Closing the Gap 7.12.18

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Week 27 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:

There may be someone in your life that has done great harm to you.  Perhaps this person remains a danger and should be avoided. These situations are not uncommon and often require very specific guidance and responses in order to handle them in healthy ways.  However, the vast majority of the “debtors” we are to forgive are of the “garden variety.” They are people who are rude, or unkind, or uncaring, or at least we perceive them to be so. They are people who seem to put their own interests first and who hurt with words, actions, and attitudes in ways that make us feel diminished, or stupid, or without real value.  These people are the sorts of debtors we are most often called to forgive. But how? Especially when they continue to stack up debts against us. How can we continually forgive them? What did Jesus say? “Forgive us, as we forgive them.” How often do you want Jesus to forgive you of your debts against him? How fully do you want him to forgive you? If we could see the enormity of our offense against God, then we would see how often we exaggerate the offenses of others against us.  Do not begin with their sin, begin with your own. Do not begin with how much you will need to forgive them of, instead begin with how much you have been forgiven for. When we learn to move towards others with grace like this, we will begin to see things we did not see before. Maybe we will see how much our own selfishness has colored our perspective of others. Perhaps they did not intend to hurt you. Perhaps we were more at fault than we first believed. When we move toward others in grace with the desire for restored fellowship, we will learn to emphasize what is good between us and others rather than simply focusing on what is not. How do you really want to live?  Are you feeling justified in your judgment? Do you believe you are not to blame for the breach in relationship so you will not make the first move? Again, how do you want to live? Do you want joy, peace, and relationship or do you mostly want to feel justified for your judgment on others? Choose his life, choose his truth, and choose his way. Choose to approach others as you would have them approach you and as Jesus does approach you.

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.

 

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Denise Hulse says:

    Thought provoking words, and so true. Again, if we would only read these words daily, and take them to heart, what a difference it would make in all of our lives. It is brought to mind someone who brought me great pain, and I consistently loved her through it, but just realized that perhaps I haven’t forgiven her fully. Thank you for the reminder.

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