Devotionals

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Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 150 }

Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. —1 Corinthians 15:58

We are also not called to be religious. We are not called primarily to jump through the hoops of our religious systems and political structures, or to dot the i and cross the t according to a particular doctrine or policy. The Great Commission was spoken from the heart of our Father God to a bride who is ordained to partner with the Son of God. It was spoken to the church to be a lover partner, whose work would flow out of the energy of divine romance through hearts energized with love. The Great Commission is often seen through the paradigm of a worker. It is seen as a mandate of great sacrifice. But by the end of the age, evangelism will be accomplished as the overflow of a lover in partnership with her Bridegroom God. We won't consider it sacrifice, but a privilege. We will work in the fields of harvest with hearts that are absolutely lovesick with desire for the Lord of the harvest.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Father, whenever religious systems or policies have taken first place in my life, remind me that I have been called to be in relationship as a lover with the Bridegroom God.

God has called us first to be lovers.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

His Perfect Will

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. —James 1:2-4, NAS

As you mature in Christ, there are some things you need to accept, even though you may not understand them.

When everything in you cries, "No, Lord, no," and you say, "How could God want me to go through this?"-.-.-.-that is the time for you to bow your knee and declare, "Yes, Lord, yes." God will allow you to walk through the fire to prove that the power to deliver you is of Him and not of yourself.

He is the God who brought you in; He is the God who will bring you out. Let no thought of defeat enter your mind, but rather, "Let this mind which was in Christ be in you also" (Philippians 2:5).

When you pass through deep waters, raging storms, and terrible trials, He will see you through. Jesus delivers you from every crisis and puts your feet on solid ground—the rock of His Word.

Jesus, see me through every trial. Help me keep my eyes
fixed on You in all my crises. Amen.

 


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By Love Transformed

Today's Message

Father, Forgive Them

Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." —Luke 23:34

We all have a story to tell. As you read this you may think it is impossible to forgive your unfaithful husband or wife. You may feel you cannot forgive your abusive parent. You may feel you cannot forgive what was done to your son or daughter. How can we forgive the church leader who took advantage of his position? What about the person who lied to us or about us, or the person who believed those lies? The list of potential offenses is endless. Often closer to home, there are relatives and former close friends who have become enemies.

People experience real pain when they or someone they love is hurt by another person. It is often harder to forgive when the one who has been hurt is someone you love deeply, especially your child. I find it much easier to forgive what people have said or done to me personally than what they say or do to my children.

But it is still very hard to forgive those who have hurt us directly, especially when they do not feel the slightest twinge of conscience.

But remember, at the foot of Jesus' cross no one seemed so sorry. There was no justice at His "trial"—if you could even call it that.

What was Jesus' response? "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing" (Luke 23:34). This must be our response as well.

Excerpted from Total Forgiveness (Charisma House, 2002).

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

Looking at the Unseen

Hebrews 11:17-31 As we continue our travels through the Book of Hebrews, underline or circle the phrases looking at or looking towards. Faith always looks at the eternal rather than the temporal. We can see the temporal, but we cannot usually see the eternal. In this chapter we see more stories from the Hall of Faith, and each story has one thing in common. These heroes of our faith were able to see the unseen by faith. We see the faith of Moses in the following passages: "By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible" (vv. 24-27, KJV).

Moses saw Christ with his spiritual eyes. He even saw the rewards Christ would give him on that great day when Jesus will reward the saints for their deeds and words on earth. Moses, like David, Job and Isaiah, saw Jesus Christ in the Spirit even though it was years before Jesus would be born on earth. These heroes of our faith were able to look into the unseen realm of the Spirit.

When Moses asked God to show him His glory, I believe Moses at that time saw much more than God the Father. I believe he saw the Trinity. He could only see the backside of God, who does have form even though He is a Spirit. He also saw Jesus and the Holy Spirit. The Spirit was represented by the fire in the burning bush, as the Spirit is often represented by fire. The golden candlestick in the tabernacle of Moses represented the sevenfold Spirit of God. I believe Moses also saw Jesus. God honored Moses' faith by allowing him to see Jesus not only in the Spirit but also in the flesh. This happened on the Mount of Transfiguration when Moses and Elijah appeared with Jesus on the Mount.

If we want our lives to display the same kind of faith Moses and these other Bible heroes displayed, we must wear our spiritual glasses every day. These glasses correct our nearsightedness and allow us to see into the realms of God's glory.

Are you wearing your spiritual glasses today, or are you still blinded by the problem and trials of this world? Put on your glory glasses this morning and see into the unseen by faith. You will never be the same.

Lord, show me Your glory.

READ: Ezekiel 27:1-28; Hebrews 11:17-31; Psalm 111:1-10; Proverbs 27:15-16

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Live Extraordinarily

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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