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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 349 }

With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence. —2 Corinthians 4:13-14

Someone once asked the intriguing question, "Where does God live?" Another with a sharp wit answered, "Anywhere He wants to!" A good answer indeed. When Solomon dedicated the first temple, he said, "The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this house I have built!" (1 Kings 8:27). So where does God really live? Where is His presence? First, He lives in heaven itself where He dwells in unapproachable light. Second, He is omnipresent, and there is no place where He is not. Third, He has condescended to live within His "temples." In the Old Testament, it was first the tabernacle and then the temple in Jerusalem. In the New Testament, it is the church—the corporate body of Christ as well as each believer in Christ. Fourth, He and His Word are one, and thus He is present in the Holy Scriptures. Fifth, He is present in the sacraments of the church. And finally, He also periodically "visits" specific people and places by His "manifest presence." In other words, God "comes down" and interfaces with the natural realm.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Father, You have manifested Yourself to us in many ways. You choose to dwell in our midst and to reveal Yourself through Your Word and church. I long to have Your presence in my life and for You to "come down" in special visitation to my life.

We are called to value and esteem every
dimension of the presence of God.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Who Is the Baby

And he said, Who art thou, Lord? —Acts 9:5

The air was filled with the sights and sounds of Christmas as I was walking through a busy shopping mall during the Christmas season.

People were bustling around carrying packages when I noticed a little boy and his mother, standing in front of a large nativity scene. The little boy asked, "Mommy, what is that right there?" and his mother answered, "That's a donkey." Then he asked, "What's that right there?" and she answered, "That's a camel." Then he asked, "Who's that man right there?," and she answered, "That's a wise man."

When they had almost gone through the entire nativity scene, the mother began to walk away. The little boy grabbed hold of her dress and said, "But wait just a minute, Mommy. Who's the baby?"

Who is he? Who is the baby? He is Jesus Christ, Savior of the world, Son of the Living God!

Do you know Him as Lord and Savior?

Jesus, to me You are more than a baby in a manger.
You are the living Christ, in whom the universe
hangs together. You are the Mighty God,
the Everlasting Father, and the
Prince of Peace. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

The Alpha and the Omega

"I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty." —Revelation 1:8

If we believe it is true that everybody is "destined to die once, and after that to face judgment" (Heb. 9:27), we will be eager to learn what will happen next. We find a clue in the words of Jesus in Revelation 1:8: "I am the Alpha and the Omega ... who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty." Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. These words describe who God is. Jesus was saying that He is the beginning and the end, the Lord of creation, the giver and withholder of knowledge.

Did you know that all knowledge comes from God and that He gives or withholds knowledge as He wills? We enjoy the benefit of many scientific, technological, and medical developments, but we should remember we do so thanks to God's special grace and kindness to humanity. Yet science can only develop as far as God allows, and human knowledge will never be complete.

This is not so with spiritual knowledge, which we begin to grasp when we become Christians. In Colossians 2:3 Paul reveals that in Jesus "are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." The knowledge of Jesus Christ is saving knowledge that comes through the revelation of the Holy Spirit, and it is He who enables us to grasp who Jesus is and what He did; this knowledge we call "faith." Imparting faith is the primary work of the Spirit.

It is the Spirit who imparts faith, but it is in obedience to the command of Jesus, for it is He who gives eternal life. In John 10:28 he said, "I give them eternal life" (emphasis added). Thus all knowledge, all revelation, stems from Jesus.

Excerpted from A Vision of Jesus (Christian Focus Publications Ltd., 1999).

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

Without a Test There Is No Testimony

Luke 21:1-28 In this passage of Luke Jesus warns His disciples about all the troubles they are going to experience in the future. He tells them that they will be persecuted, but it shall turn for them for a testimony. Whenever we go through trials and testings we add to our testimony.

Recently I heard a volunteer who works for an organization called "Voice of the Martyrs." She and her husband go to various countries where there is persecution of Christians, and they obtain the testimonies of those being persecuted. They bring their testimonies back to the church in America and ask for us to pray for these ones who are going through such trials.

 

When she visited our church, this volunteer showed pictures of those who had been tortured in the Sudan by the Muslim radicals. These Christians were tormented until they recanted their faith. But most refused to recant. They remained strong for Jesus Christ, and what is most amazing, most of these Christians have never seen a Bible. They have had the Word preached to them, and just based on that Word, they feared the Lord and refused to deny their faith.

After teaching an eight-week session on "Growing in the Fear of the Lord," I came to the understanding that one of the main ways to grow in the fear of the Lord is to hide God's Word in your heart and meditate on it day and night. I exhorted the ladies I was teaching to read their Bibles daily. These Christians in Sudan, however, do not own Bibles, so how can they grow in the fear of the Lord? These Christians have hidden the Word in their hearts, and the Word is written on the tablets of their hearts. It does not take volumes of God's Word to help us grow in the fear of the Lord. It only takes enough Word to build our faith, and then every time we remember that promise that built our faith, we become even stronger in our faith.

No one could face the tests and trials those Christians in the Sudan faced without having the hope of God's promises securely in place in their hearts. The Word of God says we overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. Testimonies are powerful, and this is why Satan tries so hard to ruin our testimony by trying to get us to sin. We have seen too much success lately in this tactic of the enemy.

Every testimony is based upon a trial of our faith, and when we reach heaven, these trials will turn to gold. Peter writes, "In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ" (1 Pet. 1:6-7).

Today make it your goal to share your testimony with another, and Satan will not have success with you today. Your testimony is a mighty weapon against the enemy.

READ: Joshua 24:1-33; Luke 21:1-28; Psalm 89:38-52; Proverbs 13:20-23

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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

How You Can Avoid Spiritual Heart Disease

Defining "heart" – Biblically speaking, "heart" is both the pump for your blood and the center of your soul or immaterial being. Just as your physical heart gives life to your physical body, your spiritual heart gives life to your spiritual body.

  • Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life (Proverbs 4:23).
  • Men's hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth. (Luke 21:26)
  • How to remove fear: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7 ESV)
  • Live with an attitude of playfulness: A joyful heart is good medicine. (Proverbs 17:22)

13 Stressors (emotional, physical, spiritual) which contribute to heart issues

Stressors on the Heart—Every level of separation between God and man, or any lack of complete obedience to His commands, puts a level of stress on the heart. Stress contributes greatly to heart disease.

Stressors

Fear - Men's hearts failing them because of harboring fearful thoughts.

Anger – Let not the sun go down on your anger (Eph. 4:26).

Unforgiveness – toward self, others, God, circumstances, evil people.

Dead works – Striving on my own to accomplish (Heb. 6:1,2). Sitting on the front edge of my chair ready to jump into action at all times. Type A personality leans this way. Satan's lie "I can" = life is about my efforts and my knowledge.

Unconfessed sin - God's hand is not so short that it cannot save, but your sins have made a separation between you and your God (Isaiah 59:1,2).

Unhealthy diet - Daniel would not defile himself with the king's rich food.

Toxic planet – 100,000 more chemicals in the environment now than 100 years ago.

Inflammation from bacterial and emotional roots.

Demonization – Jesus cast out the spirits with a word and healed all who were sick (Mark 1:39).

Brokenheartedness - Areas in your heart which are broken off from the core you and are operating separate from God.

Generational sins and curses -These are passed down three to four generations (Ex. 34:7).

Lack of care of God's temple – I am the temple God dwells in.

Misplaced hope – Hope deferred makes the heart sick (Prov. 13:12).

Causes

Believing I must cope with life's pressures myself, and that my "resources" will prevail.

Over 90% of those in the "lifelong anger club" die of clogged arteries.

Hurts and failures in life result in hopelessness that God is nowhere to be found. Evil rules.

Not drawing continuously on the Holy Spirit's gifts, manifestations and fruit which are easily, readily available to all, but instead trusting in my abilities and tools and telling God, "I got this."

Going your own way rather than God's way. Arguing and making bargains with God because we want what we want and think it is better than what He has said.

Eating rich food, processed or refined, sugar-coated foods or GMO foods.

These chemicals fill the air, water and food, and they can stockpile up in our bodies.

Some of this inflammation is generational.

Ask the Spirit to show you any curses sent upon you or demons you have picked up through life's traumas.

A broken area is a part within that is trying to handle an area of life without drawing upon the power of the Spirit.

Ask the Spirit to show you any curses coming down through the family line.

I don't take the time to care for my body, e.g, through rest and exercise.

Placing your hope in anything (even one of His promises) rather than in God Himself.

Solutions

Faith - Believe God loves me and is in control, working all things out for good.

Love - Be merciful, compassionate, and judge not.

Forgive everything against everyone and your prayers will be answered (Mk. 11:25).

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded (James 4:8). Prayer: Lord, what are Your thoughts concerning this situation?

Let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water (Hebrews 10:22).

Eat organic fruits and vegetables and high quality proteins. Take 20 minutes to enjoy and taste the foods you are eating.

Do cleanses regularly, breathe clean air, use non-toxic cleansers, drink pure water.

Find the root cause of the inflammation and remove it.

Forgive the person, honor and bless them and command the curse to halt in Jesus' name and the demons to leave.

Asking Jesus to heal the broken areas, knitting me back together, and enlightening me with His Spirit (Isaiah 61:1).

Forgive the person, honor and bless them and command the curses to halt at the Cross of Christ.

Come apart and rest awhile (Mark 6:31). Exercise - celebrate!

Hope in God (Ps. 42:11) and the God of hope shall fill you with all joy and peace (Rom. 15:13).

God's Picture of Stress-free Living Is Abiding in Christ

"I am the vine; you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing" (John 15:5). Abiding is characterized by: living present tense, tuned to your heart, receiving wisdom, revelation, love and power from God and extending it out to others. (The EmWave2 device can help one quickly learn this posture.)

Mark Virkler, Ph.D., has authored more than 50 books in the areas of hearing God's voice and spiritual growth. He is the founder of Communion With God Ministries and Christian Leadership University (cluonline.com), where the voice of God is at the center of every learning experience. Mark has taught on developing intimacy with God and spiritual healing for 30-plus years on six continents. The message has been translated into over 40 languages, and he has helped to establish more than 250 church-centered Bible schools around the world.

This article originally appeared at cwgministries.org.

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