Devotionals

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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 316 }

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines. —1 Corinthians 12:7-11

Prophetic ministry cannot be an end in itself. Its purpose is always to strengthen and promote something greater and more valuable than itself. People get off track when they allow themselves to become more focused on the unusual means of the message rather than God's purpose in that message. It is not so important whether the message comes from a five-star prophet with mountain-moving confirmations, or if it is something that simply seems good to everyone involved. The message is always more important than the method. The subjective side of our faith is always to be scrutinized in the light of the objective side, but both are essential. God is always working to bring the Word and the Spirit together. If we have the Word and the Spirit, we grow up.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Holy Spirit, may I never seek to merely know about You. Give me a passionate desire to know You, Your personality and being.

Our desire is for God, not just
knowledge about Him.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Escalating Population

And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings. —Revelation 10:11

By the most conservative calculations, in the year 2050 there will be ten billion people on the earth. With each tick of the end time clock, millions of new souls are born into the world.

More people than have ever lived in the entire history of the world are alive today. We are seeing end time prophecy come alive in the form of "many peoples and nations" living on the earth.

God has a plan for those "many peoples and nations." When the newscasts tell us of the exploding masses of people in the earth, remember that John saw them first in heaven: "And, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb" (Revelation 7:9-10).

Some day every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord (Philippians 2:10). Is there someone today that you know who needs Jesus? What will you do to bring them before the throne of Jesus in repentance and faith?

Father, make me sensitive to everyone around
me and the condition of their souls.
Help me to witness to the unsaved
I know about Jesus. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

Tough Love

Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. —Revelation 3:19

Dr. James Dobson has a phrase: "Love must be tough." Tenderness is central to Jesus' nature, but so is toughness. Jesus is God, yet Jesus is man. You can't reconcile the two, but they are both true. Jesus is tender, yet Jesus can be tough.

Jesus tests us to this very day because He wants to know how we feel about His Father. Let me tell you something: there is a lot of talk from people who say, "Jesus I can accept, but I don't like the God of the Bible." However, they need to understand that the God of the Old Testament is also the God of the New Testament. Not only that, but the God of the Bible is the Father of Jesus. You may think that you are endearing yourself to Jesus by saying, "Jesus, I can take You, but I don't like Your Father." But that will incur His anger. You could not have said anything worse.

Before you are saved, you have to be reconciled with God, the Father of Jesus. There is no way you can avoid the God of the Bible if you are going to go to heaven. Jesus makes it clear that His Father is the God with whom you must come to terms. He wants to test you. He wants to see how you are going to react, how you feel about His Father. Perhaps years ago you became disillusioned with God; you felt He let you down, that He hurt you in some way. You believed then that your feelings were justified. Jesus wants to know how you feel about God now.

How do we know about the toughness of Jesus? Take, for example, when Jesus saw His disciples on the Sea of Galilee in a storm; they were rowing but making no headway as the winds were so strong. Jesus saw them. He could have gone to their rescue immediately. He didn't. He waited. That meant He had to be tough, even though what He wanted to do was to go at once. So love is tough. And He will test you, too.

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

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

Many Mansions

John 13:31-14:14 Jesus shared with His disciples that He was going away. They did not understand Him. He told them to not be troubled in their hearts because He was going to prepare a place for them.

When someone we love tells us they are leaving, there is always that fear that we may never see them again. Think of a little child crying when his mother drops him at the church nursery. There is the fear that once mother is out of sight, she may never come back. This fear of permanent separation overwhelmed the disciples, and Jesus knew their hearts were very troubled. The fear of abandonment, the fear of loss, the fear of the unknown, the fear of the future and all kinds of fear tormented them.

It is important to understand that God's goal is always to guard our hearts with His love, peace, joy, mercy and grace. The enemy's goal is to attack our hearts through fear or to break our hearts through rejection. Jesus said, "Let not your heart be troubled." Just prior to this admonition, the Lord had shared with Peter that he would deny Him three times before the cock crowed. Knowing their many fears, Jesus tried to comfort them with these words: "You believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also" (John 13:1-3).

It was the custom in the ancient Jewish culture for the bridegroom to build a home for his future bride. There was usually a year in which the couple was espoused to one another, and during that time the father of the groom kept a careful watch over his son's construction of a home. Only when the father felt the house met all of the specifications exactly did he then tell his son he could go and fetch his bride. Jesus said that only the Father in heaven knows the day or the hour when He will return to earth. The Father is watching carefully, and when all the living stones (those who have entered His kingdom) are gathered and placed in position, then He will tell Jesus to return for us (His bride).

Jesus was telling His disciples that the earth was not their home. We are all just passing through this earth; our final destination is our home in heaven. I heard the testimony of Betty Maltz, who had a vision of heaven, and she said that Jesus oversees all the building of the mansions. He is the master builder or the foreman of heaven. It was my privilege to lead a homosexual young man to the Lord just three months before he died. He was a talented decorator, and I often feel that he is helping decorate my mansion. No matter how my mansion looks, I know I will be eternally satisfied with my home in heaven because Jesus will be there. He is with me now in the spirit, but the day will come when I will see His resurrected body and look into His face. What a day that will be when my Jesus I will see! Even so, come quickly, Lord!

READ: 2 Samuel 4:1-6:23; John 13:31-14:14; Psalm 119:17-35; Proverbs 15:31-32

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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

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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