Closing the Gap 2.8.18

By February 8, 2018Daily Devotional

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Week 5 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 11:7 By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith. 8 By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. 9 By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.

Reflect:

When Abraham got to the land of promise, he did not establish a permanent home there. He went to the place God had called him to, but he lived an “unsettled” life there.  Does that strike you as strange?  There are a number of people who proclaim what is called a “prosperity gospel.”  Gospel is a word that means “good news.”  This theological framework believes that the “good news” is that in addition to eternal life, God wants you healthy and wealthy in this life as well. This theology would not work well in many parts of the world where people are suffering for their faith. It doesn’t work well anywhere, for long.  Abraham went to the land of promise and did prosper there, but he lived the life of a migrant, like a stranger in a foreign land.  This was the land of promise for him and his heirs, but the fulfillment of the promise was “already, but not yet.”  He experienced partial peace, partial blessing, partial prosperity, but it was all tentative, migratory, and transitory.  Full peace, full blessing, full prosperity, full heath and joy are not found in this life.  The physical promised land was a sort of “down payment” on the actual promised land. He entered the land of ultimate promise when he went to God’s full presence after his death.  If you look to this life to give you more than it is capable of giving, you will live with ongoing disappointment.  In addition, you will tend to make decisions that are not driven by faith but rather by frustration.  Faith endures much now because it knows this is not all there is, or even most of what is for the Christian.  Frustration is the engine that drives the life not lived by faith.  Frustration that even when something is obtained—a   relationship, a promotion, an experience, a purchase—it does not bring lasting fulfillment.  This life cannot give what we often demand it give.  It cannot because in this life we see as through a glass darkly; in the life to come we will see God face-to-face.  Then our fulfillment will be complete, and our frustration will be eradicated.  It has been said that some people are “so heavenly-minded they are no earthly good.”  This is a catchy collection of words but totally devoid of factual content.  It’s not possible to be too “heavenly- minded.”  It is certainly possible to be too “earthly-minded.”  The more we navigate our lives with an eternal orientation, the more we are positioned to make a lasting impact now.  If we know this life is not the place of full promise fulfillment, then we are much more likely to experience the most out of this life.  Close the gap on your faith: see this life as “already but not yet” in terms of the full experience of the promises of God.  Your faith will become increasingly resilient, and your joy will become increasingly independent of your circumstances if you do.

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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