Devotionals

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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 114 }

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? —Psalm 42:1-2

We will never be empowered to walk in purity without the foundation of affection for Jesus. External disciplines and commitments to high standards of holiness without a living devotion for Jesus have little real power or life in them. A person named Jesus—not regulations and rules—guards our souls. As affection for Jesus is increased in our hearts, we find a new empowering to resist temptation. When passion for Jesus is built into your spiritual foundation, it repels the sensual communications that others may send your way. It returns the message, "No, I'm not available." That strong, clear message rises from within your spirit.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

I thirst after You, dear God. Whatever it takes, whatever I must get rid of, whatever I must grow into, that is all I desire.

We are fillled with such longing for Jesus that we
have greater resolve to repel sensuality and resist
wrong relationships.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Blessed or Cursed

For such as be blessed of him shall inherit the earth; and they that be cursed of him shall be cut off. —Psalm 37:22

God gave us clear directives for how He expects us to live. His laws are for our safety, security, and direction. Like any good father, God blesses us when we obey and corrects us when we stray.

Are you ready for the blessing and provision of God's abundance? There is only one door in which to place your key. Jesus said, "I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture" (John 10:9). What are we promised when we walk through the door? Jesus tells us in the next verse: "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly" (v.10).

The blessing of God is promised for those who obey His Word. As you submit your life to His authority, He will bring you into the fullness of His abundant life.

Jesus, I am ready and willing to obey You. Open Your
door for my life that I may walk into Your blessings
and abundance. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

Ask for Mercy

Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the Lord our God, until that he have mercy upon us. Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us: for we are exceedingly filled with contempt. Our soul is exceedingly filled with the scorning of those that are at ease, and with the contempt of the proud. —Psalm 123:2-4, KJV

Have you ever asked God for mercy? Have you ever come to that point where you have realized that God doesn't owe you a favor? He doesn't owe you an explanation; rather, what you need is mercy.

One definition of mercy is "refraining from inflicting punishment or pain on an offender or enemy who is in one's power." Here is a person who has the right to punish and also the power to do so. He has the right to punish, because the offender deserves justice and deserves to be punished. Mercy occurs when the person who could punish shows leniency instead. In short, God's mercy is not getting what we, as sinners, deserve.

The writer of this psalm (we don't know who he was) understood that God can give or withhold mercy. It was written by one who understood God and who also understood himself. He had come to terms with what he was like. He realized he had no right to snap his fingers and say, "God, You have to do this!" He knew that God doesn't have to do anything. Therefore he said, "We will just look to God. We will wait for Him. As the eyes of slaves look to the hands of their master, as the eyes of a maid look to the hands of the mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord."

Have you ever talked to God like that? If you haven't, you are not a Christian. A Christian is a person who has come to realize that he has no bargaining power. He sees himself as having sinned against God, offended His holiness, broken His law, and shown contempt for His Word. When a person realizes that he is a sinner, all he can do is ask for mercy.

Excerpted from Higher Ground (Christian Focus Publications Ltd., 1995).

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

Sing to the Lord

Psalm 135:1-21 When we praise the Lord with singing, it is pleasant to Him, and He will make our days pleasant if we will sing throughout every day. David spent most of his days singing songs of praise. He was a psalmist. We do not have to be an expert as David with his song writing, but we can sing in the Spirit and sing some of David's psalms all the day long. In fact, this is the way to stay filled with the Spirit. Paul exhorts us in Ephesians to sing spiritual songs, psalms and hymns and to always make melody in our hearts. He shares that this is the secret to staying filled with the Spirit. It is hard to fulfill the lusts of our own carnal nature when we are constantly making melody in our hearts unto the Lord.

God rejoices over us with singing, so we in return should rejoice over Him with our singing. He loves it when we raise our voices to Him with songs of praise and worship, and He also hears every song we sing in our hearts.

Have you ever thought of the fact that Jesus is not only our chief rabbi (the teacher who teaches the keys to living), but He is also the chief cantor. Whenever we sing songs of praise and worship in our church, He sings right along with us. We learn this in Hebrews 2:11-12: "For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee" (KJV).

The next time you enter praise and worship with others, picture Jesus singing in the midst of your church. He is singing songs to the Father as we sing songs to Him. If you listen carefully, you may tap into some new songs in the Spirit.

Today as you go about your daily tasks, sing aloud when you can, and be sure to always make melody in your heart. Your day will be a blessed day because the Lord will bless you, and you will be a blessing to others. You also will stay filled with the Spirit.

Lord, give me a new song to sing to You today.

READ: Micah 5:1-7:20; Revelation 7:1-17; Psalm 135:1-21; Proverbs 30:5-6

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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

Reputation Is Not About You

"Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross." (Philippians 2:5-8, NKJV)

Many people in the world today are fighting fiercely to climb the ladder of success. A great deal of their energy is focused and spent on building a reputation in the eyes of others in order to "make it big." In the process of their pursuit, they quickly become addicted to the approval of others.

Jesus did just the opposite—He made Himself of no reputation (see Philippians 2:7). In other words, He stripped Himself of all His kingly rights and humbled Himself to become human. The Creator literally took the form of His creation. Instead of living His entire life to build a name for Himself, He endeavored to build a name for His Father. He said, "I am not in search of honor for Myself. [I do not seek and am not aiming for My own glory.] There is One Who [looks after that; He] seeks [My glory], and He is the Judge" (John 8:50 AMP).

Having a good reputation is important; however, the motive—or driving force—behind your cause should be weighed. Are you tempted to make a name for yourself for success, or are you a person of good reputation because you long to represent your King well on earth?

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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