Closing the Gap 1.1.19

By January 1, 2019 Daily Devotional

Week 52 Day 2

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:

Gal. 5:1-6 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

Reflect:

A great challenge for people who enjoy the blessings of God in their lives is the tendency to not make the connection between God and his blessings.  That is they experience the freedom, joy, security and other manifold blessings that come from life in Christ. They experience those things because of God’s grace manifest in their lives and because they have made choices to live in that grace.  They have sought the Lord in his word and prayer. They have pursued community with others who are like-minded.  They have approached the Lord with humility because they have most often seen how powerless they are without him.  Then as the grace of God flows in and through their lives they become more “whole and healthy” they begin to rely on themselves more and more.  They have come to this place of increased health because of the grace of God operational in their lives but now they are attempting to live their lives on their own power.   Uzziah became king at the age of sixteen and reigned for fifty-two years. The nation prospered under his leadership and he was a very popular king. He sought the Lord and relied on him for success and the Lord gave him success. His success, which was tied to his reliance on the Lord led him to begin to trust himself.  This is the backstory for the fearful verse found in 2 Chronicles. “His fame spread far and wide, for he was greatly helped until he became powerful. But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride lead to his downfall.” (2 Chronicles 26:15,16) James said that “God opposes the proud but give grace to the humble.” (James 4:6).  Uzziah was the recipient of grace…God’s power at work in his life…until he became proud. Then he made God his opponent through his pride. Why would God become the opponent of the proud…indeed why would he not? Would you have God empower people in their attitudes and actions in opposition to him? Pride makes us first opponents of God…we are the ones who take a stand against God when our hearts become pride.  Pride is insanity; humility is reality. God lives resolutely in reality, we often do not. Paul understood the need to rely on Christ in both the hard and the good times…do you? “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:12-13)

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.


Leave a Reply