Devotionals

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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 351 }

Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written. —John 21:25

The Bible does not record all possible divine or legitimate supernatural activities and experiences that have occurred or may yet occur among men and nations. Rather, it records examples of divine activity and legitimate supernatural experiences that fall into broader categories that are typical of how the Holy Spirit works. This concept is taught in John 21:25, in which John states that if all the wonderful works that Jesus did had been recorded, all the books in the world could not contain them. The Bible nowhere teaches that God is bound to do only what He has done before. In fact, there are many prophecies of Scripture that speak of God doing things He has never done before. One friend of ours has said, "God has this problem, you see—He thinks He's God!" Truly, He is God, and He can do anything He wants to.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Remove the hindrances of my finite human mind to comprehend the many ways that You reveal Yourself to Your people. Help me to understand that You can do whatever You want—and do whatever You want in me.

God is always and forever free to do
unprecedented things that are
consistent with His character
as revealed in Scripture.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

The Bread of Life

For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. —John 6:33

Names carried great significance to the ancient Hebrews. To know the name of something was to rule it; they believed the essence of the person or thing was in its name.

Jesus was born in Bethlehem, as foretold by Micah over 450 years earlier (Micah 5:2). Bethlehem means literally, "House of Bread"—an appropriate place for God to ordain to cradle the Bread of Life that came down from heaven.

The manna which fell in the wilderness only briefly satisfied; it couldn't be stored or kept to meet tomorrow's need. But when we partake of Jesus, we can be continually filled, saved, and satisfied for all eternity.

Our clothes may wear out, our money may run out and our hair may fall out—but Christ, the "True Bethlehem," the "True Manna," gives us everlasting life. "O, taste and see that the Lord is good!" (Psalm 34:8).

Lord, I have tasted and known that You are good.
You are the true bread that came down
from heaven. I will feed on Your Word
all the days of my life. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

The Alpha and the Omega

"I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty." —Revelation 1:8

If we believe it is true that everybody is "destined to die once, and after that to face judgment" (Heb. 9:27), we will be eager to learn what will happen next. We find a clue in the words of Jesus in Revelation 1:8: "I am the Alpha and the Omega ... who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty." Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. These words describe who God is. Jesus was saying that He is the beginning and the end, the Lord of creation, the giver and withholder of knowledge.

Did you know that all knowledge comes from God and that He gives or withholds knowledge as He wills? We enjoy the benefit of many scientific, technological, and medical developments, but we should remember we do so thanks to God's special grace and kindness to humanity. Yet science can only develop as far as God allows, and human knowledge will never be complete.

This is not so with spiritual knowledge, which we begin to grasp when we become Christians. In Colossians 2:3 Paul reveals that in Jesus "are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." The knowledge of Jesus Christ is saving knowledge that comes through the revelation of the Holy Spirit, and it is He who enables us to grasp who Jesus is and what He did; this knowledge we call "faith." Imparting faith is the primary work of the Spirit.

It is the Spirit who imparts faith, but it is in obedience to the command of Jesus, for it is He who gives eternal life. In John 10:28 he said, "I give them eternal life" (emphasis added). Thus all knowledge, all revelation, stems from Jesus.

Excerpted from A Vision of Jesus (Christian Focus Publications Ltd., 1999).

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

Without a Test There Is No Testimony

Luke 21:1-28 In this passage of Luke Jesus warns His disciples about all the troubles they are going to experience in the future. He tells them that they will be persecuted, but it shall turn for them for a testimony. Whenever we go through trials and testings we add to our testimony.

Recently I heard a volunteer who works for an organization called "Voice of the Martyrs." She and her husband go to various countries where there is persecution of Christians, and they obtain the testimonies of those being persecuted. They bring their testimonies back to the church in America and ask for us to pray for these ones who are going through such trials.

 

When she visited our church, this volunteer showed pictures of those who had been tortured in the Sudan by the Muslim radicals. These Christians were tormented until they recanted their faith. But most refused to recant. They remained strong for Jesus Christ, and what is most amazing, most of these Christians have never seen a Bible. They have had the Word preached to them, and just based on that Word, they feared the Lord and refused to deny their faith.

After teaching an eight-week session on "Growing in the Fear of the Lord," I came to the understanding that one of the main ways to grow in the fear of the Lord is to hide God's Word in your heart and meditate on it day and night. I exhorted the ladies I was teaching to read their Bibles daily. These Christians in Sudan, however, do not own Bibles, so how can they grow in the fear of the Lord? These Christians have hidden the Word in their hearts, and the Word is written on the tablets of their hearts. It does not take volumes of God's Word to help us grow in the fear of the Lord. It only takes enough Word to build our faith, and then every time we remember that promise that built our faith, we become even stronger in our faith.

No one could face the tests and trials those Christians in the Sudan faced without having the hope of God's promises securely in place in their hearts. The Word of God says we overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. Testimonies are powerful, and this is why Satan tries so hard to ruin our testimony by trying to get us to sin. We have seen too much success lately in this tactic of the enemy.

Every testimony is based upon a trial of our faith, and when we reach heaven, these trials will turn to gold. Peter writes, "In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ" (1 Pet. 1:6-7).

Today make it your goal to share your testimony with another, and Satan will not have success with you today. Your testimony is a mighty weapon against the enemy.

READ: Joshua 24:1-33; Luke 21:1-28; Psalm 89:38-52; Proverbs 13:20-23

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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

The Deep Longing

Why have so many Christians embraced the idea that following Christ means losing individuality, creativity, ingenuity, and the passion for excellence in all spheres of life? Too many believers are trapped in "the ordinary" when God promised an extraordinary life!

In stark contrast, believers in the early church were often mistaken for "gods." What has happened to our power and influence? Have we neglected our access to God's ability and presence purchased through the cross?

It's time we lay hold of our core faith! Within each person is an innate desire to rise above the norm.

It's no surprise we're captivated by those who do remarkable feats or possess super powers: Superman, Spiderman, Batman, to mention just a few. Did you know that 17 of the top 25 blockbuster films of all time tell of extraordinary feats and superheroes? Strength and bravery capture our imagination and encourage us to believe in a life greater than we've known.

How intriguing that the bulk of the most popular movies of all time are not love stories, murder mysteries, espionage thrillers, war movies, sports flicks, westerns or dramas. No, the top box office draws are films that center on extraordinary characters doing remarkable feats. Why? Because "extraordinary" is how we were created to live. It was God's plan from the beginning.

This extraordinary life is more than a fairytale, it's available through Christ. You see, more than a need to escape or be entertained, there is a God-inspired longing in everyone for the extraordinary! Within every believer is a hero waiting to be unveiled!

"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)

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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