Devotionals

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Loving God

Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 352 }

So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him! —Luke 11:9-13

In this passage, Jesus is both inviting and challenging His disciples to pray in a specific way and for a specific thing. The verbs translated "ask," "seek," and "knock" are in a continuous tense in the original manuscripts. This gives the phrases the sense that the desired blessings must be pursued with repeated action and with perseverance. God wants us to really want what we desire and not be passive or nonchalant about it. Any temporary denial serves only to deepen the hunger for the thing denied. He also reveals that the requests for the good things of His kingdom can be summarized by asking for the release of the ministry of the Holy Spirit. God is a generous and wealthy Father who truly wants to give the Holy Spirit's ministry to us, but He also wants us to earnestly desire the Holy Spirit to come upon us with His gifts, fruit, and wisdom.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Thank You, Father, that I can come boldly and confidently into Your presence. Teach me to approach You with specificity, expressing my deepest longings before You. Minister to me through Your Spirit.

We should ask confidently and boldly for His
presence and purposes, knowing that in
time it shall be done—if we don't
faint or doubt.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Endless Peace

And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. —Luke 1:33

There is no end to the peace of God. True peace is not the absence of conflict, but His blessed assurance in the midst of all conflict. When we pray to the Father for His kingdom to come into our lives, we ask Him to become our Father and to be responsible for our supply.

Self seeks to benefit itself at the expense of others. Love seeks to benefit others at the expense of self.

You deserved to spend eternity in hell, but He forgave you. When Jesus died on the Cross and journeyed into hell, He took your place and mediated an eternal peace with your heavenly Father. He endured torture, death, and a devil's hell to benefit all mankind. This is true forgiveness, true love, and true peace.

Love as Jesus loves you, forgive as Jesus forgives you—and there will be no limit to His kingdom and His peace in your life. Find Jesus, the King, and you will find the kingdom-.-.-.-and in the kingdom you will find endless peace. Peace with God. Peace with yourself and others.

Almighty God, I give You praise for Jesus Christ, who makes
peace between me and You. I magnify Your name for
bringing together people from all different races
and backgrounds to be one in Christ's body,
dwelling together in harmony
and peace. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

By Love Transformed

Today's Message

Enlarging the Soul's Capacity

For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. —Hebrews 5:13, KJV

Solid food is nourishment by which the capacity of the soul is enlarged. Sooner or later, a newborn baby must go from milk to something solid; if that does not happen, there will be a deformed child. It is the same with the analogy here.

What do I mean when I say solid food is nourishment by which the capacity of the soul is enlarged? The soul's enlargement will mean simple trust in God, unfeigned love for one another, and the ability to understand what God is pleased to reveal. Now by simple trust in God, I would remind you of 1 John 4:16: "We know and rely on the love God has for us." That verse has gripped me for years. But it involves simple trust, simply taking seriously that God really does love us. When one really believes it, it changes everything. The ability to digest solid food is the enlargement of the soul, where you become able, simply in a childlike way, to trust in God. Jesus said, "Anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it" (Mark 10:15). Christians need to rediscover this simple trust in God, which is the soul's enlargement.

I am referring to the ability to perceive God's will. That has to do with aptitude to receive what God wants to say. It is understanding His Word, and it is knowing His direction for today. It is His Word and His will.

Understanding His Word is simply being able to read the Bible and know what it means, that God speaks to you. Maturity includes seeing His will. By this I mean that you know God so well that you know what He is thinking. It's the same with my wife: I do not have to tell her or ask her what she thinks; I already know. When you know God, you know His will.

Excerpted from Are You Stone Deaf to the Spirit or Rediscovering God? (Christian Focus Publications Ltd., 1994, 1999).

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

Follow the Man

Luke 21:29-22:13 Recently I heard Derek Prince talk about his life of over fifty years in the ministry. He has buried two wives and has traveled the world fulfilling the Great Commission. He shares that all he did these fifty years and more was to follow the Man. He shared then in great detail about the scripture we read today in Luke. It was the time of the Passover, and it also was the time Jesus would soon be betrayed and crucified. Jesus wanted to spend the Passover with His disciples because He knew His time on earth was short. He sent Peter and John to go ahead of Him and the other disciples to prepare the Passover for them, and He gave them these instructions: "Behold when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he entereth in" (Luke 22:10, KJV).

Derek shared that the man who bore the pitcher of water stood out in the crowd because in Jesus' day only women carried pitchers of water. This man evidently was told by the Holy Spirit to get ready for a very important dinner, and he prepared a room to be used by the Master.

Derek continued, "All my life I have followed the Man, and He has never failed to go ahead of me and prepare the way." Remember Jesus said, "In My Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so I would have told you: I go to prepare a place for you." (See John 14.)

Derek shared how the Holy Spirit knew he would lose his second wife and would need provision of care when she died. He went ahead and prepared a lovely apartment in the home of a family his wife had befriended in Jerusalem.

The man with the pitcher in this passage represents the Holy Spirit who always leads us and guides us. Jesus said about the Holy Spirit, "He will lead you into all truth." Those who are led by the Holy Spirit are called sons of God. Like Derek, all through my over fifty years as a Christian I have seen God's faithfulness to send the Holy Spirit ahead of me to prepare me for every situation in life. Some of the rooms of life I have experienced have involved great trials, but before I reached those rooms, the Holy Spirit prepared me ahead of time to be ready. One very difficult room of life I experienced was when the car I was driving hit a little eight-year-old boy who was seriously injured. We didn't know whether he would live or die, but thanks to the Lord, the boy was spared. I was even given the opportunity to lead him to the Lord. Six months before this great trial happened, the Lord spoke to me during communion and said, "You are going to go through a fiery trial, but just like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, you also will go through the fire and I will be with you, and you will come out of the fire without the smell of smoke on you." It was this message that got me through this room in my life. Follow the Man, and the Man, the Holy Spirit, will always prepare a way for you where there seems to be no way.

READ: Judges 1:1-2:10; Luke 21:29-22:13; Psalm 90:1-91:16; Proverbs 13:24-25

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Live Extraordinary

Live Extraordinary

Today's Message

Never Fall Short

God has freely given us the tools we need to live a holy life that pleases Him—that's fabulous news! There's no need to fall short. The writer of Hebrews tells us:

"Pursue...holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God." (12:14-15, NKJV)

The main point here is clear: We need the grace of God to walk in true holiness. We might ask, "If, as we've been taught, grace is only about forgiveness, then what does 'fall short' mean in this verse?" The Greek word here is hustereo. Strong's Concordance defines it as "to be inferior, to fall short (be deficient), come behind, be destitute, fail." Thayer's Lexicon goes into more depth by stating that this word's meaning is "to be left behind in the race and so fail to reach the goal, to fall short of the end."

Holiness is crucial to finishing our race well. Hear the prophet Isaiah's words: "There will be a highway there, called 'The Road of Holiness.' No sinner will ever travel that road; no fools will mislead those who follow it. No lions will be there; no fierce animals will pass that way. Those whom the LORD has rescued will travel home by that road. They will reach Jerusalem [heaven] with gladness, singing and shouting for joy. They will be happy forever, forever free from sorrow and grief." (35:8–10, TEV)

God says that when we walk in the power of the grace of God, bearing true fruits of holiness, we are invincible because of Him. Isaiah says that no fierce animal, such as a bear or lion, will be able to take us out! (This includes our supreme enemy, Satan, who walks about as "a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour" [1 Peter 5:8].) So, we have no reason to fail when we produce fruits of holiness through the power of God's grace. This ability is not because of us but because of Him. We must abide in the grace of God in order to live holy, fruitful, extraordinary lives! 

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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