Devotionals

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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 143 }

For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. —2 Corinthians 11:2, NKJV

The revelation of the Bridegroom was preached by the apostle Paul. Paul saw his ministry as betrothing unbelievers through conversion to a Bridegroom God and presenting them as a pure bride. In this ministry identity, namely, as friends of the Bridegroom, we operate very differently than those without this revelation. We get our identity through the power of relationship with God Himself. When I consider God the Bridegroom, I first think about His desire for us. Oh, to be exhilarated with God's love! Nothing is more invigorating than the revelation of the God filled with pleasure, the God who has intense desire for human beings, and the God who woos us through spiritual pleasures.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

God, give me a new revelation of Yourself as the Bridegroom awaiting me, His bride. Draw my heart to You, and allow me to help prepare the way for others to become Your bride as they accept the sacrifice of Your Son.

Friends of the Bridegroom are fearless because
we are connected to something far bigger
than ourselves.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Resurrection Seed

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. —Romans 8:29

Mankind was careening helplessly on its way to an eternity in hell. The world needed a miracle, and there was no way humanity could manipulate its own salvation. There was no sacrifice dear enough to pay the penalty for our sins. Then God planted a seed, and that seed was Jesus.

Jesus took the penalty for our sin on His body, suffered unspeakable agony on the Cross, and died. His lifeless body was placed in a tomb. On the third day, life infused His body and He rose again, triumphant over the power of sin and death.

That first Resurrection Seed brought God a harvest of souls, those who believe on His name and are redeemed to receive the blessings of salvation, healing and abundance. For two thousand years, that original seed has continued to multiply. Jesus was the firstborn of many children and the firstfruits of the resurrection. We are part of a harvest that has never ceased.

Risen Lord, live in me. May Your resurrection revive me—body,
soul, and spirit. Plant in me Your Resurrection Seed that I may be
both Your field and harvest this day. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

Finding Our Way Back to Him to Move Forward

I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me. —Proverbs 8:17

Do we ever truly recover exactly what we lost? I believe the honest answer is both yes and no. Let me explain.

When we find our way back, the anointing to which we must return is virtually a new anointing. It is new because when we find it again, we must adjust to where it is and how it is manifesting now. Adjusting to the Dove is a lifelong process of agony and surprise.

Some of us take longer in our return to the anointing because the whole time we are looking for the return of the anointing. We are all prone to say, "The old wine is better."

Each of us tends to begin trying to recover the anointing in our most familiar spot—our comfort zone. But God is saying to us, "See, I am doing a new thing!" (Isa. 43:19).

One of the reasons God stays behind and allows us to move on without Him is that we will be forced to see the new and different ways He chooses to manifest His glory.

The Christian life is a continual series of events that lead us out of our comfort zone. These repeated transitions take us from the natural level to that of the Spirit. The irony is that even the new level of the Spirit will eventually become another comfort zone to us. It too will have to be left behind in some sense. Then we will be allowed to become settlers in heaven. Until then we must continue to adjust to the Dove and the surprising and unpredictable ways God challenges our faith.

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

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

Looking Unto Jesus

Hebrews 11:32-12:13 These heroes of the faith pressed forward to the goal, and they received the gold. As we see by the lives mentioned in this passage of Hebrews 11, many were martyred and tortured for their faith. How did they get through these great trials of faith, which are even more precious to the Lord than gold? The answer is simple: They kept their focus on the Provider, not the problem. We read in Hebrews 12:2, "Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."

Jesus knew the joy we would all experience because of His sacrificial death and resurrection. He knew the joy He would experience every time someone was liberated from rejection, disease, sickness and bondage of all kinds. He saw the joy we would receive when we repented of our sins and received His forgiveness and cleansing. He saw the joy we would encounter when we would be translated from the kingdom of darkness into His kingdom of light where there is peace, right standing with God and joy. This joy provided Him strength to get through every trial and to even endure the torture of the cross for our sakes. What got Jesus through every trial was His focus. He kept His eyes ever on the Father. What will get us through every trial is our focus. We must keep our eyes upon Jesus.

We all will experience trials, troubles and temptations. Some of the promises in the Bible we seldom claim are, "In the world you will have tribulation," and "Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers them out of them all." The righteous are also promised persecution. Only as we look unto Jesus will we be able to endure these last days. The following prayer was shared with me today, and I thought I would pass it on to you:

Lord, help me to look at my problems in the light of Your power instead of looking at You in the shadows of my problems.

READ: Ezekiel 29:1-30:26; Hebrews 11:32-12:13; Psalm 112:1-10; Proverbs 27:17

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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

The Kingdom Is Within

Jesus made a remarkable statement to His disciples: "Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven" (Luke 11:2, NKJV). This was a futuristic prayer for the disciples, but not for Jesus. And it's not futuristic for us either because it applies right now. Allow me to explain.

The Pharisees had problems with Jesus since He hadn't come on the scene the way they expected. When He showed up—a Nazarene, a carpenter from a poor family, and a friend of prostitutes and mafia (tax collectors were the mafia of the day)—they didn't buy in to Him as Messiah.

So they confronted Jesus and He answered: "The kingdom of God does not come with observation...For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you." (Luke 17:20-21, NKJV)

"The kingdom...is within you"? Jesus was speaking of those who would be born again and filled with His Spirit. He had earlier promised to those who loved Him, "Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom" (Luke 12:32, NKJV).

But when was the kingdom to be given? Jesus' disciples asked Him this nagging question after He was raised from the dead. Put yourself in their shoes. It was finally clear: Jesus, alive and well, was standing before these faithful followers—but where was the kingdom? They were still confused about this even just before His ascension.

They too were still looking for a physical kingdom to manifest itself. While looking for this literal throne on earth, they forgot His words: "The kingdom...is within you." So He corrected their thinking:

"The times and occasions are set by my Father's own authority, and it is not for you to know when they will be [the establishment of His physical kingdom upon His return]. But when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you will be filled with power [the kingdom within]." (Acts 1:7-8, TEV)

"Filled with power" from the Holy Spirit to do what? Advance the kingdom! This was not only for them but also for us. Once the Holy Spirit came to dwell within humankind, the kingdom and all its power would be within us! We now possess the power to advance the kingdom in the hearts and lives of others. And we can now do the works Jesus did in advancing the kingdom—and even greater works!

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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