Devotionals

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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 235 }

After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting. ... The twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God, who was seated on the throne.  ... Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder. ... Then the angel said to me, "Write: 'Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!'" —Revelation 19:1, 4, 6, 9

I often wonder what Jesus was thinking the days before His crucifixion. How did He stay focused? What was on His mind? What mattered to Him in those moments? The Bible answers this for us in part. When Jesus came into Jerusalem for the last time, He carried a message in His heart. I believe He had waited three and one-half years to share this message. It was one of the deepest things on His heart. The essence of His last public sermon was, "There is a King—My Father—who is preparing a wedding for His Son." (See Matthew 22:2.) His heart was caught up in that glorious future day, the great bridal feast. Emotion must have surged in His heart as He opened the treasury of this parable to the crowds. He was revealing one of the primary reasons for the cross, which would secure the inheritance His Father had promised Him—an equally yoked companion, a bride.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

It is beyond my comprehension, dear Lord, that You chose me to be Your bride, to be Your eternal companion, and to share Your glory in heaven. Prepare me for that great wedding day, I pray.

Jesus looked toward one of the greatest events of
all history: the wedding supper of the Lamb.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Where Is Your Faith?

Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. —1 Peter 2:24

Everyone has faith. We all believe in something or someone. In order to believe there is no God, atheists must have faith far greater than that of Christians. Why? To believe that the complexities of life and the universe are all accidental takes blind faith. And that's what they are—blind to the realities of a wonderful, creator God.

Hebrews 11:6 tells us that without faith it is impossible to please God. Because of a lack of faith, Jesus left the town of Nazareth, unable to perform many miracles (Matthew 13:58). Their problem wasn't really a lack of faith, however—their faith was misplaced in things instead of placed in Him.

The world may promise great things, but Jesus provides the truth. Promises rest on the future; facts stand in the present. Healing is a past fact, not a future promise. It is not something to look forward to, but a truth in which we can walk.

Lord, I believe Your Word. Create new
life in me today. Restore and heal me
through Your shed blood. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

The Lord Is Always Before You

I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. —Psalm 16:8

I would like to discuss the circumstances of unhappy employment, for various circumstances can lie behind this. For some, a lack of education has meant that they will always be stuck in a certain kind of job.

Some travel considerable distances to get just what work they can find. Then, after they get there, it is really dull. They dread arriving, they look forward to leaving, and they look forward to Fridays and hate Mondays. On top of that they have to work hard and inconvenient hours. In other words, they experience a lack of fulfillment. Sometimes the way they are treated is degrading. And as for a bit of prestige? It is out of the question. No prestige. But that was how it was for Joseph, too.

But there is some compensation in unhappy employment. I don't refer to being paid a little extra or getting double pay for overtime. I am talking here about a different kind of compensation. The Bible says Potiphar bought Joseph from the Ishmaelites who had taken him to Egypt, but the Lord was with Joseph (Gen. 39:2). I call that a wonderful compensation! Now if I can get this point across, it could change everything and possibly give a person a different perspective. Unhappy employment is not unusual. What is unusual is the fact that the Lord is with you.

One of the greatest things you can ever learn as a Christian is to remember that you have the presence of God. Why does it say the psalmist "set the Lord" before himself? It means that he had to remind himself that the Lord was there. You see, setting the Lord before him didn't mean that by doing this the Lord managed to get there on time. No, the Lord was already there, because David went on to say, "Because he is on my right hand." The phrase "I have set the Lord" means that David put himself in a frame of mind to remind himself that the Lord was already there. "I have set the Lord always before me."

And if you can do this in the toughest moment and in the loneliest moment, then you know He is there. Remind yourself, He is there.

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

Spring Up, O Well!

Nehemiah 7:61-9:21 In today's passage we learn the importance of the joy of the Lord. Nehemiah says, "For the joy of the Lord is your strength" (Neh. 8:10). We saw this fact demonstrated in a dramatic way when we attended the first Jewish festival that was held in St. Petersburg, Russia. This festival was designed to reach out to the Jewish people. The music artists shared not only their music, but also their personal testimonies of how they came to know Jesus as their Messiah. The first evening as people gathered into the auditorium, I studied each face. The people seemed expressionless, almost without any emotion, and I did not see one smile. Then the music began.

At the end of the performance these dear Russians were out of their seats dancing joyously before the Lord. What happened? The well of the living water that seemed dry within them was primed, and they were able to drink from the wells of salvation with joy. Many were saved that night, and for the first time living water began to bubble within them, and then it overflowed.

On that night I understood the assignment that was given to me as we traveled throughout Russia. The Lord had spoken to my heart, and He told me to speak aloud in the metro and on the streets of Russia these words, "Spring up, O well!"

Russia had just been delivered out of seventy years of Communism's oppression. God desired to dress the Russian people with the garment of praise that would lift their heaviness. So many in Russia have a serious drinking problem and we learn in Scripture that it is the spirit of heaviness that often causes dependency upon alcohol. People self-medicate to lift their spirits with the wrong kind of spirit (alcoholic beverages) when only the Lord can lift our spirits permanently. On this night, those attending the concert were ignited by the joy of the Lord. They all would need this joy to strengthen them for the troubled days ahead.

All believers have a well within them that they can daily draw from to sustain them and give them strength. They draw from this well with buckets of joy. Sometimes we do not feel joyful, but if we will prime our well by praising the Lord anyway, suddenly the joy of our salvation is restored. Don't fail today to let your well of salvation spring up and overflow. Say to your soul today, "Spring up, O well!"

Lord, I need strength to face this day, and I know Your joy is my strength. By faith, even though at first I feel nothing, I choose to praise You. Spring up, O well, and let Your joy overflow from my soul.

READ: Nehemiah 7:61-9:21; 1 Corinthians 9:1-19; Psalm 33:12-22; Proverbs 21:11-12


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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

A Book About YOU

God has set goals for each of our lives. In fact, He recorded them in a book before time began.

"You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed" (Psalm 139:16, NLT).

That is phenomenal! Did you know a book was written about you? It's not just famous people who are featured in biographies. Your story is in a book, too, and the Author is none other than God. He wrote that book before you were conceived in your mother's womb. What a staggering thought—every moment of your life is recorded in that book. 

"For we are God's [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live]" (Ephesians 2:10, AMP).

God planned your paths beforehand, but notice that Paul writes "that we should walk in them." It doesn't say "that we would walk in them." There is a huge difference. Free will comes into effect here because fulfilling these assignments isn't automatic. We have to cooperate in our labor.

God has set the goals, but it's up to us to discover through prayer, reading His Word, and other spiritual means what's recorded for our lives. Then by His grace we fulfill them. For this reason Paul prays: "Since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God," (Colossians 1:9–10, NIV)

Knowing God's will for our lives gives us the ability to always please Him. However, it is not inevitable. God has set extraordinary goals for us, and they will not be accomplished without prayer, faith and fervent labor. 

Your life is unique, special and by no means an accident. No one is common or menial. We all were created for a unique path that is extraordinary.

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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