Closing the Gap 11.1.18

By November 1, 2018 Daily Devotional

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Week 43 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:

Phil. 2:3-8 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death — even death on a cross!

John 13:14-17 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

Reflect:

Often we look for the great opportunities to put others first.  We are ready to make the great sacrifice and to put forth the heroic effort, but rarely do those opportunities come.  What is most often needed are simple, small, barely noticeable acts of kindness. Someone may stand ready to give their life to save another life, but be unwilling to serve others in ways that seem insignificant.  Most of the time putting the interests of others first will be unspectacular. It will be listening to someone talk about what interests them, but maybe doesn’t interest you and doing so in way where you “choose” to be interested…for their good.  It will be helping with some banal task that you feel someone else could easily do, but yet here you are and now you must choose to embrace this small thing with a large heart. Putting the needs of others ahead of our own will necessitate developing better situational awareness of others.  We must learn to “see” them and not just ourselves. When most people are shown a group photograph, the first thing they look for is how they look in the photograph. This is normal, but it demonstrates how most people move through life as a whole. We enter rooms, situations, and relationships thinking first and foremost about ourselves.  To grow in this important quality of the Christ-life, we must grow in “seeing” others and not just self. You can train to have better awareness of others. You can pray as you go to work, or a store, or church, or to an event where people will be present: “Lord, open my eyes to the needs of others, help me to see them as you do.” You can make small choices to put others first, to move through life with a growing awareness in every situation of the opportunities to represent Christ by loving and serving others.  There is great joy and great adventure in this kind of life. The lifestyle of “self-first” is void of joy, always needing more and never finding contentment. There is no adventure in a life spent putting yourself first; it is, instead, the way of an animal in the woods…wandering, foraging with no sense of a greater purpose than survival today. You were not made for this. You were made for greatness and greatness is washing the feet of others.

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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