Closing the Gap 1.31.18

By January 31, 2018Daily Devotional

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Week 4 Day 3

Pray:

Ask God to reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.

Read:

Hebrews 11:4 By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead. 5 By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. 6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

Reflect:

All things are possible for God.  Does this mean God can do anything?  Yes and no.  God’s power, sometimes called his omnipotence, means he can do anything that can be done.  He can make the universe, raise the dead, and become incarnate in Christ.  He cannot, however, do what is self-contradictory to do.  He cannot make a rock too big for him to pick up.  This is not a real thing to be done; it is merely clever words tied together in a sentence.  If someone presses you on a question like this and he refuses to listen to the fact that it is an irrational sentence, then simply tell them, “yes, he can.”  Then if they say, “Well then he can’t pick up the rock!” You can reply, “Oh yes, he can do that as well.”  It’s okay to answer nonsense with nonsense.  Now, let’s go back to the larger issue of what God can actually do and what he cannot.  He cannot ever stop being God.  He cannot, not be love, or powerful, or eternal.  Furthermore, it is impossible for us to please God apart from faith.  Why is this?  Why is he making such a demand on us?  Let’s think about it. What is faith?  It is confidence.  Who is God?  He is ultimate reality, from whom all things came into existence and for whom all things exist.  So faith is confidence in and compliance with the one we belong to and exist for.  So how would it be possible to live as beings made by him for his pleasure in a way that resists him and his will and at the same time bring him pleasure?  This is another statement of nonsense.  It could be worded like this to get the full meaning.  “Without pleasing God it is impossible to please God.”  Well of course that is true; so what is the point?  The point is that a life of confidence in God(faith) is the same thing as a life that pleases God. It is not complex; it’s just difficult.  We really only have to do two things…actually one because the second flows from the first.  We have to trust God.  When we trust God, it will show up in love for others.  Love God with all of who you are, and love others as you love yourself.  This is very simple and enormously difficult.  But in this, all things are possible because God is all for this, and he will help you live this way.  Close the gap on a life of faith.  Look to God to do what would be impossible for you by yourself.  Look to him to help you trust him completely and to love others authentically.

Pray:

(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)

Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the good news today.

 

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