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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 169 }

By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward. —Hebrews 11:24-26

Moses had experienced the pleasures of the flesh that accompanied the riches and power of his position in Egypt, but he chose greater riches. He experienced something more pleasurable and beautiful than Egypt, something supernaturally attractive and altogether satisfying. God does not call us to holiness to keep us from a life of pleasure. Holiness is not drudgery. Instead, God calls us to a holiness that fully releases infinite and perfect pleasure to us forever. We do not glorify God when we arrogantly presume that we can give God what He doesn't have. He is most honored when we come to Him with an attitude that recognizes that all He does for us is intended to increase our satisfaction in Him.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Father, whether You choose to send me pain or pleasure, I choose to honor You with my life of obedience and love. Call me into holiness and purity, and allow me to live my life in the fullness of holiness.

As you press into the pleasures of holiness, like
Moses, you will discover that none can fill
the soul like Jesus.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Nurture Your Garden

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. —Galatians 5:22-23

Apples are a natural result of an appleseed uniting with the elements necessary for growth. The fruit of the Holy Spirit is the natural result of the union of God's Spirit with your spirit. You have potential for fruitful living, because Jesus is your source! You have the ability to manifest every one of the gifts of the Spirit, because He is the vine and you are a branch! Because He is love, you can love. Because He is peace, you can have peace.

If you are lacking fruit, it is because God's Spirit cannot freely flow through you. Determine to cut away every lust of the flesh, lust of the eye, and pride of life that hinders fruit from coming forth. Nurture the fruit of a Spirit-filled life with the Word of God and prayer and watch your fruit grow!

Does anything hinder the flow of His Spirit in Your life today? Tear down the walls and barriers that hinder His Spirit. Let His Spirit flow freely through your life.

Jesus, remove every barrier in my life to
Your Spirit. Help me to bear Your fruit so
that all around me may be blessed and
come to know You as Lord and
Savior. Amen.


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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

Loving Your Enemies

But I tell you: Love your enemies. ... If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? —Matthew 5:44, 46

Jesus instructs us to overcome our enemies, not by showing everybody how wrong they were, nor by matching their hatred with ours, but by loving them.

This brings us back to the matter of choice. Love is not what you feel. Forgiving is not doing what comes naturally. It is often said, "You can't help what you feel." We therefore ask, does the choice to love involve repressing or denying our feelings? No. Repression is almost never a good thing to do. But love is a conscious choice to forgive—even if you don't feel like it! If you wait until you feel it, you probably never will forgive. You must do it because it is right, because of a choice you have made that is not based on your feelings.

The paradox in total forgiveness is that it simultaneously involves selfishness and unselfishness. It is selfish—in that you do not want to hurt yourself by holding on to bitterness. And it is unselfish in that you commit yourself to the well-being of your enemy! You could almost say that total forgiveness is both extreme selfishness and extreme unselfishness. You are looking out for your own interests when you totally forgive, but you are totally setting your offender free.

Even the non-Christian understands the benefits of forgiveness in a physical and emotional sense. This surely leaves all of us without excuse. If a non-Christian is able to forgive others, how much more should the Christian follow a lifestyle of forgiveness?

As Christians we have no choice. We forfeit our fellowship with God and blessings here below when we don't forgive. If we have been forgiven of all our sins—and this includes even the sins we have forgotten about—how dare we withhold this from others?

Excerpted from Total Forgiveness (Charisma House, 2002).

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

Seducing Spirits

1 Timothy 4:1-16 The Holy Spirit is the "great teacher." Jesus says He, the Holy Spirit, will lead us into all truth, and He will bring to our remembrance everything that Jesus spoke about while He taught on earth. Whether we like to admit it or not, we all have a teacher. Some people have deceived themselves into thinking they are their own boss and they don't have to learn anything from any man. The truth, however, is that every day of our lives we are learning something. Our teacher may be experience, environment, hard knocks, etc., but ultimately we are taught either by Satan and his demons or by God and His Holy Spirit. Jesus gave us a great invitation. He said "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light" (Matt. 11:28-30).

Jesus was yoked to the Father the whole time He was on earth. He only did those things He saw the Father do, and He only said those things the Father told Him to say. When Jesus died and was resurrected, He then sent the Holy Spirit to us. Now we can take the yoke of the Holy Spirit upon us and learn of Jesus every day. The Holy Spirit takes all the things of Christ and shows them to us. Thank God for such a great teacher to learn from every day. I do hope you will choose to come to Jesus daily and allow the Holy Spirit to teach you meekness and lowliness of heart. This, however, is your choice. God will not make you sit at His feet daily. Some people even choose to sit in Satan's classroom of life.

This passage in Timothy tells us about Satan's teachers and speaks about what they are teaching. Paul shares with Timothy that in the last days seducing spirits will speak lies in hypocrisy. They will forbid to marry and command us to abstain from meats. These seducing spirits will speak through men and teach these false doctrines. Many cults today exhort their people to be vegetarians, and some even tell you not to marry. Seducing spirits are also sent by Satan as a frontal attack to soften us for the kill. The kill is when we give into our own lusts and commit sin. First, however, we listen to the suggestions and teachings of seducing spirits. Have you ever heard a message like this: "Why don't you try this? It won't hurt anyone, and nobody will know." Guess where that suggestion came from? It came from a seducing spirit, so we need to learn to recognize quickly the whispering thoughts a seducing spirit tries to implant in our minds. You can easily overcome such suggestions from seducing spirits by saying aloud, "You will have to deal with Jesus because I am under His authority and He is my teacher. I can do nothing without His permission." That will torment seducing spirits, and you will spare yourself the torment that follows giving in to their suggestions through submitting to your own lusts instead of Jesus.

Who will be your teacher today? I hope you choose to learn from Jesus.

READ: Jeremiah 33:1-34:22; 1 Timothy 4:1-16; Psalm 89:1-13; Proverbs 25:23-24

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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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