Devotionals

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Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 124 }

And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. —Ephesians 2:6-7

Do you ever imagine standing in heaven's throne room as you worship and intercede? Picture a mighty throne, immersed in flames, standing in heaven. Imagine an indescribably glorious person with hair and garments as white as snow, seated upon that throne. Picture twenty-four lesser thrones surrounding the great thrones on the right and the left and twenty-four elders clothed in white and wearing golden crowns sitting upon those thrones. Listen to the mighty roar of praise ascending from the myriads and myriads of angels on every side of the throne. Jesus is there at the right hand of His Father. His loveliness and His splendor are beyond description. He is welcoming you to the throne of grace, smiling and bidding you to come. As we come there, day after day, year after year, our spiritual lives will surely be enriched. Our spirits will be invigorated, and our minds will be renewed.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Lord, the thought of standing with You before the Father's throne is more than I can comprehend. Yet You welcome me to the throne of grace and renew my being as I stand in that holy place.

Over the course of time we are changed
—transformed—from glory to glory.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Don't Play Around

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. —John 10:10

With these words Jesus drew a line in the sand between the works of God and the works of the devil. God's work is life-giving, healing and uplifting. "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights" (James 1:17). Everything that steals, kills, and destroys is the work of the devil. Sickness, disease, and injury do not come from God.

Christianity is not a game that you play on Sunday and then reenter the world's game on Monday. The devil will see to you that you lose such a game. Being a Christian, a little anointed one, means that you live out Christ's life seven days and week and twenty-four hours a day. You cannot play at faith-.-.-.-you must live it!

Don't play around with salvation. You are either a child of the devil or a child of God. The devil hates his own kids. He will use you, abuse you, and destroy you, as long as you play around in his kingdom.

Draw close to God through prayer (Psalm 91:15), giving (Luke 6:38), fasting (Luke 2:37), and living right (Romans 6:13). Praise Him for your salvation that allows you to walk in victory.

Lord Jesus, I have stopped playing the game, and I am
in the race for real. Help me to live for
You every moment of today. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

Today's Message

Don’t Quit

Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire ... —Daniel 3:17, NAS

Can you think of any moment lately when you were glad Jesus had not come? If He had come, would He have found you complaining, criticizing, or ready to give up? Perhaps you know what it is to be lonely; perhaps you were passed over; perhaps you feel that life has passed you by; perhaps you feel it is unfair that you had to have the lousy wife or husband you have or the illness. Endure the trial with dignity.

But what is enduring with dignity? It means that at the Second Coming of Jesus, beware that you are not questioning God. Beware of bitterness against Him.

It also means do not be found quenching. That is trying to abort a God-ordained trial. Every trial has a timescale, and it will end. There is no trial given to you that is not common to man from which God will not make a way of escape. Now that is God's promise. It does not matter what the trial is. You may say, "This one is too big for me"—it is not. The devil will make you think it is too big for you, and you may think that you have found a loophole so you can complain. The trial will end, but if you try to end it before it is over, you will build a superstructure of straw.

As you read this you may be undergoing a trial greater than you imagined, and maybe no one has a clue what you are going through. You are almost ready to quit. Don't! Your endurance in this trial of your faith will bring praise, honor, and glory to Jesus Christ on His appearing. Dignify the trial even though your faith is tried by fire. Do not quit! You are the one who has an opportunity to have what Paul calls "reward."

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

Children's Children

Psalm 128:1-6 What a blessing it is to be grandparents. This psalm promises the children of Israel that they will see their children's children. "Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table" (v. 3, KJV). "Yea, thou shalt see thy children's children, and peace upon Israel" (v. 6, KJV).

We are so grateful for the fruitfulness of God in our lives. We are going to have to expand our dining table because the olive plants are already crowding the table.

As we shared yesterday, the Father loves to be surrounded by many children. David in this psalm speaks of God's faithfulness to give us fruitful lives on this earth. He says, "Blessed is every one who fears the Lord, who walks in His ways. When you eat the labor of your hands, you shall be happy, and it shall be well with you" (vv. 1-2).

David is telling us of God's provision to those who fear Him. His provision to all who serve Him is fruitfulness to us as we birth physical births and spiritual births, fruitfulness because of the labor of our hands, and fruitfulness to our souls. Our souls will demonstrate the fruits of the spirit—joy, peace, love, patience, kindness, gentleness, meekness, temperance and faithfulness. The words faithfulness and fruitfulness are closely related. As we are faithful to fear the Lord, He is faithful to produce fruit in our lives, and we will live abundant, happy (blessed) lives. This does not mean we will never have troubles. It means we will remain in His joy, and our joy will be full as we abide in the vine no matter what circumstances we are experiencing. After all, fruit receives nourishment from the vine, and Jesus is that strong vine who supplies daily all we need to be fruitful.

God, I know You are a firstfruit God. As I seek You first in my life, I know You will bless every aspect of my life with fruitfulness. Thank You for supplying such a wonderful nourishing vine (Jesus Christ) that I can receive from daily all I need in this life.

READ: Joel 1:1-3:21; Revelation 1:1-20; Psalm 128:1-6; Proverbs 29:18   

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Live Extraordinarily

Today's Message

Reputation Is Not About You

"Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross." (Philippians 2:5-8, NKJV)

Many people in the world today are fighting fiercely to climb the ladder of success. A great deal of their energy is focused and spent on building a reputation in the eyes of others in order to "make it big." In the process of their pursuit, they quickly become addicted to the approval of others.

Jesus did just the opposite—He made Himself of no reputation (see Philippians 2:7). In other words, He stripped Himself of all His kingly rights and humbled Himself to become human. The Creator literally took the form of His creation. Instead of living His entire life to build a name for Himself, He endeavored to build a name for His Father. He said, "I am not in search of honor for Myself. [I do not seek and am not aiming for My own glory.] There is One Who [looks after that; He] seeks [My glory], and He is the Judge" (John 8:50 AMP).

Having a good reputation is important; however, the motive—or driving force—behind your cause should be weighed. Are you tempted to make a name for yourself for success, or are you a person of good reputation because you long to represent your King well on earth?

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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