Devotionals

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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 49 }

Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. —Matthew 10:28-31

The soul of a human being is the seat of affection, where love and true worship flow. Who ultimately possesses the people's affections is of highest concern to the Father. We were made in His own image, uniquely designed for His holy purposes. God would only send His beloved Son to die for priceless, eternal human souls.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Father, every day I see people who are lost and hopeless without Your love in their life. Cause me to care deeply about their souls. Set me afire with a blazing desire to show them Your love.

Nothing in all creation is more significant to
God than the soul of a human being.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Burn Brightly

As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. —John 9:5

Jesus said, "While I have been here, the kingdom has been here, and light has been shining in darkness. I'm leaving soon, but don't worry. I'm going to light candlesticks that will shine into the darkness, decadence and degradation. Even though darkness presses in around them, it cannot extinguish their light."

You say, "I don't have a dollar to change." What an opportunity for your light to shine! The doctors say you will not live much longer. What an opportunity to burn brightly! "I lost my job." What an opportunity! When things are darkest in your life, you have the opportunity to shine the most brightly for Jesus. Refuse to give your attention to the dark areas in your life. Look to the Light—Jesus Christ—who dispels all darkness and lights your life as a powerful witness for Him.

Lord Jesus, You have made me a candle to light
the darkness of this world. Help me to embrace
the nightfall so I can shine through the
darkness, shedding Your light in the
hearts of the lost and drawing them
into the brightness of
Your presence. Amen.


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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

Put God First

Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. —Matthew 10:37

All relationships must ever be subservient to God's greater glory. No matter how close people get to each other, they must be closer to God. The irony is, the closer people are to God, the more they will love each other. The more they put the voice of God prior to their commitment to each other, the more they really respect each other.

I think of some of my close friends. The dynamic that holds us together is that we love God more than we do each other. If I stopped listening to God and turned away from Him, I would expect my friends to warn me—then lovingly rebuke me if I did not come to my senses.

No friendship or relationship is worth its salt if it does not have an inflexible commitment to God's glory first and to one another second. It would break my heart if I had to break with any of my friends—for any reason. But I would do it if I had to because of my greater love for God's honor.

It is a severe test to one's mettle whether God will always be put first—and obeyed. Today's man or woman must get his or her approval from God only. "How can you believe if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God?" (John 5:44).

It is a way today's servant of Christ must bear the cross. But the more I bear this cross, the more I put God's voice first, and the more I am jealous of God's glory, then the more will I be respected, appreciated, and loved by these friends. That, in fact, is what makes real friendship.

Excerpted from The Anointing: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow (Charisma House, 2003).

 


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Around the Word in 365 Days

Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

The Character of a Meek Person

Psalm 37:1-11 Yesterday the psalm we read shared about God's character. Today Psalm 37 shares about the character of a meek person. Two people in the Bible are spoken of as meek men. The Bible tells us that Moses was the meekest man that ever lived. Of course, Moses was not divine as Jesus is. But we also know that if we want to see the complete character trait of meekness demonstrated, we must look to Jesus. Jesus exhorted us to learn of Him because He is meek and lowly of heart. Can we learn meekness? As we observe the lives of Jesus and Moses in the Bible, we can learn much about meekness. However, the key to learning about meekness is to come to Jesus. Jesus issues the invitation for us to come to Him daily and let the Holy Spirit teach us all about meekness. Meekness will only be formed in our own lives as we submit ourselves to growing in intimacy with the Lord by spending quality time with Him daily. This psalm tells us the benefits of meekness and exactly how meekness is demonstrated in our lives.

Listen to the promise issued to the meek: "The meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace" (Ps. 37:11, KJV). That phrase "abundance of peace" ignites the desire in me to grow in the fruit of the Spirit called "meekness." What are the character traits of a meek person? This psalm lists eight character traits. A meek person frets not, trusts in the Lord, does good, delights in the Lord, commits his way to the Lord, rests in the Lord, waits upon the Lord and ceases from anger and forsakes wrath.

A meek person responds to people instead of acting out against them. We know that Moses did on one occasion come against God and the children of Israel, and it cost him a great blessing—the blessing of living in the Promised Land. Because a meek person trusts in the Lord, he does not fret, but instead rests and waits upon the Lord. This fruit of the Spirit can be cultivated in our lives, but there is a key condition we must fulfill for meekness to grow in our lives. The key to cultivating all nine fruit of the Spirit in our lives is spending time with the Master Gardener—Jesus. We have to take time for the preparation of the soil of our hearts to receive the seed of the Word of God, and then we have to continue to fertilize that seed daily with more of the Word of God. We must allow time in our daily lives to receive the refreshing water of the Holy Spirit. One of the tactics of the enemy in the last days is to wear out the saints, and lately I have observed many worn-out and dry Christians. When we are weary, that is a clear sign that we are not spending enough quality time with the Lord.

READ: Leviticus 6:1-7:27; Mark 3:7-30; Psalm 37:1-11; Proverbs 10:3-4


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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

Mercy and Grace

Grace is when we get what we don't deserve.

Mercy is when we don't get what we do deserve.

Mercy manifests when we don't get justice for our sin. Grace, on the other hand, is imparted power we don't deserve that frees us from the tyranny of sin.

Many Christians have lumped the two words together and assigned to both the same meaning. Am I splitting hairs here or is this just semantics? Not at all. Here's a way to think about it: Suppose you play both football and basketball with football rules. Football would go well; however, with basketball you'd lose the uniqueness of the sport in addition to incurring numerous injuries. We've lost the power of the identity of grace because so many have combined it with mercy. We've also incurred numerous injuries by playing grace with mercy's rules.

Grace gives us the power to live, and mercy keeps us free from guilt, condemnation and shame, all of which try to pull us back into sin's grip. Mercy keeps our conscience clear of the judgment we deserve. What amazing mercy God has shown us!

Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace,...that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need. (Hebrews 4:16, AMP)

Mercy is given for our failures, our sins we've repented of. However, grace is given to help, to empower us. What a great salvation our Father has given us—complete and lacking nothing!

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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