Devotionals

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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 224 }

I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in his presence, rejoicing in his whole world and delighting in mankind. —Proverbs 8:30-31

Jesus describes Himself as One rejoicing in the inhabited world and experiencing delight in the sons of men. Though His delight in us is so clearly stated in Scripture, we find ourselves like the prodigal son who was confused by his father's overwhelming delight: we stand at a distance, not knowing how to receive it. It's more logical and comfortable for us to bring our list of failures and then plead for a low position in His kingdom. Yet instead of negotiating with us, He embraces us with unabashed affection and covers us with the royal robe of righteousness. This is the God we serve. This is who He is regardless of what we do.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Just as You did for the prodigal son, O Lord, You cover me with Your robe of righteousness. You throw a party in my honor, and You welcome me into Your presence.

He celebrates you or me as His child
and throws a party in our honor.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Calling Distance

But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead: who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us. —2 Corinthians 1:9-10

Remember the times God has set you free, the times He has moved on your behalf, and the times He has come through when it seemed no answer would or even could come.

He is not going to begin failing you today. He will answer your prayers today, because He never changes. God will turn your tragedy into triumph and your trial into a testimony when you trust and depend upon Him.

Dependence on Him is not defeat; dependence is simply staying in constant contact. Trusting God means realizing He is the source of your deliverance, and then staying within calling distance of Him.

Jesus, You are the source of my deliverance,
my healing, and my restoration. I will stay
close to You so that I may hear Your
voice at every turn and through
every situation. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

Love Is Being Satisfied

Love ... does not envy ... —1 Corinthians 13:4

A dictionary definition of envy would be something like "a feeling of discontent aroused by someone else's possessions." That is what I mean by being unsatisfied. However, love gives one a feeling of being satisfied. The person who is unsatisfied is still looking for his identity, wanting to know who he is.

Three things can be said about envy. First, it is of the flesh; it flows from nature. We don't have to go to school to learn how to be envious; everybody grows up that way.

Envy is also a feeling. The feeling may or may not be verbalized, but it is there; you feel it. Envy comes from the Greek word that means "to boil," that is, with hatred. Often we won't admit that we feel this way. It flows from our dissatisfaction with ourselves and the feeling that other people are so much better off. Yet when this loves comes, we just don't feel that way!

Envy is based on fear. Fear because of what we don't have, being threatened by what others do have. But envy is misleading. Someone has put it like this: "If envy were not so tragic, it would be comical, because it is always based on a misconception of the other person's position." So, someone might say, "If only I had his money, what freedom I would have!" But when we are satisfied, we say: "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not be in want" (Ps. 23:1). There comes a time when the love of God is poured into our hearts, and we don't feel any envy at all. We become happy with the way God made us and the way He has led us. That is what agape loves does for us: it doesn't envy, and it is not threatened by another person's position. Whenever we are tempted to envy someone, we need to remind ourselves that we don't know the other side. Perhaps if we knew the facts better we would realize there is not so much to be envious of.

Excerpted from Just Love (Christian Focus Publications Ltd., 1997).

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

Who Is Our Daysman?

Job 8:1-11:20 Job in this passage cries out for a daysman to stand between him and God. He was crying out for a mediator between God and himself. Job did not know that God's plan from the beginning of the earth was to provide such a daysman. Jesus Christ, who would be our intercessor and our redeemer, is now our daysman or mediator who stands on our behalf before God. Later as we read the Book of Job, we see how God revealed His plan to Job, and Job finally knew he had a redeemer—one who could buy back everything he had lost, one who could redeem his very own soul from destruction.

We are all familiar with Handel's Messiah and the part that declares, "I know that my redeemer liveth, and He will stand in the latter day." This is based on what Job finally knew in the Spirit. Job knew one day he would stand before God justified and made righteous because of his faith in this redeemer. Job also believed in the resurrection because he says later that his flesh would see God.

Job knew Jesus by the revelation of the Holy Spirit even as David knew Him. Even though Jesus had not been born as a babe in Bethlehem, He was seated next to the Father making intercession for Job and for David. Jesus was with God in the beginning of Creation, and by and through Jesus was everything made. He is the living Word who flung the universe into being, and later He was the Word made flesh.

Thank God we can know our redeemer personally. We have an advantage over David and Job. We can read about our redeemer's life on earth, the people He touched, the conversations He had with the Father and others, the experience He had on the cross, and His death, burial, resurrection and ascension to His former place—the right hand of the Father.

Join me as I praise Jesus, my redeemer, my daysman, who enables me to stand before the Father because of His righteousness. The Father through the Son has redeemed me from a life of darkness in sin and has translated me into His kingdom of light, which is filled with His righteousness, peace and joy. I can say with Job, "I know my redeemer lives, and one day my flesh will see Him face to face." What a day it will be when I see my daysman face to face. Hallelujah!!

READ: Job 8:1-11:20; 1 Corinthians 15:1-28; Psalm 38:1-22; Proverbs 21:28-29

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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

Reputation Is Not About You

"Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross." (Philippians 2:5-8, NKJV)

Many people in the world today are fighting fiercely to climb the ladder of success. A great deal of their energy is focused and spent on building a reputation in the eyes of others in order to "make it big." In the process of their pursuit, they quickly become addicted to the approval of others.

Jesus did just the opposite—He made Himself of no reputation (see Philippians 2:7). In other words, He stripped Himself of all His kingly rights and humbled Himself to become human. The Creator literally took the form of His creation. Instead of living His entire life to build a name for Himself, He endeavored to build a name for His Father. He said, "I am not in search of honor for Myself. [I do not seek and am not aiming for My own glory.] There is One Who [looks after that; He] seeks [My glory], and He is the Judge" (John 8:50 AMP).

Having a good reputation is important; however, the motive—or driving force—behind your cause should be weighed. Are you tempted to make a name for yourself for success, or are you a person of good reputation because you long to represent your King well on earth?

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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