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Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 303 }

If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. —1 Corinthians 13:2

Most prophetic people don't have the gift of leadership that is essential for a church to be healthy, balanced, and safe. A church led only by prophets is not a safe environment for God's people. One of the most important things to do in a church that wants to nurture and administrate prophetic ministry is to dial down the mysticism and the carnal desire to look superspiritual. We need to keep our eyes off people and remain focused on Jesus and His purpose for us. This is not a spiritual beauty contest, but it can turn into one very quickly if people see gifts as merit badges rather than something to bless the church. The fact that power and revelation flow through prophetic ministers is not necessarily a sign that God is pleased with the other areas of their lives. Sometimes the prophetic gifts will continue to operate even when there is an inner crumbling taking place in their private lives.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Father, keep my eyes focused on the true revelations You want to give to Your people. Cause me to desire nothing more than growing in my love and intimacy with You. Build Your church in whatever manner and with whomever You choose to use.

It is not about the vessel. It's about loving
the Lord and building up His church.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

God's Kids

For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. —Ephesians 2:10

Our children are special creations of God's loving workmanship. In fact, the word "workmanship" is the Greek word for "poetry." Our children are the poetry of a loving Creator.

Let your children know they are uniquely wonderful, with gifts and talents like no one else. Tell them that they were created to mirror Him.

We live in a society that puts conditions on everything. Kids join gangs because they want to belong. Tell your kids they don't need acceptance from their peers, because God has not only accepted them, but He has forgiven them of everything they have ever done wrong. "God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).

Help your children understand that God loves them unconditionally—not for what they do but for who they are—God's kids. Refuse to love your children conditionally. Love them as the Father does—unconditionally. Say to your children, "There is nothing you can do that will make me stop loving you!"

Father, fill me with Your unconditional love
for my children. May they see
Your love in my life. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

Today's Message

We Are Required to Bear Fruit

I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. —John 15:1-2

It is necessary to remember that as God's field, the true vine, we have the responsibility to be obedient. For if there is no obedience, there will be no fruit to grow on that field. We are told in John 15:8 what the gardener wants: "This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit." What is required is abiding or remaining in Christ.

Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. —John 15:4

We cannot do things our way and still abide or remain in Him. Abiding in Him means obedience. So you can see why the mystery of God's sovereignty is not limited to His saving work. He alone makes things happen in the work of sanctification, but without my obedience there will be no sanctification. It is, as I say, a mystery.

The second aspect of the believer's responsibility is observation of what we are within ourselves. The crops in a field are observable, are they not? What is required, therefore, is that I examine myself. Is there fruit?

If I examine myself, it means I must have objectivity about myself. It is as though I stand back and look at myself; I observe myself. And if I see something that is not right, I deal with it. Paul calls this "judging" ourselves. He says, "But if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment" (1 Cor. 11:31). If by the Word of God or by external chastening I judge myself, I will not have further chastening. Yet Paul does say that when we are judged, it is chastening: "When we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world" (v. 32). Even when God steps in like that, it proves the person is a Christian.

Excerpted from When God Says "Well Done!" (Christian Focus Publications Ltd., 1993).

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

God Keeps Short Accounts

Psalm 130:1-8 Have you ever been offended? Most of the offenses I experience are those that I take up for others. The Bible is clear, however, that love is not easily provoked or offended. I have come to ask God's forgiveness for not walking in His path of love, and then to ask Him for the power to get back on that path. When we are personally offended, it is always because our pride has been hurt. Knowing this has helped me to stay on the path of love. The moment I am offended, I confess pride because I know it was my pride in some way that was hurt.

It is so important to quickly confess our own sin of pride and then to release the offense to the Lord instead of holding on to it. Satan loves nothing better than to have us keep mulling over the offense. He will put all kinds of accusations in our mind against the brother or sister who offended us, and all of those accusations are usually not founded on the truth. We know who is the accuser of the brethren, and he also is the father of lies.

We can learn a lot from David's prayer in this psalm: "If You, Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?" (v. 3).

This scripture shows us clearly what God's character is. He is merciful and He does keep short accounts. He does not mark our iniquities. In Him we always find forgiveness. We are exhorted in the Bible to forgive as Jesus forgave. He said on the cross, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." God forgives us for Christ's sake. He not only forgives us, but He also reconciles us to Himself.

If we sincerely want to grow to be more like Jesus every day, then we too must keep short accounts. The moment a person offends us, we must quickly forgive and reach out to him and be reconciled to him. If a person is offended by us, and we quickly ask his forgiveness and then express our desire for reconciliation, we are walking in love. That person, however, may not respond to our forgiveness because he may choose to carry a grudge or an offense for a long time. If this is the case, we must continue to reach out to this person in love until that day reconciliation occurs. Also pray for that person to be healed of all of his hurts because a person who remains in hurt also remains in unforgiveness and holds on to an offense.

Lord, forgive me for the times I have been offended. I confess my sin of pride and ask You to help me walk in love. Thank You, for not marking my iniquities, and help me not to mark others' sins against me, but instead forgive them quickly and seek reconciliation with them. Amen.

READ: 1 Kings 9:1-10:29; Acts 8:14-40; Psalm 130:1-8; Proverbs 17:2-3


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Live Extraordinarily

Today's Message

Living Larger

"And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace" (John 1:16, NKJV).

And of His fullness we have all received. The completeness of Jesus has been imparted to us! Not the fullness of a prime minister, president, celebrity, rock star, great athlete or scholar, but the comprehensiveness of Jesus Christ Himself. If you really hear this, you'll never envy another man or woman again. You have the full nature of Jesus Christ in you!

The word nature is defined as "the innate or essential qualities or character of a person."

We are in Christ, He is in us, and we have the fullness of His nature. The seed planted in us when we were born again is all that makes Christ who He is! How awesome. In this world we have the comprehensiveness of His nature!

John says it like this: "As He is, so are we in this world" (1 John 4:17, NKJV). So many believers think that someday in heaven we'll be as He is, but for now on earth we are struggling sinners who've merely been forgiven. This is a mammoth lie, and it keeps people in bondage and nullifies the power of grace in their lives.

And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. (John 1:16)

Here is the point so many miss: Receiving the fullness of God's nature is directly connected with grace. It is God's unmerited gift—a gift that not only saved us from eternal damnation but also gave us His characteristics. One aspect of grace is just as real as the other, and it was all provided the moment we were saved.

God's divine nature was freely imparted to us, and our once hardened hearts were replaced by the seed of God's inherent characteristics. We now have the ability to live as He intended humankind to live from the beginning—extraordinarily. We now can live this life as sons and daughters of God, in His image, His likeness, possessing His ability through grace!

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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