives us the invitation today, "Come to Me, and learn of Me meekness and lowliness of heart."

Daily we have the choice to accept His gracious invitation or to reject it. He alone can teach us meekness and lowliness of heart, but we must open the textbook, which is His Word. As we read His Word, He teaches us and transforms our restless souls into rest filled-souls—souls filled with His joy, His peace, His righteousness. How can we ever refuse to enter His classroom daily? Each day we attend class, we will learn more, and we will grow more like our great Teacher.

I have seen restless souls, and it is not a pleasant sight. Restless souls run from conference to conference, ever seeking to learn the truth and to gain knowledge. But they return from these conferences the same as they were before they went. Restless souls are not willing to spend time in the classroom. They are always looking for recess—the time in the day when they can feel something—some thrill or excitement in the game of life. These restless souls are lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God. They have never learned the truth that in the presence of the Lord is fullness of joy and pleasures forever more.

So many of us are guilty from time to time of seeking the feeling instead of the Person. Every day I take time to be with the lover of my soul, Jesus, who is my spiritual husband. If I spend quality time with Him, my soul is always touched. I may not have a thrill, but knowing His nearness is enough for me. I listen intently as He teaches me meekness and lowliness of heart, and I make sure I do not miss one of His classes. Every day I have the privilege of sitting at the feet of the greatest lecturer and teacher in the whole world—Jesus Christ.

Are you going to attend class every day this week?

Thank You, Lord Jesus, for teaching me meekness and lowliness of heart. If I learn the lessons You teach, I will pass every lab test I encounter in this life. Help me to be attentive today to Your words, and don't let my mind wander to recess time.

READ: Genesis 32:13-34:31; Matthew 11:7-30; Psalm 14:1-7; Proverbs 3:19-20

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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

A Sexual Nightmare

We are straying far from God's heart because we are so influenced by our society. In so many ways, the church has become a subculture rather than what we are called to be—a counterculture.

The gospel of forgiveness and inheriting heaven is preached but not the complete gospel of also being set free from the dominion of sin. As a result, many are easily conformed to this world, where it's common for a man and woman to live together, have sex outside of marriage or with the same gender, and divorce and remarry for reasons other than unfaithfulness. And these practices are becoming more common among Christians because the church has not proclaimed what Jesus has freed us from.

It pleases God when we live holy, especially in our sexuality. This is the area that usually goes haywire outwardly if there is a deeper problem inwardly. If you were able to look into the heart of a professing Christian who is enslaved to fornication, adultery, homosexuality, pornography or any other sexual impurity, you would most likely find a deeper issue. It could be pride, rebellion, lust for power, bitterness, envy or some other iniquity, but no matter what's there, the root is always a lack of true fear of the Lord.

Finally, dear brothers and sisters, we urge you in the name of the Lord Jesus to live in a way that pleases God, as we have taught you. You are doing this already, and we encourage you to do so more and more. For you remember what we taught you in the name of the Lord Jesus. God wants you to be holy, so you should keep clear of all sexual sin. (1 Thessalonians 4:1-3, NLT)

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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