Devotionals

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Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 106 }

Do you not say, 'Four months more and then the harvest'? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. —John 4:35

I believe a great revival is coming, as well as a great harvest of souls. God's people must be ready, since we are the ones who will be caring for the multitudes that come. History reveals that we will reproduce converts after our own kind. I sometimes find myself praying, "God, don't fully release the harvest until You release something in Your church that is worthy of imparting to the multitudes of new converts. Don't allow another generation of easily offended Christians who lust for money, power, position, and pleasure to come forth. Please fill us with the knowledge of Your Son's splendor and loveliness before You bring hundreds of millions of new believers to us for training." Remember, Paul prophesied that the knowledge of Jesus would continue until we all attain to unity, intimacy, and maturity.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Lord, I'm no longer content to keep You all to myself while those around me live in sin and hopelessness. Train me in Your ways so that I can be a part of Your great army moving in unity, intimacy, and maturity to win the lost.

We will impart what we possess into those
new believers.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Sanctified Seed

Then thou shalt say before the Lord thy God, I have brought away the hallowed things out of mine house. —Deuteronomy 26:13

The hallowed things are those items that have been set aside and anointed by God Himself.

Belshazzar took the goblets from the House of God for his party, and his guests held them high as they toasted their pagan gods (Daniel 5:4). God didn't wait to punish him. That same night his enemies invaded the land and he was slain. Tithing is a non-negotiable issue in God's kingdom. Ten percent of your earnings are earmarked by God, and what is His belongs to Him alone.

Don't bring cursing to what God has meant to bless and prosper you. He asks us to bring Him the "hallowed things" because He separates and releases those things with miracle-working power. When God touches that money you give back to Him, He can multiply it until a mountain of obligations disappear.

Tithing is not a duty, but a joy. You are not losing what is yours. You are simply giving to God what already belongs to Him. When you tithe, you release a blessing not a curse into your house and into the House of God.

Thank You, Lord, for the privilege and joy of tithing.
Make my life a blessing to others. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

Today's Message

Sometimes God Is Silent

God, do not keep silent; be not quiet, O God, be not still. —Psalm 83:1

Oswald Chambers once asked a provoking question: "Am I close enough to God to feel secure when He is silent?" In other words, must I have constant two-way communication with God to feel approved and loved by Him? We must develop a maturity that does not panic "between the times"—to use a helpful phrase from Richard Bewes. In season is a time of refreshing when God clearly manifests Himself. Out of season is when He seems to hide His face from us, those times when He is silent.

God wants us to learn as much from His silence as we learn from His absence. For example, often we learn more about ourselves when God hides Himself than in times of conscious blessing. His silence is like taking an examination in which we must demonstrate how much we have learned about His "ways."

An intimate, unique experience of some kind with God is important for each of us to have. It can be the best thing that can happen to us—but it can also be dangerous. After such an experience we can express a spiritual arrogance and pride that exalt us, in our own eyes, above other "less special" believers. If that happens, perhaps the only thing that can bring us back to a humble awareness of our spiritual position is for God Himself to desert us momentarily.

People who suppose they have this sort of relationship with God lack in both teachability and accountability. They sometimes think they are spiritually superior to all who try to help them. The only thing that will possibly help them is for God Himself to "stay behind" while they carry on in their presumption.

It happened to me as I described above. It hurt very much, and I couldn't understand it for a while. God appeared to betray me. Not that I noticed it at first.

It happens, I believe, to nearly every person who has had an authentic experience with the Holy Spirit. God hides His face—suddenly without notice. No apology. Just silence. The explanation comes (usually) much, much later.

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

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

Happy New Year

Psalm 146:1-10 We are fast approaching the new year, and soon we will hear the age-old phrase, "Happy New Year!" Everyone wants a happy New Year. The Greek word for happy also means "blessed." In fact, the Beatitudes in some modern translations say, "Happy is the man who-.-.-.-" instead of "Blessed is the man who-.-.-.-" Let's think a moment about the word Beatitudes. When we break this word down, we see it means the attitude of our being. This psalm states the attitude we should have daily as we live on earth. Listen to the words of David: "While I live I will praise the Lord, I will sing praises to my God while I have my being" (v. 2).

If we want to have a "Happy New Year," then our attitude daily needs to be one of thanksgiving and praise to the Lord. David continues revealing the secrets to experiencing a happy new year when he says, "Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God" (v. 5).

The way to have a happy new year is to trust the Lord to help us when we have a need and to place our hope not in circumstances in this world, but in the Lord.

Do you want to have a happy (blessed) new year? There are things you can do in this next year that will insure you will experience a blessed, happy new year. Here are three simple things you can do:

1. Praise the Lord daily and sing praises to Him.

2. Trust in Him to help you instead of putting your trust in man or yourself.

3. Hope in the Lord instead of hoping in circumstances or this world's system.

HAVE A BLESSED NEW YEAR!!!

Lord, help me to do these three things in this next year. They are not vain resolutions. They are things I can do each day with Your strength and grace, and I know when I do them faithfully, each day of this new year will be blessed.

READ: Zechariah 10:1-11:17; Revelation 18:1-24; Psalm 146:1-10; Proverbs 30:33

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Live Extraordinarily

Today's Message

The Enemy's Secret Strategy

A remarkable, amazing, extraordinary life is not restricted to certain individuals or professions. It doesn't matter who you are or how you serve in life. If you're a schoolteacher, businessperson, government leader, stay-at-home mom, athlete, factory worker, hairstylist, student, pastor, it doesn't matter because you were created for extraordinary achievements in that role. The power to accomplish remarkable feats and live an exceptional life is not tied to an occupation but to a disposition of the heart. This is not only God's will but also His great pleasure.

Hollywood, religious people, and our culture have painted a warped and limited image of God's people. What is the distortion? We have an enemy named Satan, who is called "the ruler of this world," "the prince of the power of the air," and "the god of this world." He influences the world's systems and sways the minds of those who do not belong to God. He has fallen angels and demons to help carry out his grand strategy.

The sad fact is that too often the church has limited Satan's chief strategy to certain behaviors, like trying to get people to drink alcohol or watch sex scenes in movies. He's much more crafty than that and uses a wide variety of snares and diversions. We've missed his primary purpose. Because what he fears most is Christians discovering who God's made them to be—extraordinary people with abilities to carry out remarkable and unusual feats. This should be the image society has of Christians.

In stark contrast to the present reputation of Christians, one of the great struggles the early church encountered was convincing people that they were not superheroes or gods. Cornelius, an officer in the most powerful army in the world, bowed down to worship Peter and his companions. Stunned, Peter immediately replied, "Stand up; I myself am also a man" (Acts 10:26).

In a city named Lystra, the mob "went wild, calling out in their Lyconian dialect, 'The gods have come down! These men are gods!'" Paul sharply corrected them: "What do you think you're doing! We're not gods!" (Acts 14:11, 14, The Message). When Paul was on Malta collecting firewood, a poisonous snake bit him. He shook it off, and the inhabitants anticipated his death. "But when it was obvious he wasn't going to, they jumped to the conclusion that he was a god!" (vs. 28:6).

Unbelievers said of the early church, "These who have turned the world upside down have come here too" (vs. 17:6). Christians were held in high esteem by their society. It's recorded that the entire city of Jerusalem's attitude toward the church was that "everyone had high regard for them" (5:13, NLT).

In our generation may we each live in such a way to recover that kind of respect for the church.

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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