Devotionals

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Loving God

Today's Message

{ Day 111 }

For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. —Romans 8:15-1

What best motivates a child to want to be like his parents? Is it affirmation and respect, or fear of rejection and guilt? The same principle is true in the spiritual realm. Using wrong motivations to encourage believers to pursue intimacy with Christ—manipulation, fear, or guilt—may seem to obtain quick results, but those results do not last. Even spiritual disciplines such as prayer, fasting, and Bible study, which are vital, can often result in legalism, pride, insecurity, or morbid introspection if pursued with the wrong motivation. Our spirits cry for more of Him when we begin to grasp the implications of being adopted as His children.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Father, all that You are cause me to want to be more and more like You. Show me how to become more like You each day of my life.

The knowledge of God's deep affection and of our
full acceptance as His beloved children is the best
motivation for consistent spiritual growth.

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Daily Breakthroughs

Today's Message

Don't Eat the Seed You Sow

And she said, As the Lord thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die. —1 Kings 17:12

Now if the widow had eaten the last of her seed, she and her son certainly would have died. But she had another option. She could sow her seed instead of eating it. She could make a loaf of bread for the man of God, Elijah, and then see the promised harvest from God. Her obedience to God's command through Elijah brought her perpetual and promised harvest.

When Elijah asked her for a cake, at first the poor widow claimed that she didn't have it. But God never asks you for what you don't have; He only asks you for what you want to keep for yourself. Remember, if what is in your hand is not big enough to be your harvest, then count on it being your seed. Elijah rebuked the fear in the woman and told her to give what she had. In return, God supplied what she needed—a promised harvest of ever-increasing grain and oil.

You may have nothing left but the seed you need to sow. But until you sow, you will never experience a harvest. Sow as God commands you to sow and you will experience His future instead of your famine.

Lord, teach me when, what, and how to sow so that my
future will be filled with Your harvest and not
with my famine. Amen.

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By Love Transformed

Today's Message

No Place for Gloating

Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice ... —Proverbs 24:17

If you wish to be today's servant, then you must also resist gloating when you have been vindicated. If Samuel had been small-minded, he would have been glad Saul had failed the test. Samuel was the only one who warned against the kingship. We therefore might expect him to shout to the housetops, "I told you so." How do we know he didn't do that? Because God said to Samuel, "How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel?" (1 Sam. 16:1, emphasis added). There was no gloating, only mourning.

A good evidence that we can be trusted with today's anointing and today's stigma is that we mourn when a brother or sister slips or falls. Cain said, "Am I my brother's keeper?" (Gen. 4:9). The answer is yes. I fear that the anointing many of us desire is largely delayed because of a rival spirit. We look over our shoulders and, consciously or unconsciously, compete with one another. Virtually no consideration at all is given to seeking the glory that comes only from God. We want mutual adulation more.

Today's man or woman ought also to be on the lookout for tomorrow's man. Jonathan Edwards said that the one thing Satan cannot successfully counterfeit is a love for the glory of God. As long as you and I truly love God's honor, including the reputation of His church today and tomorrow, it is good evidence we haven't been duped by the devil. But if it is my own reputation I worry most about, there is no proof I am today's man. In fact, it's quite the opposite.

Excerpted from The Anointing: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow (Charisma House, 2003).

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Around the Word in 365 Days

Today's Message

Shut Your Mouth

Psalm 141:1-10 In this psalm David prays a prayer we all need to pray. He prays, "Let my prayer be set before You as incense, the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice. Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips" (vv. 2-3).

Our mouths were created to praise and worship the Lord. Every part of our being was created to glorify God here on earth. Our hands are to lift in praise to Him daily. Even the trees of the fields rejoice and clap their hands. So often, however, we use these God-given, fearfully and wonderfully made bodies to do things that Satan wants us to do. Remember, Satan has no power to make you do anything, even sin. Sin happens in our lives because we are led astray by our own lusts. We learned earlier the way to keep us from giving into our own lusts and fulfilling them is to stay filled with the Spirit. One of the ways to stay constantly filled with the Spirit is to use our mouths to praise, sing spiritual songs and hymns, to give thanks and to make melody in our hearts. If we are busy praising and worshiping the Lord, we will not have time to give into our own lusts.

One of the ways I like to keep myself filled with the Spirit is to have good praise music and hymns playing throughout the day when I am home doing my chores. I sing along with the hymns, and I also love to play classical music that lifts soul and spirit. I mostly concentrate on Handel and Bach. The world tries to drag us down, and can easily do it if we set ourselves in front of the boob tube all day long or even have it playing while we are doing other things. Remember, Satan is the prince and power of the air. He loves to use TV and radio to gain an advantage over us.

Another way we can stay filled with Spirit is to refuse to allow anything to come out of our mouths that would wound or hurt others. Our mouths were created to praise God and also to praise and edify others. David knew his own weakness in the matter of the tongue, and he calls upon the help of God to set a watch over his mouth. This morning let's pray a prayer that David prayed. "Lord, let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Your sight. Set a watch over my mouth, and may my mouth, be used today only to praise You and to edify and praise others."

READ: Zechariah 2:1-3:10; Revelation 13:1-18; Psalm 141:1-10; Proverbs 30:18-20

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