Devotionals

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Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 114 }

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? —Psalm 42:1-2

We will never be empowered to walk in purity without the foundation of affection for Jesus. External disciplines and commitments to high standards of holiness without a living devotion for Jesus have little real power or life in them. A person named Jesus—not regulations and rules—guards our souls. As affection for Jesus is increased in our hearts, we find a new empowering to resist temptation. When passion for Jesus is built into your spiritual foundation, it repels the sensual communications that others may send your way. It returns the message, "No, I'm not available." That strong, clear message rises from within your spirit.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

I thirst after You, dear God. Whatever it takes, whatever I must get rid of, whatever I must grow into, that is all I desire.

We are fillled with such longing for Jesus that we
have greater resolve to repel sensuality and resist
wrong relationships.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

On Eagle's Wings

As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings: So the Lord alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him. —Deuteronomy 32:11-12

God compares His relationship with Israel with the eagle who observes the feathers of its young to determine when they are ready to fly—and then deliberately pushes them out of the nest.

Often we do not know when we are ready to step out in faith, but God does. When we need to step out in faith, He will thrust us out of the nests of comfort and ease we have constructed for ourselves. As in the manner of a young eagle soaring for the first time, we can also soar because we know it is His timing and He is right there with us as we go forth.

As the eagle leads her young from the nest, she flies under them, guiding their journey. And if they become weary, she carries them home on her wings. When we cannot go on any longer, He carries us to our destination. You can always count on His strength that will never let you fall.

Lord, teach me to fly. Push me out of every nest that I
construct to keep myself from risking faith
and trusting You. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

Today's Message

Just Tell Him

Praise the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. —Psalm 106:1

When Louise and I go through the old prayer list (I've kept it—lest we ever forget), we now run through the same petitions only to say, "Thank You, Lord, for the way You have worked." Most of these petitions have been answered. Never have we felt so grateful to God. And yet we make sure that we never, never, never forget but always remember to tell Him how thankful we are.

Again and again comes the injunction: give thanks.

Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done. —1 Chronicles 16:8

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. —1 Chronicles 16:34

With them were Heman and Jeduthun and the rest of those chosen and designated by name to give thanks to the Lord, "for his love endures forever." —1 Chronicles 16:41

One of the great kings of the Old Testament was Hezekiah. "Hezekiah trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel. There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before him or after him" (2 Kings 18:5). It is said that "he succeeded in everything he undertook" (2 Chron. 32:30). Part of the explanation for Hezekiah's greatness and prosperity was that he assigned priests and Levites to offer burnt offerings and "to give thanks" (2 Chron. 31:2).

It is a matter of remembering. It is so easy to forget, but I for one do not want to come to the end of my years with blushing over not remembering to give thanks to the Lord. Just tell Him! He likes to hear it. We will never be sorry, and doing it promises that one day we will hear from the lips of Jesus Himself, "Well done." Be assured He will remember to say it.

Excerpted from Just Say Thanks! (Charisma House, 2005).

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

He Perfects Those Things That Concern Us

Psalm 138:1-8 Through the years I have used this scripture many times as different situations and relationships became a concern to me. It is so comforting to know that the Lord knows everything that concerns us. He knows every person that we are concerned about. It is so exciting to realize that He not only knows all my concerns, but His plan is to perfect everything that concerns me. Listen to these comforting words again "Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me. The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O Lord, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands" (vv. 7-8, KJV).

We have God's promise never to leave us or forsake us. We are His workmanship created to accomplish His good works throughout our lifetime. God knows every detail about our lives. He even knows the number of hairs each one of us has on our heads. God not only sees the things I see, but He also knows the end from the beginning. He knows all about the hidden things in me that need the touch of His resurrection power even when I am not aware of my own need. His plan is always to revive us daily. There are some days I really need His right hand to touch me and strengthen me with His grace, mercy and energizing power.

As we near this Christmas season, I am reminded of a precious vision I had one day when I was praying. I was overwhelmed with cares and concerns for my three sons, who were not married yet. I once again was praying for their mates, and once again I released this concern to the Lord in prayer. When I did this, I saw the following in the spirit: My cares and concerns were wrapped with gold ribbon in silver packages. As I prayed, each care was ascending heavenward and Jesus was receiving them all. When He received them, He said, "Thank You." Then I saw Him holding all those packages of my cares and concerns to His chest as He danced around heaven with them. Then He said, "I love you because you cast all of your cares upon Me."

Peter tells us to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God by casting all of our cares upon Him because He cares for us. Our cares and concerns are gifts to Him, because once He receives them He can then do something about them. Today wrap all of your cares in prayer and send them soaring into His throne room. He is waiting eagerly to receive them so He can be about performing His plan and will concerning each of your concerns

READ: Zephaniah 1:1-3:20; Revelation 10:1-11; Psalm 138:1-8; Proverbs 30:11-14


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Live Extraordinarily

Today's Message

The Kingdom Is Within

Jesus made a remarkable statement to His disciples: "Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven" (Luke 11:2, NKJV). This was a futuristic prayer for the disciples, but not for Jesus. And it's not futuristic for us either because it applies right now. Allow me to explain.

The Pharisees had problems with Jesus since He hadn't come on the scene the way they expected. When He showed up—a Nazarene, a carpenter from a poor family, and a friend of prostitutes and mafia (tax collectors were the mafia of the day)—they didn't buy in to Him as Messiah.

So they confronted Jesus and He answered: "The kingdom of God does not come with observation...For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you." (Luke 17:20-21, NKJV)

"The kingdom...is within you"? Jesus was speaking of those who would be born again and filled with His Spirit. He had earlier promised to those who loved Him, "Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom" (Luke 12:32, NKJV).

But when was the kingdom to be given? Jesus' disciples asked Him this nagging question after He was raised from the dead. Put yourself in their shoes. It was finally clear: Jesus, alive and well, was standing before these faithful followers—but where was the kingdom? They were still confused about this even just before His ascension.

They too were still looking for a physical kingdom to manifest itself. While looking for this literal throne on earth, they forgot His words: "The kingdom...is within you." So He corrected their thinking:

"The times and occasions are set by my Father's own authority, and it is not for you to know when they will be [the establishment of His physical kingdom upon His return]. But when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you will be filled with power [the kingdom within]." (Acts 1:7-8, TEV)

"Filled with power" from the Holy Spirit to do what? Advance the kingdom! This was not only for them but also for us. Once the Holy Spirit came to dwell within humankind, the kingdom and all its power would be within us! We now possess the power to advance the kingdom in the hearts and lives of others. And we can now do the works Jesus did in advancing the kingdom—and even greater works!

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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