Devotionals

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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 291 }

We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain. —2 Peter 1:16-18

Convincing power and irrefutable truth marked the spread of the gospel in the first century. The presence and power of the Spirit provided undeniable evidence of the truth the apostles proclaimed. An important element of the gospel message in those days was that the apostles were eyewitnesses to the fact that Jesus was risen from the dead. Firsthand eyewitness verification of this essential truth was of highest importance in the initial preaching of the gospel. When the apostles assembled to choose a man to replace Judas, the stipulation was that he needed to have been with them from the beginning so, as Peter said, he could "become a witness with us of his resurrection" (Acts 1:22). One fundamental job of the twelve apostles was to provide eyewitness verification to all that Jesus said and did. The church's message in the end times will not only be that Christ is risen from the dead, but that His return is imminent.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Father, I thank You for those who were eyewitnesses of Your power and glory in the days when Your church began on Earth. I recognize that the great harvest of souls that will soon take place will be a witness to the fact that Your return in imminent. Thank You for this outpouring of mercy and power.

The last great harvesting of souls
will be an extravagant
outpouring of God's
mercy and power.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

His Temple

And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living god; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. —2 Corinthians 6:16

Your church is not the temple! Your body is a temple, and inside it resides the Holy Spirit. In the Old Testament the tabernacle of God was comprised of the outer court, the inner court, and the Holy of Holies.

The outer court is your body. The inner court is your soul: "The Holy of Holies is the temple not made by man" (Hebrews 9:1-11). Within our spirit is an altar to Jehovah God! And God said, "It is in that place that I will come in and I will sup with my people" (Revelation 3:20).

Prepare and maintain your temple for His Presence. Let the Shekinah glory of God fill you and radiate from you. Seek Him who dwells in your heart today and hear the still, small voice of the Lord.

Remember that you are a refection of His glory (2 Corinthians 3:18). You are not the source of His glory. Never take glory. Always give Him honor and glory.

Almighty God, let Your Shekinah glory reflect
in my life. Fill me to overflowing with
Your glory and power. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

How to Face the Unexpected

For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. —1 John 5:4

Fear of what the future holds in store begins in childhood: we discover that our parents and friends may disappoint us or even reject us; we learn that illness or accidents may happen suddenly and that people we love die; we learn that we do not always succeed and begin to fear failure.

Yet wondering what the future holds in store does not end with our childhood. As adults, we know that life is filled with uncertainty and that even within the short span of twenty-four hours something can happen that will change our lives forever. Furthermore, none of us know when death will call us to stand before our Maker and account for the way we have lived.

I think we can define maturity as "learning to face the unexpected." Now if ever a person had to face the unexpected, it was John. So we will find it instructive to see how he faced his uncertain and uncompromising future on the island of Patmos.

How was he able to cope? John knew that faith was important. "Everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith" (1 John 5:4). This gives you an idea of how John felt and how much he trusted in the Lord.

When you become a Christian, you may face the future without fear. John could face the unexpected because he was "in the Spirit." You may ask, "When will the Spirit of the Lord come on me?" The answer is simple: the Holy Spirit has already come, because Jesus said, "The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life" (John 6:63). He has come in God's Word with the best news you will ever hear: God has taken on your case and invites you to receive Jesus as your Savior.

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

Water Works

Proverbs 17:14-15 We talked yesterday about the holy rain that descends when we praise the Lord. Today's proverb talks about strife and compares it to the letting out of water. We have a dam close by us, and on certain days the dam is opened to let out the water into the river. Before this happens, an alarm sounds to warn all those on the river to go to shore to avoid the rushing current that is about to be released. If anyone ignores that warning alarm and does not reach shore, he runs the risk of having his boat capsized by the raging currents, and he could drown.

When we get into strife, it is like the letting out of water. First the current of anger is at a low level, but if we continue in strife, the anger level raises to such a raging current that we run the risk of capsizing ourselves and the ones we are coming against in strife. The advice in this proverb is to leave off contention. Do you know that the source of all contention is pride? We want to prove our point, so we argue until we supposedly win. There are, however, no winners when strife continues. Another source of strife is jealousy that left uncontrolled can lead to murder. The first murder was rooted in jealousy. Cain killed Abel because he felt God favored Abel over himself. He was jealous. James tells us that where there is envy, there is also strife that leads to confusion and every evil work (James 3:16).

If you don't want a flood of evil work in your life, then leave off contention. Avoid strife at any cost.

Lord, forgive me for when I have allowed strife to take control of my life. I have hurt others with my words, and I am so sorry. Help me with the power of Your Holy Spirit to avoid strife in the future. Thank You, Lord.

READ: 1 Kings 19:1-21; Acts 12:1-23; Psalm 136:1-26; Proverbs 17:14-15

 


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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

A Sexual Nightmare

We are straying far from God's heart because we are so influenced by our society. In so many ways, the church has become a subculture rather than what we are called to be—a counterculture.

The gospel of forgiveness and inheriting heaven is preached but not the complete gospel of also being set free from the dominion of sin. As a result, many are easily conformed to this world, where it's common for a man and woman to live together, have sex outside of marriage or with the same gender, and divorce and remarry for reasons other than unfaithfulness. And these practices are becoming more common among Christians because the church has not proclaimed what Jesus has freed us from.

It pleases God when we live holy, especially in our sexuality. This is the area that usually goes haywire outwardly if there is a deeper problem inwardly. If you were able to look into the heart of a professing Christian who is enslaved to fornication, adultery, homosexuality, pornography or any other sexual impurity, you would most likely find a deeper issue. It could be pride, rebellion, lust for power, bitterness, envy or some other iniquity, but no matter what's there, the root is always a lack of true fear of the Lord.

Finally, dear brothers and sisters, we urge you in the name of the Lord Jesus to live in a way that pleases God, as we have taught you. You are doing this already, and we encourage you to do so more and more. For you remember what we taught you in the name of the Lord Jesus. God wants you to be holy, so you should keep clear of all sexual sin. (1 Thessalonians 4:1-3, NLT)

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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