Closing the Gap 1.4.19

By January 4, 2019 Daily Devotional

Week 52 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:

Gal. 5:6…The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

Reflect:

As another year comes to close and you wake up to a new year what has really changed?  A number we arbitrarily assign to “today” has gone from a thirty-one to a one. Likewise a number assigned to the year has increased by one. But what has “actually” changed?  Have you changed? How do you measure whether you have? You can measure a year or a day gone by on a calendar. But how do you measure whether you have grown in faith and love?  There are ways to see growth but it is hard if not impossible to quantify. The real question is not whether you can measure but whether you need to measure. We measure things in order to see if something is actually happening or not.  To see if what we are doing is working. So we get on a scale to see if the number has dropped and therefore our plan for weight loss is effective. But in closing the gap on faith and love we don’t really need to measure to know if what we are doing is working.  You can measure how many times you prayed or read your Bible. You can keep track of how many times you served others or even how many times you held your tongue and did not speak in anger to others. These are not bad but they also do not measure actual growth in faith and love.  They may be effective means to that end but they certainly do not in themselves indicate you are achieving the end. Means are important, they are necessary, and we will not progress without them. Measurement, in terms of closing the gap on faith and love is not so important. If it helps to find ways to track “progress” fine, use them.  But you don’t confuse your measurements with actual change. Measure in the moment, right now. Is my heart, right now saying, “yes” to the Lord? If not, then repent and return to “yes.” If so, rejoice, and live out that “yes.” Israel was being trained to trust. The way the Lord did this was not by giving them a map but by leading them day-by-day very directly by a cloud and a pillar of fire. “At the LORD’s command the Israelites set out, and at his command they encamped. As long as the cloud stayed over the tabernacle, they remained in camp. When the cloud remained over the tabernacle a long time, the Israelites obeyed the LORD’s order and did not set out. Sometimes the cloud was over the tabernacle only a few days; at the LORD’s command they would encamp, and then at his command they would set out. Sometimes the cloud stayed only from evening till morning, and when it lifted in the morning, they set out. Whether by day or by night, whenever the cloud lifted, they set out. Whether the cloud stayed over the tabernacle for two days or a month or a year, the Israelites would remain in camp and not set out; but when it lifted, they would set out.”(Numbers 9:18-22) This is how the Lord wants you to measure progress.  Are you right now following his lead? As you living in a state of ready “yes!” If not repent. If so rejoice. Then follow him. Close the gap on faith and love as a life long journey of faith and love.

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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