Devotionals

Many of these devotionals can be delivered to your email inbox each morning, sign up here.

Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 140 }

The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness." —Jeremiah 31:3

Many believers have a distorted view of God. If you press the average believer, he will say, "I know that God has total authority, and I know He means well, but I do not know how He feels. He seems a little distant in His emotions." God is often viewed as a strict coach who is trying to discipline us by calling us to hard things and by letting difficult things happen to us. Others view Him as an exacting judge, always trying to catch us in our sin and never getting emotional until we fail—and then He gets angry. Many look at God as a type of army sergeant who will sacrifice us for the sake of the cause. They see Him saying, "Oh, well, it's OK if I lose a few along the way, so long as the cause goes forward." Beloved, this distortion is very different from the God of the Bible.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Father, like so many others, I often have had a distorted picture of who You are. Remove my distorted thinking, dear God, and allow me to see You as You are revealed in Your Word.

We think He calls us to be disciples just so His cause
will be promoted, never realizing that His heart
burns with desire for us.

Discuss this devotional

Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Three Crosses of Sin

Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst. —John 19:18

Historians of Jesus' day tell us crucifixions were common. Hundreds at a time would be crucified when the Romans came into a new region.

But on this day in infamy there were only three-.-.-.-not the usual thirty or a hundred. Only two were sentenced to die with Jesus. The Roman guards would not even have time to finish the task before the Passover celebration began.

There were three crosses. The cross in the middle bore the One who died for sin; another bore the one who died to sin; and the third bore the one who died in sin. Although both criminals originally railed Jesus, one asked for forgiveness and Jesus promised that man a home in Paradise. The other ridiculed His choice and now is spending eternity in hell.

Jesus died for your sins, but have you died to sin for Him? If you want to live, you must die. Surrender at the Cross of Calvary today. Lay down every treasure and every burden at the foot of the Cross. Nail every sin and every expectation to the Cross.

Jesus, at the foot of Your Cross I lay down my burdens,
my expectations, my successes, and my failures.
Wash me clean with Your blood, and fill me with Your Spirit. Amen.

Discuss this devotional

By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

The Road to Repentance Leads Back to His Presence

Then Hezekiah repented of the pride of his heart, as did the people of Jerusalem; therefore the Lord's wrath did not come upon them during the days of Hezekiah. —2 Chronicles 32:26

The journey back to where you find the presence of Jesus involves passing through some important stages, one of which is repentance. In part, repentance means admitting you were wrong. Unfortunately, you seldom come to the place of saying "I was wrong" until you are forced to do so. The last thing on earth a person wants to do is admit to being wrong. The natural inclination in all of us is to defend where we are and why. Unless we are forced out of our comfort zone, we will stay in it.

God has to get your attention before you will repent, and He gets it by making you see what you have lost. As long as you can feel you haven't really lost His special presence, you are going to carry on. There are two ways by which you are called to repentance.

1.    You admit God's special presence is gone. Rather than continue as though nothing happened, you repent.

2.    You get caught—exposed. Someone discovers the truth. Someone "spills the beans." Public shame results.

If you do not admit that God's special presence is gone and repent, God resorts to the second plan—public exposure. When a person is forced to repent because of public exposure, the depth of the repentance remains an open question.

To be granted repentance is a gracious mercy of God. As the Word teaches us, we are "changed ... from glory to glory" as a result of repentance (2 Cor. 3:18, KJV). When a renewed measure of His presence reveals your sin and leads to your forgiveness and greater ability to do God's will ... you have received insight. The worst thing that can happen to a man or woman is to become stone deaf to the Holy Spirit, losing all sensitivity to His voice.

The way back is the way of repentance. It is admitting that you have lost the special presence of God and have been wrong in your thinking and presumption.

Excerpted from The Sensitivity of the Spirit (Charisma House, 2002).

Discuss this devotional

Around the Word in 365 Days

Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

The Speed of the Spirit

James 1:19-2:17 This passage in James talks about the speed we need to set to cruise in the Spirit. We have a cruise setting on our car. When we set it at the right speed, we are able to take our foot off the gas peddle and the car will continue at the right speed. James tells us exactly what speed we should set our hearing, speaking and anger to allow the Spirit to go forward at a great cruise level as we travel the road of life. He says, "So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God" (James 1:19-20).

James says we should set the level of our hearing on high speed and the level of our speaking and anger on slow speed. We were given two ears and one mouth for a reason. We should listen twice as much as we speak. Proverbs tells us that he who keeps his lips keeps his soul from trouble. Most of the trouble we encounter in this life is caused by our not being able to bridle our tongues. When we are willing to listen to instruction and learn from others, we are wise. When we are quick to listen, we also can hear the still quiet voice of the Holy Spirit prompting us, inspiring us and instructing us.

We also need to set the speed of our anger on slow. An angry man stirs up strife, and strife never yields good fruit. When we get into strife, our tongues become uncontrollable, and we run the risk of damaging our own soul and the souls of others. Some people really have a problem with anger, and they are called "rageaholics." When people allow anger to rise up within them and flow out of them, sometimes they experience the same sensation a drunk feels. They are out of control and cannot even remember what they said during their rage. James tells us to be slow to wrath.

Today before you leave to travel through life's journey, check your speed. Be careful to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger. When you set these controls at the proper speed, you are then ready to cruise with the Holy Spirit all day.

Lord, help me to set the controls of my life at the right speed. I want the Holy Spirit to be in control of my life, but if I am too quick to speak, I will run ahead of His still quiet voice prompting me to be still and quiet. Lord, I need to put my mind in gear before I start the motor of my mouth. Help me to listen more than I speak, and help me to seek peace and pursue it. I know if I allow myself to lose it with my anger, I have also lost the control of my life by the Holy Spirit. Forgive me, Lord.

READ: Ezekiel 37:1-38:23; James 1:19-2:17; Psalm 117:1-2; Proverbs 28:1

Discuss this devotional

Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

The Language of Faith

True faith originates in our core being. We are not saved by mental awareness, warm emotions, or even intellectual assent. Rather, it's "with the heart one believes unto righteousness" (Romans 10:10, NKJV). Faith deeply believes God will do what He says. Faith produces words of agreement and actions of obedience. The corresponding words and actions are simply evidence that our heart has laid hold of what God has spoken.

Faith has a language. Paul writes, "The righteousness of faith speaks in this way" (Romans 10:6, NKJV). True faith speaks a certain way.

Jesus says, "Have faith in God. For assuredly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be removed and be cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says." (Mark 11:22-23, NKJV)

Notice that Jesus emphasizes that true faith in God will speak in agreement with what it believes; this is the language of faith. In fact, the word says is repeated three times in this one verse, and the word believes is mentioned only once by Jesus. He puts great emphasis on the language of faith.

Genuine faith speaks in accordance with what it believes, for Jesus says, "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks" (Matthew 12:34, NKJV). We don't prove we have faith by speaking what we know is correct. Rather, we spontaneously speak what we already believe. As the psalmist writes, "I believed, therefore I spoke" (116:10, NKJV). Belief comes first; the evidence of speech follows. Paul affirmed, "We also speak because we believe."

Under pressure, or when we are not consciously thinking, what comes out of our mouths is what we actually believe. This is evidence of our faith or the lack thereof.

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.

Discuss this devotional

Charisma — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit