Devotionals

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Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 108 }

Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. —Ephesians 5:25-27, KJV

The Holy Spirit wants to impact people for Jesus, not for the latest exciting ministry in the nation or for the pastor with the biggest building. But strangely enough, the Holy Spirit does anoint men and women who do not glorify Jesus in their personal lives. He does it all the time. The church in the last days will have tenacious loyalty to the person of Jesus. If some of the ministries today have that loyalty, then imitate them. But if they don't, please don't be impressed just because some people fall down when the preacher prays for them. That's not enough. I believe some of that may continue happening, but something more, something far better is on the horizon. We are about to discover what it means to live and minister in an overflow of our personal experience of the satisfying knowledge of the person of Christ.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

If all the world forsakes You, Lord, I will not. I want more than just a spiritual façade in my life; I want to be radically overflowing with the joys of Your great salvation in my life.

There's something greater than people falling
down when we pray.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Sowing in Famine

Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the Lord blessed him. —Genesis 26:12

Genesis tells us of a drought that came on the land, leaving nothing but parched and dusty ground. The famine it caused was so severe, Isaac and his family were ready to flee to Egypt. But the Lord had another plan and appeared to Isaac, saying, "Dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of" (Genesis 26:2).

Isaac obeyed, tilling the soil and planting his meager seed. God blessed his obedience and faithfulness with a harvest that continued until he became extremely wealthy.

"He that observes the wind shall not sow; and he that regards the clouds shall not reap" (Ecclesiastes 11:4). Those who dwell on the wind instead of the Word clutch their seed, afraid to sow. Your situation may seem hopeless, but you serve a God who created man from the dust of the ground! Trust in Him with all your might. Sow in your famine and reap a king's reward.

When we face lack, we are tempted to eat our seed instead of sowing it. But without sowing, there will be no harvest. Continue to sow in times of lack so that the future will have a harvest instead of continuing famine and dry season.

Lord, give me the courage to sow even in difficult times.
Help me to trust You for the future harvest. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

Today's Message

The Need to Remember

I thank my God every time I remember you. —Philippians 1:3

God has a perfect memory, and yet, if we are to believe the psychologists, so have we. Psychologists say we never really forget. Well, you could have fooled me, but that's what they say. We do forget, however. When we look back on our past we remember things that were pleasant. Yet it is one thing consciously to remember things; the sad thing is there are some things we don't forget, especially if something is pointed out to us. One of the things that will make hell, hell is that you will have a memory in hell. In Luke 16:25, Abraham said to the man who was in hell, "Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony."

But even on this planet, sometimes even as Christians our memories have to be jogged. At the Last Supper Jesus said, "Do this in remembrance of me" (Luke 22:19). One of the reasons for the Lord's Supper is to jog our memories, to remind us how we know we are going to go to heaven. For when we eat the bread and drink the cup, there before us are symbolized the body and the blood of Jesus.

The first time the word remember appears in the Bible is in Genesis 9:15-16, where God said to Noah, "I will remember my covenant. ... Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant." Sometimes it seems as if God is slow to remember. Sometimes we come to Him and cry, "O God, remember!" The question is, we ask God to remember, but do we remember? There is one thing God appreciates, and I cannot stress this too much, He appreciates being thanked. Remember to thank Him.

Excerpted from All's Well That Ends Well (Authentic Media, 2005).

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

True Joy

Psalm 144:1-15 One of my favorite Christmas hymns is "Joy to the World." True joy can only come from Jesus, and on this Christmas morning we are more aware than ever of this fact. All over the world people are celebrating the birth of Jesus, and their joy is not based upon their circumstances. Their joy is based on the fact Jesus has come to touch their circumstances and every area of their lives.

So many on this day go to the bars to celebrate, and often they celebrate Christmas by getting loaded because of overdrinking. Such people are seeking joy in the wrong kind of drink. These people will only be satisfied temporarily. Jesus offers to us all the drink of living water that will cause us never to thirst again. He told us the secret to true joy, which is to abide in Him and allow His words and love to abide in us. Jesus is the source of lasting joy. He said, "These things have I told you that your joy might be full and that My joy might remain in you."

So many get depressed right after Christmas because the glow has vanished and they are faced once again with the mundane daily job and duties. They have forgotten that Christmas Day is passed, but Jesus Christ has not. He lives and is praying for us on the day after Christmas and on every day for the rest of our lives. Jesus is the true joy who is the glory and lifter of our heads. He is the day spring that causes us to spring with His Spirit daily. This psalm says, "Happy are the people whose God is the Lord."

Today you will be happy if you make Jesus the Lord of your life. He is waiting to receive those special gifts of your cares and concerns wrapped in prayer. As you are giving gifts to others, be sure to cast all of your worries, cares and everything that concerns you into the arms of Jesus. He can't wait to receive your cares because He cares for you. When you cast all of your cares upon Him, you can enter into the exhortation, "Be happy, don't worry." Joy is waiting you this Christmas day as you rest your burdens into His hands. Joy to the world! The Lord has come not just once, but He lives now and is praying for you, and soon He will come again. What a day that will be when our Jesus we will see. We will look into His face and see the majesty of His grace. It will be better than Christmas. JOY! JOY! JOY !!!

Happy birthday, Jesus! I give You all my cares and concerns as gifts to You on Your birthday. Thank You for touching each one.

READ: Zechariah 8:1-23; Revelation 16:1-21; Psalm 144:1-15; Proverbs 30:29-31

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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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