Devotionals

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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 56 }

I will declare the decree: The Lord has said to Me, "You are My Son, today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron; you shall dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel." —Psalm 2:7-9, NKJV

In this decree we see that the Bible is not just about God's plans and provision for mankind. It is also about God's plans and provision for His Son. We have an inheritance in which our delight and fulfillment are fundamental. God has an inheritance in which His delight is fundamental. We must be committed both to delight in and to give delight to God. The inheritance for us, the people of God, is the ability to experience both the blessings and the love of a passionate God. The inheritance for God is a passionate people.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Father, this is a nation that was founded on Your purposes and plans. Our inheritance is a covering of righteousness. Destroy the devil's attempt to snatch that inheritance away, and raise up an army of believers to restore this nation to purity.

The Father will experience His inheritance only
as we become radically committed to Him.


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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Enduring Love

If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don't have love, I'm nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. —1 Corinthians 13:1, The Message

Gifts are temporary, but love endures. God takes an entire chapter to tell us, "If you don't love each other, you can forget all the rest of it." If you are not caring for your brother, God couldn't care less about your prophesying.

There is a dying world that doesn't care how well you sing or how eloquent your word of wisdom is. They are dying, seeking New Age gurus, sticking needles in their arms and drowning in a cesspool of pornography, because they need someone to love them!

God desires that you reach out to them with His love. They don't need your judgments, accusations, or criticisms. They need Christ. Only He can set them free from their bondages, diseases, or sin. Love them the way God loves you.

The love of God at work in and through you is more powerful than all the gifts of the Spirit rolled up together.

Jesus, fill me with Your love. How I desire
to love others the way You love me!
Use me as an instrument
of Your love. Amen.


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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

How to Recognize God

When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, "Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it." —Genesis 28:16

The most wonderful thing that can happen to anybody is for God to turn up. The problem is that we don't always recognize Him at the time, and we only see later that it was God.

The trouble is, we think God can only come in one particular way, and that's the way we've met Him. The question is this: If He turned up in an unexpected way, would we affirm Him?

The sooner we learn to recognize the Lord, the better. For some, it may take years to see that God has been in a situation with them; for others, it may take only a few seconds. But the narrower the time gap, the better, for it shows our hearts are in tune with what God is doing. I can think of nothing worse in the world than for something that God is in to be happening and I not recognize it.

If you're not a Christian, then it's also true for you that the sooner you realize when God is there, the better, because the Bible says, "My Spirit will not contend with man forever" (Gen. 6:3). Let me put it like this. It may be that whenever you hear preaching, you sense that the Holy Spirit is dealing with you, that God is on your case. You know that the preacher wouldn't know much about you, if anything at all, and the only way he could speak in this manner was if God had led him to do so.

If you are a Christian and the Lord turns up and you don't recognize Him, you are impoverished since you miss seeing God for who He is, then. I guarantee you will wish later you had seen it was the Lord sooner.

Be open to the unexpected time. Be open to the unexpected manner in which God might turn up. He came to Jacob in a dream. God can do that.

Jacob affirmed God. Fortunately for him, it didn't take him long. The question is, how long will it take you?

Excerpted from All's Well That Ends Well (Authentic Media, 2005).

 


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Around the Word in 365 Days

Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

A Willing Heart

Exodus 35:10-36:38 And they came, every one whose heart stirred him up, and every one whom his spirit made willing, and they brought the Lord's offering to the work of the tabernacle of the congregation, and for all his service, and for the holy garments" (Exod. 35:21, KJV). This is a beautiful story of how the people had a willing heart to give, to work and to serve. We learn in the next chapter how willing the people actually were. Exodus 36:5 says, "And they spake unto Moses, saying, The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work, which the Lord commanded to make" (KJV).

Often in this passage we see the phrase, "their hearts were stirred up." When we have a willing heart, the Lord by the power of His Holy Spirit is able to stir our hearts. The great encourager, the Holy Spirit, stirs us with an anointing and a vision to give generously. All He is waiting for is a willing heart.

Recently I received a letter from a YWAM missionary who told a modern-day version of this passage in Exodus. The YWAM base in Africa was hosting a school of prayer where people came from all nations. At one of the meetings it was announced that a special offering would be taken to raise the monies needed for a high-tech video machine that would enable interactive teaching through the video. The price was $17,000. No one that night came prepared to give an offering, but this did not discourage the willing hearts present at this meeting. God moved upon the young people present to give precious jewelry, stereos, guitars, etc. Possessions worth $11,000 were given. A man from Taiwan then offered to pay the balance, but later the Lord moved on this same man's heart to give the full amount of $17,000. All the precious items were returned to their owners because this man was stirred in his heart to give the total amount needed. What a story of redemption.

When we have a willing heart, we are stirred up to give by the Holy Spirit. Then our heavenly Father is stirred to return to us in some way far more than we thought possible. He has already redeemed us as His precious possession.

Lord, give me a willing heart, and then enable me by the power of the Holy Spirit to give generously. Stir me up to give, and thank You for enabling me to be a faithful giver.

READ: Exodus 35:10-36:38; Matthew 27:35-66; Psalm 34:1-10; Proverbs 9:7-8



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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

Finishing Well

When we produce fruits of holiness through the power of God's grace, we have no reason to fall back into a life of sin and bondage. They are free, empowered and whole. However, this promise does not apply to believers who do not walk in true holiness. Hear what Peter says about this:

"But those who fail to develop these virtues of [holiness] are blind or, at least, very shortsighted. They have already forgotten that God has cleansed them from their old life of sin. So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Doing this, you will never stumble or fall away." (2 Peter 1:9-10, NLT)

We will never stumble or fall away. We are an invincible people, not because of our own ability, but because of the ability grace provides. So, in essence, grace gives us the power to walk the highway of holiness, which secures for us the promise of finishing the race well. It keeps us from becoming shipwrecked in our faith and falling short.

Peter covers the opposite side as well. Those who do not walk in the power of grace fail to develop the virtues of holiness. The result is blindness and forgetting that God has cleansed them from their old life of sin. This blindness makes it very difficult, almost impossible, to stay on the narrow road of holiness. Quite easily they will venture back to a lifestyle captive to sin (and most often still believing they are covered and protected by God's grace).

Paul penned to Christians: "Don't you know that you are slaves of anyone you obey? You can be slaves of sin and die" (Romans 6:16, CEV). When we willfully and repetitively follow sin's desire, we become entangled in it and are once again its slave.

God has indeed given us His grace. We've been given the nature of Jesus Christ and have been freed from the dominion of sin! Why would anyone who has been made free want to venture back into sin's captivity and flirt with death?

So, my friend, don't fight for your right to habitually live in sin and still make it to heaven. That is the wrong way of viewing life. Rather, realize God has given you an amazing gift—freedom! You don't have to sin any longer; what you couldn't free yourself from before, you now can live free from through the power of His amazing 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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