Closing the Gap 7.11.18

By July 11, 2018 Daily Devotional

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Week 27 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:

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:

Forgiveness is a prerequisite for worship.  Jesus said, “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift” (Matt. 5:23-24).  In this passage, Jesus is instructing us on the place which having right relationships with one another has in our relationship with God. When we come to God in worship and, right there at the altar, we remember we have sinned against someone else, then we leave the offering and go seek reconciliation.  Once we have done so, we are then ready to return and continue our worship. Pay careful attention to the order here: “First go and be reconciled… then come and offer your gift.”  Many operate under the delusion that they can treat the people around them poorly, and yet still be in a healthy relationship with God.  They believe that it is possible to be “wrong” with people and “right” with God. Jesus was instructing; he was not praying for himself. Jesus had no debts with either his Father or other people.  He lived in perfect, sinless liberty. So, pay careful attention to the instruction which Jesus gives for your life: “Pray and live like this…forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven our debtors.”  It is assumed that those who move toward God looking for grace would also move toward others with grace as well. As you offer God your time, your prayers, and your attention right now, stop and ask.  Ask God to bring to your mind if there is someone from whom you need to seek forgiveness. If there is not, then continue with your “devotional offering.”  If there is someone, however, then finish your time with God right now with a prayer of commitment and a request for strength. Commit to go, as soon as you are able, to make things right with the person(s) with whom there is a relationship breach.  Then, ask God for the strength to follow through with grace. If the breach in relationship is on “their end”, that is if they have sinned against you, then will you forgive them right now? You do not always have to seek restoration of relationship; it is sometimes not possible or wise.  You do need to forgive them from your heart, however. It is always possible and it is always wise. Forgiving and seeking forgiveness from one another is essential for true worship.

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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