Devotionals

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Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 353 }

You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. —Psalm 16:11

Some people seem to be more susceptible to the occurrence of outward manifestations. Other people seem less susceptible. Still other people have various kinds of barriers that hinder the flow of the Spirit into and through their lives. Bring the burden of possible barriers honestly to the Lord in prayer and trust Him to reveal if there are any. This is an easy prayer for God to answer! Once you have done this, don't become too introspective about the issue—it may be that you will not experience much of the outward manifestations or phenomena. This does not mean that you haven't received from the Holy Spirit. Many people have reported having much fruit and power of the Spirit being released through their lives after "soaking" in the presence of God in renewal settings without having any outward awareness that they were being filled up. It is not the outward effects of spiritual renewal that we must focus upon or draw attention to, but rather the inner transformation of our souls into the likeness of Jesus.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Remove the barriers, dear Spirit, that hinder the flow of Your presence into my life. Allow me to "soak in Your presence" and to be transformed by Your ministry that I become more like Christ in all my ways.

Bring the burden of possible barriers honestly
to the Lord in prayer and trust Him
to reveal if there are any.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Wait Expectantly

Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord. —Psalm 27:14

Just as in the natural birth process, there is a gestation period for a miracle. The Bible is filled with examples of people waiting for God's promises. Abraham and Sarah waited for God to give them their promised son. The children of Israel waited in captivity for their deliverer to appear.

David waited on God while he was being pursued by Saul's men. Israel waited for her Messiah, and the disciples waited for the coming of the Holy Spirit. We are waiting now for our blessed hope, the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ for His Church.

God always comes through for those who wait on Him. The promised Son was born; the deliverer appeared; and the enemies were defeated. The Messiah was sent; and the Holy Spirit came. One day we who are waiting expectantly will be caught up in the clouds to be with our Lord forever! God is never late, and He never forgets His promise (1 Thessalonians 4:17).

I am waiting on You, O Lord. I know that
You always act at the right time. So I
praise You for all You do. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

Today's Message

Having Two Sets of Ears

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. —Revelation 3:20

It is wonderful when we hear with both sets of ears. Every minister knows what it is like to preach and find that people only hear with their physical ears. So all they think about during the sermon are the preacher's mannerisms, his oratory, his eloquence, and his style. Sadly, that is all some ever take in.

It was to the second set of ears—our spiritual ears—Jesus referred in the parable of the sower when He said, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear" (Mark 4:9). His promise of spiritual hearing in Revelation 3:20 is contingent upon the second set of ears being opened.

What happens, then, if your second set of ears are opened?

Well, first you find that instead of merely concluding that the minister was a good speaker, you suddenly think, He is speaking to my soul. Now you begin to view life from a new perspective and to think about issues you have never considered before: the question of whether there is life beyond the grave, for example.

However, there is another course of action you may take. Let us look at Revelation 1:3: "Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take it to heart what is written in it" (emphasis added). The Greek word for "take to heart" means "mark attentively" or "take heed." This means that the message of Revelation is not mere opinion or mythology; what is said is true, so you must consider this whole matter most soberly. In fact, you must heed its message.

The message of Revelation is the unveiling of the divine will concerning Jesus Christ. This book tells you all you need to know about Jesus and all you need to know about yourself.

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



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Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

A Wise Woman Builds Her House

Proverbs 14:1-2 This proverb says every wise woman builds her house, but the foolish plucks it down with her hands. The building blocks a woman uses to build her house are her words. Proverbs tells us that life and death are in the power of the tongue. Every day a woman has the choice to build her house with her words or to tear her house down with her words.

One of the main duties of a wife is to give honor to her husband. If she tears him down with critical, judgmental words, she is coming against her very own personhood because she and her husband are one. As a mother a woman has the charge to encourage her children and to teach them the ways of the Lord. She has the opportunity every day to sow the good seed of God's Word into her children. When she walks with them, she can share about God's beauty and creative power as demonstrated in nature. When they eat together, she can give thanks to God for His blessings and provision. When she puts their clothes on, she can talk about the full armor of God. When she puts them to bed, she can pray with her children and read Scripture to them.

A woman can commit herself to let her conversations glorify God daily by ordering her conversation aright. She has to be careful not to gossip and be determined to only speak kindly of others. The law of kindness needs to be on her lips, and her daily prayer should be, "Lord, set a guard over my lips that I might not sin with the words I speak." Daily I pray, "Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer. May everything I say today glorify You and sow good seed into the lives of others. Amen."

As a housekeeper, a woman has the duty of not just looking after the home, but she also has the privilege of charging the atmosphere of her home with her praises, her hymns and spiritual songs to the Lord. Her praises can fill her home with an aroma that is better than any deodorizing spray. She will be a wise woman if she will choose her words carefully and always seek to season her conversations with grace and edifying words. The foolish woman will be negative, critical, judgmental and will tear her home down with her words.

Today you have a choice. Whether you are a man or a woman, you also can build a very special building with your words. You have the great privilege of building a sanctuary for the Lord's presence wherever you are—in the market place, on the job, in the gym, in your neighborhood, at your school, in your church, in your family. The building blocks for this sanctuary are the words you speak. As you sing psalms, spiritual songs, hymns and make melody in your heart continually all the day long, you will be building this special sanctuary where God's presence will bring great joy not only to you, but also to all those around you. How is your sanctuary construction coming along today?

READ: Judges 2:11-3:31; Luke 22:14-34; Psalm 92:1-93:5; Proverbs 14:1-2

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Live Extraordinarily

Today's Message

The Spectacular Plan for Your Life

Extraordinary. Just hearing this amazing word arouses the desire to surpass the norm, to break away from the status quo. Its definition is “beyond what is usual, exceptional, exceeding the common measure.” One-word synonyms include: remarkable, amazing, marvelous and unimaginable. To better understand the full meaning of this inspiring word, consider its antonyms: common, normal and usual.

Ponder this a moment: The opposite of extraordinary is normal! If we're honest, I think we all want our lives to mean more or be more than what we've known and seen. Unless it's suppressed, there is an innate desire in each of us to rise above commonness. We yearn for the extraordinary.

"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him" (1 Corinthians 2:9, NLT).

These words paint a picture of an unimaginable and extraordinary existence, one far beyond what any mere mortal has known or experienced. You may have heard these words before and related them only to heaven’s glory. But in actuality, they were penned for the here and now! For the writer, the apostle Paul, continues, "But we know these things because God has revealed them to us by his Spirit" (vs. 10).

Paul, who lived during the church's inception, was divinely moved to bring into the open what had been previously hidden to our eyes, ears and imagination. He also wrote the following to describe the mandate of his life:

"My task is to bring out in the open and make plain what God, who created all this in the first place, has been doing in secret and behind the scenes all along. Through followers of Jesus like yourselves gathered in churches, this extraordinary plan of God is becoming known and talked about even among the angels!" (Ephesians 3:9–10, The Message)

There's One Person above all others who desires an extraordinary life for you. He is a Father who delights, like any good father, in the achievements and happiness of His children. His name is God! And nothing will please Him more than seeing you reach your highest potential.

God’s extraordinary plan is revealed when we live extraordinarily. Together let’s give the angels something to talk about!

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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