Devotionals

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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 175 }

There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. —Luke 2:36-37

Anna and Mary of Bethany were two full-time watchmen set upon the Jerusalem wall. Anna speaks of the spiritual warfare, intercession, and fasting. These are people whose main focus is to open the windows of blessing and tear down the spiritual walls of resistance. They are full-blast intercessors and spiritual warriors who are committed to fasting. The Marys of Bethany will enjoy great grace for prayer and worship and will change the atmosphere of the cities and churches that they are a part of by being extravagant lovesick worshipers. God has placed them in the midst of the people as a tender fragrance of the beauty of the Lord.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Make me a watchman on the wall of Your glory like Anna and Mary of Bethany. I want to give myself to intercession so that I might influence the atmosphere of my city and church to a higher level in You.

Even if the Annas and Marys never speak to anyone,
their very presence creates a type of grace that
preserves the church.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Secure Your Victory

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. —Hosea 4:6

When you give in to temptation, it is because you have not secured your victory for one of two reasons:

1. You are receiving His Word but choosing not to walk in it. When you know what the Bible says about your situation and walk in the light of that knowledge, you will not fall into temptation. You will see the snares of the devil and avoid them.

2. You are yielding to temptation because you are uninformed of God's instructions.

We are required to walk in the revelation of the Word, whether we have received it or not. Just because you don't know the law doesn't mean you won't get arrested for disobeying it. People get into all kinds of sin, die of cancer, and live in poverty. Why? Because they are ignorant of the power available to them.

Secure your victory by finding out what God has to say about your situation and then determine to do what He says to do about it.

Lord, teach me Your Word and Your
ways. I will read, study, meditate upon,
and apply Your Word this day in all
that I say and do. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

True Perception

Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. —John 17:25

Perception relates to our opinion and how we see things. Are you having a running argument with somebody at the moment? Arguing with your spouse? Having a problem at the office? You are just sticking to your guns on something and everybody but you can see that you are being ridiculous, but you say that you know that you are right. You are making the situation miserable by being a difficult person to work with. Is that possible?

Are you afraid to admit to the possibility that you could be wrong? Are you afraid of what might happen if you lost the argument? Do you worry about what other people would think about you if you gave in or someone just showed that you had gotten it wrong?

Now Jesus had a perception about Himself, that He was equal with God. But He did not think it necessary to hold on to that. In becoming like us He was not even omniscient. This may shock you, but He did not know everything. He admitted He did not know the day or the hour of His own coming. He had to learn.

In addition, Jesus was right. His opinion was infallibly right, but He even let that go. You say, "Well, I know I've got it right. I can't let it go." Jesus did. The amazing thing is that God Almighty did not even take Himself seriously, in this sense. That is your example, and yet you cherish your opinion. Why do you not just be like Jesus? He was right, and He let it go. You could be wrong, and if you are wrong, how much better that you let it go. By the way, if you are right, the truth will come out. It will win in the end. You do not have to do a thing about it. Let Jesus be your example.

Excerpted from Meekness and Majesty (Christian Focus Publications Ltd., 1992, 2000).

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

How the Lord Greets Us

Psalm 85:1-13 Greetings are so important. The way we greet people always reveals how we feel about them. If we only greet with a handshake, those we greet are distant friends. If we greet with a kiss and a hug, we usually are greeting those we love and call near and dear to us.

How does God greet us? This psalm gives the answer. First God greets us with mercy and truth, and then He kisses us with righteousness and peace. With truth He springs out of the earth to greet us, and with righteousness He descends from heaven in the bodily form of Jesus to greet us with a holy kiss. The life of Jesus Christ is God's greeting to us. He greets us daily with His peace, His love, His righteousness, His truth, His comfort, His faithfulness and on and on. Jesus is God in the flesh, and how great it is to come to know the Father through Jesus. Sometimes when I picture Jesus He is kissing me first on the left cheek and then on the right cheek. Then He holds my face and looks into my eyes for a long long time. I feel such a surge of compassion within me that I want to jump, leap, shout and ascend to heaven where I can be with Him always.

Today I celebrate my birthday. I used to read a book to my boys about different animals and how they greet us. The chicken says, "Cock a doodle do," the bird sings a sweet song, but the bear gives us a great big bear hug. On every birthday of my loved ones I always say as I hug them, "This is a great big birthday bear hug from me."

Two thousand years ago God, our heavenly Father, gave us all a great big birthday bear hug when Jesus was born on this earth. He was Immanuel, God with us, and He is still giving us great big hugs and kisses. If you have never experienced His hugs and kisses in the spirit, today is your day. Be still for a moment and reach out to Him in praise and worship. Soon you will know His sweet embrace and kiss, and it will carry you through the rest of the day.

Thank You, Lord, for giving me Your kiss of truth, righteousness, mercy and grace through Jesus Christ. I love Him so much. What a joy it is to know His presence even though I cannot physically feel His hugs and kisses. What a day it will be when I will feel His physical arms around me and know the tender kisses on my cheeks. Thank You, Lord, for letting me experience this now on earth in the spirit.

READ: Jeremiah 26:1-17:22; 2 Thessalonians 3:1-18; Psalm 85:1-13; Proverbs 25:16

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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

The Delight of God

You and I have what it takes to bring delight to our heavenly Father! Take a look at what the scripture says about this...

"Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us" (2 Peter 1:3, The Message).

"We have everything we need to live a life that pleases God. It was all given to us by God's own power" (2 Peter 1:3, CEV).

I know the next question: "What is the power that has been given to us, enabling us to please God?" The answer is grace. Much has been communicated about grace in recent times, yet it still isn't fully understood. Grace is, without a doubt, one of the most important truths a New Testament believer should grasp because it's the very foundation of our salvation and life in Christ.

We must always remind ourselves that it is by grace we are saved, and by grace we continue to receive the benefits of salvation. You see, grace goes beyond forgiveness. Grace is also God's empowerment. This is how we can live like Christ.

"Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did" (1 John 2:6, NIV).

Notice the apostle doesn't say should but must. We must walk as Jesus did! This is not a suggestion or goal; it's what God expects. The good news is that God never gives a command in the New Testament without supplying the power to keep it. So we can conduct ourselves as Jesus through the power of grace. It's this aspect of grace that many overlook, largely because it's not taught with the same emphasis. For this reason, believers struggle in their Christian walk and don't live an extraordinary life.

Strong's Greek dictionary brings to light the power of grace by defining it as "the divine influence upon the heart and its reflection in the life." Notice the words "reflection in the life." It's obvious that there is more to the meaning of grace than being heaven-bound.

Grace is not just God's favor but also His empowering presence that gives us the ability to do what thrills Him. Grace gives us the ability to exceed our own ability. It gives us the ability to live extraordinarily!

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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