Devotionals

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Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 87 }

Until the day breaks and the shadows flee, I will go to the mountain of myrrh and to the hill of incense. All beautiful you are, my darling; there is no flaw in you. —Song of Solomon 4:6-7

We see our failures and shortcomings, and we may automatically think that God is accusing and condemning us. The devil has deceived us, leading us to attribute to God what is true of himself. Satan, not God, is the accuser of the brethren. God is our affirmer—our encourager. He believes in our sincere desires to obey Him more than we do and calls us forth in ways we would never dream. He says, "I love you! I have great affection for you! I will transform a fervent, immature maiden into My reigning, mature bride."

{ PRAYER STARTER }

When my failures and shortcoming seem to overcome me, Lord, give me the courage to recognize the work of the accuser. You do not accuse me, Lord, but You affirm my desire to obey You, and You call me forth into my destiny in You.

Christ sees our desire for obedience
even when it is only in seed form in our hearts.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

El Shaddai

But he saveth the poor from the sword, from their mouth, and from the hand of the mighty. —Job 5:15

Like Job, who lost everything, you may feel as though you are far from God's blessing. As he sat in the ashes of ruin, Job's wife urged him to curse God and die. But Job proclaimed, "I know that my redeemer liveth!" (Job 19:25).

Job kept his eyes on God and was completely restored. The same God who brought Job back from the jaws of death and destruction can touch your life. Everything you need is already available because our God is El Shaddai, "the One who is All Sufficient."

God did not send the children of Israel into Canaan to be defeated, but to conquer. He wants your Promised Land to be conquered, and He wants to use you to conquer it. El Shaddai, the All Sufficient One, has given you all you need to possess your land. It is time for you to tell the dethroned and defeated devil, "Stand back! You have no authority. I am taking what is rightfully mine."

Prepare yourself to take back what the enemy has stolen. He has no authority over you, your family, or anything that the Lord has given you. The enemy can only take what you choose to lose. Everything you need to defeat the enemy is provided to you by El Shaddai.

El Shaddai, I refuse to accept defeat. I stand firm in
the authority of Jesus Christ and take back in His name
all the enemy has stolen. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

Today's Message

God Loves Failures

For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength. —1 Corinthians 1:25

Jacob is one of the most important characters in the Old Testament. He was the grandson of Abraham, the son of Isaac, and the third of the patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. If we look at Jacob's life, we soon recognize that the Bible does not cover up the weaknesses and frailty of its heroes. Jacob, whose name was later changed to Israel, was not a particularly attractive person.

If ever there was anyone who knew the guilt of failure, then Jacob is your man. The name Jacob means "heel" (or possibly "deceiver"). Jacob was the world's greatest manipulator. He wanted to control people. He was a terrible parent and brother. He stole his twin brother Esau's blessing, and, by cunning, he tricked him into selling his birthright.

Jacob may have been a complainer, a controller, but God loved him. "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated" (Rom. 9:13). Jacob, though not a very nice guy and not a very attractive person, was loved by God. When it came to the end of Jacob's life, the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews chose one event, which says that "Jacob . . .worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff" (Heb. 11:21). It shows him in his old age before he died, looking back on his life, a life riddled with guilt, but a life that, when it was all over, turned out as if it were perfect. He got his son back. He learned to appreciate Leah and the things God had done for him.

The "Jacobs" of this world aren't very pleasant, but God loves them.

God loves failures. Do you know why? It's because He wants to take your life, turn it into a trophy of grace, and bring you to the place where you see that His hand has always been on you. He wants to turn that failure into a blessing.

Excerpted from All's Well That Ends Well (Authentic Media, 2005).

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

The Benefits of Wisdom

Proverbs 3:16-18 The benefits of wisdom are not just happiness. This passage lists some of the benefits we will experience if we will live our lives in the wisdom from above.

  • We will have length of days.
  • We will have honor.
  • We will have wealth.
  • We will experience pleasant lives.
  • We will have peace.

The above is a list of what all men desire. They want to live long lives, have honor and wealth. They want to experience peace and live pleasant lives. The man who seeks the wisdom from above will experience these benefits.

A man of wisdom will learn to be content or happy in whatever state he finds himself. Happiness is not based on our circumstances. Happiness is based upon our character. If our character grows daily to be more like the character of Jesus Christ, we will be blessed every day of our lives.

Does this mean we have no problems if we live in the wisdom from above, which is peaceable and pure, full of good fruits and without partiality and hypocrisy? Wisdom does not protect us from troubles, because Jesus is all wisdom and He experienced many troubles while on earth. He also said, "In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world" (John 16:33). Operating in the wisdom from above guarantees us that we will come through each trial, each testing, each temptation we face victorious, but only if we depend upon Jesus through troubled times. The moment we try to take control of troubled times without consulting and inquiring of the Lord who is all wisdom, we will experience misery instead of joy in the midst of troubled times. We have no idea what is facing us this day, but God already knows. Take time to ask Him for the wisdom from above to face every problem, person and circumstance you may encounter today.

Lord, help me to seek You today with all my heart. Help me to look to You today for wisdom in every problem, circumstance and relationship today. Thank You for overcoming the world so I can be of good cheer and not be overwhelmed by the troubles in this world. I desire to live in peace and contentedness today no matter what I face. You are my peace and joy. Amen.

READ: Genesis 31:17-32:12; Matthew 10:27-11:6; Psalm 13:1-6; Proverbs 3:16-18

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Live Extraordinarily

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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