Closing the Gap 11.2.18

By November 2, 2018 Daily Devotional

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Week 43 Day 5

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:

What if someone demands that you put him or her first?  What if they are not grateful, but expectant…you are supposed to serve them.  Does this irk you? Do you feel pride rise up inside saying, “How dare you expect me to serve you!  I will serve you on my term, not yours. I will put your needs ahead of mine because I am so noble and so Christlike, not because you demand and expect it!”  Do you see the irony in this thinking? We tend to put others first as long as we are in control of the situation. As soon as someone dare treat us as a servant then the true nature of service becomes clear.  If we are to serve as Christ serves and as we are meant to serve, then we do not expect applause, or appreciation, or to serve on our terms. We put others first because this is the life God has for us, not because we want to appear to be “spiritual” people.  What if you put someone else’s needs ahead of your own and they don’t even notice? What if they personally benefit from your sacrifice and service, but give you no credit or recognition. What if they give someone else credit for what you did for them? All these questions are “gut checks.”  It is important that as we serve and put the interests of others first we do so in ways that are actually moving us towards becoming like Christ in our character. This requires that we do make the choice to serve, even when our motives are not perfect and, in addition, we continually check our motives so that they are yielded to Christ.  Does all of this sound complex? It’s really not complex, but it is difficult. When we are treated like servants, we must yield our pride to Christ. When we are not recognized for our service, we remain quiet and yield our reputation to Christ. When we serve and someone is ungrateful, we remember that we ultimately serve Christ by serving others.  His pleasure is our reward. Train your mind to remember that always.

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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