Devotionals

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Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 113 }

Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. —Ephesians 5:25-27

Just as you or I need a daily physical bath, we also need a daily spiritual bath to remove some of the "grime" and defilement. If the grime is allowed to accumulate, it will lead to spiritual dullness and insensitivity in our spirits. Inner corruption such as anger, slander, impatience, and sensuality grieves the Holy Spirit and makes our spirits insensitive and unable to respond fully to Him. The accumulation of information about the Scriptures and the mental discipline of hours of Bible study will never thoroughly cleanse the inner man in the way that devotional, worshipful meditation upon God's Word will. When our Bible study leads into personal dialogue with Jesus as we meditate upon His cleansing Word, we also experience growth in spiritual hunger, sensitivity, and nearness to Him.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Wash me in Your Word, dear Father. Cleanse me of my dull, insensitive spirit. Take the hidden, inner sins from my life as I meditate on Your Word and will for my life.

When we fix our hearts on the person of Jesus and
dialogue with Him, the Word of God
washes our spirits.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Blessed or Cursed

For such as be blessed of him shall inherit the earth; and they that be cursed of him shall be cut off. —Psalm 37:22

God gave us clear directives for how He expects us to live. His laws are for our safety, security, and direction. Like any good father, God blesses us when we obey and corrects us when we stray.

Are you ready for the blessing and provision of God's abundance? There is only one door in which to place your key. Jesus said, "I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture" (John 10:9). What are we promised when we walk through the door? Jesus tells us in the next verse: "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" (v.10).

The blessing of God is promised for those who obey His Word. As you submit your life to His authority, He will bring you into the fullness of His abundant life.

Jesus, I am ready and willing to obey You. Open Your
door for my life that I may walk into Your blessings
and abundance. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

Today's Message

Stop Judging!

Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God. —1 Corinthians 4:5

I think the hardest thing in the world that I have had to learn is to stop judging. I cannot say that I have learned it completely. God is not finished with me yet, and He is still dealing with me in this respect. I have discovered that the less judging I do, the more peace I get.

Paul is not talking here about hating sin, because that is something we should all do. He is talking about finding fault with someone who is threatening you, someone who is giving you problems, or perhaps someone who just "gets your goat." Sometimes it is a personality clash and you make it into some big issue when it is really a personal one. Many times what is posed as a theological issue is nothing more than a problem of jealousy, envy, or pride, which are purely personal problems. Failing to recognize that, we get embroiled in it and say, "God's with me," and He is not. It is too common a mistake.

There are five things we ought to know about being judgmental, and the first is that judging is speculation. We simply do not have all the evidence.

Second, judging is schismatic. It will always cause division; you cannot avoid it. Whenever you begin to judge, the church will be divided.

Third, judging is selfish. Primarily it is a sign of our self-righteousness. We do not think so, but it is, and it is self-serving.

Fourth, judging is spineless. No strength of character is required for you to be judgmental, and it shows no taste.

Fifth, judging is superseding because you are doing not only what God says not to do, but you are actually doing what God says belongs to Him: "To me belongeth vengeance. Vengeance is mine." Five good reasons, then, for taking this verse seriously: stop judging!

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

His Thoughts Toward Me

Psalm 139:1-24 This psalm declares clearly how much God is thinking about us. We have an expression in the Christian community we use when we are concerned about someone. We say, "You have really been on my heart." We are on God's heart every day of our lives. Listen quietly and You can hear Him say, "Today, My child, you are on My heart, and I am praying for you." This psalm says, "How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with You" (vv. 17-18).

Not only is God thinking about you today, His thoughts were absorbed with you even before you were born. This psalm tells us that God was watching us when we were formed in our mother's womb, and He wrote down the members of our body.

If you feel today, that God has somehow abandoned you or forgotten that you exist, read this psalm. After you read it, you can then praise and give thanks to the Lord because you are fearfully and wonderfully made. He loves you, and you are in His thoughts today. Jesus is making effective intercession for you right now at this very moment.

Thank You, Lord, for thinking about me today. I know in Your thoughts is a plan for me today. Father, let what is in Your mind and heart for me today be accomplished according to Your will. I submit myself to Your way, which is much higher than my own way. Help me by Your Holy Spirit to tap into what Jesus is praying for me today and to what You have planned for me each minute of this day.

READ: Haggai 1:1-2:23; Revelation 11:1-19; Psalm 139:1-24; Proverbs 30:15-16


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Live Extraordinarily

Today's Message

Bringing Heaven to Earth

Jesus' mission of revealing the kingdom could be identified with one word: righteousness. We are told, "For the kingdom of God is…righteousness" (Romans 14:17, NKJV). Jesus tells us to "seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness" (Matthew 6:33, NKJV). To put it simply, righteousness means "right in the eyes of God."

Scripture makes it crystal clear: "There is none righteous, no, not one" (Romans 3:10, NKJV). Unless someone is born again by the incorruptible seed of the Word of God, it is impossible to be righteous or acceptable in the eyes of God. However, the Word declares: "Christ was without sin, but for our sake God made him share our sin in order that in union with him we might share the righteousness of God." (2 Corinthians 5:21, TEV)

Because of what Jesus did for us, we are now acceptable to God in every way. Right standing with Him has nothing to do with our effort but is based on the amazing work of Jesus Christ. It breaks my heart to hear Christians refer to themselves as miserable sinners who have just been forgiven when such a great price was paid for us to not only be forgiven and delivered but also to be re-created in the image of Jesus.

First and foremost, the kingdom within speaks of the divine nature, which empowers us to live holy and fruitful in this present world. This power is most evident in the life of Jesus. He showed how humankind was created to live—not bound to the burning desires of fallen flesh, but motivated by righteousness, propelled by the power of the Holy Spirit in love, joy, and peace—abounding in forgiveness, healing, restoration, and lifting others to the higher life. This is the kingdom; it's not only to live holy but also to bring heaven to our lost and dying world.

Now here is His charge to us: "As the Father has sent Me, I also send you." (John 20:21, NKJV)

What a statement! We are to bring heaven to earth in the same manner Jesus did. In essence, this is how it should be: To see one of Christ's true followers is to see Jesus, just as seeing Jesus was to see the Father.

What a responsibility—and an opportunity—this is for each of us!

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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