Closing the Gap 2.23.18

By February 23, 2018Daily Devotional

Week 7 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:

Hebrews 11:13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. 14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country — a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

Reflect:

Can a father be ashamed of his child and still love that child?  Of course he can.  When a child lives in a way that is counter to the values of the father, then the father is ashamed.  But the opposite is true as well.  When a child lives their father’s values, then the father is proud.   The men whose lives are described here were not perfect men.  In fact, Moses did not miss the Promised Land because of the sin of his people; he missed it because of his own sin.  However, although those men were not perfect in every action, they were perfect in their overall life-orientation.  They lived, over the course of their lives, headed towards the will and ways of God.  They may have taken two steps forward and one step backwards, or even sometimes two steps backwards, but the trajectory of their lives was pointed towards God.  Because this was true, God was not ashamed to be called their God.  In fact, for generations to come God would call himself “the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”  He was very proud to own these flawed sons. He was happy to be known as their father.  Their individual actions were not always in line with God’s family values, but their life-direction was.  When they got off track, they got back on.  Most of your life as a follower of Christ will be spent getting back on track.  This doesn’t mean you will or should get way off into terrible situations and stay there for long periods of time.  It does mean, ideally, that you will make day-by-day course corrections.  It may mean occasionally those corrections will be large in nature, but often it will mean we must adjust a degree here or there.  These course corrections are immensely important because to be off a single degree on a compass heading over a long period of time, means you are eventually going the exact opposite direction from where you should be going.  “Closing the gap” is simply a way of saying make small and immediate course corrections that keep you on track over the long haul.  It is also a way of saying make the small and immediate obedience choices that will propel you forward in your journey.  Making God “proud” is a good and appropriate life objective.  This doesn’t require detailed perfection, but it does require a settled direction.  It is a life pointed his way over the long haul.  It has been called a “long obedience in a single direction.” Today is a single step in that journey.

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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