Devotionals

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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 326 }

Answer me, O Lord, out of the goodness of your love; in your great mercy turn to me. Do not hide your face from your servant; answer me quickly, for I am in trouble. Come near and rescue me; redeem me because of my foes. —Psalm 69:16-18

One of the more difficult things to deal with as a prophetic minister is coming face-to-face with people in great need only to find God completely silent on the matter. This awkward situation, which will inevitably arise, presents a real test of character and maturity for the prophetic person. The pressures of people's expectations and assumptions push many prophetic ministers into dangerous waters that can eventually shipwreck their integrity as well as their ministry. Notwithstanding the pressure of people's expectations or his own desire to help a person in need, a prophetic minister must discipline himself to remain silent when God is silent. Manufacturing a word in his own mind, whether it is out of compassion or the pressure of our ministry credibility, can work directly against the purpose of God in the life of a church or an individual. A lack of integrity never builds people's faith over the long haul, even though the people may be excited for the moment over a man-made prophetic word.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Father, may I never speak a word until You have filled my mouth and disciplined my spirit to be Your servant. Teach me the integrity of keeping my mouth shut when it is filled with my words only.

The great temptation is to give a word
you don't have in order to release
the pressure of the moment.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Hot or Cold?

I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. —Revelation 3:15-16

My mother used to can food. She would put vegetables and fruits into jars and then place them in a pressure cooker. The extreme heat and pressure not only sealed the contents in the jars, but most importantly, destroyed all the disease-producing bacteria.

Do you know why God said He would rather you be hot or cold? Lukewarm is the only temperature in which germs can grow. Extreme heat or cold will kill them, but germs thrive in a lukewarm environment.

A lukewarm heart toward God will allow germs of sin (doubt and unbelief, pride and criticism, grumbling and complaining) to invade your mind, your ministry and destroy your destiny!

How passionate are you for Jesus? Does love for Him burn hot in your heart? Are you willing to following Him anywhere?

Set your sights on God and not the world. The world will cool your heart. Keep your eyes on God, and keep Holy Ghost fire in your heart!

Jesus, I passionately love You as the
Lover of my soul. I will not settle for
being lukewarm for You. I love You
with all my heart, mind, soul,
and strength. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

The Blessing of an Unhappy Employment

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men ... .It is the Lord Christ you are serving. —Colossians 3:23-24

You may assume, because you have obeyed God, that He will fold His hands and say, "That's wonderful, and just for that, here is what I am going to do for you!" And you expect an immediate reward.

The challenge of unhappy employment is a test from God. So what's the challenge? Make the best of a bad situation. Don't always run away to look for another job. Don't promote yourself to the level of your incompetence. Don't jump out of the frying pan into the fire. Remember that God put you there for a purpose. God could change everything overnight. Remember that this life is not all there is. Many around you don't have heaven to look forward to, and God doesn't want any of us to be too happy here below.

Unhappy employment may also help you to appreciate even more the good things in your life. It may be helpful and self-edifying to thank God for things that are positive. Do you have good health? Do you have a home? Do you have loved ones? Do you have friends with whom you can share? Do you have a good relationship with God?

Your relationship with God is more important than your job. Get your joy from the inward anointing. There are some Christians who are happy with their jobs—so happy that they are not very spiritual. They don't pray; they don't have intimacy with God. With unhappy employment you may be enjoying a relationship with God that you might not otherwise have simply because you pray more than the person who is content. God loves you and wants your company. He knows what you would be like if you were too comfortable.

The greater the suffering, the greater the anointing and the greater your future. God will do this for you. It may not mean you will become prime minister, but you will reign one day, and, when it comes, it will be worth waiting for. You will treasure that worst situation.

Excerpted from The Thorn in the Flesh (Charisma House, 2004).

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

What Stands Forever?

Psalm 33:1-11 In a world that is falling apart, we need a place of security. Earlier we spoke of such a place—the pavilion in the presence of the Lord where we can hide from the strife of tongues. If you have ever experienced an earthquake or a tornado, you have an understanding of how your life depends upon where you place yourself. If you are in an earthquake, you are to brace yourself in a doorway. If you are in a tornado, you are to go to your basement or storm cellar.

The Scriptures predict that everything that can be shaken will be shaken in the last days. We just got through an unpredictable time when some feared many things in our lives would temporarily be shaken or changed because of Y2K. Thank God, no major interruptions to our lives occurred, but many people, even Christians, were in a panic-survival mode. There is a place of security in which we can place ourselves, and this place will withstand every storm, every earthquake and every economic disaster. It is a place that will not be shaken today no matter what our circumstances are, and it will not be shaken in the future. This place will stand forever.

This place is the Father's heart. We can only reach this place if we surrender all to Him. When we trust in the Lord with all of our heart and refuse to lean on this world's system or any arm of flesh, we have completed our journey to the safe place—the Father's heart.

God's heart is ever turned to us, but unless we seek Him with all of our hearts, we will not experience the safe place of His presence. In His presence is fullness of joy even in the midst of grievous times. In His presence is peace that passes our understanding even when confusion seems to be reigning in the world. In His presence is comfort as well as victory in troubled times. This psalm clearly tells us what will stand forever: "The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of His heart to all generations" (v. 11).

God's Word and the plans (or thoughts) of His heart will stand forever. Do you know that the Word tells us that His thoughts toward us outnumber the sands on the seashore? God is not surprised by anything we may face in the future. He has already gone ahead of us and provided a way of escape; a safe place in the midst of troubled times. After all, as this psalm says, "He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast" (v. 9). As we stand fast on His Word and are still in His presence, the earth can tremble, the storms can come, but we also will be able to stand forever.

Lord, help me not to fear evil tidings. Help me instead to place myself daily in Your presence. In Your Presence is where I belong for the rest of my days here on earth and also into eternity. Thank You for this safe place.

READ: Nehemiah 5:14-7:60; 1 Corinthians 8:1-13; Psalm 33:1-11; Proverbs 21:8-10


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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

Love and Pleasure

We can't do one thing to make God love us any more than He already loves us, and we can't do anything to make Him love us any less. However, we are responsible for how pleased God is with us.

If you have children, it might be easier to understand. Your love for them is inexhaustible but they determine by their actions, attitudes and behavior how pleased you are with them, right?

Lisa and I have put challenges before our four sons with the promise of nice rewards for their labor. It delights us when they rise to the occasion and we're thrilled to reward them. But when they don't fulfill the tasks, we can't reward their work. We want to, but when you reward children when they don't deserve or earn it, you take away incentive—and incentive is a good thing.

God's pleasure in us is no different—it is based on our choices in life. This is why Paul writes, "We make it our aim to be well pleasing to Him" (2 Corinthians 5:9, NIV). We should be passionate in our pursuit to be fully pleasing to Him. Nothing else should take preeminence over this purpose. If we live with this supreme goal as our life standard, then two things will occur: abounding joy and complete fulfillment.

Our primary motive for pleasing God is driven by our love for Him. We adore Him because He first loved us and filled our hearts with His love! As a true child of God, your greatest satisfaction comes when you know God is pleased with me. If we walk in this knowledge, nothing can overpower that joy.

The second benefit of pursuing this supreme goal is that we'll be rewarded greatly. Earning a great reward is the exact reason Paul exhorts us to please God, and he elaborates on this in the next verse. "Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad" (2 Corinthians 5:9–10).

We are advised to please God because someday He will judge us. You may ask, "But I thought Jesus had saved me from that?" Yes, He is your Savior, but one day you'll stand before Him as Judge. Many are unaware that on some future day every believer will stand individually before Christ's judgment seat and rewards will be given based on what was done in our short time on earth. Today's English Version states, "We will each receive what we deserve" (vs. 10).

Our sins will not be judged, for the blood of Jesus eradicated the eternal punishment ascribed to sin. Rather, we will be rewarded, or suffer loss, for our labor as believers in Jesus Christ.

And it's not just a reward God desires us to possess, but a full reward! "Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully" (2 John 1:8, NIV).

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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