Devotionals

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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 266 }

It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." When he had said this, he breathed his last. —Luke 23:44-46

The truth that empowered David through the obstacle course of opposition on the way to Zion and his destiny is so powerful that it was among the last words of Jesus. When Jesus's broken body hung on the cross, moments before His final breath, darkness loomed over the soul of the God-man as He who knew no sin became sin. Jesus felt the agony of separation from the Father. He knew that on the other side of the agony was the awesome promise that God would raise Him from the dead and enthrone Him over all created order. But before the fullness of the promise came to pass, He experienced the greatest pressure and opposition any man has faced. In that dark delay, He lifted His voice and cried out, "Into Your hands I commit My Spirit" (Luke 23:46, NKJV). Jesus decided this was the most appropriate heart response He could have while waiting for the light and promise to break forth. When God gives a promise, we usually experience a time of darkness before He brings it to pass. We have a hard time seeing what season we're in or where it's all leading. In the hour of the impossible situation, what should you do? Grab hold of those seven words, and commit your spirit into the Father's hands.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Father, when I face pain and opposition and death, remind me of the example Your Son gave as He felt the silence of His Father and the cruelty of man. Teach me to say, "Father, into Your hands I commit my spirit."

"Into Your hands I commit My Spirit."

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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Never Regained

For ye know how that afterward, when he [Esau] would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears. —Hebrews 12:17

You may lose some things through disobedience that you can never regain. The loss of the birthright did not mean that Isaac rejected his son, nor did God reject him. The loss of the birthright meant that Esau's golden opportunity for God's provision was lost forever. He could not regain what he lost in that moment (Genesis 25:33-34).

Determine today that your inheritance is not for sale. No price is dear enough to pay for your salvation by the blood. Decide today that divine healing and the baptism in the Holy Ghost cannot be bought from you. Stand fast in your faith and refuse to listen to the subtle sales pitch of your adversary.

Refuse to believe the lies of the world. Nothing it offers you can begin to compare with the treasure laid up for you in eternity. Reject compromising the truth and selling part of your integrity for temporal gain. Stockpile your treasures in heaven, not on earth.

Jesus, You are my treasure. I refuse to
compromise. I reject the temptation of
a moment of worldly pleasure. Keep
me pure through the power
of Your Holy Spirit. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

Speaking Out of Fear

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. —Philippians 4:6

Speaking out of fear always leads to evil (Ps. 37:8). God has not given us a spirit of fear (2 Tim. 1:7). Perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18). When we fear—and speak at the same time—what we say will come out wrong and may get us into serious trouble.

Take, for example, Abraham telling people that his wife was his sister. Abraham journeyed to Egypt and, knowing how beautiful his wife, Sarah, was, ordered her to say that she was his sister—so both of them would be spared. Abraham feared that someone would kill him in order to have her. So she did what he commanded.

It worked for a while. She was taken into Pharaoh's palace, where she was safe, while Abraham prospered. But God stepped in. The Lord inflicted serious diseases on Pharaoh and his household because of Sarah. Pharaoh somehow knew that God had caused these diseases and knew that Sarah was Abraham's wife. "Why didn't you tell me she was your wife?" (Gen. 12:18). Abraham and Sarah mercifully were spared. They would never know what God Himself might have done had they trusted Him. Years later Isaac made the same mistake, repeating the error of his father (Gen. 26:7-22).

Speaking out of fear comes from assuming God is not going to look after us—so we speak in unbelief. It is the folly of self-protection. The truth is, God stepped in for both Abraham and Isaac. He will for us, too. But when we give into unbelief and speak—thinking we are justifiably protecting ourselves, our sin has a way of backfiring on us.

Excerpted from Controlling the Tongue (Charisma House, 2007).

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

The Work of God

Romans 4:1-13 In one of the Gospels Jesus was asked the question, "What must we do to do the works of God?" His reply was, "Believe on Him." Paul makes it clear in this passage that we are justified by faith, not by works. He used Abraham as an illustration. If his works justified Abraham, then he would take the glory himself. God considered Abraham a righteous man simply because he believed. Paul also speaks of David and how he writes in a psalm about the blessedness of the man who is counted righteous not because of his works, but because of his belief and trust in God. If we consider ourselves as working for the Lord, then we are working out of debt, not out of grace.

For so long in my own life I was working (doing all the right things a Christian should do) to please God. In essence I was trying to earn points with God by what I did. I was a Christian, but I was bound in my effectiveness because I was not allowing God to work through me. All of this changed when I was twenty-six. I was attending a retreat, and we were asked to go by the lakeside and find a quiet spot. Then we were instructed to ask God questions and wait for an answer. This was new to me since all my conversations with God until that time were one way conversations. I simply gave my prayer requests and then said "Amen." I never realized God had many things to share with me, and I never stopped to listen. The question I asked God was simply, "What was wrong with my life?" I noticed other Christians seemed to have more joy than I did, and I wanted to know why. Then I heard the Lord speak the following to me not in an audible voice, but in His still quiet voice within me. He said "Linda, what is wrong with your life is that you have been trying to earn my love. My love is free. I gave it to you two thousand years ago on the cross. Receive My love today, rest in My love and quit trying to earn My love. Quit working for Me and allow My Spirit to work through you. If you did nothing but sit on that log by this lake the rest of your life I would still love you."

It was almost too good to be true. I understood for the first time that God's love for me did not depend upon what I did, but upon what He did on the cross two thousand years ago. On that day I resigned as an employee of God and became a co-laborer with Him and a joint heir with Him. I stopped trying to keep up with Jesus by following Him, but instead let Him begin to live His life through me. When we believe and trust God, then God does His work through us and He receives all the glory. My life scripture is, "For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure" (Phil. 2:13). God gives me daily the desire to do His will, and then He enables me to do His work that day by empowering me with His Spirit. What then is my part? My part is to believe and trust Him, and then to obey Him as He leads me through the day by His Spirit. "Lord, lead me today by Your Spirit and help me to obey."

READ: 1 Chronicles 24:1-26:11; Romans 4:1-13; Psalm 13:1-6; Proverbs 19:15-16


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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

The Fullness of Grace

You probably know that by God's grace you're forgiven and saved, but do you know there is so much more that grace gives us?

"And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace" (John 1:16, NKJV). Here is the point so many miss—with grace we can receive the fullness of God's nature! Grace is a gift that not only saved us but also imparted in us the completeness of Jesus. We are in Christ, He is in us and we have the fullness of His nature.

The fundamental problem is that we have cut ourselves off from the flow of grace. Most believe that God's grace has forgiven us from all sin and saved us from hell—which is true—but many are missing the rest: the new nature we have, the power to walk in holiness and the authority to bring heaven's will to earth to meet the needs of humankind.

My life changed dramatically once I discovered that grace includes not only God's amazing forgiveness and the promise of heaven but also His empowerment. Prior to this I struggled, found many of God's instructions too difficult to fulfill, battled inferiority and a poor self-image and wondered why there was so little eternal fruit in my life. However, once the realization came that I now possessed the fullness of God's nature, my life stabilized, blessings flowed and my impact on others for the kingdom increased.

Many believers think that we are merely struggling sinners who've been forgiven—and someday, in heaven, we'll be like Jesus. This fallacy keeps people in bondage and nullifies God's power in their lives. The Bible tells us we are His children: "Beloved, now we are children of God" (1 John 3:2). If we are now His children, then we now have access to fully operate in the character of Jesus. We have the ability to live as He intended us to live from the beginning—extraordinarily! We can live in His image, His likeness, possessing His ability—all through grace!

Grace not only instructs us but also empowers us to live above our own human potential. We've been born again; we're brand-new people. We are free to live an extraordinary life! You are a son or daughter of God. You possess His nature. You were meant for anything but ordinary!

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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