Devotionals

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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 236 }

Go forth, O daughters of Zion, and see [the King] ... on the day of his wedding, the day of the gladness of his heart. —Song of Solomon 3:11, NKJV

What Jesus accomplished on the cross is exceedingly powerful. But why He did what He did is just as stunning. What motivation beat in His heart as He endured the cross? What burned in His emotions? What was the divine logic behind the event? Simply put, He longed to be united with His bride. He burned with desire for human beings. Any bridegroom who plans a wedding knows the feeling. The Bible even gives us a glimpse into the gladness of Jesus's heart on His wedding day in the Song of Solomon. This natural love song depicting the beauty of married love is an excellent picture of the spiritual love between Jesus and His church. The cross was motivated by a God who had great gladness about His wedding day. The cross became a reality because, from before the beginning of time, He desired to marry us.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Jesus, it amazes me that while You hung in agony on the cross of shame to redeem me for Your own, You were anticipating that great coming day when You will return from heaven and claim Your bride for eternity. How I love You for Your inexplicable love for me.

The plan of redemption flows from a God who
eagerly anticipates the intimacy He will have
with His people for eternity.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Live in the Spirit

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. —1 Corinthians 2:12

Most Christians do not know much about the realm of the Spirit. It is as if they are separated from the Promised Land by the Jordan River. Once in a while, when no giants are around, they may rush across the water and take some fruit from the trees and then run back. This is a long way from dwelling in the land!

Perhaps they hear a rousing sermon by a strong evangelist. For a brief time their spirits are stirred up, and they reach out and take hold of their healing, their strength, their joy, their peace, or their deliverance. But when the stirring fades, they go back to walking in the natural.

We were not meant to rush in and out of the spiritual realm; we are meant to live there. Why wonder where our spiritual blessings are? They are dangling over our heads in the spiritual realm. We must enter in and take hold of what is ours.

We live and move and have our being in Christ Jesus. We never have to depart from His presence because His Spirit both indwells us and surrounds us when two or more gather in His Name (Matthew 18:20).

Jesus, indwell and surround me. Keep me
ever close to Thee. Show me all of Thy
will and Thy way—this day and
every day. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

Humility of Attitude

For as he thinks within himself, so he is. —Proverbs 23:7, NAS

Before it is ever obvious, humility has to begin in your heart. But how is that possible? It is because of a certain attitude. John put it in the practical terms of loving your brother. He said, "Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble" (1 John 2:10).

Looking further at the example of Jesus' humility, we can see that often Jesus approached people in different ways. He had to adjust to the person to whom He was talking, to the people He had to deal with, to the place where He was, and often the situation. His adaptability was obvious because He accepted people as they were. This was part of Jesus' humility.

Humbling ourselves, therefore, does not mean making people adjust to you; it is making yourself adjust to them. Satan will throw people in your path and put people among you that annoy you and get your goat—people that are foolish, or not very clever, or not very attractive. Remember that you are praying to be more like Jesus. Then you have somebody in front of you that Jesus would adjust to because He humbled Himself. He had to do it all the time.

Just like sheep in a field, we always think the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. "I would be happy if I were living or working elsewhere," we say, or, "If only I were married to someone else." Let me tell you something: happiness in the external is fleeting. As long as you get your comfort and satisfaction because of the way the situation is, then it is only going to last until the situation changes. And it will change. Learn to find your peace internally. Then external changes will not alter it. You can be happy anywhere.

Excerpted from Meekness and Majesty (Christian Focus Publications Ltd., 1992, 2000).

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

Why Are We So Blessed?

Psalm 32:1-11 Each day I live I come to appreciate the cross and what happened on that dreadful, but victorious day over two thousand years ago. I am a blessed person for no other reason than the blood of Jesus that was poured out for me to cover my sins. David had not yet seen the crucified and resurrected Lord in the flesh, but I believe he saw Him in the spirit. David understood the power of forgiveness of transgressions, the covering of sins and the pardoning of iniquity. He says, "Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit" (vv. 1-2).

David knew the power of confession, and he says, "I acknowledged my sin to You and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, 'I will confess my transgression unto the Lord,' and You forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah" (v. 5).

David mentions three things we need to confess to God—our sins, our transgressions and our iniquities. Sin is falling short of the glory of God, transgression is sinning against another, and iniquity is the bent to sin or the want to sin. Sin is a thought or action. Transgression is an action against another person or against God's law. Iniquity is the attitude of our hearts.

David saw in the spirit how there would be One to come who would forgive all of our transgressions, who would cover our sins and who would cleanse our hearts. This One is spoken of by Isaiah 53: "But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed" (Isa. 53:5). "Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed. He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand" (v. 10).

It is beyond our human comprehension that it pleased God to bruise Jesus for our sakes. Such love seems beyond expression, yet it was expressed fully on the cross when Jesus died for our sins, was bruised for our iniquities and was wounded for our transgressions. Amazing love! Such love demands my life, my all!

READ: Nehemiah 3:15-5:13; 1 Corinthians 7:20-40; Psalm 32:1-11; Proverbs 21:5-7

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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

The Fullness of Grace

You probably know that by God's grace you're forgiven and saved, but do you know there is so much more that grace gives us?

"And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace" (John 1:16, NKJV). Here is the point so many miss—with grace we can receive the fullness of God's nature! Grace is a gift that not only saved us but also imparted in us the completeness of Jesus. We are in Christ, He is in us and we have the fullness of His nature.

The fundamental problem is that we have cut ourselves off from the flow of grace. Most believe that God's grace has forgiven us from all sin and saved us from hell—which is true—but many are missing the rest: the new nature we have, the power to walk in holiness and the authority to bring heaven's will to earth to meet the needs of humankind.

My life changed dramatically once I discovered that grace includes not only God's amazing forgiveness and the promise of heaven but also His empowerment. Prior to this I struggled, found many of God's instructions too difficult to fulfill, battled inferiority and a poor self-image and wondered why there was so little eternal fruit in my life. However, once the realization came that I now possessed the fullness of God's nature, my life stabilized, blessings flowed and my impact on others for the kingdom increased.

Many believers think that we are merely struggling sinners who've been forgiven—and someday, in heaven, we'll be like Jesus. This fallacy keeps people in bondage and nullifies God's power in their lives. The Bible tells us we are His children: "Beloved, now we are children of God" (1 John 3:2). If we are now His children, then we now have access to fully operate in the character of Jesus. We have the ability to live as He intended us to live from the beginning—extraordinarily! We can live in His image, His likeness, possessing His ability—all through grace!

Grace not only instructs us but also empowers us to live above our own human potential. We've been born again; we're brand-new people. We are free to live an extraordinary life! You are a son or daughter of God. You possess His nature. You were meant for anything but ordinary!

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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