Devotionals

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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 272 }

But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, "You are my God." My times are in your hands; deliver me from my enemies and from those who pursue me. —Psalm 31:14-15

David said, "My times are in your hands." It's one thing to commit our spirits into God's hands; it's quite another thing to trust God with the timing of His breakthrough. Each "committing" has its own challenges and anxieties. After we commit our spirits into God's hands, the test of time comes. One year turns into two, and two years turn into ten. We begin to question, "What about the breakthrough? What about the promises?" Though we have committed our spirits to Him, the years have multiplied. David saw there were two steps to this. First, he committed his spirit; then he committed the timing of those dreams. He learned to rest in God's sovereignty. We too must give ourselves to this two-part progression. First, we commit our spirits and dreams into God's hands by living lives of prayer and fasting as we seek their fulfillment. Second, we trust Him for the season of release.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Father, in all my life, You have never been one minute too early or one minute too late. When I am tempted to question Your timing in the future, help me to remember Your track record from the past. I rest in You and wait for Your promises.

When we stand before God in eternity, we
will realize He was never one minute late.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

A Compassionate Heart

And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick. —Matthew 14:14

Here, as throughout the Gospels, Jesus unveiled the compassionate heart of God to the people. In both the Old and New Testaments, the words "mercy" and "compassion" are derived from the same word and carry the same meaning: bestowing sympathy and selfless tenderness.

Psalm 145:8 says, "The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy." Our Father is a God of boundless love.

It is not our faith in God's power that brings about His wonder-working presence, but faith in His love and in His will for us: to pour out His blessing upon us. Micah 7:18 says that He is constantly searching for those He can bless. He is not only willing but eager to pour out His blessings on those who call Him Lord.

The Lord is eagerly seeking you out today. Are you eagerly seeking Him out? Are you passionately in love with the Savior today? Seek Him out today as eagerly as He is seeking you.

Jesus, I eagerly seek You today. This day will
not be full without Your Spirit filling every
moment with Your grace and power.
How I love you, Lord. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

God Has a Purpose for You

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." —Jeremiah 29:11

Prophecy is where God speaks through a person that which He wants spoken at a particular moment. It could be something to do with the present, so you could say that a preacher who expounds God's Word and applies it directly to his congregation is prophesying. Sometimes we want a sensational word about the future, but what we need is knowing what to do now, and God speaks through the preaching of His Word. Yet there is such a thing as predictive prophecy, when we predict and God fulfills what is said. Isaac and Rebekah prayed, then a prophetic word came to Rebekah: "The Lord said to her, 'Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger'" (Gen. 25:23). Prophecy is God's idea. He not only determines things in advance, but sometimes He also reveals things in advance.

It is no accident you were born when and where you were. There was a reason. You may say that your parents didn't want you, that you're an "accident," but you are wrong. God wanted you to be born, and He chose the womb from which you should enter this world. I understand if you have a low view of yourself because you feel you were never wanted. You've grown up with a feeling of rejection. But consider this: God wanted you. You are here on purpose. God determines where and when a person should be born. He alone gives life, and those who are born to us aren't ours, but His.

Equally important, God also determines our new birth. Jesus said to a man by the name of Nicodemus, "You must be born again" (John 3:7). The phrase born again has been abused, and people laugh at it. But the truth is, you can be born of the Spirit and come in touch with the true God. He put you here, and there is a plan for your life.

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

Dealing Faithfully

2 Kings 22:3-23:30 Josiah was king and began his reign at the young age of eight years old. The Scriptures tell us he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord and walked in all the ways of David his forefather. He turned not aside to the right hand or to the left. Wouldn't we all love to have such words said about us when our life reaches its end here on earth?

Psalm 23 tells us that God leads us in paths of righteousness for His name's sake. I used to pray for my three boys to not veer off that righteous path. Two sons, however, did veer off the path for a short season, but they returned, and now they are serving the Lord with all their hearts. The great thing about our Lord is that He is not only the one who leads us in paths of righteousness, but He can also restore us when we veer off that path. His desire, of course, is that we always walk close to Him because our very lives represent His name on earth. He wants us to stay on the righteous path, because when we do, we bring glory to His name. We cannot destroy the reputation of God, but often when we veer off the path of righteousness, others see this and say God was not able to keep us. Others may think less of God than they did before if our lives do not speak of God's faithfulness to keep us. In fact, Moses appealed to God to not destroy the children of Israel because others were looking and would conclude that God was not strong enough to keep His people.

God is looking for faithful people who will keep on track by staying on that path of righteousness. In today's reading we see such faithful men. Josiah set about to restore the temple and hired carpenters, builders and masons to buy timber and other supplies to repair the house. None of these workmen were required to give an accounting of the monies they spent because they dealt faithfully.

No king was ever like Josiah, who turned to the Lord with all his heart, soul, and might. As soon as Josiah discovered the law, he had it read to all the people, and then went about obeying the law by destroying all idolatry and occult worship in the land.

God is looking for Josiahs in this day. Will you be one?

Lord, I desire to be found faithful when You return. Help me not to turn to the right or to the left. May I serve you with all my heart, soul and might all my days.

READ: 2 Kings 22:3-23:30; Acts 21:37-22:16; Psalm 1:1-6; Proverbs 18:11-12


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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

What Is the Fear of the Lord?

The fear of the Lord is not being scared of God. How can we have intimacy with someone we are scared of? God's greatest passion is to have close fellowship with us.

The person who fears God has nothing to hide. In fact, he or she is scared to be away from God. King David had a holy fear of God and still ran toward Him and said, "Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you" (Psalm 139:23-24, NLT).

To fear God means you give Him the place of glory, honor, reverence, thanksgiving, praise, and preeminence He deserves. He holds this position with us when we esteem Him and His desires over and above our own or others'. You hate what He hates and love what He loves. You passionately seek truth in your "inward parts."

Holy fear is manifested by our unconditional obedience to Him, whether we understand what He is doing or not. When we properly fear God, we know that we can't hide anything from Him. 

We must allow the Word of God to penetrate deep into our heart to judge our thought processes, attitudes, perceptions, intentions and so forth—thus changing the way we behave.

We can't fool God by making a superficial acknowledgment of the importance of pleasing and fearing Him but departing from it when it isn't convenient. It must be a firm and never-changing decision, for upon it hinges whether we are capable of growing into the image of Jesus Christ.

If you don't truly fear God, you will grow distant from Him. For this reason we are told: "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom" (Psalm 111:10). And again: "Friendship with the LORD is reserved for those who fear him. With them he shares the secrets of his covenant" (vs. 25:14). The Lord will not reveal Himself to those who lack holy fear. He must take preeminence in a person's life in a deep-rooted heart decision: My life is not my own; it belongs to my Lord, Jesus Christ.

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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