Closing the Gap 7.5.18

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Week 26 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:

Matt. 6:9-13 This, then, is how you should pray: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”

Reflect:

Praying for daily bread does not substitute for work. Of course, there are those who are unable to work in order to provide for their own needs and to help with the needs of others.  But for most people, faithfulness to God means they will take responsibility for themselves. “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody” (1 Thess. 4:11-12).  The phrase “work with your hands” does not apply only to those who engage in physical labor. It applies to everyone, no matter what is actually done for a “living.” The phrase “for a living” is interesting. What most people do vocationally takes up a good bit of their lives. These jobs take most of our waking hours for most of our adult lives.  It is also true that these jobs “pay” for our living, including housing, food, transportation, entertainment, etc., all of the things of our lives. So, we do work “for a living.” It is not tragic that people spend much of their lives working a job. Work is a gift. We are designed to be productive and creative. It is a gift to enjoy your work, but it is also a gift just to have good work to do whether you enjoy it or not.  What is tragic is when people trade their lives “away” for a job without recognizing what the purpose of their lives actually is. Our lives are to be spent for his glory and one way we bring him glory is by working. Some, maybe most, labor in vain because they do not do what they do for the glory of God and the good of others. “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Col. 3:17).  Consequently, prayer for daily bread does not substitute for daily work, it compliments it. As you do what you do “for a living,” remember why it is that you live.  You live for his glory and for the good of others. Praying for your daily bread should include praying for your work, your health, your boss, and your co-workers, all those things that are a part of “earning” your daily bread. There is a sense in which you do “earn” a living, there is a higher sense in which nothing you have is earned; it is all received.  “What do you have that you did not receive?” (1 Cor. 4:7).

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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