Devotionals

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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 148 }

Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus' feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me." And Jesus answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her." —Luke 10:38-42, NKJV

Of course, it's absolutely essential for us to embrace Christ's mandate to reach out to people and to touch the nations. But this heart of service must be secondary, not primary. The reversal of these priorities was Martha's problem. When Mary and Martha were in their little conflict, Martha was not wrong because she wanted to be a servant. However, her priorities were upside down because her natural self, her natural abilities and interests, compelled her to be a worker before she was a lover. In fact, her work distracted her from being a lover (v. 40). When I see a worker I say to myself, "Well, he's halfway there." But I also understand that such an individual will be a much more effective worker if he or she first becomes a lover.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Father, so often in my spiritual service to You I respond like Martha, focusing on the work of the ministry. Help me never to forget that I am first to be a "lover," then to be a "worker."

Many individuals are so focused on enriching
their earthly circumstances and pursuing personal
comforts that they never get serious about
becoming a worker, let alone a lover.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Fresh Fire

Take up the ashes which the fire hath consumed with the burnt offering on the altar, and-.-.-.-put them beside the altar. —Leviticus 6:10

God is saying, "Take yesterday's ashes off the altar and get them out of my presence." He is saying, "Lay yesterday's spiritual experience aside." For too many, their first experience with the baptism in the Holy Ghost is their last. If we have not had a fresh experience with God today, we are late. If we did not receive a renewed filling today, we are lagging behind.

Not only are God's mercies renewed daily, but He wants to refresh our spirits so that we remain overflowing with Holy Ghost power and anointing. God has new frontiers for us to conquer. Yesterday's flame is growing dimmer. Get ignited in the Spirit!

To dwell in the presence of God requires fresh fire every day! Humble yourself before Him and say, "I am not ready to go forth until I have first been prepared by You. Touch me today."

Let the fire of the Holy Ghost daily purify and prepare you, and give you fresh passion for Him.

Lord, I long for Your fresh fire every moment
of my life. Renew, cleanse, purify, refresh,
and restore Your servant. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

The Ultimate Proof of Total Forgiveness

That God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. —2 Corinthians 5:19

The ultimate proof of total forgiveness takes place when we sincerely petition the Father to let those who have hurt us off the hook—even if they have hurt not only us, but also those close to us.

I had come face-to-face with this reality, so I prayed for certain people to be forgiven. However, after a few moments, it was as if the Lord said to me, "Do you know what you are asking Me to do?"

I thought I knew the answer to His question, so I said, "Yes."

He then seemed to reply, "Are you now asking Me to set them free as if they had done nothing wrong?"

That sobered me! I needed some time to think, but while I pondered His words, the Lord reminded me of the many sins for which He had forgiven me. I became frightened of the possibility that He might reveal—or let come out—some of the terrible things I had done.

I then humbly prayed, "Yes, Lord, I ask You to forgive them."

Once more I needed a little time. Then the Lord seemed to say, "What if I forgive and bless you, RT, in proportion to how you want Me to forgive and bless them?"

By this time I was boxed in a corner, and I surrendered. I began to sincerely pray for them to be forgiven and blessed as though they had caused me no offense. But I cannot truly say that my prayer was particularly godly or unselfish.

This is, after all, the message of the New Testament: "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom. 5:8).

What impresses the world most is changed lives for which there is no natural explanation.

Excerpted from Total Forgiveness (Charisma House, 2002).

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

God Has Willed All to Us

Hebrews 9:13-28 When my mother died, I could not come into my inheritance until all the legal requirements were met. Only then could I receive what she had willed to me many years earlier when she wrote her will.

In the very beginning of time God wrote a will for all of His children to inherit. Even though Christ had not yet been made flesh, He was present with the Father in the Spirit. Jesus was the very living Word of God that spoke the worlds into being. God intended for all who believed on His Son to inherit eternal and abundant life. The legal requirements had to be fulfilled first. For a will to be activated, the person who has written the will must be dead. Christ died once for all men, and because He died, we now can inherit all God intended for us to inherit from the beginning of time.

When my mother died, I had to go to the courthouse to claim my inheritance. I had to give proof of my identity and sign some papers. When Jesus died, the availability of His inheritance was there, but we now have to claim it. We claim our inheritance by believing and receiving by faith Jesus as our Lord and Savior. The sad part is that so many do not know anything about their great inheritance. If they never have heard the gospel, how can they claim their inheritance? What is even sadder is that some when they hear the gospel refuse to claim their inheritance. I have never understood this.

After the law was given to Moses, he sprinkled the blood of calves and goats upon the book, the people and the tabernacle. Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins. After Jesus died, His blood was made available to us to cleanse and sanctify our earthly tabernacles (our body, soul and spirit). Because Jesus said, "Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God," we now have the privilege of entering into all God has willed for us.

Father, I pray for all those today who have missed becoming a joint heir with Christ. I pray these lost people will have the eyes of their understanding opened, and I pray You will deposit the gift of faith to them so that they might believe and receive Jesus Christ, Your Son, as their Lord and Savior. I pray that soon they will be able to claim their full inheritance. Thank You, Father, for sending Your Son to earth, not only to live, but also to die and to live again.

READ: Ezekiel 20:1-49; Hebrews 9:13-28; Psalm 107:1-43; Proverbs 27:11

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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

The Road of Holiness

God has given us the resources we need to live a holy life that pleases Him! There's no need to ever fall short. Consider what the writer of Hebrews tells us: Pursue…holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God. (12:14–15, NKJV)

The main point here is clear: We need the grace of God to walk in true holiness. Again we might ask, "If, as we've been taught, grace is only about forgiveness, then what does 'fall short' mean in this verse?" The Greek word here is hustereo. Strong's Concordance defines it as "to be inferior, to fall short (be deficient), come behind, be destitute, fail." Thayer's Lexicon goes into more depth by stating that this word's meaning is "to be left behind in the race and so fail to reach the goal, to fall short of the end."

Hear the prophet Isaiah's words: There will be a highway there, called "The Road of Holiness." No sinner will ever travel that road; no fools will mislead those who follow it. No lions will be there; no fierce animals will pass that way. Those whom the LORD has rescued will travel home by that road. They will reach Jerusalem [heaven] with gladness, singing and shouting for joy. They will be happy forever, forever free from sorrow and grief. (35:8-10, TEV)

God says that when we walk in the power of the grace of God, bearing true fruits of holiness, we are invincible because of Him. Isaiah says that no fierce animal, such as a bear or lion, will be able to take us out! (This includes our supreme enemy, Satan, who walks about as "a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour" [1 Peter 5:8].)

We have no reason to fail when producing fruits of holiness through the power of God's grace—not because of us but because of Him. Grace gives us the power to walk the highway of holiness, which secures for us the promise of finishing the race well.

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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