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Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 242 }

Then three of the thirty chief men ... came to David at the cave of Adullum. ... And David said with longing, "Oh, that someone would give me a drink of the water from the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate!" —2 Samuel 23:13, 15, NKJV

The Bible gives this compelling illustration of extravagant devotion as a model for becoming people of one thing. David had been anointed king, but he was not king yet. Jealous King Saul was chasing him from cave to cave. About six hundred men joined David, and they made the cave of Adullum their main headquarters. It was probably late one night, and David was saying with longing, "Oh, that someone would give me a drink of the water from the well of Bethlehem!" Hearing David's longing, his mighty warriors said, "Let's go get him some of that water." They knew it might cost them their lives, but they loved David with extravagance, and it thrilled their hearts to answer his request. They went far beyond the call of duty to answer the longing in their king's heart. Of all the stories that could have been told of David and his men, this story became famous as one of the most extravagant acts of devotion toward the king. For us, this becomes a picture of devotion to King Jesus. It's a pattern for becoming people of one thing, with hearts after God's.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Jesus, the example of David's mighty men shows me the depth of loyalty and devotion I want to have for You. Let me love You with that level of extravagance and live my life in the pursuit of all that makes You pleased with me.

David's mighty men were a picture of the
passionate loyalty we should have
to Christ Jesus.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

A Sound From Heaven

And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. —Acts 2:2

Sound is the vibration of air molecules; the Greek word translated "sound" here is echoes, which means "to reverberate." Acts 2:6 says, when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together. The word noised" is phoneo, meaning "to publish" or "to proclaim."

Luke is telling us in these two verses that the multitude heard a voice echoing like a mighty rushing wind and the phenomenon was made public. On Pentecost, God spoke life to the church in much the same way He created heaven and earth. Ezekiel prophesied to the wind, and the army came alive (Ezekiel 37).

When God speaks to us, His Spirit reverberates in our human spirit. We can then speak the oracles of God and allow His message to reverberate in the hearts and spirits of others (1 Thessalonians 1:8).

What has the Spirit deposited in your heart that you are burning to speak? What message from the Lord are you passionate to share with others?

Lord, open my mouth and baptize me in fire so that
I may share Your Word with anyone who will listen.
Empower me to speak Your message. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

Today's Message

A Clear Path to Intimacy

For if you forgive men when they sin against you , your heavenly Father will also forgive you. —Matthew 6:14

Not only do we need daily forgiveness as much as we need daily bread, but we also need to pray daily that we have the grace to forgive others as a lifelong commitment. It is not easy. No one ever said it would be. It has been the hardest thing I have ever had to do, but following this phrase in the Lord's Prayer is the clearest path to fellowship with God.

It is as though Jesus adds a "P.S." to the Lord's Prayer. It almost seems that that is why He gave us the prayer in the first place!

Why does Jesus add this further statement? He is demonstrating which of the petitions was the most important. The most natural tendency in the world is to want to get even when someone has offended you. It is as natural as eating or sleeping, and it is instinctual. Jesus is telling us to do something that is not natural but supernatural: totally forgiving people—sometimes those closest to us—for the wrongs they have done to us. I still struggle in this area myself. But when I truly and totally forgive, I have crossed over into the supernatural—and have achieved an accomplishment equal to any miracle.

The kingdom of heaven is the domain of the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit is at home in us, it means He is not grieved. He can be Himself; He isn't adjusting to us, but we are adjusting to Him. When Jesus said, "If you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you," He was not talking about how to achieve salvation. He was referring to receiving the anointing of God and participating in an intimate relationship with the Father. Unless we are walking in a state of forgiveness toward others, we cannot be in an intimate relationship with God.

Excerpted from Total Forgiveness (Charisma House, 2002).

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

Why Are We So Blessed?

Psalm 32:1-11 Each day I live I come to appreciate the cross and what happened on that dreadful, but victorious day over two thousand years ago. I am a blessed person for no other reason than the blood of Jesus that was poured out for me to cover my sins. David had not yet seen the crucified and resurrected Lord in the flesh, but I believe he saw Him in the spirit. David understood the power of forgiveness of transgressions, the covering of sins and the pardoning of iniquity. He says, "Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit" (vv. 1-2).

David knew the power of confession, and he says, "I acknowledged my sin to You and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, 'I will confess my transgression unto the Lord,' and You forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah" (v. 5).

David mentions three things we need to confess to God—our sins, our transgressions and our iniquities. Sin is falling short of the glory of God, transgression is sinning against another, and iniquity is the bent to sin or the want to sin. Sin is a thought or action. Transgression is an action against another person or against God's law. Iniquity is the attitude of our hearts.

David saw in the spirit how there would be One to come who would forgive all of our transgressions, who would cover our sins and who would cleanse our hearts. This One is spoken of by Isaiah 53: "But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed" (Isa. 53:5). "Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed. He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand" (v. 10).

It is beyond our human comprehension that it pleased God to bruise Jesus for our sakes. Such love seems beyond expression, yet it was expressed fully on the cross when Jesus died for our sins, was bruised for our iniquities and was wounded for our transgressions. Amazing love! Such love demands my life, my all!

READ: Nehemiah 3:15-5:13; 1 Corinthians 7:20-40; Psalm 32:1-11; Proverbs 21:5-7

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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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