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Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 297 }

When Peter saw this, he said to them: "Men of Israel, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. ... You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this. By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus' name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see." —Acts 3:12-16

The lame man who begged for alms was commanded by Peter and John to walk in the name of Jesus. Peter wanted to make that point clearly and quickly before there were any false assumptions. The manifestation of God's power was not a sign of his personal godliness. The healing was the result of God's purpose in His timing by means of faith in Jesus's name, a faith that comes through Him. That passage contains many implications. But if it says anything, it is that the miracle was not about Peter or about promoting his spirituality. It had to do with God and His purposes.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Thank You for reminding me, Spirit, that even though I am incapable of possessing any form of godliness except that which comes from You, still You make it possible for me to work miracles in Your name.

The miracle was not about Peter—it had
to do with God's purposes.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Spoils of Victory

To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace. —Hebrews 7:2

Abraham had just come from defeating four kings when he brought Melchizedek, king of Salem, the spoils of his victory. Offerings given from the spoils of victory say, "Our enemies came, we conquered them; and here is our proof of victory."

Fear and greed are two of the greatest obstacles to claiming our spiritual possessions. God can't bless us when greed and fear have overtaken us. But if we drive fear and greed from our hearts, we can enjoy the bounty of the kingdom! God is not going to put blessings into our possession for them to be turned over to the devil.

He who brings the spoil of the battle to the Father will be given even more. But to he who has no spoil, even what he has will be taken away. (Matthew 12:12).

Consider this: "Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us" (Romans 8:37). Already you are a victor over sin and death in Christ Jesus. The spoils of battle—eternal life—is yours. So, bring your tithes and offerings to God with an open hand, rejoicing in your victory!

Lord, I rejoice that You have won the victory
over sin and death and defeated Satan.
I give You my all. I rejoice in Your
victory, and I will live without
fear or greed. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

Today's Message

How to Face the Unexpected

For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. —1 John 5:4

Fear of what the future holds in store begins in childhood: we discover that our parents and friends may disappoint us or even reject us; we learn that illness or accidents may happen suddenly and that people we love die; we learn that we do not always succeed and begin to fear failure.

Yet wondering what the future holds in store does not end with our childhood. As adults, we know that life is filled with uncertainty and that even within the short span of twenty-four hours something can happen that will change our lives forever. Furthermore, none of us know when death will call us to stand before our Maker and account for the way we have lived.

I think we can define maturity as "learning to face the unexpected." Now if ever a person had to face the unexpected, it was John. So we will find it instructive to see how he faced his uncertain and uncompromising future on the island of Patmos.

How was he able to cope? John knew that faith was important. "Everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith" (1 John 5:4). This gives you an idea of how John felt and how much he trusted in the Lord.

When you become a Christian, you may face the future without fear. John could face the unexpected because he was "in the Spirit." You may ask, "When will the Spirit of the Lord come on me?" The answer is simple: the Holy Spirit has already come, because Jesus said, "The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life" (John 6:63). He has come in God's Word with the best news you will ever hear: God has taken on your case and invites you to receive Jesus as your Savior.

Excerpted from A Vision of Jesus (Christian Focus Publications Ltd., 1999).

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

Water Works

Proverbs 17:14-15 We talked yesterday about the holy rain that descends when we praise the Lord. Today's proverb talks about strife and compares it to the letting out of water. We have a dam close by us, and on certain days the dam is opened to let out the water into the river. Before this happens, an alarm sounds to warn all those on the river to go to shore to avoid the rushing current that is about to be released. If anyone ignores that warning alarm and does not reach shore, he runs the risk of having his boat capsized by the raging currents, and he could drown.

When we get into strife, it is like the letting out of water. First the current of anger is at a low level, but if we continue in strife, the anger level raises to such a raging current that we run the risk of capsizing ourselves and the ones we are coming against in strife. The advice in this proverb is to leave off contention. Do you know that the source of all contention is pride? We want to prove our point, so we argue until we supposedly win. There are, however, no winners when strife continues. Another source of strife is jealousy that left uncontrolled can lead to murder. The first murder was rooted in jealousy. Cain killed Abel because he felt God favored Abel over himself. He was jealous. James tells us that where there is envy, there is also strife that leads to confusion and every evil work (James 3:16).

If you don't want a flood of evil work in your life, then leave off contention. Avoid strife at any cost.

Lord, forgive me for when I have allowed strife to take control of my life. I have hurt others with my words, and I am so sorry. Help me with the power of Your Holy Spirit to avoid strife in the future. Thank You, Lord.

READ: 1 Kings 19:1-21; Acts 12:1-23; Psalm 136:1-26; Proverbs 17:14-15

 


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Live Extraordinarily

Today's Message

A Sexual Nightmare

We are straying far from God's heart because we are so influenced by our society. In so many ways, the church has become a subculture rather than what we are called to be—a counterculture.

The gospel of forgiveness and inheriting heaven is preached but not the complete gospel of also being set free from the dominion of sin. As a result, many are easily conformed to this world, where it's common for a man and woman to live together, have sex outside of marriage or with the same gender, and divorce and remarry for reasons other than unfaithfulness. And these practices are becoming more common among Christians because the church has not proclaimed what Jesus has freed us from.

It pleases God when we live holy, especially in our sexuality. This is the area that usually goes haywire outwardly if there is a deeper problem inwardly. If you were able to look into the heart of a professing Christian who is enslaved to fornication, adultery, homosexuality, pornography or any other sexual impurity, you would most likely find a deeper issue. It could be pride, rebellion, lust for power, bitterness, envy or some other iniquity, but no matter what's there, the root is always a lack of true fear of the Lord.

Finally, dear brothers and sisters, we urge you in the name of the Lord Jesus to live in a way that pleases God, as we have taught you. You are doing this already, and we encourage you to do so more and more. For you remember what we taught you in the name of the Lord Jesus. God wants you to be holy, so you should keep clear of all sexual sin. (1 Thessalonians 4:1-3, NLT)

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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