Closing the Gap 2.1.18

By February 1, 2018 Daily Devotional

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Week 4 Day 4

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:

Atheists believe that God does not exist. Agnostics believe that they do not or cannot know whether God exists.  Some believe it is irrational to claim he exists.  Others believe it is arrogant to claim to have knowledge of his existence.  But it is neither irrational nor arrogant to have this knowledge.  We have knowledge of his existence because he has made himself known.  We did not discover him; he revealed himself.  He has done so in the world he has made, like art made by an artist.  He has done so in the conscience he has placed inside each of us.  He has done so in human history as recorded in Scriptures.  He has done so in Jesus Christ, God incarnate.  To believe is to be persuaded, to have come to a conclusion.  Clearly we can have real knowledge of his existence and then have rational belief that he exists.  Why is this important?  Because before anyone will come to him (approach him for help, salvation, direction), they must believe he exists.  It’s not a condition that is arbitrary like “In basketball you must not lift your pivot foot, or you will lose possession of the ball.”  Why is this so—why are you not able to pivot with both feet?  Is this a condition of reality, like the laws of gravity?  No, it is merely a rule made up by the inventor of basketball because it is what he chose; it could have been otherwise.  The reality of God and the “laws” of human interaction with him are never arbitrary.  God, never just makes up the “rules of the game” because he feels like it, and it could just as easily have been another way.  What he tells us and commands us is tied to the way he has designed life to be, and it is connected to the nature of who he is.  Why can’t God just give us a break and whether we believe him or in him or not, just go ahead and be a “good sport” and give everyone the same things?  Because this is not a game, and he is not making it up as he goes.  If a person does not actually believe God, that God exists, he will not come to him in a way that leads to actual relationship with God.  If you go to him as a peer, or a demigod, or a large reflection of yourself, you are not going to him at all.  You are going to a figment of your imagination.  Figments of your imagination cannot save you, they have no power to change things in the real world.  You must believe he exists. Which “he”?  He, the Triune God, Father, Son, Holy Spirit.  Then when you “come to him” you are actually coming to a God who exists and who can save you, and help you, and have relationship with you.  Close the gap today: come to Him as he actually is, not as you might be imagining him to be.

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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