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Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 213 }

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature. ... You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. —Colossians 3:5, 7-10

Paul taught the Colossian believers to seek renewal by receiving knowledge of the image of God. Spiritual renewal and that durable transformation of the mind we all seek will only happen through the knowledge of God's heart bursting into our own hearts. That only happens when we come into contact with God and the truth about God in His Word. Nothing holds greater power to transform your inner life than that moment when God's voice touches your spirit with personal revelation of who He is, who you are in light of that, and what He would have you do. It might be nothing more (and nothing less) than the revelation that He really enjoys being with you. That alone can change your life, if you make it a foundation of your walk with God. When you witness that, you are transformed—you behold and become. Such an experience can never be neutral. It awakens you to who you are, who He is, and who you will be.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

What You think about me, the way You feel about me, is all that matters to me, Father. All else seems far away when I behold Your awesome beauty and discover Your marvelous love for me.

What God thinks and feels about you is worth far more
than the best advice from the most important
people in your life.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Set Your Sights

According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. —Philippians 1:20-21

Jesus was Lord in the apostle Paul's life, and his example to us today is unparalleled. Paul's entire purpose in life was to boldly speak forth for Christ's sake and to become more like Him with each passing day. Paul disciplined himself, setting goals and priorities to glorify God.

Each one of us has the same amount of time before us today, but how we use that time is going to determine just how far we go in the things of God. We are each responsible for the depth of our own lives.

How much time today will you spend on yourself and the pursuit of material things? How much time will you spend with God? How much time will you spend on building the relationships you have with others?

Set your sights today on living your life as Paul did, magnifying Christ in everything you lay your hands to do, your every step, and your every breath.

Christ, it is my desire to magnify You in
all that I do and say today. May you be
exalted in all that I am and all that I
do. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

Today's Message

True Reward

Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness! —Matthew 25:23

Did you know that Jesus was motivated by reward? I hear people say, "Don't talk to me about reward. I don't want reward; I don't want recognition. I am just a humble servant of God. I am going to do it because it is right." By saying such things you are trying to upstage Jesus. And I marvel at this. Jesus as a man was motivated by reward.

He knew there was joy out there, and He was waiting for it. He knew too that He would get it then, not now.

For, you see, the reward is not here below. Sometimes God does reward us on earth. He can do it, but if that is your motive, then again it is not right. The reward that motivated Jesus was that which was beyond this life, and He was willing to wait until He got to heaven. And this mind of Christ, the motivation of Jesus, was waiting for the reward in heaven.

Do we know what kind of reward it will be? Well, I cannot be sure; this matter of reward is a great mystery to me.

I do not know whether it is a literal crown that Paul spoke of receiving (2 Tim. 4:8). I do not know, but I suspect the grandest moment of all would just be to hear Jesus say, as we find in the parable of the talents in Matthew 25, "Well done." I want that "Well done." I cannot imagine anything greater than that. I will do anything I know to get it.

Excerpted from Meekness and Majesty (Christian Focus Publications Ltd., 1992, 2000).

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

Awake: The Light Has Come

Isaiah 8:1-9:21 As we continue to think of our Jewish brethren during these High Holy Days, we only have to wonder how they have missed seeing the Messiah clearly presented in their prophets, the psalms and even the Pentateuch. The only explanation is what Paul speaks clearly about in Romans. The Jewish people have a veil over their eyes that has been placed there by God. Should we pray for this veil to be dropped if this is God's will? The answer to this is a resounding yes. We have the hope and promise of God that this veil will be dropped, and the day will come when the Jewish people will recognize Jesus as their Messiah. Until that day we can be diligent in prayer for the Jewish people. Today many Jewish people are accepting Jesus as their Messiah. Our recent trip to Israel revealed much more openness on the part of secular Jews to discuss faith with others. I believe this is a direct result of the prayers of many Christians for Israel and the Jewish people.

In this passage Isaiah prophesies so eloquently the birth of Jesus: "The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined ... For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this" (Isa. 9:2, 6-7, KJV).

This prophecy also goes on to say, "And all the people shall know." Here is the promise to claim for the Jews as we pray for them. Jesus truly is the light that lights every man who comes into the world. John speaks of this as He shares that John the Baptist was not the light. He says, "He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, and the world did not know him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him" (John 1:8-11).

Pray today for the Jewish people to recognize and accept Jesus, the Light of the world.

READ: Isaiah 8:1-9:21; 2 Corinthians 12:1-10; Psalm 55:1-23; Proverbs 23:4-5


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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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